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Wilderness to Water. Reflections regarding God's faithfulness, character, love, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. An examination of God's grace and power through meditative prose, poetry, original drawings and full-color photographs.

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I’m a Perfect Romans Seven

“The premier answer to the question “What’s wrong with the world?” “what’s wrong with the church?” is not politics, the economy, secularism, sectarianism, globalization or global warming . . .none of these, as significant as they are. As Chesterton wrote, “The answer to the question ‘What’s wrong with the world?’ is just two words: ’I am.’”
—Timothy Cardinal Dolan

Romans 7: 14-25

“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

struggleSo I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”

I’m a Perfect Romans Seven

I’m the earnest rich, young ruler1,
I’m a prideful Pharisee.
I’m a Scribe obsessed with details,
High ‘n’ Mighty Sadducee.

I’m the skeptic… Doubting Thomas2,
Stubborn Pharaoh,… Jezebel.
I’m an arrogant Goliath3,
Often faring not so well.

I’m that angry Saul of Tarsus4
Who comes sometimes quite unglued…
Yes, a proud, cold-blooded killer
(Matthew five,… verse twenty-two’d)5

I’m like Sarah often laughing6,
And Elijah fleeing fast….
I’m like Peter in denial
When the rooster crowed at last.

I’m apostate way too often…
And a Gnostic know-it-all,
I’m a perfect Romans Seven,
Son of Adam in mid-Fall.

Like King David hearing Nathan7,
Like the darkness at the dawn…
I’m like Jonah sailing westward8,
Gomer going, going, gone9.

I’m like Ahaz disobeying10
And like Moses on the run11.
I’m lukewarm, Lord, good-for-nothing,
And Isaiah quite undone12.

Who can help me?…Who can save me?
Who can turn this night to day?
Is there Someone who is able?
Good Lord, help me know The Way13!

Father, God…Oh, Lord, have mercy!
Give us eyes to see our sin!
Help us mourn this grim condition14,
Help us look, Lord, deep within.

Help us gaze into that Mirror,
Of The Law’s true Holy Light…
Give us Grace to see our guilt there,
And our existential plight15.

Plant the Seed of Truth within us,
Sow it deep, Lord, in the soul16
Help us hear The Shepherd calling…
Help us turn into your Fold.

Help us see the Cross more clearly…
And his tortured, loving face,
Teach us daily why He came here:
Holy-Love… Amazing Grace.

“ Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1-4)

Thank you, God, for such great mercy!
Thank you for the Victr’y won…
For the Blessed Hope17 before us,
Promised King, returning Son.

Triumph of Christianity, Gustave Dore

1 Luke 18: 23-25

2 John 20:25

3 1Samuel 17: 10

4 Acts 9: 1

5 Matthew 5: 22

6 Genesis 18: 12 (Sarah)

7 2Samuel 12: 5-7

8 Jonah 1: 1-3

9 Hosea 4: 12

10 Isaiah 7: 10-12

11 Exodus 2: 15

12 Isaiah 6: 5

13 John 14: 6

14 Romans 3: 9-18, Matthew 5: 4

15 John 3: 18-19

16 Matthew 13: 18-23

17 Titus 2: 11-14