Finish Your Story

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I read through the pages of your book

I get to know you and your every look

I’ve stumbled upon a terrible chapter

One that’s full of hurt and disasters

Some have chosen not to continue to read

They closed the book in your time of need

But I read each and every word

My eyes teared up and the pages blurred

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With each page I prayed you would make it through

Even at your darkest I knew there was a light in you

Another word, another sentence, another paragraph, another page

I couldn’t stop reading because I knew you would find your faith

I was at the end of the chapter and started the next

You made it through the worst but still weren’t at your best

But as I promised I continued to read

I will hold your hand when you are in need

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You are not alone and the next chapter could be amazing

Thanking God for the trials, his name we will be praising

Right now, I need you to keep writing

This world needs you to keep fighting

Don’t give up, don’t let the dark win

Through the wounds, let the light in

Because I know when I close your book after I read the last page

That after all the ups and downs you didn’t give up and you found your way

I know at the end of your story

We will give God all the glory

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Carry You by Ruelle – 

Beautifully Broken by Plumb – 

Turn It Around by Lincoln Brewster- 

Deep Down (Walk Through The Fire)  by Lincoln Brewster – 

Fighting For You by Tenth Avenue North – 

Your Rose Garden

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I watched you for what seemed like hours as you tended your rose garden. I never understood why you would want to have so many roses and why you would want to spend so much time out there. You would always say you loved the way the dirt smelled. You would spend countless summer days bent over the garden, sweat dripping from your brow, pulling the weeds and pruning the roses. You would come inside sweaty, dirty, and looking exhausted but you always had a smile on your face.

I don’t get it I would say. You would reply, what’s their to get. It’s my time to do what I love and it’s my time I spend all alone with God. You should hear the conversations we would have. I would always reply I don’t know if I want to and we would laugh.

Even in the dark cold days of winter you would get bundled up and go outside to walk the path through your garden. Talking to them, touching their dead branches. Of course, I didn’t get that either. Why on earth? You would always say that they aren’t dead. There is life inside of them. They are like a lot of people in this world. Walking dead but there is life in them. It’s up to us to bring that life out. Waiting patiently, for today they may appear dead but with tomorrow there is always hope.

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You are like that. You had a natural beauty that I was instantly attracted to but it was your inner beauty that would light up my heart. You could walk into a dark room and it would be like someone turned on the lights. It is the type of person you are.

Until one day you were taken from me. A teenager was texting and driving and ran into you. Neither of you survived. God needed his angel back and I had to pay the price. At your funeral the pastor recited your favorite bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Forget you God. If this is your plan then I don’t want any part of it. I looked out the back window and saw your rose garden. In my grief, I ran outside and I pulled and broke and cut every rose bush. I screamed and hollered your name. I screamed at God.

Out of breath, cut, scratched, and bleeding from the thorns, I dropped to my knees and let my tears water the lifeless dirt.

Summer turned to winter and, like the days , my heart grew darker and colder. I didn’t know how to live without you. I didn’t want to live without you. God should’ve taken me with you. My pain was too much to bear.

I looked out the window and saw the bare garden. I finally understood what you meant. Even if they appeared dead, at least they were still there. Now there was nothing but bare dirt. I grieved more as I recalled that day I destroyed what you loved.

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As seasons go, winter turned to spring. We had an early spring this year. I looked out the window and could not believe my eyes. Somehow in the very back of the garden, barely visible from where I stood, a rose bush had survived and now had two roses blooming.

I ran outside as fast as I could. I had to touch them to see if they were real. As I did, I could swear I caught a faint scent of you. Then in the spring breeze I could swear I heard your laughter. I immediately dropped to my knees and grabbed a handful of dirt. It smelled so full of life.

In that moment, I felt my heart start to beat again.

I went out and bought as many rose bushes as I could find. There had to be at least a hundred of them and I was going to fix what I destroyed. I was going to fix your rose garden.

I labored for hours that first day. I went to bed exhausted, sore and smelling like dirt but I would wake up refreshed, ready to start again. I realized I could not do it on my own.

I looked at my phone, hesitant to dial their number. I dialed anyway. I called the teenagers parents and they came over to help. I think all of us healed a little bit that day.

I watched every day as your garden came back to life. I spent hours out there talking to you. I slowly learned to talk to God again.

Summer rolled around and I was still in the garden. Sweat rolling off every inch of my body but it was okay. I stood up to take a break and I swear I felt your hand touch mine. I closed my eyes remembering what your touch felt like. I looked down at my hand but yours was not there. I started to lift it up when a beautiful butterfly landed in my palm. Then a sliver of light fell right on it, giving it its own spotlight. I smiled, then the butterfly fluttered toward my face and touched my cheek, as if giving me a kiss. Then it flew to a nearby rose and I did something I hadn’t done in a long time.

I said your name out loud. Kim?

Then a summer breeze picked up and I swear I heard it carry your laughter. Tears fell down my face but I smiled.

In your rose garden I found life again. I found you again. I found God again.

I miss you every minute of every day but it was right there and then that I knew I would never be alone.

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March 29, 2015, a driver following his GPS drives his SUV off  a ramp to a demolished bridge in East Chicago, Indiana. His wife died in the accident. The road was marked with orange barrels and signs saying road closed.

In 2009, a driver in West Yorkshire, England followed his GPS up a steep “road” that continued to narrow until he stopped- on the edge of a cliff with his car dangling over the edge. The driver got out safely and said he trusted the GPS to get him where he needed to go.

In 2011, three women in Bellevue, Washington blindly followed their GPS down a boat ramp and into a lake. All three got out safely but the car was submerged in the lake.

In 2011 in East Brunswick, New Jersey a driver came to a T instersection. His only choices were to go left or right. Instead he followed his GPS and went straight, straight over a curb and into a house.

These are just a few of the hundreds of articles out there about people blindly following their GPS. They don’t trust their own eyes, common sense, or warning signs. I won’t even begin to tell the stories of crashes cause by distracted drivers that were looking at their GPS instead of the road right in front of them, totally ignoring stopped cars, people crossing the street, stop lights and stop signs.

I know my GPS has many times told me to turn the wrong way on a one way street. Many times it has taken me off a main freeway onto a bunch of slow side streets just to put me right back on the freeway a few miles later. I could’ve saved so much time if I followed my common sense but I was in a new state and I didn’t know. I know now and when I go there and the GPS says to get off, I stay on the freeway. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times it will tell me there is a long delay ahead and I never see the delay. Did it get cleared up in the fifteen minutes for me to get there or what happened? Only the GPS knows I guess.

Did you laugh when you read these stories? Did you say I can’t believe they would do that? Did you say use some common sense people? Has anything like this happened to you? I ask, what about you?  Do you use your GPS wisely? I’m not talking about the man-made GPS. I am talking about the GPS, God Positioning System, that God has given all of us.

How many times are we going through our lives and we do something we know we shouldn’t and we hear that little voice in our head saying don’t do this. This is wrong – and we do it anyway. How many times do we do it again when we know what a bad decision it was the first time. We simply ignore the GPS.

How many times has God asked you to talk about your faith, spread the Word, make disciples and we ignore God and keep quiet. I know I have done this more times than I would like to admit to. Fear. God are you sure? You want me to go clear over there to the other side of the room and talk to someone. Look at all those people in between us. By the time I get over there they will be gone anyway. We unplug the GPS.

Could you imagine being Abraham? I’m not even talking about sacrificing your own child here, that’s for another story. I’m talking about if God said “hey you, gather your things and head out. I won’t tell you where you are going or for how long you will travel but just go, and I will lead you.” Would you do that?

What about Moses? After wandering the desert for forty years God says 

at which Moses replied,

We all say who am I God? Why should I go? Can’t you send someone else?

What about Jonah?

He was swallowed by a giant fish then he was given a second chance.

What about Noah? He could’ve said no God, people will think I am crazy building an ark. What if he didn’t build it to God’s specific directions.

What about Jesus? Jesus was betrayed by a close friend, falsely arrested, accused, tempted, condemned, beaten until almost dead, crucified on a cross, and died alone and deserted by most of His followers. Yet He was never lost!

What about you? Are you following where God is asking you to go? If you head that direction but then realize the road is full of potholes and obstacles, do you turn around or keep going forward? Do you tell yourself you know a better way even though God is telling you to go a different way? I truly believe that sometimes God will have us crash into a building if that’s what it takes to get our attention. Sometimes He will have us hit rock bottom just to get us to ask Him for help.

God has given each of us an inner compass. A sense of right and wrong. Morals. Some of us choose to ignore these things and do what we want to do. Some of us will listen to the man-made GPS and not the God made GPS. Some of us choose to sit on the couch and not go anywhere.

When you are lost don’t be afraid to ask for help. When you run into an obstacle, don’t be afraid to go through it. When someone is telling you to go in the wrong direction, don’t be afraid to ask what would Jesus do? We can’t live this life living blindly. God has given us a purpose and a direction. He has also given us free choice to follow our ways or His ways. What GPS will you follow?

How easy it is for us to follow this world and its directions but not God’s directions. God doesn’t see only where you are at, He knows where you are going.

I Will Follow by Chris Tomlin – 

Move In The Right Direction by Gossip –  

You’ve Got A Plan by Karysn Robb- 

Circles by Anthem Lights – 

Put It In Drive by Tony Carter – 

Messengers by Lecrae (feat For King & Country) – 

Soul On Fire by Third Day – 

A Pep Talk from Kid President – 

Alive and Running by Kristian Stanfill – 

Running Out of Air by Rekoncyle –

Running In Circles by United Pursuit Band – 

I’m Running by Mary Mary – 

Keep Running by Satellites and Sirens – 

Running Away by Seventh Day Slumber – 

Coincidence or God’s Plan?

On July 15  I wrote God I Am Tired.  Most of it was about being tired of all the rain this summer. We have had enough but our friends in California could use some. Since then we have had very little rain. We had a storm last night but other than that nothing of significance. Our forecast is for seven straight days of sun and no more than a pop up shower. Did you see the rain in California this past weekend? On July 18 San Diego had a record for a day in July with 1.03 inches of rain. Then they received another .66 inches Sunday making July the wettest month on record. As of Monday morning they had a total of 1.7 inches, the old record was .92 inches. Los Angeles had .38 inches of rain over the weekend. Lancaster 1.59 inches, Riverside 1.37 inches, San Luis  Obispo 1.28 inches. More rain was expected for July 20th.  Coincidence or did God hear my cries for less rain?

My wife and I met online. Of all the dating sites she just happened to be on the one I was on. Of all the women I was looking at, she was the only one that didn’t have a picture. When we first started talking she asked if I wanted one and I said no. Our first date was the first time I saw her. Eleven and a half years later we are still together.  Coincidence or God’s plan?

We drove four and a half hours to go to Gull Lake Ministries in Michigan only to meet an amazing Christian couple who I have a lot to learn from who only live two miles from us. If we had never went there we would’ve never met these new friends in our lives. Coincidence or God’s plan?

Karen Kingsbury talks about angels walking and how she got the idea on an airplane flight. In forty minutes she had over thirty pages of outlines, characters, etc.  I would write down her book Angels Walking to read but never read it. Until 8 months later when I start to blog and how the characters in it are like me and some of the things I blog about. Coincidence or God’s plan?

Viktor Frankl was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist. He had a choice to make. He had a visa to leave his country and come to the United States before the Nazis took his country and send him to concentration camps. What to do?When he returned home, he found it. A piece of marble was lying on the table. His father explained that it was from the rubble of one of the nearby synagogues that the Nazis had destroyed. The marble contained the fragment of one of the Ten Commandments — the one about honoring your father and your mother. With that, Frankl decided to stay in Vienna and forgo whatever opportunities for safety and career advancement awaited him in the United States. He would later write that even in the worst conditions, even in suffering, life can have meaning. He would write the best selling book Man’s Search For Meaning. Coincidence that one piece of marble survived and wound up in his dads hands or God’s plan?

Have you ever totally slept through your alarm and was running late to work only to find out there was a terrible accident right at the intersection you would’ve been at if you had woke up on time? Have you ever started out on your morning run wanting to go one way but something tells you not to go that way, then you find out on the news that another runner was attacked on that route you wanted to run?

There a alot of stories out there of guardian angels. I have heard of a girl named Diane walking alone down a dark alley and seeing a guy standing there. She prayed to God for protection and she walked right by without any harm. Then the girl twenty minutes behind her was attacked. Diane read what had happened and came in to identify the attackers. She asked the police why he didn’t hurt her and he said “because she wasn’t alone. She had two tall men walking on either side of her.”

Another story of a beginning surfer who went out by himself one morning so he wouldn’t be embarresed with all the times he fell off. He was the only one on the beach and the water. He fell off and was caught in a riptide. He thought for sure he was going to die but then another surfer came up beside him and gave him his board. He got to the shore and looked out in the water to thank the other surfer but no one was there.

Do you have any stories of “coincidence” or of angels? I would love to hear about them.

A little conversation with God I read a few years back that I have never forgotten.

Me: God, can I ask You a question?

God: Sure

Me: Promise You won’t get mad

God: I promise

Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?

God: What do u mean?

Me: Well, I woke up late

God: Yes

Me: My car took forever to start

God: Okay

Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait

God: Huummm

Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call

God: All right

Me: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn’t work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?

God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that

Me (humbled): OH

GOD: I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.

Me: (ashamed)

God: The first person who made your sandwich
today was sick & I didn’t want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn’t afford to miss work.

Me (embarrassed): okay

God: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn’t even let you talk to them so you would be covered.

Me (softly): I see God

God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t think you wanted to be in the dark.

Me: I’m Sorry God

God: Don’t be sorry, just learn to Trust Me…. in All things , the Good & the bad.

Me: I will trust You.

God: And don’t doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.

Me: I won’t God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.

God: You’re welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children.

The Call by Matt Kennon – 

Closest I’ve Ever Been by Keith Anderson – 

Angels Among Us by Alabama – 

Angels by Owl City – 

Heroes by Casting Crowns – 

Beautiful People by Tim McGraw – 

Everyday Heroes by Dave Carroll – 

Angels by Austins Bridge – 

Army of Angels by The Script – 

Angels In Waiting by Tammy Cochran – 

If I Could See by Amy Grant – 

Ordinary Angels by Tate Stevens – 

God Laughs by Delta Goodrem – 

Ironic by Alanis Morissette –