What do you do?

I have been asked this many times in my life by people wanting to know about my profession or my preferred job interests. It has always been a bit hard to answer because I have done so many different jobs in the past thirty-five years or so. I am not going to go through the list here, but it is safe to say that I have had at least a dozen, maybe a few more, different jobs in that length of time. Some of them I enjoyed, and some I just tolerated until something else came along. Many people, it seems, have done the same because nobody stays in a job more than a few years unless they found a perfect match to begin with and just stuck with it.

The thing is that “what you do” is not who you really are, particularly on the inside. Sometimes the job that you find yourself doing is one that you have to do, not one that you want to do…and there is a BIG difference between those two. Many people it seems, especially in our economy today, HAVE to take a job that they didn’t study for but it will pay the bills for a time.

I went to college to get a job in the medical field because I thought it would be a stable job and one that, hopefully, I could retire from one day. WRONG! Internal politics and whether you are liked by the right people has a lot to do with how long your job lasts, whether it is a stable and necessary job or not. If you are curious about what job I studied for, it was Medical Technology (a fancy sounding term for a lab technician).

Later, when I was told that I needed to find something else to do, I began doing something that I liked doing…working on computers. I once told my boss’s wife that I would do it for free but that doesn’t pay many bills. I still do it occasionally, but most people just go and buy a new laptop when their desktop quits now. That is the difference between doing something that you HAVE to do and something that you WANT to do and LIKE doing.

That is why I enjoy writing here, because I get to tell people about my Savior and that He wants to be your Savior too. Jesus loves you far more than you can imagine and it can make a HUGE difference in your life, not only here but into eternity. Especially into eternity! Why do I say it that way? Because Satan is telling people that they have all the time in the world to make that decision, an in reality we don’t.

Just as the rich man who said that he was going to build some bigger barns to hold his stock and then retire and take it easy. That very night God said, “Thou fool, your soul is required tonight.” He didn’t know and had thought that he had time to get his life straight, that is not the case for many of us. Some of us can because of disease, but you really aren’t given your next sunrise! Seek God and His righteousness now while there is time, ask Him to come into your life and make it whole.

If your life ends tonight or tomorrow and you haven’t made that decision, then your time is up. You will be standing before God when He asks you, “What did you do with my Son?” What kind of answer will you give? Think about it.

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Living successfully by faith

Successful living can be done by many, in many ways. Learning and pursuing a lucrative position or skill can help you to live successfully by the world’s standards. You can have money, fame, fortune, mansions, and cars…all of the trappings of a successful life. Have you ever wondered why so many “successful” people have to go to drug rehabilitation programs? Why do many have to go through programs to help them to beat their addiction to alcohol too?

If you were to ask them their reasons for these addictions, there would be only one reason given and that is because they felt that something was missing in their life. There was an empty feeling, even with everything that they have. Why do you think that might be?

The reason is simple, if you look for it in the right place. It can’t be found in a bar or in a bottle of pills or alcohol which is why those things never satisfy. Seeking satisfaction in money will only bring stress and heart trouble and possibly ulcers. Seeking to satisfy your craving to fill that empty space with lovers or drugs will only end in your death. Two things which are never satisfied, or maybe three: death, hell and the grave. Not one of these is ever full enough to cry out, “Enough!”.

A successful life can be lived happily and humbly by seeking God in the Bible. Learning about Him through study and prayer and seeking out His Son, Jesus by faith. This is the only path that will give you true satisfaction and peace in your life. No other way exists which will lead you in that direction, certainly nothing made by man can do it. No amount of money can buy a key which will open the gates of Heaven, only the acceptance of the grace offered to us through Jesus by God will do that.

Yes, this post is about your salvation because God loves you. Whether you are successful in this life and by the world’s standard or not, He loves you. You can do for His Kingdom something which nobody else can do and He will show you that path to eternal success. The success which I speak of doesn’t end with this life because our life is only a puff of smoke compared to eternity!

Consider the dot (.) that you see there. Then stretch a line from it all the way to the other side of our solar system. That dot or period as it is called represents your life in its entirety, that line which stretches for nearly nine billion miles represents only a fraction of eternity! Why would you want to concern yourself with such a tiny part of your existence when there is so much more ahead of you?

If you live your life chasing rainbows and never find the time or a reason to give Jesus a place in your heart, then your eternity will be very different. It will be spent totally isolated from God and His love, in a darkness so complete that it will be painful and agonising. Yet you will have eternity to think about the times that you heard His message and maybe even felt moved to accept it…but you didn’t.  Why? It would’ve been so easy to make that decision, so simple even a child can do it and yet many people just don’t.

Some today are being called by Jesus just as Saul was on the Damascus road and they are answering that call. It will put their lives in danger, but they are doing it anyway. Why? Because, Jesus is the answer that everyone is looking for! They just don’t know it yet.

Thank you for reading and I hope to see you in Heaven.

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!

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

Success in life and business…

We all seem to want it, but the question is “How?” Not only do we want to be successful in business but we want that to translate into our lives as well. But, how can we do that? Many people see it as a numbers game: the more you make in business then the more your life at home will be enhanced and successful too, right?

Sometimes, that is true, but many times it causes more headaches and frustration which causes more problems at home and the snow ball of frustration and anxiety just gets bigger and bigger. How can we possibly get around the negative aspects of being successful in one area, and not so much in another? Is it even possible to have real success in business and have a happy, successful and frustration free family life too?

Many of you who have read my posts here would know the answer right away and that answer is: No. You can’t have it both ways UNLESS there is a balance in your life between the two. How can you achieve this mythical balance in life? Actually, it isn’t hard and it is your choice that makes the difference. The first step toward this is reading through the book of Proverbs, carefully and prayerfully. This is not a quick fix book nor is this a quick fix answer, if things are in deep do do, then I suggest an attorney and then the Bible!

Your life begins simply when you are a child. All that you need is provided for you by your parents. Then as you grow, you have more wants than needs and things begin to get a bit sticky at home and at school. Then, when you graduate from school (high school or college), you want more than you can comfortably afford sometimes and this causes more trouble. And, the cycle goes on and on…..

So, how can you break the cycle and get on the right path or track, if you will? You begin by starting the day with God’s Word. Pray and seek His wisdom for the day, before you smoke a cigarette or eat breakfast even. Start the day off with God and let Him have the better part of you that maybe hasn’t woke up good yet, but He knows where you are. Give the day and whatever happens in it to Him, good or bad, He is still in control. Maybe the deal that you were working on wasn’t the best for you and it fell through, God knows this so let Him provide you with a better deal tomorrow or next week.

But, you have to decide to let Him have the day and all of the stuff that happens in it, as I said, good or bad from your point of view, He is still in control. Many of us tend to pray to God and wait for a day or so, then tell Him to forget it and let me do it, just like a little child.

Be patient, but don’t ask for patience! God will teach you this lesson but I promise, you won’t like it at all. I did this years ago and I have been waiting for the blessings that I asked for ever since. Oh, He has blessed me with a little here and there, from my wonderful marriage and my family to my health, truly I can’t complain. But, I will never ask for that again, period.

God loves us, but many times when we ask for something He takes us at our word. He gives us what we ask for, sometimes, but thankfully sometimes He doesn’t! Your success in life depends upon what you put first in your daily life, and with all that is happening in the world today, God should be first before anything. I start my day off with a cup of coffee, then I read the Bible according to my yearly reading plan. Granted, I don’t start this at sun rise, but I do begin the day that way most days.

No, I am not perfect in that regard! I can’t tell you that every day it works out exactly the way that I just wrote it down, but I do try to get God’s Word in before anything major happens during my day. It does help, just try it and see.

I choose…

Can we choose to be different? Can we, as a nation, choose to be the people in America who will move forward and not bring the past with us? Yes, we can! It will not be easy, but by choosing to be the America that God intended for us to be, like we were sixty or one hundred years ago, we can. I am not saying that the American government of those days was perfect, but the nation still revered God, collectively.

In polls today, many people still say that they are Christians, but they are basing this on believing in God’s existence not in His Son, Jesus. Satan knows that God is real, he believes in His existence, but he doesn’t serve Him and hasn’t for thousands of years. In truth, that is what is wrong with our country collectively. The fact that there is just a small minority of people who truly are Christians in their hearts, their character and in their lives. Not just one or two days a week, but every day. The rest of the country maybe goes to church on Easter or at Christmas, which are pagan holidays which the “church” adopted in order to draw in more people, but many people leave that service unchanged, why?

Because they choose not to believe what they have heard, that is why they leave a church service without Jesus in their hearts. It is our choices which define our lives…our existence, here and in eternity. It is your choice to believe or not to believe and the fact that the choice is an easy one is what seems to make it hard for people to make that choice. In choosing to be a follower of Jesus and allowing Him to change you into the person that you are supposed to be, you are telling God that I do believe that you are the Creator and that your Word is Truth, that you believe, deeply believe, that what He says in the Bible, regardless of how hard it is to take really did happen and that every word is Truth.

We all have choices to make in life, in listening to people, hearing their opinions, whether we believe those opinions or not, and then choose whether we will listen to what they say about Jesus and our life with Him rather than block them out because their opinions are different from mine or yours. This is the reason for many people who leave a congregation to find someone else to listen to many times. Sometimes it will even split the church itself.

Choose to listen to a message, not because of the political leanings of the preacher but because He is preaching from God’s Word. Opinions are like eyes and ears and belly buttons, everyone has one. Choosing to go to church because your preacher is preaching from the Word of God and not because of his opinions about politics or the weather is the right choice because we all need to hear God’s Word preached. Choose to be the person who will hear God’s Word, not just the messenger that is delivering it.