"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Poem: "I Will Refresh You..."

TradCatKnight Poem: "I Will Refresh You..."
Eric Gajewski
From the work, "Fortress of the Soul"
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you.

Please enjoy my latest poem (with meditations) from the work, "Fortress of the Soul"

Please play the video below and listen to the song as you read the poem and meditations.

I Will Refresh You
Let not thy heavy heart drag thee
O’ ye who labor much, O’ ye whose feet are weary
Sinners, we are…
Yea, indeed, ….seemingly stuck in sin’s mud
But we must fight onward for His glory
Trodden on and let not hell’s agents disrupt thy inward calm
Let them not steal thy melody behind your song
For I AM the very Air in which you breathe
I still AM the Water of the Sea
I AM goes before thee always
I AM, in every situation, your every Need
I take the impurities in which you bring Me
And wash them in My Heart to make them clean
I take which you once broke and fix it completely
I take the stain away from the spill upon thy portrait
And replace it with My serene scene
I AM is also too a man
Therefore, bring Me all thy troubles and cares
And come alone wherest perfect rest is in Me….
And in My Sacred Heart thou shalst find very clearly
For your own life, the Divine Plan….
Smiles under the sun which once were
Now fade away into the backdrop of gray of the soon coming storm
Disordered hearts attached to every “thing”
Now tare with every care until finally fully torn
Yea, it is not the world nor thing which wilst satisfy thee!
It is not your will alone that makes you free
Nigh, no…this is not true liberty
It must be and stay united with Mine
For I alone can only quench thee
Like the leaves awakening to the early morning’s kiss of dew
Come and drink of My Fount’
Come, rest awhile in My gentle River so pure and blue
And drown out all thy sorrows and worries
So that I can make thy heart anew  
And so that we might meet in silence and solitude
Wherest I alone wilst refresh you….

For Meditation:

Thou hast set men over our heads. We have passed through fire and water, and thou hast brought us out into a refreshment.  Psalms 66: 12

Let all things, then, abound to you through grace, for you are worthy. You have refreshed me in all things, and Jesus Christ [shall refresh] you.
St. Ignatius (100 A.D) The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans

"Without the Holy Eucharist there would be no happiness in this world; life would be insupportable. When we receive Holy Communion, we receive our joy and our happiness. The good God, wishing to give Himself to us in the Sacrament of His Love, gave us a vast and great desire, which He alone can satisfy. In the presence of this beautiful Sacrament, we are like a person dying of thirst by the side of a river — he would only need to bend his head; like a person still remaining poor, close to a great treasure — he need only stretch out his hand. He who communicates loses himself in God like a drop of water in the ocean. They can no more be separated," - St. John Vianney

The Hearts Of The Saints Have Been Refreshed – Philemon 7

By: RA (AbidingFruit.com) 

Philemon was known for his love and faith (vs. 4). This caused Paul to give thanks to God for him. It was his faith in the Lord and his love for the saints that prompted Paul to remember in him in his prayers. Paul went further than this in verse 5 when he prayed that Philemon’s sharing of his faith would become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing. It would appear that the sharing of his faith went hand in hand with his love for the saints. Paul claims (in verse 7) to have derived much joy and comfort from Philemon’s love because his reputation was that of one who cared for the saints. This love for the saints is referred to as their hearts being refreshed.

The word for “refreshed” has the meaning of making an end or ceasing. This is where the idea of rest comes in. If you stop your labors, then your position would be one of having ceased from them and, therefore, at rest. Refreshment speaks of regaining strength. This is surely regaining strength to continue working. Jesus spoke of the necessity of rest (though it was often denied him–Mark 6:31).
One is refreshed to be able to continue working. This was the ability of Philemon. Whatever Philemon did implied that there would be a return to work refreshed. Refreshment is not the end. The end is further labor. Refreshment leads to effective working, and then as the batteries get low, further refreshment charges them again. Every Christian must determine his own need of refreshment and what best suits him. A change of scenery is always beneficial, but it might lose its appeal if you lived among it every day. You can live near the beach but never enjoy the beach. You might live among the mountains but never be refreshed by them. You have gotten used to them and now they have become commonplace. Philemon was a man who obviously helped the saints on their way and also in their faith.

Paul writes to Philemon because Philemon’s slave Onesimus had run away, arrived in Rome, met Paul and been saved. Now, as a runaway slave, he had a responsibility since he had become a Christian to go and face the music from his master, Philemon. The Bible does not place any rebuke upon Philemon as a slave-owner, neither does it imply that since Philemon was a Christian, he must set his slaves free. The Bible is silent on these issues. Paul does speak of a slave earning his freedom and also of a slave continuing to serve as a slave. What was important was that the Christian slave now served Christ. (1 Cor. 7:17-24). In Christ there are no slaves or free persons. The slave was to view himself as free in Christ, and the free person was to view herself as a slave to Christ (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:22-24).

It was Onesimus’ duty and responsibility to go back to Philemon and submit to whatever his master might impose upon him. It was possible for the death sentence to be brought against a runaway slave. Paul appeals to Philemon to receive Onesimus back, not as a slave, but as something much more – namely, a beloved brother in Christ (vs. 16). In fact, Paul appeals to the providence of God that Onesimus’ running away was so that he might be saved and be returned to Philemon as a saint (vs. 15).

I have often wondered how Onesimus must have felt. Certainly he had Paul’s assurance that everything would turn out all right, but could he trust his master, Philemon, to receive him back? It was Onesimus who had wronged Philemon but would Philemon forgive him? Paul’s letter to Philemon is to gain Philemon’s reception of Onesimus, so that Onesimus might be of further use to Philemon (vv. 11-14). Philemon could expect better service from Onesimus now that he was a Christian. All Christian service to any employer should be viewed, first of all, as unto Christ, and then to the employer. Such a position makes it easier to serve and work. This is acceptable and pleasing to God.

In a very subtle way Paul laid an obligation upon Philemon. Philemon owed Paul (vs. 19), but Paul does not want grudging duty. He wants Philemon to receive Onesimus because he is a brother in Christ. Paul is not asking Philemon to release Onesimus from his slavery, but to receive him as a child of Paul (v. 10). Paul has a high regard for Philemon because of his reputation of love and faith, expressed in refreshing the saints. Paul also has a high regard for Onesimus. He calls him “my child” (vs. 10), and “my very heart” (vs. 12). Onesimus has become more than a slave. He is now a “beloved brother” (vs. 16). By placing this obligation upon Philemon, Paul has confidence that Philemon will do as he says. Paul urges Philemon to consider him as his partner (vs. 17), and, therefore, he must receive Onesimus.

Paul is willing to pay any loss that has accrued as a result of Onesimus’ running away (vs. 18). I find an application here to ourselves in that our Lord can say of us to God the Father as Paul said to Philemon: “if he has wronged you or owes you anything, charge that to my account” (vs. 18). Isn’t this what God has done? He has charged all that we owed to Jesus. All of our wrongdoing is charged to Jesus. He now bears the responsibility for it. He is willing to take the wrongs that we are guilty of upon himself. Onesimus is guilty. Paul says, “I take the blame.”

This is a remarkable picture of grace and mercy. This is representative of all those occasions that we see in the Scriptures where God acts on behalf of the sinner in grace. When David sinned against God, God forgave him and pardoned him (2 Sam. 12:12, 13). Is this not what God did with Jacob when the pre-incarnate Christ wrestled with him through the night and gave him a new name and an ever present reminder of grace by putting Jacob’s hip out of joint (Gen. 32:22- 32)? It is quite easy to despise or forget grace. We need to be reminded that we have received grace. We grow too self-confident as daily life grinds away.

Paul is reminding Philemon that he has received grace, and now Onesimus must be received in the same way that Christ had received Philemon or Paul. If Philemon owed Paul and received Paul, then he must receive Onesimus (vs. 17). Paul is confident that Philemon will respond as he has requested of him and beyond (vs. 21). In verse 20, Paul uses the same word “refresh” as he does in vs. 7. Just as Philemon has refreshed the hearts of the saints, so too Paul asks that Philemon refresh his heart in Christ. Paul expects to be encouraged by Philemon’s anticipated obedience.

It is interesting to note that Paul refers to himself a “prisoner for Christ Jesus” (vs. 1), as an “old man and prisoner for Christ Jesus (vs. 9). This would also remind Philemon of Paul’s sufferings in contrast to Philemon’s freedom. But this also means that Philemon’s freedom is related to Paul’s imprisonment. In other words, Paul’s service for Jesus and current imprisonment should guarantee the response Paul seeks.

Additionally, Philemon’s service for the saints in refreshing them was proof that he too served Christ and that his life was bound up with Paul’s in Christ. This is how we should see one another. We are all bound together in our Lord Jesus Christ in order to love and serve one another. How refreshing are you to your fellow saints? We could put it another way. What reputation do you have among the saints? Is it refreshing to others? Is it because of your love and faith? All true Christian refreshment is based on faith in Christ and love for his people. Are you refreshing others?