Ask with confidence. . .

James 1:2-8 NIV
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, [3] because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. [4] Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. [5] If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. [6] But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. [7] That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. [8] Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

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Believing is not easy . . . is it?

Jesus Appears to Thomas

John 20:24–29 (NIV)

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Holy Spirit . . .Acts 8:16

An argument could be developed on this one verse.  I looked up the expression “holy spirit” between the Bible version NIV and ESV, it seemed they agreed on just about every passage found, but one.  I was stunned, I could not figure out what word would be used rather than Holy Spirit, seemed like tough expression to alter.  After looking at the verse and the verses before and after, it’s not so much they used a different word, it’s where they used it.  The NIV, it seems to me had an effort to make more clear what had not yet come and used the word Holy Spirit again and the ESV said “for he. . .” rather than using the same expression again.  Here is a prime example where the structure of the language changed the verse but not the meaning.  

I would always challenge ourselves, when we read “a version” of the Bible, we read more than a verse to gather the meaning of what is being said, rather than challenging the accuracy or inaccuracy of its deity. 

 

Acts 8:14–17 (NIV)

14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria.15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8:14–17 (ESV)

14 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John,15 who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

Hear my cries – My Lord, My God!!

I want to ask you, or maybe you are God.  I am not sur who you are, but I want to ask.  Is it ok to have some self-pity?  I wrote in a previous blog things just seem to continuously get worse; the bumps get higher the obstacles larger.  I know, this is where one digs in and keeps their faith to God and I have, but the bumps have only gotten worse.

I screwed up – so much, not like one might think, but I guess opportunities, something went wrong.  

I got a chance, a friend of mine worked for a small company and he got me a job working there.  It seemed ok for a while, but there was something not right; however, because of issues I had in my life, he grew weary, the owner, and let me go suddenly.  

I ended up in a homeless shelter and that I was working so hard to go well, but with a blink of an eye, something go said that was not the truth and without a word to the wise, a word to defend myself, I was out of it – on the streets.  I spent my first night inside an old empty outhouse.

Somethings did workout, I got a job and was able to get my car legalized and tagged so I could drive it.  I was so happy; however, things have not really uplifted from then.  

My car leaks water and I have to make sure I fill it up with water almost every day; I have not had the money to get it fixed.  My car is not running well the engine idles rough.  My battery, it used to be if I used the auxiliary, it would short out my battery and thus could not start it in the morning.  So, I changed to just turning on the ignition for a moment and the car radio would stay on for 10 minutes and I would do that several times, but now that is causing my battery to die.  My tire, my left front tire has a leak, not the tire, but the rim has rim rot in it thus I have to get a new rim.  I have to make sure the tire is not low.  I walked out of McDonald’s one day and my rear left tire was low, don’t know why.  Glad I had some of that liquid tire sealer on me, so I was not trapped.  The steering, it is showing signs of being tired, I am getting float in the steering – it scares me from time-to-time.  It’s not significant, but makes me want to get it fixed, but don’t have the money.  

Therefore, I am balancing having no place to lay my head but in my car, I live at work, the library and spend my nights at McDonald’s parking lot or Wal-Mart parking lot.  

Not having enough money for my car is causing me worry, so I applied to Amazon, which pays a couple dollars more an hour and guarantees 40 hours.  Therefore, what happens, I went and played some basketball, not even that hard or long, and it bent my knees out of shape, so badly, I cannot walk very far without causing severe pain.  Therefore, I cannot even work any warehouse job because I cannot move far or quickly. 

I went to the ER, because I have no medical, they gave me some “strong” anti-inflammatory and told me to go home.  I am praying I will be able to make my next shift, but as of today, it is not looking that great.  My knee is a little better, but not so much, so I am thinking Thursday will be a breeze.  Therefore, I have to figure out how to get to a primary doctor to get my knees checked out.  I also have to figure out how to provide gas and food for myself.  I do not have income.  

That’s what I mean when the speed bumps come up and the corners sharper, every time I turn around have having to juggle some sort of crisis, and I am tired, I am tired.  I can handle some, but not all of these and for so long.  Ever since 2008, have been trying to get on my feet and nothing, just nothing has come up.  I promised my children I would be there for them and I am failing – failing – failing.  God Help Me Please!!

 

 

 

You Of weak Faith . . .

When should we doubt our faith in God? The answer is never right. . .regardless of where we are or what has happened; whether we think God should of answered our prayers or not, our faith SHOULD not waiver, but are you like me and it does. Does it get thinner as life challenges get thicker?

I can think of a few stories in the Bible where faith was tested. The first one of course is with Joseph. His brothers sold him to be a slave. He rose to prominence, then was thrown back into prison, not once did the Bible record his rant of anger, if he ever had one. The other is of course, JOB. A detialed story of his drama, but never lost faith.

I also think of David, here he was promised to be King, yet he was stalked by his King for years and years, yet truly had done nothing to deserve it, other than Saul being jealous of David.

When, as I do now, not feeling confident in the future, not feeling deserving of what is to come, not because I don’t deserve good things to come, it’s because I feel stuck with where I am and therfore, am not doing enough to get out. I grow confused and bewildered, but then I come back to my love and faith in Jesus Christ.

I grow weary because of what I am missing, but in the end, it is not of this world I am to be of, but the next. But, right now, I don’t feel as though I am doing either any honors. So, if you happen to read this, simply put in a prayer for me, a prayer that I will hear God’s words and I will be obedient and I will be able to serve both worlds in recognition of my Father in Heaven, Jesus Christ. God Bless and Amen!

Jesus Calms the Storm

Matthew 8:23–27 (NIV)

23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Matthew 16:5–12 (NIV)

The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees

5 When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. 6 “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

7 They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.”

8 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 9 Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Job 7:14

How I am feeling right now, scared, this word is not used in the NIV Bible and only once in the ESV Bible JOB 7:14.  In verses 11, he talks about how he wants to express his hurt and the bitterness of it.  And they, his friends want to scare him with visions, those that would scare him to death, than life.  He speaks of how he is being tested at every moment and won’t they leave him alone.

 

I am scared, things have happened to me and they have not gotten better.  In so many ways, if I was to tell you all, I am sure many of you would be like JOB’s friends and not in a bad way.  But, I know myself and ask myself, how am I still in this situation, why have I not improved and that acknowledgement and understanding makes me even more scared.

 

The realization is I cannot do it by myself and I have accepted that and relied on God.  Yet, I wake up each morning with eagerness, faith, love and hope, yet I go to bed each night knowing, I am in the same circumstances I have been.  I don’t feel one day closer to a solution, in fact, as each day goes by, I have started to feel, I am one day further away from one.  Like a current taking you away from the shore, but you can see the shore, the people on the shore, the fun, delight and happiness of them all.  I can’t scream out, I cannot seem to swim in, I am naked to the current and it scares me.

 

I have put it in God’s hand, I have prayed and prayed, and hoped and prayed.  I get exhausted, not from praying, but from the tunnel getting darker.  More things go wrong, more speed bumps to go over, more corners to go around, more ditches to climb out of.  I know, God did not promise me a Rose Garden, I accept that, but I know he answers prayers and it is my hope, his use of me is not to live isolated as I am.  That the speed bumps will become less an the corners less sharp and some events, any events go well. 

 

I have been stripped of so much, been given a lot too, but my life is nothing of value, at least to me.  And I don’t see how I have value to God, because living isolated does nothing to give to him.  I hope God still has a plan for me, and if his plan is for me to be where I am, I like Job, don’t really want to weather it, I am scared.

 

I don’t tell you, because I am scared.  Because there is really nothing you can do.  Telling me what to do is like telling an overweight person to eat less or exercise more, and most of us, have tried.  You can’t do anything – you can only hope and pray that SOMETHING comes up, someone decides to throw me a bone. Yet, I don’t share all that hope.  I sent out over 2000 requests for being a trainer, not one person responded back with, yes we have something, or we viewed your resume on LinkedIn and we have something for you, not one.  This makes me even more scared, because there has to be something I am doing wrong, but I don’t know and that scares me too. 

 

I am scared God does not hear me, I am scared I will not ever be a significant part of my children’s life, I am scared that I have wasted this life, that it amounts to no more than an empty seat in an arena. 

 

I question my faith, but sometimes, it just seems like I have not heard from God, I know God is in my boat, and maybe like the disciples, I have little faith.  But, they – the disciples were scared and afraid and Jesus was there, I have to admit or ask, is Jesus here with me? 

 

I guess I have provided value, without having value, then nothing would have been taken from me, so I guess I had the value of having something.  Maybe those that took it did not have value, so they stole it to have their own value.  It’s false value though, you stole it.  It’s like stealing a million dollars and saying you are a millionaire and laughing at the people you stole it from – even be willing to lend of it back to them with interest.

 

My feelings are not without merit.  All the disciples did not lead lives of luxury.  They all left immediately whatever responsibilities they had and followed Jesus, only to be persecuted throughout their lives and die violently.  But, they also had value, they did not sit idly, they spread the word of Jesus, the Good News.  I think if I was being used like that, my fear, being scared would not be developed.  That’s it in a nutshell, I feel scared because I don’t feel like I am adding value – to anyone. 

 

I heard on the radio from a Pastor, he dared those listening to pray for God to use us, he dared us to pray so, I have and I pray he will.  God Bless!

 

Job 7:11–21 (ESV)

11  “Therefore I will not restrain my mouth;

I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;

I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.

12  Am I the sea, or a sea monster,

that you set a guard over me?

13  When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me,

my couch will ease my complaint,’

14  then you scare me with dreams

and terrify me with visions,

15  so that I would choose strangling

and death rather than my bones.

16  I loathe my life; I would not live forever.

Leave me alone, for my days are a breath.

17  What is man, that you make so much of him,

and that you set your heart on him,

18  visit him every morning

and test him every moment?

19  How long will you not look away from me,

nor leave me alone till I swallow my spit?

20  If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of mankind?

Why have you made me your mark?

Why have I become a burden to you?

21  Why do you not pardon my transgression

and take away my iniquity?

For now I shall lie in the earth;

you will seek me, but I shall not be.”