Monday, December 30, 2013

Goodbye (part 2)

I'm officially beginning my countdown towards the year 2014, albeit with less than a few minutes to go in 2013.  

I can say without a doubt, good riddance 2013.  We have all heard the term, it's not how you start but how you finish.  Well, I finished 2013 on a down note, just like several years prior.  

2013 was a transition year for me.  I had to publicly deal with some issues that were private.  These issues brought me some shame and caused me to evaluate myself in regards to other peoples and most importantly God.  Introspection is good if one deals with the things that arise and use it as a catalyst for change.  Hopefully a change for the better.  
The apostle Peter comes to mind and how he had to deal with the "weighty" issue of having denied knowing Jesus.  My mind tries to imagine Peter sitting somewhere by himself wanting to die, and I'm sure he did.  But I also imagine Peter, remembering all that he had experienced with Jesus before his denial and all that he had heard and done while with the other apostles when they were sent forth.  It was those things that kept him from succumbing to the attacks of Satan.  The internal struggles Peter had were now out in the open.  How would he respond?

Did Peter struggle with his identity?  Did Peter question his decision to 'follow Him'?  Yes.  I too have struggled to find my identity in Gods plan for me and what He would have me to do.  I too, by my actions, have at times denied The Christ.  I too have wept and questioned my decision to 'follow Him'.  

"In the moment" I did not know what to do.  All this conflict and turmoil that appeared in others and kept so neatly contained within, by me, has come rushing forward.  Deal with me, deal with me it says.  I realized that if I'm to talk about the peace of God and love and joy and all things that are God, then I need to have those virtues that are part of Gods character, a part of me.....FIRST.

What do I want for 2014?  This could take a while.  Just kidding.  

I want to rely more on the God who created me.  No!! I want to totally rely on Him.  
I want to connect with more people who are 'God oriented' and are driven to serve Him and only Him.  
I want to expand my reach into the community for His kingdom purposes.   

The spiritual battles will go on and the flesh will seek its own times to rise up but.....
God is still God and He knows all that will happen to me before it happens.  
Nothing happens to me without His permission.  

Peter came to this realization and once he did, well, you know the results.  He become the man God intended him to be.  Only by faith and obedience.  
I've questioned God more than I should have this past year.  For the coming year I want to thank Him more.  I want to lay down any rights I think I may have and really embrace what He wants.  
I want to recognize His Lordship over all things and know that He is in control. 

So, 2013, I bid thee adieu.  

Happy New Year

It is now 2014.  Happy New Year.  

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Goodbye (part 1)

 
 
 
 
Tomorrow's can be hard, because we often live in yesterdays. 
God says "A new beginning awaits you".
Are you/I/we ready to embrace
our new beginning?
 

 
 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Hmm!!!!!

Will I be left behind with all that I am trying to leave behind?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Five=Community

My friends and I would lay on the ground or in the grass and either look at the stars at night or the clouds by day.  We had the warmth of the sun by day and a cool breeze at night.  Time slowly passed by and we would marvel at what the heavenlies revealed to us.  

It was a time of simplicity.  It was a time where real friendships were forged, the kind of friendships that lasted a lifetime.  Going from memory, video consoles and games were in its infancy.  During the summer months when school was out we would play several football games in the empty lot behind one of the apartment complexes.  (This was a dirt lot and served as our artificial turf.  The enclosed church yard, lush green grass, served as our neutral field when other streets challenged us to a game.). Not quite sure why or how it came about, but the church leaders never scolded us for using their field!  We on occasion helped keep it clean and well manicured.  

My minds eye recalls all of the block parties and birthday parties we all shared growing up.  Kids of all ages running around and parents gleefully looking on.  Hmm!!  I can still smell some of the food and hear the hearty laughter as life seemed to be at its best.  Comparing those days, no, years to today and I say to myself, "were we living in a bubble?"  Everybody knew everybody.  Parents, grandparents, cousins, brothers, etc.  There were no strangers living within a mile of our little community.  
Many a nights were spent sitting on porches and enjoying one another's company.  We spoke of ambitions and dreams, fears and failures.  Yet, I can only recall very few sad times.  Life did present difficulties for the many families and still we carried on. 

Eventually, one by one some of the older kids graduated high school and either went off to college, joined the military or startng working full-time.  Rights of passage into adulthood.    Now the younger kids like myself were the ones being looked up to by those who came into being later.  We became the examples and guardians of a future generation.  

We all lived life day-to-day.  As children we did not have a true understanding of what it took for our parents to make all of this possible!  No way!!!  Whenever a need came up whether it be babysitting, transportation or financial, an emergency or a death we all rallied to help one of our own.  

Looking back I can recall how the early church (Acts 2:42-47) and its members sold their possessions and goods to help out others members within their community who had a need.  

"Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common and sold their possessions and goods and divided them among all, as anyone who had a need.  Continuing daily in the temple and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people."

COMMUNITY....

That is what I miss the most between 'generation then' and 'generation now'.  I miss knowing who my neighbors are and watching our two families become one.  Community nowadays is just a name on a building or bank.  Society today is at a disadvantage because they have no sense of community.  The only commonality amongst people today is the town they live in.  The early church had it right because it says "they had all things in common."  

After while we too moved away and I began too feel a great loss because of my friends (family) I was leaving behind.  Will things be the same?  Will I meet and come to know people like the ones I grew up with?  Will we have anything in common?  I can answer yes to all of those questions.  More importantly the people from my new community met some of the people from my first community and we essentially formed our own town.  NOT!!!!

Once again back to the early church.  Because of persecution they had to leave their present community and start over in other towns and cities.  In doing this the gospel message was brought to many people who would not have heard it otherwise, therefore uniting the communities through Jesus Christ.  My family was not forced to move because of persecution, however, the two communities I was a part became united by my family and I. My new grammar school played my old grammar school in basketball quite often and many more friendships were formed.  Who would have thought that?  Certainly not me.   

COMMUNITY....

This is what Jesus meant when He told the apostles in Mark 16 "go out into all the world..."

The "Community" is still alive, but only as the people within that community "go out and invite others to become a part of the community." 

What if the early church had refused to go out and share the gospel?  Might the message died there?  I'm not sure.  However, there would not have been much growth associated with that particular community.  If we are not extending ourselves then as born again followers of Jesus Christ then we cannot grow and we will wilt and die.  
If that happens then what will happen to the community, or the body of Christ?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Just before I start work

I look out at the trees and literally see their nakedness.  They are without the natural covering God provided for them, leaves and the birds who often times inhabits them.  Some of the trees are still green with color and others are dark and pale.  It is a stark contrast to all of the houses that now for the background where before the trees hid them. 

As I sit here and type this blog my mind goes to the Old Testament story of Noah and his sons after the flood.  Most notably Ham the middle son.  Noah had gotten drunk and was passed out naked in his tent.  Ham went into the tent and saw his fathers condition and told his two brothers what he saw.  How Ham told this to his brothers does not require a lot of imagination.  He probably made a joke or two and really put down his dad.  Well, Shem and Japheth took exception to this went in and covered their father before anything else happened. 

Point #1.  Being born again I am covered by the blood of Jesus.  My nakedness is seen when I step out from under the covering God has graciously provided for me.  It's not a physical nakedness but spiritual nakedness.  I become like Ham and consort with my flesh and do the wrong thing.  How often have I seen and said something regarding another person and not offered or attempted to offer them a covering?  Ham could have covered his father and kept his mouth closed and none would have been the wiser.  But...he chose the lesser.  As a result of his decision, a curse was placed on Ham's descendants.  

Point #2.  Even though Ham saw the nakedness of his father, the greater sin was how he reacted to all that transpired in those few moments and forever caused his family line to become servants to his two brothers family lines.  

When we do shameful acts as children of Light, we cause others to see our Father in a compromised way.  As a result we lose a blessing and suffer the effects of a curse.  Now, we become the servants of our flesh which goes against the Spirit of God.  
Did Ham seek forgiveness for his actions?  I don't know.  Read the story in Genesis 9 and let me know. 


Monday, November 18, 2013

Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
Yes, my God is merciful.

What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits toward me?

I will offer You the sacrifice of thanksgiving.  

PRAISE THE LORD!!!

Beautiful Saviour

Beautiful Saviour I need Your touch


A storm cloud is coming I see it on the horizon.  My world is crumbling but You can uphold me.  The voices are loud, the doubts are rising.  

But You...
are my strong tower, no man can reach me.
are my shield no weapon can pass through to hurt me.
are a strong God a defender of the weak and feeble.
are my only hope.

Beautiful Saviour shine down with grace sweep away the darkness that now fills this place.
Light of the world You reign supreme, for
You Lord Jesus are my Sovereign king.




Saturday, November 16, 2013

Six= A Season of Change

A couple of days ago I awakened to a light snowfall and a slight chill in the air.   What happened to the fall season?  Did I sleep through it?  Maybe it has a shorter season now?  
This snowfall, to me, represents the official end of summer (ugh).  
I look around outside and I see the barren trees quivering and lifeless leaves on the ground.  The season is changing and so is life.

Every morning I prepare myself to go out into the cold air and cold world. Physically I put on my long johns, long sleeve shirt, hat, gloves and I'm ready to venture out.  
Spiritually, I wake up pray and read the scriptures to stear my heart and soul towards the Almighty. It helps to know no matter the season of life I am in God is always there--unchanging.  Spring, summer, fall and winter the faithfulness of God shines through.  

With society today experiencing more and more 'birth pangs' and the coming apostasy of the body of Christ I was easily led in my mind to focus on "what will happen to the world" per the evil.  Not many times do I look to the "good" that will happen in the same days.  I selfishly pray "come quickly Lord Jesus."  Very foolish of me. As I get older in the physical sense my body is not as quick to adjust to the cold-weather.  One layer becomes two and somedays three. (Revelation: I am not 39 anymore).  Mentally, I cannot adjust to the continued rejection of God by society.  

Having moved past the created and on to the Creator, I was lead by the Holy Spirit to the book Habakkuk in the Old Testament.  There I read of God's terrible judgment that will befall the nation of Israel for their sin.  However, in the midst of all that is to come my Lord showed me a promise.  This verse is God's reply to the prophet Habakkuk concerning the condition of Israel.  His coming judgment will not favor Israel.  But, to me it is a sweet proclamation of what God will do in our present day, even though I see the sinful condition of the world.  
Chapter one verse five reads like this, (God talking) "Look among the nations and watch--be utterly astounded!  For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you."

I stopped and glorified The Lord of heaven and earth.

Immediately, I knew what He wanted me to see and do. God wanted me to stop being amazed (the seeing) by the depth of mankinds sinful nature and what it can accomplish.  
Instead He wants me to focus on the great harvest of souls (the doing) that will come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ in this season of human life.  Will I do as Habakkuk did and pray for the mercy of God to fall upon us?  Yes.  Even in the midst of His wrath.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Famous Quotes

The point of walking with God is not to arrive, but to walk with God.

M. Craig Barnes

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Good and the Bad

The blog post you are about to read is true.  No names were changed to protect the innocent. 

(My best Joe Friday voice): It was Wednesday November 6, early afternoon in Hazleton, Pa.  The air outside was pretty warm for an early November day.  My only intent was to relax and reply to some correspondence I had received previously.  But then I got hungry and I wanted something to eat.  The next few paragraphs will describe my day, so far. 

(From time to time I email my brother and relay some goings on with me.  The first paragraph was to be the only content of the email between us). 

I only had the good, but something just happened that put the bad in it.  I was in McDonald's yesterday morning before work having a cup of coffee (strange in itself) reading Decision, the Billy Graham magazine.  A few minutes later a young lady sits across the way from me.  Normal happenings, it is a restaurant.  A couple of minutes later I see she is reading a bible and writing in a journal.  Nice!!  I wanted to say something to her but I figured it was her quiet time and did not want to disturb her.  So I wrote on a index card an introduction and some words of encouragement and a scripture reference.  On the back of the card I put my phone number and email address.  It's like 730-8 in the morning.  I get up and go to work and slip the card on the table next to her.  All day I'm thinking will she or won't she respond.  I was not REALLY waiting to hear from her, but it was in the back of my mind.  So they day ends and nothing.  A little bummed. So Tuesday night I check my email and see this heading -from the young lady from McDonald's-, and am stunned.  Wow she replied. 

Her name is Ana Gonzalez and she thanked me for doing that and offered some words of encouragement to me.  Now we will keep in touch by email.

Onto the bad. It is Wednesday afternoon and I'm sitting in a Wendy's restaurant just using the free wifi.  As I sit down to eat, a lady across the restaurant gets up to get some napkins and a guy at the table next to her, gets up and steals her purse.  Brazen.  Without thinking I ask some stranger (her story is last) to watch my stuff.  My laptop, bible, lesson for bible school, Wednesday night and Saturday morning.  I chase after the guy down the street.  (Tis the stuff legends are made of).  As I am following him I call the police and give a full description and his movements.  I loose him about five minutes into the call.  (Yes, while running after him I am on the phone still.)  I need to get a Bluetooth (spell checker has Bluetooth as two words).  I loose him as he turns the corner 2 blocks ahead of me.  Because I know the town it's easy to pick shortcuts to catch up to the purse snatcher.  Now the police pulls up and I talk to him and tell him what happened.  He says to me "get in the back of the car."

WHAT??  I'm thinking.  But much louder.  Just what I need a few hours before bible study is to be spotted in the rear of a police cruiser. I show him where he dumped her purse ( a laundry mat garbage can) and as we are leaving they have him spotted on broad St. and catch him.  Baretta, Colombo, Jim Rockford all rolled into one yeah.
The officer retrieves the bag from the can (garbage) drives over to the restaurant and talks to the lady ( I have seen her around town) and returns her bag.  She had no idea it was gone.

Now for the climax.  I sit down and my food is cold, no big deal.  The lady who watched my stuff was overwhelmed.  It is her first time in Hazleton and she was like "I don't know what just happened.  You were sitting down and next thing you are running out."  She went on to say that I did a good thing and there should be more people like me.
No arguments from me.  I totally agree.  At this point I've passed Baretta, Colombo and Jim Rockford and am now sporting a big "S" on my chest. The real me.  What a day or couple of days.

And it's only Wednesday.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Flood (Heaven)

My eyes have seen the beauty of the Lord
an untold number of voices sing their praises.

"Hallelujah to the Lamb seated on the throne
Glorious King, Righteous Saviour
Holy, holy, holy to the Son of God"
You stand above the heavens an ensign to all

Sing aloud O my soul,
Sing aloud O my soul
Sing aloud for our Redeemer

Lord of the ages whose love spans time
You endured the cross, suffering sin and shame
Your blood was shed for me, my life has been changed

From the dawn of creation to the end of the ages
let the four corners of the earth sing unending praises
"Almighty and strong
victorious in battle
our enemies defeated confined to their hell."

We shall flood the heavens with a new song
"All hail King Jesus
Emmanuel has come to save
Beginning and end
Beloved of God
Morning Star
Doorway into heaven
Great God
High Priest
Lord of glory
Lord of hosts
Holy One
Hope of Glory"

You are our hope revealed

Flood (Earth)

**this is actually a post I forgot to post from some time ago.  Please forgive me.**


"
For as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.  For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be."
                                                                             Matthew 24:37-39



The other side of the coin says "judgment is near."  Yesterday, about 0506 in the morning I was listening to the news on the radio and wish I had gotten up a few minutes prior as I caught the tail end of an interesting news report.  The announcer was listing several cities and countries around the globe that were experiencing strange weather patterns.  Some of the places included Georgia, North and South Carolina, Central America, and a couple of others that I cannot recall at this time.  The news reporter was talking to a national weather advisor and the man simply said "I cannot explain it at all.  We are at a total loss to explain what is going on around the world."

Those words do not bring any comfort to the populations of the world.  

Waiting Here for You (an ode to Jesus)

Waiting here for You my soon coming King
I'm waiting to see Your face Lord of grace.

My life is in Your hands no better place to be
The road of life is tough and long
I have struggled and fallen many days not willing to go on

Waiting here for You I find peace and joy 
in the book of love
"I will never leave you nor forsake you"
"You are loved with an everlasting love"
"I go to prepare a place for you"
"I am the bread of life"
"I will come back for you"

So many promises so little time to explore them all
I stand, waiting here for You, to hear the call from Your harmonious trumphet.
My soul shall sing, my soul shall fly
"Hallelujah Lord Jesus" as I pass through the sky

No thoughts of space no thoughts of time
I race to be in Your arms 
Great Love Divine

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

S D

Not particularly proud of this post but, in all instances God works.  I did not have a good day at work today.  We are getting ready for an inspection plus the daily grind of working in retail ( another post I could do)  and tempers flaring, makes for a not to pleasant 8 hours.  

Something happened today that brought me low and I thank God for it.  A customer was ready to check out and I was close by so I rang up her order.  My attitude was not the most professional and she noticed it.  N ( first initial of customer) asked me "how are you doing?" My answer was a short grunt.  Strike one (me being selfish).  Next, she seemed at a loss for words, not because of me, just distracted.  Strike two (she is hurting and I don't catch on).
N and I start talking and she says her husband just passed away.  I asked he how long were they married?  N says "51 years."  Amazing.

I offered my condolances and she starts crying.  N apologizes for the tears and I said no problem.  We spend a few minutes more talking and she has to go.  
As she is walking away my heart breaks for her.  N appears to shrinking under the  weight of the grief she is going through.  
I almost began to cry.  
HOW!!!  HOW could I have been so insensitive?  So spiritually insensitive?  Strike three (spiritual dross).

How far have I gone from The LORD?
N showed more care and concern for me than I did for her.  I am such a...tool.

Instead of being a willing instrument of righteousness for God, I was a willing instrument of unrighteousness.  
God forgive me.

Friday, October 11, 2013

68 in four parts (part 4)

Your command is our desire
Strengthen us Mighty God

Your temple is the jewel of the earth
Your temple at Jerusalem

Bow before the throne of the King
King Jesus
Faithful and True
Captain of our Salvation

Rebuke the kings of the earth
They shall bow in Your presence
They shall bring presents to You
Not gold, silver or fine linens
Praise O King Eternal
That is what they shall bring to You
Eternal God
Eternal praise
We will give You for the rest of our days

Gather the righteous from the four corners of the globe
Scatter the rebellious to the very same
Sing to God kingdoms of the earth
Sing praises to the Lord

The earth is His footstool
Heaven is His throne
Ascribe greatness to the King
His excellence is over all the earth

Blessed be God the Father
Blessed be God the Son
Blessed be God the Holy Spirit
Three in One

68 in four parts (part 3)

Peaks and valleys define the life of man. 
A mountain of strength defines OUR God. 

You ascend on high and lead your children free
You receive the gifts among men

"O LORD our LORD, blessed are You"
"Who daily gives us our benefits?"
"No one."

The God of our salvation
The God of our deliverance
The God of our nation
The LORD is our God

Our praises shall lead the procession into Your sanctuary
O my God and my King
All you singers and players bless God in the congregation
Judah, Judah, Judah
The LORD'S anointed comes from Judah

Your God
Our God has commanded you

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Seven= And God said.....

And the LORD said to Moses, "I will send My Angel before you, and I will drive out the Caananite and the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite."

God has decided to not to lead His children into the promised land because of their stubbornness and in His anger wanted to consume the nation of Israel.  

What would I do if God said to me "My presence will not go before you."  
I don't know!!!  Would I respond as Moses did and intercede for the people?  Could I go in front of God and dare ask Him to change His mind?  God did have probable cause.
Or....I could look at the attitude of the people and say "LORD Your will be done."  

At this moment Moses stood in the gap for those who were asking for judgment and instead received mercy. I am a much lesser man than Moses.  Far too often lately I speak with people and the conversations lead me to say to God "judge them my LORD."  
Where is my compassion?  God is not willing that ANYONE should spend an eternity separated from Him.  
God has a covenant with Israel and even He cannot break it.  He swore by Himself and there is no higher power than Jehovah. 
Moses became burdened for these people and asked God to spare them.  I had no such resolve for the unsaved around me.  I see and hear how stiff-necked they are about the things of God and I want to become a silent witness, by not witnessing.  God had other ideas.  
Micah 6:8 becomes the rod of correction God uses on me.  "He has show you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you?  But to do justly, to love mercy and walk humbly with your God?"

JUSTICE. MERCY. HUMBLENESS.

Moses exhibited all three when he went before God on behalf of a(n) stubborn and rebellious people.  I was pricked in my heart and sought the LORD and His forgiveness.  
MY heart was being shaped and molded by the will of the people and I was in a dangerous place.  
How dare I say LORD reveal Yourself to me and yet in the next instance ask God to hide himself from those who truly need Him?
God is supposed to be seen in me by all who see me.  WHERE IS HIS GLORY?  
Squashed by my anger because the people continue to challenge God.  
Was I not in their place before the Holy Spirit broke through to my heart?  Yes!

Moses needed to be refreshed and opened his heart to God, "if I have found grace in Your sight, show me Your glory, that I may know You and find grace in Your sight.  And consider that these people are your people."  We all know God honored this request.  

However, will God honor my request for more of Him, if, I refuse to see His lost creations simply as sheep who have gone astray?  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

68 in four parts (part 2)

When I was weary, Your rain freshened me.  
You sent a plentiful rain.

You sat on Your throne
and the earth shook, the mountains trembled before You
The heavens released their praise
You confirm Your inheritance

Sing all who are created by Jehovah
look to the heavens and seek His face
Shower Him with praise
Sing of His mercy and grace

You stood--silence filled the heavens
Your presence provides goodness to the poor in spirit.

The LORD speaks a word;
Great was the company of those who proclaimed it.

Holy, holy, holy

68 in four parts (part 1)

 
 
 
Arise my LORD
 
Father to the fatherless
defender of the weak. 
 
Rejoicing fills the atmosphere
the righteous sing Your praises
Sing to God you who 
are His children
 
Be glad, be exceedingly glad 
Sing to God as He sits on His throne
in His holy place
 
His name is Yahweh
rejoice before Him 

Free Bird

Christ offers a lot of freedom when we are a part of Him and He is a part of us.  What I mean is, IF, we allow the Spirit to lead us then we never want for anything.  That 'wanting' extends to every corner of our lives.  Be it work, home, personal pursuits, friends and family.  Our minds and efforts will be put to use in furthering the kingdom of heaven.  Jesus said we would do greater things than He did when we have the Holy Spirit within us, allowing Him the access to do the things of God  through us.

When Jesus stepped out of the Jordan river the Spirit of God descended upon Him and filled Him.  If we "step out" in faith AND out of our own will and allow the  Spirit to fill us and lead us then we to can have the power of the Most High manifested in us.  

Mount Sinai

Moses spent forty days and nights on the mountain of God, reviling in the Very presence of the Almighty.  Moses had gone up the mountain to receive from the LORD not only the "Laws of God", but also something for himself.   I am sure that Moses did not want to leave, however the noise coming from the camp of the Israelites down below hastened Moses' departure.

This past weekend I too went up onto the mountain to spend time with the Almighty.  Like Moses, I did receive and also like Moses I did not want to leave.  Times like these away from the world are necessary.  Quiet times are not enough.  Coupled with the population explosion finding a place outside to be alone with God is harder.
 
My soul literally sang as I sat before the LORD and listened  to Him speak to me.  Will heaven be like this?  MORE THAN THIS :) :) :) :)

Sadly enough I could not stay there for forty days.  However, I was refreshed.  Sorrow filled me as I made the trek down the mountain.  Moments like these when we are "truly in the presence of God" are few and far between.  Just the thought of leaving sent me into a downward spiral.  Separation from the One you love causes a great aching within.  The LORD sensed me becoming downcast.  He spoke again.  
"Am I only God on this mountain?  Or can I be God anywhere?"
Hmm?  Not 'hmm' from me thinking about it.  But 'hmm' because I boxed God in.  
God IS god everywhere.  Surely, when I leave the mountain God is with me.  I think about the noise in the world below the mountain and I am reminded, like Moses, the people need to hear.  They need to hear of God's everlasting love and  how to receive eternal life.  Unfortunately, some will hear and still seek the past to destruction.   

But for a little while and I will forever be in His presence. 
(No mountain needed)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Famous Quotes

Saw this on a electronic scrolling board while riding the bus home today. 

"Do you need a lifeguard?  Ours walks on water."

Pretty amazing!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Coming Soon

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Go Forward

About six weeks ago I started reading the book of Exodus in the bible.  Although, I have read through it a couple of times before, however, this time was obviously different.  Truthfully, that is the way it should it be--getting something new from the word of God every time we read it. 

On this particular occasion something I read chapter 14 stuck with me long after I had finished reading the last verse in the last chapter.  It was nothing earth shattering, but it caused MUCH introspection.  For all who have read the bible you could probably guess what is going on in said chapter.  However, if someone who has not read the bible is reading my blog, let me give some back story.

Pharaoh and his army are advancing on Moses and the Israelites near the Red Sea.  In fear, the children of Israel cry out to the LORD and in the next breath come against Moses for leading them to where they are.  Moses responds by saying (chapter 14 v.13), "Do not be afraid.  Stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today."  
 It is here at this point the people are looking back.  To what?  To the enemy bearing down on them, to a former lifestyle, friends left behind and what they had known.  Now Israel is at a crossroads.  Do they believe Moses and expect God's deliverance?  Or, do they beg mercy at the point of the Egyptian sword?

Cracking on.  Verse 13 ends with these words, "For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever." 
Okay. Seems pretty routine to me. Nothing new jumps off the page. 
Now, lets look at God's reply to the situation in the last line in verse 15.
"Tell the children of Israel to go forward."

Go forward.  Those two words stuck in my mind for sometime afterwards.  Surely God meant they could go forward across the Red Sea.  But this was before Moses parted it, in which the words were spoken.   
God was telling Israel to "go forward" from Egypt, all forms of idolatry, the sinful lifestyle, relationships, and anything else that would only hinder them from truly knowing God. 

That is when it hit me.  I too had been looking back and for far too often. 
God was telling me to "go forward."    
God wanted me to stop looking back at my past failures, my past lifestyle, my fears and an enemy with whom He had already proclaimed defeated.
Once again I speak the words within my mind "go forward".
My heart sank and I made my way to my knees to pray.

Just as He was doing with Israel, God also wanted to do with me, lead me to a place where only He and I could be together.  But until I decided to commit my ways to God and let Him become my 'Cloud by day, and pillar of fire by night' then one day I may look back  as 'Lot's wife' did and suffer God's judgment.

Good night and god bless.  

Monday, August 19, 2013

Walk with Me

"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."    Romans 8:38-39


 
 
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the
shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
For You are with me. 
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." 
Psalm 23:4
 
 


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Choose Life--Part Three

Just imagine for a moment, God dealing with us on the basis of  "do we deserve it or not."  How many of us would actually be alive?  How many of us would make it past the first act of forgiveness?  Very, very few I could safely presume.

Yet, God does not treat us as we deserve.  (His mercy has a lot to do with that.)  God knows our diminished capacity as a result of sin, so, He is compassionate towards us.  If that were not so NONE OF US would have formed in our mothers womb.  God did not say "on such and such day Darryl will commit murder" (because I had hatred in my heart for someone else.)  "Therefore, why allow him (me) to be created?"  God knows I will someday do something sinful.  God is a Holy God, meaning He is perfect in all ways.  I/we are not perfect.  Imperfection mars our path.  However, Jesus willingly took our place on the cross and we are now able to come before God and ask Him for forgiveness and (my greatest hope for you) eternal life.  Talk about a win-win situation.

Over the past few weeks my 'spiritual senses' have taken a beating.  I really cannot explain it and I will not try.  But in the barest of words, God is trying to get the attention of the inhabitants of this earth. My heart grieves for people who do not know Jesus as Lord and savior.  There is such a sense of urgency within me and even in the sky above a great event appears to be on the horizon.  It will both be good and bad, depending on your point of view--godly or ungodly.

Let me quote from I John 5:12 "He who has the Son (of God) has life; he who does not have the Son (of God) does not have life." 
My life used to consist of the things of this world and myself.  But now, my life consists of giving others the opportunity to "choose life" for themselves in the person of Jesus Christ.  Is it easy?  No.  But eternity is a long time to worry about "what if".  

Think about the words sung in the opening line of the song in part two of this series: 
 
A choice is set before you now
living or dying, blessing or cursing
You know, the time has come around
to turn from your fighting
and rest in His mercy.
 
Choose life, that you might live
the life that He gives you forever.
Choose life, the way that is true
from the One who chose you
your Father in heaven.
Choose life

 
Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life." 
What will you choose?
  



Saturday, July 27, 2013

Choose Life--Part Two

 
 
Here is part two of  the "Choose Life" series.  This song
is by a band that I greatly admire and miss,
Big Tent Revival. 
It is appropriately titled
"Choose Life" 
 
 
 
 
 

Choose Life--Part One

God is described in the bible as All-powerful (Jer. 32:17,27), Ever-present (Psalm 139:7-12) and All-knowing (1 John 3:20).

It is with these three scriptures that I will form the basis for this post, with the help of two other verses also.  Can you guess what they are? (Write them down and let me know in a comment the verses you chose.)

It is the third God-attribute that I would like to touch on for this blog post--All-knowing.

God, in Genesis chapter one, created all things for the benefit of mankind.  God created the earth for man to inhabit and populate.   God also created the sun, moon, stars, vegetation, land animals, birds and other fowls of the air and sea creatures.  Everything that we could possibly need was "made" in the first days of creation. That is the All-powerful God.

God transcends time and space as we know it.  He is not bound by it like we are.  God can be in multiple places, everywhere, at the same time.  Time zones mean nothing to Him.  God is the Alpha and Omega--the beginning and end of all things.  God is only limited by how we perceive Him.  Because we are limited in our thinking and body, we could never phantom who God really is or truly grab hold of how He can be everywhere at once.  That is the Ever-present God.

We have established the fact that God can do anything, all-powerful.  God sees everything we do, ever-present.  As noted above, these FACTS are supported by scripture. 

Now, let us look at the all-knowing God.  Ephesians 1:4 says, "God has chosen us in Him before the foundations of the world (creation of), that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love."
God is saying that He wants what is best for us.  With or without sin this plan was God's plan since the before beginning of time.  As we know mankind was created 'perfectly' in His image.  Fast forward about 600 years (don't quote me) to Jeremiah 1:5.  God speaking again, "Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came out of your mother's womb I sanctified you (set you apart for a special purpose)."

God knows everything about us before we do.  He knows how our day will go, He knows how many hairs will fall out of our head, what we will say, think, eat and when we will draw our last breath.  In between the breath of life and the last breath of our lives, God essentially lets us choose how we will live.  Once again, God is all-knowing.  (Remember that.) 
God knows all of the sins we have committed and will commit.  God knows of our fears, failures and mistakes, our successes and victories.  Yet, in His abundant mercy and infinite wisdom He still chose to give us life, knowing the kind of life we will lead.  Is it a life that glorifies Him?  Is it a life that rejects Him?  Each individual person has to answer that question.    Regardless of your life now, God has provided a way for you and I to inherit eternal life.  That life can only be attained through His Son Jesus Christ and the blood He shed for you and I on the cross of Calvary over 2,000 years ago.  Without God's forgiveness we cannot gain eternal life.  It is even less likely without Christ going to God on our behalf.  
Think about the decisions we have made that have caused other people to feel less than human?  Or, decisions that have cost others their lives?  God takes all of that into account while we are here on this earth.

Choose a life that is centered on the One who created you.  Choose a life that will benefit others and glorify God.  Choose life by choosing Jesus Christ. 

          
   

 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Kiss Your Feet

I have no oil to pour upon Your head.  My steps are unsure and weak.  How can I come before You filled with such dread?

I am a sinner and my sins are great, my tears are greater.  They flow with an ease that belays my soul.  I need Your touch to make me whole.  My heart is broken and my spirit is sorrowful. 

Lead me to Your light.  Lead me O King eternal, please lead me.

In Your presence I stand.  The eyes of the people are upon me, and their tongues lash against me.  You are my focus, You are my center.

All I have in this life is in my hands and they are empty.
I live because of You, now I want to live for You.
I was born to give You praise.
Take my life.  Take it all.

I'm bowed down, continually weeping.
You touch my crown, more weeping.
I no longer run and hide, Your freedom has taken away the pride.

Touching Your glory my tears become sweet.
I was born to kiss Your feet.

An earthly crown shall rust and decay, but You my Lord become my savior today.
I was born to kiss Your feet.

My sins are forgiven, my life secure.
I was born to kiss Your feet.

The same love that brought You to me, draws me to You. 
For this love, I was born to kiss Your feet.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Road Trip-Part 3

(This post is actually from Saturday July 6th.)
On my way home from Lennox rest area.  God truly is a miracle worker.  Although my shift is over, I feel a twinge of sadness coming on as I leave.  Not because of 'something I did not do' but because I want to always be a part of what God is doing in the world and I feel as if I am missing out.  Jesus commanded the apostles to "Go out into the world and preach the gospel to every creature."  Once again we are living out the word.  Just as the men of old did who carried the message before me.  I cannot wait until the harvest is brought in.  That is, the harvest of souls joined with God, through the cross of Calvary, men and women drawn by the Holy Spirit.  Will I see you there? I pray so. My soul sings now and will rejoice all the more when we all get to heaven.
Here are a few more pics from the outreach.  Enjoy.


Soli Dios Gloria

Road Trip-Part 2 (interlude)

What a MAGNIFICENT day!!!!  Can you see the excitement in the words? Can you hear the excitement in the words?  Much, much, much (one more) much fellowship was wrought today.
Every time we go to the rest stops we are blessed.  By God yes, but more so the people we encounter and the "theme" we often work under as we are there.  

If I could title this Fourth of July outreach it would be 'draw me close'.  The believers who came through asked for prayers of encouragement to draw closer to God in their relationships and to not give in to what the world says is good for them.   Many, who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, came seeking Him.  They had a spiritual hunger and wanted the "Bread of Life".  Glory to God.  

The message of salvation was shared THE SEED WAS PLANTED.  Or watered.  Amazing!!!!!!!

God is faithful and His word will not return void, says so in the scriptures.  I know lives were changed this morning and this afternoon and all the glory goes to Jehovah.  This is what it is all about---souls for the kingdom of heaven.  












(I apologize for the picture bugs)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Road Trip

On our way to I-81 Lennox rest stop to serve coffee and hot dogs for the travelers.  Here is a early hour picture of the PA mountain range.  More to follow.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

P33

Our soul waits for the LORD;
He is our help and our shield.
For our heart shall rejoice in Him,
Because we have trusted in His holy name.
Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us,
Just as we hope in You.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Eight=the least of these

God has looked upon my affliction and granted me deliverance.

Several years ago, I could not fathom those words coming from my lips.  Yet now, I continually thank Him for the awesome privilege He has given me.  What is this great privilege bestowed upon me?  It is the gift of children. 

Not my own children, although they factor into the equation.  Many, many years ago I lost touch with my own children and the pain was too great to bare.  I was essentially stooped in depression and apathy.  I had NO motivation whatsoever.  I merely existed.  Life day-to-day meant nothing to me.  All I wanted was to see my kids.  For years that was my prayer to God and He granted it and for two days I saw them and marveled at how they had grown, looked and acted like their mother and I.  That was eight years ago.

Whoa!!  What about the opening sentence? 
Well, what about it?

My kids may be out there in the world somewhere and I long to see them but as I said..."God has looked upon my affliction and delivered me".
In His infinite wisdom God has provided other children with whom I can most certainly call my own.  (Although I am quite sure some of them would deny knowing me with some jokes I pull on them). The void of not having my two kids in my life now has been filled by kids I teach at my church about the Lord Jesus.  It is these kids that God has put a love in my heart for, because He has a love in His heart for them and through me He teaches them of a love that is SO great.

Jesus made two profound statements relating to children during His time on earth.  Matthew 18:3 "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." 
Kids are trusting, open and very discerning when it comes to adults.  Yet, they are without preconceived ideas.  What you see is what you get. 
Matthew 19:14 "Let the children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for such is the kingdom of heaven." 
Hmm.  Once again, trusting, discerning and without preconceived ideas.  Having faith.  We must come to know God, through the Son, led by the Spirit as a child.  Why?  Children are undefiled by the world system and all its trappings.  Children trust what is being said to them and don't offer their own opinion.  That is how God wants us/me to be with Him.  Trusting in Him.  Unless I have faith in God and what He says and does, I cannot enter into heaven because of unbelief. 

Children are important to God.  We become God's children when we are born again in our spirit.  Oftentimes we look past children because they 'have no idea' or 'they are not old enough to know' or 'they are too young'.  But we can learn a lot by their actions and the amount of faith they put in those around whom they trust.  I, never in my lifetime, would have imagined being used by God for "His eternal purposes" but here I am.  O the joy that floods my soul when we gather together and speak His name.

The least of these, in age, maturity and understanding, have a better grasp of the "eternal" more so than some of us "older ones".  It is with this truth in mind that I lay my two children at the feet of God and lean on Him to keep them and watch over them wherever they may be.  God is big enough to protect them.  I on the other hand need to focus on the children He has placed in my hand and lean on Him. 

   



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Famous Quotes

God of our life, there are days when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and weigh us down; when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies grey and threatening; when our lives have no music in them, and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage.  Flood the path with light, run our eyes to where the skies are full of promise; tune our hearts to brave music; give us the sense of comradeship with heroes and saints of every age; and so quicken our spirits that we may be able to encourage the souls of all who journey with us on the road of life, to Your honor and glory.  

Augustine

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Movement Three--From Death to Life


The wind, blowing east to west, picks up a mass of dirt and begins to swirl it around in the air, giving it (for a moment) the appearance of life.  Somehow I am moved by this and draw closer to this "dance" between the seen and unseen.  After a few seconds, the music stops and the dirt reconnects with its brethren and becomes lifeless.

Is this how God first saw me?  As a lifeless pile?  No.  If God knew me before the foundations of the world was laid, then I was already a finished product in His mind.
God also saw a "diamond in the rough" if you will.  He saw me!!  God saw me as a person who will be made in His image and hopefully over the course of my life, become like Him. The potential is there (hence diamond-in-the-rough barb). 
When God called me into being did I dance at the sound of His voice?  Did my spirit leap, like John did when Mary spoke to his mother Elisabeth as he was yet still in her womb?

Was my moment of creation comparable to the foreshadowing of Israel's in the valley of dry bones?   Ezekiel 37 tells the story of God (one day) re-gathering Israel in her own land and becoming a nation within the world again. The nation of Israel is dead (its people scattered) into the farthest reaches of the known world, without land to call its own.  When I first heard this miraculous story I was floored, literally. 

Just like God did with Israel, He too, can do to you.  God can reach you in whatever corner of the world you are in and bring you out.  God can do the impossible.  Let him speak over you and bring you back together whole and as a living breathing person called unto Him. 
The inhabitants of Israel were lost among the nations of the earth and needed someone great and powerful to pull them out.  That someone was God.  You too are lost and in need of someone GREAT AND POWERFUL to pull you from certain death.  Jesus, the only Son of God, tasted death so that we may have life, life eternal.   

Relay for Life--Day Two

First, I would like to apologize for the late posting and few pictures.

I can truly say that I was moved by the people I met at this event.  How touching it is to have someone, you do not know, share with you the story of their battle with cancer.  Most people would not want to go down that road of memory ever again.  Why rehash the pain and fear and most assuredly thoughts of, what if, death?   

I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the bravest people I will ever meet other than someone who has served in a military campaign.  As I have come to find out, several of my co-workers have had some form of cancer and are now cancer free.  All I can say is "praise God."

So, without further adieu, here are a couple of pics I took at Relay for Life and will definitely do better next time.  I got there a little later than planned and was only able to get photos of the tents and people as it was winding down.  

 

Here the people are watching a dance group perform

One of the dance troupes finishing a routine.
 
 
 
I did not make it for the whole event but i was there for the announcing of the total raised at this event-- over $125,000 for the battle against cancer.  Once again "Praise God".  
 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Relay for Life--Day One

                                                   
 
 
 
Today I will be volunteering at Relay for Life.  This event honors the people who have lost their lives to cancer and those who are cancer survivors themselves.  This is not my first time at a American Cancer Society event.  However, this is my first time being a part of such.  My mother passed away from cancer a number of years ago and for some reason I never sought out any opportunities to join the fight against cancer.  That will change. 
 
The theme for this years event is:
CELEBRATE.
REMEMBER.
FIGHT BACK.



 
My friend Marlon is a cancer survivor as are several of the people I work with.  As I'm sure you know, the American Cancer Society does a lot of work within communities in support of cancer victims and their families.  So, today I will stretch my boundaries and give back in support of
 the fight against cancer. 
Look for pictures and notes on the teams and individual at today's Relay for Life event from Hazleton, Pa. in part two later today.
 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Still Smiling

Six months ago to the day, I took a picture on this rock.   (No i did not stay here all that time.)  Since that day God has done some wonderful things in my life.  I am always amazed at how much attention He gives me and feel undeserving of it.  

But it says in Psalm 31:3 "For You are my rock and my fortress; therefore for Your name's sake lead me and guide me."
So, why do I feel so undeserving?  Self conscience I guess.  Maybe too much time reflecting on my past?  All of the above.  God at times seems  beyond me and other times He is closer than the air I breathe.  AWESOME!!!!
It is nice having a relationship with the King of Eternity.  More than nice actually. (Pick your own adjective).  Even nicer still is His continued presence.  God is THE constant companion and I never tire of Him.  Always faithful (God not me).  Hmm. Now you know why I'm 'still smiling'. God bless


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Down Gilead Lane

This morning I caught the tale end of a radio program I infrequently listen to called "Down Gilead Lane".  Monica Ritcher (a regular on the show) was in jail for some reason or another and she had a breakdown.  Let me pull you up to speed (I'm a slow listener).  Monica is in jail, she fired her lawyer because he had "religious beliefs", her mother's sister has just had a heart attack getting ready to come and help the family adjust, and the night before, her father (a big influence in her life) had passed away and she was not allowed to go to the funeral because of her behavior in jail.  When all was said an done she realized that she was not in control and somebody else was. In these instances Monica came full tilt with the notion that she needed other people to help her.  Monica always got away with intimidation and running down the character of those who did not play ball her way.  In jail everything was coming back to haunt her.  As I sat and listened, my troubles began to melt away and I remembered God is in control and He does see me and my situation.  What a God!! Too bad I am slow to bring that to remembrance ahead of time.  Even through a radio program God speaks to me.  Glory to His name.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Movement Two--The Honour of God

Your words are as alive as You are.  There is no end to the Alpha and the Omega.  Can mankind truly proclaim the greatness of God?  
Each level of the heavens reveal more of Your works.  The first heaven gives us the blue sky and celestial cities.  An ode to our beginning, with more revelation to follow.  They seem to shield us from Your true glory which we are not able to bare.  Birds fill the air and go forth to sing praises to You.  Spreading their wings in an attempt to reach You and exalt You they soar through the sky with ease. 
The second heaven unleashes the sun, moon and stars.  Great bodies of light are they, but only a small glimpse of Your holiness.  Each star is named by You.  Each planet is placed by You on its axis.  O Most High, who is like You?  Your tender mercies and unfailing love are from before time and before man.  I will declare the name of "I AM" to my brethren.  
The third heaven is where You reside.  Such amazing things I cannot, in my frailty, fathom or describe.  Your throne room is where I go when I am in Your presence. I am warmed by the SON and filled with Your Holy Spirit.  
Be exalted, my LORD, in Your own strength.  
Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised.
YOU ARE GOD!!!!
Be exalted among the nations, be exalted  in the earth.   
    

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

God Morning

I awakened to see the beginning stages of a new day being created by God.  What a joy it was.  
The darkness of night was slowly rolled back, like an artist turning to the next page of his art book.  
With careful and steady strokes the empty page begins to reveal the mind of the Creator.  A golden orb is the first to spring forth, producing rays of light and warmth for the masses. The firstborn of all creations--The Son.  Changing colors the Artist paints a light blue sky with ease.   Next on the agenda are my favorites, celestial cities (or clouds).  High in the sky they dot the vastness of open space.  These cities provide a covering for us, a sort of guide as they slowly move about the business of the Maker. 
Getting their cue from the Director, a choir of birds start begin to praise Him.  "Chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp."   Even the trees give a wave offering.  
"Who is like You, Most High?"
Other forms of life take shape around me. Cars fill the roads, idle chatter from the voices on the street, construction or destruction going on.  Ah yes, life.
I open my front door to greet the world, preparing myself for what is to come.
Just like the mercy and love of God it too is new every morning.  This truly is a day the Lord has made.  I WILL rejoice and be glad throughout it.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Movement One--The Calming Presence of the Shepherd

He invites me to enter into His rest.  His rest is a welcome respite from my daily sometimes hourly struggles.  With the wave if His left hand, a lush meadow field is displayed before me.  It is so inviting.  He bids me to lay down and enjoy the soothing tentacles of the green grass as my body yields to the soft embrace of gentility.  Peace, sweet enjoyable peace. My troubled soul is flushed clean.  The brook on my left echoes a song of praise.  The waters "are music to my ears."
 
We walk and talk along the path.  I 'drink in' His presence.  Intoxicating, is the only way to describe it.  My spirit is alive once again, as the Shepherd leads me.  He tells me of His life, His goals, His past and how, I too, will someday become a shepherd of men.
 "Who me?" I exclaim.
"Yes you!"  is the response.

I look into His eyes and see a burning passion.  Or, was it a flame of fire?  I cannot tell.  At first I am taken back by fear, but then His eyes shift and all I see is compassion.  A compassion that I can only describe as immeasurable.   

"What is your name?" I prod.
"Shepherd will do for now.  However, in the not-to-distant future, others like yourself, will come to know me by my True name."  Within myself I cannot grasp the meaning of that statement. Simple yet profound!!  Over and over I replay it in my mind.  No use.  However, my lack of understanding does not create sorrow, but, it stirs an anticipation for the moment when I shall have revelation of their truth.  On that note, we continue to make our way across the open field and for the next hour or so we commune together and I am encouraged by His words. Words such as these would cause debate in most places.  As for me, I am like a deer panting for water.  His words contain power and a richness that stirs my inward parts and I can feel a change taking place inside. 
What manner of man is this?  Clearly he is not just a shepherd.  Only learned men speak with such knowledge and foresight. 

I want more.  Give me more my soul cries out.  I am so hungry for this 'bread'.  This manna from heaven.  Sensing my thoughts, the Shepherd invites me to dine with Him in His home.  
      

Saturday, May 4, 2013

In Retrospect

Life can be pretty fulfilling at times. On days like today, with the light spring breeze and warm 65 degree weather, one could easily say "Does not get any better than this?" With all the balmy weather going on around the country, these days could be few and far between. Plants and trees are blooming, landscaping is in near-full effect, roadside trash has found its way into garbage bags and the Bee's are buzzing about. Aha! Spring is in the air. Right now I can see people cleaning their front and back yards while the kids are busy being kids. They are riding bikes, playing games on the sidewalks or just enjoying the sun. (Flashbacks)

I wonder how people in the early days of creation handled seasonal changes? Did they pack their winter bearskin clothing and break out the summer bearskins? How much did they need in the way of clothing? Had malls been around? I know, sounds pretty ridiculous. What kind of weather did they have in the days of old?
With the change in weather I can also see the change in people.
The grumpiness of long johns and winter costs are past us, on to be replaced by shorts, tank stops, flip-flops and loud cars. I am almost wanting to roll back the calendar and bring back old man winter. Lol. Not really.

For such a time as this, somewhere, someone is in pure bliss. As I sit on the steps of a building awaiting prayer to start a question pops into mind. Was the early church concerned with the changes of season as much as we are today? They had no cars, motorcycles or even (gasp) horse drawn carriages! Getting to and from was about as arduous as us waiting for fast food nowadays, (double gasp!!).
What has happened to our society? Or dare I say societies? Simply 'being' was enough back then I guess. No, I am not discounting everyday needs and what-have-you.  However, life was less complicated and somewhere along the way 'I assumed' life would become and stay less so, as the years went by. Maybe I am old fashioned? Yeah, I am. School was fun, children played outside and ran around without fear of anything serious happening. Our biggest worry was, who would be the first one to have to go home at night. That's it.
Today cell phones, sorry, smart phones are the ways we communicate to each other. Outdoor games have been replaced by video game systems that do everything but cook breakfast. The family unit has been replaced by..... (I shall let that one hang in the air.)
Times are changing too fast for me sometimes and I quite often wander, where is the relevance?
Charles Dickens had it right when he wrote "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

-Untitled-

 
 
 
 
 
 
I was taking a break from my bible reading this morning to go mail a letter,  (I know, who still uses snail mail?  I had a tougher time finding a mail box to put it in.)  when I came across this sign a couple of blocks from my house.
 
This road here is important because it leads to a supermarket and two pharmacies, a gas station located in the same plaza along with some other stores.  Getting around for me is easy because I don't drive and even still I know the area well enough not to get lost trying to find another way into the shopping center.  (Hmm, I wonder how many cars took a wrong turn just trying to get from point A to B?)
 
For a brief moment I thought about all the roads, streets and highways we travel in a typical lifetime going to and from--anywhere.  Can we, each individual, put a number on all the miles we transverse in the course of our lifetimes?  Can we remember all the places such said roads have taken us?  And also, was it where we wanted to go or did we get lost along the way and we wound up elsewhere?
 
Here is my plumb line or established fact:
God is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end.   (It says so in Revelation 1:8) 
 
How great would it be if  all the roads in life that led us away from God were marked in such a manner?  Yes, I agree. 
Many of my life's experience have been spent in places these roads have taken me.  Several times I found myself lost and confused not knowing whom to trust.  Plus, when you don't know the area or people, the fear factor gets amped up a few notches.  Or you, like Lot, are deceived by the surroundings and are soon partaking of them.    
Let me backtrack a bit.  God is all-knowing and Darryl is not.  God knows all the things in life that will befall (wow, nothing from spell checker, did not know it really was a word) me and I do not.  Hence, the roads I/we take.  If only.
 
Truthfully, I wish some of the roads I have been on after becoming a Christian were marked 'closed'.  The pain, heartache and separation would have been avoided.  Is this all part of God's plan?  Of course it is.  Jesus traveled to many cities, taking different paths and Him knowing what was to happen gladly went down each and every road without hesitation.  Why?  If not for His obedience to God, Jesus very well may have walked past the town I was in and I would have missed out on the free gift of salvation.  Jesus' life and the men and women who went with Him, was shaped by the roads they traveled and the people met along the way. So are the lives of you and I.  Quite often we get somewhere or do something and say, "Why did I come here?" 
That question has two minds of thought, but I will go with the mind that has been renewed.  God has sent me here to do His will
 
I should not be thinking of the hardships I may face, I should be thinking of the one facing hardships, who needs to know there is a rest, hope, peace and eternal life for them waiting in the person of Jesus Christ.
 
Now, when I come upon a road closed sign, I can see two messages.  The first message is this, I have been there once and because of the Cross of Calvary, I don't have to go there again.  My life is changed, my sins forgiven.  The second message is this, someone on the other side of the sign, much like the road, is being worked on and restored to a new and better condition.    
 
 
 
    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thirsty

Where can my spirit find rest?
 
I am in an desert trying to find water
from all directions I can see only the
harsh conditions of my spirit.
 
Dry and decaying from the lack
of moisture.  My skin peels easily
like a snake shedding its old skin.
 
How long LORD will you be silent to me?
How long before I am consumed by the torrid heat?
 
Can anyone save me? 
I feel as though I am walking through a graveyard.
Could this sand be the remains of so many others
who have chosen this path? 
 
The sun, so high in the sky, appears to be a mere inches from me.
The heat is unbearable. 
I shed more clothing. 
Almost down to nothing.
 
Relief, I must find relief. 
My throat is getting dryer.  My mouth is held slightly open
by the fatness of my swollen tongue.
My body aches, my steps are shorter, the sand seems heavier.
 
There is a greater thirst within me now. 
It is growing with each thought and soon reality of my demise.
Eternity. 
My spirit mirrors this dry and barren wasteland.
My spirit is crying out because it also thirsts. 
 
O God, You are my God;
My soul thirsts for You
My flesh longs for You
Hear my voice
Preserve my life
 
My soul, wait silently for God alone
Trust in Him at all times
Pour out your heart before Him
God is a refuge for us, even in a barren wasteland.