To Everlasting

 

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The wearied soul does not sleep

He does not find a moments rest

For, he has not done enough

The man made law has put him to test

Nor has he collected all his treasures yet

 

A test of love and faith and truth

This test was Not

The test was lust, flesh, and want

Again led to fall short of his own needs

 

To these that wait in faith, love, and truth

A lively Kingdom awaits

Murders, drunkenness, and hatred has no place

Taking the hand of another here

Time to hear, laugh, and deeply care

 

Let the days we share now be called

Everlasting

They aren’t moments, months, or years

but Everlasting

The one, Everlasting Joy and the other

Everlasting Hate

Sweet and Salty Prayers

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Have you tried it?  We are offered all kinds of tastes and treats.  The candies, snacks, pops and beverages, and treats for a Pre-K student, elementary, high school or adult goes through each week are rich and draw the taste buds for more.  Looking back at this week, the tastes were just as important for the younger as they were for the older.  In Pre-K the Moms and Muffins day brought the delight of  muffins, mini cinnamon rolls, and orange juice.  The older we got, we moved to baseball snacks from the concessions like the saltier ones and more energetic kinds like popcorn and sports drinks.  The high school  youngster made his own salty snack of choice with half a bag of tortilla chips, shredded cheddar cheese, torn tortillas, and all mixed in to be microwaved for a minute or so to melt the cheese.  He had to also take a bottle of pop with him to school also for some of the caramel colors and sweeteners as well!   On a day out, we parents didn’t fail to choose coffee, excellent chocolate, and a chai tea latte to end our afternoon lunch experience.  Each of these treats were momentary delights all worth the temporary indulgence.

Prayer, like these tastes and treats, has a delight that may seem to last for only that moment of prayer, but if we could think for a moment of the expanse of the prayer world, as well as the life long lasting effect, we would be going to God in prayer as often or more often like we would our favorite snacks.  Caring about another, our world, our country, our own families, and our very own friends could be shared more from the heart.  God and Jesus the Savior,  act in kindness, goodness, and faithfulness seeking that all may come to the knowledge of the saving grace offered but also the delight and expanse of the offer.  The action of one asking and caring already has an effect because of the compassion and love it already holds.  Even more powerful than that is to carry that prayer to the All knowing and All powerful creator who can take as many requests at a time as He wills.

What if we went to God the Father, and in the name of the Lord Jesus, with a different attitude, so maybe we have disappointment, and we shared that with him.  Wouldn’t he want to hear his child’s cry for help or one in need of a Savior?  It seems there is no need to cover up our requests and take them to the one who cares.

“You desire but do not have, so you kill.  You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.  You do not have because you do not ask God.”  James 4:2 (N.I.V.)

Truly,

FAITH

 

 

Halfway at Forty

 

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While one daydreams about turning that magic age of 40, one wants to celebrate what appears to be a life half lived.  This year new thoughts come to mind, but it is by this time that maybe college is far off in the past, the children are all growing and taking their own journeys, and the thought of the last decades of lasting life impact and meaning are strung out on the horizon.

Each passing day, it is funny how new personal and family expectations come to mind.  There is a point that even though I think about the daily expectations that sometimes I want to remind myself not to think of those, but instead the day doesn’t really allow that for anyone unless of course you find yourself taking a really great nap.  Thankfully, this week I had one of those days.  I am sounding older already.  I have also begun to think about what a much more condensed life might look like and what I really need in my life.  When my oldest was growing up, we would tag a lot of agenda items onto our day all for the sheer effort of trying new sports, new clubs, new experiences, to help our family develop into what was our thought of “well rounded,” and as you are constantly re-evaluating your year to year experiences, there can be a place for that, but at 40, I am sure some of these scheduled efforts are not always worth the daily consumption.

In the center of the home, I desire to look deeply for the joy and the faithfulness to a vision not merely for me arriving at my dreams in my family relationship to satisfy perhaps all of the educational, familial, and spiritual aims, which I seem to enjoy like most, but to align and realign to the growing needs and desires of my family.  In the last fifteen years, with children I see how the family runs freely.  It also trickles out into many channels in the oceans of life.

I am beginning to see, as many can relate to; it never is all about us as parents, and eventually those fifteen-year-old sons and daughters will be changing and adapting to satisfy there own relational needs with corsages, boutonnieres, new music with wireless speakers, driving lessons and much more challenging course work.  Some way, all that you thought was easy to manage for your children’s life becomes their inertia that propels your living forward.

In a book titled Fierce Convictions by Karen Swallow Prior, I appreciate her explanation of the family and marriage according to Hannah More, “A happy marriage was a channel for allowing the individual to satisfactorily employ whatever gifts and talents had been bestowed on him or her by God for the benefit of all, within the family and without.”  I like this because the design of “for the benefit of all” resonates that turning forty with a family is a beneficial relationship to hold onto with joy and love.  It is also one that needs to be cherished realizing that eventually the family choices set in motion will be continued with their own inertia.

Doesn’t the family life develop and change in ways that are new and exciting and sometimes rather unexpectedly?  During those times, we can draw strength knowing that a happy life is God’s love for each member of the family and always seeking to have more of His love and joy.

“A new command I give you; love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”  John 13:34 (N.I.V.)

 

Truly,

 

 

FAITH

 

 

 

Triggered to Love

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Trapped in the middle of going forward, staying where you are and backtracking is a state that seems to perplex the mind relentlessly.  For those of us that like to hold to a very strong conviction to serve others in our community, school, workplace, church sometimes these areas of service can be very difficult in measuring success or growth for others.  Following through on our convictions to serve, there will be times when it doesn’t all look positive.  One of the books that I ran to in my faith research was a book titled, Willing to Walk on Water, by Caroline Barnett.

To introduce her and recommend her book, Caroline Barnett married Senior Pastor Matthew Barnett and the two currently serve thousands of inner-city families and individuals with the basic necessities of life at the Dream Center in Los Angeles.  Her story is beyond miraculous as to how God has grown this ministry in “God sized” ways including the support of volunteers and financial resources that have been provided.  With all of the growth and visible favor, she describes the challenges that come with not always being able to calculate the good that is actually accomplished.  She recounts stories of families that have been greatly impacted by the ministry as well as those that seem to have relapsed.

While reading, Willing to Walk on Water, there were a couple of key reminders that one in a state of indecision needs to resort to and gather concretely in the constructs of the spiritual mind.

First, don’t let your mind play tricks on you.  What is healthy is that you love wherever you are and much of the time you will be asked to love in “less than lovable” circumstances.  Just as you go about loving them, go knowing God loves you dearly.

Second, let God love you.  Being willing to fall in love with who God is and that you were a part of his plan all along to bring him glory.  You can be one to show his handiwork, his interest in your soul, and his patient plan from the beginning to bring a Great Savior to redeem the souls of man.

Third, read God’s truth because it will put your mind at ease if you believe it to be the word of God.   His word is the source of all timeless truth.  I can remember plenty of times in sorrow that I found Jesus to be a Savior that sorrows with those that sorrow.

“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.  Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” Isaiah 53:3 (N.I.V.)

Indecision and lack of self-assurance can creep up on us, but I find when I lack control, God is willing to direct me if I submit to his ways which are better than my own.  Have you become at times less than assured of God’s providential care; I pray you will find rest of mind as you go to him.

Truly,

 

FAITH

 

 

 

 

 

Remodeling the interior

 

tools-1209764_640-1When I have been faced by my greatest giants and I try to retaliate immediately without feeling loved by God, I don’t pour out God’s love.  Not pouring out God’s love and his best of me by this truth, His word, His dedication and devotion, then I may appear as an empty leader.  It is then that I must ask am I a living sacrifice to be used of God in the places he puts me or an empty bucket without his love, grace, compassion and mercy being overflowing?

Let me give you the analogy related to a remodel; one of the practical, inexpensive resources that I saw used repeatedly, during our over a year long project, was that of a bucket.  These come in all sizes.  You can purchase the ten quart, one gallon, two gallon, and the five gallon pail.  The five gallon pail will cost about $25.00.  You can find the buckets in all different sizes and colors as well.  During the remodel, the buckets were useful for the painters washing brushes and the tradesmen’s tools that would be carried through out the whole house like the smallest of items the nails and dry wall tape to the larger hammers and drills.  While the project was being done, I did not find a tradesman including the painters, carpenters, mason, electricians, or plumbers that did not need a bucket of some sort.  Buckets are useful even for the  general clean up after a remodel project, and they are often the last items left after the project is completely finished.  They fulfill their purpose.

It was by taking a look at a effective bucket that I realized what one fills his life up with really does make a difference.  I could fill my life up with all kinds of troubles because they are there.  There are the challenges of living like raising children, financial pressures, marital differences, lack of motivation, illnesses, injuries, and we can name many others.  From the other angle,  I could also look at the Almighty God in his infinite power to look to him and for him to love me and fill me.  Even in trouble, the love of these challenges will not fill me like a useful vessel and the incorruptible love of God and his son Jesus.

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” Romans 12:11 (NIV)

Living like a bucket being filled with God’s love; I can be assured I will have a Godly resource to share.  Do you want to be filled more with his incorruptible love; I know it’s more than the mind can comprehend at times, but I’d sure venture to explore it.

Truly,

 

 

FAITH