musings of a hopefilled soul

Archive for May, 2012

The Fluff

When it comes to God’s love, do we just want the fluff and none of the stuff? You know, the stuff that compels us to delve deeply into the word of God for truth that causes us to grow?

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Insomnia

Nightime,

Bidding my eyelids to close

But thieves dance through my mind

Stealing ideas of sleep

All around me, no matter which way I turn

Thoughts taunting, “Boy did you mess that up”

“You’ll never be able to fix it.”

“You’re mediocre at best ”

“What’s wrong with you?”

Mistakes, regrets….

Tossing, turning, mind racing …

I arise to read, write, pray.

At last sweet exhaustion ….. sleep…

The bliss of morning sunlight…

Fears recede to the distance.

FEAR:

False

Evidence

Appearing

Real

I awaken in the remembrance that I am who God says I am…

Forgiven!

Justified!

Made righteous!

Recipient of grace!

Child of God!

Holy and dearly loved!

New creation in Christ!

Complete in Christ!

Conqueror!

I always walk in triumph!

…..And much more!

Lynn Radke May 29, 2012

We Honor them!

 

Korean War Memorial–Freedom is not Free!

How important it is to recognize our heroes and she-roes!

–Maya Angelou

And I’m proud to be an American

Where at least I know I’m free

And I won’t forget the men who died,

Who gave that right to me.

–Lee Greenwood

These pictures were taken several years ago when we were in DC.  I cannot tell you what emotions, seeing the memorials in person, brought forth!  We owe these brave ones a debt of gratitude we can never repay!!!

Letting Go

How life could exist, apart from him, was inconceivable!
Yet, he was fading away before her very eyes. 
If she could just get him to eat a bite or two,
Maybe a glimmer of the strong, vibrant man he once was, could be seen. 
Yet all her efforts produced only piles of favorites, untouched on the plate.
Eating was no longer a desire, but an event of exhaustion.
The disease was relentlessly luring him away from her.
She begged him not to go…. not to give up! 
Her tears, a river of grief, became a friend that would not leave.
“He’ll be better tomorrow, he just needs to rest,”
She would tell herself, to make the burden of today, bearable.
Yet cruelly, tomorrow’s hope was not dressed as she imagined.
She saw the distant look in his eyes, now begging to close,
The strength it took to summon one more breath to be labeled alive,
The cool, moist skin never to be warm and loving again.
And in that moment her love for him was stronger than 
Her desire for life’s aria to be sung as SHE had written.
He was struggling and leaving and sighing and slipping through her fingers.
She whispered words she felt would never be true, 
“It’s ok to go, sweetheart .  I’ll be just fine”
A sigh… a sob… then she spoke again,
“I love you too much to ask you to stay.”
…The spoken key, gently unlocked the door, swinging it wide open,
And he drifted peacefully to another world where pain and suffering are not known.
Goodbye… my… love…
……..Ahh!.. the courage, the love, to be found in letting go!

Having provided Hospice care for 12 years of my nursing career, I write this in honor of women and men everywhere who must find the courage to say goodbye to their dying loved ones.

Lynn Radke May 23, 2012

Love Is More Than A Group Hug!

As believers, a goal we should all seek to achieve, is to love others as Christ loved us. Sometimes we fail miserably at this endeavor.

Christians are strongly criticized for being unkind and unloving to those who hold different views or lifestyles than our own.  I too, am appalled at actions taken against those who are not like ourselves or believe as we do. We can and should do better.

Christ loves each of us with a tender, encompassing, amazing love that none of us can ever deserve!  Thank God for our merciful heavenly Father who recognized there was no other way for us to have salvation than through the shed blood of Christ.

Many would have you believe however, that to love others includes condoning  lifestyles contrary to Biblical precepts.  But even Christ’s love did not give approval to sin.

In that tender, compassionate, and forgiving scene of Christ with the woman accused of adultery He told her to “Go and sin no more.”  What kind of love would our Heavenly Father have for us if He just left us in our sin, knowing the consequences it would have on our lives?

The sinner does not walk in freedom because he is bound by the sin he serves.  Our God is greater than that and has so much more for us than for us to remain in the sinful state in which He found us.

God’s tremendous love for us calls us to repentance.  In Francis Chan’s book, “Crazy Love,” he writes:

“Some people encounter Jesus and say, “Sweet Jesus, do You want to join the party of my life with this sin, that addiction, this destructive relationship, and we’ll all just coexist together?”  But repentance means saying, “Sweet Jesus, You are the best thing that has ever happened to me!  I want to turn from all the sin and selfishness that rules me.  I want to let it go and walk with You. Only You.  You are my life now.  Help me to walk away from the enslaving, worthless things in life.”  

All who encountered the risen Lord were forever changed.  He calls us to let go of those things we feel we cannot.  He urges us, with such love, to give it all up to him and he will honor our obedience with more than anything we could imagine.

Someone aptly stated, “We don’t change God’s message, His message changes us.”

I have every intention of loving people in all kinds of circumstances of life with the love of Christ. I would encourage all to do the same.  However, the Bible is filled with loving warnings of the consequences of actions  we are to abandon.

To love without sounding the alarm would be like your neighbor knowing a murder was entering your home in the dark of night and saying nothing.  That would be the most unloving act of all!

Get Up!

From Tony Dungy’s devotional,”Uncommon Life, Daily Challenge” 

“If you fall into a mud puddle, there isn’t much you can do to make matters worse—unless you stay there.”

The Battle

 
While studying scripture I came across Ephesian 6:12-13, a well-known passage telling us,”For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”     
In The Message translation I found  an amazing illustration of the thought we need to be taking from this scripture.  Listen to what it says:
 “This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours.  This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own.  Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so when it’s all over but the shouting, you’ll still be on your feet.” 
Lets not forget about the spiritual battle we face on a daily basis and be prepared with all of the armor God has afforded us.  We deceive ourselves if we think this is not happening.  Fight on!