The path is narrow and I am wide!

<!– just a regular guy trying to do right –>

No Airbags for the Soul

More Americans now commit suicide than die in car crashes, making suicide the leading cause of injury deaths, according to a new study.

The American Journal of Public Health reports that suicides now take more lives each year than car crashes. In 2009 more than 37,000 American took their own lives. The story was reported by The combination of deaths from fatal car crashes decreasing by 25% and suicides increasing by 15% brought about the statistical change. The story also says that suicides may actually be under reported by 20%.

Improving the safety of automobiles has been a focus of government and the auto industry. The effort appears to be paying off. However, the continued political debate between the forces of self-reliance and governmental assistance is not providing a similar benefit to the thousands for whom the American Dream has become the American Nightmare.

There is no question that creature comforts for many have improved in recent years. Increasing amounts of money and research have gone into mental health, but even in light of these advances suicide is increasing. It appears to have no economic or social boundaries. There are no airbags or mechanical safety devices for the soul. There is one only true place of safety for a troubled soul – believing the gospel of Jesus Christ. For those are beaten down and discouraged Jesus says:

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

The current political campaigns bring promises that claim to offer a better life. In reality, there is no hope apart from Christ. Legislation, regulation, and industry safety initiatives may indeed bring improvements in automobile safety. These same solutions cannot comfort the soul and provide rest from a world which refuses to honor God. Many people are offered false hope. They are offered hope in things that they can see – that things in this life will get better. However, as Romans 8:24 teaches, hope that can be seen is no hope at all. Tragically, when these false hopes fail too many opt for another way out.

Jesus Christ remains the one true source of rescue, rest, and restoration. He is the one who is able to rescue us from the kingdom of darkness. Offer this hope daily to those whom you know and love, to those who are closest to you. But also, do not fail to offer the rescue and rest of Christ to those whom God brings across your path who are looking for hope in things that can be seen. -CREDIT

Please also see:

Imagine a world where people really followed Jesus.

Imagine a world where people really followed Jesus.

Jesus teaches His followers to love their enemies, pray for others, forgive when wronged, love others as you love yourselves, not to judge others, look at your own sin and become clean instead of pointing out others sin, and to build your life based on His word.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. -2 Chronicles 7:14

Pain has a purpose

I was in a hurry to get my truck fixed, wrenches turning and time burning I knew I needed to finish before my weekend was over. In my rush I slipped on a bolt and my hand was cut. While I wanted to keep on working the pain forced me to go inside and clean the wound, apply Neosporin and bandage it up. If I had not felt the pain of the cut, my brain would have never told me to stop and treat the wound, I would have kept on working; getting grease inside the wound and eventually it could have gotten infected and even caused me to lose my hand, my arm…even my life! I had an uncle that suffered something similar. He had diabetes and his foot got a small cut that led to him losing the foot and then the leg and then both legs and eventually his life.

I have learned that while pain is awful it serves its purpose even when it is my heart that suffers and the pain is emotional.  If I went through life never feeling pain I would never know when to make a course correction. Often in my pain I learn more of whom I am, who God is and how I zip through life never slowing down to see what lies in front of my nose.

I have experienced so much this life has to offer and no matter the pleasure or the high I am always left wanting more and never satisfied. I believe this longing deep in my soul was put there by God so that I will seek Him. I believe He put this in all of us. I think we go through life trying to fill it and when the temporary gratifications wear off and the void remains; emptiness is all that is left. I don’t know why but I seem to take this path often and even though I know Christ is what fills the void, the things of this world creep in and it feels good so I forget what truly satisfies me… until something happens that causes me to suffer. In this season of pain, I stop what I am doing and run to the LORD, I read the bible, I fast and I pray and the LORD patches me back up.

I don’t know why I do the things I do but what I do know is pain has its purpose and I am learning to not ask God to make the pain go away but to change me and show me how to not repeat the mistake that led to the wound in the first place. In the end, all that really matters is that we honor God and obey Him.

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. -Psalm 139:23-24

You Are His

God’s grace defines you!

Society labels you like a can on an assembly line. Stupid.  Unproductive. Slow learner.  Fast talker.  Quitter.  But as grace infiltrates, criticism disintegrates. You know you aren’t who they say you are.

You are who God says you are:  “spiritually alive.” Heavenly positioned, “seated with him in the heavenly realms.”  “One with Jesus Christ.”

Of course, not all labels are negative.  Some people regard you as clever, successful. But it doesn’t compare with being “seated with him in the heavenly realms!”  God creates the Christian’s resume!

Grace defines who you are.  The parent you can’t please is as mistaken as the doting uncle you can’t disappoint.

Listen, God wrote your story.  He cast you in his drama. You hang as God’s work of art, a testimony in his gallery of grace.

According to Him, you are His.  Period.

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”  Ephesians 2:6

From Cast of Characters

Born in sin: Come on in.

There was a time when I wouldn’t admit what a sinner I was. But my dishonesty made me miserable and filled my days with frustration. All day and all night your hand was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water on a sunny day until I finally admitted all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, ‘I will confess them to the Lord.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. -Psalm 32:3-5

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. -1 John 1:9

I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more. -Hebrews 8:12

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. -Romans 8:1

Ponder these verses. Meditate on what the Holy Spirit speaks to you… Who can travel this path without sin? Is there anyone on this rock that can honestly say they sin no more? But wait, didn’t Jesus say: “Go and sin no more”? God knows we are at war with ourselves in this realm. Self control and discipline are important steps to freedom from sin but a few things I am observing  is that God does give a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13) and even more importantly is that nothing we can or will ever do will atone for sin. We are forgiven because of what Christ did and sometimes I think we forget that and allow the deceiver to whisper how worthless we are until one day we wake up buried by our own guilt.

I don’t believe God wants us to place pebbles in our shoes and walk in pain but instead He wants us to be accountable, confess and repent. There is no room for guilt when the Grace of the LORD washes you as pure as snow, that is why we need Jesus in the first place after all.

So, when you do stumble, don’t push away the hand that reaches down to pick you up, embrace it, confess and turn away from that sin. The LORD will renew you, you are wonderfully and fearfully made -Psalm 139:14