God, Life, Writing

Death has always been a big deal!

Photo taken at Old West Village – Cody, Wyoming

Death has always been a big deal! #Grief #Trauma #LifeAfter

There are hundreds of bible verses about death, promising a blessed hope after this life. We joke, we ignore, and we trivialize death at every turn. If our physical death is inevitable for each of us why do we so often refuse to acknowledge it?

For centuries throughout history, death has always been a big deal… after a person has died. Ornate ceremonies and trappings to celebrate the life of the one who has died. Fancy carriages like the one above, now hearses, that carry the dead body towards a final resting place. Coffins that are spectacular in their craftmanship that only serve to rot in the ground or burn up in the fire.

  • And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. ~Ecclesiastes 12:7
  • For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. ~Romans 14:8
  • And everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? ~John 11:26
  • The last enemy to be destroyed is death. ~1 Corinthians 15:26
  • Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. ~Matthew 5:4

These are only but a few of the many bible verses about death. It is coming for all of us. Do you believe in the one who conquered death?

The only one who died and rose again was and is Jesus Christ.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. ~John 3:16

Have you placed your trust and faith in him? Death is coming for us all, what then?

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” ~John 14:6

God, Grief, Life, Writing

Do you feel alone? Maybe, you are not as alone as you think.

But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. ~Luke 5:15 NASB

Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west. ~Isaiah 43:5 NASB

These things I have spoken to you to that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. ~John 16:33 NASB

There are a lot of troubling things going on all over the world right now. Whether you agree or disagree with decisions being made, I think we can all agree that the current state of affairs is troubling. As we watch events unfold we cannot help but think and worry about the impacts on your personal world. Our families and friends, our workplaces and places we visit all are feeling the effects.

I am in the midst of many changes in my personal life and the decisions often seem overwhelming. However, I trust the one who has the answers even when he doesn’t reveal them to me. I talk a lot about this in my memoir 𝐂𝐨𝐰𝐛𝐨𝐲𝐬 𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐒𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐂𝐫𝐲 which was just published by Christian Faith Publishing and is available on Amazon.

I have to remind myself that I am not truly alone and there are others struggling with decisions and impacts as well. I think we have a couple of options:

  1. Trust God. This is where our faith determines our outlook and do we believe that God is still in control despite what we see happening all around us.
  2. Reach out in service of others. Those around us who are experiencing similar things, let us help one another grow as individuals and communities.
  3. Shrink back. This should not be an option as this only serves to isolate us more and allows fear, distrust, and distress to grow. (⬅PS – this is exactly what the enemy wants us to do.

Now, what will you choose?

Do not rejoice over me, enemy of mine.
Though I fall I will rise;
Though I live in darkness, the LORD is a light for me.
~Micah 7:8

God, Life, Writing

“Soon, Very Soon,” Are You Willing to Wait?

God is working in our waiting. Sometimes that feels hard to believe. ~Amy Orr-Ewing #quote #faith #trust

I know I am in the midst of my own waiting and wondering if answers will come soon to questions I have. Just to list a few things:

  • As of the writing of this post I am waiting for edits on my memoir manuscript – Cowboys Are Not Supposed To Cry, when will those be returned?
  • Wondering will I be able to find editors, that I can afford, to review my novel trilogy – The Chronicles of Faith?
  • Can I write another novel during NaNoWriMo with so many ideas running through my head and other commitments?
  • And then there is the pandemic and the election here in America, what now?
  • Our families financial situation, will it get better or worse?
  • My daughter just turned 16, what am I to make of that? 😁

We can only control ourselves, our responses and not others. So I will try my best to rest in the unknown and trust, knowing that God’s promises are to come soon. What about you?

He will soon fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips will shout with joy. ~ Job 8:21 ISV

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. ~ 2 Peter 3:8 NASB

And behold, I am coming quickly. ~ Revelation 22:7 NASB #Promise #Truth #Faith #WarriorPoet

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, Writing

Happy Birthday to Me! – Motivation Monday

Yes! 😉 Today is my birthday! 🎂 Oh’ happy day right? 😃

Sometimes I am not so sure. What I mean is I have less years in front of me than I do behind me so another birthday is a reminder that time here on earth is finite. Time to get moving, live your dreams, seek your purpose, leave the world and others a little bit better.

AND WHAT GOOD IS A LIFE, THAT LEAVES NOTHING BEHIND, NOT A THOUGHT OR A DREAM, THAT MIGHT ECHO IN TIME ~Trans Siberian Orchestra “What is Eternal” from Beethoven’s Last Night #SongLyrics #Poetry #Music #Questions @trans_siberian

So with that happy thought ringing in your head, a question for you. Do you find a motivating quote, scripture, picture or something else to guide you? As I traverse this life between the eternities I often look to scripture for guidance, inspiration and solace. The following verse gives me strength, hope and comfort when the world seems out of control.

There are many others including quotes and even just photos that often have the same effect in calming my soul. Check out my Wordless Wednesday posts!

What about you? I would love to hear what gives you moments of respite during these chaotic and often confusing times.

#JustBelieve #GraceChangesPeople #LiveYourDreams

Art, God

Joys and Sorrows, Brutal Honesty in the Psalms

A fascinating conversation between Bono and Eugene Peterson revolving around their common interest in the Psalms. God works in all of us and is available to all of us.

Thank you to artist Kevin Max for sharing this on Facebook where I first encountered it. The video is 21 minutes long, I encourage you to take a listen as I believe God may have something there for each of us.

The video is based on interviews conducted by Fuller Seminary faculty member David Taylor and produced in association with Fourth Line Films, the film highlights in particular a conversation on the Psalms that took place between Bono, Peterson, and Taylor.

God can and is found in art whether if be music, poetry, drawing, painting or writing. We only need open our eyes and look, making ourselves available to his beauty and glory. Art should express a reality and truth, both the good and bad. The depths of emotion found in the psalms is an example for us to shed our masks and become vulnerable before God for he accepts us and loves just as we are, right where we are. God Bless!

 

 

God, Life

Are You Willing to Listen?

image

‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ ~Jeremiah 33:3

I have somewhat of a tradition where I try to select a bible verse that I believe God has revealed to me as a guiding light for the year. Some years it comes easy right after January 1st and other years well, I just seem to not hear anything to not be listening.

Well, this year for 2015 it was confirmed to me that the words of Jeremiah 33:3 is the promise I need. Since turning 50, (oh my, somewhat surprised I made it this far!) last summer many questions have surfaced, such as.

> Am I where and who I want to be?
> Where do I go from here?
> Is there more than this?

Some existential questions and some as simple as why do I not laugh more. After all I am very blessed. Well, maybe that is not as simple of a question as I first thought.

My seeking, my discovering and my journey as lead me to one inescapable conclusion. I need to stop running and be still. More importantly, when I do finally get around to asking a question;

I need to stop and listen more.

What do you need to stop and what do need to do?

Art, God, Poetry

Behold, A White Horse

In the quiet before the coming storm,
in the dark before the first light of morn.
Out of the black night they come,
souls for the taking they have won.
From beyond the blood-red moon,
destruction and disease screams a terrifying tune.

Behold, a light-colored steed.
Ridden by death, its only purpose to make souls bleed.
Behold, a dusky charger.
Ridden by judgement, its only purpose to make life harder.
Behold, a scarlet mount.
Ridden by chaos, its only purpose to make nothing count.
Behold, a sallow pony.
Ridden by defeat, its only purpose to make conquest only.

The huntsmen were led by the dragon snake,
who turned the sun to black; its thirst to slake.
Those who were left fled in terror and fear,
a voice speaking of a fortress refuge; so we hear.
He will cover us with His feathers as a shield about us,
His angels will defend the throne; in this we trust.
He sets us on high, because we know His name,
set free by His mercy and kindness; we are never the same.

We call on Him and He will respond in swift deliverance.
He tramples the serpent in a moment of eternal significance.

Behold, a white horse!
Ridden by faith and truth, its only purpose to make all things new.

~Mark Schutter ©2014

(The poem above was inspired by verses from Psalm 91 and Revelation 6 and 19:11 from the bible. On this Halloween night where the veil between worlds may be thin I wished to convey that although there is evil, there is something stronger that wins in the end. This is also poem 31 of 31 for the month of October Poetry Writing Month. It is finished, now onto National Novel Writing Month and 50,000 words. God bless! ~M)