Photo by Johannes Plenio
The Chinese refer the human heart as the “Emperor” of all the body organs. As some of you know I spent the largest part of my nursing career as a Cardiac Nurse. In the care of the heart I was in my element and in the technical exploration of the heart even more so. I literally loved looking at hearts and being a very minuscule part of attempting to repair them. There is much that technology’s advancements have taught us in sustaining healthy heart function. Did you know that over an average life span a human heart will beat without fail over forty million times? There is a wear and tear on such a faithful organ that works this hard and there are many physiological reasons the heart will wear out, malfunction, or fail.N
Takosubo Cardiomyopathy is a type of non-ischemic (a situation not caused by “restricted blood flow”) which is phenomenon in which a “temporary weakness of the heart muscle occurs.” In lay-people terms it is referred to as “broken heart syndrome.” A true diagnosis stating the overwhelming loss, constant anxiety, and other emotional situations can lead to a “broken heart.”
In the matters of the heart I believe we have only two options. We try to control it and it still dies or we give it over to God and it really never can die. There is no middle ground.
It is a given that after forty billion beats a heart is going to finally come to a stop. I am of course speaking tongue in cheek here as I am speaking of the Spirit of a person, their heart that does not die.
The writer Charles Martin says it this way in his book Send Down the Rain.
“Love rushes in where others won’t. Where bullet are flying. Love stands between them. Love pours out, empties itself. It scours the evil wasteland, returns the pieces that were lost, and never counts the cost.”
Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS
I stare out my window
Like a sea wife staring out the horizon
Time moving ever so slow
I have always felt set apart
Looking outside of dreams into the indigo haze
Time capturing the beats of my heart
This is what faith is
The hope of what can’t always be seen
Time cannot define where he is
Photo by Ithalu Dominguez
Butterscotch Sunday melted away
We rode on the train down by the bay
We built little castles with dirty brown sand
We bought Colombian
heard the Stephen Stills band.
You said I was the beauty of the earth
Flowers in my hair, cigarettes in my purse.
I thought that train ride would never end
until I saw you on the bridge with my best friend.
I pack my bags on a Butterscotch Sunday
put on my pink dress and kneel down to pray.
All the dirty brown sand castles crumble down
I’m gonna board the next train out of town.
Photo by Angelo Duranti
Her passion is tender.
Her pain is massive.
Her mind is lithe and quick.
Her body is no longer as swift.
Her temple once was a house of cards,
built by her birth, her fear, and her works.
Now she stands on the rock called Jesus
careful to follow him with her cross.
A new temple foundation built,
she is sure of this The Holy One.
He makes all things new with his Holy breath,
and will lead her in both life and death…
Photo by Kony Xyzx
She has been hiding here for almost three days…she is basically lying in a sewer. The smell and wetness don’t affect her anymore. To get the shot she must not move. The target is hiding out in a bombed out building. She didn’t eat, barely sipped enough water to stay alive and wore basically a diaper for urine. She has had very little solid food in her so her bowels did not move…she stayed hydrated and that is key but if the shot took much longer she would inevitably grow weaker. One time she stayed in a position for six days…recovery was rough. She would need intravenous fluids after this and a push of vitamins and electrolytes as well but she knew her body and she knew her window of time and the clock was running.
She is well camouflaged by a versatile cape that also provided some protection from rain and dampness. Her small frame is every inch muscle. She is tall and lean. Her rifle is wrapped in strips of burlap and tied down with yarn to ensure no reflection from the sun. To be a good sniper you simply must have common sense. It is a matter of fact. What is the distance to the target? How will gravity influence the bullet across its travel distance? What are the wind conditions? Is the target moving? Is the target getting too comfortable with his hiding place and becoming less vigilant? If the target is moving, how fast is his speed? Most people believe being a good sniper is all about control and having the best rifle but she begged to differ. She believed it all came down to what she believed about herself, about what she knows she is capable of, and what she is willing to do to get “the shot” the first time. She does “know” her rifle intimately however. It is like a part of her body. She knows the rifles scope like she knows her husband. She is precise about everything. Being the best sniper involves making decisions in the split of a millisecond and knowing it is the right decision without question. She is able to slow her mind. She thinks “I am one with this sewer, I am sound. By the time you hear it and try to process it, it’s too late because I am already gone.”
Yes she is a woman. She is a soldier. She is a Special Forces soldier. She is here to serve her country. She does not worry about PTSD or being raped by anyone. Those are the only subjects most of the world like to talk about when it comes to women in the military. She has never been disrespected by male soldiers and she has never disrespected a male soldier. Her calling is to be the best soldier she can be and she is a good one. She is an even better sniper. She will not hesitate to kill the enemy. She does not count her kills but she has never regretted even one of them. She has saved the lives of hundreds of soldiers by doing her job and being the best. She is a daughter, sister, wife, and mother. She is a woman. She is brave and she is one of the elite in her field. She is part of a controversy, not by her choice, in America regarding women in the military but she will carry on because her country needs her. She is paving the way for other smart determined women soldiers. She has counted the cost and is willing to pay the cost. She is an American hero…ahhh, here is the moment, the millisecond has arrived, and she takes the shot…it is done.
Photo by Skitterphoto
The North shore of my piece of sugar white heaven faces the sound (Bay) side of the island.
The three mile bridge stands sentinel guard and my small bay is dotted with white sails stirring my heart.
The bridge that brings me home to my nautical world.
The smell of fish and salt is a soothing balm to a weary girl.
The hermit crabs do a miniature square dance that leads them safely home.
The Sandpipers play hopscotch in the tide pool foam
The Gulls swoop and squawk over schools of fish and bones
There is a different peace on the Sound, the quiet side.
It always feels like the end of the day here where the tired come home to rest.
Like a sweet baby’s coo the waves lap upon the shore.
The “Quiet Side” is what the locals call the back door.
And are happily living and dying on this island right here.
Photo by Frans Van Heerden
When day falls hard
it is ever so clear
Comfort is not essential
for a good life…
The dam that breaks
then sends the flood
is clearly essential
to cleanse the strife…
When day falls hard
and doubt whispers loudly
Truth and tenderness is essential
for growth in this life…
Photo by Samantha Garrote
Empathy without a clear identity in Christ puts one in a position to stand for everything or for nothing. To understand empathy and to nurture that gift the Empath must always be aware of matching their empathy side by side with who we who are “in” Christ Jesus. (As one who believes and follows Jesus as Lord or as one who is not a Believer.) It is paramount that we build our Christian lives upon our Identity in Christ Jesus, Truth of who we are in Him.
Empathy as well as all spiritual gifts must be held close to and in direct correlation to God’s Word or we will get it wrong. Empathy is a wonderful gift as long as we check and balance it or any gift with Truth.
Photo by Tom Swinnen
What I’m trying to say is we could not have known
The life we made, the trials we have and will face
Nobody else can say they know because they don’t.
A step down a path, an opened door is the mystery future and past
A sorrow, a joy, a mistake, a right of choice or not
Between us we live it, two people together alone
Like an ancient windmill, a sentry watching it all unfold
Lying down in a field of tulips in the country side
Just between you and me it’s a beautiful work of art
Photo by Daria Sannikova
We lost all of the image of God when we were found outside of His Holiness. We are born rationalizers, barterers and liars. Yes we are all created in His image just as he says but Sin’s first act shattered that mirror image inside of us, at least until such a time as we receive the Power of the Cross of Jesus to regenerate us, to rebirth us from our darkness into His perfect light!
It doesn’t take much to look around us and see these powerful tools of the deception of Sin.
- Rationalizing our need for redemption and need for God By using our intellectual achievement or even our good morals or religion.
- Bartering with The Holy as if He could be bought with our arrogant rhetoric of being self-sufficient, mantras of our feeble idolatry of self love, celebrity, money, or even good deeds.
- Liars- we are all in darkness and deceived by our own Sin some even professing a form of godliness but do not Honor God as our Lord, not do we give Him thanks.
Sounds bleak doesn’t it? However, we have been given The Good News. We have been given infinite Grace flowing in the River of Mercy so that we might repent and obey to be Reborn into the Image of God in all His Goodness and power!
I am learning that the River gets deeper not shallow the further down stream I go. I am depending and counting on the fact I have been born again by the Blood of Jesus Christ and I have nothing to offer Him and never did but here is the beauty of the Truth of God’s plan to bring us back to Him in every way… The beauty of The Gospel is this: His love and Grace and all that implies is freely given to all who will receive it.
I have seen the River of Life and Mercy
A crystal clear river flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb
All who come to this river will be clean and whole
All burdens washed away, no more sorrows, tears, or death…