Monday, May 12, 2014

Israel's Story (history in chronological order)

A beauty within dust
A soul filled with trust
A heart-break started
Corruption in the garden
A bond broken in two
Left sin's residue
A warning of destruction
A building's set instruction
Sin wiped off the plate
A brand-new slate

....A warning within Ur
A city sent to burn
A family split in two
Two countries rivals too
......Sin immersed
Older brother cursed
A chosen son
Slavery begun
.....A nation established
God's chosen banished
Spies in the land
Pushed away God's hand
Broken hearts, tears
Sent to wander 40 years
Come back - set things straight
Jericho took the bait
.....The Judges file in
Samson's sin begins

.....She goes with her
Her reward, a redeemer
God hears the people's plea
Through Saul He gives a king
A man after God's own heart
Wisdom takes a brand new start
People still tell of evil Jezabel
Elijah represents God's voice
The people are given a choice

A voice in the wilderness
Prepare a way for your King
......Here He lays in a manger
Hear Heaven's angels sing!
Teachings, Parables
Decietful Betrayal
Unfair trial given
Satan's will seems bidden
Three days and nights of silence
Sin stands in deaf defiance
Others casting blame,
Yet out of the grave He came!
Israel your search is done,
Behold your Messiah has come.

                                                                                                         Written By Riley Henderson

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The World Will Never be the Same

The sky darkened into a black abyss. I shook my head and commanded my body to slow it's breathing down to it's normal rythmic pattern as I urged my heart to return to it's usual speed. "Besides," I reasoned with myself, "It's not like this is abnormal for this part of the region. I mean after all Jerusalem's spring nights were known to be so black and so dark that you couldn't even see your hand within inches of your face."
"That's correct," my heart was quick to reason back, "But would you consider it night?" The answer to that would be a negative. No, make that an even more than negative, it wasn't even the sixth hour yet and still it was black as night. With one determined shudder I shook all fear from my being, and warmed my ice crusted heart. After all I was a Centurion responsible for one hundred men, I should be able to handle this. I tried time and time again to convince myself of this fact, yet to no avail. My heart would simply not concur with my mind. It might have had something to do with the fact that an icy hand of fear had stretched out it's palm and wrapped it's fingers around my heart. I had been a nervous wreck all day... No make that all week. Basically ever since I had been temporarily stationed in Jerusalem on patrol. I was there to make sure that no uprisings of riots occured during the week's festivities. The feast of the Passover of the Jews was taking place this week, and with it came every Jew in Israel. They were all destined to it's capitol city of Jerusalem... Hence here I was. By some strange turn of events I ended up as overseer of crucifixions, decidingly my least favorite part of being a Roman officer.
In all the crucifixions I had assisted and conducted, I had found that all victoms had a common ground. A hatred in their eyes and a curse on their lips. Whether at their families, their parents, themselves, or at God- it was a curse, and the soldier driving the nine-inch long spike through their wrists and ankles usually got the brunt of it.
Victim? Where had that come from? Being a victim meant that you were innocent. Roman rule stated that crucifixion was used for the worst criminals, the ones who deserved death and had asked for such agony. It was set apart for those who had to be made an example out of. They were definitely NOT innocent.
No matter how much I tried to convince myself of this, the only word that I could think of- the only word that leapt into my mind as I saw the last man, whose features could not be distinguished from his bloody skin, dirt crusted face, and pain inflicted eyes, was innocent. INNOCENT! The word screamed in my ears and contradicted everything that I had ever known or believed.
As is custom I was to be the one to drive the spikes into the man in the middle's wrists and ankles attaching him to the crude cross, and forever sealing his fate. I forced my arms and legs to work as I handled the spikes and wooden hammer, and prodded my dead weight legs to carry me up the slope toward the crudely shaped cross. Two others who were assisting in the crucifixion dropped the man on the cross, which rubbed against his already raw beaten back, yet the man was silent.  As I aligned his arm with the coarse crossbeam and positioned the spike in place, the point on his wrists, I wished and willed that this wasn't happening. That this was a bad dream, that I was not here, and that I was not about to do this.
Unfortunately my mind could not argue with reality, no matter how cruel reality was, and I was forced to desparingly carry out my duty. With one swift motion I brought the hammer down onto the head of the spike and waited for the stream of profanities to escape his lips, but none came. He maintained silence. I continued to drive the stakes into his wrists and ankles into the wood below. As the two foot soldiers stood the cross up, a plaque nailed to the top caught my eye. It read, "This Is The King Of The Jews." My knees weakened as my entire body trembled with guilt. This was no common man, I had just pinned to a tree, this was royalty.
"Who is this man?" I asked through gritted teeth as I attempted to control my body's contortions.
"He claimed to be the Messiah, the promised Son of God. He was convicted of the crime of blasphemy and sentanced to death." The voice came from a man whose garb I recognized. A Pharisee, one of the temple's elders. I turned to him and said,
"Crucifiction is not a Jewish punishment." I had hoped to recieve an answer to my statement, and as I had hoped, the Pharisee could not refuse.
"Because it is Passover we could not stone him, and we did not wish to wait until after the Passover to deal with Him, so we handed him over to your Pilot."
Your Pilot. the words mulled over in my brain. As a Roman officer I was supposed to respect him, but as I looked at the man on the cross, my confidence wavered. For the first time I looked at Him, really looked at Him. Through the crowds that jeered, the mockers that mocked, the theif on one side who cursed Him, and my own men who gambled for His cloak and tunic below him, my eyes locked onto His, and for once my heart and mind agreed that He was the Son of God.
Wow. What was I thinking? What happened to my common sense? The sense that told me it was just an ordinary crucifixion, the sense that told me everything was going to be fine? It turned on me, and that same sense that every good Roman soldier should have told me that the world would never be the same again.
 I made quick work of dumping a sponge into a bucket, (a mix of vinager and wine to help ease extreme cases of  agony,) and offering it to Him on a stick. I knew that I could now do nothing to save Him, but I was determined to make his death a little less painful. Yet He refused it. I lowered the sponge in shock, but the determination in his eyes made me decide against pursuing the subject.
After hours of dealing with an animal called guilt gnawing away at my stomach, the Messiah, or Rabbi, or whatever it was that people were calling Him spoke. He cried out,
"My God My God Why have you forsaken me?" Then the earth began to tremble and shake, and lightening left a jagged scar across the sky. I fell to my knees in a Holy fear and a cry ripped through my chest, bellowed from my lips, and echoed in my heart... "He truly was the Son of God!"
As it turns out my sense was right, The world will never be the same.

                                                                                                                     Written by Riley Henderson

Saturday, January 18, 2014


A heart beat in the womb
Soon to become a tomb
This life to be extinguished 
On the altar of convenience
Society screams it's just a mistake
Even at the sound of God's heart break
Murder is hidden behind the blind
That every Human has a right
And everybody has a choice 
But what of those without a voice?
A heart beat in the womb
Soon to become a tomb.....

Monday, July 22, 2013

Freedom isn't Free

The cool evening breeze whispers it's lullaby telling the tale of the excitement filled day. All day long people have swam in the river enjoying their freedom with pleasure. The scene before me fades replaced with thought. Not many realize that our nation was founded on the cornerstone of the one we now deny. As a country we have turned away from our first love.
The one we escaped King James to seek. His name has been printed on what we consider power in this nation, IN GOD WE TRUST. A reminder of our forefathers' intent. George Washington the Father of our nation was quoted saying, "It is impossible to successfully rule the world without God and the Bible."

Many people have heard the saying Freedom isn't Free, yet few have contemplated the total cost of those three factual words. Many have bled and died for their flag, and for their God. They stood up in the line of duty as a country unified, as a nation should be. For this we have our freedom though the cost is great. Proving that freedom most certainly isn't free.

The rustling of the wind in the trees snaps me back to reality  and I settle down on the cool green grass and enjoy the night's whistling tune. I lay down and allow my hair to sprawl freely on the grass around me as I raise my hands over my head in a heart molded together. I rotate my hands, taking in the scene around me through my heart shaped hands my head filled with thought.
As the first firework begins I settle back  and watch it through the heart of my nation and the heart of my God.

                                                                                                                   Written By Riley Henderson

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Knowledge vs Wisdom

Is this all there is?
To live knowledge 
Gain knowledge
Create complex theories
Solve life's greatest mysteries
And then die knowledge?
Go on and break borders 
You are strong so move boulders!
That is the world speaking inside of your head
It will do you no good lying on your death bed
You will sigh and say so close yet so far
My knowledge just had to travel to wisdom /seventeen inches to my heart.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Time to Tell

It is time to tell a story 
Maybe one just for you 
It is one of many in the only league of true
It is one of passion, pain, and glory
So gather 'round and sit down
Its time to tell a story
It is one of a king, a prince, a knight
It is one of an age old fight
The trees still tell their tale
And the wind still whispers its tune
Of the day all was finished and the law broken in two
The story of a captive crying out for help
The story of a savior who always did well
The story of a hero with compassion He couldn't disguise
As you look deep into His pain filled eyes
The story of a darkness in the busy streets
A voice from a cross crying "why have you forsaken me?"
A life mourned
Blood poured
A curtain torn
A burial in place
A large stone 
Plenty of Rome
Where is God's grace?
Sin is defeated
Victory and freedom
Death where is your power?
Jesus Christ is risen!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Road To Damascus

I was a traveler, a weary traveler. A Pharisee of all Pharisee's of the line and tribe of Benjamin. I was just a popular guy on the long dusty road to Damascus. It wasn't a pleasure trip. Some might call it business. I tremble now at the thought.
I was filled with a zeal and hatred for those they called friends of Jesus of Nazareth. A cornerstone for the cause killing human beings... and souls.  I refused to see the truth, too blinded by the sole thought that the cause was honorable. In my hand I clutched a scroll granting me permission to do what I wanted with those friends of Jesus signed by the Sanhedrin. They trusted me to fix this rebellion and my strong will and stubborn streak refused to let me fail.
I was to blinded by religion and power to see the cold truth that I was the rebel not those who died an honorable death for a cause they knew to be true.
So here I was on the top of the religious world on that lonely road to Damascus. I gripped the thin scroll tighter in my hand and peered my face upward towards the blazing sun. All of a sudden the sky burst into a brilliant light. A blinding light. Before I realized what was happening I was on the hot desert floor with my hand shielding my face in a protective gesture. The voice that spoke was one of heart break and it tore my own.
"Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
"Who are you Lord?" I asked fearing the answer.
"I am Jesus whom you are persecuting."
At those words my whole mask of power, religion, and illusion of righteousness melted.
It took three days of being physically blind for me to see my lifelong spiritual blindness.  Now as I sit here wondering how many more would travel that beautiful rugged road to Damascus my pen scratches
For me to live is Christ to die is gain.
The story of Saul's conversion can be found in Acts chapter 9.

                                                                                                                    Written by Riley Henderson