Haiku Images

I thought you might appreciate reading through the Haiku Cluster that the judges thought were worthy of first place winner in the competition. All of the haiku spring from the Scriptures related as listed.

Appropriate for the Easter season is “To say ‘I love you’ God sent a cross.” The truth that we are co-heirs with the eternal Godhead is incomprehensible, but the Scriptures certainly remind us how rich we are in Christ.

If a haiku or two moves you and you would like to share your thoughts, I would love to meditate on them with you.
I bequeath to you,                                                                   Romans 8:17a
every sunrise I’ve painted,
all originals. -God

Adam, while you slept,                                                           Genesis 2:21-22
God slipped Eve into your bed,
then he left, smiling.

To say “I love you,”                                                                  John 19:17-18
we send flowers or a card,
but God sent a cross.

Five little fingers                                                                       Luke 2:7
squeeze young Mary’s nose and face
as God lies on straw.

Often mothers ’ prayers                                                         I Samuel 1:27
mend the broken jars of clay
they molded from birth.

Silent, by a grave,                                                                   II Corinthians 1:4
arm around a friend, healing
a hole in the heart.

Before life’s bookends                                                         Amos 4:12b
squeeze away your last-held breath,
prepare for closure.

A Conference to Remember Part 2

Here’s the followup to last week’s conference message.

The Keynote Address for the FCW Conference was given by Brian Bird, a 30-year veteran of the Hollywood film and televison business. Brian’s writing and producing work comprises nearly 250 episodes of network television, including Touched by an Angel, and his own original series currently airing on the Hallmark Channel, When Calls the Heart. Through him, the Lord challenged me to keep writing to keep his truth alive and to inspire others to write to praise him.

Torry Martin, an award-winning actor, screenwriter, and comedian, has written feature length scripts. He taught a continuing class, “Writing Screenplays for Everything, but the Big Screen.” He is an enthusiastic, humorous, very creative catalyst. We had great fellowship and in our conversations, I was humbled when he asked me to collaborate with him on a coming project.

Three publishers expressed an interest in my Biblical studies on Prayers of the Bible and my devotionals.

The conference climaxed with the Awards Banquet Dinner and I was humbled again when I received second-place winner in non-fiction for my Memoir, Naked With Clothes On, and completely overwhelmed with first-place winner in poetry for my Haiku Cluster.

I came away from the conference inspired, encouraged, challenged, and full of new ideas and directions. I am thankful for God’s confirmation that he wants me to continue writing my devotional blog Guarded Hearts and devotional articles for Christian Broadcasting Network.

There are other conferences that we as Christians have attended and been blessed and encouraged by. How about sharing your challenging and encouraging ones with me?

Remember, the new name for my blog is GUARDED HEARTS.

God’s Grip

Elena and Dan holding hands0001My 7-year-old great granddaughter burst into my study, grabbed my hand, and asked, “Papa, “What’s your favorite chapter in the Bible? ”

“John 10 about Jesus being the Good Shepherd.”

“I know that one,” she said. I reached my arm around her waist and drew her to me.

“And Papa, what’s your favorite verse?”

“That I may know Christ and the power of his resurrection.”

She hesitated, then answered thoughtfully,“I don’t think I know that one.”

As I took her hand and placed her other hand into it, I said, “Another favorite is John 10, verse 28.” I folded her little fingers around her hand, and continued, “ ‘No one can grab your hand out of my grip,’ Jesus said.”

“Really, they can’t?”

I took those two little cupped hands into my hand. “Nope, no one.”

Her eyes twinkled as she looked up at me. “I do remember hearing that verse.”

“You’re so smart. Do you also remember when you were two years old and your grandfather held your hand to lead you to the party?

“No,” she replied. “But when Pappy takes my hand in his big hand, I feel safe and happy.”

I looked into those big eyes and thought, Oh, to be like that child!

“Wouldn’t it warm our Heavenly Father’s heart, as He grips our hand to make us feel secure, if we gripped His hand back?”

Next time someone holds your hand, let it remind you of the comfort, security and joy when Creator Father, gripping our human hand, leads us where we need to go.

Singing Each Day

music makersMy wife shared this morning that her 90-year-old brother has a list of 593 songs he has sung over the years. And he has a second list of 23 he sings every day.

When I heard about all those songs, the Holy Spirit flooded my mind with Scriptures about singing, especially these three.

“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God” (Psalm 40:3). When others heard David singing praises, it caused them to “put their trust in God.”

What a motivation to sing!

In corporate worship, “Speaking to one another in a variety of Christian songs” (Eph 5:19, Leon’s paraphrase) to encourage and comfort others. Recently, our Bible study group visited a hospice center to sing for an elder in our church to encourage him and comfort his family. Although he could not verbally respond while we sang songs like “10,000 Reasons,” his wife assured us that he understood.

What a motivation to sing!

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God” (Acts 16:25). As they sang in their pain from the cruel flogging and having their feet in stocks in the dark dungeon, their songs became a powerful vocal witness to “the other prisoners listening to them.”

What a motivation to sing!

I thank God for my wife’s sharing about her brother’s catalog of songs. It motivated me to sing songs during the day, like “You are My King,” “Jesus, Son of God,” and “In Christ Alone.”

Wanna join me in singing your favorite songs throughout the day?


The first three to identify the guy wearing the bow tie in the picture, a free Starbuck’s latte is yours!


A Christmas Trust

Let’s do a quickie quiz.  In ten seconds, name five Christmas characters who trusted God unconditionally. (You’ll flunk, if you start with Santa Claus!)

Did you pass the test? I knew you were smart ’cause you’re reading this blog.

Now one more quiz. Can you list these people chronologically? 

If you needed help, here they are.

Mary, an unwed virgin, TRUSTED Gabriel who said, “God has a surprise for you. You’ll be the mother of God’s son.”  Joseph, a humble Nazareth carpenter,  TRUSTED an angel who said, “Joseph, don’t hesitate to marry her. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit-conceived.” Shepherds, social outcasts, TRUSTED an angel who announced, “I’ve joyful news. The Messiah-Savior has just been born to you, and he’s kicking straw out of a cow’s crib.” Magi, powerful, wealthy Persian scholars, TRUSTED a star to make a pilgrimage to find the newborn King of the Jews. The most incredible–God himself, the power “giant” behind the universe, TRUSTED human beings to care for his son.

And that son one day promised, “Whoever TRUSTS  in me will have eternal life.” Now that’s my kind of  trust!  Eternal trust.  And that’s my kind of Christmas!

Email me with an “I trusted God experience” you’d like to share with others to encourage them. leonpippin@gmail.com

I Need A Volunteer

One of my childhood fantasies was being a circus aerialist. I could picture myself flying through the air on a trapeze or walking across the tight wire, carrying a chair. Years later I read about Charles Blondin and relived my fantasy.

In 1880, before an English audience he pushed a wheelbarrow on a 180-foot  rope stretched above the cement floor of Crystal Palace in London. He then asked his awe-struck audience for a volunteer to ride across in the wheelbarrow. There were no takers.

To the spectators’ horror, a very young girl stepped out of the crowd and volunteered. As Blondin began to climb down the ladder, an elderly lady stepped up to her. “Little girl, do you know how high that rope is?”

“Yep!  Forty feet.”

“What makes you think you can trust this aerialist with your life?”

“He’s my dad.”

Just then, Blondin approached the lady, “Oh, I see you’ve met my five-year-old daughter,” he said as he hoisted Adele onto his shoulder and climbed back up the ladder.

He lovingly lifted her off his shoulder, carefully placed her into the wheelbarrow, and pushed her across as the crowd watched in unbelieving silence. The thunderous applause that followed was deafening.

None of my aerialist fantasies ever materialized, but as Adele trusted her earthly father, I want to trust my Heavenly Father to take me through fearful situations that often challenge my faith. So practice with me Jeremiah 17:7:  “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.”

If given the chance, would you have gotten into that wheelbarrow?