Month: June 2011

does God really love you?


this is what we read tonight from the Jesus Storybook Bible. wanted to share it here.

Adam and Eve lived happily together in their beautiful new home.  And everything was perfect–for a while.  Until the day when everything went wrong.  God had a horrible enemy.  His name was Satan. Satan had once been the most beautiful angel, but he didn’t want to be just an angel–he wanted to be God.  He grew proud and evil and full of hate, and God had to send him out of heaven.  Satan was seething with anger and looking for a way to hurt God.  He wanted to stop God’s plan, stop this love story, right there. So he disguised himself as a snake and waited in the garden.

Now, God had given Adam and Eve only one rule: “Don’t eat the fruit on that tree,” God told them. “Because if you do, you’ll think you know everything.  You’ll stop trusting me.  And then death and sadness and tears will come.” (You see, God knew if they ate the fruit, they would think they didn’t need him. And they would try to make themselves happy without him.  But God knew there was no such thing as happiness without him, and life without him wouldn’t be life at all.)

As soon as the snake saw his chance, he slithered silently up to Eve. “Does God really love you?” the serpent whispered. “If he does, why won’t he let you eat the nice, juicy, delicious fruit? Poor you, perhaps God doesn’t want you to be happy.”

The snake’s words hissed into her ears and sunk down deep into her heart, like poison. Does God love me? Eve wondered. Suddenly she didn’t know anymore. “Just trust me,” the serpent whispered. “You don’t need God. One small taste, that’s all, and you’ll be happier than you could ever dream…”

Eve picked the fruit and ate some. And Adam ate some, too.  And a terrible lie came into the world.  It would never leave.  It would live on in every human heart, whispering to every one of God’s children: “God doesn’t love me.”…

…You see, sin had come into God’s perfect world.  And it would never leave.  God’s children would always be running away from him and hiding in the dark.  Their hearts would break now, and never work properly again.  God couldn’t let his children live forever, not in such pain, not without him.  There was only one way to protect them.  “You will have to leave the garden now,” God told his children, his eyes filling with tears. “This is no longer your true home, it’s not the place for you anymore.”

But before they left the garden, God  made clothes for his children, to cover them.  He gently clothed them and then he sent them away on a long, long journey==out of the garden, out of their home.  Well in another story, it would all be over and that would have been….

The End.

But not in this Story.

God loved his children too much to let the story end there.  Even though he knew he would suffer, God had a plan–a magnificent dream.  One day, he would get his children back.  One day, he would make the world their perfect home again.  And one day, he would wipe away every tear from their eyes.

You see, no matter what, in spite of everything, God would love his children–with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.

And though they would forget him, and run from him, deep in their hearts, God’s children would miss him always, and long for him–lost children yearning for their home.

Before they left the garden, God whispered a promise to Adam and Eve: “It will not always be so! I will come to rescue you! And when I do, I’m going to do battle against the snake.  I’ll get rid of the sin and the dark and the sadness you let in here.  I’m coming back for you!”

And he would.  One day, God himself would come.

 

isn’t that where sin begins, “Does God really love you?” we question His love and then we stop trusting Him. we believe the lie. but the good news is He has come to rescue you and me with a love that we can’t possibly comprehend.

Advertisements

how valuable is your time?


fleeting moments-Chuck Harris: June 2011

time…

our most precious commodity

we can’t produce more…when it expires, it’s fleeting moments are gone forever

have i made the most of the seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years that have been ordained for me?

have i routinely squandered this most treasured of assets?

truly time is a gift given as a daily allotment

one moment moves to the next and if we regularly miss those moments, they are wasted time

there are many riches that can be lost and regained, but time can never be recreated

so let us make the most of time because the days are short

based on Ephesians 5


missing the call-Chuck Harris: June 2011

wisdom calls. she calls loudly.

have i listened? did i, do i love well?

do i love deeply? do i love purely? do i love sacrificially?

did i give up my own selfishness for others? do i prefer others over me?

i often think that i don’t, i didn’t. i just thought of myself

poor me.

i didn’t get my way.

i can justify anything. i can make myself believe.

i guess it comes back to that first question

was wisdom calling and like the fool, i failed to listen?

i mean i heard it. her voice boomed though still and small.

did i just not listen, or did i choose to ignore?

did i not like what she had to say?

it appears my foolishness has overtaken me again.

questioning joy…


really….joy?-Chuck Harris: June 2011

finding joy.

is joy a treasure that we search and dig for like precious metals and stones?

or is it like oxygen that floats freely in the atmosphere and is readily available to all who will just inhale?

as i read, i see those who experience complete joy didn’t walk the easiest path

in fact, their treks were dangerous leading to injury and even death

yet they continue to count this joy

like some sort of twisted currency with an outrageous exchange rate

no matter what overwhelms them they continue the quest, they count it ALL joy

and why?

so that in Him, my joy can be made complete

color my world


palette-Chuck Harris: June 2011

what is it that colors your world?

is it a philosophy? a belief? a system?

or is it something else?

do you view the world through a lens foggy and tinted or clearly through pristine glass?

is your view pixelated from what you’ve been taught or told?

or have you done the exploratory work of digging into wisdom yourself and created your own scheme?

do you trust and/or adhere to the views of others or do you stand alone on the vista surveying the vast expanse of life as you know it?

what adds to your art? music? literature? politics? religion?

do you only like the colors that speak to you, or would you be willing to look at something you consider brash or boring?

what are the hues you create with as you paint on the canvas of your journey?

what crayons are in your box? what paints are on your palette?

 

what comes out of your mouth?


speak-Chuck Harris: June 2011

words!

they’re like little nuggets

they can be like gold or even drip out as diamonds

or they can be like a cancer

a destructive tumor that does nothing but eat away at what is healthy

we often spit them out as soon as they come to mind

never turning over in our mouth the hand grenade that we unleash to blow up and fragment fragile souls and hearts

they pass our teeth and exit our lips

they depart from the tip of our tongue and we can never take them back

words can bring moments of healing and wisdom or they can be curses that destroy and devastate the target at which they are aimed

yet….

i continue to open my mouth when maybe i should cover it with both of my hands.

one more for today…


from a better place.

the good-Chuck Harris: June 2011

i want to write about the good things

i’m searching for the good. i want to run after the good.

what is really good?

the good is hearing my sister’s laugh after many years of sadness

the good is tears of joy wept as i realize truth in the words i hear or read

the good is a hug and a kiss from my children

the good is hearing a song for the first time that touches a place deep in the recesses of the heart

the good is singing loudly, hopefully, beautifully!

the good is realizing that someday, somehow, somewhere, someone will see something in me that they will love even when the real me comes out

the good is what keeps me going

lament…


yes, i’m in a very honest mode right now as i write. i’m searching for a glimpse of something to spark my heart.

a psalm of lament-Chuck Harris: June 2011

how long?

how long must this trial continue? is it much longer?

could you please possibly give me a time frame so i know how long i’ll need to hold on?

i mean, if it’s not too much to ask?

i’m just being honest, i want to know if there is an end

i guess i’ll make due if there isn’t, but just to know

i’d like to know

i want to be in the light

the light that bathes the end of this dark passage of life

a bit of refuge in the bright sun of Your love before the next tunnel

i know this passage is difficult and necessary, but occasionally

just that little nudge of Your hand on the small of my back moving me towards the brightness

toward You

toward the space in between the dark labyrinths

how long?

some more thoughts…


wow, i’ve really been writing quite a bit lately.

a psalm of sorts-Chuck Harris: June 2011

so how long does pain last?

when will you say, “that’s enough”?

are we ever free from it, or are we continually in a state of wounding and healing?

is it perpetual?

wounded…healed…scarred?

wounded again…healed again…more scars?

are the battle wounds we bear a badge of courage or bandages of bondage?

will i ever not be impacted, overwhelmed and destroyed by pain?

just as soon as i get back on my feet from the last disaster, another storm strikes

i long for the relief, for the end of the strife

can you bring the remedy to heal this wounded life?

another poem of sorts…


thinking these may be better in a spoken word context.

what are you afraid of?-Chuck Harris: June 2011

RISK!

do i know how to do that anymore?

or do i crave the ludicracy of safety that’s not even promised

nothing is promised, but i like the illusion

the illusion that i might have control of it all

so i crave the safe, fake reality when what is real doesn’t even enter in

what is real? i can’t imagine

i can’t see

i can’t believe

real things that i actually long for will never happen, or so i think….

but then….

i catch a glimpse of life….life more lived

not a life that is crippled by control and fear

i wonder what it would be like to begin being again

to not just be doing, but to live….really live life

to have a story….to create anew…to live in the moment

to do what i need to be….

to RISK!