Thursday, September 29, 2011

Right on Time...
I had a friend, a best friend actually, that I loved to spend time with.  Mark was the kind of guy, that no matter what we were doing; whether we were playing basketball or snow skiing or just hanging out, somehow the conversation would always end up on the Word or the Savior or some other Theological subject, and I loved it!  The Impact that he had on my life in the short time that we got to spend together is amazing to me. I still miss him to this day.  He passed away over 14 years ago, but when he died I made a promise that I would always be there for his family if there was ever even the smallest thing I could do for them. This past year his oldest daughter got married and I had the opportunity and the privilege of singing at the wedding. I also wrote this poem for the occasion.  It was interesting to see how God worked in her life as she waited for just the right guy.  Proving once again that God is never late, never early, but always....

Right on Time 
God is always right on time
Like a symphony He moves
Never early and never late
His sovereignty He proves
So often we don’t understand
Just how the pieces fit
The melody and harmony
Our lives are His instrument
He orchestrates each circumstance
Mixing tones both dark and bright
He blends the chords together                 
So that it all comes out just right
He will bring someone into our lives
While another will disappear
It’s all a part of His grand design
Though the reasons aren’t always clear
May we always recognize
That our God is in control
And in submitting to His perfect will
We find peace to rule our soul 

*For Jill*

Ec 3:1  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  

Everything in our lives both good and bad, whether we realize it or not or whether we understand it or not, is in the hands of our God and is always right on time.  Funny how we often think that God's timing is off somehow.  Sort of like Mary and Martha when Lazarus died in John chapter 11.  They were just sure that Jesus was 4 days late, but Jesus had a higher motive than just raising Lazarus from the dead.  He was about to put on display His awesome power and glory.  I truly believe that we would witness more of His power and glory in our own lives if we could trust Him completely and submit to His sovereignty.  We all have our plans and schedules, but we must be flexible when things don't go according to plan and trust that our Lord knows exactly what He is doing and He is always right on time.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Times of Prayer...
I heard an awesome message today on the topic of prayer and before the morning services were over the following poem was on paper.  I could hardly wait to post it.  I have to admit I love that feeling when God lays something on my heart like that and it almost writes itself.  In the busyness of the world we live in today it has never been more important or more needed for us as Christians to spend time alone with God.  

Times of Prayer
I feel such weakness
In times of prayer
Distractions within and without
Confront me there
My flesh tries to conquer
The time seems so brief
My mind tends to wander
While my spirit seeks release
God has bidden me to come
Bringing my troubles and care
He Himself has promised
To meet me there
So why then such struggle
When the reward is so sweet
Is my heart so unruly
That it resists such retreat
If I could really see Christ
In all of His glory
And remember His grace
And the power of His story
I should be compelled
To more intensely pursue
My times in prayer
And my devotion renew

Luke 11:1  And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

Notice that in the verse above, the disciple did not ask Jesus to teach them "how" to pray or "what" to pray, but rather "teach us TO pray".  As Believers, we all know how important it is to pray.  Not just meaningless rituals but to really pray and connect with our Creator.  We all know that there is great blessing and increased faith the more we pray.  Why then is it so difficult for us to spend quantity and quality time in prayer?  I don't know of anyone who believes they spend too much time in prayer.  If we are to have an impact on our world and for the Kingdom, it will not happen without prayer.  Is there any more important aspect of the Christian life than prayer?  And yet is there any more neglected aspect of the Christian life than prayer?  Prayer is our opportunity to talk friend to friend with the Creator of the universe...the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Stop and think about the enormity of that for just a second.  Unfortunately I think that all too often we mistakenly think that prayer was designed so that we could change or effect the mind of God...when the truth is that prayer was designed so that God could more easily change us.... As the saying goes.."little prayer, little power..more prayer, more power..much prayer much power"

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

The List....
This is actually one of my favorites.  It was written after a study at my church about what it really means to live a spirit filled life.  How we measure or gauge our spiritual maturity, I believe, is far different than how God does.  Is our Christianity about the do's and don'ts or is it marked by love, worship and service out of a pure heart?   Do we measure by a list or are we moment by moment yielding to the Holy Spirit?

The List
When a soul is first made alive
By the Spirit and the blood
The excitement and the joy explodes
It consumes them like a flood
God begins to work in them
And their life begins to change
Little by little and piece by piece
Their priorities rearrange
Then along comes some well-meaning one
Who believes they know what’s best
They confront this new one with their list
“You must look just like the rest
Here is the list of do’s and don’ts
If you truly want to please God
To really be accepted
This is the path you must trod”
And so this new believer
Now focused on the list
Loses their joy and excitement
Liberty in Christ is missed
And all too soon they fall away
Because the list contains no power
And walking in the Spirit
Wasn’t taught them from the hour
When they first came to know the Lord
And their heart was opened wide
Not that it’s wrong to have a list
But only the Spirit working inside
Can produce a truly righteous life
Full of love and liberty
The freedom to live above the list
Is what it really means to be free

Gal 5:1  
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

I grew up in a culture that promoted the "list" and I will be honest and tell you that it almost ruined me.  I didn't understand or take ownership of what it really meant to be a child of The King until much later in life.  To have the Holy Spirit actually living inside and wanting to teach me and lead me in every aspect of my life.   Please don't misunderstand, I do have my standards and convictions.  But how do I treat a new believer, a baby christian, that doesn't have those same standards?  Would I mistreat or look begrudgingly at a new born baby that didn't talk or walk when and how I thought they should?  Or would I give them time to grow?  Sort of a weak analogy I know, but you get my point.  Only God can bring a believer to true maturity in Christ.  My job is simply to love and encourage them.  

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Life and Dreams...
It was fairly easy to choose which poem I would post first.  Although this is not necessarily my best effort, it is the first one that I saved in the process.  It describes how I was feeling a few years ago as I looked back over my life.  I am so thankful for a God that never gives up on me and always offers second chances.  I wonder how many others look at their lives and wonder what might be missing?

Life and Dreams
How does one begin to tell
The tale of a life not lived full well
Of decisions made and choices wrong
And the times you just don’t feel that strong
Where do you look at forty five
When you know you’ve lived past half your life
And the things you thought and the dreams you dreamed
Are nowhere now to be seen
Is it so wrong to want for more
To wonder what else might lie in store
If only you dare to make the choice
To lift your head and raise your voice
Can dreams be revived at any age
If only you’re willing to take center stage
And act on the voice that’s in your head
It’s never too late...unless you’re dead 

Prov. 16:9  "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps."

The one central truth that I hold to in my life is that God is always in control and He never makes a mistake. So often, I believe that we fail to follow our dreams because; we are afraid of failure, or worse, we are afraid of success, or possibly those dreams are stained with sinful desires. God has made us to dream and to desire to achieve. I believe it is right and normal for us to want to become all that God has created us to be. What happens to so many people that go through what is commonly known as “mid-life crisis” or "identity crisis" is that their dreams and expectations clash with God’s purposes and plan for their lives. The happiest people in life are those that have yielded their dreams and expectations to the Lord, and are actively pursuing God's plan. Although I am not always right on, that is where I want to be!

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Welcome to One Man's Heart!

Welcome to "One Man's Heart", thank you for stopping by. I hope you will be encouraged and stirred by the content.  What you will find here are excerpts from the book of poetry that I hope to finish and publish one day, by the same title. I would love to see these poems available to thousands of believers across the country. 

For as long as I can remember, I have been making up rhymes. Whenever something moves me or speaks to my heart, my mind responds with poetry. Unfortunately, until a few years ago, I never thought to save much of what I had written. Now, at this point in my life, it seems prudent to begin to journal these things so that the gift that God has given me might be a blessing to others down the road. With that in mind, I began this journaling journey that I have chosen to call “One Man’s Heart”. It truly is a work in progress, in more ways than one. My prayer is that something I have written might speak something special to someone else. I do want to make this one disclaimer, I am just a sinner saved by grace and I in no way see myself as some wise advisor on life and spiritual matters. These are only the thoughts and ponderings of one man’s heart, however, the scripture verses that are included are indeed the living Word of God and they are always profitable. I hope that you enjoy the poetry and that you are encouraged to walk closer to Christ. God bless you and thank you from the bottom of my heart.