Month: July 2014

Pablo Picasso in front of the kitchen, photo by Herbert List

What did Pablo Picasso’s mother say to him? Can those words help us? Ask, seek, and find out more.

Pablo Picasso in front of the kitchen, photo by Herbert List

“My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.’ Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.” – Pablo Picasso

What would life be like if we all believed that about ourselves? The world would be a different place.

Guess what? Jesus died for our sins so that we may LIVE. For that big of a sacrifice, you know He has something special planned for each and every one of us.

Discover the dream and live the reality of that kind of love, if we only seek His face.

Ask, seek and find out more. The next step is all yours. He’s waiting.

 

Photo credit:  Pablo Picasso sitting in front of the kitchen, photo by Herbert Frost.

In what world is ‘Hate” an acceptable form of behavior. The answer is, in our world. People hate all of the time. Ask me, I know.

As a father I was told:
“You are a terrible father and your children would be better off if you were dead.”

As a project manager I was told:
“Sit down. Shut up. And, let us do our work.”

As a co-worker I was told:
“Stephen has to be experienced to be understood.”

As a co-worker I was told that I wasn’t welcome in their office then or ever.

As a friend I was accused and taken to court for a crime that my accuser knew I didn’t commit.

The variety of ways that people have told me “I hate you” continues on. My list is long.

Oh, I know the pain of hate. I’ve suffered for it. I’ve paid a heavy price for believing its words. I’ve gone through the denial, grief, anger, rage, and acceptance. During the worst of those times, I went to a place that I can only describe as blackness: no light, no warmth, no love. The absence of anything but pure, overwhelming pain is a horrible place to be. Oh, I know hate.

The only reason that I can even write this to you now is that I’ve found a way out. I’ve found a way to a better place. A place where I learned to embrace my differences. A place where I learned that hate destroys the souls of those who hate. But, I couldn’t find that place on my own. I needed friends. I desperately needed friends who would unconditionally accept me for who I am.

What is a friend? Someone who will be there all the time, not just when it feels good.
Someone who knows that there is something more important then being right.
Friends give you an extremely powerful version of hope.
A hope that gives you the power to take one more step.
A hope that knows that there is something more out there.
A hope that loves you into a place where dreams thrive.

It was through my friends that I discovered the most amazing fact, a fact that I didn’t really understand until I experienced it. In all things, love conquers hate. Love is so much stronger in so many ways. How little I understand. How much more I want to learn.

So, the next time you find that dark place… No wait, right now, before you find that dark place, cultivate your friendships. You just never know when you’ll really, really need them.

John 15:12-16 says an amazing thing. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

Thanks be to my best friend, (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost).
The more that I get to know you, the more amazed I become.
Praise be to Your holy, holy name.

And now, I’m off to cultivate a friendship.

What does life look like from the eyes of a hero?

My brow does sweat with drops of blood,
but that is now my least concern.
My knees do bleed from kneeling down,
but why should I give care to that?

My knuckles throb from gripping tight,
I doubt I’ll ever grasp again.
My heart does threaten to explode,
it makes it hard to hear their words.

How long can I endure such pain?
When will I know this path is right?
How long can I be this fatigued?
When will I get a bit news?

Where are my skills to lead this group?
When will some peace be-still my heart?
Where is my strength to keep this pace?
How can I take just one more breath?

I read the news a thousand times.
I scan my plans a million more.
The time is now to speak to them.
I beat my legs to wake them up.

I walk out to the edge of time
and there in silence are millions of souls.
They look to me to lead them on.
They look to me to give them strength.

“We will endure. We will fight on.
For self reliance. For our freedom.”
Then deafening cheers do reach my ears.
They know their hero will help them win.

“Where is your fear?” they say to me.
“Do you know pain just like we do?”
I look to them and take deep breaths.
“A hero knows to step once more.”

And daylight came with one more step.

A hero is just another life.
We all need God to know what’s right.

If God is good why is there pain? Why doesn’t He just blot pain right out?

A four year old with mom in tow
happily traveling to his aunt’s big house.
With Sandy hair and big brown eyes
He plays inside the living room.
He sneaks outside and un-crates the dogs
And pit bulls descend and maul him to death.

I’ve heard it said that God is good
How can He allow such pain for us?

Is God so mean to allow a fatal choice?
Or should He stop that one wrong move?
If God does choose my path for me
What can I choose? Where does it stop?
Without any choice I could be a chair
Or just a robot who does what he’s told.

I’ve heard it said that God is good
Why does He let me choose the next step?

I like the idea of freedom of choice.
I like the idea to choose my own path.
Freedom of choice to do what’s right.
Freedom of choice to make mistakes.
The mistakes I make will cause me pain.
The mistakes I make allow me to learn.

I’ve heard it said that God is good
He takes our pain to create something good.

The greatest pain we’ve seen in life
Has lead us to create something quite good.
The Titanic crashed and cost so much,
but lead us to much safer ships.
The loss of life to drunk driving,
created MADD that saved many lives.

Thank you God for being so good
And letting my pain teach me what’s good.

Knowing there’s good behind this bad
Gives me mighty hope to take the next step.
Knowing there’s good behind this bad
Gives me mighty hope to learn something more.
Knowing there’s good behind this bad
Gives me mighty hope that my future is bright.

“And we know that in all things
God works for the good of those who love Him
and have been called to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28 NIV