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The Coward

Posted Tuesday, May 29, 2012, at 10:14 AM

Just beyond the hill are a people captive
Their bodies are free their minds are not
In this prison called life there is no escape
Darkness greedily searches for more
Among the wounded, hurt and overwhelmed
Devouring all hope of ever being whole

I am safe my people are not
I feel that stirring within
In the place where prayers meet
Words of light begin to form
Encased in tiny seeds
Soon I will go

Laying aside all weapons
I gather the precious seeds
Blinded by night guided by light
I sneak into the enemy's camp
"Please free me" "I can't"
Quietly I place a seed in a hand

And then the warriors came
The battle was fierce
Many of my people died in the night
I huddled with the captives
Comforting as best as I could
The battle was over I must leave

Just outside the place where prayers meet
I meet the war party in the morning light
Proud warriors boasting of their victory
Dark trophies dangling from their horses
"But where are the captives?" I ask
I shouldn't have asked

"You coward, we saw you

Hiding with the women and children
Dreamer, speaker of riddles, meaningless words
When the enemy is destroyed our people will be free"
And they rode away never to be seen again
Tears begin to fall not for himself but the captives

And just beyond the hill where darkness prevailed
Came screams of terror as small beams of light exploded
From tiny seeds held in the hands of the captives
A glimmer of hope fell one prison wall
Seeing a situation in new light dropped another
And the captives began coming home


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What a profound admonition! Lord help me not to just lay my armor down. In fact, Lord help me not to just have my armor on and do nothing! And yet, the handing of those "tiny seeds" of Gospel Light was all that was necessary. Brother Gordon, I have to ask myself, what am I doing? I've gone door to door (knocked on your door no doubt) handing out advertisements for my church. Anybody can do that! But, have I really been placing the Gospel Seed in the hands of captives? Yes, I pray and prayer is necessary, but James says, "Faith without works is dead." Food for thought Brother!

-- Posted by swift on Thu, Jun 14, 2012, at 4:08 PM

The other day I had a home project that needed to be done. I got out my tools. But I could not get my tools to cooperate with me.

Every time I tried to hammer in a nail it folded. The hammer seemed zeroed in on my thumb and fingers. The saw kept getting stuck. My level was unlevel. The screwdriver was acting screwy. I guess I need new tools.

Well Brother Richard, am I a tool in the hand of GOD? Do I go where He leads or do I fold? Am I so focused on doing GOD's work I cannot see the work GOD wants done? Am I stuck, inflexibe, in what and how I minister? Is my level of christianity in line with GOD's? Am I going everywhere except where GOD wants me?

Works are great. And very necessary. Like love to a marriage is works to faith. It is an outward expression on an inward experience. Works born from faith are life giving and life changing.

But faith is never born from works. It is born from rest. Not the Lazy Boy, sit back and do nothing bring it to me kind of rest.

Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden...sounds good to me

and I will give you rest...sounding even better

Take My yoke upon you...uh Lord, wait a minute, ain't yokes for work, oh, this must be some kind of parable

and learn of Me...ok, this is more like it

for I am meek and lowly in heart...yes Lord, I am quite proud of how meek and lowly I am, not like those "proud" christians

and ye shall find rest for your souls...but Lord, I am doing all this and yet...

For My yoke is easy...oh, back to the yoke. Well Lord, many years I have labored and it ain't easy

and My burden is light...Lord, you promise rest and then you want me to work? When do I rest?

Brother Richard, we live in a society saturated with making life "easier". Twenty years ago we did not have the necessities of cable tv, cell phones, internet. Twenty years ago a family could live on one income, not today. Easy has a price, a very demanding price.

And so it is spiritually. We look for easy fixes, more efficient methods, new techniques for winning the lost and building churches.

Forty days of purpose and the Passion too

Discipleship is easy when the meat's been chewed for you

Jesus and His disciples were accused of being lazy, associating with the wrong kind of people,

being of the devil, trying to do away with the authority of the "church". Even John the Baptist in his darkest hour asked, "Are You the One to come or do we seek another?"

There was something about how Jesus did things that confused friend and foe alike. He was quite unconventional in His day. What "worked" for Him was not "supposed" to work. You don't build a winning team with a bunch of losers. You don't succeed unless you promote yourself. You need the influential (rich) to influence the world.

Prayer, so much prayer, mostly alone with His "father". Walking among and touching the insignificant and "unworthy". Surrounded by disciples who had so many good ideas and plans that Jesus was not at all interested in. Just seemingly living in His own reality. And yet somehow it worked amazingly well.

Maybe if we took a really good look, really did listen to Jesus, really did learn of Him (not about Him) perhaps we would see things differently. Perhaps our "reality" would change. Of course there is a danger in this.

You will be accused of not doing enough or wasting time as you focus on the heart of GOD. While good christians fight great spiritual battles you walk among the forgotten ones. Your victories will be unseen, most even you will not see.

But when there is a job that needs to be done, GOD knows where the good tools are. And those tools, those instruments of peace, simply yield to the hand of GOD.


-- Posted by apureheart on Mon, Jun 18, 2012, at 9:50 AM

Brother Gordon, thankyou so much for those words! I needed that. I'm not a pastor, just a common ordained elder in my denomination. Since I graduated from Bible college in 1983, I've only pastored 4 churches for a total of 7yrs,9months! Most of my preaching has been serving as "fill in" or "supply" as I am now until we get a new pastor, and ministering at nursing homes, assisted living centers, and residential care facilities. As you say, those works don't produce faith; faith produces works!

The devil has hounded me with, "you're not doing anything" and such like. But, I want to do more in the area of prayer. Those who spend more time in prayer are often accused of "not doing anything" when in fact they are the real doers.

Thanks again, brother! Back to the place of labor tomorrow. While rehanging chickens, may my attitude be Christ-like. May my life be pleasing to Him and my light shine for those I work with.

-- Posted by swift on Mon, Jun 18, 2012, at 4:07 PM

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I have the heart of a poet, the eye of an artist, and dress like a bum. I am no one important. No title, no position, no authority. Just a normal person. But I know Jesus. And Jesus knows me. And this relationship has changed my life and continues to change my life. I have no desire to be known but great desire for others to know Jesus. I would like to blog about Jesus, christian living, church, hurting, hope. I do not want to lead this blog but follow it wherever it leads.
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