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What if there were no moral prohibitions

And you could do what you wanted

No consequences, no risks, no secrets

Simply

Plowing headlong through barriers

Wallowing in sheer physical pleasure

Entertaining any and every fantasy

No self-government, no rule of any kind

Everything saccharine, frothy, sensational

Of course, nothing would get done either.

Self is a terrible master

and a very regretful slave.

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Morning Glory

I’ve never seen a morning glory, tame

inside a garden or a picket fence

They’re rather deck the hills and lace the lanes

like virgins teasing wanderlusting men

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John Keats, an English poet, who died at the age of 26, asked that his epithet read:

“This man’s name was writ in water.”

Is our freedom, too, writ in water?

What exactly is freedom?

Freedom to live where we want, buy what we want, go where we want? No.

Freedom is in the soul, in the conscience, on the tip of the tongue.

Freedom is invisible. That means we can’t see when we have it, or when it’s gone.

We can, though, see its opposite: censorship, shout downs, clampdowns on writing, ideas, beliefs.

Restriction is seen in the streets, in the media, in the church.

Freedom is lost in the soul and the mind before it is lost in the streets and the marketplace.

It is lost in the psyche before it is lost in the public square.

We can write freedom in water, but it disappears forever.

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Dream Come True

I dreamed I lived on some pastoral farm

We had some animals and painted barns

A bubbling stream where I could wade and fish

A sky of stars to look up at and wish

I dreamed I’d stroll in peace o’er grassy hills

And laugh as grandkids ran the Elysium fields

And treasure holidays with our three boys

and relish freedom from the city’s noise

What I failed to see was that life’s dream

was altogether different than it seemed

My most amazing fantasy is true

I had the dream of dreams, and it was you!

I’d live in a choking, busy concrete town

I’d live on watery coffee, rice, and beans

I’d live and sleep on cold and barren ground

But I’d never live without my greatest dream

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More Than a Peeling

I clean lint out of the dryer

it’s tiny pieces of my clothing after drying them

I clean the ring around the tub

it’s tiny pieces of me that I lose after a bath

I pull the calendar month off the wall after it’s over

It’s tiny pieces of mortality I lose after spending my time

Now I can read a newspaper through my thin towels

I can read my veins through my thin skin

I can read eternity through the thin calendar pages

It’s my disappearing act

So when my clothes, my body, and my life is gone

I’ll truly be

more than a peeling.

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No Alibi

I feel no alibi, no friend

can understand what grips at my chest

and wads my shirt up in its fist

What bitterness I taste in every gulp of air

that was once free

How the American flag in the breeze

mocks, indicts, condemns me – deep magenta in its shame

How I grieve, nearly loathe the masked wanderers

on our streets and in our stores

How heavy freedom must have become

for them to loose it so easily from their shoulders

and let it fall

Cloaks of history lie rain-soaked under trampling feet

Garlands of past victories hang from every fencepost

unable to take root

so far from the rich soil of culture

Language itself is oxymoronic

Babel all over again

The constant drone of Siric syrupy sweet voices

telling us not to be near human skin

Never to touch, embrace, or feel someone’s breath again

Or see a smile

In this dark addiction to safety

I feel oppressed but

I have no alibi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I am back on WordPress because Facebook has become so superficial. People only read about two sentences before they jump to something else. I need to write for thinkers, not perusers.

I prophesied at Shady Grove Church in 1986 that God was going to let America fall by her own designs. I am glad that it did not happen. There’s no one happier than a false prophet, Jonah. Right? I fasted seven days after receiving that word before I delivered it. Not that that validates it, but it shows how serious I took it.

In 2016 the Supreme Court ruled in June that same-sex marriage was a constitutional right. The next Sunday (I think), was a July 4th celebration and our church sang “God Bless America.” I sobbed uncontrollably throughout the whole song.

What will I do now? Is patriotism an indispensable part of me? I wonder if threads of our flag weave their way through my gut, and if tiny white stars get caught in my throat and choke me. If I’m to be flagellated with red stripes.

Americanism is set in me like Portland cement. But I see it draining from this generation’s minds and souls like sand from a leaky paper bag. It’s all over the streets and boots are crunching it rhythmically, unceasingly, carelessly.

Men and women in boots, warring against hope.

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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

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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.

 

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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

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