Tag Archives: inspiration

Don’t Fall in the Ditch

 

There is something peaceful about a good night’s sleep. As we age, those precious occasions seem to grow less frequent. Last night was one of those rare opportunities to catch up on much-needed rest.

This morning, the temptation was there to rush off to the coffee shop to hang out and write. But knowing that it would cut into my morning devotion time and the fact that the last time I went there early on a Friday, a men’s group was just finishing – too large for the tiny establishment. When they concluded it was like a beehive had been struck, the fiery sound of a myriad of discussions ensued, overflowing the peace and calm, killing the intended mood and ambiance for which the location was sought. Agreeable to why they met, it was still a distraction that couldn’t be avoided.

So, withstanding the above encounter, I chose to remain at home this morning and sit listening to my preferred music while typing out these few lines. At least here, I’m saving time and money and still accomplishing some semblance of study and devotion.

One must ask, for if we do not, are we not guilty of assuming we are correct – am I doing all that is possible to draw closer to God? The scripture in Luke 6 warns of such assumptions, “And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?” Writing out the devotion, there were certain people I had in mind – those who could truly use those words spoken by our Lord and Savior. Yet, as I now write, it seems that the scripture found in Luke pertains ever more to myself in the aforementioned sense. How shall one be able to lead others if they have not done their homework, so to speak? Are we not susceptible to falling into the ditch, into temptation, into sin when we ourselves have not committed our lives, our every breath to seeking God? It is when we can look in the mirror and make the feeble determination, based on what we have learned to lean not on our own understanding but His that we then can be bold enough, when realizing if we are open to allowing Christ to work in us, then it will be Him that speaks through us. In this final realization, we become those who can guide others, not because of anything we do ourselves, but because He works in and through us. We are His vessels. We are the new temple; through that jar of clay, the Holy Spirit will shine through, speaking life into the dark world.

Do your homework, but don’t hide behind closed doors. Boldly go out into the world and be the light for someone in this dark world, sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Thanks be to God.

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The Roof is Finally Done

Outside the sounds of the gurgling brook waft up the moss-laden wood-scape. Inside, surrounded by bare wood walls, it has begun; the inspirational retreat.

In true Tron fashion, before the building is yet finished, the first remnants of a writing desk took shape in the form of two sawhorses and a sheet of plywood. The overcast sky made for a cool, refreshing atmosphere, a welcome respite from the abundant heat we had sweltering these last few days of summer. Even here in the mountains, the dog days of summer can linger even into September. As the muted sunlight filtered through windowless walls, God’s inspiration began to flow through my fingertips and onto the keyboard. The first story written within the walls of the Spiritual Retreat was simply called, “Wisdom from a Tree.” It was only fitting, and definitely not intended, as a title seeing as the very trees cut down for the building site now exist as part of the structure under which I sat.

Many friends and followers had asked last week if I had finished the roof. My initial plan had been to take a picture when finished and post it to one of the social media sites, but alas, there was no good camera angle to do it justice; thus, there was no “Aha” moment, that the roof was completed. This morning the inspiration arrived in the form of a tree, and so, in the course of the day it only seemed befitting to settle into the safety of the new shelter to begin doing within for what it was intended; serving the Lord.

There is a gentle peace about this dwelling.

There are no doors or windows to keep the insects at bay. Mosquitos and gnats flutter to and fro in front of the computer screen. Bugs spray glistens from my forearms. The smell of fresh cut lumber fills the air. There is still lots of construction to be done before the glow of the fireplace flickers off the stonework surrounding it, but in my mind, I’m almost there. His Spirit is with me even now.

One can seek solace in many places throughout this world, but eventually, there must be a base from which all of who you are flows. At last, for now, it feels like this is my earthly home.

Thanks be to God.

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A Silver Lining…

A Silver Lining

by Timothy W. Tron

But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”-Psalm 37:11

For all that we do, we should seek to share the light within, so that someday we may stand before our creator and answer to what we did with our purpose in life. Somedays there are never-ending, uphill battles. We find ourselves consumed by seeming floods of overwhelming tasks, lists that are never completed, or papers that didn’t get graded. And then one day, out of nowhere, there comes that still small voice with a heart of gold that speaks to you, melting away everything else that has gone on before until it is the barest of essence, the beauty of the truth before you. It is in that instance, you realize God had placed you where you need to be.

It had been the end of a long week. Exams had finally taken place after countless delays due to inclement weather. As my footsteps took me back to my classroom, my mind was still reflecting on the unexpected witnessing that had just transpired. It was another memory for another line of keepsakes to collect, to place upon that shelf of life’s precious moments we someday will take down and hold carefully in the palms of our hands, turning over and over, exploring all the grace it had to offer. Nearing my classroom door, I realized my students had yet to be released after having taken their final exam. They instantly saw me and began telling me how each of them felt they did on the test. We were all relieved to have it over. Before we could finish saying goodbye, the bell rang and the instinct to flee set in. Before I knew it, the room had been fully evacuated save for a few stragglers. We said brief goodbyes, as my focus was on their last assignment to be turned in, one that I had futility reminded them as they barged for the exits, “Don’t forget to turn in your Dragon Flippers.” Part of our final review was a project we called, Dragon Flippers. Each student was given a chance to earn extra credit points toward their grade by completing the flip-page style folder, where we had the theme of the dreaded Math Dragon as part of the cover. The rubric required the cover of the review packet to have the image of a dragon and the words, “Math 2”. The artwork alone was the largest part of the points of the rubric, allowing my more artistic students a chance to finally shine.

Staring down at the small pile, it was obvious many of them hadn’t taken advantage of the opportunity to add more points this semester. There had been that long delay between when we started the review, and many had told me they had literally lost their packet. Yet, the ones that were in my “Turn-in” box were encouraging. Picking them up, it was then I realized I was not alone. Looking up ever so slightly out of the corner of my eye I noticed one last student who had remained behind. My eyes, still looking down at the completed projects in my own hand, followed their image to another one, but in the young man’s hands who now stood next to me.

“Oh, hello,” I said to him, a little surprised at him still being here. He had been one of the bright students from my fourth block class. He often would lag behind the others, never in a hurry, always with a pleasant goodbye. He was one of those whom we always think of when we speak of the ones that can make your day. The hallway was now that empty calm that follows the evacuation of students from school.

“I hope you did well on the exam?”

“Yes, Mr. Tron,” his hands were nervously holding his Dragon Flipper, “me too.” He smiled, looking down at what he held. He then presented his project to me and continued. His demeanor did not depict a sense of joy. There was a troubling mood that seemed to be covering something he wanted to say but was unsure of how to say it out loud. Before I could ask if something were wrong he quietly said it a serious tone, “I wanted to write you a letter, but I didn’t get time.” He handed over the work. Before me was the image of a young man standing with his back to you, looking into a mirror on a dresser before him. In the reflection of the mirror was the picture of the dragon, cleverly drawn looking back at the boy. His artwork was exceptional. As I admired his skill, he continued.

“I wanted to tell you what this meant,” he said, nodding toward the piece of work now in my hands. “You see, you taught me a lot more than math in your class this semester. I learned about life and about myself.”

At that moment, the sounds outside my room diminished to nothing. The world around us seemed to stand still. My eyesight found his staring back at me. As I fought back the rising surge of emotion in my throat he continued, “I followed your writings outside of class and was inspired by all that you said. You helped me understand that I was living not like I should and that the dragon was me.”

Inside, my heart was pounding. I could hear the words he said, but it didn’t make sense. Before me stood the meekest, quietest student, I had ever taught. He worked hard and only spoke up in class when he had questions. His work was never late, and he nearly had an A before he took the final exam, so how could anyone so seemingly perfect on the outside struggle so within? It didn’t add up. At some point, I had handed the packet back to him to explain. He then opened the cover and began to show me how and why. There before me at the top of the page, my eyes instantly fell upon the Bible verse, “Ephesians 6:10-18

Can this get any more precious,” were the thoughts that raced through my head?

“You see, the dragon was me, and I had to learn how to control the beast within.”

In complete awe, my eyes took in the beautiful artwork the young man had carefully created.

There drawn as the rubric had asked, were the various armaments described in the scripture passage of Ephesians, “The breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, the sword of the Word (or Spirit as he had written), and the belt of truth.” To him, these were all the implements of war that he had used to rage against the demon within his own being. Through my tear-rimmed eyes, he shared with me the remainder of the project. There was little I could add, nor could say at the moment, so choked up was I with compassion for the young man. In many respects, he was me at his age; yet, he seemed so much more advanced and in control of his destiny than I had been. The questions still poured out of my head faster than I could grasp.

“I also wanted to tell you goodbye. I will not be returning to school next semester. My family will be leaving the area, so this will be the last time I see you.”

I was speechless. The dragon within, the scripture of Ephesians, he had been inspired beyond my classroom; it was all so much to take in. I could feel the hand of God upon us both at that moment.

The meek surely shall inherit the earth, for peace is upon his soul,” came the words to my mind.

Through my choked voice, all I could squeak out was, “You’ll have to stay in touch, you’ll just have to stay in touch.”

He pulled his backpack closer around his shoulders, then reached out his hand. We shook goodbye, and he walked out the door of room 3212 for the last time. With him, my prayers followed.

My mind was numb with the grace of God.

In teaching, we yearn for those, too few, precious moments when it has all come to fruition; those tender scenes when we receive thanks in ways we had never imagined. Knowing that as with any position of servitude, we aren’t here for the monetary gains. With each day that passes, we seek to find that cloud with the silver lining in a world of ever-increasing clouds.

Somedays, we find that perfect cloud, and like those fleeing images above, for a moment we find God’s grace among us.

In all that we do, may we continue to give God thanks.

Thanks be to God.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
”-Ephesians 6:13-19

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Mission to R.I.D.E.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” -Matthew 7:7-8

After leaving a friend’s home recently after having dinner with them, we had discussed the possibility of my joining a mission team to the Waldensian Valleys located in the northwest corner of Italy. I was overwhelmed with a sense of purpose once again. This was not to be misconstrued with my everyday purpose in life; standing before the next generation and doing my best to implore before them the necessary morals and standards to base their lives upon, albeit through the discourse of Mathematics. No, this sense of purpose was of a higher power, from God. To be more specific, it was the answer to my question I had asked Him in the recent past. “When you are ready for me to go, let me know,” was my question to God about going to the Waldensian Valleys. Suddenly, out of the blue, He has called for me to go. However, as before, the human nature of my mind wants to step in the way, especially when the question of funds arises. I know deep in my heart that if it is meant to be, then there won’t be any doubt, regardless of funds or no funds. So after leaving their house, I purposely asked in prayer that if He truly wanted me to go, to speak to me directly. The next morning, Matthew 7:7-8 was waiting for me in my daily scripture reading, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find…”

Yes,” he had answered.

On our way home, before the prayer, the thought of “how” nagged at me in the back of my mind. Suddenly, the idea of the “GoFundMe” project came to me. Would it work? Would I have a purpose needful enough to spark the imagination of other enough for them to donate to my cause? Deep in my soul, there is a voice speaking to me that tells me once my feet land upon that soil of those ancient martyrs, my life will never be the same. Like the Englishmen, Charles Beckwith, who would eventually relocated to the valleys to serve,  I know beforehand the potential impact that standing in places that heretofore I could only imagine, would be cause for great joy and weeping, simultaneously. Tour after tour at the Trail of Faith, I shared with those who could not go, like myself.  God again and again, spoke through me and allowed me to bring the Trail of Faith, which was modeled after the original monuments and historic buildings of the valleys, to come alive. Many visitors, and myself,  were often moved by the Holy Spirit. Now, to go to the very place where my heart was preparing for not only those guests but for my own testimony, would be a mission of more than just self-inspiration and revitalization. There is the hope that in this journey, there will be an evangelistic fire that will erupt from which many will be touched. How, where, and by what means this will happen I can only conjecture at this point.

To try to explain the nature of this mission in one word is not possible. Brother Barry exclaimed that it was many things in one, and thus was born the acronym, R.I.D.E. (R-Research, I-Inspiration, D-Devotional, E-Education). As God prepares my heart and mind for what is to come, there are also those miracles that one cannot predict, only God is capable of knowing. So it goes, with what little I can predict, the RIDE will by His will become reality.

In all of this, there is so much that I have already learned. Learning to receive was and continues to be for me one of the most difficult attributes to practice. “Ask and ye shall receive, knock and the door will be opened…”; easier said than done. But when one thinks on this as God’s will, there is no hesitation to knock nor ask.

Another night I wearily prepare for much-needed rest, and another night, I lift up this need to God in prayer and ask that if it is to be. If that comes through GoFundMe, then so be it. However it happens, I can peacefully rest assure that it is in His hands.

Thanks be to God.

If you would like to help fund this mission project, please click here, Mission to R.I.D.E. and Thank You in advance.

Video Presentation

 

 

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Catching Up…

So much time, so many pages…

In order to try to catch back up on my lapse in blogging, I’m going to post my journal entries for several of the past few weeks. These will include drawings, random thoughts and observations of my daily life.

May you find humor, comfort and joy in all that transpires.

June132014JournalEntry

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