Notes

To a young pastor in Crete
from Jesus’ apostle, in hope
of that time-beyond-time Life
promised by the ever true One:

Good hearts see good everywhere;
sullied minds spoil everything.

Every day in speech and deeds
you can showcase God’s excellence.

Always notice and open
kindness doors to all, high or low.

 

Calling and Telling

Paul calls Timothy true dear son-in-faith;
calls himself worst sinner, yet true faithful
herald, apostle, teacher of Gentiles.

Calls God blessed and only king through all time,
immortal one, master of all rulers,
unseeable being ensconced in light.

Calls Jesus our hope, sole God-human link;
self-pouring one offering free life for all;
always patient instiller of insight.

Paul tells all Scripture’s vast God-breathed value
for all teachers, students, good-life seekers:
good deed playbook; all purpose power drink.

In contrast, tells money-love’s grave danger:
fast-growing rhizome, radix of evil.

Above all, Paul tells God’s all-creative
all life-giving goodness and God’s desire
for healing, peace, freedom, wisdom for all.

Nth Degree Thessalonians

Preacher Paul (with Silas and Timothy)
sends two heart-strong missives to this one church
clearing the air with double, triple force.

Church planter Paul always thanks God for their
joyful, contagious faith, active love and
solid confidence in Jesus’ return.

Tentmaker Paul swears a nurse’s tender
care, and parent’s prayerful concern for growth
in transparent body-soul-spirit love.

Pastor Paul counsels joy always, constant
prayer, thanksgiving erupting everywhere,
kind words, patient work, trust of God’s timing.

Friend Paul prays fervently to see them soon.
Meanwhile: divine courage, diligence and
Jesus’ all-occasion, multiform Peace.

Christened

Cogent epistle from prisoner Paul
to fledgling churches in Caesar’s empire
hails Christ’s creative micro-macro rule.

Christ, God’s face: first in new life.
Christ, God’s transcendent wisdom embodied.
Christ, God’s all absolving blood-signed peace pact.

Leaders, writers, preachers like Paul always
thank God for faith-formed, love-filled listeners and
always pray God’s true wisdom radiates

with ever-strong Holy Spirit power
for patient, joyful, grateful, fruitful life,
all work, all words by Christ’s love ignited.

Joy Unalloyed

Paul writes joy to church friends,
joy in jail all about Jesus;
start-to-end partner joy.
Eager! Death now? Later?
No matter, both equal full life:
confident, bold, daring;
always thanking, always praying.

Paul yearns Christ’s self-giving
love for all, ever growing, wise,
fruitful, gentle, carefree,
fearless, unswervingly peaceful,
radically content.

Paul counts all personal gains loss,
keeps stretching to know Christ’s
poured out love that won from worst death
unkillable life joy for all.

Power Epistle

Shalom, God-centered, Jesus
followers in fake-god city.
Cheers for all heaven-now gifts:
Spirit-sealed blood brotherhood;
insight to mystery wisdom;
ever-working, all ruling,
church body building power.

Divine power demolishes
every wall between people,
establishes Jesus’ peace.
Prisoner Paul kneels, pleads knowledge
power for Christ’s love beyond
any human gauge or grasp.

Paul calls Christ’s family to bond:
all humble, all gentle, one
supple Spirited body,
passionate for peace, mature,
hope-filled, christened and equipped.
Christ’s family tree bears fragrant
fruits, transparent in love’s light.

All day long grateful songs soar
from loving hearts everywhere.
Christ infuses each marriage,
all parent-child connections,
every master-servant bond.

Shielded and armored, stand firm;
no satanic blow can harm,
writes Paul. Stay linked in Holy
Spirit prayer for me and all
God’s faithful ones. Peace to all
living always in Christ’s love.

All for One, One for All

No mere human order, Paul writes:
Christ alive impels these words.

Jesus makes all followers family:
no more damning litmus tests.

Pigeon-holing kills faith’s fledglings;
rules imposed divide, destroy.

Birth pangs seize me–freedom’s anguish,
Christ’s new life released in you.

Faithful churches grow as orchards
ripe with Holy Spirit fruit:

joyful, gentle, generous actions;
kind, patient, peace-building love.

Double Epistle

Twice Paul writes to God’s Church in Corinth:
first with Sosthenes to those cleansed, called,
joined with God’s holy ones everywhere
who call Jesus Lord; then with Timothy
to God’s people all over Achaia.
Always, Paul writes, I thank God for you:
Jesus’ wisdom graces all you say,
all you know; you lack no Spirit gift.

For Christ’s sake agree, Paul pleads; be one
all of you, in purpose and focus;
no factions. One God created all;
one Master, Christ the Rock, gives all life;
one Spirit searches all, reveals God’s
wise, ageless, secret plan, gives different
gifts to each; so God is all in all.

Eat, drink, talk, work–all for God’s glory.
All mystery, knowledge, giving, suffering,
even faith, is nothing without love.
Love always shields, trusts, hopes, perseveres.
Faith, hope, love remain; love is greatest.

Christ is God’s YES for every promise.
As Christ’s sufferings flow into our lives
God’s comfort overflows all troubles.
Hard pressed on all sides, we are not crushed:
God’s grace is always more than enough;
our frail clay jar lives radiate God’s
perfect uncontainable power.