Have You Been Overwhelmed By Bad Reports?

Have you been overwhelmed by bad reports

Or dismayed by news of horrible aborts?

If so, you’re not alone. For the Israelites couldn’t enter

The promised land. That’s because many a venter

    (i.e. “I need to vent!”),

As in “those who spied the land out”, just saw giants.

You know – gangs of fierce, un-wieldly “self-reliants”

Who, it seems, looked on them with disdain,

Prompting them to sing this sad refrain:

“We look like grasshoppers to such big guys,

To whom we can’t compare in might or size.

Though Caleb may command faith to arise,  

We cannot climb above such mighty lies.”

(Our forms, you know, they truly do despise)

“Their bad reports are too much to endure,

Bombarding us with thoughts that are impure

And that hit us in the face like pizza pie.

However, when that pizza hits your eye,

You know it’s not AMORE but Amor-ITES,

The guys that have a knack for un-sound bites.

What’s more, they proudly fuss about wrong ‘rights,’

Just like Hittites, Jebusites and Canaanites.”

(And we’re not talking “knight in shining armor” knights)

And so, the men were overwhelmed by bad reports.

Dismayed by news of possible aborts,

Which tempted them severely to give up

Because they tasted of the bitter cup

That’s mixed with too much doubt to trust God’s Word,

Despite the mighty signs they’d seen and heard –

Such as manna rained upon them from above.

And yet they dared to question God’s great love.

Because they lacked the faith to enter in

To the land God had prepared for them,

He told them not to go. And yet they went.

Sadly, Moses couldn’t get them to relent.

Thus it ended in disaster: soldiers killed

Because they did not do as God had willed

But trusted in their own strength so unjust.

In fact, God knew they lacked the needed trust

To win the battle. Guilt had such a grip

Upon their hearts, it caused their feet to slip.     

But it’s not wise on one’s own flesh to rely,

Regardless of the saying “Do or die.”

  Yet God invites the weary soul to buy. . .

  The food which we can eat and never die. . .

With songs of praise to overwhelm a bad report

So that no one in their right mind will fall short.

Therefore, thank God for His promises each day,

Because Jesus helps us listen and obey.

Due to the fact that He listened diligently,

He has the power to help us hear clearly

So that finally, we too can understand

The awesome things that God for us has planned.

(Based on the story in Numbers chapters 13 and 14)

Relevant scriptures: Isaiah 55:1-3, Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4 (God’s Word: our food), Psalm 7:17, Psalm 8:2 (Psalm 32:7 (songs of deliverance),

Act With Tact to Bring Things Back Intact, Part I

To act with tact can certainly help bring things back intact.

The prophet Daniel knew this. Therefore he did not react

When King Nebuchadnezzar sent his hatchet man to him

With news that did not bode well and in fact was very grim.

“All wise guys in this entire kingdom will be cut to pieces,”

Warned the executioner. “Because they do not please us.”

“I’ll turn their homes to rubble to atone for their abuses,

Because this king has had it with their miserable excuses.”

Now, Daniel could have gotten worried, thrown a great big fit,

Torn out his hair and hopped inside a pit party pit.

However, he refused to stew but acted with great tact,

Asking why the king had been so hasty to react.

“They said they didn’t know his dream but gladly would lay bare

Their own interpretation of it if he cared to share

A clue or two about whatever thoughts had filled his head

While he lay sleeping peacefully upon his comfy bed.”

“Well, don’t blame me,” is how I’d probably answer in that case.

“You never asked what I thought. How ‘bout giving me some grace?”

“If the king does not control his temper, he may go insane.

Sometimes that happens to a guy with vengeance on the brain.”

Despite the sudden notice, though, he didn’t get offended.

Nor did he panic like a guy who’s suddenly rear ended.

Instead of claiming ignorance, he went straight unto the king,

Not waving crazy protest signs but with an “offering.”

“If you will give me time, I soon will have an answer for you,”

He told the king of Babylon. “I surely won’t ignore you.”

Then he went home and told his friends that it was time to pray.

God answered him and he went to the palace the next day.

He had an answer for the king, but first, “Please act with tact.

Don’t shoot the men who let you down. The Lord will pay you back

For pain they caused by failing you, and He will not be slow.

So, please forgive their ignorance. Your dream I’ve come to show.”

Once Upon a Rooftop: Four Men and a Mat

Once upon a rooftop

Four men came with a mat

To lay a man at Jesus’ feet.

But what is up with that?

 

What do these rooftop men stand for,

Who lowered him on down?

Because God always has a plan,

But not for man’s renown.

 

Perhaps the first man’s like the Father,

God of light and love,

Who sent His only Son to earth

From heaven’s throne above.

 

Who knows the heartache He endured

To see Christ on the cross

Partaking of such guilt and shame?

Just think how much it cost!

 

Our burdens Jesus gladly bore,

Though He endured much pain.

For our own sins He suffered loss.

Through Him we’ve much to gain

 

Because the Father gave Him

As a sacrifice for sin.

He let His back be mocked and whipped,

Our victory to win.

 

Therefore His wounds bring us true peace.

Our burdens He did bear

Through the power of the Spirit

Who this truth does share.

 

The Father, Spirit, Son, you see,

That blessed Trinity,

Are like an awesome triangle

That brings us liberty.

 

But one more rooftop man gives you

A brand new faith dimension.

For God’s right arm did all the work,

But we are His extension,

 

The reason for the rectangle

We’re privileged to help carry,

A corner of the sinner’s mat

Which once appeared so scary.

 

But Jesus tore apart the roof

That wouldn’t let us near

To come into God’s presence,

And He says, “Be of good cheer!”

 

To Jesus’ left the Father stands.

They each hold up an end.

The Spirit, also, hovering near,

To God’s Word does attend.

 

Invisibly they wait for us

To take the final part,

Because He’s given us a choice:

“Ignore” or “take to heart.”

 

The Father, Spirit, and Son do long

To help us in our task.

They’re always there to meet our needs,

If only we will ask.

 

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Moses: Dying Young, Seeing Christ

I. Seeing Moses Dying Young

 

I see you, Moses, dying young,

A notion which is not far flung,

Because God called you by His grace

That you might seek His awesome face

 

So, youth renewed, you’d choose to chase

God’s glory and His will embrace.

For, His might vested you with strength

Because you went to such great length

 

To seek Him and to know His will.

Therefore He helped you climb the hill

No other human dared to touch

For near that mount they trembled much.

 

But you found grace in Jesus’ sight.

To draw near you He did delight.

A hundred twenty was not old,

For when you died, I’ve heard it told,

 

Your eyes saw clearly. They weren’t dim

Because He kept them set on Him.

So, yes, I see you dying young,

Though some might say, “That’s so far flung!”

 

Methuselah lived much longer though

Upon the earth. How do I know?

I read it in the oldest book

You helped to write. They say it took

 

So many centuries to complete,

With stories, often bittersweet,

Of sheep drawn from the deepest pit

That in God’s presence they might sit.

 

II. Dying Young, Bringing Life

 

Yet from above, by God’s own grace,

You met with Jesus in a place

With somebody who never died

But in a mighty whirlwind ride

 

(By fiery horses he was flown)

Rose up toward God’s heavenly throne.

Then on the mount he did descend,

To join with you (‘twas not pretend)

 

And speak with Jesus of the day

When, dying young, He’d make a way

To save mankind from all their sin,

That all who trust in Him might win

 

And know the resurrection life

Which frees their souls from death and strife

That they might live forever young.

His praises truly you have sung

 

So, we His people now may bring

An offering fitting for our king!

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Simon the In-Your-Face Pie Man Sorcerer

I. When Simon Gets In-Your-Face

 

When Simon gets up in-your-face,

Watch out because he loves to chase

Your greatest dreams into disgrace.

With his sly moves you can’t keep pace.

 

So, watch your wallet, watch your back

To guard yourself from sneak attack

Or you might slip on something slick

Which he will call a “harmless trick,”

 

Then smush a cream pie in-your-face

As others laugh at your disgrace.

You can’t believe he stole your show,

And ask yourself “Where did he go?”

 

The guy you paid to steal you money

Because “It’s entertainment, honey,”

Has found a way to reenact

His famous disappearing act.

 

You want to lay your hands on him

Because he made your life so grim.

There seems to be no stopping him.

The chances do appear quite slim

 

Because the man has earned such fame,

The crowds have glorified his name.

He has the power to bring shame.

When you protest, he’ll shift the blame

 

And you’ll get nowhere with your claim.

 

II. Simon In-Your-Face and the Sleeping Church

 

Alas, the church that stays asleep

Can’t lay a finger on this creep

Because they have been hypnotized

To do what’s right in their own eyes.

 

But then comes Philip, an honest man

Who offers up a better plan:

“Believe in Jesus and you’ll see

God’s miracles of grace so free.”

 

“Trust Him to never disappear

Or whisper ‘nothings’ in your ear.

The oil he pours upon your hair

Will never cause you to despair.”

 

“He’ll never leave. He’s always there

To heal your hurt. His tender care

Will pay you back for all the wrongs

Caused by the evil sorcerer’s songs.”

 

“Do you want proof that He’s for real?”

Asks Philip. “Well, then, here’s the deal,”

He lays hands on the blind. “Lord, heal,

With salve that they can really feel.”

 

Their eyes pop open and they see

The truth they sought so desperately.

The lame man jumps up to his feet

And sees his “bitter” turn to sweet!

 

Beholding hour after hour

God’s amazing healing power,

His joy poured on the one who grieves,

Simon the sorcerer too believes.

 

Baptism’s water he receives.

 

III. Simon In-Your-Face Shows No True Repentance

 

But does he truly turn from sin,

Into the Lord’s death enter in,

Make Jesus’ call to follow his?

It doesn’t take a Bible whiz

 

To read the tale (Acts chapter 8)

Which says he didn’t do that great

But tried to buy God’s gift with gold.

For Peter said that he was sold

 

In slavery to inward rage,

Wrath “in-your-face,” the sinner’s wage.

For bitterness lay in his heart,

To hear man say “How great thou art”

 

And hug God’s praises to himself

Remained a fixture on his shelf

Of personal idolatry,

An eye doll known as “me, me, me.”

 

He didn’t trust whole-heartedly

In Jesus Christ to set him free.

However, though his final fate

May still be open to debate,

 

We know that we still have a choice:

In Jesus Christ we can rejoice,

Repent and yield unto the will

Of Him who told the waves, “Be still,”

 

Or be like Simon “in your face,”

Who scorned God’s wondrous gift of grace.

With Philip he could not keep pace.

But we can choose to run the race. . .

 

 

 

 

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with a great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

 

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

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Making a Few Necessary Changes

Okay, so I’m sure at least a few people have noticed that I’ve made some changes to my website. I’m not doing it to confuse anyone, but after all, it is an author website. After doing some needed research, I realized that some things were missing with this website – essential items that help people to contact me and buy my book. (No pressure to purchase, but it’s nice to have the information at your fingertips for immediate and/or future reference).

Yes, I’ll admit, I feel the pressure to make sales. (Too few reviews sound like bad news. I wouldn’t want to blow a fuse). But that’s not the reason I write. I write because I have a message to share and I can’t type it fast enough, and then I have to think about “Is anybody reading it?”

I know. What does that bird have to do with anything? I wish it would stop peering over my shoulder already.

ARRRGH! I’m a writer. I just want to write. I have another book to finish but marketing is a distraction. It’s like the carrots in the pot roast that refuse to cook all the way through, but the meat has been done for three hours. Even the potatoes are tired of waiting for them to cook. Anyhow, I think you get my drift. I’ve made some major renovations to this site over the last few months – renovations that in some ways correspond with renovations in my life. As some children prepare to move overseas (I will miss my grandson!) others come back home.

They’re here and then they’re there. They like to travel everywhere. My rhymes almost sound like a Doctor Seuss book. I used to wonder about his last name; sounds like the Hebrew word for horse.

Doctor Horse. Good name for him. I can see the toothy grin. Reminds me of Mr. Ed the talking horse. Remember him? If so, you’ve probably been around a while – long enough to go through numerous changes.

Like my website. I’ve been writing more articles for authors and for readers too. But my main message hasn’t changed a bit. To me it’s all about the miracles and healing Jesus still performs. He’s just the same today as He was two thousand years ago.  That’s what the Christian fiction stories I write are really about – children walking in the power of the Spirit, taking His inspired comic books at face value and using them to take incredible adventures.

These heroes are like people who read the Bible and do what it says without wavering.

They’ve had it with the Snore Bore. They won’t listen to his dead weights, and – well, I think you get the picture. They trust God to help them make those needed changes in their lives, even though some things can be so frustrating – like figuring out where all those widgets go and how and why and – Anyhow, change can be good. Now if I could only figure out where my villain ran off to…

 

 

What if They’d Thought to Praise Him?

I. What if the Boatmen Had Thought to Praise Him?

 

What if they’d thought to praise Him?

Might Christ’s followers in the boat

Perhaps have been commended

For keeping it afloat?

 

Instead, they woke the Master

With rebukes like “You don’t care!”

And “How can you sleep while we sink?

It simply isn’t fair!”

 

What if they’d thrown a praise party

When first they saw the storm

Begin to rage around them

Like a yellow jacket swarm?

 

Might they have scared the devils

That were stirring up the sea

And threatening to drown them

In that lake of Galilee?

 

And what if they’d praised God

When they saw Jesus walk on water

Instead of crying “Ghost!”

Like any fearful son or daughter

 

Whose trust in God lasts for a day

But in the night grows dim?

What if in every thought and deed

They’d sought to honor Him?

 

What if they had, like Peter,

Dared to step outside the boat,

Declaring with great boldness,

“Lord, you make my feet to float!”?

 

Imagine Jesus’ pleasure

As he watched their budding faith

Spring to life in awesome ways.

But no, they feared a wraith.

 

II. What if the Farmers Had Welcomed Him?

 

And what if those who saw the man

Who once was demonized

Clothed, sitting, and in  his  right mind –

What if they’d recognized

 

The wonders God had done for him?

What if great joy they’d voiced?

Instead of begging him to leave,

What if they had rejoiced?

 

The farmers in that last tale

Would have surely been commended

Had they not focused on the way

Their lives had been upended.

 

But when they lost their livelihood,

They forfeited their joy,

Rejecting Christ’s deliverance

For creatures that annoy.

 

Yet who expects a pig

To sing a happy worship song?

But when we offer praise to God,

It makes our frail faith strong.

 

Based on events recorded in  Matthew 8:23-34 and Matthew 14:23-32

 

 

Digging Wells that Demolish Writers’ Blocks

Digging wells is important, I have discovered, for dispensing living water that refreshes thirsty souls. When I first received the prophecy concerning God’s Word pouring out of me, I experienced a flood of inspiration. It bubbled up in the form of poems, skits, humor, stories, and profound Biblical insights. Drops of truth few others had dug up shone like gems inside my mind. I couldn’t wait to share them.

Then the Philistines came along and sought to plug the writing wells I dug by faith, while I following in the footsteps of Abraham, the man of faith. The Philistines, fathers of giants, used destructive criticism to dump dirt on the golden nuggets that sprang forth from my well. I had barely started digging but they wanted me to stop. Their intimidation tactics made me want to give up.

“After all, why write something nobody cares about?” they whispered in my ears.

“What if no one reads this novel you’ve been working on for years?”

“This isn’t right. You’re too obsessed. This work consumes you.”

“It’s an idol, not a gift.”

Their taunts, though true, hit my ears like clashing gongs. Forget the “diamonds  in the rough” I had unearthed. All they chose to feast their eyes on was the mess. As I listened to their digs, my pile of unpolished gems turned into a mountain of a writer’s block: huge, overwhelming, and impenetrable. With that as my focus, I’d never get anything to drink!

Let’s face it: Digging wells isn’t easy, but it’s the only way to move that writer’s block – because sometimes you have to move more mud out of the way to reach the water. Besides, that mud is packed with gems of inspiration. The more you dig, the more you’ll find.

For example, the first few gems you unearth may contain bits of dialogue. Later on, you may see some characters take take shape. Moreover, despite the fact  that  digging wells can be a years-long process, you’ll eventually hit water – but only if you keep digging.

Inspired by the story in Genesis 26:15-22

Faith Working Through Love: The Fruit of Patience

Patience (aka long-suffering) is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (see Galatians 5:22). It is also the first attribute associated with love in I Corinthians chapter 13.

How many people these days exhibit patience though? I know I struggle with it. I want people to be nice to me NOW.  When they get impatient, I get upset. I am impatient for them to be patient! Oh, what a flawed world we live in. We have more flaws than we know.

But God is patient. I John 4:8 tells us that God IS love.  To know God is to have this patient love living in us. As God the Father’s only begotten Son Jesus Christ demonstrated that love toward us (see John 3:16). It is a very patient love.

Acts 10:38 declares that Jesus did good and healed everyone that the devil oppressed. Out of love – the Father’s perfect love – He healed the sick, raised the dead, and cast out devils. His love was full of patience  and endured  much  unbelief.

One time there was a man whose son had a deaf and dumb spirit. Jesus’ disciples could not cast it out. When Jesus heard this, it frustrated him. “O unbelieving generation! How long must I remain with you?” he said. “How long must I put up with you?” In other words, “How patient must I be?”

Why did he say that? Perhaps it is because people still questioned His ability to heal, despite the many miracles He had done.  Imagine, for example, that you are an expert table maker.  If anyone can make a table, you can. But despite the fact that people know you built thousands of tables, they question your ability to build another one. Perhaps they suspect your “table-building anointing” has run out. They asked your workers for help but they weren’t as skilled, so they wonder if perhaps you  have resigned from the business.

“I know  you did  it before, but are you sure you can do it again?” they ask.

You know you still have what it takes to build tables, but most people doubt you can. Even after seeing you at work, they’re still not sure. You feel the patience draining out of you.

“Oh, puh-lease! You’ve doubted me a hundred times and I’ve had it up to here! No more, that’s it, I’ve reached my limit. I’m finished, do you hear me? Completely finished with you!”

That’s what Jesus could have said. But love is full of patience – aka long-suffering – meaning that it suffers long. Despite the continual episodes of unbelief His people demonstrated, Jesus showed them patience.

He said, “Bring the boy to me.”

The father made another mistake. He said, “If” – as in, “If you can do anything, please help us.”

Again, Jesus showed patience, by encouraging him. “If you believe, all things are possible to the one who believes.”

The father asked Jesus to help his unbelief and Jesus did.

The fruit of love is patience, and patience comes from God.

 

 

 

 

 

Jumping Through Hoops to Get Healed?

Have you ever tried jumping through hoops to get healed,

In search of a cure not yet fully revealed?

For example, how long do you think you must pray

To maintain your health so it won’t go away?

 

Who has believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? Isaiah 53:1

 

Perhaps if you could, you’d get healing right now,

Because if God would, He could heal you somehow.

But do you believe you must first act just right?

Because jumping through hoops might just make you uptight.

 

Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

 

Does unconfessed sin seem to block healing’s path,

requiring hoop jumping to shun God’s fierce wrath?

If so, how many sins would you have to confess

In order to get relief from all that stress?

 

When the evening came, they brought unto him many. . . with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick  (to fulfill Isaiah 53:4, which says), “(He) Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” Matthew 8:16-17

 

Do  you have to wait for the right place and time,

Jumping through hoops with no reason or rhyme?

While religious guys urge you to “Just go away,”

To “Come, get your healing some other bright day”?

 

 

And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day? Luke 13:16

 

 

“Do you want to get healed?” Jesus asked someone lame

Whose condition for decades had stayed just the same.

He desired to be well,  but the line was too long.

Besides, to jump such a hoop, he wasn’t strong.

 

Jesus said unto him, “Rise, take up your bed, and walk.” And immediately the man (became) whole, and took up his bed, and walked. John 5:8-9

 

 

But what if something tragic has beaten you down,

Because death’s own shadow just entered the town?

You can’t bear the facts staring you in the face.

Where can you find a trace of God’s unending grace?

 

 

Didn’t I say to you that if you would believe, you would see the glory of God? John 11:40

 

 

We don’t need to jump through hoops to find healing. We just need to reach out to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2)

 

https://miracle-times.com/faith/seeing-believing/