James left us with some frightening thoughts.
Their eyes now look to me.
I wonder what they see.
Do they detect the doubts and fears,
Perceive the weights, the hidden tears?
Or do they only see
A car’cature of me:
A man of wisdom, love, and care,
Firm in the faith and full of pray’r?
Lord, if they look to me,
Let me e’er look to thee.
Be evident in all I do
That they, through me, better see you.
Let me be all for thee,
More you and less of me,
A servant serving all around
That they in love would e’er abound.
I’ve been blogging for four years now. Compared to many writers, four years isn’t a long time. But when I think about where I began, four years feels big.
James encourages Christians to “be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19). A brief scroll through the average believer’s social media feed may suggest that we as Christ followers struggle to apply James’s teaching. We can be quick to anger when we read something disagreeable, quick to speak our mind on the matter, and slow to truly hear any alternate or opposing position. Our passions appear to be very much at war within the body (James 4:1), and the casualties of war extend beyond the church to the lost world watching us fight.
Harsh battle cries and cries from battle blows
Break full upon the ears by helmets hidden.
The enemy’s assaults—always unbidden—
Besiege the soldiers. All around them, foes
Fling flaming arrows ‘gainst the humble few.
These few still march, past bodies spoiled and sodden,
In search of captive souls. These, the downtrodden,
Still march, unbroken, victory in view.
They taste their own blood, wear blood not their own,
Press forward by a blood more diff’rent still.
They war to see the day the war will cease.
Though sore-afflicted, fire burns in their bone.
They march with life no enemy can kill,
Their ev’ry step in war, a step t’ward peace.
I recently had a bad day, and I don’t know why.
People enjoy fighting. Continue reading
Do flowers honor Father more than I?
For they do not rebel against his name,
Never abandon purpose to proclaim
Another glory. Ev’ry passerby
Is bidden by the bud to look beyond,
To glimpse the author of the grand design.
I point as well, but I demand a fine,
Some profit for the prophet. Still, the frond
Is ever faithful. Though its days are few,
Great kings cannot compare to its array,
A testimony from the soil and sod.
Look closely and detect the divine hue
And find the same at work within your clay.
All beauty bears the signature of God.
Death will come for all men in the end.
None escape the final reckoning.
All who climb the mountains must descend.
All must heed th’ eternal beckoning.
Righteous men and wicked men alike
Fade at last into obscurity.
Actions matter not, for doom will strike
All. The grave remains a surety.
Is there gain in doing what is good?
Can we earn a single day of bliss?
We still die in doing what we should.
Vanity of vanities is this.
Yet the story need not end in vain.
Death does not possess the highest pow’r.
Life embodied died to end death’s reign.
Now we need not fear the final hour.
Slain upon a skull and then entombed,
Life partook in full the fatal drink.
Life then rose again, the curse consumed.
Hope now lives and nevermore will sink.
Therefore we have purpose in our ways,
For we follow him who doth transcend.
Christ has given meaning to our days.
Now we know that death is not the end.
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.
Know your place.