There Is Victory If You’ll Grasp It.

he looks from every angle
and he pokes around each turn
with eager expectation
of each weakness, he will learn

he is snooping and he’s starving
just one more luscious little bite
of your flesh and bone and soul
each time he leads you from the light

you may think that he’s your friend
because he offers so much fun
but each morning’s dawn is darker
and my advice to you is run

if you don’t, it’s shame and awful
and whatever would they think?
in the dark and so alone
he’ll rub your face in all that stink

but the light is antiseptic
and the power of truth is sure
don’t believe those lies he’s spoken
or even touch his offered “cure”

keep your guard up now, be quick
call to your friend and hit the floor
lock your heart up, guard your exits
he’s right here crouching at your door

no, he’s not playing any game
he knows the evil that you crave
and he’ll escort you right on down to hell
right to that dirty grave

so guard your ears and guard your eyes
and if you have to, chop your hand
because the battle is no joke
he longs to take back all your land

though he’s losing ground each day
already lost the largest fight
he screams in anger, violent, restless
fighting still with all his might

he’s a loser, and a mean one
he’ll rip your every cell in two
put on that armor, call for help
and trust the One who pulls you through

the One who guards your mouth if you but ask
blocks you from those wicked deeds
stops your tongue from tasting evil
things your heart says that it needs

there is victory if you’ll grasp it
you need not lay there in your shame
trust the One who is victorious
with all your might cling to His Name

You Wrap Me in Your Favor.

You wrap me in Your favor
and You pour on me Your grace
You fill me with Your presence
and You turn to me Your face

who am I, clearly unworthy
yet You’ve called me as Your own
not by any single thing I’ve done
You brought me to Your throne

You placed me smack dab in Your kingdom
and You gave to me Your hand
You changed my chaos for Your peace
and gave to me this fulsome land

who am I, I am your child
and Your servant and Your friend
of Your faithfulness and mercy
I have never met the end

You are strong and ever mighty
You are the root of all that’s true
Yours is the victory of all victories
the fount of mercies ever new

thank You for this day You’ve given
thank You for the grace to stand
and when the strength is all but gone
the grace to fall upon Your hand

These Empty Graves

the premise was preposterous
a God man come to us
descended from the highest heights
to walk here in the dust

the gods we knew were cruel and mean
demanding endless sacrifices
that changed from day to day to day
at ever-increasing, costly prices

and we had to prop those gods of ours
they were powerless to stand
we made them, formed them, knelt before
what we could hold in our small hand

who was this man who claimed to be
the one God, the I am
what kind of nerve to be so bold
to draw a line there in the sand

He talked and talked, told stories strange
and we listened without comprehension
the things He said drew us anew
and His actions drew attention

He backed up those words each day
and showed a power never seen
and we wondered and we dared to hope
that our sins could be washed clean

and then He died, left us desolate
but before the weekend finished
He rose again and changed the story
and the power of death diminished

He shattered time and space and how
the world so far had run
and made a way, a path, a chance
to reach, to climb, to touch the Son

now maybe you find this nonsense
here today wrapped in your pain
perhaps for you it is too simple
that He could just erase that shame

but I will tell you, testify right here
that I know this to be true
this God man came and loved and died
and rose to life anew

I once was blind, I once was lost
I once was dead in shame
and He came to me, He changed my life
and nothing is the same

with one great, mighty earthquake
He moved the stone of my dead heart
and He shattered me with joy
as He tore my sin and shame apart

here today if you look closely
you’ll see a string of empty graves
of countless lives that He’s restored
countless children He forgave

are you tired, worn and weary?
do these words of mine seem false and cold?
how long have you coddled and carried
those false gods of yours you hold?

please look at them, just one hard look
see the cruelty in their dead eyes
there’s a Savior who has loved you
sees you as an everlasting prize

it’s so easy to stand beside Him
He’s done all the work there is to do
a child most beloved and longed for
He wants your empty grave here, too

amazing grace how sweet that sound
it’s life and freedom to our ears
and it’s still the same bright victory song
after these two thousand years


to sit here is to remember
to remember what was lost
to exist in this black rubble
and to ponder what it cost

Sunday’s coming but they don’t know yet
can you imagine their despair
all the pain and deep confusion
trouble breathing that foul air

to have known You, walked beside You
to have seen You in the flesh
then to see that flesh combusted
crown and whip and sword and stress

in that grave You lay unbreathing
and Your people lost and low
cowering on their knees and fearful
unrecovered from the blow

nameless women who’d been seen
the very first time in their lives
sitting still and small and broken
at the closing of Your eyes

help us sit with them in darkness
remember those who still are there
who do not know Sunday is coming
who have no strength to lift a prayer

there are so many here who sit
in this bleak darkness all alone
who cannot see that light has broken
who have not heard that they are known

to sit with them, oh it is costly
reminds us of our old grave clothes
and the stench of hopelessness
burns our heart and soul and nose

remind us of our time in darkness
when we were dead and You were there
You came for us in those hell-moments
and brought us up from that despair

but still so many dead in graves
so many waiting to be free
help us to follow Your example
and sit with them until they see

You gave us Sunday, yes it’s coming
where we will dance with You and sing
of all Your praises and Your goodness
and to Your throne our crowns we’ll bring

but for today it’s Saturday
and we’re surrounded by the dark
by the stink of death and rancid deeds
the shame that staggers every heart

help us to love them as You did
help us to see them with Your eyes
help us remember time is fleeting
and that quite soon to You we’ll rise


wounded for our iniquities
beaten for our shame
chastised for our transgressions
and bloodied for our pain

betrayed for all our snide remarks
taunted for each my truth we live
whipped for our disobedience
each time we failed to forgive

today we here remember
we remember where You’ve been
we remember blood unbodied
and the grave we put You in

but it was not us who put You there
it was Your Father’s will
to pay a price that we could not afford
without You we’d owe it still

we were barred from ever entering
that home for which we were made
though we yearned for it down deep inside
helpless in beds of death we laid

so today we here remember
we remember what it cost
though we do not understand at all
what in the ground You lost

You took that weight upon Yourself
that crushed us in the grave
and crushed, Yourself, You showed the way
and all our sin forgave