Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Cornerstone (Psalm 118:22)

This is the cornerstone,
the one tossed from the pile,
considered rubble.

This is the most valuable aspect,
of all possible foundations
faith should be built upon.


This is the chosen piece of rock,
rough at the edges
and not perfectly square.

The builder sees its lack of value,
blindness hinders the sighted,
innocence gives you vision.

This is My rock,
a voice filling the ages,
a song known in deep recesses.

This is the cornerstone,
viewed by men as flawed,
seen by God as perfect.



copyright 2017 - Donald P James Jr 
 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Lamb of God (Offered in My Place)

Zurbaran - Lamb of God

Lamb of God,
offered in ransom for my soul,
in place of my flesh,
submitting Yourself
to an agonizing death,
nails, thorns, thirst, suffocation,
so I might find
Your father's forgiveness.

You are not
a burnt offering
on the altars of heathens.
You are flesh and blood
on a cross of wood,
a tree fashioned by unbelievers,
erected on a hill
outside the walls
of Your holy city.

Lamb of God,
You take all hatred
onto Your tortured body.
A thorn for every vice,
a spike for a thousand different sins.
You absorb the gossip and slander
of the world.
You embrace the forsaken
and the hopeless.
You forgive every betrayal
and denial,
that we might draw toward You.

Lamb offered in my place
do not count
the days of my desperate ploys
to be Pilate, Judas, Caiaphas,
rather remember the few moments
when I have cried at Your feet,
listened to Your sermons,
or waved branches in the street.




copyright 2017 - Donald P James Jr




Monday, April 24, 2017

John 20:29 (Doubt)

Carl Bloch - "The Doubting Thomas"

Doubt,
filled with the essence 
of my own demise.
Others have spoken of their insights.
Am I jealous
that I was not in the room,
or have I always been skeptical?

Doubt,
it can't be cured by a sermon,
no matter if His word
is built on your foundation.
I have always questioned
what I can't see or touch.

Doubt,
my fingers probe the wounds,
the open sores
where they pierced you.
Not only are my eyes
given proof,
but my hands as well.

Doubt,
is there a deeper blessing
to faith
when we believe without seeing?
Is there more intimacy
in our innocent trust
when we can't trace His wounds,
but know they are there?




copyright 2017 - Donald P James Jr

Friday, April 21, 2017

Where is Your Victory?

Death, where is your victory?
Where is your sting?
1 Corinthians 15:55

 
Death,
you have me no longer
in your withered grasp.
The lamb has been slain
and risen again
in more glory
than darkness will ever perceive. 

You have no victory.
He has defeated every effort made
against Him.
Your sting
is but a mild irritant,
because His tomb is empty.

Death,
you have no claim on me.
Break me,
fill me with vile disease,
still I will rise
to walk beside my Lord
in the garden once forsaken. 




copyright 2017 - Donald P James Jr


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Promise of Protection (Psalm 3)

O Lord, how many are my foes!  They rise up against me;

Psalm 3:1 
 

They challenge Your promise,
saying You cannot protect me
from their desire to cause me harm,
but when their threats mount
You shield me.
You show me the path to victory.

I lie in the fields
at night,
like a shepherd with his sheep.
I rest soundly,
knowing You stand beside me Lord,
protecting me
from my enemies assault.

I am not afraid,
although I am one
and they are many.
For You hear my prayer of submission,
trusting,
You will save Your beloved.

Lord,
bless the people
You call Your own,
bring them victory
when defeat stalks them,
bring them peace
when their enemy brings war.



copyright 2017 - Donald P James Jr

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Are You Thirsty?

Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
And you who have no money come, buy grain and eat.

Isaiah 55:1 


Are you thirsty?
Is your throat parched?
Then come to the water,
a living stream.
You will not leave
unsatisfied.

If you are poor,
without food and shelter,
come and rest,
eat and drink.
Wine, milk and honey,
abundant
and free.

Why do you spend what you have
without satisfaction.
You consume that which is not bread,
drink tainted water.
No wonder you starve
and thirst for more.

Eat your fill,
of food rich.
Drink
until your dried throat is no more.
His word comes to you
like a fountain.
You will eat at His banquet,
invited by the master.

Are you thirsty?
Is your throat parched?
Then let Him wrap His arms around you
and make an eternal covenant
through the gift
of His love.



copyright 2017 - Donald P James Jr 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Waging Wars

Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?

Psalm 2:1


Why do we wage war,
laying out plans to take from one another.
Kings,
dictators
and governors of state
plot their revolts
against their creator.

They shout,
let us be free,
let us throw off the cloak
of our ruler.
They mock the Lord
and maim His people
with spears and arrows.

Kings,
dictators
and governors of state,
you are not as strong
or wise
as you believe.
You are pawns in your own game.

The one God laughs
at your feeble efforts
to dethrone His chosen.
He warns them,
like the children they are,
still they step out with weapons of hate
and wage their wars.

Your nails will wound Him.
Your thorns will scar His brow.
But the cross
of splintering wood
will stand as a victory
until He rules again.



copyright 2017 - Donald P James Jr

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Morning Silence




Silence
in the morning
before the buds have awakened,
gathering
on branches of spring.

Soldiers
clad in another faith,
who guard a tomb,
carved
from stone.

Those who've beaten the flesh
and nailed the limbs.

Silence in the morning
before the hearts of the chosen
have been opened,
gathering
in empty rooms of fear.



copyright 1995 - Donald P James Jr 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Crowd of Mourning


 
Standing
in a crowd
of mourning and jeers.

The mast is raised high,
waving in the breeze,
over his nation,
Israel.

How I wish
I had the courage
to console those
who cry out in His name,
but my fears
and sins of righteousness
dominate me.

How dark
the day becomes
in the hearts of those
who You've chosen to walk among.

Those who You've chosen
to send out
among the gentiles.





copyright 1996 - Donald P James Jr 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Vocation



Come,
follow the voice calling you.

If it leads you
to a table set in a musty room
share your bread and wine
with all of those who sit beside you.

If it leads you to a garden at
nightfall
stay awake
with those whose fear disturbs
the silence
of the eve.

If it leads you to a courtyard
of condemnation and hatred
refrain from shouting
the vile curses of the crowd
that knows not its own fate.

If it leads you down a road of
stone,
pushed onward by uniforms of
another creed,
support the broken beside you
who fall under the weight of
persecution.
Help them steady their stride
and not lose sight of their
direction.

If it leads you to the base of a tree,
planted on a hill for all spirits in need of life,
do not look away from the branches,
let them embrace your emptiness
and adorn you
with their love.


  
copyright 1992 - Donald P James Jr




Come to the Wood




Come to the wood,
it has grown mighty.
Strength
of youth
standing upright against the winds
of seasons past.

And the tree is brought to the earth
by those
who will use its fiber
for purposes beyond life.
Axes,
sharp swings chopping into the bark
then deeper
beyond the flesh,
to the marrow.

Two limbs are taken
from the body
and are tied one across
the other.
Wooden arms
able to cradle life
until it is drained
from one who has brought life
into this land.



copyright 1996 - Donald P James Jr