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Country Miles

Romans 1:20 (NOG version) tells us something about the relationship between God, His creation and our consciences--something each person suspects:   From the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly observed in what he made.   I wholeheartedly rejoice in what the Scriptures say here, because I experience this confirmation time and time again, as I travel through Western North Carolina, USA. What a beautiful area; it full

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

Knowing Jesus

I found the needle   and it pricked my conscience.   Stumbling out of the hay-hill,   there was straw in my pockets.   Straw in my hair,   dust in my eyes and ears.   Sun-baked by exposure to this world's air,   less comfortable with praise than jeers.   Little did I know   how life-changing this find would be!   Knowing Jesus has been like a city boy   smeared in mud while farming.   I’m not like a boy,   but I am mo

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

Jar Talk

I’m starting to talk to You, God, more than I used to.   I want to talk, till I forget to “pray”.[a]   I speak, think and act to form the idea-words,   You have so many more ways to convey.   Your presence, Word, conviction, circumstances,   people of God and those not in the Way,   the leaf that falls and boulders that come crashing ,   poetry and music: all these say,   “Be praised for your greatness in the morning,   “through the moments

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

Early Mind

Lord, may this early mind   awake to your eternal heart,   gather in—as I set the table,   things I just read from your Word.   The just-loosened jar tops, container   top snaps, coffee pot washing, a   first breath near the window latch:   first works while Faith talks again.   I re-open the garage door and leave   to go into a world of key turns,   passwords prompts, desk keys   and cabinet locks amidst other souls   on wh

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

Senses

Our senses     give us a symphony of zeal,     no fences,     protected in open, green fields.     Should I question if You've got my back?     You have gifted me to react     to however You will,     in my senses.     Oh sight!     You have branded     everything set before us,     helped us to gawk     at the Might of the Lord,     and to gaze upon trees     running like needles     up Appalachian slopes.     Jesus, to know that Y

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

Workflow

The road through Samaria,   it must be my phone line.   Daily, I get people who feel   cast off, ignored, misinformed,   victimized.   Along I come.   I have healing oil and wine   in my journey pack,   but they do not see these.   So, they complain, lash out,   make snide remarks about the   "goodness of man" and expect   no more from me.   What? Shall I, in turn,   spew an insult at a fellow traveler?   A

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

Sentiments In Praise

These sentiments   are more to the Spirit than mere compliments,   we are telling a Holy God   we have confidence   in His everlasting Love   and . . . want to . . . tell . . . Him . . . that . . . we   honour Him,   that with this life, breath and zeal we will carry Him,   we, singing to Rock of Ages,   will not relent,   and . . . beyond this meeting . . . we . . . will . . . live . . . to   honour Him,   in these sentimen

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

Purpose

A loved one once told me before he died,   “I . . . can’t give . . .anything . . .more!”   So it happened, and those who were left behind,   asked, “Why ?”, our spirits perplexed and sore.   Let those who suffer loss answer the question,   “What are we still doing here?”   It’s to give grace once more to clay’s imperfection,   there’s still room if we’re willing to suffer.   Iron sharpens iron and clay sticks to clay,   as the wheel of God’s

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

Wondrous Question

Look how the wild flowers grow! They don’t work hard to make their clothes. But I tell you that Solomon with all his wealthwasn’t as well clothed as one of these flowers (Luke 12:27 CEV)         Is it any wonder         that the flower         made God ponder,         that the Son would say Another         has b’yond petals, all power and thunder         (such the glory of the Father!),  

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

Jonah

Moves to his other side,   but this dream will not end.   Lies upon silk,   still haunts the foul darkness.   Moods mean nothing,   though possessing his own,   for deep down, another's   possessed by his moan.   "Come, Exorcist,   "cast me out to myself,   "for my spirit is in me,   "where You long to dwell!   "Three times I am captive--to sin, self   "and--this thing!   "Open our mouths   "to give praise

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

Today

Based on the account of the two thieves   who were crucified alongside Messiah Jesus,   Luke 23:32-43 (NIV):   Luke 23:32-43 NIV - Two other men, both criminals, were - Bible Gateway   Two thieves around that Cross,   One of them   Had been to the Jordan   and . . . through pain   He could hear the Immerser shout,   “Show fruit that you have repented,   “Come now, time is suspended.   “Have all . . . your sins washed away”  

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

Vision

Have you ever thrown a call over a cliff   and wondered at how it didn’t fall,   just spurred on out in all directions   and resounded in your mind, mind, mind?   By and by, you’d throw another   over the airy wall.   I have seen, seen, seen a connection   between the call and the earth below.   Sometimes, God allows tenuous situations   to tell me not to stand on monuments   when I'm lost in reminiscence.   He wants me to call, c

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

Good News For Modern Folk

There isn’t much to say   that couldn’t be said in a country mile,   but with You, I don’t hesitate   to sing the obvious,   ‘cause we are messengers   of the never-ending, ever-flowing,   mercy-without-finish   work of God,   …so I’m singing…   All I can sing in a country mile   I’ll take today…on my journey’s smile,   at each mile marker, on any kind of day,   there’s a new song:   You are every verse,   sketch

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

Cupboard Faith

I sit at the table,   with my early cup of tea,   send a psalm into   God's resume of pleasure.   I needn't pretend   He’s going to act for me;   He already has…with words   and impressions and deeds.   It would be correct   to hint there isn't enough   of light outside for me to readily see   where, just eventually,   I should plant my steps,   much less go,   whenever I hitch up my motives   and leave for

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

Riverboat Praises - No. 1

This is the first in a short series of "Riverboat Praises".     I imagine seeing things through the eyes of a deckhand     on a Mississippi steamboat in the 1800's. . .(the style here was dictated by a folk tune that developed before the lyrics came. . . mental banjo and all)     Tell you how t'cross this river!   Tell you how to cross...the Jordan!   Tell you how to cross that Jordan River:   get bap-TIZED!   Old man river, he ain't nothin',   old man

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

Judas

Haughty.   That was Judas alright.   We other apostles didn’t mind.   Why, wasn’t a coin proud   with Caesar on it?   We naturally thought a money man   is tinged.   So much so we asked Matthew   to watch him.   Judas,   his pride seemed so different.   Political.   His zeal pursed his lips,   narrowed his eyes,   drew in his eyebrows,   tightening the purse strings.   We half admired him,   hid

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

Breaking Beyond The Fast

(obviously, I reference a time well into the past.           After all, yesterday was a very filling Thanksgiving   )       Spirit of Christ         make me lithe at breakfast     as I sheepishly gaze     beyond window panes, for mercy.     Your glint of affirmation makes me chuckle,     between coffee and my praise,     from washing rack to wonderful gain.     I reach the cupboard     hands uplift

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

Experimental Prayer

On thinking about Bonhoeffer's life, about the   underground Finkenwalde seminary that   he directed before the Nazi regime shut it   down . . . if I had been one of his students.   I walk the halls of Finkenwalde,     meditating.     Why do I not like the prison from which     prayer longs to break?     Herr Deitrich was right. God’s intervention     is not mechanical;     this is not mere religion.     My prayer must come of age,     be

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

A Thanksgiving

(after reading 1 Chronicles 16 -     http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...6&version=NASB)     Cackle you hens this early morning.   Wag the tail of dawn, you pets.   Let jetliners trace their contrails,   in contrast to God’s clouds, fun jest.   Get up, sun, and do the bidding   of the One who shines on hearts.   Although a forecast may say, “Gloomy”,   nearby planets warm with Earth.   Let the aromas of Thanksgiving   rise from

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

Franciscana - Saint Francis And Brother Mule

What shall I call you,   you shell for my mind?   Here’s a safe monicker:   “Mule,” to be kind.   Our fraternal fibre   obliges my sighing,   we cannot part   unless I am dying.   So with a wink and a nod,   I grant, Brother Mule   you to go at your pace,   whilst I make the rules.   I wish that you’d prance   as fast as my mind,   but like some plodding thorn   you’re a pale pantomime.   Oh, sure the

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

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