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Friday, March 28, 2014

Life is Not Fair

by Max Lucado
(from the devotional UpWords)

May I gently but firmly remind you of something you know but may have forgotten?  Life is not fair. That’s not pessimism, it’s a fact.  It’s not a complaint, it’s just the way things are. I don’t like it. Neither do you. Ever since the kid down the block got a bike and we didn’t, we’ve been saying the same thing, “That’s not fair!”

At some point someone needs to say to us, “Who ever told you life was going to be fair?” God didn’t. In James 1:2, he didn’t say, “If you have many kinds of troubles,” he said, “When you have many kinds of troubles.” Troubles are part of the package.

Jesus said, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. My kingdom is from another place (John 18:36).”
When all of earth turns against you, all of heaven turns toward you.  To keep your balance in this crooked world, think of home!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Cancer Free

This ordeal started over 6 months ago.

In September of last year Sue was at her chiropractors visit, when a routine X-ray revealed a spot on her lung. After being told the spot was probably scar tissue Sue decided to see a specialist to get a colonoscopy  and an EDG. The specialist confirmed the spot was most likely scar tissue, but scheduled a follow up,  just three months later.

The bad news came when the follow up occurred and the spot had grown slightly. After a biopsy was scheduled, and consequently we found out that it was indeed cancer.

The back story to all of this is that Sue had lost her Father, and her Brother to lung cancer. Both were diagnosed much later in their disease rate, and developed brain cancer along with the other complications. To say we were worried is a severe understatement.

Through all of this Sue has been a rock of strength. She said that she had turned all of it over to God, and that she was not going to worry about any of this. You could see the fear in her sometimes, but she was really an inspiration through all of this.

Today, we received the very best news. Sue's Doctor read her the final pathology report telling her that she was cancer free, and that she would not need chemo-therapy.

Sue has asked me to thank each of you for your prayers, and wants to give each of you a hug, in spirit.

God bless.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Quick Update

I will use this post as the place to update the situation with Sue. She is currently doing great. She came through her surgery fine, and the Dr. says she is cancer free.

We can not thank each of you enough for the prayers. She still has some ways to go before she regains her full strength, but she passes along a big "THANK YOU".

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Personal Request

My wife's first cousin has lung cancer.

That news alone can be enough to sit you down, and take your breath away. But God has his way of getting us through these things. After careful research, we have found out that this disease was caught very early.

 If she can successfully navigate the heart stress test Monday, she will have the surgery to remove part of her right lung on Tuesday.

So, my request to each of you, is that we all pray together for her to be able to have a successful surgery, and a healthy recovery. Her name is Sue Barefield, and she needs your prayers, please.

Thanks and God bless.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Challenges: Expressions of Irritation

Calm waters. photo by Klell

 Probably the one place in my walk with God that I fail the most in, is when I get become frustrated, or irritated. I certainly won't print some of the utterances that have streamed forth from my "pie hole", suffice it to say, my Mother would not be proud.

Learning to tame this emotional outburst has left me humbled for sure. It is an ever constant battle, that I for one, intend to get past. Of course, I need help in doing so, and that only comes from the grace of God.

James 3:6
 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on the fires of hell.

Nothing good comes from these short lapses in control. Almost instantly I ask for forgiveness, and I am ashamed. I know that this verse is the most true in this situation.

Matthew 15:11
Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man; but that which comes out of his mouth, this defiles a man.

There is hope of course, in the name of Jesus Christ. He gave his life so that we may be forgiven. Strength comes from this knowledge. The compassion that the Son of God has shown allows me to continue to fight the good fight, and walk with him as one. 

I will leave you with this one verse that, when taken in context, can give you all the encouragement you need to keep walking your walk with him.

1 John 3:20
 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Challenges: Beautiful

 Luke 6:37 states: Judge not, and ye shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.

There are far too many circumstances where we are judged every day in our lives. In a lot of cases, we are being properly judged. Wait, what? Example: Say you are learning a new job from a craftsman at his trade. You will be taught how to do the work, but until you have mastered that task, your work will be judged, and you accordingly. Beauty contests, automobile shows, the examples go on and on.

All of these things are not what Luke talks about in the above verse. It's what sin has led us to think matters in our lives, and is actually irrelevant in the way God wants us to think. 

Our thoughts reveal more than who we are on the inside, they also show us our weaknesses, our failings. These thoughts can lead us away from the path that we should walk, and weaken our ability to show others the true way to heaven through Christ Jesus.

Not only does Luke try to persuade us to not look upon another persons actions and make hasty judgements, he encourages us to forgive their actions if need be, and refrain from condemning them in our minds at least, in the process. For if we can refrain from condemnation in our thoughts, those thoughts will never see the light of day as our words. We won't speak of condemning someone, if we don't allow ourselves to think that way.

John 7:24 says: Judge not according to the appearance, rather judge righteous judgment. 

Think and say what Christ would, not what the world wants you to think and say. This goes for your actions as well.  I added this link, to show you how some in our society would try to explain to you that if you are not "beautiful" then you are not as acceptable in our society. RUBBISH!

The video above is of importance to this because far too often we judge people on how they look, or how they are dressed, and sometimes, on the color of their skin. When the world looks upon an old man, with a weathered face, and scared hands, the beauty is not seen on the outside. Outward appearance is not what God is looking for as an example of beauty. Why should we judge by appearance?

The challenge in this lesson is to look at everything, and everyone, with the love of Christ. Put away your preconceived notions of beauty, and look at what, or whom, God has made. You will find that some of the stress you put on yourself in these matters will dissipate into thin air.

God bless.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


As I continue to age, I find myself wanting to prove my existence. I want to know without a doubt, why I am here. Why am I blessed, because of this limited knowledge that I possess, with an ability to communicate in such simple terms, my beliefs?

There are some things, my core beliefs, that I know will never change, because of the path that I have led to this point. Baptized at an early age, I drifted so far away from my upbringings, and Sunday school  lessons, that I would never have been seen as a saved Christian, much less a born again man.

The only true regret that I live with is this, I wish I had been much stronger in my faith as a young man.

So, it is with life, mistakes have been made, and learning and healing are a major part of maturity. Mine, came much later than most. I thank God each time we talk for the blessings he has bestowed upon me, and in my life.

It is with this maturity, that I find myself questioning some of my beliefs, and searching for answers as to why I believe the things I do. Many major topics arise in this search. Their subjects range from the death penalty to same sex marriage. Death and life as it were.

My only trusted source for these truths is the King James version of the Holy Bible. I must start there, for answers. That alone, brings more questions. Of top priority is asking one simple question. Was the interpretation of the Hebrew texts done correctly? Then I have to ask, was there a purpose to this mission if you will, other than a simple need to translate God's holy word?

As I continue along this path in search of knowledge, I will post on this blog some of my findings. I encourage you to comment at any time, the feelings and beliefs that you have. You will do so without fear of ridicule from this blog, I can promise you that. The subject matter will be challenging at times, and simple as pie at other times.

It should be an interesting journey, won't you join me?

May God bless you all.