The One I Serve

In the middle of the fiery furnace of circumstances,
while walking in the furnace, there is one that
walks in the fire that seeks to devour me.

In the raging storms, on the ocean of my life,
there is one that rides in my life’s boat who
says peace be still, and the storm is calmed.

While alone in the night and the sea of my life
rages with fear and doubt, you say come and
walk on the water with me and trust.
When I put my eyes on the circumstance
and begin to sink under the load you stretch you hand
and pull me out.

When the battle of life roars in fury and the tears fall, it
is you that reminds me “weeping endures for a
season but joy comes in the morning.”

When all my resources are at an end, and there is no
help in sight, you multiplied the loaves and
fishes and met the need of the multitude.

You remind me that in this journey I call life I need
to put on the whole armor of God so that I can defeat
the enemy that seeks to destroy and to stand firm, believe
and see the salvation of the Lord.

You Lord are my rock, my salvation and the strong
tower of safety. I run into your safety.

You remind me that you are greater in me than any thing
that comes against me.

THIS IS THE ONE I SERVE.

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I Am Thankful

I Am Thankful

The laughter of a child
The look of a lover
The bond of friendship
The comfort of family

I am thankful

The smell of rain
The beauty of flowers
The lush green of grass
The majesty of trees

I am thankful

Joy in friendship
Comfort in love
Peace after conflict
Release after a burden

I am thankful

Food on my table
The shelter of home
Clothing to wear
Shoes on my feet

I am thankful

Freedom to live
A country I love
A hope of the future
A day to rejoice

I am thankful.

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord,
and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High:
Psalms 92:1

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Chaos

Bitterness, hatred and discontent boil in the cauldron of fear and lies rip away any semblance of order and give birth to chaos within us and our country.

Morality and decency no longer rule and the adage “the end justifies the means” becomes the truth of the day and rules with an iron fist. Each side postulates they are right and know what is best for humanity. If one dare to disagree or not fall into lock step with the ideology that side believes then automatically they are evil. The few believe they are right and know what is best.

No longer are we civil to those who do not believe what we think they should believe. We have bought into the lie that only we are right and only we know best. The word compromise has no place in our world today. It is my way or the highway.

We label those that do not adhere to our political beliefs, or governmental ideologies as hate mongers, liars, deplorables, or any other degrading terms used to denigrate those that have a different understanding or view.

We have come to the place where winning at any cost is acceptable. We will defame and lie about an individual to destroy not only the person but also their family and we give little thought to the immeasurable damage done to those around them.

Civility and honor are ideas and practices long forgotten. It is all about power and control. Those who have it must keep it at any cost and those who want it will use any means to obtain it. We stir up ancient beliefs, old divisions and build on old hatreds long buried just so we can win and disregard the consequences because winning and holding power is what we crave.

It doesn’t matter the “fallout.” we have established ourselves as little “gods” knowing once we obtain power we can control, manipulate and reign in the little kingdom we establish.

Into all this chaotic climate of those clamoring for rule is the general population of our country. The embers of this era of bitterness and struggle fall upon us like rain and begin to invade our souls and we believe we can display the same immoral behavior seen in our leaders. If the leaders we are supposed to look up to do this then it is alright for us.

Tossed aside are the lessons of kindness, tolerance and civility. On the news we see murders, rapes, riots and lack of respect for the rules of law and government. We seek for solutions and pour copious amounts of money hoping to find an answer to the ills of society.

Is there a solution? Can mankind be redeemed? The answer comes from the foot of a cross where one gave His life to redeem mankind. The change must come from the inside so man can be changed on the outside.

Scripture says, “…I am a new creature in Christ Jesus, old things have passed away and all things have become new.” (2Corthians 5:17KJV) It is He that brings peace during our life storms and walks on the water of our troubled lives. “…He is an ever-present help in time of trouble.”(Psalms 46:1 NIV)

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She Remembers

It really was a beautiful day as the warm rays of the sunshine bathed the room in a soft glow. She sat by the small window, lost in thought, caught up in remembering all the changes in her life since that one day. Even the shining sun could not block out the memories of the three days cloaked in such darkness.

Getting pregnant was not what she planned. She was only engaged, babies came after marriage. The day she received the news she would become pregnant certainly was unique. So many unusual circumstances surrounded the birth of her son. She retained everything about that time. She kept so many of these events in her heart and thought about what they meant.

Remembering watching him grow, play, and follow the man he called father brought a smile to her face. This man, this wonderful man, married her even though he knew the child was not his. Raising this little one as his, providing for them without once complaining caused thankfulness in her heart. The tousled head tot followed him everywhere and took in everything he saw.

She recalled how eager he was to learn and it seemed he was wise, so wise. It was as if his knowledge was far beyond what her husband and the elders had taught him. She could only remember one time, as a youth, that he caused her concern. It was on that trip. She thought he was with friends or family only to find out he was not there. They had to make the journey back to where they had been to find him. They found him. He was in the temple. She couldn’t believe what he was saying. He was confounding the elders with his knowledge.

Seated by the same window, dressed in mourning clothes she didn’t want to remember the past days. Those days of the mocking, the lies told about her son. The trial was a joke. The witnesses lied. He only did good. Why? Wasn’t the blind man who could now see better off? What about the crippled man now walking and others whose lives had been forever changed for the better? She couldn’t fathom that one of those that followed him became the betrayer. Her son cared for them.

Such a cruel death. He really didn’t deserve this. Inside her heart she screamed silently, he only did good. She remembered standing at the foot of the cross. Tears streaming down, a mothers heart breaking as she looked up and saw his face. Even in that torment, he remembered her and asked one of his followers to care for her. Where would they bury him? She didn’t have the money to pay for a tomb. She was thankful for the kindness of one that provided his burial tomb.

They took him from the cross and wrapped his body for burial. She didn’t want to remember that image but it was stamped in her memory. They laid him in the tomb but couldn’t finish the process because it would soon be the Sabbath. They would go after the Sabbath passed and take the spices they needed to finish the burial process.

A smile crossed her face as she remembers that particular day. The “spice day.” They went very early to the tomb. On the way, they wondered who would roll away the heavy stone that sealed the grave. What a surprise! The stone was rolled away. Jesus was not there!

What had happened? It had just been three days. Wait, she remembered, he did say something about he would rise – on the third day- yes that was what he said. She remembered.

Today, because of this, all of humanity can be free. Free from the guilt that sin brings. The chains of our past are broken, and the addictions of our present are paid for. We just need to believe and ask for forgiveness.

Words of the song by Bill and Gloria Gaither ring true. “Because He lives I can face tomorrow.”

For God so loved that word that He give His only son that whoever believes on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16,17

.

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The Cry Of One

Pain deep inside
Hide it
No one can know

Hurt and despair
Hide it
Make it disappear

Anger on the surface
Hide it
Make it go away

Inside where no one knows
No one can see
The reservoir where all is hid

No one knows she thought
No one can see
It’s hidden well

Outside a calm exterior
Inside a boiling caldron
Emotions raw

She feels worthless
Nothing is right
What is the answer?
Will I ever find value?
Will I ever have peace?

Light, bright light
Truthful light
Blinding searching light

Light shinning into her darkness
Pain long hidden revealed
Hurt and despair uncovered
Hidden anger exposed to this light

The light of God’s love shines into her soul
All that she thought hidden now revealed

He saw it all
He will never love her now she thought

Gently He said, “Give it all to me”
“I can’t,” she said,
“I have had this so long
I don’t know how to let go”

He said, ” I will help you.
Give me your pain and I will heal the hurt deep inside

Give me your hurt and despair and I will exchange it and
give you you healing and joy.

Give me your anger
I will give you my peace.”

It wasn’t easy
The process long
He didn’t give up on me

His light of love bathed my damaged soul
He restored me to what He created me to be

Emptied of all these destructive feelings and emotions,
I am filled with His perfect love

He set a guard at my heart’s door
When pain, hurt, despair and anger knock again
He answers

No room here to take up residence
No place in her life for you

When Jesus’ love shines in your life
You are forever changed

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Me, Myself and I

I decided I needed to talk to myself and me.  It was and is a conversation I need to have occasionally.

I launched into the discussion with me and the topic for this meeting of me was “A Crisis of Faith.”  I wondered if other people who have served the Lord wondered just where God is and is all of this I have believed really true.  For myself, deep down inside where me resides is a deep abiding faith and love for Jesus the one that redeemed me from sin.

It was the I and me that were having difficulty when myself joined in and asked some very serious questions.

Why do you think you are even asking this question?
Where do you think the thoughts are coming from?
If you don’t believe what is the alternative?

Myself is the one that holds truly to what Me and I believe.  All the studies, all the sermons and messages and truths that reside in the body shell that holds the three of us. They all have a part in keeping the vast amount of memories, facts and various tidbits of information cataloged and stored in the vast “computer” that makes up my brain. It is in my heart, the seat of my emotions, that really knows what all of us (me, myself and I) really believe.

The three of us, after a long debate answered this question –where are these thoughts coming from?  The we (meaning me, myself and I) knew immediately where this came from.  The enemy of our soul, the liar Satan, aka the Devil was trying to plant the seeds of doubt in the soil of my soul.  He was a tenacious seed sower who kept trying to nourish the small seeds of doubt to blossom and destroy what God was cultivating in my life.  I reminded me and myself of a line in a song “has fear and doubt come against you mind, has your faith been sorely tried.”  Yes we all answered.  This is where we are.  Another line from that same song floated through our thoughts. “Lift up your eyes here comes your help.”  This brought Psalms 121 to our collective thoughts, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills from where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1,2 ESV version.

One question answered, now for the other two.  I said to me and to myself you are asking this because you don’t understand what is happening in the circumstances around you.  We all took a look at what was happening around us in the various parts of our life. We looked backward to all the happenings and events of our life that brought us to this moment.  The three of us all said at once if we don’t believe what is the alternative?  Long discussions ensued over this question.  All of us agreed we did not like the alternative and decided we would not entertain those thoughts, so we brought those negative and troubling thoughts of doubt and gave them to the one who sits on the throne of authority in our life, Jesus Christ, God’s only son.  We listened to Him as He told us the enemy of our soul would love nothing more than to cover your eyes with the cloak of deception and cause you to fall away from the love of Father God.

Me, Myself, and I made a declaration that day – our faith still holds unto Jesus Christ who is the author and finisher of our faith.  We choose to allow Jesus to help us banish doubt and fear and ask the Father to destroy the seeds of these insidious plants trying to destroy the garden of our heart and to strengthen our faith.

Will this conversation take place again, maybe, but the three of us (Me, Myself and I) know where to go to get the answers.

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He Rules


I certainly don’t want to argue theology, religion or philosophy with anyone.  These thoughts are mine alone and my beliefs.  You do not have to agree with me but I am sharing my thoughts with those that care to read them

Drinking my coffee and reading the paper I came across an article with this headline in the Orlando Sentinel:  “Oval Office Sits Empty.”  The article was talking about the renovations that are taking place at the White House.

The longer I sat there the more thoughts flooded my mind concerning that headline.  I was reminded that one day all offices of leaders, presidents, kings, queens, dictators and governing bodies will sit empty because the King of Kings and Lord of Lords will reign over the whole earth.

It is God who establishes and allows kings and rulers. He places those in power and authority in nations to accomplish His plans for this world.  I don’t know the whys or the how our infinite God allows certain ones to reign.  There are some that are good, some that are cruel and evil yet they are allowed by a sovereign God.

You can trace the rise and fall of leaders in history and read about their acts of goodness or cruelty.  History also reminds us of the leaders of various religions and their leaders and the legacy the have left behind them.  We can trace the religions of this world and either validate or negate their teaching for our lives.  It is my choice and it is your choice.

Today as we watch news, read headlines and listen to the pundits espouse their theories; we are troubled by what we see and hear.  Many have become afraid and see no hope, because we can’t change things. Some become angry because of the helplessness felt.  Again scripture reminds us that in the last day’s men’s (mankind) hearts will fail them because of fear.  The Bible clearly says this: And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. Luke 21: 25, 26 (KJV)   

I believe there is coming a day when every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess to God.   Romans 14:11.

Concerned, yes, worried – sometimes maybe, but in the end I choose to put my trust in the one who redeemed by life from sin and

I love the words Bill Gaither penned in a song, “kings and kingdoms will all pass away” so will all governments and leaders and He (Jesus) shall reign forever and ever king of kings and Lord of Lords.”

It has always been God’s plan from the beginning of time to have fellowship with the humans He created but man broke that relationship.  From that time and until this day God longs to draw us back into that relationship with Him.  He sent His son Jesus to die so that mankind could be reconciled to God the Father.  It is our choice as to whether to believe or not.

This is a departure from my usual writings but this morning I felt compelled to share these thoughts with you.  You can choose to accept or deny this, it is your choice whether this makes you angry or not. It is my choice to serve God and accept the promises of His son Jesus Christ.   I place my trust in him knowing that He rules.

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When

When my human body is weak and tired from the depth of my being my soul cries to the one who made me.

When my conscious self-beset with questions and doubt my spirit man reverberates with “I know in whom I have believed and I am persuaded He can keep me.”

When confidence fails and hope is attached by only a slim thread, the subconscious mind sends a message to remind me of a hymn I sing, “Blessed Assurance Jesus is Mine.”

When darkness invades my life and it seems the light is almost gone, the radiance of His divine presence shatters the gloom as the light of the word reminds me I belong to Him.

When all seems futile and despair wants me to give in, His words of comfort tell me “weeping only lasts for the night but joy will come in the morning.”

When I feel like I have lost my way I am comforted to know
He has planned my path and knows the way I take.

When my thirst for knowledge calls, I go to the source of ultimate wisdom. The written words of God, found in scripture, challenges my mind

 

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He

He calls me to come aside and spend time in His presence and He wraps me in His love and washes over me with grace

When I have no one to talk to He listens with patience and understanding

In my weakness He becomes my strength and I can keep going

He walks on the waves of my troubled soul and calms the raging sea

He stills my heart when all around me trouble rages, and I am safe

He comes in the night when fear rises to tell me there is no hope and says you are not alone

When everyone has failed me and left me alone, He is my constant companion

When my body is racked with pain and sickness He is my healer and comfort

When there seems no place to go He is my strong tower and I run to safety in Him

He gives me goodness and mercy to follow after me

When it is time to walk the valley of the shadow of death, He will be my guide to lead me safely home

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Let There Be Light

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.

And God said “Let there be light! (Genesis 1:1,2)

What a difference light can make.  We all know what dark or darkness means but to get a full understanding I pulled out my faithful dictionary to see the various aspects of this word.

It can mean entirely or partly without light and it also can mean gloomy, hidden or secret, hopeless or dismal.  Wow – some of what I read about this word surprised me.

The other word that interested me in this passage was void.  This word can mean, total emptiness, holding or containing nothing, a vacuum, a feeling of emptiness or deprivations.

Sitting at the computer and staring at the screen I let the meaning of these words be absorbed in my brain. The more I thought about this the comparison to times and events in my life somehow amazingly became clear.

Every one of us at times walks through those dark moments of despair and hopelessness.  For some there comes are times of deep depression and we just want to curl into a ball, hide in the darkness of a room and pull ourselves into a black hole.  We pray and hope that this condition will pass while we wish for the light to penetrate.

Others will just experience the gloomies.  Has anyone ever said to you to “stop being gloomy?  You just can’t seem to get out of the doldrums and feel there is a black cloud hanging over you.

Perhaps you have experienced some or all of these things.  Dealing with this is not easy.  I can tell you that into these situations God can step into the situation and with authority says “let there be light.”  Sometimes that light comes in the form of a professional counselor trained to help us work through our deep depression and find the light we need to shine in our lives.  In His love God sends to us those that care and love us to bring a ray of light and sunshine into the gloom.  When we call on Him He pours his love and healing balm into our hurting hearts and his forgiveness allows us to let go of our secret sins and the hopelessness we experience at times.

It is God that knows just what we need and He leads us into our path of discovery when He says with loving authority;  LET THERE BE LIGHT.

 

The other interesting word was void.  “The earth was without form or void.”  Many today experience this.  There is a vacuum or a feeling of emptiness and the nothingness within screams to be filled.  We try to fill this void with things, jobs, money, success – you name it – yet in trying all of this we remain empty and containing nothing.

 

On the horizon of our emptiness and void stands a loving savior waiting to be invited into our lives.  He will not push his way in or demand to be a part of our lives.  It is our choice.  He created us with a “God shaped space” that can only be filled by him.  Nothing else can satisfy. When He comes he brings the ray of sunshine that creeps through the window of our souls and sets us on a path of goodness. The first light of His presence found in forgiveness soon expands and fills the emptiness and the loneliness.  That small ray of light gives us the courage to have faith and faith grows as we walk in his light.

 

Today God says to our individual lives once filled with darkness and void, “LET THERE BE LIGHT.”

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