By Michael W. Raley

I try to focus on the task at hand,

Yet it feels like trying to count grains of sand.

If I could think solely on the present moment,

I know that I would own it.

I fail once again to gain traction

As I have become weighed down by obligations and distractions.

This, that, and the other-

Time and energy are limited, I must choose one at the expense of another.

Hurry up and wait, they say,

As the clock continues to move forward on this day.






By Michael W. Raley

Arise out of the darkness,

Though it be familiar and convenient.

Fight and flee from what holds you down.

Mute the increasing clamor

And listen for that quiet inner voice.

Arise and re-focus your mind.

Filter everything as if this was your last day,

Ask yourself, “At the end, will this matter?”

Your time and energy are limited,

Make the most of them.

Arise, manage your judgments and perceptions

To find that tranquility and contentment

You so desperately desire.

Do not stumble on what is behind;

Look and walk ahead with clarity.

Arise, be the change you want to see.

Though the tide be against you, keep swimming.

Seek the love and faith that lies outside of yourself,

For it is there you will find the love, acceptance, and grace

You have denied yourself. Arise! Arise! Arise!

Between Faith and Reason By Michael W.Raley

There is coming a change of season.

However, I am stuck somewhere between faith and reason.

My life has been rearranged

By the renewal of positive change,

Which has encouraged me to fight

While I walk in dim light.

My mind, spirit, and soul continue to ebb and flow

As I experience the mountain highs and valley lows.

“Strength! Strength!” I pray to continue the fight,

Hoping God’s light will shine on my long soul’s night.

I feel lost with no direction,

Yet I still believe in the resurrection.

Deep down, I still have my song,I still have my hope

Or I long ago would not have been able to cope.

I may be temporarily shackled in iron chains,

Weighted down by needless fear, guilt, and shame.

Christ still reigns!

He bore my sins and my pain.

Deep down I try to understand that this barrenness is for a reason,

That I may experience freedom and joy in an upcoming season.

Do You Hear the Sound of New Life? By Michael W. Raley

In this world, nothing is guaranteed or automatic,

Nor does it always pay to be pragmatic.

No matter how much I try to justify and arrange,

The rules and stakes will always change.

If I don’t keep up, I will fall behind;

It’s a real possibility, it’s only a matter of time.

I always look for ways to balance my faith and reason,

So they will flow together like the changing seasons.

I’m not a victim of circumstance,

Only the results of my lot, decisions, indecision, and their consequences.

I know that I am not alone,

Yet I feel left out for reasons unknown.

My time is of the essence,

I dare not leave it to chance.

I hear the sounds of chains hitting the ground,

Reminding me that I am still bound.

I have come to the revelation,strange as it may seem:

I must stay awake in order to live this dream.

Arise! Arise! Arise! From your nightly slumber,

Shed those ill-fitting clothes and throw away your number!

My friend, don’t you know

That you are free to go?

You don’t have to be bound by your limitations

Nor do you have to tremble in fear and intimidation.

I know this prison well,

For it is the design of the master of hell.

I pray that it won’t take long

For me to start singing my freedom song.

O Lord, do not let me in resignation yield.

Show me Your light and the way out will be revealed.

Soldier, stand on your feet and look around!

Plant your feet on the solid ground.

Listen for the marching sound

Of a new life coming around.

Forgiven By Michael W. Raley

Jesus turned the water into wine

As He cleansed the sin from this heart of mine.

He healed the blind, the sick, and the lame;

In the Book of Life, He wrote my name.

The Word in Him, by Him, and through Him became manifest.

He ultimately sees me through great trials and tests.

He raised people from the dead

Just the same as He fed multitudes with a few fish and loaves of bread.

To Jesus, the perceived lowest of society came,

And He loved them all the same.

The people’s hunger for righteousness He fed,

In spite of what the Pharisees and Scribes said.

Perfect and sinless, Christ took on humanity’s worst,

So that we may be from sin’s curse.

On the cross, Christ felt forsaken and alone

As He made the ultimate sacrifice- our sins are atoned.

Jesus’ broken body bridged the gap;

His words of the Father provide our map.

“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

This is the model for how you should treat me and I treat you.

Just as the prophets of old said:

On the third day, the Son of Man rose from the dead.

Forever and ever our sins our forgiven,

For our sins Jesus died and is risen.