Tag Archive | strength

Easier Than Love

I feel like I need to apologize, because this post has nothing to do with caregiving. Or, maybe it does, in a way. As a parent, I am responsible for raising morally just human beings. And there is a great deal of care and giving that goes into that tough job (that lasts a lifetime).

Raising young kids is sometimes disheartening, in this culture, which worships so-called “reproductive freedom”. I wonder, how much has this so-called “freedom” cost us? We tell ourselves that we are in control, and that we can do whatever we want with our bodies, and that no one owns us. Really? You can say this as your government is requiring you to buy products whose purposes are not to actually save any lives, say like cancer or heart healing drugs, but drugs that destroy and prevent life instead. If that’s not control, than I don’t know what is. This kind of control and influence tells our youth that anything goes and that you never really need to commit to anything, because your choices are reversible and discardable.

Sex has become just a fun past time, a commodity, and a currency…a means to buy and sell tv shows, movies, music, and exciting products. We can trade a future of potential lasting love, meaning, and hope, for the seemingly more important intense needs of the moment. These “choices” prevent us from authentically believing in ourselves and in our capacity for being more fully alive, deeply loved, and understood. When we invest most of our time and money on things and strategies that tear down instead of build up doesn’t there need to be any moral consequences?

Our kids watch “Reality” shows that display woman after woman dating men in an assembly line of pleasure and anticipation, desperately searching for “The One”. There is competition, jealously, back stabbing, and heartbreak all on display for our joyous entertainment. And everyone so-called “wins”, as they get a chance at the painted prize and get to have their 15 minutes of fulfilling fame.And then, they are always wondering why they are unsatisfied and left wanting more.

In this “reality show” age, how much reality are our children really getting? Show after show tells them what they need to do to become thinner, sexier, funnier, and less of who they really are, and more of what others think they should be. Go here, and you’ll lose 100 pounds, and get that dream job and finally be HAPPY! Date this guy, and you’ll see a new world open up for you…you will go to far off exotic places and travel by helicopters and hot air balloons with some super hot guy you barely know (but who you THINK you know after going on 5 dates), and who recently went on 20 or so other dates with 20 or so other women. Just think of how truly “special” you will feel!

Yeah, now that’s some sad reality for you.

Because utlitmiatley; when sex, love, and life cease being sacred, precious, and real…than nothing can be

“Easier Than Love”

Ah La La La La La La,
Ah La La La La La La

Sex is currency
She sells cars,
She sells magazines
Addictive bittersweet, clap your hands,
with the hopeless nicotines

Everyone’s a lost romantic,
Since our love became a kissing show
Everyone’s a Casanova,
Come and pass me the mistletoe

Everyone’s been scared to death of dying here alone

She is easier than love
Is easier than life
It’s easier to fake and smile and bribe

It’s easier to leave
It’s easier to lie
It’s harder to face ourselves at night
Feeling alone,
What have we done?
What is the monster we’ve become?

Where is my soul?

Numb

Sex is industry,
The CEO, of corporate policy
Skin-deep ministry,
Suburban youth, hail your so-called liberty

Every advertising antic,
Our banner waves with a neon glow
War and love become pedantic,
We wage love with a mistletoe

Everyone’s been scared to death of dying here alone

She is easier than love
Is easier than life
It’s easier to fake and smile and bribe

It’s easier to leave
It’s easier to lie
It’s harder to face ourselves at night
Feeling alone,
What have we done?
What is the monster we’ve become?

Where is my soul?

Ah, la, la, la, la,
(Yeah!)
La la la la la la la,

La, la, la, la, oh,
(Yeah!)
La, la, la, la, no!

It’s easier to love,
It’s easier to love

It’s easier to love,
It’s easier to love

She is easier than love,
It’s easier to love

Everyone’s been scared to death of,
Everyone’s been scared to death of,
Everyone’s been scared to death of dying here alone,
alone

[Sing]
Sex is easier than love,
It’s easier than love,
It’s easier to fake and smile and brag

It’s easier to leave,
It’s easier to lie,
It’s harder to face ourselves at night
Feeling alone,
What have we done?
What is the monster we’ve become?

Where is my soul? (Where is my?)
Where is my soul?

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A River of Hope

waterfall

On some days

the cold rains don’t stop

 

A stormy torrent 

of pains

colliding

with hard rocks.

 

I cling to Your grace

and Your cross

a little tighter

My knuckles are raw

I am a fighter

 

You are my sturdy boat

keeping my head held up

and my life afloat

I hear you gently say,

“Keep your eyes on me”

“Don’t be afraid”

 

And I do believe

that with You

I can be free

 

No matter the day

where or when,

I see….

 

Your saving hope

will always 

stay

with me.

“Walk on the Water”

You look around, staring back at you
Another wave of doubt, will it pull you under? You wonder
What if I’m overtaken? What if I never make it?
What if no one’s there? Will You hear my prayer?

When you take that first step into the unknown
You know that He won’t let you go

So what are you waiting for? What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities, they try to hold to you
But you know you’re made for more, so don’t be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes, and you can walk on the water, too

So get out, and let your fear fall to the ground
No time to waste, don’t wait, and don’t you turn around and miss out
Everything you were made for, I know you’re not sure
So you play it safe, you try to run away

If you take that first step into the unknown
He won’t let you go

So what are you waiting for? What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities, they try to hold to you
But you know you’re made for more, so don’t be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes, and you can walk on the water, too

Step out, even when it’s storming
Step out, even when you’re broken
Step out, even when your heart is telling you
Telling you to give up

Step out, when your hope is stolen
Step out, you can’t see where you’re going
You don’t have to be afraid
So what are you waiting, what are you waiting for?

So what are you waiting for? What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities try to hold to you
You know you’re made for more, so don’t be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes, and you can walk on the water
Walk on the water, too

Carried by Grace

Veni Sancte Spiritus

I am limping on through,

trying to see

the forest for the trees.

 

It is dark and scary

and I am weary

from the journey.

 

I don’t run,

but I make noise,

praying to chase

the nightmares 

and bears away.

 

The phone calls come,

as I knew they would,

and have for so long.

 

“Mary…please, I am being eaten alive…the bugs,

Get me out of here…….”

 

You are my child now,

as I calmly tell you,

“No, mom, you are not ready to go home.”

 

She frantically yells out, “Why?! Don’t I have a home?

I am fine! I don’t belong here!”

 

“No, mom, you are not fine.”

I repeat the tired line,

as I have now, for most of my life.

 

I am making my way 

to the eye of the hurricane.

It’s turbulent and rough.

 

But I know I am

being gently carried,

and I won’t fall out of the sky.

 

Because it is on 

His steady and strong wings

that I fly……

“Carry Me”
By Audrey Assad

Pain is a forest we all get lost in
Between the branches hope can be so hard to see
And in the darkness we’ve all got questions
We’re all just trying to make sense out of suffering but

You say I am blessed because of this
So, I choose to believe
As I carry this cross, You’ll carry me
Help me believe it

Fear is a current we all get caught in
And in its motion faith can be so hard to find
And we all falter ’cause we’re all broken
We’re all just trying to turn the shadows into light but

You get glory in the midst of this
And You’re walking with me
And you say I am blessed because of this
So, I choose to believe
As I carry this cross, You’ll carry me

And I know Your promises are faithful
And God, I’ve seen Your goodness in my life
And oh, I’ve found Your mercy is a river
Your love is an ocean wide

You say I am blessed because of this
You get glory in the midst of this
And You’re walking with me

And You say I am blessed because of this
So, I choose to believe
As I carry this cross, as I carry this cross
‘Cause as I carry this cross, You’ll carry me

You’ll carry me, God
You’ll carry me
And Your love is an ocean wide

Risen Life

I wanted to share this poem awhile ago, but life got in the way. It’s message reminds me of when Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” (John 16: 33). He didn’t say, “You might have trouble”, or “If you try really hard, you can avoid trouble”. No, He said, you WILL have trouble.

I appreciate how Jesus always said it like it was. He never minced words. I often think of the term “tough love” when I think of His many teachings. He wanted us to take responsiblity for our sinfulness, and warn us of what would happen if we didn’t “feel” like listening or obeying. So, although we will suffer through both natural and man-made troubles in our lives, our Lord time and time again reassures us that He will give us the courage that we need to rise above it all.

Risen Life

When you see a forest ravaged by storms, and earthquakes blasting the land, and fire burning down your home, say to yourself: I believe that the forest will come to life again. That land will be calm again and I shall remake my home.

When you hear rumors of war and people everywhere are dying of terror, when “nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom” (Matt. 27:7), say bravely to yourself, “Jesus warned me of this and he added: ‘Look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28)

When sin has you in its grip and you feel utterly defeated, say to yourself, “Christ is risen from the dead and I shall rise from my sin.”

When old age or illness embitters your life, say, “Christ is risen from the dead and has made a new heaven on a new earth.”

When you see your son running away from home in search of adventure and your cherished dream as father or mother crumbles around you, say, “My son will not run away from God; he will come back because God loves him.”

When charity seems to have vanished forever and you see others sunk in sin and drunk with treachery, say to yourself, “They will touch the depths but they will return because no on can live away from God.”

When the world seems a defeat for God and you are sick with the disorder, the violence, the terror, the war on the streets; when the earth seems to be chaos, say to yourself, “Jesus died and rose again on purpose to save, and his salvation is already with us.”

When your father or mother, your son or your daughter, your spouse or your friend are on their deathbed, and you are looking at the in the pain of parting, say, “We shall see each other again in the kingdom. Courage.”

This is what it means to believe in the resurrection. But there is more. Belief in the risen Christ means something else.

For Mother Teresa of Calcutta it means comforting the dying, and for you it means doing the same.

For Martin Luther King it meant facing death, and for you it means being unafraid to die for your brothers and sisters.

For Abbe Schultz, prior to Taize, it means opening his convent to hope, and for you opening your house to hope.

Every departing missionary is an act of faith in the resurrection.

Every newly opened leper hospital is an act of faith in the resurrection.

Every peace treaty, is an act of faith in the resurrection.

Every agreed commitment is an act of faith in the resurrection.

When you forgive your enemy

When you feed the hungry

When you defend the weak you believe in the resurrection.

When you have the courage to marry

When you welcome the newly born child

When you build your home you believe in the resurrection.

When you wake at peace in the morning

When you sing to the rising sun

When you go to work with joy you believe in the resurrection.

Last Things ~Carlo Carretto

Risen Life

I wanted to share this poem awhile ago, but life got in the way. It’s message reminds me of when Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” (John 16: 33). He didn’t say, “You might have trouble”, or “If you try really hard, you can avoid trouble”. No, He said, you WILL have trouble.

I appreciate how Jesus always said it like it was. He never minced words. I often think of the term “tough love” when I think of His many teachings. He wanted us to take responsiblity for our sinfulness, and warn us of what would happen if we didn’t “feel” like listening or obeying. So, although we will suffer through both natural and man-made troubles in our lives, our Lord time and time again reassures us that He will give us the courage that we need to rise above it all.

Risen Life

When you see a forest ravaged by storms, and earthquakes blasting the land, and fire burning down your home, say to yourself: I believe that the forest will come to life again. That land will be calm again and I shall remake my home.

When you hear rumors of war and people everywhere are dying of terror, when “nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom” (Matt. 27:7), say bravely to yourself, “Jesus warned me of this and he added: ‘Look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28)

When sin has you in its grip and you feel utterly defeated, say to yourself, “Christ is risen from the dead and I shall rise from my sin.”

When old age or illness embitters your life, say, “Christ is risen from the dead and has made a new heaven on a new earth.”

When you see your son running away from home in search of adventure and your cherished dream as father or mother crumbles around you, say, “My son will not run away from God; he will come back because God loves him.”

When charity seems to have vanished forever and you see others sunk in sin and drunk with treachery, say to yourself, “They will touch the depths but they will return because no on can live away from God.”

When the world seems a defeat for God and you are sick with the disorder, the violence, the terror, the war on the streets; when the earth seems to be chaos, say to yourself, “Jesus died and rose again on purpose to save, and his salvation is already with us.”

When your father or mother, your son or your daughter, your spouse or your friend are on their deathbed, and you are looking at the in the pain of parting, say, “We shall see each other again in the kingdom. Courage.”

This is what it means to believe in the resurrection. But there is more. Belief in the risen Christ means something else.

For Mother Teresa of Calcutta it means comforting the dying, and for you it means doing the same.

For Martin Luther King it meant facing death, and for you it means being unafraid to die for your brothers and sisters.

For Abbe Schultz, prior to Taize, it means opening his convent to hope, and for you opening your house to hope.

Every departing missionary is an act of faith in the resurrection.

Every newly opened leper hospital is an act of faith in the resurrection.

Every peace treaty, is an act of faith in the resurrection.

Every agreed commitment is an act of faith in the resurrection.

When you forgive your enemy

When you feed the hungry

When you defend the weak you believe in the resurrection.

When you have the courage to marry

When you welcome the newly born child

When you build your home you believe in the resurrection.

When you wake at peace in the morning

When you sing to the rising sun

When you go to work with joy you believe in the resurrection.

Last Things ~Carlo Carretto

I See You

My mother has lived in a nursing home for almost 2 years.  She was diagnosed with dementia in 2006, and started to slowly decline in the fall of 2006.  She was then 63 years old.  She is now also crippled, as she has had 2 broken hips that have never successfully healed.  As a result,  she is confined to a wheel chair full-time.  I am starting to get to know the residents that live with her, and who now are becoming her friends.  My mom has not wanted to interact much with the others up until recently.  Each week that I spend time with these people, my heart seems to open up just a little bit more.  At times my heart aches with sadness as I think of how these elderly are hurting, alone, and trapped inside their frail bodies.  At other times, I am filled up with a joy and peace remembering how when I talked to them or shared a smile, their forlorn faces just lit up with love.  This has been a very difficult journey for our family, but through it all,  I hold on tight  to all of the promises of God…like “God is our protection and our strength. He always helps in times of trouble” Psalm 46, or “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13, …and many many other verses of truth that hold me up and give me hope.  The following is sort of a poem that I wrote after a visit to the nursing home the other day.

YOUR EYES

Lord~ I see you in the eyes of Jan, who has had 3 massive strokes and is now unable to move and hardly talk.  I see you in the eyes of her devoted daughter Pam, who is often at her side, feeding her or making her smile with her funny jokes.

I see you when I tell Jan, “You look super GREAT today Jan!” (which she really did, since 2 weeks ago she had nearly died after her third stroke), and Jan responds with a gleam in her eye, as she stutters out a joke with some words that I conclude to be, “You’re not just saying that because they paid you?”

I see you in the vividly blue eyes of my mom, who on this particular visit, was uncharacteristically  motivated to get dressed and have some make-up put on, something she has not done for a long time.  I see you as I roll my mom to lunch and as we share our time together…having a pleasant conversation, that is filled with lots of repetition, but is also filled with a rare interest and inquisitiveness from my mom.  I see you in her bright eyes, as I savor her questions and openness, as she is usually more closed off in her own world.

I see you in the lonely and lost face of  Lois, when I tell her that I love her sweater that she has on, and mumbles something that I’m not quite sure of, and  yet I act like I know exactly what she said and smile and carry on a conversation.  I see you as her face lights up from the attention, and as I hear another resident say, “That’s the most I’ve seen her talk in a long time”.  

 I see you Lord, in the eyes of Freida, who is crippled and unable to talk.  I see you as her frustrations of her not being understood, are  suddenly transformed, as her sweet eyes show her  love and gratitude when I finally figure out what her need is (to have her chair moved).

I see you Lord, within these precious and loving souls, who are trapped within their frail and broken bodies….yearning for someone to touch them, to notice them, to befriend them,to remember them, and to accept them.

I pray for all of the nurses, aides, doctors, and families who help care for all of them.  Lord, give them your compassion, patience, and love to be your hands and feet….and above all else, to remember your profound and powerful words of,

“Whatever you do to the least of  my brothers and sisters, you do it to Me.”