The Problem of Evil

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(Photo by Artsy Vibes on Unsplash)


As history has been unfurled,
One question ‘gainst the church has stood:
From whence came evil to this world
If God created all things good?
We grant some evil works for gain,
Some purpose may be found therein;
Yet is there not much needless pain,
Much suffering because of sin?
Could God not keep his world from death,
Or – bitter thought – might he desire
To curse those he hath filled with breath,
To see them sinking in the mire?
Or might it be that he allows
His people to rebel, to stray,
That they may truly then avow
His lordship, then may truly pray?
And could it be that majesty
Did not abandon to decay
Damned souls, but there upon the tree
Engaged in full the sinner’s fray?
Christ bore the wrath of God in place
Of those who chose the path to hell
That they might turn to seek the face
Of love, to taste the one true well.
God’s justice cometh like a flame,
And evil will not stand the show.
I may not know from whence it came,
But well I know where it will go.

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The Practice of Prayer

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(Photo by Olivia Snow on Unsplash)

O Father, how I struggle so
To come before your throne.
In public, pray’r oft turns to show;
In private, how I drone.
Though you twice o’er gave life to me,
I come still wanting more –
Unwarranted expectancy
Now knocking at your door.
No more.
Let thine own will alone be done,
And let thy kingdom come.
Let me in life reflect the Son,
To love, and be not numb.
Grant that my tastes are tempted not
By poverty nor wealth.
Peace and forgiveness, be my lot;
Humility, my health.
O Father who in heaven dwells
In holiness and light,
Keep me away from worthless wells,
From trusting in my might.
God, grant me eyes to recognize
Your grandeur and your grace.
Teach me to treasure you as prize,
And ever seek your face.

Redemption’s Rhyme

(Photo cred: Mitchell Martin – Instagram: @mitchellrmartin )


Within this world of fiction,
I yearn for heaven’s diction
To deepen my conviction.

I feel the present friction
From our great self-infliction,
And long for sin’s eviction.

Though strong the serpent’s striction,
He faces grave restriction
In all of his affliction.

For Christ, the great nonfiction,
God’s visible depiction,
Fulfilled the Word’s prediction.

The Lamb, The Lion

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Photo by lydia harper on Unsplash

The sacrificial lamb was laid upon
The altar by the hands of wicked men,
And all was dark the days before the dawn
In the apparent victory of sin.
The lesser lion, seeking to devour,
Set his assault against the sacred son,
And Satan, in the darkness of the hour,
Was certain that the victory was won.
And so it was, but not for his array.
The cross of Christ displayed for all to see
That Satan’s claim to power had been wrong.
The finished hunter had become the prey.
The word made flesh fulfilled the prophecy.
The lamb had been a lion all along.

Apathy

Sacrifices are vices unless

True conviction accomp’nies the gift.

Heartless rituals will never bless,

Nor can they ever mend the great rift.

We feign well true repentance and faith,

Rending garments but never the heart.

Ev’ry prophet who preaches, “Thus saith,”

We deny with a devilish art.

Lest we follow destruction’s wide path,

Let us perish the heart’s apathy.

Learn the weight of the Lord’s love and wrath,

And, by his grace alone, let us see.

Transformation

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Proper fear begets a proper faith.
The foreigner becomes family.
God gives substance to the wraith:
Glorious anomaly.
Grace and mercy meet the guilty heart
Turning stone to living flesh and blood.
Love transforms every part,
Cleansing in the crimson flood.

Mema

Five dollars may not mean that much to you,

And Lincoln’s face may never make you smile.

Casa Ole may never come in view.

You may think eating trash is not your style.

Your Christmas gift may never have been placed

Inside a colored bag upon the tree.

And you, poor soul, may never know the taste

Of Hello Dollies shared with family.

These memories are blessings to the mind,

And thoughts of them do always warm the heart,

For our Mema and Grandad, always kind,

Have played in all our lives the sweetest part.

With thankfulness these words could never say,

We celebrate our Mema’s life today.

Reflection on Psalm 50

At the word of the Maker, the earth
Is brought forth to revolve round the sun
To the praise and the glory of one
Who possesses an infinite worth.
He shines forth from perfection’s high’st form,
From great Zion, with sounds of a choir.
Ev’ry step is preceded by fire;
When he walks, he is shrouded in storm.
His salvation is given, not bought,
For he owns all that we could present.
Sacrifices for vices are spent,
Yet they profit the Almighty naught.
So walk not in the pathways of death.
Ponder life ‘fore your lips claim his pow’r.
Let the fear of the Lord fill each hour,
And let thanksgiving fill ev’ry breath. 

Reflection on Psalm 39

 


Oh know your place, my soul.
Remember that your days are few.
Tis vanity
To live with just this age in view.
Relinquish your control.

Eternal God most high,
Provide perspective to my days.
Tis vanity
To live in conflict to your ways
As death draws ever nigh.