The Third Verse

Churches skip the third verse in hymns.

The first verse is famous.  It draws people in.   A-ma-zing grace! how sweet the sound…
The second verse is familiar to the dedicated.  It has a following (which means they can still keep their eyes closed)  ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear…
The fourth verse is the crescendo.  It leaves an impact; makes a statement; draws everyone back in.  When we’ve been there ten thousand years…

But the third verse gets skipped.  Sometimes they just don’t have time for the third verse.  Sometimes it’s because the third verse isn’t well known.  Maybe nobody’s comfortable with the third verse because they’ve never heard it sung.  Maybe they didn’t even know it was there.

Most of us feel like this at one point or another.

“what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?

We have to be OK if we are the third verse.

Because there’s still poetry in the third.
There’s still truth.
There’s still revelation.
There’s still beauty, honor, purpose.

3. Thro’ man-y dan-gers, toils and snares, I have al-read-y come; ‘Tis grace hath bro’t me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.


The Contemporary Renaissance Man

A poem about

The Contemporary Renaissance Man

He is:

Manhood’s champion

Humor’s liaison

Language’s redeemer

Poetry’s muse

Melody’s voice

Book’s reviewer

Story’s creator

Adventure’s alarm

Fatherhood’s defender

Gaming’s assassin

Media’s mediator


Apathy’s nightmare.

Jesus Wants Disciples: A Poem About The Church

Jesus wants disciples
Not tourists

He wants your heart
Not souvenirs

If you’re a “Creaster”
You ain’t a Christian
You just have a very weird hobby
The church is the body of Christ
It is not
A moral covey of itinerant therapists
So whether you join or jeer,
Connect or chide,
Submit …or… slink away
When you hop from place to place to place
That’s either

I Won’t Repent

An exodus poem

We scoff at Pharaoh for never relenting
As things just went from bad to worse
But verse by verse (my arguments terse)
I realize Pharaoh was wont to relent

and I won’t repent

Officials, magicians, convened: convincing
But weekends and downtime are tense
Pharaoh wouldn’t let the people go
I won’t let go of the plagues

Is it a hard heart
or a cool head
That renders benign my affection?

Is it a new normal
or ignorance of Eden
that makes me OK with the stench?

My sorrow simply longs for respite
While my mind, soul, and strength
want to make it right

My heart is the hard one to break

(Exodus 7-9)

The Coolest Goodbye

The Coolest Goodbye

Yesterday I announced my resignation as Minister to Students at Ridgecrest Baptist Church.  It was one of the hardest days of my life and I just anticipated the fallout to be bad.  But one of my students gave me the coolest goodbye.  She wrote a poem for a poet.  And here it is:

One of the most intriguing people I’ve ever known.

You were always trying to get me out of my comfort zone.

A passion for God; a love for all parts of life.

You were there for me in the good or in the fights.

Not afraid to tell us what your opinion was.

You demanded answers from us better than, “Just cause.”

A servant, a teacher, a friend to go to,

The only person I know who can converse about poop.

Almost drove off the road because you saw a clown,

Told us you were a lifeguard if anyone drowned.

Passionately lived out what you tried to teach us.

One of these days, we need to off road that church bus.

You taught me about football and extreme croquet

We talked about stuff in your office or my driveway.

You inspired me to write my very first poem.

Made me so embarrassed I said, “Yeah, I don’t know him.”

Went sledding down the hill behind the old church.

Lived out for our youth group that the last will be first.

Talked me through some of my darkest times,

Randomly chatted about poems and rhymes.

You changed our lives with the big and the small,

You jokes and humor were so off the wall,

Now God has brought you to a new journey.

I hope even there you can have a wiffle-ball tourney.

You left a mark, and you will never be forgotten.

When a man goes with Christ, nothing will stop him.

You are loved here and we’re sad to see you go.

But, Sean, go with God wherever He leads you to go.

History of Writing

In Kindergarten I first wrote my name.

In 1st Grade I wrote my first valentine.

In 2nd Grade I wrote my first autograph.

In 3rd Grade I wrote an 11-page book report.

In 4th Grade I wrote a 27 page report about sharks.

In 5th Grade I wrote my first short story.

In 6th Grade I wrote my first script.

In 7th Grade I wrote my first poem.

In 8th Grade I wrote my first song.

In 9th Grade I wrote my first policy.

In 10th Grade I wrote my first speech.

In 11th Grade I wrote my first note to my wife.

In 12th Grade I wrote my first book.

As a College Freshman I wrote my first sermon.

As a College Sophomore I wrote my first Impact cheer.

As a College Junior I wrote my first constitution.

As a College Senior I wrote my first tattoo meaning.

As a College Graduate I wrote my first successful disc golf course proposal.

As a Master’s Student I wrote my first talk for a youth group.

As a Master’s Graduate I wrote my first resume.

In 2008 I wrote my first note to my daughter.

In 2009 I’m writing a blog.