The House of Mourning

Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 7:2,
“It is better to go to a house of mourning
than to a house of feasting, for death
is the destiny of every man;
the living should take this to heart.”

Does this mean that we should seek suffering?
Maybe not, but, as inevitable as death,
so is suffering in this life. In suffering, however,
there is much that God would teach us,
if only we are willing to listen.

I’ve been to a few funerals
in my time. If we’re honest, they’re probably
not the sort of thing we look forward to.
Though, as followers of Christ, we know
we’ll see our brothers and sisters again.
So, we go to honor, mourn, and yes, rejoice,
when we know another soul has gone to meet our Lord.
But amid all those emotions regarding death
are vital truths about life,
the life God would share with his children.

Running from the feast of fools
toward the house of mourning,
seeking wisdom
through the pain.
From the mortal to immortal.
A curtain pull.
A door swing.

What of the other side?
What awaits?
The one who metes out righteous judgment
has the ultimate say.
Those who claim there is no justice
will discover their error on that day.
Choose well.
Choose life.
Choose Jesus,
the only way.

Then when it’s my time,
if you must play a dirge for me,
place within it a lilting note,
for when my time comes,
I’ll be traveling to my forever home
to be with those saints who’ve gone before
and wait for those yet to come.

Surely joy greater than our imaginings
or any verse in any poet’s tome awaits us there,
past the house of mourning,
where we pause to celebrate
and grieve
and pray.

To the house of mourning
we will bring a light
and invite the Lord,
holding back the night,
for the day,
for the day.

© Joel Tipple 12/16/2018



And he came to her and said, “Greetings oh favored one, the Lord is with you.”
Luke 1:28 ESV

A) Angel Gabriel, the messenger of God.
N) Naturally when you visited Mary you told her to not be afraid.
G) God sent you to greet and prepare Jesus’ mother for the miraculous birth.
E) Endless. The kingdom of our Lord.
L) Last. If I ever saw an angel, it’s likely the last thing I would see just before I passed out.

© Joel Tipple 12/13/2018

Words in the Letters (Mary)

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has looked on the humble estate of His servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.
Luke 1:46-49 ESV

M) Mary, the mother of Jesus,
A) a woman chosen while still a girl.
R) Random doesn’t apply to you, prophetic
humble servant, and protector of our Lord.
Y) You were witness to His miracles, but the first
was His birth.

© Joel Tipple 12/11/2018


“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen; Not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
C.S. Lewis

When you view your reflection
in the mirror,
what you see
is largely up to you.
You can see your size
through God’s loving eyes,
or you can conjure a negative view.

You can see your heart
like that belonging to the Grinch,
several sizes too small.
You can see your height
as too high,
or maybe you believe
you’re undertall.
Unless you learn to see
what your mirror can’t see
you don’t know yourself at all.

Don’t cover up how God’s really made you,
by painting over it or willfully not seeing.
Thoughtful reflection
can overcome rejection
when you pause to reflect
on these things.

© Joel Tipple 12/8/2018


Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.
Matthew 7:7 NIV

I trust my Father to give
and I stand, expectant to receive,
that which is good, beneficial,
what I need.
I pray first before I ask,
that my desires be made like His.
And that my attitude
is open hands
instead of closed fists.

© Joel Tipple 12/7/2018