Monday, October 31, 2011

The Tale of Sam Sunder

Almost a year ago, Sam Sunder lost his footing only to find himself belly up floating downstream during one of the area's greatest floods. Sam was tiny then, and the tragedy separated him from all family and friends.

As an orphan, he had to pick up information along the way. Growing up can be difficult without someone to teach you. But Sam was smart, though perhaps not very wise. He learned quickly how to gather leaves and save for the future. He became an expert at dodging long-beaked birds and curious children, who laughed and ran in the woods looking for a Science specimen.

But Sam had one problem. It hounded him every morning and every night regardless if the day was happy or sad. He observed his world and found many wonders such as the prancing deer, the howling bear, the princely fox, and the regal eagle – in Sam's estimation, this was God's most amazing animal. He thought, To fly, now that would be heavenly! His mind soon mocked him, and he wondered why God made him a worm. I am the most lowly of creatures, of what use am I?

Past the tree where Sam sat brooding, a serious meeting of robins formed. As they gathered round, their chief counselor pronounced judgment on a young, wounded bird. “He has been injured quite severely and will never fly again. He can no longer be part of our clan. This is his own doing – a careless oversight on his part!” Then after a brief pause, the counselor pointed to the fledgling and said, “You young lad, will no longer be part of our alliance. We will have to let you go.” With that the flock of robins took to flight and left the hapless creature to fend for himself.

Sam watched the brown bird nursing his wing. With hesitation, he maneuvered his way nearer and said, “Hey there Mr. Robin, you look like you could use some help.”

“Yes, I guess I could. I've had an unfortunate fall.”
"Listen,” said Sam, “I can help you, just as long as you promise not to eat me.”
“Not a problem,” replied the Robin, “besides, I prefer eating berries.”
With that agreed, Sam built a comfortable place for the bird to rest using sticks and leaves, and he also made the robin a splint for his wing. Sam learned that the bird's name was Jeremy, and the two of them became best friends.

Jeremy often told Sam stories of his adventures in the air. Like the time he fell asleep on a dead limb that broke free. By the time he woke up, he was only a few feet away from crashing to the ground. But Jeremy soared skillfully to safety.

Eventually, Jeremy's wing healed, he flew again, and both the bird and the worm gave thanks.
Sam was happy for his friend, and he accepted his place in life. He understood that maybe he would never be able to fly. He was, however, able to help his friend soar once again. Older, wiser, and now very sleepy, Sam crawled onto a large tree trunk and instinctively began to weave a cocoon around his long, fat body. He stayed there asleep for many days... Seasons change, even for Sam, and the day arrived when he awoke from his long nap. He struggled to get free from the cocoon's shell. It took some time, but he made his way out. Sam looked at his new body and was amazed at the metamorphosis. He soon discovered he had wings to fly. After a time of adjustment to his new wings, he sailed effortlessly through the air with his friend Jeremy.

Sam looked beyond himself and his own worries to help another in need. He spent time at Jeremy's side, nursing him to health. In the end, after enabling Jeremy to recover, Sam's own desire of being airborne transpired. When we reach out to others in the Spirit of Christ's love, enabling them to succeed, many times we discover that our own God-inspired dreams take flight.

© Copyright 2011 by Tom Toya. All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thank You for Your Mercy

Don't sit in darkness
Your back turned to the light
Open up and let the Daystar shine on you

There is forgiveness for you
No matter how far you've strayed
The Father will run to you
And restore you
He will remove all your shame

His mercies are new every morning
There is a time to mourn over sin and failure
But after He washes us
After we have turned from our sin
To the Master
We must stand in His righteousness

We who are Christ followers
Are the redeemed, the forgiven
Gratitude rises up in our hearts

Let us forgive those who have harmed us
Let us proclaim His mercy
Without Him we are nothing
Without His touch we are utterly broken

But He has redeemed us
Because of His blood
We have been made completely righteous
Right-standing with God is our breastplate
Thank you Lord for Your great and abundant mercy
Thank you for forgiving us when we each had lost our way

Monday, October 17, 2011

Enter into His Joy

His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' Matthew 25:21

Real joy is a fruit of the Spirit. It infuses us with strength, enthusiasm, and motivation. Did you know that real joy is also a product of our faithfulness to God? When we cultivate and use the talents the Lord has given us for His kingdom pursuits, we discover joy in the process. In the parable of the talents, the master commended two out of three of the servants for their faithfulness. He promised to give them greater responsibility and influence. He also promised to cause them to enter into his joy. The third servant fearfully hid his talent in a hole in the ground. His master said he was a wicked and lazy servant. He rewarded the servant by banishing him to a place of torment.

When we pursue God's assignment for our lives, when we cultivate our gifts and talents, the Lord fills us with joy. But when we ignore our Master's plan for our lives, we suffer the torment of knowing we are not fulfilling His will. I would encourage you to assess your life. Ask the Lord to uncover your gifts. Trust him to reveal to you what your contribution to the kingdom is to be. Then go after it. As you are faithful, you will live with a sense of purpose, and you will enter into His joy.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Your Majesty (We Don’t Deserve)

We don’t deserve the mercies You lavishly bestow
Your forgiveness that freely flows
The kindness that You always show

We deserve a place called hell
Where suffering never ceases
Where the imprisoned can’t find freedom

Where fear and pain reign
Where hopelessness remains

But You, Oh God, rescued us from shame
Filled us with Your praise
Healed our every pain

Thank you for giving us
What we do not deserve
One day in heaven we will serve
Your Majesty