Tag Archives: God

The Beginning and the End

The Lord said, “I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”
But I sit here thinking on and longing for the good ole days, the past.
 
Where does faith go when we think too much, and get caught up in the pace of society?
Information comes and goes so fast that we barely hold on, so we search again just to see.
 
I am a man in awesome wonder, at times life gets in and my mind slips into constant wander.
Praying just enough to keep from freezing solid from mental strain, opportunities I squander.
 
Where’s my trust…”whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord…”
So many things converge at the same time, have I walked when I should have soared?
 
I look into four fresh, young, bright eyes and I wonder if I am worthy of their care.
In these times we can know all about the places we go, having never even been there.
 
In the days of my youth time marched along but with it came a pace, the days, our own.
Now news travels faster than the facts themselves, we fear things we should’ve never known.
 
“Submit to God and be at peace with Him…” for its here you’ll find there’s always a friend.
In the darkness, there is light, He’s got this, for “He is the beginning and the end.”
 
The earth spins; light glows and fades, here on earth only man creates the absence of light.
No matter the corner we’ve backed into there’s always two choices, one which is right.
 
Commotion bellows all around me, I find solace in this little space between me and these keys.
I know God is listening, for when I wander; I’m reminded of His splendor evident in the breeze.
 
I give my troubles to Him …”for vain is the help of man”…I on my own can only descend.
“Through God we shall do valiantly…”and only He holds all, “the beginning and the end.”

 

 

2 Corinthians 5:6

Job 22:21

Psalms 60:11-12

Revelation 22:13

 

Remembering, God’s plan – A tribute to Dennis Traynor and his family

It’s been two years. But in some ways I am sure it feels like no time has passed, yet, in other ways it may seem like decades have run past. This morning, I awake with both the Traynor’s and my brother’s family on my mind. I share this again, in remembrance and in tribute to Dennis. Time passes, and supposedly heals all wounds, but still there lies a void where a man once walked among our lives. He’s still better off than he was here, and as a man, I know his legacy would matter to him, while it doesn’t replace him, it speaks volumes of his life and all he left here. There are many traces of him here, and plenty of people who will never forget the man.

 

I sit here with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes, as I cannot seem to make myself move a muscle. This is another tribute piece, not much different from one I wrote just weeks ago. Some of this is unchanged as truths and observations needn’t be corrected or updated here. That said, this is specifically and uniquely a tribute to the life of Dennis Traynor. He was taken from us all before we would have been ready to let him go. It was after 10pm when the phone rang. It was my mom. No offense mom, but those late night calls are never good ones. I am glad she called though. The news; my youngest brother Pete just lost his father-in-law, of course this means Pete’s sweetheart wife Louise lost her dad. Their four boys, age ten and younger, have to hear their mom and dad tell them about their grandfather. My heart sinks for those Mr. Dennis Traynor left behind.

I started thinking about the last few hours or so. I started thinking about the afternoon into this evening and where my thoughts and actions took me. It’s hard to comprehend sometimes how much is happening in every second of every day. The dark sky and torrents of rain reminded me that God is All Powerful and there’s nothing we can do it about it. As it should be. I ventured out after dinner to get my son to hockey practice. We left the house and I thought about caution as we drove through the pouring rain in the dark. At that same time, God, the Creator of the power unleashed from the heavens, was sharing a part of His plan for this still young father and grandfather, and his family. Maybe the night sky was emptying itself, a cleansing of sorts, to bring another of God’s children home.

I have often thought that God has a unique way of allowing certain things to happen, or at least to be noticeable to us, at the right time so we can create our own way of coping with events bigger than us. For example, I remember when my grandfather died. He was a great man of God, a preacher, teacher, reciter of the scriptures, he had a Christian book store, he had preached on the radio, and lived his life for God. I remember the morning of his service, the day he was to be buried, a light, pure, white snow fell, just enough to cover everything in a beautiful untouched blanket of white. I remember saying to my parents that God had given the ground a purifying coat of clean for my grandfather’s body to be put to rest one final time. I don’t know how this relates or if it does at all but I know I won’t soon forget that my attention was so-called to the heavens yesterday as God’s power washed over the northeast.

There’s a plan for all of this. God’s plan. Two words that make many want to turn and run the other way, God’s plan, because it usually means something that us imperfect humans don’t understand, or don’t want to deal with. Whatever the reaction is, it doesn’t change the plan. When I was younger I fought the plan, I am sure I did. I also didn’t always understand how or why things so terrible could happen to people as part of God’s plan. I am certainly not going to pretend to know or understand all these things now either. I do know that almost always, we are a part of a plan that is much bigger than it appears on the surface.

I know it’s hard to look at this situation and see anything positive. It’s all part of the plan. God’s plan. Time will tell how the plan unfolds. Even though it’s God’s plan, we are to be present and participating in His plan. I am in no way trying to down play any of this; this is a serious matter. There’s a message in most everything and I am willing to bet there’s even more of a wonderful message here as well. Think of the things you have heard, the things you have read, the things you have seen yourself, the life you may have been a part of first hand, all those things are a message of Dennis’ life. While many stood and watched, or waited to be led, Dennis was doing, Dennis was leading. He was the straw that stirs the drink for his family and those who knew him. Personally, I am honored that I knew him. I am so glad I got to spend some time with him and talk to him at Pete and Louise’s house back in October. I am sure it’s virtually unthinkable that the family will go on without him. Often times through the most unthinkable loss or sacrifice comes the greatest gift or the most amazing victory.

Please don’t think that this is over when the news stops running or the stories stop circulating. You and I may be a part of the plan. Anyone of us could be instrumental. The Traynor family is and will be feeling like there’s a void in a place where there once was a rock. So, our words, our actions, just might be the right thing at the right time for the one who needs that spoken word or the example they were looking for. Foundations are paramount for a sound structure as the scriptures tell us. This family just lost a major portion of their foundation and we might need to help hold up the structure for a time. Really it’s always supposed to be that way. We are human, and our best moments aren’t all of our moments. Yet the more we think our moments are our best, the more they will be. And the moment we decide that we need to be our best might just be the moment that God’s plan includes us to be the message for someone needing to see that something that helps them cope and overcome.

Our family’s thoughts and prayers are with Dennis’s family, friends, and loved ones. It’s a tough time  for them all. As wonderful as the Christmas season is, Dennis is in the most wonderful place right now, so beautiful, that none of us can comprehend. Have faith, know, and trust that it’s God’s plan.

Too Much Here For One To See

I look to the sky and the blazing sun
Feeling like I’ve arrived, the only one
 
This place before me feels like home?
Should I never leave here, no longer roam?
 
God must have painted here, these very tones
Man has not touched this place nary a stone
 
Sitting, I gaze upon this beautiful place
Content, I wish to stay, leave the race
 
How is it that a site can affect me so?
I couldn’t retreat now if I wanted to go
 
I wonder aloud, here am I intended to be?
Perfect; sky, water, rock, quiet and me?
 
Feeling privileged as if near the Creator
My senses are whet like never before
 
There’s an urgency I feel but it’s odd
Like I can wait here looking, to see God
 
Wait I do, frozen really on this grassy lea
In time, I notice all, He is revealed to me
 
With sweeping glance again and again
I see there’s more than when I began
 
How could this be here, in its entirety?
Bigger, better, more efficient than any city
 
Hours seem to cram themselves into seconds
Astutely aware I long for time at this expanse
 
I came in by myself but do not feel alone
Arising, I wish to visit with each stone
 
All at once I wish to share this place
While wanting here, to witness just my face
 
I work to move among the vast scenery
Noting that maybe mans not meant entry
 
Time nor distance measure my rate
Only light or the lack of it track my fate
 
Once upon the floor of this earthly dimple
Closer inspect confirms my race, so simple
 
The beauty is all at once overwhelming
But still, nothing I’ve known more calming
 
Wandering among the divine, peace is mine
Hoping this space is the same for all time
 
The symmetry of societal plans exists away,
Away from this pastoral valley further today
 
Time is still, so am I, as it should be
For there’s too much here for one to see
 
Only the land prevents me from deliberating
Tranquil, I visit, the sound of my heart pulsating
 
Looking up I see water falling freely down
I feel no sound; don’t know where I’m bound
 
The flow disappears on the distant horizon
I move to the spot I keep my eyes on
 
Asking I wonder what I came here to see
It seems in this freedom I am finding me
 
The air is cooler the water again I spy
Calm at the base after the traverse so high
 
This cool spot wasn’t visible a while back
How long I enjoy it, I’ve simply lost track
 
Were there limits on the time I should spend?
It’s been night once since and I see no end
 
Then I wonder what pieces of this site
Will witness the sun setting tonight
 
I can’t guess the distance, or the time
Any checks vanish amid this nature sublime
 
Only the natural around including all sound
This freedom is true, the definition I’ve found
 
Waves of orange and red light another day’s end
In awe, man’s place I figure as God would intend
 
I close my eyes this time in hopes of a dream
Recounting this heavenly place aside a stream
 
This man, in awesome wonder, stops by free
Wishing all could encounter such majesty

The day after

The day after; it’s been just a day, a single day. I went to bed early this evening because I was completely wiped out. Exhausted. All I wanted to do was to lie down, close my eyes, turn my brain off, and drift off to restful slumber. Well, I got some of it done, but the brain just wouldn’t quit. The last few days have been overwhelming for a number of reasons. And after a brief stop on the couch, I find myself here, in front of the keyboard with a headache and nothing specific to write. I have been praying for words over the last two days, and I trust they will come.

Before I go too far with this piece of writing, and I honestly don’t have an idea where this is going to go, but I have a hunch it’ll drift towards an area some 350 miles northeast of here before I get done, I wanted to say a few words to a whole lot of people. First, I am my mother’s son and there was no way my mother was going to miss the remembrance and celebration of Janette Peterson’s life. Second, I am Lloyd and Janette’s nephew and there was no way I was going to miss the remembrance and celebration of Aunt Janette’s life. Third, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you all for the support, for your kind words, and your encouragement. Fourth, I am honored. It is my honor to share the thoughts, memories, perspectives, and principles I have accumulated through the observance of, and interactions with, the tremendous family I have been surrounded by for my entire life. Fifth, I am humbled. I am taken aback, and deeply humbled by the outpouring of comments, thoughts, words, thank you’s, hugs, and encouragement I have received in just the last few days regarding the words I share through writing. I came to New Brunswick like the rest of you, to celebrate and remember Janette, and maybe be the help a friend or family member needed in the moment we were with one another. I struggle to find myself remotely worthy of the praise and the many kind words I have received in the last several days. Finally, I am proud to be the son of a Beal and a Peterson. Biased, I am sure, I don’t think I could have asked God to do me any better than He did. I am the first person in history to be born of both these Beal’s and these Peterson’s, and I couldn’t be more proud of the family members that came before, or since, my existence began.

Since I have started writing on a fairly consistent basis, I find that words often come more easily to me than I ever would have guessed. I mean, when I started writing I laughed at myself (often times, I still do) because I wondered who in the world would ever want to read anything I ever wrote unless it was something about their kid playing in a game or something. Then I asked myself, what on earth would I ever write about?  I feared I had nothing to say. Now I find things I would like to write about quite a lot. Then there’s tonight, when I feel like I could take the next two months and write non-stop about the things that have crossed my mind since Friday evening, but I can’t focus in on a single word, let alone a single thought. So, my head just hurts, in part from fatigue, in part from scrambling thoughts, memories, emotions, smiles and fears. Mostly I wonder about my 6 cousins who just lost their mother, and the husband, my uncle, who lost his wife.

I hurt for them. I think of them. I pray for them. I wish myself useful to them. If I could be the door that they all could walk through and be with Janette again, I would pursue each of them and allow them passage again and again. If I could be the last thought in their mind ensuring they drifted off to sleep I would be a memory of Janette that cannot be pondered, ever, without bringing a smile to their lips. If I could be the thing that let them finally expel that deep breath, that let them drop their shoulders, that allowed them to release the tension in their necks, and fondly remember Janette, now at His table, I would be there at the ready urging them to indulge. If I could be the example to them, the one that answered all of life’s questions, or at least gave them proper direction, I would defer, and ask that they just remember Janette, and truly understand all that she was, and for all that she stood for. And if I could be their sincere, silent prayer that ensured that any of them, or their families, could forever be at Janette’s knee, I would be bowed in focused reverence before my Lord whispering the words for them to follow right into salvation.

Well, I wasn’t expecting this to read the way it does, but here it is. I sit in the dark at my computer, wishing I was physically closer to the family in this time of need. Before I head off to bed I just need to say again, Uncle Lloyd, I love you. You know how I felt about Aunt Janette. I love your family, and if I can be of any help, just ask. I miss you all. I pray for all the Peterson’s often, and when I am not praying, it’s quite likely that I am still thinking about you all. It’s been a single day, the day after.

My Aunt Janette.

My Aunt Janette

Janette A. Peterson

Janette A. Peterson

Janette A. Peterson

It’s a bright, beautiful Saturday morning, but suddenly time has lost its grip on the day. I sat down and wrote most of this over the last two weeks, in the present tense, about my Aunt Janette, a remembrance and tribute to her. Last night, just before 9pm (Eastern) God called her home. My Mom called to give me the news that I had been waiting to hear but hoped I would never actually receive. We talked for a moment or two and then I prayed. I prayed for Lloyd and Janette’s family, all of them, in every direction. I prayed and I prayed. I prayed for me and for my family too. So that we can be and will be the strength, support, love, voice, or shoulder to lean on for any who might need it. This certainly includes me too. I prayed for all of us, any of us related to the Peterson family one way or another.

Facebook says that we are friends. The family tree says we are related, she’s my aunt, and I am her nephew. Yes, we are friends, and yes we are related, but that doesn’t begin to sum it up.

My Aunt Janette. She’s my aunt. She married into the Peterson Family as did my father. Blood, or not, she chose to love my brothers, my sister, and I; my whole family. It seems to me that she and my Uncle Lloyd and their family always had a special place in their hearts for our family. We would travel from New Hampshire to New Brunswick for visits in the summer and sometimes over Christmas break as well. The homestead we visited was just a little further down the dirt road, then was my aunt and uncle’s farm. We passed by their farm every time we went to visit the old farmhouse. We were able to see them often when we visited, in part, because we could see their farm from the old homestead.

It seems that Aunt Janette would show up with something cooked, baked, made, prepared, whatever it might be, but always good. She would bring it by, with a smile, a laugh at the ready, and was always lightly armed with her sense of humor.

I very much enjoyed having my aunt, my uncle, and many cousins around when we visited the farm. We created our own excitement, entertainment, and passage of time. Family was the thing to do, the main attraction, and visiting with family was the best way to spend time.

Looking back at growing up, visiting my family in Canada was among the favorite things I ever got to do. Now, grown, with kids of my own, it remains a favorite thing to do.

I love driving out there to the farm lands. I enjoy turning up the dirt drive to my aunt and uncle’s farm. The open views, rolling hills full of fields, and the clean, sweet-smelling air are all pieces that enhance the experience. Amaris and I, and three of the kids have been out to the farm for a visit. In recent years, visits have included riding four-wheelers around on the farm along the old rail bed between Lakeville and the Little Presque Isle. It’s a blast, with or without, the rides. Just visiting, talking, laughing, and catching up are more than enough for an enjoyable visit.

There’s even more to it. I know my Aunt Janette expects a visit from us anytime we are up that way. And if they’re home, then there’s an open invite. Period. We are always welcome, and warmly welcomed when we arrive.

When the twins were just 4 months old, we were in Canada for my cousin’s wedding reception. We visited the farm on an August afternoon, and there was Aunt Janette, willing, offering, and able to watch the twins while the rest of us went for a long ride on the four-wheelers. That’s just her, willing, offering, and able.

When I think of Aunt Janette, for some reason, the color yellow comes to mind. I really don’t know why. Maybe it’s the tall sun flowers that always grew across the dirt drive from the house. Or maybe it’s my aunt’s blonde hair, that also drew references to Marilyn Monroe from my Dad. Maybe it was an outfit, or something yellow that my aunt wore that stuck out in my subconsciousness growing up. Yellow is associated with happiness and maybe that’s the correlation.

Janette means, “gracious”, or “God is gracious”, and I think this name is so fitting. One definition of gracious is this; “Courteous, kind, and pleasant, esp. toward someone of lower social status”. I love the last part because, to me, one of the things I have long associated with my Aunt Janette, is her ability, or willingness to side with the underdog, the less fortunate, or the one whose voice was otherwise muffled among others. From the commoner, to the kid, they always had a friend in my Aunt Janette.

Where’s that woman who used to embody farm?
She would work and still pull off that striking charm
 
There’s an empty spot in the garden over there
A place vacated by the mother with golden hair
 
Can I walk for a while where she would tread?
O’er the grounds many visitors she had led 
 
That child’s hand isn’t held walking next to us
It would’ve been by the girl who grew up in Texas
 
May I enter her home and just sit for a while?
I can smell the bread and still see the smile
 
The room is full but something’s out-of-place
There’s a smile missing, absent, a friendly face
 
Can I say a little something to remember her by?
How she’d reach for the frail and let them fly
 
There are stories shared, each must be told
Recalling the wife that never did look old
 
Is it just me or is there happiness found here?
“…there am I in the midst…”; He is near
 
Gathered there is strength, and even more love
Missing here, we need only smile and look above
 

My Aunt Janette resides in heaven this morning. She is much better off than she was 24 hours ago. I understand her family was there when she drew her last breath here on earth. She wouldn’t have wanted that any other way. I don’t want to get to know cancer any better than I already have through the battles and sufferings I have seen in my own family. But I am glad that it touched not her mind, her spirit or her heart, for those are the things that made her so beautiful.

I have written too many of these tributes for my own liking. It means that friends and loved ones have left us. But, I cannot get through this without sharing thoughts I have shared before because it’s too important to miss.

I have often thought that God has a unique way of allowing things to happen, or at least to be noticeable to us, at the right time so we can create our own way of coping with events bigger than us. For example, I remember when my grandfather died. He was a great man of God, a preacher, a teacher, a reciter of the scriptures, he had a Christian book store, he had preached on the radio, and lived his life for God. I remember the morning of his service, the day he was to be buried, a light, pure, white snow fell, just enough to cover everything in a beautiful untouched blanket of white. I remember saying to my parents that God had given the ground a purifying coat of clean for my grandfather’s body to be put to rest one final time. I don’t know how this relates or if it does at all but I know I won’t soon forget that my attention was so-called to the heavens yesterday as God’s power was evident in the parting of the evening clouds, allowing the reds and pinks to provide a most beautiful backdrop.

There’s a plan for all of this. God’s plan. Two words that make many want to turn and run the other way, God’s plan, because it usually means something that us imperfect humans don’t understand, or don’t want to deal with. Whatever the reaction is, it doesn’t change the plan. When I was younger I fought the plan, I am sure I did. I also didn’t always understand how or why things so painful could happen to people as part of God’s plan. I am certainly not going to pretend to know or understand all these things now either. I do know that almost always, we are a part of a plan that is much bigger than it appears on the surface.

I know it’s hard to look at this situation and see the positive. It’s all part of the plan. God’s plan. Time will tell how the plan unfolds. Even though it’s God’s plan, we are to be present and participating in His plan. I am in no way trying to down play any of this; this is a serious matter. There’s a message in most everything and I am willing to bet there’s even more of a wonderful message here as well. Think of the things you have heard, the things you have read, the things you have seen yourself, the life you may have been a part of first hand, all those things are a message of Janette’s life. While many stood and watched, or waited to be led, Janette was digging in and getting things done. I am so glad I got to visit her and the family last month. It’s been my pleasure to be a part of their family and to cherish the interactions we have shared over the years. The members of her family, their family, are strong, they are versed in the Word, and they have the prayers of thousands in their favor, they will endure. Often times through the most unthinkable loss or sacrifice comes the greatest gift or the most amazing victory.

Please don’t think that this is over when the news stops running or the stories stop circulating. You and I may be a part of the plan. Anyone of us could be instrumental. The Peterson family is, and will be feeling like there’s a void in a place where there once was a rock. So, our words, our actions, our prayers, just might be the right thing at the right time for the one who needs that spoken word or the example they were looking for. Foundations are paramount for a sound structure as the scriptures tell us. This family just lost a major portion of their foundation and we might need to help hold up the structure for a time. Really it’s always supposed to be that way. We are human, and our best moments aren’t all of our moments. Yet the more we think our moments are our best, the more they will be. And the moment we decide that we need to be our best might just be the moment that God’s plan includes us to be the message for someone needing to see that something that helps them cope and overcome.

I, we, are here for you all. I am going to miss my Aunt Janette and the life she brought to every day. I am so very thankful that my wife and kids had the chance to meet her, and interact with her in her element, out on the farm. It was our treat to be out there with her.

From birth, all the way through to adulthood, that little stretch of road encompassing the Peterson farms was all I ever needed. There was an entire world of adventure, exploration, love, support, and good times within that single mile of country. I long for those days and those places often. Aunt Janette, Uncle Lloyd, and their family have remained as a strong bond to those times and places for me. I hope never to lose them. I hope never to forget them. I hope always to visit and share in them, the greatest days, the greatest people in my life. I love you Aunt Janette and I can’t wait for the day we meet face to face again.

http://1inawesomewonder.com/2013/04/15/generation-jumping/

My Aunt Janette

It’s a bright, beautiful Saturday morning, but suddenly time has lost its grip on the day. I sat down and wrote most of this over the last two weeks, in the present tense, about my Aunt Janette, a remembrance and tribute to her. Last night, just before 9pm (Eastern) God called her home. My Mom called to give me the news that I had been waiting to hear but hoped I would never actually receive. We talked for a moment or two and then I prayed. I prayed for Lloyd and Janette’s family, all of them, in every direction. I prayed and I prayed. I prayed for me and for my family too. So that we can be and will be the strength, support, love, voice, or shoulder to lean on for any who might need it. This certainly includes me too. I prayed for all of us, any of us related to the Peterson family one way or another. Continue reading

The first time

I was reading through some older posts today, and I came across these special words. I remember the night I wrote these words and how they just poured out onto the page faster than I could put them in order. It’s rare when that happens, at least for me. This piece was, and still is, very special to me. This goes back to 2000 and the first time I saw TSO in concert. One of my favorite poems.

Where did these guys come from and how did they know?
That I wasn’t in the right place, though I knew where to go
 
My path was missing something and I knew it was all wrong
When all of a sudden direction showed up in the form of a song
 
Nobody that I knew had played Christmas songs in this manner before
Wow! It was so beautiful. I had only an idea of what was in store
 
I couldn’t dismiss the shrill of those guitars, so sharp like a knife
Shredding all the familiar notes of the songs I’d loved my whole life
 
My emotions balanced on every note, each one brought me closer to peace
The artist held me in limbo; his fingers played with a master’s ease
 
Holding me there, waiting, for the note I knew was coming next
Without fail the note is played perfect, always better than I expect
 
The sounds are so timely, so crisp, so pure and unrefined                                
Etching new meaning to the words that always play in my mind
 
I feel these emotions; they’ve been building since I was a boy
It’s undeniable, overwhelming, it’s pure Christmas joy
 
As the tunes grew on me I started to focus on each word
Somehow I still managed to avoid all the truths I had heard
 
I took daily struggles and somehow turned them to years
I caused myself and others so many unnecessary tears
 
The music accompanied me everywhere I would go
And though I wandered all over, I never missed a show
 
God’s grace followed me though I made it a most difficult task
I always knew, but ignored, to get help I need only just ask
 
A few years were damaged and I hope not all was waste
Eventually I made my way from that dark and lonely place
 
I keep these memories close to me as tough as they are
It wouldn’t be healing if I didn’t make time to recognize the scar
 
And it wouldn’t be learning if I was to somehow forget
The lessons I have learned and I am not done yet
 
Though the words are familiar they still offer a welcome surprise
Every time I am lucky enough to see TSO live