Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Sin, His Presence

Worse am I than you could know,
In myself, my sin, my shame,
If I am myself alone.

But alone am I no more:
Christ himself now lives in me;
His great glory shines within.

I don't need horror movies to see evil.
I've seen the evil in me.

I am about to gather them from all the lands where I have banished them in My anger, rage and great wrath, and I will return them to this place and make them live in safety.
--Jeremiah 32:37

Friday, July 22, 2011

Marks of Idolatry

How do I know when something is becoming an idol in my life?
--When one or more Christians who know me well warn me about it.
--When I want it with me 24 hours a day.
--When I think about it repeatedly as I'm drifting off to sleep.
--When I feel compelled to do it or to use it.
--When I check on it the first thing in the morning, the last thing at night, even though nothing bad would happen if I didn't check on it.
--When it crowds out the time that should belong to my family and my God and my neighbors.
--When I begin to think of myself in terms of "I'm a ________ person."
--When I feel powerless to control it.
--When I show it off repeatedly to all of my friends.
--When I'm embarrassed by how much time and money and pain and effort I've spent on it.

Little children, guard yourselves from idols.
--1 John 5:21

Monday, July 18, 2011

Nightly Frogs

Nightly frogs sing in chorus,
Croaking ancient mating songs.
Though the music's not meant for us,
It awakens fire that longs
For a thing I can't describe.
Thank you, Lord, for the frog tribe.

Then God said, “Let the earth produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that crawl, and the wildlife of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. So God made the wildlife of the earth according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and creatures that crawl on the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
--Genesis 1:24-25 HCSB

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Trendy Christianity

Trying to be trendy while looking down at those who aren't, is sin.
Bending toward the culture of others as an act of love is a virtue--whether their culture is trendy or Amish.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Devil Is a Tiger and a Snake

Oh, the devil is a tiger and a snake. (Yes, sir!)
A tiger and a snake is he. (Oh, no!)
He'd eat you and you'd end up in the lake (Of fire!)
Yes, the lake of fire is where he'll be. (Don't go!)

So, you don't be paying him no fees. (Not one!)
You don't owe him a single thing. (You're free!)
He'd rob you, stealing everything he sees.(Bar none!)
Resist him and your soul will sing. (Glory!)

Be sober-minded; be watchful.
Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion,
seeking someone to devour.

--1 Peter 5:8 ESV

And the great dragon was thrown down,
that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan,
the deceiver of the whole world—
he was thrown down to the earth,
and his angels were thrown down with him.

--Revelation 12:9 ESV

So, how can your soul be free? How can you resist the devil? Only through Jesus and the power of his Holy Spirit. This little sing-song poem speaks of the most serious matter there is: Your eternal destiny. Will you turn from your sin now? Will you turn from the devil and his ways? Will you rush to Jesus? You won't be free until you do. You won't be safe until you do.

Photos ©2011 James L. Swindle.
Poem by JLS is public domain.

I wrote of a tiger instead of a lion, since a tiger is what I'd seen recently.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Community of Faith

All our lives now intertwine
And mesh to form a living whole
As thoroughly as densest vine...
United down to very soul.

So, do not dare to even start
Gossip, slander or a hated lie
That would split the whole apart.
You must hold your brothers high.

...So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
--Romans 12:5 ESV

...that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
--1 Corinthians 12:25 ESV

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
--Ephesians 4:25 ESV

Monday, July 04, 2011

Rain After Drought

The rain has watered all the city
Gently and with tact,
Then gone to show some others pity,
His rainbow bags all packed.

Written September 17, 2002, by JLS.

When heaven is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against you, if they pray toward this place and acknowledge your name and turn from their sin, when you afflict them, then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel, when you teach them the good way in which they should walk, and grant rain upon your land, which you have given to your people as an inheritance.
--1 Kings 8:35-36 ESV

As the photo shows, parts of our area have been blessed with rain in the past few days.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Time's Passage

From Blog11

To ancients, time marched by
Day by day
Or hour by hour.

To Victorians, time ticked by
Minute by minute.

To me, time sweeps by
Second by second.

To my son, time flows by--
A stream of flashing numbers.

To the LORD, tim's different.
A day is as a thousand years
and a thousand years as one day.*

However your time goes,
It goes.

Step outside the flow,
Outside the relentless march.

Spend timeless time
Or with a friend
Or with the LORD.
You need all three.

Then step back into time

*2 Peter 3:8

Photo and poem ©2011 James L. Swindle.
You may print up to 100 copies for non-commercial use.