If Only

I Corinthians 15: 19: “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”


Paul made a point, exceptional, essential

If no other life than this will come

We must be pitied.


Think on it.  Jesus

Was the Firstfruits

Of the Resurrected.


If we aren’t raised

He wasn’t raised

And our faith is useless.


If He wasn’t raised

Why would we preach

The Good News?


But He was, and we do.

We stand firmly on our faith

In the Gospel.


Death, then resurrection, came through a man

We all die like Adam

But we will live again like Christ.


He will hand over

The kingdom to His Father

After the end of earthly authorities.


Enemies, last of all, Death,

Will lie beneath His feet.

No more night.


Inside the Garden Tomb, Jerusalem.


Seek God’s Face


Seek the face of God before His hand

When talking with Him, was His Son’s command

Before you blurt what you’d like Him to do

Acknowledge His Power and Greatness, and


Remember the models in Matthew and Luke

Put there to help us, not to rebuke

A concerted effort to “pray like this”

Putting God’s work before man’s work.


Begin with a scripture, take time to praise

Definitions, declarations up to Him raise

Let God know you understand who He is

Fronting the battles He already knows.


Ask that Comforter comfort you

He will cover and fill if you choose to

He once shook a building, but filled the souls

Who would leave the place, traveling through


The European landscape.  What is His will?

What should we do?  It is still

The same, two millennia from then

We have a Great Commission to fulfill.


Make disciples and share His grace

Bold and unashamed, embrace

Without reservation of any kind

Ask Him to enable your body and mind.


Photo: The Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem, where Jesus prayed.





Grace given

For free.

Payment not needed

But I can’t see


How anyone, much less God

Could afford

To give up this prize: His Son,

Our Lord.


I can’t earn Him

I can’t fathom

The closure of

That wide chasm.


I’ve received it

Thanks be to God

Paul said they (we)

Are not only not flawed


But full of gifts

Which we should use

To glorify Him

And daily choose


With thankfulness,

Joy and hope

Presenting them with

Inclusive  scope


United we

Present the news

Of the Century First

The same that Gentiles and Jews


Heard from Paul

Walking throughout

European cities sieged

By doubt.


I have God’s grace

Forever the same

And too His gifts

To exalt His name.


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Arch in ancient Corinth, Greece





Blitz of the Common Era


How did this happen?


In the space of a few years

A standard erased.


“What does BC stand for?”

I’d ask my class.

Before Christ came the answer

Everyone knew.


Now, I find Before Common Era

Has replaced Before Christ




A few thousand years of reverence,

Yes, reverence, and reference

Is gone



And AD?  Most didn’t know

The Latin

Anno Domini

In the Year of Our Lord.


But I always told them

To dispel

The usual interpretation

After Death.


Far worse is now

BCE sneaks

And replaces

The name of GOD’S SON.


Common Era?


We live in an uncommon era,

To tell the truth.


No respect for


No acknowledging

The One who saved us all.


The blitz was inobtrusive.

It was sly.

Very much like the work

Of a snake.







Climbing Mars Hill

Acts 17: 22-31


“Men of Athens!” Paul discerned

For those distinguished minds who learned

Current views, philosophy now old

Which we call classic, then just told.


First, a compliment.  He would say

They were religious, in every way

He noticed how they displayed

Their objects of worship.  And Paul stayed


And went on — he’d seen alone

An altar to a god unknown

“What you worship,” he explained

To those listening, “I proclaim


Is the God who made the world

And everything in it

He is Lord of heaven and earth

He does not live in temples made by hands.”


He needs nothing, but gives all life,

From one man, to inhabit earth.

He marked out their appointed times

So they would seek, reach and find.


Though He is not far away

From any of us, on any day.

Our being, our lives, are in God

We are His offspring, as your poets said.


So, since we are His offspring

We should not think the divine being

“Is like gold or silver or stone

Or an image made by human design…


He commands people everywhere to repent

For He has set a day to judge the world

By the man

He has appointed.”


For the logical men

The apostle’s conclusion then, was

“He has given proof of this to everyone

By raising Him from the dead.”


The steps up the hill are worn with time

Slippery, uneven stones to climb

Easier is the walk built by hands

To the summit overlook of Macedonian lands.


If education makes you a better man

Or woman — Can

It save your soul?

Then what good?


The beginning of knowledge: respect for God

So for all who have this soil trod

The question requires an answer still

How would you climb Mars Hill?



Original steps leading to Mars Hill in Athens, where Paul talked about God with philosophers.


Sometimes the rejecting ones are those who never should have been

That’s hard to take.

Why would God’s people be against Paul?

Maybe they believed a lie.


The Bereans accepted and loved the apostle

Who walked and walked to spread the Good News

They saw enlightenment

That came from closeness with the Lord.


So listen and learn

See if what Paul says is true

The Bereans did

And were blessed.


Mosaic at Berea, Greece, commemorating Paul’s time with them.Image may contain: 3 people

Place of Prayer

The Macedonian call was sent by God

So Paul and his companions went

To a Roman city there

And, outside the gate, a place of prayer.


With those listening to the good news

At river’s edge on the Sabbath Day

Was a purple-seller named Lydia

From Thyatira.


Her heart was opened by the Lord

She answered; her house also

When they learned what should be done

They were baptized, one by one.


Then by the flowing, shaded stream

The merchant bid the godly men

“Come and stay at my home,”

If they would consider her one of them.


They did.  Lydia became

The first convert in Europe by name

By peaceful water in a setting fair

Still today, a place of prayer.

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.















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.




Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin


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.