Eternity Echoes

I do not own or possess this pic.
Google search.

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

Faith Based or Religion?

Drafted this on August 17, 2019 after reading several articles of pastors and Christian leaders who had decided to “leave the faith.” This may be old news, per se, but the truth remains the same…

After reading a few articles over the past few weeks, I would like to scream this question to the world… or maybe just make a big billboard for every pastor, lay leader, worship leader, church member and just any person who calls themselves a “Christian!”

What or Who is your faith based upon?

There have been two major articles presented over the past two weeks and countless counter-articles about two Christian leaders who have “fallen from their faith” and have decided the world needs to know it.

Let me give a disclaimer as I begin this post… I understand each of these authors’ claims of feeling doubt, confusion, temptation, anger and loss. I understand their struggle to understand, their struggle to succeed, and their struggle to appease and receive admiration and approval from those around them. So, please, do not read the rest of my post with the perception that I am being cold, calloused or apathetic. I promise you, I am not.

Yet, each time I read these articles, I become amazed, angry, in anguish and eventually, driven to my knees. I am amazed that their “faith” brought them to these conclusions, and I am convinced that each of these men may never have had true faith to begin with, or they have chosen deliberately to walk away from the revelation of their first love.

Please understand, this is not a statement of judgment, but rather, a statement of truth.

If your “faith,” or Christianity, is based in the approval of men and not in the love of Jesus Christ, it really is no faith at all.

If your faith is based in the success that relies on the formulaic affirmation of your pastor, your department leaders or your members, rather than the instruction, wisdom and obedience to the only audience that should be made the main focus (Jesus), than your success has been built on a religion and a group of people whom should never have had rights to that foundation.

This is why I feel so angered by these articles, not necessarily by the faltering of their faith, but more because they have painted a picture of what faith truly is not!

Faith in Christ is a relationship, or at least it should be. It is not all of these things of which each of these men spoke.

It is should never be founded in people, a church, a method, a tradition or an expectation of a performance.

And EVERY time it is, a person will lose his or her faith! Not one time in either of their articles, statements or tweets did they say, “Jesus failed me. Jesus is an awful Lord. Jesus can’t save me, and that’s why I’m falling.” And I believe it’s because they know that wouldn’t be true!

Each of them have forgotten why they got in this thing to begin with, or at least have forgotten For Whom they began. And honestly, I’d like to ask if they actually ever fell in love with Him and the Word He gave us.

Our Christian faith doesn’t come from some man, Some organization, or even from the people who attend that organization, namely the church. If our faith is any faith at all, it comes from the inner struggle of flesh vs. spirit, and our feeding that spirit more. It comes from our seeking scripture, and following up he instructions it gives.

And now, these men have made public statements for all to hear, and many who may be listening will believe because they have similar struggles and feelings and are in a state of confusion, that their faith is nonexistent as well.

 There are so many hurting people in this world and so many people who need direction, encouragement, and just simple discipleship in their faith, and scenarios like these only add to the confusion and miss guidance they already have.

THIS is why I feel so anguished when I read articles like these.

When leaders are deceived and either fall into “blatant sin,” as we watched happen to so many television evangelists in the 90s, or simply “fall away from their faith,” as we are seeing in this current age, it creates a domino effect for those following and/or whose lives simply intersect at that moment in time.

It is disheartening and almost discouraging to watch as, one by one, more struggling Christians choose to follow these falterings either out of agreement to the confusion or out of surrender to, what appears to be, a release of inner tension to keep on the narrow path they have constructed.

I suppose this is what Christ told us would happen.

I suppose, I really should never be surprised, but my heart is still broken every time I read of a great leader falling from their faith, because a leader is someone who has followers, and those followers always suffer in the fallout.

Those followers may even have more followers who suffer, and what about their own families, especially the children who are all impacted?

It is just heartbreaking and, honestly, can become overwhelming, if we do not focus on Him and remember He is still in control!

He is still on His throne, and He still desires us to deepen our relationship with Him, carry on the purpose He has given us, and fill in the gaps where these leaders may leave a void.

This must remain as our ultimate goal, regardless of which leaders fall into temptation and deception.

Instead of staying in my moments of amazement (shock), anger or anguish, I must be driven to my knees in prayer.

We must all be. We must pray for these who have fallen and who are deceived.

Pray for their realization of the blinders they have chosen to put on, because without this revelation, they will never come back to repentance.

Pray for their removal from those who will stumble and fall behind them.

Pray that these followers will receive new leaders who can guide and help them through this storm.

Pray for the indirect impact on those who are already struggling with a faith that is made to cause us to have wonder, amazement and unanswered questions, because of the Author of this faith is Someone of such Deity that He is altogether wonderful and incomprehensible!

Pray for the children of these men and women, of those impacted, and for those indirectly hit and even those who don’t yet believe. Pray that these children find love that is undeniable, grace that is indescribable and an unfailing hope for tomorrow that can only be found in Jesus Christ!

My apologies for the long blog today, but sometimes, things need to be said, and I do hope it might help someone…

Here are just a few Scriptures I have found that might help us along this journey of leadership and faith…

2 Timothy 4:2-4, “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage —with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

Acts 20:28, “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

Proverbs 4:23, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it springs all life.

Matthew 18:6, “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

James 3:1, “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

Luke 12:48b, “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.”

1 Timothy 2:1-4, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—  for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Survival Guides Were Meant for Sharing

*I do not own or have rights to this pic.
Google search/Fb repost*

You weren’t made to stay in the valley.

You weren’t made to remain stuck in the mire.

We all feel pain.

We all have heartache.

We all experience tragedy.

The brokenness of life was never meant to be a trophy we wear nor a badge we frame for the wall.

The hardship didn’t come for you to create a fortress around and hail the crisis as king.

We all feel the rain.

We all have tornadic seasons.

We all experience death, sorrow and grief.

You weren’t made to linger in the basin of despair.

You weren’t made to hover in canyon of defeat.

Look up. Cry for help. Claw your way out.

Write your survival guide and pass it along to the next to-be survivor.

Your destiny is waiting, and your little ones are watching.

Thus says the Lord to His anointed,
To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—
To subdue nations before him
And loose the armor of kings,
To open before him the double doors,
So that the gates will not be shut:
‘I will go before you and make the crooked places straight;
I will break in pieces the gates of bronze
And cut the bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden riches of secret places,
That you may know that I, the Lord,
Who call you by your name,
Am the God of Israel.
For Jacob My servant’s sake,
And Israel My elect,
I have even called you by your name;
I have named you, though you have not known Me.

Isaiah 45:1-4

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

1 Peter 2:9-10

Thank you to Our Veterans

I felt like I had a bit of posting overload today, on Veterans Day, but maybe it’s simply because it means more to me today than it ever has.

See, I’ve always been thankful for our veterans, but when you learn a new story, receive a new testimony, and it’s all wrapped up in a life you never knew even living so close to you, your heart grasps a whole new level of gratefulness.

So many never share their stories.

Too many are haunted by their demons.

Even more just ask the question, “Why?”

To unravel these mysteries, it would take too many lifetimes to start, but I have one plea to those who served,

“Please, tell your stories. Share your pain and your victory. Maybe you can’t relive, but if you remain silent, it’s easier for us to forget.”

To reinstall the honor and respect from the young may take decades to come, but I have one plea to those coming behind,

“Please, listen to the ages. Read. Research. Ask. Be curious and be hungry for knowledge. For if we never grasp the value, it’s easier to forget.”

Lives have been lost. Scars have been branded, and tears have been shed to bring you freedom.

Let us not take it for granted.

Let us never forget their valiant sacrifices. ❤️🇺🇸❤️

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!

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

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

Monday Musings: Lessons Learned from 2020 and COVID-19

This has been quite a year for so many, and some would say this has been the absolute worse year ever, others would just say it stinks. I’m not sure there’s many at all who would say it’s been the best year; yet, maybe a three year old could have this perspective.

I will say it’s not been an amazingly wonderful year; it’s certainly had it’s challenges. However, I’d have to admit, it’s not been the worst year I’ve ever experienced.

Some of the worst years of my life were the year after my grandfather passed away, or the year we lost our first child after trying to conceive for 13 months, or the year I battled depression for a good half of the year… yeah, perspective always brings sunlight into the day.

Yet, there are some things this year of 2020 has taught me, and I thought I’d add it to my previous lists written near the beginning of all this

1. No matter what comes into my life, with God, I can walk through fire and I can stand in the rain…even if I have to grab the fire extinguisher and maybe a boat paddle!

2. Regardless what the days bring, you still have a choice to take another breath and move forward or clamp down on oxygen and lie down to die…I choose to breathe.

3. Despite the ugly, the tornadic, the chaos or the devastation, there is always hope, you just have to search for it…often times, it will be buried deep within.

4. Although, there may be confusion and uncertainty, if you know the right source from which to draw strength, you will have an endless supply…the Source is your key.

5. Life brings with it all kinds of ups and downs, doubts and fears, turmoil and challenges, questions and very few answers; yet, when you have a firm foundation, those specific answers may not always become easier to find, but the principles to these will be as sure anchor doe your soul.

6. Everyone needs a friend. Choosing to live out your life in isolation and avoidance is just a waste of life! … choose friends carefully, but choose them.

7. Having the courage to call out when you’re in trouble can be scary, and it definitely will make you more vulnerable than many of us like to be, but honestly, having moments of vulnerability brings humility back into our prideful flesh…and the courage it takes to ask makes us all that stronger.

8. Life has been known to bring us lemons, and sometimes, they can be the sourest ever grown, but if you’ll add a little sugar, you’ll find that lemonade to be quite refreshing… mind you, sometimes, you better add a lot!

9. No matter the clouds that brew overhead, always remember, there is a sun still shining. You may not see it today or tomorrow, but keep looking up, and it’s bound to eventually burst forth and warm up your skin.

10. If you believe there is no hope to ever be found, just stop in your tracks, take a deep breath, and place your hand to your heart to feel that beat…if there is still a rhythm, then there is always a glimmer of hope.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 10:23

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.

1 Peter 1:13

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people…

Ephesians 1:18

Monday Musings

I Loved You From the Start

You were so tiny when into this world you came

My life changed in an instant, never to be the same

You stole the show wherever we’d go

Your laughter was contagious, and you let everybody know

I whispered in your ear, you can reach for the stars

My hopes for you, I never wanted them barred

Your dreams and aspirations were so far apart

I knew I loved you from the very start

You were full of so much love and joy

I was thrill God blessed us with a baby boy

You ran and jumped, climbed and dove

Into every mischief and plaything sent down from above

You grew into a man before my very eyes

As you started stepping out, the devil tried to fill your head with lies

Sometimes you would succumb but other times you would fight

I kept pleading for you to always seek out the Light

I’d sing the song of old, hoping you’d remember

Calling you back home each and every December

Your dreams and aspiration were so far apart

You held them deep within your heart

You reached out strong to find your own way

You always had your own walk, keeping conformity at bay

You’d run headlong until you’d hit a brick wall

We’d be there when you’d ask to help heal from the fall

You’d tumble and struggle, forgetting the One

I’d pray and I’d seek, begging Him to awake my son

You’d come back around, dazed and a bit fogged

Yet,, stand back up, never allowing your soul to get too bogged

I wondered if those prayers ever made a difference

Knowing deep down, He would bring you deliverance

Your dreams and aspirations were so far apart

From them, your demons must depart

One day, it was as if the door opened and swung wide

Not to fame and fortune but to the Father’s side

All the tenacity to succeed changed to purpose and hope

Now His ways are always higher in your vision scope

Look what God has brought within your heart and mind

Your life is full of joy from boyhood not friction from the grind

All your goals and achievements have taken a different road

Now, you’ll reap a harvest for the good that you have sowed

Keep chasing all there is ahead of you

The end is giving glory that He is due

Your dreams and aspiration now aren’t so far apart

And He has so many more for you deep within His heart

Penned – MG – 10/5/20

Friday Fun Day

So sorry that I failed to post this before Friday was up!

It seems my Fridays have been quite full lately, but not really full of lots of fun.

So, we’ve found fun in the moments where we can find them and we enjoyed every minute of we had!

Sometimes, the day is brimming to the top with to do lists and deadlines, and you’d rather be sailing.

Sometimes, the second hand on the clock just doesn’t seem to move. It moves along with millimeter speed.

And then, it seems everyone else moves at that millimeter speed, too.

Can’t anyone accelerate? I have things to accomplish before I sleep!

Sometimes, you just drop the evening workload in the office and commute it to the boat.

Because perfect sailing in the fall only happens a handful of times, especially with a spectacular sunset and a breathtaking moonrise…

Yes, go find your Friday Funday.

Even if it’s in a few hours, under an hour, or only a few fleeting moments.

You can do this. You were meant for it!

Happy Friday Fun Day!

This is the Moon on the water.