Presence (A Poem Inspired by Ecclesiastes 3)

A time to be born
A time to die
A time to laugh
A time to cry
A time to love
A time to hate
A time to start
A time to wait
A time to keep quiet
A time to speak out
A time to grieve and mourn
A time to dance and shout
A time to heal
A time to kill
A time to take action
A time to be still

There is a time and a place for every last thing under the sun
But to know what a moment calls for, you must be present for one.

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Life Cycle

“Whatever has happened before will happen again. What ever has been done before will be done again. There is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9

Have you ever noticed how cyclical your life is? I sure have.

As unpredictable as life can be, it’s cyclical nature is just as predictable.

For everything that dies, something else is born.

For everything that ends, something else begins.

For every door that closes, another one opens.

After every high, comes a low.

After every storm, comes the sun.

After every loss, comes a gain.

In fact, the cycles are so predictable, it’s a wonder that we worry or doubt at all. Perhaps this is why we’re told to give thanks in ALL things, because another change is always just around the corner.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

A Closer Look at Proverbs 3:6

We all want to know why we’re here. We all want to achieve our calling. As we grow up, we realize we’re wanderers and followers, that it’s more difficult than we thought to stay on our path. Like sheep, we’re dumb and get lost over and over again, or worse become the victims of dorsal recumbency – rolling onto our backs and being unable to get back up.

But, alas, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11) God, our Shepard, tells us simply how we can achieve our calling. In His very own Word, He makes us a promise. Perhaps my favorite promise in the Bible. “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight.” (Proverbs 3:6) As believers, we cling to His promises. Depend on them. And here, I will dissect one.

The Word says if we acknowledge God in all our ways, He will direct our path. Hint: In all our ways. Are you acknowledging Him with your words? How about your thoughts? Your actions? Your lifestyle?

If so, God promises to make our path straight. So then what is our path? “Then Jesus told them, ‘You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going.’” (John 12:35) Okay, so we know our path is one of light. Anything else?

“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.” (Proverbs 4:25) Okay, so we know we are to be walking forward. But what lies ahead?

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8) Aha! God is before us. What are we to be fixing our eyes on? God.

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6) And we’ve come full circle. The path we walk, the path of light, and the path to God, is Jesus Christ. So what is this calling that we so desperately want clarified in our Earthly lives? Our calling is the path. Our calling is Him! I love how simple the Bible makes some things.

Conversation with God – Hebrews 4:16

It is written, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

Precious child, I’m glad to meet you this morning once again. I am always near to you and am pleased when you draw nearer to me. Your confidence in me shows your great faith today. With faith, all things are possible. When you delight yourself in me, I give you the desires of your heart.

Do I not already know the desires of your heart? Yes, in fact, better than even you.

Still, the prayer is for your own benefit. It demonstrates your faith, allows you to practice your faith, and grow closer to me. Every time we commune in quiet stillness, your confidence in me grows. I offer perspective as my gift to you, removing your confining lens of the limited glasses through which you see this world.

Yes, prayer is an exercise of faith, and anything you exercise, grows. Remember that your faith is like a mustard seed? As it grows stronger and stronger, your perspective gets wider and wider, your trust in me deeper and deeper, your capacity to love bigger and bigger. And on it goes until you are so open, free, and willing that my power flows through you, giving you all that your heart desires and achieving all of the plans for which I have prepared you.

Oh child, I want this so much for you. This rich, full, abundant life on Earth which is available to you now and yet is only a glipmse into the richness, fullness, and abundance that awaits you in heaven. Yes, my child, this life on Earth is waiting for you. It’s here and now. And it begins with prayer. I love to watch you grow.

Conversation with God on Dating

You must approach dating with a pure heart, as that is my heart. Do not lust after your brother or sister, because then you are not approaching him/her motive-free.

Think of how you came to know and love me. It is because I first loved you. For no reason. With no motives. And so you accepted my love. And then returned it.

Dear one, this is how you all are wired. If you play the world’s love game, you will surely lose. You are on my team, the winning team, and if you play by my rules, you will always be victorious.

Conversation with God – Prayer

My loved one, why do you have such little faith? I have been anxiously waiting for a time to speak with you. I try everyday but you busy yourself so as not to hear. My child, rest in me. Cast your burdens on to me. I care for you. Do not let this world distract you with its concerns. Keep your eyes on me. I have great plans for you. Plans to give you hope and a future. Will you listen to me as I reveal them to you? I am not done with you yet, my child. No, we are just getting starting. You are growing stronger, in heart and character, every time you lean on me for strength. I am all you need. A pillar of strength.

I’d like to give you all that you ask of, if you are willing to accept my gifts. I don’t always answer your prayers as you think I will, and certainly not always on your time. But fear not, little one. I am your Father and am with you always. When you write, child, I speak through you loud and clear. Don’t you see what a gift this is? I will use your gifts to do miraculous things. Don’t give up on me, for I will never give up on you. When your will and my will align, beloved, I promise you will have all that you want and more. Stay with me. I love you.

Conversation with God – Psalm 5:3

It is written, “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice…” (Psalm 5:3) Thank you, little one, for coming back to me this morning. I am a proud father. Well pleased. The morning is my favorite time to sit with you, before your mind has begun and your day has yet started. My joy comes in the morning. By meeting with me now, you are able to take my joy as a gift and carry it with you throughout the day, using it to bless those around you.

When you look at Buddy (my dog), laying peacefully beside you, think of how much joy and warmth it brings to you. Now multiply that by one billion, and that is what it is like for me to see you resting peacefully in me.

Yet remember, I did not come to bring peace. But to save. So lean on me during all times and my peace will transcend your circumstances. I am your Rescuer. May you go in peace.

Conversation With God – Matthew 11:28

It is written, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Why are you weary, little one? I am here, always here, crying out to you in a gentle whisper like the wind. I know every hair on your head and when it will fall. I knew you before you were born and I loved you – then, now, and always. Can you grasp my love for you?

Not yet, but you can fixate on it. Fill yourself with it. Like a car refueled, you will be more alive, more ready and able to do what I have called you to do. We are on this journey together, so why do you try to go at it alone? It hurts me to see you carrying such heavy loads, bring them to me for my burden is light.

Fill up on my love so that you will stop trying to fill up on worldly things, things that don’t satisfy you, that don’t please me, and that don’t help us. You want to live, child? You must first die; to yourself and to your desires. You know this and yet forget that in order to live each day, you must die again each day. I give you enough to get through one day alone. And so we take this journey together one day at a time. Living fully each day by dying fully each day.

I love to see you in the morning, precious one. It allows me to guide your day and you to live in awareness and communion with me. Often, you are like the workers who rush off to their fields to pick the crops that are growing in their own home. Yes, child, have your fill in the morning, so that I can show you what you need each day and lead you through it.

I wait for you to follow, lamb. And when you wander, I go searching for you. I am your Shepherd and I will never leave you. I love you.

It’s Not Enough to Believe in Jesus

You say that you believe in Jesus. But that’s not enough. Even the demons believe in Jesus.

It is your faith that makes the difference. Surrendering your soul to Him, and clinging to Him for your life.

Belief without such full surrender is demonic faith. And those with demonic faith will end with a demonic fate.

God’s Not After Obedience

God is not after obedience.

If He was, He would have created robots.

God doesn’t just want to change your behaviors. He wants to change your heart.

God is after desire.