How can I say this?

Many people seem to watch and read posts on Facebook, and then some don’t. Some people even pay attention to blog posts, and some find them by accident. Is there anything to say or write which will get people’s attention without pictures of naked women or blood and guts accompanying it?

Life is more than these things. Living is more than this and yet today it seems that many people just can’t get by without it, whatever “it” may be.

God put us here to take care of this world initially and we have really screwed that up in the time that we have been here. Is it possible for us to work our way back into His loving arms and His grace? Can we be forgiven for all of the sinful ways that we live today? The thoughts that we have and the idols which we have created are also causing problems in our world, because we act on them in ways that we shouldn’t.

The answer for the first question is no, we can’t work our way back. God never did abandon us, He provided a way for our forgiveness through Jesus’ sacrifice. We have actually been forgiven for our sins, through Jesus Christ and His crucifixion and resurrection. The only thing that we are in need of doing is to believe in Him and ask His forgiveness and repent of those sins.

Living through this life is more than the stuff that we see and do every day. We are supposed to be better than we are and be more like Jesus. Yet, many people today seem to think that it isn’t their job to be like Jesus, that they can’t do it so they just don’t want to attempt it.

Life is not just Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or some other form of social media. Life is living every day as if it may be your last day. Doing what you can for someone because you can do it, not in order to get something in return. Loving others like Jesus did is not something that we are able to do on our own, but with His strength and His ways ingrained in us through study of the Bible and prayer..we can be more like Him.

Learn about Him through study of the Bible, not just going to church a few times. Pray about what you read and ask Him to reveal His Wisdom to you so that you can use it in your everyday life. Don’t be a Christian in name only, but all the way down to your heart.

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Struggling with life

We all have problems in our lives. Some of them are easy to handle or fix, some of them are not. Life is hard to handle at times. Between school and work, family obligations and other obligations, your life and mine can get pretty hectic at times. What can we do about it?

Not much, unfortunately. Bills have to be paid, groceries and other necessary things need to be taken care of…they are all part and parcel of our lives. In some countries, the struggle which has been going on for millennia has not gotten any better with the passing of time. Just because we live in the twenty-first century doesn’t mean that the world in general is still fifty years behind in terms of technology.

It is true that technology is beginning to catch on and bring some countries and people into a more modern age, but not all of them. Even with new technology, jobs and income all over the world are behind what you might expect for this time in history. Struggle and hardship seems to be the norm more than the exception and some people want that gap to become even wider. Why?

What would making a few richer and many more poorer prove or even accomplish? In most countries it would do nothing less than start an internal conflict like a civil war between those who have or may be perceived to have much and those who don’t. Class warfare. Rising up and striking at the “man in charge” would become a battle cry..a rallying cry for many.

Are you a Christian believer? In truth, Satan is the one who is persecuting you, causing your pain and trouble, causing your financial troubles, he even caused the loved one that you are grieving for to die before their time. YES, Satan and his demons are real and they HATE us! They cause our troubles or they cause us to make mistakes in life which cause our troubles to become worse. The only solution to this is giving your life and your heart to Jesus.

Yes, He is the solution to life because He is the Author of Life eternal. God loves you enough that He sent His Son to die for you and pay your debt so that you can take hold of eternal life. Heaven is only a breath away. Just one heartbeat away from eternity is the way that we all live. Life is not easy, even if you are a Christian but with Jesus walking with you every step of the way it will be bearable.

Jesus told His disciples that they would have trouble in this life but to lean on and depend upon Him and they would overcome the world! We are able to do that too, if we decide to be Christians and live according to God’s principles. They are not hard to do and most, if not all of them, are found in many of the “self-help” books that are out there to empower you.

The authors of those books use different words than those found in the Bible, but the intent and the meaning is the same. Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are three books of the Bible which contain more wisdom and knowledge than all of the empowerment books combined. Consider your troubles, your trials and heartache and decide today to hand them over to God. He can and will take care of them and you because He loves you. Seek Him through the Bible and learn about Him from the books referenced above.

His Truth is the Life and the Comforter and the Healer that we need every day. Trust in Him to be your Comforter and Healer today so that you can get your life lined up with His Life!

Praise Him! Because He is AWESOME!

In our world today….

What can we do to stop the violence? Is there any possible way that our country, our world can avoid another civil war? This time it won’t be over slavery, although I don’t know what it will be about unless it is centered on or around race and culture and the differences between us!

What HAPPENED? I had hoped that our country would be moving away from the race riots and tear gas and the gas bombs that I watched in the late sixties and early seventies! We are almost fifty years past all of that and it seems that people who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King are rubbing salt into the wound again. Why? What good is this going to do? Would he go along with this if he were here? I really don’t think so.

Yes, I know, I am a cracker and I don’t understand your culture any more than you can understand mine. My great-grandfather was a Native American, my great, great-grandmother was also a Native American. They were here long before any plantations began, so historically I can claim some knowledge of injustice.

But, I am not going to drag it from the 1800’s into today! It was cruel what our ancestors did to the Native American people who were here first. It was cruel and inhumane what many did to those slaves which were sold by Muslim traders into slavery, but starting a war over something which happened two hundred years ago or more DOESN’T MAKE SENSE!

Yes, I do get a bit up on a soap-box sometimes, but we are approaching the end of the Church age if you haven’t noticed! There are things which are about to happen, very likely in our lifetimes, that will make life very hard for a while. If you haven’t given your heart to Jesus, then you need to do so. Because when He comes back, there won’t be anyone contacting the President’s office to get permission to do things, Jesus will do it, period!

Before He begins His reign though, there will be seven years of what could be termed “hell on Earth” and those are the years that nobody will enjoy at all. Some may think that they will but, in the end it will not turn out good for very many at all. Remember, the Bible tells about this time and Jesus wins, Christians win right along with Him and so do the Jews who come to know Him as the Messiah! The plagues and other judgements that will be endured during the time before He sets foot on the Mount of Olives, will cause many to either turn to Jesus and ask for His forgiveness or they will curse Him to His face.

Then as now, there is no dividing line between love and hate nor is there a middle ground between belief or disbelief. You can’t have it both ways, you either believe or not and you will either love Jesus or hate Him. The world today, hates Him already as many people in America do. They will tell the media that they don’t hate Jesus or Jews, but they don’t believe in God or Jesus or any other religion. When you take that position, you are on the side with Satan whether you believe in him or not.

Culture wars, race war, civil war are all names for a war which has no real meaning and there is no good outcome for it either. The kind of war that is brought about by agitators, those who just want to start something and then sit back and see how it all falls out, never turns out well at all. Look at Vietnam. See how it turned out?

We, as a nation, need to have a real sit-down with Jesus. Come into the church and learn about Him, and truly have a revival in our land. If we don’t do that in the next few years, I really don’t see America lasting until the next century comes around. Consider this and pray about it. If you belong to a church, bring it up in the next meeting and try to get a movement back toward God started. One step, then another, and another and another…that is how a trip or a destination is reached and we need to reach out to God in faith and love before it is truly too late.

Mourning

Life has a funny and an awful way of sticking it to you when you least expect it. There are two families that I have know for a long time who are hurting in the worst way imaginable today…actually since Saturday evening. They both lost someone that they love dearly in a car accident. It is not my way or responsibility to try to imagine their feelings, because unless you have had a child…your only child, to die then you can’t possibly understand.

You can sympathize, but sympathy only goes so far. God has both of these beautiful young ladies in His care now because they were both Christians and that is a comfort. But, the pain that is being felt is unbearable unless you lean on Him. The mourning that is happening now and in the days and weeks to come can only be born by these families through prayer and the love of God pouring into their lives from the prayers of their friends.

Some say that being a Christian is a crutch to lean on, it is because God gives you His strength to get through times which others would buckle under. We are not weak being Christians because our God is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe! He can hold our world or our Sun in His hand, yet He can also hold you or me and give us the love and the peace that no one can understand except another Christian. God loves each of us enough that when we are hurting, it hurts Him too. He comes along beside us and carries us through these difficult days and weeks when there is no possible way for anyone else to help.

Being a success in life is great, but what happens when a storm hits you or your family like the wreck that took two beautiful young ladies away to Heaven? Your success doesn’t look very successful at that point does it? Nothing in your life matters, eating, going to work, sleeping all seem to be unimportant because all you can think of if the pain that you feel. The hope, the knowledge that the one that is missing is in Heaven doesn’t give you much comfort either. Because you can only feel the pain.

You are numb and in shock for a long time. This pain won’t go away with an aspirin because it is deep inside your soul and it will not go away. Only God can help in this instance. Coming to Him and in His Presence is the only way to begin to heal the empty space, the empty feeling which is there. It really won’t ever go away but holding onto your faith in Him, getting closer to Him is the only real cure, the only real help that there is. Trust in Him, seek Him out for your days of intense pain. He knows what it feels like and He is the only One, the only Person who can help.

Who has the most influence in your life?

To answer that question some of us would have to think pretty hard. Some of us wouldn’t have to think about it at all. Usually, the people or person which has the most influence in our life is usually your immediate family, mother or father or both. Depending upon which you have the most contact with. I said it that way because of our culture today, since many children have grown up in broken homes from divorce in the past. I did and many others have too.

The type of influence that your parents had or even your grandparents had in your life can build you up or tear you down regarding your self-esteem. But, it also depends on how you perceive the words which are being said. How you decide to take the words into your conscious mind and what you do with the feelings once you have heard them.

Words, regardless of the rhyme that we have all heard, can and do hurt you and me. They are very much like bullets fired from a gun, once the words have come out of your mouth you can’t get them back and the damage caused by them, sometimes, cannot be undone. This also applies to words written on social media sites, this cyber-bullying that is happening all over the world today. It is actually worse than the bullying that we endured as kids in school because people who really don’t know you will take it up and continue it.

Words from friends, family and online friends do hurt and in many ways can hurt more because the words online NEVER go away entirely. Unless a site admin decides that it needs to take them down, things online will exist as long as the Internet itself.

There is always a bright spot to every dark area of life though, regardless of how dark you might perceive it to be. The Word of God has many encouraging Scriptures that can elevate your mood and your feelings of worth. Why do I remind you of this? Because God knows you! He knows exactly how He designed you to be and what you are truly capable of doing, so He never lets you down and is always there with you.

He loves you with all of your warts and your troubles and fears and hang-ups because He knows what a beautiful person you really are on the inside, where your heart and soul live! It doesn’t matter what is on the outside, that everyone else sees, because God sees the REAL you! And, He loves you so deeply that He sent His Son to die for your sins so that you could come to Him and allow Him to heal all of your hurts and your pain and make you new and fresh all over again!

This is the best and most intense love that we can be the recipient of and it is the love that God wants to share with each of us, if we will obey His leading and seek Him. He pursues us at times, especially when there is a job that He wants us for and He knows that we are the one for this job. I tried to run from His pursuit once, of course it didn’t work, He just put me through a test that eventually brought me around to the place that He wanted me to be in.

Success in failure

You might want to ask me “How does that work?”. Success in this life, as many people see it today, means that you are successful…period. You have graduated from school, whether it is high school or college or even medical school, you have made it. That is the first step on the road to success. Then, there is the debt that you owe for that education which you are saddled with to pay off, what a bummer. Depending on the size of the debt, your payment could take years and most of your hard-earned money if you get a job.

We were usually told by parents and teachers and counselors that a college education was the ticket, the way up and out. Not anymore it seems. So how can you become successful in life when so few jobs exist for college educated people? I don’t have that answer, I have a BS in Clinical Lab Science and one word from a person that didn’t like me put a black mark on my record that has kept me from working in that field for seven years. The only job that I have held for any length of time since ’07 was as a computer technician.

I did work in a hospital lab for about seven or eight years but it should have been my ticket to retirement, at least that was what I had hoped.

Why am I telling you this? Because, my college education didn’t fail me nor did my job. I failed at sucking up to the right people. I had the unfortunate malady of speaking my mind when I should have kept my mouth shut. Life sucks sometimes. Failure sucks. That being said, I didn’t fail really, my circumstances were changed because I had another place to be, another job that I was required to do, and it had nothing to do with a hospital.

The reason for my rant? Mainly, to point you toward a life that is filled with promise and hope. I had begun to draw close to and seek God in His Word, which was frowned upon at my job. It wasn’t impacting my performance, but they could see me doing it on my breaks and it irritated them for some reason.

Even doing this on my breaks was too much for some, but enough about my old job. Success is a state of mind that you have when you are comfortable with your place…your station in life. Even though your success may hinge on something far less than satisfaction or comfort, it doesn’t mean that you have to stay in that area. Seek God out in His Word. Why do I say something like this in the middle of a rant about jobs and success?

Because…all of the “self-help” books and courses that are available to you won’t help you if you don’t believe what they tell you and the reason I say this is because all of their wisdom and truth is found in God’s Word, the Bible. I have read many self-help books, listened to CD’s and every word of wisdom in them can be found in the Bible, specifically in Psalms and Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.

Your success in this life, even though many don’t want to believe this, is dependent on following God and His will. How can you do this? By drawing closer to Him, learning about Him, seeking Him in His Word. There are some who will say that “my business or job has nothing to do with God”. Then you need to find another business or job!

It is true ,in some jobs, that some vocations are incompatible with being a servant of God but you can serve Him regardless of where you work as long as what you are doing isn’t illegal or immoral. A janitor can serve Jesus just as a garbage man can. A police person or firefighter can serve God in their job, I would think even more effectively because they need His protection while they are doing their jobs.

It doesn’t matter what job that you have, if you are or become a Christian then you can serve Jesus in that job if it doesn’t make you uncomfortable to do so. If it does, then you need to look for something else. God loves you and wants you to be successful in this life. That is a message that many don’t hear in church, but its true.

Consider how Joseph, with his coat of many colors, went from being sold as a slave then falsely accused and thrown in prison, to being second only to Pharoah in power and authority. Why? Because he didn’t live in a pity party, he prayed and humbled himself to God and allowed God to direct him in everything that he did. God does love you and wants the best, His best, for you. It might not be a mansion here, but you will have one in Heaven. It may not be a fancy car or a fat bank account here, but you will walk on streets made of gold in Heaven.

Our life is short, even at one hundred years, compared to eternity. Think about that when you get out of school or may be looking for a job. Every child, every person is important to God regardless of where you may be or what your situation is. Seek Him out and learn of His goodness and mercy to us all, then live your life here according to His principles of success

Is there a purpose to your life?

Originally, I was going to ask if there is a purpose to your faith but I realized that not everyone who reads this has faith in anything or anyone besides themselves. Regarding that kind of life I would have to say that you have your own purpose, your own agenda and your own path to follow. Life always has a purpose, regardless of the life that you live, good or bad, moral or immoral, religious or not. Our lives have a meaning and a purpose. Sometimes it is a bit hard to find that purpose, like my life for instance. It took me nearly fifty years to finally find my way…to find the “thing” that made me want to get up every day and feel as if I have a purpose.

I did have some inkling or idea about my purpose before this, but it didn’t become concrete solid until I was nearly fifty years old (or young depending upon the way you look at it). I had been through many, many different jobs before this time, but none of them really felt like they fit me. I never would’ve thought that being a spokesperson for people and for God could possibly be my calling, my purpose in life. When I was much younger and even when I went back to school in my thirties, I hated speaking in front of people. I was ever so glad when I finally finished my Speech 101 class and those speeches never lasted much over three minutes!

Your purpose in life is to glorify God, your Creator. Simple, but true. Once you can take that into your life and your heart, then you can begin to make sense of the rest of your life. It all falls into place. Some people find this early in their lives and some don’t find it until later, sometimes much later. God is the Creator of all, believe it or not, and one day everyone will see and understand this. Some will leap for joy at His coming and some will feel guilt and shame because they didn’t get it or they didn’t want to believe it while there was time to do so.

What about you? What will you do?

Success in life and living

What would be your definition of success in life? A modest home and a couple of nice cars? A mansion with a Bentley in the garage?

Success in life and living is much more than this, but not what you might think. I am not writing about things, stuff, trinkets, and baubles. I am writing about…Life! Real living, not the kind where you have stuff that other people want and they might steal it from you. I am talking of the kind where you do have something that they want and you freely give it away! Intrigued? Curious?

Some of you who read this may be, others would rather go home with the guy in the Bentley.

The reason for which I am writing is to get your attention. Because God wants your attention. He wants you to repent and become His child. Follow Him, learn about Him through reading the Bible and prayer. Come to Him for strength and healing in your life and then when you know enough about Him, which never truly happens but you will get to a point where you will tell others about Him and give your secret away. People will see that you have joy in your walk and in your everyday living which seems to make you happy and they will want to know how this is possible.

All you have to do is to introduce them to Jesus and His Father, God. Tell everyone who asks how much He means to you. Show them in the Bible where you get your strength and the wisdom to conduct your life. This is the successful life. A life that gives ten percent to a church of your income, then take ten percent for yourself and the other eighty percent is what you live on (pay bills, buy groceries, and stuff or save it for a home).

Life is to be lived abundantly, joyfully, with a feeling that you are truly grateful to be alive today! Frowning all day and griping about the weather or the traffic or something that the government is doing doesn’t do anything but give you ulcers and high blood pressure, why waste your time or your life that way?!

God loves each of us, whether we acknowledge Him or His grace for the day or not. Let Him know that you are thankful for waking up this morning, read His Word and pray about the wisdom in it that He has given you to keep. Thank Him for Jesus’ sacrifice that allows us to come into God’s presence whenever we wish to tell Him about our day or ask for His help in some way. Believe it or not, God is interested in your life. Every little detail of it. Because if He knows about a sparrow falling from the sky, don’t you think He is watching over you too?

Today is….different.

I have good days and bad days just like everyone else, but today is…well, different. It feels different. It is also hard to explain. I am hopeful at times and then I feel like I want to kill myself. Switching back and forth between hope and hopeless.

It actually doesn’t suit me much because I don’t like the idea of suicide or the results of it either. Nothing good comes from killing yourself. Grief, pain, heartache, anger from family members directed at a dead person who can’t change anything. Then, the spiritual aspect of it comes to mind. Standing in front of God knowing that you had a hand in killing yourself. You have committed murder because you had to think this through and it was pre-meditated and intentional.

I pray that I don’t have many days like this because I don’t like them. But, writing here is like talking to a hotline or at the least a cheap ‘shrink. Maybe someone will get something out of this and turn to God before making this decision permanent. I don’t want to imagine my family going through this because financially it would be devastating. Physically and emotionally it would cause too much pain, even though I wouldn’t feel it…they would.

I pray that God will see me through this and I hope that if you, who are reading this, will decide to turn your life around and give your heart to Jesus then He will see you through it too. Today there are too many easy ways to kill yourself and many of them are available on the Internet but God loves you and you deserve so much more than an end to life. He can give you that! A purpose and a reason for living, here and now because life is a gift from God to you every day that you wake up. Treat today as if it is the most precious gift that you have ever received and ask God to help you get through the next hour, then the next hour and the next.

Pretty soon you will have made it through today and you will wake with the morning tomorrow, and God will help you through that day too.