Monday, July 24, 2006

Mixed Signals

I’ve learned that there is a fine line between looking for God’s leading and His will for my life…and relying too heavily on outward signs to confirm or deny it.

During the recent times of God’s silence in my life…I when I looked at the outward “signs” I was very confused. Should I stay with the old company? Should I accept a job with the new company? Or should I make this my time to exit and venture out into new territory? If I factored my feelings into the equation…forget about it. I would have been paralyzed into indecision.

We’ve all heard the expression of God “opening a door” or “closing a door”. Yes…I have experienced both…or at least what I perceived as such. But in this instance…to rely on outward signs would have left me confused, undecided or in a place not of God’s will.

For example with the old company…an offer presented itself. Even though it was seemingly the work I wanted to do…I knew in my heart, soul, mind and spirit that God did not want me to take the job. The new job…was not something I’m jumping up and down excited about…but a good job nonetheless. Leaving altogether…well that’s whole other story.

If I looked at the outward signs…they would have led me to take the job with the old company. A job to my liking…and suited to my experience, skills and abilities. Five weeks after my last day worked…there has been some snafu…and they still haven’t paid me off. So…was that a sign from God to not leave?

The new job…well getting my new hire paperwork processed ran into some hick-ups which delayed me getting paid and my benefits in place. Also…the job I really wanted…well nary a word has come from the folks that interviewed me. Was that a sign from God that I shouldn’t have taken my current job?

I can say unreservedly…the answer is no. Right now today…I’m where God wants me. Why exactly I don’t know. What purpose He has…I don’t know.

If I rely solely on outward signs of open or closed doors…they can be used by Satan to distract me or tempt me into going a direction God would not have me go.

Let me tell you a secret…just between you and me…God doesn’t always put me in a place where things will go easy…or smoothly or comfortably. Sometimes He wants to challenge me, my faith and obedience. At times…those places can be rather uncomfortable. Like being in a place where I don’t want to be, or doing work that is not my cup of tea…or working with challenging situations or people.

Open doors and comfortable places can be very attractive and enticing. But they may be just where God does not want me to be.

Do I have a listening ear towards God’s leading…or am I only looking at outward signs? Do I twist what I see and what I hear to fit into the message and direction I want from God? Or am I genuinely seeking God and His will for my life?

Honestly…if I had taken the job with the old company…it would have been my opportunity so say, “Go pound sand!” to the new company that didn’t give me exactly what I wanted.

But God has worked on my heart…and helped me to know that he wanted me to “Stand firmly and see the deliverance of the Lord.” What that deliverance entails exactly…I don’t know.

But I do know if an opportunity comes up now…I would be leaving because it’s a job I want and it’s the place where God wants me. I wouldn’t be leaving out of hurt, bitterness, anger or frustration. Are those feelings still there? Yes…at times. But God usually keeps in the wine press until I work through those feelings…and He even gives me a caring heart for those whom I found difficult at the beginning.

So open or closed doors may be all well and good…but only when examined in the light of God’s word, after much prayer and with wise counsel from godly people. Sprinkle in a little common sense and a commitment to not rush ahead of God. Most important is a willingness to obey God even when things aren’t quite so comfortable.

Warning…Low Battery!

Is it apparent that your battery is running low? Are you getting that warning message again? That light is not shining quite so bright these days?

Perhaps it’s time you get plugged in. Plug in to the Power Source. Refuel daily…by reading God’s Word. Have an uninterrupted power supply…when you have a good connection going both ways through prayer. Remember…that light is multiplied when it’s combined in fellowship with other lights.

So when you get hit with a surge…or your light begins to flicker…take heed and plug in the Light of the World…Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Anointing

While in the midst of trials, tribulation and uncertainty…the hardest part was silence from God.

My own prayers and prayer from others seemed to go unanswered. I desperately desired clear direction from God…yet He had only made one message clear. After that…there was silence.

There was one night…when I was at my absolute end. Yes…I wanted to move in a particular direction. But God had worked on my heart. As a result…more than desiring my will, I was willing to surrender to God’s will and wanted it even though it was different than my own I knew that He would enable and strengthen me for the business at hand.

Yet…on that dark and desperate night…when I cried out to God…there was only silence.

The next day something in me snapped…and I cried out and challenged God with scripture. Specifically where Jesus tell his disciples that he calls them friends and makes known to them his Father’s business.

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” –
John 15:15

Not that I advocate or recommend approaching God with anything other than awe and reverence deserving of a Holy, Righteous, Omnipotent, and Omniscient God…but I do believe that it is important to be real with God. He is big enough to handle our problems and knows how we really feel…even when we don’t fully understand it ourselves.

When I cried out to God…I said that I felt like in part this silence from God was being used as spiritual warfare by Satan. That if I was going to be targeted for this treatment…then I would settle for an ordinary life. I would go to church and study my Bible and even try and live rightly through the power of the Holy Spirit. But that if I was going to have to endure this silence…I couldn’t take it anymore. That instead I would settle for an ordinary Christian life.

I was driving in my car after running errands during this conversation with God. And for a brief instance…God pulled back the curtain and gave me a brief glimpse as to how He was using this episode in my life. It was an epiphany…an ah ha moment…that calmed my spirit. It brought tears to my eyes. I can even remember where exactly I was driving when this occurred.

While grateful that God pulled back the veil, if only for a brief moment, I was also frustrated that I had to get to that point before God would respond. I was disappointed in myself that I had demonstrated such a lack of faith. Yet the relief was so apparent…that I physically started to calm down and was able to see things from a better, clearer perspective.

Have you ever had anyone in your life that when they are mad at you…they give you the silent treatment. Well it kind of felt like that. While intellectually and based on my Bible knowledge…I knew that wasn’t true. But it sure felt like it.

God is not like man. He does not hold a grudge or seek to get back at me at me for demonstrating a lack of faith. He uses those times to stretch me and help me to grow deeper and strong in my faith.

Yet I can’t help but think…my lack faith impacted my ability to hear from God and be sensitive to His hand upon me and His leading in my life. I didn’t trust Him without needing to hear something or have a confirmation.

As a result of the “block” I went through a real dry spell in writing. So not only was I not hearing from God…but I wasn’t able to work through my feelings, via writing. Writing had been my avenue to help work through all my feelings…the up’s the down’s…the whole roller coaster effect. And then that was gone…and I felt like I was left alone with only me.

I know that is not the truth. Jesus promised to never leave us, nor forsake us. He has given us the Holy Spirit to dwell within. But I sure wasn’t feeling it.

I’ve been thinking when I demonstrate a lack of trust with God…how does that effect my relationship with God? I know that when someone doesn’t trust me, when they don’t give consideration to what I’ve already proven myself capable of doing…I don’t feel much like having a relationship with them. God is faithful when we are faithless. But at the very least in my lack of faith I shut God out…and I refused to listen or hear Him. I was unable to hear that still small voice within.

It’s a good thing that my God is patient, loving and forgiving…I continually need to draw upon that mercy and grace that God pours out upon me so abundantly.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

True Confessions by Chuck Obremski

This last week when I was faced with an important decision…I longed to be able to speak with my beloved former Pastor, Chuck Obremski.

When I look back at his life, what made Chuck so extraordinary was that the Word of God was active and alive in his life. He regularly fed on God’s word, believed it and put it into practice.

Think of the people whom you admire? They aren’t everyday kind folks that go along with the flow. They aren’t people that live like the rest of the world…doing whatever they want, whenever they want…but show up to church on Sunday morning.

Instead they are people of courage and conviction. They are set apart and wholly devoted to God. Chuck was such a man. Because he had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ…it made a difference in how he lived his life. Jesus shined through him.

Now don’t let this fool you...Chuck loved life and had a great sense of humor…thus sampling of his jokes continue.

May the Lord strengthen and bless you this week as you yield your life to him. May you feast on his Word daily…and grow in the wisdom and knowledge of the Lord.

God bless!
this is an audio post - click to play

Right Response to Tribulation - Dare I be a Daniel?

Daniel 2:1-13

1Now in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was troubled and his sleep left him. 2Then the king gave orders to call in the magicians, the conjurers, the sorcerers and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. 3The king said to them, "I had a dream and my spirit is anxious to understand the dream." 4Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic: "O king, live forever! Tell the dream to your servants, and we will declare the interpretation."

5The king replied to the Chaldeans, "The command from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb and your houses will be made a rubbish heap. 6"But if you declare the dream and its interpretation, you will receive from me gifts and a reward and great honor; therefore declare to me the dream and its interpretation."

7They answered a second time and said, "Let the king tell the dream to his servants, and we will declare the interpretation." 8The king replied, "I know for certain that you are bargaining for time, inasmuch as you have seen that the command from me is firm, 9that if you do not make the dream known to me, there is only one decree for you. For you have agreed together to speak lying and corrupt words before me until the situation is changed; therefore tell me the dream, that I may know that you can declare to me its interpretation."

10The Chaldeans answered the king and said, "There is not a man on earth who could declare the matter for the king, inasmuch as no great king or ruler has ever asked anything like this of any magician, conjurer or Chaldean. 11"Moreover, the thing which the king demands is difficult, and there is no one else who could declare it to the king except gods, whose dwelling place is not with mortal flesh." 12Because of this the king became indignant and very furious and gave orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13So the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they looked for Daniel and his friends to kill them.

When I look at King Nebuchadnezzar’s response to his troubling dream…I have to ask myself…how do I respond to trials and tribulation in my own life? What is my reaction when God is trying to get my attention?

When I examine Nebuchadnezzar’s response to trouble to that of Daniel…I find quite a contrast. While I’d like to say my approach is more like that of Daniel’s…there are times I react more like Nebuchadnezzar.

Nebuchadnezzar…the powerful king who had conquered the world…found himself plagued and troubled by a dream. A dream given him…by God himself. This was a wake up call…and indeed it had that effect as he spent sleepless nights asking himself, “What does this dream mean?”

But instead of turning to God and seeking His wisdom and understanding Nebuchadnezzar turned to the wise men of his day…the magicians, conjurers or astrologers, sorcerers and the Chaldeans.

Am I temped to do the same? Is my first instinct to run to people and tell them my troubles and seek their advice or wisdom? Do I run to the phone…instead of going to the thrown of God for answers?

Human wisdom is flawed, limited and at times motivated by a desire for personal gain or influenced by our sinful human experience. Whereas God’s wisdom is holy, righteous and comes from One who is all knowing. Part of the temptation in going to man and seeking advise…is that I don’t have to put much effort into getting advice from humans. Whereas with God…it will require time spent in his word, or in prayer or meditation. I may not get my answer instantaneously…it will require a listening ear and a desire to obey God.

Now there is nothing wrong with seeking advice from godly men and women, who know God and can give counsel from the Word of God. But shouldn’t my first stop be prayer to God? As a Christian…why would I seek council from someone who does not know God or His word?

Today God speaks to us through His completed, inspired, written Word of God. He has also given us the Holy Spirit, who dwells within all believers. If God chooses to speak to us by another means…it will always be in line with and in agreement the Word of God. The Word of God is eternal, perfect, holy and unchanging. When I have the Word of God as my standard, I can be assured that I will not be deceived or lead astray.

King Nebuchadnezzar was powerful…he had conquered the world. He, like Solomon, had everything he could need or want physically. But he lacked the peace of God. Do I have peace of mind and peace with God? Do I try to substitute peace with God by surrounding myself with possessions, fame or personal achievement? Do I feel impervious to trouble…until it touches me personally? Do I have a sensitive heart towards God? Is there some area in which God is trying to get my attention? How will I respond?

Only true believers in Christ can have peace with God. Like Daniel, in prior and upcoming trails, he maintains his peace. Why? Because he knew the Word of God believed it and applied it to his life. Daniel had that peace and it was proven time and time again in how he responded to trials and tribulation.

The king not only sought counsel from flawed, futile human sources…he was reacting out of emotion. While over the top in his threats and basically pretty whacked out…Nebuchadnezzar was still pretty sharp. He recognized his cabinet members were trying to deceive him…that they didn’t have the answers to his dream and were just trying to buy time. Their motivation…to avoid the deadly wrath of King Nebuchadnezzar and maintain their current status in his court.

When I’m facing I tend to overreact? Do I pitch a fit when I don’t get what I want, when I want it? Is that because I’m trying to work on my own power and wisdom instead of humbling myself and turning to God? Do I avoid God because of that sin or disobedience? Is this evidence of my lack of trust in God?

Nebuchadnezzar’s cabinet members recognized that they were in over their heads and that this demand of the king was impossible to answer. Now that didn’t stop them from trying to be manipulative and buy time. But even they as unbelievers knew the king’s request was impossible for man to answer. Their response sets the perfect stage for God to intervene through his faithful servant Daniel.

King Nebuchadnezzar became furious at the wise men’s inability to tell him the dream and its interpretation. As a result…all the wise men in Babylon will pay the price of the king’s fury. That includes Daniel and his friends. We as Christians may suffer along with the unrighteous. We must be mindful that “it rains on the just and the unjust alike”.

What will be my response when I am swept up in unjust actions? Will I respond with faith and confidence…and trust God? I’d better do my homework before the trial is upon me. Trusting God at such a time necessitates that I know God and His character. I can only know God through reading His Word…daily. I don’t know when that disaster, trial or temptation will strike. But if I’m filled with God’s Word…I will have the wisdom to draw upon when I need it.

When I’m prepared through a relationship with God and knowing the Word of God I can be an instrument of God and be used by Him to witness to a world in need. A world in need of a Savior…and peace with God.

What am I doing today to be prepared for such a time as this?

Devotional inspired by Chuck Obremski’s Bible study in the book of Daniel 2:1-13 – "What is this world coming to?".

Thursday, July 13, 2006

What I Wouldn’t Give

Dear Chuck,
trials and tribulations abound.

Keenly aware,
how much I miss you.

My desire,
to pick up the phone.

Hear godly council,
from one whom I respect.

To once again,
sit under your teaching.

Knowing God,
will use His willing servant.

Speaking God’s word,
to correct, rebuke or encourage.

No doubt,
an occasional flinch would be seen.

As God’s word,
takes steady aim, piercing my heart.

A tear,
or two would be wiped away.

As I see,
my wobbly faith has fallen short.

Yet my God,
provided rich teaching from his humble servant.

Daily I feast,
to strengthen my heart, mind and soul.

Encouraged to know,
his humble servant finished well.

I know firsthand,
I witnessed the power of God’s word.

My prayer,
that I too will hear.

Jesus words,
“Well done, my faithful servant.”

I miss you my beloved Pastor.

Thanking God for my beloved Pastor, Chuck Obremski and the dedicated servants at Kindred Community Church who carry on the mission of Reaching the World with the Word of God.

If you too are going through difficult times or times of temptation and trial, please click on the link to
Kindred Community Church and listen to the online sermons or e-mail the audio ministry and request some of the teaching albums. Trust me…your faith will be strengthened and challenged. You will grow and your walk will be made steady as you feast on God’s word.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Lasting Impressions

Hurt and angry too.

Caught between;
Inept and unwilling.

Faith and doubt;
Wavering in between.

Incapable or unwilling;
Beyond my understanding.

Surely not what I imagined.

Lacking these days.

Dashed against reality.

No reply…still waiting.

Not even worth it;
A waste of time to ask why.

Forget about it;
Out with the old.

Respect for whom?
Where did it go?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Downside of the Mountain

There are times when I just hate having those “spiritual highs”…you know what I mean…those mountaintop experiences. The ones where I firmly know and feel God’s presence in my circumstance. Where I’m confident of God’s love for me and His power to work in my situation.

Now you may be saying “Are you crazy Susan? How can you hate that? Isn’t that what we all hope for and work towards?”

Well I love the experiences in the moment….and even as I reflect back after the fact. But almost always…like clockwork...shortly after that mountaintop comes the downside of the mountain.

Today was a “downside of the mountain” kind of day. The last couple of days were ones in which my faith was encouraged and strengthened. Through God’s Word and through His people…and through the Holy Spirit within me.

One thing I can bank on…is a spiritual attack by the enemy Satan. Mind you, he is a defeated foe…but still wreaking havoc whenever and wherever he can. His favorite instruments are doubt, unbelief, hardness of heart that leads to disobedience, and of course…one of his all time favorites is people.

I could have called today “Weepy Friday” because after my encounter with a rude person…I found it hard to concentrate and keep my focus…and found tears creeping into my eyes as I thought about the experience.

Now I know that it’s not wise to deal with people and situations based on my own wisdom. If I did that I would be yelling back, or talking about what happened with everyone, or be unforgiving. Like my posting from yesterday said…human wisdom is futile. Instead I need to forgive a wrong done to me. I can do that, only with the help of God. Even as Jesus forgave those who crucified him…so too I need to forgive…and I do.

I also know that this person is in need of prayer. A reputation precedes them…and I find I am not the sole recipient of rudeness. I normally take rumors about people with a grain of salt…knowing that there are all sorts of facts that are not conveyed during the course of a rumor. But I do believe in actions. What I don’t know is what motivates those actions or the reason behind them.

I think you can tell a lot about a person in how they treat people who are under them…or in a more lowly state. Almost everyone can treat a person of authority with respect…whether it’s due them or not. Most folks are going to be courteous to the police officer, or their parent, teacher or boss.

Where the rubber meets the road is how people treat people under them. Have you ever watched a parent be demeaning and degrading to their child but when an adult passes by they are polite and nice as can be. Or at a business luncheon…people friendly and jovial with one another. But when the waitress comes along…they are critical, dismissive and rude. They treat them as if they aren’t even fit to shine their shoes.

What I don’t understand is why that behavior is tolerated. Why would you make allowances and just accept that kind behavior as acceptable? I’m not taking about someone having a bad day…or an occasional outburst of frustration. But I’m taking a regular pattern of rudeness.

When you don’t address an issue like that…all you are doing is ensuring that the behavior will continue. Others will be the recipient as well….and they may not be in a position of responding back. Do you think the waitress who is working to keep a roof over her head and feed her children is going to risk responding back to the rude patron?

In the long run…when you don’t address the issue, you are doing a disservice to the person who acts rudely. People don’t like them…and they will talk about them behind their back. They won’t be respected. Sometime people are clueless as to how they are perceived by others. If you give them the benefit of the doubt and gently, with respect and in love address the issue…that may change the situation. But obviously…it’s a situation that needs prayer.

Now back to the downside of the mountain…who benefits when I have wobbly faith. Who wins when I doubt God? When I doubt that God loves and cares for me? When I doubt His ability to work in my situation and bring good from it? When I feel hurt and pull away from God…and don’t read His Word? When instead of walking in peace and confidence, I’m fearful, scared and lacking trust? When I’m unforgiving and grumpy…or just down right ugly? Who exactly win?

Well I can tell you…it sure ain’t me.

It’s Satan. Satan that wins that skirmish. But thank you Lord…he has not, nor will he ever win the war. Because Satan is a defeated foe.

Now I can choose to believe the lies he tells. I can choose to believe the lies he tells me about God, about others and about me.

Or I can be mindful of God’s Word…and remember that Jesus Christ has crushed the serpent’s head. While the body may still be squirming and trashing about…that is short lived. Before long…he will be thrown into the fiery pits of hell for eternity. Yippee Skippy!

And here on earth…for a brief period I may have to endure the attacks of the enemy. But in comparison to my eternity in heaven…it will seem like nothing. When I face those attacks armed with the Sword of the Spirit…I can have victory through God’s power, strength and wisdom. Amen, amen and amen!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Thank a Soldier - Happy Independence Day!

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

My First Breath in Heaven…Random Thoughts

With all the stress going on in my life at the present time…I find my mind is unfocused and my thoughts are numerous. Here area few thoughts from the week that was…

Ah ha…I had an epiphany…I think I see something that God may be teaching me during this time of limbo. The importance or praying for those with whom I work. God is able to enter in and change the situation…and me. Especially if the situation, people or times are difficult…prayer is never more important. I can only attribute the changes or ease in a difficult situation to God’s hand at work. Now if only I can focus my thoughts…and pray more specifically.

I’m so grateful to have the prayer support of my sister Denise…and the dear prayer warriors at Kindred. When my faith is failing me…they pick up the next leg of the race.

Every time I drive down Placentia Avenue…I think of Barbara. There is the house in which she died. The memories assail me from all the years I knew her. A wonderful, loving, motherly influence during those difficult teenage years. I can’t help but think back on all we did Kathy, Julie, Barbara and me. You were not just my friend’s mom…but my friend. I miss you Barbara…and look forward to seeing you once again in heaven. Good, sweet people like you should not have to be struck with such a devastating illness and die at such a young age.

24…Jack Bauer…boy oh boy…he sure does run into adverse, trying and deadly circumstances during the course of the day. And oh the fallout to those around him.

The preciousness of people…sometime I actually get it. Instead of running off to the thing next on my schedule…it’s a good thing to take time and talk. Even when you’re just talking about stuff. Nothing earth shaking or that will change the world…but just stuff. Oh those precious moments…and you never know when you will not have that opportunity again. When that will be taken from you and you won’t see them again this side of eternity. I need to take those moments more often.

Do you know how rare it is to have people really hear you and listen to you during your day? And rarer yet to care about you. So many people are off and running and barely take the time to say hi. Or worse…they give you the courtesy time…but they are not there in the moment, or even listening. Am I listening and caring for others?

There is a difference between involvement or participation…and being an observer.

I love humor…especially self deprecating humor. It helps take the stress out of a situation…makes it easier to acknowledge when I am wrong. Helps me to keep my perspective and not take the simple things, the unimportant in the scheme of things, too seriously.

Reading the Bible daily helps make it easier to obey God’s word…and to keep it in the forefront of my mind.

Reading this book “90 Minutes in Heaven” churns my imagination. Who will be there to greet me when I arrive in heaven? I think I know some of the people who will be there. Dear Pastor Chuck, Hugo and Neil too. Will my dad be there…I don’t know? I know that up until just a few weeks before he died…he didn’t know God or receive Jesus as his Savior. But did he in those last days before he died? I suppose Grandma and me will get along in heaven…instead of rubbing each other the wrong way.

Who won’t be there? Who just doesn’t get it…or won’t listen? Who thinks that they will be entering into heaven based on their own good works? Or who believes that they are not perfect…but better than the guy next door…so of course they will enter in to heaven?

It’s good to know that my last breath on earth…will be my first breath in heaven. My last moments on earth may be filled with pain, sickness or sorrow…but in heaven…that will all change. In contrast those who die without Christ…their last moments on earth may be ones of great fun and happiness…but all that will end with their last breath on earth. Do I care…and what am I doing to help make sure they hear that message of God’s love and provision for their sin?

How can you love someone so dearly…and they won’t even give you a second look? Will there ever come a day in which they will realize what they’ve missed?

It’s going to be a hot and humid summer. Time to buy a new big fan.

This getting up earlier and having to be to work an hour earlier while not top on my list forces me to get to bed earlier. I’m walking while it’s still cool early in the morning. But in the fall and winter…it will be dark during my walk time. Perhaps I need to invest in a good, small flashlight.

More than ever I understand why I love loss prevention…and can hardly wait until I get back to where I belong.

Pete…thanks for the Patriot’s picture. It’s filled with so many memories. Memories of the weeks and months proceeding and following that game. September 11th, the RIF and parting of too many people that had built our business…and of course Terry leaving our company. The picture reminds me of my “Boston Boys”…and how your enthusiasm turned me in to a Patriot’s fan. One day…I really must attend a game. But it must…absolutely must be a “snow game” at Gillette Stadium.

Speaking of Boston…one day I would love to attend a concert for the Boston Pop’s Orchestra. How about a nice trip in the fall to New England to see the trees turn color? Ahhh….now that is a trip I would like.

When I’m going through difficult times…I look more longingly toward heaven…and leaving behind the cares and concerns of this world.

The current job I’m in…I feel like a puzzle piece being shoved into the wrong area of the puzzle. Wrong size, wrong area, wrong way…and it hurts. I can hardly wait until God moves me to the correct area of the puzzle.

I can hardly wait until September 11th…when Bible Study Fellowship starts up again. I do miss it so. In the fall we study Romans.

Deadly Target by Elizabeth Goddard – Too Many Twists and Turns, Not Believable

Deadly Target is Elizabeth Goddard’s second book in the Rocky Mountain Courage series .   I looked forward to reading it because I’ve enjo...