The Write Place- Curtis Bruce Kessler

August 16, 2015

Protected: I Am Luke

Filed under: Uncategorized — Curtis Bruce Kessler @ 10:56 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

April 24, 2013

I Love You with All My Son

Filed under: Uncategorized — Curtis Bruce Kessler @ 3:46 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

son

The mother tucked her son in for the night.  Their nighttime routine was as regular as clock work or so the mom thought.  Together they would say their bedtime prayer.  Mom would be first then her son would follow.  She was always eager to hear his prayer.  His prayer was always new and refreshing.  She would teasingly pinch his toe and then his nose.  His smile would brighten her heart and instantly life would be as right as rain. She would always say, “Son, I love you with all my heart.”  With that pronouncement their nightly routine would end with a huge hug, you know, one of those hugs we all need and treasure.

Then one night this routine was shattered in a most spectacular way.

The night began routinely enough.  The mother tucked in her son; they prayed, she pinched his toes and nose and then he gave her his world winning smile. Yet when she was about to say, “Son, I love you with all my heart” he reached up with his hand to silence her.  Time stopped.  Routine was shattered.  His smile was broader than ever before and his eyes, oh his eyes, radiated a light so full of innocence that she felt as if she were caught up in a massive black-hole pulling her into a world of pure love. She was enraptured. Then gesturing to his entire possession of toys said, “Mom, I love YOU with all my toys.”

The chords of her heart were stroked and in that single moment of clarity she knew what genuine love must be like in Heaven.

The story that I have revealed is true. A wonderful moment of love shared between mother and son.  Love shakes us, molds us, connects us, shapes us, motivates us, challenges us, moves us, strengthens us, confounds us, and dares us.  These precious love moments are but a reflection of a bigger purpose and spiritual force.  They serve as windows begging our attention to perceive the true source of genuine love. From that pure source love springs and never runs dry, is limitless in mercy, looks beyond faults, strikes the chords of our heart, and is always true.

God is love.

The mother’s son conveyed a type of love we yearn for every day; to love one another with the entirety of who we are and all that we have. Sadly, we miss the mark here. But, this is exactly the love God demonstrated so perfectly in the life and death of His Son Jesus ChristRomans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 1 John 4:9 “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

You may have failed in so many ways.  You may have lost countless opportunities to love.  Perhaps all you’ve done lately is be a negative, critical, unforgiving, and hateful person.

Today, God says to you and to a needy world, “I Love You with All My Son!”

The love of Christ is as powerful as any black-hole.  His love is an event that is life-changing. This dynamic love is tugging on your heart every day. The question is will you allow your heart to be pulled in and be embraced by His Amazing Grace?  Only then will you be able to experience and share a love “that passes all understanding.”

Bruce

Hidden in the Shadows

Filed under: Uncategorized — Curtis Bruce Kessler @ 2:59 am
Tags: , , , , ,

shadows

Late at night as the wind howls outside my window and the moon casts bizarre images on the bedroom walls, I detect furtive movement out of the corner of my eye.  Each time I try to focus on the movement the image mockingly disappears into the shadows.  I was a young boy at the time and I imagined something terrible was hidden in those shadows. Night terrors were what my dad called them but I thought differently.

One night my dad rented a room at a spooky looking hotel.  We had traveled a long way from Houston, TX headed home to Rincon, GA so dad was exhausted and needed rest.  All I wanted was to get to that wonderful place called home and more to the point I sensed or rather imagined that there was something creepy about the motel. I couldn’t come up with any legitimate reason why we shouldn’t spend the night.  How could a young boy explain to his dad a fear that sounded crazy and far-fetched? I hid under the covers praying that my fears were unwarranted. However, the light emanating from the bathroom suggested otherwise.  The light appeared strange; rather than being warm and natural, the tone had an unnatural quality purposely concealing a clandestine operation.

Sleep eluded me.

Soon after dad was fast asleep I sensed a presence next to my side of the bed.  I dared not take a look. I waited. My heart pounded in my chest.  For what seemed like an eternity nothing happened then I felt ice-cold boney hands ease under my body.  The clandestine operation revealed!  I knew without a doubt that my life depended on crying out.  With all my strength “Dad!” then within seconds his loving arms were embracing me, protecting me, and pulling me to safety.

The shadows retreated.

There are powerful events that we experience in childhood that affect us both mentally and spiritually. Divorce is one of those jarring events.  I don’t believe parents are neither fully aware of the drama of divorce nor fully conscious of the war that rages within the minds of innocent children.  Children are left with unanswered questions.  What was once a home (even a fractured one) is instantly gone.  We feel abandoned.  We have difficulty expressing our bewilderment and pain.

You can be sure that whatever the cause for divorce, children are at risk!

Satan lurks to use these events as opportunities to create as much chaos as possible.  This is one reason why Jesus warned, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” John 10:10.  Satan wants to debase all that is good and innocent. There are many children of divorce parents who are hurting; a deep ache exists, a forever scar.  Be mindful of the reality of this even in cases where the divorce was legitimate. Many are now adults who are still haunted by memories hidden in the shadows of the past.

One night long ago my dad embraced me and pulled me to safety.  He was there for me. He was my hero. Yet, my dad did something even better. He taught me that God was the only one able to heal my broken heart, to give me peace over troubled waters, to give me power over fear, and to empower me to live a life of meaning and purpose.  Are you hurting?  God will heal you.  What is hidden in the shadows that have you in the grips of fear and anxiety? God is here for you. His Grace will enable you to experience a victorious life!

“He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.” Psalm 91:4.

Bruce

September 5, 2012

The Children of Broken Homes

Filed under: Uncategorized — cbkessler @ 9:29 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I don’t think people really understand the devastation and pressure that a child is faced with when their parents are having problems. The pain and cries of the children are manifested in many ways both mentally and spiritually. Divorce is not a kind word. Divorce is in many ways brutal. I do not say this lightly or with malicious intent to miss-characterize people who have been divorced and have moved on. I speak from reality and one that has experienced the effects of divorce as a child.

A child cannot grasp the full meaning of divorce however they do understand when something is broken or better yet when those they love are hurting. Anxiety reaches a boiling point and because we (the children) have no idea what to do or how to fix the problem we live vicariously on a threshold between a world that will either crush us or lift us to a better place. No one is immune from a broken home especially an innocent child.

A child depends on you, whoever is closest to them.

The burdens of the sometimes forgotten children are unimaginable and in those difficult life-situations one essential act is what they need to survive. There was no way I could have verbalized what I knew in my heart and soul at age five, that my mom and dad were not well. Something was not quite right. No one seemed to know what I knew and who would listen to a five year old anyway?

Nighttime was always the worse.

No, this had less to do with how my parents acted but more to do with the fact that the night or the darkness seemed to come alive taunting or reveling in the trouble devastating our family. Lying in bed eventually I would feel a great presence lurking from some point in my bedroom. Strange shadowy shapes would form within my peripheral vision but when I would attempt to look directly at them they would furtively scatter away. Utter blackness as dark as caverns winding deep in the earth would stare back at me with soulless hungry eyes and would seem so sinister and menacing that I would shout out. Many folks would call these night-terrors.

I would just call them the cries of children from broken homes.

One particularly hard night I remember I was allowed to sleep in my parent’s room. Here of all places I thought the darkness could not penetrate. Surely this would be a safe refuge from the forces I sensed troubling all of us. Yet, once the light was turned off, the silence and darkness came alive. I had my answer. Soon, I realized that tonight would be different.

Something stirred in the shadows then suddenly a dark figure materialized out of the darkness. Walking slowly and with purposeful menacing intent the dark figure headed straight for me! I was paralyzed with fear unable to move or shout out for help. Within seconds of reaching the far end of the bed the dark figure was grabbed by my dad! I watched through breathless tears as my dad fought valiantly with this fiend. They struggled mightily then down they fell in the pit of darkness. I couldn’t see and everything was deadly silent. Oh, I prayed so! After what seemed like an eternity dad walked up to my bed.

He wore a smile and gave me a hug that spoke more to my heart than any words.

He then simply raised his fingers to his lips and said, “Shish, all is well, you can sleep now.” This would be the affirmation of love that I sorely and desperately needed for in the days to come my parents would be divorced. I really cannot say or tell you if the shadowy figure was real all I know is the real substance from my father was love, the constant affirmation of being loved, and the sacrifices he made demonstrating that love.

Children from broken homes have lost something they can never regain- their family, their father and mother, their home. This lost-ness is a gut-wrenching experience. Some will forever be in search of that allusive family spirit that was cruelly taken away. Their cries along with other children of broken homes echo yearningly late at night. Can you hear them? Pray for them. There is a dark force that seeks to destroy their lives as well. The only way out of this darkness is the light of love, the affirmation of love, and loves great selfless sacrifice.

Fathers and mothers, friends and family, act on that healing love today before time runs out. Every child needs to know they are loved, that “all is well, you can sleep now.”

Bruce

May 8, 2012

A Golden Afternoon

Filed under: Uncategorized — cbkessler @ 8:36 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Imagine plump blackberries as big as the end of your thumb, their natural sweetness and flavor oozing forth with an unsurpassed richness, and the sensational aroma causes your mouth to water with anticipation.  This was what I remembered one golden afternoon at age eight.  My dad had come home from work and we went outside to play around for awhile.  In the lane just behind our house dad noticed some blackberry bushes loaded down with huge berries.

He turned and kneeled down to me, “Hey, want to make a blackberry pie?  I bet we can make the best pie ever!  What do you think?”

Of course, I was ready to just eat those blackberries right then and there, forget the pie man!  However, I wanted to help dad and be close to him more than I wanted to eat those berries so we began to pick them for the pie. By the time we picked all those blackberries I was sick with hunger.   They were so plump, wonderful, and tempting as we cleaned them carefully with running cold water.

A few times I would surreptitiously pluck one in my mouth thinking I had fooled dad. But to my amazement he had done the same thing!

In the kitchen we prepared the dough, working with our hands, rolling it out on baking sheets sprinkled with flour. Next we carefully formed the dough around the pie pan.  We then prepared the blackberries with a mixture of sugar and other ingredients I cannot (won’t) name and threw that mix in the pan. Finally, we used the remaining dough for a topping then using a fork we made two imprints in the middle so that the pie could breath.

Dad placed the pie in the preheated oven and we waited.

I never knew baking could be such torture.  The wait was excruciating!  Once the aroma filled our little home (no air-condition until I was thirteen years old) I was besieged with pangs of hunger.  I had to leave the house and climb my favorite tree just to get some relief.  Finally dad announced that the pie was done but that another fifteen minutes of cool down time was necessary.

Oh the bitter agony.  What abuse!

Then the moment of truth arrived.  Dad had remodeled a round wooden pedestal table and that was where we sat to eat our blackberry pie.  He placed a piece of the pie for me and one for him.  Then we gave thanks.  Thank goodness his prayer was short and sweet.  I don’t think I could have resisted the aroma any longer. Oh, the blackberry pie was magical, heavenly, and unbelievably good.

It was in every way a masterpiece.

My dad had bet that we could make the best pie ever but what we experienced in the process went far beyond the makings of an awesome dessert. Here we were as father and son offering up a sacrifice of sorts- a sacrifice of time, of togetherness, of tenderness, and of love.  The aroma of this sacrifice reached well beyond the natural senses and to the very depth of our souls.  The bond of love between us was strengthened. By faith I believe that this unique connection was orchestrated by God. A golden afternoon with enormous eternal consequences and one forever treasured in my heart.

Always value the time spent with your loved one.  It is never too late. A golden afternoon awaits you today.

Yours, Bruce

December 1, 2011

The Fallen Christmas Tree

Filed under: Uncategorized — cbkessler @ 11:25 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Holiday memories are special and powerful. When you are from a broken home, a family separated by divorce, these memories cut through like a razor and leave a permanent image on your soul. I had come from a broken home myself. Many folks accept divorce today as inevitable, the norm, or an alternative but studies show that divorce leaves a “forever” scar on the children, even if the divorce is justified. I know I speak for many children who were raised by their single divorced parent, the memories of Christmas holidays are both wonderful and sad. I say sad in the since that as a child you know something is terribly wrong with your dad or mom but you don’t know how to fix it. You want to help them so bad but it’s just beyond your reach. Instead, you love them wholly, unconditionally through and through. Because of this dynamic love special times like Christmas are deeply treasured. One such special memory for me happened one Christmas Eve night when I was 8 years old. My dad had the titanic responsibility of raising a wiry skinny little boy (me) on his own and did so for eight challenging heroic years. However, he did have great support from his 14 brothers and sisters. Of course this was both a blessing and a curse for me! But I digress.

Christmas was even more special that particular year. My dad and I had gone through a lot. The road had been difficult. Well, actually he had gone through a lot. I was grateful to stand tall beside my wonderful dad. He had to work extra jobs along with working the grave-yard shift just to get by week to week, that, and constantly chasing after me. While I didn’t understand the complexities of life I somehow sensed that dad was deeply troubled, that he wasn’t happy, and was working extremely hard to hide his pain. His efforts to put on a different mask around me didn’t work one wit and I was determined to heal him of his ills and raise his spirits. Soon, I found the means to heal his sickness. A Christmas tree!

My plan was unbelievably simple. Daddy had to work Christmas Eve and would come home late that night. He had purchased a live tree the day before but had forgotten to purchase any ornaments for decorations. So, Christmas Eve, while dad was working I excitedly put my plan into motion. I scurried from one Aunt/Uncle’s house to another getting my hands on every ornament they were willing to let go. Soon I had a treasure cove of Christmas ornaments. What an amazing collection; an assortment of blue and red glass balls, dangling bells, glass snowflakes, Nutcracker soldiers, a Star of Bethlehem tree topper, gold and silver tinsels, and lights to finish the tree. I worked steadily, carefully and tenderly placing each ornament on the tree. Truly, my decoration represented a puzzle; each piece had to be placed perfectly. This would be the complete cure for my dad. Finally, the work was done. I stood back and smiled at the most spectacularly decorated Christmas tree in the entire world. I then slid the tree carefully behind the front door so dad wouldn’t be able to see my surprise until the right moment.

Life is filled with surprises and God has his way about things. So, not surprisingly things didn’t turn out quite like I had envisioned. As dad pulled in from work I stood with great anticipation. But instead of walking in normally he threw open the door shouting, “Merry Christmas! Ho! Ho! Ho!” and unbelievably knocked over the tree. All my plans, all my hopes, all of my work to put this puzzle in place to cure my dad came slowly crashing down. The disappointment was just too much and tears fell in droves. I just couldn’t stop. Dad, quickly surmising what had just happened, wrapped his arms around me, shuffling his hand tenderly through my hair, “Son, I am so sorry. The tree is beautiful. But, guess what? I love you! You are what matters to me. We can lift that tree back up and it will look even better. Together we can do anything.” Sure enough, together, we lifted that tree back in place and ornament after ornament the great disappointment was replaced by the love of father and son. In the end decorating the Christmas tree was truly a cleverly designed gift for me. God works that way. I had all the best intentions in the world but God saw differently and used the fallen Christmas tree as a means to bring healing and love to two very needy souls. We both sat on the couch deep into the night watching quietly the lights dancing off the glistening ornaments on the tree. As I slowly drifted into that wonderful place of rapture and tranquility I thought of the baby Jesus, how that he would bring good will and peace to all man. I smiled knowingly as I snuggling closer to dad. Thank you Jesus, thank you.

Remember the power of Christ this holiday. What has fallen can be raised, what is disappointing can be turned into God’s advantage, His love can be experienced, and His peace passes all understanding.

Bruce

Blog at WordPress.com.