Morning Wakeup call…ugh

 

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Sometimes we need a wakeup call.   As we shake cob webs from our eyes, lifting the heavy weight pressing against our brains from slumbering visions. 

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The darkness of before sun rise might as well be groaning to us in the dull emptiness of breaking dawn. 

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This is my bitter pill in the swill of body aches and still sleeping children down the hall.  This routine repeats for four more days and then a reprieve for both myself and the sleeping ogres that I’m about to awaken.  Moans of protest echo down the hallway making the dog nervous as yawns escape seemingly ready to shatter window panes withdrawing then repeating again…until cereal bowls make their parade entrance on the kitchen table meeting the jingle and jangle of falling flakes or cereal, a breakfast of champions they say although we all feel like the loser in this particular round.  But the bell has rung, we, with slightly crumpled clothing and half the socks that we need, convey upon this early morning to engage education, heavy traffic and for me bottomless cups of coffee hoping to fill that vacant void of sweet alluring dreams and soothing pillows and down filled blankets…it’s a cold comfort at the moment…yet perhaps by noon the slumber will be shaken from our eyes, our day will become brighter, reality a little safer…but for now just pour me another cup of coffee and let’s get on with it. 

 

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Soaring Like Eagles or Falling like paper weights?

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

I’m not sure where you’re at today in your spiritual walk with God, but I do know that there are days when I feel emotionally and spiritually spent.  My hope in God isn’t where it should be. There are days in which my compassion level is at an all time low and my apathy level is at an all time high…and that scares me.   It’s in those moments that I am reminded of the Eagle:Image

On a number of occasions, while driving, I have looked out my windows of the van and seen amazing sights around me…on a couple of instances as I’ve looked out into nature on such a drive, I have glanced up at the trees and witnessed the majesty of soaring Eagles.  Eagles don’t flap as much as other birds, their wing spans are very large and because of it, once they reach a certain height in the sky, they let the wind currents do all of the work as they spread out their magnificent feathered wings and glide high above it all.   But how do they get up there?  First, of course there’s the leap from their nests or perches, then the initial exertion of flapping broad wings to reach the necessary altitude for soaring.  These Eagles know where to find the wind currents, they understand it will be there but they have to do the initial work of getting there first…

As followers of Christ, if we want to be mature Christians, reaching new heights and allowing His Holy Spirit to ignite us and spur us onward into our world, we first have to do the initial work of faith and belief.  There can be no doubt left that God will be there for us.  He is constant, He is faithful and He wants us to soar…but we have to make the climb.

Isaiah 40:31 is a powerful verse, one of my favorites, but did  you catch the initial sentence?  But those who HOPE in the Lord will renew their strength.  When we launch outward and up, there has to be an element of faith and hope that the Lord is there for us.  If we launch out and up with grains of doubt, tinges of mistrust in Him, we most likely will launch, fall and land flat on our faces.  To be empowered, ignited by God and His mighty strength, we have to first believe and place all of our hope in Him.  Then the soaring can take place.  Only after we Hope in the Lord can we achieve such heights.

Before we can soar, before we can be renewed the initial work of stepping or launching out and up  we have to make a decision, to play it safe – remaining in our nests or perches and eventually starve spiritually; OR – Hope in the Lord, trust in His mighty power and leap out there knowing He will be there to help us soar.

So what will it be?  Will we play it safe and never expand, grow or even soar?  Or will we launch outward and up as we confidentially and boldly trust in His mighty power?

May we all find our soaring altitude…thanks be to God!

Comfort, Peace Crammed into a Crazy Busy Schedule

Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Do you sometimes feel weak, disappointed, alone, uneasy?  Don’t worry, you’re not alone.  According to some research on the topic of anxiety, some 40 million adults over the age of 18 struggle with anxiety and anxiety disorders in the U.S. alone.  That’s a lot of people feeling depressed, anxious and afraid.  If anxiety reigns in our lives, it has been proven that anxiety can lead to other sicknesses and diseases because the body and its immunity has been compromised from the outside in.   

This simple verse from Isaiah says something to you and me that we should prescribe to our bodies, souls and minds like medicine to an ailment.  Our Father in Heaven wants us to lean on Him for strength, support and assurance.  In this verse alone there are 5 assurances for us from God himself: 

1) I (God) am with you!

2) I am your God!

3) I will strengthen you!

4) I will help you!

5) I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

What I have found in my life is that every promise God gives to his people – He keeps it!

He loves us that much, and He does not want us to fail, despair, or doubt Him!  

Are you at the end of your rope today?  Are you lacking confidence, assurance, hope?  God comes to us and says; “I am with you don’t be afraid!” Lean on Him, know that He is there for you through thick and thin…but faith is a two way street…you have to place it in His hands.  

So go ahead, find comfort and peace in your crammed, crazy busy schedule today, by realizing this verse in your life…I dare you!  Image

John 3:16 (More than a Church thang, it’s a love thang!)

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John 3:16…

For God so loved that world that He gave His only son, so that whosoever believes in Him, will not perish, but have everlasting life”

we needed saving, we’re hopelessly lost, our life is literally going to hell in a hand-basket and what does this passage of scripture tell us?  God loved us.  It’s like giving your watch to a bank robber…it doesn’t seem to make sense.  We don’t deserve such grace, and yet grace is just what we get with God.

God gave us His one and only son…so we wouldn’t have to die eternally…so that we could once again have a relationship with our Creator.  This Son of God’s, was perfect, without sin, and He sacrifices his life for ours…so that his blood now covers our ocean of sin.

I’m not sure about you, but when I read this passage of scripture I don’t just think, “yeah I’ve heard that passage many times in church and Sunday school”;  but I now think “Wow…I don’t deserve it…and yet it’s there for me!”

Christmas just came and went.  and during that holiday season – kids will be kids and ask for so many things that it drives parents crazy, yet we know that we love them and we desire to give them what they need not what they want.

In God’s case, however, he gave us what we need and what we will want for all time.  To be loved.  The next time that you feel unloved…think again.  You may not have your friends or family around you at that moment, it may hurt, the circumstances around you may not be great, but YOU ARE LOVED!

I want to challenge you to cry out to God in your times of need and in your times of plenty.  Know that you have been thought of from the beginning of time and God wants a relationship with you!

At the Ski Lodge

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In the Ski lodge

Fried food lingers

to pores, plaster

and particle board walls

it’s a teenage wasteland

of sorts

acne and cells phones

tightly wrapped

in Northface coats

down knockoffs

mittens and scarves

and blistered feet

are engulfed in boots

too tight

strapped, locked in

and ready for

another downward

plunge.

Idle chatter coats

The tables and chairs

Like syrups of soda

Spilled, layered and sticking

To everything it touches.

 

Youth lined in coats of safety

Safely glance, withdrawing

And glancing again

Lacking confidence

Coughing nervously

Courageously trying,  failing…

Picking themselves up off

Of the powered snow

Brushing off illusions

Of rejection, injecting

Infected bruised pride

With another shot of

Laughter, red faced

Not just frost bite

Teasing the cheeks and nose

This is living

ski lifts, hot cups of cocoa

Steaming , engulfing souls in this

Wasteland,

retrieving mitten hands

Gathering up scarves and hats

Destined for that big jump

That may or may not come

Accompanied with chances

Of bruised pride, ribs and

Collar bones… those that

Are free, full of fried food

Ferry up the slope again

Fighting off such feelings

Of failure,

It’s all downhill

from there.

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