Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I'm going to preach on Acts 17 where it says God made the world and all the things in it; and in Him we live and move and have our being. I wrote this poem to emphasis, "In Him we live...." 

The giver of life

The joy of the infant’s first cry and tear,
The birth of love that brought him here.

The elk, the doe, the newborn fawn,
Blushing reds streak the breaking dawn.

The blade, the leaf, the flowers fruit,
The butterfly vacates, its crystalline suit.

Inspiration, art, epiphany:
Birthed deep within the soul of me.

The Spirit's voice, heavenly light.
Calling, 'leave the battle, stop the fight.'

Sins washed away, new hope, new start;
God breathes new life within the heart!

Photo by Michael Murrill 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"Be firm; one constant element of luck
Is genuine, solid, old Teutonic pluck.
Stick to your aim: the mongrel's hold will slip,
But only crowbars loose the bulldog's grip;
Small though he looks, the jaw that never yield
Drags down the bellowing monarch of the fields." 
O. W. Holmes.
"On parent's knees, a naked, new-born child,
   Weeping thou sat'st when all around thee
  So live, that, sinking in thy last long sleep,
Thou then mayst smile while all around thee weep."
From the Chinese. 

As I read the following stanza of Longfellow's poem on children, the words pricked me because it speaks of vanishing zeal and vision.

"O, little hearts, that throb and beat
With much impatient, feverish heat,
  Such limitless and strong desires;
Mine, that so long has glowed and burned,
With passions into ashes turned,
  Now covers and conceals its fires."  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


"A flock of black-capped chickadees comes through the snow, scurries through the fine dust of sifted snow blown from the tops of the white drifts. They come with cheery dashes and flirts of small, indomitable bodies which dare all the vastness of inclemency to disturb the tiny-feathered embodiment of courage and conviction. They are the wards of a benevolent order to which man turns when, dismayed by the fancied savagery of his own scheme, he seeks sanctuary." Clifford Raymond.

The little basket of five loaves and two fish, carried up among the hills furnished, beneath the hand of Christ, an ample feast. And no less a marvel does God work with all the pure in heart who go up into the lonely place to meet with him. Be they only not quite empty of truth and love; let them have but the poorest pilgrim's unleavened cake of sincerity and faith; and when they have spread their insufficiency before God, and broken it into its worthlessness for his blessing to enter, they shall return richer than they came and gather more than they had brought. The rules of quantity, the laws of weight and measure, do not hold beyond the outward world; they disappear wherever the Holy Spirit claims its own.
The smallest spiritual store, taken into the most retired spot, has a self-multiplying power; and if only used with holy trust, will pass the dimensions of nature and reveal the resources of the infinite. The great Creative Spirit is ever ready to touch the merest grain of manna in the heart, and make it numerous to shine on all the ground.  When he flings a handful of moral endowments into the furrows of our nature, He never withholds the mellowing winds and dews; and the germs will not perish unless we deny them root.

Within the smallest genuine grace he has wrapped up boundless possibilities; and whoever will but believe in it and apply it faithfully shall never fail of more.
There is no one so miscreated or misplaced as to have within him no germs of good, from which a fruitful circle may be spread.
If you will but find God's living gift within you, and simply trust it when it presses into growth, there is not a waste place of your nature that shall not become habitable, and even glorious with a wild beauty.

Whatever you may doubt, there is something which you deem true; however much is common and unclean, you have gleams of what is surely holy; wherever you are weak, there is some matter on which your secret eye is clear, and your foot is firm. Here then is the ground on which your moral life is to be raised.

 James Martineau.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The following description of Christ comes closest to how I see Him as any I ever read. 

  "The primitive followers of the Christian faith were all of one heart and mind; and that was a heart of free and natural joy. Yet they were disciples of one who is known to all ages as the Man of sorrows; of one serene indeed in spirit, and of a strength divine and clear; but with the tinge throughout of a sad earnestness, -- some times flushing up into a transient glow of hope, --- rarely deepening into the shade of a visible anguish; and yet throughout, from the wrestling’s in the desert to his cry upon the cross, showing itself in miracles of pity and in nights of prayer; in the light of his love and the flash of his invective, --- his delight in nature and in childhood, his abhorrence of Pharisees and hypocrites; in the deep beauty of his parables, and the melancholy wisdom of his prophecies; in the sedate unity of his life and the quiet majesty of his death. How indeed is he represented by the emblem in which Christendom has embodied its veneration? The crucifix is the accepted symbol of grief divinely borne." James Martineau.