Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Frost

The Frost

I have seen beauty today.
It came swiftly,
Swiftly like the pearls of rain,
That splash and give life.
As the sun rose,
Lighting the sky in
What seemed to me,
A magical glow.
It cast down light,
Revealing the crisp landscape,
Frozen in time, edged in silver.
Tiny crystals smiled up at me,
Glistening in the yellow light,
The haze from the clouds.
And I smiled back at them,
For I too was enlightened
By the magical glow.
The light flooded the land
And my chains were released.
They came alive and danced,
Dancing with me in my joy.
Everything was fresh and new,
Preserved in eternal beauty.
As I danced in the garden,
I only wished I was like them.
The world was wonderful.
Dawn had come and
The world had been reborn.
Perfect and flawless,
White and mystical,
Filling my heart with wonder.
Fragile and delicate edges,
Each one carefully placed
And all intricately designed.
The crystals all with pride,
Each one different and special.
I tried to see them all,
Knowing all were waiting
To show me their beauty.
I wept that I could not make
A poem for each single one
Designed as a sign; millions,
Showing exactly what He can do.
I have seen beauty today.

Well, obviously this wasn't today, again, this is a poem I wrote a few years ago, on a cold winter's morning when there was frost. I didn't actually do all the things I said I did in the poem, but I guess that my failing. God is wonderful, and He has filled His creation with beauty. It's such a wicked shame that we don't enjoy it nearly as much as we should...

Monday, March 12, 2007

The dragon in the desert.

Why do I persist in rebelling against You?
Please lead me in your ways God!
I am so helpless without You.
Without You I am wandering in a desert,
I'm parched with thirst for Your water;
Water of life flowing from Your springs.
I don't know where I'm going,
I can't even find where I've come from.
The only help I can find is from You
But I cast You away from me.

Now I cannot settle, I am cursed.
You are not just my life,
But my only reason for living.
Without You there is no life.
If I could find my way
Through this desert back to You,
I would never cease to rejoice.
My soul would forever cry out,
With joy too inexpressible
For spiritual sighs.

In my desert, I see only dry sand.
I'm so tired, my head is bowed.
The ground is my vantage point,
The dust is my pitiful sight.
My eyes strain and itch
With the relentless stinging sand.
A baked desert, now filled with wind
Whips at my face and back.
The sun that I cannot bear
To see or feel, tortures me.

O God, You are so holy.
You are so righteous, and perfect.
You are beautiful beyond compare.
Your awesome glory fills the world.
The wonder of Your is love
Is displayed for all to see.
Your will is flawless and beautiful,
Perfect and as a priceless diamond.
Yet Your love is more forgiving
Than I could ever hope to imagine.

A cursed creature, an object of wrath
I can only cringe under Your wonder.
My life is a shadow of Your creation.
I've twisted it so much, my head
Is bowed and bent so low,
How can You see me God?
How can You see who I am?
Who I perhaps once was?
Who I perhaps could be?

I can't see the edge of this desert,
And I'm turning away from my only guide.
I've come so far, deeper and deeper,
Into the heart of this barrenness.
But You came down to me
To where I was, right beside me.
You experienced my fierce desert.
You felt the heat, You were burnt,
You were parched and thirsty,
And I did not help You.
I mocked You.

And then, though I had not seen
The full horror of where my path
Through my desert would take me,
You went ahead of me, suffering more
Much more than I could ever survive.
And You went to the very heart,
The bitter core of my evil desert.
You met the dragon there in me.

The dragon was fierce and deceitful,
Its fiery breath had burned up the ground
Bit by bit until my vast desert was made.
From its birth, I had been on that path,
Straight into that fiery mouth
At the core of my corruption.
But You went ahead of me,
To where I could not go.
The dragon struck You on the heel,
But on that third day
You crushed its head.

You came back for me,
You told me of Your victory.
You made me an object of mercy,
You called me Your child.
The desert dissolved,
And in its place was paradise.
In Your footsteps You brought life,
You brought me back
Into the garden of Your love.
Your mercy showered down
Your grace filled my heart.
Abundance and joy and mirth
Filled my emptiness.

You have given more than I can measure.
You have taken away what I could not.
Death has passed over me,
Because You have shown me
The glory of Your mercy.
The life ahead of me,
The real life, life with the fullness
Of being with You,
Is too marvelous and beautiful
To express within eternity.

Thank You for bringing me back to You.
Thank You for Your promise and strength,
Even when I still struggle through
The last stretch of my journey
Through this life, into Your life.
"To live is Christ, to die is gain."

Monday, March 05, 2007

Are we really crucified to the world?

Galatians 6:14
"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."

God is moving powerfully in my life, and the lives of many Christians around me. Here's a hint:
I'm done with comfortable Christianity. I've heard it said that the first thing Satan does in this country to a new Christian, is to build a nice pram for them. Smother them with comfort and security so that they quickly fall asleep. Some talk about personal evangelism, where we suppose that if we share our lives with people for long enough that living as "nice" people is going to tell people the Gospel. Then we hold that up as some kind of justifiable replacement for passionately loving God by living out lives to glorify God in every way with every breath, by leaving our comfort, casting aside our fears and anxieties and proclaiming the Gospel whenever and wherever we possibly can!

That link really says it all much better than I could. Check it out, it's an audio file of a sermon, under an hour long. I wish we could grasp a greater understanding of God's awesome glory and how He is more satisfying than everything we could ever want or need and that we could have an even greater passion and joy for glorifying Him. "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face." 1 Corinthians 13:12. The greatest joy we will experience will be rejoicing in God when we are face to face with His glory, and the amazing thing is that it's not that far away. We're not here on earth for very long. I wish Christians everywhere could join with Paul in saying, "to live is Christ and to die is gain." Colossians 3:2 says this, "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." And when we get hold of how awesome it will be to be with God in heaven, that's what will give us a single passion in this life, and that passion will be to glorify Him.

Another comment about a common comfortable Christianity opinion of evangelism came to my mind:

We grieve the Spirit of Christ if we resign ourselves to simply waiting for "opportunities" when we should be passionate about MAKING "opportunities" for sharing the Good News.

Our time everyday that so often we have the audacity to call "free" and that we fill with watching worthless television and feeble attempts at self-gratification, is our God-given opportunity to glorify Him by living, speaking and breathing His message!

For a Christian there is no such thing as "free" time. There is only time that has been bought and paid for with the blood of Jesus in His awesome sacrificial love.

Don't get me wrong, we need to take rests and it is God-glorifying to do so. But isn't the best way to refuel our bodies and souls not to sit in front of the television, but to sit in front of the throne of God in prayer, listening to Him, not the world?

Again, Jesus showed us the example.