To The Dark For Me

When night fell
in the middle of the day
Jesus, you paid the price
so I didn’t have to pay.
You went to the dark for me.

On earth, in heaven, our king.
There, between two thieves,
you gave compassion
while demanding none for yourself.
You went to the dark for me.

To the dark for me,
to the dark for me,
through the scourge, the nails, the taunts and the mockery.
To the dark for me,
to the dark for me,
though in agony, Jesus, you went to the dark for me.

Now I have dreams
because you faced the nightmare,
and there is nothing I can give you
except surrender.

Sweet mystery,
sweet mystery,
that my pardon was purchased before I could search it,
sweet mystery.
The greatest story…
I’ll tell your story,
that you sacrificed your life for all mankind.

Though I do great deeds,
I could never repay.
Though thousands revere me and honor my name,
I could never earn the gift you gave away…
when you defeated the grave.

To the dark for me,
you went to the dark for me,
when Jesus, a curtain fell across the sun.
Lamb of God, given and risen, glorious one.
We’re freed from sin, so now and forever, your love has won…
because you went to the dark for me,
you went to the dark for me,
He went to the dark… for you.

©Joel Tipple





We Are New

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We are drawn to the cross, Lord,
where instead of a bitter ending
a joyous new beginning burst forth for all humanity.
Because of your astounding love we are new.

We are new and becoming new,
though by rights we should not be.
The sin that was our inheritance
you purchased on Calvary.
We are new and becoming new.
You reached down with your nail scarred hand.
You saw the lost children we were,
then gave us vision for who we could be.

The future we embrace now,
for this course we race now
we do not run alone.
You carry us when our strength leaves
and eternal life is our guarantee
for your power rolled away the stone.

We are new and becoming new,
for your sacrifice tore the veil.
Because we are adopted sons and daughters
death cannot prevail.
Life is new.

The world now can’t claim us as its own.
We have eternity written in our hearts
and a place before your throne.
We are new.

Earthquakes and tidal waves,
fires and ferocious storms,
poverty and sickness,
cannot prevail against your love.
No matter what the scales read before
your love is more.
Because you died
and rose again
we are new,
and becoming new.

© Joel Tipple

I Believe

I believe in Christmas hearts,
in the passion of Christmas dreams.
I believe in the full measure of
what Christmas really means.

I believe the best giving
comes from sacrifice,
like that of a soldier posted in a desolate land
or the burden that is carried by a soldier’s husband or wife.

I believe in remembering those who have gone before,
the ones who determined to do without
in order that we have more.

I believe in feeding the hungry
and spreading Christmas hope.
I believe peppermint
should be the official Christmas soap.

I believe Christmas breakfast
should include little egg cups
wrapped with slices of ham.
I believe in Christmas muffins
with a spread of Christmas jam.

I believe in Christmas cats
who, too early, take down the Christmas tree,
just because an ornament was calling,
with its light so sparkling.

I believe in Christmas Eve,
and morning,
and night too,
when the Christmas house, exhausted,
gets ready for a New Year’s view.

I believe in Jesus,
the One who started it all,
Who loves us when we live big,
but calls us to be more
when we choose to live small.

I believe better tomorrows
are made out of better todays
and spreading love and compassion
because it’s the Christmas way.

© Joel Tipple



To give everything
without consideration of recompense
to some
would seem ludicrous in the extreme.
Why would you?
How could you?
What would possess you?
to sacrifice

Could it be…
Nobility? No.
Fame? No.
Some well-intentioned but misguided
balancing of red and black ink?
Insanity? No.
Vanity? No.
Stubborn disregard for the standard mode of thinking?

all attempts
to fit it neatly
our human
The ultimate warrior,
Jesus Christ,
is where we discover
God’s design.

5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8

© Joel Tipple

Memorial Day

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This coming Monday in the United States we celebrate Memorial Day. Originally known as Decoration Day, it was started as a way to remember all those combatants who died in battle during the Civil War. Since then it has come to include all those who have died in U.S. military service.

That photograph you’re looking at,
the young man with the grin.
There’s a sparkle in his eye that hints at
the joy and light within.
He didn’t live to become an old man,
but I remember him.

Then there’s the portrait of the nurse following
graduation with her class. She served in the
Pacific during WW II. You could tell her she helped
so many, but to her it would always be too few.
I remember her.

For those who died in the heat,
for the ones who passed in the cold,
holding tightly letters in weary hands
that spoke of work, family, home.

Some brought courage with them.
Some found courage there.
Some found courage with hands firmly clasped
and lips uttering prayer.

Whether young or old,
timid or bold,
we honor them all
as their stories are told
and we gather near the flame
lit in their memory.
We tell their stories,
and we remember.


Shout to God in times of grief
I won’t tell you to hold back
or pretend I know
I don’t

But I’ve been someplace dark before
and the only light I found
to lead me home
was a cross

a place
all bound together with
the greatest sorrow
and joy

where God’s Son
went to die
and claim victory


He said, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me–nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:42
The physical and emotional pain we can quantify, horrific as it was, but as Jesus took on our sins and became sin, (God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21) the spiritual pain took everything Jesus went through to a new level. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” Matthew 27:46 Take the time when you felt most alone and multiply that by any number you know and it can’t approach the spiritual agony Jesus went through. But we know death was conquered in this unprecedented act. Jesus died, He was buried, He rose again and appeared. His victory became our victory.