Nothing says that I
Must help that man
Stuck in the snow
Staunch his bleeding, call a cab
Not a damn law, no!
If I choose to render help
And lean on common sense
And things run foul
And harm still comes
Will I have good defense?
Better leave the boy
I think, to pine
And thirst and fail
I can’t be sued or spanked or charged
Or find myself in Jail.
But do I only answer
To that cop and court downtown?
Or do the words of
Still bring me down?
Took a session
Again this morning
Have to do it, they say
Or I die
Used to think I was made
Of pretty good stuff.
Shakes you up to realize
All is not well inside
And critically so.
Really has put a kink in my life.
But I put in the time
Let my mind wander
To other topics
Or just “veg”.
Read a little something.
Seems to help and refresh
In a strange sort of way.
Sometimes even get to meet
An interesting new face.
And it doesn’t go on for ever
See, it’s already time to wrap up.
Just let a few of these people
Go on ahead of me
And then I’ll be at the front door…
“Oh Father Evans
Good to see you
Really enjoyed your homily
(Shake the bloke’s hand.
Down the steps and home safe.
Until next time
(This poem is the property of Anthony Gomez of Moncks Corner, South Carolina…but he delights in putting it out that people might look long and hard. Thanks AG.)
Fallen from Jacob’s ladder
into Jacob’s well
The maidens fair
I poured myself
a glass of fire
Took a backwards step
yet surged onward
moved beyond sight
crept in the light of day
under a veil of night
Poured a glass of sand
stoked embers of imagination
a glass of solid glass
lay heavy in my hand
Poured a glass of knowledge
yet inhaled deep of ignorance
throat hot dusty and dry
a clear cool mountain stream
a rapid litany of rationalizations
an ice cap ‘pon a sleeping volcano
a misstep well aware of the futility of lies
Poured a glass of understanding
then ruptured from the pain
poured a glass of conscience
sight seeped from eyes
into a glass…poured
A Merciful gust of wind
caused the glass to teeter
eddied and frothed inside
the glass toppled
spilling into an ocean
corrupted by a deluge of acid rain
Cast out by an angry sea
drawn towards the Son
On the Breath of a Craftsman
resurrected as a crystal vase
filled to over flow
a rose of many vibrant colors
immersed in Living water
Blessings be to those
of withered thighs
and hobbled walks
for they shall see
the promises fulfilled
20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
Read Luke 17: 7-10
Servants have busied themselves all day at their Master’s command. Evening and dinner hour approaches and they are called inside to attend to His dinner table. This will be before they take a rest or feed themselves at the end of their industrious day. In this parable Jesus put appropriate words into their mouths:
10. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
Unprofitable. The Almighty gains nothing from our input. All the cattle of a thousand hills are his. See Psalm 50: 7-15. We must stop wasting time kissing ourselves over the inconvenience of some small service or gift in His Name. Calvary dwarfs it all. Gethsemane dwarfs it all. The healing of the demoniac dwarfs it all. The widow’s mite dwarfs it all.
But we receive these instructions? Do unto the least of these my little ones. Go ye into all the world and preach. Give and it shall be given unto you. I believe that these are all preparation, growth in God-likeness and sympathy with His agenda. He is developing partners who shall ebb and flow in service as a corporate entity. Forget the little chestnuts of each individual and the peg-board for all the blue stars of “well done”. Read again 1 Corinthians 12 about His Body as a collective.
The rewards, in the main, come later. Presently love must compel us to till the field and spread the board. Unselfishness. Lowliness. Yokefellow. Remember those words, would you.
The Worshiper by Suzanne Davis Harden
It won’t go away
And I’ve come to you so many times
And begged you
And reasoned with you
‘Til I was hoarse.
Only crickets outside my window
Were more persistent.
I’ve tried to pinpoint the sin
The threshold for entrance
Of this torment.
I just don’t know
Not perfect and never will be
Your Spirit casts no light
And then in a spasm of religion
I posit all kinds of misdemeanours.
Or perhaps I go back
To the muck before I knew you.
Is that still whipping me?
Is it really under the blood?
Is there someone I need to forgive?
I thought many slates were clean.
Or did I just forget?
I go back to some of those old arenas
And feel the hate kicking in.
Didn’t you remove it?
Or is there a Bible verse
Some remedial saying of yours
That I must rehearse like a wind-up doll?
I’m so tired
And know of no one
To help shoulder this dinosaur
And that hurts
Like a constant aching chest.
So many are gone
And I told myself
That it must be the price
The constant lonely drizzle.
Seems like I can only bring it to you.
Do you really have the patience
For all of this?
Am I like that aggravating neighbour
Asking for yet another favour.
But now, even saying this,
I sense that your ears are available
Your shoulders are broad
Your eyes are clear
Your hands are big and capable
Your feet have walked darkest corridors
Have also danced in halls
Of honest celebration
Your tears are liberal
Your hope is dauntless
Your smile comes at surprising times
Even for me, your whining little brother.
Your word says that I am
To count it all joy
I can’t do that;
Have joy when the thing
Is still holding on.
Can you re-mold me to that extent?
Wouldn’t it just be unbelief?
I choose to step aside
To let you have greater room to move.
Rescue me, Jesus
Astonish me. But more importantly
Hold me…and never let me go
And let me know it’s so…
I will shut up now
The inner ear registers:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush[a] and Seba in your stead.
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life. Isaiah 43
For this is what the high and exalted One says—
he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place,
but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite. Isaiah 57
Robert Duvall pretty much bank-rolled the film The Apostle. A much flawed protagonist, but loving the Lord Jesus, being totally honest with Him and expecting great things through faith and the operation of the Holy Ghost. Almost a case-study on the environment of tent-meeting Pentecostals. How they used to kick up the sawdust with joy!
The guy in front had a gray pick-up truck with a healthy covering of dust, a banged up tail-gate, two sheets of five-eighths ply in the box and a bumper sticker that read “My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter”. Pretty effective. Not the ubiquitous fish sign or some scripture verse citation, but rather a real “living in it” message.
My Boss - I claim Him as my own. I am happy to do so. He calls the shots. He has a large bank of experience. He is ultimately responsible for the success of the undertaking. I learn from Him daily, and I do not want to disappoint Him. His wages can’t be compared to anything else. They include contentment, provision, health, peace and blessed assurance.
Is - At this very moment. I claim Him and follow His lead. This is not a past experience of a position I once had. I know a good thing when I see it and I am not leaving. I’ve tried others before. No comparison.
Jewish – Don’t really see many of them in the trades these days. But my Boss would not be prouder of any other undertaking. He loves to build up and restore. In His younger days He took the necessary time to learn from the Masters of the time, and to take His knocks without ever lowering standards held long by His race, a people chosen by God for reasons best known to Him.
Carpenter – He is always talking about the project. He insists upon taking the necessary effort for a solid foundation. He is in no hurry. He is not shaken by those who mock His methods. Went through some very rough stretches. We build with Him and get closer to the blueprints with every new endeavor. Apparently there is a grand Edifice that He works on privately until the Day when His crew get to take their respective quarters at no charge. But the work and learning will always continue. Not one of us foresees a listless retirement!
Sincerity and Truth tour the noisy marketplace. They speak meekly; some say weakly. But the marketplace does hold wounded little ones desperately searching for something genuine, unselfish, restful. They hear the music of Sincerity and Truth and they are drawn as if by a comforting magnet. Perhaps some portion of the song is a surprise or somewhat unvarnished, but no matter.
Jeremiah 9: 3 And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies:
but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth;
for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord.
Saw this guy down at the corner. Strange looking dude. Name’s Jeremiah. He seemed to want to talk. Obviously a religious sort.
I told him that we had been members in good standing for more than eight years at Jubilee Shining Spirit Assembly. He asked about our main thrust. I was quick to tell him about the upcoming end times conference with speakers from Oklahoma. I mentioned the men’s mission group about to leave for Equador on a two week building project. Last month’s neighbourhood carnival in the Church parking lot had been a surprising success. Every second Saturday the men have a breakfast. Regular services are twice on a Sunday morning.
He took all this in his stride. His countenance was a little bit spooky. He simply said “That’s all fine, but are your people valiant for the truth?”
What did that mean?
(Note: valiant meaning courageous, heroic, stout-hearted.
Do we name the name of Jesus in public and in the day-to-day with an evident sense of reverence and trust?
Is language clean? Are pathways unsullied? Do we take a stand against slander, mockery and gutter humour? Do we have a facility with the scriptures for daily application and counsel? Are we quick to listen and slow to speak? Are we sensitive to God-given opportunities to speak a word in season? Are we instant in prayer? Are we recognized as peacemakers? Can we sustain our confidence in the midst of trials? Are we bashing down modern-day idols? Are we involved in areas of social justice? Do we consider the Gospels as most necessary food and encouragement?)