Monday, May 29, 2017

Flaunting Our Pardons (Matthew 5:3)



Am I spiritually poor,
humble,
aware that I am less than the lowest
without the blood
shed violently
on wooden beams?

Do I place myself in seats of honor
as the adulterated righteous do?
Have I been proud of scriptural knowledge,
or the menial works
I’ve been given skills
to perform?

The kingdom belongs to those
who live in humility,
those who know grace
in its purest state.
The cross embraces the lowly
and elevates the sinner
to forgiveness.

Help me Lord,
to be poor in spirit,
to be humble,
to be washed clean by Your blood
without flaunting my pardon
in the face of others.



copyright 2017 - Donald P James Jr 

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Advocate

  
Sent to fill
those of faith
with strength,
grace
and inner peace.

He is the voice
speaking
in a soft whisper,
permeating
the noise of this world.

He is sent,
a tongue of flame
on the heads of believers,
Spirit of God,
emissary of our Lord.

Come to me Advocate,
inspire in me a faith 
which cannot be crushed.
Fill me with the strength of peace
and cover me
with grace.

Divine one,
sent as a promise
fulfilled,
by the Lord of my heart,
come upon me,
rest Your flight of heavenly wings
in the core of my soul.



copyright 2017 - Donald P James Jr

Thursday, May 25, 2017

John 16:2

In fact, 
the time is coming 
when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service 
to God.


John 16:2

This week I read about death,
bombs and nails,
and parents waiting for their children to come home after a concert.

Life,
innocent life,
the radical one kills in the name of God.

Not the God I know.
My God is love.
My God embraces my soul.
My God offers me peace, a reward for loving,
not hating.

Yet,
the weaving of history
shows my God and his God to be the same.

Sons of a dessert nomad,
we are brothers,
each having taken up weapons against the other.

I am not innocent,
neither are you,
of claiming victory in God's name.

But there is no reward
for killing even the most evil among us,
just the anguish of a God who is the essence of love.




copyright 2017 - Donald P James Jr

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A Simple Faith


Simplicity, like a child sitting beside the Lord in a sun lit meadow,
knowing love overflows from a friend most trusted.
There is no question to be pondered,
scientific or historic,
for faith acknowledges
that everything spoken by Jesus is truth.

When I was a child my prayer was simple.
I knelt in my room and asked God to bless my parents,
grandparents
and siblings.
I would even try stumbling through an 'Our Father'.

As a child I knew my prayer was heard, regardless of its flaws.

Now, as an adult,
I become more complex in my wording
and question whether my voice makes its way through the world's chatter.
The innocence of trusting God
becomes cluttered with our own limitations.

Sometimes when I sit and pray
I long for the unblemished simplicity of childhood.
A beautiful field where dandelions and buttercups bloom.
A man sitting in the grass,
worn sandals and a beard.
When we are children we know him, because the world has yet to taint us,
and he listens to our simple songs of praise.

Jesus loves me, this I know, because the Bible tells me so.

illustrated by O.A. Stemler


copyright 2017 - Donald P James Jr

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Narrow Door (Luke 13:24)


 
To open the door,
the narrow door to His peace.
I must fit the framework
as if it were the mold
my body was shaped in.
For I’ve tried
to be someone who wears a different face
rather than being the person
who each unique door is designed for.

To open the door
I must become His child.
Seeing His love
as the littlest ones among us see His love.
I must maintain the innocence
of a simple faith,
an unquestionable faith,
rather than trying to comprehend
the mysteries of His existence
that are far beyond the reaches
of my understanding.

To open the door
I must become His soldier.
A minister of His word
and the truth brought before us
by His word.
I can’t keep the glory
of His promise inside my heart,
for if kept concealed,
in the barren rooms of my selfishness,
it will surely dwindle 
and lose its spark.



copyright 1996 - Donald P James Jr 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Love

This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.

John 15:12


Love,
when the world around you
deserves less.
Be the beacons of light
shining into the hearts of those
who struggle in darkness.

Love,
when you have been ridiculed
and spoken falsely of.
You are the ones who know the Father
how can you not treasure
His every creation.

Love,
as the savior loves,
from the sinners table
and from the cross.
Seek out every lost sheep
and change their direction.

Love,
those who despise your name.

Love the friend who denies
and the one who betrays.

Love the soldier who whips
and the one who swings the hammer.

Love,
and you can expect
to be loved.



copyright 2017 - Donald P James Jr


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Blessed Are You (Beatitudes)


Blessed are you who seek,
humble
and unassuming,
spirits that do not boast.
You long to walk down pathways
of holiness,
roads the world has forsaken.

Blessed are you
who would never consider themselves
holy.
You who know your scars
and know the texture
of the cross
redeeming you.

Blessed are you who seek,
light through the veil of darkness,
the sheep lost,
the thief to His side,
the prostitute
whose tears clean His feet.

Blessed are the unblessed,
those false righteousness condemns.
Blessed are you,
tired,
hungry,
thirsty,
the prophets spoke your plea
and the Father has answered.



copyright 2017 - Donald P James Jr

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Way, The Truth, The Life

Jesus said to him,  
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. 
No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6 



The way,
a road with a single lane
leading to the desired destination.
There may be rocks and ruts
to stumble over,
but he who walks in the light
will not trip.

The truth,
the prophecy fulfilled by the son,
the spoken word
of the one sent
as a lamb
for those who were
and are lost.

The life,
the one spirit
filling all who take faith
into their hearts
and treasure its essence.
The strength guiding us along the road,
to the destination,
eternal.



copyright 2017 - Donald P James Jr

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Tear




A tear
falls from my cheek
to the body,
wounded,
anointed
in death.

For the father of this man
loved our sinful world
so much
that he sent his only child
into it,
as vulnerable flesh,
to die.

His tomb is sealed
by old men
struggling to leave behind
rituals
of their birth.

Lord,
help me to awaken
to your kingdom,
to be born again
not of my mother's womb,
but of your spirit.



copyright 2002 - Donald P James Jr