Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas!!

Scripture: “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7

Royalty

We have a couple of nativity sets that we set out during the Christmas season. In fact one is a very nice ceramic set with 18 pieces. It includes shepherds, wise men, camels, sheep, and the complete set. However, it does not include a horse! I can’t recall ever seeing a nativity set with a horse in it. I have seen burros and donkeys but no horses. At first I must admit I was troubled by it. But I think I have figured it out. At least I have my version of the nativity scene. Horses probably belonged to royalty or the Roman army. Therefore they were not kept in a lowly stable. Even the wise men are out of place at the nativity scene. Most religious scholars put the wise men at the house of Mary and Joseph after the birth of Christ. Why no Horse? Royalty at the manger would have added some specialty at the manger scene. I guess that’s not what God intended.

Christ was born for all. He did not come as royalty or even born in a royal setting. He came as the Savior of all mankind and that includes you and I. He did not exclude anyone in his message of salvation by giving us His Son. The question we have to ask ourselves is do we accept the gift of Christ personally?

Prayer Thought: Thank you for the manger scene. But most of all thank you God for sending us your Son.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Where are you headed?

Scripture: “For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.” Proverbs 3:26

Confidence

A couple of days ago I took Amos on a short trail ride on Shamrock Stables property. On the way back to the barn I took a short detour. Now Amos could see the barn already and was focused on going that direction, he knew where he was going and was confident that the barn was our destination. Now I was asking him to change his direction and he hesitated slightly. I headed in a direction that made no sense, but he was willing to obey. However now he was confused.

We headed towards the area where several horse trailers were stored; they were lined up side by side. As we got closer he became a little nervous. I was urging him to go between two trailers. The trailers were close enough that I could put my feet out and touch the trailers with the stirrups. He balked and backed up several times, refusing to go between the trailers. It was a very confining area and horses do not like to go into areas that “trap” them. After several attempts and gentle urging by me he went right on through.

Sometimes God seems to change our course without reason. Maybe there is no other reason than to test our obedience. Amos, I wanted him to learn to trust me. Maybe down the road on a new trail we will come to an obstacle he is not familiar with, will he trust me? I hope so, because in two days we are going to a new riding trail. I know that, he does not. God knows what is ahead of us as well.

Prayer Thought: Lord, what you ask may not seem reasonable, but I will trust You with confidence!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Life Can change in an Instant!


This picture was taken in 1964 - 47 years ago and 60 pounds lighter! Two weeks ago I sat in the doctors office and was told I had blockage in blood vessels to my heart. I had been experiencing "discomfort" in my chest when exercising (riding bike) or even moderate walking. The good news? No surgery, no stents, will try to control with meds, losing weight and diet changes. So far so good on all fronts.

I don't think I will get the "old" body to look like the picture again (need a toupe' for sure!) but I am going to do my best! (smile).

We plan to head for Florida for the winter soon. May head for the beach. If you get down in the Ocala area look me up. Just make a copy of the picture and check the beaches - just remember, no hair and add 60 pounds! Oh yeah, add 47 years plus wrinkles.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Follow me!

If you have followed my blog at all you have seen this picture - the problem is, if you have never been where this picture was taken you have no idea where you are going.

But I think if you were following me you would trust me to lead and have confidence that I would know where we are going. But there are other problems, to follow me you had to leave certain things behind. You had to leave family, you couldn't follow me if you had to work, you would probably need a horse. If you've never ridden a horse or you were afraid of horses, you just probably wouldn't go. I guess the question is, what are you willing to do to follow me? Susan, the lady who took this picture is a great rider. She was right behind me on this trail. I knew she was there, we talked together, we talked about what was ahead, but she was not worried because she trusted me to lead. She was very relaxed and left a lot behind to follow.

Luke 18 verse 22 says "...Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me." To "inherit eternal life" requires asking for God's grace to forgive us of our sins, but that requires us to give him all. If we are unwilling to give him all we cannot follow him. The rich young ruler walked away because he was not willing to give all.

Giving all is not an option. Its mandatory. Everything I have belongs to God, including my time.
What is most obvious in the picture is overlooked. To be there when that picture was taken required my time and a willingness to be there. Think as you finish this, where are you headed? Are you following where Christ wants you to? Does He have you completely? Is he asking for you to do something? Trust him and follow.

Monday, 10 October 2011

A Commandment

When I took Amos trail riding I expected many different things but one thing in particular was total obedience. I never tolerated his not obeying. If he failed in the slightest there was consequences. I NEVER mistreated him, but I did scold him or dug in my heels and he knew my tone of voice as well when I scolded. When I gave a command, either verbally or with a cue from my body, he obeyed.

Obeying my commands were important. If Amos disobeyed and got away with it, it would get worse the next time. ANd, more importantly, if we were in a potentially dangerous situation, I wanted to know he would obey me - and trust me. He could hesitate, question, some of that was okay, but if I urged him on I expected obedience.

God expects the same from us and yet we have the nerve to say no! He gave us 10 commandments, not suggestions. How are you doing? I have been reading the Bible through in a year. I am amazed at how many times I am coming across the word command. Sheeeesh, you would think the children of Israel would catch on - I guess we just keep working at it.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Church Flooded - Endicott, NY

This picture was taken by me on September 22nd. Where the drywall was cut is just above the flood line. The entire church was flooded and had to be stripped like this. The contents of each area had to be removed and trashed - yes pews included. Everything was soaked because of the flood. Water was at least 2' ABOVE the pews. Mama and I stayed till yesterday morning then got home yesterday afternoon.

Please pray this area, Endicott, NY. In the county I believe over 1700 homes plus were flooded, many way beyond repair. It has been declared a Federal Disaster area.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Disaster Relief

Mama and I will be helping a congregation in Endicott, NY starting next Tuesday for two weeks. Their church and parsonage were "destroyed" in part by the heavy flood waters recently. There was reported to be 5' of water in the sanctuary.

Pray for us as we travel, it is 600 miles plus there but we believe this is what God wants us to do. So, here we go!

Lets see, where did I put my boots?

Friday, 2 September 2011

RADICAL


What if, just saying what if, we were way off whack in our Christian faith? What if we have let our pursuit of the American Dream compromise on our faith. Lets see, what was the "Great Commission" again? Something about discipleship, something about teaching and praying hummmm. If Jesus were here, I'd just simply ask him what must I do to follow him? He certainly wouldn't discourage me from following him - or would he?

The book, "Radical; Taking back your faith from the pursuit of the American Dream" by Dr. David Platt, discusses the above in great detail. Did you know that Christ actually discouraged several from following him? Are you aware that 26,000 children around the world will die in the next 24 hours? Is that my problem or not? I've been thinking of maybe a new car. After all, the one I have is 3 years old now. Its not my fault or my problem the kids are dying. I am taking care of my family just fine. I give a few bucks here and there - above my tithe - to help, sheesh, give me a break!

The picture? Just a cemetery, relatively new, certainly less than a year old. All AIDS victims in South Africa. Not my problem, I don't live there. By the way, what kind of new car should I get?

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

God's Dress Code

Scripture: “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

Romans 13:14 NIV


Amos has no dress code! That I am sure of! I can spend hours grooming him and as soon as I turn him loose in the paddock he will go a few steps, drop his head looking for some nice loose dirt and roll! Not once but several times. He then turns, looks at me with his now dirty face and I think I see a slight smile. I even believed he winked at me once, the stinker. He really doesn’t care how he looks. Actually the rolling in the dirt gives him a layer of “protection” from bugs and those little critters that want to bite him.

God has a dress code for you and I. No, I am not referring to clothing items such as dresses, pants or shirts. I will say that in that sense modesty and proper attire are appropriate. However, I am referring to the dress code above. We should “clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ …” and Romans 13 give us a good idea what that is all about. Take time to at least read that chapter today if you can. If you do, and follow those guidelines, you will keep the dirt, bugs and little critters out of your life.

Prayer Thought: Lord, help me to keep Satan from bugging me today.



Monday, 25 July 2011

Miss my Dad



I was 37 when my father passed away. That was 31 years ago. I still remember him as a very precious father. He never said verbally " I love you." but he loved his children very much. I would have liked to have heard that once in awhile, but I never doubted he loved me for a moment. His "actions spoke louder than words". He provided for needs and even a few wants - smile. He was a great mechanic and an even greater electrician. I don't think there was a mechanical situation he could not solve. We always had bikes, go-carts and mini-bikes tearing up the farm property. He would let us at age 10 drive the tractor on the road to the swimming hole about a mile and a half away. Unsupervised! We were good swimmers!

I remember family altar time and Bible Devotions. Mom & dad were both involved with that. God's word has always been a critical part of our heritage.

Dads, how are you Doing? Praying For all of you out there. Thinking of one particular "DAD" right now that has three boys under the age of 8 and now suddenly two young girls that are living with their family as well. God, bless this family as they endeavor to raise 5 children now. Help dad to be a great dad to all.

The picture above is our family in the summer of 1946. Mom was in a TB sanitarium at the time. Had been for about a year. I am the one next to my sister. Yep dad, you were the best.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Hey! I'm talking to you!



Scripture: “Hear, my children, the instruction of a father, and give attention to know understanding;” Proverbs 4:1

Attention

One of the things about Amos that can frustrate me is when he doesn’t pay attention. He thinks I don’t know that he is not paying attention - but I know. Amos has one flaw, or maybe it’s an attribute, but his ears tell me if he is paying attention. If his ears are aimed in my direction then I know he is paying attention to me and is looking for me to give him some direction. Sometimes when we are out for a ride he gets bored, he quits paying attention. If he is in familiar territory he tends to relax and get comfortable and not pay attention to me. He doesn’t depend upon me for his cues. He just feels comfortable. If he is not paying attention, and something startles him then we could end up in an uncontrollable situation. When I notice he is not paying attention to his surroundings, or me, I tighten up on the reins slightly or move in the saddle and his ears will quickly tell me he is now focused on me.

Christ wants our undivided attention. Especially when we are in “familiar territory”. When life’s circumstances seem to be going well we tend not to pay attention. We go about our “routine”. Sometimes we get so preoccupied that we miss His cues. Throughout the day I need to learn to focus on Him, even when life is good.

Prayer Thought: Today may be a routine day, but I am going to stay focused on my Savior.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

TRAPPED !!

Scripture: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” I John 4:18

Trapped

One of the horses’ biggest fears is being trapped with no way out. The horses’ design by God to get out of a trouble spot is to flee. If a horse is confined or in a place where it feels trapped, watch out, the horse will fight. Fear at that time can overwhelm a horse to the point that it will struggle to even the point of death. The horse will risk life itself to escape, after all when trapped the horse thinks it is going to die anyway. This is a major genetic feature of the horse and yet man can develop a level of trust with a horse to overcome even this fear. Amos trusts me, he has learned through our relationship that he can be put in a confining situation such as a trailer, a stall, or even cover his head, and no harm will come to him. He is willing to succumb to my control and trust me. He is an amazing animal to be willing to go against his instincts to trust me that much.

Do you ever feel trapped, confined? Do you feel like you are in a place you can’t get out of? Maybe you haven’t totally learned to trust Jesus. Give your total love and trust to Jesus and he will help you cast out your fears. He loves us and wants to help us through those difficult situations. Seek for Him today.

Prayer Thought: As I go through this day of my life, help me to trust you more.

Monday, 20 June 2011

ARE YOU POOR?



Scripture: “So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, ‘ you still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Luke 18:22

Poor

Earthly possessions are something that we tend to measure the value of our lives by. I guess Amos’ value is less; he has no earthly possessions, nothing. Even the shoes that are on his feet are not his in the strictest sense because I can take those. I have a nice saddle for him, nice blanket and other tack as well. But none of it belongs to Amos. Now when I tack him up to go trail riding he looks sharp. I admit that on a ride I want him to look his best. However, when we get all done for the day and I take all that equipment and put it up, he is only left with his shoes. Funny, he seems glad to be turned lose in his paddock. He doesn’t seem concerned at all with all the “stuff” I had on him. Ownership of stuff means nothing to Amos. Me, well I want that stuff for Amos. But it is just stuff. Amos is content with no stuff and I guess I need to work on that attitude for me.

The scripture above is a true warning to us. When the ruler asked Jesus “what shall I do to inherit eternal like?” he was not pleased with the answer. His possessions were many and he measured success by what he owned. We need to make sure that our possessions do not stand between us and are search for eternal life. Our possessions, all of them, must belong to God. If what we own belongs to God then He wants us to use them to fulfill His purpose for our lives. We need to be willing, like Amos to be able to walk away from them if God asks us to.

Prayer Thought: Lord, help me to look in my heart today and make sure all that I have belongs to you.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

WISDOM = The ability to choose - How are you doing?

Scripture: Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding.” Proverbs 3:13

Wisdom

One of the things that God did not create in a horse is the ability to use wisdom. I suspect that was intentional. I would probably never be able to catch Amos and ride him if he was able to reason and use judgment to figure out what life was going to bring him. Amos does not make his decisions by applying the knowledge and experience of the past and then evaluating all that information. He does remember and responds accordingly. His memory is simple, if it was good I will comply, if not, I’m out of here – if I can get away.

God has created us with a great gift. We have the ability to weigh our knowledge, experience, and make sensible decisions and judgments. We accumulate this knowledge and experience and can “catalog” the information to evaluate later. I hope I am doing that well. I am sure at times my Savior looks at me and says as we are walking; “what in the world are you doing?” Hopefully He will get my attention so that I make a wise decision. I have found out that what is critical in our relationship is not to wait for the Lord to come and give me wisdom but to seek after it. I must do this as I walk with Him each day.

Prayer Thought: Let me today make wise decisions and help me to seek your guidance.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Class of 1961 - 100th Reunion plans 2061


MY High School class of 1961 just last weekend celebrated their 50th reunion. What a great time we had. There were 14 of us there. We had a total of 18 graduate in our class, two have passed on and two could not make it. That really was a very good turn out.

Plans are now underway for a 100th class reunion in 2061. I will be the age of 117. Most likely not alive. May be, but very doubtful. Therefore we are hoping to somehow make arrangements for one of our grand children or great grandchildren to bring our "urns" to a party.

We all agreed to be cremated so that we can all attend. We are thinking of what kind of things we can do at the party. Any suggestions? We will see who has the most creative urn and also which urn came the longest distance. Either way it should be fun. You are all invited. BE sure to RSVP by 2060.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Class of 1961 - 50th Reunion

I graduated in 1961 from Buckley High School, Buckley, MI. The picture here was taken in 1965 at my wedding but it does show me in my youth. Times have changed. So have I.

In two days, Friday the 27th, I head back to Buckley for our class 50th reunion. There were 18 in our graduating class. Two have passed away. Out of the 16 remaining, 14 will make a showing at the reunion activities. Friday night we are all having dinner together. On Saturday evening we have the annual school alumni dinner - a small school so it is open for all classes - a very special time. On Sunday we will have a worship service for our class & friends at 11am. I am in charge of that service and will be doing the speaking/devotional. After the service, about noon, we will have a carry-in picnic lunch. The service and lunch will be at an open pavilion in a small community park, very informal. My message Sunday morning will be about "Choices". Humm, same as the theme for my blog.

Regardless of our age, all through life we will be faced with making choices. what "drives" you in making your choices/ Are your choices "self-centered" or are they Christ focused? Stop by Sunday morning and find out what mine are driven by - besides I need someone to help me with a "demonstration" sunday morning at 11am.

God bless - have a great Memorial Day weekend.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

An Uphill Battle!

Scripture: “I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help?” Psalm 121:1


Hills


Where I take Amos trail riding there are a few hills and small streams to cross. There are not a lot of hills but a few that are more strenuous than just riding the level trails. Because of the hills and the long winding trail I do my best to make sure Amos is in shape for that kind of ride. It would be cruel of me to knowingly take Amos on a trail ride that he is not physically fit for. He needs to be in top shape when we load up in the trailer and head for the hills.

The verse above kind of confuses me a little. However I think I understand it. The hills in life give us strength for the valleys. Having been conditioned by studying His word, asking Him for His guidance each day, having a daily devotional time, and worshiping regularly; all these give me strength to handle the hills and valley’s of life. It would be nice if our life was always on a level field with no ups or downs, but that’s not how life treats us. Thankfully our Savior has no intention of sending us through life unprepared. But we have to do our part to prepare.

Prayer Thought: Prepare me for this day and keep me focused on where you want to take me.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Rescued!















The two pictures above are the same horse, Cookie, which I have had the privledge of riding. The picture below is Cookie before she was "rescued". Believe it or not she had a foal in that condition. The foal did not survive. How cruel for a horse to be treated that way. Yet when she was taken To Beauty's Haven, an Equine Rescue farm in Florida, Cookie recovered quickly because staff cared.

There are people coming across our path that need to be rescued. You and I may become the "rescuer". Are you watching for that? It may be a kind word, it may be a helping hand or maybe just a smile. Are you turning away or will you be looking?

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Will miss my friend!


Amos died last week from a series of sudden medical issues. I will miss that horse - he was a great horse and a friend.

Susan, who owned Amos will miss him as well. Thank you Susan for letting me ride Amos as often as I liked.

This picture shows something that most horse people would pick up on. What is Amos paying attention to? Many would say the photographer, which would be only partially true. Look at his left ear. That ear is focused on me - he is aware that he has to pay attention to me as well - his mind can do both - that is amazing for a horse. If you notice at the time the picture was taken I had just slightly snugged up the lines and got his attention. He was always very aware of me on his back, he never took that for granted. Amos was a great horse - even if others were riding him, if he could see me, he would put a major part of his attention on me. That was a problem in an arena! lol

Amos, will miss you old buddy. Hope we get to ride again!

Friday, 22 April 2011

A neat find!

Yesterday my son Jeff and I went "treasure hunting". He has metal detector so we picked out a few spots where we might find something. We found an old bronze lock, some arcade tokens, several pennies and some other change.

However, our best find for the day was a dime similar to this one. This one is a 1936, the one we found was a 1925 "Mercury" dime minted from the Denver Mint. It is in good shape, not very worn which is nice. Its value is worth more than the original 10 cents. May be worth 5 to 10 dollars.

When the metal detector started "pinging" we started to think maybe its just another penny but it was not. It was "deep" (6 inches or more) which always gets you excited as you know its been there awhile. The unanswerable question is how long has the coin laid there with people just walking over it? Buried as deep as it was, probably many years, maybe as many as 75 years or more. Now the dime has a new life and will be viewed by many, in fact yesterday we showed our find to many people.

Hopefully you and I are using our worth that God has given to each of us to serve him. He does not want us to hide or not be of service to others. Easter Sunday is just a day or two ahead of us. But today is Good Friday. Today we recognize Christ being crucified and buried. Fortunately He is Risen! Make this Easter season a time of renewal to him and serve him with great Joy. And be sure to tell others about your great find!

Friday, 15 April 2011

"See you Later!"

This is an old family photo - a very special photo. On the far left is my sister Joanne, me at the age of about 3 standing on her lap, my older brother Ed with the Navy cap, my dad standing holding my younger brother Al. All in the picture are still alive except for my dad. The picture was taken about 1946.

This past Wednesday I got to see my sister - perhaps for the last time on earth. She is in a hospital in Louisville, KY fighting physical issues that just may take her life. Just before I left the hospital I prayed with her and wept, we both wept. As I left the room she stated, "see you later!" I am counting on that sis!
You see, in this picture she is really serving as my "mom". She was about 14 in this picture, had quit school and for a couple of years took care of me as my "mom". My actual mom was in a Tuberculosis Sanitarium fighting for her life. She was in the TB Sanitarium for a total time of about 4 years - and survived. But Joanne was my "Mom" from 1946 - 1948. As a result there has always been a special bond. By the way, she did go back to school and graduated, we even eventually rode the bus together for awhile!

So pray for her and her family. Now its her life that is in the balance. Either way, see you later sis!

Monday, 4 April 2011

A real Pain!

Scripture: ”And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, There shall be no more pain for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4

Pain

When I cause pain to Amos, chances are I am going to get unwanted behavior and most of the time not the behavior I intended. If I put pressure on the bit in his mouth and that causes pain, how do you think he acts when I try to put the bit in his mouth the next time? He remembers all too well that the bit causes him pain and the struggle begins. Pain is not only irritating to the horse it will likely create fear as well. Putting it simple, pain is a distracter from what you really are trying to accomplish. In my partnership with Amos I try not to bring pain into the picture at all during training. Chances are that anything that is bringing out an incorrect response from Amos is probably the fault of the trainer – me. Why should I inflict pain on Amos when what went wrong was probably my fault?

My relationship with others should be as pain free as possible. If I say things that are painful to others I will very likely cause a barrier to our relationship and communication. I am afraid that when I cause pain to others, just like Amos, it is probably more my fault than the person I inflicted the pain on. An abusive parent who causes severe physical pain to a child will scar that child emotionally and possibly physically for life.

If you are the victim of a painful past or even now experiencing pain, remember Christ has a better life in store for you. Turn to Him, seek His counsel and also seek the counsel of others that can help you.

Prayer Thought: Lord, give me wisdom today and do not allow me to inflict any pain in my relationships.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Being at your Best!









Scripture: “As for me, I will see your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.” Psalm 17:15

Satisfied

Amos is a good performer. I am very satisfied with what he can do. There are some things that we could work on however. He has a tendency to lift his head when I try to put his bridle on. I anticipate with time and training we can get beyond that quite easily. I am short in stature so when he lifts his head putting the bridle on is very difficult. I want to also work on his “go” and “whoa”. I want to make sure when I want him to stop and give him the cue to stop that he does just that. On the other hand, when I cue him up to step up I want him to move. Most of my issues with Amos are “fine tuning” issues and we can accomplish those improvements with ground training. Every so often I will work with Amos to make sure those trail horse traits I want are right where I want them.

As a Christian I will be satisfied with my spiritual growth when I “awake” in His likeness. That is quite a challenge for me. In other words I need to keep at it. I haven’t “arrived” yet. I must stay in His word, pray and keep up a good devotional life. As I go through each day I must be conscious of a need to keep working to be more like Him.

Prayer Thought: Lets see, what area’s of my life need “fine tuning” today?

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

My sweet grandchild!

Now this picture is of my "sweet" grand daughter Sara! I sure do love Sara. She is precious. However, she is "fitting in" to her family with her other 2 siblings just fine. She is the youngest and I was concerned that maybe with being adopted, and wondering how quickly she would "adjust" into the family - NOT A PROBLEM! For her anyways - we had to adjust quick!

This picture? An interesting situation for Papa! Want to guess what Papa did wrong? Oh my! If I remember right, Sara had only been in the family a few (couple?) of months and we took her to a parade, her first parade. Remember? They throw candy? Well I got into her "space" - she learned quickly that this was her space and I had crossed the line! Even mama, behind her, backed up!

We all (including Sara) had a great time and laugh over the parade - it was special.

How do you do when someone gets in your space? We do set limits and have our lines drawn. We learn to do that quickly. Even as husband & wife, mama and I have to be careful with drawn lines. I am learning to be flexible - it doesn't always have to go my way. Even though I am probably right!! (smile)

Monday, 7 March 2011

Life Changes

Today as I looked at this picture I wept. Do you ever lack faith? Do you ever just "assume" that God has enough to do and does not have time or resources to give you miracles?

Mama and I prayed for our children before they were ever conceived. We prayed for them before we even met. We wanted God's blessings on our family and prayed that God would help us be the best parents possible when that day arrived. But we did not really pray much about grand children. Maybe that sounded too old.

In October 1991 I prayed several prayers - we were in the midst of a MAJOR family crisis. These were the major prayer requests I had in 1991.

1) God please protect my daughter!
2) Keep her healthy.
3) Work a miracle in her education goals.
4) Restore her spiritually to your family.

I will not go into the details of the crisis, those of you that want to know can call or talk to me anytime about that - I will share.

I had faith that God could answer any one of those requests, But had doubts that he would answer all four, after all, her being alive at this time was even to me a miracle.

It is now 2011 - almost 20 years later. Lets reflect on those prayer requests of mine.
1) He did - she is doing fine - we were able to bring her home shortly after that prayer.
2) She is now a 40 (almost) year old young woman, doing well!
3) She went on and finished her RN education goals and is an RN at a major hospital.
4) I can remember the night several months after my prayer that she went to an altar and recommitted her life to Christ - a wonderful Christian lady today.

But the picture above? Oh my, as I weep now I am ashamed. You see that baby is my grand daughter Sydney - who will be 10 this month! Grandma is holding her in that photo for the first time. The picture was taken in 2001.

I did not pray for grand children - that wasn't even a remote possibility - I Had put God in a box.
He has blessed us with 3 wonderful grand children! Thank you God for going beyond my prayer expectations. Thank you. He can and will do that for you if you trust him.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Choices

This is an interesting photo - there is more going on here than what actually appears. Before you read any further take a moment to try and figure out what is really going on. Hopefully you have taken that moment. The two horses in the picture are two beautiful Arabian trail horses - well behaved. Very special. The lady in the red jacket has 'loaned" me a horse to ride, I am taking the picture while sitting on that horse. It was only the 2nd time I had rode that horse. In fact I had not been riding horseback since about 1986 - 20 years earlier.

This day was important - can I still ride? I want to buy my own horse, should I? Am I enjoying this? I have Parkinson Disease should I be doing this? Lots of choices on my mind - what do I choose? And, what about the problem at hand - how do I get across this stream - my horse says no!

The horse I am on does not want to cross this stream. He can tell his rider is nervous - thats not good. I am really inexperienced at this - It has been probably 35 years since crossing my last stream on horseback. Now what? I decided to try and relax, the stream was shallow, and I began talking softly, stroking the horses neck and he stepped into the water. The other two horses began to move out and my horse went on across the stream.

What choices are you facing? Whats keeping you from moving forward? I decided after crossing that stream, yup I can do this. This picture was taken in 2006. In the Spring of 2007 I found a horse and have been riding ever since. Even though I sold my horse 3 years later, I still ride as often as I can in the summer months. It was a good choice - no regrets. Make your choices, talk with those who will give you good advice - and always pray about your choices. God Bless.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Prayer time - with your soul mate!

This is my Soul Mate! My best friend, the lady I share my life with. She is one of a kind. Nobody puts up with my nonsense like mama does. She knows with out a doubt I love her. She is confident beyond any doubt that I love her very much and would give my life for her. We have been married for over 45 years.

To me, one of our most cherished moments is at night fall when we pray out loud together. Most times I pray first then she does. We both pray about some of the same things. Almost every time we both pray for those of you we know through blogging or facebook. We both sometimes forget to pray for things but then usually the other reminds the other while they are praying.

We have become one - we are. Either one of us would be lost without the other. But, we also know that God could take either one of us or both of us at any time. that is His decision. I hope that if I go I have taken care of things that mama can go on and not worry. That is important.

I mentioned prayer. To me prayer can be a measuring tool. Husbands, do you pray out loud and openly with your wife? why not? Is it a macho thing? A "master" thing? Do you think it is being too submissive? I May be wrong, but I think your wife would cherish those moments. I know mama does. As soon as I start to pray she snuggles close, clasps my hand and cherish these precious moments. Why not try it?

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Sin and Repentance

I like this picture. I see a very young lady who takes her praying seriously.

I heard a story tonight of a man who went to the church altar to ask God to forgive him for stealing money from the business he worked at. Another man went up to pray with him and counsel him. As the man explained his problem to God and the counselor, the counselor asked him how much he had taken. He stated I have stolen over $1500 dollars. That's a lot the counselor said. Here is what you need to do. God has forgiven you and now next year you only steal a 1000 dollars, the following year only 800 dollars until you finally get to where you are down to zero dollars. That way you can withdraw from this problem slowly.

I think we all agree that is not acceptable. The man needs to quit stealing immediately. If he does not, he needs to get with his boss and try to solve this problem. Continuing to steal is not the solution.

Colossians chapter 3 is very strong about us not continuing in sin. This chapter is for Christians.
Verse 5 tells us to put sin to death, not to sleep, or in a closet, but death. If we have an area in our life, such as Pornography that has engulfed us, seek help immediately. Stay away from it, flee from it, don't try to live close to it - flee. You can do that. Mama and I will be praying for you because God wants you to live a victorious Christian life!

Monday, 7 February 2011

Pornography! I am ticked off!

Now this picture looks innocent enough. And is just fine, but its the beginning of a problem. Those three little critters are baby porcupines. They will someday be nasty critters. I have several horror stories about porcupines and have had a porcupine quill in my hand once - curiosity can be dangerous.

Pornography is destroying our country. Don't ask me to define it, you know what it is. I am upset. Almost daily I have to delete a posting to my blog that is pornographic. I have to block my blog and moderate all comments coming in. So if you are one of those attempting to put garbage on my blog, it ain't happening. And its not funny. Its stupid and ignorant. I delete it and report it to my account as SPAM.

There is another side to this coin. Pornography is destroying our homes and families. I am surprised and shocked how many of our "Christian" families within our churches deal with this issue. Whats going on folks? Don't we believe anymore that there is a thing called sin? Pornography is sin, if you mess around with it your going to hell - period. Sounds rough? Well, I hate to burst your spiritual bubble and theology - but remember, God loves you and sent His Son to die on a cross to redeem you from your sins. But, don't mock Him, He is also a God of wrath and you don't want to go there. I think that pornography is one of those issues that God doesn't weep over, He gets very angry over this issue. You don't think so? Well, you need to read His word and may be read the results of King David and his life. His life ended in destruction.

Praying much today.

Monday, 31 January 2011

My apologies

This is a new friend! Last night at church she asked me if I was Jim. I said I was, and she said, " you are a funny man". She had been following me on facebook. She is a friend on my facebook as I know her fiance'. But, until last night we had never really spoke to each other. We attend the same church here in Florida. We have attended together at the same church for at least 2 months - we spoke to each other for the first time last night. We have even sat in the same pew on occasion - but never spoke.

I want to use this blog post to apologize to her for not speaking sooner. You see, she is fairly new to the church here as far as I know and I had never spoke to her. I am embarrassed by that. I think I have missed getting to know a lady who has a desire to serve Christ and would like to be welcomed into our church family. The next opportunity I get I want to apologize to her.

I wonder how many people we walk by in our lives that we have multiple contacts with that we could take the time to introduce ourselves? At church I have my "close" friends, we all do. But, of all places we should reach out and say hi, the church is that location. Some just would like to be part of the family, others may really need a friend.

Lord, forgive me for ignoring this wonderful lady you created. Help me to do better to see those around me. Help me to speak and help me to see those that need a friend. Thank you for this new friend. Amen

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

The BIG "C"

This is a picture of mama and her brother. Both have dealt with cancer. Mama has been given a clear bill of health but her brother is in the fight of his life.

Mama's cancer hit us in the Spring of 2010 when the phone call came that the biopsy was positive for cancer. Prayers began immediately, treatment plans were put together. By the end of August 2010, 33 radiation treatments later, she was fine.

January 3rd, this year her brother received the diagnosis brain tumors, very serious, and a major battle against this disease has begun. The fight is on.

The Big C - Well, the Big C is not cancer. The Big C is Christ. He knows all about these issues, has a plan of action for each of us and is in charge. Cancer will not win out over Christ. Christ may let cancer run its course but Christ decides that, not the cancer. Mama and her brother have both put their lives in the hand of God and are willing to follow his plan. What a peace come over your soul when you know the "big C" is in charge. God bless and why not make sure all of your plans are in Christs hands? If you are in the fight of your life, make sure the "Big C" is with you - He wants to be.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Purpose?

This year has been a challenge so far. Mama and I are doing fine but Have been watching family after family seeing their lives change instantly - within seconds. Several by the news of a medical report, some because of bad choices by themselves or those they love. Our lives can change in an instant. I think we all admit that. The first thing we do is try to determine what course of action do I take now? How will this impact those around me?

Purpose - what is your purpose? What is mine? Is our purpose in concrete? Or, can it change? I think we have two basic purposes.
1) We were created by God for God. What we do with that is critical. He wants a personal relationship with each of us. He wants fellowship with us - there was not to be sin, we screwed that up. The picture above is interesting. The lake behind is approximately 7,700 years Old - Crater Lake in Oregon. It has not changed much in 7,700 years. It is still there as I type this. Will not move to another State. I think it will always be there - God placed it there. His purpose for man is still the same - to love Him.
2) We were created to love and serve each other. How are we doing. I am sitting next to mama in that picture, taken in 2008. We still sit next to each other - but probably not at Crater Lake again. Tomorrow, one of us could be gone. Tomorrow we could have to make changes because the other is gone. I don't expect that to happen, but it is changing almost that fast for some of you I know. But it does not change purpose 1 or 2. But it may go another direction.

Praying That as you read this you renew your purpose to God and to those around you. Be always ready to serve - but be aware, how you do that may sometimes require change. So lets grab tomorrow and serve.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Friends

I have been blogging now since the summer of 2006. I look back now and I am over whelmed at the friendships mama and I have made on-line. What a blessing! We have met people from around the world on-line. We have been to your homes, met for lunch, dinner dates and attended worship services with you. Wow!

You have trusted us with your homes, around your children and treated us like family - thank you. I remember one very special family we met on line that we drove several hundred miles to meet. We called on our cell phone for final directions, we were about an hour early. They were not home but told us to go on in the house, they would be there shortly! We got there, a note on the door telling us what bedroom was ours for the over night visit and to go right in. We had never met, yet they trusted us.

Many of you have asked mama and I for "advice" and/or "counsel". We are humbled by that. You are like family to us. Thanks for letting us as "strangers" to be a part of your lives. We love you and covet your prayers. May God bless you as you begin 2011. Remember to keep Christ focused - and if HE is not your best friend, remember that is why He created you!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

What are you doing with today?

This is mama with her brother at Thanksgiving time. We had a great time with family. We talked about his bid for State Rep where he lives - didn't quite make it but sure tried hard! Family chatted had fun - and no fights, but did argue some politics! lol

Her brother flew with his wife to see their grand kids in Texas over the Christmas holidays. Had a blast and got home late New Years day. Life was sweet!

Monday was told he has three brain tumors, get things in order, has a difficult road ahead.

What are you doing today?

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Have a great New Year!

Today mama and I start a new year together. 2010 had some moments when we were not as confident about what 2011 would hold for us.

Today, January 1st, the year starts out with a great start. Our health is good and our relationship is strong as well. We love each other with a stronger commitment to each other than 2010. What I share next, to me is important - especially for husbands and fathers.

I think as men we take the important relationships for granted. We love our wives and we love our children - but we need to be aggressive and show that. Here are some suggestion guys for 2011.

1) Smile at your wife and say I love you when you walk by her.
2) Come behind her and hug her. Kiss her neck.
3) Slip your hand in hers when she is not expecting it - like in a parking lot.
4) We "snuggle" in church (sorry if that distracts those of you behind us).
5) Put a love note under her pillow occasionally.

What about your kids? No matter the age, let them know in 2011 you love them and show it.

Have a blessed 2011!