Are We There Yet?


Four Horsemen of Apocalypse, by Viktor Vasnets...
Four Horsemen of Apocalypse, by Viktor Vasnetsov. Painted in 1887. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Are We There Yet?

 

I often heard my children ask, “Are we there yet?”

 

On a trip we had just begun,

 

That was their way of saying,

 

They weren’t having any fun.

 

 

 

When I consider we’re all kids,

 

Traveling the same kind of road,

 

“Are we there yet?” means to me,

 

Someone is tired of his load.

 

 

 

We live in a smug cruel world,

 

Where we claim everything is under control,

 

But it’s time we search our hearts and ask,

 

Have we really reached our goals?

 

 

 

We haven’t found the ways to peace,

 

Though we tried with flowers in our hair,

 

Even SGT. Pepper could not stop the wars,

 

Even though we tried to care.

 

 

 

A white horse appeared on a cloud,

 

Its rider clutched a bow,

 

Representing conquest and a destructive force,

 

Sending peace reeling with a mighty blow.

 

 

 

Famine spreads across the land,

 

While food supplies dwindle down,

 

Animals and people fight to live,

 

But little grows on bloody parched ground.

 

 

 

A black horse stepping high,

 

With weighing scales at his side,

 

Famine strikes fear in all hearts,

 

While hope disappears worldwide.

 

 

 

A fiery horse gallops with color aglow,

 

Mass slaughter is his game,

 

His rider lets persecution and pain go free,

 

War is still the one to blame.

 

 

 

Pestilence still sweeps the world,

 

While we turn our heads in vain,

 

Trying to ignore terrible diseases,

 

That keep third world children in pain.

 

 

 

Death still stalks each of us,

 

We won’t leave this world alive,

 

But couldn’t we try to slow death down,

 

Allowing us a few more years to thrive.

 

 

 

Astride a pale horse with sunken eyes,

 

The Grim Reaper wears a grin,

 

He scans the earth looking for those,

 

Who have already died within.

 

 

 

Are we there yet?

 

It’s a question we should ask,

 

Have we done all we can possibly do,

 

Before we give up our chosen task?

 

 

 

The Four Horsemen continue to ride,

 

Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death,

 

With sword and gun they sweep the land,

 

And steal each feeble breath.

 

 

 

Are we there yet?

 

The question echoes on,

 

We can’t stop to boast or reset,

 

Until the battles are won.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Separated by Hearts


Series of sketches showing various angry facia...
Series of sketches showing various angry facial expressions. (Photo credit: Villanova University Digital Library)

I listened and watched as the red angels,

Filled the air with cackles and shrieks,

Building up courage as they swooped and dove,

This was not the time for those who were weak,

 

Their senses were heightened as they prepared for war,

Tributes were given to blood sisters and brothers,

Blood sprinkled the clouds as they ripped and sliced,

To prove their worth they cut each other,

 

The chief hurled insults across the abyss,

“If you were smart, it wouldn’t come to this,

You could share the world and rule by my side,

Agree and be safe. Seal it with a kiss!”

 

Indignation or revulsion should greet such sweet insult,

When the brightest of the white angels headed this way,

His facial expression never changed,

And I tried to guess what he might say,

 

Red with passion the chief’s body glowed,

Her snarl was replaced by a smile,

“Come lie with me as you used to do,

I’ll light the desires you haven’t had for awhile,”

 

The bright one shrugged but didn’t move,

“It is in my heart that I’ve made my choice,

I will continue to be open and true,

Yet as I gaze upon your ripe warm body, I know I’ll miss you!”

 

Her eyes narrowed as she glared at him,

“I’ll make you wish you had never been born,

How dare you reject my heart,

And leave me a woman scorned.”

 

Now What?


Scroll of the Book of Proverbs
Scroll of the Book of Proverbs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wanted to sit next to her,

But I was sure it wasn’t a great idea,

She interested and excited me,

Yet it was not meant to be,

I knew the mental state I was in,

She was pretty, intelligent, and wise,

I did not want to be rejected again,

Although it wouldn’t be a surprise,

I shook the dust off of my shoes,

And headed out of town,

I was sure that someone waited for me,

An angel would be found,

Strength and wisdom I needed for awhile,

For I was easily tempted as a lonely man,

I wanted someone to love each day,

Not for a one night stand,

A woman who laughed and smiled,

With space for me in her heart,

I even wanted more than that,

But I knew that’s where I’d start,

I thought life should be shared,

For a day, a year, or more,

For a Proverbs woman I’d wait in line,

Or go pleading at Heaven’s door,

I’d resist the sirens at Hell’s front gate,

For my sake I hoped it was true,

I was looking for a saint, not a sinner,

And that’s when I met you.

 

 

Neither Silver nor Gold


Neither Silver nor Gold

Randy burst into the room,

And began to shout,

“My debts have been paid,

They’ve all been wiped out!

 

Someone paid all my debts,

I don’t owe any more!

My debts have been paid,

Someone’s evened the score!”

 

“Are you serious?” his friend snorted,

“Who would help a poor bum?

There’s more to this story that you’re not telling,

Who would do something that dumb?

 

This is so unbelievable,

It can’t really be true,

Someone’s pulling your chain,

And he’s probably scamming you,

 

Who paid off your debts,

What’s his given name?

If you find out who he’s working for,

You’ll understand his real game,”

 

There was silence only for a moment,

Before Randy said, “I know he paid my debts,

My burden has been lifted,

I’m at peace and I have no regrets,

 

Small problems became mountains,

Before I met him I feared each day,

There were always things I owed,

That I knew I could never pay,

 

I was already in a state of ruin,

There was no way out I could tell,

I had given up all hope,

I was trapped in a financial hell,

 

Out of nowhere came this man,

Who said the debts I had faced,

Were gone and solved forever,

They were paid and now erased,

 

My friend was still shocked, “It can’t be true,

The only way to stop debts is to create wealth,

Save wisely, and save till you die,

Money is even more important than health,

 

Family can wait, stay on your job,

There’s no miracle waiting out there,

No one pays your debts for free,

You’re talking dreams, mirrors, and smoke in the air,

 

Be shrewd in a world like this,

It’s the only way to get someplace,

So forget the idea your debts are paid,

There’s only one way to win this race!”

 

Randy answered, “But I tell you it’s true,

The road will be tough but I have no regrets,

When he told me to follow him,

There was no question, he had paid my debts,

 

I’ve determined that his way is best,

The strangest part of the story I’ve told,

Is about this stranger who paid,

He had neither silver nor gold,

 

Nothing was uncommon, he fit right in,

He talked as if he had always known me,

His father had always been a family friend,

Then he shared his vision of eternity,

 

He said I won’t need money in this faraway place,

All my needs and wants will be cared for,

I just need to get myself ready,

When he comes knocking at my door,”

 

My friend was livid, boiling hot mad,

“I want him arrested and thrown into jail,

He’ll destroy the economy and dreams I had,

Without silver and gold it’ll be pure hell!

 

He should be murdered or hung on a tree,

Stretched out before us so all can see,

There’s no way he can pay all the debts,

“You’ll always owe, you can never be free!”

 

After that outburst my friend stormed out,

“I hope he doesn’t kill someone,” Randy said out loud,

But he worried about the way his friend reacted,

Violence unleashed only needs one voice in a crowd,

 

The stranger was calm, as Randy followed him that day,

He touched the crippled, downtrodden, those with sores,

The stranger performed miracles to Randy’s surprise,

Then he said, “Come to me for I am the door,”

 

Was this man crazy, for now Randy had doubts,

Everything was happening fast and was so unknown,

Randy could leave the life the stranger offered,

Before he changed all that Randy had ever known,

 

The stranger’s small group met late one night,

He explained how he would die without a fight,

“Not so,” Randy blurted, “that won’t be right,

I’ll protect you and keep you in sight,”

 

“When the time comes,” said the stranger,

“You’ll claim you’ve never seen my face,”

Randy denied it but knew in his heart,

That something profound had taken place,

 

This garden was a new beginning,

Different from when Adam had failed the test,

But it all came about as expected,

And someday Randy will know the rest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Marriage Is a Rose Garden”


English: Sahara rose - Bagatelle Rose Garden (...
Image via Wikipedia

We were arguing while waiting in a long line,

There was a concert we wanted to see,

We were newlyweds and things were wrong,

I blamed you and you blamed me,

I expected home to be the Garden of Eden,

Where I could rule my kingdom every day,

Then I discovered you were a princess,

Used to getting your own way,

Neither of us was ready to give in,

Already our love was wearing thin,

We wondered if our love could be mended,

And if we could still remain friends,

The elderly couple behind us was in love,

We could see it in their eyes,

“Could you give me the secret of love?”

What they shared seemed true and wise,

The man smiled and hugged his wife,

Penny and I learned long ago,

That a marriage is built day by day,

And there was much we each had to know,

Penny taught me warmth and love,

And that friendship is a must,

When others try to tear you apart,

You still have to continue to trust,”

“Love is just the icing on the cake,”

He continued, “Respect is something you need,

If respect and support are missing,

Your marriage is in trouble indeed,

We like to think love is a living plant,

That thrives when tended well,

When it is given the proper nutrients,

It gets stronger as time will tell,”

Penny said, “Marriage is a rose garden,

And often the beauty brings tears,

All the blooms are not yours alone,

They are to be shared for years and years,

Foolish hearts often give up too quick,

Before the garden has a chance to bloom,

They forget that roses thrive best,

When given lots of light and room,

In the first year when new growth appears,

And you’re considering what seeds to sow,

Talk to God about your spouse,

And what the marriage needs to grow,

Give your rose garden tender loving care,

A rose garden blooms profusely when fed,

But don’t forget the most important part,

Prune any part of you that is dead,

Ask yourself the reasons you fell in love,

Challenge each other to revisit them again,

This is one time to dig up the past,

For this time both can win,

With maturity your world will expand a lot,

So be prepared for both to change,

If either was stagnant and did not grow,

Wouldn’t that have been strange?

Marriage is a rose garden,

You have to twist and bend,

When you keep love in sight,

You fall in love again,

There is one secret to ensure success,

To stay married to your best friend,

Think of the good your spouse does each day,

And you’ll fall in love again,

Seek God out for perfect advice,

For patience when troubles brew,

It would be wise to explore your own heart,

Instead of what your spouse should do,

Daily remind yourself you made a great choice,

And found the perfect person for you,

Then falling in love and over again,

Will be easier and easier to do,”

We entered the doors and found our seats,

The music was powerful and loud,

But as we sat there thinking things over,

We realized it’s hard to think in a crowd,

Our hearts were troubled and we left midway,

We found a place where we could walk,

Then in a diner we shared coffee and a slice of pie,

We opened up and had a heart to heart talk,

It was like a flame from friendship grew,

We were connected by our hearts once more,

And in the early hours I fell in love,

And worried what the future had in store,

My wife also had made her choice,

I would always be her man,

Then we decided that a rose garden,

Would keep us focused on a plan,

In the morning when the sun came up,

While the dew was still on the ground,

We planted a single rose bush,

To remind us of the love we found,

Every year we’ll add yet another,

Then share what our hearts have learned,

The garden will fill with bouquets of rose buds,

The rewards our marriage has earned.

Today Is a New Day


Too often I cry, “What can you do for me today?”

But what I want to say,

“What can I do for you today?”

Can I wash your feet, visit you in jail,

Make you a pie with a heavenly smell?

I don’t want this to be a reciprocal thing,

I don’t want you to owe me anything,

Since life races along at breakneck speed,

I’d like to do something, at least one good deed,

I’ll give you a smile, start a new trend,

Share my life, become a true friend,

I want each day to be more about you,

So tell me, “What do you want me to do?”

I want my children to imitate what they see,

I guess that’s when life can be about me,

I’ll honor my parents though it may seem odd,

I’ll do unto others and I’ll worship God,

If I am generous in all that I do,

Then I might influence one, or maybe a few,

Helping others won’t be just an act,

And it won’t be because I simply react,

I want to share my heart in all that I do,

Today is a new day, what can I do for you?

 

 

Matthew Became My Name


Matthew Evangelist. The text also says - Abrah...
Image via Wikipedia

Good deeds?  Yes, I’ve done good deeds,

I’ve had my share of helping others,

But I, Levi, got caught up in my own greed,

 

As a tax collector I was selected,

I swore to do my best in office,

But my dishonesty was soon detected,

 

All the good deeds I had ever done,

Were all forgotten by those I served,

And I lost all the trust I had won,

 

I was required to go before a judge,

I secretly offered a share of my profits,

But the man was honest and wouldn’t budge,

 

I found out he was afraid of the trouble it might bring,

He suspected officials were on to him,

Trying to snare him with legal strings,

 

I didn’t need to take an honesty test,

I’d take whatever the Romans gave me,

And of course, I would steal the rest,

 

Money was always worth fighting for,

Why worry about what the rich were getting,

There would always be the poor,

 

Because I stole I was always the one to blame,

When I was called to follow Jesus,

Matthew became my new name,

 

Most of the population still hated me,

They knew I worked for the Romans,

And the Romans were the enemy,

 

I don’t know why Jesus gave me mercy and grace,

But he said my sins were completely forgiven,

They were gone without a single trace,

 

Hated by the Pharisees, I was still a Jew,

But a different world was revealed around me,

And the more He taught, I knew.

Christmas by the Forest


A Thick Forest
Image by Jon Person via Flickr

He wasn’t a mean man but he was grumpy at times,

He lived alone and liked to write poetry that rhymed,

His house, next to a forest, had a very pleasant view,

He wasn’t very happy though he had much to do,

He was often forgotten, his children lived far away,

They, too, said they were busy, and they’d visit someday,

His days were empty of meaning, his nights full of screams,

What was he living for, the world had taken his dreams,

A miracle was needed to soften his heart, he couldn’t turn life back,

If he could help someone, his life would be back on track,

 

His heart did not hear the tears or feel the anguished pain,

As a family nearby called out in the cold and chilling rain,

Five children stranded in the night watched as their mother died,

They huddled and quietly prayed, after their tears had dried,

Harsh reality took the stage as they looked at their papa to lead,

But things change rapidly at times, life is so hard to read,

Their father could not help, for this country was not his home,

He had to leave, he was banned, no longer could he roam,  

Five children with no one, determined to reach a goal,

Could they survive a world so cruel and the winter cold,

 

They gathered and prayed once more, nothing else they could do,

No money, no parents, their hope should have been gone too,

The oldest daughter took charge, said they would go out swinging,

They sloshed through the snow, their angelic voices ringing,

Their voices carried through the night and across the snowy wood,

Where a man waited for a miracle, where he could do some good,

The man rose to hear this group and its cheerful sound,

He wondered why they were the only joyful group around,

He heard their songs and invited the five in, to sit before the fire,

They smiled when he told them they sounded like a heavenly choir,

 

Then he asked about their parents, then asked what will they do,

His heart was touched, “Please stay,” he urged, “I have rooms with a view,”

His house had been quiet far too long,

He needed to fill it with happy songs,

When he asked them to stay a miracle occurred for them,

And when they said yes a miracle occurred for him,

Christmas by the forest changed his life within,

Christmas by the forest meant their lives had a chance to begin.

 

Prayers and Doubts


Woodcut for "Die Bibel in Bildern", ...
Image via Wikipedia

I pray for
cold weather, you pray for hot,

I pray for
rain clouds, you pray they’re not,

Our prayers
are like arrows shot into the sky,

No one seems
to listen, we both wonder why,

Our prayers
can’t be answered if we cancel each other out,

If we pray
for the same cause there’ll be less reason to doubt,

You pray for
a friend’s healing, I pray guide the doctor’s hand,

What are we
really asking, do we both understand?

Is it
science we pray to because it seems so clear,

Or are we
more trusting with angels hovering near?

If God is with
us always, why am I filled with doubt?

If I don’t
see His hand in this, I’ve got to think it out,

A disease
strikes a neighbor, a madman is turned loose,

How did God
allow this to happen? I’ll pray, but what’s the use?

You say
you’ve seen God but you don’t remember where,

I’d like to
see Him too, can’t He show up here?

You say you
believe in miracles, can you name just one?

I’d like to
test it thoroughly, wouldn’t that be fun?

Darwin stated
we’re from the ocean, out of the water we arose,

We’ve been evolving since then, but where we’re going, who knows?

You can pray
for answers, while I still have my doubts,

Your answers
might come eventually while I think it all works out,

Science gives
us its theory about how we finally arrived here,

But I still
have many questions about what made life appear,

Patterns are
evident in the universe, everywhere I look,

And the
answers to my questions are not in a science book,

I believe a
power beyond my understanding created this earth,

Explanations
about life just happening have no intellectual worth,

I have to
believe in creation, I have no other choice,

For woven in
this tapestry of life is His voice,

I can’t see
God, but I see where He’s been,

I can’t
touch God, but I feel His presence again and again,

When
everything lines up against me, where else can I turn?

When I’m at
the bottom of the pit and by the world I’m spurned,

Who is the
King of Glory, and where does he reside?

I can’t
point Him out, but I know He’s inside,

Has He
forsaken me or are there too many on His list?

Is He off
doing something important and He’s forgotten I exist?

Are the
hairs on my head counted, do I mean anything at all?

Have I been
too long out of compliance, is my faith way too small?

When I pray
heavenly Father, am I not heard because of doubts?

Why don’t I
get answers when my whole world is crashing about?

If I’m one
of His children, a joint heir of the King,

Am I
surrounded by angels, will I ever hear them sing?

Am I
protected from demons and from the prince of this world,

Or will I be
tortured forever by the poisonous barbs he’s hurled?

What about
miracles, or is that an entirely different tune,

Are miracles
stories in the past and I’ll never see one soon,

My doubts
spring up continually, sometimes out of control,

My prayers
seem unheeded, despite pleadings from my soul,

I could give
up my belief that God still rules supreme,

And join the
world in saying that God is but a dream,

But in spite
of doubts and fears within, I cling to my hope,

That life
continues past this world beyond science’s microscope,

I believe all my trials and sins on earth will be covered with love,

While my
questions and fears will be answered in the realm above,

And the time
we spend discovering the pockets of faith inside,

Will come
back tenfold, and within that faith He’ll abide,

I’m forever
getting stronger as my faith answers my doubt,

I realize I
just have to believe, it’s not for me to work out.

Awkward


If you’d
feel awkward,

Breaking a
few rules,

Then you
shouldn’t be,

Hanging out with fools,

 

If you’d
feel strange,

Taking
another man’s wife,

Then you
shouldn’t be,

Stirring up quarrels and strife,

 

If you’d
feel weird,

Stealing
from the weak and old,

Then why are
you so greedy,

To want his
silver and gold,

 

If you don’t want to hurt someone,

Then why go
blithely along,

Ignoring
screams of pain,

When you
know something is wrong,

 

If you steal
someone’s happiness,

Or steal her
hope and joy,

What more does she have to live for,

What more
can you destroy,

 

Life has its
awkward moments,

Most of
those you’ll choose,

But when you
hurt someone else,

Within your
heart you lose,

 

Victims
might forgive you,

But they’ll never
forget your name,

The wounds
you made are deep inside,

They’ll have
you forever to blame,

 

Life has its
awkward moments,

I’m sure you’ll
find that true,

Find a way
to work through obstacles,

And your heart will learn to trust you.

 

 

 

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