Archive for April, 2017

Like A Rainbow in the Dark

I wrote this little story four years ago, but it moves me to read it again today. It’s a tribute to God, Sherry, Mom, family and friends; and it speaks about love, loss, and going on, even after the storms of life have wreaked havoc upon us.

Marbles In My Pocket ~ The Official Blog of Charles L. Mashburn ~ Poems, Short Stories, and random thoughts from the author of "Be Still... and know that I am God"

The wind roared as black clouds raced in, and we ran—your hand holding tight to mine—toward the shelter door in the backyard. I was not afraid, because… I was with you, and that is all that matters.

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Choose Wisely, My Friends

I have come to the conclusion that all things from our pasts have combined to mold us into the persons we are; and the things of today and tomorrow will continue to shape us. In our younger years, we were influenced by parents, teachers, friends, and others. But once we stepped out on our own, we became responsible for our own lives and we began to be shaped by our choices.

We sometimes—too often, I think—regret our choices, and blame ourselves for our lot in life. Other times, we want to place the blame on those who helped form us during those early years. Sometimes… we even blame God.

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Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10

 

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Where We Are Now

Our desire to love God with all our heart and soul should be our quest—our reason for living—and if ever we feel as though we’ve failed, or feel we don’t love Him as much as we should, we should not despair, but press on.

For though we diligently seek God, we will sometimes feel we’re far from finding Him. And, it is at those times we should hold onto the hope that we are always getting closer, and continue to strain toward what is ahead, forgetting what is behind.

God knows our every need and we would do well to allow Him to provide for them. We should travel light, carrying nothing and knowing when we reach the destination He leads us to, our provisions will have been delivered there prior to our arrival.

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Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is head.

Philippians 3:13

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Will We Ever Learn?

Without God’s forgiveness, there is no peace; no peace between man and God, and surely no peace between men and men. In his writing to the church at Ephesus, Paul talks about the peace between men, made possible by the blood of Christ. Christ died for more reasons than to forgive us of our sins, and one reason was to put an end to the divisions between men—men who believed in God, but could not agree with one another. Somehow, I don’t think we’ve figured any of it out yet. In spite of God’s attempts to bring us together, we remain divided; perhaps even more now than ever.

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For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,  Ephesians 2:14

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Maybe… It’s Not Our Job

When my oldest son was very young (so was I), he occasionally had bouts of diarrhea. On one of those occasions, a co-worker told me to feed him cheese. I knew nothing about babies—or cheese—so I figured it was worth a shot.

That evening, I put Billy in his high chair, pulled a chair up in front of him, and handed him a small piece of cheese. He tasted it and then promptly spit out. I kept giving it back to him, until he got tired of the game and ate a couple pieces. Thinking more was better, I insisted he eat more. By the time the episode was over, both of us were frustrated and angry. I yelled at the poor kid, and made him take another bite. “Eat the cheese!” I said.

He spit out the cheese, leaned forward, and threw up on me.

It’s kind of a funny story, but I use it to illustrate a serious point;

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Behold, how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! For this cause the world doesn’t know us, because it didn’t know him. 1John 3:1

 

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We Can Stay Forever

We lived in a small neighborhood on Lake Travis for several years, and we enjoyed having gatherings down by the lake, and parties at our house. The events always seemed to start with very few people there and grow as the afternoon or evening wore on. The trickling arrival of guests would always bother me, and I’d fret that no one was going to come. I eventually got used to the pattern, knowing plenty of guests would show up.

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And, He knows some will hesitate to accept His invite, but He also  knows those He sent a personal invitation to will eventually arrive. I was one of the stragglers, and I could kick myself for not getting here sooner. It’s an awesome party!

 

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who made a marriage feast for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast, but they would not come.” Matthew 22:2-3

 

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There He Is!

When I was a young boy, my Uncle Marvin used to take us to the lake to water ski, fish, and swim. I can remember long rides—they seemed long at the time—to the lake, and how my cousin Ed and I would be so excited, anticipating the fun we were going to have. As we got close to the lake, we would sit shoulder to shoulder in the backseat, noses nearly touching the window, watching excitedly for the first glimpse of the lake. When we’d finally see it, we’d shout in unison, “There it is!”

I feel the same excitement and anticipation when I think about Jesus’ return.

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I can hardly wait!

… looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13

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Why Do You Want To Know?

If you’re a golfer (or a want-to-be golfer, like me) you’ll understand the following story. If you don’t know anything about golf, you might want to skip down to paragraph two. A very well-known professional golfer was talking to a typical duffer. The duffer asked the professional, “How do you make the ball spin and come back toward the hole when hitting an approach shot to the green.” The pro golfer asked the duffer, “How often do you hit the green with your approach shot?” The duffer said, “Hardly ever.” The pro said, “Then why do you want to know?”

This can also be true in our spiritual lives. We puzzle over details we don’t understand, when we haven’t yet mastered the simplest things. I believe God will increase our wisdom as we are ready to receive, moving us toward Him at a pace He knows will suit us, until one day we understand Him and His ways to the extent He needs us to. We don’t need to know all the details, just what it takes to accomplish our part of God’s plan.

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For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom, and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit; 1 Corinthians 12:8

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I Smell Cookies

Hey, I’m totally cool with making cookies.

Marbles In My Pocket ~ The Official Blog of Charles L. Mashburn ~ Poems, Short Stories, and random thoughts from the author of "Be Still... and know that I am God"

Irony? Seems to me the same guy playing the lead role in Pulp Fiction, then playing the lead in Michael—a movie about an angel—now that’s about as ironic as it can get. Then there’s that wild and crazy, mixed-up kid who never thought he’d see twenty-one; now he’s sixty-somethin’, and tryin’ to live like an angel. Are you kiddin’ me?

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Me and My Big But!

Most of the time I’m a very positive person, but sometimes I let my big but get in the way. I’ll start off my day thinking it’s going to be a good day, then think, “But! If it rains, I’m gonna be upset.” You see? I let my big but lower my expectations for the day, by anticipating something bad.

And, I know I’m not the only one that does this. Everybody has buts, some bigger than others, and try as we may, it seems we can’t totally get rid of them. But! We don’t have to let our buts get in our way. If we work at it, we can reduce the negative influence of our buts and eventually put them in their place; behind us.

We mustn’t allow our faith to be diminished by a big but! We have to stand up and proclaim our trust in God, and kick buts out of our vocabulary! God is for us and there’s no but about it!

I could go on, but… I think you get my point.

He didn’t do many mighty works there because of their unbelief. Matthew 13:58

 

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