embraced

Artist: Sean Seal

Artist: Sean Seal

Embers glowing, fire bright
Warmth protrudes from what is light
From afar we view, you take my hand
Such distance to travel to this venerated land
Through freezing field I traipse a pilgrim’s journey
But I worry not because you’re with me
And tarry not, the gait is swift
A lightened load gives me a lift
Our teardrop joins, hearts both break
For broken, disheartened, souls yet to wake
How I love this walk – time with you
In this moment virtues ne’er misconstrue
My feet are cold, the hoarfrost stings
I shall endure these trifling things
I waver once and look at you
Eyes of brown, hazel and blue
All of the colors, spectrum bright
The warmth afar yet still in sight.
You and I alone in this space
Time to thank, sing, embrace
For your hand I hold on dear
Removes all doubt, removes all fear
I love you now with all my heart
You love me too right from the start
And frosted path is stinging feet
Endure it now until Maker meet
I shall endure as life meanders well
Ever with you gives so much to tell
Closer now, face dark to light
’twas not me, ’twas your might
Rapping now upon the door
Peaceful…feet they sting no more
And bright inside shines ember glow
I look outside to see the snow
Another comes, soon even more
An ever rapping to narrow door
Love is bright and frost is cold
Time to realize young to old
But only in this earthly place
For by the fire, age disgrace
And I am calm, ’tis peacefulness
All I have seen gone to rest
But surprisingly joy is at hand
My presence embraced, His demand.

© 2013 Rick Stassi

my words

“But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter” Roman 7:6 (KJV)

Existing in each step planned
By a god not in heaven but mind and land
It is painful as the sun shall set
With nebulous conclusion met

For how by words can I live?
I cannot read and have so little to give.
And my words are forged inside my head
Listening surely from sorrow to dead.

But I did not see a Man on colt
His children even made cause to bolt
For who will hear that will surpass
My words that fall into morass

O for what I didn’t know
That eyes above, love to show.
There was a path hewn out of stone
That should bring flesh back to my dried bone

I saw a chance to touch His robe
Once, twice, more, I scorned His probe
God hovered nuisance be
A man too full of his words to see

But wrestle I did, near a ladder to High
With God, a battle, my failed try
And my hip He broke as tears then flowed
I touched His robe and cast all goad

Life is beautiful with Him with me
New brothers, sisters, family
It took so long Lord so what time left?
He assured His minute is enough, mine bereft

So love, He cried, is my new word alone
Written on heart, not etched in stone
Liberty now abounds where bars once were
A tainted man lost, found, pure

So here I am a decade later life so full
Jesus the Son, Word with rule
Son of Man in my heart,
My words but vanished thine art

Disappeared those words, nailed on a tree
I am new, O Lord, I come to Thee
Completing, hopeful, loving, are You
You make all things new, Your replacing Word true.

© 2013 Rick Stassi

Our Truth, the Way

Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.
Psalm 144:4 (KJV)

For as we behold angst in our days,
These are the times when our focus on God strays
Be wary of moments of depart
As the enemy shall aim his fiery dart.

But, for what will we gain in attention?
Doesn’t grief and angst strike at mere mention?
Indeed, but awareness is our choice to seek
God’s help from our valley to our peak.

And lack of awareness is surely vain
Empty reason, Man’s painful bane.
For wind and fire shall cull our secret places
We change anew – man with God eternity faces

The sun shall set upon mankind
Never waking again morning to find.
Without sunlight shadows pass
Like the days of man existential harass

There is a way vanity is cast
Our emptiness now in times past
Redemption’s pierce Jesus’ pain
God fills vanity to see life’s gain.

Praise Him on most high
Be aware O grief-stricken sigh.
Soon awakened, resurrection day
Jesus our Saviour, our truth, the Way.

(c) 2013 Rick Stassi

…our continuous testimony

Sean Seal

9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
Matthew 25:9-13 ((KJV)

So then there are wise and unwise people within the family of God. For some carry His lamp but it is not fed to provide the fuel to make it light. Instead, the light is dull and faint. The personal character of the unwise is satisfaction in the one testimony of Salvation and the omission of a testimony of Divine relationship. “He who began a good work…”, Paul writes to the Philippians. Began, indeed. “…will continue…”, Paul continues. Our testimony is of our appointments God continually makes for us. As we meet His appointed time, we are blessed and will testify His work in us. It is to edify both Him and the body.

The wise instruct the unwise, in care and compassion, to seek Him for themselves. We cannot do for another what they must do for themselves. Even our omnipotent Lord will not fill a lamp with unrequested oil. He is broken-hearted that their sloth and laziness – a lack of compassion and desire, will ultimately create separation from Him fully. A disinclination to act toward Him will separate us because He will return and the unwise will be off on a quick pursuit to enrich a relationship in a moment that should be nurtured over a lifetime. I do not attempt to talk in the place of our Lord. His mercies and grace remain unseen to me at His seat of judgment, but in the context of these verses, those who put off a living relationship with a most-loving God, will not be remembered at His Seat.

Thus, our pursuit is continual.  We replace the temporal with eternity. We replace happiness and other emotion, with joyousness and true Agape Love. God fills the emptiness in our hearts as we ask Him. He tugs at us continually; the unwise are already satisfied if not apathetic. Our eyes are through eternity. We see beyond our hand. In the dark we will not walk as our lamp burns brightly. If we lie and try to justify and rationalize darkness and light, we will be wrong. It is senseless. For what darkness can ever exist if there is present light? Maybe in a shadow, hiding, as Adam and Eve in the Garden, ashamed in full exposure. God walks to and fro and seeks our face. In the shadows we are hidden. But He knows and He is sorry for the very souls that He loves so much. The unwise are these. They walk in darkness with the rationale of light, they are wrong. Jesus will not remember them. HE will not know them.

Therefore, prepare yourself now. The kingdom of God is at hand. The Bridegroom will return. Do not be out buying oil and miss His return. It is an eternal mistake. Your testimony is continual.

Live through God’s eternal eyes.

Rick Stassi

1/27/2012

…rejoice in testimony

12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly toward you.

2 Corinthians 1:12

Paul describes the ‘spirit’ in which he delivers the message of God to the Corinthians. Rejoice in the testimony of God in your life. Your conscience is your inner intuition that ‘impels’ us to right or wrong. By this statement, I believe Paul is stating that he is rejoicing in the testimony that is in agreement with God. When in agreement, we are confident of His good work. We are joyful in our choices. We are satisfied in our minds and hearts that our intuition is more than a simple thought of whimsical good. It is God’s direction that we have:

  • Recognized
  • Understood
  • Conveyed

 When we are communing with God, our heart speaks with the voice of Jesus within us. It is clear and concise. It is not complicated and it is only through the grace of God.

Sincerity:

“Sincerity in Greek implies the non-admixture of any foreign element. He [Paul] had no sinister or selfish aims…” A.R. Fausset (BlueLetterBible) 

The satisfaction of our testimony rises out of a sincere heart. We can rejoice because we are clear that the core of our testimony is from God. We are clear it is not self-centered. We are clear it is not mixed with ulterior motives. Our wisdom through God precedes all rejoicing. be secure in your words and know your heartfelt words are from a deeper wisdom of which the source is not of the world, but of God, Himself. The hierarchy of our testimony release:

  • God
  • His Wisdom
  • Our Understanding of Him
  • Our Conveyance of the Testimony of this Understanding

What is our rejoicing, actually? It is the joy we feel when we are praising God. We have edified Him and we know it. We have a right conscience and a sincere heart. These are two litmus tests that we can use on ourselves to test our motives.

The message is to convey a simple message to the world and to individuals, as well. Be self-aware which will happen when you are communing with God in a deeper, personal relationship. He searches our hearts and shines His light in our dark places. As we seek Him,  He will reveal who we are, what are motives are, and guide us so that we may rejoice because we have edified Him to the world. There is no better place to be than in God’s will. It is a selfless place and all of our heart is one with Jesus. That is not worldly – that is the grace of God.

So, edify Him today. Seek deep in your heart and read the Bible. His word. His wisdom permeates our stubborn nature and humbly we can be sincere. This can be through words, a hug, a conveyance of hope, or a demonstration of our faith. Above all, however, it is our love – actually His love that we have been given by grace. Seek to know this love. Seek to know and understand Him. I pray I have now. I rejoice and my conscience is clear. Praise God.

Rick

Thanksgiving

November 24, 2011

…the narrow gate

“Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Luke 13:24

I came to Jesus and He answered. He beckoned me and I answered after many years of deafness. I became a follower and a believer in Jesus eleven years ago when I was in seeking a power higher than myself. I loathed the ‘born-again’ paradigm; I sought a beautiful and personal, wisdom-filled relationship with something greater than myself. My ‘self’ was reaching it’s end.

As I sought a god, I tried to intersect my life with Eastern philosophy but the personal aspect was absent. I was drawn to but never could get drawn in. I wrestled for a solution and the solution was fleeting. The attempt at finding God was frustrating to the point that I begged in prayer just to believe in something. Prayer to whom and what something?

In my marriage, and therefore my life, the Lord had a plan for me. My wife and I were not Christian, however, we made attempts at spirituality courting Catholicism and some Buddhism. She came home one Sunday night after a weekend visit with a friend. She announced that she had given her life to Christ. The pronouncement was infuriating to me. She suggested we start spending our Sunday mornings at a local church – an idea I agreed to try because although I carried abhorrence for Jesus, I still sought the wisdom and personality of a god. We attended a church that taught the Bible in an induction format and the day we first attended, the pastor’s sermon began: “In the beginning…” I wondered if this was coincidence. I patiently listened through eight months of Old Testament teaching. I particularly was interested when Jacob wrestled with God and God disjointed a stubborn man at his hip. I related this story to my agonizing relationship with alcohol and I knew I was too a stubborn man. One day on an off-ramp, while listening to a sermon tape of one the Apostle’s gospel, I succumbed. Jesus spoke to me and said that the greatest of all commandments was love. Love was a prerogative I could embrace. Jesus was a person I could embrace and I believed He was God and Man. God surfaced in my consciousness. I had found wisdom and personality in God.

Since, I have seen how God works in my life each day. Not always in big ways, but subtly always imparting His wisdom and love to me daily. I studied the Bible and I now seek to see the image of God (James 1:24) as I look into the mirror. I see now just how narrow the gate is. I am so blessed that I persevered in my walk through despondency to reach and pass through the gate to God. So many will not.

Rick Stassi

October 2011