On Word, Law and Life: 16 Stanzas

I have been working through Psalm 119.  Here are my first 16 stanzas assembled together.

On Word, Law and Life

Along the Way

Aware, aware, finally aware that the righteous are blessed, those who stay close to the Lord, steeped in the Word, blessed are they.
Alive, alive, we are finally alive as we, wide-eyed disciples, search out our master, search deep into the living–that Word from the beginning.
Aware of the way,
they follow His way,
Active, acting, aware and acting on precepts proscribed and written, carefully acting and awesome aware.
Alleluia and Amen! Obedient, praying, discerning, firming–finding the way,
A student, I study, searching the Word,
Today in Law, in the Word.
Abandoned, yes, once abandoned, no more
Alone, I listen, I obey, I try to obey.
Alive, I too live; alive, I give thanks;
in my spirit, alive; keep me right, o Lord.

Blessed in the Way

Born pure, we young struggle and rot, seeking pristine purity, blessed in the Way, this Word.
Breathing in this book, this blessed, blessed Word,
I try, try, try to stay on the narrow path, teetering, tending my weak joints, buckling.
Braving this world, my heart beating, awash in Your Word,
Let me be right and pure today, blessed.
Blessed be your name, O Lord, I thank you, blessed to learn the law that I resist. Yes, I resist.
Beating your Word across my tongue, across my mouth,
Blessed to remember, to repeat, to recall.
Joy in the Word, Blessed!
Joy in the Word.
Beguiled in the reflection of your Word, blessed by your Way.
Bejeweled in your journal, your Word close at hand. Blessed Amen!

Commanded, Living Free

Commanded to live, keep me free, alive, awash in Your Word, cleansed in Your Word,  
Cleansed, clinging to Commandments, relationships freed, miracles clearly seen.
Clinging, clawing my way through this strange New World, keep me, hold me in Your Word.
My soul clamors, longing for Your Word, even when I jerk to deny, clamoring for Your Word.
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?

Decreed to Live

Death, I am close to death.
Down, I am so down some days. Give me new life.
Done, it is done, and I told you all that I have done, and I am excited–you answered. Decreed to live, teach me the decrees.
Decrees do escape me today. Will you teach me gently?
Do not dumb it down as I reflect on today’s miracles.
Drowning in my own tears, can it be? Down, down, grant me strength.
Divert my wandering eyes from idols of the world. Delight me in surprising ways with the Word. Yes, surprise me.
Descending not low, not now, I rise up in new height, with these decrees of life.
Dragging my Bible with me everywhere these days, digging in the decrees, keep me righteous Lord; don’t embarrass me.
Delighted, I am delighted when I understand your word. Not demands so much, your decrees work through me–my partner.

Elevated, Enlightened

Enough! Again enough! Educated in your laws, I obey them to the end. Endless.
Enlighten me each day; fill my mind gently, and I will hold your heavenly edicts in my heart.
Encircling this earthly tabernacle on this rolling path, I am giddy now; keep me joyful, heavenly one.
Enjoying the rich, enriching edicts of your word, ground me, keep me here,
Ensnared not by these get-rich-quick schemes so frequent here.
Joy in the Word, Blessed!
Joy in your Word.
Entrust your word to me, deep in me, so that I can understand fear, and even then, love you.
Even now these harsh words of too many are drenching me, but
Evasion of word-heaps comes easily, secure in your righteous regulations.
Entering the quiet, cocoon space of your guidance, hearing your word deep in me,
Entering new life, I am right.

Freedom Walk

Freely I embraced your blessings, Lord, and finally I find your promises in me.
And firmly I find in You the answer to those who taunt me here, and
Fully I trust, grab tight to your word.
Freely I find hope in your truth, Holy One;
Freely I trust in your word–it is so.
Following your teaching forever and forever, I obey.
Freely I will walk where I wish, freely following you, fresh-found mentor-friend,
For I sought out your free guidance, and you favored me.
Forthright let me speak your fresh word freely, and
Feel free and brave with bosses and family.
Joyful in your word, blessed!
Joyful in God’s word!
Fully I meditate, and open my hands, offered freely in prayer,
Fully I meditate; not my will, but yours, I freely offer.

Grabbing His Name, Not Going to Fear

God-of-great-love, You give me hope, and I
grab your name and your word each night,
Glomming onto fear some nights, I recall God’s word, and in heaven there will be no suffering. God is good.
God-of-grace, here we suffer, or we suffer with those-who-suffer, and
God, yes, I grab onto your word.
Greedy for your comfort–I confess I am greedy–I
grasp your law, and at the threshold, I find
Goodness and comfort in the words.
Growing haughty and hot in anger at night,
holding onto fear in spite of myself, I
Grasp your name and hold it on my lips.
Going to a joyful place, in the Word, as in Psalms,
Joyfully Blessed!
Joyful in God’s word.
Grabbing hold of your name, God, this night,
Going away from fear,
Not going to deep sorrow, I turn to joy.
Guiding principles gild my heart now, and
God, you give me hope. Hope. Hope. Hope.

Hope Rises, Hope is High

Hope. I have hope. Hope is my inheritance.
I hold tightly to your words and look into them; it is my promise.
Heart-deep, heart-filled, I hear your blessing–my hope. Hope.
Hearing my life over again–deep inside, and
Holding onto your word–I hasten to your calm, your guide.
Hesitating once, now with no halt, I
hasten to obey this day.
Hemp-ropes are tied about me, binds of my people, and I ignore
these binds today, positive in the word.
Heightened in this night, time perverted, I rise up,
hearing the word clearly in my head too,
Hopeful, friendly to brothers and sisters here in your word,
I have hope–Joy in the Word!
Hopeful, your mercy and justice find us;
hopeful, we heed these words of mercy–
Blessed! Joy in your word!

In Judgment, Knowing

Jubilation! I know how you treat me!
As you promised, you treat me just so.
Judgment and knowledge are in your word,
and you teach me each day, because I see
your commandments as jewels.
Just then, again I thought I might wander
away from you again, but I know that in suffering, I yearned again
to hold onto your word.
Joy in the Word, Blessed!
Joy in your word! Teach me.
Judged by haughty and self-righteous hedonists,
I am defamed some days, but I do best when I set these things far away and
obey what you put before me.
Jaundiced and cold, calloused really,
they don’t see me, and miss you, Lord,
but I am happy again, enriched by your word.

Joyful in the Word

Joyful in the word, blessed!
Once I suffered and I learned from you: 
Joy and Hope!
Judged by the measures of this fanciful society,
your words fill me more than any
Jeopardy winnings. You are my prize.

 Knowing Integrity

Your hands created me and you know me.
Knowing me, Lord, you help me to know me.
Knowing you, Holy One, my friends rejoice–
They know my hope; they know I am with your word.

Know that His commandments are fair when
We know what they say to us–when we listen.

Today I know:
Know your mercy surrounds and comforts me,
Know your sweet compassion cradles my soul,
and knowing your way, I am happy today;
Know that sinners are not forever,
not aware, and not knowing your word,
Know that those who find, come around me,
knowing we are together in your word,
Know my own heart, that place so hard to see when we don’t
Know integrity.

Let Me Pray

Loudly I speak of you, God-of-Grace; let me
Live in your word, learning your commands.
Leavened by your word and your commandments,
Let my hope shine and show your word in me.

Listening to these words, we see that they are true;
Listening, may we learn!
Lord, I pray, let your grace and mercy surround me.
Let me be comforted and be a comfort too.

Let your joy be strong and cradle my soul, and
let me be happy too.
Let me see sinners in failure when they miss the mark, and
Let not the righteous die a hundred deaths.
Lead us, as we join together to study your word,
to your comfortable place, God-of-Grace.
Let me examine my own heart,
Let me be honest and straight; fill me with real
integrity today.

My Soul Aches to be Refreshed

My soul seemed weak for so long as I waited
for you–or did you wait for me?
My eyes were straining, bulging and blood-shot from looking
far and deep; I ask you again: How do I obey?
May I not be hung out to dry, not

bursting as I am hung out in the heat of the day.
Move me from this brittle reality, these
tough times I built up in my life.
Make me joyful in your word, blessed!
Joyfully blessed!
Joyful in God’s word!
Much persecuted, I complain anew, but help me!
May I still not abandon your guiding wisdom.
Make my life new, God-of-Mercy,
Make me fresh and new,
May I obey.
May I still obey your commandments,
even when I complicate them beyond the simple.
Merciful God, make my life new today.

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!

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.

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.

© Tom Bolton, 02/25/2012


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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