The Wings of a Butterfly

We all live

and we all die.

God gives us some time in between.

By his grace, while we’re here,

like the butterfly,

we move our wings.

 

Just how much do we really matter?

How much could we really matter?

Ask a butterfly if the edies of air that are born

with the movement of its wings

can make a storm.

Ask a butterfly.

 

Gather some thoughts.

Build some words.

Add a dash of joy

from a praise song you’ve heard.

Reach up your hands

to the giver of life

Make all we are and will become

ever sanctified

to Jesus.

 

 

God always has a reason

For his sometimes mysterious ways

Since he chooses us to be his hands and feet

Why would we waste even a day?

 

Wonderful Father, almighty creator,

would that we, and all life

Move at the direction

of your loving and just hands.

 

Gather some thoughts.

Build some words.

Add a dash of joy

from a praise song you’ve heard

Reach up your hands

to the giver of life

Make all we are and will become

ever sanctified

to Jesus.

 

©Joel Tipple
#7/16

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Order My Heart

The world says I should listen
but I know you’ve an opinion
God, would you order my heart?

I need to hear what you say first.
My heart can be so wayward.
Examine each and every part.

I wake up to pursue your way
But the world and my ego often stand in the way.

I’m following you and asking you to mold my heart.
I’m such stubborn clay,
Father shape me, shape me.
Make my heart beat in time with your Holy Spirit now
I’m reaching out my arms.
Father hold me, hold me.

I’m hard of hearing
So come to my aid.
Help me sense your voice
today and all my days

I’m following you and asking you to mold my heart.
I’m such stubborn clay,
Father shape me, shape me.
Make my heart beat in time with your Holy Spirit now.
I’m reaching out my arms.
Father hold me, hold me.
Father hold me, hold me.

©Joel Tipple
#5/16

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

My Attention

God
help me clear the clutter
reduce the noise
of my life
narrow my focus to what’s essential
first of all
your voice

tune my awareness
of your spirit
as I go about my day
slow down the moments
so I pay attention
lest I miss
what you say

you gave all
for my sake
called me home
set me apart
since you’ve made it new
I look to you
the architect of my heart.

©Joel Tipple
#37/14

The Gospel

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let me feel the gospel
Lord
anyone could say the words
so don’t let them pass right through me
hardly pausing on their way
let them change me
rearrange me
I’m willing to learn
God, you hear what my heart has to say.

let me carry the gospel
Father
its bright colors spilling forth
with grace to balance justice
east west south and north

friends we’ve become
your gospel and me
it’s the truth that shines
from the eyes of the knower
but it’s not only a companion
that wants to hang around
it would much rather be with
those who are sowers

gospel moves through music
through songs that inspire
through words lifting hearts
and taking us higher
like a good rain
washes the world clean
the gospel takes the scales from our eyes
while the riches of God it leaves

to everyone
around the world
to every land
and every flag unfurled
till the people all know
that Jesus died but now lives
we’ll share the precious gospel
just like our savior did

© Joel Tipple
#29/14

Intercession of the Spirit

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We do not know what we should pray for as we ought,
but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us
with groanings which cannot be uttered —Romans 8:26

Thank you Holy Spirit for Your work in me,
praying for me in ways too high for me to understand.
I keep my body a temple for You, while you intercede
for me in accordance with God’s plan.

Heaven on earth may not seem possible
due to our earthly circumstance,
but we have an advocate in the Spirit of God
so we are never left to chance.

© Joel Tipple
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