Times of Trouble  

I am hopeful and do not drive on a road of continued despair. When I detour into depression or despair, my true hope is getting closer to God. Jesus said to abide in Him as He does in me. Jesus is not only a shield against troubles, but also a silent den in which I can meditate and pray.

Times of trouble are temporary by my becoming optimistic to God’s grace and love. I am not afraid to cry out to God in anger; He loves me and understands. As a believer in Christ, I am never alone in my struggles. My pain, confusion, and momentary sense of failure is surrounded and embraced by a compassionate God.

I thank God for the uncompromised presence within me.  I thank him every day for walking with me, even when I doubt and am filled with anger. My prayers are initiated by God because His words begin all conversations. His silent voice breaks the silence of my heart. His light shines through me to enrich the lives of others.

© Russell Kendall Carter

Minds. . . and Hearts

I question what is in my mind that always keeps me on thin ice. Often, I feel that my world is near ruin; I long for something; I seek the unknown. Even though I know the Holy Spirit guides me, I long to awaken in God’s heaven and earth filled with His Grace. I long to repair the world humanity is destroying.

I pray that God, will fill heaven and earth with Grace and Spirit, allowing us to share in His bounty. But we can never know the mind of God; we are amazed at His mercy towards us, His forever forgiving us for our sins. We refuse to see our violence to our planet; the home God gave us. We destroy ourselves. I pray for the awakening of humanity to at least try to live up to God’s wishes for us.

We joy in the new life Jesus promises, yet we refuse to accept the wisdom that goes with it. My prayer today is for us to open our minds to accept the love that God shares in our hearts.

© Russell Kendall Carter

Encouragement

The fruits of the Holy Spirit are love, joy, and peace; three blessings God gives us. Meekness and tenderness are the results of these gifts. My lament is to encourage not enrage, remembering that as with others I have faced many traumas in my seventy-eight years. I feel the presence of he Holy Spirit in my life, transforming my heart and my relations with others.

I create space in my life for those that people call “the others.” God loves all His children, and, when I love others, God’s Love is stronger for both of us. We cannot live in peace and harmony without this Love. For me, this is a life-long journey of blessed light that spreads the good news of Jesus’s journey with us. I, therefore, encourage, not enrage, my actions and love towards those surrounding me.

© Russell Kendall Carter

Glory Revealed

beauty glorifying nature

a snow-capped palisade

a river-blessed dale

every inch exalted

a regal condor sharing its firmament

a wee garden gnat

an august elephant

trembling from a bee sting

a blue whale toe-dancing

atop a school of anchovies

every creature blessed

from the tiny atom

to the mammoth Jupiter

all share in being blessed

why do we destroy

a glory artistically revealed

© Russell Carter

Listen, Do You Hear It?

It comes from far away, or maybe right next door. It might just be the wind or the greatest transgression of humanity, this quiet voice crying in the night. When we do not hear it, we lose all godly compassion for mankind. If we are truly followers of Christ, we must give ourselves over to God’s deep Love and Life, as He created it. After all, godly compassion is seeing others with deep love in our hearts, our souls. We need not know he language of our neighbor; we merely have to recognize him as also being God’s child and creation.

© Russell Kendall Carter

Forgiving

We have all floundered at some point in our lives. We have erred morally and honestly compromised our integrity. As humans we have this in common. When we do, we all respond better to compassion than we do to disparagement. Our disappointments can sometimes torment us with anger and frustration. As with our neighbors, we all need forgiveness.

What happens when you cannot forgive? Honestly, we let ourselves enter a shadow period and forego the grace and mercy of God in our lives. We do more harm to ourselves than we do to others. We show to the world our shortcomings, magnifying our own sins and transgressions. We may attend church weekly, but we are denying the presence of Christ in our lives.

In my experience, those who have hurt me respond much better with love and forgiveness than to anger and avoidance. No one ever wins when divided by anger. Love is the better way. By extending the frond of peace and love to those who hurt us there is no room for doubt or fear. When we expose the wounds of our hearts, love and comforting words bring friendship and the love and grace of God into all our lives.

© Russell Kendall Carter

pray for those who doubt

Jesus asks us to pray for one who does not pray, or doubts God, for prayer is an act of courage and love, and love is a lifelong commitment to humankind. Each one of us has had manor disappointments in life. These low times for us are painful and many times we react with anger, anger at ourselves and anger at God for allowing times of trouble. Jesus also teaches that when the rich in spirit and poor in spirit join, God blesses us as the true Father He is. God is the creator of all of us. We share in His bounty.

Living this life is not enough; what counts is what we do with our lives, what significance of our lives and others’ lives is as a direct result of what we do for each other. God works deeply within us whether we all recognize and accept this as reality. He more we take care of each other and pray for each other we are stronger in our relationships with God and all others.

Those who don’t pray, ask why we waste our time. My response is why do they ask that question. To those of us who pray, the answer is obvious. God is Love, and God brings His Love into us every day. God is strong within each of us, but only when we call on Him for help, only when we pray to him. We who pray call upon His help in truth, God’s Truth. This is why we also pray for those who do not.

© Russell Kendall Carter

Spiritual Visioning  

How would you describe your conversations with God? I use prayer, for prayer is the first step to true wisdom and visioning. I am blessed to be given the ability and the words of a teacher allowing me to pass what God has taught me and share with others. I pray that the words of my heart are a comfort to those I reach.

One cannot have spiritual visioning without following the wisdom given by God, for God cherishes those who live with wisdom, the wisdom He offers us to learn, share, and practice.  My meditations are my prayers, and I believe that when those of us who believe in the Love and Goodness of God experience and share the great things that God gives us, we all are both loved and blessed.

This spiritual visioning is not magical; it is the loving gift given by God allowing us to recognize the pain of others and bring His love and comfort into their beings. This, as I pray, helps ease the burdens and discomforts of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

© Russell Carter

Discovery

From isolation’s depth

your hand reached out to me, yet

I slapped it away,

my ignorance blinding me.

 

I reached for a different hand

that was not there.

Anger consumed me; being

soothed by counterfeit means.

 

From the depths of hate

I missed Your hand reaching, reaching

unable to respond, yet You lifted me

with a strength I did not know.

 

From the depths of solitude

You offered Your grace;

from trust of Your hand

You gave me new life.

 

©Russell K. Carter