Missionary Poems

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by John of Japan, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I was looking through some stuff and came across a notebook in which I had written some poems early in my ministry. This was before the days of the PC, young whippersnappers, so I did not have them on disk! Thus, I thought I would type them in. And since I am doing so, I thought, why not share them with my friends on the Baptist Board?

    You are entirely welcome to share poems you have written, or those written by someone else which you have enjoyed or been inspired by--giving due credit to the poet, of course. [​IMG]
     
  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    The first poem I'll share was written on a China Airlines flight on the way over for the first time to Japan almost 25 years ago with my young wife Patty and baby Paul. We got on the plane at 11:50 P. M. on May 4. We then had a short 2nd wedding anniversary on the plane before we reached the international date line and lost the rest of the day. I gave my wife a Belgian crystal necklace. We first set foot on Japansese soil at Haneda Airport in Tokyo on May 6, 1981.

    Imagine the mixed and powerful feelings of a missionary headed for his first term all the way across the world.


    On The Way
    By John R. Himes

    There's a thunder of great engines,
    Calling back to the homeland.
    There's a stretch of lofting wings,
    Reaching out a helping hand.
    There's a quiver in the heart;
    I wonder why I leave my land.
    There's a longing for the future--
    Many souls to feel God's hand.

    [ March 31, 2006, 10:08 AM: Message edited by: John of Japan ]
     
  3. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Fly Swiftly
    By John R. Himes

    Swiftly past a river’s flash
    My faithful blue car flies.
    Herds of cows and sunset’s gown
    And gentle woods flow by.

    Faster yet than chariot
    My thoughts race far ahead.
    A treasure waits, much pleasure there
    Where by my thoughts I’m led.

    You wonder why I long to fly
    Much faster than I am?
    At journey’s end awaits a friend,
    I treasure like a gem!


    This was written in early 1979 while I was on deputation to come to Japan, and on my way to my fiance’s church.
     
  4. bapmom

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    These are so wonderful JoJ!

    Thank you for sharing....I almost feel like Im on my way myself!
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I'm glad you are enjoying my little poems. I plan to add one a day until they are done--a couple of weeks, maybe.
     
  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    God’s Man
    By John R. Himes

    God’s man is who I long to be,
    A preacher of the Gospel free!

    God’s place is all I long to have,
    And there a road to heaven pave!

    God’s work is quite the best there is,
    Transcending all that is not His!

    God’s Word I’ll hide within my heart,
    Consumed by fire to do my part!


    Written on August 9, 1980, while on deputation to come to Japan.
     
  7. Gwen

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    John of Japan, I left the US for Japan in July 1980. A friend gave me a beautiful card with this poem hand written in it. I have always treasured this poem, and the friendship of the one who gave me the card.

    My Cup Runneth Over
    by Margaret Barber

    There is always something over
    When we trust our gracious Lord;
    Every cup He fills o're floweth,
    His great rivers are all broad.
    Nothing narrow, nothing stinted
    Ever issues from His store!
    To His own He gives full measure
    Running over evermore.

    There is always something over
    When we tell of all His love.
    Unplumbed depths still lie beneath us,
    Unscaled heights rise far above!
    Human lips can never utter all
    His wondrous tenderness,
    We can only praise and wonder, and
    His name forever bless!


    I'll never forget flying thru the night, reading the cards from friends, and memorizing this poem. I'll always think of my year in Japan when I read it. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    By the way, I came home from Japan on May 22, 1981, so we were in Japan at the same time for a couple of weeks. :D
     
  8. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    What a beautiful poem, Gwen, and so true.

    What were you in Japan for? You being such a young thing, you must have been attending a Japanese kindergarten as an exchange student, right? ;)
     
  9. John of Japan

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    I Must Work
    By John R. Himes

    John 9:4—“ I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”

    (To the tune of “I Must Tell the Wondrous Story”)


    I must work the works of Jesus,
    While it’s day and light is here;
    For the day will soon be over
    And the night will then appear.

    Work the works of Him Who sent me,
    Give the Gospel to the lost,
    Tell all men that He’s the Savior
    And His blood has paid the cost.


    Written at midnight on June 25, 1981, when I could not sleep, during our second month after arriving in Japan for our first missionary term.
     
  10. Gwen

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    John,

    I worked for a year teaching Kindergarten in the Ebenezer Home for Japanese Children, run by missionary Betty Loudermilk. She is still there in Nagoya. I taught English in the Nagoya High School, and also helped out in the Mino Mission on occasion.

    Thanks for sharing your poetry. Looking forward to the next one!

    Gwen
     
  11. mnw

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    This is something I wrote for a school project on John and Betty Stam. I was about fourteen when I wrote it... so long ago... [​IMG]

    God's Servants - August 1995

    On their lives they felt the call.
    That quiet voice, still and small.
    Without waiting they followed Him.
    Giving their all, giving up sin.

    Troubles and trials lay strewn in their way,
    But all were overcome with God day by day.
    The joy of the Lord was in their heart
    They and their Saviour, never apart.
     
  12. samarelda

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    I love poetry. Thank you everyone for sharing.
    I rarely write poetry anymore. I seem to need to be in the right frame of mind for my thoughts to come together right. My husband and I write poetry to each other quite often. Some are romantic and others are just plain corny. Here is a song I wrote several years ago.

    The Arms of God

    The arms of God are strong and sure and mighty,
    When storms of life blow cold against my heart.
    And when it seems my soul can find no refuge,
    The arms of God embrace me from the start.

    The arms of God bring comfort in each trial,
    When Satan's darts have made me flee in fear.
    And when it seems the whole world's turned against me,
    The arms of God, reach out and draw me near.

    The arms of God give rest when I am weary.
    He fights the battles I could never win.
    And when I leave this earth and move to Heaven.
    The arms of God, will bear me safetly in.

    (Chrorus)
    The arms of God will hold me when I'm weary.
    The arms of God are gentle when I cry.
    The arms of God will always be around me.
    The arms of God will take me home on high.

    JofJ--looking forward to more of your poems. Does writing poetry come easy for you or do you need to work at it? Is it a talent, or something you have developed?
     
  13. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Betty has done a wonderful work down there for many years. Strangely, I've never met her, but then I've only been to Nagoya once.

    I've met Bro. Ishiguro and his son of the Mino Mission, though. Good men, both of them!
     
  14. John of Japan

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    Mnw, thank you. Good work for a 14 year old! I hope you still write poetry.

    Samerelda, beautiful! Patty and I write poems to each other, too, though me more than Patty. It's fun!

    Sometimes my poetry flows well, but I also have a file of unfinished poems where nothing seemed to work. I suppose I have some talent, since the family is shot through with writers, but I did have a minor in English in college, including six credits of Shakespeare, which I loved.

    Have to run to the big city of Sapporo today, but I'll add a poem when we get back this evening.

    God bless everyone!

    John [​IMG]
     
  15. samarelda

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    Well, JofJ, I know you won't think this poem "beautiful". It is one I wrote to my husband after we had an argument over * *A CAN OF POP* :rolleyes: of all things. Early in our marriage I felt he was drinking too much pop and told him so. The Lord has taught me to SHUT UP!! My husband hardly ever drinks pop anymore--and without my help---imagine that!!! Anyway, we have a good laugh whenever we look back over our poems and read this one.

    O, can of pop, please tell me true,
    Can such a little thing as you,
    Make two people pitch a fit,
    Get so mad, they almost spit?

    Why do little things in life,
    Cause so much hurt and strife?
    I've had such a lousey day.
    Couldn't think and couldn't pray.

    I hate it when I grump and grouse.
    I sure do feel like a louse.
    My mouth is big , my brain is small .
    Wish I could sit down and bawl.

    I don't care how much pop you drink,
    I had no right to make a stink.
    Will you forgive your wife so naggy?
    And her tongue, at times so waggy?

    Drink some pop, drink a bunch,
    And I'll be eating Nestle's Crunch.
    In time we'll be so sweet that we,
    Will live in perfect harmony.

    :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    Definitly one of the corny poems!
     
  16. bapmom

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    My goodness! You've got talent! Wish I could write poetry like that, its easy to read and makes sense.....none of mine ever does. lol
     
  17. mnw

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    I like it samarelda. [​IMG]

    joj, I have enjoyed your writing. I haven't written anything since about 5 years ago. I think concentrating on "sermonizing" has taken the time up. Here is a little, fun poem I wrote.

    God is Everywhere

    I know GOd is everywhere and this He has to be,
    For when we really look at God it's evident to see.
    He goes ahead to prepare our way, and I know He has done this all along.
    But also He is inside of me, giving a joyful song.
    As well as this God is above, watching and helping day by day.
    But God also is my ground, in trouble He's my stay.

    ----------------------------

    Writing may not have been something I was good at, but it helped me express my thoughts, feelings and confusions during the difficult teen years. [​IMG]
     
  18. John of Japan

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    Cute, samarelda, very cute! And I'm sure you learned your lesson and never, ever again quarrelled over a can of pop! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  19. John of Japan

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    Hey, mnw, spend a little less time on sermonizing and a little more time on poetry--and then include the poems in your sermons! ;) [​IMG]
     
  20. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    After college and a semester of seminary I went to work for my grandfather at the Sword of the Lord Foundation while I applied to be accepted as a missionary to Japan by Baptist World Mission. As it turned out, due to some issues it took me almost a year to be accepted. In the meantime, my grandfather asked me to consider the Sword as a career. I remember one day he said to me, “Johnny, why do you want to go to Japan? You can win more souls to the Lord here in America. Maybe God does not actually want you to go to Japan, but just be willing to go.” I don’t know to this day what I answered him, if anything. I loved and admired him so much that I must have been tongue-tied. I began to contemplate more deeply the idea of leaving all to travel half-way around the world to serve Christ. It was around that time and in that state of mind that I wrote this poem. I later included it in my book, The Making of a Soul Winner (Murfreesboro, TN: Sword of the Lord, 1979).


    Deny Thyself
    By John R. Himes

    What sense of loss there always is
    When leaving self behind.
    What unfulfilled desires must die,
    Hopes lost within the mind.

    The heart may cry, AIt is enough,
    My life can lose no more.
    My fondest dreams are swallowed up,
    My strength crushed to the floor.

    Yet still the kind Creator moves
    His hand across the life,
    And takes impurities away,
    And cancels sinful strife.

    Yet still the precious Savior takes
    The vessel broken up,
    And shapes it very patiently
    Into a golden cup.

    The joy that comes from sadness deep,
    The happiness from pain,
    Will far exceed the strongest hopes,
    And make earth's pleasures vain.

    So tremble not to lose yourself,
    And live for Christ alone.
    The life you live for others
    Will forever be your own.
     

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