Brighter Horizons

…On The Eve of a New Year


 

Brighter Horizons

In the freezing evening air, I stare off into the warmth of the sun so many light years away. The winter vice has us in its clutch. I pray to God as bitterness penetrates my soul, my spirit lies in the grips of the winter winds. Buttoning up my collar I turn away from the howling.

It’s during this time of year that my thoughts follow my heart–it goes out to those who have lost love ones, as the bitterness reigns and winter winds destroy the joy. Saturated by this chill, we’re buried by the bitterness we hide inside as the last year has left us full of mixed emotions. Tears of joy sit framed on the dresser, though some I know are from broken hearts and relationships too. I share in your pain as well.

Yet, despite it all, God promises us that there are brighter horizons ahead and a good future with hope! Through the power of Jesus, you will be able to look forward with joy to God’s destiny on your life. So it is written….

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

 

We will never understand or explain God’s reasoning for allowing us heartaches and losses to endure, but you must trust it is because He knows your future. Make this new year an exciting time of anticipation—waiting for God’s gifts to be bestowed upon you! Praise His name!

2 Corinthians 4: 18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

 

God grants His grace upon those with an open heart—those who are willing to wait on His message. I know this to be true. Those who know me personally, can vouch for the hard times I was suffering through at this time last year. But His miracles started with just a phone call in January, and the rest, you could say, is history.

So, on this eve of a new and better year, the bitter sun sets for the last time on 2017. Feel the warmth in the dead of winter, and put a joy in your heart. Take the time to watch our Father as he begins to create our dreams, like little flowers breaking through the frozen tundra. Buds on branches bring hope to those who pray that spring can’t be very far away. Yes, the snow that captures a majestic landscape portrait, will soon melt like memories of the cold.

Happy New Year and hope–for brighter horizons!

happy-new-year

Tarnished Memories

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


Tarnished Memories main

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

Tarnished Memories 3

 

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.

metallic memories

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)

 

child abuse ribbon


 

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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