Hearts In Pieces

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Hearts In Pieces

Was just me and a book
in my small kitchen nook
when the sun cast a ray
over me as I shook

Light turned to dark
hearts were in mourning
and suddenly thoughts
of loss without warning

Stories emerged of special lives
teachers and nurses, and husbands and wives
of heroic deeds, and self-sacrifice
of those who passed and of those who survived

To the mothers and brothers and sisters and daughters
the spouses, grandparents, grandchildren, sons, fathers
the nephews, the friends, the cousins, the nieces
to all those affected, whose hearts are in pieces

When the sun comes up, we wake with you
we mourn your loss and ache with you
pray comfort, you can take with you
know the stories of courage grew our hearts too

-kb


“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18

From A Long Way Off

merciful-father-2629952__480Something I have been thinking about a lot lately is how God in the Old Testament (OT) sometimes seems different from the God Jesus came to make known.  I know that He is not different because God does not change…“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).  The Bible also reveals that Jesus is God…“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.  He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation” (Colossians 1:15), and that He is “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).  So why does it seem like God was more stern in the OT, whereas Jesus makes familiar a God of love, patience, mercy, and forgiveness?  First, I need to say that the OT is not without examples of the love and forgiveness of God…I just get more insight into the gentleness of God, in Jesus.  So this is a question I will continue to ask God about.  But one thing I do know.  I know that God is love…“God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:16).  And I have experienced His love first hand, when at times I have acted less than loving toward Him and He has made it known to me, whether it was through something I read, something someone said, or just a reassuring thought, that He was still there and was present with me.  Through Jesus, God forgives us our shortcomings and not only that, but like the prodigal son, He sees us from a “long way off” and is “filled with compassion” (Luke 15:20).

“Sittin’ Here Lookin’ At All My Stuff”

package-1511683__480Some of you know that I enjoy singing and songwriting and from time to time I share my songs via my blog posts, along with brief explanations as to what they are about.  Today I am sharing my thoughts on a song I wrote called, “Don’t Expect Much.”  It’s about that drive we all have as human beings to collect earthly goods, and how, at the end of our lives, all of the things we have collected will not matter.  When we realize this, we start thinking about what lies beyond this life.  Not sure about you, but I spent many years going my own way, and although I always believed that God existed, I did not spend time seeking Him out.  Then I met someone who began to share her faith with me, and by the way she treated me, made me want to know Him better.  She even gave me a Bible to boot.  It was the best gift she could have given me because it inspired me to learn more about Him.  (*If you are interested in receiving a free copy of the Bible let me know by filling out the contact form at the bottom of this post.  I will send them out while my supplies last.)  For an audio clip of and lyrics to “Don’t Expect Much,” see below.

Don’t Expect Much, Audio (click play):
Lyrics:

hey God, i’m sittin’ here lookin’ at all my stuff

and i’m thinkin’ i won’t need it where i’m goin’
but another thing that occurs to me
i got no good place for my soul to be
and i remember someone tellin’ me
bout livin’ with You in eternity
well, i don’t know You
so, i don’t expect much
cause i have gone my own, my own way
but i’m beggin’ You today, save me
didn’t think i’d be needin’ You
or this hole inside would come bleedin’ through
but every step i took, know now You knew
the good of a God who won’t leave when we do
can i be with You in paradise
you will be with Me in paradise
hey God, i’m sittin’ here lookin’ at all my stuff
and i’m thinkin’ i won’t need it where i’m goin’

 

Freedom In Believing

“We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ.  And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.” – Romans 3:22

horse-430441__480I can very much identify with the man who said to Jesus, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)  One thing I desire is to believe God; to believe all He tells me in the Bible.  I am not advocating trying to hide our questions from Him, or pretending that we don’t have doubts at times, but in my experience there comes a point where a decision needs to be made — to either believe that what we are reading is God’s message to us, or it isn’t.  I would hope that all would be on the side of believing, but with that said, even those who say they believe sometimes struggle with allowing God’s words to penetrate their heart.  I did (do).  But I also know what it’s like to believe Him, and the latter is much better.  When I believe Him, there’s a feeling of freedom that goes along with it.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17

 

 

Judgement Without Mercy

“Then he went back in the meeting place where he found a man with a crippled hand.  The Pharisees had their eyes on Jesus to see if he would heal him, hoping to catch him in a Sabbath infraction.  He said to the man with the crippled hand, ‘Stand here where we can see you.’ Then he spoke to the people: ‘What kind of action suits the Sabbath best?  Doing good or doing evil?  Helping people or leaving them helpless?’  No one said a word.  He looked them in the eye, one after another, angry now, furious at their hard-nosed religion.  He said to the man, ‘Hold out your hand.’  He held it out – it was as good as new!  The Pharisees got out as fast as they could, sputtering about how they would join forces with Herod’s followers and ruin him.” – Mark 3:1-6

drowning-2049247__480Jesus didn’t need to ask the man to stand where everyone could see him, so that they could witness the healing take place.  As a matter of fact, it was a little risky since the Pharisees were watching him, and waiting for him to break their religious laws.  And the text indicates that the Pharisees weren’t just mildly upset by Jesus’ ways, but that they had very strong feelings about stopping him in his tracks.  Jesus pointed out to them that they were holding so tightly to their religious laws that they were oppressing the very people the laws were meant to serve.  He asked a very basic question, “What kind of action suits the Sabbath best?  Doing good or doing evil?”  The Pharisees had become so focused on following their religious rules that love and mercy were no longer considerations when making judgement calls.  They had crowded them out, and their hearts had become hard.  It’s a good reminder to us as we come upon situations where we can either choose to pass immediate judgement or seek to know God’s view of the circumstances.

No One Like You

“Search high and low, scan skies and land, you’ll find nothing and no one quite like God.” – Psalm 89:6

jesus-light-578027__480There is no one like You, God.  When I look around and see what the world has to offer, I know that none of it will last and that one day I will be face to face with You, my Maker.  I am reminded of a time in my life that brought me to a place of wondering about my future, and at that time it hit me that at the end of my life it would come down to just You and me.  The people I love, and those who love me – they do not know my deepest fears.  Only You know all of my thoughts.  One of the things I struggle with is the fact that we all need to say goodbye, at least for a time, to the people we love.  There isn’t any getting around it.  When that happens, You will be the One taking my hand.  No one else can do that.  When I go home, it will be You I am going home to.

“I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.  You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight.  You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence.  I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too – your reassuring presence, coming and going.” – Psalm 139:1-5