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

Sunday, January 28, 2018

What Value Is It To Me?




And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
Genesis 25:32

Surveying the old home place I ponder,"Does anything have sentimental value to anyone anymore?" Anything tears up like an old tv, vcr, or any other electronic device, we throw it out and buy a new one. A house that is not brand new is not worth living in. If its old, its outdated. We want it bigger, faster, and better than the original.

When did we loose our taste for heirlooms or things passed down from generation to generation?
Unless it has some kind of monetary value to it, we don't want it. We discard them among that day's garbage.

Have we become so haughty that we no longer appreciate the simple things of the past? A trinket, a locket, a hope chest, these things have no value to others unless layered with gold but retain a sentimental value to the few.

What is sentimental value, and what gives it meaning? The memories that are invoked from the object brings out its true value to the owner.

For example, the old home place where one was raised. Even if the house is long gone, everything brings thoughts of the past. Carefree days in summer spent underneath the towering shade tree. It's branches stretching forth to cover the hot sun from your reddened neck. There it stands as a reminder of the conversations had with your parents underneath it. Pouring your heart out over life's troubles as you sat in the swing beneath it.

Glancing back you shut your eyes, and see your mother calling you in after playing in the snow. Hands and feet frozen, her there to give you hot chocolate to drink.

Listening to the rustle of leaves through the trees, you can almost hear the sound of your dad's approaching car. For a moment, you can feel his outstretched arms as he picks you up in the air. Your feet lift off the ground as he spins you around. Looking up, you think that you can fly to the top of the tree, right up into the sky.

Laughter fills your ears of siblings as you once were. Playing chase in the yard as you run until you collapse underneath the mighty cedar. Lying on your back with them you look at the clouds. Hours is spent talking about the various shapes you can make out.

Mostly, is the longing for the way things use to be, when love was all that your family could afford.

Now you stand grown, aged by the years. Nothing ever remains the same it seems. Families move away, busy with their own lives. Cousins once playmates, drift away. There is isn't anything time hasn't touched. All remains is an old cedar, shade tree. Beaten by the elements, and neglected. The land surrounding it has been sold off by the inheritors to be developed or chopped up piece by piece. All that remains is one lone spot of a tree that once enjoyed picnics underneath it.

And lastly, it is sold. The stories of the past are soon forgotten with the passing of the mantle. Like Esau, he discarded his inheritance for a bowl of soup. His birthright was treated by him as nothing." What value is it to me if I'm hungry?" was his exclamation.

We disregard sentimental value by trashing it or making a quick buck off it, if we can.

There will come a time, when you will want to pass something on to your children.. You will look at them and want them to honor something you hold valuable. And they're answer will sadly be,"What value is it to me?"

by
Lance Gargus

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Fountain Of Life

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
Revelation 21:6


The fountain of life is mentioned throughout the Bible. It is a place where we can go to become renewed and reborn. Baptism is an example of the fountain of life. But how wonderful would be to catch a glimpse of this fountain.


My mother had a dream about standing in a majestic garden. The most loveliest one she had ever seen. In the midst was a water fountain with an angel watching over everything. The abundance of flowers and plant life was astounding to behold. In the distance, she could make out an image of a woman. The woman was smiling and standing by the fountain. The woman seemed so familiar. My mother walked closer to get a better view. At that moment, the woman's features came into view.


A face she had recognized since her birth. "Mother?" she cried with question in her voice. "I am so happy here,"her mother softly spoke back. Oh, how, my mother wanted to hug her mother and tell her so many things. As she stepped forward her mother stepped back. She wanted to go with her so badly. "No, not yet," she sadly said,"Your dad and Jim are here with me."


From behind the cascading water, she could make out two shapes. They stepped out into view from behind the fountain with smiles on their faces. She tried to step forward again to go to them. In unison, they put their hands up, and said,"Not yet, but it will be soon."


I know the twilight of my mother's life draws near. It doesn't make it any easier. But I know, in my heart, that there is One who has put a fountain in a garden for those who trust in Him. That's all I need to know.


by

Lance Gargus

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Altars



I pick up the rubble of the stones of my life. In my own strength, I struggle to build You an altar. Only to have the stones fall down once again. Like a child trying to stack blocks for the first time. Unlike a child stacking, my ability never seems to improve. Big stones first, then flat, wide at the bottom, while working my way to other stones of various shapes and sizes. This is how others do it, I think. "What am I doing wrong?" comes the thoughts.


The stones are cold as I lift them up from the frozen ground in my hands. Looking around, a realization came to mind, it wasn't one altar I was building but many. "Behold the handiwork of my hands," I spoke out loud in an apparent truth my eyes now seen. Before me lay several small piles of mismatched stones, not even whole stones but broken shards. Just laying in a pile with no organization to them at all. Each one had a name. Everyone of my sins had it's own little makeshift altar. I worshipped the things of man on these so called piles of rocks. Seeking their knowledge, their pleasure, their approval, all the while fooling myself into thinking that I was building just one not many.


Upon these altars I sacrificed to the deceptors, the angels of darkness, who careth not for my soul. All the while, I could not wrap my mind around why the stones wouldn't stack up right. Everytime I built one, God knocked it down. I started another he knocked it down again. Trying to keep me away from what I was blindly walking toward. And as a dog returns to his vomit, I returned to my altars.


Will I continue this madness? Will I put the blinders back on? Will I trust in my own strength and the wisdom of man? Only God knows that answer. All I know is that a father who doesn't chastise his son, doesn't love Him. The way He chastises me, He must love me alot. If only I would notice that any good form needs a cornerstone, the cornerstone of God's altar is Christ. In Him and Him alone does all my hope lie.


Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy

Psalm 43:4

by

Lance Gargus

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Weight Of The World On My Shoulders



Atlas carried the heavens, according to Greek Mythology, on his shoulders. The world literally rested on him as punishment by Zeus. Me, Lord knows, I'm just a mortal. I collapse underneath the weight sometimes. As all the pressure of this world weighs upon my shoulders. The heaviest weightlifting I ever did, doesn't even compare to the mass of worry that pulls down on my mind and heart. The demands of this life for your time, labor, money, and sadly your health takes its toll.


I see old men who have worn out their bodies and given up their youth to provide. As I age, mine aches at times. Often times, while struggling to get jump started on another day, the schedule comes out each and every day to be everything to everybody. Pushing yourself to the breaking point, and never really sure where that breaking point is.


Each day greeted with a new host of problems at work. Bosses demands to do more with less, difficult co-workers who slice at you whenever they feel like it, and the physical demands of the job all coming at you at once. You seem never able to get your barrings straight.


Making your way home from the juggernaut onslaught; you are greeted with bills of past due at the mailbox. More month than there is money when it comes to notices. Wolves howl at your door demanding their monetary compensation. You toss the letters into a pile and sigh.


Your knees creak a little more underneath the strain.


You lash out at those around you, those closest to you. Spewing your anger at the frustration onto those you hold closest.


"I shouldn't have become ill tempered with them," you think. So you apologize and ask their forgiveness. They nod their understanding of what your going through and forgive you. Deep inside you wonder why you can't seem to be able to lift this sphere up higher.


I wonder why God allows my world to come crashing in everyday. I'm reminded of Paul asking the very same question. in 2 Corithians 12:7-10


;there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.


My King, You know my heart. You know my troubles and cares. You know the worries that attack my very being. You know the sins that creep into my life and won't let go. You know me better than anyone. But I'm not sure I know myself anymore. Doubt slowly takes control. I doubt You. So I go back to the ways of men only to find an emptiness that swallows the soul. Nothing of this world can fill up what You can. As life closes in around me, may I reach for You, the one true bearer of the weight of the world on His shoulders.


Amen.




by


Lance Gargus




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