There was a day when I was filled with the excitement of knowing that God is our sufficiency in all things. My mind then turned to the city and what makes a city. I knew that firstly, His rule applies in all things of life and secondly, that the city was void in all areas of His rule and healing power. Furthermore, it was those who were in authority who were supposed to be teaching, directing, leading, delivering but instead were the ones responsible for the corruption and degeneration of the people. Only outside the city but not far away was the remedy, THE Remedy.
Hey, you city dwellers!
Do you see that yonder Light?
He is the Standard of all standards;
He lights the way so you can see…and not stumble.
He is the Walkway to lead you in sure directions
To take you where you need to go.
He is the Grocery Store;
He is your Bread and Butter and all good food,
Without additives…or subtractives;
You’ll find no nourishment elsewhere.
Why are you so gaunt, city dweller?
He is your Post Office;
To Him messages must go
And from Him they will come.
Mail service is timely and free;
Why don’t you pay your postage?
He is the local Drug Store
But for good and not for hurt.
In Him are the leaves
For the healing of the nations.
See that Jewelry Store around the corner
And there you’ll find precious stones
To grace the chest of one who wears them.
No costume jewelry here.
The gold is real, the stones are genuine;
He is not here to deceive.
He is your Clothing Store
To clothe you with clothes that cover and not expose;
To clothe you with decency and humility, city dweller;
To hide your shame.
Why do you pass by? Do you prefer your nakedness?
Drug pusher John, why do you dwell
In the darkest recesses of the alleys?
Are you afraid of the Light Standard?
Why do you betray the people in whose midst you dwell?
There is no hiding from the Light Standard, John.
He shines around corners and even through walls…it only seems to take
A little more time.
Your time is at hand, and how quickly it has come,
Tailored to your needs.
He is the Policeman;
Not a pig but the Lamb;
Not to injure or to trap but to help;
Not to condemn but to deliver.
Gather the rubbish, city dweller.
Clear the streets of its stench.
Throw your waste away which lies up to your waist
Into the receptacles of repentance so that
The Garbage Man may take it away
To the city dump of fire and forgiveness.
Counselors of the dwellers, where are you?
Why is there rubble in your streets?
From where comes the stench of garbage?
Why is the Water cut off and the Power?
Where are you, counselors of the dwellers?
Counseling yourselves in your high places
While the dwellers languish below?
Sewers for water and water for sewers!
Woe to the counselors who don’t know the difference,
And teach from the high places of darkness.
Repair the lines!
Turn away from your own comforts and gains, counselors,
Or you too will be in the garbage truck,
On the way to the fires.
You’ll receive the greater damnation
For the price you’ve exacted at the cost of
Dwellers near and far.
Give them the Pure and Living Water
So that they thirst no more.
Take away their waste
Instead of causing them to consume yours.
They worship you and honor you,
And ask for more of what you give,
Yet go away empty, darkened, hungry and without comfort.
You have what you are after.
Why is not the Light Standard shining?
Why are the streets so dark?
Let the price be paid by those who would have It shine.
Let the streets be seen again, if not for the first time.
And let the way be known;
Let it be obscure no more.
City dweller! There is little time
To rush, to push, to do;
There is a Park where you can go;
Sit down awhile, rest and think.
Where are you going?
What are you doing?
City dweller, why are you here?
Where will it end?
So you make your million. Then what?
Take your ease and enjoy?
Sit awhile longer, city dweller, and think again.
Those who seek their million neither rest nor enjoy.
They have only learned to make their million…
And another…and another.
City dweller, go to the Park; stop and consider for your life…
And consider until you have it.
On the edge of town just up the hill is a gate
With nothing between here and there but refuse.
Clear it out and make your way to that gate…a narrow gate,
Which opens to the City Lodge.
There you’ll find rest and food and comfort
And the Light Standard inside.
Lethbridge, Aug 14, 1984
I have known fear, perhaps not as some have known it but many know fear one way or another, at one time or another, to such an extent that it cripples, paralyzes the soul. We think we have security in this world until one day we are rudely awakened from our pipe-dream. Security in this world is but an illusion. When our disillusionment comes, its comrade-in-arms is often fear. But that disillusionment needn’t be our enemy. In truth, it can be a friend in disguise. Nor do we need to fear as though there is no such thing as true and sure security, for then we would be prey to a lie, to our own destruction. There IS a sure security for those who will avail themselves of it. My fear rides me like a stern rider Rides his horse. Unless I run his pace, His spurs dig deep my sides. I think blood flows at times…I’m sure of it. I scarcely dare to think, to pause For fear I have a rider Who will not show me mercy Who will not grant me pardon Who will not make a move To relent, to ease my pain. “Run!” he says. I run. “Faster!” says he. I go faster. “Faster isn’t good enough! You’ve had it!” I think that if I drop, I have sweet release. He whips me as I fall. Fear is not afraid to beat a dead horse. He seems to relish it, delight in it. The compassion of fear is tyranny, His patience only scorn. He takes the meat and feeds it to minks, And then I think, “Aha! There is rest in the mouths of minks, Fear has no torment there!” Until I find that my rider Is possess...
What torment we put ourselves through because of the value we place on the attitudes and opinions of others toward us. Realizing the effect of that grievous burden, we throw it off and are greatly relieved until a day comes when we find it had somehow grown on our backs once more to torment us, increasingly so. We must make a choice between praise of man and praise of God. How sweet the deliverance from chains that bind A man to many lords, As peace and rest come to his soul Which he has not known before! The disquieted mind beleaguered with questions, Bedraggled with doubt and confusion, Struggles to know the answer at hand Which seems to be but an illusion. How fruitless the concentration on Opinions of other people! How taxing the consternation About all their thoughts and actions! To the extent one values their words And seeks to be praised of men, To this extent are they his lords And idols are they within. Seek not to prove that the wrong are wrong; Seek not to prove you are right, But speak the truth both gently and wisely And leave it without a fight. Fear no man but fear only God, For once all is said and done, To God will we answer And He is the Judge Of all things under the sun. All things that are hidden Will come to the light In due time, whether good or bad, And when His plan is fully complete, Then all will receive praise of God. Dauphin, 1978, 79
Though many who presume to preach the gospel of salvation would deny this, they give people the impression that, upon believing the gospel, all trials and troubles will flee. While it is true that if we walk in truth and righteousness we save ourselves untold evils, it is evil which the Lord uses to break us and mold us after His likeness. And these trials can be far more difficult than those we had previously. Take Paul for example. Was he whipped, stoned and beaten with rods when an unbelieving Jew according to the flesh, sitting amongst friends at the feet of Gamaliel? The evils applied to us for good develop invulnerability and immortality. Resilience, where would I be If not for your helping hand? At one time I was deathly ill, So vulnerable to the slightest afflictions. Scratches would hold sway Like a pestilence And linger in my soul For years. But now like a ball of Indian rubber, I bounce away from a wall of brick Whereas once I was as an egg. The past is a fearful jailor, A formidable tormentor as well. With an iron grip, With shackles and chains, It held me In bitterness and regret, In shame and dismay, In helpless thoughts Of revenge and amends. Not so now. Resilience has come, Riding upon healing, Healing harnessed in pardon, And now I am free. Afflictions still come And pain is there From enemies far greater In power and number With liberties of warfare Given to them And denied to me. But whereas a scratch was o...