HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Well here we are . . .another New Year. There are times when the past year seems like a dream, with things that just "happened' outside of any control at my hands. And other times it seems it is all blur that just sped by so fast I barely saw it all. Leona and I are so blessed! Like everyone else out there this year has had some very bad financial reverses, but so far (praise God) we still have a roof over our heads, food on the table, sufficient clothing and a bit of money for gas for the car and diesel for "Harvey". We have decided to try to travel around to the various arts & crafts shows and flea markets around Texas instead of doing the E-bay / Internet E-business to supplement our income. It is hard sometimes to stay positive when so much pounds down on you from the everyday cares of the world. The only thing I know of as being constant in life is change. Good times pass and bad times pass and the route we travel is thus filled with ups and downs. BUT . . .through it all I KNOW as sure as I know my name that God is ALWAYS with us. God never promised us that life would be easy BUT He did promise to be ever with us. Psalm 94:12-19, Psalm 119 is one of the longest Psalms and through out the whole thing is blessing after blessing for us. If ever you are feeling down go to the Psalms! Psalm 91 is another one. Psalm 146 speaks to us about not putting our trust in worldly things but to trust in God vs. 7 (God)" Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners." Many of us are prisoners, maybe not behind actual bars, but prisoners in our own hearts because of our doubts and fears. Fear has been defined as False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear is what Satan uses to cripple and imprison us. As long as we are gripped by fear Satan has power over us; our mood, our words, our actions and our reactions to the cares of the world that press in upon us. Once we break the bonds of fear we are free of his evil influence. The minute we put our trust in God the bonds of fear are broken . . .we are free. We are free to trust God and know in our hearts that ALL things are under God's control. God wants us to be free from fear. We can find freedom through His word. Turn to scripture when you have doubts or fears. In Timothy 3: 16-17 we find that; "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."
As believers in God through the blood of Jesus Christ we become sons and daughters of God (Romans 8:16-17 / Ephesians 3: 5-8 and many others). In Matthew 7:7-12 begins "Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." and goes on to say that if your son asks for bread would you give him a stone or if he asks for a fish would you give him a serpent and we are human and weak yet we want the best for our children what then should God , as our eternal Father and creator, want for us !? Of course He, our God and Father, would want the very best for us. What is required of us is our faith and our obedience to His word. If we are obedient and try to live by His commandments and believe in Jesus Christ as His Son then we are most assuredly heirs to the Kingdom of heaven and we can also expect the blessings He promised us. God shall not be mocked. Neither will He be a liar. God does not lie . . . He promised us all blessings in abundance, full, packed down and overflowing IF we are obedient and try to live by His commandments. Knowing we are human and imperfect because of our sinful natures He sent His Son Jesus Christ to intercede for us the second we finally believe in Him. We all can be heirs to the kingdom just by praying a simple prayer: Lord God, I know I am a sinner and I am not perfect. I repent of my sinfulness and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe that you sent Jesus Christ to earth to die on the cross for me and that His blood washes me clean of all of my sins. I love you God and I ask for you to fill me with your Holy Spirit and guide my steps from now on. Amen. If you took the time to pray that prayer you are now marked as a child of God and as such you are heirs to the riches of His Kingdom now and forever. God loves you and wants the best for you
Monday, December 28, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
WOW! It is hard to believe that so-o-o much time has slipped by since my last posting! We, my wife and I, have been VERY busy and have experienced some amazing changes in the months since my last posting. For quite some time we have been discussing the purchase of an R.V. and we have looked at many small ones, medium sized ones and some of the huge ones that are the size of a bus. Because we have two full sized poodles as our traveling companions we finally decided on a 36 foot long ForeTravel UniHome. It is definitely not a new vehicle, it is a 1990 model, but in very good shape and has plenty of storage bins, closets, "cubbies" and drawers. It has a wonderful queen sized bed in the master bedroom, a nice "galley" with a stove, complete with full sized oven, a microwave / convection oven and a nice sized "fridge" with a freezer and an ice maker. The main selling point for Leona was the tile floors because of the dogs. For me it was because both the drive engine and the generator were diesel and both had low hours of usage. The mileage was pretty good for a vehicle its size, being 6.4 to 7.8 miles per gallon. I have had experience driving heavy equipment, large trucks and delivery trucks in the past so I was feeling pretty confident about driving it. Needless to say I had a few humbling experiences on our trip. Parking lots in some of the older Malls are definitely NOT designed for vehicles of that size! There are some patches of color on both sides that were definitely not "factory colors". The thing that really stands out though, through out our whole trip, was that the hand of the Lord was upon us from the "git-go". We were so blessed all along the way that it still makes my heart swell with joy! On the second day of our journey, later in the afternoon, the rain had tapered off to just a drizzle and we were zipping along at about 7o mph when we heard a loud "BANG"! Luckily it was one of the rear tires that had blown and they were dual tires. (Blessing #1) I pulled over and checked the tire and it was solid and safe enough to drive on with no danger of falling apart (Blessing #2) so we consulted our map and our GPS and discovered that there was a town pretty close by with an RV park . (Blessing # 3) We turned around and made it safely to the RV Park and to our camp site (they had a vacancy! Blessing #4) As I was getting things hooked up and Leona was dealing with the dogs a gentleman about my age jogged up and stopped to talk. He was a very nice fellow and we chatted for a while and found out that the reason he had stopped was because he had just gotten a poodle as a gift after having heart surgery and was admiring our dogs. In the way of conversation I mentioned that we had had a blow out and needed to get a new tire or get the old one fixed. He said; "You know I was in the tire business for years and if you need to get a tire there is a friend of mine who is still in the business and he will fix you up right." (Blessing #5) The next day dawned bright and sunny and we gave the fellow a call. He said they would be able to fit us in right away or at least as soon as their RV man got back from a road call. By the time we drove over the RV man came driving in. I noticed there were crosses on the wall and religious tracts in display racks. It turned out that the whole place was run by Christians. (Blessing #6) They had the tire in stock and before our coffee got cold in our cups the tire was mounted, balanced and in place on our RV! The owner of the place said; "Because y'all are friends of Ron's I'm going to give you a special deal." and he shaved a considerable amount off the bill! (Blessing #7) Robert, the fellow who did the actual work, checked all the other tires to make sure they were safe and he and the owner gave me a lesson on how to tell the age of the tire and how to tell if they were safe to drive on. So we were safely back on the road before 12 noon and had a bunch of new Christian friends to boot! We were blessed all along the way! Even though the weather was cold and rainy for most of the trip and both Leona and I took turns having colds (unfortunately I ended up with pneumonia and bronchitis) we still were Blessed in so many ways! We were blessed with places to stay when we got to Otis Mass. A fellow named Larry who owns a gas station, garage and deli (Poppa Larry at L&M Auto) where you can get the most amazing sandwiches, fresh baked (and healthy) breads and pastries let us park in a corner of his lot for a whole week while we were visiting family in the area. We also were able to park our RV in a space behind a B&B (the Maplewood House)that is owned by some friends of ours and for a very modest fee they let us hook into water and electric service. More and more blessings! That is the way it was, all the way up and all the way back we were blessed over and over again. Strangers, friends and family all were blessings to us. It seemed that where ever we went and who ever we met it was ALL for a reason and there was ALWAYS a blessing! The longer I live the more I know that God is the power that moves the whole universe! There is no such thing as a coincidence! Even the "bad" things happen for a reason and even in those things there is a blessing if you look close enough and deep enough. A group of prayer warriors that we belong to kept us wrapped in prayer from the very first day through the whole trip and I know, just as surely as I know the sun came up this morning, that it was their prayers that kept us safe. All I can say is thank you Lord, thank you for all you have blessed us with and for keeping us safe. To God be the glory!
Friday, January 30, 2009
Howdy to y'all! It has been quite a while since my last posting so a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. It is hard to believe that we are almost finished with the month of January already! There is still time for a "new years resolution". If you need to "change" a few things in your life, NOW may be the time. The older I get the faster time seems to pass. The nice thing about growing older though is that I have lived long enough to know that EVERYTHING that happens, happens for a reason! It may take a long time for us to find out WHAT the reason is, but it sooner or later becomes apparent. But we may never really know until we come into the presents of the Lord. My favorite saying or phrase in the Bible is . . ."and it came to pass." The only thing that is really sure or constant in life is CHANGE! Nothing EVER stays the same. Every mountain top needs a valley. AND Every valley needs a mountain top. We can be sure that if we are going through a "rough patch" that sooner or later we will be back on top of things again and the rough patch will smooth out. I always say that "things will work out" or "it'll all be okay" I don't mean that everything that happens is "good" or "bad" or whatever, BUT it will always "work out". Bad things or "bad" days WILL END just as surely as the really "good" days will also end. Change in and of itself is neither "good" or "bad" it is inevitable! AND that my friends IS a sure thing and we can depend on it. We, as believers in God and Jesus Christ, can also be sure of one thing and that is that whether or not "good" or "bad" things are happening to us or to people we love it is that God, through His Son Jesus, IS ALWAYS with us! It is because of our FAITH in GOD that we can survive! We can thrive! Philippians 4:13 has been one of my favorite verses of new testament scripture. It states; "I can do ALL things through Christ which strengthenest me." Good, bad or whatever happens, Christ gives me the strength to bear it all, and to be able to move ahead in my life. I have also found out that I am nothing without HIM! It has been so long now that I have been a believer that it is hard for me to remember when I did NOT have Christ in my heart or my life. I do remember that without Christ I was NOT a very nice person. I was truly lost in sin! My life was "garbage" but I thought it was great. The trouble was that I was always filled with guilt and often depressed because of the evil things I was doing and had done. Illicit Sex, drugs and alcohol could NOT "fill me up". I was "empty" inside, lost and in pain 99% of the time. Tormented at times because of the things I had done. It was ONLY with Jesus in my life that I REALLY found true fulfillment and true happiness. I know some of the folks who might read this do not have Christ in their hearts and will probably think I am nuts, but remember I was where you all were at one time in my life and I would have, probably, have thought the same thing. Any of those who read this and already have Christ as their savior will know what I am writing here is TRUE! For those of you who are NOT believers and are feeling that "emptiness" that I wrote about above . . . PLEASE believe me, it does not have to be a permanent condition. You do not have to remain in that sinful state. How can it all change you ask. It is EASY to decide BUT is definitely the HARDEST choice you will ever make. All you have to do is to ADMIT you are a sinner! TRULY repent of those sins, and ASK Christ to come into your heart, forgive you and CHANGE your desire to sin! It is a simple prayer. Pray this way: Jesus, I am a sinner. I am truly sorry for committing those sins and I ask you to come into my heart now, fill me with your Holy Spirit and cleanse me. Thank you Jesus. Amen . . . If you have prayed that prayer and REALLY mean it, it is a "done deal". Then find your Bible and start reading it. Try Romans or Hebrews to begin with and move on to James or to a book that may come into your mind. Read it and believe it! It is God's word. The change you feel may be immediate or it may take time. For me it was like a strange heat that moved through my body and then an icy cold that flushed through me and I knew I would NEVER be the same! God can work miracles. He can change you and your desires IF you let Him do it. Study His word every day, ask questions of someone who you know to be a true believer if you don't understand something. OR you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you like. I am NOT and expert or a theologian but I have been around the post a few times and I may be able to help, and if I cannot answer your questions I can put you in touch with someone who might be able to. God bless you, and keep you, and may His face shine upon you and give you peace. Yours in Christ; Poppa Tom