Giants all around

david_vs__goliath_by_marianodavidotero-d1na314

I will confess up front that I “stole” the idea for this post from a church bulletin so in advance I will thank the Pastor for the post.

THANKS PASTOR LARRY!

ARE THERE GIANTS IN THE LAND?

Don’t be fearful or afraid to occupy the promises the Lord has given you. Don’t just settle for less when you know the Father has more for you. Self-doubt holds back more believers than any other enemy. Know this: When you know something is from Me and you’re obedient and step out in it, I will keep your back and bless you for overcoming that fear. I say choose blessings or curses. They don’t choose- you do! Focus on My love and provision and you will soon be on that mountain. But Know this, he whom I can trust in small matters, will be leaders of much larger ones. In times such as this, leaders must press in for the goal and not give up, ever. Are you ready to go to higher ground?

And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.  1 Samuel 17:4

And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?   1 Samuel 17:26

David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.  1 Samuel 17:37

And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.  1 Samuel 17:49

Obviously, I skipped some verses, and encourage folks to read the entire chapter, but the message is clear, Israel faced a giant and no one would stand up to him until David came along. No one else had the faith to trust God to help them during the fight. David faces a challenge and realistically, in the human mind, there was no way for him to win but he had faith in God to protect him and give him the victory.

We all face our own giants, they may not be literal giants like Goliath but we face the uncertainty of some things that we feel lead by God to perform, life changes, new jobs, moving across the country, speaking publicly about God, all those things are giants. There are so many possible giants we all deal with and if we have the faith that David had, God will see us victorious and that if we follow Him, He will ensure that we walk in the path He has planned for us.

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

Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. Psalms 37:5

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Matthew 17:20

Lord, I praise your Holy Name and worship You. I thank You for the forgiveness and salvation that was bought for me by the sacrifice, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. I pray in Jesus Name that You help me increase my faith and trust in You. That You give me the courage to face the giants in my life because I know that through You when I step out in faith You will be there for me to ensure that I do not fail and that You will carry me through and guide my steps if I follow You and have that faith. I ask that You help others who are facing giants of their own, that they learn to lean on You and take those steps to be victorious in Christ. I pray that draw my family and loved ones to You and help them all to know You.

Amen

Thanks for your time. I hope all will have a great day and are blessed, and that you are able to be a blessing to someone else as well

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Waiting for the trophy.

 

220px-Trophées_des_Coupes_d'Algérie_1963_et_1964

Well, deer season in one state I hunt came and went. I saw some deer but didn’t shoot any as I kind of wanted one with big fancy antlers. Now I have no issue hunting for food and have in the past harvested does or smaller bucks. I like the taste of venison but am also at a place that I don’t HAVE to have it so if I don’t get a deer I really don’t worry about it. I enjoy just getting out in the woods so enjoy the time in nature. I hunt with an army buddy with whom I stood side by side during some pretty terrifying moments. We, and others we were deployed with, watched out for, took care of, one another. We had trucks blown out from under us and have been in multiple gun fights together. He is more a brother to me than any of my own kin. We talk some, about families, jobs, plans for future and such. Rarely about Iraq and if conversation goes there it’s never about the battles but about stupid situations that were funny.  And, just being able to spend time together doing something is good. We talk about church, his and mine, and how God did more for us than we deserve.

But, I digress yet again. While we were hunting, we texted checking to see if the other was seeing any deer. I saw several, mostly does, but he saw none. Now, he was hunting for meat and would have taken one while I was, as I mentioned, wanted some venison but also wanted a deer with nice antlers. I thought about others I had hunted with in the past who talked big talk about how they were going to bag a huge trophy buck and they would never shoot a doe. Yet as soon as they saw a deer, they shot it. While there is nothing at all wrong with that, they started complaining about using their deer tag on a doe. They got in a hurry and shot the first deer that came along. I remember one hunt, the guy had been scouting before season and there were some really large bucks in the area. He had one in particular he wanted to get. First day, he saw it, had it in his sights except the deer was inside the woods a little bit and he did not have a clear shot. He watched it as it moved around, but did not come out to where he could have a good shot. For 15 or 20 minutes he watched it, then another buck, much smaller, with very small antlers stepped out not too far away so he quickly took aim at got that one. Well, sometimes animals do strange things and as soon as he fired the other deer stepped into the open. I already had a deer but had hung out with him some. We go to the deer so he can clean it and all he did was complain, talked about how he made a mistake by not waiting for the one he really wanted. He could see it, but was not patient enough or willing to wait any longer, he was getting cold and decided rather than take a chance on not getting a deer at all he would take the easy way instead of trying harder to get the one he wanted. He had planned and worked hard to almost get what he wanted, but did not have the dedication to see it through. He seemed almost embarrassed about the one he got, knowing he had blown the chance, at least for that season. Would the chance come again the next season? I never found out as we never hunted together again after that year.

But, how many times do we all do that sort of thing? We plan, hope, dream of something, then after long effort stop short of obtaining what we want. I remember a couple people in my medical school class that had spent years getting into medical school; they studied hard in high school and college; they spent hours and hours preparing for the admission test; they applied to and were interviewed at multiple schools. Then, one towards the end of the second year dropped out. It wasn’t the grades, they were getting good grades, it wasn’t health or family issues, they just finally realized that it would be two more years before graduation and then 3 or more years of residency before they were a practicing physician and they didn’t want to wait that long, plus they had an offer for a job with a pharmaceutical company with good pay, not nearly what they would get as a physician, but better than average. They decided to go the easy route, forgetting all the effort they put into obtaining their dream. The other dropped out after the end of the third year. He didn’t like the long hours in hospitals and clinics, with the additional hours of studying afterwards. He had spent 10 years certain he knew what he wanted, he still said that was what he wanted, but he just did not want to put quite enough effort into fulfilling his dream. So, he found a job that he thought paid enough and quit.

13 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. Philippians 3:13-14

 

24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27 But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.                                        1 Corinthians 9:24-27

People work hard, strive for something, dedicate hours, months or years to achieve something and when it is in sight but still not quite obtained, they give up, they take less than they not only want, but have almost obtained. Leaving themselves in a spot where they still have to, one way or another, pay for what they wanted but even though they had the opportunity to obtain their dream, their goal, get their trophy, they gave up on themselves and their dreams. It’s sad to see that happen, regardless of if it is a dream for their lives, trophy deer, maybe it’s something else, but when one dedicates time and effort to something, yet are not willing to see it through, it makes me think of how many times Christians turn their back on God because they are not patient, because they feel they have put all the effort into something for God that they can and are not willing to work harder or longer. Yet, they were, for all intents and purposes, steps away from the blessings God had in store for them. Maybe they don’t turn their backs on God, but instead of achieving all they could, for themselves and for God, they quit doing as much.

But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.   James 1:4

Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.  James 5:11

I suppose to me it means that one should know what they want, and if they made a decision to work for it, they should stay the course. Oh, there may be extenuating circumstances, but tossing aside one goal for another, over and over, as the one guy did, saying he was after a trophy buck and would never settle for less, yet every time he would shoot the first deer that came along and later complain about it. When you set your goals, work hard to reach them and He will reward us. Just because one faces hardship at times, does not mean something can’t be done. Nothing that is of high value and precious is easy. A Christian walk is not always easy but it’s not difficult, it takes dedication, faith, sacrifice but oh, the rewards are valuable beyond anything.

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.   James 1:6

A double minded man [is] unstable in all his ways.  James 1:8

12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

1 Peter 4:12-13

 

God inspires us to strive for things to make ourselves better people, better providers for our families, better Christians and servants for Him. He doesn’t promise all things will be easy, but that if one loves God and remains dedicated that He will deliver. He tests our patience and dedication to achieving goals and to serving Him. He knows that if we give up on a challenging task because it will take more patience, more waiting, that we will give up on Christ in some manner.

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy Name and am amazed at how You teach me things, how You never forgot me regardless of how far I wandered from the path You had set for me. I thank You for seeing better in me and for drawing me back to You. I thank You for the struggles and hardships I have endured over the years that taught me patience, endurance and dedication. I ask in the name of Jesus that You continue to help me remain dedicated to things I feel lead of You to strive for and in my Christian walk. Help us all know the true prize that awaits us and to help us reach the fullness of Your will and grace. Show us all the walk You plan for us and how we must remain steadfast in our efforts and not decide to fall short and accept less than You plan for us. Remind us that the prize is worth the struggles and that eternity with You is reward far greater than we will ever see on earth. I pray that You work in hearts and minds of loved ones to draw them to You and help them seek the salvation You have ready for them.

Amen

 

Thank you all for the time you took to read my thoughts. I hope that things make sense to others and that He uses me to bless someone else. Remember, try to be a blessing to at least one other person today.

 

 

 

 

Bad times for a friend.

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Today I heard from a friend that, despite what I had heard they were saying, I knew things were not as fantastic as they would lead people to believe, and my friend is facing a very difficult personal time. What they thought was to be a good time, with things going according to some plan, suddenly turned bad. I have had significant concerns for their wellness (physical, emotional, spiritual) and while I wish they weren’t facing such trying times, it appears my worries were obviously valid considering what I learned from them today. In some prior posts, I had mentioned about feeling a sense of concern or dread and had been praying for them.  I am hopeful that the Lord is gracious and merciful and answers the prayers and delivers them from the situation. Of course any deliverance requires effort and sacrifice on their part and I hope pride doesn’t keep them from doing what they must do and result in further problems.

Every one [that is] proud in heart [is] an abomination to the LORD: [though] hand [join] in hand, he shall not be unpunished. Proverbs 16:5

Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. James 4:6

I worry further that they have hardened their hearts and will continue down the path they are on and ignore the message He is trying to send.

13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh [them] shall have mercy.
14 Happy [is] the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.
Proverbs 28:13-14

Another question that occurs is if this is God’s way of punishing people? Is He not only allowing, but sending to them, the hardships they now encounter? If they had done right all along would the situation be occurring? If they sorely His forgiveness will He stop the hard times they are facing? Even if they do ask forgiveness but don’t walk away from a sinful situation will He still allow them to suffer until they do turn away from those things? I don’t speak about my friend or anyone in particular but rather any and all of us who have sinned. We all have sinned and we personally and Christ know how we did so. Is asking forgiveness enough to stop the consequences of ones sins? Or, is there still a price to pay until we truly and completely repent and turn our backs on all things associated with our sins?

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Yes, He will forgive our sins, He promises that in many places and God is faithful and keeps His promises to us. But, we have an obligation to not only confess our sins, but to repent as well. Forgiveness is for past sins, but failing to repent keeps us from God. Asking for forgiveness, then returning to the same sins, or to other sins intentionally is blasphemous to God.

26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Hebrews 10:26-27

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.  John 5:14

She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.  John 8:11

In order to serve Christ and have salvation, we must confess our sins and repent, turn our back on sin and not sin further. Not doing all three will not give us true salvation. Thinking we can sin, then confess, then go sin again, confess again, again and again, is not what He teaches us. He teaches us to turn away from sin as part of repentance.

I still don’t know if hard times that come upon people are punishment from God for those who call themselves Christians, but continue to sin. But, I think that is the case, but more than punishment, I think it is God trying to teach us and get us to do as He wishes.

 

Lord, I praise You for the forgiveness, grace and mercy You give and for the salvation from those blessings. In Jesus name I pray for my friend, that You give them the wisdom to know what to do, give them comfort and peace during trying times. Give them the strength: Physical, emotional and spiritual, to face the challenges ahead. If these times are being used by You to teach them and draw them to You and show them they must turn their back on sin I pray that they see and know and that their heart isn’t hardened. I pray that whatever hardships are encountered are not as difficult as they could be and that Your will be done in their life.

I ask that You work in my heart to keep me in the path that You plan for me and give me the strength and wisdom as You walk with me through life.

Amen

I appreciate those who stop by and hope all have a blessed day and while doing so, somehow are blessings to someone else.

 

 

Market fluctuations.

stock

My son in law got what he said was a really hot tip on a stock. New company with some new technology that could be a great investment. He can use his 401k for that as well through his employer and he did that, buying some of the stock, quite a bit actually, when it was at a much lower price. It has gone up to 5 or 6 times what he paid for it. So, he was obviously elated. THEN, like many stocks, there was a down turn, and the price decreased. Well, the stocks he has are worth more than he paid for them, so he is still doing well with it but he was upset, well, maybe discouraged would be a better word. He had thought about selling when it was a little higher than it is now and didn’t. We talked about how the stock market has ups and downs and that trying to play the buy, sell, buy, sell game is quite risky and that whatever investments he makes should be considered long term and that he shouldn’t try to do the day trading unless he wanted to risk losing all his retirement savings. I told him that he shouldn’t waver back and forth on the stock. If he truly believed that the company was going to do well with their products, to stay the course. At this time it appears it was good advise as the value returned to its prior level and I believe is even a little higher now.

But, the conversation made me think how some people, including Christians, want to take the risks that go with jumping from one position or another, looking for a profit of sorts. Christians sometimes will leave one church and go to another if there are any kind of difficulties in the church, maybe unexpected expenses due to things like the furnace or air conditioner suddenly needing replaced, maybe there are issues between some members of the church and the leadership. Many types of struggles occur in a church or relationship, and jumping from one to another, taking the good that one has and trying to switch to another the person thinks is on the rise and will switch to that church, etc but, once hardship rolls around, they will begin looking for another to move to where they won’t have to put in as much effort to get from the church, etc. Well, all investments whether financial, personal or spiritual carry a risk and none are 100% guaranteed, except for the investments in Christ. THOSE never lose value but will only gain. The dividends will be eternal.

 

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. James 1:6

 

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. Psalms 27:14

 

But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6

 

There will be ups and downs in life, that is a truth of human existence. What is a more important truth is that the ups will be better and the lows less difficult with Christ. He will protect us in those low times, when hardships come our way. He will protect us from harm, He will take our heavy burdens and give us rest when life requires we deal with things we think too difficult. When times are good, He gives us more cause to rejoice. And, I would say that even in the low times, with Christ, we always have good reason to rejoice.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.       Matthew 5:12

 

4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice.
5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord [is] at hand.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

 

Lord, I rejoice in You and all You do for me. You are there when I have successes in life and when life is more difficult and I am in the low places. You never waver, You are faithful and true and never fail me. Lord, In Jesus name I pray that You give me, give us all the faith and courage to stay the course, to not waver, to not try to move on when things are a little tougher, when the profit is not as easy, but to stand fast in our believes and our commitment, to you and one another. Help us realize that You will help us through those difficult times and help us through the challenging times. Help me, help us all, rejoice in You, not just regardless of the bad, but because of the bad because that is where you help us build character, increase our faith and strength in Christ. Draw us all closer to You that we know Your plans, will and way and that there will be struggles that You will see us through.

Amen

 

I hope all have a wonderful and blessed day. And, that you be a blessing to someone else as well. Thank you for stopping by today.