Build Within Me A Foundation of Thanksgiving – A Poem of Praise to God

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Build Within Me A Foundation of Thanksgiving – A Poem of Praise to God

May your rays of righteousness
pierce through the clouds and shadows of my heart.

May my mind give way to your fruit –
take up your shears and prune these vines that ensnare me.

Give thanks, give praise to the tree of life,
whose branches stretch out into infinity’s depths.

Give thanks, give praise to the tree of life,
whose leaves cover and provide shelter from worldly strife.

May wisdom flow like a river, filling my well –
knowledge of you soothing my parched lips and restoring my soul.

May I not walk by the power of my own two feet,
but make the journey through life on my knees, yielding to your majesty.

If I find nothing to be grateful for, nothing to praise you for,
surely my eyes are closed like curtains to the light of morning.

If my ears do not hear your name praised throughout the forest,
surely I am deaf to the songs and melodies of mother nature.

Build within me a foundation of thanksgiving –
a cornerstone on which my heart and soul rests.

Build within me an unquenchable thirst to praise your name,
never ceasing to be marveled by the brilliance of your glory.

Still the river of desire that flows through the heart of man,
unceasingly paddling down torrential waters, never satisfied, never able to rest.

Still the winds of lust, of jealous breezes,
our noses consistently sniffing for scents trying to sense what we don’t have.

Let our hearts not beat for what we’re missing,
but become firmly grounded in the grace which we already have.

Let our hearts not beat for foolish wishes,
but boil over with thanksgiving for your endless bounty and be glad.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

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Like the Summer Wind – A Poem

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Like the Summer Wind – A Poem

I yearn for you like the summer wind –
vast, cool, refreshing upon my cheek;
a shelter to soothe beneath the furnace of life’s heat.

Your character radiates and pierces
through the layers of lust surrounding my heart,
pushing foolish desires aside; shredding selfishness apart.

Your faith is a fortress –
a castle that contains a bounty of beauty;
an unfamiliar treasure invigorating. intriguing me.

Respect reflects from your resolve like an echo –
a lovely sonata to my ears,
finding all the melodies attractive that you hold dear.

Purity has never been pursued by me,
but you make it as arousing as naked flesh.
seductively strutting your sexuality within a soul of righteousness.

Romance flares up; sensuality beckons me
to brush your lips, to feel your kiss.
and have my hands caress and rub out all your loneliness.

You’ve got me on the hunt,
pursuing an prize I’ve never seen –
my bow is strung, my arrow nocked, and aimed for the heart of a queen.

I long for you like stars in a void of black –
hopeful, resilient, a lamplight to guide the way,
and your flames lick at my heart, burning to speak your name.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


 

photo credit: Purity via photopin (license)

Everyday Miracles – A Poem About Finding God in Ordinary Things

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Everyday Miracles – A Poem About Finding God in Ordinary Things

The clamor of your wisdom claps
like a thousand hands in unison throughout the forest,
calling from every treetop,
and whispering within every breath the north wind blows.
Your wisdom can be found in the simplicity of a dew drop
and within the caw of a congregation of crows.

You are an invisible hand, always laboring,
opening and closing doors as you see fit –
not always on my time frame,
not always giving me access to the rooms I wish,
but often times I find ignorance is bliss.
For the paths I most yearn to walk down
you wall off, knowing they lead to my demise.

You are the wise King,
always leading, but serving unceasingly.
With each new day you bring,
I am astonished at your beauty –
as long as I make the time to open my eyes,
as long as my awareness is focused on you
and turned away from the desires of my mind.

Your miracles come in small packages,
constantly sent, but rarely opened.
I look for you in grandiose experiences,
but you keep gently tugging at my sleeve,
urging me to put on my leather gloves
and dig for you in the dirt of the garden.

If I’m not careful,
I can become oblivious to the everyday mystery –
the beauty of a daffodil,
the way sunlight rests upon my windowsill,
the spirit that speaks when my mind gets still,
and the non-coincidental meetings of strangers,
sharing the exact conversations I need to hear.

Open my eyes when they are blind to your majesty,
so that I may witness your glory
in every root, rock, river, and ravine.
May I read the love letters you’ve written
upon every stump I pass in the forest,
every deer that crosses my path,
and every squirrel that leaps from limb to limb.
May I marvel at your everyday miracles
and find your fingerprints upon every piece of evidence
in this case called life.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


 

photo credit: Ontelaunee Creek Tributary (1) via photopin (license)

Life’s Amphitheater – A Poem About Helping the Less Fortunate

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As I was driving down the road the other day and came to a stoplight, my eyes fell upon a young woman begging on the side of the road. I must admit that often times I am quick to judge out of pride or wonder why they are too lazy to pick themselves up and get a job or get help for their addiction. Often times I put the blame on their shoulders and often times it may be. But that woman’s image flooded my heart with sympathy – her head was hung low, and it was clear that she was ashamed of herself and her situation. I found myself wanting to write her story…and not just hers, but for all those struggling in the world without a voice.

It is easy to judge, but much harder to place ourselves in the shoes of another. We all have issues we wish to keep hidden in the safety of our hearts and minds. And what we often times attribute to our strength, our character, or our success has nothing to do with our actions, but only the grace of God.

What would your life look like without loving parents, a loving spouse, a warm and safe home; without teachers, mentors, and other positive influences? What would your life look like if you were abused as a child, afraid of going home after school, or knowing there wouldn’t be anyone there to ask you how your day was or help you with your homework? What would your life look like without someone to help you through college, without an employer who was willing to take a chance on a young intern, without a friend to pick you up all the times you fell? I don’t know, but I think it would do us all a little good to keep our judgments hushed and our hearts open to the stories of the less fortunate people around us.

Life’s Amphitheater – A Poem

Sing a song for the brokenhearted
Whose hopes were snatched away like a thief in the night;
For those who’ve been burnt by the flames of love,
Their hearts charred and scarred no longer with the will to fight.

Sing a song for the prince of pain
Whose sorrows cast shadows upon the skies.
Sing, sing for the once crowned king
Whose tears fall like rain from dismal eyes.

Sing a song for fairy tales lost.
Reality stings like salt on an open wound.
Yesterday’s hours were filled with childhood play.
Oh, how the years pass away much too soon.

Drum a dirge for the divorcee,
Who was ill-equipped to hear the secrets that fell upon their ears.
The soul shatters like sheet of glass
When reality reflects the realization of your deepest fears.

Drum a dirge for dying dreams
That have been abandoned for monetary pursuits.
To live a life never meant for our hearts
Is is pull up your essence and chop it off at the roots.

Drum a dirge for the desolate and deserted
Who hobble hopelessly, begging on downtown streets.
Do not be quick to judge a stranger
Until you pick up their bags and take a ride in their seat.

Belt out a ballad for the afflicted,
For the addicted, and for the anxious minds.
Have sympathy for the struggle you might not understand,
For we each carry a story we wish to leave behind.

Belt out a ballad for the sick and suffering;
Share their tale of sadness and woe.
A kind smile and gentle hand is often the only demand
To make somber faces delight and glow.

Belt out a ballad for the fatherless,
Familyless, and utterly alone
Whose story goes untold, lost
Sinking to the bottom of life’s ocean like a heavy stone.

Have pity on the less fortunate people
Whose notes resound throughout life’s amphitheater.
We are all apart of one beating force,
One united, cosmic voice; one rhyme, one rhythm, one meter.

-Poem and Content Written by Justin Farley


 

photo credit: Hard Times via photopin (license)

There’s Wisdom In Silence – A Poem of Contemplation

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There’s Wisdom In Silence – A Poem of Contemplation 

There’s wisdom in silence;
Silence breeds seeds of wisdom.
Knowledge pours in like an flowing pitcher
Of water into an empty basin
When the heart is humble and the mind is tranquil.
When the tongue is mute,
The ears of the heart can listen.

The quiet is filled with more noise
Than the roaring downtown street traffic
Until the mind is stilled and becomes clear
Like the glassy surface of a calm lake.
But yet, silence is not silent.
For beneath the still surface,
Depths of movement swirl in swift currents of contemplation.
Silt is swept away by the forces of freedom –
Detachment from worldly bonds and chains.

Wisdom speaks in silence,
For she waits patiently until the listener is humble
Before she opens her mouth.
She knows there is no sense in wasting her breath
On ears that are clogged with distractions.
I asked wisdom what I must do to receive her blessing,
And the Lord answered:

“I will fill your pockets with wisdom,
But first you must put on clean clothes.
Rags only soak up and retain the delusions
Of the ego, bound like a slave to his desires;
The foolish feed their flesh.
Shed your stained dresses –
Evidence of all your failures and messes –
And wear my clean, white garment.
Wisdom lies dormant until you can receive
And hear this teaching.
As painful as it may be to your prideful heart,
Man never gave birth to knowledge himself,
But simply became aware of it in my being.
All that you are seeing are either products of truth
Of fallacies formed by the ego
To justify remaining in the dark,
Traveling blind down the wide and easy path.
It is not my wrath you should fear,
But the seeds you are planting
And the grain you will reap.
Your house is maintained or profaned
By the company you keep.
Every action forces fate’s hand
To set a chain of events in motion.
Do not give claim to the foolish notion
That free beings can refuse reproof and disdain discipline
And merely move along merrily without repercussion.
You need not my punishment.
For you punish yourself each time you scoff at truth,
Slowly watering, unknowingly growing
The roots of destruction that will choke you from within.
Wickedness knows no other way
Than to breed pain, emptiness, death, and decay.
I will fill your pockets with wisdom,
But you must first strip off your ragged clothes.
Perfection only comes from those under my atoning garment.
But to wear it, you must face being exposed.
For it does not keep in secrets;
It does not allow your selfish heart to plot.
It is a daily reminder of your inadequacy
That when you are swept away within the currents of life
You have not the power to save yourself, but must cling to the rock.
Wisdom walks unceasingly,
Wandering through the crowded streets.
But few have eyes to see and ears to hear;
Few are the faces that she greets.
If you want her knowledge,
You must also accept her reproof.
But if you remain humble,
You shall surely taste the splendor of truth.”

There’s wisdom in silence,
But she is not loose, but haughty.
She does not strip off her secrets
Or share her bed to just anybody.
She desires the humble, the meek, and the mild
With hearts full of shame, begging to be reconciled.
Few dare to enter the gates of silence.
For they fear what their hearts will hear.
So they continue to ignore wisdom’s silent warning
And dig their own destruction year after year.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


photo credit: The Moon Legend via photopin (license)

The Lamp Light – A Christian Poem About Wisdom

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The Lamp Light – A Christian Poem About Wisdom

The lamp light is lit.
The atoning wick sucks up the anointing oil
And is overflowing,
Spreading a blazing fire within my chamber.
I am mesmerized with the knowledge of wisdom –
The calming vision that you lay upon my eyes.
Tear down these fragile, crumbling walls of pride.
Replace them with towering stones that reach up to the heavens –
A fortress of faith that is impenetrable, insurmountable, indestructible.
Place me in your royal castle of solitude –
The holy palace that glimmers in glory atop a hill.
Free me from my own destruction,
And protect me from the voices of delusion that come knocking at the gate,
Coaxing me to embrace the desires of the world, eroding my faith,
And attempting to convince me that I am a prisoner
That must be set free.
Grant me the eyes to see through the tricks of temptation.
Assure my soul that there is but one means of salvation –
That the often times lonely path filled with hardships
Is true because it is so.
Allow me to know your will when confusion strikes
And my will fights with all its might
To cling to what is temporal, easy, and immediately gratifying.
Keep this lamp lit, and may its flame never wane
Or dim against the breeze of change
Or the winds of the world.
May I call you Lord not simply in word alone,
But recognize, answer to, and serve you as a slave to master.
When disaster strikes prevent my fear from persuading me
To cut off these cords and place myself back into control.
May your lamp light my way through the often dark and confusing forest.
May its fires warm and heat my soul
In a blaze of immeasurable glory.
And may I live desiring only to live out your plans
And not to write my own story.

-Poem Written By Justin Farley


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Upon This Rock – A Christian Poem of Grace

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Upon This Rock – A Christian Poem of Grace

Upon this rock I walk
Uncertain, yet composed.
Not crushed beneath the veil of darkness,
For with me always is a light that glows.
The demons of my weakness harass me.
Past failures breed doubts to future plans.
But upon this rock I’m free,
Caressed and cradled in loving hands.
Often I do not recognize my actions.
They are not in line with the man I know.
Ruthlessness is my natural reaction,
Yet somehow seeds of love are sown.
Anger still has moments of victory,
But the battles are swaying with tides of grace.
Love is beginning to reside within me,
Routing out my weeds of hate.
It is by no strong will of mine,
But because of this rock on which I stand.
It is only by the power of the Divine
That I am being transformed into a better man.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

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Patience – A Poem About Waiting and Trusting in God’s Timing

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Patience – A Poem About Waiting and Trusting in God’s Timing

The agony of waiting, watching the hours
Drains my power and leaves me bitter
Filled with battered pride and endless angst.
But just as it takes a season to cultivate a flower,
I must keep a steadfast heart and wait.

My deepest failure is relying on my own two hands
To control, conquer, defend, and prevent defeat.
For when I am solely responsible for the success of all life’s plans,
My heart lies anxious constantly, consciously looking
To deter life’s inevitable outcomes with each and every beat.

It is in waiting, humbly praying, admitting
That you and you alone know the matter of my fate,
That my anxious and impatient heart can rest
Trusting you know what’s best and patiently, pridelessly wait.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


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Hide and Seek – Godly Love of God Poem

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Hide and Seek – Godly Love of God Poem

One, one-thousand.
Two, one-thousand.
Three, one-thousand…
Ten, one-thousand.
Ready or not, here I come.

Just where could you be hiding?
Your favorite spots could be endless
Across an ever-expanding universe.
Are you resting within a crater on the moon?
Riding around the rings of Saturn
Like a spinning merry-go-round?
Swirling within the storms of Jupiter?
Getting a tan upon the surface of Venus?
Swimming through the Milky Way
Like a breakfast grain in a bowl of cereal?

Or maybe farther yet?
Out across seas of space and time,
Multitudes of galaxies Magellan
Would have loved to sail and navigate?
Oh, the quest is hopeless.
I search and search,
Overturning each and every rock,
But never even find a clue.

I must admit…
You’re quite a funny fellow
With a sense of humor I imagine casts a grin
That stretches across the black void of space.
You must get a chuckle and kick
Out of human ignorance.
Because each time I resolve to quit
This game you show up unexpectedly,
Tapping me on the shoulder and staying
Just long enough to convince me
That you’re not done playing.
And the game begins again.

But this game has lasted for years.
The lines and rules have become blurred.
I no longer know who’s hiding and who’s seeking.
Maybe the jokes on me.
Maybe I’m the one who’s been hiding all along.
Maybe I’ve limited my vision to cosmic proportions,
So I could convince myself that even if I found you,
You’d be too far away to reach anyways.

But what if you’re here
Right now
On this very page,
Trying to get my attention that the jig is up –
That I’ve been found,
That, in fact, I was never hidden to begin with.
You just loved me enough
To give me the opportunity to believe I was,
While you’ve been patiently waiting outside the closet door
Like a loving parent, longing to greet me
On the day I’m finally ready to be found.

One, one-thousand.
Two, one-thousand.
Three, one-thousand…
Ten, one-thousand.
Ready or not, here I come.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this poem please check out the rest of my blog for more posts and poems about the love of God, words of wisdom and wisdom poems, and religious Christian poetry.


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