How’s Your Gratitude Gauge?

I’ve heard it said that gratitude brings a peace of mind.

Gratitude can overlook the reality of pain to see the beauty in healing.

Gratitude can glance past what should bring anger and division and see opportunity for change.

Gratitude can turn a blind eye to hardships of transition and see the wonderful chance for new beginnings.

It’s all in our perspective.

It’s all in how we respond.

Gratitude can bring rest for a weary soul and relief for an entrenched heart.

Gratitude is not simple words of flattery and conceit.

Gratitude is found in actions, in heartfelt reactions, in a lifestyle of humility and honor.

Take a look in the mirror today and see if gratitude is on your lips.

Take a moment to breathe deep before you speak and see if gratitude is threaded through the words.

Take a survey of those around you to see if they recognize gratitude in your life.

And never take for granted the thousand tiny miracles all around you that call for gratitude from all of you.

Penned 1/8/22 – MG

Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples!

1 Chronicles 16:8

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

1 Chronicles 16:34

Happy New Year to You!

Let bygones be bygones, and let the past be in the past.

Let yesterday fade into the vapor that it is.

Let the clock keep ticking forward and the things from behind stay in the background.

It doesn’t mean all things are forgotten, and it doesn’t mean tomorrow is more important that the other day.

But sometimes to make progress, you’re going to have to let a few things rest and allow time to live on.

So, say goodbye and say hello, all in the proper order, and let’s get this party started!

Happy New Year to you and yours!

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!

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.

The Quest for Christmas

Sometimes, it’s almost mind-boggling to think how, throughout the year before, we long for Christmas to get here. We dream of it, talk about it, plan for it and prepare so many things to perfectly progress for the precise moment it will arrive, and then, the day itself seems to pass almost as quickly as it arrives.

Yet, for those of us who claim to be Christians, it does make me wonder, do we do the same for the coming of our eternal King?

For He IS coming, and we will be with Him for so much longer than Christmas Day will ever have been.

Are we getting ready?

And are we urging others to be ready?

Just as we’ve asked, “Do you have your tree up?” Maybe we should also ask, “ Do you have your heart ready?”

Maybe just as we’ve asked, “Do you have all your presents bought?” We should also ask, “Did you know, your soul has already been purchased with a price?”

Just as we inquire, “Are your family members coming?” Maybe we follow that with, “Are they headed toward heaven as well?”

Because if we are ready for all the Christmases we could ever live through, but we miss the one event that only happens once in a lifetime, we will regret it forever.

If we have all the presents in the world bought and perfectly wrapped, yet we miss the very present that has been provided to us for free, then in comparison, all the rest is just trash.

And if we enjoy company with our family and friends during the season, but we fail to show them the way to Christ, all those seasons will fade for the eternity in which we will miss them.

Let us not lose a moment.

Let us not miss an opportunity.

Let us never ignore the Hope.

Our time is too short, and their lives are too precious to lose…and so are ours.

Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

James 4:14

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:20

Merry Christmas to You and Yours!

I’ve been a little slack in my writing again. Life just seems to get busy, and the days begin to slip by too quickly. I’m working on that…again. Lol.

But I didn’t want the day to end without posting to say,

Merry Christmas to you all!!

I hope it’s been a wonderful day of celebration and joy for you and yours.

But if it’s not, just sit back and take a moment to breathe it all in.

Because even if you’re all alone, and all hades has broken loose in your life, you can rest assured that there is still HOPE!

If you still have a beating heart, no matter where you are, no matter what has happened, what will happen, or what you have said or done, or experienced, there is still HOPE!!

All you have to do is believe.

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

Let It Live Elsewhere

I read this, and it settled in like a long awaited truth to my soul.

This idea of letting go of pain, of allowing it to be placed somewhere outside our body, outside our mind, can be so healing.

When we hold pain and sorrow, it only brings more agony and anxiety.

When we constrain the heartache we’ve lived, it only brings more shattered dreams.

It only brings more grief and breathlessness.

Don’t restrain the tears.

Don’t stop the weeping.

Don’t halt the search for peace and joy.

But do allow that gut wrenching, earth shattering, all consuming knife within your soul to be let go.

If pen and paper bring an ease, then let the words fly as if being chased by a cobra.

If paint and canvas bring a breath of fresh air, then create the masterpiece of a lifetime.

If a song can be sung or a lyric be written, then allow the harmony to find it’s way as a raindrop finds the groove in a muddy hillside.

But clear that affliction from your thoughts.

Issue that grievance a pardon or prison sentence to far away lands.

Surrender that anguish from your heart and begin to breathe again.

Freedom comes with the release.

Now, go live.

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 21:4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partakeof the consolation.

2 Corinthians 1:3-8

The Lord is my shepherd;

I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.

Psalm 23:1-3

We Need Each Other

Sometimes, it’s quicker to just finish the project solo.

Less instructions, less redirection, less headache.

Sometimes, it’s quicker to just deal with the issue on the fly.

Less confrontations, less explanation, less mistranslations

Yet, a partner brings double time finished and a companion in the battle.

Sometimes, it’s easier to live life single in the distance.

Less expectations, less missed opportunities, less disappointments

Sometimes, it’s easier to survive away and alone.

Less conversations, less misspoken, less overdone

Yet, a friend brings laughter and a lightened load.

Whether we see it as truth or not, we need each other.

We need one who is sunshine and one who is rain.

We need one who is the ocean and one who is the shore.

We need one who is the mountain top and one who is the valley.

For if we are all the same, where is the growth?

Where is the challenge?

Where is the change?

It’s not for me that I live, and it’s not for you that I die.

It is for Him and Him alone.

And He created a ‘we’ to fulfill His purpose and plan.

So, let’s get to it.

Penned -MG – 12/17/21

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:12

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

Proverbs 27:17

One Year Later

Sat down to write Christmas cards tonight

Only to realize, I had to make a transfer to create more room

As I rewrote each name and address, one change kept coming up

So many things are different one year later

A friendship that has been washed out

A wife who decided to walk away

A grandparent has left for the other side

A husband who said goodbye forever

My heart broke after I wrote one name and not the other

My eyes shed tears as I remembered what was lost

My inhale grew a little deeper and the exhale a little longer

So many things have changed just one year later

A bond forgotten for brighter days

A dream shattered beyond recognition

A once in a lifetime sliced beyond repair

A light that grew dimmer until it smoldered

Oh, how I wish I could wave a little wand

Make wronged things right and old things anew

Oh, how I pray You’d come back sooner

Make desolate times dissipate with a feverish hope

You can change so many unraveled in so much less than one year later…

The Hidden Battle

Memories of you swirl around my head as I swat them away like flies.

I fight feelings of anger and grief as I pick up the shattered pieces of my heart.

I struggle to paint the smile I’ve learned to wear so well as if it’s an extra skin.

I look into the mirror and despise what I see because the reflections of the past come shining through.

Thoughts of you roll through my brain as if they have stolen permission to remain.

I battle the turmoil within, trying to make sense of the void and chasm of pain.

I wrestle with my flesh to hide the sorrow so I might glance with kindness on another.

I gaze at the pictures you left behind and loathe the resemblances that cannot be shred.

Recollections ramble through my mind as that one calls your name as I look away.

I resist the hatred that threatens to take hold, as I reach out openhanded for His love.

I assail the bitterness I can taste as if it were delights for my fancy and raise my hands in praise.

I search and await His hope that is beyond this present state of being and take confidence knowing it won’t be long till His rescue is complete.

Penned – MG – 12/1/21

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 5:3-5

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Matthew 18:21-22