Month: November 2015

The Possum Chronicles – Thanksgiving Edition

Its a great view from up here huh? (Daresum)

Great view. (Grissum)

There she is…. the farmer’s lunch. (Daresum)

She doesn’t even know… She’s so happy (Grissum)

What a life, she has ate well this year. (Daresum)

Very well… Sun’s starting to come up. (Grissum)

Lights (Daresum)

and now for the… (Grissum)

Action. (Daresum)

Screen door opens and shuts.

Hey look over there… a doe. (Daresum)

Yea a john doe. (Grissum) I wonder where he is?

Here comes the farmer

He’s got the ax… this is so exciting (Daresum)

That’s kind of morbid (Grissum)

Look she’s waddling right up to him, just like she does every day. (Daresum)

She is huge (Grissum)

16 pounder? (Daresum)

Naw more like 36 pounder, the biggest turkey yet. (Grissum)

plenty of scraps for us. (Daresum)

plenty. (Grissum)

food is on the stump. (Daresum)

She’s movin to gobble. (Grissum)

WHAM!

Look at that head roll. (Daresum)

Dumb bird. (Grissum)

Look at him just pick up the body. (Daresum)

Strong. (Grissum)

Well tomorrow we’ll have…. (Daresum)

BOOM! (Shot Gun)

Grissum and Daresum startled, Daresum looses his balance and slides down the barn’s metal roof.

He falls

On to John’s back,

and grabs His rack.

John is moving,

John’s doe is moving.

Daresum is hanging on

John is running for dear life.

another boom.

Grissum looks on watching Daresum’s backside hobble up and down on John’s back.

John’s Doe disappears,

John and Daresum disappears

into the woods.

Human voices…

Dadburn we missed em.

Hey lets shot that possum on top of the barn.

Grissum gone.

flees under a shed near by.

all is quiet…

except for the sound of a fowl being skinned.

Count Down Timer

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We are one week away from the most thankful time America has in a given year.

We are a week and one day away from the most greedy time America has in a given year.

It is not that I think that every home across America will have people in them giving thanks like they should.

It is not that I think that everyone that shops on Black Friday has a “black” greedy heart.

Just some of them…

but…

The question I am asking is which am I?

Greedy or Thankful?

Which are you?

True thankfulness comes from the understanding that the things you have, material or not, are not yours because you earned them but because God has blessed you with them.

True thankfulness comes from a heart that doesn’t believe it is owed anything and is amazed at what has been provided.

True thankfulness comes from those who know how to forgive

True thankfulness comes from those who understand grace and value

True thankfulness comes from a heart that isn’t jealous or coveting more

True thankfulness happens when we quit standing our ground and began to view our ground as a gift from God who allows us to live on it.

True thankfulness wipes out greediness…

and replaces it with contentment and gratitude….

We are only one week away from a day that is set aside to give thanks.

True thankfulness doesn’t wait for a designated day to be thankful…

it’s already there…

Blessed

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I am Blessed and I’m not referring to the things I have or my children or my wife though they are blessings.

I am Blessed and not just because of the roof that is over my head and the many things inside of that house though those are items I have been blessed with.

I am Blessed and though I am alive today and in good heath – which is a blessing – I am not referring to that either…

I am Blessed because while I was a sinner Christ took the punishment for my sins on the cross he died on.

I am Blessed because He saw me and loved me enough to save me.

I am Blessed because each failure I have had (and will have) is now seen through the eyes of Christ’s Love.

I am Blessed because even though I am not worth very much I still have value because of Christ’s Love.

Mac Powell puts it the best when he sings…

“Blessed are you as you weep on your knees
With perfume and tears washing over My feet
And blessed are you, beggar, hopeless and blind
Calling for mercy when I’m passing by

Blessed are you, shaking your head
At two tiny fish and some bread
And blessed are you as you tremble and wait
For the first stone thrown at your sinful disgrace

Tell Me your story, show Me your wounds
And I’ll show you what Love sees when Love looks at you
Hand Me the pieces, broken and bruised
And I’ll show you what Love sees when Love sees you

I see what I made in your mother’s womb
And I see the day I fell in love with you
I see your tomorrows, nothing left to chance
I see My Father’s fingerprints

I see your story, I see My name
Written on every beautiful page
You see the struggle, you see the shame
I see the reason I came

I came for your story, I came for your wounds
To show you what Love sees when I see you”

I am Blessed because Love saw me….

“Stay Strong” (Nathan Part 2)

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Our hearts ache

Our bodies are exhausted

Our eyes are still filled with tears.  Tears that come at unexpected moments of memory.

The more we try to get our minds off of what has happened, the more frequent are the remembrances of a life that once was.

I’m not sure we realized how much Nathan meant to us, until now. His smile, His energy and His friendship. Never was there ever a thought that he would not be around to kick the soccer ball or have fun in the snow. Never did we dream in a million years that he would no longer be with us.

He was 13

13

Death surprises us sometimes.  The quickness is shocking taking our breath away.  It strikes at times without warning and changes all of our plans.  Our lives are fragile. It seems we are not as strong as we think we are.

But from the “little” voice of Nathan Clark comes a message of encouragement “stay strong…” he would say… “Stay strong in the Lord.

Maybe, it was because He knew the Lord was stronger than our pain. That somehow he believed that the Lord was strong enough to see us through any circumstance. Maybe, he had heard a preacher or someone he trusted say it or  maybe, it was just something he found to be true in his own life. Regardless, he knew that The Lord was where real strength came from and now he understands by experience what resurrection power really is.  He understands what it does and how it changes things.  He has experienced the strength of the Lord and has found it to be stronger than death itself.

If he were able to speak to us today, words that would be meant to comfort our sorrow he would say, “Stay Strong in the Lord.

Stay Strong in the Lord.

So, on this day, that is in-between days, we will take up that banner, trust in the Lord and stay strong in Him. It’s what Nathan would want for us to do and it surely is what God desires as well.

Nathan

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Nathan was a kid in our neighborhood.  For the past 7 years or so my daughter and my son played with him, sometimes at our house and at other times at his.  His yard was one of the best places in the neighborhood to play soccer, have nerf wars or play Star Wars.  I can’t tell you how many times my kids have asked if they could go see if Nathan was home, to see if he could play.

I did not mind this at all. Nathan was a great kid.  Early in life he accepted Jesus as his Savior and it showed in his life.  He was always positive, kind and considerate. He approached life with the attitude of “what great thing can we do today?” and generally, he would himself generate those great things.  I remember speaking one time at his school and he actually came up and asked me how I was doing and that started a great conversation.  It was the first time I had actually ever spend time talking with him, and it would not be the last.  He was sharp, though being a boy he hated school work. He was the kind of kid you would not mind your daughter dating. Nathan was extremely talented. He enjoyed snowboarding but his talents really showed when he was kicking a soccer ball.  He is part of the reason my son became interested in the sport.

On Friday, November 14th, 2014, unexpectedly he went to be with the Lord…

A guy in the hotel room next to them was being careless with a gun…

He was a good kid – the “careless” guy had a criminal record.

And you wonder… why the Good kid Lord?  Why the good one?

or – why a kid at all?

When we spent some time with the parents on Sunday other questions came to mind, like why them?  They are outstanding Christians, love the Lord and were raising their son to do the same. Saying this is a struggle for them is an understatement. Their son is gone, the house is empty and there will be no more soccer games to enjoy or trips to the mountains to snowboard.

Why them Lord? Why them?

Without even vocalizing the things that were going through my mind Nathan’s dad made this statement.

“God has a purpose for this happening, though we do not know what it is.”

He’s right…

After all, faith is not having all the answers and trusting God anyway.  He is always good, even in times like these.  Faith is holding on to that truth when you really just want to let it go. Faith doesn’t make the pain go away magically, but it does give you strength to make it through the pain.

So…

The neighborhood will be a little quieter.

The activity a bit less

Hearts will ache, and tears will flow from time to time because Nathan will be missed

but there is hope

for the next time we ask Nathan if he can come out and play will be in heaven

and we look forward to that day.

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I’m not Wrestling with you!

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Have you ever had that friend…

you know that one

the one you were close to and you trusted them

and then

they turned on you.

and now you are in the middle of a conflict of emotion, relation and will.

Have you ever had a friendship come to the point of breaking apart?

Have you ever been a part of a church..

you know that one

the one that you loved,

the one you felt God working in

the one you found encouragement every time you went

and then

things changed

and people turned on each other and acted in ways that…

shocked you…

and now the church is in the middle of a conflict of emotion, relation and will.

Have you ever seen a church family come to the point of breaking apart?

I have… and chances are you have too.

So what do you do in those situations?

The first thing you do is identify the enemy, the one or ones that are causing the mess in the first place.

and guess what…

its not them

its not him

its not her

“they” the people involved are not the enemy…

they are just being used by the enemy as a war tool of destruction.

it is not them, the humans that are involved, that we are wrestling with…

its Satan, and his forces… the demons.

Seldom does he ever come to the forefront to fight. Instead he moves, and maneuvers people into states of being, moving them to feel a certain way pushing them to act a certain way, so they will go out for him and cause destruction.

He alway causes destruction and confusion… always.

To recognize this, that we are not wrestling with “them” we are wrestling with evil powers we cannot see. Prevents us from striking back at the person that is causing division… it helps us see them as people not enemies.

So,

our approach to handling the problem is better, it brings healing into the situation, healing that Jesus died for.

We go to restore the relationship, not to strike at it

We go with an offer of forgiveness, both in asking for it and giving it, we do not go to accuse.

We go with the purpose of working it out, thus judging the situation with the right set of eyes…

After all… they are not the enemy… satan is.

and our prayer is…

He will not win!

Ephesians 6:10-20; Luke 18:1-8