Archive for October, 2016

Better Things are Coming

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

hope-quotes-14They were talking in hushed tones but I was able to hear enough to become very sad once again. Another young person had ended his life. The second leading cause of death in the 10-34 age group is suicide, right behind accidents. Why does that happen and why does it happen so often?   The answer is really pretty simple.  It’s the same thing that causes the young suicide bombers in the Middle East to strap a bomb to their backs and walk into a crowded restaurant and blow themselves up. Whether you are a suicide bomber or a young professional the reason you take your own life is because you lose something that is a necessity for life …… hope.  You lose hope.

Hope is the essential ingredient to withstanding the difficulties of life.  The author of the book of Hebrews refers to hope as “an anchor for the soul” 6:19 (NLT).   Without hope, there is no quality of life. Without hope sometimes there is no life itself. Many years ago I went into a spiral deep down into the pit of hopelessness that became more intense each day. I went to a place I’ve never been and I pray I’ll never return.  A guy who for over 15 years had taught others to have faith, to believe and trust God, and here I was just barely hanging on by my finger nails.  I expect that many, if not all of you, know what that’s like, don’t you?

One of the most inspiring writings of all time on the subject of hope comes from the prophet Jeremiah in the Old Testament.  Here, set against a backdrop of facing disaster and ruin, a man whose eyes are saturated with tears discovers that his hope that has been depleted and even obliterated, is rekindled and focused on God.

Lamentations 3:17-19 (NLT) summarizes what many hopeless people feel in the pit of their souls,    “Peace has been stripped away, and I have forgotten what prosperity is. I cry out, ‘”My splendor is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!”’ The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words.”

That is exactly how I was feeling back in 2005. That is how the young man whom the guys were talking about was feeling. The victim of hopelessness loses peace, focus, and strength.  He gains misery, bitterness and pain.  That is what happens where hope has been exhausted. But after painting a bleak picture of his life, Jeremiah then takes a look at the other side of the coin by giving us  a truth literally crammed full of hope.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT) “The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day.”

My  journey to wholeness in my free book  @ Part 1 UNSCREWED – Becoming Whole Again

The River of Evil

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

huang-he-jin-xia-da-xia-gu-1In 1968, shortly before I voted for the first time, my dad gave me some unsolicited advice that went like this: “Son never vote for a Republican! I voted for that SOB Eisenhower in 52 and that was the biggest mistake of my life”. In that instant of time somehow I was able to keep my mouth shut. But to let you know how that story ended, I voted for Hubert Humphery; not because dad told me to but because, back then, I was very liberal. Please don’t stop reading; I did not stay in that place.  Dad would not be happy; I have been disobedient. My voting has been all over the map and today I think I’m a moderate. As a “boomer” I was taught by my parents, the nuns in Catholic school and society that I had some kind of almost mystic-like, sacred duty to vote every time the polls were open.  I guess that is the reason I felt a slight tinge of guilt when I bailed in 2004 (Bush / Kerry, ugh). This year, however, I am not going to feel any remorse when I do not vote for only the second time.

They say that the way you can tell if a politician is lying is that his/her mouth is moving. I know that this year that is obviously true. What I have come to realize, in my late years, is that most people are not bothered by outright lies or the obscene amounts of money that is poured into the campaigns by folks buying influence. The whole political system has become polluted by a systemic river of evilness which is ripping our country apart. We now live in an “us against them culture” where “US” is good and “THEM” is bad. Instead of loving “THEM” as God’s Word demands, we pretty much hate “THEM”.  Our whole political system is designed in such a way that many good folks go to Washington, but few if any return.

I can’t count the number of folks I hear saying “the less of two evils”, when it comes to voting. That con worked on me several times.  Recently I realized that by voting for the less of two evils is evil in itself. Evil is always evil. Sin is sin. By definition it is always bad. That law flows out of God’s will which penetrates every fiber of society.  The way I understand how God set things up was that His will trumped all.   Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” Matthew 6:33 (NLT). This year I am going to trust God to do that very thing and I’m going to stay home and  love “THEM” and pray for God to save us from ourselves.

Something to Think About

More about my dad and I in my  journey to wholeness in my free book  @ Part 1 UNSCREWED – Becoming Whole Again

Harvest Moon

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

moon-p134987767-4I hope you took some time to pause for a few minutes to just soak in last month’s incredibly brilliant Harvest Moon which, for believers, was an occasion for silent worship one on one with your very Creator God. I cannot understand how anyone who caught a glimpse of that moon rising over our city could not believe in God.  I don’t see how that is possible, but that is just me. You know the Bible more or less says the same thing. In Romans 1 Paul says that folks have no excuse for not believing in God because all they need to do is open their eyes. Seeing that magnificent moon again got me to thinking about how I take God and His creation for granted.

Have you ever stopped to really think about the moon? I figure that there was a lot of behind the scenes work done to hang it up there. How did God come up with the moon?  How did He arrive at its design, its distance from the sun and the earth, its effect on the tides, its orbit? Did he design it from scratch or reach down and grab a hand full of earth and suspend it to become the Moon.

I mean even for God the sun and the moon and the stars and galaxies and black holes, whatever they are, — how did He come up with all that?  Wonder if He drew it all out first on a napkin or perhaps built a scale model? Did he plan for the moon to be so beautiful or did that happen by accident?  As I looked at that moon, I wondered if it was by His design that it would have that incredible orange hue or is that just pollution? I’m not sure about that. But the moon is pretty incredible and so God must be too!

The story of my  journey to wholeness in my free book  @ Part 1 UNSCREWED – Becoming Whole Again