Happy Birthday!

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Well, tomorrow is not just my birthday, but a fellow blogger and I want to be sure to wish Unconquered Faith a Happy Birthday!  I would encourage all to take a moment and check that blog. The author does some outstanding work!

But, as I think about my birthday and what it means to me. Well, obviously, the day I was born, but I have to admit, I don’t remember it so must trust that I was born since, here I am. Other than that, lots of special birthday memories, too numerous to remember, let alone list at my age. Some very wonderful moments, started a great friendship on one birthday that ended far too soon. My birthday was also the last day I spent with my father as he was barely hanging on for a large part of the day, I sat with him and told him it was okay, he didn’t have to suffer and it was alright if he went to Jesus. But, the stubborn guy waited and minutes after midnight he passed. I still miss him after 4 years.

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 3:1-8

 

Other than that, well, praise the Lord I am here to count off another year. There were many times I never thought I would make it anywhere near this age and some days, I think back and truly amazed that I did make it. Given how, well to be honest, STUPID I was when I was younger, or, perhaps wreckless but more likely some of both  (mostly stupid,) I have no doubt God was watching out for this fool.

The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. Psalms 34:7

 

I praise God and thank Him for protecting me, at times due my actions and other times, the action of others. He has been there for me, watching over me, protecting me even at time I did not realize He was protecting me from physical or emotional harm. I have questioned Him at time, thinking He was punishing me, but later realized what He was doing wasn’t for punishment, but for my well being. I praise Him for being so much wiser than I!

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for all the blessings, protection, comfort and guidance You have given me. All the mercies You show from Your love and grace. I ask in Jesus Name that You continue the work in me and help me become the Christian that You wish me to become. I pray for my fellow blogger, work mightily in that person’s life as well. I ask that You work in the lives of loved ones and draw them to You. Many of those I love are not following Your will in their lives and I pray You show them what You want for them and help You.

Amen.

Thank you all for stopping by and, if anyone is looking for a gift for me, I just ask that you pay it forward to someone else today, be a blessing to someone in some way. A kind word, a smile, a comforting hug, time to talk or listen, call, email or text someone you know wants to hear from you or from anyone that needs to know there are people out there that care, whatever you feel God leads you to do for another. He will bless you for your efforts as well.

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Self Esteem

 

 

 

I used to have very low self esteem. Many reasons one develops that feeling about one’s self and that is how it was for me. My mom was always good to me, but she also always made time to help others, family, say one of her sisters was having issues with her kids, she would be quick to run over and help her with whatever, often having cousins staying with us for extended time periods which caused me to have to cancel plans so we could go to the aunt’s house and deal with whatever issues occurred there. Sometimes a friend needed something and once again, plans canceled to go help someone else. Later, they started foster parenting so all kinds of disruptions there, and the amount of time the foster children took was phenomenal. Those things resulted in my feeling that I must not have been too important, otherwise she wouldn’t make me cancel plans for the other people and that my brother and I were a not enough and that, since the other kids took so much time and she had less for me, that added to those feelings. I was a kid and kids think only of themselves. I know it did not make her love me less, but still, a person only has so much time and when she took time from me to deal with the foster children and other people there was less time for me.

When I was older, dating, sort of engaged choices were made by others that added to the low self esteem, making me feel like I was fortunate if anyone took time for me at all. Finding that they preferred to spend time with others, whether it be friends, family or whoever than with me. I tried compensating with working hard, distracting myself hunting or fishing, getting an education and good career. But, for a long time that did not help my self esteem. Over time, it got better, but regardless of all that, deep inside, I did not feel good about myself. Then, when my father was dying and my wife decided it was more important to take a vacation trip rather than cancel it so she could stay there with my father, me and my family at a difficult time it truly destroyed any sense of self worth that I had at all. How could I have value if my own wife would go on vacation while I was suffering and my father was dying. I pretended things were sort of okay and made it through but was not able to find value in myself. I worked helping my mom around her house, worked a lot on projects at home, found other distractions but, no matter what, my self esteem was not better and I really could not see a future. When I got to the point that I had good self esteem and felt that there was a bright future on the horizon, once again, I received a blow that shattered that and one again, my sense of self worth was gone.

As I said, after a series of events, I was at my lowest point ever and that is when I came back to Christ. HE made me better, He forgave my sins, He showed me that others actions do not make me worth more or less. HE showed me my value. It isn’t based on actions of others. Others’ actions are their decisions, sometimes made out of concern for others, but more often than not out of selfishness, to try to fill voids they have due to self esteem issues. He showed me that thinking that when others treated me badly was actually because of problems they had with themselves and are usually self motivated. Failure of others to treat me as I treat them is not my failure and doesn’t make me of less importance. Humans are by nature selfish and no matter how much they swear their love and dedication, eventually they will make decisions based purely on what they think best serves them and will either make demands of you to do things, or turn their backs on you if you cannot do what they want, when they want. Despite saying they value you, you end up seeing that they value themselves more and when it is someone you thought really loved you it can further damage one’s self esteem. Until you remember, human nature and that some people will not, or cannot, get past their own human element.

Now, my value is from Christ. He is my savior, my salvation, my redeemer. He makes me valuable beyond anything I could have ever imagined. He is always there, never leaves me or forsakes me. He cares about me, my needs, desires, hurts and what is important for me. He doesn’t base my value on what I can buy for Him, what I can do for Him. Oh, God expects our praise, worship and service but it doesn’t mean He doesn’t value us. He valued me enough to sacrifice His son, that is a lot more than others have done for me.

 

“For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.”
1 Thessalonians 1:5 (KJV)

 

He was here for MY SAKE! To help me know that my value to Him is so great he lowered himself and became human so He could die for my sins.

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 1 John 3:1

 

And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. Luke 16:15

 

The last verse says the most to me, that no matter what PEOPLE do to me, to try to undermine my self esteem, whether it be intentional or not, GOD will see me for who I am, He will see my heart, He know me and my value of whether or not the other people do. He also tells me that when one is esteemed by people, they are an abomination to God. Those who only worry about what others think, and do anything to try to make them think highly of them, usually in an attempt to boost their own self esteem, will destroy the value God puts on them. Plus, it will only serve to further lower their own self esteem when they realize that the esteem in which others hold them is fleeting.

 

Lord, I worship You and thank You for being my Redeemer, that You brought me out of that circumstance to show me that I had tremendous value and that You always knew that and You were always there for me. All I needed to do was call out to You. Thank You for all the blessings, for the knowledge You are giving me, for helping my faith strengthen and my relationship with Christ grow tremendously. I ask in Jesus Name that You continue Your work in me to make me know how to better seek You, further strengthen my faith, show me Your will in my life. I ask that You also work in the lives of others to draw them to You and teach them Your will in their lives as well.

Amen

 

Thanks for the visit, I hope others who may have self esteem issues realize that material possessions, money, status, other people do not dictate our worth, one’s only true worth comes from Christ and our relationship with Him.

 

 

 

The work continues

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Well, In the morning, I have a dentist appointment, and if anyone read or remembers the post about dentists, you will recall I am terrified of going to the dentist. It is just a cleaning and check up, but that still causes a lot of stress for me. After I get done there, I am heading back to the home town to try to finish up things to prepare for the estate sale to settle my parents’ estate, likely spending most of the week, if not all of it, up there. Although I have mostly finished digging through all the boxes there is still a few things to sort out, it has been trying to say the least. SO very many memories in that house, some are good, some are great, some happy, some sad.  Many of the items have memories attached as well. The different knick knacks my mom loved to have around, the musical instruments that she played, her records, CDs, cassette tapes and the seasonal decorations. She liked to decorate for holidays but none more than Christmas, some older decorations that we had when I was very young, some she bought later, little dancing Santas, strings and strings of lights, some in shapes of holly, some like reindeer, santa, or spelling out Peace, Joy, Christmas and other words. She always loved decorating for Christmas more than any other holiday. I see the various decorations and remember them hanging on the walls, doors, tree or set up outside and hear the Christmas music playing in my mind and for a while, I am right back at that time in life, things are sweet. But, then reality hits that and the bitter comes. I choose to focus on the sweet though.

I have mentioned before how bitter sweet it always is when I work up there. Thinking about the happy times, missing them and wondering about my future. Getting this close to having the sale is somewhat relieving, but somewhat disconcerting as the things will be gone and I will be that much closer to having the house ready to sell as well. That will be the last of the things from their estate that I will sell. I have some of their things I kept for memories, etc. But, the big ties to those physical reminders will be gone. The memories I will always have, but for some reason, it feels like selling the things will let them slip away easier. Even though I know that the material things are not the memories and I will always have the memories.

I thank God daily for the parents He gave me and glad for the time I had with them. I thank Him for helping me deal with all the estate issues and look forward, somewhat anxiously, to completing the tasks. I also know that they are rejoicing with Christ this very moment and I look forward to joining them in the future.

Through the emotionally difficult times, even when I wasn’t serving Him, Christ was there with me, comforting me, helping me get through the loss and all that has followed, but it surely has become much easier walking with Him. Praise Him for His faithfulness and joy He gives.

 

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
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.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

John 14:15-18

 

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

 

Lord,

I praise You and worship You. Thank You for my parents and the comfort You have given me since they left to be with Christ. I ask for Your continued help during the preparation for the estate sale and ask that You help make that go smoothly when it is underway and after that is completed I  pray in Jesus name that You guide me and show me Your way ahead for me. Make me sensitive to Your will for me. Please work in my heart and the hearts and minds of loved ones to draw us all to You so we may follow You.

Amen

 

I hope all have a great day and remember to Praise Him and thank God for all your blessings, and bless others as you can.

 

You can’t hide from you

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I am up and the home town again for several days, finishing up the last I need to do to prepare for my parents’ estate sale and not surprisingly, I sometimes run into people I know and I am almost always amazed at peoples’ behavior. I know a lot about behavior since I deal with people a lot and it is part of my training. It is almost universal that if someone is guilty of something, ashamed of their actions, owes someone money for instance and has not paid them back, borrowed a tool and either broke it or never returned it, or in some other manner did you wrong they try to avoid you. There are people that either borrowed money from my dad, or got groceries on credit when he had his store and never paid him and they do that to me, they are still ashamed, and my dad has been gone for 4 years.

The other day I had to run some errands, I parked and as I walked towards the door at the store, I glanced over and saw someone that, well, to be kind to them and their behavior, was far less than kind in their treatment of me and that is putting it mildly. But, as I was walking I was just of sort of looking around and saw them. They saw me and almost immediately, looked down at the ground, turned away slightly before lifting their head back up, trying to look toward me but they were unable to make eye contact. I have had this before, but it always amazes me to see it happen. So many people, if ashamed of something they have done, will do almost anything to avoid eye contact. The behavioral aspect of that is that if the people make eye contact, there is a greater chance that the other will possibly try to initiate a conversation and the one that owes them money, or whatever they feel guilty about, want to avoid that because they have to face their own misbehavior, almost like if they and the one that was done wrong don’t talk, they aren’t really guilty. They essentially try to hide from you and when they can’t hide, they look away. I have had people that owed me money that I have almost bumped into at the grocery store going one direction in an aisle, coming towards me, and then they abruptly turn around and go the opposite direction, afraid to face their guilt. The avoidance doesn’t make the wrong go away, it doesn’t make either of them think that whatever is wrong did not happen, both are aware perhaps instead of owing one money,  they were talking about them, or perhaps stole something, broke something, whatever it may be, but both know and avoiding does not change things. Sometimes, the one done wrong is hurt by the actions and prefers to avoid the interaction as well, but for me, I have forgiven them. I don’t approve of their actions and to be honest, they know that they were wrong, but I cannot control others I can only control me and my response to the maltreatment. But, they know the wrong they did, to me or to others, and are ashamed to face that fact. Humans tend to feel that if they avoid the interaction then they don’t have to acknowledge what they did, and if they don’t acknowledge it, they don’t have to apologize or otherwise own up for their actions, avoiding facing the sin, the maltreatment, and by that action, will not apologize or ask forgiveness.

I have been on both sides of this type of interaction, when I was younger, maybe I had been drinking or doing something else I shouldn’t have done, I would try to avoid eye contact or other interaction with my parents. Sometimes they knew, sometimes they did not. Maybe I stayed out past curfew, got bad grades or something, but trying to avoid it did not change whatever wrong I had done, it actually added to it because one cannot move forward when they are carrying baggage for misdeeds or worse, continuing in their wrong actions. When I had a bad grade and got a progress report, one of my parents had to sign the report, eventually, if that was not turned in signed, the school would mail one to the house so it didn’t make the issue nonexistent, it was just a weak attempt on my part to avoid my responsibility and due to that, unable to try to make things right. In the past when I have been the one that was wronged, I would sometimes try to avoid interactions due to either anger or desire to spare the other person embarrassment. Yet, my avoidance did not change things either. As I wouldn’t go to church when I knew I was sinning, thinking by not going to church I did not have to admit to God I was sinning, but HE KNEW.

But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23

 

I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. Psalms 32:5

 

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 knows our sins. We can’t hide or pretend they don’t exist regardless of how we try and failing to confess our sins simply serves to increase our shame and guilt.

 

Oh my precious God, I praise You for Your sacrifice of Your son to provide me my salvation and the forgiveness of my sins. I have confessed my sins to You and no longer am sinning. I know at times I will stumble, and I pray that You help me avoid the stumbling but also know that if I truly when I come to You and confess any sins in the future that You will forgive me again. I thank You that I no longer need to try to hide my sins because You have cleansed me of them and washed me in the precious Blood of Christ. Help others to know that forgiveness from You for their sins and turning away from sin will give them salvation as well. I ask You to use me to help reach others that they may follow You and let You have Your will in their lives. I ask that You use me to help bring my children to You that they may have salvation and deliverance from sin. I ask that You continue to help my faith grow and to help me have the heart and mind of Christ.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

Thank you all for stopping by, please, if you see someone you did wrong, don’t run and hide, face them, confess and try to make amends, apologize and ask forgiveness. If someone has done you wrong, then forgive them, whether they apologize or not. Both things will bless you. And, after you are blessed, be a blessing to someone else.

James Chapter 1

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While between meetings at a hospital yesterday I walked into the chapel. Figure a quiet moment with God. Make sure to talk to Him and let him know that whatever becomes of the current circumstances, job search and all, I was putting it into His hands. I prayed a little about some of the issues (yeah, I know He was aware long before I spoke the words) as well as how much progress He has made in me, making my faith stronger, giving me better understanding, helping me grow in Christ through all the various pit falls of life.  After I was done, I saw there was a Bible on a stand and walked up to see, cause, well, it was there and maybe God was gonna have something for me on the pages to which it was opened so I checked it and found that was opened to James 1 and I read it.

2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

James 1:2-8

Yes, the Lord does speak to us or give us blessings through the day, if we take time to look for things. I usually just walk by the Chapels. Not that I have an aversion to them, but usually busy and don’t have time to stop, but, yesterday, time to spare so I went in. I have been dealing with some trials. I have always had trouble with being patient, always in a hurry for things and have gotten better of the years, but still I need to be better about it. I have been praying for wisdom, for more faith, to help me be stronger with my belief and that He help my unbelief. He has improved all those areas in my life and Christian walk. It is nice to have the reminders from Him that He knows where I need help and He will continue to work with me as long as I try.

Praise Him for the reminders that the faith and patience is only improved through the trials of life. That He will give us Wisdom and make us stronger in faith.

 

Lord, Praise You for Your reminders to me that You have lessons for me and use the trials of life to teach me patience and to help my faith grow. I give all things to You and pray In Jesus Name that You will have control in all ways and You will place me where You plan me to be and will use me how You have planned. I thank You for the many blessings and the opportunity to grow in Christ. Please help me learn better how to seek You and know the heart of Jesus. I ask You draw my loved ones to You and work in their lives as well.

Amen

 

Thank you all for your time. Have a blessed weekend and please seek the chance to be a blessing to someone else.

 

 

 

 

Revolving Door

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I saw a movie where a bunch of kids were playing at a hotel and went into the revolving door, well, it seems none really knew how one worked and they just kept going round and round. When they tried to get out of it, they ended up back in the lobby where they started. As I watched, I thought about the foster children my parents used to deal with at times. They started being foster parents when I was 14 and many of the children would be there for anywhere from a few hours to months or more. Parents or others in the home were physically, sexually or emotionally abusing the children and most of the children eventually were returned to the homes from which they were removed initially, parent or parents had been through counseling and supposedly had corrected whatever problems resulted in the children being removed. But, after a while things would revert to the same situation as it was to begin with, the children once again placed in foster care and eventually, returned home. The social workers would always be certain that the children were going to a better home than from which they were removed, but eventually one would see that they went back to the same thing they had been living with previously.

I recently ran into one girl (now woman) who was one of those foster children that got into that revolving door pattern. She would be home, removed, placed with my parents, after a few months back home for a few months, over and over. She did pretty well with my folks, usually kinda rocky start but after a couple weeks she straightened out, did well there, in school, my mom would take her to church and the girl did great. Then, back home, and repeat, over and over. Now that she is an adult, that pattern continues, she has married and divorced the same guy 3 times, he was mentally/verbally abusive and apparently did slap her once or twice. After the last time she divorced him she met a guy, married him pretty quickly, and, almost as quickly divorced him because he was like the first man she had married repeatedly. After that, she has been married a couple more times and had several boy friends that based on what she told me, are all similar to her father, a couple of her mom’s boyfriends and all of her ex husbands and ex boyfriends. A couple of those guys just left, no explanation, but she said they had become extremely critical and were much more verbally abusive for a couple weeks, then both times she came home from work and they were gone, taking all of their things and some of hers. She admits that she seems to go right back to the same type of guy. She said they all seem really nice at first, very attentive, give lots of gifts and do a lot to make her feel important, then after a while they start saying things that are sort of compliments, but sort of criticism. One often told her she looked okay in a certain outfit, but really thought she looked better wearing a different outfit a few days earlier. No longer did they compliment, but always gave slight complement followed by the comment that negated it. After a while, the complements stopped but criticism continued. Eventually, they would all get mad about something and become very hateful and mean. Sometimes something she did, sometimes something someone else did, at times all it required was someone else looking at her in some way they did not like, but she always had to deal with their anger. Then, she would realize that they were like the others and get out of the situation. She did say while she understands they are alike and she could see that when she looked back, but for some reason she couldn’t see it at the time. I mentioned that perhaps moving so quickly from one relationship to another, the short dating periods before moving in together or getting married had not given her enough time to get to know the guys and that perhaps she would do well not to jump into a relationship so quickly in the future. I also suggested that she may want to consider actually taking 6 months or a year, longer if needed, to actually get herself taken care of as far as getting right with God, getting any needed counseling and actually learning about herself so she could make better decisions in the future. I told her I would pray for her and for the Lord to work in her life.

The same thing repeated itself often, the kids being in a situation, taken out, returned then after they grew up, they would over and over do the same thing. Out of one bad relationship straight into another. Just like they learned growing up. So sad and my mother saw it happen and it would break her heart. She would always put a lot of effort into helping the children when they were in her house, then see them go back and forth eventually as adults, repeating the cycle. It frustrated her to try so hard to help them, but hours and hours of time, often spending much more than the state paid for the children to be there, costing her and my father effort, time, money and then see it all just be for naught when the children grew up and continued that behavior. Although, there were times, very few, of the children that it did benefit and they have had pretty good lives. Yeah, they carry baggage from their childhood, but ended up doing pretty well as adults. Those were rewarding to see for them.

I once asked her why invest so much time, effort and money into the kids when she knows that a good portion would be right back in the same situation or continue with similar situations when they grew up? She said, “sometimes, you don’t see the impact, but I know I have a good impact on them and even if they do wrong for themselves, they will know the right choices and eventually, make that choice instead of the wrong one. They will remember they have the chance to make their lives better, no matter what, and then, one day, they will do just that and do what God wants them to do and stop living like they are, making the same bad choices over and over.”

That is how Christ is with us. He never gives up on us, no matter how much He has invested in us and how little return, He knows that it does make a difference, makes us better people for having known Him and that He planted a seed that will take root and grow when the conditions are right. He will not forget the seed and when they look for Him, they will find Him and He will be with them and not forsake them.

 

29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
30 When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice;
31 (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them. Deuteronomy 4:29-31

 

20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.  2 Peter 2:20-22

 

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. Proverbs 24:16

 

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12

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

 

15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Ephesians 5:15-17

 

5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

Proverbs 3:5-8

 

Heavenly Father, I ask You to help those people who are in situations where they repeatedly make the same mistakes, going from bad situation to bad situation. Give them understanding and the ability to discern so they avoid such problems in the future. I especially pray for those in physically or emotionally abusive relationships that you give them comfort, hope and protection. Deliver them from those problems.

I praise You Lord for all the work You have done in my life and I pray in Jesus Name that You continue the work to make me a worthy servant. I am so thankful for Your Mercy and the gift of Your Son who died for my sins and my salvation. Please draw those not saved to You so the may have life eternal and draw us all closer to be the Christians we should be.

Amen

 

I hope everyone has a fantastic day and that you can be a blessing to at least one person today. Thank you for your visit here today.

 

The eyes have it?

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34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness.

35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.

36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”

Luke 11:34-36  (NIV)

 

This morning I stopped at a convenience store to get coffee and as I got out my money to pay and looked up at the cashier she said, “OH MY THOSE EYES! YOU HAVE THE MOST GORGEOUS EYES! I bet any women just fall in love with you with one look into your eyes.”

I really didn’t know how to respond other than say thank you as it was a nice compliment. She responded, “ its everything about your eyes, the color is amazing, the shape, a little slanted looking but still wide, your eye lashes are amazing too.” I replied “Thank you.” Again but as I started to turn she said, “You can tell a lot about people by their eyes. There is something about you, you seem to have a little sadness in yours, but you have a love and joy that just, I dunno just shines like a fire, no, that’s not right, they shine but not harsh. Some sort of radiance and glow, happy and peaceful no matter what sadness is there. You just have such amazing eyes. I don’t tell people things like that, I don’t know why I told you. I’m not flirting or anything but I have never seen anybody with eyes like yours. If my boyfriend had eyes like that, so full of love and I dunno maybe peace that it just, wow, makes me feel happier too, but if he had eyes like yours I would be afraid to let him out of my sight besides, I’d want to just look into them all the time. They are piercing, like they could cut right through but still soft and gentle, kind, intoxicating. I feel like I could dive into them.”

Once again, I thanked her. She then said, “How can they have the sadness but still so much, happiness, no more than happy, Joy, like everything is wonderful in your life?”

I said, “Jesus puts the joy there, the love, the contentment and bliss. I have things that I am sad about, all of us do. But He puts far more love than I have sadness.”

She commented that her mom said similar things at times. We talked a little about church, her mom goes, but she doesn’t but her mom nags her to go. I said I thought her mom was right and she should go with her. She said, “Yeah, I think I will.” Hopefully, she follows through.”

I said thank you again and left. But, the interaction made me a little uncomfortable, I could tell she wasn’t trying to flirt and was being nice and it was flattering to hear but for some reason I have never been comfortable receiving compliments. Maybe because I have had instances where I have been complimented and then found the compliments were hollow. Maybe it’s because I have never enjoyed being the center of attention, preferring to be giving attention than receiving it. Perhaps because of prior life and military experience where it’s critical to not be noticed, many of the military operations and missions I participated in required we fit in with the civilian population in various countries with individuals selected, in part, due to physical appearance and language abilities in addition to other capabilities. But, I digress, sorry for the deviation from the intended discussion. But a reasonable side note about attention and either seeking attention or trying to avoid it. Maybe I’ll talk on that on a future post. OH, WAIT, I think I already did, OOPS.   AND….. back to the matter at hand.

Eyes, we all have them, well other than extremely rare exceptions and once upon a time I believed, as strongly as humanly possible, that one’s don’t lie. I still believe it. Maybe it’s a gift of the Holy  Spirit to see more than what is said, maybe we can all do it to one extent or another. But, I have always been able to look into a person’s eyes and KNOW if they were telling the truth or not. If the said they were happy and I looked, I could tell if that was or wasn’t true, at times I have pushed the matter and found out they did have some significant issues going on making them extremely sad and depressed and if nothing else let them talk through things, giving advise if appropriate, but usually just lending an ear. Sometimes I have seen people in pain, physical or emotional, that denied having any sort of pain, but I could see suffering in their eyes and after they admitted it, I would do what I could to help them.

I have seen joy, sorrow, anger, pain, rejoicing, love, hate, emptiness and many other things. And I was never wrong……or I should say that I do not believe I have ever been really wrong, but there have been a few times I questioned if I was right. Did I misread someone’s eyes? I have to say I really don’t think so but sometimes, their actions later seem to say differently than I thought.  So, that leaves me confused, did I misread or are they that good of a liar their eyes don’t even give them away?  Or, was I correct but for some reason their actions are not as they should be at whatever time it caused me to have the doubt?

I sometimes wonder if it just a few that are able to do so or if all can. My mother was really good at it. She could see people and even if smiling and laughing she knew they were covering up something, usually some sort of sadness. She would see someone and comment they had some sort of emotional or spiritual pain or conflict and then tell me or us, depending on who else was there, that she was going to go talk with them and when I was younger I’d get dragged along. She would start talking to them, sometimes they were total strangers at Kmart or Woolco or the mall, it could be anywhere. At first the smiling continued and almost always the person would shake their head and try to smile, but it was never as much. She’d continue talking with them often about random things and eventually say “Are you sure there is nothing bothering you?” They’d again shake their head sometimes more aggressively, trying harder to say no and she would talk a little more and this would go on a couple minutes or longer but eventually when she asked they would finally say, “I do have something upsetting me.” Or another phrase along those lines and proceed to tell her. Man, some of the things they would tell her were shocking. They were in legal trouble, looking at divorce, a girl might be pregnant, someone close died, on and on the list of things goes. So many people I saw this with, so many different problems. She definitely had a gift. After they talked some she made suggestions about lawyers, counselors, etc. the people always seemed relieved and that someone cared enough to actually see the sorrow and listen to them. She impacted tons of people that way. She could even see it in pictures of people she knew, the better she knew them, the more she could see things. I had photos from Iraq, some I had taken, some I had others take with my camera, some that people had taken and emailed me that I was showing my parents. I had the, ummm shall we say, less family friendly photos from combat and medically related photos, etc in separate file because I know that would have upset them, but as I showed them the photos, there was one that was taken shortly after we returned to camp after several hours of intense combat, that was kind of a close up of me and another guy. They had already seen a couple from the same time, we were all unwinding so to speak, laughing and joking about this or that and, nothing close enough for my mother to see me closely and they all looked like we were just a bunch of guys, hanging out, having fun. She actually commented that we must have been having a good time because everyone was smiling and you could tell a couple were laughing. I did at times while we were hanging out. But, when she saw the one picture that was pretty close up, she said, “WHAT WAS WRONG?” I asked what she meant. She said, “Your eyes, there was something wrong that day, something happened, something very bad. What was wrong? Did you get hurt or something? Was someone you know killed? Something happened, something very, very bad.” Well, I gave her a vague answer that, yes, we had been in contact that day for several hours and ye, there were people killed. She said, “I knew as soon as I saw your eyes in the picture, I knew. But, there was more wasn’t there?” Well, I was not going to burden them with other details, as I had killed people that day, seen others killed, some Americans, some Iraqis. I had some close calls, it was the day my back got broken and such as well. She could tell I was reluctant to say more, but said, “I know there was more, but I understand if there are things you don’t want to talk about. I just knew something was wrong.”

It was a gift she had, God gave her the ability to see more in a person’s eyes, not the color, shape, eyelashes or other things like that, but something deeper in the eyes. She used that to minister to people at times and was able to help them, at least a little. As I mentioned, I am able to do it as well, I don’t think as well as she could, but I can. I have, as I mentioned, seen more than people say in their eyes. I have seen the opposite of what people say, I have seen hate, love, joy and sorrow as well. What troubles me is when I see people I know well smiling, whether in person or a photo, but see their eyes and see sadness, guilt, pain, suffering of some kind. Perhaps they or someone close lost someone, or has health issues but there is some kind of suffering. No matter what they say, or how much they deny it, I know what I see, just as my mom could see the same in peoples’ eyes. Sometimes, I can reach out to the people, other times I cannot, but whether I can talk with them or not, I pray for them. Pray that God will help them with whatever it is bothering them, help the pain, sorrow, guilt, whatever they feel, help them address the cause and make things right for themselves and more importantly, with God. Perhaps that is due to the need to spend more time praying, reading the Bible, confess something to God, or whatever other issue may be the cause. I just pray that God help comfort them, show them what He wants them to see and know and they allow Him to work in their lives.

 

But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. Matthew 13:16

 

1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.

I Corinthians 12:1-14

 

23 And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see:
24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Luke 10:23-24

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, Ephesians 1:13

 

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

 

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

 

He tells us to look inward at people, that the eyes are truly the window to the soul, I can see far more than people say, I can see hurt when they smile, I do not think that I am unique and I believe that there are many that can see the same as I see in others’ eyes. If it is not as common as I think it is, then it is a gift from God and all glory goes to God for any good for anyone that may come out of my seeing things and helping others if I am able to do so.

Lord, I thank You for your mercy and praise Your Holy Name. I ask in Jesus name that I be able to see into others’ souls even better than I feel I do now and that You help me know when and how to help those who are hiding pain and suffering. Give me the words to minister to their needs. I thank You for my salvation and the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus that gave me my deliverance. I pray You continue to work in my life to help me serve Christ better and to be a better example of Him.  I ask that You help me bring family and loved ones, as well as others, to you.

Amen

 

Thank you for the time it takes to wade through my posts. I hope that something helps someone, either because they are hiding pain, or that it helps someone try harder to see the pain in others eyes and that they are able to help them somehow. I hope all have a blessed day today, and as always, ask you try to be a blessing to at least one other person.

 

 

You are what you eat!

Unhealthy_snacks_in_cart.jpg

 

I have been trying to be more careful about dietary choices, exercising more and such to lose weight and that has been successful, praise God for His help in keeping cravings down. I love sweets so that has been a challenge. BUT, there are other things that can make one gain weight as well. Too much fat in the diet, good food but too much of it, fried foods (kinda too much fat and other ingredients that make it not great) too many sweets, etc. Made me think about how they sometimes say you are what you eat. If you eat unhealthy foods, you become unhealthy and if you make healthy food choices you will be more healthy. In the past, I made unhealthy choices on what I fed my soul. I fed it anger, bitterness, sorrow and pain and, I felt that way. Spiritually and emotionally drained, no joy, only negative feelings. But now, I feed my soul with His word, seeking God, praying, rejoicing and again, to no surprise, I am happy, healthy, spiritually fit. Like my physical health I need to get even more healthy, but I am much more so that I once was and will be getting better as I continue my spiritually healthy diet and working out my prayer muscles. I praise the Lord for the help He has, and is, giving me to keep me on track to not only maintain, but to improve, my  relationship with Him.

The same thing applies to life in general, if one lives with or associates with people that exude hate, anger and bitterness, they become hateful, angry and bitter but if they live with love, compassion and joy they learn to love, care and to be happy.  Oh there will be days that the happiest person has sad things happen but they don’t stay sad. If you feed yourself spiritually, you will be spiritually healthier. Spend time in prayer, reading the scripture and with other Christians at church and elsewhere. You will also be more spiritual in the process, a better servant and example of Christ on this world.

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.  Revelation 21:6

 

22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.
23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.
24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.
25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

Mark 14:22-25

 

Lord, I am always in awe of You and the way You teach me things. I thank You for the lessons. I ask that You help me continue to grow in You and that I feed myself the good food and the water of life that You offer and avoid the things that will interfere with my walk with Christ. Draw us all to You and work in the hearts and minds of my loved ones to show them Your path for them and the way to salvation for those not saved. That all they need do is confess their sins and acknowledge Jesus as Your Son that sacrificed for all our sins.

In Jesus Name, Amen

 

Thank you for stopping by today. Remember to feed your soul with only good. Avoid the negative, if it seems unavoidable, spend more time in prayer and study of His Word. I hope all have a blessed day, and get the chance to bless someone else as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it God or is it me?

 

 

I wrote about times I sensed God trying to tell me something, trying to “speak” to me in some way. Usually that feeling of need to do something, concern for someone, some how causing me to just feel like something about an issue is just not right and I feel like I should try to speak with someone, or contact them. Sometimes, it’s a feeling that they need to know that all will be okay or that with God by their side, He will take care of them regardless of things. Sometimes, I try contacting those about whom I have the feeling, either directly, by phone, email, text, but somehow try to reach out. Other times, because of issues in the past, one person feeling like the other did them wrong, or if not that for some other reason gets hard feelings for them. Sometimes it may have been a misunderstanding, misspoken words meant well but either said or perceived wrong, another person says things that are not true and cause hard feelings, sometimes one intentionally misleads one about yet another and feelings change because of bad information, perhaps one knows they did wrong and is reluctant to say anything out of embarrassment, pride, vanity, concern they will hear “I warned you.” or similar comment, the possibilities of why one is concerned about trying to contact someone else could be endless but regardless of the reason, due to concerns, fear, about how things may be perceived if any attempt to communicate is made or that one’s feelings are not of God, but the person’s human self wanting it to be that way so I find myself uncertain about what steps to take. The fear I may be wrong is a huge factor, but like it says in the song, fear is a liar, so am I succumbing to attacks by the enemy in having the fear? Is the concern or caution from God trying to help me not make things worse?  There are many reasons for the hesitation. At time, I have hesitated when I was certain it was of God and that created issues that would never have occurred if I had listened to Him. Other times, I have hesitated to make sure it was God and not me and found that it was probably me and I avoided issues. I know there are things I have the same feelings about now, but I have that uncertainty and need to know before acting, or take a different approach.

The only way I know to figure out is through prayer and time with God. If it is of God, then He will make me more certain before I take the steps, IF I take the time to seek Him and His guidance for me. Other situations, I feel that any step I take could compromise things further and make any issues much worse, so for those, I still pray, but ask God to work in the hearts of others to show them the need to communicate and leave it in His hands. The latter is harder at times. Oh, I have the faith He has everything under His control and His plans will come to fruition, but at times, that is difficult. But, I will continue to trust Him, pray that He give the faith I need, have the ability to be patient and wait on Him to do His will and hope that others are sensitive to His guidance for them. Hoping that they get the reassurance that no matter what, there are no hard feelings, that there has been forgiveness from me that has been given for any wrongs and the knowledge that I hope for their forgiveness for any perceived or actual actions that caused hurt. I have no choice but to leave it all in His hands for He is in control and He will work in others lives so they aren’t afraid to contact me or whoever they feel they need to contact.

15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

1 Peter 3:15-17

 

2 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.
3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Romans 12:2-3

 

2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
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 1:2-6

 

5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:                                                                     6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Hebrews 12:5-11

 

6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:6-9

 

He will try to teach us patience, to remind us we need to talk with him about things to get answers, try to teach us faith, and give us reassurance when it is His will that we have it. So, in the instances where I am not certain, or concerned about potential impact or outcome, I will pray, seek Him, seek His guidance, have faith that God will work things out so all will be as He plans. If I feel burdened about someone I am hesitant to contact, then I will not only pray for the things I mentioned, but pray for the person as well. That whether there is any communication or not, that God take care of them and protect them and have His way in their lives too. That they be sensitive to His guidance.

 

Lord, I praise You and glorify you. Thank You for the mercy and salvation you gave me through Your Son Jesus. I pray in Jesus name that I be sensitive to His will in my life and that I follow His guidance. I pray that friends, family, loved ones and others also be sensitive to His will and way for them. I ask that You move in the lives of family and friends that are not saved, draw them to You. Use me as You need to bring them to You.

Amen

 

I appreciate the visit, I hope all are well and are blessed richly. Please, take time to bless others as well.

 

 

 

 

The Job offer.

negotiate

 

I have been looking for a new job for almost 3 years and while in my career field there are always jobs available and the process takes several months anytime and I was looking for a position in a very specific area and there were none in this area. What have been available have then had changes within the organization so that the jobs were filled by others with the same company, but different clinics that have been sold to other organizations or the people wished to move to the area in which I have been looking but regardless of why, the jobs have not panned out as expected and I have not obtained employment in the desired area yet. At this point I have been dealing with a different organization for almost a year and a half and now I have a tentative offer with good pay, actually great pay, good hours, awesome benefits, but, the timing may not be optimal for this location. If I accept it now, it will still take 3-4 months before I would actually start so perhaps the timing will end up better at that time. I have two other facilities that are expressing a lot of interest but I am about 3 or more months further behind in the process at the other places so I would be looking at 6 months or more before I would start at either of these locations. I have had some other positions over the last 2-3 years that I learned about just a little too late as they were already filled before I heard about them or like the one I mentioned, were filled from other clinics within the same organization.

Due to the behavior of some I am concerned that they would want to cause me problems and any gossiping, negative comment or spreading untrue rumors would cause significant difficulties for me. I have nothing but the love of Christ for those involved and have forgiven the maltreatment including blatant lies, unfounded accusations, threats, distortion of facts and words and other unkind treatment directed towards me. I have no ill will for anyone. I hope that any that feel that I have slighted them in any way, whether great or small, find it in their hearts to forgive me also as forgiveness from God through Christ is what makes our salvation possible.

27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.
30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Luke 6:27-38

 

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

 

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

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 6:14-15

So, I will give the situation up to the Lord. I will trust in God and try my best to be sensitive to His guidance. If it is right, I will move forward with that job but if not, I will continue my search as He leads me.

 

My heavenly Father, I thank You for my many blessings; the forgiveness and salvation I have through Your Son Jesus. I ask that You work in me to have the heart and mind of Christ that I may continue to have His love for others and forgive without reservation. I ask that You give me guidance on the position that is currently being considered and that if it is of You, that all be right with the final details, but also that if it is not of You that I sense that, regardless of the attractiveness of the offer I know if it is not of You and that I wait for the job You want me to have rather than one that would not best help me serve You.

In Jesus name I ask these things and that You pour Your Holy Spirit out upon me as I deal with these issues and other in my life. I praise Your Holy Name and ask that loved ones come to know You and that You help me know You and serve You better.

 

Amen

 

Thanks for stopping by and bearing with me as I am thinking about things that are up in the air, possible complications and all the other issues, both good and bad, with which I am dealing. I ask that you take time to offer up prayers that if this be God’s will, that He smooth the path and have His hand on the process to make it smooth and that no one feels the need to persecute me and compromise my ability to do the job if it is His will that I have this particular job.

Thank you.