Hitch hiking.

hitchhiker

 

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

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

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

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

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.  Romans 15:13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Amen

 

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

 

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The Plan

battleplan

 

During a conversation with a friend recently the subject of plans came up. Human plans vs God’s plans. Part of the talk was about how sometimes we humans experience things that, as we go through them, seem hard to comprehend and at times seem to lead us away from where we think He wants us, but later as we look back and see the whole picture it makes more sense.

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

We both made statements about God knowing so much more than we do and that His plan is perfect and if we trusted Him more, as in completely, we would end up where He
plans on us being much sooner and without the difficulties many of us encounter.

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. Proverbs 16:9

 

As the conversation continued I commented on how it is similar to a military operation and how the privates don’t always understand a lot about what is going on, they have a mission and instructions on how to complete their mission but sometimes those instructions, the big plan, involves them going what to them seems like the long way around to reach whatever the objective may be and they decide they want to take a short cut but as they do so they run into a flooded fields, barbed wire, land mines or some other trap the enemy has laid for them and because of that they either have to move very slowly or they end up caught in a trap. How the enemy makes them suffer for not following the plan. But, if they persist, they can still reach the objective and after the mission is complete and they have seen the reason they were supposed to take the long route that in the end would have been simpler and safer, yet still would have resulted in reaching the objective without all the hardships they encountered because they took what seemed to be an easier, more convenient way.

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

I reflected on how God often has a plan and we decide to take short cuts, remembering the objective, the goal, but not doing exactly as God leads us to do. Seeing and understanding His perfect plan for us, but in our simple human minds thinking that we can do it better than He can. So, we try and fail. Eventually we realize (hopefully) that we strayed from the path He laid before us, diverted from His plan. We are caught in the enemy’s traps and then trying on our own, just can’t seem to get out. So, we call on Christ to help us and He hears our pleas and gets us out of the mess we created and sets us back on His way for us. Reminds me of a movie I saw about World War 1, a soldier took a short cut while they were retreating and got caught in barbed wire and the harder he tried to get out by himself, the more tangled up he got. He didn’t have wire cutters with him to cut the wires and he was trapped. He called for help and another soldier heard him, made his way to where he was caught and cut the wires so the trapped soldier could escape.

8 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9

 

He is our savior. He has given us the tools, the Bible and prayer, to get out of the barbed wire snares of Satan and God has a plan for each and every one of us, we must only allow Him control and follow His guidance. Using the tools He gives us, requires faith and obedience, without those we can easily fall into traps and by alone we cannot get out of the traps. But if we find ourselves caught in situations that we know are not of God, even though we pretty much got ourselves in those circumstances through our own poor choices, He will come to our rescue and loosen those traps and help us, sometimes carry us, away from the situation. He will deliver us from evil, He will take care of His children and if we believe in Christ as the Son of God, who died on the cross for our sins and was resurrected to defeat death and confess our sins and ask for the forgiveness we need, HE WILL REDEEM US. What an amazing Lord He is!

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. Luke 21:36

 

Lord, I thank You and praise You that You have a plan for me, and each of us; that You have understanding of things far beyond my simple abilities and that only through seeking You and following You will I be able to escape the traps of satan and reach that place that Christ has for me. I pray in the name of Jesus that You help me listen for Your voice and feel Your presence and hand upon me, guiding my steps as I live my life here on earth. I ask that You help me better understand You and Your plan for me and help me stay in the path that leads me to Jesus. I ask that You draw us all close to You and help us be lights in this dark world to help others see the true path. Thank You for the mercy, grace and redemption that was given to me because of the sacrifice and suffering of Christ.

Amen

 

I appreciate those who take time to stop by my blog. I hope something I said blesses someone and that you all have a blessed day and are able to be a blessing to someone else.

 

A blessing denied but now to be delivered.

Psalms_100-5

 

I serve an amazing God. I had been promised something that seemed right in my hands and had suddenly been taken away from me. Something I felt I had earned and deserved, that it was to be mine and was part of God’s plan that I have. But, another’s pettiness and jealousy had interfered with what I expected. Something that seemed guaranteed seemed to be out of grasp and no longer a possibility. Exactly what it is, isn’t relevant for this discussion and rather than interfere with the message I won’t discuss as sometimes, He punishes arrogance and perhaps that was part of the reason I didn’t receive this particular blessing; maybe I had need to grow more spiritually first. I don’t know why, but it was delayed. He sometimes does things for reasons we don’t understand at the time, for that matter we simple humans may never fully understand until He is ready to reveal His plans and shows us the reasons He did as He did.

But, I received an email that caught me completely off guard telling me that what I had previously been promised I WOULD HAVE! God keeps His word!  He is so good to me, better than I deserve, merciful and gracious beyond belief. This is something that I had prayed for and was trying to be patient while waiting, but it had seemed less and less possible even though it once seemed definite it was not happening and as I said, other events occurred that it seemed not only unlikely, but almost impossible. BUT, nothing is impossible for those that serve God.

And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.   Mark 10:27

Yes, with God all things are possible. Praise Him for being an amazing Lord.

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

Yes, He will add things and He will bless us with what we ask of Him. BUT, sometimes He takes His time and has lessons to teach while we await the answers to our prayers. Perhaps He is trying to teach us patience, humility, the need to put ourselves aside and focus on Christ.

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15:7

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have [them]. Mark 11:24

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

 

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  John 14:13

When I reflect about things, why I did not receive what I thought I had earned and deserved, I was confused, hurt, angry. I gave it all to God. I let Him take care of the details to make what I thought was to happen, happen. I stopped trying to force Him; worked hard to try my best to have the faith in Him I needed to have; then stopped worrying about what I wanted and worried more about trying to understand God, the mind of Christ and focusing on Him. When I stopped worrying about trying to make my wishes come true, Christ kept his promises and delivered which had been denied. He taught me a lot with this: faith, patience, proper attitude, need to put Him first and stop worrying about myself. I praise Him first for those lessons, they have helped me grow spiritually far more than I would have expected. I thank Him for teaching me what my priorities should be and when I align my priorities with His, He rewards me.

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy Name and thank You for the blessings You give, the prayers You answer, and the prayers You answer slowly. I thank You for my salvation through the blood of Christ, shed on the cross to deliver me from sin and to make me worthy as I am not worthy without Jesus. I pray that You continue Your work in me and that You help me better know You and Your Son. I pray in the name of Jesus that You draw us all closer to You and that You teach us how to better serve You.

Amen

 

Thank you all for stopping on my page. I hope you are blessed and that you in turn be a blessing to someone else.

 

 

Azimuth Check

1024px-19th_Special_Forces_Group_Land_Navigation_Training

I was on my way to work the other day and I saw a group of soldiers on base doing what is called a land navigation exercise. (I work on a military base.) They were divided into groups of 4 and 3 groups were at a check point and starting out for the next point but all headed in a slightly different direction. I know there is more than one way to get to the final destination, but usually there is one right way so one, or all, of the groups were possibly headed in the wrong direction. I knew something was going to happen, so I decided to stop and watch a few minutes. Well it wasn’t more than a couple minutes and 2 of the groups were off course and, the Army being the Army, there were instructors watching them and they called the 2 groups back to the check point and started talking to them, in a typically loud and obnoxious manner. First, the Army does that to try to reinforce critical information hoping that the soldiers take the lesson to heart, but more importantly they stopped them before they got into a potentially dangerous situation. They also wanted to be sure that the soldiers learned what they had done wrong so they could learn from the mistake.

The exact wording was slightly different but overall the same message to both of the groups. They were told they were off course and asked why they were stopped and what they did wrong to make it necessary. No one seemed to know. They were told what happened, what they were doing or not doing, that made it necessary to stop them. They had forgotten to do azimuth checks before moving to the next check point. An azimuth check is when you use the map and compass you were given for the exercise and using known locations, make sure you know where you are and to where you are going. Making sure that the compass did not get bumped or damaged, that you did not forget check the map and that you are in fact, heading toward the goal. Failing to do an azimuth check often results in getting lost, if in a combat situation that can mean you walk straight into the enemy, wander to a target for an air or artillery strike or otherwise get yourself into a dangerous situation. These soldiers would have eventually made it to their check points, but would have had some difficulties on the way due to failure to make sure they were heading in the right direction, failing to take the correct path. They were “corrected” and then went on to do the azimuth checks and got back on course.

Watching that, it got me to thinking about how at times in the past I have failed to do an azimuth check spiritually. I know certain points Christ wants me to reach, or other times come to a crossroads spiritually and need to check my spiritual compass, my Bible, and make sure I proceed on the path He wants me to take to get to the desired destination. Sometimes I get far off track and desperately need to do an azimuth check, spend time in prayer, studying the Bible and seeking the Lord to know how to get back on track. While it is a simple thing in one regard, as one must only pray for the forgiveness He will give if we ask, sometimes the circumstances we are in at the time are not as easy to get ourselves out off  them. But, if we are faithful, seek Him and are sincere He will deliver us. At times, some may look too hard for the deliverance and find a path that is not correct and while God may not want us in a certain situation, He will not require us to compromise our faith to get on the right path. Sadly, I have seen some do just that, sort of like some soldiers I have seen take a path through a swamp to get to where they should be, some Christians will take a path that leads them into undesirable situations that He does not want us in. The path back to God is not a hard path, but it is not always easy either. Sometimes, getting back to where He wants us requires sacrifice but many do not want to sacrifice to get away from a bad environment or they don’t want to move slowly, they want to be in the spot they believe they should be and will compromise to get there. But, the periodic azimuth checks, seeking Him, will help us know the right path to take to get out of a bad situation without doing wrong to get to where he wants us to be for Him.

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. James 4:17

 

6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:6-10

 

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

 

5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3:5-7

 

No, we cannot get to where we feel we want to be, or where He wants us through our works, only through Him. Even if we know what is right, but do wrong thinking it will get us to the right place are sinning. One must seek HIM to obtain salvation, find His will and His way in our lives. Other methods doom us to sin and failure, we will find ourselves in a swamp that was as bad as where we started if we do not follow Him and seek Him in our efforts to reach the proper place in our lives. I have at times failed to do the right checks and other times, despite knowing I was proceeding in the wrong direction, I went took the path I knew not to take. Praise God that He still forgives when I repent and ask Him to forgive me. Christ paid a tremendous price that I could have that forgiveness and salvation. I am much better about doing my azimuth checks and seeking His guidance rather than trying to follow my own plans for life. He has a much better path for me.

 

Lord, thank You for Your mercy and grace that I don’t deserve. Praise You for the forgiveness and for the sacrifice Christ made for me. I ask in Jesus Name that You continue the work You have started in me and continue to teach me Your way and not my own. Help me have the understanding of Your wishes for me. I pray that You work in the hearts and minds of me and my loved ones to draw us all closer to You. Give us all the understanding of His will for us.

Amen

 

I appreciate the visits and your time. Please take time to be a blessing to at least one person and have a blessed day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Race Track

track.jpg

The office area I am working in is shared by several people, kind of a big open area with desks scattered here and there. Well, as you can imagine, sometimes one hears conversations they aren’t actually involved in. Today, I over hear a couple guys talking about the race track near here. Something about a big race in a week or two. Well, I ain’t no race fan. Watching noisy cars go around a big oval track just doesn’t seem like fun to me. But, to each his own, if they like it, then good for them. As they continued talking about it I remembered when I was about 5 my brother and I getting a race car set for Christmas, the old slot car track, with a groove in the track and a little bar thing under the car that if operated correctly, keeps it on the right part of the track . Well, thinking about that, I got to thinking how my dad and his nephew (only about 3 or 4 years younger than my dad) were so busy playing it that my brother and I hardly had a chance. For those unfamiliar with them, there is a control that one uses to adjust the speed, and one is supposed to speed up in the straight parts, but slow down at the curves. Well, John did not like slowing and he kept it full speed as he approached a curve. AND……the car jumped track. He lost that time and they started again and again, John wouldn’t slow down. Over and over this happened, and, as I was thinking about that, it sort of made me think about how sometimes, I have been so focused on something that I even though I had the things available to keep me on the track, I tried too hard to rush this or that, or decided I was not going to do exactly as I knew I should do and jumped track. In this case, if we repent, ask for forgiveness and try, God will give us a do over, pick us up, put us back on the track and as long as we allow the equipment (spiritually prayer, study of His word, and effort to live properly) we will stay on the track and finish the race.

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalms 16:11

 

Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.   Psalms 25:4

Yeah, I need to ease up on the controls and let him guide me.

 

More thinking, cause well, my mind looks for connections, this day and age with all the remote controlled cars, etc I got to thinking about them, then about a small drone I received for Christmas a couple years ago. Now, no safety like the slot cars, but when used properly the remote can make it do most anything. IF the operator knows how. The other thing with it is that if the operator is kinda doing ok, but then, lets things go a little too far, the drone can get out of range of the remote and then there is NO CONTROL over what it does. Usually that meant continuing on the path it was on and unless wind affected it or the battery ran out of power, it could go a long ways, no control, just drifting off on its own path, no real purpose, just going alone until it runs out of power and crashes. Some have safeties that bring them back to the remote when the power gets too low, or will turn them if they move out of range, mine isn’t that fancy. I had been messing with it enough that I felt sort of confident, a little too much so, and as I was flying it, it got out of range, I watched it go over the trees in the fence line and keep going. Then, my son in law and I had to go try to find it. Looked and looked and right when I was about to give up, he said, “There it is” well, it was over 1/4 mile away, in the CRP grass, the stuff they don’t cut to help with water and soil conservation, THICK, TALL grass and weeds.

Well, thinking on how hard I looked for that drone that had gotten out of range, no control on itself other than to keep flying until it got to the point it could fly no more, made me realize that I too had done that. The process was slow, I drifted further from THE Controller and eventually, would not respond when He tried to bring me back into range. SO, He allowed me to run out of power. But, the best part is then, when it seemed hopeless to me that I could be found, He kept looking. He wanted to take me back, recharge my batteries and then use me for His intended purpose.

 

I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments. Psalms 119:176

 

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. John 10:11

 

For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.   I Peter 2:25

 

I have at times, lost my grip on the slot and jumped the track. But, like my dad and cousin with the race track, He picked me up, dusted me off and put me back on track and gave me a do over. I got to restart my race when I accepted Christ as the Son of God who died for my sins, Confessed those sins to Him and He redeemed me. Praise God that He is so loving and merciful.

And, I exceeded my range, got too far from Him so I was flying on my own. I was that lost sheep, lost in the fields, no power of my own to get myself back where I belong. But He came looking for me and brought me back into the fold. WHAT A MIGHTY AND CARING GOD WE SERVE.

Dear Lord,  I am so in awe of You and Your majesty. I am so very thankful that You care for me so much that You will give me the chance everyday to start my race over, that all the times I got off track are forgiven and that when I got lost and drifted from You that You did not give up on me. I thank Christ for coming to find me when I was lost and that He brought me back to the fold and into Your grace and mercy. I praise You for being a forgiving God that cared so much that He sent His Son to be crucified, raised Him from the grave that I may have redemption. I ask in Jesus Name that You continue to help my faith grow, that You teach me how to seek Christ and make me into the servant I need to be to glorify You. I pray You will draw the lost to You and those who know You that they know You, Your will and way for their lives.

Amen

 

I hope that this helps someone besides just me. I find so much benefit in writing these posts as it helps me better learn of His mercy, love, forgiveness and it helps me appreciate my salvation through Christ so much better. I thank all who read for taking the time to do so. Have a blessed day, and as my friend always said he did, try to be a blessing to at least one person every day.

 

 

 

ABANDONED and alone!

kresge

When I was about 4, maybe 5, my mom, brother and I were in the Kresge’s in town. It was the precursor to K-mart and sort of a department store or dime store type place. Well, we went through the toy department and I saw something I wanted, I seem to think it was a toy horse, but I can’t recall for certain, but I wanted it bad. I was told no, and in typical 4 year old fashion, I tried to throw a fit. AND….well, it didn’t work so well. I was so busy having a tantrum that I did not realize my mother and brother had gone. When I stopped acting a fool over the toy I looked and couldn’t see them. I was abandoned, LOST, all ALONE!!!!!   Uh, OH, Here comes more tears and crying, but this time I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. So, I just stood there crying. A lady came by, seemed older than my Grandmother, had white hair and all. Asked me what was wrong. I told her I couldn’t find my mother. She tried to quiet me, no good, I kept bawling. Then, she said, “Well, can I buy you a toy?” WHAT???? Heck Yes she could, my tears slowed, I found something and we headed to the cash register. She explained to the cashier that I had gotten lost from my mother and asked her to call the manager to come help but she was going to buy my toy while we waited. Just as she was about to give the cashier the money, my mother showed up. Darn my bad luck. She then told the woman she had stepped around the corner when I threw a fit and was watching to see what I would do and then was going to come back around the corner. She was trying to scare me instead of spanking me for throwing a fit. (Yeah, parents could spank kids in public back then, and it happened to a lot of kids. Maybe me a time or two. lol)

Well, I got told never go with strangers, and all, she took the toy away, gave it to the cashier and then we finished up there, but I stayed close to her. Partly because she said I better, partly because I didn’t want to take a chance on getting lost again.

I felt alone and abandoned, though she was there, I didn’t know it. There have been other times I have had to deal with abandonment.  It still creates a feeling of disparity and loneliness, heartache and pain.

BUT, there is GREAT NEWS! God will never leave us or forsake us. He will be RIGHT THERE with us as we go through life. No matter how bad or good, He is faithful and true.

(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them. Deuteronomy 4:31

 

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

 

There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Joshua 1:5

 

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5

 

While others may abandon us, forsake us and break promises to us, God will not. He will absolutely NEVER leave us or forsake us as long as we serve Him.

Dear God,  I worship You and thank You for always and forever being faithful and true to me, even at times I did not deserve it. That You didn’t forsake me at those times, despite that I had forsaken You. I thank You for the comfort of knowing that You will always be at my side, and all around me, protecting me from harm, giving me comfort when needed, teaching me Your way, showing me Your path. I pray You use me mightily and help me be who You want me to be as a vessel of Christ. Work in the hearts and minds of family, bring those who need it to salvation, draw us all closer. Work in our hearts and minds to better serve You.

Amen.

 

Thanks for coming by today.  Be as faithful and true as God. Bless others, and have a blessed day.

 

 

 

 

My story.

I felt the need to repost this.

Seek the LORD and His strength, seek His face continually. I Chronicles 16:11

Thanks for bearing with me so far. I want to take a moment and tell you about myself. My thoughts, motivations and some of the circumstances that have been part of my life. I wish I had lived a perfect and wonderful life, no mistakes, no difficulties, only living through Him and for Him. But, such is not the case, I have travelled far from Him. Thankfully, He never travelled away from me. So, please, take a minute, read on and hopefully it will help you make sense of me and my motivation.  And, now my journey begins.

 

WOW! I never thought I’d find myself trying to blog. I say trying, because I never have done this before, and I’ve hardly read any for that matter. But, here I am. I ask you all to bear with me as I grow in the process while I try, make errors and then try to correct them. Much like Christian life, while going through the process of living we make mistakes. Some are easily fixed while others much more difficult, if near impossible.

Now, if I were one of the readers (if there are any) I would be asking myself: Why is he writing this blog? What is this guy trying to say? What is he rambling about? Will any of this make any sense? And, to answer all those I should explain a little bit about why I even decided to try this. Now, before I go further, I will say that because I am human, I have failed. I have faced heartache and pain because of those failures. Worse yet, I have caused others in my life to have heartache and pain as well. And, while I never intended, such is the effect of life at times, compounded exponentially when poor decisions and living without Christ. I will try, as this blog evolves, to explain things that will help others understand where I come from spiritually, some of the trials and tribulations, some of the victories and how I am striving to live for Him.

Before I start answering the questions I would like to give just a little information about me. Now, I won’t be able to be completely straightforward as too many details will possibly make others feel I am talking about them and possibly bringing negative attention their way. That is not my intent and because of that, I may at times be a little vague. I also, will for the time being, not say a lot about me. Not because I am worried about people knowing who I am, possibly judging me. Believe me, I have very seriously judged myself and while not afraid of others’ judgement, putting a name and face to someone sometimes interferes with the message. Many people like to point out old sins and then say, well, he sinned so I know this is all a farce. It is not, but to prevent interference with the message, I am going to keep me out of it. It may also cause those I love, those that are, or have been, in my life to be scrutinized unfairly. I don’t want to write this to cast others in a negative manner.

I am a professional male, late 50’s. My profession is helping people. No, I am not a minister. Many careers and professions involve helping others and at this time what I do is not relative to the blog. Likely, in the future, I will say things that will make my career obvious, and eventually will more likely than not reveal that and more details about myself, but for now I will leave it at that. If there are ever names mentioned, they will be fictitious names, even though the circumstances will have been real. Like Dragnet: the stories you will hear are real, but the names have been changed to protect the innocent. I was raised by a strong Christian mother, a saint of a woman that had me in church every Sunday. My father, while not a church going man, was in his daily life, more kind, caring, compassionate and far more Godly than most people you see in church. He did not minister to people from a pulpit. He didn’t talk to folks about Christ, not that he didn’t have conversations about Christ, but did not do as some that choose to be very overt in their Christian lives. He demonstrated the values that Christ preached about. Yes, I was in church regularly as a child, but as I came into my teen years I did as many and became rebellious. I can’t say I fell in with the wrong crowd, because to be honest, I tried to hang out with the wrong crowd. During the 70’s, drugs and alcohol were always part of those groups. I was using a variety of substances, marijuana and alcohol mostly. I never could convince myself to use heroin or other intravenous drugs thank God for that. After high school I started dating a girl, and several months later we were married, I was almost 19. No she wasn’t pregnant at the time. Eventually, we had children, our first when I was 20 and while they were young, about 10 years later than I should have, I decided it was time to go to college and prepare for my desired career. Of course, going to college late, and having children created issues. I obtained a military scholarship to pay for my education and then after completing it, was in the military. I spent time in Iraq and a few other places that helped shape who I became. That is a very, very brief autobiography of sorts. I promise to fill in details as time goes, when those details are relevant and hopefully helpful to the point I hope to make.

Throughout my life I was Christian-ish. What do you mean Christian-ISH? Well, I say that because, no matter where I was, how far I got from Him, I always KNEW He was there. I always believed in the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. But I didn’t always know Him. I didn’t always, in fact, to my shame, almost rarely lived for His glory. I attended church off and on, sometimes for a few years at a time. I tried to be active in church, I volunteered for a lot of activities. Sadly, I never really fully and completely surrendered all to Him. I thanked Him in good times and begged for His help in the bad. But, never really, really lived a good Christian life by striving to make every day about Him. I would eventually drift away from church. Always some excuse that I wasn’t able to attend. I had to work. I worked late the night before. I had a test to study for or a paper to write. It is easy to find excuses if one tries. Over the last few years, I faced some marked personal tragedies and losses. Things we will all have to face. These things were the most difficult things I with which I was forced to deal. During that time, my wife wasn’t giving me the support I felt I needed in my time of pain. During my time of pain and suffering I found myself; well to be honest, I did not find as that indicates a certain passivity to the events that occurred and I sadly was actively involved in placing myself there, in a process of working a lot, always finding something to keep me occupied and other ways that served to help me ignore the pain and kept me from dealing with it in a spiritually and mentally healthy way. It did not help me get through, rather it helped me avoid, the pain I was feeling. When I finally realized, or admitted, what I had always known: The true comfort I needed would never come from avoiding the pain of human existence and losses related to that or by not facing the pain to get a healing.  The only hope for comfort was in Christ. I spent a lot of time praying. Fighting my human mind, still not willing to completely let go of things. Then, when I listened to Him, I spent even more time praying. Asking for peace, comfort, guidance, happiness. I spoke with a pastor who spent time with me in prayer and I found at that point I was finally ready to let God have me, to stop fighting what I knew to be right and just give it all to Him. All the burdens, all the heartache and sorrow, all the pain. As long as I tried to carry those things I could not get the peace, comfort and joy that I wanted and needed. I did so then. He has given me peace and comfort. Not total and complete, but I feel that is my human self not letting Him do so. Well, to be honest, that has not been easy. I struggle with the human side of things and don’t want things to not be the way I want and to be angry about things. But, day by day, I continue to improve. I continue to seek Him to make things better, to make me better.

OK, you say FINE, but answer the questions. And I might as well answer in the order I asked. So, again, please bear with me. I try not to ramble and hopefully you will bear with me. Sometimes, correctly or incorrectly, I feel I am like Andy Griffith telling stories to teach Opie. Things may start out far from where they will end, but things in the story are relevant and if you can stand to bear with me, it will make sense. Or, at least in my mind and hopefully yours.

Why is he writing this blog? I would sure wonder. Well, to be perfectly frank about it, I initially elected to try this as a catharsis; to help myself purge negative emotions that interfere with my walk with God. I do this for a selfish reason: I want to help myself release all the negative feelings, to process my thoughts, to see what ways I need to seek HIM for the release, looking to Christ to change my way of thinking. I also write hoping that by reading about my trials and tribulations, my sorrows (yes, yes, I know, very much self inflicted) that someone, even if just one person, will read this and find some comfort, will find peace, will find joy, will find Christ! The last is the most important of all and if one finds Him, the other things will follow.

What is this guy trying to say? In a long, drawn out way, I am saying that there are sorrows, challenges, difficulties. I’ve faced failure and adversity. If you haven’t noticed, LIFE IS HARD! I know, I have been poor, I’ve worked two jobs, I worked full time and attended college, I have been to war. I have had illnesses, injuries, personal losses. Life is HARD!!! Finally, when I got to the point of accepting His mercy, I find that, even if somethings are still hard, the hard things are so much easier with His help. God is there for us, to help us and make us stronger, to make our lives better. All we have to do is let him. I will as time goes here, try to tell you about things that Christ is doing for me. Reflect on times He would have made things easier. Even if going through those times knowing He was there would have been easier. We all have hardships but Christ makes them a little, sometimes a lot, softer. And, with saying these things, I hope to help others realize that while we are all unique, we all have common problems. We all have different shortcomings, but it isn’t about each individual, it’s about what makes us human, what makes us alike in some manner. Then, using the common thread, see how something I went through, though different, is still similar in some way, and hopefully what helped me with my problem will help someone else.

What is he rambling about? Well, hopefully, at the end of each blog entry, there will be some clarity on that. For now, my ramblings are because God is so very good. He has given me so much more than I deserve. His love, protection, mercy and He gave me salvation, which I did not earn, did not deserve. He just GAVE that to me. He is so much better to me than I have ever been to myself. God is a great, might, merciful and magnificent God. I ramble, because He is so good, and even though I like to think I have a better than average vocabulary it falls so very short of truly saying how great He is.

Will it ever make any sense? I sure hope so. I hope and pray that He guides my words to help someone out there. Writing this, thinking about how mercifully He has treated me has already helped me. I pray that Christ uses my words about my experiences in some way to help someone find inspiration and to help them have a closer walk with God.

Finally, to summarize my thoughts right now about the why, the what, the rambling, the sense of the purpose is to try to help me remember to look to Him for the help I need with my daily struggles. I am not writing this attempting to say how great I am or to otherwise draw attention to myself. I am not one that has ever enjoyed too much attention, preferring to be more or less anonymous to a large extent, to blend in and not stick out a lot. I don’t write this trying to make someone else feel bad about themselves. I am not writing to say look at me, I am a righteous and Godly man. I am writing to point out my own failings and through my life stories, daily struggles, my trials and hardships to say; Look at what a gracious God we serve. To remind me to serve Him in all times, the good and the bad. So that I have reminders to give Christ the glory he deserves. I plan to use anecdotes, examples of my failures, observations about shortcomings, none intended to do anything but serve as teaching points to help me, to help others and to give Him the honor he deserves. I am not a strong, strong Christian. I am weak. I have failed so miserably. I am new to trying this all again, and definitely new at doing it earnestly. I beg that no one think I feel I am better than anyone else out there. I am not and I won’t pretend. I will incorporate scripture in my input as I share my thoughts and feelings on what those passages mean to me and what they have done for me. I hope and pray that someone out there can relate, can understand, can use my experiences, feelings, observations to help themselves or others become stronger in Christ.

I would like to thank you for making it this far. I hope you will bear with me. I promise that not all entries will be this long. But, starting out something is never simple and takes some organization of thought, some structure to begin with that I can build upon. I hope this helps someone out there. I hope that doing this helps me to serve Him and learn to walk with Christ daily and to remind my daily to give HIM the glory.

I pray that God keep all safe and well. That He keep His hand on your lives. That He blesses you all to the fullest extent possible. I pray that those I have hurt look to Him to find forgiveness for me and my bad judgement and to forgive my shortcomings that have caused hardship for them in any manner at all. I pray that all savor the richness of His grace and truly experience all He has for each and every one of us.

 

The conditional Christian and his cloak of righteousness.

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I was driving today, saw a truck that reminded me of a man I worked for years ago. Hard, physical labor, didn’t pay great, but I was young and didn’t worry too much on that. I thought I was learning a good trade and could use the skills later in life. Fortunately, I did gain some skills, but the trade, well, not one I wished to continue. Now, this man was a Christian. Everyone knew it, because he told them. No problem there, but he was near boisterous and pushy with it. We all know folks like that, trying too hard to show everybody something. Well, I figured that was his way, so again, no worries. He would witness to a lot of people and lead people to the Lord, so GREAT. He was somewhat of a lay minister and would preach sometimes as well. The conditional part was that to most that saw him, on the surface he was a great Christian. But, that only went so far with him. He didn’t run around at the bars, he didn’t rob banks, he didn’t beat up on anyone or any other ways that some do that profess to be Christians. No, what he did, was in many ways worse. Most of those that are really bad during the week, but are in church every Sunday don’t gloat about their Christianity. What he would do, if someone slighted him, even a tiny bit, or if he thought they may have, just suspected but did not know, he would chastise them directly if he knew them well enough and if he knew them really well, he would be verbally abusive. I saw him say some vile things to people, family, close friends (who did not remain friends long after seeing his behavior,) or employees. If no one was around to see him behave like that. If others were around, he would hold his tongue and when in a less public area, he would then berate whoever he felt deserved his wrath. If, because of business, he did not feel he could confront the person, he would just talk terrible about them any chance he could. If he had an overdue outstanding bill and he was contacted about payment he would often try to browbeat the creditor and if he was not able to do that, as soon as he was off the phone he would swear he will never do business with that person again. If a client, customer, however you refer to those he had contracted a project with (and collected 50% down when contract signed) called and asked when he was going to start or finish a job, he would start to treat them the same way. Either directly, or would complain and complain afterwards. Then, when he had been able to have his say and try to shame the other person, he would then start talking about Christ again. Now, it doesn’t take many times seeing this behavior to realize that he was only willing to live part way for God. Oh, he made some pretty big donations to the church, and made sure many people knew about it when he did so. He would make sure everyone was aware of any good thing he did for others. Definitely doing works for the benefit of himself. If he didn’t like something the pastor said, something that made him feel conviction,  he would shake the pastors hand and tell them good sermon and then talk all week about how the pastor was a terrible person, a horrible preacher and he was never going to donate to that church again. But, the next Sunday, there he was, dressed up and making sure to glad hand the preacher, saying he sure hoped this sermon was as good as the last one. Again, becoming Christian with conditions, wearing his cloak of righteousness when it benefited him in some manner. Unfortunately, people eventually saw through his actions, words and behavior. His testimony lost credibility, he lost family and friends due to his actions. Still, he never admitted to any fault. He criticized those that called him out for his behavior, after he either hung up the phone or walked away, at the first hint of any criticism. The same behavior he used with others was not acceptable to him.

I see a similar pattern of behavior in a lot of Christians, nice to one’s face, but talks behind their back or, berates them, while claiming it is chastising them to help them grow spiritually. But, seeing the actions, the words, the attitude behind the actions and words, it is simply anger and hate that they are spewing and not truly any good intent behind the actions. They want to get things off their chest, wear their cloaks of self-righteousness and tell the person all about how terrible they are to do whatever it is that they feel was a slight, real or perceived. They have no hesitation not only talking about another, but often exaggerating circumstances, just to make themselves feel better. But the worst part of when they do it, many, many of them actually believe themselves and feel that they are being righteous. But, if one does these things, especially when they only do such when in limited company?

I wish I could say I have never been like that at all. In the past I have talked behind others backs and was nice to their faces to an extent but no where near to the extent that this man did. Still, it is wrong. I have apologized and been forgiven by Jesus and I am no longer that man. Praise the Lord for that.

For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just. What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Romans 3:7-18

Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Matthew 23:28

We are ALL SINNERS, we are all, as part of that sin, full of ourselves, we think in some way, that we are better than others, but to God, none are better. He sent His Son to die for us to deliver us from our sin and make us better people. But, those that flip back and forth, Christian when conditions are right, vile and hateful when it suits them, are like those that are neither hot nor cold.

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Revelations 3:15-16

We all need to realize that conditional Christianity, going from hot to cold, back and forth, produces a luke warm Christian, it damages one as a witness for Christ and impunes not only the character of the one behaving that way, but to non-Christians it destroys the credibility of ALL Christians.

Lord, I know in the past I was harsh, critical, unkind. I thank You for taking that out of me. I praise You for Your majesty and glory. I ask You continue to work on my heart that not only do I not speak and act out in those ways, but that I not even harbor any of those feelings in my heart. I pray You work with loved ones and others that they see the truth of Your words and know if they need to change and that they seek You to change. I ask You to draw us all closer to You, guide us in Your path for our lives and that we all live to glorify and worship Christ.

 

Thanks again. I hope this helps someone, helped me thinking on ways I do not want to be, I don’t want to be luke warm, hot then cold, but on fire for Christ. Have a great day and be a blessing to others as you go about your days.

 

The maze.

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Sometimes, I start to think about things and sometimes, I get lost in my thoughts, one thought leads to another, I take one turn, then another. Finding with each turn, with each thought I get more and more confused. Anyone ever try to navigate their way through a maze? After what seems to be an easy thing to complete, we lose our perspective, we lose our way and get trapped in the maze. We get further and further trapped, by our thoughts, words or actions in life too. SO, how can one find their way out? Especially when we have gotten so lost that even if we had a map, we aren’t even sure where we are, and a map is only helpful if we know where we are at that moment. You can’t decide which turn is correct when you can’t see your true location.

Thankfully, Jesus can help shed light on my location, on my way ahead, on how I can extract myself from this maze.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.        John 14:6

Such a simple solution, yet I often stubbornly, foolishly fight with myself, trying to decide if I should turn from my current path and go to the right or left. Am I on the right path? Can I even get to the right path from here? Well, when I try to use my wisdom to find my way out of whatever maze I am in at the time, I often get more lost. Sometimes, RARELY, do I find my way out and that is just by happenstance. Christ doesn’t work by happenstance and if I manage to get out of a situation without Him, I usually (meaning almost always) find myself out of one predicament and in another one. Seems to me I need to seek His guidance sooner. Many times, more than I can count, I have found that to be true, and many times, I blunder on in my own stupidity. Then, finally, I seek the truth, the map, the guidance from God and after being delivered from that particular situation wonder why I didn’t just talk to God at the start before I got there. Sometimes I do, but impatient, not wanting to wait for His answer. Well, if I had the patience and waited for the answer I’d surely have a much simpler life. But, I try and use human logic and reason, which is very flawed, and…yup, right in the worst of the maze.

Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. 2 Timothy 2:7

Yes, so often I make the confusion worse, taking this or that wrong turn, without getting His guidance on which path to take. Well, I used to do that. Now, I am getting lots better about listening for Him, waiting for his presence and gentle hand, nudging me in the direction He wants for me to go.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Yes, I wait on Him to show me. Sometimes, that waiting is not easy, I continue to struggle with my lack of patience, asking Christ to help me with that. One day, I will be way better at it. Getting better by the day thanks to all the help from Jesus.

Lord, help give me understanding, give me the guidance you would have me to have and use. I need patience too, lots of it. Jesus, I pray you reach to the hearts of loved ones, show them the way you have for them as well. Help them see that sometimes, a little more patience is needed. I praise you for all your mercies and grace.

 

Once again, thanks to all who makes it this far. Please, share if you feel He moves you to do so. Have a blessed day, and do your best to be a blessing to someone else.

Hello God, it’s me. Am I listening?

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Sometimes, when I pray, I ask God for things. I have needs and wants. Some are for me, so rather selfish, some are for others so less so, but a lot of times, it is so I can have guidance in my life. I am, shall we say, going through a rough patch in life with various circumstances. A lot of indecision personally about which direction I should take. I am facing issues both personally and professionally that I do not feel are in my best interest,  like most all do at one point or another. I have opportunities in other places, some opportunities I had, but lost, but others have opened, there will be other options in the future. I try to decide in my feeble mind, what would He have me do. Sometimes, sadly, I don’t think enough about what is God’s plan for me and just try to decide for myself. Make a list of pros and cons, weigh the options one against the other and try to make a decision. Yet, I continue to be undecided. THEN, I decide it’s time to talk with God, pray about things. Look for some guidance from Him.

AND…….I wait to hear Him. Sometimes, I feel His presence and guidance, clarity of thought and mind. I see a very clear path that I believe is Christ showing me the way. Then, later, I get uncertain if, as I proceed that way and there are difficulties did I listen to Jesus? Now, I know life isn’t easy. Jesus makes the hard things easier, or bearable at any rate, but when I try to take the route in life I feel is from Him and things don’t go smoothly, I start to wonder, is it because I heard wrong, or because the enemy is trying to keep me from God’s plan in my life.  Then, of course, once that thought enters my mind, I start to feel some doubt as to which path is the path Jesus wishes me to take. I start getting nervous, uneasy, however you wish to state it, and sometimes, take a few steps back to try to re-evaluate the situation and choices. Still, after all that, I usually feel certain, yes, it is what Christ wants for me. THEN….more indecision and questions in my mind later. UGGGH, sometimes, it seems it would be so much easier if HE would just pick me up and put me in the place, job, etc that Christ wants. Yet, He wants us to seek Him, seek His presence, His heart so, I seek Him, wondering whether or not to just stay put for now, and wait. But, I always heard that the Lord helps those that help themselves, so obviously He wants me to be an active participant. Which way, which path, which is the best for me and more importantly, which is the path that is HIS plan for me.

SO, I wonder, GOD, am I listening?

So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, [and] apply thine heart to understanding; Proverbs 2:2

I try to hear Him, I really do try to understand. Sometimes, it seems He speaks quietly or, is it me not seeking Christ that causes the faint understanding of His will and plan?

Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding? Job 28:20

That is what I seek, wisdom and understanding. Sometimes, I feel like Job, suffering this or that situation, not all the suffering of Job, but sure seems like it sometimes. Yet, despite all his hardships, Job had faith in God and continued to be a good man. I try to do that, sometimes I stumble, but I try to do right and remain faithful.

God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof. Job 28:23

Yes, God does know and understand all, the path I should take, I just need to figure how to hear when He speaks to me and follow what Jesus is telling me.

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

Yup, I need to trust Him. Trust the guidance Christ gave me. Try to do His will in my life. Even more importantly, I need to just seek HIM! I have shown to myself that I haven’t always trusted Him with all my heart in various circumstances, trying instead to get my own wishes and not His wish for me. I believe I am doing better, and, yet again there are occasions that I stumble. Not as many as there were before, honestly not nearly as many as before, but they still occur. I still need to work on trusting Him and not myself.

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

Why do I quote this so much? I know I have used it many times. Well, I think, other than words and promises for salvation He gives us that this is really a key thing I have to remember. KEEP MY PRIORITIES STRAIGHT! Seek HIM, SEEK Christ! The understanding and the hearing God will come. I just have to talk to Him more, open my heart and mind to Jesus so that I do understand and see His way for me. To receive His blessings for me, I must seek Christ.

Lord, I praise you and thank you for all that you are, the beginning, the end, the Creator of all. I thank you for the forgiveness you gave me and the mercies you show. I ask that you continue to help me keep my priorities in order, that you help me seek you first. I ask that with the current circumstances I am facing that you give me the understanding of your way in my life and your plan for me. I ask you talk to my heart so that I have peace with where you lead me. That I not interfere with your will in my life. Jesus, I ask you to work in the hearts of loved ones that they see and hear you as well, that they follow you and seek you first, then follow as you lead them. That you use me to show others your will and your way as I go about my day to day life and that you make me a better example of you in my life. Help me be better at seeking you first, trusting you, and following you. God, help me to hear you better and to remember to look to you for all.

 

Once more, I thank everyone for bearing with me as I ask myself questions, as I look to the scripture to find the instruction He gives. I just hope that I am able to incorporate all the wisdom He shows me into my life. I hope this blog reaches that one that may benefit from it as well.

Please, feel free to share this site with others if you feel it would help someone.

Have a blessed day.