What’s Hidden Inside

How does a sculptor,
his eyes on the granite,
know a lion’s inside?

And when does the painter,
with her anvil and canvas,
know there an oak tree resides?

Before an image can blossom
the artist looks on the inside,
for it’s there the images hide.

But knowing they’re there
doesn’t change the abstract,
to actualize they must interact.

And the more walking about
the inside of the cave,
familiarity replaces our doubt;

as familiarity reigns,
the darkness departs,
it disrobes it’s dark outer wear;

there’re degrees to the light
while the darkness recedes
and what’s hidden is finally freed.

The key to real living
is finding the dream in your dreams,
and once found and acknowledged
the lion and tree are set free.

Mason Swinne

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The Power In Guided Leaving

Jesus had to leave heaven to fulfill the Father’s plans and had to travel from His earthly home in Galilee to Jerusalem to save His elect. Before Abram could become Abraham and the Father of Nations he first had to leave Ur of the Chaldean’s and travel to a foreign land that, unbeknownst to him, God intended to give him. Likewise, before David could become King of Israel he first had to leave Bethlehem. The same with Moses who had to leave Egypt to be prepared by God to lead the children of Israel to the promise land. So it was with most of the great men and women of the Bible who had to leave their homes and move before they were used by God. The disciples left their boats, nets and tax booth before they could become Apostles and Jesus instructed us to go and make disciples of all nations. There is power in leaving.

Before we can become all that God wants us to be we must first leave our familiar, often comfortable, lifestyles behind. For the addict to become clean and sober he must first leave his addictive lifestyle and not return. If you think about it it just makes sense. If we continue to live in the lifestyle that has shaped us into what we currently are, then it makes sense that the first thing we need to do to achieve what God has in store for us is to leave our current lifestyle which almost always involves leaving home. Remember, David’s family saw a shepherd whereas God saw a king but he had to leave home first before he was crowned. And, where the Gentile-haters saw the consummate hater in Saul, God saw perhaps the greatest Apostle of all and he, now Paul, the apostle to the very Gentiles he’d once hated.

Perhaps leaving’s hard because we’re comfortable where we currently are and leaving ‘comfortable’ just doesn’t make much sense, especially when we don’t know what the future holds in store for us somewhere else. To say it another way, we’re prisoners to the familiar. So, often the first step in walking by faith is leaving your comfort zone and trusting God to do for you what you can’t do for yourself, transform you. Transformation requires leaving what’s comfortable and known and embracing the unknown. But you’re not leaving alone since God is with you. And, when you can’t see the trail you can trust the Guide because He’s the sovereign ruler of the universe. Leaving and cleaving are the keys to a successful marriage and an abundant life. But what makes the journey exciting is the Guide.

Mason Swinney

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Life In The Fishbowl

In the days of Boone and Crockett
with the calvary miles away,
forts seemed indispensable
for protection day to day.

But the safety they provided
with the walls that kept ’em safe
caused feelings of isolation
which caused some to grate and chafe.

Like a fish in a fish bowl
swimming round and round,
the scenery never changing,
the glass walls closing in around.

But today we still erect ’em,
the walls around our hearts,
we think that we’re protected
from the evil and the dark.

But walls are self-protective
and the only ally is yourself,
so we’re sacrificing others,
leaving us with little help;

and the walls cause detachment,
as fear replaces trust
and soon we’re a prisoner
in the cell we did construct.

And the people we’re excluding
are the very people we need in;
living life like a sniper,
leaves you alone to save your skin.

But you’re the problem and the answer
it’s you who put the walls in place,
which only you who can disassemble,
and have them all replaced.

Then one day the alarm’s a’blaring,
you realize you’re all alone,
and you scatch your head and wonder,
where’ve all my people gone?

As providence would have it,
you gaze at the walls of solid rock
and your spiritual eyes surprise you,
there’s a hidden door minus the locks;

knocking, someone answers,
it is Jesus Christ Himself,
and when He reaches for the knob
a new world does open up.

And gradually you see,
those walls weren’t meant for your protection;
you were fooled to think they masked your fear
causing more and more introspection.

The walls flattened have become a pathway
to the life God had in mind,
and with the faith that you’ve received,
you’re new life is purposefully aligned.

Mason Swinney

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A Nose For Life

The mornings find me holy,
every hair its proper place
but when evening comes a calling
my morals get misplaced.

Why so inconsistent,
indeed so insincere,
no doubt because I’m fallen
and not what I appear.

At last I can admit it
but I’m not the only fraud,
it’s a universal problem
everyone of us is flawed.

Is there pride in the admission
though claiming transparency,
our motives like to barter,
leaving us to referee.

But isn’t that the problem,
lacking balance in our life
or is balance a misnomer,
it’s actually rebellion, inner strife.

Is this incongruity a feeling
or a thought that’s being led
by the evil me within us,
not much heart and to much head.

There’s a war raging inside us,
a different battle every day,
the weapons spiritual, not metallic,
our minds easily led astray.

Self-hyphenated words define the evil,
King Me is on the throne;
but when the world no longer matters,
we see the true and tested Cornerstone.

The key to higher living
is where we point our nose,
if it’s staring at our navels
thoughts of others quickly go.

But when our nose points at the heavens
a holy perspective comes in view
with our thoughts more on the Godhead,
and on other people too.

So to win the battle downstairs
the top floor must be cleaned and set aright,
and once the house cleaning’s accomplished,
then we can start to live life right.

Mason Swinney

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Why The Future Says The Present?

When living in the future
the present simply passes by;
and when the future is arriving
it’s old hat and by it flies.

When the present is your focus
you’ve no time to look ahead
for each day has troubles plenty
they’re enough for you to dread;

the present gets full attention,
must be dealt with now, today,
there’s no time to put it off,
which translates you can’t delay.

When our focus is the future
we miss the life planned for today
often cause it slid right past us
cause our thoughts were days away.

Let’s try living in the present,
tomorrow’s not promised, guaranteed
and the things that we are missing
are the very things that we all need.

Mason Swinney

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Let It Be

I’m amazed at the incredible faith of Jesus’ mother Mary when the angel Gabriel met with her and changed her life forever. You know the story, he tells her that she is the “favored one” who would bear a son that she would name Jesus who would be “great and will be called the Son of the Most High and “His kingdom will have no end.”

Mary’s marriage to her fiancé Joseph had not yet been consummated at this point and she was probably 13 to 15 years old and was humbled by Gabriel’s greeting which speaks very well of her character yet old enough to know the humiliation, probable gossip, Joseph’s likely reaction, and possible stoning that awaited her for this perceived socially unacceptable pregnancy. Her faith, calmness, demeanor, and desire to be obedient was enormous and she knew the angel was quoting Isaiah 7:14, “the virgin shall conceive and bear a son” and accepts this fait accompli pronouncement and only questions the means of conception, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

Imagine being in Mary’s shoes and having this information unexpectedly dropped in your lap with no one to process and discuss it with, no personal history to relate it to, and so far beyond your greatest wish, dream, or fantasy. And you a very young teenager from the boondocks and in the world’s eyes a very common, ordinary girl and being told you would conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit and give birth to the Son of God.

Yet Mary’s remarkable response, “let it be to me according to your word.” No doubt, no hesitation, no reluctance, no let me think about it, no do you have the right person; just a love-based, faith-focused, and behavior-centered, “let it be”.

Her faith has forever changed the course of human history! How’s our faith matching up?

Mason Swinney

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No Stroll Through The Garden

When Adam and Eve walked with God
life wasn’t good, it was great;
but when they bit the apple
their peace and joy did quickly abate.

The price for those rebellious nibbles
was loads of shame, fear and blame
plus expulsion from God’s earthly garden,
self-absorption and death all they gained.

So it certainly stands to reason
for peace and joy to define our lives,
we must repent and walk with Jesus,
from whom they derive and thrive.

Mason Swinney

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