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If you, O church, could only see
The sin that hides inside of me,
Would you maintain that I am free?
That Jesus is my hope and plea?
Would not “Pariah” be my name?
And would you not seek to defame?
And posit me with damning blame,
Though flesh afflicts us all the same?
For all have fallen short of this,
We all take part in Judas’ kiss
And ev’ry man has gone amiss
In search of sin’s mirage of bliss.

But you, O Lord, do truly see
The sin that hides inside of me,
Yet still you heard this sinner’s plea,
And still you came to make men free.

Conviction

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God, guide your Word like a sword for my reckoning,
Wrecking all hopes in my heart for this waste.
Cut to the quick for the purpose of quickening
Works of your Spirit to sever the sickening
Sludge that I sought in my haste.

Clauses like claws are accustomed to scratch away
Any remainder of wretchedness here.
Tear away sin and, in so doing, tear a way
Through the commotion that coaxes my heart astray
Till I have learned how to fear.

Let ev’ry phrase of your holy book break my heart
For ev’ry way I dishonor your name.
Never relent; pierce my soul from the very start
Till I reflect your resplendence with ev’ry part,
Living as proof of your claim.

The Treasures of Tragedy

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O Father, I shudder with ev’ry affliction.
The day seems far dimmer than ever before.
Man is corrupted by sin’s contradiction.
The depths of depravity darken my door.
I know of no road to escape this great testing.
The cries and the chaos do threaten demise.
Sickness and sorrow are my heart arresting,
But within this furnace is found a great prize.
The treasures of tragedy truly perplex me:
I sought not a one, yet I value them all.
Verily does this perplexity vex me,
But ne’er would I waste e’en a drop of this gall.
I wish to be rid of this cup so revolting.
God, with ev’ry draught, I am drinking in death.
Yet you have suffered a far worse assaulting,
And yet you are with me with every breath.
You sanctify me through the seasons of suff’ring.
When all else around me gives way, you remain.
God, ‘gainst the enemy, you are my buff’ring,
And you will redeem ev’ry moment of pain.

Wisdom and Gain

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Is it not gain to sacrifice
When giving to the Lord?
Since he has paid the ransom price,
Can we not love afford?
Is it not wise to lay aside
The things that pass away
And in the light of love abide,
For this alone will stay?
Is it not loss to grasp and cling
For what can never fill,
And follow after hopes that bring
Destruction to the will?
Is it not foolishness to prize
What only will decay,
And feed the fault before our eyes
Which on our souls does prey?

Flesh and Spirit

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I trust you, but I do not trust you;
Love you, but my heart is cold;
Hope in you, yet live as hopeless.
I am new, yet still am old.
I am your own by your good pleasure,
Living by your love and grace.
Why then do I dare to doubt and
In your presence hide my face?
O Father, how I still forsake you
While I wish to know you more!
Wretched flesh, this wayward servant,
Works to wrench me from your shore!
But it cannot defeat redemption,
Nor diminish your resolve.
None can snatch this great salvation,
Nor condemn those you absolve.
So in this grace I stand acquitted,
Salvaged from futility.
Now I live by thy great power
Free for all eternity.

Thought

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I think we only think we think
When our imagination
Is captivated at the brink
Of some infatuation.
The meeting of the mind with wonder
Tricks us to assume
That old ideas are torn asunder,
New ideas to bloom.
But truly we have only just
Begun to chip away the rust
And wipe away the years of dust
For mental exploration.
And pushing past the stench of must,
Advancing with a forward thrust
Into the realms of doubt and trust,
We reach the elevation.
And it is there we find
A freedom for the mind
As God in grace unbinds
Our thoughts from Satan’s blinds.
Press on! Press on! And think to know
The Truth amidst the lies below!

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Prayer of Pursuit

O Father, let me never be
A hindrance to your plan for me,
But grant me, Lord, the eyes to see
The roads you’d have me travel.
And strengthen me to follow thee
By sun or star, by land or sea
Until the day I fin’lly flee
This world of grit and gravel.

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Desensitized

Why do we find such follies fun
And magnify the madness?
The filth from which we ought to run
Fills us with giddy gladness.
So should we not expect to find
That love for God is lacking?
And in the church we are not kind
But are ourselves attacking?
Oh can we not reject the dross
And seek sanctification?
Do not, for “fun,” reject the cross
Nor bask in your damnation.
For Christ has saved our souls from sin
That we might sin no longer.
Embrace his grace, his nail pierced skin,
And in his love grow stronger.

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An Invitation

The syllables I share with you are such
As cannot be conceived by mortal men.
These words of wisdom hold a holy touch;
When heeded, hell-bound souls are saved from sin
So that they are no longer bound for hell
But are, before the judge’s throne, redeemed.
Those who are parched are pardoned at the well
By one who was not very much esteemed.
This revelation of the only way
Requires that we would a decision make.
The son that rose to shine the light of day
Has dawned that darkened souls might now awake.
Do not now spurn this love he came to give;
Choose you this day to turn to Christ and live.

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