What a Story #OctPoWriMo 

When I sat down this afternoon to see what (hopefully less difficult) prompt OctPoWriMo had in store for me today I was a little apprehensive; if you read yesterday’s post you know I had some difficulty with it. Today I was pleasantly surprised to find a thought that gave me no difficulty in finding inspiration for! You see, I would be writing what is basically my story in poetry form. 

The idea was to capture a moment that you were proud of or shocked that worked out. I can tell you without hesitation I have nothing to be proud of on my end; I am only bearing witness to what happened to me over the course of a couple of years in my life. If you’re interested, you can read more on my About and Maybe I Should Have Started Here pages. 

I’m stunned
Did I hear that right?
I would never walk again 

Please help me
I can’t live this way
Have mercy, prove them all wrong

Waiting, beseeching
Faith that this isn’t His will

Progress starts
Unsteady movements
God is listening to us

Has answered
Supplications made
I can walk; thanks be to God

I can and will not try to take credit for the healing touch I received from God. I am merely thankful that I received it. 

(This is a “Crowned Oddquain”, a form I just learned {thank you, Sister J and Paloma}of and wanted to try out. You can read more about the form HERE.)

Follow: a #haiku

After misreading, or just totally confusing, a prompt word yesterday, I came back this morning with fresh thoughts (and the right prompt) to this week’s challenge from Haiku Horizons – “follow”.

I will follow You
trusting You along the way
eyes set on the prize

The haiku is a bit of a paraphrase of biblical teachings from 1 Corinthians, Philippians, and 2 Timothy where the Apostle Paul speaks about running the race, staying the course, to obtain the prize: eternal life in perfect fellowship with God. 

I know the difficulty of staying on course in this life, with the many pitfalls and potholes along the road. I can’t imagine the hardships Paul endured during his ministry and yet he never lost faith; if you’re not familiar with Paul’s life take time to read about his journeys in the book of Acts and you’ll see what I mean.

Though I doubt I’ll ever endure nearly as much as Paul did, I’m confident that God will bring me through whatever I do face. He’s the same, unchanging God today that He always has and always will be. And He treats us all the same, not holding one as better than another. The only difference being those that accept Him and those that reject Him. 

Blind: a haiku

broken and mad with
envy and strife tainting all
blind to our turmoil

The human condition, condensed to 17 syllables. We wander aimlessly about, clueless to how lost and broken we are; desperately in need of a Savior. 

1 John 4:14-15  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

Inspired by this week’s episode from Ronovan Writes.

C. S. Lewis Quote

(Part one of this series is HERE , part two is HERE.)

Today I’m wrapping up the last day of the quote challenge. Although this is the last “official” post, I’m thinking about continuing this idea onward, how regularly I don’t know, in the future; as I said befor, I have a lot of favorites and could go for a while if I have the time. 

I thought I’d would share what is probably my favorite quote from C. S. Lewis today:

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

I have spoken and taught on this topic before but I don’t think I’ve ever written about it so this seems like a good time to do it.

Though the religious leaders of Jesus’ times tried all manner of lies, trickery, and schemes they couldn’t find a reason to convict Him. They feared the people so they sought anything they could use to convict Him and have Him sentenced to death. What did they finally convict Him of? Blasphemy. Jesus knew the consequences of being convicted of blasphemy but He wouldn’t deny the truth He had proclaimed – many times – that He was God, the promised Messiah and Savior. And so He was crucified for telling them, or not denying, who He was: God in human flesh.

“Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.'” And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.””  Matthew 26:59-66

His disciples saw what happened to Him, firsthand witnesses to all that led up to His torturous treatment and crucifixion. They also witnessed and were a part of the events after His death, too, though; they saw the empty tomb, walked and ate with Him after His resurrection, witnessed His assention, and received power from Him to witness to all the world. We also have to remember that hundreds were in His presence after His resurrection, not just the eleven disciples that remained. All of the New Testament had human writers who had seen and been a part of this miraculous set of events. All of them were well aware of what could, and did, happen to them if they continued to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and yet they did continue. All of the disciples, thirteen in total including Paul, were killed, with the exception of with the exception of John, who was exiled for years to prison in Patmos. Countless others were also imprisoned, tourtured and martyred subsequently proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

There were thousands that would’ve refuted this message who were living at the same time as Jesus and His disciples and their disciples that followed but they couldn’t; the Gospel account was true, not a story, then just as it is today. If it weren’t true what possible motivation could all of these people, the ones we know by name and the ones who’s names are lost to history, have to continue proclaiming the Gospel? It surely wasn’t fame or fortune; they knew their likely end would come in a painfully merciless way. And yet they persevered, telling of the mercy, grace, love and salvation available only through Jesus, the Son of God, the Promised One.

As Lewis said, Jesus left us with only the conclusion that He was a nut, a demon or the Son of God, as He proclaimed. The testament of the ones that followed him, selflessly spreading the Gospel across the world in the face of great perils, eliminates the first two possibilities leaving only one option: Jesus is the Son of God, diety in human form, sent to walk among us and experience all, and much more, that we ever can or will endure. And He did it perfectly, without sin, something person before or after Him could do. And then after fulling Scripture, He laid down His life in place of ours; the innocent taking the punishment of the guilty. There is no room for speculation on who or what Jesus was and is, just as He intended it.

“The next day he (John the Baptist) saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 

Suffering and Sin: not always go hand-in-hand

This is part two of the Three Day Quote Challenge I’m participating in. Part one can be found HERE and the first post explaining it all HERE.

The other day I was doing some devotional reading on the ninth chapter of the Gospel of John. The devotional was speaking about Jesus’ teaching on the man who was blinded from birth, verses 1-3:

“As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (‭John‬ ‭9‬:‭1-3‬ ESV)

The devotion also included several quotes from various theologians and preachers, some you may be familiar with:

“Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins–but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces. Christ, who perfectly knew the secret springs of the divine counsels, told them two things concerning such calamities: that they are not always inflicted as punishments of sin–and that they are sometimes intended purely for the glory of God, and the manifesting of His works.” Matthew Henry

“Afflictions are often the black foils in which God sets the jewels of His children’s graces, to make them shine the better. There are some of your graces which would never be discovered, if it were not for your trials. Well, Christian, may not this account for the troubles through which you are passing? Is not the Lord bringing out your graces, and making them grow? Real growth in grace is the result of sanctified trials. The heart of a Christian is Christ’s garden, and his graces are as so many sweet spices and flowers, when His Spirit blows upon them, to send forth a sweet savor.” Charles Spurgeon

“Stars shine brightest in the darkest night. Afflictions ripen the saints’ graces. Gold looks the brighter for scouring. Just so, afflictions are but our Father’s goldsmiths who are working to add pearls to our crowns. Spices smell sweetest when pounded–and juniper smells sweeter in the fire.” Thomas Brooks 

“Some graces grow best in winter. Grace withers without adversity.” Samuel Rutherford

“The lowly graces of the Spirit thrive best under crosses.” Daniel Rowland

“The Lord’s jewels need grinding, and cutting, and polishing.” R.C. Chapman

And, finally, one I can particularly relate to:

“Grievous afflictions are not always sent as a scourge for sins committed–but sometimes as preventatives from sins. Paul’s thorn prevented his pride.” John Leland

I, too, once placed far too much emphasis – pride – on what I had accomplished in my recovery. If you’ve read some of my story on my About and Maybe I Should’ve Started Here pages you know I’ve been through a couple of surgeries and God has healed me to the point I can walk again; I still need braces and a cane and have chronic pain but I’m not in a wheelchair. Some will say “If God is capable of anything and He healed you, why did He only do it ‘halfway’?”. The answer is simple: For my own good. I know that it wasn’t “me” that did anything, it was all Him but I need to be reminded of that, humbled, in order to make sure I give the praise, credit and glory to Him who it belongs to: God. And I’ll gladly live with my “thorn in the flesh” to be the man He has made me today rather than be 100% physically healed and have to go back to the “old man” I was. 

Painted Skies: a haiku 

Realizing God’s existence, to me, is natural and unavoidable.  Like seeing a painting I know there was a painter. Seeing a building I know there was a builder. Seeing creation I know there is a Creator. 

“They know the truth about God because He has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”  Romans 1:19-20


Painted skies above
Vivid life abounds below
I see the Father 

Linked to CDHK challenge #709

Surprise and Inspiration

Yesterday when I went to get my flu shot, I was greeted with a little surprise that I had not anticipated. Going in, I had everything ready to layout as to why I was doing things a little differently than my PCP had advised. After getting the vaccine the nurse asked about my numbers and I told her how much they had improved. I then began to rehash the reasons with her that I’d been doing things different, expecting her to – well, I really wasn’t sure what I expected other than maybe some resistance to my self-decided changes. So I was pleasantly surprised when she agreed that all of this made good sense and the the PCP had even done some extra research on this and had left me some advice and to continue with what I was doing!

As it turns out, my nurse (and at least one other staff member) have recently learned (the other/others already knew) she is at the diabetes-door and I have, with my changes, research and many questions, inspired them to get active in taking control of their BG and health. It was really kind of touching that she shared this with me, it’s not like she had to mention it.

I say this not to lift myself up or boast, let me be clear on that. But it shows me how, in yet another way, God can use us and the things going on in our lives and how we react to them to touch other folks lives. Every time I witness His movement in ways like this, so unexpected, I am awed, truly awed.