Poems and Bible Verses
Page 8

Tempus Fugit
Which Way to Raise a Child?
Which Teacher?
The Carpenter's Son
Signals from Outer Space
Which light do you choose?
Faith, Perseverance, Courage
And Lo, the great political conventions proclaimed...

Tempus Fugit

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of Heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.


The age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may go marry;
For having lost but one your prime,
You may forever tarry.
"To the Virgins" by Robert Herrick

Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,
Before the difficult days come,
And the years draw near when you say,
"I have no pleasure in them.''
Ecclesiastes 12.1a

Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are.
Help us to spend them as we should.
Psalm 90:12, LB

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit''; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow.

For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.''

But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
James 4.13-17

Behold, now is the accepted time!
now is the day of salvation!
2 Corinthians 6.2b

Which Way to Raise a Child?

Hurry the baby as fast as you can,
Hurry him, worry him, make him a man.
Off with his baby clothes, get him in pants,
Feed him on brain foods and make him advance.

Hustle him, soon as he's able to walk,
Into a grammar school; cram him with talk.
Fill his poor head full of figures and facts,
Keep on a-jamming them in till it cracks.


Once boys grew up at a rational rate,
Now we develop a man while you wait.
Rush him through college, compel him to grab
Of every known subject a dip and a dab.

Get him in business and after the cash,
All by the time he can grow a mustache.
Let him forget he was ever a boy,
Make gold his god and its jingle his joy.

Keep him a-hustling and clear out of breath,
Until he wins -- nervous prostration and death.
"Making a Man" by Nixon Waterman

Or This?

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth;
But thou shalt meditate therein day and night,
That thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein.

For then thou shalt make thy way prosperous,
And then thou shalt have good success.
Joshua 1:8

Which Teacher?

Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies,
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower -- but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.
"Flower in the Crannied Wall" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson


Or This?
The grass withers, the flower fades,
Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it.
Surely the people are grass!
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.
Isaiah 40.7-8


The Carpenter's Son

(Spoken about Jesus...) "Is this not the carpenter's son?
Is not His mother called Mary?
And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?"
Mt 13.55

Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus, was married to a carpenter named Joseph.
When Jesus was a lad, Joseph surely taught Him to build things of wood.

Jesus, the carpenter's son...
Measuring. Sawing. Hammering. Building.
Hard at work with callused hands
Drenched with sweat as He labored
Weary of body when He fell into bed at day's end.

With your mind's eye, look back in time to see the face of that young boy as He slept;
For there in that small human body lies the incarnate God...
Who, in ages past, merely spoke, and the universe SPRANG into existence;
Who, even now as you read this, sustains you and all creation by naught but His will!

Jesus, the Carpenter!
Who built the world by His word
Who built furniture by His hands
Who built salvation by His blood

And even today, He builds...

Jesus said:
In My Father's house are many mansions.
If it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again and receive you to Myself;
That where I am,
There you may be also.
John 14.2-3

For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed,
We have a building from God,
A house not made with hands,
Eternal in the heavens.
2 Cor 5.1

I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.

I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given.

"I Never Saw a Moor" by Emily Dickinson


Understanding is the reward of faith.
Therefore, seek not to understand that thou mayest believe,
But believe that thou mayest understand.
St. Augustine


Signals from Outer Space

When I heard the learn'd astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures,
Were ranged in columns before me;

When I was shown the charts and the diagrams,
To add, divide, and measure them;

When I, sitting, heard the astronomer,
Where he lectured with much applause in the lecture room,

How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

"When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" by Walt Whitman

The heavens are telling the glory of God.
They are a marvelous display of his craftsmanship.
Day and night they keep on telling about God.
Without a sound or word, silent in the skies,
Their message reaches out to all the world.

O Lord our God, the majesty and glory of your name,
Fills all the earth and overflows the heavens.
When I look up into the night skies and see the work of Your fingers
--the moon and the stars You have made--
I cannot understand how You can bother with mere puny man,
To pay any attention to him!
And yet You have made him only a little lower than the angels,
And placed a crown of glory and honor upon his head.

LB: Ps 19.1-3a; Ps 8.1, 8.3-5


Which light do you choose?

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes and oh, my friends --
It gives a lovely light.
Edna St. Vincent Millay


The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,
Has shined in our hearts,
To give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God,
In the face of Jesus Christ.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
Isa 9.2; 2 Cor 4.6; Ps 27.1


Faith, Perseverance, Courage

One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
'Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales
Which tells us the way to go.

Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate,
As we voyage along through life.
'Tis the set of the soul
That decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife.
The Winds of Fate by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

1) We want to prove ourselves genuine servants of God, whatever we have to go through...

  • patient endurance of troubles or even disasters
  • being flogged or imprisoned; being mobbed
  • having to work like slaves
  • having to go without food or sleep

All this we want to face with sincerity...

  • with insight and patience
  • by sheer kindness and the Holy Spirit
  • with genuine love, speaking the plain truth
  • living by the power of God

2 Cor 6.4-10, Phillips translation -- continued in Column 2


2) Our sole defense, our only weapon, is a life of integrity, whether we meet honor or dishonor, praise or blame...

  • called "imposters," we must be true
  • called "nobodies," we must be in the public eye

Never far from death. Yet here we are -- ALIVE!

  • always going "through it"
  • yet never "going under"

We know sorrow, yet our joy is inextinguishable.

We have nothing to bless ourselves with, yet we bless many others with true riches.

We are penniless. Yet - in reality - we have everything worth having!


And Lo, the great political conventions proclaimed...
"Behold the American economy, how it prospers!"

Then Jesus spoke a parable to them, saying...

The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And the rich man thought within himself, saying, "What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?"

So the rich man said, "I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, 'Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.' "

But God said to the rich man, "You fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?"

So is he who lays up treasure for himself,
Yet is not rich toward God.
Luke 12.16-21


I met a traveller from an antique land who said...

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert.

Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, a sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings.
"Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
"Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley


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