Saturday, September 30, 2006

Love is....

Love is as gentle as a mother's smile,
it's soft breath caresses as a warm spring breeze.
Love is always contempoary, never out of style,
it dresses our life as do the leaves of earth's lovely trees.
Love can wage and even win wars, to protect and secure when we're prayerfully right,
it goes with us to the jungle and the ocean wide.
It's our protection and our battle armor, both by day and by night.
Love and devotion, for home and for country,
silent partners at our side.
Love can make the heart of flint and stone malleable as potter's clay,
it can make homeliness a thing of beauty and charm.
It seals cruel words of hurt we might say,
and causes icy hearts, cold thoughts to mellow and warm.
Fear flees from love, as does suspicion and doubt.
Love cleaves to patience, truth, faith, mercy and forgiveness,
overcomes envy, strife, intolerance and from jealousy it shows the way out,
while leading on to life's fulfillment of joy and happiness.
Love seeks those whom it may serve long and well,
Stays where it's well treated in richness, establishes inner well being,
Its tales of overcoming, long stories and short, illustrates and tells,
Demonstrates its values in real life living,
So that seeing we'll be believing.
Love multiplies Happiness,
cancels injustice, intolerance, prejudice, and hate-
knock and love's door will open, seek and you will find,
ask, expect to receive, and give of it before its too late.
Love is a father's stern face, breaking into a smile,
after hard words of lecture.
Love is a mother's soft hand upon your forehead,
when youthful troubles toss you about upon your bed and the words,
"I understand."
Love is the arms, of a brother or sister, after a disagreement,
as they creep around your neck, and, comes the penitent, request, and apology,
"I'm sorry, forgive me?"
Love is the tear stained face of a child,
after punishment, looking up at you and saying "I love you."
Love is a father that works 8 or more hours per day,
using up his youth to supply family needs,
and then painting, mowing, fixing, and serving as moderator,
and begrudgingly a seat of justice.
Love is a mother's patient, kind face, as she hovers over your bed as you toss about with all those childhood illnesses;
that presses your clothes she's washed,
keeps the cookie jar filled,
that finds a way to get that dress or rifle,
that slips you the car keys, that she's finagled from a reluctant dad.
Love is all these things, and much, much more.
It is independent in the sphere, where in God has placed it.
It operates without of interruption from all the forces that destroy people who don't know love.
Love has many faces, all good, and useful.
love can't be measured, it is one eternal round.
Love has to be given, to be kept.
Love is never frustrated, people are.
Love is never lost, though it may change locations due to neglect or infertile soil.
Love is worth working for, it has eternal dividends, invest in it.
Give love top priority in your life,
its healing balm is the salvation of your's and other's souls.
Try loving your neighbors, they are worth it.
Showing love, in no way indicates weakness,
rather, it tests our (metal mettle) of ,"human concern."
If you have an enemy (real or imagined) disoncert then with an outstretched hand of love and friendship, it really works,
I've proved it.
Noone's shoulders are strong enough to bear a grudge-
shift the load to forgiveness and love
and get a load off your shoulders and heart.
Take time to love, everyone, after all it isn't your time, it is God's time,
he's invested in you and the commandment with promise is "love the Lord your God with all of you and your neighbor (all) as yourself"-
(each equally stressed as to importance and necessity.)
If we persist in this persuit of love for all, soon the effort becomes easier and easier and our affection becomes a way of life without concious effort
and thoroughly enjoyable and tremendously rewarding.
"Love isn't really blind," literally, as is a commonly supposed" sage statement."
But love does see the degree, of perfection, potential, and effort, not necessarily a perfectly finished product.
After all how can a imperfect person, judge perfection, perfectly?
Never be passive or regressive in your aspirations, but, be happy with conscious effort that does make headway;
and concurrently, you should be able to recognize that others are at least keeping pace.
And we can encourage this by view by view, contact by contact, with unashamedly displaying to others happiness with love,
with each, even, minute bit of progress.
Love is ignitor and nutrients upon which real accomplishment is predicated.
James Gargus

Key Search Words:
Christianity, Bible, Jesus, Angels, Soul Searching, God, Holy Spirit, Doves, Love, Children, Heaven

Friday, September 29, 2006

Papaw, Please!

My son, Connor Gargus, was 1 year and a half in May when my father passed away. In the short time he was with my dad he grew attached to him. My dad was beyond fond of him. He was crazy about that little boy. He said that these children, Autumn and Connor, brought joy to his life in these latter years. We lived close by so he was always welcome to come by and pick them up. Trips to the park, out to eat at McDonald's, or just to go get a toy was always on the agenda of spoiling the way that grandparents always do. My dad said he would always watch over them. His faith could literally move mountains if he so willed it. The bond between them could not be broken even at death.

The death hit my daughter hard but I thought that my son was too young to notice. I was wrong. The day of the wake as they displayed his body in the casket some last minute arrangements were being made. My sister, Kay, requested a prayer bench be brought in so people could kneel next to the body. They placed the bench there then I turned around and saw the oddest thing. My son who only learned to walk a couple months earlier had crawled up on the bench. He pulled himself up and looked in at my dad. I stood watching wondering what he was doing. He looked down at my dad with his blue eyes and started crying. He pulled at my dad's hand like he was trying to wake him up from a sleep. Now he could barely talk but for a few words. What he said hit me right at my heart. He looked at him crying and with his small voice as best he could Connor screamed, "Papaw, Please!" He repeated this constantly hoping to wake my dad. On some small level he knew I believe in my heart that something wasn't right with his papaw. I knelt down beside him and hugged him. I embraced him in my arms and sobbed uncontrollably.
For a moment my mind drifted back to a time when I could feel my dad's arms around me. As he would lift me up and hold me against his chest making me feel protected from everything life could throw at me. Those arms could fight off the dark things in my room at night, those arms could lift me into bed when sleep over took me, and those arms could give me the reassurance even when I failed in life.
I looked into his blue eyes just like my dad's . I saw my dad's face noticing how much my little boy favored him at that age. I only had pictures of my dad to look at when he was young but that smile my boy gave was unmistakenly his. A smile and look that could warm your heart. I reassured him with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. We walked away and he seemed to be alright then. I knew that my dad was watching over him but I didn't realize how much.

One day he was in his Papaw's room. We were going through Dad's stuff packing away things. It was hard. My little boy was sitting in the rocking chair that my dad rocked him in all those times.
My mind drifted away in that moment again remembering. Reminiscing the way he would hold me just like he did Connor up on his shoulder. My head would nussel against a little place in that big shoulder to rest. I would wrap my tiny arms around him and say, "Love". He would nussel his face against mine. His whiskers had grown out alot of times from working the nightshift on the railroad. Already a five a clock shadow from shaving that morning. It tickled my face. I was so thankful for those late night he would come in when I couldn't sleep. Little did mother know alot of nights I fought sleep just to see him. The coveralls he wore to keep him warm while holding onto boxcar ladders was made of the softest material back then I had ever felt. He held me against him rocking and singing in a deep voice only a father has. You know the kind. You feel the deep vibration of his voice vibrate through your chest. There's something protective about the voice that my mother couldn't compare, too. A special bond between a father and son. Singing a song he had made up off the top of his head. He liked western movies so he called my brother and I his little buckaroo. He would sing, "My little buckaroo, I love you. Go to sleep and sleep in peace for your daddy loves you."
Shaking my head with my eyes tearing up I look at Connor. He's rocking himself and singing. I innocently look at him and smile. My mother says, "Who are you singing to?" He looks at her, smiles back, and says, "Papaw." "Who?", she says. "Papaw," he repeats and proceeds to go back to merrily singing and rocking. Now being a skeptical adult like we all are I just dismissed it. You know if God wants you to see something he will make you see.

The next Sunday morning at church as the services were going my little boy started acting up. Acting up is of course typical of children at that age but I had tried to hush him up what seemed a thousand times. With my patience running thin I picked him up and headed out of the sanctuary. Dad always said to me when I got so upset at my kids to never spank them when your mad. He would emphasize that they can't be made adults over night. Well, that being said I thought I had enough and Connor had pushed on my last nerve. When I got to the restroom I walked in fuming. Noone was in there and I proceeded to administer some attitude adjustment not realizing it was mine that needed adjusting. I looked at him and I said will you, please, quiet down. Suddenly, he stopped throwing his tantrum. He started looking everywhere around the room like he was following something. Then he looked straight up at the ceiling. I looked puzzled and said,"What are you looking at?". "Papaw," he said. I thought oh no not this again. Then being a disbeliever like a toddler knows anything. I said, "Where is Papaw?". He said,"Papaw spirit here " and pointed right beside me. I looked but saw nothing. This little child started laughing and reaching his hand out to thin air like he was holding someone's hand. He started to play peekaboo looking around the room giggling. My dad use to roll his head against my son while he rolled his. He started rolling his head against the thin air. Then he reached out to the thin air with outstretched arms and said what he always said to my dad the word love. "Love," he said. Then he cried and said with a sad voice, "Gone, Gone." "Where is Papaw?", I asked. "Papaw, Papaw, Gone, Gone."
My eyes wide open I couldn't believe this nor understand this. Some how my father I have come to believe is with these children. Though I can't see him God has let him be seen by them. Maybe it's the purity of heart that gives children sight that God lets them see. He said the kingdom of heaven is made up of such as these. I just wish my heart was that pure to see. They may lose the ability as time changes everything but I believe in my heart of hearts that God will let him continue to keep the watch with the angels over them for the rest of their lives. He always said that God had something special planned for both of them. I believe it is to bring me back to where I need to be when I get lost doing my soul searching on myself.
Lance Gargus

Key Search Words:
Christianity, Bible, Jesus, Angels, Soul Searching, God, Holy Spirit, Doves, Love, Children, Heaven

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Lord you gave me a mountain (to climb) this time

This is a poem that was not in the book of my Dad's. This was found by mother today in a spot lying in the floor in her bedroom. She had cleaned that spot and walked past it a thousand times since he died. There was never anything there. She saw the paper lying there and picked it up. She read it and brought it to me while I was about to write somthing else. I could not believe my eyes because we have been finding things like this all over the house since he died. Lord help me I don't know if he is trying to guide me or what. Today is my boy's birthday and I am here with him. Tomorrow is mine and it will be my first one without my father. Pray for me. Jesus help me to understand. It's raining right now.

Here is the poem my mother found:

Lord you gave me a mountain (to climb) this time.

It is not necessarily a mountain top experience

even though it might be considered the ultimate,

it is the effort, the intent, and character of the event

the ascent, the climb, the nature of it.

We may not reach the top, but the Lord's hand is

stretched forth, and he meets us at our point of need

or at our finish, or at least at our point of rest.

We will not be judged by our height we've gained

if that which we have gained has been inspired by

His Spirit, and we've given our best.

Height in some sense is hypothetical, or not

of value, especially, if we've gotten to far to see

the out stretched hand of need of a fellow traveller

it is quality we need, height may be out of reach

to a disabled brother.
by James Gargus

Key Search Words:
Christianity, Bible, Jesus, Angels, Soul Searching, God, Holy Spirit, Doves, Love, Children, Heaven

Monday, September 18, 2006

As I Lay Quietly Meditating Here Upon My Restful Bed

As I lay quietly, meditating here upon my restful bed;
My mind wanders back through the years!
touching each moment of life again,
gently, afraid if I try to grasp it, it will fade into the past again;
therefore perhaps never to see them again.
The luxury of reminisce and memory recall,
is so very vivid and rewarding,
as it gives added incentive for me to value greatly and plant lovingly the seeds of deeds I place and plant in view of others to make life more enjoyable for them.
So together then when I return in memory to the wonderful past (while yet occupying the present and cherishing it) as we quietly walk the rose paths of memory beautiful,
we share without words,
the wonder what the future has accomplished with our small contribution;
turning seed into blossoms beautiful rare-colored fruit upon the vines and trees where once in hope we planted a pit.
The glistening dew on the grasses and foilage mirrored the sparkling diamonds of love and life and the wonderful elements.
Some how , life becomes richer as these memories gives rise to a greater faith in the promise of eternity and immortality,
as we return to the past and review, reenjoy, reevaluate and constantly have before us the beautiful , wonderful life, always keeping us in the borders of youth, drinking from the bowl of overflowing enthusiasm, of enjoying the indestructable optimism of the young;
ever seeing a new sun rise, even at mid-day or mid-night, and somehow the tragedies of the unpleasant are not a part of the scenes, as the true desires and purposes of the pre-adomis fall, seems to be prime mover of the real activities associated with the return to this wonderful re-life, we look back to, return to, relive and intangibly correct to conform to God's plan.
And learn how to, from this lofty view, live the present more fully in harmony with each other, smoothing the pathway of others, as we're to tread through in company with them, so none of us stumble.
To my left a beautiful full moon golden, its rays blending with all of earth's bounties of hills, valleys, vegetation, softening the jagged outlines of precipitous cliffs and rocks and removing their dangers, replacing them with places of refuge and safety.
To my right and, panaromically till they all come together, golden sunlight, and though the golden rays even the beautiful splints and splashes of diamond like stars bless the heavens and enhances the paradasiac scene causing little pangs of regret, when considering a return to the other world.
As we return to the present and the reality of persuing the future at the sacrifice of the present,
we may try to grasp the future but it is always just out of reach and only in imagination can we hope to touch it, bolstered by the experiences of life and the return in memories that gives signals and guides toward that, hoped for future.
All of life is beautiful, we enjoy each second of it, nuture it, cherish it, and use it, selflessly, enjoy it, help and teach others the way to full life, and we but this medium and our re-live of life, we catch a gleam of, or glimpse of what our Father had in mind, when he prompted Paul to say, Eyes Have Not Seen Nor Ear Heard, Neither Entered Into The Heart Of Man, What God Hath In Store For Those That Love Him.
James Gargus
Key Search Words:
Christianity, Bible, Jesus, Angels, Soul Searching, God, Holy Spirit, Doves, Love, Children, Heaven

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

How old was Papaw when he got sick?

This is a personal story of the lives touched by my father. I'll submit some new ones from time to time between the poems.


Yes, Autumn.

How old was Papaw when he died?

I told her 86.

Then in her little girlish voice she inquired how old I was.

I told her 71.


Yes, Autumn.

Papaw's hair had a pretty white color to it.

Yes, it did, Autumn. Mamaw?

Yes, Autumn.

She took a deep sigh trying to hold back tears.

As a small tear rolled down her little smooth cheek and, she spoke through a voice that cracked.

Mamaw, your hair isn't white, your not going to leave me like Papaw did.

I miss Papaw.

With my eyes moistening up I let out a deep breath. I do too.

But Papaw is still with us see his picture she said.

He'll always be with us, Autumn. Do you want me to turn Papaw's picture down.

No, Mamaw, he'll always be watching over us.

She then took her small hand and made it into a point.

She raised her arm and pointed toward heaven.

I love, Papaw.
I do,too.
It started to sprinkle outside.
Mamaw, do you know why it's raining?
No , I replied curious to see her answer.
Because all the angels in heaven are crying and Papaw is crying with them.
Why shouldn't they be happy for Papaw to be home?
Their crying because they know how much I miss him.
The raindrops are their tears she said with all the innocence in the world.
Yes, Autumn.
I wouldn't be afraid of dying to go see Papaw again.
I hugged her as tight as I could and sobbed with her uncontrollably.
I am leaning on her as much as she is me.
Finding faith and strength of a little child.
May Jesus give her comfort and console her as I do.
Lance Gargus

Key Search Words:
Christianity, Bible, Jesus, Angels, Soul Searching, God, Holy Spirit, Doves, Love, Children, Heaven

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Brakemen or Switchmen

Brakemen or switchman, as they often called, is a job enshrouded in lore, preserved in time, and glorified because of its difficulties, dangers, and opportunities. It took a unique individual to endure the elements, a sound body and mind to respond quickly, and nerves like steel to always be alert to danger.
This poem was written on a cold night on a napkin. Many nights he came in with ice hanging off his face from riding the back of boxcars. Then jumping off while in motion to switch the tracks and jump back on again.
Well they finished their square meal,
around 12:00 straight up and down.
In a railroad roundhouse, though
a round engine wasn't found.

If you want to be well rounded and sane,
get squared away, get balanced again.
We must settle in our minds what's round and what's square.

If we settle round here we must have a square share,
of the rounds the squares, whatever they may be
and from the quagmire of rounds and squares a solution must be shared.

The answer isn't a simple one , two or three.

Though the English Vocablary may be sound,
to deny this wouldn't be quite fair,
But say, tell me if you can, what is round,
and take a deeper plunge and please tell me what is square!
James Gargus
Key Search Words:
Christianity, Bible, Jesus, Angels, Soul Searching, God, Holy Spirit, Doves, Love, Children, Heaven

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Aim High

Are you going all the way?
Can you make it one day?
Have you decided upon your destination?
Do you really want to go there?
Have you considered the fare?
Would you keep the course with no alteration?
Aim High! Be Steady!

When you travel up and down,
and true peace you haven't found
Perhaps your estimation of your potential is to low,
don't be too proud to lend a hand
your sense of achievement will expand
and you'll gain the necesssary moment as you go.
Aim High! Be Confident!

By helping others you will gain
So doing cease to complain.
As you lose yourself for the enrichment for others:
you'll find your aim so much better
you're living by the spirit of the law not the letter of the law
one for all and all for one,
Simply all Sisters and Brothers
Aim High! Somone depends upon your success.

Keep your chin up and eyes straight ahead.
Do not alter your course, be wary don't be misled
Be courageous, be consistent, be prompt give all that you can-
aim with accuracy, aim with care,
the care I speak of, the care, to share,
don't aim too high to see an outstreched hand.
Aim with love! Aim High! There's the challenge.

Give it your best don't count the cost
less than your best and the high battle is lost,
if you're given your very best you won't be blamed,
The Great Scorer, sees effort and desire
the love of others their good to acquire,
and he rates us upon the height and
the way we've aimed.
Aim High! Come Along!

Don't be discouraged life can be a lark,
We've aimed with love we've hit our mark
Don't aim with weapons aim with heart and soul
And if we aimed for the welfare of others
We've hit our goal.
Aim High! Praise God!
by James Gargus

Key Search Words:
Christianity, Bible, Jesus, Angels, Soul Searching, God, Holy Spirit, Doves, Love, Children, Heaven

The Seasons Have Been Kind

The seasons have been kind,
upon their sweet fruits they've dined,
happiness and health have been sweet and long.
Ah! Summer has followed spring into history!
What! Can it be fall?
Summer lasts no time at all,
But for all life's fleeting times few regrets,
We've drunk life's sweet wine,
on life's cavier we've dined,
But as the sun rises, fall and sun must set.
Ah! fall is fleeing: don't look, it's gone!
Though the chill wind does blow,
Though old we must grow,
Our time rich, warm and full through the years,
We've realized, dear, our goal,
Time to go in from the cold,
This chilly wind and age,
As the time for all seasons draws near.
Alas! Winter's here to stay;
Spring is so far away!
Let's just rest and sleep awhile my dear,
This weary body tells me the time is nigh,
For us to bid farewell good-bye,
Sleep well, sweet dreams, hold my hand, no tears.
by James Gargus

Key Search Words:
Christianity, Bible, Jesus, Angels, Soul Searching, God, Holy Spirit, Doves, Love, Children, Heaven

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A Young Son Stands By His Side

A young son stands by his side,
A glance down, eyes full of pride,
God gave them a time, a life in due season,
Like seasons, so is birth,
It comes and goes on earth,
What he gives, what he takes, he does in his infinite reason.
Ah! Spring has fled! " Tis Summer!"
The golden sun is quite high,
Indeed summer is now by,
the young boy is grown robust and strong.
by James Gargus

Key Search Words:
Christianity, Bible, Jesus, Angels, Soul Searching, God, Holy Spirit, Doves, Love, Children, Heaven

With Spring In His Stride

With Spring in His Stride
With Youthful Pride,
Down the Pathway of Life, without fear.
He'd soon take a Bride
Through Life Side by Side
In His Estimation, a Couple Without Peer.
Ah! It's Spring!
Life Has Just Begun
All is Sunshine and Fun
The Leaves upon the Trees Irish Green
The Bride Is with Child
Joy, Gentle and Mild
The Anticipation of this Blessed Event High and Keen.
Ah! It's Late Spring
James Gargus
Key Search Words:
Christianity, Bible, Jesus, Angels, Soul Searching, God, Holy Spirit, Doves, Love, Children, Heaven
"The most important of life's battles is the one we fight daily in the silent chambers of the soul."

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