Talon’s Point of the Day: June 29th, 2018 “Pepper”

Today I say goodbye to some “one” who has been a faithful friend and comforter during some of the darkest periods of my life. The “one” isn’t a person though she was more human than most humans I’ve ever known. She’s my beloved dog “Pepper.”

She entered my life when I was at a rescue center trying to make arrangements for another dog. I had already tried to adopt a boxer that turned out to be dying from distemper. After doing everything possible, even the absurd, to try to keep Nugget alive I was forced to bring her back to be euthanized. It was then that a homeless woman arrived and begged me to take her dog so she wouldn’t have to give her to a place that couldn’t promise they wouldn’t put her down if they couldn’t find a home for her. Watching the despair in the eyes of a woman who was already suffering great hardship I could not turn her pleas away. Pepper was certainly not my choice, but she was God’s and I thank Him for knowing better than I what I would need.

Of course I share many of the same wonderful memories other pet parents do, playing in the yard, days at the beach, watching as she patiently let the babies tug on her ears and tail, or stand on her while she tried to lay in peace and take a nap. One of the great memories will always be the simple routine of coming home after a long day, walking in the door, and being met by a ball of fluff, tail spinning at high speed, excited that I’ve finally come home (in stead of wagging her tail back and forth she would spin it in circles.)

Later, during a period when God, in his mercy, was allowing everything, and I do mean everything, to be stripped away to allow me to see how completely I need Him, she was the one thing He allowed to remain in my immediate life, for awhile. Then, eventually even she would leave me. But through the deep generosity of my Dad and his wife, who would later take Pepper in when I could no longer give her a home, I was blessed to at least keep her from the same fate that the homeless woman feared years before.

I watched over time as she bonded to my dad as her “dad” but nevertheless she would always show me that she was my girl, sometimes heartbreakingly, like when I went to leave and she would try to get out the door to go with me, or just sit there and look at me with those sad, disappointed eyes.

Only God and I know how her love for me, even when I could do little for her, kept me from falling into utter despair. How she would sense my grief and stay close until my spirits would improve, even trying to lick my tears away at times.

Pepper, you were more faithful and compassionate than most humans I’ve ever met, including myself, showing the love that us fallen humans are rarely capable of. Though I cannot prove it, I believe some day when I reach eternity, part of what will make heaven just that, will be a fluffy black lab, tail spinning in circles, excited that I’ve finally come home.

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Talon’s Point of the Day, June 24th, 2018 “Everyone’s Anchor”

There is a realm far more real and powerful than this physical existence. It holds certain rules that cannot be resisted for there is no means to resist this truth; that everyone, every man, every woman, every child, has an anchor they are bound to.

For the one lost in sin it is an anchor that is slowly pulling them under, and sadly most refuse to see it. In fact if they see it at all they think it is freedom from accountability. As such, when they eventually breath their last, they are pulled under by this anchor and enter the deep of eternity without God.

For the true believer in Christ there is also an anchor. Their chains to the sin anchor, broken by God’s grace have been replaced with a new chain and a new anchor. One that slows them and reminds them of their capacity and propensity to drift in their self will. One that keeps them from being swept away during the violent storms that come to us all. One that, if maintained in gratitude keeps them from being pulled away by every wind of doctrine. One, in a great paradox, reminds them that there is no freedom without Christ, without the chain, without the anchor.

May we all search our hearts this day. May we see the anchor we are chained to in it’s true light. For some of us our eternity is at stake.

Talon’s Point of the Day – May 19th, 2018 “Idols of Another Name”

I passed by a car show today and caught a glimpse of all the usual activities, people milling around, owners expounding about something about the vehicle or polishing some spot that’s not perfectly shiny and it struck me.

First let me say I’ve been to a few of these shows and have enjoyed looking at the restored beauties. The work put into their restoration alone can inspire metaphors to the love of God.

Secondly, I’m not about to suggest that owning and sharing a classic car with the public is in itself wrong. However I’m always left oddly sorrowful at some of the aspects of these shows. The pride in riches not the least. There is a distinct danger in my opinion that our material goods can become a source of pride and thereby become our own personal little idols.

I know I’ve touched on this subject before , and likely will again, but if we are not very careful our belongings, whether homes, land, cars, bank accounts, jewelry, clothing, even relationships, can easily become idols of another name.

If you’ve ever gone through a stage of life where it seems God has stripped you of everything be encouraged. Perhaps God wants you to see just how easy you and I can take idols into our live, even our hearts, and not even realize it.

Talon’s Point of the Day is meant to be concise yet thought provoking. If you are impacted feel free to share the point with others, with or without citation.

 

 

 

Talon’s Point of the Day – Easter Sunday 2018 “Don’t Avoid the Intersection”

 

The Cross of Christ is the intersection of necessary judgement and undeserved grace. Those who turn to God here find the path to pure love and eternal life.

Whatever you do don’t live life trying to avoid the intersection.

Talon’s Point of the Day is meant to be concise yet thought provoking. If you are impacted feel free to share the point with others, with or without citation.

Talon’s Point of the Day – Jan. 2nd, 2018 “Walk Anew in 2018”

19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 

Please notice the last sentence Otherwise you also will be cut off. ”  This debate over whether or not we can “lose” salvation is simply unnecessary. The word is clear. Don’t wonder if you can “lose it”. Wonder what results in being “cut off if you don’t “continue in His goodness. (an act of choice) Keep in mind this was written specifically to believers about consequences on believers for rebellion.

As we enter this new year let us walk anew in truth, regardless of whether it is comforting or not. If we “continue in His goodness” we will find comfort in these verses. If we do not, we will find it most uncomfortable, which is exactly what we’ll need to be drawn back to Him in repentance.

Talon’s Point of the Day is meant to be concise yet thought provoking. If you are impacted feel free to share the point with others, with or without citation.

Talon’s Point of the Day – Dec. 6th, 2017 Playing God

It is not he who proclaims God’s precepts who is playing God, but he who denies God’s precepts in favor of his own.

Keep this in mind the next time you hear someone accuse you, or another, of “playing God.”

One more thing….God isn’t playing

Talon’s Point of the Day is meant to be concise yet thought provoking. If you are impacted feel free to share the point with others, with or without citation.

Thanksgiving Prayer – 2016

thanksgiving-pic

As the sun rises on this beautiful day I give you special thanks Lord for all the many blessings you have poured in abundance into my life. Though my body aches with age, everything still works. I pray for those, such as our military veterans, and others, who don’t have all their limbs, for I know they would be grateful to experience my aches.

While my relationships with family are not always perfect, Each family member is truly a gift from you. Many broken families will spend this day with an empty chair at the table, wishing their loved one would, or could, come home, or was alive to be with them. I pray you will comfort them and encourage them that this is not the end of their story, that you have a plan for them even in trial, chaos, or loss.

Though, like most people, I wish I was making more money at work, I have a job where I’m appreciated while millions of people in America alone are pleading with you to help them find work. I pray you will be with them, as you were with me when I was in their shoes. Sustain them as you guide them into the blessings of a new job, and may they be mindful to give you thanks.

You are a wonderful Father, worthy of thanksgiving in famine and in feast. As I set down today to feast I will be careful to remember your blessings, and be thankful, especially for the greatest gift ever given, the gift of your Son, Jesus, the Christ. Amen

Talon’s Point of the Day – Nov. 20th, 2016 Don’t “Give Him Up”

jesus-crucified

To paraphrase the great John R.W.Stot, one of the principle authors of the Lausanne Covenant, from his classic book Cross of the Christ,

Judas gave Jesus up to the Priests (out of greed). The Priests gave Jesus up to Pilate (out of envy). Pilate gave Jesus up to the soldiers to be crucified (out of cowardice), but God, and Jesus himself, gave him up to the Cross out of pure love.

Share him generously, but never give him up.

Talon’s Point of the Day is meant to be concise yet thought provoking. If you are impacted feel free to share the point with others, with or without citation.

The Gospel of a Drowning Boy

bubbles

One afternoon, while he and his family visited an area creek a young boy, about 3 or so years old, with his family nearby, was walking through a very shallow creek. Stretching his sense of independence he’d cautiously take a few steps and stop, look back towards his parents and ciblings who had remained just upstream, then take a few more steps.

Little by little the youngster worked towards what looked like a stone crossing placed nearby that had drawn his attention, every few steps continuing to glance back towards the safety of his parents who where keeping an eye on him while also managing the other children climbing around on nearby rocks and splashing in the cool creek.

As the boy took the last few steps to the crossing, the water skimming smoothly over the stones, he stared into the crystal clear water of a small pool that had formed on the downstream side next to the edge of the creek. Looking for a few moments, the boy considered whether to turn back or to investigate the small pool. Finally the boy decided he would step into the waste deep water to feel the inviting sand he could see resting at the bottom much like the sand he’d enjoyed on visits to the beach. As soon as he investigates the pool he’d return to his family to tell them about his discovery.

Stepping in he immediately found himself submerged well over his head with the force of the incoming water quickly thrusting him to the bottom. Confusion rushed through his mind. How could the water that appeared so shallow be so deep? How would he get out of this hole? Could he climb the beautifully green plant growing from the sandy bottom up to the surface? How long could he hold his breath since he hadn’t take a breath when he stepped into that “shallow” hole?

Could he climb up the wall? He looked at the wall of what wasn’t a crossing, but an old stone dam that had completely filled with material on the upstream side, and even on the downstream side, except for what was suddendly apparent was a narrow wattery pit. Reaching out he felt the slippery stones. He knew there was no way to climb the wall. He turned toward the creekside. It was shear smooth rock. The plant was clearly too spindly to climb and looked like he could just get tangled in it. Turning downstream it too looked too steep to climb. Confusion quickly turned to fear. The only option was to try to swim up. The problem is the boy could not swim. He’d have to jump towards safety.

Jumping he rose a little more than midway. He’d have to try something different. Bending his knees low he again jumped towards the surface with all his might, this time reaching high enough for his hands to break the surface of the water, only to be thrust back down by the flow. Again he tried. Again he failed. Fear gave way to terror. One more try, once again only to reach high enough to splash a little. Becoming weaker and his lungs screaming for oxygen, he sank to the bottom.

Mustering all his remaining strength he lunged once more towards the glistening sheen where water meets air. This time he couldn’t reach above the surface. One last try ending in one more failure to even touch the surface. His heart sank as fast as his body. Swallowing hard the spent air now begging to be released he knew he no longer had the energy to keep trying. He knew he truly had no hope of saving himself.

There for a moment he stood looking towards the air just above him. So close, yet as far away as the sun from the earth. Looking down towards his feet he took in the reality as one much older. He was mortally trapped and he knew it. Feeling his warm tears mix with the cool water he again turned his gaze to the heavens, his salvation just beyond his reach, yet far beyond his strength. Remembering what his mother had taught him about God he resigned himself to facing death. As the sun’s rays, like heavenly arms, reached through the shadows of the plant waving in the current, he reached towards God, raising his hands as children often do when they want their parents to pick them up in their loving arms. Knowing in his heart that God would do the rest, he prepared himself to breath death in.

It was at this moment that he saw the face of his mother, vailed in shadow, looking down at him. Joy now burst from his re-energized heart as the spent air burst from his weary lungs. Having realized that the splashing boy wasn’t being playful, his mother had ran to the “crossing’s” edge just in time. As she would tell him later in life, she too was shocked at the water’s actual depth when she jumped in and feared drowning as she worked to save both him and herself.

 

We enter life with curious hearts, seeking adventures great and small that we sometimes don’t properly appreciate the dangers of. Sin can seem like such a shallow thing. We step into it often without obvious consequence, until suddenly the force and weight of it pins us in a deadly pit with the realization of having no hope of saving ourselves. Yet hope does exist, just beyond our mortal reach, but not beyond God’s immortal.

Our only hope is found when we open our spiritual eyes, look to the heavens, and reach to the Father who lovingly sent his son Jesus ahead of time. Jesus is right there, at the edge of the pit, already reaching down to pull us to safety if we’ll only reach back.

 

By the way, this story is true. It was written by that once young boy who, now grateful to God for the event, found himself at the bottom of a watery pit.

 

 

Talon’s Point of the Day – Oct 20th, 2016 Sign of Love

If longing to be with someone until it hurts in our heart is a sign we love them then what does it say about us if we call ourselves Christians but do not long to be with our Savior?

Talon’s Point of the Day is meant to be concise yet thought provoking. If you are impacted feel free to share the point with others, with or without citation.