Month: August 2016

Who You Are

I’ve never viewed myself,

As very much at all,

Never thought people,

Would want my time,

To be by my side,

To stand with me at tide,

Not very much at all,

I’ve never viewed myself,

As very worthy of love,

Never thought people,

Would care that deeply,

Would in times of need seek me,

I just never thought I was,

Very worthy of love at all,

I’ve never viewed myself,

As deserving of Grace,

Never thought God,

Would want this child,

Even cared about my smile,

Didn’t see my many lost miles,

Lost and wondering,

If I’m deserving of Grace.

Now I know who I am,

I am very much indeed,

Because you desire my time,

Yearn to be by my side,

Have stood with me at the tide,

I see how you care deeply,

By how in your times of need,

You have chosen to seek me,

Through your presence in my life,

I can see God’s view of me clearly,

How much He wants this child,

Loves to see each time I smile,

Was there on every single mile,

Times on this road have been rough,

But I don’t wish to change the path,

I love God and myself more and more,

Each day because of who you are,

Who you are,

Is so much more than I could ever ask,

I know you have your fears too,

But I promise each day,

You know God is there every mile,

Loves to see all of your smiles,

Desperately wants you as His child,

And know in times,

I have no idea what to do,

I will always choose to seek you too,

And when the waves crash,

As you stare at the rising tide,

Know I will be by your side,

Holding you in safety,

Is a perfect way to spend my time,

There you will see,

God’s perfect love,

Through this imperfect soul,

I promise to fill all that I can,

Then hand you over,

To the One who will make you whole.

Do You Remember?

Do you remember me?

Do you remember when?

Though the years have gone,

I don’t know how long it has even been.

Do you remember my face?

Do you hold onto my smile?

Though the years have gone,

I don’t know how long,

But it has been a while.

Do you miss the warmth of my hug?

Do you remember the way we would dance?

Though the years have gone,

I don’t know how long,

But long gone are the times of being entranced.

Do you remember the day?

Do you remember saying yes?

Though the years have gone,

I don’t know how long,

I will always see you in that white dress.

Do you remember me at all,

Do you even see me this time,

Though the years have gone,

I don’t know how long,

I have never left your side.

Do you know I still love you?

Do you know that won’t ever change?

Though the years have gone,

I don’t know how long,

No matter what the dementia takes,

I will always remain.

Do you remember the vows?

Do you remember what I swore?

Though the years have gone,

I don’t know how long,

Till the end of time,

I will always be yours.

Do you remember?

I do.

Remembering B.E. Taylor

This past Sunday, the musical world lost a legend that, I believe, many didn’t know existed. B.E. Taylor, of “Vitamin L” and, more importantly for me, Christmas music and tour fame, passed away on August 7, 2016 due to complications from a brain tumor.

William Edward (or “Billy Eddy”) Taylor was a singer-songwriter who was born in Aliquippa, PA, just a stone’s throw from where I grew up, and was one of my favorite artists of all time. He was an inspiration as a musician and as a person. He loved his fellow man and loved to entertain. More importantly, he was a devoted follower of Christ and was never afraid to make it known.

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Contemplating Compassion

All we see all over the news anymore are hurting people who are in need of compassion. There is so much hurting and aching going on. Whether it’s on a grand or small scale, there is no shortage of people who need to experience love and compassion.  From the international terrorist attacks to the domestic concerns over justice and racial inequality, we are dealing with things we naively thought would have ended by now. However far we have come, we still have much further to go.

I recently did a devotion at work on compassion.  We’ve been exploring it the past couple weeks and we talked about having compassion on others and the ultimate compassion Christ has for us. As it says in Matthew 22:39, Christians are called to love our neighbors as ourselves. We regularly talk about loving others and having compassion on others, but I got to thinking: How does that translate if I don’t accept Christ’s compassion for me, or if I don’t really love and have compassion on myself?

We can act like we really have compassion and go through the motions while not really having compassion on others. Are we truly treating them as we yearn to be treated? Are we just paying them lip service, or do we sincerely see them for who they are in Christ? Do we see them as Christ sees them? In order for us to truly show compassion and love to one another, we have to truly accept that same compassion from Him. We are only giving a portion of the love and compassion that we can if we have not fully accepted it ourselves.

It’s not a selfish thing to examine how you think about and see yourself. It’s a necessary thing. You have to come to terms with God and you must believe that He has created you in His image. You are worthy, loved, and bear His image. This is true of everyone, no matter how different they may be from you. They are just as worthy of love and compassion as you are. Sometimes it’s easier for us to show compassion to others over ourselves, as it feels selfish to be so introspective. In order for us to truly show compassion and see others as Christ sees them, we have to come to terms with that in ourselves.

I am a perfectionist and beat myself up over everything. I get frustrated if things don’t go how I want them to go. I get down and discouraged with myself when bad things happen to me. I have given up on things more often than I would like to admit. I have failed to ask for help or accepted help when I needed it; partly out of pride, but also because I hadn’t fully accepted the love and compassion of Jesus has offered me. It’s a tough thing for me to accept and something that I am learning to grow through.

There are some very practical and obvious ways to show compassion to others, and I am not negating those by any means.  They are important. Jesus was compassionate to everyone he met. We should be compassionate too. But we need to accept Christ’s compassion and reflect that onto ourselves. We need to see who we are in Christ. We need to love ourselves in order to truly love our neighbors and see them as Christ sees them. This way we can see everyone for the image bearers that they truly are. If we can’t love ourselves and forgive ourselves, how are we really able to do the same for others?

Each of us is free

I have to admit to you,

I have to be honest,

I haven’t delivered,

I haven’t kept my promise,

I swore to keep it real,

I swore to show you my heart,

Then the moment it got hard,

I got up to turn around and depart,

I didn’t feel special,

I didn’t feel my words were worthy,

I didn’t think anyone would care,

I didn’t think that anyone heard me,

I lost sight of why I pen these words,

I forgot why I share my soul with these lines,

In the chaos and storm of self-loathing,

I lost track of myself and lost track of time,

I know I was blessed with this gift,

I know He has used it in great ways,

I know I need to wake up,

I know there is light in the coming days,

So from this moment on,

Believe I will share my soul,

No matter how painful,

No matter how tattered with holes,

I don’t know who will read these words,

I don’t know the story of your life,

I just pray you see in my words,

The reflection of The One who paid the price,

I pray you see the freedom you have,

I admit that I’m not a perfect being,

I can tell you that admitting that,

Can be perfectly freeing,

So whoever you are,

Wherever you may be,

This poem and collective are imperfect,

But more than imperfect,

Each of us is free.

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