"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Yours Is The Earth And Everything That's In It IF

Rachelle and I had the privilege this week of eating supper with Dale and Enid Rust, two wonderful believers and fellow members of Emmanuel, Enid. Dale is a very successful businessman with investments in several states. Rachelle and I enjoyed the fellowship and we both learned a great deal from these two wonderful saints. Their humility, grace and wisdom was refreshing to us. Today, Dale sent me an email which contained another tidbit of wisdom that really spoke to my heart. It is a poem written by Rudyard Kipling (pictured left) entitled "IF."

Rudyard Kipling (30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936) was a British author and poet who was born in Bombay, India. He is the author of The Jungle Book (1894) Kim (1901) and The Man Who Would Be King (1888). His poems, including Mandalay (1890), Gunga Din (1890), and If— (1910) are as well known as his books.

Kipling is one of the most popular writers in English history. The author Henry James said of him: "Kipling strikes me personally as the most complete man of genius (as distinct from fine intelligence) that I have ever known." In 1907, Kipling was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first English language writer to receive the prize, and to date he remains its youngest recipient.

The Poem "IF" is written from the perspective of a father who is giving advice to his son. The poem, printed below, is another evidence that God is able to speak through the arts to His people.

"IF" by Rudyard Kipling

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!


Thy Peace said...

Psalm 27.
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When evil men advance against me
to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.

3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.

4 One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.

5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.

6 Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the LORD.

7 Hear my voice when I call, O LORD;
be merciful to me and answer me.

8 My heart says of you, "Seek his face!"
Your face, LORD, I will seek.

9 Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
O God my Savior.

10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the LORD will receive me.

11 Teach me your way, O LORD;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.

12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
breathing out violence.

13 I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.

14 Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.

Thy Peace said...

My Utmost For His Highest - August 4th - The Brave Comradeship of God.
"Then He took unto Him the twelve." Luke 18:31

The bravery of God in trusting us! You say - "But He has been unwise to choose me, because there is nothing in me; I am not of any value." That is why He chose you. As long as you think there is something in you, He cannot choose you because you have ends of your own to serve; but if you have let Him bring you to the end of your self-sufficiency then He can choose you to go with Him to Jerusalem, and that will mean the fulfilment of purposes which He does not discuss with you.

We are apt to say that because a man has natural ability, therefore he will make a good Christian. It is not a question of our equipment but of our poverty, not of what we bring with us, but of what God puts into us; not a question of natural virtues of strength of character, knowledge, and experience - all that is of no avail in this matter. The only thing that avails is that we are taken up into the big compelling of God and made His comrades (cf. 1 Cor. 1:26-30). The comradeship of God is made up out of men who know their poverty. He can do nothing with the man who thinks that he is of use to God. As Christians we are not out for our own cause at all, we are out for the cause of God, which can never be our cause. We do not know what God is after, but we have to maintain our relationship with Him whatever happens. We must never allow anything to injure our relationship with God; if it does get injured we must take time and get it put right. The main thing about Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain and the atmosphere produced by that relationship. That is all God asks us to look after, and it is the one thing that is being continually assailed.

Thy Peace said...

Wiki > If--.
According to Kipling in his autobiography Something of Myself, posthumously published in 1937, the poem was inspired by Dr Leander Starr Jameson, who in 1895 led a raid by British forces against the Boers in South Africa, subsequently called the Jameson Raid.[1] This defeat increased the tensions that ultimately led to the Second Boer War. The British press, however, portrayed Jameson as a hero in the middle of the disaster, and the actual defeat as a British victory.

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same

Wiki > Rudyard Kipling.

Google Books > Rudyard Kipling.

Ken said...

Thanks Wade, this is one of my favorites.

Rex Ray said...

Thanks Wade and Thy Peace,

I’ve never knew the background of “If” even though our father was trying to get my brother and I memorize it before we were ten.

David Simpson said...

What a contrast between this and your immediately preceding post...

Kipling's poem is so positive, uplifting, and rich in verse that you must spend time with each line....

On the other hand, Bill Hicks possessed an extremely unique insight and his brand of dark biting comedy, which ultimately grew too offensive for me, had the same kind of ability...

I don't know if either were born again- just thought the juxtaposition of the two was quite interesting.

Wade Burleson said...


Good insight.


Andrew said...

Nice to visit this blog..great information..

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