If you work at it…

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If you work at it hard enough
you can find seven things wrong with you
at the expense of the one thing that’s right.

If you commit thoroughly to the cause
you’ll ignore that encouraging word
and instead find a way to start a fight.

If you just devote yourself
you can undermine the faith
someone dear helped you find.

With focused effort you can avoid
seeing the strengths God gave you
because it’s easier to remain blind.

You can put in the work to be amazing
or you can work just as hard to be not.
God uses those you might least expect
when they say yes to what they’ve got.

© Joel Tipple
354

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Falling Forward

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If walking is falling forward
then what do we mean by fall?
There are so many kinds;
how do we keep track of them all?

There’s the falling that can cause injury,
as when falling off a roof.
Even a short fall can be catastrophic,
let’s say you tumble off your stoop.
A fall from grace is the fodder for news.
Those stories make me sad, but I’m seldom amused.

Falling in love is easy.
With the right person, love can stay new.
I’m blessed that way, that I fell to stay,
and so happy she fell for me too.

© Joel Tipple
353

Thinking Thanks

A day of Thanksgiving is great,
but what about the rest of the year?
One day isn’t nearly enough.
It’s a drop in the bucket, I fear.
So consider that today was practice,
and spend more time getting it right.
A good start would be to thank God for His grace,
then to seek His direction and light.

© Joel Tipple
352

The Eve of Thanksgiving

On the Eve of Thanksgiving,
we’re grateful in advance
for the family and friends
who will share our repast.
Because it’s not so much
that with turkey we’re smitten,
but rather the fact we all gather bidden,
to enjoy the bounty with which we are blessed
and remember those loved ones from Thanksgivings past.

© Joel Tipple
351

Warriors Forgive

Forgiveness is not for the weak of will, it’s for the warrior,
who knows well the battleground of his mind.
Each day he puts on his best armor,
choosing what to set free and what to bind.
A warrior is not mastered by bitter hate
that seeks to dominate and make subservient his will.
Instead he emulates his Savior, Jesus Christ,
the warrior who gave all on Calvary’s hill.
If we ever choose instead the wrong path
and install ourselves as judge
we will find ourselves the prisoner
instead of being freed by the warrior’s love.

© Joel Tipple
350

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (NIV)
Colossians 3:13

Moving Forward

13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own.
But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind
and straining forward to what lies ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal
for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14 ESV

A mind held to the past
lacks the energy to engage in the now
and what will be.
Endless replaying of foibles and feeble missteps
serves up little more than mud splattered fenders.
God rewards those who seek Him
and a great veil is lifted from our eyes
when we come to accept the freedom gained from surrender.

© Joel Tipple
348