Finding Hope

searching

I talk to a lot of different people over the course of my days and some conversations are pretty mundane, the typical “how are you today?” conversations where each person asks about things in the other’s life and usually it is the superficial, “pretty good” or “not bad” or similar replies. Sometimes someone has something good, or great, going on and there is talk of that. They got a new car, a promotion, they are planning a trip or any number of things. Other times, things are not good, problems at work, at home, their child got in trouble at school, someone has a serious illness or any number of woes and worries that life can throw at a person. Sometimes the person is nearly devastated and feels there is no hope and that nothing can happen to make things better. I will say that for those who don’t know Christ, those times can be overwhelming and that all is lost, like a boat that is sinking in a storm, with no hope for rescue.

We all face times that, to one extent or another, are like that as we make our way through life and no matter how hopeless things may seem, there is hope. I have faced times such as this, where I thought no possibility of hope existed. Like I was in total darkness and without chance for improvement. Yet there always was hope, all I had to do was seek Christ, the comfort He provides and the salvation He gives.

I hear songs on the radio and I have commented on some from time to time, sometimes they are songs that are new to me, other times, something I am going through, or someone I spoke with is going through is on my mind and a song plays that speaks to me. The other day I heard, “O’ Lord” by Lauren Daigle and several parts of the song spoke to me. How at times I have needed the message in the song and at other times people I talk to need to hear it. Here is a link to the lyrics, I hope it works because I know there are people that need to be reminded of the message that it contains, a message of the hope, love, strength and comfort He can provide us.

http://www.klove.com/music/artists/lauren-daigle/songs/o-lord-lyrics.aspx

Sometimes, the message comes through much stronger than others, I always wonder how and why that is, but God knows when I need to hear certain things. He tells us what He wants us to know. We serve an AMAZING GOD!

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

2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Romans 5:2-5

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

 

There are many verses that talk to the hope He provides for us, if we maintain our faith and continue to seek Him. He will deliver us from the hard times, He will strengthen us when we are weak.

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he [it is] that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.  Deuteronomy 31:6

 

At times I remind myself of these promises, other times, I remind others, but the truth of His promises are for us all. So, to anyone who feels hope is lost, that there is no way life can be as we want and need, remember He is there, He always is there and will always be, waiting for us to seek Him and His help.

 

Lord, I thank You for the mercy, grace and hope that You give me. For the strength when I am weak and the comfort when I need it. I pray in the name of Jesus that You continue to remind me of these truths and the truth of the salvation Christ bought for me. I pray that You speak to the hearts of anyone who feels despair and hopelessness that they know You have what they need to see them through the difficult times and that You will deliver them from the hardships they face. That You will be their hope and rock and that You will see them through the storms of life and bring them out of the troubles with which they are dealing. Draw us all to You, give us all the deliverance from sin and sorrow we all need.

Amen

 

I hope all are able to be a blessing to someone today and are blessed as well. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Poison.

poison

No, I’m not talking about pesticides, poisonous foods or other chemicals but rather poisonous environments where on suffers some type of harm due to the actions of others.

In the military there has at times been talk about toxic commands. Situations where the leadership creates an environment where trust in each other is destroyed, individuals and the unit as a whole have no confidence in themselves or each other or the unit’s ability to function cohesively. And if that unit ends up in combat then people will die or be injured.

Toxic environments occur many other places as well: work, friendships, marriages and other relationships, and churches to name a few. The common thread in any type of toxic environment is that someone suffers some type of harm and depending on the situation the harm could be physical, emotional or spiritual. There is a lot of information about toxic situations and some have information on how to deal with them to possibly improve things. But most involve Removing those most dramatically affected by the situation and placing them in environments that are healthier for the individual to allow them to get past the effects the toxic circumstances caused on them.

Sometimes the toxic person doesn’t have to actually do something to cause emotional or physical damage; sometimes doing nothing, as in ignoring someone else, creates a similar or more devastating emotional damage. Simply not giving attention or affection to someone causes emotional damage far worse than physical or verbal actions.

See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.   1 Thessalonians. 5:15

24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

2 Timothy 2:24-26

 

Creating a toxic environment, mistreating others, belittling them or otherwise not treating them is not being gentle, kind, gracious and creating circumstances that rather than nurture them but stunts personal and spiritual growth is not following His guidance. It is an abusive situation and must be changed. One can pray for and try to  the one creating that situation but sometimes they won’t change.

 

Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.  Proverbs 22:10

And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.  Luke 9:5

 

In my mind the scorners are they who hold others in disregard such that they create the toxic environments. While in context Luke 9:5 is referring to those who will not receive Christ and His teachings by not assisting the Apostles and those preaching the Gospel, it can also apply to this circumstance if one tries to show them how they are creating a toxic environment and they refuse to change.

 

Lord, I worship You and Praise You and all You are for me, my Savior and Redeemer. I thank You for the guidance You give me about everything. I know there are a lot of people who are in toxic environments in one manner or the other and I pray in the name of Jesus that You help them see the truth if they are confused and help them in their difficulties that they know how to proceed. I ask that You help us all not be the one that creates such a situation. Please draw me and my loved ones closer to You that we can all know the blessings You have in store for us.

Amen

 

I appreciate the time all take to stop and read my thoughts. I hope something is helpful and blesses someone. Have a blessed day and be a blessing to someone else.

 

Giants all around

david_vs__goliath_by_marianodavidotero-d1na314

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

THANKS PASTOR LARRY!

ARE THERE GIANTS IN THE LAND?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen

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

Waiting for the trophy.

 

220px-Trophées_des_Coupes_d'Algérie_1963_et_1964

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

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

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

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 Peter 4:12-13

 

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

 

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

Amen

 

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

 

 

 

 

Sorrow

Emotion-5

 

Have you ever looked at someone and known by the look in their eyes that they were unhappy? I don’t mean not happy at the moment but unhappy with their life and by appearance they are extremely sorrowful and emotionally in, well, pain. Something in their life is not good. Maybe they realize it and know what that is but maybe they don’t. They are just unhappy. Oh, there may be moments of happiness but those are few compared to the hours, days, weeks and months of sadness. It seems to me it would almost be like drowning and managing to get a quick breath of air only to sink underwater again. Sometimes when I have seen people like that they seem to have given up hope for true joy. Many times people in such circumstances start out looking for happiness and joy only to realize once they get what they thought would bring happiness instead brings sorrow. This happens many ways: use of alcohol, drugs, pornography, pursuit of wealth, nicer clothes or nicer home are a few examples. But by trying to find happiness in those things one finds the opposite: health and financial problems from using drugs and alcohol, mental issues and relationship problems from watching pornography, relationship problems from being so motivated by wealth one loses their family, the financial difficulties many face when spending too much on clothes, housing or other things all bring more long lasting pain and suffering than any joy obtained. The shattered self esteem that goes with trying to have one thing but realizing the cost and impact on one’s life is not worth any benefit that can be realized.

Too many people are sad for a variety of reasons and find ways to try to decrease the sadness but the worldly pursuits will never give true joy. Those things cannot fill a void that these people have in themselves. They cannot find joy from outside themselves and if a person is not happy with themselves, they can’t be happy with things. There are many ways to find joy and peace for oneself, but the only way to find true joy and peace is through Christ. I found myself in similar circumstances to many, for a variety of reasons I had a lot of sorrow and pain in my life, some things helped but even the things that helped did not give the true joy I found when I quit fighting against God and came to Him to confess I was a sinner and asked for His forgiveness. And, just like that, He gave it to me. Oh, there are times I am not fully joyful, there are times when I have pain and sorrow for one thing or another. It is part of human existence to have pain and sorrow at times. But now, those are minimal and the joy is the vast, vast majority of the time. When I am facing difficult times I have Christ to help me through the hard times and the joy and peace of knowing what waits for me in eternity with Him.

 

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  Revelation 21:4

 

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  Romans 8:18

 

The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.  Proverbs 10:22

 

But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.  1 Peter 4:13

 

He tells us there will be sorrows, but He also tells us that when we have sorrows, we will have Him there to take our pain, as Christ did on the cross and that all sorrow and pain will be replace with joy, not just joy but exceeding joy. What a magnificent Lord we serve.

 

Lord, I praise You for all You are and thank You for the joy You give me and for giving me hope and comfort in times of sorrow. More than anything I thank You and praise You for the salvation and forgiveness that Christ gave Himself for that I would be able to have that joy and life eternal. I pray that You show all those in pain and sorrow, for whatever reason,  that they do not need to suffer and hurt, no reason for them to be miserable but that instead there is a reason to rejoice and that You offer salvation from whatever situation in their lives that cause the suffering and that You will help them find a way out of those circumstances and that You will give them joy in times of pain and sorrow. I pray in the name of Jesus that anyone going through hard times learn to look to You for their joy and salvation from the sorrows they are enduring. I pray that You draw us all to You and that we learn how to glorify Christ in all we do and show us all the forgiveness and mercy You have for us.

Amen

Thanks to everyone for stopping by and taking time to read my post. I hope all have a blessed and joyful day and that you find a way to spread your joy and to bless someone else today.

 

Read the instructions

furniture

 

I needed to put together some chairs my daughter bought and kinda glanced at the instructions then got started on the first one. Things were going fine pieces fitting together and all with no problems, then not so good. Things weren’t quite right. The last few parts wouldn’t go on because parts I had already put together were in the way. So I took some parts off, put the pieces I needed on and then tried putting the ones I took off back on. Nope, still not right so I did what many hate to do and read the instructions. Once I did that I had to remove several parts then do it according to the instructions. Of course, it all went together fine and chair one was finished after that they all went together pretty quickly. Why didn’t I read the instructions first? Well, pride plain and simple. I’m fairly smart and thought it would be no problem and that I would easily figure it all out. What I figured out is that I should have read the instructions to begin with and I’d have saved myself time and frustration.

Life is that way too, one tries to use their own “intelligence” to figure out how to do things, what path to take and at least for me, failing to spend time in prayer, reading the Bible and seeking God’s guidance and will for me has lead to difficulties, frustration and repeated set backs as I end up struggling to get to the desired end point. Finally, realizing I need to back up and read the instructions. Starting over and actually using His word and will to help me get to build my life in the way He wants. So much of my life would have been far simpler if I had done so all along.

 

Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. Matthew 15:14

At times I was the blind, trying to lead myself and, yeah, you got it, I fell into a ditch, spiritually and needed a way out of that ditch where I was trapped in the mire of life without Christ.

 

Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands.  Job 4:3

 

2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;
4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

Proverbs 1:2-4

Proverbs has so much on instruction from the Lord and it is well worth looking over when you have the opportunity.

14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

2 Timothy 3:14-17

 

Yes, He gives us the instruction we need to build our lives in the way that Christ would have us live and to give us a full and rich life in the Holy Spirit that we all have available if we follow Him.

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for the salvation I have been given through the blood of Christ. I ask that You help me better remember the importance of seeking You, Your will for me and that I need to look to Your word and You to know the right way to proceed. That I always remember to seek Your instruction for me. I pray in Jesus name that You help me better have the heart and mind of Christ and that I look to Him for the way ahead in my life. I ask that You continue the work You have started in me that I better serve You. Draw loved ones to You and show us all the plans You have for our lives. For those not saved, help me be an example of Your love for others that they want what You have given me, salvation and forgiveness of my sins through the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus.

Amen.

 

Thank you all for your time today, I hope all have a blessed day and that you are able to be a blessing to others.

I walked into a pole!

pole

 

 

I was at the market yesterday to pick up a few things. While I was there, I saw some teenagers there doing whatever teenagers do. One was messing with his cell phone and not watching where he was going. One of his friend started to say “WATCH OUT!” but all he got out was “WAT” and POW, the kid on his phone walked right into a DVD display. It went crashing down as did he, scattering the DVD’s everywhere, him on top of the mess. That reminded me of a time when I was in High School, probably 15 or 16 years old at the time. I was hanging out at the mall with some buddies and as we were pretending to act busy and important, but actually hoping to meet some girls, I saw some girls about our age, doing about the same. I got distracted, she was cute, smiled at me and as I was about to try to get brave enough to go talk to her my friends started saying things like “Hey man” “Dude” but I ignored them, one made an odd sound and as I tried to turn towards him, POW, right into one of those concrete poles or pillar, whatever  you call it. Ummmm, what just happened? I didn’t get knocked out, but wow, did it humble and embarrass me. My buddies were laughing, the girl and her friends were too. Well, that wasn’t expected……or was it?

I hate to admit it, but I have possibly done things like that on more occasions than I care to admit, walking in the woods and get distracted and step into a hole or walk into a tree, other times walk straight into a door, and other similar things. WHY does that happen? Well, I get distracted or I fail to listen closely when someone tries to warn me about something and due to that, I get lumps, bumps, bruises, my ego gets hit hard too. It is pretty hard to look like a cool guy after you face plant into a pillar.  I have had friends do the same thing, be distracted and not listen when we first try to warn them and suffer the consequences. And, other times, kids being kids, sometimes people on either side of one of us would slowly steer us towards a pillar or sometimes in stores, displays of some sort, just to see what would happen. I have had that occur to me, and to my discredit, been on of those trying to get someone to walk into something. Kids are not always kind to even their friends. Honestly, adults aren’t always that kind either. Anytime it happens, there is always laughter as well as someone asking if whoever just did that is ok.

There are often warning signs in other areas that sometimes we heed, sometimes we don’t. I have one co-worker that is slow and not bad at her job, but lower quality work than others of the same education and level of licensure. Some of those in charge noticed it, but instead of acting on the warning signs, attributed it to being new at that location so no action was taken. It was compounded a few weeks later when there were marked issues that were being looked into regarding productivity and quality of care she provided. But, she had made friends with someone at the top of the chain at our facility so they refused to even take time to objectively review the information they were given. Instead, they let personal opinion sway a professional review and immediately terminated the evaluation that was being completed. This went on for several months and at this facility, within 6 months of start date they can terminate the employee without too much difficulty. But, if they fail to do so, the person becomes considered permanent and the process is 100 fold more complicated. Due to the senior officers failure to objectively review what was there and make the proper determination based on evidence instead of feelings the facility and the area in which the employee works  are having complications from that failure to act properly when the concern was first noticed. The facility essentially walked into a pole because of one person’s failure to listen and heed the warnings.

Relationships are another tricky area. I have been married for quite some time, and while I hate to admit it, it was never the type of marriage relationship I thought it should be for people. There were warning signs, at first, some were there, but subtle, and they began to be more obvious. Different things I saw that SHOULD have been huge warnings that I ignored. Various acts, which I harped about for a while, but then, finally realized it wasn’t the individual acts, it was the attitude behind the actions. Essentially, she made herself and her wants her number one priority, then second was pleasing others, then maybe me. Had it only been God in front of me, I would not have been bothered, but God was and is a lower priority than I. Like I said, at first any fights were about individual acts, but, eventually I saw that it wasn’t the acts, well, somewhat, but the mindset was the real problem, since the acts were derived from that. Oh, I am not pretending to be blameless, no one in a relationship is perfect and the blame is never all one’s burden. But, had I been alert, paying attention to the warning signs as I should have done, I would not face some of the issues that I face now.

That happens in our spiritual life as well. We can get distracted by events in life, we don’t pay attention to all that is going on around us, we get somewhat oblivious to surroundings and other circumstances and events to which we should be paying heed. We don’t watch for warnings that should tell us of approaching problems. In the case of the pole, there was a different color to the flooring as well as a different texture, I should have noticed those, even if I didn’t notice the pillar. But, I was distracted, I was not watching where my path was taking me. I headed straight into harm’s way. As I said, there are always warning signs spiritually. There are indicators that something is not as it should be, the trick is being sensitive enough to watch for those signs and to respond when we do notice them.

I had written previously about slowly drifting away from God. Work, school, family, all those things played into things that made it more difficult, well, no I should say less easy, to find times to pray and seek Christ. I started having one thing and another occur that should have given warning, but I didn’t pay attention. My Christian walk was slowing, and then stopped. Even then, warning signs that I needed to get back to God that I failed to heed. Issues at home, work, with family, school, recreational time such as fishing, golf, etc can all be cause of complications with spiritual life. Warning signs that one’s priorities are not as they should be, that they are drifting from the right path, that they are going to run into a pole spiritually because of those, or many other, factors. All should have had warning signs, failure to be alert for them, failure to be sensitive to His way for us. He puts convictions in our hearts, reminders one way or the other that we are letting Him down, and by doing so, hurting ourselves. God tries to warn us, sometimes we are too hard headed to listen. I have been just that way. I felt the convictions from Christ about not being in church or praying like I should have, but I justified it as it was needful to work to support my family, I needed to complete college so I could get into medical school, I had to work hard there to get a good residency and be a good doctor, I had to work hard at residency and had so much call that I had to do that I couldn’t make time, etc, etc. Excuses are easy to find, but most are not valid and those using them know they aren’t good justification. I know I knew they were not reasons, but only excuses and, my spiritual life suffered from that.

To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.        Jeremiah 6:10

 

4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.

Ezekial 33:4-5

 

27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

Colossians 1:27-29

 

Yes, He gives warnings, of spiritual dangers and consequences of failure to heed those warnings. God also gives warning of failure to listen to the truth of Christ as the Redeemer through whom we have forgiveness of our sins and salvation from eternal death but that we may have life through and with Christ.

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy Name. I thank You for the blessings You give me. For the sacrifice made by Your Son, Jesus that gave me salvation and forgiveness. I pray in Jesus name that You help me see warning signs in the future to help me avoid problems in life and especially in my spiritual walk. Help me walk with Christ as I should, help me seek Jesus. I ask that You continue to help me better serve You. I pray that You work in the hearts and minds of loved ones and others that You give them better understanding to help them avoid difficulties in their spiritual walks as well. I ask that You draw those who believe closer and the unsaved, draw them to You that they will have salvation as well. Give us all guidance on Your will and way in our lives.

Amen

 

I do appreciate everyone bearing with me as go about my life, trying to find areas I need to improve upon and I do pray my insight for my life helps someone else as well as for blessings for all. Do try to be a blessing to others as well.