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

Friday, January 22, 2016

Rite Of Passage




My great-grandmother was Cherokee and Choctaw. Both sets of Native Americans are similar in customs and traditions in many ways. One custom that is alike is the tradition of story telling. A story is carried down from one orator to another. And each story has a hidden morale or meaning behind it. One story that I recount that I like, and I have heard many different versions of this one from others, but this one I am particularly fond of one most of all.

This story tells of a young Native American youth. He is preparing himself for a rite of passage. The youth is lead into the forest by his forest just as the sun is setting. A piece of material is broke out and placed over his eyes hindering him from seeing. The father leaves him all alone all night.

He must sit on the stump the entire night without removing the blindfold. He must patiently wait for the sun's rays to come shining through before removing it. Silently he must sit on the stump. And dare not cry out for help to anyone.

Once he survives the night, he is now a MAN.

What he has experienced, he must keep to himself. He cannot tell any of his friend as much as he wants to. Each youth must make this passage into adulthood on his own.

During this trial, the youth is naturally terrified. The sounds of some many strange noises. All around him, surely, wild beasts are gathering. Maybe even some person meaning to do him harm. He can feel the wind against his face as it moves the grass and the earth. Even his tree stump begins to shake it seems. But through it all he sits stoically, never removing the blindfold. This must be if he is to become a man!

The night has ended. The horrible night is over, and he can finally remove the blindfold. As he removes the blindfold, it was then that he makes a most surprising discovery. There before his eyes is his father sitting on the tree stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, making sure no harm came to his son.

We, too, are never alone. Even though were unaware of it, our Heavenly Father is watching over us, sitting on the tree stump next to us. When the night close in on us, all we have to do is look for the light and reach out to Him.

It's what a good father does. As my soul searching brings me to this new point, I trust my Heavenly Father hasn't abandoned me on this cold, winter night of my life. Though I cannot see Him, I trust He is there, and I shall see Him in the morning. God, be with those in my life that I have touched. Help them to understand that this my personal cold, winter night that  I must confront myself, alone....and has nothing to do with them. But that I must face the dark and summon the strength to stay the course You have set before me.

May I survive the nightfall of my life. Amen.

“I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” – Hebrews 3:5By
Lance Gargus


 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Is the Sun Setting or Rising?

Is the Sun setting or rising each day of our lives? I wonder where between the sun rise and sunset where we stand each day. One day these things will all be thrown into the dustbin of time. But God's eternal sunset will continue on as it has. He is a consistent, never changing, and never fickle like us humans God. Things of this world will pass one day and cause were off to the next new thing. But this sunset/sunrise will remain.Take time to reflect on that which never fails.

Waves

Life sometimes comes at you in waves of pain. One rushing after another. But remember, its not how many times you get knocked down but how many times you get back up.

A Ladies' Smile

A woman will dig thru her closet trying to find what to wear. She will put on makeup and lipstick. Douse herself in perfume. But the most beautiful thing my father said a lady can wear is a SMILE! A smile means your approachable and have a good heart. A smile means you have a sense of humor. So next time any of you ladies leave home, take your smile with you and brighten someone's day.

Scarred Hands

My father's hands looked like this often. He sacrificed unselfishlessly to keep the whole family fed. I thanked my dad before he died for all the hard work he did for me. I expressed the gratitude I felt for giving up his personal well being and comfort to put a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in my belly.How he gave up his youth by years and decades of thankless work. I told him," Thank you. And I love you for all this you did and more." I looked at the man's... hands and I cried. Looking at every scar work for me had put there and every bit of age place there by me. The nights I needlessly worried him into the late night hours. Callouses show that a man loved someone enough to sacrifice his own body like Christ did for the benefit of others. Until the time comes you are no longer to hold those hands that loved you so tenderly through your formative years. The strength of hard work in the grip that held yours so fimrly is gone. Remember! Before the day comes and you regret you can't tellhim. I pray you had a earthly father like that but if not you have a Heavenly Father like that with nailscar marks in His hands sacrificed for U!

Chaging Tire in the Rain

I am exhausted both physically, mentally, and spiritually. I was fortunate enough with another gentleman to help a person having car trouble. I remember when I was married and on the way back from Collierville helping this woman out who's tired blew out in front of us. It was raining and she barely made it to the side of the road. I changed ger tire in the rain. I struggled with that one last lugnut to get the tire off. And as the rain poured harder as the nite was late at two in the morning, I prayed Samson's prayer. God give me strength, one last time to help this woman get home to her worried family, use me. At that moment, as I was grunting on that last stuck lugnut, it pops loose. I changed her tire and she was on her way. As I got in the car, the children asked did we know her. I said, God knew her.
by
Lance Gargus

A Man Pursuing God or a House Full of Stuff

Think about this long and hard before you comment. Look around at the people around you and ask yourself,"Lord, do I really feel like this?" This is a materialistic world. People are constantly building king-dumbs all the time for his princess. If you don't believe it, look at the number of large houses around you as they go up for the queen. Only to be split up by lawyers at the end of the day, cause of the pursuit of the wrong things. Ask yourself, what kind of man am I pursuing? And who is he pursuing? Is he pursuing God? If he is, pursue him....which is more important? A house full of stuff or a man pursuing God?

20th wedding anniversary/divorce end.....?

This would have been my 20th anniverary today. This is my first since. I held my dads hand when he died. I watched my grandmother take her last breath. I cradled my brothers dead body in the er when he died. And now I hold another shadow in my arms.
Shadows represent the setting in of the night. When the sun is setting on the days events. As I mark this passing of this event, the shadows grow dark on my heart. But I ask you, what kind of person would I be if I did not feel or care? Not to watch my wedding video one last time before putting it away. I mourn cause I am human just like you, my friends.

The Sun Rose

The sun rose on another day despite the darkness. And shadows had to find a place to hide from the light.

Invincible Summer

On the outside of us the cold winds of winter rip and tear at our skin. It sends sensations just like the winter's of this life that we are going to freeze to death. So the body wants to give up, the mind wants to quit moving, but the summer spirit warms us up enough to not give up the fight. There lays our invincible summer.

Kissing the One You Love

Kissing is an erotic art form. It is an intimate expression between two lovers. The soft touch, as you caress each others faces with your fingertips. You can feel the goose pimples go up your spine in anticipation. Lovers embrace in each others arms. He holds her in his powerful embrace, as his strong arms hold her form. She in return lays back, revealing her neck and brushing her hair aside. He leans in, as she runs her hand across his cheek, and the other one through his hair. Lips brush each other playfully, as longing begins. The moistness and hunger of the kiss is all consuming. Lips touch and lips part, as each lover longs for the other. The kisses are always, oh so gentle as first, and delicate. But eventually, consume with desire and passion.
Kissing, like dancing tells a lot about one's lover. It is, after all, an art form.
And art is created out inspiration by one's muse. The muse who inspires you and creates passion in you. The muse that you Love.

Old Farmhouse and Old Memories

I'm going through things my mother put away in the old farm house where I now reside. Things my of deceased grandparents, brother, and father. Now I pick through the carnage of my dead marriage. Haven't had the heart to start and will go through it a little at a time. Putting away pictures, clothes, and memories of a life together. I deal with this by myself. And pick up the pieces by myself. Now I am about to go back and pick through the pieces with tears in my eyes. When I do love, I love deeply. And when I hurt, I hurt deeply.


Men Hate To Cry

Men hate to cry, they rarely ever do. But when a man cries over you, I can gurantee he loves he loves you. Because men only cry when they lose something or are afraid of losing something that they love as much or more than themselves.

Writing On the Back of the Tombstone

Visiting my brother's grave and looking at what I put on the back of his tombstone. It says from Psalms...."O that had wings like a dove and I can fly away and be at rest." It sits beneath a big Magnolia tree where my dad and grandparents are buried. The concrete cross I put there in the background of the picture is where they originally were going to bury him. There was already a person buried there unmarked. Someone poor had snuck into the cemetery during the Depression and buried their family member there, they said, cause they probably couldn't afford to bury them. So I put the concrete cross there to mark the unmarked grave. My kids told me at the time that," Daddy, you don't know who is buried there." I said,"but God does." So now I come to visit my brother's grave to think a lot of times and pray. And remember that God doesn't forget even those in unmarked graves with no names. That He remembers each and everyone of us. That no one is insignificant to Him. That concrete cross reminds me of that everytime I see it.

Stars Shine Brightest In Darkness

I read about what people write. I read a sense of sadness from so many. A reaching out to others. Some kind of hope and affirmation that they are not alone in this world. That their suffering isn't quietly being done and noone cares. Remember there are peaks and valleys. More valleys than peaks it seems. Valleys are where the darkness is the greatest. But its a place where stars shine their brightest for all to see.

 

Pain

Pain, my brother use to say is a part of living. He suffered much in life, born with Noonan Syndrome, a rare heart condition that caused multiple problems. He wasn't suppose to live to the age of 8. God blessed him to live to the age of 40. But pain racked his body from becoming tired so easily. The cardiologist told my mom that our worst day was his best day. And the psychological pain of growing up different from the other kids compounded a problem. But no matter what form ...the pain took, it was a constant companion. But the pain that we endure reminds us that this world is not our home. Now he has gone on and his cross is left behind. So I gather one more cross left by a love one and saddle it with mine. So his pain becomes my pain in my heart. The hurt he felt in this life, I absorb. And I learn lessons about pain by what he endured. And my pain and his pain become one. And I struggle in the storm to find the will to fight.
The pain sharpens the senses for the fight. Watch my back brother in this life. I need you more than ever.


Why Does A Prayer Have to Be Grand and Flowery?

Why does a prayer have to be grand and flowery? The best prayers come out of struggles. Broken, desperate hearts say the best prayers. Cause these prayers come from the deepest parts of the heart. From the innermost chambers, where no one is allowed. This plea, this cry was was what Christ Himself appealed to the Father. "My God, My God, Why has thou forsaken me?'" If the Son can feel like that in His storm, does the Father not understand we who are far less do? Paul said, "This too, shall pass." But it seems like it never does, doesn't it. There's always a new storm over the horizon. Bow your head, and push on.....

Don't Let Someone Steal Your Joy and Happiness

My father use to say, "Don't let someone steal your joy and happiness. Don't allow them to determne how you feel." I wonder through the pain how this concept truly works cause no man is an island. And your reflection of who are is by how others react to you. Yet, my dad had transcended this. He had reached a point in his life where he made a choice. A choice to be happy in spite of the painful darts life threw at him. And as I carry his and my brothers crosses and endure the ...struggles they endured. I realize on this path, they went before me. They left provisions of knowledge and wisdom to help guide me on this path. Roadmarkers to strengthen and encourage my heart. And a guidebook with these words written on the inside,"Godspeed and safe journey toward home. Though the sun maybe setting and the pain seems unbearable. Our Lord said, Pain endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning."
by
Lance Gargus

You Put the Ring There, You Take It Back

It was a Saturday like this that we eloped. No plans, no worries. We made a promise that day. She looked with all the love in her eyes. Adoring me and never breaking her gaze at me. Our eyes never broke the stare. The gold ring shined a yellow luster representing the purity of our love. She placed it on my finger sliding it to the end. Smiling at me with such happiness in her eyes.
The beginning of a life together.
...

The ending of a life together.
It was a Saturday like this that we ended. No plans, all worries. A promise was broke that day. She had no love in her eyes. It had grown cold. She no longer adored me but adored another. She couldnt even look at me. Our eyes no longer met. The gold ring had lost its luster and shine representing the darknening of our love. I said," If you don't love me, you put the ring there, you take it back." With no tears, and no thoughts or feelings, she slid the wedding ring off my hand to the end of my finger. My heart stopped for a moment. Looking at me with nothing in her eyes, she left.
Today would have been my 20th wedding anniversary. My first since the divorce. They say first events for any tragedy is hard. You know what, they were right. To feel is to be human, to hurt is human, let noone in this life belittle you or make you feel like your hurt and pain are not real. It's personal to each one of us. Their day will come. Try not to have a hard heart like them when it does.
My story is my story, one of hundreds, but it is my story and I'm pretty good at telling it. May something I share help someone realize that their not alone in their loss and suffering. Share this story with someone who needs it.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Pursuit Of Material Gain

"But the soul renounced shall abide in the boundlessness of God's life. This is liberty, this is prosperity. The more we lose, the more we gain."
Author:Watchman Nee


As the darkness subsides, slipping off softly in panoramic softness; it does so in spite of whatever prevailing, strong winds present.







Leaving behind the hint of a new day. Alive with the wonderful mysteries that each new day before, has never brought forth.







How refreshing it could be if we were always beholding this blessed phenomenon, before the world has awakened to begin the clamor and din and pollution.







Man handles, or has the same basic philosophy about the world as he does about his life, it's to be used until burned out in pursuit of material gain.


by


James Gargus





But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.


Phillipians 3:7

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