Thursday, January 29, 2009

Change Your Life.

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.'"
Matthew 16:24-28

Every single second, minute, hour, day, and year of our lives, we, as human beings, conform ourselves to this evil-filled, undesirable, unforgivable world. Our Father in Heaven has commanded us to be as strangers in this world; commanded us not to make it our home. We are here to worship and glorify our Saviour, and call others to do so as well. But all too often, we do just the opposite. We prostitute ourselves into this evil, and therefore, destroy ourselves and suffer unimaginable consequence. It is almost as if many do it subconsciously. 

We are evil by nature, of course, and therefore we all sin- every single one of us. However, an excuse is not available, for one is not in existence. God reveals Himself in His creation, as well as through His followers. There is not one human being in this earth that has any excuse not to know God; although Christians are all called to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8). If one thinks about it, I believe they will also agree that there is no excuse- for it is the truth; and there is no escaping God's eternal truth.

I have been convicted, concerning this immeasurable issue, constantly throughout the past, and I continue to be convicted today. The issue never ceases to depart from my mind. Is the world really that glorious? Not at all. Well, why do we act as though it is? Why is it so seemingly impossible for us to throw away our pride and follow our Saviour? I am in no position to answer that, because I haven't a clue what the correct explanation would consist of. I do know, however, that it is wrong, obviously. Our God sent His ONLY Son to die an inconceivably horrid death just to save us- undeserving, evil, resenting, ignorant creatures. How is it possible for anyone to tune that out of their minds, while knowing the truth behind it? It makes no sense whatsoever. Think about this- if you were or are a father, would you allow your child to be mutilated and suffer the most unimaginable, horrendous death that any human could possibly think up to save anyone? As for me, I think it would be the most difficult thing to consider. So, you've thought about it. Now, why do you take advantage of the fact that our Heavenly Father did that exact thing? 

We are to give our lives to God, follow Him, and glorify Him in ALL we do. We must take up our crosses-carry our burdens- and set Christ-like examples for others to follow. This is a way of ministering to others. It is absolutely essential. 

Living for the world brings one temporary and empty pleasures that last only until we die and face judgement. That is not worth anything. If one lives for God during his or her time on this earth, he will be rewarded with eternal life in paradise. If one does not give his or her life to Christ, they will spend an eternity, which is impossible to comprehend, in the most extreme torture in existence- hell. Which sounds better to you? It is even common sense. Eternity is longer than seventy years, obviously. Think about it. With that said, we are not to be of this world; even if times and overall perspectives change, we are to stand strong for what is right-for what we believe. 

Read Matthew 16:24-28 again. Then again. Now one more time. 

Does this make sense or not? There is nothing a man can exchange for his soul. Not riches, pleasure, pride, popularity. Nothing. 

I strongly encourage everyone to contemplate this strongly and throughout every day. Remember this passage from God's Word and live it. 

God bless.

God's Love. Together. Empty Space.

Below you will find a collection of unbelievably touching poems. These poems were composed by a woman by the name of Patsy McCalop. My aunt, Victoria P, has developed a close bond with this woman. They both have endured similar challenges and hardships that lie about the unforgiving road of life we humans navigate through in this world. This is what draws the two so close; and this is what possessed Patsy to give my aunt these poems. 
Patsy knows them by memory. She can speak them and feel them at any one moment in time. These words are both heartbreaking and heart mending. Ponder them deeply as you take them in. I would attempt to conceive an analysis of some sort, but these collections of truthful words are far too uncomprehendable for one to successfully and completely analyze. 
These poems are simple, heart felt, and spiritually applicable...and simply amazing.



God’s Love

I have seen God’s love in the morning sun as it rises above the trees.
I’ve felt it as it brushes my cheek in a gentle summer breeze.
It’s there in dew on a perfect rose and the twinkle of a baby’s eyes.
It settles softly upon my shoulders as I bow my head to cry.
His love is there to greet me as I rise to start the day.
It’s a lamp that guides my feet as I stumble along life’s way.
When the sun has set in hues of orange and red, I feel His love around me as I kneel beside my bed.
And at the end of life’s journey, when I leave this earthly place, His love is the light that will guide me until I look upon His face.



Together

Darkness is slowly falling on a small country home.
In a rocking chair by a window sits a woman all alone. 
The lines on her face tell a story of a life filled with care.
And her hands so seldom idle are folded as if in prayer.
In her mind’s eye, she sees a grave on a hill not far away. 
Where her husband of sixty years was laid to rest today.
She can almost smell the flowers and hear the chairs refrain.
How someday up in Heaven we all shall meet again.
Alone in the darkness she can almost feel him there, as he bends and gently places his cheek against her hair.
She can almost hear him whisper, Darling, I love you, the way he did so long ago when their love was new.
Dawn is slowly breaking on a small country home. 
In a rocking chair by a window sits a woman all alone. 
The smile on her face tells a story of a body free from care, and her hands forever idle are folded as if in prayer.



Empty Space

The hardest thing I know we’ll ever have to face is to lose someone we love, and feel that empty space.
The chair at the breakfast table, the cold side of the bed, the words that go unspoken with what they would have said.
Others try to fill the void, but they can’t feel our pain.
How can they know how bad we want to hold them again?
But there is One whose love embraces us as we cry in despair.
And we never are alone, for He is always there.
He’s always with our loved ones in their happy place, and He brings their love with Him to fill our empty space.
They would not want us hurting if they could feel our pain.
For they have seen the streets of Glory where we all will meet again.
So reach out and touch a friend, stop and hug a child.
Enjoy your time here on earth; for we know in a little while, we’ll see our loved ones in Heaven when we reach that Golden Shore-
And we will sit at the feet of Jesus, together, forever more.



Patsy McCalop

Monday, January 19, 2009

happy to sad.

There are countless exultant occasions that end up leaving any human being in an extreme, uncomprehendably sad state of mind or emotion. Although the occasion itself may be one of the most monumental, and unforgettable memories of one's life, the outcome, or end, may be one of the most disconsolate experiences one has yet to confront in his or her, short, unforgivable lifetime. 

This strong mixture of emotions is quite difficult for one to successfully explain, however it is so simple for one to experience. It is often brought on by leaving a certain place, in which one has become emotionally attached to; or even a person, with whom one has built an indescribably close relationship with. People often, or not so often, depending on the type of person, discover a certain place, or person, that just magically seems to fit them- their personality, well-being, and likings; a place, or person, that helps them grow, or that places them within their "element." 

I recently experienced an occasion that forced me to be drowned in this "strong mixture of [negative] emotions." 

The place:
I have, over the years, become infatuated with the mountains, especially those of East Tennessee, for it is all I've known. Places such as this successfully, and luminously display God's unconceivable Glory. Mountains can cause one to feel both secure and abashed simultaneously, and there is another example of this "strong mixture of emotions." The secure feeling is derived from the illusion that the mountains surround and protect like walls of a fortress. The abashed, or frightened, feeling is derived from the fact that these mountains are immense, God-made structures containing immeasurable, undiscovered, and unexplored areas amongst their surfaces. They could contain intermingling pieces of danger and beauty, creating an unstable harmony, from which one is restricted from exploring. This sparks curiosity, which, in turn, brings on great fear and unrest in the mind. All of these things make up my fascination with these incredible features; and my departing from these incredible features saddens me greatly. 

The people:
As I previously stated, I have recently experienced an amazing occasion, or in this case, vacation, that ended with great despair, despite how wonderful the actual "occasion" was. It involved people- people I had not, at the time, seen in a very long time. My family has always been close to them, even when we moved away from them. We have always loved them, despite our brief separations over the years. They joined us on this recent trip to the mountains of East Tennessee. We shared innumerable experiences and made such unforgettable memories. I immediately fell in love with them, again, after not being with them for so long. They are the most amazing, lovable, catchy people I've come across in my short lifetime, and I am serious. Every morning, I would wake before anyone else, and walk to their temporary residence too see them. I had only a short amount of time, only a millisecond of my life, to spend time with them. So, I took every opportunity available to be with them. I will never forget the memories we made, and experiences we shared. Leaving them once again was difficult in itself. That is what brought me to compose this piece of writing. I HAD to find a way to put my feelings down and relieve myself of this continuous longing. I have never been so attached to any single family at one time in my whole entire life. I truly do love them with all my heart.

That is my example of this "strong mixture of emotions" that most people feel at some point in their lives. 

End.



Thursday, January 15, 2009

Invisible Children, Inc.

Invisible Children, Inc. is a non-profit organization that focuses on the children of Uganda, around Central Africa. The children there have to make nightly commutes to safe havens, such as bus stations, hospitals, and even underground shelters, just to escape the threat of being captured by the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army), whose leader is the relentless Joseph Kony. If these children stayed in their villages or homes, they would be under an immense threat of being captured, although no "safe" haven there is really considered "safe." The monsters who carry out these unimaginable atrocities put these innocent children through an unconceivable amount of unnecessary suffering. Whether they capture them or not, they still cast this pain upon their lives. They force the children to go into hiding and be in constant fear. They slaughter and kill their loved ones, or even the children themselves, which, unfortunately, is not uncommon. The soldiers and leaders in the unforgivable LRA will brainwash the children, torture them, or end their precious lives. Nobody should determine whether another human being's life will continue, or come to a disastrous end. Nobody. 

These children live their lives day by day, wondering what suffering and despair will be cast upon them tomorrow. They are crying out for help. Your help. Our help. Yes, they have lives. They are no different than us. They can feel pain, they can feel hurt, they can feel even the most unimaginable despair. They can smile, they can feel hope, love and meaning. Can you hear them? Can you see them? They are invisible no more. 

Please humbly offer every single ounce of support you could possibly offer to this cause. They need you. The people of Uganda need us to intervene. Together, we can effectively work to end suffering, and bring peace upon countless people. But of course, we, alone, cannot accomplish these goals, and make them happen. We must have Jesus Christ. Although this may seem impossible to you, it isn't. Think about it. Don't lose hope. Have faith, have hope, have love, and shine these toward others. Everyone needs faith, hope and love. Everyone needs someone. Everyone needs God. 

So join us, as we begin this incredible journey. Find true happiness in helping others while bringing faith, hope, and the love of us and Jesus Christ into their lives. Be a light. Be their hope. Be visible, so they will no longer be the invisible.

jtninvisible@aim.com