If Thy Hand Offend Thee

Matthew_5:30  And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

 

I never did post anything about On Course Youth Conference that took place two months ago. Truly, it was a wonderful conference that our young people were blessed to be able to attend. The preaching was powerful and anointed, and it was beautiful to see the response of so many young people during altar service times. Although this conference is geared toward youth, there have been many times where God has talked to my heart through the preaching of the Word.

The message that Brother Paul Bertram preached with the above Scripture as his text is the one that stands out the most in my mind. He shared with us the true story of Aron Ralston, an experienced outdoorsman who through a freak accident had his hand pinned under a boulder, from which he was unable to break free. After being trapped for 5 days in this condition, Aron realized that his hand was rotting under the boulder, and the only way he was going to be able to survive was to cut off  his hand. So, he did. It still makes me cringe when I think about it.

Brother Bertram began to talk about how we can hold onto things that can slowly kill us spiritually. An area he dealt with a lot was cell phones. These devices are so popular in our society, and while they are very useful, they can also cause great harm to us spiritually when we use them inappropriately or devote too much time to them to the neglecting of more important things. God dealt with me during that service about something on my phone. It wasn’t a sin but something that was becoming  a weight, and I knew God was speaking to my heart to delete it, and so I did. I’m so glad that God cares about us enough to show us areas in our lives where we need correction or things in our lives that could become stumbling blocks!

We do need to exercise caution with cell phones and technology. It seems everywhere I go nowadays, I see people staring at screens, whether it be cell phones, laptops or I-pads. I wonder what would happen if we spent as much time in prayer and Bible reading as we do on our devices. I wrote the following while musing on that a couple of weeks ago. While it is a satirical piece, and I don’t really believe getting rid of our cell phones would bring instant revival, limiting the time we spend on them and dedicating more time to seeking God would certainly help.

Cell Phone Phenomenon

We stare at it while we cross the street.

It must accompany us when with friends we meet.

Oh, why can’t we seem to leave it alone;

this technological wonder we call the cell phone?

 

The husband and wife go out to dinner

to have quality time alone;

as they sit across from each other,

both of them on their phone.

 

And what shall we do with our cell phone next?

Should we start a photo stream or send out a text?

Our day is just not complete, it seems

without sending or receiving the latest memes.

 

Of course, there are amusements and games galore

to keep you awake until 3 or 4.

And there’s pressure to upgrade to the latest.

That I-phone 1,000 is just the greatest!

 

The apps to choose from can catch your breath.

There is even one to predict your own death!

Oh, all the wonders the cell phone is giving.

Before its’ time we weren’t really living.

 

It’s a glorious device upon which we spend time,

almost without care, reason or rhyme.

It’s so easy to squander the minutes away

held in the cell phone’s hypnotic  sway.

 

You may think I’m totally under delusion,

but my ponderings have brought me to this conclusion.

If cell phone time was replaced with prayer and reading the Bible

we’d have an earth shaking, devil chasing, Heaven sent revival!

4/20/17

 

Who Is She?

She glides through the village with perfect poise and grace,

a look of steady purpose, determination on her face.

Along the pathway she approaches the first passerby

who rudely cruises on his way with an irritated sigh.

The market place, the destination, where the lady arrives next

to a host of indolent youth that sit around and text.

She tries to catch their eye, begins to lift her voice

but they seemingly ignore her, definitely by choice.

Though what she has to offer, is better than silver and gold,

they won’t hear her instruction. She’s left out in the cold.

She’s been around a long time, before earth’s grand creation;

before so many traded her for pride, self -exaltation.

Yet, it is by her, that some kings and princes reign.

She gives to common men, a life that is not in vain.

All are truly blessed that choose to keep her ways

applying her sound counsel all their earthly days.

Fools that reject her will suffer eternal shame.

“Who is she?” you may ask. Wisdom is her name.

 

5/2/17

Inspired by Proverbs 8

Write My Life

When I first surrendered all to You

it wasn’t clear to me,

that You became the author;

my life, Your poetry.

The pages of my life were dark.

You made them snowy white.

And then with mastery and skill

You began to write.

Each day a different style and form

something fresh and new

always timely and spot on

and never overdue.

 

So Lord, what will it be today

that flows from Your ready pen

across this chapter of my life

that will be read by men?

Will it be a monorhyme

of how You came through for me just in time?

Perhaps it’s an ottava rima

in perfect pentameter

that tells how my love for You

has grown deeper and much sweeter.

It just might be a ballad

with a tender and touching refrain

of how I stumbled and faltered

but You picked me back up again.

Could there be a principle

that I really need to learn

which You’ll write upon my life

as a repetitive quatern?

Since the furtherance of Your kingdom

is Your holy and noble tactic

perhaps You’ll craft in me

a revelatory didactic.

Diamante, tanka, limerick, haiku,

Lord, the choice is up to You.

Of all poetic forms that be

You know what to engrave on me.

Free verse or even hexaverse diminished

Dear God, please write on until my story is finished.

 

I learned several years ago from a minister that preached at our church that the Greek word for workmanship in the verse below is “poiema”, from which our English word “poem” is derived. This was my inspiration for this poem

Ephesians 2:10(KJV)  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

 

 For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].Ephesians 2:10(Amplified Bible)

The Remedy

Sin

enslaves

grips the soul

like heavy chains

but Jesus can loose the binding shackles

if we will choose to obey the gospel

God’s Holy Word

when applied

makes us

free!

 

This type of poem is called a Double Tetractys. To see how to write one click the link.

http://www.shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/tetractys.html

4/12/17

Acts 2:37,38  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

Romans 6:17,18  But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 

Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 

 

Hebrews 5:9  And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; 

Way To Go, Mike Pence!

Vice President Mike Pence has a long established policy for which he has received flack from those of a liberal mindset.  It has been his long standing rule to never dine alone with a woman other than his wife. I think that is commendable that he would want to safeguard his marriage! Click the link below to read the article about Vice President Pence.

https://www.onenewsnow.com/perspectives/bryan-fischer/2017/04/03/in-praise-of-mike-pence

My close associations are of the same mindset, and I could not imagine it being any other way. Our young people also do not date one on one but go out with groups or chaperones. It’s called having safe boundaries, and it’s a concept that does not make sense to the carnal mind.

The following poem says it so well.

 

The Ambulance Down In The Valley

Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed,
Though to walk near its crest was so pleasant;
But over its terrible edge there had slipped
A duke and full many a peasant.
So the people said something would have to be done,
But their projects did not at all tally;
Some said, “Put a fence ’round the edge of the cliff,”
Some, “An ambulance down in the valley.”

But the cry for the ambulance carried the day,
For it spread through the neighboring city;
A fence may be useful or not, it is true,
But each heart became full of pity
For those who slipped over the dangerous cliff;
And the dwellers in highway and alley
Gave pounds and gave pence, not to put up a fence,
But an ambulance down in the valley.

“For the cliff is all right, if you’re careful,” they said,
“And, if folks even slip and are dropping,
It isn’t the slipping that hurts them so much
As the shock down below when they’re stopping.”
So day after day, as these mishaps occurred,
Quick forth would those rescuers sally
To pick up the victims who fell off the cliff,
With their ambulance down in the valley.

Then an old sage remarked: “It’s a marvel to me
That people give far more attention
To repairing results than to stopping the cause,
When they’d much better aim at prevention.
Let us stop at its source all this mischief,” cried he,
“Come, neighbors and friends, let us rally;
If the cliff we will fence, we might almost dispense
With the ambulance down in the valley.”

“Oh he’s a fanatic,” the others rejoined,
“Dispense with the ambulance? Never!
He’d dispense with all charities, too, if he could;
No! No! We’ll support them forever.
Aren’t we picking up folks just as fast as they fall?
And shall this man dictate to us? Shall he?
Why should people of sense stop to put up a fence,
While the ambulance works in the valley?”

But the sensible few, who are practical too,
Will not bear with such nonsense much longer;
They believe that prevention is better than cure,
And their party will soon be the stronger.
Encourage them then, with your purse, voice, and pen,
And while other philanthropists dally,
They will scorn all pretense, and put up a stout fence
On the cliff that hangs over the valley.

Better guide well the young than reclaim them when old,
For the voice of true wisdom is calling.
“To rescue the fallen is good, but ’tis best
To prevent other people from falling.”
Better close up the source of temptation and crime
Than deliver from dungeon or galley;
Better put a strong fence ’round the top of the cliff
Than an ambulance down in the valley.

Joseph Malins

There will always be those who will mock, ridicule and deride those who want to protect things that are sacred, but thank God for boundaries and those who are willing to put them up!

 

Wise husbands could learn from Mike Pence

how to put ‘round your marriage, a fence

dine alone with just your wife

for she’s the love of your life

to do otherwise is just dense.

4/5/17

 

 

 

O Such A Prize

O Such A Prize I Want To Win

 

O such a prize of value great

One that is saved from darkest fate

Rescued from a desolate place

And made a trophy of His grace

To help a wayward come to God, you must be wise

A soul redeemed for eternity, O such a prize!

 

I want to win for God, a soul

That He will cleanse, fill and make whole

Whose life the Lord will rearrange

For all to see, a striking change

A new creature, truly transformed without, within

This is my goal. A soul for God, I want to win.

 

3/1/17

This type of poem is called a wrapped refrain. Click the link to see how to write one. http://www.shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/wrappedrefrain.html

 

 

Just What The Doctor Ordered

Our high school Bible class is learning about submission and accountability this week. They were given an assignment by their instructor to write a piece as if they were a doctor giving advice or recommendations to a patient on how to avoid sin in their lives. I know I’m probably weird, but when I was in school, I loved assignments such as this one. I still do, and so I thought I’d give it a try.

clip-art-doctor-with-chart-clipart-1

From: Dr. Ounce O. Prevenshun

To: U.B. Carnal

Doctors Recommendations on How to Avoid Sin

 

The detailed instructions given below if followed, will aid the patient in abstaining from sin.

 

The DO’s

1.       DO have a regular time of prayer each day. Think of prayer as a daily vitamin, vitamin P (See I Thessalonians 5:17, Luke 22:40, Luke 18:1, Ephesians 6:18, Mk. 14:38)

2.       DO read your Bible each day. Think of it as your daily dose of vitamin B. Work on committing some Scriptures to memory, which can help you in times of temptation. (See Psalm 119:11, 2 Timothy 3:15, Proverbs 30:5,Matthew 4:4)

3.       DO make it a priority to be faithful in attending the house of God. (See Hebrews 10:23-26, Psalm 122:1)

4.       DO be submitted to the man of God in your life, aka your pastor. He is watching out for you. (See Hebrews 13:17, Jeremiah 3:15)

5.       DO fast on a regular basis. (Isaiah 58:6). It’s a way of saying no to your flesh, and when it’s coupled with prayer, it will help you draw closer to God. If you have a physical condition that prevents you from fasting, consider fasting an activity you enjoy (electronic games, Internet, going to WalMart, etc.) and spending that time in prayer.

The DON’TS

1.       DON’T put yourself into a place or a position where you know you could be tempted. This is also known as “not making provision for the flesh.” (For example: If you have struggled in the past with drinking alcohol, don’t go to a bar if you want some 7UP.)Even if you stay full of the Holy Ghost, remember this. Your flesh is weaker than you think!( See Romans 8:13, 13:14, Matthew 26:41)

2.       DON’T be lazy or allow yourself too much idle time. (See Proverbs 18:15) You’ve probably heard the saying, “An idle mind is the devil’s playground.” It’s true.  Stay busy with the things of God and working for His kingdom, and you will be less likely to sin.(See also Ecclesiastes 10:18, Proverbs 12:24, Hebrews 6:12)

3.       DON’T let your close friends be those who are not striving to live a godly lifestyle. They can lead you astray. (See I Corinthians 15:33, Exodus 23:2, James 4:4)

 

These recommendations, if followed, will aid you in your endeavors to avoid sin. Choosing not to follow the above instructions can result in a serious heart condition which would require major surgery that is costly. If this be the case, you would be referred to Dr. Pounda Cure, but it is strongly urged that you heed the advice of Dr. Ounce O. Prevenshun.