Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Without haste we waste the time,
Guilty- charged with the crime of negligence,
while hiding behind an aura of self defense-
Defending the pride that we’ve built inside,
I plead the fifth and just roll with the tide.
My mistake, but I won’t admit-
too headstrong to submit,
we find ourselves stretched with one arm reaching out
and a hand opened wide, anxious to receive,
while the other is behind our back,
a fist clenched tightly to what we need, or so we perceive.
“Lose it all for me. Do away with it completely”
and what seems right to us will cause a fuss
when we clearly see that we find our lives when we lay them down.
It’s a backwards notion, in a world of forward motion and rising to the top.
See how we all freak out when a soul kneels down and breaks an alabaster box;
so concerned with the mess, we shout, “Someone grab a mop!”
Do we miss the point? Have we missed the mark?
A fire in the night can light a path. 
All it takes is single spark. 


Monday, November 19, 2012

Enter His Gates

"Enter His gates...", but what can I bring?
What kind of thanks is fit for a king?
Should I bring a song, originally composed,
Or just sing a few hymns that everyone knows?
When my propensity to bring You praise
is likened to an awkward first date--
making small talk just to kill the silence,
and you can feel the violence
of a sea of empty words and an empty phrase,
would it be enough if I just stand amazed?
When I fumble for the words to attribute to your might,
a simple "Thank you" is on my lips,
and although it seems light,
I'm like a kid preparing a Christmas Wish List--
the list is extensive and long
as I count all the times you've been my strength and my song.

"Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name."
Psalm 100:1-4

"The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.

The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous;
The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.
The right hand of the Lord is exalted;
The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.
 I will not die, but live,
And tell of the works of the Lord.
The Lord has disciplined me severely,
But He has not given me over to death.
 Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I shall enter through them, I shall give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord;
The righteous will enter through it.
I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me,
And You have become my salvation."
Psalm 118:14-21

AEJ 11/19/2012 10:35AM

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Not On My Own

Keep going. Time is of the essence
in a world where we chase after the need to prove our own existence.
And I want to, but it just feels like there is nothing left.
I try, but I just come up short of breath.
Living and striving, plagued with the thoughts,
“I can’t do this…on my own.”
It’s the start of surrender.

It’s the heart of the pretender giving up the act.

Finding the irony in the fact
that through submission, there is freedom abounding.

It may look a little different, but it’s truly quite astounding
how walls can come down in this mansion that I built

to hide my shame and guilt, and when my mind begins to change,

 then my actions rearrange to form a better pattern-

one that refuses to be conformed by the things that catch my eye.
And after all I've gained and lost,
the beauty comes when we begin to realize
that in the end, it's so much more than a chasing after the wind.
Keep going.
Living, striving, and counting it all loss
for the sake of the cross.
AEJ 3:20pm 10/21/2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Strength Enough

Strength enough to move the mountains,
the ones that impose and crowd my space.
Strength enough to pull me up out of this pit,
where I lie flat on my face.
Pulling me up, lifting my head to see
that this life has more to offer than the fears and struggles
that have seemingly overtaken me.
Strength enough to overcome a world consumed with itself,
pouring out grace to a people concerned with their status and wealth.
Strength enough to consider my brokeness and teach me to trust in Your plan,
because it's better to take refuge in You than to trust in any man.
Strength enough to keep fighting for me when I seem to just give up and hide,
upholding me with a righteous right hand and drawing me closer to Your side.
Enough of You is my source of strength when times are tough,
And Jesus, You are strength enough.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Out of the overflow..

Out of the overflow of what lies within,
there is goodness and badness.
A conflict of interest, leading to madness,
and then the lies begin.
A simple "you're not good enough", or "you don't matter",
and what you hear takes root; you feel your heart begin to shatter.
Try to hold it together, as you're coming apart,
And now bitterness and envy,
 rage and frustration rise to the surface.'s the overflow of the heart.
It's the struggle between the temporary and what will really matter.
If my conversations are derived from what's inside my heart,
am I really making sense,
Or am I just engaged in useless chatter?

AEJ 9/5/2012

Monday, July 09, 2012

In Hindsight

Beyond the endless chatter,
Beyond what seems to matter,
Much further than the here and now
And what should be,
And what simply is not,
There’s a stillness that comes over me, slowing me,
Pausing every “what if”, halting every thought.
Every thought that swirls around,
A collision of the older ones colliding with the illumination of newer thoughts
And the outcomes are brought to light with this new vision of hindsight.
Yet, what does that change?
 If I lose a nickel in the day, how can I find it in the night?
I might crawl on hands and knees, eyes opened wide,
Never seeing the coin in the dark of the night.
Then, the very next day, with the sun shining bright,
I might look in the same place and not be so surprised
To find that same nickel, illuminated,
Reflecting the glow of the sun’s brilliant light.
Oh, but I consider it a joy, in hindsight,
to reflect upon what has brought me here today.
Every struggle, every path, even the ones that led astray,
Have shown me that I must not trust in my own intended plan.
Oh, sweet hindsight, what a teacher you can be!
But, foresight, perfect foresight of God quells the thoughts of any man.

11:38 pm 

Sunday, July 08, 2012


Forgive my blaming and shaming and lies that overwhelm my bitter, selfish life.
And, help me to rid this colossal utility pole that is protruding from my eye,
 so that I may refrain from pointing fingers and placing accusations
on everyone else’s pain and strife.
Teach me to let you anchor my soul, so that I don’t get lost at sea,
battling tumultuous waves and currents that would surely devour me.
And create in me a heart that desires only your desires for today and for eternity.
Remove my entangling doubt that blinds me from the truth that your word never falters,
So that I may quit bringing gifts and praises to idols and false gods’ alters.
Thank you for your love and patience with me.
Help me to become obedient to your call and from temptations flee.

AEJ 1:47PM

Your Name's Sake

If opportunity is like a canyon,
vast and wide,
why do we walk a tightrope,
fearful of every stride?
If my mind is made new,
Can I really test and approve
What is meant by Your will?
Are you with me still?
Still, I wander away,
so determined to find one answer,
I forget that you say,
"act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with me."
Refocus my eyes and help me to see.
You're in every decision
that I choose to make,
And grant me boldness to do it all,
only for Your name's sake.
AEJ 11/14/2011

Friday, April 06, 2012

Fraudulent Heart

My heart is fraudulent more than anything.
Beyond cure, a hopeless cause,
Yet, I follow it and I let it lead like a prominent king.
An irony that I try, but consistently fail to understand,
When they say “Follow your heart”,
do they account that from the start
my heart beats for my own benefit,
a rhythm of emotion, opinion,
and false claims that leave me ice cold and feeling frostbit?
I must not rely on it.
And, if the overflow of what’s inside will cause my lips to speak,
It makes me wonder if my very words reek
with the rottenness of deceit.
So, may I not follow my heart,
But, instead, the one who made it and gave it a beat.
He searches it and inspects the mind,
Cutting deep to the core and bringing to the light 
any darkness that He will find.
May my character not be defined by any circumstance,
just as the grace poured out was not merely happenstance.

Derived from:
Jeremiah 17:9-10
Matthew 12:34-35
“No change of circumstances can repair a defect of character”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

AEJ 4/6/2012

Monday, March 05, 2012

Keeping a Pace

Fan blades are spinning, spinning,
And she will just lay there and stare,
As thoughts are beginning, beginning to swarm,
Filling a mind with questions of
"Why is life so unfair?"
The light casts shadows, throws them into motion,
A repetitive motion, along the ceiling with every rotation
Of every spinning blade of the fan that stays constant,
Constantly moving, keeping a pace, an unchanging pace.
Eyes, weary from intense focus on all of the motion, and commotion,
Filled with emotion, shift down to the left.
A mirror is there, conveniently, placed on the wall,
And if she keeps her eyes open, she can see her face.
The years have aged her; this she can not deny.
She wants to look closer, but too afraid of identity, she will fail any attempt to try.
After the quickest glance, she will divert her eyes back to the ceiling,
Back to the steady spinning blades of the fan.
What a simple existence,
What a simple task to just continue moving,
Unaltered by any other occurrence.
She lays there still, idle, yet insightful,
And a picture has been painted in her mind,
Removing all other thoughts, except for this clear vision
Of a steadfast endurance.
Her hand is on her heart; she knows that she's alive when she feels the rhythm
Of a heart keeping a beat, a constant pace.
She looks back at the mirror.
She looks back at her face, a face covered by grace.
Who has cut in on her and slowed down her pace,
placing roadblocks to hinder her race?
She refuses to accept any defeat,
And, in fact, she has already won, been redeemed by the Son,
So she can stare in the mirror placed conveniently on the wall
Without shame to embrace who she is in the midst of it all.

AEJ 3/6/2012

Friday, January 06, 2012


They say blessings wear disguises,
as if they would rather hide behind tragedies and pain.
We also hear, "Count your many blessings",
as if blessings are all around us,
pouring down from the sky likes drops of rain.
Sometimes, I wonder if, maybe,
we are the ones hidden in disguise,
walking around with stoic faces,
handing out weak embraces,
because, to get too close would set us up
for another fall.
Life is full of them, though.
Time will keep changing,
and just like the seasons,
hard times are bound to come and go.
The trials may be imminent,
and we are faced with many kinds,
but do we see the joy in them,
or are blessings the farthest thing from our minds?
Just like a new year, a fresh start,
may our eyes be more aware
of what we have and what we can share.
With mercies poured out, fresh every morning,
there's no denying that His grace is abounding.
It came without warning,
when my heart felt so full and alive.
Filled with love and redemption and acceptance,
this conclusion is what I could derive:
I am blessed.
Oh, how we are blessed!
May our blessings move us to action, unreservedly.
Oh, what blessings we can be!

AEJ 4:43pm