How do you feel?

The question above is the very question which a character in a popular TV show could not understand at one point in his life. Yet, it wasn’t long before he realized that it is our feelings…our emotions which guide us. They also help us to make sense of our intellect or life in general. If you are a Trekkie, you know that this was part of a test for Mr. Spock. His mother told him that “the computer knows that you are half human, so it is a logical question”. Many of us flawed, emotional humans tend to have problems dealing with this as well. Maybe not everyday, but at times we do run into situations where our feelings, good or bad, get the best of us. How do you respond in those situations? It depends upon your outlook and whether you depend upon yourself and nobody else or if you seek to understand life through the wisdom afforded to us by God.

So, what do you do when you realize that these words really do have meaning in your life?: “I need help. I can’t do this alone.”

Who or what do you turn to in a time that affects you so greatly that you realize that you can’t handle __________? Whatever it may be. The blanks in your life and mine are, at times, difficult to handle. But, we can get through those times, regardless of how long they last with the strength and wisdom that is found in the Bible. Today it seems that mentioning God or the Bible is an incorrect way of looking for a solution. People today say that this is the 21st century, the Bible isn’t relevant to our problems today. That is a wrong assumption because the problems which we face today are the same as the ones that our grandparents faced over fifty years ago. If you read a historical account of the problems faced in Rome or Jerusalem two thousand years ago, you would find that many of the problems that they faced are the same as today’s problems.

True enough, the technology of the day was much simpler than what we have today but the individual problems of drug abuse, alcohol abuse, unemployment, homelessness, were all still present. There were wars going on in other countries, there was malnutrition and disease. There were people who were rich and getting richer because of the problems in their time just as it is in ours. As the Preacher said in Ecclesiastes 1:9 : “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.“.

I have heard that bell-bottomed jeans are coming back into style and hip-hugger jeans too, so the styles of the ’70’s are also coming back around. Even those platform shoes that were popular at one time are making a comeback. Nothing is new, it just gets recycled into something that many may have forgotten about and it may be called something different but it is still the same. God never changes and He is always there to help if you will let Him. Seek Him out in church or in the Bible, learn about His wisdom and pray that He will give you a new heart and a new life to live into eternity. There is always work to be done, even after we die. The best part about eternity is that we won’t grow old and achy and we will be able to do the work that God has for us regardless of how many years we have lived through in His Kingdom.

Hopelessness, fear, frustration, anger….

All of us have felt these before, in one form or another. Some people feel them more powerfully because of their situation in life or where they live. Sometimes the reason for these feelings is something that we have been addicted to or something that we are addicted to. The main reason that I am writing this is to bring our realization of their existence into the open and show it for what it is…each of these is caused by and brought on by spirits who serve Satan and his demons. We have to live on this Earth for a time and this plane of existence is the same realm that he has as his kingdom for a time. He knows that this time is growing shorter, especially now, and the violence and mayhem that are all over the world is the evidence of his frustration and anger, not so much at God but directed at us because we are each made in the likeness of God.

God considers us as His children, whether we have claimed that as our own existence and future by accepting Jesus as our Savior or not. We are His creation and He knows which of us will accept the gift of grace that is offered and which of us will not accept it. We are not forced to accept it because you cannot force a person to love you and accept a gift from you! The lives that we lead today and every day are ones that we decide which side of the aisle we will sit on. We might sit on the side with Satan and lead a life that we do whatever we feel like doing and damn the consequences, or we may choose to realize that our life would be better if we served Jesus and asked Him to give us the strength to get through our pain. What pain you may ask? When you leave the side of your “friends” who had helped you get into the sins that you find yourself in, you will feel pain of separation and fear, you will also feel like you have let them down by not going with them.

The places and things that you were doing before Jesus came into your life are still going to tempt you, as will your friends, but with time and strength from Him you can overcome those feelings and the temptation to do what they are doing and go where they go. Yes, you will fail to stop saying things that a child of God shouldn’t say. Yes, you will stumble and go back but that doesn’t mean that you have lost anything, it just means that you need to get deeper into God’s Word and prayer every day! As we all need to do, we need to draw closer to Him by reading and studying His Word. We are loved by the Creator, what better reason do you need to come close to God?

All of your fear, frustration and hopelessness will go away when you become His child and draw near to Him. It may not happen immediately, but as you get closer to Him and He draws closer to you, those feelings will lessen and go away eventually.

Days, hours, minutes and seconds….

Our lives are measured by these as well as by years and decades, yet many people get hung up on their age and how they look or feel. I wake up in the morning, some days with pain and sometimes without, but if I worried about my age or the way that I feel…what good would that do me? I can’t change any of it, they don’t have a cure for arthritis of any kind, my balance cannot be restored as it was unless God heals me, so why should I worry? Jesus told His disciples not to worry because it was pointless, not the exact quote I know but you get the point.

You have likely heard it from family and friends, that there isn’t anything that you can accomplish by worry so just don’t! In the world that we live in, that is far easier said than done! God does love you, saint or sinner doesn’t matter, and by saint I don’t mean without sin I just mean that you have given your heart and life to Jesus. We are, all of us, sinners saved by the grace and mercy of God. What you or I choose to do with our position and our calling in Jesus will only determine our reward in Heaven. Your works on this Earth and this life don’t pave the road to get you there, Jesus did all that was necessary for your salvation.

The only part that we can play is to let others know about Him and the grace afforded to us through Him. Tell someone how Jesus has touched your life, in what way, show them the path to take to meet Him if they will follow. Time is growing short and we must be doing God’s work while we can. Worry only hinders your witness and your daily walk with Jesus and since you can’t have an impact on your situation in life, why not just give the problem to the One Who can do something about it?

How much will you give up?

We see the results of greed and avarice in life every day. Looking at those who flaunt it from Hollywood, it makes me sick. Look at the people on the different lists, such as Forbes 400 or some such list. The one question that I would like to ask all of them is this: “Are you happy?”

In truth, many of them are not. They worry about their money or their career or their investments or about whether they will win an Oscar or get on the list next year. I know that in their life and the career that many of them have chosen, these worries are legitimate concerns and I don’t begrudge them for any of that. But, have you slowed down your life enough to look around and see normal people and how they live?

Have you even considered a simpler life? One without all of the “stuff” that your house or your car or even your closet is full of now? I don’t mean giving away everything, because many of us won’t or couldn’t do that, but just cut back on the amount that you have. I mean, I know some of you collect cars but what can you do with fifty or one hundred cars other than dust them off and run their engines once or twice a year?

I think Thodo-better-life-quotes-on-simple-white-paper-with-yellow-frame-most-positive-quote-about-life-and-successreau had the best idea when he went into the woods for a few years alone and just lived simply. He certainly found out a lot about himself and what he could do without, and I think many of us need to do that too. Whether we will do it or even if we can do it is another thing altogether! This is one of those ideas that sounds good on paper, but when you think about it seriously most of the time it turns out to be hard to do.

Our lives should be simpler, easier to deal with on a daily basis but the times that we live in are not so easy to simplify. So, I ask you: What would you be willing to give up?

Many people would want to know what will they get in return for giving up something regardless of what they give up, so to that I would say: whatever you seek. In relation to that answer, I don’t mean to imply that giving up something will get you something else in this life, particularly if you are seeking after riches or other “stuff” that the world recognizes as rewards for doing something.  What I am speaking of is seeking after the Creator, which is what our soul…our spirit feels empty without that relationship.

This is the very reason that many people are constantly searching for happiness in life or wealth or fame or alcohol and drugs. We feel empty without God in our lives, but until we know Who we are searching for we don’t have a clue regarding where to look or what to look for, let alone Who to seek out. When you do finally get to the point of knowing that you can’t fill that place with anything that you do, many of us feel the need to cry out “Where are You?” or “What will fill me with Peace?”. Sometimes we find Him waiting patiently for us, but sometimes we are misled by Satan to follow a path which leads in the opposite direction.

It depends upon your ability to hear Him or your willingness to hear His voice. Why do I put it this way? Because God is not loud and boisterous like the ruler of this world is. We may notice a feeling or a pull toward looking for God in the Bible or at a church, but a friend or an event will scream loudly in your desirous heart for you to do or go somewhere else. It says, “Step of this path and follow me, it won’t be but just this once”, but eventually your steps will lead you so far away until you will feel like God won’t take me now.

Yes, He will. God used Moses who murdered an Egyptian, He used David who committed adultery and murder, He used Samson who ignored his Nazarite vows and did as he pleased until he was a slave to those that he was supposed to protect Israel from. God used a man by the name of Saul, a Pharisee who was zealous for getting rid of the people who followed the “Way”, and he ended up writing half of the New Testament! Yes, God can use you and your talent for His Kingdom and His purposes and it doesn’t matter what you have done in the past.

Give your heart and your life to Jesus and the rest of your life will be useful to Him. Forget about your past failures or your failings and get on with living for God. Even if your life ends sooner than you think, if someone sees your Christian walk while you are living then your life, however short, will not have been useless to Him.