The Approachable God

Two words reveal the Trinity,
relationship and love,
ya can’t have one without the other,
they’re part of the nature of God above.

Self-love is narcissistic, and
agape love can’t function alone.
Only the real God exists in 3 persons,
so eternal love’s been around all along.

Other gods are one sole being
so love’s unknown to ’em all;
and if love is not their essence,
then something else describes their call.

With other god’s power’s their focus,
love, compassion, altruism don’t exist,
it really takes 2 to tango
and to love, submit, coexist.

Tainted blood’s man’s biggest problem
it’s infected with a fatal plague called sin,
it’s terminal and man can’t fix it,
thankfully Jesus’ blood makes it pure again.

Jesus gave up His throne in heaven
so sinful man could be absolved;
He left His Father for an insolent people
whose problem only Jesus could solve.

The reason for Jesus’ coming,
the over-arching purpose for His trip,
was His creation’s restoration
along with God and man’s relationship.

If we could get how much God loves us
we’d never think or act the same,
God made us, forgave us, and saved us        
and He knows each of us by name;

and the Father’s eternally joyful,
He knows how the story ends,
thankfully the Trinity condescended
to make a way for sinners to ascend.

Mason Swinney

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FDR and Fake News

Fake News is not a new thing. For example, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) dealt with it and attacked it head on in his December 10, 1941 radio address to an estimated 90 million listeners of the nations 130 million citizens. In it he tried to correct some of the numerous rumors floating around and exacerbated by the national press about air attacks by the Japanese on both coasts, various military setbacks and victories that were not true, etc. He went so far as to say that hearing any statement attributed to “an authoritative source” you can assume the actual source is not “any person in authority”. Sound similar to present day reporting by the New York Times, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC? He then dropped the hammer on all newspaper and radio stations by stating:

“To all newspapers and radio stations-all those who reach the eyes and ears of the American people-I say this: You have a most grave responsibility to the nation now and for the duration of this war. If you feel that your government is not disclosing enough of the truth, you have every right to say so. But-in the absence of all the facts, as revealed by official sources-you have no right in the ethics of patriotism to deal out unconfirmed reports in such a way as to make people believe they are the gospel truth.The lives of our soldiers and sailors-the whole future of this nation-depends upon the manner in which each and every one of us fulfill his obligation to our country.”

These words are surprisingly accurate today as well. And remember this was directed at a press corp that kept FDR’s polio-caused paralysis a secret so as not to alarm and/or unduly frighten the American people. Our current news corp isn’t anywhere near that thoughtful, respectful or sensitive. Now it’s all about scooping all other news sources no matter the consequences and the all important ratings.

The one thing our current leadership deals with and FDR did not have to encounter was social media and the instantaneous distribution of facts, figures, truths, and untruths and the writer’s opinions on that information.

FDR faced the problem head-on and President Trump appears to be trying to do that also but FDR was the imperial president elected 4 separate times with far-reaching executive powers unheard of since the Civil War and President Trump is in many respects a minority president allegedly elected with fewer popular vote vote than his rival candidate.

Further complicating things is a federally funded educational system that is outdated and fully biased to the left and teaching classes and methods contrary to what most of the citizens believe and in many cases downright lies.

One thing we know and history seems to flesh out is that politicians aren’t going to fix it. There have been exceptions along the way, Winston Churchill, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln to name a few but the idea that a great statesman/ stateswoman can fix it seems to be a thing of the past.

Our only hope is that voters can somehow decipher truth from all the misinformation and bias out there, read the tea leaves, and elect the best candidates available. Sounds like a tall order doesn’t it?

So, is fake news the problem or a symptom of the problem? I think our problem centers around a profession, journalists, that think they are far smarter and wiser than they are and authorities on whatever the current topic of discussion is. They’ve gone from thinking they are smart to thinking they are gods. They think they have the right and duty to educate, lead, and correct the mere mortal intellectually-challenged masses. Unfortunately, they are not alone in this self-assessment as other professions like politicians, actors/singers/entertainers, educators, tycoons/plutocrats/wealthy, and others, me included, think we have all the answers as well. So, perhaps it’s time for all of us to do a little serious soul searching/self-examination and try to make an honest evaluation of our own glorification, coronation, and motivation. Perhaps then God will forgive us for trying to do His job and we will do a whole lot more listening than talking, thinking before speaking and self-assessing rather than pontificating.

Mason Swinney

* all quotes from the book “December 1941” by Craig Shirley

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The Highway Called Life

You can’t find the good
always looking for the bad;
and you can’t see the truth
if the false don’t make you mad.

The key to living rightly
is the eyes w’see life through,
but it’s not just the eyes God gave us,
it’s the worldview glasses that we use.

Two people can study history
but their conclusions not the same,
one might see Honest Abe a hero,
other’s see him quite to blame.

Che Guevara, a champion to the little guy,
to others, a Marxist traitor at his best;
Jesus Christ to some a Savior
but to others a whole lot less.

Man’s rebellion starts with coveting,
we want something w’see and so we take;
for there’s an expressway ‘tween our heart and eyes
with our character the roadsigns along the way.

But navigating the road signs is very circular,
like an intersection roundabout;
our behavior determines character
and our character determines behavior,
that’s for sure and certain, there’s no doubt.

Jesus taught the importance of good foundations,
sand is bad and stone the best,
the right foundation provides firm girding
to withstand life’s storms and tests.

We’re each kings and queens of our castles,
and charged to rule them fair and true,
and that starts with a highway clear of clutter
and a vision that seeks the truth.

Applying God’s word to daily choices
helps us slow down, stop, and think
and weigh the consequences,
and the wrong answers start to shrink.

And as we make more right decisions
a change in pattern starts to emerge,
and this pattern is the you that God always intended
and the sound in the background is a softly fading dirge.

God gave us His word to help us,
it’s a roadmap for our life’s trip,
the smart ones follow His directions
and allow His Spirit to transform, direct, equip.

Mason Swinney

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The Question 

Did Jesus really rise from the dead?
It’s lifes biggest question and if He did,
we’d better do what He said.

And if He didn’t
we can do what we like,
but we’d better be sure
our answer is right!

Mason Swinney

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Overcomer

“My God, My God
why have You forsaken Me”,
the Bible answers Jesus cry
for us for us to free.

Sin is behaving like we’re God,
salvation is God substituting Himself for “man”,
justice requires a price be paid
for “man” to start fresh again.

So the Father had a foolproof plan,
let a sinless man pay for “man’s” mistakes,
thus this sinless man must be selfless and loving
to substitute Himself, “man’s” payment make.

So the Father sent His Son,
His plan now plain to see,
Jesus kept the law for us,
“man” nailed Him to the tree.

But the grave just couldn’t hold Him,
after all He is the Father’s Son,
neither the cross nor cave could bar Him,
our eternal destiny His love had won.

Mason Swinney

Special thinks to John Stott and Timothy Keller

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The King

Jesus, the Good Shepherd Who saves us
and guides us along life’s scary maze;
He’s our Savior, our Redeemer,
He’s the Light’n these ever darkening days.

It’s Him shining brightly, our beacon ahead
He’s the way, truth, the life;
He’s the vine that sustains us,
He’s the Husband, we’re the wife.

He’s the hope of the nations,
the resurrection and the door;
He’s the God-man from heaven
He’s all that and much more.

He’s The Word become flesh
the lamb of God that still roars;
He’s the lion of Judah,
the God who heals and restores.

His own tried to stone Him
for not finishing what Joshua and David began;
they wanted a world-conquering savior
not’a suffering one and certainly not a lamb.

He didn’t meet their expectations,
though common sense told ’em how absurb
but common sense not the Pharisee’s strong suit,
they kicked the universe’s Creator and Savior to the curb.

They staged a mock trial
then nailed Him to a beam,
sin and death righteously defeated
and sinful man at last redeemed.

He’s every stories happy ending,
He orchestrated how and when each began.
He’s the Alpha and Omega,
the beginning and the end.

Every knee will bow before Him
all earthly powers genuflect;
He rides the regal white stallion,
He’s the Prefect of prefects.

The perfect representation of the Father,
One in essence, equal in every way,
yet perfectly submits to the Father
whom He always seamlessly obeys.

He’s unequaled in every detail,
completely God yet fully man;
He holds the keys to death and hades
He’s the one and only great I AM!

Mason Swinney

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Rustication, Passing Through Eden

What’s it about country living
that appeals to us so much;
is it the pace or the view,
perhaps the memories that draws each of us.

The perfect Christmas or perfect Easter,
reminders of the memories we crave,
but they really can’t be actualized
they’re longings man is powerless to recreate.

Subconsciously we sense we’re homeless
the “Gardens” where we’re meant to be,
even though we’re not walking with Jesus
out among the beautiful flowers, empowering trees.

We’re all homesick for the “Garden”
though the recollections are just a glimpse,
often projected onto our personal memories,
warm and cozy, full of bliss.

What was it like in the old days
when your small community was your world?
The world’s problems arriving n’the Sunday paper,
you’d read about ’em but hardly stirred.

Why are old memories so often pleasant,
fact or fiction, spiritually imbued,
memories unencumbered, bad times forgotten,
they become our memory banks magnetic north.

Fear not, the refrain often repeated
by Jesus, God’s only begotten Son,
was it because fear’s universal
and we deal with it as it comes.

The extent of darkness is determined
by the degree that light fails to persist;
and our drawing near to Jesus
the Son of Man just can’t resist.

Just as the whale changed Jonah’s scenery,
so love swallows up our fears
and God uses rustication
to help us see that peace is near.

For God so loved the world
that He sacrificed his only Son;
good news for all believers
knowing love has conquered, love has won.

Perhaps a better magnetic north to fall back on
is where we’ll reside when we leave this fallen world,
the place where Jesus is building each our mansions
and love will rule and reign forevermore.

That’s a truth that’s worth remembering,
a hope with legs, a certainty
and when your minds fixed on God’s glory
worldly cares just disappear.

Mason Swinney

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