On Word, Law and Life: Stanzas 13 – 15

I wrote these new stanzas of my interpretation of Psalm 119 last week, but I am a bit behind on posting to my blog. Wow! This morning I heard Day 34 of 40 Days in the Word from Saddleback Church. The guest preacher this morning was Tommy Kyllonen (Urban D), who is the Lead Pastor at Crossover Community Church in Florida. He reaches a hip-hop culture, and preached about Psalm 119 this morning, closing with some of his poetry–a much more lively style of poetry than mine.

I have liked 40 Days in The Word this year. For the past 3 years, I have listened to Drive Time Devotions from Saddleback regularly, and currently, Saddleback is using that podcast modality as a delivery method for 40 Days in the Word. It is amazing how often Psalm 119 has provided text for these daily devotions. I started my exploration of Psalm 119 in December, but I have enjoyed how often that Psalm has come into my life in January and February this year. Urban D provided a lively poetic interpretation of verse 24 today. I thought his style was really fun, and still faithful to the Psalm.

Here are verses 21 to 24 of Psalm 119 from the NIV translation:

You rebuke the arrogant, who are accursed,
those who stray from your commands.
Remove from me their scorn and contempt,
for I keep your statutes.
Though rulers sit together and slander me,
your servant will meditate on your decrees.
Your statutes are my delight;
they are my counselors.

I wrote these words when I was contemplating those verses:

Condemned, firm in the center, encircled in me, we, greedy ones,
circle around, condemned, away from Your Word.
Aware, and back, and in Your Command,
Contempt burns me, and faltering I come back.
Contempt around me, I seize the Word,
alive and aware, alive in Your Word.
Clearly these Words guide me, alive, with joy,
At peace, mes amis, alive in Your Word. Amen.
Condemned, away from the Word, was Esau hated,
or away–simply away–away from the Word?

Urban D wrote a powerful poetic rap on these verses.

So, I feel a bit bland presenting my new stanzas today. I hope you will enjoy and be enriched by these new poetic verses anyway.

N. Never to Forget

Never-ending words have been written in
heaven and deep in the foundation of earth;
Nothing less than eternal is this word,
written deep in my heart, etched on my soul.
Neatly in place is this word, your grace and faithfulness abound.
Nothing has toppled, even when we toppled it,
because all that matters is to be in service to our Lord.
Nevermore unhappy, but alive in the word,
I live in joy, and do not die this day in my
old, miserable way.
Never forget! Let me not forget what I once ran from–
precepts, guidance, directions to stay free–
Now free, I wrap my arms (and mind) around my new life.
Noted: toys and tools I thought I’d have
forever are ruined and long-gone,
But your word lives. My life is electric.
Not the wicked!
Not here to stop my walk down the lighted path.
Know that God doesn’t forget who he is:
His faith is everyday–he doesn’t skip any day.
Now let me count your faithful gifts to me today–
Joyful in the Word! Blessed!

O. Oh How Sweet This Word To Me

Oh, yes, I love what you teach me,
outwardly and inwardly in my thoughts and soul all day,
when my mind is open daily (sometimes not).
Outwardly you make me seem wiser than I was,
than I am, because your commandments are
on my face, on my tongue.
Obvious at times, I may be wiser than I should be,
Obtaining new wisdom when your words fill my thoughts;
Obedient to the words you drive into me, I
obtain wisdom beyond my years–and in spite of my years.
Oh how bright is your path, not the gloomy evil path, but
Ordered and bright, your path is the one I obey.
Obedient to your word, joyful in the word. Blessed!
You have taught me well these days.
Oh how sweet your word to me–
oh how sweet this treat!
On to understanding, I plod after your word–
Oh how bright this path that drives away from lies.

P. Pathways So Bright

Pathways so bright, your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light for my
Path–so well-lit and safer than others.
Promising freely, I took an oath, and I will keep it!
Righteous regulations show me your way–
even when I fall from righteousness.
Oh grace in your word!
Pathways from suffering,
I seize your new life, Holy One, as you
promised me this life of grace.
Pleased to present all praise to you, God-of-grace,
proud to learn your words, I am joyful in your word.
Perilously, I live life here,
but I am safe in your word for the long-haul, the long journey.
Peril and evil seem to be everywhere, but
principled life keeps me free to find joy.
Penned words, and listening to the word, fill my heart,
and I am blessed to recall: Joy in the word!
Pleased to obey and to be free in obedience,
planning my eternal life, I find joy. I am blessed.

c Thomas Bolton February 2012


About Tom Bolton

I'm a Husband and Dad, an Enterprise Systems Manager at the City of Milwaukee, and a Disciple and Lay Servant at First United Methodist of West Allis. I love working beside young people. As I study the Bible, sometimes I feel moved to work through my understanding by writing poetry. I also am going through a process to discern my calling, and to learn more about Christian Leadership. Sometimes I just feel like writing about something that grabs my attention too.
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