Yesterday, while visiting my Mom for a couple days on my native island, I was blessed to be a carrier of the presence of God is two specific and undeniable ways.
First, while visiting our local waterfowl and heritage museum, as I sat alone in an old, wooden, rocking chair reflecting on the oh so precious but passed away life of my dear friend, David, while I was looking at his coastal paintings and waterfowl decoy carvings, a gentleman from out West came up and without doubt it was a providential meeting. He was born on the East Coast. I won't take time to explain it all, but as we parted about half-hour after meeting, we shared personal contact info and I said, "I believe you are the reason I came here today."
Second, as I was returning from the east end of the island to our old homeplace at Red Hill on the west end, I passed the barbershop of my childhood. Mr. Paul Wade, the barber, now age 75, was sitting in the barber's chair with no customers. I needed a haircut so I made a u-turn and went back to give him some business. It was such a sacred time of sharing.
Mr. Paul found out on November 19, 2014, the same day of my Dad's funeral, that he had stage 4 cancer. His cancer has responded better to treatment than my Dad's did, and now he revisits his doctor every 6 months. So, he's still here, on his feet, and still filling his role as the island barber.
During and after my haircut, we reminisced about my Dad and Grandaddy Gray, and we cried together. I hugged him, paid him real good, and thanked him saying: "I can't hug my dad, but you had a part in raising me, too, so I am glad I can hug you."
As I headed back to leave in Mom's Buick, I said in a loud whisper, "Thank you, Lord. How precious was that!"
Presence is Everything!
(Click below for full-view image of me and my childhood barber.)
Jesus was called "Friend of Sinners" because He came to deliver (all of us who will call Him "Friend") from all Sin. I am personally a debtor of His Friendship.
In John 15, Jesus said to those closest to Him: "I have called you friends."
I had this thought recently: "Friends of Jesus make good friends of one another."
There's an old Michael W. Smith song about "friends" of Jesus. Take a stroll down memory lane as you listen and as you do my prayer is that you will be blessed by The Friend of All Friends, yes, Friend Jesus.
Today, August 23, 2016, marks 36 years of marriage for my wife, Kim, and I.
Times has mysteriously disappeared, yet love miraculously remains.
The song link below is one song sung at our wedding in 1980. Yes, it's our song.
A few weeks ago we attended a funeral for a wife who has passed of cancer and her husband had a soloist with guitar beautifully sing "our" song, because it was their song, too. It was a tender moment for Kim and me. Yep, memories, emotions, and tears.
Let us cherish the ones we love always and forever and today.
As humans, we are vulnerable to becoming angry. After all, life is hard.
There is of course, a righteous anger that may feel wrong, yet is very right. For example, I get angry when the enemy deceives God's children. Makes me mad, in fact. Still, we must not burn with anger or allow madness to make us mad.
This verse below is a guide and a prayer to help us approach and alleviate anger in our lives. These words give us permission to "be angry" but a condition is attached...
My vulnerable prayer for myself today is that You, O God, would -- by Your amazing grace and loving embrace -- gift me with increased encouragement and revitalized strength deep within. Nevertheless, if You desire to entrust me with more discouragement and the increase of weakness, let it be, only, do not take Your Holy Presence from me. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
I make no apology that I continue to find solace for my own soul as I pray the old Psalms as if they were my own recorded words. I invite you to join me in this practice.
Today, these words bind up my wounds, calm my fears, and restore hope deep within my soul:
"I pour out my complaints in Your Presence and tell You my troubles. When I begin to lose hope, You already know what I am experiencing. I call out to You, O Lord, I say, 'You are my refuge, my own inheritance in this world of the living.'" Psalm 142:2,3, 5 GW remixed
On another note, this "new" song by Jason Upton is an awesome prayer that I cry out from my deepest places as well. The song title is "It Ain't Easy."
This verse from God's Holy Word is troubling, yet true. Let's pray deeply and nonstop for souls (even our own) during this dark age we live in. Let us Love Jesus Passionately, above all else and let us love Him passionately to the very end of the age.
On this blog, I do my best to repeat the best stuff from time-to-time. Today, I repeat an all-time favorite hymn sung by Wintley Phipps. The story that builds up to the song presentation will add to the deep inspiration. Be encouraged by what will likely be the most uplifting 8 minutes and 23 seconds of you day. Trust me.
I am praying the Psalms today, like I so often do, as if I had written the words myself. This verse causes deep gratitude for our Good God to overflow in spontaneous praise and sacred worship from my own deepest being:
Last evening my wife, Kim, and I, enjoyed supper and fellowship with two dear Christian friends.
After a wonderful meal, the spiritual conversation became better than dessert ever could be. The theme of our sharing was "presence" -- specifically, "the presence of God within us".
I was really inspired and left the restaurant renewed in my mind about the beautiful inheritance that is ours: the presence of Christ lives in us as believers.
This Sunday, our local church will be in the middle of a three-part sermon series on "The Ministry of Presence." I plan to close my comments with a song by Casting Crowns. The words of this song are so very powerful and so totally true. I counsel you today, to embrace your inheritance; "Christ in you the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27b
The difficulties that confront us are not intended to discourage us, but to teach us new lessons in the life of faith, and to prove us to see whether we will depend upon the natural, or trust God to perform the impossible. Author Unknown
Personal success in life for me is to be loved, respected, and appreciated most by the one who calls me husband and the two who call me daddy. I am honored to be the son of a fisherman and humbled to be a fisherman (and a shepherd) for the Son. To help others minimize future regrets is my joy-description. Ultimately, I only exist so that Christ can manifest Himself in/through me. In fact, for me, the Secret of Life is found in these 7 words from The New Testament in Colossians 1:27 -- "Christ in you, the hope of glory." I do not consider myself to be "religious" but I wholeheartedly believe that "when relationship RULES, there's little need for rules!" My first published book was released by Beacon Hill Press, Kansas City, on August 6, 2009. It is titled "Relational Leadership -- What I learned from a Fisherman about Leading a Church." My second book from Beacon Hill Press was released in 2013. Co-written with Dr. Brian Charette it is titled "The Stress Factor -- Finding Rest in an Uneasy World." Finally, not to forget, I was master to a 13-year-old Beagle who passed in 2016 -- The Oreo Pup. I miss him. "...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW
My "Relational Leadership" Book. Click Image to review book and/or to order from Beacon Hill Press, NPH, Kansas City. Grateful!
We don't have to. We get to.
Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me...
My late, dear, artist friend, David A. Lawrence, painted this dove in the 1970s. It hangs majestically today in my Granny and Granddaddy's old homeplace. Click on Dove Above for David A. Lawrence's tribute page.
From Cradle to the Cross
From His first cry in the manger to His final cry on the Cross, Jesus lived and lives again with His arms-opened-wide saying, "Come to Me!"
i am grateful. kerry i am.
I pray the time you invest saturating on my RomansTenFifteen blog will inspire your life by radically increasing real intimacy with the Wonderful One, Jesus the Nazarene.
LOVE A GOOD NEIGHBOR!
My neighbor, Philip blessing me.
Lil' Boy, Big Sea. I Stand in Awe of YOU, my GOD!
Click Image to visit America's Best Beach, Ocracoke Island, N.C.
His Beautiful Feet
I want to know Christ... in the fellowship of His sufferings...
Spontaneous Baptism: Click Image for Article
Sunday, May 31, 2009, was Pentecost Sunday and a highlight in my life and ministry as 191 in our local church were spontaneously baptized -- some emmersed, some poured, all humbled! Hallelujah!
Human Feet, Holy Water
i am grateful. kerry i am.
Christ in you, the hope of glory. -- Colossians 1:27b