Out of Control

I was driving the family car. I had been a passenger many times, but never the driver, and I was terrified that at any moment I would do something wrong. The sun was on its way down, and I was on the edge of losing control when I crested the top of a short hill just outside of town and woke up. I’m not sure how I managed to drive, since, at age eight, there was no way my legs could have reached the pedals, but hey, it was my “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride” dream, and in a situation like that, rules are made to be broken. It was a recurring nightmare when I was a child. It could have meant something or nothing at the time. I don’t know.

Have you ever found yourself at a point in life where you felt, like in my dream, that you were barely holding on? Since we can’t be certain when the circumstances of our lives will take a wild and crazy turn, it’s worth considering what and where our place of hope and security is. You may feel, as an adult, that you’re better prepared to be behind the wheel of your life than I was to be driving our Oldsmobile, but just what is waiting for you beyond that hill’s crest? When you get there, will money keep you safe? Your own strength? Your family and friends? No matter how well you’ve managed your finances, no matter how well you eat and how much you exercise, no matter the quality of your personal relationships, the reality of the human condition is that stuff happens. So what, then? Is it a waste of effort to be right and responsible? Or rather, given what many view as the uncertainty and ultimate futility of life, should we teach the virtues of selfishness and hedonism?

Over 2,000 years ago a man came along claiming to be the Son of God. At first those in power viewed him as simply another in a long line of self-aggrandizing trouble makers. But the politically sanctioned murder of Jesus Christ was not the end, instead, it was just the beginning. In dying, then defeating death by rising from the grave, our Lord made available eternal life to those who would turn to Him. Not only did the teachings of Jesus show us how to live life here on earth, his actions secured our access to eternal life in the place God has prepared for those who ask for forgiveness and turn from their sins.

   Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
John 14:6-7 ESV


  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
John 10:27-29 ESV


Your tears and blood
Lord
have won
But for your tears
and blood
Jesus
we’d be forever done
the end would be the end
but for the one who calls me friend
now darkness and death
turn to light and life
eternal joy instead of strife
because of the Son


© Joel Tipple 11/2/2019




Relationship

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Genesis 2:24

With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:2-3

I’m not a mistake, God wasn’t mistaken
when He made me,
this particular creation,
and when He made the woman,
who in grace took my hand,
the next permutation
of His divine plan
for this couple came to be.

To God be the glory.
Together, came to be,
the next chapter in the story,
together, came to be.

No, marriage isn’t for all,
and God is sovereign and faithful
to reveal to each their own unique plan.
If we seek Him in faith,
believing He will answer,
He’ll reveal His best purpose in time.

But what of this home
and this family,
beginning with these two?
Without God love is such an unruly word.
Show us what it means. We don’t have a clue.
God, we need You!

Football games and carpet stains,
budget and relation strains.
Misunderstanding and forgiving.
You scratched the car but it’s just a thing.
Children are here and then they’re grown,
visiting with their own.
It was the future, now it’s past.
How on earth did it go so fast?

And if we’re not careful,
we’ll miss the now.

God, in His grace, through His Son,
has brought us to and taught us
a saving relationship.
His Word keeps our home
and provides a forever one too.
Those He lets us learn from are precious,
So guided by gratitude,
we seek God’s view,
and prayerfully choose,
and prayerfully choose.

© Joel Tipple 2/23/2019
Author of “Written in the Light.”

Father

Daddy, Dad, Papa, Father,

the names we have for our own,

the names our own call us.

So much bound up in one little word

for the man we invest with our trust.

 

“I’ll fix it!”

 

Baby, if you only knew

how new you are to me.

But how complicated can you be?

Just some biology, right?

 

Honey, where’s her mute button?

She didn’t come with one?

She’s fed.

Her diaper’s changed

I’m sooo tired…

“I can fix this.”

 

What kind of homework do you have?

A project?

When is it due?

Tomorrow morning?!

Okay, let’s get started.

 

The school dance?

She’s not that old!

She IS that old?

How did she get that old?

 

“I can’t fix this.”

 

High School, maybe college, a job, her own baby

and the cycle’s complete.

Like shampoo, rinse, repeat

and I still can’t get any sleep.


“God, help me fix this.”

A grandfather?

I can’t be that old!

I AM that old?

How did I get to be this old?!

 

One day I’m carrying you,

the next you’re holding me.

And in a flash life happens,

filling the pages in between.

 

God, our perfect father,

If we’re wise, we look to you first

To help us raise little humans

at their best and at their worst.

 

There is a book, after all,

though dads are loath to read instructions.

But first things first, can you help me

find my reading glasses?

©Joel Tipple
#6/16

Journey

i’d never have wanted to live this life alone

to hear the sounds with just my ears

to touch the textures with only my two hands

see only my eyes in the mirror

hold my hands until they’re all wrinkled

lined with the story of our life

hold me up as I hold you too

carried to the other side

Allergic Reaction

Sandra walked into the living room, where her mother was relaxing in a corner chair, reading. “Mom, what’s up with Dad?” she asked. Looking up, Sandra’s mother replied, “Why do you ask, Sandra?” “Well, he’s at his desk, writing. He seems upset.” “Oh, he’s fine. It’s probably just his allergies,” she replied, the corners of her mouth turned up a little. Sandra drew her eyes together in a frown. “What’s he allergic to?” At this her mother’s smile broadened and she chuckled before answering… “Your father says he’s allergic to ‘happy… and sad.'” she replied.

©Joel Tipple
#2/15

The Road To Healing

DSCN0908

God, we know you’re knocking.
Still, families are falling.
A dad’s afraid to say what he thinks.
A mom’s sure she’ll lose it if she doesn’t get a drink.
A daughter thinks the answer is a wedding ring.
A son thinks life’s a game… and he hopes he’s winning.
The television blares on,
and too few hear the door.

All journeys to healing begin
with one human being earnestly praying.
He heals families
one person at a time.
His desire is to rescue
and mend our broken hearts.
He throws hope to the hopeless
with a life line.

On the road to healing
God brings us together.
Building a body
from the ashes of the fallen.
He reveals beauty
where one could hardly find it.
Will we
choose
all apart,
or
all a part in?

© Joel Tipple
#28/14

The Body

DSCN0843

God, do you need me?
I’ve been wondering lately.
I’ve read I have a part to play,
but it just isn’t clear to me.

Trust in me, child. The body needs you.
If you listen and obey, I’ll show you how I choose.
The vision won’t seem clear, not certain from the start,
but a plant of faith has taken root in the soil of your heart.

But what about my limitations?
God, you don’t even know!
If I don’t have faith in me, how can you tell me it’s so?
That I can be of some use in the body of Christ?
Are you sure I’m not just a broken device?

Pick up your bible, child.
Read of great women and men.
They often failed at the beginning, but achieved great ends.
Then look closely at the other folks who were used in support.
Without them the endings would be quite different sorts.

Stepping out now, I choose to move and serve.
If I just take without giving, it’s his body I hurt.
God already chose me, the plan in place from the start.
It’s not all clear to me yet, but I can see the better part.

© Joel Tipple
#9/14