Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Gentle Hand

A man went out fishing as he had done almost every weekend. As he made his way across the lake, he realized he had not secured his fishing rods. Before he could stop; they flew out the boat  and begin sinking to the bottom of the lake, except one.  He shook his head and kept going to his honey hole.
On his first cast the line gets stuck on a old stump. He pulls and pulls and tugs snapping the rod in two. Out of anger and disappointment;  he throws the broken rod across the water.

After kicking and screaming a few chosen words; he finally sits down to catch his breath. Staring at the bank, now calm and  resigned; he is mesmerize by the beauty  of his surrounding, something he had never noticed. He looks up like if looking for answers, but he has no questions or does not know what or how to ask, ask who?
 He did not catch any fish that day or even completed a cast. But something was different, something had changed; he realized something was missing. A void was now felt in his heart.
He headed home in wonder and for days he felt this void kept on.  Week after week and as time went by; he never felt complete.
Now an old man, he sits alone at a nursing home. He is telling stories of the one that got away, the one on the wall. A vague memory of that day he had looked up in wonder,  flashes for a moment, a tear rolls down his eye; he looks away to hide it, but is to late. A gentle hand is felt on his shoulder but no one is there. Some how he knows he is not alone, the void is gone, peace is now felt and an  unusual  joy fills his heart as the room gets  dark and the noise dies down.
He opens his eyes, he feels no more pain, the void in his heart is gone, replaced by an indescribable feeling of joy. He feels at home or what home used to feel like at one time.
Every thing is different but the one thing on his mind still remains, that one day on the lake. But now  is as if,  all the things he did not asked were answered and he finally understood. "I AM HOME" he says, " I am home.

The moral of the story.
We tend to  live our lives almost always looking for perfection. A perfect day fishing, a great job with great friends, a comfortable retirement plan. We plan for every thing from meals to where our kids will go to collage. But we never plan for the inevitable, the cause and effect of  life. We spend so much time doing things that we miss what has been done. We live in a world no larger then what we know,  instead of searching for the unknown, the new, the challenge, the things that have been in front of our eyes but we don't see it. The signs and clues that surround our lives, but we filter them because they don't fit in our "Plan".
We go through life with out a pause, with out a moment of motionless admiration of the MOMENT.  This moment, the effect of the cause, the reason you go fishing, not the fish we catch.  Is about that moment when every thing is still, motionless and you fill complete, fulfill, satisfied, void of emptiness, the satisfaction of belonging. The knowledge that you are not alone, and you finally realized you never were. But we go all those years missing out on all the greatness, all the beauty, all the majesty, all the love, all the peace and confidence, that you matter, that you belong, that you have purpose, that your life was planed,  not a mistake, not a moment of error, but a moment of Devine intervention. The one and only True God chose you, created you, molded you, and has made you imperfect in every way but has invited you to be complete, to thrive for perfection, to seek His Grace and Loving Forgiveness so that our lives bring Glory to his name, out of the darkness into the light. A light that will shine on a hill once darken by shame, doubt and anger, among other things that kept  you from the Joy of His salvation.
I say pause for a moment and listen, look around, embrace, take in what is being give, live no more in darkness, but in the ever shining bright light of Mercy and Grace. May the void in your heart be filled with never endings Love and may you experience completeness evermore.

At the end of the day we are the decisions we make.

As the deer  pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. (Psalms 42:1 NKJV)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The least of these

As much as we hurt and try to understand Newtown's tragedies we must come to the realization that we may never will. And with fear to be misunderstood I think we could be missing a Godly opportunity. 
We trust and know God's children are in great and much better place that this world could have ever offered them. And if we believe, we will see them again. We honor their lives and support each individual parent, community and a hurting Nation. But if we trust in Him and His word, then we must open our eyes to see and our ears to hear His calling. Is not Guns, is not children being at the wrong place at the wrong time or even that we pushed Him out of our schools. I trust that we have pushed Him out of our lives completely chancing the wrong things.
 He tells us to love ones other and one other is mentioned abundantly in the Bible, but yet we do not do enough to care for the unwanted, the lost, the forgotten, the different, the sick, and all who are the least of these. If we want to hear His calling, here it is "care for my sheep the lost sheep" yes love our children, love one another and most important love God, for everything good and bad comes from Him, not because He does not love us but because He wants us to change our ways and return to Him.
 I love my Father and for this reason I will honor the lost, but not only the dead but the least of these. I pray this makes sense and you would join the movement to make a difference and seek those in need of a savior. Someone told me once, "God place Himself in all of us to seek Him and if they don't come is their free will to choose not to" I say obviously our free will is not perfect for if it were there would not be a need for a Savior and everything is a lie. Our love for God should be demonstrated as what we see in Christ, that He left the best Kingdom of the universe for me, then why should I not go out and do the same for the least of these. Just my 2. 
"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me. (Matthew 25:45)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Case for Zacchaeus

We hear in the news at regular basis, criminals being set free in light of some new evidence. For the most part the new evidence is DNA, a new witness or perhaps intentional or unintentional cover up. The case for Zacchaeus is my interpretation of the text found in Luke 19:1-9. For hundreds of years Zacchaeus has been seen as one of the worst men the Bible mentions and He is later seen as one the best converts of the scriptures. Not to disagree with his conversion, but was his conversion as we most commonly hear it accurate?
 My drive and purpose to write about this one man is purely truth seeking and not to discredit any of the teachings or lessons that could be learn from these verses. My intention is only to bring forward and compare and analyze the difference one word can make in the life of this man. With that out of the way, let me say that my interpretation is not a popular, but as I have discovered has some validity to it.
We read in Luke 19
Jesus Comes to Zacchaeus’ House
19 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was richAnd he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him,[a] and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.
Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
The major difference in translations is this, in some translations there is an almost insignificant, easy to overlook addition the original text as seen in Greek, also the verve tense is different making a completely different interpretation on the verse. But of most importance is the description of the kind of man Zacchaeus really was.  Here is part of the original text I found side by side with the Strong’s number Greek, Greek and English. Next you will see several different Bible translations and interpretation of the text below. So what is the big deal? I hope that by the end of this observation you would be able to make that decision yourself. My comments are in red.

New International Version (©1984)
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." (Notice I will)
New Living Translation (©2007)
Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, "I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!" (Notice I will twice)
English Standard Version (©2001)
And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.”
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much." (Notice I will twice)
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Look, I'll give half of my possessions to the poor, Lord! And if I have extorted anything from anyone, I'll pay back four times as much!" (Notice I will)
International Standard Version (©2012)
Later, Zacchaeus stood up and announced to the Lord, "Look! I'm giving half of my possessions to the destitute, and if I have accused anyone falsely, I'm repaying four times as much as I owe."  
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
Then Zakkai arose and he said to Yeshua, “Behold, my Lord, I give half my wealth to the poor, and anything that I have seized I repay fourfold to every man.”
American King James Version
And Zacchaeus stood, and said to the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
American Standard Version
And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have wrongfully exacted aught of any man, I restore fourfold.
Douay-Rheims Bible
But Zacheus standing, said to the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have wronged any man of any thing, I restore him fourfold.
Darby Bible Translation
But Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor, and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I return him fourfold.
English Revised Version
And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have wrongfully exacted aught of any man, I restore fourfold.
Webster's Bible Translation
And Zaccheus stood, and said to the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him four-fold.
Weymouth New Testament
Zacchaeus however stood up, and addressing the Lord said, "Here and now, Master, I give half my property to the poor, and if I have unjustly exacted money from any man, I pledge myself to repay to him four times the amount." (Notice I pledge)
World English Bible
Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, half of my goods I give to the poor. If I have wrongfully exacted anything of anyone, I restore four times as much."
Young's Literal Translation
And Zaccheus having stood, said unto the Lord, 'Lo, the half of my goods, sir, I give to the poor, and if of any one anything I did take by false accusation, I give back fourfold.' (In this case I did meaning of curse in the past)
Ok, so what is the big deal again? Nothing really unless you are Zacchaeus  or people have the wrong idea of your faith. Notice that in 5 out of 10 different translations the word “I will or similar” is added to the text. And this is just a few translations I found. The point being “I will” signifies that Zacchaeus will do these things in the future and not that he has been doing as a common practice.
But wait you say, he was a chief tax collector worst of the worst. And this is where I will try to prove my point in addition to other observations.
In almost every case that I found referring to this scripture, Zacchaeus is seen as a man that was a horrible sinner. He was the chief tax collector which made him the worst of all tax collectors. He is seen as a thief, an abuser of power and a man that cheated people of their money just to mentioned a few. We get a description of his physical stature and that he is rich.  We also learn that he sought to see who Jesus was. I am sure there was no doubt he had heard about Jesus, but his desire to see Jesus was so much that he climbed a tree to get a view of Jesus, putting aside all if any concerns about what the people though of him and the hatred they must have felt for him as well. When Jesus saw this man on the tree, Jesus called him by his name and told him that He must stay at his house that night. Zacchaeus came down from the tree and came to Jesus. The crowd of course reacted in a negative way. Why Jesus had chosen this man a sinner to stay with, basically saying that that man was not worth Jesus time and attention, like saying we are better than that man.

Here is where it gets interesting. In verse 8] And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.

Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector, which had to have meant that he was a smart man. He was in charge of workers, tax collectors which meant that he more than likely was not the one out in the field collecting taxes. Why would a rich chief tax collector would be doing the work of collecting taxes when he was the boss and responsible for answering to the government. He had people collecting taxes but this did not exclude him from the action of his office.  Every tax collector was a representative of him, so when he says that if he had taken any thing by false accusation, he was referring to himself and his tax collectors as well; which in this case would indicate that if at any time his collectors (his office) would falsely collect any thing; he would repay the victim fourfold. Here is something to consider. Zacchaeus was a smart man and a Jewish man, a man that knew the Jewish law.
Exodus 22:1 "If a man steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it, he must pay back five head of cattle for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.
Zacchaeus new that this was the Law if any man would steal anything from any other man, so this practice was not new to him; he was well aware of the Leviticus Law. If the animal is dead, you would pay for the dead animal plus four more. If the animal was not dead then you would bring the animal back plus four more. One more thing to consider is that the Roman Government expected the tax collectors the do the same.

Zacchaeus said Lord, Lord I give half of my goods to the poor. Zacchaeus was filled with guilt. He was the chief tax collector and the money that he collected a lot of it came from the poor and as a Jewish man working for the Roman government, this was also seen as wrong doing and against God. In Numbers 5 we see how Zacchaeus was dealing with this guilt and how it would justify the giving to the poor.
5 The Lord said to Moses, 6 “Say to the Israelites: ‘Any man or woman who wrongs another in any way[b] and so is unfaithful to the Lord is guilty 7 and must confess the sin they have committed. They must make full restitution for the wrong they have done, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the person they have wronged. 8
Here, Zacchaeus was unfaithful to the Lord and would restitute more than twenty percent as it was commanded. He would give half of his good to the poor. The question may arise, wouldn’t people had known of his generosity, perhaps, but not if he was a man of God and did not seek attention and be boastful of his giving. How many times we see “anonymous donation to the such and such? And do we question the donor that did not want recognition. Perhaps that is one other thing we could learn from this lesson. We all seek recognition for our good deeds, if we don’t tell someone about what we have done or what we give, we feel like we don’t get the credit that we deserve. Why is it too difficult to accept that Zacchaeus was doing the right things in the eyes of the Lord, but still he felt guilty and sinful of his profession and seek forgives for his sins by giving to the poor and paying back to the people his office would cheat. You see Zacchaeus was doing ever thing right, helping the poor and making wrongs right even though he was judged for his profession we made things right with God, but here is where we miss the point; he was doing the right things but he did not have salvation. The one thing he was seeking from Jesus was his eternal salvation. He was a man doing the right things, following the law, helping the poor, and correction wrongs, but he did not have Christ as his Lord.
But before I keep going let me pause for a moment a reemphasize the immense difference that lies between this two descriptions of the same man, one the worst of the worst and the other a man that was doing things right according to the law.  So if you think a single word does not make much difference, I hope that you would consider the impact it truly makes.

In the following verses Jesus states, in verses, 9 and 10
9 And Jesus said unto him, today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. Matthew 15:24 But He answer and said, “I was not sent to except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”.
When Jesus said “Salvation has come to this house” I very highly doubt that He would limit Him self and only mean Zacchaeus house, if so why would He mention that he was a son of Abraham (from the house of Israel)

John 18:37 Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. I was born for this, and I came into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is committed to the truth listens to my voice."
Jesus came to seek and save which was lost; in this case He was referring to the children of Abraham all from the house of Abraham. Yes trough Him all who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life is so true and we are sinner because of the fall. But this is a whole other lesson. 
What I would like you to consider is this, review you translation and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you. For me He guided me in this one direction and I trust that He will guide you accordingly.
Here is one last thing. If you chose to consider Zacchaeus as a good man a man that did right for God despite of his profession, what are you? What are we doing to be right with God? Through Christ we obtain salvation, and our faith should be demonstrated by our actions. Can you say Lord, I am giving half of my good like Zacchaeus? Aren’t we sinner too? Can you give more for the kingdom or have you given enough already? And who determines how much is enough? 10% 50% or is it your heart and the Holy Spirit that guides your charitable giving. What are we willing to give up for the kingdom? How much comfort’s must we have? Can we chase after Jesus and say, “Lord the half of my goods I give to the poor? 
Luke 12:48 but he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with a few. For every one to whom much is given, form him much will be require; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
Please also take the time to read Luke chapter 12:13-48

The case for Zacchaeus, could be the case for you and me>
The case for Zacchaeus is not about a horrible man repenting of his wrongdoing, but it could be a case of a man doing the right things in need of a savior. His repentance was not about being a sinner because of his wrong doing, but his repentance and conversion was about wanting to be found and calling Jesus his Lord and becoming a Christ Follower.  Just my 2

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Is It Ever Too Late?

Although I have a decent grasp of how the world works in this this day and age; I find it difficult to accept the fact that so many people are so afraid of a committed relationship. I see it over and over, the never ending lost of interest, whether from him or her, ultimately the connection is lost, or is it?

If one could do with our lives as we do with our Google history and pages visited; I wonder if we would be temped to delete some of the moments in our past? Would we go back to our setting and search engines and enable or disable certain things from our past? I have to say it sounds rather temping to even think about it. Without a doubt I can think of a few experiences in my life I wish I did not have, but for what ever purpose or reason being; I trust that God allowed them for His Plan in me. Of course there is also the moments we all wish could last for ever and perhaps the moments we all wish would experience but didn't. It is in those moments that we really have to trust Him. Going through an event in our lives, tragic, or pleasant, joyful or sad, rewarding of depleting, at least there is a feeling attached to it, but what about the "What Ifs"? these are a completely different animal.

All our lives are full of What Ifs?, What if? I would have stayed in Mexico and never have moved to America, What If? I would have not changed High schools, What If? I would have not gone to fire school, What If? I would have been promoted. What if? I would not have met you? generally speaking. What If?, What If? to most of these I think I know the answer but one still remains.

Is there a purpose or reason for God placing some people in our lives and at a precise moment? And as they come into our lives, is their departure or our departure, part of His plan? or is it just something deep in our hearts that God is providing an opportunity for us to develop?

in Jeremiah 29-11 God tell His people 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

But in Verse 10 He said " After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place.

Seventy years! now that is a little bit worst that just being Defriend on FB or unfolled on twitter. God was being rather serious about His expectations, but have His expectations changed or has He gotten softer? Absolutely not!

John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

This has to be one of my favorite verse. Through Him! meaning, we must know Christ and live our walk in His ways. To love on another, and if you look closely "one another" is repeated in more then a few dozen times in the NT. From love to help, encourage, honor, be in harmony, be devoted, serve one another and the list goes on and on. My point being, are we to allow God's purpose in our relationships with others to flourish or are we to live in fear of our flesh. The question still remains, "Is it ever too Late?"

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Call "I am My Brother's Keeper"

Christianity or what I have a strong conviction Christianity is has totally changed my life. I am the same imperfect man I was a few years ago but now I truly believe in an all knowing, all powerful, and one that is present everywhere God.  I truly believe He is the creator of all things living or non-living. I believe He created mankind for His pleasure and in His own image. I believe we all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23) but through Christ we can obtain righteousness and by the power of the Holy Spirit we can come to know Him. I trust we have some of the same characteristics as God. We are able to love, to care, to help one another, and perhaps act in anger or disappointment at times, but in the end, love is where we find Grace.

But think for a moment, what if the phone rings? Will you answer? And will you know if is for you? As I seat here prying for God to reveal His will for me and seek continued guidance and revelation of His purpose in my life; I can’t cease to wonder the lives I could affect. Could I be a stumbling block to others and keep them from His work, the work He has laid before them. Is the call for me? Or am I just a messenger.

 I have been involved with kids and youth for a few years now as a soccer coach and as a youth leader at our church. I have seen how in many situations we live our lives through our children. We drive them to accomplish the things we didn’t or feel we should have. We push and push, we mold and tweak, a little here and a little there to make them better, to accomplish more, but who’s more?  We plan ahead for their future, what school, what job, what passions, and sometimes even what their styles would be. Now don’t get me wrong it is good to guide our children, but do we guide or do we lead them. Do we mentor our children and sharpen their strength and passions? Or in them we forge our ways, do we come down to their level or in rare occasions up to their level? Do we look in their eyes and see what’s inside or do we go by what they give us, in their fear of bringing us disappointment. Although our intentions are without malice, but do we sow our passions in them, weather willingly or unwillingly? And if so, is that by God’s will?  Or do we become stumbling blocks for them? Just a thought.
I love my kids and I would give my life for then. So I do know and understand how an all loving righteous God would do the same for me. And even though I have failed my Father tremendously in more ways that I can imagine I now I can find Grace, Love, Peace and assurance in Him and through Christ I have obtain salvation and righteousness with my Father in heaven, and by the Power of the Holy Spirit I strive for sanctification.
And just like every one of my children is a priced position for me, so are we, children of the living God. In every child’s life lays hope, a hope for a better tomorrow for them and for the lives they will touch. Every child is someone’s treasure and for the ones, who are left behind and abandoned, well God has called you and me, so will you answer? In God’s eyes we are not different, and like with our children while in their pain, He too feels the same.
 “I am my Brother’s Keeper”, Ministry came about a Dream and Vision. A Vision of change, to set a new direction, to stake God’s Plan and Glory in the minds of the Guatemalan Youth” is a ministry that focuses on the growth in Christ for the Guatemalan youth. I am also convinced this ministry to be a purpose in my life at the moment.  Why Guatemala? We are commanded to love others as ourselves and to make disciples of all Nations. We have also the honor to be the home church of the Block family, a missionary family serving in Guatemala caring and providing for special needs orphans.  Support from our church body and every follower of Christ is imperative.

I strongly believe in the power and the benefits of good parenting and the value of good role models in our lives and of our children. Our Children will drive the direction for generations to come. It is what we seed and grow in them that will lead them in the right or even wrong paths of life. And in that same spirit, I trust a difference could be made in the future of the Guatemalan youth.
I strongly believe that God always raises people up for His will and purpose, and their life’s experiences good and bad serve their purpose in Him. Although I was brought up in a home with both parents, most of my childhood was very much absent of dad. Mom always tried to fill in the gaps and I always had my siblings to love and be loved by. The school of life has done a number on me. The absence of a strong direction or a go to person has allowed me to do most of my growing up on my own.
 A dear friend of mine, a remarkable young lady left a footprint in many lives in our community and our church. At such a young age she has embodied the image of Christ, a rare sight in today’s times. She was the first person that came to mind as I was trying to make sense of the “I am My Brother’s Keeper” Vision. She shared a tragic story about a boy that was shot at a gas station in an area they have been ministering. She shared that the boy was shot that same Sunday our pastor, preached about “Are you ready?” Being in the wrong place at wrong time. She went on to say that everyone was saying the boy was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. She marveled about the kid’s salvation, did he know Christ? Or was he just one of many lost lives found in the streets of Guatemala?

Although “I am My Brother’s Keeper” ministry continues to be a driving force in just about every decision I make in relation to youth and how I will serve God; I find my self at a cross roads. I know kids and youth will aways be part of my life, regales of location or medium to reach them. I feel strong in God’s plan and purpose for me, but I do know that His timing and mine are always in His control.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Where is Daniel when you need him?

It’s a typical night at the firehouse, every one is asleep or trying to, some are tossing and turning not knowing when the next call will come in. A wall separates both sleeping quarters. On one side I can hear the movement of one of the guys who’s bed parallels mine. Is getting late and a full day awaits me in the morning so my hope is to get some decent sleep. But tonight is way different than any other night. As I begin to fall asleep; I get this horrible sensation of heaviness on my body. I can’t move I am not sure if I am awake or asleep but I can feel the heaviness on my body keeping me paralyze to the bed. Fear enters my mind and a bit of desperation sets in.  I want to go back to sleep and I want to wake up at the same time. I have been tired like this before but his time is way different.

A feeling of a dark hooded image is leaning forward next to my bed. It’s like if I could see it but I can’t make any sense of if. It is a strange sensation of being paralyzed and fear, in one. I can’t see its face or body but I feel as if this thing was stretching its arms across my body and swinging them form my chest to my legs. It repeats this motion a few times.

A different image and presence enters the room from atop and side of the headboard, but this one is peaceful, wearing white.  I can’t see its face either, but it demands the dark thing that still leaning over me   to stop and to leave. A few more words are hear “ One year”. And just as each came they both disappeared. My body is light again, I can feel the heaviness leave me and I can tell I am fully awake. I began to pray and had no more fear. Like many nights before; I fall asleep praying. What was that? The question still remains. I do hope it was just some bad firehouse cooking.

Fast-forward four months, is late June early July. A promotional opportunity presents; a gift from God I thought. Money is tight and things keep breaking at the house. There is a good gap between tailboard (firefighter) pay and Lieutenant pay. The extra cash would help with expenses but most important it will expedite my mission trip to Guatemala. We missed the opportunity last June. We were bombed about but we kept the faith. We knew God would open the door and if it were His will we would go soon. Our church is the home church for an amazing family that is just in love with orphans and special needs kids. They have been serving in Guatemala for right about a year.  A few nights before the big interview; I was back at the firehouse about to go to sleep, prying; asking God to let His will be done. The promotion would be good but if it was not His will I would be just as happy. I asked Him to reveal His will to me, what ever it was. All I thirst for is to serve Him in any thing He would will for me. Well here comes the interesting part. That same night, it was past midnight, and in a dream I see something that I still keep praying for and keep questioning. I am in an open land hill like terrain and in a powering motion here comes a large white pole, stake like, type object. Like symbolizing a marker, a beginning point, a from this point forward, a this is where we start, I don’t know but I felt like it meant change, a new direction, marking the turf. Immediately after a voice type feeling, sound, image simply states “YOUTH” and that is exactly how I saw it all cap. I woke up; and I am like, what was that?  I try to go back to sleep and pray and have continue to pray with out ceasing. I continue to ask God for assurance, help, wisdom, and guidance and every time I do, well some thing happens.

An old partner from a previous job, whom I have not seen or heard from him in over 10 years, finds me on a picture that was tagged with several other people. I had posted this picture a few weeks before for no particular reason. He was a good Christian man, a great dad and excellent husband last time I saw him. He was always kind and mentored me as I began my fire and ems career.  Later we both took different jobs and failed to keep in touch. Well he gave up being a flight medic a couple of years ago and is now in full time ministry. He is a pastor for a church that is few hours away from my home. He also does missionary work in Egypt and in Mexico. He contacted me and we are to meet in a few days. We are to meet half way from where I live and his home. I don’t know what roll if any’ he will play, but I can’t wait to find out. The other day, I am not even finish prying asking God for continue guidance, strength, wisdom and  someone that could help me understand scripture better and get deeper in the Word so I would be better fit to spread the Gospel, well some one showed up. I do understand that there is no better way than to be lead by the Holy spirit when it comes to getting to know God and getting closer to God, but I do trust that He provides us with His people and expects us to count on one another and help each other grow
I am still not clear on the two dreams or whatever you want to call them but I have gained a great conviction and passion on a project that could impact many lives if it were to be fulfill. “I am my Brother’s Keeper” a youth ministry for young men and women in Guatemala has been a constant thought in my mind and heart for a few weeks now. To the point it has occupied just about every thought in every second of the day. I love God and I praise Him with every part of my soul. Christ gave it all for me so I could be righteous in God’s eyes, wash me of my sins, and rescued me from my self. I whole heartedly trust and believe He planned and laid out a Call before me, and  for His purpose. There are just so many things that have being happening. And if this is only the beginning, wow! I am going to hang on because; I know there is way more to come.  One day when I get Home; I pray I carried out His will and not mine. Amen!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Welcome to the Jungle

So welcome to the jungle, a contrast purpose! this song has been so popular for a long time. It gives a very descriptive massage of the world we live in well the world that exist. what I can tell you is that that world is very real and it continues to grow at an alarming rate. Our young christian brothers and sisters are bombarded daily with all kinds of challenges to keep them strong in their faith. The contrast message and the one most peopel chose to over look is the one of "the jungle will bring you to your knees". Here is the question though, why must we be broken to be on our knees? why do we fade away, why do we lose so many young Christians fresh out of High school? why is the fate so water down, unfounded, so not solid? here is my though, " take two and call me in the morning" that is what we teach our young minds. We teach them how to cure a symptom, how to fix their problem, we offer them quick fixes and fail them in teaching them God. Teaching them His power, His Grace, His love, but most important we fail them to teach them He is God the Lord of all creation, the giver and taker of Life! There is not fear of God any more, we have dished out so much God is Love and graceful but not so much of How we still have to follow His commandments. People bank on their salvation but chose to reject the cost and the price that has been paid. We need to be on our knees daily praising God for His love and Grace and For demonstrating us how much He loves us through the horrible painful death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I think the cross is way too under played, the cross gives me hope, it gives me salvation and a new life. The cross should overshadow our every second  of the day. To live for Him is to have life, to live for me is to die for nothing. Just a though.