"I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands." - Psalm 143:5

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leaps and Bounds

 

leap copy2 Leap Verb: Jump or spring a long way, to a great height, or with great force.

“I advise you to say your dream is possible and then overcome all inconveniences, ignore all the hassles and take a running leap through the hoop, even if it is in flames.” - Les Brown

Of all the weird facts of Leap Day…this one struck me the most.

Without Leap Days, the calendar would be off by 24 days within 100 years.

Without your leap of faith…what would be different in your life? What would be OFF in your life without your personal, faith fueled “Leap Days”? You know, the days that God asked you to leap through the fiery hoop of belief without checking for a net first.

Can you imagine what your life would look like without those?

What would your faith look like?

These are questions I’m asking myself while poking around memories of those times when my faith grew by leaps and bounds. As I do, I see His hand and I recognize the need for such seasons…they drive me closer to Him.

So, what about you…do any of those vaulting questions strike you?

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Magnificent Seven

 

What greater blessing to give thanks for at a family gathering than the family and the gathering. ~Robert Braul

cookieclan2  
I am a father of seven, well, nine actually (lost two to miscarriage) but seven walking this planet. My small nation is comprised of five boys and two girls, ranging in age from 23 to 9…yes, that’s quite a range. For a dad, a large family poses various challenges to navigate.

Seven different cultures and languages to learn

Seven powerful personalities to discover

Seven characters to help mold and grow

Seven wonderful minds to help nurture

Seven souls to guard and protect

No wonder I’m tired

The juggling of seven distinct individuals into a unit that is for each other is quite a feat and one not for the fainthearted. My wife and I are daily dealing with the training of young children while coaching the decisions of our adult children…and guiding teenagers in between. It is a financial strain, a physical challenge, a spiritual wrestle and sometimes a nine ring (including parents) circus! It is all that and more…

It’s my family

It’s my blessing

The lives of my children are the seven best things that have ever happened to me. They have made me a better man and a better father than I ever dreamt I could be. Each one has stretched me, each son and daughter interaction has increased my heart and the love it contains. They have taught me about God, they have taught me about acceptance and they have brought me great joy.

I am the father of seven…and they are all magnificent!

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Bad Sheep - Orange you glad to see me?

 

 

The Bad Boys of Wool are back with another slice of their zany life and it seems a little payback may be in store for one of the boys. Hope you enjoy and remember to leave a comment...Lambo and Chop love FEEDback!

bad sheep no. 51

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

32





" For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

The number 32 is special

The number (atomic) of germanium (not the flower)
The number of completed, numbered piano sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven
The number of pages in the average comic book (not including the cover)
The number worn by Jon Matlack, one of my favorite NY Mets 1977
The number code for international direct phone calls to Belgium

Yes, the number 32 is special...32 years ago I received an invitation to the rest of my life.

I started traveling with a not-so-famous Christian Rock Band called Charismata (if you do a Google search...you won't find us). We were having a series of concert gigs in Vahalla, NY and the sponsoring church hosted a welcome party for us.

As we were pulling into the church parking lot with our big bus, I had no idea I was going to meet my future but there she was. Christine Marie Breden was just one of the many faces in the crowd that day, excited to help bring a Christian band into her church and perhaps touch people's lives. She, of course, had no idea her life was about to change as well. It seemed random, our meeting...like the random facts above but the truth is...

God orchestrated two lives into one.

32 years ago a banged up knight met his beautiful princess and two years later I married the most beautiful soul on the planet.

That future and hope thing is working just fine for me.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Love Sonnet for One - Poetry for my Wife




I could seek out a thousand blossoms, 
inhaling none like the aroma of your love.
Countless sunrises could fill my horizon and
not brighten my day more than your smile.
The moon jealously guards her sky, 
knowing your rising during the night 
would outshine her glow.
The air tingles with excitement on touching 
your cheek as you pass by.
Sound itself, hushes to take in the
melody of your voice.
Rainbows swirl with mere color while your
eyes captures them all.
Beauty is not a grand enough word to
fill the picture of you.
Such is your grace, 
where flowers bathed by the sunrise,
given rest by moonlight, 
pale in your company.
Where dreams and elements seem less 
than all you are.
I am a castaway on the shores of your heart.
No desire of rescue is found within me.
I find myself lost in your pleasant walkways
seeking more.


Jay Cookingham, September 18, 2002 © 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bad Sheep - Pun-ishment

 

 

Well, well, it seems the Bad Boys of Wool have been up to no-good again. Let's see if they can redeem themselves!
bad sheep #50

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Warrior Poetess – Guest Post

 

 

Well, it must be guest post season here at Soulfari! This time it’s my oldest daughter Sarah returning with a poem…with a twist. My daughter is taking after her warrior poet Dad and I think she is extremely talented (of course), so read and enjoy! (BTW, You can read her first guest post Mission Possible here)

wishcookie1

Waiting

A Life or Death Question:

Waiting, longing, hoping, and needing

Oh, when will it be for me?

Begging, entreating, moaning and pleading

What is my answer to be?

Groveling, sighing, practically dying

Still she is unmoved by me

Grousing, beseeching, basically screeching

Mom, can I have a cookie?!!!

wishcookie

 

 

 

 


By Sarah Cookingham © 2012

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Speaking up Again…


michael-sheila

 

Today I'm honored to do a guest post on Longings End, the blog and labor of love by Michael and Sheila Kimball. This husband and wife team are terrific writers and have huge hearts towards Father God, I suggest you stop by often and be blessed by their gifts. As for my post...its a repost for me but one I thought that fit the flavor of Longings End, see if you agree and read it here.

Blessings, Jay

 

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Ponder and Muse


I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; (3) I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. Psalm 101:2-3

This verse has me pondering and musing on my heart. It's a great reminder of the influence I have over my family, the impact I have in their lives. I must walk with integrity wherever I am but it is at home that it matters most!

The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out.
 ~Thomas Babington Macaulay


May I offer a simple prayer for all of us?

Father,
Help me walk a blamesless path before you. Strengthen my faithfulness, enpower my character with yours and set my eyes on worthy things. Let my life reflect your life before my family and all I come into contact with. - Amen!


What do you think of this verse?