Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Waiting

From Blog09


Lord, it's hard to simply wait,
Keeping still before your face
When my thoughts all seem to race.
Worry says, "What if God's late?"

Never, ever, are you late!
There's a purpose that you trace
Through the whole of time and space.
So, my Lord, please help me wait.

Therefore the Lord is waiting to show you mercy,
and is rising up to show you compassion,
for the Lord is a just God.
Happy are all who wait patiently for Him.

--Isaiah 30:18, HCSB

The photo is from decades ago. I wasn't the photographer.
Photo and poem ©2009 James L. Swindle. You may print up to 100 copies for non-commercial use so long as you include the copyright notice and don't change the text.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Frost

From Blog09

The frost settles silently during the night
Then shows all its glory in bright morning light
With intricate crystals all snowy or clear
That make things look magical even right here.
Enjoy it all quickly, this treasure of dawn
Before it all melts as the sun marches on.


He gives snow like wool; he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.

-Psalm 147:16 ESV
From Blog09


The photos are from December 5, 2009, after our area had snow and frost.
Photos and poem ©2009 James L. Swindle. You may print up to 100 copies for non-commercial use, so long as you include the copyright notice and don't change the text.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Carols

From Blog09

Christmas carols are a wonderful tradition and a way of keeping the truth alive from generation to generation. Here's a one-page sheet of standard carols that you can print and use as you wish. Maybe you and your family or friends would like to sing one or more this year as you celebrate.

Christmas Carols.pdf

Two A. M.

Two A.M., and the wind is rising,
Blowing in this Christmas Eve.
Still the air is balmy,
Warm as a summer dawn in Nebraska.
Colder is coming--
In minutes?
In hours?
A train whistle calls.

Two A.M., and the wind is rising.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Offended

From Blog09


My brother hurt me with his words
That sliced me like a power saw.
I hated him for what he said.
I quoted rules and law.
I hurt my Savior with my words
That smacked my brother in his face,
Yet Jesus spoke to me in love
And covered me with grace.
I couldn’t hate my brother still.
I cut his chains. I set him free.
I poured out on him words of life.
The Lord loved him through me.

But I tell you who hear:
    love your enemies,
    do good to those who hate you,
    bless those who curse you,
    and pray for those who mistreat you.
--Luke 6:27, 28

Poem ©2005 and photo ©2009 James L Swindle.
You may print up to 100 copies for non-commercial use, so long as you include the copyright notice and don't change the words.

NOTE: The photo is for illustration only. I don't know the man in the photo. He was part of a crowd that I photographed at an outdoor event.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Rush

From Blog09


Busy with our Christmas mirth--
Decorations, fests galore--
We don't hear of peace on earth
Nor forgiveness evermore.

Trapped within the Christmas rush--
Cards to send and gifts to buy--
We forget to feel the hush
After angels sing on high.

Listen to the shepherds run!
Feel the midnight air so raw
As they worship God's own Son.
Watch in wonder...Bow in awe.

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.
--Luke 2:15-16 ESV

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Lights of Twinkled Love

From Blog09

Lights of twinkled love
Still speak of marching grace
Wounded feet bleeding, pleading
Against the cold of frosted hearts
Grace relentless bringing warmest life
To melt men's -- women's -- ice
In a moment, a twinkling
Of bright love light


And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh...

--Ezekiel 11:19 ESV

Poem and photo ©2009 James L. Swindle
You may print up to 100 copies for non-profit use if you include the copyright notice and don't change the text.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Light

From Blog09

Lord,
You shined light one night
On my cold soul,
Made my heart start
With higher fire--
A place of grace.

They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”
--Luke 24:32 ESV

Monday, December 14, 2009

Animal Cracks

From Blog09


The elephant packed his trunk.
The cow was MOO-dy.
The cat cooked from scratch.
The monkey was hanging around.
The flea was feeling jumpy.
The butterfly was flighty.
The duck quacked a joke,
But the lion was the mane attraction.

NOTE: I probably borrowed most of this post from others. Feel free to use it in any way.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Simple Bible Study Method

Here's a Bible study method that's so simple you can teach it to almost anyone in a few minutes. It works for individual and group study. It works for almost any part of the Bible. It's a distillation of inductive study.

Ask the Lord to guide you. Read a passage. Then...

LOOK: What does the passage say?
INTERPRET: What does it mean, in context?
APPLY: What does it mean to us/to me?
LIVE: Speak to the Lord--What shall we/I do about this?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Christmas Tree

From Blog09


A tree--a simple pine--
Is full of glow and shine,
All wrapped in Christmas lights
That speak of other sights:
The star of Bethlehem
And angels--crowds of them--
With news of joy and peace,
Of hope and full release
Through babe in cattle stall
Who's come to save us all
Who trust in his great Name
(We'll never be the same).
The tree's a simple pine,
But whispers things divine.

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.
--Luke 2:9, ESV

Poem and photo ©2009 James L. Swindle. You may print up to 100 copies for non-commercial use so long as you include the copyright notice and don't alter the text.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

He Feeds Us

From Blog09


Lord, you provide for the bees and me,
Food for our living each day,
Strengthening us though we may not see
How you've sustained all our way.

And he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.
--Deuteronomy 26:9

Note: I'd taken this photo about a week ago. The poem was inspired by the post on Myra's blog about a similar photo.

Friday, December 04, 2009

The Promised One - A Christmas Hymn

From Blog09

Come and see the promised One,
Both of God and Man the Son;
Christ, for whom great kings did wait,
Now appears in lowly state.
He whom heaven’s hosts adored
Now becomes our infant Lord.

Born a prophet, he will show
Just the way that we should go.
Born a priest_, he will give
His own life so we can live.
Born a king_, he will reign
O’er the earth as his domain.

Come and see him now a man
Living out God’s perfect plan.
Hear him calling, “Leave your sin.
Come to Me and enter in.”
Lord, with all our hearts we come.
May your work in us be done.

Then, like Jesus, we will say
Words of life and truth today.
Then, like him, we’ll intercede
When we see someone in need.
Victors over Satan’s strife,
We, like Christ, will reign in life.


NOTE: I wrote this a number of years ago. If you wish, it can be sung to the tune "Dix." That's the tune usually used with "For the Beauty of the Earth" and "As With Gladness Men of Old." This particular poem is public domain, so you can use it any way you wish.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Cities

From Blog09


Our cities can be a beautiful thing and a wonderful thing. They represent cooperation and planning. The Bible begins with a garden and ends with a city.
Still, everything we see now will disappear. "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more." (Revelation 21:1)

Are our hopes and dreams all pinned to a city in this current world, or to the one that's to come?