But if anyone is a hearer and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in what he is doing.
James 1:23-25 ESV

“God provides the wind, but man must raise the sails.”
William R. Inge

Church records attest
I’m a regular attender,
an attendee, if you will,
of the regular sort.
I stand up and sit down,
and amen render
with nary a protest
or wayward retort.
But if my heart and gumption
isn’t where
God wants it to be,
it’s all show
and no go, you see.

Mediocrity isn’t anyone’s stated goal.
It’s just where we slide back to
when we stop reaching,
so it’s okay if His teaching smarts a little
and makes you decide
to stop riding and
Get an oar out and paddle.
It’s time for you to
Put your foot on the throttle.
Go ahead and
and even if you make some mistakes
God honors His servants
who are willing to
get in,
ask God for direction…
and drive.

© Joel Tipple 11/29/2018

When the Seasons Come

When the Spring comes,
God, you help me grow.
The word you planted in me
shows brightly in all its colors.

When the Summer comes,
you cool my feet
in your river of life.
You give me rest
under a canopy of trees.

When the Fall comes,
you nourish me
with your bounty of blessings.
You make me strong and whole.

When the Winter comes,
your house shields me
from the storm.
And your love
keeps me warm
and safe.

You have prepared Lord,
for all our needs,
no matter the challenge,
so that we may weather…
every season.

© Joel Tipple 11/28/2018

Use Me Anyway

(God doesn’t use “perfect people.” He uses “available people.”)

All of God’s people are ordinary people who have been made extraordinary by the purpose He has given them.
Oswald Chambers

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 ESV

It doesn’t do any good to protest,
or to presume to tell God He’s mistaken.
The Spirit of God begins a work in us
from the moment we’re reborn.

He chooses someone like you,
with the qualities you like
and those you’re unsure of,
because a puzzle piece simply takes its place,
for the picture wouldn’t be right without it.

© Joel Tipple 11/27/2018

Tidings of Retail Therapy

(To the tune of, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”)

Entering this season,
this Christmas time of year,
at times we struggle to maintain
enough of Christmas cheer.
Our thoughts drift from the reason
we hold this time so dear.

Ohh, tidings of retail therapy,
Ohh, tidings of retail therapy.

Turkey’s barely cold before
we put on suits of black.
And God help you, fellow shopper,
you better put that back!
I saw it first, my mood’s the worst,
and I’ve been up since three.

Ohh, tidings of retail therapy,
Ohh, tidings of retail therapy.

If you’ve got a home
and clothes to wear,
and food enough to eat,
you’re better off
than most of the world,
so don’t give in to greed.
Get your heart right,
the better fight’s
to fight for others’ needs.

Don’t focus on retail therapy,
Share Jesus’ love,
not retail therapy.

© Joel Tipple 11/25/2018


Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, …
Colossians 3:12 ESV

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
Mark Twain

Do you have any to give away?
If you do, then it was given.
The inexhaustible supply began
with Jesus.

Warming the cold,
filling the soul
with goodwill till it’s overflowing.
In an angry world on fire,
kindness can extinguish the blaze.

It has a wonderful
rejuvenating quality,
energy for another mile.
Sometimes all it takes
is giving away a smile.

© Joel Tipple 11/24/2018

You Know Me

Even the darkness is not dark to You.
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.
Psalm 139:12

“Not everything that is faced can be changed,
but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
James Baldwin

Sing to the Lord the new song He gave.
Sing to the Lord, and be amazed.
Oh ohh, never let go.
Sing to the Lord when the battle seems lost.
Sing to the Lord when the cost seems too high,
and you want to cut and run.

It’s easy to give up on supernatural.
It’s easy to abandon what isn’t naturally known,
even when the known is getting you nowhere.
We cling to familiar like a broken-down car,
sit in the seat though we can’t get far.
allowing our lives to be run by fear and regret.

Since you are with me wherever I go,
since you know my every thought,
I might as well get to know you.
I can’t run so fast as to get away.
I can’t stop the sunrise by holding down the curtain.
Of all these things I’m certain.

You formed me, designed me,
made me unique for a purpose.
When I was still an unformed substance,
you saw me, you knew me,
you knew where my piece fit in the puzzle.
Lord, help me find my way in the puzzle.

© Joel Tipple 11/23/2018

You Gave

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 4:15 ASB

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”
John F. Kennedy

This Thanksgiving Lord
I’d like to say, thanks, you gave.
When, as Christians, we try to thank you,
we start with the price you paid.

As with all gifts,
there was a cost for life
and, that eternal.
In our small human way,
we try to understand
why you saved us
from the infernal.

You created us.
You gave us
the freedom to choose.
From the moment we are able
to decide for life,
it’s ours to win or lose.

Our time in this body
is a fraction
of that resurrected.
Thank you
for giving us
the book of life
so we can read
the directions.

© Joel Tipple 11/22/2018

A Grateful Heart

The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly, I will show the salvation of God!
Psalm 50:23 ESV

“There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy.”
Ralph H. Blum

Take from me everything I own,
but don’t take my grateful heart.
It’s a God-given wellspring,
a supernatural joy thing,
of my countenance the better part.

The choice of thanking God for who He is,
and His attributes so numerous,
takes us to the foot of His throne,
where praise is never onerous.

© Joel Tipple 11/21/2018


When I prayed for a friend,
God knew best,
and He sent you to me.
And though I might have thought
the choosing was mine,
I know now that couldn’t be.

Maybe some twenty-something-year-olds
have a good stock of wisdom and plans
but we had to pick it up along the way
such has been life’s varied demands.

You pray and hope for a good wife
as a woman prays and hopes for a man
to hold a hand when it’s needed
or to push when you need two hands.
To be cover in bad weather,
to be shade when the sun’s too good,
to say stop when you shouldn’t,
then go when you should.

Though I’m not so good at baseball,
I’m certain you’ll be great for late innings.
Of course, we can’t say for sure
how long the game will last,
though we’re far from the beginning.

So thanks for keeping your promise to me,
as I’ve kept mine to you,
to be there for happy times,
as well as when times were blue,
and remembering, sometimes,
when we thought one was choosing,
God was choosing two.

© Joel Tipple 11/20/2018