Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Do you know it? Can you feel it?
The same is yours. All you must do is ask, believe, and receive.
Once there, you will obtain a peace that this world cannot even fathom!
And He will even understand if you say "Lord, help mine unbelief!"
What holds you back?
"I know that You have listened,
I know that You have heard;
I know that You love me so much
You capture every word!
Such established, thence, enable
me to watch and wait--
to understand Your timing, for
my grasp, it is too great!
And only as a man, I grip
Your love and Your concern;
oh, and more so, every moment,
this, my heart, to learn!
I cannot know fully, not
as long as life is here,
oh, but in that life You have in store,
such wonders will be clear!
O fascinate me ever, Lord,
lest I forsake pursuit
of ways that are beyond mine own,
those ways producing fruit!
Forever I to hunger, Lord,
forever I to thirst,
and ever You providing, as
I, ever, keep You first!"
Each of us are challenged in His Word, in Psalm 34:8, to "Taste and see that the LORD is good!"
Can you handle such a challenge?
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Every day? Not even close!
Often, I hear people remark to me that life is cruising along because everything about my life is perfect!
Again, not even close!
I can, however, tell you what is close: My Father and His perfect care for me!
Does this mean I do not suffer like everyone else?
Read on and tell me...
In pain so very real,
He tends to my appeal;
His Presence I can feel:
GOD--so very real!
He is above mere feeling, but
He says "I understand."
He is greater than affliction, yet
He holds me in His hand;
I tell Him "It is painful!"
much tighter then embrace;
He wipes away my tears as He
looks deep into my face.
In the arms of God,
held against His breast;
blessed be His healing!
Blessed be His rest!
Nothing else to matter
while He continues mend;
My Father and my Healer,
my Savior and my Friend!
Do you know Him this way? You can!
I know so many people who do not want such level of relationship.
GO FOR IT! He won't hurt you!
He loves you this much!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Sometimes, I am quite challenged in that area.
For example, last evening at church, we were in the middle of song service.
I had to sit down, grab a pen, and write
"You tuck away the sun until
the morning is once more...
unto a million stars alive,
You open up the door!
They take their place upon Your canvas
where You tell them to;
and You back the life that they contain
with a darkest hue.
The same You call the evening,
the same You call the night;
but even in the darkness of it,
living takes delight!
For in a time when vision is
not anywhere near peak,
You cause Your sight to be made known
unto the ones who seek!
Never in the darkness, Lord,
as You are so alive!
You are the Light directing us
until The Day arrive...
and, even then, to follow You,
partaking of the grace
to them that seek Your face!!"
...right in the middle of singing, when I was supposed to be worshipping God!
"Father, please let me not be so set in my ways that You cannot interrupt me with revelation afresh of WHO YOU ARE!"
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The river was BEAUTIFUL last night! We were in the "catch & release" area, so I can't prove anything!
However, Vicki got the biggest 'catch' of the day, of which we DO have photos!
While They were fishing, I decided to go swimming. I went up to Vicki's car and got a towel. I put my phone, wallet & keys in the car and locked it, seeing that the area was getting crowded. Right before I got in the water, I heard Debby yell! I thought she caught the BIG ONE! As I turned, I saw Vicki's fishing hook set deep into Debby arm! After several attempts to remove it, I went to the bait shop to seek help. The man at the counter came out and told us exactly how to remove it.* It was not a pleasurable way, so Debby said "No!"
We decided to come home and seek further assistance there.
"Daddy, you still have the keys, right?"
"Ummmm...., no! I thought you had yours so I locked mine in the car!"
That's where the other keys AND the other cell phone were!
No keys. No cell phones.
Hmmm...all the neighbors had already left for church. I was going to call our church, then we realized that it was "Home Fellowship night." From the office, Vicki called her "other dad," one of the deacons from our church. Very familiar with our house, she told him where the keys were, and he sacrificed his evening service to come to the rescue!
While waiting and hoping no one we knew would show up, all of my son's in-laws drive up in their van!
"Hey guys! Catching anything!"
I smiled...Vicki was still weeping from what "she had done,"... and I thought Debby would break out in an unknown tongue! (No, not the sanctified one!)
After their company and words of comfort, the keys arrive. Off to the hospital. Half-way home, there is an "Urgent Care Clinic." Front door locked. Hmmm. I go around back. Unlocked! I walk through every room and office. "Hello!" "Anybody home?" Not a soul! Closer to home. Satellite ambulance center for the county. I go explain. Everyone smiles. (Must be fishermen!) They come out to the car and look her over. Paramedics suggest the same thing the bait shop did,* but explained it further. "NO WAY!" Onward to the hospital.
("Oh, by the way, ma'am, by coming here you need to sign a paper saying you understand that the least you are going to pay is $160. Do you agree with this?")
Once in, the E.R. doctor explained what had to be done. Sure enough, it was EXACTLY what the guy at the bait shop was going to do!*
ER doctor "Here is a script for Augmentin. You may go to Wal-Mart tomorrow and get it for $4."
All throughout this ordeal, the jerk that Debby is married to copped the "I can't believe you're such a baby!" attitude. This only added to her pain. (It is those moments when Debby likes to practice the "laying on of hands!")
Back home late. Vicki must be up by 4 a.m. to go to the Quiz-Bowl competition 4 hours away, a course requirement.
At Wal-Mart this morning. "Here is your prescription, ma'am. That will be $67.50 plus tax."
"I was told at the hospital to get the $4 generic."
"This is the generic, sir. I don't know why they told you that."
Back into the car with no meds (....OR HOT WHEELS!!)
Vicki calls. In tears, she explains that her entire class has just been disqualified on a technicality. The textbook said one thing, the judges say another. The judge's say goes, as he informs them that the textbook is not specific enough! Incensed, the teacher packs everyone up, goes to a finer restaurant, and buys them all lunch! They are currently heading back home.
In all of life, it is not what happens to us, it is our reaction to it.
(Sure, that's easy for me to say. I wasn't the "catch of the day!")
And there are some that have already said to us "That will teach you to miss church!" But I know God a lot better than that! Years ago, I learned with a missionary/pastor, that sanctuary is wherever you sense God's Presence. And believe me, there was more than ample evidence of His Presence ALL DAY Sunday...even down at the river!
So should I pray"Father, please forgive me for missing church going fishing yesterday?"
I know for certain the answer to that!
*Run a string through the eye of the hook, grasp both ends of string, hold hands together, 1...2...3... jerk both ends of string quickly and entire hook RIPS out, leaving a scar this size: -- (Yes, that's all!)
(And no, Debby will not let me send it to "Funniest Home Videos!")
Sunday, April 20, 2008
"My young grandson called the other day to wish me Happy Birthday. He asked me how old I was, and I told him,"62." He was quiet for a moment, and then he asked, "Did you start at 1?"
Her note reminded me to yesterday. My daughter turned 21!
We ditched church this morning. Her college class was assisting the AKC Dog Show an hour from here as an extra-credit assignment.
She called at about 8 a.m. and invited us to join her for the rest of the day.
I called Pastor. He said he would teach the worship class in my stead and see me at the meeting this evening.
On the way home, as Debby & I were conversing, we realized how little time we have before Vicki leaves for medical school.
We decided to ditch church again this evening and go fishing.
I am so happy that God is not so rigid that He scorns upon such! He already told me He would be at the river waiting for us!
I seldom remember vividly texts of sermons. However, about 13 years ago, Pastor Venable spoke about "Being Spontaneous." He told us that when such moments like today arise, grab hold of them and live them with fervency!
I thank God for such a 'practical' pastor! I have met many people before with the attitude "you are to be here every time these church doors are open!"
I learned years ago that "Church" is not always a "building," "God's House" is not the only sanctuary, nor are either the only places He abides!
Of a truth, we are not to "...forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but let us neither forsake being with God in His Omnipresence, nor our #1 priority of ministry: our HOME!
What am I supposed to see?
I'll ask my pen...
View the mass of teal as
it rolls around the point--
from here, upon the ridge, a sight
to never disappoint!
"How can seem so very calm
a mass of, oh, such might?!"
This, and many other queries,
in which to delight!
The wooded foothills rolling on,
beginning at the shore...
embracing the horizon and
those "forty shades" and more...
Blessed be the shoals and the
environs thence contained;
the touch of One Omnipotent:
pristine and unstained!
Steeled at the artistry
and workings of His hand!
In awe before His each creation,
ever I shall stand!
Humbly to accept it, oh,
but boldly to enjoy
that which so requires me,
all senses, to employ!
The touch of God is everywhere. Some must look harder than others, but His touch remains!
Is it an 'effort' for you?
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Anymore, every time I hear that term thrown around loosely, I am beginning to find it offensive!
Only if you're not looking!
That message I posted Monday. I was merely mentioning a few facts about life in this house. There are a certain few that WILL respond to what I write.
(Excuse me. What I am led to write.)
Monday's words were different.
As of the time of this writing, I received over 200 responses to it. Almost 25% of those were from folks I have never heard of!
What invokes the above title is that those responses came from four different continents!
No matter how "small" you think the world is getting, there is Someone smiling and just waiting to reveal to you that the only thing 'small' about it may be your visions, thoughts and dreams!
Can you handle Someone loving you that has that much power over you?
I hope you can.
I want you to!
He isn't dying to meet you.
He already did that for you!
He's LIVING to do whatever it takes to give YOU life!
Whatever it takes? He already did that, too!
His name is JESUS!
Think about it. Don't use your brain to think about it, it's not big enough!
You must use your heart to think with.
Your brain will just argue with you.
Your brain will only try to 'contain' it.
Your heart will receive it. In there, it has the freedom to grow as big as you can handle...and then some!
You can see Him with your heart.
Let me know if I can help you.
Monday, April 14, 2008
I went to church once yesterday...
that's all I remember of the past 48 hrs.
Sometimes, for me, that's just another day...
Why can I write something that people sign up to read, but unless I 'save' it, I have no clue what they are talking about when they come up to me and comment?
I stopped asking.
If God can keep me from breaking my neck Saturday when I broke that table with my neck during a seizure, why won't He stop the seizure in the first place?
I don't know.
It's not for me to know.
What I do know, is that no matter what the storms are like between my ears, He remains my shelter.
I do know that no matter how many limitations amass upon this brain that He has created, He continues to couple it with my heart and cause words that bless others to come from somewhere! (Yes, I know where!)
Many, many years before ANYONE saw any of these writings, God, Himself, saw what I was writing. He inspired what I was writing.
He continues to inspire what I am writing.
And I pray that something you read blesses you, strengthens you, encourages you...
anything to bring you closer to Him!
Just another day? NO!
Every one of these days has purpose.
You may not see it...I may not see it...but I don't have to see it. I KNOW IT!
I don't ask anymore.
I continue to live the life He has chosen for me, and rejoice that I have the awesome opportunity of LIVING!
Friday, April 11, 2008
Is that possible?!
I received that term in a message recently. I have returned to this message at least 15 times since just to hear those words and the blessing of them!
The longer I suffer with this condition, the more purpose I see for it in my life.
A prayer of mine for many years was to live in Arkansas and make a living writing poetry. I live in beautiful Arkansas, and my Father has seen to it that we are making a living, but not necessarily off of the poetry.
We have to stop putting limitations on God's answers to our prayers! We have to start expecting Him to answer our prayers His way. And believe me, His ways are far greater than anything we can imagine!
Just the other day, we received a check from some retired missionaries that went to school with my older sister! That was in the late 60's!
I only met them once, and that was over 25 years ago. "Somehow," they started receiving the poetry and contacted us to see if we needed anything because they wanted to bless us for sending out the devotional!
HIS WAYS ARE SO FAR BEYOND MY WAYS!
I can only write these because I am physical unable to hold a normal job. That means I am here at the house most of the day. That, coupled with the patience and understanding of an incredible wife, enables me to have a lot of time to listen to my Father and write what He tells me, or record my time with Him. If I were completely whole, in the world's eyes, I would not have as much time to pray, listen, write and minister.
Am I better than you? NO WAY! Do I hear more from God than anyone else? I doubt it!
God is faithful to make any time worthwhile that you devote to Him!
Go for it!
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
He is so generous.
He sees the need even before we do.
But greater, He sees how the need will be met!
Over the weekend, Debby told me that she saw metal showing on one of the tires.
Nervous and praying up to this morning, we went and saw Dave at Plumlee Tire.
"Whatcha need, Jim?"
"Debby sees metal on the right front tire. How's our credit?"
"I know your good for it. We'll check it out!"
"I found it, Jim. You got another tire on there now!"
"I'll be in to pay at the first of the month."
"You don't owe me anything. I just put the same-sized tires on a pickup just like yours and his old ones are almost new, so I put one of those on. If it gives you any trouble, you just come back in and I'll put a NEW one on!!"
The first time I EVER went to this tire shop was about 15 years ago. I think we had a blowout. It was when Debby had her childcare, and I was at Mac's the first time. Plus it is only down the street from the house. He put a new tire on. I got to the desk afterwards and asked how much.
"Sir, you don't owe me anything. I know how much you and your wife do in your church and in the community. It was a pleasure. My name is Dave." That statement has remained with me over the years, because I had never met the man!
Debby was going to wait until I got paid Friday, but "He sent the ravens to feed us..."* by way of a check yesterday from a poetry recipient in Arizona.
God is so incredible!
God is so amazing.
Some people rebuke me for not "expecting" such treatment from God. To hear some of them speak, they are angry when God doesn't provide exactly how they think He should!
I can't do that!
I will continually be grateful!
I will continually be amazed!
His ways are not our ways, and every time I think I know how He will do something or how something will be paid for, He comes through a different door!
I hope this encourages you as much as it does me!
*1 Kings 17:6
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Is it something 'visible?'
Is it something only visible?
If so, I am of all men most blind!!
Beautiful feet-- cracked and gnarled,
most of the time in pain,
the same, tho, transportation so
that all of life may gain;
the same--they carry life unto
the blessed amongst the living;
those feet, though, only part of what
allows her keep on giving.
Two hands, full of fingers that
can weave most anything.
With a hook, she can make
a masterpiece from string!
Those same hands can take a wrench
and make an engine hum!
The worth of her abilities--
who could know the sum?!
And what of that she cannot do?
She ceases NO attempt!
Of the blessing of her touch,
there is not much exempt!
Her heart goes into every touch:
No thing at all, in making her,
my Father overlooked!
To say "To me she does belong"
would sound so absolutely wrong!
Far greater than possession, she,
so, daily, must I set her free!
But daily is my wealth restored
as she affirms that blest accord
one man, one woman only cite:
matrimony's sacred rite!
Does she stand out above the crowd? Only to me. No! She stands out in God's sight, as well. This, I know!
Is she the only one that stands out in God's sight?
Of course not!
Does your spouse?
Have you told them lately?
Sunday, April 6, 2008
2nd—We must resign to the fact that He will not always speak to us the way we expect Him to, or even exactly when we want Him to. Is. 55:8
Yes, He is dependable to speak, but I must allow God to be God and do things His way…and His ways are not my ways. His ways are
A BURNING BUSH… 1 Kings 11, 12, 13
A STILL SMALL VOICE
What do you look for? Today, too many people are looking for the thunder & lightning, when all along, He is whispering to them in the gentle breeze.
I hear quite often “I wish God spoke to me as often as He does to you.” But what are they listening for?
“I want to hear from God AS OFTEN as you do…” How much time do they spend listening?
God is God. He is sovereign. He can just as easily whisper to me when I am busy with daily life as He can during my time with Him, but when will I get more out of it?
Separate yourself. He says in His Word in 1 Peter 1:16 “Be ye holy as I am holy…” Some people have a gift of hearing God in whatever they do. It takes time, willingness, time, dedication, time, sacrifice, and finally, time.
If God knows that You will listen whenever and wherever, He will speak to you more.
When I lost the privilege of driving, I started to take this pad just about everywhere. Before, I would only take it to church, or I would set aside times to listen and write. That has taught me that God will never take something away without replacing it with what He considers ‘better.’ When I had to be a passenger somewhere, I was quite angry! I LOVED DRIVING! But as a permanent passenger, I started to take this pad with me, and I would hear from Him more often, more poetry would flow—in people...in situations…in nature…in ALL of His creation!
Another major key to hearing from God is EXPECTATION.
God knew what my physical condition would do to my memory, so He moved me to carry this pad and pen beforehand. Now, I must write down even the smallest list. So, while was out somewhere with that list, I would have my pad to record anything the Holy Spirit might say.
Even when I don’t necessarily “hear” something, I set aside the time, I write “SPEAK, O LORD” across the top of the page, and He fills in the lines!
Do you have blank PLACES in your Life?
Do you have empty lines on your sheet?
Do you want to hear from God?
HE IS FAITHFUL, and He WILL speak to you!
Friday, April 4, 2008
Such is life here in the Ozarks.
You get used to it?
For some, it is a weekly event throughout the year.
Does it make you numb?
More lightning...brighter, more thunder...louder, a few more sprinkles...
The crescendo builds...
30 minutes later, it stops...peace?
On the television, they are already showing reports of the damage a few hours away.
"Call Dusty and see if they are alright. Those TV shots are right by their office!"
"I hope Ron and his family are alright!"
"Let's pray that mom & dad weren't hurt."
What's wrong with me?!
Such storms are common around here. But every time a disaster happens, I hear "Lord, just make sure that _______ are safe."
But what about everyone else there? God listens to their prayers, and loves and cares for them just as much!
Is it just me with this problem?
It's like hearing "22 people were killed in storms last night, but at least my family is safe."
"Father, please forgive me!"
The sky is getting darker. It's only late afternoon.
Sirens go off. Looking outside, it looks fine.
Newscasts break in. Warnings are of impending storms and possible contents.
In the distance, you hear a train...but you know that the nearest tracks are dozens of miles away!
"Is that hail?! it's 70 degrees right now!!"
Newscasts continue to break in, IF you still get a signal! Thank God for modern technology! It is much closer this time. Doppler radar indicates a rotation west of
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Dr. Biton did what we thought he would. I started 'titration' last night. Over the next month, I will gradually take myself off of this test drug. We did find out something we did not want to hear: that drug I was on that worked so well and almost STOPPED the seizures last year is still available, but since I was on it as a test drug, that disqualifies me from having it until it gets final FDA approval...BY LAW!
"Even though everyone was taken off by a technicality on the gov't's part?!" said I.
It's the law.
Starting in five weeks, we will be going down to Little Rock again on a weekly basis for awhile, then the appointments will get further apart.
To the glory of God:
Dr. Biton made it a point at the end of our visit to tell us how he admired the attitude that we have about my condition. He said something that I hardly ever hear from a health care professional, especially at his level. He apologized and asked for our forgiveness for not being able to successfully treat this yet, and he thanked us for our patience. Debby made it a point to remind him that all four previous neurologists had washed their hands of us. One of them actually told her "We've done all we can. Take him home, he's your problem." Dr. Biton has been the only one to really take the time to pursue anything about me.
*When we come home Hiway 5, we have to drive through several towns affected by tornadoes. One little town is called Rose Bud. It was terrible!
In Rose Bud is what's called "our little store." It is a grocery store about 1/4 as big as a supermarket, but the prices are INCREDIBLE! The gentleman that runs it and I have become very good friends over the years. He is a recipient on the poetry list for about four years now, which some find a little odd, because he is a bishop at the Mormon Church in that area!
It was awesome: we had not seen him in over four months. I snuck into his office and just stood there. He wept. It was beautiful! Later, as I was walking through the store with Debby, he walked by jovially said
"So, have you thought any more about joining the Mormon church?!"
I don't usually think very quickly, but I answered
"Yes, but God talked me out of it!"
He laughed so hard he cried! It was fun! Please pray for Ron.
*Please pray for the folks of Rose Bud as they recover and rebuild.
Continue to pray for Gassville as they do the same.
Too, there is still massive flooding between here and Little Rock. Some of the doctors and other employees at the clinic were describing the damage and the flooding in the communities where they live. Please pray for the staff at the Arkansas Epilepsy Program.
Blessings on each of you!