How Many Ways Can I Say….

….the solidarity I hold as you make an example out of me.


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It’s a gloomy, soggy Sunday. I rock in my recliner and post thoughts about those who won’t be in church this morning. How ungodly are they? Reflecting on the news of the day, I can’t imagine there is much love as it’s “every man and woman for themselves”. I’ve lived, somehow, long enough to see this rerun played out long before now. There is no God in times of bloodshed. In my faith, Christ shed that for me. I’m eternally grateful that my love of God permeates.

Here, by my side, are years of writings. Some are sad, but some I rejoice in how many ways can I say I love you, God. Like rainy days, my heart pales and the sky’s gray reminds me of my past. The failures, Lord, that you brought me through; the times I stumbled and you caught me as well; and the accidents where You saved me.  Dear God, how many ways can I say I love You?

Beside me are my shoe box monuments. No one can imagine in this day and age, the solidarity I hold as you make an example out of me. Graced with your anointment, my course has turned. I woke one early dawn and I wrote my precious first piece – “Jesus In The Backseat”.  My life now prophesized, God has ordered my mission.

My steps now lighter, my heart resides in forgiveness. My love and Your messages are now spreading around the world. How many ways can I say…I love You, God?

 

Readers:  How many ways can you say….”I love you, God”…..in my life? How has He changed your life?


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You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. (John 14: 23-24)

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! (Psalm 150: 6)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1: 17)

When A Picture’s Worth A Thousand

Watching the world poised for action, we need to diligently seek grace.


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Speaking patriotically, I listen to the views as opinions are too numerous to mention. A true believer, we are all under God and I seek the best for all the country. The military, the meek, the wealthy that knows yet seeks to destroy. Even nature wants to preserve. We spend our lives trying to endure and do what’s right for the welfare of our descendants. Praying to pass on the promises instilled in us as children, we strive in our commitment to God to make a difference.

What matters more than heritage? We stand like statues to the wind, like the Wye Oak, as seasons change a landmark to our community. But one thing for sure, we hold our flag dear to our hearts. Our allegiance we pledge, faithfully.

But I wonder….will our children ever comprehend the complacency we constructed for them? They will never see a draft where destiny is decided by the luck of a straw. We were plunged from high school to a battlefield, fighting for our lives. Forget the enemy! Staying alive was priority. Kids can’t relate unless of course they enlisted in a branch.

I call on the weak to rise and be counted. God needs us! We are the chosen to serve and protect what’s left. Watching the world poised for action, we need to diligently seek grace.

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Caring about our tomorrows, God grant us salvation; our peace and joy we proclaim for the children’s sake that know not….. Amen.

 

 


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Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. (Psalm 144: 1-2)

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:8)

Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. (2 Timothy 2: 3-4)

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127: 3-5)


 

Learning To Trust

…..go to God where trust originates.

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Sitting at the kitchen bar, watching the sunlight in the clouds, I’m deciding what to wear. Listening to the weatherman, I wander, what crystal ball is he looking into? For sure, not the one in his hands! He’s saying clear but I swear it looks like rain. The only thing warm is the coffee cup against my palms. I hate this kind of weather because you never know how to dress. Throwing on my winter coat, I grab a sweatshirt, cap and gloves and think to myself, now I’m prepared. But are we ever? Our best guess might be the worst case scenario.

Not looking back, I start to back out of the garage. Trusting there is nothing behind me, I pull out into the street. I guess I should have looked but for the millionth time, I will be fine. Like kissing my bride good-bye, I trust today will be like tomorrow and like yesterday.

It’s noon and wanting to send my love, I reach for my phone. There’s no answer. What comes to mind? A million thoughts – the “what if’s” are haunting and all of a sudden I’m wondering… hmmm. But I’ve been married for years; I’m certainly secure but there’s a little inkling that something is wrong. I’ll shake it off and go about my day.

Arriving home, I see she’s beat me. What a surprise, or, what is she up to? Dinner’s nice but a little too quiet. Suspicious, I’m afraid to ask. I’ll get my shower and slip under the covers….the place where no bars are held. She’s putting her back to me! My trust is on the line and comfort zone infiltrated. Reminded of the weatherman, I’m trying to prepare for the onslaught of the night. All these years are wrapped up in an instant. There’s no time to ask for prayer unless I’m trying to save myself. So I go to God where trust originates. A clap of thunder and it’s not just three of us anymore – God, her, and I. Now I know it’s four!

Learning to trust, it’s faith that’s granted but still, there’s doubt after all these years. Feeling for my life, I’m trying to prepare but there’s no way my heart isn’t broken. I’m trying to trust with suspicion arising but it’s like painting rust… hopefully it will go away. Trusting in a can of paint is much the same as believing in the honesty of a liar.

So it’s back to square one. I don’t know how to cope with the elements at hand. Now it’s me that wishes I had a crystal ball. But the only peak I see is that which God determines. Protecting me, God wards off the evil spirits. Staying diligent in my Father’s faith, He instills in me, Learning to Trust 101….

How trusting are you??  Share your experiences….

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Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! (Psalms 44:4)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7)

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. … (Romans 7:15-24)

The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. (Proverbs 31:11)

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IQ 72

…we will find our way in a wavering world.


Squirming in my seat as a bored little boy, my teachers struggled to teach me. English, Math, Biology…. it didn’t matter for the text books all looked the same. Confused, like driving in fog, I found myself stuck at an intersection. You see, I tried hard to pay attention but my comprehension was minimal. Life was leaving me behind.

A football coach started to preach to me one day. “You’ll never amount to anything”, he said, “how can you with your lack of mentality?” A tear came as I cleared my throat. My shoulders hung low; I had no response. I knew not of God to stand with me as stones were thrown. Though demolished by insults hurled at me, my Lord was watching and giving me eternal strength. But I was too young and innocent to understand the beliefs instilled so I ran.

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Life was like a roller coaster. The climbs were challenging and the valleys were never ending but even as a small child with an IQ of 72, God had a purpose. I learned the greatest gift from God isn’t always the gift but “the giving”. As we walk through life, I propose you be ever mindful that even Christ, with all His many quests before Him, leaves a lot of life in question. It is God who holds the answers. Jesus, like a butler, only holds the door when heaven’s gates are opened. For there is no test score that defies aptitudes.

“For there the meek will inherit”, God’s promise to us all. Looking at the road I’ve traveled, doors opened and blessings flowed. I never saw a traumatic loss; blessings were disguised. But somehow life, with its twists and turns, gets sorted out as we grow older. They’re like the dawn – a new light comes and night is calmed. Channeled through life like running water, we will find our way in a wavering world.

 


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I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Romans 12:12)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

 

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Grace Estates

…if only I knew what I wish was possible as God calls from upon the hill


Sometimes life is truer than fiction. You finish reading an excerpt and while walking away, you wonder if it’s true. And then there are times when God puts things so squarely in your face you miss it! You absolutely can’t even see what He’s trying to do. The examples are too numerous.

As I drive every morning, the sun rises over the foot hills and my vision blurs. It’s a winding, little back road that not many use. It’s in disrepair with lots of curves. But there’s a place I pass every morning and afternoon and I dare not stop. A wrought iron gate is ajar; the invitation is so inviting but I’m not worthy to enter so I drive on with a mere glimpse. How I would love to live there!

Passing the gates, I break. I sense God’s calling but I, a mere pauper, could never fill the proprietor’s shoes. I might, though, be lucky enough to get the mail or take the garbage to the end of the hill but certainly not to own a mansion such as this.

Though I pass by and dream, reality is just a few miles away. But oh, how could I not dream of sharing my life with the one I love behind the gates called Grace Estates? Only God opens doors to let us peak at what’s in store. Though we gaze out into the wild yonder, held captive by reality, the presence of God is abundant.

Whisking through another week, so far I’ve heard God’s calling ten times. How I wish I could turn left and enter in the gates ajar! I dare to trust. My faith restrains my spirit; if only I knew what I wish was possible as God calls from upon the hill. I fear only my lack of faith while flying down the back roads, running late. I guess God’s going to have to wait; too many bills that I must pay. And I realize the metaphor – my windows are rolled up.

God, I pray your hands control my very existence – no time to stop and smell the roses. But someday I’ll stop and get out of my car. I’ll put my right hand on top of the open gate and walk up the hill of Grace Estates.

 

Grace Estates

 


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For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:29)

The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life. (Proverbs 22:4)

So You Think You Know..

….I pray I never lose sight that it’s better to live by, than to hide, in the book of Christ….


Looking out over the amber grains, I wonder, what makes you think you know….  I listen to scholars who spend their life learning.  I sit in the congregation and scratch my head, as men of cloth, read and try to interpret the Word. I watch the deacons share the sacraments on Friday night; not exactly, your church wine.  I’ve been welcomed into homes that I will not for a minute, live in; all the figures of Jesus permeates on their musty, hall walls.  I wonder how Christ would feel to know that those who adore His name, leave little admiration.

Though I walk through the fields of grain and listen to the winds whistle out your name, I can’t help but wonder, what do you think you know?  Oh, I read a book or two and even went so far as to memorize a verse or so; but, the messages you need to learn aren’t between those leather covers.  It’s, rather, the way you address your fellow friends today, as they stand and watch your every move.  Falling short, I never lose sight of who’s in charge – our Father in heaven – He who makes miracles happen; the one we need to know!

Our God, an awesome power, can do no wrong. He directs our every thought and action as we wake in the early morning. Our stamina, strength, perseverance and promise, makes us whole through God.

Watching from a picnic bench, I find more comfort from an old, black man in a three piece suit that’s worked all his life, than a college graduate who has little wisdom.  I think about the philosophers and astronomers that try to predict the weather; an unpredictable force but mankind falsely believes it.  Moses, though, got it right! He, a murderer that God used to the good, understood the facts of life.

Today, I rant like a mother guarding her nest – “who are you to tell me how to live?  You think you know?”  I watch so many with the good Book in their hands.  They are the first to ruin faith with their fellow man.  In contrast, I strive to be first in restoring the basic principles that God asks us to observe in His name.  Shallow as a puddle by a curb, we can’t help but see the weak who think they are strong.

The winds rest now and even the grain remains reverent to the Father.  As I leave a path walking through the grain, I pray I never lose sight that it’s better to live by, than to hide in, the book of Christ; others do not seem to comprehend.  I sit and review my journey and I hope, someone, will see where I once walked.  May they find my footsteps as I remain vigilant to the their ways; where some merely feel that figures on a wall or a Book on the dash, will direct their future.

Only in faith, will Christ live on….th[7]

Prosecution Rests

God passes judgement upon hypocrites with too much power.


Fed up, I’m about to rewrite my messages from God, for the third time. It’s been a long time since this has happened, but, as I tell this story, Satan is adamant on destroying my message. So, now, is all the more reason I need to write this story.

As Father’s Day approached, I was faced with an altercation leaving me little choice than to be led by my faith.  God being first, I begged, borrowed, and stole to commit to my own convictions. Taking the gamble, which about broke me, I knew it was my duty to protect the love I so dearly care for today. Seeing Satan at every corner, God of course, was my only choice. Combating fire with fire the match was lit …..

Sometimes, I wonder why God challenges me to a task far beyond my qualifications. Knowing my limitations, and perplexed with situations, I rise to the challenge as faith leads me. Dealing with the devil reminds me, though, of dancing in the desert in a thunderstorm. Anticipating his next move, consequently, is a series of tactics that’s very unpredictable. Almost like a counterterrorist, we plot as the story thickens.

Regardless, I pray, God is near me.  Father-time has not been on my side, but, Father’s Day eve, my prayers were answered.  The good Lord offered me a hand and spared me the time to correct the evil that had gone on for the last two years. Determined to seek out and eliminate courtroom gavelthe lies, the truth is under suspicion. Where there is God, there is no doubt; so I stay ever prevalent to his Holy name.

My love for you, and committed to the loyalty of foregone wishes, I stand with you and hold your hand.  May no man hinder a mother’s Will. God passes judgement upon hypocrites with too much power. Like a nation under siege, I will watch you, enemy, falter. You cannot serve two Gods at the same time!