Archive for the ‘Christianity’ Tag

Towards the Light

Though I cannot turn away

with blind eye or deaf ears

from all that happens in this world,

all that brings heartache and tears

I look to you, Oh Lord and dwell

upon the cross and not the fears

on our redemptive soul set free,

why you came, and why you died

that we might live eternally

without those things that bring us strife.

I turn my face towards the light

towards the assurance of new life.

________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2017

THE SCRIBE

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THE SCRIBE

With sheets of old yellowed parchment spread out

the scribe sits down at his splintered worn desk,

and with withered hand he dips his quill

into a thick substance inside the inkwell,

and turns his face towards Heaven, blessed be He,

God of the universe, and praise to the One

who sits on the throne, all the earth be His.

It is not what the scribe hears with audible voice,

but what his heart hears and knows to be true

for that which is given him scribed upon

with sweeping gesture, flourish and swirls

the Hebraic characters penned in ink

are the scribe’s writings on ancient scrolls.

______________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2017

The Birth of a King

The Sea of Galilee, Tiberias, Israel, May, 2001

The Sea of Galilee, Tiberias, Israel, May, 2001, Photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson

 

Nothing but chaos, crowds and noise

greeted the young couple, desperate to find

a quiet place, warm and dry

for the birth of their child, the newborn king.

Foretold and promised generations ago,

news of his birth was heard throughout the lands,

and the star in the east that lit up the sky

guided men of wisdom across desert sands.

Shepherds fled their flocks

frightened by angels that came nigh

announcing the news of Jesus’s birth.

To the king they hurried, and in haste found

the tiny babe chosen to rule and reign

lying in a feeding trough upon a cold bare ground.

Hope and redemption was born that night

where cattle grazed, and sheep and goats brayed.

No throne or palace was awarded this king,

yet people came from all around

seeking the savior born that day.

Now in a world where chaos, crowds and noise

  leaves hearts searching and seeking one to follow,

  where joy, comfort and peace

is eternal, lasting and hallow,

there waits the savior born that day

to reign in hearts that just believe.

_______________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today, in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:10-14 NIV, New Testament Bible.

I would like to take this time to thank all of my blogger friends, followers and visitors who have visited my blog site through 2016, and wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year of peace and joy in 2017. The amazing friends and opportunities I have, and the positive comments received are what makes blogging fun, rewarding, and an inspiration to my writing. Blessings to all.  JEJ

The world we live in now

 

The news is grim; too much the norm.

The media converging, microphones ready,

people with cell phone cameras, and video,

like vultures swarming, taking their shot

posting to Facebook and Twitter get ‘Likes,’

repeats and coverage every few minutes,

again with all of the horrific details

that thrive on the feeds

   of viral sites with streaming bytes.

~~~

Shouting, screaming, fists raised to the sky;

it’s another demonstration, another protest;

they rant, and rage at the opposing side,

and take their fight out into the streets.

“Stop the violence. No more guns.”

“Too many lives lost, too much bloodshed.”

“So much is wrong.”

“We need new laws.”

“Let’s find a way. Let’s work things out.”

~~~

Candidates throw their insults

at their running mates.

It’s a tiresome scene, their platform pushed

till despairing words tossed back are extreme

in hopes to win their party nomination

retracts a comment, misconstrued.

~~~

The issue of life at conception is heard

and once more it’s Roe vs. Wade revisited again.

“Punish the woman who takes a life,” a candidate says

“But, she has her rights. It’s her choice,” another argues.

~~~

The skies light up. Bombs explode.

Terrorists strike again inside

borders streaming with refugees that flee.

No country or people is immune to the threat

from wherever it comes, or intended place

there’s fear and distrust; it’s now what we face.

~~~

Will it be safe, to travel, be free,

to walk through airport terminals or streets?

God, give us a leader who is wise, and sincere,

who will stand for the things we once believed in.

~~~

At a nuclear summit with their tables full

leaders promise, “All will be better,

Just give it a chance. If we all can agree to

eliminate the threat by destroying the nukes.”

~~~

A new judge appointed to the supreme court

angers dissenters; they don’t agree.

The turmoil spills into the courts

where laws are muddied and can’t protect

those who stand to honor and abide

by their conscious convictions what they feel is right.

~~~

None can promise a way to spare

the country or world of problems shared.

All is in chaos wherever one lives,

memorial sites are erected for victims now dead.

~~~

Where are we headed?

Where is the foundation we built our lives on?

For what once was there is all but gone.

Is what we see, and what we hear

a repeat of the past, or more of the same?

~~~

There is no place where there is no strife,

where greed and corruption is not at home.

Where can one go where their soul is free?

Where there is no hate, death threats, or pain?

~~~

I lift my eyes and train my ears where cometh the sound

of a distant trumpet, and God’s Son appears on the clouds.

I’ll not worry, nor fear what happens on this earth,

or what one can do to me,

for what I know to be true

is that it is His Kingdom that will come and reign.

________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2016

Posted April 16, 2016 by Joyce in My Writings, Poems, poetry, Politics

Tagged with , , , ,

He Came to Set Us Free

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The Garden Tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem, Israel: photo taken May, 2001 while on tour of Israel.

 

He did not come to guarantee

that your life would not know pain,

but that you would have joy,

and from the clutch of sin be free.

He did not die to be remembered

as one wronged, then crucified,

but one raised up and resurrected,

and be crowned King of Kings.

________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2016

The story of Jesus’s death and resurrection can be found in chapters 19 & 20 of the book of John in the New Testament Bible, NIV.

I wish you all a happy, blessed Easter filled with hope, peace and love.


Given over to die, so we might live

 

No throne of gold with ruling court,

just a young colt prepared to carry

the One coming; so humbled was He

with no announcement, campaign or promise,

no regal bearing, pride or clout,

no pronouncement or declaration

to any who promised to follow,

but with a mission, soon to be found

guilty, with charges brought

not by Pilate, king or crown,

but by the common people

demanding condemnation.

His crime committed?

Nothing more but Love,

no threats or harsh in character

words thrown upon the crowd.

He held no hate, or bitter accusation

against his jury, judge or fate,

but stood in silent confirmation

as one sent to suffer death

by the father who sent Him

to redeem the world from sin.

_________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2016

Today is Palm Sunday (the Sunday preceding Easter). In the New Testament gospels it is recorded as a significant time when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, humbling Himself before the people. They welcomed Him then as the One who had performed so many miracles and healed so many. They threw palm branches at his feet when He entered town. But, within a week’s time their demeanor and attitude changed considerably and it became the consensus by all, to condemn Him to death, and release to them another man, Barabbas convicted of crimes charged against the people. It was the custom back then for Pilate, the people’s Roman ruler to release one man, and put the other man to death. They chose Jesus to be the one put to death. But, it was not a coincidence that Jesus be put to death, but was God’s plan from the beginning to send His only begotten son to death for the sins of the world, so that those who believed in Him would have eternal life. This story can be found recorded in the New Testament Gospels in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. You can also find it here in this scripture passage, Mark, chapter 11: 1-11.


He who stands alone to worship

 

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The Sea of Galilee in Israel; Photo taken May, 2001 while touring Israel just four months before the 9/11 attack on the U.S. Photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson

 

 

The shepherd struggled to his feet. Smoke rose into the sky as winds carried the smell of death and destruction of Bethlehem to the hillside.

The annual  pilgrimage of thousands who came each year to see the place where the Christ child was believed born was only a trickle this year in the wake of all the terrorist attacks.

They are the smart ones, who stay away. The Palestinians did not fear the Jews, or their retaliation to the missiles and suicide bombs, but instead the much darker force of evil who controlled the region destroying and desecrating all historic or religious sites. Like a plague of death their victims fell to their swords, and their black flag now flew over Gaza.

Hassan heard a soft bleat.

One has survived.

He made his way through the carnage to the sound growing weaker with every step and found him half buried under rock and debris carried by the blast. Bleeding, legs broken, but alive his eyes pleaded with silent cries.

As the night grew dark, and now quiet the shepherd tended after the lamb. He supposed the rest of his flock was now dead, or scattered. Like all the nights before when the stars came out he looked up, searching, studying those that never failed to shine their bright light upon the hills of Bethlehem.

A glow penetrated the cave dwelling. A star has fallen!

“Hassan! It is I.”

He shook with fear. Where did that come from!? 

“Hassan, you alone have survived. Don’t be afraid. I will be with you. Worship me, Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ sent to save the world from its sin. I came so that you may have eternal life. Believe only in me, and you will be saved.”

He had no understanding or comprehension of what had just happened, or what he had heard. Yet, a calm came over him, seeping into his very soul. Food and water appeared mysteriously before him. Provisions?

He ate. Taking the lamb he rose and walked to where the destroyed grotto now lay in ruins.

It is only a shrine.

Lifting his voice toward the heavens he cried out. “If I stand alone to tell my story I will tell how you came to save me, and that I live to worship You.”

One by one the scattered sheep came back, compelled by the sound of their shepherd’s voice.

It mattered not that he alone survived the attack, but that he was no longer alone. His time remaining he did not know. He was alive. He had this moment now.

___________________

Footnotes: The above story is only fiction. Thank heaven for that. Literally.  🙂 Bethlehem was one of the places we visited while on our tour of Israel in May, 2001. Although the U.S. has seen much of its own terrorism (the 9/11 attack and the one most recently in San Bernardino, Ca.) and those in Paris and elsewhere I remain very thankful I live in a free country, and can still worship the living Savior who came to this world born of a virgin, went to the cross to die for the sins of this world, and was buried and resurrected so we can have eternal life. The real story (a much happier one) of the shepherds and Jesus’s birth can be found in Matthew and Luke, chapter 2 of the New Testament Bible.

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46 (NIV)

_________________  

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)    

 

 

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