Silly Easter Poem

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Hoppy Easter to my lovies
Colored eggs and Easter bunnies
Creepy pictures on a rabbit’s lap
Cadbury Eggs…what the heck is in the middle of that?

Putting on your Sunday best
Time for one of the two days to go to church
The heck with the rest?
The Passion play and recommitments
Hoping that this time, we’ll keep them.

Plastic grass tangled in the vacuum
Too many deviled eggs…
Guess who’s living in the bathroom

What happens when the kids get older
No messy tables from dying eggs
No egg hunts and baskets
The house seems colder

Till later when the grandkids arrive
Easter will once again come alive

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Crown of Thorns

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We have all heard the story of The Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ.

We know he was unjustly sentenced for proclaiming who He is and all the works and miracles that he performed. We know that even though the government found no wrong in Christ, they allowed the citizens to choose who to set free, and the citizens choose a murderer named Barabbas.

We know that he was taunted by the religious folks of the time, called names, spat upon, whipped forty minus one time by a cat of nine tails.

Forty less one stripe-Jewish law stated that the maximum amount of lashes a person may receive is 40. The reason for them giving 39 is room for error in the counting, so as not to exceed the punishment.

Cat-o-nine-tails- an instrument  of torture comprised of a short cluster of whips approximately 3 feet in length. Each strand made of leather has a sharp piece of bone or metal attached to the end. When it strikes the body, it tears off the upper layer of skin in a stripe several inches wide, causing pain and profuse bleeding.

They then made him carry his Cross down the Via Dolorosa (Way of suffering) to the hill called Galgotha (place of the skull)  outside of the city where he would be nailed to the cross and the cross was erected for all the world to see. He eventually suffocated to death. I highly recommend that you read the actual science behind the crucifixion. This is a very stripped down overview.

All the while this ordeal was taking place, he never said a word. He never fought. He never defended himself. He knew what the end result would be, and this death had nothing on the glory that was to come for both himself and the rest of the world for those who accept this most amazing gift.

I highly recommend reading the entire chapter of Isaiah 53, but here is a short clip from the chapter:

3 He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised and we did not esteem Him.

4 Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted.

5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

The one thing that I want to focus on is the Crown of Thorns.

When Christ was being crucified, they fashioned a crown of thorns to mock the King. Thorns. They placed this crown upon His head and beat it into his skull.  Take a minute to let that sink in.

We know that by His stripes we are healed. Healing is available to everyone who accepts and believes because of the stripe. It’s been paid for. It’s up to us to accept it and walk by faith in the healing.  The one thing that we overlook is that crown and its symbolism.

Part of the curse in Genesis 3 is that the land would produce thorns. If a crop bears thorns and thistles, that crop is worthless.

So here’s my question for you:

Have you ever been called worthless? Have you ever thought of yourself as worthless?

Have you ever been made fun of? Have you ever felt degraded? Let me go a step further…Have you ever had voices in your head that told you all these things?

You are a nobody

You are worthless

You’ll never amount to anything

You’ll never be good enough

What if …happens?

What if there’s not enough money?

What if I screw it all up?

I’ve made too many mistakes.

Nobody could ever love me

Are you recognizing these voices? These are voices that those suffering from depression, anxiety, bi-polar, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses hear.

There is not a single thing that Christ went through that was void of meaning. Jesus wore the crown of thorns…the thorns that went deep into his skull, so you can be free of mental illness and mental oppression. Just as he received 39 stripes so you can be healed. Just as he died on the cross and literally went to hell and defeated Satan, so that you don’t have to.

And the most amazing thing is that 3 days after He died on the cross, He rose from the dead. He walked this earth for 40 days before ascending into heaven. Nine days later, what is now known as the day of Pentecost, He sent His Holy Spirit. It is His Spirit that lives inside of those who have received Christ as their savior. This is very important because it is the still small voice of the Holy Spirit that has the ability to override those voices in your head.

The same spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in us. Therefore, we have the mind of Christ.

It would be heartless of me to tell you all this without telling how to deal with it.

The bible says in Philippians 4:6-8

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is anything praiseworthy-think on these things.

Think on things that are positive. Stop the “what-ifs”. Find out who you are in Christ. You are worthy. Look up your identity in Christ. Search the scripture. Anytime you see the words, “In Christ”, “In Him”, and “In whom”…that’s talking about YOU. That’s who you are.

The apostle Paul had a thorn in the flesh, yet he was who had this revelation. A Thorn. Sound familiar?

Another reference is scripture to read is about the Armor of God found in Ephesians 6:10-17. In this scripture, it speaks of the helmet of Salvation and the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God.

In order to defeat mental illness or mental oppression, it is important that EVERY DAY when you wake up, that you get dressed in the Armor. The helmet protects the head…the mind. The sword of the spirit is the words you speak. A sword is double edged, so be careful with it. You can speak life or death. You can protect yourself, and with the same sword, you can kill people with your words. That’s another story for another time, but right now, we want to put the focus on protecting ourselves. This is where the thinking on these things comes into play. Every action starts with a thought then it manifests through the mouth. That is the action. Stop speaking and thinking negatively. When a negative thought comes into your mind, take it captive and change it to something positive.

Faith is awesome, but it’s dead when there is no action behind it. It’s wonderful to think that Christ took our physical and emotional pain on the cross, but if you don’t put into action what He provided, you will remain in the same predicament that you are in.

Allow me to speak from experience. I come from a long line of worriers. Anxiety is a very strong curse in my family. My grandmother had it, my mother has it, I have been known to suffer from it, and my daughter has it. It’s bad. It can make you sick and paralyze you. Several years ago  I went to a conference called an “Encounter with Christ”. It was a great weekend service where we learned all of the symbolism of the cross, just as I have touched on above. The part that really got me was the revelation of the crown of thorns. Through my battle with worry or anxiety for many years, I finally learned how to put into action the things that I have talked about above. My quality of life drastically changed. I became someone I didn’t even know, and I liked her.

At some point, circumstances in life happened and I started losing ground. The reason I lost ground is because I stopped clothing myself daily with the armor of God and I stopped thinking and meditating on positive things. Now I am basically back to square one. I have determined to find that person again who was free of anxiety. I don’t have it all together, but I do know what I have to do. I just have to do it. Earlier this year, I decided to find her. I do good mentally when I practice this, but I have not yet made it a habit.

I want to encourage everyone who is interested in getting free from anxiety, depression and other mental oppression, to join the journey with me.  Not just for a day or 2, but until it becomes a habit.

Entangled in Love

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Two worlds, two lives, two souls collide
Bringing together the land and tide
Meeting on life’s rocky shores
Grace abound and love is born

From the first, we both knew
This love would grow and I’d marry you
Through ups and downs and inside out,
Our souls combine free of doubt

Outer darkness tried to come in
With diligence, we were determined to win

The music plays, the flower fades
We refused to let love slip away
With tears in the night
My heart in your hand
Our love renewed
Through a fight to the end

Eternity is not very long
Compared to my love for you
That keeps growing strong

When past loves and lives fade away
Into the darkness where they will stay
A light will shine and our eyes behold
The reason and season
For where we are now
Entangled in love
That was finally found

Remember the Alamo

My husband and I took a quick get away trip to Austin and  San Antonio.

Our trip began with the very little planning before we ever left home. Friday night we decided we would stay a night rather than doing a day trip as we had originally planned, so I frantically searched the internet for a hotel. I usually use Priceline.com and use the negotiator tool to get good hotels very cheap, so that was my starting place. I placed 4 bids for 2 1/2 star hotels and went up to $90. Even after expanding the area we were willing to stay in and dropping to 2-star hotels, we still came up empty handed. I turned to the other sites and everything was booked. This should have been my first clue about how the weekend would be. It was the end of Spring Break, the weather has been nice and it was the weekend.

We finally found a Motel 6 on the other side of town from where we wanted to go for $95. Ok, so it’s a Motel 6. Definitely not our usual by far, but it’s a place to sleep and it’s not like we were going to be hanging out much in the hotel. So we settled.

Six am on Saturday morning, we through our belongings into the car and headed out. First, stop Austin, Texas….well, after a couple stops by Buc-ee’s. We live about an hour south of Dallas, so the trip to Austin should take about 3 hours, then another hour and a half to San Antonio. The traffic was great, so those times held true.

Austin was awesome. We went to the capitol and really enjoyed it. After we passed through security, we went into the center of the Rotunda where there was a man preaching. I leaned over to my husband and whispered, “He’s practicing his first amendment rights”. We enjoyed the history and the architecture and seeing pictures of people we had only read about.

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South by Southwest (SXSW) was going on this weekend, so we didn’t want to hang around Austin for too long, so by 1 pm we were headed to San Antonio.

We arrived in San Antonio by around 2, following another stop at Buc-ee’s. We headed down 410 to the motel to check in by 3. The traffic close to the hotel got pretty congested, so we took the service road to finish our drive. My husbands sunglasses were scratched, so while we were waiting in traffic, he asked me to pull into Academy Sports to get him some new ones. You know what they say about 1st impressions. His first impression was not all that great. We visit several Academy Sports in the Dallas area on a very regular basis and they are all well kept and nice. This one was very ghetto, but it served its purpose. We left there and a few minutes later, we arrived at the motel which is not far from Lackland Airforce Base.

I went to check in and the guy behind the counter said we can’t check in till 3. I told him it was 20 minutes till 3, but we were willing to wait. Then he informed us that it may be 4 before he can get us in a room.  The second impression is also important, and it wasn’t that great. We made sure that our reservation was at least in their system, then decided to go to the Japanese Tea Garden, which was on our itinerary of things to see.

We arrived at the Japanese Tea Garden 25 minutes later. It is located next to the San Antonio Zoo. The parking lot for the tea garden was full, so we parked in the zoo parking lot and walked to the gardens.

The best place to start is at the Pagoda which is like a pavilion that looks down over the entire area. You can get some really good pictures from there. The Pagoda is made of rocks. The garden is actually a sunken water garden with koi fish and a few turtles. There are bridges and trails all over the garden. This is a great place to take pictures for weddings, proms, and such. There is even a waterfall. We really enjoyed the garden. It takes about an hour or so to walk through and enjoy all the plants and fish.

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We left the water garden and headed to the famous River Walk.

After paying $11 to park and walking 2 blocks to the let in, we instantly knew this was a mistake. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love the River Walk…when there are no people. It’s really pretty and has the potential to be relaxing. There are pretty flowers and plants all along the river. The river is lined on both sides by hotels, restaurants, and shops. There are ducks everywhere and boat tours. We would have liked to do a boat tour, but the amount of people down there and in line was out of this world. I’m pretty sure everyone in the state of Texas was there this weekend. The sidewalks at times only allow for single-file foot traffic in each direction. We decided to get something to eat. We had spotted a couple places that neither of us had ever been too. Hard-Rock Café and Dicks Last Resort. Dick’s was on the other side of the river, so we opted for Hard-Rock. We went in and the wait was going to be about an hour and a half. Naturally, we decided against it and kept on walking. Then we came upon Salt-Grass Steak House.  The wait there was 45 minutes, so while we waited we sat on the wall by the river and people watched. The service was excellent and we really enjoyed  the time together.

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Following our meal, we decided to go find the parking garage and head back to the motel. We were wonderfully and miserably stuffed. I had told my husband on the way to the garage that there is a good chance that we would see the Alamo although we weren’t planning to go until the next day. My husband was astonished, if not slightly pissed that the Alamo would be in the middle of downtown. I guess I never really thought about it. I explained to him that they built the city around the Alamo and it’s not as if they can move it, but he makes a very good point…in hindsight. They should have sectioned off several acres around it so that it could be in its natural historical setting.

We did, in fact, walk in front of the Alamo and  took a few pictures. There was a wedding taking place. Can you imagine how much it would cost to rent the Alamo for a wedding? I informed my daughter that if she decides to get married there, then her dad can pay for it.

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We arrived back at the motel just before dark and finally got checked in. Although we knew we were going to a cheap motel, we were still disappointed with our room. We swore that we would never again stay in a 2-star hotel/motel. The beds were thin mattresses on top of a plywood stand and had no box springs. There was no hair dryer or coffee pot (which I discovered the next morning), no iron or ironing board. There was a phone, a small table with an ashtray with a no smoking sticker on it, a tv, a little bar of soap and 2 towels. The bad thing is, that we had the money for a better hotel, but we were being tight. My husband got no sleep because of all the noise. Me…I fell asleep and slept heavy while he stayed up guarding us.

The next morning, we wasted no time getting out of there and headed to Duncan Donuts for COFFEE and breakfast. We then went back to downtown, guided by our trusty GPS. You gotta love it when the GPS says to turn right on a one-way street going left. Then on the times it would guide us correctly, the streets were closed. We drove around aimlessly and finally found a parking garage a couple of blocks from the Alamo, paid our $10 to park and began our walk. Let me remind you, it’s only about 10 am by this time. As we got closer to our final destination, we heard loud music and finally decided it was a live band. When we turned the corner to where we could normally see the Alamo, all we saw was a sea of people. As we entered the block, we discovered they were having a 5K race…and the finish line was right in front of the Alamo. We stood on the side of the street, cheering on the weary runners, then saw a break in the race and we ran for it. We swam through the sea of people and joined the very long line to go in. The line actually went quickly and soon, we were stepping back in time.

If you’ve never been to the Alamo, the building itself is very small, but the history is so rich. It’s definitely worth the trip, at least once in your life.  We enjoyed the Alamo itself and the courtyards that surrounded it.

Overall we had a really great time! The downtown area of San Antonio has some beautiful architecture and the feeling is healthy. From what we saw of the rest of the city, it was pretty much ghetto in my opinion, but we may not have seen a true representation of it, so it’s really unfair for me to judge.

Around noon, we headed home. Again, it’s the end of Spring Break and I35 is under major construction, at least, the northbound lanes are. Our 4 1/2 hour trip home ended up taking us 7 hours and 45 minutes.

My take away from the trip: don’t go during Spring Break or probably any other major summer holiday and if possible, go during the week, but time your traveling when it’s not rush hour. But most of all, go and see as much of the world as possible and don’t forget to visit pieces of history in your own state, even if you don’t like people or crowds, it’s still worth it.

End of the Rope

 

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Candles burning at both ends
The stress and anxiety never end
Fights and feuds
Staying up all night
Never sleeping or eating right

What good is this life, you say?
I never thought it would be this way
Reality hits and things go wrong
Making weak what once was strong
The tears I’ve cried for all the years
Can never return what I once held dear

Our love was pure
Our love was deep
It still could be,
But you sow and reap

Please turn around and see the truth
This disease is killing you
Intelligence will get you nowhere
Without wisdom its all a nightmare

You’ve turned into someone I do not know
This isn’t the way it was supposed to go
Somewhere deep inside is YOU
Find him before your face turns blue

While there is breath
There is hope
But once it’s gone
That’s the end of the rope.

The Bridges Burned

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You lost in love
You lost in life
You lost your mind
And paid the price

The things you do for selfish gain
Are slowly driving you insane

Your heart is stone
You’re immature
Swallowing your pride
Could be the cure

You’re so blind
You cannot see
This precious gift
In front of me

Too late now
You’ll never know
The love, The laughter
Of Raising a soul

You ruined it all
But who’s to blame?
You and You alone
What a shame.

Life goes on
We live we learn
And thank God for
The bridges burned

My Written Reflections

Scrubs and Beyond

Life Lessons From A Waterfall

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Every year I used to go camping at Turner Falls in Oklahoma. We would camp on the top of the mountain and walk down to the river. The river was ice cold and it took awhile to get brave enough to plunge into it. It was so cold that just putting your foot in would take your breath away.

Although it was cold, it was very refreshing, especially in the heat of the summer. The water was the purest water I had ever seen. Of course, with Turner Falls being such a high tourist area, I was always to scared to drink the water for obvious reasons. We would take our time hiking down the river. There were many small waterfalls as we hiked.  The river cut through the mountain and the walls of rock and caves climbed  high above us. There was a small tree here and there. The river bed alternated between being as slippery as ice to areas of thick silt. We hiked all the way down to where the water fell over the cliff into the pool below.

After hiking our way back up the river, we would get in the truck and head down to the pool below the fall. There were a couple of huge boulders that the water fell on and a shallow cave formation behind the veil of water. The pool was deepest just below the fall.

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As I reflect on those memorable summers spent in the Arbuckle Mountains of Oklahoma, I think of the science that forms the falls. The steam often begins as a natural spring and is narrow. As the water courses down the river over resistant bedrock, erosion slowly takes place. As the velocity of the water is increased, turbulence occurs. The water carries  sediment which is microscopic silt, or pebbles and erodes the soft rock so that the streams channel cuts so deep that only hard rock is exposed.

Just above the fall, the stream becomes wider and shallower. Then there is that magic moment where the water ceases flowing horizontally and falls vertically. The water then crashes against the boulders below, which causes a back splash. The backsplash creates a shallow cave-like formation known as a rock shelter. The pool below the fall is deep due to the kinetic energy of the water hitting the bottom and causing erosion below.

Just thinking about this amazing phenomenon gives me chills. I don’t know if you got anything out of all that, but let me tell you what I got out of it.

The first thing that completely and totally amazes me is how that much water can continuously flow at such a high rate of speed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for thousands upon thousands of years. To me, this shows that there is a never ending abundance that can come only from God. Think about the waterfalls you have seen or know about. Consider Niagra Falls, for example. Then think about the thousands of waterfalls all over the world. You would think they would dry up at some point.

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Psalm 78:15-16 He split the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink in abundance. He also brought streams out of the rock and caused waters to run down like rivers.

And here’s something to think about.  The power that it takes to cut through the rocks and the mountains, the power of the water falling over the edge of the cliff. That power is so great that nothing can live in its path. Everything is uprooted. The water is pure and clean and it cleanses. It takes all the areas of the river and breaks it down and washes it away until there is  nothing but hard rock left. It cuts deep.

We all have dirt in our lives. We have things in our past that may be deeply rooted. We have mountains in our lives that we feel we can never overcome. The good news is that the Word  washes us as clean and pure as the river that flows through the mountain, until the point that our horizontal relationship with man falls over the edge and our relationship becomes vertical with Christ. It’s not always a fun time. The Word will cause turbulence in your life, but know that’s not always a bad thing. In fact, it ultimately turns into something beautiful.

There is a place behind the veil of the fall that you can hide. A sanctuary of sorts. A hiding place. The same water that gives life can also be a deadly force if used wrong. Of course, that is a different story for a different day, but think of all the times scripture has been misused and taken out of context.

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Nature has a lot to teach us if we pay attention. The Word is alive and well and is relevant to your situation. My prayer is that you glean revelation from the Waterfall.

I want to leave you with this as you think about the power of the waterfall, think about these things:

Job 8:6-7 If you were pure and upright, surely now He would awake for you and prosper your rightful dwelling place. Though your beginning was small, yet your latter end would increase abundantly.

Ephesians 3:20-Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.

John 7:38-He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water

Ephesians 5:25-26-Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word.

My Broken Soul Is Crying

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I can’t breathe.

My life hangs in the balance

Slowly dying

Tormented.

 

My soul is in deep despair

Conflict raging everywhere

My hands and feet and heart are numb

For what once was our love has  become

 

A love that started out just right

Has drifted away just like the night

My heart can’t take it anymore

You compromised

So I’m walking out the door

 

One thing can turn this all around

Joy in the morning can still be found

One thing I ask in return

Give me your all and let our passion burn

 

I won’t give in to second place

It’s all or nothing at this stage

I’ve stayed, I’ve cried, I’ve lost myself

In a world of dysfunction

I won’t be found

 

I beg and plea for an escape

But my love for you has me in chains

So here I lay, slowly dying

Tormented, outraged

My broken soul crying

 

 

 

 

 

My Love For You

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My love for you is a strange love
As strange as the weather in Texas
As long as the nights in the winter
As sweet as the tea in my mason jar cup

My love for you is deep
Deeper than the deepest ocean
Higher than the clouds and the moon and the sun
As long as the equator

My love for you is frightening
Scaring myself into silence
Alarming the depths of my heart in the night
Terrifying my soul completely

My love for you is unending
Ceaseless even in the darkest days
Infinite regardless of test and trials

Eternal in all of its ways