Words are only words, be they written or spoken
They are at best a redeemable token
The only ones we tend to cash
Are those that belong in the trash
But actions are like money in the bank
The things for which we truly thank
At face value, in God we trust
But on the open market, we do as we think we must
It doesn't matter where or when minted
How well-worn or how well tinted
The true indicator of their value:
You said you would, When shall you?

©1999 Tim Dienes


A Christmas gift that's hard to find
and seldom ever comes to mind
till minds are blank and at a loss--
The manger babe upon a cross!
The world that sees Him from the womb
Is blind to see the empty tomb.
Years apart, the words repeated,
The News is Good, and now completed:
Both angels said, "Be not afraid."
and "See the place where He was laid."

Though I may be something other,
He has made me now your brother.
Let alone to be a friend
On this Child I must depend.
Peace, Love, and Joy become cliches
which do not penetrate our ways.
May He bless and give us healing
far beyond a cozy feeling
or contented gratitude,
but a cheerful servant attitude.

This writing is not righteous preaching,
but honest, heartfelt, hopeful reaching
To a fellow much-loved child
that we may be reconciled
To our Father and each other
By this newborn baby Brother
And Lord to whom our hearts we lift.
The Giver is the greatest gift.

©1992 Tim Dienes

When I was looking to the Cross

When I was looking to the Cross
Because I shared a sense of loss,
I saw a cause for great alarm:
A tourniquet on Jesus' arm!
How dare prolong my Savior's pain
And not allow His Blood to drain!
Cutting off the source of healing,
Deadening all sense of feeling.

Members live in isolation
Saying that they know salvation.
They'd sooner keep their suffering hidden
Ignoring what their Lord has bidden.
Holding to religion's form,
Denying Jesus' power as norm.

How hard it is to intercede
When you refuse to let Him bleed!
In His Blood, your truth confess,
And He will give you happiness.
You make it seem there's no release,
Resisting all my prayers for peace.
You leave me nothing else to do
But love Him more than I love you.

©1996 Tim Dienes

The God I Used To Know

The God I used to know
was there to give me comfort
no matter where I'd go.
Repenting of my wickedness His mercy He would show.
Utterly deflated. Nowhere left to go.
I look to Him to send His wind. I wait for Him to blow.

Times of special sweetness. His love I knew I felt
Even when He smote me and slapped me with His belt.
Times that He has bathed me in His power from on high,
sworn to me His promises, His hand beneath my thigh.
He was not a stranger to the passions of my flesh.
To make me in His image, His Spirit did enmesh.

I have been betrayed, that I may share His grief.
Will I stay the course in this life so very brief?
The only way that I can see to take this with thanksgiving,
Is to take what David claimed "in the land of the living."
Backward see the twists and turns, I haven't got a clue.
Not even a hint of what He's going to do.
For the lack of a vision the people perish, for thus so says your Word.
I long for your direction, Lord, like I've never heard.
Each job to me has been the same bitter cup:
A hopeless impostor who will never measure up.
Crushed and tired, resembling not a man,
raise me up to life anew according to Your plan.

The God I used to know
my faith it does remind
of His eternal nature
to which I'm often blind.
Accuse me not, you wicked tongues, He said He never knew you.
Him I say I used to know; you say you know Him. Do you?
"The God I used to know", I will say as oft I need to.
For in my heart of hearts I know exactly Who that leads to.
The God I used to know is a God of revelation:
My understanding needs to grow, it's time for a vacation.
I'm willing to submit to Him my image of His being,
that He may prove His faithfulness beyond my current seeing.

©1999 Tim Dienes


Though God has always been all-knowing,
Some knowledge only comes by going.
So even though he had it planned...
Now experienced... firsthand!
Holy Spirit, flesh endowed,
Miracle, without the crowd,
Comes just as the Father pleases--
Living in the Baby Jesus.
With Mary, ponder in your hearts,
He finishes whate'er he starts.
To live the life, and bear the hurt,
To eat, and sleep, and walk on dirt,
All of this while never sinning,
And this is only the beginning.

For now, just marvel, while angels hover,
At Lord, Babe, Brother, your soul's true lover.

©1996 Tim Dienes

I Just Know That I Belong To You

I don't always know what it is that I should do,
And I don't always do it, at those times I know I knew.
What I hoped for when I started, isn't there when I am through.
I just know that I belong to You.

When I see the people in the places you send me,
I don't always see them as you would have me see,
Nor do I look at them the way You look at me.
I just know You came to set us free.

When I belong to You, and I know that so do they,
We must walk together, following your way.
"Lord, You know I love You, more than I can say."
I just know You gave another day.

On the twin commandments, the Law and Prophets rest,
And on the Day of Judgment, not one would pass the test,
Who heard the first commandment, and truly did their best.
I just know You came to give us rest.

Working like a slave to bless our fellow man
To keep the golden rule as often as we can
In guise of self-denial, we miss the Father's plan.
I just know You came to live as Man.

If we come to love You, with all our heart and mind,
And all our soul and strength, may You help us find,
The great and twin commandments, inextricably You bind.
I just know You came to heal the blind.

Help our congregation, in love and godly fear,
To hear the Word You give us, and going forth from here,
By the power of Your Spirit, to obey as You have beckoned,
No longer keep the first command, so fearful of the second

© Tim Dienes

Behold the Man

Behold the Man the world awaited
   Condemned, rebuked, cursed and hated.
Hanging bare, bruised, splintered, drained,
   Limp and lifeless, pierced and stained.

After endless hours nailed,
   Eternal isolation wailed.
It seemed that He had called in vain
   The One who understood His pain.
His back was turned. No comfort found.
   What loving Father bears the sound?

The ancient pain of Abraham
   spared by providential ram,
The Father on Himself has taken—
   Jesus Christ was not forsaken.
He carried it to full completion
   All-inclusive, no deletion.

A fellowship of holy love
   shared for ages there above—
The Son's obedient submission
   to His Father's pure volition
The Holy Spirit's loving mission
   to save us all from our condition.

Our triune God has borne our pain,
   which no other could contain.
Hear the words of God's own Son:
   I and the Father are one.

©1994 Tim Dienes

Every day

Every day I am called to die
   To saying that I guess I'll try.
My debt is paid! My Lord is risen!
   He frees me from the doubter's prison!
Every day I am called to live
   Amid all things that God may give.
He also gives, in case I fear it,
   Confidence and a hearty spirit!
What a joy it is to know,
   He knows how much I want to grow!
Better joy: How well He knows me;
   He knows exactly how to grow me!
Lord, I yield, in humble trust.
   You'll help me do the things I must.
Free me from my thoughts and talk,
   And call to me, "Stand up and walk!"
Grant me courage and steady nerves
   To do your work as one who serves.
"Get busy! Pick up that pen!
   It's not of faith 'till you say 'Amen'!"
God give me grace, my faith to prove,
   A living faith gets up and moves.

©1992 Tim Dienes

Song of Silent Reliance

Trustful. Hopeful. Spirit of Love.
Gentle. Peaceful.
Sent from above.
Warming. Filling. Father's goodwill.
Patient. Present. Keeping us still.

Quiet and truthful, imparter of grace,
Wind of all wisdom, light to each place.
Convictor so stern of erroneous ways,
Helping us turn and delight in His praise.

Advocate, Comforter, alive in our being.
New way of walking.
New way of seeing.
Spirit defending us from accusation.
Word of assurance of total salvation.

Call us together and give us direction,
Making us more than God's cheering section.
Even in times when we inwardly groan,
Remind us again that we're not alone.

Come, now, and help us to live with our neighbors.
Enlighten our minds and encourage our labors.
Help us to grasp your sword, so compelling,
Our bodies your temples, our hearts for your dwelling. Amen.

© Tim Dienes

Take and Eat

Take and eat, the gift of God,
Heed the Father's gracious nod.
Take and eat, the gift of grace,
Jesus died there in our place.

Specially for you prepared
Now our blessed Lord is shared,
Calls us each by our own name.
Bears away our guilt and shame.

Take and eat, the gift of love,
He prepares a place above.
Grafted in, drink of the vine.
I am His and He is mine.

Take and eat, the Word made flesh,
Pure and holy, clean and fresh,
Tempted just as we have been,
Yet without a single sin.

Take and drink, the blood of Christ,
Freely shed and sacrificed.
Learn how deep the Father's love.
Open hearts receive the Dove.

Take and eat, the gift of peace.
Bid the wind and waves to cease.
Take and eat, from wounded hands
Peace that no one understands.

Take and eat, the gift of strength,
Know height and depth, breadth and length.
Be transformed, renewed in mind.
By His grace bear fruit in kind.

Take and eat, the gift of life,
After death and over strife.
Take the gift of second birth,
Of new heaven and new earth.

Given by the great I AM,
Take and eat, the paschal Lamb,
Who was, and is, and is to come,
The First and Last, the final sum.

Now with blood and body fed,
"In, with, under" wine and bread,
To our work the Spirit leads,
Many thousands more He feeds.

Bear these gifts, go far and wide.
Be the Bridegroom's holy bride.
Call the greatest, call the least,
"Come and share the wedding feast."

Take and eat, give thanks and praise.
He will guide us all our days.
Lord and Master, closest Friend,
Him on whom our lives depend.

Take and eat, sing, pray, and read,
Tending to each other's need.
Take and eat, with self denied,
All our needs are satisfied.

All one body, all one bread,
Living new, no longer dead,
Holy Spirit, blessed leaven,
Raise us to the feast of heaven.

© Tim Dienes