It’s Your World Now

January 18, 2016

A deep and profound sense of sadness permeates the Davis household this evening as the sorrowful news came in from all forms of media: Glenn Frey, one of the founders of The Eagles, was dead at age 65.

My mind immediately flashed back to the early ’70’s and days spent listening to “Take it Easy”, “Witchy Woman”, and “Peaceful, Easy Feeling”; it was the theme music of our final days in Los Angeles, CA, and the drawn-out Route 66 journey to northern Missouri in a small town called Brookfield, where we would start our new lives together.

This album kept the insanity of a life uprooted in check; it was a soothing balm of chords and melodies that spoke of endless miles of a carefree life just driving on the highways and byways of yesteryear. It was soul-searching music of doubtful love with feet firmly “standing on the ground.” Southern California rock with meaningful lyrics laid against driving beats…yes, it was suffice to say that The Eagles had taken flight with that first album, with several more to come.

And even when the bickering came, the band split up, and each went their own separate ways with successful solo careers, there was always this feeling that somehow, someway, this iconic supergroup of musicians would make sweet music again; the dream came to fruition with the release of the live “Hell Freezes Over” album. The Eagles were back, and with a vengeance. All seemed right with the world once again.

And then, today, the news. Gut-wrenching, mind-blowing, and ever-so-final.

The tributes are still pouring in for this multi-talented actor/musician; as I sit here and write, the last lyrics that run through my head are from their last studio album, “Long Road out of Eden” and the hauntingly beautiful “It’s Your World Now.”

A perfect day, the sun is sinkin’ low
As evening falls, the gentle breezes blow
The time we shared went by so fast
Just like a dream, we knew it couldn’t last
But I’d do it all again
If I could, somehow
But I must be leavin’ soon
It’s your world now

It’s your world now
My race is run
I’m moving on
Like the setting sun
No sad goodbyes
No tears allowed
You’ll be alright
It’s your world now

Even when we are apart
You’ll always be in my heart
When dark clouds appear in the sky
Remember true love never dies

But first a kiss, one glass of wine
Just one more dance while there’s still time
My one last wish: someday, you’ll see
How hard I tried and how much you meant to me

It’s your world now
Use well your time
Be part of something good
Leave something good behind
The curtain falls
I take my bow
That’s how it’s meant to be
It’s your world now
It’s your world now
It’s your world now

Rest in peace, Glenn. You really gave this guy, as well as the rest of the world, some great memories through the gift of music.

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The Argument for Apocalypse

November 17, 2015

Yeah, I know…that’s a pretty radical and morbid title for a post, but it’s one that I’ve been spinning around in my head for a few days as I work on another story outline. This one? A three novel arc that spans generations and brings a deep spiritual aspect to the age-old adage of “good vs. evil”.

So, in light of what I’m working on, I thought I’d share this tidbit: I’m sometime asked what I think of the world we live in now, and will there be an apocalypse on day? Well, being a fan of The Walking Dead and other world-altering stories (my favorite by far is “I Am Legend” by Richard Matheson), I would have to say that it weighs heavily on me from time to time; could this be the way that the world ends? With a huge party favor complete with zombie fireworks, or with a flu-like whimper as in Stephen King’s “The Stand”?

My opinion? I’d have to say with maybe a little of both. If we did have manivores (flesh-eating people, get it?), then all it would take is a few bath salt-sniffing addicts to alter their brain chemistry enough to insitute the necessary changes in behavioral patterns to think that it’s really okay to ingest a few innards. Could that sort of disease be spread virally or biologically? Probably not. On the AS (Apocalypse Scale), a tepid 3 out of 10, since there would have to be a WHOLE lot of sniffing agents to make the entire world a glorious all-your-can-eat buffet.

Or how about a man made, genetically produced bio agent courtesy of the good ol’ U.S. of A.? One that escapes (or is let loose) from underground labs and mutates humans into muchin’ machines, a la Resident Evil? Method of transmission primarily via physical (chewing) contact. This scenario has a good side, though.  After a while, their food source would be exhausted; so, all one would have to do is stock up, board up, lock up, and wait it out. On the AS; say about 6 or 7 out of 10.

Worst-case scenario? Believe it or not, nuclear devastation would wipe out a majority of the world’s population in seconds, and the lingering after effects could last hundreds of years via nuclear winter, radiation poisoning over a vast wasteland, mass starvation, etc. Billions dead, major cities wiped out, utilities eradicated…basically, a survivalist’s nightmare. Tally on the AS, a perfect apocalyptic storm of 10 out of 10.

One thing to keep in mind: during any apocalyptic event, the playing field will be leveled dramatically as societies roll back to the Stone Age. There will be no more rich or poor, and no privileged class to lord over the underdogs. All people will be struggling the same way, and attempting to survive against the backdrop of annihilation. The odds will definitely NOT be in your favor.

So, my friends, there’s my argument for the apocalypse. Could it happen? Perhaps.

Will it happen? Only God knows.

All I can say is this: if you see anyone with some intestines hanging out of their mouth, please let me know as soon as possible, ok? 

Just in case.

🙂


Standing Firm!!

January 24, 2012

“(But I know)
You’ve got to stand for something;
Or you’re gonna fall for anything.
You’ve gotta stand right up for somethin’;
Or you’re gonna fall….for anything.” (John Mellencamp, ©1985, Scarecrow)

How many times in our lives do we cave into pressure from outside influences, my friends? How many times do we say we are going to make a stand and then when push comes to shove…we buckle under, cry and whimper, and run away with our tails tucked between our legs?

John Mellencamp sang about this very subject and he really hit home with the words; he knew what we all go through in life when there are big decisions to make and tough stands to take. Sometimes we alienate our so-called “friends”; and when push comes to shove they fall away from our lives and then we are left to actually wonder whether or not they were truly as close as we thought they were. Other times, when we are backed into a corner and there is no where else to turn, we rely on our own devices to see us out of the situation…and we fall right on our faces, bloodied and bruised.

Folks, taking a stand can be tenuous and can make you feel like you’re at the breaking point; yet, there is a way to stand firm without compromising our positions and make a valid point. And that’s to be like a F.R.O.G.

Yes, you heard me right. Be a F.R.O.G. In other words, Fully Rely On God to get you through ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that is a trial or tribulation. Trust in the One who knows what you are going through and who has made a way for you to deal with all the junk that life throws at us. Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  Also, in John 14:27 it says this: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

When we fully rely on God to take care of those things which are burdening us, we can be totally committed to making (and taking) stands in our lives that are Godly and Christ-centered instead of self-centered, and we’ll feel at peace with our decisions. And, when we “hop” onto the path of Word discovery instead of world discovery, then we can trust 1,000% in what God can do in our lives.

So, brothers and sisters, stand FIRM! Stand FAST! ‘Cause help is on its way! If you feel F.R.O.G.gy, then jump in and make a stand for Jesus! It will change your life for the better.

Be blessed!!


The Poisonous Tongue

January 27, 2011

That was the subject broached at our CSBC Wednesday Evening Bible Study for the adults; we had lots of great discussion and some pointed questions asked about this small muscle in our mouths that does such evil and treacherous things.

Why is it that we let our lips sing and speak forth praise unto the Lord on Sundays during our worship, and then let those same lips blast out cuss words during the week? Why do we say we love God and then ungraciously gift our neighbor (and brothers and sisters in Christ) with words of hatred? Where are our hearts and minds when this happens?

James chapter 3 talks on this very topic; it’s one that we don’t care to admit to anyone, including ourselves, because it causes us to look in the mirror and examine our innermost being. You know, those things like the skeletons we hide in our closets; the thoughts that we try to veil to the outside world; even the feelings that we have for our fellow man as we put on those smiles and say everything’s a-ok.

We can’t tame our tongues in our own power, my friends. Only God can help us with them.

Through humbleness (practicing that age-old technique of kneeology), through the wisdom of God’s Word, and through being the correct Godly role models for our families, our spouses, our churches, our co-workers, etc., can we do battle with the tongue. While it is a lifelong struggle, the Lord can give you the right mindset in Christ Jesus to “bite” your tongue before lashing words come out and hurt someone or cause irreparable damage to the Body of believers. Too many churches have divisions by people gossiping, backbiting, and murmuring…we all need to learn, as Christians, to listen to that still, small voice of God…and then do what HE tells us to do, instead of doing what WE want to do.

The tongue can be a wonderful edification tool for Christians…or it can be a devastating stumbling block.

It’s your choice on how you use it.

Be blessed on this Thursday!!


“The Great Adventure Continues!” – July 2010 Linn County Leader Column

July 15, 2010

It’s been a few months since this column has graced the pages of the Linn County Leader, and many have been wondering, “What’s the deal?” or “Did you quit writing?”

To which I can only answer, “No deal, really,” and “No, I didn’t quit writing at all…just been rather busy.”

You see, these past three months have been filled with changes galore, and all of them deal with the ministry that God has graced us with here in the local area. As most of you are aware of by now, I accepted the position of full-time pastor at CSBC (Caldwell Street Baptist Church) in Brookfield after resigning as a local pastor of the Missouri United Methodist Conference.

And no, contrary to the rumors and innuendo that so often accompanies small town living, I was not forced out or surrendered my pastoral license involuntarily, nor did another church steal me away. I have heard all of these falsehoods, and it saddens me. Gossip is idle and hurtful talk, and has no place among Christians. The reasons for my departure from the UMC are of a personal nature, and have to deal with both philosophical and moralistic issues. I will always look back on my time as an LLP in the UMC with fondness, and made many friends among clergy and parishioners during the past three years. Most of all, I thank the United Methodist Conference for giving me a start in the ministry to which I have been called.

However, as Ecclesiastes says, “to everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” I truly believe that this is a new ministerial season in our lives, and I feel a renewed purpose and sense of vitality in spreading the Good News throughout our area.

My calling to this new ministry at Caldwell has been a blessing beyond belief, and the circumstances of how God moved to place me there are testimonials of His amazing power at work. Needless to say, they are way too numerous to mention in this short column; I can only sum it up by saying, “Ask me!” From the pastoral search committee meeting to discuss it, to the resume submittal, to the prayers that were lifted up from everywhere….well, it is a true miracle how the process played out!

I have also heard some people say, “Well, the church should’ve waited longer to find a pastor!” And to that I say, “Why? If you can really see God working throughout it all, then why wait?” Sometimes we look right past the will of our Lord and wait to see what WE want to see instead of what He is showing us right in front of our faces.

When we stepped through the doors of Caldwell, we were confronted with a dying fellowship that needed encouragement, edification, and growth; a body of believers that were seeking a vision for their future in the Lord and who were willing to do His work in reaching the least, the last, and the lost; a people who needed God’s love.

Prayerfully, we are meeting those needs as best as we can. In just over a month, we have grown from a core group of 5 people to an average of 25 every Sunday morning; new members are coming in, professions of faith are being given, and baptisms are on the schedule! God is good! And as we continue to live our mission of “Growing, Serving, Reaching,” we strive to make a difference here in Brookfield; this church was started as an outreach from Park Baptist over 40 years ago to help others…and we have the hope and faith that it will continue to do just that for many more years.

So, please pray for CSBC, and for yet another great adventure in the Lord for this servant!

Blessings to you and yours!

Richard is a monthly columnist for the Linn County Leader, and pastor of CSBC (Caldwell Street Baptist Church) in Brookfield. He can be reached at sliceofhome@gmail.com or via his online blog at https://sliceofhome.wordpress.com.


Now That The Dust Has Settled…

December 11, 2008

There have been many people who have asked me why in the world I stopped writing my column in the Linn County Leader; the simple reason is that I have decided to devote all of my energies into both the ministry that God has called Jeannie and I into, plus I am picking up where I left off many years ago with my creative writing projects that have sadly been neglected.

On January 1st, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to begin that novel that I have been dreading to write for many years…and that is my autobiography. Not for myself and for fame and fortune; not for people to read and point fingers at; but for the legacy I will leave behind for my children, and my family.

You see, God has truly blessed me with wonderful kids; yet even they do not know what I have been through in my life–the homelessness; the drug and alcohol abuse; the very bottom depths of the pits of hell that I found myself in, time and time again. No one was to blame for this tragedy but myself…yet the Lord in His awesome love, mercy, and grace, gave me a new life. A life in Him; a life that was no longer my own but was to be lived spreading the Good News that Jesus can, indeed, save souls.

I was one of those souls. And my children; my wife; my friends…they all need to hear this story. A story of a wretch, mired in the sludge of life’s pigpen, who was given a second chance at life.

So, my friends, the challenge begins on Jan. 1. Please pray for me as I set aside a couple of hours per day to embark on this amazing journey once again. I only imagine that there will be tears; there will be memories dredged up out f the muck; but, ultimately, there will be freedom as I share God’s power to give peace to a man who was once blind…but now can truly see.


FINAL Linn County Leader Monthly Column – “All Good Things”

December 8, 2008

For the past four years, I have been so blessed with the opportunity to share some thoughts, feelings, and life happenings with the readers of this newspaper. It has been a journey of self-discovery in a way; a place where I’ve been able to realize that one of the greatest gifts that God has given me is the ability to write for enjoyment; and not just for myself, but for others to enjoy as well. It is something that I have not used properly for far too long.

There are many people that I need to thank for opening my eyes to this wonderful gift; two of them stand out in particular: from 25-plus years ago, James Hart at Brookfield High School. He was the one who molded a raw, untested teenager’s words into something that resembled coherent thought; and also, my brother Ron Davis (a journalistic scholar in his own right) who encouraged me to write more and gave some helpful tips on how to get my point across. Along life’s pathway there were/are numerous college and seminary professors who have pointed this special gift out to me and asked the pointed question, “What have you done with it lately?”

And so, my creative writing began from these very humble beginnings; it turned into a word processing dynamo during one brief period where I was able to churn out two full-length novels, a couple of novellas, and many short stories; and then, sadly, it faded away to just a few paragraphs here and there as the busyness of life encroached.

Alas, my friends, I give you this background of my writing progress to give you the news gently (if you could call it that)…this December 2008 column will be my last one for the Linn County Leader. After almost fifty months, I have grudgingly decided to put away the pen and paper to concentrate more on ministry, and to also fulfill a lifelong dream: finishing those “other” writing projects that I have set aside for far too long.

You know, it has been said that, “all good things come to an end”; this quote originated back in 1374 by the English author and poet Geoffrey Chaucer. He was right in so many ways, it seems, especially as it pertains to writing. Good things do come to an end at one point or another; this is one of those things.

And this monthly column, dear reader, has really been a good thing in my life. To call it a blessing would fall far short and serve as an injustice; words cannot describe the numerous times that a point has been discussed; complimented; ridiculed; or otherwise; over something that was mentioned in Slice of Home, Slice of Life. For the most part, I can only hope that it made people think about their life, or ask challenging questions about their faith, or just reminisce about things as they used to be in the Green Hills area a few decades ago.

So, as a parting thought, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite passages out of Ecclesiastes; the third chapter in this biblical book speaks of a “time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” A time for (fill in your own words here). Folks, I’ve had the time to share so many things in my life with this written word, and I give thanks for that opportunity. I’ve made many friends along the way, and I’ve also been able to share some Truth from God’s Word while doing so. No one could ever ask for anything more than that.

And while this isn’t really goodbye, it does seem sad in a way. So, I’ll just leave you with ”so long for now.” You’ll still see us at Wal-Mart in Brookfield or in other locales; I’ll still be blessed to be in the pulpits at Bear Branch, Purdin, and Pleasant Grove UMC’s; and Jeannie and I will still lift our voices in song and praise to the Lord Jesus whenever we are asked (that doesn’t interfere with my pastoral duties!). We aren’t going anywhere; this is just a season for doing something else for God…and I will still be feverishly pecking away at my computer keyboard in the hopes of one day finishing that “Great American Novel” that I have always dreamed about getting published, as a lasting legacy for my children, and their children, to share.

My friends, I just want to thank each and every one of you for the ride! It’s been joyous and wonderful and so uplifting. I am richly blessed to have gotten to know so many people through this column, and I thank the Leader for the creative outlet. And, a special thanks needs to go out to Bryan Day and Stephanie Patterson, former editors, and also Polly Taylor, the current editor, of the Linn County Leader.

So, folks, I pray that the Lord will truly bless you and yours all the days of your lives. Go with God wherever He leads, and you will be truly blessed.

Grace and peace!

Richard may still be contacted via e-mail at sliceofhome@gmail.com, or via his online blog at https://sliceofhome.wordpress.com.