Monday, August 14, 2017

Mirror, Mirror on the Shelf

Image result for images of a Bible on a shelf

I met a man sometime ago
But had seen him many times before
He was a constant variable in my home
And had often times crossed my door

In the humble district where I lived
He was highly regarded by everyone
But none knew him as well as I did
For I saw him midday, night and dawn

I was pretty pleased with what I saw
And held much admiration for this man
He aimed to please most everyone
But himself the most was his plan

Often times before the mirror
He would smile at the face he saw
Fascinated by the person there
The smile would widen across his jaw

Across the decades I watched him
Noting his achievements as they occurred
Growing in the eyes of his community
Marching onward undeterred

We had several times to chat
And the conversation was about others
But in depth about himself
About him he never really bothered

As time went on I lost track of him
The chats were not as often as before
But one day I confronted him
As he was standing before the mirror

Image result for image of someone looking in a mirror

I asked, “Do you know who you see?
Do you know whom you are staring at?
When he smiles and you smile too
Is that smile really a fact?”

I could see that he was puzzled
For the smile gradually went away
It was replaced by a quizzical look
And for a bit he had nothing to say

I inquired about the sudden change
He was silent a little while longer
I could see I had struck a raw nerve
He grew weak instead of getting stronger

The proud look had left his face
A serious visage took its place
The smile he often started with
Of it there was not the slightest trace

A true reflection began to emerge
As the question confronted him again
“Do you know who you see?”
Bombarded both his mind and brain

It is so easy to look in the mirror
And see there a Hollywood star
But do we stop to ask ourselves
Is that person who we really are?

We are actors and actresses everyday
In this life we play many parts
And often as we stand before the mirror
We are simply perfecting that art

So that what we see is what we get
For the superficial becomes the fact
And somewhere along the line
We are not looking at who we are looking at

Such was that gentleman’s case that day
As he stood before his looking glass
Suddenly realizing there was more to him
And the superficial would not last

One’s image is more than his face
Or what he has achieved in life
And unless he looks a great way deeper
He will never see that selfish strife

For we can so easily cover it up
With a smile that passes away
Holding on to it just long enough
And pretend to be having a bright day

Is a way of life today
With an abundance of daily pleasantries
To while the time away

The physical mirrors that we stare at
As we twist and turn and adjust
Are mere simple physical innovations
Which highlight the superficial stuff

Image result for images of a Bible on a shelf

There is a far better mirror, however
That shows us who we really are
And what’s really better about this mirror
Is it can help us become God’s star

For it is virtually impossible
To look therein and not see yourself
The information you gather there
Will reveal your spiritual health

You might not like what you see
But that’s a very good place to start
For as you peer in a little deeper at a time
It will begin to transform your heart

And what’s inside will become manifest
As that transformation takes root
And when next you stand before the mirror
You will actually see its fruit

The mirror of which I am speaking
Is the Spirit breathed Word of God
Not to be compared with the world’s vanity
Or the mirror of Satan, the fraud

For such mirrors will misguide you
Concerning who you think you really are
But God’s word is accurate and revealing
And such a mirror is better for you by far

So next time you stand before the mirror
Remember the mirror that is the Word
And like the man I started to tell you about
Your true image will not be obscured.

Image result for images of a Bible on a shelf

Rather than Mirror, Mirror on the wall
Take the Mirror, Mirror off the Shelf
And like me you will be guaranteed
To see a spiritual photo of yourself.

Stewart Russell© 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Wedding

Image result for images for John 2:1

I once attended a wedding
Though not in person
And there I met some people
The most important was God’s Son.

The guests were of all types
Many of the rich and influential,
The middle class were in attendance
And also were some poor people.

Jesus was at that wedding
Along with all his disciples
John recorded it in the Gospels
In John chapter 2 of the Bible.

It was held in Cana of Galilee
And the mother of Jesus was there,
When all the wine had run out
Before her son she would appear.

This could have been embarrassing
For they should have been enough
So the fact that the wine ran out
Presented a situation most tough.

“They have no wine,” she said to him.
“What is that to me?” He replied.
“It’s not yet my hour,” he also said
And to the servants she turned aside.

“Whatever he says you must do,”
Were her words of brief instruction
And not very long after this  
Her son went into action.

Image result for images for John 2:1

“Fill the water pots with water,” he said,
And they fill them to the brim,
“Draw out now and give the governor.”
He next instructed them.

Like on so many other occasions
It was Jesus that made the difference,
The governor spoke to the bridegroom
Of it he could make no sense.
Normally the best wine is served first
Then after, that which is worse,
However not so at this wedding
For the best wine was the final course.

When Jesus is in the marriage
The worst is passed away,
The wine he gives is truly great
It’s the dawning of a wonderful day.

As I read the record of this event
I thought of the ending of time
When the bride will be the church
And the groom will be Jesus, the Divine.

A wedding of weddings that will be
At the marriage supper of the Lamb,
Today the “whosoever” is invited
That is every girl, boy, woman and man.

Image result for images for Matthew 22:11-12

Jesus provided the wedding garment
Made available by his precious blood,
No other attire is necessary
And our self-design garbs are no good.

A man once attended a wedding
But refused the garment provided,
Bound hand and foot he was cast out
And in outer darkness he resided.

Do not take Jesus’ invitation lightly
Respond to him today,
To be prepared for that coming wedding
Is by far the better way.

Stewart Russell © July 2017

Saturday, August 05, 2017

A Crop-Over Time Is Coming

Image result for images of Barbados sugar cane

A crop over time is coming
But ‘twill be a harvest of souls
When the redeemed of all the nations
Will have been gathered in the fold.

Invited by the Holy Spirit
To believe on Jesus Christ
Then cultivated by the Living Word
Saved by his atoning sacrifice.

Years upon years of daily watering
With the sunshine of God’s grace
Each and every believer encouraging
Always to seek God’s face.

Those weeds of sin uprooting
And the bug of unbelief removing,
Bringing the crop to full blooming
With patient and meticulous pruning.

A crop over time is coming
But ‘twill be a harvest of souls
When the redeemed of all the nations
Will have been gathered in the fold.

Heaven’s festival band will be present
With the angels in full attendance
And the harvested wheat of all ages
Will bow in appreciative reverence.

No "Pic-O-De-Crop" kings enthroned,
No "Kadooment - kiddies’ or other wise,
No singing and dancing to Spring Garden,
No skimpy costumes or disguise.

No fore-day morning jump-up
Since there will be no more time,
No Bridgetown Market either
But the saints will be gathered to dine.

A crop over time is coming
But ‘twill be a harvest of souls
When the redeemed of all the nations
Will have been gathered in the fold.
There will be no people’s monarch
Only the Monarch of all time,
The One and only God Almighty
‘Twill be the Triune God, the Divine.

Some will want to snigger
And call me a party suppressor
And accuse me of throwing cold water
On Crop-Over fun and laughter.

Well, I stand guilty as accused
But this is light when compared
To that Crop-Over time that is coming
When the King of kings will appear.

The judges there will be different
From those empaneled here
For the judges of our Crop-Over finals
Must before that Judge appear.

No “share-holders” as oft opined,
No favourites and influential intrusion,
Decided even before the dawn of time
And finally brought to a conclusion.

A crop over time is coming
But ‘twill be a harvest of souls
When the redeemed of all the nations
Will have been gathered in the fold.

Image result for images of Barbados sugar cane

Our canes are ripe for harvest
When the arrows stick out of their tops
But so is another harvest
Against which the devil plots.

Jesus cautions about that harvest
And invites workers into its fields
Reminding us of that final Crop-Over
When heaven celebrates its yield.

“The harvest truly is plenteous,” he says,
According to Matthew 9 verse 37,
Hence workers now are needed
Before that final Crop-Over in heaven.

Then all the reaping will be over,
The day of harvesting will have passed,
The celebration of the real Crop-Over
Will be in evidence at last.

A crop over time is coming
But ‘twill be a harvest of souls
When the redeemed of all the nations
Will have been gathered in the fold.

Stewart Russell © August 2017

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

My Surprise Package

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That day I set my eyes on you
I knew yours was a love that’s true
And after thirty-six wonderful years
I am still glad I said, “I do.”

We are growing young together
Though I am a few years up ahead
And if I ever had to do it over,
You’d be the one that I would wed.

You mean so much to me
A dictionary of words cannot explain
But in this poetic expression
Three words express my heart again.

In this poem they are clearly stated
Even the blind should actually see,
Lynette, it’s you I am talking about,
You’re what love really means to me.

Thirty-six years ago we said, “I do.”
From that day we meant every word,
Perhaps I’ve faltered more than you
But I wouldn’t trade you for the world.

Image result for images of a surprise package

I am not the world’s greatest romantic
It’s not a goal I would ever pursue
But this I know, my surprise package
I’d go to the ends of the world for you.

Today I wish you happy anniversary
And pray to God for fifty more
And that every time you read this poem
You’d see you’re the woman that I adore.

Stewart Russell © August 1, 2017