A Town Called Hope

Image result for old western town

I currently live in a town called Despair.  It’s not my permanent residence. I’ll stay here for awhile then move on to another town.  A wandering soul but I always find my way back to Despair.

I choose to stay in Despair. By myself. Everyone else left but I stayed.  The only things left are an old saloon, a hotel and a general store. Everything else is gone. The only visitors I have are the sins of my past.  Visitors that I choose to live with.

I get used to the buildings. Some are crumbling down now but they are familiar. Some have paint chipping off the walls but I have come to know the patterns.  A few doors are hanging off the hinges but I don’t mind.

I don’t see many visitors and when they do come, they don’t stay long. I have a way of running everyone off when they get close. Not that many people want to get close to me. I am a non-talker who is usually self-absorbed and selfish.  There isn’t much time for other people when I am busy trying to keep this town in order.

I sat on an old broken bar stool and ordered a drink of faith but the bartender laughed at me. I was the bartender.  There is no hope, no faith here. He gave me a shot of depression instead. Followed that with a chaser of anxiety. After a few more drinks of sadness, disappointment and fear and I wasn’t lonely anymore.

Behind the bartender was an old broken mirror that reflected what was left of my life.  Broken, scarred, pieces of what was once a beautiful life.  I destroyed that life and never looked back. Yet, it still reaches out to me saying here I am. You are never too far gone. You can have that life again. The man in the mirror laughs at me and tosses back another drink.

In a rage of anger, I grabbed the bottle and slammed it into the mirror. As the glass was shattering on the floor a stranger walked into the saloon.

He about scared me to death the way he looked at me. No one had ever looked at me like that before. There was no condemnation.  There was no disappointment or disapproval. There was only love.

“Hello.  Just wanted to let you know there is a road leading out of this town. It may be hard for you to find right now but it’s there. It leads to a town called Hope.  You’ll pass through Trust,  Faith, Joy, and Love along the way and you will want to spend some time in each of them.  Keep on going until you reach Hope. You will see me again but I will always be with you as you travel. I have never left you nor will I ever leave you.

I stayed in Despair a little longer but his eyes kept reaching into my heart, into my soul.  I looked around the town one last time and I said goodbye to the guilt and shame of my past mistakes.  I said goodbye to the fear that was keeping me here.

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You Don’t Know by Katelyn Tarver – 

Inner Demons by Julia Brennan – 

All My Hope by Crowder (feat Tauren Wells)  –  

Hope Floats by Amanda McBroom – 

I Forgive Me by James Fortune – 

Old Church Choir by Zach Williams – 

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I Remember

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Growing up I always felt like I had a photographic memory. If not, I think it was pretty close. School was pretty easy for me and I hardly ever had to study because I could remember a lot. I know I didn’t have a true photographic memory because I did struggle in some classes, geometry for one. I did have a pretty good memory though.

I remember the one and only home run I ever gave up. It was in little league. I still remember how I felt. I knew as soon as it hit the bat it was going to go far. I think that 35 years later it is probably still be going. That’s how hard it was hit.

I remember the cold and snowy day my parents told my brother and me they weren’t going to get a divorce. I don’t remember knowing they were getting a divorce but I remember when they said they were staying together.

I’ve never been able to remember quotes from movies. I remember a lot of music though. I can’t memorize a bible verse. I know the gist of the verse and can look it up but to say Romans 1:8 or John 2:9 says this, I can’t do it. I can remember who my favorite athletes were growing up and most of their stats.

As I have gotten older, I still remember most things, except where I put my car keys. Strangely enough, I seem to forget a lot of things my wife asks me to do also. I catch myself forgetting some things though. I don’t think I would remember anyone’s birthday without Facebook. Phone numbers, forget it. I can barely remember mine but I blame that more on technology and not having to memorize them like we had to do when we were younger.

I worry about our younger generation. It doesn’t seem like they have to use their brains like we used to. Technology has let them not memorize things because they are stored in their devices. They can do an entire research paper from their laptop. When we had to go to library and get 3-4 books and read and translate it to paper and proofread it etc, our brains had to think. Now it’s copy and paste, proofreading is done for them – as long as the right word is used (red vs read, two vs too, etc.) There is not a computer that would correct that, it takes making your brain think about what you are writing.

The brain is a funny instrument. If you don’t use it, you can lose parts of it. Just like any other muscle in your body, it will deteriorate with time if you don’t use it. Challenge your brain, try memorizing phone numbers. Try doing brain game puzzles and thinking games. Keep alert.

I am writing this today because my wife is currently in Florida taking care of her mom who was recently diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. Her mom is having some depression because of it. Her mom passed away from Alzheimer’s Disease. Medicine and technology have came a long way since then but there is still no cure. Kim is also worried for her future since this seems to be hereditary. I pray that she cast her anxieties, worries and fears on you God.

I just can’t imagine what people with Alzheimer’s Disease go through. Forgetting how to do simple tasks, forgetting who your spouse, your children are, forgetting where you are or not remembering how to get home. I do know that God is always with you and He will never forget who you are. He knows what you are going through and I pray you will remember the peace that God can bring.

Dear God, I pray that You will comfort Pat as she begins this phase of her life. You know what she is going through and I pray that You will bring her comfort and peace in her times of confusion. I pray that she will find rest in Your arms. I pray for her husband Frank that You will give him strength and patience during this time. I pray for Kim and all her siblings that they know You are there and that You are walking beside their mom. I pray You are with all the grand-kids as they learn more and try to understand what is going on. In your name, amen.

I love you Meme.

For more information on Alzheimer’s Disease please visit alz.org or call the helpline 1-800-272-3900.

Could I Have This Dance by Anne Murray – Mom and Frank’s song 

Grandpa Tell Me About The Good Ole Days by The Judds – 

You Carry Me by Moriah Peters – 

Just Be Held by Casting Crowns – 

Shoulders by For King & Country – 

I Am by Crowder – 

Words I Would Say by Sidewalk Prophets – 

Healing Hand of God by Jeremy Camp (devotional video)  – 

Hope Now by Addison Road – 

I Will Remind You by Brian Asselin – 

Sometimes by Charlie McGettigan – 

I Will Remember For You by David Michael Mainelli –

That’s How I’ll Remember You by David Nail – 

I’m Not Gonna Miss You by Glen Campbell – 

Where’ve You Been by Kathy Mattea – 

Remember Me by Chris Mann – 

From His Window by John Smith (musicians for a cause) – 

Let Go by Dewayne Woods – 

Mighty To Save by many but this one Laura Story – 

House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert – 

This Is The Time by Billy Joel –