God, Grief, Life, Writing

Though He Slay Me…

Though he slay me, I will hope in him. ~Job 13:14 #Encouragement #Faith #Motivation

It has been a rough last few weeks. Truth be told it’s been a rough past few months and even the whole year of 2020. I am not even talking about COVID-19, stay at home orders, social distancing, fears of infection from the virus, racial and civil unrest or even the current chaos of our political system.

Simply said my family has watched a beloved member’s health slowly decline. So much so that in the end it is hard to see who they once were. Illness and disease can do that to you.

Yet we can still hold hope, for ourselves and others, of better days ahead. As Job’s faith stayed fast even during his trials, I pray that we can all do the same.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart. And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. ~Proverbs 3:5-6

Stay the course, live your dreams, and just believe, hope lives.

God, Life, Poetry

A Crisis of Faith?

I have lost my faith, 
not my belief
my faith. 

I have misplaced it,
and it cannot
be found. 

I will still search,
searching no
matter.

I will hold my faith,
with tenacity
at best.

I still will believe,
crying out
to you.

I  still will trust,
your truth in
my unbelief.

“I do believe; help my unbelief.” ~Mark 9:24

Do you struggle in the area of faith and belief?

This past week we lost our beloved dog, Sadee Jayne ❤ (See this week’s Wordless Wednesday photo of her.) She was the fourth member or our pack and we had twelve wonderful years together. Her death has rekindled many memories of grief for me. Thus leading me to lots of questions, similar questions to those I have written about in my upcoming memoir ‘Cowboys Are Not Supposed To Cry.’

I know I struggle not in losing my faith but in misplacing it if you will. It tends to ebb and flow when I allow my belief to be based on my emotions and what is happening to me and around me. Often building my faith on a precarious stack of rocks instead of on the rock. I believe we need to focus more on the truth that does not change.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” ~Hebrews 13:8

What do you think?

Life is often a balancing act!

God, Life, Poetry

The Truth is We All Need Saving

Only you can save my soul.
Only You Can Save My Soul.

Only you can save my soul and drive my demons away. The only truth that can save a wretch like me. #Poetry #Quote #Writing #Faith #JustBelieve

With the lock downs and stay at home orders over the recent months it has been a while since my family has actually attended a live church service. This little poem is an attempt to capture the false sense of security we seek within the church that can only be found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

It is not in a great worship band, the music and lights, dynamic preaching, or even the fellowship we find in connecting with others. All good things no doubt but they can also lead us to put our faith and trust in “the sweet poison of the false infinite” to quote C.S. Lewis.

We need more than that for our broken hearts and to slake the longing within our souls. The church with all it’s good intentions can often be a place that unfortunately hurts us and alienates us even further from God.

We do not need slick presentations and entertainment we need truth. The truth is we need him now more than ever to save us from ourselves and we all need him to save us.

#JustBelieve #HopeLives #LoveChangesPeople

Sometimes there is no justice only mercy. (James 2:13) #Truth #Faith #Believe

God, Life, Writing

What Will This Experience Teach Us?

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Experience is the most brutal of teachers but you learn, my God, do you learn” ~C.S. Lewis

So in the midst of adversity and challenges that we did not anticipate nor wish for, we can only persevere and attempt to learn from the experience. I wonder years from now what will history say about this time in which we find ourselves living and what will be said about us as individuals, nations and the world?

I pray that we learn. And use this experience to do better and to correct any mistakes in the future. Like Solomon I pray for wisdom each day in the choices I make. Those that affect my family, my friends, those I work with and others that may be touched by the ripples I create.

In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, “Ask what you wish Me to give you.”

Solomon’s Prayer

Then Solomon said, “You have shown great lovingkindness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You; and You have reserved for him this great lovingkindness, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”

God’s Answer

10 It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. ~1 Kings 3:5-9 (NASB)

May our leaders also being praying for and asking for wisdom. So, how are you doing with during this time? Are you affected by any stay at home orders?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Stay safe my friends and God bless! 😊

Life, Writing

A Rare and Curious Phenomenon?

In the midst of the times in which we currently find ourselves, I find this quote from Thomas Wolfe all the more appropriate. As we isolate, self-quarantine and social distance from one another the sense of loneliness can inevitably grow. Leading to heightened anxiety and stress levels, lowering our immune systems even more.

So how do we combat this while maintaining our boundaries to curtail the spread of infection? How do we maintain connection with others? A few tips:

  • Use technology wisely – text messaging, video chats and even the age old phone call. However, be cautious as to what you consume through social media as this can be overwhelming and add to the anxiety.
  • Eat healthy and stay hydrated – cut out as much junk food as you can and avoid large amounts of alcohol.
  • Get moving – even with all the requests and directives to not venture out or shelter in place you can still exercise. Either at home or by going for a walk, jog or bike ride. The fresh air and sunshine can have a good effect on your mood.
  • Take up a hobby virtually – something you have always wanted to learn. There are a plethora of options for on-line learning available to us. Note: see first bullet.
  • Keep your pets close – the unconditional love they give is the best.
  • Keep the faith!

This affects us all and we are all in this together.

#JustBelieve #HopeLives #LoveChangesPeople

Writing

Sometimes it’s all worth it!

It is the eve of National Novel Writing Month 2019 (NaNoWriMo 2019), where we crazy writers jump in with both feet attempting to write at least 50,000 words in 30 days.

This is my second year in s row and 4th overall. I have accomplished the feat (50,000 words) each time and “won”. What that really means is I know have 3 shitty first draft manuscripts that I need to start editing. Yikes!

Well this afternoon I received notice that 3 of my poems had been selected for the short list and will be included in the Broken Hearts, Healing Words – An A.B.Baird Anthology.

I am so beyond grateful and freaking excited. Did not really expect this. Just goes to show sometimes it’s all worth it.

Keep writing my friends! You have a story that only you can tell whether it’s poetry, short stories, novels, fiction or nonfiction. #GetYourWriteOn

#JustBelieve #HopeLives #LoveChangesPeople

Life, Stories, Writing

“She died. She is dead.” Thoughts and coming to terms with the words.

Widowed and/or bereaved? And does it even really matter when the words don’t change the outcome?

Widowed – verb: past participle: widowed

  1. become a widow or widower; lose one’s spouse through death.
    • Widownounwidow; plural noun: widows
      a woman who has lost her spouse by death and has not remarried.
    1. Widower – nounwidower; plural noun: widowers
      a man who has lost his spouse by death and has not remarried.

Bereaved – verb: past participle: bereaved

  1. be deprived of a loved one through a profound absence, especially due to the loved one’s death.

“She died. She is dead. Is the word so difficult to learn?” ~C.S. Lewis {A Grief Observed}

We use the terms ‘lost’, ‘deprived’ and ‘absence’ when the truth is they died. Their physical mortal body ceased to work and they died. You are widowed until you remarry, then no longer a widow or widower? And are you still bereaved every single moment, day, month, and year after losing a loved one?

The pain and the grief, never goes away even when you commit actions that take you in another direction, such as remarrying. Grief is not something you get over, it is something you carry with you for the rest of your life. It irrevocably changes you, how could it not?

Does the soul live on after death? I believe it does and that’s a topic for another blog post.

“Well, we have nothing if not belief.” ~Reepicheep {The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis}

God, Life, Stories

Belief and Death – are the words so difficult to learn?

“Well, we have nothing if not belief.”

~Reepicheep

“The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” (CS Lewis)

A Grief Observed, as well as other books and writings, by CS Lewis have comforted, challenged and confirmed many of my own feelings at different times with their stark emotion and startling honesty. Almost thirty-five years and a vast ocean between two continents separated the experiences of Mr. Lewis and my own. We were at very different points on life’s continuum; Mr. Lewis was in his early sixties when his wife, Joy, died and me in my late twenties when my wife died.

However, the experiences of Mr. Lewis I read about are eerily similar to my own experiences. The feelings of pain, sorrow, guilt and eventually a measure of acceptance and healing that followed. Grief is a solitary road we must walk alone, however the words Mr. Lewis shared have always made me feel not quite so alone, especially during my own time of anguish and the dark night of my soul.

My hope is that my words, the things I share and put into the world can do the same for someone else. We are all sojourners here on earth and sorrow at one time or another will wrap its cold arms around us all and hold us close. In those moments, we need grace and mercy, for if my own experience is any indication in those dark times of guilt and pain there often vows and promises made that we are never meant to keep.