Providence

P    R    O    V    I    D    E    N    C    E

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159     MARRIAGE:  PRAYER FOR A FRIEND

We kneel before you, Lord.
And as we do, we can see part of the road ahead.
We can’t see it all, only you know for sure what the future holds,
And perhaps it’s best that way.
We pray for strength in our times of weakness,
We pray for hope in times of despair,
We pray for joy in times of sadness.
We pray that together we might climb the highest mountain,
Run the longest mile, cross the widest desert,
And face every storm with renewed confidence,
Knowing that you will guide us and make us strong.
And Lord, keep us together.
Let the world keep slowly turning,
As the people go ’round and ’round.
But let us stay together, no matter what.
Bring us up when we’re down
And down when we’re up too high.
And help us to know how lucky we are,
For we have each other,
And that alone gives us a jump on the rest of the world.
Be with us, Lord, as we travel the road ahead.
Help us to be able to avoid the holes and the sharp curves along the way.
Help us always to stay on the right road,
And never, ever to turn off.
Give us strength.
Give us love.
Give us life.
Amen.

(March 27, 1975)

 

81     HE IS THE LORD

He takes a gloomy day and makes it bright;
In the midst of darkness he shines the light.
When I am lost, He knows what to say;
He walks by my side to show me the way.

When I am down, He gives me the sky;
He provides the wings on which I fly,
And when I am feeling so sad and blue,
He is always right there to pull me through.

When I need to know that He really cares,
I turn to Him and He hears my prayers.
When my sun of hope is blocked by rain,
He quiets my heart and eases the pain.

These are the things He has done for me;
He shattered my bonds and He set me free.
He gave me strength when I wanted to cry;
He gave me life when I wanted to die.

He is the Lord and He’ll always be true;
He’s done it for me and He’ll do it for you,
So give Him your heart and then you’ll see
How beautiful your world can truly be.

(May 23, 1976)
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82     PRAYER

Lord, help me to know that I always have you.
Whenever I call, you’re always right there.
Help me to know that you make everything
/     work together for my ultimate good.
Help me to know that the grass on my side
/     is as green or greener than the grass across the fence.
Let me be thankful for what I have,
And help me not to long for that which
/     I really don’t need or even want.
Give me the ability to cope when I’m down,
To hang in there when I feel like quitting.
Let me reach down deep within myself
/     to find that extra strength that you have given me.
Help me not to worry about tomorrow,
But let me live today and each day to the fullest,
Reaching out for all the life I can get.
Help me to look to the good and not to the bad.
There’s enough good in the world for me to fin
/     if I take the time to look hard enough.
I’ve looked down into the gutter for too long;
Help me to lift my head so I can see the stars,
So I can see the sun shining brightly,
So I can see that your love for me is all around,
And that you’re always waiting and willing to help me out.
With you on my side
There will never be a mountain too high,
/     or a valley too low, or an ocean too deep.
With you I will never fail.
Lord, help me to know that I always have you.

(September 18, 1976)
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83     LET GOD BE THE DOCTOR

Let God be the doctor of your soul.
You’ve had a disease called worldliness,
And it gave you a taste of Satan’s wrath.
It made you stay from the chosen path,
And it almost ended your life.
But now God can make it right.
You may hurt for a little while,
As God, like a good doctor, sometimes
Has to bring you a bit of pain
In order to make you healthy again.
But He will give healing love to you,
And you’ll come out as good as new.
From your broken past He’ll build a future,
From the broken parts He’ll form a whole;
Let God be the doctor of your soul.

(February 12, 1977)
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84     SWEETER TO SING

From the highest pinnacle of ecstasy
/     to the cruel depths of despair,
Through it all with me, my Lord has been there.
In my eyes He’s become a familiar scene,
From peak to vale, and every place in between.
He makes all of life’s music sweeter to sing;
I pray always to see Him in everything –
Yes, even hardships and sorrows and trials and lies,
For these are His blessings, just sent in disguise.
Harmonious melody they surely will bring;
Through it all with my Lord it is sweeter to sing.

(September 17-18, 1977)
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85     SEEK TO GIVE                                                                               *****

Asking, “What can that person do for me?
If I am a twig, will there soon be a tree?”
In each new relationship I had to know,
“In how many ways can he help me grow?”

God said, “Poor questions!  That’s no way to live!
You shouldn’t seek to gain; rather seek to give.
So pass out kindness, then see it through,
And in time good things will come back to you.”

Serving others is now the answer for me.
If I am a twig, there will soon be a tree.
For I grow in relationships bright and new
By asking, “What, my friend, can I do for you?”

(March 14, 1978)
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86      DAYS OF BLUE                                                                                   *****

From health of mind and body
    to summertime days of blue –
Of countless blessings that are mine
/     I deserve so very few.
For food on every table,
/     for dreams that may come true –
Thanks for being by my side
/     in all I strive to do.
From personal goals for love and work
/     to a life of service for You –
Thanks for placing within my heart
/     those year-round Days of Blue.

(June 20, 1980)
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87     GRATITUDE

Divine mission bestowed
On a fortune son…
Came a cause in which
The one man believed,
Lofty goals were set
And soon achieved,
All blessings requested
Had been achieved.

Omnipotence to whom
So much was owed…
The covenant terms
Were never defined,
Gratitude to the Lord
Had slipped his mind;
Next time there’s a cause
Will God be so kind?

(September 4, 1989)
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88     EVOLUTION                                                                             *****

O Ultimate Voice…
Ever tune my receiver
/    to heed what you say;
Work the pliable me
/    like a fine lump of clay.
O Quintessential Potter…
Might I always acquiesce
/    to your gracious demands;
May you constantly mold me
/    in your masterful hands.

(May 26-27, 1990)
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 166    VIRTUE 1:  FAITH

A good man’s
/   Good Book
Collects no dust
/   upon its shelf –
There’s this need to believe
/   in something
That’s much bigger
/   than oneself.

It’s blazing trails
/   beyond the bend,
Once-fallow furrows
/   growing green…
Paul in Hebrews
/   called it
The evidence
/   of things unseen.

It’s a link
/   to peace eternal,
To what’s right
/   our trust is wired…
Brotherhood
/   and a God who’s good –
No support
/   from reason required.

(June 24-25, 1994)

 

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COME WHAT MAY                                                       *****

Thank You for this morning
And its opportunity to pray;
Forgive the many sins
I commit along the way.
Be present in my life
Through this and every day;
Prepare me for my future –
Come what may.

(September 19, 1999)
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90      REQUIEM                                                                                      *****

Most good things
/   this life had willed
Have sadly gone
/   unfulfilled…
But as we fumble for
/   the words to say,
Death never takes
/   it all away.
Some plans our God
/ does not reveal;
The faithful trust
/   He must conceal
Love mere man
/   here cannot know…
By grace one day
/   that love will show.

(September 22-25, 2001…adapted from “Sad December” lyrics.)
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91     GLORY TO THE KING

Soft, sweet acclaim…
We laud Your holy name.
In song
/   we long
/       to be close to You.
Glory to the King,
Lord of everything,
Hear Your children sing…
With one accord
All hail our precious Lord.
In song
/   we long
/       to be right with You.
Perfect are Your ways,
God of all our days,
Hear these words of praise
Sung for You…
Yes, we do
/   love You.

(2001)
(These are actually the lyrics to a song.  Music by my friend Rex Steiner.)

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92      PARDON ME                                                                                         *****

My conscience is far
/     from clear…
Have I locked up my soul
/     in jail?
Though standing trial
/     remains my fear,
His grace will post
/     my bail.
If there are no sins
/     He can’t forgive,
Will mercy over justice
/     prevail?
It’s a godly life
/     I seek to live…
Why do I so
/     frequently fail?

(August 14-15, 2002)
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93     PROVIDENCE

This fearsome challenge
/    seems too much…
Grant her grace to abide it.
The miracle that is/    Your healing touch…
May an angel provide it.

(August 21, 2004)

 

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