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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Shelly Swims Sideways

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It was a new day under the sea. A day just like every other day. Except this was no ordinary day. For today was the day Shelly was born.

Shelly was like every other fish. Shelly could blow bubbles and Shelly could smile. Shelly could talk and Shelly could laugh. Shelly had a laugh that could make you smile from gill to gill. Shelly could get mad and Shelly could get sad. Shelly loved to read and Shelly loved to play with the other fish. Shelly loved to go to school.

But Shelly wasn’t like every other fish. Shelly was born without a right fin.

Shelly couldn’t swim like the other fish could swim. When the other fish played hide and seek, Shelly couldn’t hide in the same places they did. Shelly couldn’t swim straight into hiding places. When the other fish had races, Shelly couldn’t swim as fast as the other fish.

Shelly could only swim sideways.

Some of the other fish accepted Shelly for who she was, but most fish made fun of her. They swam circles around Shelly. They made fun of “one fin” Shelly. They asked her why she wasn’t like them. They told her of all the things she can’t do.

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Shelly’s feelings were often hurt, but Shelly knew she was not who they said she was. She knew she was beautiful and strong. When they told Shelly of all the things she couldn’t do, Shelly thought of all the things she could do.

Shelly learned to be creative. Shelly learned to improvise. Shelly learned to turn her weaknesses into strengths. Shelly taught her friends how to use only one fin to swim. Shelly’s friends learned to swim sideways.

Shelly was in school one day when a giant, hungry shark saw them. The shark swam straight at the school, mouth wide open, ready to eat. The fish that could swim straight could not avoid being the shark’s dinner.

Except the shark didn’t count on Shelly’s quick, creative thinking. Shelly told her friends to all swim sideways as fast as they could. The shark saw them break away from the other fish and became so distracted he swam right into the side of a large rock.

When all the other fish saw what Shelly and her friends did, they were amazed that they would risk their lives to save theirs. Especially when they were so mean to Shelly. That is when they realized that Shelly’s disability was actually a gift.

It was a new day under the sea. A day just like every other day. Except this was no ordinary day. Today was the day Shelly was accepted for her she is. Today was the day Shelly wasn’t different but was unique. Today was the day Shelly was just like every other fish.

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God’s Will by Martina McBride-  

God Doesn’t Make Mistakes by Carolyn Dawn Johnson – 

Who Says by Joshua Micah – 

Pretty by Lauren Alaina – 

Your’e Gonna Rise by Manafest – 

How Far I’ll Go by Alessia Cara –

Shine by Lolo-  

Conqueror by Estelle – 

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 – 

 

The Last Of The Innocent

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I had one job. Why they entrusted me with this job I had no idea. I’m not the most reliable person, but that is another story. Perhaps they thought I had a strength in me that even I did not know I had. Perhaps they secretly thought I would fail.

Protect the child.

That was my one and only job.

The child was the last of the innocent. All the others have allowed the world to take their innocence away. All the others before had failed to protect their child they were assigned. I would not fail mine. I could not fail. After all, this child was the last. If I failed, all innocence would be lost.

As soon as I had put the the thoughts in my head that I could and would do it, the lies started. Do you really think you can do this? All others have failed, what makes you so special? Why would they even pick someone like you? All hail the king of double standards.

Then the fear followed shortly after. What if I can’t? What will happen to the world? Will everyone blame me? What will they do to me when I fail?

When I fail? A few moments ago I was thinking that I could not fail. How quickly the momentum shifted. It wasn’t even like I believed the lies and fears, but the crack had opened that made me not believe the truth, that I could protect this child.

At first, when I looked at the child I felt a huge burden on my shoulders. I had anxiety and my heart would beat a million beats a minute. Then the child would look at me and smile and all that went away. It wasn’t my job to protect the child from all the harm in this world. It was my job to show the child all that was good in this world. It was my job to love the child, unconditionally. It was my job to teach the child the way the child should go. It was my job to teach the child of hope, faith, and love. It was my job to show forgiveness. We all make mistakes and the child must learn from me on how to handle them.

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It was my job to show the child what a good man should be, even when the child was no where around. It was my job to be a light when most people see only darkness. It was my job to behave in such a way that if the child saw me, the child would not disapprove.

I realized my one job in protecting the child was turning into a lot of other jobs. They all worked together for one purpose, protecting the child.

In the end, it was a lot of pressure on my shoulders. I had to watch every move I made and every word I said. I had to not only teach love but show love. It became easier each and every day as I lived what I was taught and what I passed down to the child. It is a difficult world, one with a lot of jaded people. But, there are also a lot of good people. There is more hope and more love than I have ever seen before. There is light forcing its way into the cracks of darkness.

I could not let lies and fear win. It was my job to protect the child. Now the child must go out into the world.

Will you watch for the child and help when you see the child? Now it is in your hands. You, the world, must protect the child. It is time for us all to rise up and protect the last of the innocent.

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Pick It Up by Luke Bryan – 

Way Beyond Myself by Newsboys – 

Safe In My Father’s Arms by Sanctus Real-  

You Are The Reason by Calum Scott- 

Ready by Third Day – 

Charlie Chases Cars

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Charlie was just a young puppy when he chased his just first car. Charlie loved the thrill of chasing cars. Charlie wondered what would happen when he caught one.

Charlie grew bigger and faster. Charlie ran every day to build up his strength to catch a car. Charlie didn’t have time to play with other dogs. Any dog that tried to get close to Charlie, Charlie would run over on his way to try to catch another car.

Then one day, Charlie was chasing a car when he saw Bella. The world stopped for Charlie. Charlie didn’t think about chasing cars as much.

Charlie and Bella fell in love. Charlie and Bella started having puppies. Charlie and Bella were happy. Charlie started to worry about how he could provide for them.

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Charlie started chasing cars again. Charlie ran and ran. Charlie would stay out late chasing cars.

Charlie and Bella started to fight. Bella was left all alone while Charlie chased cars. Charlie’s kids wanted him to be home more. Charlie’s kids wanted to spend time with their dad. Charlie kept chasing cars.

Then one day it happened. Charlie caught a car. Charlie was so happy. Charlie thought I finally did it. But in that same moment, Charlie had another thought.

Now what?

Charlie realized he had made it to the top but that he had destroyed his life. Charlie had no friends. Charlie and Bella didn’t talk anymore. Charlie didn’t know what his kids were like.

Charlie was miserable at the top. All the long hours, all the sacrifices, all the birthdays he missed to get there.

Charlie wished he didn’t want to chase cars. Charlie wished he could do things differently. Charlie wondered if they would ever forgive him.

Charlie didn’t want to chase cars anymore.

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Cat’s In The Cradle by Harry Chapin – 

Lose My Soul by Tobymac-  

Just Another Birthday by Casting Crowns – 

Love I Leave Behind by Hannah Kerr – 

Without You by For King & Country – 

How Could You Leave Us by NF – 

Without Love by Bon Jovi – 

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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Rodney The Raccoon – Inside The Mask

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(image credit: Mari Jones from Journey of a Million Miles)

“Oh, hello there.  My name is Rodney. It’s nice to see you. I don’t get many visitors. Most people see the mask and think I am bad.  I must tell you, I am not! At least most of the time. I am honest if nothing else. My mom always told me honesty is the best policy.”

“Come on down and have a sit. I don’t have rabies or anything. My uncle Phil had rabies but he is long gone. Only one in the family to get rabies but everyone usually thinks we are all rabid.  It’s like your family. I bet you have one bad apple in that tree.  Does everyone think you are bad because of them?”

“Let me tell you something else. We eat a lot of different things from pesky insects and small rodents to fruits and nuts. Yes, that was me in your trash can the other day but I could not find any other food. I had to feed my family. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.  You know how many of your kind I have seen trying to find food in trash cans. It’s sad if you ask me.  I mean me, I’m an animal and I don’t have anyone looking after me except maybe my near family. Your kind though, you throw away about half the food you eat. I see it in your trash cans and land fills. Shouldn’t you be helping others of your kind out instead of throwing it away?  How about buying less so there is less to throw away and using that extra money to give to a food bank or something? I once helped a deer out. Not typical for me but I just could not eat anymore berries so instead of tossing them to the ground, I gave them to the deer. Next time you see that homeless guy, look past what you see and feel what’s in his heart. You won’t miss that dollar or that sandwich you give him. Maybe even your heart will  grow three sizes that day if you did.”

“The mask?  What’s up with the mask you ask?  Take a look around you, everyone wears a mask.  Some you just see easier than others. My mask is for me to be able to see better at night. Look at that person over there? Do you think her mask is to protect her from her past?  She would love to take off her mask, get rid of her past mistakes but she is too scared to take it off. You don’t see a mask? Trust me, it’s there.  Look at that guy.  Do you think his mask protects him ? He looks like he is big and tough and can take on the world but inside he is hurting, he is begging to be loved, he is a big softy but no one will ever see that.  That little girl over there? Yes, another mask. She tries to put a smile on and be happy but I see her eyes. Her pain. She gets yelled at everyday. Her parents fight all the time. She doesn’t think she is worth anything.  That’s sad to see a mask on someone so young. I think you humans can do better. Take off the mask. Like my mom always said, honesty is the best policy. It will release so much stress and hurt.”

“What? You thought I was an animal to stay away from?  Why?  Because of my mask and the rings on my tail.  Really?  Take a look around you. Do you stay away from everyone that looks scary?  The guy with all the tattoos?  He is the nicest guy I ever met. The black man over there gave me his leftover food one day. I took that right home to my kids. They were so thankful. The white guy over there killed a snake one day and brought it over near my home. I eat anything.  Dead carcasses are sometimes my favorite. The Asian guy over there came right up to me one day, just like you did today, and just started talking. I sat there and listened. The Muslim lady over there wept with me one day when my youngest baby was hit by a car.  I don’t discriminate. I need all of you to survive.  Sometimes I help you, sometimes you help me.  That’s the way it should be. ”

“It doesn’t matter who you are. I will come up to you. That scares most people who only see my mask. Do you know I have a friend names Jesus who was the same way?  He talked to everyone, and there were people who were afraid of Him. He only wanted to teach people about His father and the love He has for all of us and how we should treat others.  Yet, people were afraid of Him and had Him crucified. He died for all of us. That includes you. Isn’t that awezing?”

“What? That’s not what you are taught. That’s a shame my friend. A real shame. I can call you friend, right? That’s what you are to me. I think you should take my words to heart. Go out and look at what’s inside a person. Get to know them.  Get past the masks and the colors.  You might be surprised what you find.”

“Have an awezing day my friend.  What’s that? You don’t know what awezing is? Oh, that’s a word I made up combining awesome and amazing. See, never know what you will find once you get to know someone.”

(image credit: Laura Ross)

Walking Blind by Javier Colon – 

Chosen Ones by Blanca – 

Get To Know Me by Mateo – 

Colors of the Wind by Tori Kelly – 

Heal The World by Michael Jackson – 

Where Is The Love by The Black Eyed Peas – 

Unite by 1GN – 

World Changers by Matthew  West – 

Love Feels Like by TobyMac – 

Rainbow Connection by Gwen Stefani (original by Kermit the Frog) –