Who I Call Friend

 

“But I have called you friends…”

 John 15:15 

 

This short poem was written years ago after I learned that friendships come in all shapes and sizes. I had often seen friendships come and go and it wore on my heart. However, something my mom said stuck with me that day. She said, “If you have one true friend in your lifetime you have more than most people.”

So true.

 

Good-Friend

There are Sunday friends,

Neverending friends,

Some saved for “one day’s “ page;

Others last a twinkling of an eye.

There are friendships  that live

Until you die.

Rare and great are those you find,

Who call you friend until the end.

My friend

One sticks closer than a brother;
Crisis reveals one from the shadows.

Friends for a season;

Tastes bitter, adds sweetening;

Binds the wounds,

One step in my healing.

Best friend
A confidant that keeps pace beside;
When you fall stands you tall.

The length of a weekend,

A sentence, a song;

Different times,

Various reasons,
But still they bear the same name.

Friends
A conversation on a journey long,

Tough and tender, weak and strong;
A companion, a comfort
A smile all the while,

A friend.

captain-america-civil-war-is-actually-about-the-winter-soldier-s-redemption

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Posted in Being a brother, Being a sister, brotherhood, Character in Crisis, christ, Christian character, companionship, courage, End Times, endurance, family, fellowship, friendhip, friendship, God's Love, Hard days, helping the lonely, Jesus, mentors, Relationship with God, relationships, Sisterhood, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

As You Wish

This was a fun post that I had from a high school course I did on film and how to get the most out of a movie. This is where the ideas come from for our blogs.

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“For there is no fear in love; but perfect love cast out fear.”

                                                           1John 4:18

 

The-Princess-Bride-As-You-Wish-Valentines-Event-Website-Banner-1-980x363

Our final feature in our Film Culture class was The Princess Bride. Do you remember this classic film from the 80’s? There were so many memorable scenes that I could quote, but I am only choosing a few to talk about. We looked at how comedy and tragedy have to live in harmony. As Vizzini said,

“That’s inconceivable.”

Maybe that word doesn’t mean what he thinks it mean.

Incovevable

Wesley and Buttercup found something that doesn’t happen everyday, True Love. What makes their relationship work, I think, is Wesley’s words,

“As you wish.”

As you Wish

He would always come if they were ever separated. Wesley would be that white knight even if the world made him wear black and be a pirate. Buttercup was innocent to the ways of the world like her namesake. However, she learned how to keep love alive when she let it die. Crazy, right? These two wished for True Love but little did they know what struggle life would through them into.

Indigo

“My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.”

As Wesley and Buttercup are torn apart and randomly thrown back together, they meet an odd variety of people. One of them, Indigo, sought revenge for the love of his dead father. Again, love can push ordinary people into places that they never thought they would go. Struggles in life can make you better or biter. I guess it’s the condition of the heart that makes all the difference.

Fred Savage

When people try to understand what real love they can miss the point all together. They may even attempt to thwart love or even destroy it. Prince Humperdinck had a sick way of having a relationship.

Prince Humperdink

“I would not say such things if I were you.”

He said this when Buttercup, now confident in her true love, defied him. That simple flower stood up to a cruel hateful world. When things got darkest and the sun refused to shine, True Love showed how strong its roots were.

Buttercup

If you ever doubt that True Love exists in the world think again. The real test of it is the trials and troubles it endures. The very things designed to destroy real love can actually make it stronger between two people. May I be as bold to say that real love is from God and that tells you time can never shake eternity.

Humperdink 2

“Love, true love is what brings us together today.”

I couldn’t of said it better it myself.

PrincessBride

 

Posted in As you wish, Buttercup, God's Love, love, overcoming, Overcoming fear, The Princess Bride, Uncategorized, Wesley | Leave a comment

The Mysterious Nation 

 

Shanghai city network technology

Mystery Babylon, the great.

 

                      Revelation 17: 5

 

The internet and the dawn of the digital age has become a world within itself. Being a child of the70’s I would have never imagined a virtual world becoming an entity that has captured the world. Being a sci-fi enthusiast I had always seen the ongoing love hate relationship between man and machine.  That was fantasy, but now the digital domain is a daily reality most of the world has come to know.

digitalworldshutterstock_108005828

Think about a First Century man or woman looking at this digital domain with any sort of clue to what they are experiencing. I imagine that when John on the Isle of Patmos saw the future he might have seen the internet in all its entirety. What would he say to seeing all the nations of the world connected with no boundaries, sharing information in an instant, and being able to communicate with one voice? What would he compare that, too? He had seen the empire of Babylon. It was a combination of many nations working as one. They shared resources, information, travel, etc. Could it be when John observed this mystery of an unseen world that existed inside a man-made creation, that he called it Mystery Babylon? How did it work? Who was its leader? What was the goal of this nation that isn’t a tangible thing?

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That is a mystery still today. However, in God’s great knowledge, He saw it coming. Jesus knew man would increase his knowledge as history progressed (or digressed). He gave a command to His disciples to go preach the Gospel into Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. Does the internet count as part of this Great Commission? I have often wondered about this because there are Christians who avoid it like the plaque. Some might see it as an all together unwholesome place that sucks in lost souls. Yes, this digital world can be an escape for some people to avoid the problems of real life. It can also be a place where your dreams and nightmares come true. I imagine the key is how you navigate through these troubled seas. Will a time come when the real world’s problems become too much and it is abandoned for the more idyllic virtual one?

Digital world

My thought is that if there are still people who need the Lord, then we as Christ’s disciples are called there. I believe that like any mission field there are dangers and trials inherent to that land. There might be languages to learn, cultures to understand, and people groups very foreign waiting there.So, one must know the risks going in before they set out to reach others.

building-social-brands-through-digital-channels

I feel like I have a ministry online. The Lord told me to encourage others in their faith and the lead them to Him. That is why this blog was formed. It is a little piece of electronic real estate that is off the beaten track. My prayer is that people like you who travel this virtual world will find the truth that sets them free before the plug is pulled and the lights go out.

digital-world-carol-and-mike-werner

Where is your mission field?

 

Posted in America, Babylon, Bible, Body of Christ, Dangerous, Digital age, End Times, evangelism, Mission Field, Mystery Babylon, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Clanky Lanky Lane

This poem is part of the first collection of short stories I did almost 20 years ago. I dedicate this to all of those who are going through a major change in their lives.  Seasons don’t last forever, but the character God gives us does.

little-girls-with-umbrella

 

Clanky  Lanky Lane, Lanky Lane

Jumpin’ over puddles in the rain

Some are small,

Some insane

Clanky Lanky Lane, Lanky Lane.

np-umbrella-retro-hi

Clanky Lanky Lane, Lanky Lane,

Thirteen;

Two legs like thin green beans,

Not quite a little kid

Or a teen with growing pains,

Clanky Lanky Lane, Lanky Lane.

RIN BOOTS

Clanky Lanky Lane, Lanky Lane

Freckled-faced.

Cute

Thinks she’s just plain.

Got a younger sister

And one pushing eighteen.

Clanky Lanky Lane, Lanky Lane

np-umbrella-retro-hi

Clanky Lanky Lane, Lanky Lane

Little sister’s got attention,

Once again;

She’s mom & daddy’s baby

Attention  is  her middle name.

Poor Clanky Lanky Lane, Lanky Lane

girl-with-umbrella-girl-in-the-field-photo-in-old-color-image-style

Clanky Lanky Lane, Lanky Lane

Big sister’s wearing makeup

Being gorgeous is her game.

Has boys calling

Makes that phone ring

But not for,

Clanky Lanky Lane, Lanky Lane

np-umbrella-retro-hi

Clanky Lanky Lane, Lanky Lane

Feels so awkward

And out of place;

Confusion,

She’s feeling

Like a nobody.

Strange.

 

cleansing_rain

Clanky Lanky Lane, Lanky Lane

Pouring out her troubles

To dad once again.

“Your growing up, Laney

Enjoy each step you take

They won’t come again.”

Clanky Lanky Lane, Lanky Lane

rain-woman-umbrella

Clanky Lanky Lane, Lanky Lane

Soon you’ll be an adult,

Things will never be the same.

You’re our little “changin’ girl”

Enjoy just being Lanky Lane,

A little bit longer,

Clanky Lanky Lane, Lanky Lane.

Hands in the rain

Clanky Lanky Lane, Lanky Lane.

Took Dad’s words

And smiled again.

 

np-umbrella-retro-hi

Looking out the window

At the rain,

Her boots came on

As before the same,

Clanky Lanky Lane, Lanky Lane,

Still jumpin’ puddles

Some insane!

Clankly Lane

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Gospel, Growing up, Hang in there, Jesus, Life, patience, perseverance, Persistance, Poetry, Prose, Rain, Relationship with God, salvation, Social health, Trials, umbrella, Uncategorized, Waiting | Leave a comment

All of My Days

G. P. Avants

 

Together

“One man considers one day more sacred than another another man considers every day alike.”

                                    Romans 14:5

“Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

                                    2 Corinthians 4:16

                                  Tough People

Monday: Believe it of not its not a typical Monday.  Its been really great! The kids are well behaved, I got a good night sleep, and I had a wonderful quiet time with the Lord.

Tuesday: A pretty good day.  Got a late start but made it to work on time.   The boys had a rough night but we patched things up.

Wednesday: Ach! How things can go from bad to worst is just not funny.  Its one of those days when I should have stayed in bed, unpluggled the phone and bolted the door.

Thursday: I woke up happy today.  Had a good quiet time with the Lord.  The sun is shining….

Wishes

Does this sound familiar at all? It seems our weeks are never predictable.  Its like a huge rolling wave at times; one minute I’m rolling on the crest the next I’ve been face-planted in the sand.Our lives appear to be at the mercy of our circumstances and in the world we live in. But is doesn’t have to be that way. I believe that each day has a purpose and even the horrible days are part of God’s plan. I know we have heard this before again and again that, “all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”

good-day1

I can’t always change or choose my circumstances, but I can choose my attitude and perspective towards it.These are things that I can control and that really makes all the difference between how I handle my circumstances. Something that helps me when days are bad or they seem to drag on is that this really isn’t my life. Nope, this is Christ’s life I am giving to him now.  It’s such a short time, maybe 40 more years for me and then I get my real life hid in Him. That helps me get through tough times when I realize that I am “just a passing through and this world in not my home.”

Bad days

Bad days to me are also like the crucible that burns away my imperfect sinful life so Christ can shine out more clearly.  So, painfully at times I face them and whisper a “thank you” because somehow beyond my sight something is happening somewhere to the glory of God. Unfortunately, in America we wrestle with materialism and having so much. It’s easy to take the blessings, the good days, for granted.  In those days, I pray that I will not cease to see all the tiny things the Lord is doing and thank Him for it. I pray that whatever He has given me in my life help it to first glorify Him and second be used to bring others to Him.

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Nothing else really lasts so why spend another day striving for it, believer?  Each day is precious so instead of bemoaning your loss look at what you’ve gained.

bad-day-11

 

 

 

 

Posted in Adaptation, Christian character, encouragement, Everyday issues, Faith, Hang in there, Hard days, Relationship with God, sweetness, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Dead Flies: One Step Ahead of the Zombies (An allegory)

Disclaimer:

Things change and that is constant. The Lord has put on my heart to take on less things and put my best into a few things. With that thought I began digging around in some of the old stories, poems, and ideas that have been in some dead files. You know, there is a time to clean out things out and let folks read them. This story is one of them.  I am not a big zombie fan (my oldest son is) but there are a lot of analogies to life, death, and the afterlife associated with the living dead.  This is a little longer than my normal post so I hope you will hang into the end.

-GPA

 

Zombie 5

 

ONE STEP AHEAD OF THE ZOMBIES!

 

G.P. Avants

 

It’s a horrible smell: The aftermath of the living dead. Finn Borland peers out of the dirty window shades and shudders at the scene before him.  Life around Finn had changed. Colors are muted, fading into degrees of black and white. Distrust and paranoia seal up doors of houses and hearts.  How did it come to this? Is the question that is on everyone’s lips.

The truth is the seed for this human carnage had been around for ages. It just took a disaster like this one to scatter the spores.  Some say it was lurking in our DNA waiting for an opportunity to pounce.  We created our own worst nightmare.

Zombie 6

In no time Finn starts to see the effects of the disease. He watches it in the eyes of people on the street as they went about their day.  One day Finn is looking into the eyes of innocent children, the next deadness is glazing over them.

Horrible! It’s bad enough to see grown adults succumb to this living death but to see children was a crime that I can’t fully-express. Finn tries to walk past without it affecting him but the horror of it burns down into his bones.

Zombie people

What was odder than strangers becoming the living dead?  It was when it seeps into Finn’s friendships. He sits down to coffee with an acquaintance who, until not to long ago, was a close friend.  There are engaging in this very subject when something abruptly changes. His buddy never takes a sip of the latte he orders. It is something in the way he carries himself, a crackling dryness to his words, which signals things are changing.  Needless to say, Finn makes a fast escape from that sidewalk café.

Zombie 1

However, the spear that truly pierces Finn’s heart is during Thanksgiving dinner.  The infection isn’t shared through the generous spread, but in the laconic attitude of a few close family members. The normal jabbing and ribbing takes a turn that makes Finn’s jaw drop. Hateful words are thrown like daggers. If they could consume each other with fire, they would have.  No one left with any leftovers from that feast. Finn and his immediate family loses their appetites.  They all had horrible memories of that once bountiful celebration. Someone is hungering for things unnatural.

There is never any news broadcast announcing the epidemic. Finn thinks someone would have enough brains left to cry havoc.

Nope, I guess those of us not infected have to wisen up and decide how we have to handle this catastrophe. It’s funny how the more you see the subtle signs in people, the easier it is to classify them. (Hm, maybe funny isn’t the best choice of words).

Zombie 4

Those who are still somewhat sane take on a defensive posture against the average person on the street. Finn doesn’t want to admit it but he has become more isolated and mistrusting.  How many average people are sinking to levels like these? He thinks about the cold icy finger of fear slowly working its way towards the last piece of the living: their heart. Finn realizes these have become perilous times for all.

The newscaster’s plastic smile doesn’t cover the meaner undertones. The clerk at the store is robotically ringing up Finn’s milk, cereal, and huge purchase of batteries. She stares a moment too long.  Finn sits on his porch checking his survival gear and observes a sweet-looking granny walking her four yappy snitzerdoodles. Finn holds his heart. What he hears coming from those wrinkled lips made him almost evacuate myself like the little doggies did. What a mouth that lady had.

Zombie 7

That’s when Finn takes his family, leaves everything behind, and takes to the road. The four of them, oh, six including their pets, leave in tears. First Finn’s hometown town, then his state shrinks away in the rear view mirror. What are we doing? I can’t tell you exactly. I do know we are afraid of everything and everyone.  Where are we going? Anywhere but here…or here…or there.

The mindless wanderers pop up in every town Finn stops in for gas then quickly flees out of.  They have no rest outside or inside themselves. The family find others who still have their wits about them, but they have no clue what they were doing either. Those who have their minds and hearts intact, fear being attacked. Those who have lost their minds wander about trying to satisfy their pointless condition. It has become a cat and mouse game to many.

Zombie 3

That’s how Finn and family end up barricaded in this house cut off from everything.  They pray for some answer, some direction. It is the most helpless situation they have ever faced.How are we to survive this? What kind of future would we have if the whole world lived…(ah, I guess live)… as the living dead?

They eat their meals, try to hold each other tight, however always with that nagging apprehension in their midst.  One night as they tiny family sits by the glow of a little portable TV set watching on old movie, Finn’s daughter catches his eye. There is a deep sadness in that pair of green eyes that he hadn’t stopped to notice before.

“Honey, what are you thinking about?”

She smiles.

“You look sad.”

“I am.” Her honesty shook Finn up a little.

“Is it because we are in this situation?”

Slowly she shakes her head. “No, we have food to eat, we have a place to live, and we have each other.”

“That’s true.”

“I know we have God watching over us too.” Finn wags his head. He had a sneaking suspicion where this is going. His wife and son soon turn their attention towards them.

“I am sad for the people outside.” She licks her lips. “They don’t know they are dead. They are looking for life, but haven’t found it yet.”

Finn realizes his daughter’s words are simple yet elegantly cut like a precision instrument. His heart feels that same peeling raw pain that she is voicing.  She quietly goes back to the family movie night but Finn’s mind races.

Though the night is cold and bitter a fire began to burn Finn inside. He takes a heartfelt mental inventory. They have food enough for the winter. They can easily drive to and from any destination and close the doors leaving the world and its mounting problems outside. The little family is comfortable in their own little world ,but truly more isolated than an island in a sea of hungry humanity. This isn’t life either, no matter how safe we feel. The flicker of understanding dawns:  To ignore the people outside is to already be one step closer to being one of the walking dead.

Finn

In those moments of quiet contemplation Finn finally gets the answer. More than that, God reveals the cure. He slaps myself like the big dummy that Finn feels he has become.

Maybe it was the effects of the disease but I know that I had been cured of my own deadness years before.  I had been given THE cure. It was my job to share that hope. I just forgot that was why I was here. That was why everyone who was still in their right mind, the few of us left, were still here.

With trembling hands, Finn says a prayer with my family. He unlocks the seven different forms of locks and security devices. With a slow gaping yawn the front door opens. In the light of a beautiful morning, with a Bible in his hand, Finn walks right up to a group of lost souls. What fear he has melts the moment they stare face to face.

 

 

Zombie 10

 

 

 

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Posted in Being a witness, death, Gospel, salvation, The living dead, Uncategorized, Zombies | 2 Comments

Was I Clear or Did I Babble On?

babble Hindu

 

Why do we have so many religions in the world and yet only have one God?  Every one of them states that they are the way to Heaven and eternal life or a version of a blissful everlasting life.

babble on Indian

Let’s jump back to the Tower of Babel? Have you heard about this one of a kind building project way back in the early years?  Mankind got an idea to not listen to God’s direction for them. With one language and one mind, they united for one purpose to build a tower straight to Heaven. It sounds like they wanted to be a brotherhood of man without a relationship with the creator of all things. The tower pointed out this fact, then God made His. He gave them diverse languages. This broke up this unhealthy world system to the four corners of the earth.  Mankind broke up into language groups and thus the nations began. They called that now abandoned tower Babel or Babble, because no one understood their languages any  more. It was just a crazy idea that was bound to fail from the beginning.

 

Babble On

Yet, God did something to remind mankind that without Him nothing will ever be whole.

11 He has made everything [a]appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, [b]yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.

                                               Ecclesiastes 3:11

Man tried to make his life right and whole to please God. We call this religion. Every culture has one and in some ways religions try to recreate their own version of God and man’s relationship.  Again, this is man-made so it falls short of the real thing.

 

Babble On Mormon

There are pieces of truth for example:

The American Indians see their responsibility to care for all of God’s creation. It all works in a greater harmony with man as the caretaker.

The Mormons understand the importance of family and community. They also value hard work and being industrious with their goods.

The Hindus understand the spiritual world and that there powers hat are unseen by men’s eyes.

The Muslims see the effects of sin and how it divides men from God. They have no tolerance for wrong and are militant in the defense of their faith.

The Jews have seen the heart of God and the seed that would eventually unite men again.

babble on

So, is there any hope for this broken race of people? If we truly know our Creator, then you know He is all about relationship. Of course the Lord had a plan every before it all began, That is why He is so awesome! God set the stage for men to see why a man-made religion doesn’t work, and people are only complete with a personal relationship initiated by God Himself. That’s a good thing. What God made is the real thing so it has proven true generation after generation.

Jesus and Children

 

God, in His Wisdom introduced the key to Heaven’s door, the missing piece of the puzzle; the very glue that puts all the broken pieces back together.  It goes right into the very center of all human lives. The real part of them that will live forever: their eternal soul. The part of them that knows who they are and who God is. That piece is cross shaped and can only be filled with the Jesus who connects all the broken pieces of man-made religions.

Babble On Hope

The beauty is when all those broken pieces come back together, there isn’t a basis for being religious, but having a restored relationship that God intended from the very beginning. There is a tower that rises to Heaven. It is made of simple wood, a powerful sacrifice, and a promise that love conquers all.

 

Posted in Babylon, Body of Christ, Brokenness, christ, Christian character, Christian living, Fishers of Men, God's Kingdom, God's Love, Jesus, Relationship with God, Religions of the world, Tower of Babel, Uncategorized | Leave a comment