Desperation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Amen

 

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

 

 

 

 

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Wings of an Eagle

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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

I have mentioned my service in the military before and have several years of active duty, now in the National Guard and I am going to be promoted to Colonel. The rank insignia is an eagle. It’s a pretty big deal and comes with some extra responsibilities and duties that I am really looking forward to performing. As I think about that, I realize that as Christians, as in the military, we grow in our walk and in a manner we are promoted to positions of progressively greater responsibilities.

But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.  2 Peter 3:18

 

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Colossians 3:16

 

We start as, in the case of officers, as a Second Lieutenant where we are new to the military with barely any real knowledge. We are commissioned as Christians through the forgiveness paid for through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Then, as we learn by spending time in prayer we become stronger in our faith we stumble less and we understand deeper meanings in the scripture.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  2 Timothy 2:15

As we move up through the ranks in Christ’s Army we are given more and more responsibilities. We go from being mentored and taught, to learning from studying the Bible and talking with other Christians, then when we have the experience necessary we are expected to mentor and teach less mature Christians and lead people to Christ, some become Ministers, others minister through songs, teaching Bible studies or as elders in the Church. But regardless of how we serve God, we will not only be expected to, but will want to, assume those responsibilities.

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.  Romans 10:9

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

While forgiveness and salvation are given freely to all who believe in Christ as the Son of God who died for our sins and was resurrected, the free gifts come with responsibilities for if we don’t grow and assume those progressively greater and greater responsibilities we can stagnate in our walks with Jesus.

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

As we grow in Christ we also have to expect, no demand, more of ourselves and be even more diligent in our actions and behavior as the “junior Christians” will be using the more spiritually mature individuals as role models and will often emulate or imitate those individuals and a bad example can not only damage our own Christian lives but that of others. It requires that we not hold ourselves to the standards we perceive as proper but to even higher standards.

Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.  1 Timothy 4:15

 

12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Titus 2:12-14

 

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  Matthew 5:16

 

Be ye followers of me, even as I also [am] of Christ.  1 Corinthians 11:1

 

There are many other verses that discuss how we should grow in Christ and as we grow be an example for others.  He wants us to grow, become mature, lead others to Him and help them grow in Christ as well.

 

Lord, I thank You for the understanding You give me on how You want me to live for You. I praise You for helping me grow in Christ and improve my walk with Jesus. I ask in His name that You continue the work You are doing in me and in my life. Help me move up through the ranks of service to You and help me be the mentor, teacher and example that You wish me to be. I ask that You draw loved ones to You that they may know salvation and know how to walk with Christ as well.

Amen

 

Thank you all for your time. I pray the He blesses you richly this Christmas season and that you are able to be a blessing to others.

Bad times for a friend.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hebrews 10:26-27

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Amen

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

 

 

Sometimes you have to let them make their own mistakes.

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I was trying to teach my grandson how to mow with the riding mower. And, while he operates the machine fine, he doesn’t get the part about the actual MOWING. He likes to go fast and sometimes that means he doesn’t get the grass cut evenly, or he ends up missing patches. When he first started doing it, I would stop him, have him back up and do it better. But, there comes a time when I have to just let him do it on his own and if he makes mistakes, misses areas and such then I have him go do that part over. He is learning now that there is a wrong way to do things. Sometimes, we all have to learn from our mistakes. I know I made mistakes a lot of times growing up and Pop, or my dad, or whoever would just watch, wait and finally tell me what I did or didn’t do and I would have to repeat it or clean up the messes from my mistakes. You know, that takes a lot of patience. Letting them do what they must to learn. You can instruct, warn, try to correct before a mistake is made, but sometimes, people have to learn from their own mistakes. And, from dealing with him while he mows, when trying to teach my kids to drive, dealing with students that I am teaching to do sutures, splints and such, I get so anxious and frustrated that sometimes I want to just do it myself. I could do it faster and better but, whoever I am teaching doesn’t learn that way, even though they could learn by listening and watching, many learn better lessons by making mistakes, such as if they make a splint wrong, then take it off and do it over. T hey are learning things the hard way. My dad used to say a smart man learn from his own mistake, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others. I have got to say, I must be smart because I sure learned a lot the hard way, made plenty of mistakes and learned from them. I hope I did anyway.

I wonder if that’s how God feels sometimes. He gives us freewill, and won’t stop us from using it. He may place convictions in our hearts, make it so we will, or at least should reconsider, but He doesn’t stop us. But, as impatient as I get, as frustrated as I get, I realize that it cannot be anywhere near the frustration He feels when I have had to learn from making mistakes. I am sure there were times, many times undoubtedly, that God thought “No my son, I wish you wouldn’t do that.” But, Christ still forgives, no matter how bad the mistake, He still loves me and is there for me, to seek His help and guidance, I just need ask and He will show me how to NOT make mistakes.

After looking, I had to find some synonyms, King James doesn’t use modern words. And, that is what I prefer, but I may have to try a different translation.

And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. Isaiah 8:15 (KJV)

 

Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.          Matthews 22:29 (NIV)

 

Lots of times, there is talk of errors, mistakes, wrong doing.  David, Solomon, Moses, and many others all made mistakes. God did not stop them, He did not want them to make mistakes but He let them use their free will and then, when they found the errors in their ways their errors were addressed, they repented and forgiveness was given. Like with my grandson, I make him mow the areas he missed. Even though I gave him instruction on the right way, he chose another way, then learned that not doing right has it’s cost. Just like so many in the Bible that went against God’s plans. Maybe out of spite, anger, greed, selfishness, so many different ways one does things.  We still do different than Christ wants. God can and will allow us to do that, hoping; actually, He knows what we will do as He knows all that was, is and will be; that we make the right choice while knowing what will happen and waiting for us to be ready to seek Him, repent, and correct our ways. Christ forgives us when we ask and will then help us get back on the path He has planned.

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for the blessings You give me. I know that I have made so many mistakes yet You forgave them all. I pray You will help me follow Your plans that You have made for me and help me not let my human self get in the way. I thank You for the sacrifices made for me to have salvation. I pray You draw loved ones to You so that those not saved will become redeemed through You and draw us all closer so we desire to only seek You and Your will and way for our lives.

Amen

 

Thank you all for coming by and making it through my ramblings.  I truly hope that someone else benefits or is blessed by this and my other writings. Have a great, very blessed day and don’t forget to be a blessing to someone. Maybe even someone you don’t feel like blessing, they may need it the most.