My wife and I have a rescue dog named Cooper and I have written a 'beautiful' poem that captures my life with him.
Ode to Cooper
Cooper is our little rescue dog;
there's no doubt he LOVES my wife Mary,.
BUT despite the fact I 'm the one who rescued him;
.. for me.. Cooper remains wary.
I so want Cooper to love me too..
but he's a work in progress..
You see Cooper does not trust me ..
leaving me judged without due process.
Thank you, thank you
But then I stop and realize.. I am SORTA a rescue dog too.
For example, in this big old bad world I might turn on the evening news and .. I get uneasy as I can sense the tension in Washington, so I start to growl at partisan politics as I pace the room. My demeanor only gets worse as these 'News SHOWS' spew this world's hatred, racism, and violence all wrapped in their biased narrative void of truth leaving me out of control barking my panic and distrust of this world.
This state of panic and unease over just the evening news can leave me in reality wary of my God. He is my perfect loving Heavenly Father, Jesus my Savior, and the Holy Spirit my comforter. My God is my rescuer from both the evening news and anything else found in this broken world.
So just like Cooper I need to chill. Chill and realize this broken world is the result of man's own free will, and compromised desires. This brokenness was never a part of God's plan. So chill Jeff, and realize in God I have hope, a future, and a plan for happiness. So.. No more barking.
May each of us find our hope (our rescue) in the loving Heavenly Father who sent his son Jesus as our savior, and his Holy Spirit as our comfort.
note: God is still our rescuer even when we bark.
Now if Cooper would only understand that about me.
Jeff (Rescued) Larson
Simply put I think I deserve the BEST in life. I deserve all that life can offer, and more! I deserve a wonderful wife, kids that make me smile, dogs that don’t eat food off the kitchen counter, and a cat that does NOT hack up hair balls. I deserve true friends, a healthy family, a rich church heritage, and I deserve HEAVEN.
You may be wondering if have been sippin’ from the ‘Name It, Claim It’ and/or ‘Prosperity Gospel’ koolaid. Well, I do claim God's promises and a prosperity that is measured in Heaven but not necessarily in this life.
So let me clarify, I am a pretty good guy. I work hard, love my family, and love God. Complicating my relative goodness is my ability to make bad/wrong choices (aka sins).
Oh I know what is right and wrong in God's eyes but I have compromised 'the best' that God intends for me, and at times I have not been good at all.
BUT good news for us all is God’s grace and blessings in our lives is available in ways that are BEYOND OUR DREAMS. This means I don’t have to live in regret of past mistakes, and what the devil (there really is one) plans for bad in my life… God can use and bless in ways that I never saw coming. Our Heavenly Father is good and kind, and PERFECT. As far as the East is from the West so are my sins forgiven!
No more hiding of sins.. no more hiding my faults.. I DESERVE better than this. So when I fall, and I might just fall again this very hour.. I will get up.. I will do my best, and I will trust in God while motivated by my desire to Love God with all my soul, heart, and mind, and to love others as I love myself.
You see I DESERVE a life uncluttered by thoughts and worries focused on me. I DESERVE a life free from guilt, and not reluctant to ask for forgiveness.
I DESERVE the very best in life.. PROSPERITY measured in service.. HAPPINESS uncluttered by circumstances, a CLEAR CONSCIENCE because of God’s limitless grace.
Now most of you probably do not let your mind wander in circles like mine obviously does like a hamster in a wheel, but for those who are tired, depressed, sick, burdened with the weight of the world.. YOU DESERVE MORE. You deserve the best that God has to offer. His best for you may or may not be fame and fortune, health and adventure… but HIS BEST which you deserve is the peace and perspective that passes all understanding or any circumstance.
They say money can’t buy you happiness, but it helps calm the nerves… BUT whether rich or poor, famous or obscure, fat or skinny, or any other nook or cranny of this world’s class system.. we can be content… and living unafraid, and enjoying the lives we have in ways that are beyond what we have yet to experience.
There is a scientific study claiming we only use 10% of our brain.. well I believe we as believers experience only a fraction of the blessings God wants us to experience… and only a fraction of the blessings WE DESERVE as his children.
May God bless each of us with lives blessed by God in ways that are NEVER limited by our abilities, but are truly BLESSED BEYOND OUR DREAMS and as God intends, and what WE DESERVE as his children.
important note: I do realize all our righteousness is as filthy rags Isaiah 64:6. The point of sharing 'getting what i deserve' is not a focus on my relative goodness, but instead on God's Grace and love that is greater than all my sins. Romans 5:20
I blogged this 'painful post' about a year ago, but I am impressed it is a relevant topic for today. There is pain in our own bodies, our minds, and our souls. Pain is found inside our own families, our friends, and everywhere else if you turn on the news and see all the angry hateful hurting people of our country and this world wanting relief from pain.
PAIN IS EVERYWHERE.. and our God is the only answer.
My Painful Introspection.. by Jeff Larson
Of course PAIN IS a relative experience, as I know the headaches, and bad back I suffer with are trivial by comparison to what others suffer with. None the less these are MY pains and THEY DO HURT... and this is MY blog. :)
But truly, many of the important lessons I have experienced in life have involved pain. It may be dealing with physical pain, being a bear of very little brain (like Winnie the Pooh), or lessons found the other side of (painful) blunders, stumbles, and/or bad choices.
Even deeper yet are the lessons may be found in the death of a close friend or family member.
I believe the problem of PAIN IS also the source of the age old question.. If there is a God why does he allow bad things to happen to good people. This is a valid question, but for me I see a 'dangerous beauty' in this broken world. In this land of dangerous beauty God the Creator allows his creation (you & me) the opportunity to persevere and succeed despite our brokenness.
And.. we are allowed to choose right from wrong in big & small ways, and even good from evil. There is great danger in choosing poorly, and if we do not persevere.. BUT there is great beauty in prayerfully choosing well, supporting each other, to persevere, and trust God when bad things happen to good people... when it HURTS!
To believe this is NOT.. 'A Crutch for Weak Minded People' as former Pro Wrestler / former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura liked to blurt, but instead Rock Solid Truth for Godly men and women.
I believe Faith, Family, and Friends (in that order) is how God intends to comfort and heal this world of hurts. I seek God as my compass and my only worship, and I thank God for the blessing of family and friends where we can love and support each other as God intends.
May God bless and provide for each of you this day with love and support when you are hurting physically, emotionally, and/or spiritually. Pain can be very discouraging, but may we as believers (His Church) be the love and support for others in this broken/hurting world.
Jeff (ibuprofen infused) Larson
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson