Category Archives: observation

Poetic Pause XII

WORDS

Well – we can all enjoy words

you can – if you can

We can all weasel-out words

Straight from the can

Some words stink – garbage

Some words are fragrant

Perfume-bottled – and nicely arranged

Dousing the road-side vagrant

He won’t appreciate the gesture

‘cause your superior dousing stinks

As far as he is concerned “don’t

Cover me with your rhyme-word links”

Words are starting to go astray here

Having introduced the negative

Get them back on the track of acceptability

And let them loose on the delicate

Words can be wholesome and pure

These words appear – from a pure heart

Appearing from hearts set-apart

Mouths speak-‘em-out in exhortation-art

Now excuse me I must go

I have more to say on words

But I haven’t the time just now

Must go and feed the birds

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Falling

FALLING

Unfortunately we hear of prominent and not so prominent Christians falling into sin.

We know of those on the front line, presenting themselves as leaders and wanting to please God in all things, who fall into sin. (usually sexual in nature).

Others who are depending on their leadership, are startled and disappointed and feel betrayed.

When this happens it creates the idea that in leadership, there seems to be no one to trust, no one living  according to God’s right way. There seems to be a dearth of victorious Christian Living, starting with leaders.

However we wrestle not against flesh and blood. And those in the front line are first to stand in the gun sights of the devil.

We must first therefore realise this fact, and cover them with prayer.

No one in leadership is any more ‘impenetrable’ than others. They are human and subject to the same like passions as anyone else.

Things of protocol must be put into place and the need to be covered with answerability to a plural leadership of their fellow eldership – lived out practically.

The wicked have drawn the sword

And have bent their bow,

To cast down the poor and needy,

To slay those who are of upright conduct.

We see from these verses who is in line for the ‘roaring lions’ attention – those of upright conduct. (I Peter 5/8)

Often before they fell they were men or women of upright conduct. We often forget quickly the character they have shown, and the good they have accomplished. The body of Christ (the church) killing their own wounded.

At the same time we must keep before us the standard God’s word clearly spells out. And not slide into moral laxity.

There is one paramount way to keep our hearts from the demands of the prince of the power of the air – and it is by having presence of mind to appropriate continuously what the Grace of God has provided.

Our God in calling us to forgive 70×7 per day – gives us a glimpse into the fact that He too will practice what He preaches. Plenteous in mercy and forgiveness.

He will not respond to pretenders however, who think to laughingly avail themselves of this promise of forgiveness, whilst they carry on sinning, as though it was acceptable to do so.

That’s called hypocrisy.

Grace is a revelation. It is a revelation not just for salvation – but that through the grace of God we can LIVE!

Always availing ourselves of His promises and His strength to maintain our hearts in good condition before Him.

Let’s pray for those who have fallen. And if they were in a position of leadership and injured others in their fall, let’s still allow them into fellowship with forgiving embrace – but only where we find the sincerity of humility and true repentance. Otherwise if they continue in sin, we become guilty of bidding them God’s-speed in their misdemeanours.

This calls for good discernment. The bible warns about wolves in sheep’s clothing:

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?

We shall (we are told) know them (the sincere men and women of God) by their fruits. The actions they take, the attitude they carry, the character they show, their speech, prayer life, fairness, empathy, and so on.

Prayer:

Lord help us to stand dependant on you alone. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

 

Poetic Pause VIII

DREAMS

He heard animals in his doze

The clink of chains holding bulls at bay

He heard dogs barking and sheep bleating

Wolves howling and rats squeaking

And then he woke up

Stupefied stare – at what just happened

Real and unreal conclusions considered:

‘I know it’s a dream

But is this the scene –

Round about me – nearby

this Bed and Breakfast?

Where green fields greet

my parting of curtains

Give me a minute while I just check

Looking to and fro

But yes – but no…?’

No evidence yet that

reality had authored his dream

Time now to laugh at the silly thing

His wife lay – still dozing

Time to playfully wake her up

With a tickled chin

Now they were both making their way

Through the corn flakes and toast

“I had a dream about animals and

The clinking of chains” she said

He choked on the lumpy marmalade

Poetic Pause VII

VACATION

In the shack – logged-up-insulated

Warmth created by log fire

With smell of coffee hanging in the warmth

And wooden tables – wooden chairs

Wooden kingdom of-all-things-wood

The floor also on which we stood

Vacation time – time to unwind

Go fishing – trudging through nature

Early morning dew

Late afternoon return – making sleep

A new experience

Beans and burgers and bacon

And barley-made soup

And laughs at silly things

Like drinking from empty cups –

So absorbed in reading are we

And neon firelight

Flashing intermittently

Across our faces as we glance at each other

Absorbed in married-love that is cosy and guilt-free

We laugh and pretend – syrupy sentiment

When really we know it’s the real thing

And not the callous acidity of skepticism

We have left far behind

in the rat-race-pace of post modernism

Solid together – joining in deep felt love

And not only felt – but agreed on

We are people we can trust – whittled down to two

Loyal – immensely real – immense and intense

Loves emotion – that rises and falls

But in falling – falls into something

Equally good

As emotion rises and falls like the eternal sea

High-tide low-tide – is still the tide

Relationship in the shack – bedroom at the back

Taking turns about – to make the breakfast

Dishes done – part of the fun

Vacation time – time to unwind

It’s ok to enjoy being kind

Tender advances and hug-dancing

To music quiet in the background

Just loud enough to know it’s there

All stretched out in more than romance

Covenant agreement once for all

Fast forward to old age

Neither having ever left the stage

Love continues as the play is played-out

Poetic Pause VI

EXHIBITION CONVERSATION

“I just quickly wanted to say…

I enjoyed your work

Not in a position to buy – you understand…

But just love it

I like the way you handled this lower part…

And I like the way you did the mountain…

I’d love to have them all…

But anyway – 

Nice stuff

How long did that take?

How much did you leave out..?

I just love art

But I can’t make the next exhibition I’m afraid

I think artists add spice to life…

I won’t be buying one tonight

But thanks for inviting me along

I’m buying a new car next week

Otherwise I would buy one of your pieces…

I love art”

Poetic Pause V

THE MASTERPIECE

The masterpiece of you and I

Something you contributed – but with a sigh

You can’t live up to the critics hype

That’s not you – you’re not the type

The masterpiece came into sight

Proudly displayed in the early evening light

At the railings – propped up well

‘All my own work’ – it’s not hard to tell

Masterpieces – might smile or frown

Before the wind blows them down

As the public pass to have a look

They also saw me – as an open book

And to my surprise after-awhile

It suddenly became clear the artistic-style

Was more about me – than my elbow grease

The oddity I was – became the masterpiece

 

Poetic Pause IV

MADE-UP

There was no point in telling him

As his mind was already made-up

She staggered-out another suggestion

He looked back in sweet repose

And told her – her mind was already made-up

There was no point in him – telling her

The way to go

She developed her suggestion further

Failing to see it came from a mind

Already made-up

He responded as one with a different view

Having made-up his mind about what to do

Both minds were made-up

Within themselves

Not “great minds that think alike”

But two minds – gelling – out of sync

Like a misshapen sculpture

That broke new ground

Like Barbara Hepworth

and Henry Moore

What to do with minds

Already made-up?

Re-make them all over again

And it might work out

But all of this – I just made-up

Poetic Pause III

STOCK EXCHANGE

Raucous – confusing – loud voices and choosing –

Waving – losing – talking and walking

Leaving and receiving, studious refusing

Time at a premium, I’m sure we’ve all seen them

Dashing around, hearts-a-flutter, papers in stutter

Dreaming of big gain, every man the same,

Outside – looking in – I’ve always been

Never to join the fray

But from a distance I say:

“Baffled in every way…”

Not understanding what this is about

Think I’ve got it, but still in doubt

I hear of suicides, and stress-related pain

Price of everything but nothing to gain

Price of everything – value of nothing

Business bedlam, business-mad-men

Inarticulate numbness of the heart

Unconsciously falling apart

Can they find a refuge place

To lose this helter-skelter?

Can they be excused, bow out, take shelter?

Or is this fixation, is this habitual spin with

Stocks and shares – in perpetual chagrin?

And last but not least

As it appears on our screens

Will curiosity draw us into the scream?

Is the stock exchange exactly what it might seem?

Poetic Pause I

BULLIES

The background family and home

Brought forth a character of some kind

Many blame all – on background

Bullies come lumbering up

Ready to push the world aside

And find an unsuspecting outlet for their hurt

Whilst rasping on society and it’s parameters

Behind plain view they lie in wait

To stick their grubby hands

on the physically less secure

And so he trained his dog also

Mistreat – with subservience it’s companion

Teaching it to throw a bite

To all and sundry that crossed his path

Like master – like dog

As they touch his barbed wire

The bully mind says:

“Gimme gimme gimme…”

(To try to lift my hurt)

Hurt I will never lay bare

Wounds I will cling to

And make you all pay for

Abuse expanding to domestic violence

And into prison to bully again

The bully boys, the bully breed

Self-serving is their holy grail

But their petrol will run out

And age will wrinkle their fervour

Still they masticate all intruders

Who dare to live in the same world as they

Their fate is guaranteed unless

They find the Damascus road

All on the receiving end of their ‘bully-dom’

First stagger in unbelief

But steady themselves to agree

That life’s road lies in the opposite way

To the bully boys decree

Don’t let these hardened choosers

Take pleasure in your pain

Rise to live another day

Determined to remain

A decent person by antithesis

As open-hearted you be to embrace

Your fellow man in normality

Natural and Spiritual

NATURAL AND SPIRITUAL

I came across this paragraph from old notes I still have from many years ago when I taught a Saturday morning Bible School, as part of the church I was a part of, at the time. I’m not sure if I was the author, or had taken on-board something someone else had pointed out:natural spiritual insert jpgIt reminded me of one simple truth that I will finish this post with.

But the pasted notes above, are in the context of how the church embraces the revelation of God’s truth (in this context the restoration of total immersion water-baptism for those who are of an age of understanding and who want to follow Christ).

God tells us in His word, however that:

14 …the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The truly bible-defined spiritual person – will receive and discern and know the things of God. But here we read of the ‘natural’ man finding them foolishness.

Having just embraced and accepted a biblical revelation of truth and acted upon it, man – the natural man – can reject a further truth of similar import. Which was what happened (as the above note pointed out) following the revelation of Water baptism.

Showing us clearly that there is a ‘natural man’ and there is a ‘spiritual man’. We all have the option of either remaining or becoming a spiritual person – or of returning to a hardened condition of heart that can’t grasp the things of the Spirit of God. Especially when He offers us further revelation from the Word of God.

To acknowledge the possibility of this retrogressive step, is only the first part in seeking to maintain our walk with The Lord so as to be open to, and receive further enlightenment, thus refusing to let the natural man take over.

It highlights the fact that God wants His people to remain true, and in fellowship with Him. Remain up to date in ‘first love’ relationship with Jesus.

This is a tall order when we are buffeted and our faith is tried – but it is God’s call to us all – and as we remain in close fellowship ‘near to the heart of God’ – we remain open to further enlightenment.

I marvel at how people fail to recognise the things of God. I marvel less when I consider that without God’s help I too, can be that ‘natural man’ with that ‘natural perspective’ that does not recognise the ways of God.

We are however in good company, when we realise that the first disciples were in the same boat. In fact literally in the boat, when they failed to recognise that nothing could harm them with Christ in the vessel. Their fear and therefore their natural man was winning the day. (Matthew 8/25)

We live in strange times – you who believe – will you join me in seeking the answers God wants to give us from His word – regarding how we should respond to and live in these perilous times? (II Timothy 3/1)

Poetic Siesta V

DEVASTATION

And across the excavated plain

No obstacles in sight remain

All has been set free but in freedom they die

Tree and shrub and hedge and cacti

Desolation rows of green held plants

The storm of wind and avalanche

Has done it’s business to all of these

Leaves ripped and torn in reckless spree

And as dusk approaches yet again

A  lone figure sifting among things that remain

Lifts his head and scans the horizon

His tear-filled eyes speak:

 ‘This is not surprising…’

For this was one of their worst

As they contemplate the meaning of a curse

Was it tornado or hurricane?

We’ll need to see the TV footage again

But homeless house and shack remain

Remain in ruin to be built yet again?

It’s too much to think about

When the mind is full of doubt

Lifting his legs high and stepping over debris 

He looks on all sides and sees a friend – against a tree

Suddenly he is shocked: “by seeing him – I’m seeing me”

His fellow-man staring into space as though he cannot see

On another day this could be an art-piece

Re-contextualised in some pristine white museum

Funny how the eye can ignore all the pain

By this strange comparison hope might arise again

Thus the cogs of the human brain will wheel

Turning over the ink-spilled page to reveal

Resolve is intact and beginnings must begin

Put shoulder to the wheel and let progress win

Instant coffee?

INSTANT COFFEE?

None of us can pretend to know everything there is about prayer. Just when we think we have it sussed – another aspect is revealed to us.

That prayer is not always ‘instant coffee’ in it’s results is shown in scripture.

We think of Daniel when events took place in the heavenly places before the full answer arrived. 

Daniel 10:12-14 New King James Version (NKJV)

12 Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard;and I have come because of your words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. 14 Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.”

There was a time factor involved in this instance of prayer. But Daniel’s words were heard, his prayer involved finding ‘understanding’, and it also involved humility of heart on Daniel’s part.

When The Lord Jesus prayed to His Father – there was in one sense an ‘instant coffee’ result – in the raising of Lazarus from the dead. But even here there was a time lapse (He stayed another two days before going to the dead Lazarus). Before the need of a resurrected Lazarus was met and came to pass. (John 11) Jesus did not rush immediately to pray that prayer. 

And yet it is a given that the days leading up to His “Lazarus come forth!” declaration, continuous communion with His Father took place.

We know too that Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane prayed a number of times (3 times in fact) until the answer arrived in the spoken revealed answer from His Father.

We think of Elijah and Ahab in I Kings 18, when Elijah in anticipation of the sound of abundance of rain – instructed his servant to go and walk through the seven: “There is nothing’s” until the cloud appeared in answer to Elijah’s prayers.

The time factor is hard to avoid this side of heaven. The old saying God’s delays are not God’s denials, has truth in it.

Just what exactly is ‘instant’, we might well ask? Everything takes time – it took God seven days to create the world. The point being time was involved regardless of what theological debates we wish to enter into as to what was meant by ‘days’.

The Five loaves and two fish prayed-over by the Son of God – took time to distribute before the miracle could actually be witnessed.

So let’s allow our prayers to be stored in God’s memory bank: Revelation 5/8

[ Worthy Is the Lamb ] Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

Enjoy your instant coffee if you receive it – but perhaps some percolation needs to take place first?