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What is Peace?

clouds and trees quote

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Are We There Yet?

trees trip quoteI can’t say I’m there at this moment, but I look forward with great expectation to the day when at last God is the true focal point of my life. I simply cannot fathom the utter joy and total peace that will come with complete release to Him. Nor can I imagine the feeling of truly knowing, deep within my soul and spirit, that He loves me unconditionally. The world will be a different place! The hills will be alive with the sound of music! All creation will clap its hands and shout for joy! When the truth of God’s love penetrates my mind and settles in my heart, soul, and spirit, I will go in joy, and He will lead me forth in peace. And… I will at last be able to say, “I know Him! I am one of His!”  

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A Promise Comes

For some reason this poem came to mind this morning. I wrote it in 2006 but it seems appropriate I should share it again today, the day after Labor Day.

I was taught at a very young age: Never give up. Never quit.

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A Promise Comes

 

The sunburnt harvest moon slowly rises

on the porch

Picture courtesy of Google Images

In the east on this late day in fall

A gentle breeze moves the porch swing

In the distance a whippoorwill calls

 

The neighbor’s dog down the way barks

While lightning bugs blink in the yard

Serenity wraps ‘round us like a shawl

‘tis forgotten that life is so hard

 

From the children’s room, soft giggles

As they play with their simple toys

Their lives are filled with struggles

And yet, they hang on to their joy

 

In evening dim we dream of olden times

The way it used to be

To go and come and just walk about

In a place called land of the free

 

We rise each day and do our work

As to the Lord, and not as to man

Doing as we are told to do

Singing hymns, we work the land

 

We know not if our wait be long

But know alone, we won’t carry this load

And soon we’ll rejoice and praise our Lord

A promise comes down the dusty road

 

Copyright © 2006 C. Mashburn

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Don’t Go There

the veil(2)It’s happened several times in the past, but it seems to be happening more frequently as I get on in years. I’ll be sound asleep in the early morning hours when a voice—clear and audible—awakens me with but one word; my name. “Charlie?” Yes, it comes in the form of a question; an almost searching but perhaps curious lilt to it. Sometimes I feel as though the voice is asking for my help, other times it seems to be reaching out to help me; as in, What are you doing, Charlie? Don’t go there.

I’m never quite sure who the voice belongs to, but after I’m fully awake for a few moments I discern the voice to be my mom’s. Always though, I’m never certain.

Afterward, I feel no fear or dread, but it does make me wonder. First, I wonder if there’s something wrong with mom—she lives 400 miles away—and then, sometimes, I wonder if there’s something wrong with me. This morning, for the first time since this began happening, I wondered if this happens when I come to close to “the veil”, as in dying.

I know, it’s a morbid thought, and maybe nonsensical too, but it came to me this morning, so I’m writing it down. What if—for reasons unexplainable—I approach death in my sleep and God uses Mom’s voice to call me back from the edge because, quite simply, it’s not my time to go.

I wonder.

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We Shine

Have you ever seen something you’ve seen many times before, and suddenly it looks different? Maybe it’s the way the light hits it. That obviously happens. A table that looked clean the day before, looks dusty when the morning light lays across it.

The light of God’s love shows things as they truly are. I cringe at the thought, wondering how I must look when God’s light shines on me. But then I remember, He loved me even before I knew Him, and I realize His love is much the same as that morning light, and things are not as I thought they were. They’re better. Because though some of the dust remains, in His eyes… we shine.

Ray of Light, India 2005

This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10

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Right Where I Am

I am quoteAll my life, I’ve heard the saying, “let go and let God,” but I resisted, thinking it was a cop out—an easy way out. No, I thought, I’ve got to keep fighting; I’ve got to figure this out on my own. These days, I can’t say I’ve completely let go, and I can’t say I’m now completely letting God. But I can say I’ve come a long way in both regards. And I didn’t know it at the time but even when I was trying to do it all on my own, God was guiding me to the place He needed me to be. Right where I am.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8

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I Want To Be Like Billy

This is a repeat, but it bears repeating. God puts people in our paths to show us the way. I wish I could’ve realized it sooner; maybe I would have paid better attention. Fortunately, the lessons he showed me with the people he sent my way took root. It just took me awhile to realize it.

Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Psalms 25:4

God sends special people into our lives for us to learn from. Today, I’d like to tell you about three very special ones He sent my way.

Judge Billy Meck was my Sunday school teacher when I was ten. I didn’t spend a lot of time with him, but he left a lasting impression on me. I remember him as one of the kindest, perpetually happy men I’ve ever encountered. I want to be kind and always happy like Billy.

just us kids 2

In case you can’t tell, Billy Ray is the one on the right. The other two are pretty special too. (I’m the beanpole on the left. Kenny is the hot dog below me, and sister, Patsy is the beautiful little girl in the middle.

Another Billy who left a lasting impression on me was my little brother, Billy Ray Mashburn, who died at fourteen in a car accident two weeks before I graduated high school. Billy Ray could look at you with those big blue eyes—fighting back a smile, so as not to crack his forever chapped lips—and you couldn’t help but smile back at him. Billy Ray loved everybody and everybody loved Billy Ray. I want to love and be loved like Billy.

My oldest son, Billy (he goes by Bill these days, being grown up and all) is the Billy I admire these days. I don’t know anyone who can match his work ethic or his love for his family. He’s a good man, a good husband, and the most devoted father I have ever seen. I am so very proud of my son. I want to be a good man like Billy.

I’m working on it.

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