Tag Archives: Home

My Heart, Your Home – A Poem

My heart is a mansion

where Christ dwells

The parlor filled with

His mercy

The kitchen overflows with

His love

 

But in a back room

locked up tight

dwell fear, doubt,

and guilt

Sometimes late at night

they make their escape

Squatters wreaking havoc

throughout the house

 

My Savior has promised

to evict these intruders

by His Spirit—

not a spirit of timidity

but of power and of grace

 

“Be strong and courageous”

“Do not fear for I will not leave you

or forsake you”

“There is no condemnation in Me”

These are the promises

that restore harmony and hope

to the mansion that is my heart

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Exile – A Mini-Ghazal

Wandering in the wilderness
exiled in darkness, I will return

Lost and lonely in a foreign land
without hope unless I will return

Like Ezra and Nehemiah I travel
towards home I press, I will return

Longing for home and security
if His name I profess I will return

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Trains, by Johnny – A Poem

The poetry prompt at dVerse Poets Pub today was to write a poem involving trai_n_n_n_n_n_n_n_n_s. I immediately thought of the song “Down there by the Train” by Johnny Cash, and then I remembered several other songs by Johnny that involved trains. Some are well-known songs, others are more obscure. I decided to write a poem in response to the prompt in honor of Johnny Cash, the Man in Black, and his many perspectives on trains.

Trains, by Johnny

Johnny played and sang
of trains
some I know he rode
others were just
stories that he told

Freight train
carrying pig iron, not pigs
sneaky train driver
avoiding a toll on
the Rock Island Line
cocky, ’til the toll
came due

The lonesome sound
of a distant train
the mourning of a prisoner
Folsom Prison Blues
overwhelming his soul
choices of youth
defining his fate

Riding home on the train
anticipating Dixieland
Hey Porter, cries the passenger
When will we be home?
Now he smells
the southern breeze
off the train he goes

Train whistle blowin’
a line everybody knows
the Orange Blossom Special
beckoning to warmth and sun
away from city life
riding to freedom

Far from home
not a penny to his name
Waitin’ for a Train
A little money would grease
a brakeman’s palm
and a ride it would mean
but 1,000 miles from home
is where he’ll stay

The final train
all can ride free
though the cost was great
passengers well known,
the infamous and the ordinary
are Down there by the Train
Johnny rode home

I was going to post a video of “Down there by the Train” with this, but in my search on YouTube I found this great live video of “Rock Island Line” with a terrific intro about trains by Johnny and decided to include it instead. I hope you like it.

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Finding the Way Home – A Short Story

It’s a busy week visiting family in Austin, and I don’t have time to write a new post for today. Plus I don’t seem to have any good ideas for what to write. Since I’m traveling I decided I would re-post this short story that involves travel. I originally wrote this to be posted at Idylls for the King.

Susie stood at the bus station wondering which bus she was supposed to take. She was so lost and didn’t know how to get to where she wanted to go.

She approached the ticket booth and asked the clerk, “I want to go Home. Can you tell me which bus to take?”

“It don’t much matter,” answered the clerk. “They all go the same place.”

“But each bus has a different town shown on the front. They can’t all go my Home,” argued Susie.

“They all end up the same place, that’s all I know,” said the clerk. “Do you want a ticket or not?”

“I guess not,” Susie mumbled as she walked away. She knew all the buses could be the same, but she didn’t have any idea how to know which one to take.

Brett was standing nearby. He cautiously approached Susie. “Hi, my name is Brett. I overheard your conversation with the clerk,” he said. “I think I can help.”

Susie was startled, but something about Brett made her feel comfortable with him. “Do you know which bus will take me Home?”

“I just happen to have the bus schedule and free tickets for the right bus,” Brett offered. He handed her a small book with “John” written on the front. “Let me show you where your ticket is.” Brett turned in the book to chapter 3 and pointed to verse 16, which read:

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV).

Susie smiled. This was the information she had been looking for. She thanked Brett and accepted the book and her free ticket Home.

As she began to walk away she stopped, thinking of the clerk. She approached the ticket booth again. “Sir,” she said, “I found out how to get Home, and since you didn’t seem to know when I asked before I thought I would share this wonderful news with you, too.” As she began to show the clerk what she had learned, Brett smiled and walked on, looking for another lost soul who was in need of directions Home.

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Going Home to a Joyful Greeting

I’m sitting in the San Francisco airport waiting for my flight to go home. I got here early — I always do when I’m flying — and so I have almost an hour to wait. It’s kind of cool that you can get online from just about anywhere these days using free wifi hotspots.

It’s a beautiful sunny day here in San Francisco. I was actually a bit too warm in my long sleeve shirt on the way to the airport, but I know I will be glad I’m wearing it when I get home to Portland. Even though I am leaving sunny warm weather — which I love — to go back to not-so-warm, probably rainy weather — which I’m not terribly fond of — I am incredibly glad to be going home. I miss my family, my pets, my own cooking, my pillow, and my familiar surroundings.

My little dog will be so happy to see me when I walk in the door. His reaction when I arrive home from being away, whether for an hour or a week, makes me think of how Jesus and my loved ones will react when I finally go home to heaven. I imagine they will be so happy to see me, they will jump up and down and “wag their tails” for the joy of seeing me again. And I will feel that same warm and joyful feeling I have when my dog greets me when I walk in the door.

I love seeing little glimpses of heaven in the world around me. Like seeing in my dog’s greeting the greeting I will experience in heaven. Or seeing in the beauty of nature and a sunny day the beauty that exists in heaven. Or seeing in the love of a child or spouse the love of God for us. Even better is knowing that the reality of heaven is so much greater than the glimpses I see. The apostle Paul wrote:

Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. 1 Corinthians 13:12.

God made this world and there is much beauty and wonder in it. Flowers that bloom in a myriad of colors, trees that bear fruit and nuts, mountains that tower in the distance covered in snow, and mighty rivers that rush over waterfalls all reveal the majesty of God’s creation. But this world has been corrupted and amid the beauty is much sadness, ugliness, and decay. If we can look past all of that and focus on the beauty we will see a little glimpse of heaven, where the wonder and majesty of God’s creation remain undefiled. And maybe, just maybe, if we focus on the beauty and wonder of what is around us instead of the ugliness and corruption, we will magnify God and what He has done.

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Longing for Home

Vacations can be fun and exciting, relaxing or exhausting, long or short. Before a vacation, I anticipate what I will do on vacation, the places I will go and people I will see. Before my recent vacation to New York, I purchased tickets for a Broadway show and to climb to the crown of the Statute of Liberty. I made hotel reservations and airline travel plans. I thought about all the places I would eat and how I would get around the city. I felt restless and looked forward to a break from my routine at home.

But it didn’t take long for me to feel homesick. Regardless of the destination or the planned activities, vacation can make me grow weary and long for the routine of home. While in New York, I longed for the restfulness of my own bed and the quiet of my own home. I longed to sit all day in my chair at work instead of walking what seemed like endless miles along the busy streets of New York and through museums and parks. By the time we were ready to leave I really, really just wanted to go home.

Yet my “home” in Oregon is not really my home. It is only a stopover in a long journey to my real home. I think the anticipation of going on vacation is similar to the anticipation of going to my real home. I have faith that someday I will see my true home and will grow restless and weary no more. The author of Hebrews wrote of a number of Biblical characters who traveled the journey of life led by God towards their promised home, living in faith that God would deliver what He had promised.

 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13-16.

I am an alien and a stranger here on earth. While I am here I will enjoy the journey; I will make and fulfill a multitude of plans. I will grow restless at times wanting more; I will grow weary at times wanting less. And someday I will get to the point that I just want to go home. I’m not to that point yet, but when the time comes I’ll be ready for the true rest and joy of my heavenly home.

The Christian band Third Day sings a great, rockin’ song called “Other Side” that speaks to this idea of a better place. The chorus and second verse are:

Take me to the other side
‘Cause I need something better
Take me to the other side
‘Cause I want to live forever

One thing that’s for sure I know
This won’t be an easy road
Let me ask before I leave
Won’t you come along with me

Where is your true home? Are you an alien and stranger here on earth? Do you know that God has much greater things in store for you when this journey is over? I’m going there some day. Won’t you come along with me?

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