I’s a one letter pronoun,
the shortest of them all,
it complicates our thinking,
caused all of us to fall;

Satan hijacked Adam’s thinking,
he and Eve acted out of I,
forgot God’s good intentions
chose instead to believe the lie.

When I’s at the center
it’s me whose on the Throne,
and God’s no longer speaking,
I’m discerning right from wrong.

I’s importance has no limits,
it’s all about just me,
I’m the only one that matters,
the only one who sees.

Man’s problem’s like a shadow,
it’s the I, the you, the me,
with the focus on our navels
we see just lint and never we;

and where the I has left us
is sad and angry, all alone
cause when I’s your normal focus
it’s only me you’re going to know;

and me’s a poor companion
all I talk about is self,
my perspective always inward,
all I know’s about myself.

So let’s change our way of thinking
from I and me to us and we,
I and me alone and angry,
us and we are family.

“for God so loved the world,
that He gave His only Son,”*

means The Trinity worked together,
their love of mankind so intense,
so that we’d become a family,
all it done at God’s expense.

Mason Swinney

*John 3:16 (KJV)

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The Limits of Words and The Holiness of God

Ezekiel states he saw
“the appearance of the likeness
of the glory of the Lord”.*

He didn’t claim to see God’s glory
nor even the likeness of it.
No, he claimed to see the appearance of the likeness,
a shadow alone is what was seen.

So if describing God’s glory’s impossible
then describing God cannot be done.
No, mere words are insufficient
to represent The Three in One.

There aren’t words or proper diction
to explain a holy God,
our minds can’t comprehend Him,
our best language a facade.

Great words can paint a picture,
but can’t prescribe the Spirit God;
good prose can help our feelings
but can’t get God to speak aloud.

Finite words can’t explain Perfection,
can they make God’s glory real?
Can they grasp God’s incomprehensibility,
grapple with One love had by the Three?

Like van Gogh’s “Starry Starry Night”
can’t adequately portray the galaxy
or Caruso’s voice utter real angelic sounds,
all of man’s best and noblest intentions
can’t approach the heavenly realms.

And if there aren’t words to describe the heavens
then the Creator’s surely out of reach;
and though we’re made in God’s own image
God’s not really anthropomorphic.

Let’s recall that holy, holy, holy
is what the Seraph said,
they the highest angelic order
stated where their minds were lead.

It’s like looking in a chasm
and a blinding light you see
if you stare at it much longer
blind is what you’ll be.

Yet your eyes can’t look away
from the Purest light of all
and since no wings to cover
blindness soon befalls.

Like Isaiah with his burnt lips
though the pain perhaps was real
it seemingly painless in the presence
of pure Holiness surreal.

God asked an uncharacteristic question
when He said who should I send?
Purified by cleansing fire Isaiah said send me.
Go is what God told him and go is what he did.

So when we catch a glimpse of Goodness,
transformed is what we’ll be
and whatever God is asking
our answer, please send me!

Mason Swinney

*Ezekiel 1:28

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Sensitive, Insensitive

Some of us are sensitive,
others not so much,

some attracted to the other,
disagreements rile us up.

Everything can be a battle
over really silly stuff,

one side easily offended,
the other quick with the rebuff.

Sensitivity is a good thing
when applied to someone else

but when it’s self-directed
can resemble dangerous.

Are sensitivity and feelings
cut from the same bolt of cloth?

We react to life uniquely
and our uniqueness makes it tough.

Is forgiveness a foreign language,
why’s it hard to just relent,

our anger hard to manage,
feelings hurt, we’d rather vent.

Is there someplace in the middle
where we can slow and not react

hold the war off for a moment,
call a truce and interact?

Courageous enough to say we’re sorry,
each turn the other cheek,

lift our arms as to surrender,
perhaps a hug will start to be!

Mason Swinney

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Freedom, Baby Boomers and Millenials

I’m reading Svetlana Alexievich’s Nobel Prize For Literature book “Secondhand Time, The Last of the Soviets” and she points out the differences between her and her father’s generation and their view of freedom. She mentions that her father could recall returning from college after vacation and none of his old professors being at the university because they had all been arrested. She mentioned that freedom for her father’s generation was the absence of fear and never being flogged. For her generation freedom was love, inner freedom, not being afraid of your own desires, and having enough money to do them.

She points out that no one taught her generation how to be free, they were only taught how to die for freedom.

Perhaps we baby boomers who were raised by parents who survived the Great Depression, World War II and the Korean War, never ever really understood or connected with them. And, we ourselves who experienced the Cold War, Vietnam, walking on the moon, and the disappearance of the Ozzie and Harriet and Donna Reed Show type families failed also to teach our children how to be free. We were so caught up with living our own dreams and becoming our definition of successful that we failed to teach them what it means and costs to be free. Freedom isn’t and never has been free. It always comes with a terrible price. Ask Adam and Eve who paid for their freedom by being kicked out of their perfect garden. Or, Jesus who purchased our freedom at the cost of His own life. Or, our founding fathers who paid for our national freedom with blood, sweat and tears and, some, their very lives. We forgot to teach them that freedom is costly and perhaps more critically failed to model for them how to go about fighting for it.

Let’s hope they figure it out before freedom is a word their children and grandchildren have heard but have no idea what it means. Or, even more sadly, why you’d want it.

Mason Swinney

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Christmas Remembered

Another Christmas passes
to quickly once again
good memories still linger
it’s on truth we need depend.

Truth’s birth is now called Christmas,
Earth’s Creator had arrived
but not as most expected,
the Creator then a child.

But He wasn’t just a baby,
He was Prophet, Priest and King,
the Lion of Judah,
our Cornerstone and our Dayspring.

His arrival royally unique,
Heavenly Host announced his birth,
First guests were lowly Shepherd’s,
He’d invaded planet earth.

The message heavens sending,
there’s no cross without the tree,
and The Baby in the manger
came just for you and me.

Mason Swinney

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The Christmas Denotation

This Christmas let’s not focus
on the presents or the trees,
nor the family time together
though these things are special treats;

let’s fix our gaze on The Baby
Who left heaven just for us
and invaded planet earth
to restore our hope and trust.

And what Jesus wants this Christmas
is the question we should ask;
and the answer is our Bethlehem’s
and we get His Eden back.

Mason Swinney

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Christmas, Is It Happiness or Pleasure?

Have you ever thought about the difference between pleasure and happiness? Perhaps Christmas helps us see the difference for at Christmas we come face to face with what’s eternally transforming, happiness, and what’s short-lived, pleasure. At Christmas we see that all our hopes, dreams and happiness are wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

It’s at Christmas time that we face the truth that just as Charlie Hustle, Pete Rose, gambled on baseball games and it cost him admittance into baseball’s Hall of Fame. Likewise, many of us are gambling on staying busy and having the most toys in the hopes that they will give our lives meaning, purpose and happiness. Sadly though, until Pete Rose and us come to grips with our “gambling” problem, none of us are going to see what the true meaning of Christmas is. On this day in the City of David the Messiah came as the only gift that ultimately matters and the only gift that affords true happiness. But it’s up to us to accept it. And if we do, we’ll see that all the busyness and toys in the world, won’t bring true happiness. But rather, admitting that we need The Present and unwrapping Him and receiving His living water is the true meaning of life and gateway to real happiness. And that present comes at Christmas, no matter what day of the year it is.

Merry Christmas, Mason Swinney

*M. Swinney, “Christmas Past”, 12/22/2015

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