He Spoke My Name

On Good Friday, I had the honor of participating in our church’s service by performing a poem that I wrote.  It was really an awesome experience so I thought that I would share the poem with you.  It’s based on the Biblical text from The Gospel of Luke chapter 22.  I could write pages and pages explaining it, but I think I would rather just let the poem speak for itself.  If you have any questions about the poem and what it means, please feel free to contact me.  I would love to talk to you about it and what it has meant in my life.


He Spoke My Name

I’ve searched through the books but I simply can’t find
A king who would put his own kingship behind
A god who’d leave Heaven and life so divine
A lord who would give up his own life for mine.
A champion who’d willingly forfeit the game
A star who would simply walk away from the fame.
But Jesus surrendered renown and acclaim
And decided to carry my guilt and my shame
My sins were forgiven and my debt fully paid
In the moment the angel just whispered my name.

As Jesus sought God down upon bended knee
Praying there in the Garden of Gethsemene.
He lifted his voice and he raised up his plea.
Said,”Dear father please take off this burden from me.”

His sweat turned to blood as anxiety consumed him.
For this was the reason that he became human.
And now for the first time he questioned his mission.
Could he endure dying by cruel crucifiction?
It would have to be his choice, be of his own volition.
To accept this brutality had to be his decision.

He did not want to do it and that much is clear.
With his sweat pouring down his face mingling with tears.
Then an angel descended and spoke in his ear.
Said exactly the words Jesus needed to hear.

What did he say that could change Jesus’ mind?
From “please take this cup” to “not my will but thine.”
What could the angel have possibly voiced
To make Jesus determined and resolved in his choice?
I don’t think it was much, no huge speech to proclaim
I think that the angel merely whispered my name.

Now here is the part that I haven’t got figured
Is how it was my name the angel had whispered.
But he also spoke your name and your name and yours
And the name of all others who’ve come on before us.
And this is the beauty that’s found in the mystery
And so it’s been pondered throughout human history.
How He died for the world and all humanity
But he also died only for you and for me.
And how God saved the world when He sent us His son
But He still would have sent Him to save only one.

I’ve searched through the books but I simply can’t find
A king who would put his own kingship behind
A god who’d leave Heaven and life so divine
A lord who would give up his own life for mine.
A champion who’d willingly forfeit the game
A star who would simply walk away from the fame.
But Jesus surrendered renown and acclaim
And decided to carry my guilt and my shame
My sins were forgiven and my debt fully paid
In the moment the angel just whispered my name.

  Again, if the poem doesn’t make sense to you please contact me to ask me about it.  I would love to explain it.  If you enjoyed the poem and would like email updates whenever I post something new, please follow the blog by clicking on the link it the right hand corner of your screen.  Thanks.

Angelic Wonderings

I wonder if angels grow old and die?
And if they do then at their funeral do the other angels cry?
Do they question God and wonder why?

Another thing I’d really like to know
Is if they’re living up in heaven then after death where do they go?
Would the afterlife simply be the status quo?

I wonder if any angels are scared of flight.
And do any of the angels have trouble falling asleep at night?
Do angels wake up with the morning light?

Can the angels travel through space?
And if they can do they go to Saturn just to get far from this place?
Do they wish that they could stay away?

I wonder if they’re sick of this whole Earth bit.
And I wonder if the angels ever wonder if we’re worth it?
Of protection do they think that we’re unfit?

Have they grown accustomed to wars or
I wonder if angels suffer post traumatic stress disorder?
Do they feel they’re always being ignored?

To the angels do we make any sense?
And do the angels know some demons who at one time were their friends?
Are any angels still sitting on the fence?

Do sunsets look as stunning from above?
And has there ever been a time an angel and demon fell in love?
Is she the one that he’s still dreaming of?

I wonder if angels ever have fun.
And did the angels shake their heads when humans first produced a gun?
Do they celebrate or weep when each battle’s done?

Would an angel die in a nuclear blast?
Will I ever know the answers to these questions that I’ve asked?
Will an angel be here with me til my last?

I wonder if there are questions that I’ve missed.
Oh yeah, sometimes I even wonder if angels actually exist.



Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read this.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Please follow the blog by clicking on the link in the lower right hand corner that says “Follow.”  Hope you enjoy the rest of your day.

Raindrops and Ripples

There’s a website for poets called The Prose.  Poets/Authors create challenges on there to spur on creative thinking and writing for other poets.  I know it sounds super cheesy and all but I really enjoy it.  I don’t create a lot on there.  I just browse the challenges to see if there is anything that piques my interest.  About two months ago, there was a challenge called “Micropoetry.” It was a challenge to write a poem in 32 words or less. I wrote this one called “Raindrops and Ripples.”  It didn’t win, but I figured I could share it here.  Enjoy.

One drop of rain

Can start a chain

Of ripples felt a mile away.

And one good deed

Can plant a seed

That grows to save a world in need.


The poem is pretty straightforward and simple.  The message is that nothing you do, no matter how seemingly small, is insignificant.  Any good deed that you do will impact the world around in a positive way somehow.

Thanks for reading.  As always, I would be honored if you clicked on the link in the lower right hand corner of the screen and followed the blog.  Happy Friday Everyone!

Your Love Defends Me

This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to do something that was way outside my comfort zone.  I stood up and read one of my poems as part of a special Sunday night worship service at our church.  It was something that I had never done before and I was legitimately pretty terrified.  It was really putting myself out there.  However, I found it to be one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had in worship and one in which I feel I grew as a writer, speaker, Christian, and person in general.

The topic of the poem was answering the question of whether or not Jesus is still relevant in our day to day lives.  I wrote it to lead into the song “Your Love Defends Me,” by Matt Maher.  So, if you’re reading this and you are a Christian, then read it as an encouragement that Jesus can be relevant in your life today.  If you’re reading this and you’re not a Christian, then try to come at it with an open mind and just appreciate the poetry and come to a deeper understanding of something that Christians believe.

Also, since this poem was written to be performed, not necessarily read, the rhythm and meter is a little bit quirky at times.  If you want to hear the song that this poem preceded, go to this link to find it.  I hope you enjoy this poem and come away with some kind of deeper under standing or enlightenment.

Who is Jesus? That’s a topic for deliberation.
I know that whenever it comes up in conversation.
There’s usually some kind of confrontation
It’s a question that can bring a lot of consternation.
But I think the issue that causes much of the strife
Is not who He is but what is His role in our life.
I mean is He still alive and active? Is He relevant?
Or are we talking and singing these songs just for the hell of it?
And when I say hell of it a pun is definitely intended
Because most of us see His role as just a ticket to get to Heaven.
But today I would really like to lay before you
Three ways that Jesus can be so much more to you.

First, Jesus can be a source of motivation
He increases our hearts’ emotions call it cardiac inflammation.
Jesus gives to our lives a meaning and a mission.
He places in our hearts a more extensive conviction
And sends us to go far outside our comfort zone
To do things that we never would dream to do on our own.
He might send you off to Africa to teach kids how to read
Or you might stay here with Agape or Jesus Prom and serve those with special needs.
He might send you to share His love and grace with your neighbor down the road
Or you may end up in Piedras Negras even though tu no hablas espanol.
You could help somebody clean their gutters by getting on a ladder
Or fight against racial injustice by joining a group like Black Lives Matter.
Either way my point is that we get comfortable and, now don’t call me crazy
That comfort causes us in truth to become a little lazy.
So, the first way Jesus has a function in our day to day
Is He gives our lives a purpose and He sends us on our way.

Part two
Some people say that Christians have completely lost their touch
They say this Jesus guy is nothing more than a simple crutch
What comes into my mind whenever words like these are spoken
Is that it seems like you just haven’t yet had your legs been broken.
And that’s awesome I mean please please don’t get me wrong
But I’ve found in life that eventually it simply won’t be long.
I haven’t lived that long but I’ve seen enough of this world in which we’re living
To look down at my cards and know it’s a loaded hand we’re given
See the history of the world begins in Genesis chapter One
Where we find God’s plan for how He wanted creation to be run
He created and it was good and that’s how it’s intended to be
Problem is, if you keep on reading that you’ll get to Genesis Three.
Where we come to the entrance of a little thing that we call sin.
And it corrupts the entire Earth and everything we find therein.
And everyone’s got a chapter full of dark and dismal days
The pain of them still lingers even though you’ve turned the pages.
And thinking we can heal ourselves is how the devil tricks us
When Jesus love is the only thing on Earth that can truly fix us.
So the second way that Jesus Love can be real to us today
Is that he has the ability to heal us from our pain.

Part Three
We’re in a battle and this whole world’s the battleground
Satan’s stationed at the center with his forces gathered round.
He’s got demons of depression, addiction, anxiety
And pressure to look perfect placed on us by society.
Hatred and bigotry
Lust and pornography
Christians fighting Christians just because of greed and jealousy.
He’s used these for millenia his tactics are tried and true
And if we ever solved them he’d just switch to something new.
See he’s got the human weaknesses all spelled out to the letter
We’ve been fighting them for years and believe me it’s not getting better.
No way on Earth can we protect ourselves from his attacks
He doesn’t fight a fair fight he’ll just stab us in our backs.
The problem is our thinking that we have to fight alone
We wander into battle just to struggle on our own.
But Jesus already won this war, he’s beaten Satan’s armies
When he is fighting for us there is nothing that can harm us.
So the third thing Jesus does to help us out along the way
Is he gladly comes to join us as we march into the fray.

So I hope tonight these words have helped to clear up some confusion
Of Jesus’ role today so let me say that in conclusion
We all get lazy so we need his love to send us.
We’re all broken so we need his love to mend us.
We’re all helpless so we need him to defend us.
His love defends us.


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Lonely Lives the Spider

The other morning was foggy and misty all around.  As I got out to mow one of the parks at work, I looked over the field next to the park and saw about a thousand spider webs still covered in the morning dew.  It was really an incredible sight.  As I got closer, I saw that each spider web actually had a spider sitting in the middle of it. All alone.

When you really look at spiders, many of them truly are beautiful.  They possess a deadly elegance not only in their physical appearance, but in their webs as well.  However, as I looked across the field at 1,000 solitary spiders alone in their webs, I wondered if they ever get lonely.  I mean, the only time that anything comes to visit them in their web, the spider kills it.  So, in true hipster fashion, I wrote a poem about it. Enjoy.

She sits enthroned in the morning mist
The arachnid queen of her silken fortress.
The dewdrops are diamonds that play on her strings
But they’re jewelry of death for the arthropod kings.

They clamor to her courtside, make haste for her hall
As a dutiful hostess she welcomes them all.
Her beauty is ravishing her charm is divine
Her allure irresistible but far from benign.

Will the spider’s rare radiance the fly even remember
As he slowly drifts off to his eternal slumber?
Or will her fair memory fade and be gone
In the foggy gray morning of the vast great beyond?

Who am I?

It seems for the last couple months especially, my entire newsfeed on FB, most Snapchat stories I follow, and most of the national and even local news have been focused on the racial divide that is still overwhelmingly pervasive in the United States.  I’m going to be completely honest and say that this is one of the things in life that simply weighs the heaviest on my heart.  It saddens me to see people so divided and hateful towards each other.  I was speaking with one of my best friends about it and he said, “It just shouldn’t be such a struggle to not hate each other.”

One of the things about the entire issue that has continually bothered me the most is the Christian Church’s part in it.  I’ll put a caveat in and say that some churches are better about it than others.  However, as a whole, the Church has fallen woefully short in the area of speaking out against systemic racism and race issues as a whole.  It has been damningly silent on these topics and even pushed back against groups trying to pursue true equality and take a stand.  If I had a quarter for every Christian/ Pastor that I heard say, “No, all lives matter…” but I digress.

So long story short, I was thinking about this whole issue the other day and, as I am sometimes want to do, I wrote a poem about it.  The rhythm and meter is a little bit odd I’ll admit.  I was listening to a song called “Love Letters to God” by Nahko and the Medicine People when I first started thinking it.  So if you listen to that song, you’ll get a feel for it.  Either way listen to the song.  It’s really good.  Well, without further ado, here is the latest rambling of my inner thoughts.

Who Am I?


When time began

I think that race was never part of God’s plan

But then we went and screwed it up again

And sadly then

hate and judgement

We started setting connotation to pigment

To think the skin makes the man that’s not intelligent

It’s a figment

Of imagination

To think that anyone is lesser a creation

Their star a smaller part the constellation

The human nation

Cuz who are we

Without the breath of the Almighty?

We’re laying lifeless underneath that tree

And can’t you see?

For what am I

But brown dust underneath blue sky?

My life and worth is from the Lord Most High

I wonder why

For who are you

To judge a brother by his color or hue?

With the same blood same soul imbued

And that’s the truth

In His likeness

Many colors but one palette now that’s priceless

A perfect picture of creation at its finest

Be the kindness

Stop the hatred

Just love God and one another that’s what He said

And give yourself for your brother that’s what he did

Stand united.

Love radiate

Instead of bringing others down elevate

And true love to one another demonstrate

It’s not too late

It’s not too late

It’s not too late


Well.  There it is.  I hope you can understand the place where this is coming from.  As always, if you like what you read,  please follow the blog by clicking on the link in the lower right corner of your screen.  Hell, even if you don’t like it, please follow anyhow.

What if No One Told the Ostrich

So I was cleaning last night and, as is often want to happen, a poem started formulating in my head while I vacuumed.  So, I wrote it down and here it is.  I think it kinda speaks for itself.


What if no one ever told the ostrich that she couldn’t fly?

Would she spread her wings and take off in the bright blue African sky?

And what if no one told the lion that he didn’t like to swim?

Would he still stand by the water’s edge? Or would he dive right in?  

And what if no one told the tree he had to stand in place?  

Would he dare to try and unearth his roots and travel far away?

If we never told those little kids they’d never leave the hood,

That basketball’s the only way and son you’re not that good? 

And what if no one told little boys it was football over art?

That cooking wasn’t manly and it’s weak to share your heart.

When we see a young boy crying what if we didn’t point and snicker?

Would he be as quick to buy a gun, take aim, and pull the trigger?

What if no one ever taught me

Here’s how real men drink their coffee?

Would I still feel insecure to try a soy vanilla latte?  

If we didn’t tell the women beauty only looks one way?

Would teenage girls still starve themselves cuz they think they’re overweight?  

And if we never told them it was beauty over brains?

Would we have a cure for cancer instead of more mascara stains?

And what if Barack had listened when they told him “Learn your place.”

“Only white men can be president. Boy don’t you know your race?”

And what if no one told the children different should be hated?

What if we said diversity was to be celebrated?

Our world could look much different if we didn’t say this stuff.

If we said that being kind meant so much more than being tough.

If we didn’t step in line to just regurgitate the lie

There might come a day when we would finally see an ostrich fly.

The Rose That Grew from Concrete

Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature’s law is wrong it
learned to walk with out having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else ever cared.

   – Tupac Shakur –

For those of you who don’t know me, Tupac is one of my favorite artists of all time.  I find him to be not only one of the best lyricists and performers of all time but a simply fascinating human being.  Some of his music seems shallow.  It talks about the same stuff that much of the rap music of the time talked about; sex, drugs, women, guns, more women, more sex, liqour, punk police, etc.  But then there are songs like “Dear Mama,” a ballad to his mother, thanking her for all she did for him and telling her that now he can see how hard life was on her, especially because of him.  Songs like “Keep ya Head Up,” and “Changes,” that are honest social commentary of the day.  There are deeply passionate songs like “Life Goes On,” to fallen comrades.  If you explore the person that was and is Tupac Amaru Shakur, you’ll find that even his “thug life” phrase meant much more to him than what it seemed on the outside.

And then on a whole different level, is his book of poetry, The Rose That Grew from Concrete.  The poems in it are deeply introspective and full of raw emotion set to word.  As I read through it, each of the poems hits me on an emotional level because when I hear them, I picture my own students.  Their upbringings and home lives are so incredibly different from my own.  I could not possibly describe myself as a rose that grew from concrete but rather a rose that grew from a well fertilized and up-kept garden.

When I read the poem at the top of the page, I feel two different emotions mostly.  First, I feel hope.  I hope that, like that rose, my students all  prove nature’s laws wrong and learn to walk with no feet and breathe fresh air.  I hope that they blossom and escape lives of poverty.  I would like to think that what I am doing here is helping give them a chance to do that.  However, when I read the poem, I also feel a profound sadness knowing that this will not be the case with all of them.  I know that the rose that blossoms from a crack in the concrete is a rarity.  Statistics show that the majority of my students are being dealt a loaded hand.  The odds are not in their favor.

Now, I’ve been teaching long enough that I’ve had enough success stories to keep me going.  Students have come back to me to tell me about some of the things they’re accomplishing.  But I’ve also been teaching long enough to see the opposite as well.  Last year, I went to two students’ parents’ funeral.  It was a homicide/suicide.  Stuff like that tears me apart.  If I’m being honest, I’m much more of an empath than is healthy.  I try to push it aside and keep on, but it sticks with me.  I spend hours at night worrying about them (I haven’t seen either one since the funeral) and where they are now or will be in two years.  And I think how my first class of fifth grade students are soon to be juniors in high school and wonder how many are still in school and how many dropped out.  And then I worry about what their futures hold.

And then I stopped and thought about how to change this.  Like how can I make it less of a rarity to see a rose grow from a crack in the concrete?  It’s something I’ve thought about a lot ever since I first read the poem and I think I’ve got the answer.  The answer is to make more cracks in the concrete.  I need to work harder at breaking down environmental barriers that inhibit my students’ growth.  Provide more emotional support and a stable environment for them to flourish.  Manage my own temperament to provide an example of how to appropriately react in a crisis situation.  Try to remain encouraging in their failures even when it’s the hundredth time.  Be understanding of underlying circumstances that might be causing behaviors.  Be even keeled and fair in discipline.  Be more proactive to teach appropriate social interactions. Above all show them love even in the face of disrespect and defiance.  I know that sounds cheesy as all get out.  However, it’s the only thing that makes sense to me.  If roses will grow in cracks in the concrete, and we want roses to grow, crack the concrete.  So I’ll end this post with another of Tupac’s poems titled “And 2morrow.”  I think that it does a beautiful job of expressing the pain of today along with the hope for tomorrow.

 Today is filled with anger
fueled with hidden hate
scared of being outcast
afraid of common fate

Today is built on tragedies
which no one wants 2 face
nightmares 2 humanities
and morally disgraced

Tonight is filled with rage
violence in the air
children bred with ruthlessness
because no one at home cares

Tonight I lay my head down
but the pressure never stops
knawing at my sanity
content when I am dropped

But 2morrow I c change
a chance 2 build a new
Built on spirit intent of Heart
and ideals
based on truth

and tomorrow I wake with second wind
and strong because of pride
2 know I fought with all my heart 2 keep my
dream alive