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Showing posts from 2009

Fallen

I am beginning to explore using this blog for some of my poetry. I hope this little offering will find a place in your hearts.

ADVENT SONG

So long ago, or so they tell,
Before the light of Eden fell;
An angel sang a mournful song
Of worlds once strong, now fallen.

It was a song with heroes filled,
Battles fought and dark blood spilled;
But darkness won, God's ancient foe
His the victory, now worlds lie fallen.

Out of darkness, out of woe,
God's Spirit mourned the... dead below;
Heaven's Sons lie on the field
The Light with darkness shrouded: fallen.

The Universe with groaning filled,
It's pulse of life: slowing...stilled;
And waters deep where life once swam
Lie empty, dark and lifeless now: fallen.

In darkened hall where glory reigned,
A sputtering spark flared life again;
Till Evil hand it's pulsing quenched
Where Darkness rules no hope may: fallen.

And thus death soared, and Evil sang,
Its dirgeful note proud heaven's pain;
God's day is o'er, for We have won
And Darkness ru…

The fellowship of "Overcoming."

I used this story in a sermon recently, and have had several comments. Thus, I have chosen to post it here.

Come with me to the world of my 4th year. It is sometime during 1947: you must remember that I was only four and the memory is sketchy. It was neither too hot nor too cold, so my best guess would be that it might be fall, since that would be nearning my fifth birthday, and the memory is clear, which leads me to believe I must have been nearer five years of age than four.

Mother and I leave the house through the back door, walk up the hill, past the scuppernong vine which is supported by a large pipe frame, past the barn and along the fence which keeps in our cow and pigs. We enter the woods at the end of the fence which is above one of the small fields where grandaddy usually plants corn.

Crossing the top of the next hill, we leave our property over the barbed-wire-fence and descend down the hill behind the Ashendorf's houses to the River Trolley line which borders Proctor …

Sermon Series

This Sunday we'll begin a series of sermons on some special characters in the Bible. We begin with Ruth, who was one of the most important ancestors of King David. From there we'll go to David, himself. After those two Old Testament characters, we'll look at some New Testament people who present us with images of the people who shaped and formed the faith we celebrate as Christians.

All these persons we'll study have one thing in common: their hardships and brokenness. Out of their failures, difficulties, and ordeals will come something of the essence of the faith we claim. None of the characters will be people you would expect to shape any of history, but all have done so in unique and individual ways.

One of the beautiful and unusual things of our faith is that is a faith which tells the stories of people who suffered loss, endured hardships, and experienced the same kinds of dilemmas and trials we experience in our own lives. Out of the lives of cheats, liars, c…

Independence Day

This coming week we celebrate our Independence Day, July 4th. It is a good thing that we celebrate on this day and remember all who serve and who have served this nation's interests. Especially we remember our men and women in service during this time. The troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, and other places where they stand in harm's way. Young men and women of today stand alongside those ghostly figures from Bunker and Breed's Hills, Gettysburg, the Meuse Argonne, Iwo Jima, the Chosin Reservoir, the Tet Offensive, and the streets of the Middle East conflicts of today. All of them, past and present, are equally to be honored for their service.

Those who served whom I remember will stand large in my memory this week: the man next door who serviced machine guns in WWI, the dentist who lived on the other side of me who slipped ashore Pacific islands as a pre-invasion specialist in WWII, my wife's father who served a 75mm Recoilless Rifle and was wounded in Korea, my …

The Tragedy of Hatred

This week a guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. was killed by a white supremacist/neo nazi named James von Brunn. Von Brunn is 88 years old, and has hosted a website for years that I have checked and found filled with the all-too-typical irrational hatred found in such sites and publications. Twisting the Bible, ignoring the truth of history, and completely missing the love of God, these people and their organizations thrive on hate...hate for all who are different from themselves. They hate all ethnic groups, all other races, other nations...I believe they are like the character "Gollum" in J.R.R. Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings. Gollum is actually a man named Smeagle, who has been seduced by the power of one of the rings which exist in the mythical world of hobbits and faries.

Gollum was once an ordinary person, but he came into contact with something which appealed to the basest and most horrible parts of his makeup. It promised power if he simply pu…

Pentecost

Pentecost Sunday is this Sunday. Pentecost is the birthday of The Church, and also is the day upon which the Disciples received the gift of The Holy Spirit. After receiving that gift, the Disciples were able to speak other languages, and preached to people in Jerusalem in their native tongues, with the result that a great throng were baptised and became Christians.

One of the most interesting things about this day is that the Disciples received The Holy Spirit when they were gathered together. They received it as a community of faith, not individually at separate locations and times. The birth of The Church was an event of the community of faith receiving God's blessing of The Holy Spirit as a group.

One of the most prevalent things we hear today is people stating: "...well, I'm not religious, but I'm a spiritual person." What that usually means is that they do not express faith in the gathered community we know as The Church. It usually means that they dabb…

springtime thoughts

Spring is finally upon us. The bullfrog in our pond is becoming increasingly bombastic at times, and the whipporwill which has chosen our place to take up residence during the past few years has returned in full volume...obnoxiously so. Anyone who thinks whipporwills have a lovely song ought to be subjected to that repetetive verse at full blast night-after-night. I swear our whipporwill uses Peavy speakers set at full gain. He can wake the dead.

One of the great tragedies of modern life is the loss of the sounds of nature. I grew up with the distant sound of steam engine whistles from Inman Yard in Atlanta and the nightime sounds of the acres of woods surrounding our home. Since Angela and I have bought our home near Barnsley Gardens in Adairsville, we have both returned to the sounds of our childhoods...the sounds of the natural world.

The average kid with whom we work never experiences those sounds. Instead, their lives are filled with the passing notes of boom-boxed cars, the…

February

February is upon us, and I have finally begun to recover from my knee replacement surgery enough to have a few lucid thoughts. I do have to thank the therapists who have diligently worked with me so that I am finally beginning to be able to turn the crank of a bicycle again with my incredibly stiff left knee. I have struggled with the knee for over twenty years, and it had finally gotten so stiff I was not able to ride. I'll let you know when I am back on my bicycle again with any sort of regularity.
When you have your first major surgery at age 66, you begin to see how incredibly lucky you are. After all, I have had my share of adventures and scrapes, and it has taken this episode to show me how incredibly brave all those people I have worked with over the yeard during their surgeries and recovery have been. You never know another's situation until you walk in their shoes.
It is also interesting to begin to feel your body coming back to life after such an adventure. I fi…