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Showing posts from 2015

Is Prayer Meaningless?

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It’s Christmastime and all we should be thinking about is love, joy, peace, and the Baby born in Bethlehem. But we have yet another glaring reminder of evil. 2015 began with violence. Then as months flew by, almost at every turn violence appeared somewhere, and now, it’s ending with violence. Why? Because brainwashed, malicious people are overturning our world.
These, either by blood or osmosis, have assumed the characteristics of the ancestor they claim.  Ishmael, God said, “…shall be a wild man; his hand shall be against every man, and every man's hand against him..." (Genesis 16:12)
However, the recent San Bernardino shooting is not the only acts of evil we are seeing. “Stricter gun-control laws,” they chant.
Why do politicians ignore the fact that gun-control laws only disarm law-abiding citizens, not criminals or terrorists? They seek to take away the right of the people to keep and bear arms, which our second amendment says, “shall not be infringed.” And this act plays rig…

Hope In The Pit of Hopelessness

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“Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.”[1] Pain. Sadness. Misery. Anguish. Despair. Despondency. Complete and utter hopelessness. Sitting in the muck and mire, my fingers scrape across the four walls that now feel more like a hand-dug well than a home and I wonder, “How did I get here?” For too long I’ve gone through the motions of living a normal life and acting as if everything is okay. I’ve clung to the muddy sides trying to inch my way back up, but as each day passed, I slipped lower and lower. Then today as if out of nowhere, the bottom like a bony, shriveled hand reached up, latched onto my heel and yanked.  My grip, precarious from the beginning, broke. Arms flailing, I desperately grabbed at anything to stop my fall, but hopelessness took over. I succumbed to the inevitability of my situation and plunged headlong into the blackness. Looking up to the pinhole of light I asked, “Can anyone crawl out…

A Father's Advice

“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you” is the first line of Rudyard Kipling’s poem entitled “If”. As a kid, I loved poetry and still do.  I love the pulse and rhyme of poems.  My first poetry book was Read-Aloud Poems where “Eletelephony” by Laura Elizabeth Richards, quickly became my favorite. But as I grew, I moved on to more thoughtful and introspective poetry like “The Duel” by Eugene Field: “The gingham dog and the calico cat side by side on the table sat…” Just kidding. But seriously, this poem remains one of my favorites, even if it’s a bit morbid.
One Christmas my mother purchased the book, One Hundred and One Famous Poems as a stocking-stuffer. Perusing through its pages and remembering my youth, I came across Kipling’s poem. All those years ago the poem’s full message escaped me, but now Kipling’s words made sense. I wondered what persecution this man must have suffered to write such poignant words. Kipling wrote in his autobiog…

Got Hope?

got hope? Hope waits. Hope trusts. Hope anticipates. Hope longs and expects. Hope is unseen. Have you ever prepared something you couldn’t wait to deliver?  You lovingly create this special item and then rehearse every scenario of the moment it is received.  But when the time comes, things don’t go as planned.  Somehow the delivery was bungled. The timing skewed. The reception less than perfect. What happened?  Nothing went as you had imagined. Now you’re left with great disappointment; dreams deflating like a leaky balloon. All your hopes, poof – gone in an instant.
Aww, such is life, my mother would say. But why?
Is it because we are temporal and our life, in its best state is but a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away?[1]
Is it because we live in a sin-cursed world where everything groans, awaiting the revealing of the sons and daughters of God?[2]
Possibly. But thankfully, we cannot see the future.  If we could, chances are we would not have even tried. We never woul…

By The Blood Of The Lamb - A Story for Passover - continued

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As morning sun lasered through the stitched seams of Nahshon’s tent onto my eyelids, I realized I’d slept way passed dawn. I tried to get up, but since my circumcision, every move caused excruciating pain. With gritted teeth, I stood to my feet and peeked through the door flap. Our chosen lamb leaped and baaed in joyful play with Nahshon’s giggling children. Tonight I would have the privilege of celebrating Passover with my new friends. In these four days, I too had become very fond of the soft little lamb and it had become his children’s pet. Surely Nahshon would not sacrifice this lamb now when he could just as easily choose another.
     I scarfed down the manna cakes left for my breakfast and went in search of Ithamar. As I drew closer to the Tabernacle, the curtained structure that seemed so ominous a few days ago, I heard Eleazar’s voice. Just outside the east-facing tapestry gate, he and Ithamar were instructing the priest trainees and Levites.
     “In the past,” Eleazar exp…

By The Blood Of The Lamb: A Story for Passover

Intense forceful wind swept the floor of the desert hurling bits of sand that stung our faces. Yet, with feet feeling of lead, we trudged toward the sea of tents.
     The encampment seemed deserted, but muffled voices filtered through the walls of each tent. Clearly, the brief sandstorm had forced the inhabitants to remain sheltered.
     Determined to reach the odd rectangular-shaped structure in the midst of the camp, we wove our way through crude walkways while our shadows, splashed against the tents, made known our presence. By the time we reached our destination, whipping sand had given way to searing heat and Nahshon, son of Amminadab, leader of the children of Judah blocked our way.

Love, A Many Splendored Thing

Snowflakes floated silently from the dark night sky while two lovers strolled, hand in hand, down the moonlit street. Reaching the door, their hearts wrenched knowing one would enter and one must leave. A good-bye kiss and adoring embrace made them yearn for another and then another. Through rose-colored glasses, they viewed life and dreamed of the day they would never part.
Ah love, in the beginning of a relationship, it saturates our whole body and we feel as though we’re walking three feet off the ground. Every waking moment is consumed with thoughts of our beloved and our nighttime dreams enhance passion.

How Long, O Lord?

2015 started off well, but seven days into this New Year, extreme violence hit.
In our shrinking world of high technology, the massacre in Paris almost feels like it happened here. Through the media, we see the faces of those Parisians who had their loved ones mercilessly cut down and our hearts are touched. From a distance, we groan with righteous indignation and mourn with them, because we know how it feels to have senseless acts of violence perpetrated against us. We remember the horror of 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombing, and others that fuel an ever-present fear of terrorism. Still, even without foreign influence, our country has seen escalating violence. Anger spewing out in riots, looting, and destruction over court verdicts and vicious, irrational school shootings. It’s as if violence stepped from the movie screen and made its home in our everyday life.