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
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)

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Prayer Before Worship, #1

Father of the faithful,
Thank you for our faith.
Thank you, Lord, for open eyes,
Re-made hearts, pardoned souls,
Opened ears to hear your word.
We have earned no speck of our forgiveness.
Yet we labor for the prize,
For the crown just up ahead,
Custom-made for each
According to our works.
Give us holy zeal today--
A passion, Lord, to serve you well,
A love for serving people,
A joy in speaking holy truth,
An awe in knowing that you work through us.

We are yours. Do as you will.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Faithful in All Seasons

Seasons come and seasons go.
Jesus stays the same--
Full of deeper truths to know.
Praise his holy name.

When our lives wind down to fall
He's still faithful, true.
He'll return, the King of all,
Making all things new.

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5 ESV)

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)