Muchas Gracias

It’s been a long year, a hard year.

Since the beginning of the year we’ve attended more churches than I care to count. I spent the first eight months of the the year working a part time job from home, which certainly helped out, but after several months it became hard to pay the bills……then I was laid off from that job for around six weeks.

A few weeks ago I was hired back at my old company where I was laid off from at the end of last year. My new position at my old company is to help assist the Chinese with technical questions by helping them do my…….job.

And to top it all off, I’ve had about a 15lb weight gain due to some medication I was taking earlier this year making it difficult to do what I like best….running.

I’ve written here many times about faith and trust in God. This year has certainly put that to the test….I’ve failed miserably. My faith has been sucked right out of me to the point I have a difficult time even praying regularly. Through all of it I have such a hard time believing God is even paying any attention to little ol’ me.

Oh I know He’s there. I know He loves me and never will forsake me….but I seem to no longer find it easy to see it deep inside.

Yet somehow I still look to Him. Not knowing if I’ll ever get an answer or if He’ll ever cast a look in my direction again. But Lord, to whom else shall I turn?

The Bible says if we have faith as small as a mustard seed that we can move mountains. God has to be providing me with the faith I need to survive right now. Otherwise I’d have given up long ago. I guess my faith is as small as a mustard seed right now….I sure seem to be moving mountains. They seem to be falling all over me.

That’s where my thanksgiving comes in at. My God loves me enough to have disciplined me this year (Hebrews 12). He loves me enough not to break this bruised reed nor snuff out this dim candle that’s still somehow burning inside of me.

So tomorrow I wake up. I thank God I have a job for the day. I thank Him my children have more food than 90% of the children in the world and I thank him for a faithful wife…faithful to me and faithful to God. After that I’ll have to let tomorrow take care of tomorrow.

And most of all, I’ll give thanks for God for not snuffing me out, which is what I deserve due to my sinfulness and rebellion and whining and grumbling……

By the way…. I don’t care for quail anyway.

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What Never Was, But Should’ve Never Been

13But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. (1 Thess 4:13-14, ESV)

Of all the things of the Christian faith that I have a hard time wrapping my finite understanding around, our hope in eternal life is the most difficult thing for me to understand. The Bible says that those of us that have been called by the Spirit of God and who have put their faith and trust in the righteousness of Christ for their salvation have eternal life.

This hope in eternal life isn’t something that starts only when we leave this life. Eternal life is here and now. Oh, sure, we are still in bodies that are wearing and one day we will leave these bodies, but those of that call on the name of Christ have eternal life now. Starting the minute Christ saves us, we have eternal life and we can trust one day we will be freed from this body of death.

I can say these things with confidence because God’s word, the Bible, tells us it’s true. Additionally, I know it’s true because of the call Christ has on me. I also know it’s true because of the Spirit of God working daily in my life.

The thing is, though, it’s so hard to keep this eternal life promise in front of me as hope. It’s so hard for me not to get wrapped up in the troubles of this life. I spend far too much energy looking at things that in light of eternity are only a vapor. We are born and are alive only a moment in light of eternity.

Today I heard a friend of the past had passed on. I wrote a post about him sometime back. I encourage everyone to read it here. Not that I’m especially proud of it, but because how he made an impact on my life such as I memorialized him in words and now he’s gone.

My friend’s name was Charlie. I have worked with him on and off over the years. We’re both contract engineers and we mostly do consulting and temporary engineering work. As I said in my previous post about him, Charlie was a biker and a hard-core anti-Christian. He was vehemently opposed to the things of God.

I liked Charlie a lot. He taught me so many of the engineering design techniques I use in my work to this day. Charlie was a hard man and a hard drinker, but deep inside there was nevertheless a human being that at times demonstrated a generous heart. I can’t say for sure what caused Charlie to be the way he was toward God. He spoke so little of his past. I can say with confidence that Charlie is a man who those of us in my line of work will tell stories about for the rest of our lives.

I ‘m saddened that Charlie never turned his life toward God. I’m saddened that Charlie would never even give a moment to hear anything a Christian would have to say to him. Most of all I’m saddened that all of Charlie’s life he was a tormented soul yet he was so gifted by God that people will memorialize him the rest of our lives. The thing is, most of what we will say about him we will have a few laughs over, yet in a way it’s all very sad.

You see, Charlie took his life this weekend along with the life of one of his former wives. Charlie went out the way he lived his life….hard.

I’ve often wondered if I said enough to Charlie; he was so bitter to anything remotely Christian.

I know I didn’t.

I didn’t say enough because after a while I gave up trying.

I can only pray that God will send another Charlie my way and next time, I won’t give up…..the thing is, it’s too late for Charlie.

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To Make a Long Story Short

It’s been a while since I posted on Justa Sorethumb.

Things have been a little difficult around here for a while. As I’ve posted here before, I lost my job of 4-1/2 years in Dec 2010. I quickly found another job working at home here in the Fort Worth, Texas area for a Seattle engineering firm in January of this year only to be laid off again in August.

After searching locally for about 6 weeks I was ready to have to leave town and head toward Seattle to go back to work temporarily for the Seattle engineering firm I had been let go from. Out of the blue, I get a call from my old company that I was let go from in December 2010 and they wanted me to start right away. It’s not exactly the type of job I want (it’s basically a job helping the Chinese learn to do my job), but it’s a job for now.

This was my fourth week back at my old company and it’s been a little difficult getting back into 11-hour days, but I am. I’m glad to have a job locally and I didn’t have to leave my family.

I’m not really a political sort of guy anymore. I gave most of that up when I was saved. No man is our savior and whether we know it or not, far too many “evangelical Christians” have too much faith in their elected officials. However, my political soapbox comment of the day has to do with the astonishing amount of work we’re sending overseas.

I know many Americans are aware we’re sending huge amounts of our manufacturing base to China and India, I’m just not sure if most Americans really understand how much. Take for instance the Boeing 747 jumbo jet with it’s millions of parts. While most of the large components are still assembled here in the USA, almost all of the parts are now built in China or South Korea. Literally thousands of high paying jobs along with the skills and technology were siphoned from our industrial base and used to boost the economy of one of the worst human rights violators in the world.

Contrary to popular belief, this wasn’t done because Boeing couldn’t make a profit by making it completely here in the USA, It was done simply because they wanted to make a bigger profit. It’s no longer good enough in America for a corporate executive to be worth 20 million dollars, they want to be worth 200 million and the quickest way there is on the backs of cheap labor.

There is a great shifting of power from the Western world to the Eastern world going on now. This is just as the book of Revelation in the Bible has said it would be in the end times. As much as it disappoints and disheartens me, I know God is in control. He brings rulers up and he brings them low. America doesn’t get a free pass in this.

I don’t know if I’ll see the return of Jesus Christ in my lifetime. I do know, just as my mother said, it’s closer now than ever. Any Christian paying attention can sense it’s coming soon. There is certainly a hardening of hearts like never before. There’s a greed in society like never before. and most of all, even the Church is beginning to tolerate falsehood like never before.

So look up, Christian, because your redemption “draweth nigh”.

With the kind of hours I’ve been working and trying to keep up with my running, I don’t know how often I will be able to post. I miss it, because it’s kind a of a therapeutic thing for me, much like my running. It’s been a hard struggle to go through a change of churches and a change of jobs in the same year.

I know God is still there. He’s never left or forsaken me. It’s just a little tough to see him now, though. I’ve had to force myself at times to continue believing this past year. I’ve had to choose with my mind to believe because my heart certainly hasn’t been in it.

Nevertheless, I continue to hope. Praise be to God the Father through Jesus Christ.

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Watch the 180 Movie

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I Know Like I Know

The news was filled last week with the impending devastation of hurricane Irene. I heard one newscaster describe Irene as “the perfect storm”. While many people lost their lives in the hurricane and there was a lot of property damage, hurricane Irene failed to deliver the devastation many were predicting.

Sometime week before last, about a day or two before Irene made landfall, I received an e-mail from a friend that attended our last church. The e-mail was actually a forwarded e-mail from a woman in a nearby town that runs a “prophetic” ministry. The e-mail contained excerpts of a “prophecy” she was given about hurricane Irene being a judgement upon America brought by God. The general tone of this prophecy was that God was sending this hurricane upon America because the American church was failing to pray like it should. Additionally, at the end of the e-mail, was a link where we could order a CD that contained the “prophecy” in its entirety, for a small donation of course.

The part of the “prophecy” that was forwarded to me was already quite lengthy. I shudder to consider just how long the full length prophecy was. Nevertheless, as I read down the prophecy about the impending doom upon America, the “prophecy” said that if the American church would only begin to pray like it should, hurricane Irene would be turned out to sea. The “prophecy” also went on to describe that as we began to pray, that further judgements would be turned back and as we continued to pray that eventually America would be “taken for God” and we would be swept into this great end time harvest of souls.

Sound familiar? Sounds a lot like the typical doctrines of the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) to me.

Nowhere in this lengthy “prophecy” excerpt was there a call for us to preach the Gospel. No where was there a call for man to repent and turn to God.  In all fairness I hadn’t heard the full length prophecy and there is a possibility there was more on the CD to be ordered. But from what I was reading, the direction the prophecy was taking was that we could all make the world a much better place and “take it for God” if we would only pray and pray. In other words, we could all collectively change God’s mind to what we believe needed to happen.

I composed a short e-mail and sent it back to all the original recipients. I, of course, offended some of them. In a kind and gentle way, I said what the American church really needed was to get back to preaching the Gospel. To have such heart for the lost that we feared what could happen to them if a hurricane DID hit them and take their lives before they had heard the Gospel. I said that the American church had turned so far from the Biblical Gospel and had been chasing a man-centered, “best life now” sort of Gospel for too long. This is what we needed to repent of and begin to preach the true Gospel to a lost world.

Additionally, and this is probably where the offense was taken, I stated that this world doesn’t get better. I stated that there is no great “end-time harvest” in which the entire world turns to Jesus Christ. Sadly, the majority will reject Jesus and the Gospel. This isn’t something that my former friends wanted to hear because of the type of doctrine they have come to depend on.

Briefly, my former church friends have increasingly come to embrace a doctrine of the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) that states that there will be an “army” of end-time prophets that will rise up and perform such signs and miracles that the entire  world will turn to Jesus Christ and usher in His second coming. This “end-time harvest” will then usher in the return of Jesus Christ. This is, of course, very unbiblical.

The Bible is very clear that when Jesus returns not only will the entire sinful world not be expecting His return, but many in the true church will be asleep as well. Take for example:

[25:1] “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. [2] Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. [3] For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, [4] but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. [5] As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. [6] But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ [7] Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. [8] And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ [9] But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ [10] And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. [11] Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ [12] But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ [13] Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. (Matthew 25:1-13ESV)

Notice how even the wise virgins with the oil were asleep. They were prepared for His return, but nevertheless asleep. There won’t be this massive waiting on the return of Jesus. When Jesus returns the majority of the church will be asleep.

Consider also:

[13] “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. [14] For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:13-14ESV)

Jesus Himself said few will find the narrow gate. The trials of this life and the pursuit of “our best life now” will ensnare most. Most will choose the easy path that will lead them to destruction. The “gate” is the church. The sinful world doesn’t choose to enter through any gate. The majority of the “church” will choose the easy path to destruction.

Finally, take at the book of Revelation. I don’t pretend to be an expert on the book of Revelation by any means. I do, however, believe that this is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”, just as it’s titled. In other words, this book was given to John in order to reveal to the world just who Jesus Christ is. I firmly believe that Revelation was not given by God to be completely shrouded in mystery. I believe that a common man seeking after the heart of God through prayer and Bible study can understand the majority of the book. I don’t believe for one second that there are only a few who have been gifted by God to be able to properly interpret the book of Revelation. Like any other scripture it’s meant to be read and heeded. Though I don’t believe the things shown in the book have all come to pass yet, and we won’t fully understand much of scripture until they do,  I believe it is meant for the common Christian to understand. The trouble is, a mockery has been made out of the book of Revelation because too many self-serving people have tried to capitalize on its symbolism for their own agendas.

Take a look at the following passage:

[9:1] And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. [2] He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. [3] Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth. [4] They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. [5] They were allowed to torment them for five months, but not to kill them, and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings someone. [6] And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them. [7] In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, [8] their hair like women’s hair, and their teeth like lions’ teeth; [9] they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. [10] They have tails and stings like scorpions, and their power to hurt people for five months is in their tails. [11] They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon. [12] The first woe has passed; behold, two woes are still to come. [13] Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God, [14] saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” [15] So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind. [16] The number of mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand; I heard their number. [17] And this is how I saw the horses in my vision and those who rode them: they wore breastplates the color of fire and of sapphire and of sulfur, and the heads of the horses were like lions’ heads, and fire and smoke and sulfur came out of their mouths. [18] By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths. [19] For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents with heads, and by means of them they wound. [20] The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, [21] nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. (Revelation 9 ESV) (bold emphasis mine)

Above is merely an example of the types of things seen throughout the book of Revelation. Thunder, hail, death, earthquakes, war, and disease. These things are prophesied in scripture. As sure as Jesus will someday return as promised in scripture, these things seen in the book of Revelation will also come to pass. As an example, if we were to pray as hard as we could for Jesus not to return, it wouldn’t happen because it’s a promise of God. Likewise, if we band together and pray for one of these hailstorms that’s meant to be a judgement of God to cease, it’s not possible because it, too, is a judgement of God.

Now, I’m not saying here that we should never pray for protection from a storm. Nor am I saying that God may never turn a storm or other natural disaster that’s headed our way. What I am saying is that if anyone, prophet or otherwise, thinks that every single judgment from God can be avoided if we would merely band together and pray, they’re just plain wrong.

I’m not really sure how everyone thinks the judgements listed in the Book of Revelation will come about, but think about this: If Jesus was hovering visibly over the Earth shooting giant hail and thunderbolts, don’t you think people would bow and repent in His presence? I would think so. So here’s what I think about the judgements in Revelation: I think they are to be taken fairly literally. In other words, when it says Large hailstones Kill a bunch of men, I believe it will appear here on earth just like any other hailstorm, only much more cataclysmic. People won’t visually see God doing it. When the Revelation speaks of pestilence, it will appear on Earth like any other disease, such as the swine flu, that’s swept the Earth before, only on a much grander scale like’s never been seen before. The reason people will refuse to repent of their immorality is that it will appear like any other natural disaster, although much bigger, and people on Earth will refuse to believe that God Almighty controls the heavens and the Earth.

Look at this scripture:

[8] And he said, “See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them. [9] And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once.”[10] Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. [11] There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. (Luke 21:8-11 ESV)

Notice how Jesus said “for these things must first take place”. No matter how hard you pray, there will just be some natural disasters that can’t be stopped. It’s bold and arrogant in the face of Almighty God to think that only if we would all band together we can convince God to do otherwise.

So what are we to do? First of all, we’re to pray like Jesus:

“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luke22:42ESV)

We won’t know which natural disasters He’s willing to turn and which are judgments. Therefore we are to pray as Jesus prayed on all things. I don’t need another CD-hocking “prophet” to tell me this, I have God’s eternal word, the Bible to tell me how to pray.

Secondly, we know the Bible tells us to preach the Gospel both in season and out of season. In other words, we are to always preach the Gospel because the Bible says it’s the power unto salvation. But before that can be done, we need to have a handle on just what the Gospel is. I’ve spent a lot of time in a lot of different churches the last couple of years and I can assure that most Christians have no clue what the Gospel is, though most think they do.

Finally, we need to realize that there are judgements and disasters coming on this Earth that can’t be stopped. Disasters like have never been since the Earth began. Regardless of when you think the “rapture” takes place, read Matthew 24 and Luke 21 and it’s clear we Christians will experience at least some form of natural disasters before the return of Jesus. No matter how hard we pray, they can’t be stopped because it’s the beginning of the birth pains.

Look up, and pray for wisdom. Pray that you will be spared the judgements of God. Most of all, preach the Gospel………The true Gospel, for only by the Gospel may men be saved from what’s coming upon the Earth.

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Of God and Jalopys

After a grueling 1-month plus search, I just bought my daughter her first car today.

The truth be told, it was a kind of cooperative purchase. My daughter has had a savings account since she was a baby that all of her extra loose change went into. She used that money to pitch in a little. My wife and I contributed more, along with a gift from her grandfather. Together she was able to get her a pretty nice little Scion with some very high mileage. However, I think it’s a good little car and will service her well for a while.

As I stated earlier, the search for this car lasted for over a month. I went into this whole “first car” search totally unprepared. I guess because of the economy and the gas prices, the price of small, cheap, fuel-efficient cars has gone through the roof. More than that, though, is the fact that there just aren’t that many to choose from at any price.

We live in a metropolitan area with an excess of 5 million people. You would think there would be an abundance of good, cheap, small cars, especially since this is Texas. We do love our pickup trucks, you know. But during this last month, I spent an excess of $300 in fuel searching for a car that was just deemed “acceptable”. I wasn’t picky, honest. I merely wanted a car that didn’t look like it had been through a night of joy riding by a bunch of drunk teenage boys. I guess that was going to prove to be far more difficult than I realized.

My father has a sort of philosophy. He says you can learn something from every single person, if you’re just willing to pay attention. you may not learn the right way to do things, but you can learn what nor to do. Either way, it’s learning from others. See, this isn’t my first go-around with buying a car. At all. I’ve bought many, from all kinds of people for all kinds of prices, with all kinds of mileage. But I guess I what I learned during this experience tops all others I’ve ever had.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Since 1998 there apparently hasn’t been a car manufactured in any colors other than silver and black.
  • Appearantly, every car has been totaled and has a “salvaged” title.
  • Apparently the term “never been in an accident” doesn’t apply to wrinkled fenders and caved in doors.
  • Additionally, the term “good, clean, straight car” doesn’t apply to cars that have been beaten so badly with hail that they look like a large golf ball.
  • The length of the list of after market speed parts installed by the previous owner is directly proportionate the amount of underwear showing over the young male owner’s baggy pants.

Nevertheless, although it was a long experience, it all turned out well in the end. She got a good car and though we paid higher than we originally intended for a car, it’s still a lower price than what most are selling for currently.

Like everything else in our lives, especially so in tough times, this experience of finding a car for my daughter was another lesson I needed in God’s sovereign timing and grace.

When we started looking for a car we prayed that we would find her a good car we could afford. As time went on, the whole ‘afford’ thing was beginning to look a little hopeless. Again, this is a metro area of 5 million plus and although it seems unbelievable, we really weren’t that picky. Nevertheless, we prayed….several times.

Finally we found a good car but it was too expensive. We had just finally concluded we were going to have to break down and spend even more and we committed to buy the car.

In God’s timing and grace, though, the owner of the car went out of town for over a week and we couldn’t complete the sale. While waiting, impatiently I might add, another car just like the one we had settled on popped up for sale. Same car, same condition, same high mileage. The biggest difference was that it was over $2000 cheaper……well, and silver, of course.

During this entire car search God knew just what we needed and I have to believe that in spite of our impatience, everything worked out according to God’s timing. After all, didn’t we ask him to help us find one we could afford?

As a believer, God is involved in every detail of our lives. He’s making straight our way and leveling our paths before us. We only have to ask and believe. And of course, be willing to accept His will.

Too many Christians want to hear an audible voice, or even a sign from God. I’m the worst. However, in the day-to-day life of a believer God is unfolding their life before them, according to His will. Through prayer and patience, God carries those that are His along through life.

When something like this car deal works out the way it does in my life, I’m always left feeling a little ashamed before God. I guess shame isn’t really the word. More like humbled. Oh, sure, I pray and claim to have faith, but I’m always trying to push forward rather than accepting His timing and His will. Then in the end, after it’s over, I can always look back and see even the smallest details that God was orchestrating in the matter.

I guess that’s what faith in God is. It’s not convincing yourself He’s going to heal you or fill your checking account. It’s praying, waiting, and trusting that He will work it all out for the best, according to His will, because He loves us.

Faith, after all, is actually coming to believe the promises God has already given us, not pressing Him for more.

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Tough Decisions

This last month has been one of the tougher months I’ve been through in a long time.

The problem with the statement I just typed is that it seems like I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, because going on for about four years now it seems like it’s been nothing more than one bumpy ride that tests my faith in God weekly. I know that the book of Hebrews states that the Lord disciplines those He loves and the book of James states that trials come our way in order for the Lord to build our faith and perseverance and that when He is finished that we will lack nothing. In other words, He will use these things to conform us more into the image of His Son, Jesus.

The problem is, though I know these things in my head, I can’t seem to let them sink deeply into my heart.

I lost my job again Monday two weeks ago, the “cushy” work-from-home job that I began working in January of this year. Much of the work I was doing is now being sent out to Moscow, Russia….yep, that’s right, Moscow.

Little by little my line of work is being sent mostly to India, however,  and it’s becoming difficult to find work in my field in the area where I live.  Sure, I could go elsewhere to find work, but we have roots here;  the kids’ friends, grandparents, and my wife’s job that she loves so much are all here. Additionally, although I am not that old, I’m becoming too old to start over. You know, braces, college tuition, mortgage, teen’s first car, and all that other jazz that keeps our nose to the grindstone and makes it nearly impossible to switch career fields later in life.

In the middle of all this, as I’ve blogged here many times before, My wife and I have been on a new church search for over a year and a half and we finally settled into one about eight  weeks ago. Although we don’t really have that feeling that it’s the “best church in the world”, it meets all the biblical criteria of a good gospel-centered church and it’s where we need to be at this stage in our life. The pastor’s a good man and preaches through the bible faithfully.

I guess the problem is that I’m a little stunned. Just when I kind of thought that all of this “wandering in the desert” was about over, I’m thrown another curve ball. Since January I’ve been looking for another job, because I’ve always felt like this work-from-home job wouldn’t last forever. I’ve prayed, searched, panicked, and finally settled it in my mind that it’s where I needed to be. Then after a gut wrenching and painful search for a church, we felt like we finally had settled into a good church.

Now here we are, the fourth layoff in seven years, we finally realize something needs to change. But what? Over and over we’ve asked God for wisdom. The Bible says in James that God will give wisdom freely to all who ask…….as long as we don’t doubt. If we doubt, we can’t expect to receive anything from God because we’re like a wave tossed about in the wind.

I guess that’s just what I am. A wind-tossed wave.

Between four job losses, the loss of my church home, the resulting loss of longtime friends, the loss of my mother and my nephew, the confusion, and the strain on my marriage I guess I have a difficult time saying with confidence that when I ask God for wisdom that I do it without doubt. Over and over again I pray, I fear, and I doubt.

He is the King of Kings, The Lord of Lords, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. He is the Salvation of sinners, the Lamb of God, the One who frees us of our bondage. His grace is sufficient for me. He is all I need. He is the very breath of life in me and I know He loves me…..yet I still doubt.

Oh, what a wretched man am I.

Forgive me, oh God, and uphold me with Your grace for I fear that I may be swallowed and consumed by my doubt.

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