Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Captain

Two worldviews contrasted - that of humanism/atheism (ie. the world's vain philosophies) versus that of true Christianity (ie. of faith). Which view is yours? Which one reflects the condition of your heart?

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

by William Ernest Henley

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God...
Psalm 14:1

My Captain

Out of the night that dazzles me,
Bright as the sun from pole to pole,
I thank the God I know to be
For Christ the conqueror of my soul.

Since His the sway of circumstance,
I would not wince nor cry aloud.
Under that rule which men call chance
My head with joy is humbly bowed.

Beyond this place of sin and tears
That life with Him! And His the aid,
Despite the menace of the years,
Keeps, and shall keep me, unafraid.

I have no fear, though strait the gate,
He cleared from punishment the scroll.
Christ is the Master of my fate,
Christ is the Captain of my soul.

by Dorothea Day

Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

O Lord, My Strength

Thee will I love, O Lord, my strength,
My rock, my tower, my high defense;
Thy mighty arm shall be my trust,
For I have found salvation thence.

Death, and the terrors of the grave,
Stood round me with their dismal shade;
While floods of high temptations rose,
And made my sinking soul afraid.

I saw the opening gates of hell,
With endless pains and sorrows there,
Which none but they that feel can tell;
While I was hurried to despair.

In my distress I called my God,
When I could scarce believe Him mine:
He bowed His ear to my complaint,
Then did His grace appear divine.

With speed He flew to my relief,
As on a cherub’s wing He rode;
Awful and bright as lightning shone
The face of my Deliverer, God.

Temptations fled at His rebuke,
The blast of His almighty breath;
He sent salvation from on high,
And drew me from the deeps of death.

Great were my fears, my foes were great,
Much was their strength, and more their rage;
But Christ, my Lord, is conqueror still,
In all the wars that devils wage.

My song for ever shall record
That terrible, that joyful hour;
And give the glory to the Lord,
Due to His mercy and His power.

Isaac Watts

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Eternity

This is one of two poems that offer a comforting look back (to the day a loved one went home to Heaven) and forward to spending eternity with the Lord ourselves. The first one is: Since Yesterday.

Eternity

I stood with God on the edge of the world, and my hand was in His hand. I looked down the road of the past, as it stretched away in the dim distance, till it was shrouded in the mists of time. And I knew it had no beginning, and a little chill wind of fear blew about my head.

God asked, "Are you afraid?"

And I said, "Yes, because I cannot understand how there can be no beginning."

So God said, "Let us turn and face the other way."

And I looked into glory, and my heart rejoiced with joy unspeakable. And then my mind went ahead, a billion, billion years, and I knew there would be no end, and again that little chill wind of fear began to blow.

And God asked me again, "Are you afraid?"

And I answered, "A little, because I cannot understand how there can be no end."

So God asked me tenderly, "Are you afraid now, today, with your hand in mine?"

And I looked up at Him and smiled and replied, "O my Father, NO!"

And God said, "Every day in eternity will be today."

~Martha Snell Nicholson~

Prayer For Comfort

This is a poem written by a friend to comfort me, just hours before my Mom went home to be with the Lord, around 2 am on September 22nd/2005. I edited a couple of the words in it (and removed my name), so as to post a poem that could be a source of comfort to others and not just myself. I am not able to contact Theresa, so I hope she will not mind these few words changes. The original version (as well as words of comfort from her email) can be found on this page: God's Grace In Our Trials.

I am printing up a second edition of my poetry book, The Seasons Of Your Pilgrimage, and this is one of the poems I will be adding to the 2nd edition, as a testimony to the comfort these words offered me and my sister at the time of our Mom's graduation to Heaven. I hope it is a blessing to you.

Prayer For Comfort

Father, bless my friend today, as he trusts You in his pain,
This one who's leaving him, he knows, will surely live again.
He loves You, Lord, and he is holding to Your loving Hand.
And someday he will join her in Your great Glory Land.

There will be tears of pain and, yes, there'll be many sorrows.
He needs You, Lord, today and will need You for the tomorrows.
I know this, Lord, because I've walked this long, long, painful road...
Hold him close and comfort him as he bears this heavy load.

Thank You, Father, for my friend and the blessing that he has been.
Thank You for Your mercy, Lord, and for forgiveness of our sin.
There are many, including me, that are blessed by his love for You.
Help us to glorify Your Precious Name in all we say and do.

We lift our hands and hearts to You, our Father and our God;
For we see Your Love in all creation as in this land we trod.
Even in our suffering, we still feel Your Holy Presence here.
Thank You, thank You, O Lord, our God, for always being near.

Theresa Wood

2 Corinthians 1:3-7 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

Friday, March 05, 2010

The New Testament

Matthew portrays Christ as a great King,
As through it’s wondrous discourses ring;
The Mighty man, the princely Prince,
Matthew, the author, set to evince.

Mark sees Jesus as a humble servant,
Who preaches a message of Truth so fervent;
And teaches of the Miraculous One,
The Christ, God’s beloved Son.

Luke, who sees Him as a Man,
The doctor sees as few people can;
The suffering Christ depicted here,
The human aspect, a human tear.

John sees Christ as Almighty God,
Deity, Israel’s Mighty Ephod;
Deals with the spirit and souls of men,
With eternal life, world without end.

Acts, the Book of the church’s zeal,
The book with the apostles’ mighty seal;
The acts of holy men of old,
Has the gospel story often told.

The Romans, written to Christians in Rome,
By Paul himself, from his prison home;
Full of doctrines and practical Truth,
For men in their prime, or in their youth.

First Corinthians with errors exposed,
The church rebuked, its judgment imposed;
Many chapters of love, and gifts of grace,
And a glimpse of our Saviors’ loving face.

Second Corinthians, the giving of saints,
Rehearsed in this Book, with no complaints;
The sinner restored, back in the flock,
As Peter was after the crowing cock.

Galatians, the demise of the law,
Explains God’s grace, giv’n freely to all;
Judaism defeated in the church of today,
Legalism is beaten in a mild foray.

Ephesians, a hard book to explain,
God gives us a look at hypocrisies’ stain;
The armor of God for all His to wear,
Against the wiles of Satan, and sin's evil stare.

Philippians, chock-full of splendorous verse,
Many profound Truth’s made simple and terse;
The amazing book of the mind of Christ,
The joy of the Lord is mentioned twice.

Colossians many splendid truths doth reveal,
His part in creation and the Spirit’s seal;
Practical holiness, a walk with God,
Dying to flesh, a people called “odd.”

First Thessalonians, the return of the King,
Throughout its pages, this theme will ring;
“He’s coming again,” the shout is heard,
And we are admonished to spread the word.

Second Thessalonians is much the same,
Its splendor rings of the Spirit's fame;
Judgment is seen here to prevail,
For all who ignore, their sin to bewail.

1 Timothy is much about the order of church,
And advice for the youth, his heart to search;
A good report from they that are without,
Beyond reproach, without a doubt.

2 Timothy has to do with our walk,
To be sure our walk matches our talk;
Practical advice for a man to seek,
As he strives to walk among the meek.

Titus the encourager of a good work,
The duty of man we are not to shirk;
That Blessed Hope is seen here too,
The return of Christ, His church to woo.

Philemon a blessed book indeed,
Written by Paul, for a specific need;
Onesimus returning to his former place,
Is a picture of God’s restoring grace.

Hebrews, a special Book for all,
Written for Jews who kept the law;
Full of the customs of the Jewish race,
Resplendent in God’s amazing grace.

James, the hope of the Christian world,
Coated with beauty, elegantly pearled;
A book for the wise and serious saint,
Often read, its message quaint.

1 Peter speaks of a victorious life,
Of suffering, atonement, and worldly strife;
Of submitting to others, and ordinances of man,
Of getting along the best we can.

2 Peter adds some things to our faith,
As strange to us as a mystical wraith;
The Day of the Lord is mentioned here,
A day for the sinner to greatly fear.

1 John tells of our holy state,
Made so by Christ, our Advocate;
He warns of false prophets, and how to tell,
The true from the false, the proponents of hell.

2 John is to the elect lady sublime,
A book for all men and for all time;
A warning of bidding God speed
To those that are not of His Holy Seed.

3 John, written to Gaius, a beloved brother
Who walked in Truth, as nary another;
A personal note from John the aged,
Who writes as an elder in final stages.

Jude is a book of the wrath revealed,
For the apostate and the devil’s field;
A stern warning for opposers of Truth,
Eternal damnation for those uncouth.

The Revelation of the future of earth,
Of the judgments of fire, and great dearth;
Of the glory revealed in Heaven's domain,
And the hope of our eternal reign.

Gypsy Martindale
~Used With Permission~