Tag Archives: youth

Morning Mist…


A lifetime; that’s how long it took to get to this point.

The aches and breath were laborious.

Nothing felt good other than just the knowing that I was out once again exercising my body in order to retain some sort of muscle tone. The past three weeks have been a blur of moving, back-breaking lifting, sweating, and blood. In fact, we have constantly been moving something from somewhere for most of this year, so the opportunity to find myself running along a clear, flowing mountain river was a blessing in and of itself. Below my path, the water of the Johns River cascaded over rocks, sending a chorus of soft voices upward. Their song touched my soul, and my spirit was renewed.

The sun had yet to rise as I ran in the cloud that encompassed the world around me. Massive oaks towered overhead; sentinels in this part of the small valley that cupped the river into its palm and channeled it along its winding route. Those dark anthems disappeared into the mist appearing as if they might be pillars holding up the sky.

The world was slowly awakening.

Before long, my mind was free of the physicality of my toil as one curve in the road led to another. God’s beauty lay all around. Birds called to one another as the breeze gently swayed branches over the rippling waters that ran beside me. Like in another lifetime, when thoroughbreds would race me along their pristine pastures in Ocala, I now ran with another, one whose flow was even smoother than those gentle beasts. Together, side by side, we traveled; one the essence of life, while the other dependent upon that which flowed.

Sometimes, when my day is done, I can sit upon the rocks and watch the water flow, like the clouds passing overhead. To know there is a purpose in it all would only require one to admit that there is also a God. The incalculable variables that are necessary for one object to depend upon another cannot be fathomed once one begins to try to explain in human terms what this is all about. A lifetime of wasted energy could be spent only to find in the end, the solitude of sitting on the edge of a secluded mountain stream can answer those unending questions. In our youth, we believe there is no end to time, so we go forth without plan or purpose, living for the moment, planning on a whim what tomorrow might bring. As life progresses we realize, sometimes too late, there is a finality, a purpose we must seek. Sadly, many are never afforded that chance to realize that they have fallen short of seeking Him. Those who do choose Christ as their savior, find they have been given the most precious gift of all, thanks to His sacrifice for our sins so that we may have life eternal.

As I wiped the towel across my forehead mopping of the sweat off my brow, there was the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction in knowing that I had started my day on a good note. Steam rose from my coffee mug as I peered thankfully down at the pages of my Bible. The morning sunrise was just beginning to burn through the fog around the porch where I sat, turning the pages into a golden hue.

“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory…”

The Word spoke to me again and once more my life is blessed.

Somewhere off in the distance in the dark woods a dove cooed.

Yes, this would be another beautiful day.

Thanks be to God.



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Filed under Inspirational, Nature

More than a Place…We Need a Cause…

As each day passes, there is an image that is beginning to take form before me. swordofGodSometimes I see it in my dreams, vaguely, shrouded in a mist, hidden from full view. I awaken and it is gone before I can write it down. Yet, day by day, ever so slowly I hear a voice saying, “People need the Trail to be more than just a history lesson, people are looking for a Trail of FAITH!” The letters we receive asking for prayer, the people asking for more than just a history lesson and those who show up at the Trail seeking spiritual guidance. Yes, slowly, I can see the Trail of Faith more than just a place, yes, something more.

Then today, as I drove back once more from Chatham County, I was blessed to hear an interview with a young couple who were literally on the front lines of the war against Satan. They were serving  in Iraq as counselors to children who had been ravaged by the war on ISIS. As they spoke it was clear they were living in the moment of what many, including myself, only feeblly attempt to grasp on Sunday morning, the true meaning of discipleship. In all that they said, they were also very humble in their faith and realized that God was with them, because had He not been, there were many times that they narrowly escaped death. When asked what they needed most, they promptly responded with, “Prayer.” They knew that thousands of prayers lifted up daily were part of the reason they were able to do what they do. Their mission was definitely not without cause. Yes, that was it; the missionary’s whose work gives them a purpose, a Cause.

Then it hit me.

The Trail of Faith is begging to become a Cause of its own, a Mission that people seek today.

Why, how is that possible you ask? Don’t we have to go to third world countries to go on a mission?

Week after week I see the same pattern unfold. The same old church story, the same old routine of attending the place with the same old people, is losing its flavor. The world is turning away and leaving behind its youth, we must find more relevant ways to engage them; they are demanding a cause without knowing it. In order to keep them engaged and away from the distractions, there has to be a concerted effort to pull them into something that they can feel taking shape, something that they can be a part of and something that they can make a difference in the world through. Yes, we have to find a path through which these brilliant minds of our next generation can be more than just good, they have to become brilliant icons of our hope for tomorrow.

There is so much work to do in order to prepare.

One cannot go into battle with a dull sword. One cannot walk into the fray without ammunition, yet if we simply tell them to go and do, they will be shredded by the enemy. Darkness will consume their light before they have started, so we must work diligently to create the next wave of disciples for Christ, an army of evangelizing fanatics who want nothing more than to share the love of Christ across the face of our planet, bringing hope to the downtrodden and those left for emotional dead.

Where do we start?

Just as the Trail of Faith was built for those that could not travel to the valleys to see first-hand the place where the birth of the Church in the Wilderness began, we also have to provide our novice evangelists a place to practice before they go into the greater world. Here at the Trail, we can build more than a base of educated Christians; rather, we can build a host of believers who are empowered to go out and be more than just those who sit within a four-walled institution and wait for their Word to be fed to them each Sunday. We must create those who must feed themselves daily on the bread of life so that they are encouraged to inspire others to do likewise. Through their sharing of the Word at the Trail through the story of the people of the valleys, they will gain confidence. With each step they will become stronger until the boundaries that kept them shackled will be loosed.

Each day God sends opportunities to the Trail and each day, when we don’t engage them, they are lost forever. We have many times prayed over those hurting, those needing healing and those who have found themselves intimately closer to God. You see, we are being pulled to lead and where He goes, we must follow.

Yes, there is much to do, and we can begin now. The enemy will not wait and the longer we delay, the greater the challenge we face. Darkness believes the battle is won, but we have not yet begun to fight. Oh wake up sleeping nation and arise, for the battle is at hand, victory awaits.

There is victory in Jesus, and for that we must all strive to bring into our everyday mantra; to live in Christ, to die in Christ, either way, is gain.

Go forth and prepare, the time is now; we must because, there must be a cause greater than our own and He is the way, the truth, and the light forever more.

 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” – Matthew 28:19-20


Filed under Inspirational, Religion