Saturday, January 26, 2013

Death of a Young Woman


A co-worker's relative died suddenly this past weekend.

We may not ever know just why
The one we loved so had to die
Before we thought her life was done.

But we can trust the Lord who’s wise,
Who knows just when each sparrow dies,
Who’ll raise the dead—full life begun.

And some day, we will see each pain
Was meant for God’s own children’s gain
As with fresh joy the ages run.

So, though we grieve and softly weep,
We know the Lord will surely keep
His promises—yes, every one.  

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus. For we say this to you by a revelation from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly have no advantage over those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 HCSB)

I saw the beautiful iris in the photo blooming outdoors in The Woodlands, Texas, yesterday. Spring is coming early to our area this year.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Postman Posts Again


Several years ago I regularly read remarkable new Christian poems on an anonymous blog called "The Postman." I was sad when The Postman stopped publishing back in 2009. Now, The Postman is posting again.I urge you to look at The Postman's blog. I still don't know who he or she is, but The Postman is one of the Lord's gifts to us.

Image source for Letter Carrier Delivering Mail: http://collections.si.edu/search/record/npm_A.2006-34


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sleekest Curves


Sleekest curves of steel,
Graceful as a swan
But hard as a sniper,
Call you to enter
The sellers' temple.

     Enjoy the display,
     The merchants' array.
     Buy all you need,
     But check your greed.

Enter, but beware.
The soul you sell
May be your own.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil,
and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith
and pierced themselves with many pains.
(1 Timothy 6:10 HCSB)

Your life should be free from the love of money.
Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said,
I will never leave you or forsake you.
(Hebrews 13:5 HCSB)


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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Grace and Justice


God of blessings, God of woe,
Let your grace and justice flow.
We deserve your wrath, your doom--
Yet you tell us you've made room:
Jesus Christ has paid our debt:
Died so we have no guilt left.
Then you did just what you said--
Raised him, victor from the dead.
By your grace our faith is born,
Born to grow with each new morn.

Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.  (Amos 5:15 ESV)

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Prayer for My Local Church


Father, I pray for my local church today.

We face no mighty persecution,
Perhaps because our boldness often fails.
Please give us boldness in the gospel
And steel us for the hatred it will bring.
Give us confidence and courage
And rest based on your providence.

Thank you for answered prayer--
For sick people healed,
For sins abandoned,
For hearts made new,
For children born and taught,
For sermons with truth and fire.

Have mercy on us yet again.
Refresh us in your mighty work.
Give us deeper repentance
And higher vision
And love as broad and as narrow as yours.

Teach us to pray fervently, faithfully, purely,
Day after day, night after night,
Until we live and breathe your praise.
Unite us in that praise
As we aim at your glory.

Give us deeper hatred of sin
And deeper compassion toward those enslaved by it.
Use us to proclaim the message of Jesus
And use that message to set many free.

May we approach you in holy fear,
And may we rejoice in the depths of your mercy,
For we have no other hope but your Son Jesus.

Amen


 I cried aloud to the LORD,
      and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah

(Psalm 3:4 ESV)

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Thursday, January 03, 2013

I Come



I come to Jesus--crucified
And yet far more alive
Than anyone I've ever met.
He was fully dead--as dead as rocks--
And yet he lives and breathes and eats,
And more than that--He transfers life
To all who come, who come as His.

I come to Jesus--Lord of all
And yet a humble man
Who cares about the least, the last,
The broken and the maimed;
He honors them if they trust him,
And more than that--He hears their prayers
And answers from his love.

If we have died with him, we will also live with him.
(From 2 Timothy 2:11 ESV)

Image credit: Leo Reynolds. Some rights reserved. This particular poem by JLS is public domain.