Finding God in the Fall – Part One

If I’m being completely open and honest, I’ve always struggled in the fall.  Depression hits pretty hard for me starting about middle of October and then comes and goes until April-ish.  It’s a tricky thing for me.  For those of you who know me, I’m a person of faith.  I rely pretty heavily on my relationship with God to get me through difficult times.  However, the funny thing is that as my depression gets bigger and closer, God seems to get smaller and farther away.  So it’s a downward spiral generally.  The weather turns, I get depressed, then I lose my connection with God, and it makes me more depressed.

So, this year, I decided to try to shift my perspective on the fall.  Usually, I see fall as a time of death and decay as plants are going dormant for winter.  I see fall as a time when the vivid colors of spring and summer morph and fade into dull browns and grays.  The fun filled activities of summer lull into a slow drawn-out trudging monotony.  However, over the next three posts, I’m going to show how to shift perspective to redeem all these things and to use them to keep my connection with God.

Let’s start with the first, death and decay.  It’s true.  During the fall, many plants die.  The beautiful flowers that are planted in the spring whither and die, the vibrant green grass goes dormant into a grayish brown, and the trees stand lifelessly still.

However, I think the way to change perspective on this issue is to look at fall not as a season of death and decay, but also as a season of harvest.  Yes it is true that plants are dying, but that death is part of the harvest.  It is the completion of what was begun in the spring with the planting.

We can connect with God through this by remembering that He is a god of completion.  God finishes what He starts. This is true in plants but it is also true in us.  Every one of us was put on Earth for a reason.  We are not accidents.  We have purpose for being here and God will bring about that purpose in our lives.  He is going to finish what He started in our lives.  Focusing on that and dwelling on the harvest is the first way that I am shifting my perspective this year.  God is not a god of death and decay.  He is a god of harvest and completion.  I choose to trust in that.

As always, thank you for reading.  If you want to receive and email notification whenever I post something new, click on the “follow” tab in the lower right hand corner of your screen.  Tune in next week for the continuation of how to shift focus in the fall.

 

(This is an abridged version of a piece that I wrote for my church, Northside Christian Church’s, website.  If you want to read the original piece, head to www.northsideweb.org/blog)

 

He Spoke My Name

On Good Friday, I had the honor of participating in our church’s service by performing a poem that I wrote.  It was really an awesome experience so I thought that I would share the poem with you.  It’s based on the Biblical text from The Gospel of Luke chapter 22.  I could write pages and pages explaining it, but I think I would rather just let the poem speak for itself.  If you have any questions about the poem and what it means, please feel free to contact me.  I would love to talk to you about it and what it has meant in my life.

 

He Spoke My Name

I’ve searched through the books but I simply can’t find
A king who would put his own kingship behind
A god who’d leave Heaven and life so divine
A lord who would give up his own life for mine.
A champion who’d willingly forfeit the game
A star who would simply walk away from the fame.
But Jesus surrendered renown and acclaim
And decided to carry my guilt and my shame
My sins were forgiven and my debt fully paid
In the moment the angel just whispered my name.

As Jesus sought God down upon bended knee
Praying there in the Garden of Gethsemene.
He lifted his voice and he raised up his plea.
Said,”Dear father please take off this burden from me.”

His sweat turned to blood as anxiety consumed him.
For this was the reason that he became human.
And now for the first time he questioned his mission.
Could he endure dying by cruel crucifiction?
It would have to be his choice, be of his own volition.
To accept this brutality had to be his decision.

He did not want to do it and that much is clear.
With his sweat pouring down his face mingling with tears.
Then an angel descended and spoke in his ear.
Said exactly the words Jesus needed to hear.

What did he say that could change Jesus’ mind?
From “please take this cup” to “not my will but thine.”
What could the angel have possibly voiced
To make Jesus determined and resolved in his choice?
I don’t think it was much, no huge speech to proclaim
I think that the angel merely whispered my name.

Now here is the part that I haven’t got figured
Is how it was my name the angel had whispered.
But he also spoke your name and your name and yours
And the name of all others who’ve come on before us.
And this is the beauty that’s found in the mystery
And so it’s been pondered throughout human history.
How He died for the world and all humanity
But he also died only for you and for me.
And how God saved the world when He sent us His son
But He still would have sent Him to save only one.

I’ve searched through the books but I simply can’t find
A king who would put his own kingship behind
A god who’d leave Heaven and life so divine
A lord who would give up his own life for mine.
A champion who’d willingly forfeit the game
A star who would simply walk away from the fame.
But Jesus surrendered renown and acclaim
And decided to carry my guilt and my shame
My sins were forgiven and my debt fully paid
In the moment the angel just whispered my name.

  Again, if the poem doesn’t make sense to you please contact me to ask me about it.  I would love to explain it.  If you enjoyed the poem and would like email updates whenever I post something new, please follow the blog by clicking on the link it the right hand corner of your screen.  Thanks.

25 Bible Jokes

I decided to combine my love of dad jokes with my love of Jesus and write some jokes based (loosely) on the Bible.  Some of them are really bad.  Be ye warned.

Why didn’t Joseph wear a necktie?  He always wore a coat of mini collars

What did Jesus say to the Mexican Jumping Beans?  Peas! Be still.

Why was Peter’s writing so lyrical?  When he was in prison, he was bound with Two Chainz.

Why don’t Jamaican Christians cut wood?  Their pastor says that God is one but He be made of tree parts. (Read in a Jamaican accent or it doesn’t make sense…it might still not make sense.)

Why did Moses want the Chief Wahoo logo gone?  He was always partial to the Red C.

What did Jesus say when T got too close to V?  I’m going to prepare a place for U.

What did Jesus say to the acorns that fell too fast?  Have faith and just be leaves.

Why did the disciples quit Black Lives Matter in the Garden of Gethsemane? They couldn’t stay woke,

Why did everyone think Jesus was a big gambler?  He was always talking about a pair a dice.

Why are beans the holiest vegetable? Jesus said “Blessed are the peas makers.”

Why did 3 John put pants on Jude?  He didn’t want any more Revelations.

When did Jesus get involved in the NBA? When he stopped James and John from fixing the Nets. (No wonder they’re so bad each year)

What would Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob name their football team? The New England Patriarchs.

What does Mike Tyson think is the hottest underwear in the Bible?  The Thong of Tholomon.

What did Festus say when Paul asked to go to Caesar? “Seize her? I didn’t even think you knew her!”

What did Jonah say when the fish asked if he wanted to be spit out? “Yes! For shore!”

When are bartenders mentioned in the Bible? When Jesus said “Blessed are the pouring spirits.”

Why did Jezebel want Naboth’s Vineyard so bad?  She thought it was just grapes.

Why do Christians drink soy protein? They believe Jesus is the only whey.

Why was everyone so happy that Saul missed when he threw the spear at David? If he had hit him, I’d could have been truly harp breaking.

What did Mary say when Jesus’ room was messy? “What were you, born in a stable?”

What is Jonah’s favorite spot in Jerusalem? The whaling wall.

Why wasn’t Noah good at math? He could only count two by two.

Why did Solomon have to be so smart? To remember all his anniversaries.

Why do Christians eat so much cheese? Jesus was always talking about having a grater love.

 

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