Sunday, December 28, 2014

Pointless?

Looking at some people,
folks without a cause.
At any time of day, all day,
seems they have time to pause.
Sitting on a wall, they talk
about themselves and others
friends...enemies...relatives...
even their own brothers...

Watching many people-
what purpose can I see?
And in the Name of God Most High,
to them what shall I be?!
I see the need in each of them,
I hear it in their speech;
but I must have God's leading if
I'm ever going to reach!
And ready must they be for to
receive what God would say.
I may see it with these eyes,
but this might not be the day!
Hungry...thirsty...lost and dying...
everyone would lack;
but we must serve them in His love
to keep them coming back.

Watching people from the porch.  Standing around...sitting around...driving up the street and back... Am I any better?  I'm just doing the same.  Worse, I'm just talking about them!
I should be doing something about it.
"Here am I, Lord.  Send me."
7786

The Camp House

Visiting my son a few months ago, he took us and showed us the new location of their church.  They moved into the bottom floor of a lifeless parking garage in the inner-city and turned it into a living, vibrant place where "church" happens seven days a week!

In a place of living,
a blessed locale of life!
Off the street, into a place
away from pain and strife.
Musicians and their tools
crafting adoration-
making welcome Christ the King,
a mission of elation!

In a place of living,
a family to belong!
We are ALL related as
we fellowship in song!
We are brothers...we are sisters...
so has He created;
we need the life of one another
because we are related!

In a place of living,
loving one another,
all the while focusing
on Christ, our Elder Brother!
God has made us gather for to
come before His Throne
that His Presence, in ourselves,
may certainly be known!

In a place of living;
live, therefore, and live!
Unto one another, in
this place now surely give!
For this we are created as
we worship Him alive!
Know this place of living-
for you need it to arrive.

If you are ever in Chattanooga, make sure you make it downtown to the Camp House.  The Presence of God is there, and they make a very memorable cup of coffee!!
http://thecamphouse.com/
7785

Standing for Him!

Stand up for Jesus!  Stand with arms
extended unto Him!
So many ways to worship--
He deserves all each of them!
Reach to Him with everything
You have inside Your heart;
He will accept your offering,
His favor to impart!

Stand down, stand down for Jesus,
in worship and respect.
Bow before His Majesty,
ye chosen, ye elect!
Worship Him in silence...
in deference, be still...
know His voice, know His moving,
know His sovereign will!

Stand next, stand next to Jesus,
example your support!
Today, there is a world with many
items to exhort!
But they are only "things" created,
Jesus--HE'S ALIVE!
Stand for Him.  He will make sure
in Heaven you arrive!

And those aren't the only reasons to stand up, stand beside and stand for Jesus.  Though I be a man of words, I don't know enough words to capture Who and What He is, or what living for Him is like!
The Word declares that His mercies are new every morning.  I find that as I live for Him, these words are new every time I set pen to paper! 
He is that real in my life as I stand up for Him..  He can be that real in yours, too.  Let Him.
7784

Saturday, December 27, 2014

His Own!

Who do you belong to?  Where is your heart?

Jesus Christ, my Lover,
Protector and my Friend,
our relationship, for it
shall never have an end!
The love that He has for me-
nothing greater have I known!
He looks into my eyes and
reassures "You are My own!"

"You are My own..." What greater promise

could there ever be?
God through Jesus Christ is Father
unto such as we!
O and all a father is
supposed to be...AND MORE!
When He says "You are My own,"
that's what He says it for!

I am His own, and He is mine,
and everything that's good!
All that Father God is to us-
not another could!
For Jesus Christ--He has no
comparison at all!
I am so fortunate that He
sent out to me That Call!

And That Call goes out to every man.  At one point (and many others!) Jesus Christ will call you.  How will you respond?
It is certainly my prayer that you will answer Him with a sincere "YES!" and make Him lord of your life!  He loves you that much!
7783

BE HAPPY!

We are all residents in an unhappy world.  The daily papers and news programs are replete with proof of that!
Are you going to let that affect your happiness?

Be happy!  O be happy!
Hope and trust in God!
Depend upon Him.  He loves you!
Your life does He applaud!
So very much is happening
that seeks to drag you down,
but know His favor, know His love!
He has, for you, a crown!

Happy...happy...happy-
No matter what is wrong.
Find your hope in knowing that,
to Him, do you belong!
You are His.  He is yours-
be happy knowing that!
Strengthen in His blessed joy-
for that is where it's at!

Be happy and be happy,
and then be happy more
knowing God is on your side
and what He has in store!
Life is going to happen-
how will you respond?
Trust Him, yes, depend on Him
Who, of you, is so fond!

God loves you.  There is no earthly way to know how much.  The Bible even declares that "He rejoices over you with singing!"  I have a multitude of words.  The sum of them cannot even capture the amount of love He has for you!  And don't let anyone tell you otherwise!
That should cause you to be happy!
7782

ALL about Jesus!

Jesus.  It's all about Jesus.
ALL about Jesus? 
Hmm...I know some who can go through the entire day without a mention or even a notice of Him!  I can't.  I have a habit...no, wait...an ability to notice Him or glorify Him in just about all I see or do.
Again, He IS that real!
Some days, I see people all day long.  Not all of them are having a good day.  Some of them do not have any good days, but if you smile at them and bless them, that might change.
There are a few that I know that when I say "God bless you!" to them, it's like throwing gasoline onto a fire!  However painful that may be to me, I have done what I was called to do, and those words will eventually find the good soil.
Most people, however, respond favorably when you spread joy, which is part of what we are called to do to begin with.

"Jesus, Jesus, once again
to glorify Your Name,
I worship you without restraint
and, surely, without shame!
For You are why I am alive,
You are that life within!
You prosper me, You counsel me,                        
You cancel all my sin!
And Jesus, You accompany
but every step I take!
Even to direct the same,
and choices that I make!
Even to direct all living
that goes on around;
somehow, in that which happens,
Your Presence, it is found!
You cannot force my heart in
anything this life will hold,
but You can guide me with Your hand,
and victory be told!

Jesus, Jesus, all for You
and Your calling sure.
Creation even glorifies You
in ways o so pure!
And I will join creation as
I live for You each day!
Jesus, my salvation and
the Truth, the Life, the Way!"

The Bible tells us, and living for God proves, that Jesus will live inside us and move us and guide us as we submit to Him. 
Have you discovered that yet?
7781

Thursday, December 25, 2014

JESUS!!

It's all about Jesus!
What a blessing it is, though, that we get to get together on HIS birthday!  Some of us even get to exchange gifts!
What did you give in His honor?

What a blessing!  What a gift!
How wonderful the day!
So blessed are those so able to
give gifts upon this day!
So blessed are those receiving that
which comes as a surprise!
And blessed are those who cannot give-
so many, I surmise.

What a blessing!  What a gift
to merely be alive!
To take a breath and know that,
to this day you yet survive.
Even if you cannot give,
still you can celebrate
by singing "Happy Birthday" unto
Jesus--good and great!

The presents and the gifts are not
the only presents here.
Life, itself, the greatest gift,
is yours for one more year!
Don't count your blessings by the bags
and boxes you unwrap-
to see it as 'material'
is just a vicious trap!
But know the gift that each new day is,
handle it with care!
Know the Giver of that gift
and go to Him in prayer!
That which He provides and every
gift that He bestows
is greater far than anything
with fancy wraps and bows!

What a blessing!  What a gift:
JESUS CHRIST ALIVE!
Call His Name out every day
and Christmas will arrive!

And Christmas WILL arrive!  God sent Jesus to us.  Not 'just another gift,' but the greatest Gift of all!
Share Him freely with each other!
7780

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Another Christmas Eve

Blessings on you this evening.  Thank you for allowing me to spend a little time with you.

The night before Christmas
again is upon.
Soon, all the d├ęcor and
the hype will be gone!
But that which is lasting
for longer than season
is all about Jesus-
for He is The Reason!
He is The One that
I look for each year
to keep me in focus
and keep my head clear!
He is the One Who
gives presents to me-
such value that they can't
fit under a tree!

The night before Christmas
with friends on my heart,
and loved ones--it pains me
that we are apart!
But we are together
with Jesus ALWAYS,
as we celebrate this
most holy of days!!

If you are fortunate enough to spend Christmas with the ones you love, TELL THEM!  Don't take any of the time spent together for granted!  We will be together at this house...but not until a day or two later.
Merry Christmas to you and yours,
Jim
7779

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A gift from THERE?!

How very crude environs...
can we understand?
With all the comforts that we know
can our reasoning stand?
All this for the very highest
Royalty to be:
in a stable, with the livestock
and the stars to see.

So humble His beginning.
Fit for Royalty?
Hand-delivered presents-
fit for a King they be!
Visitors from far away
followed His Own star!
To grasp the situation, though,
remains so very far!

A king inside a manger?!
The King of kings is He!
No matter what the world sells,
JESUS IS TO BE!
He is not competition,
He is not merchandise!
He is the greatest Gift of all
and God, He paid the price!!

God, He paid the price.
That's right.  Jesus Christ is God's gift to each and every one of us.
Do not leave that Gift unopened.
Do not merely brush that Gift aside.
It may not be the most beautiful gift in your eyes, but there is no other gift of more value!
7778

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas anyway

I don't know how it is where you are, but here, the closer we are getting to Christmas, the more loved ones we are losing.  We just lost another dear friend yesterday.
"That's the way life goes..."
"Been that way for years..."
"Life gives and takes..."
Maybe so.  But this year, we have lost so many friends and family members.  I guess I never paid attention to it before?

One more family with one less
to celebrate this year.
One less gift to buy, but one more
grief, and one more tear.
One more...one less...
the holidays again!
The greatest celebration, yes,
and here we are in pain.

"Jesus, Jesus, our Provider,
see us in our grief.
Know the pain that we are feeling
and bring us relief!
We know that You relate because
Your Word tells us You do.
O show us how to celebrate
with hearts afflicted through!"

'Tis the season.  Celebration
should be uttermost!
Some of us, though, find ourselves
with little for to boast.
But Holy Ghost, our Comforter,
is right along beside,
and He will guide us to that place
where healing does abide!

Is it an unusually high number of loved ones that are passing on, or have I just never paid attention before?  Either way, there are ones out there that we love dearly that are hurting terribly because there is one less person to celebrate with.  My heart joins yours as we recall them with love.
Merry Christmas anyway.
7777

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sing HIM, sing!

Do you hear what I hear?
Listen...

Sing aloud again, ye living!
Make a joyful shout!
Jesus Christ, the King of kings
is what it's all about!
Jesus come to heal us!
Save our souls, as well!
Deliver us from sin and rescue
us from endless Hell!

Yes, sing aloud, ye living!
O raise your very heart!
All of life created cries
"O LORD, HOW GREAT THOU ART!"
Blow the Trumpet!  Activate
each instrument alive
to notify all living
KING JESUS TO ARRIVE!

Sing, ye living, so alive!
A Song, a Song so lives!
Life and life eternal, healing,
mercy, grace He gives!
None other be the source of that
arriving in The King!
"Jesus Christ--He is that life!"
O sing, ye living, sing!

Sing, ye living, sing!
Don't let anything or anyone affect that song that is so alive inside of you--JESUS THE SONG!
Sing Him in the silence...sing Him in the roar...sing Him with the multitude...sing Him when no one can hear...He is alive and worthy of your song!
And DO NOT base that song on the season!!  Jesus is far more, far greater than times or seasons!  The Song is constant...never-ending...ALIVE!
7776

Thursday, December 18, 2014

HOME!

Travelling the country.  Driving for days to get to places that take days to return from...hopping on a plane to do it more quickly...no matter where it is and what the mode of travel is, there's no place like home!

Back alive inside that place
where He is living so!
Jesus, Jesus, Lord to me,
into Your house I go!
Gone too long from that holy
place where You reside,
but all the while have You been with me-
right along beside!

Oh, the House of God, so living,
beautiful also!
How wonderful to be with them
with like faith to know!
So good to be away with them
that love me for so long,
and good, as well, to be with them
with whom I share a song!

Oh, Your house and them that live
in fellowship so sweet!
Oh, Your house where we become
so healthy and complete!
Take me there, oh keep me there
until I must return;
that house of celebration, healing
and where all can learn!

What a blessing to be back in attendance at church!
Situations of life arise that prevent us from going to church for one reason or another.  Fellowshipping elsewhere suffices, but nothing beats going to church where they know you and love you!
WHAT A BLESSING!
7775

More

"Jesus, You are more..."

You are more awesome than the places
that You make by hand!
O God, You are more beautiful
than sky or sea or land!
Your Holy Word cries out, in truth,
the wonder that You are,
and we behold it constantly;
(and never from afar!!)

You are, Lord, more incredible
than all created things!
Of the greatness of You, Father,
all creation sings!
Even that so far beyond
creation as we know
bends the knee in awe of You-
pure reverence to bestow!

Your awe and wonder far exceeds
all places and all things;
the very same cries out to You!
It celebrates and sings!
O, that man would realize
the splendor of Your grace!
Join that song and sing along
inside Your Holy Place!

The wise men were in sheer wonder as they beheld Jesus Christ the Lord.
Even the angels in the heavens were singing in honor of Him!
Should not our very lives exude grace, gratitude, mercy and love as we live each and every moment?  The reality of Jesus inside of us should cause all of those qualities to be so evident that they draw men to Him!
7774

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WHY WAIT?!

The closer we get to the day of His birth...
the closer we get to...
the more that we...NO!  God is so real every day, constantly!  In fact, time is irrelevant to Him! 
"I will change the closer we get to Christmas..."
"When Christmas gets here, I promise I will..."
"When ________ happens, I will ______... those are all lies!! 
If we are not willing to do for God right now, how will we ever change, excuse me, how will He ever be able to change us?

"Hear my voice, oh Father,
yes, listen to my heart.
Too many are the ones that yet
are lost, Lord, and apart!
Workers...friends...loved ones...
"succeeding" on their own,
refusing everything You offer,
going it alone.

But hear my heart, o Father,
as I cry out to You.
They need Your blest relationship,
they need Your life anew!
In You is total satisfaction,
peace and righteousness;
the touch of You upon my life
is constantly to bless!

But listen to my heart, oh God,
for THEM do I cry out!
My family and friends, they need
to know what You're about!
O reach for them, speak out to them
whenever I'm around,
that, very soon, the life of Jesus,
in them would be found!

Yes, listen to my heart, I pray,
as I cry out to You!
I avail myself as but
a humble avenue
by which You can reach the ones
that may be close to me--
another name inside Your
Book of Life might come to be!"

Give Him your heart right now.  Don't wait for Christmas.  You don't even have to wait until you get to church next!  Just call out to Jesus and ask Him to be your Savior.  Confess that you are a sinner.  Tell Him that you need Him!  He will direct you about what to do after that.
7773

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Life to life!

How vast and varied are the accounts of Jesus and the beginning of His life.  We have several records of it in The Bible.  Hollywood has many accounts of it.  There are even complete denominations based on it.  The reality of Jesus is irrefutable, but the ways that each of us come to know Him are without number!

Do you hear what I hear?
Do you know what I know?
It is up to The Holy Spirit
how He will bestow!
A tiny, little manger scene
upon the TV set--
the very first impression of
this "Jesus" I would get!

Some sing of Him at Christmas
with family all around...
Some hear of Him at Easter,
as He is Heaven-bound...
others only hear His Name
with anger or frustration...
the greatest way of all, though,
is to know Him in relation!

However the account is in

your life, it will account!
For you must know Him as your Savior!
Meet Him at the fount!
Ask Him to be your Lord and Savior,
bend to Him the knee;
the greatest of relationship
then, surely, you will see!

The Manger is only the beginning.  The story is far more than mere 'story,' it is a way of life.  The ONLY Way that leads to eternal life in Heaven.  For Jesus Himself says to us "You must be born again!" 

What better time to make such a commitment than at His birthday?!
7772

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Jesus, the Song!

Sing...sing...sing!
'Tis the season to sing abut the life that Jesus is for ALL men!
Looking around, however, there are folks who just do not have a song.  It hurts!

O put a song inside the hearts

of them that haven't one.
It only takes awareness of
Lord Jesus Christ, the Son!
The Presence of Him dwelling in
that chamber so alive
so causes melodies of joy
and verses to arrive!

Yes, place a song inside the hearts
of them that do not know
salvation's awesome melody--
Lord Jesus to bestow!
He is singing!  He is dancing!
Celebrating, too,
all inside that wondrous heartsong
constantly anew!

O put a song where it is absent!
Lord, too many know
only what the world says
about how life should go!
But You have got a better plan,
a plan of victory!
So much greater, so much more
than what this world can see!

JESUS CHRIST!  That song alive
that reconstructs the heart!
In Him live the ingredients
for brand new life to start!
He is ALL you ever need
to make it to the end;
Jesus Christ--Lord and Savior,
Master...Lover...Friend!

Jesus Christ, the living Song!
Even the angels recognized the song at His birth!
O join with them and with me as we sing the life that Jesus was, is and ever will be!
7771

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Expensive time?

Less than two weeks until Christmas.
12 days until we celebrate Jesus' birthday again!
Do I have time?

"It is well!  It is well!"
my soul to boldly cry!
In a place where Jesus Christ
is honored, there go I!
Christmas is upon us, seen
in every "business" place,
but I want Christmas in my heart
and put there by His grace!

I have a list of packages...
agendas, too, have I.
The closer to the end of year
would "busy" signify!
But there is something greater, something
each one can afford:
take a step back and relax
and spend time with The Lord!

It is a time of "spending,"
so most of us are taught;
but the greatest "spending" is
on what cannot be bought!
Time with Jesus Christ Himself-
the greatest gift of all!
Put it on YOUR agenda
as Christmas comes to call!

No matter how long your shopping list is...no matter how many people you have to buy for (or FEEL you must buy for!)...God Himself desires of you quiet, peaceful time with Him and with each other.  You know, "Peace on earth."  And you CAN afford it if you just try.
7770

Thursday, December 11, 2014

THAT time of year!

Christmas.
How diverse are the emotions as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Those of us who have wonderful memories of Christmas and this time of year must cling to those all the more, because it seems that we are becoming less and less.

Jesus, Jesus, Happy Birthday!
Lord, we celebrate!
You are worthy of all praise;
our lives we dedicate!
You are the One that blesses us
with memories so grand!
You are The Truth of Christmas as
we cling fast to Your hand!

While all the world would try to cling
to that which dies away...
while other men would sneer at us
and say THEY have "the way..."
while others stare at us and wonder
what our joy could be,
we avail ourselves to TRUTH!
Lord, here am I.  Send me!!

Jesus, Jesus, hallelujah!
Jesus, Jesus Lord!
You are The Gift that every man
and woman CAN afford!
Gift of God to every man,
reliever of the stress;
o move upon our hearts and help us
find someone to bless!

Peace.  Christmas is peace.  Jesus is peace.  And it is That Peace that we can all bless each other with without stressing out.
How much would THAT cost you?
7769

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hymns and carols

The songs that raise us up...
As I wrote yesterday, they are those melodic words about Jesus and life in Him!
Today finds my heart being tugged toward Christmas.  There were many constants in our lives about Christmas, not the least of which being the songs and carols that mom & dad played and sang at length.
This Christmas, however, is like no other I've had in 54 years.  Daddy is no longer with us to celebrate.

What is it like to celebrate
With Jesus Christ the King?
What is it like to look at angels
as they brightly sing?!
What is it like where time and other
limits are unknown?
What's Christmas like where daddy is?
I know he's not alone!!
He's celebrating now with many

friends and family passed.
He's celebrating without pain
and problems that amassed!
He's making melody without
a care upon his heart!
Nobody cares about his voice
or if he holds his part!
They're only celebrating life
that does not have an end.
They're celebrating Jesus Christ--
Savior...Healer...Friend!
And I can't help but think they cheer us on
unto that day so near
when we will once more celebrate,
together, Christmas cheer!

We are all desirous of daddy's presence here as we celebrate Jesus' birth.  I am reminded, however, that He is in a place with Jesus Himself, desiring us to be there with him!
Merry Christmas, daddy.  We miss you, but we'll see you again!
7768

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

SING THAT NAME!

Joy to the world!  To all the world
be everlasting joy!
Joy to them that bow before
the manger's baby Boy!
Joy to them that take the time
to recognize His life!
"Joy to the World!" sing out above
the stresses and the strife!

Oh sing that glory song and turn
your back upon the strain.
Sing the best you can though you be
suffering with pain!
Sing, my friend, and sing again
but louder than before-
for Christ is worthy to be praised
and worshipped evermore!

How wonderful, the songs exuding
from that place so deep!
How imperative, the words
and verses, we so keep!
Jesus, Jesus, more than song,
more than word or letter,
Jesus, Jesus, One and only
One to break each fetter!
So sing the verses, sing the lines,
yes, sing the words alive!
CHRIST THE LORD IS BORN THIS DAY,
SALVATION TO ARRIVE!
Jesus, He is more than "season,"
He is constant living!
See that He's the greatest motive
in ALL of your giving!

So beautiful, the season.  So wonderful, the hearts of folks this time of year.  This time of year?  Oh, but just imagine such a heart every day, all year long!
His Name is Jesus!
7767

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Moving Forward

Silence in the morning.
You can, however, "smell" the busyness.
The only noise is the "hum" of the air conditioner, and the "hum" of the hummingbirds!
We are so fortunate.  One of the busiest places in the whole wide world...and I can't hear it!  What a blessing!
I can, however, hear Jesus as He sits here with Debby and I as we have coffee.  What a wonderful conversation!  So simple.  So beautiful.  So necessary.  So painful.  The topic of our conversation is one that the three of us have never talked about together.  On the other side of the wall, my daddy is fading fast.  Mom is taking care of him the best that she can, but the end is in sight.  I have been this close before, but not with someone so close to my heart.
I love this...I hate this...all at the same time.
So many that I know have been at this very table.  So many of my own.  So many of my congregation.  Even complete strangers who come into the restaurant for but a cup of coffee.  We can all be at the same table as we talk about Jesus and His ability to get us through these times.  Not to help us avoid these times...not to help us forget these times...but help us through.
Yes.  We will get through this.  It will take many more cups of coffee and moments spent together.  Something laughing.  Sometimes crying.  Sometimes just conversing.  Sometimes saying not a word.  But always going forward.
Rest in peace, daddy.

Faithful Spirit

Oh, the untapped, unlimited bounty of what to say about God!
I depend upon it as I am once again led to pick up the pen...

I seek for verses yet unknown
about my God and king;
words assembled for HIS glory-
"Sing, my spirit sing!"
I only have to trust in Him
the moments to assign
then to surely flow the words
and verses--line-by-line!
Verses yet unknown about
my Father and His ways.
At the end will be a message
giving Him all praise!
He is God!  He is good!
He is faithful, too,
as, even at THIS point, His glory
surely comes in view!

God is good, God is great,
God is everything.
Join in words of acclamation
"SING, YE LIVING, SING!"
Give Your breath to honor Him!
O give Your life, as well!
Give to Him far more than unknown

living verses tell!

Ever-faithful, ever-beautiful, everlasting source of information about my God!  Once again producing verses that reveal more about Him.  He is Holy Spirit, and He is ALWAYS showing me more and giving me more to say.
We are so blessed!
7766

Friday, December 5, 2014

ABUNDANT LIFE!

You are alive.  I am alive.  We are alive!  And there is a world out there that is dying! 
God has placed so much inside of us to help those out there who are not living.  In fact, He doesn't want us to be merely 'living,' He wants us to be THRIVING!

You give me life at all that I
might lay it down for You;
You give me breath, and words to make
a verbal rendezvous;
You give to me a means for to
recall the very same;
You do it all that I might be
a praise unto Your Name!

A praise to glorify You...
a life that is Your Own...
an opportunity that, through me,
You would become known.

All that You give to me and
the ones that You anoint-
we magnify You unto all
that, Lord, You would appoint!
Jesus, Jesus, Lord of all
and Giver of all things!
My hand, for it is in Your Own,
my heart, for You it sings!

You are gifted, too!  God has special and specific talents and qualities that are exclusive to you.  The only issue is whether or not you will use them for Him.  Will you allow Him to move through you?  He certainly will when you let Him!
7765

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Early with Everything

First thing in the morning.  Your head begins to swirl with all of the appointments...assignments... meetings...phone calls...WAIT!  There is something far more important than any and all of that:

Early once again before
the day begins to live.
Talking with my Jesus, finding
what the day should give.
He is living!  He is present,
He is all we need;
He knows and orders all my steps--
oh, He is good, indeed!

Early, early in the quiet
where I hear Him best.
Walking at the speed of life,
I am, I am so blest!
He is already there this evening
when my labors cease,
so I can trust Him all the day,
yes, all my cares release!

Early, early--what a present:
one more day to live!
He has given life; say, then,
what have I got to give?
Save all of me unto His lead,
His calling and His way.
How wonderful to be with Jesus
early in the day!

Yes, so wonderful it is to start the day with Jesus!  He is already there.  Don't ignore Him!  He already has everything you need to be successful today.  Don't refuse it!  And even though He is all and He has all, He still desires you...ALL OF YOU!
Call out His wonderful Name and hold nothing back!
7764

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Veteran

Daddy...again.
This time, however, it's "Daddy, the war veteran."
Dad was in the engine room of a destroyer during the Korean conflict, a civil service instructor at Pearl Harbor in the '60's, and then retired a machinist at Camp Pendleton in the 70's.
Being Veteran's Day, there are so many men and women that I am so thankful for, so many that deserve our respect and gratitude, but one veteran is central in my heart and in my thoughts.

I never heard him tell somebody

"I do not know how..."
"You'll have to take this somewhere else..."
"I cannot do this now..."

I'd sit for hours listening to

how he fixed something...
I'd stand beside him in the shop-
machinery can sing!

I learned respect for veterans watching
daddy through the years;
that carries through to each and every
one who volunteers!

"Thank you!" cries my heart to each

and every one that's served!
Thanks to my dad, much gratitude,
in my heart is reserved!

Five years ago, I called daddy on Veteran's Day and told him "thank you" for serving.  There was silence on the other end.

"Daddy, are you there?" 
I could barely hear him.  With a shaky voice, he said "Jimmy, I'm here.  It's just that no one's ever told me that before."
Then there was silence at my end.  I have been thanking Veterans for years for their service.  It never occurred to me that I never thanked my own dad.
Have you thanked yours?

Friday, November 7, 2014

At last

As I said, we got into the car and got to California as fast as we could.  After a couple of days, after a lot of emotion, I sat in daddy's room and wrote

At last, I'm present with my friend.
He is much closer to the end
than ever I could realize-
you can see it in his eyes.

For the first time, once again,
whether I lose, whether I win,
what I possess or do not own,
in THIS place, it is unknown!

At last and, likely, for the last,
I'm with my friend.  Soon, he'll be passed.
Until I, too, am at the end--
only then to comprehend?

I'm with a friend I love the most.
The years we've had--of such I boast
because he so enriched each one!
He is my dad.  I am his son.

I'm with a friend I'll never lose.
Thus, painful words, I now must choose:
"Take him, Lord, for I release."

"I love you, daddy.  Rest in peace."

It hurts!  I thought I was ready for this! 
I've consoled many folks in this same place.  I've spoken at funerals for friends, loved ones, and folks I barely knew...but this is new!  Thank God for the hope he gives us and the assurance I have that I will see daddy again!  And he won't be suffering!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Two weeks later

(Several of these posts may sound jumbled, but those of you who know what my brain does will understand.  All of these words were written either during the trip or just afterwards, so the timeline may not jive.  Just read them from the heart.  This was written last week at our kids' house.)

"From death to life?"
"From dying to living?"
Some would say so.  But I would say "From living to living!"
Last week, we were enjoying the lives of four dear loved ones, while life was slipping away from one of them.  This week, I am participating in the lives of four others.  There are only three others there.
God bless daddy and rest his soul.

God bless daddy for touching so many lives.
God bless daddy for having so many answers.
God bless daddy for knowing or figuring out how to fix whatever was brought to him...even if he had to invent it!  Repairman...mechanic...machinist...wood smith...whatever the job called for, somehow daddy always had the tools AND the skills.
Daddy's gone now.  Now what do we do?  Now what do we do?  We savor the wonderful memories of him and press on.  Press on using the wonderful skills that we learned from him and mom.  Successful have we been so far.
From dying to living: sitting on the floor helping Theo put the track together...while Annabelle goes behind us taking it apart!  Thomas and his friends need new places to go, and Theo and I must create them!
"Here, Annabelle, you play with this while papa and I play trains," he says.
My bones are aching from three straight days of riding in a car, but I forget about the pain as he shows me how to properly put Thomas and his friends on the track.
The hardwood floor doesn't seem to affect my joints as I listen to them laugh!
The miles of road behind us are forgotten in the presence of four more wonderful people making room in their home for us.
From living to living!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Day 3

Well, that was a quick trip, and we did get there in time! 
I was not, however, expecting to see what I saw.  Debby has worked with the aged for most of her life.  I worked with her very briefly when we first got married.  (A looooong time ago!)  All the way out, she attempted to prepare me for what we might see.  It was either worse than what I decided, or I did not listen to her...or both!
I sat next to daddy's bed the next day.  My sister asked if I wanted to feed him.  I didn't know someone had to until I got there.  (Those of you who know how my hands shake are probably smiling right now!)  Yes, I fed him, but he made it known that I was going too slow!  As he fell back to sleep, I wrote

Sitting beside a hero.  Not believing we made it across the country in time!
We got a call the other night.  We made arrangements and then drove for two days.  I can't believe we made it here that fast.  Looking at daddy, I can't believe he made it this long!

Sitting beside a hero.  That tough, indestructible man.
He gets out one or two words, three at the most, in between coughs.
Turns out he IS fragile, after all.
As I sit at his bedside, he talks to who isn't there...then he says something completely logical to me in full sentence.  I hate this!

Sitting beside a hero.  The rough, tough man that helped raise me.  He is in all but a fetal position struggling to breathe.  I try to hold my hand still enough to feed him...but can't.  I wipe the tears and try to use my left hand.  I love this!

Sitting next to a hero as he fades in and out.  He smiles and opens his eyes when I say certain things, like telling him about the grandkids.  His voice gets strong and you can hear his pride.  The hero is fighting his last battle.  I hate this!  No one deserves to die this way, but the hero's wife tells me that she would rather take care of him than anything else.  Usually she is holding the bowl.  One spoonful at a time...tending to all of the inconveniences that dying brings about...yet doing all she can to preserve the hero's dignity.  God bless her!

Standing beside a hero--the one who stood beside me all my life.  God bless him!!