Daily Routine

Isn’t time to start your day peeking out the panes with a prayer?

Daily Routine cover


In the much-needed cloudburst of rain, my day begins. I wish I could enjoy the dawn as peace and quiet come early in the morning. But, I’m off to work! The lonely roads glisten from the night before as the shininess of street signs show in the light of night. Storefronts are still black and the parking lots are bare. Did the rapture happen when I wasn’t looking? Lingering in the dark, a black and white police car lurks. He’s yelling at someone, like Satan himself, on a holy terror.

I take a minute to pray to our heavenly Father – I should have before I started on my journey this morning. But like many others, I was too busy worrying about myself.

So, where is God in your life? Is He in your heart, or on a shelf? When was the last time you thanked Him for you? Do you refer to God as your Father – in case of emergency? I wonder…. is your daily routine verbatim – like putting your pants on the same every day? Is it always the same leg first?

Complacent within ourselves, we aimlessly wander, waiting for a change. But city streets reflect the past, watching you in the rearview mirror. Isn’t time to start your day peeking out the panes with a prayer? Maybe so! Share your first cup with the dear Lord that gave breath to you. The Canadian pastor, Oswald Smith, once said, “when we work, we work, when we pray, God works.” There is no activity in our life which doesn’t need a prayerful attitude.

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The dawn brightens and the gray skies shadow the sunrise. Marching on with our daily routine, life is full of surprises. So, let us ask our Father to bless our morning habits. Let us pray for those who find it unnecessary to give the glory to our Father in heaven.

Though your morning may be gray, I pray in the mundane of the day, you will seek another world. He’s waiting when you’re ready!

Only Know….

A true story of love and memories

Our new home
Photo by Dana Bicks LLC

 

Looking out over the water and the blowing winter wind, it all looks the same. With great perception, I watch my wife. I know her inner thoughts as I see a cold tear fall from the corner of her eye. Maybe it will help to say, I love you. I pray it softens her aching heart.

Leaning over the old rickety handrail, childhood memories pass through her soul and they seem like a lifetime ago. She silently remembers the camaraderie of herself and her brothers fishing and swimming, crabbing in the summer, and escapades on the frozen river. But most of all, her mother’s last words spoken before she went with God, seems to prevail within her soul…. “Take what I am giving you and buy your own waterfront home. Find peace and love there.”

I was busy pursuing my own dreams so I never recognized God’s gift in 1985 – my wife. Little did I know, she was what I needed! So thirty-two years later, my phone displayed her number for the first time. It was obvious – God wanted her to make the first move back into my life. I’m not sure if an angel can rescue one of its own, but she rescued me from my world of a near disaster. God wanted us to rescue each other.

Only KnowI never had the pleasure of meeting her mom but, somehow, I feel God calls me to complete her dying wish. Now sitting on the front stoop with her back facing me, I can read my wife’s thoughts as her head reverently bows before God. I hear her heart say, “Mom, I’m finally home… where peace and love lives, now and always. Thank you”.

Love finally brings not just us, but every memory she held on to, back together again. Staring across at the winter waves, we praise God. I sincerely thank her mom as a smile comes like the sun, seeping through the cold clouds. If she could only know….

My Battle Cry

A dedication to Parkland High School Massacre

My Battle Cry cover


The battle lines are drawn as hearts shred and tear apart. Grim headlines clarify the horror as our children turn into men. Families come together for a candlelight vigil and one can’t help but think…. where is the love of God in these lost, young souls? We stand at attention and mourn. God never intended the innocence of a child to cause such volcanic violence.

Hatred causes bloodshed as cannons roar long before dawn. Nothing is sacred anymore–not a home, school, or a church! Hospitals are filled with heroes as Satan’s assailants silently roam.

We live in a society filled with denial as we lead a vibrant generation astray into the dark, leaving them to render a life of impulse and issues of mental health. God remains on a dusty shelf like a bookend; only when we have time. We walk away from a bitter cold reality and life makes a change. Our loving Father, the creator of all good, cries for His children.

At birth, every child is a gift of perfection from our Holy Father. They are God’s possession, not ours. He temporarily places children under a parent’s care with the obligation to love, teach, discipline, and direct their spiritual and moral character. But we fall short, more times than not, creating a devastating impact on a child’s self-image. Today, how many homes and schools have the Ten Commandments or the Lord’s Prayer hanging on their walls? Exactly! Our children are perplexed and left with a lack of direction.

My Battle Cry 1 Amid this tragic chain of events, in yet another school massacre, we ask, why? In my opinion and many others, too, it is a foundation issue. Is God in their life? Our homes should be a training ground for values and love of mankind.

On this day, God, I pray my battle cry. Give parents guidance and the strength to raise Your children by Your word. Shed thy grace upon them. May we give You our sorrows for the young victims, survivors, and their families of Parkland High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Our hearts are heavy and spirits weary. Let them rest in peace with Your arms wrapped around them, tightly!

 


God bless all the victims and their families!

My Battle Cry victims

My Fading Frozen Flower

…..God our Father protects the innocent – even as little as a flower!

My Fading Frozen Rose


The gray sky turns to the dark of night. Huddled in the corner where the fence post pivots, shivers a shrub I planted last summer. I prayed over it asking our heavenly Father to watch over the fragile, faded frozen rose. But wilting in the dark of winter, the poor little frozen stems lie damaged due to the cold. Blanketed with love and prayers, its roots are numb below the freezing rain and snow. God, did you not hear my prayers? Now, it’s night, and the brown wilted leaves and fragments of petals struggle to survive; another brutal ice storm falls instead of gentle, warm spring showers.

There are no bull frogs or locusts chattering in the evening air, just a howling sound. Satan tries to kill every living thing God blesses and my heart pales as pain resonates through the window. Wishing I could fix everything wrong in life, a tear meanders from its duct. I’m helpless while nature takes its course. As I watch my breath on the glass, I give God the glory for I know I have no other choice. Turning away and closing the drapes, it’s up to Him who withers or lives and only the thaw will reveal the truth.

The bed is turned down, and I lay my prayers on the pillow. Once more, I wonder if God’s listening. All I can do is pray for my little frozen rose and hope it’s okay. Morning comes, but the stem remains frozen in time. As spring brings hope, a new stem survives the winter. Though Satan thought he would conquer in the cold, God our Father protects the innocent – even as little as a flower!

It is important to realize that God’s protection may come as an ending, but that is because something new and better is on the horizon. As God’s children, we’re promised a life protected by God, in which nothing or no one can separate us from His love.

God Bless….. and Happy Valentine’s Day!

My Fading Frozen Rose 2

Ceremonial Celebration

Peace reigns in this unity of nations as each athlete bows in respect to one another.

Ceremonial Celebration


With one eye closed, I try to watch the most worldly news one could ever imagine, the PyeongChang Olympics. In living color, every young representative smiles and dances bearing their arms from faraway lands. Proudly, they take center stage – all in one and all as one, saluting their achievements bestowed upon them by God. There exists no animosity, no hate, just an extraordinary love for their fellow competitors and country. I try to comprehend the beauty of the opening ceremony and it makes one wonder, in general, where mankind went wrong in the world.

I see a hidden message here…. there’s a lot we have yet to learn! Peace reigns in this unity of nations as each athlete bows in respect to one another. Far away from the grunge of the United Nations, these tremendously talented, young adults take center stage on a one world playing field. There’s nothing like the promise of competitiveness to make one’s heart grow fonder! At this time, it’s the only positive program on television. Putting aside the negativity of who’s right or wrong, everyone is welcome to join in the ceremony. Together in peace and harmony, they exemplify an abundance of blessings.

As good Samaritans, it’s the Olympics’ young competitors that set the example. So many complacent youngsters today, set in their ways, should follow the lead. I also have to wonder how our government would work if they got along like these collegiate kids? Amazingly, the world stage needs to take note. Yes, the Olympics is a marvelous event. What better gift could we give God, ourselves and those around us than the gift of learning how to live in unity, filled with the power of God’s love?

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Hopefully, the Olympics 2018 will be remembered in the hearts of people around the globe as a sign of peace!

Consequences

If no one interferes with the law of sowing and reaping, we learn to make wise choices through our words and actions.

Consequences


I find myself where quandaries abound. I consider situations of a few of my closest companions. So many of their thoughts during altercations remain in the dark and consequences are suffered as sure as the sun rises, yet they persist. Why can’t we follow God’s glorified communion as He so intended?

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The serpent tempted Eve when she was alone and wandering through the garden. Satan used exaggerations and twists of words to change God’s character within Eve’s mind. Likewise, we converse with assumptions and over exaggerations when swords are drawn. Rebuttals exclaim the deepest feelings and God is nowhere to be found here. Tempers thrive in disagreement and its consequences evolve in the light of night. Eyes are opened wide in response, so I must ask…. should anyone venture where consequences rest? Do ultimatums pay as we flagrantly control what God has instilled in us?

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Our behavior on earth will have consequences in heaven whether good or bad. The Bible speaks of all the details of our lives being held in recorded books. Each of us will give an account to God for our actions. Greater attention will be given to those lives that have taught us about goodness and less attention will be given to the lives that spoke or displayed wickedness.

There exists a law of sowing and reaping. It is better explained in Wikipedia as the personal consequences of one’s actions being in proportion to the good or bad intentions towards others.

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You see, God gives us the gift of choice. If no one interferes with the law of sowing and reaping, we learn to make wise choices through our words and actions. When allowed to suffer consequences, we learn from them because a loss of something or someone dear to us, will cause a change in behavior. In other words, turn the other cheek when tensions rise.

And now as the sun rises high above argumentative situations and the consequences, let us pray for them, love them, and ask God to bless their heart. Allow God’s Spirit to convict them for only God can grant them repentance.

In My Shoes

and…. Do You Stand In Judgment Of Others? Characteristics of a Judgmental Person

In My Shoes 2


Stopping at the wooded edge, I didn’t realize the path I followed would lead me to a clearing. Daylight allowed a different point of view. I wandered over brooks and broken branches where time claimed their usefulness. The briars and slippery leaves laid dying in the shadows and shades of life. It appears our lives are determined and judged by the turns we take to arrive at the final destination.

In My Shoes 3In the bright sunshine, I asked, “God, where were you as I walked lost, trying to find my way?” Looking out over the waving grain, I thought I heard a voice… oh, it was just in my mind as I found my way through the forest. I listened intently as the breeze romanced the autumn sprouts. God has certainly shed his grace, but not in the woods where I climbed and fought my way out.

Again, I thought I heard someone clearing their voice. It reminded me of a little bullfrog laying upon a lily. I dusted off the remnants of the woods and rubbed my eyes clean of debris. As I looked up, poised against a tree, was Jesus, my Lord, watching me.

Disgruntled with my path I chose to take, I asked, “Where were you when I slipped and fell?”

He quietly smiled, nodded his head and looked at me with one eye. “My son, who picked you up when you were hurt and saved you from being scratched in the briars? Or pushed you to the brink as you walked along in circles? It was I, only me, that kept the snakes and rodents at bay, only me! Now you’re safe. Be blessed…” And then…. He was gone.

So, I thought about an old familiar tune as it rattled in my head. It’s only God who knows where my shoes walked and I defy you to curse my path. My journey is mine and yours – is yours. God didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world, but to save it. Who are we to judge other’s paths in life? Mine is no more wrong than the path you took to the end of your woods. I know God blesses you… He blesses us all, if we allow Him. Please, don’t stand in judgement unless…”you walk a mile in my shoes…

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EDITOR’S NOTES:

Do You Stand In Judgment Of Others?

Do you become enraged by someone else’s sin? Become aware of your own sin first!
Do you refuse to forgive? Offer love and goodness instead.
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Do you cut off contact with someone who has sinned or because you have different points of view? Has God ever departed from you when you sinned? He asks that we love each other unconditionally.
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Do you participate in gossiping? This is the trait of judging someone without giving them the chance to change.

Do you hate to receive criticism, so you turn a blind eye? This signifies hating to admit that you have faults. We can’t grow and learn by our mistakes if we can’t be honest with our ourselves.

Do you refuse to confront others of their mistakes? You’re permanently stamping them to their sin without ever giving them the chance to receive grace.

Do you automatically write someone off as hopeless? Where would you be if not for the courage of others to speak truths of your life?

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