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

Monday, July 18, 2016

Shy Girl

For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.


Psalm 71:5


The shell must break before the bird can fly. - Tennyson





She stands where I once stood,


Doing the very best she could.


At times it seems like she doesn't stand a chance,


Never given a second glance.





Always chosen last when game time arrives,


Never sure if she will be let to thrive.


Alone she stands on the playground,


No friends to play with can be found.





Each time I look at her I remember long ago,


There was this boy I use to know.


Something about her reminds me of him,


Could it be all the little things I did back then?





As she chews on fingers, standing to the side,


So afraid to be noticed she runs and hides.


Into her shell shy girl retreats,


Terrified of others that she meets.





So much wanting to help her overcome all,


I continuously beat my head against the wall.


My stomach in knots when she stands up to play,


She ignores the ball and looks the other way.





Oh, how I wish I could help her become outgoing like me,


But God I've forgotten the boy I used to be.


Those frightening moments I didn't know what to do,


As my coach would yell,"Wake up, you!"





The old pain stirs and beats against the scar,


Have I really come that far?


The girl out there standing on the basketball court was once me,


Dear God, why do you make me see?





With a lump in my throat and tears swelling in my eyes,


I cringe each time that she tries.


My heart pounding as my nerves jump,


God let this be just for her a temporary bump.





For each parent sees a part of them in each child,


Even the weaknesses we've all compiled.


But sweet Father this is my curse,


Don't let my faults make her life worse.





She loves you so much and her heart is so pure,


God help me, to help her, not feel so insecure.


Help me with the feeble words that I speak,


Christ build in her the confidence for which I seek.


by


Lance Gargus

Thursday, July 07, 2016

For You, Son, I'm Praying




Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.
Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.
And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border.

Jeremiah 31:16, 17

I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me.
Abraham Lincoln

"For you, son, I'm praying." I didn't have time for those words. At the age of 17, I was wild and wanted to do my own thing. So I hit the bottle and did my own thing. "I'll do what I dang well please," I thought to myself. I had a car, and I had a job. My senior year in high school had come and the weekend was mine. Driving fast and being wreckless with my car and my life. Burning down life's highway at full throttle with everything zooming by me. The more she tried to get through to me, the more I resisted. So Mama spent her nights burning a candle on her knees for her wayward son.

One night I came in half sober. Trying to sneak in and hide it from her. Stumbling in as quietly as I could I saw her light on. Mama was softly talking, kneeling beside her bed. Tears fell from her face to her folded hands. As I listened, she and Jesus talked it over. I knew right at that moment my restless days were coming to an end.

Mama prayed so many countless nights for God to watch over me throughout the years. Her bed left with the imprint of her elbows on it.

Even though she's just barely over 5 foot tall, her prayers carried the weight of a giant. When she prayed good things happened and life's were changed. Always in the back of my mind was her voice praying. Whereever I traveled, whatever I did, God carried that prayer to pull at or reassure my heart. As I stepped on her heart strings with grief, she played back the melody of a Mother's prayer.

It seems the fervent prayers of a Mama can crumble mountains big and small. God has a special fondness for Mama's tender prayers of love, I believe. You see, He had a Mama, too.
by
Lance Gargus

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Little Girl And Her Father Were Crossing A Bridge



Little girl and her father were crossing a bridge.





The father was kind of scared so he asked his little daughter,"Sweetheart, please hold my hand so that you don't fall into the river.





"The little girl said, "No, Dad. You hold my hand."





"What's the difference?" Asked the puzzled father.





"There's a big difference," replied the little girl."





If I hold your hand and something happens to me,chances are that I may let your hand go.





But if you hold my hand, I know for sure that no matter what happens,you will never let my hand go."





In any relationship, the essence of trust is not in its bind, but in its bond.





So hold the hand of the person who loves you rather than expecting them to hold yours... This message is too short......but carries a lot of feelings.


How many times have I held my little girls hands? From the moment I first held her, to the times we cross the street, to moments when she is afraid or sad.

In this small moments in time, I realize the importance and responsiblity that God has placed on me.

Yet, I wouldn't trade it all for nothing.

I find myself wanting to hold her a little longer the older she gets.

As if I can hold back time, in my small way I try to make the memory last.

I just want to feel her small hand in mine a little while longer.

So much love is transferred in that hand.

The look of reassurance on her face is so nice.

All too soon a beautiful young lady will be standing in front of me.

Thank you God for memories.

In my heart, I will always be holding her hand.

by

Lance Gargus

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Axe

Ecclesiastes 10:10       
         
If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success.

Click. Click. Darkness comes. I make my way down the long hallway that I have walked a million times as a child. Making sure all the
lights are off and everyone is safe. It's a routine I seen my dad do alot growing up in this house. Everywhere I look I see
him. When I look in the mirror, I see him. Now. .I am him.
Ghost and shadows peek out at me from every crevice and crack. No where that I turn, do I not see a memory. And as I dig through
and try to put the house in order. I busily hang up my work uniforms from the dryer. And I tear up. So much loss, so much
pain, so much emptiness lies between these walls. I've come home. But not exactly in the way I would have liked. My ex and I try to
reconcile the hurt and bitterness. But we do it from a distance. Me in my camp, and she in hers. No shortage of advice from
friends and coworkers. Ready and willing to advise. Kind of like coming to a person's aid when the house has already burned
down with a bucket of water. Kind of pointless.
We talk.. we disagree...we remember...we search for that old feeling. We walk and look at the moon. "Pretty night." I agree.
We kiss, exchange pleasantries. We say I love you. And then she goes back to her camp.
I stay up, going outside by moonlight. I hear the sounds of whippoorwills calling to each other traveling over the hills. And I look at the old tree in the front yard. It is a nice night. The moonbeams show the
part of the tree that's alive and the part that is dead.
"Lightning struck part of the tree and killed it," Mom said from earlier. I had kissed everyone good night after checking
around the house. So they were all asleep. I had went outside and stood there looking at the massive pen oak. "Dad, had
planted that tree 40 years ago," Mom had chimed in. "No saving it. It's lived its usefulness."
I glance up at the tall structure with its branches spread out covering the night sky. One half was covered in leaves. The
other side was lifeless, not a single sprout of green on it. Yet, it stood like this. What a odd looking form this was.
You know my life had been like this tree. Starting out as a tiny point...and sprouting in so many different directions.
Reaching for the warmth of the life giving sun. And growing deep roots to absorb the water from the rains. My roots run deep
in this same soil. And I reached for the Son in the many different directions of my life. And I left a track record by the
twists and turns of my own branches.
But like this tree...I wasn't gonna get out of here unscarred. My hands were scarred from years of work and worry. And my arms
and legs from so many fights with working the soil around the old home place here. But my heart was the one thing that had been
struck by lightning and was burned to the center. No longer experiencing the joys I felt as a carefree youth. No I came back
home to find myself...to find my heart. I no longer recognize myself in the smiling pictures anymore. I only feel a sense of loss.
I look upon the fleeting childhood of my children in the pictures arranged on the wall. And I watch my mother sleeping...
the lady who once carried me...so strong...was now feeble and frail. I look to the one I've always loved drive away and wonder...how
do we find our way back home? back to us...
...  we try to, "work this out" as its come to
be called.
I take my axe and give my emotions a physical manifestation. "God.. I will not loose one more living thing here. I will save
this tree. So...I swing it with all my might. Not letting the detriment of a lousy old chainsaw  stop me. No if it won't
work...I'll do this the hard way...the only way I know how. Bit by bit. Whack! The axe head chops out a piece. Its like being
stopped suddenly it in a car. The abruptness of a sudden stop to something really shakes the body. But it felt good. Good to
see progress. Whack. Whack. Whack. Making my way around the dead trunk. She had split into three trunks. Eyeballing to the side
I see the burn of the lightning mark. My hands hurt...cut after cut...I made my way around. I push my hair out of my eyes as
the sweat burns them.
Crack! Almost there...oof oof...goes thru my mind as I take my long arms back to strike it a few more times. My muscles burn
from exhaustion.
Whack! Crackkkkkkk.....Thump. Its down. I feel my heart stop for a minute. In that moment..my heart dropped...a dead a piece of
it. How many more vines and dead tree parts must I eliminate to save this place? And how much more hurt and bitterness
must I overcome to get my heart to beat again?...only time will tell.
But I know this. I can't fail. As I recall  my dream from many years ago....I recount the vast number of countless faces that would come from my
lineage. I take a deep breath and let loose a deep sigh. I say to myself," Not tonight. Not tonight. Tonight...I will push back the darkness. I will cut the veil. I will see
what is on the other side. And as I had looked into my children's eyes...I saw the generations yet to come.
And they will know that I suffered like they will, I lost like they will, I hurt like they will, I experienced pain like they will,
I wept like they will...and I got lost in the dark like they will. But that I took the darkness and pierced it with an instrument shaped...
shaped like a cross. And though I missed the mark alot. The One who went before me had already pierced the darkness and the tree with
just his hands and feet, too. Amen."
by
Lance Gargus
"A dull axe never loves grindstones, but a keen workman does; and he puts his tool on them in order that it may be sharp. And men do not like grinding; but they are dull for the purposes which God designs to work out with them, and therefore He is grinding them."

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