COFFEE

COFFEE

When all else fails and life is glum,

When rain pours down for days,

When to weary feelings I succumb,

When colors fade to gray,

It is to coffee that I turn,

Black medicine of old,

From youth it was when I first learned

It’s worth is that of gold.

But please explain if you should know

The mystery so queer:

How that it goes in dark and slow,

But comes out quick and clear.

A Hole In One

Out he went with his dream to make the changes

And strapped to his waist was the old 45.

The star he wore was made of tin but his heart was gold

And from that heart his dream stayed alive.

But on that day when the sun stood still and the birds ceased their song

He drew that old black powder Colt a millisecond too long.

Oh it discharged a chunk of lead alright, about 250 grain,

But after one small ricochet it landed in his brain.

The whole town mourned for weeks and weeks o’er the grave up on boot hill,

“Here lies the man with heart of gold, and head with leaden pill.”

He may have been right you know, his heart and all that stuff,

But being the fastest draw in the West does not mean you’re so tuff.

He should made the ones he loved a safe place for to lodge,

Instead he spent his days in the sheriffs office in the the city they call “Dodge”.

Dodge he did, all his life, the bullets, cursings, kids and wife.

He was was known for keeping law, but his home was always absent, “Paw”.

 

 

Feathers & Petals

Can the cardinal be a jay?  Would he want to anyway?

Then why does man in the image of God, treat his heritage so odd?

He is not pleased to wed one wife, nor lead a thankful, fruitful life.

Instead his goals so hedonistic, takes something so divine, simplistic,

And turns his love for one another to covetous-hatred for his brother.

The cities that could shine with pride have caught mans’ cancer and hence died,

Replaced by tribes who steal and kill, yet never-ever get their fill

Of satisfaction.  Tell me what is your reaction?

Observe the birds who never strive, but always seem to stay alive.

Their feathered beauty taken for granted is some of the best upon this planet.

And see the flower in the grass, it never worries about race or caste,

Though often overlooked by man, is as fragrant and colorful as it can

Ever want or hope to be.  No it is not like you and me.

The solution that restores the nations, is worship Creator not creation.

Though He’s made this wonderful place, we have forgotten to seek His face,

And while we pray and make demands – to get the blessings from His Hands,

We seldom recognize our place, like birds and flowers who know His grace.

 

 

What To Do With Your Life

We are a race of gifted people throwing away our greatest blessings.  Like giving an exotic diamond to a baby who only wants to chew on it, swallow it and then deposit it in his diaper.  He grows throughout life never remembering the precious gift he wasted during infancy.  Along he goes finding ways to survive as he swims through his cultural swamp only to die with nothing, the same thing he came into life with.  Had he only the capacity to understand the value he was handed in that exotic stone, he would have been so much better off today, all grown up.

That’s us you see:  born into a race that has forgotten the rich heritage that belongs to them.  Spiritual amnesiacs putting great value on things that perish rather than investing their God-given riches into life.  Paying our athletes obscene salaries and accolades to entertain us as we stuff ourselves with false pride of a team that could care less about us.  This is why we watch the “elite” give each other golden awards for best actor, best writer, best dressed (or under-dressed), and most likely to go places.

We are convinced that becoming like them is a wonderful thing, so we buy their make-up, weight-loss plans, books and movies while feeding on corn-chips in front of some screen waiting for the next big thing to impress us. We serve an employer or lay-hold of public assistance to support our love affair with overpaid, unhappy, unworthy people who themselves have a bad habit of leading miserable lives, yet we watch them day-in and day-out.  We want to be them but  we cannot because they model a media-generated life of falseness that we were never meant to be in the first place.

As we dance with death with every lost heartbeat we waste away a second at a time, never reaching the lofty things we have been created for.  God’s image has been replaced with the face of a human make-over, covering the failing bodies and aging faces of our idols.  Our being cries out for help so we sedate it with an opium that promises “better days ahead.”

The best day however is today.  It is the day you can start exerting your energies on things that are profitable to yourself and all those whose lives you influence.  Decide first the value of yourself:

1Peter 1:18, 19 For you know what was paid to set you free from the worthless manner of life handed down by your ancestors. It was not something that can be destroyed, such as silver or gold;19 it was the costly sacrifice of Christ, who was like a lamb without defect or flaw. (GNB)

Scriptures reveal that while we spend our time pursuing things that pass away, that God spent everything to set us free to be everything He intended for us to be. So if we are ever going to pull away from the gravity of the death star of human failure, we must come to grips with just how valuable we are to God.  Maybe you believe putting your faith in Christ will consume your opportunities to find more pleasure and success in life, but before you return to this belief consider the cost of such a philosophy.

Mark 8:35-37 For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for me and for the gospel, you will save it. 36 Do you gain anything if you win the whole world but lose your life? Of course not! 37 There is nothing you can give to regain your life. (GNB)

Jesus was saying here that the energy man exerts in earthly investments will be lost (there’s physical proof for this), and once your life is spent you cannot get it back.  However if you will simply give your life back to God, through the sum paid by His Son, your life is now valuable again and that value cannot be lost because you gave it to God.

This gets better: although your life is God’s possession you still get to live it to the fullest here on earth, while you await your reception in Heaven when the threshold of death finally comes your way.  That’s right you are still you, though God’s property, and now you get the chance to truly invest in a future that will not pass away when your body does.  You do not have to play the game everyone else does.  It’s okay to be who God created you to be, especially when you live for Him!

Your artistic ability, technical skill, creative thought-life, and physical abilities are usable and on display to bring Him glory and bring you the joy of living.  Plus, as you mature in your life with God He gives you gifts that enhance your life in Christ.  Life is no longer about you, it’s about God.  The old you who tried to mimic and adore false gods and frivolous ways of living are now replaced by adoring God Himself and emanating Jesus.

What have you got to lose?  Pride for one.  That will have to go.  The reception of Christ in your life means agreeing that you are a sinner (just like me).  Along the way you will learn more about the things that displease God and will have to go also.  God is gracious though and has given us better things than sin to replace our old ways of living.  He replaces promiscuity with faithful relationships.  He replaces hatred with learning how to love.  He forgives us for the lies we told and lived in, and patiently teaches us how to be more truthful.  Most of all He gives us all the grace we need to be what He intended for us to be.

You may have watched Christianity and saw something that you did not like.  Truth be told: Christianity and Christ are not the same thing.  Christianity amounts to a religion that is modeled differently from group-to-group and place-to-place.  All who embrace the Christian religion are not always true Christians.  Like the human race we vary in ways that make us different from others because of our surroundings.  So if you enter a church building in California, you will likely experience something different than in Calcutta, but this has no bearing on what it means to be a follower of Christ.

When Christ comes for you at the end of life, you will shed everything that was physically yours in this world, and that includes your membership at First Presbyterian Church.  Yet, everything you have become for Christ, and everything you have done in the name of Christ will be waiting for us when we reach Heaven.  Let God lead you in your life in Christ.  Eventually, you will find yourself a place of worship with other Believers, but the throne of your heart is where true worship comes from.  Let God sit on that Throne.

So what about your life?  Must you be like everyone else? Or is there a passion within to be what you were created to be?  The beauty and genius of who you are is wrapped up in knowing God has placed great value on you. Don’t waste your life.  Give it to God.

 

Good Words From My Wife, Susan

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Below is a great Facebook post my wife wrote yesterday.  Like & Share!

Give ear to my tale of a boy in his youth, and a giant quite fearsome, a big old galoot! The young lad had brothers, and was bringing some lunch, a request by his father who was worried a bunch! With two nations at war, a reputation at stake, up walked the giant a challenge to make. Over 9 ft. tall all covered in armor, trepidation and fear were all he could garner. That giant he roared and taunted and gestured, defying God’s army his words how they festered. Men big and strong all ran in fright, for Goliath the giant was a daunting sight. But David, quite small, had faith in his God, he knew although bested, his God would stand tested. He picked up 5 stones, along with his sling, and started toward Goliath, intending to fling. Goliath came cursing and flailing about, “Am I but a dog!” he shouted right out! But David didn’t waver, his faith was so strong, “I fight in the name of our God!” was his song. He took out a stone with a heave it was cast, down came the giant defeated at last. Then with a great shout the Philistines they flew, with Israelites behind them, their courage renewed. The God of the Israelites had not let them down, the battle was His then, and surely is now. For David faced many giants throughout his days, he grew tired and discouraged in so many ways. But each giant he faced, each time he would doubt, he would remember Goliath, remember his shout. The bigger the giants the harder they fall, but tumble they will when on God we do call.

David did face many giants in his lifetime. King Saul’s incessant attempts to kill him, the loss of his first born son, and his best friend Jonathan, betrayal by his son Absalom, and battles galore. Unknown to many, David and his army also fought four more literal giants as recorded in 2nd Samuel 21: Ishbi-benob, Saph, the brother of Goliath, and a giant with 6 fingers on each hand, and 6 toes on each foot. He sang a mighty song of victory to his faithful God after those battles in 2nd Samuel 22.

Read This

Read this because you’re the type of person who appreciates writing. Go ahead and share it and recommend it to someone else who is kinda like you.  You know who I mean: the guy who hides behind the screen he writes on;  The girl who is secretly depressed and agitated about how small they feel in such a big writing community with its own stars.  Those people who are repulsed at the actors, writers and pontifical people who pat each other on the back with golden awards for who shines brightest.

Yup.  We cower in their shadows as they go on to fame and fortune while all you want to do is be heard and appreciated.  Don’t be disappointed, you are who you are and your work is your work no matter how the rest of the world responds to you and it. Keep creating and writing for it is an extension of yourself and you are valuable.

There’s a portion of us who think we have answers to difficult questions.  Some of us like to tell the world where we have been.  Others like to share their knowledge and accomplishments.  The reason we do is we are created ourselves, and the work of One who also desires to be noticed and appreciated.  Yet, He doesn’t need any of us to survive. He doesn’t survive at all, instead He is Life and Life is self-existent in and of Himself.  We have been told we are created in His image, so we are very much like Him, but corrupted by a sick, self-absorbed role model called “humanity.”

Some years ago a song written by a favorite artist caught my attention:

RANDY STONEHILL
Through The Glass Darkly

I heard God was at the Palace doing a one night stand
So I went out there to see Him with my hope in my hand
He was just a boy of fifteen without much to say
And when he started signing autographs I walked away

I was standing on a corner by the marketplace
When a fellow with some leaflets shoved one right in my face
Well he poked me with His Bible like it was a loaded gun
And I said whatever it is you’re selling man I don’t want none

All our superstar are suicidal casualties
And our heroes die in motel rooms and motorcades
Oh it seems like all out dreams are only fantasies
And I wonder if we’ll learn from the mistakes we’ve made

I bumped into Mr. Jimi at a London hotel
And he said let’s get together but he didn’t look well
When I woke up in the morning all the papers read
Jimi Hendrix overdosed last night in bed

All our superstar are suicidal casualties
And our heroes die in motel rooms and motorcades
Oh it seems like all out dreams turn into tragedies
And i wonder if we’ll learn from the mistakes we’ve made

Now I’m waiting at the bus stop for the bus to arrive
And I know there must be more to life than staying alive
Well I don’t know where I’m going when I climb in
But it can’t be any emptier than where I’ve been

     Ah, yes.  Randy has nailed it.  The world looks to super-stars that always become falling stars.  We give them our ears, eyes, time and money.  We sit on the edge of our seats waiting for the next movie surprised to find out that one of the stars had to be computer generated because they perished due to reckless living.  Instead of learning from their mistakes we make them gods and goddesses.  We continue to worship at the throne of popular opinion rather than truth.
     Some of us have drawn back.  We know we are failures and keep working so others do not make the same mistakes.  We want to share the beauty of life, the wonderful & limited gift we all share in this world.
     Some have plumbed the depths and reached for beyond the stars;  some have looked inward a far as the microscope will allow and have drawn two diverse conclusions: 1) Mankind is an amazing cosmic mystery having chance as it’s origin, and we are progressing toward perfection, or 2) Mankind is the creative result of  Divine Artist and we fail to see His signature in ourselves, and hence are degenerating.
     While the media continues to generate myths and legends out of humans with smoke and mirrors, let’s continue to create the reality of life and artistry at it’s best.  Hopefully, we will be able to give the greatest worship and accolades to the One who made us this way.
     I know you may not agree with my conclusions and that is okay.  You may feel all alone in your work and believe no one understands.  Let me challenge you to have another look.  The world with its hard work and coldness has grandeur and beauty.  Stop often and be amazed.  Tell us about it.  We already know about the hatred, the death, the sickness, and degradation.  Paint your world with the Creator’s heart in mind.  Find Him and you will find faith, hope and love.  Do you really need anything else?

 

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The Uncomplicated Life

Drink white birch, go to church, type in “archery” then hit “search”

Pizza supreme, Field of Dreams, big ol barn with wooden beams

Ducks in creek, 4 day week, chirp your tires hear them squeak

Silly poem, thoughtful gnome, birds feed just outside our home

Smiling dog, croaking frog, red fox family inside log

New mown hay, chirping jay, sunset at the end of day

Stars in sky, sleep draws nigh, katydids sing lullaby

Eyes of red, go to bed, best thoughts dance inside my head.

They and Others

valley of death

There they go again, back and forth, in and out, up and down.

They could have so much more, but instead desire madness and monotony.

Where were they when we needed them?  They were busy.

Busy but accomplishing nothing; nothing that they say is really something.

Across the sea others went in their place to keep them safe,

Safe maybe, but not from themselves; so many lost to preserve the madness.

The others? Most return alive, but their spirits are near spent,

Bodies never quite the same, the land they love emaciated by selfishness.

Memories that do not die, sleep– the others may, but rest never.

Always something in the shadows, waiting to attack when least expected

As rest is slaughtered during the cursed nightmare.

Morning dawns and outside the window there they go again,

Constantly moving and going nowhere accomplishing nothing so they can

Be like everyone else: Except the others

 

The Gift

DSCN2311Not ours to keep but to embrace is the earthly life we have come to know.  We do not order it, control it, just embrace it because it is a gift.  It is undeserved at any rate and at least we should appreciate it’s length be it just a day or two.  Life is full of experience that cries out for more, even if we are the richest and most well-to-do.  There is no bucket list for the thankful, just gratitude for the day we have.  Hunger, disease, war, death and all things rated evil or unfortunate are still part of the day we are lent.

Fortunate people like myself do not appreciate the depth of creativity thrust upon us from our Maker.  In His hands and heart lies a plan that comes to fruition not for us but for Himself.  Those who are humble enough to submit to His sovereignty enjoy the fruit of His indefinable and merciful ways and eventually His Kingdom which is made up of those who He has called His own.

Our world is now sopping wet with the blood of human selfishness and the entire creation cries out for redemption.  We ask ourselves why God would allow for such pain and heartache when kindness and love is attainable where we have been planted?  The answer is not defined, perhaps it is because His creation cannot know His love unless they are given the opportunity to make their mind up to love Him back.

Many are born into the sorrow left to their people & land by rebellious forefathers.  Yet, through the sorrow they somehow come to know & love God.  Others with so much blessing in life rebel against His goodness and leave sorrow for their children, and of course, judgment for themselves.  I know; you don’t want to believe it.  But we better for time is of the essence.

As we continue in life we know that our time is running out like the fuel left in a wood fire which turns to ashes in a few hours.  The young ignore it until their friend is killed in an accident, suicide or a war.  The middle-age try to control it thinking that they will be able to retire soon, then their classmate dies at 51.  The old still know their days are few but few of them are careful with how they’re spent; then they die.  The gift of life is snuffed out like a candle and at every age and stage of life we deny our Creator His spot on our heart’s throne.

You’re alive?  Live, but not for yourself.  Live as though life is something given that needs to be given back, appreciated, and in the hands of God.  Get off that throne; it’s not yours.  When the King comes to sit down you will be removed.  Love your Creator as He has loved you.  If you haven’t yet discovered His love, go to the Cross.  You will see blood shed for our transgressions.  You will see it is also empty for Christ has ascended to His Father’s throne where He intercedes for those who believe on Him.

In the meantime the world in turmoil has some relief that can be given by you.  Yes, the gift of life.  Those who keep it for themselves will have only that to show on the day we give an account.  To carelessly give it away to riotous living is also a tragic loss, for it was not appreciated and wasted.  To invest it into others: the returns cannot be lost and are multiplied. But first, give it back to God.  He bought it with His Son.  You will have to give it back someday anyway.  What pleasure their will be for the one who presents it with interest.

Merry Christmas. Understand the gift.

Thanks Lord!

Giving thanks always takes us to the wonderful things and people we are surrounded with: Family, Church, Nature, Salvation, Home, God.

I am seldom aware of all the things I am not thankful for, yet are part of the life God has designed for me. Some things we become thankful for only when they are taken away.  Here’s a few:

  1. The full use of our bodies
  1. The senses: sight, smell, taste, feeling, hearing
  1. The ability to think, reason, make decisions & take responsibility
  1. Communication with other human beings
  1. Dominion over animal life, forest field & the accountability of it
  1. Water, air, soil, fire, the elements
  1. Wealth & power (in the amounts given to us)
  1. The opportunity to know God
  1. Articulation of speech & control over it
  1. Dreams, sleep, rest
  1. An eternal soul that is loved by its Creator
  1. Endurance of pain, sorrow, affliction, troubles
  1. Youth, old age & whatever is in between
  1. Hope for tomorrow when today leaves you exhausted
  1. Warmth in cold, cool when hot, relief when in pain

Now, of course this list is not extant, but should get you thinking thankfully.

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving,

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