Elusive fulfillment, promising much,
Master of anticipation and lust,
Warping a want till it feels like a must,
How many more must be crushed in your clutch?
Questioning you grows progressively more
Treacherous, for you twist my desiring
From pure motives in holy retiring
To meaner modes. I cease to see the war.
Awaken me, O Spirit. Help me hear
The still, small voice reminding me the way
To fullness is to seek a higher end.
My God, you reign. Teach me to love and fear,
To trust in your provision for this day,
And to abide in thee, most faithful friend.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Compare at your own peril, for your life
Will never measure up to what you see
In others. You will only grow in strife.
You build a prison cell though you are free.
When we compare, we only see in part.
We view another’s gain where we have naught.
We note the diff’rences but miss the art
Of walking in the Way the master taught.
O faulty vision, warped by my desire,
Look not to other men but to the Lord.
Comparison would be to me a fire,
And its destruction I cannot afford.
So fight, my soul, temptations to compare
Or else resign to living in despair.
Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash
Might sins which seem so far removed from us
Be those which pose the greatest hidden threat?
Temptations that we never much discuss
May be o’erlooked, which leads us to forget
To strengthen our defenses ‘gainst the foes.
Imagining that we, somehow exempt
From diff’rent dangers, will not face such woes,
We look on those who struggle with contempt.
In truth, we are no better off than they,
For we all wrestle with the fallen state.
We all would perish if not for the Way.
We all need God to make our pathways straight.
So guard your heart with all humility,
Or else risk falling to futility.
I caught myself examining the theology of Ed Sheeran songs the other day. Granted, I’m pretty sure he’s not writing songs with God in mind; he seems to say as much. Even so, some of his lyrics reflect imagery and ideas found in Christianity, and I like trying to figure out what he might believe based on what he sings (for instance, I’m pretty sure he’s not a Gnostic based on “Shape of You”). Continue reading
A boy who died when I was just a boy
Has haunted me up to this very day.
His ghost I fear I never will destroy;
His face I fear will never fade away.
With breathless voice, he whispers in my ear.
With sightless eyes, he stares into my soul.
With ev’ry step I take, I see him sneer
With devilish desire to take control.
But victory for him would mean my doom,
For he would see me suffering in hell.
Though safe am I by truth of empty tomb,
The specter whispers still, “All is not well.”
I am until my final breath a host
Ever departing from him, my own ghost.
Layers upon layers of
Links to pages where eyes shouldn’t look,
Every one doubling as
Pieces of a chain with an eternal hook.
Line after line of text,
Every word weighted with wrath
Floating like feathers,
Fixing themselves in the mind like
Phantoms: Thoughts that haunt
And never seem to die.
Unwanted glimpses of
Skin not yours to touch,
Lips not yours to taste,
Rights not yours to take.
Unwelcome houseguest, unsought snake,
Sneaking around so silently
At times you
Might believe yourself to be free,
Might forget the enemy,
Right in the wrong place,
Left unguarded against the trap.
Temptation’s plague upon the mind,
Meant to mar souls, to murder men and women.
Masked and manic.
How many more must you take?
“Pokemon Go” came out this past week in app stores, and, consequently, twenty-somethings all over are reliving their childhood calling to “catch ‘em all!” By using smartphones, we can now see the teeming masses of Pidgeys and Rattatas that pepper the landscape as we hunt the elusive Scyther on campus (no exaggeration; NOBTS is covered with Pidgeys and Rattatas). I have to admit that I’m sucked into the craze. For a simple enough game, “Pokemon Go” delivers hours of fun.
Oh let me never set my foot
Into this hellish place again,
This cesspool of the vilest strain,
This fountain of the blackest soot,
For I would sooner face my death
Than dare depart into the deep
Where devils in the darkness sleep
In wait for any sound of breath.
Alas, this place is never far,
For scorching fire doth walk with me,
Subverting any good I see,
Revealing this, my hidden scar,
The fatal wound within my heart
That came when I chose to rebel
And, left unhealed, will lead to hell
This soul who seeks to just depart
To freedom from the curse of sin.
O Jesus, can you save this wretch?
Can you before damnation catch
My soul and make my life begin?
Forgive me for my wicked ways
And rescue from temptation’s snares;
Keep me from loving what impairs
And make me yours for all my days.
I feel temptation’s throes around me now.
My heart is being beaten by the brute.
This flesh would see me finished with my vow.
Cry vengeance, God, and cut it at the root.
Too long have I now struggled just to breathe.
Too long have I imagined life is jest.
The holy Sword of God I must unsheathe,
And drive the blade into my very chest.
Cut out the heart of stone, O Lord of hosts,
And bring the dead to life by sacrifice,
For Christ has come to walk among the ghosts.
He paid with his own blood the ransom price.
O resurrected Warrior of light,
Raise me now up to worship and to fight.
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.”
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”
1 John 5:21
Question: Do I love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind?
Answer: No. I do not. Continue reading