Life. Joy. Love. Faith

Evening, Sun, Sunset, Backlighting, Mood

Life that flows continuously
Joy that’s never-ending
Love that never fails
And faith that can move mountains

All necessary
All desired
All available
All from the same source

So many people these days are filled with

pain that continuously comes back
anger that never stops
hate that destroys everyone and everything
fear that destroys us from the inside out

Where does the pain end?
When does the anger leave?
How does the hate go away?
Will the fear ever stop tearing you to shreds?

It ends here. It stops now. It leaves right in this moment.

Not because of us.
Not because of what we can do.
Only because of the one above
who freed you from death.
Who freed you from
pain
anger
hate
fear

and the crushing, horrible, indescribable misery.

He gave you the choice to have freedom and life and joy and love and faith.

In our own strength we will never overcome
the pain
the anger
the hate
the fear

Only when we surrender our lives to God can He begin to show us
HIS life.
HIS joy.
HIS love.
HIS faith.

And then when life knocks us to our knees and we are too weak to even stand, He will fill us with HIS life, joy, love, and faith so that we can have life everlasting, endless joy, unfailing love, and faith to move mountains.

God is always there.

He has never ever left your side.
He is always waiting,
calling you to come close to Him
so that He can take your
 pain and anger and hate and fear.

He didn’t call you to a life of misery,
but a life where you can dwell in HIM

You can be enveloped by
His life.           His joy.          His love.          His faith.

And pretty soon, you can be so full that it will spill onto everyone around you so that when they ask of the HOPE within you… you can tell them of your deliverer. Your comforter. Your might. Your refuge.

Your life, joy, love, and faith.

There’s always life.   There’s always joy.   There’s always love.   There’s always faith.

You just have to open your eyes and look above.. and then you will see it.

Because it’s staring you in the face… God is staring you in the face.

And offering you freedom from pain.
And an invitation to

Life. Joy. Love. Faith.

To Anybody who needs Somebody

Woman Standing on Field Silhouette Photography

I see you sitting on the other side
When someone asks, you say you’re fine
barely able to keep a smile
on your face

Your fists are clenched
and your head is down
your thoughts are distant, even drown
in the pain

I know that you’ve been here for a while
but I really would like to know why
you always go and hide
from everyone

I want to walk right up to you and
ask if someone did something to you and
tell you that I care about you and
tell you that I’ll be your friend

Cause it hurts me when I see you hiding
the pain you feel when others are smiling
And the thoughts that make you want to cry
and the hurt that’s in your eyes

C’mon now, won’t you tell me the truth
open up and just let it loose
Let me know what hurts so bad and
Let me be right here for you?

What’s one thing that you can’t tell anyone?
I’ll keep all your secrets – I’ll never spill one
Why are you so afraid to open up
and allow yourself … to be yourself?

I want to be your friend if you will let me in
I promise I won’t hurt you  like maybe others did

Cause I love the girl that you really are
and I love that you have a soft and tender heart
that I see when I see you
So please stop hating you

I’ll be a shoulder for you to cry on
I’ll be your protection in the storm
I’ll whisper truth when you hear only lies
I’ll always be right here for you any time

Even tho we don’t know each other yet
and I doubt you remember my name
I’ll still be there for you if you need somebody
to help you along through the pain

I can always point you to the Savior again
Whose arms are reaching out to save you from the grip of pain
He’ll always rescue you, dear one, from the angry waves
So if you’ll let him in… he’ll rescue you again.

This is to Anybody who needs Somebody

Silently Powerful

Scenic View of Night Sky

I gripped the cold metal bars tightly, holding my phone in my mouth. Almost there, I thought, placing my foot on the fender. As I pulled myself farther up, my hand met the cold, wet surface. I squirmed my way to the top of the stock trailer and realized that the rain had left puddles sitting there for me. Laying my jacket under me to keep the water from soaking to my skin, I laid down on my back to stare up at the black sky.

As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I began to see the millions of stars up above me.

Psalms 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Far away from the yard lights, the city, the noise, the vehicles, I felt at peace. Taking a deep breath, I soaked in the beauty of the stars. Each placed perfectly to shine as proof of their creator. A smile spread over my face as I began to ponder the glory of God. The beauty of God. The love of God… but more than anything, the power of God.

Usually when I thought of power, I pictured a fight or war. A boxing match. An argument. Powerful words that could wound others.

I pictured noise and anger and something that crushed everything else.

But suddenly I was hit by the reality of Silent Power. I realized that the power of God isn’t always loud. It isn’t always crashing through the door with unbelievable strength.

I thought of…
A still, small voice.
A starry sky.
An act of kindness.
A bolt of lightning.
A smile.
A snowflake.
A whisper of truth.
A newborn baby.
The first flower of Spring.

Not loud, but still powerful.
Not crushing, but still overwhelming.
Not hurtful, but beautiful.

My mind strayed to thoughts of thousands that were hurting, broken, and dying. Thousands that wanted just an instant of peace. A break from the chaos in life.
My mind strayed to only an hour earlier of a house filled with screaming and crying and angry words… when it felt like there was no more peace left.

1 Kings 19:12 says: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

Yet there I was at peace. Simply being still in the presence of my God and King.
I realized that no matter how much craziness there is in the world, God always offers a way to peace.
A place to breathe.

I saw that God’s power doesn’t add more weight to our shoulders, but it relieves them of the stress and hurt and anger and noise.

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

As I looked at the stars I thought about how powerful they were. Burning, shining, and HUGE. Yet… when I looked at them, I saw God’s power. Silent power.

And I saw that they were a picture of peace even in a world of chaos. My eyes left the stars for a moment and darted to the horizon as a bolt of lightening zig-zagged through the sky.

And even though I knew there was so much going on in so many homes across the world, I was at peace.

And I realized that no matter where we are, what is happening, or how much time we have… God always offers a place of peace if we dwell with and in him. A place of silence inside even if the world around us crashes with noise.
A place of power. Silent power.

Lamentations 3:26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.

The same God who moves the mountains and parts the sea also puts the peace in me.

The stars are silent, but powerful

The lightning is silent, but powerful

The sunsets are silent, but powerful

The loving gaze of my Father from heaven is Silent, but Powerful.

And in that moment, God whispered to me that I could have peace even in the power.

Because God can be Silently Powerful.

Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Dear One

Two Person Holding Pinkies

Dear best friend,

I hope you know I’m right here for you
you’re always on my mind
even though the distance cuts through
my ability to be by your side

Dear best friend,

Even when you just can’t see me
And I feel so far away
I promise that I haven’t forgotten
about you through my day

Dear best friend,

I wish I could hold you tight
And whisper love directly to you
But since I can’t be by your side
This letter will have to do…

Dear best friend,

you mean the world to me
even though I have to travel it
just for us to see
each other

Dear best friend,

when you’re in pain and you’re confused
I’m still right here for you
Friend, I’m hurting with you too

Dear best friend,

I promise that I’ll do my best
to be the best friend I can be
I’ll always be one text away
Friend, you can count on me

But friend, there’s someone else I talk to too…..

Dear Jesus,

Help my best friend today
to hold onto you
since I can’t be there by their side
God I need you to

Dear Jesus,

Please hold them tight right now
God, please get them through the night
The distance between us you have allowed
Fill them with your light

Dear Jesus,

You’ve got better plans for us
That we cannot yet see
No matter what God, I still know
That you’re holding them and me

Dear Jesus,

They mean so much to me
God, you’ve blessed me with this friendship,
So Lord help us to see
that you won’t ever ever leave

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for my best friend
and all the friends you’ve given me
I don’t want to just pretend
That it doesn’t hurt to see

The distance that’s between us
that isn’t always easy
but God I know you’re still with them
so Lord guide them and help me

to trust their lives inside your hands
cause Lord, I know you have amazing plans
for their lives, so God, I trust you with my friends
Please do for them right now what I can’t

Dear Jesus please be with my dear best friend.

_____________________________________________

(To all my long distance friends)

From Anywhere

Grayscale Photo of Woman Covering Her Mouth Using Her Hands

I don’t think I can do this anymore.
My shoulders are breaking and my heart is torn

from this burden that brings me to my knees –
I feel the end as it grasps for me

Lately I can barely breathe,
and the world’s painful hold will not release.

Someone please come rescue me,
please hear my cries from this grasping sea!

Pain is all that holds me tight,
and stress has invaded to rule my life.

These tears are now my definition
and I’m constantly crippled by all this tension

My life feels so worthless and full of pain.
Next time I fall I can’t rise again.

How do I escape and find someone who cares
about this broken heart and child that’s scared

Scared to be left here hurting and alone
with nothing but darkness pulling me to my tomb

My smile has left me in a broken heap
on the ground trampled under everyone’s feet.

Breathing seems like the hardest task.
Where did my help go, and where is my rest?

And under all this deafening chaos
I hear a small voice, and feel the love wash
over these wounds and heal my soul
slowly but beautifully, making me whole

Strong hands of a Savior lift me from this mess.
Out of the pain and into His nest.
Under His wing He holds me close,
asking me never to return from where I just rose.

I know my Rescuer has finally come,
and now I’m saved, finally coming home.
I’d strayed from my hope, the love of my life…

but now I realize He’s always been by my side

Waiting for me to reach out in the midst
of the sorrows that held me, down in that pit.
God knows my heart and His love is constant.
No matter how far I stray, God knows where I’m at.

And now I’m here and typing away,
I sometimes feel fear and darkness and pain.
But I know that I have a God that is watching
Always loving, caring, and protecting

Although wounds heal, the scars remain
not to show hurt and anguish and pain
but instead to show that God is right there
and He always rescues – yes, from anywhere.

Good is not Good Enough

Close-up of Hands

“Yeah, I’m a christian” I’d say to myself

I’ve heard all the sermons, and I set my sins on the shelf

I don’t lie on Sundays, I always act strong and tough

but back then I never stopped to wonder if maybe good wasn’t good enough

 

“No, I’m not a bad person” I’d tell myself frequently

“whenever I do wrong, I apologize quickly”

If God always forgives, then it must not really matter

but really did I just say that because I didn’t want it to matter?

 

Now looking back, I see what I’ve done

I did just enough to get by. I should do more now…No, I must!

“Being a christian isn’t for fun” I now hear God say

“It’s not just a silly game, with each level you can play”

 

You don’t live to just live, if you live for Jesus Christ

You serve a greater purpose, and sometimes you have to pay a price

When you just live a fun, good life, with God in the background,

you’re not giving him your all; you’re just enjoying the goods you’ve found

 

I realize now what I did, and I tell that to God

I say “Lord, I’m sorry, I don’t want to be a fraud”

I know I must take what’s heard and put it into action,

but it’s easier said than done when life’s full of many distractions

 

I want to fully understand what it’s really like to thrive

because I don’t want to live my life just being barely alive

So God, please take my life, and make it great with you

Because I know you always know exactly what to do

 

And Lord before I finish, I want to thank you for your love

and also thanks for letting me realize that good is not good enough.

 

Special thanks to my youth group pastor who taught a sermon on not letting Good be Good Enough

 

My Rescuer

Orange Buoy on Grass

These chains

They’re bound so tight around me

I can’t get loose

I can’t free myself

But I let them bind me

I stood in my sin

I let myself fall into temptation

not realizing how much it was taking from me

now I’m helpless

stuck in my own choices

slowly choking the life from my body

the blood from my veins

the beating from my heart

They pull me to the bottom of my ocean of sin

sinking
sinking
sinking

I hit the bottom with a crash

No way to reach forgiveness

I feel the last bit of oxygen

the last grip on good, on love, on joy

slip away

gone

But just as I feel myself slipping away

becoming just another skeleton in the sea of fleshly desires

I can hear the still small voice

the call far up above miles of dark water that cover me

he calls me his child

he’s calling me back to his arms

and for a fraction of a second

time is frozen

and I have a choice

prison or freedom

surrender to death or fight for life

let go or take hold

Do I let go of everything I’ve worked to get?

Or do I take hold of the hand reaching down in the water

the calloused, nail-pierced hand

the hand that sacrificed so much for my life

As time begins to move by again, I’ve made my choice

as my arms grip the caring hand of my father,

I feel the chains fall to the ocean floor

Suddenly I’m free

No longer bound by my mistakes and choices

but freed by the saving forgiveness of the hand I know hold to tightly

As I begin the journey of swimming out of the mess I’m in

I can  still hear the call of pressure, hatred, and anxiety calling for me to join them at the bottom

The journey to the surface isn’t easy

but I see his hand

I hear his call

and I keep swimming to reach the top

Finally, I break the surface

I’m in God’s presence

I feel his smile upon me

He calls me chosen

He calls me his masterpiece

He tells me I’m loved

That I’m his child

He tells me not to be swayed by the world

To not let them bind me up

and pull me into sin

But to hold tight to him

So that he can protect me

He tells me that no matter what

He’ll always be there for me

and that whenever I need to, I can talk to him

Because he’s my Rescuer