Posted in Faith, life, Medical, Thoughts

Tears are a Language God Understands 

Today, as the tears of heartache and worry for Happy who was so sick that he stopped eating, drinking, and walking for over 12 hours. We have already lost at least 9 family members, including my father and grandmother, in less than 3 years. This year my mother has been in and out of the hospital multiple times with uncontrolled blood pressure that was climbing over 200. Last month both of her sibling gave us a scare after ending up in the hospital within a couple of weeks of each other. And once more, before we had a chance to recuperate from one loss, we were facing the very real possibility of losing our little Happy pup. With a sea of tears we have been presenting our petition to God day and night that He might, if it would not cause Happy greater harm, raise him up, and give us more time with him.

Over and over we lifted our hearts up to God as we poured out the unspoken sorrow of our heart to His patient ear. Even though we trust Him, it has been a struggle to place Happy fully in God’s hands. When we looked at the heartbreak of the past couple of years, coming so close that one scar could not heal before another wound pierced our heart, it was so easy to hold back and say Lord, you must heal Happy. To point to our many losses, our financial insecurity, and say Lord, how can you let us endure another blow. If you love us, You have to heal Happy.

But would that really be putting things in God’s hands? No, sadly that would be saying God, even though You know what is best, You can do what you know is best as long as it what we think is best. For a moment this might work out. For a moment it might save us from the sea of tears caused by the ache that was tearing our heart to pieces. But in the long run, when the danger or sorrow that the Lord was trying to save us finally came our way, the little ache of today, would be a thousand fold worse.

Hard as it was, we had to remind ourselves that God, tender father that He is, longs to keep us from heartache. And that before He allows any sorrow to come our way, He weighs it out to determine what we can handle, and what is for our best and the best of those around us. That unlike us, He sees the beginning from the end, and sometimes He like he did with King Hezekiah, He makes painful choices. How much better would things have been for Hezekiah, who at the time was a hero of faith, if like King David, he had bowed his head in acceptance of God’s word.

Oh how hard it must have been for Him to hear the sad proclamation that he was going to die from his ailment, especially knowing that he was without an heir. But at that moment he would have died with an untarnished record of faith. His record would have been one of trust and faith in His Lord in a time of great trial and tribulation.

But instead of trusting that the God who knows the beginning from the end, might be trying to save him from some unseen danger, pointed to his record as reason to why God should answer my prayer. King Hezekiah got his way. He got 15 more years of life, but at what cost? God knew that King Hezekiah was in danger of losing his faith. Flushed with his great victory of faith, King Hezekiah probably felt invincible. At that moment he might honestly have believed that nothing could get between him and God. And he might have imagined all the things He could and would do should God raise Him.

But while he did not see his danger, God did. And preferring to have a sleeping saint rather than a live sinner, God had made the hard choice to say no to healing him from his disease. It must have been with a heavy heart that God answered Hezekiah’s petition to look at his record and raise him up. He knew that when the cutting test of pride came his way, Hezekiah would fail.

Sadly, when the Babylonian representatives came to find out more about the miracle of the sundial moving backwards 10 degrees, Hezekiah forgot all about God. Instead of pointing them to the Great Healer, and telling them about the mighty maker of heaven and earth who not only had the power to hold the sun in place for a whole day or move it backwards 10 degrees, but also had the power to change men’s hearts, he showed them his great wealth.

Hezekiah had been given one of the greatest witnessing opportunities ever given to man. What other king, including King Solomon, had such a prestigious delegation from a budding super power knocking at their door practically begging to hear a sermon? Truly this was one of those moments when we could set back and wonder how different this world’s history might have been if King Hezekiah had proven true instead of giving way to pride and without one word of thanks or gratitude to God, squandered a golden opportunity to witness to the leader of the kingdom who would a few years latter be represented by the head of gold!

How different might the history of our world been if instead of showing off his wealth, King Hezekiah had spoken of the greatness of the God who raised him from his death bed and as a token of his word moved back the sundial by 10 degrees as easily as one leads a puppy. Never before or after was there such a moment to touch hearts as when that delegation, awed by the great miracle, were actively seeking to learn about a God so powerful that he could alter the course of time. At that moment their hearts were open to hearing and being impressed by the words of life. If Hezekiah had remained grateful, and spoken words of praise and gratitude to God, who knows how many members of that prestigious delegation might have given their heart to God. What a mighty witness for truth Hezekiah could have been. Only when the books of Heaven are opened, and God pulls back the curtain of history to reveal what might have been if that delegation had been able to bring back words of life to their king instead of visions of silver and gold, will we find out how the history of Israel and Babylon might have been forever altered. Instead of becoming an enemy of God and his people from which the call must be made Babylon is fallen, is fallen, come out of her my people, Babylon might have become a bastion of truth.

While this is a more sever example of the dangers of demanding God give way to our wants and desires, there is always great danger in seeking to pull things out of God’s hands and trying to force Him to do our will. Like Job in his suffering, he had no way of knowing that his misery was due to the cruel desire of the devil to bring him to his knees and tear him from the side of God. Right now the curtain between our world and the Heavenly realm is closed to us, and we cannot see how the hard the devil like a thief is seeking to pass the wall of protection that God has raised up so that he might steal us from God’s side. As overwhelming as today’s tears might seem, we have no way of knowing what greater pain and suffering the devil is longing to bring upon us if given the opportunity.

It is not easy to accept the tears of today. When faces with the painful, but purifying fire of tribulation, it is very easy to do as King Hezekiah and say Lord I want you to do things my way. It is so easy to lose sight of the fact that in this moment of pain, we are not the only ones shedding tears. But that as tender and loving father, the arms of God are wrapped around us, holding us up, even carrying us through the trial. And that His tears are mingled with our own.

Posted in Faith, Poems Begining with H, Poetry, Religion, Thoughts

He is Coming

Sometimes, as I study my life, as I look upon all my short comings and failures, as I count up the truckload of disappointments that life has thrown my way, I am tempted to lose hope. But then, praise the Lord, as discouragement seeks to swallow me up, the Lord in His mercy points my eyes heavenward. With the tender love of a father, He reminds me that this life is not my source of joy and hope. He reminds me that my days upon this earth are like the falling sands of an hour glass. For a moment they stand at the edge, and in a blink of an eye they fall to the bottom and are lost sight of. So it is with the sorrows and pains of this life. Right now, if we set our eyes upon the things of this earth, even the smallest trial can seem like a matter of vital importance. But thankfully our earthly trials are only for a moment, because Jesus is coming.

The signs of the times are shouting that He is coming. The increasing birth pains of earth are screaming to us look up, because your faith is not in vain, and your redemption draweth nigh. Praise the Lord, our days of wandering are soon to draw to an end. This world with all of its fearful trials is not our hope. Our truckloads of missed dreams need not be mourned over as if all hope is gone. Because heaven with its endless ages of wonder is around the corner. Today may be full of tears. The news with all of its fearful tales of want and woe may fill our heart with anxiety for the future, yet we need not be overwhelmed.

Because Jesus is coming! He is coming to rescue us. He is coming to put an end to sin and death. He is coming to take us to a land where sickness, fear, disappointment, hunger, want, sorrow, loss, theft, intense cold or heat, destruction, and the many traumas of sin are unknown. In that blessed land, where the angels lift their voice in praise to God, we shall lay forever lay down our burdens.

With bodies made new, free of the taint of sin, we shall walk, jump, and run with the energy of a young child. For endless ages our minds will have the privilege to explore the vast universe that God has created. Our minds will thrill with delight as we dive into the depths of the sea to swim with sharks or climb to the top of the loftiest tree to hang out with the birds.

Every cell, down to the tiniest molecule will work with perfect order. No longer held back by aching back or knees, no longer kept on the sideline by anemia, migraines, MS, or any other debilitating disease, we will march along the streets of gold. We will build houses and gardens without any worry that the tax bill will prove to be too great a burden or that some stranger will find a way to claim our home and turn us out into the streets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfTs6Tt4gNo&list=TLPQMDExMDIwMjJRkNBBXIwdEw&index=1As I consider the wonder of that great day, my pen feels so inadequate. In vain I long for a way to share a hundredth of its hope and glory so that the hearts of all might instantly be stirred to action. If only for a few moments I could sing like an angel so that your heart might be stirred so that with all of your heart you would desire to be part of the redeemed. If only I could say something that would encourage all to long for and take solace in the good news, that Jesus is coming. And He is coming very soon.

Posted in Acrostic Poetry, Faith, Poems Begining with H, Poetry, Thoughts

Hope

Sometimes, when I look at how hard I have struggled to only advance a step or two, I start to feel rather discouraged. As I look around me and see how far those who have put forth half the struggle, who barely gave 50 percent of their effort while I pushed my pain ridden body until it could not take another step, yet they are the ones with a comfortable home, family, and a job. And for all my persistence, my determination to give 100 percent so that I might reach my goal, I have nothing to show except a few bruises and an AA degree that can open no doors.

When I look at window and watch the cars go by, and think of all the dreams that will never be, of the family that I longed for, but will never know, and the country home that will never be mine, I must admit that for a moment or two, my heart drops, and hope seems so far away. As I look at my long list of failed dreams, and the success of others, I have to struggle to keep back the tears.

Why are others allowed to enjoy the fruits of their labor, and although I give my all, every attempt seems to end in utter failure? Why are my dreams always denied? Why cannot I find love? Why am I not allowed to have my own home and family? Why am I not allowed to have any real hope? Or is that the case?

As my broken heart looks upon the tattered remnants of my dearest earthly dreams, I am gently reminded to look up. To look up toward heaven and by faith behold the true hope. The hope that is free of sorrow and disappointment. The hope that is free of pain, suffering, want, and any taint of sin. To look up and by faith behold the wonderful day when sin will come to an end and as promised all my years of emptiness will, in one moment, be swallowed up, and transformed into an eternity of unending possibilities.

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Posted in Acrostic Poetry, Faith, Poems Begining with H, Poetry, Religion, Thoughts

Hope

Hope, it is something that we all desperately need to keep us going. With a good dose of hope, we would not have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Because it is hope that that cheers us up when everything around us seems glum and impossible.

It is hope that takes hold of the strong arms of trust and faith to keep our heads above the billowing waves. When discouragement seeks to suffocate us and build such a high wall that we will never be able to enjoy another ray of sunlight again, it is hope that points us to the great promises of God and reminds us of the importance of trusting in things that though yet unseen, will one day become a wondrous reality.

Like a vitalizing tonic, hope has the power to revive the nearly dead soul. Bringing it back from the brink of lifelessness into a vibrant and purpose driven life.

Posted in Faith, Poems Beginning with V, Poetry, Religion, Thoughts

Viva Eternidad!

There are days when following the Lord just seems to come naturally. Then there are times when everything goes wrong, and my eyes settle upon the problems of life, instead of focusing on the beacon of hope that Jesus longs to shine upon my troubled path. Caught up in the frustration of my struggles to make even a modest success of my life and the never ending disappointment as something always seems to come along and snatch away my few, hard won pennies of achievement, I forget that my eyes are supposed to look steadfastly upon Jesus and not down at my trembling feet.

Sometimes, worn out by sickness and chronic pain and the discouraged by the constant battle to take one step forward only to be pushed back five or ten, I begin to look away. Without even realizing it, my attention begins to focus on myself and before I know what has happened, all the problems of life rise before me eyes. Instead of dwelling upon the promised joys to come, my heart begins to mediate upon the quiet pain that I try to bury deep within some forgotten corner of having to watch all of life’s dearest dreams pass me by.

As I look at my life, and behold all the times that I worked so hard only to get sick or have some financial crisis come along and tear my dream into pieces, all the hopes that now lay in ashes at my feet, and all the longings of life that will never be, discouragement fills my heart and before I know it has created a thick wall between me and the path of life.

In that moment all I can see is my hopeless state. Pain, frustration, want, loneliness, and all that makes the heart to ache seems to be my lot in life. Instead of feasting upon the promise of the heavenly Canaan where sin and pain are unknown and of the day when the years of famine will be swallowed up in an instant, my eyes have been held captive by the misery of the hear and now.

Thankfully the Lord is full of mercy. And even though I made a mistake in taking my eyes off His wondrous promises to focus upon the wilted landscape of this barren desert, God lifts up His mighty arm, and sends bright beams of light to break through the darkness. Tenderly He reminds me that this world is not my home. This life of sorrow and trail is but for a moment.

True, my pain and sorrows may be great, and my basket of disappointed hopes heavy. And if this short life, that at its best may last a little over a hundred years, were all that I had to look forward to, then I would have every right to shed a fountain of tears. Then I would be justified in filling the ocean with the deep rivers that would have every reason to pour forth from my eyes as I mourned my pitiful state.

But God has made a way of escape from the sentence of death. He has paid the price of my sins and although I have done nothing to deserve it, has opened the door to eternal life. An eternal life filled and overflowing with opportunities that I have never imagined. A life where I will build my own home, walk golden streets, speak with unfallen angels, investigate the far flung corners of the universe, take a ride on the back of a giant dinosaur, swim in the river of life, eat from the Tree of Life, compose my own music, understand the inner workings of bacteria, and more.

For ceaseless ages I will have the opportunity to study the amazing story of salvation. To understand the intricacies of earth’s history as never before as link by link I behold how God’s hand was moving behind the scenes to reach the hearts of men. For endless ages I will be filled with wonder as I begin to see the golden chord that worked from the fall of man, up to the final days of earth’s history, and how a seemingly small event three or four thousand years ago, played a role in reaching my heart today.

Best of all, even greater than never feeling worn out and tired, never having to worry about earning enough money to pay the bills, greater yet than being able to eat any dish from the heavenly garden without fear of an allergic reaction or enduring nausea, I will have the opportunity to once again hold the hands of loved ones whom death’s cruel hands had taken from me. Having been woken up from their all to long sleep at the sound of Jesus trumpet, we will once more enjoy each other company. For all of eternity we will work and play together. We will gather together at Jesus feet, and like the disciples did, we will spend hours feasting upon the wonderful words of truth and wisdom. Our hearts overcome by gratitude as He tells us how He held our hands on our day of sorrow, of the many ways that He worked to rescue us from sin, and sings to us the very song that He sung on the day that we accepted His mercy.

As I listen to that still small voice, reminding me of a few of the many wonders that I will have a chance to enjoy on that great day, I cannot help but forget my sorrows. The wall of despair that blocked my eyes from the path of hope quickly begins to crumble as I think not of today’s pain nor dwell upon its sorrows. But instead I once more look forward to the glorious day when my pilgrimage is over and my days of trial and heartache have at last come to an end. When at last my empty years have been swallowed up by the endless years of plenty.

In that day the tears of today, though all to important seeming now, will fade into the background, as my eyes behold a billion glorious that I could never have imagined. And life, such an active and happy life like I had never dreamed possible, becomes mine to enjoy for evermore.

Posted in Poems Beginning with J, Poetry, Thoughts

Joy oh Blessed Joy Where Have You Gone?

It is amazing how fast this world is changing. As I look upon the strange happenings in the political world and behold how close we are to war, as I see and experience the pangs of inflation, and watch in horror as it truly seems like men’s hearts are growing cold to the needs and desires of their fellow men.

More and more I cannot help but wonder where has joy gone? Where has the peace and happiness that makes our life upon this sin tinged earth disappeared to?

With great sadness, I look around and behold pitiful scenes of want. My heart aches as I see so many weighted down by fear of the future. And I long all the more for the wonderful day when true joy, a joy free of the taint of sin, will at last be ours. O how I look forward to the day when Jesus stand up and says no more and the battle between good and evil comes to an end.

Right now as the drums of war pound in our ears, as the bombs of what could easily turn into world engulfing war fall heavily upon the shivering soil, it is hard to picture a day when strife and blood shed will come to an end. Right now while hunger and disease rule, even a day without pain seems impossible. Yet that glorious day is almost here.

The very things that call us to cry out and ask where joy has gone, the very terrors which fill us with horror, are even now seeking to point us to the fast nearing approach of the last great battle between good and evil. Wars and rumors of war abound, the ears of man are closing to the rights and needs of their fellow men, disease almost seems to be falling like the rain from heaven, and pest are getting out of control, yet we were told that this would be state of things just before Christ returns.

But one of the biggest signs that the end of our days of trials and tears is drawing near, is the fact that we are starting to see the mask come off and we are seeing the first open attempts to rule the hearts of mankind. To tell men that for the sake of freedom you must give up your freedom. That if you want to enjoy the God given right to work for your daily bread, to buy and sell, you must silence your conscience and follow the rules and whims of man.

While these ground breaking attempts to grab power have come as a surprise to many, God’s word has warned that a day was coming when only those who receive the mark will be allowed to buy and sell.

And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Revelation 13:17

Clearly this is a mini quiz in preparation for the final exam. Showing us that our graduation is quickly drawing near.

And while our earthly joy is fading, our heavenly joy is drawing near. Soon we will know a joy that knows no bends and will never come to an end. Because it will be a joy holy and pure, inspired by the endless wonders of Heaven and an earth made new.

As I consider that wondrous day when death and sorrow are forever buried, my heart once so heavy by the many sorrows taking place around me, cannot help but leap for joy. As I look forward with longing to that great day of release. And it is my hope that you will give your heart to Jesus and even now begin to taste a slice of this never ending joy.

Posted in Faith, Religion, Thoughts

Are Elements of the Gospel Story Woven into the Chinese Language?

I was watching this video today and I thought it was fascinating. Could it really be that elements of the gospel are actually interwoven within the Chinese language? I know that there is quite a fair list of languages where the seventh day of the week is a form of Sabbath such as Spanish where Saturday or the seventh day of the week, is called Sabado. But to think that elements of the story of the flood, the fall of man, and even the salvation story have been memorialized in language is quite exciting and faith building.

Posted in Faith, life, Thoughts, Uncategorized

An Unfulfilled Dream

It was so exciting, our dream of moving to the country seemed like it was going to come true. My parents had brought three beautiful acres in the country, and it would not be long before we left the city life for the peace and quiet of the country. My father was so excited that he every time we visited the he would pull down a few of the thin trees that would easily give way.

He even went to the store and purchased a chain saw so he could cut down and clear the land.

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Posted in Faith, Poems Begining with H, Poetry, Thoughts

He is Coming

Some days, when the pain is mild and my energy is surprisingly high, it is easy to get out of bed and face the changes of an increasingly strange and hectic world. But some days, when sorrow and pain blend together, when trial and heartache haunt my door, it is tempting to curl up in a ball of agony and let the stress of this world gain control.

But on those days there is one hope, one blessed beacon of promise that keeps me afloat, and that is the promise that He is coming. That in spite of today’s spiking heartaches and fears, there is a reason to get out of bed and smile. That even though my dreams may lay in crumbled heaps around me, even though chronic sickness has robbed me of many a joy, I still have a reason to lift up my head and sing songs of praise.

Because today with all of its trials and hardships is not the end. This world full of crime, hate, sickness, and death is not the fruition of my hopes. Like Abraham, Issac, and Jacob I am just a pilgrim in search of a better land. But unlike them, my story is not set at the beginning, but at the end. Instead of thousands of more years, this world is lucky to have a dozen years. And by the way things are changing, and it seems like we are descending into madness, often wonder if we will even see the next decade.

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Posted in Faith, life, Religion, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Thoughts about Faith

Faith, it is a very small word containing only five humble letters, yet it certainly is a mighty word. When everything is going right, and the road of life is quiet and well paved, it is really easy to say I have faith and think that you understand what that word really means. But how can you? What faith is required when life is at its best and want and fear have no place in your life.

What faith is required to walk on plush carpets and eat ice cream by the pool? What faith do you have to rely on when your life is like a romantic postcard or an add for a tropical resort? What exercise of heart and mind is called for when your life could be flashed up for the poster image of successful because your every want and need is met for years to come. When your beliefs line up with the crowd and are excepted at every turn as the only way to live, saying I have a measure of faith takes neither courage nor self-denial.

It is not until trial and adversity hunt your steps, when discouragement and disappointment hunt you down like a pack of hungry hound dogs that you really get a glimpse of the depths and power of faith. Because it is then that you have to chose to hold on to faith. It is then that you have to chose to grab hold and cling to faith, that it become more than words.

From our comfortable arm chairs it is easy to look back at the mighty men of faith and say, I would do the same. Or to look down at those who fell short of the mark and say, I would never do that. Nothing would make me lose my faith. I would never chose the comforts of this life over faith in Jesus. If I were in that garden, or if I had been King Saul, or if I had been so and so I would have done this and not done that.

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