“A Vision for Reno” by Day Williams

A Vision for Reno

Reno − the city of divorce,

The city of green felt and slots,

Where few have ever shown remorse,

Where drugs are sold and women bought−

Becomes transformed within a year

From Satan’s harmful realm of sin

To a stronghold where God appears

And his great army fights and wins.

Gamblers once seen to bet their green

Go kneel and pray on public streets,

Freezers that once were bare or lean

Are heaped, through gifts, with pounds of meats.

While thieves return their stolen goods,

With broken marriages restored,

People with plenty share their food

And sing their praises to the Lord.

The city blossoms with Good News,

With healings, prophecies and tongues.

No churches have sufficient pews

To seat the eager old and young.

A fresh wind blows the dark skies clear,

A rainfall cleanses city streets,

The Gospel is proclaimed by seers

To the policemen on their beats,

To housewives shopping in the malls,

To poor with carts of clothes and cans,

To children holding Barbie dolls

And to the lines of football fans.

In hospitals the beds are bare

As prayers bring patients back to health.

The city’s power lies in prayer,

The city boasts of sacred wealth.

Reporters, who descend in droves

To see what changed the gambling town,

View miracles like Jesus’ loaves

Inside a town turned upside down.

The news is broadcast everywhere,

From San Francisco to Cape Cod,

To Florida and Delaware,

That Reno knows the living God.

“We know there’s been a bad mistake,”

Remark the cynics in the East.

“Perhaps they’re actors, frauds and fakes−

It can’t be true it’s Kingdom yeast.”

Yet the sick keep coming to Reno,

And they keep leaving healed, with smiles,

As preachers teach in old casinos

And Satan’s ways go out of style.

In Reno Jesus rules the hearts,

Freedom in Christ has turned the key.

Rebirths of Christian healing arts

Unbind the blind, so they can see.

Pilgrims arrive to gain new lifts

And see Lord Jesus’ people shine.

Many receive the Spirit’s gifts

And God reveals Himself by signs.

As people see with the Spirit’s eyes,

The Word of God is spread around;

Those once called fools are known as wise,

As God converts the gambling town.

~Day Williams

THE ALBATROSS

THE ALBATROSS

Often, to amuse themselves, crew members
Capture an albatross, large bird of seas,
That follows, lazy friend of the voyage,
The boat gliding along the bitter gulfs.

Scarcely have they lain them down on the boards,
That these kings of azure, awkward and shy,
Piteously let out their great white wings
Similar to oars dragging at their sides.

This winged traveler, how clumsy and how weak!
Him, lately so fine, how comic, how plain!
The one leads on its beak with a pipe,
One mimes, limping, the cripple who could fly!

The Poet is like the prince of the clouds
Who haunts tempests and laughs at the archer;
Exiled onto the sun amid booing,
His giant wings keeping him from walking.

~Charles Baudelaire

NUMBERS CHAPTER THREE

NUMBERS CHAPTER THREE

1 This is the story of the family

Of Aaron and of Moses when the LORD
Conversed with Moses on Mount Sinai. 2 And

The names of Aaron’s sons were Nadab, who

Was firstborn, and Abihu, Ithamar,

And then Eleazar. 3 Those were the names

Of Aaron’s sons, anointed priests, who were

            Ordained to serve as priests. 4 But Nadab and

Abihu fell down dead before the LORD

When those two offered up unauthorized

Fire in his presence in the Sinai Desert.

They had no sons; so Eleazar and

Ithamar served alone as priests while Aaron

Their father was alive. 5 The LORD told Moses,

6 “Bring Levi’s tribe; present them to Priest Aaron

To help him, 7 and they must perform their duties

For him and for the whole community

Right at the Meeting Tent by doing work

They must do at the tabernacle. 8 They

Are to take care of all the furnishings

There for the Meeting Tent, which will fulfill

The obligations of the Israelites

By doing tabernacle work, 9 and give

Levites to Aaron and his sons; they are

The Israelites who give themselves entirely

To him. 10 Have Aaron and his sons to serve

As priests, and anybody else who comes

Up to the sanctuary must be killed.”

11 God also said to Moses, 12 “I have taken

The Levites from among the Israelites

In the place of the first male offspring of

Each woman Israelite. The Levites are

Mine, 13 for all the firstborn are mine. When

I struck the firstborn down in Egypt, I

Did set off for myself each firstborn in

Israel, whether man or animal.

They shall be mine. I am the LORD.” 14 The LORD

Told Moses in the Sinai Desert, 15 “Count

The Levites by their families and clans.

Count every male a month old or more.” 16 So

Moses did count them, as God told him to.

17 The names of Levi’s sons were: Gershon, Kohath

And, last, Merari. 18 And these were the names

Of Gershonite clans: Libni, Shimei.

19 And Kohathite clans: Amram, Izhar, Hebron

And Uzziel. 20 The Merarite clans: Mahli

And Mushi. These were Levite clans, by their

Families. 21 Gershon had the clans of Libnites

And Shimeites; these were the Gershonite

Clans. 22 Now the number of the males a month

Old or more who were counted was seven thousand

Five hundred. 23 And the clans of Gershonites

Were to pitch camp upon the west, behind

The tabernacle. 24 And Eliasaph

Led families of the Gershonites, 25 and at

            The Meeting Tent the Gershonites took care

Of tabernacle and tent, coverings,

The curtain at the entrance to the Tent

Of Meeting, 26 courtyard curtains, curtain at

The entrance to the courtyard that surrounds

The tabernacle and the altar, and

The ropes−and everything that is related

To using them. 27 To Kohath were the clans

Of Amramites and Izharites, the He-

Bronites and Uzzielites; all these were

Kohathite clans. 28 The number of all males

A month old or more was eight thousand and

Six hundred. Kohathites were responsible

To take care of the sanctuary; 29 clans

Of Kohathites pitched camp upon the south

Side of the tabernacle. 30 And the son

Of Uzziel, Elizaphan, was head

Of clans of Kohathites. 31 Their duties were

            To take care of the ark, the table, lampstand,

The altars, and the sanctuary items

Used in the ministry, the curtain, and

All things related to their use. 32 The chief

Leader of Levites was Eleazar

Son of Priest Aaron, for he was appointed

To supervise the ones responsible

To take care of the sanctuary. 33 To

Merari were the clans of Mahlites and

            Mushites; these were the clans of Merarites.

                  34 The number of the males a month old or

More who were counted was six thousand and

Two hundred. 35 Family leader of the clans

Of Merarites was Zuriel the son

Of Abihail; they were to camp upon

            The tabernacle’s north side. 36 Merarites’

            Duties were to care for the tabernacle

Frames, and its crossbars, bases, posts, all its           

Equipment, and all that’s related to

Their use, 37 plus posts of the surrounding courtyard

With their ropes, bases, and their tent pegs. 38 Moses

            And Aaron and his sons were to encamp

East of the tabernacle, toward the sunrise,

Before the Meeting Tent. They took care of

            The sanctuary for the Israelites.

Anybody else who approached the spot

Was to be put to death. 39 In all, the Levites

Counted at God’s command by Moses and

Aaron according to their clans, including

Each male who was a month old or more, was

Twenty-two thousand. 40 God told Moses, “Count

All the male firstborn Israelites who are

A month old or more and write down their names.

41 Take Levites for me in place of the firstborn

Israelites, and the Levites’ livestock in

Place of all firstborn of the livestock of

The Israelites. I am the LORD.” 42 So Moses

Counted all firstborn of the Israelites,

As God commanded him. 43 The total number

Of firstborn males a month old or more, listed

By name, was twenty-two thousand two hundred

Seventy-three. 44 The LORD told Moses, too:

45 “Take Levites in the place of all the firstborn

Of Israel, and take the Levites’ livestock

In place of their own livestock. Levites shall

Be mine. I am the LORD. 46 And to redeem

Two hundred seventy-three Israelites,

The firstborn, who exceed the number of

The Levites, 47 take five shekels for each one,

By sanctuary shekel, which weighs in

At twenty gerahs. 48 Give the money to

Redeem the other Israelites to Aaron

And his sons.” 49 Therefore Moses gathered money

For the redemption from the ones who went

            Over the number Levites had redeemed.

50 And from the firstborn of the Israelites

He took in silver weighing in at

One thousand and three hundred sixty-five

Shekels, by sanctuary shekel. 51 Moses

Gave Aaron and his sons the money for

Redemption, as the word of God told him.