Friday, April 12, 2019

Between The Lines

Holding his hands in mine I ask him,"Which hand do you want to use?" "Left," he says. So I clutch his left one, while trying to shape it in the right way to hold his crayon. Guiding his hand across the paper I try to help him keep between the lines. He's grown so much in three years. No longer looking like a baby, but like his mother's little man. He has his moments, as all children do at that age. Overall he has a good heart like his mom. He looks up at me and grins that mischevous grin. "No, let me lead your hand, son," I say. Still feels strange calling someone son, when that's what I had been called for so long.
Life's roles change so quickly though. The father has a son and then the son becomes the father. Time waits for no man, I know. It doesn't seem that long ago to me I was sitting on my dad's lap coloring. Saying almost the exact same things that once was spoken to me. How funny to consider the way I speak, and even the way I hold my head reminds me of him.
Now my son looks to me for guidance. He tries to follow my footsteps. "God help me, help my stupid self," comes to mind at the very thought of someone following me. My path isn't straight, more like one step forward, two to the left, five to the right, three back, and then right on my face.
Never have been much of a leader. And being a father scares me to death. Every move I make for better or worse is scrutinized by young eyes.
What dark blue eyes he has, too. He's always looking for an opportunity to show love to someone. The first hint from a person that they are going to be receptive to him, he's off. Arms wide open and always with a kiss on the cheek, he comes. One lady, at a restaurant, upon recieving one of his classic hugs, remarked,"Wouldn't it be great if we all could love like that?" How right she is. A child's love like that is unconditional. Maybe there is some part of me, long forgotten by me, at his core. It could be, like I referenced earlier, his mom's caring heart. I like to think the latter.
Looking at the clock I see it's time for me to go to work. "Gotta go, buckaroo," comes my good bye. "But, I'll miss you," is his reply. Now what I can say to that except choke up. "I'll miss you, too." He holds on a little tighter, laying his head on my shoulder. Boy, I tell you, it's hard to put him down after that. I hand him to my wife. And with a kiss good bye I leave.
Backing out of the driveway he waves, another moment in my memories. Oh, how fleeting are those moments. What kind of impact am I making in his life? Will I be able to keep between the lines to lead him?
I bow my head,"Father, oh Father, how can I lead, when I don't even know where this road leads in the end?"
Feeling a hand on mine as I hold the steering wheel, my answer comes. The answer comes in a voice so simple and low. The voice is from so long ago. Learning to drive my father said,"It's a long, narrow road. Only the good Lord knows where it leads in the end, but you've got to begin. Don't worry, if you need me, I'll help you keep it between the lines." And so life begins again, as my soul searching continues between the lines. The lines are God and us, and between them is Jesus.
(For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 1 Timothy 2:5)
Lance Gargus

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Bible Prophecy-Will America Be Sleeping?

Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
Mark 13:36

"There is a famine in America. Not a famine of food, but of love, of truth, of life."
Mother Teresa

I wondered as I sang Silent Night, Holy Night to my children. I thought about what they would be missing as they drifted off to sleep. On that night in Bethlehem, I wondered if the people even realized that a King was among them as they slept.The King had left his throne. He sleeps in a manager cause noone would take him in. On this day, God stepped down to become a man. You will go down in history as a city with no room for its King.

What about Jerusalem? Have you went to sleep and can't hear the sounds of the hammers, the sounds of the crowds, and the sounds of pain and agony. The Savior of the world is dying on your cross today. You will go down in history as a city with no room for its King.

Back to where I am with my kids in my small town. As I get sleepy, I wonder about what sings me to sleep in this country of the United States of America. The sounds of philosophies sing us to sleep of save the trees and kill the children.While lying in the dark there'll be a shout across the eastern sky. The bridegroom has come and carried his bride away in the middle of the night.

Will Jesus leave us slumbering as a nation with no room for its King? Will we be too busy sleeping and dreaming about the new house, new cars and trucks, new boats, new fishing equipment, new golf clubs, new vacation you plan, the brand new place of worship built to outdue the church up the road?

Is this what will happen to us? Will we be lulled to sleep by the materialism of this world? As we push our children to become great athletes and to be like them, and we push our children to achieve the highest IQ they can muster, and teach them to want to be the richest person, no matter what price they pay.

Or,or, do we instill Christ's principles of civility, kindness, compassion, sportsmanship, chivalry, respect, and most importantly love. Teach them to be children of character like our Lord.

Maybe those particular kids with Christ's character can rouse us from our deep sleep so we can see our one and only King, before he returns.
Lance Gargus

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Rain On The Windshield

When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them:

Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance.

1 Kings 8:35-36

One rainy afternoon I was driving along one of the
main streets of town, taking those extra precautions
necessary when the roads are wet and slick.
Suddenly, my daughter spoke up from her relaxed
position in her seat. "Dad, I'm thinking of something."

This announcement usually meant she had been pondering
some fact for a while, and was now ready to expound all
that her six-year-old mind had discovered. I was eager to hear.

"What are you thinking?" I asked.
"The rain," she began, "is like sin, and the
windshield wipers are like God wiping our sins away."

After the chill bumps raced up my arms ! I was able to
respond. "That's really good, Aspen."

Then my curiosity broke in. How far would this
little girl take this revelation? So I asked.
"Do you notice how the rain keeps on coming?
What does that tell you?"

Aspen didn't hesitate one moment with her answer:
"We keep on sinning, and God just keeps on forgiving us."
I will always remember this whenever I turn my wipers on.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Deck Of Cards

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 2:3

It was quiet that day, the guns and the mortars, and land mines for some reason hadn't been heard.

The young soldier knew it was Sunday, the holiest day of the week.

As he was sitting there, he got out an old deck of cards and laid them out across his bunk.

Just then an army sergeant came in and said, 'Why aren't you with the rest of the platoon?'

The soldier replied, 'I thought I would stay behind and spend some time with the Lord'

The sergeant said, 'Looks to me like you're going to play cards.'

The soldier said, 'No, sir. You see, since we are not allowed to have Bibles or other spiritual books in this country,

I've decided to talk to the Lord by studying this deck of cards.'

The sergeant asked in disbelief, 'How will you do that?'

'You see the Ace, Sergeant? It reminds me that there is only one God.

The Two represents the two parts of the Bible, Old and New Testaments

The Three represents the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost.

The Four stands for the Four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The Five is for the five virgins there were ten but only five of them were glorified.

The Six is for the six days it took God to create the Heavens and Earth.

The Seven is for the day God rested after making His Creation.

The Eight is for the family of Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives -- the eight people God spared from the flood that destroyed the Earth.

The Nine is for the lepers that Jesus cleansed of leprosy.. He cleansed ten, but nine never thanked Him.

The Ten represents the Ten Commandments that God handed down to Moses on tablets made of stone.

The Jack is a reminder of Satan, one of God's first angels, but he got kicked out of heaven for his sly and wicked ways and is now the joker of eternal hell.

The Queen stands for the Virgin Mary.

The King stands for Jesus, for he is the King of all kings.

When I count the dots on all the cards, I come up with 365 total, one for every day of the year.

There are a total of 52 cards in a deck; each is a week - 52 weeks in a year.

The four suits represent the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

Each suit has thirteen cards -- there are exactly thirteen weeks in a quarter .

So when I want to talk to God and thank Him, I just pull out this old deck of cards and they remind me of all that I have to be thankful for.'

The sergeant just stood there. After a minute, with tears in his eyes and pain in his heart, he said, 'Soldier, can I borrow that deck of cards?'

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