Heaven

I am sad that a man would plot evil against the innocent. I am sad that such a hideous act of violence would take the lives of the young. I am sad  that life is that easy to take away. I am angry that we live in a world that seems to glorify evil and yet when something terrible happens we are so quick to say, “Where was our good and loving God?” I am troubled that I feel sick in the pit of my stomach when I drive my kids to school. I’m troubled  that my heart hurts when I pick up my children from school.  I am heart-broken that I will never look at another child in the same way again. I am troubled that my emotions are so raw when I think about these things. I am heart-broken when I think of the little ones who were taken away so quickly. I am sickened when I think of the fear they must have felt. I am speechless when I think of the mom’s and dad’s who are feeling a heart-break and sadness that words cannot express. I am angry that we live in a cruel world. I am angry that there is so much darkness.

And yet God reminds me that he is the Great I Am.

I AM righteous anger. I AM peace. I AM joy.  I AM healing.  I AM good.  I AM eternal-life. I AM faithful.  I AM comfort. I AM forgiveness.  I AM hope.  I AM love. I AM  light. I  AM here. I WAS there. And I WILL still BE here. I AM anything and everything that you need me to be because I AM the Great I AM.

We must remember that “Heaven is not here, it’s There. If we were given all we wanted here our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next. God is forever luring us up and away from this one, wooing us to Himself and His still invisible Kingdom, where we will certainly find what we so keenly long for.” (Elizabeth Elliott)

Heaven

“Where boys become Kings and girls become Queens, wrapped in your majesty.

And there “they will be brave and free and shout Your name in victory!” (Audio Adrenaline)

 

This was written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Smith, PA…

Twas’ 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38 When 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.

Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.

They were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say.They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.

“Where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse. “This is heaven.” declared a small boy. “we’re spending Christmas at God’s house.”

When what to their wondering eyes did appear, But Jesus, their Savior, the children gathered near.

He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same. Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.

And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring Those children all flew into the arms of their King

And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace, One small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.

And as if He could read all the questions she had He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.”

Then He looked down on earth, the world far below He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe

Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand, “Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”

“May this country be delivered from the hands of fools” “I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!”

Then He and the children stood up without a sound. “Come now my children, let me show you around.”

Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran. All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.

And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight, “In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”

 

So this is Christmas…

This year has gone by way too fast.  When Thanksgiving rolled around, I was still trying to get used to the fact that we weren’t spending our days at the pool anymore. And now, Christmas is right around the corner.  Wouldn’t it be nice to stop the clock and the deadlines in the business of this season and think about all the events that were taking place so many years ago…

Crimson shades of tattered white, a moonless night yet all is bright.

An ordinary man who had a dream, of impossible things, or so it seemed.

A child bride, a mere servant girl, carrying a baby that would change the world.

Two relatives startling an unborn Son, only to prove what had actually begun.

A cousin, set apart to lead the King’s way, to turn back hearts that have gone astray.

An order to travel to one’s own town, a difficult journey with a belly so round.

They could stay in the stable or so they were told, each innkeeper said all the rooms had been sold.

Shepherds and wise man each brought a gift, to lay at His feet our sins He would lift.

The King of all kings was born in a manger, humbled and quiet did his parents realize the danger?

A king afraid of losing reign, a baby born to carry the pain.

A spirit of death upon the earth, what Man has come with second birth?

A Godly man holds The Christ, warning Mary that there will be a price.

A prophetess sees God’s Salvation, and spreads the hope to a desperate nation.

A mother pondering all things in her heart, God’s Son would bring joy, but first torn apart.

His life lived for only one reason, He’s why we celebrate this Christmas season.

A baby born, to live to die, it’s tempting to ask the question why?

His story doesn’t stop at His birth, He died on the cross to give our lives worth.

But our story doesn’t end at His grave, He’s risen again our souls He can save.

So let us bow down our lives to give, we need to die to fully live.

 

Ruth Bell Graham says it well, “This is Christmas – the real meaning of it. God loving, searching; giving Himself – to us. Man needing; receiving, giving himself – to God. Redemption’s glorious exchange of gifts! Without which we cannot live; Without which we cannot give to those we love anything of lasting value.  This is the meaning of Christmas – the wonder and the glory of it.”

 

 

 

Hope

“After things pondered…

the dreams of a child,

the realities of an adult,

one thing remains…

HOPE

I’ve grown old enough to know that fairies don’t have tails

that good men often suffer while evil men prevail.

I’ve tried to find that white frame house with matching picket fences

but found instead black picket signs and hatred’s thorny fences.

I’ve lived enough of life to see the innocent maligned

and I’ve concluded fairness is a rarity to find.

I’ve seen the noble dreams of man be in an instant shattered

I sigh to see another woman used and bruised and battered.

I’ve seen shots of tiny orphans as rulers rise and fall

I’ve stood by stricken parents and caskets way too small.

I’ve abandoned childish notions that life is like pretend

I’ve tossed paper to the ground and sobbed, “When will this madness end?”

But I’ve never grown up quite enough to leave my hope behind

I’ll think I’ve turned my back on hope then bump into the kind

Of Gentle Traveler sent to bind my wounded faith with love

Who sets my feet upon a Rock and mind on things above.

Then I find myself still hoping old folks won’t be left alone

And can’t seem to quit believing Daddies still might move back home.

And that an orphan might just find a reason to survive

And parents of the missing might just find their son alive.

No, “I’ve never grown up quite enough to scorn sweet signs of Spring

Nor can I help but think a tree is happy with a swing.

And you must pardon if I hope The Pearl of Heaven’s Gate

Is the treasure I’ve adored and longed to celebrate.

I hope to hug the ones I’ve Loved and jump on cotton clouds

Where angels sing His holiness and saints can laugh out loud.

Some bedtime tales are worth the tell – May one be quickly due

Let Gabriel groom that great white horse and board Faithful and True.

So let this world’s prince mock and scorn My hope is NOT ashamed

For in the King of Kingdom’s grand My hope has found a Name.”

Faith – Knowing He can whether or not He does.

Hope – Knowing He will whether or not He has.

Love – Knowing He died whether or now we live.

(Beth Moore – Things Pondered)

This was the first thing I read this morning. My thoughts and prayers are with the families in Connecticut. There are NO words that can express the heartbreak.

“Miles & Trials: Running Towards 2012” Trailer

http://vimeo.com/28629148

Quotes

“Never let age define how far or how fast you can go.” (me)

______________________________________________________________________

“The gift pales in comparison to the Giver.”

______________________________________________________________________

”The best advice the world seems to offer…(1) Don’t sweat the small stuff. (2) It’s all small stuff.”  Well, I’d like to stuff a sweaty sock in the mouth of the person who first said that.” (Beth Moore) Cancer, accidents, divorce, unemployment, homelessness, addictions, death, the list goes on and on and it’s not ALL small stuff! The World’s doctrine is determined to reduce difficulty, or ignore it, because it has no genuine answers.

__________________________________________________________________

“Every Artist is a cannibal,

Every poet is a thief

All kill their inspiration

And sing about their grief.” (U2)

______________________________________________________________________

“Is a dream alive if it don’t come true or is it something worse?” (Bruce Springsteen)

______________________________________________________________________

“No matter how bad the circumstances or how sad the situation there is always, ALWAYS at least one thing in which to be thankful for…focus your thoughts there.” (me)

_______________________________________________________________________

When we see Jesus for who He really is, we can either turn away or shamelessly adore Him. He is obligated to keep us dissatisfied until we put down our plans and pick up His agenda.” (me)

Next time, please keep these thoughts to yourself…

  1. I’m in the grocery store, when this man comes up to me and says, “Are you the marathon runner?” I wasn’t quite sure how to respond, when he helped me out and said, I saw a car with a 26.2 sticker on the back window and thought it must be you. “Okay, yep, that’s me.” He continued, “what kind of stretches do you do? I’d like to show you some here if you don’t mind?” Akward!? How do you respond to that. Well, given that we were standing in the middle of a grocery store isle I was thankful that there wasn’t enough room for him to demonstrate his stretches on me. Again, Akward!?
  2. I was running on the prairie path when a woman passed me on a bike and said, “You look great, only thing is your back looks a little crooked. You should work on fixing that.” Well, ok, thanks for evaluating my running gait.
  3. I’m great at saying things without first thinking. I especially love to mess up idioms…like this one…”That’s like biting off your nose to spite your face.” Wait, that doesn’t sound totally right.
  4. Another good one from me; giving directions to a homeless shelter to a poorly dressed man who looked like he hadn’t had a shower in a few days. I’m sure he was very confused by our converstaion until he figured out I was directing him to the nearest shelter. “What!? Wait!? You think I’m homeless? I’m not homeless? Oops, seriously there’s really no recovering from that…