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Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Dance

Somebody used to ask me (usually with a tad bit of frustration in their voice), "Why is everything always God or the devil with you?" My answer? Because, ultimately, it is. Even though we are born with a "sinful nature ,"  there comes a day for most when we know the difference between good and bad choices. We may sometimes squelch it, rationalizing black and white into grey, but in our heart of hearts...  We know. And when we make a choice that we know is not the right one, we are sending an invitation whether we are aware of it or not. The opening chords of an age old tune begin. You can call it whatever you want. Sowing wild oats, living on the edge, walking on the wild side, the list goes on. The way I see it, we have all had the name on our dance card at some point
 

We've danced with the devil.
 
You may not even have been aware when you were whisked out onto the floor dazzled by the distraction of the rush you were feeling at breaking the rules in some way and not getting caught. Perhaps the feeling of acceptance by a group of friends masked a lifestyle that pulled you into the tangled tango of addiction. Maybe the pain you have experienced has left the word revenge pounding relentlessly in your brain. Or does the beat repeat over and over that you are worthless and undeserving? Some people even court the dance in exchange for something they want.
 
I've danced. 😩 It's not a fact I'm proud of, but it's the truth. I want you to know that I am not just spouting off and thumping my Bible. I stand here before you admitting I have messed up and I am bound to do it again. I'm human. But God is good all the time. He forgives me when I ask and doesn't hold a grudge. The Bible tells us that (Psalm 103:12). When we repent of our sins and they are forgiven, they are as far from God as the east is from the west. That's a long way! 
But I didn't always know that.

Nevertheless, I believe I stepped on my would be partners toes pretty hard once. Years later, I'm pretty sure he's still holding a grudge. But guess what? Ultimately...
 



 

I always have a little twinge of "Eeeeeeek!" when I so boldly throw a conquest for God in Satan's face. But, on the other hand, I should confess that I do it pretty often.  I "eeeek" because who wants the devil, himself, mad at you, personally! And, oh, I know it makes him mad! But the angst subsides just as quickly as it came when my next thought is remembering the side I am on! So, yeah! I will do what I can to foil his plans. God says we should not be afraid, but be strong and courageous in the battle! 

There I was living smack in the middle of choices I had followed through with in my life that were not wise ones. I was weighed down to the point that I was literally sitting in a corner on the floor tearfully pouring my heart out to God. I don't remember what exactly I said, but I was telling him what a mess I was in and wanted to get my life on track with Him. Of course, I made sure He was aware of how I thought it would all work out for the best. In retrospect, I realize it was a give me what I want (please) and I will be such a great Christian kind of prayer. Totally sold out for YOU, God, but first I need... 

This was not the kind of prayer to be praying. One reason being because there was a me first condition attached. God isn't in the business of granting wishes or making deals. He's got a perfect plan in place. He doesn't need my help determining what's best for me. But I was certain I had my best interest at heart and pressed on refusing to acknowledge that the resounding silence could be a no. I kept making bargains trying to sweeten the deal. I guess I began to feel desperate and in my push to prove to God my sincerity I actually used the phrase I would sell my soul. That I used those words instantly made me uncomfortable because they scared me. But my master tool of rationalization was always at the ready and kicked in immediately. I most absolutely had not uttered the last three words! I was talking to God for heaven's sake! 

I  kid you not, it was at that moment my phone rang.
I answered and was amazed by what I heard. It seemed I had an immediate answer to my prayer and that God had totally trusted my judgment! I was prepared to thank Him profusely, but felt the "th" sound had barely left my lips when the snarling thought came. He had nothing to do with it! You said the words. I gave you what you wanted. You go to hell now.

'Wrong! I wasn't talking to you!'
You said the words.

'Well, never mind then! I've changed my mind!'
You said the words.

'But, I'm a Christian!'
You said the words.

I had said the words. Sadly, it didn't take much convincing. This was no time for free style and I was not prepared to use the choreography taught us in the Word and fly straight for the power of Jesus' mighty name. I kind of believed that old liar, but I wasn't ready to hang up my ballet slippers just yet! I conceded grudgingly (and felt surprisingly calm all things considered!) that if he was right then so be it. What's done was done. But my admission did not come without vowing to help as many as I could to find their way to heaven without making the same mistake as I!
Seriously. That was my "Touché!"

I may not have been more than a babe in Christ, but I understood our need for a Savior!  I thought I had made a serious mistake saying those words. I am so glad I didn't go around sharing that information! 😳 I wish I could tell you that I delved into Bible study and began to discover the wealth of information contained there. But, no! Not yet! Hang on, God. Since I might be doomed anyway... I have what I asked for dangling right in front of me. It's right... here...in reach! I... almost have... what I... want!

I am shaking my head at me. *Sigh.* Baby steps, I guess. Spiritual maturity takes time. Praise be to God! He didn't give up on me! When things started to click in my brain, they clicked in place for good! Oh happy day when I realized what a goof I had been to ever think that the lie I'd been told might be true! I was a child of God that day (albeit an ignorant one 😉 ) and my soul was not for sale! Jesus paid the price for my sins and He did not do that to hand me over to the enemy just because I used part of a catch phrase!

You aren't for sale either. I don't care who you are or what you've done. Even if you asked to dance (maybe even said those words) so you can have what you want, it is not set in stone. You can walk away! Believe the One Who Loves You Most and not the father of lies. You, too, can be saved. The only unpardonable sin is not accepting a gift freely given to all who will accept it. The gift of salvation provided through Jesus.

My friend, the devil is a liar. I know I say it a lot, but he and his minions are at it constantly. You are made in the image of God. He wants you to know Him! So whatever ploy that is used to try and keep you from discovering for yourself the mighty, all encompassing,
supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
love of God and His Son, Jesus, hang on a second! Don't kiss that frog! The yearning in your heart isn't for anything of or in this world even though there is one who would have you believe that. What you yearn for is the Father. Your Father.

At some point, I took off the dancing shoes and took up the sword of the spirit. The Bible, which is the Word of God. You should consider doing the same. The struggle is real, but the war is already won! Be ready to fight the good fight!
*Taking the proper stance* 
En garde!

              
I am praying for you.
See you next time.

Love,
C
Images courtesy www.freedigitalphoto.com


 





Friday, April 8, 2016

Take A Walk With Me

I truly feel Jesus may be coming soon.  Do you totally understand why that is so important to you? I'd like to share this with you. It'll just take a minute... well just over three...


If you have made the big decision, I would love to hear it! Please comment below. :) Or maybe you have questions? *pointing to the comments section* Let's get the conversation going! Or there is the facebook page...
 
I'll be praying. 😏  God knows who I mean.
 
Love,
C

Just In Case


"That night two people will be asleep in one bed;
one will be taken, the other left."
                                                     ~Luke17:34

This is my little sister and me. Can you see the sweetness just bubbling out of her? I love her so. When we were a few years older than in this picture, we shared a room and... a bed. It was at about this same time that I was learning more about "end times." Being the literal thinker that most children are, I took the words in this verse to heart. What I had heard about the days of the tribulation sounded (and sound!) terrifying! I did not care to be here for it. I actually hoped that if Jesus came while we were sleeping, I would get to go with Him and she would have to stay here to endure. I felt badly about my hope (Look at her!) and never discussed my dark secret with anyone. Thankfully, I didn't carry my anxiety about this for very long. Life moved on and I got caught up in something else.

I have to take seriously my responsibility to share with you what God's Word says will happen in the end times, for earth's days are numbered.  I told you last time that I believe that Jesus is coming soon, but I feel like I left an elephant in the room. I have to make sure you know about the rapture of believers. It may not be today or tomorrow or even next year, but it could be. He is coming. I believe the Bible teaches that Jesus will return in the sky to rapture His people. The antichrist will rule over the world and eventually Satan, himself, will take the helm. It will not be good. But take heart! All is not lost!

 
That is the main point of my post today. I want you to know that if ever there comes a day when people you know that believe as I do are just gone, it is not too late! Do not believe what the rulers of this world concoct by way of an explanation. Accept the truth of those who have shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with you and hit your knees! God will forgive you your transgressions if you but admit to Him you have been wrong. Acknowledge your need of a savior and believe that savior is Jesus, God's only Son. If you can put your hands on a Bible start reading with the book of John.   
 
Then hang on, friend! It will be a crazy ride, but you will have God guiding you every step of the way. I believe our Creator, the God of the Bible will speak to His new found children in an undeniable way. Keeping you in His watch care and guiding your steps. You will have a role to play in the coming of His kingdom here on earth like that of no other believer before you. You will be strong and courageous!
 
You can say I have been indoctrinated into my belief and I will not disagree. Merriam Webster's simple definition of the word being: to teach (someone) to fully accept the ideas, opinions, and beliefs of a particular group and to not consider other ideas, opinions, and beliefs.
 
I was not brainwashed into this way of thinking. I was blessed to be born into a family of believers. Normal, every day people who had experienced life's joys and tragedies, but along the way had met Jesus. I was surrounded by believers as I grew. Normal, every day people who had experienced life's joys and tragedies who had decided to follow Jesus at some point in their lives. I was surrounded by believers that made sure I knew about God and His Son, but that night in a revival service at the age of 9, I knew it was the Holy Spirit of God, Himself, that was whispering to my heart. I formed my own bond with God, the Father when accepting my need for Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I have learned first hand that this bond can never  be broken, but can only grow stronger if I desire to make it so. Yes, I believe. Oh, I believe it all! 

 
 

                                         I love that song! Creed by Third Day.
 
You can read what Jesus said about the signs of the end of an age and His return Here:        Matthew 24 and Luke 17:20-37 
 
Can we pray?
 
Father, God,
I ask that you bless those reading these words. I ask that if they have not yet made the decision to give their lives to you that today is the day! Whisper to their hearts, Lord, as only You can. I ask that you stir the hearts of believers, too, urging them to become a mighty force in prayer and deed that we may help You bring the lost to You. I ask these things in the name of Jesus.  Amen.
 
As always, you are welcome to leave a comment with your thoughts.
 
See you next time!
Love,
C


One more thing. I think I should note that some Christians believe the rapture will occur during the tribulation period and not just prior. I think some even believe there will not be a rapture at all. But I am among those that believe Jesus will come before to keep us from what is to come. If my timing is off, God won't hold it against me. Hope you don't either.
 

 



A Long Time Coming

 

Some of you may well be rolling your eyes and likening me to the church lady after

this post. It's ok. It isn't the first time nor do I imagine it will be the last. *Go ahead and insert a little sideways smile here if you'd like.* Granted, Dana Carvey's Saturday Night character is a bit extreme, but ultimately she sees things as either black or white. So do I.

Having the reputation of someone who stands for God is not one I can shy away from. I'm finding more and more that means taking a very unpopular stand with what  appears to be the majority of society. But at the same time, it is never my intent to be in your face. I just want to get the information out there and make sure you know what's what. Ultimately, what you do with it is up to you. That said, here we go...
 
 
 Peter and the other believers thought Jesus would return during their lifetime. Nonbelievers would obviously be taunting with snide remarks, but Peter was writing to the church! Have a little patience, people! 😏 How would they have reacted if they had known God planned for thousands of years to pass? If Peter thought people were letting their evil desires get out of hand in his day, imagine the mind blowing culture shock if he were plopped into our world!
 
Generation upon generation of ancestors have passed and still life goes on. Hum drum, helter skelter and every possibility in between... Wherever you find yourself on the spectrum of life, time is moving forward and the clock will run out. If you've read The Big Fat Fairy Tale, you know it's the plan of the devil, himself, to distract you from the life God has planned for you. Not only here on earth, but for eternity if possible. Sadly, that evil plot seems easier and easier accomplished in the massive swirl of distractions surrounding us today. It seems the majority of the world has put on blinders not wanting to see even a glimpse of the truth. But then there are those of us who will climb up on our soap box, arms flailing, in hopes of catching an eye. Wanting to share what we have learned to give others the opportunity to believe
 
Still, I'm sure I am not the only one of His people that have had moments of feeling like a very small light in a very dark world. Wondering, "Where is He? What is He waiting for?" I mentioned last post that I've been thinking about time and the fact that it flies by. If you are a believer, perhaps you think like I do that we are racing toward Jesus' return at break neck speed. Truly living in the last days! We might actually be here when Jesus returns! This is an extremely exciting thought for me; but a sad one, too, because there are still those I know and love who have not realized their need to ask Jesus to become their Lord and Savior. (To learn more about how to do this, Take a Walk with me.) For that reason, I am glad God is waiting to set the final wave of life as we know it in motion.
 
And if my heart breaks at the thought of loved ones lost, God's must do the same to the nth degree. He had a plan in the beginning and it will come to fruition. When will He send Jesus? Only God knows the day and the hour. Why is He waiting so long? 
 
I think Peter summed up the answer nicely. But first he chastised the scoffers a bit for "deliberately forgetting" what God had done in the past and promised for the future. Then he said,
 
"But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."
                                     ~2 Peter 3:8-9
 
           ...Not wanting anyone to perish.
As a father peers down the road, hoping to see his long lost child homeward bound ... 
                           He waits
                        Is it for you?
 
If you have not yet come to know Jesus as your Savior, I pray today will be the day. I do! If you do know Jesus, then you know He would not have us stand idly by waiting His return. Get out there! Find a way to help share the Good News!
 
Father,
Thank you for loving us. Help us to be strong and courageous whether or not we are living in the last days. Those who do not know you will need to be strong and courageous to withstand the scoffers jabs when they commit their lives to You and Your light begins to shine in them. Those of us who know you will need to stand strong and courageous to continue following your heart. Vowing to share what we know in hopes not anyone will perish, but all will come to repentance.
 
I ask these things, Father, in the name of your One and Only Son, Jesus.
Amen
 
As always, your comments are welcome. Or feel free to pop over to the facebook page
 
See you next time.
Love,
C​    
 






Thursday, April 7, 2016

Huffing and Puffing Won't Blow the Strawman Down

 
I never considered that sharing my belief could be viewed as a straw man of any type. I thought
The Straw Man by Patrick Scott
a straw man was a decoy of sorts. Knowingly putting false information out there specifically for the purpose of it being disproved. No false info here! I believe what I say to be true! Too many personal experiences to even begin to deny God's existence. To do so would be an outright lie! Nonetheless, a young friend who had posed a "religious" question to which I felt ok to point to this blog in my response stated that I have built a straw man here. I did so by sharing information about God, but not 
proving His existence.                      
                                                           
I wish I could produce that piece of physical evidence that would be sufficient proof for my questioning friend and any of his family that questions, too. Proof for all his friends and their families. Proof for all their  friends and families. Proof for all my  family and friends.  And if you do not know Him, proof for you right here and now. The decision is the most important one anyone makes in their lives. Your soul is going to live with God for eternity or separated from Him. That realization alone made too late would be hell enough... but we are, also, left at the mercy of the other one. And he will have none.
 
I am not trying to scare anyone into making a decision. I just want to make sure you know the facts. If God is real, so is the devil.
 
But as much as I want to be able to undeniably put God right in front of you, I can not. If you are not all ready open to the idea of meeting Jesus and through Him beginning a relationship with God, the Father, I can huff and puff all I want, but no amount of scripture quoting, debating, arguing, or even pleading can knock the straw man down. I can offer to introduce you, but I can't force your meeting. 
 
I like to share a verse found in Deuteronomy 4:29 "But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and all your soul." God reiterates those words throughout the Bible. (You can read the many promises He makes to those who truly seek Him here.) He wants you to find Him. He knows you. He planned for your creation before the creation of the world. He longs for you to know Him, too. 
 
The only thing I can offer by way of proof is what God has done for me. If you know me and are reading this, what would you say about me? Am I someone that you trust? Would I stand by you when times are hard? I would hope you would answer yes to those 2 questions. And if you know me, I think you would.
 
So I will share just two of the many, many  things God has done for me. One is a miracle. The other, a lesson.  Let's start with the miracle. 😇
 

 My husband was an iron worker for many years. We have a copy of this picture hanging in our home. It's titled Lunch Atop A Skyscraper by photographer, Charles Ebbet (ca. 1932). He identifies with these guys. Except for on the really big jobs with the really big companies, safety regulations were pretty much non-existent in the 80's. Tying off was not the norm. It was and is a very dangerous occupation.
 
I looked up when I heard the door open at work one Friday afternoon in late August to see my mother-and-father-in-law walk in. I knew immediately that something was very, very wrong. The crew was finishing up a building in Columbia and there had been an accident.  We had been married 5 months and in typical man style, my brand new husband hadn't gotten around to changing his "Incase of Emergency" information in his wallet. Turns out that was probably a good thing. Not sure how I would have taken a call like that.
 
Upon getting to the hospital, we learned that they had been hanging gutters and Randy had gotten up on his knees to stretch. He had a metal tape measurer in his hand. When he lifted his arms into the air, 8,000 volts of electricity arced from the city power line overhead and into the tape measurer. It entered Randy's body next to his thumb, shot through his internal organs, and blew holes through his knees as it exited. The force of the impact tossed him off the building. He fell thirty feet to the ground, fracturing his back in 2 places. Plus side of hitting the ground? They are pretty sure it was the impact that started his heart beating again. His condition was grave. *sigh* What a  day that was.
 
After speaking with the doctor in the emergency room, I was met by the ambulance driver. He introduced himself and started our conversation by saying that he had never hung around to speak with a patient's family before, but that he felt compelled to tell me something. When they got the call, they assumed they were on there way to a fatal accident. They were surprised to discover a pulse. And then my husband spoke! He groaned and said, "I am going to be in so much trouble!" The driver responded, "In trouble? Why, buddy? There was an accident, but we're going to get you to the hospital now. It's going to be all right." Randy said, "My wife prays every day that I don't fall off a building and I think I just fell off a building." The driver visibly choked up, but pressed on. "I told him, Buddy, I think it's because of those prayers that I am talking to you right now. Everything's going to be ok."
 
And (Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, God!) it was. He made it past the critical 48 hour mark. (Longest weekend of my life! I spent it by his side alternating between tearfully thanking God for sparing his life and tearfully begging Him not to take it yet.) His progress continued and he walked out of the hospital one week after he was admitted. Miracle! Even the doctors and nurses were using the word. Praise be to God! 
 
And, my friend who got me thinking about the straw man, I hope you read this. This directly pertains to what you asked that day. You were wondering how doctors feel when God is getting the glory for healing the sick and injured when it's them doing the work. I didn't think of this part of my life that day. But the doctors and nurses were truly using the word miracle. And Randy's doctor, Dr. Eugene Windmiller, was such a comfort to me. He even prayed with me. Actually, he did the praying and it was a mighty prayer. I was so thankful for him. Odds are in this world though that there are some doctors who are offended for not getting the credit. But we're all just supposed to be helpers here. Sin has really messed up His plan, but God can use a nonbeliever to accomplish His will whether they know it or not. He's God.
 
 
And if you chose to follow Jesus and make a conscious decision that if God says it in His Word then you will believe it. God will not disappoint!
Keep the faith, baby!
 
I thank God for Ms. Faye. She taught our preschool class at Sunday School for many, many years. When I finally made the commitment to attend church regularly again after over a decade of missing way, way more often than attending, she asked me if I would help her in her class. Well, little people are my thing! It didn't take too much coaxing for me to say yes. At some point during the years of my absence, someone was inspired to add a life application for scripture to our class literature. Great idea! Still qualifying as a babe in Christ myself, those lessons resonated with me. I
learned
so much!
 
God expounded on those lessons more than once. But, today, I will share what I learned about wants and needs. Just hitting God up for cool stuff because it's cool or asking God for something for selfish reasons is a want. Not the type of prayer God has on the priority list. We shouldn't even ask. Needs are different. A few days after this lesson, I had an errand I needed to run. It was a beautiful spring day so I loaded the 3 little boys that were in daycare into our rickety old wagon and off we went. We passed my neighbor's perpetual yard sale on our route home and lo and behold! There in his yard was a Radio Flyer that he had refurbished. It was beautiful! The boys noticed it right away and were in awe. Mr. McC hurried over to chat a minute. I had to ask how much he wanted for the Flyer. "For you and the boys, $10.00." What? $10,00! But Missouri winters are not often conducive to ironwork. We were just coming out of such a winter so money was tight. Splurging even $10.00 would be selfish. It's a wagon. I shouldn't even entertain the thought. But on the short walk from his yard to mine, I found myself having a little talk with God that went something like this. 
 
"It sure would be nice to have a new wagon, God. This one is getting pretty shaky. And we enjoy our walks around the neighborhood so. But I was paying attention. It's a wagon. Surely something we can live without."
 
We turned the corner and rolled up the drive way.  And I remember thinking how quiet and still our street was. Not a soul in sight. The boys scrambled out of the wagon, up the back porch steps and we were inside. I shut the door and turned to help the boys out of their jackets. There was a knock. It startled me because I usually heard footsteps on the old wooden porch floor even if in another room. I looked to see a lady I did not know standing at the window with a huge smile on her face. I opened the door and before I could speak she said, "I'll give you $10.00 to take this survey." She waved a $10,00 bill at me as she spoke. I wonder if my face showed the amazement that flooded my soul.
 
Sometimes we need what we want. The icing on the cake was that was the day I not only received an immediate answer to prayer, but I decided I will trust God to know what's best for me. It has been a wise decision.
 
Oh, and I took that survey! Guess what I did with the $10.00... 😊
 
I hope by sharing these experiences I have given you some food for thought. The straw man theory is just another guise used by the devil, himself, to keep you from the One who loves you most. Don't kiss that frog!

By the way, I know I am very inconsistent in getting new posts up for this blog. I intend for them to be more frequent, but time seems to be racing by at warp speed! I am thinking that will be the next topic for this blog. I'll keep you posted!
 
As always, I would welcome your comments. If you are a believer reading this post, share something God has done for you in the comments!
 
See you next time.  I'll be hoping and praying you take the straw man down! Down to the ground! Ask Jesus to come into your heart today!
 
Love,
C
 
 
Thanks to God.net for listing God's promises to those that seek Him.
http://god.net/god/bible-topics/god-and-you/promises-to-those-who-seek-god/
 
Sunburst image courtesy freedigitaldownloads.com

Living Proof - Part 2

 


 
 

 
Have you ever been called naïve?  I have and according to the first definition at Dictionary.com, the description was accurate. I can see me in all of those things. I would even consider myself to be ingenious... To a degree. 😉 In a nutshell, what you see is what you get.  I tend to look for the bright side in situations, most always stick to the rules and believe what I'm told is true.
 
I'd even venture to say the phrase goody two shoes crossed the minds of a few people back in the day, but hey! It was the 70's! There was a lot of out with the old and in with the new going on! I had been raised with the Cleaver-esque values of the 50's firmly instilled by example through my Mom. The world view was definitely changing!
 
I did not always stand firm on my foundation of what's right or wrong when I was younger though. More often than I'd care to admit, I allowed my opinion to be swayed by those of my friends. They (unwittingly I'm sure... welcome to Club Naïve after all! Baha!) had picked up the mantra of croaking frogs whose goal is to entice us away from the truth. Case in point: I remember one conversation specifically. The topic? Sex. I was a freshman in high school and there was an "everybody's doing it" conversation going on. I may have actually gasped before interjecting a reminder that God would not approve! To which a person that I loved and admired in part because her entire family attended church together said, "But that was back in Bible days. It doesn't mean now."  Hmmmm. I had to think about that a minute. What she said kind of made sense. I mean how many times when I was younger had I sat in Sunday School when the lesson had been about one of the amazing, supernatural feats God had accomplished for or through His people and wished I had been alive then to witness it. And then when I was older and the lessons rolled around again, I would wish God would do those types of amazing, supernatural things today. Maybe she knew what she was croaking... did I say croaking? I meant talking... about. Clearly, everyone else in the group shared her view.  Perhaps I'd been mistaken...
 
It's crazy how I let the "that was then, this is now" statement about the Bible infect so many of my life decisions for about the next 10 years or so. I don't even think I was aware of it at the time. The lie subtly worked it's way into my subconscious and skewed my mindset.  But I pressed on, certain I had a firm grasp on the knowledge the Bible held within it's pages. The problem with that? I didn't open it much. And like the school books I lugged back and forth between school and home, the knowledge they contained remained locked inside if I never opened them. Thinking I knew it all... Oh, brother! Naiveté struck again.   
 
 

I've shared that I became a believer at a very young age.  I had been taught the basic truths about God and my belief in them has never changed. I knew I was going to heaven when I died, but that's all I knew really. I had never figured out the life application part of the Bible. Within it's covers are the answers to every question as to how we should live our lives in the here and now. Because of that lack of information and my willingness to believe the Bible was merely telling us of our need for a savior, I had a twisted belief that bordered on that of deism. I had no doubt God existed and that I will reside in heaven with Him one day. But until then, I was supposed to live my life trying to be the best person I could be and during times of trouble, I could call out to God to help and hope that He chose too.
 
I have thought about those years and my warped view of who God is. I've wondered why no one ever figured out that my thinking was askew and tried to help me get on track. I don't really have an answer to that. But because I did not have the correct information, I did not grow spiritually as I should have. I had no experience in looking to my Bible to guide me in dealing with life so my judgment was sometimes poor. I was often too quick to believe what someone was telling me. Yep, the 2nd definition of naïve fit me pretty well. Paul described people like me as remaining babies. I was in that phase for around 20 years. 😐
 

 
It made sense to only instill the great love God and Jesus have for us in a young child, but because I didn't grow spiritually very far past that point, I was handicapped. I put a teaser out in a past post intending to share a time when I found myself staring up at a starry sky demanding to know from God what was going on! What could I have possibly done to deserve such tribulation at such a young age? I've decided not to expound on that. If anyone has been waiting with bated breath to hear that story, I apologize. The particulars are not important. What is important is this: It was not God that had put me in that place. He doesn't work like that.
 
Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father
                    of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.                        
                                                                                                         ~James 1:16-17  
 
God doesn't make bad things happen. He is all about goodness, love and light. He is and was and will always be. He never changes. I know that now. Bad things happen because sin entered His perfect creation. He is letting things play out, but has a plan in place and when it is time, He will see that it is eradicated once and for all. You can count on it. In the meantime, we can choose to get to know Him and trust that He is bigger than the bad stuff that happens in our lives. He will be a constant source of strength enabling us to keep on keeping on. Believe that. Can He supernaturally deliver you from something? Yes, He can.  Will He? I don't know.
 
What I do know is that He loves you. He has a plan for your life. It is a good plan. It starts with your salvation. If you've not accepted Jesus as your Savior, I hope today is the day! I do!
 
In regard to the meme, get ready to chew! We're going to get to the meat!
 
Thanks for stopping by! As always, your comments are welcome.
 
I'll be praying for you. I may not know your name, but God will know the prayer is for you!
 
See you next time.
Love,
C
 
 
 

Everywhere All The Time

*Original Posting Date: September 13th, 2015*
 
Thoughts of where we were and what we were doing at the moment we learned of the evil that was unleashed on our nation September 11, 2001 have surely been going through everyone's mind. Horrible images left burned into our brains of the of the hate fueled attacks resurface. The incredible sadness is relived. We were a nation in mourning. We mourn still.
 
I would like to share three things that I have been thinking about the last few days. Things that happened that I believe show God was not caught unaware on September 11, 2001. He is truly omnipotent. He knows everything and is everywhere all the time. These are not miraculous stories of heroism and survival, though I have no doubt there are many of those! But these three things required attention up to a year or more before that fateful day. I should tell you that this was a time in my life when my knowledge of God and His promises was growing by leaps and bounds. When we are looking for Him at work in the world, He does not disappoint.
 

The World Trade Center normally had 50,000 people working within it's walls each day. Add 140,000 to that figure which is the average number of daily visitors.
There could easily have been up to 190,000 people inside, but because the attacks happened early in the morning, many people had not arrived yet. There is also story after story of people who were held up along the way to work due to many different reasons. So many schedules orchestrated right down to even the flights taken by the terrorists to minimize life lost.
       There is no such thing as coincidence.                                                                                                                              God did that.
 

 
 
 

                                      (Photo courtesy www.firefightersmuseum.org)
               The following is an excerpt from an article published by the Datonian in Manhatten.
                                    Click the pic to read the article in it's entirety.
 
The committee members of the Fire Fighters Memorial Foundation of Missouri worked hard to design a fitting memorial to the fire fighters throughout the state who were lost on active duty.  In addition to the wall on which were inscribed the names of the fallen, the Foundation envisioned an emotionally-moving sculpture: a mourning firefighter, kneeling in grief with his helmet at his feet.
 
In October 2000 Matthews International Corporation of Pittsburgh received the commission to create the bronze statue.  Cast in the firm’s Parma, Italy foundry, the 2,700-pound sculpture was completed nearly a year later, in August 2001.   Matthews International had promised the Missouri firefighters that the statue would be delivered in October.  Although the bronze was originally intended to be shipped by ocean, Matthews decided to air freight it through New York City to guarantee the delivery deadline.
 
The statue never made it to Missouri.
 
The crate arrived at Kennedy Airport on September 9, 2001 where it was held for customs clearance.  Two days later Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists flew two Boeing 767 airliners into the World Trade Towers.  Emergency responders rushed to the scene in a valiant attempt to save the thousands of workers in the burning structures.  Among the 2,573 innocent people who were murdered that day, 343 were New York City firefighters.
 
The entire nation joined New Yorkers in their shock and grief; among them the firefighters of Missouri and the Matthews International Corporation employees.  The Fire Fighters Memorial Foundation joined with Dave DeCarlo of Matthews International and offered the statue—which so astonishingly-well reflected the pathos of the event--to the New York City Fire Department and the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation as a gift to New York.
 
On September 17, the day that the Kneeling Fireman was released from Kennedy Airport, the New York Post published a full-page photograph of a New York City firefighter kneeling in the ashes of the Trade Towers.  Eerily, the photograph was nearly identical to the bronze sculpture.
 
Me again...  Do you think God would orchestrate circumstances to bring hope and comfort by such a remarkable thing happening at such a time as this? I do.
 
Lastly, I would like to tell you Alfred Marchand's story.

Alfred Marchand came home from work one day in the fall of 2000 and out of the blue declared that he was retiring from his 20 year career as a policeman. He was certain that God was telling him it was time for him to live his dream and become a flight attendant. Alfred had always wanted to see the world and this had always been how he dreamed he would do it. He began training for his dream job in November 2000, even though neighbors teased him and his wife tried to dissuade him."I didn't want to be away from him or move somewhere else," said Becky Marchand. "But Al was gung-ho about doing it. He was adamant, and I just had to accept it." For nearly a year, Alfred lived his dream. He was working aboard United Airlines Flight 175 that first hit the World Trade Center. We saw his wife and stepson in an interview. His wife shared the first part of this story.
 
Then the interviewer turned to his teenage stepson and asked, "And how does it feel seeing that plane crash into the tower over and over again on television?"  The boy's answer began with "I feel proud because I know God had my Dad on that plane for a reason." He went on to share that his Dad believed in God with all his heart and never hesitated to share our need for Jesus with everyone he met that he felt needed to know. He said his Dad's light shone so brightly that people naturally flocked to him. With a sense of peace that seemed to radiate from him, the boy explained he was proud because he knew in those last moments his Dad was sharing with anyone on that plane that needed to know how to go with him to heaven that day. At the ready to lead them to Christ.
 
There were other stories like Alfred's those first days, but this young man's visible peace in the midst of such chaos spoke volumes. I knew that God had not forsaken us, but had not considered the fact that He was putting people and things in place long before that day. I knew without a doubt that God was in control. 
 
Yes, God was prepared for 9/11. He was not caught unaware. He will never be caught unaware. He is always everywhere all the time. No matter what is happening in this crazy, mixed up world know that God is in control. Bad things, horrific things are going to happen, but the Bible lets us know through the story of Joseph (Genesis 50:20) that God is aware of evil and will take it and turn it for good if we but trust Him. Let's trust Him. Ultimately, God wants you to be with Him forever when you leave this earth. That is going to be nothing but good! Have you assured that will happen? Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? If you have not, come take a walk with me with me. If you have, who do you know that hasn't? Let's follow Alfred Marchand's example. Let's let our love for God shine like a beacon drawing others to us so we might share Jesus with them.
 
Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below. 😊
See you next time~
 
Love, 
C
 
* Becky Marchand quote can be found here:  http://www.deseretnews.com/article/880135/Religious-faith-helps-family-cope-with-911.html?pg=all (sorry... you will have to copy and paste)
 
This is so amazing to me that I have to share this with you from the Deseret News article as well! God orchestrating again! He blows my mind! Wow!
 
Joshua Marchand found a post card of the World Trade Center in a shoe box just weeks after two jetliners slammed into the twin towers and killed his father. Underneath it was a Bible with an inscription written by his father. "Pretty soon I'm going to be in heaven, and you're going to be left to struggle here on Earth. Use this Bible for strength and wisdom in God. Love, Dad,"
 
 *Pointing to paragraph above today - April 7, 2016 - Mind still blown!*
 
 
 
 

The Big Fat Fairy Tale

Long, long ago, before even the creation of man, there existed a creature of exquisite beauty. He was deemed to have the seal of perfection by his Creator and was given more wisdom than any other. He was given a place of honor and was held in high regard. He was, also, given free will to choose and that is where his problem began.*
    

His heart grew proud because of his beauty and important status; he corrupted his wisdom for the sake of his splendor.* He grew discontented with his given task and began to plot, thinking, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit on the mount of assembly on the heights of Zaphon; I will ascend to the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High." **
 
He was cast from the heavens for his mutinous thoughts, but that changed him naught. He can be likened to the main character in a dark fairy tale told ‘round the world. A cunning, phony frog prince whose whispered promises of a happy ending have kept mankind in turmoil for thousands of years. And his pursuit of you is relentless. His lies twist and turn to make what is wrong seem right. He has the uncanny ability to dangle the temptation that appeals to your mind's eye, waiting for the moment that you wet your lips and lean in ever so slightly in anticipation of that first kiss...

Or perhaps you bought the story that he panders and feel lost in the muck and the mire of poor choices made. Feeling your destiny is but to trudge through more of the same...

Maybe his guise did not come in the form of something pleasurable at all, but because his influence has caused so much pain and suffering in the world you have been left wondering if there is a God in heaven…

 
Perhaps you have suffered pain and agony first hand…

No matter your circumstance, there is One who can set your world right. The Hero of heroes, Lord of lords, King of kings! One whose truth will shine brightly into the deepest, darkest corners of your heart; exposing the darkness within and that spread over the world by the evil frog prince's lies.
 

                                                     And He loves you! 
 
I hope you will explore this blog. I hope God uses these words to speak to your heart and set you on a journey to meet the One Who Loves You Most. I hope.
 
See you next time,
Love,
C
 
  
 
*Ezekiel 28:11-19           **Isaiah 14:12-14
Our Hero Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net