God’s Love

I was stationed outside a Dollar General selling bread for our ministry when I noticed her get out of her car and head into another store. At the time I noticed her, I heard a voice tell me: “You should go talk to her. . .” I ignored the thought, I figured I was just trying to fool myself into flirting with her.


Later, I saw her get into her car to leave and again, the voice told me: “You should go talk to her . . .” and I ignored this one too, again figuring it was just my desire to flirt with an attractive woman. I got busy with customers, but not too busy to notice that she drove away right in front of where I was standing and around the corner out of sight she went.


Instantly, it seemed to me, I knew it was not my thoughts telling me to go talk with her, but it was God’s! I immediately repented for not being obedient and just knew she was out of my life and I would never see her again, thus missing the opportunity God had presented to me.


I immediately got busy and forgot about my missed opportunity. Several people came to my table to purchase bread and I was very thankful for their support. As I was getting change for one of the customers, I noticed a third person appeared. As I looked up to hand my customer the change, the third person in front of me was the young woman God had told me to talk too. In my surprise, I asked her or told her; please I’d like to talk to you, God told me to go talk to you and I did not, but here you are, you may think I am crazy, but please will you stay and talk with me?


Thankfully she did wait. I told her about God’s voice and that she drove by and I knew I would never see her again. She laughed and when she did drive by and saw the bread, she felt the desire to come to my table to purchase a loaf. I found out instantly, that she too was a born again Christian, strong in faith. We both spoke of our Love for God our faith and shared some of our testimonial to each other, it was a wonderful conversation. For a while, she and I were the only two people on the planet. During our conversation, I started feeling the best feeling I had ever experience, it was a warm fuzzy feeling, a feeling that I did not want to go away, a feeling I wanted to last forever. I thought “I really like talking with this woman!”


After Tammy left, with a bread, I tell you, the warm fuzzy feeling subsided and I was looking forward to talking with Tammy again soon, I hoped. Then logic kicked in. Tammy was married with children and had a life already established. And me, I am not ready, so I believe, to take on anything more than I have plus I have a lot of baggage I’d like to get rid of. So, there was just no way I would have any form of friendship with Tammy outside the few minutes we shared together.


I had to then ask, what was God’s purpose in leading me to Tammy and Tammy to me?


Forever, it seems as though I have heard Pastors, worship leaders and in song about how much God loves me. This love, however; is an intellectual exercise for me. I barely know what love feels like here on Earth, how could I experience a love of something I have really no idea about?


That’s it, I thought. God brought Tammy and I together so I could experience what God’s love feels like. We both love God more than anything else, we both were talking about God and we both had testimonials of his greatness. The feeling I felt was the most wonderful feeling I had ever felt, I never wanted it to go away. God told me, this is the love I have for you always, it never goes away like it did when Tammy left. When you don’t feel it, it’s not because I, God, has moved away, it is because you have.


With the great desire I had to talk with Tammy again to experience the love I felt with her of God, should be the same intensity I have to pursue God’s love when I don’t feel it.


This got me thinking. What if people entered into a marriage, but loving God first and sharing in their relationship their love for God. Every time you spoke, it was like having a conversation with God, and that warm fuzzy would be there all the time.


God Bless You!

Leland Bartlett




[First two stanzas of the song, thought they were very powerful!]


If I told you my story

You would hear Hope that wouldn’t let go

And if I told you my story

You would hear Love that never gave up

And if I told you my story

You would hear Life, but it wasn’t mine


If I should speak then let it be

Of the grace that is greater than all my sin

Of when justice was served and where mercy wins

Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in

Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

Three Blessings

I was out with the CB Ministries bread crew doing a fund raiser – this is how we keep food on the table and the lights on. I approached a man about my age at the gas pump, I was at a gas station. He was very kind, he listened to my stump speech about CB Ministries and kindly donated $5.00 for a loaf of our awesome Banana Nut Bread. A few minutes later, after completing his fueling, he walked over me where I was standing behind my bread table and told me he wanted to pray for me and pray that all the bread I was looking to sell would be sold. I felt this man had a presence of God and was very honored he prayed for me and CB Ministries.


Second Blessing: Later that day, I was approached a middle aged woman while she was filling up her van. She told me she had already purchased bread at another location we had someone stationed at, even with humor, she said no to another loaf. I then approached the middle aged man on the pump next to her, he was willing to donate $5.00 for a loaf of our awesome bread. He gave me a $10.00 and I asked him if he wanted two – because it would be my last one, he politely decline. On my way back to my table, the lady I previously spoke with that had bought bread from our other location, she handed me five one dollar bills, she said, I heard it was your last one and I just felt compelled to take it off your hands. I felt so blessed – sometimes the last one for some reason is the most challenging to sell.


As I was winding up my day, I had sold a lot of bread – not because people walked up to my table and just donated, it was because I approached people with the hope and prayer they would be empathetic and donate. This gas station had two sides and a drive up, I worked all three places, never having a dull moment. When I went into the store to say thank you and goodbye, they mentioned they noticed how busy and hardworking it was and said it was “inspirational”, it made me feel good, God’s hard work was noticed, I felt blessed.



Tough Day

I was on my way to see my youngest daughter compete in her third gymnastics’ event and I notice the temperature of my car has suddenly risen to the danger zone. I put on the heater hoping to lower the temperature, but the air coming out is cold; it makes me think immediately the thermostat is not opening. I text my dad to let him know and to tell Leanna and Stefan I won’t be making it to their events this day.


I decide I want to try and get the car home because I cannot afford to have it towed. So, I let it cool down and then take off towards home. It heats up again and pull over to let it cool and do this over and over until I get close to home. My daughter talked me into taking the car near her at a church. Seemed like a good idea.


First obstacle is finding a thermostat. I just assumed the local auto part store would have one. Amanda’s friend gave me a ride only to find out they don’t, but a nearby store does. So, we go to the other car part store in town, hoping they would have one, they don’t either, but on in a nearby town does. Amanda’s friend was kind and took me to a nearby store and I got the thermostat.


We returned and began the discovery of even where the thermostat was on the car. Amanda helped and we found the location. About the time we were ready to begin the remove and replace, a friend of Amanda’s showed up. She asked him if he knew how to work on cars and he immediately jumped at the chance. Because I did not really want to do it and he took such an assertive stance, I let him take the lead.


After an excruciating amount of time and effort, we were ready to see if the car would hold water, it did not. After some more excruciating time and effort, we gave up because we could not figure out why it continued to leak.


That night, I thought through our efforts and noticed the following things. Firstly, Amanda noticed that the leak looked like it came more from the screws than the hoses. The hoses is where we put our effort the day before. Secondly, the helper did not put the ‘O’ ring in the first time. So, I wondered if he put the thermostat in correctly. That night, I looked up the diagram to see how everything should fit together. The first thing I noticed, is the thermostat went in the opposite way one would think, in other words upside down.


So, I had several challenges the next day. Firstly, I needed something to jump my car if in fact I was able to fix the thermostat. Secondly, I needed a couple tools. I did not want to bum rides, most people were at work anyway. So, I took my 30lb bag and off I went to walk to the car part store for the following things. 1) A bottom radiator hose, assuming the leak was caused by a bad one. 2) Channel locks, a smaller size. 3) A 8MM socket and 1/4″ adapter. And – one more thing, a clamp that was easier to tighten than the squeeze clamp it currently had and was so hard to tighten. Then I had to walk from there to my car, around 6 miles total with my 30lb pack. Pretty good for me and my out of shape and fat body.


I went to work and took out the thermostat we installed the day before and to my delight and also my frustration, the thermostat was in fact installed upside down. It was so jammed in there that I damaged the thermostat removing it. So, now I had another challenge, finding a ride to get another thermostat. Lucky for me, there were some people at the church, retired folks always willing to help. I went over to the group and asked, but nobody could right then. I did not want to inconvenience anyone, but I called my dad to see if he could. He could, but not right then as well. As I walked across the street to chat with Amanda, an elderly man yelled out to me: “Have you found a ride?” and I said no, he said he could take me. He was sitting in his truck waiting for his wife working at the church. He could not get around very well because of some surgery to his legs. He was so kind and drove me out to Springtown to purchase the new thermostat and gasket.


Figuring out how to put the thermostat in was interesting, putting it in was even more. The ‘O’ ring really did not sit well on top of the bottom piece and when I raised them up to attach to the top, the ‘O’ ring would slide out of place. I then experimented with how they would fit without the bottom and found the ‘O’ ring was really meant to go in before the bottom would be put into place. But how do you hold up a thermostat into an upside down installation


I took one of the ratchet extensions and held the thermostat in place. I then took the ‘O’ ring and shimmied it up the extension and put it in place and then did the same with the bottom portion. Holding all in place, I loaded the ratchet with the bolt and was able to secure it in place and got the second one in as well. Now, truly the most challenging part, securing the hoses.


I bought an easy secure c clamp for one of the hoses, and it seemed to work, but the small overflow house, the clamp is a squeeze and in a very challenging place to try and finagle. With much effort, I was able to get the hose on as far as possible and was just able to get the clamp, I guess close enough to keep from leaking. This was lucky, because the squeeze pins got moved into a position where I could not reach them well, like I could do before.


I had done all I thought I could do and now the test to see if it would hold water – it did. I was so happy, but it was not a tested solution.


Now for my second challenge, I needed to jump my car. The portable battery jump I had brought did not result into a started car. I chatted with Amanda and did not want to call my dad again and then have to cancel. Amanda spoke with a friend and it worked out the friend wanted to visit and when she did, she asked them for a jump for my car. I was excited because without any further obstacles, the car started right up. I let the car run and it did not overheat, I was excited.


Driving home was a different story. As I hit the higher speeds, the temperature gauge went up to almost overheating. I figured, I would turn on the heater and to my delight, it worked. You see, that is how I knew it was the thermostat before. I turned on the heater to try and reduce the heat and it only blew cold air, now it blew hot air, so a semi success.


It overheated by the time I got home, but I got home. After letting it sit for a bit, I put more water/coolant in and then, the starting issue again. It started. I let it sit idling for a bit, ran well, however, on the longer drive it started overheating again, so I turned on the heater and it began to cool down, thank goodness. I am not sure whey it continues to overheat at the quicker speeds, but I am praying it continues to work tomorrow – I may have to drive with the heater on. But the thermostat does work, I know because I have heat again.


What a challenge for a thermostat. Such a small part can render the car completely useless. Success in the end, my car is home regardless.




‘One of the hardest thing I believe for parents to do for their children is to admit when they are wrong and apologize to their children. I believe the parents don’t want to admit when they are wrong because it will somehow undermine their authority, it will make them appear less, weak, not the king of the hill.


What those parents are not understanding is the children are smart, they know when the parents made a mistake. When the parents won’t admit it, it makes them look like hypocrites and thus the parents start losing respect of their children


The parent begin to take notice of this disrespect and then instead of figuring out what the problem is, how they, the parents can earn it back, the start demanding their children give them respect. This causes increased turmoil within the child because, they have learned that respect is earned not just given. But here they are in a paradox, they feel as though they “should” give their parents respect because they are in fact their parents; however, it goes against everything they have been taught even by their very own parents.


The children develop this internal paradox of internal conflict. The demand of the parents for the child to GIVE them the respect they think they should HAVE and child feeling frustrated their parent don’t follow the same rules they demand of their own children.


What parents miss is they do not realize they will build more respect and greater trust with their children when they find the courage to be honest with them. To share with them that they are people too. Additionally, they will be teaching their children how to deal with their children and thus causing the cycle of hypocrisy to continue. And in some cases, the parents will then criticize the parenting of doing exactly what they taught their child to do, thus adding to the cycle.


This cycle is often said to because of a parent’s pride, thus somehow making it almost admirable. It really is not, it relates more to the insecurities of the parents and partially from a perspective that somehow parenting is just about being an authoritarian. I believe parenting is more like being a coach. We are given the responsibility to TEACH/COACH our children in how to be the best THEY can be.


If a parent wants respect, then they need to first show it to their children by letting them know you are human, they make mistakes and they can apologize to them, which takes courage which in the end deserves respect.



Forever it is the same argument

Since I turned 18, I started my interest in the future of our world, my country, my state and the city I lived in. When I tuned into the news and politics, some 35 years ago the following topics were just driven into me as being the topics which needed to be addressed or the country was going to fall apart:

  1. The US Budget and debt. Too big, too much, my children and grandchildren would be paying for what we are spending today.
  2. Immigration. Illegal immigrants are taking our jobs, using benefits they are not paying for, going to wreck our economy.
  3. Teachers pay: We need to pay teachers what they are worth.
    1. Teachers unions, won’t allow teachers to be let go who don’t seem to be successful.
    2. School performances are terrible.
    3. Throw too much money at them without results.
  4. Abortion
  5. Minimum wage


I am amazed how each election cycle, these same topics come up. The folks that want to represent us will tell us how they will reduce the deficit, improve education, fight for women’s rights, and improve our standard of living, but each election cycle, they say the same thing, why because “they” did not do anything about it from the previous election cycle.


My question is: Isn’t it about time we either told these folks to shut up about doing something about it? Or, even better, send them in with an agenda and if they do not make headway on it to “OUR” approval, they will be gone the next election cycle.


The problem is; we keep voting these people back into office, both democrats and republicans. We “believe” them for some reason and they keep telling us what we want to hear but have learned they don’t have to be accountable.


What is weird to me, if you are an investor in a public company, say IBM, Apple, Staples or any company, if the CEO went in to their position saying the things our politicians do and not achieving them how long do these CEO’s last?


Let’s show our politicians who is the boss, let’s send them home and get folks in there with our agenda and know if they don’t perform, they are gone!

Marijuana – Legal

I find the debate for the legalization of Marijuana somewhat funny in a society which does not demonizes the one drug which causes more death and sickness and sadness than all other dugs combined, alcohol. I am not a current user of either alcohol or marijuana, I have used both in the past but not a fan for many years. What leads me to the defending of the legalization of marijuana is the hypocrisy of not.


We are hypocrites and what is funny, it seems as though, unfortunately, it has taken political sides. Help me understand how we can sit and claim to have the higher ground on this issue when we are not fighting tooth and nail to minimize the harm alcohol does to our society. It accounts for more stupid deaths, accidents, health issues than anything else and yet, we attack a drug this?


On the O’Riely factor, he was trying to make a point to his guests asking them: “Do you want your teenagers to be smoking pot?” They said “no” of course and if you asked me, I don’t want them to smoke it either. But guess what, they have and it’s not legal in my state.


Last word. Is it morally wrong to say it is ok to legalize a “drug?”, well, we have lots of drugs which cause our society a lot more problems than marijuana ever will, but is that the basis for saying it is ok. How should we go about it, focus on God, focus on the family.