Tag Archive | adversity

A Certain Hope

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When my heart is filled with sadness,
And the songs have all been sung,
When there’s nothing left to say,
And yet the sorrow’s just begun,
When there’s no one to turn to,
And no where to hide,
From the anguish of the soul inside-
When all around my world is cold and gray,
I still hear Him say,
Be not as those that have no hope,
Weeping’s for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Be not as those that have no hope,
Weeping’s for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
When I shall awake, I shall be in thy likeness
When I shall awake, I shall be in thy likeness
For eye has not seen, and ear has not heard,
Neither has entered in the heart of man,
The things God has prepared for them that love Him,
For them that love Him.
So, be not as those
that have no hope,
Weeping’s for a night
But joy comes in
The morning
I shall awake in thy likeness.

From God Remembers published 2010

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Break the Spiral of Silence

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Awake! Bride of Christ – be brave,
Proclaim that He alone does save,
Proclaim the hard things in His Word,
Do not pretend you have not heard.

Your silence makes it hard to speak,
You become hypocritical and weak,
You bar lost souls from truth they seek,
You contribute to a future bleak.

Bonhoeffer saw the evil of his day,
And that most of the church had nothing to say,
Sin of selfishness and pride,
Because of silence millions died.

The same is happening today,
We’re no more innocent than they,
Like Pilot we say, “I wash my hand”
And do not dare to take a stand.

Promoting tolerance not Truth,
Filled with all the lusts of youth,
Failing to heed prophetic voice,
Awake and make a better choice!

We rather like psychology,
Trust evolution and ecology,
And other types of so-called science,
Have our allegiance and compliance.

But to believe the Word of God,
Is too simplistic and quite odd,
We don’t like that old-fashioned stuff,
The savvy know it’s not enough.

And so the culture makes the rules,
Without our influence or our tools,
While we embrace the crumbs they give,
And miss the way God says to live.

Repent! Know resurrection power!
Let God reform your heart this hour,
Jesus alone can truly save,
From chains of sin that hold us slave.

Your silence will not set you free,
Friend of the world you cannot be,
Fear not what man can do to you,
Have courage! To His Word be true.

Don’t shave the truth to not offend,
To every whim of culture bend,
Have you not learned or understood?
Your silence does more harm than good.

But learn to speak the truth in love,
One goal – to please the LORD above,
Even if persecution falls,
Stand up for Jesus when He calls.

I recently listened to a powerful discussion between Dr. Erwin Lutzer and Eric Metaxas titled “The Role of the Church in Our Culture” and this poem is my response. Hear the discussion for yourself at http://www.moodymedia.org/sermons/-/role-church-our-culture/#.UIWkyJUU.IU

His Still Small Voice

Rest your mind,
Don’t try to do My job for Me,
You never can.
You are safe with Me,
Even now, right where you are.
Lord, what is this painful burden
In my heart?
It is all the things you regret–
Your own actions and those of others,
Things you know now that
could have been better
should have been different
would have been more helpful
The grief does not crush Me
As it does you
I AM big enough
To make it all right.
You must let it go–
Cast your burden on Me
Forgive and be forgiven.

Skeleton in the Closet

The skeleton in the closet
Once was clothed in flesh
Eyes envisioning the future
Two hearts beating for each other

Tears from sightless sockets
An ache in the heartless chest
The burdensome secret must be kept
No one can know how dead life is

Time takes its toll, shrivels the soul
Familiarity breeds contempt
Disappointment dissolves into neglect
Healthy gives way to hollow
Atrophy sets in
Love wastes away to less than skin and bones

Still Trusting

give thanks

I trust You in the unfulfillment
Of dreams that will not now be
I trust you in the disappointments
That through them You are molding me.

You knew all my youthful heart desired
And led my by a different route
I to full abundant life aspired
By emptiness it comes about?

Man’s designs and human error
Can’t thwart what sovereignly you’ve planned
You still work all things for my good
Though often I don’t understand

Sometimes though, I feel betrayed
By a manipulator’s voice
Fear, confusion, heartache stayed
Persuading me to make a choice

Forgive, wait, study, pray
Endure, persevere, obey
Continue in love; not bitter, be sweet
Know joy, abundance — transformation
From learning at the Savior’s feet.

Sadly though my progress is slow
And I often stumble on this path
There is always so much more to know
So at myself I cry or laugh

Lift my gaze to see past now
Beyond troubles and cares this life brings
Trusting while not knowing how
In waiting you will give me wings.

Classical Music in the Congo

How many students are less than enthusiastic when urged to go into the next room for music practice?   Can you imagine walking several miles each way, six days a week just to go to choir practice?  Or tending to an infant and two other young children while practicing violin?  I was moved to tears as I watched and listened to the recent  CBS 60 Minutes story about a symphony that emerged from nothing but a dream and the deep desire in the human heart for beauty.

A Congolese pilot had been exposed to classical music on his ventures away from home.  Due to circumstances in his war torn country he was no longer able to fly, but  he  had some sheet music and a dream of having a symphony in his home town.  He invited members of his church to join him.  He did not know how to read music and he had no musical training  – none of them did.  They had very few instruments, but amazingly the symphony evolved.  They taught themselves how to read music and play a variety of  instruments.  They took turns practicing everyday on the few instruments they shared.   Violins, horns, flutes and other instruments began trickling in, some in dire need of repair.  They rebuilt and repaired the items they were given with amazing ingenuity and resourcefulness.

I was convicted when I considered my myriad of excuses for failing to learn to play the digital wonder that sits in my living room.   These people overcame every kind of obstacle to create an oasis of beauty for themselves.  Years of diligent effort individually and as a community has produced abundant blessing.  What they pursued for their own edification and enjoyment in the midst of devastating circumstances has brought hope and happiness to not only them and their community, but to people throughout the world.

It was thrilling to hear the powerful voices, skillfully played woodwinds, strings and other members of this volunteer symphony perform complex classical pieces.  The glory of the music was augmented by and reflective of the depth of beauty within the souls of these wonderful people.  The sparkle in their eyes, the sweetness in their smile, the love and gratitude for the music shining in each face was inspiring.   The reporter rightly stated that certainly there are symphonies that have played with greater skill, but none with greater joy.