Immortal

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We rejoiced in another battle won. We have fought many over the last few months but this one was not only of joy but sorrow.  We lost many good men today, and I take the blame.  I am their leader and I did not lead well today. Something was wrong with me.

Looking back on my lifetime, I have fought many battles and I have never, not ever, not even once been nicked, scratched, cut or anything. I have walked away from all those battles unscathed. I have had men die, but they were far and few between. I have fought battles alone and never lost.  The enemy could not touch me.

Some say God must have His hand on me. Some say that I am extremely lucky.  I don’t believe in luck.

I have walked into cities that were destroyed by the black plague and I did not get sick. I have walked into small villages that were so decrepit that stray dogs would not even live there.  In fact, I have never been sick a day in my life. Not a cough, not a fever,  not even a single sniffle.

That all changed three days ago.

A few of my men and I were relaxing and drinking a few at the local bar. We parted ways and I started to go down an alley I had walked down hundreds of times. Immediately, the hairs on my arms and neck stood up. Something didn’t feel right. I drew my sword, prepared for battle. Two demons jumped from the shadows. I easily disposed of the first one. As I faced off against the second one, a thought came into my head. One that I never had before.

You can not win this one.

It came and was gone just as fast but it stopped me in my tracks. And in that second of delay, the demon swung his arm. I ducked but his long fingernails grazed my arm.  I came back at it with an uppercut and then my sword sliced through his neck.  His headless body fell at my feet and I was victorious again.

It was then I noticed I had been cut. My arm was bleeding.  For the first time in my life, I felt pain.

I fell asleep that night and woke in a cold sweat. Nightmares came to me and I could not escape them. I could not fall back asleep. My heart was beating out of my chest and my head was on fire. I tried to get out of bed but my legs would not cooperate. I fell to the floor. I stayed there until the morning light.

Morning came and it was like nothing had happened. I picked myself up off the floor. My heart was beating normal, the fever gone.  My strength was back.  I wondered if it had all been a nightmare. My imagination was running wild.

It was Wednesday. Drill day.  Every Wednesday when we were not in battle, my men and I had drill day. We went through the basic fundamentals of battle. Defense, offense, blocks, attacks, etc.  We also did obstacle runs and uphill runs to make us stronger, to have more endurance than our enemy.  I ran circles around my men. No one could ever keep up.  But today, I had nothing. Halfway through I dropped to my knees, out of breath. Out of energy.  What the heck?  My men teased me until they saw my face. I was pale as a ghost. I fell on my back and grabbed my cut arm. It felt like it was on fire. My heart was racing. My men picked me up and we walked back to town. What was going on?

Then I heard the voice again, you can not win this one.

You don’t know who I am,  I conquer everything and everyone, I replied to no one.

The next day we were attacked like we had never been attacked. So many demons. The battle lasted for two days and I made many mistakes. I could not think straight. I could not lead my men, I had no strength to do so.  I should’ve put my second in command to the front, to lead, but I was too proud. I kept telling myself I can get through this like I have so many other battles.  But this wasn’t like any other battle.  We won but we lost a lot of men.  A lot of good men and it’s all on me.

The fevers kept coming, my head was on fire.  My heart beat irregularly. I couldn’t catch my breath if I walked more than a minute. Yet, I was too stubborn to see the sorceress or the doctor.  Only weak people go to them. But yet, I could not shake what was happening to me.

You can not win this one.

I was getting sick of this voice. But I was getting more worried about the shape I was in. My people needed me, my town needed me. I had to give up and seek help. I could not do this on my own.  I went to the doctor and all their fancy machines, medicine, and spells. I listened closely, the rest of my life depended on what they told me I had to do.

I am slowly getting better, but I have let others lead my men to battle. I have taken a step back so I can take a few steps forward. It is a long road to recovery, but the doctors say I will make it.

I have come to realize that I am only a mortal man. A man who knows I can only be immortal when I pass this from this life to meet my maker.

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As I was writing part of this, I was listening to the new Building 429 cd and this song came on. Funny how God works.

Joy Unspeakable by Building 429- 

Soul’s Anthem ( It Is Well) by Tori Kelly – 

Miracle Or Not by Alisa Turner – 

More Than Gonna Make It by Alisa Turner – 

Long Year by Jackie Lee – 

 

 

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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 – 

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 – 

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 – 

The Clock

For something that only has one thing to do, I get blamed for a lot of things. You would think that I would mind, but I don’t. It really isn’t my fault for the problems in people’s lives. I mean all I do is go around in circles, twice a day.  You know today what you wasted yesterday. You know today that you have the same amount of time as tomorrow to do what you need to do. How is it my fault you didn’t get it done ?

I come in many forms. Sometimes I have hands. Other times I have a digital read out. Sometimes I have numbers, sometimes I don’t. No matter what I have or don’t have, my job is the same each day. Many of you say I am only right twice a day.  Good one. I have to laugh when I hear that.

Often times, no pun intended, people look at me and can’t believe how much time has went by. Other times they can’t believe how slow I am going. I am here to tell you I do neither.  I am constant. Always the same. 86,400 seconds then I reset to zero. Well, there was this one time when God stopped me but that’s the only time.  Unless He asks again because I will never say no to God. Would you?

Let me ask you, what is your problem with me? Never mind, let me guess. I don’t have enough time. Or is it I have too much time on my hands. Isn’t it funny that when you have too much time it seems like you don’t have enough time? How many times have you sat doing nothing when you could’ve been doing something? You think Tom Brady ever said I don’t have enough time to read the playbook this week? You think Michael Jordan ever said I don’t have enough time to practice my jump shot?  They had to sacrifice other things that took up their time to make time to do what they needed to do. I bet they don’t always sleep eight hours a day. I bet they don’t watch three hours of television a night. Do you think they ever said I am too busy to do what I need to do to be successful?

Mother Teresa said “yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only  today. Let us begin.” You think she ever said I don’t have enough time? If she was alive today how much time do you think she would spend on Facebook? How many selfies would she take?

Anyway, back to my story. I am like God in a lot of ways. I am the same today as I was yesterday as I will be tomorrow. I will never change. I am not God. Many of you look at me like I am. Many of you curse me because you didn’t do what you had to do in the time you had to do it. Are you more mad at me or yourself? I didn’t force you to waste your time today. I didn’t force you to spend your time that way. I didn’t tell you to spend ten minutes flirting with that woman instead of spending ten minutes calling your wife. Yet you blame me for not having enough of me to give to your wife.  I didn’t ask you to spend thirty minutes looking at pornography instead of reading the bible. Yet you blame me for not having enough of me to get to read God’s word.

You know what you have to do in the time you have been allotted. On your death bed you can’t say you didn’t have enough time. I have seen it happen too many times. I regret I didn’t spend enough time with my family. I regret I spent so many hours working. I wish I would’ve spent more time talking to God. I wish I would’ve donated more time to help others. I I I ……I wish, I should have, I could have.   Let me tell you you can. What will you do TODAY to take care of your TOMORROWS and not live in your YESTERDAYS? What will you sacrifice? I am not to blame. 1440 minutes. Each and every day.  I give it to all of you. The same amount.

Don’t be one of those people. I know I might be out of a job by telling you this but throw me away. Live your life with purpose. Do what God wants you to do! Does it matter what time it is or how much time is left in the day? If God says move, does it matter what time I tell you it is?

Now take a minute and look at me. You looked? Seriously? What will you do with the time you have left today? Tick-tock.

Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On by Jimmy Buffett – 

Stop The Clock by Elle Varner – 

Clock Don’t Stop by Carrie Underwood – 

Before Out Time by Jon Foreman – 

Time For That by Clint Black –  

Ain’t Wasting Time No More by The Allman Brothers – 

Time by Hootie & The Blowfish – 

On The Clock by Sena Ehrhardt – 

Time By Ozzy Osbourne – 

My List by Toby Keith – 

Time Is Passing by Dayla – 

Time In A Bottle by Jim Croce – 

Best Of Times by Styx – 

Fly Like An Eagle by Steve Miller Band – 

Right Now by Van Halen – 

Life Won’t Wait by Ozzy Osbourne –