Poetry With A Mission

...a thought provoking poetical exercise.


Seventy Times Seven Plus

“Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven’ ”
(Matt 18:22, NKJV).
“ ‘But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions’ ”
(Matt 6:15, NASB).

Now, prudence is certainly a good thing, and we should always use it,
And that there're times where one should draw a line, I'm sure that all would admit.
But may I suggest to you, that before you go drawing such a line,
That you dwell on our Saviour's forgiveness, and His torch on yourself then shine.

Yes, seventy times seven, Jesus has very clearly counselled us,
However, what our Lord really means is, seventy times seven plus.
For all those times that we let God down, and those times that He forgives us,
Aren’t simply seventy times seven, but seventy times seven plus.

Yes, so many times we let our Lord down, and often, wilfully so,
And yet, though we ask for His forgiveness, those same wrongs still from us flow.
Despite our every effort, it isn't long before we fall and sin,
And hence why we need forgiving, and time for real changes to begin.

Therefore, seventy times seven, no, but seventy times seven plus,
Given that though we oft falter, our Lord another chance gives to us.
For He knows that we are wretched sinners in need of love that bears long;
A love that grants forgiveness to the repentant who have acted wrong.

Thus, in like manner, we should forgive any who wrongfully treat us,
Bearing long with them, and forgiving them seventy times seven plus.
Yes, forgiveness that is endless, just like that which our Saviour displays,
Though not if we choose to reject Him, and then remain with our old ways.

Oh, what a shocking price our Saviour paid on that cross at Calvary,
So that repentant sinners could be forgiven, and thereby go free.
And hence why He desires that that same love be manifested in us,
Not simply seventy times seven, but seventy times seven plus.

Yes, I know that it is very hard to forgive what some people do,
But that is what our God requires if His forgiveness we're wanting too.
And how could we act otherwise, when our Saviour has forgiven us,
Not simply seventy times seven, but seventy times seven plus.

By Lance Landall

2.  When Godly Men Fall

When godly men fall — that is, sound ministers who are of note, high in profile, and who call a spade a spade,
We all should remember this: That Satan seeks their downfall more so, given that they’re true blue and unafraid.
Yes, the devil can’t stand trumpet blowers, those who’re as straight as a dye, and pointing out sin and heresies,
And who thereby unmask his wicked scheming, his deviousness, and the work of his human agencies.

Thus, it’s tragic when such good men fall, given the damage that’s done to God’s cause — that is, Christianity,
And given the damage that is done to many a Christian’s walk, for such can affect discouragingly.
And, I must add, such is inexcusable, for such men know far better, and they must practice what they preach,
But God forgives, and so must we too, for we all fall short of the mark, and we will do, despite what we teach.

And we too, are targeted by the devil and his evil angels, when we are walking committedly,
For we too, via truly walking in accordance with our Lord's will and Word, anger the devil immensely.
And hence why the devil seeks our downfall too, and hence why our opposers and ungodly men such can too,
For both they and Satan don’t like being exposed, given that that which is contrary to God’s will, they pursue.

And in order to ensure the downfall of men...

Again and again...many women throughout history have been used to ensnare them, and their fate thus seal,
For women are most men’s Achilles heel, given a woman’s attractiveness, and her sexual appeal.
And hence why many men fall, and given that we're so human, (too oft used as an excuse, though sadly true),
And why compassion, forgiveness and understanding is called for, given that such ones could be me or you.

Yes, but for the grace of God, there could go any of us, for despite our best efforts, commitment and stance,
And with us all so fallen, so sin-sick, and so terribly prone to this or that, there is always that chance.
That is, whereby we might fall, due to any number of things, and hence why we always need to be on guard,
Daily connected and committed to the Lord, trusting in His strength — yes, victorious, though battle-scarred.

By Lance Landall

“Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good
and who never sins” (Eccl 7:20, NASB).

Note: Where a woman enters into a forbidden relationship, or where a woman sets out to seduce a married man, and that man succumbs to her seduction, both are guilty, for both have sinned, both have acted wrongfully, and thus both must share in condemnation. Where a woman has been "used" to bring about a man's downfall, and where she had freedom of choice without fear, she is likewise guilty, for she had the opportunity to say, "No." At the end of the day, it's all about choices.
You may like to check out my secular section, given that certain poems there are somewhat related.

You might also like to read my poems "Man Overboard!" and "Go Easy On Your Brother," the latter found well down on my poem list page, Christian section.

The following poem is also found in my secular section.

3.  No One's Infallible

Even those who call others to a higher moral standard can fall themselves, for no one’s infallible,
But though they may fall, thus badly weakening their stand, and also opening themselves up for ridicule,
They’re still bound by duty, (and perhaps more so, given their own fall), to keep preaching that same noble gospel,
For our mistakes hardly cancel out our conveying wisdom, as not conveying such, can see others suffer ill.

And hence why parents, (for example), despite their past mistakes, should still advise their children accordingly,
Thus giving their children the benefit of their sad experience, acting thoughtfully and lovingly.
For what mum and dad who suffered via their mistakes, wouldn’t warn and seek to steer their child away from such ill?
And woe betide the child who’d say, “You can’t talk!” — for chances are, they’d soon have a sad tale of their own to tell.

If we only took notice of those who were perfect examples, who, let me repeat, aren’t infallible,
We would hardly take notice of anyone at all, and what would we do if those folk somehow, somewhere fell?
At the end of the day, we must look at the merits of what folk are saying, bearing in mind we could fall,
And what if others then didn’t want to listen to sound advice from us — wouldn’t we “foolish” those folk call?

While all who call others to a higher standard should maintain such, life has a way of tripping even the best,
Who, while only having themselves to blame, should still continue to look to another’s best interest.
And if we’re sensible
mature, in other words we'll continue to listen to what such folk have to say,
For if there’s merit in what they’re preaching, and we ignore such, then we too, will no doubt others soon dismay.

By Lance Landall

4.  “Man Overboard!

It seems that we’re often wounded by our own folly, Lord, having somehow let our grip slip from You,
That is, in a moment of our fallen humanity, where something rebellious we choose to do.
And oh, that pain we suffer, Lord, and that pain that we can thereby inflict on other people too,
All of which sets us back, and hence our need of healing, and Your forgiveness, and that of others too.

You never said that the Christian walk would be easy, Lord, hence why daily we must depend on You,
For in our own strength we haven’t a hope, and then there’s that roaring lion that we are up against too.
And often we seem to slip without thinking, Lord, perhaps our eyes momentarily off the ball,
But whatever the reason be, we’ve only ourselves to blame, regardless of that way we might fall.

And the more we become like You, and rightly stand up and speak out, we triple the devil’s fury,
Who ups temptations and troubles, and plots against us more so, hoping that our demise he’ll soon see.
And with us being such easy prey, Lord, given our weakness for sin,
given our fallen condition,
It’s not long before we’re caught in some fix, the devil having indirectly got our permission.

Far too often we stray from Your side, Lord, somewhat like Eve, flattered by the serpent’s beguiling snares,
Only to end up on our knees again, amidst appeals for Your help, and repentant sobs and tears.
And hence why I rejoice that You’re so forgiving, and understanding of our fallen condition,
Aware that we’re simply no match for that age old serpent, for he’s a cunning master tactician.

And hence why we shouldn’t take our eyes off You, Lord, nor rely on our own strength, for such is folly,
And why we should always walk in paths of righteousness, seeking Your will, and not ours, rebelliously.
And midst it all, showing the same concern and understanding to others as You do to us, Lord,
Forgiving them when they wrong us — and when they fall, lovingly shouting to others, “Man overboard!”

Just as You take hold of our outstretched hand, we should take hold of theirs, pulling them up from sin’s clutches,
And giving them time to mend spiritually, supported by love’s meantime encouraging crutches.
For we all know how easy it is to slip and fall, and how many times we’ve had to call on You,
And there You are, arms open wide, the warmth of Your robe of righteousness ready, and renewed strength too.

Yes, when we tumble, You’re always there, and when others tumble, us too I hope, thus reflecting You,
For You are our example, Lord
— our lifeline — and hence why lifelines we should extend to others too.
The seas of life are sometimes stormy, and evil winds can blow us off course, or pitch us overboard,
But one thing’s for sure, You’re always there with that lifeline — and why we should be quick to cry, “Man overboard!”

But having said that, I know You’re able to keep us from falling, preserve us on the solid Rock,
And that rock is You, Lord, where not just midst storms, but every day, we should drop anchor and safely dock.
For there, in the bosom of Your care, we can find an inner strength and direction for every day,
Thereby claiming the victory in Your name — but only if there, Lord, we wisely anchor and stay.

By Lance Landall

5.  We're All Too Hard

Yes, we’re all too hard, Lord, far too hard, and so in need of Your compassionate sensitivity,
And who knows why we are this way — perhaps it’s our background — or are we simply acting selfishly?
We just can’t seem to help ourselves, hence our cutting, condemning, thoughtless, unkind words and behaviour,
That are so removed from those words and deeds of our humble, caring, selfless, loving, gracious Saviour.

Change doesn’t come easy, Lord, for this ill within us is so engrained, and right from birth, seemingly,
And why only You can help us, Lord, for no matter how hard we try, it’s déjà vu, upsettingly.
Yes, we’ve no sooner opened our mouth, or taken a step, and there we go again, frustratingly,
And all the while just damaging relationships, and oh yes, Lord, witnessing very wrongfully.

Even our love is tainted, for it’s usually connected with what benefits us as well,
Rather than being solely focussed on the well-being of others, and why on ourselves, we mostly dwell.
And sometimes we pridefully pat ourselves over something we’ve done — well, in a certain kind of way,
Conveniently overlooking those things we haven’t done, and that our true state conveys, I dare say.

And hence why we are so in need of Your help, Lord, for only the Spirit can truly set us free,
That is, from our erring and selfish bent, and that character-stifling people-harming tendency.
Yes, for we’re all too hard, Lord, far too hard, and so in need of Your compassionate sensitivity,
For others as well, are just as much in need of thought, love and care, as too-hard and too- selfish we.

By Lance Landall

The following poem also appears in my secular poems section.

6.  Behind And Within

Though most of us are full of excuses that just aren’t good enough, there are those who to some degree can be excused,
Or who at least have a legitimate reason for their behaviour, and therefore, shouldn’t be unkindly accused.
Though their behaviour may not be what it should be, (at times), it’s not something they’ve altogether chosen consciously,
For there are things occurring within them that they just don’t understand, nor that have even been picked up on, sadly.

And such could relate to either the physical or mental, of which each can affect the other, let’s be clear here,
And finding the exact cause can be an expensive exercise, and a protracted one, and the means just not there.
And nor other folk, by the way, (at least not like they should be), who could provide a helping hand in various ways,
Which, when such isn’t there to support, and somehow ease things, that needed change or answer simply thwarts or delays.

We’re living in times where so many are afflicted with the unknown — yes, a multitude of things that can impair,
One being those chemicals that enter the body via one’s mouth or one’s skin — and how? — once again isn’t always clear,
For much that we’re told is safe, proves to be otherwise, let alone those things that we know are not safe, quite another case,
And which we often can’t avoid given that they surround us, and are so regularly found within the workplace.

Hence why we should be more tolerant of, and more patient with, those folk who come our way who behave in certain ways,
For who knows what’s behind their sad behaviour, nor how much they’re struggling with such, and all of which even them dismays.
While wrong shouldn’t be condoned, there are wrongs that occur more because of injury, rather than because of some sin,
And by sin I mean, plain selfishness or evil, for there’s so much more that can be going on behind and within...

For example:

If someone is impatient, is it a selfish impatience, or an uncontrollable irritability?
For some health conditions can seem to override one’s self-control — at times, that is — where there’s stress particularly.
I guess I’m referring to the likes of 'chronic fatigue syndrome,' and then there’s depression, serious depression,
Both of which can lead to some unfortunate — but not purposely chosen, as such — upsetting outward expression.

And then there are those medications, which, despite one’s best efforts, can see someone acting very differently,
And they, therefore hardly in full control of the scene, or against all the odds, having to battle furiously,
That is, to refrain from acting wrongly, for under such conditions, such can seem like an impossibility,
And more so, if there are a number of issues going down, and why we should refrain from acting judgmentally.

Yes, we’re so quick to see things as being some sin, when it’s more an injury that’s expressing itself, (albeit wrongly),
Rather than something that’s premeditated, someone's bad trait, or someone who’s just lashing out uncontrollably,
That is, due to a lack of self-control that they were more than capable of, and thus deserve condemnation for,
And why we need to mind how we look at things at times, given that behind someone’s action, there’s often a lot more.

By Lance Landall

7.  Hell Bent On Revenge

I couldn’t help feeling certain pangs seeing Gaddafi’s brutal end on the six o’clock news on T.V.,
And isn’t that how every Christian should feel? — for Christ takes no pleasure in dealing to men, and nor should we.
Sure Gaddafi, (and Saddam Hussein), got their comeuppance given their evil reign, but should revenge be sweet?
And the last time I looked at the Holy Word, it clearly condemned revenge, and said we’re never to mistreat.

And by the way, Christ when speaking of His final destroying of the wicked, clearly said that He’ll avenge,
Refusing to use the other word with a very different meaning — and what would that word be? — yes, revenge.
And the reason why is, that avenge refers to justice, whereas revenge refers to retaliation,
Something that Jesus isn’t into, and nor should we be, for such is a devilish abomination.

Given that Gaddafi was a human, and some mother’s son, only justice should’ve been done, nothing more,
For revenge is a sickness, a fallen response to mistreatment, and a clear violation of God’s Law.
No matter how bad or evil someone is, we’re not to treat them any less than humane, resort to ill,
The latter allowing our emotions to dominate, (Satan’s desire), rather than wisdom and God’s will.

When those seeking freedom resort to the same kind of brutality as their oppressor, they’re just as bad,
For only the removal of that dictator, and not the torturing of that bully, should make them glad.
And hence why I shake my head when I see such hypocrisy, for those seeking freedom should be above such,
But sad to say — revenge, come more bloodthirsty brutality — has so many of these people in its clutch.

And hence why such are oft not spared the miseries of their past — Iraq being one example — tragically,
For these ones who’re seeking freedom, too often resort to similar evil acts against humanity.
One would think they know better, but apparently not, they taking the same flawed road as their oppressor did,
And thus is it any wonder that strife and pressure, (further bloodshed), are still simmering beneath some lid.

And why we’ve also seen the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners, and prisoners at Guantanamo Bay,
And this, by the so-called upholders of right and truth, who, the very same twisted morality display.
One can’t take the moral high ground whilst stooping to the acts of criminals and tyrants, grinning at revenge,
For those who act so, the same fiery end will know, when Christ at His coming such inhumaneness will avenge.

Unless they’ve repented, and changed their ways.

Yes, we've been told to love and forgive our enemies, be they some Hitler, Saddam Hussein or Gaddafi,
For even though such is easier said than done, it’s a prerequisite for receiving eternity.
And should you not believe me, check the Holy Word, for inhumaneness, hatred, non-forgiveness and revenge,
Are the territory of the evil one — grave crimes, that as mentioned before, our Saviour will soon avenge.

Remember: Christ died for Gaddafi as much as for you, bad as he was.

By Lance Landall

“See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone” (1 Thess 5:15, ESV).

“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom 12:19-21, ESV).

“ ‘But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses’ ” (Mark 11:26, NKJV).

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20, ESV).

8.  Earthly Messengers

Our Lord’s earthly messengers — those who herald His truths — are simply that, earthly,
Hence why they’re not always in tune with the heavenly come their delivery.
In other words, though they speak on our Lord’s behalf, they do so imperfectly,
Hence why we should listen to what they say and not condemn their ways unfairly.

Oh, if only they were Divine, but then, they’d hardly be here on Earth with us,
And all why those ways they word things oft fall short of the wiser ways of Jesus.
And why our expectations shouldn’t be too high, and nor we too hard on them,
For aren’t there things that we do too, that others could just as easily condemn?

Yes, God’s earthly messengers are as flawed as anyone else, fallen as well,
But whoever they be, (possibly you or I), there’re things they must do and tell.
For God would have it no other way, Earth’s apocalyptic end not far away,
And thus when it comes to what folk need to hear, little time left to such convey.

Truth has a habit of not going down well, made worse by ill chosen words, and,
Such often offending the easily offended, who little understand.
In other words, they more sensitive than they should be, and quick to spot those flaws
That plague God’s earthly messengers as much as them, and that has folk closing doors.

By Lance Landall

9.  Even Eagles Can Fall

There’s an eagle that’s nestled amidst craggy rocks, his keen eyes overlooking pastures and flocks, an eagle with a mate and little eaglets, (a family and wife), an eagle who bravely soars and swoops amidst the mountains and valleys of life, joys and strife, an inspired eagle of noble bearing and worthy qualities, one who his duty and mission very clearly sees — a watchman, protector, and provider — though to some, who object to his presence, he’s seen as an outsider, a threatening eagle-eyed glider.
And there in that mountain range, where the elements can quickly change, he’s still cruising those turbulent airwaves, passing jagged precipices and shadowy caves, but now not quite the same, given what befell him, and what he finally overcame, for this eagle had something important to learn, lest he actually lose that life for which all eagles live and yearn.
You see, once so sure of his own ability, though not arrogantly so, given that eagles so many snares know, and do have tremendous ability, he roamed somewhat further a field, where danger lay somewhat concealed, and amidst those lofty mountain tops, and very regular whistle-stops, he badly clipped his wing, (a wound that would cruelly long term sting), and struggling to maintain his height, distressed at his oversight, and day seeming to turn to night, he soon spiralled to the valley floor, where he not only lay wounded and sore, but also those eaglets and his mate, who such didn’t anticipate, and thus also part of the cost bore.
And there, (regretful and sincere), where he remained awhile, but still in a dignified style, though sneered at by mockers, (come hope and success blockers), and accosted by castigating duets, and aware of consequential losses and threats, he slowly healed via the help of others, caring sisters and brothers, and in time, he once again began to climb, but not quite to that same lofty height he’d once reached, (given that walls of wisdom had been breeched), for that lesson learnt had left its consequences, so oft the cost of letting down one’s defences, and also overlooking precautions, via which life, pain usually apportions.
And further to that lesson?
It never pays for us to be too sure of our self, for chances are, we’ll bear a scar, even having risen from our fall — and yes, even eagles can fall, but they can rise again.
Yes, more humble, wiser, careful and upstanding women and men.

By Lance Landall

This poem is dedicated to all those committed Christian leaders who though straight as a dye are caught off guard.