. . . You of little faith . . .

Jesus uses these three words 13 times in 6 verses (NIV)

you of little faith

Matthew 14:22–31 (NIV)

Jesus Walks on the Water

14:22–33pp—Mk 6:45–51; Jn 6:16–21
14:34–36pp—Mk 6:53–56

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

My Thoughts:

The first thought which comes to mind, I believe is what so many others say.  When Peter took his attention away from Christ, he began to sink.  Moreover, so much of that is true.  I would guess that most of us, when we feel we are struggling most, if we look back we had a gradual reduced role of Christ in our lives.

A second thought which hits me, one that Christ had even spoke of, is isn’t it amazing how the disciples had Christ right with them, in the boat and more, but still had troubling getting past all the limitations of trust we either are seemingly born with or learn as we grow into adults.

There is so much to gather from the Bible, but sometimes I really like to bring it down to its simplest form.  We can try to be a “Christian” all the time or simpler, we can always work on putting our faith in him, focusing on him and letting the outcomes take care of themselves.  Remember the number one commandment or greatest:

Matthew 22:37–38 (NIV)

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

If we can just practice these – I truly believe we cannot worry about the rest.

Amen

 

Advertisements

How Do I Know When It’s Time to Unfriend Someone in Real Life?

Reposted here from the link : How Do I Know When It’s Time to Unfriend Someone in Real Life?

How Do I Know When It’s Time to Unfriend Someone in Real Life?

Take a moment right now to think about your closest friends — the people you spend the most time with. If you were to be really honest with yourself, are they all life-giving relationships or are any of them toxic? How do they affect your faith and relationship with God?

Your friends aren’t just the people whose photos you like on Instagram. They’re your inner circle, and they actually shape the trajectory of your life. As the saying goes, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”

Let’s take a look at what Scripture says about the people we walk through life with:

Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. Proverbs 13:20 NLT

Great friends sharpen you, encourage you, and are there for you through thick and thin. Fake friends pull you into sinful decisions, tear you down with their words, and are MIA when it matters most.

So, how do you know if the friends you have are worth keeping around? Let’s see how the Bible describes a great friend:

  1. As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17 NLT

Great friends share wisdom and help each other grow deeper in their relationship with God.

  1. The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. Proverbs 27:9 NLT

Great friends lift you up in prayer and provide authentic support when you need advice.

  1. In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery. Proverbs 28:23 NLT

Great friends lovingly confront you when you’re out of line and provide accountability to help you live a God-honoring life.

  1. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 NIV

Great friends don’t disappear when life gets tough. They’ll be right there, carrying your burdens and walking through the fire with you.

  1. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24–25 NIV

Great friends spur you on toward loving others and putting your faith in action. They pull you into biblical community instead of drawing you away from it.

Here’s the bottom line: If your friends don’t look like the friends described in these verses, it might be time to reevaluate who you’re allowing in your inner circle. It also might be time to do some honest self-reflection. Ask yourself: Am I this type of friend too?

Will it be painful to let some of your friends go and to focus on healthier relationships? Yes.

Will it require some difficult conversations that would be easier to avoid? Yes.

Will it be worth it for you to have God-honoring friendships with people who truly care about you and want to help you grow in your faith? Absolutely.

Your friends are more important than you know. Choose today to walk with the wise and become wise.

Written by Austin Taylor.

The Good – and the unexpected . . .

It took a month before my back quit hurting.  Hurting from getting used to actually sleeping on a flat bad.

Previously, when I had enough funds, I would stay in a hotel for the night, it was never a good night sleep, my back would hurt the entire night because it was flat, but I laid there anyway, as long as I could.  It was just nice to be able to stretch out and rollover as I desire.

Being used to a car seat, the driver’s seat to be exact, my back was not used to lying flat and complained about it being so.

Two other improvements to my body have occurred since I have taken this caretaker position.  My left leg is no longer swollen and larger than my right.  A while back, I got a skin infection from scratching my bedbug bites with too much enthusiasm.  I also happened to get a sore on my little toe on the same leg.  The sore would not heal, so I ended up going to the hospital to see what was wrong.  In this process, they became concerned about a whole bunch of things which ended up being nothing.  But, for some reason the lower part of my left leg, from the knee down, was swollen up and larger than my right.

Somewhere in the lying flat scenario, my lower leg is now “normal” normal again.  I was shocked one morning when I got out of the shower and as I was drying my legs off, I noticed they were pretty much equal once again.  I pray this is a good thing 🙂

In the last couple of years, my knees also have started to knock more and they hurt.  I was feeling good one day and played some basketball.  Over the next few days, my knees became more and more sore.  Finally to a point where I almost could not walk.  I again, went to the hospital.  I was hoping for some pain medicine, but they only gave me Aleve to reduce the swelling and limited pain relief it had, I felt no relief.

Regardless, my knees did heal enough for me to walk “normal” with limited pain.  I was in fact working out at a gym and in my workout I was able to do squats with over 200lbs and walk on the treadmill for an hour or more plus go on the Stair climber.  Funny though, I could do that in a workout, but when I walked around Walmart to shop for food, my knees would hurt.  My point in saying this is because . . . When I got to this job, when I would kneel down to pick things up, my knees would hurt so badly.  However, now, I am able to kneel down with limited pain.  I still have it, but way, way less than when I first started.

With the good comes the well, I don’t want to say bad, but the surprises.  As a caretaker, I guess I made no thought to all the elements of being one.  On the other side, those who asked me to be one, for their brother, did not reveal anything either.

So, the first few days go by and everything seems as I would expect it.  Being at the beck-and-call of someone is interesting, but when he said “I need a suppository tonight . . .”, I asked him who he was expecting to do this?  Of course, he acted surprised and told me I should of know this being that I was a caretaker for a quadriplegic.  I guess he was right in a way, I should of know, at the same time, I have never take care of another adult like this in my life.  To my credit, I did take care of five children. Yes, changed diapers and all of that.  Oh, my he was asking me to do two things I had never planned on doing in my entire life.  I don’t know if I ever gave one to my children; however, I remember how I felt when I was told one of my kids had to take a medicine that way.  I think my wife did it!!

So not only did I have to put my hand/finger somewhere I did not want to put even with my own kids, this was an adult man I never imagined I would touch another grown man more than a “man hug.”

His catheter was clogged due to an infection and he had urine on his bed.  I was ok with cleaning that up, I guess.  However, he said: “I had to clean his privates and he was circumcised and I had to clean “that” up too and pull the skin back to make sure he was clean!!  This is another place I NEVER IMAGINED I would ever touch another man.  Yes, I have two boy, but even then I was not comfortable (nor with my girls), but you’re  a dad.  I am glad I had the dad experience, I was able, although very uncomfortable, to do my duties as his caretaker.  I guess I can understand how people that work in this field everyday all day change their state of mind.  It has to get done, it’s not what or who, it’s a task that has to be done, do it.

My final over the hump oh, my gosh.  The results of the suppository.  Yes, the dirty diaper.  I don’t know why, but that was easier to deal with than the other two, maybe because it was really not touching too much and felt more like cleaning up a mess one of my kids had made.

There is a bunch of good, yet this is very demanding and sometimes demeaning.  We’ll talk more later.

God Bless

Leland

I never dreamed this . . .but I did

I had this dream.  I was in an opinion debate with people close to me, but we have an estranged relationship now.  One of the participants said something, I don’t know what they said, it was a dream, but said it and danced it in a way and said something to the effect: “I am so good, I walk on water. . .”, that is how good my opinion is . . .”, it was a clear effort to make themselves superior.

I spit on the ground stepped on it and told him, so do I.

My Perception, Ideas – mean nothing!

Positive change, regarded as negative is not accepted well among the Grace Vanderwaal fan club.  I too, don’t like people that are unjustly negative or over motherly, so here I am taking my chances.  I am not writing to be negative nor suggestion she change, these are just thoughts that keep rolling over in my mind and I have found the only way for them to go away so I can move on is to share them.

I was going to write a few weeks ago and in my thoughts was the dress she chose for the Imagine Dragons concerts.  My issue with the dress was it was dark, much like her background, thus she blended into the background rather than standing out.  I wish she would wear a dress like she did on the late, late show. I would even go to as much as having a dress similar but in a cherry red, royal blue and the white.  It would just make her stand out on the stage and would compliment her.

I don’t understand the flowers, I don’t.  It makes me feel as though it takes away from Grace.   Again, I go to the late, late show, she looked so good and natural, why not do that for the concerts?

My main focus will be on her concert series with the Imagine Dragons.

I have said this before, I wish she would introduce the name of the song as she sings it.  I also, wish she would say more than a quick thank you after the song has been sung. Like what you ask.  I really don’t know, but maybe, I am glad you are receptive to it and glad you like it.

I also wish she would let everyone know the songs she sings are the ones she wrote and why.  I think people might listen more if they understood a little background of the song.

Which leads me to another idea.   There was a review of Grace’s performance saying it was a little repetitive.  I understand, even though the songs are very different, especially for us fans, but they do contain a very similar intensity except for “Clearly”

I am not sure why they picked out the songs they did, but it does not show off her vocal talent as she has and it does not offer the concert goers to feel the emotion Grace brings in her songs.   I am a believer she should throw in “Clay”, “Darkness Keeps Chasing Me” and “Light in the Sky”

One more observation about songs.  I’ve noticed that she is prolonging her verse to tie the part of Clearly where it breaks to when it starts back up.  I realize she has been told to do this because it sounds like the song ended to only have it start again.  I personally like the way she has the pause in it.  To me, what she is doing sounds forced, it does not even sound good, it ruins the song to me.  I like it when it starts up again and the joy and the beat of the song resume, I am glad it is not over.

I know she has time limits and I and I am sure her team has thought through things thoroughly, so none of my ideas, comments mean anything and are not a criticism of anyone, just thoughts, and ignorant or naive as they are, they are just ideas that most likely won’t go any further than my own typing words.

Some have noticed that she may seem tired, and I don’t doubt it.  However, one of the things she may be experiencing and alluded to it in one of her concerts is she may be getting tired of doing the concerts.  She mentioned that singing the same songs night after night gets boring.  She said this when she had the choir come out and help her sing Clearly.

Which reinforces to me, I think it would help if she changed up the playlist rather than the same songs in the same order night after night performance after performance.

For all of us who want Grace to be super successful, Grace may not like the lifestyle which supports that.  She may like the writing, the small forum of concerts and a more relaxing lifestyle.  I don’t know, but for a 14-year-old, she has taken on a very adult level role and handling it well, but does she want to sustain it?  Remember when she won AGT, she said she did not want to continue if her performing life would be as intense as it was on AGT.  But, I stand corrected on this, she did say life on the road is somewhat boring, nothing to do during the day.  Yet, I am sure as she gets used to it, she will be able to write songs and do other things she desires.

I was just rereading my post because I thought there was something I was going to add, but could not remember.  To my delight, on Spotify, “Clearly” came on which triggered directly my thought.

I know we all don’t want to “crtisize” Grace, I certaintly don’t want to, but on this, I want to ask a question.  I don’t understand how noone has asked this question beforee, other than the fear of being ran over by the Vanderwaal fans.  In her video of “Clearly” has not anyone felt as though she is singing in a tunnel?  Her voice is not as full as it is live, there is something totally different about how she sings it in the video.  It just does not sound like they put the vocals out front.  I was very disappointed when I heard the video because I was so looking forward to hearing her voice front and center, yet it takes a back seat.  If you are wondering what I mean, listen to one of her live performances and then come back to ther video or her official release single of “Clearly.”  I hope they redo it with more of her being front and center and showing off her voice.

God Bless, thanks for reading.  Just my ideas based on ignorance and naivety.

 

 

 

 

You are the blessing  . . . 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

I thought I had an idea of what I signed up for when I said yes to be a full-time caretaker of this young man who is a quadriplegic.  I thought to comfort, food, and that was about it.

I was immediately humbled beyond belief.  I walked into meet this young man and there he was lying in a bed with a sheet over him.  He is naked under the sheets, which immediately meant to me, he did not get off the bed very often.  Reality hit so fast.  I thought I was going to meet this person in a wheelchair with many of the gadgets which are available to folks with similar limitations.  It hit me like a ton of bricks, this is the life this guy has, a bed.  He cannot get up, he cannot eat, cannot drink and to my surprise, not even go to the bathroom by himself.

This was the first time I have ever come face-to-face with someone with an injury or let’s say a situation so extreme, I almost did not know how to react.  I am glad I enjoy being a parent because that instinct is what kicked in.  It was like he was a baby and I was having to do all the things I did for my kids when they could not fend for themselves. With this state of mind, it was much easier adjusting to this new environment I have placed myself in.

Expanding my introduction to people with handicaps was almost immediate.  I, of course, traveled with him to a doctor appointment, an appointment at a clinic with “Pain Management” in it.  There I saw how many people were suffering from a wide variety of pain and a wide array of ages.  While none of it expanded beyond my friends quadriplegic, I saw this lady, a very short lady come walking up to and into the clinic.  She was short because she did not have any legs or feet.  What she was walking on was two, what I would consider being, one-half her normal thigh length stumps made of a substance, a plastic, wood or some material

My client, he is considered a quadriplegic but not a full.  He has some use of his shoulders, arms, and hands. Not even close to being able to hold anything or use them in a coordinated fashion as one who has full function would expect.  However, he is very coordinated in a way I don’t think I could achieve.  He is able to use a smartphone and tap on applications, use his hand to use the slide function.  He uses the verbal commands a lot as well.  He has a powered wheelchair and he can steer it like a professional race car driver.  I am amazed how well he can maneuver it.

I had this conversation with him today.  I told him that he needed to preserve hope, he said he has lost it, in a way, he is waiting to die.  I said God has put me here. He said, “do you know how many people have told me that . . .”  My reply is, I am not here for you, but God has placed you here for me.

Supergirl Season 3 Episode 3

“Far From the Tree”

I was watching Supergirl today on Netflix and was a bit astonished, shocked, but mostly disappointed that the show decided to become political.

There is a Latina woman who happens to be lesbian and her father was with her at a function.  The father left in a huff and made a statement “They hate us so much they are building a wall to keep us out . . .”, they just think we are murderers, rapist, and terrorists. The only thing they hate more than us are gays.  I did not quote verbatim, but this is very close to what was said.  What a terrible interpretation of the truth to throw onto TV and a show meant for family and probably a lot of young children.