Thank you for the thorn Lord.

While nothing will ever pale in comparison to the trials Paul went through, I can relate in a small way to what he was talking about in the book of Corinthians. I have this part of my life that I want to make disappear but not only am I in a position where I must embrace it daily but I hear the Lord telling me to continue in it and not run away. This is not something I want at all because it hurts so badly.

…because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. -2 Corinthians 12:7-10

The constant reminder of the pain stays fresh on my mind and in my heart, I want to beg the Lord to release me and just lock this thing away but the Lord uses it to keep me grounded and humble. The moment my tears come I drop to my knees in worship and prayer. When my life starts speeding by again, it slows me down and grounds me. While this thorn is very painful, it keeps me closer to the Lord and understanding His perfect will.

No one really knows what Paul’s thorn was. His was caused by Satan but used for God’s purpose. Isn’t it amazing how God will use all situations for His purpose? God truly is good and in control. While we may never know the reason of our trials we do know that God has a perfect plan and purpose and instead of rejecting and fighting our trials we should be honored the Lord cares enough to guide our paths. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ”

Thank you for thorn Lord. I trust you and look forward to what you have in store for us. I pray that I can be humble enough to receive your instruction without hindering the Holy Spirit.

…how can anyone be right in the presence of God?

…how can anyone be right in the presence of God?
Someone might want to argue with God, but no one could answer God, not one time out of a thousand.
God’s wisdom is deep, and his power is great; no one can fight him without getting hurt.
God moves mountains without anyone knowing it and turns them over when he is angry.
He shakes the earth out of its place and makes its foundations tremble.
He commands the sun not to shine and shuts off the light of the stars.
He alone stretches out the skies and walks on the waves of the sea.
It is God who made the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades and the groups of stars in the southern sky.
He does wonders that cannot be understood; he does so many miracles they cannot be counted.
When he passes me, I cannot see him; when he goes by me, I do not recognize him.
If he snatches something away, no one can stop him or say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
God will not hold back his anger. Even the helpers of the monster Rahab lie at his feet in fear.
So how can I argue with God, or even find words to argue with him?
Even if I were right, I could not answer him; I could only beg God, my Judge, for mercy.
If I called to him and he answered, I still don’t believe he would listen to me.
He would crush me with a storm and multiply my wounds for no reason.
He would not let me catch my breath but would overwhelm me with misery.
When it comes to strength, God is stronger than I; when it comes to justice, no one can accuse him.
Even if I were right, my own mouth would say I was wrong; if I were innocent, my mouth would say I was guilty…

-Job 9

Let that grip you for a moment! Who can be right in the presence of God? How often do you stop to think about the power and glory of the God who moves mountains, the terrible power of God that makes the earth quake, the awesomeness of the God who spoke the Sun into existence and who snaps His fingers to destroy stars? Who can be right in the presence of God?

Who? —– YOU! But not because of anything you have or ever will do but because God loves us so much that He sent a final and perfect sacrifice to bridge the gap between our sin and His glory. We have Jesus! Stop and think about that today. Oh, how He loves us that He sent His perfect, blameless son to atone for our shortcomings!

If you are saved, please dedicate some time alone with the Lord to meditate on how valuable the gift you have is and remember where you were that got you where you are. Thank you Lord for saving a wretch like me. If you don’t know the Lord, please take a moment to read this short post and contact me or follow the link at the bottom of the page mentioned.

The High Road…is not an easy road to travel.

I was presented some information that I wish I was never given. (It is strange how people think they are helping but gossiping really just hurts) This information cut me deep and the pain of it made me want justice, I was angry at all the parties involved and felt like I had to say something…this was before I went to the Lord in prayer. After doing the rest of the running around I need to do, all the while stewing and getting more and more angry…

I finally made it home.

I immediately went upstairs to my bedroom and dropped to my knees to get both comfort and guidance from the Lord. God told me through the Holy Spirit two things in that time on my knees. The first was that I had been spending less time on my knees. Sure I was praying throughout the day but I had moved past the painful state I was in and began to ease into a relaxed, laid back state of prayer time with God. I am not saying anything is wrong with that, only that for me personally, prostrating myself brings me closer to the Lord in prayer. The second was that I should seek Godly counsel before taking another step in acting on this unwanted revelation. So I called my friend and mentor in Christ. He asked me a few questions and prayed with me over the phone and then the unexpected happened. I thought he would be as angry as I was but instead he told me that the people mentioned are still new to Christ and that I need to take the high road and keep this to myself. Not exactly what I wanted to hear but exactly what I needed to hear. So after the phone call I went back to the Lord in prayer and forgave the party and was comforted and was given peace. I got exactly what I needed, not what I wanted.

I learned a few things from this trial:

1. Don’t calculate without God. Psalm 37:5
2. Seek Godly counsel before acting. Proverbs 12:15
3. Act in obedience to what the Lord instructs without hesitation, having faith in His wisdom. Proverbs 3:1-35
4. Forgive promptly so I can be forgiven and be treated. Matthew 6:14-15

Exercising faith truly brings me closer to God. The high road is bumpy and and I don’t enjoy the ride too much at all but when it smooths out, the rest is on a beautiful path.

Share this if you love God and He will bless you tonight at…

I know people who share these types of chain messages. It makes me sad… I want to tell them sharing that picture/message will do nothing for them but I am sure the response will be “what does it hurt?”. When will people realize a change within is what will change lives? When will people realize a relationship with Christ is what heals the pain, repairs the finances and brings true joy? Instead of getting drunk or wasting money on frivolous items, how about spending time in scripture getting to know the God you were guilted to share?

I am repulsed at how some people cry out to God when things do not go the way they want and any other time, kick Him to the curb to indulge in perversion.

Elijah approached the people and said, “How long will you not decide between two choices? If the Lord is the true God, follow him, but if Baal is the true God, follow him!” But the people said nothing. -1 Kings 18:21

Our country is so far removed from God it saddens me deeply. Most everyone wants a quick fix or an Oprah or Dr. Phil moment… never mind the insight God offers. God lays the plan out plain and simple, His word never changes, His word has stood the test of time…why ask some famous person what to do, who will be dead, gone and forgotten tomorrow? Why don’t people pick up that dusty bible and find the answer to how to find joy? Everyone has that longing deep in their souls…

Have you asked God for what you need? James 4:2 says, “You do not have, because you do not ask.” Are you asking for the right thing? First, would you ask Him to bless it? Whatever it is, think of that. “Lord, I am going to dinner with family tonight, will you bless it? (sounds reasonable)” “Lord, I am getting drunk tonight or having an affair or watching porn tonight….will you bless it (yea, right)?” Listen up, remove the sin from your life and ask God for what you need! He is waiting to hear from you but your prayers will go unheard if you are neck deep in sin! “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” -Psalm 66:18

 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. -James 1:6-8

Get right with God, put your faith to the test and exersize it regularly. The door has been presented, the path is made clear. Why don’t people walk it and and open the door? Life flies by years at a time, STOP now and build on the rock Matthew 7:24-29! Be thankful for what you have, many don’t realize how blessed they are. Giving thanks should be the main topic in prayer at all times.

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. -Philippians 4:11-12

Okay, I am done now… =D I get so frustrated at times and want to just smack people upside the head (myself included) for not taking the tried, true and tested route provided by God.

Where are you God, I need you now more than ever?

When it really hits the fan and I pray, I fast and go to church and search for God and … no answer. When I am hurting and can’t take it and call out again: God, help me … small answer but the hurt still stabs like a spoon through my spleen … Where are you God, I need you now more than ever?

Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways, as a nation that has done righteousness and has not forsaken the ordinance of their God. They ask Me for just decisions, they delight in the nearness of God. ‘Why have we fasted and You do not see? Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?’ Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire… -Isaiah 58:2-3

I have had dry seasons where I went through the motions of seeking God and it seemed like He just would not come close to me, I have been praying for others that are going through similar situations. I think maybe God pulls away and even allows others who would normally comfort us, pull away. While the distance from the comfort seeked is a painful experience, perhaps the Lord is giving exactly what is needed and not wanted!

I get so caught up in me that I am just to full to have room for God.

I have had maybe 20 shows set to record on the DVR, I just couldn’t get enough Ice Road Truckers, The Deadliest Catch, America’s Got Talent, American Idol … I just have to work harder to get the money for better head gaskets to handle more boost on my mustang, I had to get those huge mud tires to go deeper in the mud and down the creek, I had to have some more fishing gear, I had to go to that race, I needed some time at the beach, I needed to go shooting… I I I!!! I was simply too full of these things to have room for God to come in. No wonder I can’t find God in prayer after watching three hours of television. I remember back in school when exams were coming up and I had to set everything aside and get somewhere quiet like the library and really hunker down and study? Maybe, just maybe all these things I thought God has blessed me with are really just distractions. God is blessing me by striping away all this stuff…(even that thing that hurts you so much right now), in order to get me to a place to let Him do the work that is so desperately needed.

Blessed are those that hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled… -Matthew 5:6

What do I really hunger for? Is it that new thing? Is it for that person to stop treating me that way? Is it to remove that pain? There is nothing wrong with having my needs met, the problem is allowing the needs and the wants become a blur. What do I really need? I mean strip it all down, all of it! Water, food, shelter…life…God. I hear stories of missionaries coming back telling me of these extremely poor people that don’t have shoes, people that lose family members to starvation and the elements as often as I lose signal on my mobile phone. I hear these stories and the one thing that almost always follows up is how far these people walk bare footed to spend time together in worship to God, how much joy they have walking with the Lord and getting to know Him. If my car broke down on Sunday, would I walk to church? I am not trying to guilt anyone, just being real. Do we really seek God? How far are we willing to go to get close to Him?

I am going to admit something that hurts a lot to even think about. For several years, I had a single underling fear that I kept hidden in my heart and I tried to keep it hidden from God. I was afraid God would kill one of my family members to get my attention, I was so afraid that I did not allow myself to get close enough to Him to give Him the chance but I stayed just close enough to be fed for basic spiritual survival. I had all my needs cared for, I really didn’t need too much of Him anyway… boy was I stupid. After my distance from the Lord went for several years the longing to be with Him deep in my soul started to grab me, the hunger was growing, I had the thirst again… the fear gripped me again. I dropped to my knees and told God that I do not care what it takes, I need you Lord, I need you more than ever! I truly believe if I had the willpower and dedication to follow Him, I never would have went through the pain I experienced but I was just too full of everything to make room for Him. I lost the dearest thing I had on the planet and when the pain of it caught up to me, nothing else really mattered, I really didn’t need much at all other than God to come and allow me to heal in His glow, to grow in His presence. To follow in His steps.

The Lord is healing my pain, He is here and I have Him and know it and the urgent feeling of despair is now just a dull pain I can deal with. I am now at the end of the short story I wrote: The Darkness of Light. Now, what do I do? I dropped cable TV, I parked the truck in the garage, I dropped the internet to a 1 meg connection, I drop to my knees and pray for the first and last thing I do each day, I ask that the Lord will allow me to see people as He does, I ask that the Lord will use me. I pray each day for others hurting, I go to church on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I put all the Hot-Rod magazines away and dusted off the Christian books I had … I read my bible. That thing that hurts me so much is not restored but hope is on the horizon, I am more responsible with what the Lord has given me; I have more money now yet make less, I spend more quality time with my kids, I spend time with other people and genuinely care about them, I am losing weight fast, my body is being restored, I look forward to each day instead of regretting it. I have hope, I have what I need and more. This walk is not an easy one and I really have to try so I am constantly praying for strength and wisdom and guess what? I still screw it up at times! I run to the Lord and ask Him to forgive me and not leave me and He holds me up.

I don’t know what tomorrow holds for me but I do know one thing. God is here and is with me and I have what I really need. I am going to work hard to keep it. I love you Jesus, I love you first Lord and want you to lead my life. I trust you my King and my life is yours to do with as you see fit. I see you God and need you more than ever.