Eternity Echoes

I do not own or possess this pic.
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What we do matters.

What we say is important.

Who we impact echoes into eternity.

Too many today attempt to play the nonchalant card.

They try to act as if they can do what they want, you can do what you want, and no one pays any rewards or consequences.

It’s just living life.

But oh. How wrong we can be.

If I always do me, and you always do me, all we create is two spheres full of selfishness and self centeredness.

If I’m focused only on me, and you only on you, we become consumed on our own desires, our own requests, our own demands.

And eventually, no one else matters.

Yet, it’s supposed to matter because after all, my expectations are highest priority to me.

And your expectations are highest priority to high, and then, we’re both at an impasse.

Because if it’s all about me, and it’s all absolutely you, then, you don’t matter to me, and I don’t matter to you!

What wretched and lost souls we become, and what wrecked havoc we leave for those behind us.

All kindness, and love and harmony is expected for me (and for you), but it sucks the life out of all those who are impacted because they are seeking the same.

And what about the children racing toward the edge of a knife?

What about those innocent souls who cry out to be loved, nurtured and directed?

Our self consumption depleted their hope for tomorrow because all they can see is our command for the now.

What we do in life does echo in eternity.

It is a repeating anthem across the chasms of time.

What will your reverberations be?

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.

Proverbs 13:22

So these nations feared the Lord, yet served their carved images; also their children and their children’s children have continued doing as their fathers did, even to this day.

2 kings 17:41

Callings Will Change You

I do not own this picture. Art by: Klein

I read something recently that began, “Your calling is going to crush you.”

If I weren’t a Christian, and I’d never heard of a calling, or hat statement might intimidate me.

If I weren’t called, that quote might make me wrinkle my forehead and wonder why someone would be liking be crushed by something they chose.

But that’s where information and revelation alter your perspective.

See, when you have no revelation, you might not understand why I do the things I do.

When you have no revelation, you might not grasp the importance of my choices, if my sacrifices, of my disciplines.

Oh, but when you have a revelation, your eyes are open, your heart is refreshed, your soul longs for one more moment, one more taste of that living water you’ve found.

And you’ll do anything to maintain it.

You’ll do anything to keep it.

You’ll do anything to remain in it.

You’ll lay down desires, and expectations, demands and wishes.

Just for another moment.

It’s like finding a new love, but it’s so much more.

It’s like recognizing a new craving, but it’s beyond that.

It’s like getting a glimpse of paradise, but it’s to a greater extent.

If you’ve never experienced the moment, it will be difficult to explain it.

For it’s not a simple piece of knowledge that can be spoken or read about.

You have to fast it.

You have to feel it.

You have to experience the revelation.

Then, you’ll never be the same.

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

John 4.10

As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God.

Psalm 42:1

RED

This draft was written a at back on December 27, 2015. In that year, there was a “cultural war” going on concerning Starbucks’ red Christmas cups. Remember that?

The circumstances may have changed, but the wisdom here still remains the same…

It’s quite the topic as of late.

It’s quite amazing what a color can create.

It’s quite incredible what a simple choice can become.

…It’s really quite ridiculous…

…on both side of the fence….

Yes, Christians are fired up over the color, believing more should be said…more should be written…more should be done. They have a point, too often, Christians are expected to simply swallow whatever ‘tolerance pill’ society is currently handing out, and it is implied, if not outright spoken, that they just need to “shut up and realize, ‘This is the way things are going to be. If you speak out, you’re just a bad witness, a bad influence and definitely a bad Christian!'” After all, they’re sick of being silenced.

Yes, quieter Christians are fired up over the cup, believing less should be said, less…less should be written…less should be done. They have a point, vocalizing, “Christians, more often than not, ‘major on the minors’. They make major fusses over the little things that are petty, insignificant and unchangable, and they minor on the important, life-altering, transforming things of this society.” After all, all the fuss is offensive to the world; a kinder, gentler approach is best. A more loving voice to this world will reach more and save more.

Honestly, I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I’ve made my own mistakes, and I’m trying to find my way back to Center. Neither side looks pretty, and, frankly, neither side looks completely like Christ. Yeah, that’s a shocker, I know. However, let’s look at a few things to see if that’s true…

Jesus spoke in parables to the multitudes.

Jesus called the Pharisees “sons of snakes.”

Jesus fed the 5,000, not including women and children.

Jesus took a whip and cleansed the temple.

Jesus told the rich young ruler Truth, and he went away sad.

He said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan,” and Peter loved Him anyway.

Jesus told the adulterous woman she was forgiven; yet, He ALSO told her to, “Go and sin no more.”

Too often, we as Christians, tend to lean too far toward grace (=tolerance) or too far toward judgement (=intolerance).

You will always lean more to one side or the other. The key is to (1) recognize it, (2) pray for wisdom and love, (3) Find what The Word says about it on both sides. We need to learn to lean more on the Truth of God, rather than our own opinions, feelings and intuitive interpretations of what we think He means.

Too often, we seek out what makes us comfortable not changed.

We share what relaxes rather than what confronts.

We long for tranquility rather than transformation.

Yet, when Christ walked this Earth, He loved, challenged, comforted, confronted, taught and changed lives.

His truth neither caused relaxation nor condemnation.

His Truth brought about true conviction which brought about TRANSFORMATION.

His Truth also, eventually, made them want to kill Him…

Shouldn’t we be trying to be more like Him and less like them? Shouldn’t we be fighting more in prayer and less on Facebook, Twitter or even face to face?

Shouldn’t we be seeking the manifestation of His presence rather than the exaltation of those around us?

But I tend to wonder if we’re more afraid of the crowd than we are the cloud…

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Matthew 6:33

If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

John 15:18-19

Committed Crazies

(Yeah. Somebody spelled it wrong, and my grammar self is going crazy inside!)

Some people don’t really have to be crazy.

They’ve just committed themselves to being a certain way, and their stubbornness will not relent.

Others have lived undisciplined for so long that they have convinced themselves this is a good life.

Still others, have fully embraced their crazy, and they want everyone else to embrace it as somehow normal.

If you find yourself in one of these three categories, and you’re living life believing everyone is just giving you a hard time, or they’re all just so difficult to be around , or they never give you a break to be who you are, please hear me screaming at you across the cosmic divide.

STOP!! HALT!! RELEASE!! RELENT!! END NOW!

Stop right now, in your tracks, and listen a moment to reason.

Open your ears to wisdom calling to you.

No one accidentally becomes the “crazy one.”

No one stumbles into the pools of insanity.

It is a choice. And you make it everyday.

So, make the right decisions.

Choose the correct outcomes.

Your spouse will thank you. Your children will sing your praises. And friends will begin to visit again as you walk away from the crazies and embrace life!

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. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

Philippians 3:13-16

But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

1Corinthians 9:27

Everyone’s Crazies

The holidays always bring with them interesting family dynamics and semantics.

For some, it’s just simply dealing with the edges of uncomfortable scenarios and conversations, but nothing real out of the way.

No harm. No foul.

For others, it’s complete removal from the dysfunction and toxic environment which accompanies family, celebrations and traditions.

Survival of the Fittest or Crabs in a Barrel.

For most, it can just be learning to navigate between the two extremes.

The Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Wherever you find yourself during your yearly festivities, strive to do better.

Better yet, don’t just strive to survive.

Learn to thrive!

Your thriving isn’t going to look like another’s.

So, do what you can do to succeed.

Their crazies aren’t yours, and yours aren’t theirs.

They don’t have to understand.

Happy Crazy Holidays.

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,
To declare that the Lord is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

Psalm 92:12-15

Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider thatthe longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they doalso the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know thisbeforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

2 Peter 3:14-18

Be Good To You

Too often, we work so hard to be kind to others that we forget to be kind to ourselves.

Sometimes, our focus is so laser set on what everyone else needs that shut our eyes to our own.

Frequently, we are so set to serve and fulfill everyone else’s wants, that we deny all of our desires.

Many times, we are so overly in tune with everyone else’s demands that we simply ignore as our body, our mind, or even our family is crying out to wake us from our oblivious yes.

Be good to you doesn’t mean you have to be selfish.

It doesn’t translate into having to be rude.

It doesn’t even suggest a response to be petty, mean and self-centered.

It only interprets and communicates:

“I am a person of value and worth just as much as you.”

Speak kindly to yourself. Balance it with truth.

Be honest with yourself. Balance it with compassion for all things broken.

Respond with the overwhelming grace that only He can bring.

Listen attentively.

Watch conscientiously.

React respectfully.

Both for you and for them.

And above all, let Christ rule and reign in your heart, in your mind, in your soul.

And let His will become yours.

Let His heart consume yours.

Let His eyes and ears become yours.

Let His voice speak through yours.

And only then, can your world become the peaceful paradise it was meant to be.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things arejust, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:8-9

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:11-13

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father beglory forever and ever. Amen.

Philippians 4:19-20

Holiday Blues

A memory popped up today through technology in one of those ways that it can these days.

It was just five years ago, but the changes that have come would make it appear it’s been at least a decade.

It seems the holidays bring such highs and lows to my heart these days, that at times, I feel distracted.

And my heart is grieved.

It’s not really that I’m altogether down; yet, the grief I feel in those moments seem to bring clouds to the happiness of the season.

My arms ache for those who are gone, and I long to embrace.

The day of thanks came and went with less people gathering around the table, and so many shifts have occurred.

My eyes fought back the tears.

The morning after used to be filled with laughter of little ones as we went out on an adventure, but those boys are all grown and flown away now.

My smile resisted the complaint.

I decided not to cry. There’s too many things for which to be grateful.

Yet, the holiday blues are knocking at the door.

Don’t let them in today. For if we do, they’ll be tempted to stay.

So, I’ll pick up my step and go decorate the tree and hum those Christmas carols once more.

For even through grief, my heart can sing as I remember His grace, and let Him wash away the pain.

Today, I will embrace the goodness that God has given and the hope He has promised.

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.

Isaiah 26:3

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147:3

Take a Pulse

Take a pulse today.

Are you surviving or thriving?

If you’re only surviving, think it through.

Don’t accept it as normal.

Seek for change. Seek for a difference.

Fight for it.

Start thriving.

You can do this!

Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

Philippians 3:15-16

Fight For It

Too often, we lie down in the muck and more of what life has given us, and we choose to wallow in it.

If you are going to be more than what is behind you and beyond what is around you, you must step up, step out, and make a new path for yourself.

No one said it was going to be easy.

In fact, there will be moments when you have to fight, and kick, and claw your way out of the mud and quicksand that threatens to overtake you.

But I promise you.

If you will struggle, you will advance.

If you will resist, you will move forward.

If you will fight, you will become.

As I heard a wise man say once, “If you won’t fight for it, you don’t deserve it.”

Brawl, grapple, wrestle, clash and attack.

Survive and then thrive.

It will be well worth it.

And your children and those who love you will thank you.

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ

Philippians 3:7-8

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

Monday Train Wrecks

Just a little funny mixed with truth on a Monday morning…

We need to “block out” more perfection seeking and get back to reality.

Yet, we need to seek a bit more perfection and not be “so real.”

You may be sitting there reading and think these statements are in such contradiction that they can’t possibly survive the same sentence.

But I tell you, they can thrive!

Too often in our modern culture, we are seeking such fake perfection that we lose sight of who we are and who we are meant to be.

If we could only grasp reality and allow authenticity to shine through, the outcome would be unimaginably beautiful.

Too often in our “get real” society, we are searching for such a realism that we forget that it’s sometimes kind to not leave our emotions, demands and opinions as a burden for someone else to carry.

If we could only grasp perfection in a way that allows love, faith and hope to thrive, the results would be absolutely infallible.

Why don’t we start here on this Monday morn?

Why don’t we start right here with you and me?

We can make a difference if we’d just try.

We could transform our world if we’d just begin.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things arejust, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:8-9

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:10-13