Rise Above

(Note: Surely we can do better)

It’s time
elevated discourse
got up on the race course.
The time for chilling out
and the status quo must pass.
The wars of political marketing
only obscure reasoning.
Surely God has better
for us to say and do.
Our children
are watching.

© Joel Tipple 10/19/2018



Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Romans 12:15 ESV

Empathy  1the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.

I’m spending time
trying to see the world
through another’s eyes.
I’ve spent a lifetime
seeing it through mine,
so I’ve got that down.

If I’m fortunate enough
to get to listen to someone
being real with me,
I don’t rush to convene a jury of one.
I don’t give priority
to rendering a verdict
regarding their circumstances.

Can you imagine yourself in my position
no matter what matter of person I am?
I know it must be hard for you,
I’ve seen you…
and it’s hard for me too.

© Joel Tipple 10/18/2018


Note: Don’t be afraid to investigate (dig).

Sometimes you just have to unplug
or maybe remove
the batteries.
Whatever’s pushing,
what’s coming through the wires,
isn’t always alright.

Don’t worry,
don’t hurry,
to don your protective
foil helmet.
I’m just saying…
work a little,
read a little.

If all you wanna hear
is an echo of yourself,
you’re unlikely to discover
anything you don’t know.
The bible’s survived intact all this time
’cause truth can handle some blows.

© Joel Tipple 10/17/2018


For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
Matthew 16:26 NASB

Centerpiece, oh Centerpiece,
you have the narcissist disease.
On the table set for everyone and thing,
you must be the middle,
the centerpiece.

Centerpiece, oh Centerpiece,
everyone’s estranged.
You used to share the focus.
You used to share the stage.
Now you bore of the stories
when they don’t feature you.
You don’t even care
if the tales told are true.

Centerpiece without a center
is it you against the world?
Is your’s the only side that matters?
What will be left
of the name you’ve been building
when your reputation’s all in tatters?

Before it’s too late, Center,
move over and let God
take His rightful place in your life.
Turn from selfish deceit
and empty values.
Build a solid foundation
on His Holy Word,
a center worthy of holding on to.

Give away your worship of self and things
Stop collecting and hoarding
every valueless thing.
Give honor and dignity to every being,
all you used to think were beneath.
Instead of trying to be you’ll find who truly is
the centerpiece.

© Joel Tipple 10/16/2018

Not So Pretty Prayers

After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.
Matthew 14:23 NASB

In the tumult of our lives,
the noise and chaos,
we don’t always take the time
to download peace.
Jesus was our model for connection
to our father, who would gladly hear our needs.
Our words don’t always have to be perfection.
God surely wants to hear our naked truth.
A genuine relationship is what he seeks from us,
so don’t try to sanitize your news.

© Joel Tipple 10/15/2018

Releasing Life

There’s a seed in a forest,
and it’s waiting for a fire,
to release the life within
and tell a story.

A renewal story.

There’s a man in a city.
There’s a child in the hills.
There’s a woman in the suburbs,
all challenged by the ills
of the world.

Each one has a story.

Now fire can take
and it can destroy
cities, towns, and people.
It can take it all
when destruction’s not expected.
But there’s a fire that God can send into your life
that somehow mends it.

So if you’re the seed that’s left under the ashes
after the fire has swept through,
let God nourish the life that’s now awakened.
The world will watch what Jesus does for you…
after the fire.

© Joel Tipple 10/14/2018

A Courteous Life

“Life is not so short but there is always time for courtesy.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Romans 12:10 ESV

Life is messy. No doubt. Even in a human life seemingly charmed there must come a share of grief. My prayer has never been that God would keep me from all trouble, only that I would be given the grace and resources to carry myself well. An important part of that I think is the most courtesy I can bring to all my relationships, from those closest to me, as well as those who cross my path only briefly.

It starts with your first
It continues with your first
thank you.
Let us give thanks for every parent
who sends out into the world
a loving courteous human boy
or girl.
Where do we get the idea
that putting others before us is wrong?
Do we even want to live in a world
where caring doesn’t belong?
I’ll open the door.
I’ll pay for your coffee.
I’ll look you in the eyes and really care
that your day is good…
or gets better.
Courtesy mostly doesn’t cost much,
but the lack of it always cost more.
And the gift the giver gives
comes back
pressed down and over.

© Joel Tipple 10/13/2018