Knock. Knock. WHO’s there?

knock

I promise, no lame knock knock joke. During a conversation with a friend while discussing one door closing, finding other doors locked, uncertainty about even trying further doors as they didn’t feel any strong leading by the Lord in one or another particular direction. So, planning to wait for Him to unlock a door. I tend to be one that wants to be involved in things and I believe that Christ wants us to be active participants in our lives. He wants us to lean on Him but He also wants us to put some effort into things. He may unlock doors but He wants us to turn the knob and open the door to let Him into our lives or to give God the chance to do something for us.

20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.  Revelation 3:20-22

He does stand at the door and knock, waiting for us to open the door let Him in. He won’t barge in the door but He will wait and knock again. He will make things ready for us but won’t force us to accept Him and His blessings. He will prepare a way for us but not force us to take that path but hopes that we will and even when we don’t He will still have that path waiting for us so that we can be forgiven and receive the grace and mercy He provides.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  Jeremiah 29:11

He has thoughts and plans for us and wants us to reach the expected end. He wants us to receive the blessings He has to give us but we to do our part. He has all ready and waiting if we have the faith to reach out and take it.

And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

Luke 12:47

So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1

 

If we hear Him and don’t open the door, if we know what He tells us and don’t obey and prepare ourselves to do His will, we deny ourselves the blessings He has for us. If we have the faith to obey when He speaks to us, the faith to open those doors, the courage to exercise that faith, we will be blessed.

So, if He is knocking on your door to offer you salvation; if He is there waiting for you to open the door to give you the blessing for which you have been praying; open the door, take that step of faith and receive the salvation and blessings He has prepared for us all.

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You that You will stand at the door and knock, that You will unlock those locked doors and prepare a way for me. I ask in Jesus name that You help me have the faith and trust in You so that I open those doors You have unlocked and step forward in faith that I may have all that You have prepared for me. I ask that You draw me closer, that You reach out to loved ones that they hear You when You knock and that all others that hear You knocking but are fearful for some reason have the faith and courage to listen to You and follow You. So all can know the redemption and forgiveness You have waiting for them.

Amen

 

Thanks again for your visit. I hope all are blessed today and are able to be a blessing to at least one other as well.

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Is that what you want to be doing when Jesus comes?

 

 

I have heard this said in a variety of different ways since I was a child. Maybe phrased as: Would you want to meet Jesus doing that? How would you feel if Jesus saw you doing that? If Jesus came now would you be proud of how you are living? Or, any number of similar phrases uttered by my mother, grandmother and others. There was a time I would have not been proud of my life, of my actions and I would have been ashamed if Jesus had seen me that way. I am better now but sometimes, I slip a little, I get annoyed and irritated, I don’t always have as gentle of a heart and am not as quick to turn the other cheek as He wants, but I am working on that with His help. I want to be ready when He returns.

34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares.
35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.         Luke 21:34-36

I posted about signs of His coming. I didn’t list all the signs but there are a lot of them in the scripture. While there are signs that the time is coming we don’t know exactly when He will come.  I always think about when there is talk of the end of the world, predictions made by people who interpret various hieroglyphs, the Mayan calendar and other ancient writings and then give specific dates for whatever apocalypse they say will cause the end of the world then suddenly, the date comes and no end of the world. Those are the ones that remind me that we will not know the time He is coming until He arrives. So we must always be ready for His return.

But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.  Matthew 24:36

42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

Matthew 24:42-44

But of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.  Mark 13:32

 

No, we don’t know when He is coming, but when He comes what a glorious time for those who believe in Him and are saved. I fear for the unsaved but praise Him for those who will not be on Earth for the tribulations that will follow.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.                    1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

 

Lord,  Praise You and Your Holy Name. I thank You for my salvation. What a magnificent gift that is that You gave me. God, I both look forward to, and fear, the day that Christ returns. I look forward to rejoicing in Heaven with Jesus and worshipping at Your throne. But, I fear for those who continue in sin and who are not redeemed. I pray in the name of Jesus that You use me to help show others Your love and mercy that they may know the forgiveness and grace that await them if they confess Christ as Your son and ask for forgiveness of their sins. I pray that You help all know You and that You draw all my loved ones to You that they not be left behind when Christ returns.

Amen

 

Well, I hope something I said blesses someone, I would encourage all to take time and read about the signs of His return and what will occur when He does come. If you are not where you think you should be when He returns, then talk to God and get to where you feel Him lead you. Have a blessed day and try to be a blessing to someone else.

 

Sometimes all you can do is pray. (BUT…THAT is a lot!)

praying.png

 

I think we all know people that go through hard times. I deal with a lot of people: family, friends, patients and others. It seems I have always been one that people feel comfortable talking to about a lot of things that they wouldn’t talk to a lot of people about. People I barely know would tell me a lot of personal things. Usually it seemed they were sort of either just needing to talk to allow them to think through things themselves but other times they were looking for advice. I am not really fond of giving advice because if it doesn’t work as well as they like, I end up being blamed and even if not blamed, I don’t like thinking I did something that caused them hardships of some sort. But, as it goes, I do hear things that sometimes I don’t really have a way to help them….well, other than pray for them. And, as I see it, that is way better than giving advice or helping other ways. Prayer is a powerful thing. Oh, I will share some scripture if I can, but sometimes, whether I tell them or not, I pray for them. I always hope they will pray for themselves too.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  Philippians 4:6

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  Romans 8:26

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.  Matthew 6:6

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:16

 

Pray without ceasing.  1 Thessalonians 5:17

 

There are so many verses that talk about praying. Whether for financial, physical, emotional or any other hardship, prayer and earnestly seeking God will help. God will help.

 

Lord, I worship You and thank You that we can come to You in good times and bad. Praising You in good times and thanking You for the blessings, grace and mercy You give us. I praise You for being a God that helps in time of need also. Lord, I know there are so many people out there that are hurting: physically, emotionally, financially and in ways I cannot even imagine. But, You know their needs before they even speak of them. I know many people with so many different things that need Your hand in their lives. I know there are far more needs than I know about too. I pray in the name of Jesus that You reach those people and help them through the hard times they face. That You give them the peace of mind in knowing that You will help them. Help them find the strength they need to face the hardships and the strength and courage as You lead them through their hard times, showing them the way but not only the way out of the difficult times and situations but the way to salvation and the true richness of redemption and the blessings that are in store for them if they follow You and take the steps that You show them to take. Show them all the way to forgiveness, through the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross and paid for with His blood. Draw us all to You as You help us through life. Teach us how to pray as we should and how to be the people that You want us to be for Your Glory.

Amen

Well, I thank everyone who visits and I hope that something I say blesses you. Please, try to be a blessing to someone else as well.

The sights are off.

 

crosshairs

 

I decided to do some target shooting. Just to double check that my scope was adjusted properly and to make sure I could hit what I was shooting at and, as I lined up the cross hairs on the target and pulled the trigger….I MISSED?!?!?!? I was stunned to say the least, well, except that I had bumped the rifle scope recently and was a little concerned that my sights were possibly off. So, I make some adjustments, another couple shots, still not there. A few more adjustments and a few more shots and finally I was back on zero. Now, if I aim, then I will hit what I shoot at and that is pretty important.

Great! You may be thinking, but why do I care? You ask yourselves.  Well, as I realized that even though I thought I was on target I actually wasn’t and despite my efforts I was missing the mark. That made me think about times that I thought I was missing the mark in my life. THINKING I was doing the right thing, that I was doing all the things right to reach goals or targets, I sometimes didn’t make it. And, that applies not only to my life, but also to my Christian life. OK, I should say semi-Christian as I was “only sinning a little” and still believed in God, Jesus as the son of God and that He died for my sins, but I was not living a proper Christian life. I was allowing worldly measurements to set my goals. I one uses the wrong measuring system, they will not hit the target at which they are aiming. Oh, they will hit a target, but not the one that they should have hit. Even though one THINKS they are aiming well and proper, if one’s sight is not on Christ, whatever they hit will not be what God intends. If one is seeking something, but not the right thing, they won’t be truly blessed, even if they get what they think they want.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Matthew 6:33

If one’s sight/vision, one’s eyes, are not on the right target or if they are not seeing things in the way Jesus would have us see, then we are full of darkness, we do not hit the target He plans for us.

22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

Matthew 6:22-23

 

3 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

Philippians 3:13-15

God has a plan for us, to see things properly and not through worldly eyes, to have our sights properly aligned on the RIGHT target. We need set our sights on Christ and we will hit the bullseye every time and in accordance with His perfect plan.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  Jeremiah 29:11

 

Dear Lord,  I worship You and praise You for all You have done for me. I thank You for the blessings I have received, for the better understanding You give me on how You want us to think and see. I pray in the name of Jesus that I keep my sight true, that I seek the proper target and that I do not miss the mark. That I remember the target, the goal and that I stay on the path You want me to follow and I not get my vision, my sights off and You guide my steps as You wish to get me to the expected end, the bullseye, life eternal with Christ. I pray You draw us all closer and teach us all how to keep our sight true and on You. Please, help my loved ones see Your truth and to come to know You, Your will and Your way for them. Help them turn away from the wrong goals so that they may live the way You wish them to live and to serve You. I thank You for helping me better understand You and your wishes for me. I praise You for caring so much about me that You sent Your own Son to suffer and die on the cross that I have forgiveness and salvation.

Amen

 

My apologies for sparse posts recently, seems there has been a lot going on and  no matter how I try, I haven’t been able to sit down long enough to write a good post. Sometimes, I wonder if they are good. I know they are good for me to think things out and putting words on paper (so to speak) helps me better organize my thoughts. I hope somehow they are a blessing to someone else as well. Please, have a blessed day and try to be a blessing to someone else too.

 

 

Black Friday

black-friday-meme

 

Thanksgiving is over and, even though places have already had Christmas displays out for weeks, it’s the “official” start of the Christmas shopping season. So, as I write this there are people already at stores or waiting for them to open so the can push, shove, argue and fight to spend money. People who, for a holiday season that is supposed to represent the love God had for us and sent His Son to be amongst us, are willing to show the very worst in human behavior at times. I have seen some pretty abhorrent behavior, and read about far worse than I have seen personally. Then, besides the fights for the special deals, people worry about what to buy, will they be able to afford all they purchase, that they think is what others want. Creating massive debts for themselves in vain, shallow attempts to please themselves or others.

All of that, to “honor” the birth of Christ? I know Christians that behave that way. Black Friday is definitely a dark day for many, it shows how willing people are to get up early, stand in the cold, fight crowds, and in other ways treat one another horribly all out of vanity and greed. I know what I say won’t change society, and there are some who will likely read this, agree, but were out there and will be out again in the future, behaving in a way they know is wrong, just to spend money on gifts. It saddens me to know that people are exactly as they are and even though they do these things “in the spirit of Christmas” they miss the mark. What should be about peace, love, mercy, grace and kindness very rapidly deteriorates to greed, vanity and hostility.

Maybe I am wrong, but I think not. I believe that the behavior that one hears about is completely the opposite of what Christ would have from us. The materialism, greed, maltreatment of others and near frenzy one hears about is contrary to His teaching. The fact that many Christians are out shopping and behaving as badly as others is a sad thing. They have to get the best deals, they are so worried about saving money and getting things cheap that they treat one another horribly.

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  John 13:34

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.        1 Timothy 6:10

He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this [is] also vanity.  Eccleasiastes 5:10

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.   Romans 12:2

 

15 Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

1 John 2:15-17

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy Name and thank You for the blessings. I pray that people understand that the greed and materialism are the opposite of how You want us to live. That the desire for things and the love of money, along with the willingness to do anything to get things or money is not what You want from us. I thank You for reminding me that there are more important things than material items and money. I thank You for the salvation that was not obtained cheaply, that You sent Your son to die on the cross and pay for my redemption with His precious blood. Draw us all to You, teach us how to live the way that You want us to live.

Amen

 

I pray all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that the upcoming Christmas season is blessed for all. Please take time to be a blessing to someone else today.

Conversation anyone?

convo

 

“Why don’t you want to talk?” I was recently asked. And at the time there were a lot of things I wanted to say but didn’t as I knew if I spoke my mind it wouldn’t be helpful to anyone in the long term. Oh, I could have said a lot and in the past I most likely would have and not necessarily in a kind manner. I sometimes don’t talk because I haven’t much to say and other times because I have to much to say and would likely not say them well or in a manner that would glorify or please God. So, often I write. While I do so there are times as I wonder if anything I write helps anyone else. I started this blog while going through a difficult time and I have always found that writing helps me organize my thoughts better and as I started studying the Scripture after too many years of avoiding it But I wanted my thoughts better organized. I wrote to help myself better process Scripture and to try and better understand with my own life experiences. Sometimes realizing the lessons I should have learned in the past that I am only now learning.

Yet, I also write with the hope that God uses my thoughts, lessons He teaches me, guidance He gives and inspiration from Christ to be a better Christian and thereby a better person to possibly help and bless someone else. I know He has blessed me in the process and it’s my ferverent hope that something I have written helped another.

SO, I would invite anyone that wishes to do so, to please contact me here. If you have questions, I will try to help you find (not give) the answers as I am barely able to find all the answers I need.  But, I would be happy to help others find what they need from God as best I am able.

 

Lord, I worship You and give You the glory for any good this blog may have done for others. I pray in the name of Jesus that You give me the thoughts and wisdom to write something beneficial to others and not just me. I ask that you move anyone that feels the need to talk to contact me so I may help them know You and Your love, mercy and forgiveness. I ask that you use me for Your good and that I am able to put self aside and see only what You what have me see and say. Please draw loved ones and others to You also that we may all know the blessings and forgiveness available thanks to the sacrifice Christ made in the cross.

Amen

 

Thank you readers. I appreciate your time and hope that somehow He uses me to bless someone and that all of you find a blessing during your day. Please be a blessing to someone else today.

Someone else took my job!!!

job_interview

It was a drill weekend and the guys I work with and I were talking about this and that, pretty much catching up on what was going on in each other’s lives. And one guy sort of complained about a promotion at his civilian job that he had been promised by the supervisor in that area. Not told he had a good chance but that he had the job. Well, he believed them and even though promised the job he still tries to make a good impression on the interview board and a few days later notified he did not get selected but no real explanation why he didn’t get the job he was promised and that caused him to feel bitter about it and bitter towards the person that promised him the job. We all talked about similar instances and how we had not gotten jobs that had been guaranteed by someone we trusted to be truthful and then we discussed the longer term impact as well as outcome in our lives because of that. I had similar things happen to me and I took my turn sharing the information.

I was working at a hospital in town in housekeeping that I had taken to try to get my foot in the door there as it was supposed to be much easier to get other jobs there if you were already an employee and after several months there was a job in the warehouse/supply room that paid a little better, but the hours were better with regular days and hours. I was pretty well acquainted with the supervisor for that area and spoke with him before applying. After talking with him and being told that he hoped that I would apply and that he looked forward to working with me and a few other things that made me believe that I had the job. I did the formal interview and everything he told me at that time left no doubt in my mind that I would be offered that position. Then, a week later when it came for time to be notified about the job I received a notice in the hospital mail system (this was before email) that I was not selected for the job. Oh, it was all said nicely, thanking me for my interest but that position had been filled. I was stunned given all I had been told. I soon learned that another employee in housekeeping was the one hired and he was a guy that I thought was a friend. But, I also found out that he knew I was applying for the same position (that I was unaware he had applied for also) and that he had gone out of his way to ingratiate himself to the department head over the warehouse and also next higher level manager over the supervisor who was supposed to be hiring for the position. In addition he had made more than a few derogatory statements about me to his “friend” and that friend he had made had told the supervisor who he was to hire. I felt like I had been stabbed in the back and lied to about the job and was disappointed. Money was tight back then and the small raise would have been helpful.

Very soon after he started the job, the guy that was hired started complaining to those he had worked with previously in house keeping that they didn’t leave him on days, it was only for training that he had been on day shift and he complained about a lot of other things that he found out were not as either of us had led to believe about the job. The friend that he had made that helped him get the job then started creating issues for him because the guy had lied on his application about his prior work experiences and was not a good employee. Others in the supply room soon found that he was not a good co-worker as he often left tasks uncompleted and was an unpleasant individual with whom to work. So, not only was the job no where near as great as I thought it would be, the one that was hired instead of me found out that the lies he put on his application and others he told about me to cause others to have a less favorable opinion of me to help himself seem a better applicant only got him a job he did not like. In the long run, not only did my prior coworker regret doing the things he did to get the job, the people in the department found out they had made a mistake in hiring him.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7

A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.  Proverbs 28:20

Then a couple months later a much better job was posted that while the hours were not as desirable the job would give me a lot of experience with reading EKG’s and an opportunity to learn a lot that would help me in the future plus it paid much better than the job in the supply room. I applied for that job and was hired for the position and in hindsight it became obvious that God was in control and was putting me in the job I needed to have to benefit me in the long term.

But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].     Romans 8:25

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

Better [is] the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: [and] the patient in spirit [is] better than the proud in spirit.  Ecclesiastes 7:8

I shared about a couple other times that times I applied for jobs and was not hired, then learned in later that they were not as great as I thought they would be and so, despite my thoughts that a job would be a good thing, it was much better that I did not get any of those jobs and better opportunities came along. I just needed to be more patient and trust God to know better than I about such things. I also shared about times I pushed to get jobs that very quickly I regretted getting hired as they were not as great as I thought but I stuck with them until something else came along that was better.

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalms 37:4

I found that when I let God have the control things worked out better for me and despite the disappointments of not being hired for some of the jobs, things worked out better when I trusted Him than when I trusted myself and my own judgement. God is so much smarter than me! I also see in hind sight that those times I did not get the job because of bad decisions or, well, backstabbing by someone else, not only did the people that hired someone else instead of me regret their decisions, but those who did me wrong to get the jobs also regretted getting those positions as they were no where near as great as we had thought and that at times, the supervisors for whom they ended up working were not very good people to work for and not the people they had thought. More than once jobs I applied for and did not get would have not been beneficial in the long run and God was in control, even though I didn’t realize it at the time, He was preparing me and preparing the way for me to get a much better job.

 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.   Romans 8:28

The same thing applies to other aspects of my life as well, when I forced my will on a situation it did not go well, but when I let go and let God have control He rewarded  me and put me in much better circumstances. He is so much wiser than I and I should have been trusting Him more all along.

 

Lord, I worship You and thank You for all the blessings in my life and for the situations that did not seem to be a blessing at first, but only because I could not see the big picture and despite my limited sight, You took care of me and prepared the way before me. I than You for the sacrifice of Your son Christ and the salvation I have thank to His suffering and pain. I pray in the name of Jesus that I better allow You the control You should have and that I better trust You to know what is best for me and not trust my own limited judgement. I pray that You should my loved ones how to trust You and not be so quick to push for something that may not be the best for them and if they find themselves in such positions they turn things over to You. I pray You draw us all closer to You and help us all be better servants for You.

Amen

Thanks for your time. I hope all have a blessed day and that you take time to be a blessing to someone else.

 

 

 

I ate what?????

 

feast

 

The other day at work the conversation turned to unusual foods and I was asked what the most unusual food I had ever eaten. Over the course of my military career and life in general I found myself in many countries, more often than not working closely with the locals in those countries. Most of the time we would eat what we were served and eventually they would serve some sort of specialty food they consider delicacies. I have been “fortunate” enough to eat many different things and I told them I wasn’t sure what would be the worst as I have had sea horse soup, thousand year old eggs, cat, dog, guinea pig, snakes, iguana, turtle, among other things as well as so many different fruits and vegetables that I couldn’t remember them all. There were more questions about all those different foods and were any gross was among them. Well, to be honest, some of those foods were not things I would go out of my way to eat, but none were really vile tasting or disgusting. But, as we talked, I remembered one instance when we were eating guinea pig we were being served in Ecuador. One of the others had eaten a couple of them as, well, he loved to eat, and was enjoying his meal and then asked what it was exactly. Now, he didn’t speak Spanish so I was translating. I asked the locals and they said it was conejillo which is similar to the word for rabbit, conejo. As I spoke with the locals I tried to clarify and found out that it was definitely not young rabbit and when I couldn’t fully understand what they meant by conejillo, they went into the kitchen and brought back a live guinea pig and said, “Eso es comiendo.”  “this is what you are eating.” As soon as the other guy realized what he had been eating, he suddenly became nauseated and headed to the bathroom. Apparently he had a pet guinea pig when he was young and it didn’t sit well knowing that is what he had eaten.

I hadn’t thought about that for years but as we were discussing it I thought about the times that things that seemed good suddenly were not as wonderful when one found out the truth about it. Sometimes that can apply to food but it can apply to other things as well: jobs, cars, houses, people, almost anything really. But, many times something seems great at first, you almost can’t believe how good it is and then, you find out what it really is, despite all the seasoning and presentation, what it truly is you realize is no where near what you thought. What seemed fantastic is far from that. Rather than being something marvelous, it is something that you find, not only is it not what you thought, but the opposite. All because deep down inside, what it is made from is something that is not only not good, but the complete opposite.

How does one reconcile the facts with the perception? Does one adapt the thought that it was always like it seems now, and for some reason what was thought to be delicious was really not palatable at all? Is knowledge about something what makes it better or worse? Applying that to one’s spiritual life, I know there are things that in the past I thought were marvelous and now, not only do I not find those things appealing, I find myself puzzled that I could ever think such things were anything worth the effort, when looking back on what I “enjoyed” I realize that now, God has changed my thoughts about a lot of things. Some is because I think differently about things because of how He has worked in my life and changed my tastes? Yes, I do believe He has done that and more. Is it that, combined with the fact He has shown me some truths that I was not willing or able to face in the past? Probably yes. Perhaps He is helping me be better able to discern what is true from what I thought to be true but is not; showing me the difference between my perception of truth and what IS TRUE!

4 For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

1 Timothy 4:4-5

So, things may be okay to eat, but not necessarily taste good or even seem appetizing, regarding actual food, so the concept of what is good is within the person. But, sometimes, because of how food is prepared and presented, it can look more appetizing, or very much the opposite. Yet, the foods that look less appetizing can actually taste better.

But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for [the LORD seeth] not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.              1 Samuel 16:7

Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Matthew 23:28

But, with things that seem good based on outward appearances, without knowledge of the truth of that thing, person, etc we may mistakenly take part, then realize either it is far from good and nothing near what it looked to be initially. With that thought, it is obvious He wants us to be better informed, educated, wise about things.

Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.       1 Timothy 2:4

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.     Colossians 2:8

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5

Yes, He will give us knowledge and wisdom; He will show us the truth. We must seek the truth, ask for wisdom and knowledge of things before we partake, only then will we avoid that which is not good. Delaying getting involved in a situation that until after we earnestly seek God, and seek the knowledge and understanding He provides will ensure that we do not find ourselves sickened by what we find to be the truth. Just as had my friend inquired and learned the truth about what he was eating would have helped him avoid being sickened by finding out after he had consumed it.

 

Lord, I praise You and worship Your Holy Name. I thank You for using my life experiences to teach me better ways to think and live. That You show me that what once seemed to be wonderful is not always so. I pray in the name of Jesus that You show us all the truths about various situations and give us the wisdom and desire to seek You before we partake. That You help us realize that not all that looks good is good and that what can seem good at first is often something that will cause us some sort of suffering in the long run. I pray that You draw me and loved ones closer to You, teach us all Your love for one another and that You show us, should we be in a situation that we suddenly find sickens us because it is not of You, how we can remove ourselves from that and help us avoid those things in the future.

Amen

 

Well, thank you all again for your time. I hope my rambling makes sense and is of some sort of blessing to someone. Please try to be a blessing to another as you go about your days.

 

A blessing denied but now to be delivered.

Psalms_100-5

 

I serve an amazing God. I had been promised something that seemed right in my hands and had suddenly been taken away from me. Something I felt I had earned and deserved, that it was to be mine and was part of God’s plan that I have. But, another’s pettiness and jealousy had interfered with what I expected. Something that seemed guaranteed seemed to be out of grasp and no longer a possibility. Exactly what it is, isn’t relevant for this discussion and rather than interfere with the message I won’t discuss as sometimes, He punishes arrogance and perhaps that was part of the reason I didn’t receive this particular blessing; maybe I had need to grow more spiritually first. I don’t know why, but it was delayed. He sometimes does things for reasons we don’t understand at the time, for that matter we simple humans may never fully understand until He is ready to reveal His plans and shows us the reasons He did as He did.

But, I received an email that caught me completely off guard telling me that what I had previously been promised I WOULD HAVE! God keeps His word!  He is so good to me, better than I deserve, merciful and gracious beyond belief. This is something that I had prayed for and was trying to be patient while waiting, but it had seemed less and less possible even though it once seemed definite it was not happening and as I said, other events occurred that it seemed not only unlikely, but almost impossible. BUT, nothing is impossible for those that serve God.

And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.   Mark 10:27

Yes, with God all things are possible. Praise Him for being an amazing Lord.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.   Matthew 6:33

Yes, He will add things and He will bless us with what we ask of Him. BUT, sometimes He takes His time and has lessons to teach while we await the answers to our prayers. Perhaps He is trying to teach us patience, humility, the need to put ourselves aside and focus on Christ.

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15:7

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have [them]. Mark 11:24

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  Philippians 4:6

 

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  John 14:13

When I reflect about things, why I did not receive what I thought I had earned and deserved, I was confused, hurt, angry. I gave it all to God. I let Him take care of the details to make what I thought was to happen, happen. I stopped trying to force Him; worked hard to try my best to have the faith in Him I needed to have; then stopped worrying about what I wanted and worried more about trying to understand God, the mind of Christ and focusing on Him. When I stopped worrying about trying to make my wishes come true, Christ kept his promises and delivered which had been denied. He taught me a lot with this: faith, patience, proper attitude, need to put Him first and stop worrying about myself. I praise Him first for those lessons, they have helped me grow spiritually far more than I would have expected. I thank Him for teaching me what my priorities should be and when I align my priorities with His, He rewards me.

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy Name and thank You for the blessings You give, the prayers You answer, and the prayers You answer slowly. I thank You for my salvation through the blood of Christ, shed on the cross to deliver me from sin and to make me worthy as I am not worthy without Jesus. I pray that You continue Your work in me and that You help me better know You and Your Son. I pray in the name of Jesus that You draw us all closer to You and that You teach us how to better serve You.

Amen

 

Thank you all for stopping on my page. I hope you are blessed and that you in turn be a blessing to someone else.

 

 

Expectations

Well, the auction is over and the amount of money generated didn’t meet what I hoped or expected. Obviously, I am disappointed by that fact; that the amount of time, effort and money invested did not produce as much as it cost me. Oh, there were intangible returns on the investment of time and effort. I was able to live and relive some very happy times; remembering this or that event tied to various items. The memories sometimes so vivid that it was like living them all over. And, now that the house is empty, the items gone, I also realize that the memories will never be gone. They can’t be sold or hauled off. People may at times try to say or do things to denigrate the memories, saying the things I remember have been tempered with time and things were not that wonderful. Well, they can say what they will and maybe there is a certain sort of nostalgia that makes things look better in memory than they really were when living through them but that doesn’t matter. The events are, in my mind, as I remember them now. But, I digress, my apologies for that.

Back to the expectations: I really expected more of a return and thought I had realistic expectations but also hoped for even more than I expected. So, that being said, what is the difference between hope and expectation? Are they similar or a lot different from one another. Well, they are sort of the same, and sort of different.

From merriam-webster.com:

(there are other examples, but for this, the following are most appropriate)

Expect

a: to consider probable or certain
expect to be forgiven
expect that things will improve
b: to consider reasonable, due, or necessary
expected hard work from the students
c: to consider bound in duty or obligated
they expect you to pay your bills

 

Hope

(verb):  to cherish a desire with anticipation : to want something to happen or be true

(noun): desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment

 

So, to expect is to have some sort of fact, promise or obligation where a certain thing or event will occur while hope is the desire for that thing to happen. We all have expectations and hopes throughout our lives. We expect to have to work to make a living; we expect to be paid for our efforts at work; we expect the lights to come on when we flip a switch. We hope to find a job we like, we hope to get a raise, we hope that the bulb isn’t burned out or for some other reason the power is out. We expect our children to go to school and study hard, we hope they get good grades and do well, in school and in life.  We also expect that others will treat us the way we treat them, to be honest, to mean what they say and to honor their promises. Others expect the same from us. So, once a promise is made, we expect others to behave in a way that is consistent with the promises they made. Someone promises a certain action, or promises to not do something, yet they fail to do as promised or they do something that they promised they would never do. We should be able to expect honesty from others. Of course, they have the right to expect honesty from us as well. But, what about hoping? Well, we all hope that others will treat us the way they expect to be treated. Sadly, that is far less common than I once believed.

Now, when I have been disappointed by others who do not live up to my expectations based on their promises, is it because I had legitimate cause for the expectations or was it more that I was hoping that they do certain things? Well, it is probably a combination of both having expectations and hoping. But, as with many experiences with other humans, I find that they do disappoint me. Some is possibly unrealistic expectations or hopes, but other times it is because they fail to honor their commitments. That being said, such is the fraility of humans, we allow ourselves to put too much faith in the promises of others or in our own wishes and at times everyone gives others expectations to which they don’t live up. Thus, setting ourselves and others up for disappointment.

I, like others, don’t like facing certain facts about myself but, I know I have disappointed others: my parents, friends, family, coworkers, and the list goes on, but the truth is that they were disappointed by things I did, or did not do. I did things they did not anticipate or expect me to do other times I didn’t do things they expected of me.

However, there is someone who won’t disappoint anyone, EVER. I may at times disappointment God because of my actions, but He will always do what is best for me. Even if I don’t see it at the time. I have expectations of God. I expect him to be all that He has promised He would be for me and I expect Him to comfort me, forgive me, make me a better person. Of course, those things are conditional on my serving Him. The thing about God is that He will live up to the expections. I know He will, because He promises to do so. He is my hope (the noun type) and my salvation, my strength and comfort in difficult times. Now, this hope is actually an expectation that is anxiously anticipated because He promises to be all those things for me, for us.  Christ is the hope for my mfuture. I have hope in Christ that He will give me a better life, an eternal life with Him. I have the expectation He will do so but the positive thoughts those hopes come from is the knowledge and expectations based on His word. What a wonderful God we serve.

 

My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.  Psalms 62:5

For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.              Proverbs 23:18

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  Jeremiah 29:11

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.  Philippians 1:20

 

There are a lot of scriptures that talk to the expectations that we can have of God if we follow Christ and serve Him. Expectations of blessings and rewards, some here on Earth, but more importantly rewards we can’t imagine in eternity.

But, He also warns us that we can expect other things if do not serve Him and instead live a life of sin and otherwise fail to follow Christ as we should follow Him.

The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.  Proverbs 11:23

When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.  Proverbs 11:7

The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.  Proverbs 10:28

 

We have hope in Christ as well. This is the noun hope, the hope of a expectation of pleasant, cherished things happening.

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  Romans 5:2

24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.      Romans  8:24-25

(Romans Chapter 8 is a good read, I would suggest all take a few minutes to read the whole chapter)

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.  Romans 15:13

That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  Titus 3:7

 

He promises us that we can have hope in Christ that we will be spending eternity with Him. That we WILL have salvation and that we WILL be rewarded for living for Jesus. I thank God that He gives me that type of promise that I can expect that from Him. I can rejoice in the hope of that time to come. He warns us that we can expect punishment for our sins if we do not come to Him who made forgiveness possible through the sacrifice of His son, through the suffering and blood of Christ when He died on the cross for our sins.

Lord, I praise and worship You. I thank you for the hope and expectations of my rewards in eternity with You. I pray in the name of Jesus that You help me better understand what I need to do, how I need to live, in order to have those things that are promised. I ask that You work in the hearts and minds of loved ones that they see the expectations they may have if they do as You have instructed, and that they realize that they may also expect eternal suffering for their failure to follow You and Your word. I ask that You draw us all to You that we may enjoy those rewards. That we all seek the forgiveness You offer and the salvation You have for us.

Amen

 

I do appreciate the time that all take to read what He puts on my heart. I hope that while He teaches me things that You are blessed as well. Please, try to be a blessing to others today as well.