Whose Hero Will We Be?

I’d like to ask our modern culture and our “evolved” Christian believers, “When did we get to the place where Truth cannot be spoken for fear of offenses and sin cannot be confirmed for fear of judgement?”

If we are a follower of Christ, Truth is absolute and irrevocable, and sin is sin, not just “grace-filled” or “judgement-filled.”

When did we get to the point where we care more that we not offend someone than we do about their very souls? When did we get to the point where we work so hard to preach grace that we forsake the reality of sin, hell and an eternal death?

If we read the Bible, from the front cover to the very last page, God is so very clear: the wages of sin is death.

We’ve gotten to the place where we’d rather argue, and too often quite hatefully, with our brothers and sisters in Christ over the possible offenses taken or not taken over an issue rather than the merits of truth.

We’d rather drum up dissension over the intentions of someone’s words rather than seek His Word for His truth on the subject at hand.

We’d rather slash the hearts of our fellow kinsmen, and in turn, wound those who are listening and trying to find their own answers, rather than speak with love AND truth and let the Holy Spirit bring forth His conviction and mercy.

It sounds too much like the arguments of old, when men and women would argue over the color of the pews and the length of the choir robes while their babies were battling issues of sex, drugs and rock and roll.

It smells too much like the wayward youth of decades past who fought so hard for their independence and their owns rights that they forsook the ancient boundaries set before them to show them The Only Way.

It looks too much like the sly dealings of darkness who always brings forth confusion, contention and chaos in order to distract, disengage and devour those who are most vulnerable and afraid.

Wake up, Church. Lift up your eyes.

Look upon the One whom we have pierced! Gaze upon His torn flesh, His stripes, His pierced hands and feet.

He was wounded for OUR transgressions.

He was bruised for OUR iniquities.

It was not for someone else but for you and me.

It was for our own prideful stance. It was for our own arrogant words.

Not a one of us is not guilty. Not a one of us is worthy of the mercy and grace He gives.

It is time for us to stop claiming our own opinions and laments as Gospel. It is time we stop doing what is right in our own eyes.

Lives are at stake.

The innocent lie within the balance.

It is time we all repent.

Moses stood between the children of Israel and God’s burning wrath. Moses stood between the children of Israel and the armies of Pharaoh.

Moses cried out to God for their lives to be saved.

Moses was their hero. God was their Savior.

Whose hero will we be?

…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

Your Potential Extension

Potential…

Everyone has potential…

Sometimes, you have to wait on it…

You wait on your potential, wait through your potential and you wait for your potential to arrive. Waiting on your potential to grow and mature can sometimes be exhausting! It can be slow growth with lots of changes and adjustments.

You wait through your potential change and development to arrive at your giftings and abilities.

You wait through your potential shifting to get to your potential extension.

Have you ever met someone who seems to be a “skys the limit” kind of person? It seems they can do anything, be anything they desire, with no limitations?

This is what I’d describe as a potential extension. There is no limit to their potential, because it has extended beyond themselves.

This is where you find yourself awaiting the potential’s arrival or the limit of your potential.

It’s not a “sit down and wait” kind of potential.

It’s not a place of apathy and laziness, “simply growing old and fat,” awaiting your potential.

It’s not a “looking at the clock, awaiting the change to come to you” kind of potential…

It’s a place of pushing, striving and extending your limitations to reach further than you ever have before.

It’s a place of stretching and learning to thrive in your potential as if you have no limitations.

It’s a “how high can I jump and still land on my feet” attitude, a “let me try to fly just once” perspective.

This is your potential extension.

Are you ready for your stretch?

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12-14

Reduced to a Box

His life was one of a restless heart

Never staying long to bury the roots

He’d come in with the wind and leave in a whim

Like a bull’s entrance into the gate

And a butterfly’s flight back out the door

His smile was one of mischief and charm

Never intending to leave a scar

He’d laugh easily and bring delight to the room

Like an otter’s dip for a swim

And a squirrel’s scurry through the forest limbs

Yet, his absence was one of deep canyons and chasms

Never able to bridge the loss of time and space

He’d search to find solace in the bottle once again

Like rabbit seeking shade in the shelter of the croc

And a cat finding the comfort of a strange prickly friend

His life was one of reconciled grace

Never destined beyond that one purpose

He’d discover that love and then enter in

Like a starfish tumbling inside the wave

And a bird of prey diving for its mark

His legacy is one of complicated honor

Never being understood or truly embraced

He’d not be reduced to a box full of memories

Like a bear hibernating behind the winter snow

And a turtle buried beneath the frostline mud

Penned – MG – 1/20/22

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23

…but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

John 20:31

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

The Sound of a Lonely Heart

Do you hear it?

The steady buh-bump of a heartbeat

It’s almost monotonous as it beats on and on

Sometimes, it will jump ahead and run a race for a bit

Yet, usually it’s just the faithful buh-dump that continues to march along.

All by itself

Do you hear it?

Late at night, you can hear its inner groan

As the sighs are taken and the tears are falling

Sometimes, the moan becomes a wail as eyes burst forth with life

Yet, usually it’s just the haunting sound of the broken beats

Do you hear it?

The silence is deafening, as there are no words to fix the dull aching thuds

Sometimes, the echo of the night is all that can be heard through the suffocating stillness

Yet, usually it’s just the steadfast weeping of a lonely heart.

Penned – MG – 1/19/22

What is Your Prison?

Is it pain? That gut wrenching pain that keeps you up at night…

Is it anxiety? The anxious, breath stealing, clammy-palm, lightheaded kind that overwhelms in a nanosecond…

Is it fear? The kind that breaks you out in a cold sweat in the midnight hours, yet no one is there…

Maybe it’s ambition… the driven force that is like a wrecking ball on a chain…

Maybe it’s arrogance… that blinding air which suffocates the most innocent of life…

Maybe it’s vengeance… the fierce, unrelenting thirst for justice that can never be quenched…

Or could it be suspicion? The overwhelming doubt that holds onto the gate, never seeing the broken latch…

Could it possibly be oblivious joy? The happy go lucky laughter that overrides the wounds or visible scars…

Everyone has a prison that is waiting

It can be a prison of lost hope or broken dreams

It can be a prison of lost love or shattered trust

There are bars that threaten to invade and slam shut around your very soul.

But the doors can swing wide.

The prisoners can go free.

You just have to accept the key.

Penned – MG – 1/19/22

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,

Because the Lord has anointed Me

To preach good tidings to the poor;

He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to the captives,

And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,

And the day of vengeance of our God;

To comfort all who mourn,

To console those who mourn in Zion,

To give them beauty for ashes,

The oil of joy for mourning,

The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;

That they may be called trees of righteousness,

The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

Isaiah 61:1-3

How’s Your Gratitude Gauge?

I’ve heard it said that gratitude brings a peace of mind.

Gratitude can overlook the reality of pain to see the beauty in healing.

Gratitude can glance past what should bring anger and division and see opportunity for change.

Gratitude can turn a blind eye to hardships of transition and see the wonderful chance for new beginnings.

It’s all in our perspective.

It’s all in how we respond.

Gratitude can bring rest for a weary soul and relief for an entrenched heart.

Gratitude is not simple words of flattery and conceit.

Gratitude is found in actions, in heartfelt reactions, in a lifestyle of humility and honor.

Take a look in the mirror today and see if gratitude is on your lips.

Take a moment to breathe deep before you speak and see if gratitude is threaded through the words.

Take a survey of those around you to see if they recognize gratitude in your life.

And never take for granted the thousand tiny miracles all around you that call for gratitude from all of you.

Penned 1/8/22 – MG

Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples!

1 Chronicles 16:8

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

1 Chronicles 16:34

Happy New Year to You!

Let bygones be bygones, and let the past be in the past.

Let yesterday fade into the vapor that it is.

Let the clock keep ticking forward and the things from behind stay in the background.

It doesn’t mean all things are forgotten, and it doesn’t mean tomorrow is more important that the other day.

But sometimes to make progress, you’re going to have to let a few things rest and allow time to live on.

So, say goodbye and say hello, all in the proper order, and let’s get this party started!

Happy New Year to you and yours!

A Note On Success

I saw this posted the other day, and it caused me to pause…

“Cancel telling kids college is the only way to be successful.”

I’d have to somewhat agree a bit, but might I throw a bit of a curveball and some kindling to that line of thought?

Success is an attitude of the heart and mind as well as the actions of the body and emotions.

It’s a lifestyle that begins when you wake up everyday by the thoughts and choices you choose, which in turn, can create successes or failures.

It can last for a lifetime if you think well, choose well and have determined follow through…

So, I guess I’d personally say, “Don’t cancel the thought of “college only”, and don’t cancel the thought of “trade only.””

My suggestion would rather be, the better approach is to decide to be successful by who you are more than what you choose to do, and THEN, what you choose to do, do it well and with purpose and watch successes come more easily!

Slay On, My Friend

(Google)

The common slogan in our modern culture seems to be, “Make love not war.”

…No, maybe that was more of the 60s, but it is definitely a “Make peace, not war” desire.

Yet, peace is not always possible except on the other side of war.

Had we claimed peace on the day of Pearl Harbor, where would we be today?

Had we put down our weapons and declared all was well in the middle of Hitler’s regime, what would our nation look like in 2021?

Had we allowed the towers to fall with no retribution, would we really have a world of calm from chaos?

There will enter giants in this life that we must pursue as David pursued Goliath on the battlefield.

There will be lions that step out to devour, and we had best draw our swords first as Baniah did in that pit on the snowy day.

If we don’t, we will only be taunted, pursued and eaten viciously while we say, “We just want to live in harmony.”

Our enemy has no mercy for us.

He cares not for our troubles, pains or weakness.

Reality proves he seeks our demise and strategically plans for our destruction.

So, lest you become confused by the lull of the common welfare state.

Lest you become seduced by the brazen agenda of those who secretly desire you to fall,

Pick up your shield, dear one.

Not one moment for the drama.

None of it for a show.

Simply for survival and for life renewal.

Stand your ground and fight for what is rightfully yours.

Do not back up, hesitate or surrender.

Fight that giant and take him down.

Slice through that dragon and render him a heap.

Stomp that foe into the ground from which he came.

And slay on, my friend. Slay on.

The Quest for Christmas

Sometimes, it’s almost mind-boggling to think how, throughout the year before, we long for Christmas to get here. We dream of it, talk about it, plan for it and prepare so many things to perfectly progress for the precise moment it will arrive, and then, the day itself seems to pass almost as quickly as it arrives.

Yet, for those of us who claim to be Christians, it does make me wonder, do we do the same for the coming of our eternal King?

For He IS coming, and we will be with Him for so much longer than Christmas Day will ever have been.

Are we getting ready?

And are we urging others to be ready?

Just as we’ve asked, “Do you have your tree up?” Maybe we should also ask, “ Do you have your heart ready?”

Maybe just as we’ve asked, “Do you have all your presents bought?” We should also ask, “Did you know, your soul has already been purchased with a price?”

Just as we inquire, “Are your family members coming?” Maybe we follow that with, “Are they headed toward heaven as well?”

Because if we are ready for all the Christmases we could ever live through, but we miss the one event that only happens once in a lifetime, we will regret it forever.

If we have all the presents in the world bought and perfectly wrapped, yet we miss the very present that has been provided to us for free, then in comparison, all the rest is just trash.

And if we enjoy company with our family and friends during the season, but we fail to show them the way to Christ, all those seasons will fade for the eternity in which we will miss them.

Let us not lose a moment.

Let us not miss an opportunity.

Let us never ignore the Hope.

Our time is too short, and their lives are too precious to lose…and so are ours.

Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

James 4:14

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:20