Climbing Rainbows

"Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all the living creatures of every kind on the earth." -Genesis 9:16

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Location: Ohio, United States

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Rhythm of the Tide

For Grandma...

Rhythm of the Tide

We will not see the tide go out,

Its movement on a scale too grand
For human minds to understand…

We reach for shells it left behind,
Each one a treasure that we find,

And cherish every moment…

We will not see the tide go out,

But as it moves we see God’s plan,
And just begin to understand

We reach for shells it left behind
But you’re the treasure on my mind,

We cherish every moment…

Monday, June 25, 2007


If you haven't noticed yet, I often write several poems in a few weeks time that have a similar theme as the Holy Spirit is working on a spcific area in my heart. Here is another poem about compassion.


His hands touched broken bodies
And soothed the pain that scarred their days;
The words he’d spoken did more yet,
It smashed the reign that sin had held—

Today his balm still heals their souls,
His hands still heal the world with love;
Come see the calm break through the storm
As he reveals his love to all—

As we are serving as he leads,
In any fashion he has planned,
The world observes that He’s alive,
His own compassion in our hearts.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Petal Pieces

The Holy Spirit has been working on composing more compassion in my heart over the past few months...

Petal Pieces

The final ray of hope drifts by
Unnoticed, like a wind swept petal—
The rose now faded, yields to death,
But none awake to mourn the loss…

Our hearts are lost in the race of time;
Our grasp at speed leaves dying petals
Now sprayed with frost by our careless wake,
We cannot see they crave our love…

What will it take before we see
The hearts that long for our compassion?
Today I wake and pray for love
To heal the wrongs which tear the roses…

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Chipped and Cracked

“The Lord 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” —2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Chipped and Cracked

Chipped and cracked,
Fragile in my humanness;
A worthless shape of clay
Fit only for the fire—

Filled with treasure,
Precious gems and gold,
This worthless form of clay
Now fit for palaces—

Chipped and cracked,
But in my weakness see
The gems are shining
Through the fissures,

This is the Spirit’s work in me…

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

#1 - Insurance

Well, this is the last one. I hope everyone has enjoyed these 25 poems that have been an inspiration to me, and I pray that they've been an inspiration or encouragement to you as well.
I've saved for last the poem that I have printed out or sent to others more than any other poem. I really like the idea in this poem of not needing to fear the future because Father is taking care of each of His children.
He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it! (Phil. 1:6)


I wish I could invest my savings
In some insurance I can’t buy:
The guarantee that life is good
In all adventures that you try;

But I can’t make a blueprint
To cast your troubles in the sea,
Nor will I seek magicians
To change what trials come to be;

I know at times you’ll trip and fall,
At times your life may come to harm;
But everything works for your good—
Our Father holds you in His arms.

#2 - The Flame of Sacrifice

I wrote this poem for a friend who died to his dreams for the sake of another. Having gone through something similar myself, I was able to understand what he was going through, so I wrote this for him and anyone else who has given up their dreams.
It has been an encouragement to me many times since...

The Flame of Sacrifice

I feel as if I walk on holy ground:
The path is paved with yellow, crowned with red,
The blanket of a thousand dying dreams—
’Tis here the sacrifice of love is spread;

I lift my head and see the glowing fire
And marvel in the glory of the pain;
The leaves are dying, but they shine the more,
Their sacrifice a greater good proclaims!

Oh, friends, I know it hurts; I taste your tears,
But through the autumn color love is proved:
The flame of death is light to all the world,
For they will know that we are Christians by our love.

Monday, June 18, 2007

#3 - Fate

This poem contains some thoughts about some of the difficult questions in life, such as “why would a loving God allow evil in the world?”
The picture of stepping on water and handing God my fate is one of my favorites.


My mind is often vague
I don’t know where to go;
But if I walk in faith
The way begins to show—

But why did You create
So wide the path that’s wrong?
Why shall I find a pit
If I just go along?

Too many fall in traps;
Too many follow crowds—
Why is the road to death
Unguarded and allowed?

But maybe it’s because
There’s nothing near as great
As one who steps on water
And hands to You his fate...

#4 - Looking to the West

“Maybe when the door of happiness closes, another opens, but often times we look so long at the closed door that we don't see the one which has been opened for us.”

This poem has been an inspiring reminder that God still has unexpected blessings planned for me in spite of the times when doors have closed...

Looking To the West

I saw the sun flee in the west,
And so I followed with my eyes
Like puppies chasing after it
As if somehow they’d reach the sky.

With eyes attached to the horizon
I’d wait, a faithful hound bereft
Of so much happiness I cherished,
And watch the place where it had left—

But once a door has closed in life
It seldom opens any more—
Though we are often blind to it
God brings us joy through different doors—

And once again, so foolishly,
My eyes are looking to the west,
But when the sunlight taps my shoulder,
I know God’s answered my request.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

#5 - Hundredfold

This is probably my favorite poem about dying to your dreams for the sake of Christ. I wrote this last year after reading John 12, where Jesus said “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” Little did I know that only two weeks later God was going to call me to the most difficult sacrifice He's ever called me to, and this poem would provide a large source of encouragement through the process...


What solemn dirge is this I hear,
This mournful wail within my heart?
The flames will purge the dross I see,
The whips will flail my selfish dreams;

The seeds will die, the darkness come
And overwhelm my fragile heart;
The dreams will lie within their graves
But life still dwells in death’s regime;

Why do the tears run down my face?
Why can’t I see the dawn of hope?
The dreams held dear are fading now,
So I must free them from my heart;

The seeds are dying, darkness comes,
But through their death springs greater life;
The tears I cry will water joy,
The dark’s a path that leads to light;

What is this sprouting dream I see?
I thought they died, the tomb was sealed!
What is the shouting in my ears?
Has God provided victory?

The seeds have died, the darkness came,
But look! The tomb is empty now—
For life’s defying death itself,
The seeds have bloomed a hundredfold…

Friday, June 15, 2007

#6 - Speak To Me

I wrote this poem last fall, and since then the last stanza has been an inspiration to me many times. With the coming of spring this year, I was reminded yet again of how God brings life from the barren ground of winter, and he also enjoys bringing life from the areas in our lives where we have laid down our own desires or dreams.

Speak To Me

Who would have thought that death could be
So beautiful in sacrifice?
But all I see are scalding flames
And through it love’s most bitter price…

I can’t see the flash of color
For all I comprehend is pain—
You see what love has given me,
Though I have thought ’twas all in vain…

When all is bare—my heart has died—
Come speak to me of all the hues
That love displayed in all its pain,
Since Christ has shown the path I choose;

Remind me of the endless blessings
That loving sacrifice will bring,
Then finally, when time is right,
Come speak to me of spring…

#7 - Peace

This is one of the few poems I've written that I actually have memorized. It has been an inspiration many times in the midst of a troubling situation, when I remember that Christ gave us peace in any situation we may be in.


When You said “Peace I leave with you”,
I thought the sky would surely clear
As when You once rebuked a storm
Arousing Your disciples’ fear.

But no, the peace You’ve given me
Is like the calm that You displayed:
The storms can thrash the boat at will—
At rest in God the problems fade.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

#8 - Silhouette

I'm always amazed to see that Father chooses to use me in his plans in spite of my weaknesses and failures. He actually uses my weaknesses to display his strength and wisdom! This poem is fairly old (2004), but still is a great reminder of this inspiring truth.


A hint of something better,
A shape without its core,
A form without its color
Which speaks of something more!

The darkness points to light,
The phantom to its frame,
The imperfections daze us,
But guide us all the same—

I’m faulty and I’m frail,
I’m flawed and warped, and yet
God chooses still to use me,
His lifeless silhouette…


“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” —2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

#9 - Question Marks

This is one of my favorite poems about waiting on God. Since I've been at another stage where the Holy Spirit is telling me to wait for Him to lead, this has been an encouragement once again.
Picture Father writing the story of your life. And you, like the child you are, ask a question about the future eagerly, but somewhat impatiently. Father writes out the question, but pauses on the question mark, smiling as he draws the question mark, leaving the answer until the perfect time...
And so, we too can learn to enjoy the wait even as we look forward to what God has planned in the future.

Question Marks

You were a calligrapher
When it came to question marks,
I would wait for the response
But you’d leave me in the dark

As you lavishly would pen
Strokes with elegant design:
First you’d primly sweep a hook,
Then you’d dot a break in time—

Now I’ve come to do that, too,
Loving the elaborate curve;
Making art from question marks,
Leaving answers in reserve;

Though before I hated pauses,
I have learned to wait them through,
Knowing that the answer comes
When the chosen time is due.

#10 - More Beautiful From Tears

I actually wrote this poem the same day I wrote “Wounded Eagle”, during a season of heartache. Instead of clinging to bitterness I determined to grasp forgiveness and openess, believing that Father could use the tears to refine me. I have really appreciated the open ending, which leaves so much open to the amzing plans of God...

More Beautiful From Tears

It’s easy to instruct a friend
To toughen up and be a man,
But when your dreams have run away
You’ll start to understand;

When love has left you bound and gagged,
Your heart will comprehend the pain—
The stream of tears will carve a scar
And blood will leave a stain.

But if you hold no grudges
And open up your heart again,
The flower of your love is made
More beautiful from tears,
And then…

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

#11 - Insane

This poem has been a reminder to not worry about what people think about me when I am doing what is right. I may be called a fool for walking by faith, but so was Jesus! I especially like the last stanza of this poem.
“The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” —1 Corinthians 1:18-25


They grouped Him with the demons,
And labeled Him insane—
The man who for a brother
Would scoff at any pain!

A love that banished greedy men,
And bites at all our sin;
That carried Him upon the cross
And tore His fragile skin—

He walked out on the stormy sea,
The danger He ignored,
And took the cross though just a word
Could bring an angel horde!

Through human eyes His life appears
To be insanity,
But He came here in violent love
To save humanity;

So I will toss this world away,
And be like Him—insane—
And find that when this life is lost
A home with God is gained!

#12 - Reaching God's Heart

This is one of my favorite poems on the importance of love and unity in the Body. Through the relationships we have with each other we can better understand who God is, because He speaks to each of us in different ways.

Reaching God’s Heart

The sun goes down; another day
Has slipped right by my watchful eyes—
I wonder what this life’s about
I see so many follow lies—

But back when earth was perfect
God said man should not live alone;
Existence is defined by love
Each person giving up his own—

And even now, somehow, each day
We grow by giving more away,
We’re bound into eternal life
And selfish dragons learn to slay—

And we fulfill God’s ancient plans
As you and I, the living parts
Are built through love into the temple,
And so, together, reach God’s heart.

Monday, June 11, 2007

#13 - Alone

This is my favorite free verse poem. I wrote this last summer during a season of loneliness; I saw so clearly that the vain pursuits that we so often spend our life pursuing are nothing compared to the joy found in a simple friendship with someone you can trust.
This poem is based on one of my favorite quotes: “We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best that we can find in our travels is an honest friend.” –Robert Louis Stevenson


Stretches across the horizon,
I step forward, knowing
I have yet to take a million more,
A million steps that echo
In my empty heart.

I see another bridge to cross alone,
Another day to walk alone,
Another meal to eat alone,
Another dream
To dream

I see so clearly, now;
The man on top of a world
I can’t be a part of—

I could be the richest man,
The most famous man,
The best poet the world has ever seen,

And all this
Would be nothing
Compared to the joy
Of traveling
With an honest friend.

#14 - The Hardest Kind of Love

We live in a culture where love is defined by feelings and emotional or physical gratification. But I believe that true love is willing to lay down everything, even the deepest emotions and dreams, for the sake of another. This poem describes the hardest kind of love, the love that sacrifices its dreams.

The hardest kind of love
Will send you soaring high,
Alone, to find the sun,
The smile behind the sigh—

You love her, but sometimes
True love asks you to leave;
You’re called to fly alone—
What heights will you achieve?

Go find the dawn of hope,
Find joy within the sky,
And know your love’s declared:
For her you choose to die.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

#15 - I Never Knew

This poem was inspired by the Casting Crowns' song "Prodigal". I was imagining the prodigal longing for forgiveness (aren't we all there?), but not expecting to find it, then seeing his Daddy running to him with open arms. Then he takes off, as fast as his legs can possibly go, to reach the open arms of forgiveness.
This poem has been a reminder a the amazing power of forgiveness to change a life forever.

I Never Knew

I never knew what speed could mean
Until I saw a prodigal
Who flew into his father’s arms
Which, open, thawed a frozen heart…

I never knew how tears could flow
Until they sprang from joy’s new day,
The flavor of forgiveness tasted
And mercy sang from every heart…

I never knew what love could do
Until that day the world was changed—
The simplest gesture, open arms,
Has wiped away so many wrongs…

Friday, June 08, 2007

#16 - Wholeness

This poem is one of several I wrote about what God was teaching me about the value of brokenness in 2004. The last stanza has continually been an encouragement to me over the years since.


Crushed into powder and tossed to the wind,
Scattered across the expanse of the beach;
Standards were high, but I tripped on my feet—
All of my goals tumbled far out of reach!

Who could discover the bits that remain?
Millions of broken desires share this space;
After my labor is this my return?
Now it appears that my work was a waste—

Destitute, severed, a vapor of sand,
Longing to win, I fell far from the goal—
Now God can use me, ’cause self is destroyed,
Though I am nothing, ’tis here I am whole!

#17 - Drink Offering

My dream is that Christ would use me to prepare His Bride (the Church), even if it means I sacrifice everything, even my life. This poem has been an inspiration to continue to sacrifice myself for others without complaint, and instead be happy that Christ is using me.
Even if I am being poured out life a drink offering I am glad!
Pardon me if this one is a little more vivid than most... :-)

Drink Offering

“But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.” —Philippians 2:17

If red’s required to color love
Then use my blood as paint,
If sacrifice is binding us,
I’ll die with no complaint,
Whatever love requires,
My life will feed the fire—

I know this is our destiny,
So what else can I ask
But that when God reveals His plans
He’ll bless me with the task
To bind us more as one
Until His home is done—

If red’s required to color love
Then use my blood as paint,
The greatest thing that I desire
Is love between the saints;
When we have learned to share
Then Christ is present here!

#18 - Flung

I've always liked this poem as a simple declaration of walking by faith; I've especially appreciated the ending which so briefly but so directly shows why walking by faith is not as foolish as it may seem...


Flung upon His mercy
Clinging to His hand,
You may call it reckless,
What you cannot understand—

Leaving worldly comforts
Walking all alone,
You may think it rash,
I’ve regarded it my home—

Launched upon the promise
His infinity—
You may see it foolish—
Here with God? How can it be?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

#19 - Puzzle Pieces

Poetically I like this poem, but it is not really one of my favorites; yet the idea behind this poem has been so incredibly inspiring. God, in His perfect plans, fits together everything that occurs in my life and in the lives of those around me for the good of each of us, just like the pieces of a puzzle. As the pieces fall together we all stand amazed at what God has done.

Puzzle Pieces

The pieces fall in place,
We see the picture being formed,
In awe we drop our heads,
Our hearts are taken by the storm,

The beauty overwhelms us,
The detail sweeps our words away,
As now we realize
That miracles take place each day;

Each piece which made no sense
Now fits into the perfect whole—
For everything that happens
God uses toward the final goal.

#20 - Thunderclouds

In fall of 2005 I saw each raindrop as a blessing instead of a trial. I felt like Abraham, when God numbered his descendents by the stars, only I felt that God was numbering the ways He was going to bless me by the raindrops which fell from the sky.
At the time, I specifically felt that God was opening the door into a world of new blessings. Things did not turn out how I expected, but God has still poured so many blessings into my life in ways I never expected, and is still pouring blessing upon blessing into my life.
Ever since then I've loved the rain... :-)


Come feel the breeze which brings excitement,
And see the miracles take form;
Come hear the distant thunder boom,
The salutation of the storm;

Come watch the thunderclouds roll in,
In beat with nature’s double bass;
Come feel the cleansing rain fall down,
God showers us with drops of grace;

Come taste the life that God has given,
He drowns our thirst with gifts of rain;
Come see the ground once cracked and brown,
The blessings washed away the pain!

#21 - Wounded Eagle

I wrote this poem the day after an evening of heartache. It has been an inspiration to me in times of pain. I have especially appreciated the lines “Come see the wounded eagle—God gives him strength to fly!”

Wounded Eagle

I know I’m wounded badly,
But I’m still flying high;
I can’t turn back, I know—
My home is in the sky.

If pain has called my name
I’ll take it in the clouds;
It tries to pull me down,
But I will not be cowed—

And when the people see
I hope to hear them cry:
“Come see the wounded eagle—
God gives him strength to fly!”

I know I’m wounded badly,
But I’m still flying high;
There’s strength for those who hope:
God’s with me in the sky.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

#22 - Yellow Rose

I wrote this in 2004 as a dream, not reality. It has stood for three years as one of my all-time favorite poems, one of my best romance poems, and a beautiful picture of my belief that true love is based on sacrifice, not feelings. I'm still looking forward to the day when this poem will be more than a dream... when God's plans fall into place... when a yellow rose is transformed...

Yellow Rose

You’ve given me a yellow rose,
A gift of friendship which has bloomed;
A lovely thought, but now I know
That any thought of love is doomed.

But what’s more precious than a friend?
I’ll live life worthy of this gift,
The friendship due to you I’ll send,
And prayers for you to God I’ll lift—


Somewhere between back then and now
I found that sometimes we will bleed,
Through hurting hearts to push the plow
And in the furrows plant the seeds,

In sacrifice we gave our hearts,
In friendship took a crown of thorns,
And though my soul was torn apart
Through death a newer life was born—


I kept that rose for many years,
And found that through the pain endured
The soil was sprinkled by my tears,
And unexpected joy occurred:

As blood was dripping from my hand
It fell upon the yellow rose,
And sacrifice, the way God planned,
A rose of red has now composed!

#23 - Showers of Blessings

This is another unmetered poem that I wrote in 2003, and I don't think it flows very well. However, the last two lines have been my favorite two lines of blessing for a friend, so it has still been a great poem for passing on to a friend with a thank you note.

Showers of Blessings

There’s been showers of blessings in my life,
Bringing joy I never dreamed of;
The river of my heart is running full
With the bliss of friendship and love—

You, my friend, have been one of the rain clouds
That has poured blessings upon me—
So I want to thank you for all you’ve done:
If rain has brought me so much joy,
May you experience the sea!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

#24 - Paved With Petals

I wrote this poem in 2005, after the whitewater rafting trip we took during which two of our four rafts flipped at Dimple Rock. Knowing that one of us easily could have drowned (people have drowned at Dimple Rock before), Mike and I decided to work on not taking people for granted. This poem has lived on as a reminder to be thankful for each friend God has put in my life.

Paved With Petals

When you had paved the path with petals
I’m certain I was very glad!
But time eroded gratitude,
’Til I was dull to all I had—

In time I wrongfully assumed
That roses cover every road;
It wasn’t ’til I traveled far
I saw the beauty you bestowed—

And now I’m coming home again,
To lovely paths with petals paved;
I’ll crown each piece with smiles of joy,
And thank you for the gifts you gave.

#25 - Sunset

This poem was written before I understood meter, so it doesn't flow as smoothly as most of my later poems do, but the last stanza of this poem has continued to be an inspiration.


The sun in its last moments
Is a blazing orange sphere
Shining full in its glory
Before it disappears;

Then a mural of color,
Of pink, orange, and blue
As sentimentally
The sun vanishes from view;

Before you realize it,
Darkness covers the sky
Without giving you a chance
To even say goodbye;

And all that you are left with
Is a bit of hope to cling—
For only our Father knows
What the morning might bring!

25 poems that have been an inspiration to me...

June 11, 2007 marks the sixth anniversary of when composing poetry became a part of my life.
With this in mind I selected 25 poems I've written over the past 6 years that have been an inspiration to me. These 25 poems are probably not the best poems I've written, or even my favorites, necessarily, but they have lived in my heart and been an inspiration to me at one time or another.
I am going to post these 25 poems over the next several weeks. If any of them are an inspiration to you, please feel free to do anything you like with them: print it out to keep, paste it in a scrapbook, send it to a friend, or whatever! (Actually, please feel free to do that with any of my poems!)


Monday, June 04, 2007

The Pause before the Song

The clouds each hold their weight in blessings
Awaiting the appointed day;
The tide rolls in, and strolls back out
As heart strings long for chance to play;

On hold until you mark the date,
Please give me patience as I wait—

The epic of the ages told
By lingering color in the sky:
Tonight I’m mourning with the moon
But someday you will help me fly;

I know you hold my every tear,
Please give me courage through my fear—

I see the rain clouds rolling in,
I see the breaking of the dawn,
I feel my wings grow strong again,
My heart is bursting forth in song;

The storehouse opens, now I see
The perfect plans you had for me…

Friday, June 01, 2007

Echoes of a Longing Heart

It happens every time - "Each time a dream comes toppling down / I’m at the crossroads once again". So here I am again, Father. I beg You to use my life to change the world for Your glory!

Echoes of a Longing Heart

The echoes of a longing heart
Have whispered questions from the deep:
A desperate hunger to be used
To heal the hearts of those who weep;

Each time a dream comes toppling down
I’m at the crossroads once again;
Oh God, I beg you—use my life
For some great purpose in your plan—

The doubts have bruised my heart like rocks
And left me stumbling in the pain;
Why have you brought me to the ground
If not so someone else can gain?

The echoes of a longing heart
Are whispering questions from the deep:
I want so much to share Your love—
Oh God, what do you have for me?