Something to think about

Shoes in Church
I showered and shaved……………. I adjusted my tie.

I got there and sat……………. In a pew just in time.

Bowing my head in prayer………… As I closed my eyes.

I saw the shoe of the man next to me……. Touching my own. I sighed.

With plenty of room on either side……… I thought, ‘Why must our soles touch?’

It bothered me, his shoe touching mine.. But it didn’t bother him much.

A prayer began: ‘Our Father’…………. I thought,
‘This man with the shoes, has no pride. They’re dusty, worn, and scratched.
Even worse, there are holes on the side!’

‘Thank You for blessings,’ the prayer went on.

The shoe man said…………….. A quiet ‘Amen.’

I tried to focus on the prayer……. But my thoughts were on his shoes again..

Aren’t we supposed to look our best. When walking through that door?

‘Well, this certainly isn’t it,’ I thought, glancing toward the floor.

Then the prayer was ended………… And the songs of praise began .

The shoe man was certainly loud….. Sounding proud as he sang.

His voice lifted the rafters…….. His hands were raised high.

The Lord could surely hear.. The shoe man’s voice from the sky.

It was time for the offering…….. And what I threw in was steep.

I watched as the shoe man reached…. Into his pockets so deep.

I saw what was pulled out………. What the shoe man put in.

Then I heard a soft ‘clink’ as when silver hits tin.

The sermon really bored me………. To tears, and that’s no lie.

It was the same for the shoe man… For tears fell from his eyes.

At the end of the service…….. As is the custom here.

We must greet new visitors, And show them all good cheer.

But I felt moved somehow……….. And wanted to meet the shoe man.

So after the closing prayer…….. I reached over and shook his hand.

He was old and his skin was dark….. And his hair was truly a mess…..

But I thanked him for coming………. For being our guest…

He said, ‘My name’s Charlie………… I’m glad to meet you, my friend.’

There were tears in his eyes……… But he had a large, wide grin..

‘Let me explain,’ he said…………. Wiping tears from his eyes.

‘I’ve been coming here for months…… And you’re the first to say ‘Hi.”

‘I know that my appearance………..Is not like all the rest.

‘But I really do try………………..To always look my best.’

‘I always clean and polish my shoes…Before my very long walk.’

‘But by the time I get here……..They’re dirty and dusty, like chalk.’

My heart filled with pain………… And I swallowed to hide my tears.

As he continued to apologize………. For daring to sit so near

He said, ‘When I get here………… I know I must look a sight.’

‘But I thought if I could touch you….Then maybe our souls might unite.’

I was silent for a moment…………. Knowing whatever was said

Would pale in comparison…. I spoke from my heart, not my head.

‘Oh, you’ve touched me,’ I said…….’And taught me, in part’

‘That the best of any man…………..Is what is found in his heart.’

The rest, I thought,…………… This shoe man will never know.

Like just how thankful I really am…. That his dirty old shoe touched my soul

Live each day as your last, for we never know our time here on earth. Love and Peace My Friends and remember that it is not how we look on the outside but how we look within .

I saw this on Facebook and just wanted to share it with you.

What did you do this week?

That question could be answered many different ways, but for many people this week has been about survival. Hurricanes, earthquakes, wars, terrorism and driving to work and back home just to name a few. Yes, driving a car or truck is just as dangerous to me. Especially with people driving while eating or texting or talking on their phones, they aren’t paying as much attention to the road and the people around them as they should!

Many of us survived this week, but there were some who were in harm’s way who didn’t make it back home. What do you think they said when God asked them, “What did you do with my Son?”? Did they have an answer? Could they look into God’s face and say with pride that they didn’t know His Son? I hope that they did not. Although some may have had to answer that way because you can’t lie to God! He already knows the answer to the question.

Have you considered what you will say when Jesus knocks on your heart’s door? Will you accept His friendship and ask Him into your heart or will you tell Him to come back later? What would you do if you knew that you weren’t going to have another chance to accept Him?

Life today is complicated with all of the notifications that we get on our computers and our phones. But, is that really how you look at your life’s complications? What about the soldier who is fighting overseas? The policeman or woman who is chasing a suspect down an alley at 2 am.? The firefighter who is called along with a few other trucks to a four-alarm fire at 3 am, it is possible that at least one of these people are not going to go home after the shift or this mission. I pray that they have given their lives to Jesus, but many people think that they have all the time in the world.

They do until it’s over, then what? We see miracles in children and in babies and in the lives of every person that we meet in some form or another, yet we don’t acknowledge the Maker for them. We wake up on the days that we work or go to school but we don’t consider how much of a miracle that we are! We are created by God to fulfill a purpose that He has for us and the only way that we find out about that purpose is by giving our life and our heart to Him!

God loves each of us and He wants the best for us. Sometimes the best is our reward in Heaven, not on this Earth or in this life. We want our rewards today..right now in fact, but God doesn’t work that way. Yes, sometimes people do get their rewards in this life but have you ever noticed anyone with riches giving much to the church? A few do, but the majority give maybe a dollar to two, when they could give much more.

When you have been given much, you should give just as much. I don’t mean that you have to give all of your money to the church, but in the Bible Abraham gave ten percent of all that he had. So, if you made 500 dollars this week, give 50. If you made 150, give 15. It is not hard to do, and like David wrote “I have never seen one of God’s people begging for bread“.

God loves all of His children, which we are even if we haven’t given our hearts to Him. But, He wants us to come to Him. When you feel the Spirit at church or watching a Christian service on television, don’t turn away. Seek Him out because He is seeking you. All that you have to do is tell Him you are sorry for your sins and repent (turn away from) of those sins then ask Him to come in and clean your life up. I promise, if you meant what you said, He will do it and your name will be in the Book of Life!

Why?

Are we so blind to suffering and heartache that we don’t see it? Are we that indifferent and uncaring toward those around us? What happened?

It started many years ago and we didn’t notice, or maybe we just were too busy at the time. The Vietnam war was going on, our President had been murdered, unrest was rampant all over and I was about four or five years old. My parents weren’t getting along, things were happening that I didn’t understand, and our country made a law that has had massive repercussions in the years since then.

That law had to do with using the Bible in school and also prayer in schools too. It pushed God out of our education system at a time when He was sorely needed. He is even more needed today than He was then, but the laws have become even more restrictive. Chaplains can’t use the name of Jesus in their prayers for our servicemen and women anymore, the traditional family has been broken apart and now consists of accepted relationships which are against God’s laws.

We have changed our society to the point of being so different from the nation that our forefathers envisioned until they wouldn’t recognize it today. Many of them would be arrested for the words that they used in writing our Constitution. Why?

Political correctness, we don’t want to offend anyone or at least anyone who isn’t a Christian. Most of the laws enacted today are against the values and truths which we hold dear in our churches and it will likely get worse in the future. Why? Because we have pushed God and His Truth out of education and out of most areas of public life. We can’t show nativity scenes during Christmas on the public square. Parades during this time are called holiday parades or winter parades. But, if you want to show your support for any other religion…that is fine! No problem at all.

We are becoming a country which began as a nation founded with ideals drawn from God’s Word but today we have pushed Him out and we are in rebellion against Him. Why?

Read God’s Word, in particular the books of Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Revelation. These are the prophecy books that most people try to avoid, but the time that all of them refer to is now or at least it is beginning to be. We hear about or witness things which defy a real explanation other than “you don’t believe the way I do” or something similar.

Life matters…

There have been many protests concerning certain lives matter, whether they are Black, African-American, or even White. Come on, God created Life! Your life, my life, and every person who has ever lived on this world, all of our lives matter to Him! The color of your skin or your ethnic origin is irrelevant to God. Slave or freeman, Muslim or Protestant or any religion in the spectrum, God loves you! So, yes, life matters to God…every life!

We, humanity, have put limits and regulations and stipulations on which lives matter and which ones do not matter, at least to us. Why should we compare and claim that my life or your life matters more than any other? A baby being aborted at a clinic could possibly be the person who finds a cure for cancer, but if they aren’t born and allowed to grow toward that potential we will never know. Someone being killed in Turkey or Iran or Syria might also be important to the peace cause in the future, but we will never know for sure.

Lives matter every day, not just today but every day in our country. So many are hurting this morning because of the actions of one person or a few people who are targeting people for the color of their skin. It is heart-wrenching to see this happening in our country when racism should have become a thing of the past. Yet, every time it seems that we have a handle on it, someone from one ethnic group or another will blow a hole in it and begin the process all over again.

I don’t write this in the sense that I am some perfect Christian because there was only One perfect man ever on Earth and He is Jesus. My ideas are that we should get along, but in the society that we have today, in America and around the world, it is not possible. Humanity hasn’t evolved to the point of getting past old hatred and wounds from decades past. We just don’t seem to be able to let it go. Every time healing begins, someone pulls the bandage off and starts it over again. This needs to stop but without prayer and cooperation between those with different tones of skin color, it won’t get a foothold or gain any traction.

God loves us and we were told by our Savior to love one another, but it seems that we haven’t truly figured out what that means yet. We don’t understand the meaning of the word because we have watered it down and changed the meaning of the word “love” so much until it really doesn’t convey the same emotion that Jesus was telling us to express toward each other.

Seek out the Lord in your life and follow Him. Why do I say this? Because if you follow the Author of Life, you will be more alive than you ever have been. You will also learn to be more loving and if you love others as Jesus loves you, then you will not be like those who are causing all of the division and hatred in our world today. Jesus came to bring eternal life to all of us, all we have to do is accept it by faith and ask His forgiveness. Being a Christian is not something which can be forced upon someone, just like you cannot force someone to love you, but if you have felt that you need Him at all, then all you have to do is ask Him to come in and cleanse your heart and to accept you as His child.

Choose…

We seem to be all about choices today. We choose a mate or a lifestyle to live by. We choose which school to attend and which major to take. We, sometimes, choose which religion that we will follow or not. Choices are part and parcel of life, particularly in America, but also in other places around the world.

Some of those choices in other countries are unpopular and bring hardship into the lives of those who make choices that are against the majority. At times our choices are so numerous that we can’t seem to decide what we want. What can we do in these instances?

Choose…

Your life’s religion is a choice, sometimes it is one based on culture or family tradition. But, if you found out that your religion is false or that it will not lead you into an eternity of happiness, what would your choice be? If that choice is going to be an unpopular one with your family and friends, what would you do? Would you choose to follow the crowd and go into an eternity with everyone else just because it was acceptable to them?

These are answers and questions which each of us need to ask of ourselves and our friends and family. Why should we bother with asking these questions? Because that is what Jesus told us to do…go into all of the world and preach (tell) to them the gospel. If you are a Christian, this is your mandate. It is not a question of if we can tell, it is more like when will we tell them?

Your life in Christ is secure in Him, if you believe in His atonement for you and accept Him as your Savior. God, the One God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, loves you far more than you can ever realize. He has a purpose for your life, not only here but in eternity too, but you won’t be able to enjoy it unless you follow Jesus and give your life to Him. This life is a puff of smoke compared to eternity, no matter how long you may live. Consider this and turn to Him while you are here because the chance to give your life and heart to Him is only available while you live. There are no second chances or do-overs later.

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.

Many need to listen to this wisdom

The one you feedToday, our culture tries to feed the one that causes all of the trouble and kill the one that wants to calm things down. Why is that? What good will that do other than causing more problems and hatred?

Life is part of this equation and living it means that we should be trying to encourage the good wolf and either lock up or kill the bad one. Our society and the culture that we live in is doing it the other way around and all that is going to do is make things worse.

Love wins in the end, so why fight it? God’s Love, not the kind that our Supreme court is pushing.

Principles for living well

1. Live by and believe in the Ten Commandments
2. Treat others as you wish to be treated.
3. Don’t ask for or depend on hand-outs when a hand-up is more useful.
4. Read and study your Bible. Our country was founded upon its principles, so they should be good enough for you too.
5. Ask forgiveness for ANY wrong action or word, especially those said or committed in anger.

I did not learn these by reading comic books or playing video games. I learned these from the Bible and from living my life according to its principles.

I can hear some of you saying, “he thinks he’s better than us”, NO that is not how I feel! These are principles which our country was founded upon, whether you have learned it in history class or not. If we don’t turn back to life and living this way, our country is doomed. It won’t be our culture that dies and fades away, it will be America and its ideals that will fade to nothing!

Yes, you have the right to believe what you will in America, or not to believe in anything. But, that doesn’t mean that you have to push your ways and ideas on everyone else. I will be accused of doing just that when people read this, but if you don’t like what I say then you can go somewhere else on the Internet after all it is a free country…for now.

If you like what I have written here, then I thank you for stopping by. I mean that sincerely and please look around a bit if you wish. One of my other sites is The Living Message if you want to read some more about God’s principles.

Thank you for dropping by and I pray that the rest of your year will be GREAT!

I am feeling down again…

I know that this is supposed to be a site for uplifting posts and helpful articles but I also began this journey while I was depressed last year. Well, it is beginning again. I have been praying about this and reading my Bible, especially the Psalms, every day and that helps but sometimes Satan just hits a little bit harder. I know, some of you may not even believe that he exists in our world, but I assure you that he is here and his helpers, powers, demons, whatever you want to call them are here too.

All of them hate us because we are loved by God and we have been created in His Image. Because of those two things, we have legions of demons and principalities which are bound and determined to stop us from being or becoming Christians, especially bold, praying Christians! Those of us who read and study our Bibles and pray are the ones that get hit with diseases and disabilities many times and if it isn’t us, then it is our family members who get them. Anything to distract us from doing God’s work, like I am doing right here.

I don’t know how much longer my hands will work to do this, so I am trying to keep going as long as possible. Please pray for me and my health and my family’s health as well. Prayer does more than most people realize and it really is felt by those who are being prayed for. Thank you in advance.

Our world and our culture is under attack by Satan’s forces. They can’t be seen or felt, except when they cause a problem in your health or your body or even in the area where you live. But, they are behind the violence and gangs and drugs and all other sorts of evil in our world, so be aware that mankind is evil but with the assistance of Satan it multiplies ten fold or more.

We need as many people as possible praying for peace and for wisdom in the days and weeks ahead. Not just for us individually, but for our governments and those who are in offices of importance, like our President. Yes, I have heard that there are some who hope that he will be killed overseas, but God placed him where he is so ask God to open his eyes and prick his heart to turn to Him for guidance and wisdom during this dark time.

God will get me through this time, no matter what happens. But, we need to be praying for our neighbors, our friends, and our co-workers and each other. Study God’s Word and pray that you will gain His wisdom from it so that your life and your decisions will be guided by Him in the coming days. Life itself is going to be tough and we need to keep our spirits filled with His Word and wisdom so that we will see Him when He comes in the clouds.

Inspiration

InspirationWhat would you do in your life to inspire someone? Could they look at your life and see an inspiring life or story? Why don’t we try to be the inspiration for the next generation that is coming along instead of being people that nobody wants to be like? It seems that many of our young people today don’t have much to inspire them.

The cops are being arrested for pushing drugs and stealing. Guys in all kinds of sports are being arrested and tried for murder, violence toward their fiancé or their spouses, and then there is drug abuse charges for many who have been an inspiration in the past. How can kids grow up with an idea of who they should be if we as parents, teachers, police or sports figures don’t give them an example to follow?

What is it in the world that separates us? Money, power, greed, hunger, religion, the list could go on and on. Many people say that it is race but that isn’t it. We all belong to the human race, Homo sapiens, we just have different skin tones that’s all. Our biggest separating factors are culture, religion, and wealth or lack of wealth!

In today’s world, those factors create huge walls between us, nationally as well as individually. At times, it seems that it happens every day, these walls are impenetrable and unlike the walls of Jericho they don’t easily come crashing down. Of course even those walls wouldn’t have come down without the help and assistance of God. Which is where we should be looking for help in our existence to tear down these walls which cause so much hate and distrust between us.

The other problem is that Satan wants these walls to stay there. Because if they are still in place, he and his cohorts can use them to cause more hate and distrust and add to the thickness and height of the walls. If we don’t draw closer to God and seek His wisdom and strength in our lives, these walls will never come down! Pray that the Christians in this country and around the world will be working to bring these walls down by His power and might!