Monday, December 27, 2010

Heavenly Peace


At the end of the day
After all the holiday hustle…
Take time to be silent
Remember it's about a Child.
And sleep in heavenly peace…


Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth "

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Suicide




It’s 2:48 a.m. I’ve been trying to go to sleep since around eleven. Can’t sleep; keep praying for someone I don’t know. If you’ve read my last couple blogs you’ve had the privilege of meeting my daughter Shyloh. Yesterday the darkness Shyloh thought she left behind reached out its knife and pieced her soul. An acquaintance from her school attempted suicide. The tangled knots Shyloh wrote about seem to be too much for some and they try to escape.

Details are purposely omitted and may be added at a later date, but let it suffice to say a freshman girl from Lakeville Minnesota and her family are broken tonight and could use your prayers and the Lord’s healing and comfort. The family will ride the emotional roller coaster steep with pain filled with whys and curved sharp and hard with guilt.

My daughter sat quiet most of the day untangling the questions in her soul. But one knot was tough. She wrestled with it but couldn’t seem to find a place to grab and work it free. Her voice was quiet and kind-of shaky when she asked.

Dad, if a person commits suicide do they go to hell?”


Now I was the one who wrestled with the knot. Silently I waited as I asked The One Wiser than I about how to answer this tender young lady.

A religious self righteous self holier than thou voice said, “Well your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and thou shalt not murder and if you kill it’s a sin and…”

But The Still Small Voice said otherwise.

A snap-shot of people leaping from a burning tower on 9-11 appeared in my mind and I listened to these words cross my lips.

“Do you remember 911 when people jumped from the towers to escape the pain of being burned to death?”


Shyloh nodded.

“Sometimes people think life is like that burning building and the only way to avoid the pain is to escape from it… Only God knows the conditions of a persons’ heart and the trauma they’re in. God is good and He will judge accordingly…”


We talked about alot of other things and the signs that usually but not always accompany suicide attempts and what we can do to help. For now, I just want to thank you for praying for this young girl and her family and many - too many others like them.

Lord God Of All Comfort we humbly ask for you to do what only you can do and bring life out of death light out of darkness and bring health and healing in body, soul and spirit to this family. Thank you, In Jesus Holy Name we pray, Amen.

Following are some contacts of your or someone you know needs help:



http://suicidehotlines.com/national.html

USA National Suicide Hotlines

Toll-Free / 24 hours / 7 days a week

1-800-SUICIDE Hope line

1-800-784-2433

1-800-273-TALK Suicide Prevention Life Line

1-800-273-8255

TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tangles shoestrings & life ~ guest post

Today it's an honor to bring you a special guest post from my sweet precious daughter. Shyloh; you're right - He had the birthday and we got the gift...one of His greatest gifts to me is you. You make your Dad proud and your Heavenly Father smile. Thanks for allowing me to post this. I love you.



by Shyloh Spurling on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 12:56am

I once held the key to each level of my future, but there comes a time in our lives where the end is truly the beginning. Soon we see where our home really is, by passing through this journey we call life.. but why is this called life?? Why are we HERE right now?? Is it not the end we sit around and wait for,, because we become closer and closer to death by every second counted in time.

Our destiny has a future.. our home is eternal life. It's like a bunch of tangled knots in our shoestrings.. it seems impossible to un-do those loops and tight twists.. but if you look real close the directions are right there for us to untangle those strings.. every knot that is undone in a matter of time is another step we take in life,, ((this is where we make the mistake though)) have you ever walked with tied shoe laces all tangled up?? By doing this the knots become tighter.. so we stop.. do the next step in the directions.. then we repeat ourselves because we get in such a rush to overcome our problems.. that's why things may seem to over power us to the point where everything seems to be getting worse. Like those tangled shoe strings..
God gave us all the answers.. the directions to overcome all things! not so we would read the first part, do it, then move on and keep starting over again.. We get no where by taking little steps and then going backwards to where we started repeatedly.
The point is to why be in a hurry?? when everything is right there in front of us, why not read through the directions and UNDERSTAND before we start to journey through.. Life can take us so many places.. and by not being focused, having to step, go down, re-do what was just done, and so forth will lead to confusion on where to go next..

There's always an answer.. and if the directions are followed through every step of the way will surely be the pathway to everlasting life. Which we call our True home. The beginning of an end. and like my daddy always says to me:

"take your time, and you'll get there faster"
Merry Christmas

~and~

Happy New Years

He had the birthday, We got the gift!
-Shyloh Lee Spurling
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Shyloh

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Almost to the airport, I can’t wait to see her. I wonder if I should have shaved… maybe I should have gotten a haircut… I wonder if this shirt looks stupid…Why am I so nervous… I’m not – just excited. Yeah that’s it. Did I take a shower this morning? Lord I pray this goes well…help. Touch Shyloh’s heart oh Lord, move her I pray.

It’s been several months since we’ve seen Shyloh. She’s 17 now and well, visiting Dad isn’t exactly at the top of her priority list. She’s got work and school and friends and that four letter word…boys.

It sure wasn’t on the agenda, but her plane will be landing soon...I hope these butterflies do too.
 Leaving Minnesota in the winter isn’t all that hard, what’s there to miss? Slipping on ice and getting stuck in the snow or low temps and high drifts – not so much. But family – yeah that’s the warmth a person can miss, even if it’s in the coldest of climates.

Shylohs’ visit is about more than escaping slippery roads and deep snow. She’s found herself sliding down life’s slippery slope about to be buried. Like the moment in the Garden when death entered mankind – her eyes have been opened to the harsh reality of life and she’s found it colder and deeper than any winter wind. So, before her heart froze solid she chose an escape. And now she’s almost here. Dear Jesus help.

What’s wrong with me? I used to think I knew exactly what to do, what to say. But now the only thing I’m really sure of is… I don’t know squat. Well, I know God is good and He loves me – I know that. And that’s about all.

We picked Shyloh up at Orlando International and had a pleasant ride home. She looks good…slightly sad, tired, but good.

Now, it’s 3:00 a.m. I should be sleeping, but oh well… Lord thanks for my daughter’s safe arrival. Let Your presence fill this place. You know how to reach, to heal… You love her more than I. She’s yours… I pray you’ll move her.


Today progressed in simplicity. No miracles lit the scene. Nothing profound crossed my lips. I hadn’t felt any inspiration; no great ideas, no fatherly advice or Godly examples penetrated my mind. Everything was normal – peaceful, plain… I was beginning to wonder if the Lord would to show up – if He heard my prayers, if He was going to bring light to my daughters night.

When children grow into adults the hurt in their hearts can’t be cured with a kiss a hug and a giggle. But the Lord moves in the silent night of His children. He is near to those who have a broken heart and rescues those whose spirits are crushed.


And with facebook as her manger she birthed these words:
 
“Shyloh Spurling December 15 at 10:48pm


If you asked me 2 years ago where i think i would be right now.. I definitly wouldn't have thought I'd be here with my dad.


but I am. I'm tending to surprise myself.. Honestly.. I think it's only right to say it all.. I've messed up a TON through the past few months.. I lost all my faith.. some amazing people in my life.. and the biggest one of them all is i lost myself..


I thought there was nothing left for me.. but WHAT was I thinking?? This world is so big.. for such a short life..


The Lord moved me today.. It's like a whole new world..I know who I am and what I want in life now.. It's amazing when you finally find yourself…”
The truth of God's love, of His existence is evidenced by our feeling lost when we drift away from Him and our knowing that we are found when we decide to return to Him.
 Welcome home Shyloh – I love you and I’m proud of you.



The greatest of presents is His presence ~ Immanuel; God with us.
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Friday, December 10, 2010

The First Christmas Tree

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The



first


Christmas


Tree…


Stripped Of leaves – bare of branches
The Gift lay not under – but on that tree


The star


a cruel


crown


And


One


Light


hung


down


Red stripes dried


On that tree – the Gift died…


The First Gift given – for us, He is risen


Have a Merry Christmas and remember His presence is the greatest of presents.

.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Unwrapped II

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In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…and darkness was on the face of the deep…



God created man in His own image…Then God blessed them “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion …over every living thing.”


 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb… and every tree … Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.

This reminds me of…The afterglow of Christmas. We tell kids (in our image) “See what I’ve given you.” And they take dominion of the living room and subdue it. Wrappings and boxes and bows the décor of gifts given. The laughter of children fruitfully multiplies and fills the room. And you see everything and indeed it is very good. We get that from our Father – God.

The one who receives the greatest delight is the one who wrapped, the one who gave; the one who watches the receiving.


I can picture God saying: “Look Adam, look Eve I’ve given you all this, the whole world, all the trees all the plants all yours – what do think? Do you like the colors? Smell the flowers and feel the soft grass, taste the cool spring water. And check out the animals – your pets. Some are big and some are small, some are beautiful and some are…well, they look kind-of funny. I hope you like them. Go ahead and give them names – they’re yours. And one more thing; in the midst stands a tree adorned with beauty – leave that alone. Other than that it’s all yours. I hope you like it.”

But, how does the saying go? All good things must…

The cute cuddly puppy doesn’t stay that way long …soon the pup poops on the carpet, cries all night and chews a hole in the furniture… and your favorite shoes. The toys break and the kids get bored…

And it doesn’t take long for God’s garden of bliss to turn into a tempting ground from the abyss. Only three chapters in to the book of beginnings and we read: “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God… (Genesis 3:8). Their eyes open and their hearts close. Sin and death enter the heart of man.

All goes black.

How could this happen? They hung out with God. They knew His voice, His footsteps, His walk. They would have had Him on speed dial with His own ring tone. They heard Him walking in the garden… Maybe God would hum a song yet to be written. “I come to the garden alone, while the due is still…or …Just a closer walk with thee…” They were close.

But now… they hid. Separation took place. That day they died. Just as He said they would. Separation from Life is death.

Re-enter darkness.

But God’s heart never changed and He would walk with His family again. It would take thousands of years of preparation but He returned - in person.

Enter Jesus – The Light of The World.

All goes white.

Glory in the Highest


 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”


 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:


 “ Glory to God in the highest,


And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:8-14

And The One who receives the greatest delight is The One wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger; The One who gave His only begotten Son; The One lifted up on that lonely tree for the joy that was set before Him; The One who watches and rejoices when one of His children comes home.

Someday it will once again be said: “And God saw everything and indeed it was very good.”

Amen.


Hebrews 12:2


“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”


John 3:14-17


“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Unwrapped

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It doesn’t last long but it’s by far the favorite moment of his favorite day of his favorite season – the afterglow of Christmas. Wrapping is fun; decorating a joy; but nothing compares to this moment.


With a smile on his lips and in his heart he watches.

Two children; many gifts – unwrapped. Countless lights, one star – all shine. Wrappings and boxes and bows the décor of gifts given. Wrapped in a glorious glow of delight, laughter spills and fills this sparkling garden of bliss. In the midst stands a tree adorned with beauty.

The one who receives the greatest delight is the one who wrapped, the one who gave; the one who watches the receiving.

He observes it all and indeed it is very good.

They’re an image of me when I was young. He thinks. Not long ago...I was them…the one who sat on the floor…The one watched by the giver – who looked like me when he was young. How many times has the afterglow repeated? When was the first? When will it end? He ponders as he basks in the serenity of the moment.

The smile never leaves his face and he never leaves the room. But in the theatre of his mind he drifts back…way back – to the dawn of time.

Two children; many gifts – unwrapped. Countless lights of angels with One Star; The Creator. All shine. The earth a gift for the created is wrapped in glorious splendor and unblemished beauty. Those in His image need only be adorned in the glorious glow of His delight. Laughter spills and fills the glowing garden of bliss. In the midst stands a tree adorned with beauty.

And The One who receives the greatest delight is The One who wrapped, The One who gave; The One who watches the receiving.

And God saw everything and indeed it was very good.



Merry Christmas.




NEXT: But, how does the saying go? All good things must…

 

And it doesn’t take long for God’s garden of bliss


to turn into a tempting ground from the abyss.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Angel in the grocery cart


This morning I hit all green lights. And it caused this prayer to slip from my lips; Thank you Lord for helping us to be in Your perfect timing…


It was late afternoon when she crossed the last item off her list. The shopping cart Sadie pushed carried groceries and a baby. She was on a roll and headed out the door – when all of a sudden her world went slow.

Everything slowed to a crawl. Except her mind that is – it was racing. Speed it up lady. Sadie thought and attempted to steer her cart around the lady walking in slow motion in front of her. But the doors were too narrow and she couldn't get around. Micro-wave followed crock-pot. How on earth can anyone walk so slow? Sadie thought as she shuffled her feet inching toward the door.

As soon as shopping cart wheels hit the sidewalk Sadie wheeled to the left planning to pass the lady imitating a turtle.

BAM!

The red Cadillac hit the turtles' cart and turned the slow cooker into fast food.
The lady who was moving so slow – froze. Sadie shifted into high gear and after checking to see if Slow-Mo was OK – she chased after the speedster.

The red Cadillac slowed because the mangled shopping cart had somehow attached itself to the front fender and was creating some customized detailing to the paint. But the car didn't stop until Sadie started yelling at it to stop. She then told some gawkers to call 911 and with authority that she didn't have she ordered the driver of the Cadillac to get out of the car. The driver did what she asked.

Not until it was over did she think about what happened. Sadie realized the lady would have been hit had she not been walking so slowly. And if she would have been able to pass that lady – she or her baby in the shopping cart would have been hit.

When my daughter relayed the story to me tonight we thanked God out loud for keeping her and my granddaughter safe. I said. "Sadie I can just see in the spirit realm – the angels standing in front of that lady, slowing her down, holding you both back."

I've heard it said, "Timing is everything." God's timing I'd say.

Lord thank you for protecting us from what we cannot see. Whether red lights or green, help us walk with You in Your perfect timing, protection and provision.

We love you. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Psalm 91:11
For He shall give His angels charge over you,To keep you in all your ways.