by J. Randal Matheny © 2011

What hurts us most we do not tell.
Instead, we bury it deep and well,
Where none can touch to cause us pain.
We would not feel this hurt again.

The soul is but a bundle of hurt;
He smiles but wears a hairy shirt.
This heavy burden, this hidden weight,
He sees as his predestined fate.

No one must know, or so he thinks;
He guards his pain like the stoic Sphinx,
While all the time he must ignore
That God has seen it all before.

Today decided to be productive. With no article forthcoming from columnists on Forthright Magazine, I threw out a little tidbit, “My God,” based on our New Testament readings for 2011, Philippians 4, to be exact. Then I translated it into Portuguese and adapted it as “Meu Deus”, for the Brazilian website. I’d already written a meditation in Portuguese earlier in the day for the Deus Conosco (God with Us) website.

Then I got the email account going for the veterinary clinic, after setting up their website Wednesday. This was left over from some accounts I’d won last year, as I faced the possibility of some tent-making work to supplement our support.

Johnny Polk signed on as a contributor (we call them Fellows) on The Fellowship Room. Got him set up for that today. Plus, other odds and ends, like Quick Bible Truths, United Prayer, etcetera, etcetera. Continue reading

Where people think that truth is relative, all coordinates are lost on the moral and religious compass. I’ve been working with a few items lately, around the topics of postmoderism and new age religion. Perhaps those caused this poem to bubble up from the depths. That, and watching some swirling fog seemed to suggest the idea for the poem, “Upon the Fickle Tide.”

The rhyme scheme and meter are different from what I usually do, but it seemed to work for me here. Here’s the first stanza, the whole poem shared only on the closed email list.

Lost in the formless world of turning mist,
Where none go north and muddied waters twist,
No leading lines exist.

Only subscribers to the Cloudburst Poetry email list get the whole pot of beans. If you want today’s poem, let me know below, and I’ll email it to you.

And here’s a freebie in the same style, but different approach, with no title, but if I had to give it one, would be something like, “Any Ill but Mine.” Continue reading

A motivational site seeks to cultivate creativity through thought questions. One of these goes like this.

If there is a God, or a Universal Energy, and that energy is everywhere in everything, then everything about YOU must be made up of that. If God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, then everything that you are is God and as such those qualities are inherent in you. If everything that you are is GOD, then what you are must be omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. Conduct a thought experiment along these lines. Notice how all your feelings can take on a very different hue when you stop labelling them as you normally do, and instead label them as part of the energy of God. Will you be able to say, “Peace, be still and know that I am God,” and know that to be true? If God is everywhere in everything, then “There is only God”. With that viewpoint, how different does your world become?

The paragraph is a mixture of biblical allusions and pagan religion, with patently false statements, for this reason: If God is everywhere in everything so that there is only God, and if God is omniscient, then every person would automatically know that he is God. Since not everyone knows that he is God, then the premise that God is everything is false. Continue reading

Keeping a website updated is tough. So use Quick Bible Truths! Each daily post, originating in Twitter, is, at most, 140 characters in length. Sometimes a quote, always a Biblical principle. The short space packs in powerful truths, perfect for Internet surfers who often don’t read more than a few minutes before moving on.

The occasional quotes aren’t picked up from material you’ll see floating around the Internet; we choose carefully, usually from print sources. Usually, however, the content is original. For more about QBT, see this GoSpeak Feature.

You can use an RSS feed and insert one or more posts from QBT into your website. You can pick up the feed from either Twitter, WordPress.com, or Facebook, whichever works best for you. Here are the links:

QBT on Twitter: https://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/22721101.rss

QBT on WordPress.com: http://quickbibletruths.wordpress.com/feed/

QBT on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/feeds/page.php?format=atom10&id=369689376610

If you use WordPress as a site or blog, for example, you can insert these links into an RSS widget, place it in a column or footer, and the content will be updated automatically.

Each site or software will differ as to how to insert an RSS feed, so you’ll have to investigate that depending on what you use. If you have a webmaster for your site, he should know how to do this.

Here are examples of QBT feeds:

If you have a feed on your website from any of these three QBT sources, or know of one somewhere out there, let us know and we’ll add it to the list.

Friends and relatives have asked about our well-being, after seeing news about the rains and mudslides in Brazil over the past week. Most of the mudslides and deaths are occurring in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Earlier last week, however, five people died here in SJCampos after one neighborhood was buried in a mudslide, on the other side of town.

We ourselves are well and apparently in no danger. Thus far, we’ve only been inconvenienced by the rains, drying clothes and getting around.

This afternoon, however, on our way to Taubate, we arrived in the city immediately after a strong storm had blown through. Large limbs were strewn across the avenues, blocking some lanes entirely. The school where we’re meeting this month (we lost our location at the hotel, which closed down) was inundated, but we were able to meet in a corner where no leaks were dripping. Though the sound of water in another corner was present throughout our meeting. UPDATE: see pics of downed trees in the city.

We’re not aware, at this point, of any Christians having lost lives or property, though that may change any time.

We thank you for your kind expressions of concern and, as always, covet your prayers for our family and work.

(BTW, you can now sign up for email notices whenever this site is updated. See in the right column under “Subscribe by email.” Insert your email and go for it.)

Your inspirational graphic image for today:

Based on the graphic above, here’s your short poem for today.

WRITE ON THE HEART, by J. Randal Matheny

Your name in sand will wash to sea,
Or fade with time when carved in a tree,
Don’t write in vain on the cold blue sky,
But on the heart where love won’t die.

Old people say that they don’t make music like they used to. In 1911, one hundred years ago, Irving Berlin wrote the song, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band.” Listening to this, as sung by Bessie Smith in 1927, one just might have to admit that the old folk are right.

A short poem today from Fred G. Bowles, a Tin Pan Alley songwriter. Whatever else he wrote, this sentiment continues to be valid for our day.

A Song of the Road

I lift my cap to Beauty, I lift my cap to Love;
I bow before my Duty, and know that God’s above!
My heart through shining arches of leaf and blossom goes;
My soul, triumphant, marches through life to life’s repose.
And I, through all this glory, nor know, nor fear my fate—
The great things are so simple, the simple are so great!

Thanks to StresslessCountry.com for the Bowles poem.

Idea of the day: Write your whole year in 2010 on a 4×6 card (or A6), depending on where you’re from: “My Year on an A6 Card.”

It will give you a birds-eye perspective of what you did during the year.

Your couplet for today:

To see like God, through time and men and gales,
He gives this gift, to know that good prevails. -JRM

Short poem, by unknown source, which I almost never pass forward, so today is a very, very rare exception:

“Whoso draws nigh to God
one step through doubtings dim,
God will advance a mile
in blazing light to him.”

Thought for the day:

Only God can make what starts badly end well.