Saturday, March 30, 2013

A reason for this season...

I sat in amazement as I listened to the radio on 9/11 as the United States was figuring out that we were being attacked by terrorist using our own fueled rockets in the shape of airplanes. Our world in the United States as we knew it had permanently changed. Everything around us was in question. What attacks would come next? There were lines at gas stations a mile long and even a few attempted to take advantage and rocketed the prices up just as quick as those towers fell. There was literally panic every where. Just maybe the United States hadn't taken those signs leading up to 9/11 as serious as they should have. How sad were the events taking place that would shape the world we live in almost 13 years later.

As I sit here, I think about what the followers of Christ were thinking this very day when Jesus had died on the cross the day before. I think about the disciples and what they must have been going through as they gathered together to figure out what to do next. An uncertain future was facing them.... well as far as they knew. I can't even begin to imagine the agony Mary must have been feeling after seeing her son die on the cross. But on the third day all those questions about what, when, where, and why would be answered!! Jesus had beat death, beat sin, and rose again!! I am thankful that Christ died on the cross for my sins so that I could be free. I don't deserve it and I fall short of it every day. But thank God he forgives when we ask. Last Sunday at church the band did this song by Third Day, By His Wounds.

More so than ever, I am thankful that Jesus saved me from the life I was living. I really don't know where I would be today without God's grace in my life. I honestly don't know who reads this blog, but I wonder where you are at today in your life. I wonder if there are those of you who have daily struggles. You might be at a point in your life where the future is up for grabs. Maybe your marriage is about to take an ugly turn where it shouldn't. Maybe you're facing some temptations that could allow sin to destroy everything around you. Friends, I have been there. I was on the brink and quite honestly I was facing an eternity that would have destroyed my soul. Friends if this is you, I speak from experience that you are coming to a time just like those towers, that everything will be destroyed and come crashing down. Life as you know it will no longer be as sins plan is to conquer, destroy. I invite you today to give your life and everything about you to Christ. Don't wait until it is to late. There are lots of warning signs. Please don't ignore them. Christ is waiting at the cross with arms wide open for you where the ground is level. Jesus loves you and wants nothing but to live in your heart today. All you have to do is ask and Christ will forgive you.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Do you wear a costume?

Seems like this week I have had several reminders of the past. A friend who reconnected with me in the past two weeks. Two great conversations of sharing with him lightly about what is going on in my life. Seems like in the past when I spoke about God, he got uncomfortable and abruptly ended the conversation. The last conversation we had was right after God had broken the chains of sin in my life. I began to tell him what God was doing and had done for me. I don't think at the time he believed me. That was the last time we spoke up until the past couple of weeks. He said he had seen our name while browsing facebook. I believe things happen for a reason and just maybe this was God saying time to heal another relationship. That and a couple of other things have happened this past week that have made my wife and I talk freely and openly about the past few years.

I think about my life and the last three years up until now. If you have noticed, I do this a lot. I think about all of the people that I have had to apologize to for my words and actions. I think about the sinful life I was living and how big of a lie it was. In talking to my wife I explained to her my sinful life and thought process. I would start the day with what conscious I had left and try to justify my actions. But at the end of the justifying, I was left with guilt about everything I was doing. At the end the day and the same thing would happen.. I started those days putting on a costume. A costume of sin. A costume that had selfishness all over it. I costume that had adulterer written all over it. A costume that had dead beat father and husband on the front and back. The sad thing was I couldn't see any of it. I would proudly wear it thinking I was right all the while knowing  deep down inside my heart I was wrong. What I saw on this costume was justification for all that I was doing. In all reality each day was filled with deception after deception. I was lying to myself and to everyone around me. But I was the only one who couldn't see how destructive my life and these lies were. Sin will blind you and make you stupid.

Jesus died on the cross so that we could be free. Jesus lived a life that was free from sin. Jesus knew his fate. Jesus had nothing to prove and nothing to lose. Jesus walked the talk and talked the walk. This reminds me that I always need to mirror that in my life. I have nothing to prove to this friend that reconnected with me. But... I am letting my words and actions speak for themselves. The costume that I once wore, was hung on the cross. There this costume was tossed into the sea of forgiveness and forgetfulness.

We as humans sometimes can't forget how we have been wronged in the past. We sometimes can't forget the hurt either associated with those wrongs. Sometimes things come up that trigger those emotions and give us an all to fresh reminder of the past. When this happens, I can hear the zip of the costume each day that I once wore. I am reminded that my actions need to match my words. I am reminded that the life that God wants for me will slowly come together according to his will. It is like an old house being restored, it takes time until it is back to its original beautiful, new and improved condition. Like that house that was given up on... people who gave up on me might come back around. These people might want to hear what Jesus did for me. They might be looking for hope. I will gladly tell them about the costume and where I hung it. I am glad that Jesus saw something in me worth restoring. I am thankful Christ loved me enough to die for my sins. Christ bore my costume on the cross so that it would be gone forever.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Back to work...

It has been a while since I last posted something on this blog. As promised in a previous post, I would write when I felt inspired. The last couple of days I have felt something brewing and so here I sit at my laptop to write.

The last month has been a pathway of trusting God. It has been a season of prayer for my wife and I earnestly seeking God's will for our family. Collectively and after much prayer we decided that it was time for me to go back to work. The right job has come for me and my family. After a few months of talking to recruiters, searching the obvious job sites, and sending in lots of resumes. I will be starting this next week doing what God has given me the talent and knowledge to do. I have to admit after my last job and how I was treated, I thought I would never go back into IT again. I also know that I said on a previous blog that God had called me into counseling. While that is still true, I need to provide for our family. Also going to school takes money and when you have little to no money, school tends to take a back seat. So just so every one knows, counseling is still something that is God's will for my life, but the path getting there is a little different than what I had envisioned.

Our theme this past month was not to get ahead of God. I am sure most of you know how hard that is. Having patience is something that requires great focus for me. Trusting God willingly is something that is hard to do. Through this season I looked back on all that God has done for me. Everything I trusted God with, all the things he promised he would do, he did for me. So getting ahead of God these days is less frequent. When my wife and I find ourselves trying to beat God to the finish line, we look at where God has brought us. God brought us to these places simply by trusting and waiting patiently for him to work. God has been there this whole way, opening and closing doors for us.

I wonder how many of you who read this blog trust God whole heartedly with your life and marriage. I wonder how many of you are struggling today with God's will in your life. I wonder how many of you are struggling in your marriage. Maybe your own idea's are taking over what God wants. Maybe you and your spouse are at odds. Maybe.. just maybe these odds are driving a monster sized wedged between you and your spouse. I encourage you and your spouse to come together in prayer and ask God what he wants. I encourage you to trust God completely and hand every aspect, troubles, difference of opinion, poisons, and whatever else is driving you away from God's will. Let God work, don't get ahead, trust and watch him change your life, marriage, and see the answers of prayers start to flow.