Saturday, April 30, 2011

William's Song

Here's one of many songs that I wrote a number of years back. For a larger view, click on the image.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Daily Manna

From Blog11

Daily manna
Downed with water
Flowing from a
Riven Rock--

This the blessing
God has given
All of those who
Come to Christ.

May surround us,
Enemies may
Lie ahead.

Still his mercies
Underlie us,
And, we trust, life
For the dead!

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.
(Revelation 2:17 ESV)

...the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
(1 Corinthians 15:52 ESV)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Collection of Poems for Holy Week

From Blog11

Here is a collection of my poems that relate to Jesus' last week on earth, and to his resurrection.

If you have trouble viewing it, click on File, Download Original.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Missing Easter

If you miss the Easter bunny
And your basket still is empty
And you have no Easter lily,
Then you haven't missed a lot.

If you miss the risen Savior
And your soul is running empty
And you have no Holy Spirit,
Then you've missed--you've missed it all.

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
--1 Corinthians 15:1-2 ESV

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dead, Buried, Resurrected

From Blog11

And God abandoned God that day,
And God looked up and cried.
And God abandoned God that day,
And God called out and died.

And God lay in the tomb that day,
And God was in the sky,
And God was cold and dead that day,
And God still lived on high.

And God lay dead 'til the third day,
And God for God did wait,
And God gave God new life that day,
And God rose, never late.

So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?”
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

(John 2:18-22 ESV)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Our Buildings and Christ's

From Blog11

We may build buildings that reach for the sun.
We may build temples to pleasure and fun,
But they all have just a very brief run.

Christ's holy temple (live stones, every one)
Still will be shining when there's no more sun;
Still will shine on 'til eternity's done.

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
(1 Peter 2:4-5 ESV)

Do you not know that you* are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?
*The Greek for you is plural both times in this verse.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cup of Jesus

From Blog11

Cup of Jesus, cup of pain,
Cup of my eternal gain--
I was dead and dirty, lost,
But he paid the dreaded cost.
Nailed, he hung upon the tree--
Dying, drank the cup for me.
By his death I'm made alive.
By his loss I gain, I thrive.

Cup of horror--beaten raw,
Jesus satisfied the Law.
Skewered snake for all to see;
Nailed-up scandal sets me free.
All my sin upon him lay;
Righteousness is mine today.

Cup of Jesus, cup of shame,
Cup that clears my guilty name--
Jesus' cup of bitterness
Brings me life and hope and rest.
Jesus drank my pain, my woe;
Now, his praise is all I know.

So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”
--John 18:11

This poem was prompted by the chapter "The Cup" in The Darkness and the Glory. I'm not very far into the book yet, and it's not quick reading, but so far, reading it is well worth the effort. The book is an extended meditation on the time from the Garden of Gethsemane to Jesus' resurrection.

Poem ©2011 James L. Swindle. You may print up to 100 copies for non-commercial use. Photo by JLS is public domain.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Is Holiness a Waste?

From Blog11

This poem's based on Psalm 73. This past Sunday night, Ken Ramey was guest preacher at our church and spoke about this psalm. While listening, I was able to write this.

Is holiness a waste?
And should I rather taste
The depths of selfishness?
Would I escape this mess,
The worry and the pain,
The never-ending strain,
The burning of desire
Like flaming, searing fire?

No, wickedness is waste.
Its final end is traced
Through sudden death, to hell.
Those sinners won't end well.
Their lives aren't what they seem.
Their wealth now's but a dream.
It all will pass away,
Burned up on judgment day.

The holy, though, are blessed,
For they'll inherit rest.
They have the LORD as friend.
His blessings never end
They're more--beyond the chart.
He satisfies the heart.
And when they end their race,
They wake to see his face.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Washing Hearts

From Blog11

Deepest pools of wickedness
Sit within the human heart.
We may paper over them
And pretend they are not there,
But they still may bubble up,
Spilling filth on all around.

Only Jesus Christ, the Lord,
Empties out those toxic pools
And replaces them--makes new pools
Of bubbling purest water.

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
--John 7:37-39 ESV