To break free
of the selfish me,
the poor victim —
the need and lack —
gratitude is the need,
thanksgiving the ticket
out from chains
of mental bondage.
The fight for simple things is fierce.
Life is not an easy road.
Sin and human thought confuse.
Our God is one, his way is clear.
In the spiritual realm, our senses deceive us. The invisible is what is most real and durable. All we see will perish.
Paul says we walk by faith, not by sight, 2 Cor 5.7. The way of God is not perceived or pursued by physical means. Neither can it be predicted or produced by material objects. Continue reading
The tree that towered above the rest
Came crashing down, toppled by Wind;
Though tall and broad, with terrible boast,
Its trunk was hollow, and failed to stand.
What’s left are dying roots and chips,
A hole in the ground, and damaged wall,
But, soon, repairs and city sweepers
Will cover all signs of the sudden fall.
So God was there, as always,
Himself complete, the three of him,
and we want to ask, how long
of eternity before he decided
to create — what a nonsensical question!
As if minutes and seconds counted
before the First Creative Word to Let
there be light! — when nothing contingent
or iffy existed. As I was saying, so God was there —
not that there was a place — for space didn’t come
along until later — and he spoke it all
into existence — it didn’t just happen.
He made it happen.
And he had a reason for making it happen.
And it all fit, and worked, until somebody
goofed it up (we’ll not call names). And still
it works, because God keeps it going.
So he spoke not only the universe
into existence, but shouted out
the reason as well, for those who’re inclined
And for those who aren’t,
they can always believe in evolution,
or some such nonsense.
In time, the weights of life increase,
God exercises the working soul.
The lifting strains will never cease,
His power you learn more and more to extol.
Burdens remain, the heart discerns
To release them from the inner man.
Though worldly chains may bind the hand,
Upon eternal grace the spirit turns.
Today, I meet with God, in faith,
In deep and copious blessings I bathe,
I live in truth in Jesus’ death.
Today, my needs the Lord provides,
His tender mercy to justice adds,
And changes all my attitudes.
Today, the future holds no fear,
From here eternity’s not far,
For God-who-Is draws me near.
At such a time as this has God
placed you where you are, to act
on behalf of his people. Many will scoff
and scorn you. Silence is not an option.
Speak surely and firmly, with love,
the Word of God on your lips, arising
from your heart full of goodness.
Jeremiah’s group has room for more,
a lonely prophet with meager results,
among a stubborn people with eyes wide shut.
The Lord may start again through you.
Doubt not his power. The Kingdom seeds will sprout
where least the world expects. An open heart,
a will of flint for God’s devoted service,
this fertile earth will bear a hundredfold.
Patience! Be whom you ought, do what you must,
and let the Spirit rain upon your planting.
He blows at will, you cannot see his work,
just when you think he’s left your field of sowing,
the ground breaks, the tender shoots appear,
harvest promise gladdens and strengthens faith.
God does not string you along,
but tests you, proves you, burns
away the dross, prepares your soul for better things.
Keep on, keep on, that day is coming.
To you I cry, O Lord of lights,
Illumine my soul, and hear my plea;
The devil is near with flaming darts,
Make swift my feet, that I might flee.
Come touch my heart and make me whole,
Fill every need, make glory shine;
And under your hand, no plan shall fail,
When Word and Deed in faith combine.
Which is the more dangerous sin, the one that creates a chemical dependency, such as drugs or alcohol, and destroys a body, or the one that creates an emotional or behavioral aberration, such as envy or complaining, and twists a person’s spirit?
We know the answer to that, do we not? All sin is dangerous. But perhaps the physical effects of many sins are not evident, so we attribute less weight to them. (Probably most or all sins have some physical manifestation.) We treat them with less seriousness. They are more respectable to us.
In a way, however, all sin is addictive. All sin traps the sinner. All sin is controlling.
The wicked will be captured by his own iniquities,
and he will be held by the cords of his own sin. Prov 5.22.
The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, but the faithless will be captured by their own desires. Prov 11.6.
The Hebrew word behind “captured” is used most of the time in the Old Testament of a city, of men, of spoils, or even of a kingdom being captured or taken, according to the Theological Wordbook of the OT. It is a powerful image for the effects of sin in one’s life. Continue reading