Christianity

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Arise, Beloved!

Published August 7, 2012 by Ashley Townsend

Poem time again! I was sitting in church with my family and we were singing “We’re the People of God,” and I just started to doodle some of the lyrics. Then I added a little here and there without really thinking about it, brought my pathetically confused little scribbles back home, and spent the afternoon singing and mulling possible next lines over and over until this came about. Even though I love to read and write poetry, I am far from skilled at it, so once again, bear with me! But I thought today might as well be a good enough day to share this with you all. Oh! And Friday I’ll have my favorite books of all time up here to inspire some more reading fun. Brace yourselves for further Reading Extravaganzas and stay tuned for Friday!  

 Arise, Beloved!

I have called you by name

I fought back the darkness

That clothed you in shame

With the sword of truth

I battled those lies

To show you your worth

I have fought for and loved you

Even before your birth

Come to life, O’ Precious One!

See what I have in store for you

You have been ransomed by love

And washed in words of truth

I do not lie like flesh and bone

I profess over you only what’s true

My love, my heart, my home

Be still, Beautiful Child!

Know that I am True Love

Can any of those whose love you seek

Compare to that of the One Above?

They see you as their eyes perceive

But in My eyes I see the one you were meant to be

All of your faults and falters are plain to me

Even more so than what others can find

But a child cherished by the Holy One

Is your portrait in my mind

Take heart, Sweet Treasure!

My love is everlasting

It never falters or fades

It is not favoring

Since before your conception

I knew you by name

And the truth is, the sweetest reception

Was the joy you felt over being so changed

Be patient, Everlasting Soul!

Your name has been written since the beginning

So enjoy this life and have faith that

You will live forever with Me beyond this world’s ending

I have clothed you in white

So you will not just see it

But can at last embrace the Light

Arise, Beloved!

As the sun ascends toward the heavens

So shall you be lifted into eternal light

Because I have promised, it is so

And you are one of the few chosen lambs

For whom My Love will always grow

Daughter of the King

Published June 15, 2012 by Ashley Townsend

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 

Recently, my sisters and I conducted an accidental psych experiment on how people perceive things that are different. All it took was a quick trip to a fast food joint and a moment of courage to inadvertently compile our results. The four of us had spent the morning at Barnes and Nobles discovering new book titles and authors, quietly giggling over some of the more ridiculous plots involving vampires protecting the world from savage fluffy ducklings (a bit of an exaggeration, but we’ve all seen books like this!), and containing our shrieks of delight as we rejoiced over the discovery of a favorite book in the clearance section, of which we all proceeded to purchase a copy. We were on an excitement high as we marched from the bookstore, our faces toward the sky, a thick, identical hardback tucked safely under the arm of each girl.

To keep the good times rolling, we stopped at Burger King for lunch. Perhaps we did it unconsciously to relive our youth of so very long ago, or maybe it was the scent of chicken strips, grease, and ketchup packets that pulled us to our munching destination. Whatever the reason, sitting in the drive through put me in one of my silly moods, and when I saw those paper birthday crowns sitting just behind that glass window, I knew we had to have them. My oldest sister DeAnna, being very well acquainted with my ever-changing eccentricities in the heat of the moment, hesitated only a second before asking the woman in the window if we could have four of the kiddy crowns. Smiling, the woman handed us our crowns, which we wore on the drive home.

It didn’t take long to catch the disapproving stares and glances of amusement from the others drivers and passerby. It was obvious to us that people were taking note of the paper crowns on our heads and viewed us differently because of them; we appeared unusual and didn’t fit in perfectly, and people immediately took note of this fact. It didn’t really bother any of us; actually, we were all grinning like idiots because we were so happy and uncaring what the world thought of us. My sister Elizabeth was actually the one to point out the similarity between this event and being a Christian. I know it seems like an odd connection, but being a child of the King of kings means that each of us is a prince or princess—hence the crowns. We weren’t ashamed to wear them, either, completely unfazed by the questioning gazes we received. It took courage for DeAnna to ask for those crowns, even though it was such a simple thing to do: ask and it shall be given unto you. We wore those silly paper crowns with our heads held high, and it made me think that we should be as comfortable proclaiming our heavenly crowns as we are ridiculous paper headdresses that are made for children. That’s not to say we should boast about our crowns with a sense of pride, because we are entirely underserving of them. But rather we should wear that symbol with awe and wonder and declare it with love when we remember that God actually thought we were worth sacrificing his Son. It had nothing to do with anything we had ever done to deserve such a gift, and yet we were each given a crown with a smile. All we had to do was gather the courage to ask.   

“Every man’s life is a fairytale written by God’s hand.” –Hans Christian Andersen

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