Where Hope and Peace Collide

Oftentimes, I feel an internal battle is taking place between hope and peace. Knowing both are attributes God extends, I know the two are not contradictory but complementary. Then, upon seeing their interdependence in Romans 15:13, their connection…and their tension…became clearer.

Where Hope and Peace Collide

Hope without peace turns to anguish,
As dreams collapse to the floor;
Waiting in anticipation,
Can leave on with wanting far more.

Peace without hope becomes fruitless,
As dreams are all boxed-up and stored;
Reluctant to sow for tomorrow,
The new grains of hope go unpoured.

Hope without peace is expectant,
It hastens to think something’s due;
It holds out its hand for wages,
And fails to see service is due.

Peace without hope is complacent,
It lacks any motion or drive;
In stillness it grows apathetic,
And soon is unable to thrive.

Hope without peace turns to hunger,
Like waves crashing upon the shore;
With crestings of desperation,
It drowns out all peace with its roar.

Peace without hope becomes hopeless,
Thus failing to uphold itself;
For peace is not meant to discourage,
Nor place hopefulness on a shelf.

Thus peace stands by leaning on hope,
And hope is erected by peace;
If either should try to be master,
Support for the other would cease.

In truth these two do not struggle,
Nor challenge each other through strife;
Rather they’re strengthened through tension,
A bind that grants peace and hope life.

So pull on hope’s reins without fretting,
Clasp firmly the bridle of peace;
Fulfillment is found in their tension,
and hopelessness finds its release.

Not Yet – An Easter Poem

 

Somber, silent, sacredly,

She ventured to the tomb;

Fearful, fragile, fretfully,

Her mind replayed the doom.

 

Beaten, stricken, spat upon,

How could this be her LORD?

Hands that once had made her whole,

Now bound by one small cord?

Continue reading “Not Yet – An Easter Poem”

The Crossing of Nevertheless and Therefore

Over the years, the words therefore and nevertheless have laid hold of me. Therefore sought me out and became my first “Word of the Year” while nevertheless was introduced by a friend. It’s funny how peripheral something can be until you stare directly at it; then, once it’s seen, it cannot be unseen. That has been my relationship with these two words. While I used to visually walk right by them, now I all but trip over them at every turn. Though I try, with pen in hand, to tag them as I read, sometimes I have to let one or two slide by (to be captured at another time) so I can focus on the words around them.

Continue reading “The Crossing of Nevertheless and Therefore”

Knowledge-Ade

 

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.”  Ephesians 1:17

 

What do you get when you cross an old read with an expired drink mix?  A new perspective!  Turns out, the best ideas are often times those that have already circulated a time or two.  And so, as this newest revelation…or should I say renovation…emerged, I thought it should be pinned down (which, for me, means penning it down) so that it might remain “new” just a little bit longer.

Let me first set the stage.  It’s summer.  I’m a teacher.  I like things orderly.  Put these three ingredients together, mix until they are well combined, pour into a room of your choice, allow an activation time of two to four hours (depending on room size), and, when done, remove accumulated bags of waste.  Any questions?  Well, as I was doing my regular summer “baking”, I came across some, shall we say, no longer viable lemonade mix.  As I looked at this container, and thought about the simplicity of the mix (just what expires in this anyway?), I also thought about my morning read.  And when I did, I realized God had just given me a new mix.  Its name?  Knowledge-Ade! Continue reading “Knowledge-Ade”

And to Think That I Saw it on Majesty’s Street!

                                Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.    Hebrews12:2

 

As we continue  this week in the glow of Easter, having been reminded again of what our LORD did for each of us on the cross…and from the grave…I want to ask that you look at your surroundings  a bit differently.  It’s an easy rut we fall into; annually passing by Biblical memorial stones and giving them their “due reverence”… for a day.  We spend more time getting physically ready than we do getting spiritually ready.  And then, once the day has come and gone, we return to our all too fast-paced walk and, more or less, pick up where we left off.  Often times, none the wiser and none the calmer, and most of the time, none the keener.  But this time, this year, as we pass by the memorial stone that casts the shadow of a cross, let’s see things from God’s perspective rather than from our own; this year, when we return to our pre-Easter walk, let’s gaze in wonder as we see sights we’ve never seen…things no one (but a fellow Christian) would believe…and let’s tell everyone that we saw it from Majesty’s Street!

If you’re a Dr. Seuss fan, you’re familiar with one of his classics titled And to Think that I Saw it On Mulberry Street.  In this story, Marco walks down Mulberry Street every day as he goes to and from school.  Longing for more than his eyes behold, Marco allows his imagination to run away with him.  When pressed by his father to share what he has seen each day, Marco gives accounts that are not well received…much less believed.   His father insists there are points of interest up and down Mulberry Street if Marco would just look more closely.  But for Marco, nothing out of the ordinary stands out, so he creates the magnificent out of the mundane.  For Marco, the familiar trek up and down the same street has caused his eyes to dull to the wonders that once danced on dew drops  and burned in bushes.  Now, to arouse his interest, and to give him something to talk about, Marco finds himself boasting in things that are not and telling tales that haven’t a plot!

I think we…I think I…am prone to be like Marco.  I think everyone falls prey to the “it all looks the same after a while” mentality.  And, as believers in Christ, don’t you know Satan aids and abets us in this type of thinking?    When we first come to know Christ, everything looks new and exciting and amazing!  We walk down Majesty’s Street, having crossed over from the intersection of Justice and Grace, and we gawk at forgiveness, we marvel at mercy, and we are star-struck by justification.  We are excited to tell others what we’ve seen as we walk down this incredible street…and we want others to walk this path with us!  And, for a while, we tell and we bring; but then, one day, we look down more than we look up…or out.  Then, without realizing it, we are asked to tell what we’ve seen on Majesty’s Street…and we choke.  We suddenly can’t remember what we walked by, what we looked at, what we heard or what we felt.  Was there, we wonder, anything to boast of on Majesty’s Street?  Perhaps, we think, we could make something up…after all, who knows what we’ve seen as we went for our walk?  We might, if we’re desperate, tell tales that aren’t true…we might shift the focus to what we tried to do.

It’s a dilemma we all encounter; it’s a street we all walk.  Spiritually speaking, we can find that Mulberry Street crosses Majesty’s Street.  And, if we’re not careful, if we’re not looking up, we’ll take a turn onto Mulberry Street.  We’ll know we’ve taken a wrong turn when our excitement dwindles and our eyesight drops; when it’s easier to make up what we’ve seen than it is to recount what we saw.  When this happens, we’ll know we turned left when we should have stayed straight.  But God identifies our passage with memorial markers that not only remind us of where we are, but of where we’ve been and of where we’re going.  Easter is one such marker.  The shadow of the cross draws our eyes up and the light from an empty tomb casts our vision out so that we, at least for a time, see clearly the road upon which we stand…and the street upon which we walk.  As we pass our Easter mile marker this year, let’s look at what can be seen on Majesty’s Street.  To our left, we see judgment yielding to justification; behind us, we see sin pulled over by righteousness; to our right, we see mercy merging with grace; and before us we see exits that lead to God’s glory and our glorification.  And to think that we saw it on Majesty’s Street!

There’s nothing we could make up that’s more incredible than what God has done for us through His Son, Jesus Christ.  Not a zebra pulling a cart, nor a Chinese man named Bart; not a big brass band in flight nor an elephant of great height; not a Rajah on a throne, nor the longest beard ever grown!  These things might be something to see on Mulberry Street, but they pale in comparison to that which is seen on Majesty’s Street.  For what can be grander than love that restores?  What can be deeper than mercy that pours?  What can be wider than grace that abounds?  What can be higher than justified ground?  It’s spread out before us, on Majesty’s Street; we simply need look out as we move our feet!

As we continue our walk this week, just days after celebrating the death, burial, and resurrection of our Savior, let us not fall prey to lackluster vision.  Let us not resume our walk and fail to see all that surrounds us as we walk upon the very street that was designed by God’s hand, bridged by Sovereignty’s cross, paved by Christ’s blood, and widened by Jehovah’s resurrection.  Our current path and our future destination lies beneath us and before us because of Easter; all believers entered the freeway of Majesty’s Street through the exit granted us at the cross.  May our eyes never cease to be amazed by the wonders we behold as we walk down this street…from glory to glory.  We have sights to behold and truths to recount…And to Think That We Saw Them On Majesty’s Street!