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

Sunday, September 30, 2007

I Rest In the Love That is Divine

The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

"To every toiling, heavy-laden sinner, Jesus says, ‘Come to me and rest’. But there are many toiling, heavy-laden believers, too. For them this same invitation is meant. Note well the words of Jesus, if you are heavy-laden with your service, and do not mistake it. It is not, ‘Go, labor on,’ as perhaps you imagine. On the contrary, it is stop, turn back, ‘Come to me and rest.’ Never, never did Christ send a heavy laden one to work; never, never did He send a hungry one, a weary one, a sick or sorrowing one, away on any service. For such the Bible only says, ‘Come, come, come.’ Author: Taylor, Hudson

I feel His gentle hands across my feverish brow as I pray,

Hell brews inside of me everyday.

His weary boy,

Longing for his first Joy.

Darkness chases me,

Lying deep in shadows of lament.


Every ounce of strength already spent.


Their hands want to choke me,

Longing to watch me fall.


To suffer while they laugh and kick,

While watching me crawl.


In my ear they whisper Death and solitude,

Driving me further away from You.


Pursuing me with lies and fears,

Trying to seperate me from the One I hold dear.


I struggle to pray,

Desperately trying to find the words to say.


They work together to distract my mind,

They hate You for loving all of mankind.


I feel their hands on my back,

Pulling me free of You.


Tears fall slowly,

As they try to tell me what to do.


I know I just have to mention Your name,

They spell bind me with fear and shame.


I can't move my lips,

I can't move my mind,

My folded hands are intertwined.


Infesting me,

Killing me with sharp tools,

And tightening ropes.


Humiliating me with false hope.


They lick their lips and watch me struggle,


A toy to them amongst the rubble.


I heard you coming before they did,

The mighty wind that can't be hid.


Filling my ears and all my senses,

Fiery bright light came that cleanses.


I hear the shrieks of bloody doom,

Of darkness driven out as love fills my room.


With the sword of love,

You cut me free.


No longer enchained by the dark ones devouring needs.


Why couldn't I have just uttered your name long ago?


Your gracious protection just waiting to bestow.


I can only look in your eyes and ask,

"Do you still love me seeing me beneath my mask?"


On bended knee my prayer words would falter,

Knowing all along to just lay it on Your altar.


Full of heaven's love your dove comes to me and says,

“Look beyond your beaten brow,

Victory lies before you now.


You never end,

You never die,

Look beyond your mortal eyes.


Reach beyond this life's fleeting rewards,

Embrace life, my love, forevermore."


Letting go of this body of mine,

I rest in the love that is Divine.


by

Lance Gargus

Books:Christianity,Bible,Jesus,Angels,Soul,God,Holy Spirit,Doves,Love,Children,Heaven,
Soul Searching,Counseling

Monday, September 24, 2007

Dear Sir...



Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

1 Peter 4:16


"Christian, remember the goodness of God in the frost of adversity."

Author: Spurgeon, Charles


Dear Sir,
You said I could write to you anytime I have any questions. Well, I have some.
Let me tell you first a little bit about me. I'm 14 years old and do go to church. I can't seem to find any Christians in the 9th grade.
Please, name some other teenagers you know about who are going through what I'm going through. And their addresses so I can write to them.
Sincerely,
Lance Gargus


This was written by my more youthful self back then. I wrote it to a gentleman, who had a youth magazine publication for young Christians. I sent a copy and kept the original. I never received a response. But, no matter, in the writing of this story I have found fellow believers. A few have stayed with me, while others continued on in a different direction. All have touched my life in some way. Letter answered by Someone much higher than who the letter was originally intended for.

Books:Christianity,Bible,Jesus,Angels,Soul,God,Holy Spirit,Doves,Love,Children,Heaven,
Soul Searching,Counseling

A Prayer of Faith

And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

James 5:15


"Bear up the hands that hang down, by faith and prayer; support the tottering knees. Have you any days of fasting and prayer? Storm the throne of grace and persevere therein, and mercy will come down."

Author: Wesley, John


This prayer like the previous post was written when I was 13-14 years old. How I long for the child like faith lost at the setting sun of my childhood.


Here is the prayer from the archives of my childhood in my own words back then...


A Prayer of Faith

Lord, my God, I ask in Your name.

When You changed me I wasn't the same.

Your light filled my soul with glory divine.

That day I signed my soul to You.

You cleaned and rinsed it from unrighteousness.

You know what's best.

Our two generations are falling apart.

Jesus give them a kind, loving heart.

My Christian parents, Lord, let them lead me down the pathway that glows.

You are my mightiest friend.

Kids at school may hate me.

But, You are the One who died for me.

Be merciful to me a sinner, Lord, because without You I'm nothing more.

My Saviour give me strength to do Your will.

So it may be fulfilled.

There's room at the table.

No one acts like they want to harvest the crop.

Don't let Your manna stop.

There are deaths here.

But there won't be any up there.

There won't be any need for medicine and pills.

In heaven you will be able to throw it away and say big deal.

You won't suffer or hurt.

Because your body will go back to dirt.

Don't get mad and angry.

Jesus wasn't that way.

Can't you understand the time is now.

The Lord's coming back and how.

The popularity, your so called friends, the drugs, and your money will pass away.

Never to return another day.

Everybody came in this world with nothing and leave this world with nothing.

Without Him we are nothing.

Come to Him before it's too late.

Don't miss the date.

I pray the sinners to come to Him.

In Jesus precious name,

A-men.

by

Lance Gargus, at 13 years old



Books:Christianity,Bible,Jesus,Angels,Soul,God,Holy Spirit,Doves,Love,Children,Heaven,
Soul Searching,Counseling

What Jesus Means to Me.


Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.
Acts 21:13

"My dear Jesus, my Savior, is so deeply written in my heart, that I feel confident, that if my heart were to be cut open and chopped to pieces, the name of Jesus would be found written on every piece."
Author: Ignatius, of, Antioch, St.

I wrote this one, also, when I was 13 years old. Times when I was younger I put pen to paper to write out my thoughts and feelings. I hope to share these with you, the reader, and in some small measure pray that it enlightens you. Looking back in many ways helps us to look ahead, especially at a time when I felt the closest to God. I search now to recapture that first love feeling in my soul.

This is what I wrote way back then...

What Jesus Means to Me.

He means alot to me for dying on the Cross at Calvary for me, for washing away my sins, for giving up His life for me, and for leaving Heaven's magnificent glories. Thinking of this makes me sad cause I know I'm not worthy of anything. But, Jesus loves and cares about everybody.

It's often hard to talk to someone about God. I pray every night about the ones who do wrong that it's not too late for them.

One day, my Lord, is coming back. If everyone doesn't come to Him soon, it will be terrible. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Jesus made a way for us to come to a Holy God.

Sometimes when I feel like I have no friend in the world I look to Him. He said,"I will never leave nor forsake you even to the end of world. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall not be afraid." If in my life I may be about to die and death is knocking at my door I will not be afraid. When we get up there, we won't feel anymore pain or sorrow and no more parting with love ones. I'm weak without Him, but with Him I can go on.

Easter's coming and we should think of the true meaning of it. During this time we should pray for our nation. Stand up for God and don't be ashamed. He wasn't ashamed of you. He died for you. He had three, big old rusted spikes drove into His hands and feet. That wasn't the worst part for He became your sin and had God's wrath poured out on Him in your place.

Remember having your name on a church role doesn't save you but having your name in the Lamb's book of life. Sin is the prison that captures us all. But Jesus has the key that set me free.

His word will last forever and ever.

Amen.

by

Lance Gargus, at 13 years old

Books:Christianity,Bible,Jesus,Angels,Soul,God,Holy Spirit,Doves,Love,Children,Heaven,
Soul Searching,Counseling

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sad Boy


Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
Ecclesiastes 7:3


They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
Psalm 126:5

This is one of many writings I wrote when I was much younger. I was 12-13 years old when I wrote these. It was scattered among papers in a dresser drawer. My mother stumbled across them while house cleaning. Put away when I first began my Walk. Only to be forgotten as I got lost in the dark. Time putting these writings out of my memory. I got to a point where I told God I couldn't write anymore. He answered my prayer with my younger self. This has become a heart wrenching, yet, wonderful eye opening experience. Writing to discover my true soul has become my quest. The search now takes me down a different but hauntingly, familiar road.

Here is my words back then in one of my writings ...

Sad Boy


Once upon a time there was a sad boy, who had been ridiculed and made fun of.

At school it was real hard and rough.

He wasn't like the other boys and girls, because he didn't do the things they did.

He loved the Lord very much.

He just didn't pay any attention to the kids.

But it was awful rough.

His parents, his brother, and God were the only true friends he had in the world.

He worried alot about all the troubles he had at school and everything.

One night when he went to bed he had a dream.

In the dream he was at school, Jesus and his angels appeared in the sky.

There was a noise from a trumpet that could be heard all over the Earth.

He and others ascended to heaven.

He asked the Lord,"Why did you let all that happen to me at school? Where were you when I needed you?"

The Lord responded,"I was there.

I gave you that feeling of inner peace.

I walked with you.

I held your head up.

I put the smile on your face when you were down.

I picked you up when you fell.

I gave you the courage to accept the things you can change and the things you can't.

I helped you through your troubles and trials.

I was your friend when no one else cared for you.

I went so far I sent my Son to die for you.

I loved you!"

The boy awoke suddenly with a feeling of peace in his heart.

From that day forward he knew Jesus was always with him.

You know God helps us when we're down and out.

He loves us so much He sent His Son to die for you.
by
Lance Gargus, written at age 12-13 years old





Books:Christianity,Bible,Jesus,Angels,Soul,God,Holy Spirit,Doves,Love,Children,Heaven,
Soul Searching

My Daughter's Heart

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart...




Mark 12:30








"The right kind of heart is a kind heart like God's."
Author: Unknown








The innermost workings of my daughter's heart is brought to me on the wings of a dove. The beautiful white dove I had seen before was sitting on a telephone wire today. It sat on a wire overhanging the road I travel to work. About 100 feet from the building of my employment, almost like he was waiting on me. The few times I've seen him God always revealed something to me. There's no mistaking him for any other dove because he seemed to radiate a bright white. Maybe I'm the only one who sees it. I don't know. But there is always some message that accompanies him. A message that unfolds to me in a unique way. No light from heaven or any grand show, but like good news being whispered in your ear by a friend. My children, as are often times, the receptors of this news. Delivering it to me in a profound way. Later on, my 7 year old daughter, started talking about what her heart truly means.

Here it is in her words:










My heart makes me think of love.






Love makes me think of God.






God reminds me of Jesus.






Jesus brings the Holy Spirit to mind.






The Holy Spirit makes me think of Heaven.






Heaven makes me think of angels.






Angels bring us love.






Love is important.






God loves us.






God loves everyone.






God is the love that is in my heart.






by






Autumn Gargus, 7 years old

Books:Christianity,Bible,Jesus,Angels,Soul,God,Holy Spirit,Doves,Love,Children,Heaven,
Soul Searching

Monday, September 17, 2007

Resentment



Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

Matthew 18:21-22


Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

Author: Anonymous


Gracious Father,

You teach us in Your prayer to forgive. So how can I ask you to forgive me, if I cannot forgive others? Oh, how I want to be forgiven. I need to be forgiven. God, I think about all those folks that I have resented - from my childhood on. Help me to learn to forgive those who "did me wrong" in my growing up years. Take away this resentment that eats away at me like a cancer. Show me another way to live. In releasing this anger, allow me to filled with Your love for all.

On bended knee, before Your throne, I plead,

Amen.


Books:Christianity,Bible,Jesus,Angels,Soul,God,Holy Spirit,Doves,Love,Children,Heaven,
Soul Searching

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Ladder That Reached to the Clouds


and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven:
Genesis 28:12



"A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty."

Author:Unknown


One day with our kids, my wife and I found ourselves at a local park in our small town. Like we do so many times since we've had children, I sat on the park bench surrounded by swings, see saws, and monkey bars. It 's the kind of park that makes a grown man wish he was a kid again. Autumn, who's seven, always takes off for the big playground equipment. Her brother, who's two, followed close behind his sister. Both of them took off like a shot for the slide.


In my thoughts, I drifted back to when my daughter was smaller and first started coming here before Connor was born. That day she started off on the smallest slide. There was two different size slides at the park.


Watching her nervously, my wife remarked,"Why don't you go down with her?"


But I wanted to wait and watch. "Let's wait and see what happens,"I said. So we relaxed on that bench and watched. She climbed halfway up the ladder when she turned and looked back at me. I looked away. She pondered her options for a moment, then carefully backed down one step at a time.


"Honey, you ought to go help her out,"my wife said.


"Not yet," I replied, hoping the twinkle in my eye would reassure her that I wasn't just being careless.


She spent a few minutes at the bottom of the slide watching other kids climb up, whiz down, and run around to do it again. Finally her little mind was made up. She could do it. She climbed up...and slid down. Three times, in fact, with a big smile each time.


Then we watched her turn and head to the big one. The slide that seemed like a 100 stories to her. Now Gina was getting anxious. "Lance, I don't think she should do that by herself. Do you?"


"No," I replied as calmly as possible. "But I don't think she will. Let's see what she does."


When Autumn reached the bottom of the giant slide, she turned and called out,"Daddy!" But I glanced away again, pretending I couldn't hear her.


She peered up the ladder. In her young imagination, it must have reached to the clouds. She watched a teenage girl of about 13 go hurtling down the slide. Then, against all odds, she decided to try. Step-by-step, hand over hand, she inched up the ladder. She hadn't reached a third of the way when she froze. By this time, the teenager was coming up behind her and yelled at her to get going. But Autumn couldn't. She couldn't go up or down. She had reached the point of certain failure.


I rushed over. "Are you okay, sweetie?" I asked from the bottom of the ladder.


She looked down at me, shaken but clinging to that ladder with steely determination. And I could tell she had a question ready.


"Dad, will you come down the slide with me?" she asked. The teenager was losing patience, but I wasn't about to let the moment go.


"Why, sweetheart?" I asked, peering up into her little face.


"I can't do it without you, Dad," she said, trembling. "It's too big for me!"


I stretched as high as I could to reach her and lifted her into my arms. Then we climbed that long ladder up to the clouds together. At the top, I put my little girl between my legs and wrapped my arms around her. Then we went zipping down the slide together, laughing all the way.


Now I watch my son's big sister guide his hand. Encouraging him on the small slide to attempt it. Nervously he trusts her. Building his courage. He whizzes down, and they laugh uncontrollably together. But when he reaches that point of failure, I'll be there to step in when he needs me.


That is how our Heavenly Father's hand is. "Father, please help me I can't do this alone! It's just too big!" He swoops in to help us. Your soul shouts afterwards,"God did that! He carried me through this! His power is mighty! His strength lifted me up to the clouds! And we soared like eagles together! Not me, but God did this! It's so wonderful!"

by

Lance Gargus

Books:Christianity,Bible,Jesus,Angels,Soul,God,Holy Spirit,Doves,Love,Children,Heaven,
Soul Searching

Monday, September 03, 2007

My Sanctuary

And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever.
Psalm 78:69


Making my way through the corn field, I catch a glance of the treehouse in the treetops. Autumn has set in. The corn stalks crunch underneath my feet as I brush them aside. The dull colors of the dead stalks fade away as I enter the woods. Replaced with the multitude of leaves displaying the colors of fall. The wind picks up and the sounds of the leaves rustling travels through the air. The treebranches sway back and forth as I'm cooled by the current. It's nice out today; not too hot and not too cool, just right. The sky is overcast with a grey haze. Birds cry out in flight overhead, signaling their leaving for a time.


Dad's off in the distance in another field. Ford tractor's make their own distinct sound, to me at least they do. His is quite old and worn. As the bushog grinds up the corn in the adjoining patch, I make my way to the top of my second home. Climbing on the pieces of old planks held in place by rusted nails. Triumphantly I stand at the top of my summit. Scattered sunbeams burst through the maze of tree growth.


How aesthetically beautiful to the beholder it is. Creation as she readies herself for her nap. Nature is God's majestic tabernacle. No man made building can compare to the splendor of this scene. The shadows are growing longer as the day starts to end. Still another hour before sunset.


Rustling again but this time from another source. A fawn has gotten separated from his mother. He shoves a pile of foliage back to reveal some sprigs of grass to eat. Crickets start their chirping as the great light lessens. The doe has found her offspring. Jumping away they rush back home before nightfall.


I've been here awhile as dark approaches. Shadows creep in as I sit with my back to the wall. Thoughts of the day's preceding events envelop me. Being a teenager comes with stresses and strains. But when the troubles disquiets my soul, I seek a refuge. The first stars have begun to make their appearance. The calming sounds has commenced to settling me. Reflections on my thoughts are brought about by God's presence here.


Moonlight has come to exhibit her magnificence. Illuminating light reveals a face to me of one in my future. I reach out my hand to touch her cheek. Upon opening my eyes the face becomes hidden. Sighing at this revelation my eyes wander heavenward. Wondering to myself, if there is another kindred spirit out there. Was this exquisite face a part of my life that is to come? All things in due time.


Pushing myself up off the floor to leave, I kinda hate to go back. This had become my sanctuary away from the fast pace. I would be back I reassured myself. Descending my way down the makeshift ladder, I took one last brief look at her as I proceeded up one of the columns of furrows. The top of my house coming into view as I hurried along. Approaching my front door, I imagined the dinner prepared with the last of summer's crops. My smile turned into a smirk of almost smugness. Words cannot express the gratification I felt to have my soul at rest. And the knowledge that I could return to my sanctuary.


But time leaves nothing untouched. People come and go in our lives, old places are replaced with new ones, and memories become faded with the years. Still I have those special moments I carry with me. When the world becomes too bitter and cold, I wrap them like a blanket around me. And lie back like I did so long ago into the arms of my Sanctuary.

by

Lance Gargus

Books:Christianity,Bible,Jesus,Angels,Soul,God,Holy Spirit,Doves,Love,Children,Heaven,
Soul Searching

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