Trials

trial

 

I was watching news and they had some coverage about a man being on trial. The talked about the charges against him and such. Wellllll…..my mind working as it does I had a couple different thoughts. One was that with all the evidence God has against me due to my human frailties and from that I have sinned. I am guilty and even though I am guilty with no defense, I was forgiven. The charges against me were dropped and my record expunged. Christ paid my “attorney fees and court costs” with His pain, suffering and death on the cross. He bought me my freedom, forgiveness and salvation and paid for my place in Heaven when He defeated death and was resurrected. I didn’t deserve it, but He did. I’ve said it before, what an amazing God!

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.   Isaiah 53:5

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

The other thought was about trials. Not court cases but difficulties we deal with throughout our lives. Problems at work, with family or other relationships, financial, any number of trials. Sometimes people think those trials are punishment for our sins. But that isn’t the case for those who seek Christ and acknowledge He is the son of God who suffered and was crucified for us. If we do that and confess their sins, ask God to forgive us He does so. And the sin exists no more. God won’t punish us for something that doesn’t exist. We become new creatures who are blameless in His eyes.

Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  2 Corinthians 5:17

He does allow us to go through, and sometimes puts us through trials. Not as punishment but as a means to improve our walk with Him; to help our faith grow, to teach us to lean on Jesus and not ourselves, to strengthen us spiritually so we are better able to withstands all the enemy throws at us. He rewards our faithfulness during those trials through spiritual growth. Oh, He rewards other ways at times but the most precious reward is the one that has no monetary value but pays tremendous dividends in Heaven.

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 5:3-5

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

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

Lord, I come to you and ask again for the forgiveness You offer for my sins. Though I try to not sin I know that I fail at times. I praise Your name and thank You for the gift of Your own Son who suffered and died in my place and who arose and defeated the death I earned. I pray in the name of Jesus that people see the message You try to give us and that You draw them to You. I pray that those going through trials remember to look to You and seek You in the difficult times that You deliver them from their sins and strengthen their faith during the hardships. Bring us all closer to You that we may know Your true grace and mercy.

Amen.

I hope all are safe and God is with you as you go about your days. If you don’t think He is, look into your hearts to see that He is there, waiting for you to reach out to Him. I hope all are blessed and that you are able to be a blessing to someone else as well.

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It’s a Beautiful Day

winter

Well, here I sit sipping my coffee and looking out the front window. It’s still dark but the ground is snow covered so I can see a little bit out there. And, I hear the wind blowing given the wind and the snow I know it’s cold and then I foolishly looked at the little weather station and see that it’s 29 degrees F, wind is blowing at 15 mph and the wind chill is 19 degrees F. Cold…..its been colder but its still cold. I don’t like the cold. In fact, I greatly DISLIKE cold weather. Oh, I dress for it and go about my business, but I don’t like it. But, still, it’s a beautiful day.

It’s early, I am not fully awake so I am still tired and I work today, a 10 hour shift and I am not looking forward to it since I know there will be things I have to do and people that I deal with at times can be difficult so I am not at all thrilled about it, particularly when I have worked several days in a row. But, still, it’s a beautiful day.

I know that there will be challenges today. Who doesn’t have some challenges as they go about their days? Some small challenges and others, huge and extremely difficult challenges. But, still it’s a beautiful day.

AND…..after all I say, it would be easy to think and say: It’s a horrible day today. But, no matter the weather, no matter if I am tired, no matter if there will be challenges, no matter what the weather and work throw at me. It’s a beautiful day!

I say that because no matter how cold or difficult my day may be I have all the hope and strength I need by my side. I have a Friend, Master, Savior and Lord who will make my day better. I at times do like many and choose to look at the negative aspects of the upcoming day and various circumstances I face during the day but I am working on my attitude. I am trying, and doing much better than I did without Christ in my life, to adapt Paul’s approach of being happy no matter what, in the good times and the bad times, during feast or famine, learning to have joy no matter what and all that is because of Christ with me.

11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

Philippians 4:11-12

 

So, I seek to learn to think that way, to know that I should be content. I know that whether things are good or bad, they could always be worse. I know that as long as I continue to seek Christ, then no matter how bad things may seem at times, it is all good.

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

If I remember to seek God first, then He will give me what I need and more.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19

God will take care of me; He will meet my needs. God may not give me all my wants, but He will take care of my needs, physical yes, but more importantly my spiritual needs. God will bless me and no matter how bad things are, I will be content. He gives me a peace and joy that no matter how they try, people, the world, can’t steal that from me.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

So, I work on learning to trust the Lord and to lean on Jesus, and not myself, for strength, joy and understanding. And, because of that, I say no matter the temperature, the weather or difficulties facing me today. It is a beautiful day!

Lord, I praise Your Holy Name and thank You for making everyday beautiful in its own way and for helping me better see that regardless of the challenges and hardships I face, whether spiritual, physical, financial or in any other way, that YOU make all things better and will see me through those times. You will take care of my needs, You will set me free of the difficulties. Lord, I ask in the name of Jesus that You continue to teach me these important lessons and help me remember what You teach me as I struggle through my days. That keeping You as my focus will make all things better or me and for others and will give You the glory as You help make me a better light to the world. I ask that You draw my loved ones to You and show them all that You are the way, the truth and the light and that without You all days are bad but with You all days are beautiful. Please draw my children, me and all others to You that we may all spend eternity with You.

Amen

 

I hope that what ever comes your way today that God helps you through whatever issues you are facing and that you have a blessed day. Try to be a blessing to someone else as well. Thank you so much for your visit here today.

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

praying.png

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Pray without ceasing.  1 Thessalonians 5:17

 

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

 

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

Amen

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

Desperation.

I was thinking about my life and reflected on times that money was tight. Living paycheck to paycheck and not keeping up with bills. I have at times worked extra jobs to try to make enough money to pay bills and it was a struggle. Get up early and go to work, get off one job and go to the second job and when I got done there head home and sleep a few hours before starting all over again, barely getting by and doing without a lot of things I could have used in order to provide for the family. It was tough but due to circumstances I was desperate and willing to do whatever I needed to do in order to make ends meet.

As I thought about how I was struggling then and needed the money I think about some jobs I took out of desperation; working places and doing jobs that I never would have thought I would have considered likely that I do. I found myself taking a variety of part time jobs in addition to my full time job. I did work that was terrible to even consider. Literally digging ditches, working in or around hog houses, other jobs dealing with people that were not the type with whom I would associate, alcoholics, drug abusers and other well, unsavory types. Right or wrong I thought I was better than the type of person that would do such things but there I was, doing exactly what I thought I would never do with people whom I held in low regard, at times I had mocked those people and here I was working with them. But, I was desperate……or at least thought I was desperate with a wife and child I had to get money for expenses. I did not know anything about food stamps or other government assistance so I did things I thought beneath me to get myself into a better situation. I struggled, I worried, as I said, I compromised myself and associated with people that were not the type I would associate with, all due to desperation.

As I thought about that, how much I wanted to try to make things better, how I was willing to be around people that I would never have associated with at all, just to try to make a better life because I needed more money for bills and such, I realized I had compromised myself to try to make things better. That caused me to wonder how many people compromise themselves to try to get by, earn money or get what they think may be a better life. Some suffer right along and never compromise themselves as they struggle, others repeatedly compromise. But, one thing I should know is that He did provide and I was able to find some extra work to help pay bills.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19

As I reflected further, I realized that I was also sort of reaping my own reward for belittling or mocking those people, whether literally or possibly only in my mind. I was being judgmental and I needed to learn some humility. Boy, does God know how to teach us humility.

[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Philippians 2:3

Then, I thought more about times I was doing fine, but desperately wanted something, so I would spend more than I should have to get it or do it. I wanted to go fishing or hunting so I would ignore things that were more important, chores at home and such. When I was in high school I would desperately want to do something and would leave homework undone. I ignored responsibilities because I desperately wanted to do something “fun.” I talked in one post previously about blowing off a friend I was supposed to meet so I could run around with other guys that were part of the “cool crowd” and I desperately wanted to be considered one of the cool guys.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14

This doesn’t necessarily mean people that don’t believe in Christ, but also people who may believe that He is the Son of God, died and was resurrected, but still intentionally live in a way that is not pleasing to God.

Sometimes desperation isn’t due to hardships, suffering or otherwise actually needing something, but can be related to a person’s wants. To be honest, many times things I thought I NEEDED were only things I wanted. I have seen people that, like I mentioned in the post about black Friday, behave horribly and do anything to others to get that one thing they “desperately need” for Christmas. Back stabbing, talking terribly about people. It is sad.

But, real or perceived, desperation causes people to do a lot of things that they normally would not do: treat others in ways that they would never have treated them otherwise, tolerate far more from some to obtain what they “Desperately” want, take risks they shouldn’t take, ignore responsibilities and any number of what would otherwise be considered bad judgement.

Another thought is that the tough times happen and if we let Him, He will use those times to strengthen us. He also gave me opportunities to learn to trust Him more, opportunities for better jobs and the desire to get my education so I could have an even better life in the future. He helped me get through that all no matter how bad I thought times were, no matter how desperate I became, HE DID NOT FAIL ME and Christ carried me through and is leading me to where He wants me in life. I may have done things that did not please Him, I may have strayed from the path He had planned for me, but He still was with me.

Know ye that the LORD he [is] God: [it is] he [that] hath made us, and not we ourselves; [we are] his people, and the sheep of his pasture.   Psalms 100:3

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy name and thank You for seeing more in me than I saw myself and for helping me through so many difficulties in life, many I created for myself, but Your love and presence saw me through. I thank You for the difficulties that helped shape me into the person You desire me to be and that brought me to the place You want me to be for Your glory. I ask in the name of Jesus that You continue to help me improve my Christian walk. I pray for those who feel the desperation as I did at times, due to finances, marital problems, job issues, poor health or any other areas of concern for them that they lean on Christ to help them through and give them the strength and assistance they need to get through the hard times they feel they are facing and show them how to know You and Your will for them in dealing with their hardships. Please draw my family and loved ones to You and help them come to know You and Your plan for their lives. I thank You for my salvation that Christ paid for through His suffering and death, through His defeat of death when He was resurrected.

Amen

 

Thank you all for your time. Please have a blessed day and try to be a blessing to others.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving

thanksgiving

Well, it’s almost Thanksgiving when we here in America celebrate the “founding” of the nation. To be honest that part is not a fond thought for me as I have Native American ancestry and in some ways it is bothersome. But it is a time when we should all stop and reflect back on the past year and think on what we should be thankful for at this time. For Christians, we have something for which to be thankful all day, everyday. The redemption Christ bought for us with His blood.

But, as I reflect on the past 12 months I do have that for which to be thankful; and I am thankful indeed. But in some ways it was an extremely trying year. I had some losses that weren’t easy to bear. I was betrayed by people from whom I would have never expected it. I saw the majority of my parents possessions sold. But regardless of those things I rejoice in the Lord! He is my Redeemer, my Savior, my Hope in seemingly hopeless times. I am thankful for those who, through their actions, I learned or relearned lessons on human nature and that I need only trust Him and not people. I realized that through Him I can overcome amazingly difficult times. Jesus showed me that He was there for me to lean on during those difficult times. The strength He gave me m helped me learn to where I must turn in all things, the good and the bad.

Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice.  Philippians 4:4

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
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 5:1-5

 

7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

Ephesians 1:7-12

 

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

I endured suffering yet as much heartache and pain as I dealt with I did endure. Not because of me but because of Christ in me. And no matter how bad I thought I was suffering I know that the worst I went through and the worst I could ever go through pales in comparison to what Christ suffered on the cross on my behalf. He did so willingly and out of love for us all. He took the burden from me and gave me a lighter load.

God has taught me so much in the last year and even though He has I know I have much more to learn about living for Him. I’m definitely still a work in progress.

 

Lord,  I praise Your Holy Name and come to You today to thank You for the many blessings, some I knew were blessings and some I only realized we’re blessing after you taught me some truths. I thank You for the good and the bad that has. One my way. Through Christ all things work for my benefit. Even the things I don’t realize are benefitting me. I pray in Jesus name that You bless us all and use the good and bad to draw us too You.  Heal and comfort those who are sick, show those living in sin and outside of Your plans for them how to become reconciled with You through Jesus.  Help all learn the true path You wish is to follow. Thank You again for all the blessings.  Mercy. Forgiveness. And grace.

Amen

 

and to those who managed to get through my drivel. Thank you for your time. Have a blessed day and try to be a blessing to someone else today.

Bad times for a friend.

badtime

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hebrews 10:26-27

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Amen

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

 

 

The Ex is back.

 

I posted a few months ago about a soldier in my Guard unit that was having issues with her ex-boyfriend harassing her. I asked her at the last drill a couple weeks ago how things were going for her and if things had settled down so she wasn’t being bothered by him anymore. Well between blocking him in email, social media and her phone as well as sending notice through a lawyer  that if it didn’t stop she would pursue a restraining order and possibly other legal actions he had stopped bothering her. The only thing she had heard was an email, apparently he used a different email address and told her he had gotten married about a month before and did not want her to bother him any longer. Except, she had not bothered him, ever, other than to ask him to stop contacting her when he had tried to email, text and call. She assumed that after the last email it would had stopped. But, sometimes unexpected things happen, or things we hoped would not happen, do. Yesterday I got an email from her, apologizing for bothering me, and asking for advise. She said that a few days before he received an email from him and he talked about missing her and told her he still cared. She said she did not understand why he would do that if he was married. But, she did not reply and then, 2 days later she gets another email from the same address which was a bit, well from what she described, not hateful, but not pleasant with comments about how she should have the decency to reply. She told me she replied that time and said that her feelings had not changed and that she had reasons for breaking up with him and she was glad she did so. He answered saying he was changed, he could control his temper and he was sorry for some of the things he said when he was upset. She answered and said that it was good and that since he was married he should focus on his wife and not someone else. Back and forth with the emails a few times, she said he was fine in them once she answered and that it was kind of like an exchange between friends. He started sharing issues he has with his wife, criticisms of her, and also made comments about missing her again. She decided then that she was not wanting to continue any discussion because of how the conversation was going and told him that, wished him luck and said good bye.

Apparently, that set him off and he got more hateful in his emails and she received a couple more but did not reply and then, blocked that address as well. When she did that, he started posting excerpts from her emails on social media, but she said they weren’t exactly what she had written and that it seemed that someone had edited them somehow. Making it seem as if she was bitter that they broke up and was trying to somehow get back together with him and that he made comments that were very unkind and hateful. Well, they have mutual friends and she said that what he posted wasn’t what she actually wrote and that the things he was saying were not true. His wife and some of her friends had commented about her contacting him knowing he was “happily married.” And that it frustrated her that he is apparently telling people that she emailed him and not that she replied to one of several emails he sent her.  She asked me what should she do and said what he really feels like doing is just slamming him the way he is trying to do to her and then making comments about why does this “happily married man” keep emailing her when she had asked him not to do so?

Okay, that is very obviously not a comfortable or pleasant situation for her. I asked, knowing the answer, if any of what he wrote was true. No, she said it was lies, some of it half truths, but most of it blatant lies. I asked if she thought her friends that may see it believed it and thought poorly of her from it. “No, they have all said they know he is trying to make me look like the bad guy and that I didn’t do that stuff.” I suggested that if her friends did not believe it, perhaps ignoring it was the best thing as obviously this guy was trying to somehow get her drawn into a public argument if you will, so he could try to shame her and put himself in a position that he looked like a victim and so he could try to ridicule her. Basically telling her that if she doesn’t contribute to that discussion, it will fizzle out and stop. Besides that, I mentioned that if she allowed herself to be drawn into some sort of debate or argument; she would end up getting angry and frustrated from all that and that adding to any drama or hostility would cause it to escalate further. I also suggested that she pray about it, and pray for him. Obviously this man has some issues in life and his marriage, or he would not feel the need to bother my friend and distract himself from his marriage. And, he obviously needs God in his life and to get treatment for his issues. I did tell her it was not easy to pray for someone that was doing her wrong, for an enemy basically, but that it was what was needed. He needed God and she needed to pray for him to help herself let go of the anger and frustration he was causing her to feel and instead, realize she should feel sorry for him, pity him and his unhappiness in life and pray that God work in his heart. I also said that she really should pray for his wife because obviously that young lady is not in a good situation, he is being emotionally unfaithful if he keeps contacting her. Between the guy’s issues that caused my friend to break up with him and the fact that he keeps trying to contact my friend he is obviously not truly invested in his marriage such that his wife will likely be facing some difficult times and possibly hard decisions in the near future.

Through the emails discussing all these things she told me a few other things and that she understood about praying for him and his issues as well as praying he would stop bothering her and said she would try that. Of course, I did mention that if it starts again she may need to visit with her lawyer again to discuss other options. She said she understood.  I told her I would pray for her, and the others involved, as they all need God to work on things for them and give them the peace of God.

I really feel badly for all those involved, obviously more so for my friend because, well human nature is such that we tend to worry more for family and friends. But, I do feel bad about how he is treating her, and whether his wife knows it or not, he is apparently being emotionally unfaithful and expending a lot of emotional energy worrying more about my friend than his spouse. I also feel bad for him as he apparently has issues and is creating hardships and difficult situations for both my friend and his wife. Through what she told me I don’t really understand what the motivation is for his actions. Whether he is trying to make my friend look bad and himself good, if he is trying to get my friend to reconsider the relationship with him or if he has some other agenda. But, he is obviously troubled somehow.

 

Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9

Obviously, this situation is creating some turmoil for my friend and she has a choice, contribute to the turmoil or try to be the peacemaker through prayer and allowing God to work. Praying for such can be difficult when the other person is trying to create tension. But, in times such as these, one needs to put aside the human emotion and pray for peace.

 

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Matthew 5:43-45

 

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  Roman 12:19

 

It isn’t easy to pray for one’s enemies, for ones that do a person wrong, but when people behave that way it is obvious that the one attacking someone as is being done has issues and needs the Lord. It will also help her if she allows God to work in her situation and not allow herself to be dragged down to the her ex-boyfriend’s level. She needs to take the “moral high ground” the path that Christ would take and pray for this person, more for her own benefit than anyone else’s.

 

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

 

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.  1 John 1:7

 

This young lady, and all of us, have all had situations where another person has treated us poorly, attacked us, directly or indirectly, and done us wrong. We need to not think with the human mind or feel with the human heart, but instead think and feel towards those mistreating us as Christ would feel towards others; feel concern, worry, pity and love. Pray for them and through that, come closer to that which Jesus wants us to become.

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for the opportunity to help this friend of mine. I thank You for helping me find the right things to say and I pray that You give me wisdom when asked for advise, not just now, but in other situations as well. I ask in the name of Jesus that You help this girl, help her avoid getting into some type of exchange or argument with this guy and others because of his behavior. I pray that You give her peace and that she is no longer harassed by this man. I pray for this man as he obviously needs You in His life that You work in His heart that He stop this behavior and allow this girl to live her life in peace. I pray for this man’s wife as she obviously is in a situation and marriage where he is not fully dedicated to her, because if he was, he would not be trying to re-establish his relationship with my friend.

God, I know that there are many people in situations that are not what they expected or were promised. There others that are dealing with difficult relationships, jobs, lack of jobs, financial difficulties, family problems, disease, loss of loved ones and more problems and worries than I can possibly imagine. I pray for them all and ask that You help them, show them mercy, love and kindness. Help them know that if they are in situations that can be changed, and need to be changed, that You help them know that You will be with them as they make the needed changes and that You will be their strength. Show them all the love of Christ so they not feel abandoned or alone, that they know they are not without hope and that You will take care of them and their needs. Draw us all closer to You, teach us Your way for our lives. Put burdens in the hearts of those who need to confess their sins, ask forgiveness and seek You. I praise You that when they do, that You will forgive them, show mercy and grace.

Amen