My Name Is Pride

Pride

My name is Pride.  I am a cheater.

I cheat you of your God-given destiny…because
you demand your own way.

I cheat you of contentment…because you 
“deserve better than this.”

I cheat you of knowledge…because you already
know it all.

I cheat you of healing…because you’re too full of
me to forgive.

I cheat you of holiness…because you refuse to
admit when you’re wrong.

I cheat you of vision…because you’d rather look
in the mirror than out a window.

I cheat you of genuine friendship…because
nobody’s going to know the real you.

I cheat you of love…because real romance
demands sacrifice.

I cheat you of greatness in heaven…because you
refuse to wash another’s feet on earth.

I cheat you of God’s glory…because I convince
you seek your own.

My name is Pride.  I am a cheater.
You like me because you think I’m always looking 
out for you. Untrue.

I’m looking to make a fool of you.
God has so much for you, I admit, but don’t worry…
If you stick with me
You’ll never know.

-Beth Moore

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The Touch of the Master’s Hand

‘Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile.
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”
“A dollar, a dollar. Then two! Only two?
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?”

“Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three…” But no,
From the room, far back, a grey-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loosened strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet,
As a carolling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said: “What am I bid for the old violin?”
And he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?
Three thousand, once; three thousand, twice,
And going and gone,” said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried,
“We do not quite understand.
What changed its worth?” Swift came the reply:
“The touch of the Master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd
Much like the old violin.

A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine,
A game — and he travels on.
He is “going” once, and “going” twice,
He’s “going” and almost “gone.”
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand.

(The poem ‘The Touch of the Master’s Hand’ was written by Myra ‘Brooks’ Welch)

Jesus > Religion Poem

What is the difference between Jesus and religion?  Why is Christianity, when practiced and preached based on the Bible so much greater and better than religion practiced and preached?  The following poem, Jesus > Religion, lays out the difference without holding back punches from those who claim Christianity but live contrary to it, but at the same time has balance to not say “out with the church and Christianity.”

A Poem for All Single People

Passion.  Grief.  Self-deception.  Conviction.  Illumination.  Pointed humor.  Repentance.  Creativity. Conviction.  Dedication.  True love.  Godly love.  The poem I’ll Wait for You by Janette…ikz contains it all.  It is a poem that I strongly suggest all singles to listen to… all singles being everyone who is not married.  In fact, all who are married should give it a listen as it gives great insight into the struggles of a single person and helpful counsel for you to utilize when with singles.

I know the struggles of being single.  I know the struggles from being in a relationship but living sexually pure.  Having a view of purity that is not self-focused but rather focused on the glory of God and with deep love for my future spouse reduced the weight of living under a condemning law.  It freed me to have a servant’s heart in regards to my sexuality.  The focus of purity also kept my view of sex beautiful as the Bible intends for sex to be viewed in the covenant of marriage between one man and one woman.  Having this mindset did not reduce my passion and lust, but it made it more manageable because I was living unto the expressed will of God (1 Thessalonians 4:3.  For more on this listen to The Will of God from Oasis Christian Community).  In the end, by the grace of God, I maintained my sexual purity and entered my marriage as a virgin.  Now, I enjoy the purity of sex within the marriage covenant with my lovely wife.

Knowing the struggles against the pressures of society, peer pressure, and internal lust in regards to sexuality causes me to have great compassion on those who are single.  It can seem much easier to give in to the pressures, yet do so with the self-deceiving excuses of “this will keep the person around”, “this will show my love”, “it is no big deal”, “they will change”, “we are married in our hearts”, “it is ok as long as we are in love”, “it is only sex”, “if it hurts anyone, it will only be me”, “we’re going to get married anyways”, “it would be against my biological desires as God made me not to”, and on, and on, and on.  In the end, all of the self-deception comes down to, “I don’t trust God in this area of my life.  When it comes to sex, I am my own god”. Ironically, claiming to be your own god means you are actually a slave to sin.  A slave deluded into thinking that you are a in control.

It is one thing for a non-Christian to live under the slavery of their sex drive and act upon their sexual impulses without much reservation, and even a form of celebration when engaging in sex outside of marriage.  They are simply living out their passions under the illusion of freedom that sin sometimes provides.

For Christians it is another story.  It is a sad story.  My heart aches and I have compassion and understanding for those Christians who have given into their lust, but have a repentant heart and then strive through the power of Christ to live sexually celibate until marriage.  It is those who boldly profess faith in Christ yet unrepentantly and even cavalierly live sexually active lives that baffle, enrage, and sadden me all at the same time. Yes, we are all sinners who sin, even if redeemed sinners.  But part of being a Christian is permitting the inward speaking of the Holy Spirit and the outward speaking of the Scriptures to change us inwardly and outwardly (in our living) into the image of Christ.  For a person claiming to believe in Jesus to knowingly live contrary to God’s expressed will for our lives without repentance is stupefying.

All singles, especially Christian singles, heed the words of I’ll Wait for You.  Let the Word of God penetrate your heart and become your food, supply, and strength as you wrestle with the passions and desires of the flesh.  Remember that the God who created the universe, who created you, who died upon a cross for you out of love, has your best in mind.  A young lady named Rashell Kimball has lived her life this way and with great insight said, “I’d rather do it right than do it right away” (check out a blog post based on that quote).  Wise and godly words for all of us to heed.

Life’s Red Sea

Have you come to the Red Sea place in your life,
Where in spite of all you can do,
There is no way out, there is no way back,
There is no other way but through?
Then wait on the Lord with a trust serene
Till the night of your fear is gone;
He will send the wind, He will heap the floods,
When he says to your soul, “Go on.”
In the morning watch, ‘neath the lifted cloud,
You shall see but the Lord alone,
When He leads you on from the place of the sea
To a land that you have not known;
And your fears shall pass as your foes have passed,
You shall no more be afraid;
You shall sing His praise in a better place,
A place that His hand has made.

Annie Johnson Flint

God’s Perfecting Process Poem

When God wants to drill a man,
And thrill a man,
And skill a man
To play the noblest part;
When He years with all His heart
To create so great and bold a man
That all the world shall be amazed,
Watch His methods, watch His ways!
How He ruthlessly perfects
Whom He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay which
Only God understands;
While his tortured heart in crying
And he lifts beseeching hands!
How he bends but never breaks
When his good He undertakes;
How He uses whom He chooses,
And with every purpose fuses him;
By every act induces him
To try his splendor out –
God knows what He’s about.

-Author Unknown

(From The Blessings of Brokenness by Charles Stanley p 104.)

God’s Refining Grace

He sat by a fire of sevenfold heat
As he watched by the precious ore
And closer he bent with a turning gaze
As he heated it more and more.

He know he ad ore that could stand the test
And he wanted the finest gold
To mold as a crown for the king to wear
Set with gems with price untold.

So, he laid our gold in the burning fire
Through we fey would have said, “Nay,”
And he watched as the dross that we said
We had not seen was melted and passed it away.

And the gold grew brighter and yet more bright
But our eyes were filled with tears.
We saw but fire, not the master’s hand
And questioned with anxious fears.

Yet our gold shown out with a richer glow
As it mirrored a form above
That bent o’er the fire, though unseen by us
With the look of ineffable love.

Can we think that it pleases his loving heart
To cause us moments of pain?
No. But he saw through the present cross
The bliss of eternal gain.

So he waited there with a watchful eye
With a love that is strong and sure
And his goal did not suffer a bit more heat
Than was needed to make it pure.

-Author Unknown

(From The Blessings of Brokenness by Charles Stanley p 146)