Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Boy On the Bridge

From Blog11

He was resting on the bridge,
Watching boats go by,
Watching some birds fly.

He was sitting on the bridge,
Free, without a care,
Simply resting there.

Then I smiled and waved hello--
Just a little wave,
That was all I gave,

And he smiled and waved hello.
Such a gift he gave
With that happy wave!

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
--Matthew 7:12

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Prayer When Spiritually Weary

From Blog11

Lord, I feel the hypocrite,
Not quite sure whether
I'm praying or preying or both.

Forgive me for trusting in
My own talents, my own gifts,
Which, of course, all are really yours.

Forgive me for not speaking boldly
And for speaking in anger
And for speaking of everything but you.

Renew me by your grace
And give me courage to live for you,
Because that's the only way to live.

And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

--John 1:16-17, ESV

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Friday, May 20, 2011

How Many Crosses?

From Blog11

How many crosses will it take
To counter all my sin?
How many crosses on the wall
To make me good enough?
How many crosses, row on row,
To make me a real saint?

Can they be little, or must they be big?
Can they be wooden, or must they be gold?

How many crosses will it take?
A few? A whole house full?
How many crosses? Lord, I know.
You died on only one.

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which1 the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

--Galatians 6:14

Many people trust in their religious activities, such as hanging up crosses. It's fine to hang a cross, but only God can make you (or me) holy.

This particular poem and photo are public domain.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fight to the Death

Do I want to kill my sin,
Or just to keep it locked away?
Will I keep it deep within,
And pull it out so we can play?

Is my sin a friend to me?
A partner in a thousand ways?
Sin is my deep enemy,
And while it lives, it steals my days.

Help me, Lord, to kill my sin--
To have no mercy; stab and kill.
May true holiness begin.
May I truly do your will.

I was away from home for a few days. It was good to be away; is good to be home.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Mona Lisa - Two Poems

Mona Lisa-restored


Mona Lisa, you were coy
When I met you in the Louvre.
I was hardly past a boy;
You--Mature and slick and smooth.

Now I see you just the same--
What you think, you've never told.
You seem young, with heart aflame,
Now that I am growing old.



Her subtle beauty still enchants,
Though centuries have come and gone.
But who was she, this mystery,
This ageless woman on the wall?

I wonder--did her children know
Her beauty would live after her?
And when her wrinkles came, and gray
Began to crown her, did she weep?

What kind of person lived behind
That enigmatic smile?
Was she absorbed with just herself?
Or did she love her family?

Her beauty must have gotten old--
Perhaps she even lost her teeth--
And none of it will count a bit
Upon the Lord's great, final Day.

I hope she found the Lord of all--
Yes, Jesus Christ, the One who saves.
If so, we'll get to know her well--
Her inner beauty, not just paint.

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
--Acts 4:12, ESV

Poem #1 ©2011 James L. Swindle. Poem #2 by JLS is public domain.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

After the Fire

Smoldering Fires,
Clarence Holbrook Carter, 1904-2000
Columbus Museum of Art

When our vines have all burned
And our cattle have fled
And our savings are smoke in the air,

Then it's time we returned,
That our hearts quickly sped
To the LORD whose compassion's still there.

For the depth of our loss
And the sting of our pain
And the grief that we barely can bear,

In the light of the cross
Where Christ's death was our gain,
Are as nothing. They cannot compare.

Though our dreams may all burn,
Still the spring will return.
God is good. He will hear our pained prayer.

He heals the brokenhearted
     and binds up their wounds.

--Psalm 147:3, ESV

My thanks to Magpie Tales for the image. For more people's thoughts on this painting, click the link.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Thoughts on bin Laden's Death

It was early 2001. An elderly retired music teacher, known for his many hours of prayer, was preaching at our church. That speaker, Dr. T. W. Hunt, said, "There's a man named Osama bin Laden who will pay $10,000 to anyone who kills an American." That's the first time I ever heard of bin Laden. It's also the first and only time that I recall Dr. Hunt mentioning anything that could be considered political, though I heard him preach severajavascript:void(0)l times and greeted him personally several times.

We can thank the Lord that this evil man, Osama bin Laden, is dead.

The wicked is overthrown through his evildoing, but the righteous finds refuge in his death.
--Proverbs 14:32

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Gender Confusion

From Blog 11 Added Illustrations

I came across this sign in a store. If it's an accidental mistake, it's funny, but from the merchandise, I don't think it was a mistake. The watches seemed to be watches for women who pretend to wear men's watches.

"A woman shall not wear a man's garment, nor shall a man put on a woman's cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God."
--Deuteronomy 22:5

Why did the Lord give this command? I suspect it's because our maleness and femaleness is one of the most basic elements of his creation of us. To reject your gender is to reject the Lord's work in creating you.

If you've struggled in this area, I urge you to bring all of your confusion to the Lord, who is merciful and direct. Trust Jesus to bring something good out of your life.

Simple Trust

From Blog11

Let me, Lord, in simple trust
Rest my soul in you
Knowing you'll do all you must
And you're always true.

Let me know that my own strength
Is so very small;
That it must run out at length,
But you're all-in-all.

For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast.
--Ephesians 2:8-9, HCSB