I read today all the notes in the article stating what a “cool mom” she had for attending all his travel games when she could’ve been at church or at work or in the bed sleeping.
I heard the praises she made as you fussed at that teacher, really giving her “what for,” after she had the audacity to flunk the test over a little glancing over the shoulder when all the kids need is just a little break from all the stress and demands.
I watched as your job gave you that award for all your hard work and extended hours that took you away from house and home for days and weeks at a time.
Is this what true achievement is now?
Are these “successes in modern culture” what show you’re full of vigor and forthrightness?
Is this what true purpose has come to?
I read the comments that say, “You’re a cool mom” because you sat with your kid at the tattoo parlor yesterday.
I hear the accolades of how great a job you did while allowing your daughter to “spread her wings” and try out the pride of life. After all, it’s the latest and greatest and “will bring her the best destiny.”
I watch as the news pours in on the wonderful attempt you took last week to bail your son out of jail for the fifth DUI since he was 16 because he promised to quit … again.
Is this what true love is now?
Are these strides to be “popular with the next generation” what show you’re full of compassion and admiration?
Is that what true affection has come to?
It seems the world has turned upside down. It seems we have reduced it all down to a common denominator. We are calling good evil and evil good, and yet, we stand here wondering why there is so much hatred, so much strife and so much utter destruction.
There is no internal goodness that brings you to right without an ultimate Truth.
There is no natural tendency toward mercy without an equal balance of justice.
One can never truly live without the other.
For where all mercy is driven, the sin goes without correction.
For where all justice is prevailed, the chance for grace is long forgotten.
One must have the other in a beautiful symphony called life,
And the only ability they have to meet is through the eyes of the One who knew no sin yet became sin to bear our wages of immediate death that we might live eternal…
Penned 7/16/21 – MG
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. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
When you have to go to Fl for a memorial, stay in a place you’ve never been but want to explore.
When you have to go, but a hurricane is barreling in, drive on down to The Keys and stay a night in comfort, away from the howling wind.
When it’s raining in paradise, make a drive to a fun dive and remember the sunset from yesterday.
When the dockside you want isn’t open and other places are too full or the hours are funky, just stop searching and try to enjoy the mediocre food you find at a cool dive.
When you get burned from the less than desired cuisine, have a do-over at the hotel convenience … sit out on the balcony and enjoy good food, good service, and sweet conversations with both the waitress and your love.
Feels like island time already.
When you have to plan for the days ahead and make some decisions, sit out by the island waters, under a tiki hut, in a bamboo chair swing, and let the coastal breeze wash all over you.
When you can’t bring your boys with you, and they made because they missed the adventure, you stop by a favorite to bring our home to them…and enjoy a slice yourself in the beautiful garden out back.
When you have a free place, save a little money and head back to your original destination after the storm has blown through.
But take the long way through the swamps. It’s a prettier, more laid back experience.
Remember, you’re here for the adventure.
When you find your place to be amazing, but the beach town to be a little less than, go exploring nearby.
Remember, you’re here to make a memory.
When the days have been upside down and the busyness of life is taking a toll, take a little stroll along the seashore…or maybe two or three.
Along the way, stop and smell the roses, or take in the sight of the massive, gigantic trees, as it were.
When you see that the feasts prepared are good, but maybe not great, find the one suggested and let it remind you why you make a meal an event.
Amazing food, beautiful scenery, and fun conversations can bring the two of you back to younger days, deeper love and a stronger friendship.
When you have to go to a memorial, to be there for a friend, make it an adventure along the way.
Remember, it’s not always about the destination. Sometimes, it’s more about the time spent together and dreams fulfilled.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, 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.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
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.”
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.
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.
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…