Shepherds: Part 2 – …An angel appears…(second week of Advent)

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news…” (Lk.2:9,10a NIV)

But then, Behold! the middle of the night
the shepherds watch lest one of their sheep stray
when suddenly appeared a blazing light:
a man who shone as brightly as the day

In dread the shepherds fell upon the ground
their terror was too great for them to flee
Struck dumb with fear they could not make a sound
nor did they dare look up that they might see

No predator had come to steal their sheep
Instead had come a messenger from God
who spoke then with a voice both rich and deep
unto those men cast down upon the sod:

“Arise dear shepherds, cast away your fear
Good News I bring tonight, be of good cheer!”

Shepherds: Part 1 – They watched their flocks…(first week of Advent)

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. -Lk 2:8 (NIV)

A group of shepherds watched their flocks that night
another night like countless nights before
they had the stars and moon above for light
perhaps a fire too, but nothing more

maybe tonight they’d face a fox or bear
that they’d drive off with rocks tossed from a sling
but probably they’d face hardly a scare
they’d play their flutes and one of them would sing

like countless nights before and nights to come,
this night would surely be more of the same
while one of them tapped lightly on a drum
the rest of them would play a quiet game

not one of them would say this night was strange
how could they know that soon their world would change?

How long do we Remember?

Tomorrow (Nov.11), I will be attending a Remembrance Day service (along with thousands of others across this country and in many other countries around the globe. In Canada, the poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae is one part of the service. Please click on the poem title to read the original poem!

The purpose of Remembrance Day (Veteran’s Day in some countries)is to do exactly what the name suggests: Remember. Remember the men and women who sacrificed their lives on fields of battle so that you and I could enjoy the freedoms that we have today. Countless lives were lost in far too many bloody conflicts…but I live a life of freedom today because those men and women died for future generations. So for one day, we set aside a few moments to remember what our freedom cost.

In 2014, I wrote a poem to encourage my readers to remember throughout the year (and not just on November 11). I used the same poetic structure as McCrae used, and echoed some of his words as well. I hope that be re-posting my poem, you might be inspired to remember not just on November 11, but throughout the year: that your freedom did not come for free…

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae
Is heard on each Remembrance Day
And on that day, with heads bowed low
We think of those who fought the foe
“We will remember”, we all say

Yet in that pose, we do not stay
And soon we turn and walk away
To let forgotten poppies blow
In Flanders Fields

Those young men died, so that today
In freedom we can work and play
They paid a hefty price, and so
Let’s not forget the debt we owe
To those who will forever stay
In Flanders Fields

Parables of Earth – Part IV

The Farmer knows He must prepare the earth,
and He understands that this process is
an ongoing practice. The land is worth
only as much as the labour of His

hands. He must remain vigilant for weeds,
as these can quickly overtake a field.
These unwanted plants can choke out His seeds
and very quickly will destroy His yield.

And every spring, He must gather each stone
that winter’s frost has pushed up from below.
Though the labour is hard,He does not groan,
for His reward is seeing His crops grow

An abundant harvest will not be found
If rocks or thorns are left upon the ground

An open letter to a management company that I have the misfortune of having to deal with

To say your work is second rate
Would give more credit than you’re due
I won’t say that you’re dumb as rocks
‘Cuz rocks are brighter far than you

You claim that you can do your job
You even say you know your stuff
No evidence though have you shown
I have to say”enough’s enough!”

This latest stunt, though, takes the cake
You said to us you’d booked a trade
The plumber, though, had not been called
How long will you keep this charade?

You take the word “incompetence”
To levels never seen before
Each time I think I’ve seen your worst
You find a way to make worst more.