Posted tagged ‘Jesus’

The Shepherd’s Tale

December 29, 2014

I posted this poem and drawing a couple years back as my Christmas gift to you.  I haven’t written a Christmas poem since, so here it is again. Enjoy, edify, encourage.  Merry Christmas!

 

 

 A Shepherd’s Tale

The city below was hushed and dark,
and starlight lit the hill.
The sheep were sleeping soundly,
and the night around was still.

Then in the quiet came a light,
and we lay in awe and fear.
The angel of the Lord had come,
and we our dooms did wait to hear.

But he bade us be not frightened,
for his tidings were only good.
A savior had been born he said
in Bethlehem which nearby stood.

A sign he gave us ere he left
to help us know the child.
We’d find him wrapped in swaddling clothes
in a manger – and we smiled.

No sooner had he finished
than a multitude appeared,
who sang a song of praise and joy,
and then the heavens cleared.

A moment thus we sat and gaped
then one by one we stood.
We ran as one to find the babe,
and share these tidings good.

We found them, as the angel said,
and gathered round the manger.
With Mary and Joseph we worshiped there,
then ran to tell the neighbors.

Many heard but couldn’t believe
that shepherds such as we
Would ever have been favored so
that angels we should see.

So we went back to find our sheep
all there and sleeping still,
And many nights we sat and sang
the angels’ song upon the hill.

Busyness

October 2, 2012

Do you ever feel like you don’t have time?

Your day is stuffed full and there are still things that don’t get done because you run out of time.  Whether it’s correspondence, housekeeping, errands, phone calls, or (horrors!) blogging, something has to wait another day because this one has no room left.

Sometimes I feel like that at work.  I stuff everything I can into an 8 hour day, and there’s still stuff left for tomorrow or next week.  It’s a good feeling to know that I have plenty to do.  I like to stay busy.  It’s when I feel like I’m swamped at home as well that I begin to worry a little.

I don’t like feeling like my whole week’s schedule is so full that I don’t have any flexibility.  As you know, I am a homeschooler, so I’m used to being very flexible.  We could shift our schoolwork to another time of day at the drop of a phone call sometimes.  Mom would hear from someone that they needed help, and if necessary we would quickly rearrange our plans to accommodate.   Of course, we didn’t throw out our routine for little things, but we were free to change things on the fly.

I had one semester of school during my junior year of college in which I was taking 16 credits during the week and working 15 or so hours on the weekends.  For ten or twelve weeks straight.  The experience taught me that I need my family time, my friends time, and my hobby time if I’m going to be able to give my best in other areas.

If you are constantly on the go, you don’t get time to recharge.   You might think that you thrive on a fast-paced atmosphere and that you can handle the pressure, but I don’t think I’m on too shaky a limb when I guess that even people who feed off full schedules and interacting with other people need to spend some time apart now and again.

My biggest issue with full schedules is that they don’t leave room for spontaneous acts of kindness or for random phone calls or for chatting with your neighbors.  In a world where we are rapidly becoming connected with everyone except those closest to us – thanks to smart phones, email, and social media – I wonder how much busy-ness has effected our ministries.

I work for a Christian organization where people come first, and that includes employees as well as the people we serve.  I have witnessed my boss take time out of a very busy day to talk with an employee who just needs a pep talk, or who has a family situation they need to talk through.  I’ve tried to adopt this attitude myself, taking time to ask my coworkers how things are going, and being sensitive to responses.  Granted, I do have my own work to get done as well, and sometimes I have deadlines calling, but people come first.

I encourage you to think about your own priorities.  When someone calls you and needs to talk, are you available?  Or do you always have things going on?  I understand that you won’t always be able to take time for everyone.  Sometimes you are already having one of those conversations when someone else interrupts your busy day.  But is your natural response to say, “I’m too busy,” or do you look for a way to fit them in?  Think about it.

Jesus was teaching one day, and a whole houseful of people was listening, when the man with palsy was dropped through the roof by four determined friends.  Our Lord interrupted his teaching to deal with this man.  He could have asked him to wait until he was finished.  He could have asked the man to come back another time when He wasn’t so busy.  But He didn’t.  He addressed him then and there.  He answered the burning questions in the man’s heart when He told him that his sins were forgiven.  And then He told the man to rise and walk (in response to the things the scribes were thinking).  And Mark 2:12 says that those who saw “were all amazed, and glorified God.”

How busy are you?

Too busy to help a friend?  To chat with a neighbor?  To help out at church?  To get together with friends?

Or do you leave yourself time in your schedule for those unexpected ministries that God sends you?

Think about it!

My Christmas Gift to You!

December 25, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Shepherd’s Tale

The city below was hushed and dark,
and starlight lit the hill.
The sheep were sleeping soundly,
and the night around was still.

Then in the quiet came a light,
and we lay in awe and fear.
The angel of the Lord had come,
and we our dooms did wait to hear.

But he bade us be not frightened,
for his tidings were only good.
A savior had been born he said
in Bethlehem which nearby stood.

A sign he gave us ere he left
to help us know the child.
We’d find him wrapped in swaddling clothes
in a manger – and we smiled.

No sooner had he finished
than a multitude appeared,
who sang a song of praise and joy,
and then the heavens cleared.

A moment thus we sat and gaped
then one by one we stood.
We ran as one to find the babe,
and share these tidings good.

We found them, as the angel said,
and gathered round the manger.
With Mary and Joseph we worshiped there,
then ran to tell the neighbors.

Many heard but couldn’t believe
that shepherds such as we
Would ever have been favored so
that angels we should see.

So we went back to find our sheep
all there and sleeping still,
And many nights we sat and sang
the angels’ song upon the hill.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Bible Conference

October 21, 2011

I mentioned last week that I was headed to a Bible conference over the weekend.  It’s a conference my family has been attending the last few years, although so far we haven’t been able to have all seven of us go at the same time.  The conference is for those 15 or up, so the twins couldn’t go anyway, but so far only 3 or 4 of the rest of us have made it any given year.

I love going to this conference.  Not only is there great teaching over the three days, but I have a chance to catch up in person with several friends.  One young lady in particular.

This friend, whom I’ll nickname “Elphie” after one of her favorite characters, and I got a chance to hang out a lot this year.  We shared a cabin for the two nights and generally spent the rest of our time together.  Yes, we do correspond during the rest of the year, but her schedule is often swamped and mine fluctuates between busy and calm so emailing can be tough for both of us.

Elphie has been a great encouragement to me musically.  She has a great voice herself, and two years back she was asked to help lead worship because our regular guy had lost his voice from overuse.  When she encouraged me to join in, it gave me the confidence to step up and use my voice too.  And since then, I have built my confidence bit by bit to the point where I wasn’t even nervous when Elphie and I got asked to help lead on Sunday morning.

She has also helped me brave my shyness with my own music.  I finally was able to bring my guitar to this conference and play some of my original songs for her, as well as a few of my favorites from Robin Mark and the Gettys.  Maybe next year I’ll be ready to play something of my own for the rest of my brothers and sisters at the conference.  So far I have only played one of my songs in public at a coffeehouse, and I always get extra nervous when I do.

Spending time among the brethren is always good.  I enjoyed every minute of this conference, and I hope that everyone else there did as well.  The reason we always go back is because through the teaching, worship, and fellowship, we see Jesus.  In fact, that’s the burden of the song I wrote just before last year’s conference and which I will probably share next year.  Through my brethren at this conference, I see Jesus.

That’s what one of the brothers who taught was teaching about, actually.  People around us should see the Kingdom of God within us.  Personally and as a body of believers.  We do not look for a kingdom in the future, for we have the Kingdom within us now.

How wonderful is that!

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

August 8, 2011

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Refrain

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

(Refrain)

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

(Refrain)

Words & Music: Hel­en H. Lem­mel, 1922

This hymn came to mind yesterday as I was reading something else, and I found that I could only remember the chorus, not the verses, so I had to go look it up.  I think I like the chorus best, which probably explains why that was the part I remember.

We say that we walk by faith and not by sight, but that refers to physical sight.  I sometimes like to think that in “looking to Jesus” (Hebrews 12) in our mind’s eye, we do see, but perhaps that’s all that faith is, really.  Faith is the means by which we can look beyond the world around us to see what God is doing and to become a part of God’s work.

Through faith, we focus on Jesus, and as the things of earth grow less important, strangely enough I think they become easier to deal with.  Kind of ironic, but there it is.   As long as we look at the world and worry about what we’re doing, our walk will be hard, but when we look to Jesus, we won’t even notice the boulders we’re climbing because we’re so intent on Him.

Isn’t that how we usually get through tough challenges?  Keeping our eyes on the prize?  Let’s do less worrying about the day to day and instead rejoice over that great day that’s coming.  Sing it with me:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace!

Poetry from the Word

June 21, 2011

My humble apologies for the lack of new posts around here this past couple of weeks.  You knew I had a graduation, but I’ve also had out-of-state family visiting, which has cut down on my writing time.  I’ll try to remedy the situation in the next few days by posting several things that have been on the back burner for some time, but no promises!  In the meantime, here’s a poem I wrote a few weeks ago.

Go, And Sin No More

Living with a burden too heavy to bear,
I was led into sin by a friend
My judges dragged me to the Master’s feet
I was used to bait a trap
Ashamed I stood there, waiting for death
my judges had brought their own stones
The silence grew long and I opened my eyes
for my accusers repeated the query
The Master ignored them and wrote on the ground
how I longed to read that writing
They badgered, insisted, till the Master rose
and gave them an answer unthought of
“Let him without sin cast the first stone”
and again He wrote on the ground
Bracing myself, I had again closed my eyes
but I opened them wide at the thump
The eldest judge had dropped his stone
my wonder was infinite
One by one each judge dropped his missile
and each by turn left the place
Finally none but I was left
so the Master rose once more
“Where are your judges?  Did no one condemn?”
I answered him, “No man, Lord”
Then my life was changed by the words that he spoke
as He gently sent me away
“Neither do I condemn you,” He said
“Go, and sin no more.”

Are you living with sin like a weight in your heart,
that is dragging you down to your death?
Have your friends turned away when you needed them most
and given you up to your fate?
The Master is waiting, forgiveness in hand
if only you’ll seek you will find Him
For He is the Son who can light up your heart
and give you a chance for rebirth

~Homeschoolgraduate

One (Glorious) Day

April 24, 2011

We sang this song for worship this morning.

This afternoon, I had to go hunting all over YouTube to find the original hymn on which the Casting Crowns version was based!  I remembered the chorus tune from the original, but had forgotten the rest.  It’s been a long time since I heard it!  I found only a few videos of the original hymn, but I found this video, which was beautiful.  Although the singing is in Korean, the power of the music wonderful.  Funny how the best songs sing in any language …

I also loved this pianist and arrangement, so I had to share it too.

Personally, I much prefer the original hymn to the Casting Crowns version (sorry guys), but that’s par for the course with me!

Have a Blessed Resurrection Sunday!


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