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Kay Cude poetry: When We Remember

Kay Cude poetry. Used with permission. Artist’s statement below.

As I continue to go through them my perspective is reinforced with the fundamental truth: it is necessary that we learn and grow through “issues” and situations we’d rather avoid. They will either drive us deeper into Scripture and prayer, or we will allow them to drive us into despondency, confusion and sorrow. When we experience breath-knocking blows, above all else it is necessary that we “remember” Who our first love is and that He, Christ is our ever-present secure help. He is our All-in-All, our sufficiency, protection, strength and giver of wisdom. We must remember that issues and circumstance have eternal purpose for His beloved redeemed.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7b/Polenov_MechtySAR.jpg

Kay Cude poetry: Awake Shepherds of Christ

Kay Cude poetry. Used with permission. Artist’s statement below.

kay cude original etching

Kay Cude:

I was captured immediately by Samuel Palmer’s etching “The Lonely Tower.” I haven’t researched the reason behind this particular work of his; but that light shining from the tower became one of the particulars for developing my text. (“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105). The “lone traveler” with the ox-cart became the “example” of a true shepherd of Christ and the shepherds “at watch” a reminder of “inattentive” shepherds. The “traveler shepherd” had Christ’s name inscribed upon his forehead; the “sheep’s shepherds” were brought to the piteous reality they had been asleep with the sheep while on watch!

I begin my explanation with several absolutes: the Lord Christ Jesus is our “Light” shining; He is our strong tower; in Him we live and move and exist. No matter how dark the surroundings of this present world or our circumstances, He remains our beacon of God’s truth; our refuge, strength and confidence; our life’s purpose, reason and eternity! Finally, He has not left us without help, but has appointed shepherds to equip, protect and oversee us as we “journey” on this earth. We are His lambs, His flock.

Notice that the attention of the reclining shepherds is focused on the tower and the traveler. Although it appears the sheep are resting (or sleeping) securely, the shepherds’ attentiveness is no longer centered on their flock. Attention has shifted onto a nominal curiosity. In context for these “latter days,” how many of the redeemed are “resting” or “asleep,” assuming they are secure under the watchfulness of their shepherd? Do they understand that “watchfulness” includes their pastor’s ensuring that the following Christian disciplines are provided under his leadership: instruction in discernment–how to recognize true doctrine from false; discipleship training–the process by which we grow in Christ and are equipped by the Holy Spirit; understanding–true salvation versus false conversion; understanding–baptism of the Holy Spirit versus being filled with the Holy Spirit; knowledge–about the three distinct persons of the Trinity? And so much more!

It is through Scriptural TRUTH and the attentive exhortation of sound doctrine that our shepherds become the vigilant and effective leaders/teachers they are called to be. They must always be attentive to Christ’s flock, ready in season and out to rightly handle and administer God’s revealed Word; for these are the latter days, more perilous than ever before in the history of mankind.

If our shepherds preach Christ as revealed through the Canon of Scripture, we the flock are cared-for, protected and equipped to serve Christ. When shepherds are at constant guard, they will not allow inattentiveness to keep the door to the sheepgate ajar. (“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” Acts 20:28).

AWAKE, SHEPHERDS OF CHRIST

Kay Cude Poetry: No Condemnation for the Redeemed

Kay Cude poetry. Used with permission. Excerpted Artist’s statement below.

THE BALM OF GILEAD AND SOURCE OF MERCY

We know this world is not our home; it is the residence of the Adversary’s “world-system” and its participants. As “strangers” we sojourn here for the specific amount of time measured-out by God Himself. In His perfect and inerrant will He has not notified us about that exact day, the specific hour or the year of our departure, whether it be by death or by our catching away. But He has forewarned and made clear that during our sojourn we will have trials and tribulations, and that it is He (not us) Who is the Source of our peace, courage and endurance. “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) and “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (John 14:27) and “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5).

We will recognize and remember that “our failures” are temporary. We will remember that we are new creations in Christ, living according to the Spirit. We will remember that we ARE NOT who we used to be! We ARE the redeemed; and as such, know that the redeemed of Christ will be perfected in and through Christ. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6).

For the redeemed of God, the remedy for anxieties or stresses encountered during trials and tribulations is Christ, the Balm of Gilead. Let Him apply upon us lavishly His balm through His inerrant, revealed Word!

Poetry by Kay Cude: In Trials We Are Not Alone

Poetry by Kay Cude. Used with permission. Download photo to see it larger. Artist’s statement below.

NOT FORSAKEN, NOT ALONE

Artist’s Statement:

Sometimes the trials we go through seem never-ending! It often appears that they are gathered together and perched atop a high place just waiting for an “exacting” moment in which to unleash themselves. Even worse, they seem to multiply in force, if not line up one-after-another like a hoard of paid hooligans determined to batter us down into hopeless and “fruitless” Christians–or worse as assassins, prepared to annihilate us completely!

As they strengthen the tactics of those “assaults,” we can be assured that God remains in control, from the start of the trial to the very end. He will not forsake us–He will grow us!! He provides the “weapons” we need to endure and overcome, as well as prepares us by the renewing of our minds through His Word! The battles are His. Trusting and relying on Him enables us to learn, endure and overcome! Trusting and relying on our “flesh” enables disastrous consequences.

When at our lowest point, that point of exhaustive weakness where we become more vulnerable to fleshly speculation, we must not permit ourselves to wonder if we are alone. We are not!! And we know this!! We will remember that our weakness is exactly where it must be; for in that weakness, our strength is Christ! Through difficulties, trials or persecution, God is present and He is working. He never abandons His beloved redeemed–He teaches and strengthens us! We must allow Him to mature us and stop employing our “fleshly” reasoning and efforts!

We will remember Paul’s example in 2 Corinthians 12:9-11: 9 “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for (A)power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather (B)boast [a]about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore (C)I am well content with weaknesses, with [b]insults, with (D)distresses, with (E)persecutions, with (F)difficulties, (G)for Christ’s sake; for (H)when I am weak, then I am strong.”

We will remember that it is God who sovereignly allows our tempering as fine gold through the many refining fires of trials. Therefore, let us be refined into the golden metal of God’s mettle. And in our trials display the strength of character with Spirited determination that marks the mental and emotional character unique to those matured through the purposeful workings of the Holy Spirit of God in us!

YES AND AMEN!! GOD’s eternal purpose for us IN CHRIST will not be thwarted! What joyful hope and assurance we have obtained!

Kay Cude poetry: Walking in the Light

Kay Cude is a Texas poet. Used with permission. Artist’s statement below. Click to enlarge.

For too many years I had little concept of what “walking in the Light of Christ” actually meant, even less what it involved! And for those countless years, even though I attended Sunday school and church, I somehow missed the “truth” about that walk! It was made real to me when I finally realized that my flesh was in control of “my” journey. “My way” had led me into years of Biblical ignorance and error and opened the door to deception. What a shock it was when I realized where I was spiritually…

We must each reach that defining point in our lives when we really desire to understand, believe and act upon these TRUTHS: 

“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you– unless indeed you fail the test? (2 Corinthians 13:5)

…”If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;” (John 8:31)

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

“THY WORD IS A LAMP UNTO MY FEET, AND A LIGHT UNTO MY PATH.” (Psalm 119:105)