Saturday, March 01, 2008

Tears of the Savior

For his friend,
he wept
for the sisters, unable to believe in full
he wept
for the community
who did not see who he was
he wept
for the leaders beholden to the law
he wept
for this mortal coil,
he wept
But for us, he healed,
he taught, he lived,
he died
and he rose again
And for that,
we weep, tears of shame,
tears of joy

March 1, 2008
John 11:1-45

Gaining Sight

Born blind,
he gained sight
by the healing of the Master
the Messiah, by His hand;
but he gained his vision,
by the Lord’s words,
his truth, in overcoming
the law, the rigidness
the absolutes
separating people
one from the other
Offering saving,
real healing
in Him

March 1, 2008
John 9:1-41

Becoming Blind

In a reversal of fortune
a transformation of the world, of order
the changing of circumstances
where the blind find sight
and those who see
becoming blind
to the truth, the reality
of the Christ
there beside them
bringing healing
to the world
They were blind
to the deeper meanings
the love of God,
outside the laws
written by man

March 1, 2008
John 9:1-41

The Limits of Their Faith

If only, you had been here,
you could have healed him,
stopped him from dying.
Such was the limits of their faith
believing in the finite, the human
saving of the Lord;
not perceiving, understanding
His true nature
the true limitlessness,
the omnipotence of the Son,
the living God with us
He bore witness to His power
when he called him from the grave.
“Rise Lazarus!”
Be my proof, to loose
the bounds of their faith

March 1, 2008
John 11:1-45

Raising the Dead

Jesus wept, for the friend
who died, he let die,
the friend, who was to be an example,
a proof of his power,
his power over death
Raising the dead,
the Son revealing himself
the Immanuel,
God with us; but human
in the pain he shared
at the death of his friend

March 1, 2008
John 11:1-45

Healing a Family

A brother, dead, in the tomb
healing his body; but their faith
using this tragedy for a family,
these friends of his,
using them to prove God’s truth
the power of the Son
to heal far more
than a broken body
Healing the sisters, the brother
bringing healing
to far more
through their witness
their example

March 1, 2008
John 11:1-45

The Light on the Snow

Suddenly, vivid bright light
illuminating the thinning clouds
milky sky, radiating light
burning through the overcast
the fog of the day, after the storm
the snow vibrating, reflecting, refracting
the light descending upon it
lighting the day beyond the light
streaming through the sky
bright shimmering light
warming the day

March 1, 2008

Who Was Blind

A healing, a transformation,
a revelation of the essence
the ministry of our Lord
changing, reversing,
turning the order upside down
a healing and a revelation
of who was blind
The elders, the law,
too rigid, not seeing
the reality of the fulfillment
the Son of God
in their very midst
speaking to them.
Denying his presence,
His miracle
of God,
for His purposes.
Changing hearts
which can see

March 1, 2008
John 9:1-41

A Branch Falls in the Wintry Wood

A Soul Set Free

A new and perfect body
has entered into paradise
a soul has left this struggle
and entered eternal rest
a life has ceases its moral beating
and heaven has gained a saint
for a faithful disciple
has been set free
and has joined eternity

March 1, 2008

All of my poems are copyrighted by Raymond A. Foss, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. All rights reserved. Contact me at Ray Foss for usage. See all 30,600+ of my poems at Poetry Where You Live.

Friday, February 29, 2008

A Bedful of Friends

Tracks in the Snow

Out in the woods
in the city,
tracks in the snow
marking the territory
of the many denizens
of this wild place
fishers, voles,
rabbits, along with the
more domestic members
of the canine family

February 29, 2008

Tracks in the Snow - 2/9/08

With My Heart

I believe, in the Christ,
the love of God,
the presence of the Holy Spirit,
as the Creed says,
all of it, with my heart,
Not my analytical head,
for I believe because of faith
not in what I can see,
what I can measure;
but in the word of God
written in the words of scripture
in the life of His Son
in the lives of the saints
who have followed
in His way,
and in the promise,
the covenant
etched on my heart

February 29, 2008

A House with Many Windows - by Shyanne

On a Walk in Livingston Park - 2/28/08

Thursday, February 28, 2008

At the Table

At the table He gathered
with his disciples,
with friends,
with the lost, the last,
the least, the sinners too
Redeemed them, instructed them
brought wholeness, holinesses
in the breaking of bread,
the communal meal
The sharing of himself with us
in simple elements
revealing to us all
at the table,
we all share

February 28, 2008
Walk to Emmaus,
dinner with Zacchaeus,
in the feeding of the 5,000,
in the meals with the disciples, and
in the Last Supper

At Table

It was at table,
in communion
with the disciples,
with the outcasts,
the sinners
that Christ
revealed himself
His true nature,
in the quiet at table
sharing lives, meals
the bread, the cup
the all that was Christ
the man, the Son of God
revealed in subtle
and profound way
at table, in fellowship

February 28, 2008
Walk to Emmaus,
dinner with Zacchaeus,
in the feeding of the 5,000,
in the meals with the disciples, and
in the Last Supper

Shimmering Fabric

The body of Christ,
the church, universal
a shimmering, living fabric,
precious threads, unique and special,
woven together with love
to show the image of God
to all the world
shimmering in the darkness,
the faintest light,
nuanced and changing
living as He did, as we do
in this world; but separate,
set apart, for God’s purposes
being the Son, the Father
the hands and feet of God
for all our neighbors
all around the world

February 28, 2008
Walk to Emmaus

Woven Together

Each one of us, a precious thread
unique in all the world,
made by our Creator;
but made to be woven together
into a beautiful fabric
within a community of faith
a living priesthood of believers
disciples sharing the good news
of the risen Christ, being a warm
loving fabric, the church alive
warming the needy,
touching those crying out
being a the very image of God
woven together for Your glory

February 28, 2008

Precious Threads

Like precious threads, woven together
so is the church, the body of Christ
Each one of us a precious thread,
essential for completing the loving picture
the reflection of our God, of the Savior
An image of God, each one of us,
each a part of God’s wondrous creation,
of His wonderful plan,
together a beautiful tapestry,
a loving fabric, to be used
to warm the hearts of those in need
to wrap around those crying out
Let each one of us, feel our call
fall into the loom of the master artist
join our fellow disciples
and become the precious thread
we were meant to be
woven with love
into the image of God
here and now, in this world

February 28, 2008
Walk to Emmaus

A Fog of Grace

Like a deep rich fog
so is the grace of God
ever present in our lives
touching us, caressing us
even when we are unaware
so close it reaches for us
hoping we will reach out
grasp the gossamer
draw the moisture,
the living water
into our spirit
call for the Father
in the night,
in the
of day
fall to our knees
and rise victorious
with the Christ, our Brother,
who walked this road before us
lighting our way to God’s throne
to loving relationship once more
in the loving arms of the Creator
wrapped, enveloped
by His Love
Being His disciples
Witnesses throughout the World
The hands, the feet, the voice of God
in this broken and troubled earth

February 28, 2008

Give God Our Hands

Oh, Give God our hands,
out feet, our voices, our love
to be Christ, the Son,
ministers to the whole world
reflecting God’s love
in mission to the earth
being the hands of the creator,
the feet of the apostles,
the voice of righteousness
for all who are in need
all who suffer injustice
all the sinners, estranged from God
in need of healing, or
be God’s image
for all mankind
so is our call
to announce, like John before him
that the day of the Lord
is drawing nigh
and is already here
if we give God our hands
and do His will

February 28, 2008Walk to Emmaus

Give God Our Minds

Out of love, reverence,
in faith and in hope,
turning our lives to God,
to the risen Christ,
we give God our minds,
conformed to the Father,
through loving worship,
through fellowship with our brothers,
our sisters in the faith
In time spent studying,
learning the lessons in the scriptures
the Holy Word of God,
timeless lessons,
for all those who walk this earth,
all who wish to know God;
the call for our lives

February 28, 2008
Walk to Emmaus

Give God Our Hearts

We are to give God
our hearts, to live in harmony
with the Father, the creator,
our Brother, His Son
to revere, to herald,
to walk humbly
with our God.
To lift up our lives
as a temple, a priesthood
for the love of God
to be instruments, vessels,
of his love, through our piety
a loving reflection of Him
spending time in the word,
in fellowship, in relationship
with our Creator, our Savior,
led by the Holy Spirit
ever closer, to God,
to our fellow man.

February 28, 2008
Walk to Emmaus

Tentacles of Satan

Life is so full,
of temptations,
leading us,
away from the Father,
forgetting the love
of the Son,
the healing of the Savior
bringing us home
to our loving Father
So easy to be led astray
to follow the will of the world
to succumb to the many faces
the tentacles of Satan,
the tempter, leading us
to the darkness,
the false gratifications
the things of this earth,
fleeting and failing
Not lasting, like
the everlasting love of God

February 28, 2008
Walk to Emmaus

Tears in the Backyard

An epiphany moment,
tears in the backyard
for his moment,
opening his heart
to the ever-present grace
of our living, loving God
A testimony, a witness
to the power of fellowship,
a community of believers
wrapping their arms around him,
being God’s hands, in that moment
being Christ for him
even when there is pain,
before we are ready
to accept that grace
being a means of grace for him
leading him home
into the loving arms
of our Savior and King

February 26, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Word Pictures

Images woven with words
recalling memories evoked
by the story, the stories of faith,
the stories of scripture, of life
retold by the master storytellers
the pastor in the pulpit
reaching each listener,
all members of the family,
the community of faith
seeing loved ones, saints before us,
people living in His image
in the conjured images
pulled from the ether
into word pictures

February 27, 2008

Visual Words

A picture may speak a thousand words
but some stories, told well
living without pictures
Visual words, conjure images,
memories, loving connection
singular moments, common emotion
language of nature, of religion
of family, or all of us
visual words weaving a tapestry
drawing the listener in
with the cadence, the rhythm,
the song in the visual words

February 27, 2008

Turning to God

So close to us,
in every moment
when we finally
turn to God
He is right there
lovingly open, waiting
pursuing, following
seeking us, our hearts
God’s grace, ready and waiting
for when we
turn to him

February 26, 2008
Walk to Emmaus
Prevenient Grace
Justifying Grace

Nourished by Worship

Worship as a means of grace
being touched by
the hand of God
Food for the soul
nourished by time in worship
time to share
the Word of God
in living worship
fed by Your love, oh God
in word, in song,
in fellowship together

February 26, 2008
Walk to Emmaus

Always New

God’s grace, always new
God’s unending love,
arms open wide
patiently waiting
for our discovery
our decision
to open the gift

February 26, 2007
Walk to Emmaus
Prevenient Grace
Justifying Grace

Stones of the Priesthood

We are the stones of the priesthood
a holy living temple
each stone a priesthood
joining in collective ministry
united to carry the message
of our risen Savior
to the ends of the earth
to spread the good news
God’s love, pursuing us
ready to bring us all home

February 26, 2008
1 Peter 2:4-10
1 Peter 2:9
Walk to Emmaus

We Met in Your Word

I met her in Your Word
studying our faith,
the common history
we have shared,
children of Abraham
heirs with Christ
reconciling us to God
Spending time learning together
exploring the scriptures
and their lessons for our lives
Growing closer to each other
and closer to You

February 26, 2008
Ruth and I met in Disciple I bible study

Unnamed but Remembered

A woman, unnamed but remembered
for her act of love, of faith
spend money, extravagantly
lavished costly nard, oil
on the Christ
Perceiving hi essence
his divinity before
Before it was made known
through his rising
Not the named disciples
who doubted,
who dragged their feet
She, though unnamed,
is remembered,
because she knew
He was the Messiah
and anointed him

February 26 and 27, 2008
Mark 14:3-9
Sermon by Rev. Peter Hey,
Wesley United Methodist Church,
Concord, NH 2/24/08

VALENTINE - by Erica Berberena

Valentine you are special
And in every way
Love is your answer
Every Valentine’s Day
Never will I leave you,
Tell you that you’re not beautiful
In any way you’ll always be my valentine
No one will take you
Every Valentine’s Day

by Erica Berberena
February 2008

In Community

In community, in fellowship
growing as a congregation
the body of Christ
living our collective faith
growing in connection
in relationship, by study,
by faith, in action,
in prayer, with love
for our fellow man
Living as disciples
as did the first twelve
in community
with God as our shepherd

February 27, 2008
1 Corinthians 12:12-27
and Upper Room Daily Devotional
for 2/27/08

Sermon - "Life's Waters", given by Pastor Ruth L. Foss, Sanbornville United Methodist Church, Wakefield, NH, February 24, 2008

John 4:5-42

Well…here we are at the 3rd week of Lent. We are one more week closer to that day we are all looking forward to. The day that our Lord and Savior is victorious over sin and death . . . the day that He rises from the tomb to offer us a new life of reconciliation and redemption…the day that we are able to once more have a right relationship with our Creator God . . . as it was in the Garden so long ago. Last time I was here . . . I was talking about the time of Lent and how it should be not just a season but something we do every day of our lives. I talked about how to Lent…or to live a life of Lent…means accepting boundaries . . . the wise boundaries . . . that God has set before us. Boundaries that keep us safe...under His protective wings of love. Something that Adam and Eve didn’t do. Well . . . in reading my Daily Devotional, The Upper Room Disciplines, I learned another way to live a life to Lent. To Lent also means to learn to be an ambassador for Christ, to point away from ourselves to learn what God has done for us in Jesus.

In the Luke passage we read this morning…we read about how when Jesus was sitting by the well…a Samaritan woman came to draw water from the well. When she came to the well…Jesus asked her for a drink. Well…the woman’s first answer to Him made me stop and think…to ponder on what was really going on in this “scene”.

OK…so let’ try to play C.S.I. here (I get to be Grissom…he’s my favorite character on the show and I like his style!)…here is Jesus sitting by the well…along comes a woman. Not just a woman but a “Samaritan woman”…and Jesus starts talking to her. This woman seems almost astonished…bewildered…that Jesus is even talking to her. OK…freeze frame…Why would this woman be so surprised that Jesus would even talk with her? Well…one reason is that Jesus was a Jew and Jew’s did not like Samaritan’s. The breach between Jews and Samaritans can be traced to the Assyrian occupation of No. Palestine. The source of the Feud between them was a dispute about the correct location of the cultic center. The Samaritans built their shrine on Mt. Gerizim and claimed that this was the proper place to worship not the Jerusalem Temple. WOW…things don’t really change do they? We as a society still struggle with the “my way is right and yours is wrong and if you don’t agree with me then there is something wrong with you”…Or how about…”your different from me so there must be something wrong with you…you are nothing but an outcast.” I don’t know if history is repeating or if we are still living the same history and just haven’t learned yet.

OK…in order to get the real feel for this scene…let’s fast forward to when the disciples show up on the scene. They come to the well and see Jesus talking with someone. Not only was He talking to a woman but He was talking to a Samaritan woman (for shame). They may have been thinking “doesn’t He know who He is talking to? Doesn’t He know that this WOMAN was the ENEMY…a SAMARITAN?” But they said nothing…maybe they were afraid of what Jesus’ answer might be. They didn’t want to think that their teacher…their Rabbi…would intentionally do something wrong. OK…Freeze frame…What does this scene tell you? Does it tell you that the disciples still didn’t realize who Jesus was and what His ministry about? Does it tell you that women were not seen in a good light back then…let alone a SAMARITAN woman? Well…what I see here is something that gives me so much hope and joy that I have to share it with you (and anyone else who will listen).

OK…you ready…what I see here is Jesus’ radical ministry. Jesus could have been like all the other teachers…all the other Rabbis…of that time. He could have been only concerned with the righteous…the chosen ones. He could have just walked away and said nothing to this woman. But is that what Jesus did? No…Jesus started the conversation with this woman. Jesus didn’t come for the righteous…the chosen ones. Jesus came for the least…the lost…the forgotten. Jesus came for the outcast and the sinner. Because of Jesus’ ministry…you and I are counted as part of the chosen ones. We are adopted…through our baptism…into the family. And because of our adoption we can come to the throne of Grace and cry out “ABBA FATHER” to our Creator God. Now that’s something to be joyous about! That’s something that I am forever grateful for! That’s something I want to share with those around me so that they too can be part of the family!
Now…let’s take a look at the rest of this radical scene. After Jesus asks her for water and her initial shock is over He starts talking to her about “Living Water”. Now this was not any ordinary water…this water…after you drink it…you will never thirst again. As a matter of fact…this water will cause a spring of water welling up to eternal life. OK…stop scene…what is this water that Jesus is talking about. Water that He gives that will make us never thirst again? Well…we are baptized by water as a rebirth but there is a water that will sustain us…a water that I myself cannot do without. This water is free of charge. This water quenches the thirst of my soul…of my Spirit that is within me. This water is God’s Word…the Living Water.

Living water…what a wonderful gift we have. In life…we have all kinds of water. There is Spring water and tap water, there is plain water and flavored water…Propel Water, Glacier Water and Perrier Water…there is so many kinds of water to quench our physical thirst but only one kind to quench our Spiritual thirst. Baptismal water renews us but it is the living water that sustains us through our life here on earth and it is within this living water that we find eternal life.

OK…roll scene…as Jesus is talking to her…He knows about her whole life without ever meeting her before. Boy…that must have thrown her for a loop. Here is this man she has never met before telling her about the life she has lived. Then…this part I like…as they are talking Jesus tells her that He is the MESSIAH! OK stop right here…Jesus is telling this woman…this outcast from society…that He is the Messiah. I think this may be one of the only times that He says straight out “I am the Messiah you have been waiting for.” He didn’t say this to too many people…but to this outcast He tells all. This again affirms to me Jesus’ mission…His ministry…was for those who were the outcast and down trodden. Of all the people that He could have told, He told this enemy of the Jews who He really was (talk about loving your enemies and your neighbor).

After the woman heard all that Jesus said she left her water jar and went back to the town to tell the people about this man…this Jesus…that she had just met. She left the jar for the water of man and went to tell about this new “Living Water” she had just learned about that was from this Jew she had just met. She left the jar…went running to share…with others…the news about…the Living Water.

I mentioned earlier in my sermon that one way to live a life of Lent is to learn to be an ambassador of Christ, to point away from ourselves to learn what God has done for us in Jesus. This is exactly what this woman did. She pointed away from herself…away from what she needed…which at that time must have been water for herself. She put aside a personal need she had…put aside the hatred she may have been harboring for Jews in general…and went home to exclaim what she had learned from the Messiah. Her living water had welled up in her to the point that she was able to share it with others who were blessed by what she did. She invited them to come and see and hear Jesus for themselves. The story ends with “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony.” As a matter of fact…their wells were so high that they asked Him to stay with them and because of His words many more became believers. They had heard for themselves this man called Jesus and realized “that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

WE need to be like the Samaritan woman. We need to set aside self…set aside our fears…set aside our differences so that we can make a difference in the lives of those around us. We need to shout it from the roof tops that we are joyful for our redemption. We need to revitalize the water within us with the Living Word…this life giving…life changing water…so that it can well up in us too and pour out to those who are in need. We need to invite those who need this change to hear the Living Word of God so that they too may believe because they heard it for themselves not just our testimony.

How high is the water in your life? Is it welling up within you, waiting to be poured out as a libation to others? What’s stopping you? I know some of my own barriers have been thinking that people will think I am strange, they may treat me as an outcast, who would listen to me anyway? I am here to tell you today that there is someone in your life…and mine…that needs to hear the Good News today. Someone needs to have this eternal life giving water poured out on them. How will you respond to the Spirits calling? Don’t be afraid of being an outcast. Remember…Jesus came to the sinner…the unrighteous…the outcast to bring them Life…to bring them back to a right relationship with our Creator. To me…being an outcast isn’t so bad…if I wasn’t …I would still be trying to live by the law and failing miserably at it instead of being forgiven and washed as white as snow by the blood of the Lamb…Our Lord Jesus Christ.


The Prayer of Repentance

I received an emailed copy of a prayer, attributed to have been made by Pastor Joe Wright at the opening session of Kansas Senate. I did a bit more research and found the original prayer.

I don’t agree with all of what he said; but I believe it is worthy of sharing. I am far more liberal, more inclusive, than him in my theology, as a United Methodist. I would not speak in absolutes, as he does in many of the lines of his prayer. There are many statements I would dispute, or at least word differently. I do, however, worry about our country, when we seem to drift into coarseness and away from the religious ideals that guided our nation’s founding, and especially when we decide that torture is acceptable, ever.

We are to be in the world but not of the world. We are to love our neighbor, even our enemies, as the story of the Good Samaritan teaches us. We are to care for our brothers and sisters, the least, the last, the lost. We should set our sights on God, not false idols and things of this world.

With all of the above in mind, this is the text of the original prayer, verbatim unedited, delivered January 23, 1996 by Central Christian Church (Wichita, KS) Pastor Joe Wright to the Kansas House of Representatives in Topeka. See the link to this prayer at:

Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and seek your direction and guidance.

We know your Word says, "Woe to those who call evil good," but that's exactly what we've done.

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values.

We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of your Word and called it moral pluralism.

We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism.

We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

We have killed our unborn and called it choice.

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building esteem.

We have abused power and called it political savvy.

We have coveted our neighbors' possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us O God and know our hearts today; try us and see if there be some wicked way in us; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.

Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of Kansas, and who have been ordained by you, to govern this great state.

Grant them your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of your will. I ask it in the name of your son, the living savior, Jesus Christ.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008


A search of words in the computer
a means of grace, finding its way through the ether
“I live because of God”, a powerful affirmation
God is the creator, the one who give
the breath of life, the potter making me
from the inert clay, giving me life
bringing me from the dust, into being
because of He who conjured the world
from the void,
the nothingness,
I live!

And, so I should act
humbly walking with God,
living as a child of God
a brother to my Jesus
His only begotten son
Who lived and died, so I might live again
despite my brokenness, my sins
I live!

February 26, 2008

All of my poems are copyrighted by Raymond A. Foss, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. All rights reserved. Contact me at Ray Foss for usage. See all 30,770+ of my poems at Poetry Where You Live. 


An eyewitness account,
the chronicling of a life,
of lives transformed
telling His story, their story
a story of salvation, of fulfillment,
in the steps of his life, the telling of that story
the moving around the kingdom
out ward into the world
a movement, a changing of the world
through the hands of the savior,
the work of the disciples,
bringing the hope of salvation
out into the hurting world

February 26, 2008
The Book of Luke
& The Book of Acts


Unembellished facts
the heart of the story
that is what came first
the simplest telling of the story
of the savior here on earth
Sharing the good news of the
coming of the Son of God
a new teaching, a new creed
for the troubled people of God
Good news, to bring hope
to the world

February 26, 2008
The Book of Mark

The Book of John

“I am the Messiah”;
“He is the Messiah”,
the living God
come to live with us
So is the voice, the perspective
the story from
the one He loved
Over and over, self-aware
A conscious savior
willingly taking on
the sins of the whole world

February 25, 2008
The Book of John


A fulfillment, a living out –
prophets told his story
long before he was born,
proving identity, a servant
a savior, a king
foretold in scripture
acted out in the
singular life
of the man from Nazareth.
Steps written down,
a charted life
scripted from beginning
to the very end
ordered steps,
a path foretold
fulfilling history
proclaiming hope

February 25, 2008
The Book of Matthew

Monday, February 25, 2008

To Love Our Nation

To love our nation
doesn’t mean denying our faults,
pushing them under the rug,
our heads in the sand
To love our nation
means fighting for a better land
more true to our dreams, our aspirations
what we believe, what we hope
what we long for, for our land
To be the country we desire to be
Who we can be

February 19, 2008
The Exchange, NHPR, 2/18/08
Socrates Radio Café: What does Love of Country Mean?

Email to President Bush today - Our Means must be Christ-centered

Mr. President -

As a United Methodist, I read daily the Upper Room. Yesterday's was very powerful - The key sentence was, "How we do what we do is as much a witness to Christ as what we seek to do.

Or, to put it differently: Our end doesn't justify the means if the means is wrong. Our means must be consistent with the way, truth, and life of Christ."

Please pray on this wisdom, when you decide whether or not to allow the United States of America to commit torture. Waterboarding is Torture, and Torture is against the United Methodist Social Principles. The ends do not justify the means. Ever.

Be Christ in your Presidency and the legacy of your Administration will be love.


Sent by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture

Dear Friends:

Earlier this month Congress passed H.R. 2082, a bill that would prohibit all U.S. intelligence agencies, including the CIA, from subjecting detainees to waterboarding, stress positions, hypothermia, and other forms of torture. The President’s signature is all this bill needs to become law.

Unfortunately, President Bush has said he plans to veto the bill. If he does not change his mind, this important anti-torture legislation will not become law.

Please contact the White House and tell President Bush’s staff that you support H.R. 2082 (the Intelligence Authorization bill), and that you think it is essential that the anti-torture provision in the bill becomes law. You can use a sample email that we have prepared to contact the President, or you can call the White House at 202-456-1111. Click here for the sample

Please feel free to personalize the email.

We would also like to remind you of two important torture-related events on March 7th and 8th in Washington, DC. There will be an Interfaith Mini-Conference ( on U.S.-sponsored torture, as well as a workshop: Torture and What Churches Can Do (, at Ecumenical Advocacy Days ( Many people of faith will be in Washington that weekend for Ecumenical Advocacy Days and/or Interfaith Peace Witness ( sponsored by the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq/The Olive Branch Interfaith Peace Partners.

Thank you for all that you do to end U.S.-sponsored torture.

Linda Gustitus, NRCAT President
Richard Killmer, NRCAT Executive Director
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
316 F Street NE, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20002

Sunday, February 24, 2008

For Our Nation

For our nation,
they bled, they died,
stood strong against
our common enemies
Journeying to far off lands,
warring seas, unknown dangers.
For this place,
this people, these ideals
they heeded the call,
serving our nation
one and all.

February 19, 2008
The Exchange, NHPR, 2/18/08
Socrates Radio Café: What does Love of Country Mean?

For the Love of Country

For the love of country
they fought and died
for the beliefs we hold dear
the words written in ink,
carved in stone
etched in blood on battlefields
near and far
Our aspirations, our hopes
our dreams for our land
Willing to sacrifice, to struggle
to stand in the breach;
To stand for our nation,
even when we together fall short,
when our actions fall short
of our loftier ideals,
even then they stand in the field,
in harm’s way, for us.

February 19, 2008
The Exchange, NHPR, 2/18/08
Socrates Radio Café: What does Love of Country Mean?

To Lead Our Nation

To lead our nation, they were called,
chosen by the people, to govern,
to guide our land, in their time
To plead from the bully pulpit,
move our country through legislation,
wage war and foster peace,
they added their voice, their mark
in the sands of time

February 19, 2008
The Exchange, NHPR, 2/18/08
Socrates Radio Café: What does Love of Country Mean?

Presidents - 1

The men who have led the nation
through the years and struggles,
the hope and promise
within the dream that is America.
That seed planted in this fertile soil
nurtured, guarded, by each generation
successive and cumulative,
changing but constant.
Humans, with flaws, passion;
with vision and gravitas.
Stewards of our land for years only
but for posterity as well,
a legacy for our future.
In their hands, we have entrusted
that which is America.

February 19, 2008
The Exchange, NHPR, 2/18/08
Socrates Radio Café: What does Love of Country Mean?

Be the Water

Be the water, the rain, the ice
beating on the unmovable rock
the drip, drip, furrowing,
changing the stone.
Be the roots of the seedling, the tree
growing, reaching into the crevasses,
the fissures, the cracks, the seams.
Be the wind, changing the world,
carrying the Word, blown sand,
seeds of change across the globe.
Be the light, illuminating the darkness
bringing hope to the farthest corners,
the darkest dungeons.
Be the Christ, the brother,
the first-born of the resurrection.
Be His love for the world,
sharing His message, His example,
Be His witness, in our time
for this troubled world.

February 19, 2008

Relentless Love

Grace to love us
for simply being
for merely existing
desiring a loving communion
relationship with us
as in the Garden
so long ago
before choices estranged us
from His presence

Relentless love
pursuing, chasing,
offering itself to us
A prayer of healing
in His outstretched hand
waiting for us
as a father holds out a hand
for a young child
before they reach for his
So is the world before God
Not seeing, rejecting, ignoring
the ready hand of relentless love

February 23, 2008
Walk to Emmaus
Prevenient Grace


Sparkling, glistening snow
refracting the street light’s glow
Discrete colors of glitter
a fleeting rainbow
in the dance
of the falling snow

February 22, 2008
Walk to Emmaus
at training

The Next Verse

“For God so loved the world…”
so is the start of that
oh so familiar scripture.
But it is the next verse,
that is our real hope.
The clear, clean voice
of God the Father
affirming the ministry
of the loving Son
On down through the generations
through all of the saints
saving us all

February 23, 2008
Walk to Emmaus
John 3:17
John 3:16

Freeing Us

Freeing us from sin, from death
empowering us to new life
to new life in His grace
living within God
in His presence
walking humbly with God
following His commands
doing His will
Living a life worthy
of the name Christian

February 23, 2008
Micah 6:8
Walk to Emmaus

Open Water

A small pool
of dark open water
beside the cattails
the frozen marsh
pristine, serene
under the clear
cold February-blue sky
A deep pool of water
open and exposed
dark cold water
cut from the ice
the movement of the water
the warmth of the sun

February 23, 2008

One Message

While we are many voices
many different individuals
each with gifts, each with flaws
we all are3 called, drawn
to proclaim one holy message
one message of transformation
becoming the body of Christ
not within the buildings
we call the church
We speak one message
as the voice of Christ
building up the church
the body of Christ alive
living within us
when we are in fellowship
whether in worship, in prayer,
study or action.

February 23, 2008
Walk to Emmaus

Prolong His Days

The days of the Lord
the risen and living God
God with us
His offspring, through the generations
Prolong His days
following in the family business
tending the fields,
the vineyards, watching over
the sheep, the fields
ripe for harvest
Spread His message of love
to the ends of the earth
Prolong His days
in the sharing of His life
a libation poured out
to save the world

February 23, 2008
Walk to Emmaus
Isaiah 53:1-12
Isaiah 53:10b

Wooing Us

Just as a bridegroom,
God is courting us,
wooing us back to Him
to a loving relationship
once more, again.
No candy, no roses.
Eternity with Him.

February 22, 2008
Walk to Emmaus
Prevenient Grace

His Open Hand

Whether we are aware or not
even when we reject God’s offer,
His grace seeking us,
His outstretched hand
is ever there, ready
We need but accept
His gift of grace, love
take His outstretched hand
and find rest in Him

February 22, 2008
Walk to Emmaus
Prevenient Grace

Being Ripples

The love of God
dropped into the pool, the world
We are to be the ripples,
transformed, moving outward
touching distant shores,
human hearts, some ready
some not yet so;
each washed by the living water
flowing outward, through us.

February 22, 2008
Walk to Emmaus
written on drive to training

Outstretched Hands

The outstretched hands of the creator
our loving, caring God
offering to each of us
His loving grace,
support in times of struggle
a way home,
to relationship with Him;
His warm embrace
always ready, waiting
for when we are ready
to accept His hand, His love
when we are ready
to say yes to God

February 24, 2008
Walk to Emmaus
Prevenient Grace

Coming Before

Before we were aware, conscious
able to see the outstretched hand of God
It was there, from the beginning
Open, welcoming, strong
The hand of God available to us
The love of God seeking
seeking a relationship
loving and complete
with each one of us,
all his children

February 22, 02008
Walk to Emmaus
Prevenient Grace

To Rest in Him

Spending time, taking time
to rest in Him;
to lie down in green pastures
walking humbly, seeking
our loving God
Letting the love of God
wash over us, to bleed
into our spirits
To drink of that living water

February 21, 2008
John 4:5-42

A Feast of Worship

The pastor, in the makeshift pulpit
at the lectern, far from the vaulted ceilings,
far from the stain glassed sanctuary
Speaking effusively, lovingly of
vacation from work; but
A feast of worship, in a distant place
away from daily duty, cares of his flock
when he could allow the Word, in worship
to rain down on him in a banquet, a feast of worship
drinking in the living water in many churches,
many traditions in a single weekend
Able to immerse himself in the healing,
the grace of the time in fellowship,
communion with the saints
gathered in worship
rich and ever new

February 24, 2008
Walk to Emmaus

All of my poems are copyrighted by Raymond A. Foss, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. All rights reserved. Contact me at Ray Foss for usage. See all 30,030+ of my poems at Poetry Where You Live.

Fragrance of Christ

Our acts, our loving words
become the fragrance of Christ
The spirit-filled consciousness
of the loving lamb of God
Memory-laden imagery
of Christ, the rabbi,
the healer, the shepherd
Rich meaning in his life, his words
mirrored, echoed in our ministry
when we are genuine,
when we walk with our brother
doing our part to do the father’s will

February 24, 2008
started 2/23/08
Walk to Emmaus

His Knowing Hands

He may have done it, almost unconsciously,
a natural gesture, an instinctive act
I just happened to be there, in the edge
the church’s hallway, witness only
to the familiar touch
He walked around the corner,
the wooden cubicles
of the preschool beside him
His knowing, weathered, old hands
touching the wood, feeling the varnish,
the chipped wood, the tiny splinters
at the outer edge of the maple, the veneer
the pine. Knowing hands of the carpenter
communing with the wood
walking down the hallway

February 24, 2008