To be Spiritually Minded, Part II

Remember the story of Balaam, whose donkey

Made of that sourpuss a regular monkey?

‘Me first!’ was his motto in everything.

He longed for the riches that money could bring.

 

He saddled the creature one bright sunny day,

And climbed on her back (he fell off right away).

He got on again and was starting to curse

When instead of “fast forward,” she went in reverse!

 

With everyone else moving forward in time,

He found himself literally stuck on “rewind.”

You cannot imagine a funnier sight.

If you could have seen it, you’d roll with delight.

 

But, Lord, that does not sound too spiritual,

Protest I as a serious individual.

To tell jokes goes against everything I’ve been taught,

That by mourning with all those who mourn ‘fish’ are caught.

 

Your intentions are good, He replies, but you see,

You have been confusing your own sympathy

With my fierce compassion that I give for free.

I call you this day to regain clarity.

 

For I laugh at the wicked, it says in the psalms,

Not because I enjoy bringing them down

But because they imagine their plans will succeed

Even when their motivation is greed.

 

But to think that their plans could win out against me

Is perfectly silly, as silly can be.

And so, as you see, it is all right to chuckle,

To giggle, to chortle, let loose your belt buckle

 

And in every way make a humorous rhyme

As long as it honors my name every time.

For when joy like an ocean comes over your soul,

Up springs a faith that will make all things whole.

 

The words that he says go straight into my heart,

Exploding in bubbles that blessings impart.

A fountain of joy welling up from inside

Makes me start to feel giddy. This joy I can’t hide!

 

So, I take His advice and I tell a few jokes.

The man is in stitches. He ‘bad knee’ he pokes.

Then suddenly he rises up from his chair.

It seems to me he is not even aware

 

That no longer does he have any more pain,

Or that, amazingly, he walks again.

He is just as joyful as joyful can be,

His mind on the Spirit. God’s Word set him free.

 

“For to be carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:6

 

“If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you.” Romans 8:11

 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22

 

To Be Spiritually Minded

Behold the lone man sitting in his wheelchair.

I’ve come to pour oil all over his hair

And pray for him, hoping that he will be healed.

But as I pray, intense pain is revealed.

 

I try to encourage him, but the pain shouts

“I won’t go away!” and I hear lots of doubts.

The more that I pray and then with the man reason,

The more it keeps shouting to me “Treason, Treason!”

 

I see Athaliah beholding the king.

“His praises,” she cries, “I do not want to sing!”

I see the poor crippled man choosing to flirt

With all of his suffering and all of his hurt.

 

How can I get this poor man’s mind back on God?

I have to confess that I feel like a clod!

Sadly, I fear that this simple prayer session

Has turned into one big “Can’t do it!” confession.

 

“What ever shall I do?” I cry to the Lord.

“Get his mind off the flesh and it will be restored,”

I hear Him reply. “Turn his mind to the scripture.

By rightly dividing it, show him I’m bigger

 

Than all of his problems and all of his issues,

Including the pain that resides in his tissues.

Remind him of Noah ‘sea legs’ in his ark,

Trying in vain to track down his aardvark.

 

You’d think that his underwear had a few ants

The way the anteaters keep sniffing his pants.

Or speak to him of Babel’s unfinished tower,

The project on which I rained down a cold shower,

 

How impudent men with their stubborn old plans

Discovered they simply could not understand

The ridiculous sounds that arose from their mouths,

How, like squeaky chipmunks they scurried about!

 

Their project in ruins, their plans all for naught,

The building abandoned, their space program shot.

They thought they were sneaky in hiding from me

The plans that they made in all obscurity.

 

But at the last moment I pulled out the rug

Upon which they’d rested so safe and so snug.

I ripped off the blanket beneath which they’d curled

And scattered them all abroad throughout the world.

 

And can I not do the same thing for this man

For whom Christ has died? It’s all part of my plan.

They buried His body and thought they had won,

But He rose from the dead. Then we had some great fun.

 

The devil was snoozing on top of that stone.

Then down swooped the angel. “Surprise! Not alone!”

Satan dropped his pitchfork and got crunched by that rock.

His head has been crushed, and it came as a shock.

 

Yes, trials may hurt. As for death, it still stings,

But the power of His resurrection still sings.

It’s greater than any attack we may face.

Such is the freedom we find in God’s grace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be of Good Cheer

“My son, I say, be of good cheer. Your sins have been forgiven.”

Oh, what uplifting words to the poor paralyzed man were given!

No more sack cloth or ashes, for God’s strength was found in joy.

God’s grace did not depend upon him being a good boy.

 

His clapping friends above upon the shattered roof were smiling,

The righteous man had seen their faith, though others were reviling.

Their inward thoughts heaped tons of dirt upon the Lord of glory.

What happened next put even more excitement in the story.

 

The startled crowd that stood inside the house began to mumble,

With voices too hushed to be heard, “Our teacher isn’t humble!”

“To think that he can pardon sins! His mind must not be steady.”

Before the words had left their lips, he had his answer ready.

 

“What’s easier? To forgive him or to tell him ‘rise and walk’?”

With confidence and truth, he answered their unspoken talk.

The quiet murmurers drew back in shock. How could this be?

How did he get inside their minds? It came so suddenly!

 

His unexpected “snappy answer” took them by surprise.

They fell off their proverbial chairs and rubbed wide open eyes

To find themselves thrown off their high and mighty babbling tower

As Jesus, with one bold, swift move, made His Word known with power.

 

“Arise, pick up your mat, and go back to your house today,”

He told the man, who saw he had no choice but to obey.

He stood up with a shout, all smiles, jumped up off the floor,

Picked up his mat, sidestepped the cat, and walked straight out the door.

 

To those who say God ruins fun, I beg to disagree.

See how He healed the crippled man and made the blind to see!

For, if the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed.

Or must somebody wreck a roof that you might see your need?