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The title is from the poem by Dylan Thomas, about resisting death.
I have gone through many emotions since the Ides of March (shutdown started): anger, sadness, resignation, disgust, fear, hope. But I have come to a few conclusions, which I’d like to share if anyone has the time.
First of all, I believe God has blocked every other way to ensure that we go through the “eye of the needle.” It is a time of divine discipline for our lasting good. God loves us enough to try to keep us from destroying ourselves and one another – and America, the hope for the world. It is crucial that we accept this time of discipline and submit to a
loving Father.
Secondly, if we submit to the divine discipline, we can take the necessary measures to save our Republic. If we want national freedoms, we must have personal freedom in our character. We must practice mercy, love, and humility. We can’t turn back to revenge, slander, and selfish pursuits. We have to have a greater vision for who we are, together, as a nation, and contemplate seriously the “united” in United States, and tremble at the alternative.
The prophet Jeremiah said it so well, lamenting Jerusalem’s captivity: “You did not consider your destiny, therefore your fall was great.” (Lamentations 1). We have not yet fallen, only staggered. God, help us to stand!
Thirdly, we must fight against the human tendency to resort to absolute control, and we can only do that if we are self-controlled under God’s control. I once heard it said that if we don’t have renewed spiritual awakening in America, then we won’t be able to have enough police to control society.
The “police” has to be our conscience, our heart, our personal disciplines, common grace, and most of all – the grace of God.
I have to say what I heard in my soul in 2019, and it shook me to my core: If we don’t start washing one another’s feet in this country, we will be wiping up one another’s blood.
“God you are our Father. You love us enough to rebuke and discipline us. Help us, to be earnest, and change our ways.” (Rev.3:18)
Amen.
Thank you for listening!
 -jlh 2020

Drunken, Fallen

I feel crushed and distressed. Here’s why: America is only the second nation on earth founded by God. Israel is the other. Like Israel (see Jeremiah 13), America was destined for glory, honor, and renown and we have experienced that. Because they rejected God’s laws, God caused them to become drunk. I see that happening to America today. Drunkenness speaks of the loss of reason. Who would have dreamed that Americans would accept homosexual unions as normal, the legalization of marijuana, and welcome assisted-suicide. But it is happening at 100-proof speed. What happens to the drunken? They fall.
I heard a world famous evangelist say that America will not turn back to God. Why not?! If Christians would abstain from the nector of humanistic thought, the cocktail of freedoms-run-amuck, and the brew of socially-acceptable PC, and declare the truth of the Bible unapologetically and unceasingingly and ubiquitously, America would be saved.
America belongs to God based on three agreements:

The legal argument: King James I chartered the document which claimed the New World for the spreading of the gospel ( second provision of the Virginia Charter)

The spiritual argument: Robert Hunt, chaplain of the Jamestown colony, planted a cross at Fort Henry, claiming this land for God and his purposes

The civil argument: The Mayflower Compact, the first civil government laws, established the land as biblically-established and ruled under God

These three historical incidents gave this land, now called the United States of America, to God. We cannot take it away from him without disastrous consequences.

 

I SAW HIM

My eyes were closed

It happened in less than a second

I saw him seated on a white throne  to my right

and above me about three yards away

His hands were on the armrests of the throne

It was so clear that I could see the lines in his knuckles

His hair came down onto his shoulders

and blended in with the chalky hue of the throne

His head was turned slightly toward me and

His eyes were on me

He didn’t move or say a word

But I felt he communicated to me

I immediately knew he had absolute authority

He was kingly

and this image is permanently impressed into my imagination

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever

I see such lack of civility in America today.
I don’t mean Antifa wearing masks and sporting baseball bats, or angry Black Lives Matter mobs, or women wearing pink Unmentionable hats marching on Washington.
I mean the failure of people to be courteous in public, neglecting to ask about your well-being and your family at gatherings, ignoring phone calls and text messages. If it is only the baristas at Starbucks saying “My pleasure” or only customer service representatives saying “Have a good day,” then, folks, we are lost.

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I’ve driven across our country so much lately, and I observe – and worry. The landscape, the cities, the roads and stores haven’t changed. But we’ve all changed. We are wearing black. We are driving black and grey cars. We’ve become severe on the inside. But it is still inside. I fear the cold dark that could spill out.
Only a spiritual renewal can save us. We are holding onto our cultural heritage like a gorilla hanging glass Christmas ornaments. Let the colors of the soul splash onto society: spontaneously praying together from the heart, passionately cherishing others, calling every person a neighbor, and valuing every American as someone who was worth Christ’s sacrifice.

Palming the Universe

You are beautiful, O God

above all artistry or design

You are décor never before imagined, spendidly alone

You were – before anything else was known

outlasting every thing or being or ideal

More than real, more than alive

beyond any picture or symbol, color,

sound or sight.

You eclipse all light.

Undefined by any wavelength of any extreme

you blow away the spectrum.

You outweigh all gravity

bear up every weight

fill every micron of space

hold all in one place—

palming the universe.

 

Yet, you painstakingly

watch out for your own, you care,

Aware of our pitiable states and woes

You interpose, intervene

Weaving random strands of broken dreams

into seams of amazing art

You can thread through

the tiniest needle of the most feeble will,

to make new the shreds of lives frayed, hearts torn apart

But that’s not what makes you so loveable:

You wade through our stench

bear up under our crudeness

filter away our hypocrisies

dig through our clay and bedrock mule-headedness—

all with one intent:

to find your divine imprint,

your deposit of treasure,

your aroma of resurrected soul,

to refine, then hold

against your breast and breathe

‘This is mine, all mine.’

Alone

You touch me with the tip of some celestial artist’s brush

The scent of something sweet sits  in the air

You hush me on my lips like wings when fiery angels rush

While tears pool at your feet and drench my hair

I’m dumbstruck like a concert fan who wants an autograph,

You strum my senses, I suppress a sob inside a laugh

Now I’m alone, with an eternity inside a breath

When, suddenly – you’re gone,

I’m left with just a yearning and a lesser fear of death.