Friday, November 14, 2014

God's Protection

I have wandered recently if I've missed God in my life. Let me rephrase. I know I have missed God in my life. There have been blessings I didn't recognize as blessings. There have been struggles meant to refine. Their have been trials (oooooh boy have their been trials) that I have no answer for.

And what if. WHAT IF those trials protected me?

It's hard to explain what I mean, but I'm going to try.

A job loss that seemed devastating. Unable to find something after the unemployment ran out. Commission sale job that no one would buy a really excellent product. But then, the right job that fit with schedules and allowed flexibility for going back to school and volunteering at church and meeting commitments with family. The timing had to be right. The trial of the lost job forced you to find something else better, and to look hard at your life and what you should be doing.

How many times have I only see the trial and the struggle and the blessing, but not connected the two together? I'm going to keep my eyes open and try to be a little more perceptive from here on.

Saturday, November 8, 2014


I like to watch the show Gold Rush on the Discovery Network. It is a reality show that chronicles 3 or 4 different gold mining operations. On the episode we watched today they showed one of the crews taking their 34 ounces of gold to be smelted. The 34 ounces of gold was melted in a furnace of 2000 degrees to smelt out the impurities. After this, it was 27 ounces of pure gold, they poured it in a mold and a had bar of gold.

Proverbs 25:4 says "Remove the impurities from silver, and the sterling will be ready for the silversmith."

Zechariah 13:9 "I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure. I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, 'These are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.'"

Earlier this week my morning devotion talked about how we can't control what happens to us, but we are responsible for our response. It can take a while to work through painful experiences in our lives. But God knows how to turn these painful experiences and bring from them blessings. While it's necessary to get through the process of grieving, loss, process the pain, but all the while we can hang on to God and allow him to bring the blessing from it.

We may not always like our circumstances. We may not be able to ever believe it was a good experience. We may never say "it made me a better person". Reality is, some trials leave you shaken to the core. Some leave you broken in a way that only the miraculous healing hand of God can hold you together.

I have some experiences I'm not thankful for. I still feel pain, and I wonder what blessing, what work God was able to do in me, or if it's complete yet. But if through these trials he was able to purify my heart, even a little, then there was a benefit. I won't say I want it to happen, I won't say I'm thankful for it. I'll simply just allow my Savior to use it in my life for his purpose, and trust that he knows best.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Acts 1:11 "This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

I've been reading the newest book of David Jeremiah's, "Agents of the Apocalypse". I love end times fiction. (I love disaster movies, too). There is a lot of theological disagreement surrounding the end times. I am not educated enough in this area to talk knowledgeably about it. I know what I believe, and I know why, but some things are not worth arguing about, and I rank this one up their with gay marriage, abortion, and church worship styles. I know what I believe. I know what I read in the Bible. But there is so much division in the world (and in the church) and I would really like to see the church come together and love each other and put in practice the "iron sharpens iron" and discuss why we believe what we do and give thought to opposing ideas. This would tend to make us do one of two things. 1. Defend, at least, to ourselves, why we believe what we believe, or 2. realize we are wrong and change.

Tomorrow is election day. Our chance to make our voices heard. To take a stand for what we believe in. And this year, as most, I'm confused. All the candidates are telling us all the things wrong with the other candidates, don't know who stands for what. The chance to change the country's leaders. Maybe the direction our country is going. And I don't know many people who are okay with the status quo.

I find comfort that "this same Jesus" is alive and well and living here in the hearts of Christians. No matter the outcome, I know we're in his hands, and because of that, everything will be all right. Until he comes back in the same way he left for Heaven. Then, we are really going to see change.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

I've missed this...

I've missed writing. I've missed my blog. It seems like the perfect time to pick it back up because, well, I want to.

Steve and I just got back from vacation. I thought about all the adjectives I could use to describe our vacation, but they all seemed trite. They might fit, but trite, nonetheless. I told my boss before we left, when he asked what we were going to do, that we were going to eat good food, see interesting places and do cool stuff. And we did. How could you not have a great time with 3.5 days in Niagara Falls? We could see the Falls from the corner of our hotel. And then 3 days in Hull, Massachusetts, a peninsula that connects to Boston. We stayed right on the North Atlantic Ocean, 50 yards away.

Ran the Niagara Falls International Marathon. Took a ferry ride into the Falls. Went to Niagara on the Lake and toured the historic district and wineries. Walked the Freedom Trail. Saw the USS Constitution, Old North Church, Paul Revere's House. Went to Plymouth and saw Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower (2) and a got a guided tour of the area by a tour guide. Ate at Cheer's, Wahlburgers, Planet Hollywood, Barefoot Bob's, Mikes Sandwich shop, and IHOP (lol). Saw friends.

Redeemed one more of my "tainted memories". I've been on a 3.5 year mission to replace hurtful memories of places with new good memories. I have one place left, and I'm excited to head there in the spring. It's surprising how much this process has worked. Everything from restaurants, churches, vacation spots, and local Wichita locations, I've been able to take the bad moments and memories and make new. So when the trigger comes, I have a replacement.

Vacation was exhausting. And fun. And interesting. And informative. I learned about our history. I saw beauty. And I'm glad to be home.

I finished my 5th marathon. Got a medal and a shirt. Suffered. Chafing that still hurts a week later. Two black toenails. Seriously fatigued legs. I'm so glad I went. So glad I did all the stuff.

Tomorrow I start a new healthy eating plan with Steve (his request, I figure if I'm doing it for him, I'm going to benefit too), another week and I start my next marathon training. I go back to work tomorrow after 11 days off. I'm already looking forward to Thanksgiving break.

So if anybody is out there after my 3 month break, glad you are here!