H I M S E L F

Grateful
Beyond the words!
To Him who feeds the little birds
To Him who graces simple fields
With splendor… and who finally yields
Himself

Grateful
With joyful praise!
For Him who sends the sunshine rays
And rain… where saint and sinful live
Provide for all and finally give
Himself

Grateful
For the Lord who deigned
To wash the feet of mortal men!
To teach His own the higher good
Who modeled humble servanthood
Himself

Grateful
For one who owned
The Fallen Family for his own!
Who bore their sorrow and their sin
And carried their afflictions in
Himself

Grateful
For prayerful plea!
Arising from Gethsemane
Where walked the One who came to bless
And walked within the Wilderness
Himself

Grateful
For that greater love
That only comes from up above!
That, for The Created, The Creator die
Embrace a cross, and be lifted high
Himself

Grateful
For the One who raised
His Son to be exalted, praised
Gives us of His Spirit to
Do those things His Son would do
Himself

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“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death…”

— Acts 17:24
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A D V O C A T E

We have sinned… still…

We long to know
The gracious Christ who loves us so
May our cheeks know shameful blush
Blossom with a crimson flush
and godly sorrow.

We sin… still…

We dare to do
Some things the Good Lord tells us to
And though we struggle still at length
We long for God to give us strength
and peace.

We will sin… still…

We won’t take flight
We’ll not give up without a fight
We’ll not let go until we’re blessed
We’ll gladly limp with all the rest
into glory.

“That you may not sin…” still…

If we do there is some One
Who challenged sin and death and won
And now he stands for us to speak!
On our behalf, the faithful weak
and lead us home.

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“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”

— 1 John 2:1-2
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G O D F E V E R

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Gratitude to the poet John Masefield, for his piece, Sea-Fever, from where I drew the inspiration for this little piece.
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I must get back to God again, to His Spirit and His word
And all I ask is the love of Christ, my Savior and my Lord
And the changed life and the new song and the purpose-driven day
And the Bread of Life for the God-hungry I meet along the way!

I must get back to God again, for the call of His Holy Spirit
Is a wild call and a clear call, if I would only hear it
And all I ask is humility, to submit my will to His
To selfless serve with suffering love and a thirst for righteousness!

I must get back to God again, the cross o’ershadowed life
To deny the world and deny myself and conquer inward strife
And all I ask is encouragement from a Father and His Son
And forgiveness and a life with God, when life on earth is done!

A S T O N I S H E D

Fell James one day…

To the tyrant Herod’s sword
His crimes? The preaching of the word
And believing in the Lord
It pleased the king
To please the unbelieving Jew
And so imprisoned Peter as
His wretched status grew

With Peter bound
Amid the num’rous guards displayed
The little church at Mary’s house
Bowed and fervent prayed
It pleased the Lord
To hear the small but faithful crew
And answered with an angel sent
To do what angels do

Astonished! Beyond belief
A vision! Peter thought at first
Then found himself from dungeon freed
And freed from Herod’s worst
To Mary’s home
And to her outer gate he walked
Drew breath and clenched a trembling fist
Then began to knock

Astonished! Beyond belief
Rhoda heard him at the gate
This joy-filled servant’s gospel ran
(Leaving Peter there to wait)
Astonished! Why, it can’t be true
They wondrous walked to where
Those praying, doubting, skeptic few
Saw God would answer prayer!

Astonished! Herod heard
The unexpected, startling word
And in his temper things went hard
For that ill-fated Roman guard

Fell Herod one day…

To the Word, sharper than a two-edged sword
For claiming stature that belongs
Only to the Lord
Poor Herod
Must one, last lesson learn
How astonishing God can really be
When worms begin to turn!

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“But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.”

–Acts 12:16;
–Be sure to read Acts 12:1-23 for the whole story!

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H O M E W A R D

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The previous piece, Leaving Home, taken together with this piece, is about as big a ‘nutshell’ as I can cram The Story into from Genesis 3 to Revelation 22… The Creator comes to those He made in His image in and as the person of Jesus, the Christ, to show us the way home.
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A rising sun
A new dawn
The Good Shepherd
With shepherd’s clothing on
Truth
An obedient son
God with us…

Before creation
Heavenly plan
God ordained
That wayward man
Be adopted by
The Heavenly Clan
God purposing us…

A girded towel
Unwashed feet
A shared table
Where the sinful meet
Strangers touched
Upon the street
God for us…

Self-sacrifice
Lamb of God
Offered for
The deeply flawed
Exposes
Our proud façade
God beside us…

Eternal Word
Light Divine
Resurrected
What wondrous sign
Fruit of the Spirit
The bread, the wine
God in us…

Second Adam
Who never fell
Chose the Father
Defeated hell
His church
The risen Lord indwell
God through us…

Tree of life
What blessed scene
Prodigals return
Robes washed clean
Greater love
Has no one seen
God waiting for us…

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“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates.”

–Revelation 22:13-14
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H O M E L E S S

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The root meaning of the word ‘sin’ in The Story is to miss the mark. I believe, at the end of the day, that God is the mark that is missed, and all that is of Him and from Him…
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A setting sun
A false dawn
A wolf
With shepherd’s clothing on
A forked tongue
A willing pawn
And missing God

That whispered word
That luscious lie
That reassuring
“You will not die”
The forbidden fruit
The wistful sigh
And missing trust

What lovely tree!
What pleasing sight!
What promise portends
The savory bite!
A widened eye
Satanic spite
And missing the Father

Father’s footfall
Blush of shame
Questions
Rush to blame
Consequence
And curse proclaim
And missing life

Now Cherubim
Now Sword surround
The Tree of Life
The Hallowed Ground
Outside
Toil and death abound
And missing home

On the doorstep
Crouching low
For those who won’t
Let hatred go
And reap
What the rebellious sow
And missing family

The first Adam
And Adam’s fall
Adam’s choice
Chosen by all
The Human family
What bitter gall
And missing fellowship

(Not the end of the story… see Homeward)

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“…therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.”

–Genesis 3:23–24
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E N O C H

“Enoch walked with God.”

His faith? Proficient.
He did not die.
That’s all we know.
It is sufficient.
The greatest epitaph ever written…
…and him with no tombstone!

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“It was by faith that Enoch was taken to heaven so he would not die. He could not be found, because God had taken him away. Before he was taken,the Scripture says that he was a man who truly pleased God.”

–Hebrews 11:5
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