I have a heart condition. It’s a secret to most. Those who have deeply known me over a long period of time just accept the processes of life. Eyes dim, thought delays lengthen, shorter strides gimp as the former wings of my heart and soul grow slowly defluttered. I want a good heart again.

I want to walk through the woods with unspeakable joy again.

I want to see the un-see-able as I gaze through the treetops into the heavens, past the galaxies again.

I want to rescue desire and wonder to mountains above, to wrist away warring-fear-demons smog. Again.

I want my acidic tears of grief to be purified by joy into refreshing life drops where they fall again.

I want my hearts strong rhythm refreshing and cleansing every cell, so what’s dying may live again.

Oh Lord, I need your heart to beat in me again. You can have mine. Again.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10


Oh friend, have you ever searched your heart and found it shriveling? After the rocks of life have so cracked the looking glasses of reality, how do we see clearly? Eternity is seen with the heart, but only clearly with the creators heart in us is life and eternity in focus at the same time.


27 thoughts on “Again

  1. Thanks Gary. I remember when I first read about the apostle Paul landing on the island of Malta after that bad shipwreck when they were all most fortunate to still be living, and they would not have been if they did not do what the apostle said. The ship didn’t make it but no lives were lost. The Lord did that. There’s a lesson in that. And there’s Paul, gathering firewood like the regular guy he was along with being a mighty apostle. And there’s a snake. A deadly viper. Sent by the devil and lying in wait. And the creature made a good lurch and a great grab. There it was. Hanging from Paul’s hand. (I think it was his right hand and a direct attack on who he was in God, his power hand, his anointed ministry hand, to take him out. To end the life of the great pest who kept destroying the devil’s stuff and exposing him.) It was WAR.

    And Paul paid no attention. He had firewood to gather. They must get warmed up. They must cook. He must take care of all those starving shipwrecked men. And while we’re at it we’ll just toss this poor misguided little slithering demon-possessed beast in there also and add to the fuel mixture. And there goes a perfect type of the devil being tossed headlong into the lake of fire.

    Paul paid no attention. He had work to do. There were many things he had yet to do to complete his course. This was about 60AD. Paul lived another 6-7 years or so. Many more epistles were written after this. He made more ministry trips. He likely went to Spain. Who knows how many more people were saved through his ministry. And taught by him. And raised up/developed.

    Paul had no fear of the snake. He had already survived many attempts on his life. He also had health problems that might have almost got him. And of course he died once and went to heaven but the Lord sent him back. Not his time. Paul was relaxed. If I go, great. In the meantime there is work to be done! Out of my way! Stick it in your left ear, devil! Back off!

    And those shocked local islanders kept looking at the strange little man (under five feet tall) walking around like nothing happened. “What are you guys looking at? Come. Sit by the fire.” And they got everything all sorted out and eventually got on the sea again many days later. Oh. And I didn’t mention that he was also a prisoner when all this was going on. I’m assuming they had released him from his chains, at least for a while. The least you can do I guess for the man who saved your lives. (Actually the Lord working through him. The Lord Jesus gets all the glory and credit for everything because we’re all in hell otherwise.)

    And so, Paul kept living. Until his time came. Just a blip when that happened. He kept living after that. In a better place. And he is still living. He will live forever. And so will every single person who is a real Christian dedicated to the Lord. Life goes on for those saved in the Lord. It never stops. We will be without our old bods for a while and will later get new ones and we will be young and lively forever. You’ll go fishing with Peter and those guys and show them a thing or two. Until then you’re going fishing now.

    Thanks again for a great post, Gary. We still have much living to do to complete our work and then we live forever.

    What snake?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Right on RJ. We have so many examples of how to live, work, make commitments, see life and priorities from those saints of old and those recorded in the Word. It’s all there right in front of us should we care to stay the course of a journey with Jesus.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Gary, I will include you in my prayers. Our faith is our rock. I have seen gorgeous sunsets, such as the one in your photo. I take those as divine encouragement.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Gary, each picture you chose for this post is a poem in itself. You asked, “have you searched your heart and found it shriveling?” Yes. I can tell the routines of work and home plus the continual bombardment of evil reported in the news have taken a toll on my heart as the flow of water through it has grown stagnant. Our annual fishing trip with family is just around the corner and is exactly what the Great Physician ordered. God always seems closer when I’m encompassed by His creation and our conversations flow afresh when surrounded by woods, mountains, and lakes. In that place I want to “walk with unspeakable joy, to see the un-seeable, and to rescue desire and wonder,” and to return with a renewed strength to fight the good fight. Prayers continue for your healing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much Beth. I’m going to test how well I am with 4 days in the wilderness canoeing this week. It might end up being a wimpy trip but we will be in God’s rugged creation, getting alone and working some things out.
      Renewed strength physically and spiritually sounds really good. I hope you come back from your annual fishing trip is just what you need…and catch a lot of fish!

      Liked by 3 people

  4. A new heart every day!!! Because there is so much God will do for us as we humble ourselves. I had to read your post twice because there is so much in your writing… the prose of a poem with intrinsic meaning that one must carefully hear while reading. Thanks Gary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary. Just a few well placed words in the right order can convey so many things as you do so well at. It’s fun when different readers get such different things out of the same piece. Yes, a new heart every day.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Every day is a new day to begin again. I think your canoe trip will do you a world of good. We do need to ‘step away’ sometimes to see things more clearly. Immersed in nature, we ‘see’ God’s steady hand at work. God understands our hearts so very well. He will guide you in the ‘wilderness’ of these present times. Keeping you in my prayers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m quite sure also Linda. This is my wilderness trip #67 in the BWCA. It’s been such a great way to get away, adventure, fish, work hard at portages between the lakes and most of all, sit down on a monster rock overlook or on the shores and get real with myself, and God.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. We really need both don’t we Stephanie. That has been my prayer as well. The busier I am and the more the world goes haywire around me, The more I need to have blocks of perspective time, alone time, times that evaluate my hearts condition.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m looking forward to being totally worn out but absolutely refreshed. I even hope to take a few pictures with an old lighter camera…If I am only half refreshed I’ll have to start planning another one. Like an old battery, it takes longer to recharge.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. “He restoreth my soul…” There has yet to be a child of God who has not known the need of a special touch from God in the wilderness of this life. It is the honest heart which is honest.

    Grace is like water it always seeks the lowest place.

    Blessings my brother!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Beautiful photos and reflective words, Gary, written in the form of a prayer. And God has heard and will give you grace to enjoy those things again. Maybe at a slower pace but with more focus and joy in the simplest of pleasures. We all need those times of pulling away to ponder, reflect and to have our Spiritual hearts renewed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Nancy. I’m just back from a wilderness canoe trip. Living life from a canoe is way different than speeding around in a car. Cooking over an open fire, sleeping in a tent, watching sunsets and greeting the very early sun with much pondering time sure helps one’s perspective. yes, tired and renewed go together.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Most of us if not all DO need to give our hearts to God again and again, for him to do his renewing work. Sounds like your canoe trip helped with that process. I’m so glad you were able to go!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true Nancy. I did need that canoe trip and some hardship and brilliant sunsets. It was better for me than I could have hoped. My energy and confidence level is probably triple for several reasons.

      Liked by 1 person

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