Friday, September 01, 2017

Heeding God's Clock

Lord, your time is always right.
In your time, seeds bear good fruit.
My time looks so very good--
Only looks. It's not so great.
In my time, seeds sprout forth weeds,
Bringing death instead of life.

Father, may I heed your clock--
Quick to go when you say go,
Firm to stay when you say stay.
I've been stubborn, wanting my own time,
Wanting my own private clock.
Smash my clock so I'll hear yours.

My times are in your hand...." (Psalm 31:15)

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Love and Marriage in Uncertain Times

This couple got married 74 years ago today. They are my parents, Cecil and Hilda Swindle. When they got married, the USA had been at war for nearly two years. Only God knew how much longer the war would last. It was a very small, simple wedding. She was a school teacher. He was a preacher. Is it right to get married under such uncertain circumstances?

Before the war was over, they would move from Nebraska to Texas and California. Dad would end up going to chaplain school at Harvard for a short time, then to the war in Germany. Meanwhile, Mother moved back to where she grew up and taught in the school she'd attended a few years earlier.

After the war, their life together started again. They had three sons. Dad finished his education. He served as pastor of churches. He preached and counseled and performed baptisms and weddings and funerals. People got saved. He had heart attacks and heart surgery and another heart surgery and lymph cancer while Mother guarded his health like a watchdog guards sheep. Mother got Alzheimer's. But they stayed married for nearly 55 years until her death.

So, should they have married in such uncertain times? Well, I'm glad they did. Is it ever a bad time to move forward with faith and joy? All times are uncertain. You're not promised the few seconds it will take you to finish reading this. Yet all times are in the Lord's hands. There may be lots of threats looming on the horizon, but the Lord is sovereign. The things you fear may never come. If they do come, by God's grace they may leave you stronger. Decades from now, you and many others may look back with deep gratitude that you went forward by faith.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Our Keeper

The LORD keeps us night and day;
Keeps his children, come what may;
Keeps us in each troubled way.

Let this be our joyful song:
He who keeps is wise and strong
And he keeps us all day long.

The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
(Psalm 121:5 ESV)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Jesus Offers

Jesus offers peace of soul--
Takes the broken, makes them whole.
Yet the rebels curse his name--
Run in darkness. More, the same.
Though the LORD is fierce and stern,
He gives grace to those who turn.
Those who trust him wake and thrive.
If they die, they're yet alive.
They find mercy all their days
Walking in his ancient ways.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men. --John 1:4

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Jesus Came For Dreadful Sinners

Jesus came for dreadful sinners.
Jesus came for those like me.
Jesus came for dreadful sinners.
Jesus sets his sinners free.

Jesus loves the lost, the broken.
Jesus heals, and Jesus saves.
Grab with joy the grace he’s spoken.

Jesus loves, and Jesus saves.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Empty Room

Every day's an empty room
Just waiting to be filled.
Will you fill today with trash?
Or all your Lord has willed?

You will fill this room just once,
And once it's filled,  it's gone.
Fill it wisely.  Fill it well.
Then rest…rest well…till dawn.

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16 NKJV)

Friday, June 23, 2017

At the End of Your Rope

When you're dangling--no more rope--
And the LORD seems far away,
And it seems there's no more hope,
Brother, cry to God and pray.

Focus on the things he's done:
How when you were dead and lost
He gave life through his own Son--
Through his tortured death, the cost.

Will your Father now forget
What Christ Jesus came to do?
No, your God will save you yet .
In the end,, he'll see you through.

Hang on, brother, for a while.
Give him all your darkest fears.
Hang on, and you'll see his smile
And he'll wipe away your tears.

I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me. In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. (Psalm 77:1-2 ESV)