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Cardboard Testimonies…

I saw a video the other day and it moved me to share it here.

We all have a story to tell, but often times we do not want others to know about our past. They might not like us or they might sit in judgment of our choices or how we choose to live our lives. But there is not one of us who is perfect and we all make mistakes. In God’s eyes not one of our mistakes or choices is worse than another – although by the world’s standards there seems to be a measuring device where others decide one sin is worse than another, but that is simply not how God views it. Sin is sin, bad choices are bad choices, we all make them in our lives and we all unfortunately live with them and sometimes the weight of them gets very heavy and the burden gets so heavy we cannot carry them anymore. We might think we are not good enough for God and that He might reject us too, but He is not that way!

God has an answer for anything that we struggle with or ails us and we can have a new life if we choose to accept Him into our hearts. He wants to relieve you of the load you carry, He wants to take the weight of your past choices and mistakes and replace them with Him. He does not want you to carry the weight of that any longer, He only wants good things for you.

In 1 Peter 5:7 it states, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” If you feel that no one cares, He does!! If you trust in God, this is His promise to you: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.” “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11.
In Psalms 31:7 He tells us: “I see your hardships and I care about your suffering.” In the world today there are so few people who care about what happens to others, most are thinking about themselves only and they do not even see the people who are hurting and need a friend, a shoulder, a hand up, a way out of their life choices and they pass by them every day in their travels.

Please watch the video and see that it does not matter what you have been through, what you are going through now, what you cannot seem to get free from, what you cannot overcome and see that others have found an answer to those problems and are free of what kept them from experiencing life as God intended.

Please feel free to share if you would like! I am praying for those who are struggling with bad choices or life circumstances that have you doubting whether God cares – asking that God will show you that life is not hopeless and there is joy in knowing Him! God Bless all who read this.

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A Homeless man Church goers ignored…

I am sure many have read this story online, as it has been around for a while now, but I just felt God urging me to share it on my blog and hoping that it touches and opens hearts to those in need in this country.

Pastor dresses as a homeless man...

Pastor dresses as a homeless man…

A pastor transformed himself into a homeless man and came 30 minutes before worship to a church of 10,000 to greet those coming to attend that morning worship. Many looked at him with stares, dirty looks, and down their nose at him. He asked for change for food and no one gave him any. Only 3 people of the 7-10,000 came up to greet him and welcome him there. He went to sit up in the front row and the ushers ushered him to the back row. He sat and listened to the morning announcements and following that the ushers got up and excitedly (they were in on him dressing this way) introduced the congregation to their new pastor. They began to clap and the clapping soon stopped when the homeless man at the back got up and began to walk to the front and the congregation became quiet. He walked up to the microphone and paused for a moment and began to recite:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ ‘The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:35-45

After he recites these verses he looks towards the congregation and begins to tell them what he experienced before the service began and many were crying and many others hung their heads in shame. He then said to them, “Today I see a gathering of people, not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples. When will YOU decide to become disciples?” He then dismisses church until next week.

Our walk with Christ should be more than talk – it should be action and we should be the feet of Jesus on earth. More importantly we are not these people’s judge, but God calls us to help our brothers and sisters in Christ. Many think it will never, ever happen to them, but one can never be sure of that – countless people have experienced hardships that they never dreamed they would ever have to face or live through. God never promises life will be without problems, besides problems make one stronger, more humble, and keeps you closer to Christ. If everything went your way and you had no troubles you would have no need for a Savior!

When I was younger I read the novel by Charles Sheldon called “In His Steps.” It was based on sermons Sheldon gave to his congregation in Topeka, Kansas. In this book Rev. Henry Maxwell encounters a homeless man who challenges him to take seriously the imitation of Christ. It was a great read and one that makes you question the things you encounter in life and ask “What Would Jesus Do?”

The homeless pastor above gave his church members something to ponder the first week he was there and to question their walk in Christ. We are to be a light in this dark world, we are to reach out and help the less fortunate whether we think they deserve it or not and treat them as we would want to be treated.

I am presently experiencing a loss of my job, which happened back in December 2013, due to no fault of my own. I know if I did not have my family, who is helping me, that I could also find myself homeless and down and out. Did I deserve to be laid off – NO, but we live in a world where there are no guarantees and what was once a sure thing today may not be a sure thing tomorrow. Even people who find themselves fired do not often deserve it, employers in most states do not need a solid reason to send you packing and it can be as lame as not wearing the right color pantyhose to work or having the wrong view point – it may have nothing to do with your work performance and may have everything to do with their personal preferences of what they are wanting in an employee. That is the evil world we live in now days.

I doubt the majority of homeless, down on their luck people wished to be in the shoes they are in now or without their job. I doubt any of them love to go up to total strangers and beg for change to get a hot cup of coffee or a sandwich for lunch that day. Can you for a moment place yourself in the shoes of those who have less and think of how it feels to have no one to help you, no one to turn to for assistance when you find yourself without money or resources to pull yourself out of a pit?

America is a country God blessed for so many years and He has given it much and the land of plenty should never have had homeless or people down on their luck living within its borders. Could this be another reason God is judging this great nation?

This week when you encounter someone homeless or down on their luck – what can you do to make a difference in their life? What can you do to get out of your comfort zone and be a bright light in their dark world? Put yourself in their shoes and ask how you would want to be treated and What Would Jesus Do if He were here? It will make your life much richer to not question, but to do what you can for another – it can change your heart and life in ways you never imagined! 🙂

The Future Belongs to God….holding onto that!

As each day passes and I am still finding myself searching for work that is not to be had – I am struggling with what my future holds.

I have always been able to find work in my field, but this time it is proving to be next to impossible locating any work around my home town. I was laid off the beginning of December, basically a surprise to me with no real warning it was coming…just very, very subtle hints, but I was so busy to really be able to read them and such things had happened before, so did not really think this time was different. I have been on unemployment with my benefits running out in 3 months and no closer to locating work than the day I started looking.

I question at my age of 50 if I need to reinvent myself and go back to school, take a job I have never done before and gain new experience (can an old dog be taught something new?) or continue to look in the field I have always worked in (medical)?

I pray daily for God to give me a sign or show me the path to take – I am still waiting for that sign. I know He wants the best for me, but the silence is difficult to accept when time is ticking away. I am trying to be still and prayerful through this because I know God can and will open a door. I know He has plans for me just as he tells me in Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you, “says the Lord.” “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” So I am trusting Him for this promise in my life right now that where I am to be is where I will find myself before the next 3 months has run out.

I love the quote by Oswald Chambers “We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties” and sometimes I do pray more for God to help me keep my eyes on Him then I do for the difficulties I am facing.

Part of the difficulty in locating work is that I need to be close here to help my parents. As they have gotten older they are needing more and more assistance with things and as the oldest child and single, I feel it is my duty to be there for them when they need help and sometimes that means literally picking them up off the floor on occasion because they have fallen. My sister helps when she can, but she is a busy gal with a family and my brother lives too far away to be of any help. Some days it is overwhelming, but I remind myself all they sacrificed for me over the years and that it is my turn to give back to them.

In some ways I am trying to look at the loss of my job as a blessing. Strange maybe, but let me explain. I was under extreme stress and had little free time for myself, as I was working long hours. I was the only person who held my position. They got someone to help me, but it was not the kind of help I needed to be able to leave this person for a week in my position while I would take time off. When I took a day off to take one of my parent’s to a doctor’s appointment, the gal they had hired did not get much done. I worked for this place a little over 7 years and in those 7 years I only had a vacation in the first 2 years, after that they had let all the other staff go who did my job and it was just me. Needless to say, I was experiencing burnout fast and in some ways being laid off was a bittersweet blessing, which allowed be to finally get some time off.

So while I wait on God for answers and direction, I started this blog, I help a couple days a week at my sister’s secondhand store, I started selling Avon again, I’ve been taking my parents to appointments, enjoying the pleasure of reading books once again, working on some projects I did not have time to do while working full-time/overtime, and praying for guidance and direction. I feel keeping busy keeps my eyes off my problems and able to think more clearly. As far as stress goes, things have gotten much better.

I know God is faithful to answer my prayers, He has never failed to do so and if I have received no answer, I remind myself often that I do not see the under workings in my life/circumstances, but He does and He always works things out for my best interest and so even a no answer is an answer. I certainly do not want anything that is outside of His will for me. It is my hope that I will have an answer before the 3 months is up and I am trusting Him for that!