Friday, September 27, 2013

The Falling

This is a poem based on a true story...

Perception’s ounce crushed as the obscure pounds
Brings a glorious steeple well to the ground
Angel’s cry to Heaven while hell abounds
In quakes and thunder all that makes no sound

A fools den of minions report all is well in hand
From within the halls and walls where no evil was banned
As the legions from hell rise and take command
Lies build up their strongholds where no truth would stand

Sever the head quickly so the flock it may divide
Preach long for false unity that will never abide
Let the evil fester for in plain sight to hide
Till righteousness overthrown from within kills the bride

Lost without due diligence it lacks critical thinking
Stench from asphalt roads to hell poured black and stinking
It was over in a flash without even blinking
No wonder ship’s abandoned left to her sinking

Polemic pack planned the betraying revolt
Though some innocent, not ignorant, were the first to bolt
Kingdom coming halted was the intended result
Leaving but a shell indwelled by a cult

The leadership corrupted perpetuates the lie
Vote in another leader and kiss the future goodbye
Slowly truth emerges but no one is asking why
The body starts to wither on its way to die

One Elder holds his position falsely unto this day
Another was later chosen though on his watch betray
One can only wonder what holds the beast at bay
If God no longer hears them to whom then do they pray?

In the distance a remnent watches with a knowing nod
At the frailty of the gestures not altogether broad
And the peculure glances that all just seem so odd
To fix all that's broken would take an act of God

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Spiritual Fast-Food

When you go to church, listen to the worship music, the messages, read the bulletins and meet and greet others does any of it really sink in? I know that’s a lot to answer for. But I’m asking to try to get you to think, if only for the moment, about how you would personally answer that. Because I believe part of our culture here in the United States has crept over into our faith. And what I’m talking about here isn’t a good thing. Today, Americans seem to treat their faith like they would order up a meal at a drive through restaurant. It’s just this thing that we do to get it out of the way so we can get to the next thing.

For those who may be wondering where the inspiration for all of this came from…if you guessed from an experience at a fast food restaurant, you’d be correct. Today I went through a drive through at one of America’s better known fast food chains for lunch because I was in a hurry to get back to work. Of course, they got my order wrong. I ordered the larger sized meal and they gave me the small because that is all I paid for. At least they gave me napkins and ketchup without my having to ask. That’s the least they could do for taking down the wrong order and then making me park and wait until they brought it out to me. I was kind of in a hurry.

Besides, I was hungry! But then I got back, ate my meal and realized that what I ordered was more than enough food. I was actually grateful the restaurant made the mistake. I was satisfied, instead of bloated. I paid less money. Besides, it’s not like I need any more calories. I’m already considerably overweight. But the whole thing got me to thinking. Is this how I treat my faith sometimes? Like a fast-food drive through window?


I know this notion might seem silly. But haven’t you every just gone to church one Sunday and that was the first and only spiritual thing you did that week? Or let’s say you did many spiritual things that week, but do you remember what songs were sung or what they were about? What about the message from the pulpit? Did you remember it? What were the key points? Did you take notes? If so, did you re-read through those notes a few times during the week? If the sermons at your church are published online or handed out on CD, do you listen to them again? Or maybe you’re like many of us and just push on till the next Sunday.

I can say that I personally don’t do a lot of the things I’m asking about 100% of the time. Sometimes I do. Sometimes, I even do well with a few of those things over an extended period of time. But I’m certainly not perfect. I let these kinds of things slide from time-to-time. And it isn’t the devil making me forget or anything like that. I’m just human. But I’m human living in a culture where a lot of what we do is spend as little time as necessary to move one, but never going deeper. I wonder what I’m missing.

Think of it this way: You go through the drive-through for a burger, fries and a shake. How much of that meal will you remember a day from now? You probably choked it down while driving in your car (maybe on your way to a Wednesday night Bible study, hopefully). It may sustain you for a bit. But is it really good for you? No. Was it good to you, compared to that really nice home-cooked meal with the family where all the food groups were proportionally represented? Which kind of meal do you think you’re more inclined to remember the next day, or even the following week?

I think we can very easily slip into the habit of just going to church and then forgetting everything we experienced during the service. It’s just how we do things today. And it’s a shame too, isn’t it? Think about how much more enriched our lives would be if we made a little more time for what God is trying to do in our lives and in the lives around us. Better yet, think about this. Doesn’t God deserve our best? He gives us His. He sent his one and only Son to die on a cross for all of our sins so that whoever would believe in Him would have everlasting life. But while we’re here on this earth, we’re also promised we’d have life more abundantly. Don’t we all want more out of life?

I challenge everyone who reads this to really soak it all in this coming Sunday. But take it the next steps. Take notes about the message, take notes about the songs. Look up the songs on the internet and listen to them again. Find the words to those songs and read them several times. If your church makes CDs of their services and/or puts the sermons online, listen to the messages a few times during the week. Make sure to jot down some notes about others in your congregation. Pray for them throughout the week. Read the Bible every single day, even if it’s for just 15 minutes.

I promise you that God will move in your life in a powerful way. Whenever we move towards God, he moves towards us. Besides, isn’t time we all kicked the spiritual fast-food habit? Don’t we, as believers, want to have a spiritual feast? I know I do. So, I think I’ll quit typing now so I can go read the Word. I need it after that burger and fries anyway. :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

What If?

What if those who sought out fortune or fame started looking to be significant in His Name?
What if those who stole from their poverty started giving like the rich that they ought to be?
What if the rich gave more to the needy instead finding ways to become more greedy?
What if the men with the biggest ambitions sanctified their egos in God Almighty?
What if Christians repented of their sins and followed Jesus while they walked uprightly?
What if musicians stopped singing for their own praises and started praising God themselves?
What if preachers started preaching more hope instead of only the consequences of hell?
What if churches started getting smaller but started spreading their love even further?
What if the size of a church wasn’t measured by the numbers but the character of its congregation?
What if we stopped politicizing the environment and just actually cared about all of creation?
What if the Christian faith became the answer instead of another talking-head politician?
What if Christians walked out their faith in God instead of whatever their current condition?
What if believers had a little more faith instead of the sin of worry and all that it takes?
What if we asked the Lord to do something in us then maybe He could do more through or for us?
What if we were more like the light on the hill and leaned more on our faith and less on our will?
What if we cared less about sports teams and players and spent more time in the Word and in prayer?
What if we boasted less about our history and looked forward to what God wants us to be?
What if we stopped focusing on the odds we can’t seem to beat and started being His hands and feet?
What if Christian views were less worldly and broad and focused more on the power of God?
What if we talked less about the color of another’s skin and spent that time repenting for our sins?
What if we worried less about our personal freedoms and spent more time building God’s Kingdom?
What if we prayed more, gave more, displayed more of the Christ who dwells within us all?
What if we kneeled more, healed more, revealed more? Would this dying world hear His call?
What if His chosen started reading their Bibles, went out into the world and made more disciples?What if we stopped asking “What if?” and just went out and did it?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Patience

Patience is the invisible way through which great things are done. People often marvel at the gifts of others. But what is really impressing them, often without their knowledge, is the work of patience. Nothing worthwhile is achieved without it. No talent is given to anyone without a great measure of patience to bring it to fruition. Of course, hard work, efficiency and expanding of one’s knowledge base are also factors. But none of those will be as fruitful without exercising a good measure of patience. Patience coupled with hard work consistently creates a great deal of success over time. Somehow when these two things work in conjunction, they seem to multiply like compounded interest. It’s a principle of generating wealth, but not just of money. Patience can generate a wealth of knowledge, wisdom, talent and even the making of great wonders. Patience confounds the impatient. Patience is a student and a teacher. Patience often teaches the teacher while she’s teaching the student. The best lessons I ever learned required the most patience. The best I ever taught was when I exercised the most patience. Patience is like a muscle – the more you exercise it the stronger it becomes. Patience comforts the wise and confounds a fool. Those who lack patience cannot understand what appears to be meaningless waiting. Those who have patience understand that patience isn’t passive. It’s active. That means, one should work while they wait. Put your hands and mind to work and time seems to melt away. You will then begin to make more things happen. Patience isn’t just a virtue. It’s a success secret known only to those who attempt to master it. Patience isn’t time wasted, it’s time well spent. When you lose your patience, you often lose more than that. When you lose your patience you often find and inferior replacement. Finding patience is more valuable than anything you can buy. Never confuse patience with being indecisive. We often spend more time fixing bad decisions we’d not have made had we been patient. Patience is the author of efficiency. Patience doesn’t slow progress, it slows stupidity. It is said, “there’s two sides to every story” but a patient man learns there can often be more than two. Patience exposes the plots of evil men. Patience is no fool. Never pray for patience. We often exercise a great deal of patience from birth and then we’re taught by lesser men to turn away from it. Living a long life well is evidence of a patient person. “Wanting it now,” is best prescribed after the appropriate amount of patience has been exercised. If you see very little patience, hang around a long time and you will eventually see it. If you lack patience, then just you wait. The more patience is suffered, the less it can teach you. I’m more afraid of losing my patience than of finding more. Patience builds character. Patience is a good character trait. If you want to build another’s character, teach them patience. It may take longer but it rewards exponentially. No one ever got to be patient being impatient. Every day can be an exercise in patience. Patience holds her tongue while impatience speaks her mind. Patience is a demonstration of love that you can’t show if you don’t have it. Patience is a quality of love: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant - 1 Corinthians 13:4. The patient man makes room in his life for blessings while an impatient man rejects blessings. There are no shortcuts on the path to patience. Patience is the acceptance of the way things are and the willingness to wait until things change. Patience brings welfare, the future and gives people hope: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11. Patience brings peace: A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention. – Proverbs 15:18. “Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.” – Brian Adams "Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice.” – George Jackson (1941-1971). "How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?” – William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), Othello, Act II, sc. 3 Patience can help you see what is really important: “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened” - Winston Churchill. There are those who seem greedy, and really they just lack patience. Patience is wisdom’s best friend. Oftentimes, the biggest temptation we have in a day is to exercise our own impatience. Patience is both natural and learned. If you didn’t take a long time becoming patient, then you probably aren’t. I have one really good reason to be patient with myself and other. And one good reason is all I need. My reason for trying to master patience is because my God has been so patient with the likes of me. The phrase, “work in progress” is born of the witness to patience. If you don’t have time to be patient, then you haven’t learned the value of it yet. There are times when I look and even sound angry. I’m probably just looking for my patience. The only way anyone can take your patience from you is if you let them have it. Impatience breeds fear. Fear kills dreams. Sometimes people will appear to be doing nothing, when in fact they’re being patient. It is possible to be in a hurry and be patient at the same time – but it doesn’t usually look very pretty. When I’m being impatient, invariably I’m getting in God’s way. When I’m being patient, God seems to have His way. The only way to do something fast, well is to first do it slow, well. This requires discipline, but also his best friend known as patience. Frustration is often times the lack of patience. Patience is the exercising of wisdom. “Do it nice, not twice,” is born out of patience. You only think you want what you want right now. But leave patience out of the mix and you may find that you get something other than what you really wanted – or needed. Impatience gives way to decisions that only solve problems for the temporary, often creating more problems for the future. Patience gives way to solutions that are long-lasting, even eternal and often steer one clear enough to avoid other future problems. The greatest gift children can give their parents is patience. And the greatest gift that parents can give to their children is the very same thing. Patience keeps you employed. Like many relationships, I started mine with patience in an adversarial way. Over time, however, we’ve become good friends. Whenever I’m short on patience, I just wait till I find some. Patience can help you overcome temptation. Patience requires a tenth of the work that impatience does, or maybe less! Patience doesn’t necessarily come with age but with practice. I’ve come to learn that impatience is not my friend. He gets me into a lot of trouble that usually only patience can get me out of. Patience builds wealth and impatience builds poverty. Many a failure can be attributed to a lack of patience, yet success is often built on the foundation of an abundance of patience. Yes, I’m a work in progress. That means I’m living proof of God’s infinite patience. Ah, I have been freely given so I shall freely give also! Anxiousness is the human desire to override our patience. Being patient means the willingness to wait for days for what may come in a moment. Be careful not to judge another’s patience. A five-year old boy may very well have patience beyond his years if he is willing to wait quietly for five minutes. In other words, exercise your patience while others build theirs. You’ll grow your own and theirs! The cost of not waiting can cause one to spend the rest of one’s life regretting a decision. Impatience is the author of regret. I’m only as good as my patience will allow me to be. Building one’s patience is like waiting for the sip of a fine wine – it’s worth the wait. There is none more patient than God. Take one quick look at this world around you and its plain to see why He needs to be. We should be thankful for His patience with us as well as His willingness to teach us to be more like Him. Being patient is evidence or the fruit of growing in Christ-likeness. Praise our Creator for His patience and His teaching us to be patient. We are not worthy of such a gift, yet He loves us enough to give it anyway. Love is patient. God is love. It’s a wonderful and amazing thing. Praise the Lord and Amen!

Congratulations! The time in which it took you to read all of this you just grew your patience all the more. I appreciate your patience.

To emphasize the point I’m trying to make about patience, it will be another year before my next entry. Just kidding! See you next time.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Best Work

I've noticed I do my best work when I'm prayed up. It also helps when there's less of me in the mix and more of God. He can do far more exceedingly and abundantly than I could ever think or ask. So the next time you want to do your best, try praying to the Holy Spirit to guide you and then just try to stay out of the way!