Poems, Personal Stories, and Observations

Archive for October, 2021

I Long to Dwell

Self-knowledge:

I long to dwell in a gentle place

Where acceptance doesn’t depend on race.

Where sins are forgiven, each person driven

By self-knowledge of their own sin.

Understanding:

I long to dwell where people smile;

They say to me, “Sit down a while.”

They listen quietly, as do I;

And understanding, we say “aye”.

Safety:

I long to dwell where children are safe

No longer victims of hate or rape.

No longer killed inside the womb,

Nor harmed by parents’ angry gloom.

Growth:

I long to dwell with an inner peace,

Having confessed my anger and grief,

No longer concerned what others think —

Nor under their opinions shrink.

Humility:

I long to love as Jesus loves,

To fly like an eagle or a dove,

To have a purpose that fits like a glove,

And remember my gifts have come from above.

Real Heroes

So many people go about quietly doing their jobs and fulfilling their family and/or civic duties. Some of their work may be dangerous, or sometimes achingly boring or mundane. They may never be famous. They may never be rich. There is nothing glamorous about them. Yet they are real heroes.

Who Can Stand?

“If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.” (Psalm 130:3-4)

Wow! Indeed, who can stand before a holy, pure God? If He were like humans, He would have destroyed us long ago. Humans constantly find fault with one another. But the Lord is patient and kind. Yes, we will suffer consequences for our sins, but unlike many people, once we have repented, God forgets our sins. (see Psalm 103:11-13)

A Piece of Heaven

What a gift to walk today

‘Midst falling leaves, by river’s run.

To hear the birds and crickets sing,

Walk under trees in dappled sun.

I do not know this wild wood-land,

Suburban-bred, not woodsman’s child.

Yet, not so wild as it could be;

The asphalt makes the trail seem mild.

Some leaves that fell, so many pressed

By feet and wheels, a thousand times,

As if the leaves on trail embossed,

Of passing life to be the signs.

And mild, too, the weath’r today;

It draws the people out to play

They walk, they talk, they bike, they run.

A peaceful time; most smile and wave.

In wilder places I have been,

But urban trails, they make me smile.

Oasis in a crowded world,

A piece of heaven for a while.

A Worthless Slave?

“So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’” (Luke 17:10).

In his book, “Jesus, the Master Psychologist,” Dr. Ray Guarendi comments on the above passage: “Jesus never questions the infinite value of a person … [Jesus’] counsel: When you do what is expected of you, do not expect approval.” Guarandi continues, “Don’t seek praise when acting praiseworthy. [A worthless slave] is not a worthless human being … Being a worthless servant is the path to being a worthy disciple.”

In other words, we are infinitely valuable, but it is God, not ourselves, Who provides the value. Whatever we do to serve Him is not to our credit, but is only what we would be expected to do, because He is worthy of all service.

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