I Do Not Fight Alone

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Society wants me to conform. I will not conform.

I have had enough. I could not take It anymore. I had tried and tried but no one would go with me. If no one will go with me, I will do it alone.

I don’t see things any differently than anyone else. They all see the world is falling apart. The difference is I couldn’t sit still and watch it get worse. I couldn’t stay quiet and let the evil keep talking.

You know what they say, there is no God, he isnt here, he doesnt care. If there was a God then why….If there was a God then where was he when….

Well, didn’t we ask him to leave? We took him out of schools, court,  any kind of gathering. We let the minority rule. If one person doesn’t like it then no one can enjoy it. It’s no wonder suicides have increased, opioid epidemic, mass shootings, over the counter meds for anxiety,  divorce.

Nothing is sacred anymore.

I left to face the demons on my own. It wasn’t long before they had gathered to defeat me.

I drew my sword and drew a line in the sand.

I said,  “If you are not a believer, you can not cross this line.”

The demons smiled at me as they approached the line. “My dearest friend, do you not know, even we demons believe.”

The demons crossed the line and I took a step back. The demons drooled and laughed. “So, friend , you do fear us.”

To their surprise, I then took a step forward with a smile on my face.

“I am not your friend.”

I knew what they did not. The demons hesitated for a second but that’s all I needed.

I drew my sword but it was only for a diversion. The demons attacked.

The demons were so consumed with me that they didn’t notice the warrior angels that had surrounded them.

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Walk On Water by 30 Seconds To Mars-  

What It Comes Down To Me Is Me by Mark Bishop- 

Fight Forever by Anthem Lights – 

Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)  by Chris Tomlin – 

Fighting For Us by Michael Farren – 

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The Room

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image credit: willomailley.com

 

For the last fifty nine days, every day has been the same for me. I didn’t expect day sixty to be any different.

I wake up, look in the mirror and tell myself today is the day. Today will be the day that I can do it. I am stronger than I think I am. I can do this.

I then walk out of my room and go exactly five feet three inches and stop in front of the room. I reach for the door knob then pull my hand away. I stare at the door for what seems like hours but it is only minutes, maybe seconds. I then take a deep breath and walk away.

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image credit: The Sabbath Recorder

 

I go about my day like a robot. Doing without thinking. Lost in my guilt. Lost in the what if’s. Everyone looks at me the same. Fake smiles. I fake smile back. They say everything will be alright. I want to scream at them that it will not be, but I don’t.  I only want to hit something. I have so much anger and hurt and it’s all my fault. They say it is not but I know it is.

I go home. I hesitate as I turn the key to unlock the door. Do I really want to go back inside? I don’t know what else to do so I turn the key.

I make dinner and set two plates out of habit. I know you won’t be joining me. I eat in silence.

I go upstairs to go to bed and I once again stop at the door. I reach for the door knob and pull my hand away. I take a deep breath and walk away. I go into my room and yell at myself in the mirror. Why are you so weak? Why can’t you turn the knob?

God help me! Where are you? I need you. She needs you. Why won’t you make her wake up? I need a miracle.

I fall asleep listening to the hissing and popping of the machines that keep her alive.

I have the same nightmare, but it’s not a nightmare. It’s a reality. You fell down the stairs and couldn’t move. Ten minutes. That’s what the doctor said. If I could’ve gotten you to the hospital ten minutes earlier you would’ve made it. If I would’ve came straight home that night you would’ve been okay.

But I didn’t.

We were fighting and I took the long way home to clear my head.

Ten minutes.

I wish I would’ve driven straight home. That’s why it’s all my fault. That’s why I can’t go in there. I know I did that to you.

I wake with a startle. The house is silent.

It shouldn’t be silent!

The machines have stopped. I jump out of bed and run to the door. I reach my hand out and pull it away. Maybe it’s for the best.

She needs you.

I look around. No one is there.

She needs you. She is still alive. Appreciate the living while they are here. One day she will be gone and you won’t be able to tell her anything.

Tears pour out of my eyes and before I know it my hand turns the door knob. I slowly walk to your bed and reach out to hold your hand. I am so sorry. Please wake up, please. I love you. I need you. I am sorry I haven’t been here. I will always be there for you from now. Wake up!  Please God, wake her up.

I feel her hand squeeze mine. It had to be my imagination. I look up through the tears and see her eyes open.

I didn’t expect day sixty to be any different. God knew it would be.

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He Still Does Miracles by Hawk Nelson – 

Miracles by Alisa Turner – 

God Of The Impossible by Lincoln Brewster – 

Faithful by Sarah Reeves – 

God Who Moves Mountains by Corey Voss –  

Mountain Of Sorrow by The Taylors – 

 

Come Back To Me

Image result for god waits for the prodigal

 

I won’t beg and plead

For you to come back to me

You have your own choices to make

You have your own roads to take

You will take many wrong paths

But the tough times will not last

I will be there, waiting patiently

Until that moment you come back to me

There will be people placed along your way

Most you will not listen to what they say

A few words will stay in your mind

A few others will be left for you to find

All will be where I want them to be

Guiding you to come back to me

You will be tossed around in the wind

Many branches will be trimmed

You will curse, you will rage

Nothing you do will take my love away

Even when all you see and hear are thorns and thunder

Doesn’t mean there are not roses and rainbows and wonder

Dead men do indeed bleed

But you can still come back to me

You can choose to live in a dilapidated shack in a deserted wasteland

You can choose to live in a lush garden in a castle so grand

You can choose to live in a prison in your own mind

You can choose to live with eyes that see but are blind

You can choose to live free

You can come back to me

Image result for god waits for the prodigal

There will be hurt, suffering, and pain

Without them true transformation will not find its way

You can ignore life and choose death

But that is not why I gave you breath

There is so much light around you yet you choose to live in the dark

I will be here waiting when you are ready to open your heart

Take these words as my guarantee

I will always be waiting for you to come back to me

Though your branches shake in the breeze

Don’t you know your roots grow deep

A candle gives off light because it endures the burning

To find the truth you must never stop learning

Every step taken closer to your destination

Every step taken to your current location

Every step  farther away from where you began

Each and every step was all part of my plan

I will be here waiting patiently

Until you come back to me

Image result for god waits for the prodigal

Prodigal by Sidewalk Prophets – 

One Step Away by Casting Crowns – 

Lift Your Head Weary Sinner by Crowder – 

Come To Jesus by Mindy Smith – 

Lean On by 7eventh Time Down – 

Forever Starts Today by Disciple – 

This Is Going To Hurt

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I ran.

As soon as he took a step towards me, I ran.

I can’t tell you how far or how long I ran.  I am willing to bet my last dollar it was farther and longer than I thought was possible.

I stopped to catch my breath and two questions popped into my head. What did I do for him to be here? Why was he following me?

I started to run again. In between my breaths, I heard the roar of rushing water below. It was in that moment I knew I took the wrong path.

I had three choices. Two of them would surely end in death. I could jump off the cliff into the cold rushing water. Death. I could stand there and do nothing and let him catch me. Death.

Since the first two choices would end in death, I had one choice left.

I had to escape.

Come on, come on.  THINK!! I looked around, evaluating my options. Looking for another way. Time was running out. I could hear him coming.

I threw a rock over the cliff into the water. Hoping he thought I jumped. Then I looked at my only option left. The thickest thorn bush I had ever seen.

This is going to hurt.

I jumped in.

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I tried quieting my breathing. I tried curling up into a small ball. I tried wishing that the moon wasn’t full. But it was.

I heard his footsteps. Getting closer. And closer. How did I get here?

I remember the day it happened. One year ago. One year ago today to be exact. I was in one of my “seasons,” as I like to call them. Nothing was going right. I was sinking into the quicksand I called depression. I was spiraling out of control. Failure was coming and I couldn’t stop it. Shame and guilt knocked on my door and I not only answered, I let them in.

Have you ever done something and one second after you did it you said what did I just do? I am so stupid. Why did I do that? I just let everyone I know down and I know they could never forgive me. I couldn’t even forgive myself so how could they?

I had to keep what I had done a secret. NO MATTER WHAT!! The truth would kill them, therefore killing me. Since I was already dead, there was no need to kill them. So I kept it to myself.

I sank further into my guilt and shame. I withdrew from everyone. Oh, I still had a killer smile and was wittingly charming. I could get by. I faked a lot of happiness. Inside, I cried a lot of tears. I was rotting inside and I knew they could smell it. I knew they knew I was a fake. But they never said anything.

Maybe I was better at hiding it than I thought. Then I started thinking, I am such a good liar. Which led to more guilt and shame. Which led to him.

At first, I didn’t pay much attention. I would see him at the gas station or maybe at the store. You know the feeling you get when you think someone is watching you. I would get that and look up and he would be looking at me. He wouldn’t look away. I got chills down my spine. What a creep, I thought.

Through the first few months, I would seem him every couple of weeks. As the year progressed, I would see him more and more. Recently, as I was falling apart and my lies were catching up to me, as my guilt and shame were eating at me, I was seeing him every day.

EVERY SINGLE DAY!!

ALWAYS LOOKING AT ME.

NEVER LOOKING AWAY.

I finally was getting the courage to approach him and ask him what his deal is. That’s when he took the first step to me. I froze. Then, I ran.

I ran and here I am. In this thorn bush. Scratched and bleeding. Dying inside. Hiding from a man who wouldn’t quit following me.

As smart as I thought I was by throwing the rock into the water, he was smarter. As quiet as I thought I was being, he could still hear me. As dark as I thought my hiding place was, he still found me.

I, for the first time, took a good look at him. I mean, a really good look. I wanted to know who was going to end my days. That’s when I saw the crown of thorns around his head. He didn’t say a word. He just reached his hand down and by the light of the moon, I saw the scars on his. A sudden peace came over me and for some unknown reason, I reached out and took his hand.

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The thorns parted as he pulled me up. My bleeding wounds stopped bleeding. It was like a giant boulder was taken off my shoulders.

“I forgive you.” In those three words that he said my heart changed. It was like clean air was poured into my dirty lungs. Tears of guilt were replaced with tears of joy.

I walked back home, with him by my side. I knew it may be a long road to recovery, but I knew I had to tell them. I knew they had to know the truth. I could not keep living with this.

I also knew with him there was no condemnation, no guilt, no shame. I had to believe that they would forgive me also. I had to hope and pray for a better future. No matter what happens, I knew I had to continue to walk with him, not run away from him.

I took a deep breath and walked into the house. I knew we would be okay. I knew that I would be a better man. I knew they would forgive me. I knew we would survive the lies. Even so, I knew this was going to hurt.

Image result for bible verses on forgiveness

Never Stopped Loving by Jeremy Camp- 

Grace Will Lead Me Home by David Dunn – 

Fear Is A Liar by Zach Williams – 

He Still Does Miracles by Hawk Nelson – 

Worth It by Lecrae- 

You Waited by Travis Greene- 

Always Faithful by Ashes Remain – 

Come Back To Me

Image result for god waits for the prodigal

 

I won’t beg and plead

For you to come back to me

You have your own choices to make

You have your own roads to take

You will take many wrong paths

But the tough times will not last

I will be there, waiting patiently

Until that moment you come back to me

There will be people placed along your way

Most you will not listen to what they say

A few words will stay in your mind

A few others will be left for you to find

All will be where I want them to be

Guiding you to come back to me

You will be tossed around in the wind

Many branches will be trimmed

You will curse, you will rage

Nothing you do will take my love away

Even when all you see and hear are thorns and thunder

Doesn’t mean there are not roses and rainbows and wonder

Dead men do indeed bleed

But you can still come back to me

You can choose to live in a dilapidated shack in a deserted wasteland

You can choose to live in a lush garden in a castle so grand

You can choose to live in a prison in your own mind

You can choose to live with eyes that see but are blind

You can choose to live free

You can come back to me

Image result for god waits for the prodigal

There will be hurt, suffering, and pain

Without them true transformation will not find its way

You can ignore life and choose death

But that is not why I gave you breath

There is so much light around you yet you choose to live in the dark

I will be here waiting when you are ready to open your heart

Take these words as my guarantee

I will always be waiting for you to come back to me

Though your branches shake in the breeze

Don’t you know your roots grow deep

A candle gives off light because it endures the burning

To find the truth you must never stop learning

Every step taken closer to your destination

Every step taken to your current location

Every step  farther away from where you began

Each and every step was all part of my plan

I will be here waiting patiently

Until you come back to me

Image result for god waits for the prodigal

Prodigal by Sidewalk Prophets – 

One Step Away by Casting Crowns – 

Lift Your Head Weary Sinner by Crowder – 

Come To Jesus by Mindy Smith – 

Lean On by 7eventh Time Down – 

Forever Starts Today by Disciple – 

Sometimes It’s More Than A Game

Image result for choosing to live a christian life instead of a game quotes

What a great first weekend of college football. The Buckeyes looked like they might be better than last years team. You know, the team that had a record number of NFL draft picks.  It is early. We will see how how the rest of the season goes.
It was great to see the upsets. Houston beating Oklahoma. Texas A&M beating UCLA in overtime. Wisconsin beating LSU. Clemson almost losing to Auburn. Tennessee almost losing to Appalachian State. South Alabama beating Mississippi State. Western Michigan upsetting Northwestern. Richmond upsetting Virginia.

Texas upset Notre Dame on Sunday night. Texas was my first choice of schools to go to but out of state tuition was/is too expensive so I became a Buckeye instead.

Most of the SEC struggling to win or lost. Seven SEC teams losing in week 1.

Alabama  losing. Oh yeah, that was just a dream. They looked unbeatable , but they said that two years ago also.

All these great games, close games, upsets, etc…..

But sometimes it’s more than a game.

James Conner, star running back for Pittsburgh, coming back from Hodgkins Lymphona cancer.  He broke Tony Dorsett’s records that had stood for 38 years. He was invincible…until he wasn’t. He played in the first game in 2015 then was out the rest of the year battling for his life. You can read his story in his own words here :  http://www.theplayerstribune.com/james-conner-pittsburgh-college-football-cancer/

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photo credit : James Conner

Travis Rudolph, Florida State wide receiver,  was visiting a school and saw a boy eating alone. He sat down and joined him for lunch. The boy, Bo Paske, has autism and often eats lunch by himself. Travis says he didn’t think it was that big of a deal. We are all the same and one man can make a difference. You can read the full article here: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/09/02/us/photo-of-fsu-football-star-sitting-with-boy-eating-alone-at-florida-school-charms-internet.htmlnyskyz.com.

photo credit : Michael Halligan, Associated Press.

 

Sarah Hill, the wife of Weber State’s head coach Jay.  She was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. Weber State football players, coaches, family and friends shaved their heads in support.  At the end of each practice they chant How strong are we? Strong like Sara. You can read the story here : http://www.sltrib.com/sports/4275503-155/weber-state-football-wildcats-rally-around

(Leah Hogsten  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  Sara Hill hugs her daughter Allie, 5, after she and her husband, Weber State football coach Jay Hill, talked about her battle with Hodgkins lymphoma and how the Wildcat family has rallied around her and her husband at Stewart Stadium, Wednesday, August 24, 2016. Weber State football players, coaches and family and friends shaved their heads in support of her chemotherapy treatments.
photo credit Leah Hogsten , Salt Lake Tribune

 

The one that really brought a tear to my eye is Nebraska. On July 23rd, they lost their senior punter Sam Foltz in a car accident. Michigan State punter Mike Sadler also passed away in the accident. On Nebraska’s first punt of the game they only sent out 10 players, the punter didn’t go out. They took a delay of game which the opposing team, Fresno State, respectfully declined. Tell me you don’t get goose bumps watching this video. http://www.ncaa.com/news/football/article/2016-09-03/nebraska-football-honors-sam-foltz-lines-10-men-first-punt?cid=ncaafbsocial_fb_sf35087046

 

Lions by Skillet – 

Cheer You On by Jordan Feliz – 

We March On by Hillary Scott and The Scott Family – 

Beyond Me by TobyMac – 

It’s Alright by Stephen Marley – 

Artists Stand Up To Cancer – 

 

 

God, Is This Your Answer?

God, I asked you to use me

The next day I was diagnosed with cancer

I don’t want to question you but if that’s your answer

God, there  must be another way I plea

God, I asked you to use me

The next day my wife tells me our marriage needs a makeover

I thought all was well, I need you to takeover

God, tell me this isn’t the way please

God, I asked you to use me

The next day my teenage daughter was killed by a drunk driver

Oh God , I am not supposed to survive her

God, can’t you see me down here on my knees

God, I asked you to use me

With you by my side I will fight this cancer

With you as my strength I accept your answer

With this disease I will show your glory

God, I asked you to use me

Just when  my marriage was falling apart

You stepped in and gave us a fresh start

God, you made a masterpiece out of all the debris

God, I asked you to use me

In my worst moment you made me strong

You helped me to forgive, to sing a new song

When he couldn’t forgive himself, he saw You in me

Choose Me by Latice Crawford – 

Eye Of The Storm by Ryan Stevenson – 

Thank You For Everything by Jason Gray –