The Rebelution The Modesty Survey

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Flat Tires and Other Mishaps in Life

I just came back from Georgia a few days ago. Had a wonderful time as I just finished school. My life for a little over a month has been consumed by me working on homework or wedding planning. It's been nuts and quite stressful so the vacation was MUCH needed. We left 4 hours late, which was frustrating to start out with, and when we did stop even more frustrating things ensued. As we made our first stop to get fuel, we noticed on our trailer lid, the screws that held the lid in place fell out as we did not tighten them before we left. This was a blessing in disguise as we found a 24 hour truck stop with high quality stainless steel truck bolts for a dollar. These things are not cheap in the least bit and the Lord allowed us to lose our rusty and old bolts and nuts and replace them with such high quality bolts. Huge blessing! The guy that was helping us looked super gruff but was very kind and welcomed us and went the extra mile to make sure we were set to go especially when it was raining! When we got on the road again, we got to Lima, Ohio 11 miles away from when we first stopped when all of a sudden our tire blew on our trailer. This was at night in a construction zone. Terrible timing....

As we pulled into an empty parking lot, I got out of the car and flipped my flash light on my phone on. I then saw the damage that was done to the tire. It was a miracle that we got to a safe zone much less the rim of the tire was intact. God was very good to us. At first, I was frustrated. Here we are stuck on the road not even 2 hours into our trip and we can't go anywhere. Even when I said to my Mom that I was thankful that we were safe and there was a reason for this, I still was pretty upset at God not mad but frustrated. I went over to Arby's to think and my fiancee came over and chatted with me. I then found out that we were going to stay in a hotel for the night which really threw a wrench in our plans and made me quite frustrated. Needless to say, we were very thankful for the stop in the morning as we all got a decent sleep. We got to Georgia the next day around 9:30 PM safe and sound with no interruptions.

As I look back on the events that happened I cannot help but wonder what could have happened whether God allowed these things to happen to save us from another problem that was ahead. This evening, I ran across something on Facebook that really targeted this specific area and sobered me and really brought my focus back to God. Honestly, it broke me....This story is made up but a wonderful reminder of God's presence in our life.

Me: God, can I ask You a question?

God: Sure

Me: Promise You won't get mad

God: I promise

Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?

God: What do u mean?

Me: Well, I woke up late

God: Yes

Me: My car took forever to start

God: Okay

Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait

God: Huummm

Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call

God: All right

Me: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn't work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?

God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that

Me (humbled): OH

GOD: I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.

Me: (ashamed)

God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn't want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn't afford to miss work.

Me (embarrassed):Okay

God: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn't even let you talk to them so you would be covered.

Me (softly): I see God

God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn't think you wanted to be in the dark.

Me: I'm Sorry God

God: Don't be sorry, just learn to Trust Me.... in All things , the Good & the bad.

Me: I will trust You.

God: And don't doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.

Me: I won't God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.

God: You're welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children...

Yes, this is one of those "chain Facebook picture messages" but God can use anything in your life to bring you back to Him! He used something as simple as this! I really hate these kinds of messages but for whatever reason God had me read this and I am so glad I did. The next time there's something wrong in your life just remember that God does have a purpose for everything even when you think your day is going wrong. He is there to help you and guide you with His unseen hand through life. In everything give thanks.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Finding Joy in Death

I just attended a funeral for my fiancée's grandmother, her Dad's mom. Her dad's parents are both deceased and makes things quite difficult for him especially around the holidays. I didn't attend the viewing because I was so busy and stressed out with work, school, and life in general. It was very hard on my fiancée because she wanted me there to support her. As I listened as she told me stories about her grandmother, I was thinking during the moments of silence about a Christian's perspective of death. We look at death so negative when we should look at it in a positive light! Granted, I am speaking solely about those who die that are saved.

I am excited to go to heaven! I really am! I cannot wait to see my loved ones and experience the joys of heaven! Lauren's grandmother was saved, thankfully, and as we were talking I brought it up to her saying that she is in heaven free of pain, sickness, or worry. Lauren smiled and held back tears as we talked further about the subject.

When I attended the funeral, I heard so many good and wonderful things Lauren's grandmother had done. How many people she had touched with her doing so much for them and how much she loved the Lord and encouraged everyone to do the same. Yes, we were all sad that she passed but to look at her life in a positive light and rejoicing with her as she is in heaven made it less painful. It was really a blessing to see people from Lauren's church there to comfort the family. As the service ended, I was selected to be a pallbearer, which was a deep honor. I was given instructions on what to do before the service. There were 6 of us carrying the casket to the hearse and then we drove to the burial site. I think this is when the realization of everything set in to everyone. We were burying a loved one.

A final prayer for her and her family was said and we stuck around while the workers lowered her into the grave. It was a solemn moment for all but something changed in everyone. Everyone was not only relieved but they also talked about what a blessing it was that she was gone not in a bad light but like I said, really rejoicing that she was free! Almost everyone was praising the Lord and praying and thanking God after the burial. It was truly a sobering and wonderful experience.

My fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, for those who have lost someone dear, be sad, yes, but also know that they are in the arms of Jesus, free of pain and suffering. I don't know if they look down at us and watch over us as we speculate about this act but I do know that they are rejoicing and praising God. Rejoice with them, my fellow Christians, in tears and in laughter.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Little Lamb

I live on a farm where we have sheep. This can be a problem like it was yesterday when we had twin lambs born. There was a complication with the birth and one of the twins died. This is not common but it seems to be common with our sheep which is discouraging. Then, today, I came home from a meeting at work and discovered the other lamb had hypothermia. Great. So, I brought him inside and have been taking care of him ever since I got home. *sigh* It's very discouraging especially when you know what is wrong with the lamb and yet it won't take any of the food we give him because he is so weak.

This entire fiasco really weighs on my heart. It actually makes me angry because I cannot do anything about it. Not at God but whenever these things happen, I have to work or go to school and in this case, I have to work tonight and both parents are gone which means, once again, I am stuck at home trying to take care of this lamb. This also provides me time to think. Well, not really, but at least try to hold back the tears and focus on other things.

The things I was focusing on today, and honestly every other time that this has happened, was Christ and what the lamb symbolizes. There's a lot that a lamb symbolizes but this particular time, I was thinking of the state that Christ was in on the cross. We have a lamb outside that is very healthy and lively. He is very energetic and wants to play. Bear with me for a second when I say that it's as if this lamb is a depiction of Christ on the earth. I know, stupid comparison but that's what I think of. He's all happy and playful but then my thoughts shift to the lamb down in the basement. He is weak, frail, and cold. It breaks my heart to think that this little lamb is dying. I was holding him in my arms, rocking him back and forth, trying to feed him but to no avail. In this little lamb, I see Christ on the cross. Christ in his weakest state. My thoughts were brought back to why He was hanging there. How His mother felt. How heavy her heart was to see her only Son and the Son of God up on the cross and her not being able to to anything about it.

The Passion of the Christ came to mind. I do not know if any of you have seen it much less have any desire to see it or feel that it is blasphemous but to me, it is a gut-wrenching ideal picture of what happened. You can not only envision it in your mind while reading, but you also have a greater depiction of it by seeing it through Mel Gibson's eyes.

I apologize for this being so jumbled. It's been very difficult for me to think as I have my thoughts shifted elsewhere down in the basement where the little lamb resides. I just typed this up with really no thought or input. I just let this post flow. What I took away from this is my realization of how important and how real the death of Christ was and how it affected everyone He loved and everyone that loved Him not just at that very moment 2000 years ago but now 2000 years later.

Praise the Lord this is not the end. It is far from being over!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Getting Spiritual Satisfaction

So, I work at a local hospital and between school and work, I really don't have a lot of time to spare believe it or not. I struggle to hang out with my fiancée and balance out doing extra curricular activities and making everyone happy. Very difficult to say the lease to balance my time. I have been getting burned out spiritually, which is very frustrating and I don't want to do anything much less anything about it because I'm too lazy, which is human nature and very sad.

Well, I picked up 2 days on days at work and it was a huge change because I work nights. I was running around, making sure everyone was set up for meals, got people washed up, discharged patients from the hospital, etc. Very busy! There was one patient in particular who was very sweet. She was in her late 80s and just all around sweet. I remember this lady in particular because of how nice she was. In fact, she was so pleasant that she gave me joy and happiness that I directed towards the other patients making me WANT to take care of them better!

This lady was not a Christian as far as I know but she was used by God to show me that no matter what I do, I need to do it all for the glory of God! I had the opportunity, on my second day of picking up, to give away some of my patients. I asked to keep them and everyone thought I was crazy in the head! Yes, I was crazy but after that lady gave me the push I needed, I didn't want to give them up! I was so very happy because I was able to share the love of Christ with my patients. I was able to share my experiences with them and even witness to a few. What a blessing it is to talk about Christ.

It's still difficult especially now that I'm at work on break. I find my brain wandering and people's music and TVs blaring so it's hard to concentrate on God. Ultimately, you will find satisfaction in God by reading His word and when you continually seek Him. It's not something that can happen over night or in a day, month, or year. If you are completely satisfied with where you are spiritually, well, I have news for you, there's something wrong. Never be spiritually satisfied or you'll be in a spiritual rut, which is never a good thing!

I encourage each and every one of you to really seek God this year. Never be satisfied with your spiritual life. Continue to dig deep in to His word, memorize scripture, and keep on praying and thanking Him for every day! There is no formula for being spiritually satisfied with life but seeking Him is a great start.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Lessons Learned in 2012

As I look back on 2012, I have learned many lessons not just in my spiritual life but also my good old life as a human being. For instance, don't be stupid and try to cut a 1" diameter stick in half with your giant knife because you WILL cut yourself not to mention you did the very same thing a week earlier and super glued your cut shut so you wouldn't go to the hospital. Other simple lessons were at work or lessons on how to communicate with your significant other. 

On a spiritual note, God really has laid on my heart the lesson of trusting in Him and making me realize once again, over and over, that there is literally nothing to hard for Him. My friend, Sam, discovered he had Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, in the Fall of 2011. He and I grew up together but went somewhat separate ways when I moved to Michigan and after he went to college. When I found out this news that he was sick, I was devastated. My Mom, who is very close to Sam's mom, helped me stay in touch with anything new that occurred. I do not remember when, but Sam went through chemotherapy and they aggressively attacked the cancer and were able to get rid of the cancer. However, I was just informed a few days ago that the cancer is now back but I do not know any more details. Sam joined an organization called Imerman Angels. You can find an article here about his first experiences with this group.

I bring Sam up for this reason: even when his chances were slim and everything in his life was not going as planned, he still trusted God. In the article that I linked above, Sam wrote, "I didn't worry too much about what I was going to go through,” LiBassi says. “My mottos were: ‘It's life, you gotta deal with it and make the best of it’ and ‘Life comes at you fast, but God is sovereign.’" 

Man, I wish I could say that about my life when big or small things happen to me. Sam doesn't know this but he really has been a huge role model in my life even more so recently. Why? He has challenged me to really trust God with everything. You are told to just trust God no matter what happens but how often do we do that? It's been a blessing to see a childhood friend doing what he should be doing and really seeing God's handiwork. 

My Mom and I were talking about obeying God. She and I were talking about me getting into a lot of trouble when I was younger. My Mom always told me, "Sam, just obey! It's easier that way. Why don't you do that?" I always responded with a shrug. She then told me that when God asked her to do something she would give the same response as I did with her. God said to my Mom, "Why don't you just obey? It's easier that way." She shrugged like I did and said, "I don't know." This is, once again, another lesson learned in 2012. Obeying is hard. You may not get a reward here on this earth obeying God's word or even your parents for that matter but why does it matter? This is something I struggle with because I want to be rewarded here right now and yet heaven's reward is far superior to anything here on this earth. 

As you look back on 2012 and look ahead, reflect on the lessons that you have learned. It may be a great learning experience and a huge encouragement. I know it was for me. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Playing the Part

So, my brother-in-law Josh and my sister Sarah are both actors. They enjoy role-playing parts from Shakespeare, English plays, and even classics like The Pajama Game. They have to memorize a lot of lines and practice many hours to do well especially when they get paid for what they do! It's my brother-in-law's career! It takes quite a bit of effort and their time to focus on the part that they play no matter how big or how small because they make up a whole in the plays.

In our Christian walk, we play an important part whether that be being a witness for Christ, being a layman in the church, being an encouragement to others, or setting an example for baby Christians. No matter what part we play we need to take it to heart because it makes up a much larger picture in our lives! There was an Adventures in Odyssey episode talking about this very thing. From what I remember, there was a group of people who were part of a body whether it was a literal body or a figurative body I cannot remember but they represented the head, the arms, torso, legs, eyes, ears, etc. One person left because they felt unwanted. They felt that their part was not worth staying and just quit. The person came back a few months later to find the building they met in abandoned and broken into all in shambles. The person found the head of the body and asked what happened. He said that everyone left and got different jobs and went out of state because that person left the body. They insisted that they get everyone back together but it was too late. It was a simple analogy yet the concept, although I don't recall every single detail, was very sound and stuck with me all these years.

I hear about people committing suicide because they don't think their life is important, which is sad. Everyone needs to hear about Christ. I hear more good about mega churches and contemporary Christian music reaching people because they are totally outspoken and they know their part in life than a lot of Christians these days in very conservative churches! I particularly don't like or agree with the music of these mega churches but most of the time, their doctrine is sound and the teaching they provide is spot on! Whatever these pastors and teachers are doing in these churches needs to be known elsewhere! Many more people need to know their part in life and how to utilize it! I just feel that the love of Christ is radiating out from these people. Ultimately, it is the Lord who gives these people the drive to preach and proclaim His word. I hope that we all find our part in our Christian life and use it to the fullest extent. God gave us gifts. Let's use them to fulfill His purpose.

I hope this makes sense to all who read this. I have a lot on my mind as of late and have been very burned out because of school. Praise the Lord I am done for the semester! I am looking forward to graduating and then getting married in December of 2013! I will keep you posted with the upcoming events. Feel free to ask any questions!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Making Amends

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

An old friend called me today. I never did pick the phone up because I was too scared but more importantly, I was in class. I broke my friendship off with my friend back in March/April after receiving a phone call from him telling me things that would change my life forever. At the time, I was not ready to hear that my best friend was gay. I was not ready to talk about it. I was not ready for my life to be completely turned upside down but it happened in a split second. I didn't know what to say other than asking God to give me the strength to know what to say. Some things I said just came out and I wish I never said them. Promises I couldn't keep at the time.

I have been battling a lot since this has happened and my spiritual life has been affected because of it, sadly. I knew that I was not letting God handle my life and I have been miserable. Yet, God knows what He is doing. I am glad I have gone through trials not because I wanted to be far from God but it was good for me to realize how much I NEED Him! What a blessing! God's timing couldn't be better since I was chatting with a very good friend of mine a few days ago on Facebook. She asked me how I was doing spiritually and I told her I was doing OK but I really needed to be closer to God. She proceeded to tell me what she did to get herself closer to God. It was tough, just like working out every days, she disciplined herself by cleaning up her music, speech, movies, and lifestyle. She took the time that she spent on other things and read the Bible instead. This really put me in my place. I really have been examining myself as of late after this. Then, today, my friend called which was honestly perfect timing.

Now, it is time for me to make things right with my friend. I do not agree with his lifestyle and he knows this but he also knows that God loves him no matter what he does in his lifetime. I don't know what will happen after our meeting whether our friendship will be rekindled, whether he gets right with God and his family or he continues on with his life. I need a lot of prayer about decisions ahead because it is a big one so I would ask you to pray for me. All in all, like I said, I am very happy this happened. It's not fun, it's scary to go into the unknown but God will get me through this. He allowed everything to work together for good and I know He will continue to do so.