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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Crawford

Our lives don’t start with agendas
though we eventually make our lists,
it’s the people we’ve encountered
that impact our lives and make us rich.

Crawford was that kind of person
though He didn’t speak that much,
just being with us was all we needed,
a special power in his touch.

He was born shortly after
the war between the states;
lived through 2 world wars and Great Depression,
which was anything but great.

He was poor by worldly standards,
didn’t leave much wealth behind,
but to the family he was golden,
we’re his legacy enshrined.

Like a match in total darkness,
just being near us he showed out,
always light in a world of darkness
his legend never much in doubt.

James Crawford, our living legend,
a stature strong and tall,
his brand of special hasn’t tarnished
Grandpa Crawford was our all.

Some people charm you with their words,
for me his presence was enough,
he never once reproved me,
he was never ever gruff.

No great sayings did he utter,
don’t recall him saying much,
talked a tad above a whisper,
his cane close enough to touch.

No lengthy detailed speeches,
a nod often sufficed,
lemon drops his favorite candy,
never wasteful, plainly nice.

Not only seldom speaking,
he hardly ever smiled,
why, we’re not real certain,
seems a grin was more his style.

Sunday’s roast beef, potatoes, gravy,
he only ate the fat,
made sure we kids ate the “lean meat”,
grandchildren beside him where he sat.

Always chewing Beechnut tobacco,
even during all the meals,
Corn Flakes every morning
russet colored milk had no appeal.

He had worked in the coal mines
way before my time;
I know life was never easy,
though he never seemed to mind.

He must have had skin cancer
cause he’d lost part of his nose
but with him it just looked normal,
like, with age, your nose it goes.

He’d walk 3 blocks to visit
many stops along the way,
he was the oldest in our village,
never in a hurry’s what they’d say.

Helping him with his garden
always started with orange pop,
why before the work was started,
never questioned as we chopped.

My Grandma had dementia,
Sunday’s visitation day,
so he avoided cigars and chewing,
looking his best, he never strayed.

What he talked about the most
was being in the mines,
he and both of his sons
had worked there for a time;

he’d followed the mines
from Virginia to Kentucky,
final stop in Illinois,
New Baden’s Whiskey Flats his destiny.

I still see him always the tallest,
seemed twice as tall as Dad,
he’s still a giant to me,
the greatest man we ever had.

How do you show real gratitude
to the ones who’ve changed your life,
the proper way to do it
is be the best You with delight.

I loved that old man dearly,
why, I can’t put into words
I still see him rocking slowly,
watching as the world unfurled.

His eyes were gray and weary
in his nineties, all alone
no doubt from missing Grandma
and 4 children then long gone.

He had a strong and vital presence,
my Gibraltar by the sea,
even fondest thoughts can’t describe him,
he was that and more to me.

My prayer now that I’m a grandpa
is to follow in his steps,
hoping my grandchildren will remember
it’s loving them we did the best.

Mason Swinney

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2017, The Year of Pride and Hatred

What word do you think best describes 2017? I think the word is arrogance/pride. Some of you may think the word is hatred which was prevalent but it was pride that fueled that hatred and is a natural consequence of pride.

It seems far to many of us have voluntarily chosen to be part of one or more organizations spreading, directly or indirectly, much of the hatred against the perceived other side that we see in our country today. Some of these organizations/mind sets are globalists or nationalists, white or black, liberals or conservatives, Democrats or Republicans, open border or vetted immigrationists, pro-Trump or anti-Trump, pro-this or that, and on and on.

Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites have become the logical forum for spreading this venom of hate since you can say things on them that you would never say to someone’s face with little or no consequences. They’ve become the perfect platform for making pugilists out of cowards. The time was ripe for this explosion of pride-filled hatred which Satan skillfully brewed.

Lest we forget, Lucifer, now Satan, got kicked out of heaven because of pride and Adam and Eve got kicked out of the garden of Eden for the same sin. Lucifer wanted to be god himself and was jealous of the Triune God for all the love, adoration and devotion He deservingly received. He tempted our first parents Adam and Eve with the promise of being like god that resulted in their disobedience and being forced out of the garden. Their sin gene has been passed on to each of their descendants which means to all of us.

If I am right about our pride problem, then our nation has set itself in opposition with the sovereign God of the universe. And that, naturally, is not a very wise or favorable position to be in since as James 4:6 says “…..God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Opposing God is always wrong and the results can be devastating.

Proverbs 16:5 says “The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.”

Proverbs 8:13 says “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.”

We are not without hope however as 2 Chronicles 7:14 says “……if My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

The context of this verse is the Lord’s appearance to Solomon after the dedication of the temple to warn and reassure him on behalf of the nation of Israel. He was warning him that from time to time God would send judgments on Israel in the forms of drought, locust and pestilence for their disobedience and explained to him what would be required for Israel’s restoration. Therefore, we can’t apply this verse word for word to the USA because of God’s special relationship with Israel and since the verse was directed to all of Israel’s citizenry and not just a section of it but we can make application to the invisible church (church) in the USA which also has a special relationship with the Lord. If the church membership in the USA will humble themselves meaning repent of their sins which are any thoughts and/or deeds that are contrary to God’s word and pray and seek God’s face meaning turn our hearts as well as our lives over to God and His purposes and turn from our wickedness and start acting like God’s church and not man’s church, then God will hear from heaven and restore our churches.

And a restored and empowered church just might be the springboard for another great awakening in America where God’s mercy and grace flow down and our once great nation comes to it senses and repents and seeks God’s face again.

The balls in our court believers.

Mason Swinney

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Happy Birthday Big Brother

Happy birthday Big Brother,
no other compares to you,
You joyfully left heaven for earth
so your siblings could start anew.

Your birthday was surely needed
’cause our first parents took the dare,
couldn’t obey one simple rule,
their bite caused man’s despair.

Some big brothers blaze a trail to follow,
but You are The Way, truth, Divine;
some brother’s can throw a good party,
only You can change water to wine.

Other brothers set good examples,
but perfection we don’t comprehend;
Many brothers take their siblings fishing,
You made us fishers of men.

Big brothers protect little sisters,
You made them equal to men;
all men lost on life’s journey,
Your Spirit sent to guide them.

Big brothers protect us from bullies,
You crushed the bullies head;
death our last great enemy,
You defeated it removing it’s dread.

You became our older brother
by doing what we couldn’t do,
You kept the laws we’d all broken
and paid the debt our sins had accrued.

So this Christmas let’s remember
our Older Brother’s our greatest gift,
He wrapped Himself in our sins,
and eternally cleansed us when we were adrift.

So thank you thank you Jesus,
every day we celebrate You,
the second person of the Trinity,
and the greatest Big Brother too.

Mason Swinney

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Seeking Hard After God

“Before a man can seek God
God must first have sought the man”, (1)
God puts the desire to know Him n’us,
uses circumstances to execute His sovereign plan.

But man wants all the credit,
though it all belongs to Him (2)
for God does all the drawing, (3)
it’s His grace that draws us in.

Apostle Paul’s definition of contentment,
having food and clothing, nothing more,
when we die we take no luggage
all our things left here for evermore. (4)

But knowing Him’s all that matters,
it’s where eternity starts and never ends;
getting lost in His compassion
as He gently tucks us in. (5)

God told Moses,
tell ’em I Am sent you, (6)
and when I say that “I am Mason”
I’m first acknowledging the great I Am;

which is as it should be,
God should always be the first,
He made us and He saved us,
our sin nature’s been reversed.

And when I say that “I am stupid”,
aren’t I disputing what God’s said
“very good” is how he described us (7)
anything less says I’m misled.

Moses desired to see God’s glory, (8)
Paul wanted to know him best, (9)
we should follow their example,
seek Him first and find our rest.

Christmas helps us to remember,
what’s important, what is not
Jesus’ first, the last, the greatest
He’s The Word, The Son, The Rock.

So remember when we say I am……,
we’re confessing God above,
so be reverent and respectful,
let our words proclaim His love.

Mason Swinney

(1) Page 11, “The Pursuit Of God”, by A. W. Tozer
(2) John 6: 44
(3) Psalm 63: 8
(4) 1Timothy 6: 6-9
(5) Matthew 13: 44-46
(6) Exodus 3: 14
(7) Genesis 1:31
(8) Exodus 33: 18
(9) Philippians 3: 10

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