Wednesday, December 13, 2017

No Idols



Smash those idols. Smash them all.
Trust the Lord. Obey his call.
Other roads all lead to death.
He's your source of life and breath.
Think of all the good he's done.
Mark his blessings; name each one.
He has blessings yet ahead.
Look! the rising of the dead!

You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name. He is your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen. Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven. (Deuteronomy 10:20-22 NASB)

Image credit: Flickr user aka CJ. Photo name is Broken_red_roof_tiles_3

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Forgive?



Forgive? Forgive, you say? Forgive?
Just how can I forgive?
I've suffered all this pain and loss.
I'm hurting. Aching. Cold at night,
Cold at heart and getting hard.
And yet, you say, forgive?

But, Lord, you're right. Of course you're right.
Through you I can forgive.
I've caused you pain. I've caused you loss.
I've sinned. Rebelled. Been cruel, cold
Stone-hard of heart through my own sin.
And yet you, Lord, forgive.

Forgive? Forgive. I do forgive!
Your love lets me forgive.
Yes, I've had pain and cruel loss.
I've hurt and ached and shivered cold,
But now my heart is tender, warm.
I'm ready. I forgive.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
--Colossians 3:12-14 ESV


I wrote this for a friend who's found it hard to forgive someone who broke sacred promises. Forgiveness is both a choice and a continuing process. Selfish anger or resentment or bitterness may pop into our minds and hearts again after we'd already tried to forgive. All we can do is to keep forgiving. Forgiving doesn't mean we deny the facts of the offense, but it means that we choose to no longer hold them as a weapon over the person who wounded us. We can do that because of the Lord's forgiveness of us, because of his Spirit within us, and because of Romans 8:28--"we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Forgiveness is not fully completed until the person who did the offense is willing to acknowledge it and to turn from it (if appropriate). Yet, by God's grace, we can complete our side of it by having a heart that's both willing and eager to forgive as we've been forgiven.  

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Jericho's Walls



See your Jericho--its walls
   Great and thick and strong,
   Nothing you can breach at all.

Now look at the Lord who fights--
   Conqueror of all,
   Always mighty, always right.

He can make those walls fall down,
   Opening the way
   Starting with an entire town.

...the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city. --Joshua 6:20

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Not My Goodness


Not my goodness, not my zeal
Can explain my Father's love.
Not excitements that I feel...
All's a gift from Him above.

My good works could never earn
Grace for just one sin I've done.
I have earned God's wrath...to burn
Untold ages, like the sun.

But in mercy he forgave,
Washed me, cleansed me white as snow.
Jesus gave his life to save,
And his mercies ever flow.

He will fill my ev'ry lack.
He will guide me all my days.
I can never pay him back;
Only serve with grateful praise.

We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19 ESV)

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Predestined


God the Father knew us
Before there ever was us...
Before our parents ever were,
Before the world's foundations were.

God predestined us--yes, us
To be like Jesus, him stamped on us.
Not an outward stamp of form,
But the heart stamp, flaming, warm.

Our God called us,
Spoke life to us--
Made us hear him,
Love and fear him.

God the Father justified--
Made us clean through Christ who died
And the third day from death rose.
Now we wear his righteous clothes.

God the Father glorified
All of us he'd justified.
He's declared it, and it's sure.
In him we're bright...shining...pure.

And those whom he predestined he also called,
and those whom he called he also justified,
and those whom he justified he also glorified. 

(Romans 8:30 ESV)

This image has nothing to do with the poem, but I like the image. It's part of the walkway along Spring Creek.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Sometimes a Space of Blue



Sometimes a space of blue
Breaks through a troubled sky,
Speaking of hope and heaven.

Sometimes a lark or wren
Sings in a dirty slum,
Proving that all's not lost.

Small as these mercies are,
They must not be despised.
Gently is life renewed.


The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
(Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV)


Saturday, October 07, 2017

Grace and Peace


Grace and peace
Come as twins
Fresh and sweet
Come within
Fellowship
As we meet
(Praise from lips)
At Christ's feet

To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

(Romans 1:7 ESV)