Larry’s Blessing

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If you’ve followed this blog for awhile you¬†know¬†about Larry. My street corner poet. Larry is in a wheel chair. He adds to a meagre disability pension¬†by writing poems for a few bits of change, anything a passerby is willing to give. You name the topic. Larry writes. Larry also suffers with a mental health disorder which was brought on by rampant drug abuse in his youth when he led a¬†lifestyle of unabashed corruption and pimping in Vancouver’s rough east side. It led him right to the edge of despair.¬†After¬†plunging from¬†a 2nd story Salvation Army building¬†with hopes of ending¬†it all,¬†Larry awoke¬†to find¬†he would be in a wheelchair for the¬†remainder of his life. A tragic life all around,¬†but Larry doesn’t complain.¬†Mostly he writes poems¬†and often¬†broken or jumbled words that somehow end up sounding profound.

I hadn’t seen Larry for awhile,¬†but with Spring finally warming things up a little, I spotted him yesterday¬†under a large golf umbrella which he had rather¬†handily attached to his wheelchair, “Found it¬†by a garbage can…” he explained rather proudly.¬†“Just needed a few minor repairs.” The wide blue and green umbrella touted a¬† logo of some kind, with the rather out of¬†place words ‘Palm Springs’.¬†The cool¬†day had brought driving rain.¬†I peeked under the umbrella to say ‘hi’ and invited Larry to write me a poem…about…’Let me see, how about ‘Blessings’?’ I suggested, handing Larry a five dollar bill.

‘Thank you,’ Larry said politely, then rummaged through an impossible assortment of bags and backpacks he somehow hauls around with him and got writing. I¬†said I’d catch him on my way back from getting some groceries. ‘Okay,’ he said.

I returned about 20 minutes later¬†with a hot sandwich wrapped in foil from the grocery store deli counter, along with a couple of Mac apples and a Snickers bar. ‘Thank you,’ Larry said, as he handed me my poem. Larry’s often formal with his responses. He’s all about ‘doing business’. And as usual, his¬†poem¬†had something to say…something I had never really expected…about ‘blessings’…

Blessings   by Larry Peter Klippenstein April 29th 2013 A.D.

Blessings are thought of as things that are pleasant.
Blessings are not always things that make you happy or content.
And perhaps these are the most important blessings.

King Solomon spoke of those things which are pleasant or amusing, yet he gave more value to the house of mourning…

The faithful wounds of a friend…are a blessing…
An honourable enemy…is a blessing…
Rains in their season…are a blessing…
Winter cold which gives the land rest…is a blessing…
Summer heat which gives us the fruit of the ground…is a blessing…

The limits we may face which hold us back or bar us from injuring either ourselves or others…are a blessing…

The consequences of wrong choices which can serve to turn us back to truth…are a blessing…

Each of these is a blessing in spite of how we feel about them. The need they fulfill makes them a blessing whether or not we find comfort in them.

So, if one receives the chastisement of God, one receives the blessing…of children who God dearly loves and for whom He wants to provide a hope…and a future…

Brush Strokes on a New Day

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Our God is a good God. It is His nature. He wants us to hide in Him. Find rest and peace in Him. Outwardly, you might see and feel things differently, but inwardly He is renewing us, day by day, in each moment. I am so grateful He never stops wanting more for each of us. He wants us to continue growing and in our circumstances, that is when we make choices…to lean towards or away from Him. I felt such huge excitement this morning as I awoke. The sky was dark, but oh my, then the pink began…it was endless beauty. It was Him brushing a new stroke on the beginning of our day. He is just giving us a glimpse of greater things to come and He is preparing us for it. Blink and erase all your plans you made for today ~ fix your eyes on the unseen and step into all He has for you.

from Lori at e x p l o r e r
(God bless, my friend!)

You Are Beautiful to God

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I had crooked teeth as a kid.¬†I felt self-concious. And¬†one day an adult I looked up to¬†made a¬†teasing remark that stuck into me like a knife.¬† It was said in a silly way, but I¬†felt¬†suddenly¬†rejected¬†and unloved.¬†Years later¬†after I had my teeth straightened,¬†I still¬†felt unlovely. I kept thinking I needed to change something in myself in order to be loved. I had allowed the pain of that long ago hurtful comment to dig in so deep, it had left a¬†permanent mark in my soul. That is, until God’s love got hold of me and changed my life forever.

Sadly, we live in a world where image is promoted as ‘everything’. It can cause a ton of anxiety, stress, and awful pain to feel a need to look or act a certain way in order to be¬†accepted and loved.¬†¬†As a result, we may end up striving to look a certain way, yet ending up disappointed and feeling unloved.¬†In extreme instances, our sense of self may be so broken, we might lose out on important relationships. I’ve heard¬†married women friends share with pain in their hearts how¬†empty they feel because their husbands seldom say three simple important words: “I love you…” And they¬†almost never¬†tell¬†them three more words…”You are beautiful…”

But here’s what each of us needs to hear and know…

YOU are beautiful…to God.

God’s love is unconditional. He loves us just as we are, and His love is so great it is impossible to fully imagine a love that would go all the way to a cross to die for us in order to have us live with Him forever.

God says it…to each and every living soul…created in His own image…

YOU are beautiful…to Me.

(Song of Songs 4:7) (Jeremiah 31:3) (Ephesians 3:18, 19)

Fear of being ordinary…?

hdwpapers.comBy Holley Gerth 

An observation on our culture:¬†‚ÄúI see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.‚ÄĚ‚Äď Brene Brown, Daring Greatly

We live in a world that glorifies celebrity. And that spills over into our daily lives. That mentality tries to define us…By how many Likes we get on Facebook. How many people notice what we do. How many successes we can count in our day. When that happens, what Brene Brown said so eloquently above becomes true: we fear being ordinary. What if our life doesn’t matter? What if what we do doesn’t really count? What if no one recognizes our efforts? We panic and strive and end up exhausted. Human souls are not made to prove themselves. And yet in the middle of it all, there’s One who calls us to a different standard.

¬†Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:¬† “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself.” Philippians 2:5-8 Instead of fearing ordinary, Jesus embraced it. The one human being who could have walked into our world and instantly had fame, recognition and celebrity ran from it instead. He chose a manger not a throne. He spent 90% of his lifespan as a private carpenter and only 10% in public ministry.¬† He hung on a cross in a way that was even beyond ordinary, it was humiliating. And because of that‚Ķ¬†“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.”¬† Philippians 2:9

Don‚Äôt fear ordinary because in the Kingdom, it‚Äôs the only path to greatness. Yes, God may call you to have a platform. Yes, you may find yourself in the spotlight sometimes. Yes, sometimes people may even say ‚Äúextraordinary‚ÄĚ to describe what you do. And you will have God-sized dreams. But here‚Äôs the freedom: you don‚Äôt have to strive . You can embrace where you are right here, right now and know that it is enough. You are enough. Because the One who lives in you turns every bit of ordinary into holy, glorious ground.

What’s in your heart…?

ecclesiastes3-11-12, wallpapers4god.comThere’s something¬†way more than a little awesome¬†about life. It’s the amazing and awesome¬†reality of just being here. Not one human being who has¬†ever walked this earth can¬†ever take any credit for being here.¬†Life is a miracle.¬†An incredible gift. The truth – God¬†destined us in love…to be here. When you cried your first cry of life, that was God, breathing His life into you.¬†And God did something even more profound.¬†You see, God says He knew you before you were born. So He didn’t stop with this short phenomenal journey called ‘life’.¬†From the beginning, He had a plan to place¬†a profound gift in each and every human heart. He called¬†that gift¬†‘eternity’.¬†Now that…is divine…and that…is what I call true love…