Monday, April 30, 2007

Seventeen Seconds of Freedom

I wrote this story in November of 2005. I was skiing with John, a great friend. We went at it again last Monday and I must say the results were the same. The skiing was really bad but the moment of freedom had never changed. It makes this story even more true. I also learned through the ministry I worked at, it's a great thing to give someone this same freedom.
I have added these verses for this story as so much has changed in my life over the past years.
Ecclesiastes 6
10 Whatever happens, happens. Its destiny is fixed. You can't argue with fate.
11-12 The more words that are spoken, the more smoke there is in the air. And who is any better off? And who knows what's best for us as we live out our meager smoke-and-shadow lives? And who can tell any of us the next chapter of our lives?

Seventeen seconds of freedom. As you know I have not skied for several months now. Well yesterday was my day to get back in the water. I have realized that I am unable to write unless I have these seventeen seconds of release from the world. Sounds a bit crazy I know but think about it. We go thru life struggling, fighting, scrapping, clawing, climbing mountains. God tells us to be still but we still don’t listen half the time, we struggle to give God seventeen seconds sometimes.

As I got closer to the lake my heart was pounding as if it were my first time on the water. I pulled up and met John who I had not seen in several months, seems skiing has funny ways of developing relationships and keeping them. John said "suit up, your first". I threw on my rash guard and vest walked down that dock towards the idling boat. My heart pounding more than it ever had. I stepped into the ski hoping I had the set up close. I look down the course from the back of the boat, the sun was right off the horizon, took a deep breath. John sensed. I was ready and idled away from the dock. I eased into the water from the platform. Not remembering the last time I skied was months ago and the water was really warm, now it was really cold, but that did not bother me. I was just happy to be behind the boat again. The rope came tight and with smile I said "okay, ready". I was up heading for a passion that God has given me that few I believe in life get to experience. Went thru heading into the course routine, short check, glove check, bouncing a couple of times on the ski, you guys know the drill. I pulled out and headed into my seventeen seconds of freedom, how happy I was to here in this moment.
Blasting thru the gates heading towards one ball not even knowing if I knew how to turn, would the ski turn, will I fall, will the line be tight, already thinking about my offside turn, how will the ski work, is the set up close. All this going thru my mind but still so happy to be gliding across the water. How blessed am I to be doing this. Got to the other end and dropped ready to go through all this again. It is the seventeen seconds of freedom that I have missed over the past months. Not asking why I was not able to ski as this was Gods plan and I accept it for that.
Maybe it was to show me just how much these seventeen seconds mean to me, not to take time for granite. Maybe to show me that every second in life counts. What ever the reason, the seventeen seconds you are inside that course, many thoughts enter your mind and the best thing of all for me it has never been any thoughts of struggling, fighting, scrapping, clawing, climb mountains of this world but just what is going on for the moment. Seventeen seconds of freedom from the world. As I thought about this in the early hours of this morning I started to pray and then again realized that here was another freedom from the world, "casting all your cares on Him" a freedom that again I believe I have taken for granite. A freedom that only God can give. Thank you Jesus for prayer!
George Beasley

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Cry For Help

Isaiah 30 (The Message)

18 But God's not finished. He's waiting around to be gracious to you. He's gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right—everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.

19-22 Oh yes, people of Zion, citizens of Jerusalem, your time of tears is over. Cry for help and you'll find it's grace and more grace. The moment he hears, he'll answer. Just as the Master kept you alive during the hard times, he'll keep your teacher alive and present among you. Your teacher will be right there, local and on the job, urging you on whenever you wander left or right: "This is the right road. Walk down this road." You'll scrap your expensive and fashionable god-images. You'll throw them in the trash as so much garbage, saying, "Good riddance!"

The first words in verse 18 says it all. I could just stop right now and not write another word. It says "God's not finished. I think sometimes we forget that. He has a wonderful plan for our lives. God is not sitting up there waiting to cast judgement on us, He is clear on this, if we were perfect He would be finished with us so since we are still flesh and blood He is not finished and wants the best for all of us. (vs18 But God's not finished. He's waiting around to be gracious to you.)
We, me included, sometimes get in a mode of "God Knows", thinking we don't have to talk with God about our messes and how we are built. As you know we are all built different all with our own flaws and perfections. One thing I've learned this year is to "cry for help. I have heard this in the past "God knows my problems so I don't need to tell Him, but you know what, that person has told everyone but God and He is waiting.

The Bible says in verse 19 "Cry for help and you'll find it's grace and more grace. The moment he hears, he'll answer. For those who are wondering I was a "God Knows" kind of person. I thought since I was going through something, God knew it and He would step in at the right time and handle things. I have learned, the hard way, you have to talk and even when you ask you still may have to walk thru it! God wants this thing call a "relationship. We all understand the word but to build a relationship with God takes a lot of talking and a great deal of listening. It's really what God wants. It's so much deeper than these few words can describe.
He will guide us "This is the right road. Walk down this road." This is what we want in life, is it not. To hear God. How can we hear Him unless we have this relationship with Him. I am not talking about being "saved". I am talking about a walk with God, an intimate relationship with God. Can you look back and see how God has guided you into or out of something?

I was watching this movie last month and this lady was riding her bike down this long mountain road, pretty trees, blue sky, just coasting along. It was quite a moment in the movie, she had been healed and fell in love. Then she raised up on the bike and let go of the handle bars, enjoying the moment she closed her eyes. I thought "this ain’t going to be good. Then as you could imagine, a truck pulled out and she ran right into it. I thought "man, she has just come through so much and now she is gone. If she had not closed her eyes what would of happened? Would she have still hit the truck? I don’t know, it was an unexpected twist in a movie but this is life for us. We travel down these seemly metaphoric roads sometimes and get confused on when to open our eyes and when to close them. God says He will guide us down the right road. Are you hearing God?

This really spoke to me as I continued to read it. I am really working on my "hearing" to hear we must listen. I know I talk a great deal and have heard in my prayers "George, shut up, I need to tell you something. God knows everything about us, He wants in on our lives. He wants to feel the pain that we feel and feel the joy that He brings us.

So, tonight when you are laying there in the bed and everything is quite, ask God "What do you want to talk about?. I have some things on my mind, do you mind listening for a minute? Let me tell you how great a smile will come on God's face. Cry out to God, He wants to help you. Give it a try, he's waiting around to be gracious to you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

In The Storm

For the past few weeks we have found ourselves in the mist of many storms. It seems we all have been covered by the same cloud of this storm. I have taught out of Acts 26 lately and then moved to Acts 27 a day or so ago and then again last night.
As reading through this account I found myself as many of us have this year, right in the middle of some place we really didn’t want to be but none the less we were there. Sailing was going good for Paul the first couple of trips under the guard of Julius.

While sailing was good, life was good but then they ran into bad weather and the Bible says "they found it impossible to stay on course. After much difficulty we finally made it and docked at Good Harbor. It seems even when we’re not on the course that God really wants us on; it’s still His course. Remember how they set out to go the easy route, one that they had traveled many times. The next sentence is the one that will grab you. The Bible says "By this time we had lost a lot of time". The facts are, we get off course in life and it is harder to get where we’re going so we loose time. My thought is "did we learn anything by being off course?

It goes on to read that they knew it wasn’t the right time to sail as it is with some decisions we are making and will make. The season has to be just right in order to make the decisions easy and right. When we are struggling to do just the right things remember the season may not be set for smooth sailing. More times than not we have to wait on just the right conditions to set sail and make just the right decision. This requires the knowledge to know when things are in the right place. I think Paul would have been a great skier, he used his knowledge of the circumstances to dictate his decisions. He would have been the guy that said "I will drive for you today but I ain’t going to ski, it just is not the right time". Paul knew it wasn’t the right season for all this to take place but he stood back and didn’t say a word. If all of this is sounding like your life as of late it gets better.

Then later we see "Paul warned, "I see only disaster ahead for the cargo and the ship, to say nothing of our lives. Now you got to remember who Paul is here? He is the prisoner! But he did say what he had to say and then nothing more as we see they set sail, and look it was only a short distance. Man, how many times have I said this year "well, it’s only!, it’s only this, it’s only that!

Then we see a little trick by the evil one himself, the Bible says " a gentle breeze came up". To me this is so awesome! Think about things right now that you knew what the truth was and you were fighting to make a decision, fighting to get where you wanted to go in life, asking God the whole time. Then up comes this seemly "gentle breeze, smooth sailing, sure it’s all good, look I have opened a door for you and it’s going to be smooth for you the whole way. You make a decision and say "thank you Lord. Then it happens, the Bible says "no sooner than we were out there a storm came up and control of the ship was lost. We commit, and a storm comes up and we want to quit, turn back, go the other way.

It goes on to say how they could get close to land but they couldn’t quite get there. When we strike out on our own knowing that we are moving out of season, God may allow it. He may even let us get close to where we think we should have been anyway, "having us wait, saying not the right season, a year from now, a week from now, maybe never". I have come to my own conclusions here, right or wrong it is what I have known my whole life, there is only black and white, only a and b, it’s yes or no. There is no, maybe, God is, yes or no, if we are in the "gray" working, then we are in the dark. Sounds all good on paper but try and practice this. This is near impossible to do without hurting feelings and making bad decisions. God’s seasons are real and when He says no, He, means no. When He says yes, He means, yes.

Read on and you will find that they didn’t spend a day or two in the storm but several days and tried everything possible to make it. In our own mist we have those among us that have not seen the sun or stars in many days and many weeks, maybe even many years. I have been here, not because of decisions made out of season, but because I expect the wind to be gentle sometimes and I get out there and it’s is so bad.

Here is the bottom line. "Paul took his place in the mist and said, Friends, you really should have listened to me, we could have avoided all this trouble and trails. But there is no need to dwell on that now. From now on things are looking up!

Then later. God came to Paul and said "don’t give up Paul, you are going to make it" If you think Paul was super man here, think again, he was just a person like you and me. He was just flesh, like you and me. God had to come to him and remind him in the mist of this, he was going to make it. Remember again Paul is the prisoner! You see, even when we sail out of season, or even when we don’t see the sun and stars for days and weeks. God uses us for His glory, people are still saved, lives are still changed. But the most amazing thing is we learn from these decisions we make. If we just sat in the corner and said I am waiting on God then nothing would ever get done, it’s not waiting on God, it’s walking and moving with God in a direction, right or wrong, but in a direction. You are asking "well, how do we know the direction? Match it up to the kingdom principles God has taught you so far.

Recently I was in the middle of one of these storms and a great friend told me "George, God is bound only by His word, if it says it then He will do it". This includes everything from direction, to healing, to seeing God move mountains for you. You must know His operating principles, we must know His word.

Later on in the chapter they saw "the nice bay with a nice beach" they still struggled to get there" but everyone made it safely. We will all make it. God will bring everything He has planned for us.

This is a great truth in the kingdom and there seems to be many kingdom principles in Acts 27. I have been really focused on operating inside kingdom principles, which has been one of the greatest struggles of my life. Mostly because I only know a few of these principles. It takes a great deal of time to find these as they are in the word of God. As we move forward remember this Acts 27. Remember that God does not fit in this little box we have been taught He fits in. Some of you know this already but for me it’s a great reminder. I am looking forward to seeing the stars tonight and the sun tomorrow, on a nice beach in a nice bay. Things are looking up!
George Beasley

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

An Amazing Journey

As many of you may know God allowed me to be involved in a water sports ministry for the past two years (2005 and 2006). My experiences there were very growing. Looking back now, I can see right where God had me and why. Many of my stories are accounts of what took place at those events as they were so life changing. I am no longer part of that ministry as God has moved me in a new direction. I praise God for the times I had there and love them all greatly. This story originated out of Texas. We were working with a great group of volunteers and a great group of kids theat were in an emergency shelter. Read my account as it takes you half way into the season.

The journey this year has been more than amazing. Lots of highs and so many lows. The mountain tops have been high and the lows have been crushing. I have got to be quite honest with you all, my life was changed forever in Texas. When I pulled up on the site I met this kind lady, Terri. I had talked with her many times before via email and phone. She had every detail in order, all the paper work done, the boats in water and volunteers willing to give their entire day for these kids.

I thought to myself "this is going to be a very relaxing day. Terri even ask me "what do you want to do, just ride in the boat? Sure, I replied quickly. I was in great need of a break. We were in the mist of many events and it was so refreshing to see they had everything perfect. We had a brief meeting with the volunteers, what a group of people I thought, as I talked. You could tell they were ready to pour out their love to these kids. Skiing was not the focus of the day. It was the kids.

The kids arrived, they had several older teens in the group. So off we went to the boats. Skiing most all of them. This club really knew what they were doing. At one point our boat came in and I got out for a bit. Just hanging around like I like to do, talking with the kids. I am always interested in their story. So I ask "what’s your story? Each time I ask this I get as expected the deepest and most devastating accounts of their lives. Not sure why that is but it just happens that way.

One girl I ask this "so, what’s you story, why are you here? She began to tell me "all I want to do is go home, I just want to be with my family. Here story can never be repeated as she told it. It was horrific to say the least. It was a true picture of the depravity of man. Not all was hopeless though. She stilled had dreams and shared a few of them with me. One thing that I noticed was her eyes. They were so big and pretty. They were so green, but just past that was the pain I had seen all summer long. It’s in the eyes, I tried not to look but they kept drawing me in, "please help me, they cried out. I remember praying for her in my heart right where I was standing. After talking to her, I just shook my head in disbelief. I was hurting.

At the end of every event I was able to talk with the kids about life and what can change their lives. Today was no different. As I was talking to this group of kids under the tent that day, I looked over to my right and there she was standing almost up front with me, just staring at me. I don’t think I will ever forget those eyes as I shared the message of the gospel that day, a message of hope that I knew could change her life, she was standing right there beside me the whole time, staring with the largest green eyes I have ever seen, there was something missing and I knew what it was. It was the love of Christ in her heart. At the end of the day all of the kids left and took most of their pain with them. I say most of their pain because I took some of it with me.

These eyes were the start of a hunting experience for me this year. At every day to remember this year I have seen these eyes. As I have learned through this to put less of me and more of the gospel, more of God’s word, more of the Love of Christ. This is the true message of hope, not my life experiences but the life of Christ.

At the last day to remember of the year I saw these eyes again. As I gave the invitation I raised my head and opened my eyes and there they were. I could hear the cries from deep in her soul, I could feel the pain she had been through. I was not giving up. Will you come, will you come I cried. This is hope for you. All the while knowing "I" could do nothing. It was all God who gives this hope of life not me. I wanted to go over and put my arm around her and tell her how much Jesus loves her but I knew God would speak to her heart. She looked up at me and our eyes locked again as she got up and I was able to tell her just how much Jesus loves her and how he can help her deal with all that she is carrying around. All I could do was thank God for all he had done.

The past two day to remembers we have seen more than many people come to Christ. I was ask "why do you think that is"? I have so many things going on in my heart right now so all I can say is less of me and more of God. The power is in the Gospel, the power is in God’s word and not mine. I am dying to myself.

That is where I am at right now. Dying to myself. As I spend more time in those crushing moments I am learning to deny self and having to depend on God for every moment. I am also convinced that the human eyes and mind can only take in so much. As I sit here in this airport I am in tears writing this just thinking of the last two weeks. Unable to talk about it any longer but just hoping to write and get it out of my mind.

I am close to collapse as my mind and soul can only take so much of living in a world that is all to familiar to me. The pain and the suffering I take in , not knowing what to do with it. Where can I pass it on, who can I pass it on to? Will you take it Lord? Please help me!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Simon Says

Deuteronomy 28
1-6 If you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, and heartily obey all his commandments that I command you today, God, your God, will place you on high, high above all the nations of the world. All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of God, your God:

I think to start today off we can ask one question. Why don’t we obey God? I have come to the place that a great deal of us are practicing a "Simon says religion. No one thing has triggered this story. I was just laying in the bed this morning talking with God and it just came to me. Why do we as humans try and fit ourselves into this preconceived mold that somebody along the way has taught us that’s how were supposed to be.

Simon says "you must worship me this way, at this time and even on this day. Simon says "raise your hands to the Lord when this song plays but not that one, Simon says "you can’t worship that way, only the way Simon says. I guess you are getting the point. I know there are many ways we do things but lets get real here.

I’ve often wondered what it would have been like to worship in the days of Jesus. Pastor Danny preached a message this week on John 9, Jesus healing the blind man. I have read that many times and heard it preached more times than I read it, but this was different. Danny applied the message to us in a way I had never thought of before. It was not the miracle that was life changing for the man but the opening of his spiritual eyes. His place in the kingdom was realized. The blind man was consistence in what he was saying, "I could not see and now I can. Can you truly say this?

So how can we encourage each other to have a relationship with God that is not "Simon says. How can I not be a "Simon says" kind of person. I do believe it’s in part right here in Deuteronomy 28, " If you listen obediently to the Voice of God. Are we listening to the voice of God. When in worship on any given Sunday, singing and praising God, the Lord says to you "lift your hands and give me praise, what do you do? Do you think about what others will say, do you think about the chatter that will go on after church, "did you see that?

If this is happening to you and you hear God speaking to you then let it go, lift your hands, praise Him, don’t be ashamed that God is working in your life. Let me encourage you to give Him praise, break this cycle of "Simon says" religion. Break free of the bonds that man has put on you, break free of these so called worship rules. If your church kicks you out then your in good company, the blind man got kicked out to.

Lets leave the "predefined worship where it belongs, back at the temple with the pharisees.

George Beasley

Friday, April 20, 2007

Purple Sunset

This is a story I had written back in October of 2006. Like many of my stories they never seem to be complete. I have pulled this one out of the file in hopes of completing it today.

Micah 6
8 But he's already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women.It's quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don't take yourself too seriously— take God seriously.

Hope you all had a great weekend. Lisa and I had the most wonderful time ever. So many stories to tell. I started to write one last night but it got to be too long. So I went for the shorter one. Lisa read this verse as we were riding down to Lake Waccamaw for a Boys and Girls Home reunion. We never made the reunion but sat at the end of the lake and watched a purple sunset. I sat their and was reminded of how many sunsets I have been blessed to witness the past two years, this was a purple sunset, not sure if you guys have ever seen one of these, the horizon is a dark gray and then just fades into a purple color all the way across the sky.

I was reminded of many other things also, some sad and some happy. More happy than sad I must say. So what am I trying to say? Sometimes we need to sit back and take what really matters seriously. This is one of the long list of kingdom principles that I have been revealed to me this year. This one may be one of the most simple but most difficult to do. The question for us is, what are we taking too serious? What we think are the serious things make life confusing and complex, the simple things should be kept simple.

That was the end of the part one, now several months later I realize that this story needs a bit more content and explaining. What are our passions in life? What do we really love? What do we take seriously? There is so much to love in our world today. When does it become wrong to love something? That to me is a great question.

I am sitting here thinking about all of the things I love, do I love them more than God? My immediate response is "Oh no! Ask yourself that question and be very honest, it’s just you and God.

If you are like me in anyway there are truly some things in life "at times" you loved more. I can hear your voices now "not me, I love God more than anything in the world, nothing gets in the way of my relationship with Him. I’m not saying that you don’t love God. I am saying that we tend to put things before God and pretend that we don’t. When we do this we have loved "that" more than Him. We take things we love and are so passionate about and make them so complex and so serious they end up in front of God. This can be anything.

My challenge in ending this story is, how can we stay passionate about God? I think communication would be the starting point. For any relationship to grow there needs to be communication. We talk a great deal about communication but the sad reality is we all lack in this area. I have friends that I have not talked with in ten years and yet I still call them my close friends, mostly because there was a time that we communicated on a level that help us both get through some difficult problems. I go months without talking to some of my closest friends. Is this good communication? Of course not. So relate that to God? Have you communicated with God, have you sat down and not wondered off into never land while talking to Him. I know just this morning I was asking God one thing and then next thing I know I was on another topic. He was quick to ask "what happen to what we were just talking about? I just smiled and laughed and said "I guess I’m jumping around this morning.

There is so much going on in our lives, if we don’t get serious about loving God, I mean really serious then where will we all be next year, next week, tomorrow? This week, each day, sit with God for a few minutes by yourself and ask Him "how is my relationship with you? What am I putting before you? Theses questions ask to the world will uncover one answer "nothing. Ask to God, will uncover a loving and merciful God who wants to have a relationship with you.

George Beasley

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Basic Faith + 3

2 Peter 1
5-9So don't lose a minute in building on what you've been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can't see what's right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.

As I read this text today I am asking myself what I am complementing my basic faith with? I love what Peter says ", each dimension fitting into and developing the others. I also like the fact that he says " don't lose a minute in building on what you've been given. What has God given you? There is a personal pronoun that hinders me from complementing my basic faith. It’s "I.

I live my life in this "I" realm, we all do from time to time. I got to do this, I got to go there, I have to meet here, I am tired, I am, I am, I am......When skiing, I get to the end of the course, drop down for a brief word on what "I" just did right or wrong. I am always responsive and say "yea, I know what you’re talking about. These are all qualities of a great ski coach, good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love. The three people that have spent the most time coaching me share some or all of these qualities. They all have "reverent wonder", each time I ski they are like "wow, he is still alive after that. Oh yea, it gets that good! I can feel the generous love and the warm friendliness, the passionate patience at the start. They all have good character and really care about the outcome of my skiing. They in some sick way want to develop me into a better skier. It hurts to grow sometimes. One thing they all have in common, they are giving of themselves to develop me.

That’s skiing, now how about life? I can say with great gladness that these three coaches and many more of you have exhibited some if not all of these qualities and have given freely of your time to develop me as a person. You have given so much to see me mature as a Christian and now I am seeing what is right before me.
What I like the most is what Peter says next "With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus.

That says it all, doesn’t it. These qualities just don’t arrive, they are active and growing always. The question for me and for you, what qualities do we need to grow in? Are we developing others?

George Beasley

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Remember When

Numbers 28
25 "Conclude the seventh day in holy worship; don't do any regular work on that day.

Do you remember when? Do you remember when you went to church on Sunday, lifted your hands to the Lord, gave Him praise, prayed, got delivered from things that you could no longer handle? Do you remember when you were excited about going to worship? Do you remember when you couldn’t wait to hear the preacher bring the word?

So, what’s changed? Why is Sunday becoming more like Monday? There are some that will fight you on this, these I have found to be the ones shopping and eating out on this day they call holy. Not being judgmental here, just telling you what I have lived.

I do also realize that we live under grace and not the law, but is there a day we should set aside just for God? I have heard people say "I give God one day a week" or "I go to church Sunday and Wednesdays ain’t that enough?

Here’s what I’m saying, live it! Live everyday as it is for God! Wake up thinking and praying to God. Go to sleep thinking and praying. Is that too much?

I like thinking vs 25 should say "conclude everyday in holy worship", but I didn’t write it. Is there a time each day you speak to God, the one who holds your breath in His hands.

Kyle told me one time, "ski like it’s the last time you will ever ski. I thought about that and said later "worship like it’s the last time, pray like it’s the last words you will ever be able to speak, give to God like it’s the last time you will be able to give anything. How would it be to stand before God and say "I came into your presents giving my last dime, I came into your presents speaking to you, I came into your presents worshiping, I came into your Holy presents loving you and showing your love to someone who really needed to be loved.

Set aside some time for worship today. Live it!
George Beasley

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Old Rope Swing

I will be posting more than eighty of these stories on my blog in the up coming weeks. Some of these you will remember and some you have never seen.

This is one I wrote in Sept 2006. Little did I know the real effect it would have on my life.

As I sat on the front porch today looking at the two fifty foot magnolias in front of our house I could not help but to think back a few years. I remember back when I built Sara and Laura their very own rope swing, it still hangs there today, just swaying in the wind. Not much good for anything except memories now. The two by four ladder is the same way. It’s still there but not being used any more. These are the memories that take me back, they take me back to a starting point. I can still see them swinging there sometimes and still hear their voices calling from the tree. "Daddy, daddy, look at me" they would yell, "come climb the tree with me". I would always climb up and always go higher than they were allowed to go.

I am telling you all this because its moments like this we need to be reminded , it’s the start of something that has the best memories. Sometimes, God want us to go back to the start, not just for a moment but to really think deeply about it, forget the details and really look what He has done in our lives. Think about the people we have met, think about the lives that have been changed. Think about how God has molded us since a year ago. Some things will shape us forever, as with me it is St Louis. I am a different person because of what happen there. It is my forever "empty swing". What could of happen didn’t, what should of happened did. I have to leave it at that. It’s a memory now but one that comes to me very often.

Our life seems to get so busy we end up looking at all the little details and loose sight of the goal. If we are not careful and keep a good balance we end up sitting on the porch looking at an empty swing, thinking back, "I would give anything to swing one more time, I would give anything to climb one more time".

God has shown me in the pass weeks that His call on my life and the lives of all those here is so real and is nothing to be tampered with. We have to do this! Lives are in the balance, souls are in the balance. So as we go out this weekend doing the will of the Father, going from place to place, seeking the lost, healing the hurting, please remember those great majestic magnolias. They are just the keepers of the old rope swings, the old nailed up ladder and the wonderful memories of a season that was so full of joy. Remember the time you came here, when we all first met. We are all still the same people. We have just added a closet full of memories. How blessed are we?

So, when the swing gets empty, go to the word, look up something that takes you back to the start. Let’s take our time, seeking that one hurting soul that needs a life changing touch. It may be that their swing is empty and they need to remember back. It may be one of us.
George Beasley

Finger Prints

John 1
14The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.
I was at the shop yesterday working on this tiny connector that plugged into a electronic piece that controls the air bags in the car. These wires were very hard to see but I had a suspicion that they were a problem. So, I started to uncover them so I could get a better view. They were so small I could hardly see them so I grabbed my magnifying glass and began to look and not to my surprise they need to be replaced.
While I was looking at these wires I started to look at my fingers. I sat there and looked at all ten, closely looking at each of my finger prints. I was thinking how unique they were and how God has made each one of us "one-of-a-kind. I said at that moment, what a great story, we are so unique but is that all I have for the story Lord? That we are just "one-of-a-kind, unique in the way you made us, not one of us the same? His answer was prompt, oh no, think on this some and you will see more than just a finger print, look closer at the prints and tell me, what do you see?
So, I looked and started to notice each finger print is different, each one has some twist and turns, some go in circles some go up and turn back and some just seem to have no pattern at all. Of course by now I had seen what the Lord was showing me. On one finger the lines go upward and then almost do a 180 turn. I thought of God’s salvation, how He turned me from a life of eternal hell. Another finger, the print seems to go in a circle. This I thought of how our lives are sometimes, just going round and round. Another finger, the print goes one way then darts back in another direction, then breaks and starts again. This I thought of as learning things God wants to teach us or has taught us. The breaks in life and the heart breaks in life. As with life, you can’t see some of the bumps in the road or unforseen circumstances but I am convinced if we would just take a minute and take a really close look we could avoid a great deal of our own struggles. That’s the reason for the magnifying glass. God wants us to look closer at Him, really get close and see what He is doing and has done.
Now don’t read into this more than it is. I am not suggesting starting a new business of "finger reading. I am just comparing the uniqueness of our fingers with the uniqueness of how God has made each one of us and our lives. The story is in the fingers but the big story is in John 1:14 "We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. Our fingers will turn back to dust real soon, but our soul will live forever. What a challenge to live from within and not our fingers.
George Beasley

Still Running

Still Running I recently turn sixty-two. There is something about getting older that makes you think about your life. Some days, I wake up...