Anniversary Poem

Anniversary Poem

It seems a moment ago,
or perhaps maybe two.
We stood face to face
and we each said, “I do”.
And the journey began
as we stood hand in hand.
With no real idea
of all God had planned.

Through the ups and the downs,
the happy and sad.
We kept moving forward
with all that we had.
Yet, through days that felt slow
and years that seemed fast.
All of a sudden,
thirty-seven years have passed.

So, Happy Anniversary
to my beautiful bride!
Life’s so much better
with you by my side.
And whether walking a trail
or some peaceful shore.
Here’s to the moments
of thirty-seven more!

©2018 by Tom Lemler

While some said we were too young and it wouldn’t last, today my wife and I celebrate our 37th wedding anniversary!  As I reflect on that accomplishment, I have to say it was God who carried us this far together and it is only He who can successfully carry us into the future.  And while I don’t know if either of us have another 37 years of life on this earth, we can always count on our walks continuing on a more beautiful shore once our time here is done!

 
With prayers and much love,
Tom
A Usual Day

A Usual Day

We woke up that morning
in the usual way.
With usual plans
for our usual day.
Our minds were quite filled
with the usual things.
As we were prepared
for what a usual day brings.

For some, change was instant
with life gone in a flash.
Yet others were changed
as toward the rubble they dashed.
Some called their loved ones,
as they would soon die.
Others were gone with
no chance for good-bye.

Some ran away,
but there was no place to hide.
Some ran toward trouble
to help those inside.
Some rushed the men
who intended such harm.
And found their life over
on a Pennsylvania farm.

And through all the horror
on an unusual day.
The nation did mourn
and gathered to pray.
We prayed for each other,
we prayed for those lost.
We prayed for the families
who paid the great cost.

Yet time has a way
of changing our view.
When the heartache and loss
are no longer new.
The prayers that we prayed
on those nights long ago.
Are no longer intense
for those we don’t know.

And slowly, but surely,
I think we’ve arrived.
To a usual day
with our usual drive.
And our usual mindset
that looks far ahead.
With no thought of preparing
for when we are dead.

So, I ask for a moment
on this usual day.
You stop and remember,
and take time to pray.
Pray for the families
of those who were lost.
Pray for the helpers
who still pay the cost.

Pray for your own life
and ask God today.
If you were to meet Him,
just what would He say.
Pray for your neighbor,
wherever they may be.
And live with compassion
so that Jesus they see!

©2018 by Tom Lemler

I think the events of September 11, 2001 are etched in the minds of many of us to such an extent that we couldn’t forget if we wanted to.  Yet, most of us woke up that morning with virtually no thoughts of anything but a “usual” day.  The horrors of 911 should not be the only thing unforgettable.  The heroes and helpers of 911 should be unforgettable.  The national leaders gathering to mourn and pray should be unforgettable.  The gatherings of people seeking God for help and asking for His forgiveness and protection should be unforgettable.  Yet outside of the anniversary date of 911, how many of us go about our “usual” days forgetting how quickly “usual” can turn into “unusual”.  I pray that you and I would not just remember the events of 911, but that we would always remember to turn to God in the midst of everything!

 
In prayer,
Tom

Questions

As I reflect on another year of life, I find that I often have many more questions than answers. Tomorrow I reach the “double-nickle” mark, at least as far as years go, and I pray that my pursuit of God honors Him and in some way helps others.

Since I’m getting old now,
I should be in bed.
But questions abound,
at least in my head.
Will my life matter,
when I come to the end?
When Jesus looks at me,
will He call me His friend?

Did my life today,
measure up to His will?
Did I listen intently,
taking time to be still?
Was there ever a moment,
that I helped someone up?
And poured into their life,
what was placed in my cup?

Do I lift other’s spirits,
or bring them down low?
Is my life lived with substance,
or is it all show?
Is there a way,
to walk home with God?
With my mind fixed on heaven,
and my feet on this sod?

The questions are many,
the answers seem few.
So I’ll trust God with the unknown,
and share this with you! 
© 2108 by Tom Lemler

 
In prayer,
Tom

Breaking News!

Today I read some breaking news.
And didn’t know that I could choose.
To keep my thoughts off printed page.
Instead of typing all my rage.
I really don’t know every fact.
But why should that change how I act.
I’ll write with such authority.
That minds will change, just wait and see.

And so I post my thoughts today.
And can’t believe what others say!
It seems they have opinions too.
Though obviously they can’t be true.
For I alone have got it right.
And what I share is great insight.
How dare anyone disagree.
I know it all, why can’t you see?

But what is this I hear You say?
There really is another way?
To hear some breaking news report.
And not reply, no bold retort?
To listen more and speak much less.
And not add to the ugly mess.
To sit alone and quietly pray.
Would be a wiser choice today!

© 2018 by Tom Lemler

It seems like anything and everything has become fuel for the divisiveness that plagues our nation.  It seems like nearly every news story posted on social media brings out people who have to “set the record straight”.  The temptation to comment or reply to someone else’s comment is strong and many times it even “feels” like the right thing to do.  I know, because I read things that cause every fiber of my being to want to jump right into the fray and “tell it like it is”.  Fortunately, it is obvious to me that doing so rarely, if ever, changes anyone’s mind and just adds fuel to an already volatile situation.  Yet when those emotions are stirred within me, I do have a choice.  And my choice is to seek God and pray.  I pray for whatever the news event is.  I pray for those who are responding to the event out of their own hurt, anger, pride, or other emotion.  I pray for the courage to be still when needed and to act when needed.  I pray that God would refine my choices and my words so they are helpful and not hurtful.  I pray that I would be mindful of the enemy’s attempts to engage me in a battle that is not mine to fight.  I pray for wisdom to always make choices that would honor Christ.

 

In prayer,
Tom

Kind  Words

Kind Words

Just think what could happen
in this crazy old world.
If hatred and insults
were no longer hurled.
If patience and listening
were themes for the day.
With kindness and love
in the words we do say.

Instead of just typing
that hurtful reply.
Ask God for His wisdom;
self-control to apply.
And when you start thinking,

“O, Lord, how much more?”
Be thankful in your life,
God’s not keeping score.

Healing for hurt
and kind words for hate.
Start it today
before it’s too late.
You don’t have to stoop
to the level of earth.
For you live much higher,
reborn through new birth.

This new way of speaking
changes more than you know.
As seeds of God’s grace
are what you now sow.
While it may not change
what others will do.
Truth said in love,
will surely change you!

©2018 by Tom Lemler

In the prayer guides I write each week, today’s focus was on encouraging one another.  As I was praying through that focus, I thought about how powerful are words are — whether spoken or written.  In the midst of these thoughts I had a nephew post about the ever-increasing tendency for people to demean and ridicule anyone who might have a differing opinion about anything.  It made me think about how different things could be if everyone would actually take the time to listen to one another and only speak words of truth in ways that would build up those who listen.  . . . And out of that, this poem fell out of my head. 🙂

 
In prayer,
Tom
Happy Birthday Susan!

Happy Birthday Susan!

I look back through time
and wonder where did it go?
The years flew by fast,
though the days oft seemed slow.
On days I feel young,
and feeling quite fine.
It’s hard to remember
that I’m not twenty-nine.

But that can’t be right,
the math doesn’t add up.
For it was that long ago,
the Lord poured into our cup.
A daughter who changed me,
both inside and out.
A gift from the Lord,
of that there’s no doubt!

There’s more to this story,
I suppose I could write.
Of the worry-filled days,
more than one sleepless night.
Of days spent just praying
between life and death.
And wondering if this one,
would be the last breath.

That day hasn’t come yet,
as life moves along.
And this one who has changed me,
fills my life with a song.
Her faith of a child,
helps all who would see.
That a life loving Jesus,
should change you and me!

© 2018 by Tom Lemler

 

Some days I feel old, but it’s not often that I feel old enough to have a 29 year old daughter.  Yet as I write this, I’m a day away from our daughter’s twenty-ninth birthday!  I suppose her perpetual youth helps me stay young (at least that’s what I tell myself 😉 ) but it is her perpetual love of Jesus that does the most for me and those who spend time around her.  So, Happy Birthday Susan and thank you for bringing so much joy and hope into the world!

 

In prayer,                                   

Tom Lemler

VBS 2018 – The students were all getting pictures taken for a craft project and Susan decided she needed her picture taken as well. 🙂

My Mom

The cleaning is done
and I’m ready for the day.
So, as I sit down
I have something to say.
To a godly mother,
no one can compare.
She cares for her family,
their burdens to bear.
 
She does what she can
with the hands of her own.
And prays oft to God
for the seeds which are sown.
Some days she acts tough,
and some days are sweet.
As the needs of her children
she struggles to meet.
 
But meet them she does,
with God’s help and might.
As she calls out to Him,
by day and by night.
He strengthens her hands
for the work to be done.
And fills her with joy
from daughter and from son.
 
You may read these lines
and think, “What does he know?”.
Well, these are the truths
that my mother did show!
Her life of strength,
and tenderness too.
Helps me see Jesus
as God shines right through.
 
And so as you ponder
just what you should do.
I have a message
that might be for you.
Honor your mother,
whether gone or still here.
By being a person
that would bring her great cheer.

© 2018 by Tom Lemler

 
After cleaning the church building to get ready for the Sunday service, I sat down and the opening lines of this poem fell out of my mind. I wasn’t sure where it was headed as I typed the words out, but I offer them in honor of my mom on this Mother’s Day! I’m sure my mom didn’t always understand me (I don’t even always understand myself 🙂 ) but she continues to be a great encourager and example to me.
 
In prayer,
Tom