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Archive for January, 2011


Have you ever wondered why there’s darkness every day? A day is a microcosm of life. And some season’s nights are longer than others. But every day contains a night. 


Nights tell us it’s time to get some rest.

Truly, life is exactly like that. There are seasons of night. Again, some longer than others. It is in the midst of the night that one of life’s leading ironies breaks forth like a brilliant sunrise: It’s time to put worries to bed. 

Have you ever fought off sleep and you’re not quite sure why. Just like a little child. Maybe you were lonely and the mattress would make it worse. Or maybe you’re exhausted, but you just can’t let go of hurt, worry, sorrow, regret… you fill in the blank. So you stay up, piddle the time away and LOSE the very thing the night is for: rest. 

We think it’s there to be dark and gloomy. Yet, it’s a goldmine if you let it be. 

I remember when I was in sales and the slow times (dark nights) were driving me crazy, making me wonder how I would pay the bills or worse yet… WOULD THIS BE IT as in I’LL LOSE MY JOB AND BE OUT ON THE STREET AND… again you fill in the blank. Our imaginations go wild and fear takes grip and the darkness of our souls becomes a real nightmare.

I’m not sure I’ll ever get this irony down, but I’m hoping this helps someone other than myself. When darkness comes, do what wrestlers call the “reverse.” Pin it. Use the dark, a natural un-light time for your eyes. Get some rest. Like the cute and corny little sign next to my night table says, “Before you go to bed, give your worries to God. He’s up anyway.”

Use the very hardest times in your life to throw your cares upon Him. And get a great pillow. See you when the sun rises.

Here’s a song that took God decades to write on my soul…


DAY
NEVER LOSES TO NIGHT

 

Every
day contains some night

A divine
arrangement for life’s tests

When
the wise close their eyes

relinquishing their sighs and get some rest

CHORUS:

I’ve
never seen day lose to the night

The
sun has his way, beating away fright

When
evening rolls around

We’re
tucked safely into Your light


What
is it about the moon

Like
a guard at the palace of a king

Reflects
the sun so we won’t forget

The
morning will give reason to sing

LONG BRIDGE:

There
are times that seem so long

Like
nights when clocks tick slow

But
a sunrise of such season

Will
break through and we’ll know

There
was a reason as the new light will show

Epilogue:

There
will be a night that demands my life to end

But
the sunrise of my soul will be just around the bend

FINAL CHORUS:

I’ve never seen day lose to the night

The sun has his way, beating away fright

When death rolls around

I’ll be safe in heaven’s light

Copyright, 2011, Robert J. LaCosta

All rights reserved.


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A couple of deer stopped by for a visit under my flagpole today. Not the greatest day for foraging.

The snow is over a foot deep and is topped by an icy crust that makes the deer’s feet break through occasionally. They have to go slow. This frozen layer has left more than one our turkeys with limps.
For those who are foraging life right now, it may seem slow. Like these deer, you have to watch watch where and how you walk. If you go too fast, you may end up with a limp that makes the cold season even tougher to navigate, or worse yet, jeopardize your ability to scavenge anything and set you on a harsh course to peril.
I always wonder how these animals survive in below-zero temperatures. Very carefully, that’s how. A low hanging evergreen provides just enough before they move on to the next tree or bush. I’ve walked out there. There are very few chilled berries on the bushes. It’s slim pickins’. 
So if you find yourself in the middle of a tundra-esque  economy, relationship, illness, career or whatever, you may want to observe some animals to see if you can pick up some lessons on how to survive in the dead of winter. 
There’s a famous painting of George Washington in the frigid snow of Valley Forge. He’s on one knee. Praying AND foraging seem to win the war.

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It was Christmastime. I was in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, home of the Norman Rockwell museum and the site of his famous downtown Christmas scene. The most delightful ladies’ choir sang about the birth of Christ through their Christmas carols in the lobby of the historic Red Lion Inn.

Then it started happening…gradually. An SUV pulled out to let us grab a coveted parking space across from the first stop on our Christmas Inns’ tour. That’s when I noticed a really nice leather glove on the street. I tried to wave the driver down as she made her U-turn, but I couldn’t get her attention. I thought I might see her at some future stop on the tour. 
Later that afternoon, we were in a tourist shop, and two gloves lay on the floor. I picked them up and brought them to the counter, hoping someone would reclaim them.
Toward the close of our day, I went to pay for a talking giraffe at a toy store in nearby Lenox, Mass. On the front of the counter lay a thick withdrawal bank envelope containing close to two thousand dollars. I gave it to the store owner, trusting that, even if the brokenhearted shopper couldn’t figure out where they had left it, the withdrawal slip on the inside might help the store owner locate them. 
As I returned home, I realized I still had the original glove. I had no guarantee that anyone retrieved those two tourist-shop gloves and I got-to-thinkin’ about the hefty stash that I entrusted with the store owner. 
I could have made a greater effort to follow the SUV and personally hand over the glove to the woman. In the second case, I could have asked some of the store patrons and been a bit more proactive. Certainly, I knee-jerked in the third case, never even bothering to copy down the deposit slip to make sure that their Christmas savings got back to them.
God is not like that. At the very heart of Christmas is a passionate message about the extent that God will go to in order to return what was lost. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
No wonder Rockwell couldn’t resist Christmas themes. No wonder the ladies’ choir sang so joyously. God redeeming man; as warm and fitting as a hand in a glove.

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While I am a positive person, I’m not a literal positive-thinker in the Norman Vincent Peale sense. For one, a lot of bad and tough things do happen. For another, by nature, I think of the “what-ifs” in life. And lastly, at times, like all six billion people on the planet, I have to eliminate ‘stinkin’ thinkin’ in the spiritual bathrooms of life. 

But then there’s being a “God-thinker.” That’s different from positive-thinking which sometimes borders on denial.
What happened to me this morning brought me back to being a God-thinker. Through some disheartening experiences last night, I went to bed on New Year’s with some mild depression. Not a good start for the new year and decade. Sort of like fumbling the ball on the first play of the game.
But at nearly 1 in the morning, I turned to a station that was playing the “best of” shows from this past year. It was on victims of depression who had turned into victors OVER depression through the power of God’s love. And this included a double amputee who lost her legs from lying in front of a 35-car freight train. She smiled all through her gruesome story as she related God’s love and His rescue of her ‘stinkin’ thinkin.’
I went to bed thinking that God cared enough for me to make me watch a show I had never seen at an hour that I’m never up on a rare night of depression for me.
Upon waking up, I went to finish watching a message from yesterday by a Christian tele-teacher. I opened my electronic journal to take notes. I had never done that before in my life. To make the coincidence even more exciting, I ALWAYS start a new journal each January 1 and I forgot – so the notes went right after my last entry (more on that later).
The speaker spoke on “Seeing Your Set Time” and how there is a set time for dreams/visions that God puts in our hearts; as if the dream is on God’s calendar for a set time. Waiting for some dreams was exactly what had put me in a discouraging funk lately. Then, a part of his message mentioned a person who worked at a motion picture studio who had to put off her dream of making movies to become a part-time receptionist there, only to be promoted to vice president because she did a good job for seven years at her lowly position. (I have a movie that I’ve written that hasn’t moved as fast as I’d like.) But the most amazing “coincidence” was that, in my last journal entry from two weeks earlier, I felt God say the following: “You are not far off. Do not put things on your timeline. I AM directing your life and its time line.”
As all this was happening, a remarkable sunrise occurred and I realized that it was New Year’s Day, which is symbolic of time itself. Just another coincidence? We used to call them “Godincidences.” 
The reassurance that I’m on track is exciting. The new day, the new year and the new decade are just a shadow compared with my new attitude; my God-thinking. There was even a set time for this teaching on “Set Time.” Some set-up.

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