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

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Empty This Vessel


Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Matthew 5:6
My Creator,
I know how far I can stray. Seeking the ways of man. Trying to fill myself with this world. But it always leaves me wanting more. It's never quite enough. The father of lies leads so many prodigals away. He whispers words of vain ambition. Allowing myself to be filled with selfishness inside. As the poison of my pride slowly kills me, separating me from You.
The vessel that I am becomes filled with his lies. God, empty it and fill it with your truth.
Amen.


by

Lance Gargus


"There once was in man a true happiness of which now remain to him only the mark and empty trace, which he in vain tries to fill from all his surroundings, seeking from things absent the help he does not obtain in things present. But these are all inadequate, because the infinite abyss can only be filled by an infinite and immutable object, that is to say, only by God Himself."
Pascal, Blaise

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Life On The Train

Even to your old age and gray hair I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Isaiah 46:4

(NIV)
A while back, I read a very interesting book that compared life to a train ride or a series of train rides.

Life is like a train ride it read. We get on, we ride, we get off. We get back on and ride some more. There are accidents and there are delays. At certain stops there are surprises. Some of these will translate into great moments of joy, some will result in profound sorrow.

When we are born we first board the train, we meet people whom we think will be with us for the entire journey. Those people are our parents.

Sadly this is far from the truth, Our parents are with us for as long as we absolutely need them. They too have journeys they must complete . We live on with the memories of their love, affection, friendship, guidance and their ever presence.

There are others who board the train who eventually become very important to us in turn. Those people are our brothers, sisters, friends and acquaintances whom we will learn to love and cherish.

Some people consider their journey like a jaunty tour. They will just go merrily along. Others will encounter many upsets, tears, losses on their journey. Others still, will linger on to offer a helping hand to anyone in need.

Some people on the train will leave an everlasting impression when they get off. Some will get on and get off the train so quickly, they will scarcely leave a sign that they ever traveled along with you or ever crossed your path…

We will sometimes be upset that some passengers whom we love, will choose to sit in another compartment and leave us to travel on our own. Then again, there is nothing that says we cant seek them out anyway. Nevertheless, once sought out and found, we may not even be able to sit next to them because that seat will already be taken.

Thats okay everyones journey will be filled with hopes, dreams, challenges, setbacks and goodbyes.

We must strive to make the best of it no matter what…

We must constantly strive to understand out travel companions and look for the best in everyone.

Remember that at any moment during our journey, any one of our travel companions can have a weak moment and be in need of our help.

We too may vacillate, or hesitate every trip hopefully we can count on someone being there to be supportive and understanding.

The bigger mystery of our journey is that we don’t know when our last stop will come. Neither do we know when our travel companions will make their last stop Not even those sitting in the seat next to us.


I know I will be sad to make my final stop. My separation from all those friends and acquaintances I made during the train ride will be painful. Leaving all those I am close to will be a sad thing. But then again, I am certain that one day I will get to the main station only to meet up with everyone else. They will all be carrying baggage…most of which they did not have when the first got on the train.

I will be glad to see them again, I will also be glad to have contributed to their baggage… and to have enriched their lives, just as much as they will have contributed to my baggage and enriched my life.

We are all on this train ride together. Above all, we should all try to strive to make the ride as pleasant and memorable as we can right up until we can make the final stop and the leave the train for the last time.

Author Unknown


The day of my father's passing, I heard a train whistle off in the distance. He spent his entire working career on trains. Maybe this was one small sign of God's reassurance that all is well on The Heavenly Express.

by

Lance Gargus

Monday, May 07, 2018

Who Is God?



And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
1 John 5:20

He is the First and Last,
The Beginning and the End!


He is the keeper of Creation and the Creator of all!
He is the Architect of the universe and the Manager of all times.
He always was, He always is, and He always will be ...
unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never Undone!



He was bruised and brought healing!
He was pierced and eased pain!
He was persecuted and brought freedom!
He was dead and brought life!
He is risen and brings power!
He reigns and brings Peace!
The world can't understand him,
The armies can't defeat Him,
The schools can't explain Him, and The leaders can't ignore Him.
Herod couldn't kill Him, The Pharisees couldn't confuse Him, and The people couldn't hold Him!
Nero couldn't crush Him, Hitler couldn't silence Him,
The New Age can't replace Him!



He is light, love, longevity, and Lord.
He is goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and God.
He is Holy, Righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure.




His ways are right,
His word is eternal,
His will is unchanging, and His mind is on me.
He is my Savior,
He is my guide, and He is my peace
He is my Joy,
He is my comfort,
He is my Lord, and He rules my life!



I serve Him because His bond is love,
His burden is light, and His goal for me is abundant life.

I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise,
the power of the powerful,
the ancient of days, the ruler of rulers, the leader of leaders, the overseer of the overcomers, and is to come. And if that seems impressive to you, try this for size.



His goal is a relationship with ME!
He will never leave me,
never forsake me,
never mislead me,
never forget me,
never overlook me and
never cancel my appointment in His appointment book!



When I fall, He lifts me up!
When I fail, He forgives!
When I am weak, He is strong!
When I am lost, He is the way!
When I am afraid, He is my courage!
When I stumble, He steadies me!
When I am hurt, He heals me!
When I am broken, He mends me!
When I am blind, He leads me!
When I am hungry, He feeds me!
When I face trials, He is with me!
When I face persecution, He shields me!
When I face problems, He comforts me!
When I face loss, He provides for me!
When I face Death, He carries me Home!




He is everything for everybody everywhere, every time, and every way.

He is God, He is faithful. I am His, and He is mine!

My Father in heaven can whip the father of this world.
So, if you're wondering why I feel so secure, understand this...

He said it and that settles it.
God is in control, I am on His side,
and that means all is well with my soul.



Everyday is a blessing for GOD Is!

Author Unknown




That says more than enough. Case Closed.


By


Lance Gargus

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Legend Of The Sand Dollar

A beautiful poem of the hope of resurrection and new life symbolized in the sand dollar. It is said that Christ left the sand dollar on Earth as a symbol to help the evangelists teach the faith.


And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas

Genesis 1:22

Version One :
The legend of the Sand Dollar
There's a pretty little
legendThat I would like to tellOf the birth and death of JesusFound in this
lowly shell.
If you examine closely,You'll see that you find hereFour nail
holes and a fifth oneMade by a Roman's spear.
On one side the Easter lily,Its
center is the starThat appeared unto the shepherdsAnd led them from afar.
The
Christmas poinsettia,Etched on the other sideReminds us of His birthday,Our
happy Christmastide.
Now break the center open,And here you will release The
five white doves awaitingTo spread Good will and peace.
This simple little
symbol,Christ left for you and meTo help us spread His GospelThrough all
eternity.

Version Two :
Upon this odd-shaped sea shellA legend grand is toldAbout
the life of JesusThe wondrous tale of old
The center marking plainly showsThe
well known Guiding StarThat led to tiny BethlehemThe Wise Men from afar
The
Christmas flower, PoinsettiaFor His NativityThe Resurrection too is markedThe
Easter Lily, see
Five wounds were suffered by our LordFrom nails and Roman's
spearWhen He died for us on the crossThe wounds show plainly here
Within the
shell, should it be broke,Five Doves of Peace are foundTo emphasize this
legendSo may Love and Peace abound

Version Three :
The Sand Dollar Legend
Upon this odd-shaped seashell
a legend grand is told,about the life of Jesus, that wondrous tale of old.At its
center you will see, there seems to be a star,like the one that led the
shepherds and wise men from afar.Around its surface are the marks of nails and
thorns and spear,suffered by Christ upon the cross; the wounds show plainly
here.But there is also an Easter lily, clear for us to see,the symbol of
Christ's resurrection for all eternity.

Version Four :
The legend of the Sand dollarThat I would like to tellOf
the birth and death of JesusFound in this lovely shell.If you will examine
closely, You'll see that you find hereFour nail holes a fifth oneMade by a
Roman's spear.On one side the Easter Lily,It's center is the starThat appeared
unto the shepherdsAnd led them from afar.The Christmas PoinsettiaEtched on the
other sideReminds us of his birthday,Our happy Christmas tide.Now break the
center openAnd here you will releaseThe five white doves awaitingTo spread good will and peaceThis simple little symbol,Christ left for you and me.
~ Author
Unknown ~


The times I walked on the beach as a child on vacation, I never realized the mysterious messages God had hidden in all His creations. As I grew older I come to a deeper appreciation of all His works of art, that no man duplicate or completely comprehend. But when I was a child I just knew it was beautiful. What more could I have asked for?

And so my soul searching journey continues.

by

Lance Gargus


Thursday, April 05, 2018

God Of Order


God of Order,

While amongst the ruins of my chaotic life, reveal what your doing inside of me. Help me to see the bigger picture. Silence the voices of doubt that confound and confuse the mind. You made order out of the chaos of the universe, make order out of the chaos of my life.

Amen.


Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.

Psalm 25:4

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Closer Than A Brother

There are friends who pretend to be friends,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24 (RSV)



"Fair Weather Friends," are those who stay by you only during good times. My mother use to say, "You count your true friends on one hand with one or two fingers left over." When your on top of that mountain, everybody wants to slap your back or shake your hand. But if you slip and fall, see who's around you. As the bandwagon comes to the end of the road, they all jump off.


Is your true friend someone you can call upon any time of night or day? Or is he someone who only comes around when they have nothing else better to do?


Does he have your back when others face you down? Or is he one who takes the side of the one who is winning?



The only one I can find that even comes close in my life is my brother. Sure he becomes irritated at me at times, as all brothers do, but just let someone say something about me. They will get more than a piece of his mind.



This kind of bond and friendship is built over a lifetime of good and bad. You grow up together. Looking out for each other in an often relentless world. I know some brothers aren't like this, that is a sad fact. But the Bible knows that alot of brothers are. A friendship forged sometimes out of mutual strife. Good times don't build brothers, hard times do.



"He's like a brother to me. We were a band of brothers. He ain't heavy, he's my brother." These quotes are but a few in reference to brothers, and the link between them. To the outside world, it may seem fragile until this link is tried to be broken by an outsider. And to his dismay he finds out how really strong the link is.



Now we see how close brothers are, but the Bible says we have One closer than a brother. The one it's referring to is Christ. He is always available 24-7, you will never disturb Him, and he will go to bat for you no matter the obstacle.



I don't know about you, but I kind like the thought of having the Big Guy and my brother both watching out for me.


by

Lance Gargus

Sunday, January 28, 2018

What Value Is It To Me?




And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
Genesis 25:32

Surveying the old home place I ponder,"Does anything have sentimental value to anyone anymore?" Anything tears up like an old tv, vcr, or any other electronic device, we throw it out and buy a new one. A house that is not brand new is not worth living in. If its old, its outdated. We want it bigger, faster, and better than the original.

When did we loose our taste for heirlooms or things passed down from generation to generation?
Unless it has some kind of monetary value to it, we don't want it. We discard them among that day's garbage.

Have we become so haughty that we no longer appreciate the simple things of the past? A trinket, a locket, a hope chest, these things have no value to others unless layered with gold but retain a sentimental value to the few.

What is sentimental value, and what gives it meaning? The memories that are invoked from the object brings out its true value to the owner.

For example, the old home place where one was raised. Even if the house is long gone, everything brings thoughts of the past. Carefree days in summer spent underneath the towering shade tree. It's branches stretching forth to cover the hot sun from your reddened neck. There it stands as a reminder of the conversations had with your parents underneath it. Pouring your heart out over life's troubles as you sat in the swing beneath it.

Glancing back you shut your eyes, and see your mother calling you in after playing in the snow. Hands and feet frozen, her there to give you hot chocolate to drink.

Listening to the rustle of leaves through the trees, you can almost hear the sound of your dad's approaching car. For a moment, you can feel his outstretched arms as he picks you up in the air. Your feet lift off the ground as he spins you around. Looking up, you think that you can fly to the top of the tree, right up into the sky.

Laughter fills your ears of siblings as you once were. Playing chase in the yard as you run until you collapse underneath the mighty cedar. Lying on your back with them you look at the clouds. Hours is spent talking about the various shapes you can make out.

Mostly, is the longing for the way things use to be, when love was all that your family could afford.

Now you stand grown, aged by the years. Nothing ever remains the same it seems. Families move away, busy with their own lives. Cousins once playmates, drift away. There is isn't anything time hasn't touched. All remains is an old cedar, shade tree. Beaten by the elements, and neglected. The land surrounding it has been sold off by the inheritors to be developed or chopped up piece by piece. All that remains is one lone spot of a tree that once enjoyed picnics underneath it.

And lastly, it is sold. The stories of the past are soon forgotten with the passing of the mantle. Like Esau, he discarded his inheritance for a bowl of soup. His birthright was treated by him as nothing." What value is it to me if I'm hungry?" was his exclamation.

We disregard sentimental value by trashing it or making a quick buck off it, if we can.

There will come a time, when you will want to pass something on to your children.. You will look at them and want them to honor something you hold valuable. And they're answer will sadly be,"What value is it to me?"

by
Lance Gargus

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Fountain Of Life

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
Revelation 21:6


The fountain of life is mentioned throughout the Bible. It is a place where we can go to become renewed and reborn. Baptism is an example of the fountain of life. But how wonderful would be to catch a glimpse of this fountain.


My mother had a dream about standing in a majestic garden. The most loveliest one she had ever seen. In the midst was a water fountain with an angel watching over everything. The abundance of flowers and plant life was astounding to behold. In the distance, she could make out an image of a woman. The woman was smiling and standing by the fountain. The woman seemed so familiar. My mother walked closer to get a better view. At that moment, the woman's features came into view.


A face she had recognized since her birth. "Mother?" she cried with question in her voice. "I am so happy here,"her mother softly spoke back. Oh, how, my mother wanted to hug her mother and tell her so many things. As she stepped forward her mother stepped back. She wanted to go with her so badly. "No, not yet," she sadly said,"Your dad and Jim are here with me."


From behind the cascading water, she could make out two shapes. They stepped out into view from behind the fountain with smiles on their faces. She tried to step forward again to go to them. In unison, they put their hands up, and said,"Not yet, but it will be soon."


I know the twilight of my mother's life draws near. It doesn't make it any easier. But I know, in my heart, that there is One who has put a fountain in a garden for those who trust in Him. That's all I need to know.


by

Lance Gargus

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