Category Archives: Poems

Musings and Reflections

Seven Stanzas at Easter

Seven Stanzas at Easter
By John Updike

Make no mistake: if he rose at all

It was as His body;

If the cell’s dissolution did not reverse, the molecule reknit,

The amino acids rekindle,

The Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
Each soft spring recurrent;
It was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled eyes of the
Eleven apostles;
It was as His flesh; ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes
The same valved heart
That—pierced—died, withered, paused, and then regathered
Out of enduring Might
New strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
Analogy, sidestepping, transcendence,
Making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the faded
Credulity of earlier ages:
Let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
Not a stone in a story,
But the vast rock of materiality that in the slow grinding of
Time will eclipse for each of us
The wide light of day.

And if we have an angel at the tomb,
Make it a real angel,
Weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair, opaque in
The dawn light, robed in real linen
Spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
For our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
Lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are embarrassed
By the miracle,

And crushed by remonstrance.

When words are shallow

when words are shallow

when the cruelty of death is felt
but words are shallow

when people leave
but the pain lingers

when the time passes and life goes on
but you wish the world would stand still

when others can begin to smile
but you still hurt

when words are shallow
but a person’s impact so deep

you turn to God
he is still here

you know that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever
but you ask why

he understands yesterday’s pain
he understands today’s sorrow
he is there for tomorrow’s lingering loss

when words are shallow
he cares

when words are shallow
his grace is sufficient

when words are shallow
his love will sustain.

 

Written in the fall of 1995 on the eve of the funeral for the son of a good friend. I wrote down the words–“How can I minister, how can I help? My words and my presence seem so shallow.”

It’s not my words, it’s His presence, I am to be His tangible evidence.

Stephen C. Kilgore

(I’ve read this at funerals before, but I thought it was time to share it.)

Repost: Let Faithfulness Be Enough

LET FAITHFULNESS BE ENOUGH

You didn’t call me to be successful,
You called me to be faithful.
Keep me from the treadmill of performance.
Let faithfulness be enough.

You didn’t call me to be known,
You called me to know You.
Keep me obedient to what I know.
Let faithfulness be enough.

You didn’t call me to have men follow me,
You called me to follow you.
Keep me imitating Your faithfulness.
Let faithfulness be enough.

You didn’t call me to save others,
You called me to be a witness.
Keep me available.
Let faithfulness be enough.

You didn’t call me to receive glory,
You called me to give you glory.
Prove me to be faithful.
Let faithfulness be enough.

“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”
(1 Corinthians 4:2 NIV)

© Stephen C. Kilgore 1992

In His Presence

In His Presence

Sometimes I crawl into the presence of God

exhausted by life

beaten by the world

overwhelmed by the weakness of my flesh

and in His presence I find

refreshment for my heart

sustenance for my soul

redirection for my mind

empowerment for the strength of my body

Sometimes I run into the presence of God

rejoicing overwhelmed with His goodness

thankful to the Giver of every good gift

glorying in His sovereignty

and in His presence I find

He abounds even more

He is worshipped

Sometimes I fall on my face in the presence of God

desperate for his mercy

in need

in need of his cleansing and restoration

and in His presence

I meet infinite grace and mercy

I see love

I encounter faithfulness

Sometimes I back into the presence of God

self-sufficient and arrogant

looking away from the light into the darkness of my shadow

pushed by His unseen hand

and in His presence

I am overshadowed by Him

the scales on my eyes are removed

I am refocused

Sometimes I walk into the presence of God

to enjoy communion and fellowship

to rejoice in Him

to surrender to Him the center of my life

and in His presence I find

acceptance and fellowship

joyful communion

No matter how I enter the presence of God–in His presence I find HIM!

Living out of the memory, moment and mission

Living out of memory
Don’t minister out of memory, but do learn from the past.
Don’t minister simply out of memory, but based on past memories of God’s presence, power and provision, depend on Him now for your current needs.

Living in the moment
Don’t minister simply in the moment, but do be fully present for people.
Don’t minister simply in the moment, be conscience of the future–leave a legacy.

Living through mission
Don’t minister simply out of mission, but do be motivated by an eternal perspective.
Don’t minister without a mission, be purposeful in your mission and open to God’s working in the present.

Who you are. . .

I was challenged recently by a statement in a sermon by David Loveless, pastor of Discovery Church in Orlando, Florida. He made a statement to the affect of, “I get tired of hearing people, in prayer, tell God, ‘thank you for who you are.’ If you said that to your wife, she would say, ‘Who do you see me as?’”

As I reflected on that challenge, I realized how often I have done just that, simply stated, “Thank you for who you are.” That really is shallow, lazy speech that does not honor God the way I should. So, I challenged myself to look not only at the character of God, but how I should respond to His character. The goal is to discipline my mind to think more deeply on the character of God, with the result that my character is changed.

So, here is my attempt to again think more deeply on who God is.

Who you are. . .

You are…
The Invisible God I long to see
The Infinite God I long to know

The Almighty God I must surrender to
The Unchanging God I must depend on

The Wise God I must listen to
The Kind God I should enjoy
The Good God I should thank

The Righteous God I must obey
The Just God before whom I must repent
The Holy God I must fear

The God of grace I must praise
The God of mercy in whom I must rejoice
The God of hope I should trust
The God of love I should love

The Triune God with whom I can have fellowship
The Sovereign God I must worship

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Here are some support text
Who you are. . .
You are…
The Invisible God I long to see
Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17
The Infinite God I long to know
Hosea 6:6; Romans 11:33 Job 9:10; 11:7; Revelation 11:17

The Almighty God I must surrender to
Job 42:1-6; Psalm 68:14
The Unchanging God I must depend on
Hebrews 6:17-18

The Wise God I must listen to
1 Corinthians 1:20-25
The Kind God I should enjoy
Ecclesiastes 5:19; Titus 3:4-5; 1 Timothy 6:17-19
The Good God I should thank
1 Thessalonians 5:18

The Righteous God I must obey
Psalm 11:7; Romans 2:21-26; 2 Corinthians 5:21; James 1:20
The Just God before whom I must repent
Acts 26:20
The Holy God I must fear
Proverbs 2:1-5; 1:7; 9:10; Deuteronomy 6; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

The God of grace I must praise
1 Corinthians 1:4
The God of mercy in whom I must rejoice
Philippians 4:4
The God of hope I should trust
Romans 15:13; Psalm 146:5
The God of love I should love
1 John 4:8-16

The Triune God with whom I can have fellowship
1 John 1:1-4; 2 Corinthians 13:14
The Sovereign God I must worship
Psalm 24:1-10; 47:7; 50:15

I Will Rise

Awesome!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf7t3P9ISrE

I Will Rise
By: Chris Tomlin61eQnHeYkiL._SL500_AA240_
Album: Hello Love

There’s a peace I’ve come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There’s an anchor for my soul
I can say, It is well

Jesus has overcome
and the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise
When He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise, on eagle’s wings
Before my God
fall on my knees,
and rise…
I will rise

There’s a day that’s drawing near
when this darkness breaks to light
and the shadows disappear
and my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome
and the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise
when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise, on eagle’s wings
Before my God
fall on my knees,
and rise…
I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing
Worthy is the Lamb!
And I hear the cry of every longing heart
Worthy is the Lamb!

And I hear the voice of many angels sing
Worthy is the Lamb!
And I hear the cry of every longing heart
Worthy is the Lamb!
You are worthy! You are worthy!
Worthy is the Lamb!