Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Gossip

From Blog08


A shining pearl slips through my lips
But with it takes the dreadful snake.

It multiplies from ear to ear
And eats, like rust, all holy trust.

Whoever gossips gives away secrets, but whoever is trustworthy in spirit can keep a secret.
--Proverbs 11:13, GOD'S WORD version

Photo notes: I'm not sure what kind of eggs are in the photo. I came across them when moving a pile of bricks in our yard. Maybe they are from the slugs I saw. I also saw oriental cockroaches, toads, a tiny frog, a family of lizards, an earthworm and what appeared to be an albino cockroach, pure white. I was sorry to destroy most of their habitat, but needed to move the pile of bricks. (OK, I didn't mind destroying the habitat of the cockroaches, but felt sorry for most of the rest of them.)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Song of the Seeker



I do the seeking; he does the holding.
Slowly his perfect plan is unfolding.
He has redeemed me; saved my by grace
And through his keeping, I'll see his face.
My hold may weaken. My grip may fail,
But he who holds me still will prevail.

With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments.

--Psalm 119:10

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Contentment



The lust for things
So quickly springs
Into a heart
Not set apart
To God.

Yet all we own
Is mercy strown--
Not made for lust,
A sacred trust
From God.

"Keep yourselves free from the love of money."
--Hebrews 13:5

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lessons from a Hurricane



Photo: Downed trees. The grass around one juts up sideways, clinging to the roots. The other leans on a shed that it crushed. The photo was taken from my yard, but I had no trees down, only a fence.

Hurricane Ike is past. Our nine days without electricity are over. (Thank you, Lord, for a generator that we could use for partial power.) Our house is OK. What have I learned from all of this? Here is some of it.

I learned how shallow my faith is. I didn't handle the hurricane well. I worried. I WORRIED. I forgot to lean on the rock. I worried before the storm. I worried during the storm. I worried after the storm. I was hit by doubts that scared me.

I learned how much I need the Lord's people. My faith feeds on the faith of others. The Bible mentions "not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." (Hebrews 10:25)

I learned how selfish I can be. Most of the time, I wanted to help my own family and didn't much care what was happening to others. When I did try to be useful to others, it brought me joy.

I learned what a blessing it is to relate to an adult child in a crisis. Our son was consistently a blessing to us.

I learned that when people are without electricity, a neighborhood is safer. With lots of neighbors outside much of the time, there wasn't really a need to be sure every door and window was locked when leaving for awhile.

I learned that the Lord is merciful in the midst of storms, and that when my faith is weak, his grip on me is still strong.

Monday, September 22, 2008

False Teachers Judged - Christian Poem



Teachers who tickle the ears
Packaging lies in the husk of the truth:
Glory to man...to their hearers
And most of all to their elegant selves...

Jesus will come and destroy
All of that heart-wicked, self-loving crowd:
Glory to God! Praise and joy
All to the One, the All-Holy, the Lord.



A time will come when people will not listen to accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear. People will refuse to listen to the truth and turn to myths.


2 Timothy 4:3-4

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Christian's Sign

From Blog08


What's my life's message say day after day?
Am I proclaiming Christ Jesus, the way?
Or am I empty, mere framework and noise,
Vacant and useless, distracted by toys?

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
--Matthew 5:16, NASB

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Taste the Lord!

From Blog08


Taste the Lord
Bursting flavor--precious savor--
Lips drip sweetness
Know His goodness

All his blessing
Broken bleeding
Given freely...
Come, drink deeply

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
--Psalm 34:8 ESV

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Truth



The truth is one, not two, not ten.
It's not the latest fad with men.
The truth is what's true in God's sight.
It's not whatever "just feels right."

The truth that men found yesterday
Is still, my friend, what's true today.
What's true in Greece and true in Spain
Is true in Utah and Bahrain.

So go ahead and learn what's new,
But just keep asking, "Is this true?"
Keep faith with God. Believe. Obey.
He'll show you true truth day by day.

© 2005 James L. Swindle

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
--James 4:8

Monday, September 15, 2008

After Ike

We're fine after Ike. Even our property is largely untouched, though without normal electricity. I don't have internet at home yet; will post more when I do. Thanks for prayers. Continue to pray for those who lost much.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Father's Sacrifice

From Blog08

The Father willed
    and it was done
And so they killed
    His precious Son

The Father planned
    the sacrifice
And here we stand--
    God paid our price

Such holy pain
    demands our awe
His loss our gain
    Love trumping law


What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He did not even spare His own Son, but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything?
--Romans 8:31-32, HCSB

Note: Dr. Bruce Ware gave a series of messages at our church recently on the subject of the Trinity. This poem is a reflection on God the Father. We often see our salvation only in terms of the Son, but the Son went as the Father willed.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane Ike Update

1:08 PM Central Daylight Time, September 12, 2008

For our locality, the forecasts for Ike got worse and then better. The eye appears to be headed directly our way (good news for El Shaddai Edwards's grandmother, since it puts it further from her...see the comment on the previous Ike post). The better news is that the strength of the winds does not seem to have increased as much as they expected. This far inland, they'd been saying to expect 100 miles per hour. Now the forecast is only 75 or 80 mph, as near as I can tell.

All we have so far is cloudy skies and a little breeze. Now it's just wait, wait, wait for the next 24 hours.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Moral Battle



Passion wars against my soul,
Claiming lust can make me whole;
Calling me to join the fun...
Let the devil's will be done.

Jesus calls me to be clean,
Glowing with a holy sheen,
Living now an exile here,
Purified by godly fear.

God of mercy and of grace,
Fit me to reflect your face.
Help me kill my lusts and pride.
Bind me to your holy side.

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.
--1 Peter 2:11 ESV

Hurricane Ike's Coming My Way

Today, a personal note.

Until now, this summer's hurricanes have missed the Houston area, where I live. This time, it looks like we'll experience hurricane Ike. I live far enough inland so that there's only about a 20% probability that it will still be hurricane force once it hits here. There's about a 70% chance that we'll have tropical storm-sized winds here. Do pray for all those in Ike's path.

I hope to have a few posts pre-scheduled to appear over the next few days. I plan to post an update once the storm is past and power and internet are in service.

All is in the Lord's hands.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Memory



From time to time, I hope to link to excellent poems by other people. Here's one.

Memory by Rita L. Betti

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Stingy

From Blog08


The stingy soul will always be deprived
Of all that ever could be his one day,
And when at last he thinks he has arrived,
He'll then discover he has hell to pay.


Then he will say also to those on the left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels;for I was hungry, and you didn't give me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and you didn't take me in; naked, and you didn't clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn't visit me.'
"Then they will also answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn't help you?'
"Then he will answer them, saying, 'Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you didn't do it to one of the least of these, you didn't do it to me.' These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."


--Mat 25:41-46 WEB

NOTE: I think the leaf in the photo is a wonderful picture of what sin does to us. At first it seems to make us brighter. Then it leaves us dead and full of holes.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Message of the Ages



We have an age-old message
Revealed for our own age.
The Lord hid this for ages,
But now has made it plain.
We wait for revelation
Of Jesus in the sky;
The fullness of his kingdom
Where joy will never die.


...the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
--Colossians 1:25-27, NASB

Monday, September 01, 2008

Hurricane Gustav Sunset Monday Evening



I'm thankful that the storm was not as bad as feared. This sunset shows outer bands from the hurricane.

Hurricane Gustav

Hurricane Gustav's rain just arrived here. We don't expect any damage from it, since we're so far from the center.

Thank God that we cannot vote directly on the weather. Otherwise, we'd be sure to make a terrible mess of it.

I do realize, however, that we can do things that will make a difference in weather, such as re-forestation. The deforestation of the Great Plains of the USA almost certainly was a contriuting cause of the dust bowl days of the 1930's. The re-forestation via the Civilian Conservation Corp planting "shelter belts" helped end the dust bowl.

Well, in the 20 minutes or so that it took me to come indoors and write this post, the rain finished, at least for now. May the Lord have mercy on those who are suffering from various kinds of disaster, whether hurricane or the flooding in Asia or the social destruction in Zimbabwe.