Poetry -- discussions, part 1

 

 

 

discussions

 

 

Introduction

 

I have been writing poetry off and on for more than half my life.  I loved reading many different contemporary and classic poets, and one day challenged myself to see if I could write a poem.  I thought they were worse than awful at first, then I noticed some improvement; but I will let you, the reader, be the judge.  I got married, had two children, was saved by Christ, and began to devour scripture.  Then in 1992 I picked up my poet’s pen where I left off, but this time finding a true meaning for my poetic expression.  I began writing a series of “discussions”, albeit one sided, that I had with God the Father.  These “discussions” are currently divided into four groups, the first I call “rantings”, the second “obsessions”, the third “expressions”, and the fourth “expectations”.  

All of my early poetic forms fall into two categories, a free-form random rhyme and a Shakespearian sonnet; however, in 2014 I moved to a less structured rhyming format in order to tell a broader story.  They are unabashedly word pictures painted from the depths of my heart and soul; and therefore it is my hope and prayer in sharing them that they touch a chord in you as they did in me when I wrote them.  That chord is Christ, the One to whom I belong, and the One to whom I lay bare my true feelings.  He is creator of the heavens and the earth and all that is therein; and I seek only to bring honor and glory and praise to His name.

“for them that honour me I will honour,
and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed”
                                                          1 Samuel 2:30

 

 

 

 

 

Part 1

rantings

written 1992 through 1995

 

 

 

#1

 

Father,
       I wanted to go that way;
       but you had another direction in mind.
I wanted power and riches and fame;
       You wanted obedience and trust and worship!

I was wrong to think I knew better.
       You are my path to understanding truth!

With your grace
       I will follow you in righteousness
       and still my heart to false desire.
I praise you, O Lord, with every breath I take;
       And I love you, Father, with my everlasting soul.

You lead
       and I will follow.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#2

 

The path to you, O Lord, is paved with cobblestones of obedience.
Along that path there is neither fine silver nor precious gold;
for they are metals of the earth,
       and you are the mettle of life.
Obedience to your commands brings everlasting life to those who follow.
Obedience to you,
       who gave Israel the law,
       and who breathed the truth into prophets,
       and who offers salvation to all in return for faith;
obedience to you, Father, is my everlasting covenant,
       sealed with the blood of your Passover Lamb.
Obedience to you, Lord, is all that I have
       that is mine alone to give;
for the rest is already yours.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#3

 

I was born into the ways of Israel,
       to whose house nothing comes easy;
       especially obedience to you, Father.
Fill me with your Spirit, O Lord,
       so that I might praise your name,
       proclaiming your grace to all who will listen.
Why, Father, does salvation come so easy
       as a result of faith in the death and resurrection
       and ascension of your Son, Jesus Christ?
Forgive me, O Lord, a sinner,
       whose head makes difficult
       what my heart knows to be the truth.
Forgive me, O Lord, a sinner,
       who forgets to ask and then doubts
       when spoken to clearly.
Forgive me, O Lord, a sinner,
       who is unworthy of the love you give to me
       in return for my unyielding faith in you.
Forgive me, O Lord, a sinner,
       who would be lost forever
       without you walking by my side.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#4

 

Our children are being abducted!

I cry out in warning, but evil’s hand covers my mouth before I can get a single sound out.

They do not know that what they see and hear and feel is the antithesis of all that you teach; they do not know the strength of your forgiveness, and of your love, Father.

They are taught to worship false gods, held up as real by too many of society’s role models.

I am caged like a wild lion, pacing back and forth, the scent of evil dripping from my nostrils.

Do not hold me back, Father!

Unleash your fury through me so that our future generations may be saved by your Grace, and by your Word.

Place your sword in my right hand, Father, so that I might strike death’s blow upon the abductor’s head, so that I might pierce his icy heart, and bring him to his knees in repentance.

I know that without your protection, Father, he can destroy me with a whisper, erase me from the face of existence with a single thought.

But that is no longer important to me!

I will be the one to strike the blow for you, so that he will be chased away in retreat before you, Father.

I will be the one to strike the blow for you, so that he will run from our children’s bedroom door in fear, back into the darkness of his evil world.

I will strike the blow for you, Father, knowing in my heart that your hand will shield me with your radiant love.

Our children are yours alone, Father, entrusted to us in life so that they will not perish at death’s dark door unsaved.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#5

 

You are the one true, living God; you are my everlasting Father, the Father of my Fathers, the Father of all who exist.

You are my teacher for all worth knowing; you are my protector from evil; you are Savior of my soul; and I am nothing without you, Father.  I am unworthy of the grace you have bestowed upon me.

From the earliest times I can remember you have always been nearby.  From the beginning of time you have been available to me when I called upon your name, and the name of your Son.

And you continue, through this very day, to guide me and to intercede for me; even without being asked.

Most of the time, however, I am oblivious to your intercession, taking it for granted, not even acknowledging it until years later.

All I can do is say, “Thank you, Father,” afterward, and praise your name for the grace you have given to me all throughout my life.

I am truly unworthy of your good grace, a two-year-old Christian more needy than giving.

I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord, and my Savior, that you might find it in your infinite wisdom and generosity to forgive me, again, Father.

Do not bring disruption, again, upon my life, and the lives of my family.  They look up to me, and all I know how to do is let them down again, just like I have let you down again, Father.

You have been in my life all of my life so far, and I know with all my essence that you will be in my life long after my time here is complete.

I know that is not the issue you have with me, Father.  I also know that I repeatedly let you down, and that I am not doing what you have called me to do.

But what do I do if I cannot understand the call?  Or more truthfully, Father, what do I do if I understand the call, but do not know how to make the first step?

I can no longer allow fear to be my guide dog.  I beseech you, Father, lead me by the hand as you would a two-year-old.  Show me the next step, and assure me it will not be a pit of vipers; or if it is, that you will not abandon me or my family.

They have done nothing to warrant this level of stress that is knocking down our back door, except maybe to trust in my lead too much, and in your grace not nearly enough.

I am incapable of proceeding on my own, Father.  I pray in Jesus’ precious name that you grant me this request for your everlasting strength and your unyielding support.

Amen.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#6

 

I love you, Father.

Your light shines on me, and I follow it freely; I walk in its radiance morning, noon, and night and am baptized with your Holy Spirit in the name of your Son and Savior Jesus Christ.

The darkness is close enough to me that I can reach out and grab it, or taunt it, or laugh in its face; but I do not for fear of being pulled in without mercy.

So I skirt by the darkness without flinching, without looking into it too long; I keep my gaze fixed only on your grace emanating from within the light, Father.

And life flows on without serious incident as long as I remain focused on your light within the light, and do not deviate even slightly to the right or to the left.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#7

 

Some days I find it very difficult to believe that you are still working in my life, Father.

I know in my heart you are still there; and I know it is not you who has left me; but rather it is I who have moved my attention away from your world and into mine.

These are days of flesh, not of the Spirit; days when only thoughts of myself fill my mind; and then I remember, transforming them into days of longing to return to thoughts of only you.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#8

 

I was born into the ways of Israel, to whose house nothing comes easy; especially obedience to you, O Lord.

I pray you can forgive me for the doubt in my mind, which foreshadows the faith in my heart.

Fill me with your Spirit, Father, so that I might praise your name, proclaiming your grace to all who will listen.

Salvation comes too easy as a result of faith in the death and resurrection and ascension of your Son, Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Forgive me again, Father, a sinner, whose mind makes difficult what my heart knows to be truth.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#9

 

You can have my job, Lord,

as long as you keep me true to you and walking by your side.

You can have my house and cars and everything material in my life, Lord,

as long as you keep me true to you and walking by your side.

You can have my life here on this earth, Lord,

as long as you keep me true to you and walking by your side.

I do not want to give even one of them up yet, Lord;

however, I do not want you to leave my side either.

If you make me pick, the choice is simple!

There is nothing worth anything if I were not able to walk by your side, Lord, in the truth and the light and in life.

And yet all would be freely discarded

if I were truly blessed with a glimpse of your shining face, Lord.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#10

 

I cannot give up, Father.

I cannot settle for that which is not the vision you planted in my mind’s eye many years ago.

I will keep following your lead; and

I will keep my own desires held in check by your grace

We have not arrived there yet, Father; however, I know we are getting very close.

Is it just around the next bend?

Or over the next hill?

Or behind the next obstruction in the road?

I ask you, and you tell me I am still on track;

however, I stumble down blind alleys, through which I must back out carefully, without stumbling again;

and you tell me I am still on track.

There is no doubt in my mind what will happen next, Lord.

I will ask you for guidance;

I will ask you to show me your way and your truth for my life, Father;

And then I will listen attentively for your answer;

And I will go in the direction you point, and look for your predetermined signposts along the way

One day, Father, but I cannot tell you when, we will arrive there together, at your appointed hour.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#11

 

Lord, please instruct me; show me where and how I have gone astray from your grace.

Why do you let the evil one continue to stalk me like a mugger stalks his victim through the darkened city streets?

I can run just fast enough to stay ahead; but I am slowing and he is gaining and you have not jumped out to save me, yet, Father.

Exhaustion overflows every muscle in my aging body

The climax is approaching, and I have nowhere to turn.

My back is up against the alley wall, and there is no way out, except through confrontation and fighting and death.

He must perish so that I might live; but he is strong enough to take on five thousand like me at the same time and triumph.

I have but one way out, Father, and I cannot find where you have hidden your light.

I know you will not let me perish this way, and without due cause.

My heart has remained true to you, and only you, O Lord.

And yet I cannot find your light to cast upon the darkness.

I cannot find your light, Lord, to cast upon the evil one, to expose the treachery and death he brings to unsuspecting believers, such as I.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#12

 

The eyes of ancient prophets are tear stained and red with sadness.

They have pointed out the way of truth and of light, but very few have followed their calling.

The Lamb has shed his blood once for all to be saved who will believe strongly enough to follow.

And yet most turn to look the other way, staring into the darkness, hoping to find their own path through the maze, called life.

Some turn to peers for recognition and self worth.

Some use money and possessions as answers to all the wrong questions.

When all we have to do is turn inward to our own heart; for that is where our Savior hides, waiting to be found by all who dare to look.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#13

 

The end justifies the means,

only if the end goal is to be in God’s presence,

and the means of getting there are by faith, obedience, and love.

Getting to the end is the wrong reason for traveling wherever it is you are going;

it is more important to rejoice in the trip along the way;

it is more important to trust in God to get you there at all;

for that may not be where he wants you to go.

It is not as important to get where you are going, as it is to go there alongside our Lord, Jesus Christ.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#14

 

Albert says that time is relative

to the one who tries to keep it.

Abraham thought time moved too slowly

and tried to take it into his own hands.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#15

 

Satan has grabbed hold of him by his large ego,

and will not let go until he is destroyed in the darkness.

His mind is filled with easy ways to get the job done,

quality be damned; incompetence reigns supreme.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#16

 

You were right there with me in the beginning, before I understood.

I did not know you, and I certainly did not know of you, but you knew me as well as a Father does his son.

You watched over me, and guarded me from unseen dangers, and guarded me through my early childhood and the difficulties of my youth.

And then you allowed me to see you up close, in all your glorious splendor, as you had to intercede in my life to guide me with a firmer hand.

You were here and gone in a flash, but I can still remember your fading image, with bright white curly hair and beard and the depth of eternity looking out at me from within your loving eyes.

You have set your stone before my feet, Father, and I have stumbled many times throughout my adult years.

And yet with your love and the firmness of your gentle hand around my shoulder, I am always able to pick myself up, brush off the devil’s dust, and know to look more closely for that stone the next time.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#17

 

My first reaction, Father, is to look for different ways to do the same old thing we have done too many times before;

my first reaction is to look for the easy way out, to avoid the inevitable confrontation, to go along to get along.

And then your hand reaches out, caressing me on the brow, assuring me that I still walk in your grace, Father,

assuring me that you will guide me through this valley of darkness without wounds inflicted by the evil one,

assuring me that the victory will be yours, Father, and that we will emerge on the other side of this valley into your glorious light and in safety.

I know you would not put me into the middle of these cosmic confrontations if you did not believe that my reactions would glorify your name, Father;

but why don’t you defeat him this time, Father, so that all your warriors can take a well earned rest for a thousand years.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#18

 

Is there no other way to test the faith of my family,  to test the strength of their belief in you, Father?

Why do you let the snake loose to roam throughout my life? And throughout my home?

We have all gathered together in prayer to our Lord and Savior.

And in the name of Christ Jesus we cast light upon his slimy underbelly, slowing his slither long enough for us to retreat to the safety of your light, Father.

But he is faster than I thought, and is able to chase us down and swallow us whole into his unnerving darkness.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior, I call upon your light to flow out of my heart into every part of my body, and out of my body into the surrounding darkness.

Into every unseen crevice your light explodes, Father, illuminating the darkness so that he is forced to retreat beyond the depths of our existence.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#19

 

From across the pages of time your hand is stretched out before me, Father, casting out evil all around.

I stand previously condemned of running in a world rampant with evil desire and consumed with self-serving motivations.

And yet you are willing to lift me up as your shining light in the midst of the unseen darkness.

I am an unworthy beacon in the storm of the life of those you lead to me, so that they may see your glory in my eyes and feel your love in my heart and know your presence emanating from within me.

However, only those you want to see will have their eyes opened, and only those you want to love will feel your hand upon their heart, and only those you want to know your everlasting glory will understand clearly

And only those you want to be your witness, Father, will you hold up as your beacon to others.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#20

 

Why, Father, have you allowed them to be raised up against me?

Everywhere I turn they are waiting in the darkness to knock me down, and kick me unmercifully.

He is calling in waves of vicious animals, wanting to tear away the helmet and shield and belt you carefully clothed me in.

And I cannot locate the sword you gave me to use to fend them off, Father!

All I can do is pull out the thorns they are driving into my flesh, holding them up to you, Father, praising your name in my time of weakness.

There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Corinthians 12:7b-9

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#21

 

Who am I to think that I am more worthy of easy going times and limited struggles in this alien nation?

Did not the Apostle Paul call himself the least of all your apostles, Lord?

And yet, did you not hold him up as a shinning example of how we should deal with the people and events of this world?

Was not your grace sufficient for him in his times of troubles and weaknesses?

How minuscule then are my trials compared to his, Lord.

And yet, I stand as your witness, exemplifying how your grace is absolutely sufficient, so that in my weaknesses your light reveals your everlasting greatness, Lord.

Amen.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#22

 

There are days I find it very difficult to trust that you are still working in my life, Father.

I feel your presence all around me, but I cannot feel your hand on my shoulder, directing me where to go and what to do.

These are days I go off in the wrong direction, any direction, thinking that I am supposed to do something rather than just enjoying the momentary peace you have blessed me with, Father.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#23

 

You are moving quickly to close out an era of my life, Father, in which my growth in Christ was paramount.

My youth you have moved into my distant past; it was a time of learning your ways, Father, and of growing in a world devoid of spiritual leadership and without moral values.

If only you will allow me to give back but the smallest portion of your gifts to me, Father;

so that then the future might unfold in glory to you, Father;

and so that all who hear will understand you, and all who see will follow you.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#24

 

O Lord,

Lord of my fathers,

Lord of all that is, and all that ever was, and all that is to be,

you have blessed me far beyond my wildest desires.

I am not worthy of all you have provided in my life;

I am not worthy of your unfailing love and comfort;

and I am certainly not worthy of your unwavering grace;

so I rejoice morning, noon, and night, singing you songs of praise and thanksgiving within my heart.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#25

 

I sing you songs of praise and glory, Father; I sing you songs of praise and glory with lifted up hands and heart.

You have put me in a position of freedom and obedience simultaneously by taking away my worldly job;

and now you are asking me to put all of my trust in you, Father;

saying loudly that you will take care of me, and that you will provide for my family.

For the first time in my life I am listening with all of my being, with all that is mine and with all that is yours.

Yesterday you showed me three clear directions for my life to go in as a way to earn a living within this materialistic world.

Today you tell me clearly that any direction will do as long as my life is handed up to the service of you, Father, and to the service of my family.

I sing you songs of praise and glory, Father; I sing you songs of praise and glory, for tomorrow you will open for me a gift of opportunity.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#26

 

I sing you songs of praise and thanksgiving, Father, resounding from deep within my heart.

You have delivered me from the hands of mortal men and placed me on a path toward you.

Your blessings overflow my life, spilling onto all those lost and saved you bring my way.

I sing you songs of praise and thanksgiving, Father, even though death’s master has his hands around my throat and will not let go.

He cannot strike me down now, at a time when my heart is firmly planted in you; especially when you are about to open for me a gift of opportunity.

He cannot shake me from your path; he can only squeeze tighter and tighter, until he overpowers my physical body and I receive your gift of eternity.

I sing you songs of praise and thanksgiving, Father, seeking only to glorify you, basking in your grace and in your promise.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#27

 

My heart aches to stand before you, Father;

to have blessed you with a life that is worthy of being welcomed into your presence.

I would give you my life in an instant, if in so doing I could glorify your name;

and I would give you all that I hold dear upon this earth to glorify you in the recounting.

For my heart aches to stand before you, Father,

to look directly into the depths of your seeing eyes,

to kiss the strong hand that has guided me through life,

to bow down before your greatness in the glory of a judgement of grace,

and to be welcomed home with open arms by the greatest Father of all.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#28

 

I love you, O Lord, with all my heart;

I will sing of my love for you before all who choose to come near.

I will bow down before your mighty feet,

and will sing songs of praise for your love and your faithfulness,

for you are exalted above all things upon the earth and within the heavens.

When I call upon your name, you shower me with your lovingkindness;

and I am able to grow strong within the sight of your love for me.

May all who have experienced your lovingkindness sing you songs of praise;

lifting up your love and your faithfulness for all who come near;

For your lovingkindness inspires abounding love in return;

and it is to your glory that your love begets love a hundredfold.

Though I walk through the trials of my faith in you every day,

your love abounds all around me, and with it I am shielded from evil.

Your love goes before me like arrows piercing the hearts of my enemies,

and with your love my heart overflows.

Your love fills me with your purpose for my life and directs my steps along the way.

Your love, O Lord, endures forever; and I will never withdraw my love from you;

For I am your loving servant.

Amen.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#29

 

You are always there beside me, guiding me, protecting me, loving me.

I remember you from my youth;

it was a time my need for you was overpowering.

I remember you standing in the background patiently, even when I turned my back on you;

it was a time of darkness in my soul.

I remember you encouraging me to return, and when I did you opened your arms wide to receive me with your love;

it was a time of triumph over evil.

And I will remember you throughout the ages as your presence plays a prominent role in the lives of my children, and their children, and their children to come;

it will be a time of rejoicing.

Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.

Proverbs 19:2

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#30

 

Why do you let me choose my own way, when you know the right way for me to go?

Why are there such large obstacles along the paths I choose for myself, while the paths you choose for me are filled with knowledge and understanding?

Why have I not learned to ask you in faith before I choose for myself?

Life’s lessons are so much easier to learn when they are of your choosing.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#31

 

Fear is not a feeling present in my being when I think thoughts of you, Father.

I cannot fear my glorious King, who shows me His mercy as repayment for my transgressions.

I cannot fear my victorious Savior, who fills me overflowing with His lovingkindness and grace, even when I am undeserving.

I cannot fear my compassionate Friend, who guides me through difficult valleys of my life, directing my steps with understanding.

I cannot fear my mighty Protector, who stretches out His arm against the anger of my enemies, shielding me in His glory.

Oh no, Father, fear is not a feeling ever present when I think thoughts of you.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#32

 

Father in Heaven, forgive your humble servant from the sins of my flesh.

Forgive me, for I try so hard to control the transgressions of my earthly nature.

Show me your mercy, as you have done for me in times gone by.

Strengthen me with your lovingkindness;

Feed me understanding with your own two hands;

Comfort me with your presence through the valleys of my life.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#33

 

Show me those who do not know you, Father;

Bring them into the presence of my caring.

Open my mouth with boldness of your mercy, O Lord;

Bring forth words of grace to turn the heads of hatred and deceit.

Shower them with unending love of your Salvation, Father;

and lead them out of darkness so they are no longer lost.

Lead them in lovingkindness to your side, Father;

Bring them into your presence, and under your training, so that you might guide them in paths of righteousness for your name’s sake.

Amen.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#34

 

My Father, Lord God Almighty, Creator of the heavens, and of the earth, and of the seas, and of all that lives therein.

Your power is beyond human comprehension, and yet your love and compassion for people is even greater.

You bless us with your mercy, even when we cannot walk in your righteousness;

You bless us with your grace, even when we refuse to acknowledge you with a simple “Thank you, Lord.”

I am a sinner, and I ask you for your forgiveness for every one of my transgressions against you, and against your Word;

Whether large or small, I ask for your forgiveness with the free will of my heart and mind and tongue.

And I ask for your forgiveness for my country, and for all the people in it.

We have been ranked with the greatest of countries in your eyes, Lord;

But we have forgotten that all of our greatness was a gift from your Hand, and for your glory, not ours.

But amidst our human frailties, we have turned away from you Lord, thinking that our greatness was the making of our own hands.

I ask you for your forgiveness for my country Lord, and for all the people in it.

I ask for your blessings in spite of our many transgressions, and in spite of our ignorance, and in spite of our enlarged egos.

For you are a merciful God, the God of Creation, the God of Abraham, the God of my Salvation, the God of my life.

Forgive us Father, bless us with your grace, and use us to glorify yourself, not us.

Allow us to spread salt and light across the country; hold us up as salt and light to a dark world;

A world that seems to have learned from us and surpassed us in integrity and morality.

Or is our time already fulfilled, a country on the wane, succumbing to our own immoral depravities

A country masked in darkness and greed from sea to shining sea.

Forgive us Father, for we are a country and a people who have stepped outside of your will.

Show us your grace when we really need it, and have mercy on us,

And mark this day in your book as the day of forgiveness for a stiff necked people who once put you first, and who can again with your help.

Amen.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#35

 

You are the Father of my fathers, and I love you with my heart.

You are the Father of my brothers, and I obey you with my life.

You are the Father of my sons, and I follow you with my spirit.

You are the Father of Adam, and the Father of Christ Jesus, and through them both you are also the Father of me;

       And through your eyes I can see, and through your ears I can hear;

       And I will never again fear anything of this world.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#36

 

You can dress up an unbeliever in elegant clothes,

But where is he who really knows how to receive his blood washed, gleaming white robe.

The day will come when I will kneel before your throne,

And in the knowledge of you I will have grown beyond my wildest dreams;

And I will listen to the screams that cannot touch my soul,

Because seeing your face has become my life’s goal.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#37

 

The sins of the world rest heavy on the heart of a righteous man;

       while the foolish go about their own business.

A heart guided by the ways of the world is an abomination to the Lord;

       and the love of the Lord to His glory.

A life lived in the service of the Lord brings peace to the spirit;

       and serving a brother brings joy to the heart.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#38

 

I know you have known me from before my beginnings,

I know because you have given me your Word, which I have lovingly placed within my heart,

and because you have carefully set me apart from the world of your own creation;

My knowledge of you has brought elation to my spirit, with a knowledge of you, which I have recently learned;

a knowledge of you having been burned into my heart and mind and soul from times of old;

from times long past, when my world was still cold and uncertain.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#39

 

I sing you songs of praise, O Lord;

I praise you for the story of my life,

a simple one, starting out in strife,

offered up for the generations gone before me,

to set right the paths of those who follow after me;

I sing you songs of praise, O Lord.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#40

 

I am nothing without you, O Lord;

without you I have not the works of my hands;

without you I have not the seeds of my flesh;

without you I have not the breath of my life;

I am nothing without you, O Lord.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#41

 

With you, O Lord, I am all you want me to be;

all is a gift from the mercy of your heart;

all is a gift from the abundance of your riches;

all is a gift from the testimony of your glory;

With you, O Lord, I am all you want me to be.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#42

 

There are times that I have trouble following your Word.

I cannot always do what you say, when you tell me over and over again to “fear the Lord”,

and I can find nothing but love for you in my heart, O Lord.

I want to follow you without reservation because I love you, and I love all you have done for me, and all you have given me;

All of which I do not deserve.

I cannot understand you when you tell me He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the Lord;

and I do not comprehend you when you say In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence.

I walk in my uprightness not because I fear you, O Lord, but because I love you, and I want to glorify you with my every step.

In you I do have strong confidence, O Lord, because you have loved me from before my creation; and from that time forward you have always been with me, directing my steps, so that my life will be lived according to your plan, and not mine, and for your glory, and not mine.

He that walketh in his uprightness loveth the Lord; but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.

Proverbs 14:2

In the love of the Lord is strong confidence; and his children shall have a place of refuge.

Proverbs 14:26

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#43

 

Give me this day, O Lord, to shine amidst the darkness.

You are the light shining in my life, leading me to follow your way and truth and life.

You are the light shining in my life, O Lord;

use me as your light to shine amidst the darkness,

use me to shine on lives who do not know you,

use me as a beacon leading people in your direction,

use me as a signpost along the path of life,

use me to your glory, O Lord, to shine amidst the darkness.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#44

 

I see you marching across the heavens on a great white steed,

ready for battle, with a heavy golden sword in your mighty right hand

and the Book of Life held against your broad chest with your left.

I see you marching across the heavens, ready to battle the evil one of old,

ready to protect every soul whose name is written in the Book

and ready to cast away every soul who is not.

I see you marching across the heavens, protector of your Father’s precious children;

Saviour of the souls He has given to you before the beginnings of time.

Come now, my Lord, to this humble servant, who is in the midst of numerous trials.

Come now beside me.  Lend me your sword to strike down those who have risen up against you.

Come now to clear a wide path before me, allowing me to continue marching forward in your Name here on earth.

Come now, my Lord.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#45

 

Father, King of Kings. Lord of Lord, I exalt you above all else in my heart, and in my mind, and in my soul, and in my life.

From before the beginning you have known my heart for you, and of my desire to find and to follow you, and to let your hand guide me through the wilderness.

Father, without you I am void of wisdom and understanding, without you I am but a fool following a fool’s desire and finding a fool’s treasure of emptiness.

From before the beginning you have set me apart, you have ransomed me to be your very own, and bestowed upon me priceless gifts that cannot be swallowed up by this Godless world devoid of wisdom and understanding.

Father, why me?  Why me, and not one of the family-oriented Mormons that I work with side by side every day?  Why me, and not the sister of my youth who follows the god of the Jehovah Witnesses, or one of my long time friends who follow the Pope of the Roman Catholics?  Why me, Father?

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#46

 

I spent the youth you gave me searching for greatness in my own eyes, and in the eyes of others,

And all I found was emptiness in the pit of my being;

And then one day I woke up in my mid-forties, realizing that my six year old daughter needed me more that I needed greatness.

You opened my eyes, and you opened my heart, and I fell to my knees to ask your forgiveness;

For I forgot the God of my grandfather until that glorious day in which you gave me more mercy than I deserved;

And you filled me overflowing;

And the emptiness was eradicated forever.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#47

 

Do you remember the first time in your life that you truly understood that there is a God, and that He is more powerful than you could ever imagine, and that He is truly alive and living in Heaven?

I don’t mean the times as an adult, or even as a teenager, when you tried to find out who you are and what will bring meaning to your life;

I mean the very first time, as a child, when you realized that there may be this all powerful Being, who lives somewhere you cannot see, and who watches over you in ways you cannot understand.

Well, I can!

I remember it as clearly as if it happened yesterday, even though I was only about six years old at the time.

I was introduced to God by my grandfather Jacob, my mother’s father, at an age when questioning and reasoning were not a part of my character.

I can still see so vividly in my mind’s eye the early morning light streaming through the windows as I quietly sat down beside him.

He was standing, rocking back and forth in cadence to the words he read from his black leather book with the words and the letters written in a language I could not begin to fathom.

My grandfather would begin every day this way; every day at the crack of dawn he would get up, get dressed, and greet the day in the presence and in the worship of the living God, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, the Lord God Almighty, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords.

In fine Jewish tradition, he would wrap his forehead and his forearm with the little brown leather boxes on long brown leather straps with the words of God inside.

He would cover his head, put on his prayer shawl, and open up his book, and begin to read, standing up, rocking back and forth so he could bow in reverence every time he read the name of God.

I remember watching him every morning we were together; I would get up early in anticipation of this special time we had together; I would look forward to that time when I could bask in the warmth of the love he had for God.

And that love he had for God would spill out of him all day long, in any and every situation, and with all who came into his presence.

And afterward, when he was done reading and praying and worshiping God, he would explain to me little bits of what he read, in words that could be understood by a six year old.

He told me stories of how God loved His people so much.

He told me stories of how God protected and took care of those who loved Him, and worshiped Him, and put Him first in their life.

He told me stories that now I can read for my self in the Bible; and when he told them to me they came alive with the majesty and the love of God for His children.

And he told me how much God loved me, and how He would always be with me, watching over me, and protecting me, throughout my entire life.

He told me of a love that would never depart from me.

He told me of a love that has been within my heart ever since.

He showed me first hand the power and the glory of God’s love, a love that can change lives, a love that has changed my life from the inside out.

Thank you, Lord, for putting him in my early life and for keeping alive my fond memories of his love for You.

Amen.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#48

 

I have established with thee, O Lord, an everlasting covenant of obedience;

obedience to your Word, and obedience to your Will for my life.

I will seek you continually in obedience, and will train my children and their children to also seek you continually in obedience;

and to all whom you give me opportunity, I will instruct in obedience to you as well.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#49

 

The night lingers on without an end in sight, and the surrounding light remains very low, with only a faint glow from a distant street light bouncing silently off the living room wall.

I can feel the presence of many unseen earthly messengers dancing through my consciousness, invading my awareness with thoughts not taught me by my Lord.

I cannot call to them on my own; they do not listen to a grown man calling to them from the dark; nor do they respond to the mortal bark of a frantic father chasing them away from his children.

I can feel the presence of these unseen earthly messengers dancing through my house, yet there is nothing that I can do to them on my own; I am powerless to protect my family without your help, my Lord.

But in you, Lord, I am able to do everything that is good and right, I can cast them away from my sight and from my house.

Evil ones unseen, I cast you out in the name of Jesus Christ; I cast you out of my children, I cast you out of my wife, I cast you out of my house, and I cast you out of my life.

I cast you out in the name of my Saviour, and in the name of my Protector; I cast you out in the name of Righteousness; I cast you out in the name of Jesus Christ, and there is nothing you can do but leave,

for His powers greatly exceed those of all your army, and those of your fallen leader; for the power of light will always win out over the power of darkness.  You will always stand in the starkness of your treachery, to run and hide at the mere mention of His Glory.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#50

 

You are the God of glory, the first and the last, and the only, who loves each one of us without end.

To you alone, my God, I pledge my life in an everlasting covenant of obedience.

Make known your will for me; direct my steps amidst the darkness which surrounds me.

I submit my will to you, my God, with unbroken trust, knowing you will preserve me everlasting in your light, morning, noon, and night, guiding me to do that which is right in your eyes, ignoring the cries of evil all around me.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#51

 

You pledge your life to Joseph Smith, Jr., just like your fathers before you, and as you instruct your sons who follow.

You follow a group of latter day saints who believe that God revealed things not mentioned in His Word;

And who believe that God decided to change His mind on that which was previously revealed, finally telling the truth about His Son.

My heart cries out for you and for your family; and I pray incessantly for God to show you the error of your beliefs.

I pray continually that God opens your heart, and mind, and eyes to that which I can see and know so clearly.

I pray that God unmistakably reveals to you the true Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, who alone can offer you salvation for your soul, and who alone can bring you into the presence of the one and only true God.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

Isaiah 44:6

And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Revelation 1:17-18

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#52

 

There is but one God, who is the Father of all that exists.

He was not born.  He will never die.  He does not change in any way, or shape, or form, or thought.  He has never taught us that He was once a mortal man of flesh and bone just like you and I.

He was, before anything was made that is made.  He is, throughout all eternity the same.  He will be, He who judges all things at His appointed time, deciding who will live with Him in Heaven and who will be cast forever into the lake of fire.  He will never tire after all that was is gone.

Besides Him, there is no other God.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#53

 

I sing you a tale of two people,

both different,

both once walking in your will, O Lord.

One a working woman of a working husband,

with a baby in daycare,

and a job that does not care about leaving her room for life.

And the other one a white-haired gentleman,

with a wife left home in St. Louis,

and three grown children scattered around the country,

and a job that keeps him out of town for eight to ten days at a time.

I sing you a tale of two people,

both different,

both wrestling with memories of you, O Lord.

One a working woman who stepped outside your will for a while,

to get married, to take a job, to move away, and to have a child,

who woke up suddenly from a momentary transgression

to find her life over here within the world

and your will over there, somewhere different,

and with a heart that will repent and a strong desire to reenter your tent of love.

The other one a white-haired gentleman who shut his heart to you amidst his teenage years,

crying many tears within his heart for a father who lost his love of people somewhere along the years of providing for his family,

and for a mother who loved only you, with a vengeance, at the shattered expense of those she kept reminding of your righteousness.

He had no other defense against their hatred, other than to cast them out of his life with all of the hatred he could muster;

he had no other defense against their hatred, other than to cast you out along with them,

feeling sorry for himself because of the lack of mercy he felt from you;

and now he is a white-haired gentleman who speaks his mind about everything,

but who has a void inside his soul the size of the Grand Canyon because he will not allow himself to love a God who he feels let him down many years ago,

and because he will not allow himself to be loved by a God who he feels did not force his parents to love him as a child growing up in middle America.

I sing you a tale of two people, O Lord,

both different,

both searching for something to fill your home within their heart.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#54

 

You show me a world gone mad with perversities,

a world where all the universities teach our children to worship only themselves,

to glory in the deep wells of their own being,

to define what they are seeing in terms of their own idea of right and wrong;

they learn to sing their own song of praise to the god they believe resides within,

to the god who can define what is sin and what is not,

to the god who sits not upon the throne in heaven.

They are all unleavened, without your mercy and without your salvation;

they are all your creation, without your knowledge and without your understanding,

blinded by the angle of light, who is standing between them and you,

who is guiding them to pursue a path of destruction.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#55

 

You are the Lord God Almighty, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel;

your glory reigns supreme from everlasting to everlasting;

your victory over the evil one is guaranteed, since you created everything in the beginning and you will judge everyone at the end, and all the events in between are according to your plan.

You answered Elijah with fire, consuming his burnt offering, and the wood alter, and the twelve stones of the foundation, and the water poured into the pit, and the pit itself,

when he called upon your name to show the people you are the one and only true God, and the prophets of Baal were false prophets duped by the evil one.

You answered Elisha by ridding Naaman of his pride and his leprosy, and by answering Gehazi’s greed for money and fine clothes,

when you instructed Naaman to dip himself seven times in the Jordan River to cleanse him of his leprosy, and when you punished Gehazi with leprosy for taking payment from Naaman.

And I trust you will answer my prayers for wisdom and boldness and protection in my witnessing for you and against the angle of light,

when I ask that you allow your light and your glory to shine through the darkness with which the great deceiver has engulfed my two friends who follow the ways of Mormonism.

I trust you will answer my prayers according to your promise,

when I ask you to spare the lives of my lost friends and their families,

just as you answered the prayers of others by sparing my life and those of my family.

My soul grieves for their loss, and yet my heart is filled with great joy, knowing the victory can be yours;

yes, the victory is yours, Father.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#56

 

Make bold my tongue, Father.

Put your words of witness in my mouth, and fill me overflowing with your lovingkindness

so that all who here my boldness for you will be touched by your Holy Spirit,

so that all who here my boldness for you will have their eyes opened to the sight of your presence, and their heart opened to feeling your glory.

Make bold my tongue, Father, that you shall be glorified, and that your works shall be visible to all.

Make bold my tongue, Father, so you can reap the harvest, in due season, of those seeds which fall upon fertile ground;

and the glory is all yours, Father.

Amen.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#57

 

How many times, O Lord, will you knock upon his door unanswered?

How many times, O Lord, before you will never knock again?

Your hand reached out and preserved his life and limb when as a child his legs became mutilated, and doctors wanted to amputate,

but you sent a young surgeon who made whole that which was torn apart.

Your hand reached out and caught him in mid air when as an adult he slipped and fell off of the roof of his house and lay unconscious on the ground,

for you revived him to walk away unhurt.

How many times, O Lord, will you knock upon his door unanswered?

How many times, O Lord, before you will never knock again?

Please, O Lord, do not turn your back on him now.

Put the right words into my mouth so he will believe that you exist.

Fill me overflowing with your love, O Lord, so he will feel your presence unmistakably, the way I do.

Use me as your messenger, O Lord, so he will commit his life to you, and in so doing reserve himself a place in your presence for ever.

Amen.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#58

 

I ask but a simple request, O Lord:

Continue to bless me overflowing by using me to do your work here on earth.

Praise and glory be unto you, O Lord.

Amen.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#59

 

I walk in your light, Lord, blessed beyond my ability to comprehend.

Dwelling in my heart and soul is your lovingkindness overflowing.

In walking with you, Lord, comes a greater knowing;

My eyes seeing the happenings of another world, previously hidden;

My mind comprehending all the many principalities and powers that hide just beyond the circle of light that surrounds me.

Your light shields me, Lord, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Amen.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#60

 

O Lord, I come before you stripped naked of my own desires.

I humble myself before you and ask for your forgiveness for the lusts of my flesh, thinking I can accomplish your will my own way.

Forgive me, O Lord, for my transgressions acted out of the ignorance of pride.

Forgive me, O Lord, and do not hold my weaknesses against the account of my family.

Show them the greatness of your mercy and your love by replacing my feet upon the path you have chosen for me.

Hold me fast, O Lord, to your heart and do not let me stray from your steps.

Amen.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#61

 

My faith and trust are in you, Lord.

I will follow your lead even when it makes no sense according to the measures established by this world,

for your rod and your staff define a different set of measures, a set born of righteousness and of love.

You place me upon the highest mountain top in all the earth, with all the world visible to my uncovered eyes, and ask me to take one small step forward.

You ask me to step out in faith and trust from the security of the solid ground;

you ask me to step out upon the solid rock, which is invisible to the untrained eye,

and I do, and I am safe.

My heart’s desire is to serve you in obedience always.

My faith and trust are in you, Lord.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#62

 

There are many words with which I can praise you, O Lord;

but I find the best are those of your servant David.

Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.  For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Psalm 100:3-5

I praise you for your faithfulness, O Lord.

My heart is filled overflowing with love for you, my God, for your hand rests firmly upon my shoulder, comforting me within the valleys of life, and guiding me to the other side.

I praise you for your mercy, O Lord.

My steps do not always fit completely within yours, my Lord, for I find I stray to the right or to the left before I realize what I have done, even though my heart always wants to place my feet directly within the steps you have drawn for me.

I praise you with my love, O Lord.

I praise you with my continued commitment to serve you in obedience.  I praise you with my life.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#63

 

I rest in your peacefulness, Father;

for I have followed your will in obedience after searching my own desires and hearing yours spoken to me clearly.

I have weighed the two upon the scales of life and have tipped them unmistakably in your favor;

for obedience, carried in my hands with love, is my precious gift to you, placed openly at your feet for all the world to see.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#64

 

Tucson is the home of many unbelievers, Lord.

Some follow a God who once was a man, and a Jesus Christ who is the brother of Satan.

Some follow a God who has no teeth, a God who will not punish for the transgression of sin, a God who will accept you into his presence just because you are a good person.

Some follow no God at all, but only their own desires and their own rules, for that is all they can touch, for that is all they can reasonably control.

None of them follow the living God of creation, the true God of Abraham, the Father of the living Christ, who died for our sins and was raised and now sits in heaven at the right hand of the Father, the God of love and mercy and second chances, the God of retribution and separation of those who turn their back on Him.

And none of them follow the living God, who holds the scales of life in His right hand.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#65

 

I cannot accomplish the task on my own, Father.

All I can do is pray that you will grace him with your mercy.

I pray that you will show him your everlasting glory,

touch him with your holiness,

let him feel your light shining upon his head.

I pray that you will do for him these things I ask,

for I believe my witnessing has touched a nerve of desire within him.

He hungers to be shown the truth,

but he is probably still too proud to ask,

for he is confused by his own logical thinking

And so I will ask for him.

In my prayers I beseech you for him.

Show him your everlasting glory,

touch him with your holiness,

let him feel your light shining upon his head.

Use his life, O Lord, to glorify only you.

Amen.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#66

 

As David was pursued by his enemies for all the days of his youth

he put his faith in his God, the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob.

He put his faith in his God, who led him through foreign lands,

who surrounded him with faithful followers in small numbers.

He put his faith in his God and followed one foot after another,

not knowing where he was being led.

He both feared his God and loved his God enough to follow faithfully

wherever and whenever he was told.

And he was redeemed from the difficulties life presented

and blessed far beyond that which was reasonably deserved.

He was faithful beyond logic,

and he was blessed beyond reason.

He was faithful to his God, the Lord God Almighty, the Creator of Heaven and Earth.

He was faithful to you Lord,

and I will follow you also of my own free will.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#67

 

I am on the bright side;

on the side of the Lord,

whose mercy endures for ever.

I am walking on your right side;

you put your right arm around me,

guiding me with your love.

I am walking along side of you,

through deep valleys and over high mountain tops

yielding the desire of my will to the strength of your will.

I choose to walk by faith along side of you,

not knowing where you will lead me,

knowing only that you will love me for ever.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#68

 

Why is it, O Lord, that some don’t know you?

They don’t know your mercy;

they don’t know your love;

they don’t know the gentle touch of your hand.

Why is it, O Lord, that some don’t know you?

No matter how much they search for you in all the wrong places,

looking into other faces for a love that will never satisfy.

Why is it, O Lord, that some don’t know you?

And why is it that some know you better than they would ever feel comfortable admitting to?

Why is it, O Lord, that some don’t know you,

and others do?

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#69

 

I am walking through burning battlefields, all are being consumed by your enemy.

I look to the right and to the left, and I see your precious saints falling to the ground with wounds from flaming arrows.

The battle rages out of control all around me, with death’s dark mercenaries breaking through the front lines

as if they were defended by colorful Lego walls and brightly colored plastic people, who have neither the training nor the ability nor the will to fight against the unceasing onslaught.

I can feel them all around me now, salivating at the thought of capturing another soul, turning it to their side.

I cannot resist of my own free will; I have neither the strength nor the ability to fight against the dark waves successfully, and they know it.

That is why they keep trying.

The time appears to be right, from my perspective, Lord.

You are my only hope for winning the fight.

I am defenseless without you.

You are the author of my salvation and the finisher of my fight.

You are the conqueror, Lord, and I am the conquered.

You are the Father and I am in the Son.

You are the only one who can defeat the forces of his darkness.

All I can do is put my faith in you, and wait.

You pick the time.

You choose up the sides.

You bring the weapons.

You determine the playing field.

You decide who will be wounded

You decide who will die.

You decide who will change sides.

You decide who will triumph.

The victory is all yours, as is the praise and the glory,

as well as the telling of the story.

All the praise and all the glory

is yours.

Amen.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#70

 

When you were growing up, you wanted my love; and I gave it freely overflowing to you.

You wanted my presence in your life, even though we could not live in the same house together.

At least I was able to remain close by, in the background of your life, and see you as often and as regular as your mother would allow.

You have no idea how deep rooted the pain was, knowing that I was close by but could only participate in a small corner of your life.

There was no way I could be the father I wanted to be; and there was no way I could be the kind of father you needed or wanted.

Circumstances beyond our control have driven a wedge between our lives, and between our love for each other.

By the time you made it into college and began to make it in the world, on your own, with lots of help from your mother and I, you seemed to want your independence much more than you wanted my love.

I tried talking to you about it many times, like we used to talk in the past; but you responded as though I was speaking a little known Martian dialect which had become extinct centuries before.

So all I could do was to be there for you when you decided you needed me, which grew from not very often to hardly ever to never.

And my little corner of your life began to shrink even smaller beyond my control; and the wedge was driven even deeper.

When you grew up and graduated from college and went to work in an area I knew you loved most of your life, I was oh so very proud of you, like the pride you can see shining in the eyes of a new father.

When you decided to get married to a man who seemed to treat you nicely and appeared to love you the way I knew you needed to be loved, I was oh so very proud of you, again.

But when you invited me to your wedding, and told me you did not want me to give you away, I felt the wedge between us being driven oh so very deeply, and the chasm became wider and deeper than the Grand Canyon.

I was hurt and I cried and I mourned for a relationship which could have been oh so very close, but which was driven apart by the circumstances of life.

My heart has grieved for many years now,

praying to my Lord that you are doing well,

praying to Him that He should love you as much as your father does,

praying that He would watch over you and protect you when I can not,

praying that He would lessen the hurt, which I still feel, with His love.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#71

 

My mind is cluttered with thoughts not worthy of you, Lord.

My mind is overflowing with memories of things not done to your glory.

My mind is screaming with lists of things not yet done, and not really very important in the big picture of life.

My mind is undisciplined when it comes to worshiping you, my Lord.

Sometimes no matter how hard I try to push the noise out of my head, I wind up in stead completely unable to focus my thoughts on you

You are my reason for living, you are the author of my salvation, you are the glorious one who directs my faith into areas never before deemed possible,

and yet today I find myself unable to direct my mind toward pleasant thoughts of you.

Today the noise gets in the way of my worship and praise of you, Lord, but do not think for a moment that I love you any less because of it.

Do not think for a moment, Lord, that I am any less committed today, than yesterday, to keep you in charge of my life and liberty and free will.

Do not think for a moment, Lord, that you are to take second place in any part of my life.

But today I need you to reach out to me, to guide my heart through the clutter of my mind.

Today I need to find you battling the army of evil trying to come between us.

Today, as was the case yesterday, and as will be the case tomorrow, I need you to still the thoughts not pleasing to you,

to fill my heart with gratitude and my mind with silent memories of your glory in my life,

to fill me overflowing with the purity of your love.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#72

 

Love in the city

Love in the suburbs,

Love not spoken of

in times of need.

Love delivered

without any greed.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#73

 

You work in ways, O Lord God Almighty, in ways I can not comprehend.

Your ways are as mysterious to me as the act of creation itself

I do not understand how life can spring forth from nothingness.

From a single act of love is a bouncing baby boy given life in your own image.

From a single act of love is your plan placed in motion.

From a single act of love will your hopes and your dreams be realized.

Millions of souls shall be touched and called to action.

Battle lines will be drawn in the sand, and a new era will unfold before your eyes.

Some will see and understand, and others will not.

Some will know what is happening, and others will not.

A few will be raised up for the occasion by God’s word spoken through him, and many others will run for the cover of darkness.

But I must confess that nothing shall remain as it was before.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#74

 

Speak to me Lord, guide me with your right hand.

I stand ready, at another junction in life’s road.

I could probably go either way and eventually get to where it is you want me to be.

One way might take a little longer than the other.

One way might cause me to endure more trials than the other.

One way just might cause me to learn more about you Lord, and therefore more about myself.

I could go straight ahead, and turn my consulting job into a full time one, even though you specifically told me not to do it.

For, after all, it is the first time in a very long time where the people treat me nicely, and many friendships flourish.

It would mean moving my family out of the Bay Area, to a better quality of life, something I have wanted for a very long time.

It would mean selling our house, and getting out of debt completely, buying another house with the accumulated equity.

It would mean going directly against your stated will for me, and no matter how great the opportunity on a worldly level, I can not do it.

My life is committed to obedience to you Lord

I could take a giant step backwards, and return to California, walking away from the possibility of a full time job.

Replacing it with the uncertainties of finding another consulting opportunity.

Putting my family in a position of jeopardy, not having any income for a while.

Would it be a short while?  Or would it be a long while?

Would it be tolerable?  Or would it be intolerable?

Would we be forced to sell our house because we could not make the necessary monthly payments?

Or would the Lord provide another consulting opportunity, as he promised he would do?

All I have to do is to stop meddling in areas I do not belong.

All I have to do is to be obedient to what he has said, and to what he has promised.

All I have to do is to let him work his miracles in my life, so that the glory will be his completely.

I could even try to take a step in a different direction, looking for another opportunity to do his work.

That would show him how serious I am about following his lead for my life.

Even if it means disregarding exactly what he has said to me.

Even if it means going directly against his will to do it.

But that does not make any sense either, so I guess I will have to stop trying to make opportunities happen for him.

I guess it is time to stop trying to implement God’s will for my life in my own way.

I guess the time has finally come to say:  “I give up Lord.  You work the miracles.  And I will enjoy the journey.”

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#75

 

How do I know, Lord?

Can you tell me the correct way?

How do I know what it is you say in response to my many questions?

Do you talk so I can hear your voice within my cluttered mind,

or do I just find you guiding my thoughts?

Do you speak through your Word while I read it each day

or do you show me your way in visions during prayer?

How do I know, Lord, if you really care?

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#76

 

I know you are speaking to me, Father.

I know you are trying to grab hold of my attention with your answers to my many questions.

I know you are speaking to me, Father;

but your voice is being drowned out by the noises of living all around me.

I try to shut them out long enough to listen;

so why is it I cannot discern your words, spoken oh so softly?

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#77

 

All is for my love of thee, O Lord,

All is for my love of thee,

All else is vanity, O Lord,

All is for my love of thee.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

#78

 

The ball of life is batted back and forth between he who lives and He who is.

The dog of my youth is tied up in the basement, unable to come after me, not barking, just waiting for the proper time.

The ball gets accidentally knocked down the stairs, bouncing to the bottom, out of the reach of the dog’s biting teeth.

He who is follows it down the stairs, retrieving the ball before the straining dog breaks his bonds to get it in his drooling mouth.

Three days later the ball is returned amidst the cheering crowd of onlookers, and the match continues.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Gilbert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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The writings on this web page have been gifted to me by the Lord of all Creation, and they are posted here for neither fame nor fortune, but rather as requested by their true author for a gift to all who choose to read them.  If you choose to use them without proper credit to this website, their human author will definitely turn the other cheek; however, their true author reserves the right to use any means He sees fit to extract proper payment for their use.

 

 

 

 

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As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.  Joshua 24:15