Friday, June 19, 2020

The Most Perfect Of Chairs

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Revelation 3:21

Even after all these years, my daughter still remembers the chair my father sat in at the kitchen table. "It is the most perfect of chairs," she exclaims as she puts the chair at the head of the table. The chair is made like the others, but is different because it had been reupholstered. The other chairs are worn and look quite rough. This one was quite ragged at one time. Not too long before my dad passed on it was redone. Looking better and stronger than the day it was made. I'm still amazed she remembers which chair considering she was only 5 at his death.

I've learned that when my faith is shaken, and when I've almost given up, God speaks. I can't hear Him like I should. As I jokingly told a friend at work that I could barely hear over the noise of the shop, my wife accuses me of having selective hearing, hearing only what I want to hear and not what I need too. To some extent, that's true about us all, especially me. What I can't hear over all the noise, my child hears perfectly. Her beautiful, long auburn hair that glistens in the sun with its blond high lights hides ears that pick up the Holy Spirit's voice. Only when she puts it into words and I stop what I'm doing do I hear. "Be still and listen," the Bible says.

In that small statement and small action, it spoke volumes to my soul. The chair placed at the head of the table tells me that our Heavenly Father sits at the front just as my earthly father had. The chair being made new was of the resurrection that is to come. The statement of it being "the most perfect of chairs" reminds me of the perfection we can only achieve through Christ. And the understanding of a child points out to me how far I have to go in my soul searching road.


Lance Gargus

Sunday, May 03, 2020

Grandma's Hands

Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn't move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands.When I sat down beside her she didn't acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK. Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled. 'Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking,' she said in a clear voice strong. 'I didn't mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK,' I explained to her. 'Have you ever looked at your hands,' she asked. 'I mean really looked at your hands?' I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making. Grandma smiled and related this story: 'Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.'They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor. They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war. 'They have been dirty, scraped and raw , swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse. 'They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand. They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer. 'These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of life.But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ.' I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my grandma's hands and led her home. When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and wife I think of grandma. I know she has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God. I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Psalm 23 (For The Work Place)

Psalm 23 (For the Work Place) The Lord is my real boss, and I shall not want.He gives me peace, when chaos is all around me. He gently reminds me to pray and do all things without murmuring and complaining.He reminds me that He is my source and not my job.He restores my sanity everyday and guides my decisions that I might honor Him in all that I do. Even though I face absurd amounts of e-mails, system crashes, unrealistic deadlines, budget cutbacks, gossiping co-workers, discriminating supervisors and an aging body that doesn't cooperate every morning, I still will not stop--- for He is with me! His presence, His peace, and His power will see me through.He raises me up, even when they fail to promote me.He claims me as His own, even when the company threatens to let me go. His Faithfulness and love is better than any bonus check His retirement plan beats any 401k there is!When it's all said and done, I'll be working for Him a whole lot longer and for that, I BLESS HIS NAME!!!!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

I Took Your Place

One day, a man went to visit a church, He got there early, parked his car and got out. Another car pulled up near thedriver got out and said, ' I always park there! You took my place!' The visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat and sat > down. A young lady from the church approached him> and stated, 'That's my> seat! > You took my place!' The visitor was somewhat> distressed by this rude> welcome, > but said nothing. > > > After Sunday School, the visitor went into> the sanctuary and sat> down. > Another member walked up to him and said, ' That's> where I always sit!> You took > my place!' The visitor was even more troubled by> this treatment, but> still He > said nothing. > > Later as the congregation was praying for> Christ to dwell among> them, > the visitor stood up, and his appearance began to> change. Horrible scars> became > visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet.> Someone from the> congregation > noticed him and called out, 'What happened to you?'> The visitor replied, as his hat became a crown of thorns, and a tear fell from his eye, 'I took your place.'

"The most important of life's battles is the one we fight daily in the silent chambers of the soul."

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