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

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

 

 

 

CATCH 22

 

fisherman-239487_1920 (1).jpgThe “Catch 22” of life has tricked us, or there is a bind on us that seems to have no exits or hidden passageways so you thought.  This past year, past week, past few days had plenty of these for all of the world.  Didn’t this past year, past week, past few days also have great moments of calm like a calm lake when you are setting your fishing pole out at the first sunset or the tender joy seeing a new youngster’s first months of life and dependence on his or her parents and family?  Often what looks like the bleakest times of life are defined before they are truly even experienced.  Can you pause your mind and your mouth at a moment’s notice to take in all of the new life experience?  Are you like I am often times reacting to the experience even before I have truly enjoyed it and understood all of it?  Perhaps, this is the desire of instant gratification.

God’s miracles can be most defined many times in the bleakest times of life.  Isn’t it His Light of tender eyes, care, and mercy that we can behold?   Even in those times there is a warmth of his presence in our faith?  Sometimes you need to just get closer to that warmth of God, His Son Jesus, and improve that relationship all over again.  It begins at the heart, and it is also what saves the heart in the process.

Consider the love you have for others, yourself, and even the Maker of the Universe, and remember His eyes are upon everyone.

“The eyes of the Lord are everywhere. keeping watch on the wicked and the good” Proverbs 15:3 (N.I.V.)

Truly,

 

FAITH

Brighten your night

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Fear is what we need to turn around

The fear that captivates the mind

Liking to take hold of you as if the evil of this dark world has already won

Society has its ills; there is no doubting this

There is  a need to call out societies’ troubles as humanity

Do we take the time to look at our own personal fears

Lingering on the evil that is present

Why not face fear and say “No” you will not have control over me?

Would we rather run towards fear of not believing,

Leaving the hatred, the negative power that is created by the Origin of darkness.

 

Beautifying, illuminating fear is in contrast

The fear of God

This God of the beginnings and Mightiness does not promise

One simple gift and offer a substitute that lacks faithfulness and longevity

Fearing God instead brings inner fears relieved

Promises that if I am seeking God, I am trusting in spiritual provision

Why not fear God and say “I am going to run to a true light source not an imitation”

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”  John 1:5

 

 

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