Improving on a Perfect Day

An impossible burden is bearable,
an obstinate obstacle moved;
a sorrow is shortened and lightened,
a perfect day is improved;

the briefest sweet moment’s eternal,
transient joy multiplied;
you’ll not stay down when you’ve fallen,
you’ll quickly get back in your stride;

a difficult journey’s adventurous,
defeat is not always the end;
mistakes are things you will learn from,
you’ll turn round that negative trend;

an evil is simpler to bring down,
likewise a village defend;
battle scars heal so much cleaner
when all these are shared with a friend.

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The Greatest Joy

We’re slandered and insulted,

Betrayed and ridiculed

Potrayed as evil, backward

And so effortlessly fooled.

 

Relentless in their mockery,

Comfortable with lies,

They never tire of poking fun

At those they so despise.

 

They laugh at our great suffering

And flaunt their stolen wealth

Secured by crony networks

And in the best of health.

 

And yet we have a hope that their blind eyes can never see,

And know a joy so deep it runs into eternity.

We know the Source of all, who is above all time and space,

Whose glories far outweigh all trials that we could ever face.

 

His peace is overwhelming, his mercy covers all;

His grace is still transforming all victims of the Fall.

Our future is so radiant with love and joy and light,

So how could we fear mortal men in all their puny might?

 

We won’t lash out in anger, we’ll rest and sleep in peace,

Then in the morning work to make His loving rule increase.

So pause now and consider, who you’ll serve and trust —

The Lord of all creation, or men drunk with powerlust?

The Joy of Mercy

Any good travelling public speaker (those who don’t just read from a script or teleprompter) will tell you that they will often give the same talk in various locations, wording key points slightly differently and emphasising different things according to the specific needs of the region, or even responding to the particular attitudes of the audience themselves. At the same time, those listening to a talk will remember certain details more than others as they summarise what they heard. Add to that particular themes that individual biographers may want to focus on and we can end up with several written versions of a given talk. Let’s look at one alternative version of one of the sayings quoted two entries ago:

Luke 6:37-39

37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Continue reading

The Joy (and Terror) of Judgement Day – Part Two

Where I wanted to go with last week’s post reminded me of something from a little series I wrote a decade ago entitled ‘Thoughts Inspired by Psalms’, my first attempt at a series of opinion pieces. The first piece was translated into Czech and published in the national newsletter of the Czech Salvation Army (looking back now, it is probably the weakest of them all and most in need of revision, I have learned a lot since then). This is the second: Continue reading

The Joy (and Terror) of Judgement Day – Part One

So, following on from last week’s entry, your life on earth is borrowed, your possessions are borrowed, the atoms in your body are all borrowed, your every waking (and sleeping) moment is borrowed, entrusted to you.

This reminded me of the words of the Inquisitor from Red Dwarf:

“You have been granted the greatest gift of all, the gift of life. Tell me, what have you done to deserve this superlative good fortune?”

It is a sobering question, because the honest answer is nothing. Life has been granted to us not out of obligation to us for something we have done, not a reward or wages, but as a gift, the greatest of gifts, perhaps even something, dare I say it, that is worth being grateful for in of itself.

In context however, that is not really the question that the Inquisitor was asking. What he was asking was far more serious, even terrifying:

You have been given this astounding gift, this incredible range of opportunities. What have you done with them to justify this enormous investment in you? What reasons will you give to dissuade me from erasing you from history and giving your opportunities to someone else? Continue reading