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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Forest


The forest is electric now,
With trunks of steel
That never feel
The soft imprint of children's climb.

The children are electric, too,
With thumbs that brush
But never touch
The pages in electric books.

But grandpa still is real today,
With tales retold
And arms to hold
The child who dares to touch, to feel.


Then [Jesus] took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, "Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me." (Mark 9:36-37 NKJV)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Purified


You're purified my heart.
I'm washed from ev'ry sin.
Now, all I am--my ev'ry part
Flows from your life within.

Yet I must fight to grow
In love and purity
In all I do and think and know
Till you are all I see.

And when my life is past,
Kept clean by your strong grace,
I'll enter near your throne at last
And see your glorious face.

Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Lord of the Armies of Heaven

Lord of the armies of heaven,
I am your soldier today.
Whatever task I am given,
May I fulfill it, I pray.

My life and my reputation
Aren't really mine in the end.
All's for the good of your nation.
Your kingdom's what I defend.

Yes, I'm aware of my weakness--
Flabbiness all the day long--
But Christ in me brings completeness.
When I am weak, then I'm strong.

Fear, then, you hosts of the devil.
Your work may fail in a flash.
Jesus will conquer all evil.
Satan will fall with a crash.

Lord of the armies of heaven,
I am your soldier today.
Whatever task I am given,
Let me fulfill it, I pray.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:10-12 ESV)

Poem and photo ©2015 James L. Swindle

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Hidden Treasure


I wonder and I ponder, Lord
How mysteries so bright
Lie hidden in your holy word--
Yet just beyond our sight.

We'll never see them while our eyes
Are blinded by our sin.
Unblind us, Lord, and we will prize
Its treasures deep within.


Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
(1 Peter 2:1-3 NKJV)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sign of the Past


A sign, proud and new,
once spoke
of something...

Bright, bold
words
for everyone.

But it's been
mute
these many years.

Its rusty skeleton
still speaks...
but speaks of what?


As I ponder that old sign, I'm reminded that all I write, all I buy, all I build, will pass away, but there's something that won't.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. --Jesus, in Matthew 24:35 ESV

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Entertainment


Entertainment seems so empty
When we get a glimpse of life
That is lived with holy purpose,
Warring in God's kingdom-strife.

There are demons yet to conquer,
Mighty battles yet to wage,
People yet to be delivered
And God's praise from age to age.

Tell me, how could we sit wasting
Days and nights and months and years
Till the peoples all are tasting
Jesus, till the last man hears?

Watch yourselves,
so that you may not lose what we have worked for,
but may win a full reward.


(2 John 8 ESV)

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Abraham's Test

Abraham was old past old 
When he faced his hardest test--
More to trust and more to know--
This, the hardest, highest price--
One last fearsome sacrifice.

Could he give his treasured son?
Could he bind him like a lamb,
Put him on a pile of wood,
Raise his finest, sharpest knife,
Kill him—kill him—as a gift
To the Lord who gave that son?

Abraham, with aching faith,
Was determined to obey.
If the Lord has promised seed,
Entire nations from this youth,
Yet commands this sacrifice,
How can he fulfill that word?
He must raise young Isaac up.
So, in faith, he raised his hand--
Raised the deadly, sharpened knife.


Thus, our father Abraham
Pictured more than he could know--
God the Father’s sacrifice
Of his precious, only Son
Who would die, a holy lamb,
For the sins of all who trust--
Trust with sheer obedience--
Trust in Jesus, killed for them--
Killed and risen, reigning now!

And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The LORD will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.” (Genesis 22:13-14 ESV)

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. (Hebrews 11:17-19 ESV)