For Your Favor

Let the favor of the Lord
our God be upon us;
And confirm for us the
work of our hands;
Yes, confirm the work of
our hands. Psalm 90:17 NASB

A man may work all his days.
Sweat and blood might cover
all he’s wrought,
but if not for your favor, Lord.
If not for your favor,
If not for your favor, dear Lord,
all is lost.

I may endure all hardship,
and fight through pain
of the body and mind
I may seek and share inspiration
and be praised by those I love,
but if not for your favor, Lord.
If not for your favor,
If not for your favor, dear Lord,
all is lost.

It’s so easy to waste time
chasing what we think
has intrinsic value.
But Your scales weigh what we discount.
When I consider the treasure You allow
a place
in Your storehouse,
I feel a change
begin in me.

Setting aside what consumed our minds
in favor of Your wonderful design,
We come before You Father
seeking
for Your favor, Lord.
For Your favor.

© Joel Tipple
324

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Not of the little g

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God
not of the little g
not only of the easy moments
when my sanity
seems certain

God
not of the little g
not of the times when I measure you
to see
if You’re big enough
to trust

I want to walk
bold confident brazen loud
throwing open the pages of Your holy scripture
You are my God and I trust You
though you slay me

God
not of the little g
not of those years when I turned my back
fervently searching for anything else
easier
than everything for you

God
not of the little g
too big for me to contain
but more than big
enough
to hold me

The earth may shake
winds may blow
floods roar
carrying away
what seems our very foundation
but
God
not of the little g
I don’t doubt your guarantee
I won’t try to reduce you
to bargaining

I praise you God
not of the little g

© Joel Tipple
323

The Heart of a Carpenter

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It takes the heart of a carpenter
to see a building whole
with only a sketch or blueprint
to guide.
It takes the heart of a carpenter
and vision
for the completed building,
to make possible the possibilities.

It takes the heart of a carpenter
to see in a man
beyond what he can see in himself,
to see beyond rubble and debris
and dreams knocked over on shelves.

Let me see with your eyes,
dear carpenter.
Give me hands like yours to work.
Make everything I am and ever hope to be
your vision of me,
on earth
and heaven.

© Joel Tipple
322

See ya Summer!

By the calendar’s view it’s been Fall for a while
but a blast of cold waited until yesterday
to wipe Summers smile
from my face.
The fog wafted in with a deathly Halloween grin
and a dastardly evil pumpkin nipped my ankle
as I, fairly dripping with the the nonchalance of the innocent,
opened wide my front door.
Summer, you gave us a basket-full of warm days,
so many, the months burst apart at the seams with them.
I thought at the time I would save some
to keep me warm when the cold nights came.
Summer, I appreciated you when you were here.
Did you hear me tell my friends how much?
I won’t ask you to keep in touch.
Just please, don’t be a stranger.

© Joel Tipple
321

Understanding

1 Good friend, take to heart what I’m telling you; collect my counsels and guard them with your life. 2 Tune your ears to the world of Wisdom; set your heart on a life of Understanding
Proverbs 2:1-2 The Message

God’s earth that we sail upon,
with its finely tuned wisdom.
A machine of infinite complexity,
built by the master architect.
Our planet hurtles through space
and our concept of time.
Our devotion to you, God
is not dampened by examination.
Far be it! Those who would devote
their energy to sincerely seek you
are richly rewarded.

© Joel Tipple
320

Sharp Things

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 12:18 ESV

You shouldn’t trust yourself
with sharp things
like words
that wound
and demean
just because you can be clever
and put them together,
for a moment playing the king.

Words are meant for building
and mending
and to correct,
but in the hands of the disrespectful
they’re bound to maim
and wreck.

A man
or a woman
who learns to weigh their words,
giving the intent behind them honor
like the good Lord taught,
will leave a legacy of wisdom
and better hearts
for the speech they have wrought.

© Joel Tipple
319