R E S P E C T

Wrinkled and weathery
Worn and leathery
Hair so white, so thin
A dismissive glance and looks askance
Will miss the dance within

Physique so frailing
Health so failing
Shoulder’s bowed and bent
Tools worn out while building
A life well lived… well spent

But withered size
And age belies
Vitality that once was
Upon a time a vigor prime
That shaped the world… and still does!

A teacher formed
A pilot stormed
Through the skies in war
An explorer-fearless-set the sail
For an unknown, distant shore

A doctor tended
A surgeon mended
Nurses fended for the ill
Soldiers who, for hearth and home
Charged gallant up the hill

A leader led
A martyr bled
A mother raised her child
A social worker helped some soul
That poverty defiled

A fireman saved
A policeman braved
the lawless, riot crowd
A farmer wiped his sweaty brow
And surveyed a field he’d plowed

A musician played
A dancer swayed
A poet penned a poem
A writer wrote a whirlwind tale
A builder built a home

Next time you meet
At church or street
A weaker, aged one
Gratefully respect them for
Their life… a job well-done.

Extend your hand
Bestow a smile
And nod a friendly nod
Not only would you warm their heart
You’d warm the heart of God!

______________________________________________________________________

“Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.”

— Leviticus 19:32
______________________________________________________________________

H O M E L E S S

____________________________________________________________________________

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…
___________________________________________________________________________

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)

____________________________________________________________________________

“…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
___________________________________________________________________________

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!

___________________________________________________________________________

“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
___________________________________________________________________________

R E E D

Servant Divine! Who inspired such delight
Who, quiet went about his way to bless
Who was just and brought justice in the night
Who meekly stood with us in our transgress
Who gained the Master’s Spirit for the fight
Who loved us and who shared our dispossess

What Love Divine! Picks up the useless reed
Regards the bruised and broken for God’s end
Does not break but binds, heals to serve a need
The reed becomes a rod that may not bend
And in His hand, now fit for any deed
Blossoms, bears fruit for Him who calls us, “Friend.”

Oh Spark Divine! That flickers oh so faint
Yet crosses swords with lightless foes within
The dimming soul made dark by ill-restraint
No stranger to its tempters or its sin
Breathe gently Lord despite the wretched taint
Enflame the faintly burning wick again!

Now…

To Him who gently tends us lest the Dawn
Break to find that last spark of God has gone!

…we give thanks.

____________________________________________________________

“Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not grow faint or be discouraged
till he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his law.”

–Isaiah 42:1–4
____________________________________________________________

S P I R I T

A rushing, mighty wind is he
Hovering o’er a darkened sea
A breath of life for you… for me!
So wise beyond the knowing

A presence coming to us here
Dispelling doubt and crushing fear
Enabling us to persevere
With power beyond the knowing

A fiery pillar guiding well
A holy presence near to dwell
Offerings… incense… what lovely smell!
And truth beyond the knowing

A gifting presence giving grace
Offering to a fallen race
The likeness of their Father’s face
And mercy beyond the knowing

Helper… Comforter… gentle dove
Descending to us from above
Given to us unworthy of
A love beyond the knowing

But One was Spirit filled and led
The inspired word of God, His bread
The Spirit raised Him from the dead
And we… well…
…we have come to know Him!

___________________________________________________________________________

“And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”

–1 John 5:20

“But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…”

–Philippians 3:7-9

“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”

–Romans 8:9-11
___________________________________________________________________________

K I N G D O M

The blind, the leprous, and the lame
Sought the Gracious One who came
Stretched forth a hand in dire need
And from redemptive curse were freed
In the Father’s name!

Death and demons—all the same
To the Blessed One who came
And made acquaintance with our grief
Stretched forth a hand and brought relief
In the Father’s name!

And now it falls to followers who
Through faith reborn—created new
To show the world a “kingdom come”
A Father’s will that’s “being done”
“on earth as it is in heaven”

And so we stoop to Christ-like serve
Even those who don’t deserve!
For we ourselves were scattered sheep
Over whom our Lord would weep
In the Father’s name!

If we, like Him, who bore our sorrow
Bring help and hope and new tomorrow
Help them touch the Garment Hem
Why, the Kingdom’s surely come to them
In Jesus’ lovely name!

___________________________________________________________________________

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

–Matthew 6:9-10

“Heal the sick… and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near
to you.’”
–Luke 10:9

___________________________________________________________________________

V O Y A G E R

The Christians Barque_William Condron

God’s Holy Word, what miracle!
Many books… yet one book
Sails down through the centuries on stormy seas
Tacks true through the eons and still intact
Those in service to the Adversary
Strive to sink her through the Ages
Still, she’s seaworthy and more than capable
Of weathering future storms
She has crested the towering swells
Of persecution without capsizing
She has borne the brunt of
The crashing, criticizing wave and has not broken
She has faced the howling gales
Protesting and profane without swerving
Amazing Page… How sweet the words…
That rescues wretches and sustains!
She is our strength, our hope, our refuge
The Believers Barque
And when Death books passage
Our charter home
For this we know
Her sails were woven and are filled
With the breath of the Holy Spirit
She was rigged
By the hand of God Almighty
And every plank and timber is held fast
By the very nails that pierced
Our Captain and our Savior
And with His blood
He has christened her!
Love’s Voyage
That begins and ends with Him.

(Christian Barque illustration by: William Condron, Tucson, Arizona)

___________________________________________________