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Sunday, September 15, 2019


Friends communicate. Whether frequently or infrequently, friends communicate. If I cease to text, call, or mail you as I once did, then you would logically have to question whether I was ever really your friend. Perhaps I just needed something from you; some gift, some talent, some self-affirmation.

I miss hearing from you. Life is so hurried and we are all so busy. May you forgive me if I have ceased to communicate? I renounce now any resentment or feeling of betrayal that may have resulted from the abrupt cutting off of communication. You are a righteous saint of God. He alone is all wise, holy, and the focus of our spiritual disciplines. May the grace of our Lord be with us like a healing stream, continuously, until the day of the Lord’s return when we shall be perfected in Him. Though I be not worthy of your favor, I desire it. May grace abound to us. Amen.

© 2009 Brian L Hunter


Sunday, January 20, 2019

With This Ring I Thee Wed by Brian Hunter 11/9/14

A ring upon the sovereign hand of God (Jeremiah 3:14),
Forged ere before time was for His beloved (1 Peter 1:20, Revelation 13:8),
Reflects such glorious faithfulness entwined (Proverbs 27:19, 2 Corinthians 3:18),
As trusting babes feed hungrily (1 Peter 2:2-3), bells chime (Exodus 28:33-35).

The covenant thus signed in precious blood (Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20)
Doth seal eternity for those inclined (2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13)
To harden not the heart drawn up by grace (Psalm 95:8, Hebrews 3:8-18)
Nor doubt the promises of heaven's call (2 Timothy 1:9, 1 Peter 2:21).

And at the feast prepared for all His saints (Matthew 22:8, Revelation 19:6-9)
A moment long-awaited with great hope (Matthew 24:4-5, 11:23-27, John 14:1-3),
All trials and suffering here proven to be (Romans 5:3, James 1:3)
No less than bricks in place upon the wall (Nehemiah 4:17). 

But oh, "It's hard," we say, fire purging dross
and purifying silver within hearts (Psalms 12:6).
The husbandman plows (John 15:1) yet throughout the night (Psalm 30:5)
For the joy so set before Him from the start (Hebrews 12:2).

© 2014 Brian L Hunter


Thursday, January 26, 2017

American Evangelical Political Dynamite Trumps Scripture

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." (Galatians 5:19-21)

War is the quintessential evidence that the flesh loves conflict. The flesh is at enmity with God (Romans 8:7), cannot love God, and, despite the most ardent self-identification as Christian, is a willing tool of the spirit of Antichrist when fed a steady diet of hatred, finger-pointing, contention, baseless accusation, unkind words (Proverbs 15:1), and strife.

"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." (Proverbs 15:1)

"Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom." (Proverbs 13:10) When members of the religious elite, the modern-day pharisaical consensus, tweets, posts, or otherwise goes on record speaking in a manner that implies that the gospel is aligned with unloving and unseasoned hate speech (Matthew 5:44, Colossians 4:6), the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10-12), schism in the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:10-25), unforgiveness (Matthew 6:15), and other distinguishing qualities of spiritual immaturity, hypocrisy, and self righteousness, civil war looms as a viable outcome. This is good news for doomsday preppers. However, the gospel it is not (Luke 2:10). Tidings of good news it is not. An answer to Jesus' prayer in the seventeenth chapter of the Gospel of John it is not (John 17:21).

Unity? What is that among Evangelical political pundits in the media? Where is the love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)? Where is the joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control against which there is no law (Galatians 5:23)? Finding evidence of spiritual fruit on the news or on social media is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, precisely because Satan is the heavyweight champion prince of the power of the airwaves (Ephesians 2:2) that so easily beset us (Hebrews 12:1) night and day with information that is infinitely less than true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report (Philippians 4:8).

Is the Bible unclear about the fact that if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, we are to think on these things rather than the things of this world (1 John 2:15)? God forbid! Do our angry and unloving posts and tweets reveal that we are in any way devoted to one another in brotherly love (John 13:35) or esteeming one another in honor with humility of mind and regarding one another as more important than ourselves (Romans 12:10 NASB)? Nay. "Because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires." (James 1:20 NIV)

Shame on us! Let us repent and rededicate our unguarded hearts (Proverbs 4:23) to the One God who, while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8), loved us perfectly, enough to send His only begotten Son (John 3:16) to die a substitutionary death in order to save us from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). Hallelujah! Why now do we scratch at each other's eyes, reclaiming that to which we should remain dead (Romans 6:1-2) and entangling ourselves perpetually with the yoke of bondage from which Christ died to make us free (Galatians 5:1)?

Help us, Almighty God, to live free today, unencumbered and unspotted by the things of this world (James 1:26-27). Help us to participate in the unification of Christ's body (Romans 12:4-5, 1 Corinthians 12:12). Awaken us spiritually to the fact that "there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism (Ephesians 4:5 ISV). Forgive us our trespasses and empower us supernaturally to forgive those who have trespassed against us (Matthew 6:12-14), Father. Renew a right (Psalm 51:10), mature, loving (1 Corinthians 13:4-8), fruitful spirit (Galatians 5:22-26) that is better able to bear witness with Your Holy Spirit when, encumbered by feelings, we are ignorant of what we should be praying (Romans 8:14-16). Help us, Lord! In Jesus' precious name we pray in faith, believing that You are doing it despite what we see with our own eyes. Amen and amen.

© 2016 Brian L Hunter


Monday, July 1, 2013

"To a Waterfowl" A Critical Analysis

This is a critical response to the American romantic poet William Cullen Bryant’s poem, "To a Waterfowl." Although there is a creative use of allegory which depicts natural objects in the narrative as being equal in meaning to themes and subjects that are completely outside the narrative, the interplay of words, ideas, and sentiments meld and culminate in this poem as a cohesive and sustainable fountain of imagery that led me to deduce, quite romantically, that, no matter how circumstances present themselves in life, every life is directed by the providence of God.

The central motive of the poem does indeed seem to be a moral teaching about God’s benevolent providence. The waterfowl is an allegory for heartbreak. Figuratively speaking, the bird is only used as a visual reference. Allegorically speaking, however, perhaps to people living in the city or people outside the confines of the church, the waterfowl may represent the struggle every individual who has ever existed experiences in life. It seems clear to me that the vulnerable little bird is on a journey and that he has an adversary. This adversary, a hunter or fowler, represents the pursuing threat of death or unknown peril. #writinghelps

Uncertainty in the form of fog alludes to obscurity “through rosy depths” and “crimson sky,” whereas, “plashy brink” bespeaks water, peace, and contemplative things such as choice of direction. Life’s uncertain destination, a “pathless coast” denotes an unseen power. Is this power God? Will there be obstacles to the objective? Intrigue is a common romantic theme, one of embarking on a journey like a river progressing to the ocean. Any traveler is apt to experience weariness persevering alone, outnumbered, overwhelmed, and melancholy in the face of such adversity. “All day thy wings have fann'd.” Yet, as night acquiesces to the dawning of day, frustration and melancholy give way to thoughts of an end to toil and travel. The waterfowl triumphantly arrives at a seeming place of rest, the intended destination where undoubtedly a jubilant scream of celebration is found, albeit muted by contemplation of this illusive achievement or arrival.

Further on, a mention of toil indicates a figurative death on the horizon with day as metaphor for life and night as that of death, the ultimate permanent end to struggle. The bird’s flight and subsequent demise culminates in the phrase, “swallowed up in the abyss of heaven.” Life, “thou art gone.” He who orchestrates all life, God Almighty, from breath to breath and age to age, through all the developmental stages of life, guides each life along its course as He dictates. I, as the reader, was directed to look literally at natural things but think very figuratively about the power of God exhibited in nature with romantic allusions to the Bible through the mention of heaven and the usage of archaic and melodious language such as “thou art gone.” One might say that, with this poem, Bryant killed two birds with one stone. The thematic focus begins with the bird through personification and leads progressively to the author who learns a lesson by witnessing the bird. In this way, Bryant makes the point that every experience counts and is significant both in nature and in life. Hence,  the poet herein makes the poem relevant to the myriad conditions of humanity, the loneliness of both the waterfowl and the author within the sovereign providence of God. 

© 2009 Brian L Hunter 


Sunday, March 31, 2013

"A Pair of Silk Stockings" by Kate Chopin (Hunter, 2009)

Mrs. Sommers, having come into possession of an unexpected windfall, chooses to temporarily escape from the dreary responsibilities of a rather common, penny-pinching existence to enjoy some of the finer things in life for a fleeting moment of lightness, free from the usual shackles of conscientiousness expected of a wife and mother. We are given no reason to believe that Mrs. Sommers had ever previously neglected the necessities of her family in order to selfishly enjoy such a fleeting pleasure as any woman would be entitled to by virtue of her gender. I see her purchase of the silk stockings and subsequent indulgences as inevitable temptations given the sudden circumstances of unexpected cash in lieu of the regular obligations being as satisfied as they ever were. This momentous event of hedonism could hardly tip the scales of justice when weighed against a lifetime of abstention, temperance, and moderation for the sake of honoring the unwritten contract to satisfy matrimonial obligation and motherly pride. Hence, the theme of escapism herein is universal. We often consider subservience as a key issue addressed by the women’s movement and feminism. However, in “A Pair of Silk Stockings,” the issue of economics is brought into focus with both gender and class taking center stage. I do sympathize with Mrs. Sommers.

This short story makes clear the fact that to be a wife and mother one has to be an excellent bookkeeper and administrator in order to meet the ever-changing and abundant needs of her family. I would imagine that rare was the occasion when time, opportunity, and disposable income would be available to any one of the lower or working class, whether they be male or female, in order to enjoy such a mildly opulent day as Mrs. Sommers had on the day described in this story. She was a victim of circumstances and to call her selfish is to ignore the greater contexts of class, gender, precedence, and economics indicated by the author. I am convinced that Mrs. Sommers betrayed neither Christian ethics nor her family by her actions. No amount of Scripture considered in context could dissuade my conclusion that this woman had consistently practiced self-sacrifice for her family and also suffered unfathomable indignities as a "have not" in American society up until that day.

There is also no reason to believe that she will not return to her selfless and dutiful life as thrifty wife and mother at the story's end. From the standpoint of developments and movements in American society and how they are reflected in the Literature written throughout our history, taking into consideration the setting of this tale, I am trying to have an open mind to the complexities of Mrs. Sommers’ dilemma and not take the easy route of pointing my finger at an act of sin. The point I am trying to make is that there is more to this story than that. Mrs. Sommers usually shopped for her family’s needs at the expense of her own. She usually never treated herself to anything nice, not even an occasional luncheon or the theater. She would usually fight tooth and nail to secure the necessities of life at a bargain for her family’s sake. This story does not paint her as a terrible sinner, but rather as a woman usually inclined towards sainthood.

This story is about a very unusual day in the life of an extraordinarily virtuous woman who, having otherwise sacrificed life and limb for her family for years, had enough self respect and self esteem left to take advantage of a fleeting fortuitous circumstance and temporarily break out of the box of her usually studious and exemplary way of life. Her thriftiness had perhaps saved her family fifteen dollars a thousand times over throughout the years of her marriage. I am not so quick as others to cast a stone at her for one single, documented, isolated incident of non-puritan action in the 1890s when women were beginning to be thought of as more than chattel in a male-dominated society. Consider that Mrs. Sommers had likely been ordered by her husband occasionally to bring home a thirty dollar box of cigars or some other frivolity for him to enjoy with his buddies. I am moved, not to condemn, but to defend the honor of this heroine.

© 2009 Brian L Hunter