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

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

Healing Brings Clarity

I’m not sure if there’s a statement that could be more true…

Well, I’m sure there are others, but this healing business is serious, and it’s needed by more than is realized.

When you are wounded, clarity is almost impossible to find.

When you are in pain, certainty can be so cloudy, so evasive.

You can be looking straight at the problem but never see the face staring back at you in the mirror.

You’re blinded by the agony, but you claim all is well.

You can speak with words, yet the emotions are lost within the anguish of grief.

It’s like trying to walk through a crowded room with your arm in a sling, hoping no one will bump it, all the while acting as if nothing is wrong, and the room is empty.

It borders on insanity.

Yet, every one of us stands with the accused.

Every one of us has lived in this ludicrosity.

Every one of us has chosen the absurd from time to time.

But if we can simply grasp the moment to receive healing,

If we can simply accept the bandage,

Embrace the cast,

Take hold of the remedy as if it’s a lifeline,

The vision we achieve will be amazing.

Then He [Jesus]said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other.

Matthew 12:13

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

James 5:13-15

Father’s Day…What a Day

Father’s Day…

What a day to celebrate.

What a day to contemplate.

Is a father one who rules with an iron fist?

Is a father one who grants every wish list?

Father’s Day fills the heart with love, fear, hatred, and confusion.

Father’s Day fills the heart with suspicion, wisdom, laughter, and illusion.

What a day to let the soul ponder.

What a day to let the mind wander.

Is a father one who encourages, advises and cheers?

Is a father one who avoids, neglects and jeers?

Father’s Day can fill the heart with strength and admiration.

Father’s Day can fill the heart with joy and appreciation.

What a day to let accumulate.

What a day to let captivate.

A true Father is one who admires, enwraps, uplifts and esteems.

A true Father is one who confronts, forgives, purifies and redeems.

Thankful for My Heavenly Father on this Father’s Day that is tough on my heart and so many others…

Penned – MG – 6/18/22

A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, in God in His holy habitation.

Psalm 68:5

Striving to be Kind

I have read so many articles from those declaring we must love the addict, regardless of the hell they bring to you.

We must strive to be kind.

Be loving. Be sincere. Be gracious.

For they are hurting people, simply misunderstood.

I’ve read stories from daughters and sons who were straightforward and blunt with their parental addict.

Yet, once that parent is gone, the adult child grieves the loss and the “lack of love” they gave.

He states, “You never have that moment to return and be helpful.”

She states, “Once they’re gone, you live with the regrets of what you could’ve done, what you should’ve done.”

We must strive to be kind.

Be loving. Be sincere. Be gracious.

For they are hurting people, simply misunderstood.

Well, I personally must disagree with your memes-life approach.

I adamantly oppose your proclamation of fantasy.

Is not true love when we protect those most vulnerable among us?

Is not true sincerity when we call good, good and evil, evil, not the other way around?

Is not true graciousness when we recognize truth as it is and remove danger from the innocent?

I will never argue the merits of forgiveness and grace. That is what we should all give and receive unconditionally.

But truth must be embraced above all else for true healing to come.

Truth doesn’t rescind love.

Truth doesn’t nullify kindness.

Truth will bring recognition, repentance and regeneration.

Truth will bring forgiveness.

Forgiveness doesn’t always equal reconciliation, and grace doesn’t mean tolerance for depravity.

Sometimes, the kindest action of love is confrontation and consequences.

Sometimes, the kindest action of acceptance is refusal of evil and encircling good.

For in confrontation, mending of hearts can begin.

And in consequences, recoiling from harm can start.

So let us never strive for kindness at the expense of truth.

For the truth will always set one free.

And you shall know the truth, and the truthshall make you free.”

John 8:32

Run Away

My heart wants to run away from all the chaos, all the pain.

My mind wants to shut down from all the turmoil, all the chains.

My soul wants to hide from all the torment, all the insane.

So, I go to the solitude place.

The place to hear my heart beating again to the rhythm of Your waves.

The place to see my mind clearing the clutter, to remember You hold my days.

The place to feel my soul settle the wandering, to understand Your peace that guides my way.

The solitude place where the noise stands still in the beauty of Your face, where the crowds fade in the light of Your grace.

Penned – MG – 6/12/22

Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth!

Psalm 46:10

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Colossians 3:15

Refiner’s Fire

The trials of life feel like fire to the heart.

They burn and destroy as a forest ablaze.

They break and bend the impurities of our motives.

They draw out the ugly, unusable parts of our nature to reveal the good.

May we yearn for the heat.

May our hearts long for the fires that will bring forth the beauty of character and purity of the soul.

Let the fires burn.

He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;

He will purify the sons of Levi,

And purge them as gold and silver,

That they may offer to the Lord

An offering in righteousness.

Malachi 3:3

Let It Burn

Sometimes, we’ve got that thing that hinders holding us back.

Sometimes, we’ve got that thing that makes us pause, and it’s slowing us down.

Sometimes, to get rid of it,

You’re gonna have to let it burn.

Fire purifies. It refines.

Fire cleanses. It redefines.

Let it burn away the dross.

Let it burn away the residue.

You will be brought for as precious silver.

You will come forth as brilliant gold.

I will bring the one-third through the fire,

Will refine them as silver is refined,

And test them as gold is tested.

They will call on My name,

And I will answer them.

I will say, ‘This is My people’;

And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’ ”

Zechariah 13:9

But who can endure the day of His coming?

And who can stand when He appears?

For He is like a refiner’s fire

And like launderers’ soap.

He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;

He will purify the sons of Levi,

And purge them as gold and silver,

That they may offer to the Lord

An offering in righteousness.

Malachi 3:2-3