The great comforter

We all like to feel comforted when we are sad or going through something extremely painful. The times when we are going up to speak in front of a large crowd or doing something outside of our comfort zone. Life can throw many trials at us but we can always find comfort in knowing that God is always with us. He guides us through the darkness, carries us when we stumble, and holds us when we are weak. I remember going through so many dark and confusing times and in those times I called on our Lord to just hold me. It was like the warmest blanket being wrapped around me, having all my troubles just melt away. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Temptation

There are so many things that can tempt us as we go about our day, from billboards, to commercials, and even the clothing that we wear. Alot of these are innocent enough and can be easily avoided, but what about the temptations that are greater. Maybe for drugs, alcohol, tobacco, pornography, or just something that would tempt us to harm ourselves and others. 1 Corinthians 10 : 13 reads, No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to all. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Strength in you

The feeling of weakness filled my mind, my insecurities plagued my soul, I spent my life trying to find purpose but was out of control.

I drove away family and friends and dug a huge pit, alone at the bottom is where I would sit.

Pile my problems and struggles of life on my shoulder, walking around pounding my chest like a soldier, but can barely walk with the weight of this boulder.

Many nights were spent weeping, so unloved and depressed, waking up in the morning struggling to get dressed.

Yelling at God, why are you doing this to me, I had no idea that God had a plan you see.

Hitting this rock I wasn’t able to go through, hitting my knees and prayed, God I give my life to you, I don’t know what else to do. If you are really out there hear my plea, I don’t want to live in this life without you leading me.

Take this lost and broken life and bless me with something better, I can’t take this anymore, I haven’t the strength to fight this worldly war. Give me the armor that’s needed to fight off the demons and lead me through all of the seasons.

Take this heavyweight that I’ve piled on me, PLEASE GOD I’M ALL YOURS SET ME FREE!

Since that day I’ve had a yoke that is so light, and not a bone in my body wants to physically fight. My problems seem smaller and now I stand taller. Finding peace in just saying His name, thinking now instead of pointing a finger to blame. Seeing farther now that I’m not blind and know that He is one of a kind. Thank you dear God for directing me where to go, being a light in the darkness with the love you bestow.

Endurance

Lifting weights are one of my most favorite activities and have been doing it now for about 25 years. Being a bodybuilder and powerlifter takes a great amount of stamina and endurance, but also you also have to go through a lot of pain to get the results that you want. You have to change up your routines quite often so your body can grow different muscles and also add more reps and sets depending on what you are doing. One day upon leaving the gym, I had hopped on my bicycle to ride home and kept getting cramps in my calves and feet. We lived near the coast and all the neighborhoods were filled with little hills that seemed like mountains that day. It was hard for me to go to sleep that night, and kept waking up with Charlie horses. The next day it was even hard to walk from all the lifting in my new routine. I loved every minute of it regardless because I knew the end result would be worth it. Every time more weights were added, or pushing to get that extra repetition, running the extra couple feet with sweat drenched clothing, was worth it. Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great crowd of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he that endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Final Exhortations

Philippians 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again :Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -if anything is praiseworthy -think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

God’s plan

I had stopped off at a local shop to pick up some wire fencing and ended up with three kittens. It was just before mothers day and I was in a rush to get these materials to finish up a job. One of the guys that was prepping the materials heard a noise and couldn’t find it, so he began a search. Inside a huge lawnmower box was three little kittens all cuddled up together obviously missing there mother. The man was going to have the animal shelter come and retrieve them but for some reason I jumped in and said,” I’ll take them.” I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them, all I knew was that God gave me a soft spot in my heart for animals and that it would be ok. These kittens were so tiny, the size of a pill bottle, but looked much bigger with all the fluffy fur. I had asked the worker if they carried any milk bottles and he told me they were waiting on a shipment and it would be in a couple of days. When I picked the kittens up they were really cold, so I tucked them in my arm and drove to another shop that ended up not having any bottles either. The situation was getting harder and all I wanted to do was feed these hungry little guys. I remembered that I could use a syringe to feed them and was able to give them a little food, holding them off till the next day when they had their vet appointment. One of the kittens look really bad, had a cough, and didn’t want to eat which had me worried. My wife and I were at the vet the following day and the doctor was looking them over. When she got around to the sickest one she told us that this kitten wasn’t going to make it and needed to be put down. I was so devastated and was starting to tear up upon hearing that news, but was trying to hold it together. My wife looked at me and could see the pain in my eyes, the nurse and doctor were totally quiet, watching a 300 pound man sobbing over these kittens he only had for a day. I had prayed for these kittens the night before and that morning for God to help these babies and had high hopes that all would pull through. They put the kitten to sleep, gave medication to the others and made an appointment a couple of days later for the other two. We fed them, kept them warm and prayed, with everyone watching out for them until the next visit. One of them looked the same as the first and we knew that the results would be the same so we prepared ourselves for the bad news. Our predictions were correct and the second was put to sleep, this wasn’t as difficult as the first but it still hurt. The doctor did however have great news for the last one coming out with a clean bill of health, so we named her Grace. The veterinarian hospital didn’t charge us anything for any of the appointments or medications, Praise God. Now we have a perfectly healthy cat that is full grown and ornery, a perfect fit for our family, Amen. Sometimes we don’t always understand why God does this the way that He does, but we have to trust that He has a plan. Jeremiah 29:11,” For I know the plans I have for you,”plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Tomorrow is not guaranteed

I have a huge problem with looking to far into the future, making up imaginary scenarios that I think will happen. The problem with doing this is that we are not living in the present and trusting God. It puts fear in our hearts that can damage our faith and that is exactly what the devil wants. James 4:13-14, Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”, whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. These two verses are not saying that we can not make plans but to not look to far into our future. We need to trust in God not only daily but hourly and in every minute because we can parish at any given moment.