Welcome

Much like your parents attic, treasured memories lay within. So, wipe the dust off my ruminations and remembrances, sit back and enjoy!

Only You

Only You


Take my heart, I Lay it down
At the feet of you whose crowned
Take my life, I’m letting go
I lift it up to You who’s throned

And I will worship You, Lord
Only You, Lord
And I will bow down before You
Only You Lord

Take my fret, take my fear
All I have, I’m leaving here
Be all my hopes, be all my dreams
Be all my delights, be my everything

And I will worship You, Lord
Only You, Lord
And I will bow down before You
Only You Lord

And It’s just you and me here now
Only you and me here now
And It’s just you and me here now
Only you and me here now

I have, for a very long time, blamed myself for my eldest son's circumstances; If I would have provided better fatherly guidance, or maybe if I would have loved him the way he needed to be loved, or possibly if I would have simply spent more time with him after his mother passed away...maybe...just maybe he would still be getting straight A's...maybe he would have continued with the sports that he loved...maybe at the age of 16 he wouldn't have become a father himself...and maybe he wouldn't have rejected the faith his mother and I instilled in him...
 
A lot of maybe's...and as I watched my son determinedly set his path on one I knew as self-destruction, I continued to heap the burning coals of condemnation on my head. It's a horrifying thing, as a parent, to watch your child turn their back on the things you hold dear and important. What happened to the little baby boy I watched take his first steps? What happened to the little boy I taught to hit a baseball? What happened to the boy I proudly coached? What happened...what have I done...
 
Last Sunday in church, God spoke to me saying:
Yes Vince, you could have provided better guidance, loved him better and spent more time with him...but you have and continue to provide him with guidance. Guidance you have gleaned from My word and the wisdom I have given you from the life you have lived and the experience, both good and bad, you have gained from it. And you love him with the heart of a father who loves his children for the potential you know they have and not with the scales of justice, weighing rights and wrongs. Your son's problems aren't a result of anything you have failed to give him...they are a direct result of the continued rebellion that he's pursuing.
 
 ...A weight was lifted and some tears followed as God helped me realize that I may not be a perfect parent, but I have given guidance, love and time to all of my children and if they choose a path of sin and rebellion...they have chosen it...not me.
 
Now, throughout this past week, I've been thinking about this and my self condemnation has been replaced with just a general sadness over my son's choices/rebellion. Today, during worship, we sang the song above (Only You) and while I was singing, I asked God, 'Thank you God for lifting this burden I placed on my own shoulders, but I am sad with the concern over his continued rebellion and the state of his soul.' God was quick to answer, Worship Me...give him over to Me...lay him down at the feet of Him who's crowned...let him go and worship Me
 
And so I will...Lord, I give him over to you, please take this and all other distractions in order that I may worship you...
 
~ V

Sweet Amongst the Bitter

Judges 14:5 - 9 Samson went down to Timnah together with his father and mother. As they approached the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a lion came roaring toward him. The Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done. Then he went down and talked with the woman, and he liked her. Sometime later, when he went back to marry her, he turned aside to look at the lion's carcass. In it was a swarm of bees and some honey, which he scooped out with his hands and ate as he went along.

There are times in our lives when we feel under pressure or attacked. As with Samson these attacks can come from any area and at any stage of life…home, work, spiritual, financial…and they often surprise us. I’ve also noticed that it matters who we turn to in the midst of these attacks. If we turn to God and His strength and power, there is a certain humbling of self and reliance on Him and this provides greater trust, peace and faith in Him. But if we continually rely on ourselves, we tend to become hardened…cynical. Dog eat dog and survival of the fittest becomes our rule…It doesn’t take a sociology professor to see evidence of this in society today.

Sampson’s trust was in the Lord and because it was, God gave him the power to overcome the lion’s attack. God will do the same for you and I…His promise to do so is repeated again and again throughout His Word. (Psalms 27:1, Psalms 34:17, Psalms 46:1, Psalms 56:11, Psalms 138:7, Isaiah 26:3, Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 43:2, John 14:1, John 14:27, Romans 8:28, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Philippians 4:7, 2 Timothy 1:7, 1 Peter 5:7).

Now, pay close attention here. Sometimes the battle is hard and they leave deep and lasting scars that we really don’t want to relive or even think about. Later in Sampson’s story, he revisited the site of his battle with the lion. Within the carcass of the dead lion he found honey…sweet, energy restoring honey. I believe in the ‘carcass’ of every battle we’ve faced…every hardship we’ve endured…every scar we’ve obtained, there is a store of ‘honey’. Sometimes it’s hard to see at first and maybe God needs to draw us back to the site to help us realize that this ‘honey’ has helped us in our walk, or perhaps has positioned us to do God’s work in ways we never knew or expected or maybe it was there just to show us God’s majesty…in any case, it does show that God has a blessing for us in ANY circumstance.

Sweetness out of the bitterness of battle…only God can do something like that…amazing!

(this was expounded on after I heard someone share the story in Church this past Sunday)
~ V