We love you…because you’re YOU!

This is a re-post of a blog I did around my birthday last year, I wanted to move it from yahoo 360 and share it here with ‘yall…

Yesterday was NOT a good day for a lot of folks, I saw the former CEO of AIG say that he’d lost about three billion dollars…A lot of people are having to accept the idea that perhaps they’ll be working past the time they had planned on retiring. We’re all concerned with the current state of the economy, it can get to you if you let it! Yesterday was my birthday, because my mother sent me a check for forty bucks I had the money to put gas in my car, go to West Plains and buy some groceries at Aldi with my food stamps,come home and eat lunch, and then later go to church. I’ve been having an alternator problem with my car lately. Last night after church it was dark and I had to turn on the lights. A few miles outta town it died on me and I was able to limp it into a turn off beside the road. We (my wife, daughter and I) got out of the car and my wife reached into the backseat to grab the ice cream we had bought in town to go with the cake she had made. I questioned her about that, not wishing for her to carry this melting sack for who knows how long it might take for us to somehow eventually get home, she persisted. We took off walking, it was a beautiful nearly full moon lit night but it was still quite dark. Within five minutes a pickup truck drove by us, stopped…came back and asked if we needed a ride (two women) We all loaded into the truck, girls up front and me in the back. These “Good Samaritans” took us all the way to my house which is located two and a half miles off the paved road down some of the worst roads in Oregon county…I’ve never been so thankful to anybody! Driving through the blackberry thickets,the lady driving mentioned how much she liked blackberries so when they dropped us off my wife gave her a couple of quarts out of our freezer we had picked last summer. After a few minutes of letting my nerves settle we had my birthday party…the ice cream was still frozen! Then my daughter gave me my present she had made, here are some pictures of the book she made for me…

this is the cover…

We love you when you’re sad, (notice she has colored me blue) that’s me sitting in my chair.

This is me when I’m mad!

you guessed it! me when I’m happy…about getting a job!

We love you because you’re YOU!…yup, I trained this one!

It’s quite a wonderful thing in these times of upheaval and stress and so much hardship to be able to appreciate how truly blessed I am. I’m so thankful to God that He loves me, a broken sinner! and that He not only has my present circumstances under control but my future figured out too! I’m so thankful that he gave me my family my friends and for the love they show me. and lastly, but NOT leastly, for the kindness of strangers!

In His Hands

I didn’t grow up going to church, I have very few memories of the times I did go.  I was sent off on the bus by my aunt when I stayed with her so that she and her boyfriend could be alone on Sunday morning. I remember I had to wear those blue plaid pants with the puckered out pockets that I hated and how much I loved my bible study teacher and how he taught us the story of Joseph.  I remember the day I came forward and accepted Christ after the Holy Spirit had gotten ahold of me one morning, I was about nine. I always enjoyed singing, there was one song in particular that I remember…

“He’s got the whole world, in His hands,in His hands

He’s got you and me and brother,in His hands”

You know the one, everybody’s heard it. It’s fun to clap along with and it’s the children’s equivalent to a negro spiritual.  I think there’s a lesson in those words that we as adults would do well to mind. We carry some pretty heavy loads at times, wouldn’t it be great if we could just put them in His hands? Truly let them go, trust in Him enough to simply thank Him before we see it, and maybe even spend a little more time with Him?

What would you put in His hands?

Your finances? Your children? your marriage? Your health?

It seems ironic to me that Christian people can profess a faith in God and trust Him with their eternal soul’s, and yet not trust Him in this present moment with the simple (to Him) problems of our lives…all I know is that I want Him to be Lord over everything!

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In His hands,in His hands”

“He’s got the whole world in His hands”

It’s nothing more than a children ‘s song unless we do more than talk about it. Nothing more than a wonderful story until we walk down to the waters edge, stick our foot in, and watch the waters part! That’s a place few of us really want to find ourselves, being totally dependent on Him, but that’s the blessing I’ve experienced in a very real way over the past couple of years…But Alton, haven’t you just lost your home, your car, and just about everything else you own? Oh, and didn’t you spend ten days in jail last year?

YES!

But in the process I’ve been made keenly aware of my dependence on Him, I’ve seen the waters part! I was given a car, provided with food, a job, a place to live without charge, and in spite of everything I have PEACE! He’s given me a ministry that continues to bring meaning and fulfillment to my life, and an opportunity for me to boast about the unmerited favor of God and all of the great things the Lord has done for ME!

Hebrews 11:6

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Romans 1:5

Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.

2 Timothy 4:5

5 But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.

Life can turn on a dime, this morning at four AM I was awakened by my brother in law who informed me that there was an unknown person in our bath tub. A 19 year old young man who had a four wheeler accident down the road from our house walked in and sat down in our bathtub and proceeded to draw himself a bath…very strange indeed! We called an ambulance and they came and got him. I’m quite sure that when he took off on that ride he never anticipated ending up in some strange peoples’ bathtub!

The complexities of my situation, my choices,and a few bad breaks have led me to where I’m at now (my own variety of hot water) which is as I said a point in which I have no other good alternatives that I’m aware of  other than to do what I’m doing which is to take each day as it comes, thank God for His grace on me, and be so glad that I’m in His hands!

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Life does throw us curve balls…

In this crazy world it’s a great

feeling to know that I’m in

Gods hands!

Are YOU in Gods hands?

Our sick little secrets!

Our sick little secrets! magnify
Interesting title, kind of like a supermarket tabloid you just can’t help but notice! Are you up for a story? Not too long ago in a land not too far from here I met a man…It was during a period in my life when I needed help…lots of it! That man was a psychologist, and I was in a group therapy setting. This man made a huge impression on me, I often refer to him as having given “emotional birth” to me! He didn’t give a RIP about my outward feelings, or if I “liked him” he rolled up his sleeves and dove right into my life casting garbage aside and booting lies until I was naked and bare before everyone! (thats kind-of like birth) He made me admit that my parents had screwed up with me, and that I grew up doubting that they really loved me. He crammed the idea of ME being responsible for my own feelings down my narrow throat, enlightened me to the possibility that “I” based on my perceptions,could control my thoughts,which produce my feelings. I noticed that a lot of people in our group hated him…lol a few of them actually walked out of group when he was on “their case.” In the years since then I’ve never forgotten this man, (obviously) or how his “tough love” worked on me…and I love him still. He spoke the truth in love to me, and it changed my life…he didn’t let me squirm away and hide behind some dis-functional lie in my belief system, he pressed on toward the goal, he cared more for my future than my present dis-comfort. Is this just my reminiscing or is there a point to all of this? maybe just this…while there is a time to be gentle and considerate of peoples sensibilities (especially in a therapy setting) I feel that much more is accomplished by confronting peoples objections and excuses directly. Wheather it’s psychology or theology it doesn’t matter, in theology we typically wait until the spirit opens doors for us to “work” what psychology has taught me is that our behaviors ARE the doors, they are the”cry’s for help” we’re unable to give words to. They’re the outward expressions of inner problems relating to the spirit. Some people will object when it’s suggested that the source of their behavior is spirit related and will resist the attempts made to help them…now we can talk about how we’re only as sick as the secrets we keep, the lies we believe, the healing power that we embrace, and our bad choices. I would therefore submit to you that because I can “see” a car coming down the street that it has a direct bearing on the decision I make to walk out in the street…why? because I care for my life. If I believed LIES I’d probably walk out into the street and get hit, and be another casualty of this modern life. But the TRUTH shall set you free! Lord, I pray that you would use me as an instrument of thy peace and not the whole orchestra, and a minister of your truth, to set the captives free. help me to know Lord that I am but just a part! That I may plant seeds but it is you that gives the increase, that I may bring the message but it’s the Holy Spirit who convicts and changes hearts…amen