Sunday, November 29, 2015

Adoration of the Coming Lord

Holy is your name, O Lord--
Perfect, bright and true.
In you, we have been restored.
You make dead things new.

All your ways are clean and pure--
Nothing bent; all straight,
Leading to an end that's sure--
You, Lord, won't be late.

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 
(1 Thessalonians 4:16 ESV)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

God of Stars and Moons and Space

God of stars and moons and space,
Lord of everything I see
And of all I cannot see,
I see glory every place.

Wing of bird and morning sky,
Rocks and hills and each fresh fig,
Tiny ants and storm-clouds big,
All reflect you, Lord most high.

Lord of cactus, Lord of tree,
Lord of chickens, Lord of limes,
In whatever days or times,
Be, O God, the Lord of me.

For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
--1 Corinthians 3:21-21 ESV

The photo reminds me of some frigid moon of a distant planet. Really, it's a rutabaga. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Veterans Day

From Blog12

The young man heard his country call
      And boldly went to war
      Upon a distant shore.

He saw his closest buddy fall
      And saw the life, the blood,
      Flow out into the mud.

He wondered if the war was right,
      And sometimes he would scream
      When waking from a dream...

But, still--a soldier, he must fight
      And serve his country well.
      In ways that seemed like hell.

The veteran is older now,
      His aging hair as gray
      As this November day,

And yet there burns a light somehow,
      A shining in his eyes,
      Each time "Old Glory" flies.

Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”
--Luke 3:14, ESV. In this case, "him" refers to John the Baptist, not to Jesus.

This photo is ©2011 James L. Swindle. The poem by JLS is public domain, 2012.

Friday, October 30, 2015



You own my nose.
You own my ears.
You own my toes.
You own my fears.

You own my hands,
My tools, my ropes.
You own my plans.
You own my hopes.

You own each bone,
Each day, each night.
Nothing's my own,
Nor mine by right.

You own my best.
You own my worst.
I yield. I rest.
You, Lord, are first.

...yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
(1 Corinthians 8:6 ESV)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Are There Demons on the Prowl?

Are there demons on the prowl,
Out to lie, enslave and kill?
Do they grumble, snarl and growl?
Christ the Lord is faithful still.

Do we fear he's no enough?
He won't meet our deep desire?
Do we worship all our stuff,
Though we know it's doomed to fire?

Jesus calls us to believe
He will give from his great store.
Jesus calls us to receive
Wealth that lasts forevermore.

Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. --Psalm 81:10b

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Prayer for the Church

Father and maker of the universe,
We've wanted this world's wealth,
Wandered into this world's ways,
Forgotten the future,
Lived for the moment,
Lived for our flesh and ourselves.

Give us repentance.
Give us true death to ourselves,
The death that shows life--
True live that's from you.

Build up your church--
Not for our glory,
Not for our wealth,
Not for our comfort.

Yet we do seek glory and wealth and comfort
Ahead in your kingdom
Both for ourselves and for millions of others.

Speak truth through us.
Speak life through us.
Though we may die in the cause,
Speak your eternal fresh words.
Speak and bring life to the dead
Who are slaves of bright lies
That give but a prison of pleasure
With pain that continues
When pleasure has died.

Pour out your Spirit again.
Use your strong word
To shatter the rock,
To kill unbelief
In heart after heart,
Expanding Christ's body on earth.

All this we're asking through his holy merit.
Use us or kill us or both.
Give us no more and no less than we need
To accomplish the things you've prepared,
Good works that you'll work out through us
And through millions who serve you this day.

Yours is the glory.
Yours is the praise
Through billions of days.

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. (Jesus, in Matthew 16:18 NET)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Falling and Rising

The falling leaves are telling me
Another year is winding down,
   Winding down,
      Winding down.

The years are bright with godly hope,
And yet my days are growing short,
   Growing short,
      Growing short.

My days, like leaves, fall one by one.
They fall. They fall and won't return,
   Won't return,
      Won't return.

And yet, one day, my Lord will come
And all at once his saints will rise,
   Saints will rise,
      Saints will rise.

Saints rise to meet him in the skies.
I'll see and serve him ever more,
   Ever more,
      Ever more.

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
(1 Thessalonians 4:16 ESV)