True Colors…..


Show me a smile then Don’t be unhappy, can’t remember
When I last saw you laughing  If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there……Cyndi…

When it comes down to it, who are you really? I can’t remember the last time I cried, or had a real belly laugh.  Yesterday I saw someone’s true colors, they put there own needs in front of someone else’s needs. I was kind of shocked and the more i thought about the more i realized what kind of society we live in. This person truly needs some equipment that will make their quality of life much easier. It would cost the other person a little of their time, but it was too much to pay.

 Do to others as you would have them do to you.  Luke 6

I always thought that the Christian life was to serve and help others,. maybe some didn’t get that memo, or feel that applies to them. I try but sometimes it seems like it is not good enough. there’s that phrase again, you’re not good enough……

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,,,,,,Philippians 2:3

I work in customer service and some days the life is sucked right out of you and at times i feel that is hard to get filled back up. My tank is getting empty and I lay awake thinking about life and why did this happen and why did that happen and where were you God when it was happening. Meanwhile in my other ear the devil is whispering, nobody cares, you are no good, what you do doesn’t matter, you are doing this wrong, or you are doing that wrong. It can be a constant bombardment of fault finding. And I have had enough,

So if you want to encourage then encourage, don’t beat around the bush and bring your bullshit around here. As i look back on my life it is no wonder that i am a mess in my head and in my heart.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace…Ephesians 1:7

Thank God that Jesus came along, He didn’t say get your crap together and follow me. He just said come as you are, we will work it out as we go.

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It’s coming…….soon I hope


What would you do if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me,,,,,

It’s funny how in a moment you can feel depressed and alone in the world. That old poopy feeling creeps up on you and asks if you if you missed me.  I wonder if something is wrong with me, why is this happening now, and will i sleep tonight. I am sure most of the time it’s my own fault, i blame myself, think of all the things I am doing wrong and give myself a good left hook and hopefully i can pick myself up off the mat before the referee counts to ten. I can beat myself up pretty good and i know all my weaknesses. Feeling sorrow for myself, poor old me. i wonder if tomorrow will be a better day.  Maybe it’s just my introvertedness creeping in and i feel like being alone and running away from everybody and everything. Shutting out the world and sitting in the corner and pouting.

So lately the anxiety attacks have been happening more and more. I was in a store the other day and it was feeling it come on. There were only four or five others in the same aisle but for some reason it was overwhelming to me. This has been happening way to much. I have to hibernate when i get home. I can understand why Gideon was hiding out in a wine press and said that he was the least of his tribe. Or why Elijah hid away in a cave. There was no other person around. There’s a reason why they made self checkouts, to avoid people. In no way am i saying that there was something wrong with these two guys. They are just a couple of guys that I admire quite a bit. I don’t know what to do but hide away and recharged.  Sometimes it feels like it takes days or months or years.

Winter time is tough after the big crash. The aches and pains seem to be heightened when it is cold. I might have to move to Florida where it is warm all the time. Today I got to take the fuzzball for a walk, first time in weeks. Put on a little music, bundle up a little and start walking. It is refreshing to me to block out the world and and soak in the outdoors and walk. I must have worn out the puppy, he’s already in bed.

Well I will get over it, maybe I forgot to pray this morning.  I have been hoping to hear from God, maybe something. I haven’t heard a thing and I am kinda disappointed. Yes I am lacking some patience right now.  Spring is right around the corner and brighter days ahead.

just thinking……


“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are.
Set the world right; Do what’s best—as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge!  You can do anything you want!  You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.” Matthew 6 9-13…The Message I love how this is put….

I pray and pray. I still have aches and pains, I still have struggles and I am asking God for a word and direction and I feel like things are falling on deaf ears. I pray every morning to get through the day and I feel like every crabby person comes my way, or calls. I don’t dare quit praying because i feel it could be much worse.

Maybe my prayers make a difference, maybe there are things that a person is protected from. I have yet to see an angel yet. I often wonder when people find gold dust in their bible, or diamonds after a prayer meeting.  I have prayed for to see these things. Maybe my prayers aren’t good enough, or deep enough. I know that God is not some magician, and things just appear. Abracadabra. I am just happy to make it through the day and get a good night sleep. Happy enough to have a roof over my head and some food in the cupboard. There are still things I would like to be sure of. I would just like to have a prophecy that i can be a hundred percent sure of. Maybe I don’t need one, but i would love one. I have asked God for years, i have gotten some things here and there, but nothing that i have ever felt was concrete.

Haven’t you wondered why things did not go the way you prayed, even some times the complete opposite. What if God had something else in mind, or His grace was just sufficient. I am still surprised when i do pray a little prayer and it is answered. There is no formula, no program. God is God and I am not.

 

It happened again….uffda


Have you ever started something, with good intentions and wonder, how in the world did it get to be a mess. We have a drawer like that.  A drawer where every mix matched piece of Tupperware with lids would go. Every size and shape. i Would be cussing under my breath every time i went in there to find a container and matching lid. It was maddening and would drive me crazy. So we developed a plan to overcome this madness and  went and bought a matching bowls and lids. We went down to the store and proceeded to browse the massive selection of matching plastic ware. There were different shape, sizes and colors, who knew that it could be so complicated. It literally took us a good half hour to decide on the perfect pieces. The picture on the box made it look so easy. I thought my life was going to be in total bliss. We thought we had something that  would save us from the drawer from hell, as we called it.

We then proceeded to start tossing our old ones away. We were grinning from ear to ear. Life was going to get so much better with these new containers, how could we go wrong. Then the dilemma started. I had to save this one for dog food, and that one for red stuff, because every good kitchen person knows that red stuff will stain. We narrowed it down to a precious few and with gladness threw the rest away.  Well I then realized I needed a certain one for my lunch pail. Secretly with out my Mrs. knowing, i snuck out to the garbage can and pulled that old favorite out. washed it up and stuck it into the drawer. As time went on the old containers seemed to migrate back. We were still using a couple in the fridge, my son brought back a stack about three foot tall from bringing leftovers home and the next thing you know, I am digging in the drawer this morning to find something that matches. I thought I had this problem solved and here it is back again tormenting my life.

Do we really master anything. It seems like our old ways keeping coming back to try and haunt me. Just when you thought you were over something or gave it to God, it comes back, twice as hard. One of my favorite Bible stories is when the enemy tries to tempt Jesus with all kinds of stuff in Luke 4. In the end the enemy knows he cant win, in verse 13 it says, “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.” The cluttered drawer reminded me of that this morning. If you let your guard down of think you have arrived, the enemy will come in there and try and trip you up. I knew the drawer was getting cluttered and over time i just let it go and it came back to torment me. How easy it is to relax and think everything is fine and the next thing you know you are standing there thing, how the hell did that happen, i thought i took care of that.  I am just using the cluttered drawer as a picture. Sure I could quote verses all day about staying on guard and how the enemy is ready to pounce. What would be the point, you know all that. I just want to encourage you to keep up the fight. To stand tall and don’t let that cluttered drawer get to you. It can be fixed and things will turn around. Hang in there, God is for you, not against you. The weeds are not mixed in with the wheat yet.

Got Oil?


Ah yes, the joys of living in Minnesota. A place where the mosquitoes are big enough to ride in the summer , if you can tolerate the seventy  percent humidity . To the 40 below zero temperatures in January and that is without the windchill factored in. Where we are bundled up like Eskimos and the furnace never shuts off. We grill year round and say uffda a lot. I have lived here most of my life and don’t think I want to live anywhere else. Sure we have a football team that gets just this close to going to the big bowl game, but there is so much more that out weighs that. I can watch the seasons change in their glory and beauty.  Spring is my favorite, new growth, there is something fresh and new in the air. The picture above is one of my favorite things about winter, besides hibernating like an introverted bear. The beauty of a heavy snow fall, the millions of flakes that fall and accumulate on everything. A coating or white that is pure and glorious to watch fall, almost mesmerizing to me, with a cup of coffee, i could watch it fall for hours.

To live in these Minnesota winters there is somethings that everyone should own. A good set of jumper cables, because when it is sub zero outside and your car don’t start, hopefully your neighbors will. That is how we become so Minnesota nice. Also you don’t want to get stranded at the local smorgasbord, or Local Legion fish fry. There is nothing worse than that low grinding trying to start sound followed by the click click click of a dead battery. The next thing most of us in the great white north own is a snow shovel is some sort. It is something that they have tried to improve on since the real vikings lived here a thousand years ago. Whatever they try do do, it is back breaking labor. The older and wiser ones, such as myself, own a snowblower. A twenty-six inch wide self propelled snow thrower. It can shoot a frozen dog turd into the neighbors yard without anyone know until next spring. It can really shoot the snow. I am very thankful to have it. It starts on the second pull every time. I think my Mrs paid for it with coupon money.  It has been a blessing ever since and I kind of enjoy using it, and it has saved my back much wear and tear, and pain.

So the other day we were blessed with a could twelve inch snow fall.  The weathermen around here have cried wolf so many times, we don’t know what to believe. This time they were pretty close, we heard them talking about snow-mageddon for about a week. The shelves at the local grocers should have been completely out of bread and milk. That kind of snowstorm coming. It came, and to me it was glorious, I loved it, a chance to drive in it play in it, a chance to enjoy it, until I got home. I had a three foot burme at the end of the driveway. It was that wet heavy, sticky snow. The mound was taller than my car. Thankfully my brother came by with the plow truck and pushed the snow away. I was re leaved and grateful. Then my neighbor, who watched it snow all day came and asked me to borrow my shovel. He said that he could not find his. My wife works down at the local hardware store, she is almost like Mrs. Fixit, and we have these nice shovels that are made for pushing snow. Not so much for scooping, after all, I have this nice snowblower, why would I scoop that heavy white stuff. So I tease him a little and let him borrow it. I watch him struggle, after all, there is about ten inches of that white stuff on the ground by now. It will take him a month of Sundays to get that massive mound that the city snow plow pushed up off the street at then end of his driveway with that shovel. So i planned to go and clean it out after I have finished my own drive.

In the mix of snow blowing God reminded me of these verses in Matthew 25.

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.  Five of them were foolish and five were wise.  The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.  The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.  The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves. “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.”

It is all about being prepared in and out of season. Just like being prepared for when the snow is coming, and knowing where your shovels are, to being ready for when the bridegroom reappears. At least with the snow we had warning and with the bridegroom, we have warning also. Where is your heart, is there enough in you to make it until the end? Do you know Him, or are you sure that He knows you. Can you make it until the end, you never know when it might be too late. There is still time as long as it is called today. Nobody is sure what tomorrow brings, do you know where your shovel is? I asked Papa to let us have a really good snow. I didn’t know He would talk to me about being prepared. We all hear talk about the world going to hell in a hand basket. Read Matthew 24.

 

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I’ve always been mad, I know I’ve been mad, Like the most of us, very hard to explain why you’re mad, Even if you’re not mad…


And the men who hold high places,,,Must be the ones who start….To mold a new reality…..Closer to the heart …RUSH

Who are are leaders now days? Who is willing to stand up and fight, to say enough is enough? Who has a fight still in them? It is time to stand up and say it. God isn’t going to fight all your battles. The battle field is horrific, there is till evil out there. Who is going to get up and say, “I am as mad as hell and i’m not going to take it anymore.”

 

What are willing to take on? God has equipped you with what you need. He is looking for those who are willing to stand up for injustices. Pick something and pray. There are a million different things to take on, from abortion to whatever. It is time to be down going to a church as a feel good club. Get a few pats on the back, a couple of hugs and go back to your nine to five grind and watch the world go by. You cannot keep fighting a negative with more negativity. That is not what being in Christ is. Not some social club that meets on Sunday and getting some message about what’s wrong with you. I have yet to see a church that is not just a bunch of meetings. You cannot just pretend to be a Christian anymore, the day is coming where you may have to fight for what is right. In fact it is probably here now. Politics is not going to save you, the TV Evangelist is not going to save you. Some self proclaimed prophet is not going to save you. Your horoscope is not going to help and old wives tails are not going to make a difference. There is only one, and His name is Jesus. What side are you going to be on.

The church in the western world does not get it yet. There is still slavery, greed, crime, debt, disease, famine, sickness, selfishness,bickering whining, complaining, back stabbing and so on going on. Pick one and start praying. Change begins with you. You have to choose, it is okay to be made as hell, if that motivates you. You can win and you will win. God has the resources you need for victory. All you have to do is show up. People need what you have to offer. The world out there is dying and you can make a difference. You can see all these enemies as grasshoppers. You don not have to have your act together, you do not have to go to seminary, you don’t have to be some bible scholar, you just have to willing. No weapon formed against you shall prosper, no curse has any power over you. Nothing can separate you from God, and when God said nothing, he meant Nothing. You are already equipped and you have in you what you need. If you believe in Him, you have won. We are the Champions my friend…we’ll keep fighting until the end.

In the end, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is LORD.

Howdy……


“The Lord knows all human plans; he knows that they are futile.”…..Psalm 94:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”….Jeremiah 29:11

Plans, who doesn’t have them.

I used to deliver oxygen to a young lady who had cancer. She was not much older than I am. Very polite and caring.  She was at a high liter flow and her cancer was complicated. She wanted everything available to her and she would go through a lot of tanks. After the second week she called in an order and wanted thirty E tanks. She must have thought that she was going to do a lot. The day I delivered them she was in the hospital, so I got to know her spouse a little and chat with him. The next week I was back, to pick up everything that i delivered the week before, because she had passed away.  He told me that she had plans and thought that she would need all this extra oxygen in order to full fill those plans. That fell through. He kept saying over and over that she had plans. I can still hear him say that to this day. She had plans. Where was her hope and future? I think about death a lot.

I often question God why life is the way it is. I never really get an answer. Why this or why that. Some days it is who am i? Do we ever get an answer to why? I might not like the answer. Yet still,  I would like to get everything that God is offering to me. Every promise, word, prophecy, and every bit of love that is being poured out my way. And the knowledge to know what I am getting. I probably miss it more than I receive.  I hope I am walking toward the fulfillment of the plans that God has for me. There just seems to be a lot of potholes in that road, and I am the guy that would drive right into them. There was a teaching i listened to the other day. He said that we don’t have the right to be wounded, but the right to be healed. What if you feel like you live in a perpetual state of self inflicted woundedness? You keep picking that scab and bleeding because you feel like it is the only way you know. It is a part of your comfort zone. You go through life bumbling and stumbling looking for any nugget that will help ease the pain. You try, i mean really try, but in the end it is obvious that you are destined to have it the hard way.

There is no comfort in anything else but God, and there is no security in what He is doing. You just have to trust him and believe that He has a plan.  You can take Him at His word and know He is going to see it through. He is not human, and He won’t let you down. He will always provide. What He starts, He will bring to an end. He will never stop loving you, or pursuing you. He will not leave you hanging.  There is fullness in Him. All I can do is trust Him. Where else can you or would you go? I think it is interesting in life, those you choose to let in, and those you you do not. The ones who understand and the ones who don’t.Those  who really takes the time to get to know others, are precious in this world. God knows all my quirks and problems and He still loves me. He is not obsessed with my sins, He dealt with that on the cross.

 

Can you fix it?


It has been one of those days. From fixing the faucet on the sink downstairs, to re-insulating the floor in our back room, to rearranging the contents of our cupboards and pantry. I will be confused when looking for something again. Old habits will be hard to break.  It is never just an easy project. The results are worth it though. Change does not come without some sort of cost. We live in a world full of things that need to be fixed. Probably starting with me.

I was listening to a teaching the other day. The speaker started off with talking about this world. How there is still slavery, famine, crime, rioting, isis, poverty, greed, earthquakes fires and what not still going on in this world. How it seems to be getting worse and worse. How people have no regard for others, how selfishness has run rampart. Respect for others has just gone out the window. He then proceeded to discuss who is going to stand up. Where are the warriors of today. Where are those who truly stand up for God. The Calebs, the Moses, the Joshuas, the ones who take God seriously. The bible believers. The ones who are able to discuss the deep stuff in the bible. Not some feel good theology. Are our churches to a feel good comfort zone. Oh whoa is me, get me out of this trouble kind of place. As Christians are we getting soft.  How much longer are you willing to just sit there and take it. As long as you are feeling fine, nothing else matters. As long as you are not suffering and going through a tough time, you are fine. As long as it is not happening to me, better him than me.

Change starts with you, with me. There has to come a time where you pull yourself up by your boot straps and say stop. I am not to be messed with anymore.  I have realized this over the past few day. You cannot just let people walk all over you. They will continue to do it over and over. I am a child of God, and you will be my prey. There are giants in your life that can be defeated. There are walls that can come tumbling down. There is the promised land that can be taken. You just don’t have to sit there and take it anymore. You are more than just a number, a statistic, or a nobody. You are somebody, a warrior, a fighter, an over comer, a child of The Most High. What more do you need?  Do need me to come over and kick your fanny perpendicular? Rise up, you only have one life, don’t let someone ruin it. Take a chance, say a prayer, trust God. He is for you, and there is a whole cloud of witnesses cheering you on. It is not too late. I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore. If you say you are a follower of Christ, start being one. Look what Moses did, Gideon, Elijah, Paul and all the others. Don’t you dare say that you cannot do it. You are much more than you think you are, the enemy knows this and we have spent too many years believing his lies that we are not.

I was walking in the store today and my introvertedness kicked in. When a couple of people start looking at the same thing as me, or even the same aisle as me, panic has stated to overwhelm me. It feels like there are a hundred people there and i am being smothered. I can get crabby and my wife knows it. Why does this feeling come over me? who knows, but it is a battle that I have to fight. It is territory that I need to take back. Over the years i think I have been giving up a piece of myself to avoid conflict. After a while you see that you have given up so much of yourself, that you will roll over to anything. Well enough. The funny thing is that these people probably don’t even know the anxiety that i was going through. When did i become such a wuss. I did drama at our church, got up and acted in front of hundreds, did the first drama ever for a motorcycle ministry i belonged too. I even led a home group at my house for years. I felt I was the least equipped, but God was in it, so it really didn’t matter. God is within me and none of that anxiety should matter. The thought of losing ground should not be in a believers vocabulary, unless it is something you don’t really need.

So suck it up buttercup, don’t be so wishy washy and stand up like the winner that you are. God can equip you to fix anything. The choice is up to you,

Than to take what you give that I need….


frus·tra·tion…..

1. the feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of inability to change or achieve something.

2. an event or circumstance that causes one to have a feeling of frustration

3. the prevention of the progress, success, or fulfillment of something.

Synonyms:  exasperation, annoyance, anger, vexation, irritation

vex·a·tion: the state of being annoyed, frustrated, or worried.

Romans 8:20-21, “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope  that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.”

To say that I have been in a perpetual state of frustration would be putting it mildly.  Every time i turn around there has been chaos right into my face. I am not sure where to turn and who can you trust? Attacking my dreams with irregular codes or numeric combinations that do not seem to fit, to dealing with people with their irrelevant disregard for no one but themselves.  My God if you can not see what is going on, you could be a part of the problem. There is such a wicked prescience in the air, it almost chokes you out when you breathe. It’s like the walls are caving in and no one is even noticing. It has been eating at me,  gnawing at my insides and everything seems calm on the outside, but deep within me i am ready to snap. You wouldn’t like me when I am angry.  I am one crabby sarcastic person. and then some. We live in an age where we are over worked, tremendous amount of stress is crammed down our throats, and it seems to be normal to those who do the cramming. Then it brings out the ugly in people, they lie and cheat to get their way. They will crap on someone else and let them take the blame instead of owning up to their shortcomings. It truly is dog eat dog. I think at times, Lord take me home, I have had enough.

Yet I am still here. So I try to make the best of it.  What else can I do,  people aren’t going to change, unless they have to. It’s like look, Jesus is coming, I better be good, or change my theology. Oh false alarm, I’ll start loving some one tomorrow.  I don’t need to change, unless I have to.  I can’t change anyone but me. I know that I carry around some extra baggage. I have resentment and bitterness hiding somewhere in the closets of my heart. I have anger and hurt hiding in a closet across the hall. No one knows that I am hiding these things, or why.  I too can be like the rest of the world and hide, heck i can even hide them in plain sight. I can do pretty good, until something triggers those doors to  fly open and it will shut me down. I will look for ways to hide, just like a cockroach exposed to the light. The memories will explode into my brain and i will tell myself that i won’t let it happen again. But it will. I will be angry, bitter, and frustrated until i can beat it back into the closet.

In the book, The Shack, there is a part where Papa and Mack are discussing forgiveness. Papa tells Mack to forgive and give it to Him. Mack says that He doesn’t know if he can. Papa says you must, give that pain to me. As much as I myself try, I find myself over and over asking for God’s help. I find myself asking why am I this way, and why did that hurt me, and why didn’t I just feel like a much-loved child. I understand why i became rebellious and did the things that i did, it was an escape. Being in prison isn’t so bad, when you don’t want to deal with the rest of the world. Alcohol and drugs just numb the pain, until you forget, and the you wake up in the morning and it is sitting there grinning at you, asking you if your head hurts and let’s get going cause nothing has changed, you still have the same problems, it’s just a new day, and baby it’s cold outside.

I think that more over at times I am disappointed with myself. It is hard when things don’t go right, or I don’t handle criticism very well. I take things to personally and I am offended easily, but you wouldn’t know it. I find it is just better to keep things to yourself. So I have long conversations with God and myself. I think He just gives me strength to endure, at times nothing seems to get better in my head, but we wake up in the morning and try again. I am told that I am too hard on myself, to lighten up, I would if I knew how.  What does it even look like? I think of all these things I should do, or would like to do and I find myself frozen and wondering where to start. I thought life would be much different than this and I would be in a different place than I am, well to be honest i never knew where I was going in the first place, I just ran away and tried to hide.  I thought my walk with God would be much different than what it is now also. I would be on some perpetual high and life would be all peaches and cream, there would be no pumps in the road and it would be nothing but easy street. I am not complaing, but has been just the oppisite. It has been like I am the one hanging on to God, because if i let go, i would be falling and falling. I thought God would be hanging on to me. All those plaques with the Footstep quotes I thought was backwards at times. I was the one carrying Jesus when there was only one set of footprints. If you haven’t felt like God has locked you up in the closet and beat the crap out of you and then said follow me, you have a long ways to go.

It takes a lot of faith to continue to walk with God once the honeymoon is over. I know in the end that it will be worth it, if you are not going through the tough stuff, then how else will you know if you have faith and hope. You just can’t pop down to the local store and buy it off the shelf, you earn it and use it.

I have beat my head against so many walls, now I falling down on my knees….

 

 

I am my own worst enemy……


When I woke up this morning it was four degrees, and the temperature has been falling ever since.  Where it is  never too cold to snow as it is now.  Welcome to Minnesota.  The land where the terms “Uffda” and “You-betcha”, are common terminology.  Where coffee is served twenty four hours a day, and we are supposed to be Minnesota nice. It is Christmas morning at our humble abode, my wife is already taking a nap, our second pot of coffee has finished brewing and the furnace seems to be running non stop. I am wrapped in my blanket and we are all cozy. The dog is laying in his favorite spot, barking at what ever creature is stirring outside. My  guess is some squirrel has decided to brave the cold and venture out for an early morning Christmas snack.  My puppy is probably secretly proud that he has saved us from another squirrel invasion. The newsman has spoken his same old dribble as he has every year, “How to prepare yourself for the new you, in the upcoming New Year.”  I didn’t know I had to prepare myself. Is that like fasten your seat belt and hang on? It did make me think about who I am, and where am I going and how I see the world.

I have this problem that I tend to analyze everything and every situation. I can play a hundred different outcomes in my head, and none of them will be right. I can over think each and every problem that appears in my mind and pretty much drive myself crazy. At times people probably think I am. I wonder if I am? Do others think like I do? Do others have fears and insecurities? Do others feel alone? Or hate being forced into uncomfortable situations? Do others feel the way I do? Do they really care about the feelings of others? I can’t stop thinking and analyzing, is there something wrong with me. Why am i wired like this and is it okay?  I am afraid to open myself up, because there is always some one waiting to critique you. Telling you how to do life, but yet not living by their own words. “Do as I say not as I do”, “rules are meant for you, not for me”.  So then you shrink back even more and you wonder, “Who can you trust?”.  Why should I through myself out there, only to get myself trampled upon.  So you withdrawal, retreat into the recesses of your heart and mind, and vow to never let that happen again. I am not putting myself out there you declare, but yet you do, and history repeats itself, and you are surprised when it happens again. You just want to trust somebody. Then you see that you can’t trust anyone. You think that everyone lies and everyone has selfish ambition. So you dig that hole even deeper, shut more doors and wonder if you can take another disappointment again. Can this old heart take another beating? Do I need to build another wall?

So you hang on to the one thread you have left. You battle moment by moment to hang onto what you think is left of your sanity.  You cry out to the Lord. At times I wonder if I can trust Him? He always has a round about way of getting the job done. To me it will seem like it is getting worse than it is getting better. Lord, the water is up to my chin now, shouldn’t you be helping me to swim? Can’t you see I am almost drowning? He just sits there grinning, and points out that the water is only up to my ankles and you are fine. You are blowing it all out of proportion, again. You are very good about making mountains out of mole hills, He says to me. I know He is right. He laughs and say that He knows that I will always do that, but each time you are learning to trust Me more. When I called you, I knew what kind of mess you would be, I didn’t expect you to get it right, right away. You are growing in trust. Who you are in your heart of hearts, that is what I am after.

Who am I, I ask myself quite often. Am I that man of God that I want to be? Am i true to who God is making me into? Is it too much to expect fairness and justice in this world? To think that hard work does pay off? That morals are still respected? That i can take people at their word and they will always be true to that? When people say they are Christians,  are they saying that they are as messed up as I am, and still need to a savior? I wouldn’t even know what it is like to have arrived. I have a hard time accepting the fact something good will happen to me without something bad waiting around the corner ready to pounce.  Can i really be friends with someone without me analyzing their actions and looking for a reason to push them away. I am afraid that i will never be that good of a friend, at times i cannot even like myself. So it is easier to just push away and find a reason to not be friends. My God, what the heck is wrong with me, and why do I have to be like this. Can I really trust anyone, the ones I thought i could trust went and ruined that for me. Does one dare to test the waters again? Funny my wife can even tolerate me. I know what kind of ass I can be. Do we really respect how others feel anymore?

Last night I had this dream, and in the dream i was at church. My work and my church were the same thing. There was many different levels, and on each level there were different people. I found myself on each level, helping different people in different ways. Some needed spiritual help and others needed physical help. Some needed to be taught how to do a certain task, or how to build something, and there were others who needed an emotional pick up. I was remarkable able to help them all, at the end i remember i was going to leave, but i was very exhausted, there was someone there whose face i could not see that helped me along the way.  I never gave up trying to help.

Deep down I just want to help, i see things the way others do not. I seek the Lord for help constantly, i know that i cannot do it on my own. I wonder if He gets tired of my pleas? I am sure he is happy to help. I just want to be loved for who I am, not what I am, or what I was. I do not know what tomorrow brings, but I hope love is waiting for me when i get there, that is what a good day looks like. My path is the one that can barely be seen, but i know it’s there…..SKOL…..