Archives For Love

Last year I wrote an adaptation of the classic “twas the night before christmas” for a christmas eve service at my church. After much prayer, study and journeying with God over the last year I have revised and finalized this poem. I wanted to give families something they could read to their kids or even to other adults that would remind them during the season of the truth around Christmas. That we can see how amazing the father is by looking at His son. That God didn’t mess up but the gospel was ALWAYS plan A and oh how He loves us.

I hope to publish an illustrated book of this next year.

Below is the PDF of the poem if you would like to print it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Twas the night before CHRISTmas

By: Joel Klampert

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the world,
Man’s minds were cloudy, their hearts were all swirled;
From beginning to end it’s not often told,
This story is new and also quite old;

Our tale begins, of course from the start,
In the garden with Adam, followed by God’s broken heart;
Eve was tempted by knowledge and pride,
While her husband stood passive, right by her side;

The greatest of love is to lay down one’s own life,
So why didn’t he act to save his sweet wife;
Ashamed they stood, pride divided their heart,
Riddled by fears, their whole world fell apart;

Countless years go by, many hours are spent,
Mans repair strategy never made a real dent;
Prophets spoke up, straight from the Lord,
Truth rang out, a loud hope had roared;

The Father above, a craftsman by trade,
Stared at the gifts that his hands had made;
He made them whole and He made them right
Now they lay broken, shattered by night

The misfits were nestled all snug in their sin,
Awaiting redemption that soon would begin;
The father and son since the beginning of time,
Had a glorious plan to clean off man’s grime;

An angel appeared to a young girl on that day,
Fear not, you have favor is what he would say;
And the peace from the creator poured out like an oil,
On the squeaky heart of Mary, faithful and loyal;

She knew she was pregnant, her heart now made whole,
Joseph stepped up, earthly father with soul;
The dark one, now frantic, did all that he could,
To stop the one who would crush death for good;

In the middle of a field stood the lowest of low,
Tending their sheep when the sky started to glow;
They shook in their sandals, Their eyes open wide,
As an army of angels appeared in the sky;

“I bring you good news” the angel had said,
“you’ll find him wrapped snug, while resting his head”;
Their voices soared, what a song they would sing,
Then the shepherds packed up to go find their new king;

They hurried to the village to see with their eyes,
Astonished, they saw Him, and heard his sweet cries;
The stories they’d tell, sharing with any who’d hear,
That Jesus had come, The Messiah was here!

A few years had passed when some magi had heard,
The prophecies were true and Herod got word;
He sent them all out to seek and to find,
With a ruse that he’d worship with all of mankind;

To Bethlehem they rode, navigating by star,
Which stopped over a home, a sight so bizarre;
They bowed down and worshiped leaving gifts at His feet,
And left to trick Herod so death they’d not meet;

Mary sat with Gold, Frankincense and myrrh,
Silently thinking, it’s all been a blur;
She knew what would happen, but did she know the whole truth, 
Did she trust that God’s plan was completely foolproof?

Jesus grew up in wisdom and stature,
Fully God, fully man, the Grace dispatcher;
He took on flesh to save mankind’s skin,
God became misfit to free misfits from sin;

From heaven to earth, From manger to cross,
He came to seek and save all who were lost;
As he Hung on a tree mary saw her small child,
Was now a man who’s love was vivid and wild;

Too many are convinced that God turned his back,
Because He was angry and we were off track;
But The truth of this story comes in like the tide,
As we see the real Father with arms open wide;

Recklessly loving, His eyes peppered with grace,
All lives must change that look at His face;
He loves us with passion, our value He views,
Our God is alive!! Celebrate the good news!

When you sit with your family, as you unwrap and you eat,
Remember that death has suffered defeat;
We have been given a gift, receive His pure light,
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

 

————–

Of course the original is public domain and this version is copyright 2016 Joel Klampert


beeching

My friend Vicky Beeching was interviewed for this article yesterday, announcing that she was gay.

I have had the pleasure of working with vicky for a few years now.
She is one of the nicest and smartest (borderline genius…can’t give her a big head) people I know.

This article was heart-wrenching to read and broke my heart for her. I am sorry she had to walk this walk alone and that the “church people’s” labels superseded the truth in Christ over her life…I have seen so much spiritual abuse over the years, “in the name of Jesus”, and it sickens me when the church paints the wrong picture of the gospel.

I am glad to know this woman.

I may not agree with all her opinions on all things, but I don’t have to.

As she said in her article in reference to her parents disagreeing but loving her:

“It’s a picture of what is possible, even when you don’t agree, that love can supersede everything.”

Love has no strings. Grace has no prejudice and I am so glad God pours that out daily for both of us.

I didn’t post about this to start a theology debate on my site, or on facebook for that matter, so if you have the urge to comment like that… Don’t!

Instead go and love like Christ did!

John 13:34-35  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you,

Go find somebody in the church that has been labeled by something other than Christ….
give them a hug and tell them that Jesus loves them with a NEVER-ENDING LOVE.

Tell them that no matter what hurt or baggage they carry that they are a son/daughter of the King and have a seat at His table of mercy.

Ephesians 3:14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

 

50

The 50 shades of Grey trailer released at 8AM on the today show yesterday barraging mens minds with the permission to control and lust after women as well as giving women the permission to live in a fantasy land and escape their marriage in visual adultery.

There is so much crap flying at our faces these days and quite frankly to keep our minds pure is a battle.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

I have seen too many broken families in the last few years that have bought into the lie that fantasy is reality, that reading a book is equal to making love to your spouse, and that watching a “harmless” film doesn’t affect your marriage.

It is a lie from the enemy! It is not grey. It is black and white.

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.- Matthew 5:28

I don’t care if the movie/book is good or not good. Arguing over it’s literary quality or cinematography is worthless. It is a twisted view of sex and relationships. Most importantly it is a perversion of LOVE.

God created sex and it is great! God is love and He is perfect. Don’t let your mind and heart be cluttered and jammed full of the garbage of this world. The Bible says to FLEE from temptation and sexual perversion. I know it is tough.  It says flee because God knows that it is tough and He wants us to run away and run towards truth. I get bombarded with these temptations…I am human too, but friends it is a battle worth fighting!

This is not art.
This is not a romantic chick flick.

IT is warped, twisted, photoshopped and scripted.

Real love… real sex… real commitment is messy, flawed and part of Gods design to bring a man and woman together and make them not only ONE, but also to teach them to love selflessly and unconditionally.

Men: Pursue your wife today.. make sure they know how amazing they are. If you haven’t told your wife she is beautiful lately, GO NOW! The bible says to treat your wife like Christ treats the church. We are to be willing to give up everything for her. Not treat them as a slave for OUR selfish needs. Love her. Cherish her. Be intimate with her. Pray for her. Protect her.
If you are not married: Guard your mind and your body. God has a plan for you and it does not include selfish Love. It is a sex-saturated society… Like David and Bathsheba, Stop looking out at woman bathing on rooftops! RUN!

Women: Submission doesn’t equal slavery and pain. You are worth more than a cheap popcorn smelling fantasy. You are a jewel and a daughter of God. You are created in His image and are beautiful. Keep your eyes pure. Pursue your husband. Let him know how great he looks and how much you love him. Love him. Cherish him. Be intimate with him. Pray for him. Protect him. Like David and Bathsheba, The only man who you should invite to bath with you on your rooftop physically or in your mind is your husband!
If you are not married: You are worth so much. Your past doesn’t define you. How you choose to live in Christ NOW does. God has a plan for you. You are holy and pure because HE IS! Song of Solomon 4:1 Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful!

If you were considering seeing the movie, Your marriage is worth more than $9.25! DON’T
If you are considering reading the book, regardless of how innocent it may seem… IT is not the LOVE that God has taught us about. DON’T

Married or not, DON’T sacrifice LOVE for a cheap thrill that WILL harm you, compromise you and steer you away from the things of God.

REAL LOVE – 1 Cor 13 
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

 

“When your spouse can’t see Christ in you, it matters little what others think they can see.” -Carey Nieuwhof

Gut punch

It is NOT an Audience of one

February 19, 2013 — 5 Comments

goatsI have many pet peeves with “christianeze” or Christian slogans meant to erase untruths by introducing more untruths.
One of these phrase really drives me nuts. It is when people say to leaders in the church:

“remember…this is for an audience of One”

Let me clarify here that I know what people are trying to say. They are basically reminding the leader that we do everything for God and only His opinion matters. It is the concept that even if there is nobody in church on sunday that we should still worship the King.

The problem is we are taking a flawed phrase to express this and creating an even worse mantra for the church to spout off.

As leaders and even as Christians in general we are should be doing all we do for God, but there is a much larger audience than one.

The entire Body is an audience
Our community is an audience
The lost are an audience

1 Corinthians 14:13–19
“13 Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. 16 Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider2 say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? 17 For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up. 18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.”

This text is discussing the “gifts of the spirit”, but also tackles prayer as well. Paul basically says that if you are going to say something outloud that your “audience” has grown to those around you and then what you say should be clear. The gifts of the Holy spirit have been given to us for the edification of the Body. What that means is yes we bless the Lord, but it is meant to bless the church as well with clarity.

This same thing holds true for our walk. We are always leading. We either lead others to Christ or away from Christ. Because of this our walk ALWAYS has an audience.

1 Corinthians 13
13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge,and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

What this is basically saying is: It doesn’t matter how great of a preacher, worship leader, mother, school teacher etc… you are. If you don’t love others you are not doing what you should be for your God.

In Matthew 25 it speaks of the separation of the sheep and the goats. in the message it says:

“Get out, worthless goats! You’re good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because—

I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
I was shivering and you gave me no clothes,
Sick and in prison, and you never visited.’

“Then those ‘goats’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn’t help?’

“He will answer them, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.’”

Are we so stuck on our Audience of one that we can’t even see those in need right in front of us?
Are we so stuck on our Audience of one that we are not aware that others are watching us and forming their opinions about God based on our actions?
Are we so stuck on our Audience of one that the LAW in our hearts outweighs the grace we give out?

I am currently reading “Day of War” by Cliff Graham. It is the story of David and his mighty men. This book is amazing, inspiring and convicting. I think it is important to remember to worship our KING and that we need to be listening to the Holy Spirit for more awareness in the rest of the “audience” watching us every day. This quote struck a chord with me when thinking about this mentality as leader showing that our “audience” needs us to LOVE lest we become a clanging GONG.

“Men don’t follow speeches, Eliam. David gave terrific speeches, but his men followed him because they loved him. Speeches don’t make you stab a man in the guts or slice through his neck while his blood sprays over you. If you ever lead troops, remember that. Be there with them. Suffer with them. Bleed with them. Then they will follow you.”
-Cliff Graham