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The Glow In All of US

Posted on September 25, 2020 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (3)

My Message for You Today:

At a Dollar Store recently there was a young mom and her two children waiting in the LONG checkout line. One of the children was a bigger kid, probably 14 years of age. The other was a toddler who looked to be around 3. The bigger of the two had a pack of glow sticks. The baby was screaming, to everyone's discomfort, determined to have them. So the Mom opened the pack and gave him one, which stopped his tears—for the moment. He paraded in and out of the line with it smiling and contented in the victory of having in his hands what he so desperately had cried for.

 

But then, the peace was broken when the bigger boy took the glow stick from him causing the toddler to begin screaming again. Just as the mom was about to fuss at her older son for what seemed to be his mindless action, he bent the glow stick until in cracked and handed it back to the baby. As they completed their purchases and walked outside into the early evening, the baby noticed that the stick was now glowing. His brother said, "See! I had to break it so you could get the full effect from it."

 

In witnessing that moment, l could hear God saying to me, "In life you have to experience brokenness so I can show you many things. So you can learn many things. So we can become closer. And so I can make you stronger. You have to go through broken times so you can fulfill your purpose."

 

That little boy was happy just swinging that "unbroken" glow stick around in the air because he didn't understand that it was created to "glow" brightly and to be enjoyed most when what was inside was released into the surrounding darkness.

 

In life, we are most often content with just "being" and living a challenge-less existence. But God knows what is waiting to emerge from us, and to be seen by the whole world, if brokenness is allowed to be experienced for a time.

 

Brokenness can come to us in so many ways in this life. It may come at our own hands through the bad choices we make. It may also come through no fault of our own through illness or the loss of a job. Some will suffer through divorce. We may have to bury a loved one, or worst of all, loose the closeness of a child through their own choices or even death.

 

But it is in those moments of desperation, when life seems to break us, that we will be able to see God reveal what He has already placed inside of us—the reason for which we were created. And it is only because of Him that, especially in our brokenness, we can glow brightly as a testament to all he has made us to be.

 

It is when we turn our broken world into a broken and contrite heart, asking God to preserve us, put us back together, helping us to see how we can live our days in a more meaningful way—that we allow Him to mold us into a life that truly makes a difference. It is here, in this moment, we become more powerful in life for ourselves and for others.

 

It is only when we are broken that the bright qualities of what is deep inside of us, can be displayed for all to see.

 

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.” Psalms‬ ‭51:17‬

See Me --- Take A Moment To See A Life

Posted on September 21, 2020 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (0)

This poem is from an old man who died in a nursing home in Australia. It was assumed he left nothing of value to the world. As the nurses went through his possessions, they found this poem which is now making it's way across the internet and waking up our remembrance to really SEE each other. His legacy is the call of clear sight to each of us. Take 3 minutes and read on!

 

Cranky Old Man “See Me”

 

What do you see, nurses, what do you see,

what are you thinking when you’re looking at me?

A cranky old man, not very wise,

uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes.

 

Who dribbles his food and makes no reply

when you say in a loud voice, “I do wish you’d try!”

Who seems not to notice the things that you do,

and forever is losing a sock or shoe.

 

Who, resisting or not, lets you do as you will

with bathing and feeding, the long day to fill.

Is that what you’re thinking? Is that what you see?

Then open your eyes, nurse; you’re not looking at me.

 

I’ll tell you who I am as I sit here so still,

as I do at your bidding, as I eat at your will.

I’m a small child of ten with a father and mother,

brothers and sisters, who love one another.

 

A young boy of sixteen, with wings on his feet,

dreaming that soon now a lover he’ll meet.

A groom soon at twenty – my heart gives a leap,

remembering the vows that I promised to keep.

 

At twenty-five now, I have young of my own

who need me to guide and a secure happy home.

A man of thirty, my young now grown fast,

bound to each other with ties that should last.

 

At forty my young sons have grown and are gone,

but my woman’s beside me to see I don’t mourn.

At fifty once more babies play round my knee,

again we know children, my loved one and me.

 

Dark days are upon me, my wife is now dead;

I look at the future, I shudder with dread.

For my young are all rearing young of their own,

and I think of the years and the love that I’ve known.

 

I’m now an old man and nature is cruel;

’tis jest to make old age look like a fool.

The body, it crumbles, grace and vigor depart,

there is now a stone where I once had a heart.

 

But inside this old carcass a young boy still dwells,

and now and again my battered heart swells.

I remember the joys, I remember the pain,

and I’m loving and living life all over again.

 

I think of the years – all too few, gone too fast

and accept the stark fact that nothing can last.

So open your eyes, nurses, open and see,

not a cranky old man; look closer – see ME!

A Personal Message to You Today:

Posted on September 21, 2020 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

For the next 120 seconds, put aside whatever you are doing and, consider what was done for you.

 

At the age of 33, Jesus was sentenced to death. At the time of The Crucifixion, it was the "worst" possible death known to man. Only the most serious of criminals were sentenced to be crucified. However, it was even more terrible for Jesus. Unlike other criminals sentenced to death by crucifixion, Jesus was nailed to the Cross by his hands and feet in an unusual manner.

 

Each nail: Was 6 to 8 inches long.

 

The nails were built into his wrist and palms, making sure he would remain on that cross for the longest possible time. There is a tendon in the wrist that extends to the shoulder. Roman guards knew that when the nails were inserted into the wrist, the tendon would tear and break, forcing Jesus to use his back and ribs for support so he could breathe.

 

His two feet were overlapped together. That is how he was forced to put pressure on that single nail that tied his feet to the cross. Jesus could not support himself with his legs because of the pain this caused. He was forced to alternate arcing his back just to continue to breathe. Imagine the struggle, the pain, the suffering, the courage it took to withstand something he did not have to endure if he had chosen not to.

 

The reality is: They crucified Him because He allowed it to happen.

 

Jesus endured that reality for more than 3 hours. Yes, more than 3 hours! Can you imagine this kind of suffering?

 

A few minutes before he died, Jesus stopped bleeding all together. Water just flowed from his wounds.

 

From common images we see wounds on his hands and feet and even the spear wound at his side. But we find that wounds were actually made all over his body by a mallet driving the large nails through the wrist, the overlapping of his feet and a large nail hammered through the arches. Then, a Roman guard pierced his side with a spear.

 

But before the nails and the spear, Jesus was whipped. Roman soldiers beat Him with a lead-tipped whip called a flagrum or sometimes a flagellum. On studying the Shroud of Turin, scientists have determined that the flagrum used to whip Jesus consisted of three separate thongs, each ending in a set of two sharp edged lead balls. The lashes were so devastating they tore flesh from his body and broke bone from the back of his rib cage. The beating he took was so severe on and about his face that he became unrecognizable. His beard was ripped from his face. The crown of thorns was embedded so deeply into his scalp it caused an enormous amount of blood loss.

 

Most men would not have survived this torture to make it to the added torture of the crucifixion itself.

 

Jesus had literally no more blood to bleed at the end. Only the water gushed out of his wounds. “But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.” John‬ ‭19:34‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

 

The adult human body contains about 4.5 liters (a little over a gallon) of blood. Jesus shed all 4.5 liters of his blood for you; had multiple nails inserted into his members; a crown of thorns pressed upon his head and, in addition, a Roman soldier buried a spear in his abdomen.

 

All of this, not to mention the humiliation he suffered after bearing the cross for almost one and a half miles while the crowd spat in his face and threw stones at him in unleashed evil anger. The cross itself was over 65 pounds in weight.

 

Jesus had to endure this experience, to open the Gates of Heaven so that you can have access to God. (Hebrews 10:19)

 

Why did he freely and voluntarily do this? So that your and my sins may be "washed" and carried away. All of them. Without exception! Only a sinless being qualified for such a mission. Jesus became that sinless, spotless Lamb to be sacrificed for you and me.

 

There is no greater fact than this: Jesus Christ died for you!

 

That’s right. He died for you! It was all about you. I completely understand you may not believe this story thinking it is too fantastic to believe it to be real ... but it is. No event so changed the world one life at a time as this one. You only need to consider the actions of men in history, the ongoing war between good and evil, to see that Jesus either brought out the best of men as they recognized and experienced this immeasurable love and sacrifice; or, unable to come to grips with it, gave Satan himself a foothold to his darkness and evil to emerge in their life. Never have we seen this play out so visually as we are seeing this war today in our world.

 

God has always had a special and specific plan for you. That is more true than any promise ever made to you!

 

Jesus said in Matthew 10:32 and 33, "Therefore, whoever recognizes me to others, I will also recognize him in front of my father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my father in heaven. "

 

Recognize Jesus as the only One who qualified and was able be sacrificed for your sin. Breathe a word of thanks today for that sacrifice. Nothing elaborate. You will find the words to already be there, waiting to be uttered.

 

The Bible says: “But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’ For ‘whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.’” Romans‬ ‭10:8-11, 13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

 

“Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the father except for me.” John 14:6 NKJV

 

Believe it. This was written for you today.

 

 

Impacting Traits of Mentoring and Best Friends

Posted on August 18, 2016 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (0)

In talking about the Impacting Traits of an ideal best friend or mentor, my reflection turns immediately to my number one mentor. He is the best at turning what seemed to be a really bad moment in life into, if not at least a smile, an all out belly laugh. I’ll never forget my first important experience with this.


I was in the sixth grade. We were told by our teacher that we were to pair up to do a major project for our end of the year grade. I was teamed with my good friend David. We beat our brains against the wall trying desperately to come up with a project. Everyone else was bragging about what they were planning and some of the projects sounded like good ideas. Most were pretty lame. David and I had decided that, no matter what, we were going to out do everyone in the class. Somewhere out there was the project to end all projects out shining all other projects!


As David and I were doing unfathomable research in academic journals of the world of science and mathematics, in one of our periodicals, I believe it was, Iron Man The Inevitable - the Comic Book Series, we saw on the back of the magazine an advertisement. It was an advertisement for stamps. It said, “500 Stamps, On Approval, for 10¢”. That was it. That was our project right there. We would do a project that demonstrated our years of stamp collecting and expertise! So we ordered the stamps, but we did not order from just one of our journals of higher education, we ordered from about ten of them. It wasn’t long before the packages containing hundreds of stamps, “on approval”, began to turn up at my house… and of course, they came in my name.


The day arrived for the projects to be presented in class. Our stamp collection blew everyone away with our wide array of stamps from around the world. Our teacher could not believe the value of the stamps we had that, in some cases, had to be many years old. Of course we were quick to point out that money was no object to a serious stamp collector… she only stared.


All was well. We captured not only a great grade, but the accolades and respect of everyone in the class. We were basking in the glory when the first one came; the first bill for the stamps we ordered “On Approval”. It was for a whopping $380 dollars.


“David, what are we going to do? We don’t have three hundred and eighty dollars!”


“What do you mean “we”? That bill has your name on it not mine.” Thanks Dave.


And they continued to show up, one after another. As time went by, they started to change colors. They went from white, to green, to yellow, to blue, and then finally to this strange hot pink kind of fuchsia color.


I couldn’t tell anyone about this. I was afraid, mad at my partner for running out on me, and of course rather embarrassed for what my selfishness, pride, and stretching the truth (otherwise known as lying) had gotten me into. So I did the next best thing to confessing all of this to anyone… I hid the bills in my desk at school.


Inevitably, in every sixth grader’s life comes the moment, not to unpack the great valise of life, but rather, to clean out the messiest desks in the world.


As the teacher was walking around the room in surveillance, just in case someone had to be rescued from a dangerous item left in a desk for weeks unend, I suddenly noticed her standing next to me with a stack of colorful papers in her hand she had picked up from the populace of my desk.


“Jerry, what are these? They look serious! Does your father know about these? I think we had better go to the office and call him just to make sure he is fully aware… don’t you?”


“O yeah…great idea. Glad I thought of it.”


The phone call was made. I was informed that my dad would be waiting for me when I got home so I could explain exactly what was going on.


The four blocks home were the shortest four blocks of my life. I’d do anything if those four blocks could have turned into four miles and extend my life a bit longer. I didn’t want to go home and have to face what I was sure to be the most severe blasting I would ever receive in terms of words and punishment. O man, this was going to be bad.


I entered the back door quietly, but the squeak of the door betrayed me and I heard a familiar voice coming from the living room, “Jer, is that you?”


“Yeah dad.”


“Come in here, please.”


I slowly walked through the kitchen, through the dining room, and into the living room… head down, afraid to look up.


“Can I see these colorful papers your teacher called me about?”


I handed them over to the judge of all things in my world. Standing in-front of the imaginary bench of justice, I waited for the gavel and sentence of “life without everything I cherished” to be sent down.


I heard him shuffling through the stack of papers, one after another, after another, after another, and then it came…


He began to laugh.


The judge was laughing!


I looked up and there was my dad, laughing out loud.


So I started to nervously laugh a little, and soon my laugh grew a little louder and I couldn’t help but ask, “Dad, we are laughing. Why are we laughing?”


“Son, why didn’t you come and tell me about this long ago? This must be driving you crazy!”


“Yeah dad.”


I couldn’t help it. Right then, my laughter turned to tears.


“Son, don’t worry about this, I’ll take care of it. You made a mistake that we are going to have to talk seriously about, but I have a feeling you’ve learned a lot from this experience already. You go out and play now and we’ll talk about this later.”


What a freedom! There was first a freedom from this heavy unbearable burden and I found myself playing with a joy and carefree mind like I hadn’t played in weeks. This heavy load for which I had no answer as to how to escape, certain it would bring my demise, was suddenly lifted. But the greatest freedom for me was that I had unexpectedly realized for the first time I had a confidant and a partner that would share the heaviness of life with me. The freedom came in the realization that I Was Not Alone.


My dad was, long before I comprehended it and has since been, my number one mentor and best friend. How privileged I have been for that to be so. And because I have such a priceless treasure such as this in my valise of life, how much I want this for all other individuals facing that moment when they are not sure if they are, or are not, ALONE.


Great relationship descriptions in life always contain the words, “best friends”. With powerful and successful partnerships in any field of endeavor, equivalent words are found. In the midst of a special relationship there is a powerful trait that stands the test of time. It is a deeply rooted friendship.


In that kind of friendship is found the Impacting Traits of mentoring like, trust, understanding, forgiveness, a willingness to overlook certain personal weaknesses to be replaced by a focus of the essence of a life. Yet there are also the balancing traits of honesty, communicating at a deeper level, patience, kindness, and always believing the best in your friend even when others doubt or go so far as to render a judgment. With all of that, you’d better believe that any two who incorporate this quality of Impacting Traits into a relationship have become “best friends.”

Mentoring - Leaving A Legacy

Posted on August 18, 2016 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Everyone has that defining moment when they see and recognize a need, then have to make one of two decisions; either to make themselves available to do something to change it… or simply walk away. For me, that moment arrived as a junior in college.


I came home to spend the summer working and making what little money one could make on summer student help pay. And of course there is always the goal to have some play time mixed in wherever possible. Prior to the end of my school year, a colleague of my father suddenly died leaving behind a young family that included his wife, their two young boys and daughter. They moved to our town so she could take a job in my father’s office arriving just before my returning home for the summer. The oldest son was 12 years of age and I soon found myself with a shadow that was seven years younger and about a foot and a half shorter than that of my normal shadow. We spent hours together that summer doing simple things like shooting hoops, getting a burger together, talking sports, going to an occasional Detroit Tigers baseball game, but mostly just hangin’ out sometimes not doing much at all.


The summer sped by typically fast. It seemed like no time at all before I found myself shooting hoops in the drive with my summer buddy trying to figure out how I was going to broach the subject of my leaving and heading back for school.


The conversation began, “You know it’s time for me to head back to college right?”


“So when do you have to leave?”


“I should head back sometime in the next week so I can get squared away and ready for classes to begin the week after that.”


The next shot went up, missed and went bounding back toward my little buddy whom I thought sure would grab it, the little ball hawk that he was, and immediately put up another. The ball just kept bouncing past what I soon saw to be a little 12-year-old clump of a person sitting in the driveway sobbing uncontrollably.


I went over and knelt down beside him and said, “You know I have to go back to school.”


I was about to hear the words that would change my life forever and that will never leave the audio banks of my mind.


“I always thought you would be my dad.”


The next thing I knew, there were two clumps of humanity in the drive sobbing uncontrollably.


“I can’t be your dad, but I will be your big brother… and I won’t leave you.”


I promised I would work out something and the next thing I knew, I was making application to attend a school near my hometown. Our relationship continued on as he grew toward manhood, and I did my best to support a young man making a major transition in his life after losing his father. During that period of time, I learned a lot about myself and how important my life was to another life. But more importantly, I learned how significant his life was to mine. And I grew in so many aspects of my own life as we shared real “living” together. It was my first mentoring experience, one that I would never desire to go back and change even though it meant big changes for my personal plans.


The question I have for you right now is; how will you respond when that moment arrives in your life, the moment when a need in another confronts you to your face? Will you step up, or step away? 

 

Memories That Teach - They Last Forever

Posted on Comments comments (0)

Memories With My Dad

 

My dad - Rev. G. Vaughn Drummonds - taught me so much about himself, as well as about God the Father, in such a way that the many lessons were life changers for me. There is one occasion that came to mind the other day.

 

It was an early summer evening in Alma, Michigan. I was 10 or eleven years old and my friends and I would play as long as we possibly could. And that means until we were called in to finally end the day. The rule was simple in our safe little neighborhood of unlocked doors of the early 1960's. When you are summoned, you get home right then, no delays. And the manner in which I was ordered home was as unique as my dad himself. It was his very very big whistle! The sound of his whistle was so loud it scared most if they were very close when it sounded. And was so unique I knew without question it was his!

 

On this particular evening I got so engrossed in our neighborhood fun that I kept venturing further and further away from home. I lost total contact with the reality that the time of being called to come in had passed, then suddenly there he was ... standing not far from his running car he had been driving around the blocks of our home searching for me.

 

"What are you doing here?!" came the question. I had no answer of course as I was being ushered toward the car. "I was worried sick about you! I couldn't find you anywhere! You didn't answer my whistle, or come to my call! I thought something had happened to you!" And then it came.

 

"Do you know why you can only go so far from the house when you play?" he asked. "Yeah." I mumbled. "So I will come home when I am supposed to." I was so hoping that answer was the right one so there would be no more questions. But of course it wasn't over just yet. "That's right. But there is an even more important reason than that. And that is this." And then came the words I will never forget.

 

"When I whistle, and you are close enough for you to hear me, that means that if you really needed me I could find you and get to you. It means I can always help you no matter what. It means you are within my reach. Don't you ever forget that." And I never did.

 

That lesson impacted my thinking from that day to this. And with respect to my Heavenly Father the premise is exactly the same. He wants me to stay close within the sound of His call. It is when I wander off and loose focus of Him and His voice that danger is lurking. And He reminds me of that in much the same way as my dad did that summer evening of my boyhood. It is with a sense of urgency, with the supreme motive being my safety. It is fatherly love in its purest sense. And it is as simple as this verse in Isaiah that says, "Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live ... " (‭Isaiah‬ ‭55‬:‭3‬a NKJV)

 

That was an uncomfortable moment when it happened way back as a youngster in Alma, Michigan in the 1960's, but I am so thankful for a dad who was watching over me ... always ready to make sure I safely found my way home.

 


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