To Write Poetry

by J. Randal Matheny

This was written in an email to two dear friends in the midst of some light banter about writing. It was meant as an encouragement to them, after they expressed something of a desire to write poetry. They may have been kidding. But I took them a bit seriously, with this:

Be it just a spark, an ember's glow,
A low but earnest yearning,
A flame to be fed, let urgings grow,
Until they ignite for burning.

Life Is Wild

Dedicated to my friend Rick K., who was looking for a poem from something I'd written.

Whether you sit in a swivel chair,
Or ride a rodeo steer,
Life is wild, a challenging dare,
That in the brave strikes fear.

So go with a chuckle, belted in,
And let the winged bird fly,
Take off with God for a whirl and a spin,
Give up the whine and sigh.

With tons of faith and a bundle of grit,
You're good for the longest haul;
Look life in the eye, for the fight get fit,
Wherever you sit, sit tall.

J. Randal Matheny

The Daily Cross

by J. Randal Matheny

To follow Christ, carry the daily cross,
Deny the self, find gain in willful loss;
Renew the fire at morn and noon and night,
And stoke the flames till faith is turned to sight.

Give up your sordid life to die with the Lord,
This world's corrupt affairs you can't afford;
To live with Christ, to serve for his applause,
Is greater far than life in a selfish cause.

Between the heavens and earth our Savior died,
To an absent Father who turned away he cried;
Upon the cross he hung in pain alone,
But in death we come to know him and are known.

To Be a Christian

To be a Christian means
To be like Christ, to follow a stride
The length of God, to see the scenes
Of Calv'ry etched on heaven's side.

What is it to be a saint?
To give oneself in full surrender,
Obey the Lord without restraint,
Of truth be lover and defender.

And members, who are they,
Of Christ's dear body? Merely parts
Who serve the whole, who love and pray
And build up weary and broken hearts.

To be a man of God
Or woman of faith, is to be bound
To a tender Master, to leave the broad
And evil way for higher ground;

To say, "Lord, here am I!"
To hang on every precious word,
To not be shaken by things awry,
But always by his mercy stirred.

To be a Christian, none
Is worthy, all are called to the exalted Name;
The race is set, the prize is won,
The path to win, for all the same.

J. Randal Matheny

Me and My Lord

Broken in spirit,

the words escape my lips,

“I love You, Jesus.

I love You, Jesus.

I love You, Jesus.

Please know that it is true.


I get weary, Lord.

I get weary, Lord.

I get weary, Lord.

I need your strength to get me through.”

In the quiet while I am still,

I hear in my soul.

“Keep trying, child.

Keep trying, child.

Keep trying, child.

I’m right here with you.


I hear your heart.

I hear your heart.

I hear your heart.

The blood I shed has cleansed you.”

My burden is lifted,

and I respond quietly,

“Don’t stop changing me.

Don’t stop changing me.

Don’t stop changing me.

Continue to have mercy and patience.”

A smile dawns on my face,

as I hear,

“Keep following me.

Keep following me.

Keep following me.

Let me lead you on.”

Renewed in Spirit,

healed in heart,

I continue walking,

beside Him on the narrow path.

A Beautiful Blossom


Count the roses,

not the thorns,

a beautiful blossom,

to others show,

the depth of feeling,

so others know.


For love to grow,

like a flower,

a beautiful blossom,

starts within,

a carefully planted seed,

it does begin.


Blooming in time,

quietly and slow,

a beautiful blossom,

not by force,

for it to last,

needs a deep source.


Petals soft and delicate,

spread like a blush,

a beautiful blossom,

colours to shine,

the heart of the flower,

beauty I find.


A delight to the senses,

everything pleasing,

a beautiful blossom,

others to share,

without the flower of love,

life would be bare.


When in love,

count the roses,

a beautiful blossom,

moments to treasure,

sometimes heart-rending,

others of pleasure.


Count the roses,

not the thorns,

a beautiful blossom,

in its place,

scent will linger,

leaving a trace.


Love is a beautiful blossom.



So important,

Jesus prayed,

Jesus died,

Jesus will return.


So important,

God calls,

God blesses,

God teaches.


So important,

The Spirit comforts,

The Spirit helps,

The Spirit renews.


So important,

to encourage,

to strengthen,

to support.


So important,

missed when not present,

incomplete when gone,

deficient when absent.


So important,





So important,

talents unique,

planned for a purpose,

purchased with blood.