Saturday, December 28, 2013

If the Lord Removes His Blessing

If the LORD removes his blessing,
All may seem at first still stable--
Lots of lovers still caressing,
Human deeds as folks are able--

But without the Spirit's power,
Evil flourishing and crowing,
Truth will perish in an hour
And go fleeing from men's knowing.

Once God's blessing's dissipated,
Can a curse be far behind?
And the feeble thing created
Doesn't know that it's now blind.

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:21 ESV)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

God in a Manger

Ancient of Days,
Maker of all,
You’re now so small
With infant ways.

Stronger than earth--
Tiny, yet great--
We celebrate
Your simple birth.

We are but mud,
Needing you now.
Rescue, somehow…
Though it’s through blood.

With your sharp sword
Some day you’ll reign,
But now we gain
Our swaddled Lord.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11 ESV)

The card in the photo was made by my wife.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

The Poppy

The poppy's fragile beauty
Transports me to Nebraska
Where well-worn hands had planted
Some poppies for the pleasure
Of seeing their frail petals.

And yet the poppy's ruined
The lives of perhaps millions
Who found its sap addictive.
That opium now owned them--
Enslaved, a life of dying.

And so I see the poppy--
Its loveliness and peril,
And thank the Lord our maker
For those who taught me limits;
Of beauty that's for looking.

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:16-17 ESV)

"All things are lawful for me," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be enslaved by anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12 ESV)

In the quote from 1 Corinthians, the apostle is not saying that he no longer needs to beware of things that are enslaving. He's saying that even if something is lawful, he wont partake of it if it's not also helpful. He won't let it make him his slave.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Will Jesus Shine More Brightly

Will Jesus shine more brightly
Than brilliant mid-day sun?
Will halos glow? Contritely
Will saints now all be one?

Will Satan's plots grow darker
Than soot down in a cave?
The contrast growing starker
With Him who's strong to save?

Will we recall our troubles,
Our failures and our fears?
Or will they melt like bubbles,
Like fog that disappears?

In his right hand he held seven stars,
from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword,
and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
(Revelation 1:16 ESV)