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Feelings to Trust

Let the politicians say what they approve.  Whether their sayings are good or bad, there is a stronger, clearer Voice—and strengthening from it.   He Is, and God has never approved His message. He voices, proclaims, disseminates, delegates His will to create and re-create. to love, restore, and love again. He affirms (like at the Jordan) His Son and His feelings toward Him, His children, who obey the call, and in coming are chosen, who by the Spirit’s  presence and words know the Father’s feeling toward them.  

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

 

God-places

One God, Who makes us tremble at His love toward us in our troubles. He is Light, does not ask us to be blind but to trust obedience will always birth right. We dare not take on the spirit of this age, where one man's happiness is another one's rage. We will put on the garment of praise of the high things of God and His grace. This what makes us tremble, this is what keeps souls from drowning in trouble. Ill winds may gust in our faces, but the sails of the Spirit take us to God-places.

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

 

Blue Ridge Hope

. . . thinking about the advent of Autumn in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the U.S., and the hope that believers everywhere have in the imminent return of our Lord Jesus:   We have yet to arrive at the brittle temps. From the Cumberland to Stone Mountain, now, the good air can't be spent.   In the mons of West Virginia the burden of being mom will be lessened on the mountains as the children-leaves are dropped.   Turn colors, wait for the relief, the signs are a'running to our eyes before the freeze.   We can know the season before the Blue Ridge sleeps, and we know the Groom is coming, cause the Bride has rouge on cheeks.

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

 

The First and The Last

After reading Revelation 2 . . .

If the First and the Last were dead
there would be no more,
But the First-Last bond is strong,
that Is why He arose.
Two of the Trinity bore witness of the Son, Who, alive, ascended high above Calvary,
for God is One,
And He cannot tear himself apart
from what He is and owns.
And He cannot move himself away
from the ones He loves,
chosen and called and justified
by His Blood.
 

Heart's Nod

Thinking about Romans 7 . . .

Open up the gates of your heart to liberty,

hear the words that Jesus spoke and, yes, still speaks,

and the promise of life in the now and, then, beyond

will resound in your soul, cause your heart to nod

a “Yes and Amen!” when you see the fight

between your renewed self and the lesser angelic side,

and you will happily shout, “Oh, who can deliver me?”,

knowing the answer will come back, “Christ the King!”

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

 

Paul's Ignorance

1 Timothy 1:12-14 (KJV) are such mind-blowing verses. And I am grateful for them:

12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
  Ignorance of the New Law is an excuse;
Paul pulled the card out after Damascus Road,
cause being told a million times before mercy comes
is no more revealing than darkness shows love.

How many brethren fell prey to his sword,
who had witnessed to him about the forgiving Lord?
Not that he was guiltless, the question remains,
Who in God’s eyes cannot receive mercy’s grace?

Only the Omniscient knows who has a seared soul.
What a mystery that a torturer should carry God’s news, be so bold!
This is the depths into which Divine Love is sown!
We can know healing, because Jesus healed Saul.

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

 

More Favor

Favor means You reign supreme;
it's like manna when times are lean.
Now, may the taste of human food
not dull the senses, where the spirit man rules.
Yet, the former savor so permeates
where I live, I long for its plate
that one day will be a full course
for one Body, with the Lord.

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

 

Favor

Oh God, your favor is something
that comes silently and unannounced
with the halls of obedience,
between trusting strides, over the sweat of one's brow.
Grace is predestined for all,
yet few respond to its call.
Fewer still remember to live within the seed
well-planted and watered, until fruit starts appearing.
So, the sweet fruit of favor is not well-recognized,
because it blooms within the ordinary,
although its recipient is staggered at how mercy
is abundantly out of proportion to how much we obey.
It is this ratio of faith's mustard seed to soil
that so inspires the common earthtreader,
that moves the soul to greater depths of obedience,
where deeper submission matures to on-going favor,
and where unheralded devotion becomes joyful acquiescence.

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

 

Like a Watchman

. . . after reading James 1:2-12   We have rightly asked wisdom of God, when we enter trials with patience and are patient in our exit from them, because we have the joyous knowing that we have endured in, with and through the One who created us and saves us.  Thus we glorify the Son, whose Spirit indwells.     So, when we ask in prayer, we are telling God that we want his answer to further wrap us in the completeness of patience, a virtue that shines outside of and when going into trials, when being affirmed as having abided in Christ as a trial subsides.  Then, patience becomes like a watchman to tell us when to put on the spiritual weapons of our warfare,* when to fight, and when to rest and recover.  In this assurance, action can sometimes no more fatigue us than being still does, for hope is infused in us and fuels us.     Even if we sin, we are patient in our confession of fault and forgiveness of others—and to receive pardon from our loving Abba.    A life of patience in the presence of Christ is an Exhibit A of his “Kingdom Come”.  
__________
* Ephesians 6:10-18
 

With Us This Love

From reading John 6:37-40

Of the infinite the Father has given the Son,
an equally everlasting, loving reaction
is that the Anointed will raise it all up.
He has already started, before eternity’s origin,
when the decision was made to let Jesus descend
into His own body, formed in a Virgin,
now seated at the Father’s right hand, glorified,
this completed the Son, not yet His Bride.
Still, Abba’s will is that whomever He makes to thirst,
as part of His promise, shall not be lost on earth.
All glory to God’s sovereign priority,
that losers of grace are won back by belief!
For we are the Father’s own gift to Jesus,
Giver telling the Spirit to share with us this love.

With us this love that forever shall shine,
in the City on a Hill at the end of man's time,
salt with a savour which taste finds new strength
every moment before the Savior's Face.
 

Cause and Gift

A reflection on the Grace of God vs. the Law of Sin and Death

Now that I know
effect and toll,
the cause and the gift
of grace conquers sin.

I felt in my bones
obligations and rules,
like sands seeping 'tween fingers,
where joy, not for long, lingered.

But then, I saw the Cross,
heard how much it cost
for Jesus to bear
sin's penalty there.

Such a cause and gift
offered through resurrection,
ascension to heaven,
where at the Right Hand He sits!

Jesus' scars of the hand
pressed against my scars--I'm glad
for how forgiveness
comes from a personal plan.
 

Straight Street

(after reading Acts 9:1-31)   He came to Damascus,
to Straight Street to ask us,
"Do you follow the Christ?"   Thus Paul became an apostle,
appointed to jostle
us further from a slumber of lies.   Truth is we did not
consider grace so strong
that Messiah could speak to such kind.   But as we, too, were pursued
with wills which God slew,
scales still fall, grace touches our eyes.     The Church sees harassment down to this day,
Christ still says, "Why this to me?"
We must speak to pursuers, "Do you chase the Ruler?"
Pray Jesus so speaks, they receive.   Christ daily walks through Straight Street, calls us to stand strong and confess, "We believe!"    
 

Society of the God-loved

1 John 4:7-10   "Society of the God-loved" is what the breathing-Church should be called,
because He first loved us, that is our witness, after all.
Faith, being a relation rather than position,
works intertwined, recoiling from religion.
Whether High Church or Low, the Mighty One dwarfs our presentations,
a giant relief and release from pretension.   
Believe in the Son-come as man, mesh like He
did with the worshipers and unbelieving.
Called-out-ones shall be recognized as having been called
by the attention they give to the shout making whole.
 

Where is Your Treasure?

. . . thinking about:    For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also ~ Matthew 6:21 (KJV)   And the "Parable of the Talents" - Matthew 25:14-30   Where is your treasure,
where is your hope,
the currency of faith
the Lord Jesus bestowed?
Is it tied to ultimate things?
Did you fall for the
"Heavenly-minded is hardly living"?
See, fruit of the Spirit
is the swagger of Heaven
reaching down, enriching
all that we own.
Once the momentum
is felt from forgiveness,
what have we?
How can we
treasure, our Home?
 

The Call of Mercy

(see 2 Thessalonians 3:5)

Sometimes, Lord Jesus, when it is quiet,
I ask, "When lately have You called out to me?"
But then I hear You when beholding the Cross,
and scold myself, "What was I ever musing?"

It's so easy to forget, though You shook history
by dying for sins, everyone a foe
of your good grace until grand mercy
stares us in the face and our knees begin to buckle.

If I think of your mercy without what You suffered,
what do the nail prints in your hands mean now?
How patiently You endured every affliction,
this means that You love me, within my own!

Now that You are Risen,
suffering has a sane dimension.
Beyond your agony,
my light trials seem ecstasy.
Besides, your joy smiles at us, deeply in the Spirit,
and tells us, "Peace!", so we more than bear it.
 

Old Saints, New Life

When I recently read the verse that I bold below, I immediately took stock of a primary motivation in my life, which is to find, exhort to and commune within mutual devotion to our Lord and God, Messiah Jesus.   There is nothing so freeing as living "in Spirit and in Truth" (John 4:24)   It gives us new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord - 1 Thessalonians 3:8 (NLT)   I thrilled at the pride of my mamma and papa,
when they said without words, "He is growing up".
How they gave me space in my heart for their boundaries,
it felt like a universe though I stayed under their wing.
Now, my dear brother, now sister, you
all, I hope you go further as you grow in truth.
For I really live when I see the Church
knitted together to form a Spirit-filled purse
emptied out, filled-up as fast as her love,
inspired by devotion to the Risen One. 
 

Moments in Christ

These are moments to remind
but for now I want to give,
be in motion with the Divine,
prove how You grace the cognitive.    
 

Soulitude

Craft a quiet song soul, one that can be sung in solitude,  so you can cull from reliance grace because without props or reinforcements you consecrate space  which Spirit and Truth fill up; let your mouth open lips, chant a psalm like the first time you sang an alma mater at school, enjoy the belonging mystery of Christ’s love in you.
 

How Do I Know?

After reading Psalms 81, Psalms 88, and Psalms 92 . . . with a focus on Psalms 81:6-7 (NKJV):   I removed his shoulder from the burden;
His hands were freed from the baskets. You called in trouble, and I delivered you;
I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah.   How do I know there is no God but You? You took my shoulder from the burden slavery knows. You took my hands away from impossible works, from a basket of lies about my worth and Yours. Only, You were mightier than the waves around me. Therefore, I removed other gods, 'cause they cannot hear praise. But, bare shoulders are like the man freed from strong demons, who swears to never let them re-track. so he takes up the offer of Jesus, [1] Who places His yoke on the top of our backs, blessing of obedience within liberty, Glory's weight. Be glad, my soul, for what holiness exacts! _____________________ [1] Luke 11:24-26
 

Love of His Might

This my anguish,
these are my fears,
but Lord, I remember
your right hand across years,
in many of which
people said I was gone,
but man's "Impossible"
is a done deal with God.* Lord, what is it
that You want from me?
A voice that reflects
a soul on its knees,
asking for your goodness,
recalling your ways,
saying You have not forgotten,
while riding provision's waves. God struck the rock,**
Jesus, and such
was the outpouring
at Pentecost,
the Bread of Life,
Food for all time,
fed us across the Jordan,
provokes love of His might.
__________
* Luke 18:27
** Immediately thinking of Psalms 78:17-20 -- but also pondering Isaiah 53, about the sacrifice of the Son of God on our behalf I wrote the above after reading Psalms 77 and Psalms 78.  I picked up on two things that we can learn from the Psalmist:  honesty and reverence.  While writing, I was also reminded of these exhortations from the Apostle Paul:   Romans 15:4 (KJV):  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. 1 Corinthians 10:11 (KJV):  Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
 

Syllables

. . . after reading 1 Chronicles 1-3 today   I read the begats in the Bible today,
and it struck me that the reading of every name
set up a moment that put it to humanity's care
to mark what obedience to Jehovah would bear,
salvation for those whose hearts did not stray
away from the covenant shown by Abraham's faith,
or curse at the core of one's bitter fruit
from tasting forbidden things, nameless pursuits.
Some names seemed odd, some odder even,
but each syllable of a lone person given
moved me the reader to one strange conclusion,
that modern monikers are known, too, by the Lord's choosing,
and each one is precious, enough to die for.
Do the syllables of our names say, "I Love You Lord"?
 

His Hands, His Feet, His Side

They say, "Take the Christ from the Cross",
Paul embraced the beams; Moses lifted it up.                                                    [1]
Resurrection gave the willing the right                                                                 [2]  
to look at the Cross, say, "It is alright!"
Cause holes in His hands and His feet and His side
keep the message from slipping, widens our lives.
Be glad Thomas pressed the issue so far,                                                            [3]
evidence  of holes in the Risen One fills up whom we are. -------------------------------- [1] 1 Corinthians 2:2 and 1 Corinthians 1:18; Numbers 21:4-9 and John 3:14-15
[2] John 3:16 and Revelation 22:17
[3] John 20:24-29      
 

Our Bad, Good News

Christ did not earn praise,
He simply has it.
In having, He reveals Himself,
our praise bursts forth, up-rachets.
We could not earn grace,
so God gladly gave it.
We could not desire grace,
Jesus worked it to us.
We did not wake up
feeling the bed of faith;
we were adopted
brought home, to Abba's way.
The world cannot purchase
the right to debate.
The Maker thus sends us
to pick up pieces, engage,
telling the world,
"It has been everyone's bad,
"but here is Good News,
"far from a new headline,
"it's a new publication,
"one that earns readership
"from how it frees,
"listen to it for now,
"then freely take up, read."
 

This Thing Called Trust

After reading Romans 4:20-21 (KJV):
20 He [Abraham] staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

Every day, some fault wagers against my mind
that I am going to stagger, for a moment be blind.
Abraham, how did you do it,
believing so many years,
to the extent that your hope
gave you an edge to assure?

This thing called "trust"
must be coddled like a baby from the first,
fed and held when the arms of thrashing flesh fusses,
waiting for the joy of childlike confidence to burst.*

I can't wrestle against angels like jostling Jacob**
nor take a fleece out like guessing Gideon.***
I need an answer, tomorrow and today,
I'm going to trust God till this walking vision
bleeds, if that's what it takes,
over into my character like religion.
_________
* Matthew 18:2-4
** Genesis 32:22-31
*** Judges 6:36-40  

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

 

Winter Race

Barren forests act like Oz,
full of air, the curtains pulled.
Not so daunting for pilgrims now,
forced by birth to walk through, barefoot.
But, this is still a gift of life,
this winter advantage should make us pick up pace
before snows drift, suddenly waist-deep.
See, there are select times of relief!
Silhouettes of prison bars
from small, skinny trees show on our shirts
when we dart amidst bushes which mock leaves,
claiming for themselves more coverage we yet barely see.
Grace this winter sets us free,
engrossed in the race through the trees.*
________
* 2 Timothy 4:7 and 1 Corinthians 9:24

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

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