A Curious Thing

Death is such a curious thing.

I want to weep and wail, scream and curse at no one in particular

Yet, I long to let my furry flow.

I want to punch and kick, run and stomp

at no person specific

Yet, I yearn to unload and unwind.

I want to tell every naysayer, “You’ll never know this kind of love.”

I want to tell every well wisher, “You’ll never understand the pain.”

But then,

I look upon Your face

Your whisper draws me closer still

Your eyes coax me to silence

Your hands comfort my tears

You remind me of Your sufficient grace.

You remind me of Your unending mercy.

You fill me with Your peace that surpasses all understanding.

You overwhelm me with Your love that is always without limit.

Where can I go from Your presence?

Where can I flee from Your shadow?

You see every corner of my world.

You fill ever space within my heart.

There will come a day I can breathe again.

There will come an hour I will see.

Until then, I will allow Your Hope to be my anchor.

Until then, I will dream of what could have been and what will be.

Heaven is going to be a beautiful thing.

Penned – MG – 9/19/17

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Eternally Grateful

Have you ever just gone up to someone who hurt you and given her a hug? What about you when someone was cussing you out, did you just walk up and give her a great big bear hug? Or what about the time someone punched you or slapped you? Did you smile, put your arm around him and tell him you forgave him?

Do you realize, Christ did this for us AND more? He made an eternal decision for an eternal life. We were guilty. We were condemned. We were on our way to an eternity of death and destruction, without any care or concern for Him. We were destined to bust hell wide open; yet, He decided to leave His glory, come to earth as a man and die for us! He didn’t do this, because we deserved it. He didn’t do this, because we were worthy. In fact, we caused this destiny of death to even exist; yet, He made the decision to change it all. 

Why did He do this? Because, He loves us and longs to be with us. Can you imagine a greater King? Can you imagine walking away from a love like this? He offers it freely to you today. Not one cost involved. Not one cent. Not one sacrifice. It’s all been paid. Paid in full

…ps. And by the way, He’s not still dead. When you decide to serve Him, you’re not serving a dead god, a statue or some inate object that has no connection or life. He’s a risen King who cares about and loves you in real time! 😉 He’s just awesome that way!

Celebrate Everyday

As we were driving home the other day, I was overwhelmed with thoughts of how life truly is a vapor, gone before we know it. This week is a very eventful one to prove this point… 

Soon, I will celebrate over 40+ years of living, and my (maternal) grandmother, with whom I share this day, will celebrate a spry 88 years…later this week, we will lay to rest my dear (step-paternal) grandfather… This is the same week, just a few short years ago, my cousins said goodbye to their father, and another friend said goodbye to the love of her life. This year will be 15 years since my grandfather passed, but if the moment is right, I can “cloud up and rain on you” in a New York minute. 

I have lost friends to tragedy, family members to cancer and acquaintances to sicknesses and disease. These moments have all taught me well…life IS but a vapor. Please cherish it like there’s no tomorrow. Share it like you have plenty more, and pass it on tenderly to all those coming behind…they can only possess what we leave for them. Could it be that their wanderings just might be shortened and their pain lessened by our legacy…

Do you chatter or Do You Speak?

Have you ever met someone who just rambles on and on, and it’s hard to even get a word in edgewise? I’m not talking about when you run into your “long lost friend,” and you’re both talking so fast, excited to share what’s happened over the years. I’m not referring to those times when your spouse and you are trying to iron out some differences, and I’m not even implying those moments when your teenager is allowing the deepest soul beats to overflow for your ears to hear. 

I’m talking about the person to whom you go when you need the “latest and greatest news.” Come on, you know the one. Even when you shouldn’t listen, and even when you pretend you don’t, she has the most recent, “juiciest” word on the street, just dying to let you receive it! The string of gossip is so delicious, so “hot off the press,” she carries it to you like it’s a hot potato, and she can’t wait to release it from her flapping lips. 

If you’re a living, breathing soul, and you’re an honest one at that, we can all attest we’ve been there. We’ve been caught in that moment between wanting to hear the herald and knowing we shouldn’t give it credence. So, we are faced with a dilemma. Do we receive it, even if it is only to appear gracious and kind, not wanting to hurt her feelings? Do we say, “We really shouldn’t be talking about this,” yet, continue to allow her jaws to chatter, or do we kindly (or rudely, if needed) tell her we will not lend our ears to this gossip, no matter how close to the truth it might be? 

What do we do? What should we do?

If we are God-fearing, God-pleasing and desire to be seen as such, then we should choose the latter, no matter how hard it may be to speak, and no matter what “friendship” it may cost us. When you become a person known not only by the words you speak, but also, by the company you keep, you carry with you a reputation which speaks when you don’t have to. You become known as a person of integrity, trustworthiness and higher standards. When you close off gossip, not only from your own mouth, but also from those mouths that surround you, you close off needless chatter. 

Pinterest.com

People are drawn to those who are of a reputable stature. They will be intrigued by your silence rather than offended by your babble or the gibberish that surrounds you. People of integrity and trust will begin to want to hear what you have to say when you choose to speak. So, choose your words and your “atmosphere of words” wisely; then, you will become known as a person who speaks and doesn’t just chatter. 

pegitboard.com

Power of Our Words

The words we choose to use will bring life or death, and it is up to us to choose the right one. For the last few weeks, I’ve been doing a study on the power of our words, and today a friend shared an incredible video to illustrate this fact of power portrayed through the letters we string together to communicate with our world. 

This video got me to thinking… What if you could actually see the impact of your words on a daily basis? What if, when you spoke, the skin of your child turned brighter and healthier or darker and less healthy, all depending upon the words spoken? What if the hair of our spouse became glossy, healthy and beautiful or dry, brittle and profusely damaged, all dependent upon the conversations we had with him or her? What if mold built up within our homes when we spoke ill words and fragrance was spewed when we spoke kindness? What an interesting orbit of living we might have. 

I believe if the immediate impact of our communication was seen more easily, it might just alter our interaction with the world around us…


I watched this video this morning, and it led me to several others who performed the experiment. I will share it with you at the end of this post. It is amazing. Our words have so much power, and we must choose wisely to bring life and not death into the lives of those we love. 

*Note: I did not create nor do I own or possess any part this video. This comes straight from YouTube. 

His Mercy and Goodness

His goodness simply amazes me again and again. His mercy isn’t just for one moment, one breath in time. It endures forever! This is the God I serve!

I am amazed. I just stand back in total awe and surrender, humbled by His grace and love. A God so Mighty, so true, and so faithful; yet, He cares for me? He cares enough that He sent His only Son to die a horrible death to atone for my sins before I was even created in my mother’s womb! “WHAT?! Are you kidding me??”

It is so incredible to even fathom. It is so mind-boggling that I cannot comprehend. The depth of love, mercy and grace He extends is so overwhelming. Once experienced, you’ll never be the same, and you’ll never want to be different 💗

No wonder the Psalmist repeats the phrase, “… His love endures forever,” 26 times in Psalm 136…

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.

to him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever.
who made the great lights— His love endures forever.
the sun to govern the day, His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever.

10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt His love endures forever.
11 and brought Israel out from among them His love endures forever.
12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm; His love endures forever.

13 to him who divided the Red Sea asunder His love endures forever.
14 and brought Israel through the midst of it, His love endures forever.
15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea; His love endures forever.

16 to him who led his people through the wilderness; His love endures forever.

17 to him who struck down great kings, His love endures forever.
18 and killed mighty kings— His love endures forever.
19 Sihon king of the Amorites His love endures forever.
20 and Og king of Bashan— His love endures forever.
21 and gave their land as an inheritance, His love endures forever.
22 an inheritance to his servant Israel. His love endures forever.

23 He remembered us in our low estate His love endures forever.
24 and freed us from our enemies. His love endures forever.
25 He gives food to every creature. His love endures forever.

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.

We Never Know

We have no guarantees. We have no promises of long life and happiness in this earthly life. Not one of us can predict what tomorrow might bring.

I read a post today about a friend who lost her sister in a tragic accident. She was a wife of 14 years and a mom to four children still at home. Talked to a young man yesterday who lost his mom 7 seven years ago; he’s just a teenager. Another friend is grieving the loss of her 16 year old who was lost in a house fire last month. Tragedy surrounds us everyday, and we may never know what someone is going through unless they share their story.

Sometimes, especially in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we can get so busy with our ‘to do’ lists, our shopping needs and our holiday parties that we fail to see the hurting who may be standing right next to us. You know, the waiter who seemed to not care about whether you enjoyed your meal today? Maybe she just lost her mom last week, and she’d rather escape responsibilities right now; however, she has to work to pay the bills. The cashier who seemed mad that you were even in her line? Maybe she’s struggling through a divorce and won’t get to see her kids on Christmas Day, because the judge granted visitation to dad this holiday. Or the father in the grocery aisle looking lost and confused, who just won’t get out of your way? Maybe he is distracted, because his beautiful wife of 10 years is lying in a hospital bed suffering from an incurable disease, but he’s here, searching for the cereal that his four year old so wants for breakfast.

The promise of our Savior is one of Hope. Isaiah told us He would be called Wonderful, Counselor, a Mighty God, the Prince of Peace, and He is all of this and SO much more!  I have to ask, “Are we sharing Him with the world around us this Christmas?” Are we looking for those in need and taking the time to listen to their stories?

We never know the stories unless they share them with us. Yet, if we will open our eyes and listen to His voice, sometimes, He will bring them right in front of us. Just a smile, an encouraging word, a helping hand might help them make it through another day. God could have placed them in your path for you to see; so, you could share your story…because you are someone who has found the Hope they desperately need.

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Let us not just be a great church who sits on a hill looking lovely and singing beautiful songs. Let it be our ambition to reach this community, to share the love of Christ to the unloveable and to proclaim His Hope to the hopeless. Let us share our story that has found love and grace and Hope in the only One True God.

Faithgateway.com

Your Words

 

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kellyarcidiacono.com

Your words matter. Your words count. What you say can wound or heal those around you. Choose your words wisely.

Years ago, our nine year old son came home from school sad. He felt like he had a bad day. Now, this child has always been more sensitive to those around him, to his environment, words said and actions done. He’s my rough-and-tumble, tenderhearted boy. He likes things to be peaceful and stable, fun and joyful, and this day hadn’t been quite like any of that.

He told me about his teacher snapping at him, how kids had laughed at him, and how the lunch lady had harassed him. As the story played out, I realized the teacher had “jokingly snapped” at him when he told the other kids to be quiet in line, causing the kids to chuckle around him, and the lunch lady had “jokingly harassed” him when he spilled a little of his spaghetti from his plate, saying, “Your mom needs to teach you how to do this.”

Now, to you and me, as adults and people who have experienced pain, criticism and strife, what he went through may not be that big of a deal. I could tell, by the information he had given, that his teacher hadn’t meant to hurt his feelings; she probably didn’t even think twice about it. There was no part of bullying or harrassment meant in her statement.

Don’t we all do that from time to time? We will quip our answers “short and sweet” to those around us, never assuming that it might impact them differently than we intended. Yet, the sharp remarks he received from those two adults at lunchtime, combined with the snickering of children around him, had cast a cloud on his usual joyful demeanor and caused him to feel like his whole day was just horrible.

proverbs-18-21

mybible.com

As he grows, he will learn how to handle jokes, sarcasm and harassment. His tender heart may not always remain as tender, but I can assure you, this day reminded me that we should all be more cautious with, not only what we say, but also the attitude and tone in which we say it. There are times for sharpness, and there are definitely times for rebuke.

Don’t mistake my comments here to be an agreement with the recent cultural push for a kinder, meeker society where we can give no rebuttal to anyone without a cry against “tolerance.” When there is evil and wrongdoings present, it angers me to hear those trying to settle down a conflict when the only persons they’re trying to calm down is the very one confronting the sin or wrong being done! It seems this nation is working hard to excuse certain beliefs, actions or opposing viewpoints simply because they’re “new and culturally accepted.” These actions and attitudes are not what I’m talking about here.

I am referring to the words we use with those closest to us and the tones and attitudes we portray behind these words. It is so easy to be in the middle of having a bad day, be approached by a child and respond to them by snapping their little head off. It’s so common to be stressed out, right at the time of a deadline and just “blow a gasket,” simply, because your spouse asked where a clean pair of socks are. It’s such a ‘knee-jerk reaction” to be worried and concerned over a situation and respond to your ‘aggravating’ teen in an overemotional manner instead of stopping to realize they weren’t trying to get on your nerves; they’re just being a teenager. I know. I’ve been there, and I wonder if you have been, too…

proverbs-12-18

deebrestin.com

The heart of a child, a teen, and even our spouse are at stake when we allow our emotions to rule over our words and actions. We should not only have the mind of Christ, but we must have His mouth as well! Let our words always be tempered by His grace, love and Truth.

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kingjamesbibleonline.org

 

Move On

When you keep walking, you can reach your destination. When you keep moving, you can avoid a mess or even a tragedy. When you keep going forward, you are able to step into a new chapter of life. It is when we stop, when we hesitate for too long that we become stagnant. 

Stagnation can lead to apathy, laziness and eventually death. 
It also leads to a stench that no one wants to encounter. Have you ever been by an area that is filled with stagnant water? Do you remember the smell? It will begin to have a putrid, stale odor that you don’t want to hang around to endure very long. 

That’s how it is in our lives when we stay fixated too long in things from which we should move on. When we stop at the time which we should move, we run the risk of becoming stagnant. We take the chance of getting lazy in our calling, in our purpose and even in our tenacity to finish. 

Now, I’m not talking about those moments before God when we should come before Him to be quiet and still to hear His voice. I’m not talking about those moments of refreshing solitude. Our sanity depends on those. No, I’m talking about those moments when God is urging us forward, and it’s a little uncomfortable. Those moments when He is drawing us beyond where we’ve been, and it’s even a little painful to walk away from the warmth and comfort of what we know into a whole new place of challenge and change. 

These are the moments with some of the most vital decision making of our lives. These are the moments when we choose to grow and become who God is calling us to be, or we choose to remain and become stagnant in our outlook and in our purpose of living. When we choose not to move forward, whether it be from the pain we feel, the shame we see or the fear we hear calling from the depths of our soul, we begin to die inside, and we may very well miss out on the opportunity God has for us just around the corner! So, keep moving to see what He has in store for you!

Living and Dying

Originally posted January 31, 2015…

Just came from the hospital… thankfully, not as a patient today, just a simple visitor. Yet, my heart aches deep inside for those I met, those I passed as I walked the halls. A wife praying over her husband, doctors can’t seem to find the source of infection. A mother, elderly, awaiting dialysis and hoping to heal from her fall. Others along the way, broken, battered and bruised. Some dying to live, others living to die.

You never know someone’s journey unless you walk alongside them. Some come in smiling, only to leave weeping. Others come in desperate, scared, only to leave rejoicing for one more chance. We are none guaranteed our tomorrows. We are not promised our next breath.

Are you ready for the end? Are you prepared for that last sigh of life? Some live like there are no goodbyes. Some trade the beauties of today for the sorrows of tomorrow. Some just wander aimlessly, never really living, not immediately dying, just simply existing in the nothingness.

Can I challenge you today? Can I spark a flame within? Live deliberately. Make your choice to breathe. Die with grace. Never give up a moment simply to clutch what might have been. Never let a minute go by that you forget the joy of living for the sake of sorrow, regret or even fear.

Grasp today by the neck and don’t let go until it’s done. Drink in the sun. Soak in the rain. Take it for what it gives, and make the best of it. Don’t shrink away from the pain. Don’t boast in the joy. You may see it change in the next millisecond. Appreciate and love those around. Forgive and forget when you can. Impact your world for good. Love deep. Laugh much. Live full.

This moment is a gift! Open it. Enjoy it. Share it with those around you. It can never be returned. It can never be saved for another time in space. It is this moment. It is this day. Live it to the fullest in every way!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8