The coffee cup

coffee_cup

The other morning I filled my coffee cup and went out to do some stuff in the garage. Well, me being me, I got wrapped up with things and when I went back into the house I forgot the cup. Then just couldn’t remember where I’d left it. I looked all over but never found it. Until today, about 3 or 4 days later. Well, I took it in the house and poured it out and rinsed it. But, after rinsing it, I looked and it was stained. I tried washing it out properly only to find that the stain didn’t want to come out. So, I filled it with water and added some soap thinking that would surely get the stain out. And……it didn’t work. I knew it was clean, well at least sanitary but it was still stained. Sometimes I have a stubborn streak and don’t want to give up and made a dilute bleach solution in the cup and let it soak. For some reason I started wondering about some of the other cups and even though they had all been washed they all had some staining just from the day to day use for coffee. Well, I figured bleach one, bleach them all. I did and all are clean and without stains.

That got me thinking about sin; how it stains or souls and no matter how much we try on our own, we can’t wash away the sins. We can stop sinning but that doesn’t remove the stain. We can go to the Lord and ask forgiveness and through the blood of Christ those sins will be washed away, the stains will be removed.

5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 1:5-6

7 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.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:7-9

 

But, if we continue to live in some kind of sin and continue to enjoy what we received from sinning, the stains will return. He wants us to become different people or Him. He will help us with that, but we still must make the decision daily serve Him or live with sin and allow the stains to come back.

16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Isaiah 1:16-17

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Proverbs 28:13

 

No, He doesn’t want us to continue living with sin, He wants to wash it away for us, but He also wants us to cease from sinning and give up those things we derived from sin.

 

Lord, I worship You and thank You for all the blessings You give me. I thank You for washing away my stains through the sacrifice Christ made for me. I pray in the name of Jesus that You continue to work on me, help me better avoid sin so the stains do not return. Help me recognize any sin I may be covering and to put away all evil. I pray that You work on me to help me be the Christian that You Wish me to be that I may be a proper servant for You. Draw us all to You. Help my Loved ones know Your truth and to see their stains and prepare their hearts to know You, Your truths and wishes for them. I thank You for my salvation and the forgiveness You gave me.

Amen

 

I hope you all receive some sort of blessing today and that you have a chance to bless someone else as well. Thank You for finding time to visit my blog.

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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.

 

 

He protects me!

Airplane

 

I am going to be taking a trip for a week and will to a large extent be off the grid so to speak, with little or no internet access so may not make any posts for a few days. I hope that anyone that happens by my blog will look through older posts and hopefully find something of interest and benefit to them in the meanwhile. I will post some photos when I get back to the real world. I pray all are well and that He blesses you.

But, before I go, I have to run through the hometown, do a few things around folks house, fun stuff like mowing. Well, not fun, but needful. After that, heading to airport this evening. I know He will protect me and I am hoping as I go on my trip He finds a way to use me to bless others.  How do I know He will protect me? He promises to do so. And, He also says He will use me. The only thing that may be any problem is if I am smart enough and sensitive enough to allow Him to use me how He wishes.

 

Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. Proverbs 3:23

 

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. Psalms 91:11

 

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

 

But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence. John 14:31

 

There are so many passages and verses that talk about how God will protect us, many other verses about Christians going forth into the world. I am not one of those that stops people, witnesses to them and such, it hasn’t been my way. Oh, there are some who do that and do it well, I just have not been one to do such. What I try to do, hope to do, is through my actions, as I go about my day, show the love of Christ and when the opportunity presents itself I will share about how Jesus has worked greatly in my life. So, I hope, as I go hence, that I hear Him when He tells me to speak, that I behave in a manner that glorifies Christ and that all I do helps show others the love Jesus has for us.

 

Lord, I praise You and stand on Your promises that You will protect me, be with me and guide my steps. I pray in Jesus Name that You help me show the love of Christ through my actions, that my words and deeds show Your grace and mercy. That if You wish me to speak with others I hear You and am sensitive to Your Holy Spirit on when and what to say. Help me shine Your light. I pray for loved ones that You protect them and comfort them as I travel and that You draw us all closer to You.

Amen

 

Thanks for the visit today. I hope to be able to post some while gone. I hope He uses me someway to bless others and that you all are able to be a blessing to others as well.

He said it, and it was so.

Genesis_1-3

Looking out the front window at the sunrise this morning I got to thinking about how God created everything. He said, “let there be light and there was light.” is really a powerful statement. He just said it, and it happened. I am amazed at what a mighty and powerful God He is and how He did all He did for us. He had a plan for creation and a plan for us all. He HAS a plan for all of us I should say. Sadly, we sometimes get in the way of His plans. The most amazing thing (although, it really should not be amazing)  I have noticed in my life is that when I stop trying to be in charge and give things to Him, He makes things better and leads me as He wants me to go. When I follow God and seek Christ all things are better. Oh, there are challenges at times, but those challenges are so much easier to face when He is with me and in control.

But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Luke 12:31

 

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12

 

Just amazing that God created all He did and then, when mankind did not do as we should have done, He sent His Son to lead us, to sacrifice Himself and to redeem us.

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy Name and thank You for the creation of all. I thank You for the sacrifice Christ made for me that I may have salvation. I pray in Jesus Name that You continue to help me seek His light, and that I seek You first. Help me continue to grow in Christ. I glorify You and ask that You draw us all closer to You and teach us how to better seek Christ and to know the true light that You wish us to have so we can see our paths in life better and know that we are following You as You want us to follow. Help us all be the servants You desire us to be for Your glory.

 

Amen

 

Thanks for the visit. I hope all are able to bask in the glory of the light He made for us. Have a blessed day.

 

 

 

The Detour

detour

I was on a road trip, traffic started backing up, road closed so detour. Now, I prefer to just get where I am going, but seeing as I didn’t have a choice, I took it. Ended up going to a secondary highway, much more scenic than the interstate and went through a couple small towns, stopped at an old fashioned general store for a couple minutes just because, well, it was an old fashioned general store. The detour made for a nice diversion after a long drive on the interstate. Eventually, the road took us back to the interstate and I finished my trip, lost a little time, but still got there fine. Another time, the detour was terrible, road had quite a few potholes, nothing special to be seen along the route and seemed to be a much more miserable drive than the one I had planned.

Sometimes, life has detours too. Some we create when we deviate from God’s plan for us. THOSE are the bad ones. Sometimes, other circumstances result in detours for us. I think on all the times I have had a plan, not God having a plan for me, ME having one. Other times, He has a plan, I am going with it trying to follow His will, but get anxious, start trying to get to the destination sooner, rather than later. Well, those go smoothly for a while, then a detour, I get back on track after a while, then, another detour. Some of those detours are rough, others, not too bad but still detours and delays.  And it goes, until I say, OK God, YOU plan the route and destination. I give Him the map, He plans the route and destination, like I said, sometimes same destination I had believed and knew it was where He was leading me, but I forced things too quickly so He decided to slow me down so I could get to where He wants, the way He wants and when He wants.

Yeah, the whole patience thing is not too easy for me sometimes. I want something, I want it now, then take a shortcut, that ends up being quite the opposite. Sorta like the Israelites in the wilderness.

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

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5-6

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

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

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

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. Psalms 37:23

Yeah, that last one is the tough part for me. But, there was no shortage of scriptures talking about HIS plan for us, and not our own. Not only the destination, but the route. I will trust on Him to guide me and quit trying to be in a hurry.

Praise the name of the Lord, Dear Jesus, I thank you for my salvation and all the blessings, You have been far better to me than I deserve. I ask that you teach me patience and to trust in God that He has a plan and will be sure to get me to where He wants me to be in this life and in service to Him. I ask you work in the hearts and minds of loved ones to show them your way for them as well, give them the patience and understanding they need to let You control their paths as well. I ask You continue to work on my understanding and to make me the servant You plan for me to become.

 

Thanks for reading along today. I hope this helps someone else too! Like I have said before, try to be a blessing to at least one other person today.

 

 

 

Lead from the front (but sometimes from behind.)

pexels-photo-894639.jpeg

In the military, there are a lot of leadership styles, depending on the exact position, if a small unit, more hands on, as one moves into larger type units the leadership is more telling to do, critiquing and then, make training plans and such based on units performance. With the various leadership styles, there is still a lot of difference between commanders. Some want to lead from the front, they want to be out there, showing the lower ranking personnel that they, as commander, will not ask more of them than he or she will give themselves. That has a time and place. Sometimes, people need to see the boss in charge, showing them what to do, giving them someone to follow. Other times though, one needs to lead from the rear. The commander needs to take a step back, get a broader perspective and encourage the soldiers in the mission. Give them all the support they need, with supplies, food, etc as well as the moral support. Tell them they are doing great or if one sees some hesitation, tell them they can do it, they are trained, equipped and prepared for the mission at hand.

Sometimes in life, outside the military we have to do that. As a father, grandfather, friend, coworker we sometimes have to show what to do and how to do it, lead by example, lead from the front. Other times, oh, say teaching a child to ride a bike, one can only do so much leading from the front and teaching, then one has to step back, lead from the rear. Encourage, point out what they need to do a little differently, peddle faster, don’t turn too fast, don’t peddle quite that fast, slow down, etc. Makes me think of a day my grandson and I went fishing, he had a big salmon on the line, I so badly wanted to take ahold of the rod with him and help him do it then he was starting to get tired, and I really struggled with not helping him or taking over for him, but, I stopped myself and just encouraged and coached a bit. That’s it, keep the rod up, reel in line as you lower it, GOOD, now lift the tip. You’re doing great! Finally, he got it up close and it was netted. WOW, the look on his face as he held it up!  Times like that, they really get a lot more pride that they do it themselves and of course, I had more pride that he did it alone. They need to know that they can do for themselves. Prepares them for other struggles in life. There isn’t always going to be someone there to do things for them when life gets tough.

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:1

In Christian life, we sometimes need encouragement that God will see us through, things to test our faith and resolve. If there is someone there giving encouragement and support us as we deal with things but let us handle our struggles on our own, we grow as Christians. Yes, there may be times someone has to show you how to do things, but if we receive coaching and encouragement by having someone tell us, yes, that is how to approach things, that we are doing it right by praying and looking to God and His word as is more important for our spiritual growth.

Christ led by example, from the front so to speak, leading by doing.

So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for [so] I am. If I then, [your] Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

John 13:12-15

And, in our Christian walk, its the same way. We all have to lead from the front as Christians. So many people are just waiting for a Christian to fail a little, maybe not even fail, just a little bit of a stumble is enough, and there they go, talking poorly about Christians. Saying so many say they are perfect, but look at you, or him, or her or whoever. Well, we all know, Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven. The pastors have to lead from the front too. In the pulpit when they preach, giving instruction on God’s word. They have a much greater need to be mindful of leading from the front when out in public as well. The ones that like to watch any Christian fail or stumble, LOVE to see a minister do so. Then, once again, saying negative things about Christians.

We have to, all of us, lead from the rear too. Encouraging one another, building each other up.

But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see. Deuteronomy 3:28

 

But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. Luke 22:32

Yeah, there are a lot of verses that talk about encouraging, strengthening others and the like. Lead from the rear. Prepare them, encourage them, support them as they find the way to grow in Christ.

 

Lord, I thank you and praise you. Your Grace and mercy knows no limits. I ask that you remind me as I go through life that at times, I need to be an example, lead from the front, showing others by being the best Christian I can be to let them see what you have done for me. Help me not to stumble. I also need your help with knowing when to be there to support, coach and encourage others, family, loved ones, other Christians, as they deal with issues. Giving them encouragement and spiritual support, but letting them find you and their way to better serve you. Jesus, some of this requires me to be humble, help me with that. Other parts of it require me to step back and put You and the person before me. I ask for help with that as well. Help me see when it is time for one or the other. God, I pray that you continue to work in the hearts, minds and lives of loved ones. Show them your way for them and that they need you in their lives. Draw them all to you. Show them your plan for their lives. Help me to be there leading from the front or encouraging from behind to draw them ever closer to you. Give me the wisdom to know which you seek of me. Thank you for my salvation, for your forgiveness.

Well, I hope that is helpful to someone besides me. I can think of a lot of ways this applies to my life. Sometimes, I have lead from the front when I should have been the support for someone. Other times, I tried to be supportive and should have been showing in my life how they should approach things in their own lives. Thanks for bearing with me. Please share as you feel He leads you and more than all have a blessed day and try to be a blessing to at least one other person.