Tallest of All

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Why so anxious over your shadow (power/influence), small tree? Its length and breadth is not as significant as the strength of what lies beneath the surface.

You will grow, given time. And strong winds will blow, as they always do. Winds of change; winds of strange doctrine; accusatory winds. Each gust will test your solidity.

The shadow of the shallow giant will quiver. Yours must remain steady.

The winds may uproot those you once admired. Your branches may rustle; but your core must never be shaken.

Drive your roots deeper.

Remain so preoccupied with the inward, silent, and unseen processes that you forget to take note of the visible.

That is all that counts — lonely, wise tree.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Psalm 1:1-3

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An Old Poem for a New Year

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An old poem of mine that is still a fitting reminder for a new year.

Out of desire that its message to be taken in the way in which I intended, I will dissect it enough to hopefully make it clearer and slightly more meaningful for you.


 

We should never live in complete isolation; we are not meant to. We should never make important decisions or draw conclusions based on our own feelings or without receiving counsel from carefully chosen, trusted sources–and of course, your pastor.

Note the emphasis on carefully chosen.

Here lies the basis of the poem.

Do you spend so much time in the company of peers that you often turn to someone that has even less “life wisdom” than you do–for advice?

The beauty of counsel is the ability to approach someone that has already learned many of life’s lessons, in order to avoid personal mistakes. Sometimes you need to be alone in prayer and reflection to weed out the “things to keep”; the truly beneficial voices from those which are not.

Do you spend so much time in the company of your peers that your important convictions and opinions all begin to morph into a pool of collective, general agreement?

In continual fellowship, we often unknowingly bend and sway under the pressure of groupthink. Adults, not just young people, succumb. Perhaps you have like-minded friends: that’s a wonderful thing. But to be sure my personal standard is where it would normally be, I try to slip away and consider whether or not I still measure myself exclusively by the Word and opinion of God.

Do you spend so much time in the company of your peers that you begin to compare yourself to them–and lose unique passions, goals, and potential in the reach for self-promotion and meaningless affirmation?

I am perhaps one of the world’s foremost advocates of laughter and friendship. But I want to live independently and unashamedly by the principles that are of true consequence. Depth turns shallow with astounding speed if we have not paused to balance frivolity with regular intervals of quiet introspection.

Perhaps it is time we learned to slip away into “a solitary place” or “a mountain apart” to pray, to really think, and to distance ourselves, if not in body, then in spirit, from all outside voices.

In those times: unplugged, uninfluenced, and humbled, we are drawn to ask only God:

“what do You think?”

Time and Tides

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We all dream our dreams; we are given to making plans. Some of them come true with an ease that delights us, and yet some become increasingly impossible. The truth in Proverbs 13:12 is likely to be proven to us more than once throughout our lives:

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

We are given no promise that we will ever know the reason why some dreams which seem so important, or even God-given, are eventually torn away or taken just beyond our reach. At times the waters of life are friend; at others, foe. We are incapable of controlling final outcomes; we are incapable of controlling the tide.

But just keep living and waiting, dreamer.

The dreams God wills to come true in your life will effortlessly eclipse those that didn’t.

And then there’s the fact that, sometimes, dreams take time. Often allowed to see shadows and tiny glimpses of what’s to come, we grow zealous and impatient–but if all is not crystal clear yet, it may be because your dream will mature with you.

In time to come, perhaps even when the best years of your life seem over with, and you expect it the least: God may suddenly give His assent, and that old dream you had nearly forgotten about will be realized.

Your stage of life is irrelevant: dreams have a timing of their own. Just know that if you have committed your way to God; and if your heart is still beating, He is working on your behalf. Find contentment, and keep expectancy close:

one day, the unpredictable tide of life may sweep in and wash out, leaving treasures in it’s wake. 

Blood and Water

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Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4

And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Acts 22:16

Treasure Chests

Treasure Chests .

And you, reader,

you are a “treasure chest”, as well,

full of childhood years and wishes,

past joys and triumphs, defeats and sorrows,

places you’ve been that I have never seen before,

and all of the innumerable experiences that make you unique.

I wish I could hear about them;

and listen to how you met your spouse,

or named your daughter after your grandmother.

And then I could add to my own store of memories,

an enlightening encounter: a lovely pearl.