Monday, June 30, 2008

Solomon Died - Christian Poem

Solomon's wealth was un-excelled,
His wisdom's depth unparalleled,
And yet he died as all men die.
Down in the graves the bodies lie.

All of our wisdom, all our wealth,
All of our emphasis on health
Can't interrupt the speeding clock;
Can't turn away dark death's door-knock.

And Solomon slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David his father.
--1 Kings 11:43a, ESV

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Sickly Child and a Katydid

      Recently, I found a katydid in our back yard. It reminded me of being in the hospital.

      I was about 18 months old, and had polio. Polio, or infantile paralysis, was one of the most-feared diseases. There was no cure. Some people died. Some got well. Many were left paralyzed. Our tiny town of Vici, Oklahoma, didn't have a hospital, so my parents took me to another town.
      Mama, the biologist, watched over me. She saw that the hospital kept the babies' half-drunk bottles in the same ice used for patient glasses. Horrified, she saw that I was moved to another hospital, which meant yet another town.
      On Wednesday night, all of the churches in Vici prayed for me. The next morning, I was getting better. A miracle? Maybe. An answer and a mercy? Certainly. I recovered totally, but was weak.

      I was eight years old and had surgery. In April we'd moved a hundred miles across Kansas, from Great Bend to Salina. Now it was June. I was taken back to our former town for surgery. It was planned; correcting a hernia I was born with. The hospital room was green.
      The day after the surgery, a husband and wife came to see me, but really came to see my folks. The people talked and talked. Daddy took them out into the hall where they kept on talking. I was glad when the couple left.
      A nice nun came by to see me.
      On the day when I was to leave, Mama found a katydid in the room. I guess the windows opened. I don't know if there were screens. She brought it over to show me. I was happy.

      I was ten years old and had pneumonia. I said I smelled something like popcorn. My parents concluded that I smelled my own feverish self. They were frightened by that. They looked at my fingernails, which looked bluish. They were more frightened. They put me into the back of our 12-year-old Chrysler and took me to the hospital. Every bump hurt. I told Daddy to slow down. He didn't.
      At the hospital, they gave me a shot of antibiotic in my rear end every few hours. A nice minister came by daily to see me; shared a verse and a quick prayer. I was glad.

      All of that was many years ago. I'm thankful to be a healthy adult; thankful for people who have made God real to me and thankful that there are still katydids.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Unleashed, Unspotted - Christian Poem

To be unleashed from lies,
  Unspotted, unsinned...
To be presented holy,
  Clean outside and in...
To be before the glory
  Of the only God,
To celebrate in joy,
  Fully saved at last--
This is our great hope.
  Glory to the Lord!

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Jude 24-25 ESV

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Televangelist - A Cartoon

There are some sound preachers on the television. There are also frauds. How many items on the following list fit some of them? And how many of them fit you or me? Too many, I fear.

Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV
There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Simple Things - Christian Poem

I'm glad for simple, honest things--
A wooden bowl,
    A glass pitcher,
        A yellow pencil,
            A tree.
They don't put on airs.
    They are what they are,
    And what they are is good.

The don't have college degrees
    Or filigrees.
They just are what they are,
As they were made,
And they urge me to be what I am:
    Not pretending to be handsome
        Or young
            Or a great intellectual,
But a child of the Holy God
With simple, precious gifts
    To use for his kingdom,
    Not for my own.

To Him be all the praise.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything to the glory of God.
--1 Corinthians 10:31, God's Word

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Books That Won't Be Best-Sellers

Here are some potential book titles that you'll never see on the New York Times best-seller list:

Your Most Difficult Life Now
The Persecution-Driven Life
God: The Owner and His Manual
The Secret...of Self-Denial

Why? Because even most professing Christians are much more interested in their own pleasure than in God's glory. They're much more interested in pleasure today than in eternal pleasure in the future with the Lord.

Father, may we live this day for your pleasure and your kingdom, not for our own. May we be like Moses, "choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin."
(Hebrews 11:25, ESV)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cleaning Supplies - Christian Poem / Prayer

Thank you, Lord, for cleaning supplies--
Brooms and mops,
Soap and water,
Buckets and sponges and cloths.

Thank you for our daily need to clean things,
Reminding us that only you
Can cleanse our hearts or our world.

Yet our lives can help you clean things.
Use us as you choose,
For cleaning toilets or cultures,
Houses or hearts.

Then keep us in the corner of your house,
Beautified and sanctified
By the one who made us and who uses us.


Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

--Psalm 51:2,7, ESV

For a day in your courts
is better than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

--Psalm 84:10, ESV

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Prayer to Our Glorious Lord


You are comfort to the grieving,
    Hope to the hopeless,
    Relief to the oppressed,
    Freedom to the slaves,
    Healing to the sick,
    Strength to the weak,
    Water to the thirsty,
    Wisdom to the naive,
    Forgiveness to the sinful,
    Life to the dead.

You deserve our fullest service,
    Our deepest worship,
    Our highest praise.
    Even our strength for service,
    Our humility for worship
    And our lungs for praise
    Come from you.

We thank you for your offering--
    Your perfect son, Jesus--
    Given on our behalf.
    Accept our offering,
    Our selves.
    We bring you our best,
    Our brokenness.
    Do with us as you choose.
    We delight in your will
    And in you.


Monday, June 09, 2008

When Sadness Strikes

Grief comes in many forms. Sometimes it's from a death. Sometimes it's from a divorce. Sometimes it's from a great disappointment of some other kind. Recently my wife and I have had a disappointment: a broken relationship with a relative. Right now, among our relatives...

***Person A communicates either not at all or on very strained terms with persons B, C, D and E.
***Person B is that way with persons A, F, G and H.
***Person D gets along with B and C and would like to get along with A.
***E is civil to almost all relatives except A.
***And so it goes.

Because of the grief, I've found it hard to write poems that are not gloomy. I post gloomy poems at times, but don't want to post a bunch in a row.

I hang onto the truth...
***The Lord is in control.
***Those who refuse to forgive others, won't be forgiven by him.
***There is a time to withdraw from those who are mistreating us or others.
***We're to love our enemies.
***We're to pray for all, that they may come to repentance and faith.

Whatever troubles are in your own life right now, hang onto the truth.

Father in heaven, have mercy on your people. Draw some of our enemies to repentance and faith. Forgive us for our willful, stubborn pride and for our desire to control others. Lead us in your paths. Thank you that you hear, and that in your presence is fullness of joy. Amen.

Friday, June 06, 2008

There's Time Today

I took a walk in Pennsylvania and came across this truck. How long had it been just sitting there? And what good was it, just sitting there? Maybe it was still a good truck, but it wasn't fulfilling the use for which it had been made.

You and I were made for a purpose. There's time today for us to use or to squander. What's the Lord calling you to do today?

So then, be very careful how you live. Don't live like foolish people but like wise people. Make the most of your opportunities because these are evil days.
--Ephesians 5:15, 16, God's Word

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Song of the Sheep

My shepherd loves me day by day.
He loves me--more than I can say.
But tell me, why should this be so?
Why me? Do tell me, if you know.

Is it because I'm very smart?
No, I can't even play that part.
Is it because I'm beautiful?
But look--my coat is sort of dull.
Is it because I'm strong and wise?
No, I can't even swat those flies!

So, what's in me to draw him near?
Or what's in me to make me hear
The music of the shepherd's voice?
It's nothing but the shepherd's choice.

My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.
--Jesus, in John 10:27-30, HCSB

Note: I met this sheep on Wednesday in Old Sturbridge Village, Massachusetts.