Friday, January 14, 2011

Songs of Heaven

In my ears I'm almost hearing
Still-unwritten songs of heaven--
Stanzas full of deepest meaning
For the washed and the forgiven.

Mighty choruses are swelling
Into joyous rolling thunder
As the saints are ever telling
God's great glory--rapt with wonder.

Then a sweet tune's almost whispered
Honoring the Lamb, the Savior
Who is also the great Shepherd
Saints are singing this forever.

Can you hear them? Are you seeing?
Is your soul washed clean, forgiven?
In my ears I'm almost hearing
Still-unwritten songs of heaven.

And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.
--Revelation 21:23 ESV

My thanks to Magpie Tales for the image. For more musical musings (by other people), follow the link.


Tess Kincaid said...

I love the flow and rhythm in the piece, Jim. Beautiful.

Helen said...

Your words set to music would be lovely indeed.

Jim Swindle said...

Thanks, Tess.
Helen, yes, though all of our best music and poems are but an imperfect reflection of the heavenly.

Brian Miller said...

those songs are continuing to be written...for sure...thanks for sharing a bit of your story as well on my guest post did hurt, does hurt losing that call...or maybe just for a season...your words brought comfort...smiles.

Lucy Westenra said...

Yes . . I think "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind" is one of THE great tunes.

Jim Swindle said...

Brian, it's always an honor to hear from you.
Lucy, thanks for stopping by. I do like that tune.

Jingle said...

elegant and musical...

Catfish Tales said...

'In my ears I'm almost hearing still unwritten songs of heaven'....
Very nice, and I hope you hear more of them soon. :)

Jim Swindle said...

Thanks, Catfish Tales. I smiled, wondering whether you meant hearing them in heaven. (I think you didn't.) I'm not in a hurry yet, but that would be a good thing.

~T~ said...

"If ye have experienced a change in heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?"
Alma 5:26

It's the best way to feel. Lovely poem!

Elaine said...

Beautiful, with or without music.

Jim Swindle said...

~T~, you're welcome here. To paraphrase Jesus*, you worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is of the Jesus of the Bible.

Some day I hope to do a post concerning why I respect the LDS (Mormons) and why that religion is a deception. In calling it a deception, I speak with tender love for those who are being led astray by it. For example, one of the "revelations" in the current edition of Doctrine and Covenants was heavily edited from the original published version of that revelation, yet the date of the revelation was not changed.

*Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
(John 4:21-24 ESV)

~T~ said...

Wow, Jim. Here I was trying to join with you in the heavenly song. I guess we hear different parts of it.

The Book of Mormon is about the same Jesus and his ministry of the same salvation to some of his other sheep. Remember them, from John 10:16? "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."

The Book of Mormon helps me understand and believe the Bible. It is another witness of Jesus Christ. As Paul wrote, "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." (2 Corinthians 13:1)

I'll be back to read your Magpies, but I won't be watching for when you tenderly bash all I hold dear. I know the truth of the gospel because the Holy Ghost has testified to my soul. I'll have to take His word over yours. I pray that you will listen to Him, too.

Jim Swindle said...

~T~, I appreciate your sincere concern for me.

Believe me, I don't like wounding people, but must speak the truth. You're right that things are to be established by witnesses. However, I'll choose the Apostle Paul and the other Apostles over Joseph Smith and his three witnesses. (I won't go into their character, though you should research it.) "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:8)

Joseph Smith clearly preached a different gospel. According to the holy scripture, does that result in a blessing for him or a curse?

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

I have been very busy with a lot of earthly changes, and so I have neglected coming here for spiritual refreshment, which I regret.

This poem of yours is like a great hymn, and as I read it, when I came to second stanza, I heard in my memory the wonderful hymn that begins,

Alleluia! Sing to Jesus;
His the scepter, His the throne;
Alleluia! His the triumph,
His the victory alone.
Hark! The songs of peaceful Zion
Thunder like a mighty flood:
"Jesus out of every nation
Has redeemed us by His blood."

Something about this poem is like that hymn. I think yours is a great offering and testimony. Perhaps it is one of those hymns we'll be singing to the Savior on that other shore.

Jim Swindle said...

Romanós, thanks for quoting that great hymn.

I think you over-state the value of this poem, though it's better than most of what I write. That's simply an answer to prayer; nothing at all that I can claim credit for.

I've been behind reading your blog, also. I can't read yours quickly. I think that's good.

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

It's a difficult thing when we have to confront religions over the issue of Jesus Christ. The issue of Jesus Christ? Yes, the issue of Jesus Christ.

Why do we confront? Because our Lord confronted the teachers of religion in His earthly ministry. Notice, He never argued, He simply declared the Truth that He is. Note too, He didn’t establish a new religion. He was born into Judaism, accepted it for what it was, and then Himself replaced it. No more religion, only Jesus.

Though it is given to some in the Body of Christ to controversy and polemics, it is not my place, though I sometimes am driven to it.

If argument were the major means to bringing people to Christ, the world would all be Christian by now, but it isn't. In former days, if a man was bested in an argument, he knew it, and gave in. Nowadays, we have been so trained to accept moral and religious relativism, that even when we've been proven wrong, we cling to outdated and outlandish notions. Why? Simply because they're ours, and there's no punishment for it.

We who have received only what Jesus Christ and His holy apostles handed over to us can never accept another gospel. When we hear holy apostle Paul warning us, If anyone preaches a version of the good news different from the one we have already preached to you, whether it be ourselves or an angel from heaven, he is to be condemned, we know that the enemy of mankind will plant such false religions in two ways: through false apostles inside the Church, and through angelic beings outside the Church.

We know that both Muhammad and Joseph Smith Jr received their revelations from angels (and there have been others, less successful and therefore less well-known), which to me fulfills the words of the holy apostle. But the corruption of evangelical doctrine also happened within the Church through the accretions of the Roman popes and others, even down to modern times, even while claiming to be evangelical. These are who the apostle was referring to, I believe, when he writes whether it be ourselves.

As an Orthodox Christian and disciple of Jesus, I willingly fellowship with all who believe in Him as Lord and Savior and God-man, even when they don't use the exact catch words that I use: I can see through the semantics and the cosmetics. But when I meet those who say they believe in Jesus but reserve for themselves, and exclude me from, some special qualification that puts them on a higher or better level than me, well, I get the whiff of bad angels' breath and the smell of stale altar cloths, if you know what I mean.

Anyone who confesses Christ belongs in the Church, but only if they leave their fairytales behind, and since they won't, they don't. They drew the imaginary line that they won't cross, and there's nothing we can do to change that. Only grace can convert the heart of man.

Jim Swindle said...

Romanós, you've spoken truth.