They Say…

They Say...

They say follow your heart,
but I'm thoroughly convinced
mine doesn't know where
the hell it's going.

They say the heart wants
what the heart wants.
Mine wants to pull down the shades
and get rip-roaring drunk.

They say love yourself.
I think if I love myself any more
I'm going to join Narcissus
at the bottom of that damn pool.

They say put yourself first,
but I'm so far in the lead
that there's no one left
for me to pass.

But He says 
I'm broken beyond belief,
that my heart is deceptive,
and can't be trusted.

He says that only fools
follow the desires of the heart
because they lead to
bottomless pits, never satisfied.

He says quit staring
at yourself in that mirror,
that my hope isn't found in self love,
it's in the depth of His love.

He says the first shall be last
and to love my neighbor as myself,
to help pick up the wounded runners
rather than worry about what place I finish in.

I love my heart,
which is why it's so painful to admit
that His Word sounds like truth,
and culture sounds like childish chatter.

Justin Farley

Planting is a Prayer Poem

Planting is a Prayer

Planting is a prayer.
If you do it right.
If you take delight in the present
but keep future possibility in sight.

For God doesn't need words.
With each heart beat
you lay at his feet
a million complaints, hopes, fears,
doubts, joys, and defeats.

A creator knows its creation
better than the creation itself.
Your ink filled his pen.
He outlines your story, your end
before it evens begins
but allows you freewill 
over the final edits.

Planting is a prayer.
If you do it right.
If you're aware you've been given oversight
in a chapter of a story
that's been continually expanding
since the Word first spoke to the void:

"Let there be light".
Let you delight
in the blessing you've been given - 
partial control over the story of life.

Justin Farley

Poem About Life Journey and Inner Peace – Adventure

Adventure
Poem About Life Journey and Inner Peace

 Adventures never have destinations.
It's experience that gives us what we need to find.
Leave the need for answers and your expectations
behind you, unpacked from your mind.

Modern life has lost its sense of mystery.
The need to know shatters our sense of awe.
To live out your true purpose and destiny
recognize that, at times, reason can be a flaw.

Don't ask me to explain love.
Or the chemicals released when I look in her eyes.
It's beyond what the human mind can conceive of,
lifeless facts that'll never explain what the heart testifies.

We must stop seeking adventure "out there";
true adventure is a journey of the heart.
The calling to discover, to dare
is where inner freedom starts.

Justin Farley

Sandcastles Poem About Hardships in Life

Sandcastles
Poem About Hardships in Life

The weariness of life is enough
to make even the watchman tired.
His heavy eyelids close with each
complexity of life that breaches the palace gates.
There he waits until all he aspired
for crumbles beneath the harsh realities of life
like the sandcastles he built as a boy,
cold, green, frothy ocean 
dashing all his work in one motion
jeering as the tide drags
even what was repairable back out to sea.

Who puts out the fire
when the ivory tower erupts in flames?
Who mops up the childhood pain
that we slip on time and time again?
The oldest wounds never seeming to mend
because, like a cut on a joint, each time we bend
beneath life's weight that weeping wound
cracks back open, raw once more.

There's no way to bar every door.
There's no way to lock tight every window.
Misfortune's finding a way in even though
we believe we've created an impenetrable castle.
Life will always have its burdens;
they're still tough to bear
even with solid walls around you.
But we choose whether to build
our castles on the sand
or fortify them on the rocks.

Justin Farley

Conversion Poem About the Love and Grace of God

Conversion
A Poem About the Love and Grace of God

I began divided.
Quite selfish with a heart hungry for evil
yet filled with a deep longing brewing
below the surface that never seemed fulfilled
by anything other than you.
So what was I to do - 
in love with myself and my selfish desires
but realizing more each day my need for you?

I opened my ears to your voice
but kept my heart safely distant.
You told me to follow you.
And I obeyed...
at a snail's pace,
slowly inching my way towards your grace.

The closer I came the louder my name
reverberated from your lips.
Though the louder too were my selfish longings.
Lust ran high in the dry, dusty desert of restraint
and tried to pull me back
into the slavery of gratification.
 
I gave in time and time again
but refused to allow my sin
to convince me to hide in shame from you.
For at the core of my being,
I knew you held something true - 
an answer to a question about the essence of life itself
that couldn't be answered along any other path but yours.

So I continued hauling my heavy shell behind me
and sluggishly crawled onward,
but the way forward didn't get any easier.
I only found myself more divided,
fragmented into forces fighting within myself.

My head became a bed for commotion,
tossing me to and fro like the waves of the ocean.
The inner struggle only made me more aware
of the seriousness of my situation:
I had a head full of God
and a heart unwavering it its insistence
upon serving itself.

It was daunting,
haunting me in its clutches
and causing me to lose sleep
like a nightmare stuck on repeat,
waking me up in the night
to the harsh realities of life.

How was I to serve two masters
and attend to both of their matters?
My ego wasn't lulled to sleep
nor cowered to the call for its destruction.
But raged and rattled the cage
your spirit had created for it.

I trusted that your grace
was vaster than all the stars
shinning forth forgiveness in the dark
to the farthest corners of the universe;
surely my sin was no match for your goodness.

I resolved to stop worrying
so much about "do nots"
that I never seemed capable of obeying
and to focus on following through on the "dos"
I was perfectly capable of undertaking.

And there your spirit freed
a seemingly unsavable prisoner
from the bondage of self
and turned me towards the Divine.
For you kept me so busy doing your will
that I forgot about mine.

Justin Farley

Letting Go Poem About Trusting in God

Letting Go
Poem about Trusting in God

Troubles slip through my fingers like sand
as long as I cling to your commands,
letting your Word direct my way - 
floodgates to block and keep me at bay.

But it's never easy to deny yourself entry,
shackling your will under lock and key of the sentry.
Not more grit, more letting go.
Not what I can birth, what you can bestow.

There's no carrying crosses with only my will;
my volition is far too volatile.
I can get swayed by the winds of the world,
unable to predict my will after they've whirled.  

But you're unchanging, stable, and steadfast.
You provide strength and aid when we ask.
Bury pride and leave it dead in the dust.
Victory is praying through trials and learning to trust.

Justin Farley

Hello, everyone! I have recently published my first chapbook of Christian poems titled “A Voice in the Wilderness – A Chapbook of Poems about God”. This has been developed and polished over the past six months or so. I am happy with the final product and hope you find encouragement in the poems but also a validation that the spiritual life is not all sunshine and rainbows. We all struggle. We all have periods of questions and/or doubt. But it is the yearning that keeps us coming back for more and allows us to experience joy.
You can purchase either on Amazon or on my own bookstore (it is cheaper and has free shipping on my store) and is available on the Kindle and in paperback.
Amazon: Kindle Paperback
Inkspiration Books (my bookstore): Paperback

Thank you for your support!

Christian Poetry Chapbook Ebook Temporarily Free

Hello, everyone! I have recently published my first chapbook of Christian poems titled “A Voice in the Wilderness – A Chapbook of Poems about God”. This has been developed and polished over the past six months or so. I am happy with the final product and hope you find encouragement in the poems but also a validation that the spiritual life is not all sunshine and rainbows. We all struggle. We all have periods of questions and/or doubt. But it is the yearning that keeps us coming back for more and allows us to experience joy.
You can purchase either on Amazon or on my own bookstore (it is cheaper and has free shipping on my store) and is available on the Kindle and in paperback. The ebook is free on Amazon, today only (2/28/21)
Amazon: Kindle Paperback
Inkspiration Books (my bookstore): Paperback

Thank you for your support!

Silence Speaks Poem About Listening in Nature

Silence Speaks
Poem About Listening in Nature

Silence comes swiftly
with the sudden breeze
quietly untangling the mind
and piercing the restless heart.
The rustles of the leaves in the trees
let light fall like raindrops
each time nature's canopy is shaken.

There's a presence here unnameable,
indescribable, ancient and older
than the tallest oak.
Found in the remote places
away from the clangs, bangs, rattlin' brain of the city,
lost but not forgotten.
Hidden like shoots of green
beneath the decaying debris
of crumbling leaves, fallen twigs, and toppled trees
crushed beneath the weight of a summer storm.

There's treasure buried here,
secrets desperately awaiting your discovery.
Your heart knows it.
Feels it.
Your mind contains the map
if it is hushed.
If it is clear.
Silence speaks.
But do you hear?

Justin Farley

Hello, everyone! I have recently published my first chapbook of Christian poems titled “A Voice in the Wilderness – A Chapbook of Poems about God”. This has been developed and polished over the past six months or so. I am happy with the final product and hope you find encouragement in the poems but also a validation that the spiritual life is not all sunshine and rainbows. We all struggle. We all have periods of questions and/or doubt. But it is the yearning that keeps us coming back for more and allows us to experience joy.
You can purchase either on Amazon or on my own bookstore (it is cheaper and has free shipping on my store) and is available on the Kindle and in paperback.
Amazon: Kindle Paperback
Inkspiration Books (my bookstore): Paperback

Thank you for your support!

Satan’s Speech Christian Religious Narrative Poem

Satan's Speech
A Narrative Poem with Religious Themes

Satan stepped up to the podium,
cleared his throat, and tapped the microphone
to address his legions of demons gathered
with each new, human generation
to discuss matters of military penetration.
"It is no longer necessary
to corrupt good for evil," he said.
"It's quite satisfactory to distract
the mind and heart from mission to resignation,
carried away by the slews of sedition,
soul-numbed in leisurely pursuits.
Preferable, in fact.
For who questions convenience?
Which one of your clients challenges comfort
or inspects the tools built by good intention?"

"If there's one thing we know,
dear friends, is how given the choice,
the allure of sin is stronger
than righteousness in even the nicest fellow.
But sin disguised as harmless, helpful, fun,
beguiled by necessity for modern life...
well, that's the Trojan Horse 
that turns the tides of war - 
the break we've waited eons for."

A light echo of laughter
broke out across the room.
Abaddon leaned in close to the mic,
"If you don't understand the chuckle of your neighbor,
you're far too young to understand our plight
across the ages and the countless battles
we've fought for control of the human heart.
For even the wisest sages
are penetrable in a world of distraction.
We no longer need to trade truth for lies.
Just simply plant alibis 
to embrace the easy and immediate
in favor of the important and inconvenient
until it becomes buried
beneath a pile of endless
beeps, dings, and buzzes,
and they'll forget Truth was ever there to begin with."

He grabbed the mic from the stand
and began pacing across the stage,
his powerful, intoxicating shadows
dancing across the walls,
magnified by the candlelight.
Lucifer continued,
"Could it get any easier, my friends?
Remember the centuries when
we'd have to convince them
to pluck the fruit
fully aware of their sin
and our whispers slithering out of the bush?"

"We now simply need to convince them
that the world has grown far too large
for them to make a difference,
that their lives are too busy for prayer,
and that reading is antiquated...
far easier to keep that vile book
we all abhor out of their hands
than convince them it belongs in the trash."

"Don't you know 'faith without works is dead'?"
Belial said with a smirk.
"And modern technology
keeps their restless hearts so busy,
they don't even realize they're dying inside."
A deep, wicked, bellowed laugh
amplified from the stage
and an applause rang throughout the crowd.

Justin Farley

Fasting in the Desert A Godly Poem About Contemplation and Selfishness

Fasting in the Desert

Strip yourself naked,
unclothed of selfish desire.
For it requires fuel to burn
just as a raging fire.

If all thoughts
revolve around me and mine,
how am I to hear the voice of God,
how am I to feel the presence of the Divine?

It's by starving addictions
that we discover the depth of their roots.
Sometimes we must endure pain and misery
to prepare our hearts for grander pursuits. 

Contentment begins 
when we step into Silence's abode.
Here we find all we need
and her blessings are bestowed.

For comfort comes
not from out there but from within
and fasting in the desert
is where the search for God begins.

Justin Farley