The Sonnet of the Ant

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Just a tiny, crawling creature is she.
You would think her resources would be scant,
but what an example of industry.
I refer to the insect known as the ant.

With no overseer, ruler or guide,
she is quite diligent to do her work.
Perhaps it’s just how she’s wired inside.
Has a disposition to never shirk.

In hot summer time she provides her meat;
at harvest faithfully gathers her food.
Such a strong work ethic you cannot beat,
wonderful eager beaver attitude.

To avoid in life a lazy demise
Go to the ant, sluggard, and be thou wise!

10/17/17

Proverbs 6:6-8  Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

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I Should Not Have Looked, God Should Not Have Looked

This is dedicated to those who have ever messed up, and you feel that you have sinned so greatly that there is no hope for you. Thank God that He is merciful, and he will not turn away a truly repentant, broken and contrite heart!

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I should not have looked that fateful day.
I know that’s where it did start.
But I failed to turn my eyes away,
and lust conceived in my heart.

By her beauty I was taken.
My wicked heart, battle raged within.
Deceived by passion, I was mistaken.
With my neighbor’s wife I then did sin.

I thought perhaps none would find out
Of Bathsheba and I, defiled.
But my hopes one day gave way to doubt
when she told me that she was with child.

To my mind came a possibility to explore.
I thought it might improve my life.
Her husband I could bring home from the war
and let him spend some time with his wife.

Her husband, I did not realize
was a more honorable man than I.
My fool proof plot, it did capsize,
and here’s the reason why.

Uriah thought of those on the battlefield
who were paying the ultimate price.
To relations with his wife he would not yield
though no doubt he was enticed.

This left, I, David in a bind.
How could I cover my sin?
In the recesses of my mind
a sinister strategy formed within.

You could call it Murder I Wrote.
I had Uriah put in the battles heat.
To the army captain I sent a note
to draw back from Uriah, retreat.

And so faithful Uriah was slain
on that deplorable day,
and in my mind I did feign
with my sin I had gotten away.

But to make a long story short
God was kinder than He should have been.
He sent a prophet who brought me report
that indeed, I was guilty of sin.

Though God should not have looked with mercy on me,
I repented, and He gave me a new start.
It’s a miracle because later in Scripture we see
I’m called a man after God’s own heart!

5/31/17

The story of David, his sin with Bathsheba, murder of Uriah and the prophet coming to confront him with his sin are found in the Bible, 2 Samuel chapters 11 and 12.

This verse in the New Testament calls David a man after God's own heart.

“And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.” Acts 13:22 


 

Wake Up Calls

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The date was May 30, 2017. I was sitting in the waiting area of the doctor’s office before being called in for my appointment. I had what was most likely an infection in my body and would probably need an antibiotic. Going to the doctor always makes me a little nervous, so I had prayed that Jessica would be there. She is one of my doctor’s assistants and a genuinely caring person that has the type of positive, happy go lucky, friendly attitude that helps put people at ease. After a few minutes the door opened, and Jessica was there calling my name. She had me step onto the scale, and I inwardly cringed when I saw my weight. We happily chatted as we went into the examination room. It is a routine procedure to have your blood pressure checked at doctor’s visits, so I didn’t think anything of it when she put the cuff around my arm and began the procedure. I was watching Jessica performing her duty when I noticed the calm expression on her face turn to a look of concern. Then she mentioned that my blood pressure was kind of high. 178/108 to be exact.

I was not expecting this, and to be honest, it scared the liver out of me. I am unaware of anybody in my family with a history of high blood pressure, although my dad could have had it. He died of a massive heart attack at 56. My doctor did gave me an antibiotic, gave me some information on diet recommendations(lowering sodium intake mostly)and wanted to see me the next day for another blood pressure check.

I left the doctor’s office that day feeling like I had received a wake up call. How long had I had high blood pressure and was not even aware of it? I could have had a heart attack or stroke and died. I decided right then that I was going to change my diet and try to do what I could to get my blood pressure back to normal. My blood pressure was a little lower the following day but still well above normal. My doctor decided to treat the infection first, and then we would focus on the blood pressure. In the meantime, I was praying and doing what I could do diet wise to try to avoid going on blood pressure medication. After another week, I returned for a follow up visit with blood pressure that was still high. My doctor decided to put me on a low dose of blood pressure medication. To make a long story short, my blood pressure is pretty much back in normal range. My doctor decreased my medication dose, and I am praying and believing when I go back for a physical next month that I will get off the medication entirely.

As I was thinking of this whole scenario I saw how this could apply to a person spiritually. Sometimes God will allow things to happen in the life of a sinner or someone who has fallen away from Him to get their attention, so that they will turn to Him. Years ago there was a young man named Clint that came and visited one of our services. I found out later that he had been raised in church but had fallen away from God as a teenager. A few days before coming to our church, he had been involved in a horrible motorcycle accident, which had left him with a broken leg and a lot of bruises. Clint came several times to church, and I remember a time when after a service a group of us were standing around conversing, with Clint among us. He mentioned that he felt like his accident was a wake up call from God. He could have been killed, but God spared his life. He also stated that once his leg was healed up he would be shouting and running the aisles with the rest of us.

Unfortunately, we never saw that day come. I’m not sure what happened, but he did not continue coming to church. Is it possible that the fear he had when he first had his wreck wore off? As his physical condition improved did he let the cares of life, responsibilities or pleasures that this world offers hinder him from continuing to walk with God and serve Him?  I have seen many come to church that have had a near death experience or some kind of crisis in their life that caused them to realize that they need God. This is really the mercy of God reaching for a soul, and the Bible speaks about this in Psalm 107.

Psalm 107:8-15  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:
Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.
  Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

 

It is truly a tragic thing though when the crisis is past, God has come through and helped the individual, to see the fear they had seemingly wear off and they walk out on God and return to the way they were living before. Perhaps there is someone reading this who has had a spiritual wake up call. God has allowed a crisis to happen in your life to help you realize your need of Him. I want to encourage you to seek God in true repentance. Let that fear that brought you to Him cause you to turn to Him with all your heart and not just to seek Him for a temporary fix. He wants to do so much more than that. Let Him work in your life and change you so that you will be ready to go to heaven. He wants to see you saved through all eternity!

 

 

 

 

Make America Great Again

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To our nation God’s making a call
that upon our knees we would fall
to look deep within
and repent of our sin
then His blessing will come upon all.

7/4/17

Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

2Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Ruin To Rapt

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Ruin – it best described my life’s condition
before I did know the touch of His sweet hand.
Bound in sorry state of my soul’s perdition
but the shackles fell when He gave the command.

Rapt was I, engulfed in His presence divine
and since that moment my life is not the same.
Oh to think that I am His, and He is mine.
With joyful heart I gladly bear His name!

6/27/17

 

 

 

Crown of Sonnets-Seven Things The Lord Hates

Proverbs 6:16-19  These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

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1. A Proud Look

It sadly leads a man to such disgrace.
A proud look first begins within the heart,
then manifests itself upon the face,
and to the soul, it’s like a piercing dart.

The Scripture mentions satan’s sin of pride.
He wanted so to be like the Most High.
It drove him, and it led him to decide
‘gainst God rebel, His holy will defy.

The lofty scheme of satan came to naught.
For one who thwarts God’s plan, it’s never well.
Devil’s pride like a web, and he got caught.
His destination is a burning hell.

If character of man toward pride is bent
the only remedy is to repent.

2. A Lying Tongue

The only remedy is to repent
if lying words from your lips do proceed.
Deceitful speech can cause a heart to rent;
is like sore wound inflicted that does bleed.

For uttered falsities, the price to pay
in Acts 5th chapter, story we do tell.
Husband and wife both lied on the same day,
died at apostles’ feet and went to hell.

Though judgment for our lies may not be swift,
God gives us time so that we can confess.
Be sure that with your Maker there’s a rift.
Continuing in lies leaves life a mess.

If telling of lies be your sinful plight
you best do a 180, get it right.

3. Hands That Shed Innocent Blood

You best do a 180, get it right
if you have caused death of the innocent.
Such acts, they are so grievous in God’s sight.
Taking of lives, for us it is not meant.

How sad to read the tale of Abel and Cain,
first murder ever, spawned by jealousy.
The anguish of a brother that was slain
caused both their parents untold misery.

Each day the countless deaths of the unborn
regarded as just tissue, swept away.
Oh how the heart of God must truly mourn
as precious lives are trashed like worthless clay!

The path of such a sin, where does it start?
It’s deep within the bowels of the heart.

4. An Heart That Deviseth Wicked Imaginations

It’s deep within the bowels of the heart
where thoughts of murder, rape and lust do spring.
Way down inside a man the crime does start.
The human heart is such a wicked thing.

Ill musings that are born of hate and greed
like venom that’s a poison to the soul,
when brooded on eventually will lead
to birthing of ungodly, evil goal.

The doing of all wrong first starts within.
It grows inside the heart before its birth;
does incubate and manifests as sin
and causes untold pain upon this earth.

Devising wicked imagination
bringing serious trepidation.

5. Feet That Be Swift In Running To Mischief

Bringing serious trepidation
feet that run fast to do an evil thing
to their victims, a source of frustration
through infractions such trouble they do bring.

They cause tribulation, pacing the streets
with purpose in mind, never to do well,
race to computer spewing vicious tweets
perhaps inspired by the imps of hell.

Their wily unrest mostly in the night
scarcely aided by flashlight or candle,
upon spoil of others they take flight
to pillage, steal, maim, destroy and vandal.

The ones possessing mischief running feet
from such evil ways they ought to retreat.

6. A False Witness That Speaketh Lies

From such evil ways they ought to retreat;
cease from character assassination.
Untruthful words they ought not to repeat
that ruin some poor soul’s reputation.

Some, they choose to speak such fabrication.
Do they think it might make self look better?
In the end it will be their damnation,
turning them into eternal debtors.

Don’t spin tales to make someone look bad
or secure a desired position.
It’s not worth it, and you will not be glad.
It leads to your personal perdition.

A false witness that speaketh cruel lies,
he is a foolish one that is not wise.

7. He That Soweth Discord Among Brethren

He is a foolish one that is not wise
sowing seeds of discontent and discord.
Maker of division, it’s no surprise
his subtle dealings, hated by the Lord.

When he feels to him, there has been offense
immediately to blabbing he does go.
To him it only makes perfect sense.
His perceived injustice all should now know.

The devil uses him to cause church splits
in assemblies that have sweet unity.
The discontented throws his hissy fits,
for turmoil makes opportunity.

When grumbler gets all up in your face
it sadly leads a man to such disgrace.

 

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