On Retainer?

I was watching some show a while back and one of the characters was talking about wanting to sue someone and said “I have a lawyer on retainer and he will take my case.” Where someone pays a certain fee to have an attorney available when needed is not rare but I thought about how many people try to apply that to their lives. Sometimes trying to keep some people around, in case something happens and they need them for something but essentially ignoring the person otherwise. Reminds me of a coworker that complained about a friend of hers who, when she had a boyfriend, she would never contact my coworker, just nothing, and then, if she broke up with her boyfriend then suddenly, she wanted to hang out again. Texting and calling, trying to plan things, then poof, she got back with her boyfriend or got another one and never be heard from again until things got bad for some reason. If someone is a friend, they should always be a friend and not only when it suits one person.

And, as I pondered that issue, I started thinking how so many people that call themselves Christians do that same thing with God. They want Him available when they have a crisis, but otherwise ignore Him and His wishes for them. No thought of the Bible or the teachings of Christ, until disaster happens again.

I must admit, I have been that way myself, knowing God is real, knowing that Christ is His Son who died for my sins, knowing what I should do and should not do, but instead of doing as I should I do as I wish. Not being HORRIBLE, but still sinning somehow and not living as a Christian should and not obeying God. Waiting until I needed Him to pray or talk to Him. Not taking time to praise Him because of His mercies. Just, well keeping Him on retainer for when it suited me.

And, to be frank, it is wrong and was, in a manner of speaking, mocking God, essentially saying, “God, you hang out over there on the sidelines and I will call you when I need you.” As I see it, I ALWAYS need God. Maybe I am not in a position where I am in desperate need. Maybe I have no human needs at all. But I always have a spiritual need.

I was recently reading an article about people doing just like I did, called on God at extreme times and all but forgetting Him until the next hardship arose and then they would cry out to God, ask Jesus for forgiveness. And then, after the crisis passed they went right back to their old ways. Now, God doesn’t have a limit on forgiveness but the author of that article stated the result of repeated behavior like that is hardening of ones heart towards Christ.

The other issue is that Christ spoke about people being lukewarm and His feelings on that.

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Revelation 3:15-16

I ran the risk that He would spew me out. Now, this is from Revelation and talking about the end of time but we don’t know when that will happen. It could be today for all we mortals know. It may be another thousand years. It will happen though and I do not want to either die and face judgement or face judgement after the tribulation and be found to be lukewarm. I won’t relegate God and Christ to the sidelines to be used when it works for me. If I believe in Christ and what He did for me; if I believe in salvation; if I believe in the Bible; then I need to always believe and practice what is taught. I need to listen for His voice and guidance. I need to not keep God on a retainer but rather worship and praise Him daily. I need to live for Him and His glory.

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy Name and I thank You for my salvation, bought with the suffering and blood of Jesus, your Son, who died and was resurrected to defeat death and sin. I pray in Jesus Name that I remember that You are not on a retainer for use by me as needed. That I need to remember all You did for me and praise You for those things daily. In times of joy and times of sorrow, in times of richness and times of poverty for You are worthy of praise and my service to you at all times, not only when I have need. I pray that You remind others and myself of that and help us all see and hear the truths You try to show us and to hear Your guidance for our lives. I ask that You draw me and loved ones nearer to You.

Amen

 

thanks for your time today. I hope all have a blessed day and are able to be a blessing to others as well.

In an instant!

Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.   James 4:14

 

I learned today that the Pastor’s nephew passed away very unexpectedly yesterday. He was almost 10 years younger than me and I have known the family most of my life and I am filled with sorrow for them as they go through such a shocking loss of a family member. The parents are dealing with something horrible to deal with, the loss of a child. I cannot even begin to imagine, nor do I want to imagine losing a child. Even the thought of the possibility hurts terribly. His wife and children, his sisters and brothers. The rest of the family mourning a loss on Easter Sunday. My deepest sympathies go out to his family and my most heartfelt prayers go to God that they seek comfort in Christ for He is the only one that can truly give the comfort that they need.

While the family mourns the loss of this man on earth, they are also rejoicing because they know he is now living with Christ and I know that helps give them comfort and cause to rejoice for him.

The thought of how suddenly something can happen and we or someone we know will pass away with no chance to prepare. This tragedy shows us that we must always be ready to meet God. In an instant we are of the earth and without warning can be standing awaiting judgement for our lives.

Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.  Matthew 24:44

No one knows when his time will come to an end on Earth and not being ready every moment risks losing life eternal with God and Jesus but instead spending eternity in Hell. Instead of rejoicing with our Heavenly Father those not ready will instead be tortured until the end of time.

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 21:36

Thankfully, this man was saved and served God faithfully and is even now enjoying the rewards God has for Him.

Those who do not know Christ need to seriously reevaluate their lives and go to Him and beg forgiveness of their sins. Confess their sins to Jesus and believe in Him as the Son of God and they can know they are ready for their time to face eternal judgement.

While we can be facing God in an instant and if not serving Him before death, face eternal suffering and pain; we can also, in an instant, know the deliverance from sin and death by reaching out to Christ for salvation.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9

If you are not living the life you should, not living in a manner that is pleasing to God or a life that helps you live maximally for Jesus then you need to seek Him and ask Him to show you how to live a life of the type that glorifies Jesus. He will lead your walk if you let Him. He will put you on the path He plans for you if you give God control.

I have, at many times, not lived a life pleasing to Christ. I have lived a life that even while serving Him I still was not able to serve Him as He wishes me to serve God. I am asking Him for His hand in my life and heart that He help me have the heart and mind of Jesus and that He guide my steps to get onto the path so I can be where He wants me to be the best servant possibly be for Him.

 

For this man’s family, my most heartfelt condolences and I remind them of what they know, despite the pain they feel, there is greater cause for rejoicing as he now sits on High with the Lord. But, also that as they mourn, Christ will comfort them.

Blessed [are] they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.         Matthew 5:4

 

Heavenly Father, I praise Your Holy Name and thank You for the sacrifice Jesus made that we may all, one day, experience Your Glory if we are saved. I thank You for my deliverance and salvation through Christ’s death and His defeat of death when He was resurrected.

I pray for comfort for this man’s family, that You wrap Your loving arms around them and calm the hurt they feel in their hearts. Help them rejoice in their loved one’s salvation and that he now is rejoicing in Heaven. Be their Rock and Fortress as they deal with the loss. Fill their hearts with love, joy and peace.

Lord, I pray also that anyone who is not saved come to know you. That any who know You but are not walking in the path You wish for them would see clearly what You plan. For those with no apparent way out of whatever difficult situation they are in, that You unlock and open doors to make it simple for them to follow Your lead. I pray Lord, that You work in me that I know better the heart and mind of Christ and be a light for Him in this dark world that I may reflect His Glory.

In Jesus Name.

Amen.

 

Thank you all for you time today. I hope all are blessed, and are able to be a blessing to others as well.

The Bible’s did NOT burn.

Hebrews_4-12

Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.  Mark 13:31

I saw an article on the internet and was amazed that the building burned yet the Bible’s and Crosses didn’t. Honestly, to me that is nothing short of amazing. It also seems to be an obvious sign that His Word cannot be silenced and or destroyed.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/03/05/bibles-crosses-survive-west-virginia-church-fire/3074465002/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/abcnews.go.com/amp/US/bibles-survive-unharmed-west-virginia-church-fire-fire/story%3fid=61480158

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/west-virginia-fire-freedom-ministries-church-bibles-cross-untouched/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/religion/2019/03/05/churchs-ashes-firefighters-find-unexpected-survivors-bibles-untouched-by-flame/

Multiple sources reported on this event. The fact that so many different agencies reported us amazing. That these news networks that seem so anxious to report negatively about Christians but all report on this is almost a miracle in itself.

 

His Word IS POWERUL! It WILL ENDURE! While this is a physical demonstration of how His word will endure but more than physically enduring, it endures in the hearts of those who serve Him.

 

Lord,  Thank You for the demonstration of Your majesty and for showing us that Your word is powerful and that it will endure. Thank You for the impact Your word and Holy Spirit have had on me in my life. I praise You and tank You for my salvation, for the grace and mercy I received. I pray in the name of Jesus that we all see the true power of Your word and that we all learn to listen to Your spirit when You speak to us. Giving us the strength and power of Your word as we strive to live the life You wish as examples of Your presence in us. And that we all know the forgiveness that was paid for at the cross by the sacrifice of Your Son Christ. Please draw us all closer to You that we may be a light in a dark world.

Amen.

 

I hope all are having a wonderful day and are blessed today. Please try to be a blessing to others as well.

The Storms

dust-storm-010.jpg

I was driving today and one of the disc jockeys was talking about a conversation that she was having with some friends and one they knew had a lot of less than pleasant things going on in her life. They asked her about it and she gave them updates on things. Then, one of the women said something that is true, storms come before the seasons change. That the storms just have to be weathered and then better things are on the way. It made me think about in Iraq, how you could see a HUGE cloud of dust in the fall. We asked the locals that we were working with what was going on and they said that in 3 days, maybe 4 days, the dust storm would be there and last a couple weeks, but then they got excited and said that when it was gone, the rains would come. Seeing as it is the desert, water is important and the wells and cisterns would be filled.

They were excited to see the sand storm coming, not because they enjoyed it, as it was miserable. One could see only 20 feet or so and the wind was pretty intense, with the dust and sand blowing it stung! My experience was that the dust found its way into even the tiniest crack and everything was coated with dust. I had to start covering my cot and everything I did not want dust covered with plastic and some still got through. But, as miserable as the dust storm was, it was followed by the rains. The rain there was more of a drizzle, but it was nonstop for 2 months, then it got cold, for there at least but the wells and cisterns were filled, the crops could be irrigated when planting season came and they were all happy.

23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
25 And his disciples came to [him], and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

Matthew 8:23-27

 

For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones [is] as a storm [against] the wall.

Isaiah 25:4

So, the advise that storms mean changes for the better are coming, one must be prepared to weather the storms and see them through. But, the glorious thing is that we need not weather the storms alone. I have had stormy times in my life. Sometimes I tried to get through them on my own and it was not good. A year or so ago I had some of the most horrendous storms I could have ever imagined and I was feeling a lot of despair, hopelessness and lost. However, in those storms I reached for the shelter of God and sought Jesus to help me through the storm and He did exactly as He promises, He carried me through those times, He gave me comfort and more than that, He gave me forgiveness of my sins. What an amazing God we serve.

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

He rescued me in my storm; He calmed the seas; He forgave me my sins and I was changed. I cannot begin to express the depth of thankfulness I have for all the grace and mercy He shows me. None of which I deserve, but He gives them to me anyway.

 

My Heavenly Father,   I praise You and thank You for not only helping me make it through the storms, but giving me a change in seasons, a change in me thanks to You as I did nothing to earn it or be worthy of what You did for me and I can’t thank You enough for the mercy and grace that allowed me to be forgiven and redeemed. In the name of Jesus I ask that You work in the hearts of loved ones that they may see Your glory and come to know you as their savior as well. I ask that You help us all see that in spite of the storms a new season awaits us and that leaning on You for protection and comfort in those troubling times will not only get us through those times, but make us better for having called out to You in those times.

Amen

 

I appreciate the time that you all take to ready my blog. I hope you all are blessed today and have a chance to bless someone else as well.

 

 

Psalms 37

1 (A Psalm of David.) Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

Psalms 37:1-9

 

I was driving to work today and the DJ read a passage from Psalms 37 and it, like all the Psalms, tells how God will take care of those who believe in and serve Him. That He will reward the righteous even though we all deal with people that do us wrong and in a way says that He doesn’t want us to dwell on the wrongdoers and plot revenge. Just like in Romans 12:19 where He tells us, “……Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” He is telling us to not dwell on those kind of thoughts, that we should not try to punish those who do us wrong but to give it to Him and He will take care of that concern as He takes care of all the concerns we give to Christ.

It’s a Psalm telling us to trust Him. To seek God and have faith. To take comfort that He will take care of us and provide for us. He will give us all we need and want as long as we persevere in our faith and devotion to God.

He tells us to have faith, devotion and to commit ourselves to Him and He will reward us and protect us and that we should refrain from doing wrong.

What an amazing God we serve. I only included the first few verses but I encourage all to read Psalms 37. It gives me faith, hope, comfort, peace about what is promised to me if I follow Him and so many reasons to serve and rejoice in my Savior. But also tells me the consequences of failing to follow Him and the protection He will provide against those we are against us.

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for Your promises, blessings and admonition to not sin to help me remember the rewards for living as You tell us and the cost of sin. I thank You for the salvation that You gave me through the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross. I pray in Jesus name that I not remain steadfast and loyal in my faith and dedication to You and but that I continue to improve my walk with Jesus. Please draw me and my loved ones closer to You so we may all rejoice in Heaven with You. Help us all to follow You and the path You set before us so we not waiver in our journey through life. I pray that You work in the hearts and minds of those struggling with life events, whether that be financial, health, work, or any other difficulties that life is presenting them. Help them see You in their circumstances and that they remember to praise You during the bad times they are having as well as the good times that You will bring their way.

Amen

 

Thanks to all for your time and visit today. I hope you all have a blessed day and that you each have a chance to be a blessing to another.

Should I continue?

So, I got a notice today that it is about time to renew my subscription for the blog and I am asking myself: “Should I continue with the blog?” I initially started it to have a venue to write my thoughts as writing them out and reading is helpful to me and I hoped it would be helpful to someone else. I didn’t start it to try to make money so I didn’t do any advertisements.

It did help me, still does, but I find myself at a point where I will not have as much time available due to some changes in my life. I didn’t make any money from it, no shock since, as I said, I don’t do advertising and that is where bloggers earn money from their blogs. It isn’t really expensive so it isn’t a huge financial burden to continue it. My concern is the time factor and so I question myself about that. I weigh the benefits and the costs in time and money and I wonder if I should persist with this.

It has always been a good outlet for my thoughts and an opportunity to read the Bible as I write to see what He has to tell me about the issue with which I am dealing at the time. But, I wonder if I would do better to simply study the scripture and spend the time in prayer as opposed to continuing the blog.

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Ecclesiastes  3:1-9

I ask myself, has the time that He wants me to blog come to an end? Does He have better ways for me to seek Him? Am I writing things that others find a blessing?

Well, to answer those questions; I don’t know. So, on that issue I will pray, seek His counsel and guidance and let Him lead me on this issue. I have a little over a month, so between now and then, I will give that to the Lord and see what He has to tell me.

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Psalms 32:8

 

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. John 16:13

 

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This [is] the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.  Isaiah 30:21

 

5 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.
6 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 1:5-6

 

So, I will seek Him and His guidance and in the next few weeks, I will see how He leads me.

Lord, Praise Your Holy Name. I thank You for the help You have given me through this blog. I ask in the name of Jesus that You help me to know Your will and way for me. If I should continue this blog or if You wish me to serve You in another way. I ask that You show me the path You have for me so that I take it. Thank You for the mercies You have shown me and thank You for the forgiveness and redemption from sin that Christ bought for me with His blood and suffering. I pray that loved ones be drawn to You and that You help them all to know where they should continue and where You want them to serve You. In their current paths or do You have different plans for them for their futures. Help us all to know You and Your will for us. Reach out Lord to my children and loved ones that they know You as their personal Savior so we can rejoice in Heaven together.

Amen.

 

Thank you all for your time today. I hope all have a blessed day and can be a blessing to someone else as well.

Challenges

 

 

I have had some challenging times and life being what it is I expect more challenges. In life, there are always challenges. One cannot escape the probability of challenges, we all have and will face any number of challenges and difficulties. Those challenges may be due to financial problems, job changes, marital, loss of family members due to death, health difficulties, difficulties with home repairs, automobile repairs, temptations, problems with completing school work or hard tests to take. There is always some sort of difficulty around the corner waiting for us. Some, so overwhelming that one cannot see how they could get past them, how they will be able to afford the cost, whether financial, emotional or physical. Facing challenges has costs that cannot be avoided. If facing a huge bill that they don’t have the money to pay. They see a pending loss of a loved one that they do not see any way they will be able to cope without that person in their life. I remember watching my parents as they slipped away from me. Praise the Lord, they are with Him now, but I faced those losses with such an emptiness that I could never have imagined being possible. There are some challenges that are smaller, less difficult to face and others so overwhelming that a way to overcome them is beyond the grasp of ones mind.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].                   1 Corinthians 10:13

After facing all manner of challenges in my life, before and after my salvation, but since my salvation I find that even the difficult challenges are easier, the hard times less so. Praying to help me see how He would have me react in those times, to see what path He wants me to take and of course, letting Christ carry my burdens for me.

28 Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  Matthew 11:28-29

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

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.  Philippians 4:13

So. As I face new challenges in life, because life is full of challenges some worse than others, sometimes more frequent but I will face more challenges. I have His strength to help me be strong. I have Christ to bear my burdens. I have a Lord that loves and protects me in difficult times.

 

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle [you].  1 Peter 5:10

 

I will lean on Him in the challenges; seek His counsel when confused; ask or His comfort when dealing with troubling situations.

 

Lord, Praise You in all Your Glory. I thank You for the comfort You give in troubled times, for the strength to stay the course when I am facing struggles to continue on the course You have laid before me. I know that I will never be at a point that challenges do not come my way but I thank You for being there to help me through those times. I ask in the name of Jesus that others facing challenges, facing big decisions or difficult times, currently or in the future, be given the grace You have shown me and that You speak to their hearts and minds that they know that You are with them and give them guidance and understanding of their individual paths so they know what they need to do. Show them Your will in their lives and give them the peace when You speak to them so that they have the comfort only You can give. Thank You Lord for my salvation through the sacrifice of Your Son Christ.

Amen

Well, its cold in the Midwest and hopefully will warm up soon. I hope all have a blessed day and are able to be a blessing to someone else.

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.

Hitch hiking.

hitchhiker

 

Well, not exactly but sort of, I was thinking about sometimes as one deals with the things life throws at them, they need a lift. Like a hitch hiker out in the middle of no where, thumb out and hoping for a ride to the next town, some place they can rest, get some nourishment and prepare for the next part of the journey. Maybe it is pouring rain and chilly, the hitcher is soaked, cold, and miserable. Waiting for a ride and a warm, dry place of shelter while getting to the desired destination. Maybe the last ride they had dropped them off at the wrong location and they are lost. Maybe it seems that there is no way to get to where they want to go from where they are currently.

Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.  Isaiah 41:10

Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28

I don’t know about anyone else, but I know I get worn out dealing with various aspects of life, physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. Life can be harsh and can drain a person. I’m not moaning about my life being horrible, it’s better than a lot have, but it’s not perfect. Who does have a perfect life? No person I know. We all have our own worries and challenges that take a toll on a person. We all have things that make us sad, tired, helpless or hopeless. We feel like we are out in a storm, life events dumping on us, we are drenched, cold, alone and may feel like we are at a hopeless location that we have no possibility of moving out of it. That can be a physical location, financial, emotional, spiritual or other type of situation, but regardless of the circumstances we need lifted out of that situation; we need some sort of shelter and protection; we need comforting.

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

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.   John 14:26

Fortunately, there is Someone to whom we can turn for that ride to our destinations. Someone that will protect us from the storms that have been beating us up spiritually with the winds and rains of whatever hardship with which we are dealing, to the point we are soaked to the core. Someone that will give us that warm, dry shelter, help us dry off, feed us spiritually, carry us to where we need to be, which may or not be where we think we should go. If we let Him, He will do all that we need.

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

Unlike most drivers that see a hitchhiker and are worried about what possible dangers the hitchhiker may present, God doesn’t worry about that, He sees someone with their “thumb out” asking for help, asking for that lift, asking for that shelter and comfort and Christ pulls over, helps us into His vehicle and takes care of what we need. No matter how bad one may be, Jesus is more than ready to take them in, lift them up and carry them through the storms to His “truck stop” that gives us the comfort and spiritual nutrition we need. Regardless of where we think we need to go, if we allow Christ the control He will deliver us and be sure to get us to where we need to be for His glory.

For thou hast been a shelter for me, [and] a strong tower from the enemy.        Psalms 61:3

Our spiritual thumb is prayer and acknowledgement that Jesus is the son of God, if we confess that He is the Lord, that Christ is His Son who died for us. He will give us that ride we need, He will be our salvation and deliverance. What an amazing Lord He is!

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.    Romans 10:9-11

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for the lifts You give me as I struggle through life. Lifting me out of sin and carrying me to forgiveness and salvation. I thank You for protecting me and comforting me in my times of need and for knowing where I need to go, regardless of where I want to go. For knowing better than I know what Your plans are for me. I pray in the name of Jesus that I remain sensitive to where You want to take me and not try to plan my own destinations and that I remember during the storms and hard times I remember to call out to You, to seek You for my deliverance and comfort. I ask that you draw my loved ones to You so they also seek Christ in times of need, when they feel lost so that He may carry them to the destination He knows that they need to reach. Teach them to be sensitive to what He tells them on ways they need to serve Jesus.

Amen

 

I hope all are well and that you are blessed today. Please, be a blessing to someone else today.

 

What keeps you from hearing?

listening

I am deaf in one ear. The day it happened I suddenly got loud, EXTREMELY LOUD, ringing and intense pain in that ear and after a few minutes, the volume of ringing decreased somewhat and the pain stopped. But, other than the ringing I could hear nothing. They call it sudden sensorineural hearing loss. They tried several treatments to see if my hearing would return but it didn’t. Hearing aids didn’t help because, well, if you are really deaf then amplifying it doesn’t help. It’s just louder sounds that you still don’t hear. Eventually it was determined that I needed a cochlear implant and they went through all the insurance issues to get it approved. Finally after a couple denials it was approved and I had the surgery and now can hear in my previously deaf ear when I am wearing the processor. I have to say that it is not the same as my natural hearing but definitely better than nothing and it is a gift from God. I believe that He gives people the ability to find ways to cure some conditions or to improve some diseases so they are at least somewhat tolerable. I believe so very much and for that I am thankful. God uses people and technology to help us.

BUT, the issue that I face is that I still have the ringing, buzzing sound in my deaf ear. According to the surgeon the brain wants sounds and if for some reason our ears do not pick up the sounds around us the brain will create something. The ringing is, at times, annoying to say the least and at other times, near maddening. It makes it difficult to try to focus and concentrate. It also makes it difficult to hear more subtle sounds in that ear. Thank God, my hearing in the other ear is still good so I am able to hear well with it. Sometimes, with just one good ear, I hear too many sounds, my brain quit filtering the different conversations so I hear them all. When I go out to eat, I hear bits and pieces of everyone talking and all the clinking and clanking of silverware on the plates; that serves to make it harder to hear the conversation at the table. It distracts me terribly. So, between the loss of hearing and the new inability to filter extraneous sounds, I have more difficulty than I used to have when trying to hear someone tell me something important.

Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:          Ephesians 4:18

As I thought about my loss of hearing, I thought about how I have in the past lost my spiritual hearing. Life events resulted in me hardening my heart towards God and not listening to Him when He tried to speak to me. I didn’t hear when He would talk to me, I didn’t understand when He spoke because I allowed the ringing in my spiritual ears to drown out what He was trying to say. I became spiritually deaf and blind. I let life prevent me from knowing it was Him and allowed all the hurt, anger, bitterness, preoccupation with my career, concerns about other demands on my time, financial hardships and worries of life keep me from knowing what He wanted me to do. It doesn’t matter exactly what those distractions were, we all have our own distractions and worries that interfere with our ability to hear Christ clearly; we all allow life events and concerns to plug our ears and interfere with our seeing what He has planned for us.

7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

Hebrews 3:7-10

 

 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.  Matthew 11:15

In addition to having the surgery with the implant to help my hearing, I had to retrain my ears and brain to hear properly again; I had to relearn how to filter out the conversations and sounds that were distractions so I could focus on the one important conversation. I am still working on that as my ears still get all the stimuli coming in and I often have extraneous noises that overwhelm me and keep me from hearing the really important things. I also still have the ringing that also interferes. But, those things are getting better, rather I am getting better about filtering out the things I don’t want or need to hear so I can receive the information I need. Much like my spiritual hearing where I am learning better to hear His still small voice and not let the buzzing of human existence and the noises the enemy creates distract me when I want and need to listen to Him. I am not fully where I want to be in that regard, maybe I will never be as good as it as I want, but definitely much improved. I strongly suspect I am not the only one that way, truly I think we are all that way to one extent or another.

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

 

13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Matthew 13:13-15

 

I definitely need to hear Him better, to listen carefully and try harder to understand what He is saying to me.

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17 [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

John 14:16-17

 

 

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.              Revelations 3:20

 

More than just hearing though, I need to learn to follow His instructions, do His bidding. Regardless of what my human nature says, in spite of the things the enemy tries to say to interfere with my ability to hear and willingness to obey Christ.

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  James 1:22

 

I have to remind myself that if I listen and follow the instructions He gives me, He will lead me in the path He plans for me and when I do, He will bless me for doing so.

11 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.

12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

 

So, I shall strive to listen and to actually HEAR Him better, to take what He tells me to heart and do my best to follow His guidance, to learn to ignore the noises of life that interfere with my hearing Him, to block out the enemy’s taunts and attempts to distract me.

 

Lord,  Praise You and Your Son, Jesus, who died on the cross for my sins so I could have salvation. Thank You for helping me see my shortcomings and helping me to understand how I need to improve to better serve You. I pray in the name of Jesus that I learn to block out the things that interfere with my ability to see Your plans and hear You in my heart so I can do what I know You want me to do. Help me understand better Your will for me. Teach me to focus better on You, Your wishes for me and know when Satan is trying to work against me. Draw me closer that I can be the person You want me to be. Draw us all closer to You, help my loved ones know how to see and hear You in their lives that they may all come to know you and the magnificent blessings You hold in store for those who follow Christ. Help us all to be people who glorify You with our words and deeds.

Amen

 

I hope all have a wonderful day and are blessed as they go about their business. Please try to be a blessing to someone else today as well.