Today is my Anniversary. It is odd but I don’t feel any different today than I felt yesterday. I guess the simple truth is that everyday with Alison is a special day. I remember everything about the first day I met her and the first time I asked her to spend time with me having lunch and I certainly remember where and how I told her I loved her for the first time. I remember every good and decent thing she has said and done for me and others. I remember the hardships and those days full of trouble and even though some horribly dark nights Alison never left me alone. I remember more than once waking up in the hospital in the middle of the night and looking over next to me and Alison would be sitting across from me quietly, waiting until I was safe. I remember all the traveling we did together all over the states and the beauty and wonder we experienced together in the high desert and the beauty of the red rock formations in Sedona. I have never known a person to give as freely of herself, friends, family and strangers than Alison. I will never forget the morning she carried our new born son into our house for the first time. Everyday seems to hold a special blessing from God. It has been a true adventure living with and loving Alison. I have to say if something were to happen to me, I can say I know what it is and means to truly love and be loved by one’s spouse.
A great reminder. I am going to ask Aidan to read this sense his question this morning was ”when did God decide to send Jesus to save us.” I love where in Rev. 21 where John says ”and God dwells among his people. I wonderful thought. Corky
Matthew 1:22: All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means “God with us.”
The coming of Jesus to this earth was no accident, no random act of coincidence or chance. Nor was it God’s last minute change of plans because his earlier plans had not worked. God was putting into action His plan that he had told to the prophet Isaiah hundreds of years earlier. But even that was not the beginning of his plan to send Jesus. Right after Adam and Eve decided that they were better at knowing what was best for them than God, and chose to disobey his one rule, sin entered the world and God already had a plan. And that plan was Jesus. That Jesus…
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She was a beauty compared to the rest,
wearing an outfit called the Desert Dress.
Her outfit was the Desert Dress.
The color was cream and it reached the sand.
Soft to the touch, smooth to the hand.
It wasn’t the dress that held my stare,
or the colored hills or the Sun’s bright glare.
I watched her move on to the path,
away from me and far from the grass.
Watching her move every move she made
telling my heart it had to behave.
Her eyes, her skin and jet black hair,
The dress was magic and hers to wear.
The clouds came quickly and darken the sky
letting forth rain like tears from the eyes.
It was time to leave and head for our home.
The memories were mine, mine all alone.
Looking over my shoulder taking a breath
remembering beauty and the Desert Dress.
As a Christian I believe in the death burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that I will be raised after my death and will live eternally with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I have never really concerned myself with the details of the particulars regarding the after life promised in scripture but since I have been getting older I have been giving it some thought. I believe in this promise intellectually and emotionally that was made by my Savior some 2000 years ago. I have often wondered what immortality means. This morning my little boy was singing an old Joni Mitchell song called Carey. It’s a beautiful song describing a carefree lifestyle and the joy of being with friends and enjoying the magic of the moment. I always love that song and to hear him singing it caused me to add a little more insight to my view of immortality. Our children are so much of who we are that is what we believe, teach them, tell them, how we treat them and how we act in front of them. They learn to be what we give to them as parents whether it is a song or moment of anger. I believe there is an appointed time I will be raised after my death yet I also believe there is a significant part of me that will live on in my son. Listening to my son sing one of my favorite songs reminds me once again of the incredible responsibility we have as parents. Every now and then about 3 in the morning my son will make his way through the hallway and through the living room to our bedroom. I will feel him crawling up between me and his mom and in the quite of the early morning I am able to touch and see the reality of our Lord’s promise. May God give all of us as parents the courage to do what is right for our children. Corky
”May God bless you and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.” Bob Dylan
I no longer feel the wind
or see the color of the sky
I’m not yet dead with no plans to die
Life a gift, all I received and more
Working, playing, keeping score
The words aren’t there nor the beauty of your stare
Something I missed, soft hands now a kiss
Unable to move LOW in the sand
Accused of being half a man
Its known by all, I can’t stand
You brought Passion to the ledge
keeping your pledge, keeping your secret pledge,
No longer the beauty of your beautiful stare
An oath you couldn’t or should not share
I surrendered my heart to you that night
but you, you held your feelings in sight.
The secret was never spoken out loud
Hidden so deep, lost in the clouds
Always yours never mine
I never knew there was never a sign
A LITTLE LIFE
The light has left the room.
Must survive the gloom
He says he’s a dancer
A singer a prancer
Drinks my soda and eats my food.
He taps and will shuffle left to right
Leaving the room with the light
dancing away into the night
Strangers paid to come right in
To help me and do what they can
Fear controls my young heart
God, I’m still afraid of the dark.
There are others living in this place
The rooms were small with little space
I couldn’t think and I couldn’t feel
All the time hoping to heal
The first 6 months I didn’t heal
Always asking if this is real
My hands don’t work, my arms are weak
I lost weight, and desire to eat
I could not sit I couldn’t stand
Referred to as a half a man
Disappointment tore at me
Nothing left for me to be
Stole my dreams, took my soul
Time to leave, time to go
How to escape this lasting pain
Leave this life, go insane
Bow to Jesus, hold the cross
Find the love, I have lost.
Find the beauty in her eyes
One more time before I die
Just one more time before I die.
I can’t wait to see whats next for me.
Will the next shoe drop as foretold?
Will life start to slow even more as I grow?
Is the gray just a warning I’m old?
Does it matter to you when you search for the blue
that once decorated my eyes?
Are the lines in my face so far out of place,
my photos don’t match them at all?
You never held back the touch of your hand
or your fingers that ran though my hair.
Your eyes never lied when they looked deep inside
knowing all I loved and the care.
Yes the kid came in play toward the end of the day.
The music has not been this loud.
I wrote to a friend, to a famous friend.
She answer I’m as gray as the clouds.
The truth never lies, you speak with your eyes.
Green is the color of love.
Time to depart.
To pack up my heart. I’ll move closer to you in the dark.
With tears to be shed for the losses I dread.
Quitting is not in my head.
Life belongs to me, I remember the sea.
The streets we pushed up and down.
The hills that we climbed, the nights drinking wine and
the days just fooling around.
With hardly no money, now it seems funny
we spent whatever we had.
On weekends we rested and sometimes we slept in.
On weekends we visited dad.
The music is playing reckless its leading.
Our souls spinning out of control.
We have a new member a new family member everyone calls him Bo.
Its a new life beginning, nothing like wining.
Looking to heaven above.
Angles are flying, kneeling and praying.
Signing to Him with our Love.
Just about a week ago my son rushed into the bedroom carrying my laptop computer on top of his head, speaking in a high-pitched voice with rapid speech which I thought might have been the ”other Tongues language,” from the New Testament from Acts Chapter Two. It was like a ”violent rushing wind” again from Acts Chapter Two. He was trying to tell me how much I was going to love it. He was dancing and hopping and twirling around. He was dipping real low and standing straight up with the biggest smile that he could manage. This reminded me how I felt when I passed my class in Romans when attending SJBC now Jessup U. with Dallas as my Professor. Of course my face was white as snow worrying how I was going to explain to his mother how we busted my computer into a 1000 pieces. As all this was happening Aidan was experiencing a level of joy an 11 year old might be experiencing if he had just inherited a Toys ur us store. All the time I was watching his joy at this still unknown discoverey trying to imagin what I was going to tell mom about my computer if Aidan dropped it. All at once Aidan tossed himself onto the bed sliding the screen under my face. I was surprised to see that I was looking at a selection of socks. Yes socks. We are talking some very colorful socks. They were truly works of art full of color and images of current basketball greats. Aidan could tell I was just as excited as he was. He went into a sales pitch that I have heard so often before. First of all these are the only socks of their kind and they can’t be bought or found anywhere else. Right. He then pointed out all the physical, psychological, spiritual and political reasons to buy and own a least two pairs of these socks. Then he tells me I could get them for his birthday, Christmas or any holidays that I consider important.
After three or four follow up conversations and seventy-two hours of sleep depravation I had agreed to one pair of the socks. I felt as if I had experience the Jedi mind trick with Aidan waving his hand in front of my eyes saying, SON I WILL BE HAPPY TO BUY YOU AN 18 DOLLAR PAIR OF SOCKS and then without thought I repeated his words. I know what some of you are thinking and that is ”Man Up.” Yes I said an 18 dollar pair of socks.
I started thinking about what just happened, the Jedi Mind Trick or Einstein’s Theory of Relativity could not explain what happen to me. I know we that is I probably spend a little to much on my son. I have often had conversations with him explaining how he is fortunate and how we are fortunate as a family. His mother and I have often said to him how we hope he understood how much mom and dad loves him and that giving him things or buying things for him brings joy to our lives. We have had many ”Car Conversations” helping him understand that giving him things is just a small expression of our love for him and that love is expressed in many other ways between parents and children. We look for those teaching moments where we try and explain to him that God wants to use us as his servants and to bless others with a portion of the wealth that he has blessed us with. Of course the idea is as we are blessed we can bless others. Just maybe he will learn to freely give to others as we haven given to him.
So we scheduled a time to visit the foot Locker and before I left with Aidan I met one more time with Alison to see how we might redirect Aidan and find a happy out. I know be a man, tell him who the parent is. Have you ever had an 11 year old use a paradoxical intervention that is a complex psychological process to get what he wants. Its not pretty.
Well we left for the foot Locker and yes I bought the socks for my son and no I only bought one pair. We also had a hamburger and an a yogurt. As we were doing all these things we talked about everything including Jesus, his behavior, school, basketball, mom and a bunch of other things. We were driving home and he told me how he was going to be able to score more points and run a lot faster and that he really had needed his new socks. As we were driving he said he was having a good time, just a great time with me. When I heard his words and the tone of his little voice I remembered that about 4 nights earlier he and I were watching a movie and eating popcorn and he told me that night ”dad aren’t we having a good time just a great time.” The popcorn only cost about 50 cents. I guess it is true on occasion that a pair of socks can cost 18 dollars and popcorn 50 cents but like the commercial says time together just good and great time together is priceless. What priceless gifts God gives us. Corky
”Do not withhold your mercy from me Lord;
may Your love and faithfulness always protect us.
For troubles without numbers surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head.
And my heart fails me.
Be please to save me Lord.
Come quickly, Lord, to help me.” Psalm 40:11 – 13
These passages need no explanation. The author has no fear to tell God what he wants or needs. He fears trouble and yet recognizes his own sin given his trouble. And again the author says he is in a bad way. I can’t help from thinking back on so many situations in my own life that was so overwhelming that I felt death might be an answer or the only answer to help me escape the pain. In this Psalm the author paints a picture of being trapped by his trouble and his own sin yet he tells God what he needs and to come quickly and help. He speaks to God as if he has been through this trouble before and he speaks as if there is no doubt his Lord our Lord can and well help. This passage reminds me so much of Hebrews 4:16 Where the Hebrew author tells us all to approach God’s Throne with confidence knowing that God will help us in our time of need. We are told we will receive mercy and grace in or time of need. A wonderful promise. He does not ask what we did or did not do but tells us to come in our time of need and again to approach His Throne in confidence.
Corky Riley October 31, 2014
”I have no right, by anything I do or say, to demean a human being in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him; it is what he thinks of himself. To undermine a man or woman’s self-respect is a sin.” Antoine de Saint -Exupery I wish I had learned this lesson sooner in life but like so many other lessons I wish I had had the courage to actually put what I had learned in to action.
Antoine de Sanit-Exupery wrote a book called “The Little Prince.” This wonderful little book circulated around the college campuses in the late 60s and early 70s. So many of us at this time was stumbling around the college campuses searching for meaning and purpose. This beautiful little book was meant to help the reader along as a simple metaphor for life, listening, learning and acting and trying to understand what made sense and what we should do next. George Alder one of San Jose Bible College’s most beloved professors on occasion would read passages out of The Little Prince. After 45 years searching for this meaning I have settled for discipleship that is I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. If people would like to refer to me as a Christian that is perfectly fine and acceptable. One can even referred to me as a person who attends church and a particular church but I don’t follow a church and I am not saved by a church’s doctrine or creed. I am a simple disciple working as hard as I can to understand the words of Jesus and his teaching found in the New Testament and found in the books of the Old Testament. I’m no longer fumbling around for what to believe but in all honesty I continued to fumble around on how to do it right. I think any mature Christian will answer the same and that is we are all trying to follow Christ the best that we can and even though we fall short of the glory of God, as Romans 8: 1 says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. In other words I am saved and I am made whole by the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross for me and for that matter all of us.
The quote that I used from The Little Prince specifically had to do with judgment and hurting others. I take this message from The Little Prince very seriously and appreciate its teaching because it coincides with the teaching of Christ. What we say to people and how we judge people and how we treat people can do great good our great damage. We need to think about what we say before we say it. A simple lesson for us all but a great lesson for us all. God bless you. Corky Riley November 17, 2014