About Chadwick

From ministry to pest elimination, rooftop dwelling, to catastrophic adjusting and soul restructuring....I am a man still like David after God's heart....pondering, praying and evaporating thoughts aloud to help others in similar battles and releasing the complexity of my sins journeys. Wanna join me? :-)

FEAR in Rebuilding

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I’m afraid.  Who isn’t?  This world has a lot of things that makes unstable live with my heart.  Yet, this past year has been anything BUT stable.  Foundation of 11 years broken and my heart of what i once knew….hollow.  The picture above is a beautiful rendition of how I feel my heart looks with the Creator of the Universe being the one holding the tweezers. What does all this mean to my future?  One absolute that has been apparent lately….THERE IS HOPE in the rebuilding of the Father.

This journey isn’t for the faint of heart.  In fact, I’m gonna say it boldly…..you’re a FOOL if you think that rebuilding your life from a long-term conditioning you’ve lived will be EASY!  Like the terminology there? 🙂  This is a prelude to my 3rd book I’m attempting to do; discussing the conditioning we has humans live by once we obtain a comfortable pattern to live by.  For the past 11 years plus, I was being slowly conditioned to a way of life with my then wife.  The way our courtship took place all the way to the break up; our relationship was a mutual conditioning of each other into a workable mold we made up.  Her background of life, and my background of life emerged into one life together and either it’ll work sacrificially, or like it ended up, it will fall apart and the individualities will fall into a void of “What the hell just happened to our lives?”

You wake up different.  You feel different.  You ARE different.  Why?  Because now the unknown, not-understood void now lingers within your soul and you have to refind your foundation for existence.  The silence within the walls of your home is deafening enough; but now you have the same silence within that seems prison-like.  Your once longevity of comfort is now gone and the you that you once knew, changed forever.  But let me tell you this, that’s the BEST part of this journey.  When we allow our mistakes to define us, we are defined by sin’s imperfections.  When we allow ourselves to be lost after a devastation, that’s the moment we can really allow God to REBUILD from scratch His way….if we let Him.
back-together Why sometimes is that so hard to comprehend?  When are hearts hurt so badly we cry out for help; yet when the dust settles and life seems manageable, we tend to forget His work in our lives is CONSTANT.  Now let me make sure I’m clear on this….I am speaking from experience on the side of “Where are you God?” in all the pain.  Why did the marriage that was meant to be forever be conditional and severed?  What happened that could have been preventable that I didn’t see…..that she didn’t see?  What’s the point of investing all this time into a relationship and life only to have it end and have to start over?  What’s God’s point in allowing these kinds of things to occur?  Better yet, my biggest unanswered question had been; “Why wasn’t I good enough for forever and where did I miss the obedience boat?”

But now, I digress the time has past and it is indeed….THE PAST.  Now the destroyed foundation has been removed and all that lays in the hole that once was my life is the laying of re bar which represents the rejuvenating foundation of the word of God.  The concrete that is being laid little-by-little by the loving hands of our Creator.  I do not know what type of foundation He is desiring to lay; its shape, its depth or even its designed purpose.  All I know as its happening is that I am afraid.  I am afraid of what I may do this His perfect design for me.  His repairs to my structure and most of all, who I truly am anymore for Him in this world.  However the fear that lies within does not make me want to run, it makes me pray earnestly to BE STILL.

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Acceptance of change is a hard thing when its unexpected.  For me, starting over again and allowing the rebuilding to occur meant a lot of forgiveness was needed for healing to take full effect.  The worst part of the healing is the actual LETTING GO.  Everyone, no matter who they are, struggle with letting go of past hurt, disappointment or anything emotionally that has scarred you.  We feel like if we allow ourselves to hold onto this pain or past that we may have power over its re-occurrences; which in my case is a divorce.  The re-occurrences happen for me every other weekend when I have to see her when picking up my daughter. In situations like divorce, unfortunately the reminder of your mistakes get shown to you often due to the linger emotions that delay real healing in most situations.  This again, as mentioned before is also a version of your conditioning from the relationship.  Have you ever heard someone, particularly your spouse, tell you how different you act around your family or friends?  That is also due to your relational conditioning you’ve invested in with those people for most likely….years.

So how do you give yourself permission to move on?  How do you know when you’re heart is ready to embrace someone again?  To feel free from the baggage of the conditioning that changed you and harbors your mistakes from grace?  Can you allow your heart to love again?  Can your children, if you have any, accept someone else in your life to love that’s not their parent?  These are all difficult circumstances that brokenness has caused and only the hands of God can rebuild.  One thing is for certain that cannot be altered and that’s the grace of God and how beautiful His rebuilding projects are.

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With all this awesome hope that Jesus gives us when we accept Him into our lives; why are we still so afraid to trust?  Why are we so afraid to live this new journey in His massive, protective arms and just LET GO?  Why are we so afraid of approval from others when His approval is all we need? As I have been in a roller coaster of interests since our divorce in February I kept asking myself what am I trying to fulfill?  Every weird emotion, every new conversation, every new name, every failed attempt to fill this void that I refused to accept that God needed to fill instead of me.  What’s the point of being completely broken from devastation only to try and keep rebuilding yourself back with what you don’t have anymore?  We are in denial from trauma especially emotionally, and almost get in panic mode when we don’t know where to turn.  You lose something when trauma occurs.  Accept it.  You’re not the same anymore and you have to start new!  So if you have another chance to be whomever and whatever you wanna be, no matter what your age, why not be EXCITED about it!?

Let’s just say it like it needs to be said….IT’S TIME TO:

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Deep breath…..relax those muscles and take a moment to go look into the mirror at yourself.  What do you see?  Is that the person whom you knew 5 years ago?  1 year ago?  Last month even??  No.  The person to whom you see is a shell that God is lovingly filling.  But guess what?  You have the power to accept this change.  To hit the RESET button on your life.  Whatever you hang ups were in your previous relationship(s); disappointments in your personal life, career, hobbies, etc.  You have a chance to let God do His thing in your life and appreciate the goodness He’s ALWAYS wanted for you!  Oh….I know why you FEEL that you cannot hit the button yet….that’s right, what we’ve mentioned again early and its even in the title:  FEAR.

So, how do we need to deal with it?  How can we move beyond the scars of the past and embrace Christ’s hope for our future?  How can we make everyone happy in our lives AND ourselves; and they know, as do we, our worse secrets and mistakes!? What I have fell into learning again is one of my favorite scriptures that has been a deep theme for me. How do we find out to love forever someone when you feel broken?  Well, you have to dig deep beyond yourselves and how you’ve been conditioned on earth and see where the foundation of LOVE lies……in the heart of Jesus.

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Focus on the scripture above,1 John 4:18-20 and the focal words ACTION.  The first line is factual and a punch in our insecure faces…..THERE IS NO FEAR IN LOVE.  If we have loved with any fear at all in our relationships, then it isn’t LOVE. So if there’s fear in love and it isn’t love, then what is?  How can I, you the reader, or anyone that’s been destroyed or broken find LOVE again?  The next line….”BUT PERFECT LOVE DRIVES OUT FEAR…”  Perfect love, drives out fear….how does it drive it out?  Does it load them up in a dump truck and drive them off somewhere??  What is perfect love?  Can we ever experience such a love that we can replicate it to others?  The answer is NO we can’t….BUT, what we can do is strive beyond our previous limits to embrace what that love is.  Only then can any replication of that type of love be even remotely shown to someone else in a relationship.

BUT FEAR HAS TO DO WITH PUNISHMENT.”  Punishment is what we don’t need anymore!  We’ve put ourselves through enough and allowed others to put us through more than they should have ever been allowed to do!  Wait a minute….yes you heard me right…..WE allowed others to do it to us.  Why?  I didn’t make this happen…..didn’t make he/she say those things, do those things to me….BUT focus on the scripture line again….”FEAR….has to do with punishment.”  When we fear in anything that overwhelms our lives or conditions us to lessen our faith in Christ, then we are being punished by a world of sin that ISN’T OUR MASTER!  Christ died for us to be SAVED.  Accept the saving love and grace and don’t allow others to define who you are IN CHRIST!

This complements the next line of focus, “THE ONE WHO FEARS IS NOT MADE PERFECT IN LOVE.”  Think about that….when we fear, we take away God’s redeeming and controlling power over our thoughts and our actions leaving the trauma we face or the brokenness we’ve endured to rule our hearts….blinding us to who we are.  To be made perfect in love is to be IN LOVE  with the foundation of LOVE.  Its not a perfect life of being this way; but its got to be a lifelong effort to TRY to be.  Fear will try and convince you that you need to take more time and think more about other things other than Christ to get your lives back on track or to fill your voids with more fictitious crap that isn’t Him!  Just trust that God has a plan and its to rebuild you and make you NEW again!

Finally it comes down to verse 20, “WE LOVE, BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US.”  We can love someone forever when we learn to accept, learn and understand to reciprocate the love first shown to us.  I didn’t love my ex-wife like Christ loved me….or her.  I accept that and realize that I was too afraid to think for myself and learn to love Jesus for ME instead of for others to make them happy or “fit in”.  We had a decent 11 years and the demons of unresolved sins in our lives slowly tore us apart.  I cannot account for her, but for me it was I just didn’t know Him enough to see the value in Him being the in all things LORD OF MY LIFE.  My priorities were all wrong and my life reflected that.  I knew I was unhappy and I knew I was scared to be someone I wasn’t.  I wanted and still do want to serve the Lord and make a difference in this dying world.  I have to do it for me though….not anyone else to appreciate the depth of what I can give in His love to others and prayerfully to who He chooses me to live the rest of my days with.

I keep saying I desire to feel validated as a man and someone who is loved beyond my brokenness, imperfections and scars I bare; however all that is obtainable and offered freely by my Lord to whom I need more valuable time with.  I’m not afraid to love anymore with a love that only He can give me to share.  I know that even though I’m not at a level of my relationship to Christ others might FEEL I need to be; I am at a level that is for ME and that’s more of a beginning than I feel I’ve ever had and could admit.  Slowly and for sure I will be the best man for Christ again.  Recently God has shown me a glimpse of what I could have in happiness again and for the first time I feel patient enough to work for it in HIS time and not mine.  Prayerfully this special person to whom He reconnected me with will feel the same value within herself to know she isn’t who she was conditioned to be before either.  Only God knows my future and I’m ready to sit back and enjoy the ride.  My daughter will see a father to whom is happy again and can raise her with confidence and love even if its not perfect to others.  My happiness and contentment has to come first if my cup can fill with even a portion of His perfect love to give to her or a special loved one and kids.

Yeah, there is still a fear in rebuilding as in with any major changes….but let me say that whoever gets to be with this guy for my days ahead is gonna get a loving Father too that hopefully will show them the value and love they need as well to drive out that fear.  Embrace the hope in a future that He is King of and you can be conditioned from scratch with if you’d let Him!  You are NOT who you’ve known yourself to be anymore….you ARE a child of the forgiving, LOVING, grace-giving and new beginning one true King! 🙂

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Un-Condition Me

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Un-Condition Me

Today I woke up and grumbled at only 7 hours sleep.
Today I was upset because the laundry hadn’t been switched over.
Today driving to work I was disgusted at peoples driving skills.
Today I was bothered by the scantily dressed pictures on Facebook.

Yesterday I chose to go to bed after midnight instead of ten.
Yesterday I chose to put the laundry in to wash and forgot to tell my wife.
Yesterday I cut people off, texted while driving and sped past others doing the limit.
Yesterday I chose to save or gawk at those scantily pictures.

Why do some many people I know try so hard to impress?
Why do men view women for their bodies over their spirits?
Why does work and money take priority over my wife & child?
Why does the church sit back and worry about its appearance than the number of people going to hell?

This sin has conditioned our hearts and our minds to selfishness.
This sin has blinded our depths of glory we were meant to have.
This sin has perverted the beauty of creation to the lust of imperfection.
This sin has tainted Christians to lose their “balls” of boldness.

We are conditioned.
We are trained.
We are slaves to the easy.
We are prisoners to the flesh.

We are nurtured by limitations.
We are bound by our comforts.
We are fearful of extraordinary efforts.
We are doubters of the power of our holy spirit.

My Abba, my Savior, my Lord….in shear desperation I pray:

Un-Condition me.
Un-Condition my expectations.
Un-Condition my selfish limitations.
Un-Condition my laziness in faith.
Un-Condition my stinginess of grace.
Un-Condition my vengeance to mercy.
Un-Condition my judgements through my timber.
Un-Condition my boundaries that are too limber.

Un-Condition my excuses to loneliness’s lusts.
Un-Condition my desire for masterbation’s must.
Un-Condition my embarrassment to apologize.
Un-Condition my stubbornness to compromise.
Un-Condition my display of “teasing” in anger.
Un-Condition my pouting to your time’s danger.

Un-Condition your people Lord to see beyond the lies.
Un-Condition the church Lord to tear down tradition’s walls.
Un-Condition our words Lord so that we may shock change.
Un-Condition our hearts Lord to BE a life bought with a price.

Un-Condition my heart Lord, so you have the freedom to move.
Un-Condition my mind Lord, I want to think pure intentions.
Un-Condition my eyes Lord so that I may see the heart over the imagination’s affair.
Un-Condition my mouth Lord, so I may speak in love even when my tongue burns.

Un-Condition me….for I want to be conditioned by YOU.
Un-Condition me….for I want to stop being a slave to sin.
Un-Condition me….for I’m tired of failing with the conditions away from you.
Un-Condition me….so that I can be….JUST LIKE YOU.

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Disconnected ICHTHUS <

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How do you know that you’re really a Christian? Do you live the way we are asked to have in the Bible? Do you look like a Christian? Do you speak like a Christian? Do you feel, breathe, and live every action by; like one who walks in the footsteps of Jesus Christ?  Ok….now, how do you KNOW someone else is a Christian?  Do they meet the same criteria? Do you see those criterias, or do they tell you about those criterias? There are many things that going to the characteristics of a believer in Jesus Christ. If we all had the same focus, that being living like Jesus here on earth; wouldn’t believers be more easy to find and bond with as fellow brothers and sisters?

Very early in the history of the Christian church the fish became a symbol of Jesus Christ and the faith.  It was scratched on the walls of Roman catacombs and may be seen today decorating walls, alters, pews and vestments.  The symbol came into use because the Greek word for “fish” (ichthus) is composed of the first letter of each word in the Greek phrase, “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.”

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According to Christianhistory.net:

Tertullian put it this way: “we, little fishes, after the image of our Ichthys, Jesus Christ, are born in the water.”

Greeks, Romans, and many other pagans used the fish symbol before Christians. Hence the fish, unlike, say, the cross, attracted little suspicion, making it a perfect secret symbol for persecuted believers. When threatened by Romans in the first centuries after Christ, Christians used the fish mark meeting places and tombs, or to distinguish friends from foes. According to one ancient story, when a Christian met a stranger in the road, the Christian sometimes drew one arc of the simple fish outline in the dirt. If the stranger drew the other arc, both believers knew they were in good company.

A symbol….a way to recognize commrodery and unitification amongst a group….this group, being ones who FOLLOW CHRIST.  Now, if you meet a stranger on the street, if you try to draw a half arc on the ground, you may get weird looks and even yelled at.  People will persecute you for ANYTHING.  If they did know what you were meaning, then they’d probably ask you what denominational fish it is? :-/

What have we done with our witness?  When did our example of love through Jesus turn into a distain for each other?  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying everyone, but the majority of those who claim the name of Christ are struggling to do the one command Jesus left us with!  “Jesus replied, ‘You must love the lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’(Matthew 22:37-39 NLT)”  The first thought that tares my heart up about this verse and what I’m stating is, do we really dislike who we are that much that we can’t whole-heartedly LOVE one another?  The other reality is in your face apparent….we struggle with loving our Lord with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.

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In much of my experiences as of late it had become more clear to me that we as God’s children have a misconception of real Godly LOVE.  We have allowed our denominations, our upbringings, our miniscule pet-peeves, and general petty conflicts or dislikes set a new perception to this world that being a Christian is negative.  We come across bitter or mean when we are asked to give or respond in love.  We pass our brothers and sisters in Christ in our church halls, restaurants or even on the street; ignoring Jesus’ call for us to LOVE….do to something as mentioned above.

In John 13:33-35 NLT:

Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going.  So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.  Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.

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Disciples….interconnected with the same purpose….to show this dying world the LOVE and guidance to Jesus Christ!  In today’s digital world, friendships and relationships are just an “unfriend” away from disconnect.  We weigh our love by our friend status and not as much on our face-to-face interactions.  I cannot tell you how many people have disappeared from my friends list on facebook for no apparent reason! Many of these people being Christians.  No explanation as to why and no communication for any reason.  Is this the kind of Jesus we are reflecting to onlookers?  Who would want to follow Jesus Christ if the only Jesus they can see is through our failed love expressions to one another!  Inconsistencies, lack of spiritual priorities, hypocrisies, self-preservating interpretations of the word, etc.  The saddest thought to imagine in this is we are showing the most of these behaviors amongst believers.  In the name of Christ we are separating from one another through our sinful roots cultivated by our wants and desires and not Christ’s….and calling it His will for you in that moment.

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Jesus is the only one truly meant for the center of your heart and of your actions.  He is also the only one who can help us work through our sin with others for His Father’s glory!  But before anything could ever come of these issues we have, we need to understand it stems from a heart conflict.  If we can admit to that, then the conflict might be easier to deal with.  First, we acknowledge that conflict is inevitable. Then we go the next step and say, “When your nose does get bent out of joint—not if but when—you have a biblical responsibility to take the high road of conflict resolution.” That means going directly to the person with whom you’re having this conflict rather than building a guerrilla team to ambush this person later.  However, if you are one that falls into the temptation of having someone speak to you about someone else; You have a biblical responsibility to interrupt mid-sentence and say, ‘I think you’re talking to the wrong person. Please go to the individual with whom you’re having this conflict and seek to resolve it in a God-glorifying way.’(credit: Logos Bible App–LYCCR:30STYM)

The only way my brothers and sisters to find the love for each other is to FORGIVE each other of the same short comings you have….IF you’d only admit it!  The church, Jesus’s baby, His bride, what He died for….is represented by US!  It’s full of redeemed sinners and sinners needing to be redeemed!  How dare WE….who’ve been the ones redeemed, show unforgivness towards others who still are searching for their redemptive worth!

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These rocks aren’t being thrown at us by as many unbelievers as those who are of the same family….no matter the denomination, race, gender or belief focuses….WE ARE THE SAME FAMILY.

These words of the famous leader Gandhi rings so vividly in my ears each time I think of holding a pathetic grudge against my family in Christ:

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Sin is so rampid around us all and I know is always hard to be just like Christ 24/7 in this walk….but when we interact with one another and there’s no doubt in your heart who you represent….WHY do we look so ugly to one another?  Our ichthus cannot stay severed in the eyes of this world or we might as well stop fishing for them.  We are either in this for all eternity with Christ or we are just another hollow title to this world.

REMEMBER:

Matthew 10:40 NLT

Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me.”

Will you connect the Ichthus proudly or hypocritically?

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The Sweet Side of REVENGE

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A famous quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson says, “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”  Interestingly enough how true that should be to a Christian if they understand the relationship they have with Jesus.  Nothing from your past and nothing in your future can compare to the Jesus of the NOW inside of you.  Yet is that how we always feel?  Is that how we react to challenges and strife the world dishes out to us?  When the hurt is purposeful and we lose something from it….do we still hold true to Jesus inside our heart?

Another famous quote from an anonymous says, “Weak people revenge, Strong people forgive and Intelligent people ignore.”  Which is your dominant response to a sinful action?  take a deep look into that question….do you seek revenge easily?  Do you forgive without regression?  Do you see the errors in sin and ignore them and pray?  The fact is simple….we ALL sin and we ALL cause pain and we ALL fail.  So, the deeper reflection is….HOW SHOULD I RESPOND TO CHANGE THE PATTERN?

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J.C. Ryle’s quote above demonstrates the reality of sin’s impact on our souls.  Each moment of sin wedges more distance between grace and truth.  The distance ends up breeding fear increasing our doubts of real love and healing.  When the presence of love fades, then our hardening hearts are more difficult to penetrate with forgiveness.  It’s the sin condition.  Pride, media, movies, broken foundations, and bitterness are just a few of the seeds planted in fear’s garden.

Keeping the garden analogy….for each seed planted we also harvest the poison not even realizing it doesn’t belong.  We consume it, lavishing its taste as it manipulates itself to be desired.  We become addicted to the new norm and in turn place more and more distance away from the truth of God’s grace.  Revenge is born.  The perception of intention amongst all people, even Christians, is tainted with evil.  Love, is even defined more often with conditions instead of forgiveness.

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So when someone sins against us and hurts us, betrays us, lies to us, steals from us, belittles us….we do what??  If we’re truly honest we reproduce evil for evil and try to convince ourselves it isn’t evil.  Maybe the outside displays a softer, non-judgmental side; but inside your heart you can feel the intensity of bitterness and revenge.  Can we truly control it?  Are we able to soften our hardness and see fear as the lie it is?  Do we hold our love for Jesus Christ high enough in our lives to uproot the evil of revenge?

I know you may be asking or even thinking, this is all good thoughts Chad but come on….we live in a fallen world and NOBODY is perfect but Jesus! Why even try to change what will always be? Well….that might all be true, however explain away this:

Mark 3:20-29 NLT

One time Jesus entered a house, and the crowds began to gather again. Soon he and his disciples couldn’t even find time to eat. When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. “He’s out of his mind,” they said. But the teachers of religious law who had arrived from Jerusalem said, “He’s possessed by Satan, the prince of demons. That’s where he gets the power to cast out demons.” Jesus called them over and responded with an illustration. “How can Satan cast out Satan?” he asked. “A kingdom divided by civil war will collapse.  Similarly, a family splintered by feuding will fall apart.  And if Satan is divided and fights against himself, how can he stand? He would never survive.  Let me illustrate this further. Who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man like Satan and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house. “I tell you the truth, all sin and blasphemy can be forgiven,  but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. This is a sin with eternal consequences.”

1 John 4:16-17 NLT

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.

Who can stand against the evil, against the fear, against the sin born within this flesh?  Jesus can….and if He lives through His Holy Spirit in you….you can too.  All of those mistakes you have won’t be tatooed to your mind; all those words of hatred won’t echo in your ears NO MORE.  Freedom….the chains are gone around your heart to feel….LOVE

Think about this old saying, “Kill em with kindness;” Who do you think the “em” represents?  Those that sin against you.  Kindness stems from loving roots in the heart.  The sweetest part of revenge for the true follower of Jesus??  Loving the enemy….speaking love through forgiveness….praying love through graceful ACTIONS.  To this no real evil can survive.  You cannot nourish the sin and bore evil when love infects the soil of your soul!

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Returning sin for sin continues to breed the evil we are here to help save others from through Jesus Christ.  But being different as we are encouraged in scripture; changes the mindset of the end goal….not for revenge, but to LOVE.  Love in return for a sin changes the impossibility in the human mind that good and evil don’t mix….for it can and does but just for a moment!  Once love injects itself into your heart for real, evil can’t win.  Like the devil, it must submit to the ultimate love grounded in the blood of Jesus Christ!  The only ones who can let evil continue to exist is US.  The battle is won and evil will die with the coming of our Lord again.  So quit playing games with no eternal significance!!

The Sweetest Revenge….is LOVE! 🙂

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I Watched a Soul Rise Today

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First of all, I feel like it must be said but this blog is indirect memory of those that I know, and have lost here on earth, but Heaven has gained.  Today was supposed to be like any other normal Monday. The start of a new month as well, supposed to be a pretty easy day. Unfortunately, sometimes our best intentions for a day end up being God’s most purposeful directions instead.  Upon my first stop, a good man that I take care of went to be with the Lord.

It was like a weird blur….arriving and nothing seeming to be different.  The family seemed mellow because their dad was not feeling well; but nothing seemed to resemble anytime.  A empathetic conversation and a few mild hugs led me outside where I continued with my regular service.  Then after finishing I wrapped my service up on my handheld and went for the closing signature.  Chaos felt immenant once I entered the back door….both the live-in daughter and her daughter who lived next door, were frantically moving around the living room when the younger daughter said “Not a good time….” while streaming tears cleansed her make up.

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I was gone only 20 minutes….maybe.  I tried to bring some comfort to the daughter & grand-daughter, but only a brief hug brought more weeping.  I quietly told them I loved them and would see myself out.  I sat in my truck for a few moments in silence as my own tears began to flow and I prayed to my Lord to comfort their pain.  Yet, even with that I still had a lingering feeling that wouldn’t go away….I was only gone less than 20 minutes.

A few days past and I am still plagued by the suddenness of finality.  Then, I knock on another door only to hear the husband died of a brain tumor 2 weeks ago.  This customer I was just getting to know, but I knew he was a good man and it brought me to tears again.  This isn’t the first time, nor the second that this has happened in my life.  Knowing someone is sick and not doing well is one thing….knowing them deeply personally is another.  All my mind is overcome with even as I write this is….I had just saw them not long ago….in a blink of an eye, in an exhaled breath….they are gone.

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Whether they’re friends, family or customers; they are purposely placed in your life with God’s hand.  In the 4 years thus far I have worked with Terminix, I have painfully seen lives change before me.  Whether in death, divorce, or job loss; the effect of what I’ve seen has stuck with me as God intends it to.  This week alone has revamped a burning desire in my heart that whatever I say, whatever I do in the presence of anyone, I need to love as Christ!  I may be the last of Jesus or (God forbid & forgive) the last added negative to this harsh sin-soaked life that they experience.

We never will know the time and place of Christ’s return (Matthew 24:36), as well as the moment of our death.  So the question needing responded to is:  WHY WASTE PRECIOUS MOMENTS NOT LOVING ONE ANOTHER?  WHY ALLOW FEAR TO MUTE YOUR LIPS?  WHAT IF??….  I never said a memorable goodbye to any of them.  I never made sure they all knew Jesus before their punched finality.  I….just….never….knew.

I need to pray more….
I need to embrace His holy word deeper.
I need to love without irritation.
I need to be humble before the noise.

I live the farthest away from my family and Amber hers….my fear is that our last visit each time may be our last with that person.  What would be their last remembrance of you?  Would they see you in a negative shade?  Or would they see Jesus through your filthy rags?

Would your co-workers remember the dirty joke you last repeated?  Or the devotional you shared with them about Satan’s demons defeated?  What would be your spouse’s last thought?  Was it the fight you two selfishly fought?  Or was it the guidance of Christ on your knees that you both tearfully sought?

No matter the time constraint, no matter your joy that felt a bit taint.  The reality is, it’s not worth putting it as the period in the chapter of regret.  We MUST get on with the task of defacing our masks.  Our job is to live like every day is our last so we can continue the party in heaven and have an eternal BLAST!

Love more….Fear less….give Jesus your everyday BEST.  Don’t let another opportunity pass because truly it may be your last….praying for those we’ve lost and for those we have yet to touch.

#RIPCharlesGiddings
#RIPNormanDenny

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The HONOR in GRACE

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A famous quote by Mark Twain says:

IT IS BETTER TO DESERVE HONORS AND NOT HAVE THEM THAN TO HAVE THEM AND NOT TO DESERVE THEM.

What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word HONOR?  For many of us, those we know and love in the armed forces may come to mind.  For others, we might think of a judge or the term, Your Honor.  Another major majority will think of their parents and the commandment, “Honor thy Father and thy Mother….” in Exodus 20:12.  God thought of an honor for a mother and father important enough to make it apart of the laws He gave Moses; you know, the Ten Commandments? 🙂

And why should we honor them?  As the remainder of the passage says, “…Then you will live a long, full life in the land the lord your God is giving you.”  Who wouldn’t want to honor their parents; especially after reading that?  But as I have been thinking more deeply about this due to some of my own personal strife; there is such a vast view of why God spoke those words for us.  Honor was apart of the law that we needed to have because of the chaos that was occurring at the time of Moses.  For example, Moses dealt for years with Pharoah, the plagues, doubt and disbelief, and of course leading his people to the promised land of God’s to begin again.  There was a need of direction and a need for order amongst the mindset of confused and sinful people!

The law was given to Moses in such a dramatic way to bring reverence and fearful-respect to the Father to follow His ways.  Otherwise I believe we wouldn’t validate or care about the rules laid before us.  Why would we care?  What is the end result if we didn’t follow them?

Exodus 20:18-20 NLT

When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear. And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!” “Don’t be afraid,” Moses answered them, “for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning!”

The powerful display by God kept the people fearful of His rath and thus respect was given to the laws.  However, until Jesus came….how’d we do with obeying the laws?  Did we master the Commandments?  Have you the ability to say from your first acknowledgement of the 10 Commandments that you’ve NEVER coveted someone else’s things??  Never stole from someone?  Never took your Lord’s name in vain?? Well….I hate to tell ya but….

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We’ve ALL broken God’s commandments.  All have fallen short of the glory of God!  The expectation to fulfill the law God realized we were unable to do; thus this is why Jesus was given as a gift to us as our saving GRACE.  No matter which commandment, we have all failed at fulfilling at least one.

As a child from a broken family and later a broken marriage of my own; many of God’s laws and promises I failed at acknowledging and obeying.  However this particular commandment has always fascinated me.  Honor….a word of reverence and one that says respect.  I have struggles with this as many of us have with our parents.  I love my parents….they are God’s hand picked parents for me here on earth and all that they have given me is designed with God’s intentions.  However, sin tends to blind a person’s ability to look beyond pain to uphold a word as distinguished as HONOR.  I hate the fact that I struggle to have this word frequent my lips in love and actions towards them.

For the reader that feels the same as I in the matter, let me focus on the depth of the word and how my heart has been mended by GRACE to make honor a practiced word.  First off, Exodus 21:17, “Anyone who dishonors a father or mother must be put to death.”  If this was still a factual practice and law today, 90% or more of the world would be dead.  So, knowing that’s what scripture says, why aren’t we dead?  Why does the result of disobeying the word of God, NOT result in our immediate death?….because of JESUS!  So I have no reason to fear because of Jesus.  Yet the question still is, how do we respect the word HONOR?

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In Proverbs 21:21, “He that follows after righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness and honor.”  Honor is the final threshold we cross when we deny our own value and privilege the world manipulates us with and we seek the life giving righteousness of Jesus Christ!  Honor is more than just a word that we are meant to live by; it is a worship to a Father who gives us something we don’t deserve.  John 12:26 Jesus says, “If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.”  The greatest example of honor to learn and to show is the honor given by the Father in heaven in His son Jesus.  So I ask you, if Jesus is the standard barrier, why then does honor come so hard toward others?  If we love Christ and strive to serve Him, we are honored by God himself!

What’s funny about this topic to me though is the whisper I still get in my head of my Dad saying, “You’ll understand what it’s like to be a parent someday.”  That understanding has hit hard since 2006 with Angelique DiAnn running around. 🙂  Now almost 9 years old, Angel is at a stage in life that really brings a test to the word honor towards her mommy and I.  Attitude, whining, rebellion….little honor seems to be shown to us, her caretakers and the ones who help to provide all she needs to her without conditions.  (Paused Reflection)

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Less we continue to forget that it was through God’s GRACE and LOVE for us that He gave us His one and only son….

We here on earth, Me….my parents….your parents….grandparents….etc.  ALL expect to have honor given to us by our children and yet we cannot give enough HONOR to our Father in heaven first with our lives daily!  Who are we to demand and act worthy of such a respect?  Should we use Exodus 21:17 on our reflection of honor to God and His son Jesus??  If we do….we’re all DEAD.

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I want Angelique to honor us as her parents just like our parents wanted/want us to honor them.  Sin has gotten in the way of our grace given to one another to see a reason to honor fully our parents.  For years I have held closely the scripture below as my defense and refuge to why I can’t or won’t honor fully my parents:

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Paul was making a very valid point to Fathers and parents in general with this statement.  However, he also uses it to make an even bigger point to this reader….BRING THEM UP.  Bring them up, lift them up, love them up….UP to a standard that is holy and a love that is of God.  I’ll be the first to admit as a parent I am not the greatest, if even in the top million, of father’s who do not provoke Angel to anger or even more importantly….LIFT HER UP…in love.  We have tried our whole lives with her to bring her up in a house of the Lord.  Yet, because of sin, we have continually failed at being to a level God expects of us.  In this, I cannot blame my parents, as any of you shouldn’t, for the upbringing you may have gotten.  Yeah, it wasn’t perfect….and yeah, it probably even at times sucked; but they did their best with the sin this world has surrounded us all in.  The only difference….is where is God in all of this with them?  With you?

Bring them up….in the DISCIPLINE and INSTRUCTION of the Lord.  If you want to be honored, then you must honor your heavenly FATHER first.  In honoring Him (Good reputation, respect, purity, integrity), you will gain the grace and love to honor and respect others back.  It MUST start with Him first!  So ask yourself the next time you feel you deserve honor and haven’t gotten it….”Have I honored my Savior & Father lately?

Dad….and Mom….I’m sorry for the times I haven’t honored you as you wished I would.  I am an imperfect vessel and always will be until I’m home in heaven with Jesus.  I pray you’ll look past those moments of dishonor I’ve given you over the years and see the grace that only real love from the Father can give.  Seek Him to honor and see how much in love He will honor you back!

Love your son,
Chad

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Please Lord….Kum-Ba-Ya

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Your picturing it aren’t you? 🙂  The youthful you, at Camp Whatchahitchie sitting around the warm campfire with all your other friends and the guitar gets brought out.  The smiles begin to glow and you begin holding each others hands as the forever familiar song begins to play….

Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
Oh Lord, kumbaya

Forever burned into our hearts and forever at the tip of our tongues when a now silly tune comes to mind.  Society now embraces this song as one again to make light or fun of;  but do we even remember or know what we are making fun of?  What we are making light of in the eyes of our Savior?

Origin:

“Kumbaya, my Lord” was first recorded by an out-of-work English professor, Robert Winslow Gordon, in 1927. Gordon went on a search for black spirituals and recorded a song “Come by Here, My Lord”, sung by H. Wylie. The song was sung in Gullah on the islands of South Carolina between Charleston and Beaufort. Gullah is the creole language featured in the Uncle Remus series of Joel Chandler Harris and the Walt Disney production of Song of the South. “Come by here, my Lord” in Gullah is “Kum by (h)yuh, my lawd” (see our Gullah dictionary).
American missionaries took the song to Angola after its publication in the 1930s, where its origins were forgotten. In the late 1950s the song was rediscovered in Angola and returned to North American where it swept the campfire circuit as a beautiful and mysterious religious lyric. That is why the song is associated with Angola in many current printed versions.
In the US, however, the song was associated with Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other campers sitting around a campfire in perfect harmony. The picture of a warm, cozy community without conflict associated itself with the song and especially that foreign-sounding word in its title, kumbaya. Since the word had no actual meaning in English, cynics eventually converted this harmless connotation into the actual English definition of the word. That definition now seems to be “naive, unrealistic optimism” to many of us (not me).

Credit:  http://www.alphadictionary.com/articles/english_grammar_style/kumbaya.html

It’s rather sad isn’t it?  A song originally written to be a cry out to God now is more ridiculed and as mentioned, “unrealistic”.  Lets think about it….how do you soulfully cry out for God?  How can you show God sincerity in our needs?  Right now,  more than ever we need to ask God to kumbaya!

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Worship is taken for granted now-a-days and just this song alone can be so powerful if we sang it with a servant’s heart.  Father we need you to be near us….to help us as we walk through this world and it’s troubles. In honor of this song I bring to you this prayer as a cry of my heart….

My previous Father in heaven, I come before you today burdened with the faces of many who are lost and need you.  Who know you, but choose to disown you when it counts.  Your presence is needed and requested Lord….come by here….

Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya.
Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya.
Come by here my Lord, come by here.
Oh Lord, Come by here.

We invite you into our home Lord, please make your presence felt daily when our tired minds set in and our patience is out.  We need you Father to remind us of the foundation of love when the world sends in sin’s termites….

Someone’s singing Lord, kumbaya
Someone’s singing Lord, kumbaya
Someone’s singing Lord, kumbaya
Oh Lord, kumbayah

May our lips forever sing you praises and our words reflect our love for you to others.  Our hearts overflow with joyous sounds of redemption and grace!  Thank you Father!  THANK YOU!!!

Someone’s laughing, Lord, kumbaya
Someone’s laughing, Lord, kumbaya
Someone’s laughing, Lord, kumbaya
Oh Lord, kumbaya

We joyfully ask you to join in our fun Father!  We laugh, not sarcastically at another’s expense, but for the relief we have for all eternity because of your son Jesus Christ!   May this expression of gratitude never leave our souls!

Someone’s crying, Lord, kumbaya
Someone’s crying, Lord, kumbaya
Someone’s crying, Lord, kumbaya
Oh Lord, kumbaya

Oh our Father, even as our lips are in praise and our souls overjoyed by your love; we know there is a world that is still in pain.  There are so many of our loved ones who don’t know this joy or peace and they shed tears of desparation and fear.  Our Father, may we comfort those who need you; may we embrace those in pain and need your love; may we love those with your love and not our own to bring them an everlasting hope.  Gracious Lord, may we be your hands and feet, give your heart and not our own, and denounce those fears with the cheers of your redeeming grace to those crying out for you!

Someone’s praying, Lord, kumbaya
Someone’s praying, Lord, kumbaya
Someone’s praying, Lord, kumbaya
Oh Lord, kumbaya

Hear the prayers Lord of your people.   Tingle our hearts with your Holy Spirit’s presence.  Draw us dear Father, closer to you as we conversate with you.  We love you Abba….

Someone’s sleeping, Lord, kumbaya
Someone’s sleeping, Lord, kumbaya
Someone’s sleeping, Lord, kumbaya
Oh Lord, kumbaya
Oh Lord, kumbaya

As we lay our heads down each night Father God, bring our souls rest and our temples healing so that each day when we rise another day we embrace the gift of that moment. May our dreams be of heaven and the room you’ve prepared for us; as our rest is in your arms each night dear Father, your children are at home….

Come by here my Lord, come by here…..

In Jesus name…..AMEN.

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