A Tree That Touched The Sky

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I saw a tree that touched the sky

It hurt my neck to look up so high

I wondered if I could climb to the top

But after a few feet I had to stop

Doubt crossed my mind, am I worthy?

I think I am a little too dirty

What if I went a few more feet?

I wondered just what I would see

But another doubt, am I good enough?

Am I really worthy of love?

But a voice from somewhere inside

Told me to continue to climb

A quarter of the way up a whisper so small

What are you doing? Don’t you know you could fall?

Somewhere inside something told me not to fear

Don’t look down because the top is almost near

Halfway up I grew weary and tired

Voices everywhere telling me he’s a liar

Do you really believe he forgives?

Look at how you have lived!

So many wrongs, so many mistakes

Half your life you’ve been a fake

I reach for another branch, I must continue

Leave the past in my rear view

Why do you continue to climb?

What is it you are looking to find?

A voice says it’s not that far down

Let’s get back to solid ground

Another voice says you are almost there

It’s getting harder to breathe with this thin air

Maybe I should turn around

Back to the earth so green and brown

But something pushes me to go higher

I swear I can hear an angel’s choir

Three fourths the way I have climbed

Pushing onward, I am no longer blind

The negative voices telling me I must stop

Are still there but I listen not

I know why I found this tree

But this knowledge isn’t only for me

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I must tell you of all the truth I have acquired

On this journey where I had all my heart desired

But nothing ever seemed to satisfy

I was always searching but empty inside

I learned more the closer I got to the top

About grace and forgiveness and a true love

A few more branches, just a stone’s throw

When I heard a voice from a long time ago

Give it up, you are not good enough

Look at you, so unworthy of love

Do you really believe you can change?

Why don’t you turn around, reverse your way?

You are ugly and you have a terrible past

Even if you find love, it won’t last

The tree offered me another of its arms

I climbed higher, knowing there would be no harm

I knew in that instant my past did not define

The future was there for me to climb

Another branch or two

I was that much closer to the truth

But I felt the tree start to sway

I wondered if this is why so many walk away?

When the tree sways, people become afraid

So, way up here, I started to pray

For those in mansions, homeless on the streets

For those that always seem to win and those who are always beat

For those that are addicted to fight their pain

For those that have so much more to gain

I prayed for things unseen and those that are seen

I prayed for you and I prayed for me

Forgive me for what I’ve done

Into your arms I want to run

I no longer want to hide my face

I want to accept your love and grace

If you could help me climb a little more

I know I will never be who I was before

Then I felt a hand grab mine

He pulled me up to finish my climb

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Dear God by Hunter Hayes-  

Breakthrough by Chris McClarney – 

Here I Am by Lincoln Brewster – 

Breaking Point by Sanctus Real – 

Days Gone By by Hillsong Young & Free – 

 

 

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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 – 

 

A Terrible Tale

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This is a terrible tale

One that doesn’t end well

If you must continue to read

You must know the hero will bleed

The hero fought all day and into the night

He fought a brave and valiant fight

I must tell you our hero was strong

Many an enemy did not last long

They died by his very own hands

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But our hero was alone when he took his stand

Our hero was very brave

But he died and he went to his grave

His story could have been different

If only a few others would’ve made a commitment

To stand by his side

To fight the good fight

His life could have been easily spared

But too many others are scared

Not speaking up for what is just and right

Tonight our hero drew his sword in his last fight

It could’ve been different, it really should have ended differently

In fact this terrible tale could’ve ended so magnificently

But because of you our hero has failed

This could  soon be your terrible tale

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Bullet Holes In The Sky by Mary Gauthier –  

When Legends Rise by Godsmack – 

A Few Good Men by Gaither Vocal Band –  

The Water ( Meant For Me) by I Am They – 

She Calls Me Pops

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She calls me Pops

And I call her Dots

I say I love you lots

She just smiles and walks away

One of those games she likes to play

But I know she loves me, even if she doesn’t say

We were close through the early years

Over football we bonded through the cheers

When we lost, we even shared a few tears

Two peas in a pod, we were thick as thieves

At night I would be on my knees

Praying to God don’t let her change, please

But now she says this is what teenagers do, we rebel

I say, ” But you are not a teenager, you are only twelve.”

Then she does an uugggh or some kind of tribal yell

But I know this time is only temporary

Because I’ve been through it before, her sisters and me

So I let it go and wait for the time when she will see

That good old pops was smarter than she thinks

And not everything I do really stinks

Because it will be over before she blinks

Then one day on her wedding day

I will be the one who gives my dots away

We’ll be on the dance floor when the music starts to play

She’ll look at me and say “hello pops”

And I’ll smile at her and say “hello dots”

Maybe, just maybe,  she will say I love you lots

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Short Are The Years by Jason Crabb-  

Slow Down by Nichole Nordeman-  

Fast by Luke Bryan –  

My Last Breath by Black Stone Cherry-  

Female by Keith Urban –  

Woman, Amen by Dierks Bentley –  

Gracie by Ben Folds-  

 

 

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) – 

The Dream

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This was my dream. Leave my life and everyone I know and head to the city. This was my dream and not theirs. I packed my bags and headed out. I saw the tears fall in my rear view mirror. They weren’t my tears but theirs. I pulled out of the driveway and headed to my dream.

I stood on the corner and watched the world go by. How many people have stood right where I am? How many have walked this same street? I believed I was meant to be here. I was going to make my dreams come true.

I worked hard. Harder than most. I sung my heart out. I wrote words that touched those that heard them. I carried a smile everywhere I went. But my faith was wearing thing. My hope was fading with the sunset. I was tired. It felt like no one else believed in my dream.

My heart was turning into the concrete I walked on. My lungs were polluted with the black of darkness that consumed this town.  My thoughts were flying with whatever direction the wind blew. Every no was shaking my soul to the core. Why was I here? I didn’t even know anymore. Somewhere on these dirty streets I lost who I am.

I only needed one yes. One person to believe in me. One break. One…

I stood on the corner and watched the world go by. I thought about stepping off the curb and into traffic. I just stood their with my eyes closed and my heart exposed. Everyone walked by and didn’t say a word. If they only knew how close I was. One word was all I need. One word, one touch, one….

My phone rang. Mom. She always knew. How did she always know? It was time to go home. Not to give up on my dreams but to do a restart. I needed to go back to where I was loved. I needed to find me again.

I pulled in the driveway and saw the tears fall in my rear view mirror. This time they were mine. I let them fall down my face.

I was home.

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Coming Home by Keith Urban-  

Cry Pretty by Carrie Underwood-  

Bright Lights by Mathbox Twenty- 

All Along by Jordan Feliz- 

Never Been A Moment by Micah Tyler-