Poems of Richard Mattock

Virtues Gladden the Soul

There’s a time to be cared for and a time to care for others.
A time to learn and a time to teach.
A time to follow and a time to lead.
A time to save and a time to spend.

A time for exercising and a time for rest.
A time for revealing and a time for keeping a confidence.
A time for socializing and a time for utter privacy.
A time for travel and a time for staying home.

A time for giving and a time to receive.
A time for discouragement and a time for hopefulness.
A time for searching and a time to find.
A time to be angry and a time to forgive.

A time for discernment and a time for decision-making.
A time for losing and a time to win.
A time for busyness and a time to relax.
A time for loneliness and a time for intimacy.

A time to admit our weaknesses and a time to develop our strengths.
A time to be thrifty and a time to be generous.
A time for doubt and a time to believe.
A time for the temporary and a time for the eternal.

While the evil people in our world experience weariness and unrest, we Christians can embrace and share Christian values. As we do, our souls will be filled to overflowing with new life and vitality. Let each of us strive to be a source of courage, hope, encouragement and love in our world. May God add His blessings to these words.

God Is Patient

God is patient ... when things don’t seen to go just right,
When ANSWERS we expect to see aren’t within plain sight.
It’s then that we observe God’s patience begin to bloom,
Looking for His surprises like the fragrance of fresh perfume.

God is patient ... as we pray He will meet our needs,
Our PRAYERS sown much like a gardener planting seeds.
We know our voices will surely be heard,
ANSWERS will come ... we’re fully assured.

God is patient ... in His mercy and all-abiding love,
Whose REPLIES echo comfort and peace on the wings of a dove.
Answers exceeding our fondest HOPE, surpassing our deepest DREAM,
Parallel God’s mighty RIVER, to our tiny trickling STREAM.

God is patient ... as we look within a beautiful flower,
Whose ornate petals grow, silently, hour after hour.
We’re then reminded of GOD’S MIGHTY GRACE,
How our daily glimpse of Him is but a tiny trace.

God is patient ... as we continue to do His will,
Assured of blessings that most generously always fill . . .
Our every single living breath and action,
Until our lives are fulfilled to His satisfaction.

God is patient ... and always has the upper hand,
We need simply BELIEVE and try to UNDERSTAND.
We’re expected to YIELD ourselves and be MOLDED,
As God’s perfect plan is PATIENTLY UNFOLDED.

Lessons Learned Amid Life’s Storms

Just as Jesus suffered physical
And emotional pain,
God’s people experience difficulties
Time and time again.

Oft we fail to realize or discern
Our struggles stimulate us to become strong,
While, through the world’s eyes
Everything, seemingly, is going wrong.

Amidst our setbacks and waiting
Given apt opportunities to pray,
Unmasking a fresh, creative zeal
For listening to God everyday.

Then, amid all struggles and adversity
In every facet of life,
God empowers us to withstand disappointments
Providing lightning-like-grace to endure pain and strife.

For all willing and eager to learn from God
During the storms of life ... desiring to seek His grace,
Their lives yield renewed purpose and meaning
Gently, firmly, rekindled by God’s fond embrace.

Author’s note: This poem was entered on January 17, 1995 in the North American Open Amateur Poetry Contest, under the title “Learn From God During The Storms Of Life.” This poem was judged as being among the best 3% of all entries judged. The judges of The National Library Of Poetry awarded me theEditor’s Choice Award” for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry, nominated me for Free Associate Membership in The International Society of Poets and I received a beautiful certificate signed by Elizabeth Barnes, President, International Society of Poets. This poem was later published in “The Garden of Life,” The National Library of Poetry, 1995, Library of Congress ISBN 1-56167-269-6. On December 20, 1996 this poem was entered in the New Jersey Rainbow Poet’s Contest. It was later published in 1977 by Famous Poet’s Society in their prestigious anthology, “Today’s Great Poems.”

The Jesus I Know

The Jesus I know ... reaches passionately, infinitely into every heart
No need is too great for Him to satisfy . . .
Nobody who comes to His Banquet Table

The Jesus I know ... listens intensely; grasping every word
Consciously aware of things said and unspoken . . .
Never focusing on manipulating another

The Jesus I know ... speaks of eternal truth . . .
Pointing the way a disciple must walk.
Unveiling the often rocky, painful, costly path to follow
How ... sacrificing the TEMPORAL ensures ETERNAL LIFE.

The Jesus I know ... always reflects His Father’s love
His words brought TERROR to the hearts of Pharisees . . .
Religious leaders wearing their FAITH on their SHIRT SLEEVES.

The Jesus I know ... magnetizes crowds wherever he goes
Filling their EMPTINESS with the FULLNESS of God’s love . . .
Providing living water, light, truth and grace
To a broken, lonely, confused people LIVING IN DARKNESS.

The Jesus I know ... forever reigns in our hearts
Lighting our way by WORD and EXAMPLE
To know Him we must search for Him in solitude . . .
In every person ... In all that is TRUE, UPRIGHT and JUST.

The Art of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving begins with yielding ourselves
In prayer and in love,
Reaching out ... grasping through faith
The hand of God above.

When we gratefully acknowledge
All we possess ... every blessing and grace,
Comes freely from our Creator and, come what may . . .
Finding time to thank God amid life’s hectic pace.

Then we’ll experience God’s presence
In the courtship of life ... more and more,
And the joy and peace entering our lives
Far outweighs all we’ve ever known before.

For it is the decision to allow our hearts
To be thankful ... opening them wide,
That enables our loving God to
Enter in, taking up residence inside.

Then God continues to revive and renew us
Meeting our needs ... in His own special way,
As we enter into the Thankful Heart of God
Embracing The Art of Thanksgiving each day.

Author’s note: On January 24, 1995 this poem was entered in the Sparrow- grass Poetry Forum Poetry Contest. It qualified for further judging in the Awards of Poetic Excellence Poetry Contest. It was published in the 1995 Poetic Voices of America Hardcover Anthology


A New Year’s Resolution

As another new year comes our way,
What will we RESOLVE to DO or SAY?
Will we seek a new way to be . . .
The LIGHT upon LIFE’S PATH for others to see?

Let us agree to REACH OUT OUR HANDS to the SAD,
So they may EXPERIENCE what it’s like to be GLAD . . .
To provide NEW HOPE for those in need,
Resolving this will become our DAILY CREED.

Helping those around us to know that WE CARE,
Showing by our efforts that we’re willing to SHARE . . .
Those TALENTS and GIFTS that are meant to be SOWN,
In the lives of OTHERS and not just OUR OWN.

Many are ILL, DESPAIRING ... without HOPE for TOMORROW,
We can help them weed through their PAIN and SORROW . . .
Break through their SEA OF CONFUSION and STRAIN,
Bringing renewed FAITH and HOPE to their lives ONCE AGAIN.

This can’t happen without seeking God in PRAYER,
Asking Him to ALWAYS BE THERE . . .
LEADING and GUIDING us each day of the year,
PRUNING our sinful lives into lives of GOOD CHEER . . .
Filling our HEARTS with His LOVE and GRACE,
So that God’s love may be seen in OUR FACE.

As we enter this year may God’s love ABOUND,
May His grace FILL OUR LIVES so we can be found . . .
Reaching out to others in kind WORDS and DEEDS,
Living out The Gospel as our FRUITS provide seeds . . .
Of meaning ... to those who’ve forgotten the REAL SOURCE OF LOVE,
That’s reborn in us, daily, from The Lord above.


Love and unity for the entire community should be our
compass in every undertaking.

Excellence is how we should use our gifts and talents
in serving God and community.

Abstinence from bickering, gossip and unconstructive
criticism ...so that our leadership example fosters holiness.

Dedication to decision-making philosophy that considers
the best interests and pulse of the entire community-at-large.

Enthusiastic and eager to accept challenges, even if struggles
and long-suffering accompany the task.

Responsible, by Christian Example, to God and community
for the way we live our lives every day.

Spiritually mature and alive, through frequent prayer, sacred
scripture, the sacraments and always (in all ways) looking for
God in daily circumstances.

Hopeful and encouraging others to share their time, talents
and treasure in the church, community, workplace and neighborhood.

Inspiring and challenging one another to grow and mature in faith,
hope and love.

People of prayer, seeking God’s help, healing, guidance, protection ...
for the needs of our community, workplace, nation and world.

Try on Humor for Size

We face many situations throughout each day,
Everyone confronting them in their own different way . . .
Striking a balance between serious and sad,
Learning to confront the good and the bad.

The Lord has given us special grace,
To meet life’s challenges face-to-face . . .
In meeting every plight in life,
Dealing with difficulties, pain and strife.

God gave us “humor” to use each day,
In circumstances ... by what we do or say . . .
Blended amid our daily walk,
Providing a calming affect as we talk.

Communicating then becomes a pleasure,
Supplying joy and peace in good measure . . .
For being too serious will take its toll,
Upon body, spirit, mind and soul.

Being too tense will build a wall,
That can lead to a serious fall . . .
Affecting others whose lives we touch,
Offending or hurting them far too much.

By using the humor to ease the strain,
We maintain a “balance” that keeps us sane . . .
So as the tensions of the day arise,
Let’s try on humor for proper size.

Author’s note: Humor is a beautiful gift God meant to be experienced, shared and used to the fullest. May the Lord always provide humor, in abundance, to give our lives the pleasant aroma that it provides. Thank You, Lord, for this precious gift.

God’s Holy People

Is there someone you’ve noticed today,
Needing your prayers to show them the way . . .
Enabling them to overcome pain, emptiness or sorrow,
Desperately needing your faith to find HOPE FOR TOMORROW?

There’s a PRIVILEGE in which we each may take part,
Carrying other’s burdens deep inside our heart.
Reaching far across land and sea,
Allowing other’s lives become the very fiber of you and me.

Embracing others beyond our comfort zone,
Writing, listening, speaking to them on the phone.
As human vehicles, extending ourselves to be,
Vessels God uses to SET CAPTIVES FREE.

Let’s be THE BRIDGE over which they may travel,
As our intercessions help others unravel . . .
The confusion, loneliness or fear they now face,
As God answers our prayers and provides much needed grace.

For a time will come when we need a prayer,
When others help us overcome OUR DESPAIR . . .
Then, this Truth, will ring clear - like a bell in a steeple,

Author’s note: In 1995 this poem was entered under the title “Intercessors, God’s Faithful Servants” in The National Library of Poetry Contest. It was selected from thousands of poems, from one of the only 2% of distinguished authors and published in The Best Poems of 1996, Library of Congress ISBN 1-56167-284-X. My favorite scriptures on prayer are: “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” (MATTHEW 7:-8 (NRSV) and “ . . . Ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind . . .” JAMES 1:6 (NRSV)

Looking Back on Life

LOOKING BACK ON LIFE ... I’d do things differently each day,
Learn to listen better and be more patient along the way.
I’d begin to waste more time,
On little things and the sublime.

LOOKING BACK ON LIFE ... I’d see more clearly,
The importance of humor, face life more cheerily.
Another thing I’d do is measure,
People I meet as “gift” and “treasure.”

LOOKING BACK ON LIFE ... I’d make time to laugh and joke,
Lighten up, let my guard down, whenever I spoke.
Aim to be less rigid, set a better example,
Be less quarrelsome, prideful, a lot more discreet.

LOOKING BACK ON LIFE ... I’d see nature anew,
The stars, sun and moon, the sky’s beautiful blue.
I’d take time to serve God, worship and pray,
Knowing it’s God that makes life better each day.

LOOKING BACK ON LIFE ... I’d more often hug a friend,
Seek forgiveness, do whatever I could, to allow friendships to mend.
I’d more thoughtfully cherish the years,
The joys, sacrifices, sorrows and tears.

LOOKING BACK ON LIFE ... I’d have to admit,
The importance of keeping physically fit.
Seek to help and encourage others more,
Receive God’s blessings more than before.

LOOKING BACK ON LIFE ... Reality would clearly show,
How “changing” and “flexibility” allowed me to grow.
And as I sought to bid fond farewell,
Life seemed short - yet I’d lived it well!

Author’s note: The poem “Looking Back On Life” written on September 7, 1998, was published in the October 1998 Newsletter for retired senior citizens residing at Oakview Lakes, a Manufactured Mobile Home Community, located in Ft. Meade, Florida. These seniors have vast amounts of time to reflect on their past life, so it seemed tailor-made to share it with them.