Emmanuel עמנואל, “God is with us” Part III

If we could, for even just a day, have our eye’s opened to all of the many way’s in which God intercedes for each of us on a personal level perhaps we’d better understand Paul’s seemingly impossible exhortation here…

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice evermore.Pray without ceasing In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Maybe that means keeping a deer from running out in front of your vehicle. It might mean keeping any uncontrolled cell growth which commonly exists within each of our bodies from becoming cancerous.

Recently, it was the job I didn’t get that I’m thankful for!

I had applied for an over the road driving job with a smaller company who ran regional freight. During the ensuing interview which seemed to go very well I remember the owner telling me that because of how junky his equipment was I would have to drive around scales and that I would be paid on a percentage of what the load paid. Despite both of those pieces of really bad news I filled out the application he gave me and faxed it back to him ready to work if and when he called!

But he never did…

So I called another company that I had been considering who I knew ran first class equipment but who also ran a much bigger territory. I was hesitant about my ability to meet their expectations because it had been over four years since I drove on that level. The thing is,God didn’t really leave me any other options! Getting back into the transportation industry with no recent experience is difficult so I was ready to take anything…

but I was also well…afraid!

I struggle with anxiety and fear quite a bit, it’s one of the biggest areas my Heavenly Father is helping me to grow in! Mostly by protecting me from things that would overwhelm me totally, other times by just being close to me in the midst of any circumstances that I feel threatened by. What faith is to me is knowing that God had control of my circumstances yesterday, and so therefore also has my today and tomorrow under control as well!

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

That’s what this verse means to me…It’s also why I’m so thankful! There’s nothing as empowering and fear squashing as knowing that the omnipotent God who created the heavens, the earth, and all that is,is with you and that He cares about YOU!

Does that mean nothing bad ever happens to me?

We all know that “Stuff Happens” don’t we…

The question most people have is when does the “stuff” STOP happening?

It stops when GRACE happens! When we come to the place where we can truly say,

“Father, not my will but yours be done”

and mean it…

Several years ago I was driving along in my truck near Jamestown N.Y. on hyw 87 on my back west after doing four drops earlier in the day. I had heard that the D.O.T. was setting up in the rest areas inspecting trucks so I was very leery of being inspected. It was later in the evening, maybe 8pm,and usually they quit inspecting at dark so I thought I was home free…then I saw it,the flashing yellow lights on the roadside sign,”surely this is some kind of construction warning” I thought,but as I drew closer startled panic settled on me as the words “all trucks must enter” assaulted my unbelieving eye’s! I was trapped and there was nothing I could do…no ramp to pull off of and “fix it” so with cold resignation I pulled off onto the ramp twoard the man waving his flashlight holding hand at me.What else could I do but accept the fact that I was screwed,perhaps my full cooperation and good attitude would as they had so many times before see me thru,I doubted it.As I pulled to a stop he stepped up onto my side step and spoke to me,

How’re we doing tonight? Oh,I’m doing fine I guess…What’re you hauling? Nothing, I’m empty. Well, have a good evening then!

And that was the extent of it, I hauled out of there on an adrenaline high that would entice any skydiver,or cause a lion tamer to stare curiously in wonder,not yet ready to dip my chip in the “crock of life” I’d just been handed,it just seemed un-real to me. Why did ‘nt he at least ask to see my log book? thats S.O.P. basic stuff,you look at the driver,gauge his condition,look at his book,and then if all seems right,you send him on,or if,as was the case here,you’re not at all busy,just send him inside anyway for the 3rd degree check,you know,wanted/warrents/unpaid tickets/child support un returned library books,lol really! but he did’nt,so I’m driving down the road thinking, WOW! that could have been a whole weeks salary down the tubes but for some reason which I can’t explain I just walked thru the fire without so much as a mark on me…Does the Lord work in mysterious ways? did he know that if I would have been shut down/fined etc…that it might break my spirit? someday I’d like to ask him.

Our Path,Our Purpose,and Gods Provision

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At the core of my belief system is the idea that if we will do what we’re supposed to do in life our needs will be met, paramount among which is to be loved. That can be a tricky thing to know exactly what it is we’re supposed to be doing, to say the least. It also takes courage and trust to actually do that thing once you figure out what it is. So important is this concept to me that I named my blog “Seeking The Kingdom” to place an emphasis on how simple I feel that life can actually be.

Allow me to bring this down to a personal level… My current financial situation is not good, I’ve been out of work for over a year. (stay tuned blog fans, this has recently changed) I’ve tried a lot of different things during that time to make money but for one reason or another nothing has worked. I have clearly made some bad choices in that time but I’ve also had some bad breaks. What I have done successfully during that time is to do what I was compelled to do, to tell people the great news that God loves us all, that he wants to heal us, to provide for us, and to spend eternity with us in a perfect place he’s prepared for us. So far, I’ve never missed a meal, still have a roof over my head, a car to drive and gas to put in it! I’ve been imprisoned, and impoverished, and I can honestly tell you I’ve never been happier.

Recently I’ve written some things about the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. I’d like to clear up any misunderstandings if possible by first of all saying that in no way do I believe that a woman shouldn’t work outside the home. This is an issue that is also very close to me right now given my aforementioned circumstances. It’s an issue that me and my wife have struggled with recently. My wife home schools our seven year old daughter, she does all of the housework, attempts to cook and a host of other things in our home. What changed my mind as to her seeking employment outside the home is the basic premise that I started with…what my wife does here is SO much more important than the money that she could make at a job. Being here and doing what she’s doing IS what she’s supposed to be doing! If the choices that we’ve made together are selfish and self serving then I wouldn’t expect to see Gods provision in them…Our daughter is the most precious gift that God ever entrusted us with, I’d much rather lose everything I have than to give my consent to compromising that most sacred of stewardship’s. My problem with Palin is that she holds herself up as an example to young women of being able to “have it all” while the pregnancy of her teenage daughter is somehow seen as an acceptable trade-off for her career…And, she wants to be considered a Christian, well okay, I’ve made my share of bad choices in life and I’ll readily admit to them, I’ve turned from as many of them as I can,I use them as “cautionary tales” to anyone who will or who needs to listen. Sarah Palin is my sister in Christ and I love her, I’m pretty sure I believe in most of the same things that she does. But here we go again, instead of taking the opportunity to use her publicity to caution women about balancing family and work which in my opinion would really be a wonderful thing for her to do…I see her as sweeping it under the rug and once again making winning this election and her career the priority. That seems pretty self serving to me even though she would claim to be a public servant, which is fine, I know who I serve…