The Misfit Syndicate – a group effort

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Six guys from college have kept in touch consistently over the last number of years. Cade, Dustin, Jeff, Kevin, Will, and myself have shared encouragement, accountability, and laughs through seasons of difficulty as well as seasons of joy. Last year, they challenged me to write a blog post or a poem on any subject of their choosing for each of their birthdays. This year, they collaborated on a poem for mine. I suggested they write about the brotherhood of believers, using our group as an example, and I’m excited to share their work with you below.

Thanks, guys!


Isolation.
Sequestration.
No man was meant for the hermit’s Operation

Accountability.
Brotherhood.
How some men will stand the opposition of wormwood

Emotionless.
Stoic.
No man was meant for the pure role of heroic.  

Scripture.
Games.
Binded by the Lamb’s blood running through our veins.

Gandalf.
The Doctor.
A fan of these, as well as soccer.

Jaime Vardy.
Leicester City.
Go hand in hand like Joe and witty.

Friend.
Brother.
A man like Joe, there could never be another.

How then must these truths be taken?
None other than creating mancation!

A dream to most
We created a weekend of chaos, I must boast

But in the Cross that is
For it is no credit of our own, this work is simply His.

The game playing,
coffee drinking and steak eating will fade.

But this brotherhood is fraternal.
It cannot be broken, for this bond is eternal.

•HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JOE THE WALLER•


Photo by Alex Holt on Unsplash

By Faith

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I feel the pain but cannot find the benefit.
The path I would have chosen seemed a better fit.
Yet tests portend the sacrifice. I see my wraith
Point to my cross and call me to walk forth by faith.
Faith does not promise answers, bids me follow still;
Points past my understanding to the Father’s will;
Grounds hope not in the knowing but in being known;
Endures uncertainty certain of heaven’s throne.
Faith fixes focus not on the ephemeral
But finds eternal joy within the temporal.
It lays aside success and loss for higher gain
And trusts the one who gives and takes to justly reign.
Obedience bids me to die to self in this,
To trust the process in this brief parenthesis.
The work you do is good, as it shall always be.
Steadfast unto perfection is the course for me.


Photo by Cole Keister on Unsplash

The Moment

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The moment passes, same as all the rest,
Save for an added weight, a seeming force.
Some see in it the ending of a test.
Some find in it the start of a new course.
We hope to lay aside all that is past
And welcome future’s possibilities.
We hope to make a change and make it last.
We often miss the forest for the trees.
For ev’ry day behind has led to now,
The good and bad both mingled in the soul.
Experience informs our present plod.
Find hope not in a momentary vow
But in the one who truly holds control.
Entrust this and all moments to your God.


Photo by Spenser Sembrat on Unsplash

The Recurring Frustration

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I want to read but cannot find the time.
Responsibilities fill ev’ry day
With tasks and cares I dare not cast away,
And reading, sadly, can’t always be prime.
And on the rare occasions when the time
Presents itself with freedom to peruse
A poem or a chapter (which to choose?)
Uninterrupted (oh the joy sublime!),
I find my eyes work only for a time
Before I catch myself rereading lines
While heavy eyelids cover eyes that pine
After the peaks I’ve grown too tired to climb.
So words within my reach remain unread
As I desire books not so much as bed.


Photo by 2Photo Pots on Unsplash

Two Carpenters

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The wood was rough, but it would serve him well.
He chose it not for elegance or style
But for its faithfulness. A little while
(And, too, a little work) and he could sell
It with a workman’s pride. And he could tell,
Though now it lay unstructured in a pile,
That with some nails, a hammer, and a file,
His work would not be broken though it fell.

Its strength would bear its strength one dark noel
(The first of all). And in its content’s smile
Was love born now to one day reconcile
On other wood, the darkness to dispel.
His parents smiled as into sleep he fell.
The wood was rough, but it would serve him well.


Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

Advent

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The proem to the poem of humanity
Was set against the backdrop of captivity,
Was cast with souls encumbered by profanity,
Was opened not with pomp but with nativity.
The word, the light, the lion-lamb, the majesty
Of heaven, holiness in his humility,
Appeared in righteousness to end the amnesty
And fix final salvation from futility.

The method of his advent seemed absurdity
To those who thought they knew the king’s priority,
Yet as the virgin held mortal eternity,
The world beheld the hope of our infirmity.

And all the damned ones shuddered as the surety
Of justice came in love to face depravity,
To bear the curse of sin and give security
That God will satisfy creation’s cavity.
So hope. His coming heralds a community
Where sin will not be suffered – there immunity
From falling from his presence. Perfect unity
Of love will lead to worship of triunity.


Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

Thanksgiving

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You give us the ability to give,
For all we have to give, in truth, is yours.
The very breath we breathe, the days we live,
Our daily bread — each comes from heaven’s stores.
Lord, let us not forget that all is grace,
That we have earned not one of all our joys,
And let us fix our eyes upon your face
Above all earthly troubles, tasks, and toys.
Forgive us when we want more than your love,
And fit us to receive and be content.
Yours is the universe and all thereof.
The proof of your provision is Advent.
In thanks, we rest and look toward the Son,
Dependent on the independent one.


Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

Christ Above

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Christ above my heart’s desire.
Christ above my timing.
Christ above all I aspire.
Christ above my rhyming.
Christ above my greatest fears.
Christ above all pleasures.
Christ above my future years.
Christ above all treasures.
Christ above my past mistakes.
Christ above my glory.
Christ above all earthly aches.
Christ above my story.
Christ above all toil and strife.
Christ above whatever.
Christ above this fleeting life
Now and to forever.


Photo by Sebastian Molina fotografía on Unsplash