Monday, November 9, 2015

Surviving a Secular World As a Christian

     For anyone over 30, to look around at the changes in our world is frightening.  There seems to be despair on every corner, anger in every direction, and hate in every neighborhood.  Twenty minutes of watching the news on almost any given morning sets us up for a days worth of depression and fear.  And yet, most of us persist.  We march through our days wondering what is going to happen next.  Too many of us withdraw into the shells of our own lives to avoid being hurt, but yet, most of us do at least persist.

     Virtually all of us live with tremendous feelings of uncertainty if not down right confusion.  I tell you now, this is not the way God wants us to live.  Remember, God brought us here to be His companions.  He did not bring us here to live tortured lives always in limbo and to always worry about what might happen next.  Let me say this one more time.  He brought us here to be His companions.  He brought us here because He was lonely.  He wants us to be happy.

     Now the question becomes, how do we accomplish that.  How do we live and be happy in a world that seems to be filled with so much adversity.  Here is the answer in a nutshell.  Instead of wondering what terrible thing may befall you at any given moment, try worrying instead what terrible thing may befall someone else.  Maybe that is putting it a little too succinctly.  What it comes down to is this.  Step out of yourself.  Reach out to others.  Become involved in the lives of those around you and if you can, reach even further than that.  The more involved you are in the name of love with others, the less time you will have to be worried about yourself and as a direct result, the happier you will be.  You can give no greater gift than to give of yourself.  There is nothing on earth that can make you immediately happier than giving.  What it all boils down to is love.  The more love you give, the happier you will be.

     I know all of this is hard for so many people.  You must leave your homes.  Get your noses out from in front of your computers, TV’s, and smart phones and talk to people.  People are more socially awkward today than they have ever been and those devices are a major part of the reason.  Reach out to someone every day and every day your life will get better.  Your step will get lighter.  Your smile will get bigger.  And…here’s the big one.  You will also find yourself growing closer to God.  Remember, it’s not so easy to get to know someone if you only go to see them for an hour once a week.  He is all of us.  He is in all of us.  When we are together, we are with Him.  Go!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Another God Moment

     I only left the house once yesterday.  I took my granddaughter to get an ice cream cone at Dairy Queen.  We were sitting outside at one of their tables eating the ice cream when a lady asked me if I could help her.  She said she had dropped her pen down beside her seat and she could not get it out.  She said she needed someone with small hands to reach it.  When I looked at my granddaughter's ice cream covered hands, I asked her to let me have a look.  It was a tight spot and when I reached for the pen I pushed it under the seat.  I pushed the seat back and looked under the seat but could not see the pen so I pushed the seat all the way forward and looked for it from the back.  There was no sign of the pen.  I laughed and told her I did not think God wanted her to have that pen.  I was looking under the back of the seat at the time but she did not say a word.  When I looked back up at her, she was crying. 
     I offered to try to find her another pen and then she asked me why I had said what I had said about God.  I told her I had meant it as a joke and I was sorry if I offended her.  She sat down in her car and through tears she told me she had been married for 22 years but she and her husband had not communicated for the last 10 years.  She was roughly 100 miles from home and was headed to see some of her family and she said she had no intention of going back home.  While she was driving, she felt compelled to stop and try to put her thoughts down on paper to send to her husband.  Then the pen literally disappeared and I told her God did not want her to have the pen.  She said she felt I may be right. 
     I asked her if I could pray with her and I said a rather brief prayer asking God to guide her down the right path.  When I finished, she told me she knew she had to go back home.  She felt it was truly what God wanted her to do and she said she was confident her husband would listen to her since she was now sure she had God's help.  With that, she hugged me, kissed me on the cheek, and thanked me for helping her set her path.  She waved and smiled as she drove away.
     Isn't it amazing what a brief outing can yield if you but invoke God's name.  And to top it all off, my granddaughter said the ice cream was delicious.  God is good, all the time.

How to Pray

     When Jesus's disciples asked Him how to pray, He gave them what we have come to know as The Lord's Prayer.  This prayer gives us a little insight into the nature of God.  "Our Father, who art in Heaven"  He likes for us to acknowledge who He is and His relationship to us.  "Hallowed be Thy name"  He wants us to revere and worship Him.  "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven"  He wants us to understand His power and might.  "Give us this day our daily bread"  He wants us to understand He is who provides for us and to be thankful for that.  "and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us"  He wants us to confess our sins to Him as well as ask for forgiveness and He expects us to love and forgive each other.  "Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil"  He is again who leads us and protects us.  "For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever"  Again we acknowledge His greatness.
     My granddaughter is 7 years old.  Even though I, too, was raised in the church as a child, she seems to have a much greater understanding of who God is than I did at that age.  She wasn't really happy with the traditional blessing kids spout out at meal time and wanted something different.  We sat down and worked on it together  and this is what she now says before every time she eats.  "Father we love You.  Father we praise You.  Thank you for this we are about to receive and help it nourish our bodies so we may serve you better. Help us love one another.  In Jesus's name.  Amen"  The first time I heard her say this by herself, I have to admit it brought tears to my eyes.
     It was pretty amazing and it certainly hit the high points.  She acknowledged who God is by calling Him Father.  She let Him know we love Him and she worshiped Him with praise.  She thanked Him for the blessing of the food and asked only that it nourish us for His sake.  Then she asked for His guidance in loving each other.  What a blessing she is and has been to me.
     Personal prayers are a little touchy for many folks.  Mainly, I would say, just remember to whom you are talking.  It seems many people are afraid to talk to God because they don't know what to say.  My advice to all is to remain reverent and then talk to Him in much the same way you might talk to your earthly father.  He wants us to be close to Him and believe it or not, He is listening more to your heart than He is listening to your words.
I believe that while He is our Heavenly Father and He wants respect for that, He also wants to be our friend.  He does not want us to have any problems we can not bring to Him.  He wants us to be filled with His love and He wants us to know He is always with us. So, what is the most important message here?  Talk to Him.  Just talk to Him.  If you talk to Him, He will listen and you will be surprised at how He answers if you will just open your heart to listen.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Power of Converting Your Faith to Knowledge

Faith:  confidence or trust;  belief that is not based on truth;  belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion;  a system of religious belief.
Belief: confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to immediate proof; confidence, faith, trust;  a religious tenet or tenets
Knowledge:  the fact or state of knowing;  clear and certain mental apprehension;  acquaintance with facts, truths, or principals as from study, investigation, or first hand experience

     Every minister I have ever encountered talked to me and to others about faith.  They talk about a belief in God, in Jesus, in His love for us.  What I am going to present to you here is just a bit different.  Please note the definitions above for Faith and Belief.  Truly we can all see that these two words are synonymous.  There is very little difference in them as their definitions are virtually interchangeable.  The part that bothers me here is that they both refer to that which is not based on truth or immediate proof.  From a Christian point of view, these are words that most likely should be used by every "new" Christian.  As we grow in our faith, we learn.  We learn from other Christians.  We learn from writings such as those in the Bible.  We learn from pastors and ministers.  Most importantly, if we pray earnestly, we learn from God himself. 
     There should come a point, in our growth as Christians, for us to put aside the "wanting to know" as God reveals to us His truth.  At that point, faith and belief should become knowledge.  One should come not just to believe but because of our communion with God to know He is there, He watches over us, He cares for us, and He loves us.  Your life will be transformed once belief that is not based on truth or confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to immediate proof is proven beyond a doubt and becomes knowledge.  Let me explain how I know this to be true.
      Let's examine a fellow named Sam.  Now Sam is living a pretty good life with a descent job, a loving wife and even a couple of children who love him.  He is basically an honest man and generally tries to do the right thing.  He believes in God but he is not much of a church goer and he seldom speaks of God to his wife or his children.  Like many people, he is content but not exactly what you would call really happy.  Then one afternoon, something different happens to Sam.  While on his way home from work, Sam narrowly escapes a terrible traffic accident.  He pulled over to the side of the road to calm his nerves.  Once stopped, he laid his head on his steering wheel and said out loud, "Thank you Jesus."  A voice next to him said, "You are welcome."  Of course Sam is startled and even more so when he sees what appears to be Jesus sitting beside him in his front seat.  At first he is frightened and demanded to know who this person is and how he got in his car but immediately he is filled with a peaceful feeling such as he has never before encountered.  In the next few moments of conversation, Sam gets to know Jesus and comes to realize Jesus is always with him.
     Now how do you think Sam's life was different the next day?  Did he simply go to work as usual?  Did he continue on with his life as if nothing happened?  Sam now possessed the undeniable truth of the existence and love of God.  Surely things drastically changed in Sam's life from that day forward.
     Truth be told, the chances of something like Sam's experience happening to us is pretty slim.  However, it is a relatively simple matter to reach the same point of knowledge he achieved.  That is most easily done with prayer.  If you pray with earnestness and honesty, God will reveal himself to you.  You might think this could go without saying but you must also pay attention.  Too many times God talks to us or sends us messages and because our thoughts are elsewhere, we just don't get it.  Try this.  Get away from everyone and everything in your life for just a little bit.  Find a quiet place with no distractions and try talking to God.  You may well be amazed and you may very well be able to exchange your faith for knowledge.  Understand also that when it happens, you life will undergo drastic changes.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Spreading the News of God's Love

     Many of the readers here are aware of the fact that a bit more than a year ago, I suffered a mild stroke.  While my recovery has been nothing short of remarkable, there have been some residual issues.  My energy level, for one, has not been what it once was.  As a consequence, I have not been able to be out and about as much as I would like.  God has shown me He is still in my life and I have been pleased to find out that almost every time I do go out, He puts someone in my path who needs His love. 
     Just the other day, I went with my family to a store in a neighboring city.  I grew tired in the store after a short while and went to a place next door that sold coffee and had seats outside.  I prefer the seats outside if the weather is pleasant.  While sitting there, a gentleman walked up to where I was sitting and simply said hello.  Of course I returned his greeting and asked him to have a seat as he looked tired.  He sat down and began to tell me of his problems.  He had lost his job a while back and his inability to find work had caused a rift between him and his wife.  They separated which also separated him from his teenage daughter.  He confessed to depression so great he was having trouble even thinking about employment.  All he could think about was his wife and daughter. 
     After listening to him for a while, I asked him if he believed in God.  He did not answer definitively but rather with almost a sense of sorrow.  He told me he really wanted to believe but had been told so many times unless he lived a certain way, he was condemned to Hell.  He was crying as he relayed this to me.  I told him he was truly one of God's children and I gave him a guarantee that he would not go to Hell.  (To you the reader, if you do not understand this, read the entries before this one.)  I explained most of what I have written here to him and explained that giving his life to God would not guarantee the circumstances of his life would be better but he would no longer be alone.  For this reason alone, I assured him his depression would be lifted and he would begin to see life as the gift it was meant to be.  He asked me if I would pray with him and in doing so give him some idea how to go about talking to God.  I prayed for about 5 minutes I guess and then paused.  He began to pray in such a sweet and innocent way I was brought to tears.  After the prayers, he rose and held out his hands to me.  We embraced and he thanked me for what he said was the greatest understanding of his life.  He told me he knew God had led him to talk to me and then he walked away.  It took me several minutes to compose myself and I said a prayer of thanksgiving for that wonderful encounter and opportunity God had placed before me. 
     There was another trip as well that I took with my family to a family fun center.  As usual, after a while I grew weary, procured myself a soft drink and sat outside in a little patio area to rest.  I was approached by 3 people while I sat there who were seeking spiritual guidance.  With all three there was relief in them as I explained God's love to them. With all three there was prayer.  With all three there were hugs and tearful goodbyes.
     Truly God continues to bless me with these encounters each time I leave my home.  I find myself putting a much greater effort into improving my health so I can go out more often.  I am sure there will be many more as He guides me in spreading this news.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Holy Trinity

     It would seem every Christian religion has a little bit different take on what is commonly referred to as the Holy Trinity.  All of them recognize it as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit all rolled up into one entity.  Each religion has a different explanation of its existence as well as its function.  It’s best to think of it in a bit simpler form than most would have you believe. 
     While everyone knows the concept of God the Father, many have trouble understanding the concept of a second entity as the Son.  While we refer to Jesus as The Son, we also refer to Him as God.  While He was given to us as The Son, we must remember He truly is simply a part of God the Father.  This must be so as we worship Him as a God and God the Father was pretty specific when He said, “Thou shall have no other Gods before me.”  Therefore, it is just common sense that God and Jesus are the same being.  There is no way for them to be separate beings and still honor that commandment issued by God.  I look at them as simply different aspects of the same being.  One could easily surmise from this that God gave a piece of himself to save us or an even more wonderful way to think of this is God Himself truly walked among us for a while.
     Now let’s discuss the Holy Spirit.  This I view, more or less, as Gods DNA.  Think about this.  If I have a child and that child carries my DNA.  The children of that child will also carry my DNA as will all the children of all the generations to come.  Eons from now, the child’s DNA can still be traced back to me.  Keeping all that in mind, we are all children of God, created by Him and in His image.  I believe the Holy Spirit is the little piece of Him, DNA if you will that He put in each one of us.  Bearing in mind He gave us free will, each of us has a choice whether or not to acknowledge His spirit within us.  Some will refer to it as a conscience.  Others will refer to it directly as The Holy Spirit guiding our way.  The very fact that He gives us a choice is what makes this so special.  Much more on this later.
     So there you have it.  God and His Son are just different aspects of the same being.  The Son is the part of Him that He gave in order to show us one way to get closer to Him.  His Son was the greatest gift ever given to mankind.  While some may say that greatest gift was life, a pathway to eternal life is a much greater gift.  His other great gift to us was also a piece of Himself that dwells within each of us as the Holy Spirit.  The more we accept and acknowledge these gifts the more wonderful will be our very existence.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

An Awakening

This post is a culmination of an awakening in me as a direct result of my personal communion with God.  It seems much of it is in direct contrast to what I have been taught and even much of what I have always believed.  Despite part of me not wanting to accept some of this, I prayed relentlessly for answers and God was forthcoming with this knowledge.  Suffice it to say I struggled with some of it but no more.  I am truly at peace. Pray for your answers.  Open your heart and God will answer if you but listen.  Love Him as He loves you.

A spiritual growth is something that evolves.  It changes as we get closer to God and as He reveals to us what He wants us to know in order to follow His chosen path for us.  I have been a Christian for many years although I have often doubted my own worth to God.   One of my biggest problems in the past has been with a common message I have heard in virtually every church in which I have ever been.  Understand this.  I believe In God our Father.  I believe Jesus Christ is part of Him, His son, and was sent by Him to show us a path to Him.  I believe Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sake and that believing in this guarantees us a place in Heaven.  Why then was I so uncomfortable when preachers often screamed at their congregations that unless they believed this way, they would go to Hell, a horrible place of fire and eternal torment.  This did not  seem to jive with the loving God I had come to believe was guiding my life.  I could not begin to understand how loving and caring people I knew from all different religions could be so condemned.  One of the first churches I went to as an adult preached the message that even the Jews were condemned to Hell because they had rejected Jesus as the savior.  When you look at the history of Israel and God's hand at work there, you know this can not be.  Here is a good synopsis regarding Israel that everyone should watch. 
     Late one night some time back, I had taken all of this I could take.  In a quiet place, I fell to my knees and began to pray.  In desperation, I begged God to explain to me how He, a God of love and compassion, could condemn His children to such eternal torment.  I vaguely remember night turning to day and day turning once again to night.  When relief came to me,  I had my answer.
     I was given this insight and a way to present it.  If you are a parent, and one of your children committed a crime for which they showed no remorse, could you, as a parent, pass a judgement upon your child that would place him in total agony, torment, and pain for all of eternity?  I can only assume your answer would be a resounding NO.  Bearing in mind that God's love for us, His children, is 100 times greater than any love we can feel, how is it then that we seem to think He would do such a thing.  Whether we are atheists or staunch believers makes no difference in the fact that we are all indeed the children of God and created in His image.  If we believe our love for our children is too strong to allow us to commit such an act, how is it then we so readily accept that our God would do it so easily.  Many responses to this have been simply, "because the Bible tells me so".  I will get to that answer in a moment.  Suffice it to say at this point, I was lead by God to believe this whole concept of us going to Hell if we don't do the right thing is a fallacy, forced upon us by those who want to frighten us into believing their way.  In most early cases, it was done to bring us into the churches so we might fill the coffers of the church and bring wealth and power both to the churches and to those who ran them.  Now, it is done mostly from a sense of tradition and training, conditioning if you will, and a fear of changing what so many have been taught was the word of God.
    Then there is the question, " Is there a Hell?"  According to my understanding, for which I readily admit I have no real proof other than my own personal interaction with God, the answer is yes.  But that place known as Hell was not created in any way shape or form for the children of God.  It was created for Satan and the other angels who rose up against God and were defeated.  It is their home and not ever destined to be ours.  There is still a war raging between God and these angels and the spoils of that war is still us but not in the way we have been lead to believe.  

      In order to understand the next paragraph, one must understand Satan's intention.  Despite the fact that he represents pure evil, Satan has no issue with mankind other than we are begat by God.  God is his enemy, not mankind.  Remember that God created mankind because He was lonely.  Therefore, Satan's intent is to keep us away from God both in this world and the next.   Satan has no issue with our morals or even how we live our day to day life.  His issue again is with God.  With that in mind, I present you with this.
      If we have a pet or encounter any animal who is hurt or sick and suffering, we try to help that animal.  If it becomes obvious that we can not relieve that animals suffering, we, as an act of compassion, end that animals life.  This is how it was relayed to me that God deals with our souls.  For those of us who believe in Him or at the least believe in the concept of love for each other, there is a place for us in His kingdom.  For those who have chosen a path contrary to love, we simply cease to exist.  There is no eternal torment.  Likewise, there is no reason for us to seek out God in our lives because we are afraid.  It is much wiser to seek Him out for His love and because of our love for others in His name.  There is but one path to dwell in the house of the Lord forever and it is summed up in one word.  "LOVE"  I do believe, however, that God must be given the credit and acknowledgement of and for that love.  Similarly, it is never enough to tell someone something is wrong.  They must also understand why it is wrong.  Here again, God must be that reason and must never be omitted from the explanation.

     Because the Bible tells me so....The answer to this has labeled me a heretic by roughly 8 out of 10 people who have heard it.   Still , I must proceed because I do not believe in my heart it is wrong.  My message here is one of hope and one of love.  It is not meant to disparage anyone else or their beliefs.  I do believe that as we draw closer to God, He establishes a covenant of sorts with each and every one of us.  What is right for me may not be right for you and if you are completely comfortable with your current ideas and beliefs in you present relationship with God, then I would suggest you stop here and read no further.  That being said, what  follows,
I believe is truth and for that I make no apologies.

     Politics has played a major role in the entire history of mankind.  The selection and consolidation  of the books of the bible was no different.  Hundreds and hundreds of manuscripts were considered and hundreds were likewise rejected.  Let me explain an example. 
     The apostles Paul, Peter, James, and John all wrote of the end times, the apocalypse if you will.  Those text, written by apostles, were rejected with the explanation they did not fit the agenda of those who were making the decisions.  What was selected in their stead was a letter written to 7 churches of Rome by a disgruntled evangelical Christian/Jew named John, who was angry at the Romans for their annihilation of Israel.  No one even knows for sure who this man John was and while he was a follower of Jesus, he was not a Christian as we have come to know what a Christian is.  He believed gentiles could not be saved unless they first learned and accepted the Jewish teachings in the Torah.  He was not in agreement with the apostle Paul and his acceptance of gentiles rights to salvation.  He even referred to a gentile female church leader as a Jezebel simply because she was a woman.   The letters were an obvious attempt by this man to frighten the Romans as a way of punishing them for destroying Jerusalem.  One man, an extremely powerful cleric named Bishop Athanasius is the one who championed these letters to become part of the Bible.  His predecessor called the book unintelligible, irrational and false.  Other church leaders were opposed to Revelations becoming a part of the Bible but Athanasius used it as a political tool against those who spoke out against him.  It is hard to imagine the credibility of a book when intimidation was the main tool used in order to have it included.  It was added in 419 and was the very last book included in the Canonical Bible.  Several churches to this day do not recognize Revelation as part of the holy book and even scholars from many of those that do, openly admit it is the most difficult of all the books to understand as it seems to pose more questions than answers.

     Let's look at a few more examples....
Exodus 22:18   Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
This verse alone was used as justification to murder thousands of innocent victims.  Why do I say innocent you ask?  Simply put, I don't believe in witches.
1 Timothy 2:11-14  Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
There are too many examples such as these to go through them all.  Suffice it to say that women are considered lesser beings and little more than property in the old testament.  It just seems to me this was meant more as a way for men to control their wives than it was for them to love them.
The Bible truly has many wonderful truths and stories from which we can learn but it also has been the source of reasoning the deaths of thousands.  Is it that we only gleaned from it the wrong message or is the wrong message there intentionally?

     Please don't think I am discounting the entire Bible.  There are many beautiful stories and wonderful accounts of the true glory of God. This book is still the greatest book and teaching tool ever published on this earth.  What I am suggesting is you use not only your mind but also your heart when determining that which is best for you in this powerful book.   You must not believe anything simply because you have been told or because of what you have read.    Pray for guidance.  Pray for discernment.  Pray and you will receive the answers God has for you.  

     These are the things and more I have come to believe.  I worship a living God who is the master and leader of my daily life.  Despite what many claim as divine inspiration, He did not write The Bible.  If one needs spiritual help or spiritual guidance, the best way to get that is not going to be found in a book nor is it going to be revealed to you by someone else.  The best way to find it is in a conversation with the creator Himself.  If in your heart you truly believe in Him, I would suggest you get down on your knees and talk to Him.  He is your father.  He is your creator.  He is the answer to all your problems and all your questions.  He will provide for you and He will care for you.  Love Him for He surely loves you.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Blogging Along.....What's Next???

     Many of you reading this are aware of a little fire we had in our garage at home.  There was a good bit of smoke damage in parts of the house and it is taking us a while to bounce back but have no fear, we are getting there.  
     This brings to mind what I want to do with this blog for a while.  It would seem God is in control of virtually everything I do.  Many of you also know I cut my mission trip short.  I really seemed to have no real reason for doing so but home was just where I felt I needed to be.  After the fire, my daughter told me she now understood why I cut my trip short.  There is no doubt in my mind or hers God wanted me here with the family at the time of this fire.  God is good all the time.
     And that story is small and just the beginning.  I have so many God moments I decided I should start writing some of them down.  Of course some of them will seem small and insignificant to some readers but if taken as a whole, I believe the light of God will come shinning through.  

      Here is a big one that even threw me for a loop for a few moments.  After this happened I knelt beside my bed and praised and thanked God until my knees and legs went to sleep.  Here's the story.  I was finishing a shower.  As I went to step out of the bathtub, both feet seemed to just fly out from under me.  My face was headed toward the side of the bathtub and I remember panicking and thinking, "Oh No!   Pain coming".   I know my eyes were closed because I opened them standing straight up in front of the bathroom mirror.  I was totally disoriented because it seemed there was nothing in between the falling and the standing.  Immediately I felt totally at peace and my heart, my mind, and my lips all said "Thank-you, Lord".  The rest you know as I was on my knees for a great long time praising God, thanking God, loving God, and rejoicing in God.

  Psalm 5:5   But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

More to come....

So so so Much more to come in this mission.  Please keep a shortcut available for the site and check back periodically.  As soon as things begin to happen, I will let you know right here.  My love goes out to all of you and may God keep you safe in the palm of his hand.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Home Sweet Home

Praise the Lord!!!  I am home.  I didn't stay on the road as long as I intended but it seems I stayed as long as God intended....this time.  Little things like my back and that small van have convinced me I might do well to take more trips but shorter ones.  My mission goes on as I already have some good ideas for the near future.  I will keep you updated here as things unfold.  Thank-you all so much for your prayers and support.  Keep watching for there is more to come.  All my Love...

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Another Pleasant Valley Tuesday

Hi All,

     I must confess the last 2 days have been very peaceful and relaxing.   I have driven quite a bit but at the same time I have stopped a great deal and talked to quite a few people.  The vast majority I have talked to were very open and sincerely caring folks.  I even gave away quite a few Bibles.
     This morning I found myself once again headed in an eastward direction and I must be honest with you.  I, of course, will go wherever I feel God is sending me but I am hoping he will send me in a homeward direction pretty soon.  I'm pretty sure He knows how much this old tired body can take.  Aside from that, I do miss my family, my friends, my GRANDDAUGHTER, and my bed....ha ha ha.
     One quick report.  This morning in a small town, Lake, Lawrence, Or Hickory, I'm not sure which, I pulled into a small church with three huge crosses placed to one side.   I was only there about 2 minutes when the pastor pulled up.  He was fascinated by my story as well as my message.  He wanted to know if there was any way I could stay until the Thursday night meeting and give the message to his congregation.  I asked him to let me pray on it for a bit and I would let him know.  Meanwhile, he called a few folks who showed up just to give their blessing and say hello.  Everyone wanted my web address so I gave them some cards.  I left some with the pastor as well when I regretfully told him I did not think I could stay until Thursday.  I pointed out there was a direct link to the message defined on the site and I also left a few bibles for him to distribute to anyone in need.  All in all, it made for a very blessed morning and when I drove away I felt I was leaving new friends and family behind.  But I will carry them with me in my heart.
     God bless you all and thank you for your prayers and your love.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Day of Fellowship

Hello All,
     Today turned into a beautiful day of fellowship.  Early this morning I found myself in the small gulf community of  Pass Christian, Mississippi.  All the beaches I have passed so far have had signs saying "NO DOGS".  Some of you may already know I have a vest/backpack for Baxter and a "SERVICE DOG" pin.  I have been reluctant to use it but today I could stand it no more.  Baxter just had to go to the beach.  I love this silly dog so much.  He got excited when he saw me pull out his backpack.  He seems to like to wear it.  I think he feels important.  Anyway, all dressed we headed for the beach.  Within 5 minutes a young man came up with his black Lab puppy.  He was a local who told me the police do not enforce the no dogs policy there at Pass Christian.  His puppy and Baxter got along great as did the young man and I.  Before I had made any self introduction, he asked me if I was a Christian.  He had seen my cross hanging around my neck.  I pointed to my van and told him why I was there.  I found him to be very like-minded with me.  He said he prays every morning for God to fill his heart with love.  We talked for almost an hour about the joy that God brings us then parted with a prayer and a hug. 
      As for Baxter, he loved the puppy but he was not impressed with the water.  About 10 feet away was as close as he was going and he is way toO heavy and obnoxious to drag....ha ha ha  (picture below)
      I drove a little further down the beach and came across a monstrous pier that allowed cars to drive out.  It was very chilly so I was glad for the protection, however, I was not destined to stay in the van.  There was a family of 5 fishing, crabbing, and shrimping from the pier.  As is my way, I walked up and asked if they had caught our lunch yet.  The father let me know they had just started but please be sure and stick around as he assured me lunch would be amazing.   This was quite a different comeback from what I usually get when I ask that question.  They, also, were Christians and as it turned out, lived less than a block away and a lunch of steamed oysters was already in the plan.  We talked for a couple of hours relating stories of how God was working in our lives.  Dad and his son then piled in the van as the mom and 2 daughters walked (not my choice) to their house.  Lunch was great and so much sweeter for the fellowship.  I was a little sad to leave them when I felt it was time to go.  Wonderful people! Wonderful time!  Praise the Lord!!
     After that I drove for a while and have now stopped on the outskirts of New Orleans.  I will wait for the morning to enter this strange city.  I have been warned by quite a few people about the crime rate there so tonight I will arm myself with prayer and cloak myself in the armor of God.  It may seem a little strange but I am not in the least apprehensive.   I will fear no evil for God is with me.
     God bless you all and thank you for your prayers.

This is Baxter on the beach with his heels dug in.  He was not going one step closer to that water...ha ha ha.

This is my van way out on that pier.  If you look close you can see Baxter's head.  He would look out but I don't believe I could have blown him out of that van with dynamite.  TOO MUCH WATER!!!  I do love this silly  I meant DOG!!!! 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Love Not Hate

     The day started out wonderfully.  It was a bit chilly and I broke down and went to Waffle House for breakfast.  God bless McDonald's and the wonderful employees I have met there but the stomach can only take so much McDonald's food...ha ha ha.
     I have a recording on my phone of my granddaughter Eve saying the blessing.  As has become my habit, I bowed my head and played it when my breakfast arrived at Waffle House.  When I finished, a woman at the next table called out to me and when I looked at her she had tears running down her face.  She told me that was the sweetest and most beautiful thing she had ever heard.  She wanted to know more about that "angelic" voice.  I explained to her who it was and why I played it.  She told me her food had not come yet and asked if I would pray for her when it did and would I mind playing Eve's blessing as well.  It was a beautiful moment that seemed to change the atmosphere throughout the restaurant.  After eating, I left feeling so blessed and OH YEA, I almost forgot to tell you about the brand new blower in my van that was blowing heat in my face...ha ha ha.  God is good, all the time.
     After several hours of driving, I felt compelled to stop and pulled in to what appeared to be a small country church.  The rest of that story is a surprise and I guess you could say I caught video fever.  A couple of events transpired that compelled me to find a spot of serenity and make another video.  It involves a little confrontation with a minister, being called a heretic, and then getting mad at the radio.   Where I was, making the video, and prayer calmed me and allowed me to continue.  A link to the video is below.  Bear in mind I'm still learning so the video quality is not professional but it was done to the glory of our Father in Heaven.
     As for the rest of the day, I made it to Biloxi, Mississippi, and was given the opportunity for providing supper and some other essentials for a homeless couple.  It was desert on this beautiful day God has provided.  Being His instrument is such a blessing, such a joy.
Here is the link to that video.  Just click HERE.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

God is good all the time. All the time God is good.

      Before I started this brief update I went to my knees and prayed. It was a prayer of thanksgiving and praise. It was a prayer declaring my love for my Father in Heaven. It was a prayer during which I lost all concept of the passing of time for I was truly engulfed in the love of my Father.
      Before this, I was not having a good day. I was close to the gulf in Alabama and the traffic was atrocious. Temporarily I thought maybe I had lost my way. My drivers side door no longer functions and my AC blower finally went out for good. I seemed to almost go into a trance as my van headed north away from the water and traffic. Before I even knew where I was, I had traveled well inland and was sitting in my van behind yet another McDonald's. I seemed to be dazed as I went into the restaurant, got some coffee, and opened up my e-mail. There were no messages so I packed up my laptop and headed back to the van to walk Baxter, my puppy. While walking Baxter I ran into and began talking to a couple of employees who were outside taking a break. They were very sweet people and were very receptive and inquisitive when I told them who I was and about my mission. After a short while, another young fellow came up. He was there just to see his old friends he used to work with as he was a former McDonald's employee. He had left to pursue his passion of becoming an auto mechanic. When we were introduced, he told me what he was doing. He also was quick to point out that he is a Christian and asked point blank how he could be of service to me. As it is now planned, I will pick up a blower from a parts store tomorrow and he will meet me after his work and install it at no charge. He told me he did not have much experience as far as the door is concerned but he felt with God's help he may also be able to help with that.
Now you know why I went to my knees and we now know why God led me here. So tomorrow I will spend some time doing some chores. I'll clean my truck, wash some clothes, get a blower, play with my puppy, and most of all GIVE THANKS TO MY LORD.   God is truly good All the time.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Little Rest For An Old Man

     Yesterday, after I stopped in Marianna, I spent most of the rest of the day inside with Baxter mainly because or the tremendous rain storm.  Around 10:00 last night it cleared up and being pretty well rested, Baxter and I went for a walk.  Not many people were up and moving around but I did notice an RV in the parking lot with me (big enough to eat 3 of my vans for breakfast) parked somewhat askew.  I met the young lady who was driving it and she was very nice and very broken down.  We set a time for the next morning to try to get her started and on the way and after much ado, I at least got her started so she could get to a mechanic.  I felt she was in good hands then so I bid her goodbye and hit the road.  She is quite the artist as I viewed her site.  It certainly deserves mention on this lowly blog...ha ha ha.
     After leaving Elisha and Marianna, God pointed me south.  I'm not sure why as it turned out to be the least pleasant leg of my journey yet.  I made it to Panama City and guess what.  So did what seems to be about a million college students on spring break.  To be honest, I really just kind of ducked my head and kept going.  I felt no need to stop so maybe what He has in store for me still lies ahead.  I feel better having put Panama City in my rear view mirror.   YIKES!!!! 
More soon...Blessings and love to you all.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Glory Be To God

      This one may be a little long but there is a lot to tell.  Last night,  I was driving a bit later than I really wanted to but as I have said, I am not the one in control here.  I was really tired and ran a bit off the road in the rain.  That convinced me to stop at the next available place but I seemed to be way out in the country.  As it turned out, the next available place was very close.  I pulled into the church you see in the picture below, Praise Life Ministries, Pentecostal Worship in the small community of Grand Ridge, FL.  Within a few minutes a car pulled up with Jim and Lynn, the pastor and his wife.  When I told them who  I was and what I was doing, they were very sweet and assured me I was welcome to stay the night.  I asked them if I could attend morning worship with them as well.  They let me know church started at 10.  A few minutes after they left a county policeman pulled up.  It seems a neighbor called them.  He telephoned the pastor and was very nice.  He said he would check on me again if he got the chance and to make sure I was OK.  Then another gentleman pulled up and went in the church.  His name was Robbie and after a while he came out to let me know he had set up spot for me in the church to spend the night.  I showed him my van and declined his offer as I was very comfortable where I was.  He explained that the pastor had called him and they had prayed and determined to take care of whatever needs I might have.  He told me he had prayed about it and felt God had sent me there for a reason.  After giving me his phone number and instructions to call if I needed anything, he left and told me he was looking forward to seeing me in the morning. I told him I also was looking forward to the morning and attending his church.   Honestly, I felt so much love from these 4 people I had just met.
      This morning, Robbie showed up at church before anyone else. He explained that the pastor had recently had surgery and wasn't feeling well. Usually if that was the case, the pastor's son took over for him, but he was out of town. He said that he and the pastor had decided at God's direction that if I was in agreement, I should stand in for them and relay my message for the morning service. Needless to say, I was again amazed at the way God is working in my life as He so obviously wants me to get my message out. It was a small gathering but it seems, though I felt unworthy of this honor, I was well received. They were all sweet and wonderful people and they seemed to understand that love for God and love for our neighbors is the key to coming to know God. I left them with smiles, handshakes, hugs, and a promise to return if I came back through the area. It was a wonderful experience indeed. Praise God in all His Glory. His love and His grace sustain me and protect me and I fear nothing with Him leading my way.
After the church I only made it 12 miles to Marianna, Florida, and I felt compelled to stop here. I rested and relaxed on this beautiful rainy Sabbath day. We will see what tomorrow holds.

Just a side note here. My dog Baxter as you know is with me. He has always been a wonderful and sweet dog but this trip seems to have changed him. He is more obedient than he has ever been. He walks beside me, often untethered, and as of yet has made no attempt to run off even with the sighting of a squirrel, cat, or another dog. He almost seems to think he has become my protector. It is just a joy to have him with me and everyone who meets him just seems to fall in love with him. He is a wonderful companion. I coming to think he is not my dog as much as I am his human.

My love and God's blessings to all of you.  Again, please feel free to comment below.  I would dearly love to hear from you.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Day One

     Well, my brothers and sisters, it has been an interesting day.  I was a couple of hours later leaving home than I meant to be but one must remember I am retired.  The only way I am going to get in a hurry is if God makes it known that is what I should do.  Until then.......
     I made it as far as Lake City, Florida, when I decided that was enough driving for today.  I had one very interesting stop in Macclenny.   Driving down the road, my door just popped open.  I was leaning on it and when I got stopped, I thanked God for seat belts.  At the time I wasn't going but maybe 10mph but still, I would not have been happy to fall out.  I got the door closed and it seemed alright but then in a couple of minutes it did it again.  Again, I got it closed, said a prayer of thanks, and decided I needed an Ace Hardware.  When I looked up, there was an Ace about 100 yards up the road.  I know this sounds crazy but I knew I was not going to be able to repair the latch so I decided to drill a hole in the side of the door and into the casing.  There I would put a 20 penny nail and that would hold the door closed.
     I went in the hardware and asked for the 20 penny nails.  A sweet lady showed me where they were and asked me how many I needed.  When I told her I just needed one, she said she would not charge me for one but she wanted to know why in the world I just needed one.  She walked outside with me and I showed her.  Of course she was more interested in the van and wanted to know who I was and what I was doing.  When I told her she asked me back inside and 3 other ladies joined us as we prayed a prayer of praise to our Lord and thanked Him for the goodness in people.  Each of them hugged me and I wished them the best and went on my way.
     Further down the road it came to me that ideal places to park my van for the night would be in church parking lots.  When I got to Lake City I was tired and pulled into a church lot.  In about 5 minutes a rather large fellow came out and told me to leave.   I told him who I was and what I was doing but he promptly told me he did not care and for me to leave.  I did so without further ado...ha ha ha.  About a mile later I turned into another one.  This one took about 15 minutes before a gentleman came out, asked me politely to leave, and simply walked away without waiting for a response.  So now, I am in a McDonalds parking lot.  I am truly not discouraged in the slightest but I am surprised.  After I had been at McDonalds for about an hour, a man came out told me he had seen my van and asked me who I was.  When I explained, he told me he was the manager and I was more than welcome to stay the night.  I told him about this page and he expressed a desire to keep track of me so I gave him a card with the address.  He asked me if I would pray for his wife who is having some health problems.  We prayed together in the parking lot, I came inside to take him up on his offer of a free cup of coffee, and sat down to write this.  What a day the Lord has given me.  The wonderful moments more than make up for the trials.
     I can only think of Titus 1:16  They profess to know God but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.  I forgive and I will pray for these men in these churches that they may come to know God. 
     May God bless you all for He surely blessed me.  I love and love conquers all.

By the way, here is a quick picture of the 20 penny nail holding my door closed.  It works great...ha ha ha

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Instruments of God

     Sometimes I think we have a tendency, because we are so close, to take our family members for granted.  I believe it is because we love them and we also expect them to love us.  We expect that love on good days as well as bad days.  The sad truth is sometimes our family lets us down and sometimes we let our family members down.  The glorious truth is sometimes just the reverse happens.  Such has just happened to me.  If you read my last entry, you know about my computer.  Today, my daughter, Julie, took care of that problem and presented me with a new computer.  I can't help but equate this a bit with the poor widow who gave two mites at the synagogue.  I know she can't afford this but she did it anyway and with a pure heart.   She was convinced God did not want me on my trip without being able to update (or testify if you will) as to what and who I encounter.  I praise and thank God for the wonderful daughter He has given me and I thank her for her love and her caring.  She is so much more than I deserve.
     As for the trip, all is well and I am planning on leaving tomorrow morning around 10AM.  I still have much to do so this is a short update but I had to let everyone know about Julie and my computer.  I would ask all of you to pray for her and John, her husband, to be safe while I am gone.  I'm sure not much time will go by between times when I touch base with them but prayer never hurts.
      Look to hear from me soon as I am sure I will light somewhere soon and I will be anxious to give you the details.  My love to you all.

Monday, March 16, 2015

OH The trials

Hello My Brothers and Sisters,
     My actual day and time of departure has been determined.  I will be leaving Friday morning around 10AM.  I wanted to leave a day or so before that but this is what worked out best for the family.  Tonight I set out to make a trial run and "camp out" in the van.  I didn't take Baxter (the dog) but I did take Eve (the grand daughter).  She was excited.  We went up to the RV park at the motel where I used to work.  Everything went well until we finished supper and I sat down and turned on the computer.  To make a long story short, the laptop has gone kaput.  Momentarily, I was distraught.  What ran through my mind first was I was not going to have the ability to update this page as I went about my mission.  I have begun to think this is one of the most important parts of the mission.  It is to stand as testimonials about the people and situations I encounter to all who are planning to follow my progress.  I do believe this is part of Gods plan as well.
     Let me fist say I am no longer distraught.  Like always, it seems when something goes wrong, I temporarily lose my mind and forget that God is in control.  I came home (this update is on my home computer), took a couple of deep breaths and opened my Bible.  There it was.  James 1:2-4   Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  I'm OK.  I have once again regained my composure, prayed, and put this issue to rest.  If God wants me to document this trip as I go, then He will take care of this issue as He has taken care of so many others so far.  I most certainly will let you all know what happens next.  Hey!  This is better than watching a good drama on TV.  I feel as I must say, "Stay tuned for tomorrow's show".  It is bound to be exciting.  Love to you all.

By the way, here are three shots of the van now that it is completed, loaded, and ready to go.  Also please notice there is a comment section below each post.  Please feel free to leave a comment.  I would love to hear from you and I know when I get on the road, hearing from you will make my day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Oh! I am excited!!

     It was the eve of Easter in 1989 when I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior.  I had a good neighbor tell my wife that she need not to worry as I would calm down in time and not take being saved so seriously.  I don't think there has ever been anyone in my life who I have been so glad to prove wrong.  Like any struggling Christian, I have certainly had my ups and downs but the pure joy I felt on that day has never left me.  It has sustained and comforted me through tremendous hardships.  I even went through a period when I was angry with God.  Through it all, I knew in my heart God was with me and comfort was but a prayer away.  He has never forsaken me and He never will.
     I am human and I do still get frustrated sometimes.  Here is an example that should sit you up in your chair.  As you know, I am preparing for my mission trip.  I have converted my work van into a small livable camper that will suit me and my puppy just fine.  Last Friday, a light connected somehow to my overdrive started flashing and my transmission started skipping.  I know nothing about transmissions other than they are expensive to repair.  I got on the internet and googled my trucks symptoms.  Everything I read pointed to having to replace the transmission or either have this one rebuilt.   The estimated cost looked to be around $2500.  I was devastated.  For three days I was devastated and I forgot (just for 3 days) which way to turn.  On Sunday afternoon after church (I'm pretty sure it was church that slapped some sense into me) I got down on my knees and prayed.  I praised God and apologized to Him for my lapse.  I told Him I was building this ark to go on this mission for Him but I could not afford to replace that transmission.  I thanked Him for His help and let Him know that I would accept whatever His will might be.  If the trip was meant to be, I knew He would once again step in and handle the problems.  Well, guess what.  I got in that truck Monday morning and drove it.  The light was off and the transmission was as smooth as silk.  I have driven it extensively since and it drives like a brand new truck. 
     I also discovered Monday that my mission has already started.  I went to Publix to get the last few groceries I'm going to need for the trip.  When I came out a family of folks were standing behind my van looking at the "Know Our Lord" sign.  I gave them cards with the web address and invited them to follow my journey on the site.  We prayed together and parted ways with smiles, hugs, and blessings.
     For those of you who are following that don't go to my church, I attend Kings Pasture Cowboy Church at 6870 US 17  not too far out of Kingsland, Ga., headed toward Woodbine.  I will have the van there on this coming Sunday for anyone who would like a tour.  Please come by and join us.  Fellowship time starts at 10 and the service starts at 11.  This will probably be my last Sunday at the church for a while as I am leaving next week on my mission trip.  May God bless you all and I love you dearly.  2 Corinthians 13:14  The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God,and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Time is Drawing Nigh

The time for my departure is getting closer.  I am shooting for around March 16th or 17th.  So far, getting the van set up and ready has not only been fun but it has also been a rather intense spiritual journey.  I have encountered quite a few problems I did not have any idea how to deal with.  Fortunately for all of us, God knows how to handle any problem and brothers and sisters I am telling you solve them He did.  He has been with me every step of the way and it becomes even more obvious to me every day that I am doing what he wants me to do.  While I am going to terribly miss my family, both at home and at church, I am getting a little more excited every day.  I can't wait to find out what God has in mind for me and even where He is going to send me.  I must admit to feeling a bit of apprehension but He is taking care of that as well. 
    Here is an absolute God moment for you that should prove that point.  In trying to personally control my apprehensions, I was what you might call just treading water.  I decided to see what God had to say to me.  I took my Bible, set it on the table with the spline down and let it fall open.  It fell open to 2nd Timothy Chapter 4. 
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with [a]great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

     I must have sat and read that passage at least 50 times.  I'm not sure what you might think but I'm pretty  certain I got my answer.  I feel so privileged and loved when God reaches out to me like that.  So much for apprehension.   I don't know what tomorrow holds but I do know who holds tomorrow.
     I must say that quite a few people have come to my aid as I am sure they were following God's bidding.  I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart and I just can't wait to relay to you the stories of my travels and the wonderful works of God I know lie ahead.  Please keep me in your prayers as I will pray for each of you daily.
In the love of our Heavenly Father

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Essence of the Ministry

     Many people are asking me about the basis for this ministry upon which I embark.  The essence of it is simple.  I believe God is charging me with helping people get to know Him.  I have many avenues to travel in doing this and I will try to explain one such avenue here.
       We live in a realm where we are all tempted by Satan on a daily basis.  Temptations are all around us and never ceasing.  There is but one sure way to keep Satan at bay.  Assuming that we understand and believe in our heart that Jesus Christ was sacrificed by our Father so we may live, we must also understand by doing so we become a more desirable target for Satan.  So what do we do to stop Satan’s assault on us?  Look first at 1 Corinthians 13:13   And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.    Now look at 1 John 4:8   Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
     Therein lies the key.  How can we love Jesus and despise our neighbor.  What we must learn in order to get closer to God is how to love.  This is one of the most powerful lessons we can learn from the teachings of Jesus.  It is very plain in His sermon on the mount and most powerfully stated in Mathew 5:39-45
39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Put plainly, we must learn to love all others without exception and regardless of their actions against us.  To learn this is to truly come to know God.  Worthy of repeating here is 1 John 4:8   Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  
     When Jesus's disciples asked Him how to pray, one of the phrases He used was "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."  He let's us know here how important forgiveness is but understand just forgiving someone who has done you wrong is not enough.  You must also truly love that person.  Forgiveness is just the beginning and love is the ultimate answer.
     May God bless you all and grant you the strength you need in your journey to know Him.  There surely can be no greater blessing than to come to know God.   I am yours in love and by the grace of our Lord.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Trip Preparations

Hi My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

     As preparations for my trip continue, the devil is busy trying to slow me down.  I never cease to be amazed at how quickly he disappears when I bow my head and simply say, "Lord. He is here and I need your help."  Then I relax in the knowledge that God is with me and the devil doesn't stand a chance.  Everything just falls into place and works out perfectly.  I feel truly blessed to be involved in this endeavor and in the preparations for doing God's work.
     Aside from that, I have amazing help from an earthly angel as well.  Eve is my constant companion as I make my preparations and the little extra time that sometimes cost me is worth more than anyone but a grandparent can imagine.   I will admit she can be quite dangerous with a hammer but God protects and loves us both.
     I have the beginning shelves and the paneling installed and now I'm looking for some carpet for the floor.  In trying to save money I decided to go with used carpet, maybe some that someone is replacing.  I was in the carpet cleaning business for so long I'm not even concerned with how it looks as I should be able to take care of that. If anyone knows someone who is replacing carpet, please let me know and I will come and get it.
    Let me take just a moment now if I can to make something very clear.  I know in my heart this is a trip and a mission God wants me to take.  I am going on this mission.  Many folks have tried to frighten me regarding what I may encounter on my trip.  I have so far heard warnings about car trouble, criminals, wild animals, illness, and most of all about being old and being alone on the road.  Rest assured I am not alone.  From Psalm 62, Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
     Please feel free to leave a comment below.  I would love to hear from you.
     My God bless you all and I love you.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Trip in the Works

Hello Brothers and Sisters in Christ,                               

      I am in the planning stages of a trip.  I got the idea for this trip one day from a friend of mine.  (Thank-you so much Mark)   I was not having a good day and was feeling a little dejected and more than a little depressed.  He suggested I needed a road trip or a vacation just to get away for a while.  I laughed at first because I really didn't think such a trip was even possible.   Over the next few days, I began to think about the trip and wondered if it may indeed be possible after all.  To make a long story short, I prayed.  Almost instantly, ideas began popping into my head that could turn the trip into a reality.  At first I believed the ideas were coming from my own somewhat innovative nature.  Within a few days, I began to see more clearly where, or should I say "from whom" the ideas were originating.  Sometimes I just have to almost be whipped before I pay attention.  I guess it comes from being old and crotchety.  I only mention this because my six year old granddaughter, Eve, is pretty sure her granddaddy lived about the same time as the dinosaurs.
     At any rate, it became obvious to me that God was sanctioning my trip.  To be honest, I don't believe He will let me back out now but I really don't want to as I grow more excited about the trip daily.  I am taking my pup, Baxter, as he is well behaved and a wonderful traveling companion.
      I don't know where I am going other than westward.  God will take care of the rest.  I don't have a set day at this point to leave but God is working on that as well.  I am projecting to leave in the second or third week in March.  I am converting my work van into a small camper so a lot depends on finances as well as my ability to get the van ready.  So far it is going well but slowly.   I know I'll be ready when He says "Go".
     Many have figured out by now than this has become so much more than a vacation for me.  It has become a ministry.  I seem to have been given a message and I want to spread that message to anyone who will listen.   The message will unfold here on this blog but the essence of the message is "Coming to KNOW God and Jesus."
     They want us to be close knit members of Their family and while many of us profess our love for God and Jesus, we don't yet truly KNOW Them.  They hide nothing from us if we ask and we KNOW Them.  They keep nothing from us if we ask and we KNOW Them.  They deny us nothing if it is just and we ask and we KNOW Them.
     In Mathew, Jesus and his disciples encountered a young boy who was possessed by a demon.  The disciples were unable to bring any relief to the boy but Jesus instantly upon seeing the boy, rebuked the demon and the boy was healed.  The disciples came to Jesus afterward and asked why they were unable to help the boy.  The answer to that question is Mathew 17:20.   He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”  If you take a few moments and think about that, it is a very powerful statement from our Lord.   Now I say to you, "Imagine what you could do if your faith becomes knowledge."  That is the message I want to relay and hopefully I can be God's instrument to help bring people closer to Him.   
     Finally (for now) as for this blog, I will rely on free wifi networks at businesses to connect as frequently as possible to let all who are interested know what is happening.  I hope to post pictures of places I go and people I see as well as report on the effectiveness of the ministry.  The only thing I ask is for your prayers.  I would very much appreciate it if you would ask God to give me the right words when I need them as well as giving the people I talk to the ability to listen and understand.  Help me help them get closer to God with our prayers.
     My next step will be to just keep you apprised of my progress with maybe a picture or two of the van as well as the puppy.