Walking Together

I  headed outside
to go for a walk.
To spend time with God
where we could just talk.
We spoke about this,
and then some about that.
I do have to say,
it was quite a nice chat.

But it was much more
than just sharing a word.
I knew as we talked
that I had been heard.
As tears filled my eyes
from a heart that did ache.
His presence assured me,
my burden He’d take.

When I become weary
with too much to bear.
He asks for it all
as I cast my care.
So as we walked together,
by faith and not sight.
I knew that my load
could soon become light.

The burdens are present
but the weight is not mine.
It’s off of my shoulders
as this yoke does align.
When yoked with my Savior,
He carries the weight.
So I’ll keep walking with Him
all the way through His gate!

© 2019 by Tom Lemler

I have been praying a lot lately for family members, friends, acquaintances, and others that are dealing with a wide variety of health issues.  After a late afternoon lunch, I went to the park to just spend some time walking and talking with God.  As I did so, at least two things happened.  One, I found there were tears flowing down my face which isn’t something that is usual for me.  Two, this poem showed up in my mind to remind me of the truth of God’s presence even when my heart aches for individuals who are facing so much uncertainty in their health.  I pray that these words reach those that will find encouragement through them and that God would use them in the lives of others as He has in mine.

In prayer,
Tom

Words That Build

I have a hammer
I do like to use.
But if I’m not careful
it will leave a bruise.
When I have a project
that needs some repair.
I consider its nature
and hammer with care.

When a project is fragile
and the material light.
I never would hammer
with all of my might.
Yet some things are stronger
and made of hard wood.
And a half-hearted tapping
would do it no good.

But more than just strength
for the project that’s planned.
I must consider
if the right hammer’s in hand.
If I don’t choose wisely,
I’ll destroy what is good.
Or wear myself out,
like I never should.

I must also be careful,
with the hammer in hand.
That I pay close attention
to where its blows land.
If I just swing wildly,
I’ll damage the wood.
Or hammer my fingers,
which never is good.

While this is all true,
of the tools that we use.
It’s not about hammers
but the words that we choose.
So choose your words wisely
for the task that’s at hand.
And build up each other,
the way that God planned!

© 2019 by Tom Lemler

As one who directs a preaching/teaching/writing ministry, I use a lot of words.  The effect of words on me heavily influences my approach to how I attempt to use words.  This poem showed up in my mind tonight and I believe it flows from an internal struggle that reoccurs in my life because of words that have been directed toward me.  Almost every time I preach, teach, or write, I find myself hearing two sets of words in my mind.  Both sets are actual words which have been spoken to me.  One set tells me I have no business doing what I’m doing and the other set tells me my teaching is powerful and effective.  Fortunately, I know which set corresponds with the truth of God’s Word and His gifting in my life, but that doesn’t always fully remove the sting of the other words.  What it does, however, is to drive me to consider more carefully the words I use.  I know the pain of words that are not used well and I consistently pray that God would always help me to use words, both in content and context, that would be helpful and not hurtful.  I pray that you and I would always choose words that build rather than words that tear down.

In prayer,
Tom

Overflow

We say what we want,
      thinking it’s no big deal.
If we do wound others
      a “sorry” will heal.
But how sorry are we
      about what we said?
Or do we shift blame
      to how it’s taken instead?
If they would relax,
      lighten up, and just chill.
I gave it no thought,
      I never meant ill.

Perhaps that’s the problem
      that we fail to see.
We opened our mouth,
      never counting to three.
The three’s not important,
      it’s more about thought.
Do I think before speaking,
      as I know I ought.
When I stop to consider,
      what my words will do.
I need to quit looking
      at me and see you.

Words will stay with us,
      they’re hard to erase.
They get in our mind and
      they dig in some place.
And when least expected,
     They jump right on out.
They may make us happy,
      or may make us pout.
The words you are using,
      just what will they mean?
When months and years later,
      they’re still on the scene.

You may be thinking,
      I’ve got this all wrong.
Words don’t stay with me,
      at least not for long.
I can’t be certain,
     if that’s true for you.
But based on who I know,
     you’d be one of a few.
Even when I’ve thought
     words rolled off my back.
In the right setting,
     they’ve found their way back

There is a good side
      to a mind that will store.
I praise God with songs
      from when I was four.
The thing that’s important,
      is to guard what goes in.
So what comes out later,
      doesn’t cause us to sin.
When I seek Jesus
      to fill my whole heart.
The words that I should say
      have a great place to start.

For out of my mouth comes,
      a great overflow.
Of what Jesus put in me,
      and of just who I know.
The treasure inside me
      can’t be hidden for long.
For God’s love does fill me
      with a prayer and a song.
And since it’s His Spirit
      that I have in me.
My words should reflect that,
      so it’s Him people see.
©

 I was outside this afternoon enjoying the sunshine while getting some things done around the building and found myself singing some Sunday School songs from way back in my childhood.  As I considered the power words have had in my life, God gave me this poem to share.  I pray that it encourages you and I to be careful with our words.

In prayer,
Tom

Words

Words can be powerful,
     more than we know.
For good or for bad,
      either way it can go.
A careless word spoken
     is striking a spark.
Then the mind quickly takes us
     to a place that is dark.
Over and over
     the mind plays a word.
And after a while
     nothing else can be heard. 

I think far too often
     our tongue starts to say.
Things that are hurtful
     and get in the way.
Words come between us
     when freely they flow.
We don’t stop to think,
     so out the mouth they do go.
If you’re not so certain
     of all of these claims.
Then pick up a Bible,
     read the words penned by James. 

And while this sounds hopeless
     and out of control.
Words can bring healing
     and help make you whole.
A word fitly spoken
     is like an apple of gold.
A word that brings healing
     is a thing to behold!
The Word that is Jesus
     is quite a big deal.
A word from the Savior
     has the power to heal. 

So as you consider
     the words that you use.
The ones that bring healing,
     I pray you do choose.
The ones that are careless
     and bring such great hurt.
I pray you remove them
     along with the dirt.
And as you spread good things
     by what you do say.
I pray that God’s Spirit
     brings great healing today.

©

This is one of three poems that rolled out of my head in rather quick succession as I spent time listening to God for direction and peace.  I pray that these words are of the healing kind in your life and mine.

In prayer,
Tom