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As everything summer winds down. Fall gears up for another color season, another group exit as the birds vacate for warmer climates, and my dad dreads shoveling.
I think of the joys and sadness that is autumn, and am reminded of our lives, 'big picture'. Our seasons, as human beings, are but stages of a drama that we live minute to minute, and year to year.
Our life begins, floursihes, changes, winds down and eventually, grows still and we are gone from this life.
The dismal sides of life are so obvious that they are hard to miss. Yet, to simply see arthritis and liver spots, and not grandchildren and experience, is shorting ourselves of something incredible.
The natural, gives us fall, a colorful and brilliant time. People travel thousands of miles each year to see the best color. They plan entire vacations around it.
I want to point out that those folks in their, 'autumns' of life, have much to share and contribute. They are absolutely colorful with life experiences and brilliant with advice and common sense gained throughout the seasons of their lives.
Although, many of the birds have vacated for warmer climates... They may not have their health, they might not have all the restraint and poise they once had. They are still here, and filled with many other wonderful things. Many things hide just underneath the surface. Waiting to be discovered like hibernating wildlife.
Perhaps if we as individuals, and we as a culture, looked a little closer and tried a little harder to appreciate and respect our seniors, and elderly...
My dad wouldn't dread shoveling.
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.
At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, but the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
Feeling like a bitter failure, it finally spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts", the pot said.
The bearer said to the pot, "Did you ever notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers for the house. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace my home."
Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots, but it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for
what they are, and look for the good in them. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall never be bent out of shape.
Some years ago on a hot summer day in south Louisiana a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.
His mother in the house was looking out the window saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could. Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his mother.
It was too late. Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs.
That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go. A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator.
Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal, and, on his arms, were deep scratches where his mother's fingernails dug into his flesh in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.
The newspaper reporter, who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, "But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my Mom wouldn't let go."
You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator or anything quite so dramatic, but the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret. But, some wounds, my friend, are because God has refused to let go. In the midst of your struggle, He's been there holding on to you.
The Scripture teaches that God loves you. You are a child of God. He wants to protect you and provide for you in every way. But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril, and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That's when the tug-of-war begins. And if you have the scars of His love on your arms be very, very grateful. He did not-and will not-let you go.
Mr. Macs Life Update..
Well, life has been....notoriously...well, life. (He, he..) So much going on this summer. Not all bad, I want to be sure and point that out right away.
I spent the summer hob-nobbing with my son, my niece and nephew, and just enjoying my family and friends. Oh, and I lost 22 pounds...Woo-Hoo!
Presently, I am still working on the conclusion to the sequel to, "Dreamhouse". (For those of you who are unfamiliar, feel free to take a look. Follow the link on any page of this site.) I still expect to finish up soon. Before the end of the year, certainly....I hope.
I'm working on a Christmas play script for my church. The deadline for that to be completed is the 15th of September. I set the deadline myself...nothing like a little self imposed pressure.
I just took on a new duty of managing a band. Working on promoting them, and concert dates, etc. As well as building their website.
Then there is a few other personal websites that I am the webmaster of. All for friendship and fun. Yet, quite time consuming.
Basically, I'm as busy as I can be. Still my mother thinks I do nothing. LOL I am happy and content. Although, it can really take it's toll.
On a practical note, my spine has really been a challenge, of late. Those out there who pray, please pray for me. The pain can really be unbearable sometimes. Still, we press on.
As I said, 'life is life'.
The lives lost that will forever leave a hole in our hearts. The heroes that fell without concern for their own safety.
Remember, also, all of those heroes that didn't fall. That shed their blood, sweat, and tears, for their jobs, their fellow man, and for their country. They truly have served as warriors of peace and sanity in an unfathomable situation.
Remember the heroes that stayed behind. The single parents that have to raise fatherless and motherless children. All of those who have filled the shoes of those lost in the tragedy 9-11.
Remember the lessons learned. The love for your fellow man, for your family, and for your God. The tragedy is in the past, but keep it in your heart..to remind you to hug a little longer, and to love a little harder.
The things that made America great all those years ago, are still alive and well in our hearts, and in our country. It took a tragedy of epic proportions to remind us.
Let us never forget!
"Exercise daily! Walk with the Lord."
"Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You, who walk in the light of Your presence, O LORD." -Psalm 89:15
Walk with the Lord. Wow, the thought of literally walking with the Lord is awesome. I read this verse, and it hit me where I live. Because I'm so spiritual and close to Him?? Nope. Because I'm fat and I want to lose some more weight. LOL
I have lost 22 pounds, as I have said in another part of this site, and it has been due to various things, but one of them is walking daily. Daily...a consistent and whole-hearted walk.
Our walk in Him, should be just the same. Consistent, and with everything we have. Walking a little further, and a little more brisk every day.
And just like with physical exercise. When you start to neglect it and slow down, you can tell. Your spiritual fitness begins to lag, and you feel slower and like everything you do is a little more of a struggle.
Take a day at a time, but walk with Him daily. If you miss a day, don't sweat it, just make up for it the next day.
God bless you.....
There is a reason why the word bigot sounds kind of like 'big idiot'...
If you're like me this is just a quick note to affirm and encourage what you already know is right. If not...shame on you. (He, he)
To me, people are people. Every socio-economic group, every race, every religion has it's heroes, criminals, winners, and losers.
Recently, it has come to my attention, again, just how ignorant and hateful people can be to each other. I should back up and begin at the beginning, however.
It goes without saying that there are extremists all over the world who hate everyone different than they are. Anyone a different color, nationality, religion; you name it.
There are the obvious ones. The terrorists who attacked America on 9-11-01. The bone-headed bigots who support and control the KKK and other similar groups. These are the big name and big publicity groups. But....there are others.
For example, just recently I introduced 2 of my sons friends, 9 and 11 years old, to some adults I was talking to. The adults were friendly enough, actually, I should say, they were polite. Yet, know them as I do, I noticed the look in their eyes. I knew what was up. You see, what I haven't stated yet, is that these two little guys are black. Very polite, well behaved, and very black.
I watched in disbelief as people that I know and respect began acting paranoid and silly over two little, innocent children. Immediately started watching the kids. As if these little black boys were going to harm the other children who were not black.
When these little guys came to the door of where we were, everyone in the house looked at the window and watched as if they were going to steal the doorbell or something.
Not long before this eye opener, I experienced just the opposite. I have a friend who is black and we used to hang out quite a bit. I noticed one day that he never wanted me to pick him up at home. I never really thought about it, but I was always picking him up at work or at his friends house.
One night I was going to take him home, and he had me stop in front of his neighbors house down the road. I finally started to realize what was happening and asked him if he was ashamed of me. His answer was no, but there was something he wasn't saying. After digging a bit deeper I found that it was not me, it was my color. His family, it seems, doesn't appreciate white people.
I was a little shocked at this reversal, but it is actually pretty common. All people have bigotry and prejudice.
I'm disgusted by it. It's inhuman, it's immoral, and un-christian-like behavior. Whatever way you slice it, whatever creed or role you claim. The right thing to do is NEVER to judge someone based on their color, alone.
Lastly, try this one. There are those among us that have faults that we do not have. They are struggling, or not, with things we would consider wrong or inappropriate. There is nothing wrong with recognizing someones difference in beliefs or what we would see as a definite shortcoming, and/or sin.
What is wrong is when we look at an alcoholic, criminal, or homosexual and write them off because we feel they are hopeless, bad, or disgusting.
I am, in no way, trying to justify wrong, inappropriate, or illegal behavior. Wrong is wrong. It is not for me to judge, anyway. What I am saying is, it's not for you to say, either.
I have a very dear friend who was raised in church. He's very talented. A great singer, a good friend, and a heart for service. Cares for his fellow man, and tries to live a good life.
You'd think that someone this perfect would have no issues to grieve over. No hidden pain, or secret sins.
I spoke to him recently, and he was so torn up inside. He has been dealing privately with the shame and guilt of being a homosexual. (Before I go on. How many of you just clicked your tongue, or released a sigh of disgust?)
He feels, as do I, that to act on or dwell on homosexual thoughts is against Gods plan. He aches for some relief and comfort to deal with his pain and temptations. He told me that he longed for someone to talk to about it, but people were just not open to discuss this issue.
If you doubt this, just think back a few moments ago to that thought, or group of thoughts, that flooded your hearts and minds when I mentioned homosexuality.
The church, and society, in general, can be counselors and comforters to murderers, and rapists, but still cringe and retreat from sexual sin, or deviation issues.
Bigotry, prejudice, hate, intolerance, whatever you want to call it. It's the cancer of our society today.
My uncle is an alcoholic. He's been one ever since I can remember. He has mistreated his body for so long, he is a physical mess. His family for so long, they are a mess.
He went to the hospital recently, and some of us were discussing him. I heard someone that I'm very close to say that he was hopeless, and would never change.
The thought that ran through my mind, just then, is my thought and remaining hope for the world:
Thank God we are not the ultimate judges and deciders of each others fate!
Walk lightly, people. "Judge not, lest ye be judged.." Great advice, if you'll take it..