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I wanted to be with You

cross

I wanted to be with You

as You fell down to pray

but there were so many things

that kept me very far away.

Things like pride and anger,

things like plain old fear.

But I am so glad to know

that You were praying for me there.

I wanted to be with You

when your friend, he did betray,

But I saw the soldier standing there,

I just couldn’t be brave that day.

I was held back by pride and anger

and just plain old fear.

But when you faced Judas’ kiss

I saw compassion shine so clear.

(how did I miss this?)

I wanted to be with You

to defend You at that trial,

making waves and speaking out

but you know that’s not my style.

I cowered in pride and anger

and just plain old fear

I was no help to You

Had my own burden to bear.

I wanted to be with Youcross - Copy

as they led You up that road.

that cross that You carried

should have been my heavy load.

But I couldn’t bear the suffering

and tortured agony

yet, You walked the walk I couldn’t walk,

each step you took for me.

I wanted to be with You

but I’m not good enough, I guess.

Still You carried on alone

even when I had to rest.

You took all my failures

that had stopped me in my tracks

as you walked up to Golgotha,

my weight across your back.

You took all these things that held me down,

my pride and anger and fear

You took them with You on that cross

and I’m so sorry that You were there,

so sorry that I couldn’t share,

so sorry.

And yet, somehow glad that You were there

so glad that You truly care

for me.

I wanted to be with You

yet all the time

You’ve been here with me.

images

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Love has…

Love has a facecross

A face that all creation looks up to

A face I can cry out to for desperate help

Or opens into laughter for the joy He extends to me

All life stretches upwards to see the face of Him who is Life

 

Love has two eyes

Eyes that look down upon His creation

Beaten and bloodied eyes that saw past his own pain

Tearful eyes that soaked up the darkness that exists in mine

Eyes that ever long to catch a glimpse of who I am to Him

 

Love has two handsfather child hands

Hands that were stretched out and nailed to a crossbar

Hands that have reached out to catch me when I stumble

Hands that gently wiped away each tear I have shed

Or rise up in anger to defend me when I crumble into my own weakness

 

Love has two feetfather and child feet

Feet that have walked the Heavens from before time

Feet that trod the dust of Judea and splashed in the waves of Galilee

Feet that resolutely followed a path to Golgotha

Feet that willingly search for me when I have hidden myself in shame

 

Love has a name

Savior, Messiah

Annointed One

The Son of Man who is Jesus

love looks like...

 


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Follow Me

Palm Sunday reflections

“Come, follow me”, Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”

Matthew 4:19

fishermenPeter and his brother Andrew dropped their nets and followed the man they considered a prophet and came to know as Messiah.

They followed as He traveled and preached, healed and taught. They listened as they follow Jesusfollowed and learned many things about a Heavenly kingdom that was promised them. They watched as they followed and saw the storms calmed, thousands fed, blind eyes opened and weakened legs regain strength. They followed as the dead were raised to life. They followed for a joyous parade into the city, a tender Passover dinner, a late night walk singing hymns and into a quiet garden for prayer.

They continued to follow, although from a distance, through arrest, a trial, the final sentencing and death.

Did they think that their following days were over? Had they been left adrift and on their own?

Fear, shock, grief ….then three days later…. surprise, joy, the Master had returned!

In His final private instructions to Peter Jesus repeatedly asks Peter if he loves him. Peter answers, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus then repeats what had been said three years earlier:

follow“Follow Me!”

John 21:19b

Jesus lays out his final instructions – Peter must follow with love for anything else will fail him.

Two thousand years later we are still called to follow from the day we make that first commitment to the day we leave this earth.

Following, loving, watching and listening to the One who calls us –“Follow Me!”follow 2

 

 


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Simple Truths

crossGood Friday

A day that, upon reflection, was not very good. I can see that cross in the sanctuary of my church each week and know that God loves me. I can wear a cross necklace daily and know that it symbolizes the life, love and sacrifice of my Savior. But, on Good Friday I am forced to contemplate what the cross is rather than what it is a symbol of. It is an archaic, cruel invention meant to take a person’s life in the most painful way possible. It was designed to purposefully prolong the dying process and increase the agony. The cross encapsulates everything that is evil about mankind.

As the pastor spoke at the Good Friday service last night a simple truth hit me. While we always say that when Jesus died on that tree He conquered death, there is more. He conquered all that is brutal and cruel and inhuman in us. He used that mechanism of evil intent to become the sacrifice that changed the world. God took what had to be the ugliest invention of His creation and turned it to be the catalyst of everything that is good and loving and glorious of Himself. The path to eternal life runs straight through and is victorious over man’s own depravity.

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”    Genesis 50:20

It reminds me that no matter how low I have sunk, how ugly my thoughts can get, how angry my actions can be – none of that is too much for God to turn around and still use me for His purposes. He will love me despite my sins, He will use me in this fallen world despite my shortcomings. Nothing is too evil for God to embrace and turn to good. That is a powerful truth that I am struggling to wrap my mind around even as I read the latest headlines out of Brussels. But I will cling to the simple truths.

“God is light. In Him there is no darkness at all.”  1 John 1:5b


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Hold My Ground

images (2

He’s got no hold on me

Jesus said to His friends that night

I hold those words so close and tight

He’s got no hold on me

he might try to hold me back

he’ll hold up temptations

that hold me down

with guilt he’ll hold things over my head

and all I can do is hold onto these truths

and hold on, hold my ground

he’s got no hold on me

Jesus said to his friends that night

I hold those words so close and tight

he’s got no hold on me

he’s gonna try to hold me up

he’s gonna try to hold me in

and that’s gonna hold me down

we have to hold onto each other

while holding hands with eternity

and hold on, hold my ground

’cause the best place for a sheep is right beside the shepherd

cause the wolf is not afraid of the sheep

but a great big shepherd saves the day

so he’s got no hold on me.images (3

he’s got no hold on me

said Jesus to his friends that night

I hold these words so close and tight

he’s got no hold on me

One day he’ll be held responsible

for all the tricks that he’s pulled

and all the whispering around

one day, as I try to hold out

against all the pretty pictures he holds up

I’ll know that I held on, held my ground

well, I can try

I’ll just hold Your hand

and hold on, hold my ground.

I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me.    John 14:30


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I wanted to be with You

cross

I wanted to be with You

as You fell down to pray

but there were so many things

that kept me very far away.

Things like pride and anger,

things like plain old fear.

But I am so glad to know

that You were praying for me there.

I wanted to be with You

when your friend turned You in,

 I saw the soldier with drawn sword,

 my little bit of courage wore thin.

I was held back by pride and anger

and just plain old fear.

But when you faced Judas’ kiss

I saw compassion shine so clear.

(how did I miss this?)

I wanted to be with You

to defend You at that trial,

making waves and speaking out

but you know that’s not my style.

I cowered in pride and anger

and just plain old fear

I was no help to You

Had my own burden to bear.

I wanted to be with Youcross - Copy

as they led You up that road.

that cross that You carried

should have been my heavy load.

But I couldn’t bear the suffering

and tortured agony

yet, You walked the walk I couldn’t walk,

each step you took for me.

I wanted to be with You

but I’m not good enough, I guess.

Still You carried on alone

even when I had to rest.

You took all my failures

that had stopped me in my tracks

as you walked up to Golgotha, my weight across your back.

You took all these things that held me down,

my pride and anger and fear

You took them with You on that cross

and I’m so sorry that You were there,

so sorry that I couldn’t share,

so sorry.

And yet, somehow glad that You were there

so glad that You truly care

for me.

I wanted to be with You

yet all the time

 You were there with me.

images


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Heavens Child (for Troy)

Image

(I wrote this song for Easter about ten years ago.  It’s a little about Mary and a little about me and a lot about a compassionate God. I think any parent who has lost a child looks at Mary a little differently than the rest of the church.)

Heaven’s Child

I tend to think of Mary

as a mother only can

standing on that hillside,

was she questioning your plan.

for you trusted her with your son

an infant needing care,

then you made her watch him suffer

as her eyes filled with tears.

for that baby was a man now

and the hope at his birth,

had given way to your purpose

a mother’s tears fill the earth.

and did Mary say….

If he can’t be in my arms, I’ll put him in yours.

he was yours from the beginning, mine for just a while.

I held and I rocked him this precious Heaven’s child.

now though you are the Master

a father’s heartbeat I have felt,

and I know you were with Joseph

at the manger as he knelt.

and if Mary cried her tears

at the foot of Calvary,

how much greater was your sorrow

you could have stopped the tragedy.

you could have reached and stilled the hand

of the soldier with the nails

but you let the thing play out

with all the pain that it entails

and did Mary say…

if he can’t be in my arms

then I’ll put him in yours.

he was yours from the beginning

 mine for just a while.

I held him and I rocked him

this precious Heaven’s child