To Everlasting

 

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The wearied soul does not sleep

He does not find a moments rest

For, he has not done enough

The man made law has put him to test

Nor has he collected all his treasures yet

 

A test of love and faith and truth

This test was Not

The test was lust, flesh, and want

Again led to fall short of his own needs

 

To these that wait in faith, love, and truth

A lively Kingdom awaits

Murders, drunkenness, and hatred has no place

Taking the hand of another here

Time to hear, laugh, and deeply care

 

Let the days we share now be called

Everlasting

They aren’t moments, months, or years

but Everlasting

The one, Everlasting Joy and the other

Everlasting Hate

Sweet and Salty Prayers

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

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

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

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

Truly,

FAITH

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

The developing masterpiece

 

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Everyday we are challenged with feats of courage for ourselves and others.   I know we are able to gain understanding from each other during the process.  One of the greatest feats of life is to determine and continue to determine which way to raise the blessed little ones that are given to us for our instructing.  The reality that one strategy does not work for all children haunts even the most well-informed parents.  Always the question comes did I try enough with this little one, elementary child, and eventually high school masterpiece?

One of the strategies that I seek to encourage more and even more at night is prayer and reading.  Yes, the children have spent most of their days in school, but they have read about what their schools and their teachers are interested in.  It is the parent that influences much of the children’s own personal interests, their priority to read, their developing psychology, theology, and common everyday habits.

It is during our evening conversations and readings together that the parent begins to cut past the surface of the routine.  Each evening there are general tasks that have to be done that weigh heavily on the events of the parent and children’s evening.  Homework is to be accomplished usually taking at least twenty minutes or more to complete, showers, dinner, and if there aren’t any other sports or extracurricular events, some reading to do before bedtime.  When the parent accounts for the children’s free-time after school, he and she notices there really isn’t very much.

During my prayer time and Bible reading with my children, I have begun to notice what takes place that I would not have mysteriously uncovered any other way.  It is during our reading of the the Bible, discussion, and prayer, that most quiet, concentrated time I have to hear their thoughts.  One conversation was really very special.  In one of my children’s prayers after talking about faith he said that he wanted to be better about living out his faith.  He said how happy he was that he did not have to have a faith in God that is found all at once so to speak, but that he prayed to have “faith ablaze.”

Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (N.I.V.)

As parents, we have the joy of mysteriously “cracking the code” and discovering who our children are becoming each day through our interactions with them.  Praying and reading the Holy word of God brings up discussions that test the integrity of the their development and ours.  What will we discover about our children over this year that would not been revealed without that quiet space built into our routines?

 

Truly,

 

FAITH

Dream discussions

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How does a dream begin?  Dare to look back on your life and think of your greatest dreams.  We must begin back where we started at times especially if you or I are at a loss for new dreams to be found.  When our remodel project began, I did not know that was truly a dream of mine.  At the time, it was more of my husband’s.

The start to our dream began with me saying, “I think you need to put a bit of money on something you think is needed.”  This dream started small, and it began with a closet and the laundry room rebuild needless to say.  Gratefully, the dream is for the most part complete outside of decorations and curtains.

The demolition is never the greatest part of the project, and at that time it felt like a “natural disaster.”  It was at the demolition stage that I became the most out of touch and wanting to take control of a dream that I was not gifted to complete.  Truly, the responsibility of the execution of this dream was my husband’s since he has the construction background.  So, we talked about the closets as I wasn’t exactly sure what he wanted to do with them.  Just brainstorming about the closet, it occurred to us that we rarely use our dining area which is ill-equipped without enough seating for our family of five.

Soon we were planning our kitchen remodel, and oftentimes, a dream begins just like that.  For me, I believe everyone has unique God-given talents that each has been given for work , and what I liked most about this project is that even though I do not have my husband’s construction talent, I was happy to complete tasks with him that allowed me to share a dream with him that I could not have shared had I not been open enough to learn some new interests like home design and decoration.

The process of this dream was a long one especially at the demolition stage.  Just being a part of it taught me how to exercise a lot more patience remodeling, which had never been a natural talent of mine.  Remodeling is not for everyone, but dreaming is.  I hope you have a dream that you think God and his son would be hoping that you would pursue.  I know God truly does care so much about the way he designed us.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen”  Ephesians 3:20-21

Truly,

 

FAITH

Remodeling the interior

 

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

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

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

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

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

Truly,

 

 

FAITH

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parenting Awareness

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In life I have been amazed by the creation, I think that most people that know me realize how much my family has lauded the miracle of a child’s birth and the priority of raising a child. There was such wonder at the initial birth of it all. I can remember when I brought my baby home the first few days and my hesitations.  I remember hesitating to give my son, now fourteen, his first bath.

At the time, my husband and I were staying with my mother and father-in-law in their duplex, I realized my own ill-preparedness and that I needed an awareness.  I was very much in awe of my sweet baby.  How was I to give that little one a bath?  I  had thought of everything from the weekly to monthly development of the child before he was born, but I had not thought deeply enough about the basic act of a bath after he was born.  Having my mother-in-law there, giving a bath to an infant had not been forgotten by her so I had my own success with this basic necessity of his life.

I needed my family’s guidance and leadership, and I knew that what had been created was more advanced than my ability to understand his needs all on my own.  I knew I could not put him in a tub!  I didn’t want that little remaining cord to get wet!  Mothers and fathers, yes, we know our children, we are amazed by what they do and what they need. Looking back on those years, I remember falling in love with my curious, strong willed son and falling in love with God at the same time.  By getting to know my son, like other children, I am most amazed by God because you see God’s most endearing qualities in nature and leadership there is.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature– have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

I wonder about my own investment in understanding God’s own ways of child rearing.  How about you: do you enjoy watching the development of your own children and wonder if I became more aware of how God describes life, that I may parent even better this next year?

 

Truly,

 

FAITH

Not quitting but developing

heart-700141_960_720Have you ever experienced a relationship or complicated life situation that did not seem to have the positive momentum to flow in a peaceful and harmonious rhythm?

The effort to exist within a circumstance exceeds the effort to give up?  In human life I see this potential to happen fairly easily when one only looks at the immediate circumstance.  The problem with that is I may not see the minimum effort it takes to hang in there that could make the overall outcome greatly improving with restoration and repair.  

With faith, there is always a positive reaction- there is a choice during minor life inconveniences and distractions that can positively improve with time like in the case of a new move, school changes, reduction of finances, transition of a child/children to teenage years, or in my case, a remodel project.  One must ask him or herself the question, if I have a purely faith centered focus during this time to endure, could that be enough to change these minimal inconveniences?  If the answer is yes, then the choice should always be to endure.  This is a climbing companion for someone experiencing a difficult climb on an exciting but wearying journey.

Enduring the journey becomes the first choice one has to make between Himself or herself and God.  I choose God; I choose to try faith and effort.  God can change him, her, they, them, and me.  I can instead pray, draw close, ask forgiveness, ask to start over.  It is beyond you or me, so I choose to pray and not only seek help and support from God but also be willing if needed to ask another for advice, be patient to wait and move out but seek reconciliation, seek friendship, seek Christian love.  Christian love and friendship goes beyond a romance; it says we will work through our differences and let God work in ways that my heart needs to change.

“One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: “Power belongs to you, God.”  Proverbs 62:11  

Life is complicated; we all agree.   The effort to make inconveniences productive in relationships requires faith.  If you are still putting forth the effort like I am and expecting greater answers to prayers, keep up with that!  There is more for us to see.  

Truly,

 

FAITH