Hear the word!

John_5-24

 

Hearing is important for a lot of things, conversations, sermons, music, and in my job it is critical. I don’t mean just processing the sounds and words, but truly HEARING the intended message. Many more times than I wish I have heard the words, but not what the person saying them meant. That applies to both spoken and written word. In the context of this particular verse and the overall messages of Christ’s ministry and the Bible; hearing, COMPREHENDING and BELIEVING the truth of those messages is vital so one may have that life eternal that Jesus promises us. Many, many times I sat in church as a child and an adult, hearing the words but not truly understanding. Oh, I believed, but often as I read the Bible now, I find that I am better understanding what God wants to tell us and not just the superficial messages that are derived from a quick read and minimal thought. I also see now that we must not only understand and believe the true messages behind things, but we must incorporate the teachings into our daily life. I am working to be better at that, I am better at it than I was, but still have a long way to go. I praise Him for His patience and understanding as I work through scripture to learn what He is teaching me and LIVE what He is teaching me. Every day He makes me a better person, a better Christian and I am far from where He wants me to finally be in my Christian walk but I’ll get there, one step at a time.

Lord, I praise You for the message, mercy, forgiveness, redemption and salvation I have been given. I thank Jesus for His sacrifice on the cross, that He freely accepted the suffering He went through because of my sins. In the name of Jesus I pray that You continue to work in my heart to show me the true message You are trying to tell me, the real lesson You want me to learn and how to incorporate those lessons in my life. I pray You continue to work with me to show me Your plan for my life, help me learn to put myself aside so that I don’t seek what I want for myself, but what You want for me. Teach as all Your true plan and remove those things in our minds that cause us to not see your plans, remove the obstacles, selfishness and worldly mindset that clouds our judgement and teach us to see with the eyes of Christ. Draw us all closer to You and Your perfect plans. Bring my loved ones close to You and give them the desire to know You and seek Your forgiveness so they may have the salvation You offer.

 

Amen

I hope all are having a blessed weekend and that you are able to be a blessing to someone else as well.

 

 

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What to do, what to do?

fork in road

 

I am facing a decision, a fork in the road, trying to decide which road to take. As I consider options for the future I vacillate between a variety of choices. There are many options for us all, regardless of current circumstances and there are many choices to be made. I am faced with making decisions that will impact my life in many ways and some options will be dramatic changes in my life now and in the future. I make mental lists of pros and cons for each choice as I try to weigh the options, what are the advantages and disadvantages of each. While doing so I find that one choice has definite benefits over the other possibilities and, of course, as I think about things more I see yet another choice would be better for me. And, it goes on and on like that, one pays more, but would be a huge change, one offers stability if you will as it does not require sacrifice or change. The more I think one option is the right one and start to get more certain, the less certain I am about it and the more doubt starts to pop into my mind.

Basically, the more I think rather than being more certain, I become more uncertain. Obviously, I need wisdom beyond what I possess. VERY obviously, I need some guidance from God on this so I believe it is time to look to the scripture first, then pray on things after that so I know the path He has planned for me and wants me to take.

 

5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

 

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5

 

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

 

14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

1 John 5:14-15

 

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

 

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

 

12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

John 14:12-14

 

 

 

Well, lots there telling me that He will help me, if I seek Him and listen to Him. So, time to pray a bit and give all the circumstances to God so that He can show me His will and way.

 

Heavenly Father,  thank You for your words to show me that more important than the decision I make, is the way in which I make it and that in order to make the right decision, the decision that You wish me to make I must first seek You and when I do, You will show me the way. I pray in Jesus name that You show me the heart and mind of Christ that I will be able to hear You and know Your will and way for me. That I have no doubt about the decision I make and that while making the decision I put myself aside and look and listen to You while weighing my options. Give me Your wisdom as I make my decisions and help me be humble before You, not trying to push my will into the decision but look to You for that. I ask that You help my loved ones know that the decision is from You and that Your hand is guiding me. Draw us all closer to You and show us all Your will and Your plans for us. Give us all the wisdom to listen to You and understand what You are telling us. I thank You Lord for my forgiveness and salvation through your son Jesus who died on the cross to redeem my sins. Help me be a blessing to others that Your glory is shown through me.

Amen

 

Thanks to all for your time. I ask that you pray for me, that He work in my heart so I know His plans. I hope all have a blessed day and have a chance to be a blessing to someone else as well.

 

The Fountain

water.jpg

I was given this bottle from the Fountain of Youth that Ponce de Leon discovered in Florida. I haven’t tried it, but was told the water had a sulfur taste. Maybe youth has a price to pay in the foul taste. Thinking on the fountain of youth, and the efforts that so many go to in life to stay young, or at least young looking. Exercise and diet, coloring gray hair, make up, botox injections, and even surgery for some. All those involved trying to stave off the inevitable effects of aging. Oh, some aspects, particularly a healthy lifestyle with appropriate exercise and a proper diet actually help some, the rest are just bandaids to try to maintain the appearance of youth, but don’t actually do anything to keep one young. All, barring some horrible event, will age and eventually die. I have not seen any information on the life prolonging effects of this water, but would anticipate that it doesn’t do much. If I drink it, I’ll have a bitter taste in my mouth and eventually, get thirsty again.

BUT, there is a true fountain of youth, in a manner of speaking. It doesn’t keep me young physically, but the joy it gives me does keep me young spiritually and mentally. And, no bitter taste! Even better than that, I can try all I want, but I can never drink from the fountain of which I speak, but will NEVER drink too much. On top of that, I won’t get thirsty again! Such an amazingly refreshing and thirst quenching drink I get from the true fountain of youth. No, maybe not physical youth, but this fountain gives me life eternal and how can any pretense at youth be better than that?

For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.  Psalms 36:9

 

Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel. Psalms 68:26

 

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

 

Many fountains in the Bible. He is the Fountain of Life, not simply youth, but LIFE! Without the waters He gives me, I would cease to exist.

10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

John 4:10-14

 

THIS is the true and only fountain of LIFE! Life eternal with Christ. The fountain of youth, IF it were real, would only give me an extended life on earth, but it is not the life giving waters that Jesus has for us who confess that He is the Son of God, the He sacrificed Himself to die on the cross for our sins, rose from the grave and that we have sinned and ask Him for forgiveness of those sins.

If we do those things, WE ARE FORGIVEN! And, we can drink all we want from the Fountain. WHAT A GLORIOUS GOD WE SERVE! I never fail to be awed and amazed by His love, mercy and grace that He shows me, regardless of how undeserving I am to receive it.

Lord, I praise You and thank You for the Living Waters that You provide for us. That You used a bad situation to bring me to You and let me drink of those waters. That You sacrificed Your Son, Christ, to give me life eternal with You. In Jesus Name I pray that continue Your work in me, help me better seek Christ and be a better vessel for Him. I ask that You draw loved ones to You, show them Your true will and way for them, reveal Your plan for their lives. I pray You further clarify Your plans for my life as well.

In Jesus Precious Name, Amen

 

Thanks for your time today. PLEASE, take a minute to read the Bible, Pray and DRINK DEEPLY from the fountain of life He has for you. Have a most blessed day and be a blessing to someone else as well.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

The Rest Area

rest area.jpg

Today, I had to take about a 3 hour drive, as I was going along I started getting a little tired, wanted to stretch and all, so I started watching for a rest area. This stretch of road is familiar to me but I get there and see that it is closed. Barricade at the drive and a sign saying private property. Then, I remembered that there was something about the state discontinuing rest areas in most places, closing them and selling the property. The justification was that the rest areas were not used enough to warrant the expense associated with keeping them open and it was a duplication because so many truck stops/travelers areas now that people could go there to stretch, use bathroom, etc. I think they closed at least 3/4 of them. I personally prefer the rest areas unless I need gas, coffee or something to eat. They are usually way better landscaped, peaceful unless busy travel time and such. While the traveler centers are busy, packed, commercialized and not really enjoyable areas to walk. Asphalt and concrete, cars buzzing in and out way to fast.

As I thought about that, I thought some about how not only on road trips does one need a rest stop, but how we need them spiritually as well. Going to church, praying, reading the scripture and just praising God. Years ago I was in the place I belonged spiritually. I attended church regularly, read the Bible daily, prayed daily and was active in the church. Then, I went to college (later in life, about 10 years later than typical) work schedule changed to accommodate school schedule and was working weekends all the time. So, no time for church on Sundays, Wednesdays I was usually tired, or had to study. I got myself too busy to find time. Well, really, one can always find the time to read the Bible and pray and spend time with the Lord. But, I allowed myself to get into that mindset. So, I drifted away, slowly at first, then a little quicker. Initially, I felt bad about not going to church or praying, then, less so, then, it really didn’t occur to me that it was a concern. Oh, occasionally I would think about it and tell myself I was going to do as I should, but, then got busy again and that went on, for quite some time. And, that failure to stop at the rest areas, take time for find the peace, comfort and spiritual rejuvenation I needed took a toll. Oh, it wasn’t a quick process, but it happened, as I said, slowly at first, then faster.

I became spiritually exhausted, weary, tired. I tried carrying all the burdens on my own. I had no place that I went for spiritual rest and comfort. I had a void in my soul.

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  Matthew 11:28-30

 

For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul. Jeremiah 31:25

 

Yes, I had put a heavy yoke on myself, I had not sought rest or a lighter burden. I was so wrapped up in life that I did not live for Christ. But, now, I found THE REST AREA. I drink from the fountain of His word, I was weary, needing that rest, He replenished my soul. He took that heavy burden and gave me a light burden. Oh, there are times I get weary, tired, feel weak spiritually, but I stop at the rest area. I take time to pray, read the Bible, seek Christ and I get revitalized.

 

Jesus, I thank You for my salvation that You paid for with Your life. For my redemption You earned with Your resurrection. I praise You. Thank You for the mercies and forgiveness You gave me. Thank You for the spiritual rest, the replenishing water of life and the lighter load. I pray You will continue to work on me to make me into the servant You want me to be. I ask You work in hearts and minds of loved ones, draw them to you.

Amen.

 

Thanks for the time. I hope someone finds a bit of good in this that will help them. Share as you feel He directs. And, no matter what, be a blessing to someone.