He Hears, He Knows, He Watches

He hears my thoughts
Every single intention
The sweet things spoken
The evil unmentioned

He knows my heart
He reads my mind
Both good intent
And those not kind

He watches my eyes
When I take a chance
To give a look of mercy
Or a lustful glance

Things done in secret
Things I thought hidden
The generous good
And what is forbidden

My Creator knows
My Creator sees
So, if I walk in Him
I will always please

He controls desires
He keeps thoughts pure
To make this happen
Make His mind yours

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Jeremiah 17:9-10 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

10 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

No Measure, Mention or Merit

God granted me His love
It came without any measure
Overflowing from above
A never ending treasure

He granted me His mercy
Of my failings made no mention
My faults and selfishness
He refused to give attention

He granted me His grace
Special favor, without merit
Then He gave me this command
Go to the world and share it

My child the gifts I give
Cost Me a heavy price
Treat them as great value
They cost My Son His life

Don’t squander them on self
Don’t pretend that you deserve them
Go to the hurting world
Go my child and serve them

Galatians 5:13-14
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: You shall love your neighbor as yourself

Acts 20:35
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

End With Love

When the arguments won’t stop
With no end of push and shove
If we want real resolution
We have to end with love

We refuse to leave our corners
Best take off the boxing gloves
Meet at the center of the ring
We have to end with love

We can win all of the debates
So we will be well spoken of
But if we want to win the heart
We have to end with love

Love never keeps a score
Leaves that to God above
Forbear, forgive, embrace
We have to end with love

1 Corinthians 13:1-8
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

When Nobody Heard

When nobody heard
The words I did say
When I refused His requests
When I just walked away

When I did have a chance
To say yes but said no
When I refused to assist
Just where did He go?

There was no other resource
No alternative means
When I kept my fists clenched
Did it diminish His dreams?

When I ignored His petitions
Turned my head, closed my eyes
Could I have ever imagined
It was Christ in disguise

Matthew 25: 44-45 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

Perfectly Flawed

There is a tale of ancient rug makers from Persia, who intentionally wove into each of their carpets a “flaw”, since only God is perfect. This ‘flaw’ served as their signature, in essence embracing their imperfections as those things that bring them closer to God, or divinity. The blog site https://thepersianflaw.wordpress.com/about/

This is the mindset of the Apostle Paul who wrote about his own weakness the Lord told him; “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

It is a sin and fallacy to believe we can live without God. This god-less life has its origin in the lie that we are self sufficient and self made. We have been deluded to believe that we evolved and survive by our wit, charm and intellect. We buy into this delusion because it feels good. Itserves the purpose of making us feel better than those who have achieved or acquired less than we have. However, this same Darwinian logic applied to the social sciences makes us compare ourselves to those we feel have achieved more than we have and this demeans our value in our own eyes.

The ego is served poorly on both accounts. We think too much or too little of ourselves. We fail to acknowledge that we are perfectly flawed. That is, our Creator God allowed imperfection in each of us so that we must find our sufficiency in Him.

We are not to determine our value based upon how we feel about ourselves nor what others say or feel about us. Our flaws, our imperfections are specifically designed to allow God to show His redemptive, saving, perfecting grace. His generosity of mercy is independent of our striving to achieve something to please Him. He is generous because that is who He is. He loves because He is love. All the Father wants is for me to acknowledge my faults, my failures, my foibles and then…, turn it over to Him to fix.

We were created with flaws. We will be recreated with perfection in Christ. Ask the Holy Spirit to draw you closer.

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Not How But Why

Don’t tell me how I should take this medicine doctor. Tell me why I should take it. How to take it is confusing. Why I should take it is senseless. I don’t need to know how. I need to know why.

This is a common conversation. It goes on something like this.

All I seem to do now is keep appointments. There’s an appointment to my dentist. There’s an appointment to my heart doctor. There’s an appointment to my cancer doctor. There’s an appointment to my primary care doctor. I have so many appointments that I don’t have time for life. The great disappointment is I have all these appointments and I am not getting any better.

First of all, cheap beer is cheaper than all these medicines and I feel better immediately with beer. No lab studies needed.

I wake up and select from a variety of pill bottles to decide which pill should be taken at which time. Should I eat first or drink some water? Should the blue pill be taken with a fatty meal or can it be taken on an empty stomach. Should the red one be taken with orange juice? And what about this injection? Can I put it in my arm muscles or on my abdomen? Should I apply the ointment to my face, or lower leg? Does this brace go on my ankle or knee? When is my next appointment?

I can see the frustration and though I don’t have the personal experience to understand, I do know this can be depressing. If life is nothing but trying to stay alive it becomes meaningless. It gets even worse when they add the social dynamics of personal and family grief.

It sounds like this.

I live alone, except for my dogs and cats. My husband left me for another woman and my daughter can’t decide which gender she is this month. There was a shooting in my hallway and they didn’t discover the child’s body for 3 days. What a stench. Why should I stop drinking, snorting and shooting? What else is there?

I must help my patients find a meaning and purpose for life. The how means nothing if the why is not worth it. The clinical values of A1c, INR, CD4 count or GFR is of no personal value without purpose.

Dear doctor, at my next appointment help me find purpose. Don’t just tell me how I should stay alive. Tell me why I should stay alive.

John 16:33 King James Version (KJV)
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

By The Sword

Yesterday 22 veterans killed themselves.
Would you please pass the butter?

Today 22 veterans will kill themselves.
What do you think of the Dallas Cowboys?

Tomorrow 22 veterans kill themselves.
What is the weather supposed to be?

The day after tomorrow 22 veterans will kill themselves.

This is beginning to sound redundant.
Let’s try something different.

We had another mass shooting.
Are you coming to my birthday party?

Between 1955 and 1975, the Vietnam War killed over 58,000 American soldiers – less than the number of civilians killed with guns in the U.S. in an average two-year period.

In the first seven years of the U.S.-Iraq War, over 4,400 American soldiers were killed. Almost as many civilians are killed with guns in the U.S. every seven weeks. https://lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-deaths-and-injuries-statistics/

Most of the 30,000-gun deaths in this country are suicide, almost 19,000 annually. Yes, we pray for and have generous kind thoughts of for those who are killed in senseless mass shootings as we should. But we are a nation that has never come to terms with its senseless violence committed against civilian populations around the world.

This nation slaughtered the original inhabitants, enslaved its workforce and their descendants, terrorized the generations that followed. We tolerated and applauded lynching of vulnerable citizens. We were built on exploitation and murder.

Our endless wars are…, endless and senseless. The bomb precisely hits the target. The shrapnel hits the wedding celebration nearby, killing the family or others who are hunkered down trying to survive a civil uprising.

Somehow, we are supposed to make us feel safer at home. Our military assaults nations that do not acknowledge our greatness. We do so in the name of manifest destiny, stopping communism and bringing down dictatorships or keeping peace in the region. We enjoy killing people. Most time it never even makes the news.

President John F. Kennedy said that: ‘mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.’

During the height of the Vietnam war Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King noted that it costs $500,000 to kill one Vietcong soldier while we spend at that time $53 to fight poverty.

Imagine the relative costs today after 20 years of war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and all the continuous covert hostilities which never make the news.

Jesus said: ‘Put up again your sword in your place: for all that take up the sword shall perish with the sword.’ Matthew 26:52

We will continue to perish by the sword because we relish the power it brings us to kill others without consequence. Or at least, we don’t think so.

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Whom To Hate

The soldier asked his Commander
A question we all could relate
Friend and foe look so much alike
How can we know whom to hate?

There is a slight distinction
In their speech I do detect flaws
If I hold them in prolonged isolation
I’m within confines of present laws

If they shout and make great demands
I can pretend that I just don’t hear
After all that’s what Jesus would do
He would make them cower in fear

Though some may be good people
The bad ones are hard to detect
But if I let any of them live near me
Who will my interests protect?

The Commander gave a soft retort
You must have read the wrong orders
I AM the King of all lands
I don’t respect nations or borders

My commands is to love My creations
That My love they know and can’t doubt
Love them all with genuine compassion
I AM THE ONLY ONE who sorts out

If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt:
Jeremiah 7:6 KJV

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Matthew 5:45‭-‬48 KJV

When it comes to sex…, silence

Everyone in the waiting room was quiet. I think, or at least I hoped they were feeling sorry for me. He was screaming, yelling and looked as if he would resort to violence. He exclaimed; ‘what right have you to tell me how to live my life? Who made you judge and jury? What does it matter to you if I have sex with 50 or 500 men or women? This is my life and it is my right to do with my body as I want. You have the responsibility to treat me without asking me a lot of questions. So just do your job and leave the preaching and lectures to those other self-righteous SOB’s. And with that, he was gone.

The other patients noticed the sweat on my brow, but, because I was wearing a lab coat, they never noticed the perspiration under my arms. If they had taken my pulse it would have revealed my real stress level. They remained silent.

When it comes to sex, we almost all remain silent. I needed to remain silent. I needed to be swift to hear, slow to speak and of course give no place to wrath. The silent part is what is difficult for me. Silence has its place for sure but when it comes to sex, we need to speak.

We remain silent about the epidemic sweeping across this nation. The analysis published by CDC notes the severe human and economic burden of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the United States. The new estimates indicate that there are about 20 million new U.S. infections each year, half of which occur among the nation’s youth. Annually, there are more than 110 million STIs in the United States, which cost the health care system approximately $16 billion yearly in medical costs alone.

We remain silent. We are pummeled by the voices that tell us we have no right to speak about how people live. They have their rights regardless of the consequences to their health or the public health. We are averse to being criticized for being moralists and purists.

The Christian church is ridiculed for claiming moral high-ground. In fact this moral high-ground has been compromised since the advent of Christianity. The apostle Paul wrote about it to the church at Corinth when he noted that a man was living with his father’s wife and the church had done nothing to condemn this (1 Corinthians 5:1-8).

Sexual immorality was tolerated throughout Christendom, now even more prominently noted in the scandals rocking both the Catholic and Protestant denominations with rape of children and women. Part of the reticence to speak on these issues is the self-awareness that we have plenty of ‘mote’s in our own eyes’ as the Lord would say (Luke 6:41). Put another way, as Paul writes in Romans 1:32 when speaking on sexual immorality ‘Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which do such things are worthy of death not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.’

The American Christian church has tolerated and indulged in everything it has labeled as sexual sin and hence, its moral high-ground is quicksand. It cannot speak authoritatively on these issues as it stood by when men of ‘high moral Christian character’ raped the native and enslaved populations with impunity and went to worship God without ever having to recognize or repent of this evil.

We must discuss the issue as if it were any other public health issue. That takes away the judgemental attitude. Few, if any, deny the negative effects of cigarettes, heroin, cocaine, alcohol or other substance addictions. The magazines, radio, television and billboards display and discuss the deadly affect of these chemicals and the social consequences. But when it comes to sex, we remain silent, especially when it is within our own parishes and congregations.

We need to speak, but we must recognize that many of us have been guilty of the same sins of which now we find repulsive (1 Corinthians 6:11). This self awareness softens the rhetoric and allows us to be still in the face of heated criticism and vitriol that comes our way. We must remain silent when the world is shouting at us. Jesus suffered the accusations against Him without responding. But we must speak firmly and without reservation when the opportunity arises. Our firm commitment to what is right and righteous in our own lives will speak louder than the volume of our voices.

James 1:19 Tells us to be ‘swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath’.

Speak the truth in love.

Every Soul Matters

Every soul matters
Each is special to Me
Every life is important
This I want you to see

When he begs on the corner
When her body she bares
He snorts, smokes or injects
Do more than just stare

Don’t demean or disgrace
Don’t pretend you don’t see
Every life is important
Every soul matters to Me

Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard. Proverbs 21:13 KJV