Purpose

 

Why These Poems?


For those of you who're interested in a more detailed explanation.

Given the many troubling issues in this world, and if we want to play our part, we need to choose our personal area or areas of concern.
It’s my belief, that of all the issues bedevilling Earth, the greatest is a lack of love, thought and care, upon which every other issue is intrinsically dependant in terms of lasting (and overall) success. And all why love, thought and care should underpin every area of our concern and consequent action.
And so, given my areas of concern, what's on my website has been penned in order to stimulate thought, generate discussion and hopefully facilitate change (whilst meeting people where they are).
Though my website contains many poems of a general nature, there are five main reasons for my poetry, and those reasons being:

1)
My concern over inroads being made into freedom of expression, civil and religious liberty-cum-true
democracy.

"The greatest theft is stolen rights."
The poet, author

"There's greater danger in trying to limit freedom of expression than there is in permitting its abuse."
The poet, author

"Hate speech is a horrid thing, but any inroad into freedom of expression is a perilous thing."
The poet, author


2)
My concern over the state that our planet's in.

"To foul, deplete and destroy our planet is not only gross thoughtlessness, and even selfishness,
but the greatest of insanities."
The poet, author

3)
My concern over the state of society today.

Small sample of points:

"The incidence of child sexual exploitation has reached staggering proportions."
US Department of Homeland Security's Special Agent John Reynolds. Los Angeles Times 21 June 2016

"The illegal trade in children being raped and violenly abused is at "a level of epidemic proportions" according to an internal government memo obtained by The Canadian Press"
Globe and Mail, 4 July 2016 

"There is no protection against the kinds of influences that are loose in a society that tolerates pornography."
Ted Bundy, serial sex murderer.

"Just as the ancient empires of Greece and Rome collapsed when every indulgence of the flesh took over, we in our society today need to heed the warning."
Ruth Webb


"At the rate America is decaying morally, we shall have to change our national symbol from an eagle to a vulture."
Vance Havner (1901-1986)

"If God doesn't destroy Hollywood Boulevard, He owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology."
Jay Leno, American comedian, actor, writer and producer.

"TV is the single most significant factor contributing to violence in America."
Ted Turner, founder of the Cable News Network

"Drug addiction reduces a man to a mindless and ridiculous thing, and creates social parasites and criminals."
Dr T.P. Chia

"The field of psychology today is literally a mess. There are as many techniques, methods and theories
around as there are researchers and therapists."

Roger Mills, psychologist

"Civilization today reminds me of an ape with a blowtorch playing in a room full of dynamite. It looks like the
monkeys are about to operate the zoo, and the inmates are taking over the asylum.”
Vance Havner (1901-1986)


4)
My concern over the hopelessness, hurt and suffering that's out there.

Which really goes without saying.


5)
Though a Christian myself,
my concern over the state of Christendom today.

Bear in mind here, that Christianity and Christendom are two different things.

Small sample of points:

“The apostles had hardly died ere the spirit of deception thought it could easily break into the churches as into
an empty house left without a guard…It may be conceived that in this second century originated nearly all the
heresies which afterwards raged in the church.”
The Magdeburg Centuries, chap 1, p 2.

“The services of worship increased in splendor, but were less spiritual and hearty than those of former times. The forms and ceremonies of paganism gradually crept into the worship. Some of the old heathen feasts became church festivals with change of name and of worship. About 405AD images of saints and martyrs began to appear in the churches, at first as memorials, then in succession revered, adored, and worshiped. The adoration of the Virgin Mary was substituted for the worship of Venus and Diana; the Lord's supper became a sacrifice in place of a memorial; and the elder evolved from a preacher into a priest.”
Story Of The Christian Church, p 79, by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut (1843-1930)

"On the right and on the left, ordained and self-proclaimed "reverends" and honorary "doctors" appear to spend more time trying to reform a fallen and decaying world through politics and earthly power than they do promoting and proclaiming the ultimate answer [the gospel] to that fallenness."
Cal Thomas

“America as a nation is ripe for judgment. The evangelical movement in this country is characterized by an arrogance that is almost beyond belief. The neglect of prayer, the involvement of Philistine methodology, the moral evils, and the doctrinal corruptions that characterise the movement are sufficient to cause Sodomites [the inhabitants of Sodom] to wonder at God’s justice in destroying their city while sparing the United States.”
Richard Owen Roberts, Looking At America And The Church
Bracketed comment mine.


"The church is so subnormal that if it ever got back to the New Testament normal it would
seem to people to be abnormal."
Vance Havner (1901-1986), American Christian revivalist.

"The object of faith is no longer Christ, but our self-esteem; the goal of faith is no longer holiness, but our happiness, and the source of faith is no longer the Scriptures, but our experience. Christian music currently reflects this. We are producing a generation of people that feel their God, but do not know their God."
Steven John Camp, contempoary Christian singer.

"Much of the singing in certain types of meetings has in it more of romance than it has of the Holy Ghost. Both words and music are designed to rouse the libidinous. Christ is courted with a familiarity that reveals a total ignorance of
who He is. It is not the reverent intimacy of the adoring saint but the impudent familiarity of the carnal lover"
A. W. Tozer

"But even if we [the apostles] or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one
we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!" (Gal 1:8, NIV).

Yes, on the one hand Christians who're too heavenly minded to be any earthly good, or Capitol Hill militant, and on the other hand, Christians who're so far from the mark that one struggles to tell them apart from the crowd. Thus God condemning Pharisees, those who're meddlesome, worldly and lukewarm.


My response to all this?

HUMANITY'S BEST INTERESTS (now and future wise) MY PERSONAL MISSION.

At the end of the day, it's all about changing hearts, healing the Earth, recovering truth, freeing the oppressed, comforting the afflicted, and looking beyond ourselves.
Yes, because we're living in a very different world now, one that has become dangerous, unstable, destructive, unwholesome and error bound.

All why this planet has become a cemetery for the innocent, a hell for the vulnerable, a cold flannel for the suffering, a minefield for the naïve, a battleground for the heralder of truth, a noose for the canary, a stock for the virtuous, a playground for the evildoer, and a throne for the tyrant.
And hence why, the innocent should be defended, the vulnerable protected, the suffering comforted, the naive educated, the heralder of truth welcomed, the canary valued, the virtuous respected, the evildoer condemned, and the tyrant deposed.

However,
no matter how bad things may appear — on Earth, that is — no matter who may be behind what, no matter where it all may end up, no matter what it may take or cost in personal terms, always act lovingly, caringly, thoughtfully, sensitively, understandingly, sympathetically, compassionately, selflessly, supportively, impartially, mercifully, transparently, honestly, sensibly and wisely, doing whatever you can to make a difference and bring about changes for the better, doing whatever you can to ease the plight of others, to halt war, violence, abuse, oppression, racism and bigotry, to halt the subtle or outright erosion of freedom, freedom of expression, and civil-religious liberty, for in time you may not be able to do much at all, may wish that you had, and may awaken to your own complicity via that silence that worked against both you and others, and given that you may find that there is a God, that there is a day of reckoning —
and for you, perhaps an eternal loss far richer and greater than you might imagine, and all for a recklessly spent three score years and ten, or shorter.

" The advantageous effect of religious belief and spirituality on mental and physical health is one of the best kept secrets in psychiatry and medicine in general"
Professor Andrew Sims, former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists

"A thorough understanding of the Bible is better than a college education."
President Theodore Roosevelt


But continuing on,
these poems,  LIGHT-HEARTED,  SECULAR-GENERIC  and  RELIGIOUS  came as quite a surprise to me, having never done poetry before. It wasn't until about 2002, when I was around the age of 52, that they began.

One day I was feeling particularly upset over the things that I had been witnessing and hearing of within the Christian community. You see, in recent years I had become more committed to my Christian walk, and as a consequence, had been applying myself to serious indepth biblical study (upon which my Christian poetry is largely built), and as another consequence, had become more aware of what Christians (which meant me too), should be upholding and practicing, but were not, thus bringing Christianity into disrepute, and representing God badly — many folk ignorantly so, though not necessarily excusably so — for after all, Christians are supposed to be God’s ambassadors, aware of His will and walking in His ways.

As a result of having become more committed to my Christian walk, I had begun to see more clearly the tragic changes that have also been occurring within society.

In other words, and in a nutshell, my poetry-cum-website has been driven by an informed and urgent desire to:

1)
Awaken people to any forces that are currently working against their best interests.

2)
Awaken humanity to how it's fouling and destroying its own nest, planet Earth.

3)
Awaken society to how far it has strayed from that which once held it together, and to the harm that has resulted and is continuing.

4)
To provide hope for those who're feeling a sense of hopelessness, and to stand up for, and show thought and feeling for, those who're hurting or suffering in any way.


5)
Awaken Christendom to how far it has strayed from the apostolic teachings-cum-blueprint-cum-path for Christianity; to the woes and perils that have engulfed Christianity as a result; and to the faulty witness that it’s now presenting to the world.

By the way, note this:

"As Christians we are not here to provide an ethic for society or the state, but to clearly define an ethic for disciples of Jesus Christ. In the American system of government it is difficult for this stance to be understood. We operate with the myth of being a Christian nation, and we seek to interpret for society an ethic that we can bless as Christians. We need a new awareness of the pluralism of the New Testament, that the crucial issue is the difference between the church and the world, and that the church operates "within the perfection of Christ," while the world operates outside the perfection or will of Christ. Christians influence the state for good through Christian ethics and integrity, but they do not equate church and state. Only an indepth understanding of this issue can save us from a cultural and a civil religion."
Myron Augsburger


Added to all the above, was the pain that I had experienced over the years, and was still experiencing, which was the result of:
a)  My own foolishness.
b)  Emotional struggles.
c)  A greater appreciation of the wrong and hurt that I myself had inflicted on others throughout my life (all of which I deeply regret and am truly sorry for).
d)  The insensitivity, indifference, unkindness and bigotry that I had personally experienced from others, and that I was still experiencing.

In other words, and in a nutshell, my poetry-cum-website has also been driven by an urgent desire to:

Spare others from the same mistakes that I have made.
Help people see how they may be hurting others, and harming themselves while at it.
Encourage a greater respect for life, others, the environment and its creatures.

Now getting back to where I came in — and with all this going on inside me, I, for some unknown reason, took a pen, sat down, and tried putting something together in poetical form, starting with a Christian poem.

Let me reiterate and elaborate on my comment, “For some unknown reason” --
Prior to this occurrence, I had no interest in poetry whatsoever, and to the best of my knowledge had never done or learnt to do poetry, and even today after having penned over 2000 poems, still have no real interest in poetry, no desire to read poetry. Yes, I have immersed myself in such now, and have formed a deeper appreciation of this art, but it has simply become an accidental vehicle, one that I can only attribute to a divine source (confirmed more so over time) that has taken me down this track knowing that I would be prepared to oblige given the strong feelings I had (and have) about certain things, and my unconcern about being popular.
What I will mention here, is that just prior to my poetry beginnings, I had been asking God if He would give me some creative way of reaching people given previous unsuccessful attempts and frustration.

To continue,
my first attempts resulted in a number of poorly constructed poems, often with ill chosen words and poorly rendered verses which reflected my lack of poetical and even grammatical skill, and my lack of Christian growth. As time went by, my skill in the realm of poetry improved, but not before a number of my earlier attempts had circulated. The poems  represented here, are the ones I would rather be judged by, as it were, though many of them are still in fact early poems that I've been trying to go back over and improve as best I can. However, poetry is simply the vehicle being used here, and therefore is not my primary focus.
Regarding my first attempts (particularly the first 40 poems, say, since discarded), I guess there's always a learning period, not that it ended there.

The point of writing these poems is to express my own viewpoints, concerns, thoughts and even beliefs, and that should always be borne in mind when reading them. They are a reflection of my ongoing journey. I do not consider myself as being better or wiser than anyone else and am very aware that I still have a long way to go and am happy to receive all the help I can get. It’s just simply that a fountain of poetry has been springing forth from within me, as appears here, which I have often had people (both Christian and non–Christian), tell me I should publish. It is my hope that this poetical collage will stimulate thought, benefit others, and bring glory to my God, who I believe has used me (though an unworthy vessel) to express what’s in these poems, and to whom I give any credit and all the glory.
Thus I hope that your response to these poems will take into account the fact that God is still working on me, He hasn’t finished yet, so I may not have put things together as well as He might have liked. If so, I ask your forgiveness, and His forgiveness too.

I would like to point out that certain things expressed in these poems are not necessarily my experience, but what I have seen experienced in the lives of others.

I believe that we should consider very carefully, thoughtfully, and thus fairly what another person is saying. Though we may ultimately disagree with what they are saying, and still hold to our own views or beliefs, this should not preclude us from keeping an open mind. Many have found with time that what they thought was right, was actually wrong, or that what they thought was wrong, was actually right. May I suggest to you that it is not differing views or beliefs that cause the problem, nor the expressing of them, but those bad responses or attitudes that many display towards another who expresses (or practices) different views or beliefs to them.

And further to,

I was raised a Christian; wandered away from my faith and my Lord; slowly returned; later became seriously committed to the Christian walk and my faith; and have since applied myself to in-depth biblical study, something that I believe is a necessity for every Christian.

My Christian beliefs are built firmly upon the Bible and the Bible alone, not the church that I and my wife attend, all why I haven't mentioned my denomination (though quite prepared to). At the end of the day, what I'm conveying via my website is either correct, biblical, logical, factual or not, and such you must decide for yourself. But to be honest, too many people judge people by their denomination rather than seeing them as an individual.

I’m not conservative by nature, but conservative by belief and choice regarding my Christian walk, the result of what I believe is the restraining and transforming influence of the Holy Spirit upon my earthly, worldly nature and behaviour, and also the result of my greater understanding of the Holy, righteous nature of my God and His desire that I emulate His nature and abide by His will in all areas of my life. Due to such necessary pruning, one's tastes, desires, and actions naturally become more conservative and temperate.

My desire is to always put God first in my life; to be a better Christian, husband and father; to have a greater love for, and be a greater blessing to, my fellow man; and that love motivate all I do. My thrust here, can be somewhat summed up in the following quote:

"The true and acid test of a country's greatness, its heart and vison, is found in how it treats its people, particularly its minorities, and those who are misunderstood, struggling, hurting, suffering, needy, disadvantaged, impaired,
disabled, or vulnerable.”
The Author


Do I consider myself as being better than others? No! I'm simply someone who is endeavouring to be a better person, someone who is endeavouring to walk more in accordance with God's will (and thus less hypocritically, though still stumbling, still messing up, and even losing it at times), and I am happy to receive all the help that I can get on that journey. Meantime, I'm trying to help others too, trying to play my part in making this world a better place, and am doing what I can to ease the lot of others — one's first port of call being, speaking out, making a stand, and sometimes that is all that we're able to do regarding certain things.

"Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have
in trying to change others."
Jacob M. Braude


I do not believe in church unity but the unity of all believers. In other words, I believe Christians of all faiths should be treated as brothers and sisters in Christ, shown unconditional love, acceptance and respect, despite their differing beliefs. I believe the same love and respect should be shown to every human.

"It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error."
Adrian Rodgers (1931-2005)

UNITY IS NOT UNIFORMITY


I also believe in the complete separation of Church and State (Mark 12:17; John 18:36). And one reason I don't believe in church unity is because I believe the ecumenical movement is aiding the following, and that is (based on very extensive research), that a political-religious system (aided by a Reformation reversal, those calls for reunification) will soon dominate the world scene just prior to Christ's soon return, and with ultimately dire consequences. In other words, a New World Order (a one world government), such but a wolf in sheep's clothing, no doubt preaching love, peace and harmony, and aided by orchestrated events, terrorism, calamities, lawlessness, etc. Hence those calls for this and that. And sadly, this global power that demands worship (according to the Christian Bible), will fool most of Earth's inhabitants (Rev 13:3; 11-18).

Kind regards,
Lance Landall, poet and author.

Regarding any biblical texts that appear on my website:
Where not indicated otherwise, they're from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright, 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Other versions used include the RSV, NIV, KJV, NKJV, ESV, NASB; and I've also used the NLT a number of times.
Any bracketed comments within a text or texts have been inserted by me.



My Prayer For You

May the true God — whom all glory is due — fill your heart with His tender love,
And thereby, the Spirit working within you with empowering from above,
And may God also place charity, grace and compassion within your heart,
Along with an inner joy-cum-peace and contentment; and courage impart.

May the loving God above ensure that wisdom and truth encompass you,
And may He guide your footsteps thus helping you to know what to say and do,
And may His presence fill your every day and expressions of His great love,
And may He constantly send tireless angels with protection from above.

May the great God — whom those angels praise — restrain any who would cause you ill,
And may He also take into account all your right desires with His will,
And may strength for every trial (when such strength is required) be granted to you,
And wherever His moulding's needed, may His loving gentleness show through.

May the gracious God above give a far greater understanding to you,
And may He send you much encouragement and friends that are caring and true,
And may all suffering that's encountered be softened and comfort given,
And any evil powers of darkness from your home and life be driven.

To God the Father, this I thus pen, and in Jesus' Holy name, Amen.

By Lance Landall


This poem was upgraded 22 July 2013.





Don't Believe in God? Not interested in Christianity?

Have you considered the following?

Could not believing in God be one of the reasons for the many rapes, murders, assaults, abuses, etc, that our world is so full of today — in other words, no God, no accountability? Let me clarify that a little more. If one doesn’t believe in God, then one most likely doesn’t believe in a day of reckoning. And I guess one might order their life on that basis. What I mean is, why would someone necessarily concern themselves with what they might do, if at the end of their life, there was no punishment for the unrepentant wrongdoer, and no paradise for those who choose to live rightly and lovingly. If one wasn’t caught by the authorities, what they could get away with would only be limited by the degree of their creativeness. After all, if life didn’t exist beyond the grave for us, if there wasn’t a bigger picture, what on earth would be the point or purpose in morality, human rights, etc, one could ask.

Even worse would be happening today if it weren’t for the fact that some are simply motivated to do the correct thing because they don’t want to take a chance on risking prison, punishment of some other kind, or some sort of self inflicted repercussion. The motives of others for refraining from lawlessness, might, for example, simply be upbringing, social pressure, or simply a lack of opportunity. So where would a sincere distaste of evil, a true genuine sense of right and wrong, and a truly unselfish desire to do good come from. It’s certainly not something you can legislate or force, though there are some who might like to try. How does love for our fellowman get into one's heart to start with? Where does one's conscience come from?

Doesn’t having a hope beyond the grave, a belief in a God, and a day of reckoning, help to hold society in check? Otherwise, what’s the alternative? Survival of the fittest, dog eat dog, the law of the jungle? Sounds evolutionary doesn’t it? Incidentally, Darwin didn’t think his evolutionary theory — yes it is only a theory — would take off like it did.

When one looks at the miracle of new birth, the wonder of the animal kingdom, and the beauty and complexity of nature itself, not to mention the human body, its hard not to believe in an incredible, intelligent, powerful, Divine source. Likewise, love, mercy, compassion, kindness, tender human expressions, etc, must emanate from somewhere, and that somewhere could surely only fit with a Someone, that is, an amazing, loving, and caring God. On the other hand, any opposition to a God like that, and His Word, would surely have to come from a negative source, one that would really only fit with a devil, hence why the devil mentioned in the Christian Bible [God’s Word] neatly fits that picture. Only that sort of scenario makes some sense out of it all. A beautiful newly made creation [planet earth], humans given free choice and control of their habitation, rebellion, planet earth and mankind corrupted, death and decay, a perpetrator behind it all [Satan, a malcontent angel], and a concerned savior [the creator God, king of all the worlds] watching and awaiting the eventual climax of the perpetrators plan. A great universal controversy between good and evil. Wouldn’t allowing such a thing, instead of instantly snuffing it out, help humanity to clearly see forever more the result of rejecting what was right and best in the first place, therefore preventing another disaster, and showing how merciful and longsuffering this God is? That He is not a dictator. After all, a God who creates beings with freedom of choice instead of making them robots, (after all, voluntary love is the only love worth having), would hardly in a renewed environment [a renewed earth], change them into robots the second time around. That would be the ultimate contradiction!

Today we seemingly live in a never ending world of change and instability. Surely what we need today is something that never changes, something that gives us reassurance. With all the theories doing the rounds today, a master blueprint to refer back to is surely needed more than ever. The Bible? Could it be that Christians have been forsaking what they once upheld? The Bible not for you? Once again, what’s the alternative? Communism, fascism, mysticism, New Age [actually old age wrapped in new clothing]? Mankind has never been able to find an answer within itself. It just chases its tail. One only has to look at history. Mankind is like a ship in a bottle — clearly only something from outside can save it. Look at where mankind is now. To think that we can cure this mess we’re in is to act like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand.

Our seas are polluted beyond redemption, our land masses likewise. The ecological system is in tatters, the very air we breathe contaminated, even food we eat. Calamities are increasing rapidly, (funny how the Bible predicts all that), lawlessness is rampant, and the list goes on. Its like everything is going wrong. It’s clear that it's all going to end somewhere, sometime. Where would you like it to end? Wouldn’t a new and better life beyond this present one be the answer? Hope for the future? Life beyond the grave?

Personally, my hope and trust is in God and His Word. Each day His Word is validated by what we see happening around us, along with the disturbing world events. All predicted and all on track.

Tell me, what are you putting your trust and hope in, or aren’t you? It’s food for thought, isn’t it?



A Wise Man’s Synopsis Of Pascal’s Wager

God either exists or He doesn’t. Based on the testimony of both general revelation, (that is Nature), and special revelation, (that is the Bible), it is abundantly fair to concede that there is at least a 50% chance that the Christian Creator God exists. Therefore, since we stand to gain eternity and thus infinity, the wise or safe choice is to live as though God does exist. If we are right, we gain everything and lose nothing. If we are wrong, we lose everything and gain nothing. Therefore based on simple mathematics, Pascal reasoned that only the fool would choose to live the godless life.




“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth...” (Rom 1:16, KJV).