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Last year I wrote an adaptation of the classic “twas the night before christmas” for a christmas eve service at my church. After much prayer, study and journeying with God over the last year I have revised and finalized this poem. I wanted to give families something they could read to their kids or even to other adults that would remind them during the season of the truth around Christmas. That we can see how amazing the father is by looking at His son. That God didn’t mess up but the gospel was ALWAYS plan A and oh how He loves us.

I hope to publish an illustrated book of this next year.

Below is the PDF of the poem if you would like to print it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Twas the night before CHRISTmas

By: Joel Klampert

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the world,
Man’s minds were cloudy, their hearts were all swirled;
From beginning to end it’s not often told,
This story is new and also quite old;

Our tale begins, of course from the start,
In the garden with Adam, followed by God’s broken heart;
Eve was tempted by knowledge and pride,
While her husband stood passive, right by her side;

The greatest of love is to lay down one’s own life,
So why didn’t he act to save his sweet wife;
Ashamed they stood, pride divided their heart,
Riddled by fears, their whole world fell apart;

Countless years go by, many hours are spent,
Mans repair strategy never made a real dent;
Prophets spoke up, straight from the Lord,
Truth rang out, a loud hope had roared;

The Father above, a craftsman by trade,
Stared at the gifts that his hands had made;
He made them whole and He made them right
Now they lay broken, shattered by night

The misfits were nestled all snug in their sin,
Awaiting redemption that soon would begin;
The father and son since the beginning of time,
Had a glorious plan to clean off man’s grime;

An angel appeared to a young girl on that day,
Fear not, you have favor is what he would say;
And the peace from the creator poured out like an oil,
On the squeaky heart of Mary, faithful and loyal;

She knew she was pregnant, her heart now made whole,
Joseph stepped up, earthly father with soul;
The dark one, now frantic, did all that he could,
To stop the one who would crush death for good;

In the middle of a field stood the lowest of low,
Tending their sheep when the sky started to glow;
They shook in their sandals, Their eyes open wide,
As an army of angels appeared in the sky;

“I bring you good news” the angel had said,
“you’ll find him wrapped snug, while resting his head”;
Their voices soared, what a song they would sing,
Then the shepherds packed up to go find their new king;

They hurried to the village to see with their eyes,
Astonished, they saw Him, and heard his sweet cries;
The stories they’d tell, sharing with any who’d hear,
That Jesus had come, The Messiah was here!

A few years had passed when some magi had heard,
The prophecies were true and Herod got word;
He sent them all out to seek and to find,
With a ruse that he’d worship with all of mankind;

To Bethlehem they rode, navigating by star,
Which stopped over a home, a sight so bizarre;
They bowed down and worshiped leaving gifts at His feet,
And left to trick Herod so death they’d not meet;

Mary sat with Gold, Frankincense and myrrh,
Silently thinking, it’s all been a blur;
She knew what would happen, but did she know the whole truth, 
Did she trust that God’s plan was completely foolproof?

Jesus grew up in wisdom and stature,
Fully God, fully man, the Grace dispatcher;
He took on flesh to save mankind’s skin,
God became misfit to free misfits from sin;

From heaven to earth, From manger to cross,
He came to seek and save all who were lost;
As he Hung on a tree mary saw her small child,
Was now a man who’s love was vivid and wild;

Too many are convinced that God turned his back,
Because He was angry and we were off track;
But The truth of this story comes in like the tide,
As we see the real Father with arms open wide;

Recklessly loving, His eyes peppered with grace,
All lives must change that look at His face;
He loves us with passion, our value He views,
Our God is alive!! Celebrate the good news!

When you sit with your family, as you unwrap and you eat,
Remember that death has suffered defeat;
We have been given a gift, receive His pure light,
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

 

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Of course the original is public domain and this version is copyright 2016 Joel Klampert


Jack of all trades

November 20, 2016 — Leave a comment

I’m an artist– I wanted to be a comic book artist… I just couldn’t get in the door.

I’m a designer – I dreamed of working in a large design firm but my life could not withstand the time it would take.

I’m a writer – I have close to 1000 blog posts and articles I have written for various sources, but just never broke through the ceiling to make it substantial.

I’m a learner – but instead of going the typical college path I went into learning around mission work. I did missionary work but it never led to a career.

I’m a photographer – I love doing it and could see myself doing high profile shoots but I may be stuck in a place where I can only go so far with it.

I’m a musician – I have written songs and played for years, but I was born in the wrong era to make it in the business and I’m not thin enough to become a rock star.

I’m a fashion designer – I used to design dresses and clothing lines, but I gave it up for marketing

I’m a salesman – I was a top sales person in the entire USA for two companies I was with, but I gave up sales to pursue things I gave up previously.

I am chock full of useless information and can fix anything; I am…

God has given me the ability to be a jack of all trades. I don’t write this out of pride. Instead it might be out of frustration.

They say that it takes 10,000 hours to master something, but I’m not sure I’ve had the ability to master anything.

For me that has been frustrating and being a freelancer now to pay the bills has given me a world with little reward, no metrics, and I can’t find my identity in what I am.

I’m a father; I’m a husband; and I would not give up either for anything in this world but that is not my identity.

I am because He IS.
I can find my reward and identity in Jesus.

I was praying one day in a wonderful “woe is me” state and God said:
“Be a master at showing people Jesus loves every bit of who they are… Even the things that they would consider being worthless.”

I’m a jack of too many trades, but I’m willing to put the 10,000 hours into becoming a master at sharing the story of a God who is willing to do anything just to wake us up to the realization that he loves every bit of His perfect creation… Us.

The announcement of election happened and our kids were worried about our result. They had many questions and we talked through politics on different levels for our 4 kids different ages, but We had only one thing that we needed to say that they all needed to get.
“God is not surprised, God is not worried, We should not be either and we should pray and love and walk out our faith.”

Then Trump’s day 1 happened and bigotry on so many fronts publicly reared it’s ugly head across the US in a way that is heart-wrenching and breaks God’s heart. So I sat with my kids this morning before I dropped them off at school and told them:

“People can’t blame trump for their choices. Their wrongful actions are THEIR actions. At the same time you guys need to know that no action is an action. Today when you go to school if you see anybody speaking or bullying people because they aren’t like them, are from another country, have a different religion, or a different color remember that they were made in the image of God and you need to stand up for those who are being told they are anything less than beautiful and God’s creation.. say something, step in the middle, and make sure your teachers know. As people who love Jesus we NEED to be different, speak differently, and ACT differently.”

My politics for 2016

October 13, 2016 — Leave a comment

MY ONLY POLITICAL POST:

I have been praying and thinking for days about the plight of our country, society, communities, families… I find myself just saddened over what I see.

I am watching racism, bigotry, sexism, bitterness, fighting, greed, deception, vile discussion, character assassination and more… I’m not talking about the presidential election. I am speaking about what I see in people’s discussions over the election and it’s candidates.

Person after person on social media ranting and raving about how evil hillary is and how disgusting trump is and in the next breath act exactly the same way with those they are talking with.

I’m coming at this from purely a flawed christian point of view. I believe in a God that not only loves but IS LOVE. It is the church’s responsibility to express this reckless love that has no strings attached, that doesn’t enable evil but also knows how to give out the grace that we have been given. Yet as much as that is true, it is literally the opposite of what I am seeing.

We have two people to vote for. Neither are great on policy. Neither are great morally. Neither measure up and we are stuck with an interesting dilemma on who to vote for. With that said regardless of who they are and what they have done it should not in any way define how you choose to speak to those around you or what garbage you sling on Facebook. You can’t blame the political situation for your complete disregard of your call to breathe life into this world.

Those of us who know God are literally called to bring heaven to earth by our words, by our actions and by how much we love. For those who don’t know God or don’t want to pick up a bible, WE are the only bible they will read. Instead of a verbal diarrhea of doom and trash talk which results in increasing our label as hypocrites and convincing people God is a jerk, we should be taking this opportunity to show people how Good, how gracious, how forgiving, and how loving God is.

We should not spend the next two weeks mudslinging and then after election in quiet prayer for the president. We should be singing praise to our God now for his peace in situations that make no sense.

Both candidates have slogans but the only one we should be preaching is that our hope is built on Jesus and regardless of what happens HE/WE WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.

And then for those of you who just can’t stop filling the internet with garbage that points to UNTRUE characteristics of a good God… STOP.

Pastors and leaders be careful what you type because people might not remember your sermons every week but the internet remembers what you type.

We have the opportunity to recover the things that have been stolen from our lives. The peace, the joy, the hope etc… It starts with our faith in a God who is unchanging and our choice to daily work on being more like Him.

We should ALL take a close look at what is coming out of our mouths because if it is not true, noble, kind, good, lovely, authentic, compelling, gracious, the best, the beautiful, praise, peace, love… If it isn’t pointing to a Good Good father then you need to work on what is on YOUR inside instead of going after others… SO THAT GOD MIGHT BE GLORIFIED and you can make the invisible God visible to those around you.

This song below from Tim Hughes inspired from the psalms is my prayer for myself right now. Im responsible for ME… Those who read this might want to use this as their prayer too:

“May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart
Bless Your name, bless Your name, Jesus
And the deeds of the day and the truth in my ways
Speak of You, speak of You, Jesus

For this is what I’m glad to do
It’s time to live a life of love that pleases You
And I will give my all to You
Surrender everything I have and follow You
I’ll follow You

Lord, will You be my vision, Lord, will You be my guide
Be my hope, be my light and the way
And I’ll look not for riches, nor praises on earth
Only You’ll be the first of my heart”

recovery

It would be wrong for me to say I’m a healthy person. I am overweight, a person who deals with issues like anxiety and lack of self worth, and I really love Cheese and Bread. With that confession out there I have in the last 6 months set out on a journey to work on getting healthier. It has been hard, sometimes easy, rewarding and down right annoying. I discovered, while eating better that I am clearly addicted to sugar and found myself in the “in between times” eating to deal with stress. I’m a stress eater? Where in the world did that come from and how did I never even notice this?

I set out on this journey not because heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer are in my genes, but because every time I ate something acidic I would get major heartburn and a pain in my side. A lame reason I know but sometimes it takes dumb circumstances to get us on the track to working on bigger ones.

What I discovered after a few months of eating a restricted diet is I was no longer having stomach pain from acidic things. It was absurd. I could now eat salsa with no problems.

Another thing began to happen. I started drinking only water, green tea and coffee. My body was constantly being flushed of toxins and being sustained on being “clean”.

And then it happened…

Pain…

I’ve endured pains before. I am used to them being overwieght and not in the greatest shape, but now I was feeling pain in places I never did before. My neck pain is out of control. My back and hip pain seem to come in waves for no reason at all.

A funny thing about Dairy and Cheese. They are foods that cause inflammation. I cut them out and you would think that if I was now ingesting anti-inflammatory foods that it would reduce inflammation and I would feel like 1 million dollars.

Well the truth is the inflammation I had previously was masking the pain in other areas. Basically this “thing”, this lifestyle that for all intensive purposes was killing me, was also numbing all kinds of other issues.

This realization has forced me to work on all kinds of areas that were never part of the “deal” of this diet. Posture, stretching, fitness, strengthening areas that are not in a normal workout to support the years of abuse on my body that the inflammation was hiding.

So now you must be thinking to yourself: “why is the word recovery in the title of this post?” – glad you asked.

Sunday I announced to our church that God had been speaking loud and clear that we are a “recovery church”. That is an odd statement, I know, but let me explain. Recovery is often associated with alcohol or drugs, but I have come to the conclusion that it needs to be associated with recovering things that have been stolen from us. It might be Joy has been stolen because of fear, Peace has been stolen because of abuse, Sobriety has been stolen because of addiction, kindness has been stolen because I am a “me-aholic”… The truth is every one of us as christians are in recovery because the enemy is stealing from us daily and we need to take it back by force!

There is one thing I have learned though about recovery that has now been solidified by my inflammation issue. When you remove the thing that is killing you there is also a discovery that it was making all the other pain numb. Hidden pain that was getting worse and worse and you never even knew. Now that it has been removed you are forced to deal with all the other things that it was hiding in your life.

Just like my health journey, when it comes to recovery this may end up being more painful than it was before… But it’s worth it.

When you remove the things that anesthetize your spirit then the spirit of the Lord can heal you from the inside out. 

It’s in that moment that you can say:
I might be in pain but YOU are my healer
I might be afraid but YOUR love casts out that fear
I might be sad but YOU bring joy everlasting
I might be confused but YOU give me a peace that I can’t understand
I am no longer a slave to the things I did before, but that also means have have so much more work to do… This time with YOUR strength.