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In the still of the night, the word “Serendipity” came to me. There was no reason for the thought. There had not been any text that I had recently read that included the term. My first inclination was to write it down lest I forget. Unfortunately, I had not placed my journal by the bedside before going to sleep. Assuring myself that it would not leave me, I turned over and went back to sleep.

Of course, when morning came, the expression was gone in the midst, like the vapor of a dream.

Silently, the car made its way up the mountain. The turns in the bends, the fog, and the words of scripture which passed through my lips brought comfort in this predawn hour. Forgetting the day, the course of life, only the moment therein was alive. Suddenly, like a flash of light from the distant horizon, the word returned, “Serendipity!” Putting it in my waking consciousness, I vowed to retain it long enough to get it down on paper – and more importantly, to see what it meant.


the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

“a fortunate stroke of serendipity.”

Sunday Morning, Collettsville General Store

After reading the meaning, the definition didn’t sit well with my soul. A word within its meaning caused me to wince – “chance.” When we walk in faith, when our journey is fully directed by God, there is no chance. It was here, again as a moment paused in time, that the walk to church last Sunday came to mind.

Rounding the bend in the road, there was the continued reminder of mortality. Someone at some point dumped off a deer carcass in the bushes. Time and weather had aged the remains into a stark, ivory remnant that stood out amongst the gray of winter’s last vestiges. It was not the first time I had seen it. Yet, it remained as a tale of life gone on before, the morbidity of the season – bone against a dreary backdrop of one’s demise.

The thoughts of the journey my life had become began to emanate from those bones, as a subtle suggestion of that likewise, time would end for us all – some sooner than later. Yet, there was the continued push to learn, absorb, and become more than I once was. The season of growth had not just begun but had continued since the long journey began, now six years long.

My eye caught the rushing waters of the river and how they pulsated against the rocks, flowing ever more furious downstream, never stopping, never yielding. As my way continued, my direction was upstream, against the river’s current along which I walked. “So much like the life I live,” were the thoughts that seemed to flow into my head. How much easier my life could be if it weren’t constantly going against the tide. Yet, to serve as I have been called to do, there is no time to waste. There is an impetus to strive for that next hill of knowledge, to seek the wisdom that cometh from God only.

These are the times in which my life’s journey has become.

Then there is the comparison of the natural world, the secularism of man, pursuing itself – washing the multitude of humanity with it downstream to the ocean. We who seek God go against this current. Some can barely stand firm without being washed away, like those rocks wherein the water below crashes violently against. As long as they remain, the water, the worldly current complains in the tempest of thrashing white water. Some give way and are tumbled along, not happy with their displacement, eventually finding footing once more to continue their stance, while others never find a way to resist and are washed away with the multitude.

As my path found its way to the porch of the Collettsville General Store, I discovered that my arrival was greeted by a lonely Blue-Tick Hound, likely a hunting dog that had been lost in the night. He welcomed me as if this was his home and treated me to a gratifying pat upon his neck. Soon, we found ourselves sitting side-by-side on that familiar spot. Once before, two dogs, Barney and Otis, had likewise provided companionship when there was none other. As we sat, watching that tide of humanity rush by, like those frantic waters of the John’s River flowing behind us, we sought the peace of God about us.

Once more, the word pursed its impression upon this reflected scene – “Serendipity.”

May you find the peace of the Lord today, no matter how small the token. Embrace what God hath provided and pause for a moment, giving thanks. As my late father would say of moments like these, “The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and the grass is green. What else could be better?”

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you…” – John 14:27

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The Work of Our Hands…

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands
.”-Psalms 90:17

The hands are worn and strewn with scars of toil. Yet, there is no remorse, no pity to have bestowed upon thy servant, for the struggle through which he now slaves is but a mere pittance when compared to what is in store for him on that final day. Before him, the makings of a building begin to take shape. To some, it will be just a shelter, a place out of the way, but to the weary of heart, it will be a refuge from the storm. In his heart, God has spoken, telling him that from this place His work shall be done.

For nearly four years, there has been no rest. Wave after wave of tribulation has poured over his bow. His decision to leave everything behind to serve the Lord was complete. There was no turning back. Those in the secular realm scoffed behind his back, saying it would never last. At times he thought his vessel might be capsized, but each time, there was a way out, God’s grace shown upon his journey. There were dark days so bleak that the only hope of his salvation and life eternal were all that kept him going. Illness crept in, dragging him down further until there was but a thin thread of silver lining around that dark cloud which seemed to never go away; God’s mercy was always there.

He was never alone. There was always a presence, angels unaware if you will; those who kept watch over him and his family, day and night. Many prayed on behalf of him and his family. When prayers were lifted up, there was always a reply, all in God’s time.

Day after day, he kept swimming to that far distant shore, never giving in, never surrendering to the forces that tried to pull him under. His purpose had yet to be fulfilled. His legs never ceasing to kick against the current, he kept paddling on. As the Apostle Paul would write, “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”

The sweltering heat beat down like a heavy woolen blanket, nearly suffocating each breath. His arm would swell from the heavy twelve-inch block, but he would not be undone. His fingertips would break open and bleed from the rough cinder block surfaces; yet, he would not cease. Stone after stone, the foundation walls began to take shape. Like the steps we take each day in our walk of faith, we build one upon the next. If we build our faith upon a solid rock foundation, we can rest assured the storms of life will not wash it away. If our faith be true, we never falter. It is so easy to give up and turn back, but we must not be discouraged. We work for no human masters; no terrestrial beings will loom over us in eternity. Yes, it is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ we serve.

 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,  since you  know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”                                – Colossians 3:23-24

Although he labors, he knows that it is not an end to the means. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”-Eph. 2:8-9 No, he is not working his way to heaven; rather, this work is necessary to create a space in which his future endeavors will be serving God. It will become a place that will serve as a spiritual retreat, his prayer closet, his mountaintop repose. From here, the gifts of which God has bestowed upon him shall then once again begin to shine as in days of old.

Once we dive into that river we must cross, we die to our former selves. Leaving everything behind sometimes means giving up those things that might have been chains keeping us tied to sin. They might have seemed well and good from the outside, but within, we were slaves to their bondage. Once we reach that distant shore, we now can see how they were misguided. Now with eyes anew, we can see how those blessings might be better used to serve our Master and to show others the pathway to Christ.

Yes, this is a labor of love; love to his Lord and Savior.

We all have a purpose for which we know not. We must strive to reach that distant shore no matter when or where we begin in life. We must never lose focus of who and what we’ve become when we receive our salvation. We must always be mindful. Others are watching, and for perhaps a brief moment, we might be the light that leads them to their own transformation into Christianity, to receive Christ in their life; of this, we can only hope and pray.

How sweet are the words of which Paul wrote in his final days to Timothy, his faithful brother in Christ, “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”-2 Timothy 4:6-8

Yes, there is a crown of glory awaiting all who seek Him.

We will continue our toil, no matter the consequence until that fateful day when we finally are welcomed into those pearly gates with the words, “Welcome good and faithful servant. Well done my son, well done.

Thanks be to God.

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