Lenten Poems — week 2

CROSS WITH CROWN OF THORNS

SACRIFICE

A crown,
A diadem,
A shackle placed upon the brow.

Bestowed
Contemptuously,
And scarlet robe on shoulders bowed.

The grief,
The agony,
The tortuous, mutilating pain.

All born
By Innocence
To give me peace and health again.

A cross,
On Calvary:
To execute the Father’s plan.

A tomb,
Now empty stands:
He’s paid the price for every man.

 

 

 


 

Happy Resurrection Day!!!

TERRY'S BLUE TREES WITH SUNRISE & BURST

We don’t have to do anything to earn acceptance and love from the Creator of the universe.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemned the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believes on Him is not condemned.”  (John 3:16-18).

“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ.  … God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.  … For He has made Him [Jesus Christ] to be sin for us … that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”  (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).

Jesus Christ already paid for the whole package with His perfect life, his sacrificial death, and His victorious resurrection.

All we need to do is acknowledge that He has done it all for us and make Him our Lord.

Will we change?    Yes.

Will we need to struggle to do so?    No.

Will life become an instant bed of roses with no thorns?    No.

Will we be filled with a peace and joy like we’ve never known before?     Yes.

Will the Lord then hear us when we pray and rush to help us?   Yes.

Will we have the security of knowing our eternity in His glorious presence is guaranteed?  Yes, absolutely.

Overall, it’s the best deal  we’ll ever be offered.  If you haven’t taken Him up on it yet, my advice is  DO IT!

 

†   †   †   †   †   †   †

 

Poems of Passion Week – Day 8 – ‘In Me’

 

EMPTY TOMB - BEAUTIFULFREEPICTURES - credits
Are you buried deep in sorrow
Over past and hurtful wounds?
Has the weight of your own failures
Left you feeling failure-doomed?

Has the peril of the systems
Of the economic sphere
Left you beaten down and overwhelmed
And buried under fear?

Has the rampant spread of sickness,
Diagnosis of sure death,
Left you reeling in confusion,
Condemned to draw your final breath?

Then look away: from all the darkness,
From the death and fear and pain.
Hear the rumble of the tombstone
As it rolls from off the grave.
See the lightning flash of glory
As the Son begins to rise,
As He steps from death’s dark dungeon:
The successful sacrifice.

Hear Him say, “The curse is broken!
I have come to give you life.
Ask of Me, and I will answer;
I have victory for your strife.
I’ve a storehouse of provisions;
I have healing for your pain;
I’ve forgiveness for your sin,
And I can make you clean again.

“For as surely as I died for you,
Took all your sin on me,
So My resurrection power is yours;
Enough to set you free.

There is no price;

It’s for the taking.

But the only place you’ll find it
Is in Me.”

 

 

~

 

 `


 

 

 

Poems of Passion Week – Day 7 – ‘The Price is Paid’

 

SATAN CAST DOWN - red - for blog
How deep and dark the grave in which they laid the Lord.
And naught to give Him hope except the Father’s Word.
But ’twas enough, for God had said, “When day three comes,
You’ll rise with life anew and come again to Home.”


Throughout the vigil, silence reigned and men did mourn.
And in the halls of Hell, the demons, they did groan:
This man from off the cross had stormed their barriers staid.
Hell panicked at the word from Heaven: “The price is paid!”


Then Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man, stepped forth
And grasped the keys of Death and Hell with violent force.
Then rose through realms beneath to burst from earth and grave.
His shout of victory rang abroad: “Mankind is saved!”

 

~~~

 

 

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Poems of Passion Week – Day 6 – ‘The Reason’

 

JESUS IN GARDEN - NEGATIVE  -KAREN'S WHIMSY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O, Lamb of God
So pure, so holy, undefiled,
You came so meekly,
Vulnerable, a tiny child.

You took our sin
And took all of its consequence.
You chose the cross,
And on it your lifeblood was spent.

But for what cause,
When tempted in the garden that night,
Did you still choose
To let yourself be crucified?

You told us, Lord;
If we’d just listen, we would know.
You said, “Because
I love the Father, I will go.”

Lord, work in us
That holy and obedient love,
That we, when tried,
Will speak and act only for God.

~~~
(Photo courtesy of Karen’s Whimsy)

 

 

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Poems of Passion Week – Day 3 – ‘Sufficient’

 

CRUCIFIX - FOR YOU - GOSPEL GIFSSeized and stripped and slapped and spit upon,
Scornful salutations; sorrow; shame;
Satan stalks the Son of God and Son of Man:
Scarlet stripes, scalding tears, searing pain;
Search the scriptures; surely they the story tell:
Insatiable evil strikes; the Lamb is slain.
But surely, it’s my sins He bore, my sorrow,
My sickness, my distress, my grief, my pain.
Submitted Sacrifice: He sealed the promise;
Sufficient, He bought me peace with God again.

~~~

 

~~~

 

Poems of Passion Week – Day 1

 

CROSS WITH CROWN OF THORNS - BLUEWell, I started off okay with NaPoWriMo, but as the days progressed, I haven’t kept up my end of the challenge. I don’t think I need to make that one of my goals this year. However, I do have a similar goal, though shorter. I am setting myself the task, during Passion Week, of writing one poem a day about the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. I want to focus in some special way on His suffering and death, and then His glorious victory and resurrection for my sake.

I can’t think of a better way than to create a poem every day from today – Palm Sunday – through Resurrection Day – Easter Sunday. In fact, since much of the church in several parts of the world celebrates Easter Week (the week following Resurrection Day), I think I will even write a poem for Easter Monday of that week as well.. I hope these poems add to your commemoration of our Lord’s loving sacrifice and to your celebration of His glorious salvation.

 

Here’s Today’s Poem:

 

SACRIFICE

A crown,
A diadem,
A shackle placed upon the brow.

Bestowed
Contemptuously,
And scarlet robe on shoulders bowed.

The grief,
The agony,
The tortuous, mutilating pain.

All born
By Innocence
To give me peace and health again.

A cross,
On Calvary:
To execute the Father’s plan.

A tomb,
Now empty stands:
He’s paid the price for every man.

~

 

 

 

~~~

 

Here Comes Jesus!

 

JESUS ON DONKEY - WIKIPED.“Here comes Jesus!”

“Jesus of Nazareth is coming!”

“Do you see Him yet?”

“Here He comes!”

“Here comes Jesus!”

Excitement was rampant, and cries of “Hosanna” filled the air. Shouts of joy and triumph could be heard for miles along the road, and people rushed to lay palm branches and their personal garments as a carpet of welcome. Jesus of Nazareth was coming to Jerusalem.

This carpenter-teacher who had journeyed among them for nearly three years, teaching them, healing them, feeding them, forgiving them, raising their dead. This miracle worker, this wise man, this man who was gentle enough to draw crowds of children to his side yet bold enough He would soon drive money-changers from the temple with a whip — this man whom many claimed was the prophesied Messiah of Jehovah — this man was coming again to Jerusalem! I’m sure, had we been there, we would have heard the message repeated over and over again for miles: “Here comes Jesus! Here comes Jesus!”

We in the Christian world celebrate that event on one special day out of the year, and we call it Palm Sunday. We have special services and some of us wave palm branches in the air to commemorate the day that is often referred to by church historians as Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. But that event happened over 2000 years ago. One could say it’s all history now; it’s been said and done;  it’s over.

But not so, my friends! I am thrilled beyond words to be able to tell you that Jesus is still coming to anyone and everyone who would like to receive Him. He’s a living, vital, right-now Jesus. He is the I AM (The self-existent one who causes all other things to be; the one who is and becomes whatever He desires to become — Hebrew definition). And the great I AM desires to become everything that His creation needs.

Jesus of Nazareth is alive today, and He’s still loving people, teaching people, feeding people, forgiving people, delivering people, healing people and making  them whole. And, yes, He’s still raising people from the dead. He’s the same Jesus who fulfilled the words of the ancient prophets by riding  into Jerusalem on a donkey that day.  He’s the same Jesus who worked myriads of miracles for the people. He’s the same Jesus who went to the cross to pay for the rebellion and sin of all the human race.

He’s the same Jesus who rose from the grave and took His throne as Lord of the universe. He’s the same Jesus who promised that if we would call on Him and receive Him as Lord, He would freely fill us with His own eternal life and with power to serve Him. He’s the same Jesus who promised that after our life of service to Him on this earth, we would move on to Heaven and live with Him forever. No questions —  no if’s, and’s or but’s. No struggling to get there, no sacrifice, no hard work, no price to pay. Jesus did the work. We receive the benefit.  And the Word of God,  Hebrews 13:8, says “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever.”

So I can tell you confidently: “Here comes Jesus!  He’s coming to you today! He’s coming because He sees your need; He sees your trouble; He sees your sorrow; He sees your pain; He sees your desperation; He sees your hopelessness; He hears your questions; He hears your confusion; He hears your private crying. He’s coming to you because He loves you.

Did you know that you don’t have to be a Christian for Jesus Christ to love you? Sometimes we who call ourselves Christians tend to flock together so tightly that we become almost like a clique, and the rest of the world feels as though they can’t break through the wall to become a part. But my message to the “rest of the world” today is that you don’t have to become a part of the “clique of Christianity.”  All you have to do is get to know Jesus, the real person.

And did you know that you don’t have to be a Christian to call on Jesus? That’s right. Jesus isn’t listening just for the call of the Christians. Certainly, He’s attuned to their cries and He rushes to their help when they need Him, but Jesus the Christ is listening — intently — for the cries of all the millions of  His creation in this world who don’t know Him at all. His heart is waiting expectantly for their voice to call out His name. And He’s ready to answer that call swiftly. He’s ready to come home with you at any time.

When Jesus walked the earth, He was often found in the homes of those who were not active believers. People whom the scriptures refer to as “publicans” and “sinners” found that Jesus was more than willing to spend time with them and teach them the truth about God — and show them God’s love by healing their sick and delivering those in demonic bondage. In fact, He often received hateful criticism from the religious leaders of His day because He gave Himself so freely to those who did not have a relationship with the true God. But Jesus’ response was simply that His main reason for coming into the earth was to find those who did not know Him and offer Himself to them.

Zacchaeus was one such man. (His story is told in the Word of God, the book of Luke, chapter 19.) Although technically a descendant of Abraham, Zacchaeus was chief among publicans — which means he made his living working for the Roman government, collecting taxes from his fellow Israelites — and, by his own admission, cheating them. He had heard about Jesus, but he was no believer. However, he was curious, and as Jesus passed through Jericho, right before his entry into Jerusalem on the donkey, Zacchaeus, a short man,  climbed into a tree so that he could see and hear Jesus easily. Jesus called him down from the tree and invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ house.

Zacchaeus recognized Jesus as the Messiah and opened to Him his home and his heart. We know that he invited Jesus in with his whole heart, because, after spending only a short time with Him, Zacchaeus voluntarily confessed his sin of cheating and promised to make restoration of everything with interest. Jesus did not ask Zacchaeus to do so. The man simply opened his heart to Jesus, and a changed nature was the result.

So, I will say once more: You do not need to be a Christian to call on Jesus. No matter what religious tag you wear — including that of “Atheist” —  that tag will not keep Jesus from coming to you if your heart is reaching out for Him and inviting Him in. What will happen to that religious tag after you meet Jesus? Who cares?  I can guarantee you — without qualification — that if you ever meet the real Jesus, you won’t care.

Here comes Jesus!  He’s coming to us today — Christian and non-Christian — He’s coming. With words of comfort and reassurance to destroy fear — with delivering power to destroy the yokes of the devil — with healing and wholeness for body, mind, and spirit — with wisdom and direction that leads to successful solutions — with the power of His Holy Spirit and all of the anointing for service — with eternal life to overcome death once and for all and forever.

Jesus is coming!  He’s coming to you!  Right now! Open your heart to Him and let Him meet all of your needs today.

~

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia commons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jesus_entering_jerusalem_on_a_donkey.jpg

 

 

 

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No Other Name

CROSS & CROWN

Jesus the Christ: “… There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.” (Acts 3:12).

There is no other “religion” on the face of the earth — no other religious leader — no other dogma — no other doctrine — no other system of belief — that offers man the guarantee of salvation from his own sinfulness and from this cursed world — into a life of eternal joy and freedom from all that harms and destroys.

Every other system of religion offers man a life of working, struggling, straining, following rules, and sacrificing in an effort to earn an eternity on a higher plane. But even in the midst of the working and sacrificing, the disciple of those religions is never confident of his eternal rewards. He has a hope that he may get those rewards if he’s good enough — but he has no guarantee — no promise.

Only Jesus — Yeshuah — the Christ — the Messiah — offers man a guaranteed eternal salvation that is a free gift. “God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son (Jesus), that whosoever believeth in Him should … have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world, through Him, might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).

Only Jesus offers His own perfectly-lived life, His own suffering, His own sacrifice, His own death, and His own resurrection for the sake of those who follow Him. He paid the price; He won the reward: That reward was eternal life with the Creator of the universe and the right to impart that life to anyone who would receive Him and the work He accomplished on their behalf.

The price was paid by Him alone. So the reward of eternal life with God is in His name alone. If any of the other religious leaders of the world had paid the price for us, we could be saved by following them. But the simple truth is that they did not. And that’s why all those religions can do is tell us we need to live better lives and follow a bunch of rules and make continual sacrifices of one kind or another in the hope of finding a better eternity after we die.

Why would anyone follow after the teachings, the dogmas, the doctrines of a belief system that requires them to struggle and strain and perfect themselves in order to have a slim hope of something better, when Jesus the Christ stretches out His nail-pierced hands and offers eternity with the God of the universe for free?

Perhaps it’s our ego — our self-righteous belief that we can ultimately be our own savior — that makes some of us choose a belief system that forces us to try to do all the work ourselves — to “earn” the hope of a better eternity. But what a waste. When we could be living a life free from the fear of missing the mark somehow. We could be living a life filled with the joy of knowing for sure that we are moving toward a glorious eternity and amazing rewards and blessings from the Creator of the universe. Knowing that the end of the race is guaranteed makes running it so much easier.

Jesus the Christ is risen. He’s alive. And He’s offering the guarantee of eternity with God to every human being on the face of the earth — paid for by Him. That is why “there is no other name under heaven, that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.”

~

 

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week # 82

This week’s 100-word story prompt from Julia:

” … looking at all of that chocolate …”

My story:

SONY DSCCHOCOLATE IN THE NEWS

“Hi!  S. Chocolate Bunny here, reporting to you from the National Easter Egg Hunt on the White House Lawn. There are at least 600 kids here trying their luck.

“Whew! It’s hot for this time of year! Sun’s really beating down. Wish I’d worn a hat.

“In past years, the President gave each participant a big chocolate bunny at the close of the event, and just looking at all that chocolate encouraged competitiveness. However, this year Rabbits United challenged that practice, so … uh … whew, it’s hot! … so he’ll be … giving … candy … e … eggs … in … instead.

“Whew! … So-o-o-o-o-o … h-o-t! … m … mel-l-l-t-i-i-i-n-n-n-g-g-g-g ….”

“Hey, Billy, look! A big puddle of chocolate! Let’s have some!”

~ ~ ~

To join the fun, visit Julia here:
http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week/

Easter Morning From a Child’s Point of View

I have a very dear friend who is a children’s author and illustrator. I am particularly fond of one picture she created, depicting the power of Jesus’ resurrection from a heavenly angle, as a little child might best relate to it. I’m sharing it here in the hope that it adds to your joy on this delightful Resurrection Day!

If you would like to see more of Shyann Hine’s work or find out about her books, you can visit her publisher’s website: StEllenPress.Com.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Arranged # 2

My church has a small room designated as a prayer chapel, where people can go specifically to pray during the week and on Sundays, before and during the services. This group of crosses was carefully chosen and “arranged” across one wall of the chapel to help those who enter the room focus on Jesus Christ and the power of His complete salvation.