by J. Randal Matheny © 2011

If words have power, and more the better arranged,
When chosen well, that men and women be changed,
Than this no better motive can we cite,
For precious hours and toil engaged to write.

To each a gift has God in wisdom given,
That we by grace might feel ourselves driven
To put to use for him, as best we can,
For greater glory of God and life of man.

‘Tis not a choice, divine constraint we feel —
To bury his gracious gift, would be to steal;
Our greatest need, to hear his warm applause,
For using this single talent for his cause.

Leave us our modest art, not five or ten;
The Master comes, and we have lines to pen.

by J. Randal Matheny © 2011

Another royal pair have wed,
We wish them happiness;
For every test and trial ahead,
May God give strength and bless.

The rules apply, to high and low,
For daily married bliss,
Let love be true, not pomp and show,
Forgive the word amiss.

Every jewel has its worth,
And every joy its price,
For love at home, the wealth of earth,
The whole would not suffice.

by J. Randal Matheny © 2011

Between two pillars, shamed and shorn,
In the hall of pagans, bereft of powers,
Betrayed by passion, trapped in treachery,
Stood Samson chained, by enemies chastened.

The hand of God upon him gone,
Divine strength had left him stranded,
Now weak in body as well as his will,
The butt of jokes, this blind judge.

Suspended in silence at festal sounds,
The blind gains sight and understands,
He’d played the fool, and hard he fell;
For God’s kingdom his gift had been given.

A final request: to make men quail
Before the almighty hand that moved,
In Samson’s locks, for Israel’s liberty;
A final push destroyed the pagans.

by J. Randal Matheny © 2011

In chains he stood before both rulers and kings,
Two years in prison for not a single crime,
While not a day was wasted in the wings,
He knew the Lord would free him in his time.

He spoke, “I’ve had God’s help down to today,
As I proclaim his grace to great and small;
What I proclaim, did not Moses say,
That Christ must suffer and rise from death,” said Paul.

The apostle, sure of God, harbored no doubt,
Never thought that heaven’s promise was breached,
Never whined, nor bargained to be let out.
What did he do those years in prison? He preached!

by J. Randal Matheny © 2011

Repeat yourself to a child,
To the hard of hearing, and dull,
But not to me, who’s riled
You think I’m thick of skull.

I hate to say it twice,
What I have said before;
Repeating is a vice,
Repeaters are a bore.

In case you miss the cues,
My words beyond your ken;
I won’t repeat, I refuse!
There! I’ve said it again.

by J. Randal Matheny © 2011

Some people wish upon a star,
I hope upon a cross;
They measure gain by who they are,
My profit comes by loss.

Some live to do to others no harm,
But not do what they could;
I live, by God’s almighty arm,
To do the greatest good.

And what, you ask, a good so great
Like this could ever be?
To bear a soul to Heaven’s gate,
For all eternity.

A denomination here exists called “The Church of Christ in Brazil.” My translation, literal. Today, a follower on my church Twitter account wrote to ask if we were “in Brazil” or “of Brazil,” from the one that had a certain pastor as president. I wrote to say that I never read in the New Testament about the church having a president.

Just goes to demonstrate that you can’t say “church” with anything attached to it without people thinking in denominational terms. I usually avoid it. On the Internet, however, I’ve used “church of Christ,” among other descriptions, so brethren can locate us. I’m not so sure that it’s a good trade-off, though. Continue reading