R E S P E C T

Wrinkled and weathery
Worn and leathery
Hair so white, so thin
A dismissive glance and looks askance
Will miss the dance within

Physique so frailing
Health so failing
Shoulder’s bowed and bent
Tools worn out while building
A life well lived… well spent

But withered size
And age belies
Vitality that once was
Upon a time a vigor prime
That shaped the world… and still does!

A teacher formed
A pilot stormed
Through the skies in war
An explorer-fearless-set the sail
For an unknown, distant shore

A doctor tended
A surgeon mended
Nurses fended for the ill
Soldiers who, for hearth and home
Charged gallant up the hill

A leader led
A martyr bled
A mother raised her child
A social worker helped some soul
That poverty defiled

A fireman saved
A policeman braved
the lawless, riot crowd
A farmer wiped his sweaty brow
And surveyed a field he’d plowed

A musician played
A dancer swayed
A poet penned a poem
A writer wrote a whirlwind tale
A builder built a home

Next time you meet
At church or street
A weaker, aged one
Gratefully respect them for
Their life… a job well-done.

Extend your hand
Bestow a smile
And nod a friendly nod
Not only would you warm their heart
You’d warm the heart of God!

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“Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.”

— Leviticus 19:32
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R E E D

Servant Divine! Who inspired such delight
Who, quiet went about his way to bless
Who was just and brought justice in the night
Who meekly stood with us in our transgress
Who gained the Master’s Spirit for the fight
Who loved us and who shared our dispossess

What Love Divine! Picks up the useless reed
Regards the bruised and broken for God’s end
Does not break but binds, heals to serve a need
The reed becomes a rod that may not bend
And in His hand, now fit for any deed
Blossoms, bears fruit for Him who calls us, “Friend.”

Oh Spark Divine! That flickers oh so faint
Yet crosses swords with lightless foes within
The dimming soul made dark by ill-restraint
No stranger to its tempters or its sin
Breathe gently Lord despite the wretched taint
Enflame the faintly burning wick again!

Now…

To Him who gently tends us lest the Dawn
Break to find that last spark of God has gone!

…we give thanks.

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“Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not grow faint or be discouraged
till he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his law.”

–Isaiah 42:1–4
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S P I R I T

A rushing, mighty wind is he
Hovering o’er a darkened sea
A breath of life for you… for me!
So wise beyond the knowing

A presence coming to us here
Dispelling doubt and crushing fear
Enabling us to persevere
With power beyond the knowing

A fiery pillar guiding well
A holy presence near to dwell
Offerings… incense… what lovely smell!
And truth beyond the knowing

A gifting presence giving grace
Offering to a fallen race
The likeness of their Father’s face
And mercy beyond the knowing

Helper… Comforter… gentle dove
Descending to us from above
Given to us unworthy of
A love beyond the knowing

But One was Spirit filled and led
The inspired word of God, His bread
The Spirit raised Him from the dead
And we… well…
…we have come to know Him!

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“And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”

–1 John 5:20

“But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…”

–Philippians 3:7-9

“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”

–Romans 8:9-11
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C R U S H E D

I crushed the lovely lilac bloom
Held fast within my fingers
And, heaven sent, that soaring scent
Still in my memory lingers
Jarred my jaded senses so
I thought not of the careless blow
Nor of the death to Beauty!

Eclipsing finery of Kings
The flowers God has so arrayed
Speaks of Wisdom’s higher power
And all The Artist’s Love has made
What fragrant oil, what floral blood
That courses through each tender bud
And sweetens every breath!

What blessed scent wafts through the years
From Him, that sweetest Bloom of all
Transplanted to such sinful soil
Yet faithful to His Father’s call
Bruised and crushed yet curse repealed
And now His empty tomb doth yield
The fragrance of forgiveness!

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“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.”

–Isaiah 53:5
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