A Bit of Bread

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:16-17

In this season

if we are able

we bring those we love

to our table

and celebrate

and feast

while at the same time

we’re honored to share

with others

who might not have the means

but God

to our joy

nevers limits himself

to our concept of time

or date of festival

So it is that

 

a bit of bread

a sip of wine

will always be

my Thanksgiving

 

We share communion

remembering

the body and the blood

some in open, some in secret

all together in God’s love

preparing for our mission field

ten thousand miles away, or one

 

The union of believers

gathered wounded searching souls

numbered few or many

makes no difference at all

God’s pleased as his children

make one giant choir call

in thanksgiving

 

If angels could cry tears of joy

it would rain

if angels could cry tears of joy

you know we’d feel the rain

 

God’s children

gathered around the world

lift their hands

different languages

accents of  their lands

placed within us all

a desire

to worship our Father

so

this offering we now bring

 

Praises to our God

he’s on the throne

we’ll sing praises to our Lord

till we go home

then every nation gathered

the bride’s song will continue

on and on

the sweetest song

on and on

our worship song

 

Whether my table

is laden or lean

the presence of Jesus within

sustains

and nourishes me

 

a bit of bread

a sip of wine

will always be

my Thanksgiving

 

©Joel Tipple
#9/16

 

 

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I’m Not Superman

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I’m not Superman, I’m not Batman,
no I’m surely not John or Bruce Wayne.
But what God would make of me
if only I trust him is greater than all that fame.
Show me a man better, stronger than Jesus.
You can’t show me a man better, stronger, than Jesus.

I may not be a light, but I can be a lighthouse,
reflecting the light of Jesus Christ
all day, and through the darkness.
not by my power, but by the power of the one
who went to the dark for me.

No, I’m not made of iron
and anger doesn’t make me stronger.
But since I’ve been born again death here reigns no longer.
Now I can fly and you could say I’m X-man-now-man-of-God.
No, I’m not Superman. No, I’m not Superman.
But life is better, man. Now I’m getting better, man.
My heart is healed by the blood of Jesus and I’m a better man than before.

©Joel Tipple
#2/16

The Way Forward

I’ve learned
there is one who’s been where I am.
Despite the world’s complexities,
God’s provided a plan.
He must have a sense of humor
or he wouldn’t have chosen me,
but he chose you too. Don’t you see?
Here’s the way forward.

We are made by our creator
for adventure,
but in our walk, we aren’t always
the best navigators
of the way forward.
Pray, search God’s word,
take the best co-pilot with you
on the way.

Don’t let the world define you,
it’ll be all for you, then against.
It loves to drag your eyes
and your will from the present tense.
If God wanted you stuck in the past
here’s where you wouldn’t be.
Since Jesus paid for your sin
and your mistakes
shouldn’t you make peace with God
and be free?

You can’t call yourself a failure
if you aren’t yet in the ground.
The struggle’s not for nothing,
you can hear the angels’ cheering sound.
Bruised and bloodied but not beaten,
you can go another round.
God’s in your corner.
There’s the bell’s sound.
Stand up and go forward.

Use your freedom
to lift others along the way,
man of God.
Spread the good news
man by man, man by family.
Count the cost,
then go the distance
he’ll open hearts
and help the blind see.
Just go forward faithfully.
Go forward faithfully.

©Joel Tipple
#1/16

A Better Broken

I once made a foolish mistake that caused me to ruin my car. I made a sudden u-turn just before an on-ramp and the car in back of me didn’t have enough time or room to avoid plowing into my side. Thank God, no one was hurt, but my car was totaled, broken beyond the reasonable cost of repair.

Have you ever felt like that? Irreparably broken? Was it due to one major event that turned your life upside down? Or was it a long list of trauma, some bigger, some smaller, just piling up one on top of the other until you were simply so weighed down you felt unable to move?

Many of us at some time in our lives feel broken… maybe so badly we couldn’t believe anyone would want to invest in us, love us, value us. We buy into the lies the world tells us about who we are and what we should or should not expect to be possible in our lives. Before the hands of time have barely moved, we assume they’ve passed us by.

While where we find ourselves in life is certainly a combination of circumstances within and outside of our control, it’s never too late to turn our lives over to God. Beginning with recognizing our need for salvation and inability to save ourselves, we begin a new life. As God searches out and heals those broken areas of our life we discover our need to be… broken.

Although we can claim salvation the moment we recognize our need and ask for it, becoming a follower of Jesus is a daily journey. Every day we seek God. Every day we look for ways to find God’s will for our lives and do what He asks. But even when we know in our hearts our decision making ability is at best a distant second to God’s, out of habit and our still active sinful nature we keep trying to impose our own will. At its core, being broken and contrite before God is realizing and acting on the knowledge that God is God and we are not. For most of us being broken means the constant need to consciously surrender our will to Him. Not the broken we were when we came to God,
a better broken.

You took me in when I’d thrown myself out.
Words weren’t enough to save me.
Psychology and self help couldn’t breach
the walls I built to hide me.

Then God, you pushed through all my barriers,
and my fear of being exposed
fell away before your love and mercy.
Before your light my shadows fled.
Now I’m not afraid to be the me you made.

No longer broken,
but seeking a better broken.
Lord please exchange my will for yours.
You’ve kept all your promises,
though I often faltered.
Your guiding hand helped me through the door.

A better broken, Lord.
Lord, a better broken.
A better broken, Lord.
Lord, a better broken.

When I built my life with pride,
a stubborn stance on feet of clay,
from such a lofty height
came my greater fall.

But when I’m broken,
that’s when God can reach me.
When I’m broken,
my noise just fades away,
like fog dried by the sun,
then swept into the sea.

Struggles take on new meaning
when I’m broken.
Hurdles only mean I’m closer still
to the destination you saved for me,
toward your will
and design.

No longer bitter,
better broken.
Reconciled
by the words you’ve spoken.
A better broken, Lord,
a better broken.
A better broken, Lord,
a better broken.

©Joel Tipple
#1/15