October 9, 2014

My Sanctuary

With recent events like ISIS and Ebola, along with the crazy headlines we see and hear daily. I find myself thinking about God in all this. Where is He and what is He doing. Bigger than that for me personally and bringing it home was my internal feelings and thoughts on all the scariness and the craziness and making sense of it all.

I did find that I couldn’t really make sense of all the madness, but what I did find outside of the fact that I had to ignore the madness, was taking myself to my inner chamber. That is where I spend time with God. That is where I find comfort and peace and joy that only I find in my Abba Father. See, what I realized was, that I don’t have a lot of control on the world around me, but what I can do is spend time meditating with God and praying to Him. On my knees in my closet, that is where I am most safe and comfortable and find myself going when I don’t know what to think about the world around me and the uncertainty.

God is my Rock and my Shield. God gives me the strength to press forward and fight the good fight despite what is going on, and there is a lot of good that is happening around me also. My friendships are being strengthened, my wife and daughter are strong and healthy. My job is great. Spiritually I find myself growing daily and am happy with where my walk is with God almighty. However, I am not complacent and know that daily I need to stay grounded and focused on my Lord and then go into the world and give and bless.

I have noticed the devil’s attacks more visibly as of late. I think that’s because of my closeness with God. That’s OKAY. Recognizing it is vital and since I have been able to recognize it, I have been able to battle it. No one is going to steal my JOY! I keep my eyes on God and however momentary my eyes wonder below, I keep reminding myself that God is for me, He is my refuge and strength.

Eternal Blessings upon you and yours.

August 11, 2014

The Bible summed up by a child

“Judas Asparagus”:

(This is amazing and should bring tears of laughter to your eyes. I wonder how often we take for granted that children understand what we are teaching?)

A child was asked to write a book report on the entire Bible. Here is what was written: The Children’s Bible in a Nutshell

In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness, and some gas. The Bible says, ‘The Lord thy God is one,’ but I think He must be a lot older than that.

Anyway, God said, ‘Give me a light!’ and someone did.
> Then God made the world.

He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren’t embarrassed because mirrors hadn’t been invented yet.

Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden…..Not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn’t have cars.

Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel.

Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something.
> One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check.

After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat.

Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh’s people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable.
> God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them His Top Ten Commandments. These include: don’t lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbor’s stuff.
> Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humor thy father and thy mother.

One of Moses’ best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town.

After Joshua came David.. He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn’t sound very wise to me.

After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets. One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore.

There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don’t have to worry about them.

After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of The New Testament.. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had bIeen born in a barn too, because my mom is always saying to me, ‘Close the door! Were you born in a barn?’ It would be nice to say, ‘As a matter of fact, I was.’)

During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Republicans.

Jesus also had twelve opossums. The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him.

Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount. But the Republicans and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot. Pilot didn’t stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead.

Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is foretold in the book of Revolution.

Blessings!

August 8, 2014

Speak OUT

I read Jim Denison’s daily Christian culture email. Today’s was particularly close to home, because it affects us all. I am quoting what he said at the end which is poignant and hits home. We should all be aware!!

Each time I visit the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, I stop to reflect on this statement from Martin Niemöller, the anti-Nazi German pastor who spent eight years in a concentration camp: “First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Speak OUT!

July 31, 2014

Patience & Faith

Let me tell you about a journey I had to take
I had to go around the world to learn about patience & faith
God took the time to condition me to open my heart and mind
Through so many mishaps God’s grace always made sure I was fine
Rushed things and always tried to live by my own rules
Until one day I realized your laws are truly precious jewels
My patience grew because I learned to trust in you
Now I know to wait on the Lord and always give Him His due
When I started, my faith was weak as tap water
Through loving Christ, I learned I could always go farther
Took all my faults and problems and laid them at your feet
Praying to you everyday that those same mistakes I never repeat
Couldn’t ask for anymore mercy, kindness and grace
Long for the day you welcome me into heaven and I see your face
Just wanted to openly announce that I’m officially on your team
My face, heart and soul is lit up like a light beam
Thank you for not taking my life when it seemed I couldn’t wait
I’m blessed that Jesus taught me Patience & Faith

written by Freddie, an inmate

July 14, 2014

New Chapter

Heather and I are on a quest to find a new church home now, after being at Foundry for 16 years. It has been a worthwhile time at Foundry, but it is definitely time to move on and find a new church home.
We have visited several churches so far and I think we have finally come across one that is very powerful. It is close to home, which I always think is important, because of how blessed we are in the US, we have one on almost “every corner”. I never understood folks that drive and hour or more to go to church when there are perfectly good ones that are close to your home.
So, it is a Bible Church and a non-denominational one at that. I like these more than other churches that I have seen because they preach God’s Word. That means they preach out of the Bible. This whole topical study and never really addressing scripture in sermons has become the new norm in a lot of churches today. I’m sick of that! I want to be fed with scripture and not some preachers thoughts on what they think sounds ‘good’ for the month.
From what I have seen at churches, the Bible Churches tend to do this the best and most. They give you scripture after scripture and address topics to relate them back to your life.
So, I think we have found a new home and I am very happy and filled and look forward to the future and how we can help bless this Church as much as I think it is going to bless us.

Thanks be to God!

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June 18, 2014

Washington Redskins and Political Correctness

Well, today, 6/18/2014, the US Patent Office decided to strip the Washington Redskins American Football of its name because it was disparaging to Native Americans. I call BS! With that, I leave you with the following commentary that I got from my mother in law, that I think is perfect fit to today’s POLITICAL CORRECTNESS-CRAP! Enjoy the read:

I agree with our Native American population—I am highly insulted by the racially charged name of the Washington Redskins.

One might argue that to name a professional football team after Native Americans would exalt them as warriors, but oh no….

We must be careful not to offend anyone, and in the spirit of political correctness and courtesy, we must move forward.

Let’s ditch the Kansas City Chiefs, the Atlanta Braves and the Cleveland Indians. If your shorts are in a wad because of the reference the name Redskins makes to skin color, then we need to get rid of the Cleveland Browns.

The Carolina Panthers obviously were named to keep the memory of the militant Blacks from the 60’s alive. Gone. Offensive to us white folk.

The New York Yankees offend the Southern population. Do you see a team named for the Confederacy? No! There is no room for any reference to that tragic war between the states that cost this country so many young men’s lives.

I am also offended by the blatant references to the Catholic religion among our football team names. Totally inappropriate to have the New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Angels or the San Diego Padres. The fact that there are birds on their shirts does not protect either the Arizona or the St. Louis Cardinals—gone!

Then there are the team names that glorify criminals who raped and pillaged as their way of life. We are talking the horrible Oakland Raiders, the Minnesota Vikings, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Pirates!

Now, let us address those teams that clearly send the wrong message to our children—and it is all about the children.

The Green Bay Packers and the St. Louis Rams–promote gay men. Wrong message to our children. Gone!

The Pittsburg Steelers promote stealing. Wrong message to our children. Gone!

The San Diego Chargers promote irresponsible spending habits. Wrong message to our female children. Gone!

The New York Giants and the San Francisco Giants promote obesity–a growing childhood epidemic. Wrong message to our children. Gone!

The Cincinnati Reds name promotes downers/barbiturates. Wrong message to our children. Gone!

The Milwaukee Brewers—well, that goes without saying…. Wrong message to our children. Gone!

So, there you go. We need to support any legislation that comes out to rectify this travesty, because the government will likely become involved with this issue, as they should. A high priority directly behind efficiently managing our country’s health care.

All,

Let’s not forget the “Fighting Irish.” I know, they’re not NFL, but we need to identify offensive college team names too. It makes people from Ireland sound like thugs and bullies.

May 23, 2014

Racism

When I see my beautiful daughter that is almost 2 years old interact with different kids of all races at her Pre-School, I realize something quickly and evidently. She looks and treats everyone the same. Which teaches me a huge lesson – that racism is NOT something your born with – it is something that is taught. Taught by family/friends/society whomever it may be. The issue of racism is a sad one and frankly, it truly disgusts me.

Being a Christian, I realize a lot of things. When it comes to racism, I realize that it is the Devil’s ploy to get us to hate each other and cause strife amongst ALL of us children of God. That’s right, we are ALL children of God. He created each and every one of us. We are taught this through God’s HOLY BIBLE and believe it is truth. If you are a Christian and know what God says in Genesis, that HE created each and every one of us, then there is NO room for us to hate another race.

God wants us all to love each other and share that love with each other, not hate. There is a spiritual battle going on for each of our souls. Believe that! God wants you to be in His Kingdom and treat each other as you would like to be treated.

Love is our only hope and love’s name is JESUS!

Blessings!

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May 22, 2014

Holland and Belgium

Heather, Sophie and I went on a fabulous trip to Holland and Brussels, Belgium. While it was only 10 days, it was still great to see a couple beautiful countries!

Sophie did great on the 11 hour flight to and from Amsterdam(Schippol Airport). She also flew for free since children under 2 fly free, but after 2 they pay FULL FARE(which sucks), so we decided to take this international trip now rather than later because of the cost for her as well. She turns 2 in July. When Heather and I went to Hawaii last October, I hated the feeling I had leaving Sophie behind, so having her with us on this trip was great and I was glad she was with us. I don’t like leaving her for any length of time apart from us.

We got to do pretty much everything we wanted to do while in Holland, but there is never enough time to do ‘IT ALL’. We saw the Van Gogh/Rembrandt Museums in Amsterdam, as well as the Rijks Museum, Heineken Brewery, the ‘I AM(STERDAM)’ famous letters near Rijks Museum, and the ubiquitous Hard Rock Café. Sad part was we never went into any of these places due to our poor planning and late arrival into Amsterdam that Sunday. It was all good though. We did take a boat tour on the canals and saw the city from that perspective. Commentary on the boat was bad, but great views none-the-less.

A highlight on the whole trip was going to Keukenhoff where the Famous Tulip Festival is held yearly for about 2 months(March-May). The place was fantastic and worth the trip in gold. We spent over 4 hours there and loved it!

We spent some time in Delft, where the famous porcelain shoes/pottery is made with the classic white with blue colors are painted on. Very scenic and pretty city.

We spent several days in Den Haag aka THE HAGUE. Another pretty city with lots of vibrant life in the streets. I love the public transportation in Europe because you really don’t HAVE to drive anywhere, just take your local bus/tram/train to get where your going.

We stayed in Rotterdam for a night and the next day headed out to Brussels on the Thallus(Fast Train) which took about 55 mts. Not a bad ride and enjoyable. We were blown away at the beauty of Brussels. We stayed right off the Grand Place at an Ibis hotel. Now most hotels in Europe are small, but I really don’t care, because most of the time your just using it for sleep anyway, so that doesn’t really bother me. Now, the Grand Plaas, as it were, is a big center cobblestone floor surrounded by Giant 500-year-old buildings, each unique in its own right. With many avenues to get here, the architecture/steeples/designs were tremendous. People of all walks of life there, enjoying Belgian Waffles, making sketches of the facades on paper, Sophie chasing the pigeons all over and laughing her head off and on and on…

Heather and I did take a beer tour one afternoon while we were there. Belgium is known for creating beer, thank you Trappists Monks!!! It was a great experience, with so much history in Europe and Belgium wasn’t lacking!! We entered into many pubs and tried out the local brews, which weren’t sold anywhere outside of Belgium and they were fantastic! Pubs in Europe and not only a local watering hole, but also a place where families would come together to socialize and spend time together-which is a lot different from our ‘bars’ here in the USA.

Loved the trip, would definitely recommend both countries and very glad we were able to see another part of the world that Heather and I both have passions for.

Brussels

May 7, 2014

Prayer

As impossible as it is for us to take a breath in the morning large enough to last us until noon, so impossible is it to pray in the morning in such a way as to last us until noon. Let your prayers ascend to Him constantly, audibly or silently, as circumstances throughout the day permit – O. Hallesby

Pray without ceasing – 1 Thessalonians 5:17

April 17, 2014

Love after US

I had to use this from a devo that I follow from Jim Denison. It’s powerful and I don’t think I could put it any more eloquently than he did.

God has always taken the initiative to restore us to himself.  He sought Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  He sought Noah, calling him to build the ark that would save the human race.  He sought Abram in a land we call Iraq today.  He sought Jacob on that night they wrestled together, and Moses at the burning bush, and David after the king had sinned horrifically.

Then he sought us in the most miraculous, unexpected way of all—he became one of us.  He folded the glory and power which created the universe down into a fetus who grew into a baby who breathed our air, walked our dirt, faced our temptations, felt our pain, died on our cross and rose from our grave.  We could not climb up to him, so he climbed down to us.

He sought fishermen beside the Sea of Galilee, tax collectors in their booths and trees, lepers in their abandoned loneliness, and demoniacs in their cemetery hideouts.  He was the housekeeper who sought the lost coin, the shepherd who sought the lost sheep, the father who sought the lost son.  He sought Peter after his denials, and Saul of Tarsus as he persecuted the church, and John on his prison island of Patmos.

And then the day came when he made you.  Not because our planet needed another person, but because he wanted an intimate, personal relationship with you.  He led me to write these words so he could use them to seek you today.  So he could wash your feet and cleanse your sins and commune intimately with you.

May this Easter be a blessing to you and your family as you ponder on just how much God truly loves you and me and the ultimate price he paid on our behalf because of that love.

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