Sunday, April 22, 2018

The King Is Coming In Glory





"When these things begin to happen, stand up and lift up your heads,
because your redemption is drawing near."
Luke 21:28



The Second Coming Of Christ
Jon McNaughton



The King is coming in glory
To catch His bride away,
It may be in the morning
It may be at midday,
At the even or midnight;
The trump will sound so clear,
The dead in Christ, and we that live,
His voice shall hear.

(Refrain)
The King is coming, hallelujah!
He's coming in the air,
The fig tree is budding,
The signs are everywhere,
The King is coming, hallelujah!
He's coming in the air,
He's coming, hallelujah!
To catch His bride away.

Behold! He cometh and leaping,
And skipping o'er the hills;
Like the young roe, like the young hart,
My soul with rapture thrills;
Thru the window He's looking,
Thru the lattice work is seen,
The winter's past, the rain is o'er,
The figs are green.

The King is coming,
"Be ready," To meet Him on that day;
With your heart right, with your robes white,
And in this holy way;
Like the lightning that flashes
In the twinkling of an eye,
Our Lord shall come to claim His own
He's drawing night.

The saints are looking ever upward
While journ'ing on their way.
He's coming, hallelujah!
To catch His bride away.
The saints are looking ever upward
While journ'ing on their way.
He's coming, hallelujah!
To catch His bride away.



"For the Lord himself will descend from heaven
with a loud cry of summons, with the shout of an archangel,
and with the blast of the trumpet of God. And those who
have departed this life in Christ will rise first.
Then we, the living ones who remain on the earth
shall be caught up along with the resurrected dead
in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so always
through the eternity of the eternities we shall be with the Lord!
Therefore, comfort and encourage one another with these words."
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18


"The King Is Coming In Glory"
Words and Music by 
Kittie L. Suffield
(1884-1972)







Fourth Sunday Meditation: The Scepter Of All Righteousness




"But as to the Son, He says to Him,
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
to the ages of the ages, and the scepter
of Your kingdom is a scepter of 
absolute righteousness, of justice
and straightforwardness.

You have loved righteousness
You have delighted in integrity, virtue,
and uprightness in purpose, thought, and action
and You have hated lawlessness, injustice, and iniquity.
Therefore God, even Your Godhead, has anointed You
with the oil of exultant joy and gladness above
and beyond Your companions.
Hebrews 1:8,9



Hope On The Horizon
Greg Olsen


Jesus spoke of what was written of Him in the Psalms:

"Then He said to them, This is what I told you while
I was still with you: everything which is written concerning Me
in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms
must be fulfilled."
Luke 24:44


Psalm 45 is a Messianic psalm, attributed to the
sons of Korah, who were in charge of various works
of service in the temple.

Although set against the backdrop of a secular royal
wedding, verses 6 and 7 of this love song are clearly
 consistent with the above passages from Hebrews,
which speak of the Lord Jesus Christ as the
 Scepter of all righteousness, and as our 
glorious and faithful King for all eternity.




PSALM 45

To the Chief Musician;
(set to the tune of) "Lilies" (probably a
popular air.)  A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
A skillful song, or a didactic or reflective 
poem.  A song of love.


My heart overflows with a goodly theme;
I address my psalm to a King.
 My tongue is like the pen of a ready writer.

You are fairer than the children of men;
graciousness is poured upon Your lips;
therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword upon Your thigh, O mighty One,
in Your glory and Your majesty!

And in Your majesty ride on triumphantly for
the cause of truth, humility, and righteousness,
uprightness and right standing with God;
and let Your right hand guide You
to tremendous things.

Your arrows are sharp; the people fall under You;
Your darts pierce the hearts of the King's enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
the scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.

You love righteousness, uprightness, and right standing with God
and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
with the oil of gladness above Your fellows.

Your garments are all fragrant with myrrh, aloes, and cassia;
stringed instruments make You glad.

Kings' daughters are among Your honorable women;
at Your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.

Hear, O daughter, consider, submit, and consent to my instruction;
forget also your own people and your father's house;

So will the King desire your beauty; because He is your Lord,
be submissive and reverence and honor Him.

And, O daughter of Tyre, the richest of the people shall
entreat your favor with a gift.

*The King's daughter in the inner part of the palace is all glorious;
her clothing is inwrought with gold.

She shall be brought to the King in raiment of needlework;
with virgins, her companions that follow her, she shall be brought to You.

With gladness and rejoicing will they be brought; they will
enter into the King's palace.

Instead of Your fathers shall be Your sons, whom You will
make princes in all the lands.

I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations;
therefore shall the people praise and give You thanks forever and ever.



King of Kings
Greg Olsen



*The King's daughter is a reference to the church, the Bride of Christ.
 See corresponding verses in Revelation 19:7,8.



Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Cost Of Following Jesus



"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."
"The Road Not Taken"
-Robert Frost


Ozark Highlands Trail
Arkansas



Have you ever found yourself trying to follow two people at one time?
This works only when they're going in the same direction.
But what happens if their paths diverge?
For instance, you're on a hiking trail with friends, and you reach a
fork in the road. If one person wants to go right and someone else
thinks you should turn left, you must choose which one to follow.

This principle is also true for Christians, but now our choice is whether
to follow Jesus or ourselves. Most of us will happily follow Jesus as long
as He is going where we want. But what happens if He leads us down a road
of sacrifice, self-denial, suffering, or even death?
Will we still trust Him and keep going?

This was the dilemma Jesus' disciples faced. When they started following Him,
they expected that He'd establish His Messianic kingdom, deliver them from
Roman domination, and give them places of honor and authority.
Thinking they'd soon be exalted in the kingdom, they were willing to suffer
the temporary deprivations of home, security, and comfort.
But then Jesus told them His path was leading to suffering and death,
and if they wanted to follow Him, they too must deny themselves 
 and take up their cross.

Many Christians today have the same expectation the disciples had-
maybe not for a kingdom, but for a happy and prosperous life.
However, this is essentially like inviting Jesus to follow us.
Self-denial means giving up our right to lead and surrendering
to Christ's lordship over our life.
Though His path isn't easy, He alone knows the way
to the Father's house.

-Dr. Charles Stanley
In Touch Ministries




Via Delorosa
Jon McNaughton


"What is the meaning of this painting?   This painting has over 100 figures,
both good and bad, men and women that have left their footprint on Christianity.
The man in the middle represents the modern Christian...
a man who must decide whether or not he will stand up for his Christian beliefs...
As true Christians, we must not fear to speak the truth, even if it means
we have to stand alone in the world.
"Via Delorosa" are the Latin words for "Way of Suffering"
and is the name for the traditional road in which Christ 
carried His cross to Calvary.

-McNaughton Fine Art Company
(2018)



Joy Of The Morning




I hear you, little bird,

Shouting a-swing above the broken wall.

Shout louder yet: no song can tell it all.



Morning Song
Cynthia Christine


Sing to my soul in the deep, still wood:


'Tis wonderful beyond the wildest word:


I'd tell it, too, if I could.


Oft when the white, still dawn


Lifted the skies and pushed the hills apart,


I've felt it like a glory in my heart-


The world's mysterious stir



Singing Birds
Du Yux
(1988)


But had no throat like yours, my bird,


Nor such a listener.



"Joy Of The Morning"
Edwin Markham
(1852-1940)
Poet Laureate of Oregon
(1923-1931)


Friday, April 20, 2018

On My Mind: Gun Control Hysteria



Today I saw on the news that young people in high schools and colleges
across America are staging protests to end gun violence.
While I agree that we need an end to the rampant crime committed by
criminals with guns, I think we also need an end to self-aggrandizing,  
agenda-pushing politicians calling to do away with the Second Amendment.

The suspect in the Parkland, Florida school shooting was a disturbed young man,
whose aberrant behavior was well known to his family, neighbors, peers,
 the school administration, local law enforcement and even the FBI. 
 Yet, no one saw fit to intervene in this young man's life until it was too late.

Furthermore, to blame the NRA for this heinous act, and
indirectly President Trump for his support of this organization is absurd.
The NRA is not the problem.  President Trump is not the problem.
The law-abiding American gun owner is not the problem.

The Left and their not-so-secret-anymore agenda to confiscate
guns from law-abiding American citizens is the problem.

Remember folks. Satan never sleeps.



"Today we need a nation of Minutemen,
citizens who are not only prepared to take arms,
but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom
as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing
to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom."
-John F. Kennedy



President John Fitzgerald Kennedy
(1917-1963)
35th President of the United States of America






To The Memory Of John Burroughs




"I go to nature to be soothed and healed,
and to have my senses put in order."
-John Borroughs



John Burroughs
(1837-1921)
American naturalist and essayist



In the pathways of heaven-
I see you walking there,
The sunlight softly falling
Upon your snowy hair.

A wood thrush sings a welcome
In burst of melody...
A squirrel chatters shrilly
From the boughs of a tree.



Boyhood rock and grave site of John Borroughs at Woodchuck Lodge.
John Borroughs Memorial State Historic Site
Roxbury, New York



Great hemlocks lift their branches
High against the azure blue...
And all the baby spruces
Stretch forth their arms to you.

In the pathways of heaven-
I see you walking there,
The sunlight softly falling
Upon your snowy hair.



Slabsides is the one story log cabin built by naturalist
John Burroughs.  Located in West Park, New York the cabin
was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1968.



"To The Memory Of John Burroughs"
Catherine Parmenter







Trees





Do not harm the land or sea or trees until we have sealed
the foreheads of the servants of our God."
Revelation 7:3



"and  tulip rare..."
Beautiful Tulip trees in bloom are a springtime delight!



In the Garden of Eden, planted by God,
There were goodly trees in the springing sod-
Trees of beauty and height and grace,
To stand in splendor before His face:

Apple and hickory, ash and pear,
Oak and beech, and tulip rare,
The trembling aspen, the noble pine,
The sweeping elm by the river line;

Trees for the birds to build and sing,
And the lilac tree for a joy in the spring;
Trees to turn at the frosty call
And carpet the ground for their Lord's footfall;

Trees for fruitage and fire and shade,
Trees for the cunning builder's trade;
Wood for the bow, the spear, and the flail,
The keel and the mast of the daring sail-

He made them of every grain and girth
For the use of man in the Garden of Earth.
Then lest the Soul should not lift her eyes
From the gift to the Giver of Paradise,
On the crown of a hill, for all to see,
God planted a scarlet maple tree.




Cherry trees in bloom near the Jefferson Memorial
Washington DC



"Trees"
Bliss Carman
Canadian Poet
(1861-1929)