Always There

As I walk down the halls of the hospital and enter through the ICU doors, I am reminded one more time how precious and how unpredictable life can be. When the storms rage, we hit our knees, crying out to our God, begging for mercy and grace.

Yet, sometimes, I wonder why we do not call on His name before that moment. Is it because of self-reliance? A strong will? Stubbornness? A rebellious heart? Or just a simple determination to make it on our own until we realize that thought doesn’t work as well as we thought it would? If we could actually see His great love for us before the storm, I wonder if we might turn our hearts toward Him before the rains came. 

He is always there, from the moment we take our first breath to the time we breathe our last. He is there in the midst of our celebrations, and He is there in the depths of our despair. Often, we do not see Him, because we are blinded by our own fleshly nature or our own hidden pain. 

Our blindness does not change His presence nor His ability to hear and see us. He is there, awaiting our call, at every moment of every day, all we have to do is call on His name. He will answer. Every. Single. Time.

He Knows Your Name

Some people struggle with remembering names and faces of people whom they meet. Some people never forget a face, while others never forget a name. Personally, I work hard to remember both. 

You see, I work extra hard to remember a person’s name, not because I’ve got some “great gift,” but rather, because I know what it means to my heart when someone remembers mine. I have a very difficult name to remember, especially my full name, and so, often, people might mispronounce it or just ignore it all together. In school, so many made fun of my name that, when I entered college, I just decided to go by a nickname. Those scars of being made fun of, eventually healed, but they caused me to realize how precious a name can be to someone. 
I have not mastered this goal of remembering names, but I can say, I work hard on it. When someone asked me the other day if I remembered their name, my mind went absolutely blank! My eyes went to the “deer in the headlights” mode, I broke out in a cold sweat, and I couldn’t have remembered the person’s name to save my life! 

I could remember the last name. I could remember the spouse’s name. I could even see the spouse’s FB page in my head, but that first name just wasn’t going to break through the mental blank my mind had created! Ugh! What a terrible moment! I wanted to cry…yes, literally, I wanted to crawl away and cry. Remembering someone’s name means that much to me. 

Later on, this moment caused me come to a wonderful revelation. One that I know very well; however, in those hard moments of life, sometimes, my heart will try to deceive me to believe I don’t know this truth: Jesus knows my name!

He not only knows my name, but He knows every intricate little part of me. He knows the number of hairs on my head. He knows my likes, my dislikes, my hopes, my fears, my doubts and my dreams. He knows every time I’ve cried, every time I’ve laughed. He knows every sin I’ve committed and every aspiration I hope to have. He knows my name, and He loves me!!

You know else, He knows yours, too! He knew you before you were even born. He knew what you were going to look like and where you’d be right now. He knew what your life would be like, and He knew what your name would be even before you received it. He loves you so much, and He longs for you to know Him. I encourage you today, give Him a chance. I promise you, He will not disappoint. 

Hypocritical Resolution

I don’t usually post anything on Fridays other than the New Angle game, but in light of last night’s tragedy, my heart is heavy today, and my pen longs to bleed… 

The screams of “our lives matter” and demands for justice for the death of brothers, with the resulting applause for the stealing of the lives of the very men sworn to protect all, reveal a heart of hypocrisy. 

Your life doesn’t carry significance simply because of its tone or contrast. One life is not of higher quality due to its origin. The value of your life is just that: because you are a living, breathing human being

The lives that were slaughtered near the midnight hour on July 7 were not lives of value because of their skin color, and they were not wielding swords to kill their assassins. They did not throw fiery darts just before the bullets pierced their ashen skin. 

No, these men and women were standing watch on a wall. Sworn to defend and protect the innocent lives who stood in protest. Doesn’t matter if these fallen soldiers were or weren’t in agreement with the march; their oath was to defend, to protect, and to shield the innocent from harm. Yet, while they stood as pillars of strength, men of cowardly hearts came with evil intent and annihilated the very strength on which our nation stands. 

This strength does not come because of the color of skin you were birthed nor does it remain because of the hues you now have gained. This strength comes from fighting day in and day out for the cause of the innocent. This strength is birthed in the chambers of integrity, love and a desire for peace among all. This strength is paid for at all cost. For life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is not so easily won. It is not simply obtained because you wish it so. 

Do we really believe the hypocrisy in the killings will bring about peace and restoration? Unbridled anger never resolved anything with any person. I’ve heard it said, “Anger makes room for the unthinkable.” 

This was proven on this night, the 7th day of July. Anger has brought division. Division has brought unbridled anger as it has led to hypocrisy and injustice. Injustice will continue as the innocent are killed for the sake of retribution. For unbridled anger will never bring peace, only more blood shed and the loss of freedom, peace and any hope for restoration. 

God, please forgive us and heal our nation. Please bring unity and rest. Protect the innocent and open the eyes of all. For You are the only One who can save us! We must reach out across the aisles. We must lay down our agendas for the sake of our future. We must seek a higher call than ourselves and selfish ambition. 

“A man of great wrath will suffer punishment; For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.” Proverbs 19:19

“Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go, Lest you learn his ways And set a snare for your soul.” Proverbs 22:24

“A wrathful man stirs up strife, But he who is slow to anger allays contention.” Proverbs 15:18

What a Girl Needs

Speaking from a place of experience, there are some fundamental needs that only a Daddy can give. When a girl misses out on these essential, especially in her young, tender years, she can struggle with self-worth, significance and love for the rest of her days. She may survive through it. She may have enough fortitude to square her shoulders, clinch her jaw and stare down these challenges for her emotions; however, even if she’s the toughest broad you’ve ever met, she’ll still walk with a limp.

A woman must have a sense of security in her life. She’s got to know things are going to be okay, even in the midst of a storm. If she can envision peace after the turmoil, it is easier for her to stand tall and face the wind. If she can imagine joy after the sorrow, she can lift her chin, clinch her jaw and laugh at the danger in front of her.

A woman has to have someone be captivated by her. Yes, you’ve heard the old saying, “every girls dreams of being a beautiful princess.” This is actually truth. She must have someone in her life who thinks she is something special. Someone by whom she is thought to be valuable, a treasure to be cherished. If she is found captivating, she finds herself fulfilled, satisfied, even having a sense of completion.

Lastly, a woman must have a sense of belonging. If she can feel as if she belongs to a group, a cause or a certain person, she will stay committed, at times, even to her own detriment. If you don’t believe me, just look at every woman who stays in an abusive relationship for years on end, or a youngster who stays committed to a certain peer group even when they are, frequently, mean spirited toward her. As long as she has an overall feeling of acceptance and a sense of belonging, she will endure what she must to keep those feelings alive.

A man can provide these feelings for a young girl, a teen and even for a full grown woman. He can give these genuinely out of the abundance of his heart, and he can, also, fabricate these out of the fantasies of his mind; however, on both accounts, he will eventually disappoint and let this little girl down. Skeptical, you say? Cynical, maybe? Well, actually, I am being neither; I am simply being truthful.

No man can always give a girl total security, unending captivated eyes and a solid sense of belonging. He will eventually give into his own fleshly nature and be unstable, oblivious and detached.  The only way a man can give a woman all that she needs is when he is allowing Christ to be His center for life. When He allows Christ to be the center, he is able to lead her in the same direction. His leading can never fulfill all her needs; yet, when he leads and she follows, they can, together, reach a place of fulfillment of God’s purpose for their marriage and their lives. When she and he both place Christ at the center of their lives, it doesn’t mean their lives and their relationship will be picture perfect; however, it does mean it will be closer to perfection.

So, if you are a Daddy who longs to fulfill the needs of his little girl’s heart, let God guide your heart, and help your baby girl to fall in love with Him. If you’re a dad who maybe feels like you “missed it” with your little one and are now faced with a teen, young woman, or even a grown daughter who is searching for security, admiration and acceptance, run to Jesus, and encourage her to follow. If you are a husband whose wife longs for fulfillment, allow Christ to become the center of your life and lead your wife in a better way toward Him.

In following Him, you will be able to provide those things which the young and grown women in your life need, not because of your own abilities, but rather, because of Christ who is living inside of you. She may not always follow, and your life can never be the source of her fulfillment; however, as you seek Him, she will see a better way, and when she finally yields to Him, she will find fulfillment in Him, and then, she will find everything she needs.