CONVICTION

A DANGEROUS PLACE TO BE 

  

Have you abandoned your First Love? 

Are other things now on your mind? 

Have you focused your eyes  

upon the prize, 

but the prize  

is no longer  

Christ? 

  

What is your source of contentment?

Do you seek for His blessings, but not Him?

Have you watered down Truth

to make it all about you?

Has the here and now

become your

heaven?

 

†††

 

A DIME A DOZEN

 

In a hurry . . . on an errand . . . in the city,

a disheveled, filthy man steps in my path.

With hand outstretched, he asks me for a dollar.

“Get a job”, I think, and hurriedly walk past.

 

Rush hour on the highway and I’m running late

and, of course, it’s an elderly driver I get behind.

Creeping along, hitting her brakes, she grips the wheel;

as I speed past her, I think “Why don’t you learn to drive?”

 

Neighbors down the street who rarely mow their lawn,

and inside their house it’s unkempt and quite messy.

The wife sleeps ‘til noon and then goes to the pool,

and I think, “Now that is the epitome of lazy!”

 

A co-worker in the office isn’t pulling her load,

she misses work, she comes in late, she’s always tired;

personal calls and mistakes have gone unnoticed,

and I think, “Dead weight.  It’s time that girl was fired.”

 

In a restaurant understaffed with cooks and waiters,

the man who takes my order sighs and grunts.

He offers no smile, poor service and a rotten attitude,

so I give him what he deserves, a tip of just 3 cents.

 

They say opinions are a dime a dozen;

everybody has one and they usually stink.

People don’t need my opinions, what they need is my prayer –

Surprise! God is not impressed with what I think.

 

For I’m not God and I don’t know the reason

behind all of the things that people do and say.

And if I have nothing good that I can say about them,

I should say nothing and instead begin to pray.

 

Lord, when I’m faced with people who annoy me,

frustrate me, irritate me, let me down,

let me bite my tongue, corral my thoughts, and bless them,

for what goes around may someday come around.

 

†††

 

ALL IF COULD EVER ASK FOR

 

In the moments that I spend with Him, I’m like a nagging child,

taking advantage of His Fatherly love for me.

He’s given me all I could ask for, yet I keep asking Him for more;

“Give me this, give me that, won’t you please?”

 

“Give me health, give me strength, give me safety;

just let your many blessings be outpoured!

And, of course, I ask it in the Name of Jesus . . .

Oh, and don’t forget the prosperity either, Lord!

 

Just who died for who?  And, further, who deserved to die?

Does the fact that I was responsible for His pain

make me something special and qualify me for more?

Did His death take place to bring me earthly gain?

 

I know that in His goodness, He said “Ask and you’ll receive”,

but in my selfishness, that’s all I ever do.

The hours of requests outweigh the moments spent in thanks;

do I remember Who it is I’m talking to?

 

I want to step away from “self” and the things I can attain;

eternal life is mine, I need no more.

I want to praise my Savior, bless His Name and give Him thanks;

He’s given me all I could ever ask for.

 

†††

 

A NEW TAKE . . . ON AN OLD PLAYGROUND RHYME

 

Teeter, totter,

bread and butter,

wash your face in dirty water,

  

living for Christ one moment,

crucifying Him afresh the next,

back and forth: the flesh, the Lord,

creature comforts in exchange for life.

Earn that money, climb that ladder,

bring home that bread and butter,

then pause for a moment

to spend time with the Father,

but exhausted and distracted,

you don’t linger.

Weakened by your life,

your wrong priorities,

you fall into your secret sin again.

With your loyalties divided,

you have no strength,

you have no power.

You cannot serve two masters.

  

One will win.

  

Teeter totter,

bread and butter,

wash your face in dirty water.

 

†††

 

ARMCHAIR QUARTERBACK

 

I’ve long been searching for a church

where the Holy Spirit flows,

where worship is free and spontaneous and goes and goes and goes;

but do I worship that way – every chance that I get –

when I’m at home alone?

The answer to the question I’m sad to say

is no, quite simply, no.

 

I’ve long been searching for a church

with a passion for the lost,

one with servant-evangelism programs galore,

soup kitchens and the like.

A place where everyone can fully be used

to spread the gospel to the lost,

but in my personal life – every chance that I get –

do I share the love of Christ?

 

I’ve long been searching for a church

with a good children’s ministry,

one where the little ones are nurtured in Christ

and learn of spiritual things.

But at home the secular television blares,

we don’t pray at length, worship or sing.

Could it be that spiritual ministry to my child

is really up to me?

 

I’ve long been searching for a church

with an equal balance of everything –

evangelism, discipleship, prophecy,

worship, deliverance, intercession, healing.

And finding none, there isn’t one

that offers all these things,

I express my opinion with arrogance,

grab my hat and quickly leave.

 

I’ve often thought the time has come

to take the church out to the streets,

where the power of God can be displayed

to the ones who have the need.

So if the Spirit of God is in me,

why aren’t I out there doing this thing???

All talk, no action – with regard to the church,

I’m armchair quarterbacking.

 

An armchair quarterback, I think I know

all the perfect ins and outs,

but I’m starting to realize the perfect one

isn’t you or me – it’s God.

And the bottom line question for all of us is:

Have we truly made Jesus our Lord?

If you say yes and I say yes, then guess what?

We’re in one accord.

 

I’m done with all the criticism, the opinionism,

and all my self-righteous judging;

God’s looking down and shaking His head

as we’re accomplishing nothing

except immobilizing ourselves as we analyze each other

with all our petty nitpicking.

And a lost world stays lost, the sick remain sick,

and the dead all around us are dying.

 

†††

 

A VIEW OF THE WORLD

 

I’ve been watching the young, precious women

who profess to be followers of Christ,

and my heart is filled with loving concern

as they live and they walk through this life.

 

A mature Christian woman . . . I’ve lived many years

and, obviously, the exterior has aged,

but the Holy Spirit within me and the Holy Spirit within you

is exactly the same . . . without age.

 

I’ve said these things so you’ll understand

the message I’m about to convey

comes not from a “fuddy-dud” who cannot relate,

but from God’s Spirit “to you” today:

 

     Young women bare their bellies, their navels they adorn,

     turning the heads of men they do not know . . .

     to be popular and trendy, in sync with the view of the world;

     Christian women . . . just going with the flow . . .

 

     they party and they play, some give their virginity away;

     it’s a much more modern day than ever before . . .

     living by the view of the world; the world watches, but so does the Lord,

     and someday the view of the Lord . . .

 

     will be all they’ll know.

 

“For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God . . . So then, each one of us will give an account of himself to God.”  Romans 14:10, 12

 

†††

 

BEHOLD YOUR GOD

  

Glimpses of Jesus occasionally

in the faces of the saints we see,

but not long ago it was all we saw –

Jesus . . . in us . . . constantly.

But that was a holy visitation,

a unique time, a special day, an appointed hour

when we were revived and filled to overflowing

and walking in His mighty love and power.

But today . . . well today is just another day;

we’re saved and loving Him and living the life,

but the passion and the power seem to be waning

as we sit waiting . . . waiting for another “wave” to ride

or a cataclysmic event that will propel us forth

to preach and minister and move in mighty ways,

where Christ’s the last resort for an evil, wicked world

to get right before we enter the “last days”.

So what has changed? Who has changed?

Has He changed? Or is it us?

Did He revive us all . . . so we could sit and sigh,

awaiting a “new wave” to stir us up?

Or could it be we’ve lost the desire to be with Him?

We’re not pursuing Him in the way we did before?

It’s time, saints, to come back to the place of passion

where nothing matters,

nothing else,

but to serve the Lord.

  

If you’re on hold,

it’s time to again behold

the presence of your God.

  

Come back to the place of passion.

 

†††

 

COME FORTH!

 

An overgrown, overdue baby,

curled up, safe and warm in the womb,

feeding off the ministries and teachings of others,

absorbing nutrients from all the things they do.

 

Wrapped up in an aging umbilical cord,

it’s time to stop feeding, disentangle, and break free.

The time has now come for you to be birthed.

Come forth, my child, into your ministry.

 

This isn’t about sitting in a certain church,

feeding off of one anointed man,

it’s about Me in you . . . and you in Me,

walking together . . . in My power . . . in My plan.

 

†††

 

DON’T LOOK BACK

 

Men’s eyes are as pieces of steel

and the world is a magnet that draws the weak.

The Prince of Darkness whispers “Look at me . . . Look at me.

I’ll give you the happiness you seek.”

 

Keep your eyes straight ahead . . . straight ahead!

To the left or right, do not be turned,

for one longing glance at the things of the past

may lure you back . . . never to return.

 

Flee for your life!  Don’t look back . . . don’t look back!

Remember the fate of Lot’s wife.

The Lord in his mercy can deliver you,

but stand firm against wandering eyes.

 

†††

 

DO YOU REMEMBER ME?

 

You and I — we used to be friends.

Remember the love you had for me then?

I was the one on whom you’d always depend.

Please come to me, love me again.

 

There was a time when you’d call me for help.

All of your needs I handled so well.

But, now you’re dependent on only yourself

as you search for new happiness and wealth.

 

Yet your days are filled with such loneliness.

You find that the world brings no gladness

and your heart now knows nothing but sadness.

You wanted much more and found less.

 

So many times I have knocked at your door,

but my presence is one you choose to ignore.

Why? When there’s no one who loves you more.

Would you love me as you used to before?

 

For from my love there’s nowhere to hide.

There isn’t one moment you’re free from my sight.

Have you forgotten that I gave you my life?

Do you remember me? I’m your friend, Jesus Christ.

 

†††

 

EASTER MESSAGE

 

When you care

more about you

than you do

about me

it counters all your claims

about your spirituality

for if I am your Savior

and if I am your Lord

I (and all I want from you)

take first place

over your wants

and what is yours

  

(which, by the way, is nothing)

  

when you care

more about you

than you do

about me

you make yourself a god

and you have no part of me

my plans and my purposes

should be yours

and if they’re not

as you celebrate today

the Resurrection

you might ask yourself

who (or what)’s become my god?

  

As you stand today

in the midst of the congregation

dressed up in all your Easter finery

are you here

so friends and family

can have a “look at you”

or have you come

because

you live

to

worship

me?

 

†††

 

ELECTION TIME

  

The powers that be are ordained of God,

but His people are the ones He depends on

to mark the right ballots in the voting booth

and put in place His chosen selection.

 

The available candidates may lack what we desire,

but it’s His desire that’s important; that counts;

it’s not necessarily the best man who always should win,

but the one whom He wants for this hour

 

to fulfill what is needed to accomplish His plan

~ for such a time as this,

and if we’re in the last days, God’s positioning the ones,

good or evil, across the world, for the finish.

 

We’d like to think the ones leading this country ~

the “great and powerful United States” ~

should be wise in all matters, moral, ethical, and Christian,

speaking firmly such beliefs in the debates;

 

but when faced with candidates who fail to meet

every one of our expectations,

should we toss aside what is our God given right

and abstain from a vote in the elections?

 

No!

 

We’re ambassadors of Christ ~ we’re His feet; we’re His hands,

and as such, we are called to use them.

If we have His mind and we hear His voice,

then there should be not a hint of confusion

 

about who He has chosen for this position,

and perhaps our clarity of mind

demands a time of prayer . . . maybe hours of prayer

and a flesh-killing, fasting time.

  

I suggest it is time

to begin.

 

†††

 

ELECTION YEAR 2008 VERSION

OF “IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU

(JESUS LOVER OF MY SOUL)”

 

It’s all about me, Jesus,

and all this is for me,

for my comfort and my gain.

It’s not about you,

as if I should do things your way;

I say you are my God,

but I take first place.

 

Increased wages, jobs, and tax cuts,

socialized medicine, social security . . .

So we kill a few more unborn babies

or we embrace homosexuality . . .

I’m voting for the handouts, Lord,

a government that will take good care of me.

Yes, Obama knows better than you

how to meet my needs . . .

 

and with arms wide open,

I extend the invitation

to no longer be free.

 

†††

 

FAITH, NOT FORMULA

 

A man of few words, Jesus spoke with authority –

and when He did, He didn’t sweat; He didn’t shout.

When He said, “be healed” or “rise up”, “come forth” or “come out”,

the sick were healed, the dead rose up, demons came out.

 

And when Peter followed in the steps of the Lord,

he also said little (or his shadow did the talking).

With the words “Jesus heals you; get up and take your mat”,

Aeneas got up, took his mat, and started walking.

 

I don’t think we serve a God of verbal manipulation –

formulas work in chemistry but not with Him.

When the centurion said, “Just say the word

and my servant will be healed”,

He did.  And she was.  And that was it.

 

If we have His direction and He IS our inspiration,

and we’re not trying to impress men with our lengthy shtick,

why the need for a long, drawn-out dissertation?

Do we think if we cover all our bases, one will stick?

 

A Creator with authority, He said, “Let there be” and so it was,

and the God of yesterday is the same God of today.

He’s not a God of formulas or verbal manipulation,

so let’s heed His voice, follow His lead, and do what HE says.

 

†††

 

GET ON WITH IT

 

He says preach the gospel; we must evangelize.

She says we must prophecy; speak out those words of life.

He says read the bible; it’s a lamp unto our feet.

She says praise and worship; it’s all about intimacy.

 

He says intercession and warfare will bring the strongholds down.

She says deliverance ministry will free the ones who’re bound.

He says pray the prayer of faith and let the sick be healed.

She says disciple the babies.  Teach them well or they will leave.

 

He says, no, you’re terribly wrong; we have to it THIS way!

She says, no, you’re terribly wrong; we have to do it THAT way!

This way, that way, this way, that way; we freeze in our debate,

and the world watches in amusement as our body self-mutilates.

 

But God would say get over yourselves and get on with what I want!

I’ve said to preach the gospel, and that is what I want!

I’ve said that you will prophesy, and that is what I want!

I’ve said for you to study the word, and that is what I want!

 

I’ve said you are to worship me, and that is what I want!

I’ve said to pray without ceasing, and that is what I want!

I’ve said the violent take the Kingdom, and that is what I want!

I’ve said you’ll cast out demons, and that is what I want!

 

I’ve said that you will heal the sick, and that is what I want!

I’ve said that you will raise the dead, and that is what I want!

I’ve said to go and make disciples, and that is what I want!

I’ve said to do these things and more, and THAT IS WHAT I WANT!

 

Your passion and anointing don’t negate or even precede

the passion and anointing of another part of your team.

All of you are to operate like a fine, well-oiled machine!

So get over yourselves and get on with it!  And start glorifying me!

 

†††

 

HEAD KNOWLEDGE

 

Ever learning, but never coming

to the knowledge of the Lord.

He’s studied the Scriptures since childhood

and he knows them word for word.

 

He’s memorized every chapter

and he’ll quote you any line.

The name of every character

is embedded in his mind.

 

For he’s learned the bible completely;

yes, he knows it front to back.

He can debate with the best of them;

in no area does he lack.

 

But where is the joy in the knowledge

of the wonderful things he has read?

Where is his great gladness of heart

that comes from the words Jesus said?

 

His knowledge is hollow and empty,

for it doesn’t apply to his life.

He isn’t aware that the Spirit convicts,

not the processes of the mind.

 

Accept Jesus into your heart, my friend;

He stands knocking at the door.

His Spirit will speak to your heart with love

and His words will mean so much more.

 

†††

 

HIDING IN THE SHADOWS

 

Hiding in the shadows

flirting with the devil

shading your eyes from the Light

you peer out on occasion

but it’s a glaring reminder

of the time you once spent

in the sunshine . . .

a place where you once lived

where you sang

and you danced

in the freedom

that comes from True Life . . .

but you stepped into the darkness

with flesh-feeding comrades

to another life . . .

 

which is no life . . .

 

it is Death.

 

†††

 

I’M A CHRISTIAN

 

“I’m a Christian”, you loudly proclaim!

“I go to my church each and every Sunday.

I might even throw in a service Wednesday,

but the rest of the week is my own.”

 

            “I know your deeds, that you are

            neither hot or cold.  I wish you

            were either one or the other!  So,

            because you are lukewarm – neither

            hot nor cold, I will spit you out of

            My mouth.”  Rev. 3:16-17

 

“I’ll talk about Jesus, should someone ask me,

but if I bring Him up first, I’ll look like a freak.

You just turn people off when you constantly preach.

Besides, I’ve got an image to maintain.”

 

            “Whoever acknowledges me before men,

            I will also acknowledge him before my

            Father in heaven.  But whoever disowns

            me before men, I will disown him before

            my Father in heaven.”  Matt. 10-32-33

 

The older you get; the closer to the end –

will the proximity of death wake you up, my friend?

Will you realize your life hasn’t been what God planned?

Will you choose to get serious then?

 

            “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord,

            Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,

            but only he who does the will of my Father

            who is in heaven.”  Matt. 7:21

 

†††

 

IMITATORS OF CHRIST?

 

Big fancy “temples” – Pharisaical –

seem to please us,

but dusty roads and hillside grass

were good enough for Jesus.

We’re all caught up in the plans of men

and the methods of the world,

when what we need is the Holy Ghost

and the Truth of the Living Word.

 

Utility rooms and nurseries,

several classrooms, a gymnasium;

by marital status, age, and sex;

we disciple our congregations.

But I seem to remember a passage

about being gathered in one room.

Did Jesus say “put the kids on that hill

and I’ll get to them pretty soon”?

 

Worship teams and soundboards,

every kind of instrument,

projectors, screens, and software –

all the best AV equipment.

But in a jail cell Paul and Silas sang

with no accompaniment –

and the earth shook, shackles broke,

and they saw the guard repent.

 

Now multi-page applications

must be filled out in great degree

before men will approve God’s call

on our lives for any ministry.

Paul’s background was pretty sordid;

Jesus changed him to a new man,

and without the blessing or approval of men,

what a ministry he had!

 

The powers that be issue edicts of caution:

your worship might be an offense;

don’t sing too loud, don’t dance or prophesy

(for guests might be carnal men).

And what once was so powerfully anointed,

is now only a man-operated show;

the Holy Spirit was quenched and greatly grieved,

and He left a long time ago.

 

The church is using methods of the world,

when Christ should be our imitation,

And I’m growing so very weary

of manmade rules and regulations.

All I can do is cry out to you

“What say You, Jesus?  What say You?”

Follow You?  Why that’s so easy!  

And that’s just what I’m going to do.

 

†††

 

IT IS TIME

 

Devotion to the one true God,

Jesus Christ as the only way,

virtue and holiness, faith and love,

were common in that day.

A country that was founded

on its citizens’ love for Me –

America, a nation I once knew –

I, now, no longer see.

Instead I watch in horror

as unborn babies die each day,

in disgust, as men make love to men,

and the “church” says it’s okay,

as adultery has become acceptable,

and divorce – the common out,

as the “church” plays the game

and looks like the world,

where grace is “in”, but “sin” is out,

where the people come together

to give honor unto Me,

but jointly honor other gods,

all in the name of unity,

as the “church” – not My church – appeases the world

so it can grow and thrive and prosper,

walking in a form of godliness,

but denying its actual power.

America, I have blessed you –

but I don’t recognize you anymore,

and I’m not a God who will be mocked;

if you could only see what’s in store.

So the Lord says, where are My people –

who are called by My Name – to pray?

Surrounded by rebellion, sin and death,

you shake your heads, but you do not pray.

You thank God that you are not “one of them”

as you watch all these things with disgust,

passing judgment in discussions amongst yourselves,

you kiss pride in self-righteousness.

You worship Me with your beautiful songs

and you sit at My feet in praise,

but you’d think after all of the time spent with me,

You would begin to feel My heartache.

 

It is time that you felt My heartache.

 

It is time for My people to pray.

 

†††

 

IT’S TIME FOR A DECISION

 

The Truth

is not negated

by an absence of belief.

Its power

is not diminished by

the voice of the majority.

It remains forever steadfast,

unchanged

by current events.

It cannot be diluted

It will be

what it always

has been.

  

The Truth.

  

Your truth,

my truth,

a lie

and another lie.

The Truth belongs to no one

except the One who is:

Jesus Christ.

Available to every person,

so many choices,

but only One Truth,

and to make no choice

is a choice in itself.

So which one will you choose?

Accept it

or reject it?

Remember, no choice

is a choice.

Now or never

will decide your forever.

Depart this life,

then reap the results.

  

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”  John 14:6

 

 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which they can be saved. It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead . . .” Acts:4:12, 10

 

†††

 

K.I.S.S.

 

Keep It Simple, Saints,

and deliver my Word with a kiss;

complicated oratory serves to confuse

but my Word, clothed in love, will not miss.

Sit not within the confines of yourselves,

delivering the same messages to the choir;

while my Words bounce around your private rooms,

the lost and deceived are hearing words from the Liar.

 

†††

 

MINISTERING IN OBSCURITY

 

Members of the body step out for ministry,

and those, anointed-to-pray, have been called forth.

As I stand among the ones who now are ministering,

I hear the Spirit ask, “Where is the Lord?”

 

“If I called you to pray for these in total obscurity,

cloak-covered and completely hidden from their view,

would you respond to the call to pray for them as quickly

if they didn’t know the praying one was You?”

 

“Because you’re not the one who’s praying, it’s the Spirit –

or at least that’s how such ministry should be,

and if miracles are to happen, your flesh must step aside,

for miracles are meant to only exalt Me.”

 

“This isn’t about your ministry and anointing;

this isn’t about your prayers, your prophecy.

Nothing you have done for me has earned this;

this has nothing to do with you – it’s about Me.”

 

“When you minister in the Spirit with humility,

and remember the Power doesn’t come from you;

that you’re overshadowed by I AM,

you are a nameless, faceless man,

then this is the type of vessel I can use.”

 

Oh, consume me, Lord! And blow away the ashes

to step forth, Spirit of God, and have your way!

In the sight of every human being;

be the only One they’re seeing,

that not I, but You alone, receive the praise!

 

†††

 

MY STONES FOR THE ROCK

 

To the believers who’ve made a mistake,

committing a sin of utter distaste,

do we pour on contempt and disgrace?

Do we spit in their face

then haughtily walk away –

too “holy” to associate

with the likes of these?

Or the brother or sister in bondage

who can’t seem to get free,

consumed with depression and anxiety,

addiction and moral deficiency;

even after “deliverance ministry”,

still they do not walk free,

so we figure the fault lies with them,

it’s their choice, it’s their decision

to remain in a valley of desolation,

so that’s exactly where we leave them

to wallow in this thing they’ve chosen –

we did our duty and tried to show them,

they had their chance, but now we must shun them

to enjoy friends who know true peace and freedom.

When will we look past the flesh and see the spirit?

When will we love God’s children like we really mean it?

If Jesus is really living here within me,

where’s the forgiveness? Where’s the grace? Where is the mercy?

Jesus loves my brother just as much as He loves me –

why, to find the one who’s strayed, He’d actually leave me.

So do I think that I’m much better than any one of these?

Filthy rags to Him who knows,

my righteousness is filthy.

But wrapped in filthy rags I hand them to Him,

as if they were a bouquet of roses blooming –

all the wonderful things I do for Him

must surely make Him smile

as I live my holy, sanctified lifestyle . . .

and stone the wounded.

Oh, Lord, You are the only One without sin

You could have ~

but You didn’t ~

cast the first stone.

Instead You offered love, mercy, compassion.

How I need to be like you!

Lord, I want to be like You!

Fill my heart with Your love;

rid my hand of the hurtful stone.

 

†††

 

NO GRAY AREAS

 

You may claim the Scriptures don’t define with sufficient clarity

the gray areas or desires of your life.

And with self-righteous resolve you establish boundaries

between what you think is wrong and what is right.

 

You may justify your actions to your Christian friends and peers,

but no matter how you try to con yourself,

an inner voice reminds you that you’re dabbling in sin

and destroying with great speed your Christian health.

 

For there isn’t one gray area in your walk with Jesus Christ;

every action remains strictly black or white.

Either you choose to do your walking in the darkness,

or you listen to His voice and choose the Light.

 

†††

 

NO MAN BUT JESUS

 

I follow no man but Jesus;

I’m fulfilled,

satisfied

with His love.

I don’t need a “new wave”,

a “new word”,

or a “new thing”;

he’s my everything

and that’s quite enough . . .

to live the life simply

with Jesus . . .

quite simply

avoids the corrupt.

 

†††

 

OBSERVING WORSHIP

 

Remember when

you entered in,

how precious it could be;

cares set aside,

you laughed and cried

as your tears caressed His feet?

But you stepped away

for just a day

and the days turned into weeks;

now you sit on the sidelines

and quietly observe

as others wash His feet.

 

On the outside . . . looking in,

you remember that place you once knew,

and He says to you “I remember too.

I am here . . .

and I’m waiting for you.”

†††

PENNILESS

If I never tip a waiter or a waitress

any more than just a simple 10%,

why would the Lord

prosper me with more

than that which He already has?

And sadly if I arrive with a church group

and then stiff the one who’s waited upon me,

what does that say

to those looking my way?

It says Christians are uncaring and stingy.

True: the waiter or waitress who has served me

may or may not be financially in need,

but more than likely, they are lost

and while I’m calculating the cost,

they are desperate to see Jesus in me ~

can the lost see Him at all

sheathed in my greed???

My generosity of heart has been tested

and found to be seriously lacking

as I pray “bring on the wealth,

Lord, I’ll handle it well . . .”

just who am I really kidding?

It’s not about my pleasure or my comfort ~

blessed to be a blessing is His plan . . .

but as I pray for prosperity

and then pocket the majority,

am I building my own kingdom on sinking sand?

Should I be the one who decides who gets His money

(or the little bit I’ve chosen to release),

or should I listen to the Lord

and respond as I am told?

I think the latter is what He’s asked of me.

Whether a waitress or waiter . . . a missionary or a stranger,

in a restaurant . . . a hospital . . . the street,

it’s a matter of the heart . . .

it’s about putting God in charge . . .

because nothing that I have

belongs to me.

 

†††

 

PRIORITIES

 

You pull out the day’s “To Do” list,

and cross off points one and two.

Twenty more projects to complete

before the day is through!

 

You’re really a busy person,

but so very organized!

To help the day run smoothly,

all your duties you’ve prioritized.

 

Let’s see . . . the very next job

takes an hour and a half.

That leaves the afternoon free

to accomplish other tasks!

 

Rush! Rush! Rush!  So efficient!

You’re running ahead of time!

Why, if you keep up at this rate,

you’ll be finished by eight or nine!

 

You say you must accomplish

every duty on your list,

for tomorrow’s is almost twice as long!

Is there anything you’ve missed?

 

Patting yourself on the back,

you breathe a sigh of relief.

How quickly the day passes by

when you’re handling priorities!

 

You yawn and stretch — so tired!

Yes, it’s time to call it a night,

but your eyes fall upon the bible

as you reach to turn out the light.

 

You pause for a few short moments –

and your guilt slowly passes away.

Tomorrow you’ll have some spare time,

so, you’ll just skip it for today.

 

Should the daily tasks of life

demand such priority?

Keep in mind that life is short,

but forever is eternity.

 

†††

 

ROADBLOCK

 

What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?

I’m calling you now!

I’m calling you now!

What are you waiting for?

Days go by,

you’ve heard my cry,

yet you waste away another day

as the sickly ail,

the dying go to hell,

you don’t listen to a word I say.

You procrastinate,

you hesitate,

though there’s nothing standing in your way.

No, there’s nothing standing in your way . . .

 

except for you.

 

†††

 

SAVING WHAT?

 

Saving face

or saving grace;

which one do you want?

To come out on top,

always be the top dog,

or show the love of God?

Saving your dignity

or living in humility;

voicing displeasure when you’ve been wronged,

preferring yourself over another,

or preferring the will of God?

To walk in pride

or live like Christ;

that what it’s all about.

So is it you

or is it Christ

to whom your friends should bow?

 

†††

 

SHARING OR HOARDING

 

The anointing has been flowing,

and the Lord has changed our lives.

The River’s been nutritious,

and our fruit is lush and ripe.

 

Fruit here, fruit there,

Love, Joy, Patience, Peace.

But the fruit is being warehoused

while the starving never eat.

 

Limbs quite overloaded,

we drink and drink and drink.

But when fruit piles up,

it starts to rot and fragrance turns to stink.

 

Fruit contained within four walls;

we bless and feed each other

while outside the hungry roam about,

eating hell’s manure.

 

Yes, the River’s been nutritious.  

Our fruit is lush and ripe.

But will people starve to death today

because we failed to carry it outside?

 

†††

 

SPIRIT AND TRUTH-

OR THE OLD SONG AND DANCE?

 

Are the songs that we play, the CDs that we buy

(the newest, the latest, the most profound),

the things that touch heaven and stir His heart?

Is He moved by pre-recorded words and sound?

 

Is it the beat that liberates and sets us free?

Is it the unique melody that moves His hand?

Or is it the heart of the worshipper before Him –

Spirit and truth . . . or the old “song and dance”?

 

If all of the music were taken away,

if I lost my ability to hear,

could I continue to worship my Jesus?

And His voice would I still clearly hear?

 

If my legs and my arms became paralyzed,

if my ability to speak went away,

could I dance in the spirit before Jesus?

Could I sing Him new songs? Could I pray?

 

Or would I dry up and just blow away?

 

†††

 

Surely NOT?

 

Me and mine,

me and mine . . .

if an action would cause me discomfort

then surely it can’t be Divine.

If it’s distasteful . . .

if it’s demeaning . . .

if it hurts just a little bit . . .

even though another would benefit . . .

God wouldn’t ask me to do it . . .

  

would He?

  

We who are strong [in our convictions and of robust faith] ought to bear with the failings and the frailties of the weak and not to please ourselves. Let each one of us make it a practice to please his neighbor for his good and for his true welfare, to edify him [to strengthen him and build him up spiritually].  For Christ did not please Himself [gave no thought to His own interests]; but, as it is written, “The reproaches and abuses of those who reproached and abused you fell on Me.”  (Romans 15:1-3 AMP)

  

Greater love hath no man than this ,that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

 

†††

 

THAT WE MAY BE ONE

 

The family of God, brothers and sisters in Christ;

in Him there is nothing we should lack.

So we compete for His blessings, we compete for His glory,

and we slowly knife each other in the back.

 

Aloofness, disinterest, and callousness,

personal and denominational lines.

Don’t cross my line and I won’t cross yours;

you grow your own church, I’ll grow mine.

 

And let’s see who does it better.

We’ll just see who the Father likes best.

The church with the largest congregation wins . . .

(or the church with the strongest revival wins . . .)

(or the church with the most talented worship team wins . . .)

Sibling rivalry at its ugly best.

 

How can we bless our Father

when we can’t even bless our brother?

How can we minister to the lost and hurting

when we can’t even love each other?

 

Jesus prayed “that they all may be one.

As you, Father, are in me and I’m in you,

may they also be in us, that the world may believe . . .”

Why aren’t we living this truth?

 

The division in the church must sadden Jesus,

who prayed that His followers would be as one.

If the church were united, our cities would take notice,

and then glorious works could be done.

 

Lord, I know You continue to love Your church,

even with all the foolish, hurtful things we do.

Give me wisdom, Lord, to be obedient to Your Word

and help me to love Your people too.

 

†††

 

THE GAMBLER

 

While trying to convince yourself

by spouting out the line,

“I have basically good values

nd to everyone I’m kind”,

you knew deep down within your heart

hat wasn’t quite enough.

Yet you thought perhaps you’d wait awhile

before giving the “good times” up.

 

Yes, you had heard the Good News.

You’d been told and understood

how to give your life to Jesus,

and you planned someday you would.

But you knew that you were still quite young;

good times took precedence.

When life slowed down a little,

you could “get religion” then.

 

What you didn’t know or plan for

as you drove your car one night,

was another car would lose control

and you would lose your life.

What you didn’t know or plan for

is death does not always wait.

You gambled and you lost, my friend,

and now you know . . . too late.

 

†††

 

THE MISSED MESSAGE

 

This message is for you.

You’ll know who you are;

the minute you hear it,

it will speak to your heart.

You may choose to consider it

some other day,

but the message is for now;

tomorrow will be too late.

  

“Ring, ring”, the phone rings,

but there’s nobody home;

the answering machine plays

“I can’t come to the phone.

I’ll call you back later.

Leave a message at the tone.”

  

And so the message begins . . .

  

“Honey, this is your father

and I wanted you to know

your mother’s in the hospital;

she’s had a massive stroke.

The doctors are telling me

this isn’t a joke.

  

She hasn’t much longer to live.”

  

Hours later you come home,

see the answering machine blinking.

In and out . . . in a rush,

there’s no time to be listening –

there are too many other things

that you’re wanting to do.

You’ll listen a little later

when it’s convenient for you.  

  

“Ring, ring”, the phone rings,

another message is left . . .

“It’s me, son . . . your dad . . .

and your mom . . .

son . . .

she’s . . . dead.

She tried to hold on.

She so wanted to see you.

Where are you?

Where are you?

I desperately need you.

  

In a similar way

many messages have been sent

from your Father to you,

but you have ignored them;

messages of urgency,

of eternal life or death,

but you’re too busy playing

to be bothered by His requests.

For such a time as this

you were placed upon this earth,

not to be distracted

by your merriment and mirth,

but to do the will of the Father.

He needs you, son, right now.

Answer the call,

heed His message.

Time’s much too short

to be messing around.

 

†††

 

THE MOVE OF GOD

 

It used to be

I once believed

with great anticipation,

somewhere, someday,

in a powerful way

God would move in the local congregation.

So I went in search

of an anointed church

and waited and prayed and waited,

and though the Word was preached

and His presence was sweet,

the awesome and glorious never happened.

There were no dramatic healings,

no glory clouds, tongues of fire,

no mighty drawing of the townspeople

to the presence of a Holy Power.

Years went by and quite resigned,

I felt sure I would never see

a local move of God in my lifetime,

when the Spirit of God spoke to me.

“You’re searching and waiting for Me to move,

but how many times have I moved in you?

You sit and you wait

and you plead and you pray;

My move, child . . .

begins with you.

It’s about living the life, day-to-day, in Me,

not in a building . . .

or a gathering of believers;

“it is for freedom

that you have been set free”;

you sing it, but do you believe it?

The one at your workplace

who is bound up in fear,

the one who’s deceived by a lie,

the one who once knew Me

but is no longer near . . .

will you hold back My move

’til they die?

 

It is for their freedom, child,

that you’ve been set free.

Move in Me

 

. . . and watch Me move.”

 

†††

 

THE NEW CHRISTIANESE?

 

Manifest presence,

vicarious repentance . . .

 

habitation,

impartation,

activation,

appropriation . . .

 

paradigm shifts,

creative miracles (aren’t they all?) . . .

revelation knowledge,

kingdom mentality (why not say “the mind of Christ”?),

and the “fullness” of the call . . .

 

travailing,

releasing,

birthing,

soaking . . .

 

mentoring,

shepherding,

mothering,

and fathering . . .

 

impressed,

oppressed,

walking in the flesh, flesh . . .

 

embracing “His move”,

“calling forth”,

and “breaking through” . . .

 

Why do we keep on talking in this way???

 

Does anybody know why we keep talking in this way?

Do we really have a grasp of all the words that we now say?

Are fancy words and oratory getting in the way

 

of just speaking forth the simple truth of Jesus?

 

†††

 

THE OVERLOOKED PARTNER

 

What will you do after this?

Where will you go from here?

When will you think about me again

and your love songs once more I hear?

 

You meet with me for a little while

then depart to continue your day.

It’s as if I live in your prayer closet;

you close the door and it’s there I remain.

 

But I don’t live in your closet in a box on the shelf

that you open sometimes and peek in

to say “How you doin’? I love you, by the way,

aren’t you glad I stopped by to check in?”

 

I’m not in your closet; I reside within you,

and everywhere you go, I am there –

an overlooked partner awaiting your worship;

a ready helper awaiting your prayer.

 

I see what you see; I go where you go –

every person, place, and thing – I’m always there.

How can your life

be a pleasing sacrifice,

if you’re living like I’m not even there?

 

†††

 

THE REALITY OF HELL

 

A lake that burns with great fire,

searing flames that are never quenched

weeping and gnashing from within the blaze,

as residents burn on and on without end,

never to be relieved or destroyed by it,

yet subjected to it time and again,

continuous torment, no hope, no escape,

a reality unchanged by the opinion of men,

who once walked this earth rejecting Christ

as the only way to the Father;

their lack of understanding that hell was real

did not make its existence less hotter.

And the smoke of their utter torment

now rises up from that place forever,

no rest day nor night, they did not know their plight,

and this knowledge brings me great displeasure.

 

We must tell the lost ones we encounter –

 

Hell is real! Hell is real! Hell is real!

 

Yes, I am ready to take the heat

because I don’t want you to!

Call me insensitive or politically incorrect,

I will no longer side-step the truth –

Yes, God loves you and He is love,

but, hell is real and God’s not unfair.

Jesus died for your sins, but unless you accept Him,

it’s your sin that will put you there.

 

†††

 

THE RIDE

(A Little Lesson from Matthew 21)

 

If the Lord can use a donkey,

he most certainly can use me –

all he wants is obedience and availability.

 

But if I resist and buck the Lord

and trot off to my “stall” to hide,

he’ll move on to a usable “donkey” . . .

 

and I will miss the ride.

 

†††

 

THE WAYWARD CHILD

 

Just because you don’t believe it

doesn’t make Truth false

or is it that it’s more convenient

to claim ignorance as the cause

for your sin, rebellion, love of self

when in truth you know the Truth . . .

  

and the only One who matters

  

also knows the heart of you.

 

†††

 

TITLE TRANSFER

 

We welcome “Apostle” so-and-so,

and listen to “Prophet” such-and-such,

and if the gender is female,

the correct title to use is “Prophetess”.

But as we apply lofty titles

to confirm all these special gifts,

are we giving undue credit to ourselves

when it’s really all about Him?

Are there special spiritual anointings

that deserve such affirmation,

or are we merely elevating ourselves

for the human recognition?

There are many parts to the Body

with gifts that are equally great –

none any better than the other,

yet no titles precede their names.

And do we limit God from using us

in different capacities

when we say we’re strictly a “this or that”

and He has for us other ministries?

Should a title precede our given name

to describe our holy gift,

when the gift should be quite obvious

if we’re really moving in it?

No.

Let’s transfer the titles back to the Source

for they have nothing to do with us,

and elevating man just contributes to pride.

Let the Gift Giver be lifted up

. . . and let’s call ourselves “servants of God”!

 

†††

 

TO THE CHURCH IN AMERICA

 

Listen to the words I say to you now:

to the church in America, unto Baal no longer bow.

Idols in your lives have taken my place;

you tease me with your words, but you do not seek my face.

You submit yourselves to unholy things in this unholy hour,

and wonder why you do not walk in victory and power.

Greater things you cannot do when your flesh you constantly feed.

I’ll get serious with you, when you get serious with me.

The time is growing very short and so the time is now

for the church in America to arise and to Baal no longer bow.

 

†††

 

TREASURES

 

I slowly climbed the dusty, rutted hillside,

holding tightly to the handle of my cart.

As it strained against the incline

and the weight it held inside.

I was grateful my destination was not that far.

 

Clearing the pinnacle of the hill, I saw him,

and slowed my steps to stop my load with care.

Reaching into the handmade cart,

I began to gingerly withdraw

all the wonderful things I had for him in there.

 

“Here! Look here!” I exclaimed, reaching for the first thing

and placing it on the ground beside my feet.

“It’s a book I wrote about you!

It’s receiving rave reviews,

and it won’t be long ’til the sequel goes to print!”

 

“And here! Oh, my! Will you look at these accomplishments?

It’s obvious that your influence has taken hold!

Certificates of achievement,

T.V. shows and speaking engagements!

I can’t wait to see what other things unfold!”

 

I reached in again to pull out even more trophies,

asking “aren’t you proud of me for what I’ve done?”

My arms loaded down with things,

I finally turned to look at him

and saw my Lord looking down at me from where he hung.

 

As I stood reaching out to him with all my treasures,

I saw love and pain at once within his eyes;

drops of blood rolled from his crown

and then slowly trickled down

to splash upon the objects of my pride.

 

Diseased with sin, I stood transfixed, immobile,

to gaze upon the One who died for me;

my focus was no longer upon

all the great things I had done,

but my sin that put him there . . . and his great mercy.

 

His blood washed away my sin;

my debt has been forgiven.

 

My only treasure is Jesus and his saving grace.

 

†††

 

TRUTHFUL ANSWERS

 

When I say “I’ll have to pray about that”, do I really mean it?

Or “the Lord hasn’t told me to do this or that”, is the statement true?

Or am I using my Christianity as a spineless, lame excuse

to avoid speaking forth the complete and honest truth

of “I’m not interested, I’m too tired, I don’t have time”,

and in so doing, revealing to all my self-centered side?

Maybe when I say I’ll pray, I need to . . .

so I follow God’s will in the matter . . . and not mine.

 

Oh, Father, let my “Yes” be “Yes” and my “No” be “No”

and may the answer I give be the one you want from me.

Forgive me, Lord, for using prayer as a pretense

and mocking the meaning of true Christianity.

Your Word says kings take pleasure in lips of honesty;

they value a man who always speaks the truth.

You are my King, oh Lord, so take pleasure in me –

in every situation, I will only speak the truth.

 

†††

 

WAAA, WAAA, WAAA, WAAA, WAAA

 

A long, hard day at the office,

followed by sports activities,

then dinner, dishes, and an old movie

(thank goodness for comedic relief!)

 

I glance at the clock – it’s 11:00 p.m.,

and once again I’m too tired to pray.

Tomorrow I’ll rise half an hour early,

but for now I must call it a day.

 

“In India, an Australian missionary and his two sons were burned to death in their vehicle this week. Graham Staines and his two sons, Philip, 10 and

Timothy, 8, were sleeping in a jeep after a prayer meeting. Others who attended the prayer meeting were sleeping in the prayer halls. Some 50

attackers doused the jeep with gasoline and set it on fire. The mob blocked

the three from escaping out of the vehicle. Staines, with his wife Gladys,

worked with leprosy patients in India for 34 years.”

 

“Following a death threat delivered to the Canaan Fellowship Church in

Jaffna, Sri Lanka, 34 year old Pastor Vasu Sritharan was brutally murdered by three young men who had laid in wait for him. The pastor, after a night of prayer, entered his room and was killed. The killers slit his throat and he

bled to death. Some of the Hindu groups were trying to curtail Pastor Vasu’s work with the Hindus. Another man from this same church was found with his throat cut almost a month later.”

 

It’s Sunday morning (the second service)

and I sit down with my bible in hand –

third row, aisle seat, middle section  –

pastor and friends always know where I am.

 

But the music’s all wrong, the sermon’s too long,

and the air conditioning’s on the fritz.

How will I ever concentrate on the Lord?

How can I possibly “enter in”?

 

“Last week it was reported that Chinese police hauled another 50 believers in Wuhan, China to jail. Most of the arrests happened while believers worshipped in house churches.  One hundred thirty members of another Protestant house church were also recently imprisoned.  Many believers are now secretly gathering together in rooms with windows closed and shades drawn so authorities will not see or hear them. They whisper their prayers and praises as temperature in these rooms often exceed 100 degrees.”

 

“Three Ethiopian Christians detained for the past six months without charges claim they were severely beaten and tormented this week under the authority of a Saudi prison official in Jeddah.  ’Being suspended with chains, each of us were flogged 80 times with a flexible metal cable and also severely kicked and beaten with anything that came into their hands,’ said a letter from the Ethiopians obtained by Washington, D.C.-based International Christian Concern. ‘This was witnessed by over 1,000 deportees.’ The Saudi Ministry of Interior arrested the men after receiving reports of their participation in Christian gatherings that included Saudi converts to Christianity.”

 

People in the marketplace are just faces,

mixed together in a hurried blur.

Some I might notice, but others I do not;

I’m so busy, I can’t be concerned.

 

I just don’t have time to get to know them;

they have their lives, and I have mine.

Besides witnessing to strangers is awkward;

evangelists are supposed to share Christ.

 

“Firing squads recently massacred more than 20 new believers in North Korea.  They were executed on grounds of ‘criminal charges.’ Other recent killings include two Christian women who were publicly executed. They were faithful believers who were spreading God’s Word. The women were charged with ‘illegal smuggling’.  In another case, two believers were shot to death in public. North Korean officers broke the teeth of one of them, and as they dragged him to the place where he would be killed, he continued to tell them about his Savior, Jesus.”

 

“Communist officials in Laos have declared Christianity the ‘number-one enemy of the state,’ and have launched a campaign to force Christians to renounce their faith. Last month, police beat pastor To in front of a tribal village where he was witnessing. He was arrested and sentenced to three years in a labor camp. When his wife heard the sentence and complained, police burned the family’s Bibles. Police throughout Vietnam are trying to frighten believers into closing their churches. Recently, as a scare tactic, police took away some Christians’ vehicles, farm animals, and home-registration papers. But this doesn’t stop church growth. Some believers will ride for up to 12 hours on motorcycles to share the Gospel with people who live in rural areas. In some areas, church services are held in the jungle. Worship services end when the police make a surprise visit. The police punish families who host the church services. In one instance the police slaughtered a family’s water buffalo, their only means to plow their rice fields. Christians travel in secret at night to avoid police when delivering Bibles.”

 

“Recently, two Christians in Africa were shot to death because they helped

show the ‘Jesus’ film. In one incident, retired policeman, Getachew, was shot  to death while setting up film equipment. He was getting ready to show the film to a crowd in Ethiopia. In another incident in Sierra Leone, West Africa, rebels captured Christians who showed the ‘Jesus’ film in a civil war-ravaged area. The believers were held as slaves for months. They were forced to walk barefoot, and several of them developed serious leg infections. When one of the Christians told a rebel soldier he could not walk any further because his feet were in so much pain, he was shot in the head and killed.”

 

The Word says where your treasure is,

there your heart will also be.

If I’m all caught up in my comfort now,

is that the only treasure I’ll receive?

 

While sold-out believers in China,

Korea, India, Africa and Viet Nam

give their all for Christ and, at the same time,

store up treasure for themselves in heaven?

 

Waaa, waaa, waaa, waaa, waaa, waaa, waaa!  

When am I gonna get it?

This walk’s not about me, my petty needs,

or all my creature comforts.

 

It’s about Jesus and what He’s asked of me –

the plan He’s established for my life.

Am I gonna heed His call and give Him my all,

or am I just gonna live to “get by”?

 

†††

 

WHAT’S IN YOUR GARBAGE CAN?

(A “trashy” little ditty)

 

The contents of a garbage can

can be a good barometer

of the condition of the heart inside

the trash container’s owner.

 

Hidden within the table scraps,

away from the eyes of man,

under the lid, away from view –

Jesus knows what’s in your can.

 

†††

 

WAITING IN THE REAR

 

Not so very long ago,

Your presence was so strong;

Your Spirit flowed so freely;

and we often sang new songs.

We danced with joy before You;

words of knowledge would come forth.

Overwhelmed by Your holy presence,

we cried more, Lord; give us more.

 

Not confined at all by time,

we’d worship and we’d pray;

You’d visit us in the sanctuary . . .

and we’d stay and stay and stay.

Oh how we loved to worship You;

how we longed to seek Your face.

Throwing aside all weariness and pride,

we lived to give You praise.

 

But something seemed to happen;

things just haven’t been the same.

Oh, we sense Your presence occasionally

but You never seem to stay.

Looking sadly at the church around me,

I remembered when the river flowed

and cried out in complete desperation,

oly Spirit!  Where did you go?”

 

Suddenly in a soft, quiet voice,

 felt His Spirit draw near,

and He said, “I haven’t really left this place.  

I’m just waiting in the rear.

I long to pour out My presence here. . .

to let My river flow,

but for now these things aren’t possible;

I’ve been consigned to the back row.”

 

†††

 

WHERE ARE THE ONES?

 

Where are the ones who once worshipped Me

in Spirit and in Truth?

Gathered together in one accord;

not long ago,

I consumed you.

All your days were devoted to Me;

I took priority

over everything else.

But when expectations were not met

according to your timing and your plan,

the enemy came in

and there were casualties.

Callings, unfulfilled;

the devourer, seeking to kill,

has been successful.

Family relationships – utterly shattered,

close-knit friendships – bruised and battered,

to bring isolation and pain,

allowing further penetration

by an enemy set on destruction,

and what once brought satisfaction

is no longer Me.

A calendar of meaningless events,

extravagant purchases, ungodly friends,

was not part of the Plan

I had for you . . .

  

and will never fill that place

reserved for Me.

 

†††

 

WHERE ARE YOU?

 

My dearest friends,

my precious family . . .

Where are you?  

Where are you

in your relationship with Jesus?

 

I pray that you’ve given

your life totally to Him . . .

that you turn and run away

from all appearances of sin . . .

that you live to please the Lord;

not yourself and not your friends . . .

because in the end

it’s not a friend

who’ll save you.

Time is short

and soon . . . alone

you’ll face the Lord.

 

Believe me when I tell you

that our Father doesn’t change.

He’s the same today as yesterday

and he doesn’t wink at sin.

He won’t reduce sin’s penalty

because you live in modern times.

His word stands true;

the choice for you:

death and hell . . .

or Jesus and life.

  

Please choose Jesus and life.

 

†††

 

WHERE IS THE LOVE?

 

I saw today a brother in great sorrow

and noticed yet another who was absent –

supposed spiritual wisdom

and prophetic knowledge too –

overrode a call

for God’s love and compassion.

Where is the love?

Where is the love?

How can we say we are Christians,

if we do not show His love?

Instead we say “Brother, it’s me before you.

My anointing before your need.

My opinion is truly a God-given gift

so I’m justified, don’t you see,

to treat you with cold aloofness,

callousness – until you gladly receive

the word from the Lord I’ve given you.

Will you hear what God’s saying through me?”

And as the brother in Christ listens carefully,

 

he hears . . .

 

“clang . . .

clang, clang . . .

clang, clanging” . . .

 

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-2

 

To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8,9

 

†††

 

 

WHISPER, WHISPER

 

Whisper, whisper.

You hear it and dismiss it.

Whisper, whisper.

There it is again.

Whisper, whisper.

You begin to contemplate it

as it gets into your spirit

and you start to believe it,

 

but it’s a lie . . .

 

straight from the lips . . .

 

of Satan.

 

 

DO NOT believe the lie;

DO NOT seek the treasure.

An ambush awaits

what would seem to bring pleasure.

The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy,

even though he may sweetly whisper

lies that MUST be measured

against Truth.

 

†††

 

WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO?

 

Circumstances in your life need redirection,

so you take the reins; you know what must be done.

The actions you have planned will only benefit your cause;

surely God will know just where you’re coming from.

 

You’re totally familiar with the holy words of God,

but for the moment you must sidestep one or two.

To achieve the goals that you consider worthy,

there will be ungodly things that you must do.

 

With care you fully detail the outline of your plan,

and you humbly ask forgiveness from the start.

Your intent is good – so God will surely overlook the bad,

after all He understands and knows your heart.

 

Playing games with an entity way above your league,

you dance your way around the written truth.

Your prayers are always worded so very carefully –

but who do you think it is you’re talking to?

 

Men can be manipulated and sometimes even conned

to accept or overlook a certain deed.

But, in this case, you’re dealing with the One, all-knowing God,

and He sees right through your greedy plans and schemes.

 

He is God . . . the Beginning and the End,

He knows all . . . unlike the simple mind of man.

Omnipotent and Almighty, the Giver of All Life,

the Lord of Lords, He is The Great I Am.

 

As you approach the throne with your excuses,

be reminded you’ll approach the throne again.

When each person stands before the Lord in judgment,

will your excuses be accepted by Him then?

 

†††

 

WHO OWNS YOUR HEART?

 

Who owns your heart?

Who has your passion?

If you were forced to part

with every possession?

Your jewelry, your car,

your money, your mansion?

Could you count it all joy

because your life’s passion

transcends earthly things?

 

Who owns your heart?

Who has your passion?

If you were forced to part

with all of your children,

your spouse or sweetheart,

your parents, your best friend?

Could you count it all joy

because your first love

is Christ?

 

†††

 

WOOD, HAY & STUBBLE

 

Surrounded by so many wonderful things,

my home, my sports car, my necklaces and rings,

a camper, a motorcycle, a new ATV,

a swimming pool, hot tub, and a wide-screen TV,

all quite enjoyable I really must say,

still wood, hay and stubble at the end of the day,

nice to have around, but someday I’ll “leave town”

and none of these things will go with me.

 

And so the thought is sobering to me

that my purpose, my life’s passion can never be

wood, hay and stubble . . . to gain and to keep

because if it does . . .

than it’s become my god . . .

and my heaven . . .

oh so brief . . . is here and now.

 

†††

 

WORDS, WORDS, WORDS

 

A prophetic word here, a prophetic word there –

nebulous, fluffy, generic.

If I hear one more “word” without substance,

I’m afraid that I surely will vomit.

 

Either the prophets aren’t hearing completely

or perhaps they’re not prophets at all;

or perhaps they don’t speak words with substance

for fear they’ll offend or be wrong.

 

Or tainted by mammon, the word is corrupt,

as prophets speak out “for the profit”.

Merchandising the anointing, they line their own pockets –

could this mockery stir God to vomit?

 

There’s a scripture that talks about “substance”,

as we hear flesh-filled prophecies galore

and confirmations about what the future holds –

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for . . .”

 

Faith in the One who’s already in the future,

who with accuracy and substance does speak.

If the prophets are carnal, we can trust all He says,

for His Word is the lamp to our feet.

 

†††

 

WORSHIP SERVICE CONVICTION

 

Empty words, shallow motives;

when will I fully live the life?

I don’t want a relationship

that’s always about me, myself, and I.

Do I worship You because when I do

it seems I have You all to myself;

because I love the way You love me;

and to be honest, it just feels good?

Or do I worship You because I love You?

You say “if You love me,

feed my lambs; feed my sheep”;

but I’m not doing that a whole lot, am I?

So do I really love You?

Or is this relationship all about me?

Is this an 80-20 relationship where You give everything

and get little in return?

Not that I have to give You anything;

Your mercy and grace are so huge.

But do I really love You like I say I do?

Do I realize worship is more than a few words,

a few songs and a dance?

It’s a lifestyle of devotion and obedience

to a Master and His commands.

It’s loving You so much

that I do the things You say

because I want to please You

in every possible way.

 

So do I really love You?

Or do I love me more?

 

I eat Your Flesh and drink Your Blood

and grow fat, fat, fat.

You say “Feed my lambs; feed my sheep”,

but I’m too busy feeding myself to have time for that.

It’s true I was created to worship You,

but so was every person I meet every day.

And as I sing the chorus

“let everything that has breath give You praise”,

am I hearing the words that I say?

So many haven’t been fed

because I haven’t fed them;

how can they praise someone

they don’t know and haven’t met?

Weak and emaciated; starving for the truth,

they have no spiritual breath

or strength to give You praise.

So until I feed Your lambs and feed Your sheep,

and do the things You say,

how can I possibly, comfortably sing the words

“let everything that has breath give You praise?”

 

How can I honestly say that I love You?

 

†††

 

YOU’RE NOT YOUR OWN

 

There’s a leading in your heart

and you know what you should do,

but you choose not to.

Not right now.

 

The Spirit of Christ within you

says go forward in His name,

but immobile you remain.

You stand still.

 

Holiness is what He asks for;

set apart from earthly things,

yet to the world you cling.

You won’t let go.

 

A “self” serving man,

you won’t give the Lord your all.

You won’t heed the call.

You suit your “self”.

 

But you’re not your own.

You’ve been bought with a price.

He gave you His life.

Give Him yours.

 

He wants it all.

 

–Cheri Henderson, http://cheri-henderson.com  

 

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