Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Hope, Sorrow, and Despair

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31

3 different co-workers in different situations of need. One preparing for his death, one disabled by an illness, and one faced with the loss of a loved one. Hope of overcoming a stroke, despair of one's impending death, and sorrow of the loss of a mother. Who has not faced one of these situations or soon will? How do we react to others in that stage in life? Do we show kindness or callousness? My father emphasized helping that brother or sister in need.

How easy it is not care. For one to become desensitized by everything around you. So easy to do. But to put into action and open your heart is another thing. Where you become vulnerable to the hurt of another's pain. That is something entirely different. Can you comfort those in need with a word of encouragement? Some people are so out of touch with their core that the ice is hard to break through. Some don't want to be broken through. That is when only God can heal the unhealable.

A young lady came up to me in the waiting room that night. I was grieving over the impending loss of my father. I had cried so hard that I didn't have the strength to cry anymore. At that darkest time as I sat all alone, this lady came out of nowhere to ask if she could help. She lent a sympathetic ear. She took time to listen when no one else on earth seemed to care. Her kind words was very much needed in that moment. I can't thank her enough. All I can do is pass it on by doing this for others.

These co-workers are my brothers and sisters. Each with their own unique problems and troubles. Behind each face is a story and a past. What they put on is a mask that everyone of us hides behind to hide our hurt and vulnerability. They are not to be hated, but prayed for. We are to do as our Lord would. If just one of these souls can be saved, it would be worth it. All our fates are tied together. As quoted,"No man is an island."

Take just moment to comfort someone in need. Lift up the weak and stand firm as the world around you changes. This world changes, don't let it change who you are as a believer. Speak the truth in the face of adversity, help the weak and defenseless, and love the unlovable.

Let us wait upon the Lord to conquer the small hope, deepening sorrow, and the depths of despair. Do this by being his words in action with love. Nothing is stronger than love. My daughter taught me the true meaning of this.
Lance Gargus

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The Walk

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
3 John 1:4

"Don't let me down, I want to see y'all again," was the words that hang in the back of my mind. The words that drive me on. The words of a father that wants to see his children in heaven with him. Other Fathers were consumed with the smartest and most athletic abilities with their children, he was concerned with his children's walk with the Father. But, Lord, without you how can I do that and lead my family home?

Questions arise in my mind. Do I let my children down? Am I an example for them? I've got so far to go. I've made so many mistakes. With all the pressures I can't seem to get it right. I want my little children to see Him. I seem mighty tall to them, but I'm learning from the best Father of all. The One my earthly father learned from. Something for their innocent eyes to see.

There is no replacing the memories of the walks I took with my father in the cool of the evening. We headed down that old, dusty gravel road as the sun would be setting. Him telling spiritual truths I didn't fully understand and still don't totally comprehend. But I knew in his presence I was loved. The road could have lead me anywhere, and didn't matter as long as he was going with me. Looking at his feet I tried to match him step for step. And still try too, even now, with much struggle.

I walk now, but not alone. I feel my earthly father and heavenly father's presence. I can feel the touch on my shoulder as a little child. The touch of a father's hand to encourage me to go on no matter how hard it gets.

As I touch my son's shoulder and hold his hand, it scares me so much. How can I lead him when I get so mixed up myself? And in that moment I drift back to that time. Just like I do him and my dad did me, when I'm tired I was carried. Placed on a shoulder to look back at the setting sun with its many splendid colors of fiery red, yellow, and orange. He let me lean on his strength when I became too weary for my little feet to carry on. And when we headed home he would let me ride his shoulders as the wind blew against my face. He lifted me up to what seemed like the top of the world. In that moment I felt 10 feet tall lifted up to the sky. I felt I could see past the horizon in the distance. The longer I walked with him the closer we became.

We saw all of God's handiwork in his creation and the wonders of a new world to me. Everything was new and exciting to discover. Pointing out various things and telling me the story behind it. Answering so many questions my young mind had. If he grew weary of the curious questions, I never noticed it. He seemed to have knowledge and wisdom beyond my few little years on this earth.

If I fell, he picked me up and dusted me off. He put me back on my feet. He calmed my fears. Wiping my tears away. I raised my eyes and saw the kindness of a father's love for his child. His kindness is what pulled me up to go on and his love kept me walking on. I would cry out, "Hold me." Sometimes not really needing to be carried. But just wanting his attention.

The sun set and cast long shadows across the ground as we strolled along. My shadow was so small but his seemed so tall. It looked like a giant's shadow though he was a man of medium height. The sun showed how I saw him. That no matter how tall I got, I would always look up to him.

I know he fretted over every footstep I made, as I do mine. He couldn't do it for me, but was there for me if when I needed him. And he and my Heavenly Father continue to be. His little boy continues the walk into the deepest parts of his soul. All the while being followed by the little footsteps behind me.
Lance Gargus

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Monday, May 21, 2007

The Tensile Strength

The tensil strength of a chain is wholly dependent upon each link.

(Faith-Baptisms of Water and Spirit-Repentance-Laying On of Hands-Resurrection of the Dead-Eternal Life and Judgement)

If we neglent, ignore, or phase out as has happened as with the pressures of social expediency, just one or more of these doctrinal principles then the remaider will soon follow.

And we have seen it happen with the so called church spiritual structure that will collapse under dead works.

Keep the principle chain intact and lay hold on eternal life.

Now, for our salvation it is entirely dependent upon it.

And like destruction, salvation is near.
James Gargus

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Hebrews 9:14

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Dear Ones...

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

Dear Ones,
I love you all very much
and I hate to leave you for such
a long time but I'm trying to do
what the Lord wants me to do.
All my love,

I need your prayers.


James Gargus

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Soul Bound

My soul is in anguish.

How long, O LORD, how long?

Psalm 6:3

(New International Version)

In the night while my soul sleeps,
I realize where I am.
All of a sudden my soul leaps,
but these chains I start to slam.

I am bound to the ground,
I jerk my arms to the left and right.
In frustration and anger I furiously pound,
Here comes the night.

The darkness closes in around me,
My eyes struggle in the absence of light.
I yell at the darkness trying to break free,
And so begins the fight.

I hear voices off in the distance calling out to me,
What is that they are saying?
So many voices shrieking like a banshee,
These horrendous voices, my ears, is there no allaying?

The odor that assaults my senses,
It is something just putrid on the air.
What is that in the distance preparing its offenses?
It's coming to rip and tear.

My mouth has the taste of something rotton in it,
This I can't quite discern.
This frightful place assaults my very senses,
The restiveness makes my stomach churn.

I await my fate peering into the void,
I feel the cold metal shackles around my wrists.
My life's meaning has become devoid,
I squeeze my hands into tight fists.

I call out to you,
In the hope that you hear me.
"I've lost it all, it's all I ever knew,
I feel so empty. Why aren't you with me?"

"I am holding on,
but I feel like giving in.
Staring out for the rising of the dawn,
Struggling within."

I scream at the top of my voice,
"Do you hear me?"
Through tear streaked face I shout,"I have no choice."
"I offered ten years off my life. He didn't have to die, did he?"

"He was my light,
without a light I fear I'll stumble in the dark.
This is my only plight,
Which way do I embark?"

"I can't remember who I am,
I've lost myself.
Is light just a sham?
What does one do with oneself?"

On the outside I am hiding in my skin,
There I am at a loss for words.
broken from within,
Is this what girds?

Outwardly, I sit in silence and wonder what led me to this place,
How my life seems so lifeless and cold.
Where is my face?
Despair has taken hold.

All my efforts are like chasing the wind for others to see,
And I've given all my strength and there's nothing left to give.
My attempts have successfully drove me to one knee,
All this cause me to misgive.

I've lost all feeling and I'm numb to the core,
So much, so much distress.
I can't fake it anymore,
Feelings I try to suppress.

Inwardly, my bound soul faces the emptiness as it approaches,
Antagonizing the nothingness and challenging it.
Caring less if it encroaches,
No matter my life I won't submit.

The face coming out of the shroud is recognizable some how,
The voice distinctly familiar to me.
"This can't be, I won't allow,
That's not me, you let me be."

It says nothing back to me,
For it is just my soul's shadow, you see.

Lance Gargus

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007


For my yoke is easy,
and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:30

Somehow life is a burden,
an unseen burden,
hanging either around your neck
or around or inside your heart.
These shadowy burdens lift, float,
waver, wane, and bear down, as
the tides of life ebb and flow.
Life takes on many colors, from a dark dreary grey, to a prismatic cartwheel of
gay colors varying in density and length,
as life's situation shift, as emotions move, change, as inner and outer factors appear and move on, leaving whatever residue the beaches of my life accept or cling to.
Somehow the effort seemingly is just too much
or useless to reject the waste of life,
even knowing the disaster that submission
to the useless brings.
Why is misery so easy to accept
and optimism so difficult to apprehend?
Are the powers of darkness too intense,
too alluring,
to the soul that carries the burden of love
that finds the fulfillment of that love
too elusive
and too tangibly to get hold on it?
Are the better things of life too hazy and intangible?
Do we really know the better things?
Who can measure them?
Who can weigh them?
Can we hold love in our hands?
If not, how do we know we have it?
How do we know if it is slipping away,
if we do have it?
James Gargus

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Sunday Sunrise

Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
Isaiah 16:20

After the long night, you are sunrise. This thought hangs in the back of my mind about that night. His soul ascending with the coming of the dawn that Sunday morning. The shadows of darkness that surrounded him was evidence of the sun. He knew the midnight.

He kept asking what time of day it was. Asking whether the sun was rising or setting. I couldn't understand in my ignorance what difference it made. But looking back I believe he was waiting for the coming
of his Lord to free him from that frail body.

His Lord was the only one that could make him whole again. He never complained about the load he had to bear in this life. He would keep on the same path he was on. Though he wandered from that path by trying to take shortcuts, they always seemed to lead right back to that path. The easy path would not have shaped him the way God wanted, too. Easy paths lead you astray.

Something beautiful came out of his broken body and suffering for he knew it was not the end. The shadows of darkness and every bitter chill made him ready. To find out, what I never understood, that Jesus is sunrise. He waited for that Sunday morning sunrise for him. How could he have know this if he didn't know the night.

He was always searching the horizon above the city with his eyes. He seemed to be looking past me and past the horizon. He seemed to look for that special light. The light of a new dawn.

I wonder if he ever doubted in that darkness. But when I thought he doubted that smile returned. I think he knew that shadows come first before the rising of the sun. And that was all the evidence he needed.

Jesus alone will be our light and shine brighter than any star. He alone is the resurrection that makes everything new. The light that makes beautiful blue skies. Our Lord was resurrected on the sabbath, and he took my father home on the morning of the sabbath.

His heart that morning as the Sun came up must have been saying,"Thank You, Thank You. After this long terrible night, Jesus you alone are my sunrise."

As I watched the sun coming up, its beams broke through over the buildings. It drove away every last bit of night. I sit in that window looking out so many stories over Memphis and cried. I looked back at him. His body was just a shell. That was no longer him. He was out there. Outside on those rays of sunlight. He was with his Creator. Feeling the warmth of the sun on him. But this warmth was pure love. Something we just can't comprehend.

I looked back at my family and said, "This is a good day for the sun has rose, and he has went with it."

I still miss him terribly and probably always will. I am sure all of heaven has heard me cry. But sometimes my faith caves in and my soul feels like God is gone. So I continue to lose my way and search my soul at each twist and turn.
Lance Gargus

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Year One

The Lord is my strength and my
shield; my heart trusted in him.
Psalm 28:7

His blue eyes closed and a heart of gold stopped beating a year ago. we knew we would never see his smile again on this earth. God broke our hearts to prove He only takes the best. God knew you had to leave us but you did not go alone. For part of us went with you. To some you are forgotten, to others just a part of the past, but to your family and friends that knew you and loved you, your memories will always last. We love you very much.


Louise Gargus

In loving memeory of our father James H. Gargus Sr. Died 5-7-2006.

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