1 Let everyone obey the government,

               For God’s the one who has established it,

               And there is no authority but that

Which God’s ordained, 2 and so he who rebels

               Against authority rebels against

               What God has instituted, 3 and he who

Rebels brings punishment upon himself.

               For rulers don’t scare people who are doing

               Right; but the evildoers will be scared.

So if you do not want to be afraid,

               Do what is right and he’ll commend you, 4 for

               He is the servant of the LORD to do

You good; but if you do what’s wrong, be scared,

               Because he does not bear the sword for nothing.

               He is God’s servant to bring punishment

Upon the wrongdoer, 5 and thus it is

               Important to obey authorities,

               Not just because you might be punished but

Also for conscience sake− 6 and this is why

               You must pay taxes, too, for they are God’s

               Servants who give their time to governing.

7 Pay everyone what he should have: If you

               Owe taxes, pay your taxes; if receipts

               Then pay receipts, if it’s respect, then pay

Respect, if honor, then give honor. 8 Let

               No debt remain unpaid except the debt

               Which is ongoing to love one another,

For if you love your neighbor, you will have

               Fulfilled the law, 9 because God’s laws, “Do not

               Commit adultery,” “Don’t murder,” “Do

Not steal,” “Don’t covet,” and whatever other

               Commandment there may be, are wrapped up in

               One guideline: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

10 Love does not harm its neighbor, and so love

               Is the fulfillment of the law. Another

               Reason for living right is this: 11 You know

How late it is: our time is running out.

               The hour has come for you to wake up from

               Your sleep, for our salvation’s nearer now

Than when we first believed: 12 The night is spent;

               The day is nearly here, so let’s cast off

               The deeds of darkness and put on the armor

Of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in

               The day; not in wild parties, drunkenness,

               Not in sex sin and hedonism, not

In fights and jealousy, 14 but ask the Lord

               Jesus Christ so you’ll live in righteousness,

               And don’t make plans to savor wickedness.

The Star-Spangled Banner

(From the Smithsonian:)

Francis Scott Key was a gifted amateur poet. Inspired by the sight of the American flag flying over Fort McHenry the morning after the bombardment, he scribbled the initial verse of his song on the back of a letter. Back in Baltimore, he completed the four verses (PDF) and copied them onto a sheet of paper, probably making more than one copy. A local printer issued the new song as a broadside. Shortly afterward, two Baltimore newspapers published it, and by mid-October it had appeared in at least seventeen other papers in cities up and down the East Coast.

This 19th century version (MP3) of the Star-Spangled Banner was performed on original instruments from the National Museum of American History’s collection. Arranged by G. W. E. Friederich, the music is played as it would have been heard in 1854.

The Star-Spangled Banner

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
’Tis the star-spangled banner – O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Climb with Me

Climb with Me

Jesus said He’s Way, Truth, and Life:
You reach the Father through Jesus Christ:
The seeking person tests His claims,
And the Spirit guides her to the Name.

What happens to you when you die?
The grave, the worms, you’re no more?
Or, you’re so good, you’ll fly up high?
Will your good works raise you to the Lord?

To Him, your works are only rags;
You come to Him by faith alone;
If works could do it, men would brag—
Through faith you’ll be a living stone

The valley’s low, the mountain’s high,
Let’s climb up to the mountain peaks:
He wants to hear your heart’s soft cry;
The prideful fall; He lifts the meek,

You’ve detoured to some dead-end trails
The bushes hid you from His light
You have lost heart, so many fails:
Come climb with me, He’ll make it right

Come worship Him who helps you run:
Let go the past that holds you back;
He died for you, the battle’s won:
He will supply the things you lack.

~Day Williams

I went to Worship Night at my church and scratched out this poem. I hope you like it.