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Showing posts from July, 2011

Courage Discovered

I hold on tight. "A fighter always does." I have been told. "Don't give up.Show a little guts." Many have urged.
I hold on tight. To show courage. Fight the good fight. I cannot give up. I am not WEAK.
I hold on tight. Out of fear. Frightened by that to which I cling. If I don't hold tight, I lose control.
I hold on tight. My grip painful. Hands tired and callosed. I fear I cannot hold on. I fear.
I hold on tight. A new voice calls, "Let go." I cannot. "You must."
I hold on. I must. I can't... let go.
I let go. Courage discovered Life renewed When I let go.
Jesus says,

Conversion

tragedy to triumph… anxiety to peace… trial to joy… sorrow to serenity… doubt to assurance… sin to righteousness… anger to forgiveness… chains to freedom… prejudice to love… blindness to sight… death to life…
by Brian Shivers

Beginning of All Things

The absence of light so thick it can be felt. I look around struggling to see my hand before my face. My eyes try to adjust to the nothingness. However, they, like me, know that this isn't natural. This density is not what we were meant to see.
Suddenly, off in the distance a light shining. It is outside of me, yet strangely it comes from within. The light grows in its intensity and beckons me to come. I wonder, "Could this light have been shining all along?" "Has it been there since the beginning?"
I long to walk toward this light. However, I am frightened to go there alone. Summoning all of my strength, I step out. With one step, I am surrounded by this light. Enveloped in its warmth and engulfed by its power.
Again my eyes flutter to adjust. With each blink, they see a little more clearly. With each blink, my mind understands more of the mystery. I see that many have made this journey with me. They have followed this strange light shining in the east.
And the darkness...gone. An…

Advent of Peace

Children wait Each thought a daydream Vast riches in cardboard treasure chests Hidden by elaborate paper Beneath a twinkling pine
Humanity waits Each heartbeat conflicted A burning in the depth of the soul Disguised by gluttonous pride Beneath a whitewashed facade
Creation waits Each moment a vision A Child King in rock hewn palace Concealed by modest cloth Beneath a shimmering star
Expectation births hope Hope bends to joy As fantasy becomes reality The world witnesses its salvation Behold, the advent of peace
by Brian Shivers

Heaven & Hell

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This week, we will be talking about heaven and hell.

What is heaven?
What is hell?
What is the big deal?
Who gets in and who is left out?
What does the Bible have to say about it?

Come this Sunday night, July 31 at 7:00 at the Shivers' house. 
Hope to see you there.
Bring something food for the grill and a chair.

She Still Stands

In the harbor Her light shines Brightly For all to see. The pledge For which she stands Beckons all, "Come." You who are tired, You who are poor, You huddled masses Yearning To be set free, Follow the light Of Liberty and justice For all.
This is the light that Shines undaunted Through the shadowy veil of time; Through the smoke of terror's breath. It is liberty's torch Held high In freedom's harbor Where she still stands.

by Brian Shivers, October 23, 2001.
This was written as I considered all that transpired on September 11, 2001.

I Want to Be Happy

I just want to be happy.
Simple enough.I want to be happy.
That doesn’t seem to be such a hard order to fill; does it?
So, the search begins.
What is it that will make me happy?
I know; the newest and the best will make me happy.
The money is spent.The gadgets are purchased.I am happy!
But wait.There is something newer.There is something better.
That is the trouble with the newest and best.The newest and best are only the newest and best until the newest and best come out again.The newest and best become the old and second rate in the twinkling of the eye.
What is it that will make me happy?
I know; incredible experiences will make me happy.
The trips are made.The adventures are had.I am happy!
But wait.There is more to do.There is somewhere else to go.
That is the trouble with experiences.The greatest adventure is only the greatest until something greater comes along.The greatest experience becomes just another cloudy memory with the dawn of a new day.
What is it that will make me happy?
I know; …

Labyrinth

We tread together Along this circular Path. Our journey Never ceasing.
Walk; kneel Stand; prone Extreme; center Ebb; flow Coming; Going Close; distant Fatigue; rest Death; Life Self; Other Imprisoned; Set free Lost; discovery Lead; follow Anxiety; peace In; out Disjointed; rhythm Confusion; revelation
Meet me in this labyrinth. Teach me to walk; To walk free, Unfettered, In full stride, The stride of life.

by Brian Shivers

Morning Prayer

In the stillness of this moment             as the sun breaks the horizon returning life and color to the early morning, My being turns to You, bright Morning Star. In the quiet of this hour; With bowed head and humbled heart, I stand in awe of You basking in Your glory.
Giver of life, Liberator of the soul, With praise on my tongue, I sing of Your faithfulness and love; With open hands, I come before You to touch the face of eternity; With wide eyes, I long to catch a glimpse of Your magnificent mystery.
To You I yield all I have been, all I am, and all I have yet to be.
You, alone, are holy; You, alone, are worthy; Oh, Gracious Love Divine. Amen.

The End of the World as We Know It?

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This Sunday we will be looking at the idea of the "end of the world" and the "apocalypse". 

There has been a lot of information, misinformation and predictions out there about what will happen, when it will happen, who will be involved and who will be "left behind." 

So let's talk! 

Things to consider:
Why is there so much fascination with the idea of the end of the world?
What are the theories that you have heard about the end of the world?
Why do you think that individuals and groups continue to make predictions about when and how it is all going to come to an end?

We will look at some Scripture together in an attempt to understand what is written about the topic and discuss some of reasons as to why it might have been written and how that can form and inform our understanding of it today.

Hope to see you Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. at the Shivers' house.

Divine Breath

Ceaseless Ever present
Change of seasons Passage of time
Simplistic rhythm Enigmatic process
Filling with life Purging of death
Ceaseless Ever present
Rising of the sun Appearance of the moon
Proximity unnoticed Necessity irrefutable
Providing life’s essence Expelling its poison
Ceaseless Ever present
Air we breathe Sustenance we need
Intimacy overlooked Impact undeniable
Bestowing new life Conquering sin’s infliction
Ceaseless Ever present
Beat of life Power to live
Heart’s desire Spirit’s yearning
Loving with passion Living within

by Brian Shivers

For Freedom

Here is a phrase that fascinates me, “For freedom Christ has set us free.Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
So many things in life can hold us captive. The past. The present. The future.
Shortcomings. Dishonesty. Failure.
Defeat. Victory.
The specter of someone we never were. The shadow of someone we can never be.
Actions. Words. Memories.
Inability to forgive. Inability to accept forgiveness.
Jealousy. Anger.
Guilt. Shame.
Who you are. Who you wish you could be. Who you wish you were not.
So many things in life can hold us captive.
The chains that you once thought bound your wrists are held tightly in your hands.There is freedom.Allow the God who grants freedom to release you from those chains that bind your heart, that fetter your soul, that imprison your mind.God has set you free!Drop the chains.You are free!
“The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenheart…

Fragrance of Grace

The sense of smell is a powerful thing.
Certain odors have the capacity to stir deep-seated memories.Some can produce cold chills or feelings of euphoria.Others can strike fear in the heart or can overwhelm with feelings of warmth and comfort.Still others can transport your mind to a certain place or time deeply hidden within the recesses of your mind.
The sense of smell is a powerful thing.
The mind can conjure up smells from the past as events from days gone by stroll through the mist of daydreams.
If I think hard enough, I can still smell the scent of early spring in my childhood home as the windows were opened and the fresh breeze cleaned the air of winter’s stagnation.
I can smell my grandmother’s house on a lazy Sunday afternoon as the green beans, mashed potatoes and roast beef were prepared in the quaint kitchen my grandfather built with his own hands.
I can smell Christmas morning with all of the trimmings.
I can smell freshly cut grass.
I can smell lilacs in full bloom.
The sense of …

In the Face of Uncertainty

Each and every day we face uncertainty.It is waiting around every corner and hiding in the darkness of every room.We fight it with all of our might.With jaw set and fists clinched, we stress and strain hoping that through our own effort we can turn that uncertainty into certitude making clear all that was once unclear.Only to realize, at the close of another battle with this unseen foe, that this fight is unending.Uncertainty will always be there.Life's edges will always appear hazy and unclear.
Yet, we still crave certainty.Our hearts burn for clarity in life.We long to know exactly what we will face around life's next bend.We want to know that our actions today will positively impact tomorrow's outcome.So, we try to project and plan the unclear and uncertain out of our lives.We pray that their grip on our mind might finally be broken.
In his outstanding book Ruthless Trust, Brennan Manning tells of a man who went to spend three months working with the sick and dying in Cal…

You Shall Be My Witnesses

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What does it mean to be a witness?
That seemingly innocent question led to an in depth conversation Sunday, July 10. 

The following is a brief summary of the conversation.  Please feel free to jump in and add your comments or if you were a part of the conversation, please add or correct what you find here.


What does it mean to be a witness?
It means that you have seen something take place.  You have been a passive participant in an event.  A couple of examples were offered.  The first was witnessing an automobile accident.  You were not involved in the accident in the same manner that the drivers of the other cars were involved, but you were forever attached to the event.
A second example was Moses as he witnessed the burning bush.  At first he only saw what was happening to the bush. "(Moses) looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed" (Exodus 3:2).  He was a witness to what was happening, but was not involved.  He indeed made the decision to get involved, but at…

Fragrant

The flower beckons. Her fragrance tantalizing, An invitation to delight in her beauty. Aroma so sweet, so rich, so complete; Evidence of life in full bloom; Become the air I breath. Fill me. That when not in your presence, Your perfume would linger still. by Brian Shivers

Labyrinth

We tread together Along this circular Path. Our journey Never ceasing.
Walk; kneel Stand; prone Extreme; center Ebb; flow Coming; Going Close; distant Fatigue; rest Death; Life Self; Other Imprisoned; Set free Lost; discovery Lead; follow Anxiety; peace In; out Disjointed; rhythm Confusion; revelation
Meet me in this labyrinth. Teach me to walk; To walk free, Unfettered, In full stride, The stride of life.

by Brian Shivers