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.”

Releasing Life

There’s a seed in a forest,
and it’s waiting for a fire,
to release the life within
and tell a story.

A renewal story.

There’s a man in a city.
There’s a child in the hills.
There’s a woman in the suburbs,
all challenged by the ills
of the world.

Each one has a story.

Now fire can take
and it can destroy
cities, towns, and people.
It can take it all
when destruction’s not expected.
But there’s a fire that God can send into your life
that somehow mends it.

So if you’re the seed that’s left under the ashes
after the fire has swept through,
let God nourish the life that’s now awakened.
The world will watch what Jesus does for you…
after the fire.

© Joel Tipple 10/14/2018

Home For Christmas

I’m not sure when I first came across the old newspaper. It was in a chest of drawers in a hall closet where our family kept mementos: old photographs, report cards, etc. Most families have a place like that. Somewhere to store memories. For photographs anyway, I suppose that place now is the hard drive on your computer. Back then, for us, it was still a chest of drawers. Today, either someone else in the family has ended up with the newspaper or it’s gone missing, but I was able to find the newspaper article with an internet search. Computers aren’t very romantic, but they are very good at saving information like that. For this I’m grateful.

The newspaper is The Humboldt Standard, December 20, 1955, four years before I was born. Dominating local news at the time was the largest flood the Eel River valley had ever experienced. Thousands were made homeless and there were many many acts of heroism as the area was largely cut off from the rest of the world except by air. Christmas would be spoiled again by an even larger flood nine years later. A pole near Miranda shows the 1964 flood crest at an amazing 46 feet above the highway surface. In ‘55 it got to just shy of 43. The story I refer to begins on page one and continues on page five. One of several large pictures on that page shows the tops of two cars as they are about to disappear under water. Two white arrows point to the roofs as they are difficult to see in the night shot. A good part of the left side of the page is taken up by a picture of two men standing next to a rowboat. The taller man on the left with a concerned look on his face is identified as Chester Goble. The man on the right, his head turned toward Chester, is holding a flashlight in one hand and one of the boat oars in the other. He and Chester have just saved the lives of eight people, two adults and four children from the first car, and two 18-year-olds from the second. A 70 year old man, who was also in the first car, didn’t make it out that night. His body was recovered from the car the next day. The man standing next to Chester is my dad. In 1955 he was 28.

I don’t remember asking my dad about the photograph. When I was growing up he could be intimidating, hard to talk to. I wish I had tried, because I might have more details. But it’s clear that the little my mom volunteered when I asked about the newspaper at the time was true. She said, “He and that other man saved those people. They were heroes.”

When the Eel River floods, it spreads out through the valley. That night in ‘55, a low spot on Waddington road on the outskirts of Ferndale began to cover with water. A normal wet year might mean driving through a few inches of water, but as the rain continued to intensify this swath of road through dairy pasture became what it really always was, a branch of the Eel River. Since my dad’s business was automotive repair and towing, I suspect what brought him to the scene was a call to rescue a car, but as the water quickly rose and surrounded two cars along with their occupants, the situation changed dramatically.

Fast forward to about ten years ago.. One evening when Lori and I were having dinner with my parents the subject of the rescue came up. Dad related that the day to him was a series of miracles. At the scene, it became clear to get to the cars a boat would be needed fast, so Dad took off in search of one. He eventually found a suitable row boat in someone’s yard, but no one was home and he didn’t have a way of getting it back to the scene. So he took off again in search of something to transport the boat. In another yard he found an old flatbed truck that looked like it hadn’t moved in ages. Again, no one home. Growing more desperate, he opened the driver’s side door of the truck, and to his wonder there was a key in the ignition. But would it start? He got in, turned the key, hit the floor starter, the engine turned over… and caught! He was in business. My dad, now a truck thief, soon to be a boat thief, continued back and managed to load the boat onto the truck. Back at the road/river, somehow, the two managed to get almost everyone out of the two vehicles before they were completely submerged.

Dad’s story ended at this point and no one pressed him for details. Later, talking to Lori, he expressed how he had never gotten over not being able to get the last person out. He said he tried to go back, but Chester stopped him and said, “Jack you can’t. You’ve got a family, and it’s too late. You can’t save him.” Apparently for the rest of his life he carried the burden of the one life out of nine they were unable to save. While I’m sure he could appreciate what he and Chester were able to accomplish, he never really stopped grieving over that one life lost. Many rescuers would take to the skies and water before the ‘55 flood was over, then, once again in ‘64. As illustrated in the parable of the lost lamb in Luke 15, I believe God has implanted in our hearts the desire to always bring back the one who is lost.

Lost lamb at Christmas,
What kind of lost are you?
Have your feet taken you far from home,
or has your hardened heart left too?

The door to home is never closed
the fireplace always warm
for those who would repent and turn,
and come in from the storm.

Rejoice for the rescued.
For those no longer astray.
We have all at one time
been unable to find our way.

May God give us a burden at Christmas
to reach out to the lost,
to the young and old with ravaged minds,
and bodies torn and tossed.

Jesus was born into our world
to shepherd us back to the fold.
God, don’t let us rest until we’ve reached
every wayward and wandering soul.

©Joel Tipple
#41/14

Post Time!

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It’s just a half hour to twelve
and on the need to post my post I dwell
What subject should I tackle?
How about that ramshackle
run down house.
You know the one…
that you drive by several times a week
thinking that someday you should peek
in the pane-less window
of what might have been the living room.
A wisp of a curtain still blows in the wind.
Roses still bloom in front,
where someone tenderly cared for them,
not knowing they would be strong enough to
outlast
everyone
who ever lived there.

© Joel Tipple

To Read

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As a child
it amazed me
that people
could write things
almost as incredible
as the stuff in my mind.

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Do you mean
you can write those things down,
and people will read them,
adding their own sounds?

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It’s hard to find words
to describe
how much words
mean to me.
It’s like living in a city
that grows
new streets every day.

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I hope growing up
doesn’t mean
I stop loving
the words in the books…
the stories in the books…
the adventures in those books…
that I read today.

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© Joel Tipple

Thank You

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Just before or after last Christmas I decided to be more consistent with my writing by resurrecting a WordPress blog that had been dormant for quite some time. I had recently received a lot of encouragement and it gave me the incentive to write more poetry. While putting together the new blog I noticed a challenge put out by WordPress to post every day for 2013. I decided to give it a try and let everyone who read my blog know by putting the badge on my cover page. Today will be my 137th post. Accounting for a few days that I’ve posted more than once, that means I’ve posted over 130 days in a row. I’m looking forward to doing the whole 365.

There have been a lot of great things to come out of writing and publishing every day. For one, it has forced me to investigate different kinds of writing. I’ve explored poetry, song writing, devotionals, and humor. Along the way, I’ve gotten to know fellow bloggers who also believe strongly in writing, especially writing that moves them. I’ve had days when I thought I had written something relevant, only to get little in the way of results. But then I’ve had other days when I wasn’t all that thrilled with what I had put out, only to get lots of positive comments. It continues to be a fantastic learning experience and I just want to sincerely thank everyone who has read, commented, and shown me how fun and rewarding blogging can be. God continues to bless it. It’s my prayer that He is honored by what I write.

Ascended

The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. Acts 1:1-3 “…but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and even to the remotest part of the earth.” And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. Verses 8-9

Jesus, in Your glory,
ascended to God’s right hand,
You have paved the way for us,
Your followers.
Most of us don’t suffer as the majority
of Your disciples did
risking
torture and death
for proclaiming your story.

If the disciples had simply
faded away, and not proclaimed
all that they had witnessed,
they would have avoided such
suffering.

But they didn’t fade away.
They delivered the gospel message
to so many, that over 2,000 years
later we are still talking about it
and experiencing the miracle of changed
lives the message of Christ bestows.

Remember how precious this knowledge is!
To this day, people are imprisoned for
spreading the good news. It is incumbent
upon us, after experiencing the transforming
power of Jesus Christ, to share that
message in any way we are able.