To be a Fisherman; (of souls)

fishing souls

Man, the local news, regional news, provincial news, my very own countries news, international news and world news could not line up with the Bible any better than how it has right now. Watching the daily news unfold is like witnessing the Old Testament being resurrected and being relived once again.

Everything that is happening, has already been recorded. It’s almost predictable what the next major news event will be. If you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Now, is the time. Like it or not, we are in the end days and there is no stopping what is coming. Keep believing in yourself and the values of this world or give your life up to Jesus. Don’t you see it? All that is happening and what is to come are nothing more than birth pains and minor inconveniences. We have not seen nothing yet! Be afraid, be very afraid because if you are not saved, if you have not accepted Christ; the dreadful horrors that are coming, you cannot even begin to imagine.

I am at peace because I will not be here but my heart will bleed sorrow for those who refuse Jesus. I will cry as I watch unfathomable suffering, the kind of suffering where people will beg for death. When will this happen! Ten seconds from now, tonight while you sleep, next week while grocery shopping, a year from now? I don’t know, only God knows. Fear the Lord our God, come back into His family before He says, “Enough is enough”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank you for choosing me and inviting me to follow along. Thank you for your patient teachings of your ways. Thank you for building in me, the passion to share, reaching out to people everywhere and showing them the Gospel. I trust and believe that this passion is God given and that there is an urgency to go fishing right now. The harvest has never been so ripe and ready. With your help Lord Jesus, I pray for a bountiful harvest to further God’s Kingdom.

Lord I ask that if this passion is not from you that you redirect me where you want me to be.

But lord, if this passion is from you, take my ambitions and push me further than what I could ever imagine, push me to lengths that only You can see.

Don’t let fear hold me back. I trust that you will guide and coach me in pursuing my fullest potential.

Focus me on individuals, reaching one heart at a time and offering whatever services I have to give for their needs.  I ask that you take the amount of time that I have to offer whether a little or a lot, and use it for what You can. Direct my focus so that I can be productive with what I have to give.

Lastly, Lord, I offer myself to You, all of me. Sort out the undesirable parts of me and help me to build the blessed parts that keep me connected to Your Spirit. Ignite my words, ignite my excitement and help keep me focused on You and nothing else.

Give me the patience Lord to always place others before me and to cheer on their successes and may nothing stand in my way in serving You.

In Your mighty and powerful name, Lord Jesus, I pray. A-men.

If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, it so, so easy to do. All you have to remember is ABC.

“A” is for, Acknowledge your sins. Admit you are a sinner. Romans 3:10, Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23 ICB.

“B” is for, Believe, in your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord. Romans 10:9&10 ICB (Notice it reads “WILL” not might, could or should).

“C” is for, Call upon the name of the Lord. Romans 10:9&10, Romans10:13 ICB (emphasis on ANYONE or ALL and WILL)

Now, in the best way that you can, express this new knowledge to Jesus, from your heart and begin to experience the love and peace that only God can give.      

Me Vs. God

When I first came back to Canada, I had a pretty good idea of the things I needed and wanted to do. I was organized and focused on reestablishing my life. It would be a cinch. After being overseas for the greater part of a decade, I would secure employment, find a church and volunteer somewhere. As I already had a place to live, in my mind it was done, in a couple of months I would have my life under control. I have written before that what I think, what I want, what I need and how I will do it is all to often a far cry from what God has planned and what He knows that I need.

I see myself a bit like the apostle Peter. Without much of a plan or much thought we both would just dive in head first and accomplish the task. Peter was like, “Oh, I’ll never deny you lord”  and  “Hey, I’m going to walk on water, too.” Me, I’m like, “Move, job, church, volunteer, live.”

Just as Christ shook his head in bewilderment at Peter, he shook his head at me. We both needed maturity and guidance.

First, Jesus placed me in near isolation for 5 months. I didn’t plan this, I certainly didn’t want this, I needed a job. But no, Jesus sat me down to study, think and plan which was a totally new concept for me. During this time, I started this website to share my thoughts and new found knowledge.

Second, someone planted in my mind the big idea to clear out my stash of groceries and give them away. What! So, what am I going to eat? Hello, these groceries cost money and I don’t have a job yet! You can be sure this was not from me.

Third, Jesus sent me on a church shopping spree and after two strikes I found my new church home and family. Still no job and money is getting tight but Jesus thought church was more important.

Fourth, well of course, I need to be in a small group in addition to church. Now, why didn’t I think of that? Oh, I know, maybe I am seeing a real urgent need to find a job so that I could maybe say, EAT! Well God, You, know best and I do have all that I need and even more.

Fifth, I have absolutely no idea why I am volunteering, serving others and working for free when I really need a source of income. Once again, apparently, my priorities are not the same as God’s.

Sixth, finally step one of my plans was addressed. I have been hired and I scoop it up fast. I agree without thinking, it’s what immature young Christians do, right Peter?  I’m just so happy that I finally have employment. Why the heavy heart? Why the doubt? Where is this coming from? I quit my job the day before I was to start. Jesus said, “it’s not the one I have planned for you.”

Seventh, after a few weeks, more carefully this time, less eager about the money, I am called for an interview. Another two weeks pass and I accept an offer to work casual/part time, at minimum wage. Say what? Jesus said, “yes, this is the one.”

I work at a religious charity. I never worked as a casual employee but worked full time hours from the very first day. Within two months I was hired full time, after three months I was eligible for the societies health benefits package and received a raise in pay. I traveled for three weeks back overseas but most importantly I work with some really amazing employees, volunteers and board members, many of which I am now friends. Jesus brought about everything on my plan and so much more than I could have imagined but also in the perfect way. Money, which was my main concern cannot buy the blessings that God has given me.

Two Loves

I used to think I was Dr. Love. No one could love like me. Who could resist me, my money, my security, my guilty pleasures always satisfied? I had it all figured out and I bathed in it. I feasted on it and drank it until I became drunk, daily. I slept comfortably, soundly and secure in my lovely self. My obsession with self-love at quite a young age became an addiction for the better part of my life. I would never have stopped except this is where Jesus found me.

Why should I feel guilty, I mean you have to love yourself, right? The world loves themselves and I’m just another part of the world! How was my love different than others? How did it come about that I began to feel guilty for loving myself? Why was I picked out from the rest of the crowd? Jesus said, you did not choose me, but I chose you… (John 15:16 ESV {in part})

My inward love became draining, it was sucking the life out of me. It became too hard to hang on to. What I kept, just died, rotted and withered inside of me. Love was the poison I drank everyday of my life. Love within myself turned to greed and selfishness. I enjoyed taking but hated to give. When I gave, I always kept the best for myself and gave away the scraps. I would give just enough to the poor to satisfy any guilt I might have. When I became sick or suffered a loss of any type, it was the worst. Whatever others suffered; it was nothing compared to my sufferings. Self-pity reigned in my life. Love made me proud and my favorite topic was, me. A puffed up me beyond who I was. Everyone else was suppressed by my greatness. There was no chance to be as great as thou. My ideas were better, my achievements greater. What an enviable, stellar citizen I had become.      

Jesus stepped into my life suggesting that the gift of love was made, not to hoard but to be given away. He has shown me how the love I diverted into myself was love that I robbed from those around me. Love that was needed and desired by others to thrive and exist. All my selfish love ever did was create misery and suffering everywhere I went.

Every person who has ever suffered, been humiliated, grieved or hated has been deprived of love. Every person who is bitter, been dealt an injustice or is in despair has been the victim of a self-loving but outwardly loveless person of the world.

How often have we, the people of the world full of self-love known of an abused man, woman or child and stood by in silence? How many of us are so in love with our careers that we don’t have time or even try to make the time for a parent, a grandparent, great aunt or other past loved one, who sits alone loveless at home or in an old age home. How many of us self-loving fine and upstanding people know of someone who has committed suicide? How many of us proud individuals know of a family in need of food, clothing or simply some friendship, reassurance, or an invitation? How many beauty queens and self-proclaimed models loathe the fat woman, the disfigured man or the misbehaved child? How many times have you stood by as someone was reprimanded unfairly? Do you know the husband or wife who is cheating on their marriage? Do you know of someone in prison? What have you done about it?  How about the unemployed person? Have you thought how you could help by hiring him for a day, or referring her to an employer? Have you ever considered supporting the starving family overseas?

There are so many ways to feed our hunger for self-love and in every case, we support and contribute to pain, suffering, inequality, injustice, discrimination, grief, and hatred. The way I see it, self-love is the leading disease supporting the broken world we live in. And yet, we dare to blame God for allowing it all to happen. We say, why doesn’t He fix it?

We were made with love, by love and to love. We know it too, but we pretend not to.  1 John 4:7-12 NIV

Earth is our classroom and it’s here where we must learn to love, not ourselves but God and each other. If we learn well, train ourselves in the subject and carry out God’s plan, then our final examination upon death will be easy. There are two loves and I have discovered that to choose between them is to really live. 1 John 2:10-11 NIV Will you choose to love yourself or to love God and one another? Matthew 6:24 NIV

Faith

Faith is the ability to completely trust in someone or something. We are told throughout the Bible to place our faith in God and when we do, He will reward us in one way or another. Read, Hebrews 11:1 ICB and Psalm 120:1 ICB.

I believe in God whole heartedly and I have seen His graces poured out on me, time and time again. The main theme of this website, is my testimonies or records of God’s favors upon my life, since becoming a new born Christian. Read, Mark 11:24 ICB.

Up until this very day all the post that I have submitted have been written after the fact, after I have prayed and received God’s blessings. Anyone can write a testimony, but today I submit my declaration in faith to God, before you the reader. I have not yet received His blessings and you will witness for yourself God’s response to my prayer. In essence, I am presenting a future testimony in the making.  Read, Matthew 6:33 and Hebrews 11:6.

I would like to share my prayer and I invite you to take part in this faith building exercise. Believing that Jesus Christ is your lord and savior, John 8:24. Look up to Heaven, raise your arms above your head and from your heart with complete trust, place your life in God’s hands. Read, Matthew 21:22 ICB.

Dear Heavenly Father:  An invisible enemy has come to my doorstep in the form of a deadly virus. Thousands of people worldwide have had their lives cut short. I am no different than any of those people except for the fact that I may be more vulnerable than some of them. (list your weaknesses) I am pushing sixty years old, I am overweight, I have high blood pressure and sleep apnea.

Abba, with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ beside be, (Psalm 16:8 ICB), Your Holy Spirit within me, (1st Corinthians 3:16 ICB), and You, watching over me from above, (Proverbs 15:3 ICB) I renounce all power of the Corona virus over me. I claim Your promises to provide for me and to protect me. I have honored you and will continue to praise you. Psalm 50:15 ICB, Isaiah 41:13 ICB and Jeremiah 29:11 ICB. Dear Lord Jesus keep your promise and protect my family and I from this Novel Coronavirus, John 14:13-14 ICB.

With all the faith I have within me I declare dominance over this virus, it will not take me down and I will overcome any attacks it may try to make against me. Matthew 17:20 ICB. The only effect this virus will have on me will be to keep me even closer to you. I thank you in advance Heavenly Father for the victory you have granted me. I rest in Your perfect love and I will not fear this virus. 1st John 4:18 ICB. You are in charge Dear God and already the world has seen how you have saddled this beast and used it to bring many of your children back home to You. Most importantly Abba I seek Your will, for Your superior plans to be accomplished in me. Whatever Your will is for me I gratefully accept.

All power and glory to You, God our Father, for ever and ever. I pray this prayer in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, A-Men

Jesus’ Claim, Defended

resurretion

All of Christianity is based on two main events, “Christmas” and “Easter”. The Old Testament prepares us for the delivery of Jesus Christ who is to become our savior from all sin. The New Testament delivers Jesus to us, proves he is the prophesied Messiah and we see the foundations of our Christian faith laid out.

 The other day I outlined my own account of Easter week, day to day. However, something was amiss. Jesus’ claim that he would be raised after three days and three nights did not add up. (If you have not read the blog, “What’s it all About” you may want to read it right below this one, before continuing on).

Was Jesus mistaken? Are the accounts in the Holy Bible wrong? The Bible is God’s written word, it stands for truth, hope and love. If the Bible is false then there is no such thing as Christianity. We are living a big lie.

I am not a theologian and the answer to this dilemma is deep. To find the truth it involves a lot of reading and referencing throughout the Bible. I am sure I will loose most of my readers if I were to try to explain why Jesus was correct and not mistaken.

Thank you, Abba for leading me to a very simplistic chart that makes all the research more easily understood, even by one such as myself. I do not have permission to replicate this chart but there is a reference to its true designer in the bottom right hand corner. If I am asked to remove this chart by the owners I will.    

Please search and read the Bible references given for a more thorough understanding.

Christianity stands strong. The integrity of, “The Holy Bible” stands strong. All Christians can still have faith in Jesus and know we will all live together in eternity because of this Easter season. Hallelujah, praise God.  

Imagen taken from www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-magazine/

What’s it all about?

crucifixion

What a flurry of activity this Easter Season brings. So much happened, all in such a short time that it’s really difficult to take it all in. The culmination of Jesus’ life all brought together, fulfilling God’s will. Demonstrating to the world, the greatest love we will ever know.

Jesus’ life, although short, appears long and full when I consider all that he achieved. Now, he ties it all together in just one week. Willing submission, humility, abandonment, promises, patience, endurance, accusations, compassion, forgiveness, death, resurrection and victory. This week is the climax of the loving purpose he was sent for.  

This intense week of the Easter story begins with Jesus arriving on foot to the small town of Bethany, not too far away from Jerusalem. Here Jesus begins the last chapter of his journey. He is brought a young donkey to ride on, he will enter into Jerusalem as a king. Near the city a huge crowd greets him, laying their coats down on the road while others cut palm fronds and laid them down before him. The crowd cheered him on and children joined in with praises. Yes, you guessed it, this was last Sunday. Palm Sunday to everyone now-a-days.

Two days later on Tuesday at the temple in Jerusalem Jesus has a confrontation with the religious leaders angering them by calling them out for what they really are, a brood of venomous vipers. Later up on the Mount of Olives Jesus answers some of his apostle’s questions concerning the future. Jesus speaks of great wars, starvation, sickness, serious crime and large earthquakes. He says God’s kingdom will be taught worldwide. This is so exciting for me because all of these things have happened. Jesus has promised that after these birth pains he will come back and clean up the mess that has been made of this world.

The next day, Wednesday, Judas Iscariot one of the twelve apostles makes a deal with the high priest and agrees to lead them to Jesus so they can arrest him. Thirty pieces of silver is apparently all that He thinks Jesus’ life is worth.

The following day Jesus and his twelve disciples celebrated the Passover meal in an upper room, remembering when God’s angel ‘passed over’ the homes of Israel but killed the first born of every Egyptian man and animal. After dinner Jesus demonstrated the very first communion giving the apostles a physical way to remember himself after he dies.

Sometime after midnight which now brings us to Friday, Jesus and his apostles go into the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knows he will be arrested, mistreated and sentenced to hang on the cross until he dies. He asks his apostles to pray with him and he heads off to pry alone. Three times he was disappointed that the apostles are not praying but rather fell asleep. Jesus was arrested and what we refer to as Good Friday was in fact the most horrific and unimaginable day anyone could visualize in their worst nightmares.

Jesus willingly submitted himself to the authorities in humility. His disciples abandoned him and they broke their promises. Jesus patiently endured wrongful accusations leading to beatings, lashings and eventually sentencing, to be crucified. Yet after all of this, with only the compassion that God would be able to give under these circumstances, Jesus begged for our forgiveness, promises one of the thieves also being crucified a place in paradise and then died on the cross.

Now it gets really sticky. Jesus said he would be resurrected in three days and 3 nights. (Mathew 12:40 ICB)  No matter how you try to add it up or from what angle you choose to look at it, Friday afternoon to Sunday morning is only one and a half days, half of the time Jesus claimed for his resurrection. Jesus wouldn’t lie, he can’t lie otherwise he would not have been the perfect sinless lamb sacrifice required to cover our sins. He wouldn’t have been mistaken; he was in constant communication with God. Something has gone amiss here. What am I to believe? 

I have the answer but I’m out of time and space here. I’ll guarantee you this, there is an explanation and it is Biblical. Can you figure it out? 

Faith or Fear? Worship or Worry?

Hope in Jesus

The very same day that The World Health Organization declared the Corona Virus a pandemic, people reacted. Some started to stock pile face masks, others swooped in to buy all the toilet paper and others scooped up all the hand sanitizer. A lady came into our store and bought flannel sheets to cut up into pieces, to use as a toilet paper substitute. Usually we Canadians are pretty laid back and approach life in a more relaxed manner but now, shear fear is taking over.

As the next days unfolded it became very apparent that the vast majority of the people were panicking. They were out buying everything and anything. There were two and a half hour long lineups to enter big box stores. The grocery stores had their shelves decimated. I went to one grocery store to pick up my prescription at the pharmacy after work. I walked around the store to see what everyone was talking about. All pasta was sold out, all the rice, all the bread, all of the frozen vegetables and almost all of the canned goods. There was no toilet paper, napkins or paper towels and no hand sanitizer just as everyone had said. I bought two cans of tomato paste that I would use the next day to make a favorite soup. I bought a new flavor of cookies for dunking in my coffee, coconut/mango, and I bought four liters of 1% milk for my coffee and cereal. Nothing I bought was for long term survival, nor was anything a need. Everything I bought was a want on impulse.

I felt uneasy as I walked through the store. I wasn’t fearful and it wasn’t shock or bewilderment with the vacant shelves but rather a deep feeling of pity and sadness for the droves of people who were there before me.  We live in a first world country where everything is so plentiful, we have become wasteful. This day I was looking at the evidence of chaos, brought about by fear and uncertainty.

Just one short week ago my city, my country in fact, or shall I say the world, was largely basking in an overabundance of pride, sufficiency and contentment. Then suddenly, overnight, greed, selfishness, scamming and scheming, and distrust became the new normal.               

 20 years ago, the big worrisome fear was Y2K, do you remember that? Mass hysteria, panic, ill thought out plans, opportunist and scams cost large companies and individuals millions upon millions of dollars. People wouldn’t fly because they thought planes would drop out of the sky. They wouldn’t drive because automobile computers would fail. It was speculated that trains and subway cars would crash.  This fear came and passed and in hindsight, was there really anything worthy of the fear that was felt?

Today the runner up is the Corona Virus or Covid-19. Will it pass? Absolutely! The big questions seem to be, what will the health impact be and what will the financial fallout look like? Who knows? Can you or I control it? NO! All the worrying in the world won’t fix a thing! I’m placing it all in God’s hands and I’m trusting Him to solve these problems.

Listen, all this panic is from Satin. God is calling us to faith. Turn your thoughts to Jesus Christ, our savior and be free of fear. I’m not in a panic. I know my God. Everyone who knows me will testify I am at total peace. All you have to do is turn your worries into worship. You cannot worry and worship at the same time, they are opposites of one another. When you worry you are not worshiping and when you worship you don’t worry. 

It’s so sad to me that very obviously all of these panic shoppers have no connection to God or Jesus. Even members of my church are panic buying and they say they know and trust in the Lord. So, even more disturbing to me, is that many so-called Christians do not have faith in their God.

Are you at peace with God? Can you place your faith in Jesus Christ to get you through this pandemic, unscathed? If not, would you like to know what props me up? Would you like to witness the peace that surpasses all understanding? Read, Psalm, chapter 91. For easy understanding here it is from the International Children’s Bible

Those who go to God Most High for safety
    will be protected by God All-Powerful.   (go to Him now with the prayer below)
I will say to the Lord, “You are my place of safety and protection.
    You are my God, and I trust you.”   (say it out load, now)

God will save you from hidden traps
    and from deadly diseases.   (you must believe it)
He will protect you like a bird
    spreading its wings over its young.    (picture a hen with her chicks under her)
    His truth will be like your armor and shield.    (now that’s protection)
You will not fear any danger by night    (you’ll rest peacefully)
    or an arrow during the day.   (you can walk in peace)
You will not be afraid of diseases that come in the dark    
    or sickness that strikes at noon.   (that includes viruses)
At your side 1,000 people may die,    (unbelievers and followers of Satin)
    or even 10,000 right beside you.    
    But you will not be hurt.        (Christians with faith in God)
You will only watch what happens.
    You will see the wicked punished. 

The Lord is your protection.  (A-men)
    You have made God Most High your place of safety.
10 Nothing bad will happen to you.
    No disaster will come to your home.   (your family is protected because of your faith)
11 He has put his angels in charge of you.   (angels plural, more than one)
    They will watch over you wherever you go.   (global protection 24/7)
12 They will catch you with their hands.    (that’s security)
    And you will not hit your foot on a rock.    (Satin will not be allowed to trip you up)
13 You will walk on lions and cobras.      (Satin will be kept below you)
    You will step on strong lions and snakes.  (you will walk all over Satin)

14 The Lord says, “If someone loves me, I will save him.      (praise God)
    I will protect those who know me.      (get to know Him, today)
15 They will call to me, and I will answer them.  (He’s listening and waiting for your call)
    I will be with them in trouble.     (now and forever)
    I will rescue them and honor them. 
16 I will give them a long, full life.
    They will see how I can save.”  (witness His blessings with me)

Matthew 23: 37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets and kill with stones those men God sent to you. Many times, I wanted to help your people! I wanted to gather them together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you did not let me.    

(You must want Jesus to help you. You have to let him help you. If you don’t want help and won’t let him help, he won’t and he can’t.   If you’re drowning and your thrashing all around trying to help yourself, no one can help you but when you get tired and give up, cry out and then you can be saved. Give yourself up to Jesus and stop trying to do everything your own way, then he’ll help.

If you have not given your heart to Jesus and you want his immediate protection, say this prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus:                                                                                                                                

I don’t understand everything about you and our Father in Heaven, but I am ready to accept you as my lord and savior. I understand that you voluntarily went to the authorities knowing they would wrongfully convict you and sentence you to die on the cross. I understand that you were perfect and sinless and yet you took ALL of the sins of the world (mine included) into death with you. Through your sacrifice I have been forgiven and made pure in God’s sight. I believe that three days later you were resurrected and after 40 days of showing yourself to your friends and many witnesses, you ascended into Heaven to sit with God our Father. I understand Lord Jesus that the only way I can be saved and enter into Heaven is through you. I give you my heart, mind and soul. I desire you to be my guide, my shepherd, my teacher and my savior. In your name I pray this prayer. A-men     

Read Deuteronomy 28: 1-14 To see God’s blessing on you.

Number Eight of the Big Ten

God made a set of laws for us to follow. Ten straight forward, easily understood rules. All we have to do is obey ten simple commandments and we’re in God’s good books. Easy peasy, I mean how hard can it be to obey 10 rules? Well I don’t know about you, but I’ve failed at each and every one of them uncountable times throughout my life.

I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior and he paid the most expensive fine ever levied for my breaking these rules. The only acceptable payment would be the blood sacrifice of a perfect lamb. Jesus was the only perfect man to ever have walked on this planet, and he dirtied himself with my sins. He took all the blame for what I committed and paid my fines in full with his life, setting me free.

 Do you know how I repaid Jesus for this blessing of all blessings, for his suffering and his death? I went right ahead and broke every one of the ten commandments again, and again, and again. Have you done the exact same thing as I have? Thank goodness for us, that Jesus paid for “ALL” of our sins. That’s every broken rule from our past, every sin we committed today and every commandment dishonored in the future. “ALL” sins.

Today, I want to address commandment number eight. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” Plain and simple, I am not to lie. Do I ever lie?  No, not ever! That was a lie about not lying. God is truth and we are to honor Him by not lying.

I have another skeleton in my closet and it was born from a lie. A lie that needs to be brought out into the open so that I can be more at ease with myself. A lie that I am tired of carrying around. A lie that threatens to be discovered. A lie that will surely tear down my integrity.

This particular lie started off as a way to avoid recurring suffering and pain when individuals innocently stirred up the single most painful unforgiven catastrophe of my life. The one I tried to ignore, bury and hide. My divorce. I did the complete opposite of what the apostle Paul advised in Ephesians 4:31 NIV

All it took was a few inquisitive words to set me off, like; Are you married? Where’s your wife? Did your wife come with you? Is she here? Why didn’t you bring your wife? I’d really like to meet your wife someday! To which I would reply, “I am divorced, I don’t have a wife”. Now that should’ve been the end of it, but no. Then the inevitable questions would come, the looks of disappointment, the prying, and sometimes I swear people just like to dwell on the misery of others so they can feel better about their own messed up lives.

These questions would expose the hatred I had stored up inside which provided fuel for the questioner to pour back onto the fire they just fanned into full flame. Oh dear! I’m so sorry! Oh my, what happened? Whose fault was it? How long has it been? You must be so lonely! Do you have children? How are they taking it? Is there anything I can do? What advice do you have about divorce? So now that you’re available, I have this friend…. Will you marry again?

These thoughtless replies and digs would bring back to memory all the greed, deceit, accusations, cheating lawyers, unfair statements, concocted self-purposing lies and financial loss. They would cost me weeks of sleepless nights, again, as I battled with my fury. One day after about four years of this malarkey I came up with the reply, “I’m a widower, my wife was killed in a car accident.” The inquisitive person is usually too shocked and too embarrassed to ask any further questions. An apology is usually offered, a little sympathy poured out and then they shuffled off on their way. This was brilliant. Why didn’t I think of this sooner? Thus a lie was born.

Over time, questions concerning the death of my wife surfaced here and there and I unthinkingly provided quick answers to satisfy whoever was asking and to protect my claim. The lie was expanding and becoming more and more detailed, morphing into a hybrid. I repeated the hybrid lie so many times that it became a reality in my mind. Psalm 119:29 NLT I could still hate her, despise her, slander her in my heart and deny that she ever hurt me as deeply as she did. She was where she belonged, murdered, dead to me, out of my life. The hybrid lie also replaced disappointment and shame with the sympathy I desired. No one ever upset me again and I was at peace. Or, so I thought.  

This hybrid lie has retarded my life and my ability to move forward. Thirty eight years later I still had not forgiven my estranged wife as I never needed to. With the help of the Holy Spirit I realized the weight I was carrying and the need to offload it. All this time I have tried to hurt her by not forgiving her, but she doesn’t even care or know. I have only been hurting myself.  

Exposing myself, to rid my soul of this heavy burden would be a lot easier if I could be guaranteed that no one that I knew, would ever read this blog. All of my very nearest and dearest friends, many of my acquaintances and even my pastor have given me their sympathy which I accepted wrongfully. I have abused their love and care for me. Now I risk losing their friendship and their trust. I am trying to establish myself as a man of integrity and this certainly does not lend itself to my efforts.     

I never intended to hurt anyone but have succeeded in hurting everyone. Now it’s out in the open. I can start to breathe once again. Satin will not be able to derail me by exposing this secrete. I have exposed it myself.

It all started with one tiny little lie. I’m a widower!       

Exhumation of a BIG Skeleton

There’s a skeleton in my closet that has to leave. Excess baggage that’s weighing me down and I’ve slugged it around for 30+years. The skeleton is the bitterness, shame, hatred and unforgiveness  from a very, very toxic and painful divorce.

If you are leaning toward a divorce, listen up. Think twice and consider any alternatives. Do your research and know in advance what you’re getting yourself into. Especially if you have children. Consider what the Bible has to say about divorce. Mark 10: 6-9 NASB, Matthew 19:6 ESV, Ephesians 5:21-33 ESV. I encourage you to seek out faith based marriage counseling. Talk to your pastor or any pastor. Your marriage can be rebuilt and restored. I strongly recommend prayer and asking for spiritual help. James 1:5 NLT, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NLT.

If you choose to divorce let me give you a heads up and express what I went through. I suffered stress, emotional anguish and trauma, financial stress, bankruptcy, mental exhaustion, unwarranted damage to my integrity. I watched my children being used as pawns and bargaining chips without any regard for their feelings. Resentment, bitterness, being treated unfairly, badly damaged and broken friendships and family relationships. I was constantly on the defense. Anger, exclusion, isolation, depression, sleep deprivation, disappointment, false accusations, suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide. Greed and selfishness, mental and physical abuse, loss of identity, low self-esteem and shame.

Your divorce will have long lasting effects not only on yourself but on innocent loved ones. Your divorce will be far reaching and affect others that you cannot even imagine. Other people in your community, at your place of work and anyone you are in contact with, directly or indirectly. When you get into it you will not be able to think rationally or clearly. Your future will be so blurred by the smoke that reaching tomorrow will be your future goal. One day at a time will be your new reality for a long, long time.

After all this, the resentment I felt turned me into an unrecognizable me. I became a miserable, angry person. I hated all women to point of even questioning my own mother’s treatment of my father. No one wanted to be around me. I didn’t want to be around me. After unsuccessfully attempting to commit suicide for the third time I again sought professional help and that is when the bitterness set in. To think that I came so close to exiting this life in order to escape the cruelty I was suffering and then that led to the inability to ever forgive.

Sadly, I now see that my unforgiveness had absolutely no effect on the perpetrators. But it has held me back, bogged me down, held me prisoner and cost me 30+ years of my life. Only through much prayer have I finally reached the point where I am now able to let go of this skeleton.

With the love and guidance of the Holy Spirit who lives within me; To my ex-wife, I forgive you. To my ex-wife’s lawyer, I forgive you. To the one particular judge who was obviously a friend of my ex-wife’s lawyer, I forgive you for your ridiculous judgment that by the way never happened because of its absolute absurdity.  To the multitude of friends, family, co-workers, and acquaintances that were coerced to join in on the feeding frenzy against me, I forgive all of you.

Although I was not a follower of Christ at the time, God witnessed all that was said and done. I hand over this incredible burden, once and for all. I’m not carrying it any longer. It is now in God’s hands for Him to judge and deal with as He sees fit.

With God’s guidance, I am so ready to start planning the rest of my life.

Are you up to going through a divorce? Will you be able break the chains that imprison you afterward?  

The Skeletons in my Closet

Hidden facts that should they ever be discovered, will undoubtedly damage my reputation. They threaten to destroy my most valued relationships and at the very least when exposed, people’s perceptions of me will be changed. I am ashamed and afraid of being rejected.

Satan hunted me down when I was weak. He found me when I had rejected God. He toyed with my mind, he enticed me, he lured me and he created irresistible situations. He set his traps for me. They were all disguised as fantastic opportunities, sugar coated lies and dreams he promised would come true.

To his delight I ran into trap after trap after trap.  For most of my life I played along and lived his lies. I was buried so deep and it seemed there was no way out. Living in sin was all that I knew. He taught me well.

God was watching and extending His hand. “Trust me, believe in me”. “Choose everlasting life over death”. I knew He was there. My heart told me so.  I could not see HIM but I could see my bank account, my trust funds, my investments, my new home, my new vehicles, my well-paying job, my circle of friends, travel, parties, lovers and I wanted more, more, more.

God created me for Himself and He wanted me back. God passed judgment upon me and He initiated His discipline. Stock market crashes, a horrific, costly, divorce and custody battle, lost employment, a sour property investment, crooked lawyers, false friends and I was crushed. When my head stopped spinning and I saw that the vast majority of all I had worked for all my life had vanished, I turned to the one friend who I thought would save me and he turned his back on me.  

 For the first time in my life I ran out of resources and I had no more answers. I didn’t know what to do. It all seemed hopeless. I threw myself a pity party and after a long hard cry and crying myself to sleep. Something touched me and led me to get down on my knees. I cried out to Jesus, I confessed many, many sins and begged for his forgiveness, for him to take me in, love me, help me and be my guide.

It’s been a little over three years since that day. For a while I still continued to sink but I held on to Jesus’ hand and refused to let go. I prayed to know God and I prayed for the zeal to learn more about Him. I began to read the Bible faithfully every day and research scriptures. I signed up for daily devotionals and began reading Christian based and themed books.  I started to attend church and prayed regularly.

In the last few months my life has finally started to turn around for the better. Blessings abound and I am so appreciative. I have actually received messages from God Himself. I am feeling so very confident and I know that everything is going to be alright. BUT! Guess who has never left?

There is one who is not pleased in the least that I have turned to God and Jesus and man is he ever angry. I cannot begin to count the ferocious attacks that Satin has come at me with. He wants me back and he’s playing dirty. There are many skeletons hanging in my closet. He helped me put them there. Things I’ve done that I am not proud of and lies I’ve concocted to hide shameful things. Stories I’ve told and people I’ve hurt, actions that threaten to destroy friendships and many unbelievable acts that will damage my new Christian character.

Satin was once so accommodating and he made it easy for me to achieve anything that I wanted. He congratulated me on jobs well done and suggested that I deserved more. He set up new temptations everywhere. All mine for the taking. Today these sinful acquisitions are my shame. They are the skeletons in my closet and he threatens to expose them so that he can bring me down.

These skeletons are my own and they are keeping me at a distance from God. Satin reminds me every day and asks me, “What were you thinking”?  He tells me, “You are such an idiot to think you could ever get away with that”!  

My only freedom will be to dig these skeletons out and expose them to the world, myself. I don’t see that I have any other choice. It is the only way that I can disarm Satin and improve my relationship with God.      

Many of us have skeletons hidden away. How will you deal with yours? I could sure use your prayers as I attempt to clean out my closets.