noblethemes

River of Life

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One River of Life, twisting and turning and every flowing,
And never changing, despite the winds of change blowing;
Quickly here, slowly there, brackish some and also clear,
Translucent and wholesome yet sinister and most austere.

Some fight upstream in hopeless effort to reach the source,
Only to tire and weary, to be swept along the River’s course;
While others swim and play and leap, hopping and popping
In the ever flowing current with ne’er an idea of stopping.

Not all swim; they are just carried along, ever quite content,
But all reach the same end no matter how the trip was spent;
For there each is engulfed in the Ocean deeper than deeps,
Vast and endless and peaceful, where the sun never sleeps.

Written by noblethemes

June 7, 2014 at 9:57 PM

Falling Out of Illusion

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Ah! Have I been deceived? Yes, but by my own weakness falling prey to another, the Enchanter, the god of grand vision and illusory promises.

But this other god now frightens me;
This other god is old and cold,
But not the Ancient of Days,
No! Now I know!

Love and mercy are not his ways.
The other god is stiff and barren,
And he makes me cringe,
Pushing me off to the outer fringe.

Ah! But that god is not You,
No! Now I know!
Which is why my faith can begin again.
Protected by Your right strong arm,
Kept safe from all harm.

I can rest myself against Your breast,
And say, ‘I love You,’
And hear the beat of Your heart,
And the whisper, ‘I love you, too.’
Amen.

Being Human: What It All Really Boils Down To

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I know I have posted this poem elsewhere on my blog, but I did so without any explanation … assuming, of course, that the intelligent read would understand. And I do not doubt for a moment that most people have understood; nevertheless, I feel compelled to re-submit this as an actual blog “article” with the explicit explanation that in the ultimate scheme of life in this time, in this world, no one is really “better” than anyone else … an unadulterated truth taught by the greatest of faith/religious leaders down though the ages. More specifically, my “target” audience are those who, like myself, adhere to the Christian faith.  All too often, I have found it to be tragically the case that “Christians” look down their long noses, so to speak, at “those people,” without realizing that in truth ~ in reality, in this time, in this world ~ they are no better whatsoever. And that is what this poem is all about…

I am the pusher, the user, the drunkard laid upon the floor;
I am the whore, the prostitute, the refuse knockin’ at your door;
I am the working man, poor man, the child starving in the night;
I am the sick, the diseased, the dying from an unknown plight…

I am the albatross around your neck,
The nightmare that will never go away;
I am the life of promise become a wreck,
The horror of creation, ever here to stay.

I am the rapist, heartless killer, the thief in the dark;
I am the demon, the beast, stamped with the mark;
I am the singer, the binger, the beloved movie star;
I am the doctor, lawyer, the friendless man at the bar;

I am your brightest dream that faded away,
All of your hopes and prayers for a better day;
I am the inescapable truth of life in this world,
The vilest evil, what makes the blood run cold.

And what will you do with me, saddled as you are ~
Such a troublesome burden, and creation’s scar?
Will you throw me away and simply let me be,
When you realize that I am you and you are me?

Now I might only add the scriptural truth that “there is no one righteous; no, not even one… For all have fallen short of the glory of God: therefore, judge not that you be not judged.”  Right?

Right!

 

Written by noblethemes

May 4, 2014 at 7:15 PM

Thank You Dear Child

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Originally written to encourage and uplift one special girl in particular ~ and I dearly hope and pray it did ~ I now dedicate this poem to the two most important people in my life … my daughter and my son.

By: Jonathan Noble

Looking through a hole in the cloud I saw your smiling face,
It made me so happy, with every line such beauty to trace;
You looked playfully down from the sky and joyfully danced,
And I wildly jumped like a child in some fantasy entranced.

You said this pretty day was for play with nothing else to say,
So I ran toward your rainbow with pleasure paving the way;
You said I had to leave all sadness behind so I could have fun,
Then you took me by the hand and led me straight into the sun.

Away so far in that big, bright star you led me to a special place,
And who would’ve thought you had a kingdom in outer space?
We sang and skipped, danced and twirled round the fire trees,
And watched in awe the lava honey collected by blazing bees.

I never knew till that day there were such amazing places to go,
When I lifted my eyes into the sky instead of looking so low…
To see your radiant face shining through that hole in the cloud,
To discover there are places where joy and happiness abound.

Thank you dear child.

Written by noblethemes

April 30, 2014 at 1:47 AM

I Would Lift You Up

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Especially dedicated to a very special young woman ~ strong, beautiful, intelligent and talented ~ who holds a very special place in my heart… Praying she finds it an encouraging blessing written in love and bathed in prayer

I would lift you up from the pits of hell,
Wake you up from your imprisoning spell;
I would fly you high into the heavens above
For no other reason than my own pure love.

I would chase away the shades of despair,
Gladly free your soul from the Liar’s snare;
I would give you peace with open hands,
And guard you safely from enemy bands.

I would open your eyes to see your worth,
From the womb of God, new life to birth;
Then to heavenly port would sail you away,
To finally live in the joy of unending day.

Yes, if I could, I would; would lift you up…

Written by noblethemes

April 26, 2014 at 8:22 PM

The Love of God … Despite Me

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Tears of heaven fall,
Because I cried and held back nothing at all.

Her heart is saddened,
Because all of her blessings have failed to gladden.

She whispers in the wind,
‘Are you disappointed, love, with all I send?’

But I yearn for more,
Such a selfish, childish, arrogant boar!

And does she weep,
As I fall into my dark and restless sleep?

Her voice in my dream
Yet rolls through my heart as a life-giving stream.

‘I love you no less,
Though foul you are and my blessings transgress;
Still will I hold you and in my bosom caress.’

Written by noblethemes

April 25, 2014 at 10:24 PM

Step Twelve: We Are Living Testimonies

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And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.(Mk.16.15, ESV)

Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.
(Bl. John Wesley of England)

If we have not been already, we will tell others about the great and marvelous wonders the Lord our God has worked, and continues to work, in our lives; about divine love, mercy and grace, inviting them to run into the arms of our redeeming, nurturing God.

As Qoheleth teaches in the Book of Ecclesiastes, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”[1] And so for the disciples of Jesus there was a time to watch and follow, listen and learn. There was a time for running and hiding with trembling and fear. There was a time, then, to rejoice in light of the Resurrection, followed by days of prayer and supplication… But then there came the time to go and do and tell, and this they did for the remainder of their lives.

“Go,” the Lord said, “and proclaim the good news. Be my witnesses, my living testimonies to throughout the whole world. Go! Invite others onto the Road of Redemption.” Their time of watching, listening, learning and growing were absolutely necessary, of course, but with an aim in view. Their own journey along the Path of Redemption was not for their own sakes only, but for that of others as well.

“Go,” Jesus said, “to make disciple-pilgrims;” No, not just to share warm and fuzzy, happy news; not to make intellectual converts to some philosophical-theological system of thought, or curiosity seekers, or fair-weather Sunday pew-sitters. “Go, to invite people onto the Road of Redemption as disciples, as pilgrims. Go!”

“Venture out into the world and immerse the nations in the Word of Life and the Spirit of God. Go and bathe the cities and villages, farmlands and jungles, deserts and mountains ~ indeed, all of creation ~ bathe with the message of grace and laver of regeneration. Go and be my witnesses, my living testimonies.”

This was their mandate, commonly called the Great Commission, an absolute directive not only fulfilled by the first disciples and apostles, but also passed along to every believer-pilgrim, in every country and kingdom, in every generation down through the ages to the very end of time, when the Lord will come again in power and glory. Their charge is our charge, and this is Step Twelve.

As the great English Congregational pastor, Joseph Parker, said:

This is the program of Christianity today … and you will get into dangerous places if you change one line of the original program of your Savior and Founder… Christianity comes to few men (and women) as an argument; it may come to all men (and women) as a blessing. The light does not come as a puzzle in solar physics; it comes in cheering brilliance and warmth to do manifold good in nature and life. Few men (and women) may be theologians, but all may be Christians… So go with Christ and you will teach and comfort and bless all nations.[2]

This is our mission in Step Twelve as much as it was the mission of those first followers of Christ two thousand years ago, and it almost goes without saying that this mission has been entrusted to imperfect, fallible humans. So be it; God has not missed that point. This has been true down through the centuries, and though we may not be perfect, we can be passionate in prayer. We can be constant in our comfort, enriching in our endeavors, and genuinely honest in our testimony.

We can speak kindly, give generously as we are able, and uplift the downtrodden. We can speak truth forthrightly but peacefully, carry out our business discreetly but sincerely with integrity, and offer charity prudently and sympathetically. We can touch the lives of people all around us with a good, firm handshake and smile, an e-mail or phone call, card or old-fashioned letter. We can live in love, and share the great and marvelous wonders of God in thought, word and deed.

“Go,” the Lord says, “outside your home or apartment, outside the four walls of your church sanctuary, out into the streets and into the homes of friends and neighbors, into the workplace and schools, restaurants and shopping malls … out into the world, and gently in peace – not obnoxiously or unattractively[3] – share your good news and invite others onto the Road of Redemption. And remember, while I have been your faithful Companion all along the Way, I will be your Companion still … faithfully and forever.”

 

[1] Ecc. 3.1, RSV

[2] Joseph Parker, Christ’s Finished Work, 223 (amendments mine)

[3] Note: Screaming sermons on street corners and leaving spiritual pamphlets in bathroom stalls is decidedly not what Christ had in mind. If one is truly Christian, then s/he is filled with the Spirit of Life, Love, Joy and Peace, and that will inevitably shine through the individual! No, not always perfectly, but that will be their proclivity. Period.

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