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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cleaned

Photo credit: Roosh Inf3ktion. Some rights reserved. 

Do I, LORD, deserve the fire?
   Are all my works a feeble sham?
Are my lusts my great desire?
   Are they consuming all I am?

Or...

Do I hate what I once loved,
  Now trusting Jesus thoroughly?
Quitting dirt where I once grubbed?
   Do I now live clean and free?

For...

Jesus cleans the ones he saves.
   He makes a change in all they do,
Changing what each man's heart craves.
   He makes the dead men clean and new.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)

This particular poem is public domain. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Faith--New or Old?


If you seek a newer faith,
Something current, up-to-date,
You will only find a lie.
Jesus died just once, for all,
And now he lives to make men free.
He’s the source, and he’s the end.
Trust him. Trust him, and you’ll see.

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 3 ESV)

The Bible and the inscription are from the Sam Houston Memorial Museum in Huntsville, Texas. I'm not endorsing this man's cause, and I don't know whether he believed the message of Jesus. I recommend reading the Bible, not just using it to protect from bullets...though, if it does the latter, that's OK, too!

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Not a Saint?

The Bible calls all Christians "saints" or "holy ones."

You say you're not a saint?
Well, if that's what you're not,
A Christian's what  you ain't.
Your sinful life will rot.

The Lord can make you clean.
He washes where he goes.
He makes hearts new and green.
The life of Jesus shows.

He'll change the words you say.
He'll change the things you do.
He'll make a pure, straight way
And make the whole man new.

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:1-2 ESV)

Image: Detail from the fresco "The Crucifixion" by Fra Angelico, 1441-1442, Convento di San Marco, Florence, Italy. Photo found at http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-benedict-of-nursia-gallery/. Their theology is not mine, but I really like the photo.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Faithfulness


"Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me,"
But am I faithful? O Lord, you see.
You know my weakness, my sinful fear.
Lord, make me faithful--right now, right here.

Shred my excuses, my lies, my pride.
Fill me with Jesus--Give zeal inside.
Steel my convictions. Fill all my gaze.
Make all my goal now only your praise.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV)

I wrote this sermon in response to an excellent sermon on The Faithful Life. Click here to watch or to listen to it.  



Saturday, June 21, 2014

Growing Older

Photo credit: Hartwig HKD. Some rights reserved. The poem is public domain.

I once was filled with hopes and dreams
Of serving God in bigger ways,
Of preaching to a growing church;
Of mission work, and writing, too,
Composing songs and writing books
And trusting God to meet our needs.

I prayed that we would have a home
Filled up with love. I didn’t care
About a house. A room or two
Would do.
But if a house, a house where strangers could come in
And feel our love
And meet our Lord
And start their lives anew.

That’s how my heart was
Some short years ago.

Now youth is gone,
And twilight’s closing in
Much faster than I dreamed.
My strength is fading.
My hopes have faded, gone
To live in other younger men.
O, may they live them,
Not just dream them for awhile!

My mind, once swift and bright
As any shooting star,
Now alternately leaps and limps.
Will I be senile shortly now,
Unable to do anything but wait
For death’s release to life above?

If so, our God will see me through.
While dreams are dying all around
And hope lies shattered on the ground,
I hear one thought, still, clear and true.
“There is a God! He cares for you.”

Written May or June, 1994. In reading this after 20 years, I sense an undertone of self-pity and discouragement. I'm thankful that I rarely pity myself these days. 

I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.
(Psalm 37:25 ESV. Read all of verses 23-26.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Subtle Words


Subtle words,
Almost true,
Soon would kill
Me or you.

First, a small
Seed of doubt--
Then, the lies
Start to sprout.

After that,
Just a breath
Stands between
You and death.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ...?” (Genesis 3:1 ESV)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Manly Strength


Brothers, God has made you firm and strong
Not for empty, proud displays--
Brawny feats to grab some praise--
But to serve him all day long.

Other men have cleared the way,
Gone through deserts, jungles, mud,
Sacrificed their very blood
So that you'd be here today.

Honor, then, that legacy.
Join the fight for all that's right.
Lead and guard--by day, by night.
Be the light for all to see.

And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. (Nehemiah 2:18 ESV)