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

Thursday, September 15, 2016

God Save Me From Myself

Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.
Psalm 69:1

Save me from myself. My life is filled with big mistakes and big regrets. I'm shaking inside like an Autumn leaf. So scared I'm about to fall.
My choices, my decisions, and my consequences. I seek the pathways of Earthly wisdom ahead of you. Seeking truth in all places but your Word.
A hypocrit I am. That is putting it mildly. That doesn't even scratch the surface of who I have become.

I become so angry and take delight in seeing someone who has hurt me fall. That one that fell is hurting. I just can't see it with my eyes.

Help me, I'm only human.

It's so hard to love those who hurt me.

Why is it when I try to help, I make things worse?

This cross is weighing on me. It's breaking me underneath its load. Lord, even You needed someone to help You carry yours. How much weaker than I, than you? I'm just flesh and blood. Frail in my nature and my being. You are divine and strong in Your nature.

You send minstering angels at times with encouraging words like you did for Your Son. Oh, God, help my unbelief. Help me in doubting their words. Strengthen my weak faith.

Strenthen me to endure all suffering and give me the ability to praise You in it. Your Son did your will, I know but He felt our pain. He begged to let this cup to pass if you would, but He would drink of it, if it was Your will. Sweet heaven, give me that willingness.

I don't know if I can face these hardships. They are of my own making. I have to make amends of where I failed.

Lord, lift this burden from my heart. My enemies take delight in my suffering. Don't make my heart be calloused to take delight in theirs. But let it break for them.

If all this must come to pass, God hold me and calm me as the storm and the winds howl. Give me peace in the midst and hold me close. Most of all, save me from myself.

In Your Son's name, who sacrificed all he had for someone such as me,


Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Man Who Points The Finger

4 “Don’t point your finger at someone else and try to pass the blame! My complaint is with you.                                    
Hosea 4:4

The man who points the finger

must be considered dumb,

while he's pointing with his finger

its back-firing through his thumb.

Would you kick your fallen brother

while he is lying there?

judgement is passed upon you,

while your foot is in the air.

Dare we to judge another simply

by the color of their skin?

Dare we wage war of prejudice

in a battle which no one wins?

Was there ever a man so mentally and physically strong,

who will not forgive and forget a real or imagined wrong?

Who will not from this position move nor budge,

when no one shoulders or heart can endure a prolonged grudge?

I have met so many people,

but I have yet to see,

any of those people

that are better off than me.

Before you wrongly judge me,

that I'm enlarged with pride,

I'm happy to inform you

that I have Jesus on my side.

A cold cup of water,

a piece of cold bread

offered in Jesus blessed name,

is very little to give

but do this and live,

much better than in luxury, wealth, and fame.

As we go passing by with our head held high

Do we consider the beggar on the street?

Perhaps because of shabby, ragged clothes

walk on by looking down our nose,

never seeing the poor beggar has no feet.

James Gargus

Take that finger you point at others....and simply raise it up. Point to the sky. Point to the One who gives all us imperfect creatures Hope. Don't point at others to condemn...point to the only Hope we have. Point to Life...instead of Death. The life you might save...maybe your own.

"The fingers of your thoughts are molding your face ceaselessly."
Charles Reznikoff

Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking
Isaiah 58:9

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Music Plays

The music plays as I watch them dance. My three year old son enjoys dancing round and round, and side to side with his mother. He giggles and laughs as she spins him. His world in that time and moment is her. Nothing can touch him, nothing can break the bond. Something inside me knows why he's so fascinated with her. It's a little thing that you can't quite put your finger on.
I run to the next room to capture the small moment on film. Unknowingly capturing it with my heart, until I reflect upon the day's events.
Why is it that God has to send the storms into my life before I notice the important things?
I fight against His will like a horse that refuses to be broken. Only when I'm lying face down looking up do I truly see Him. I truly see my blessings through the looking glass of God. Moments that become memories. Small reflections of God's tender love in a often unforgiving world.
My ambitions, my dreams of who I wanted to be could have turned out a thousand different ways. The sad thing is, I wanted it to be my goals not His. I thought true happiness meant finding what I wanted. Little do I understand that true happiness is finding out what He wants. His plans and my plans don't always come together.
Learning to let go of what I want and seek what He wants is ongoing project in my life. It's lead me to some interesting and not always pleasant places. In fact, its lead me to the point where I try to run. He refuses to let me go.
"God, why have You put me in this valley?" comes the questions in my thoughts, "Wasn't I meant for something more? Others seems to walk on air, with no hint of turbulence. Why not me?"
I'm looking at my surroundings and not looking at Him.
God sends the Comforter. He says," The music has started." I say,"I'm scared." He extends His hand for me to take it. I look at the world swirling around me. Voices flood my mind with promises and hopes of a better life, if I just take their hand. Their way seems so easy. He says again,"The song will end soon. And we won't get to dance." I take their hand. As long as the tempo is high, they hold me close. Giving me everything that I want and desire. But like all songs the tempo eventually slows. I find myself with noone to hold my hand. I spin out of control across the dance floor with noone to take the lead. Oh, what a fool I have been. Noone will want me now. A hand reaches for me. A hand as gentle as my mother's was back then. It grasps mine and pulls me near. "I saved this song for you," comes the Voice. Just like my mother saved a special song for her and I to dance to when I was little, as my wife does now with my son, the Holy Spirit takes my hand to draw me back into a dance with Him.
That boy of mine looks at his mother with all the adoration in the world. He refuses to take his eyes off her. Matching and mimicking every step she takes with all his might. It's not work to him or drudgery. It's joy unspeakable to him. I was that way once, at his age, with my mother.
Great Guardian of all who trust in You. Help me to find that trusting little boy buried deep inside. The child who longs to hear that special song meant for him.

Lance Gargus

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.


Lance Gargus