Being OCD-Like In A Non-Obsessive Compulsive World

I like happy endings. Perhaps that’s why I like Hallmark movies and my favorite book is “To Kill a Mockingbird”. But life affords few happy endings. Or does it? Jesus being born poor, in a dirty barn; living His life in near poverty; dying on the cross; all the apostles except John being martyred for their faith, all seem anything but happy endings. Unless, perhaps, we’re defining happy ending’s incorrectly.

Hebrews 12:2 says “For the joy set before him he (Jesus) endured the cross, scorning it’s shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Joy and cross in the same sentence, let alone same life, don’t seem to go together. But perhaps that’s the rub, I’m looking at it through my eyes whereas Jesus looked at it through the Father’s eyes and plan and our needs. Making sense out of seemingly senseless circumstances requires spiritual eyes that look at them through eyes of faith that prayerfully try to see how the events and circumstances fit into the Father’s plans. It requires a perspective (worldview) that sees life as a giant puzzle that God is putting together and being satisfied being a piece of that puzzle and not the puzzle itself.

But doesn’t that make perfect sense since God’s greatest gift to us is also our greatest need, Jesus himself, who with the Father sent the Holy Spirit to live within us and teaches us God’s word and how to apply it to life. Therefore, it really doesn’t matter when, where or how the Greatest Gift comes, but that He comes. Everything else is just circumstances and when we fix our eyes on the Sovereign Ruler and not the circumstances themselves, then, naturally, all of life just falls into place and the circumstances slowly fade into usefulness, relevance and/or oblivion.

Mason Swinney

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Elohim, Adonai, El Shaddai

God created the world out of nothing,
He spoke and the void disappeared;
His words filled it up with pure beauty,
when nothing but newness appeared.

God created man in His image,
for His glory we’re created to trust,
male and female He created,
what an honor He gave each of us.

There’s millions and billions of galaxies,
and more stars than grains of sand,
God created ’em using dark matter,
a thing we don’t yet understand.

One galaxy’s free of darkness,
we’ve no idea where it hides;
there’s a star made solely of diamonds,
to get there’s a trillions miles ride.

Most of the stars are bright, gigantic,
much bigger than the sun;
the clouds are giant sponges,
holding water weighing millions of tons.

A universe so incredibly awesome,
required a Quintessential Mind,
not a big bang theory,
but a brilliant and detailed design.

The amazing human body,
the blinking of the eye,
hearts that beat inside us,
pathways grooved in our minds.

Evolution’s not a new kind of fiction,
and by people you’d think know a lot,
their pontifications on God’s creation,
requires more faith than most of us got.

It’s rebellion pure and simple,
thinking man’s the starting point;
refusing God His wondrous glory,
their clueless theories affront.

And all God wanted from mankind
was our love and our esteem,
He didn’t have to make us,
He made us to be part of His Dream.

Mason Swinney

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“My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me” (2)

Those painful words of Jesus,
on God can He depend?
Sounds battered and forgotten
and very near His end.

We’ve no paradigm t’relate it;
all the evil ever made
and all of it laid on Jesus
’cause He perfectly obeyed.

But Jesus wasn’t any man,
He’s The Father’s only Son
who came to ransom and redeem
and our salvation won.

Our sin required a payment,
only Jesus fit the bill,
only He’s completely God and Man,
could execute the Father’s will.

So Jesus made the payment
on the cross at Calvary
and the Father seemed to turn away,
His pain too hard to see.

The Godhead’s very nature
is relationship and love,
Jesus naturally felt adverse
being the Quintessential Dove.

But though He felt forsaken
with the weight of sin’s despair
their relationship never faltered
the Father’s love was always there.

We trivialize the passion
of Jesus on the cross
when we try to understand it
from the perspective of the lost,

’cause perfect love’s the answer
and on earth it’s never seen,
unconditional love’s ❤️ hard to fathom
for sinners like you and me.

Mason Swinney

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Life’s Journey

Man was made to journey,
to a destination beyond our reach;
it’s a journey of adventure,
something greater we must seek.

The journey is our mission,
it’s given by the King
who promised to go with us
down the path our journey brings.

Man’s journey started in a garden
and ends in one as well,
we each travel the continuum
on the trail we each must dwell.

We’re constantly sailing for it
though grasp it we cannot;
seems the closer we sail to it,
the farther away is the yacht.

Our destiny’s linked to the journey
and if we stop along the way
our hearts grow cold and restless
because we’ve disobeyed;

cause our journey is our purpose,
it’s a load but blessing still,
and walking it with Jesus
is our joy, our hearts are filled.

The destinations not important,
it’s who we’re traveling with,
some you know and some you’d like to,
wisdom’s choosing from the mix.

At the ends another journey,
this one on streets of gold,
for you see we’re made to journey,
into eternity we each must go.

Mason Swinney

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What’s Hidden Inside

How does a sculptor,
his eyes on the granite,
know a lion’s inside?

And when does the painter,
with her anvil and canvas,
know there an oak tree resides?

Before an image can blossom
the artist looks on the inside,
for it’s there the images hide.

But knowing they’re there
doesn’t change the abstract,
to actualize they must interact.

And the more walking about
the inside of the cave,
familiarity replaces our doubt;

as familiarity reigns,
the darkness departs,
it disrobes it’s dark outer wear;

there are degrees to the light
while the darkness recedes
and what’s hidden is finally freed.

The key to our being,
is finding the dream in our dreams,
and once found and acknowledged
the lion and tree are set free.

Mason Swinney

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The Power In Guided Leaving

Jesus had to leave heaven to fulfill the Father’s plans and had to travel from His earthly home in Galilee to Jerusalem to save His elect. Before Abram could become Abraham and the Father of Nations he first had to leave Ur of the Chaldean’s and travel to a foreign land that, unbeknownst to him, God intended to give him. Likewise, before David could become King of Israel he first had to leave Bethlehem. The same with Moses who had to leave Egypt to be prepared by God to lead the children of Israel to the promise land. So it was with most of the great men and women of the Bible who had to leave their homes and move before they were used by God. The disciples left their boats, nets and tax booth before they could become Apostles and Jesus instructed us to go and make disciples of all nations. There is power in leaving.

Before we can become all that God wants us to be we must first leave our familiar, often comfortable, lifestyles behind. For the addict to become clean and sober he must first leave his addictive lifestyle and not return. If you think about it it just makes sense. If we continue to live in the lifestyle that has shaped us into what we currently are, then it makes sense that the first thing we need to do to achieve what God has in store for us is to leave our current lifestyle which almost always involves leaving home. Remember, David’s family saw a shepherd whereas God saw a king but he had to leave home first before he was crowned. And, where the Gentile-haters saw the consummate hater in Saul, God saw perhaps the greatest Apostle of all and he, now Paul, the apostle to the very Gentiles he’d once hated.

Perhaps leaving’s hard because we’re comfortable where we currently are and leaving ‘comfortable’ just doesn’t make much sense, especially when we don’t know what the future holds in store for us somewhere else. To say it another way, we’re prisoners to the familiar. So, often the first step in walking by faith is leaving your comfort zone and trusting God to do for you what you can’t do for yourself, transform you. Transformation requires leaving what’s comfortable and known and embracing the unknown. But you’re not leaving alone since God is with you. And, when you can’t see the trail you can trust the Guide because He’s the sovereign ruler of the universe. Leaving and cleaving are the keys to a successful marriage and an abundant life. But what makes the journey exciting is the Guide.

Mason Swinney

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Life In The Fishbowl

In the days of Boone and Crockett
with the calvary miles away,
forts seemed indispensable
for protection day to day.

But the safety they provided
with the walls that kept ’em safe
caused feelings of isolation
which caused some to grate and chafe.

Like a fish in a fish bowl
swimming round and round,
the scenery never changing,
the glass walls closing in around.

But today we still erect ’em,
the walls around our hearts,
we think that we’re protected
from the evil and the dark.

But walls are self-protective
and the only ally is yourself,
so we’re sacrificing others,
leaving us with little help;

and the walls cause detachment,
as fear replaces trust
and soon we’re a prisoner
in the cell we did construct.

And the people we’re excluding
are the very people we need in;
living life like a sniper,
leaves you alone to save your skin.

But you’re the problem and the answer
it’s you who put the walls in place,
which only you who can disassemble,
and have them all replaced.

Then one day the alarm’s a’blaring,
you realize you’re all alone,
and you scatch your head and wonder,
where’ve all my people gone?

As providence would have it,
you gaze at the walls of solid rock
and your spiritual eyes surprise you,
there’s a hidden door minus the locks;

knocking, someone answers,
it is Jesus Christ Himself,
and when He reaches for the knob
a new world does open up.

And gradually you see,
those walls weren’t meant for your protection;
you were fooled to think they masked your fear
causing more and more introspection.

The walls flattened have become a pathway
to the life God had in mind,
and with the faith that you’ve received,
you’re new life is purposefully aligned.

Mason Swinney

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