Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kerosene Lamp

From Blog10


By this lamp’s light
Grandma mended stockings
And Grandpa looked for ways
To feed his family.

By this lamp’s light
Mother and her sisters
Packed their clothes for each week at school
And later packed for college.

By this lamp’s light
My wife and I visited quietly
Enjoying the break from routine
When the power was out.

Now this lamp sits on our piano,
Waiting with dignity,
Waiting with beauty,
Waiting for another dark night.

The lamp’s been waiting for over a year.
Tonight, it’s bright...
Bright with light,
Bright with memories.

My wife and I visit,
Looking back over the years,
Looking forward to eternity,
Savoring the moment.

There was light.
There is light.
There will be light,
And it is good.


Again Jesus spoke to them, saying,
“I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”

(John 8:12 ESV)

My thanks to Magpie Tales for the idea of writing about a kerosene lamp. For other people's writings on the same topic, follow the link.

This poem is mostly factual, though we really didn't visit about much profound tonight while the lamp was lit.

Much content on this site is copyright. This new poem and original photo are public domain.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Knight's Reflection (A Limerick)

From Blog10


There once was an errant young knight
Who went forth for fight for the right,
But when war came nearer,
He went through a mirror
And fought for the left, not the right.


Patience is better than power,
and controlling one’s temper, than capturing a city.

--Proverbs 16:32 HCSB

"Errant" here means wandering or traveling. There's no deep, hidden meaning to this poem, but if you want to give it one, you can.

This particular photo and poem are public domain.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Come with Power

From Blog10


Holy Spirit, come with power
Re-arranging all we are.
Set our eyes to wait the hour
When the King returns from far.

Loose our tongues to tell the story
Of the one who died for all
And brings many sons to glory
And returns to rule them all.

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ...
--Philippians 3:20

We need to be re-arranged as thoroughly as this strap was re-arranged.

At Last

From Blog10


Thank God I’ve died at last…
Died to all my wants,
Died to all my plans.

      My self is dead, is past…
      Who cares what it wants?
      Who cares what it plans?

I’ve died to live at last…
Live to Jesus’ wants,
Live to Jesus’ plans.

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
--Colossians 3:23

Note: I don't claim to have fully arrived at the state described in this poem, but the Lord is truly at work in me. I must keep on killing self.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Discriminating Fragrance


Some love my fragrance
Scent from heaven
Breath of endless life
Amazing, alluring aroma.

Most hate that same smell
Odor most foul
Putrefaction--their own death
Dreaded, damning stench.

Their hearts determine the smell.
Tell me: Do you like it?

For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
(2 Corinthians 2:15-16 ESV)

My thanks to Magpie Tales for this photo, which prompted the poem. You can follow the link to find other people's reactions to the same image.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Swimming Pool - A poem for children

From Blog10


Swimming, swimming in the pool--
Splishing, splashing--water's cool.
Feeling fishy--flapping feet.
Summer swims just can't be beat.


For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven...

--Ecclesiastes 3:1

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Washed and Waiting

From Blog10

Washed and waiting
Sin abating
Though the tempter isn't done

    (Satan's grating
    Always hating
    What the Savior has begun

    He has fury
    Hurry worry
    Knowing that one day he'll burn)

I am holy
Waiting solely
For my Master's great return

...let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. --Hebrews 10:22 ESV

This idea for this poem came from the title of a book that I have not read.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Not Now



I'll learn to love, but later,
Since there is always time.

I will forgive, but later,
Since there is always time.

I'll be a man, but later,
Since there is always time.

I'll exercise, but later,
Since there is always time.

I'll have a plan, but later,
Since there is always time.

I'll do what's best, but later,
Since there is always time.

I will repent, but later,
Since there is always time.

I will trust Christ, but later,
Since there is always time.

But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.
--Luke 12:20-21 ESV

My thanks to Magpie Tales for the image that prompted this poem. You can follow the link to see other people's impressions of it. This original poem is public domain. Other poems on this site are ©James L. Swindle, unless stated otherwise.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Emily Dickinson

From Blog10

Such spare verse -
Bent rhythm, rhyme.
Tight, terse -
But pressed sunshine.

...What is man that You remember him, the son of man that You look after him?
--Psalm 8:4, HCSB

You can find Emily Dickinson's poems here. I don't endorse everything she believed, but she had a remarkable way with words.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

What You See



What you see is what you see,
But it isn't what there is.
You can see the outside-paint,
Window panes, a draping cloth--
But you seldom see the core,
Deep where people thrive or die.
Walls and windows hide the heart.
Is it dead and dirty, dark?
Or are lights on, shining bright?
Walls and windows hide the heart.

...Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.
--1 Samuel 16:7, ESV

My thanks to Magpie Tales for the image that prompted this poem. You can follow the link to see other people's impressions of it.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

To Think Like You

From Blog10

Lord, to think like you
In ev'rything I do--
This my earnest goal,
The aim of my whole soul.

Cleanse and shape my mind,
Controlling all I find
'Til at last I see
You shine forth through me.

“For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
--1 Corinthians 2:16 ESV

Monday, September 06, 2010

Bible Study Sites

I've added some Bible study sites to the bar on the right. Here's a bit more information about each of them.

E-Sword is the finest free Bible study software that I know of. It's geared toward the serious student. Besides lots of English translations (many free), you'll find other modern languages, Greek and Hebrew, Bible commentaries, Bible dictionaries, maps, devotionals and more--much of which is free. Download it! Then make a donation.

ESV Online is one of my two favorite translations. The web site is well-designed, with a built-in editor that you can use for creating notes for a sermon or lesson about a passage. It saves your place and saves your notes; lets you highlight text in any of several colors.

HCSB Study Bible is my other favorite translation. It includes all of the study Bible's notes. One excellent feature: If you hover over a word, the original Greek or Hebrew word pops up, along with a definition.

NET Bible comes with more translation notes than you'll ever want.

Search God's Word has various translations and commentaries and more. It's a bit cluttered, but useful.

Friday, September 03, 2010

The Play




I've heard it said that "All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players."
Now I believe it in a certain sense,
But we have often played our parts all wrong,
Conspiring to erase the Author's lines
And even daring to deny his role
Or worse--to say he isn't there at all...
We say the play is writing by itself,
And then pretend that we control the whole.
What's more, we've got the audience all wrong.
We play to other players shamelessly,
Not knowing that the audience is One
Who'll judge us when the final curtain falls.
We eat the fruit of all our brazen lies
And aim at vanity. Just vanity.
The Author still reminds us of our lines
And calls us to our finest roles once more.
Though most refuse, emoting to themselves,
A few will follow his amazing lines
And end their parts with glory in their eyes.


Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.

--Ecclesiastes 1:2 ESV

...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus...
--Romans 3:23-24 ESV

My thanks to Magpie Tales for the photo that prompted this poem. Also to William Shakespeare, of course, for the quotation.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Hating Sin

From Blog10


I hate sin, but do I hate it enough?

I don't hate sin enough...
    If I find it funny and entertaining.
    If I dream of its pleasures.
    If I make provisions for following it in my life.
    If I try to curb it, instead of killing it.
    If I call it something softer.
    If I make excuses for it.
    If I don't try to turn others from it.
    If I don't expose it to the light.
    If I blame it on someone else.
    If I think little sins don't matter.
    If I don't worry about its consequences.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
--Romans 6:23