I’m having a real hard time. My brain isn’t working like it did a month ago. Every time I sit down to write about a thought I’m having, I can’t. I just can’t. Every and any thought I had been having turns impossible to turn into words. I can’t explain it. There are some things I had considered writing about, and I think they’d help some, but, I forgot how to have any thought. Any time I sit down in front of this computer they vanish. I hate it. I wish there was a way to fix it. I’ve prayed, I’ve walked away, I’ve even laid off the extra cup of coffee at work to try and slow my brain down, but nothing is working. Getting THESE words together in my head right at this very moment is a chore. It’s not like I’m thinking about anything else. I clear my head of all things when I write. All things that aren’t what I’m writing about anyways. The guilt is starting to get to me too. There are some people out there that read my blogs and get something out of them, believe it or not. I just want to deliver a message of hope for so many but I can’t seem to do it right now. Please bear with me in my hours of stupidity. I’m so sorry to those that it helps. I actually had terrible dreams about it last night. Maybe if you could lift my brain up in prayer that’d help. Maybe He’ll listen to y’all. He sure isn’t listening to me right now, that’s for sure. I’m sorry. He is listening. It’s just not what He wants me to be doing at this moment. Again, I’m sorry to those of you that get something out of these blogs. I will continue to pray and try. I’ve certainly been through a lot more than this and bounced back. Love y’all, and please bear with me and stay strong. His timing isn’t our timing, but it’s perfect timing nonetheless. That’s the rumor around the water cooler anyways.
Wow. That’s all I gotta say about the past week and a half. A whirlwind of life. Things seemed to be sailing along just fine, then…WHAM! it all hit the fan. I think God wanted to let us know He’s still in control. Well, He did a bang up job at that. But you wanna know what? We win. We’re certainly not out of the woods yet, by any means, but we won round 1. Before, we didn’t know what was coming next, but now that that’s all behind us, we now know what may happen next as a direct result from what just happened. I know for me it was a faith test. As a friend of mine said it may be God’s way of getting us to talk to Him more. Which we did. A lot. And a lot of people talked to Him on our behalf and for that, we are eternally grateful.
In James 1:2-4 it says: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Then it goes on to say we should ask God for wisdom, if we lack it, and He will give it to us freely without finding fault. For me, I would need to ask God for the wisdom to find “pure joy” in my trials first. I don’t know if I’ll ever find pure joy in seeing my wife in the hospital. That seems impossible to me.
I will say this much though, I trust God. I trust His plan is perfect. It doesn’t mean I have to like it, and it certainly doesn’t stop me from yelling at Him or questioning Him, but I trust His plan for us as a family. If Job survived with his faith, and his faith alone, then I know I can too.
I don’t question anybody’s belief. I don’t question anybody’s life. I don’t care what anybody does. It’s not my call how anybody lives their life. I’m not arrogant. I don’t judge. As a matter of fact, I should delete half my friends on FB, according to what I believe in, but I don’t cuz I’m not like that. I believe my stories will help somebody, out there, someday.
I’m a believer in the power of Christ Jesus. I have been saved and baptized. So, I ask, why does it matter if I choose to live that way? It has helped me more than it has hurt me. Just because I don’t live like the world doesn’t mean I’m any better than anybody. I don’t try to come across that way.
I’m actually gonna go ahead and maybe lose some friends for this. I know for a fact that me and Amander have been blocked on FB for our belief, and I’ve received emails questioning my motives. To me, the ones questioning our motives are the ones that are scared of the “possible truth.” I get questions from the “Jesus loves me” people. Yes, He does, but that’s not the end of it. One may ask, “what happened to God hates the sin but loves the sinner?” The Bible happened to it. In John 3:16 we read about one of the most intense things about God’s love, yet in John 3:36 we also find a verse concerning God’s wrath. There’s a million people out there that find contradictions in the Bible, but that’s not what the Bible is. The Bible is the Word of God. And God is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
The most exciting thing to me, is to live not of this world. I know my wife feels the same way. It’s so easy to fall prey to today’s standards. Most of the people I’m friends with, and have been my entire life, like to work against the tide. I enjoy stirring things up. I really do. It’s been a passion of mine since I was a kid. What this world needs is a revolution of people that aren’t willing to do what this world does.
If you truly want to be something, and most of us do, then put your foot down and fight the good fight. Fight the powers of this world. Don’t conform. If you’re a non-believer (and it’s ok to be one, I get that), imagine if I’m right about heaven and hell. Heaven is nice. Hell is gross and hot and according to some, smells like egg farts.
This, to me, is an exciting thing to think about: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as it’s own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”-John 15:18-19.
What you do is your business. My beliefs should matter none.
My wife is in the hospital. She is in the hospital because of her condition. She has rheumatoid arthritis. It’s a condition that is misunderstood. Her bones are seizing up. Or, maybe they’re breaking, I have no idea. It’s, by far, the hardest thing I’ve ever seen anybody go through. My wife has to hear things like: “you’re to young to feel that way”, or “RA?”. Nobody seems to understand what she’s going through. They seem to shun it away like it’s a thing that God can just take care of. “Well we’ll just rebuke that”, is what she hears constantly. Just put it off on the healer of all conditions. Unfortunately that’s not how it works. Not in my wife’s case anyway. Yes, my wife is young and arthritis is an old persons “disease”, but, it’s something that needs to be addressed.
This is where I will always question God’s plan. Why? Why are you doing this to the most loyal woman of You? I have NEVER in my entire life met anybody as loyal as my wife is to God. The reason I have stuck by this God thing is because of her. If it wasn’t for her loyalty I’d be back to where I started. So why the conflict?
I’m gonna go ahead and blame my flesh. My sinful nature that I was born with. Every one of us, whether you like it or not, or a believer or not, is going to have to live with that sinful nature. The funniest thing to me about God is that most all of creation needs Him only when its good for them. Even in scripture it says: “For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”-Romans 1:21
This is where I say that I’m completely confused about God’s plans. Seeing my wife cry from the steps she has to take in everyday life is beyond me. I don’t expect God to cure her of her RA. I do though, expect Him to take care of us. We will make our stand. We will give thanks to Him.
Well here it is. It’s confession time. This isn’t easy for me, so bear with me. I have a guilty pleasure. It’s something that still doesn’t sit right with me. You may not know this about me but I am not a fan of television. It’s nothing but garbage, littered with temptation and sin. Maybe with the exception of the Food Network. 2 Sunday’s ago my wife and I were eating dinner with the television on and I watched an episode of the Secret Millionaire. I couldn’t take my eyes off the TV. In sucked me in with the ferocity of a car wash vacuum. I love it. There it is. My absurdly disturbing guilty pleasure. I love to watch the Secret Millionaire. I watched it this past Sunday as well and will probably watch it again this Sunday. Now please don’t be misled by my sudden sensitivity. I don’t particularly care for the weeping or really much of the story leading up to the end. I love to see how much these “millionaires” give to the charities they volunteer at for the days that they do. Any amount of money is certainly a huge help for these organizations that are mostly run by volunteers and funded out of pocket by the founders, BUT, if you’re a “millionaire” you can certainly give a lot more than what they do.
Both episodes I’ve watched the “millionaires” were owners, presidents, and CEO’s of a successful business. That means they will continue to prosper in their riches year after year. And they do it on national television. Being the skeptic that I am, I see these “millionaires” doing it for a tax write off, a spike in their stocks, and some form of personal gain. Their children’s opinion of them must sky rocket. “Oh Mom cares so much about her community that she left her smart phone, her Lexus, her prepared meals and us to go live in squalor for 3 whole days.” 3 whole days. Just miles away from their palatial home. Miles away from a hot meal and a bed. Having that security must be a good feeling. But you wanna know what really disturbs me about this show? If not then don’t read on. Although these “millionaires” are doing something down right unheard of, no matter what the benefit is for them, no matter how successful they are, no matter the financial gain, no matter the opinion of their kids, they will not be taking that narrow road we devoted Christians will be taking when we die. I don’t care what you do in your life to make you feel better about yourself. Or what you do on national television to make the world think you’re such a caring, unselfish giver. You’re gonna miss the bus.
In Matthew 6:2 Jesus says: “Therefore when thou doest thine alms (an act of charity only solicited by the unfortunate, Dake’s definition), do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.” Which is exactly the opposite of what these “millionaires” do. They boast. They brag on themselves to the world by doing such deeds on national television. Now don’t misunderstand me. What they are doing is unbelievably helpful. BUT, that does not give them favor in the Lord’s eyes. Just as faith without works is dead, works without faith is dead. You can’t have one without the other to gain favor. It’s like hearing an atheist say they love something. They can’t love anything. There is no love without God. God is love.
God wants us all to be happy. God wants what we can get as long as it doesn’t interfere with our spiritual growth and our relationship with Him. These “millionaires” I’m writing about are more than likely decent American folks that just have a lot of money. I’m sure they’re all nice as pie. But, I’m also willing to wager they put their careers before God and He don’t like that one bit. My wife and I don’t have much but we give what little we have away to those in need. We are both extremely rich in spirit and that is priceless. If we have the opportunity to help someone we jump at the chance. She probably more than me because my heart is still a little hard but loosening.
More than 26,000 children will die today due to starvation or a preventable disease. We, as a society have turned a blind eye to that stat. Not only are they poor, but, they are powerless as well. Millions dying in obscurity. The book of Proverbs warns us of the curses that come on those who ignore the poor. Unfortunately the rich have power and with power comes influence, and from influence comes friends. The more “millionaires” that can be led to Christ, the more the world will learn of Him and his deeds. The works of these Secret Millionaires is wonderful. To bad without a relationship with Christ Jesus, they are short lived and selfish and dead in the eyes of God.
What this world desperately needs is grace. Grace and forgiveness. Forgiveness and love. Love and acceptance. Acceptance is tough. As is, forgiveness and love. Grace, not so much. That’s given to us freely by faith in Christ Jesus. I personally don’t have a real hard time with forgiveness. I’ve messed up for so long that I can look at my life as it was and see that I’ve done some serious wrong. So if I get wronged by someone, I can really just shrug it off. I’ve been blessed with that ability. That and patience, but that’s a different blog all together. Love. I think I can do that. I think I can love. I know I can love unconditionally. Love is such a meaningless word. Lots of people love lots of things for different reasons. I love bacon and tacos. I love the rain and nighttime. But, I love my family in a completely different way. Unconditional. I’m not sure if I love my friends unconditionally. They’d need to do something real bad for me to know that or not and I’d be ok if that never happened. I’m just being honest. That brings us to acceptance. I don’t think anybody is good with that. I guess it all depends on the circumstance.
In my early 20′s I was living in an unbelievably dark time of my stay here on this godless planet. I was squatting, drinking myself to death with every intention of succeeding, and banging heroin. I was ready to go. I drank hot, flat empties around my “apartment” with cigarette butts and fruit flies in them just to try and get some peace in my head. I could only eat ice cubes and very little yogurt with no fruit. The chunks of fruit made me throw up every time. My friend, at that time, worked at a bagel shop downtown and would bring these things home to me during his lunch break to try and keep me afloat. He said he was always scared to come upstairs in fear of finding me dead. In every way I was hoping that would happen. I was ready to check out but too scared to do it myself. The real tragedy behind all of that is, that I accepted it. It’s just the way I was. I was supposed to be a 20 something year old junkie bass player in a punk rock band, drinking myself to death. After all that’s what my hero did. It’s what I set out to do, and boy did I ever triumph.
The real triumph came miraculously one incredibly painful morning. I remember this like it was yesterday. I came too, like usual, and fumbled around on the floor looking for any partial beers to finish. I then felt something heavy in my chest and immediately thought that it was over. That was it. My time had finally come. But that’s not what it was at all. It was my heart telling me that this was not how I was supposed to be living. I was supposed to eat. I was supposed to stop shooting bags. I was supposed to have a job and not drink myself to death. The acceptance of the way things were for me was over. I accepted the fact that I was not meant to die that way. From that day forth I didn’t shoot another bag till I relapsed in my late 20′s. Now, from THAT day forth I haven’t shot another bag.
Even when we are in times of complete desperation, darkness, addiction and sin there’s a way out. Try and take a step back and know that it is not how things are supposed to be. Don’t let the devil win and just accept it. If you are unhappy with the way your life is DO NOT just ride it out. It’s not the plan God has for you. I lucked out. God obviously has much bigger plans for me or He wouldn’t have come into me like He did. My heart was so heavy with the realization that my life was almost over. I didn’t ask God for help. I didn’t pray for anything, ever. I am just now thanking Him for the wake up call. I thought I did it on my own. I thought I quit by myself. Cold turkey, as they say. Nope. I didn’t do it at all. That was God. Yet, I was certain that I did it. I’ve never needed any help, I could do it on my own. I tried to do everything on my own, that’s how I got into the mess I was in in the first place.
There’s a way to not let your life get to where mine was. Prayer. Prayer and faith in Christ. I know all the non-believers are shaking their heads if they’re reading this, but, they’ll be the first looking for prayer if something tragic happens to them. If it was that easy, and had I known about it, I wouldn’t have a story. I wouldn’t have a story of hope for those that need it. God has kept me alive. Period. Whether you are willing to believe it or not is up to you. I’m here to plant the seed. It’s His job to water it.
James 1:21 says, “Therefore get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” This is the life I’ve come to know and accept. This is the way God intended it for me. I guess acceptance isn’t so hard for me after all.
I have an 8 year old daughter. She was born in Portland, ME. at the Birthing Center at St. Mary’s Hospital. Her mother and I went to go and look at the rooms a couple of weeks before she was born and just by looking at the rooms we decided that that was the place. It was obviously more than that but the rooms helped. Looked kind of like a suite. I’d never had a child (that I’m aware of) until then so this was all new to me. When the nurse brought us into the room there was a rocking chair under the window in the corner of the room. The nurse then proceeded to tell us that if there was anything we didn’t want in the room they would be more than happy to take anything we wanted out. Well that perplexed me a little. What would we possibly wanted out of the room? Then the nurse told me that a lady had requested that the rocking chair be taken out of the room before she gave birth. I asked her why, and she told me that the lady said that this is a hard world and she didn’t want to spoil her newborn by rocking it. Her answer blew me away. I couldn’t believe anybody could have such a hard heart. My heart has always, and in a lot of ways still is, been pretty cold. It’s gotta be pretty shocking if it phased me like that did. The nurse then said they called DHS to come and check out the woman. I can’t remember much after that. I wanna say her husband was there but I can’t be sure.
It’s a hard world. She was right, it is a hard world. But to not coddle your baby in preparation for it is ludicrous. Take out the rocking chair because I want my newborn to suffer before the suffering begins. It infuriates me just thinking about it. Even back then I knew this world was a ruthless place. But now that I have been saved, I can see through society’s facade. It’s obvious that evil runs the show. But judging by today’s standards if it’s on TV then it must be ok. That my friends is not the case.
God, from the get go, gave every one of us something called free will. I personally hate it. That wasn’t always the case, but now I hate it. God made this bogus decision based on faith. He wants us to turn to Him to feed His ego. In doing this, we get eternal life. We also get countless blessings while we spend our time here on this planet. Through faith I have discovered sobriety, happiness, grace, gratitude, the list goes on and on. I thank God for it daily. I thank Him for the challenges in my life that I can get through by trusting in Him. See, I’m still a little skeptical about God, but it’s what I’m used to being. He has nothing to prove to me, but I have everything to prove to Him so I can get these blessings. I stand strong in my faith. In turn I get happiness, sobriety, etc..But, this world is run by people with little or no faith. THAT is what makes this an evil world. Fortunately I have a God that is going to look after me and my family. If you don’t believe me then try it. It’s not easy by any means. You are surrounded by the world and all its temptations, but it’s worth it.
1 John 2:15-17 says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and it’s desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”
1 John also goes on and says (and I love this one), “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.” 1 John 4:4-6. I choose to be not of this world. My life will benefit from this decision. If you think I’m weird, good. At least I can still hang on to that.