Darkness is Always Repulsed by the Light


It’s 2 am when the light in the darkened room turns on.  The darkness of the night is chased away as you immediately shield your eyes from the brightness of the light now shining in your face.  Painfully you open your eyes as they begin to adjust to the brightened room around you.  Minutes pass by as you slowly become accustomed to your new surroundings.

We live in a world of darkness and sin.  One that continually abandons its God in search of the immediate yet fleeting desires of the flesh.  As the world gets darker, those that stand firm in the faith become brighter and brighter.  Each of us is born with the light within us.  This light grows brighter and brighter as we keep God’s commandments and serve him.  The light diminishes as we sin and follow the darkness of this world.

Those in the world chasing after darkness will undoubtedly feel uncomfortable around those with whom the light resides.  Darkness will always be repulsed by the light.  Try is it might, the light always prevails over the darkness. 

As the world looks for and finds more and more ways take us deeper into the darkest abyss, the light within us can shine forth to lead us and others safely out.  The brightness of our light is directly proportionate to our commitment to Jesus Christ and our adherence to his gospel and commandments. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven.”  Mathew 5:16

The brightness of your light is up to you.


Hidden Treasures


A friend of mine shared with me a story the other day…  A man living in Africa spent much of his life searching for diamonds.  Each day after countless hours working on his farm he would venture off into the mountains in search of his fortune.  Fascinated by geology he continues his quest.    One day while tilling the ground this man finds a strange rock, rather large in size yet unlike most he had pulled from the ground of his crops.  The uniqueness of this rock and the size was rather impressionable so the old man decides to clean it off and place it upon his mantle as a conversation piece.

As the years go by, the old man continues his routine and each night after a long days work he would continue his search for his fortune in diamonds.  After each hard day, he would relax in his old rocker in front of the fireplace where upon the mantle sat his conversation piece.  Many visitors would seem impressed by the uniqueness of this rock, then the old man would place it back upon the mantle.

As the decades passed, the old man grew ever more tired with each passing year, yet his desire to find the hidden treasure he knew was out there drove him ever onward each day. 

One day, an old friend whom he hadn’t seen in many years stopped by to visit.  The old man pulled down the rock from the mantle and showed his friend.  Somewhat bemused and slightly bewildered his friend asked the old man if he knew what he had in this unique rock and what was inside of it..  The old man replied.. It’s just and old odd shaped rock..  His friend replied, quite the contrary.. this rock contains within it a diamond, a rather large and priceless diamond hidden under the roughness of the rock surrounding it.

This old man had spent his lifetime searching for that very rock that he had placed on his mantle decades before, yet not knowing the value of the possession he held, he left it sitting there unused except as a simple conversation piece…

This story resonated deep within me this week as I have contemplated much upon the many lessons learned from this story. We all have priceless treasures in ourselves and in our lives,  that many times we leave sitting on the mantle unable to fulfill their full potential.  Many times, we spend a lifetime searching for that which is right in front of us. 

Changing Seasons


I love the change of seasons and what each one brings with them.  I look forward to each change with anticipation and excitement. As spring approaches I find myself restless and ready to spend time in the mountains hiking again.  Hiking brings my family closer as we explore new trials and spend time outside together.  We have some of our greatest talks together as a family while crossing small streams and climbing over fallen trees. Each one creating a special memory that we all remember and reminisce.

Some of our trails that we hike are simple little walks while others pose a greater challenge.  Each one brings a unique perspective to the outdoors and mother nature.  The degrees of difficulty vary from week to week as we stumble upon new places to discover.

Today I drove up the canyon as I pondered some of the decisions we face in life.  I found myself wishing I could have more time to get out and walk along the trails and reconnect with nature.  I have always found great comfort and peace in the mountains where my soul becomes steady as my mind come to rest.

Just as our life is certain to change like the seasons and each journey we find ourselves on has varying degrees of difficulty, there is much peace and knowledge in knowing that through all the changes and challenges that we find through the seasons, we too grow and become stronger like the mighty trees that stand as a testament of change.  As we look back upon the trails and seasons of life, we too should always recognize the growth and strength that comes with each new season.

Tom Attwater Is Dying. His Daughter Might Die, Too. The Letter He Left For Her Is Unforgettable.

Kindness Blog

Tom Attwater is dying of a brain tumor, but he isn’t worried about his cancer. Instead, he is trying to save his 5 year-old daughter from her own.

tom attwater Tom Attwater with daughter Kelli and wife Joely

He has vowed to raise approximately $820,200.00 for her cancer treatment, even if he wouldn’t be around to see her go through it.

Now Tom is almost half way to his fundraising target he is more adamant than ever to reach it. Tragically his deadline is short as his latest scans show his brain tumour is growing.

He says: “These days people make bucket lists, and the very top of mine – the one that matters most – is raising money to make sure Kelli gets the medical help she might need.

Tom attwater

“Some people have advised me to slow down and concentrate on enjoying the rest of my days. But how can I knowing…

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A Heart Once Broken


Broken hearts

Beat once again

Protected and hidden

By walls deep within

Few there do enter

Fewer hold a key

The walls of the fortress

How mighty they be

Walls beyond walls

With mazes between

Preventing the many

Of the heart being seen

The few that do enter

The chambers within

With caution and care

As the healing begins

For a heart once broken

Is no longer the same

Fewer the friends

That will ever remain

For true love exists

In the chambers within

Where only the truest

Can ever get in

© 2014 James Isbell






Hidden Messages


Lately there seems to be a great deal of uproar over supposed hidden messages in movies.  The latest being Disney’s Frozen.  While I no doubt believe that the message that the writer intends will always be within the story.  It is after all, their work and it whatever message they are trying to send will undoubtedly be within the storyline.

However, I also firmly believe that we as the audience interpret whatever messages we encounter based upon our own beliefs, feelings and understanding.  Nearly every message delivered through artistic work of any kind can be interpreted multiple ways.  Many have cried foul over an “agenda” within the movie Frozen to promote the homosexual lifestyle while others have interpreted this movie about friendship, sisterhood, and discovering who they are.

I have read the scriptures many times throughout my life.  I can read the same verse multiple times and each time I read one that impacts me it can be for different reasons based upon what is happening in my life at that time.   We as human beings interpret the messages we read, see and hear based upon our own lives.  Two people can see the same movie, read the same book or listen to the same music and discover a uniquely different message for them.

We find the messages that we are looking for and need in our life. If we feel that a certain message in a family oriented movie is an attack on our personal beliefs then we also see those same things in other areas of our life.  If we experience a different message such as discovering who you are then something in your life is resonating with that message. 

Not all art is uplifting and some is designed to tear us down.  What I am referring to is that which carries multiple messages for many people.


Always Looking from the Outside In – A Fathers Heartache part 13


It seems as though I have spent a great deal of my time as a father standing on the outside looking in.  The decisions, choices, schools, and most activities are decided without my input, consent nor opinion.  I strive to remain an integral and active part of my children’s lives while subduing the continual inner turmoil that is ever present.  The suppression of these bitter emotions that build with each new denial of my parental rights gets swallowed up within, like a cocktail of poison and venom. I fight to keep in check the bitterness and prevent it from interfering with the relationship I insist on maintaining with my dear children. I painfully recognize and understand the vile position that their mother places them in during each activity.

This past Saturday morning, like so many before, I arose early to get ready to go and watch my daughter’s cheer competition.  She loves her cheer leading competitions as much as Bridger loves his sports.  I believe that my children immerse themselves into these activities in an attempt to numb the pain of the situation.  Upon arriving at one of the local high school gymnasium’s, I patiently stand in line to pay the $10.00 admittance fee and then off the find the perfect spot to watch her.

I climb the bleachers to find a seat where I can video her performance and take some action photos.  I watch as she marches onto the floor with her team and then the music starts and in unison her team starts.  She does her flips and kicks, then she is thrown into the air and caught by the other girls.  The smile on her face is electrifying, my heart swells with mixed emotions as I anxiously watch her.  I’m torn with my deep love for her and the hopeful anticipation that today will be one of the lucky days her mom permits her to come and say hello to me after her performance.

More often than not I never get more from my children at their activities than a smile and a distant look in their eyes letting me know they love me and appreciate me coming.  Their mother usually drags them off and away from me immediately after they finish.  On rare occassions I get the rush of the heartfelt hugs and a kiss on the cheek as they hurriedly sneak over to me to say thank you, with a quick bear hug.  During these rare moments in time, they will quickly look over their shoulders for reassurance that their mother isn’t watching.  I can only imagine the lecture on the way home when they are caught.

My heart aches knowing that they are willing to take that risk whenever they can while worrying about the impending after effect when noticed.  Painfully I have learned to quickly give them a hug and kiss, tell them I love them and congratulate them on a job well done so that they can feel safe in running to me.  My heart explodes in pain each time I quietly stand in the distance and watch them walk away.

Saturday was one of those rare and special occassions when I was able to hug and kiss my daughter and tell her how amazing she is.  As she quickly hugged me, she turned to run before getting caught.  I fought the tears as I quietly left the school parking lot, alone in my own thoughts I couldn’t help but tell myself the same thing that I tell myself over and over.. It just isn’t fair.  I just want to be a dad, while hoping deep down inside, one day, that things will be different.

Until then, it is my life, as I am Always looking from the outside in.

Ghost Towns and the Ghosts of the Past


Karla and I love to stop and see the old ghost towns as we travel.   As we visit them we often discuss what life would have been like in each particular town and imagine both the hardships and memories of living in such a town during its heyday.  Each visit brings a new perspective and appreciation to the people that inhabited these now empty towns.  Some of these ghost towns have been 100 of years old while others have only been decades.

Each ghost town shares one particular trait in common with all the others,   They each represent the end.  There is always a story behind each town, some simply faded away over time while others were vacated due to some specific event. Some towns experienced periods of great prosperity and wealth, while others never seemed to get completely started. Some feel spooky and haunted while others seem exciting and full of wonder. The more we know of the story, the less spooky each town seems. In the end, they are all simply shells of their former existence. There are some ghost towns that have much left of their history and story while others, little is known.  They each represent a specific period or events in the past.  Ghosts of the past.

In each and every town, there are wonderful stories to be taught, lessons to be learned and wisdom to be gained.  The end of each town represents a specific moment in time of change.

Our lives are much like these ghost towns.   We all have moments in our past where our lives have changed.  We each have times in our lives that we have moved on from, that are in past.  We each have ghosts from our pasts.  Much like the stories, lessons and wisdom to be gained from the history of these towns, there is much to be gained from the lessons and experiences of our own past.  If we allow those moments to die without learning from them, then like a ghost town where little is known, it can haunt us.  If we learn and study from these moments in the past we can gain wisdom, knowledge and great lessons can be learned when we can stand in amazement, awe, and wonderment at the history we see before us.