Faithful Witnesses

I watch

They stand

Prepared to sing of Someone grand.

 

Over and over

Week after week

It’s of Good News they always speak.

 

Inspired, inspiring

They push on

Witnessing in word and song.

 

No matter the style

All the same

Giving to others unashamed.

 

Glorifying Christ

His earthly life

His name.

 

Faithful in teaching

Cheerful in hope

Lifting others so they can cope.

 

Thank you

Faithful friends

And witnesses.

 

Copyright2017margaretportergriffin

 

WorshipTeam

http://www.harvestlife.nz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Find the Joy

Come let us sing for joy to the Lord… (Psalm 95)

 

with bagpipes

 

Find the joy

What God has given

No power can destroy

Ineffable joy.

 

We are a flock under His care

Deep in the valleys or high mountain air

Over the seas and across the land

Hear His voice; acknowledge His hand!

 

Don’t let your heart harden

From loss, grief, pain

Or dwell on what’s taken; but rather what’s kept

Find the joy after you’ve wept.

 

Find the joy

Sing — like a bird taking wing

To the One above all, our great King

Ineffable joy.

 

Don’t let your heart harden

From loss, grief, pain

Or dwell on what’s taken; but rather what’s kept

Find the joy after you’ve wept.

 

Joy!

 

Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

“Go!”

Genesis 12: 1-9

 

God said to Abram, “Go to this land.”

He didn’t argue.  He just went

And stopped at a tree where the Canaanites lived

He didn’t think twice.  He pitched his tent.

 

God said the land would go to his children

Abram didn’t ask God what that meant

He didn’t argue, but built an altar

And never questioned the Father’s intent.

 

God called an old man, childless, with a past

God spoke, and Abram did as He said

Open to change, rather than scheming

Or making some other plans, instead.

 

A momentous risk, but this was the LORD

Jehovah, Great, Magnificent One

The highest name, Creator adored

Who, too, was willing to give up His Son.

 

Afraid?  Yes, Abram was

But he believed the LORD would show him the way.

He didn’t argue, but rather trusted

His family would find a home to stay.

 

Will you listen, set aside

Everyone, everything, arguments forsaking

Your wants, your “must haves,” and your pride

God simply at His Word taking?

 

Abram did.

“Go!”

Copyright2017margaretportergriffin

Hebron

 

 

 

One Thing Counts

Galatians 5: 4-6; Matthew 23:13; Luke 6: 1-11; Daniel 7:13

We believe.
We love.
We act.

 

Find what to do for others
Forget the human rules
Are people hungry, are they sick?
Go to them, unlike fools

 

Who delay because of custom,
Self-righteousness, or law
It will obstruct the way to heaven
To fall to this great flaw.

 

The disciples, in a grain field
Picking heads of wheat
Rubbed kernels on the Sabbath Day
To have some food to eat.

 

The Son of Man declared that
Of the Sabbath He was head
He referred to David in God’s house
Sharing holy bread.

 

This didn’t follow mishna
Or what the leaders taught
Their concern was not the people,
But what each other thought.

 

Did the Pharisees love God?
Were their actions holy, pure?
No, concerned about themselves,
They shut the kingdom’s door.

 

The facade of looking righteous
Came first, to God’s dismay
Not sacrifice, but mercy
Should have been shown that day.

 

Their learned eyes were clouded
Absorbed in judging men
Instead of showing Jesus’ heart
It was easier to condemn.

 

“His dominion will not go away…
It will never be destroyed.”
And if God is exalted
This will fill all void.

 

When we love our neighbors as ourselves:
Sharing sorrows, joys, needs
We will be the ones whom
The Holy Spirit feeds.

 

Compassion is the only thing that really counts.

 

Copyright2017margaretportergriffin

 

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, child and outdoor

Food for the Hungry; Ameya, Nicaragua

Heart of Wisdom

Psalm 90, Proverbs 2

 

Make the effort to be wise

Wonder how? Vow

To open your eyes.

Want it intensely.

 

Accept God’s words, store His commands

Turn an ear, apply your heart

Call out and search, to understand

What fear of the Lord is.

 

Walk the same way as good men

Pay attention to those around

Stay out of the way of temptors and sin

Talk and walk upright.

 

Regret’s cause is lack of wisdom

As every effect is due to something

Make it your ploy to have none

At the end of earthly life.

 

We are bid hidden treasure to find

So do as Solomon first desired

Train your mind

Seek a heart of wisdom.

 

Copyright2017margaretportergriffin

 

Image result for wisdom of solomon

graphic:www.oakgrovechurchofchrist.net

On Our Hearts

Deuteronomy 6: 4

Group 1:
Where are God’s commandments?
On whom should we impress them?
When should we discuss them?
How should we tie them?
Where should we bind them?

 

Group 2:
On our hearts.
Our children.
At home and on the road.
Lying down and getting up.
On our hands and foreheads.

 

All:

We will tell our children
We will pass on our faith
In Him.

They will know God
Because they see His name on our gates
And doors.

 

Left at the edge of the Promised Land

Israel’s children heard Moses

Tell them again of the grandeur of God

The only One.

 

That they should love Him with all of their hearts
Soul and strength, endless length
Obeying Him would set them apart
Believing in His promise.

By His covenant they should live
From His Commandments never stray
Or like other nations
Be given to sin.

 

So speak of the Lord at night and before

Tie His words to your hands and your door

Resting, walking, sitting, talking

And your children will remember.

 

Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

 

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Rights

Image result for Christian flag, us flag

 

Genesis 13: 10-18

Did God give men rights when He created?
It has been discussed and often debated
A nation founded by God-fearing men
Who acknowledged the One who endowed them
With certain rights, inalientated
That life and liberty not be abated
We’re supposed to be free.

 

And the rights named, in a document, a bill
What are those, and whose will?
Should we be able to meet, bear arms,
Speak out about ill-meaning leaders with charms?
Go back to Abraham, the patriarch
Examine decisions that made a mark
On history.

 

Abraham desired to do what was right
He gave in to his kin, not wanting to fight
For the better land with a wealthier yield
And took his own tents to less fertile fields.
He trusted only in God’s wisdom
Moving his tents where the Father told him
Faith, not fight.

 

We can learn from Abraham, who found
What would be his descendants’ ground
Before there was even one child, one birth
Their number foretold as the dust of the earth
Abraham believed what the Lord said
Honoring Him at all times, good and bad
In the end, more important than any right.

 

Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

 

I am Cleopas

Luke 24: 13 — 49

 

On the road to Emmaus

A seven mile walk

My companion and I

Began to talk

 

Of the week past.

Incomprehensible loss

A man, a prophet,

Put to death on a cross.

 

But it was not final

That terrible crime

For he rose again

In three day’s time.

 

From living to dead

Back to living He went

A miracle unheard of

Without precedent.

 

A stranger joined us

On our way

Asking about

The events of the day.

 

I couldn’t believe it

“Have you not heard?”

Jesus of Nazareth,

Powerful in word

 

And deed —

Was betrayed

By our own leaders and priests!

He stayed

 

In the jail overnight

Then was tried in a court

Early in the day

So none could report

 

To us, his friends.

We hoped he was the One

Who had come to redeem

Abraham’s sons.

 

“You are foolish,” he said

And slow to believe,”

He insisted our thinking

Was clearly naive.

 

“The promised Messiah

Had to suffer,” he informed us

Moses, the Prophets, and Scripture

All told thus.

 

We invited him to eat

Stay as our guest

Break bread with us

At Emmaus.

 

The eleven were circled

As he passed out the bread

Blessed it and all of a sudden

We said

 

“It is Jesus!”

 

I walked that road

I am Cleopas

Resurrection

Eyewitness.

 

Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

 

Image result for dusty road in Israel

http://www.biblewalk.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brownie Crumbs (Book Review)

Just when you think, “How can something so sad happen to a person?” there comes another of her experiences that makes you chuckle.  It isn’t irreverence.  It isn’t comic relief.  It’s just the way life has been served.

Christy Cabe has sorted through what she has been served so far in Brownie Crumbs and Other Morsels: Savoring Life Through Heartache, Joy, and the Moments in Between.  The memoir goes on sale April 25 on Amazon in paperback and electronic form.

After a contented early childhood across from a brick church where her father was pastor, Christy suddenly lost her mother from undetected heart arrhythmia.  At eleven, she says she had to “make myself pull shirts over my swirling head and down over my broken heart.”  Then she came to the point of eating the last brownie in the pan her mom had made just before she died.

She held it in her hand “as if it were made of glass and could shatter with the slightest motion,” and reveals that that one moment represents the way she lives.  Whether celebrating or mourning, she’s been able to find value in the crumbs.

With references to Scripture which helped along the way, she reminisces of junior high and high school after her dad’s remarriage.  Then on to college, courtship, marriage, and a family of her own.  These are well-told, animated stories: playing on the basketball team, giggling at the airport with other girls bound for a missions trip, making payments on her two-door Dodge at the bank drive-through window.  It’s glimpse of a family grounded in their faith in God, and parents teaching their kids in the way they should go.

She separates the morsels (sometimes ruefully) with mature insight.  A few of them:

  • “When change rocks your world, when death stings, live anyway.  God offers strength and hope for the living.”
  • “Tomorrow’s peace can’t be bottled today.  It won’t stay fresh.”
  • “God loves me even when I don’t feel it or understand.  And His love is enough.”

She and her husband were whacked with a terrible blow, their two year-old son’s diagnosis with leukemia.  As they slowly made their way through the tests and spinal taps and medicines, she discovered more truths she could share.  Going back to church in a regular routine was very important — facing people, facing fears.  And two more children, daughters, joined their family.

Cabe’s style appears effortless.  She is a gifted writer who knows how to identify with readers and build a detailed story with the occasional surprise ending.  Observations made at a young age have morphed into tools for writing this 200-page book.

Also a Bible curriculum writer and editor, she concludes with jumping off points for reader discussion.  Though this is her first book, it easily passes for one in the middle of a successful author’s collection.  It will offer encouragement to individuals, clubs and study groups, and we wait eagerly for the next one.

For information on speaking engagements and book signings, visit http://www.christycabe.com, where the author’s blog, Ten Blue Eyes, dishes out more life tales and insight.

 

Guest Author: Resurrection People

Thank you to my friend, Sara R. Ward, for allowing me to reprint her beautiful words here.  Be sure to visit her blog at http://www.poetsandsaints.com for more insight and inspiration.

 

Resurrection People

 

We used to live in the garden.

Eden–where all things grew new

and beautiful and true,

like the One who is Truth and Beauty.

 

But we believed the lie,

and took that bite.

Kicked out from Eden,

we live in darkness and night,

saying, “Let’s eat and drink for tomorrow we die.”

 

Death?

No.  This wasn’t how it was supposed to be,

not pain and sickness and suffering,

and the ugly voices in our heads,

the ones that say we aren’t good enough.

We’re mistake makers,

mess creators,

imitators,

liars and fakers,

instead of believing we are

Gospel proclaimers.

Resurrection people

who live in the hope of eternity.

People of light,

who shine in the darkness of night.

“We’re Easter people living in a Good Friday world.”

 

We look back at the garden and wish

that children weren’t abused,

and murderers weren’t excused,

and death didn’t have to be daily news.

 

When did we stop believing in hope?

When did we start listening to the naysayers,

rather than the Good News proclaimers?

When did we start believing the serpent’s lies,

when he replied, “Did God really say?”

Don’t you understand?

When you believe the serpent,

you lose your way.

 

When the serpent said perish,

God said life.

When the serpent said dishonor,

God said glory.

When the serpent said weakness,

God said power.

 

Like seeds planted in the black earth,

growing into something with life,

so Jesus is our firstfruit

and in Him, we are made new.

Glimpses of Eden’s virtues:

raising a dead seed into a plant,

raising a dead Lazarus into a man

raising Jesus to be our lamb–

to die for us and then to rise again,

if there’s no hope of that,

then there’s no hope for us.

What is the point of the Bible if

there is no resurrection?

 

You want proof?

Then I have questions too:

When God laid the earth’s foundation,

where were you?

Or how about when morning stars sang

and the angels proclaimed,

you weren’t there either, were you?

And yet, don’t you wonder

when you look at the stars,

or hold a baby in your arms,

or see a picture of the earth from afar,

who made all this wonderfulness?

 

Don’t let the lie

blind you in the fight.

The life of redemption, and beauty, and all that will be made right,

a gift of grace from the Father of lights.

O people of faith

you have to believe in what you can’t see.

That in the dark night,

redemption will come.

That in the funeral dirges,

we will sing songs from the grave.

 

For we will not all sleep,

but will be changed

in the twinkling of an eye,

at the last trumpet’s cry.

 

This isn’t a fairy tale,

this is the Good News!

Death has been destroyed,

the serpent’s head crushed.

 

So we proclaim:

O, death, where, is your victory?

O, death, where is your sting?

 

For he took the sting out of death,

and gave us victory when he died.

 

The resurrection people

live in the hope of eternity

because we won.

This song from the grave

is our victory chorus, saying:

It is finished.

It is done.

 


“We’re Easter people living in a Good Friday world” is a quote by Anne Lamott

 

The (empty!) Garden Tomb, Jerusalem