Mannerism

The Faint Shadow

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I’ve never been one who hated cloudy days. I’ve never been one who threw the covers back over my head because the sun wasn’t out. I’ve never been one who felt depressed and listless because it was a grey day. Now give me a string of these days and I might start to weaken a bit. I don’t know where the cutoff point is, but I know I have a limit as to where I begin to crave the warmth and positive vibe of the sun.

Our shadow is a mistake free measurement device. On a bright sunny day it’s bold and brave like it could take on the world. It dances freely with us as we bounce through the day. But as the sky becomes littered with clouds it loses some of its confidence and begins to weaken and become faint. Even in the dead of night the moon will provide a glimpse of our shadow. A full moon on occasion may even pick up your spirit.

In the larger picture, our shadow takes the temperature of the light in our lives.

There’s the natural God given light, and then there’s the artificial man made light. The qualities of the man made light are different then that made by God. That shouldn’t surprise us should it?

Without getting all scienced-up, there are some things that are beyond our comprehension.

Artificial light is just that, it’s man made, it’s less than a perfect replacement. Nothing can replace a God given wonder.

Now by definition, a shadow is a dark area where light from a light source is blocked by an opaque object. So if the light source is God, and you’re the opaque object, what kind of spiritual shadow do you create?

So here’s where I’m going, follow me now. Your spiritual shadow, is it bold and brave, or is it weak and faint? Does God’s light shine so brightly on you that your shadow make a distinct marking on the world, or are you living in a space where the cloud littered world causes you to reveal a faint shadow, a shadow that lacks of confidence?

Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105 ESV)

Regardless of whether you wake to the sun shining or not, Jesus provides a light for us at all times, and in all seasons. Our spiritual shadow never needs to grow faint, or crave nourishment.

The unfolding of your words gives light. (Psalm 119:130ESV)

Being in His word means never having to pull the covers back over our head because of cloudy conditions.

It means there’s strength, a light shining a path for us even when the darkness causes us to stumble, to become depressed and or feel listless.

Our physical shadow may become faint, the sun may not rise everyday with the same vibrancy as the day before it, but our spiritual shadow can always be bold, it can be filled with a heavenly love, it can have a bounce that is beyond understanding. It only needs to be caused by His light.

Pray on,

Eddy

 

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Mannerism

Love’s Arm Around My Shoulders

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Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Eph 5:20 ESV)

A new chapter of my life has been unfolding these past few weeks, the pages are crisp and clean, and I find myself unabashedly grateful. I’m grateful for a God who loves me, and who continues to bless me daily.

I’m on my way out of the shadow of my father’s death. The road before me will not always be easy, but I travel with a constant companion in my Lord and Savior. The two of us will march towards tomorrows smiles and tears together, and for that, I find myself thankful.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thes 5:18 ESV)

So as I write this morning, I lift up my words to Him, my great King. My thoughts of praise and worship are offered to the One who has, does, and will always embrace my life.

I write from thankfulness, from a heart that cries of joy, from a soul that knows of peace, and from a faith that knows no other.

I write as a mourner who knows healing, who knows a love that surpasses all understanding, and knows of a hopeful and joyful path to eternity.

In all times, in all places, and in all circumstances I offer my complete life as a sacrifice, honoring His will for me. It’s the least I can do.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col 3:17 ESV)

I’m embarrassingly blessed. I don’t deserve the life I get to live. Sure I do my best, but inevitably I come up short at the end of the day, and yet the blessings continue to rain down. So it is that whatever I do in word or deed, I do in the name of the Lord.

Prayerfully I go forward striving to appreciate the grace that surrounds me, and to recognize the Love that always has an arm around my shoulders.

Pray on,

Eddy

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Mannerism

Create In His Name

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So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Gen 1:27 ESV)

I’m currently the owner of a clear mind and I’m loving it. It’s a mind that’s free from darkness, it’s free from obscurity, and it’s even free from cloudiness. It’s dictionary clear. There’s no discoloration, no defects, not even a blemish. It’s a gift that’s been lovingly given to me, and graciously received.

It’s with this new found clear mind that I’ve become truly inspired to create again. As I was walking through my previous season of servanthood, I neglected to keep a balance in my life, and I wandered away from the God given gifts that were there to feed and strengthen me.

I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but by not having symmetry in my life, I was missing some deep emotional opportunities to be creative.

But I’m now experiencing a heightened sense of harmony. I’m beginning to explore other areas of expression. Some of these I haven’t visited before, and a few others are outlets I’ve long left behind.

And he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, (Ex35:3-32 ESV)

I’m not sure where any of this will lead, but that doesn’t seem to matter at the moment as the journey itself seems to be the most important thing right now.

Embracing the process is a luxury that sometimes gets lost when we find ourselves being enslaved to deadlines.

While in the studio I’ve had to remind myself on more than a few occasions to remember that this is fun. That’s how and why I fell in love with it in the first place. I create for that exciting moment when a mistake becomes the catalyst for something beautiful and new. I wonder for the stream of conscious work that seems to have been created by someone else when experienced the following morning. I have to be more mindful of not letting go of that.

And so that’s where I find myself at the moment. I’m filled with this childlike enthusiasm, and I can’t wait to open my new box of crayons… whatever that may be. And that in itself is motivating me to see, hear and think about things differently.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. (Col 3:23 ESV)

This place that I dwell in right now has been provided by Him. The surrounding expressions of love and wonder have been produced by Him. The gifts have been bought and strategically placed are by Him.

So one thing’s for sure, I’m wholly inspired by the Author of all things, I’m encouraged by the love that He lavishly expresses over my life, and I’m honored to be given the opportunity to create in His name.

Pray on,

Eddy

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Mannerism

Called To Freedom

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Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Cor 3:17 ESV)

After a period of time in which I was a full-time caregiver, I now find myself experiencing a new found freedom. New found in that I’ve never experienced freedom in this manner. It feels completely different than anything else I’ve ever felt before. As is often the case, it appears that I’ve been changed by the season that’s just passed, and that I’ve grown to see things in a new light.

My time of serving was wonderfully fulfilling. It brought me a deeper understanding of myself.

I learned things about myself that were gratifying, and also at times disappointing.

You see we have the freedom to learn from what we live. We can learn from our successes, and we can also learn from our failures. It’s the essence of our journey. We wake as one person, and through the Spirit’s guidance, we can end the day as another.

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:32 ESV)

But now I find myself in new territory. I’m walking on ground that I’ve never walked on before. I’m in a place that I never knew existed. I’m living a freedom that as of a month ago was unimaginable.

The truth is my values have changed and I’m seeing the world differently.

I’m now facing each new day with a different set of possibilities. I’m daring to imagine things I never did before. I’m experiencing a rush of exciting thoughts and ideas and the joy is overwhelming.

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Gal 5:13 ESV)

And so I’m writing like I haven’t done before. I’m writing with a renewed purpose. I’m writing with the full intention of sharing what I’ve gone through, and how I’ve been changed by it. I’m writing out of a sense of servanthood, out of a love for my brothers and sisters in that my journey may enlighten just one person, that it may lead someone to the truth, that it may lead them to the freedom from whence they’ve been called…. for we’ve all been called to freedom.

Pray on,

Eddy.

 

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Mannerism

After the Storm

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And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:7 ESV)

There’s a sense of calm that engulfs me right now. I know that it’s temporary, but I’m enjoying it none the less. My heart and mind feel amazingly peaceful, almost what I imagine would be heavenly.

After any storm comes a settling calm, and it’s in the calm that I’m currently residing. If you’ve ever tried to describe such a place, you know how difficult it is to find the words. That’s because it’s a peace which surpasses all understanding.

If I’m unable to understand it, then I’m unable to explain it!

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (John16:33 ESV)

We need to reconcile that peace is a fragile moment of time that can disappear in a heartbeat. We’d do well to never take it for granted.

Overcoming the trials of this world is a lifelong challenge. We face trials daily, and sometimes even hourly. They can knock the wind out of us quickly and without warning. On our own we’re doomed to fail. On our own we look for worldly cures and strength, but there aren’t any sufficient answers or fixes to be found here.

The only way to maneuver through the maze of this world is with the One who has gone before us, with the One who has successfully found His way through. On our own we’ll spend a lifetime of running into dead ends and repeating the same mistaken choices and never finding our way out.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27 ESV)

The calm I have is heaven sent, the peace I’m experiencing is beyond understanding, and the only way out of this maze is through Him.

Pray on,

Eddy

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Mannerism

My Grateful Heart

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Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb 12:1-2 ESV)

The finish-line can be a beautiful thing. Anyone who has competed throughout this life knows the comfort that’s experienced when the finish-line is crossed. At that point the struggle to achieve is but a memory, though sometimes the effects from such a battle can linger. But the battle won will never be diminished by a few aches and pains that may follow.

In the days, weeks, and months to come I know I’ll experience the fallout of the marathon I just completed. There will be some low points to wade through, and there will also be some highs to balance things out, but that’s the nature of our journey, isn’t it?

We race down the mountain with our hands up in the air, screaming in exhilaration and delight as we careen down dangerously and sometimes irresponsibly into the valley below. It’s like an emotional rollercoaster ride that wildly drops us down and then pulls us back up again. We find ourselves thrown from side to side, forward and back, all the while trusting that we’re safe and secure in our protected seats.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do; forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:12-14 ESV)

Regardless of the emotional swings we march on. We march on because that’s who we are. We’re children of God. The same childlike enthusiasm that drives us back onto that rollercoaster drives us forward to reach the prize. The spiritual rollercoaster of our life whips us around and can take our breath away as we drop from great heights into the darkest of valleys. But we know we’re safe, we know that we’re watched over, and we know that we’re always safely secured in His arms.

I’ll be pressing on in the days to come. I’ll be continuing on my lifelong journey to accomplish His will for me.

There is a final finish-line in my future and it’s toward that end that I’ll strain to reach His goal for me.

Do not be anxious, about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Phil 4:6 ESV)

Confidently I can walk the path set before me, because my Father has heard my prayer, He knows my name, and He knows my grateful heart.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13 ESV)

Pray on,

Eddy

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Mannerism

Replenished

Enlight253“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

During my father’s recent home hospice journey, I, the sole caregiver, found myself driven to my breaking point. Push anything to its limits, and it will break down. My ’69 Volkswagen Beetle will attest to that. Proud as she was, there was a limit to what she could withstand, and over time she too fell to the demands that were put on her.

Sleep deprived, I found myself wandering away from some of my basic  daily necessities. I know some who will find this unbelievable, but days passed without me picking up a guitar… or writing,,, or even reading. Irritable, cranky, and certainly tired were all honest descriptive words that could have been attached to my behavior and or mood. Think twenty-eight days with only intermittent sleep.

Serving wasn’t the issue, but seeing clearly was. In my attempt to be all things at all times to my father, I neglected my own health and well being.

“Six days you shall work, but on the seventhly you shall rest.” (Exodus 34:21 ESV)

So as God would have it, eighteen hours before his last breath, I woke from an hour nap to find myself broken health wise. I was unable to think clearly, my throat was sore, and my body was an aching mess.

Now tired I could do, but broken I couldn’t.

Yes, God found a way to school me even in my father’s last waking hours.

Guilty I am for not leaning enough on Him; guilty I am of not heeding His words concerning rest, and guilty I am of not trusting in His love.

“For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.” (Jeremiah31:25 ESV)

I went to bed the night after his passing to rest. I went to bed repeating God’s words of wisdom. I went to bed to satisfy my weary soul, and to be replenished.

Pray on,

Eddy

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