Haiku Images

I thought you might appreciate reading through the Haiku Cluster that the judges thought were worthy of first place winner in the competition. All of the haiku spring from the Scriptures related as listed.

Appropriate for the Easter season is “To say ‘I love you’ God sent a cross.” The truth that we are co-heirs with the eternal Godhead is incomprehensible, but the Scriptures certainly remind us how rich we are in Christ.

If a haiku or two moves you and you would like to share your thoughts, I would love to meditate on them with you.
A HAIKU CLUSTER
I bequeath to you,                                                                   Romans 8:17a
every sunrise I’ve painted,
all originals. -God

Adam, while you slept,                                                           Genesis 2:21-22
God slipped Eve into your bed,
then he left, smiling.

To say “I love you,”                                                                  John 19:17-18
we send flowers or a card,
but God sent a cross.

Five little fingers                                                                       Luke 2:7
squeeze young Mary’s nose and face
as God lies on straw.

Often mothers ’ prayers                                                         I Samuel 1:27
mend the broken jars of clay
they molded from birth.

Silent, by a grave,                                                                   II Corinthians 1:4
arm around a friend, healing
a hole in the heart.

Before life’s bookends                                                         Amos 4:12b
squeeze away your last-held breath,
prepare for closure.

Post-Christmas Reflections

 

 

 

Now that credit cards are maxed out, gifts exchanged and/or returned, resolutions vowed to spend less next Christmas on gifts, rethinking the real purpose for exchanging gifts, and shredding Santa’s wish lists, can I take the liberty to share a gift idea?

When faced with a gift for my wife, I asked what can I give she can’t wear, she can’t eat, and she can’t set around the house as a trinket? I awoke one night with The Twelve Days of Christmas on my mind, a song my wife really likes.

Bingo! Why not a play on those words with The Twelve PRAYERS of Christmas?

So I started writing down some of her needs and wants and eventually had a list of twenty. I prayed for wisdom as I reduced them to twelve prayers. I hope you enjoy reading three of them as much as I enjoyed composing them.

On the First Day of Christmas my true love prayed for “more meaningful occasions to fulfil my music needs.” On the Sixth Day of Christmas my true love prayed for “me to find more opportunities to socialize and fellowship with my sisters in the Lord,” and On the Ninth Day of Christmas my true love prayed for “me to strengthen my holy habit of daily, personal Bible study.”

I have written this devotional to “stir up in my brothers and sisters in the Lord to love and good works.” It’s something I wanted to share. Maybe it challenges you to come up with a special idea for your loving spouse. Anyway, just enjoy something different from me.

Just Enough Milk for Morning Cereal

As I threw away the empty milk carton I pondered how many things we discard as disposable. We throw away pop cans, styrofoam trays that held leftovers from a meal out, plastic grocery bags, water bottles, and plastic silverware because we have no further need for them so they are “useless.” We have become so used to being a “throw-away” society that it has redirected our very thought processes, our very being.

It has become easy when trouble stares us in the face to throw away another human being and say, “Well, he can’t expect me to keep my word,” “I can’t be expected to be loyal to my employer,” “Why should I be true to my friend when she did this to me?“ and often we are led to ask the ultimate throw-away question, “Why should I stay in this marriage? It isn’t what I expected it to be.” We have little or no regard for those who will be affected by this “throw-away” question – spouse, children, parents, friends, and many who have looked to us to be an example of Christ’s love, care, and concern us.

However, life is not a “throw-away.” We are loved by the eternal unchanging God and He has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us. We are reminded over and over again in the beautiful Psalm 136 that “His mercy endures forever.”

Whatever you are facing this very day, forget the throw-away mentality of our present world and cling to the permanent, eternal, everlasting mercy of God which endures forever. We are not throw-aways to Him. He will never discard us because we haveoutlasted our usefulness. His love remains FOREVER.

 

Guest Writer Emily L. Pippin

You Never Know Who’s watching

My wife and I came out of the post office and headed to our car, holding hands and laughing. As I opened the car door, the driver in the car parked beside me, slid out of her vehicle, leaned across the hood of her car, and asked, “How long have you two been married?”

I wanted to say, “Too long,” but thankfully I used some self-control. “52 years,” I said.

“How do you do it?”she asked and burst into tears.

I’m sure I’ve done some hurtful things in my life to make people cry, especially the feminine gender, but walking across a parking lot holding hands with my wife  has never been one of them.

We went over to her. I told her, “Lots of patience and forgiveness.”  My wife added, “And lots of prayer and faith.”

Through her tears, we learned that she was getting  divorced after five years.

“Just give yourself some time,” I responded, “to try to work out your differences.”

“Too late. It’s gone too far.”

We talked for a while and then asked if she wanted to get together and we’d talk with her some more. She gave me her business card. She worked at a furniture store. “Here’s my number. Please give me a call.” As we were driving home, I Peter 3:15 came to mind: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”

When I called her to see when we could get together we promised to pray for her. She said she would call us. But we never heard from her.

I often reflect on that encounter and wonder if we could have done more to help to that distraught woman as she agonized over her collapsing marriage. Perhaps we could have prayed with her right there in that parking lot!

It was a good reminder to us that we never know who’s watching our behavior and to be ready to support our behavior from Scripture.

God Frosts the Cake

Let’s review the purposes of sex. First, “the Lord created Adam and Eve, male and female,” Gen 1:27 so that they could reproduce. Second, the Lord God designed their sexuality to blend two separate bodies into one union. “They will become one flesh.” Gen 2:24 And third, to reward their reproducing and their blending into one, he frosted the “cake” with pleasure. Then this eternal Almighty Designer called all this very good.

Contemporary culture has neglected to review the biblical blueprint as explained in Genesis 1 and 2, so chaos, confusion, and cleavage have distorted God’s plan. The solution is simple: “To assemble correctly, follow the Designer’s  directions.”

I wrote a haiku about God’s approval of his plan.

Adam while you slept,
God slipped Eve into your bed,
then he left, smiling.*

When we enjoy our sexuality within God’s plan and purposes, then he keeps smiling. Don’t you covet His “smile” of harmony, contentment, and pleasure on your sexual relationship more than anything else?

*from my coming gift book, Incredible, God.