How much we have to learn! — Hard lessons
They must be, for God returns
And again to teach them. So we pray
To be good students, saved from suffering
Repeated pains, for lack of wisdom.
Soon will I leave these limits of body and earth,
Where dreams explode the finite tears and mirth,
To go to less or greater life beyond,
For endless power or a dark eternal bond,
For freedom’s joy, that broad and easy peace,
Or chains of agony’s loss that never cease.
My steps this day, my choices along my path,
Decide my just reward of bliss or wrath.
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To hear the Word and never let attention drop,
To change in heart, and leave all damning sins behind,
In faith, immersed and born anew, that saving step;
Do special good to God’s people of spiritual mind,
Let blessings in Christ — and sharing the news — never stop.
When nothing seems to happen, God works still,
When time appears to stop, the Lord still acts,
The emptiness is the moment he can fill,
And knowing he doesn’t rest, I can relax.
The mind boils with brimming thoughts
More than tongue and lips can tell,
More than sharpest conscience can cull,
But one should dominate all the rest,
Until of this the head is full,
And the searching soul knows so well
That Christ is all, and the rest forgets.
He prayed, unsure his words would rise
To heaven. He sowed in doubt, no eyes
To see a harvest. He read the pages
Of Scripture, clouded the God of ages.
Surprised, he saw the walking dead,
The mute speak words, the poor find bread,
Despair embrace hope, the weak become strong —
And he was glad to be proved wrong.
What happens here today the world ignores,
At best, or upon our precious faith it pours
Its scorn and hate — the bread and wine we share,
The blessed Name we call upon in prayer.
This people of love whose holy kiss is true,
Were immersed and washed, in Christ were born anew,
’Tis not by sight they walk that righteous Way,
But hearing God’s faithful promise they obey.
Given a living hope, God’s children charge
Ahead, his power in humble hearts grown large,
The bracing news of Christ their only creed —
Against them, nothing in this world can succeed.
and I shall walk in a wide place,
for I have sought your precepts. Psa 119.45
Wide, open space to move and breathe,
Of which the ancients wrote, they prayed
To walk in freedom, sure of their step,
Their progress certain, confident saints
Who knew God’s blessing and presence.
In crowded cities, with busy agendas,
Little do we know of openness,
Of time to reflect, with deeper thoughts;
Schedules tight around our throats—
O Lord, broaden our path of life.
No matter the emotion, truth remains:
Secure in Christ, over us he reigns,
And underneath the fleeting joys
Lies hope in the Cross no power destroys.
When fall the tears of the breaking heart,
No pain can tear the truth apart,
That God in heaven guards my soul,
Protects my future safe and whole.
To teach ten thousand times the truth —
Simple and sound — is never a burden.
No word is wonderful like the gospel,
That offer of pardon under the Cross.
What freedom of speech, afraid of none,
Assured of God’s protecting hand!
Have you an ear to hear the news?
Come know the Lord, our God of love!