Friday, January 4, 2019

Planning Ahead

The way to look at life, my friend,
if you would win at last,
depends upon two vantage points—
the future and the past.

But you object, “There’s almost naught
of the future we can know!”
The past is clear, all must agree,
our gains and losses show.

But have you heard that history
repeats itself full well;
and this is one of several ways,
the future we can tell.

So let’s project our thinking to 
the day that we shall die;
we’ll look at life as in the past;
for changes, then, we’ll sigh.

This way, past history is ahead,
and wrongs we then can right;
the sad mistakes we can avoid,
and actions that would blight.

It’s idealistic, yes, I know,
but not impossible;
for God can help us see and plan
the life that’s sweet and full.

(repost from August 2, 2017)

Picture: from The Peanut Gallery blog, accessed online July 30, 2017

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Remember to Number

It’s strange that we often remember
so much that we ought to forget;
and forget what we should have remembered,
that’s one reason we worry and fret.

Remembering the hurts other give us
won’t make our lives happy and sweet.
In fact, it will be just the opposite,
and we’ll burden the folks that we meet.

Forgetting the kind deeds of others,
believe me, is fully as bad;
for this is how favors quit coming;
it’s selfishness, which is so sad.

Remembering each good we engage in
and wanting our neighbors to see;
forgetting how often we’ve failed them—
what blind hypocrites we can be!

There’s one thing I’ve recently noted—
it’s funerals—where truth we must face;
we may promise to make worthwhile changes,
yet how quickly these thoughts we erase.

Oh, teach us, dear Lord, then, to number
our days—yes, they really are few;
and open our hearts to Thy wisdom,
securing our “Well done” from You!

(Reposted from August 6, 2017. Alternate title: Remembering and Forgetting)

Picture: #104026080, standard license

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

For the New Year


God with us, O precious mystery!
Man of clay—Emmanuel;
thus portraying His true nature;
suffering more than tongue can tell.

God for us, the mighty sovereign!
Strength and shield when foes assail;
present help in time of trouble;
in His might, we cannot fail.

God in us—new life imparted
by His spirit—hope and joy;
love so pure and sweet communion,
peace divine without alloy.

God through us—the lost are waiting
in the darkness of sin’s night;
He can save and He can keep them;
let us point them to the Light!

(repost from June 20, 2017)

Picture: #22520023, standard license

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The Apex of History

The shepherds in the fields by night,
the wise men far away,
the angel throng, the guiding star,
the Child on bed of hay—
these all combine and give to us
a story with intrigue,
which centuries cannot erase,
though fought by Satan’s league.

It seems so strange that wheels stand still
in factories everywhere;
and stores are quiet on this day
while clerks stay home to share
with loved ones, or go out with friends,
to “celebrate” they say,
a birth—two thousand years ago—
a Babe—born far away.

Of course, some folks don’t realize
just what it’s all about;
and some who know are not concerned;
their minds are filled with doubt.
But of all statesmen in the world,
or notables, not one
has caused a stir so great, so long,
as that Jewish maiden’s Son!

While on this earth, where Jesus went,
He chose a lowly place,
until the time had come to show
the world His power and grace.
And then at last, He yielded to
the passion of the crowd—
was crucified for sinful men;
He was the Son of God!

He did not die like other men, 
but shouted at the last,
in triumph, “It is finished!” 
as the soldiers stood aghast.
He rose again and lives today, 
in hearts that let Him in—
the mighty Victor over death;
the only Cure for sin!


Picture: Wikimedia Commons

Monday, December 24, 2018

Emmanuel (Repost)

Who is this babe of Bethlehem?
Emmanuel, Emmanuel!
Who comes to save and not condemn?
Emmanuel, Emmanuel!
Who is this child of virgin birth?
The Son of God, now come to earth!
The Christ of God, our Lord and King!
Emmanuel, Emmanuel!

Who gave His life on Calvary?
Emmanuel, Emmanuel!
Who shed His blood to set us free?
Emmanuel, Emmanuel!
Who rose triumphant o’er the grave?
Whose name alone has power to save?
The Christ of God, our Lord and King!
Emmanuel, Emmanuel!

Whose feet shall stand on Olivet?
Emmanuel, Emmanuel!
Then war and strife we shall forget.
Emmanuel, Emmanuel!
Lord, haste the day of Thy return,
when all shall worship, none shall spurn
The Christ of God, our Lord and King!
Emmanuel, Emmanuel!


This is written as a song, but the music has not be put into print.

Picture: Sourced online, October 10, 2017

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Man's Plight -- Unbelief (Repost)

God graced this earthly setting
as light invades the night;
He came as Friend and Saviour
to reach us in our plight.

He did not throw a life-line
while calling from afar,
but being born a  human,
He came to where we are.

Due to His lowly entry
so many failed to see 
the glory in His bosom
with power to set us free.

But few there were that welcomed—
whose hearts were right with God;
wise men, then too, the shepherds,
who slept upon the sod.

And there were several others,
but not a massive throng,
to hail the King of Glory
with tumult and with song.

Our pride keeps us from trusting
a God who can dissolve
the great and massive problems
which we have failed to solve.

As then, preferring darkness,
our race at large disdains
the light of life in Jesus,
while sin and error reigns.

fpn 12/82

Picture: #10219777, editorial license

Saturday, December 22, 2018

All Praise to Thee (Repost)

All praise to Thee, eternal Lord,
clothed in a garb of flesh and blood.
Choosing a manger for Thy throne, 
while worlds and worlds and Thine alone.

A little child, Thou wast our guest,
yet in Thy love our hearts find rest.
Humble and lowly was Thy birth, 
that we might rise to heaven from earth.

All this Thy love for us hath done,
by this our love to Thee is won.
For this we tune our cheerful lays 
and shout our thanks in ceaseless praise.

This was written as a song. For a copy of the music, contact Joyce

Artwork: "Adoration of the Shepherds" by Gerard van Honthorst, 1622, from Wikimedia Commons