Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Trinity’s Operation in Ephesians

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In one hope of your calling”; it’s in the Bible do read it
Even as ye are called” there’s “one body and one Spirit”,
One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all
Who is above all and through all and in you all” the apostle recalls.

Verses 4 through 6 of Ephesians chapter four
Show three in operation; no less and no more,
One God, one Lord and one Holy Spirit that are co-equal
And are involved in much activity throughout the Bible.

The letter to the Ephesians is profoundly doctrinal
Written not only for them but also for us modern day people,
Throughout this epistle there is the Holy Trinity
Frequenting its message with unmistakable clarity.

Now turn with me to Ephesians chapter 2 and verse 18,
Time and again you’ve read this but had not really seen
That through Christ we have access by one Spirit to the Father
So that Father, Son and Spirit are prominently the theme.

Let’s look at other references for the Father, Son, and Spirit,
Ephesians chapter 1 verse 17 is a verse of such merit,
Paul prayed that the God of Jesus, the Father of glory
May give revelation and knowledge in the wisdom of the spirit.

He also prayed to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
That he would strengthen us inwardly with might by His Spirit,
And that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith
Being filled with the fullness of God would be the believer’s limit.

Go and check verses 14 through 19 of Ephesians chapter 3
And you will see the Divine three-in-one operate in unity;
The Father grants that the Spirit would strengthen the inner man
And that Christ may dwell in our hearts; this completes God’s plan.

Consider “whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption
So “grieve not the Holy Spirit” as in Ephesians 4: 30 and 32
But “be ye kind one to another tenderhearted and forgiving
Even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”.

Be not drunk with wine”…”but be filled with the Spirit
Giving thanks for all things unto God and the Father” commit,
All this “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” submit
Accordingly as Ephesians chapter 5 verses 18 and 20 depict.

The conclusion of this triune matter is so very clear to me,
It indicates God’s tri-unity in us and in Him our unity,
In the word of God we read of a magnificent mystery
But in our hearts, right there lives out a wonderful reality.

One God, Father of all, above all” speaks of the Father above,
He that is through all” speaks of the Son, God’s expression of love,
He that is in you all” the Spirit once descended like a dove,
And there you have the Trinity indwelling us yet in heaven above.

Stewart Russell © 2015

Monday, December 28, 2015

After the Rush

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After the Christmas rush the sanity will return
And the realization that much money was burned,
God’s glorious salvation they continued to spurn,
Another Christmas gone but the lessons still not learned

Obsessed with the need to fix up the house,
A temporary commitment to children and spouse
And now all these things do not seem that important
Since Christmas has passed the inside feels vacant.

Tell me, what was that I just did there?
All of this stuff bought and I am still feeling bare,
Seems so irrelevant since Christmas day has gone
The New Year beckons and with it the coming storm.

Weaker for the effort that was expended for one day,
Short-lived satisfaction not worth what was paid,
Missing the true meaning of the Christmas season,
Once again not recognizing that Christ is the reason.

Wondering how I will make January’s payment
On the electrical appliances and the China cabinet,
The food that was bought and gormandized up in a flash
Not certain which went the faster, the food or the cash.

And all of this hullaballoo for just a two day bash
On a slippery precipice and behaviour that was rash,
After all the rushing around there is now nothing inside,
All of the money gone and lasting happiness denied.

Instead, a peculiar feeling and a growing melancholy,
Fixed up house now empty after the departed company,
The lights on the tree unable to brighten my mood
And acute indigestion from ingesting too much food.

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The thing that is puzzling, yes very puzzling to me
Is every year I keep falling for this spending spree,
Chronic addition to this rush to rid me of money
Somewhat like a competition; don’t laugh it’s not funny.

Anyway I’ll still look around and try to find some cash,
There might be just enough for the Old Year’s bash,
I know in the New Year there’ll be a great backlash
But I’ll go right to where I have the mortgage money stashed.

So it’s time to get involved in one final rush,
I know right after this I will feel like I’m crushed
But I aim to be happy regardless of what it costs
Even if this happiness is temporary and after that all is lost.

Stewart Russell © 2015

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Promised, Paid and Pardoned

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I once had a debt I could not pay
A situation in which I had no say-
Who could I trust to save the day?
I wondered if any could help me find a way.

I trusted many who promised to pay,
They sounded sincere and so on them I lay,
They simply led to despair and dismay;
The debt remained and I further strayed.

I looked for alternate ways to pay
That could clear my debt without delay
And though they held very prominent sway
My life just assumed darker shades of gray.

Then I found a way that was sure to pay
It was a process somewhat like a relay,
Though many were involved not one would stay
The length of my ordeal and save the day.

I concluded that none would pay
This huge debt that stood in my way;
My so-called helpers wanted me to waylay
All their effort was just a pretentious display.

After finding no one that could pay
I desperately cried from my heart one day
Only to discover that the devil’s tray
Was exactly what was obstructing my way.

Full of strategies and schemes to pay,
Money back guarantees my fears to allay,
Promising a debt free life and a brighter day
If only I would give him absolute sway.

At my lowest ebb I espied who did pay,
For me he walked up the Calvary way-
It was Jesus who came that first Christmas day
Confirmed by the angels’ spectacular display.

The manger was proof of the promise to pay,
The cross would set the enemy in disarray,
Resurrection morn all my fears allay,
Promised, Paid and Pardoned! Thank God I can say.

I have found him whom God sent to pay
And now in my life he holds absolute sway,
Hallelujah to Jesus, the life, the truth and the way-
I no longer have a debt that I have to pay.

Stewart Russell © 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Origin of the Races

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Have you ever searched the Bible?
Did you find the origin of your race?
There is no such thing amongst its pages
Of race there is not a single trace.

Race is an evolutionary concept
Used by Darwin, Huxley and Haeckel,
These nineteenth century Evolutionistic ideas
Since then have misled many people.

In the Bible you’d not find the word
Not alluding to people or the concept,
This divisive, separatist ideology
Should be treated as a total reject.

There is no white race or black race,
From where did this fallacy come?
Thank God there are no racial divisions
In His everlasting kingdom.

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I point you to Genesis 10 and verse 32
Note the families of the sons of Noah
“And by these were the nations divided”,
Read it for yourself; the Bible says it’s so.

The worldwide division was at Babel,
Find it in Genesis eleven from verse nine,
This was the scattering of all peoples
Not races as Darwin and company opined.

They were scattered according to families
Every one dispersed after his tongue,
Out of this the formation of nations,
This ideology called race is wrong.

In Genesis chapter ten there you find a list
That shows that Darwin was not right,
And this has been totally supported
By the great archaeologist, William F Albright.

From his detailed and in depth research
He found this list “astonishingly accurate”,
For him the Bible was the correct explanation
And with this too I can relate.

Now hear the conclusion of this matter
Back to Adam and Eve you will trace,
That there are not many races but one;
That one we know is the human race.

God created us all in his image
Adam and Eve were told to multiply,
We all are the children of one father
And with this ideology I comply.

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It does not matter where the location,
It is of no essence the skin colour,
What matters is that we are one family
Brothers and sisters one of another.

God made the world and all therein
And has made of all nations of one blood,
So that when our fore parents were created
God described His creation as very good.

Time to abolish this schism about races,
Time to eradicate its root and all its traces,
Time to denounce this evil that defaces
God’s creation and appreciate their graces.

Stewart Russell © 2015

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Be at Home this Christmas

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Permit me a little intrusion
Upon your Christmas plan
Just to reminisce a little bit
About God and sinful man.

The Christmas you celebrate
Cost God an enormous price,
His Son Jesus was the cost
For us he was sacrificed.

When our fore parents fell
Back there in ancient Eden
There was no hope for man
Except God’s promised Son.

The serpent bruised his heel
But he would crush his head,
His display at Mount Calvary
Would raise us from the dead.

In that our Saviour died once
Every soul can be made alive,
In him we have abundant life
Now we can more than survive.

God intervened in our mess
Through Jesus Christ his Son,
Now He is asking for a place
As we plan our Christmas fun.

Without Bethlehem’s manger
For Jesus’ cradle in that stall,
There would have been no hope
Since our parents took that fall.

From the onset in Eden’s Garden
Man had taken a selfish turn
Goaded on by Satan’s prodding
He the knowledge of evil learned.

Like God the first man aspired
With Satan he had conspired
To satisfy his selfish desire
The result was absolutely dire.

This Christmas will find some
Still Floundering in dire straits
Still taking that selfish turn
When given an opportune date.

If you are one such person
I beg you spare a thought for Christ,
Beyond your selfish celebration
Consider his selfless sacrifice.

Remember that first Christmas
Was the first of all that followed,
Now that God has offered you a way
No longer in sin should you wallow.

Thank you for the time given,
I am glad you took time to read,
Now it’s time for the next step
Follow through as the Spirit leads.

The tree, the tinsel and the lights
Are minor in this whole scheme,
The major part of Christmas
Really is about the redeemed.

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For there is no true Christmas
Outside of this so-called intrusion,
If the trappings fill your Christmas
Then it’s a mass of confusion.

So let me beg again in earnest
As you plan your Christmas treat,
Invite Jesus into your Christmas
And penitently bow at his feet.

It will be the best Christmas gift,
Invite him into your heart and soul
And you’ll be home for Christmas
Present in the Shepherd’s foal.

Stewart Russell© 2015

Friday, December 18, 2015

What Is There to See?

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I see a crown, a cross and a manger,
No, not in that order, for the Divine Arranger
In His great wisdom has shown the other way
Whilst redeeming His choice creation and saving the day.

Instead, I see a manger, a cross and a crown,
This is the order that’s been there all along.
It was Jesus’ birth, yes, His death and resurrection,
That brought man from sin to glorious redemption!

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The manger speaks of the past we celebrate today,
The crown is the future we expect without delay,
But the cross is a fact that we must not deny,
Though renounced by the world, on it we can rely.

For as we come to reflect on the manger scene,
Of the birth of the King and all that has been,
The cross is the pivotal point, that’s clear to me
To rid this world of the curse and from sin set us free.

But, many see Christmas without a Good Friday view,
Our Saviour’s birth is celebrated by many, not a few.
Spoil the Christmas merriment with the thought of the cross?
Let the joy of the season go? Oh, what a loss!

The time for Good Friday will come around soon,
Then we can concentrate on the cross and the tomb.
But this Christmas tide I can ne’er spare a thought
About salvation through the cross that Jesus Christ bought.

How blind we are when we ignore the Light!
We have twenty-twenty vision but without insight.
We can see nothing beyond the tip of our nose
And so, in the bliss of our ignorance we repose.

Tell me, what do you see as you come here today?
Is it just a time to celebrate, so no longer delay
To rush back home and raise our glasses in a toast
And dig into chicken and ham, turkey and roast?

Can’t you see the Christ of Christmas as to the cross He’d go
Taking your burden and mine and all of our sinful woe?
Is it asking so very much of you and me
To spare a thought for the cross during this Christmas spree?

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For surely, Christmas is about a path from a manger bed,
Through a life of humiliation and to a cross it led,
An undeserving death there on  Golgotha’s Hill
Whence the life blood of our Saviour and Creator was spilled.

That’s why we sing the way of the cross leads home,
That’s how we know the cross precedes the throne.
For if ever there was a fact of life, ‘tis true,
The Christ of the cross is the only hope for me and you.

So on this glorious Christmas morn, let us also see
Not only the food, the fun and the gifts beneath the tree,
Let us also see the Christ that came that first Christmas day
For the expressed purpose of walking the Calvary way.

So are you still in a hurry to get back to your share
Of turkey and ham and all that Christmas fare?
Do you still feel that this poem was too long
And wish we would hurry up and close with a song?

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Then you would have missed the crowning thought
About the Christ of Christmas whom wise men sought
While following the light of a shining star
They reached the place he lay having come from afar.

And shepherds too, they were minding their sheep,
Saw the heavens aglow as they were given a peep
Of the glorious unfolding in the Bethlehem inn,
They too would experience deliverance from sin.

Can you see again that that wise man’s gift of myrrh
Was given to baby Jesus so that all can concur
The manger led to the cross while en route to the crown
And those who believe will comprise that heavenly throng?

Stewart Russell © 2009

The Christmas Craze

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Another year has virtually gone
We’re moving towards another Christmas morn,
Life is hard and things are brown
Still Christmas money spending around.

The merchants declaring bumper sales
People buying wholesale and retail,
Hire purchased items with money burned
This coming January will be returned.

People all through town, some in a daze
Yet another sign of the Christmas craze,
Hectic already in this first phase
Just like last phase with no time to laze.

Where is the money coming from?
Why can’t I get any?  I must be dumb!
Struggling to meet my monthly bill:
Of bills up to my neck, I’ve had my fill.

Furniture from last year put outside
Must keep up with the Joneses or woe betide,
New furniture suite for the living room
Hoping the flat screen TV get there soon.

First week in December all this going on
Just back in October the money all gone,
First week in December money just appeared
And now they are spending without a care.

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No intention to use last year’s lights
Finding the blown bulb is like a real fight,
One particular year it took a day and a night,
Buying new strings instead just seems right.

No end of shoes bought from before
But just for Christmas a couple pairs more,
More than six suits hanging in the closet
But wondering why the new one isn’t finished yet.

He was given the cloth way back in June
But the tailor had said that was much too soon,
Now the first week in December almost complete
Maybe he’s planning to finish it Christmas week.
O how I wish I could make my own clothes
Rather than depend on professionals that sew,
I really wish I were a do-it-myself -handy man
Then nobody could disrupt my Christmas plan.

I marvel at all these people though
That have important people that they know
For I am convinced that it must be so
Since at Christmas nothing stops their show.

Things here brown and life real hard
Yet freshly painted houses and spruced up yards,
Everybody trying to outdo the next person
And the children also having loads of fun

Yes, the children get in on the action too
They are part of the craze with little things to do
Like “You and your friends better stay outside,
Mess up this house and I’ll tar your hide!”

Here’s a conversation overheard in October
These neighbours in the district having a look-over
“To tell the truth,” one openly exclaimed
“I don’t have the money to paint my house again.”

“You are so right.  I too have that problem.
Looks like I will have to start my own collection.
If I am to get enough to freshen up my home
I’d better leave you all and get on my phone.”

“I always wondered how you get it done
Especially knowing that you complain so often.
Neighbours, we now know that she is a trickster
This time around we know just how to fix her.”

On the road too you had better watch out
For pedestrians jaywalking as they move about,
And motorists driving like they own the road
Just like the ZR van drivers looking for a load.

A few Christmas seasons in the past
The shoppers and buyers waited until the very last
But this year already the merchants singing a tune,
The sales hike caption in the news suggests a boom.

A caution though, as I think this through
With this spending spree what will the Government do?
They too looking for money from any avenue
There’s the likelihood of more taxes for me and you.

Are Credit Unions providing these funds?
Are overseas relatives sending more healthy sums?
Where is the money really coming from?
And why up to now I’m still getting none?

Maybe it’s because I don’t get caught up in the craze
Be it first, second or even third phase,
Since I became a pensioner I haven’t had a raise
And like the sheep, the little I get on that I graze.

So for me a little to eat and a little to drink,
Lots of time during the rush to sit and think
And wonder how without jobs and without work
People still spend at Christmas like they hit pay dirt.

I wouldn’t lie though, for I must be honest,
Of all of the festive seasons Christmas is the best,
It is truly my favourite time of the year
And I do believe every man should have his share.

So the move is on and people are in a hurry,
In the streets and stores there’s a rush and a scurry,
This Christmas craze is far too much for me
But it helps to make Christmas the best festivity.

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I pray as you rush to and fro this Christmas season,
You would come face to face with the Father’s reason
For sending His Son that very first Christmas day
And that you would invite Jesus into your heart to stay.

Stewart Russell © 2015

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Christmas Summary

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For some Christmas is a bottle
A simple bottle of rum,
As soon as that bottle is empty
Christmas for them is done.

For some Christmas is a rush
A rush to get things done,
A host of things to accomplish
Before Christmas day is come.

For some Christmas is a rest
A rest from their busy ways,
A chance to relax and reflect
During the Christmas holidays. 
Then Christmas is new things
For some it is simply that,
They change whatever they can
Then sit back and relax.

For some it is getting together
With friends and family,
Eats, drinks and fun galore
Highlight their festivity.

For children it’s an opportunity
To frolic and to play,
To enjoy their presents and toys
And eat lots on Christmas day.

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The outfit for some is primary
Bedecked in the latest fashion,
At church and Queen’s Park
They parade with passion.

The house is a point of interest
Especially for the female,
She runs herself ragged
Trying to catch another sale.

For some Christmas is the lights
On buildings and Christmas trees,
The beauty that's displayed 
Is pleasing to all of these.

The doctors cash in too
But theirs mostly come after
Christmas eating and drinking,
More patients is doctor’s laughter

Merchants too have their share
You don’t have to guess,
The more money leaves our pockets
The more they are impressed.

Christmas for the vagrant
Finds him on his street
And the spirit of Christmas goodwill
Supplies him with lots to eat.

Undertakers, I’m not too sure
How they fit into the mix,
Christmas for them could be
Those patients the doctors didn’t fix.

Christmas for some is that chance
To do what’s otherwise a chore,
It is one of the few times
That they “darken a church door”.

Christmas is that special time
The needy anticipate each year
As organisations reach out to them
With loads of Christmas cheer.

Christmas for the butcher
Could be the death of many pigs
As he supplies the ham and pork
For the various Christmas gigs.

Christmas for a church pastor
Could be a church that’s full,
Compliments of Christmas programmes
Attracting many people.

For some it’s really a bother
Their religion can’t accommodate,
Wedding anniversaries they keep up
But Jesus’ birth they won’t celebrate.

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But still there are others
Who’ve experienced the “new birth”,
Christmas reminds of the time
That Jesus came to this earth

The trappings of the season
Still matter to many of these
But above and beyond these frills
Is the acceptance of the “Prince of Peace”.

Stewart Russell © 2015