Tarnished Memories

Dedicated to the tarnished memory of Astounding Great Ministries in Hindsville, AR


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In the early dawn as I drove to work, smoke filled the sky as far as the eye can see. Giving it little thought, cruising through the mountains and valleys, I was running late. Trying to beat the clock, I wasn’t really concerned about the smoke-filled air. That was until I came over the hill and around the curve.

Oh dear God! A church is burning! I looked harder and began to cry; not just a church but my own beloved place of worship! I slammed on the brakes. With tears flowing, I asked God, why? An image scratched into my heart like a forest engulfed from lightning. My little country church had stood for years and now it’s all but gone.

The hot steel and even the concrete floor were smoldering. Singed beautiful pews and the handsome stage (including my drums), gone for good. Asking only our heavenly Father I thought, why has Satan found comfort destroying our fellowship hall. Why God?

Putting my truck in gear as though I was in a funeral procession, I slowly left what was left of my spiritual home. Carrying the hurt, my mind repeatedly thought of all the pictures of weddings and baptisms, over and over again. The tears fell like rain. Only lightning could have caused this fire but there were no storms to be seen.

Satan destroyed our house of worship and only faith would mend the memories. As a congregation with the strength of prayer, we began to replenish that which was lost. Now by the grace of God, a new church stands better than before. Satan was defeated!

Blessed with the surplus of other churches, we serve an awesome God. Prayers are answered though the memories are tarnished. Smiles are brighter as Jesus comes to gather his flock once again.

 


Watch the video:

http://www.nwahomepage.com/news/fox-24/astounding-grace-ministries-to-reopen-due-to-community-donations/788373375

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These Metallic Memories

….only God with all His strength would seemingly find our two spirits.


 


If I could go back into the chapters of my mind and resurrect memories, I wish I hadn’t had my soured childhood. Teenage pressures conquered my soul as I was bullied in school as the “the fat kid”. Constantly in one turmoil or another, I watched my father wilt away. I was the young age of fourteen. My dad and mentor is now in heaven but I still look to the skies today to talk to him. I guess, though, there were some fonder times. Let think if I can remember one.

My parents sent me to Rising Sun summer camp every year. It reminded me of the song, in more ways than one. I always looked forward to it.

I moved out at twenty-one under defiant protest. I didn’t need to hear the sermons filtering down. I was so disgusted with everyone that I packed my bags and moved to Florida.

Reaganomics crippled the economy with 14% interest; life had stymied. The challenges we met were battled on the front lines whether it be Vietnam or our own city streets. God, I’m sure, watched from above. But nonetheless, drudgery became a way of life. Until…..

A knock at the door and a metallic memory you’ll never forget – the innocence of an Angel. Poised, her persona was nothing short of Heavenly. With no way to stay in touch, God was the only. Priors soured, single now, neither knew the other’s crossings. But those joyous moments became a distant dream as reality set back in, like an evening thunderstorm, scattering debris. The trials and tribulations remind me of metals on a lapel from wars fought on a personal front. We struggled to survive. Our pure little hearts never realized the heartaches we individually endured. But God saw what no one else could believe, “a spark”, thirty years ago that united two souls in infamy.

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Youthful in spirit, with collected memories from obituary relationships, only God with all His strength would seemingly find our two spirits. He reconnected these metallic memories of life.

 

Working feverishly to build an empire, may God too, bless our days and nights. It’s another battle to share from God above. My eyes closed, I listen to your blessed spirits, your fingers going a hundred miles an hour.

We move to a new plateau, holding hands, while making more “Metallic Memories.”

 

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Empty Memories

Not even the scrapbook recalls the love ….. turmoil of emotional child abuse


emotional abuse 2In the quiet evening, your mind strays to younger days. Nestled in the love seat, you think about the lonely life that has lead you down the paths of disillusion. There in the confusion, disconnection is a way of life. Heart wrenching, love was in limited supply; not much to go around and rationed like a commodity. It was not associated with warmth but instead, related to the flowers or gardens.

You would sit in your room and play by yourself. Looking out the window, your mother is in her polka dotted blouse, dark slacks, and her garden gloves. She loves her tomatoes and corn on the cob. You just watched …. sitting inside. She never knew the love you desired or saw devotion because it was all about money – how much dad could bring home. You were too young to understand but you knew that love wasn’t suppose look like that. Looking back, you never heard, “I love you”, as you went off to school or while saying your prayers at my bedside.

Animosity seemed to rule the roost. You listened to your friends as they shared their stories on the way to school. They went out over the weekend and as you knocked on their door, you knew they would not be home.

You would have given anything for your parents to include you in their plans. But to throw a ball or enroll you in a curriculum outside of the classroom wasn’t going to happen. Sadly, you would come home and play while most of your friends played at the beach. Softball was the sport.

Yes, it’s sad as those from broken homes look back. You swore you would never do that to your own children. Now those days are long gone too and all that’s left are voids. Not even the scrapbook recalls the love ….. just tarnished empty pages. The snapshots are faded memories you just as soon forget.

For now, life is all but over; the mid-drift spreads and the hair turns gray. Thoughts are all that’s left, like trash to be thrown away. And here you sit as life goes on.

 


Related Articles:

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. (Psalm 127:3)

Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. (Colossians 3:21)

Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart. (Proverbs 11:29)

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

 

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Editor’s Notes:

Signs of Emotional Child Abuse:

 

  • Not showing affection.
  • Ignoring the child’s presence and obvious needs.
  • Ignoring the child when he or she is in need of comfort.
  • Not calling the child by his or her name.
  • Making the child feel unwanted, perhaps by stating or implying that life would be easier without the child. For example, a parent may tell a child, “I wish you were never born.”
  • Ridiculing or belittling the child, such as saying, “You are stupid.”
  • Threatening the child with harsh punishment or even death.
  • Continuous verbal abuse.
  • Comparing the child to siblings or peers.
  • Blaming the child for family problems.

 

Ignoring children’s needs, putting them in unsupervised, dangerous situations, or making a child feel worthless or stupid is child abuse. The result is serious emotional harm. But there is help available!

Parental Alienation Awareness Organization: http://www.paawareness.com

Prevent Child Abuse America: 1-800-CHILDREN or preventchildabuse.org
http://www.preventchildabuse.org/images/docs/emotionalchildabuse.pdf

 

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Wandering Back…

God, somehow, has helped me find my way back to the lemonade stands.


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My eyes aren’t 20/20 anymore and hearing isn’t what it should be either. But wandering back, winters were winter and summers were hot as haities. I reminisce those times with you.

Leaving doors unlocked and restful nights, are now things of the past. We would open the windows and listen to the locusts after a spring shower. As the hot summer’s heat sweltered, we slept by the fans trying to relax. Yes, life was good back then.

We sold lemonade (and no permits needed) and made lots of money…or so we thought. Mowing yards was an occupational hazard as poison ivy spread like wildfire. Sea nettles dried on the docks as the sun evaporated the life out of them. As I remember, I never thought I’d live so long.

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Those were awesome times to be a kid; always creating ways to entertain ourselves. We’d play all day until dinner time. Dad would say grace and mom repeated, “Put your napkin in your lap !” – “elbows off the table!” Oh some of the things we wish we could forget! Mom really loved me but she reminded me of boot camp reveille. 0600, “Hurry up you’ll miss the bus!” Homework started at 19:30 and bed was at 21:00. Reflecting, I wonder if it was really worth it. I guess parents plant seeds with hopes some will root. They did the best they could under the circumstances…

Associated with five wars now, I’ve lost some friends from high school and a neighbors son’s never made it home. Looking back, my path wasn’t so bad. I guess mom tried hard to protect me because of the hell she saw. I’ve stumbled some but haven’t we all?? But God, somehow, has helped me find my way back to the lemonade stands and my first love.

Our gracious Father is my insurance to a better life. He has granted me the ability to share, through blogs and my books, with those who choose to follow His Holy word. Anointed, I am, through all the turmoil and my fair share of skirmishes…


Related Articles:

All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. (Isaiah 54:13)

Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children— (Deuteronomy 4:9)

…even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 10:33)


Wandering back

The Rodeo Drama

……lessons that scorned the fragile heart


With my feet propped up high above the noise and confusion, I admire the sunset over the pristine waters. I see a couple holding hands with a little child swinging between their arms. The family dog runs into the ocean and runs back to his master, and then decides to shake off. Watching from the twentieth balcony, my Margarita relieves the anguish I left a thousand miles away. I wonder if my feeder still feeds my feathered friends at home.

Rodeo drama

My focus is altered from that rodeo drama I left or at least until I return. Fast forwarding, it’s sad to think I was lead down a path not blessed by God. So I found a place so far above that heaven was closer. I took the climb to find myself enjoying the beach, sunset and that which ails my aching arches.

Another day renders as it bids farewell. I watch the moon as it crests over the wandering seas. Cradling the stars, a peace is delivered especially for me. God has cursed the mundane. They hide in the pages of my mind by lessons that scorned the fragile heart. Though there is peace on the twentieth balcony, only God can communicate with me now. I stare at the stars and begin to start to count them. But the rodeo drama plays on like a recording in the back of my mind.

Miles of distance apart, I wonder if you knew the pain and suffering I went through? You stabbed me in my spirit and my life altered. They rushed me to a sanctuary and God saved my soul. The rodeo drama still plays on but without me. I can hear the scenes of act number five, from the twentieth balcony where it echoes in the halls below me.

Born once more, I’m slamming the last of the doors that remain open. I shut that chapter and turn the page. I realize now, God has saved the best for last. You were little less than a speed bump in my life.

Miracles only happen when you allow your life to be an open book. I have closed the gates on the rodeo drama I left miles away…. twenty floors below.


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blog directory

 

Related Articles:

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naïve. (Romans 16:17-18)

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.   (James 1:26)

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.   (Ephesians 4:29)

 


Reflections in the Lily Pads

A special dedication to Kirk….


The sun peeks above the trees; it glistens in the creek between me and another shore. It’s a beautiful morning to contemplate on thoughts that run like a road map. Some roads I’ve traveled and some I’ve never seen. Standing in the middle of my meditating, God bears my aches and pains. Memories, like autumn leaves, fall around my body; I wander on repeatedly ….

Life is as delicate as the pristine mornings; I sit and watch life come alive. I feel the warmth of the morning glare that pierces where I love. God grant me the serenity where evil looms in the minds of many. I’d rather not be on a road where darkness resides. This is where God intends me to be – in a place to reflect on life; the maybe’s, hopes and disillusionments that make us stronger in faith every day. Last month was no exception….

A dear friend I lost in time, has found me – a reunion of enormous proportion! Memories of our childhood exhilarates a gift; God, somehow knew, life’s altercations would never sever the ties. Two boys that played from the time they could walk, found diversity in puberty. Now life turns a corner; for what was forgotten, is born again in the minds of two old men.

God grant us grace as hearts reunite for the first time in years; for what should have been the end, is really just the beginning. It’s now ‘our time’ to share and enjoy in our parents’ blessings.

Kirk and Dana

Keepsakes

..my heart is still loyal to my childhood home


KeepsakeIt’s a rainy 4th. I watch the world majestically turn, at a little table for two, on Main Street. The air is filled with festivities as patriotism runs deep. Some bump into others accidentally, smile, and reply “excuse me”. A little town nestled in the foothills of the Ozarks howls with history. Watching the rain as the sun brightens, it reminds me of summer showers where I grew up; the things you never forget as a kid, in your own hometown, while your wishes and dreams evolve into color. But, the rain makes me wander off, as I’m darn glad I am dry and not stuck out in the middle of a lake, somewhere.

Like the shrouds that chime against a sailboat mast, steadfast, your spirit recalls. The sounds are imbedded in your spirit, like a Christmas carol on the tip of your tongue. I’d open a window and listen, as the boats tossed and turned, in the middle of the night. I tried to sleep but I couldn’t. My dreams were clouded, overcast, as I worried about things that little kids shouldn’t.

While experiencing the pouring rain, I watch, as it washes down the tiny streets and my mind is full of wonder. Where will I be in fifty years? Will I make it, as the competition is fierce?

Looking at lunch, the flies have beat me to it!  I must stop and enjoy the moment, but, my heart is still loyal to my childhood home. I think about you and where you lived. I wonder if you’re still in contact with your closest, oldest friend. Did you marry straight out of school and start a family, or, did you push off to another world, where miles and war were about the same? I can’t help but wonder if you’re okay, complacent with the dreams you had when you were little. I hope so. God knows, you deserve it!

To those who’ve lost in life, my deepest sympathy. God has a purpose for everyone – living or not – we both serve Him. Counting my blessings, I’ll add one more… ‘cause in my happiness, I now have you.

Sitting here, watching it rain……