Tag Archives: Eternal Life

Life Is Fragile – A Poem of Hope

This mortal life is fragile
housed in these jars of clay

Here we are living the good life
then at the end of the day
we may be struck down, bewildered
by the impermanence of our stay

Yet we know we are not abandoned
by the Truth, the Life, and the Way
The life He promised is eternal
as for grace and mercy we pray

This mortal life is fragile
yet He lives in these jars of clay

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 2 Corinthians 4:7-11 (NIV).

A dear friend is in the hospital in critical condition due to complications from a routine surgery. He was supposed to be in and out in a day, but he is likely to be in the hospital for 2 to 3 weeks. It got me thinking about the fragility of life, and this passage from Corinthians came to mind. As I read it, I was reminded of my friend’s strong faith in Jesus and the comfort that comes from knowing he is in the hands of the Great Physician.

9/24/13 Update: My friend is now home after 10 weeks in the hospital and rehab. He still has a long way to go, but has made great progress. I’ve decided to share this poem for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night today in celebration of the power of prayer in my friend’s recovery.

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Irony – An Elfje

Rugged
the cross
instrument of death
brought me eternal life
irony

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Rejoice – An Acrostic Poem

Rejoice in the Lord always
E
verlasting joy from His heart
J
oy even in the darkest times
O
verflowing joy in my heart
I
n times of want and times of plenty
C
arrying me through trials of this life to
E
ternal life of rejoicing in the Lord

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The Past I’ve Left Behind – A Poem

The past I’ve left behind me
pursues me in the dark
trying to persuade me
I’ll never hit the mark

But I keep pressing forward
to the life that lies ahead
where God has promised glory
my prize for which He bled

The past has no hold on me
for the Son has set me free
my future is eternal life
His child I’ll forever be

12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:12-14 (NLT).

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Journey of Lent – A Poem

Lord of all creation
wandered in the wilderness
40 days of hunger and temptation

Eternal life set aside
for just a time so that it might
be ever available to His beloved

Name above all names
sacrificed for you, for me
His very life to set us forever free

Throne of grace
once again His proper place
where justice and mercy reign

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I’m a Success!

I graduated 7th in my class from high school, in the top 11% of my class at Whitman College, and cum laude from Lewis & Clark Law School. After law school, I passed the Oregon State Bar exam on the first try, and was offered a job before I graduated. I now have a great job making a decent living as a director of legal publications for the Oregon State Bar. Do all of these accomplishments make me a success? Some might say yes. Others might say I would really be a success if only I’d strived for a partnership track position in a big firm making a lot more money than I do now.

I’ve been married for 25 years, have one wonderful son, and live in a nice house in one of the better neighborhoods in my town. This year we improved our property by putting in a beautiful paver driveway, patio, and walkways, with additional landscaping. Our home is filled with nice furniture and I am blessed to have nice clothes to wear. Does all of this make me a success? Some would say yes. Others might say I would really be a success if I had 5 children who were all on honor roll, a house three times the size of my current home, and if I had a brand new Porsche parked on my paver driveway.

I’ve been involved in my church and my Christian faith in many ways. I’ve taught Sunday school, led or spoken at several women’s retreats, am in charge of the prayer ministry at my church, and am currently on our board of elders. I’ve read all the way through the Bible at least once, and some books of the Bible I’ve read multiple times. I’ve written over 600 faith-related posts on my blog and have had over 44,000 page views. Do all of these accomplishments make me successful? Some would say yes. Others might say that I’m not quite pious enough to be considered successful because I’ve never gone on an overseas mission trip, don’t give enough of my wealth to the church, and have wasted some of my blog posts on recipes.

In church this morning, our pastor reminded me that I am, in fact, a success. Even if some people might not consider me a success by the world’s standards, by God’s standard I am a success. In Luke, Jesus told his disciples the success they should rejoice over.

The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:17-20 (NIV).

These disciples thought the fact that the demons submitted to them made their mission trips a success. But Jesus reminded them that they were a success because their names are written in heaven. I know that I am a success because I have put my trust in Jesus for my salvation, and my name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

I could lose my license to practice law and my job, even have my degrees taken from me. I could lose my family, my house, and all my material wealth. I could lose my church family and have my blog censored. I would still be a success because I know Jesus Christ, my Lord.

So how are you measuring your success? If you know Jesus, if your name is written in heaven, then all other measures of success are unimportant.

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The Light of Christ Shines Through

Last Monday night, after I had written and scheduled my Tuesday post on Good Advice Not Followed, I climbed into bed and tried to follow some of my good advice by reading my Bible. I did manage to get through two chapters of Ezekiel (which is taking me forever to get through) before my eyes were too tired to read. As I started to drift off to sleep, I thought I should really try to read my Bible in the morning, during the time that I usually check my blog, my email, and Facebook, while playing ball with the dog. It’s a good 15 to 20 minutes when it is relatively quiet and reading my Bible would be a much better way to start my day.

Then Tuesday morning I hit the snooze alarm a few times, and then got up and made smoothies for my son and me for breakfast. I remembered that thought I had as I drifted off to sleep and planned to go get my Bible when the smoothies were done. I poured the smoothies, put two Eggo waffles in the toaster oven for my son, and put my smoothie in the refrigerator for after my shower.

Then, out of habit, I took my coffee into the living room, sat down on the couch, and put my laptop on my lap. I opened up Internet Explorer, but it couldn’t find my homepage, which is my email. So I tried to open my blog – same error message – Explorer couldn’t find the page. So I tried Facebook. Same thing. Hmmmmm. I thought for just a second about trying them all again, then I thought again. I set the computer aside and went to get my Bible.

Turns out it was the best way I could have started my day! (Not really a big surprise.)

Rather than continue on in Ezekiel, I decided to read the next New Testament passages on my Bible-in-a-year schedule, which was 1 John. I read the first two chapters, and it was exactly what I needed to read for today.

We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy. 1 John 1:1-4 (NLT).

As I read this, I could feel John’s enthusiasm for this wonderful news he had to share. He was speaking of the first advent of Christ, an event John personally experienced. One part of this passage that truly jumped out at me is “he is the one who is eternal life.” Jesus didn’t come just to give us eternal life – He is eternal life. He is life itself. Just reading this passage lifted my spirit and made me smile.

Anticipating the coming of Christ in our own lives is the whole purpose of Advent! We look forward to His birth, even as we know ultimately He will have to suffer and die for us. John experienced that event as well as the wonderful resurrection of Christ. And just as John did, we look forward to His second coming.

I kept reading and came to another passage that I really needed today.

If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves another brother or sister is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. But anyone who hates another brother or sister is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness. 1 John 2:9-11 (NLT).

This was exactly the thing I needed to read to remind me to forgive others who have annoyed me. It reminded me that many people are walking in darkness, blinded by the darkness, and can’t see the Light of Christ. If I am living in the light, then I need to let the Light of Christ flow from me to illuminate their world. The darkness is oppressive and overbearing for those who have no means to pierce through it to the truth. If I live in Christ, then I must allow Him to pierce the darkness that seeks to blind me again.

“I once was lost but now I’m found, Was blind, but now I see.” And it’s so much easier to see when I stay in the Word of life. Sometimes it takes a little interference from the Lord to get me there, which is what I believe He did when my computer decided not to go to the websites I wanted it to, but reading scripture really is good advice. It helps the Light of Christ to shine through.

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Thanksgiving – A Poem

Today is Thanksgiving Day! It makes me think about how perfect Thankful Thursday is as a theme day. I’ve been looking back over the poems I’ve written for Thankful Thursday this year, and noticing on my stats page that they are getting hits from web searches on thankfulness this week. It has been such a blessing to me to consciously focus on being thankful for something every single week. But somehow, no matter what I start with in a thankful poem, I always end up at Christ. Perhaps that is really where I should start. I know that He is at the center of all there is to be thankful for in my life.

In celebration of the holiday, I wrote a poem about Thanksgiving, ending with the ultimate Thanksgiving feast in Heaven. I wonder if in Heaven there will be a special day set aside each year for Thanksgiving? Or will we just be so filled with thankfulness every minute of every day that it won’t be necessary?

I pray you and yours will enjoy a wonderful day of thanks and joy this Thanksgiving Day!

THANKSGIVING

Turkey, roasting in the oven, golden brown
Hand mashed potatoes, stuffing, pecan pie
And all the trimmings for the holiday feast
Now the best part is family joined together
Knowing all the blessings of the King
Son of God, who made all things possible
Giving all good gifts to those who love Him
Immanuel, God with us, better than life
Veritable feast awaits, eternal life of joy
Incredible joy and thanksgiving fill hearts
Nevermore to know sorrow and tears
God’s blessings to be thankful for eternally

6 On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare
   a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
   the best of meats and the finest of wines.
7 On this mountain he will destroy
   the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
 8 he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears
   from all faces;
he will remove the disgrace of his people
   from all the earth.
            The LORD has spoken.

 9 In that day they will say,

   “Surely this is our God;
   we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the LORD, we trusted in him;
   let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
Isaiah 25:6-9 (NIV).

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Fewer versus Less – Thoughts of a Grammar Geek

I know today is Tuesday, and normally I would have posted My Tuesday Three, but I had a thought yesterday that I wanted to share.

I love words, love to write, and love to read. I also love words in music. I can tend to be a little critical, though, when I read something or hear lyrics and there is a grammatical error. I’m a little more forgiving with lyrics (and poetry), but only a little. For some reason grammatical errors just drive me nuts. It’s the curse of the grammar geek.

The difference between “fewer” and “less” is one of those grammatical distinctions that most people don’t give a second thought to. They stand in the Express Line at the grocery store and don’t blink an eye at the sign that says the line is for shoppers with “15 items or less.” If you are one of those people, you are probably wondering what I’m talking about. Well, let me explain.

The word “fewer” is used to refer to a smaller amount of countable items, such as bananas and cans of soup in a grocery cart. The word “less” is appropriate only to refer to a smaller amount of an uncountable thing, such as air or sand.

Yesterday as I was getting ready for work, Amazing Grace as sung by Elvis Presley came on. It’s an interesting rendition that includes the final verse that many people aren’t familiar with.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

I immediately thought, “Hey, that’s grammatically incorrect. Days can be counted and so it should say ‘fewer days’ instead of ‘less days’.” But then I thought about it more and I realized “less” is the correct word. Even though technically days can be counted, the days that we will have to sing God’s praise are endless and uncountable. Trying to count the days of eternity would be like trying to count the grains of sand on coastline of Hawaii.

And they will be the most wonderful days of our lives. These are the thoughts of a grammar geek who is also a Jesus freak.

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Eternal Life – A Poem

1/5/13 update: I decided to link to this poem from the prompt today at dVerse Poets Pub. Check it out for more poems on peace.

So often we speak of eternal life as something that we get after we die. But that is not what Jesus promised. He said “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” John 5:24 (NIV). Belief in Jesus leads to the immediate possession of eternal life, which is an abundant life in relationship with our Creator. Although I am thankful of the promise of heaven when I die, the promise of a place with no more pain and no more tears, I am even more thankful for the gift of eternal life that I possess right here and now. Jesus said, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3 (NIV).

Eternal Life

Every day I know You more
the Alpha and Omega
end of all and beginning of life
real life, abundant life
now and forever
aware each moment of Your
love and mercy

Love and mercy
inundating my soul
filling me with peace
eternally and today

Do you possess eternal life? Do you know the one true God? Have you asked His Son Jesus to be your Savior and Lord? If not, what are you waiting for? Listen to the words of eternal life that your Creator has to offer.

“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
John 6:67-69 (NIV).

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