Grace, like a rooster

Grace, like a rooster,     crows all life.

Those who grab the booster 

    gain great heights.

It could boom like a bomb, 

    deafening; 

whiff like soft wind, 

    leaving the ear unruffled. 

Life’s laced with grace 

    yet missed by many;

but when braced, 

    one buoys to the shore 

        like a sea duck 

            atop unruly waves.

            

© 2016 Celestine S. Ikwuamaesi

By savingwordtracts

Time To Crow

Your voice laps like a flowing stream,

Across howling space.
Your face beams a summer dream,
My pulse on a race.
Like morning dew, my eyes wink;
Bees busy for nectar.

The sun crawls, mimics your coming,
A paining night that slows the dawn.
Though each moment’s delay ticks
My day with unveiled smiles;
I put on white dress, perfume the air
With a sweet scent.

At night I sleep with an open eye;
I peep out the window all day:
Lend the sun some wings,

And stir him to faster pace?
Fun to see the glow, the flutter
Of a cockerel close to crow!
© 2014 Celestine S. Ikwuamaesi

By savingwordtracts

Destined For The Dump

IF MY CROWN were worth a dross, the cross remains a showy sham.
If my heart should glow as snow, Jesus’ blood flowed with a flaw.
Enthralled by the warped wood, the wide spreading arms, I stared;
Yet couldn’t see on the marred face, the price He paid for my freedom.
I wondered! Why bear the shame of my wallowing in the mire?
I wondered! What a huge price for a heart fit for the dump!
After grace had cleared the fog, my worth weighed like a feather.
The cross dulled my brilliance; I came down crashing in a flash.
I had thought of my rich crown; that the world should doff and bow.
Then I saw His thorny crown, the blood and the rich harvest.
What a disdain I deserve for my pride, what I made of grace!
My silk rustles aloud the shame; but my burlap sings His praise.

© 2015 Celestine S. Ikwuamaesi

By savingwordtracts

Power From Above

AT A PRAYER meeting week ago, a Christian friend shared a testimony of his brief meeting with God years ago. In a momentary experience, God showed him one of the problems that faced the church. By church, I mean you and me, and the corporate expression of this unique fellowship of believers.
The testimony went beyond attracting my interest. It confirmed my fears that something is wrong with the church. I had noticed a gap between the original and modern church, and mused over the issue. I tried to place a finger on the cause. One of the two cannot be real! The New Testament accounts of church life sound like a fantasy—tale by the moonlight. However, modern church appeals more to the intellect, personal desires, and material expectations from God. When one compares the old church with the new, we find two speaking to God in two separate languages.
Going back in history, the earth was dark and empty when God’s love stirred Him to create a place for a people with His image and likeness. He said, “Let there be light.” At the end of sequence of events, God created man and set him in the midst of what He had judged to be Very Good. Love brings something good. Hate is weak and gives rise to evil. Love comes from God, hate from the devil. Today, the world has moved away from where it started.
Jesus Christ came with a simple message. “The time has come. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the Good News!” (Mark 1:15 NIV) God’s kingdom is synonymous with His love. When heard Jesus, he noticed that his end had come. He could not withstand the power of kingdom love.
Christ raised a team of simpleminded men, took them around the country showing the power of kingdom love. They saw it through signs and wonders. Captives of the devil regained freedom while relief came to the broken-hearted. Those on the devil’s death row received pardon. Testimonies flowed from the hearts of a baffled public and the devil’s former captives. “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” (John 3:2 NIV) Whoever comes from God must be equipped with kingdom power of love.
Our Lord drove the message home to those of us who, through faith in His name, are disciples. He tasked the disciples: But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so you may be sons of your Father in heaven. (Mat 5:44, 45; Luke 6:27-28)
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” (Romans 3:14 NIV)

Kingdom love is the mark of God’s children and Christ’s disciples. Our spiritual power flows from it hence the Holy Spirit comes into us with love at the new birth. (Romans 5:5)
Jesus was barred by the Samaritans on his way to Jerusalem. In response, James wanted to call fire from heaven to consume the people. He had a biblical reference to support his move. However, the Lord rebuked him: Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. (Luke 9:55, 56 KJV)
The Lord’s reason showed later in Acts 8:14; 9:31. Most Christians still live the Old Testament law of an-eye-for-an-eye. We are comfortable with imprecatory prayers of the old while living the new spirit life in Christ.
The Jewish authorities manhandled the apostles but released them later. In response, the church prayed: And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word… (Acts 4:29 – 31 KJV)
Verse 31 shows what happens when spiritual warfare is kingdom-driven.
Proponents of fire-and-brimstone prayers claim to aim at the devil. We choose a Bible text from the Old Testament and lob it at the enemy. Use of God’s word in warfare is not a matter of plug and play, but as the Holy Spirit directs. Besides, should we use our anointed tongues to praise God or curse the devil? (James 3:9-11) Can one make a black pot blacker by painting it with black paint? Do we understand that God’s presence fills the place of praise, causing the enemy to flee?
God took him to a place of prayer and opened his ears to His children pray. He heard a barrage of fervent praying that elevated the devil and availed nothing. To God, the tongue should be put to better use.

By savingwordtracts

The Rabble

Raving gang!
Nation in a mirthful mood,
Whirring discordant triumph,
Eyes steaming noxious passion.

Look about!
Revelry boils over;
Death in the embrace of a squall
Eddies skyward; the stench chokes.

The rabble!
Itch for holes, fun in dark slits
Of black-eyed vipers, foxes;
For beds, quilted thorny spreads.

Look atop!
Swarms of gaunt vultures hover,
Craning in graveyard muteness;
Keen eyes, sharp claws, ready to pluck.

Joyous gang!
Rainbow spray of emotions,
Like dew glistening at dawn,
Awaiting the summer sun.

© 2015 Celestine S. Ikwuamaesi

By savingwordtracts

The Crooning Dove

Effigy formed of inert dust, 
Inhaled the divine pulse, vile vine  

Infused with worth and dignity. 

I’m not! I’m not! Fallen from grace; 

I frown at my rueful bungle.
Sad to strut, my honor swishes 

Shame; dark crusted conscience 

Hangs on me; keeps paling my worth

Till I yell at Christ’s open arms  

For return of the gone glory, 

So dear, the present, a shadow.
Years in the fire, self-refining,

Yielded scum, dross, a dull shine. 

If I should have another chance, 

Revert to the noble state I’d lost, 

My heart could be tanned rainbow.
A dove cranes on a perch, offset 

Against the blue, croons in the wind, 

Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? 

Yet I battle with baneful pride,   

Scorn the grace, the courting nocturne.

No end to my nice now, I wow.

Quite unequalled, I’ll ever be. 
The bell tolls for others, each time  
Softer; the whir of a whirling world.  

The sun keeps her scoot; stars, their stroll.

Summer smiles; winter whines, sulks.

Time etches against my proud form. 
The bell! Sounds like tolling closer—

Jangling, ruffling… nettling.

Yet my pride… my pride sticks, 

Lances the chance to begin again.
© 2015 Celestine S. Ikwuamaesi

By savingwordtracts

Out Of Bounds

Hold back your thoughts  

        while I hold mine. 

Keep your gaze off me; 

        I’ve tears to shed,

        you have yours.

If you pry into this veiled heart, 

        you find yours: 

piles of aching hurts 

 beneath the smiles. 
© 2015 Celestine S. Ikwuamaesi)

By savingwordtracts

Price For Prize

Price For Prize

(1Pet 4:12-13)


The winepress turns slowly,
Steadily grits with grisly pain, 
Crushing juice out of dainty grape;
Red wine gurgles softly.


A tuneful solo often flows from sorrow,
Simple faith that shreds the shackles of trials,
Percolating the divine essence in humans,
The spice of morbid morality.


Kindling must crackle so we wink a nap in winter.
The deeper fibers of nature lie coarse
Until beaten to yarn a Persian rug—
An artifact fit for the Palace.


Trials trace on a life-size canvass
The real portrait of a latent personality—
A prize worth the meager price.


© 2015
Celestine S. Ikwuamaesi
By savingwordtracts

The Sea Duck

 
Should I wait for the Lord in hope,
Or wilt in a sulk, withering?
Should I splash my face with gloom,
Or smile back at blue winking stars?
Should I doubt my Father’s faithfulness
Or say, He wavered from His word?

 

If I can’t trust Him for what He is,
But sink in my swinging mood;
If doubts veil my faith’s eye; it fails,
I can’t see beyond the nose;
Then His promise will sweep as wind,
Rasping through my ear canal.

 

Like a duck, I ride on sea’s surface 
To the duple rhythm of ebb and flow. 
Through the crest and trough, I’m urged by 
The tender nudge of an invisible hand–  
A wind, whispering as by One who knows 
The end, saying, I’ll take you there.

 

I’ll take you there, you lovely particle,
A flake in the wind; a leaf being pruned
In the Branch, sifted by the storm.
Trust a soft landing on a quilted bed,
For a rest, waiting the next stirring–
A swirl to a future and a hope.

 

Life without faith’s an empty gong,
Sounding doubts and fears, echoing
Ceaseless groans that grate the heart
With anxious tension I easily
Could drown in the day’s frantic toil,
When in Christ, I’m a sea duck.



© 2015

 

Celestine S. Ikwuamaesi.
By savingwordtracts

Closeup

I had three strange visions many years ago, after grumbling before the Lord over some personal issues. He showed me a highway, smooth and level. Then, a close-up of the same road, full of bumps and deep cracks. My eyes bulged. He took me to the Atlantic Ocean, show me a blue calm surface. Then a close-up: humps and folds of waves. My mouth dropped. Finally, He showed me a large mirror, very smooth. Then a close-up: coarse heavily grained sandpaper. I screamed. I heard a voice: nothing in life is smooth. 

    I jumped off the bed at midnight, gripped with fear. I sat quietly to reorient myself, but noticed that the sulky feeling was gone. I began to wonder.

   Do we ever ask what God’s close-up of our hearts, thoughts, and faces would look like? Can any of us boldly plead with God: project on a screen a 200% close-up of my person? Do you trust that beautiful face on a mirror as a true reflection of yourself? Do you trust those cliches at Christian meetings: anointed man of God, Deborah of our time, God’s blessing to our generation… I did, until the Lord showed me a “mirror.” 

    My mind is my mirror, so are friends in the church. They tell me how good I am. They tell me how unpleasant others are. And I believe them. So? Has the Lord shown me my heart as He sees it? According to the law of light, relection is distorted image of the original;  light rays are deflected by particles in the air. So the image is unreal. Life is as real as it is in God’s sight. 

   This is where our problem lies. Our image in the Body could be unreal unless the Lord says otherwise. Only the Lord can say, “Well done.” He is coming for “a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish.” He will look at each person at close-up. He knows what He wants. 1 John 3: 2-3 says: …everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure.

    It is my duty to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and purify myself; and ask for the grace to do what is needful. The willingness should come from me after accepting that there are gaps in my character. It is  my duty to ask the Lord for periodic close-up shots to ensure I am still in the faith. 2 Cor 3:18 tells me: We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit. We unveil our faces when we “Set our minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.” (Col 3:2) Then we study and meditate on the Word with a view to erasing those spots and wrinkles, and blemishes.

     God has predestined the believer “to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” (Rom 8:29) But we do just take this grace for granted. And to avoid this slip, we need a regular close-up short on our character.

                                                                                                   (To be continued)

Celestine S. Ikwuamaesi

By savingwordtracts