Life’s Hard


Which way to turn? Which way to go?

John 16:33NASB
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

Social media is swamped with everything from pity and woe, to beware and be scared. It is not that I do not understand these emotions, these fears, I do.

I have lost loved ones too soon. The list is long. I lost a sibling tragically. I did not understand. I was not asked to. I know death up close and personal. I have watched it suffocate. I watched my dad crash. I watched his lung suctioned. Scripture asks me to trust. Obey. Faith.

I have walked through hard times of jobs lost, savings and retirement gone, car and home lost. No income. It is hard. It is devastating. But, God had a plan. I was not asked to like the circumstances I was passing through, just to stand on His firm foundation and trust His plan. It does not matter if I ever understand the reason this side of Heaven. I am asked to trust. Faith.

Seniors are missing end of year memories. It is hard, I know. I did not go to homecoming or prom. I had worked all summer with 8 girls; made them 3 uniforms each. Those 27 uniforms saw little use when my senior year world was turned upside down. A boy was stabbed in the heart in front of me. Memories? I was 16 years old. My brother turned to protect me and push me out of the way of the five boys attacking. The police took four of us as witnesses. They let my brother stay with me. It was an away game. Cell phones were not invented. My parents met the busses, heard there was a stabbing. My brother and I did not get off the bus. Someone told them we were ok and I was a witness. They had to go home and wait for a call. They caught all but one of the five that night. The guy that stabbed the boy in the heart got away. They lined them up in front of us and we pointed them out. No two way mirrors, face to face. Three days later I came face to face with the guy that stabbed the boy in the heart. Fear unimaginable. I got the detective. He got him. The threats came on the phone in the middle of the night. Dad took the phone off the hook. The threats and more came at school then. The school was suspended from all extra curricular events. My 17th birthday came and went. Two witnesses dropped out due to threats. The nightmares. The trial was horrible. The tranquilizers didn’t help. The stress and fear were overwhelming. I alienated friends, and eventually my high school sweetheart. Senior year? We got back activities after dad and another father threatened to shut down all 64 high schools if superintendent did not lift ban. Our teams, band, chorus, drama, etc., were able to do some events. I graduated. It is a blur. All the years of dreams gone. In the next six months dad had lung cancer. Senior year. It is not good for everyone. Focus on the good circumstances and memories you had and be thankful. You do not like the circumstances but, God has a plan. Grow. Look for the His plan. I did not at first. I dwelled on disappointment and lost dreams. I was grounded in faith, found I was still on His firm foundation. He carried me through. People look to see how you handle these circumstances if you are a Christian. You may never understand. Will you learn anything? Will you grow? Do they see faith?

These current circumstances are no different. Life is hard. Are these the end times? Does it matter? We entered the end times with the fall of Adam. There are no new trials or circumstances, no new sins. We should always live as this is the last days. Never take for granted our Lord’s grace and mercy. The Romans persecuted Christians in arenas for sport. The idol temples were filled with debauchery and sins unimaginable for profit. Plagues and famines have been recorded since Pharaohs’ days. Only the Holy Spirit can bring someone to salvation. You cannot scare them into it. So point to God’s sovereign love, mercy and grace. Show them trust and faith in your Lord, not fear of circumstances.

This too shall past. Be steadfast.

Psalm 26:12 NASB “My foot stands on a level place; In the congregations I shall bless the LORD”

RBGreenDesigns.com 2020

Let’s Call It What It Is, Selfishness.


There is nothing new under the sun. No new faults, desires, sins. It all boils down to self, the “I wants”, right now, greed.

Greed, the hardening of the heart to put self before all else is as old as time. “I want”, “I need”, and “me first above all else” is priority. Self leads to all sins because self rules.

People want to be rich, they want success, they want prosperity, they want everything centered around them, they want… want… want. Wants, not needs, is as old as recorded time.
Yesterday New York celebrated a “want” for women. High society, highly successful New York, so sophisticated, so highly educated, right? Or, are they just turning back time to archaic and barbaric practices? Did they not just erase centuries of advancement for women?

The Canaanites, circa 1509 BC, practiced a ritual of offering their first born to the fires of Moloch so they would receive riches, prosperity and a successful life. Malkam was the same for the Ammonites and Melqart for the Tyrian. Placing their first born in a fire, how barbaric people say. How ignorant, how selfish. God thought so.

Leviticus 20:2 “Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death.

Imagine what He thinks now as New York has just turned back time. Women can now offer their first born to the fires of abortion. Yes, fire, saline abortion is toxic and it burns. Essentially it burns soft tissues, even skin in the womb. The baby is burned even from the inside as the child swallows the solution. Such torture. Unthinkable. Unimaginable. How barbaric. A modern woman would never do such a thing.

New York has done the unthinkable. A woman can choose to torture an infant for convenience, for costs, for unwanted, for wrong gender, for any reason. Be careful though, you still cannot disturb a turtle or eagles nest. Those eggs, fertilized or not, are still protected by state and federal laws.
Welcome to 2019 New York. Your women can sacrifice their first born for convenience, career, riches, gender choice …. success and prosperity. Moloch just changed his name to abortion.

A civilized woman would utilize self control over selfishness. A civilized society would fund adoptions, not abortions.

Stinkin-in and rotten-in!


As toddlers our girls were spoiled rotten (yeah, I know, they still are).   But, we would tell them they were rotten to the core; stinking and rotting.   Now, when they would tell it back to us it sounded more like … stinkin-in and rottin-in.   Their dad still tells them they are rotten in the toddler terms.

Truthfully, things that are rotting are usually stinking and it is anything but cute.   stinkWhen something stinks, it usually has sat around awhile, soured and rotted.  Unfortunately, many Christians become rotten from sitting around and souring.  They get upset, get discouraged and get down.  Instead of going to their knees, seeking fellowship and prayer partners, they just sit and stew … and stew … and then they sour and after a while they just SMELL.  You would think they would get the message when people start avoiding them.  You can not stand to be around them.  They are sour on the world.  Nothing is going right for them; nothing is going their way.  As the saying goes, “misery loves company” and they want you to be miserable with them.  You just want them to get “washed in the blood” all over again.  All you can do is bathe them in prayer.

2 Corinthians 2:14-15(HCSB) 14 But thanks be to God, who always puts us on displayin Christ and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.15 For to God we are the fragranceof Christ among those who are being saved  and among those who are perishing.”

Hopefully, you are not the one stinkin’.  Each day you make a choice.  You get up and you choose your attitude.    In Matthew 5:3-11 you will find the Beatitudes:

BEatitudes = Attitudes To Be (a previous blog)

 

If you are going to “smell” … smell sweet!

 

“Imagine a life with no worries ….”


That’s what the billboard reads as I drive to work.  I cannot remember the product.

The song lyrics read, “don’t worry, be happy (whistling)”.

Worry … it’s a sin. (I actually wrote a post, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” , two years ago that handles that topic.) The truth is, life is hard and there is no way to not worry … in our own strength.  Imagine a life with no worries?  No product can produce that in your life; no service can produce that in your life.  The only way to lift worries is to lay your concerns before our Almighty Father in Heaven.

Matthew 11:28 (NTL) “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

Worry is a sin, it means you are not trusting God.  In the wee hours of the morning Corrie Ten Boom stood before us with Billy Graham by her side.  My brother and I were volunteers for the crusade and we were helping type up the cards for counseling of all that had come forward that night at the Crusade meetings.  We were all tired.  My brother and I had come from the hospital prior to the meetings.  Our father was in the hospital having had a lung removed from lung cancer.  My world was shaking as my earthly father lay struck down.  I had always relied on him.  I needed to learn to rely on my Heavenly Father, who cannot be shaken or brought down.    Corrie Ten Boom told us about ‘not worrying’.  I was 18 years old.  My world was collapsing, but here was a woman who had been through way worse telling me, “don’t worry”.   She said, (and I have never forgotten):

“If it is too small to pray about, it is too small to worry about.” Corrie Ten Boom

A worrier will begat a worrier …. if you want your children and loved ones to lean on Christ, they have to see you leaning on Him; “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms”.

Don’t worry, be happy?  Yes, you can ” … Safe and Secure From All Alarms”!

Psalm 55:22 (NASB) “Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”

My Get Up and Go …


Got up and went.

Ever feel this way? You know, when your day is done (or maybe just begun) and your get up and go, got up and went.

Know the feeling?  We are always on the run, here, there …. everywhere.  Hurry, hurry, hurry.  We have such a frantic schedule, especially when we have children at home.   My mother use to say she met her self coming when she was going.  Think on that one for a minute.

Other sayings from the South:

* running around like a chicken with their head cut off

* they won’t know they’re dead until they lay down three days later

We live life to the fullest.  So full, we overflow into utter exhaustion and yet seem to get little done.  Another saying: “Take time to smell the roses”.   Oh, we can quote them, but can we live them?  Each generation reflects back to when life was simpler … oh, for the good ol’ days.

Is it any wonder we do not hear answers to prayers?  We are too busy to slow down and listen and follow instructions.

In John 9 Jesus met a blind man. The man wanted to be healed.  Jesus placed mud on his eyes and told him to GO and he WENT.

JOHN 9:6-7  6  “After saying this, He spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” He told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.”

The man had to put action to his faith in this instance.  Jesus showed him to listen, follow and do.  Oh, we listen when we take the time to hear.  But do we follow?  Do we put any action to our faith?  Do we “GO”?

Today as you are hurrying around to the point that your “get up and go, got up and went” (in other words you are exhausted), think on what God has asked of you to do.  Have you been too busy to hear His still quite voice leading you?  What did you hear?  Did you say, “I don’t have time, or later Lord?  Maybe not in so many words, but in your actions that is what you say, right?  If you put as much into His schedule as you do your own … if when He asked you to “GO” you got up and “WENT”.  What might you see happen?