Tag Archives: Blessings

Wait for the Harvest – A Poem

When your basket is empty
and the harvest is far away
despair is all your heart recalls
and you can’t bear another day
call on the Lord of the harvest
He will hear you when you pray

In times of great tribulation
your faith the Lord is growing
His perfect and pleasing will
is what He desires your knowing
He will deliver harvest aplenty
fill your basket to overflowing

* * * * *

In the book of Ruth, Naomi finds herself with an empty basket, an empty life. After traveling to a foreign land, her husband dies and then her two sons die. She is left with only her two foreign daughters-in-law. Her life is bitter and barren. But then she returns, with her daughter-in-law Ruth, to her homeland in Bethlehem just at the beginning of the barley harvest. By the end of the story the Lord has refilled her basket with many blessings. During our group discussion of chapter 1 last Monday evening the idea for this poem was born.

4/2/13 update: I’ve shared this for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night today. Head over and check out some other poetry.

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Perseverance – A Poem

We must persevere
trials in this world
finding within each one
great blessings for the day

We must endure
losses in this world
recalling for each one
the blessing of knowing
that which was lost

We must persist
never give up
when the road is easy
or the road is tough
seeing the good blessings
of our God in Heaven

We must persevere
to the finish
Christ will see us through

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Trust, Sun, and Friendship – My Tuesday Three

Okay, I just couldn’t leave yesterday as my only post about the Third Day concert I went to on Saturday. It was so much fun and I had an awesome time, and so I decided for My Tuesday Three to share three great things about the concert.

The first great thing I want to share is that Third Day sang one of my favorite songs and I got it on video. Here’s my video of “Trust in Jesus” posted on YouTube.

I love how Mac Powell starts this song when he says, “This is a little ditty about the end times and judgment day.” He was kind of making a joke, but also being very serious. We will all face judgment before the throne of God. When we do, we have two choices. First, we can stand before Him on our own merits and say, “Okay, God, I’ve tried my best and I think I’ve done pretty good. I went to church, I didn’t steal or murder anyone, and I tried to be nice to everyone I met.” Second, we can say, “I trust in Jesus, because I know I’ve sinned and not all of my good deeds could ever make up for what I’ve done.” I’ve decided I’ll go with the latter option, and this song is a wonderful reminder of the choice I have made.

What are you going to do when your time has come
And your life is done and there’s nothing you can stand on
What will you have to say at the judgment throne
I already know the only thing that I can say I

There’s nothing I can do on my own to find forgiveness
It’s by His grace alone I trust in Jesus
Trust in Jesu

The second great thing I want to share is that the weather was awesome! It was a beautiful sunny day and 90°, which would have been too hot if not for some shade. But this being the Pacific Northwest, it could just as easily have been drizzling rain even in August. I personally love hot weather so it was just perfect for me. Mac commented that it seemed cool to the band compared to Atlanta, Georgia, where they are from. We were able to find shade to watch most of the show before Third Day, and by the time they came on stage the sun was starting to go behind some trees. It was a perfect!

So you might be wondering who else is part of this “we” I’ve mentioned. Well, that brings me to the third great thing about this concert. I bought my tickets over a month ago not having any idea who was going to go with me. Several times I posted on Facebook that I was looking for someone to go with me, but no one replied that they could. I had asked several people in the week or so leading up to the concert, but everyone had other plans already. My son said he would go with me if I couldn’t find anyone else, but he was just being nice and didn’t really want to go because he is not a big fan of concerts. (If I didn’t KNOW he was my son, I might wonder at this point, because I love concerts!)

On Saturday morning I had a meeting at church that I had to go to, and I still hadn’t found anyone to go to the concert with me. It started at noon, but I knew Third Day wouldn’t be on until after 5:00 so I figured there was still time. When I got home from my meeting I made a few more calls. I finally got a call back from my friend A, and she said she would love to go and that she just had a couple of things she had to do first.

We finally headed out about 3:30 and arrived at the venue by 4:00. We had lawn chairs because it was an outdoor event with seating on the grass. At one point A asked me if I thought it would be okay if she sat during Third Day’s performance because she has trouble standing for long periods of time. I said I thought that would be fine. In the end, though, she was having so much fun and enjoying the show that she stood up through the whole thing (except the one song where Mac told us all to sit).

As we were leaving the concert, my friend A said that this concert was such a blessing to her and that God had some relevant messages for her in the music. Knowing I had been God’s instrument for her blessing was a great blessing to me, too. On the drive home we both were just beaming with God’s love and hope. I was so happy that God had arranged for her to be the one to accompany me. It reminded me that even when I don’t know what He has planned, it’s going to be something wonderful.

So that’s it for My Tuesday Three. It was a concert of trusting in Jesus, sun shining down, and the blessing of friendship. Who could ask for more?

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Children – A Poem

My son is one of the greatest blessings I have ever known. I often hear parents complain about how terrible their teenagers are, but I really can’t relate because my son is the most generous, kind, and loving person I know. He does sometimes annoy and frustrate me, and raising him poses its challenges, but I love him no matter what. And I know that God loves him even more than I do. I decided to write a poem about the blessing of children for my Thankful Thursday poem.

Children

Children are a blessing
A gift from God above
Children of the One true King
They deserve our care and love

Children are not a burden
A curse from God above
To hold back men and women
From knowing fun and love

Children are our future
Given in trust from God above
Our duty is to help them mature
They need our faith and love

“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:15-16 (NIV).

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This Life Is Full of Blessing – A Poem

It’s Thankful Thursday once again (and I continue to be thankful to Ann for the idea!) I’ve been doing acrostic poems for a while, but decided I wanted to do something different this week. Instead of limited the length of my poem by the number of letters in an acrostic word or phrase, I wanted to focus on the idea that this life that God has given me is so full of blessing and just see where it took me. Although I’ve certainly known heartache and struggle in my life, on the whole the Lord has given me a life worth being thankful for.

This Life Is Full of Blessing

This life is full of blessing
You have offered more
I have a lovely dwelling
And family I adore

This life is full of blessing
Delicious foods to eat
Trees and flowers growing
Their beauty is so sweet

This life is full of blessing
More than I really need
Love and peace abounding
It’s time to plant a seed

This life is full of blessing
Enough for me to share
With those who have nothing
To let them know You care

This life is full of blessing
Freedom in Your grace
My soul is ever soaring
I wait to see Your face

This life is full of blessing
To You I give my praise
For the gift of life everlasting
I’ll savor endless days

Eternal life is the best blessing
To dwell with You on high
With all the saints worshipping
As Your feast draws nigh

Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” Luke 14:12-15 (NIV).

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Psalm 41 – Blessing and Betrayal

This is another Psalm that covers a lot of ground. It starts by noting the blessing of those who care for the poor and how God cares for those He loves. It moves on to a prayer for mercy. Then hidden in the middle is verse 9, which has been viewed as a prophecy of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus to the Pharisees. Not only did Judas share food with Jesus, it was in handing the bread to Judas that Jesus revealed at the last supper who it was who would betray Him. Matthew 26:20-24 (NIV)

Psalm 41

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

 1 Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor!
      The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble.
 2 The Lord protects them
      and keeps them alive.
   He gives them prosperity in the land
      and rescues them from their enemies.
 3 The Lord nurses them when they are sick
      and restores them to health.

 4 “O Lord,” I prayed, “have mercy on me.
      Heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
 5 But my enemies say nothing but evil about me.
      “How soon will he die and be forgotten?” they ask.
 6 They visit me as if they were my friends,
      but all the while they gather gossip,
      and when they leave, they spread it everywhere.
 7 All who hate me whisper about me,
      imagining the worst.
 8 “He has some fatal disease,” they say.
      “He will never get out of that bed!”
 9 Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely,
      the one who shared my food, has turned against me.

 10 Lord, have mercy on me.
      Make me well again, so I can pay them back!
 11 I know you are pleased with me,
      for you have not let my enemies triumph over me.
 12 You have preserved my life because I am innocent;
      you have brought me into your presence forever.

 13 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
      who lives from everlasting to everlasting.
   Amen and amen!

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Contented – A Poem

Focusing on what we have instead of what we don’t have creates a thankful heart. Having a thankful heart leads to being contented with the blessings we have been given. When we trust in God to provide that which we need, we can be content no matter our circumstances, because we know that He has provided the most important blessing of all — salvation.

Contented

Christ Jesus lived and died so we
O
vercome sin and death
N
ot being condemned for
T
he sins of our flesh.
E
ternal life is
N
ow within our reach
T
oday and forever.
E
ach day a blessing, we are
D
iscontented no more.

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13.

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Blessing First, Then Obey

We had a guest speaker in church on Sunday, and I really enjoyed his message. He spoke of the Gospel and how it is unique among the world religions. He noted that every other world religion is about “do this (obey), and then receive the blessing of God or the gods.” The Gospel, on the other hand, is about “receive this blessing from God (the gift of His Son’s sacrifice on the cross), and then you will want to do this (obey).”

He used a great illustration to demonstrate our situation and God’s response. He talked about his nephew, who is about 3, going out into a Portland “snow storm” at Christmas time to make a snow angel. The problem was that generally a Portland snow storm creates more mud than it does snow, and the little boy quickly was covered in mud. He tried to wipe the mud off, but his hands were unclean and so he ended up just smearing the mud all over. So what did he do? He began to cry and call for his dad.

Enter the dad, clean as can be and with towels for cleaning the little boy. Because he was himself clean and had the right tools for the job, he was able to get the poor boy cleaned up.

We are like the little boy. We are filled with sin, but are unable with our unclean hands to clean ourselves up. Hard as we try, we just make more of a mess. Other religions and self-help books offer as their only advice that one should work harder and pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps, to wash oneself clean. Then we will receive the blessings.

But when we cry out and call to our Father in Heaven, He comes in the person of His Son Jesus and washes us clean. When we are not able to cleanse ourselves (which is always, no matter how hard we try), God cleanses us from our sin and restores us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8.

Many mainstream Christian churches today are losing sight of this important truth. In an effort to be politically correct and all-inclusive, some churches have begun to teach that it is not necessary to know Jesus Christ as your Savior. So as not to offend anyone, some churches teach that Christ died for all people, even those who don’t believe. This teaching assumes that all religions are the same and lead to the same God.

But all religions are not the same. Humans have freewill and a right to choose what to believe, but that doesn’t mean all belief systems lead to the same place or the same God. A religion that requires one to follow all the rules in order to receive a blessing does not reveal the character of the God of Christianity. Our God blesses us because He loves us, not because we earn His blessing. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10.

Jesus warned His disciples, “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.” Luke 21:8. You have freewill, and can believe what you choose, but be careful that you are not deceived.

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Don’t Fret

A fellow blogger recently blogged about Psalm 37, and I commented on her post that it compelled me to go read the entire Psalm. She replied that she would like to hear my thoughts on this Psalm, so I thought I would share those today.

It is often said that “nice guys finish last.” And in our culture it does seem that it is the greedy and wicked who prosper because they have big houses and fancy cars. I like Psalm 37 because it reminds me that things are not always what they appear. Even though it appears that the wicked and selfish among us have been blessed while the righteous, honest, and selfless “finish last,” the story is not over.

Psalm 37:10 says, “A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.” But what is “a little while” in God’s timing? It may be as long as a lifetime, but it is shorter than eternity. This Psalm reminds me what is better:

16 Better the little that the righteous have
       than the wealth of many wicked;

 17 for the power of the wicked will be broken,
       but the LORD upholds the righteous.

 18 The days of the blameless are known to the LORD,
       and their inheritance will endure forever.

I was thinking about this again yesterday, contemplating what I would write, and decided to go back to the Psalm once again. This time something new occurred to me. I was reading from my Hebrew-Greek study Bible and so was able to look up a more in-depth meaning of the words that were used in parts of this Psalm.

Verse 1 says, “Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers.” Both the words “fret” and “evildoers” were among those included in the Hebrew and Aramaic dictionary in the back of  my study Bible. When I looked them up, I discovered that fret means to be angry or envious, and that the root of the word translated evildoers meant to act out of anger or envy.

I generally think of the word “fret” as meaning to worry, but in this Psalm it has a meaning that is less internal concern about circumstances and more of an external reaction to others. To fret – that is, to be angry and envious of the seeming good fortune of evildoers – essentially makes me an evildoer as well. If I fret when I see a wicked person prosper, I become just like them and I no longer have the blessings promised to the righteous and blameless in this Psalm. I no longer can claim the promise of having my days known to the Lord or my inheritance enduring forever. Instead of fretting about what others have or how they got it, I must focus on God, keep my eye on my Savior. As Psalm 37 says,

    4 Delight yourself in the LORD;
         And He will give you the desires of your heart.
    5 Commit your way to the LORD,
         Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
    6He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
         And your judgment as the noonday. 
   7Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him;
         Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
         Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
    8Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
         Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.

It does seem that those who act out of selfish motives prosper. But in God’s tapestry all is not as it seems. Our life on this earth is but a small corner of the whole tapestry and we have seen but a tiny piece of what God has planned and what He has already accomplished for the benefit of those who love and trust Him. Nice guys might finish last, but the best God has to offer is waiting for them when they finally reach the finish line.

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A Grateful Reminder

A dear friend emailed this poem to me today and said it reminded her of me. Turns out it was just the reminder I needed. I had begun to feel like my cup was half empty and to take for granted the blessings I enjoy. I had lost sight of gratitude, and when you lose sight of gratitude, loss of hope is not far behind. I don’t know who wrote this, but thought it was worth sharing.

I’ve never made a fortune,
and it’s probably too late now. 
But I don’t worry about that much,
I’m happy anyhow 
And as I go along life’s way, 
I’m reaping better than I sowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer, 
‘Cause my cup has overflowed. 

Haven’t got a lot of riches, 
and sometimes the going’s tough 
But I’ve got loving ones all around me, 
and that makes me rich enough. 
I thank GOD for his Blessings, 
and the Mercies HE’s bestowed. 
I’m drinking from my saucer, 
‘Cause my cup has overflowed. 

I remember times when things went wrong, 
My faith wore somewhat thin. 
But all at once the dark clouds broke, 
and the sun peeped through again. 
So LORD, help me not to gripe, 
about the tough rows I have hoed. 
I’m drinking from my saucer, 
‘Cause my cup has overflowed. 

If GOD gives me strength and courage, 
When the way grows steep and rough. 
I’ll not ask for other blessings, 
I’m already Blessed enough. 
And may I never be too busy, 
to help others bear their loads. 
Then I’ll keep drinking from my saucer, 
‘Cause my cup has overflowed. 

In so many ways, my cup really has overflowed with God’s blessings, not the least of which is the connections He has given me through this blog. I need to ask God daily to remind me of all that I have to be grateful for, because it is through gratitude for His blessings that I find joy.

This poem is also a reminder of how important it is to give of myself and the blessings that come from that discipline of thinking of others. In Luke 6:38 Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” It is when I think only of myself that the cup seems half empty. When I think of others, my cup overflows.

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