Sunday, February 22, 2015

Looking for a Sign

Are you looking for a sign,
A message written 'way up high?
Do you crave some words divine,
Words to know before you die?

Miracles can lie, you know.
New-found prophets won't last long.
Billboards aren't the way to go,
Yet the Lord is clear and strong.

Simply trust his ancient word
With a humble attitude,
Live and own the truth you've heard.
Run to Jesus. Be renewed.

And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said,
“Why does this generation seek a sign?
Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”

(Mark 8:12 ESV)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Tell Me - Whatcha Gonna Do?

When the army comes for you,
Tell me--Whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha gonna do
When the army comes for you?

When they make your faith a crime,
Tell me--Will you last, that time?
Will you last, that time,
When they make your faith a crime?

When they say the truth's a lie,
Tell me--Will you bravely die?
Will you bravely die
When they say the truth's a lie?

When they take your child away,
Tell me--Will your faith give way?
Will your faith give way
When they take your child away?

When your dying's really rough,
Tell me--Is your Lord enough?
Is your Lord enough
When your dying's really rough?

When the Lord splits all the skies,
Tell me--Will you get a prize?
Will you get a prize
When the Lord splits all the skies?

When it's life or death for you,
Tell me--Whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha gonna do
When it's life or death for you?


Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:12-13 ESV)

My great-grandmother Maria grew up in Russia. After she came to the USA, she told one of her grandchildren, "The day will come in this country when they will say, 'Deny Jesus, or I'll shoot you.' When that day comes, I hope you'll say, 'Then shoot me.'"

That day may or may not come in your particular country in your lifetime, but there will be persecution. Many die for Jesus every year. Are you ready? 

This particular photo and poem by Jim Swindle are public domain 2015. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Weakness and Strength

My own flesh is weak as un-fired clay.
My own will looks strong, but no--it's weak.
Yet, Lord, it's your pleasure that I seek.
Be my strength, my rock, my life today.

I don't know what each day will afford--
Raw disaster or a peaceful field--
Yet you're here. You'r good. I gladly yield:
I'm all yours, rejoicing in you, Lord.

Father, when I'm tired and spent and worn,
May I in your loving shelter rest.
By your grace, I'll past the final test
And awake where all is fresh, is morn.

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; 
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; 
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
--Psalm 18:2 NKJV

Saturday, February 07, 2015

The Lord Can Split the Sea

This is a poem for children; a poem about the Exodus.

The Lord can split the sea
And make dry land appear.
He cares for you and me.
His help is always near.

The Lord can drown the men
Who fight against his will.
They're strong at first, but then
God wins! We're safe and still.

Dear Lord, you know I'm weak
And small and sometimes scared,
But you're the strength I seek.
You're never unprepared.

So, if I feel alone,
I'll look to you and pray.
You care for all your own.
I'm safe in you today.

...I will get honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, 
that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. 
--Exodus 14:4 NKJV

Illustration  from Figures de la Bible, published in The Hague in 1728. 

Sunday, February 01, 2015

You've Seen Grace

If you have Jesus, you've seen grace--
That you, a sinner, found a place.
My friend, you're called to share that grace
With everyone in every place.

A billion people need to know
The words of life that you can show.
Because you let his mercy flow,
They, too, will live; Christ's church will grow.

Can you see grace through fresh, new eyes--
Conceive your all-abundant prize?
Are you God's slave who always tries
To save yet more from death and lies?

If you have Jesus, you've seen grace--
That you, a sinner, found a place.
My friend, you're called to share that grace
With everyone in every place.

For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you... (Ephesians 3:1-2 ESV)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My Security

I am not so very strong.
Left alone, I won't last long.
Yet I'm still not doomed to fail.
Through Christ Jesus, I'll prevail.
He's the Savior, strong and sure,
Keeping all his flock secure.
He can catch me if I fall;
Make me clean, so I'll stand tall.
Broken? By him, I'm restored--
So I celebrate my Lord.

Tonight I heard my friend Blake Johnson preach an excellent sermon on John 16:29-33. He stressed that our security comes not from us, but from the Lord. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Prayer for the Lord's Day

Holy Father, source of all, we call to you this day.
We know you're here when we come to worship you. We know you hear.
We know you're good and wise and strong, forever faithful to those you call your own.
We don't know why you've loved us and called us and saved us, but we thank you for it. We praise you from our washed-clean hearts.

Grant us zeal and passion for following you. Expand your kingdom. Achieve your will.
We don't presume to tell you what's most important next. You are Lord. We are not.

And yet, Lord, we do dare to ask things. We ask that you grow your church in depth, in breadth, in love, in purity, in wisdom, in numbers--for your own glory. We don't pray just for our own local church. Work these blessings in your church around the world. Strengthen those who are in hard testing. Wake up those who are drowsy and falling into the sleep of sin. Protect those who are bearing much fruit. Raise up others who will bear even more fruit. Comfort those who mourn. Give godly ambition to the young. Give fresh purpose to the old.

Use the methods you've used for fifty generations:

  • The assembling of the saints. 
  • Our declarations of faith in you and in your Son Jesus, the Christ, the Lord.
  • Our confession of sins.
  • Baptism of new believers.
  • The public reading and preaching of your word. 
  • Prayers
  • Our worship of you in singing.
  • The bread, the wine that speak of Jesus' body and blood.
  • Benedictions.
We pray for those who will be leading us, your church, in these things. Grant true repentance. Grant fullness of your Holy Spirit. Grant insight and discernment and love while serving you. Deliver your church from those leaders who would exalt themselves instead of exalting you. 

As your people worship you today in many thousands of places, speak to us. Correct us in love. Build us up in truth. Lead us in grace. Prepare us for serving you.

We come to you as your needy, stumbling, expectant people. Take our prayers; refine them and sort them and answer them as you wish. Yours, Lord, is the glory and the dominion forever. We give all praise to you, through your son Jesus Christ.