So much has transpired since my last blog article. My lovely spouse (Darryl Ann), has recaptured her passion to become an inspiring actress. She identified and secured several acting roles throughout Ohio, e.g., Cleveland, Columbus, and Athens. I’m excited for her and continue to support her endeavors.
Other notable cinematic features she’s included in: “The Hacker”(Directed by and starring Raymelle A. Adams). The Hacker tackles the human trafficking epidemic — up close, real, and thought-provoking!
Here are a few others cinematic features she’s included in: “Double Walker” – A young woman’s ghost comes back to investigate her own murder. The director of this movie is Colin West; “The Cran” – An anxious comedian with bad coping mechanisms, reconnects with his unstable high school ex, they embark on a road trip to rural Cranwell County, under the pretense of reconnecting as friends. The comedian finds himself complicit in an absurd revenge crusade that puts him in the crosshairs of a local cult, a roving band of neo-nazis, and a pair of mysterious men dressed as Chimpanzees. The director of this movie is Tyler Savino.
My spouse has secured another upcoming acting role as a grieving mother with her daughter, after the loss of her husband. Last week, she recently took a photo shoot, with filming to start in a couple of weeks. The movie is entitled, “Pen Pals.”
New Opportunities on the Horizon to Write & Finalize Gospel Melodies:
Another project that’s near and dear to our hearts, is writing and working to finalize beautiful gospel melodies. For several years, my passion has been writing spiritual poetry focusing on our need for Christ; and being thankful of our many blessings. I’m extrememly blessed to have a spouse who possesses many talents who has always been there to support me. Her love and admiration was instrumental in the development of two (2) previous books, e.g., “Anthology of a Spiritual Mind,” and “Spiritual Reflections of a Poetic Mind.”
The emergence of writing and finalizing gospel melodies will infuse poetic works into gospel melodies. We’re identifying several mix and mastering studio engineers, in hopes of resonating an indelible gospel message on the importance of our need for God, and His loving-kindness.
Upcoming Second Season of “ShopTalk Sway:
My spouse’s podcast, “Shop Talk Sway,” that airs weekly on iHeartRadio, will enter its second season soon. Her initial show featured twenty-eight (28) guests, e.g., entertainers, comedians, fashion designers, entrepreneurs, etc. Her podcast should be even better for 2020.
My sister, “Clairdee,” was the first talented jazz vocalist featured on “Shop Talk Sway.” Clairdee was mentored by the late great virtuoso, Nancy Wilson. She’s also performed with many notable jazz legends. Her latest album, “A Love Letter to Lena,” will be officially released on March 6, 2020, with a live performance slated on March 8th, in Berkeley, California.
Clairdee’s newest album honors the extraordinary life of African-American singer, actor, and activist, Lena Horne. The album integrates inventive arrangements of songs by Billy Strayhorn, and contemporary composers, with compelling storytelling. It examines Horne’s personal struggles and pivoral role in changing attitudes about race and America’s steretypical view of African-Americans.
For several months, I’ve utilized “Twitter,” to send daily scriptural passages, in hopes of planting seeds of the gospel. As sojourners passing through this life, our world and nation continues to move further away from God. The need for God, is our eternal salvation for everlasting life.
2 Chronicles 7:14,“If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
I’m still a novice when it comes to using Twitter. However, if I can plant God’s pivotal message of love, hope, and salvation, perhaps the seed planted will take root and flourish.
A lot has transpired since my last blog. For one, my wife has been blessed with her radio podcast (Shop Talk Sway), on Tuesday’s at 6:00pm., (EST). The podcast is now on iHeart Radio, Tune-in Radio, SoundCloud, Spreaker, and Bold Brave Media. We thank the good Lord, for this opportunity. Secondly, she received a second opportunity as moderator with “Spomedians,” that airs on Facebook Live, on Wednesday’s, at 9:00 pm. The telecast focuses on recent sports stories infused with hilarious comedy. The show features two comedians (Comedian Fig and Mark Howard), who throughout the show disagree with each other. The hour-long broadcast features guests, as well as, highlights insightful analysis on various players, teams, along with team news.
I’m very proud of my wife’s accomplishments and hope it leads to bigger and better opportunities. She enjoys intermingling with other guests and wants to pursue future acting jobs. I’m hoping those who read this blog, will take the time to listen to her radio podcast; as well as, watch her as moderator for “Spomedians,” on Wednesday Nights, at 9:00pm., on Facebook Live.
On another note, it’s been a few years since I’ve written a couple of books, “Anthology of a Spiritual Mind,” and “Spiritual Reflections of a Poetic Mind.” During this period of my life, I wanted to share encouraging spiritual poems, for those who need it. I’m also hoping that people will buy these books at a nominal cost for themselves, or for others. Please check out my website: wrightpoems4u.com.
The impetus of writing spiritual poems was my desire to convey the message that whatever you’re going through in life, God’s there for you. We all go through trials and tribulations or may go through a tragic incident that can seriously impact us. What can we do? We either can shut down, or surround ourselves with people who provide love, comfort, and support. The best source of comfort in times of need is going straight to our heavenly Father. He’s there to listen, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. We have a choice, either to trek out on our own and fail; or surrender to a loving, God, who’s omnipotent and omnipresent. Psalm71:3, “Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.”
Through my earlier trials and tribulations, I realized that I had nowhere to go but to look up. Once I moved out of the way, I asked the Lord, for direction. My first course of action was to get rid of my pride. I also had to discard my old way of life, to forge a new direction with my Lord and Savior. How did I do it? Well, I had to begin a regimen of reading God’s Word. I had to identify and devote a specific time each day to read, meditate, and pray. I also chose a specific area of my home, that was a quiet place. I chose my office, which I call my “war room.” On the walls of my office, is a myriad of certificates of achievement, plaques, graduate degrees, military commission, military service awards, and photos of yesteryear, displaying myself with high ranking bureaucrats. Although, it appeared I was successful, I was a failure for not totalling surrendering myself to God. Despite all of the kudos and personal achievements, I was still broken and empty. As I look over my life, I’m amazed and thankful, that despite my irregularities, God blessed and looked out for me. During this period of my life, I was hustling trying to move up the hierarchical ladder, by focusing all of my efforts on chasing the “big bucks.” Little did I realize that when I achieved the utlimate goal, I had nothing to show for it, e.g., family.
Today, my priorities have changed. As I grow older and evolve more into spiritual maturity, I realize those priorities don’t matter anymore. As some people say, “I’ve been there and done that!” Over the years, I’ve come to realize with successes, comes heartache, loneliness, and failure. I also realize that without God, in your plans, the road is rough, and the journey is long. I was virtually shackled in chains, and didn’t know it. I walked around thinking I was free; however, I was in bondage. I learned that trekking out in life without God, and making my own decisions created bigger problems that lead to bigger failures. Much of my failures and heartaches, led me to God. Oh, I’m not perfect and never will be; however, I rely upon his love, grace, and mercy each day.
One of the first books of the Bible, I read was Ecclesiastes. I remember reading, Chapter 3:1-8, “A time for everything.” This scriptural passage resonated with me, e.g., There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:9,“What do workers gain from their toll?” As I read the entire chapter, this resonated in my life. I realized that striving to achieve realistic goals is good. However, when one loses sight of God and doesn’t seek His infinite wisdom, life becomes meaningless, instead of meaningful. We all have a shelf life and purpose, while we’re here on Earth. It’s not about us, and it’ll never been about us! All of us have a mission and different talents. Utilizing those God given talents, starts with learning about the “good news” of Christ, and sharing the message with others.
Psalm 103:15-18,“The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.”
My family: Left front row: Mother (Georgia), Edward, Barbara, Mocha, and Shirley. Back row: Rufus James, and Roslyn
Life’s journey: Georgia Roslyn Wright, was born on March 12, 1919, in Adel, Georgia to her parents Andrew James Hall and Lou Annie Walker-Hall. She was the eighth child of ten born in the family.
My mother grew up surrounded by her brothers, Emanuel, James, Plato, Frank, Clement, and her sisters, Ella, Annie Bell, Louell, and Everene. As a child, she was loving, helpful, affectionate, and friendly.
My mother received her early education by attending the Cook County Training School. She graduated in 1936. In 1941, she met and married my father (Rufus Wright), who she met in Orlando, Florida. To this union were my sisters, Martha, Mary, Shirley, Roslyn, Rufus, Barbara, Mocha, and me. My father preceded her in death in 1964. He was forty-eight years old.
She was blessed with many grandchildren, Clinton, James, Frederick, Alton, Calvin, Angela, Deborah, Kimberly, Qiana, Demetra, Troy, Gregory, Kalif, along with great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.
My mother made tremendous sacrifices for the family and could have attained a graduate degree from a major college. She was the last to reward herself on personal items and bought for us. She often sewed from McCall’s Design’s making dresses for my sister’s. I truly enjoyed her homemade yeast rolls. My mother was good at making canned jellies, and frying the best-fried chicken. She was very talented in many respects and was excellent in Mathematics, and English Composition. She taught us the importance of having a relationship with God. I recall starting my early childhood, we usually had an early morning bible devotion before we went to school. I’m so grateful that God blessed me with her.
“My mother, sister’s, nephew and niece’s”
Mother’s Day Poetic Tribute
It’s another Mother’s Day, and we wish you were here
The years have swiftly passed, and we wish you were near
Mother, you left us when we didn’t want to let go
We truly miss those things you did, to help us grow
With every passing moment, we reminisce of you often
It’s those things you use to say, that keeps us talking
God only takes the best to work in His vineyard
The solemn voice that whispered in your ear was God, you heard
He lovingly snuggled you in His arms; as he clinched you near his chest
He said, “Dear Child, your time has come, now you can take a rest.”
Why is it difficult for people to read the Word of God? Why do people spend an inordinate amount of time reading newspapers, staying on social media, or watching television? Are they hoping to receive “good news,” from these sources? Unfortunately, much of their time won’t prepare them for the everlasting life.
The importance of Bible Study plays a pivotal role in helping us prepare for eternal life. The precious Word of God prepares us to maneuver through this treacherous world, with its many detours, and unexpected stops. We must rely on God’s wisdom to help us become cognizant of our surroundings as we sojourn through this life. 1 Peter 5:8, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
As a young man, I sat in the congregation and listened to a preacher, give an inspiring message of the Gospel. When the invitation was given, I was convicted by the Holy Spirit, that touched my heart, and I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. I remember completing a form and the preacher stood me before the congregation. I remember the preacher saying, “Aren’t we grateful Ed, has come forward to surrender his life to Jesus Christ.” I acknowledged that Jesus was the son of God, and confessed my belief before the congregation. I also remember the congregation in the auditorium, in unison saying “Amen.”
During my first week, as a “New Babe” in Christ, as a young man I struggled, failed, and went through a “spiritual” roller-coaster. There were many times, I was “up” and often, I was “down.” Often, I wondered, if I had been saved at all. However, after I began to slowly get into the Word of God, and study the Bible. I learned some “truths” and began to develop a firm foundation for which I could stand on. My life became transformed, and I became more “spiritually” focused. Not by resolution, emotion, or determination, but by the “truth” of God’s Word.
As believers of Christ, or those who are new Christians, we must learn some factors of faithfulness that’ll enable us to stand strong to be good Christians at home; and solid citizens in this world. The factor of faithfulness that should be our number one priority is, “Bible Study.”
As we read God’s Word, Paul said to Timothy, in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” Now, this is God’s command to you and me, through Paul and Timothy, to study the Word. Do you want to live a Holy Life?
Jesus said, in John 17:17,“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” Do you want to be sanctified? Do you want to be Holy? Do you want to be powerful in the Lord? Do you want to stop riding a “spiritual” roller coaster? Do you want to stop walking around on “eggshells,” or continue to get stuck in quicksand? Do you want some “spiritual steel” and concrete beneath your feet? Then learn to be faithful in “Bible Study.”
There are attributes needed for one to know, understand, and live by the Word of God. I’m talking about the faithfulness in Bible Study.
First, one must receive the saving author of the Bible, in their heart. God is the author. Why? Simply because without Jesus Christ, one’s “spiritually” blind. 1 Corinthians 2:14,“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”
If you’ve only been born once, you’re a “natural” man born into the “natural world” and blind to the “spiritual” world. One will never truly understand the Bible. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:4,“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” Without Jesus Christ, the author of the Bible in one’s heart, they’ll never understand the Bible.
To try to help an “unsaved” person truly understand the Bible, it’s like trying to teach a dog to understand opera or a foreign language. They can’t do it, nor do they have the facility, or ability to understand the Word of God. Someone once said, “The Bible is God’s love letter to His Children. If one has read it and doesn’t understand it, they’ve been reading someone else’s mail.” You see, the Bible is God’s letter to us.
In order to understand the Bible, one must know the God of the Bible. An unsaved person can read the Bible and appreciate its beautiful literature. They might learn the history of the Bible. They might even agree with the moral precepts of the Bible. However, they will never know the deep meaning of God’s Word, until they’re born again. Nicodemus came to Jesus by night. Nicodemus was a Master in Israel (a brilliant man), but he couldn’t understand.
The reason why Nicodemus couldn’t understand is, he had not been born again. Jesus replied, in John 3:3, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” Nicodemus was a blind man. In John 3:5, “Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”
Therefore, if one would understand the Bible, invite the Lord Jesus Christ, into their heart the “saving” author of the Bible. In essence, one must receive the “saving” author of the Bible. Once Christ is in one’s heart, then they’ll begin to pray. Prior to initiating Bible Study, always pray. Never come to Bible Study, without praying.
In Psalm 119, there are three (3) prayers that are needed before Bible Study:
Psalm 119:12,“Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees.” When one prays this, God begins to teach one. God becomes the teacher in one’s heart. When we lay our “intellectual” pride in the dust, and pray over the Word of God. Now, remember Christ must be in one’s heart.
First of all, three things will happen, when you pray Lord teach me your decrees, in Psalm 119:18, “your eyes will open.”Psalm 119:18 says, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” This is the first thing that will happen, one’s eyes will be open. God will help one see things they’ve never seen. One can tell when they’re “walking in the spirit,” when one reads the Word of God. There are “truths” that jump up off the Bible, and into one’s heart.
Secondly, not only will one’s eyes be open, but one’s heart will be stirred. In Psalm 119:36,“Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.” God opens your eyes and inclines your heart. Therefore, one must see, and the heart must be moved. Thirdly, one’s mind must be enlightened. Psalm 119:73, “Your hands made me and formed me; give me the understanding to learn your commands.”
In essence, prior to opening to indelible Word of God; one must ask God to give them a new heart, a new mind, along with a greater understanding. The importance of understanding the Word is through the Holy Spirit.
We’re living in dangerous times where people are convincing others that “right is wrong.” The Bible is “truth” and we must have a solid foundation to stand on to preclude becoming trapped as prey for Satan.
2 Timothy 3:16, says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” Let’s begin to ask God to transform our lives to be of service to Him.
It’s been six months since I’ve learned how to use “Twitter” to “Tweet.” I also learned the importance of “Hashtags.” I was astonished to learn that hashtags (#), make it easy for other users to find and follow tweets about a specific topic or theme, e.g., #SaturdayMotivation, or #SundayThoughts.
As I tweet with fellow believers, I feel connected. As I read various passages of scripture, God’s language of wisdom, love, and warmth provided great comfort. The difficulty that I find with Twitter is, it limits me to the number of characters I can tweet. I love to talk; however, don’t like being limited in what I have to say.
Twitter is a powerful social media instrument if used wisely. It can be a viable instrument to spread the “good news” of Jesus Christ.
Since there are no geographical boundaries when interacting with people around the world, the concept of spreading the “good news,” from this venue is efficient and effective.
When I reminisce of what God has done for me, I humbled and excited. I’m humbled because I know I owe a debt I can never repay. When I read Isaiah 53, I’m brought to tears of the prophetic passage of Jesus Christ’s suffering. I shed tears reading, Romans 5:6-8, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die? But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
The Word of God is our anchor that provides hope, inspiration, protection, and guidance during the time we sojourn in this life. The Word of God never changes it exemplifies truth. The use of social media enables us to become “beacons of light,” to the spiritually lost. Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is alive and Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” As it says, in Isaiah 55:11, “So is my word that goes out from my mouth; It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
The guilt of sin lingered in my head Jesus turned me from my evil ways instead I no longer look back on those sinful days Now I’m on my knees and I give Him praise
I knew He’d made in me a positive change I’m forever blessed and I give Him praise He loved me enough to die upon the cross For His loving mercy is never lost No, His grace and mercy is never lost
He’s my savior now and my truest friend He’ll love me, I know, ‘till my final end When I struggled and groaned, and wallowed deep in sin He chastised my heart and pricked it deep within
I knew He’d made in me a positive change I’m forever blessed and I give Him praise He loved me enough to die upon that cross For His loving mercy, is never lost No, His grace and mercy is never lost
I no longer carry any weight of guilt Cause with Him, enduring love will never wilt He loved me enough to die upon that cross Now the wage of sin is paid; the debt is tossed
I knew He’d made in me a positive change I’m forever blessed and I give Him praise He loved me enough to die upon that cross For His loving mercy, is never lost No, His grace and mercy is never lost
Life has trials alone that truly test our faith To see what God, our Father, has really made Obedience with prayer must grow and replicate To build the church that Jesus, our Lord, will save To build the church that Jesus, our Lord, will save
I knew He’d made in me a positive change I’m forever blessed and I give Him praise He loved me enough to die upon that cross For His loving mercy is never lost No, His grace and mercy is never lost
Excerpt From: Edward L. Wright, Ed.D. “Spiritual Reflections of a Poetic Mind.” iBooks.
John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
In the midst of storms, do we find peace?
2 Corinthians 1:3-5, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
Where does a person find the kind of peace that is not just the absence of trouble—the kind of peace that cannot be affected by trouble, danger, or sorrow? It is ironic that what is surely the most definitive discourse on peace in all of Scripture comes from the Lord Jesus on the night before He died in agony. He knew what He was facing, yet He still took time to comfort His disciples with the message of peace:
John 14:27,“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
The peace Jesus is speaking of enables believers to remain calm in the most wildly fearful circumstances. It enables them to hush a cry, still a riot, rejoice in pain and trial, and sing in the middle of suffering. This peace is never by circumstances, but instead affects and even overrules them.
Midst of the Storm
It’s been a long and tiresome road, but God showed patience in the midst of my storm. I use to carry heavy burdens, but God made me reform. I prayed for mercy and fell on my knees. I soon developed a better rapport in an effort to please. I use to wander in total darkness and couldn’t see. But God escorted me out of the darkness and gave me the key. Despite my shortfalls, He waited patiently, showing me the way. I learned to rely upon His mercies and blessings every day. He’s my Savior and my friend. He’s my hope in life, right to the end.
Excerpt From: Edward L. Wright. “Anthology of a Spiritual Mind.” iBooks.
Depression is a common, yet very treatable condition that affects many people in our world. While perusing online, I read an article from Debbie McDaniel, a contributing writer for Crosswalk.com. She wrote an exemplary article regarding depression and provides a salient overview of scriptural passages of various biblical characters who went through despair.
Just last week, I ready about Kelly Catlin, an Olympic cyclist who recently committed suicide. There have been other high profile people who followed the same path, e.g., John Coughlin (a champion American figure skater), Brody Stevens (a prominent Los Angeles comedian), and Kristoff St. John (the soap opera actor from “The Young and the Restless.”)
Depression continues to be an escalating issue that can have devastating effects. Therefore, I wanted to present Ms. McDaniel’s entire article for this blog. We all need to become more cognizant by paying attention to those around us. Ms. McDaniel provides an exemplary article to remind us that we’re not alone in our battle with this dreaded disease.
We rub shoulders every day with people who are desperate, hurting, and lonely. We may not even be aware of the dark road they travel. Sometimes we notice, but often we don’t. Maybe we’re too busy, preoccupied, or overwhelmed ourselves. To be honest, many days, we might be those people, the desperate, the hurting, the lonely.
Just needing someone to notice.
To slow down.
To take time.
Though the Bible doesn’t use the word “depression” except in a few translations and verses, it’s often referenced by other similar words, such as “downcast,” “brokenhearted,” “troubled,” “miserable,” “despairing,” and “mourning,” among others. Throughout the Word, there are a number of stories about godly, influential men and women of faith, who struggled and battled through dark times of hopelessness and depression. Many of us may find ourselves struggling there today.
But we don’t have to stay stuck there. There’s hope.
7 Stories to Remind Us That We’re Not Alone in Our Battles
David was troubled and battled deep despair. In many of the Psalms, he writes of his anguish, loneliness, fear of the enemy, his heart-cry over sin, and the guilt he struggled with because of it. We also see his huge grief in the loss of his sons in 2 Samuel 12:15-23 and 18:33. In other places, David’s honesty with his own weaknesses gives hope to us who struggle today:
“My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.” Ps. 38:4
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Ps. 42:11
Elijah was discouraged, weary, and afraid. After great spiritual victories over the prophets of Baal, this mighty man of God feared and ran for his life, far away from the threats of Jezebel. And there in the desert, he sat down and prayed, defeated and worn:
“I have had enough Lord, he said. Take my life, I am not better than my ancestors.” 1 Kings 19:4
Jonah was angry and wanted to run away. After God called Jonah to go to Nineveh to preach to the people, he fled as far away as could. And after a storm at sea, being swallowed by a giant fish, and then being saved and given a second chance, he obeyed. He preached God’s message to the people of Nineveh. God’s mercy reached out to all people who turned to Him. But instead of rejoicing, Jonah got mad:
“Now O Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” Jonah 4:3
And even after God reached out to Jonah again with great compassion, he responded, “…I am angry enough to die.” Jonah 4:9
Job suffered through great loss, devastation, and physical illness. This righteous man of God lost literally everything. So great was his suffering and tragedy that even his own wife said, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!” Job 2:9
Though Job maintained his faithfulness to God throughout his life, he still struggled deeply through the trenches of pain:
“Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?” Job 3:11
“I have no peace, no quietness, I have no rest, but only turmoil.” Job 3:26
“I loathe my very life, therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.” Job 10:1
“Terrors overwhelm me…my life ebbs away, days of suffering grip me. Night pierces my bones, my gnawing pains never rest.” Job 30:15-17
Moses was grieved over the sin of his people. In his feelings of anger and betrayal from his own people, Moses, as a leader, was about ready to quit. He came down from his mountaintop experience with God, commandments in hand, only to find the Israelites in complete chaos and sin. His heart-cry to God on their behalf was desperate:
“But now, please forgive their sin – but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.” Ex. 32:32
Jeremiah wrestled with great loneliness, feelings of defeat, and insecurity. Also known as the weeping prophet, Jeremiah suffered from constant rejection by the people he loved and reached out to. God had called him to preach, yet forbidden him to marry and have children. He lived alone, he ministered alone, he was poor, ridiculed, and rejected by his people. In the midst of it, he displayed great spiritual faith and strength, and yet we also see his honesty as he wrestled with despair and a great sense of failure:
“Cursed be the day I was born…why did I ever come out of the womb to see trouble and sorrow and to end my days in shame?” Jer. 20:14,18
Even Jesus Himself was deeply anguished over what lay before Him. He knew what was to come. He knew that God had called him to a journey of great suffering, he knew what must happen in order for us to live truly free. Our Savior and Lord was willing to pay the price on our behalf, but it wasn’t an easy road. Isaiah prophesied that Christ would be “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” Is. 53:3
We can be assured, that in whatever we face, Jesus understands our weakness and suffering, our greatest times of temptation and despair, because he too traveled that road, yet without sin.
In the garden, through the night, Jesus prayed, all alone, calling out to His Father, asking Him for another way:
“And He said to them, ‘My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.’ And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. And He was saying, ‘Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.'” Mark 14:34-36
The Bible says that so great was his anguish, that he sweat “drops of blood.” Luke 22:44
What’s true about all of these stories and many others is this: God was with them. Close. Near.
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Ps. 34:18
He was there in the good days and in the dark days too. He didn’t condemn them for their questions and pain. He didn’t tell them to just tough it out. He reached down to their deepest pit of suffering, and lifted them out.
He showed compassion. He offered mercy. He brought hope. He instilled purpose. He gave victory.
And He still works in the same way today.
Our world desperately need joy-givers, hope-bringers, those in our lives who will help us remember what real grace is and where lasting help is found.
The greatest truth is this, we have a Savior who understands our pain, who knows about every weakness and hurt, and reaches out with compassion and hope.
He is Healer. Redeemer. Restorer. And friend.
He will never waste the seasons of suffering we face, but will use it, in some way, to bring good, to instill purpose, to help others, and to make us stronger.
Depression is a common, yet very treatable condition that affects many people in our world. Yet statistics tell us that only about one-third of those who are depressed actually receive treatment. This is unfortunate since 80-90% of those who do seek treatment often report feeling better within just a few weeks. It’s also known that depression is the linked cause for over two-thirds of suicides reported each year.
Help is available. Don’t feel the need to try to hide your pain, or struggle through on your own. Talk to a friend or counselor. Seek out professional treatment and care.
If you find yourself in dark places today, know that you’re not alone. Not ever. God knows your way, is with you always, and has good still in store.
Note – If you or a loved one is struggling with suicidal thoughts and tendencies, please get help. Don’t try to face this on your own. There is hope and healing, and there are many who will journey through this trial with you. Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time day or night 24/7, to talk to someone who understands. Or go online at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org for more information and help.
Over the years, I’ve been through many storms. Making a lot of poor choices, running from God’s arms. I’ve been broken, humbled, tired, and bruised. Living in a world of madness and always confused. I had been blessed; however, I lost my way. I was searching for peace and a brighter day. Through time, I lost my family and friends. I experienced countless failures; hoping to make amends. When I hit rock bottom, I knew I needed to change. God was waiting patiently within listening range. Until I surrendered my life to follow Him, Everything was bleak and looking dim.
Excerpt From: Edward L. Wright, Ed.D. “Spiritual Reflections of a Poetic Mind.” iBooks.
Are we ready to cross the “River Jordan?” When we die, are we ready to be with our Heavenly Father? While we’re on Earth, we must continue striving to read God’s indelible Word, as well as, apply it. The pathway to eternal life, is a metaphor for crossing the River Jordan.
Philippians 2:12,“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
1 Peter 1: 3-9, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this, you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
God has promised those who name Jesus as their Savior and Lord the hope of heaven, and no person, no event, nothing, can take it away. Each day that we breathe life, we must faithfully honor and serve our risen Savior. We must trust and believe the Savior who surpasses all understanding.
Psalm 128:1, “Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him.”
When this wearisome life has ended,
When all is said and done.
As I cross the River Jordan,
Gazing near and far beyond.
I can see my Savior, Jesus
Gloriously seated on His throne.
He softly whispers to me, for I am not alone.
He extends his arms to greet me,
It’s incredible what the eyes can see.
I’m comforted by His mercy, with peace surrounding me
He embraces me so gently, as I’m snuggled in His arms.
I’m eternally resting within Him; sheltered from all alarms.
No more pain and agony, I’m content as I can be.
His love is unsurpassed, that overfills my soul.
His precepts are everlasting, as His truth and love unfold.
Excerpt From: Edward L. Wright, Ed.D. “Spiritual Reflections of a Poetic Mind.” iBooks.
Why go through bondage with an “unforgiving” spirit?
Forgiveness can be difficult without God. Why go through bondage with an unforgiving spirit? The Bible is the true source of freedom to “unshackled” us from an unforgiving spirit.
Psalm 119:45: “I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.”
God’s indelible Word, is the relief we need to sustain us in a world of disarray. Many say they’re of Christ; however, they live under the “cloak of sin,” masquerading around as “saints.”
Matthew 7:21,“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
2 Corinthians 13:5,“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?
One of the toughest challenges we face is the area of “forgiveness.” If we don’t forgive others, we won’t experience the joy of forgiveness that’s ours. Our forgiveness of others is conditioned upon God’s forgiveness of us. How can there be anything that will be too great that would slip out from underneath the category of God’s forgiveness.
When we were baptized, we were clean, whole, and forgiven. “Our debts were paid in full.” If we as believers don’t deal with “forgiveness” issues in our lives with other people, we’ll not be able to go to God to receive the relational forgiveness that we seek.
It’ll be very difficult for us to say, “Lord, forgive me for what I’ve done.”God wants us to also forgive others, as He forgave us. Therefore, we must release this “malignant” tumor from our lives.
If we’re to live by God’s grace and mercy, we should live by His indelible and inspired Word. Therefore, we must imitate God’s forgiveness. Our only hope is we can’t hold faults against others when our faults haven’t been held against us. Our forgiveness is conditioned on the forgiveness we received.
Matthew 6: 14-15: teaches us four (4) things:
We are to forgive because we are forgiven.
We are to forgive, just as we are forgiven–freely, fully, and unconditionally.
We are to forgive that we might be forgiven.
We are to forgive before we are forgiven.
The parable of the unmerciful servant:
“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
1 John 1:9:“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Are you carrying around an unforgiving spirit on you?
By forgiving others, you’ll begin to realize that you’ve “unshackled” yourself from bondage.