“More Star-like Than a Star”

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Jan 062019
 

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: “More Star-like Than a Star” (By:  Ron Woodrum)

This past week Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature, citing the reason being his masterful talent of writing lyrical poetry like no one else in history. Most who are familiar with Dylan’s music, would admit that his vocal abilities are sometimes hard to endure, but his lyrics indeed are masterful. One of the songs/lyrics that have been chosen to illustrate his lyrical-poetic talent is his song It’s Not Dark Yet. Here are some of the words:

Shadows Are Falling

I’ve Been Here All Day

It’s too hot to sleep,

Time is Running Away Feel

Like My Soul is Turning to Steel

I’ve Got Scars that the Sun Didn’t Heal

There’s Not Even Room Enough

To Be Anywhere

It’s Not Dark Yet,

But It’s Getting There!

     

Well My Sense of Humanity

Has Gone Down the Drain

Behind Every Beautiful Thing,

There’s Some Kind of Pain…

Sometimes my burden,

Seems more than I can bear

It’s Not Dark Yet,

But It’s Getting There!

    

I was born here, and I’ll die here

Against My Will I Know

It Looks Like I’m Moving,

But I’m Standing Still

Every Nerve In My Body

Is Vacant and Numb

I can’t even Remember,

What I came here to Get Away From

Don’t even hear a Murmur of A Prayer

It’s Not Dark Yet, But It’s Getting There! Darkness.

   

Darkness seems to be falling all around us. Even the most optimistic seem to agree with Dylan. “It’s Not Dark Yet…But It’s Getting There”. Darkness has always been something I have avoided. Thanks to my older brother, who loved to frighten me during early childhood, I was afraid of the dark early on. I used to fall asleep in bright light, having protested so vehemently that my parents left my bedroom lights on at night! I lived in Hannibal, Mo., during college years. Visitors often requested that we take them to Mark Twain Cave. Every trip included the tour guide taking us deep into the cave, recounting the story of Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher being in there, when their candle went out! Then as he turned the lights out-he illustrated that fact by introducing us to darkness so dark you could not see your hand in front of your face, though you were touching your nose with it! That is darkness. There would be no way out of that cave without light in the darkness. Years later, with a youth group spelunking in a cave in the Ozarks, it dawned on me that even though we had two or three flashlights among us, all it would take is for the batteries to burn out; another get dropped; and get separated from the leader with the last light, then it could end in disaster. It was time to head back to the entrance of the cave…back into the safety of the light!

As Christians we are watching with worried eyes as our world’s days become darker. The question we must ask and answer is what role do we play in these dimming days? Jesus said, “I am the light of the world”( John 8:12). He also said, “You all are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14). Paul, in writing to the Philippians, told them to “shine as lights in a crooked and perverse world…hold forth the Word of Life”(Phil. 2:15). The Bible makes it clear that we who know the Lord, who are a part of His Church, have a role to play in the darkening of our days. We are the ones who have a role to play in the “not dark yet!”. Adlai Stevenson, in paying tribute to Eleanor Roosevelt, in a speech before the United Nations, in November of 1962, spoke these words, “She would rather light a candle, than to curse the darkness! Her glow has warmed the world!”. Proper example for Christians to emulate in these last darkening days. I recently came across a poem, in my mind also fitting for a Nobel Peace Prize for Literature for its author, though he never got one-It is called Love’s Lantern, by Alfred Joyce Kilmer. Here is his masterpiece.

Love’s Lantern

Because the road was steep and long

And through a dark and lonely land,

God set upon my lips a song,

And put a Lantern in my hand.

  

Through miles on weary miles of night

That stretch relentless in my way

My lantern burns serene and white,

An exhausted cup of day.

  

O golden lights and lights like wine,

How dim your boasted splendors are

Behold this little lamp of mine,

Is more star-like than a star!

  

In Matthew 13:43 Jesus prophesies, by quoting Daniel 12:3, of those who are Wise believers who “will shine as stars, (though Jesus says, ‘as the Sun'”. But then remember, our sun is a star! One of the smaller ones in the universe. But what a powerful one. One that daily overcomes the darkness of the night with its sunrise. So is our daily assignment in these darkening days. We are the reason it is “Not Dark Yet!”. Don’t spend your time “cursing the darkness” but “light and lift your lantern!” Voltaire, the famous French Atheist and Philosopher, told his generation that he was seeing the “twilight of Christianity”. Charles Spurgeon responded that Voltaire did not know the difference between a sunset and sunrise. He said, “It might be twilight…but it is the twilight just before the dawn!” Christians-“let’s hear the song on your lips, and the Lantern in your hands”. You are the reason “it’s not dark yet!” Christian-“get your shine on!”

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“Avoid the reefs of the New Year!”

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Dec 302018
 

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: “Avoid the reefs of the New Year!”  (By:  Ron Woodrum)         Let’s say that your phone rings tomorrow morning, and it’s a call from the manager of your bank. He tells you, “I received a very unusual call the other day. Someone who loves you very much and is quite wealthy, has given […]

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“The unedited Christmas and the Perfect Tree”

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Dec 232018
 

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: “The unedited Christmas and the Perfect Tree”  (By:  Ron Woodrum) It’s the king of all classic TV Christmas specials: “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. It first aired in 1965. We know the familiar scenes of Charlie Brown looking for the real meaning of Christmas; receiving no cards from anyone; Snoopy decorates his doghouse; Lucy […]

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“Saved by the faithful effort of the One who Loves Us!”

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Dec 162018
 

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: “Saved by the faithful effort of the One who Loves Us!”   (By:  Ron Woodrum) The USS Astoria was a heavy cruiser that saw duty during World War II’s Battle of the Coral Sea and at Midway, then was sunk in August of 1942 at the Battle of Savo Island. On board in […]

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“Be Still…and think the thoughts of God!”

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Dec 092018
 

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: “Be Still…and think the thoughts of God!” (By:  Ron Woodrum)      In Psalm 46:10 we are told…”Be still and know that I am God.” The Psalmist is saying that it is critical for the Christian to slow down long enough to focus our minds, hearts, minds, and souls upon God…upon knowing Him. That […]

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PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: “CHRISTMAS-GOD HOOKING AN EXTRA ON THE FRONT OF ORDINARY”

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Dec 022018
 

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: “CHRISTMAS-GOD HOOKING AN EXTRA ON THE FRONT OF ORDINARY”  (By:  Ron Woodrum) Thanksgiving is now past. The major post-Thanksgiving sales are on. Black Friday-Small Business Saturday-Cyber Monday. Then all the ads that remind us exactly how many days to Christmas. The Christmas season is suddenly on us! Every year each Pastor is faced […]

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“The Face in the Sky-or the Face From Heaven”.

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Nov 252018
 

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: “The Face in the Sky-or the Face From Heaven”.  (By:  Ron Woodrum)      In his book, The Hungering Darkness, Frederick Buechner shares an experience he had while touring Rome, in a sermon in that book entitled “The Face In The Sky”. He was at a theater that was showing the Italian Film La […]

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“Mastering the Hardest Arithmetic-Counting Our Blessings!”

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Nov 182018
 

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: “Mastering the Hardest Arithmetic-Counting Our Blessings!” By:  Ron Woodrum   This week is Thanksgiving week.  Eric Hoffer says it is the time to “master the hardest arithmetic-counting our blessings!” G.K. Chesterton said, “I would maintain that thanks is the highest form of thought, and gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder”. He also said, […]

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“The Mastery of That One Essential Thing”

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Nov 112018
 

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE; “The Mastery of That One Essential Thing”. By:  Ron Woodrum        Maybe you have seen the movie City Slickers starring Billy Crystal and Jack Palance.  Billy Crystal plays a white-collar guy named Mitch.  He is married with children and is questioning whether anything in his life really matters!  He and his two […]

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“Can Christians be Indubitably real ever again?”

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Nov 042018
 

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: “Can Christians be Indubitably real ever again?” By:  Ron Woodrum        The Wesleyan revival of the eighteenth century was one of the great outpourings of the Spirit, and the secret to retaining the fruits of revival was the class meetings that were held by the Wesley’s.  They emphasized Bible reading, prayer, holiness and […]

 Posted by at 1:13 pm