The Need For Gratitude

When you rise to a stretching morning
And all you see is a daunting dawning
Remember some have sunk to deep sleep
Know that of gratitude you have sore need

When you encounter perils on life’s way
And you are swarmed by bills to pay
Remember He who does the ravens feed
Think that of gratitude you have sore need

When still weak and ill after the pill
And you see the sands of youth ebbing
Remember the Physician you are serving
Plead that of gratitude you have sore need

When they say opportunities come only once
And you have fluffed your lines like a dunce
Think-the denying disciple became Apostles’ example
Smile-for of gratitude you have sore need

If a flotilla of past sins heaving and bobbing
Buffets your mind with waves of doubt
To dam this tide of damnation did the Saviour bleed
Remember that of gratitude you have sore need

And if inspiration fails the despairing muse
Or he wonders if his words are of any use
Perhaps it is only for one and one yet unborn
For the gift of a reader-of gratitude he has sore need

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Weak Man & Mighty Letters

The Corinthians scoffed at Paul the aged
They said his letters were full of vim
Bristling with intent and elemental force
His presence was not-they remembered him
The little hook-nosed Jew with an infirmity
Eyes forever damaged by meeting Him
The Pillar of Fire-the great shining Light
What gave this man the sheer audacity
To excomunicate a believer without leniency
For he wrote and judged the man in absentia
Sentenced without a pretence of natural justice
Yet that was God’s Messenger for that age
His body was weak but not his will
Nor the anointing of the apostle still
Judge not God’s servants by appearance
Or you would be miffed at their stance
Never mind the packaging-look at the gift

The Onesimus Question

 

 

What would Paul do with Onesimus
This wanted and runaway figure
Who had recently converted to the Way
This was a conundrum that got even more
Convoluted-for this slave and thieving knave
Belonged to the uncommon Philemon
Who was the pillar of the Colossian church
If the Son of Man came to set men free
Should Onesimus not be set at liberty?
Paul must have pondered and wondered
Perhaps he could keep him as his own servant
For heaven knew he needed a helper
Yet doing that would mean expropriation
Or misappropriation without compensation
Then Paul made his great decision
This new faith would not torpedo order
Christ died not to seize the trophies of Caesar
Onesimus would return to Philemon’s rule
With a missive to us that have believed
To abide in our socio-economic niche
With the marvellous Light we have received

 

Learning from Parting-A John Mark Moment

It was in the Christian cradle of Antioch
That God assigned Paul and Barnabas
For the work they had to do was much
The two man mission was blessed by the Church
The field was fruitful for they were in God’s will
Preaching with zeal and souls were healed
With helpers like John Mark and Silas
Who were ordained to serve the cause
Yet this great missionary union would pause
John Mark soon left for a breather
While Paul and Barnabas went on working
John’s remorseful return got them talking
Paul would never work with a man
Whose flame burned with fluctuating zeal
Would he not depart again for trifling gain?
Barnabas was more forgiving and insisted
That with them John Mark was leaving
He must be part of the mission was his submission
This caused a great altercation and dissension
Neither man would yield to the other’s will
They parted-separated by their opinions
About the suitability of John Mark
Barnabas was right-John never again
Abandoned the fight for fright or right
The years proved his constancy as a warrior
Many years later as Paul lay facing execution
He invited the runaway helper to assist him
He was now useful in the Gospel’s propagation
Have you had a John Mark moment?
Has a trifling issue divided a God-given union?
If you have lost Barnabas because of John Mark
It may be impossible to restart the mission
Yet be like Paul who never condemned
Barnabas for his choice in the matter
And acknowledged the truth much later