Seeing Is Not Necessarily Believing

The major difference between Christians and the world is Christians see and experience life through eyes of faith and the world experiences life through their senses, what they can see, hear, smell, touch, taste. God is a spirit and can’t be seen with just our eyes and Jesus is the divine-human bridge between God and the world we live in. Jesus truly is The Way.

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Lies, Lies and More Lies

We are all so self-deluded,
we think we know what’s right,
it seems we’re bred believing
more toys will make us all right.

We devote our lives to making money
all else takes second place,
then wake up one day to discover
our focus’ been badly misplaced.

Looking back the answer was obvious
if we’d a stopped and thought it through
but we got so busy earning a living
that our thinking got befuddled, askew.

We bought what the world was selling
and wanted to be like everyone,
it takes courage to be your own person
and walk to the beat of your drum.

Perhaps the moral of the story
is those that laugh last laugh loudest,
more toys won’t bring you pleasure,
toys are what kids cry to get.

So the choices are really quite simple
grow up and think like a man,
living like spoiled little children
leaves us behaving like only kids can.

Let’s remember Satan crawls on his belly,
the Sovereign Ruler took away his legs,
and your vantage point isn’t good when you’re prostrate
and living with snakes in the dregs.

And God gives second chances,
and this world we’re just passing through,
eternity lasts forever
so let’s start thinking anew.

The key to not being deluded
is knowing what’s true, what’s not
then applying truth to your behavior
and being amazed at the freedom you got!

Mason Swinney

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Heaven

Have you ever stopped to consider
what heaven must be like;
knowing Jesus is there constructing,
our eternal homes in paradise?

It’s hard to get our minds around,
Jesus building mansions for us all,
more stupendous than our wildest dreams,
and He’s doing it for all His called.

He who spoke the world into existence
in just six amazing days,
its beauty beyond comprehension,
but the fall got it locked away.

Yet the mansions He is building
have taken much longer to construct
their magnificance more amazing
and He’s doing it just for us.

Their beauty coruscatingly awesome,
rainbow colored, streets of gold;
people clustered about like flowers,
and not a one of them is old.

Imagine eternal presents,
in heaven all things are new;
perfect peace each person’s temperament,
gardens and vineyards all abloom.

Agape love drives our relationships,
it’s like earth without the sin;
night no longer happens,
our jobs joyfully serving Him!

Giant pearls the majestic gateways
diamonds sparkle on the beaches,
the fruit of the spirit our daily nectar
refreshing the lives of those He teaches.

The pool of Salome is there for praising,
His love everywhere resounds,
love has swallowed up faith and hoping
and Jesus’ glory surrounds, abounds.

Does your vision improve in heaven,
do you have kaleidoscope eyes,
seeing things multi-dimensionally
the colors bright, they seem alive;

it’s like they’re animated,
dancing and singing all about,
feelings of wonder, exhilaration,
felicitations whispered all throughout.

Like the garden of Eden,
God’s gift to all mankind,
though we didn’t get to see it,
the snake messed up their minds.

Imagine all the trees and flowers 
and friendly creatures that you’d see
a replica of heaven,
even the weeds appeared pristine.

Human words can’t describe it
the proper adjectives don’t exist,
there’s no noun that captures its grandeur
or the splendor of its bliss.

But its beauty sadly tarnished
by the fall, that cursed sin,
but heaven, years in the making
hasn’t deteriorated one tiny bit.

Our eyes are so amazing how they
search and illuminate what they see;
our spiritual eyes more discerning,
seeing by faith what’s soon to be.

Include some transcendant imagination,
the type that sees what dreams can be;
add to that some wishful thinking
about a perfect earth, eternity;

and you catch a glimpse of heaven
but 2 things need to be factored in,
God’s thoughts are light years beyond ours,
and His creative genius we can’t comprehend.

Mason Swinney

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Killer Words

How often this past week have you used the word “hate” when discussing a controversial or contentious issue? I’ve noted in my own comments of late that I’ve used the hate word a whole lot more often than I should. Now granted I really don’t hate the other side but use the word to describe the degree of dislike I have for them and/or their issues. For example, I’m an American so I hate the Russians; I’m a Cardinal fan so I hate the Cubs; I’m a conservative so I hate the liberals. I don’t really hate any of these groups of people but I’ve gotten so undisciplined with my speech that I carelessly throw the “H” word around far more than is appropriate and definitely far more than I should. 

Lest we forget, words are powerful. God “spoke” the world into existence and we are made in his image and while we humans’ words aren’t anywhere near that powerful, our words still have the power to heal or to divide; bring people together or drive them apart; express love or express hatred; bring peace or bring tension. Perhaps we all need to stop using the “H” word when talking about the other side in any discussion. 

I have to wonder how much the hate filled rhetoric that’s so prevalent in our everyday conversations and on the airwaves and social media and used by politicians, talking heads, reporters, celebrities, sports figures and every day Americans had to do with encouraging the crackpot that tried to kill a number of Republicans at the baseball diamond in Alexandria, Virginia this past week? Words do have consequences and hate words do cause hatred and this week it almost caused the death of 5 people simply trying to practice for a baseball game.

Perhaps it’s time for all of us to stop, think, and speak carefully.

Mason Swinney

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Jedi Spirituality

I’ve heard sayings like “life is what you make of it”; “a picture paints a thousand words”; “life is a journey, not a destination”; “if our life is a story, what does yours say” much of my life. But what do these sayings really mean? Are our lives really stories and, if yes, what kind of stories and who is the author?

When I was younger and looked back over my life up to that point I sensed that there had been a force, like good luck or something similar guiding me and helping things go in a positive direction and benefiting me more than I expected or deserved. But I never really tried to identify the force.

Humans are a whole lot more complex than we’ve been lead to believe and yet so very simple. Likewise, we’re all so very similar but different enough to make each of us unique. Yet much of our young lives we spend trying to hide our uniqueness and the rest of our lives trying to figure out what to do with it.

The older I get the more clearly I see that the force helping me all these years, nudging me one direction or another, sometimes more forcefully than others, and all for my good, has been much more than good luck or karma. It’s been something much more personal and something that’s always has my best interest at heart. Other people might call it fate, others their destiny, or some the road less traveled, but all sense some kind of force directing or at least helping them with their lives.

Perhaps Man’s main life purpose is to note the presence of the force in their lives; identify it; allow it to guide their lives; and to help others to see it. That would profoundly change the  value of each of us in a very dramatic, powerful way.

Obi-Wan Kenobi was right when saying during his goodbyes to his friends the encouraging words “may the force be with you”. I think he might have meant “may ‘The Force’ be with you” though!

Mason Swinney

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The Beauty of The Ordinary

We all want uniqueness,
to stand out in the crowd;
we know we’re made different,
but standing out makes us proud.

Our need for uniqueness,
our drive to excel;
many strive to achieve it
and  by striving seem well.

But common or ordinary
few strive to attain;
one among the many
no one wants’ their refrain.

But there’s beauty in the ordinary
if we’ll just slow down to see;
take the focus off each other,
place it on The Holy Trinity.

Like a field of flowers,
a grove of trees;
each blade of grass,
a different shade of green.

A school of fish swimming,
the letters on a page,
each snow flake so different,
the penquin’s on parade;

The clouds in the heavens,
stars late at night;
fruit trees in an orchard
each blossom a delight.

But unique and ordinary
aren’t really poles apart,
each was made for God’s purposes,
near and dear to God’s heart.

Remember God made His creation,
its beauty understood,
and because God made it
it’s just naturally good.

So if we’ll consider what’s important 
and focus on the Maker, not the made;
we’ll see drawing near Jesus the Messiah,
ordinary thinking quickly fades.

Mason Swinney

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The Legacy of Injustice 

Injustice is all around us,
you see it everywhere,
but if we’re not real careful
we’ll find we just don’t care.

From a senseless drive-by shooting
to defacing redwood trees,
prevaricating by the fake news,
a family torn apart by adultery.

A child bullied on the playground,
cyberspace’s not safe at all,
sexual predators stalk our children,
evil’s pervasive since the fall.

Jesus, the Quintessential Savior,
fully God, completely man;
the universes consummate fixer upper
the One and Only Great I Am.

We’re a nation high on independence
though a civil war broke us apart;
our founding fathers fought for freedom
while enslaving millions, crushing hearts.

We’re all capable of evil,
born with the wicked gene,
until our nature gets inverted
fake-king evil rules supreme.

Our cold stony hearts need replacing
but that’s not something we can do,
our creator must replace ’em
with pliable hearts that He can use.
Jehovah-shalom, the God of mercy, grace, Amen.

Jesus, the Quintessential Savior,
fully God, completely man;
the universes consummate fixer upper
the One and Only Great I Am.

So what are we waiting for,
a personal invite from the King?
But a blood-quilled invitation’s been promulgated,
and with it our sins to bring.

So for us to end injustice
we have to get down on our knees
and pray the Sovereign Ruler
would restore and set men free;

while we work for God’s great justice
to graciously roll down,
understanding we’re the problem,
that only God can turn around;

For Jesus, the Quintessential Savior,
fully God, completely man;
is the universes consummate fixer upper
the One and Only Great I CAN.

Mason Swinney

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