Poems and Short Features

The Word of God

Oh, wonderful, wonderful Word of the Lord!
True wisdom its pages unfold;
And though we may read them a thousand times o’er,
They never, no never, grow old!

Each line hath a pleasure, each promise a pearl,
That all if they will may secure;
And we know that when time and the world pass away,
God’s Word shall forever endure.

Oh, wonderful, wonderful Word of the Lord!
The lamp that our Father above
So kindly hath lighted to teach us the way
That leads to the arms of His love!

Its warnings, its counsels, are faithful and just;
Its judgments are perfect and pure;
And we know that when time and the world pass away,
God’s Word shall forever endure.

Oh, wonderful, wonderful Word of the Lord!
Our only salvation is there;
It carries conviction down deep in the heart,
And shows us ourselves as we are.

 It tells of a Savior, and points to the cross,
Where pardon we now may secure;
And we know that when time and the world pass away
God’s Word shall forever endure.


—Poems of the Way



The Tools of the Master Builder

I watched him in awe as I stood by him there,
   This builder that worked with such skill
As I saw him pick up with most infinite care
   Each tool that he wished at his will.

They were many and varied, but each in its place.
   Though some were strange looking and queer.
There were hammers and saws, chisels and brace,
   Tools of steel looking cold and severe.

But O what a change when the great builder chose
     Just the tool for the time and the place,
For under his hand from the earth there arose
     A building of beauty and grace.

What a lesson, I thought, for each child of the Lord
   Of submission to God's holy will,
He's our great "Master-Builder" who reveals through his Word
   How he's building his temple with skill.

We are the tools that he chooses to use,
  Not too few or too many are there,
So when he picks you for a task, don't refuse,
  In that temple you too have a share.

The great Master-Builder has need for each one,
  Perhaps you're the tool he doth seek.
Let us rest in his hand 'til the work is all done,
  And his temple is grandly complete.

—Alice Ripper, Poems of the Way


This Wonderful Period

 There never was such a wonderful period! We never before knew so much or could do so much. We never experienced an age of equal comfort. No part of yesterday was as glorious as this hour. The hundred years behind us are jammed and crammed with achievements that out-balance the sum total of progress since the signing of the Magna Charta. The average mechanic enjoys luxuries that Midas, with all his wealth, could not command. The college freshman has more real information in his little finger than the erudition of the foremost scholar of the Renaissance. We have done more to put existence on a sane, logical and definite basis than the sum total of our ancestors.

 A mere hundred years ago even the scientist thought that the atmosphere was simply space—that gas was only a smell. The first microbe hadn’t disclosed his identity. Metchnikoff’s announcement of battling hosts in every drop of human blood would have earned him a padded cell. The best illumination George Washington could secure came from tallow dips, lighted by striking a spark from flint and steel.

 Every piece of fabric was woven by hand. The only horse-power was four-legged and wore a tail. The steamboat was still building on the ways of Fulton’s brain, and the wheels of the steam engine had only moved in Stephenson’s head. It took Benjamin Franklin two weeks to send a letter from Boston and get a reply from Baltimore. Abraham Lincoln’s angular frame never reposed in a Pullman berth. Garfield called a 20-day “liner” an “ocean greyhound.”

  “Impossibility” is now an old-fashioned word with a definition, but not a meaning.  Almost every dream of the past is a reality today. The magic cities and the fairy kingdoms of your grandmother aren’t half so wonderful as the world in which you live.

 —The Cincinnati Post, quoted in Reprints, p. 5153, January 1, 1913


Tell Me About the Master

Tell me about the Master!
I am weary and worn tonight;
The day lies behind me in shadow,
And only the evening is light!
Light with a radiant glory
That lingers about the west.
My poor heart is weary, aweary,
And longs, like a child, for rest.

Tell me about the Master!
Of the hills He in loneliness trod,
When the tears and blood of His anguish,
Dropped down on Judea’s sod.
For to me life’s seventy mile-stones
But a sorrowful journey mark;
Rough lies the hill country before me,
The mountains behind me are dark.

 Tell me about the Master!
Of the wrongs He freely forgave;
Of His love and tender compassion,
Of His love that is mighty to save;
For my heart is aweary, aweary,
Of the woes and temptations of life,
Of the error that stalks in the noonday,
Of falsehood and malice and strife.

Yet I know that whatever of sorrow
Or pain or temptation befall,
The infinite Master hath suffered,
And knoweth and pitieth all.
So tell me the sweet old story,
That falls on each wound like a balm,
And my heart that is bruised and broken
Shall grow patient and strong and calm.

—Poems of the Way