Sunday, November 13, 2011

Christ's Sufficiency

Christ is sufficient in all things
You will never reach the end of His power
It expands past every obstacle before us
And makes the Devil to cower

You cannot swim to the bottom
Of His ocean of love and care
When you dive as deep as you can
More of His love will await you there

His holiness also is insurmountable
Every time you climb a bit higher
There will always be a crag to reach for
Just above where you aspire

His compassion is like an endless road
Though you walk, or jog, or sprint
It will stretch farther into the horizon
Where a glimpse of His Glory continues to glint

His atonement is perfectly circular
Encompassing us all around
From farthest east to yonder west
Our sins cannot be found

His Glory is like a great shining light
That will never grow dim or fade
And we will never see the end of its shine
Or sense the beginning of shade

Enough seems not the right word
Adequate also falls short
Sufficient is indeed what Christ is
Though in a way He seems more

Nothing else can fulfill purpose like Him
Everything else falls short in some fashion
But He will never reach the edge or end
Of His holiness, glory, or compassion

©Allix Brunson 11/13/11
Based on this sermon

Friday, September 16, 2011

For a Birthday Girl who loves the Fall :)

Could it be Falltime?
Swimming, sunning, ice-cream, baseball
Wildflowers, bug-bites, vacations, and
Fireflies, hammocks, sunburn, picnics
Watermelon seeds, lemonade stand

Sleepovers, favorite books, 100 degrees
Sunglasses, flip-flops, hide-and-go-seek
Naps, berry picking, trips to the lake
Or maybe a quick run to the creek

Slowly the days are cut off much shorter
The air in the morning is crisp, chilled, and cool
Summer is fading, packing its bags
Making room for pumpkins, orange leaves, and school

Autumn comes tip-toeing in like a fairy
Draping the world with its cinnamon dress
Auburn and gold, copper and teal
Will the trees change their suits? Unfailingly – yes!

Leaves falling, crunchy under new boots
 The aroma of coffee and hazelnut reigns
Wrap that trench coat ‘round you tighter
And let the sweetness run free through your veins

Sundresses are out, Cardigans start your engines
Scarves, jeans, and hats say, “I’ll be there soon!”
Apple cider, cocoa, anything in a mug
Spices, and sitting beneath Ole’ Harvest Moon

Thanksgiving, cranberries, stroll through the park
Summer or Autumn? Guess you can’t have it all
  But we’ve done our best to treasure this Summer
Now, let’s give a warm welcome and bring on this Fall!

©by: Allix Brunson 9/16/11

In honor of Miss Sarah Elizabeth Jarvis whose birthday is today :D

Idols of the Heart

I am not committing idolatry
No golden calves sit on my shelf
No images of hallowed saints
God is my God all by Himself

I do not bow down and pray
To man-carved wood or stone
No Allah, Buddha, Confucius here
I pray to God alone

But maybe I might be deceived
When I write myself off as clean
Perhaps worshiping a so-called god
Is not all idolatry means

He loves me (Yes!) He loves me not!?
It was only a “crush” at the start
But now he consumes my every thought
And he inhabits the core of my heart

The music that streams through my earphones
Is so awesome and catchy, its fine
Though little by little, its grip slowly tightens
 Around the whole of my mind

My beloved hobby is calming
If it helps me relax, what’s the crime?
Because I really enjoy it so much
It’s no surprise it takes up most of my time

The beeping and buzzing of gadgets
From computers, to phones, to T.V.
Are literally so clearly addicting
They’re becoming the ruler of me

A paycheck is always a pleasure to have
The beauty of each bill and penny
Out of all the wonders that money can buy
I’m convinced that I could have any

That movie star, athlete, or politician maybe
They’re so gorgeous, talented, or witty
I might just lose my mind and cool
If they ever set foot in my city

Power and prestige
Fame and recognition
Adoration, followers
Is that my big ambition?

What of the person in the mirror
Who’s feelings, thoughts, and will
Take all of my attention
Maybe its pride, but no big deal

So I say that idols aren’t my sin
However it looks like the contrary
Because I have not left all for Him
I indeed am committing idolatry

©by: Allix Brunson 9/15/11

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Light that Shines in Darkness

Deep, and grim, and desperate
The utter black abyss
No ray of light for respite
I was born in this

The great depths of Hell, indeed
I doubt are dark as that
 No better place for sin to feed
Than the place that I was at

My eyes were blind, my ears were shut
And my heart, I fear, was dull
I did not know why, or how, or what
It was like outside of this hull

Like the valley of bones so dry
There was no glimmer of hope
And so I felt no need to cry
Or urge to broaden my scope

But alas to the great displeasure of
My hardened sinful soul
There was a One with a heart of love
Who set out to make me whole

An ache hit my heart like a speeding train
The darkness began to feel bleak
And so I saw, with the sharpest pain
It was the Light I needed to seek

I walked here and there, miles it seemed
But still I had gone nowhere brighter
He was the one that came and Redeemed
And gave me a burden much lighter

Ironic though it may tend to sound
It was that Blinding Light
It shone through the darkness all around
And gave me such glorious sight

Though once I was those dry bones, you see
The Lord, He just kept giving
He breathed the Breath of Life in me
And now those bones are living

He opened my ears, once deaf they were
He spoke His truth so sweet
So rich, so dear, so simple and pure
To the world I repeat and repeat

If you are in the darkness now
I can tell you He’s still the Light
The only way you’ll find your way out
Is to have Him on every side

Can life be given to your dry bones?
Go to the Lord, He knows
You’ll never find life by yourself, all alone
It is He that salvation bestows

©Allix Brunson 9-5-11

Based partly on John 1:4-5 and Ezekiel 37 
To see the Scripture picture I made with the former, go here.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lessons from the Loaves {Mark 8:1-9}

Jesus had great compassion on the Gentiles; and the Jews, including His disciples, just couldn't understand this because they had always been taught that the Gentiles were nothing more than worthless dogs.
This miracle {The Feeding of the 4 Thousand+} mustn't be confused with the former Feeding of the 5 Thousand+ miracle in Mark 6. These are two entirely different feedings. They were to a different crowd and had different purposes. The first crowd had been mostly Jews but this crowed was mostly Gentiles. The first miracle ended with 12 small lunch pails, if you will, of leftovers. This time there was 7 large baskets full of the leftover scraps. 
1.) The Captivated Crowd (v.1)
"In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat..."
These pagan people were so enthralled with Jesus Christ that they came from far away to go see and hear from Him in the wilderness, listening to all He had to say for three days, forgetting their need to eat because they were so drawn to the Son of God.
These are pagans and they are sacrificing their comforts because they are so captivated with Him. We are the children of God, certainly not pagans, and yet how seldom are we so entirely captivated with Christ that we do not think about eating, drinking, and how far we have to travel to hear the Word of God preached!
2.) The Compassion of Christ (v.2)
"I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:"
Though this was a crowd of pagans, Christ felt for them and wanted to supply even their simplest need to eat. These were Gentiles who knew little or nothing of His commandments but Christ had compassion deep in His heart for them. This was a lesson for His apostles to not ignore people simply because they are ignorant about the decrees of God. He wanted them to know that mercy, grace, love, and compassion are attributes of Himself that He desires us to imitate.
"He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion." ~Psalm 111:4
"Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger forever, because He delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." ~Micah 7:18-19
"It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness." ~Lamentations 3:22-23
com-: with, together
-passion: to suffer, feel deeply
So Christ suffers and feels deeply with us! Those that the multitude looked on with pride and disdain, He looked on with humility and felt compassion in His heart.
Our God sees our physical and spiritual weaknesses and He immediately feels for us. That is our God and that should be us towards our brethren: friends and enemies.

3.) The Callused Disciples (v.4)
"And His disciples answered Him, 'From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?'"
Jesus had just recently feed a large crowd miraculously. They had already beheld His power and compassion. And yet they looked right at Him and asked how they could possibly satisfy this crowd's hunger. They should've known that He was willing and able to do what He had already done before. How could they be so blind?! That's a good question. Why are we so blind?! Why do we doubt God even when we have experienced and seen such great displays of His miraculous grace in our own and other's lives?
4.) The Commanding Lord (vs.5-9)
"And He asked them, How many loaves have ye?" And they said, Seven." v.5
a. How many loaves? 
This is almost humorous. It's as if He's saying, "Here we go again...Ok guys, we had 5 loaves last time when I miraculously fed a large crowd, how many do we have this time?" He doesn't need them to tell Him that because He, being omniscient  already knows how many loaves there are. He was only reminding them of how little they had and how powerful He is. Who is sufficient to do such great things? Only Christ.
b. Sit down.
"And He commanded the people to sit down on the ground:..." v.6
The people were to be passive and He would be active. The people were not synergistic partners in this miracle. They were to sit in a submissive position and receive from Christ. 
c. From His hands
"...and He took the seven loaves,..." v.6
Christ asks His disciples to give Him the loaves. Everything must be put into His hands. Nothing will be blessed or increased until it rests in His palms. They have and He took. This is a picture of Christ making us willing in the day of His power to release our grip, give everything to Him and let Him do the rest.
d. He gives thanks.
"...and gave thanks..." v.6
This teaches us that, no matter how small a thing, we should give thanks. It is all of Him and He deserves all our praise and gratitude.
"In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." ~1 Thessalonians 5:18
"Better is little with fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith." ~Proverbs 15:16
e. He broke the loaves
"...and brake,..." v.6
He broke once and kept on giving. He did not break these small biscuits into 4 thousand+ little pieces so that each person could have a crumb to put to their tongue. He was creating a feast from nothing. And so it was out of the fullness of Himself that He satisfied them. He is God. Only He can do this. Every person needs a miracle of grace to do away with humanity's greatest common problem: sin. And God is the only way to supply this need and the only One to perform this miracle.
f. Jesus involved the disciples.
"...and gave to His disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people." v.6
He gave them the job of distributing the results of the miracles from His hands. He could've easily made it fly over to these people or immediately fill their bellies with this bread and fish. But He desired for His disciples to be apart of the delivery. He did not require them to cook or prepare -- He only needed them to deliver what He had already made perfectly. It is not our job to spice up God's message. We should humbly and thankfully give it to hungry souls straight from His hands.
g. They ate and were filled.
"So they did eat, and were filled:" v.8
He gave them a meal that they would never forget. Not necessarily because it  was the most delicious thing they had ever eaten, though it may have been. But because He satisfied their hunger like no one ever had or ever could. We all have a gaping void in our souls and we can attempt to fill it with anything in this world and it will never satisfy. In fact, it will only widen the void. But just a taste of Christ and that void will be filled to overflowing for all eternity!
h. Baskets of leftovers
"...and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets."
Even when we have exhausted ourselves serving the Lord and delivering His message to hungry souls until they are more than satisfied -- there will still be a full storehouse left to give from. We cannot exhaust the goodness of and blessings of God. He will always have baskets full even after the feast.
i. He dismissed the crowd.
"And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and He sent them away."
This seems like an impossible task to ask a multitude who have just feasted from the hand of the Son of God to leave. But nothing is impossible for Jehovah. With a word, He caused this multitude to obey Him.

And so they were filled. Christ had felt deeply for their needs and He did not stop until He had perfectly satisfied their needs. 
"But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 4:19
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." ~James 1:17
"But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." ~Romans 5:8
"Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people." ~Hebrews 2:17 

It is one thing to satisfy a crowd's 3 day hunger. It is quite another things to sacrificially atone for the sins of a whole host of sinners. And yet He is all-sufficient for both. Only One can satisfy thousands of hungry stomachs at once and thousands of hungry souls as well. And His name is Jesus Christ. He is the Bread of Life.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Poem about...

Not even a pin drop or whisper.
Just a hollow dull hush surrounded by
White walls and empty halls.
It’s deafening itself to not hear a thing,
Not the slightest hum or ring.
No voice to break the nothingness
All is blank and quietness.

My own voice cries out in the midst
But it seems to bounce off the blanks and disappear
As if there was no one to hear
Or worse yet, I fear,
That this silence must mean
He doesn’t care anymore.

But I know that can’t be true
Because He said, “I will never leave you
Or forsake” and that’s a promise
That He did make for times
Like these when everything feels
Empty and deserted.

So since He isn’t answering me
And I know He continues to hear and see
Because He is not indifferent
But compassionate, He must be choosing
To hesitate to teach me
Something large and great.

Dear God, is it the white spaces that
Give the world its meaning? Is that
What I should be gleaning from this test?
Because now that I think about it,

The blank page is what prepares the writer to start
To pour out the feelings caught up in their heart.
And the pauses in a song
Are what takes each note and beat
And turns them into something complete
And we call it music.
Otherwise it would run together
And just be noise to us.
Is that it Jesus?

Do You want me to see
That it is the empty spaces on the wall
That makes those paintings in
The artist’s hall stand out?
For surely if they were all fused into one
It would just be colors and confusion.

Are you silent to let me ponder on
The promises you have already given?
Is that what I’ve been missing and postponing
In the midst of all my whining and moaning
And giving up on You?

Lord, teach me in the silent times,
While I’m surrounded by white blanks,
To pour out my heart in praises,
Gratitude and thanks.
Make my heart stronger,
Deepen my weak faith, lift up my head
And let me feed on more than bread,
Instead let it be all the precious words You have said.

Let me get more out of it than
Assuming Your cruelty or neglect to me.
Try my soul in the fire of

©Allix Brunson 8/6/11

This poem was inspired by excerpts from this sermon my pastor preached last Sunday.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I Will Follow

Dear Lord, how I used to wander!
How often I carelessly strayed!
I rambled down Sin’s darkest highways
And took paths You had forbade

But then, oh the Light You shined Lord!
So bright and glorious and true
It lead me out of the Pit of Destruction
Through the Vale of Death it brought me through

You founded my footsteps in Righteousness
You showed me the paths I should take
You promised to walk ahead and behind
Protecting me, whether asleep or awake

Yet still I found myself stumbling
Dazzled by the Worldly Way’s charms
  That’s when You lovingly sheltered me
Carrying me, at times, in Your arms

You knew all along my weak frame, Lord
You knew, by myself I would fall
 And so You watched over me Faithfully
Hearing each pitiful call

The years have taught me to trust you
To follow Your steps that You’ve shown
And it’s when I’ve gone with those footsteps
That I have drastically grown

So here’s my pledge to devotion
To follow wherever You lead
Depending on Your given Guidance
And You supplying my every need

Though they go over mountains or hills
 Or valleys so low and so deep
I will set my eyes on Your footsteps
And Your promises, in my heart, I will keep

©Allix Ryan Brunson
Thursday, July 7, 2011