“Walking Amongst Shadows”

As I walk through soft green grass I make no sound,

I wonder at the sun’s beauty as birds sing and flutter,

Below my feet shadows are revealed on the ground.

A soft breeze awakens their voice to be heard,

Their voices carry me quickly to the past,

It is through their stories my heart is stirred.

Standing proud the shapes are never alone,

Their shadows touch each other as if a friend,

They will never leave the other as time has shown.

Their line is disciplined, just as once in the past,

All in their finest since the day they were formed,

A simple stone tells their story and forever will it last.

With my eyes now open, I can painfully see,

I am among my fallen brothers and sisters,

Their silence begs me to pass on their story.

They have given all to take away a nation’s fears,

The only words I am able to utter, are “Thank You”,

As I walk through the shadows and wipe away my tears.

D.E. Jones

Never should the sacrifices of those who gave all be forgotten.

“Are You Willing to Stand in the Gap?”

Last night I heard a young man talk about opposition to Jesus Christ and how we should to deal with that barrier. He used the examples found in the book of Acts, chapters 3 and 4.  This of course is a great example of how Christians should be bold and forthright with in whom we find love, peace and grace.

The thing that struck me the most was that this man was talking about opposition to Jesus within the confining walls of a prison. It is not important as to why he is there, but this young man, even in his current environment has made a choice in his life to put God first.

In our daily lives, we have a perception of opposition that might include; slow traffic, bad cell phone reception, running too late to get coffee, and many other nuisances we consider opposition. As I live in and witness this perspective, it must also be begged to ask; why do we take these examples on to solve, but we don’t try to face opposition as it concerns our belief in Jesus Christ?

In some cases, we know that in our daily work environments we should keep ourselves from causing someone to be offended by our beliefs, but even there we can assert our beliefs in a loving and caring manner. Our goal should always be to lead people to Christ by our example, even if we don’t speak about it.  However, there will be confrontation to our belief and we are directed to defend the faith.

If we were to find opposition to our belief in Jesus Christ, we should be asking ourselves if we are ready and or able to defend it in a manner that is still able to plant seeds with love, genuine attention and patience. In every instance, we must approach every situation with love.  If we don’t approach with love, we are not defending our faith in the Gospel of Christ and our efforts are for naught.

So, in the end how we answer the opposition is the most important part. In my opinion we can proclaim Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior through our words and actions.  If our words and actions reflect the commands and examples of Jesus Christ we are His.  If He calls on us, we are told to stand in the gap and do whatever it takes to keep our fellow man / women from the grips of sin and hell.  This can only be done by sharing His message to the whole world without thought for self.

 

The Koifish Christian

My Brothers Are With Me…

An interesting statement with probably a flood of memories for some and for some not so much.  For me it means just a few things and they are quite distinct.  Rather than go into what this means for me I would rather concentrate on what it meant for someone in history named Jesus Christ.

In our attendance at Church and Sunday School we repeatedly lean on God and His Son for requests of blessings and forgiveness of sins, to include a myriad of prayer requests for those in need.  Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these as we are told to do so.  What I am thinking of is something a little deeper than this, but on a level that might not even be recognized as something spiritual or even related to Jesus and His mission.

A book that I am currently reading speaks directly to what I am referring to and that is the subject of “Brotherhood” or Men and their Men friends.  I know that some would say; “Well dah, what other friends would they have?”  Ah, that is the catch.  Are they truly the friends that every man has or is it just a social badge we as men wear to fit in?

The “Men Friends” I am speaking of here are those who would take every opportunity to be there when you need them to be, and I do mean ‘every opportunity’.  Would they be there when you are dealing with something that has you down or keeping you in an emotional state that does not allow you to be the person you know you can be?  Would they hug you?  And I do mean hug you tightly when sadness has crept in and tears are flowing.  Will they be completely honest with you even when you don’t want to hear the real truth because it is so painful?  I think you get the idea.

Here I will cite a portion of Stu Weber’s book called “Locking Arms”; “When the God-man concluded His earthly ministry, it was with the fraternity.  On His last night with the guys, I think it nearly broke His heart that they were struggling to hang in there with Him.  These were big moments.  He was going to the wall.  And He wanted His friends to go with Him.  When the pressure’s on, a guy wants his soulmates standing beside him.  At the start. At the finish.  And at the sometimes heartbreaking inbetweens” (Weber, pg.35,36).

Of course in the case of Jesus it would be impossible to replicate that exact moment in time, but I do believe that history is full of other examples where men have given everything for their friend or friends.  And of course the “older generation” can testify to accounts of their friends who did this or that, but I am left wondering whether the young and upcoming generation really understands what it means to have a friend who will go the length or height it might take to get them both through it to the end; whatever that might be?

Today we look continually at our “phones” for social acceptance into a machine that cares not for you like another human being can.  We call these “social tools” by unique names to make them popular, thereby somehow making ourselves popular, but with it comes an emptiness and lack of manly companionship that men need, but we sure look cool checking our “phones” for the next text, update or status to let everyone around us know that we have “friends”.

According to history and the present day, men need friends who are men.  This means that by their actions they prove their honor through merit and a sense of family that women may not always understand.  Ladies don’t take offense as this is not intended to lessen your importance to men, but this just means that only a man can understand what it means and how it makes them feel.  For those women who are married and or have a steady boyfriend you can test this.  The next time he goes out with the boys to spend time with his “Men Friends” see how he acts when he returns.  I would say that 9 out of 10 times he comes back in a pretty good mood.  Even if they don’t always accomplish what they set out to do, he will still be in a good mood because of the company he was in, so give it a test and see what you find.

So I will simply leave you and myself with this; if Jesus needed friends who were men and He considered them His brothers, then I would simply have to realize that I am not better, nor am I anyone special.  Men if we have men in our lives we call our “Brothers” or at least friends; a term I do not take lightly, let them know that and when adversity, rough patches, good times, etc…, come along – have the confidence to say “My Brothers Are With Me” knowing that you will not go into it alone.

 

 

Reference

Weber, Stu. (1995). “Locking Arms”. Questar Publishers, Inc. P.O. Box 1720. Sisters, Oregon 97759.