marriage and family Poem

Praying for Children

We pray for children
by Ina J. Hughs

We pray for children
who sneak popsicles before supper,
who erase holes in math workbooks,
who can never find their shoes.

And we pray, for those
who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,
who can’t bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers,
who never “counted potatoes,”
who are born in places where we wouldn’t be caught dead,
who never go to the circus,
who live in an X-rated world.

We pray for children
who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,
Who sleep with the cat and bury goldfish,
Who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money,
Who squeeze toothpaste all over the sink,
Who slurp their soup.

And we pray for those who never get dessert,
who have no safe blanket to drag behind them,
who watch their parents watch them die,
who can’t find any bread to steal,
who don’t have any rooms to clean up,
whose pictures aren’t on anybody’s dresser,
whose monsters are real.

We pray for children
who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,
who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,
who like ghost stories,
who shove dirty clothes under the bed,
and never rinse out the tub,
who get visits from the tooth fairy,
who don’t like to be kissed in front of the carpool,
who squirm in church or temple and scream in the phone,
whose tears we sometimes laugh at
and whose smiles can make us cry.

And we pray for those
whose nightmares come in the daytime,
who will eat anything,
who have never seen a dentist,
who aren’t spoiled by anybody,
who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
who live and move, but have no being.

We pray for children
who want to be carried
and for those who must,
for those we never give up on
and for those who don’t get a second chance.
For those we smother
and for those who will grab the hand of anybody
kind enough to offer it.

We pray for children.

So Sleep Binka
So Sleep Binka
encouragement love Poem video

Who is God?

My poet, writer and friend David Ballard recently wrote the following painfully elegant poem about how we know much about God from where we find Him in our lives.


Who is God?
by David Ballard

God is tears in the dishwater
When you’re doubled over with hurt.
God is trauma in a wheelchair
Crippled from a war
No one else will serve.
God is aching feet
When there’s no other way to work.
God is blisters and callouses
When those who can won’t dig.
God is for those who know they’re small,
And He is really big.
God is in the details, each and every one.
God is love to spread till the sun flames out,
And we’re no longer having fun.
God is Spirit who draws us with the fragrance
Of His peace.
God is Son who shook the gates of hell
With a love that gave release.
God is God whose love and grace
Sent me to my knees.

Poem praise video

His Image

Poem praise video

Have No Fear

Amena Brown

love marriage and family Poem

HUGS (for Mom’s birthday)

by Luke Biller

Honorable mother’s
Unconditional Love
God Loves you
So do we.

Aspiring writer ...
Aspiring writer …


by Luke Biller

Dazzling star on top of a tree
Eating delicious cookies
Children laughing
Ornaments being hung
Round bulbs
Amazing Nutcrackers standing proudly at attention
Tangled lights
Incredible music
Outside snow is falling
Nestling by the fire
Sugar plum visions

Poem praise

Agape Love

Soft hands and kind eyes my faithful mate
mothering our children and making our home
the sun quietly rising to kiss her peaceful face

A gift of mountains and oceans so deep
betraying the majestic power and beauty of creation
a sun rising to warm and cheer our fallen race

Our perfect Creator from beyond time
driving out darkness and dying for His lost sheep
the Son rising and saving in an act of amazing grace.

encouragement Poem video

Peace On Earth

“ Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

We expect Christmas season to be a time of happiness and celebration. Sadly, it is also a time of grief and disappointment to many.  We mourn the loss of loved ones, and the tragedy of “what might have been”.

Thankfully, we have hope.  Our pain and grief will have an end.  God has not forgotten us.

One of the popular Christmas carols was born out of great tragedy.  The American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, lived in Massachusetts during the time of the American Civil War.  Longfellow’s personal tragedy was combined with the national tragedy during this war: his wife was killed during an accidental fire at their house, leaving Longfellow himself badly burned.  In addition to this, his oldest son had gone off to war and returned severely wounded.  Specific details are here.

The war was nearing its end on Christmas day 1864 when Longfellow was finally able to pen these words of hope: “God is not dead, nor does he sleep.”

The words of Longfellow’s poem have been revised for the popular Christmas carol, “I heard the bells on Christmas Day”.  The stanzas regarding the Civil War are omitted from the carol and the third stanza regarding “night to day” is moved to the end.  Yet for any readers of American history, the original poem below illustrates the despair that birthed these words of hope:

“Christmas Bells”

“I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”


The Saviour of the World

In the Kingdom are the children;
You may read it in their eyes;
All the freedom of the Kingdom
In their careless humour lies.

Very winsome are the children,
Say, whence comes it, their sweet grace?
Small the pains they take for goodness,
Scarcely know they Duty’s face.

Frail and faulty little lieges,
Yet well-pleasing to their King:
Scanty thought they take to serve Him;
Yet the chosen Offering bring;

Ours, the weary long endeavour;
Theirs, the happy entering in:

marriage and family Poem

Only a Dad

Only a dad with a tired face,
Coming home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame
To show how well he has played the game;
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come and to hear his voice.

Only a dad with a brood of four,
One of ten million men or more
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,
With never a whimper of pain or hate,
For the sake of those who at home await.

Only a dad, neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd,
Toiling striving from day-to-day,
Facing whatever may come his way,
Silent whenever the harsh condemn,
And bearing it all for the love of them.

Only a dad but he gives his all,
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing with courage stern and grim
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen:
Only a dad, but the best of men.

Edgar Guest


marriage and family Poem

A Father’s Prayer

Lord, strengthen me that I may be
A fit example for my son.
Grant he may never hear or see
A shameful deed that I have done.
How ever sorely I am tried,
Let me not undermine his pride.

Lord, make me tolerant and wise,
Incline my ears to hear him through.
Let him not stand with downcast eyes
Fearing to trust me and be true.
Instruct me so that I may know
They way son and I should go.

When he shall err as once I did,
Or boyhood’s folly bids him stray,
Let me not into anger fly
And drive the good in him away.
Teach me to win his trust – that he
Shall keep no secret hid from me.

Lord, as his father now I pray
For manhood’s strength and counsel wise,
Let me deal justly day by day,
In all that fatherhood implies.
To be his father, keep me fit,
Let me not play the hypocrite.

Edgar Guest

culture encouragement Poem

While You Were Sleeping

Thanks to Casting Crowns for writing this song and making it famous:

“While You Were Sleeping”

Oh little town of Bethlehem
Looks like another silent night
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
A giant star lights up the sky
And while you’re lying in the dark
There shines an everlasting light
For the King has left His throne
And is sleeping in a manger tonight

Oh Bethlehem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
For God became a man
And stepped into your world today
Oh Bethlehem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

Oh little town of Jerusalem
Looks like another silent night
The Father gave His only Son
The Way, the Truth, the Life had come
But there was no room for Him in the world He came to save

Jerusalem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
The Savior of the world is dying on your cross today
Jerusalem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

United States of America
Looks like another silent night
As we’re sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children
And while we’re lying in the dark
There’s a shout heard ‘cross the eastern sky
For the Bridegroom has returned
And has carried His bride away in the night

America, what will we miss while we are sleeping
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay
America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King
Will we be sleeping
Will we be sleeping

United States of America
Looks like another silent night


Too busy

The First Christmas

In winter
The Word was made flesh
To dwell among us …
To gather in our scattered minds,
To unify all human hearts.

Celestial singing:
Shepherds heard, rejoiced, adored …
Spring possessed their lives.

A normal world:
“Busy” folks ignored the Babe …
Only quiet people knelt.

Deepest darkness slashed:
Leading kings to worship Him …
Light dissolves the dark.

Sam McKay



I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

by Joyce Kilmer



A loud cry into the world
And out ventures every baby boy and girl.
They are cradled in arms, seats, and beds
Then, they crawl on the floor instead.
They take a step then fall, step then fall,
Till they walk, and we all
Wonder: where the time has gone.
Still, the pondering continues much past one.
We tell them rhymes unlike the last,
And they learn mimicry much too fast
For censorship or thought.
“Was I store-bought?”
They might ask,
Or say something else to make us laugh.
They take each step before our eyes,
And soon we say goodbye
To them when they go off to school—
First: elementary, middle, then high.
Dropping them off at college feels like the last time
We will ever see them again and begin to cry.
Still, the final step at the wedding aisle
Is the hardest goodbye.
We return home to our empty nest,
And wonder if we did our best.
We turn to our spouse and say “yes,”
If we shared Christ: that is the final test.

by David Ballard


God, The Artist

God, when you thought of a pine tree,
How did you think of a star?
How did you dream of a damson West
Crossed by an inky bar?
How did you think of a clear brown pool
Where flocks of shadows are?

God, when you thought of a cobweb,
How did you think of dew?
How did you know a spider’s house
Had shingles, bright and new?
How did you know we human folk
Would love them as we do?

God, when you patterned a bird song,
Flung on a silver string,
How did you know the ecstasy
That crystal call would bring?
How did you think of a bubbling throat
And a darling speckled wing?

God, when you chiseled a raindrop,
How did you think of a stem
Bearing a  lovely satin leaf
To hold the tiny gem?
How did you know a million drops
Would deck a morning’s hem?

Why did you make the moonlit night
With the honeysuckle vines?
How did you know Madeira bloom
Distilled ecstatic wines?
How did you weave the velvet dusk
Where tangled perfumes are?
God, when you thought of a pine tree,
How did you think of a star?

by Angela Morgan

culture Poem


To nuke the BP hole shut or not to nuke it, that may be the question.  What a mess, and forecasting models predict the Gulf Stream could bring the black mess to the Carolina shores just in time for summer …

How quickly we go from chanting “drill baby drill” to “cap baby cap.”  This recent spill in the Gulf of Mexico has suddenly given much more weight in my mind to the environmentalist concerns regarding drilling in environmentally sensitive areas.  It’s easy to view eco-objections with a cynical eye, suspecting the latest sky-is-falling claim is the latest subterfuge to handicap market capitalism in favor of socialism and centralized planning or something even less coherent.  That’s easy to believe since so often that’s exactly what’s going on – the inconvenient truth is that the environmental claims are too often simply wrong or divorced of context.  Nonetheless, creation is from God and entrusted to us.  Environmentalism should not be a disputed issue amongst Christians — it’s required of us to manage and care for what God has entrusted to humanity.  We owe it to our Creator as well as to future generations to preserve and protect the environment in reasonable and sustainable ways.

The threatening pollution of our local shores, reminds me of the only poetry contest my wife and I entered together … of course B.C. (Before Children).  We didn’t win any prize but enjoyed working on it together …

Ocean calling

Lift your head, come and see,
God’s fingerprints reflected in me.
Both of us are filled with life –
a delicate, magnificent gift.

Come to the shore, stand with me,
where miracles are plain to see.
Gulls, surf and sand crab frolic
together, in one of life’s dances.

Gentle waves’ music
wash away
time and burdens.
Come friend,
my shores are open
and share with me
in the beauty of life.


Kippling’s If, by Hopper

Dennis Hopper – RIP


Visiting home …

Grand River


Old grey mists fleeting past               

We were summer’s children               

With warm grandparents in winter                

We were together only yesterday          


Forests and playfields gone               

28 empty theatres                               

Quiet houses, lonely streets               

They were real only yesterday           


New faces and buildings

My children now laughing                 

Grandparents hugging smiles 

Time flowing on like yesterday.

encouragement Poem

Encouraging Words

  • Somewhat rare to find
  • Often difficult to give
  • yet curiously
  • they cost nothing to make
  • but they may cost
  • a hug or a smile
  • once given away
  • Cool water for a parched throat
  • A dry coat to a wet man
  • Warm sunrise after a cold night and
  • Extra energy during a long marathon
  • They are easy love
  • A bright smile
  • A reason to believe
  • And blossoms of hope for tomorrow.
  • Give a few away
  • And you’ll have no less to give.