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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Today has been a day of contemplation for me.  I am home alone, recovering from a viral infection in my throat.  When you’re sick and have some down time, it gives you a chance to get off the merry-go-round of life for a moment and commune more with God and with your heart.  That has been the case for me.

Yesterday, when I was in the throes of agony with a swollen throat, aches and pains, I received a phone call from my friend Dana that kind of put things in perspective.  She had called me from the hospital.  I learned that Dana’s heart had stopped beating several times that day. The doctors were getting ready to perform surgery to implant a pacemaker/defibrillator in her chest.  43 years old is relatively young to need this kind of procedure, but such is life.  Sometimes it throws you unexpected twists and turns.  My family’s first pastor and his wife had an unexpected turn in their lives when their youngest daughter Brooke’s husband Wes, was diagnosed with a brain tumor and had to undergo extreme surgery.  The normal that they knew had been forever changed.  These circumstances may surprise us, but God, the Creator of all living sees the end from the beginning.  And He has a purpose for everything that happens in our lives.  “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Our task is to trust the Lord with all our hearts and lean not to our own understanding.  Not always an easy thing to do, but oh how sweet to trust in the Lord and find refuge in His everlasting arms.

Sixteen years ago, I wrote the following poem.  It was born out of a heart of grief due to the unexpected death of my father.  While dwelling here in the shadow lands of life, none of us are exempt from heartbreak and loss.  But as the Patriarch Job said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him…”  He knows the way that we take, and someday, He will wipe away all our tears and make all things new.

LESSONS IN THE SHADOW

There are lessons to learn in the shadow

That can never be learned in the light.

His rod and His staff they will comfort

And guide you through the night.

Be not anxious to get through the valley.

With its weariness and care.

There are lessons to learn in the shadow

For God will be with you there.

There are lessons to learn in the shadow,

That can never be learned in the light.

Restoration begins in the valley.

This is where God turns wrong into right.

There are lessons to learn in the shadow,

Though we long for the morning to break.

As you traverse the darkness remember,

“He knoweth the way that I take!”

There are lessons to learn in the shadow.

Do not pray for an easy time.

Ask God instead to be stronger,

And He will teach you to climb.

Yes, there are lessons to learn in the shadow,

That can never be learned in the light.

When the valley’s dark clouds overtake you,

We walk by faith, not by sight.

So study and learn through the dark times.

When you pass the final test,

The lessons you learned in the shadow,

Will gain you a city of rest!

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Christmas_Candlelight_Living_Desktop_52962

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

I found this poem on a Christmas card and thought I would share it with everyone:

If you look for me at Christmas,
You won’t need a special star.
I’m no longer just in Bethlehem,
I’m right there where you are.
You may not be aware of Me,
Amid the celebrations.
You’ll have to look beyond the stores,
And all the decorations.
But if you take a moment,
From your list of things to do,
And listen to your heart, you’ll find
I’m waiting there for you.
You’re the one I want to be with,
You’re the reason that I came.
And you’ll find Me in the stillness,
As I’m whispering your name.

Love, Jesus

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It has been related that when the ground in London was cleared of the old buildings to make way for the new Kingsway, it lay for several seasons without use, exposed to the rain and sunshine.  After a while, naturalists were coming to view the cleared land.  A strange thing had happened and they wanted to observe.  In spots it is certain that the soil had not felt the touch of Spring since the days when the Romans sailed up the Thames-perhaps even before then.  When the blessed air and light had drenched the uncovered soil, a host of wild plants and flowers sprang up to be kissed by the sun.  Some of these flowers were never seen in England before.  But they were blooming in the Mediterranean countries at that very same time of year.  These many years they seemingly were dead, buried beneath the mass of rocks, bricks and mortar lying dormant season after season.  But they were merely obeying the laws of life under these new conditions and were blossoming into new beauty.

 

There is a simile here.  Every life, no matter how crushed and bruised by the cares and sorrows of circumstances, needs only to be laid bare to the sunshine of God’s love, and the healing touch of His grace.  Then a new life with new possibilities and new beauties will blossom forth in abundance, no matter how desolate the surroundings may appear.  (Taken from Streams in the Desert)

 

I wrote the following poem after having visited Mt. St. Helens in Washington state in 1995.  I was amazed that 15 years after the cataclysmic eruption new life was forming everywhere I gazed.  And so it is with God.  He can take the ashes and embers of a life torn by sin and tragedy and transform it into a thing of beauty.  To God be the glory!

 

OUT OF THE DESOLATION

 

Out of the desolation,

A tiny flower blooms.

Only months before,

Encased inside a tomb.

Buried ‘neath the rubble,

Of snow and ash and stone.

Destined to destruction.

Confined and all alone.

 

But now this thing of beauty,

Appears beneath my gaze.

Amidst the ruin lies splendor,

Worthy of my praise.

 

Out of the desolation,

How can this life now be?

Once dormant ‘neath the wasteland,

Now alive for all to see.

 

Who would have know that a flower,

Which everyone thought was dead,

When touched by the Hand of God,

Could bring new life instead.

 

Out of the desolation,

New life begins to grow.

Tis not man who does it.

But God, who makes it so.

Dead to self and sin

Will raise us from desolation

And bring a change within.

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THE GREAT DIVIDE

DSC_0005

Originally uploaded by karing1960@sbcglobal.net.

While we were vacationing in Yosemite in June, Mike, Jeremy and our good friend Cliff drove to Mammoth Lakes for the day. I had opted to stay in the valley and do some sightseeing. While they were visiting there, Mike took Jeremy and Cliff to where we had seen an Earthquake Fault last year, about a mile downhill from Mammoth Mountain ski area’s main lodge. Although the sign indicated that this was a fault, I learned that this crack in the ground is one of many fractures covering the north side of Mammoth Mountain, but it is not actually a true fault, which is more accurately defined as a rift where rock on one side moved in a different direction from rock on the other side. Instead, the ground at the Earthquake Fault appears to have simply opened, and the two sides would fit perfectly if pushed back together. However, the crack is aligned with true faults to the north, suggesting the same underground forces caused it to open. At places, the crack is more than 20 feet deep. Last year when Mike and I first saw the fault and even ventured a short way inside, it gave me an eerie feeling to know that I was standing in a rift in the earth caused by geologic forces.As I was pondering this, my mind began to remember another rift or chasm in my life. This is a rift that all of us face, and it separates us from fellowship with our mighty God and Creator. It is a rift of our own making because of our sinfulness and self will. The Bible describes it like this: “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2) “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) This chasm left me empty, and trying to find things in this life to fill that void inside. But nothing satisfied. It wasn’t until I came to God and repented of my transgressions that I found the bridge that crossed the chasm to Him. And that bridge was the Cross of Calvary. He filled me with His Holy Spirit, and a wonderful new life of forgiveness and joy was opened up to me! That was over 28 years ago, and I still marvel at what Jesus did for me and for you! I thank God for the cross that bridged that Great Divide! Below are the lyrics to a song that so beautifully what Jesus did for us. It’s available for whosoever will.
THE GREAT DIVIDE
Words and Music by Grant Cunningham & Matt Huesmann

Silence Trying to fathom the distance

Looking out ‘cross the canyon carved By my hands

God is gracious Sin would still separate us

Were it not for the bridge His grace Has made us

His love will carry me

(Chorus) There’s a bridge to cross the great divide A way was made to reach the other side The mercy of the Father, cost His son His life His love is deep, His love is wide There’s a cross to bridge the great divide

God is faithful On my own I’m unable

He found me hopeless, alone and Sent a Savior

He’s provided a path and promised to guide us

Safely past all the sin that would divide us

His love delivers me

(Repeat Chorus) The cross that cost my Lord His life Has given me mine There’s a bridge to cross the great divide There’s a cross to bridge the great divide

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I would like to dedicate the following poem to all the wonderful people God has sent my way in life who have blessed me, not with money or gifts, but by simply being who they are.   I have grown because of you and am a better person for it.   As the song goes, “There’s no precious oil or wealth that’s like the gift of just yourself”.  Thank you for the gift of you.

 

DON’T GIVE ME DIAMONDS ALTHOUGH I LOVE

THEIR SPARKLE AND THEIR HUE.

FRIEND, IF YOU WISH TO BESTOW A GIFT,

GIVE ME THE GIFT OF YOU.

DON’T GIVE ME SAPPHIRES ALTHOUGH I ESTEEM

THEIR DAZZLING SHADE OF BLUE.

LISTEN AND HEAR AND GIVE IF YOU PLEASE

THE WONDERFUL GIFT OF YOU!

DON’T BRING ME RUBIES ALTHOUGH I ADMIRE

THEIR DEEP UNDERTONES OF RED.

KEEP ALL YOUR JEWELS AND BRING TO ME

THE GIFT OF YOU INSTEAD.

THE ONLY TRUE GIFT IS THE GIFT OF YOU.

DIAMONDS AND RUBIES WILL NEVER DO.

THEY’RE JUST A WEAK APOLOGY,

FOR THE REAL GIFT THAT WAS MEANT TO BE.

HE GIVES NOTHING WHO GIVES NOT OF HIS HEART.

THOUGH HIS GIFT MAY APPEASE, IT CAN NEVER IMPART,

THE WARMTH THAT COMES FROM A HUMAN SOUL.

TIS FAR GREATER THAN ANY GEM I KNOW.

  

©1999 by Karen Mester

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Over the hillside, the sunrise is coming.

Gentle and warm, it wakes up the day.

Reflecting His light for Jesus has risen.

Heaven and earth now join in the praise.

Those who have seen Him now are believers.

And we who now by believing have seen.

Lifting our voices in one mighty chorus.

Jesus is Lord and Savior and King!

 

Glorious morning Jesus is risen.

No tomb could hold Him, no stone could seal.

Glorious morning the world has a Saviour.

He is alive and His truth is revealed.

 

Eternity’s war fought through the ages,

Comes to an end at Calvary’s cross.

And the tomb is now empty,

Light shatters the darkness.

Night that seemed endless gives way to the dawn!

 

Gary McSpadden, Lari Goss, and Linda Dooley

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I AM THE NEW YEAR

Dear friends and family:

2006 ended with our new Dell computer (model 700) breaking on us near the end of December.  It was a defective power button,  and it took Dell about 3 weeks to get us a new computer!  The new computer is an upgraded model (710) from the other one, so we should not have the button problem again!  So here I am back on the blog bandwagon, hoping to catch up a little.  I found this poem many years ago, and every new  year, I like to read it as an inspiration to do better.  Hope you like it:

I am the new year. I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.

I am your next chance at the art of living.

I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned about life during the last twelve months.

All that you sought and didn’t find is hidden in me, waiting for you to search it out with more determination.

All the good that you tried for and didn’t achieve is mine to grant when you have fewer conflicting desires.

All that you dreamed but didn’t dare to do, all that you hoped but did not will, all the faith that you claimed but did not have – these slumber lightly, waiting to be awakened by the touch of a strong purpose.

I am your opportunity to renew your allegiance to Him who said, “Behold, I make all things new.”

I am the new year.

~ author unknown ~

  

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