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Easy Does It!

For many very good reasons those are definitely the wisest words spoken around me in the last couple of weeks.  Recently, after a very long hiatus I’ve returned to the world of physical work. I’m slowly becoming adjusted to my new routine, getting lots of healthy exercise, working with people I enjoy, and spending all day outside usually in the woods! It’s every bit as much fun as it sounds, but the combination of having turned fifty last month and my being so very out of shape (round is a shape isn’t it?) has made it a real challenge. Let me tell you, after you’ve pushed yourself pretty hard it’s an incredible feeling just to lay back on the grass and stare up at the crystal clear blue sky. Feeling your blood coursing through your veins and the blessed peace that even momentary relief brings. Marking time by the thunderous rhythm of your own heart beats against the easy swaying of the tree tops.

Overheated~ pulsating… ecstatic!

At this point in my life, it’s out of necessity I must be smarter about how I go about things. I’m no longer able to simply go to the well of my physical strength as before. This emerging strategy consists mostly of practicing patience, persistence, and planning, but more importantly it’s about using the power that’s available to me most effectively. That involves developing the skill and judgment nessesary to use a machine to it’s full potential without pushing it to the point that it’s going to break or in a way it wasn’t designed to be used. Understanding that it, the machine, will take a great deal of hard use but very little if any ab-use.  So while it’s true that my strength isn’t what it once was and my energy is now much more precious, none of those realities change the fact that the job is about moving heavy objects from one place to another, and so the relationship I have with my “power” equipment is extremely vital to me!

The power of a machine like this makes the impossible possible. It pulls whole trees out of the thickest brush you can imagine using a wench and a cable and “skids” them to a landing.

This is called a “picker truck” it’s the helping hand that lifts the extremely heavy loads onto the log truck like they were toothpicks!

And of course the real workhorse of our operation, the log truck! We do a humanly impossible task by using the awesome power that’s available to us through these tools.

Life can also be a “mission impossible”

How common it seems to be nowadays for people to feel overwhelmed by all of the heavy burdens they’re dragging around or trying to carry on their shoulders. All of us can relate personally or have known those who were crushed by the weight of their problems, by the pile of logs that are on top of them! Many people mistakenly believe that they’re stuck in their situations, pinned down by the tangled mess their living in and are frustrated by it’s complex nature. Sadly, their lives have become a hopeless, joyless, depressing drudgery with seemingly no meaning to all of the hardship and struggles that they endure daily.

And that’s no way to live!

This description also fits many Christian people who would eagerly to tell you about Jesus and his great love for us all!  Who have trusted Christ for their eternal salvation and yet somehow they’re challenged to trust Him with their present circumstances! I wonder if they believe that He’s a far away God who is perhaps indifferent to their troubles or that what goes on here in this life is theirs to deal with alone. I don’t think that’s right, this sounds much easier to me!

1 Peter 5:7

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Matthew 11:30

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Years ago my high school biology teacher told us that he had previously taught chemistry for many years all the while believing that he understood it until one day as he was drawing a formula on the board in a sudden realization he actually “got it” himself. He thought he understood it but his understanding was only on a superficial level. I’m sure he had  passed many tests over it to graduate and no doubt felt comfortable teaching it to others. In his head it seemed to be a settled issue, but in his heart it was a different matter. He didn’t really understand it, not on that level, there was a vital connection missing, an “app” as they call it today that turned it from being just a bunch of abstract theories into a simple life changing reality!

As Christians I think we all need to have a similar “light bulb” moment! One way to do that is to walk by faith in our own lives until we come to a much clearer understanding of what is the true reality of the spiritual world and the false illusion of the physical one.

1 Corinthians 2:6

However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.

If only we could comprehend much more of  God’s love for us, think of the difference it would make in our lives, that we could make in this world! we could live our lives in victory and love would flow out of us like living waters!

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

John 7:38

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Christs supreme act of love and redemption that was done for all men on the cross defeated sin’s power over us and ultimately death on our behalf. It made the impossible possible, and through the power of His blood Jesus still empowers believers to rise above all of the weapons that are formed against them in life.

Isaiah 54:17

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

Easy does it!

We have a tremendous tool that we don’t use nearly enough! It has the power to pull us out of the miry clay we’re stuck in and out of the worst thorns and thickets we could ever hope to find ourselves. It can lift all of those heavy burdens we’re carrying around ourselves, put them on a truck, and deliver you from the need to ever fear them again! What is it?

PRAYER!

Romans 12:12

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

1 John 5:14

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

It’s as easy as just loving God,

Loving our brothers and sisters by sharing Christ’s love which was given to us freely

And finally, it’s as easy as loving yourself and KNOWING that God loves YOU!

There’s nothing confusing or complicated about it. All we have to do is LOVE.

That’s always been Gods intention towards us, I don’t understand why we all don’t get it !

Or why if we say we do, we don’t act with the authority it conveys to us over all areas of our lives

Someday, a simple little man is going to read Gods word and just believe it…

And the rest of us are going to be really embarrassed when he looks at us and says,

It’s easy when you just let God do it!

Matthew 6:13

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen

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Gods In It…(Pt.1)

Note to readers: This blog is a narrative of an as of yet still unfolding story which is my life. I’ve never done a three part piece but due to the complexity and length of the story I felt it was necessary. I do hope that you enjoy it…


Do you see the working of the Holy Spirit in your life on a regular basis? As human’s we’re entitled to see the events and circumstances of our lives in any way we choose according to our own beliefs. It’s the central feature of our free will to acknowledge something or nothing supernatural as playing a part in our lives. Many people believe in only what they can see, in the works of men or in their own abilities, some in luck and coincidence, still others see everything as having an intelligent plan behind it, they believe that everything happens for a reason, that there are no accidents and everything happens “on purpose”. I think this synopsis covers most of the bases, personally I believe that because God loves me He is vitally and passionately interested in every detail of my life! I can look back upon the years of my life and see His hand on me, places where He guided me, counseled me, and delivered me from and through so many things. I can also very easily see His love for me through His care and provision in my life. One thing I’ve noticed about how God seems to work is that when He does something it’s never about just one person. Whatever He does always affects many people who are related through circumstances in a positive way.

Gin rummy is a card game where you collect cards that have some sequential relationship to each other and then lay them down for points. The ultimate goal is to match up every card you have into a set of some type leaving you card-less and thus achieving  “Gin”!

My card game began back in February of ’06 early one morning when I fell on my slightly damp and slippery rough sawed oak front steps and completely tore my rotator cuff. After my surgery I was off of work for about 6mo’s. During that summer my wife also unfortunately lost her job as a nurse because of a procedural error she was blamed for which resulted in her nursing license being suspended. In August I went back to work and was digging myself out of the deep hole I was in when I was told my child support would be going from the 400.00 a month plus 150.00 towards arrears that I was regularly paying to a new total of 700.00 a month because of some medical bills I’d never seen but that I was now liable for. Also, it was decided by the government that I and my daughter needed to be automatically enrolled in the health care plan offered by my employer which cost me over 300.00 more a month, she already had insurance but hey, more is better right?

(as an aside,they also passed another law that had a dramatic and effect on my situation)

In order to try and cope with this financial tsunami I decided that the only thing for me to do was to try and get a better paying  job.  After completing an over the phone interview, J.B. Hunt told me that I was hired and that I should go to St. Louis, Mo. and report to orientation classes which I did.  ( I’m not sure how it has to do with the overall story but I feel as though I need to mention that my father passed away in July of this year which was immediately prior to my trip to St.Louis) Three days into it they told me that they can’t hire me because I have a preventable accident on my record. I was involved in an accident while driving an 18 wheeler in ’05 but I wasn’t cited for it by the investigating DOT officer’s.  After I quit working for them the company turned the accident in to the driver advocacy council (DAC) as being my fault which essentially black-balled me from getting any driving job. I came home in disgust, and a gentleman whom I had talked to previously about logging my property called me up out of the blue and said he could get right on it! I made a couple thousand dollars that I used to try and start up a home based internet business with a friend of mine which promptly failed. Everything I became involved with failed pretty much right away, nothing I tried worked out!  I remember at one point I was desperately trying to sell firewood, it was a Sunday and I had a load sold that was about three quarter’s finished. I decided that I wouldn’t finish the load because it was Sunday and I wanted to observe the sabbath. That night it rained hard and the next day when I tried to get my truck out it sank down to the axles in mud! That truck sat there for probably 3 months before my stepson brought out his skidder and winched it out.

I was getting discouraged…

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Who’s To Say?

I’m big on remembering quips, quotes, “sayings”, or expressions.

Recently I was reminded of this one:

“Who’s to say that the rantings of a madman aren’t actually

the clear vision of the only sane man left.”

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That got me to thinking about how I see the issues of depression and anxiety. Among the various therapies and methods of helping people who complain of these symptoms, one strategy is to help them to “move on.” Another is to help them sort out why what they’re feeling is perhaps irrational.  Depression is primarily a reaction to loss, one of it’s most common symptoms is hopelessness. Can I honestly try to sell people on the idea that there’s sufficient reason to be hopeful in this world? Anxiety is a high energy emotion that’s based in fear. There are indeed a lot of scary things in this world that can happen to people that we’re powerless to stop. What advice can I possibly offer anyone that can truly nullify this prospect?

Please understand that I’m not attempting to make any definitive statements about helping people with emotional problems, I’m only examining the “reality of perception” people seem to operate in.

What I’m talking about here are average people who’ve suffered belief system crashes that left them traumatized and erroneously conditioned to react with anxiety and depression out of a perceived necessity for self preservation.

What if anything can I say? Explaining to people that their need to hold onto the “self” or “ego” and the resultant realization of their powerlessness in controlling circumstances are at the root of their depression and anxiety?

Sure, but what will I do with the other 45 minutes?

In the absence of having God in our lives we tend to stand in for Him and do the job ourselves, and it is rough territory!

Have you got all of the bases covered? What if,what if, what if?

“I’m such a failure, I couldn’t control the circumstances of my life completely, I should just give up!”

Can you see what I mean about “who’s to say” yet?

If I told you everything bad that was going to happen to you for the rest of your life how do you think you’d handle it?

I think most people might resemble the “mad man” I referred to previously.

What if instead, I showed you in Gods word that while you may go through all of the things in your life I previously mentioned, that not only would everything work out great in the end but that you would have peace available to you in the midst of all of it. Would that calm you down? Would it allow you to see the events and circumstances of your life from the perspective of what you gained from them instead of what you’ve lost?

Proverbs 12:25

Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression,
But a good word makes it glad. (NKJV)

Philippians 4:6-7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (NKJV)

“Anxiety disorders, like many other conditions, are an example of normal responses that appear at inappropriate times”.

Faced with everything that’s going on in this world we live in and all of the personal challenges that each of us are going through everyday, I guess what I’m wondering is what would constitute justifiable grounds for depression and anxiety?

Although I’ve perhaps got grounds to, I don’t feel depressed or anxious about my personal situation, nor do I feel that way about the future of our world. But I can absolutely understand how someone who doesn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ or someone who doesn’t know Him as their Savior might! Some people may think I’m wrong not to be “overly concerned” but then, who’s to say right?

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The Kingdom Of Heaven

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How ironic, coincidental, or even serendipitous….that I should come to this point in my life, and my writing, at the same time! “What point is that?” Well, since you asked…My home is going up for auction on the 8th of May and so consequently I will be “Seeking A New Kingdom” in which to live. Then there’s my writing, maybe you’ve noticed, the titles of my last three blogs…

It’s in there, somewhere in the middle, Of legalism and Liberalism, What is it?

The Kingdom Of Heaven!

I’m a little anxious today, but I have a slightly different attitude about whats happening than what some people might. It has to do with control…and how you understand it or how you define it, and even how you practice it! Most peoples definition of control goes something like this

Control: the ability to affect the outcome of a situation.

I wholeheartedly believe in this definition, and I attempt to practice it to the overall betterment of myself and everyone else whenever I can! Then there’s this definition, but there’s a twist to it!

Real: a: That which is unthreatenable. b:not false or counterfeit
Control: a: to exercise restraining or directing influence over. b: to have power over…

If you ask most people their definition of control you’d probably get an answer similar to the first one…but in their minds, they comprehend it more like the second one, and so, when unexpected stuff happens, or abrupt change like whats happening in my life right now occurs it messes them up because they believe that they have the second type of control instead of the first.

Not clear? an example…You have control of your vehicle driving down the road…it appears to be absolute. What happens to your control if a tire should blow out? It takes a hike that’s what! Then, after your car goes off in the ditch and you hopefully get out of it you’re “incredulous” that this event has occurred…in shock even, it’s a symptom of a shattered belief system. It’s a little bit like the serenity prayer.

Lord, grant me…
the courage to change the things I can,
the ability to accept what I cant change,
and the wisdom to know the difference

But there’s a difference when you start to think in terms of “The Kingdom Of Heaven” or to be spiritually minded in that we still need courage the ability to accept and wisdom, but it’s much more than just some words we say! Stepping out in faith takes courage which is expressed by our actions which show what we really believe on the inside!

The ability to accept sounds like we merely tolerate our circumstances, but we can find “real” peace and joy in knowing that it’s our Heavenly Father who’s “really” in control, and that, He’s promised to work out all things to those who love Him and who are called according to His purposes’ benefit. Finally comes wisdom, which really isn’t as difficult as it sounds…

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As children of the most high we should know how to act,
and when we should act, and when it’s WAY over our heads!
We have the greatest counselor possible in the Holy Spirit to keep us on the right path which leads us to Jesus!

I may be relocating my physical body and my possessions…

but the Kingdom goes with me… I have the keys!

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Matthew 16:19 (King James Version)

19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Matthew 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

45Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:

46Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

To become dis-invested in this world, to not only choose to be heirs of a much greater inheritance but to begin to realize in this life the manifestations of the fruit of the Spirit which are…

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness

Acts 26:18
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Romans 8:6
6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

The first blog I ever wrote was called “The Pearl”, and in the 115 or so since I’ve been compelled to do just one thing, which is to, despite my unworthiness, act on behalf of my Lord and Savior to fulfill that great commission He left us with through the revelation of His spirit to as many as will hear.

John 12:32
And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

Psalm 34:8 (New International Version)
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

The Kingdom Of Heaven is what having a personal relationship with Christ is all about, I see it as being a member of the greatest, beyond our ability to understand, and so much better than we can imagine, family! There will be times here on earth that will push us to our limit, and the circumstances of this life can be difficult to understand. But with all my heart and soul I believe that the present hardships we must walk through are not to be compared to what our Lord and Savior has in store for those who love Him