Survival Guides Were Meant for Sharing

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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

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

Remembering

What did you remember?

What did you see?

All those years ago, when my existence wasn’t even a thought.

What did you recollect?

What did you hear?

All those sleepless nights, when the bottle became your friend.

What did you reminisce?

What did you feel?

All those days of overcast, those memories of horror, those years of agony…

What demons did you try to forget?

I wish I could have reached you.

I’m so sorry for your pain.

And I’m eternally grateful for your sacrifice.

Remembering Memorial Day 2022

Penned – MG – 5/30/22

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

John 15:13

How Long Will You Remember?

We cry in agony as we hear the mother scream for her baby who is no more.

A senseless shooting.

So many innocent lives taken too soon.

We cry in anguish as we watch the news, another life, another home, another country destroyed.

A senseless invasion.

So many blameless lives violated and abused.

We cry in aggression as we listen to a story, a race, a city, devastated once again.

A senseless bloodshed.

So many harmless lives stolen and discarded.

Yet, what about those before?

What about last year?

What about last decade, last century, last generation?

This isn’t the first. It won’t be the last.

The truth never diminishes the value.

It only recognizes the void.

It only reveals the distraction.

It proves the distance from crisis to comfort.

It exposes the distance from tragedy to hope.

How quickly you forget.

Your days move forward.

But when do theirs?

How long will you remember?

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Psalm 34:18

My flesh and my heart fail; butGod is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:26

Grief: It Keeps Rolling Just as the World

Grief comes in like a freight train, but it leaves like heat on a summer day.

It just keeps rolling in as the earth keeps turning.

It keeps changing like the wind in a hurricane.

It keeps piling like a logger in a sawmill.

It never stops for me or for you, no matter the title, no matter the story.

Grief is like a bully on the playground, coming in full force, but never relenting or growing shy.

It just keeps plowing like a farmer with a new field.

It keeps twisting like a mountain road on a new journey.

It keeps trodding forward like a stallion set free from a war.

It never halts for you or me, no matter the status, no matter the history.

Grief just simply must be received and processed, even analyzed and yes, sometimes, scrutinized.

Once it’s embraced, it can be positioned in the right place, but if rejected, it never truly releases.

The world moves on and so does grief.

So, let us move with it, or we will never learn to breathe again.

My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:26

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Psalm 34:18

Grief: It Comes Unannounced

I wake up for the day, and you are there.

I lay my head on the pillow to sleep, and you are there.

I am consumed with my thoughts, and you are still there.

It seems I can’t escape you; your presence is always with me.

I walk along the trail with the trees looming, and you are there.

I wade along the shore with the shells shining, and you are there.

I sit among the people with the chatter boxes, and you are there.

It seems I can’t hide from you; your presence is ever with me.

You remind me of a lifelong friend, but I am not sure you are such a companion.

I’d like to be rid of you instead of making you a home.

I rise with the sun, and You are there.

I rest my eyes with the moon, and You are there.

I sort through my feelings and my thinking, and You are still there.

It seems I can’t evade You; Your presence is thick as billowed smoke.

I walk along the streets with the children playing, and You are there.

I hike to the mountaintops with silence deafening, and You are there.

I plunge into the darkness with the fears looming, and You are still there.

It seems I can’t elude You; Your presence is encircled as a cloak.

You remind me that You are a friend, and I am grateful you stick closer than a brother.

I’d like to welcome you for eternity, for Your presence shadows all the pain.

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

John 14:16-18

Grief: It Comes In Waves

There’s no limit to grief.

There’s no timeframe, no confines, no box in which to place it.

It just is. Grief.

The loss can be a spouse, a child, a parent, a grand, or even a friend.

There’s no hinderance of relation that changes it.

It just is. Grief.

And it can come in waves just like the ocean.

It can be quite peaceful, making you look twice to see if it’s still there.

It can roll in unexpectedly, with riptide and tumultuous waves.

It can swirl around like a hurricane, seemingly with no end and no beginning.

It is just what it is. Grief.

Just as the tide recedes but always returns, so it is with grief and the pain of the loss.

Just as the ocean never stops, but it has its peace and its rage, so it is with grief.

As expanse as the ocean, the emotions of grief.

And sometimes, to cope best is to grab a board and surf the waves.

For only from atop can you clearly view and find the shore.

Penned – MG – 5/11/22

Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

Colossians 3:2

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Grieving Heart

Oh, Grieving heart

I know you’re broken.

I know you’re shattered.

I know you feel it deep beyond the bone.

Don’t think you have to smile.

Don’t assume you have to sing.

Don’t believe you have to laugh.

Only look up.

Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.

Luke 21:28

Life Isn’t Fair

One that is evil is left to keep living.

One that is good is taken too soon.

One that is friendly is kept among friends.

One that is lonely is left alone to the end.

Life isn’t always fair.

Life doesn’t always make sense.

Everybody has a story to tell.

Everybody has a scar that shares hell.

That one who hurts the most has to reach to another.

That one who drains the life takes even the morsel.

That one who cries the longest must be silenced.

That one who glares the hardest is allowed the violence.

Life isn’t always fair.

Life doesn’t always make sense.

Everybody has a story to tell.

Everybody has a scar that shares hell.

There is One who bled while others were hailed.

There is One who winced while others scoffed.

There is One who was pierced while others were passive.

There is One who died while all others lived.

Life isn’t fair, but there is a hope.

Life doesn’t always make sense, but there is a love.

His story is the redemption to tell.

His scars are proof He conquered hell.

Penned – MG – 5/9/22

And He bearing His cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified Him, and two other with Him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.

John 19:17-18

…who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

1 Peter 2:24

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

Not Home Yet

My heart longs for a land I’ve never seen.

My soul yearns for a country I’ve not yet entered.

My memory is drawn to a lane it’s never walked.

My eyes search for a site I’ve not yet lived.

I wonder how I can dream of a place I’ve never been, and then I remember.

We’re not home yet.

We’ve not yet received the decree.

We’ve not yet acquired the dream.

We’ve not yet taken hold of the promise.

We’ve not yet been enraptured by the hope.

But rest assured. It’s coming.

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.

Revelation 21:2-7