Newton – Love and Grace

This is my 500th post to this blog and it will be pretty quick yet I wanted to share. I have written about his most famous of hymns but never have I ever delved into his works, his life, his ministry, but I came across this John Newton story today, in the places I seem to find. The story had to do with Newton’s love of his life, his wife Mary, and his reaction to her death in 1790.

First, a line from a letter he had written to his wife, “I am always a little awkward without you, and every room where you are not present, looks unfurnished.” I love this line and to me it speaks volumes of love, closely followed by the necessary apprentice for true love, humility.

Second, I share a few more words penned by Newton after Mary died, showing his love for her, his dealings in grief, and ultimately his love and faith in our Lord and Savior. “The Bank of England is too poor to compensate for such a loss as mine.  But the Lord, the all-sufficient God, speaks, and it is done.  Let those who know Him, and trust Him, be of good courage.  He can give them strength according to their day.  He can increase their strength as their trials increase…and what He can do He has promised that He will do.” Amen.

http://wp.me/p1TwRa-80

 

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OBX The Trip

The week was a whirlwind of travel, adapting we all deploy
Mostly a magical Holiday feeling, for all ages, girl or boy

Thank you my brother for your abundance of generosity
Here I look deeper at seconds created by opportunity

We will never forget the road trips, trying if not epic
Where every turn and twist not a soul could predict

I ask each of you, and perhaps challenge you a bit too,
To peer beneath the surface, as an introspect might do

You possess the frame and even the visual that fits
Scan your minds eye, a personal collection of video clips

Zoom from above to the level that’s so, so close
Smile at the memory, repeat, take in a heavy dose

On the beach you pan in any direction among family
Each unto their own, they play, enjoy, just being happily

There’s the dinner table each night that sprawls endlessly
Fellowship amidst the feast with all the loved ones you see

Day trips and moments we all made our for ourselves
But the pure joy is there for each of us that delves

The evening around the screen we all did gather to spy
That breaking story like scenes from days long gone by

The elaborate collection of material captured by electronics
Too many exhibits for our minds focus to one firmly fix

So, make common, not this week, rather hold tight your grip
On the moments abundant carrying pure joy, OBX the trip

The Beginning and the End

The Lord said, “I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”
But I sit here thinking on and longing for the good ole days, the past.
 
Where does faith go when we think too much, and get caught up in the pace of society?
Information comes and goes so fast that we barely hold on, so we search again just to see.
 
I am a man in awesome wonder, at times life gets in and my mind slips into constant wander.
Praying just enough to keep from freezing solid from mental strain, opportunities I squander.
 
Where’s my trust…”whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord…”
So many things converge at the same time, have I walked when I should have soared?
 
I look into four fresh, young, bright eyes and I wonder if I am worthy of their care.
In these times we can know all about the places we go, having never even been there.
 
In the days of my youth time marched along but with it came a pace, the days, our own.
Now news travels faster than the facts themselves, we fear things we should’ve never known.
 
“Submit to God and be at peace with Him…” for its here you’ll find there’s always a friend.
In the darkness, there is light, He’s got this, for “He is the beginning and the end.”
 
The earth spins; light glows and fades, here on earth only man creates the absence of light.
No matter the corner we’ve backed into there’s always two choices, one which is right.
 
Commotion bellows all around me, I find solace in this little space between me and these keys.
I know God is listening, for when I wander; I’m reminded of His splendor evident in the breeze.
 
I give my troubles to Him …”for vain is the help of man”…I on my own can only descend.
“Through God we shall do valiantly…”and only He holds all, “the beginning and the end.”

 

 

2 Corinthians 5:6

Job 22:21

Psalms 60:11-12

Revelation 22:13

 

Difference in a new day

Night time is spent spinning in the swirl of thought, uncertainty, and fear of the unknown, more than my heart can take.

 

Then, with prayer, silent meditation, and the promise carried by the sight of mornings clear blue sky, the difference a new day doth make.

Thank you Baseball

To Coach Hartwell and Coach Dodge:

This morning I woke wishing we still had games left to coach, or even tournament games left to organize. Excuses for me to be at Allard Park are easy to come by. Mostly though, I wanted to thank you both for welcoming me into your dugout. You two were selfless in regard to our pecking order and were very open minded regarding discussion, thought process, and decision making. I appreciate it very much. I enjoyed battling alongside you two over the past week as well as preparing in the weeks before, and yes, I miss it already. It was both a joy and a pleasure to be announced with you and the Goffstown team at Allard Park this week. The anthem still gives me goose bumps. I closed my eyes yesterday as we stood on the 3rd base line while the anthem played and I thought of how fortunate I was to be a part of the team and to represent my town. I sang the words silently to myself as the sun shone down, pondering the thousands of past baseball heroes who had been so lucky as me. Thank you guys. It was wonderful to pace the dirt floors of the Allard Park dugouts again, and to look up and down the bench at kids playing for their home town community spelled across their chests. Thank you.

Storyland 2014

Yesterday, my wife and I took our three youngest kids to Storyland in Glen, NH for a day of rides and fun. I think you will see from the pictures that we had a good time. There were lots of smiles.

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The Silence Before The Dream

I stand in darkness, nearly in complete silence. The night air encircles my body and it’s comfortably warm, the same, safe, and it’s just right. My face is turned to the clear sky and I see the bright moon before my eyes close. There I stand still. Still as the night air which is only disturbed by my own movement. Eyes closed, face skyward, I feel the coolness of the late night air as it descends toward me. I drift to some far away corner of the world, nearly losing my balance as my mind engages in this dream trip my mind has taken on. I stagger a step or two only hoping to recall the place my mind had taken me to. It’s too late, I catch my balance and look around. Lights play tricks with my perception of depths and shadows in this old space. Nearby, time, I sense, moves faster than it does in this, my sheltered place.

It’s the eve of an event. An event I would categorize as major. One that I’ve never experienced myself, college graduation. I’m standing alone on this Ivy League campus, in the midst of celebration and anticipation. Yet, sounds and movement are almost non existent where I stand. I soak it in. I welcome the lack of anything moving or even competing for my attention. I think, and I enjoy the lack of need for any tangible thought or decision expelled from my seemingly limited thought process. Breath leaves my lungs without pressure or force as I ease into a comfortable, near dream state.

In a few hours my own flesh and blood will graduate from an Ivy League school. Having watched him, having listened to all he has said in silence and having observed him, here he belongs, far more than me. As it should be, for I am just a visitor here. This is about him and his classmates. This is about grace under fire, a sense of wherewithal beyond ones own years, and hard work known only to few. I tread among the brilliant, I rub shoulders with the wealthy, I walk past the ones carrying opinions deemed more valuable than mine. Yet, we congregate here in this place for the same reasons.

It’s late, real late. But like so many that will walk the stage in a few hours, I too, can be tired. Oddly, it hits me that an era is ending for one, which will prove more emotional somewhere down the road I’m sure, while, for the same, a new era also begins. As these roads cross, and the mates circulate through the vast green, I’ll be there in awe. For, it’s those who run with the tools they possess, while still assessing what it is they have, onward, forward, boldly, ignoring trepidation, that make me feel feeble, small-minded, and otherwise simple. Perhaps almost ignorantly, I take great pleasure and pride in my own flesh and blood pressing toward the unknown, while certain that pressing is the way to go.

I look past the stage and the neatly arranged seats, looking for a spot that would not be less dignified were I to occupy its space for the coming ceremony. I find comfort in those spaces, mine identified hours before anyone will show up. Regardless of the distance between my perch and the stage, or even the space between my ears versus the brilliance around me, I’ll stand with tears in my eyes, my heart pounding in my chest as I watch my firstborn walk with the company he keeps. I may not look the part, but true loving pride never met outward image. Congratulations to my son and all of his classmates. Job well done. I’m a proud Dad. Your future will certainly repeat some history, but the future you create will be in a realm never seen before, and frankly, that’s exciting, even for this old school thinker.

For now I’ll take in the silence of the midnight air. The temperature falls in proportion to my eyelids losing their battle with gravity, the result of another long day. My dreams are only seconds away as I slip from consciousness. A smile eases over my face as I approach my dream state knowing how real his dreams are and how close his dreams might be to the reality of the coming morning sun. I thank God for His many blessings. Good night. I’m proud of you son. You will always hold a special place in my heart no matter where paths may lead us. Every step, every moment of every day, you’re here with me. Congratulations my son.

~Love, a very happy, proud dad.