The Forgotten

Walking into the hospital thoughts were rolling around in my head of what to say to a church member whom I barely knew. Being led by the Holy Spirit to the hospital to pray for others is a great experience. Upon entering her hospital room and saying hello she had a look of confusion on her face. She had fallen almost a week prior and hurt her head so her memory was a bit fuzzy. We hadn’t had any long talks and I didn’t know much about her but after that day I knew a lot more and what God wanted me to do. After a few minutes she started to remember me and tears began rolling down her cheeks. My heart broke as I heard her say, ” you are the only person from church that has been here to visit me.” I knew that she had been a member there for over 70 years and couldn’t believe no one had reached out to her. Staying with her for a bit we spoke of likes and dislikes, plus the ups and downs that our church has had over the years. It dawned on me that even though I came to visit her it didn’t make me a great friend. The only interaction we’ve had the last couple of years is exchanging the peace during service, giving a quick hug and saying peace be with you. I felt like a total heel, here is this amazing woman that our church is blessed to have as part of our church family that we barely know is there. Being totally honest, it can be hard for me to get to know everyone at church. Some conversations last longer than others so it makes it hard to speak with everybody in an hour and a half. God was speaking to me that day telling me to branch out and expand my circle, not just sticking with the people that are around me the most. Fellowship is crucial to the church and there needs to be more of it and not just for an hour and a half, we need time to rub elbows with everyone and have them feel like family because that is what church is, our family. We grow and learn from others experiences through God and I feel as though that opportunity was missed by not speaking with this woman who had been here the longest. Hebrews 13:16 And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifice God is pleased. Philippians 1:5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. Sometimes we can form little cliques in church and not even know that we are doing it. My challenge from here on out is to go up to as many people as possible that I haven’t interacted with much and spread the fellowship. I challenge all of you to make new friends at church expecially with those who are older.

Heavenly Father thank you so much for yet another beautiful day, help us and guide us towards sharing our love for you with others. Give us the strength to fellowship with everyone and not just the one’s we choose. In Jesus precious name AMEN.

Feeding the masses

We had held a discussion at our group about Jesus feeding the 5000 and how truly amazing that miracle was. The story is found in Matthew 14:13-21 and I would like to share this with you. When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said,” This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat. ” “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,”he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the Five Loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and we’re satisfied, and the disciples picked up 12 basket full of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. Tell me that that is not absolutely amazing, having God bless their food like that. Think about this for a second, five thousand men not including women and children. Being a part of the Oakdale Rescue Mission part of our work is hosting meals for our homeless friends and when we are preparing meals we get that feeling that we had not made enough food. We never know how many people will show, sometimes 10 or we can have 75, so we try to cook for as many as possible. One day we had shown up with our food ready to go and noticed that we had more people than we had expected and some worry crept into our minds. I silently said a prayer that we would have ample food to feed this large crowd. As we were dishing out to all our hungry friends I had looked down and the dish we had been serving from was still pretty full. After everyone had eaten and some had seconds we still had leftovers, “Praise God”.

God given gifts

Being physically strong has been my “go-to” power for the longest time. In actuality I thought that it was the only gift that I possessed but it helped many people on this great journey with God. The majority of my life was filled with physical sports and it always drove me to wanting more. Soccer, baseball, tennis, rugby, wrestling, boxing, bodybuilding, powerlifter, cycling, and hiking were some of my best activities. Always able to lift more than others quite easily so naturally this had to be my gift from God and for years I ran with that. One day while at work I took a very nasty fall, so bad in fact that my calf was torn along with my hamstring and my rotator cuff. I cannot even express how bad those injuries felt, all that I could tell you is it was like being hit by a car and all on one side. Having a pity party one day I started praying asking God why this had happened and how I could provide for my family with these injuries. God worked through a friend of mine, “Karen”, who encouraged me to start writing and I fought this for a bit because it didn’t feel like I had much to offer in that department but ended up being wrong. God opened up so many doors for us and just when we think He couldn’t possibly bless us anymore He blows our mind with something else. We’ve gone from writing a book to being on YouTube, teaching a class and now this awesome blog! God is great! God will use you if you let Him, He will open many doors if you just ask, we are all given special gifts and we may not even know what they are yet. Romans 12:6-8, We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.  What gifts has God given you?  How are you using it for Him?

Heavenly father thank you so much for this beautiful morning, thank you for the opportunity to be able to go out and do the things you have set out for us to do. Help us to see what our gifts are that you have blessed us with and how to use them for your glory Lord. In Jesus precious name AMEN.

Challenge Yourself

I’m not sure what I did to deserve the love of my wife, but I’d do it a thousand times over just to be in the same room with her. She has no idea how much I truly am head over heals in love with her. I know that I don’t show it all the time or even act the part but it’s the truth and this got me thinking about all the cute stuff I’ve done when we first got together. Why is it that we work so hard to obtain the love of another just to let it go stale over time? Is it that we fall out of love with this person, maybe that we’ve won the prize from all our hard work and we don’t need to try anymore, we’ve locked it in right? Those are both reasonable examples but from my standpoint, it’s the simple fact of time and routine, my wife and I get so wrapped up in work and giving to others that we have formed a routine. The routine saves us time so we can focus on work and giving to others, unfortunately, our relationship is in a speedy way. My wife has an amazing smile and I don’t seem to see as much of it as I used to and I want it back, including the romance, that brightness, and the laughter. These things will slowly start fading if we don’t fan it to keep it lit, so I decided to take a seven-day challenge. The purpose of this exercise is to do something sweet outside of our normal day, something to break up the monotony of our rigorous schedule, hoping that my wife would take notice. Day 1, I hand made a card and wrote a poem inside, plus cut a little over a half dozen roses and tied them together with yarn then giving it to her first thing in the morning. Day 2, My wife needed to smog her car that day so I told her that I would see her later and she headed out. I went to get her favorite iced drink a chai iced tea but was handed a hot chai tea instead. It was cold outside so I didn’t complain I just left to go meet up with my wife. As I got out of the car my wife was walking back to her car from the smog building, she saw me and said that it didn’t open for another hour. I handed her the hot tea and she loved it expressing how cold it was and we hung out together for an hour. Day 3, My wife was in between her jobs and had a half hour to hang out and kicked her legs up so I grabbed some lotion and massaged her feet. Day 4, My wife came home for lunch and I brought her some turkey noodle soup that I had made and I did the dishes before I had to leave back to work. Day 5, We had gone to church and they were passing the microphone asking people to share what they were thankful for, so when it was my turn I was able to say how thankful I was to have her in my life. Day 6, took a little bit of a turn, my wife had noticed while I was on a lunch break that I was acting funny, I was saddened, suddenly hit by the death of my grandpa, my day went from energetic to not wanting to do so much. I sat on the couch and my wife went and grabbed some lotion and started rubbing my feet! Day 7, I helped my wife clean the church so she could take a break in between jobs. It ended up she had half an hour before her next appointment so we took a walk to a small bakery and shared a treat. Did you notice the change that my wife made during the later part of the week? The best part of taking a seven-day challenge is that it’s the right amount of time to put what you are working on in the forefront of your thoughts. Not only that but they usually carry themselves over a month to where it’s a part of your new routine. It’s exactly the same as with studying the bible and praying to God. In order for us to excel in our faith, we need to have God in the forefront of our thoughts and diving into His words.

HUMBLE FAITH

This day in age just about everything will cost you money and if you don’t have it then you wouldn’t be getting much. There was one point in time where I was makingexcellent pay and one would think that since I made good money that I would have been happy, but quite the opposite was true. I thought I was rich so I would go out and spend beyond my means, the way I figured it was the next paycheck would make up the difference. I was wrong, I was actually miserable and constantly broke. I do much better when I had less money because I end up spending it more wisely and this is something that God has shown me. When there are a few dollars in my pocket God impresses me to be a good Steward, giving to ones in need but only after taking care of my families needs first. By needs I don’t mean fancy cars or expensive worthless material items that don’t make you happy anyways. Pay your tithes to God, then your bills and food, then the rest God shows me what can be done to better someone else’s life. While God is guiding me to be humble in every aspect of my life my eyes have been opened up to miracles that happen when you don’t have that extra money in hand. My work has been so slow this year going a couple of months without work but I praise God that my wife still has her job and that our needs are met. I believe wholeheartedly that money should not be stored in the bank while people have to go without food or warm clothes when the temperature drops to an unreasonable degree. Having empathy for others and helping the homeless God has touched my heart to give all that is extra. In our current financial situation, I can see the worry in my wife’s eyes and I feel for her but all I can do is reassure her that we just need to trust and have faith that God will see us through. Last night we were having dinner at my parents home. We had a great meal but you could tell my parents were up to something but I didn’t want to pry. Upon finishing our meal my dad handed my wife and me an envelope and my dad started to tear up as he proceeded to tell us that grandpa would have wanted you to have this. My grandpa had passed away a couple months ago and was still fresh on everyone’s mind and I could see the heartbreak in my fathers’ eyes. Now everyone was in a puddle as we opened up the envelope to see what all the sobbing was about and enclosed was a check for a large amount. Praise God, I still can’t believe how he Blesses us and constantly watches out for us.

Matthew 6:25-26 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

W.H.A.T.

Without, Human, Applause, Today, that is the name of a group Karen and I have started. We meet every Tuesday at the Oakdale Rescue Mission and what a blessed meeting it turns out to be. The first meeting had one person show up and the next couple of classes we were gaining people in two’s, till our fourth class which held thirteen! We actually had to close off the meeting because we didn’t have room to hold any more people in this particular meeting spot. Praise God, He gave us the perfect amount and this group has been truly awesome, to say the least. Everyone feels comfortable enough to share how their week has been with all the good things they’ve accomplished. The purpose of this group is to go out and help others by loving thy neighbor, but there’s a catch. Our goal is to do good deeds and help others but without taking credit for any of it. We need to store our treasure in Heaven and not to look or wait for people to say, ” Well done”. This can be very challenging at times because we all like an ” at-a-boy”, at times. Jesus never did works to get a pat on the back, He did all His work for the glory of God, giving Him all the credit. I love when something nice happens for me, something unexpected and I’m sure we all do from time to time. In our book, Are U up For The Challenge, I wrote about a time when my wife and I were lead by the Holy Spirit to share our wealth. We had a financially relieving week so we set out in search of someone to bless. After having a couple of thoughts that didn’t pan out we decided to have the Holy Spirit guides us and He did, straight to a restaurant, found a table full of about 12-15 person’s. We paid for the meal with a tip to follow and left the building without waiting to see the reaction of the party. 1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the chance to be a better Christian than we were the day before. Help us today to give without the applause from others, letting it be to your glory. Thank you for being with us in us and around us, in Jesus precious name Amen!

Because He ❤️’s us!

www.bible.com/111/mat.19.26.niv

How many times have we thought I can never forgive someone? Or that we can’t stop sinning it’s just too hard. You’re right, without God, it is impossible but remember, for God all things are possible. God makes the impossible possible because he loves us and he knows how weak we are, through Him He strengthens us. God bless,

Love thy enemies

Everything about God yells love, even at the bitter end of Jesus life he loved all of us. He was whipped and beaten, drug through the dirt and had a crown of thorns stuck on his head, nails pierced through His hands and feet and all He was worried about was our salvation. Do we even come close to loving others the way He did? It can be hard at times to forgive a close friend let alone an enemy. We have all experienced heartache when someone close to us said something or has done something to hurt us even if it is unintended. The only way to truly find forgiveness and continue loving that person or persons is to give it to God immediately and show the person who harmed you more love. This can seem hard at times and I know from personal experience in my past I would lash out, showing that person how much it hurt. Making them feel as bad as it felt to me or worse and the problem with this is that it gives a foothold to the devil. The little problem would escalate into something even bigger making it harder to repair the situation and can also spread to other people getting involved with gossip or taking sides. These situations are with your close friends or even acquaintances, can we even imagine what that would look like with someone who hates you. Jesus felt that with every short painful step he took dragging that cross on His back and having those giant spikes driven through His body but He still chose to forgive. It breaks my heart to know that I am weak in my forgiveness as a human but also brings a smile to my face knowing that God is right there to help me go through it. Every time we forgive others for all the little things they’ve done builds us for the major tests in our lives. Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Heavenly Father thank you for this beautiful day and the chance you’ve given us to be a better Christian then we were the day before. Lord, please help us to find forgiveness in our hearts for anyone who has wronged us so that we can show them your love. Thank you for being with us, in us and around us, in Jesus precious name AMEN!