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.

Contemplation

Somethings in life just don’t make sense.

You can look at it sideways, upside down, and with one eye half open, and it still won’t seem rational.

You can shake it, turn it, flip it, and it will be just as complicated.

You can kick it, throw it, even stomp upon it, and it will not be put on solid ground.

Somethings in life just won’t unravel, no matter how hard you try.

There should be a beginning and an end.

There should be a start, a go, a pause and a stop.

There should be a forward, a return, a left and a right.

Somethings in life just refuse to be easily understood.

If you keep beating against that wall, all you will receive is a busted head and five bloody knuckles.

If you keep walking down that street, all you will find is pain, suffering and utter chaos of soul.

If you keep turning over those rocks, all you will discover are the same nasty worms, devoured soil and littered weeds you found before.

Somethings in life will remain in darkness.

Somethings in life will rebel against any sanity.

Somethings in life will have to be contained in phantom answers if you are to crawl to rest.

So, let the tears roll down the shoreline, and let the shattered dream fade with the night.

For in the morning’s light, you can find hope.

As your heart is seeped in peace, and your mind is consumed by His grace.

Penned – MG – 10/29/21

For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:5 nkjv

When You Can’t Speak

When words can’t be found to eloquently express your heart, a pen and paper will do.

When your tongue is tied because your heart is bound, a soft melody can unwind the strings.

When your lips refuse to move because the emotions run like a waterfall, a warm fire can comfort the bones.

When your vision is cloudy and the letters won’t form, let your feet find solid ground.

When your lids are closed and murmurs can’t be heard, let your hands seek for Truth.

When your eyes are veiled and the tears consume, let your soul run to His refuge.

The answers are never easy.

The questions are never ending.

The rebuttals are ever repeating.

Yet, the hope you will find in the solace of His grip is the very grace that will sustain you.

Draw close. Close your eyes and listen.

Breathe in deeply as He breathes life into you.

When you can’t speak, His love can be heard.

Psalm 18 nkjv

Finding The Silver Lining

The moment I took this beautiful picture of the sunbeams bursting through the darkened sky, I was headed into the funeral home.

The other day, I posted a blog of finding fun and adventure in times when nothing seems to be going right and plans are tough.

After a day that refused to end, I had to drive 30 minutes, to meet up with my son because he was in need; so, we met at a new station for yummy coffee and snacks to make the drive a little less tedious along the way.

Sometimes, you just have to search for those silver linings in the midst of the hard.

Sometimes, those silver linings are what brings a glimmer of hope along the desperate path.

It seems as if life just closes in at times. Those difficult moments become strenuous and pressing, until they are like four walls of concrete that have been given permission to move to the center, all at the same time.

I believe I’m not the only one who can attest to this fact; the past two years have confirmed this reality.

It feels as if the days are getting longer, lingering beyond the set hour to make it seem those midnight bells will never ring.

Sometimes, that silver lining can be allusive, hidden, even to the point of appearing as a mirage on a desert floor.

Sometimes, you’re gonna have to squint your eyes and grit your teeth, maybe even tilt your head a bit to see past the darkened day to that silver lining just beyond the rain.

Yet, if you will seek, you will find.

If you will knock, the door will open.

If you will but thrust your grasp into the hand of the One who holds tomorrow,

You will find the silver lining.

For He will make sure of it.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Matthew 7:7 & 8

A New Fall Resolution

Fall is coming! See it peeking through!

It’s the second day of October, and I’m over here goal setting. I know it’s not the first of the year, and well, those “New Years Resolutions” don’t usually pan out anyway.

I’m just going to make a commitment here, kind of for accountability. Of course, it’ll be more for my own accountability, as those of you reading don’t usually “get on to me” anyway (lol. 😉😂), regardless, I’m going to put it out there. … of course, now that I’ve said that, there are some of you contemplating the task. Haha!

As I talked to a longtime friend yesterday, I was reminded of somethings that I’ve allowed to fall to the wayside of my life. And I am committing now to try to blog at least 2x a week (and to increase that after the first of the year). I’ve been SO slack the last two years…

Covid kind of turned my life upside down a bit, not because of the sickness nor the shutdowns, as Georgia has remained pretty open the whole time, but rather because our lives went into a bit of overdrive for a season. Our church remained as wide open as we could, in various stages, and we tried to get to all our people via internet, phone calls, drive-in services, in house services, etc. So, my “job” overran much of my writing space, and we just started doing what we needed to do to keep our people connected and to know we still loved and cared for them even if they couldn’t get to church.

Then, this year, when everyone hoped to “return to normal,” things didn’t seem to slow down one bit! Early in the year, we had a major staff transition, and much of that “work load” fell to me until the new staff member had transitioned. And so now, about 6 months later, things are lightening just a bit. Whew! I’m so thankful! And all of this was combined with continued Covid issues, confusion from the media on all fronts, continued families going through things and really, this part has probably been amplified on various levels because of Covid. … Side note here: I HATE Covid. Just wanted to make that clear.

I told someone the other day, I am just a bit weary. And it’s quite difficult to explain, because it’s not in anyway that I want to quit, or even change what we are doing!! I truly, absolutely LOVE what we do, where we are, and who we minister to (and really, that statement should be reversed: I love the people, the town, the job, and I’m so thankful God has placed us here.)

This might sound cliche, but it’s the truth. I consider this a high honor and blessing because there are so many pastors who are “running out of steam” and just quitting the ministry all together. That just breaks my heart, both for them and the people who followed them. When you’re called to ministry, it’s never easy. Really and truly, it’s not supposed to be. It’s a cross, but when you’re called, and you’re giving it daily to Christ, it shouldn’t be a weight that burns you out. But I digress, that’s a sermon for another day.

I do believe the “reprieve” is coming, and we’ve just got to hold on. Because it may not be until Jesus calls us home; however, in the meanwhile, we’ve got to find those “breathing moments” in the midst of the chaos. And I believe, THIS is where my weariness has come creeping in… Somewhere between the day to day grind, the grief of losing my father, the twisted up vacation we had this year (that really amounted to two days snatched here and there; although, we were gone a week), the various ministry trips, and truthfully, the lack of writing, has all equated to my feelings of fatigue.

Well, not that you needed all of that explanation, but I suppose, I’m writing it for my own benefit and remembrance… and maybe a bit of therapy. Haha!! … I know I desperately need to get back after it, my writing, if for no other reason but for my own sense of solitude and peace. Writing brings a sense of calm to my heart and a discipline to my soul, and it helps me to fall into a cadence of thinking that is needed in my life.

So, this is why today, October 2, 2021, I am making a resolution for change. It might not seem like much to someone whose writing doesn’t bring them joy, peace and strength, but for me, it’s like knowing that walking will help your overall heart health and not doing it means certain death. It’s either make the change immediately or slowly walk the downward slope toward dying. I choose LIFE … and life more abundantly!!

…And since I wrote yesterday, that’s two blogs down this week. Woohoo! Haha! 😂 Thanks for reading and indulging my New Fall Resolution.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

John 10:10

*UPDATE 10/17/21: I am adjusting this goal just by 1. After a couple of weeks, I am realizing that 3x – week may have been a bit too lofty of a goal after such a long stint of none and then once a month in the past year or less. So, as of now, I am adjusting to 2x a week, and I don’t think that’s unrealistic. I will strive to increase this in 3-6months. 😉

Lost Soul

You were just a lost soul no one could hold

Traveled the world wide but never stayed close to home

Restless, renegade, rogue

That’s the life you tried to embrace

You were just a wandering soul no one could understand

Followed the stars and searched the land but never stayed too long

Rugged, ravaged, relentless

That’s the life that chased your dreams

You were just a weary soul no one could confine

Drifted beyond the horizon but never stayed in port

Regrets, remembrances, recollections

That’s the life that you left behind

You were a broken soul only One could redeem

Sailed close to water’s edge but never stayed the anchor

Reconstruction, renewal, redemption

That’s the life He has waiting for you

Penned – 8/6/2021 – MG

RIP JLH 8/5/21

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;

For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 4:8

Memories and the emotions they bring can be so difficult to put into words, but sometimes, a song will do…

Happy Father’s Day

For so many, Father’s Day can come with a roller coaster of emotions. Every little girl or boy wishes to have a Daddy who loves them, protects them, guides them and defends them, but sometimes, that’s just not how life turns out. And sometimes, we’ve had to say goodbye long before we’re ready.

Sometimes, rolling into the Father’s Day weekend, every thing can be just fine, and then, all of a sudden, you just cloud up and rain. You feel grouchy and agitated for no particular reason. You just want to sleep a little more, isolate a little longer, or pull back a little deeper.

You can’t really put your finger on it at first, and then, the tears roll down like a drenching spring shower, and you realize you really do miss him. Maybe it’s because he was bigger than life, filling the void deep within. Or maybe he was too absent, dropping in whenever he felt suited him, but left you waiting by the door with your bags packed foe a visit way too many times to count.

Or maybe, it’s never a missing or actual longing for him because he was so broken that he tried to break you in ways only nightmares can speak of; yet, the tears come for what could’ve been, should’ve been, and for what never could have been imagined…

So, for all those whose Father’s Day weekend brings with it a bit more complicated feelings than what you’d hoped for, know there is a God who sees you, and He longs to fill that void, heal that brokenness and mend those wounds that you’ve tried desperately to hide or ignore.

He truly is the best Dad a girl could hope for!

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, He leads out the prisoners with singing…

Psalm 68:5-6

The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

Stop to Smell the Roses … and Count Them, Too.

I love roses. Really, I love flowers of almost any kind, but I’ve always been partial to roses, poppies and Gerber daisies.

Particularly, in red and hot pink… but these orange roses above are absolutely beautiful as well!!

And lately, I’ve been drawn to them more and more while being reminded of the phrase, “Stop to smell the roses.”

See, life has just been crazy busy lately. Busy in good ways, I suppose, but busy nonetheless. And I find my heart longing for a pause…

A pause for refreshment. A pause for reflection. A pause for renewal.

In everyday life, and especially, in the busy days of life, if you don’t have those pauses that bring refreshment, reflection and renewal, you might very well die. If you don’t die, you might drown in the heaviness around you. If you don’t drown, you might just grow resentful or depressed or burnt out.

You’ve got to pause. And you can’t pause with chaos in your head. You’ve got to pause away from the frantic. You’ve got to pause out of the panic. You’ve got to pause beyond the emotion and turmoil.

Get alone till you’re not alone anymore.

Sit still until you are still.

Breathe until you do breathe.

And then, inhale even deeper and smell those roses.

And then, take another minute to count them.

I promise you. If you’ll do this often, you’ll find you can face tomorrow a whole lot easier. … doesn’t mean tomorrow will be easier. It just means you’ll be a little stronger to face it.

I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works. Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness. They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness.

Psalm 145:5-7

Monday Musing on Tuesday

[*I do not own nor possess this pic.
Simple google search.]

Sometimes, you’re going to appear insane simply because you disagree… or at least, those in the River of conformity will say.

Sometimes, you’re going to sound crazy simply because you won’t comply… or at least, those in the push for an agenda will claim.

Sometimes, you’re going to wonder if you might be going nuts simply because you won’t say yes… or at least, those in the camp of trend, popularity and fame will declare.

Never allow those around you, and especially those against you, to convince you to jump off the cliff simply because every sheep on the planet has.

Make up your own mind.

Choose one Sovereign authority and follow Him.

His Truth is Absolute, and absolute Truth is, itself, exclusive.

Don’t lose it.

Don’t give it away.

And certainly, NEVER sell it to the highest bidder!

Truth is a precious gift. A precious commodity.

Hold on to it.

No matter the cost.

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

John 8:31-32

What Do We See and Who Do We Seek?

Today’s been one of my reading days…

I’ve been catching up on articles that have surprised, challenged or even overwhelmed my thoughts on normality and what “being good” is all about… no, I don’t look at life through sheltered eyes, and sin really doesn’t “surprise” me.

Yet, what overwhelms my heart is the truth of Scripture that tells us (paraphrased), “The fields are white with harvest, but the laborers are few.” …and they are SO few. We are so burdened with the cares of this world, I’m not sure how many lost we actually see in our day-to-day, and if we do see them, do we just keep on walking by trying not to offend?

What boggles my mind is the rampant demand in our culture to call good evil and evil good. There is a new “common norm” that is flowing like a rushing River. All those opposed to it are hailed as evil, trying to build a dam to stop the flow, and some in that parade even give the confusing claims to Christ while shouting everything He hates is good and everything He loves must be from hell itself. Others stand on the wall of the dam screaming at the water, describing all the nastiness in the liquid but never giving it hope to see that the dam isn’t there for its detriment but rather for it’s transformation to something better.

What challenges my soul is how I can reach out in love AND truth to share His story, even if it might be just one life at a time. How can we create a culture that loves God, hates sin, seeks His perfection while compassionately love the imperfect-ed around us?

Can’t it start with just one? Doesn’t it start with me and you turning our accusing fingers back at our own hearts and kneeling at the foot of a bloody cross and repenting?

Oh God, help us to have eyes that SEE the lost. Help us to have a heart to CARE that they’re lost, and help us to have the courage to SPEAK Your Truth! Your children have been silent for far too long…

“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 will I hear from heaven , and I will forgive their sin, and heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14