The Black Lab

Circa 2000

We’ve a small pup
A boisterous black lab with a
Bulging belly who can bonsaiii!
Blitz, bounce, and bluff in a game of tackle

By night she is blobbing her ohhh!
So sad puppy’s bewail, for she needs to
Trot a trip to the massive field (our backyard)
To take care of business

Hours later she is bustling again
For a bobble, bouting for kicks
Bumptious and brave in game
And hasty over eating her puppy-bites

Years will pass
She will become an expert botanist
A bullfrog and butterfly warrior
And a mighty guard for burglars and mailmen

For now, I smile watching her big bright eyes
Glimmer at the sound of her new
Best friends, the benevolent givers of

Where superlatives go to be purified

I have learned to love hyperbole
To exaggerate purposefully
It is the language of love glowing
Bubbling, brimming, overflowing

And with a little two-word qualifier
I can take any superlative
Any galaxy
Any solar system
Any star
And fit it in my pocket

My wife is the best cook
In the universe
For me

My son is the smartest boy
In the galaxy
For me

My daughters are the sweetest little women
In the world
For me

But God is where all superlatives go to be purified
In the fire of literal perfection
Where all limiting qualifiers are stripped
Where all exaggerations become understatements
Where all poets speak as children
Before the un-exaggeratable
Most High


Space is a place
To be near
Presence is a grace
To touch and hear

Pitter, patter

Tip-toe, tip-toe
“Daddy, I want some milk.”

Shuffle, twist
“Honey, can you please be still? I’m trying to sleep.”

Fire in my bones for the God of glory

Read with Our God playing. To the God worth declaring.

Let it echo across the Salt Lake Valley
Let the people of the true Jesus rally
Let the timid see a glow and feel the heat
As the word of the Lord is preached

God is too great to keep Salt Lake placid
Yet God is too kind for speech like acid
Jesus Christ, full of grace and truth
Fit both to whisper and to preach

Fire in my bones for the God of glory
Blood on my hands if I don’t share the story
Beats in my heart for sheep with no shepherd
Today is the day to preach

Forgiving Grace: If I Can’t Have It Now, I’ll Never Have it

Read with How He Loves playing. To the God of the brokenhearted in Romans 4:5.

The grace I need is deeper than the grace they have
I can’t wait around to be forgiven
I need forgiveness today
Actually, this second

Don’t meet me at my weakness, and do the rest
No, go underneath it
To the bottom
And do it all

Don’t tell me to be what I never will be in this life
And then tell me that afterward it will be OK
No, I want more than “OK”
And I want it now

I need grace after all I can do to screw up
My opportunities
My relationships
My heart

Regard me as something that I’m not
Treat me like I’m already everything
You ever wanted me to be
And then change me

I don’t want the prospect of your forgiving love
I want the reality

I Hate Winter

Winter depression
Sinus infection
Chill in the air
Stuck in my lair

Freezing two feet
Too hot under sheets
My lungs feeling old
Master bedroom so cold

If Spring was a sprinter
Outrunning every cold Winter
I wouldn’t be writing
This poem

Lord, Bless My Family With Your Music

Give my baby John your beat
A holy, holy, on repeat
A rap on your consuming power
An urgent message for the hour

Bless my Lydia with your dance
And strong refrain of sweet romance
Of faithfulness and security
A pas de deux in purity

Preserve my wife with your grand piano
And a sanctifying sweet soprano
A host of angels on each side
Of the aisle for the chosen bride

Restore my life with your violin
Of forgiveness of my deepest sins
To evermore on you depend
And sing a song that never ends

First dance
“God is the ultimate musician. His music transforms your life. The notes of redemption rearrange your heart and restore your life. His songs of forgiveness, grace, reconciliation, truth, hope, sovereignty, and love give you back your humanity and restore your identity.” - Paul David Tripp, A Quest for More (Greensboro, NC; New Growth Press, 2007), 145.

John Caleb is a Big Boy

John Caleb with his pre-school backpack
John loves his pre-school backpack

Three-year birthdays mean fun balloons
Eating cereal with colored spoons
And drinking milk without a straw
You are a big boy now

You wake up early by yourself
And sneak off goldfish from the shelf
And turn on Barney with a shout
You are a big boy now

At the end of songs you shout “hooray!”
You say, “rejoice!”, this is the day
The Lord made it, let us be glad
You are a big boy now

Sometimes you disobey your dad
Correcting you, it makes me sad
But I’m proud of you
You are a big boy now

You taught your sister to hit a ball
You show concern when someone falls
Your heart is tender-sweet
You are a big boy now

So much you do now on your own
Our favorite shirts you’ve all outgrown
It’s time to buy new shoes
You are a big boy now

In the morning you begin pre-school
Tonight I’m feeling like a fool
For letting time go by so fast
You are a big boy now

Tell a Bible Story

There was a group of men
Who loved a casual meeting
Who said, “Let’s quit this crusty way
Of scripture preaching-teaching!”

Their cry was strong
Their evidence long
“Where Jesus walks, there we meet

“He told good stories, didn’t go
From verse to verse telling so
What Paul and Peter said.
In that postmoderns dread.”

So met they did as a church
With the catchy theme, “for truth we search”
Mouths were opened for the feeding
Desperate hearts for living words

But all they got was fizz and froth
Instead of meat they swallowed broth
Barraged with everybody’s “story”
Missing out on all the glory

Thus in the end, it was ironic
Those who claimed to have the tonic
Purged word from Sunday morning
And gave cause for spiritual mourning