A Tribute

Mother’s Day has been hard for me the past 16 years. My mom died unexpectedly of a brain aneurysm. She was an incredible mother and I very grateful for how much wisdom she imparted to me. I have written a small piece in tribute to her.
Here it is;

It’s been awhile.. Since I’ve seen you. Since I’ve heard your voice. Since I’ve seen your smile. Since I’ve given you a hug. Since I’ve heard your beautiful voice sing. Since you’ve given me sound advice.

I will always remember the love you had for me, how you were always there for me. I miss you and I can’t wait to see you again Mom.

Plugging Away

What a week this has been and will continue to be. It is the first week that I have ever been scheduled to work 7 days in a row, apart from missions trip, which is a lot different from work. So when Monday came, I took a deep breath and said “I’ve got this.” Well at the halfway point I can say that I am a little tired from the last three days, but the next four days are going to be great. Why? because I have been taking time this week to put God first in spite of my busyness and I have seen God bless that decision. I went to a growth group at my church last night and it was a blast! I am really looking forward to doing life with them. Those two spiritual things have given me a physical boost. I know it is only Wednesday and I still have 4 days of work left but I know with God’s help that I will make it through. Plus it will be a nice paycheck!

It is interesting to me that it is the small things, like a word from a friend, a twenty-minute nap, spending a few quality hours with my wife, can provide me both mental and physical energy.

I will report back how the rest of the week pans out for me, probably late Monday afternoon, whilst I sleep the morning away, and put myself in recovery mode.

Heaven Week

Easter week always gets me to thinking about what Christ suffered on the cross for me. I think of the passage in Isaiah 53, prophesying about what Jesus would suffer for us. So that we could be redeemed, and we could have a personal relationship with Jesus and have an authentic relationship with our savior.

Jesus suffered so much so that He could set us free from sin, yet how easily we as Christ followers can fall back into old patterns, our pride, our flesh, the devil are working against us as we try to follow Christ. Following Jesus is no cakewalk. It’s hard, yet we can’t even grasp how much he suffered for us, the lashes, being spit upon, all his closest friends failing to stay awake.

Remembering what Jesus went through helps me to stave off that annoying and pesky sin nature, it helps me to keep Jesus as the center of my life. His sacrifice reminds me of his amazing, powerful love that He loves me with. He cares for us and will always be there for us, even when we turn away from Him.

Thankful and excited to celebrate, Jesus’ defeat of death and sin and His resurrection this weekend.

I leave you with Isaiah 53, what a powerful chapter.

Who has believed what he has heard from us?[a]
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected[b] by men;
    a man of sorrows,[c] and acquainted with[d] grief;[e]
and as one from whom men hide their faces[f]
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;[g]
when his soul makes[h] an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see[i] and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,[j]
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,[k]
because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Ghosts

Leaving the past behind, letting go. When we leave a place that we spent a lot of time in, there will be memories, experiences some good, some might be bad. Some of those experiences might be like a ghost that we can’t get rid of.

Some of those haunting memories are really stubborn and refuse to leave us, even though we wish they would. They leave a bad taste in our mouth, like biting down into a lemon. They could be fears, or words someone spoke to us, something horrible that was done to us. These ghosts can take many different forms.

They can hold us back, speak lies to us. Tell us we will never get rid of them no matter what we do. In my own past, there have been ghosts trying to hold me back, experiences that left scars.  Sometimes I have let the ghosts win and i have believed the lies they told me. It is hard to overcome them at times.

Yet, I realize that the times that I silence them, are the times that I am the most connected with God. The times that I tune out that negative voice in my head. The time I realize that I am loved and that I am comfortable with who I am. That is when my ghosts disappears.

Scripture Sunday

Today is a special day of remembrance for the church. Palm Sunday. Called Palm Sunday because the people laid down branches in Jerusalem as Jesus entered the city the people, spread out their coats and palm branches as he was coming in humbly on a donkey. For most of the crowd they could not even imagine the pain and suffering that Jesus was going to go through at the end of the week, many of those who laid down their coats and who laid down palm branches, would later that week ask for a murderer to be released and to have Jesus crucified. Palm Sunday reminds me that Jesus will come and reign again and it reminds of the pain that he endured for my sake and for the sake of everyone else, so that we might have a personal relationship with God the Father.

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus[a] sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’” And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” Mark 11:1-10 (ESV)

Embrace Jesus this week and remember what He has gone through to redeem and rescue us.

everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve

My Happy Place

Everyone has a place they like to go and forget the worries of this world. There is something special about that place, it brings about happy memories. The very thought of that place can bring a smile to one’s face. It is one of those thoughts, that compels us to get out of our chair, off the couch and into the car to drive to our spot.

For me that spot is the beach, I love the ocean, I love the sound of the waves, it’s like sweet music to my ears and soul. I also love watching all the people and the way they interact with one other or seek solitude. The beach always brings a calm to my soul, no matter what storms I might be fighting. It is a place I go to calm down and collect my thoughts. The beauty of the sand and the palm trees are like a sweet hug between old friends.

I visited the beach today, I am happy. Where is your happy place?