Monday, July 15, 2019

The Faithful Trail

On the faithful trail, I’ll go,
through the woodland, thick in greening,
where undergrowth goes up and down,
and the trees are sometimes leaning.

But upon the trail, I’ll follow,
as I pass beneath the basswoods,
and walk along the touch-me-nots,
and a patch of tangled dogwoods.

I’ll trust when at the gully,
over lurking shadows deepest,
and cross along the broken tree
to escape long ditches steepest.

At trail’s end, I’ll have rest,
in a special, hidden clearing
where I’ll watch the peaceful passing clouds,
and the veeries I’ll be hearing.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

 The Faithful Trail

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1

People who have no faith will realize too late that they should have had it. The truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God will be revealed to all and those who maintained their confidence in this will be rewarded. Have you ever wondered if rewards are given in Hell? Well, there won’t be any given in any part of Hell. Its ruling inhabitant, the Destroyer, doesn’t love what the Creator created. Let us maintain our faith in our loving Savior, Jesus Christ, sent by our Creator. For by it, we are healed and rewarded.

Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
Hebrews 10:35

As we travel along life’s path, which can often times be gnarly like the deep woods, we might encounter people who are enemies of the cross. The cross is foolishness to them. People against God are fixed on earthly things. They can’t please God because of their lack of faith.

(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
Philippians 3:18-19   

Stick to the trail. Don’t go too far to the left or the right. Pray to walk the faithful trail. Cry for help as stresses and strains try to send us off the trail and into the hopeless underbrush. God, the Heart Reader, knows the heart who asks for guidance. Draw close to God and He will draw close to you. Be a God-Pleaser.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Hebrews 11:6
Mary, the mother of Jesus, had faith in God, the Rewarder. She knew that He lifts up the humble and brings down the proud. Her soul praised God as she humbly served the Mighty One.

And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
Luke 1:45

Anna, of the tribe of Asher, had faith in God, the Great Heart Reader. An old widow and prophetess, she spent time in the temple praying and waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. Then, after many years, what she had waited for arrived wonderfully in front of her in the baby boy Jesus.

And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
Luke 2:38

I trust you are continuing to walk the faithful trail equipped with prayer. Set your sights on the rewards Heaven promises and follows through with and the sustenance of prayer. Jesus said to follow Him so, like Mary and Anna, do so. And may you reap the many rewards of a life lived trusting Him, the Amazing Giver of overwhelming joy and happiest peace.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Peaceful Rock

I headed for a place I know,
not wanting any clock,
where my burdened ears can hear the flow,
resting well on Peaceful Rock.

By the brook, I’ll sit and close my eyes,
where the canopy is thick,
and contentment there I’ll realize,
as I hear the water skip.

I will sit for many hours there,
or at least what seems to be,
and I’ll hear the water sing His care,
of the love He has for me.

And my troubles will go down the way,
where the ravens tend to flock,
yet the perfect peace of God will stay,
trusting well on Peaceful Rock.

Come unto me, all ye that labour
and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28


The world’s calamities circle around. Personal and family problems abound. Government issues soar on harsh sounds. It is true what Jesus said— that there will always be trouble in the world. And, it is also true that Jesus has overcome the world because He has said so in John chapter 16, verse 33.

I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
Psalm 18:1-3

David sang the above words when God delivered him from the hand of Saul. We might not be running from an angry king with a buckler on our arm but difficulties can seem to chase us nonetheless. Calling on the LORD in prayer is the answer. Praying is what David did and what we should do, too. Isn’t there a verse that says the prayer of a righteous man availeth much? Here it is:

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
James 5:16

Do you know to whom God said He would be a shield? It’s found in Genesis 15 when God made a covenant with this person. And do you know to whom God said the following in Exodus 33?

And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by.
Exodus 33:21-22

Praying people of faith know God is the rock on which they can base their lives. It’s the same rock the wise man built his house upon. To answer the above questions, it was Abraham who was told by God that He, God, would be Abraham’s shield in Genesis 15. And Moses was told by God to stand on a rock nearby while He, God, passed by in Exodus 33. Like the lyricist Augustus M. Toplady and composer Thomas Hastings of the old hymn Rock of Ages, we join our voices in their song:

Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.

Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
Matthew 21: 42-44

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the cornerstone.

Therefore thus saith the LORD GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
Isaiah 28:16

This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Acts 4:11-12

I hope you find Peaceful Rock down by the brook where the sound of flowing water washes away troubles. There is protection in the cleft of the Rock, under the hand of God. Upon this Rock, this tried stone, one can pray, trust and be at peace.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

What the Brook Sings
A Spring Sonnet

Shall I compare you to the singing brook?
You are more favored and more exquisite.
Spring waters rip the banks I overlook
and summer’s heat can lessen jolly wit.

Sometimes, sweet singing turns to babbling quick
and clarity is lost in foolishness.
Or, quality has ended by a stick,
where pools have gathered dumb in quietness.

But your still smaller voice will resonate
and not be muddled by the season’s tolls
to sing with me beyond and celebrate
resounding melodies on Heaven’s rolls.

So long as you hear what the brook sings of.
So long as you know it is my true love.

As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you:
continue ye in my love.
John 15:9

What the Brook Sings

Because of belief in our Creator’s love to us, there is a marriage of the Spirit. We are His if we have the Spirit. We belong to Jesus if we have faith.

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.
Romans 8:16

Another version states that the Spirit testifies with our spirit. By faith, we obtain the Spirit of sonship even though we fall miserably short of God’s glory. We can cry out to our Father who hears us and helps us live according to the Spirit.

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
Hebrews 13:4

Would it be no surprise that since God decreed marriage is honorable in all, Jesus’ first miracle was performed at a wedding? Or, that the first miracle involved changing something into something else (water into wine)? Or, that there would be a marriage of the Lamb in the end? No, it’s no surprise that marriage is important to God.

Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Matthew 19:6

A man leaves his mother and father and cleaves to his wife in the marriage covenant relationship. A vow is kept even in sickness, poorer conditions or worse circumstances than when unmarried and the two become one. It’s best to agree in faith, being equally yoked. It’s better to agree to not break faith with each other. Like two oxen pulling a cart together, they help each other trudge mud puddles and step over dips in the road. As a husband and wife give their heart to each other so we give our heart to Jesus. And Jesus tells us His yoke is easy (Matthew 11:30).  

God told the prophet Hosea to marry Gomer, a prostitute, to prove a point. Hosea kept taking her back and loving her even though she cheated on him a lot. The arrangement showed the love relationship God chose to have with His people—that He would keep loving them and that repentance brings blessing.  

The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
1 Corinthians 7:4

You’ve probably sung the old hymn “I Surrender All”. This hymn talks of giving all to Jesus. The marriage illustration applies to our faith in our risen Savior. It’s God’s Spirit that we must surrender to and not our sinful nature.

All to Jesus I surrender; all to him I freely give.
I will ever love and trust him, in his presence daily live.
I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.

Besides, look at this verse:

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Romans 8:6

He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
John 3:29

When Jesus came to be baptized, John the Baptist recognized Jesus as the Bridegroom. The husband of the bride is the bridegroom. And who is the bride? We are, the Church, which is all believers across time. We wait for the bridegroom who will return for His bride, the Church. Those that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.
Ephesians 5:25

Can you hear the brook sing of God’s love to us? We submit to Christ’s authority because of what He has done for us on the cross. His atoning death provides forgiveness of sins.

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
Revelation 19:7

Will you be at the great wedding foretold in Revelation? You are invited. I have loved ones already saving me a seat. Plan now to attend. Make your reservation. Don’t throw the invitation out!

God married human characteristics with the human birth of Christ, His Son becoming His creation. We are graciously made co-heirs with Christ, the Son of God, if we truly have the Spirit of sonship. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet call, we will be changed. Creation will become immortal, imperishable and incorruptible bearing the likeness of its Creator for eternity.

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
1 John 5:12

Celebrate marriage as you rely on prayer. He who gave Himself for us remains faithful. When you trek to the brook in the woods, pull up a rock, sit down and pray for faithfulness.

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Romans 8:9

Support marriage and its peace.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

For Mom

A soft breeze, a gentle sigh,
I’ll be where the leaves dance.
I’ll look up through at skies of blue
and fall within a trance.

In relaxed state, I’ll contemplate
and hear the wood thrush echoing.
His gorgeous tune releases me,
a distant place is beckoning.

How could God make these woods so fine?
All worries are asunder.
I’ll close my eyes and take it in,
this quiet place of wonder.

The LORD will give strength unto his people;
the LORD will bless his people with peace.
Psalm 29:11

…and where the wind lists,
                      where the Spirit resides,
                                            and where the tree yields.

Therefore, since we have been made right
in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God
because of what Jesus Christ our Lord
has done for us.
Romans 5:1

I remember when I wrote today’s featured poem. We were sitting around our campfire place made of a circle of stones on a picture-perfect day in the woods. There was no fire now, only the beauty of a clear summer day at high noon. Leaning my head back against the chair, I looked up through the heavy-leafed maple trees to the blue sky and occasional white puffy cloud passing by. But I didn’t see much of the sky. All the many leaves of the trees around me gave me a kaleidoscope view of varying green shapes. And they were dancing.

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
John 3:8

We can’t see the wind or where it comes from. Yet, we see its effects. There is peace in knowing God is in control. The Bible states that only someone born of water and of the Spirit can enter the kingdom of God (verse 5). He sends the wind where He will. When our senses are awakened by that Holy Spirit wind, we maintain our faith in the sixteenth verse further down in the third chapter of John:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

Look what faith can do! Many people have memorized John 3:16. It’s a verse that I think sums up the whole Bible. The leaves dancing in the wind remind us of the peace Jesus Christ gives to those who believe in Him. It’s the peace of knowing God’s Spirit residing in your heart. Belief equals being born of the Spirit because we live by faith. And this present life turns into everlasting life.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 14:27

That peace given only by Jesus helps us lean back and trust our loving Creator. When we know tragedy, we can pray. Through difficulties that God allows, prayer becomes sustenance. In pain and peace, we continue to pray. It’s not about what we can’t do in life’s hardships. It’s about what we can do. Abraham, Elijah, Hannah and Esther all pleaded in prayer with God. Can you think of other people in the Bible who pleaded with God our Friend in prayer? Or, maybe you know of people who do around you today. It’s true that prayer warriors lived before us and among us today.

That peace caused me to briskly walk up to the house, grab paper and pen and jot down a poem. It would become a favorite poem of my mother’s and the one I read at her funeral ten years ago. It’s the peace that assures a beautiful place and time, like the new Heaven and Earth described in Isaiah 65. It’s the peace that offers another opportunity in the morning to live a victorious life. It’s the peace described in Revelation 22 around the Tree of Life where the leaves are for the healing of the nations.

A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
Proverbs 15:13

By prayer, may you continue to rely on God’s Word to keep your heart merry and your spirit at peace.