Sunday, July 15, 2018

Take Warning!

A few of them would stop
But then they would pass me by,
Later I would hear the commotion
Then all I could do was sigh.

Some would stop to inquire
I would take time to explain
But on they would go in a hurry,
That would bring me angst and pain,

Some would stop for a while
As though trying to make up their mind
Then they would go right past me
Easing through behind.

I tried as much as I could
To give them a better warning
But the darkness all around
Made it more alarming.

Some were coming at great speed
And didn’t see me till too late,
Before I could give adequate warning
They’d passed on to their inevitable fate.

I thought I should block that road
But nothing there could find
Along that darkened roadside
To give sight to the erring blind.

My task was not an easy one,
There were others there before me
But I was the last one to take over,
It was my time to make the plea.

They had completed their time you see,
Now this shift was up to me,
To do as they did I also must
Be that roadblock for all to see.

The risk you could well imagine
To my wellbeing, to life and limb
But I must warn them of the disaster
That awaited each of them.

A few of them did stop,
They reversed and turned around,
This brought a fleeting smile to my face
And for a moment replaced the frown.

But the majority just ignored me
Trying to knock me out of the way,
They were bent on their agenda
 And didn’t want to hear what I had to say.

Like them I too was on that journey
I was one that stopped a while,
Then, I was very much undecided
For this was cramping my style.

One voice urged me to go on
Another said give a listening ear,
Well, I finally heeded the latter
And punched in my reverse gear.

Now as one had done for me
I was here to do for another
On this dark and lonely roadside
To warn of the impending danger.

Maybe you are wondering
On which road this had taken place
And why so many had refused
To heed the warning with haste.

But I assure you right now
This road may be one near you,
You may be speeding right for it
Its peril hidden from your view.

If perchance you see someone like me
Give to him a listening ear,
Don’t just bore right by him
Feeling you have the all clear.

Jesus allows U-Turns
But time is running out
Before from heaven he descends
With the trump and that resounding shout.

Then there will be no time
To beat a hasty retreat,
The Supreme Judge of all the earth
Is the one whom you will then meet.

Heed the warning now, I urge,
Heed the admonition I repeat,
Take Jesus on board your life today
And a smiling Saviour you will greet.

Stewart Russell © October 2017

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Let Go and Hold On

Confusing though this title be
Follow me and you will see
As we anticipate the coming dawn
How we can let go and still hold on.

For the night is swiftly passing by
With its terror and our fear
And doubt assaults our little faith
As the trials continually appear.

The grueling race is ours to win
But we grab ahold of the besetting sin
And though we long to let it go
We still hold on; the evidence shows.

Life storms are constantly upon us
And its tempest rages deep within,
We scarcely hear the Shepherd’s voice
With the distraction of the din.

Let go and hold on is the plea
That comes amidst contrary gusts
But there are things we treasure here
And so we guard them with much fuss.

Do you see where all this leads?
This theme is really not a paradox
Instead it is simply God’s admonition
That faith delivers us from the box.

“Forgetting those things which are behind,”
The Apostle to the Philippians reminds us
“I press toward the mark for the prize
Of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

The concept is letting go of our past
And counting those things gained as loss
And holding on to the eternal Christ
Who for us endured the cross.

It is letting go of the allurements
The glitter and glamour of Satan’s deceit
And holding on to Christ our Saviour
Casting all our treasures at his feet.

It is trusting in him for our salvation
Whose shed blood cleanses from sin
It is holding on to the fact of his grace
And letting go all that detracts from him.

We must die in order to live
Is a paradox of seeming impossibility
But letting go in order to hold on
Is not such; I hope you can see.

Spiritual paradoxes are only possible
Because God is the God of impossibilities
But letting go so that we can hold on
Is the daily walk of the Christian journey.

It is a “casting off the works of darkness”
And a “putting on of the armour of light”,
It is putting off the conversation of the old man
And from the devil’s treats taking flight.

It is submitting ourselves to Almighty God
And resisting the devil so that he flees,
It is draw nigh to God who will draw nigh to us
In James 4 is this straightforward decree.

In the New Testament in Acts chapter 5
There is a false attempt to let go and hold on,
Ananias and Sapphira had tried it their way
But in the end everything they had was gone.

Even their very life they also lost
When their concocted story Peter refused,
They sold their possessions but kept a part
This was the path they decided to choose.

They tried to hold on without letting go
And the baggage weighed them down,
In trying to get man’s acclaim and God’s too
They lost the victor’s crown.

Holding on and letting go
Is a fact of the Christian’s life,
If we refuse to let go when God says to
The likelihood is disaster and strife.

To hold on with out letting go
Is impossible in the Christian’s walk,
It is pretending to be a follower of Christ
Yet there is no action but just talk.

To hold on without letting go
Is to straddle the fence as the saying goes,
To be candid it’s neither here nor there but
A pseudo friendship with very real foes.

A putting off and putting on, that’s the key,
A progressive walk, not a hyped up spree,
A commitment to the charge to walk holy,
Let go and hold on is the Spirit’s plea.

Stewart Russell © 2017

Monday, July 09, 2018

Is Praying a Waste of Time?

Is praying a waste of time?
I would think not.
It’s a command from God’s Word
It is the believer’s lot.

Can we change the future?
I would think not.
The future is already written
That is history’s lot.

By the way history is written
And I mean all of it,
It’s in the memory bank of God
And this is no trick.

So why do we pray
Regarding what has happened?
Can we change the past
Which is already fashioned?

I guess based on these facts
One would be inclined to say
We are wasting time and effort
Every time we pray.

If it doesn’t change anything
Why bother to pray?
Prayer is never about outcome
It is following God’s way.

Jesus prayed in the garden
“Let this cup pass from me.”
But he was resigned to God’s will
And that most assuredly.

He knew before he prayed
That nothing would be changed
So why did he pray
If he knew all was prearranged?

Jesus connected with the Father
And he did this in his prayer
This communication is important
As we live out each and every day.

It is about thanking the Lord
For all his benefits to us,
It is about acknowledging God
That sent our Saviour, Jesus.

It is thanking Him for salvation
And for the life everlasting
And knowing he is with us
Through whatever we are passing.

It is about saying to Him
“God what a wonder you are!”
And unceasingly adoring Him
For the bright and morning star.

Jesus is that Light
That faithfully shows the way,
We should thank God for him
Each and every day.

Our requests have already been met
But God wants to hear from us
He regards us as His dear children
Like he regards His Son, Jesus.

But He wants our communication
To be straight from the heart,
To be a token of our love
From which we will never depart.

Not based on the outcomes
As is the case with the World
But because we truly love Him
And trust Him at His Word.

What is there I must ask God for?
The answer to that is nothing.
But there is much to thank Him for
For everything comes from Him.

His care of His children
Is not dependent on their prayers
But is premised on His faithfulness
As a loving Father that cares.

So pray because you love God,
Pray because He cares,
Pray because you like talking to Him
And because He answers prayer.

Pray because He commands it,
Pray because you are on line,
Pray because prayer is a vital link
That God answers every time.

Stewart Russell © July 2018