Measure

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.
1st Peter 2:9

God, I’d like to be
the measure of a man
you would have me be.
Close my ears and eyes
to how the world defines me.
For when I look
to the left or right
of the road you’ve set before me
suddenly I stumble.

Season my speech
with words wise and giving,
an attitude of joy,
one of great thanksgiving.
If by chance someone hears
some of what I say
I pray my focus
is on the Holy Spirit
because I sought Him
and prayed.

There was a time, Lord,
when the mirror used to be
something other than my friend,
and there was a sad moment in my life
when I prayed for a sooner end.
Thanks for holding off calamity
with your loving hand
and saving me.

If we don’t turn off the news
sometime
with its
relentless
negative
auto-repeat,
we risk rendering our witness worthless
to the point, we cannot speak.
But no matter how dark
the world may become
if we turn our eyes to you
and the sacrifice of your son
we will be saved.

You Lord,
the one who measures rightly,
the one who made the world,
and all its wonders
will always bring us back
from the brink
when we call.
Even though we’re prodigal
and have nothing at all
to earn it,
you’ll forever
heap upon us
so much devotion
we can’t help but share it.
Thank you, Lord.
Thank you, thank you, thank you
for sharing
so much
it could never
ever
be measured.

© Joel Tipple 1/26/2019

I Choose Joy

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
Dr. Seuss

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”
Nicolas Chamfort

“What day is it?”
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

‘Oh yes, nodded Pollyanna emphatically, ‘he said he felt better right away, that first day he thought to count ’em. He said if God took the trouble to tell us eight hundred times to rejoice, He must want us to do it – some.’
Elenor Porter, Pollyanna

From the moment we begin a day,
foggy though we may be,
a choice is made,
destiny laid,
to carry on through eternity.
A deep connection to God
and how we fit in His plans
each dawn’s birth
we must employ.
But I can’t imagine
God and beginning
unless I’m beginning with joy.

I choose joy!
though circumstances
shout a different direction,
though news in its varied guises
favors a negative slant.
I choose hope over despair
though hopelessness
clamors for attention,
and tries to blind us
to better horizons
before our faith
has a chance.

You may call me a Pollyanna,
but I don’t mind.
In a world filled with darkness
count me in
with the light giving kind.

Give me joy!
A better, not bitter mindset
is fighting against the tide.
But God wouldn’t tell us to rejoice
without giving us fuel for the ride.

In the course of a day
on this earth,
we make countless choices
that affect
ours and others’ lives.
I have a certain faith,
God’s not playing with loaded dice.

I choose joy!
It’s a habit worth promoting
a way to identify
life
versus death.
When waters threaten to drown,
joy makes you taller.
I’m enrolled
in God’s Hope University,
so I suppose
that makes me
a Joy Scholar.

Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.
Psalm 47:1

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

© Joel Tipple 1/19/2019

Future Through Failure

“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”
Winston Churchill

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
Henry Ford

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”
Johnny Cash

“The flaw in, say, austerity, is that its success is predicated on the relative exactitude of math rather than the shifting liquid imperfection of people’s lives.”
Steven Weber

God, you see a painting of me,
But it’s one, I fear,
I often fail to see.
I know you,
the ultimate artist,
with the deft stroke of your brush,
can make a man
by your plan
from this accumulation of dust.
I’m not finished
because you’re not finished with me.
From failures to future
the ups and downs of life,
I refuse to give in to misgivings.
I won’t wallow
in disappointment and strife.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV

©Joel Tipple 1/12/2019