Category Archives: Thankfulness

My Grandmother’s Words… Visions of God’s Glory

This week I went to the going home celebration for a beautiful grandmother….

And in that service as I listened to “Go Rest High On That Mountain”….

I thought back to the grace of my own grandmothers words…

I called her MaMaw…..She was a poet… 

I have come to realize that at my age I have come to only care about mountain top experiences…. one of the highest was listening to this poem by my grandmother which was read at her going home…..  just before I an my cousins carried the simple wood casket she wanted all the way to her final resting place…. across a red sand East Texas Road… to the old Magnolia cemetary…. overlooking a beautiful lake…

These are the words she wrote:


The brightness of God’s Glory

No human Eye can See

But we can get a vision of it

in Every Flower and Tree


The pear tree robed in snowy shite

A red bud clothed in pink

A dark green pine with yellow blooms.

All make me of God’s glory think.


The gorgeous colored red bird

Against a sky of lovely blue

Is a vision of God’s glory

And of his love and mercy too.


The lightening shining through the clouds

His wondrous glory shows

The rolling billows of dark clouds

When a storm is growing close.


The rainbow shining after rain

The gleaming snow on mountain peaks

The blackness of the canyons depths

of God’s majestic glory speaks


The Beauty of the sunrise

With it’s rays of precious light

the glory of the sun set

Bringing restful sleep at night.


Yes! The visions of God’s glory

can every where be seen

The springing flower and singing birds

and Earth arrayed in lovely green


The Heavens declare the glory of God

The firmament his works do show.

Night following day, day following night

Helps us His wondrous love to know


How careful all of us should be

To praise his Holy Name

To seek His will each day and hour

His love and mercy to Proclaim

Aunt Nancy Vann

July 14, 1991

Copyright 2010, John J. McGeough



Derek Redmond in the 1992 olympics, His father raised him up

This is an earthly Father…. with a heart filled with such love one is amazed and brought to tears….

He would not be kept away from his son who was down, hurt and to weary…..

His son was hurt and his heart was burdened, and he sat there on the track until his father came…

His father who raised him up to continue his race……”You don’t have to do this” the father said… the son…”Yes I do”… the father “The we will do it together”

This earthly father carried his son until he got him near the finish line, then he released him to finish his race by himself on his own two feet. 

He gave his son the greatest gift that day… he gave himself and exemplary love….

He gave other fathers a great gift that day as well…. an example of how a father should be…

How much more will our Heavenly Father do for us…. in different ways.

He is all forgiving… all loving… perfect

He is filled with justice… our wrongs will be cured and our injuries will be healed.

Oh, there have been so many times when He was with me but there were only one set of footprints in the sand…

Those were the times he was carrying me… lifting me… being the air beneath my wings…

Raising me up so I can stand on mountains….

Calling me out of the boat to walk on stormy seas…

My Heavenly Father raises me up to more than I can be….

I’ve stood on mountains, I’ve walked on stormy seas, I been lost in abject wilderness,

But you raised me up Father….

I am strong when I am on your shoulders….

You raise me up to more than I can be….

Oh my Father…. You raise me up.


Feed my Flock…faithful hands….

These are the hands of God… because these hands are following his commandments… that the beautiful things we know about God can be made manifest…  that the true radical faith can be shown to be true… that we feel his pleasure when we are helping his least… when a thirsty child receives a cool glass of water… when an elderly widow doesn’t have to worry about rain leaking into her house… when a child lost in the world can find a place of love and safety….. Yes, these are the hands of God….
Because he put us here that through our hands his work can be done….
And these hands are doing just that….

Faithful hands

Is it the grand things that we would like to do?    Is it building the giant cathedrals and beautiful architectural masterpieces that is important to Jesus Christ?  What is radical Christianity?   If Christ were given the choice between a giant cathedral of marble and crystal… what would he choose?  I know what God would choose….  

Since 1974 I have been a youth worker in some way… some of that time was spent as a conductor working with young musicians…. some of it was spent as a teacher working way out of the mainstream and under the radar with kids who just didn’t fit in…  the vast majority of it has been spent in some kind of youth ministry…

In that time I have seen kids who could not study because they were hungry…. I have seen kids who were left alone in homes while their only parent was hospitalized… kids who were not reared at all… who did not now how to be …. in any sense… lost… without guidance… with no compass… Today even in America there will be hungry kids who needn’t be hungry… who needn’t be without good clothing… who needn’t be in dark, dank housing…   fatherless, motherless…  



 Thank you Lord there will always be people of faith….the radical Christians who truly imitate you…  like the ones of this church… who in imitation of you will get up in the middle of the night… to work.. to cook… to be sure that there are no hungry mouths if they can find them.. no children without food, without clothing…. without decent housing…To be sure that the elderly in the place the Lord has given them to minister have care… someone to check on them… someone to know if they have fallen… to know if they need food, or medicine, if they have a cool or warm place to live…. to be sure they have a roof that doesn’t leak…  

Christians who practice radical faith… real faith… the faith that insures that all those around them believers or not will be full of both food and the Holy Spirit… that those around them will know the mission of Jesus Christ… that those who may not know you will know that they are looking at people who love their neighbors as well as themselves… and who act on it…. that as far as it is in their power hunger will be banished, abuse will be stopped, loneliness with be destroyed, medicines will be delivered, love will be given…  

 The thing that young Christians want is a radical faith… that fulfils the real gospel as this church is doing… to help those who are weak, to feed those who are hungry… to stop pain when they can, to be sure that tears of sadness are replaced with tears of joy… that loneliness is replaced with love…  they have grown beyond the mindless activities that so many think kids want… what so many young men and women want is a real working faith… a faith that puts it on the line… that risks… that  

makes sure that the gospel has real meaning… these are young people who mean it… who take what God said seriously… who want to live a real life of faith… not an artificial, routine “religion” but radical Christianity focused on the  

Person of Jesus Christ and his true Mission… to bring souls to God.. and to take care or the Earthly needs of the people around them…  

to fulfil the two greatest commandments of the Lord God… To love the Lord with all your heart and because of that……….To love your neighbor as much as you love yourself….  


so that the love of God can be known… and felt… and real….

As a little child….

How can I approach him …. the bible tells me as a little child… and I think…

A long time ago when I was first learning to teach band I was an assistant band director …. low on the food chain…. I taught a second band and a groups of sixth grade musicians…

I’ve always walked the line between friend and teacher very carelessly… it’s just hard to ignore a kid… there was this one child… a drummer… a shy boy… who needed to talk often… I have always talked to my students… I never turned them away…. I had needed someone to listen when I was a boy…

One day this boy walked up to me with tears in his eyes…. I’m moving, he said.. I asked him how long it was going to be …. he said on Friday.

When Friday came he got through class looking sad…. then hung around waiting for the other kids to leave… he walked up to me.. barely in control… shook my hand and said goodbye… I walked him out of the back door of the band hall… As he walked away I told him to remember what a good kid he was and that he was going to be ok…

He walked away…. stopped …. and turned and ran back to me crying… he grabbed me around the chest and sobbed into my shirt.. “You are the only one who cares about me”…. I didn’t know what to say so I just hugged him back… Here was a child who saw something in me worthwhile… for some reason he connected to me.

Maybe at that point in his life he felt I was the only one in his life who cared about him… or more likely he was having a temporarily rough time. 

Either way I received his hug with love, forgetting and forgiving every time he had talked out of turn, every time he had been mischievous, every time he had made a mistake… those things just drifted away… all I knew was that this young boy had somehow come to see in my something worth imitating, something worth loving… and I received him in the way he came.  I felt such a warmth and love  for this child that I would have adopted him on the spot.  All the mistakes, childishness, and minor misbehavior was forgotten.  He also said “I’m sorry for anything I’ve done” through his tears.  And he got complete utter and total forgiveness.  If he had needed another home at that moment I would have adopted him. 

That is how our Lord works…. and what he means when he tells us to come to him as a little child…. we come without guile… running to him to tell him we did wrong and can he forgive us and we receive his forgiveness… without reservation… and from him we receive a home in his heart… we are kept close there… and he prepares another home for us in the future…

In coming to him as a child… we come to him as  someone who has nothing to give and wanting nothing but forgiveness and love… and we receive it…  and he holds on to us and holds us close…. forever…

Jake Olsen… A true Christian Inspiration

When I saw this video,  I knew I had to share it with my readers….   here it is the Jake Olsen story…..

Unexpected Blessings….

One day I will learn that God can blind side you with a blessing…  from out of nowhere…. created from whole cloth…  Joy created seemingly from the vibrant light….

That out of his magnificent hands can come unmeasured grace…. opportunity

I thank him so much for leading me to answer this call…. this turn of affairs that only God can bring about… a time when he reveals himself in a way that brings awe…

I am a math guy… sometimes I see combinations of the events that are so astronomically improbable as to be unimaginable….

One of those things happened to me tonight.. and it turned into one of those times when the happiness and fulfilment is almost too much to take in… almost too much to realize with you human mind…

Those times are rare… but when they happen the realization of what has occurred has the same effect as the unexpected sound of thunder so close you freeze wondering what has happened.

At this stage of ministry and life all I care about is being close enough to God to feel his breath… to sense his unfathomable glory… tonight was such a night….

And you walk in praise…..

There is such a satisfaction at such times that you feel you really did fulfil what you were put here to do… what your supreme purpose is in life. 

And that it happened because you had a choice and you obeyed… you made the conscious decision to follow… you followed the precious fragrance of the spirit….

He said he has plans for us, plans that are good and not meant for our harm…. and he proved it tonight…

and you walk in praise….

You can see just a bit down the road that you are going to follow… that with one act of grace he has changed lives forever…..

And that in helping your life is changed…. often he teaches us as he gives us words to help others….

I was shown again to trust him… completely…

for when I didn’t have the words, he gave them to me…

for when I did not know what was coming, he prepared me…

for when I thought I was going to be struck dumb, he gave me grace…

for when I could not imagine the next move, I was shown transcendent light,

for I felt most unprotected, there came a hedge of protection…

for when I felt weak to the challenge, he gave me the strength…

I am thankful tonight that God has allowed me to grow to the point where I just stepped out of the boat… and the water held me up… and I felt him there, I felt his presence…

I am thankful tonight that I have developed the courage to step out of this boat into the troubled sea… and that through his grace and awesome power… he allowed me to calm the sea….

I am thankful for the words he gave me when I had none…. that I was able to give answers I could never have thought before….

And I walk in praise…..

Listen Quietly for the Holy…

Sometimes when you just stop…. you hear the almost silent whisperings of the Holy Spirit…

Jesus Christ doesn’t speak loudly, or brazenly…. He speaks softly, lovingly…. He isn’t forceful with us..

If he made us love him our love would be meaningless… our love for him would be false… He desires our real, honest love.  

And when we do turn to him, accepting him, bringing him into our lives… he speaks to us softly still….

He is always there… all we need do is listen…