Extreme Faith – Even When You Cannot Feel It Or See It…

 

dont wait

Man have I been tested in the last few years. I know I am not the only one and many of you have been through tough times as well. I guess this is a ” faith post ” and I make no apologies for it. I do however invite my agnostics, non-believers, atheists and Palm tree seekers to still read. We all have tough times so we have that in common.

For me it is my faith in God that I rely on after years of going it alone. The thing is, is its hard. The world we live in is broken. People are twisted. Hurt is everywhere. Tragedy is all over. So how does one get through these trials and come out the other side still able to live – or even want to?

Some of you have lost children, spouses, or had terrible health issues that have left you crippled in your mind and sometimes physically. How do we cope? What does that even look like? To me it was very much a shock to grab hold of my faith, trusting it would carry me over the storms, only to find out that it simply carried me through the storms.

There is a huge difference in that. For me the main difference is a maturity issue. I once was bottle fed as a believer and it seemed like God just babied me through my trials. However after a decade or so in the faith I realized something I did not really care to know. I started to understand that just as we are expected to grow up chronologically in this world and stand on our own two feet, we also are expected to mature in the faith.

Mature in the faith? What is that supposed to mean? Well, for me it has meant being forced to cling to the promises of God in scripture, and to Him. It has – for me anyway meant being stripped of my comforts and things or people who gave me security and lay alone, cold and afraid with nobody to look to except the Lord. Not easy. As a matter of fact it has been the hardest thing I have ever experienced.

I love my family, my kids and friends and all. There came a time several years ago when none of those were available to me. They all had their own agendas and life goals to attend to. I had no choice but to try to learn to rely on God for my strength, my companionship, my security and all the rest. I thought it would be a fairly easy transition. I thought wrong. It is a very hard thing to trust in and rely on God for it all.

Until you have been stripped of everything you relied on for security, you have not been in a position to have to rely on God. Maybe you are there. Maybe you are all cozy with the things this world has given you. Whatever the case, be prepared to be ” uncozy “. The thing about faith is that it’s the unseen, the unfelt, the untouchable. You cannot reach out for a warm fuzzy when you are dark and lonely.

prayer changes things

Sounds like faith is not anything to be desired, right? Who wants to go through all that suffering? None of us. Yet the Bible talks about the ” abundant ” life. Huh? Abundant what? Well, it is an entirely different animal than what we assume. It means actually recognizing that ” the joy of the Lord is my strength. ” Not my car, job, money, kids, etc..

The truth is – people come and go, relationships come and go, kids come and go, money comes and goes, jobs too, health, and all of it. So at some point the roller coaster ride comes to a halt and when we look to our right and left, all of our security blankets may be gone. What now? This is where the rubber meets the road.

God is the same yesterday , today and forever.

There is a Country song out for years about the ” whiskey ain’t workin anymore “.  After some of us are confronted with the inevitable, the loss of our security blankets on this earth, some turn to temporary fixes like alcohol or drugs and they sometimes work for a while. It is after they stop working that we are backed up against the wall. Nothing left to turn to – except God and that is only if one is even willing to acknowledge Him.

This post is just to promote thinking –  as there is no way I could go into even the trials I have dealt with. The point here is this; It is possible to only need God. It is possible to have unexplainable Joy in the midst of trials. It is only possible for those willing to ask, seek and knock like never before. Call on the name of the Lord every day and study the promises in His Word. Renew our minds each day with the truth, not the lies of this world.

If you do not believe there is a spiritual battle going on for your soul on this earth than you will at some point understand that. Right now if you are struggling, I recommend God. I recommend faith. I recommend it before you need it if that is a possibility in your life. I know from years of messages from you all that some worship watermelons or mother earth. I know some of you have your trust in ” the universe”  – which is becoming very popular. The thing about prayer, is it only helps if it is sent to the living God, not a sea turtle nest.

Keep on with it. When things dry up – turn to the creator not the creation.

It will be the best wager you ever made. Peace.

Tj

 

Depression 2018 – My Experience…

 

gem and men needs trials

I have not posted in a while and I want everyone to know why.  Besides having the ups and downs of major depression, I also decided to do something that I knew could be extremely hard and really was not sure if I could handle it.

Five years ago I started a journey of 7 surgeries for a bone disease I have. I have written about it a few times but basically it amounted to 3 total hip replacements and much pain. I was on heavy-duty narcotics for 2 years for the pain when I was asked a question by my treatment team. The question was about whether I would like to go on a Morphine pump for life or try Suboxone to get off the Morphine and see if it helped with the pain.

I could not fathom the idea of being loaded up on that much Morphine for life so I opted for Suboxone. I was on for 1 year. The pain was less and I felt I made the right choice. However recently when I discussed it with my doctor and told him I wanted to wean off the Suboxone – he advised me to stay on another year. I said no. Lets just wean me off and see how I handle it. He refused and I was forced to make a very tough choice. I could walk out and go off cold turkey which would no doubt mean horrible times ahead for at least a month or two, or sign on for another year and keep my body hooked on a Heroin level Narcotic, or suffer debilitating withdrawals.

I walked away. Three weeks ago. By God’s Grace I made it through the first two weeks without dying. Detox is strongly recommended to survive these type withdrawals. I just decided to tough it out ( I am not recommending it) and get myself off of the last major medicine I was on. I am in my third week and I can honestly say I did not know if I would make it this far.

I have been through hell and back and still am going through the withdrawal symptoms which are horrific.

I want anyone to know that if you are facing a similar situation, make sure you pray about your options. If you are a person of Faith and a praying person – seek God.

No matter what- you can do it. I cannot write much more but I believe this is for someone out there. Do not choose to stay dependent on any drugs. The price you will pay to get off may be tough, but if you remember you are freeing your body of all the dependence – you will make it.

God Bless!

Tj

Inspiration Anyone? Wow- You Think You Have Had Your Faith Tested? Maybe You Should Read This Story…

via My Story

If You Have Ever Felt Alone, Depressed, Without Hope – Read “Ode To The Cloud.”

Light is dim in my eyes. Each day for most of my life I struggle to find some purpose to keep trying when so many of my efforts have failed.

My heart is good and motives pure, but the cloud still follows my every step. “Snap to it” they say…pull your bootstraps up and be a man. If they only knew. If they could only know what a struggle it is to get dressed each day. Why? What have I accomplished in my time to push me onwards? Addiction? Depression? Divorce?

That cloud- I’ve pushed and shoved and shot bullets from my gun at. I’ve reached as high as I could to grab it and burn it. I just want to feel the sunlight touch my brain. I wonder what it’s like.

I watch people intently. Seeking some nugget to their state of bliss and happiness, while I am still feeling it’s no use. Die, I think to myself. That life just isn’t for you. ..

Even my own family looks at me with dismay and maybe disgust. They wonder why I ” chose ” this path “. “Smile!” They say. Whats wrong with you? Others take time to capitalize on my misery, my failures. Dragging my history up, to make their own seem so much better.Don’t they know I didn’t ask for this? I don’t know a single soul who ever desired to be depressed, addicted, ashamed or embarrassed.

It’s lonely in the dark shadow of the cloud. Many times have I been excited to try a new medicine, a new way , a new will power high – only to drop even lower then I was to begin with. Surely God is punishing me. I better take to heart these whispers, murmurs, accusations, and mocking . Maybe they are right. So I add their handmade burdens to my already overweight load.

Where are my ” cover up an offense” friends? Why does it feel like I have been written off as a failure by them? Maybe I am, and maybe those thoughts of giving up deserve a second chance. I look up and notice the cloud again. I cannot lose it or shake it off my case.Its my mental nemesis.

So I go into God’s house. Perhaps peace can be found here. Indeed it can. However that cloud came into church with me. That is not fair! How can darkness and light dwell together? Let my mind rest just an hour I think . Self medicate, take control I think. Whatever it takes just get a moment or two of sanity .

But that dark cloud is only fueled more by the things I do to escape. Would God not forgive me if I took my life? I wonder… Stupid , stupid and more stupid I remind myself. That can’t be the answer.

I listen to the advice, take in the exhortation, swallow the spit coming at me from those around me. Those who have never endured this level of pain. They so easily spew vitriol and even laugh at my struggling. I cannot find rest from the torment of this cloud. My eyes burn from looking at the fan on the ceiling all night long as others sleep. I feel the cool sensation of drops of water running down my face, and I insist they are from the fan burning my eyes. But those tears come from above – from that cloud via my eyes. Sleep is elusive, rest not known. My head aches from thinking. I realize I am miserable. It’s lunchtime. No appetite again. Heck I haven’t even showered in 4 days.

Who can I call to comfort me? Nobody. Not one. All have turned away when things went bad for me. I need a friend who will run to me in my darkness, not away from me!

I pray that God would ” fix” it. But He doesn’t listen to my order so I become bitter . Perhaps ” gaawwd” doesn’t exist.

I want to get so high right now. Burn it down tonite and act like tomorrow’ won’t show up. Maybe a few pills, a bottle, a woman? Something must work.

But they don’t satisfy and I still see my shadow as I pace from the cloud above me . I feel so alone and isolated my soul is much older than I. My life has attempted to steal any sunshine that may come my way. I hate myself . I don’t deserve to live. ..

What a stupid thing to think. ..

Im here for a reason. I was made for a purpose and designed in a way that not one other in billions are. That may explain my past when I was helpful to others. I was happy for a brief time but even my superior called me a “wounded healer”. It’s that obvious? See, I am messed up. I wonder if it stands out? I wish people would just leave me alone. No, wait, come and love me. I need love.

I liken myself and any hope of victory to the same hope water has as it comes to a halt at huge rocks, interrupting the flow. Somehow the water always gets through that rock. But it is not due to the strength of the water. It’s due to it’s persistence that a way is made to go right through giant canyons.

Perhaps I have persisted as well but given up before the breakthrough. The cloud is not going anywhere if I stand still.

So I keep putting my head down, scars, dents and bruises . I keep persisting. I don’t have to give that cloud so much attention either. My strength, be it little must go into the breakthrough.

I don’t know what tomorrow may bring . But for today anyway, I’ve got a plan.

Im done thinking my way through lunchtime.

I won’t quit and I won’t give in to darkness when light is available. I wonder if my attention to the cloud has weakened the power of the light I need so desperately.

Then that thought ” who are you to talk God? You are fooling yourself calling yourself a believer. Look at your problems!

Nope. Im not buying that lie of the cloud.

I’ll pray.

Again today God forgive me for doubting . Each day these thoughts pass through my mind and each day You draw me back to truth no matter what my cloud says.

Let’s talk again soon. My day is only half over I don’t want to overthink anything not of you. I’ll be back soon to remind myself of you and the promises you gave me ..I know in just a few short hours I will need it again.

My Own Recent World Of Pain… And Depression…Ever Had Someone Bring Up Your Past To Hurt You?

bitterness

I’ve been out awhile. I could not tell you how long. Don’t care either. I’m surprised I ever returned to Blogging. My life has been peppered with trauma. In my immediate family we’ve walked through addiction,. Depression, suicide, domestic violence, you name it. I don’t know if you ever ” get used ” to the trauma..However you do learn to cope,

The issues at hand this last week or two were especially troubling to me. Much like the sudden suicide of my brother, and death of both my only grandparents, there was and still is a certain finality about the whole thing.

If you’ve ever lost a loved one unexpectedly, you know that the feelings that troubled you were very different then the typical feeling ” blue” or down. There is a certain finality, a certain heaviness of heart that is present. Those heavy burdens do not rest at night so you can. You cannot shelve them so you can do your job well, or be there for your family. In that sense they are a paralyzing set of feelings.

The emptiness that comes with betrayal, unforgiveness or other human behavior can be as severe as the trauma of having your brother shoot himself in the head after being molested by his catholic priest. I know this for a fact because I have lived through both. This time was different though. I don’t recall ever feeling the way I did ( and still do honestly) before with any family problems, marriage issues or even divorce.

I knew right when this thing started to take its toll that it would need to be published . I didn’t want to publish it, not then, not now not ever. That is how feelings work. They try to get us to believe that we are in charge of what will happen in our future.

So, there were a couple of issues (still present) that appeared to start at the same time. I feel like the one that would most easily be related to by my fellow bloggers would be the issue in my life that has to do with unforgiveness.

I am learning the price of unforgiveness. The cost of refusing to allow God or anybody to help you be able to forgive someone who hurt another. I’m not refusing to forgive anyone.

joyce

The thing is the forgiveness was refused to me by a loved one. Things that happened over the years, situations I have had to work through with depression, addiction etc. have now resurfaced over a decade later and from my own family. Most of my family was supportive of me when I tried to get help in several rehabs, spent years trying different meds for major depression, even though I knew most meds for depression do more harm than good. I didn’t know what else to do. I didnt ask to be an addict anyways. But boy am I paying the price for it regardless.

If you are an addict or former addict you likely have run into it somewhere by somebody, Here is the thing to consider; there are only a handful of people who are close enough to you to have the goods on you in such a way that even if your life has totally changed, they can reach into their memory tool belt and start reminding you in great detail just how much damage you did by each individual season in your life.

If you are like me and have been through depression, addiction and 7 hip surgeries which sapped me of everything I had financially , emotionally, physically and spiritually then you have people out there somewhere that at any given moment could bring memories up and hurt you.

In many ways that is what is going on in my life but with a slight twist. The root reason any person would bring up the past would be unforgiveness, However beyond the unforgivness, some might even take offense when you are having even a tiny bit of success in your life. Why should you get to enjoy a moment in your life until you have suffered as long or longer as the people you hurt along the way.

Now we are in an entire different category than just unforgiveness. We are seeing much more than unforgiveness but the bitterness which comes from unforgiveness. That bitterness wants to hurt and tear down as much as possible. In my case it took me many years after I was doing better to even forgive myself and anyone who knows me will tell you that is how I have been all my life. Much harder on me than anyone could ever be. So when a person you love who has known you a very long time or even a sibling decides to reopen those wounds for you believe it takes a special person to enjoy distributing that kind of pain.

The incident this time was especially final. For lack of a better term I just mean it was much different from a quick reference to the past to make a point . The shock for me was that I could tell by the way the play by-play came so naturally with exact times and dates of every error I ever made . In

Perhaps all these years I was fooling myself about having been forgiven. Whatever the case I was totally caught off guard and more significant than that I felt wounded to the point of becoming physically sick. I have not slept or felt normal in two weeks. So in the past weeks I have thought it all through and a question kept popping in my head. ” How come I have never allowed anyone in my life to have that much power over me with their words, but that day I melted like candle wax.”

The answer came in a few minutes and was simple. Not many people in our lives have that kind of power, meaning not just details of wrong, but the ability to make it personal to them and accuse you of robbing them of quality of life. There are always a few people ( usually family members, spouses etc) who have a much greater stash of weapons in their tool belt of memories.

Many people may ” know” about your problem maybe it was even on the news. Who cares, look at Bill Clinton. He has absorbed truthful and embarrassing accusations with proof that he was guilty yet he never even thought of stopping public spotlight. None of the people who ” knew” had the right authority or tools. However, can you imagine if he had not had Hillary trained as well he did? She had and still has the power to drop him in a New York second if he steps out of line again. Fortunately for him, she is as greedy as he is, and has ridden his coat tails all the way to where she got.

My point is that we are always vulnerable to someone. On the other side of the coin if I had to name one lesson I learned during this, is I found out that as a Christian, my security is not 100% in Christ as it should be. My concern should be for His reaction to my life, not any human. It’s just very hard when you have a small circle of family that has the ability to make things hurt more with their words than the average person.

We have all made mistakes. Do not let someone control your emotions by reminding you of your past.

TJ

Are You Looking For A Little Faith Booster? Listen To This Prophetic Word!

Awesome Prophetic Podcast!- Doug Addison

I don’t often have the time to listen to many podcasts, but when I started listening to this Christian Prophetic podcast by Doug Addison, I could not stop. It speaks to me on many issues in my life and questions I have had this last year, and I am positive it will for you too. If you are going through a ” where is God ” time, or suffering from addictions and sickness, this is for you.

If you just need a boost in your faith, and encouragement this is for you. Take time to listen to it while you are working on a post or something, but don’t miss it!

TJ

 

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Stephen Hawking- A Brilliant Mind Who Saw Everything But The Truth.

hawking

Recently I wrote about the life of Billy Graham. I wrote about why I thought the whole world loved him. There was so much to say it was hard to make the post as short as I did. Before he died someone asked him what He would say to the Lord when He first saw Him. He said ” I would ask why me? Why did you choose an uneducated farm boy from North Carolina to minister the Gospel around the world?”

As I think now of the life of Stephen Hawking, I see just the opposite type of man who Graham was. I believe I know why God chose Billy Graham for the job. He was humble, and obedient. He was not rebellious against God, just curious. Hawking spewed so much vitriol about God and why ” we don’t need to invoke a god because science explains everything.” With all of his worldly wisdom and his IQ, he could not scrape together any common sense. He discovered but a tiny, tiny little part of how God created this universe and then attributed it to nothing. A big bang in the sky. To me, its was if was saying that my truck got here by just oozing out of the ground over millions of years. His ranting sounded that stupid.

It’s hard for me to believe how much faith that man must have had. He had more faith than I do. His faith was in ideas that something came from nothing. The fact that the earth is positioned so if we moved a centimeter to either side, earth would burn up or freeze up, to Hawing did not require intelligent design. But had enough faith in a ” big explosion” that put all of us in place. For Real??

frustrayed dad

The interesting thing about him as that in the last few decades, some of the discoveries made by scientists have made the Bible so 100% accurate that it is science trying to catch up with the bible these days. Many atheist scientists like Josh McDowell and others got so sick of hearing the name of Jesus, that went on a mission to disprove the bible. Like McDowell, when they saw that they were failing to be able to do it, gave up and surrendered to God, and now he has been used in mighty ways by God.

To think that we can answer more than God is pure pride. The bible says that pride comes before a fall. The Bible also says ” The fool hath said in his heart there is no God”.(Psalm 14:1 ) It also talks about how God will harden the hearts of those who continue to reject Him. Scary thought.

When I heard of Graham passing the first thing I thought is how pleased God must be with the obedience he showed throughout his many decades of ministry. When Stephen Hawking died, I had a very sick feeling in my gut and I cannot explain it fully but it was not joy. It is even more sad that he raised his own children to reject God. If you are a parent, can you imagine purposely leading your kids down a path to complete separation from God for eternity? I cannot imagine.

So that’s about all I have to say on Stephen hawking. I wish I could add that he had a death-bed conversation, but I don’t believe that occurred.

tj

Guest Post On His Excellent Grace – “When The Chips Are Down!” By TJ From Don’t Label My Kid!

Attention please to all of our followers and visitors. This is a guest post I wrote for a brand new blog out called – His Excellent Grace – here on WordPress.

It is a blog about people’s personal encounters with God’s grace and events that occurred in their life where they feel God intervened in their circumstances in miraculous way. I am asking you all to check it out and follow the link at the end of this post to get there. You need not be a Christian to want to read about the incidents that take place and are documented, no more than you must be a cop to watch Cops!

So whether atheist, agnostic, tree worship person or what, everyone will enjoy reading about these different times in people’s lives when they believe God intervened with His grace. I am Tj at Don’t Label My Kid! and this is my personal story of one time I felt that God had intervened on my behalf. And by the way, anyone of you who would like to share a short post about God’s grace in your life is invited to fill out the contact sheet with your attached testimony!

grace definition

Like most, I have been the recipient many times over of God’s excellent grace and I will share an example here today. Grace comes in all shapes and sizes and I have experienced much of both. This story is about my sons, Micah and Jesse. I was divorced when my two boys were young, so we did the weekend thing and they stayed at their mothers during the week. The divorce, as most do, took a huge toll on all involved, the boys were feeling in the middle and struggling with the whole thing.

I was a strong Christian at the time, but I daily worried that due to some of my own struggles that they would not have interest in “My Jesus”.

me and the boys

My boys were not exactly seeing me “walk the walk” all the time, and even though we were in church almost every Sunday, and I knew the word of God, I still was modeling behaviors that confused them and I was worried they would reject Christ when they were a few years older just because of what they saw in me. But I prayed all the time for the healing of memories for them, and for the breaking of generational curses of addiction that had come from up my family line. I just hoped somehow through my mess they would see a message and through my tests, they would see a testimony. Despite my struggles I had seen miracles and knew the power of God.

I knew that they needed to experience God for themselves and prayed often that God would reveal Himself to them so no matter what they had seen of me in my past they would come to the Lord because of their own experiences. That prayer was answered in both my boys lives on one occasion after a church service. They were maybe 10 & 8 years old. I had decided to stop at the Chinese place by the beach on the way home and eat some lunch. On the way. I asked my son Micah what he learned in Sunday school. He said “We learned about God’s favor, and how we Christians can have it.” I was happy to hear he was learning good solid biblical teaching. I was not, however, prepared for what was to come next.

As we pulled into the parking lot, Micah looks over to me and says, “Hey dad, lets pray for favor in the restaurant!” “Huh?” I was struggling for an answer and I thought he would forget in a minute. Nope. As we parked the truck he looked over at me again and said “What about the favor? Pray for it dad!” I was up against a wall. By now my younger son Jesse had become intrigued with this whole favor thing, and was also staring me down for an action prayer. I said, “You know son, God loves the prayers of the little children! You should pray!” It wasn’t that I was afraid to pray, I just could not think of how God could give us favor in a restaurant.

So Micah said a short prayer like “Dear God, please let us have some of your favor in here, Amen.” Precious – Yet very scary to me. What could possibly happen? We would each be given an extra fortune cookie? I just could not see it but I had no choice. His childlike faith was expectant. I was so encouraged by his faith but did not want him to be let down.

In this case, it was me with the little faith. While I doubted and worried I was about to see a life changing experience for my two boys that to this very day they recall vividly. It set a foundation for their faith and it was the answer to my prayer that they would both experience God. To me, I know also God was dropping some Excellent Grace on me because what happened was exactly what I wanted, a personal experience for them.

So here is what happened the moment we left the truck after the prayer; I opened the door for them to walk in and we waited about three minutes for the hostess. I was still more frustrated than a hornet trapped in an old Coke can, just trying to imagine what favor we could get before we left. The hostess came and grabbed three menus and asked us to follow her. We walked to the table she stopped at, waiting for her to lay the napkins or whatever down, and let us be seated. She didn’t do that though. Instead, she took a glance at all of us with a very serious look on her face, and then she reached around me to tap Micah on the shoulder.

Obviously curious what was going on, I totally stuck my face right in the way to hear what she was to say to him. What business does she had with my 10-year-old? She proceeded around me and looked Micah dead in the eye and serious as a heart attack and said. “Sugar, you are eating for free today!” No reason, rhyme or even explanation! She just walked away as if nothing unusual had taken place.

I was kind of numb about it at first thinking only of how come she picked him. Duh, she picked him because he prayed with the faith of a child for favor and sure enough he got it. That incident was one of the most powerful testimonies my kids ever saw and we still talk about it once in a while today. Not only did God grant me answered prayer about my children not running from Him, but He went further and straight up did a miracle for a 10-year-old who asked for it. Simple, simple faith it was.

To this day I count that incident as a shining example of how God gave me something I did not deserve, a miracle for my boys to see that solidified their faith in God at a very young age. It may not work the same in every situation, but it did that day, and I needed a second chance for their faith to not be crushed by past circumstances. To this day, now in their 20’s, they are both grounded and rooted in the Christian faith. I am so very grateful God showed up and showed off with His Excellent Grace on that day.

TJ – Creator – Don’t Label My Kid! Blog

Please follow the new blog by going to www.hisexcellentgrace.com

These Kids Just Found Out Their Teacher Has Cancer…Here Is Their Response…..

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6367776262097760256

To All Those Who Are Grasping For Hope..Barely Hanging On, Listen This Song From One Of My Favorites- Jeremy Camp…

Here Is Some Hope- Click For Videoimg_2535-1

 

TJ

 

 

A Guest Post From Founder Darlene McRoberts of www.heresyourhopesite.wordpress.com Challenges Us On Where We Are Really At….

Hows Your Spiritual Tenacity? Your About To Find Out

 

https://wordpress.com/post/dontlabelmykid.wordpress.com/24456

 

 

 

 

 Storms Of Life- The Hurt And Healing. Where Did God Go? How To Be A Rock In The Midst Of The Thing That Is Ripping Others Apart…

This world can be harsh. Our circumstances can attempt to break us down. Whether you are a Christian or not, I am wrting this to offer to you the only way to remain unshakeable from any of life’s flaming arrows. Will we not feel pain or sorrow and never cry if we do what this article tells you? We still feel the pain, and cry sometimes.

Its our core, our spirit that can remain steady and strong.

If you are a Christian wondering why you feel so vulnerable when things seem to fall apart or you are a straight up anti-God soldier who claims not to need God, this is for both of you. For the Christian, you can learn about why you may be weak in your faith when bad things happen. For the soldier, drop your weapon for a few minutes and see if you might see how this could work and hopefully give it a shot.

Whether we are talking about some tragic circumstances in our own families like unexpected death or loss of income or a number of possible issues, we all have felt at one time or another that God surely must be punishing us. Unbelievers sometimes use these circumstances to affirm their non-belief in God.

Recently we have had some large-scale disasters like the wildfires in California and hurricanes in Florida that forced over a million people out of their homes, not knowing what they may return to. On a personal note I have been through wildfires, dozens of hurricanes and other natural disasters. I lost my brother to suicide and my grandparents the next year. My family has seen a bunch of personal tragedies and natural ones like these storms and fires I referenced.

 

This year though was the first time I have ever evacuated.  When hurricane Irma took over the entire state of Florida, everywhere you turned you saw people crying or pleading with God to take the storm away. You know what? That’s okay. The problems arise when believers don’t get the requested answer in the time frame they have allowed God to wipe these things out. No question people are genuinely hurting, scared. helpless and sometimes hopeless when these things happen.

The question to believers in Christ, is which way are we going to trust now. In our own understanding or in God, period? Here is the mandate from God’s Word;

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart,  lean not on thine own understanding. In all our ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths”. Proverbs 3: 5-6 ( KJV)

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Now, before anyone gets irritated by this order from God because it does not seem possible at certain times, let me introduce a missing ingredient in being able to trust.

Faith

How do we acquire that kind of strong faith though? It surely does not come from reciting ” I have faith” all day hoping faith will enter into you. Faith does not come by mind over matter or manipulating your self into a false sense of faith.

Once again if we refer back to our life manual, the Bible, we are told that there is but one way for genuine faith to arise in us. Faith that will sustain us through anything.

Romans 10:17 says “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. ( KJV)

Wait just a minute you may say” I have read countless Christian books, I pray, I try to do all I can to please God, I even leave tracts for my waiter or waitress  I should have strong Faith!

Good for you for choosing Christian books over romance novels or inappropriate magazines. Those are wise choices but don’t for a minute they give you lasting faith. You see- God never changed the rules about how legitimate faith is gained, it’s still by His Word. Yep, that means no other Christian anything has the power to do that. Now do not mistake me as if I was saying we don’t need Christian magazines, books, videos and all because we do. They can encourage us, keep us focused in the right direction, even provide us with an emotional spiritual high for a day or two. They keep us in touch with other believers which is a recomendation the apostle Paul made.

However, don’t mistake emotions for faith. So why am I emphasizing the true way to get real faith? Because lack of real faith is the number one reason people stay in crisis mode when problems come, walk away from the faith or never get involved. Maybe they have never been told what we are talking about. Whatever the reason they are drifting and doubting is because they do not renew their minds daily with the Word of God, the Holy scriptures.

What is the difference between you fueling  up only on Christian books and movies which can produce an emotional charge or maybe a temporary ” Jesus high” ? It’s the difference between real faith and manufactured powerless temporary faith. Lets see what the Bible says about what the power its own words hold for those who stay in it and keep renewing their minds everyday from it.

The word says this about itself-

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow: it judges the thoughts and attitude of the heart”-  Hebrews 4: 12 ( NIV)

screenshot_20171009-203742-1522672831.png

I challenge you to find any Christian publication other than the Bible that makes that claim about its contents. You wont. Not even the most famous Christian authors would even consider comparing their words to the power of ” the Word”.

I dedicate so much time to the Word of God and its importance in the midst of crisis and storms in our lives because those who obey the order on how to get real faith are the ones who really remain unshaken regarding God no matter what is going on. One other thing to note, is that in the bible you will find that every true follower of God had to come to crossroads at some point in life where they surrendered their own will and plans and decided to put it all into trusting God. Take Job for example. An honest, faithful man who God clearly allowed to suffer in almost every way he could. Lost his fortune, his family, even his health.

Job was frustrated and not happy about his situation but he decided nothing was going to take his faith away. He made the decision right up front to operate not on feelings, but Faith. So after the storms in his life, his life was put back together by God even greater than it originally was. Now that is faith. In today’s mindset you will likely not find too many Job’s in your life. Most people just get mad, give up, curse God, denounce God or even take their own lives because they decided to play the role of God and decide how things would end up. What was so different about JOb? Was he a better person than we are? Maybe God gave Him some superpowers that we dont have? Nope.

Only one thing kept Job so trusting in God that even when his own wife said he should curse God and die, Job said ” Even though He slay me, I will praise Him”

There is another scripture that Christians need to keep in mind as well. Romans 8:28 says ” All things work together for good for those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose”

wp-image--2084750928

Job understood God was not going to just abandon him. That’s why the man who makes our little problems look insignificant was unshakable in his faith. That faith to keep on and even have total peace is only found one way. Reading the word of God often to renew your mind ( if you have not figured this out yet, the world we live in does everything it can to talk us out of our faith.)

The only protection from being affected by that is to renew your mind before you walk out the door and face the world that wants you to walk away from God. That is part of the armor God has given us to be unshakable when everything seems to be working directly against you and your family and faith. He will not force us to stay in His word though. We have free will. If you go to Barnes and Noble and choose to cozy up with a good Anton Lavey ( church of satan) book, that’s your call and of course so are the consequences. So our choices in crisis are critical.

If you have grown children or even younger children you surely have noticed that in their first few years of life they never question what you say or do. If you hand them a bottle, they don’t spin the top off to inspect what you’re giving them. It could be poison but their childlike faith does not even tempt them to go against you or question you about any major decisions. If told your young kids they need to hit the basement now because a tornado was coming through, its doubtful they would pull out a weather radio to challenge your statement. That describes childlike faith.

Guess what that Bible says about what kind of faith is pleasing to God? You got it- childlike faith. Just like your kids never questioned you as a child, we are to have the same attitude with our heavenly Father. Once again, you cannot order childlike faith online or talk yourself into it. Faith comes from where again? The Word. Period.

As adults as we find discipline to renew our minds in the Word and experience true trust in God no matter what is happening, your friends, family, kids are witness to that peace you have unlike so many. That is the opportunity to share your secret with them, and they will believe you because sometimes you are the only calm one around and they notice it. The mindset we get from reading the truth all the time and building real faith goes a little like this-

People come and go ( death, divorce). jobs come and go, health comes and goes, riches come and go, friends come and go, but God- He is the same yesterday, today and forever. That is what you will have etched in your soul as you stay in the Word. It leaves very little room for trusting in any of those listed things. But your realization that God will never leave or forsake you and is always the same will provide you with an entirely new kind of faith in any circumstance.

It doesnt matter if you are an atheist today or a lifelong Christian who even ushers in the church. The Word of God is available to both. One is no better then the other but by their trust in Christ. We all need a savior. Not one of us is righteouss enough to land in heaven except by the finished work of Christ at Calvary and by the blood He shed for anyone who accepts His forgiveness. Nobody has a one up one the other. If you are an atheist now, but tonite you choose to invite Christ into your heart and ask for forgiveness, assuming you get in the Word right away faithfully you could be alot better off then a Christian of 20 years who chooses to keep his Max Lucado reads up to date but not too much time in the Word.

That is why this article is for everyone. No matter what your past has been or where you have been. Its all able to be washed away with that blood of Christ for the asking.

You know when I began writing this article, I considered adding some pictures of the massive storms and fires that are happening. Then I got my head straight and realized I was about to give glory and even more attention to the things that are tearing people apart. Thankfully I realized that this is a hope centered piece, not a piece for lots of people to glorify the bad things that hit us.

Thats why the emphasis has been on the awesome opportunity to overcome this world and its attempts at defeating us. What we need is more instruction on how to overcome this world according to God. Thats victory. When you choose that route you will find that the things that used to wear and tear you down are now like flys on your shoulder that you can swat off and keep moving forward in God’s Word and plan for you and yours!

Listen to this womans confidence. I guarantee it did not come to her by never missing Oprah.

Whatever your storm, whether tragedy in your family, fires in your woods, or crazy rain and winds over the entire state, they all get smaller and smaller as the Word grows bigger and bigger in you!

Test it and see. After all God said not a word of His will ever return void…

TJ

 

 

 

 

Storms Of Life- The Hurt And Healing. Where Did God Go? How To Be A Rock In The Midst Of The Thing That Is Ripping Others Apart…

This world can be harsh. Our circumstances can attempt to break us down. Whether you are a Christian or not, I am wrting this to offer to you the only way to remain unshakeable from any of life’s flaming arrows. Will we not feel pain or sorrow and never cry if we do what this article tells you? We still feel the pain, and cry sometimes.

Its our core, our spirit that can remain steady and strong.

If you are a Christian wondering why you feel so vulnerable when things seem to fall apart or you are a straight up anti-God soldier who claims not to need God, this is for both of you. For the Christian, you can learn about why you may be weak in your faith when bad things happen. For the soldier, drop your weapon for a few minutes and see if you might see how this could work and hopefully give it a shot.

Whether we are talking about some tragic circumstances in our own families like unexpected death or loss of income or a number of possible issues, we all have felt at one time or another that God surely must be punishing us. Unbelievers sometimes use these circumstances to affirm their non-belief in God.

Recently we have had some large-scale disasters like the wildfires in California and hurricanes in Florida that forced over a million people out of their homes, not knowing what they may return to. On a personal note I have been through wildfires, dozens of hurricanes and other natural disasters. I lost my brother to suicide and my grandparents the next year. My family has seen a bunch of personal tragedies and natural ones like these storms and fires I referenced.

 

This year though was the first time I have ever evacuated.  When hurricane Irma took over the entire state of Florida, everywhere you turned you saw people crying or pleading with God to take the storm away. You know what? That’s okay. The problems arise when believers don’t get the requested answer in the time frame they have allowed God to wipe these things out. No question people are genuinely hurting, scared. helpless and sometimes hopeless when these things happen.

The question to believers in Christ, is which way are we going to trust now. In our own understanding or in God, period? Here is the mandate from God’s Word;

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart,  lean not on thine own understanding. In all our ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths”. Proverbs 3: 5-6 ( KJV)

screenshot_20170823-62729186825913.png

Now, before anyone gets irritated by this order from God because it does not seem possible at certain times, let me introduce a missing ingredient in being able to trust.

Faith

How do we acquire that kind of strong faith though? It surely does not come from reciting ” I have faith” all day hoping faith will enter into you. Faith does not come by mind over matter or manipulating your self into a false sense of faith.

Once again if we refer back to our life manual, the Bible, we are told that there is but one way for genuine faith to arise in us. Faith that will sustain us through anything.

Romans 10:17 says “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. ( KJV)

Wait just a minute you may say” I have read countless Christian books, I pray, I try to do all I can to please God, I even leave tracts for my waiter or waitress  I should have strong Faith!

Good for you for choosing Christian books over romance novels or inappropriate magazines. Those are wise choices but don’t for a minute they give you lasting faith. You see- God never changed the rules about how legitimate faith is gained, it’s still by His Word. Yep, that means no other Christian anything has the power to do that. Now do not mistake me as if I was saying we don’t need Christian magazines, books, videos and all because we do. They can encourage us, keep us focused in the right direction, even provide us with an emotional spiritual high for a day or two. They keep us in touch with other believers which is a recomendation the apostle Paul made.

However, don’t mistake emotions for faith. So why am I emphasizing the true way to get real faith? Because lack of real faith is the number one reason people stay in crisis mode when problems come, walk away from the faith or never get involved. Maybe they have never been told what we are talking about. Whatever the reason they are drifting and doubting is because they do not renew their minds daily with the Word of God, the Holy scriptures.

What is the difference between you fueling  up only on Christian books and movies which can produce an emotional charge or maybe a temporary ” Jesus high” ? It’s the difference between real faith and manufactured powerless temporary faith. Lets see what the Bible says about what the power its own words hold for those who stay in it and keep renewing their minds everyday from it.

The word says this about itself-

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow: it judges the thoughts and attitude of the heart”-  Hebrews 4: 12 ( NIV)

screenshot_20171009-203742-1522672831.png

I challenge you to find any Christian publication other than the Bible that makes that claim about its contents. You wont. Not even the most famous Christian authors would even consider comparing their words to the power of ” the Word”.

I dedicate so much time to the Word of God and its importance in the midst of crisis and storms in our lives because those who obey the order on how to get real faith are the ones who really remain unshaken regarding God no matter what is going on. One other thing to note, is that in the bible you will find that every true follower of God had to come to crossroads at some point in life where they surrendered their own will and plans and decided to put it all into trusting God. Take Job for example. An honest, faithful man who God clearly allowed to suffer in almost every way he could. Lost his fortune, his family, even his health.

Job was frustrated and not happy about his situation but he decided nothing was going to take his faith away. He made the decision right up front to operate not on feelings, but Faith. So after the storms in his life, his life was put back together by God even greater than it originally was. Now that is faith. In today’s mindset you will likely not find too many Job’s in your life. Most people just get mad, give up, curse God, denounce God or even take their own lives because they decided to play the role of God and decide how things would end up. What was so different about JOb? Was he a better person than we are? Maybe God gave Him some superpowers that we dont have? Nope.

Only one thing kept Job so trusting in God that even when his own wife said he should curse God and die, Job said ” Even though He slay me, I will praise Him”

There is another scripture that Christians need to keep in mind as well. Romans 8:28 says ” All things work together for good for those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose”

wp-image--2084750928

Job understood God was not going to just abandon him. That’s why the man who makes our little problems look insignificant was unshakable in his faith. That faith to keep on and even have total peace is only found one way. Reading the word of God often to renew your mind ( if you have not figured this out yet, the world we live in does everything it can to talk us out of our faith.)

The only protection from being affected by that is to renew your mind before you walk out the door and face the world that wants you to walk away from God. That is part of the armor God has given us to be unshakable when everything seems to be working directly against you and your family and faith. He will not force us to stay in His word though. We have free will. If you go to Barnes and Noble and choose to cozy up with a good Anton Lavey ( church of satan) book, that’s your call and of course so are the consequences. So our choices in crisis are critical.

If you have grown children or even younger children you surely have noticed that in their first few years of life they never question what you say or do. If you hand them a bottle, they don’t spin the top off to inspect what you’re giving them. It could be poison but their childlike faith does not even tempt them to go against you or question you about any major decisions. If told your young kids they need to hit the basement now because a tornado was coming through, its doubtful they would pull out a weather radio to challenge your statement. That describes childlike faith.

Guess what that Bible says about what kind of faith is pleasing to God? You got it- childlike faith. Just like your kids never questioned you as a child, we are to have the same attitude with our heavenly Father. Once again, you cannot order childlike faith online or talk yourself into it. Faith comes from where again? The Word. Period.

As adults as we find discipline to renew our minds in the Word and experience true trust in God no matter what is happening, your friends, family, kids are witness to that peace you have unlike so many. That is the opportunity to share your secret with them, and they will believe you because sometimes you are the only calm one around and they notice it. The mindset we get from reading the truth all the time and building real faith goes a little like this-

People come and go ( death, divorce). jobs come and go, health comes and goes, riches come and go, friends come and go, but God- He is the same yesterday, today and forever. That is what you will have etched in your soul as you stay in the Word. It leaves very little room for trusting in any of those listed things. But your realization that God will never leave or forsake you and is always the same will provide you with an entirely new kind of faith in any circumstance.

It doesnt matter if you are an atheist today or a lifelong Christian who even ushers in the church. The Word of God is available to both. One is no better then the other but by their trust in Christ. We all need a savior. Not one of us is righteouss enough to land in heaven except by the finished work of Christ at Calvary and by the blood He shed for anyone who accepts His forgiveness. Nobody has a one up one the other. If you are an atheist now, but tonite you choose to invite Christ into your heart and ask for forgiveness, assuming you get in the Word right away faithfully you could be alot better off then a Christian of 20 years who chooses to keep his Max Lucado reads up to date but not too much time in the Word.

That is why this article is for everyone. No matter what your past has been or where you have been. Its all able to be washed away with that blood of Christ for the asking.

You know when I began writing this article, I considered adding some pictures of the massive storms and fires that are happening. Then I got my head straight and realized I was about to give glory and even more attention to the things that are tearing people apart. Thankfully I realized that this is a hope centered piece, not a piece for lots of people to glorify the bad things that hit us.

Thats why the emphasis has been on the awesome opportunity to overcome this world and its attempts at defeating us. What we need is more instruction on how to overcome this world according to God. Thats victory. When you choose that route you will find that the things that used to wear and tear you down are now like flys on your shoulder that you can swat off and keep moving forward in God’s Word and plan for you and yours!

Listen to this womans confidence. I guarantee it did not come to her by never missing Oprah. 

Whatever your storm, whether tragedy in your family, fires in your woods, or crazy rain and winds over the entire state, they all get smaller and smaller as the Word grows bigger and bigger in you!

Test it and see. After all God said not a word of His will ever return void…

TJ

 

 

 

 

Talk About Times We Are Living In..Does Anyone Recall Anything About A ” Cashless Society” ? Well You Have Now….

http://www.wuc-news.com/2017/07/soros-ill-eliminate-cash-for-new-world.html?m=1

End Times Prophecy

Hard Core Missions- INDIA. Can Your Group Or You Help Them?

INDIA- Hard Core Ministry-INDIA

 

Every once in a while I see someone doing someone doing something that is just a little bit extra special to me. This is one guy who I would like to help, and I would myself if I could right now.

Four years ago Dileep ( Di- Leep) Raja of India decided to start a Christian church right smack in the middle of hindu India. He had 15 people or so and they all are way below poverty level, most who are able to work – do day labor for 3$ / Day. They have no building to worship in so they find places or they just meet up to actually do ministry. What ministry can they possibly be? They have no building, no money, and not even enough bibles to pass out. They found a way.

These people take the little bit from Dileeps income at his regular job and they go out and feed the Hindus rice and beans that they could very well use themselves.

Now many Hindus have joined their Christian mission and their group is up to 70 people! So they have growth but no way of building to keep up or even supply bibles. Right now for example they have been praying for a 300$ donation to get 100 bibles out to their hindu neighbors and their members too. They can really use a few bucks each month to save for a tent to a little room to rent to worship in and they deserve it. Heck I hear people complaining when the air conditioning is not cool enough in our 250k$ church buildings. Imagine  the difference.

If you or a group you are in, a church group, or any group can help, there is contact info on this link I posted, which is their little website by the way. Quite moving and humbling if you look at the pictures on the site. Do what you can please. Thanks.

Tj