Church in the Oaks

A little over a month ago I visited a third church. {See “Fitting In” under the category, “My Journel”} It is much smaller than what I had been searching for. I figured the bigger the church the more opportunities for me to fit in somewhere. So once again, rather than pray for Jesus to guide me to a church suitable for my needs, I took it upon myself to find one on my own. I wasted more precious time and dealt with more unnecessary disappointment and frustration. After praying to be lead to just the right church that Jesus knew would be right for me, I was directed here. When will I learn that all I have to do is ask and it will be given Matthew 7:7. I am bound and bent that I can do everything myself. 

On the very first day, I walked into the foyer and was noticed right away. I was the one that looked lost, was dead quiet, slightly out of breath and a touch sweaty from a combination of both nerves and a twenty minute walk to get there.

Almost immediately I was approached with a, “Oh, Hello!” “You must be new here, I don’t recognize your face.” “I’m so and so and your name is?”  “Well welcome to Church in the Oaks this here is my son such and such and he plays in the music ministry here.” “Oh, hold on a second!” “Pastor, this is Art.” “Today is his first time here.” “It’s been a pleasure meeting you Art, I’ll see you after the service and introduce you to the rest of my family.”

From here the Pastor chatted with me a bit and gathered in some of my interest. He took me into the sanctuary, showed me around, introduced me to three others, told me about what to expect, got me an itinerary and explained I was welcome to sit anywhere I would like. I had no sooner sat down and the man in front of me began chatting like we were life-long friends and introduced me to two ladies in the same row. Just then I heard the Pastor’s voice behind me. He had sought out an Ecuadorian fellow who was a long time member of the church.  He introduced us and suggested that we had a common interest as both of us had lived in Ecuador.  This was like an enactment of Hebrews 10: 24-25

I went into church number three with the same open mind I had for the last two but I was also skeptical after the two previous church experiences. This time was going to be different, I could feel the difference already. By the time the service had started my mind was already made up.  For me, the biggest and most intimidating obstacle in church hunting had already been removed. The acceptance of the people. I enjoyed the service and witnessed the enthusiasm of the parishioners. This was further assurance that this would be the right church for me, I sensed the congregation were genuine and not fake individuals.

After the service I was approached by my original greeter and was introduced to the rest of his family. I met six other people in the lobby before leaving for home.

I felt a heavy weight lifted off of me. I believe it was in God’s plan for me to finish my search and land right here at Church in the Oaks. I walked home feeling that the nagging pulling on my heart to belong somewhere was finally eased off.

  I don’t know what it is about Church websites but they are quickly becoming a nemesis of mine. When I got home I searched my new church’s website to see where I may be able to participate. After feeling that I can fit in and would be welcome my next need, is to be able to participate. There were plenty of ministries listed with descriptions of their intent and purpose but no indication of what day they took place, when they started or finished or who to contact. The calendar was blank except where someone had found the time to add Sunday worship services on every Sunday of the month.  At the next Sunday worship service I learned of the great turnout the church had for an activity that I knew nothing about. 

I mentioned this lack of information to several people but as of this moment nothing has been done about it. I asked specifically about two ministries and after being introduced to the corresponding  people, I  joined both. Every Sunday evening I join in with a few others for a Bible Study, and I started to serve at the “Ark Aid” the second Monday of each month. The Ark is a ministry that provides meals to people who have found themselves in need. Today I attended the Men’s Ministry gathering where I was blessed with meeting several more members of the church.

Discovering and finally belonging to a church and church family checks off another must do, on the list of my plan. Volunteering, checks off yet another.

Before I Write

I truly aim to lay myself bare before everyone who sorts through this site. Anyone reading my post will come to have a pretty good idea of who I was, who I am and where I’m going. It is my hope that readers will be able to watch me grow in Christ. I’m a newbie at only 3 years old now. No doubt there will be many ups and downs, successes and failures, and stalemates such as I am in now. Over all I pray everyone will see a steady incline but who knows what you’ll see.

I don’t know that anyone has ever charted the growth of a Christian before. I believe that it has to start with complete honesty on my part. Let me testify here and now that it is not as easy as you might think. It would be simple if I could be guaranteed that no one I knew would ever find this website because  there are lies that I have told to cover up the deepest, darkest areas in my life. Lies that I have told so often they have become reality in my mind and some of my best friends have accepted them as the truth. Now! I risk losing them or at the very least disappointing them severely.  

I can’t do this on my own; I have to have the support of our heavenly Father, our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ and the inward coaxing of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise I’ll just paint another pretty picture of myself, pretend everything is rosy and bright and show you what a wonderful person I am.

 Before I start every posting, I pray three and sometimes four prayers. The first goes something like this.

I tell Abba, I am not blogging for myself but for Him and I ask Abba to refine me with each new post, ranking me as He sees fit. I ask to be put to good use or to suffering, for Him. I ask that I be allowed to post for Him or to be put aside and used for another purpose. I plead to be lifted high but only for Him or to be brought down low, also for Him. I tell Him to do with me and each post whatever He will knowing that He knows what is best.

I pray that God will not let me strive to fill this website but to submit thoughtfully and to genuinely care what I post rather than compete with other sites. I ask for help to seek holiness and not hits on this site.  I confess that I would rather be a follower than have followers.  

My ambition is to fill the website with Abba’s character and grace but keep as low a profile of myself as possible. I pray extensively on this because the site is about me but I ask for help to always exalt Him and humbly place myself below His feet. I pray for the strength to not seek anything from this world but to continually crave all that He is. I pray that all my words will be worthy for Him to read, and express that He is enough. He is the only one I need to please.

 I ask that the Holy Spirit help me to write for Christ smile and not for subscribers and that my daily declaration, not the size of my audience be the certainty of my redemption. I ask that the uncountable graces received from Christ be my identity and never the number of comments I may receive. I pray that the only words I upload are the truth and what I have lived.

I offer to God Almighty ever word, every sentence, every title and every post, every comment or no comment, all to His pleasure and perfect will. Then I confess to Jesus that my only fame is that I bear His name. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. My only Glory is the gift of His grace. The only true readership I seek is His eyes wandering the earth searching to and fro for a heart that is hard after his. I beg Him to make all of this so.

I say, Yawweh, You alone are my God, nothing else receives my love like the love I have for you. I say, Jesus you alone are my savior, I look no further than you. I say Holy Spirit, you alone are my comforter, nothing else can bring me the comfort that you do.

I ask that this prayer will stand today, yesterday and for every post to come. This is my prayer and I wish for it to be legalized in heaven. Amen

Although every prayer I pray is vastly different as I elaborate a little or a lot on each of the points above, the main structure of my prayers before writing each and every blog post, follow Ann Voskamp’s “Bloggers Prayer” A very special thanks to you, Ann. Your prayer helps me to stay focused, remain humble and address every point. It keeps it in my mind where I stand and who God is. Praise God.   

The Grocery Hoard

I have moved back into the city and the few possessions that I have are in bags and boxes and my two suit cases. Since leaving Ecuador, I’m like a drifter carrying all my worldly goods with me place to place. Oh why did I buy that extra-large cast iron frying pan?

Not even settled in yet and after only a few days in my new residence I woke up early one morning and began my quite time. I’m not too sure if was a dream or if it came to me as just a thought but I had this idea in my mind to take all the groceries I had brought with me and give them away.

What a crazy thought! Why would I do that? I brought them with me because I need them. I have to eat just like everyone else. Those groceries I have are to sustain me as long as possible and I have to carefully watch over my spending while I search for a job. After I find a job and I have an income it won’t be a problem. So at that, I didn’t give it another thought and went on with my day. The next morning I couldn’t stop thinking about why I should give away the groceries that I was presently eating from. This thought just wouldn’t go away. Finally I figured well, I can give them away and then just go out and get some more. I can’t really afford it but I feel that this is what I should do, so I’ll do it. There seems to be a lot of “I’s” in this paragraph, huh!

After some time and still thinking about this give away idea, the Holy Spirit within me began to bring to my attention all that God has provided throughout my life. He has always given what was needed and when it was necessary. In fact, He has provided substantially more than what was ever required. Always praying for faith and proclaiming faith in Him. It’s now testing time. Jesus clearly planted the idea to give away the greedy hoard that’s stashed away to test my faith, my trust in him. Is it a lot of hot air that has been being prayed or could this Christian finally be ready to exercise some of that sworn faith.  

Jesus is teaching my faith, to trust in him and to begin living in faith, day by day with the add-on, what it feels like to be truly generous. No more quarters and dollar coins for the poor. This time some new bars are being set. Now, it’s my coveted grocery stash, possibly a hundred dollars cut from a fund that’s quickly running dry.   Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV

I headed on down into the basement to gather all the grocery items. I removed any items that were opened. No one would want something that was opened and food banks would throw it away because it could be contaminated. Then I thought to myself, I’ll remove the baking items because poor people most likely don’t have the other ingredients to add, in order to make something out of what I had to give. Then I took out some cans of kidney beans, chick peas, black-eyed beans, and tomato paste and chopped tomatoes. These items can’t be used because unless you have spices and the other ingredients to make soups and chili con carne they would be of no use to the needy. What was left over was not very much. So my solution, I’ll just go shopping and get some things that people in need can use.

At the grocery store I looked at some cans of tuna that were on sale and I noticed that some had pull tabs to open the cans. What a great idea because poor people may not have can openers. This is when God reached down and boxed my ears a good one. That brain rattling set me thinking in a different way.

Of course people who need a helping hand have can openers. I don’t but I can borrow one and so can they if they don’t. I bet they have pots and pans and glasses, plates and cutlery and a stove to cook on too. How utterly ridiculous I’m being. In the way that I’m thinking, there is nothing I can give to anyone because they won’t be able to get into it, cook it or eat it. Thanks for your input Satin!

God put it into me right there and then to add back all the items I had removed and I would buy extra to make up for the items removed because they were open or half eaten.

On Sunday I took the groceries to church. I had no idea if the church had a food bank but I figured they would find some way or someone who could use them. I asked the greeter at the entrance of the church and he told me that the church does not collect groceries.

During the service the reverend announced that in two weeks’ time the church would be starting their spring food drive in support of the local food banks. Hmmmm! Do you think God has been busy? I do not believe in coincidences. I believe that everything is done according to God’s will.

Alright! It’s time to ponder this through. What are the lessons here, for me?

  1. On numerous occasions I have expressed to God, “Whatever you ask of me, my answer is yes, even if it doesn’t seem to make sense to me. You know what’s best”
  2. Initially I completely failed here when I selfishly thought of my own needs and discounted any crazy notion that I should give away any of my own food.
  3. Failing even further when I finally came around and agreed to give away the groceries, I began to claw them back, greedily justifying to myself why I should not give some of the loot.
  4. By thinking, I’ll just go and buy more to replace them, I totally missed the point of this exercise. Jesus wants me to depend on him, he is my provider not my bank account.
  5. When God spoke or in this case planted a suggestion in my mind, again I counted it as my own idea and pushed God aside.  
  6. If I want to hear Him I have to be quiet, focused and not so quick to take over, as I always have. Psalm 143:8 ESV

Will God give up on me? No way! Isaiah 41:10 CSB. When I don’t get it, the Holy Spirit will point out to me and will remind me what God has said. John 14:26 TLB.

Did I pass the test? I think so, and I picked up a few new pointers as well.

Can you relate to this situation? Send me your story, when God spoke to you and how you responded.

My Dog Ginger

Ginger is a Cocker Spaniel mix. She was rescued by a friend from a basket full of forcibly weaned puppies.  Stolen away from her mother, hand selected by a human and separated from her brothers and sisters. She was abducted if you will and taken to a strange new home where there were no other dogs. For her, what a dreadful day it was. It all began with a simple day trip, ironically to Parque de la Madre (Mother’s Park), Cuenca, Ecuador.

My friend’s wife named this new cute bundle of joy, Lollipop. Lollipop required a lot of care. She was not on solid food so had to be patiently introduced to bread and milk. Lollipop had to be taught to chew and lap up her food rather than suck it from a teat. Potty training was a full time job.

Now, my friend and his wife were getting on in their years as we all are and after suffering through numerous sleepless nights of howls and whining, uncountable potty runs, followed up with specialty meal preparations and lots of coaxing, it all proved somewhat unmanageable.

I had only met Lollipop on one occasion before being asked to consider the possibility of adopting her. I discussed the offer to adopt with my roommate and it was decided that she would be a welcome member of the household.

Thank goodness we were told that we could rename her. I dreaded having to take Lollipop for walks and having to call her name out in public. Not a very suiting name that a man would give to his dog. Lollipop became Jengibre, Spanish for Ginger, the color of her fur.

Ginger was truly a rescued puppy and so fortunate to be alive with a long life ahead of her. On the second day I had her we attended a veterinarian appointment. She was started on a health maintenance program with follow up appointments that would make sure she was always in top health. Soon afterwards we discovered that she was absolutely loaded with intestinal worms. I feared for the lives of the other pups as well as the mother.  

To bring this run on story to a point. I believe that God was behind all of this. You see, I was not a follower of God or Jesus. I knew about them but I had no relationship with them, nor did I need one. I have always done as I wished when I wished, until now. It seems that the time had come for God’s master plan for my life to be set into action. God would use Ginger to help ease me in to Jesus who would then work his magic on my heart.

God works in mysterious ways. Little did I know that our Father in heaven had been busy behind the scenes and all that I had ever known, done and worked for was about to come crashing down. Ginger was to be a big part of my recovery and transformation. Our father does not work the way we think He should. He works the way that He knows will be the best for everyone. God used my friend to rescue Ginger and knew that He would also have my friend gift Ginger to me at just the right moment in time to help me to turn to Jesus who would in turn rescue me. My friend and his wife would still be able to enjoy Ginger as we were very close friends. Visitation rights would not be an issue.   

When you’re broken and buried in fear and despair. When you’re pushed down as low as you can possibly be and hope does not exist, I’ll tell you from experience, what will happen. You’ll want to be alone so that you can do the one thing society says that you cannot. You’ll crawl to your bed possibly taking with you something that may provide any little bit of comfort. (Ginger, in my case). You begin a pity party and you start to sob.  Your sobs turn to out and out crying and the tears will flow like Niagara Falls.

Once you realize there is no way out of this mess and you cannot save yourself this time. Once you realize there’s nowhere to turn and no one to turn to, there is only one option left. You cry out to God, you cry out to Jesus, you get on your knees and you beg for mercy and grace. It does not matter how much you refused to believe or how much you rejected the idea of there even being a God, a single creator of everything that exist. You’ll now believe from your heart what you have known to be true all along. You have no other choice.

This is not how we should come to God. Unfortunately, it is how many relationships with God start. How is that? Using God as an absolute last resort, after you have used up every possible option and tried everything else. Thank God, He is merciful, patient and forgiving. If you were to come to me as an absolute last hope, things could have a different outcome for you. I want to be like God but I am not.   

What do you do when someone’s hurting? Do you tell them don’t cry, everything will be okay. “NO! It won’t!” Do you tell them, you’ll get over it. “No! I won’t!” Maybe you can suggest that you know how  they are feeling. “No! You do not!” Here is what you do. You do what Ginger did. Absolutely nothing! You sit with the person quietly and you don’t say a word. Job 2:13 NIV Be humble, patient and gentle Ephesians 4:2 NIV and let them know you are feeling their hurt with them. Cry along with them.  When one member of the family is hurting the whole family hurts together.

Ginger was so patient and so quite. Although she was just a four month old puppy and I only had her a couple of weeks, she had studied me well. Ginger knew my upbeat happy demeanor and she knew this new emotion was not right. She related my pain and tears to her own. The day she was taken from her mother and siblings. You could see the empathy in her face.

This day, Ginger was my landing pad. The first of many uses God has had for her in my life to date.

Ponder This – Easter Weekend

Sin entered the human race through Adam, and the human race has been trying without success to get rid of it ever since. And, short of that, mankind has been seeking in vain to reverse the curse. The Bible teaches that God warned Adam before he sinned that if he ate of the tree of knowledge he would surely die. The Bible also tells us that God instructed Adam and Eve to be fruitful and to multiply and to replenish the earth. But although they had been created in the image of God, after the Fall Adam and Eve gave birth to children after their own likeness and image. Consequently Cain and Abel were infected with the death-dealing disease of sin, which they inherited from their parents and which has been passed on to every generation since. We are all sinners by inheritance, and try as we will, we cannot escape our birthright.

We have resorted to every means to win back the position that Adam lost. We have tried through education, through philosophy, through religion, through governments to throw off our yoke of depravity and sin. We have sought to accomplish with our sin-limited minds the things that God intended to do with the clear vision that can only come from on high. Our motives have been good and some of our attempts have been commendable, but they have all fallen far, far short of the goal. All our knowledge, all our inventions, all our developments and ambitious plans move us ahead only a very little before we drop back again to the point from which we started. For we are still making the same mistake that Adam made – we are still trying to be king in our own right, and with our own power, instead of obeying God’s laws….

Man’s only salvation from sin stands on a lonely, barren, skull-shaped hill: a thief hangs on one cross, a murderer on another, and between them, a Man with a crown of thorns….

And who is this tortured figure, who is this Man who other men seek to humiliate and kill? He is the son of God, the Prince of Peace, heaven’s own appointed Messenger to the sin-ridden earth.

Who inflicted this hideous torture upon the Man who came to teach us love? You did and I did, for it was for your sin and my sin that Jesus was nailed to the cross….

But sin overreached itself on the cross. Man’s hideous injustice that crucified Christ became the means that opened the way for man to become free. Sin’s masterpiece of shame and hate became God’s masterpiece of mercy and forgiveness. Through the death of Christ upon the cross, sin itself was crucified for those who believe in Him. Sin was conquered on the cross. His death is the foundation of our hope, the promise of our triumph! Christ bore in His own body on the tree the sins that shackle us. He died for us and rose again. He proved the truth of all God’s promises to man; and if you will accept Christ by faith today, you, can be forgiven for your sins. You can stand secure and free in the knowledge that through the love of Christ your soul is cleansed of sin and saved from damnation.

[From Peace with God by Billy Graham] (Nov.7, 1918-Feb.21, 2018)

Is there a reoccurring sin that you enjoy? Before it brings judgment upon you turn away from it, repent and ask for Jesus’ help.   

March 30th, 2019

I am now back in London where I originally thought I would be upon returning back to Canada from Ecuador. From mid-November until now it has felt as though I was trapped with no options to move forward. This stagnant period of time however was not a waste of time in God’s eyes. I believe He planned it.

This quit time taught me to appreciate many things I had been taking for granted. I have learned to appreciate the city, the buses, the traffic, the busy malls and sidewalks. I learned what it is to be lonely. I learned that eating with no exercise expands your waist line exponentially. I learned to pray and most importantly to listen. I learned to ponder and think about each day’s events. I made mistakes but learned to recognized them, plan solutions and a better way to react in the future. I have learned to ask what was the lesson, why was it necessary, how can I make it better? 

This time period was all about connecting to Jesus and learning to communicate in both directions. It was about learning who Jesus really is, studying his character and his response to a variety of situations. Its one thing to say I believe in Jesus but quite another to say I know Jesus and I am a disciple of Jesus. To fashion your life after him and sincerely put the effort forward to be as much like him as possible is considerably more than just believing in him. Satin believes in Jesus! Satin knows he’s real! How much more should we?

I Thank God for this sort of sabbatical leave, this time to escape from the world.  What a difference it would make to the planet if everyone could have four months by themselves to reboot, re-focus and re-discover who they are and who they want to be.

Being back in London is like waking up after a long winter’s hibernation. I’m rested, I’m eager, ready willing and able. I’m hungry and ready to hunt. This past weekend I attended my second church service in two weeks and I’ve already asked the Reverend of the church to contact me. I need help but I am also willing to help out. I need a little more direction, some leadership; I have the drive to begin in some sort of a ministry. I have a roof over my head, transportation, a church family, access to jobs, and people. I have libraries and government offices loaded with resources.

I am staying with my sister for the time being. She has always opened her doors to anyone in need. I’m not too sure how long her patience will last with my not having a job and not contributing. My funds are dangerously low. Securing a job is still my first priority. Maintaining this Christian blog and helping out in some way through the church or even starting a home Bible study, small group is my second priority.

Even though I have been moved on and into a new season I am still being tested and taught new lessons. The old season is overlapping these early days of this new season. This past week I believe that I received another message and a test from God which I nearly outright failed but then caught myself. I’ll get it written up and post it in My Journal. Also I’ll post what I believe has to be one of the most disgusting dreams I’ve ever had. What was the purpose of this dream? What am I to decipher from it? Why now when entering this new season?  It was a pretty powerful week, overall.

Glad to be back! Thanks be to God!

March 21st, 2019

What a Couple of crazy weeks, I’ve had!

Despite the circumstances in my life, I’m still trying my very best to build and strengthen my faith in Jesus. I am surprisingly calm and I sleep soundly, waking up well rested. Very obviously this is a reward from Christ himself.

At this point there is no doubt that my daughter will go on her own way, and I am to go on mine.

A new development came to light and a bit of a whammy for me. My daughter could not arrange movers to come on Saturday the 30th of March, they were all booked. I discovered with only a week to go that they were to come on the 23rd and remove everything from the house. Suddenly I had one week less than I had thought.

In a panic I e-mailed my friends right away and asked them to come and pick me up. “My plan,” “move first and work out the details later.” Even as I was planning to move, my plans were unraveling. I learned that there was no bathroom in my friend’s apartment. It had been gutted quite some time ago with plans for updating and had not been finished. It would take a week before a toilet would be functional and also new subflooring was needed. There was no room for any of my things because the apartment was filled with the owner’s belongings. I would only have one room that was cleared out. I was thinking long term rental, they were thinking short term with a signed and notarized contract. A sum of money not possible for me was suggested as rent and they were thinking of even more rental income in the future when they would rent out each bedroom individually. In addition the electricity is on its own meter and the gas and water usage would be calculated and billed to me monthly. 

Not surprising, this sudden and reckless idea of mine fell through.

 What did I do wrong? I panicked and I lost my focus on Jesus, once again turning away from faith to my own ill-conceived plans. I decided to rely upon worldly resources, my bank account, to float me until I could find work. Again, I was not exercising faith in Jesus.  Proverbs 11:28 Those who depend on their wealth will fall like the leaves of autumn, but the righteous will prosper like the leaves of summer.

I don’t believe there’s a proverb for depleting one’s finances and not replenishing them. If there was I’m sure I’d be referred to as a fool.

Was God right in closing this door on me? Absolutely! Everything screamed, “Don’t do it!”

It’s my first priority to continue looking for a full time job. Searching for an apartment will be my second priority. How can I sign a lease and not know my income? How can I search a location not knowing where I will work?

Simultaneously, I had to get myself refocused on Jesus and once again place my faith back into Jesus’ hands. While actively searching for work, am I already lacking in faith? No! I can’t keep praying for God’s will to be done and then just sit idly by and wait for a job opportunity to come to me. I believe that I have to actually make a move and make choices.   

I’ve discovered through my reading the Bible that faith doesn’t follow signs but instead, signs follow faith. It’s a pattern that shows up time after time throughout the Bible. Just look at the stories of Abraham, Joseph, David, Samuel, Esther, Ruth, and the disciples. The list does not stop here either. First an act of faith is shown and then we read about the confirmation afterward.  

Once you make a move, then God will follow up your faith with His blessing. 

If I want God to show up in my life, I believe that I have to do as much as I can with what I have on hand. Then, I turn to God and I pray for Him to bless what I have done. Pray and ask for anointing on my life, my body, my blog, my finances, on a job, for a home and place to rest my head.

The 23rd is only one day away. I’ve no home, no job and no real solid plan. I will go to the city where there is a variety of options for work. In the city, I’ll finally be able to once again attend church. Oh how I wish I had established a church family to turn to, now when I am in need the most.

This is one of the, “Verses of the Day” from the past two weeks that really seemed to speak to me. James 1:5-6 NLT  If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask Him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.

March 6th, 2019

 This morning I’m rolling over in my mind how many times I have placed my life in Jesus’ hands and then stepped out on my own to do things my way, regretted it and then jumped right back into Jesus’ hands again. I keep expressing to him that I trust him and I have the faith that he will lead me, continue to feed me and provide all of my needs. Jesus is my shepherd, my savior and provider. My faith is in him.

Then in the next moment I began to worry about where I’ll live, will I find a job, where will I find a job, will I have enough money to get me through until I do secure a job.

In the next moment I realize that, I don’t have faith in Jesus because if I did I would not be worrying. I ask Jesus to take away my worries and I ask that he will help me to build my faith in him.

I relapse and again begin to think about all the many things that I do not have and will need to start out on my own. I don’t have a mattress, sheets or a blanket, no table and a chair. What if there is no fridge or stove? I don’t have a pot or a pan to cook in or cutlery to eat with. I fret more and more while building the list so large that I have no sense of importance or priority on all of the items.

There I go again; destroying the faith I claim to have in Jesus.  Worrying my heart out and stripping my proclaimed faith right out from under him. I’m ashamed of myself and I say out loud, despite what you just heard, Jesus, I do have faith in you. I know in my heart that you love me and you will take care of everything, just as you always have. I apologize for flip flopping back and forth. Please remove my concerns and help me to trust you fully and have total faith in you.

What a week I’m experiencing! Everyday my daily verse has confirmed my prayers and conversations with the Lord. Every day I mull over the answers I have received and I tell Jesus that I want to trust him one day at a time. I want my faith in him to be strengthened issue by issue, one day at a time.

Why is it such a struggle for me to keep my faith in Christ? He has proven himself to me repeatedly. As if he ever had to prove himself to me in the first place. Who am I that Jesus should have to ever prove himself to me?

God brought me back to Canada to help my daughter and now there’s a reason for everything that is happening. I’m not ready for it but whether I like it or not, something’s up, I can’t stop it and it’s going to happen, whatever it is.

I switch my focus to Abba. I acknowledge He has a plan for me and I pray for His will, to be done in me. I tell Abba that I want to do what He wants for me, no matter what it is. Whatever He has planned it will be perfect in every way, how could I not want that? I can feel that I’m being moved forward and all I can really do is just hang on and enjoy the ride. Let’s see where I am let off this time.

March 5th, 2019

I have known now for two weeks that my daughter has decided to move out of the rented house where we are living. She expressed that she was fed up with a number of instances that have occurred and told the landlady she (we) would be moved out by the end of March. That is only four short weeks away. I asked where she planned on moving and she replied I have no idea.

Where we are is small, far from high end living, but only $650 per month. Now, several realities present themselves. First and last month rent will be required up front and center for a new residence. Any other place for rent will start at an absolute minimum of $800.00 per month.

I recalled that a friend of mine use to rent an apartment in their house. I don’t know what it has in the way of bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, appliances or services so I contacted them by e-mail and asked if they would consider renting it out once again. It may possibly be well suited to our needs and they could receive an extra income. Knowing it has not been rented in a long time and it’s probably being used for excess storage, I volunteered that I would be willing to clean and prepare the apartment; they wouldn’t have to do anything. I suggested we should get together and talk about it.

When a reply came back without a definite NO I spoke to my daughter about it. My news appeared to fall on deaf ears and my message was drowned out by complaints of how high the cost of rent is. This was 3 days ago. Two days ago, I asked if she had given anymore thought as to where we would be moving, pointing out that there is not a lot of time to find a suitable place and orchestrate the move. Still she has no idea, so again I mention that we could maybe rent the apartment from my friends but we will have to decide quickly. The apartment will need to be cleaned and prepared and we must get started packing and searching for movers.

Immediately, she tells me that she does not want to live in London. I replied that I know it may not be the best but it would be a roof over our heads. Even though she does not know where she will be working yet, she says London is too far from her work. She continued with, the traffic is too crazy in and out of London. She will be too tired, the time traveling is too much, she would have to drive my granddaughter to school every day and pick her up every night plus travel to work and back home again. It’s just too much and will cost too much for gas. It wouldn’t be fair to move her daughter to another school when she has made friends and is being invited to birthday parties who in turn are being invited to her birthday at the beginning of April.

Once again, I suggest that my friend’s apartment is at the very least a roof over our heads and it provides a temporary solution to our present dilemma. My daughter says she is not at all worried about where to stay because if she has to she can sleep in her car and with her gym membership she can have daily showers. What about my granddaughter, I asked, where would she go?  The reply was as equally simple. She can stay at her grandmother’s.

All righty then! Let’s see if I can organize all the pieces to this jigsaw puzzle.  I leave my daughter’s and stay with my sister for one week, to take care of business that was just not possible to accomplish in, Little Hicksville. My stay with my sister was pushed to four weeks because of a series of events that kept me from returning back home. Upon returning home I’m met with the sudden urgency to vacate the property within six weeks. The flat out resistance to even consider my friend’s apartment, every suggestion that I present is cut down, the mention of a birthday party with guest yet no idea where we will be living.      

I see a pretty big hole in all of this. It doesn’t seem to include me anywhere.

Now, other tidbits of information are starting to make sense. On a couple of occasions since returning, my daughter has left the house to talk with her husband on the phone. Why all of a sudden the top secrecy? My granddaughter mentioned a house that she and her mom visited for moving to and my daughter telling me that it’s only a 20 minute drive from the next town over to where she hopes she will be hired.

Now if I were an educated man and were to have to guess I’d say that my services are no longer needed at this time. It seems that it’s God’s will for me to move on.

 Uncertainty sure has a way of frightening the daylights out of you but there is a bit of scripture, I’ve long understood and practiced many times before, it’s Philippians 4:6-7 NIV, It reads; don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

If you ever find yourself with your back up against the wall try to remember this verse. It really helps to know God is there for you.

February 7th, 2019

4:30 am    I wake up with all these evil thoughts going through my mind and after what seemed to be several minutes, I remembered who my savior is. I call on the entire Holy Trinity and plead to have these thoughts taken away from me. I ask for help to suit up and to be strengthened to ward off these attacks that are obviously from Satin. Almost immediately my mind is cleared and redirected. I begin thinking about all the good things God has given me and before I know it I have dozed off.

The next time I wake it is 5:30am. My mind is filled with ideas of how I can use Ginger my dog to reach out to children and others, introducing them to God as seen through Ginger’s mind and eyes. Quickly I get up so I can jot down as many of these ideas as I can remember. I have learned that these bits and pieces of inspiration can dissipate pretty quickly. Sometimes no matter how hard I try, I just cannot recall them. Even though the ideas I had would have been fantastic to share and possibly help strengthen God’s kingdom. They just slip away so fast and are lost. It’s like when you have a very detailed dream and then the next day you try to tell someone about it and all those details are jumbled up or are no longer there. The dream doesn’t make any sense and your friend is looking at you like a deer looking into the headlights of a fast approaching car.   

So, now I am wide awake and I prepare a grapefruit and some oatmeal for my breakfast. My beloved morning cup of java is brewed and that aroma, I swear just somehow adds to its flavor. After expressing my thanks for the many blessings I’ve already received, I’m now ready to settle down and start my morning quite time with Jesus.

Today’s, “Verse of the day” is Psalm 97:10 (NLT) You who love the Lord, hate evil! He protects the lives of His godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked.

I don’t want to sound proud or smug but I am really not surprised that once again I can relate todays verse to my 4:30 AM wake up. I have come to expect some sort of a correlation between the events carrying on in my life and these daily verses. 

As soon as I finished reading the verse of the day I thought out load. If I can place my trust and faith in the Trinity when I’m dozy and half asleep and be immediately comforted, I can most certainly place my trust and faith in Jesus Christ all day long while I am awake and alert.

How do you not start a day like this without a wide, ear to ear smile on your face? When God speaks to me I can’t restrain myself from smiling and chuckling out load.

Today is going to be a great day!