A Love Song

Yesterday I saw/heard a commercial, not a new one by any means, but one that caught me off guard and threw me into heartache and tears, after which, it was very hard for me to recover from for the day. 

The commercial was for the final movie for Breaking Dawn.   I know, you’re thinking, what the heck?  Well, this is the part where I tell you a little story. 

I was not crying because I was once again faced with the fact that Breaking Dawn is now over, I was crying because of the memories of the day when I went to see it.  My step-daughter and I had made a special date to go see the movie back on December 15th, we’ve made it a point to see all the movies together, kind of our thing, and maybe I’m the only one that thinks so between the two of us.  We sat and watched almost two hours of a movie that revolved around immortality, and of course, immortality won out in the end.  I had gotten phone calls during the movie but, it’s a movie, can’t use my cell, so I didn’t answer them.  At the end of the movie, with tears in our eyes, my step daughter and I looked at each other with a sigh and I said, “well, it’s the end of an era.”  I didn’t know how true that statement was when I said that, and I didn’t know that the tears I had been crying for a movie were only a precursor to a real ending.

 That particular day was also my brothers’ birthday, whom I saw had called me during the movie.  I felt bad for him having to call me for a “happy birthday,” but I called him back and he was very distant and short.  Hmm.  I called my mother-in-law back and she said they were at my house and to come home before going to dinner.  I also knew that my step-daughters birthday was coming up soon and we thought maybe something was going on with that.  We weathered the pouring down rain on the way home, talking about the movie, wondering what exciting plans the family had brewing for when we arrived. 

I walked in the door and the entire side of my wife’s family was here, as my wife was in Texas with my mom taking care of her following a surgery she had.  As I walked in the door, my cousin handed the phone to me and it was my wife, who was tasked with delivering me the news that my mom had died. 

Chaos and death was surrounding my family while I was in a movie and I didn’t even know it.  I was the last to know. 

So that’s the story of the commercial and why it hurt me so much to see it, even just to hear the music that went along with it.  The music, more specifically, is what got me, with the words saying, “I’ve loved you for a thousand years, and I’ll love you for a thousand more.”  Now, yes, this is a love song.  But all I could hear in this song at that moment was how much my mom loved me and how much I loved her.  And as the day progressed, and the tears remained steady, I almost had to detach myself from my heart just to not cry.  In fact, as I write this, feel it all over again, I cry. 

Yet, the more I detached my heart, the more my heart and mind reminded me that I a person with feeling and a person that is loved, no matter from life or death.  My mom may not be alive anymore, but she loves me from Heaven, and I love her from here into Heaven.  And I am a person that is loved here on Earth from my wife, family, and friends every day and in any way they can express it, and hopefully I accomplish the same. 

And in the grand scheme of it all, God loves me, and I love Him.  And the more I was reminded of the song yesterday, as it wouldn’t stop running through my head, it eventually started leaning more toward how much God has put forth his love for me, not only to give me life, but to have given me to my mom, and to all those around me, and given me the heart to love not only them, but Him, all with such depth and joy, and for them to love me back just as much.

This one is for God, and for my mom.

All The Way To Heaven

While it’s only been a little over a year since I started this blog, it seems like just as long since I’ve contributed to it.  My journey, full of spirit and joy, took one too many of a tumble and, for reasons that I both care not to, and can’t even explain, I couldn’t even think about standing up and moving forward, especially when it seemed my journey had led me backward.

Somehow, however, between there and here, I’ve managed to muster up enough energy to start to stand up, and at the very least, start dusting myself off, glancing at this mountainous journey ahead of me still, and still willing to entertain it.  Something still awaits me and if I know nothing else about myself at this point, I at least know that I’m curious and hopeful enough to check into it.  I may not have the best tools for the job, and I may not use the right tool for the job, but my heart is in the right place, and hopefully it will all be enough for God to love me.

So much happened on the way down the last time that I don’t even want to bother talking about all  of it.  I just know that there were probably plenty of opportunities for me to grab onto something as I slid, but I failed to notice.  Of course I failed to notice, I never noticed on the way up either.  On beautiful days I kept my eyes to the sky and just let my feet land where they may, not noticing my left or my right, and on dreary or stormy days I kept my eyes toward the ground, unable to see anything but where I was able to plant my feet.  I cheated myself out of half of the journey by not looking around and taking in the sights or moments.  All I was doing was moving.

I’m trying to do better now.  Some days are sunny, some are stormy, but there are still things to the left and the right that I can check out.  I can glance away from the heavens for a moment, I can try to turn off the other noises, and I can look at you, or us, or all of us.  I can tilt my head up from the ground and find the same.

Along most trails, there are marked areas for things to do, or best scenery, or something like that.  I’m trying to not keep passing them by just to get through the trail.  I don’t want to miss the point of everything, the beauty of it all, the reason behind it all, and the memories of it all.

I’ll get to where I’m going eventually, I may get lost, I may get to where I hope I wouldn’t be, either way, I will have gone knowing I made the best journey of it that I could, and that I blazed the trail with the best intentions.

~Dear Lord, what I ask of you today is for wisdom, to know when I’m taking my life and family for granted, and to know how to be the best me I can be, for the sake of myself, my family, and for all your people.  In your most precious name, I pray.  Amen~

Love In Limbo

John 20

The Empty Tomb

    1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

   3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

So John was the one that’s being referred to as the one that Jesus loved most in that passage, his bud, his best friend.  He got so worked up over the news that someone may have jacked with his best friend’s grave site, whom he just lost and was freshly mourning over, that he outran the other guy and beat him to the tomb.  However,  he maintained discipline when he got there, to respect Jewish tradition about not entering a place of death or something.  It was only after Peter got there and busted past him to see what the heck was going on with that shroud, that he finally went in to witness the mystery that he knew for a fact that Christ had died, but all of a sudden Christ is not there. 

The Truth, which, considering John and Jesus’ history and friendship together, John finally truly believed at that moment, as he stand there looking at empty cloths, was that Christ had risen.  Now, John was a faithful disciple to Jesus, a true bud, in fact, just before he died, Jesus passed those most important in his Earthly life over to John’s capable heart and and hands, his mother and other disciples…not to mention, every soul in the world, from then until the end of time.

Fast forward through time, a little bit along the way, as the disciples tell and retell stories of Jesus, and other witnesses testify, and there’s major movements, and breakups between what it actually means to believe in Jesus and what Jesus actually wants from us.  The “operator” game continues on and before long there’s even question about Jesus’ existence at all, scandals and deceit hide within holy walls, and the world is no stranger to holy wars…all because they claim to know the truth about whatever their “truth” is, and there is no other way…as I sit here proclaiming Jesus is the way.  But that’s my job, I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ, so to wear my armor means to proclaim my Love for him and announce the Truth that IS Him.

But in the meantime, between the days of John and Peter and me and you, all my brothers and sisters, what I’m saying is that things have gotten slack.  Some of our faiths have become one of convenience and not one we put too much effort into.  We may walk a good life, not be too sinful, but we can’t just walk through life playing it safe and call ourselves a good Christian either.  I mean, what does that do for the person standing next to you who doesn’t know or doesn’t quite believe in Jesus?

Time is short, spread the Word, spread the Love, for we didn’t know love until we were first loved by Jesus.  Jesus loved John, they were best buds…so much so that when Jesus was not in that tomb when they rolled back that rock, he knew the Truth instantly.

The Truth is that Christ will come again.  Don’t you want to know Jesus that well that He knows you, no questions asked?  Wouldn’t it be nice to know that He’d already know exactly how you feel about Him?  What you would do for Him?  How much you Love Him and talk him up to people?  It’d be a relationship you’d regret missing out on…just don’t wait until it’s too late to believe…or tell…

Hungry

I’ve been sick for the past month, which has played hard on my motivation to post my blogs, when I’m not feeling well in most aspects of my life, physically, emotionally, mentally, and even sometimes spiritually.

But that doesn’t matter at this particular moment.  Because at this particular moment, I’m hungry and I’m in a weird rage.  I’m on prednisone which is jacking up everything about my emotions and thoughts, and I quit smoking five days ago, although two of them were spent in the hospital.  I want to get better…in so many ways.  I know the way to get better in so many ways.  I’m hungry for that betterness…the betterness the Lord offers us.

I’ve been wanting to make a video for a long time to the song Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran.  I love wolves, without sounding like a hypocrite against my Christian beliefs, I wouldn’t be surprised if the wolf was somehow my animal kindred soul spirit or whatever.  So I made the video, and while it’s not one of my most spectacular, it’s one I’d like to share.  I only hope that it works, because of all the blocks that YouTube puts up on me.

Anyway…be hungry, brothers and sisters!  Be hungry for that salvation and that peace and joy that the Lord has offered us and has waiting for us in exchange for our faithful discipleship.  It’ll be worth the journey…

****I MADE A VIDEO TO THIS SONG?  :: BLINK BLINK:: WELL HERE’S THE ORIGINAL ANYWAY****

~Dear Lord, please give us the strength to go on, even in our worst days of hunger, for all of our needs, for all that you offer us, Lord.  I trust and believe in you that you will provide, as you always do, and will continue to share the word and testify of the glorious blessings you bring.  Please continue to watch over our health, happiness, and all of our needs, as you know what they are, Lord.  In your most precious name, I pray.  Amen~

Sweet Truth

We’re taught, as Christians, that The Truth is The Word, is The Lord, God, the way to Heaven.  But what is it?

The Truth is that there is an absolute Divine Father who put us here and put his precious and holy son here, knowing full well that he was going to be…HAD to be hated, beaten, and crucified to die for our sins.  The Truth is that we have a purpose for Him, to serve here on earth, to learn and apply The Word so that we can spread the word in order to further populate his righteous Kingdom of Heaven…which is where we really want to go.  The Truth is that the path is already set and Our Lord has left the decisions up to us to figure out how to get there, but He’s always there for us, waiting for us to call on Him should we need a hand along the way.  The Truth is He is always there for us because He loves us and never wants any of us to get lost and has left His mission on his disciples to find those who may stumble or get misguided along the way…so let’s all lend a little helping hand when we can.  The Truth is it is okay to just be Christian, which means you are a follower of Jesus Christ, and that you have accepted Him as you’re Lord and Savior.  The Truth is that it’s okay to admit it in public.  The Truth is all written down for you.  The Truth shines brightly on your face each morning.  The Truth is something I’m grateful for.

~Amen~

A Giant Praised God

“This place is only for sinners!”

My pastor just knew it would wind up somewhere on the internet just after he proclaimed it at church this Sunday.  He got quite the laugh, as he normally does, but he knew he not only had our attention, but had the truth, and knew that we knew it.  We…sit down now, are sinners.

Although, believe it or not, it seems over 90% of the world believe they are not sinners.  It’s easy to notice if you’re the one watching the sinner, but easy to miss if you’re the one sinning, even if you know it’s just a tiny one, or one of those ones that really don’t matter anymore, ya know? 

I’m part of the 10% that knows that I’m a sinner.  Yes, I, the wordy-nerdy, message in music Christian, am a sinner.  I’m not a bad one, just you’re average little white lie to get off the phone, or saying I don’t have a spare cigarette when I do, and even sometimes not giving spare change to someone in need.  Of course there are other areas that I could probably use some work on as well, but hey, some things are better left between me and God.  (If only they would invent a better way to workout and be healthier)

But a lot of America, the world, is in denial about themselves and their sins, be they small or big time.  Each sin comes down to a battle within ourselves to maintain our faith, and then a vicious cycle begins…which is to maintain faith within each other.  From there, the real battles begin.  From the political stages, where men and women are selling us something they don’t have the power to give us, to the war grounds, where men and women are dying to give us something they don’t have the power to protect us from.  Even in religious arenas, different “faiths” proclaim that they know the “better” way to Heaven, and tear at our potential for Love and Unity even more.  When at the end of the day, the guy with the more money and the guy with the better story wins, it’s safer that way.

It’s certainly a battleground.  Not unlike that of a football field!  Two teams lined up against each other, perhaps a team built of men who have power behind them, popularity, votes, safety, promises, and a team built of men who possess nothing but faith and service, God on their side because that’s where He put them and through Him they won’t let Him down, Christians who use His word as strength, stamina, and pride.

It’s not that I watch a lot of t.v., but I watch enough to know that I see a lot of Mormon commercials lately, especially considering we have a Mormon candidate running for president.  I say that to say I’m cautious of false prophets.  I didn’t see any last night, that I can recall anyway, during the game.  But then again, I didn’t see any straight-up Christian commercials either…actually, I never see any of those any time I watch t.v.  Why is that?

But what I did see was some really cool touchdowns by the underdogs.  And one of those underdogs, one of those Giants, blew a kiss, looked to the heavens, and glorified God.  That was the best moment of the game!  Other than when my man sat down right over the line for a touchdown…that was pretty sweet!  And the Giants won the game!

So, trying not to sound too much like Forrest Gump, life is like a game of football.  You run around trying to avoid things coming at you, trying to play out your strategy, getting sacked and bumped back and losing control along the way.  But you keep playing, going back and forth, taking what life throws at you, taking the hits, getting those touchdowns when you can, and moving along to the next play.  As long as you play a hard an honest game, God won’t flag you.  Just read the beatitudes in Matthew again and you’ll be just fine!

I missed Hank’s version yesterday so I had to get it on here, just for this post.

~Jesus, I pray to you today to give us the strength and stamina to keep playing after each sack, to guide us through your field and your strategies for us, putting us to use in the best way for your service.  Lord, I glorify you in all that you do for me and my family, in all the blessings we receive, and ask that you continue to look favorably on us.  Please help this post find it’s way to those who most need it and please help those who most need it.  In your precious and holy name, I pray.  Amen~

Truckin’

I started writing this Friday night, and actually had about two paragraphs written already. Alas my train of thought kept getting knocked off track and, since I couldn’t get that train rollin’ back around to pick it up again, I figured it just wasn’t the one I was really supposed to hop.  Instead, I just let my daughter talk my ear off about nothing that mattered to me, other than the fact that sometimes our kids, even our teens, just want to know that we’ll take a moment to listen…about the dumbest things.

I’d catch another train eventually…no use in sweating it.  Especially when the entire week had gone off without too many hitches.  I’ve been trying to unhitch myself from a lot of the things going on in my life, surrendering it to God, and just letting him show me the way, give me my day, and go where I can with it.

There’s stumbling blocks, obstacles, detours, pitfalls, torn maps, and enemies all through life, and those of us who try our hardest to follow a life of Christ, a life of value and morals, seem to get hit with a lot of the above backfires.  Tests and trials, “that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger,” same old stuff that we get tired of dealing with…but it makes us who we are.  It’s all in how we deal with each situation before us!  We can either jump off the train of life/spiritual progression and let the situation claim what we and our lives are going to be, or we can keep riding and see where it takes us, each day something new and capable of taking us new places.  Yeah, it gets demanding, worrisome at times…if you falter on your faith in that Great Conductor, but He’s the one that laid the tracks for you in the first place.  Who better to know where you should be?  And most importantly, where you should be going?  We just can’t worry so much about how long it takes to get there, or the route it takes, or how many stops and changes we have to make. The journey, and all that comes with it, is there for us to improve ourselves before we get to our stop, be it the need to re-evaluate ourselves, our lives, our jobs, our homes, our friends, our values and morals, our finances, our habits, etc.  It’s not necessarily a fun journey, but depending on where you decide to get off, it could be totally worth it.  And don’t forget to enjoy the view!

A few days back, the song “Truckin'” by Grateful Dead came on my HimP3 player.  I know it mentions a few things that don’t seem too Christ-like, but if you lived in my brain, you’d know how easy it is to think of God as cocaine!  Besides…it’s all about the message!  There’s always tomorrow, don’t forget to look around, and just keep truckin’ on!

My week started off not so great, stress from our daughter came like a punch to the gut first thing.  We handled it, handed out punishment, and surrendered the rest for her to be accountable for.  And then…we kept truckin’!  Everywhere we seemed to look, except in our bank accounts, it was a beautiful day.  We spent a good amount of time with my mama-in-law this week, I won fourteen dollars at Bingo at the senior community, I was able to get my meds again, we spent time at a social event/dance at the senior community, we helped out a couple people at the same place, we’ve enjoyed all of our time together, and despite our daughter’s punishment, she hasn’t been giving us too many problems.  Of course, there is a lot more to tell…many blessings, many good and just fun or nice things we were part of, but to sum up a week of goodness is hard to do right now, as I’m a little wiped out from an early asthma attack.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter what blessings and what good/nice things we did, it matters that there were plenty of them, and made for many beautiful days.  The best part of it, was that each day, as I woke, I prayed for it to be such just by my mere surrender to what was going to come of it.  Yes, I stumbled a few times in emotion and stress, but I’m human, imperfect, me…and God loves me, and I love Him. 

Thank you, Lord, for our beautiful days…even when we don’t see them as being possible!