Friday, August 26, 2011

Polio and a Greater Danger

From Old Family Photos

One of the defining events of my life occurred before I can remember. When I was about a year and a half old, I got polio. The family story is that I was in the hospital, partly paralyzed, not getting any better. On a Wednesday night, all of the churches of our tiny town of Vici, Oklahoma, prayed for me. The next morning I was getting better. My only long-term after-effects, other than gratitude, have been that I was over-protected as a child (which is understandable) and that when I'm very tired I have a noticeable limp. (One leg is a bit longer than the other, but that's true of lots of people who have not had polio.)

The photo above was taken in Vici that year, probably after I was back from the hospital. Dad's relatives seemingly rallied around us in the crisis and came hundreds of miles for a visit. I'm thankful for that. Yet they didn't realize that they faced a bigger danger than polio. That bigger danger: ignoring the salvation that the Lord offers. Uncle Pod (next to my mother, who was holding me) may have been a real Christian. I never knew him well. Next to him is his wife, Aunt Neva. She had a drinking problem beginning in her teens, and died an alcoholic. Uncle Bud and Aunt Myrtle (on the right) were decent people, but so far as I know never felt any need for Jesus nor for the church. Children made them nervous. Their world seemed to revolve around work and home and money.

Polio can cripple or kill the body.
Jesus said, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28). He also said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).

If we love our families, we should work and pray for them to be rescued from the danger that's much greater than polio.

So short, so short, this single life.
So long, so long, eternity.
So deep, so deep, Christ's sacrifice.
So high, so high, his call--my plea.

How long, how long, will you seek fun?
How long, how long, will you not see?
How far, how far, will you still run?
How bad, how bad, will your end be?

So clean, so clean, forgiving grace.
So pure, so pure, God's ways for man.
So great, so great, the final Place.
So wise, so wise, the Father's plans.

And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
--Joel 2:32a

Friday, August 19, 2011


From Blog11

Torn between two worlds,
Giving his body to fleshly desires,
Coming to hear the word of the LORD,
He acts like his actions aren't plain as the night;
He will not forsake them; won't turn to what's right.

Thus he stands apart,
Not fully in and not fully out,
Keeping his past and chasing the LORD.
He acts like his sins are not blatant and bold.
He comes to the fire, but his heart is still cold.

...he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

--James 1:8 ESV

Written to describe a young man whose name I don't know, who sometimes attends my church. May the Lord grant him repentance. The photo illustration is someone else.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fear of the Holy

What is that which gleams through me
And smites my heart without wounding it?
I both a-shudder and aglow.
A-shudder, in so far as I am unlike it,
aglow in so far as I am like it.
--St. Augustine,
as quoted in chapter 3 of
The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul.

From Blog11

Like a moth to the flame
I am drawn to Your fire,
To the awe of Your name:
You are all I desire.

I approach You with dread.
You could burn me to ash,
Leave me consciously dead,
Throw me out with the trash.

Yet I come--yes, I must
Seek to know You, the One
Whom to know is to trust--
Though I fear I'm undone.

And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
--Isaiah 6:5 ESV

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Devil and the Holy Seed

Kill them! Kill them all--
The better, the more--
And don't forget the best!
We must, we must kill the best.

This has been the devil's theme
Throughout our generations.
He hates the holy seed.

Satan, his unholiness,
Has attacked the seed
Has hacked at the seed
With deadly creativity.

He ordered the killing of
All male babies
Among the Hebrews in Egypt.

He set himself as a king:
A hungry Moloch god
Who loved to smell some babies burn.

Then his sandalled soldiers
Dashed the children on the rocks
Or ripped them from the womb
Or brought starvation
Until mothers ate their own.

Foul Herod filled Bethlehem's streets
With holy babies' blood.

Now he's still at work,
Wiping out the godly seed--
With gay pride days (no babies there)
And family planning clinics
That think of children as a disease
That swift dismemberment will cure.

His hosts pollute with porn
Promoting childless pleasures
And offer drugs the morning after--
Insecticide for infant infestations.

The devil hates the godly seed.

Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord,
      children, a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
      are the sons born in one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has filled his quiver with them.

--Psalm 127:3-5a, HCSB

Monday, August 08, 2011

I Walked by Water

I walked by water
On my left
And with a wall
Upon my right.

I walked through years
Full of joy
And walked through days
Full of night.

I could not see
Around the bend,
But I can say
The walk's been good.

I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all that you have done;
I ponder the work of your hands.

--Psalm 143:5 ESV

Monday, August 01, 2011

Aermotor Memories

Horses made the bit go 'round
When they dug the well--
And they dug it well--
Back in 1921.

Aermotor skimmed the sky,
Water filled the tank,
All the cattle drank--
Drank for decades, never dry.

The the times--they changed for all.
The barnyard? Sold and gone,
Empty as a yawn,
And the windmill's on that wall.

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
    my soul thirsts for you;
    my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

--Psalm 63:1 ESV
(A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah)

Image from Skip Hunt, via Magpie Tales. Click the link for other people's thoughts prompted by this image.

This particular poem is public domain.
August 5, 2011 - I corrected the spelling after Bill Ragle pointed out to me that the company was and is called Aermotor, not Aeromotor. The company and Bill live in west Texas.