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Book of dreams two

More Christian Poetry

From Wayne o’Conner


PRIORITIES: WHO OR WHAT?
Make the Lord
your top priority
and He will supply
the finances
and empower you
to serve in His ministry.
Make the ministry
your top priority
and you will have to supply
your own finances
and empower
your ministry
by flattery,
manipulation,
soul power,
showmanship
and programs. WTO

Sanctuary
TO OTHER SHEEP OF HIS PASTURE, LIKE MYSELF,
scattered throughout the world,
but connected by His Blood and Spirit.

WHETHER WE WALK IN THE CITIES


OR REMOTE RURAL PLACES
AROUND THE GLOBE,
WE ARE A PECULIAR PEOPLE,
foreigners in a strange land,
WHOSE ABODE IS REALLY
THE HEAVENLY REALMS.

Jesus leads us beside still waters


and feeds us the Manna of Heaven,
giving us seasons in His cities of refuge,
as He prepares us to be sent on journeys
to various climates and cultures,
from tropical islands and sandy deserts,
to asphalt jungles and icy villages.
Fraught with dangers
and teeming with temptations,
the journey is rarely easy.

Jesus is our shepherd


and so we wander.
While to some it may appear aimless,
to those who listen,
they hear the sweet refrains
of John 3:8,
“The wind blows where it wishes,
and you hear the sound of it,
but cannot tell
where it comes from
and where it goes.
So is everyone
who is born of the Spirit." (NKJV)

Welcome.
Come rest and refresh yourself
today and tonight,
for tomorrow is for the journey,
and who knows,
except our Lord,
what that day shall bring?

WTO 2007

Religion and Breakfast (FROM A DREAM ON 5.28.09)

I try not to walk too far ahead of You.


I try not to walk too far behind.

Trusting that You will edit my life


and finish what You've started
gives me hope to stay the course.

My mind may try.


My flesh may try.

And the wanting is important,


for willingness is the way.
That and a loving, trusting, eager heart
that longs for a genuine relationship with Jesus.

In my dream I was sharing this poem


with a salt and pepper haired couple
as they fed me breakfast,
but as I read aloud,
they smiled at one another
and winked at me in their thoughts.

Finally the woman said,


“Nice words,
but that's just not the way it works.
But it is 'tween dawn and noon!

One day you will grow up.


Then you will know,
that just as Sunday is the Lord's,
every morning,
until exactly 12 noon,
is His, too!”

“Every day is the Lords


and every hour,”
I said.
“We are but stewards of our time,
just like we should be stewards
of what He has given.”

Grandma and Grandpa Religion


smiled indulgently as they munched
wheat toast with raspberry jam.

“Wouldn't it be better,” I asked,


“to have a relationship with Him
every day and every hour?

I enjoy talking with the Lord


anytime,
day or night.
I don't need a special time!
Throughout the day
I pray or talk with Him
about what I think, see or hear.
Have you ever considered that?”

The old man chuckled.


I heard a faint pop as he sucked in
his last bit of boiled egg.

“What a silly notion!”


crooned the old lady with a smile.
She crunched her turkey bacon,
then shook her head at me.

I was just about to say,


There is a difference between
following a set of religious laws
and having a relationship with Jesus Christ.

But I bit my tongue


and said to my self,
I've said enough for now.
It is much better to keep them in prayer
and love them,
than rile their religion.
Better to lose the battle
and win the war.

Lyrics from an old chorus came to mind,


“The battle is the Lord's Praise God
and the victory is ours.”

If we fight battles in His name,


but independently of Him,
even if we seem to win,
it may count as mere wood, hay and stubble.

I sipped my cider– sweet n' tart - and said no more.


When I awoke from my dream
I pondered what I had just seen. WTO 5.28.09
HIGHWAYS AND BYWAYS

When Jesus was 12


He confounded the religious elite of His day
by answering questions about the Torah,
and from the Prophets,
with depth and scope and undeniable mastery.
Jesus even answered questions
with wisdom superlatively beyond His years
that religious leaders were unsure about.

For years he walked the dusty streets,


as a dual son,
Son of God
and Son of Man,
meeting the best and the worst of society.
Jesus visited the temple
and rubbed shoulders with those
who acknowledged or worshiped His Father –
some with their lips only
and others with their hearts as well.

Jesus reached the age of 30


and began His ministry.
Once again He confused and confounded
the religious elite of His time
with His enigmatic words and actions.
During His ministry
Jesus showed great compassion,
to the poor, lame, hungry, unclean
and demonized – Israeli and foreign.

And yet Jesus was very harsh


with most religious leaders,
calling them white washed sepulchers,
sons of the Devil, viperous, and blind guides.
Whenever possible He actively sought
to break the traditions of the elders.

Yet Jesus lived, breathed, and exemplified,


with great precision,
the scriptures and very nature of God.

When it came time to choose His disciples,


Jesus did not use the tried and true techniques
of the elite religious leaders.

Jesus did not choose the brightest students


and place them on an advanced education track
for the chosen few,
to memorize The Torah, The Prophets
and The Talmud.

Jesus did not have the best of the best,


following long years of intensive study,
follow Him around for yet longer years,
and then pick one to mentor at His side
for a still longer time.

Jesus did not say,


as the religious teachers of His time,
“Now you have achieved your goal:
Go be a Jewish Guru!
Enjoy your own following and one protégé.”

What did Jesus do instead?


He went to the highways and byways!
He found those who were deemed misfits.
Unworthy of going on to higher religious learning.
And He asked them! Right away!
Jesus chose ignorant fisherman
who had been sent home
to work for their relatives,
rather than go onto higher learning.

He chose a tax collector


who was socially anathema –
considered contagiously unclean,
to all but prostitutes and other tax collectors.

When He had chosen


the twelve Apostles of the Jewish Nation,
none of them would have been
considered “worthy material.”
After that, Jesus went once again,
to the highways and byways,
and said, “Come follow me.”

To the poor.
To the social outcasts,
both ignorant and well-tutored.
To foreigners and prostitutes.
To the unloved and the unlovely.

When the religious elite


and those who had
the first right of redemption
ignored or scorned Him,
what did His Father say?
God said, “Go to the highways and byways
and compel them to come in,
that My House may be filled.
For I say unto you, That none of those men
which were bidden shall taste of my supper.”

Jesus warned the Chosen


that their vineyard would be taken away
and given to another nation
who would harvest its fruits.

Once more Jesus went to the highways and byways


seeking half gentiles and gentiles.
Later he sent his disciples, not only to the Jews, but to all nations.

Two thousand years later


and in a foreign land I call home,
My Lord took me out of the places
considered to be modern temples of Jehovah -
places where saints and religious pretenders
blended like water and oil.

I became as one born


in the wrong time,
never truly fitting in,
until He took me along the path less trod.

He led me along the highways and the byways.


I became a stranger in a strange land,
but I also found others who loved Jesus.
Others unique and out of sync
with contemporary religious tradition.

He said, like His father


about Abraham of old,
“I will be your great treasure
and I will be your friend.”
Was I worthy of such an honor:
No, yet he chose me,
before I was in my mother's womb.

I became another peculiar person


who lived on earth,
but whose true place of citizenship
was in the heavenly realms. . .

Like a coin has two sides,


Highways and byways Christians,
can be seen in two lights:

as ones misunderstood,
outcasts to many,
and not what most Christians
– traditional or untraditional -
would consider to be “good Christian material”

or as ones who have a right heart


despite a variety of issues or odd ways,
chosen by God to be ambassadors of Christ,
who step to the rhythm of a different tune,
who confound the wise of this world:
Christian, religious or pagan.

wto – 7.15.09