No One Wants To Be Locked Out

Originally posted on Thoughts From The Porch:

 

 While out running errands, Jim calls me up only to tell me he has locked his keys in his truck. He wanted me to come to the rescue with the spare key that was supposedly on my key ring. Then, as the conversation progressed, it was brought to our realization that the spare key was the key locked in the truck! I had given Jim my copy of the truck key when his key broke one evening. Needless to say, a locksmith had to be called to get Jim back into his truck.

Ironically this incident happened the day before we begin lent which will lead us into celebrating  our risen Saviour. In the beginning when God created the world, he created paradise where he allowed Adam and Eve to live. But, Adam and Eve had boundaries which, in the end, were tempted by the serpent. They crossed those boundaries given…

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Don’t Let The Pirates Take You Down

Originally posted on Thoughts From The Porch:

pirates

On April 8, 2009 there was a cargo ship heading for Mombasa Kenya. The Captain of the Ship was Richard Phillips. The ship consisted of twenty crew members.  CNN breaks in with breaking news that this cargo ship had been boarded by modern-day pirates.

For those of you who know your geography, you know that the waters  this cargo ship was sailing are known for piracy. Therefore, it makes sense that Captains and crew members who sail ships through this area are trained in how to handle an attack by pirates. It is through this training that the captain stepped up not letting the pirates get the best of him.  It is also through this level of discipline that our trained armed forces were able to secure the release of  the Captain and his crew. The Captain was not going to allow these pirates to take him and his crew…

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Run to God Not From Him

He makes all things beautiful

Today, my Tuesday morning small group started a new study,  Jonah by Priscilla  Shirer. Since the video was going to be a short one, our leader decided that we would read the book of Jonah before we watched the introductory video.  Each one of us took a turn to read this story of  divine intervention.  As it became my turn to read chapter two, I had flashbacks of last year coming to mind. I saw how God had and has delivered me  and how his small quiet voice has led me to healing.  In those few moments of reading, I felt the Holy Spirit wrap around me and embrace me.

Before I continue on, read with me Jonah’s prayer to God as he sat in the belly of the fish.

Prayer of Jonah Jonah Chapter Two

Prayer of Jonah
Jonah Chapter Two

Jonah

Chapter Two

Jonah’s Prayer NIV

In my distress I called to the LORD 

and he answered me. 

From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, 

and you listened to my cry.

You have hurled me into the depths,

in to the very heart of the seas,

and the currents swirled around me.;

all your waves and breakers

swept over me. 

I said, “I have been banished

from your sight,

yet I will look again 

toward your holy temple.

The engulfing waters threaten me,

the deep surrounded me;

seaweed was wrapped around my head.

To the roots of the mountains I sank down;

the earth beneath me  barred me forever. 

But you, LORD my God, 

brought my life from the pit. 

When my life was ebbing away,

I remembered you LORD,

and my prayer rose to you, 

to your holy temple. 

Those who cling to worthless idols

turn away from God’s love for them. 

But I, with shouts of grateful praise,

with sacrifice to you. 

What I have vowed I will make good. 

I will say, “Salvation comes from the LORD.”

And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.   

Jonah running

You see, God had a plan for Jonah’s life. Jonah was one of the prophets. Yet, he would not listen to God’s instructions and follow through on God’s calling.  God wanted Jonah to go preach in Nineveh. Nineveh was not the purest of places. It was a place of false gods, denying the true God and exploiting the hopeless, and the list can go on of the wickedness of Nineveh. However, Jonah did not feel like he could handle this calling from God. He didn’t want to face this task and what would be somewhat of a challenge.  Instead, he chose to run from God.  However, as we read, running from God got Jonah nowhere but in the belly of a big fish!

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I have written blogs about how I thought how my plans should go. Yet, in the midst of those plans, God sends an interruption and sometimes these interruptions have caused me to make a U-turn or have put me on a course I didn’t even think I would be going.

There have been times when these interruptions made me feel like Jonah sitting in the belly of a big fish. It felt as though waves were crashing around me and I was in a pit so deep I didn’t think I could even begin to crawl out. Yes, I have even been tempted and even tried to run from God instead of to him when these interruptions have occurred. However, deep in my soul I knew and know running is not the answer.

Lost and Confused Signpost

Fall 2014 I found myself one afternoon crying out to God. My ability to withstand the waves in the belly of all that was going on in my life had become more than I could handle. Through what seemed to be one big tidal wave, I stretched my hand out to God asking him to help me.

whispers of God

The God whom I felt had become silent spoke to me. He sent whispers of hope through scripture, through people and turning my eyes into a different and new direction. It was a direction I never thought I would take. Yet, it was during this tidal wave where God revealed his plan for me and showed me it was time for a new season in my life.

eye of love

After reading the scripture aloud in my group this morning, I shared how this scripture was impacting me at that very moment. I shared where I had been and where I hear God leading me. It is in this new season God has brought me to healing. No, I am not totally healed and it is a process. As each day passes, I seek God’s blessings in the midst of the interruptions. The biggest lesson is that it is far better to run to God rather than run from God.  It is in running to God and crying out to him in the midst of the waves is where he reaches down and pulls us  out of the belly of the fish. As this rescue process takes place, new birth (salvation) comes into place.

As a reader, you may be experiencing your own set of tidal waves. I encourage you to don’t give up and to be in tuned to God’s voice. Most importantly don’t run from God but run to him.

 

I run to you

Andrew…..Fisher of Men

ANDREW…..Fisher of Men

 

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Drew laying down on the skywalk at the Sears/Willis Tower in Chicago

My Dearest Andrew:

It is the eve of your twenty-eighth birthday.  It seems that in the last few days God has placed people in my path that had an influence on your life. These people have been coaches, teachers, mentors, and friends who watched you grow up. When running across these people it is not uncommon for them to ask what you are up to these days. As we talk, I shake my head in trying to get my head around that I have a son who is getting a little closer to thirty.

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It has become a tradition of recent years to go back to writing letters to you especially on your birthday as I did when you were younger. The last few days I have pondered as to what to say in this letter. Many thoughts flood my mind but putting those thoughts into words on paper don’t come easy. What do you say to a son who is wise beyond his years, who has his feet planted in biblical teachings and in recent years has given me counsel and insights? 

This evening as I opened my computer to my site to write your birthday letter, I opened my bible to

Matthew 4: 18-20:

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee,

he saw two brothers,  Simon called Peter

and

his brother, Andrew.

They were casting their nets into the lake, for they were fishermen.

‘Come follow me’, Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out

to fish for people. At once they left their nets and

followed him.

contentment

Drew, you have demonstrated that scripture time and time again to Dad and me. You have lived up to the name of Andrew. When you were little you loved getting the fishing pole and going fishing with one of your grandfathers and/or with your dad.  It wasn’t so much the fact you wanted to catch a fish but it was the time you spent with this men that was important to you. I know on these fishing trips with your grandfathers and/or dad you were given words of wisdom. They taught you what it means to be true to yourself and God.  You learned many life lessons that I have seen you live out in your life. 

In my reflecting back over the years, I see where you put your fishing pole down and began fishing for men. I remember the many mission trips I helped you pack and sent you on while in youth group. You were always so pumped and excited to be going to help someone who needed help and needed the love of Christ shown to them.   I remember times when you and I would be out and about on errands and someone needed food, money or something of the like and you would pull on my arm asking if we could help the person. 

direction in l ife

College came. As you began those college years, you became involved in Campus Crusade for Christ. You were limited in how much you could be involved due to your running/training and coursework. However, at every opportunity, you were there being a part of an outreach ministry. Your senior year you were able to go on the Spring Break mission trip. This trip was to the South side of Chicago which was not the safest place in the world but you were determined to go meet up with the group.  On your return home, you shared with me how you were assigned different areas in Chicago each day to share the gospel. One of your encounters was talking with an atheist in one of the parks. As you shared your Chicago experience, you told me you planned to go to Chicago to live after graduation. Needless to say, I was stunned. You didn’t know anyone there and had no job lined up. Yet, you had faith and a calling to go. You wanted to do street ministry on the weekends. As I look back on the chain of events, I see where God’s hand was in his leading you to Chicago and how you listened to his voice.  

Challenges Ahead

Through these reflections, I also see where God began to nudge you that it was time to move on from Chicago to another adventure. You had your eye on two places in Atlanta. There was one you pursued but it was not in God’s timing for you to be there. God had another stepping stone for you to take in preparing you for what he had planned for you. After a year in this position in Atlanta, the place you once had your eye on, called you. At first, you weren’t so sure if it was the right timing but after they called the second time, you realized this was God opening the door. After prayerful consideration, you walked through that opened door.  The irony of this position is that one of your running buddies gave you a book written by the CEO of this firm on graduation and saying; “you never know Drew, you may work for him and his firm one day.” I think at the time it was something that was just a dream for you. Yet, in looking back in that exchange I see God was using your friend to prepare your heart for what was ahead for you on your journey. 

Once again, you are fulfilling the name of Andrew, fisher of men. You are a part of a faith-based organization that equips and helps other fisher of men share the gospel to others in communities and around the world.  Not only are you working for this faith-based organization but Megan and you are very involved in your church and outreach in your community. It is through your actions I see you are a fisher of men not some of the time but all of the time. You are aware of the needs of those around you.  When it comes to giving of yourself, you don’t think twice. You just do it. 

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My dearest Andrew, as I have told you before, the day you were born a terrible storm came up as I was in labor with you. Yet, just moments after you came into the world, the storm ceased and the most beautiful rainbow was shinning outside our hospital window. Your dad and I took it as a sign from God that he had a special plan for you.   As you have grown up, you have listened to his voice and have been obedient to his calling. Many times you have laid down your net and went where God has led you. 

life story

While sitting here writing this letter, I have the book, The Little Red Book of Wisdom by Mark DeMoss opened.  My eyes fell on this sentence on page seventeen; “People who want to claim or reclaim their true north can start by examining their passions  by asking what makes their hearts leap.” This one sentence brings things full circle. You were raised to recognize your passion and what makes your heart leap. Then, a few years back, you shot me a message on Facebook one afternoon the question; “What is your passion?” “What makes your heart leap?” You told me to think on it and pray about it and you would get back with me in a couple of days. It is out of your passion, compassion and following the call of Christ is why I have my blog site today.  You, my son, have taught me how to be a fisher of men in ways I never imagined I would be doing. 

Drew, my wish for you this birthday is to be showered with blessings as you have showered many on your path with blessings and Christ-like love. You have had quite the journey thus far and my heart wells up with joy in seeing all that you have done and are doing.  As our family has always said, “we are the only bible that some people will read”, you have made that bible a good read. 

music happy birthday

Have a wonderful birthday.

I love you very much,

Mom

My son, Drew resides in Atlanta with his wife, Megan and four-legged child, Theo. Drew is currently employed by the DeMoss Group as their social media director. 

My son, Drew with his pup, Theo.

My son, Drew with his pup, Theo.

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We Need To Bow Down

Originally posted on Thoughts From The Porch:

bowing before God

” I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like fire; brilliant light surrounding him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I feel facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.” Ezekiel 1:27-28

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This description of what Ezekiel is experiencing in the presence of the LORD just gives me chills.  I can only imagine what Ezekiel was thinking and feeling at this moment of time.  The study notes in my Life Application Bible say this; The glory of the LORD appeared like fire and brilliant light to Ezekiel. Ezekiel fell facedown, overwhelmed by the contrast between God’s holiness and his own sinfulnessinsignificance.”

it's in the waiting

In one of the Beth Moore studies that I participated in with my…

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We’re Here!

April:

So many times in life, we forget that God is in control. In our effort to get to where God wants us to be we take the wheel in attempt to get to the destination he has set for us. As a result, we arrive but not at the intended destination.

Originally posted on Thoughts From The Porch:

family vacation

We’re Here!

washington dc

We’re here!  Were the words my father spoke to the security guard standing out in the Nation’s Capital drive area. You see, my family was on vacation to see the sites of Washington, DC and to visit with my aunt. After many long hours of riding and my brother begging my dad to stop and talk to a sign from time to time (the fast food drive-thru), we arrived in DC at the peak of rush hour!

Stuck in the round about

It was like a scene from European Vacation

As my dad tried to navigate through the metro area of DC, he was quick to learn that streets and lanes change to accommodate the traffic. After many u-turns and barely missing a few flower beds, Dad thought he had reached a parking area or at least where he could find some sort of direction. Thus,  pulling up to our Nation’s Capital and…

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Pray Without Ceasing

bless our nation

 

Over the weeks, we have been inundated with news of Christians being persecuted.  From time to time I will post a “Random” thought on Facebook. It is out of  hearing and reading the current events as they are that prompted me to write the following a couple of weeks ago. 

what is on your mind

As I go through Facebook, I see many post about the current situation of our World and  persecution of Christians. It really upsets me to see this taking place in our world. What concerns me most is the fact that our founding fathers founded this country on and with Godly principles.

It seems that today there is little tolerance for Christian values to be shared and practiced without offending someone. Yet, we are to respect other religious beliefs without question.

children praying in school

I remember as a child in elementary school where we had devotional, prayer and the pledge before we started our day. Yes, it was in a public school. I remember where my dad would be asked to lead the invocation at the beginning of sporting events which not long after I graduated this was removed from sporting venues.

prayer before football game

From what I am seeing on television and what I am seeing posted on Facebook, we are at a place where we better wake up and take a stand. We as a people need to get back on our knees and pray for our country and our world. Most of all, we need to pray for leadership that will show honor and respect for what this country was founded on.

Sam the Eagle

I very rarely speak out on political issues on Facebook. I tend to keep my thoughts to myself. Yet, this afternoon, after seeing one article after another on what is going on in our world I felt the need to say something.

 

As the cliché goes; “if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” Let’s take a stand and bring this country and its leaders back to its Godly foundation.

” Never stop praying.” 1 Thessalonians  5:17

My we pray without ceasing!

pray for America