Thursday, January 18, 2018

This “So Loved” World

When God created heaven and earth he declared it good. I’m struggling as I write this to recall if he ever recanted that declaration. I make no claim to know all that is in the Bible but I do believe I know what is not there, and I’m relatively sure that the Bible contains no instance of God recanting his appreciation for the quality of the world he had made.

I know he saw that it was “not good” for Adam to be alone without a helpmate. I know he “regretted” having made Israel his chosen people and would have destroyed them but for Moses’ intervention. I know that time and again he thundered his disapproval of Israel’s wickedness through his prophets. But I’m not remembering any time he declared his creation “not good.”

Of course, as a caring creator he is grieved that his chosen caretaker, mankind, has both neglected and ravaged the garden he was commissioned to care for. In fact the Apostle Paul tells us that “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”

But the miracle is that even in its agony, plundered as it has been, creation still reveals the glory of its Maker. Marilynn Robinson suggests that there is no offense, no enormity, that we can commit against this earth, indeed no depth of depravity that we can descend to as God’s created image that will erase the glory he has put in this earth or in us, or reduce his desire to redeem us.

And so it is no wonder that this earth and its galactic neighbors has been the focus of poets for as long as mankind has had breath with which to speak, and pen with which to write.

In company with, and in the spirit of those previous poets I write and offer my poems on this blog.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Cook and the Critic

The cook, with three fishes, and loaves, five,
feeds the hungry and makes them to thrive;
the critic who, grumbling, picks at his food
ignorantly bites the hand of  his God.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Defining a Poem

by Jim Rapp

A poem: a picture, framed
with care to capture flames
or snowflakes in its sphere
to tease the reader’s eye, and ear.

A poem: a picture, drawn
with care to capture sun
and shadow in its plane
and leave the reader to explain.

A poem: a picture guised
in haste with cultured lies –
a subtle subterfuge –
with honey added to diffuse.

A poem: a picture, sketched
in sighs and yawns that stretch
from dark to dawn, then yawn again
and cause the reader to exclaim.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

a winter scene remembered

by Jim Rapp

with today’s temperature at zero
my screen saver has chosen
to show me a scene that
warms a winter-lover’s heart

it is a favorite old photo
of the world half frozen
immersed in new snow at
a depth of the farmer’s cart

oh, to once again go
to that child-chosen
haven and see the white
wonder ere wind comes
              and tears it apart.

The Unraveling

by Jim Rapp

They hated it from the very beginning,
it was visionary and they were blind,
it was moral and they, though professing
morality, were moral only to their kind.

They called FDR a traitor to his own,
a pragmatist, socialist, even a commie.
The moral giants began to double down,
waging a century long battle to stymie

his vision; to restore the status quo ante.
to unravel the web of protections for the
vulnerable, to insure the power of the mighty,
to deny the world his high vision of:

Freedom of Speech – everywhere in the world
Freedom of Religion – everywhere in the world
Freedom from want – everywhere in the world
Freedom from fear – everywhere in the world

They attacked  the United Nations
They attacked the New Deal
They attacked the Great Society
They attacked “Obamacare”

And now that the moral giants have gained a majority
they hope to dismantle Social Security and Medicare;
they are denigrating and defunding the United Nations,
and are working to dismantle “Obamacare.”

They have a vision of a sort, I guess you could say.
It looks back to “Four Freedoms” of a “superior” day
when only the rich and powerful had a right to say
on whom our laws (but few rights) would lay.

Freedom from International agreements
Freedom from Taxation
Freedom from non-Christian Aliens
Freedom from an “entitled class” of ne’er-do-wells.

They are fools sawing off the limbs they are leaning on,
They profess Christian faith but deny its teachings,
They’ll be crushed by the roof when the pillars are gone,
When their robe is unraveled they’ll stand naked and weeping.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Who/What is Depending on Me

I’m putting up with a nasty cold,
partly because I’ve been told,
there is no cure for the bold
pathogen, existent from of old.

But also I’ve been thinking
this germ must be working –
somewhere in a food chain lurking –
a chain that I should not be breaking.

Who knows what essential link
that holds all things together
depends on my cold germs – think,
my germs may be earth’s last tether.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Don’t Judge the Species by the Actions of a Specimen

It is not bacteria that makes us sick;
It is particular “germs”.

It is not ticks that are spreading disease;
It is particular ticks.

It is not rodents that infest our homes;
It is particular rodents.

It is not the human race that disappoints;
It is particular “humans”.

It is not Capitalism that rips us off;
It is particular “capitalists”.

It is not Christianity that dishonors Christ;
It is particular “Christians”.

It is not Politics that threaten our existence;
It is particular politicians.

Presumably all things have capacity to harm;
but we can’t dispense with “all things.” 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

God Has No Statute of Limitation

Thank the Lord for the result in today’s election in Alabama. I make no assumptions about the righteousness of any candidate these days. But we did not need to make assumptions to understand that Ray Moore was a flawed candidate and very likely an immoral one to boot. America wins because Ray Moore lost.

Sadly, we are going to learn more and more in the weeks ahead about the weaknesses of our elected officials. My prayer is that all those with skeletons in their closets will be revealed and forced from office. If their sins, like Ray Moore’s appear to be, were committed long ago, and if they have changed their way of living, then good for them. But don’t hide behind statutes of limitation. God does not put any limit on the time you stand guilty of being a liar. But he does offer grace and 
forgiveness to those who repent and turn from their sinful ways.