The Valley

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Everybody wants it:
An eternal summer and a villa—
Carefree life in a hamlet
A larder chock full
Fruit ripe for the picking
Bread rising in the oven
The aroma of sweet comfort
Cut cheese for the sharing
Busy, happy work on the table
Butterflies in the garden
Fresh ocean breezes
Open doors and sun-drenched windows
Neighbors with friendly gossip
to share a bottle of wine with—

photo_verybig_10095

Mutitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision!
For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision!
The sun and moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining.¹
 
Everybody wants it:
A life without sorrow
No bumps in the road
The future nice and easy
Jobs suited to the liking
Nations flourishingFHA / HUD - Joan Carroll Group
Families thriving
Prodigals returning
Health abounding and pain disappearing
like water in the mist
Wealth and wisdom without measure
Peace overflowing
Justice for the asking—

photo_verybig_10095Mutitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision!
For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision!
The sun and moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining.
 
article-0-16295EB3000005DC-196_634x431Everybody wants it:
but how many have it?
A day without feeling hunger
for a home where no one’s missing
where need can’t choke contentment—

just one day without ill-words
or locked doors against thieves
against murderers in the streets
without hospitals and disease
stalking all but the dead—

Michelle-obama-bringbackourgirlsa day when hope remains
pure and untarnished
without corrupt puppets
in thrones of power
raging against injustice
while the ignorant and the poor
cry out for relief—

a day without seeking
blindly for something
we’ve spent so much time ignoring
we can’t even name it—

photo_verybig_10095Mutitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision!
For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision!
The sun and moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining. 
 
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Nobody wants it:
To hear words of warning
That a decision is demanded
Now the gospel’s been taken
From every mountain
To the corners of the world
Everyone in the valley
Multitudes gravitating
Sheep and goats deciding
Before the day of the Lord
That comes without warning
Like a thief in the night
A sudden unveiling
Of heaven’s eternal light
Or hell’s unending darkness.

photo_verybig_10095Mutitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision!
For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision!
The sun and moon are darkened, 
and the stars withdraw their shining. 

Will you tell them?
Oh tell them!
Will you tell them
they’re standing
just where you’re standing
in the valley of decision—

before it’s too late?

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¹Quotation from Joel 3:14-15

1 Thessalonians 5:2-11 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
 Matthew 25:31-46: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
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