Friday Sounds

the late afternoon air is
filled with Friday sounds
that don’t seem as loud

as other days

there is an endless stream
of car horns truck horns
school buses rushing by

the bulk garbage trucks
that normally come on
Mondays whipped through

the neighborhood in twos
there was nothing to
pickup

I was wrong

as they were filled with
fallen trees that must
have blocked a street

nearby

train horns chime in as
long lumbering trains
cross town holding up

rush hour traffic as
they go

it seems many of the
people are impatient
possibly eager to die

no masks
no vaccinations
they rather believe

the lie

who is willing to hear

the late afternoon air is
filled with Friday sounds

By and By

the sun casts the faintest
of shadows across the lawn
in the afternoon lull
between rainstorms

my mind does not rest in
these peaceful moments
but continues to ask
questions in the hope of

answers to prayers so long
repeated so long lamented
so long hoped for all in
God’s time

For God’s time is greater
than my own but how sweet
it would be

Satan’s emissary can be as
small as a fly spreading
the littlest lie a fiery
dart aimed at the heart

but just then as I held
on to what I know I heard
the church bells strike
three to remind me that

I belong to thee even if
I die before the fly and
the answers will come
in the sweet by and by

“Ifs” and “Whys”

If the world was flat
I doubt that I would
have anyone to remember
or anyone to thank.

But thank God there is
a God.

If God didn’t bring my
father through World War
Two, I wouldn’t be here.

Life is full of “ifs”
we don’t understand
and we can only ask

why.

If George hadn’t died
from ground fire in
Vietnam at liftoff…

Why?

Today I remember a
lifetime of “ifs” and
“whys” and give thanks.

Only in America

I didn’t feel like doing another crossword on my phone. I didn’t feel like writing another poem about the weather. I caved in and scrolled through the news on my phone. Instantly I was reminded of the many reasons why I seldom read, watch, or listen to the news anymore in any form. Even if I do scroll through the news, I only look at the headlines.

Over a dozen of the headlines reported violent deaths and hate crimes here—only in America—not in rest of the world, only here in America.

Americans are no longer free. America is not divided; it is beyond divided. It is imploding from being in bondage to uncontrollable hate and violence. So, the America that was, no longer is. You think it is but it is not.

The good character traits and human values based on God’s Truth that most Americans used to embrace and emulate helped America become one of the most civilized and successful nations on earth. That is no longer true.

No God, no peace. No God, no safety. No God, no truth. No God, no love. No God, no life eternal.

The Sound of the Wind

I was sitting outside in my new chair
for the first time. It was a Valentine’s
Day slash birthday gift from my
sweetheart.

I wasted as much time as possible
because I could easily sit in this
lounge chair for hours on end.

I read my Kindle on my phone which
is a different book than on my
Kindle. A book I had forgotten I was
reading.

I opened a crossword. I closed the
crossword; my mind wasn’t up to it.
I was content that death may not
be coming today.

Which made me think as I listened
to the birds, a time is coming when
I won’t hear the birds anymore or
the piercing sound of the wind.

I am holding on to a thread of faith
that says God has the power to do
all that he has promised.

I wait eagerly for what lies ahead
even when my faith is too weak to
see anything but the sound of the
wind.

Return to Normal

I was sitting outback thinking about things. One of the things I thought about was the concept or yearning of humankind to have a strong desire to “return to normal.” That is when it hit me and I realized that to return to normal is not possible.

The hope that our lives or the world will return to normal is false hope and misplaced faith.

Ever since Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, original sin made it impossible to return to normal—to be holy and walk with God.

Before Adam and Eve fell from grace and sinned, their relationship with Almighty God was the eternal standard for normal. Humankind created in the image of God was holy and walked with God, in other words, Adam and Eve were in constant fellowship with God which can only happen in the absence of sin because God is Holy. Holy is God’s character. Holy is who or what he is. So, that which is holy and sin cannot occupy the same space.

After Satan deceived Eve and her husband in the Garden of Eden, they sinned by not obeying God, but rather by believing Satan’s lie that they too could be like God, meaning they could be God if they ate from the tree of Good and Evil which God prohibited them to do.

From that point in time to the present day all humanity inherits the condition of sin and at birth is not holy and separated from God. The sin condition in humankind prohibits a relationship with God because God is without sin. Remember what I said? Here is an example. Remember Moses and the Burning Bush?

As Moses approached the Burning Bush that was not being consumed by the fire, he heard God’s voice. God told Moses to take of his sandals because he was standing on Holy Ground. The sandals represent all that is not holy, all that is man-made—that which is sin and cannot be one with God.

Ever since the Fall of Man, sin made it impossible for Adam and Eve to return to normal—to be Holy and walk with God—in a full close loving relationship with God.

A relationship with God is deeper and more personal than one can imagine. God (the Father), Jesus (the Son), and the Holy Spirit are described as God in three persons, the Trinity and all three of them were present in the Creation of the World. For all things were created by Him (Jesus) and for Him (Jesus).

You might say we are wired to seek God and a way to return to normal. God made humankind that way. The good news is that God (the Holy, Almighty one) planned to bring humankind back into relationship with himself after Satan (the Bad, the Evil one) deceived Adam and Eve.

The bad news is Satan. He is known as the Prince and Power of the Air and creates havoc on earth against God and against all who believe in God.

While God made a way for humankind to return to Him and be with Him forever (the eternal view), Satan has promoted a “return to normal” (his world view) in every generation to keep humankind in sin and separated from God which ends in death for humankind, not eternal life with God.

You see, with Satan’s world view, a “return to normal” is never a constant. Rather, Satan directs changes constantly, like shifting sand, to move the world and humanity in the direction he wants it to go, e.g., antichrist, to Hell, etc. These things are part of the “spiritual warfare” that the Apostle Paul spoke of late in the first century.

The Apostle Paul also explained simply how one might “return to normal” and walk with God by faith, as follows:

“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead [after Jesus died on the cross for all sin], you will be saved [receive the gift of eternal life with God]. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew or Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13 ESV; text in brackets here are mine.)

My hope for you, dear reader, and for all of humankind, as we move into the new year (with COVID so it seems) is this:

Do not hope to “return to normal” before COVID. It is impossible. There is true north and there is true normal. Return to normal by returning to God by saying the words of Paul above. Confess in the quiet of your own heart to God and you will return to normal and be with God for all eternity.

For those of us who believe in God, our return to normal is always in front of us not behind us.

God bless and Happy New Year.