The One Thing

The breeze stirs the leaves,

And under this canopy I sit,

And listen.


Living God,

Is whispering to my soul,

And I look up at the sky,

And I listen.


It’s a listening,

That strips away,

So many lesser things.


It’s a listening that is a quiet balm,

A shepherd’s rod.

A father’s correcting,

A gardener’s weeding,

A master’s gentle rebuke. 


It’s the patient voice,

Of a loving master,

Who wants more than just,

Fearful obedience,

But wants to cultivate,


In the deepest heart.


And I listen,

And it’s the gentle hand,

Of the loving Father,

Training and shaping His child’s heart,

Into all righteousness. 


I listen,

And I feel your fingers deep inside me,

Pruning away,

So many good,

But unnecessary things.


And You prune away,

That which is slightly fruitful,

So that the few remaining branches,

Might bear more and stronger and healthier fruit.


I listen,

As You prune away,

The good things,

That distract,

From the better things.


So much good,

That one day might be.

But not now.

For now there is only one thing,

That is needful.

And I sit and listen,

As You prune away the good things,

To give me this one thing. 


I sit here,

And I’m sitting at Your feet.

Restless heart that started out far from You,

Somehow finds its way,

To the quiet place,

At Your feet.


And You give me back the one thing.


You give me back the one thing,

That I really want.

You give me back the one thing,

That I really need.


You prune away the good things,

To give me back the one thing.

And my soul finds rest,

In the one and deep.


You give me back this one thing.

Just this one desire,

For just this one You.


And all else strips away in this moment,

And my heart begins to remember,

What it longs for.


I sit here in the quiet,

And I feel Your fingers weed.

And all these things that I have felt,

Starting to grow,

I sit here in the quiet,

And You begin to bring them out,

And cleanse the heart. 


I sit here in the quiet,

And I’m restless to create,

Something of true and real beauty.

And I’m restless to know,

That my life means something.

Restless to prove,

To belong,

To be right.


Restless for my words,

And my heart,

And my life,

To be right,

And to matter.


And I’m so confused,

About who and what and why,

I’m writing,

That words lodge in my throat,

And I just swallow down,

Lump after lump.


And I’m the man in the fable,

Walking with his son and his donkey,

And in trying to please everyone,

He ends up pleasing no one,

And losing everything he started with.


I find the treasure,

And it seems like a constant wrestling,

To keep it.

I delight in Your goodness,

And it becomes a constant war,

To stay in the place,

Of quiet satisfied.


For there’s always something,

And someone,

To come and steal the joy away.

And really,

The only enemy is me,

For I’m the one who decides,

To stand or waver.


Vessel of flesh,

I’m too weak to stand,

Like iron strength.

I wilt like a blade of grass.

I fall like an autumn leaf. 


Weak and foolish thing,

That can’t seem to walk in a straight line.

But keeps deciding,

That the path is moving,

And I keep changing my trajectory,

And second guessing the goal,

And I wonder why I’m confused,

And double-minded.


Terrified of failure,

Or being wrong,

In slightest sense,

I bend and shape and move,

Until I’m not sure who I’m living for,



And I just keep moving,


Busy with a million things,

To do,

To accomplish,

To create.


For if there is no output,

Surely there can be no value.

And I measure myself,

By myself.


I’ve fallen into quicksand.


But You drag me to the quiet,

And in the quiet place,

You pull me out.


And in the quiet place,

You prune,

And weed.

And all the roiling inside of me,

Turns into refining,

And all the dross is being lifted off,

And there are good things being left here.


And the Brita pitcher,

Takes it all in,

And drip drips slowly,

Until all that’s left in the reservoir to drink,

Is good.


And when I feel overwhelmed,

That’s when the head is full of ideas,

But the filter filters slowly,

And the drip drip takes time.


But there always ends up,

A weight of gold in my soul.

And a reservoir of good, clean water,

That I can pour out,

And give,

And drink.


Sometimes the filtering hurts,

And I wish the drip drip,

Would happen more quickly.

Sometimes the groaning of my soul,

Is so loud,

It keeps me up at night.


And I so ache,

To put off this body of flesh,

And join in the full completion,

And the full harvest.


You’ve given me a taste,

And I’m mad for more.

And I’m restless until I realize,

The full extent,

Of all there is to know.


And the day when everything,

Will be perfect and complete,

And lacking in nothing,

With no more weakness,

To bar the way,

Of perfect righteousness,

I’m mad for it.


I’d rip off my flesh now,

If I could,

To join the full completion.


But the harvest is not ready yet.

And my soul is not yet ripe for harvest.

And I’ve got so much more of patience,

And humility,

And love and righteousness,

To learn.


And I know You could do it in a moment,

If You wanted.

But You give me a lifetime,

And You make it to bear fruit.


And so I’m in the throes,

Of the pruning and the weeding,

And the fruit bearing.

I’m in the throes,

Of the growth and the holy and the redemption.


Perfected forever,

Yet being sanctified.

A soul being tilled,

That it might bear more good fruit.


And it hurts,

At times.

And there are times I wonder,

What fruit really means,

And if anyone feasts from my soul.


But where my fears are shallow small,

You plunge me deeper,

And give me better eyes.

You rip wide open my soul,

And I bleed out tears,

And finally my lungs can breathe.


Sometimes you have to crack a rib,

To save a life.

And sometimes you have to cut the body open,

To heal the hurting inside.


You pierce us,

To heal us.

You cut us,

To make us clean.


And it always feels good and right,

When it’s happened.

And no discipline for the moment,

Seems pleasant,

But painful.


But there’s that fruit of feeling clean,

And good,

And right,

And whole,

When it’s done.


The peaceful fruit,

Of righteousness.

When the heart and soul,

Are right with You,

And know peace with You.


And I want to abide,

In the place of knowing,

The peace with You,

You purchased.

And this is the one thing,

That’s worth the pruning,

Of many things.


And it’s the quiet places,

That test the condition,

Of my heart.


For it’s in the quiet places,

That I know,

Whether I am abiding with You,

Or running from You.


For if I can sit,

In the quiet place,

And know peace with You,

Deep in my soul,

Then I know that I am near You,

And abiding in Your light,

And fellowship,

I feel clean.


But when I hide my face,

And I can’t sit still,

And I ramble on like a madwoman,

And jump from here to there,

But find no rest,

In any of it,

Then I have let go my one thing,

And I must still before You,

As You sweep through my soul,

And we sweep through the house,

Until You find it,

And give it to me again.


And I rejoice like a soul,

That’s just won the whole world.


For I’ve got my one thing back,

And I’ve gained the King,

In fellowship,

Once more,

And the kingdom of heaven,

Burns within my soul.


I draw up close to the fire,

And my heart warms.

I let go the lesser things,

And cling again to the only thing,

To my God Himself,

And I have everything.

And I live.


There’s Wisdom in the Dirt

I stand here,

At the end of another day,

And I look out over the vast expanse,

That rolls out like so many hills,

Out and below,

My feet.


I stand here,

Up on this mountain,

And look back,

Over it all.


The wind gently plays in my hair,

Blows the strands back from my face.

Gentle hands pulling off blinders,

And beckoning me,





You brush back the veil.

Blow the breeze across my face,

And will me to see.


I stand with You,

And we watch the sun set,


And You splash so many colors across the sky,

And the clouds float like color-filled shadows.

Like so many flavored marshmallows,

Dancing in the sky.


All the rest of creation,

Seems to hold its breath,

And watch with wonder,

As the heavens declare. 


From this place right beside me,

You command the heavens.

And as I watch the sky,

With open-mouthed,

And awestruck wonder,

You paint with words and fingers.

With wisdom and beauty.


By wisdom and by word,

You created the world.

And the heavens and the earth,

Were brought forth,

In deepest wisdom.

In spoken beauty.

In Living Word.


And the depth of the wisdom,

Hidden here in the earth,

Who can fathom?


You have spoken all this,

Into existence,

And who has probed the depths,

Of all Your words?


By wisdom You spoke,

And the universe was.

And we’ve not yet reached,

The furthest ends of space,

Nor of the ocean below,

Nor even the depths,

Of the very earth beneath our feet.


And how could we ever think,

We could reach,

The depths of You?



By Your words,

You spoke,

And the world began,

And we can touch it.


You breathed Your words,

And wisdom took shape,

In the form of earth,

And dirt. 


And all that we see,

And touch,

Was made by the God we cannot see,

And we’ve never touched.


And yet,

We do.

Each day we do.


As we live and move and breathe here,

We see and touch You,

Hidden behind the veil,

Of earth.


We look up at the sky,

And the wind blows the veil back for a moment,

And we see into the throne room.

Just a glimpse,

Of a glory,

Far beyond.


We touch dirt,

And we’re touching wisdom.

And have we ever stopped to dig,

In the earth at our feet?


What treasures would we find,

Buried here,

Right beneath us,

If we would only reach our fingers deep,

And dig.


There’s wisdom buried at our feet.

And all around us,

There are depths of beauty,

To be mined.


Every human face,

Every breathing soul.

Every task,

Every movement,

Every moment, every pattern, every shape,


Every culture,

Every cry.

Every passion,

Every breathing,

Every labor,

Every love,


Every broken heart,

And every mend of redemption.

Every birdsong,

Every sunset,

Every wave upon the ocean,

And footstep upon the shore.


Everywhere we look,

Everything we touch,

Is a wealth of Your glory,

And the very face of God,

Hidden here beneath the dirt.


And it’s a treasure hunt,

And a beach littered with shells,

And a deep, deep soil,

Laden with precious stones,

Crying out to be found.


We live on the surface,

Of so much holy,

It’s a wonder we can breathe at all. 


How does the wonder,

Not paralyze our lungs?

How can we remember how to breathe,

When even breathing itself,

Is such a holy marvel,

And a work of wisdom and beauty.


How can we possibly take in the splendor of this life,

When we can’t even move past our own beating chest,

Without being assaulted,

By miracles?


In wisdom,

You shaped the world.

And if only we could really see,

We would be wise.


For Your wisdom speaks,

From every corner,

And the world is alive with it.


It’s Your living wisdom,

That is our breath,

And our heartbeat,

And the earth beneath our feet,

And all the life,

That explodes,

From every cell,

And every corner.


There’s nowhere we can go,

Where wisdom isn’t. 

There’s nothing we can touch,

That isn’t infinitely deep,

And profound with beauty.


You spoke,

And the world lived.

And everything we see,

Is a living wonder.


And the Living Word,

Is everywhere at work around us,

And yet so many days,

We pass Him by.


We live in a world,

That is alive with life.

The earth is screaming Your song,

Yet somehow,

We manage not to see or hear,

Your beauty.


I wonder at our ability,

To deceive ourselves,

And to think ourselves into blindness,

And wrap ourselves up in deafness.

To work our way into the middle,

Of ignorance,

And live not perceiving,

What is truly,

Plain as day.


O, Living Wisdom,

Open our eyes to You,

Deep and beckoning to us,

Beneath the surface,

Of all things.


Show us Your beauty.

Stir our hearts to dig for it,

And to see it,

There behind,

All things.


Teach us to remember Your name,

And to speak it,

And to see You,

Alive and moving all around us,

And hidden beneath the dirt,

Of all things.


God who takes off the veil,

And we behold You.

Your face reflected to us in Scripture,

And sung to us in Creation.

And just the reflection,

Of Your glory,

Is enough to stun our eyes.


Yet we behold You,

With unveiled faces.


God who lifts up the veil,

God who touches our eyes,

And makes them see.


God who comes to numb and dead hearts,

And makes them live.

Creator who reaches low,

Tenderly touches,

What His own hands have made,

And takes His broken creature,

And makes it right again.


God who tore the veil,


And the veil,

Was God,



And He tore it,

Rent His body open,

Let the blood flow out,

And bought His children,



You made Your own blood flow,

And at Your own cost,

You bought me back,

And gave me all the riches,

Of heaven,



And now I stand here,

With You on this mountain,

And I take it all in,

And it’s mine to see,

And to taste,

And to mine,

And to love.


And it’s my inheritance,

To see You,

And know You,

And thrill at Your beauty and wisdom,

In all things.


I have been given,

The treasure of heaven.

And the earth too,

Is full of the treasure of heaven.

And so everywhere I look,

There’s You.


And You give it all to me,

To see.

And to love.

And to thrill at.


What a gift,

What a rush,

What a beautiful,

And deep life,

I’ve been given!


Depths of wisdom and beauty,


But I’ll mine,

And I’ll savor,

And I’ll tell,

All that my soul,

Can hold.


Until the day when this soul,

Explodes into the fullness of You,

And the flesh is no more,

And I’m made fully one,

With the wisdom,

And the beauty,

Of the Living God.


Until the day,

When I’m made fully one,

With the High King of heaven,

With Wisdom and Beauty,


Fruit Among Thorns and the Colors of Souls

God who fills all this day,

With truth and grace and beauty.

And everywhere I look,

I see it.


You are God,

And You are glorious.

Absolutely breathtakingly glorious.


I peel back the layers of this life,

And I see You in them all,

And You are glorious.


In human souls around me,

I see You splashed in brilliant colors. 

Shades and hues,

Of passion,

And problem-solving,

And caring,

And creativity,

And wit.


All of it,

Beautifully blended,

Into this glorious harmony.

And I see You.

The Master artist,

I see You. 


Human souls,

With all their energies and passions,

Bent low to the earth,

And digging deep,

And for all they’re worth.

Bringing order and beauty,

Out of chaos,

And the raw materials,

Of potential. 


The way one eye sees patterns,

In so much strewn randomness,

And bends low to the plow,

And digs fingers deep into the earth,

And brings forth a row of growth,

Up from the soil,

That I would never,

Have ever thought,

Nor known how,

To cultivate.


And each,

In his own plot of land,

Sees and cultivates,

Something unique.


And the world,

Takes on a shape,

As the hands and the fingers,

Dig and weed,

And arrange,

And work.


And the souls sing along,

As they dig in the dirt,

And I can almost see,

Their colors,

Bursting out like so many northern lights,

Across the sky.


Passions paint the world,

And I see beauty in the painting.

Patterns emerge,

Neat and tidy,

And complex and intricate,

And I see depth and nuance and meaning,

In the human existence. 


And it’s true,

That the life’s work,

And the plots of land,

Are riddled,

With thorns and thistles.


And they frustrate,

And they stifle,

And they wound us,

And we bleed.


And it seems,

We will never,

Realize the full potential,

Of our dreams,

For the thorns and thistles,

That mar the land. 


Yet amid it all,

The fruit grows.


And we bleed our sweat,

And our tears,

Into the ground.

And though the thorns prick us,

And beat us back,

And seem to thwart us,

Yet the fruit grows.


And we take it in our hands,

And we eat it. 


O, what might have been,

If not for the weeds!

O, what we might have cultivated,

If not for the so much broken!


Yet one day,

There will be no more weeds.

And what we plant,

Will grow.

And all the potential of our hearts,

Will be realized,

One day.


One day,

There will be no more thorns.

No more weeds.

No more broken limits,

On unbroken potential.


One day creation will be loosed,

From its bondage to decay,

And all the good plans of our hearts,

Will succeed,

In fullness. 


O, the good works we will do,

In those days!

I can hardly stand,

The wait.


And yet,

Even here,

In this broken world,

Among the thorns,

There is grace.


Fruit still grows.


And we sweat into the cursed earth,

And fruit still grows.

And there is still beauty,

And color,

And life,

That springs up.


And there is redemption,

Even more than this.

For no labor that we do unto You,

Is ever wasted.


And even if we pour our sweat,

Into the ground,

And nothing grows here,

Yet the travail,

And the tears,

Are not in vain,

In You.


But they are producing fruit,

Deep inside our souls.

And with each new dig,

And each determined stroke,

The garden in the heavelies,


And bears good fruit.


And so even what seems,

Like wasted labor here,

Is captured up,

And caught,

By Your redemption.


And You catch the falling tears,

And the seeds that fall through the cracks,

And You collect them in Your hands,

And bring forth crops,

We can scarcely imagine.


And there will be a harvest one day.

And I wonder,

If we will wonder,

Where all the fruit came from.


I wonder,

If we have any idea,

What the garden of our souls,

Looks like,

To Your eyes.


I wonder if we know,

That none of our labor,

Or our struggles,

Or tears,

Or prayers to You,

Have been wasted.


I wonder if we know,

Just what You have been up to,

As our hands have moved,

And our hearts have burned,

And our souls have splashed vibrant colors,

Of passion and dream,



We know the tears we’ve poured out,

And we know the passions we’ve poured in,

And we know the deep cries our souls have uttered,

In Your ears.


We know the hours we’ve spent,

With the soul down on its knees,



Breaking open,

And being tilled.


We’ve felt the tilling,

And we’ve felt the planting,

And we’ve felt the growing,

But we look with our eyes,

And we see,

Not the giant crop we feel ought to have grown,

But only this tiny seedling.

So much smaller,

Than what we feel,

Has grown inside.


And we look at the plot of our lives,

And it seems so worthless,

And small.

Tiny sprouts,

And brittle soil.

Dwarfed crops,

And shriveled fruit.


And it seems like our lives,

And our efforts,

And our souls,

Are going nowhere fast.

And we feel like a giant effort,

And a giant passion,

And a giant soul,


Yet we see only,

Dwarfed and shriveled crops.

And we’re not sure whether its our eyes,

Our our souls,

That are lying to us.


But surely one of them is.


Either that,

Or we’re looking at life,

Reflected in some sort,

Of fun house mirror.

For nothing seems to be,

As it seems to be.


But creation is broken,

And as much as it wants to play fair,

It can’t.


It groans under the weight,

Of its brokenness,

As much as we,

Groan under ours.


We mourn,

The righteousness we sold.

Creation mourns,

The innocence,

We stole from it.


And now that which was created,

To bless its Creator,

Is subjugated by fallen mankind,

And used as tools and weapons,

Against the very One,

Who made it.


O, how creation must weep,

At this!

And if creation could feel anger,

And rage,

Surely it would feel these,

Toward us,

Who abuse it so.


Yet could creation delight,

I think it would sing a merry song,

Over us,

Who kneel in the dirt,

And plant beauty,

And life,

And grow up the beautiful glory,

Of our wonderful Maker.


I think creation would surely delight,

To be used and worked,

To bring up and become,


For the glory and praise,

Of its Creator.


And so I think,

Creation smiles upon us,

In our holy labor.


And I think it groans with us,

And it pushes hard with us,

And we labor together,

In these pains of childbirth.

Pushing and pushing,

The fullness of the life,

Of the Most High,

Out of us,

And into birth.


And one day,

There will be a harvest,

Of our souls.

And all the good and holy,

That we taste now,

Are just the promise,

Of more to come.


The firstfruits.

The tithe from God,

To us.

The promise of more,

So much more,

Growing in our souls,

And waiting for the harvest time.


And one day,

Creation will be loosed from her bondage,

When the souls of men,

Are loosed from their decay.


And we will likewise rejoice together,

At the fullness of Your glory,

And the splendor of Your work,

Now fully seen,

And realized.


And on that day,

You will take Your sickle,

And reap Your harvest,

And bring in such fruit,

We had never known.


And life will never be the same,

From that moment,



And all the firstfruits,

We tasted,

And thrilled at,

Will be child’s play,

Compared to what we now see,

And taste,

In fullness.


Son of God,

I can hardly wait.


Yet I will delight,

And rejoice in,

And make much of,

Your glory and grace,

And truth and beauty,

Peeking up through the ground,

Even in the face,

Of all the thorns and thistles here.


I will rejoice in the growth You give,

And the beauty You cultivate,

And the way You move,


And through,

Human souls.


For You do the most beautiful work,

Of all.


And all the truth and beauty,

I see poking up through the surface,

All around me in these souls,

Are a testament,

To the depth and wisdom,

And majesty and splendor,

And vibrancy and brilliance,

Of You.

God Doesn’t Have Small Hands

You are God,

Who fills me with rejoicing.

And I never lack a feast,

With You.


God who fills this day,

With Your beauty and wisdom.

From the rising of the sun,

To its setting,

Let Your name be praised.


God whom all creation declares.

God who feeds all creation,

From His own hand.

We are sustained by You,

And everything You feed us,

Is enough. 


You are God who provides,

And we are never lacking. 

You are God who owns all bread,

And feeds it to us,

As we need.


You are God,

And my resources are not enough,

But Yours are.

For You own the cattle on a thousand hills,

And You own all the grain in the ground,

And all the water in the earth.


You are God who makes all things grow,

As You will.

God who is the breath and the movement,

Of all life.


You move life to move,

And You breathe life to breathe,

And everything around us is holy,

And dancing in Your presence here.


And we look around at the need,

And we cry that we can’t meet it,

Even if we mine our lives,

For all the natural resources,

They’re worth.


And we look around us,

And we moan that it’s impossible.

Add up the cost,

And subtract the resources,

And the deficit is still,



“You say You will meet our needs,”

We argue,

“But there is just no way,

That these resources,

Are enough.

There is no way,

You can make this happen.”


And we talk like this,

To the Living God.

And I look at it in my mind’s eye,

And it’s the most asinine thing in the world.


Yet You are patient with our weakness,

And our small minds of clay.

Slow to understanding,

Of Your name.


And so You gently prod us,

And remind us,

Who You are.

Who it is,

We are talking to.


And You ask us,

Is the LORD’s hand shortened? 

Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you,

Or not.” (Numbers 11:23)


I read that,

And I remember these other words,

And this promise that You’ve made:

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying,

‘What shall we eat?’ or

‘What shall we drink?’ or

‘What shall we wear?’  


For the Gentiles seek after all these things,

And your heavenly Father knows,

That you need them all.


But seek first the kingdom of God,

And His righteousness, 

And all these things,

will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:31-33)


Has Your hand been shortened?

Are You not able to provide,

For all my needs?


Are You not still Creator?

Are You not still Lord,

Of all?


Are You not still the one,

Who makes the sun to rise,

Each morning?


Are You not still the one,

Who sends the rain,

And gives the growth?


Are You not still,

The Sovereign God?

And are You not still sovereign,

Over all?


You feed all things,

From Your own hand.

And Your hand,

Is not shortened.


You are still the God,

Who controls the wind,

And the sun,

And the rain,

And the storms.


You are still the God,

Who governs all things.

And You are still the God,

Who is doing all things,

And doing them well.


You are God,

And Your hand is not shortened.

You are God,

And You do all things well.


What You have promised,

You will fulfill.

No matter how hopeless and impossible,

It seems.


You are God,

Who has plans,

We cannot fathom.

You are God who is already in the process of fulfilling,

And it is really,

Already done.


Before the foundation of the world,

It was already done.

And just because we haven’t seen it yet,

Doesn’t mean it isn’t already here.


I’m already living in victory.

And I’m already living in the finished provision,

Even if I haven’t seen,

What that looks like yet.


You are God who sustains me,

And meets all my needs,

Even right now.


And it’s all already done.

And I can smile at the adversity,

That tries to rock my boat,

And steal my joy.


For the God of the universe,

Is my Lord,

And my Father.

And the God of all creation,

Bends His power and might,

To meet my needs.


And I am the safest one,

In all creation.

And all my needs,

Even future needs,

Are already met.


And I live in the right now constant feast,

Of constant fellowship,

With the Most High.


And the Most High,

Is always my feast,

And my refuge.

And there is nowhere I can go,

Where I cannot have Him,

In fellowship.


And so I am always satisfied,

And always full,

And never wanting.


The God of the universe,

Is the feast for my soul.

And what ever,

Could I lack?


And even in the moments,

When I forget His presence,

And I moan and weep,

And wail,


And even in the moments,

When my heart is seized with terror,

And I let the breath be stolen from me,

And I let myself,

Forget how to confess,


Yet He is here.

And I am standing,

Because of His faithfulness,

And not my own.


For when I’ve turned tail and retreated,

He’s pursued me.

And when I’ve fled into the darkness,

He’s been the solid mass of warmth and goodness,

I’ve run face-first into.


He’s been the God,

Who has picked me up out of despair,

And put my feet on solid hope,

And put a song of joy in my mouth.


He’s been the God,

Who has saved me from myself,

And my own prison. 


He’s the God who’s gone before me,

And come behind me,

And surrounded me,

On all sides.






He’s been there.


And I’ve lived my life,

Surrounded by God Almighty.


And even when I didn’t know it,

And I fought and flailed hard,

Like a desperate and dying thing,

He has been the God,

Who’s held me afloat,

In an ocean of grace.


And He’s been the God,

Who has saved and delivered,

And sustained,

And transformed me.


He’s the God who’s never left me or forsaken me,

Even when I forsook and abandoned,

All though of Him.

And I love Him for that.

I will love Him forever,

For His faithfulness to me.


I love Him,

Because He loved me first.

I love Him,

Because He pursued me,

And He swallowed me up,

And He embraced me,

And He has never ever let me go.


My solid rock.

My firm foundation.

My hope,

My breath,

And the one who makes me breathe,

When I forget how.


God who makes me live,

From the inside out.

I love Him forever,

For He Himself,

Lives in my chest,

And He is faithful to me,



God who is faithful to His own name.

And God who has chosen me,

To lavish His faithful name upon.

I will love You forever.

For You, Yourself,

Have done it.


Your arm is not shortened,

And You hand has not failed.

And may any who despair,

Find their hope in You,

Faithful one.


Open their eyes,

And let them see beauty and wisdom,

Alive all around them,



And may they see and know,

The Living God,

In their midst,

And breathing all around them.


May they see that they stand,

At the threshold,

Of the Holy of Holies,

And may they make the choice,

To step forward,

And enter in.

A Moment on the Threshold

God of beauty,

You never stop giving.

And I never tire of receiving.


God who gives Himself,

In Spirit and truth,

Every moment,

Of everyday.


And every moment,

I can choose to turn to You,

And fellowship with the God of heaven.


Your beauty stuns me,

And You give it everyday.

Your truth thrills me,

And they are living words,

That ever plunge me ever deeper,

And deeper,

Into You,

Living Word.


I walk with Wisdom,

And He’s so close and so real,

I could reach out,

And nearly hold His hand.


Son of God,

Living Wisdom,

Who walks with me.


Spirit and truth,

And You walk with me.


Beauty that dazzles,

Wisdom that baffles.

Glory that astounds,

And majesty that just leaves the heart,



Son of God,

You are beauty and wisdom,






And my life,

Is so alive.

And I thrill at Your touch,

In my soul.


And You are always here,

And always breathing,

And if I will only take You in,

I will fill.


My lungs fill with air,

My chest fills with life.

My mind spins with glorious fury,

And I travel the lengths of the universe,

Without even leaving this one spot.


I see things,

And I touch things,

That are strangers to me.

You introduce me to faces and friends,

I would never have known.


Son of God,

Who walks with me,

And everywhere I go,

You surround me.


Your presence teaches,

And thrills.

It deepens the soul,

An fills it with such life,

It’s almost too much to bear.


Son of God,

You are the best life.

And the fellowship with You,

Is the wanting for nothing.


I fill with You,

And my life is complete. 

I fill with You,

And my day and my life and my soul,

Are full.


And I am the richest person I know. 

And I want for nothing.

And how can this frail heart of clay,

With the life full of holes,

Yet be royalty dwelling in the heavenly places,

And dwelling with the High King of heaven,

And full of His fellowship,

And here in His presence,

Even now?


Son of God,

How can such a life,

Be mine?


How can I be so full of You,

And my life be overflowing with joy,

And it doesn’t really matter,

Where I am?


But everywhere I go,

And everything I do,

Is complete,

Because it’s really not the things,

That fill the life.

But it’s You.


And You are fullness to me and in me,


And so everywhere is complete,

And victory,

And success unfolding.


Because You are already my success,

And victory,

And fullness.


I have the Sovereign God,

The High King of heaven,

Dwelling in me,

And pleased with my soul.

And what more can I ever want,

Than that?


And all of my life now,

Is just the outflowing,

Of the victory and treasure,



And now every step I take,

Is a stepping out,

Of the gospel within.


Every step I take,

Is the gospel alive,

And flowing out.


And victory,

And success here,

Are the sparks flying outward,

From the inward flame.


But I already feel the victory.

And I already taste the success.

And I already linger in the fellowship,

And the it is finished.

And my soul is full,

And all my life,

Is now the exhale,

Of the reality that already lives.


And all this flowing,

And all this fruit,

Is all just so much more grace,

On top of what I have already received.


Not only do I get gospel,

But I get fruit too.


Upon grace.


Can my soul thrill any more,

I wonder?



Upon grace.

And You lead us from grace,

To more grace.

And just when we think,

We’ve gone as high as we can go,

You lift us up,

To more grace.


The gospel always goes so much deeper,

Than we know.

And it never stops producing fruit alive.

And I wonder that transformation,

Is really such a deep and powerful word.


And the world is transforming before my eyes,

But it’s really my eyes,

That are transforming.


And it stuns me.


Faces shift,

Creation colors,

I hear music and melody,

And every shadow is rich,

With depth and shades of meaning,

And beauty.


The world around me,

Is profoundly alive,

And beautiful.

And it’s my soul that is changing,

To see it.


And I wonder,

In those moments,

If my eyes aren’t miracles.


The gospel is healing my eyes.

Son of God,

Your name,

And Your gospel,

Are healing my eyes,

And transforming my soul.


I’m watching it happen,

And I’m swept along for the ride.

I’m seeing myself change,

And wondering at how You’ve made it happen.


I confess Your name,

And I find You here communing with me.

And my life has forever been changed,

By this.


Knowing You so close.

And knowing that every moment,

Is a moment standing at the veil.

And every moment,

I’m standing on the threshold,

Of the Holy of Holies,

And the throne room,

Of heaven.


Every moment,

I stand before the face,

Of the Living God.

And how could my life,

Be more holy than that?


And it’s in the confessing,

Of what is right now true,

That I cross the threshold,

And my soul enters fully in.

And I abide.


And every time I start confessing,

And Your presence here,

Comes into focus,

I wonder how I’ve been such a fool,

As to let so many moments,

Slip by,

Without this.


And I wonder that I waste,

So much time to worship,

Because I forget to confess,

And remember,

Who You are.


God who is with me,

And living gospel with me,

Right now.

And I pass up the moments,

To remember that.


But the moment I start confessing,

And the moment I start feasting,

I wonder that You can be so close,

And I am not consumed. 


You are so near,

I feel I could touch You.

And You are the Most High,

And that thought makes me tremble.


Most High God,

Who is majesty,


And all of it glory,

Thank You for being here,

And making my soul and my world,


I am a Miracle {and you are too}

You are God who makes my feet,

Like hind’s feet.

You are God who makes me to scale,

My high places.


I walk,

And I am not defeated. 

I stand,

And I am not destroyed.


God who makes the impossible,


Right in my soul. 


For truly, God,

My soul is an impossible thing.

And You have done it.

The things that beat and live here,

Ought not to be.

And yet they are.


Sovereign God who has created in my soul,

What by all accounts,

Should not exist.

And who I am now,

Is an impossible miracle,

That should not be.


God who has made this hopeless,

To hope.

God who has made this broken,

To heal.

God who has made this empty,

To fill.

God who has made this joyless,

To thrill.


What You have done in me,

Is nothing less than miracle.

For You’ve taken this once dead heart,

And made it to live.

Really and truly,



You are God,

And I face the storms,

And I don’t shatter.

You are God,

And my mushy heart,

Beats stronger than it knows how to.


And I’m standing here,

On solid ground,

In the midst of a churning ocean.

You are a steady rock under my feet,

And I do not fear what comes. 


God who has seen me through,

A million storms.

How could I doubt You now?

God who has proved Himself beautiful,

And faithful,

In them all.


I do not ask for rescue.

I ask only for the beauty,

That the storms will produce.

For I delight in the fruit of righteousness,

That you are now creating.

And it is worth it to me.


It is so worth it.


It’s worth it now,

To taste it.

The peace that grows deep,

In the broken tender place,

It speaks a heavenly mystery,

And it sustains my heart.


And in the storm,

I find this great joy.

That I can boast in the Lord,

My God,

Who is beautiful,

In the midst of sorrow and trial.


I rejoice,

And no sorrow,

Can steal my joy.

And the winds can rock my emotions,

But my soul is founded on Your solid rock,

And somehow my feet find themselves supported here,

And I’m standing.


Spray in my face,

Wind in my hair,

I’m standing on this solitary rock,

In the middle of a wind-ravaged sea.

And there’s not land nor ship for miles,

Yet I laugh in the middle of the storm,

For I am perfectly safe,

And perfectly victorious,

Even as I’m battered.

And it makes me giddy.


Victory of the Son of God in me,

That charges like a strong bull,

Through whatever trial comes.

And I’m ravaged and ransacked,

But I’m more than a conqueror.


And in all things,

No matter how bloodied up I get,

I always find myself on the other side,

And standing,

More than a conqueror.


Because all that I go through,

Is not random,

But it is rhythmic and beautiful,

And the tools of the Master Craftsman,

Who is shaping deep,

With a purpose.


And in every valley,

And every trial,

You’ve been with me.

Not one moment of pain,

Or heartbreak,

Has ever been wasted.


But my soul beats all the stronger,

For all the trials it has been through.

And I cling to You all the more,

When my world is tossed into chaos,

And You are the only anchor,

My soul has.


And it’s actually kind of my favorite place to be,

Desperate for You.

And that feeling that You’re the only one I have,

And the only one who is holding me together,

Is actually a terribly holy feeling.


And in those moments I know,

That heaven is holding my heart.

And my heart is beating something,

So much more than I am. 

And my souls is breathing a strength,

That is not my own.


And my heart is singing a courage by heart,

That it’s learned in words,

For so many years.

And now out of my heart,

Comes flowing the melody,

Behind those words.


Melody I’ve never memorized,

And yet my heart breathes it out.


And I know where it comes from.

Deep inside of me,

The Son of God sings.

And my chest fills with the courage,

And the melody,

Of His song,

And the sound of His voice.


Son of God who sings hope and trust,

And joy in the Father.

Son of God who does not fear the storm,

But rejoices in the glory of the Father here.


He sings in my chest.

And I’m buoyed along,

And carried from somewhere,

Deep within me.



God Almighty,

Who is even now,

Fulfilling all His plans for me.

I confess Your name,

And I am saved,

From being my own god.


God Almighty,

Who makes my life a good thing,

By His presence here.

You have made me,

You have called me,

You are moving in my life,

And You do all things well.


I do not know,

How the story will play out,


But I know that it is full of Your glory,

And Your triumph,

And Your victory alive in me.


And I know that it ends,

At the throne room,

With me standing before You,

And being like You,

And being loved and accepted by You,

And all Your grace,

Lavished out on my head.


And I confess,

I’m not the best or the strongest or the wisest.

I’m not the most eloquent,

Or powerful,

Or disciplined,

Or linear,

Or successful.


Some days I can’t even seem to draw the leaf,

That so tantalizes my mind.


But here’s the thing,

You are God,

Who chooses the weak,

And foolish things.


You are God,

Who chooses the frail and broken things,

And fills them with His glory.


And I confess,

I am broken and frail,

And full of holes.

Yet I bear Your glory.


And I stumble,

And I fall,

And I bleed,

And I weep,

And I struggle and wrestle,

And get twisted in knots,

But Your victory shines in me.


I am weak,

And full of fallen flesh,

But You are the Son of God in me.

And You conquer,

And in ways I don’t even yet see,

You are shining glory in me.


And I feel You burning faithful,

Like the sun.

And I see my life full of holes and so many unaccomplished,

And unfinished things.

But You shine perfection over them all.


For You are the Son of God,

Who has perfected forever,

Those who are being sanctified.


And this is me.

And this is my life.

And I am one,

Covered by You,

And perfected,

Even now,

And forever.


Even this soul,

Who is still in the process,

Of being sanctified.


God who reigns over my soul,

And I am a living and breathing,

Beautiful thing.


I am a miracle.


And it still hurts,

To live in this fallen flesh.

My own mistakes and selfish sin,

Still haunt,

And batter me.


But You make me more than a conqueror.


And one battle at a time,

You live out Your victory in me.

And no matter what temptations,

Satan sends,

Or what trials,

Test my faith,

You burn alive within me,

And You conquer.


And You take my soul,

Where it never has been before.

And each time I’m amazed,

That You’ve made my bloody and messy soul,

A victory.


But You do.


Time and time again,

You do.


Because that’s who You are,

Sovereign God.

That’s who You are.


And this is the gospel.


Jesus Christ who is our victory,

And who has made us trophies of His victory,

And who has made us the fragrance of Himself,

To the Father.


Our souls,

Smell like You,

To the Father.


Son of God,

You make my soul,

To smell like You.


Like Your name.

Like Your glory.

Like Your righteousness.


And my life is like a banner,

With Your name written on it.

And my soul is like a garden,

Where Your heart,

Grows up and out,

Of the ground.


I am a miracle.


A soul of flesh,

Messy and tangled,

Full of weeds,

And broken holes,

Where the Living God,


And thrives.


I am Your child.

Born again of Your Spirit.

And Your Spirit,

Is alive and well in me.


And what I will be,

Has not yet been revealed.

But when I see You,

Face to face,

I will be like You.

For I will see You,

As You are.


Son of God,

Who lives in me now,

Who transforms me,

And triumphs in me,

And who makes my soul,

A beautiful and victorious thing,


I just weep at You.


For what else can I say?

I, who have known my soul,

From the inside out,

All my life.

I, who have been trapped inside my own flesh,

And my own prison,

Of selfish blackness,


I see Your fruit growing up in me,

And I don’t know what to do with myself.

That I could be a broken thing,

Weak, foolish, and selfish,

And yet You grow up here,

And You stand in the midst of me here,

And You shine Your glory…





Yet happening.

Right now,



The Son of God is living in my flesh.


My flesh.

With me.

Right here.


And You are conquering in me.

And You are taking me forward,

And deeper.

And not even I know,

Who I am anymore.

Or what I’m capable of.


For the Son of God marches on in me,

And who knows where He will walk?

And the Son of God,

Grows and triumphs in me,

And who knows what He will do?


For nothing is impossible for Him.

And who knows what He will do through me?

He could do anything.

And He could go anywhere.

And when did my life,

Become limitless?


I stand on the edge of that question,

Stare into the vastness,

And wonder.


I am living in a miracle,

And where are the boundaries?

The God of the impossible,

Lives in my chest.

And what,

Is possible now?



I ponder these things,

And I tremble.

Stare out at my life,

And all the holy souls here,

And I’m breathless with wonder.


Just watch what He does.

Just watch.

And see if you’re not amazed,

That it’s so much more,

And so far beyond,

What you even conceived.



Friend with the Living God inside your chest,

You are a miracle.

And your life is a miracle.

And you will watch your God,

Do impossible things.


So open your eyes and heart wide,

And take it all in.

There Really is a Tree and the Soul Really Makes a Sound

Son of God who floods the world,

And my heart,

With beauty.


There really is a tree.


I read Tolkien’s words and this short story,

“Leaf by Niggle,”

And I’m struck straight through.


It’s like someone reached inside my chest,

And touched my rawest heart,

And stirred the embers,

And stoked the flames,

Miles high.


There really is a tree. 

And what I see and feel in my mind’s eye,

It really lives.


And to think that one day,

I will actually touch the substance,

Of that which I only know in feeling,

And shape,

And shadow here,

It comforts me,

And gives my life meaning.


To hear and to know,

That there really is a tree,

Even if no one else,

Really sees it right now.


I see.

In part.

And I know.

In part.


Yet I can’t stop looking,

And I can’t stop seeing,

And I can’t stop wanting,



I’m enthralled by the vision.

I’m captivated and compelled by the beauty,

And the truth,

And the depth,

Of what I see.


I am a soul set on fire.

Yet in my frailty,

All I can paint,

Are feeble leaves.


And the colors and shapes that I paint,

Are one-dimensional and dull,

Compared to the majesty,

And the depth,

And the glory,

Of who You are.

Of what I see.


And I stumble over my words,

And my tongue grows thick in my mouth,

And all my failures and frailties,

Limit and mar and impede the painting.


And I paint things,

That no one wants to see.

And I write things,

That no one wants to read.


Because they don’t see the tree in my words.


And I wonder if my paltry life,

And the dim little painting,

Of the wonderful world I see,

Will entice any,

To worship.


They want to use my canvas for more practical things,

Like repairing roof damage.

And my life feels like so much blood spilt on a canvas,

Discarded as refuse,

And not art.


Or patronized and put in a gallery as pretty,

But substance-less.


And I wonder,

Have I even yet painted one leaf?

Is there yet even the vaguest of images,

Splashed on a canvas?

Does the horizon appear,

At all?


And my life is the canvas,

As much as the page,

And what does it read,

I wonder?


Do the bloodstains show through?

Where I’ve bled and fought,

Where You’ve wrestled victory in my soul.

Do the bloodstains show?


And the joy,

Does it show?

All the colors that splash across my soul,

When I thrill at You,

When my mind fixes and focuses on You,

And I can’t stop seeing You everywhere,

And marveling,

And worshiping.


Does the joy show?


If you could paint the joy,

I imagine it would look like the most brilliant of sunsets.

This dancing and bursting of color.

These pinks and purples and oranges and blues,

Just exploding and saturating the sky of my soul,

With such a ferocity,

That it blinds the eyes and burns the skin,

Just to look at it.


I wish I could paint joy.

And the way I see You,

I wish I could find the right words,

That would really show.


That through the letters,

And the keystrokes,

And the pen marks,

The door would appear.

And people could really walk through,

And see the reality,

Behind the words.


O, how I ache for this!


Because it’s the reality,

That thrills me!

It’s the reality,

That keeps me breathing,

And chasing,

And pursuing.


There really is a tree.

And O, how my soul knows it!

Like a fire in my belly,

Like a consuming in my soul,

I know it.


For I see You.

And You are here.

And I could almost reach out my hand,

And touch You.


And my soul sees and knows You,

Truer than my words can ever convey.

And it’s the reality of You,

That stirs me,

And thrills me.

It’s the reality of You that is my joy,

And my reward.


Yet my passion,

Is to know You.

And the fire flows out of my soul,

Through my fingers.

And I ache to make beauty with my words,

That will somehow even just reflect the tiniest glimpse,

Of the real and Living God.


So I splash beauty on canvas,

And I bleed passion in print,

And the world turns away.

And the words fall.

And they don’t see the tree.

They don’t even see a leaf.

All they see,

Is the half-crazy painter.


But there really is a tree.

And I see it.

And there really is a God,

And I see Him.


And though my feeble self,

Distorts and mars the view,

Yet somehow I know He is shining through.

For He did not save me,

For no reason.


But He saved me,

To be a vessel of His glory.

And so a vessel of His glory,

I am,

And shall be.


And what I will be,

May not yet be revealed.

And the vision that kindles my passion,

May not yet be evident in me.

My soul may not yet be transparent enough,

For His goodness to shine through.


But as I paint on canvas,

You create Your painting,

On the canvas of my soul.

And that’s where the world,

One day will see.


The leaf.

There will be a leaf.

I know it.

I will leave this world,

With at least a leaf.


And when I cross that threshold,

Onto the other side,

I’ll see the tree,

And the forest,

And the garden,

And the mountains,

And beyond,

All in full.


And the beauty and the joy of You,

That now explodes in my soul,

I will see in brilliant color.

And the treasure of knowing You,

That I now see and hold,

As shadows in my soul,

I will hold in my hands.

Treasure gleaming and shining and vibrant.


Son of God,

You are stunning.

And You leave my soul breathless,

All the time.


I look at You,

And I am filled with wonder and awe.

You speak to me,

And I can’t sit still for the rush of it all.


You speak over all the areas of my life,

And there is so much grace,

Running over and through and underneath it all,

I can hardly stand it.

My heart melts in my chest.


You make me to feast on Your glory,

And then You show me Your glory everywhere,

And it’s almost more,

Than a soul can take.

And sometimes I think,

That I just need to think about paint drying or something,

Just to calm down the racing joy,

Of my heart.


Because I see the outlines,

Of the tree.

And I feel the way the leaves dance,

As the wind blows through them.


The leaves stir,

And my soul stirs.

My heartstrings are tied here,

And in moments of clarity,

I really see here,

And so often I feel You moving here.

And how does the soul even begin to pen such words?


How does the soul,

Even begin to pen,

The Living God?

You move my soul,

And I move my hands,

And my soul feels complete,

In the transaction.


And I leave the penning place,

With satisfaction,

And peace,

And delight,

And joy.


Yet when I return,

And see that there is no fruit from my labor,

That no eyes have read,

And no soul has danced,

And no other soul,

Has felt the breeze caressing the face,

I weep.


And I almost wish the long journey would come for me,

So that I could go and be comforted,

By seeing and dancing beneath the tree,

In the courts of the Living God.


Yet I am left here,

With this painful toil.

And it’s not the penning that is painful,

But the constant reminder,

That no one is listening,

And my life feels like failure.


Because when your passion,

And Your soul,

Are the breathing out of words,

Not being heard,

Is like not existing.


Sometimes I feel like I don’t exist.


Sometimes I feel like the tree that falls in the woods,

And none but its Creator,

Hears the sound.


But my life was meant to be a melody to Your name,

Sung for the ears of other human souls.

And sometimes I feel so useless in the realm of human souls.

For it seems they do not want what I have,

And I have a desperate need,

To be useful to them.


And I would give them my passion as a treasure,

But I fear the treasure is lost,

In all the sand.

And sometimes I think they won’t turn aside,

And look.


And my work is words,

And if no one reads,

Does my soul make a sound at all,

When it sings?


Yet You are the Son of God,

And I’m captivated by the tree that I see,

And feel.


And it’s not yet clear,

But it’s impressions and bits of knowledge and shades of beauty,

And the always constant tugging,

Further up,

And further in.


And it’s always You beckoning.

And I’m always enthralled.

And if it were a physical place on this earth,

I’d have already booked a flight,

And flown to the farthest edge,

And climbed the highest mountain,

And raced full on,

To meet You.


But it’s an inner calling,

And in inner tugging,

And I climb with soul,

With prayers,

With tears,

With joy,

With words,

With love.


I climb.


My hands grip the ledge,

My fingers grip the keys,

And I climb.


Further up,

And further in.


And the view keeps getting better and better.

And even the hard days seem to be getting brighter.

And my soul is growing stronger,

And there’s a light in my soul now,

That refuses to be quenched.


Son of God,

I feel You and I see You and I know You,

In a new and living way.

And I only see and know in part,

And pitifully small at that.

But one day I will see and know in full,

Even as I am fully seen and known.

And as You are,

So shall I be.


And on that day, at last,

My soul shall be a finished masterpiece.


And there,

In vivid and meticulous detail,

Will be painted on the canvas of my soul,

The tree in all its glory.

The vision of the Son of God.


And that which has tantalized my soul,

All my life,

I will then behold in fullness.

And I will then behold the substance,

Of the glory,

 Of the Living Son of God.


And all tears will be forgotten.

And all the leaves I’ve painted,

Will matter to me no more.

But I will at last,

Have the treasure.


I will at last,

Have come home,

To the fullness of the Son of God,

And all that I have wanted,

And panted after,

And chased after,

And been enthralled by,

My entire life.



(Read Tolkien’s story here: