Dancing Before the Lord

Clouds blossoming in the blue sky.
Do they portend rain?
Or are they just dancing before the sun?
I don’t know, but it is joy to watch.

“The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.” Psalm 19:1-4

Hope gives Life to life

The hope of a new day

Hope is knowing of wonder yet to be seen.
Of rivers, of mountains covered in green.

Hope is scent of joy yet to come,
Of love in a family together as one.

Hope is courage in this covid blight.
Hope is God’s hand holding me tight.

Enduring great trials hope will sustain,
When anchored upon God’s holiest name.

So I can rejoice even in sorrow,
For hope assures of a better tomorrow.

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15

Therefore, we who have fled to him (Jesus) for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.  Hebrews 6:18-20

The Fruit of Your Words

By the fruit you know the tree

Words can send a blessing.
The same words can send a curse.
I love you is a blessing.
I love you if… a hidden curse.

Words can tell the truth.
The same words can be a lie.
Often we don’t know which is which,
Only time will break the tie.

How do you avoid being taken in?
Caught in a sugary trance.
Look at the fruit in their life,
Good fruit is not by chance.

-by Stephen Hufman

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ 

Matthew 7:15-23

The Heights of Glory

Autumn glory in Icicle Canyon

I can scale the wall of glory
once there they’ll want my story.
I just need a little more effort,
a little more time.

From the heights I will survey,
proud of climbing my own way.
All with a little more effort,
a little more time.

There are some trade-offs, some compromises
little things some sacrifices,
but in the end it’ll be all mine.
Given a little more effort,
a little more time.

When I get there what will be said?
a eulogy of the dead—if only he had…
a little more effort,
and little more time.

—poem by Stephen Hufman

Unless the Lord builds the house, 
its builders labor in vain. 
Unless the Lord watches over the city, 
the watchmen stand guard in vain. 
In vain you rise early 
and stay up late, 
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves. Psalm 127:1-2

Light for the Coming Darkness

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Light on a hill

Where there looms fear,
There is need for drawing close to God.
Where there is no fear,
We invest little in prayer.

Where there is grief,
There is need for hope.
Where there is no sorrow,
We grip tightly to the present instead of Jesus.

Where there is doubt.
There is a need for faith
Where doubt does not exist,
There is little need to exercise faith.

Where there is love and forgiveness,
There is passionate devotion.
Where there is no love there is indifference,
and indifference makes the heart grow hard.

Where there is horrid ugliness
There is a longing for innocence.
Where people accept the grotesque,
There is no desire for salvation.

All the doubt, the fear, the sorrow, the ugliness does not show the absence of God, but quite to the contrary … Shows our need for Him.

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world. – Jesus John 16:33

The Law of Unless

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Water flows to the law of gravity, and it is beautiful

Unless the Lord builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain. Psalm 127:1

Unless the Lord controls our every thought, we degrade into what we hate.
Unless the Lord builds our life, we step back from being God’s temple.
Unless the Lord is our undivided desire, we become inflamed with lust.
Unless we humbly walk with God, our pride leads us to walk away.
Unless we forgive as we are forgiven, we become what we cannot forgive.
Unless we offer up thanksgiving for all God has done, we miss out on all He wants to do.
Unless we honor God, we lose our understanding of what is honorable.
Unless God gives us wisdom, we cannot discern what is foolish.
Unless we glorify God, we will become inglorious.
Unless we gaze upon the beauty of the Lord, our vision will fill with the sordid.
Unless we run to God our refuge, our fears will overtake us.
God wants to mold us into the image of the Son. All else is vain.

Days I Did Not Ask For

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He is risen

So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Luke 11:9-10)

You said to ask and you shall receive.
But You gave me days I did not ask for.

Days with heartache, days of pain,
Days I can’t walk ‘cause I’m lame.
Days overwhelmed with my tears.
Days when I run chased by my fears.

Days of toil with no relief.
Days of suffering cavernous grief.
Please tell me why?…Don’t let me doubt.
Is it something I did, or left out?

Days that go in the wrong direction.
Suffering betrayal and rejection.
“My Father, if it is possible, take this cup from me.
Yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:29)

In the breeze, oh so slight,
Your prayer of anguish that fateful night.
You asked for my days, and did atone,
Cut off from God in death…alone.

Startled, I realize You walked this path.
You stepped in to take sin’s wrath.
Giving up life to the Father’s glory,
You came down to alter my story.

I now have hope on my darkest day,
You hold me close through the fray.
To guide me where I cannot see,
I must depend on You, and not on me.

Thank You for days I did not ask for.

The Wonder of Grace

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The Grace of Winter White

The Wonderful Grace of Jesus

For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. Romans 5:17

The best and the greatest of this world cannot replace it.
The worst and most painful cannot spoil it.
The wonderful grace of Jesus.

There is no imagined splendor that can outshine it.
There is no ugliness that can diminish it.
The beautiful grace of Jesus.

There is no stronghold it cannot topple.
There is no past it cannot overcome.
The redeeming grace of Jesus.

There is no intelligence that can understand it.
The smallest child can receive it.
The all-encompassing grace of Jesus.

There is no life in living without it.
There is no death in life with it.
The joyous grace of Jesus.

There is no day that can be lived without it.
There is no day that will outlive it.
the enduring grace of Jesus.

A bruised reed he will not break,
And a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. (Isaiah 42:3)
The loving grace of Jesus.

The grace of Jesus gives redemption and purpose for my yesterdays.
The grace of Jesus gives me help and direction for today.
The grace of Jesus gives me hope for tomorrow.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 NLT

Grace takes the all the things we suffer—the self inflicted, as well as what has been inflicted upon us, and redeems it for His glory through His grace.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10

I do not thank God for my past mistakes and failures; I thank Him for His grace that frees me from them, and works to redeem the harm I have caused.

O the wonder of God’s grace.

Dawn of Revelation

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Morning beauty

 

I have no great thoughts,
but I know wonderful revelation is out there.
There are colors to enthrall the eyes still to put on canvas.
There is music that will lift the heart, but awaits a composer.
There are poems to inspire the soul, that remain unreleased.
There is great beauty that will captivate the beholder,
but we have lost our purity to take it in and give it away.
I need clear eyes to see, unstopped ears to hear.
A clean heart to bow before the Lord and receive all he wants me to know.
This gives me hope.
I pause from my daily activities,
and pray for God’s Holy Spirit,
to come upon me,
and make His glory known.

“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10

Deep Calling

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Whales spouting in Glacier Bay Alaska

When my soul is downcast,
when my way seems in decline.
I’ll remember a beautiful place,
where Your deep love called to mine.

A place of water and mountains,
of raven, and eagle, and bear,
whales spouting, ice cracking, the breathing
of Your wonderful cold clear air.

A place where I gazed on Your splendor,
and knew Your great love for me.
Giving me hope in my troubles,
That one day in Your presence I’ll be.

Poem by Stephen Hufman based on Psalm 42