Why Do We Tell Our Kids A Lie – Christmas

Santa Christmas

 

Why do we tell our kids a lie,
Of that old man up in the sky,
And tell them that if they are good,
He’ll give them what they think he should?
But if they’ve been bad kids this year,
That old grey man won’t even hear
Their plea for what they want to have.
And so they learn to just be sad,
And to try harder every year,
To earn his favor and his cheer.

If this is how we’ve all been raised,
Why is it that we’re all amazed
That kids confuse that old grey man,
With He whose gracious, master plan
Was then to give his Son for us,
For us in our rebelliousness!
Before we knew the mighty task,
Or even had a chance to ask!
And so I hope you will this year
Participate in holy cheer,
As we all praise our God who gave
His only Son for us to save.

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Some Days Are Not Like All The Rest

days

Some days are not like all the rest;
Some days the worst, some days the best.

Some days are up, some days are down.
Some days a smile, some days a frown.

Some days are not like all the rest;
Some days are cursed, some days are blessed.

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Whimperwheel, My Daffodil

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It’s been a long, intense day. This is just me unwinding with something silly.

Whimperwheel, my daffodil.
Whimperwheel for me.
Whimperwheel til time stands still,
Still whimperwheel for me.

Plot not in vain a ruckus cause,
Plot not in vain my dear,
Plot not in vain for righteous laws
Will kill your lovely cheer.

Just whimperwheel my lovely dear,
Just whimperwheel for me.
Just whimperwheel with lovely cheer,
Mixed with your trademark glee.

Whimperwheel, I say to all!
Now whimperwheel for me!
Just whimperwheel on down the hall!
Go whimperwheel for me!

Lackadaisy number one,
Lackadaisy two.
There ain’t no way the lackadays
Were made for me and you.

Boo vo snitzel la pietzski
Boo vo snitzel lee.
Ain’t no boo snitzel in the world,
At least none left for me.

And if the boo should whimperwheel
I hope he keeps it quiet,
For if boo snitzel is for real,
Poor boo would cause a riot.

So go, boo snitzel, be not lazy.
Go – we all agree.
Go wake the nearest sleeping daisy,
And whimperwheel for me!

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Down To The Sea (Poem based on Psalm 107:23-32)

ships-sea

Down to the sea in ships they went,
They went down to the sea.
They went as those who had been sent;
In ships down to the sea.

They went for business on this trip,
Each man upon the sea.
And so each loaded up their ship
To sail upon the sea.

But not soon after they had left,
As sure as they could be.
There came upon them something which,
They thought they’d never see.

The waves they reached up to the sky,
And soon they fell below,
Which made each man a passer by,
As each went to and fro.

So up they went and down they came,
Each man went pound for pound,
They put all drunken men to shame,
With how they staggered round.

The storm was more than they could bear,
The chaos wouldn’t cease,
And so they shouted out in prayer,
They asked the Lord for peace.

And then the Lord, with His right hand,
And from His heart of love,
He calmed the storm so every man
Was rescued from above.

So let each man whose life was saved
Tell what the Lord has done.
Let them in wonder stand amazed,
And in His Spirit, run.

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To Learn The Love Of God From Men [poem]

ImageBreak the bonds, behold the time;
Submit to this new paradigm.
Open up from deep within
And learn the love of God from men.

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Only God Knows How Things Should Be

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Fish would say the whole world should be water. Elephants would call ivory the most desirable substance on Earth. Flutes would say woodwinds make the most beautiful sounding music. Those struck by lightning would say all the world’s funding should go to lightning research. Those raised by wolves who go on to live normal lives would swear it was how every kid should be raised. Only God knows how things should be.

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Abide In Him – Or Die

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“Redemption is meaningless unless there is cause for it in the actual life we live, and for the last few centuries there has been operating in our culture the secular belief that there is no such cause.”
-Flannery O’Connor, 1957

I want to add something to Ms. O’Connor’s thought. And it is that right now (I can’t speak for the 1950’s), not only is it a secular belief but a widespread religious belief that there is no reason for Redemption in the actual lives we live. And nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus had a word for the Pharisees who believed that: hypocrites. He called them white-washed tombs.

Much of Christianity today acts like once you (the sick, the weary, the poor, the sinful) start following Jesus, He makes you perfect and you never doubt, sin, or get sick again. You are now a righteous person in yourself and so your relationship with God is pretty mutual. You keep doing good stuff for Him and he just keeps blessing you. Nothing is further from the truth! Hell is full of “righteous” people who believed some fact about God, thought they were then perfect, and then went on living trying to earn God’s favor with what they did. That teaching, whether explicit or implicit in any institution is an outright lie. It may seem harmless, but it has real world ramifications.

I recently heard someone tell me that at a church several years ago (not in Little Rock) in Sunday school, the leader asked for everyone to write down a personal need on a card along with your phone number, which he would then read the need out loud, and someone would raise their hand for that need, and get in touch with that person during the week to help. My friend wrote down a personal struggle with sin he was having, and obviously wanted prayer or help from anyone in the class. The Sunday school teacher started reading the requests – somebody needed help with a broken mower, somebody’s dog was sick, somebody needed prayer to sell their car, somebody wanted prayer for their business – etc, etc. My friend’s request was never read to his brothers and sisters in that room. It was thrown away by the leader. He didn’t want to read it. And what was the message that that sent to my friend? Don’t bring up your stuff in church. We keep it artificial here.

Later he was able to be transparent at another church, and found out that most everyone else was like him anyway, on the inside. All it took was him being transparent, and they all started opening up. It’s called community, and every human on the planet needs it. “Here’s who I am & what I’ve done, the very worst and the very best. Tell me about you. Ok, cool. That sounds a lot like me. Now we all see the good and the bad in each other, and yet, we’re strangely OK and happy to know each other. It’s like a little refuge from all the fake people out there. I really love you guys. We know the way to life, and we encourage each other along the way.” This necessarily involves vulnerability, transparency, and intimacy. We are like this because God is like this – Father, Son, and Spirit, who made each of us in their image. You will either find community in the body of Christ or in the body of another. Bars, clubs, anonymous groups, rehab facilities, affairs – all of these offer some form of transparent community that every human needs. It’s just who we are. And some of them (not affairs…) are useful and good for what they are. However, none of them can provide what only the body of Christ can provide.

I’m glad my friend found a group of believers he can be real with. We all need that. I know I do, and am thankful for the people in my life.

Jesus said “Come to me all you who are weary” and he also said “Abide in me…If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away”. To me that sounds like we come to Him and then we stay with Him because we still need Him. The New Testament also tells believers to confess our sins to each other, and also not to say that we do not sin, or else we make God out to be a liar. Practically, I know this is hard, because no one wants to hear somebody be negative all the time. Also, American culture is just generally very positive in nature. But, somewhere along the way the American church started replacing “Come to Me….Abide in Me” with “Come to Me…Ok now you’re good, you won’t sin anymore, therefore you don’t need me. Go do something FOR me. And, if you notice something wretched in you, just don’t tell anyone.”

I think we “abide in Him” by listening to him (his word), talking to Him (prayer), and being with and loving His body, the church. Kind of makes sense, really, since to know someone you need to be with them, talk to them, and listen to them. Also, for people that are married, knowing your spouse I think is a part of how you know God, though I am as yet unqualified to speak in that area! 🙂

And, part of all of those is admitting to yourself, Him, and each other – STILL – that we need Him. If our lives are perfect and we’ve got it all figured out, we just don’t need Him. We don’t.

However, we are far from perfect. And even what we think we know isn’t even a drop in the bucket of all knowledge. The good news, though, is that if you know Him, you know all you need to know. You know the one who has it all figured out, the one who is perfect, the supreme creator and ruler of the universe. If you know Him then He has your back, and He will never let you go.

If you know Him, our confession of sin and brokenness to Him and to each other will not make Him angry, but will bring Him joy, as we abide in Him.

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