Sunday, November 03, 2013

Walls Will Fall

Walls will fall like Jericho,
a great crash and crumble,
as eyes glance upward and the proud turn humble.
Marching to the beat of a new drum,
shouts ring out in a glorious display of new found freedom.
"It is well" when the walls fall.
"It is well" is the phone call
that you put off, because you failed to let anyone in sooner...
or find that you will overcome
despite the odds and the lies spit out by some.
Walls will fall like a demolition
when you stop and re-evaluate the weight of your mission
and control your ambition to be so important.
You might find that you're actually the prisoner,
instead of the warden, and as you cling to bars of iron,
you realize that your walls have you trapped.
This is not a game of cat and mouse,
it's the breaking of a new dawn.
It's the collapse of an old dilapidated house.
Windows shattered, a structure undone.
A cloud of dust settles, overshadowed by the morning sun.
Keep your head on a swivel. Always be looking out.
Meanwhile, the crowd will scream "Live a little!"
as they taunt and push you about.
Walls will fall all around you.
If you endure, you just might see it.
A glimpse of hope is all that's needed,
and to someone you just might be it.

AEJ  11/03/13

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Some Things Are Borrowed and Some Things Are Bought

Borrowed words and borrowed thoughts to express the way you feel
only leave you borrowing time as you question what is real.
In all sincerity, would you rather seek and find
or accept the things you hear?
In a world where contradiction runs rampant,
can we hold our own,
or do we cower in fear of future freedoms to live as we please,
or to please who we live for?
Striving for simplicity, we complicate and miss the tasks:
seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with Him...
Is it too much too ask of us, made in His image,
while building up an image of ourselves in an effort to be different,
while we look just  like everyone else? 
And, in our tireless efforts to walk a certain road,
then, You will remind us we're not equipped to carry such a load.
Remove my blinders, and make swift my tied up feet,
so that I can see the reality of your presence and no longer claim defeat.
Some things are borrowed and some things are bought.
Sweet victory!
We are purchased and made new by the one who knows our every thought.

AEJ 09/07/2013

Friday, July 12, 2013


It's the natural inclination of a weak and wounded nation
to put up a fight when the present times seem pressing
and the very thing worth fighting for is what keeps us up at night.
It's the beckoning call to withdraw hasty interpretations
of the reality that exists when we take off our blinders
and see that we're all just broken people,
bandaging up bloodied fists
after our livelihood is threatened
in this world of chaos and competition.
If "the buck stops here", why do we pass the blame, feel the shame,
and minimize the urgency of the things that matter most?
Who's in charge, anyway? Is this your party? Are you the host?
A balancing act between maintaining composure and saving face,
exhausting all efforts to earn acceptance,
never mind that we're covered by saving grace.
If our ability for resiliency is something to be spoken for,
historically, the banner yet waves,
overcoming and striving for more.
It's the natural inclination of a soul
that's crying out to put up a fight
when reminded of past victories and the fuel
that launched them into flight.
It's the beauty and the brilliance of the strength
to stand back up,
and the smile that returns when you can say,
"joy overflows my cup".


Sunday, May 05, 2013

Wendel Walks

A man that lives down the road from my apartment had a stroke several months ago.

His name is Wendel, and he's a story of hope.
Over the last few months, Wendel has been learning to walk again.
First, with the help of a therapist and a walker.  He would take the steps from his front porch to about halfway down his driveway, where he could at least feel the cool evening breeze and catch a glimpse of the magnolia tree in bloom. A few weeks later, Wendel was making the walk from his porch to his mailbox at the end of his driveway, still with the help of his therapist, but what an exciting accomplishment!
About a month ago, I turned onto my street after a crazy day at work to find a lady in bright pink scrubs and Wendel pushing his walker, slowly, but surely, right in front of my apartment complex. My heart was thrilled for him.

A couple weeks ago, I drove around the block near my apartment, where I found Wendel taking one step at a time, holding on to that walker, by himself.

No therapist holding him at the waist; nobody coaching him along....just Wendel and his walker.
Today, I was standing at my door trying to decide if it was jeans or shorts weather. I glanced across the street, and saw Wendel rounding the corner by himself with a cane in his right hand.  Slowly, but surely, he walks every day- training his mind, and training his legs to do the things that they did for years and years until the stroke.

When I think about Wendel, I can't help but think how frustrating that would be, but I'm also reminded about how Christ gives us the chance to start over in many different ways. Ultimately, he provides the chance to trade a broken, destined-for-hell life, for a complete and eternally awesome one. He also takes specific situations, past mistakes, and past disasters and offers a fresh start.

It's not all fresh evening breezes and blooming magnolia trees, though.

When I watch Wendel struggle with each step he takes, I wonder if he ever feels like giving up on it all.

I wonder if he recalls the days when he could walk to his mailbox without giving much thought to it; without having to focus so intently on getting his right leg to bend at the knee.
The encouraging thing about Wendel is that even through the struggle, he remains focused and disciplined.
It reminds me of what Paul says in Philippians 3.

 "But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christand be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Now, I don't know where Wendel stands in a spiritual sense, but I can see in his eyes a sense of awareness that says "I'm not there yet, but I'm on my way." In these verses, Paul is now speaking with a perspective of faith in Christ, instead of his former perspective of upholding his status and the credentials that made him a leader in the Jewish religion. He sees a clear picture of his future, regardless of the past, and regardless of how bad things may get for him in the future. This idea of "pressing on" implies that there will be pressure, and we're all familiar with the pressures of life. We're bombarded daily by stress, pressure, disappointments, and pain. 
When I see Wendel, I can almost hear him say "I will press on. I will press on." 
What a challenge and encouragement he provides!

Monday, April 15, 2013


More relevant than the elephant in the room,
is the burning desire to set a holy fire
in the hearts that don't know
 that they beat for something better
than the lofty ambitions and plans that self-consume.
Yet, stifled by pride, or the plank in my eye,
I hold that hope captive.
Instead of taking captive every thought
to point a world to the One who's blood has bought
my life and my salvation,
it seems, I'm plagued with hesitation.
You quench my thirst
and I quench the spirit,
as I struggle to reciprocate the love that You lavish.
If reassurance is what I'm after,
remind me how You turn sorrow into laughter.
Show me that Your discipline is for my good,
and stir up a passion within me to treat the world
the way You would--
with relevance.

AEJ 4/15/2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Wrapped up in a banner of it;
overwhelmed by the manner of it,
as it ignites a flame, and I'm put to shame
when I see how I resist the name
of the one who brings the very thing I'm chasing.
Racing the clock,
instead of clinging to the Rock of Ages,
I falter and fail to remember
that mountains may shift and hills may shake,
but nothing will take, nothing can eradicate
the love that You have granted;
your mercies won't allow it.
Yet, somehow, it
demands my attention,
when it becomes clear that this life is
more of an honorable mention
when compared with Your love that surpasses
every thought that we take captive.
I try not to be too adaptive
 in this land where hearts get robbed
over a short lived emotion.
Instead, I consider Your devotion as I recall
You've counted every hair on my head.

AEJ 12:10AM

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Grace For The Rebel Heart

A heart of rebellion,
you can never really tell when
the motives will switch.
A heart to please, or the plea of a heart to be filled?
This is not some glitch to be smoothed out,
it's the product of jaded desires and self doubt.
Clarity, oh, to see things the way You see
with a vision that brings a vision of change,
though, the destination seems far out of range.
You fix the focus and direct the steps of the runaway.
Rerouting rebellion; it's a novel notion but such devotion
would make a freed felon want to stay.
...and that's the beauty of grace.


Sunday, January 06, 2013

Call It

Call it a misappropriation of appropriate behavior.
Call it what you want.
I'm just calling on a Savior.
Call it a conflict of interest-
handing out smiles just to check it off a good deeds list,
but You see right through this.
Call it living on a mission to get God's attention
when all He really wants is to capture yours.
Call it a pride thing
when you walk the same halls, oblivious to all the open doors.
Like a game of cat and mouse,
you pursue what you want,
and sometimes all you want is a way out.
"Out of sight, out of mind",
but with this kind of view, we can forget
"seek and you will find".
Call it a resolution
when you seek to make a change,
and call it dissapointment when our goals are in sight
but out of range.
Call it giving up control or going out on a limb.
Call it what you want, but to be clear-
He calls me to call on Him.

AEJ 1/6/2013