Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Kingdom Comes



The kingdom comes in silent ways
Through changes in the heart,
So someone starts to live his days
As holy, set apart.

The kingdom comes in public ways
When demon powers are foiled
And godly courage runs and slays
The things that killed and soiled.

The king will come--Grand end of days,
Full righteousness begun--
And all the dead he'll simply raise.
Eternity will run.


    Pray then like this:
    “Our Father in heaven,
    hallowed be your name.
    Your kingdom come,
    your will be done,
        on earth as it is in heaven.

(Matthew 6:9-10 ESV)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What Am I? Who Am I?


Image: Duane Michals
 
Am I one, or am I two?
Someone old, or someone new?

Glancing short, or glancing long?
Am I right, or am I wrong?

What I am, the light will show.
All I am, you soon will know.


If we had forgotten the name of our God

or spread out our hands to a foreign god,
would not God discover this?
For he knows the secrets of the heart.
(Psalm 44:20-21 ESV)

For other people's thoughts prompted by this image, click here.

Free E-Book: Poems for Holy Week


Last  year I offered a small e-book, a collection of poems for holy week. I've done very minor revision to it and am pleased to offer it again. If you find it helpful, please pass on the link to a friend. To download the book, click "E-Books" at the top of this page, or go to this link. This will remain free at least through Resurrection Day (Easter Sunday).

Free e-book: Poems for Holy Week

Thursday, March 22, 2012

This Age's End

From Blog12

Earth's treasures soon may all be dust
Or smoky ash or crumbled rust.
The world's wise men still fall and die,
Their deepest thoughts a damning lie.
But yet there are a precious few
Who now by Jesus are made new
To rise with bodies newly bright
To reign with him in blinding light
Where Jesus Christ himself will be
All, all they want and all they see.

For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
        and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

(Revelation 7:17 ESV)

Yes, we'll also want the Father, and we'll delight in all of the good that flows from the Father and from the Son and from the Spirit. Yet all of our desires will be satisfied in Jesus.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I Met a Homeless Man

Sweet Dreams

I met a homeless man
Who wandered place to place
And stayed wherever he could find.

His sturdy feet and calloused hands
Said he had known a lot of work,
But he was tender to those we called trash
And reached with kindness toward each child.

He asked me to become like him--
A homeless man,
In debt to all
Who give him food,
Yet free from all,
As free as rain--
And fresh and clean and pure.

I met a homeless man
Who wandered place to place
And stayed wherever he could find--
And he has brought me home.

And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
(Luke 9:58 ESV) 


Image by Noel Feans. This particular poem by Jim Swindle is public domain. 

Jesus doesn't demand that all of us be homeless, and I'm not homeless in the world's sense of that word. Yet he calls us to have our real citizenship in the heavens. We're not at home here. 

 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Forgive?



Forgive? Forgive?
You ask me, me to forgive,
When he was in the wrong?
He tricked me, cut me, used me, shamed me,
And shall I now forgive?

What's that you say?
I owed a debt to you,
Ten thousand times what I could pay,
And lived, your brazen enemy--
I used you, shamed you, would have tricked you,
And, although you knew it all,
You gave your Son to set men free--
He died for sinners, and I'm one!?

O Lord, forgive my heartless heart.
May I forgive--not part, but all--
And walk, forgiven, in your love.


And whenever you stand praying, forgive,
if you have anything against anyone,
so that your Father also who is in heaven
may forgive you your trespasses.
            (Mark 11:25 ESV)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Stay Away

image: Uzengia Aleksander NedicStay away,
      Alice, dear.
You won't like
      things down here.
Go back home.
      Sing some song.
Don't look down.
      Walk along.

Little girl,
      little child,
Up there in
      world so wild,
Don't come here.
      Stay away,
Lest you find
      fame some day.


How much better to get wisdom than gold!

To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
(Proverbs 16:16 ESV)

For more people's reactions to this image, click here.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Brothers

From Blog12

If a brother meets a brother
Walking in the Lord,
There's a joy that's like no other,
Both in one accord.

Whether short the time or longer,
Whether night or day,
Each one makes the other stronger
As they talk and pray.



    Behold, how good and pleasant it is
        when brothers dwell in unity!
    It is like the precious oil on the head,
        running down on the beard,
    on the beard of Aaron,
        running down on the collar of his robes!
    It is like the dew of Hermon,
        which falls on the mountains of Zion!
    For there the LORD has commanded the blessing,
        life forevermore.

                 (Psalm 133 ESV)

Those who are in Christ Jesus have a unity, a family relationship, which is an amazing gift from God. They may be new acquaintances, but they are one.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

The Dangerous Woman


               image by Sarolta Ban

With a gaze of her eyes, she drew him in.
He so quickly was lost--he knew not how--
That he rushed without thought to depths of sin
And he lives as her slave with no hope now.


Here's the Bible's promise of what happens if you seek and obey the Lord's wisdom.
...you will be delivered from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words,
who forsakes the companion of her youth
and forgets the covenant of her God;
for her house sinks down to death,

and her paths to the departed;
none who go to her come back,
nor do they regain the paths of life.
(Proverbs 2:16-19 ESV)

Note: Over my 35+ years of marriage, there have been multiple women (and maybe a man or two) who might have been willing to seduce me if I'd let them. For a married man, here's the only way I know of to survive:
1. Avoid ever eating with a woman who's not your wife. If you're forced by circumstances to eat with a woman, tell your wife about it every time.
2. Ruthlessly cut off any romantic/emotional spark that draws you to someone other than your wife. Be emotionally flat to the person. Don't discuss any personal details of your life or of her life.
3. Spend time with the Lord, in his word.


For other people's thoughts on this same image, click here.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Before the Dawn

From Blog12
It's February,
But it's warm before the dawn.
The streets are silent as a sleeping mime,
And entire pine trees are preserved in amber
Oozing from the street lights.

Soon the dawn will break,
And the sun will wake
The drowsing streets,
But in this hour
The Lord and I
Are still alone.


Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD;

his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.
(Hosea 6:3 ESV)