Life

Why are we here,
what’s it about?
Is there real meaning
or just reams of pure doubt?

Everything seems random,
we’re so out of touch
we want to be someone
we want it so much.

Off to work in the morning,
home by six;
frozen dinners and reruns,
no politics.

Yard work on the weekends,
date night at eight,
a movie and dinner,
home early, not late.

The older we get
we don’t venture out,
it’s way too much trouble,
simply pretend we’re devout.

Is there more to it,
are we living the dream?
Is the carousel slowing,
is this all it seems?

Somehow you’ve missed it,
it’s not what you planned,
you’re running the treadmill
and life is a scam.

There must be an answer,
there just has to be?
You’ll pursue it tomorrow
you’ll find it and see.

The sun rising and setting,
the moon and stars way up there,
these things don’t just happen
there’s a designer somewhere.

You know there’s more to it,
Or perhaps it’s a Who,
keep looking you’ll find ’em
do great questions come true?

The first steps the hardest,
your fear overcome,
if you cry out the question,
the answer will come,

The answer’s a person named Jesus the Christ
but He’s not just a man, He’s God in the flesh
only He can transform us and make us brand new!

Mason Swinney

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Remembering Greg Isaacs

Greg, a husband, father, CPA,
a leader till his final day;

a warrior with a fountain pen,
no battle ever mastered him.

A heart of passion made of gold,
resolute and charming, gently bold.

Quiet, focused, a reverence seen
the type of man men long to be.

Neither life or business nor disease
could ever bring him to his knees;

complaining little, he soldiered on,
and fought with dignity and brawn.

He closed his eyes in Tennessee
and blinked and Jesus’ all he sees;

and now he’s walking streets of gold,
his blood’s been healed, his body whole.

He left behind a legacy
of friends and loving family;

he touched our lives with warmth and love,
we’ll miss his charming elegance.

We grieve as one whose read the end
and knows for sure that Jesus wins;

for death and Satan are vanquished foes
their skulls been crushed, the lake awaits.

With God a thousand years is but a day,
all thoughts and eyes on Him always,

and Greg patiently awaits that day to end
and Cindy comes to be one again.

Mason Swinney

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We Are Called To Do What?

“What do you want me to do for you?”, Luke 18:41. The question Jesus asked the blind man. The question we ourselves still struggle with, what do we want God to do for us? For the blind man it was to see. What is it for you and me? To make sense of the world around us? To know our life purpose? To give us a billion dollars? To restore our health? To help us love as Jesus loves?

How many of us have even thought to ask the question? Could it be because he’s already done for us what we all most needed, though, perhaps, didn’t realize it because we’ve never really stopped long enough to think about what’s really most important? Or, because we’re blindly content with who we are and value what we’ve got, our toys, more than we should?

When Adam and Eve sinned their spirits, and eventually their bodies, died (1) and all their posterity has since been born with a huge hole in our chests, we’re spiritually dead.

But the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus for mankind’s sins changed all that. Now we have a sense of hope, a feeling that we were made for a reason, a purpose bigger than ourselves. And, if we’re made, the gnawing sense that there must be a maker somewhere out there. The binding of Satan prophesied in Revelation 20:1-3 occurred then too.

Add to that Daniel 2 where Daniel prophetically foresaw the end of 4 of perhaps the world’s great kingdoms, Babylon, Medio-Persian, Greek and Roman, followed by a kingdom that’s the God of heaven and earth would set up that would never be destroyed nor conquered and would stand forever (2). And, don’t forget, Jesus tells us in Matthew 28:18 that all authority in heaven and earth has been given Him. In other words, we are part of this last, great, eternal kingdom and are commanded to go and make disciples from all nations and He promised we’d be successful in this endeavor since in verse 20 He promises that He’ll be with us always.

So, Satan is bound; God’s Kingdom is established; Jesus has all authority over heaven and earth; and if God is for us, who can possibly stand against us, Romans 8:31! What if enough of us actually believed this and placed our hands on the plow and never looked back (3)? James 4: 7-8 states emphatically that if we “Draw near to God He will draw near to you”. So, what are we waiting for? We have been invited by Jesus Himself to be a part of His world transformation and restoration team which He guarantees will be successful. Wow 😲, what a life purpose, to help transform and restore the world. That should keep us busy and out of trouble for a while.

Mason Swinney

(1) Genesis 2: 17
(2) Revelation 11:15 and Daniel 2: 44
(3) Luke 9: 62

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Adrift

Adrift in the ocean
a thousand miles from shore
water all around you
what direction you implore?

You sense that you’re in peril,
your compass doesn’t work,
you can’t continue drifting
are soon you’ll go berserk.

You need to drop your anchor
decide what you should do,
come to grips with where you’re going
what direction to pursue.

So with life we’re often drifting
no real purpose, quite unhinged
where’s the answers, are they hiding,
can they save us from the fringe?

The what if’s continue sniping
where’s the drive you at one time had
now satisfied to plod along
not the best, but not so bad.

You think I’ll just try harder
but efforts not the key
all self-discipline ever got us
was self-absorption, let me be.

The answer lies outside us
if within us we could see
but we’re the problem not the answer
we’re as broken as can be.

True North’s the only answer
it’s directions straight from God,
He’s the only compass needed
He’s the truth without façade.

Just admit that we are broken,
and start looking ’til we see
the One who walks on water,
only He can set us free!

Mason Swinney

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Vietnam Revisited

When you look back at the history
of the war in Vietnam
some things now hard to fathom
like defoliants and napalm;

agent orange sounds cool, refreshing,
but turning green to ghastly brown
and now it’s killing Veterans,
and damaging the genes we’re passing down.

The strategy hard to fathom,
use our troops to draw ‘em out,
then let rockets, planes, and mortars
increase the body count.

The presidents never got it,
yet continued to invest,
sent money, arms, resources
along with the Nation’s best.

Thanks to them trust’s now forgotten,
we stopped believing long ago,
if the top dogs always lying
who do you emulate, extol?

The so-called overriding purpose,
communism must be contained;
but what the Vietnamese most wanted
was their way of life remain.

The insanity more than toxic,
most preferred we go away;
their government corrupt and clueless,
the Buddhist majority had no say.

You take a hill on Thursday
give it back the Friday next;
while focusing on body count
even now makes little sense.

But it’s hard to fight a war
when folks back home are fighting you;
and it’s hard to keep your focus
when your leadership is askew.

America’s fought 2 Civil Wars,
the second over Vietnam;
the big 3 stopped reporting,
started planting seeds of doubt;

though Tet, Khe Sanh and others
showed the enemy on the run;
the war live nights at 6,
left viewers shocked and numb.

The way the war was ended,
a slap in every Veteran’s face,
we simply claimed we were the victors,
deserted our allies, left the place.

No real strategy for victory,
we betrayed our allies too,
we were negotiating with the enemy,
Nixon hid it from President Thieu.

Gold Star Mother’s no longer honored,
VA Hospitals beyond disgrace;
many Vets addicted, homeless, dying,
waiting for their nation to show some grace.

No parades for those returning
not a thank you, glad you’re back,
the war no longer mattered,
they simply didn’t give a crap.

In our representative form of government
we can’t just blame those we elect
though they share much culpability
still it’s us they represent.

We should be forever grateful
to the Heroes honored on The Wall
and those awarded for their valor,
every Veteran can stand tall.

Vietnam wasn’t their idea
they only did what they were asked,
you don’t turn against the people
who’re fighting on your behalf.

We lost more than Da Nang and Saigon,
we lost our soul and our esteem,
‘cause when you desecrate your heroes,
you forsake your Nation’s Dream.

It’s the lowest kind of betrayal
to commit troops to a war
you never meant to win;

it’s the worse form of treason
to celebrate with the enemy
during the war you’re fighting in.

There were no arrests or prosecution,
Hanoi Jane’s making movies once again,
but to us she’s still a traitor
who should’ve been tried, convicted, hung.

But for us who did survive it,
there are reasons to fight on,
we can’t forget our fallen Heroes
cause it’s them who’ve made us strong!

Mason Swinney

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“For I Know The Plans…”

The great mates of my children,
only God could’ve made ’em one;
A niece that’s like a daughter,
and a nephew like a son.

Many blessings aren’t expected,
they surprise you when they come;
others start out very badly,
the purpose hidden, hard to plumb.

If we always got what we wanted
unhappy’s what we’d be,
only God knows for certain
what is best for you and me.

Looking back, things experienced
have changed my status quo,
the prayers seemingly unanswered
were the things that helped me grow.

Our lives are like a novel
written by God for us to touch,
each paige a melody of blessings,
the characters diamonds in the rough.

The novel seems about us
but the Star’s holding the pen,
it’s His presence that’s unfolding,
the total focus is on Him.

Like a living motion picture
the novel comes to life,
God’s Kingdom marching forward,
love is making all things right.

God controls every detail,
the very big, the tiny small,
all of history points toward Him,
He’s the King of Kings and Lord of all.

Our role, give God the glory,
thanking Him for All He’s done
for it’s us He’s been pursuing
through Jesus Christ, the Holy One;

it isn’t faith that actually saves us,
but an inconceivably awesome,
mind-numbing love,
the plan clearly the Father’s,
paid and purchased by the Son!

Mason Swinney

*Jeremiah 29:11

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Seed Ministry, Part 2 of Upside Down Kingdom Building

I earlier blogged about upside down Kingdom building and the purpose wasn’t to say that God did ministry differently but that He did it so perfectly that it sometimes appeared upside down to us. Sacrificing His own Son for the sins of His rebellious people; teaching that the first will be last and the last first, to lead you must serve, to live you must first die are but a few examples of this. Bob and Bonnie Parker followed this example when they started Seed Ministry and the results speak for themselves.

Bob and Bonnie Parker were called by God to minister in Tamale Ghana during the two-week mission trip they took there in 2001. They returned home from the mission trip and sold most everything they could and with $2300 in their pockets and no formal theology and/or missions training left their 3 children, 8 grandchildren, church family and friends and flew off to Ghana. Little did they know the extent to which a faithful God would use and bless their faithfulness to Him.

Tamale Ghana is predominantly Muslim and traditional African religions with a small number of Christians. Bob and Bonnie had a history of ministering to children back in the states and used that expertise with children to set up Bible Clubs for the children of Ghana to memorize scripture and gain more Bible knowledge and participate in competitions throughout the year where they would recite scripture verses and answer Bible questions and compete for prizes given for most correct memorization of the 200+ questions.

This upside down kingdom approach ingeniously got God’s word into the hands and, more importantly, minds of these children who then took it home to their parents, siblings and other adults through the verses memorized by their children. And, the involved children would eventually become the Bible Club leaders and future pastors and leaders in their community churches.

The results from these Bible Clubs is phenomenal. Currently there are more than 300 weekly Bible Clubs throughout Ghana with over 12,000 participants to date.

38 churches have been built in their 17 years in Ghana with a corresponding urgent need for train pastors and church leaders. Bob and Bonnie therefore started Church Leaders Training Academies (CLTA) in three (3) cities, Tamale, Gushegu and Jirandogo, which is a two year program that to date has had 150 graduates and 100 more current students in training.

Both God’s Story and Paul’s writings have been translated into 6 languages and God provided them with a boat and soon this Soul Searcher’s vessel was traveling up and down the Volta river sharing the gospel.

In addition, literally thousands have been baptized and become part of the family of God, 3 ministry centers built, pastor and church leadership training programs provided, the Jesus Film shown throughout Ghana, Children’s Crusade’s launched, and Farming, Food, and Outreach Ministry programs developed to help with farm training and feeding those in need.

The fields are white for harvest and by following God’s harvesting model Ghana is being transformed into a Christ-centered oasis for West Africa. You can learn more about Seed Ministry at http://www.seedministry.com or by email at bob@seedministry.com and/or bonnie@seedministry.com. Please prayerfully consider coming along side and supporting Seed Ministry and be a part of what God is doing in Ghana 🇬🇭.

Mason Swinney

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