Sometimes i forget….

So I’m sitting here having a conversation and I say,” you know some days I am tired and cold”

He says,”yes I know, go on”

“some days I am lonely and afraid”, I say

“keep going”  He says

I say, “I worry too much and fear the future, Will i be sick or stay healthy, will there be enough in the well, what’s going to become of my, how much longer can i keep doing this before i burn out, what kind of plans and future do I really have?”

He just smiles and let’s out a little belly laugh and says,”is that all, you are sure full of a lot of questions”,His smile gets a little brighter, if that’s possible, and says,”haven’t i always been there?”

“well yes” i say,

“haven’t I always seen you through every thing” He says

“well I guess so” I say looking down

“Haven’t you grown in wisdom and understanding?” He says with a grin.

“Haven’t you learned what love is, and how much I do have your best interest in mind, Even when you didn’t know me, I was still there. I have always had my eye on you. You are very special to Me. I was there every time you felt like you were in a pit. When you got into a terrible mess, when you felt like you were losing hope.” He said in a glorified nature.

It was then that i realized that every step along the way, no matter how terrible and ugly it looked, was there to help me grow, to see Him as more than just a Savior, to see Him as my Friend, my comforter and my guide. I knew that He knew every step of my life, yet He chose me, to love me.

“I am sorry if I have ever disappointed you and let you down,” I said.

“you have never been a disappointment to me, or a failure, you have always brought me great joy, in fact I expected you to fail, How else would it draw us close”. He said.

“you expected me to fail?” I inquired

“sure I did, If you succeeded all the time, you would think that you did it with your own power, and you would have no need for Me, your head would swell up so much that it wouldn’t fit through the door.” He said

“I am thankful for all the times you helped me, I have always thought that me life was just a mess, that no one would want me or care. I am most thankful that you are teaching me how to love.” I said.

“I am honored to call you my child, to have you apart of the kingdom family, I have great plans for you, you are fine young man, and together, we are going places”, He beamed

I could feel the love and confidence starting to swell, not in a prideful way, but in a peaceful way. I knew that there would be more battles ahead, more trials ahead, and surely more falling on my face. I knew that there would be more prayers and worship times in my future. I knew that there were miracles in my future and my hearing and reaction times would be quicker.

As He was hugging me, I could hear Him whisper in my ear,” I love you very much, and you are doing a fine job, I am always here”

As I hugged Him back, I said, ”I love you to Papa, and I now know that’s the truth”…..

What a fool believes…..

Mott the Hoople and the game of Life yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Andy Kaufman in the wrestling match yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Monopoly, Twenty one, checkers, and chess yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Mister Fred Blassie in a breakfast mess yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Let’s play Twister, let’s play Risk yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
I’ll see you in heaven if you make the list yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Now, Andy did you hear about this one?
Tell me, are you locked in the punch?
Andy are you goofing on Elvis? Hey, baby
Are we losing touch?

If you believed they put a man on the moon
Man on the moon
If you believe there’s nothing up his sleeve
Then nothing is cool…….. REM

What do you believe? Did they put a man on the moon? Is Elvis dead? Is JFK Jr. dead? Are they out to get us? Are conspiracy theories real? Does God exist? Is the satan out to get us? Will we all make it to heaven? Can you earn your way in? Can you sell your soul? Can you lose your salvation? Are we really doing things the way God intended, or are we being fooled into thinking that we are doing the right thing? How big is God’s grace? Do goodness and kindness really overcome evil? Is the Bible real? does the Pope matter? what religion is the best? will we be raptured? is their a tribulation? does purgatory exist? why is there still evil in this world? Does the Old Testament still matter? Questions questions questions. i feel like i am always looking for answers? Why is my favorite question. I just want to know why.

We are living in a strange time when people will fall for anything without question, except God. That God thing seems to weird for some people. They don’t know how to act when you tell them that you are praying for them. I believe prayer works, and when it seems like it doesn’t, i keep on praying. I know that God hears. Why do we say God, His name is YHWH. Jesus is His son. The Holy Spirit is your helper, your guide, you comforter. They are not tools you keep in the shed until you need them. They are very real and personal. They care about you and are interested in what goes on in you and in your life. You matter to them and they should also matter to you. A fool says there is no God. Are you willing to take that risk? You are called for a purpose, God knew you before you were born. What about those who don’t believe? It could be that there will actually be some people who will be roasting hot dogs for eternity. in Matthew 7:20 it says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” I wonder what God’s will is? Love God, and love others? Well if i was my own judge, i would have to say that I am terrible at that. I am always concerned about doing the right thing, yet i don’t feel like i will make the cut. I tend to look at my sin, more than my righteousness. There is such a thing as the fear of the Lord. I believe that He is mighty and just, He is fair and compassionate, forgiving and loving. But He is Lord, where every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that fact.

There are many other verses I could quote, but what matters most to me is what is in your heart. Do you really believe? there are so many things thrown at us, what do you believe? was the election stolen? what is the purpose behind the jab? to steal an election, or wipe us off the face of the earth? Are the good guys really winning? Is this all just a movie that has to play out so others will wake up? will they ever wake up? Will people ever recognize that we are being easily fooled by lies and deception that are being bombarded through all the media? As long as i can have my five dollar coffee and watch my favorite show when i get home from my job, i don’t care what goes on. Why do people worry more about what you are doing, instead of looking at their own life and question their own integrity. There are sure a lot of people who try and fool the masses. Uffda, do see why it is important to question things? Look at all these mega-church leaders, they seem to be falling left and right. the enemy will fool and use people and then discard them like yesterday’s garbage. he doesn’t care. Some days I just want a glimmer of hope, a kind word, or some encouragement. Instead everyone seems to be chasing some other dream, i don’t get it. If we only just believed God.

Well some of us believe God. I believe in Him, I know He is real. Things that happened in the Old Testament still happen today, they are just covered up. You aren’t going to see it on television. I am not sure if we were on the moon or not, if Elvis died, or what conspiracies’ are real. Just because they showed you something on the television doesn’t mean anything. They will try to manipulate your mind and your way of thinking to sway you into their narrative. There are a lot of things that people tell you are true, but they might not be. I need proof. You may ask me about proof that God is real, look around, how else can you explain all this. There is no way that one day we were fish and decided to go for a stroll on dry land, or we evolved from monkeys. There is too much that they are trying to cover up. Hide things about God from you. Take out books from the bible. What if giants really walked this land at one time. What if angels are real. What if the whole bible is absolute truth. Where do you stand? What if the way the modern church is, is not the way God intended it too be? What if your 10% tithe is just going to pay for some building and some person’s wage? Is that what God intended? Are you really free when someone tries to cram their idealology down your throat? It seems like a cop out when you let someone else do your thinking for you and dictate the way you should live your life. that is not freedom. Jesus came to set us free. if fear controls you, i would question it. does it help you to push your fear upon me to justify your own fear?

You would have to have a pretty good argument to convince me that God isn’t real. I have come to far and pursued Him for too many years to know that He is real. There is nothing else in this world that compares to knowing Him. This is why I am here, to be with Him, to know Him, and to Love Him. sure at times i have doubts and worries, but I also Have God. where do those who don’t know him go when they have troubles or problems? Who comforts them? we are all capable of love, but not everyone practices it. There is only one way into Heaven, and that is through Jesus Christ our Lord. not your checkbook, your church, your pastor, your president, your job, your deeds. you cannot earn your way in, it is a gift, and gifts are not taken back. You have to work out your own salvation. It’s not easy walking with God. You have to do your part. Sure there are bumps in the road, and things don’t go the way you planned, but there seems to be a better outcome than what i could have ever thought of anyway. evil is always out there and ready to take you out or trip you up. Are we in the last of days? I wonder, i think about it a lot. there are still things that need to happen. maybe we are in the birthing pains right now. All i know is that i am going to trust God. You cannot lose with God. if this is the last of days, where else would you want to be?

Buckle up……

We could always be ten minutes away from something happening in our life. An accident, a life changing event, or something great to happen. Who knows what is right around the corner. Well for some of us, we know that God knows. It is always important to stay in touch with the main office. Do you know where you stand, or what lies ahead? Is heaven in your future? It doesn’t matter what is behind, ask God to forgive you and move forward. Don’t carry that stuff around with you. It doesn’t belong to you anyway. It is Jesus’s stuff. He died on the cross so that you may be set free. Don’t keep trying to take it back. It belongs to Jesus. All your mistakes, doubts, fears, troubles and worries were defeated on the cross. When Jesus said, “It is finished”, i am pretty sure He meant everything is finished. So then what lies ahead? Our futures so bright we are going to have to wear shades.

I like the way Jesus puts it in Matthew 24;

Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?” Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come. “The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about—the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing in the Holy Place.” (Reader, pay attention!) “Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat. How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. And pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones. “Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. See, I have warned you about this ahead of time. “So if someone tells you, ‘Look, the Messiah is out in the desert,’ don’t bother to go and look. Or, ‘Look, he is hiding here,’ don’t believe it! For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes. Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near. “Immediately after the anguish of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven. “Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation[j] will not pass from the scene until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear. “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. 39 People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. “Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left. “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected. “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. But what if the servant is evil and thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. NLT

I know there is a lot of text there to read, but Jesus can explain it so much better than I can. The whole bible is full of prophecies about what is to come. I am no expert on any of it, yet I find it fascinating. God has had this whole plan since the beginning, when He created everything. Yet we go on through life without even giving it a thought. We worry about what we eat, how we look, what we will do tomorrow and the next thing you know, God is showing up and calling us home. Sure there are plenty of signs that warn us of His coming. If you don’t know them, how will you recognize it. It won’t be on the news. There won’t be some alarm sounding, you won’t read it on a billboard, and you won’t see it on social media.

Then there is this in 2 Thessalonians 2;

Now, dear brothers and sisters, let us clarify some things about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we will be gathered to meet him. Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Don’t believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us. Don’t be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed—the one who brings destruction. He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God. Don’t you remember that I told you about all this when I was with you? And you know what is holding him back, for he can be revealed only when his time comes. For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way. Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming. This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth. NLT

The way the world is going now, you may think we are close. Maybe in the birthing stages. Is the antichrist here? Who knows, there are many who are a far better expert at this than I am. We are now calling evil good, and good evil. Society has sure become more lawless than ever and more turned off to God than ever. The enemy has been out to destroy us since God created Adam and all the angels adored God’s creation. He hates us with a passion that you couldn’t imagine. He tries to rob, kill and destroy at every opportunity. He will use anyone that will listen. You don’t have to fall for his schemes, we have Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit. If you need wisdom, all you have to do is ask. Repent, confess your sins and ask for forgiveness and ask Jesus into your life. It’s not too late, there is nothing separating you from Him, there is nothing that God’s grace does not cover. You don’t want to wait until the last minute, because no one knows when that will be. There is no shame in Christ Jesus. There will be a day when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. Wouldn’t you want to be sure where you are going? As for me, I am not taking any chances, i am all in when it comes to God. I am not perfect, but that is why I still need Jesus everyday. Knock and keep on knocking, ask and keep on asking, for God is faithful and just and will bring through all things. According to a Newsboy’s song, “They don’t serve breakfast in hell”. So get ready, what interesting times we live in. I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow brings.

You Mighty Man of God…..

All the leaves are green
All my friends are gone
I’m livin’ in my hometown
I can barely get along
I feel sorry for myself
That’s an easy thing to do
I feel sorry for the world
I feel sorry for you
Yes I am a pitiful sight
I can’t even get one thing right,,,,

I know just what it’s like
To be ridin’ in the rumbleseat…. J Mellencamp

Discouragement seems to be trying to rear it’s ugly head these days. Being introverted sometimes you latch on to songs and it sticks in your head. Know matter how hard you try, you just cannot shake it out of there. Even if you haven’t listened to the song for quite a while. I am not sure if that is a blessing or not. I am just waiting for God to answer my prayers. People say that God is never early, but seldom late. I am not sure if that is true or not. I think some one made it up to make themselves feel better. Meanwhile in the waiting you wonder if there is something wrong with you. What did I miss or what did I do wrong? I think we are all trying to find our way in this world, hoping for some good to come from somewhere. Some hope, some encouragement, some friendship, some love, and possible some direction from God. Maybe I am looking in the wrong direction when it comes, or I am distracted when God is trying to get my attention. At times I feel like I am so unsure of what to do, it can drive myself into a tizzy. Then when I think I hear from God, I need double or triple confirmation and three signs and I still wonder if it is me or God.

One day the angel of God came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, whose son Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress, out of sight of the Midianites. The angel of God appeared to him and said, “God is with you, O mighty warrior!” Gideon replied, “With me, my master? If God is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all the miracle-wonders our parents and grandparents told us about, telling us, ‘Didn’t God deliver us from Egypt?’ The fact is, God has nothing to do with us—he has turned us over to Midian.” But God faced him directly: “Go in this strength that is yours. Save Israel from Midian. Haven’t I just sent you?” Gideon said to him, “Me, my master? How and with what could I ever save Israel? Look at me. My clan’s the weakest in Manasseh and I’m the runt of the litter.” God said to him, “I’ll be with you. Believe me, you’ll defeat Midian as one man.” Judges 6 Message.

Here we have Gideon hiding out and God appears to him and tells him who exactly is, “O Mighty Warrior”, yet Gideon doesn’t get it and comes up with all these excuses why he is not. I feel that way at times, “who am I”, “I can’t do this”, “why does nothing go right for me”, and so on? I tend to beat myself up and take myself out of the picture. I can think of more reasons not to be who God called me to be, rather than who I truly am in God.

Gideon said to God, “If this is right, if you are using me to save Israel as you’ve said, then look: I’m placing a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If dew is on the fleece only, but the floor is dry, then I know that you will use me to save Israel, as you said.” That’s what happened. When he got up early the next morning, he wrung out the fleece—enough dew to fill a bowl with water! Then Gideon said to God, “Don’t be impatient with me, but let me say one more thing. I want to try another time with the fleece. But this time let the fleece stay dry, while the dew drenches the ground.” God made it happen that very night. Only the fleece was dry while the ground was wet with dew. Judges 6 The Message.

Gideon still needs confirmation from God. I can’t even remember how many times I have prayed for God’s help and guidance and it has never gone the way I thought it should. Maybe that’s the problem, thinking that I know what’s best for me and my situation. Maybe God has been taking care of it all this time. Maybe I am doing better than I think. Again, the enemy tries to come in and trip you up.

Gideon got up early the next morning, all his troops right there with him. They set up camp at Harod’s Spring. The camp of Midian was in the plain, north of them near the Hill of Moreh. God said to Gideon, “You have too large an army with you. I can’t turn Midian over to them like this—they’ll take all the credit, saying, ‘I did it all myself,’ and forget about me. Make a public announcement: ‘Anyone afraid, anyone who has any qualms at all, may leave Mount Gilead now and go home.’” Twenty-two companies headed for home. Ten companies were left. God said to Gideon: “There are still too many. Take them down to the stream and I’ll make a final cut. When I say, ‘This one goes with you,’ he’ll go. When I say, ‘This one doesn’t go,’ he won’t go.” So Gideon took the troops down to the stream. God said to Gideon: “Everyone who laps with his tongue, the way a dog laps, set on one side. And everyone who kneels to drink, drinking with his face to the water, set to the other side.” Three hundred lapped with their tongues from their cupped hands. All the rest knelt to drink. God said to Gideon: “I’ll use the three hundred men who lapped at the stream to save you and give Midian into your hands. All the rest may go home.” After Gideon took all their provisions and trumpets, he sent all the Israelites home. He took up his position with the three hundred. The camp of Midian stretched out below him in the valley. Judges 7 The Message.

I wonder how Gideon felt after God reduced his army. At the beginning God gave Gideon an outcome, “You will defeat the army of Midian as one”. God gave Gideon a destination, but the road to get there was more than what Gideon thought. I feel that way at times, that it is never going to be easy, or this looks impossible. How will I even get there. I often have plan b and c in reserve just in case plan a doesn’t work. At times God can give me a word, or a direction and I have a hard time trusting Him. I look at my circumstances and my own abilities instead of just having simple faith and trust.

That night, God told Gideon: “Get up and go down to the camp. I’ve given it to you. If you have any doubts about going down, go down with Purah your armor bearer; when you hear what they’re saying, you’ll be bold and confident.” He and his armor bearer Purah went down near the place where sentries were posted. Midian and Amalek, all the easterners, were spread out on the plain like a swarm of locusts. And their camels! Past counting, like grains of sand on the seashore! Gideon arrived just in time to hear a man tell his friend a dream. He said, “I had this dream: A loaf of barley bread tumbled into the Midianite camp. It came to the tent and hit it so hard it collapsed. The tent fell!” His friend said, “This has to be the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite! God has turned Midian—the whole camp!—over to him.” When Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he dropped to his knees before God in prayer. Then he went back to the Israelite camp and said, “Get up and get going! God has just given us the Midianite army!” Judges 7 The Message

That is interesting that Gideon had to go into the camp of the enemy to get a word from The Lord. How did Gideon end up at the one tent where some guy had a dream? Gideon worshipped God right there in the middle of the enemies camp. At times I feel like that is where we are at in this world. Right there in the middle of the enemies camp. Satan is the ruler of this world. He is our enemy, so i guess we are in the middle of the enemies camp. Jesus has already defeated this enemy, but we still must take time to listen and to trust.

He divided the three hundred men into three companies. He gave each man a trumpet and an empty jar, with a torch in the jar. He said, “Watch me and do what I do. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly what I do. When I and those with me blow the trumpets, you also, all around the camp, blow your trumpets and shout, ‘For God and for Gideon!’” Gideon and his hundred men got to the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after the sentries had been posted. They blew the trumpets, at the same time smashing the jars they carried. All three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars. They held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands, ready to blow, and shouted, “A sword for God and for Gideon!” They were stationed all around the camp, each man at his post. The whole Midianite camp jumped to its feet. They yelled and fled. When the three hundred blew the trumpets, God aimed each Midianite’s sword against his companion, all over the camp. They ran for their lives—to Beth Shittah, toward Zererah, to the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath. Israelites rallied from Naphtali, from Asher, and from all over Manasseh. They had Midian on the run. Judges 7 The Message

In other translations I have read that the enemy became so confused that they fought among themselves and defeated themselves. What a sight that must have been to watch. So remember that when it looks hopeless it is probably not. When you feel discouraged or feel like you are a nobody and nobody cares, that is not true. God has a plan and a purpose for everyone. He does not make junk. You are very important to God. You are His treasure. I wish I could tell you what God’s plan for you are, or who you are in Christ Jesus, but that is something you have to find out for yourself. Ask God and I know He will tell you. Listen for that quiet voice, you will hear it. You don’t even have to put a fleece. We all have a destination from God, How we get there is different for each one of us. Somedays are up and some are down. take time to listen and to worship and you will get there. The battle has already been won for you, you just need to show up. You can’t lose.

We won’t be fooled again….

When I was a youngster, there were all thess ads in comic books to buy sea monkeys, posters and patches. Decals that would stick to anything, and say anything. From don’t eat yellow snow to the devil made me do it. Of course i could never afford them, but it was always fun to read what they say. You could even buy x-ray glasses, or the muscles thing if some bully kicked sand in your face, I wonder if they worked? Now looking back, it was just away to take our money. Still there it was in every comic book that I read, always tempting. Now we as adults are tempted in other ways, look at this, buy that and you need one of these. If you turn on the television, it’s right there telling you some line of crap. There still is more temptation that seems to be ringing in your ear. A constant barrage of false hoods that try to affect the way you think and act. We all have things that tempt us. Then when we do fall for it there is that guilt and shame that follows. In reality, the devil can’t make you do anything. He will try and try. He knows your weak spots and he will attack. Let’s look at one of my favorite examples from the book of Matthew;

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[ by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Even Jesus was tempted by the devil. The devil is the ruler of this world. He had to ask God’s permission to come after Job, to sift Peter. He hates all of God’s creation. He will easily overcome those who will choose to listen. We cannot use the excuse that the devil made us do it. We have the power from God to resist the devil and he will flee. It is our choice to fall into temptation and follow through with it. We have a choice to whom we choose to listen to. The devil left Jesus after tempting him, only to come back at another time when he perceived Jesus to be weak. He thought he won when it came to nailing Jesus on the cross. Jesus died and went through hell and now has the keys to set the captives free. Jesus has overcome it all. When Jesus asked how we should pray, remember He said, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” We need to put on our armor daily. We are battling and evil that never gives up. One that has your total destruction in mind. If he can draw you away from God, he will try everything. You have a choice, and the answer is “NO”. I know what is like to have your mind invaded day after day. Do you ever wonder where that thought came from? Sometimes I think the enemy even attacks me in my dreams.

In one dream I had, a few years ago. I was in these dark woods hiding by a shack, I could hear voices coming from the shack. I realized that I was listening to the plans of the enemy. His battle plan. I listened as long as i could and then I ran away. We already know his plans, to rob, kill and destroy. That can come in many different forms. Attacking your work, marriage, friendships, finances and so on. He will drive wedges in your life and your mind. He will try to convince you that you are worthless and meaningless. There is nothing out of bounds from him. He is ruthless. Complaining, whining and bickering and fear are his worship language. We on the other hand have total victory in Jesus. We have the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We can’t lose. We are condemned to victory. The devil can’t make you do anything. Choose life and love. We have a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on. You have every tool that you need to succeed. Faith, Hope and Love. Use them. I need to remind myself daily. There are more with is than with them. I pray like Elisha did, may your eyes be open to see.


Rend your heart and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.
Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing, grain offerings and drink offerings
for the Lord your God. Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. Let the priests, who minister before the Lord, weep between the portico and the altar. Let them say, “Spare your people, Lord. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,
a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’”

The Lord’s Answer
Then the Lord was jealous for his land and took pity on his people.

The Lord replied to them: “I am sending you grain, new wine and olive oil, enough to satisfy you fully;
never again will I make you an object of scorn to the nations. “I will drive the northern horde far from you,
pushing it into a parched and barren land; its eastern ranks will drown in the Dead Sea and its western ranks in the Mediterranean Sea. And its stench will go up; its smell will rise.” Surely he has done great things!
Do not be afraid, land of Judah; be glad and rejoice. Surely the Lord has done great things! Do not be afraid, you wild animals, for the pastures in the wilderness are becoming green. The trees are bearing their fruit; the fig tree and the vine yield their riches. Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains
because he is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.
The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten, the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm, my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.

The Day of the Lord
“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls. Joel 2

What is “the years that the locust ate”? Are those the years before I walked with Christ. When everywhere I turned I reaped some form of self destruction. Where the choices I seem to make turned out being the wrong ones. Where every temptation that came my way, I chose to follow only to lead from one trap into another. The years I spent in jail because of the terrible choices I made? God does take care of us, I am not sure how we have gotten by this last year if it wasn’t for Him. Our needs have been met. I have found myself having to trust Him for everything. It seems like it is getting weirder out in this world everyday. Who can you trust? Who are your friends? Being an introvert, i think I tend to think too much. I can think myself right into a tizzy and then overthink about that and the next thing you know I am asking God for help with my anxiety that seems to be right besides me all the time. Regardless of who I am or what I thing, God is good all the time. I wonder what other people’s relationship with Him is like? Sometimes i do feel weary of doing good. Maybe we are overabundant in this country. Who are our opponents, and why does everyone want you to do something for them, and don’t go out of their way for you? I guess being a hermit is not so bad. Sometimes you just tend to think too much. God has a plan, always, i just sometimes wonder what it is, what’s my role, and will there be donuts.

Did I really lose anything? Money, friends, time? What will God restore? At times I find that I am still an angry young man. Thank God, I haven’t arrived yet and I still need Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Trying to make sense of it all……

But I see it makes no sense at all.
Is it cool to go to sleep on the floor?
I don’t think that I can take anymore.
Clowns to the left of me!

Jokers to the right!
Here I am stuck in the middle with you.

What does make sense these days? Here we are, life seems to be going on fine, and the left throughs their brand of fear into the mix. Life just keeps on getting more and more interesting. They try to hold your freedom hostage. If you do this, we will give you that. I didn’t know America could be like this. Our freedom is coming under attack everyday. How do you prepare? How do you fight back? This isn’t a conventional war. Our very existence is at stake. Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is a battle now days. But I guess it is a matter of perspective, you can choose to live in fear, or choose life.

I wish I had the boldness of Elijah, what a prophet. He slaughtered the prophets of baal. All of them, then his life was threatened and he ran and hid in a cave. What is amazing to me that even in that moment, God asked him what he was doing here and looked passed his fear and gave him new instructions on where to go. And He went. I would like to be a man of God like that. Instead I think I look at what is missing. Or I just sit here in the shadows, wishing. What must I do? What am I not doing? Who is going to come along side and help?

I just wanted to share this with you: Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

I want to say that I trust in the Lord, and that He is my fortress. But at times I think I try to do it my way, or have a backup plan, just in case. I really don’t have a plan at all. My goal really is to try and be as close to God as i can be. somedays I am good, and some days i wonder how did i even get here. I found that what you focus on the most is where your heart is. If you choose to focus on God, you tend to look at things a bit different. I am not saying that i have arrived. Where else can you go? who else has the words of life? The things of this earth are just temporal. They really don’t satisfy, maybe for an instant and then the craving comes back. I would like to quote one of my favorite authors, “The endless struggle for enough money, good feelings and prestige yields a rich harvest of worry, frustration, suspicion, anger, jealousy, anxiety, fear and resentment. These powerful emotion-backed desires cause 99% of the self-inflicted and unnecessary suffering in our lives.”. The Importance of being foolish, by Brennan Manning. I come to the conclusion that You will never be satisfied. It will never end. When will you ever be happy?

You can choose to live life just plowing through hoping to make it to the end, or you can choose to make the Lord your refuge. He will take of you. He wants to provide for you, fight for you, protect you. He cares for you more than you can imagine. Being an Introvert, i can have a vivid imagination. I love to see the Lord move. We will get through this. God is who He says He is, and this is a time to have faith and to trust. We are still running the race. Don’t focus on the clowns to the left, or the jokers to the right, but be stuck in the middle with God. These are exciting times to be walking with Him. Look at what He is doing, not what the clowns and jokers are doing.

‘Cause I’m stuck in the middle with you
And I’m wondering what it is I should do.
It’s so hard to keep this smile from my face.
Losing control and running all over the place.

Clowns to the left of me!
Jokers to the right!
Here I am stuck in the middle with you.

Jesus is my refuge, and I am glad to be stuck in the middle with Him.

Riding the storm out…

We all go through times in our life when we seem to hit a rough patch. Where things just don’t go right, or we just are having a bad day. Most of the time it seems like I have more than most. Most of the time it is because of wrong choices, or my foolish pride. Sometimes it seems like it is one thing after another. I cannot go a couple of minutes without something going wrong. I cannot do a project at home without some blood magically appearing. A cut here or a bruise there and I wonder, how did that happen. when things don’t go right, I get so frustrated and then my anxiety kicks in and well, can I get a do over. I can get a round peg to fit into a square hole. As long as I am in control, everything will work out just fine, maybe. it is not always like that. I have plenty of good days too, and there are times when things actually work out for the better. We don’t always see the big picture and want it solved right now.

It seems right now that our country is in a pretty big storm. How much longer can we ride this one out. It seems like we know we are on the Titanic and waiting for that crash. Some don’t even know what is coming. Life is going along smoothly and the next thing we know, we are being blindsided by something and we are wondering, what the heck is going on. This is not going the way I thought it should have. I have a completely different plan in mind. Being an introvert, I can think of a thousand different ways something should be done. It never goes the way I can perceive it to. Conversations never go the same either. Good thing i am not running the show. I would have us sunk before we even left port. I am not saying i am the village idiot, but i can have some good ideas now and then.

Let’s take the disciples for instance. they were expert fisherman, been out to see many times. caught more fish than I can imagine, and here they were out in the boat, during a storm. Prior to them shipping off Jesus said, “Let’s get into the boat and go to the other side.” So this big storm starts to come up and in the back of the boat, Jesus was napping. They were so scared of the storm, yet they were right there with Jesus. They had to wake Him and ask Him if He cared about them. He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Do you think Jesus was really napping? I wonder what He really wanted the disciples to see? I wonder if their fear was extreme. How scary was it really? Some don’t know it, but I think we are in the middle of a storm right now. Jesus is with us, but we are too busy looking at the storm instead of trusting God. I question my faith at times, more often than I can admit. Do I trust you Father? Am I doing okay? Will everything work out okay? I too am paralyzed by fear. What does the future hold? Sometimes I have to stop what I am doing and take a breath and remind myself the God has everything under control. He knew who I was, and what i was going to be like even before I was born. Yet He still chose me. Still revealed Himself to me. Took my hand and my heart and said, let’s go on an adventure. He never said it was going to be easy, or fun all the time. He said, let’s get into the boat and go to the other side. So right now we are in the boat, but we have something the disciples didn’t, the Holy Spirit, to guide and comfort us along the way. He is with us always. If the road is easy, how will we gain wisdom. The reward will be some much sweeter as we endure the tough times. The battles have already been won. This is how we grow in trust and faith. Keep running the race, victory belongs to the Lord. I read an article this morning about Dietrich Bonhoeffer. A doctor watched him as it was his turn to be executed. Dietrich Bonhoeffer prayed to God and met death, The doctor said, He never saw anyone with such confidence and trust in God, die knowing exactly where he was going to when he left this earth. he could see it on Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s face.

In Jesus, we will get to the other side. Hang on, because it will be a wild ride, and the outcome will be worth it.

Can’t find my way home….

The last year has been an interesting one, if I must say. From the sickening mask wearing, to losing your job, to get the sickness, to missing out on the Holidays to where do we go from here. The other day we were discussing friendships, or the lack there of. Where did those people go that we thought we were friends with? were they friends in the first place? was it me? After all this I have become a recluse. on a deserted island. Going to the store is an adventure for us. wearing masks, lack of food on the shelves, and you don’t see anyone smiling. Today a lady at the deli made me smile, i asked for some corned beef, because who doesn’t like a good Rueben, and she said no, I couldn’t get any, they were fresh out. i said are these two packages just for display? she said no, I just don’t want to get you any. The other lady said she has been doing that all day. I could tell that they were both smiling. I said I can’t see your smile, but I can tell by your eyes that you are. Then you wander around the rest of the store and try to stay six feet apart. The dumb sickness can’t be effective at six foot one inch. but everyone looks like zombies moving about looking for their goodies. Are we a society that is turning cold, toward each other. I must confess, i like to avoid people. heck i try avoid conversations with people. Maybe something is wrong with me. My wife and I had a conversation about making friends. I think maybe i am part of the problem. I have been burnt on making friends so many times that i am not sure i even want to take a chance. we all different ideas or different viewpoints on life. It is easy for me to unfriend on social media, i just want to hideaway. I feel like i really don’t have anything to say, or when I do, someone will think that it is dumb. I know it’s not, but i wear my heart on my sleeve and take things too personal. so as you see, i am the problem. I have put up walls, boundaries, a safe zone.

When you walk with God, it’s not easy. I am afraid of doing the wrong thing, or when i do, i think God is going to send me right to hell. Then i feel like i have to work my way into His good graces. It seems like everything I do is wrong. It’s a wonder that I am even still saved. I worry myself to death. Being introverted and thinking about every detail can be debilitating. I pray and pray and nothing seems to happen. Maybe if i read more, or worship more, nothing seems to happen. I will always take some prayer. At times i wonder what does God really think of me? What are my gifting’s, or talents. When I ask, i really don’t hear. Am I doing the right thing. Hey God, it’s me down here, Hello? The other night i wondering what to believe, who is in charge of the country, who can you trust and do i still believe in God. I didn’t know what to think. I got down on my knees and told God that i was sorry and I still believed. I think He understood. We are living in interesting times, where you don’t know what to believe. Who can you trust, who are your friends, what will tomorrow bring? The internet is not really helpful. you can just through yourself out there and nibble on any old thing and you don’t know if it is true or not. Just because one hundred people share something, that doesn’t make it true. pictures can now be altered and facts changed and lies can be twisted to sound truthful. Heck I can’t even trust myself. I know my weaknesses, and what’s worse is the enemy knows them too. God knows my strengths, I am still working on that. No one can really answer these questions, it is just something between you and God. I have often thought about asking someone for a prophetic word, when the real answer is get one yourself. It’s like asking for a window to be open in heaven, and the window is already open.

Nobody really knows where i am at, but me and God, and sometimes it seems hard to get an answer out of Him. I have spent the last seven months looking at what is wrong with me. every last thing that i did wrong and every mistake i have made. what an ugly picture. I found it hard to look at all the things that I did right, or did a good job. deep down i would like to think I am a good person, or do a good job, but there is always someone there pointing out my mistake, or correcting me. you don’t know how much i hate that. If only someone would come along side and love instead. I know part of it’s me and i can take things the wrong way. but when all you see and hear is the negative, why else wouldn’t you build a wall. It’s understandable why i would question God. Do you really love me, am i doing Okay, will this make you happy. You aren’t going throw me into the lake of fire are you? I’ll try harder next time. Please give me one more chance. Can you see where this gets you in life? doubt and fear ind mistrust are you constant companions. Then the enemy is tempting you and enticing you, telling you that God doesn’t care. These are the things you have to fight through every day. The battle for your mind is real. Then the world out there is hard also. In the word’s of Hawkeye Pierce, it’s funny we all don’t go and stick our nose in a chopper blade.

I am not crazy, or going to do anything irrational, these are just my everyday observations. I believe that Jesus came to save us all from the world and ourselves. That the Gift of eternal life will never be taken away, and there is a hope that God is bringing us into being Christ like. The enemy wants to come and steal kill and destroy us. He hates us with a passion that cannot be described. He will use anyone or anything to trip us up. Yet here is God, with compassion and mercy that is being measure. God also will use anything to get our attentions, to draw us closer to Himself. Behind everything there is a plan and a purpose, i don’t always see it and probably never will. I trust Him. In God there are all things. He is the beginning and the end, and He loves me.

Freedom Baby……

this still applies…..

Joe's Garage Logic

I have had a sense these past few days that too many of us have been living in some sort of fear. Fear of the future, or a fear of some enemy. This is not good people. It is not a place that God wants you to live. He talks about it quite a bit in His word. But first, what is fear: “adistressingemotionarousedbyimpendingdanger,evil,pain,etc.,whetherthethreatisrealorimagined” . The television is good at instilling this into us. Sure they think it is news, but people bite on it and run with it in their imagination and the next thing you know they are hiding in their closets. Now with the internet, you can almost see it happening before it even happens. Fear can spread like wildfire, one little seed can contaminate a whole community. It can…

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