Friday, December 28, 2012

Harvard


Proud and ancient oaks
Guard a temple of learning,
Where obscure philosophers
And ancient scholars
Are patron saints,
And the students are taught to know
Everything and everyone who's important
Except the Lord who made them.


See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8 ESV)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Jesus, Coming Jesus



Do you love the Christmas Jesus,
  The new-born babe in hay?
Do you love the angels’ song
  That turned the night to day?

That is right and good and true.
  Rejoice for all you’re worth.
Jesus is the Christ, the Lord,
  The Savior come to earth.


Do you love the coming Jesus,
  The judge with sword and fire?
Does repentance shape you daily
  So you are in his choir?

When he comes in strength and glory,
  Will your dead works all burn?
Or is your life all his great story--
  With joy at his return?


...“Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
(Acts 1:11 ESV)

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Memories of Christmases


Memories of Christmases visit my mind
Like half-hidden ghosts.
They whisper of days gone by,
Of bubble lamps and foil icicles decking a spindly tree,
Of carols at school and carols at church
And on a stack of 45-RPM clear red records.
They speak of family members now gone,
Of places left years ago,
And cards pinned to green nylon net on a wall.
They tell of helping my pregnant wife
Walk cautiously to Christmas Eve worship on rutted ice
And of a Christmas day picnic overlooking the beach.
They slip in and out of my memory,
These Christmases I have known,
But remind me of the ever-present truth
Of God-come-to-earth.

Glory to God in the highest!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Questions After Newtown

The great crime in Newtown, Connecticut, has left a sadness across millions of people and has left a deep, deep hole in the lives of the families of those who died. I don't have any words to comfort them, except to say that I'm praying for them.

The situation leaves me with a number of question--not for them, but for the rest of us.

  1. Why did a female kindergarten teacher need or want four guns? It's easy to understand wanting one to protect herself or one for hunting, but why four?
  2. If her son had a history of mental illness, why were the guns not locked up in such a way that he couldn't get to them, even by killing her? (Or did she have at least one to protect herself from him?)
  3. Why do politicians think government is the answer? Don't such horrible crimes seem to be increasing in our country? If so, do they think government is the cause?
  4. If the guns were all purchased legally by someone who would have passed any background check, why do many people immediately think we need stiffer background checks for purchasing guns?
  5. Did violent, shoot-everyone video games play a part in shaping the young man's thoughts?
  6. The President was clearly moved--and rightly so--by this crime. He spoke of the graduations, marriages and future children that those murdered children would never experience. I agree with his thoughts, but why is it not also a tragedy that over 2000 children were killed legally in the US today via abortion? Those children, also, won't get to experience graduations or weddings or their own children. Why does the President support killing them at any time up to the day of birth? 
  7. Did evil visit New Town, as Connecticut's governor said? If so, should we consider using spiritual weapons in fighting evil?
  8. Is repentance in order for our whole nation?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Song to Our God


Words cannot express
Your great worthiness,
Regal kingliness.


Far above us all,
You are All-in-All,
Yet you hear our call. 

Tender to men's cries,
Holy, righteous, wise--
You're our source, our prize.


Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
(Psalm 27:7 ESV)





Thursday, December 06, 2012

Let Me Not Be Silent


Father, let me not be silent
When right is labeled wrong
And wrong is labeled right;
When greed becomes a good
And good becomes a crime;
When babes are killed
And airways filled
With filth of every kind.
No, let me not be silent.

Father, let me not be silent
When men with men are sinning
And women leave their children;
When curses are defended
And Christ becomes a curse;
When churches preach just pablum
And truth is persecuted.
No, let me not be silent.

Father, let me not be silent
When Islam is exalted
And Christians are but fodder;
When science spins more godless myths
Or people follow Joseph Smith;
When sex is sold
And children bought
And marriage is for starters.
No, let me not be silent.


The word that God puts in my mouth, that must I speak. 
(Numbers 22:38b ESV)

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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Christmas Thoughts


Holy, clean virgin,
Yet knowing her weakness and sin,
Mary, astounded,
Heard news of God's baby within.

Righteous, good workman
Now brimming with shock and dismay,
Joseph determined
To quietly send her away...

Then saw an angel
Appear in a dream in the night;
Heard with amazement
His bride was still holy and right.

Wounded by gossip
And called by the census away,
They found a manger
To fill with a baby, not hay.

Leaving his glory
And veiling his infinite worth,
Such is the story
Of God now in flesh here on earth.


Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant,being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  (Philippians 2:5-11 ESV)

Monday, December 03, 2012

Stay Awake



Stay awake.
Stay awake.
Lest the devil overtake you,
Stay awake.

Be on guard.
Be on guard.
Even though at times it's hard, friend,
Be on guard.

Keep alert.
Keep alert.
Lest the devil hurt and kill you,
Keep alert.

Christ will come.
Christ will come.
When the years have reached their sum, then
Christ will come.

Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.
(Mark 13:33 ESV)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Church Music Principles

Here's a list of 50 principles for those who are responsible for music in evangelical churches. Comments are welcome. (I don't pretend that each of them is heaven-sent. Some are merely based on my observations.)
  1. Worship music is for worship, not entertainment.
  2. The best corporate worship music is theologically very simple or very deep, or both.
  3. Songs for corporate worship should be singable and memorable.
  4. If the congregation is supposed to be singing, but many of them aren't, something is wrong.
  5. Believers need to be taught from scripture both how and why to worship, including the right use of music.
  6. What's best involves a cultural choice. What's best in London may not be best in Lima. What's best in one neighborhood of a city may not be best in another.
  7. Music for children can and should teach truth. (The children will remember some of those songs decades later.)
  8. The best hymns are worth learning. Someone has called them the distilled prayers of the saints.
  9. On average, old songs are better than new songs, because most of the bad old songs have been forgotten.
  10. The aim of the church singer or instrumentalist must be for people to think of the Lord, not the musician.
  11. In a church with some cultural diversity, if one group likes every song, the music may not be diverse enough.
  12. Music and words have moods. Upbeat, reflective and sad music can all be appropriate in worship.
  13. If all of a church's music is high-energy and celebratory, the church may end up shallow.
  14. If a church doesn't know how to celebrate with music, the church is probably sick.
  15. Songs about all we'll do for the Lord aren't as helpful as songs about all he has done, is doing and will do. Songs that focus primarily on our feelings about God aren't as nourishing as songs that focus on God's feelings and actions.
  16. Music for close of worship should usually aim to send the obedient believers out with joy, peace, courage, or some combination of those.
  17. Church musicians should aim for excellence.
  18. Technical excellence in music is no substitute for the power of the Holy Spirit.
  19. Church musicians need training in humility. The aim is humility in thought, in word, in actions, in appearance.
  20. Church leaders should discourage applause for musicians. Praise belongs to God, not to men--and not to children. It's fine to applaud the Lord, but applauding worship musicians can give them and the congregation the idea that the music is a performance for people instead of a part of the worship of God.
  21. Congregational singing sounds much better in a room with lots of hard surfaces, especially if it's a small congregation. (Such a room may be more difficult to preach in.)
  22. Words and music should match in mood.
  23. Louder isn't always better. Amplifiers are frequently over-used.
  24. If a music pastor is determined that he'll not permit music from one culture, he's not really the pastor of the church members who are of that culture. He should not be surprised nor angry when those people leave for another church where they are shepherded. 
  25. Cultures have much to learn from each other's music.
  26. Organs, guitars, bongo drums, saxophones...no one musical instrument is inherently best for accompanying church music.
  27. A musician who's technically excellent, but who is ungodly in attitudes or lifestyle, should not be permitted to continue as a church musician.
  28. Repeating a chorus over and over may lead to feelings of godliness, but it's not likely to lead to real godliness.It leads to turning off analytical thinking.
  29. Songs are a powerful way to teach theology.
  30. A song by a soloist or by a choir can often become more meaningful if the congregation is invited to sing the ending.
  31. It's often hard for a congregation to worship with a song the first or second time they hear it.
  32. If a music leader sees that almost nobody is singing, it usually means it's either the wrong song or is still too new.
  33. There's a place for new songs.
  34. Young people gain stability by learning the best old songs. 
  35. Old people gain flexibility by learning the best new songs.
  36. Neither old styles nor new styles are inherently better.
  37. Musicians should dress modestly and humbly. Neither sequins nor lots of exposed flesh are usually conducive to worship.
  38. It's good to use music by members of the congregation.
  39. Christians should be encouraged to sing all week.
  40. An excellent tune is no excuse for bad theology.
  41. Singing the scripture is a great way to memorize the scripture.
  42. Instruments in worship are optional.
  43. Congregations should be taught to worship with the head and the heart and the body. (The Psalms give examples of all of those.)
  44. We should thank God for those who are gifted in music for worship.
  45. Even if everyone around you loves the song, it's not spiritually healthy to sing words you don't believe are true. 
  46. Changes in church music should flow from love for the Lord and love for his church, not from a desire to be sophisticated or contemporary or popular or traditional.
  47. We must measure our worship music by the Bible, not by our culture.
  48. If we are intentionally trying to sound just like the non-Christian world around us, we don't understand the treasure we have in Christ.
  49. If we're proud of how utterly different our music style is from the non-Christian world around us, we may not understand our Lord's love for the people of that culture.
  50. There's no place for celebrity culture in worship music.
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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Yellow Leaves


Some leaves as yellow as Frost's wood
Were strewn across my lawn.
I loved to see them lying there,
This autumn's wealth of gold,
But then, suburbanite I am,
I ground them into shreds
So I could see the boring lawn.
I needed exercise,
And they were ready to be ground,
But now their glory's shredded, too,
As if it never was,
Until some more leaves goldly fall.


While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, 
summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.
(Genesis 8:22 ESV)


My wife says, "The leaves weren't ready to be ground. They were just lying happy where God put them. Every year he puts them there."
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Crime Came Close

Crime came close last night.
I don't know who.
I don't know what,
But crime came close.

Lots of cops,
Some crime-scene tape,
An ambulance--
Yes, crime came close.

Crime's always close
In sinful hearts,
And yet I'm shocked
When crime comes close.  

For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.
(Mark 7:21-22 ESV)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I Heard the Heavens Talking


I heard the heavens talking,
Singing of the glory--
Celebrate the story--
Of One who planned and made them.

The stars were all proclaiming
Depths of the creation
Throughout every nation
Did anybody hear them?

The LORD has shown it plainly:
Nothing comes from nothing,
Yet there's lots of something.
All plainly came from someone.

The stars all keep on singing--
Joyously affirming,
Solemnly confirming
The God Who planned and made them.


For his invisible attributes, 
namely, his eternal power and divine nature, 
have been clearly perceived, 
ever since the creation of the world, 
in the things that have been made. 
So they are without excuse.
(Romans 1:20 ESV)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Not a Hero

 

May I not become a hero
Lodged in concrete under lofty obelisk
Proclaiming all my glory.
Open 10-6 Daily
No pets.
Restrooms are behind the gift shop.

May I not be noted for raw power
Wielded in some selfish war,
Nor for my mighty wealth
Expanding faster than a blown balloon.

May I be known--if known at all--
For following the Lord.


Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ.
(Romans 16:10a, ESV)

Monday, November 05, 2012

Jesus' Kingdom



Jesus' kingdom, when He comes,
Will extend from shore to shore.
All will see the Holy One,
And He'll reign forevermore.

How we long to see that Day--
Jesus ruling on His throne--
Yet his kingdom's here today
In the lives of all His own.

Now at one point the Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God was coming, so he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
--Luke 17:20-21 NET Bible

Friday, October 26, 2012

Jesus' Words


Words of truth, words that last
After all this world's past...

Words of Spirit and life
That should settle all strife...

Words that slice you and me;
Words that cleanse, words that free...

Words as strong as a stone;
Words that flow from God's throne...

May those words yet fulfill
All their work, Christ's own will.

By God's grace, now we've heard.
Thank you, Lord, for each word. 


It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. 
The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
--Jesus, in John 6:63. (ESV)

The Bible in the photo was given to my father when he graduated from high school, May 21, 1937. In the back is a hand-written list of seventy people whom he baptized over the following ten or fifteen years.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Perfect Generic Politician

As election day in the USA fast approaches, here's something I saved from about 1994. Sad? Funny? Probably both. I give it to you just as it arrived in my official voting materials in California. As you read it, try to figure out one single policy that he is for or against.

STATEMENT OF: WILLIAM M PAPARIAN
CANDIDATE FOR SUPERVISOR, 5th DISTRICT

Age: 43

Occupation: Councilmember, City of Pasadena

County government is no longer working for us. It's time for a change. Councilmember Paparian will provide better representation and leadership because he is committed to enhancing governmental accountability. He will make sure everyone will have a fair and equal opportunity to participate in the County government process.

Born in Los Angeles, Paparian has a successful law practice in Pasadena where he lives with his wife and three sons. Afrter serving his country in the U.S. Marine Corps, Paparian was honorably discharged in 1973, and went to law school on the G.I. Bill.

After Paparian unseated a three-term incumbent by a 2-1 margin, he brought positive changes into City Hall. He led the move to make government more responsive to residents' needs, and fought hard to increase the effectiveness, openness, and accountability of local government.

Paparian deserves our vote for County Supervisor. He will be an independent and effective representative for all of us. You can count on him to fight for the beliefs and values we all share. And he has the strength, skill, and experience to win those fights.

We need Paparian as our County Supervisor. We need someone who will fight for us, for a change.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

To Fully Praise You


A Hymn to Our God

To fully praise you for your grace
Is more, much more, than I can do.
The more I seek to know your face,
The more ways I must yet praise you.

You're higher than my highest thought
And deeper than my deepest pain.
To fully praise you as I ought
Is more than words can yet contain.

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
     Serve the LORD with gladness!
     Come into his presence with singing!

(Psalm 100:1-2 ESV)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Acorn Abundance



Abundant acorns at my feet
All fallen wait for any squirrel,
And if forgotten and complete
One acorn may new leaves unfurl.


But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;
       they have turned aside and gone away.
They do not say in their hearts,
        ‘Let us fear the LORD our God,
who gives the rain in its season,
       the autumn rain and the spring rain,
and keeps for us
       the weeks appointed for the harvest.’

(Jeremiah 5:23-24 ESV)



Monday, October 08, 2012

Jesus' Choice


Jesus chose to be the worst, the least:
Criminal who'd not done any wrong.
Now his glory is yet more increased.
He's our joy, our peace, our life, our song.

Jesus lives to intercede, to pray,
Sure defense against the devil's lies
That accuse us both by night and day.
Jesus says we'll get the crown, the prize.

Jesus will return in glory bright--
Splitting sky and angels all around.
He will raise the dead, reward the right.
He'll bring righteous peace the world around.

Jesus chose the humblest, hardest way,
Chose to lay eternal glory down.
Now he's Lord of light, our Dawn, our Day.
Jesus, may your praise yet more abound!

    Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:5-11 ESV)

This original poem and photo illustration are public domain 2012.


Monday, October 01, 2012

Peach and Bottle


I'd like a peach
To give to each
Of you,

The peach scent?
Wonderment
Fresh and new.

But this bottle
Is now what'll
Have to do.

Simple glass
Lets light pass,
Cobalt blue.

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, 
plants yielding seed, and fruit trees 
bearing fruit in which is their seed, 
each according to its kind, on the earth.” 
And it was so.   (Genesis 1:11 ESV)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Yarded Well


When grass is yarded well
It casts a greening spell
Of fresh and ordered rest,
Of place that has been blessed
By God.

It minds us of respect
That counters world neglect;
Of greening of the soul
That's graced to be made whole
By God.

The grass withers, the flower fades,
    but the word of our God will stand forever.

(Isaiah 40:8 ESV)

This original poem and photo are public domain. Other photos and poems on this site are copyrighted, except as noted.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Why God Loved and Saved Me

He loved me,
   Not for what I've done,
   Not for what I merit,
   But for His own reason.

He saved me,
   Not because I sought him,
   Not because I wanted,
   But because he loved me.

But God, who is rich in mercy, 
because of His great love that He had for us, 
made us alive with the Messiah 
even though we were dead in trespasses. 
You are saved by grace!
   --Ephesians 2:4-5 HCSB

Photo ©2012 James L. Swindle

Sunday, September 09, 2012

The Holy Supper


Jesus, as I eat this bread,
Sign of your own body--dead,
Sacrificed for all our wrong,
My heart wells with thankful song.

As I drink this simple wine,
Sign of your own blood divine,
I can see your grace out-poured.
I believe--am whole--restored.

Plainest food has now become
Your own sign until you come.
Lord, I'm humbled and amazed.
May your holy Name be praised.

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

(1 Corinthians 11:26 ESV)

Poem written July 15, 2012, at Redeemer Fellowship Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, for God's glory.
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Thursday, September 06, 2012

Dreams Deferred, Unafraid


Dreams deferred,
Dances delayed,
Hopes now halted,
Vacations vacated...
Unperturbed, I'm unafraid.
Simply soaring,
Spirit sated.

Looking up,
I live no lack.
Trusting truth,
I trace my track.
Hope's in heaven.
I'm elated.
Christ is mine
And awaited.

But our citizenship is in heaven,
and from it we await a Savior,
the Lord Jesus Christ...

(Philippians 3:20 ESV)


I don't remember the circumstances that prompted the writing of this poem. Circumstances come and go; the Lord remains. 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Fallen Leaf

From Blog12


Even a leaf
Brought in by a shoe
Shows God's precision.

This veined relief
So perfectly grew
By his decision.


For his invisible attributes, 
namely, his eternal power and divine nature, 
have been clearly perceived, 
ever since the creation of the world, 
in the things that have been made. 
So they are without excuse. 
(Romans 1:20 ESV)


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Armadillo Roadkill

From Blog12
You may think you're very strong,
Self-sufficient, safe alone.
Death may take you before long.
No repenting, just a moan.

You're not strong before the Lord.
Cotton candy to the core
When you face His word-fire sword.
All will know your sordid score.

Buzzards then may pick your meat,
Tear your flesh, chew on bone,
Peck your liver as a treat,
Leave your carcass on some stone.

Friend, you need a rescuer,
Someone stronger than your pride,
Someone who can make your cold heart pure,
Give you his life down inside.


In this is love, not that we have loved God 
but that he loved us and sent his Son 
to be the propitiation for our sins. 
 (1 John 4:10 ESV)

This photo and poem are not pretty. Neither is the judgment for those who are still in their sins. Rush to Jesus Christ. His kindness and generosity are beyond your comprehension.


Friday, August 24, 2012

I Run to Christ

From Blog12

I run to Christ so I won't sin.
He's my strength, my power.
If I sin, I run to Christ,
Savior for such hours.

He's my safety, my defense,
All I'll ever need.
He will be my recompense
When in heav'n I'm freed.

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

(1 John 2:1-2 ESV)

Poem written July, 2012, at Redeemer Fellowship Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, for God's glory.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Rain

From Blog12

The rain is washing trees and air--
Steady,cleansing, like a prayer.
It washes all the grime away--
Freshing, healing, life today.

The thunder beats its big bass drum--
Rumble, rumble, more to come.
The rain renews the steady beat.
Crops will grow. Yes, folks will eat.

A crash of cymbals joins the sound.
Rolling waves of rain come down.
Now thunder starts to call retreat.
Rain's still steady, strong, complete.


He covers the heavens with clouds;
he prepares rain for the earth;
he makes grass grow on the hills.
(Psalm 147:8 ESV)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

If the Lord Came

From Blog12

If the Lord in all his glory
Came down to visit America,
What then? What then for us?
For me? For you?

If the Lord in all his glory
Were suddenly among us,
What works would burn?
What monuments would crumble?

If the Lord in all his glory
Were burning in your yard,
Would anything or anyone
Within it long endure?

When the Lord in all his glory
Appears in blazing power,
Will you then be rising?
Will you be his own?

Soon the Lord in all his glory
Is coming to Jerusalem...
And saints will rise, and sinners burn,
And he'll be all in all.

For as the lightning comes from the east
and shines as far as the west,
so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

(Matthew 24:27 ESV)

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Where Truth and Mercy Kiss

From Blog12
The church of God becomes a place
Where truth and mercy kiss,
Where shining wrath meets perfect grace
And yields eternal bliss.

God's zeal and fire form all her walls.
His angels guard her door--
And yet there's grace for one who falls.
Kind tears drip to the floor!

And so the walls are love within:
Grace-bright to light each path,
With Jesus' blood to purge all sin--
But outside? Flames of wrath.

The door's still open wide today.
Com in! Find all you've missed.
Rush to Jesus. Come to stay
Where truth and mercy kiss.


Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me. (Isaiah 49:16 ESV)

...We have a strong city;
he sets up salvation
as walls and bulwarks. (Isaiah 26:1 ESV)

Poem written August 9, 2012, in Spring, Texas, for God's glory.
The Bible verses are referring to Jerusalem, but I believe we can also apply them to the true Church. This poem pictures the church as a building, but the church consists of people who are living stones, being built into a temple.
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Tuesday, August 07, 2012

All We Need

From Blog12

Jesus Christ is all we need.
By his wounds our souls are freed.
For our case he'll intercede.

Trust him. He is good and kind.
Trust him. Deepest peace you'll find.
Trust him. He'll unlock your mind.

He will hear your faintest call.
He won't leave you if you fall.
He will be your all-in-all.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places...  (Ephesians 1:3 ESV)

Written August, 2012, in southern Illinois, for God's glory.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Strung Dreams


When we were young
And dreams were strung
Like clothespins on a line,

Our world was new.
Our skies? Clear blue,
And ev'rything was fine.

But storms and clouds
And vulture crowds
Pulled dreams right off the line.

We saw some blood...
Fell into mud...
And knew we were not fine.

Yet God has shown
Each tear, each groan
Can fit his plan divine.

We're old, not young,
But hope's re-strung
Like clothespins on a line.


Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.
(Psalm 33:22 ESV)

This poem and photo ©2012 James L. Swindle.


Thursday, August 02, 2012

Drought

From Blog12

On this hot and sunny morn,
All around is withered corn.
Farmers' hopes are withered, too.
Dazed, they wonder what to do.

Why has God withheld the rain?
Why kill birds and trees and grain?
Yet they praise him--and they should.
Out of evil, he brings good.




And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to his purpose.   

(Romans 8:28 ESV)

Poem written August 1, 2012, north of Vandalia, Illinois.
Most of the corn wasn't brown, but most of it was severely affected by the drought.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Light of the World

From Blog12
Jesus, the light of the world,
Beauty of God here unfurled--
Light of our fathers and theirs,
Light of our future and prayers--

Don't let our focus grow dim.
Don't let us follow our whims.
Wash us and set us apart.
Shine brilliant grace through each heart.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12 ESV)


Poem written July 20, 2012, at Redeemer Fellowship Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, for God's glory.