Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Walls We Build

Image result for images of the walls we build

We spend much time building walls of hate and greed,
In no time relationships are severed with lightning speed!
These are the walls we build not low, but high;
Nothing good about our neighbor must ever catch the eye.

Construction is swift on walls of jealousy and envy,
Look at me as I build and tell me what you see.
I see a wall tall, great and strong, I cannot breach,
I see a soul in need, next to me, but yet out of reach.

Then there are the walls of un-forgiveness, what a sight!
Casting great shadows around thus blocking the light.
But we, refusing to yield even the slightest bit
Will carry this fight to our neighbor showing true grit.

Image result for images of the walls we build

I see a great wall only concerned with mine and me,
My sanctum sanctorum, there I alone can be free.
It blocks my view from anyone without,
I am simply concerned with just me without a doubt.

You complain and fret while bombarded with fear,
I am secure behind my wall why should I care?
Your problem’s your own, it’s none of my concern,
I couldn’t care whether you sink, crash or burn.

Why should I bother about what concerns me not?
Why should I care whether someone lives or rot?
Why should I take precious time and ponder your mess,
When my walls are secure and I am at rest?

If only you could be in my position what would you do?
About the plight of your neighbour tell me your view.
I am sure you would do just as I am doing now,
Beyond your wall you wouldn’t see anyone anyhow.

Image result for images of the walls we build

Are you aware of how I come by what I now possess?
Do you know of the sacrifice and many hours of stress?
I tell you, man, I struggled and fought to attain this crest
That bears testimony that I was intent on doing my best.

And now you want me to share as though it were a free for all
While you criticize me making your pious judgment call.
I am unmoved by your chat and your silly little game,
I shall endeavour to build my walls of security just the same.
There was only one Jesus and I know you know I am not he
Take up the Bible and read, it won’t take you long to see.
I do not intend to match his life for that’s sheer futility
And anyone who believes he can is displaying sheer stupidity.

Image result for images of the walls we build

Oh, the walls of excuses have been built so very tall,
That there’s almost no way to breach them at all, at all!
Remember, the walls we construct to shut out our neighbour
Are the walls that block the way that leads to the Saviour.

So let’s examine the walls we have tirelessly built to last,
The walls we construct to protect our endeavours of the past.
They will come to naught for only in Christ they can stand,
Nothing is forever, except that which is held by His hand.

Stewart Russell © 2011

Monday, February 22, 2016

Secured in Christ

Image result for images for Colossians 1:27

What’s in these four prepositions?
In and for and with and through,
How can they express my spiritual condition?
How can such words influence my view?

Christ in me the hope of glory,
Christ in me oh what a wondrous story
Of a Father’s love and a Son’s sacrifice,
Of an empty tomb and my risen Christ!

Christ for me; he took my place,
Christ for me bore my disgrace,
Christ for me nailed to Calvary’s cross,
Christ for me restored all that was lost.

Christ with me my confidence assures,
Christ with me, I’m not alone any more,
Christ with me, he has promised to stay
All along life’s journey each and every day.

Christ through me, his light ever shines,
Christ through me invites you, “come and dine.”
Christ through me his love made manifest
Such that Satan has lost this soul he once possessed.

I’m in Christ for he is the vine,
I’m in Christ and I’m nurtured all the time,
I’m in Christ, his strength replaces mine,
I need not fear for on him I know I can recline.

Now I live for Christ, my Saviour and my Lord,
I live for Christ and I stand on his Word,
I live for Christ; I’m a testimony of his love
When at that first advent he came from above.

Image result for images for Colossians 1:27

I’m with Christ for he walks with me each day,
I’m with Christ and he hears me when I pray,
I’m with Christ; I would it have no other way
For with Christ I know I will never stray.

Through Christ my crown is guaranteed,
Through Christ I’ll follow and I’ll let him lead,
Through Christ none can pluck me from his hand,
Through Christ my faith and trust will ever stand.
In Christ, for Christ, with Christ and through
Him every day is what shapes my view;
In me, for me, with me and through
I am that creation that Christ has made anew.

Stewart Russell © 2016

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

My Phobia’s Not Your Fear

Image result for images for 2 Timothy 1:7

“Why’re you waiting at the bridge?” I asked.
“Waiting to cross,” was his reply.
“Well, let’s go ahead now it’s clear.”
“The water is still passing, look down there!”

I went my way and then returned,
By then he must have felt the sun burn.
“I see you are still waiting old chap
Even though I went and now come back.”

“Well, there is a lengthy flow today,
It never stopped while you were away.
But patience is a virtue some would say,
So I guess I am in for a very long stay.”

“But what has water there to do with here?
And what is it that you really fear?
The bridge has held for many a year,
And by the way the water’s not even near.”

But while he gazed disconcertingly down,
His expression took on a quizzical frown.
“Should the bridge collapse I would drown.”
And he said this while he looked around.

“Look around and tell me what you see,
There’s nobody here but you and me.
Should I be thrown in that watery strife
Would you jump in and save my life?”

“It wouldn’t make sense,” I said to him.
“Then two would be gone, I cannot swim.
It’s better you wait till the water passes on
But if the bridge collapses you’d still be gone.

Whether by drowning or a bashed-in head,
It really doesn’t matter you’d still be dead.
I’ll take my chance on the bridge holding up
Rather than traverse life like a frightened pup.”

I went my way but next day he was there,
Still transfixed by his mortal fear.
I asked again, “Why are you waiting here?”
“Oh, I have a fear of heights, isn’t that clear?”
This fore-day morning just before I woke
I titter-tottered on a slope, no joke.
And just when I could hold on no more
I woke up from sleep lying on the floor.

Every one of us has a phobia or fear,
None of us traverses life without fret or care.
By day it bothers us way down deep
And at night it torments us even in our sleep.

Image result for images for a high and dangerous bridge

Psychiatrists and psychologists try to stem
But fears and phobias also affect them.
Whatever your fear of phobia my friend
You’ll have to cross some bridge at the end.

Stewart Russell © 2015

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Five L’s to Safeguard Our Walk

Image result for images of the author and finisher of our faith

L number 1 is Looking unto Jesus
The Author and Finisher of our faith
Not the faith that sets store by miracles
But that which becomes the Christian’s lathe

The Holy Spirit is the machinist
And the lathe is the apostles’ doctrine
Its measurements are very precise
And it is set to rid us of all sin

Looking unto Jesus is an imperative
This must never be treated lightly
Particularly in a world of “men like trees”
Determining their followers’ reality

Looking unto Jesus our only Saviour
The One that was lifted up
That promised them that look to him
They would be spared that bitter cup

For none could drink the bitter cup
That Christ drank for everyone
That would look to him for salvation
All such ones would be reborn

Even as Moses lifted up long ago
The bronze serpent in the wilderness
Similarly by looking unto Jesus
We can be rid of our sinful mess

Yes, he is the Author of our faith
Its origin was in Calvary’s cross
But he is also the Finisher too
When from death he rose for all the lost

So as we looked towards the cross
Dismayed by the setting sun
We are heartened at the imminent sunrise
And the sign that the work is done

For no sooner had the sun set
Than it was shining in the east again
Look and live the hymn declares
What a joyous and glorious refrain!
Look to Jesus I would admonish
He exceeds our greatest wish
Let all other objects be diminished
The Bread of Life is our satisfying dish

L number 2 is Longing for Jesus
With all our heart and soul and mind
A desire and yearning to be closer
To him through the passage of time

A longing in which one’s self diminishes
And Christ steadily increases within
A foregoing of instant gratitude
And constant renouncing of sin

A longing to love as he loved
A compassion that moves us to action
That replaces all whims and fancies
And makes Christ the main attraction

A longing to be more like Jesus
A yearning to walk as he walked
A mind full of purity and wisdom
Constantly adjusting our conduct and talk

A yearning that says I’d rather have Jesus
Than all the gold in the world
Our confidence alone in the Saviour
As the events around us unfurl

Long after Jesus I would advise
For in him there is no disappointment
There is no failure in the Master
Christ’s mind in you should be your intent

L number 3 is Living for Jesus
Our source of life is in him
With a witness that is clear and focused
From a light that never grows dim

Living for Jesus, a light that is true
Reflecting his truth and righteousness too
Manifesting the word with lip and life
Telling all men what he has done for you

Living the life of the pure in heart
Living for Jesus as the times get dark
Walking the straight path never there depart
Living for Jesus…have you yet made a start?

Abiding in the Vine as a living branch
Taking in nourishment day by day
A living epistle as the Bible instructs
Living for Jesus as he directs our way

A life lived example for all to see
Not I but Christ alive in me
A testimony of his mercy, love and grace
To a grateful soul from sin set free

Salting the earth with our refined taste
As our Saviour said we should
Lighting every corner as lights in the world
Displacing the evil with Christian good

Standing up for Jesus as a good soldier
In the armour of Ephesians six
Always alert to the enemies’ strategies
And never falling victim to his tricks

Live for Jesus I would counsel all
It was he who died for you
Live for Jesus who is coming again
That’s the best that you can do

L no 4 is Learning from Jesus
Learning while sitting at his feet
Or sitting on his knee like a little child
Expecting a delicious treat

Learning from Jesus the Living Word
Absorbing the pages of Holy Writ
Line upon line precept and all
Paying close attention to the script

Not of pretext but in context
Treating the Written Word as a whole
Trusting the Holy Spirit as He guides into truth
The truth that ministers to the soul

Recall how the crowds had pressed him sore
“Never man spake like this man”
He was Rabboni, Master and teacher too
Willing students still understand

Sometimes he taught from a hillside
Sometimes he climbed into a boat
Wherever he taught the lessons were precious
Today we should still take note

Learning not only from his words
But also the example he showed by his life
As he reached out to the sick and the needy
And dissipated the Pharisees’ strife

Before Abraham was Jesus is
And though David’s son, still his Lord
The Lamb and the Shepherd all in one
Both the Living and the Written Word

Looking for a teacher true to his word?
Look no further than Jesus the Christ
Learn from Jesus I implore you today
Lessons from the one who paid sin’s price

L number 5 is Leaning on Jesus
No other safe support is there
All others will crumple and fail
There is a limit to which they can care

Learning to lean is more than a song
That we sing from lips of clay
The truth of the matter really is
It’s a lesson to be learned along the way

Our faith must develop to the point of trust
As upon the Savior we rest
Jesus is the Rock that can’t be moved
The One that is greater than our greatest test

Leaning on Jesus is a sure retreat
The One that holds the world in space
He the creator of the entire universe
Keeps all the cosmos in place

So that if the cosmos on Jesus depend
Surely on him we can also lean
Whether threatened by a monstrous wave
Or tricky rapids in a disturbed stream

“I’ll never leave nor forsake,” he says,
Underneath are his everlasting arms
Extended for all those who want to lean
No need to fear or be alarmed

Lean on me if you are not strong
Appeals to the apparent weak
But Jesus’ invitation is to one and all
Both to the strong and weak he speaks

Lean on Jesus I entreat all of you
And as for me, I am no exception
Jesus is the way the truth and the life
It’s only in him that we find salvation

Five L’s to safeguard our walk
Looking and longing are two
Living and learning to follow these
And leaning completes the five L crew

Looking to Jesus who is our Lord
Longing for Jesus who satisfies
Living for Jesus while Learning his Word
Leaning on Jesus the choice of the wise.

Stewart Russell © 2015

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Adam’s Soliloquy

Image result for images of the fall of man
I am Adam
The first man
Formed by God’s own hand
Straight out of the land

Not a natural birth
Molded from the earth
One of a kind
Not another origin like mine

This is my wife, Eve
Note Eve, not Steve
She is really different
With differing intent

Bone of my bones, yes
And flesh of my flesh
The most beautiful sight in all of Eden
Our first home an amazing garden

You may say
It was too good to last
One disobedient step
And it was a thing of the past

God gave a warning though to Eve and me
Never to eat of a particular tree
But we both disobeyed
And all of humanity was made to pay

Driven from that garden in a hurry
Our first experience of God’s fury
Apart from the tree of life
Into a world of sin and strife

Out of us twain
Came our first born, Cain
After that Abel and Seth
Were followed by all of the rest

Disabuse your mind of Mother Earth
Cain is the first of natural birth
All of our children came
Through birth pangs and much pain
And now you’re reading this
Here’s something you shouldn’t miss
You are one of my clan
And one of Eve’s great grands

How different things had become
Very early on we lost Abel, one son
Killed by the other out of jealousy
Sin had filled Cain’s heart with murderous envy

Imagine our great pain and void
Imagine no daily news or tabloid
Imagine when we first got the news
About the way our first-born did choose

Choosing to slay his brother
Then walking away without a bother
Reprimanding God in the process
“Am I my brother’s keeper?” was his protest

Soon my entire family was torn apart
Bringing much grief to Eve’s and my heart
Cain continued in his ungodly way
Further and further from God he strayed

But out of Seth came a line
That called out to God in that time
Enoch walk with God for three hundred years
And one day, just like that, he just disappeared

Reminds me of a time when in the future
This will happen to every born again believer
One moment that great company will be here
The next the entire throng will disappear

A day is but a thousand years in God’s sight
With Him there is no morning, noon and night
We reckoned by the appearing of the great sunlight
God sits in eternity through His infinite might

Each time I recall the following I can only sigh
“The day that you eat thereof you will surely die”
None has ever reached that thousand year score
Nine hundred sixty-nine was Methuselah’s, not a year more

I was one of the ‘nine-hundred’ achievers
Besides me the Pentateuch records only six others
We were certainly limited by what was prophesied
In that before one thousand years we would all die

Nine hundred years experiencing the curse
Nine hundred years regretting my sin, the first
Nine hundreds years of sorrow and bereft
Nine hundred years with the prospect of death

How I wished I could return again to that start
How I dreamed after Eden with all of my heart
How I longed for that communion never to part
How I yearned for Father’s fellowship deep in my heart

Within a single day in God’s sight
All my sunshine had turned to night
It appeared Satan had won this particular fight
But suddenly I recalled something much to my delight

At first I did not understand
When first banished from the Eden land
It was not all a curse but there was a blessed strand
Of grace extended from God’s own hand

Enmity will rage between Satan and man
And it would appear as though man will be damned
But Satan’s onslaught will be a temporary show
For the Messiah will deliver to him a fatal blow

Even now as I reminisce these hundreds of years
Nine hundred years of toil and fret and care
I introduce to you the second Adam
God’s Son and my Saviour, the God-Man

Since I walked the face of this earth
Thousands of years have passed with billions of births
By now you should be looking back at Calvary’s cross
And thanking God you don’t have to be lost

In the garden I fell
In the garden Jesus excelled
I fell to my first trial
But he triumphed over Belial

I sold out the human race
Jesus was the conduit of God’s grace
My love was flawed I do regret
But Jesus’ love is absolutely perfect

I caused death but he brought life
I wilted under pressure but Jesus conquered in the strife
I took all I could but he just gives and gives
I died and decayed but Jesus died and yet lives

I was the first Adam and Jesus the second
There are mostly contrasts but little comparison
My demise was due to my own offense
But his death was for our recompense

He died that you and I can be made alive
It doesn’t matter what Satan and his demons contrive
Death shall be swallowed up and the grave will be no more
As Jesus reveals all that he has in store

 Image result for Images of Adam
I am Adam
The first man
This is my soliloquy
My heart felt plea

Stewart Russell © 2016

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

The “Whosoever”

Image result for images of whosoever will may come
And the Spirit and the Bride say Come,
An open invitation to enlist in God’s kingdom,
An invitation to the wedding feast
Opened to the “whosoever”, the greatest and the least.

The “whosoever” will may come
Compliments of Jesus, God’s crucified and risen Son
Who died an “ignominious death”
But who forgave his perpetrators with his dying breath.

Today he calls out to the “whosoever” will,
Come while he patiently waits for you and me still,
Come, he is far more than a cheap emotional thrill,
Come, he’ll satisfy your soul; you’ll need no refill.

What an invitation signed in blood!
As he hung from that cross of blood stained wood,
Accept this invitation; the “whosoever” should,
For us Jesus has done all that he really could.

No less did God do, no more could he have done
Than to give Himself in the essence of His Son
To afford the “whosoever” an undeserving invitation
To the wedding of His Son and His everlasting kingdom.

If any man thirst let him come and drink,
Open to the “whosoever” with whom the Spirit links,
What a guarantee, what a revealing assurance!
Such an invitation should make all the difference.

Image result for images of John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave
That the “whosoever” won’t perish but be saved;
Nothing really matters regarding what you have achieved
If in Jesus Christ, the Saviour you have not believed.

The “whosoever” that lives and believes in Him
Jesus has relieved them from the penalty of sin,
Their sin has been expunged and death holds no sway,
Over the believer the grave no longer has that say.

Remission of sins is now the lot of the believer,
All them that are born again are the blessed receivers,
God indwells the “whosoever” that has confessed His Son
And promises safe harbor when earth’s journey is done.
Jesus is the propitiation for everyone’s sin,
He died on the cross our eternal souls to win,
Today some “whosoever” can be among the redeemed
If he accepts Jesus right now and let him intervene.

While this grand word “whosoever” still rings within your ears,
Harden not you heart but believe that Jesus cares,
For “whosoever” believes in Jesus shall not be ashamed
For he gave up heaven’s splendor our souls to reclaim.

“For God so loved the world” may be treated as all
But, “that whosoever will” is an individual call,
While in Adam the entire world suffered from the fall,
In Jesus “whosoever” can be saved; why do you yet stall?

Jesus is come as that promised Light to guide
That “whosoever” believes on him in darkness should not abide
But rather trust in him and in him alone confide,
Cognizant of the fact that this life is an unpredictable ride.

“Whosoever” is “whosoever” hears the voice of the Lord,
“Whosoever” is “whosoever” trusts in His written word,
“Whosoever” is the “whosoever” that daily does His bidding,
“Whosoever” is the “whosoever” that will be present at the wedding.

Think about this poem seriously rather than deem it as sport,
Refuse the devil’s offer to continue reveling in his court,
I shall be eternally grateful that “whosoever” became “Stewart”
For I know my Savior will conduct me safely to heaven’s port.

Stewart Russell © 2016