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Sunday, March 29th, 2009 - 11:48 PM

"Belly Bouncer and Toothless Pestered Frolicking Frog"

Belly Bouncer and Toothless
Pestered Frolicking Frog

By Phil Steller, March 29, 2009

Sublet room and sunlit sky.
Worthless moments passing by.
Jesus died so I can live.
Nothing left but life to give.
Make me fruitful, multiply.
Don't let fruitless time pass by.
By my breath, God glorify.
Don't know answer, question: why?
Turn the cloak and wave good bye.
Darkness bids, I answer not.

Not the best poetry I've written. After a late night ride from the Halls' house I was feeling weird and just felt like writing something. So it became my Facebook status for the moment. Figured I may as well put it here too, since I generally try to put most of what I write on my blog in some fashion.

Some parts of the poem reflect what I'm feeling right now at the moment. The rest is just stuff that came out as my phingers typed.

A person that reads such a poem might wonder about the relevance of the title. I like to explain it this way. The Belly Bouncer represents a really big Sumo Wrestler... cuz, well, they bounce bellies for a living. No frogs that I'm aware of have teeth. Nothing interesting there. The frog I speak of doesn't "frolic" either. What I'm talking about is a frog who uses its long tongue projection to lick the hair of people who have big hair (fro... like I'm building on my head)... therefore "fro-lick". My theory is that this particular frog hesitates to expel the revisions of his house plan that the evil architect repelled with magnetism-powered tools. Therefore, all the sumo logic comes into play. You know what I mean. No further explanation necessary.

OK, one more tidbit. All this relates to that annoying commercial Mazda did a while ago that kept saying "Zoom zoom zoom". ANNOYING! They WAY overused that. I didn't really like it the first time. Now I don't even turn my TV on ONCE in like 6 months... just in case I might hear that annoying ad. Speaking of reliance on way overused slogans, "Can you hear me now?" NOT good.

I'm not sophisticated enough to eat moldy cheese. I think it's old, ugly, and tastes yucky. I say Winnie the "Pooh!" out of my mouth.

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Monday, December 1st, 2008 - 9:02 AM

"How Long, O Lord?"

Hopefully this isn't vanity or pride in my own words. I don't think so. I was in one of those "inspired" moods last night and stuff was flowing freely. This has happened a lot since God's victory over my darkness has been revealed. I figured I'd share the little ditty I shared on my church forum simply because I feel it reflects much of my own emotion and thought of late - which I like to be recorded here so I can chronicle my spiritual journey with Christ. I'm sure there are others who can associate with the emotion contained in it. This is a difficult age we live in. Yet our hope is in Christ. Jesus Christ is coming soon! And even now He gives us strength while we wait.

How Long, O Lord?

How long, O Lord, how long? I long for Your embrace. I long to see Your face, O Jesus. Deliver us from this darkness! We all groan and weep in dismay. We need Your hand of deliverance. You are faithful even when we are not. Restore Your people, Father. Lift up our weary heads, Abba. Create in us a joy and victory even amid the toil and dread. You are Master and Lord of all, even our broken hearts. We hold the pieces out in our hands, ready for You to work Your magic touch, Fixer of all! Great are You Lord and infinite is Your wealth and fame. We make ourselves poor in the things of this world so we can gain Your lasting riches. Fill us. We need You desperately. You are the Coming King. Come soon, yet show your mercy to the lost. Call them to Yourself with urgency, even using us, and them come like lightning!

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV

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Thursday, November 6th, 2008 - 7:36 PM

"Thrashed Bibles Are the Best"

NIV Student Bible

Something awesome occurred to me while reflecting on what God has done for me this evening. I remembered a resource to compliment much of what I am going through, especially the thoughts that dawned on me tonight. My old Bible from high school is somewhere around here. Many passages are underlined and highlighted that pertain to trusting in God over men. In fact, when I look back at my life, I recall stories of people failing and disappointing me. By God's providence and kindness I believe I maintained a fairly healthy perspective in this area - not losing all hope in community with others, but running to God when others fail. That is to say until I became distracted by the things of this world for a time. Now that God has restored me, the lessons return to bear more fruit in me. Thank goodness!

Naturally this means my list of blog topics will grow even more, rather than shrink as I write. I have enough material for quite a while. I've been prioritizing the recent experiences because I like to report while in the middle of the ordeal, to record the thoughts more passionately. For the other topics, I'm relying on my notes to revive the thoughts later. Who knows if that will work.

signs of wear

So what's so great about an overused Bible? Aren't Bibles holy, to be kept in perfect condition? After all, it is the very Word of God!? True, we should have a respect for the Word, but not so much in the written pages and books it occupies. This is a book that should be severely used, if there ever was such a book!

When I look at my dilapidated NIV Student Bible, I am again reminded of that last period of my life when I was consumed by a passion for God's Word. In my adolescence I was pretty familiar with Scripture. It helped to have one Bible for many years. Before online Bible search tools were commonplace, I was able to find many passages out of shear familiarity with the one I overused. Sometimes I could picture which position on the page a well-known verse was found.

I'm an advocate of marking up Bibles with all sorts of notes, underlining, highlighting, doodles and so on. While I like to keep things in fairly good working and presentable order, a tool as useful as the Bible should show signs of use and wear.

Had I not marked up my Bible and kept a journal, I probably would not be able to recall the experiences that brought me to where I am. This would be a shameful loss, for I would not appreciate God's work in me nearly as much.

a 1993 Christmas present from my parents

Do you find yourself silently complaining that it seems God doesn't work in your life? Does it appear He is giving an unfair dose of His provision or presence to people around you? How about seeking Him with all your heart, and while doing so, watch out for signs of His presence. Record these "God sightings", and not only will you have no excuse for thinking He's not working six months from now, but I believe God will dispense more of Himself as an answer to such a faithful response to His work. I'm speaking a bit from experience in this.

Our most obvious guideline for recording the works of God and life events is the Old Testament of the Bible. The entire collection of books presents a colorful history of God's dealings with His people, along with many priceless life lessons (not to mention divine prophecies and miracles, etc.). Through these ancient writings we also have knowledge of sin and the Law. Without the Old Testament the work of Christ wouldn't mean much. We could not possibly understand what led up to God's sacrifice or why it was necessary. In the same vein, you might understand better where you are today if you had recorded events prior. In fact, you might have seen patterns developing that were taking you down a darkened path and possibly have avoided some heartache and setbacks. It's a sad thing to live in cycles, not learning a thing from previous mistakes - or forgetting them altogether.

us

I'm in need of much wisdom and have an insatiable longing for the truth of God. To aid in my quest for closeness with God and freedom in life, I think it will be profitable to review some of the places I've been. Starting with my old Bible, I will review some of the passages and thoughts that inspired me in my youth. If time and sanity permit, I may also review some of my many written journals. Hopefully it will be encouraging to see where God has brought me after all these years. Possibly some areas will have devolved, some "maintained" (can be good or bad), and others greatly improved. I encourage you to develop habits that allow for some of this self-introspection if you aren't already doing so. Some people are more equipped for this sort of activity, but I believe anyone can make efforts at it and yield benefits. I consider myself somewhat of a master thought recorder... so don't ask me for advice. I might get too excited and discourage you from trying with all my grandiose ideas! :) Start small so you don't get tired of it and see it as just another chore. Also, make a decision about how much positive versus negative stuff you'll record. I tend not to record specific details of painful things, so I don't have to relive it later. Just an outline, so I can appreciate God's deliverance. My recordings tend to be pretty positive and edifying - though VERY emotional poignant and brutally honest at times.

Recording your thoughts is an investment that you will not realize until years later. Like brushing your teeth... MAN I WISH I WOULD HAVE DONE MORE OF THAT WHEN I WAS YOUNG! That's what you'll probably say later if you don't record some of your "personal history" starting now.

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Saturday, November 1st, 2008 - 5:07 PM

"The Zimmer Man"

As promised, here is the poem I wrote about Mr. Zimmerman back in 1996. Larry Zimmerman was my math teacher for two years in high school. I was hoping to find the list of verses that he compiled for us to consider, but I couldn't locate a copy in my files. I also took the liberty of changing the name of my poem to "The Zimmer Man" because it sounded weigh kewler than the original :)

The Zimmer Man

a poem by Phil, 1996

I saw him walking down the hallway: perfect in his stride.
The empty hallway: no one seen except this one and I.
I saw his age in every hair and wrinkle on his face,
But I could never call him old by looking at his pace.
He walked a stoic walk that day, the day that first I saw.
That balding head, that look of dread: a layer of the law.
One cannot judge this man, for this describes his outer part.
The outside never shows the truth which lives within the heart.

This man has wits; they have not left; he is a teacher still.
He teaches us according to his knowledge and his will.
At first he seemed a perfect man - except a stoic mien.
But what's about to be described destroys all prior seen.
As he was teaching Calculus, an error did he make.
I watched with every part of me - Would he admit mistake?
The room became so still; expression on his face was gone.
The next event which happened leads me further, farther on.

With all that was within him he dropped pen and faced the room.
His face at first expressed emotions absent - as a tomb.
And then, as resurrected life, an upturned lip I saw
A glorious smile, and all the while I truly was in awe.
He joked about his error, and he did it in a way
That no one in the room could keep from laughing on that day.
A man was shown I'd never seen - He'd been there all along.
I'd thought he was a stoic, but I could not be more wrong.

This man is kind; inside you'll find a heart of solid gold.
A warmth is kindled in his heart: example to the cold.
A student and a teacher: he is both to say the least.
Not one can count the number of the students he has reached.
He learns from God, his Father, and he teaches what he learns.
He puts the Lord in every page of Calculus he turns.
It seems as though he has a burden placed within his heart
to teach, to reach a part of each; himself he will impart.

I see him walking down the hallway: perfect in his stride.
The empty hallway: no one seen except this one and I.
I see him not the same, however, as I saw him then.
A stoic? No. His heart does show a happy man again.
I see a man who smiles and find he whistles as he walks.
The hallways cheer when he comes near: to them his whistle talks.
I cannot stress the point enough that love can only trace
The age that's found in every hair and wrinkle on his face.

The Zimmer Man

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