Posts Tagged With: Life

Life’s Interruptions

Life has a way of interrupting our plans as unforeseen events crash down on us. The things we hoped to do, maybe even said we’d do, are necessarily pushed aside to take care of the unexpected. Our flight from the airport is delayed, or a major traffic accident puts us an hour behind schedule. Illness can sideline us without warning. So how do we prepare for something we don’t know’s coming? I rely on my faith in God and rest in knowing He has things well in hand.

 

I recall a time I was slated to build a cascading water fountain and falls on a client’s luxurious property. Getting ready to load up the truck, I realized there’d been a break-in the night before. Most of the tools I needed for the job had been stolen and it took most of that day to replace them. At first I was frantic, worried I’d lose the job. As it turned out, the next day my client discovered a new design he preferred over the original we’d decided upon. If I’d have begun the job on schedule, I’d have dug and poured the shape he no longer wanted. That would have required tearing it apart and beginning over again, wasting both time and materials.

 

We never know when sudden happenstances may interpose between us and our plans, commanding our attention. We need to remain aware that God may have other plans for us, to help grow us into more mature followers of Jesus. It tests and deepens our faith.

 

The unpredictable happened to me in a big way about a month ago. It has impacted this very blog. That’s why I sense a responsibility to my faithful readers to share the reason why our last series temporarily came to a screaching halt. I’ll offer the details on that momentarily.

 

I’ve sub-titled this site “Spirit Writer” with a definite purpose in mind. It forces me to continue growing and to discover new truths to share. I strive to remain spiritually relevant in my writing, hoping to offer nuggets of help to better equip us all for everything life may throw at us.

Thank you for walking along with me as I learn. My readers teach me a lot, and for that I’m very grateful. Besides that, I hope to build up, or edify the faith of my readers.

 

Prayerfully, I share what I pray the Spirit of Christ is leading me to write. I want to be a blessing and shine the light of God’s love to the world—the light He’s shared with me. It’s my hope that every soul would experience the joys of drawing ever closer to our awesome God. I have nothing special that nobody else has access to through an obedient relationship with Jesus. And yet, God’s word and His Holy Spirit compel me to extol the glories of God, to share the gospel of Christ, and to express His love that He’s planted in my heart. There’s help from God available for every situation in life. He confirmed this to me while giving me the strength to endure and the comfort I needed through a terrible freak accident.

 

Here’s What Happened

 

Being a care giver at home for my wife, Becca, offers many oppotunities for those unexpected events to throw a wrench into my plans. Becca was crossing the street at an intersection, gimping along with her rolling walker. She was heading to a little corner market that has all sorts of little goodies that women get excited about. It doesn’t matter that I have no idea why she likes that stuff, as long as it makes her happy. Suddenly, a big truck laden with scrap metals to be recycled came screeching around the corner. On top of the load were a pile of unsecured car batteries. The centrifigal force of a quick right turn slung the batteries off the back of the truck. Becca said they were like killer bowling balls speeding towards her, and she couldn’t get out of the way in time.

 

One of the heavy batteries bowled her over while another smashed down on her ankle, crushing several bones, another battery took out the walker. Thank God one didn’t hit her in the head. There she lay in the middle of the intersection, struggling to get up and out of the traffic which kept swerving around her. The truck never even slowed down or looked back, but kept going. Finally a bystander helped her to the curb. None of the witnesses took down a tag nunber of the offending vehicle; neither could they offer a description of the truck.

 

It took reconstructive surgery and a very long screw up through Becca’s heel bone to knit her ankle back together. I praise God they were able to fix her up. She’d just recovered from another major operation, during which she almost died twice. Now this.

A few days ago Becca arrived back home once again. She spent weeks at the same rehabilitation center she was at just a few months ago. Things are finally getting back to normal.

 

Taking care of my disabled wife takes priority over everything else, including this blog. You are all very important to me, and yet the Lord indicates that I should take care of my own household above all else. So I’m back, praise God!

 

I believe everything that happens in life is allowed by God, for a specific purpose. Both the good and the bad, just as Romans 8:28 teaches us.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 

 

I don’t have to know the reason why this happened, because I trust that God is good, and that He has His reasons for allowing bad things to take place. Now to get back to work on what we we’re talking about before I was sidelined…LORD WILLING! He’s teaching me that when, either making, or announcing my plans, I should always make room for unexpected interruptions and include those two words: “Lord willing.”

Stay Blessed.

 

 

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Categories: Accidents, Christian Living, Faith, God's timing, Growing in Faith, Schedules, The unexpected, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rosy Prose

Sailing

 

I’m sailing away,

Into this painting,

Unfurling the canvas,

Rolled out in my mind.

The waves crash silently,

My ship rolls in a gentle sway,

Like two lovers on a dance floor,

Two moving as one—united in heart.

Pulsating rhythms of this dream,

Rapture me into the rays of the sun,

As it, sizzling, kisses the sea’s horizon.

I have company here,

Attending my mellow whims:

The clouds are all puffy,

Azure turns red, and then blue overhead,

Feathery wings tip in salute,

The waves are waving at me,

The dolphins smile at me,

I like it here,

Just me, my friends, and the sea.

 

 

While the real beauty of art lies in the viewer’s, or hearer’s personal perceptions, sometimes the artist is aiming at something specific. Whether it be a painting, a poem, prose, melody,  or another form, we hope to inspire, or to solicit deeper thought, and sometimes it is simply meant to encourage and appeal to pleasantry. Here, I am aiming for a certain pleasant sensation that one may experience when paying heed to the awesomeness of God’s glorious creations.

I felt the same way as I stood on a high precipice gazing down into the Grand Canyon at the Colorado River below. It’s as if God sets off a spark in the soul which seems to say, “Can you see me now?”

Perhaps, you too have felt it before. Maybe you weren’t sure what caused you to feel that warm embrace—it seemed so spiritual, as you beheld beautiful wonders on the earth, in the sea, or in the skies above?

 

 

And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

 

 

 

Categories: Creation, Nature, Poem, Poetry, Romantic Love, Self Improvement, Uncategorized, Wisdom & Discernment | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Champion

soldier

 

 

The soul of shallow thought makes it onerous to emote that heart, seeing that they will little understand. But those who through the turmoils of life’s stormy seas have been battered about—the ones who have risen up to meet those challenges and came out the other side as stalwart souls…they are easier. For these have true life experiences that sharpened their intellect. Besides, they read and study to be winners in this game of Olympic proportions. They have scars to show their hard learned discernment. And it is to these, to you, that I present this piece that was written during a season of dark and stormy trials, when the forces of wickedness had assaulted me with a power like unto a juggernaut. The piece is short, because it moves swiftly, and concisely.

 

My Champion

 

Against me came the dark of night,

With fangs that oozed with hate,

It paralyzed with chilling fright,

Served up on a dirty plate.

 

“How dost such evil haunt me so,

To forage through my being?

Malignant fingers interpose,

And no place I find for fleeing.”

 

“What power ere can rescue me,

And free me from this curse?

To march through hell for liberty?

Traverse this muck adverse?”

 

Yes One! I heard there was but One,

With such ability,

He uses love to overcome,

And He lavished it on me.

,

Through the night, dispelling light,

To pierce the heart of dark.

A curse was He, upon a tree,

The price to make me free!

 

The laughing thunder rolled,

He holds the keys to life!

Now, death has lost its hold!

My Victor is Jesus Christ.

 

 

Categories: Christian Living, Faith, Poem, Poetry, Salvation, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Killing an Enemy

ambush

The following true story covers one of the two shootouts I took part in. I was only 19 years old at the time, but was good at my job. Spiritually speaking, I was still as green as a Granny Smith apple, but the Lord has His ways of educating us. This ordeal taught me about how easy it is to be so very certain about something, and yet have a wrong perception altogether. It seems a lifetime ago…

Distinctive Sounds

 

The Red Georgia dirt had baked to a sweltering clay in the hot summer sun, making our feet sweat. Our platoon would pound out five mile runs in combat boots and full gear. Infantry training is grueling work, but committing thousands of new things to memory was the hardest part.

If we didn’t pay close attention, or were to forgot some critical piece of training, it could cost us our life, or the lives of others. We were learning how to fight and how to survive in a myriad of difficult situations. There was a lot more to this soldering thing than I had anticipated—so many things to know, some of which we couldn’t imagine there would ever be a need.

The instructor barked a question “What sound is this?”

“Swish, swish, swish.” Everyone remained silent.

“Tell em Sergeant,” the teacher ordered.

“That’s the sound of brush against the pant legs of U.S. fatigues,” he replied.

“You mean you can tell they’re American just be the sound?” I asked.

“Different countries, different uniforms, different materials. In Vietnam we learned this next sound well.”

“Swish, swish, swish.” As usual, I couldn’t keep quiet.

“Sounds the same to me, Sarge.”

“Listen again to both, and you’ll hear a subtle difference in the sound of brush against our uniforms, and the all cotton of the Vietcong’s.”

Amazingly, there was a difference. We learned to use all of our senses to their full potential. Eighteen months later, that listening skill would prove invaluable.

There are many night-time sounds along the Demilitarized zone spanning the border between North and South Korea, where our five man squad was on ambush patrol.

A strange insect that we called “kimchee crickets” made clicking sounds. I was on point, with all my senses focused on detecting any man-made sounds or smells. Our job was to catch North Koreans sneaking across the border to infiltrate the democracy in the south. Some of them have been successful in obtaining high-level positions in the South Korean government.

Trying to filter out the slight sounds of the men behind and to my right and left, in a wedge formation, we stalked a semi-wooded area around a known infiltration route. The crickets were clicking away when I heard two clicks that sounded slightly different. They were similar to the crickets, yet distinctly metallic clicks. And crickets aren’t made of metal.

I signaled a halt, and then flagged for a consultation with Sergeant Davis, an old combat veteran who had been serving as rear guard. Using night vision field glasses, we discovered three enemy soldiers escorting two infiltrators. They had heard us coming, and were lying in ambush, waiting. The clicks I had heard were the safeties being taken off of their AK-47’s and switched to automatic.

Sarge deployed us into a semi-circle around the enemy, and we caught them in a cross-fire. Bullets whizzed past my head like super-sonic bumble bees on a deadly mission. When the fire-fight ended, my friend, “Robert (Crash) Kolowitz,” was grazed by a 7.62 X 39 mm round. But that was our only injury. The communists didn’t fare as well; with two dead. We captured the would-be infiltrators and one soldier. That was in 1980.

Today, as the world keeps fearful eyes on North Korea and their god-like supreme ruler, Kim Jong-un, there are still firefights along the DMZ. It doesn’t happen often, and you won’t hear about them in the news. As far as the U.S. Army is concerned, they never happened at all. Politics!

My knees are paying a price for the abuse they took in the Army. Whenever I kneel down, each knee complains with a loud “click-clack”. But I imagine those clicks are a sweet sound to our Lord, as I kneel and thank Him constantly for bringing us safely through that ordeal. My knees might be rickety-clickety now, but I have an entirely new body waiting for me when I get to heaven.

Many nights I can’t sleep, thinking about those two soldiers that died, wondering whose bullets did that. Lord willing, I’ll never touch another gun. In North Korea, every young man is required to serve in the military, and those soldiers were only doing as ordered. The penalty for disobeying is death.

I’ve learned there are undercover Christians in North Korea, who face severe persecution and death because of their faith in Jesus Christ. The possibility horrifies me that maybe those two men…

Before you click over to the next web-page, how about saying a quick prayer for our men in uniform who fight for our freedoms? And then say a prayer for those we call “enemy,” who never had a choice in the matter.

Categories: Current Event, Faith, Military, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Greet the Morning

morn

Hello world. It’s me. I’m awake and wondering what today will bring. I recall my purpose for living, and somehow know that it is fulfilled by loving. Then God reminds me that what I do, and what I say will influence what tomorrow produces. It’s that thing about sowing and reaping. I have many friends in the Appalachian Mountains, and I love their down home wit and wisdom. One such friend said, “Ya can’t plant maters and expect to get taters” (tomatoes & potatoes). Yes, it’s the same principle Jesus taught.

I’m nothing great when it comes to poetry, but my prose sometimes will shine. I wrote down the following lines this morning.

Greet the Morning

When fresh waves of joyous light are born, all auspicious dawns

Tender thoughts awake the morn, upon God’s love as floating swans

When the glory-clad sun summits, truth and mercy lace fingers,

United they enter humble hearts, grace infused in spirit singers,

And all creation dances in beams of loving truth,

As wisdom then advances, and renews each mind with youth.

 

I do enjoy poetry, and as I bask in the genius of past greats and also contemporary thinkers, I grow. Today I reread this wildly popular poem by David Bates. Enjoy.

Speak Gently

Speak gently! — It is better far

To rule by love, than fear —

Speak gently — let not harsh words mar

The good we might do here!

Speak gently! — Love doth whisper low
The vows that true hearts bind;
And gently Friendship’s accents flow;
Affection’s voice is kind.

Speak gently to the little child!
Its love be sure to gain;
Teach it in accents soft and mild: —
It may not long remain.

Speak gently to the young, for they
Will have enough to bear —
Pass through this life as best they may,
‘T is full of anxious care!

Speak gently to the aged one,
Grieve not the care-worn heart;
The sands of life are nearly run,
Let such in peace depart!

Speak gently, kindly, to the poor;
Let no harsh tone be heard;
They have enough they must endure,
Without an unkind word!

Speak gently to the erring — know,
They may have toiled in vain;
Perchance unkindness made them so;
Oh, win them back again!

Speak gently! — He who gave his life
To bend man’s stubborn will,
When elements were in fierce strife,
Said to them, ‘Peace, be still.’

Speak gently! — ‘t is a little thing
Dropped in the heart’s deep well;
The good, the joy, which it may bring,
Eternity shall tell.

Have a Supremely Blessed Day! 

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Value of Life

A close friend smiled peacefully as he went bravely to his death. In contrast, I’ve also been witness to the trembling fright and paling faces of people who knew their expiration date was swiftly approaching. There is nothing like visiting the threshold of death to cause a person to assess the value of life, especially when it’s their own.

Perhaps the mysterious unknown of death is the most frightening aspect. That’s what set the apprehensive ones apart from my dear friend who is now departed. He was fully convinced that behind the door of death lie true life in the spiritual realm.

What is it that gives human life such a high value? Aristotle said, “The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.” I would agree with the ‘awareness’ aspect of such a statement, if it were in reference to knowledge of the truth.

Even Darwin knew how precious life is in relation to its duration. “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”

Professor Kalu Kalu says, “The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.”

Living our lives in service to others is indeed a healthy means of maintaining a good mid-level self-esteem and warding off depression. The sum of our character and what we do with our lives, however, is not what is needed to gauge its worth.  By themselves good deeds can produce an undesired affect. But once we come to know God, and have placed our faith in Christ Jesus, the Spirit teaches us humility. The humility we are taught in God’s word and through the Spirit combined with God’s valuation of you make for the perfect balance of self-worth.

“Low self-esteem has been shown to be correlated with a number of negative outcomes, such as depression.” (Silverstone & Salsali 2003). On the opposite side of the coin research shows that too high of a self-esteem also creates negative outcomes. The perfect balance, however is found in a right relationship with God. Learning God’s valuation of you combined with the humility the Spirit teaches Christians creates an ideal balance.

No one person can know how life is valued, because human life is not given its worth by self-valuation. Who can rightly determine the worth of any life, be it their own or another’s? The sanctity of people’s lives has been priced by the one who created life in the first place. In our Creator’s eyes every soul on earth who has ever lived was valuable enough to send His own Son to die in their stead.

When I visited a few auto manufacturers in Detroit I was educated on how the price of a car was determined. The company who makes the automobile is the only one who truly knows what each automobile is worth. They know the time, effort and costs that went into its production, and there’s other considerations also in determining its value, and its price-tag. When someone purchases one of those shiny new automobiles they are required by law to have it insured before driving it on the roadways. There’s the possibility of accidents which may result in the loss of human life. Not that money could ever compensate for such a loss.

God is the Creator of life and the owner of all that He has made. All life belongs to Him, therefore He is the one who valuates what you and I are worth. I’m amazed that He would think so highly of me as to go to such extensive lengths to insure me against the loss of eternal life. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And God’s Son reiterated that fact. “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”

While everyone may have their own opinion on any other particular person’s worth, ultimately that opinion is of no consequence. Your own opinion of your worth is of no consequence as well. To God every soul is highly valuable, and being that He is the owner and appraiser of all life, His is the only valuation that counts. In God’s eyes you and I are worth more than we could ever imagine, no matter what we’ve done with our lives. God loves you, big time!

 

 

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