Judge not…

no_hateWe somehow cannot escape prejudice.  Inheriting this sordid gene that enables the young, hopeful, innocent heart to harden towards another.  We seem to glisten with the sweat of hate yet wear it in vanity.  From micro-aggression to hate crimes, justification to harm another seems to allow reason to our lost herd mentality for survival of the fittest.  Even, the goodness of the Gospel has been perverted for power and oppression.  This very hope of life for all, is rather used as a weapon with hard edges as Bibles are thrown by the ignorant and unstable to hurt those in unchangeable realities.  How sad.  How destructive. Woe to them, the false preachers, the rabid born-again, instruments of harm not peace – for their destruction does not sleep.

Woe of Judgment

Woe to the ignorant and unstable,
Who grievously distort holy Scripture,
Off’ring sacrifice of Cain not Abel,
Condemning outcasts with sores and blisters,
Judging as Creator not like creature.

Woe to preachers who boast not of mercy,
Whose words isolate, ravage, and injure,
Yet are slaves to their own depravity,
The blackest dark awaits their treachery.

Hope is a saving love, your friend in need,
Harden not your hearts, Let Me set you free,
I know of your hardship and the pain you bleed.

Come to Me, you wearied and oppressed,
Lay your burdens down, for I will give you rest.

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by Chris Clody 2/6/15

His Peace,

Chris

Another Victim Of Mercy

What I’ve Become

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I cannot undo what I’ve become,
As if changed by a fire’s rage,
Dare I betray God’s begotten Son,
The One whom angels praise,
When Grace has left me awed and amazed?

I cannot forget the wonders I’ve seen,
As if it was some lost, blank page,
How can I leave love alone and demeaned,
Realizing it’s despair’s only vaccine.

I will not tempt the foretaste of Hell,
Chancing misery void of Mercy,
For action is the new story I must tell,
And love whatever Christ compels.

For without love all is lost,
Like liberty without its vict’ry bell,
or silence in the choir loft.

Faith in action is what I must become,
A mender to my sister’s broken net,
A brother in arms when need awaits,
An honest discussion without regrets,
A forgiver to fallen human traits,
Knowing when I forgive my God forgets,

No, I cannot undo what I’ve become,
Now that I’m fearless to return to where I’ve came from.

…Merciful Father accept this sinner saved through Your Son.

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By Chris Clody 11/4/14

The Beginning of Home

Home

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Has my heart slipped from my hands,
To drown in puddles of lost compassion.
My hourglass to love now drops its last sand,
Have I squandered my life to become…
The willing hands and feet of Christ to some,
Will my last meal be despair’s miserable crumb?

Save me Jesus from myself,
Carry me brother from my fall,
Lift me into your Father’s light,
Wash this sin that me crawl.

One last tear wiped from my face,
Kneeling before this Lamb of Light,
He cloaks me in mercy, love and grace,

I stand presented burning bright,
The name I’m given I see in myself,
Virtues like organs transparent within,
In a moments glance I see my true wealth,
Where prosperity of old was burned with sin,
I rejoice with the angels as my Lord walks in.

The whole of Heaven is lit by the One,
Who offered his life to live through our hope,
Praise You Jesus, blessed begotten Son,
Praise You Father, for sending Your loving Son.

Joy like Christ’s light fills the rooms,
Singing praise becomes our breathing,
Love of Three gathers us soon,
Before a banquet spread in blessing,
The lamb of honor, the beautiful Groom,
Welcomes His Bride by the song He sings

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By Chris Clody 3/28/14

Fearless In Him

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Fearless in Him

Nothing can replace what disease has stole,
Yet I am not alone…
Now that God indwells as a guest in my soul.

Yes, grief and disappointment ravish my mind –
I fear not their shadows…
Since Love overflows the empty I leave behind.

Despair and fear cannot dig their roots in me,
Where Love is bitter soil…
Only gratitude crumbles me to my knees.

Thank you Lord
For love sublime
Raise my eyes
beyond the blind.
Carry my soul
out from my sin
For now I see…
Where I end and
You begin.
Amen.

By Chris Clody
7/29/13

Dedicated to Jeanne’s brother

Lift My Eyes…

At times, it seems I’m being shuttled through life on one of those people movers at the airport.  As I grow older and frighteningly more contemplative,  the pace of time and the awareness of mortality’s tightening grip is teaching me to carry a heavier heart with a more patience.   The coming moments with friends and family become more of an opportunity to unlock the “why” when life seems stolen.  I have come to realize it is not the answer to what God permits, but rather the opportunity to share a moment in another’s grief – to be present.  I believe there is no amount of preaching that compares to expressing our deepest sympathies when two lose themselves in a long, comforting hug.  It is in that moment when encouraging little words crawl past trembling lips carried on faint whispers that allow those embracing to step off that people mover to realize time standing still.  It is during that mystery when God is within our midst that we find His unmistakable presence and true solace.  There, in the genius of God, we must realize that He alone can lift our tearful eyes allowing us to breathe the very life of His Truth.  As grief pounds the shores of our memories with seemingly unrelenting waves of loss, deep down we know the waves will come with less frequency in time.  Still, mortality leaves us naked and exposed to its very purpose – a chance to lift our eyes to the One who makes all things new.

Lift My Eyes

Mortality was a forgotten foe,
Mostly Invisible to my youth,
Now death nibbles at life’s corners,
Hell-bent to disturb hearts resting in Truth.

Time, the inescapable juggernaut,
Carries away another friend.
Mournful souls draw close once more,
Stitching ragged hearts in need of mend,

Lift my eyes O’ Lord,
So my heart may follow.
Cleave me to your side,
And bear me up tomorrow.
Sufficient is your Grace O‘ Lord,
Unstoppable is Your Mercy,
Death may steal my final breath,
But not the life you offer me.
For Eternal is your breath, O’ Lord,
Filling space outside of time,
A source of unbound charity,
Filling begging hearts with Life sublime.

O’ Lord, lift my eyes…

©2012 by Chris Clody 10/15/2012

Please “Leave a reply” and share your experiences when you lift your eyes to God. His Peace…

For more Christian encouragement check out my ebook by clicking the following link:

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The Untimely Question…

When tragedy strikes, especially when death steals the joy from our lives, we are left battered by its unpredictable ambush.

As comfortable and self-sufficient cultures continue to skillfully disengage from the necessity of God, heavy hearts find no place for tears.  Tears should never be wasted.  Although death’s facecard seems to trump any momentum to our life’s vitality and promise, the house does not always have to win. Although the reality of loss, un-relenting grief and tears, will have their way, this human response is not an invitation to wasted tears and despair.  Instead suffering is a heavy door that opens to a choice offering refuge for mortality’s greatest insecurity and soft landing for our tears.  Facing this question now will help the weeping from their knees sooner by the strong and gentle hands of hope.  Find some time today and join me in prayer for the grieving.

God is near – let Him in.

His,

Chris

The Will and Our Tears

The most difficult question of all,
Comes from the tears falling in our loss.
What God’s will allows after man’s fall,
How tragedy’s price comes at great cost,
And where even His Son dies on a cross…

Yet, somehow, our suffering has a place,
Where hearts like gold shed its tears of dross,
Tears of sorrow become tears of grace,
Drying in God’s prodigal embrace.

The salt that remains gives life flavor,
Although the pain we feel is not erased,
But hope that seasons…will not waver.

The most challenging answer of all,
Offers tears a wooden cross onto which they fall.

©2011 by Chris Clody 6/10/2012

Please “Leave a reply” and share your thoughts if tears are wasted and where we can take our grief. Thanks!

For more Christian encouragement check out my ebook by clicking the following link:

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HOPE -The Song Of The Fearless

From the moment of baptism, Christianity prepares us for death. 

It is not a morbid fascination to confront the reality of our mortality.  This mysterious and beautiful faith settles our soul even when our body fails.  Followers are further encouraged to know that every tear rendered at their expense are never wasted or forgotten. Tears shed by the faithful through humbling circumstance or empathetic love for another are later found as diamond chips studding their heavenly crown.   The very crown of gratitude that servants joyfully lay at the pierced feet of their Savior. 

     I don’t know how long it takes to wipe away every tear we bring to Heaven since there are so many here on earth.  God hard-wired us to cry and feel a full carousel of emotions, yet He sent His only Son, Jesus, to abolish despair with the hope of resurrection.  This hope is a special Grace that soaks deep within the marrow of our very being.  

     After witnessing the horrific tragedy of a childhood friend killed by car while crossing a street,  I received an unexpected blessing of knowing the lifeless, little body of my young friend Christopher, now mounted by a red Camaro, was with God and truly happy.  From that moment on I’ve never feared death knowing that God loves his children – especially this six-year old on that particular day. 

     The beauty of faith, is that we are all given the opportunity to become God’s children even after we’ve grown.   Last night, I was inspired to see through the faith-filled eyes of a dying man.  Despite what you may think I saw, the bittersweet exile of one’s soul was truly a fulfillment of God’s gift of Hope.  Hope is a song.  As I was stilled in the moment, I could sense the dimming view through this  tired man’s eyes and the ever tightening grip of a loved one’s hand until his weary eyes slowly closed.  Prior to this moment, He recalled fuzzy dreams of hearing a familiar voice bringing calm to the end of each cruel day.  However, at this very moment, his final breath, the familiar voice called his name to which he reached his arms up like a child.  His dimming world was now resplendent in the celebration of hope.  “No regrets,” he whispered…

            Faith in Jesus distills down to trust and fearlessness.  Hope, and helping another see tribulation without despair, is true charity.  When I hear friends encourage others towards accepting hope, they are truly giving from their own poverty.  Afterall, without hope we have nothing.   Believing in Christ and allowing the curious to witness the joy of your obedience, is your purpose and your reason to sing the song of the fearless.

His Peace,

Christopher Clody

 

No Longer Am I Fearful 

I feel Him draw me closer,

In a dream I can’t describe.

His voice is so familiar,

Like I knew Him all my life.

 

Despite my weak condition,

New Hope calms my anxious nights.

His face is growing clearer,

As hands from friends… squeeze more tight.

 

No longer am I fearful,

As He calls my name tonight.

He holds each tear cried for me

And molds a crown with’n my sight.

 

My fears and sins now forgott’n,

My feet now dance in golden streets,

Life’s cruel crawl to this Lion’s Gate,

To lay my crown upon His feet.

 

Thank you Lord! I’m finally free! 

©2011 by Chris Clody 7/28/11

 

Please “Leave a reply” below explaining how you encourage others with hope?

Check out my ebook by clicking the following link: Thoughts2Share

The Space That God Fills

If children fill a space in our heart we never knew was empty, then just imagine what God fills.  I believe it is the joy of God to fill what we leave empty for Him.

 From the mundane drudgery to life’s explosive moments of glory, we have the opportunity to express gratitude to the One who draws us near.  Although our gratitude is enjoyed by God, it is our acknowledgement of our need for Him:  our need of a Savior.  More than some mysterious bridge spanning an insurmountable chasm between death and life in Him, Jesus is the ultimate fill for everything gouged out by creation as unredeemed.  Without exception, Jesus the Christ is our only door that we must open to reckon with the blessed Trinity.  Amazingly, like realizing the fulfillment of unexpected delight in children, we all must come to the personal understanding that the space God fills in us was once occupied by Him before we broke our trust with Him.  As the disobedience made way for collapsing priorities in successive generations wrought from the want of forbidden fruit, the chasm between us and hope grew in our blindness of self-gratification.  The lost intimacy once shared by Adam and Eve now incessantly yearns for a presence the satisfying lusts of this world cannot fill. “Finding God” is certainly an unusual concept considering the fact He is ever-present. Rather, it is humility and gratitude that wipes the sleep from our eyes of new faith in incorruptible hope.  Our soul craves to recapture the lost intimacy and the opportunity to experience the gift of eternal life through Christ.  Beyond the concept of a personal relationship, finding God must extend our very selves in trust, talent and treasure and entrust it all into the very real person of Jesus Christ.  Beyond hope, beyond faith, beyond any miracle, the prize of Christianity is our unworthy courtship of divine immortality.  To some, that profess the gospel as a response to life, it becomes clear that “our hearts cannot rest until they rest in God.” (St. Augustine). 

Many however, like never knowing the gift we have in children, pass through everyday moments not aware of creation’s desperate strive to gather what only God can give. Yet, it is the hope of those who cry out in misery, in want of change, that finally realize a God-sized hole exists within them that is unveiled in repentance.  As our need is unveiled, the haunting sorrows of unknown fulfillment that have quietly shadowed our life becomes an anchor for new trust instead of hopeless despair.  Magnifying God in our life allows the light of His victory to shine through the many cracks of our fallibility to draw the curious still searching in the dark.  Only in the light of Christ’s forgiveness do we become broken beacons of hope. Although a “personal relationship” with God is not like a personal relationship we have with friends, it remains the clarion call to creation by Christ that He must know you so that the faithful can recognize and answer His call.  Intimacy with Christ holds no equal, therefore, seek first His presence to awaken the hope God knit deep within.  

The Space That God Fills

 

I’m blind to His Ever-Presence,

An empty house with windows shut.

Still my soul longs for His fragrance,

Wandering like a masterless mutt,

“Lonely,” growls my ravenous gut.

 

Sorrow awakens my slumber,

Still my vision is dimmed somewhat.

Windows open unencumbered,

My heart and soul fills with wonder.

 

Forgiveness lights internal hope,

Luring lost sisters and brothers,

That hang from the end of their rope.

 

Standing as one in the space that God fills,

Completely forgiven by the Grace of His will.

 

 ©2011 by Chris Clody 6/22/11

IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL

…yet my skin crawls, my stomach hurts and I weep. 

Faith and reality sway to an unusual dance of melancholic harmonies and mountain top crescendos.  Maybe this invitation to God’s prom answers the underlying question to either awaken or LET GOD SLEEP.    Although the body and soul are salvifically tied and in union, I believe they operate on different levels.  Horatio Spafford, a wealthy Chicago lawyer, was on a boat that was previously planned to join his wife and four young daughters in Europe for a much-needed vacation along with an evangelistic campaign in England.  Midway on his journey, as he stood on board, the captain pointed over towards the sea where a boat carrying his wife and daughters were struck by an iron sailing vessel and sank.  The last correspondence from his wife came from a cable that said,”Saved Alone. What shall I do?”  As surely as his skin crawled, his stomach hurt, and he bitterly wept, Horatio penned the following words in his utter brokeness, “When sorrow like sea billows roll; it is well, it is well with my soul…”  It is clear, at least to me, that God breathes through our gift of faith, especially when our flesh is most vulnerable so that our soul glows with the image of God’s consuming dignity.  Horatio’s gut reaction probably wanted to awake God and  scream for Jesus…but rather he simply let the soft and steady exhale of God breathe the hopeful words, “it is well with my soul.”

            With every prayer request that hits my InBox, the dance continues.  I have met many Horatios who silently pray as they sing lullabies into the young eyes of chemotherapy that bask in the hopeful melodies of their mommy and daddy.  It is the community of Horatios that inhale God’s purpose to tend to the needs of the sick, poor, hungry, and anxious whose communal ring of hope centered by the warmth of Christ encourage the necessary stillness for the broken to unveil their souls radiating in God’s strength.  Battles are won in brokeness as the weary mouth the words, “it is well with my soul.”  This extraordinary gift of faith contains our only answer…whatever the question.  We must remember our next visceral reaction to life’s fragility that overwhelms even our next step and remember Horatio.  Let us mouth those words of hope and look for God’s sufficient light for our next step and then let faith and reality dance once again.     

It is well… His Peace,

Chris

What does it mean to be well with one’s soul?

Walk in Love – Faith will follow.

Sometimes I wonder if Christian lingo, those certain phrases, invites or repels the pair of ears God puts before us.  Faith to a Christian is nearly well-defined, yet outside their holy huddle their words can be hazy and nebulous.  The Bible is a mountain of unusual history sometimes understood literally while other times veiled in allegories and murky parables.  Trekking up to its summit of meaning and usefulness to some is overwhelming and uninspiring.  It is…unless there is love.  Faith must be more than the absorption of mounds of dry knowledge necessary for opportunities of regurgitation.  Faith must compliment the living God that awakens our hearts to His inexhaustible love.  Faith before love is the cart before the horse.  Love can truly overcome – even those unwilling to hike the difficult terrain of sacred scripture.  It is every Christian’s willingness to walk, hike, climb and even repel down by Love to raise up the cross of our faith.  As difficult as it is to contemplate The Will that is perfect and holy, we must not feel defeated and “make camp” in despair but inspired to continue towards its glorious summit.

Friends, we must first walk in love to beckon new faith to follow.  Let us not rent our robes to display contempt within the ambient immorality of God’s irreverent, but rather, open our hearts with every vulnerability so that His Mercy shines through us.  Without courageously hearing another’s broken heart in need of mercy and forgiveness, Christianese becomes a distant monologue.  Yet, it is that very love we can no longer hold for ourselves that will bring forth a new, rich appreciation of our language for God.  We soon realize the need for community bound by fellowship as our unique abilities divinely infused in us merge to reflect the gratitude of His Will.  Certainly the communing into one body is stronger than its individual members. As we unite we finally realize we no longer have to climb that mountain…we just move it. Truly, Love conquers all.

Love your neighbor,

Chris

 

Until they heard Love 

Her love has left him.

His heart screams in pain.

Forgiveness seems impossible,

Raging eyes now tear with shame.

 Another heart waits

For its final beat.

For life was only cruel to her,

And can’t approach God’s Mercy Seat.

 

Until they heard Love,

Proclaimed like no other.

Love that cared to hear –

Doubt could not smother.

Mercy, Forgiveness,

Soon purged their darkened heart.

True Love now led them,

As the horse to its cart.

 

Faith now grew and followed,

Yes Faith, now grew and followed.

©2011 by Chris Clody 2/16/11