Seeking Hard After Godk

“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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The Present and The Cross

Christmas is about The Baby,
Easter’s about the cross;
One comes as a present
The other with a cost.

We seem to favor Christmas,
A sense of joy pervades,
You can feel it all around you
And wish that it would stay.

We’ve romanticized the manger
And divinity portrayed;
But forget about the dirt
And the poverty displayed.

Yet rising from the barnyard
A bright star showed the way
For the Shepherd men to follow
To find the Savior born that day.

Let’s stop and think a moment
About God’s answer to the fall
A child, a King, a Savior
Born in a dirty stall.

But the real Christmas message
Is more than peace on earth,
It’s God has condescended
To visit planet earth.

But the way He chose to do it
Leaves us humbled and amazed,
The King of Kings among us
Not to visit but to stay.

So this Christmas let’s consider
The Present and the Cross
For one without the other
Leaves us hopeless, blind and lost.

Mason Swinney

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Fear, Opaqueness and The Irresistible Force,

A demon’s been my companion
since forever and a day,
like a shadow perched beside me,
it just won’t go away.

Joining the Marines without thinking,
now the reason seems so clear,
not for glory or adventure,
but just running from my fears.

My life had become a prison,
circumstances all the clout,
no bars around my jail cell
but trapped within my own redoubt.

Like a wolf howling at the darkness,
for the sun to show its face;
or the deer scanning the horizon
for any evil in its space.

I’ve been running seems forever,
though no destination could I find,
just don’t be mediocre,
don’t leave regrets behind.

But shadows are hard to run from,
they’re always at your side,
formed when light’s blocked by something,
for me the opaque body in which I hide.

Opaque bodies are translucent,
impenetrable to light,
the only way to remove the shadow
is get opaqueness out of sight.

But man has all the answers,
we challenge God to debate it out,
but when God gets our attention
our self-trust turns into doubt.

The why questions with no answers;
making sense of all the years;
why did he or she desert me;
what’s the cause of all my fears?

Why do the best die to early?
Why do some turn out, some don’t?
Why do the good inherit sorrow?
Where do other’s find their hope?

Always in a hurry,
but no haven came to mind.
Anger seldom left me,
though the reason hard to find.

Where does love get all its power,
it’s a force hard to explain,
at times so logical and winsome,
other times like half a brain?

Only perfect love can master fear
and perfect love is Christ Himself,
our only hope’s to become His shadow,
then fear’s replaced by love itself.

And so the shadow goes full circle,
removing opaqueness is the key,
in every circle we’re that object,
once removed,
we become all we can be.

Mason Swinney

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Semper Fi Understood

Hurry up and wait
Hurry up and wait,
Marine Corp slang,
every Jarhead’s fate.

It seemed so dumb and senseless
when 18 years of age,
getting there an hour early
so you’re not a minute late.

I hated standing at attention,
constant marching seemed insane,
junk on the bunk inspections,
everyone looking just the same;

running, calisthenics,
the smoking lamp’s lit for two,
no pogey bait permitted,
eating all the food you choose;

your reflection in your boots,
spit and polish all the time,
hairless heads always covered,
a completely different paradigm.

But now I’m close to 70
and I finally understand,
it’s so much more than an expression,
it’s our essence, every woman, every man;

looking out for one another
never leave a man behind,
Semper Fi’s our marching credo,
it’s how each Marines’ defined.

The Corps’ goal is excellence always
and accomplished squad by squad,
once you start you don’t forget it,
cause it’s ground into your blood.

Always Faithful really says it,
we each remember it with pride
and you can bet the Marines will be on duty
when Jesus comes back to claim His Bride.

Mason Swinney

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A Tribute To Those Killed and Injured By Vietnam 

When you look back at the history
of the war in Vietnam
a couple things seem so ghastly,
like the use of defoliants and napalm.

Agent orange sounds sweet and colorful,
used to change the forest cover from green to brown;
but now it’s killing many Veterans
and damaging the genes that we pass down.

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

Each president reluctant
to be there, nonetheless
they kept escalating our involvement,
sending more troops, the Nation’s best.

Lying was their native language,
the truth never reached between their ears,
from Kennedy to Ford and both those n’between,
reelection their focus, losing same their biggest fear.

‘Cause of them trust’s not an option,
we stopped believing long ago,
if the top dogs always lying
who do you emulate, extol?

Our nation’s overriding purpose,
communism had to be contained;
but what the Vietnamese really wanted
was their way of life remain.

The insanity quite contagious,
the Vietnamese wanted us t’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;
and focusing on body count
even now makes little sense.

But it’s hard to fight an enemy
when the folks back home are fighting you;
and it’s hard to keep your focus
when the Nation’s involvement is askew.

Is a war of attrition even moral?
Was it why we lost in Vietnam?
Is the country’s current crises
‘cause our best were sacrificed, embalmed?

America’s had 2 Civil Wars,
the second over Vietnam.
The newsmen planted seeds of doubt,
the war it can’t be won;

though the overwhelming victories
at Hamburger Hill, the Tet Offensive, and Khe Sanh proved ‘em wrong;
but the war was fought on the nightly news,
in living rooms where such violence did not belong.

And the way the war was ended
was a slap in every Veteran’s face.
We simply claimed we were the victors,
then tried to sneak out of the place.

Our nation abandoned its warriors,
we betrayed our ally too,
we were negotiating with the enemy
which Nixon hid from President Thieu.

Our Gold Star Parents no longer honored,
VA Hospitals a national disgrace;
many Vets addicted, homeless, dying,
waiting for their nation to show some grace.

There were no parades for those returning
not a thank you, glad you’re back,
they’d already got on with living
don’t remind ‘em, the war is past.

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.

Our warriors were heroic,
the best and bravest gave their all,
at least equaling the greatest generation
though America let them take the fall.

We should be forever grateful
to the Warriors enshrined upon 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.

Is this once great nation gone forever?
Can we get past the narcissistic political stealth?
We were once a nation others followed,
now just tolerated for our wealth.

We lost more than Da Nang and Saigon,
we lost our soul, our national esteem,
‘cause when you desecrate your heroes,
you blaspheme the American Dream.

It’s the worse type of betrayal
to commit your troops to a war
you never really meant to win;

and the worse form of treason
to celebrate with your enemy
while your POW’s are subjected to mayhem.

The coup de grace, the final backhand,
Hanoi Jane’s making movies once again,
but to us she’s still a traitor
who should’ve been tried, convicted, hung.

But for those who managed to survive it,
there are many reasons to fight on.
We can’t let America forget her heroes,
and can help our Nation achieve greatness once again.

Mason Swinney

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Tips, Trophies, and Tantrums 

You walk into a restaurant, stand in line studying the menu posted above the cashiers while you wait patiently to place your order. Then you place your order and the cashier hands you your receipt which you glance down at and notice a gratuity line. You pause for a moment and ask yourself why, for bringing my food out to me?

You order a pizza over the phone and pick it up 15 minutes later and pay for it with your bank card. Again you notice the receipt has a gratuity line. Is it because they feel you need to tip them for the honor of eating their pizza 🍕 or some other not so obvious reason?

My exterminator was out recently spraying for bugs and I noticed he stuck around much longer than normal drinking coffee that I’d brewed for him. While conversing he mentioned that he swept the cobwebs off my soffits. Normally I would not make much of that comment but now I’m wondering if perhaps he was fishing/sweeping for a tip?

Is this tip everyone climate a result of employers not adequately compensating their employees or some other retailer/customer driven phenomenon? Perhaps this tip everyone for, in many cases, merely doing what should be contemplated in their pricing is to be expected and can be explained by our politically correct practice of giving every kid that participates in a sporting event a trophy just for showing up. Winning and losing, pursuit of excellence, teamwork are no longer important, what matters now is just showing up.

Which I guess is also why so many universities were all fired up and offering free counseling in lieu of classes for students traumatized by President Trump being elected president. A recent Facebook post summarized it pretty well comparing World War ll 18 year old soldiers storming the beaches of Normandy with our current millennials getting counseling because Hillary wasn’t elected. It would be humorous if it wasn’t so sad and frightening. We’ve been dumbing down our school curriculums for sometime so I guess it only stands to reason that we should emotionally, relationally, and psychologically dumb down the students as well.

While I’m on my soapbox, let me give a shout out to Senator Flake for his temper tantrum on the senate floor. The Senator managed to tick off his constituents by being a middle of the roader and, therefore, not having a chance at getting reelected and/or even getting his parties nomination for the upcoming senatorial race. He must have forgotten what Jesus said about luke warm water that’s good for nothing but spitting out of your mouth. So to salvage his manhood and assuage his damaged ego he, like a peacock strutting around the barn yard, resorted to lambasting the president blaming him for everything imaginable rather than facing up to the fact that it was his own actions, beliefs which alienated his constituents. In fact all he has done was prove his constituents are right in no longer wanting him to represent them and that he is a coward, not worthy of being re-elected or respected. No one wants to hear grumbling and complaining from a politician leaving office if they are not going to be around to fix the problems. So, good riddance to you and fellow moderate Arizonia Senator John McCain. Enjoy your luke warm hot tubs and join General MacArthur and be good soldiers and just fade away.

Mason Swinney 

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The Fall Season in Eden

There’s a budding artist in each of us
though most don’t think about it much,
but we’re made in God’s likeness
and have some of His artistic touch.

Fall’s the artist time of year,
hummingbirds and butterflies no longer here,
trees standing tall like palace guards,
mowers their final laps around the yard.

Leaves changing colors right before your eyes,
greens, burnt orange, and red, all shades and hues;
a menagerie of beauty like the Savior’s life,
the single leaf alone resembling mans forever strife.

Children back in school, eyes on the clock,
the heat of summer gone but not forgot,
Ghosts and hobgoblins soon will trick or treat,
soon Thanksgiving kicks off the season feasts.

Our taste buds are changing,
more soups and stews;
pumpkins abound, or so it seems,
in cookies, pies and lattes too.

There’s a smell to autumn,
not just burning leaves,
a subtle whiff of excitement
just inhale, you’ll see.

You know change is coming,
the fields and fruit trees bear,
cool nights, long sleeves,
garage sales, all the neighbors there.

God made all the seasons
yet the older we get,
the more Fall is our favorite,
summer’s for kids don’t forget;

God’s grace’s fleshed out,
we humans His canvas of choice;
each a master piece, knit together by Him,
Who let’s us decide, do our own thing.

His love makes the difference
if we’ll slow down, look and see,
be amazed by His presence,
and awesome creativity.

God’s Word’s so amazing,
a relationship primer to use
when we do the world prospers,
when we don’t we so lose.

So this Fall let’s remember
in Eden it was always Fall or Spring,
summer and winter came later,
part of the curse that sin brings;


Falls about change and colors and apples that bob,
Halloween, Thanksgiving, pumpkin pie on the hob,
hay rides, corn mazes, crisp stars in the sky
reminds us God wants us to prosper and thrive.

Mason Swinney

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