"If...my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and heal their land." 2 Chr. 7:14
A couple words about this page...yes, it is somewhat long, but I encourage you to read it all...it is an on going work that I don't plan to call finished anytime soon...
I am a Christian. There are many places in the world where I could not freely practice Christianity. The United States is a great place to live. One reason is because I CAN practice Christianity here.
I am concerned though because in the last thirty to fifty years there have been efforts to push God out of our country. The murder of unborn children (aka abortion) has been made legal. Public displays of a Christian nature have been challenged in many places. Public prayer has been banned in our public schools. Since God was pushed out of our schools, our educational standards have done nothing but drop, and our children either don't finish school or finish it at much lower standards than those who finished school 40 years ago. More recently, The Pledge of Allegiance has been challenged because of the words..."One Nation Under God". I've got news for everyone who is in favor of this outrage! If children are forbidden to say "One Nation Under God" in public schools, then the public schools must start handing out free lunches! After all, our money has "In God We Trust" on it. That money should not be spent in public schools if our children are not allowed to say "One Nation Under God" in The Pledge of Allegiance. Most recently, the institution of marriage as it was set up by God as being between one man and one woman, is being challenged.
The terrorist attacks of 9-11-2001
After the terrorist attacks on September 11th, one TV interviewer asked the daughter of Billy Graham: "Where was God when the terrorist attacks took place?" and her answer was "The USA has been trying to push God out of this country, we need to make up our minds - Do we want Him or not? We can't just ask Him to be present when something bad is taking place." As terrible as the events of September 11th, 2001 were, God was in control that day and He still is. One of the women who lost her husband on the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania said something that struck me as a wonderful thing to remember in the tough times like 9-11. Her words conveyed the message that even when things in the here and now seem chaotic, eternity is still ok. It always will be! Our time on this earth is short compared to the time we will spend in eternity. But where will YOU spend eternity?
Why am I a Christian?
As a Christian, I find that non-Christians often misunderstand what it means to be a Christian. Sometimes I get the impression that non-Christians think that Christians claim to be perfect, or if not perfect, better than everyone else. If mankind was capable of living a perfect life without sin, there would be no need for Christianity. I don't claim to be perfect. In God's eyes, I am every bit as sinful as any other human being on this planet. Nevertheless, when a non-Christian sees me do something wrong or say something that I shouldn't, they sometimes look at me and say, "And you call yourself a Christian?" That is precisely the reason that I am a Christian. I know that I am sinful and because of it, I cannot go to God on my own. The price of my sin has been paid for by Jesus Christ. All I have to do is believe that Jesus died for all mankind's sin and rose again from the dead, victorious over sin and Satan. Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God 1John 1:8-9 says 8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1John 2:2 says 2He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. Without accepting what Jesus did for me, I am condemned to eternity in hell. But by accepting Jesus' precious gift of forgiveness of my sin by paying the price for it through his death and resurrection, I will spend eternity in heaven with God once my earthly body dies.
So you see, I do claim to be a Christian, even though I don't always act like one. I don't mean that I can be as sinful as I want to because God forgives me. As a Christian, if I truly love God, I will want to serve him and try to live a Godly life (strive to be Christ like), but because I am human, I will fail over and over again. That is why I accept God's gracious gift to me of forgiveness of my sin, that was paid for by my savior Jesus Christ.
So you say you believe that there is a God
You say you believe there is a God, but you aren't into all the religion of going to church and all that. I have news for you, even Satan and all his demons believe in God. The only way to heaven is not just believing in God, but wholly giving your heart to Jesus and believing that He loved all mankind enough to give His life for us. Acts 4:12 12Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved
Don't we all just go to a better place when we die?
One of the pastors at my church preached a 30 minute message on this subject on July 26th, 2009. It really touched my life and I would like everyone to hear it. Click here to hear it.
Does being a Christian make all my problems disappear?
Another thing about Christianity that is often misunderstood is that people sometimes think that if they are a Christian, God will solve all their problems and life will be trouble free. Nothing is farther from the truth! John 16:33 says "I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." God promises to provide for us. In Matthew 6:25-34 it says: 25Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
As a Christian, I struggle with the sin of WORRY everyday. Economic conditions rise and fall. I often worry about my job and I also worry about my son who is mentally impaired. God wants me to trust in Him that he will provide for me no matter how good or bad things seem where I work. He also wants me to trust Him to take care of my son even though he will always need supervision. I do not know what will happen to him once his mother and I are not here to take care of him anymore. My ONLY option is to trust in God. Proverbs 3:5,6 says: 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. and Ephesians 3:20,21 says: 20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. When I worry about my son not being able to live on his own after I am gone, God says: "I am able to do immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine...TRUST IN ME!" I know that through my son's mental impairment, God is causing me to learn to trust Him and lean on Him. I sometimes get very upset and ask God WHY HE ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN TO MY SON? But I know the reason why. Even though the peaks of life feel great and the valleys seem difficult, it is in the valleys of life that I learn and grow in my faith in God. It is the same way for all living things. The view on a mountain top is spectacular, but life cannot grow up there. There is not enough oxygen and it is too cold. It is down in the valleys where we can't always see the spectacular views, that life flourishes and grows.
The movie: The Passion Of The Christ
I saw the movie "The Passion of The Christ" on March 28th, 2004. While watching The Passion of The Christ, I kept asking, WHY JESUS, Why did you have to suffer this horrible ordeal? His answer came to me immediately..."Because I love you that much my child!" I have struggled with depression on and off from 1999 to 2003 because my son is mentally impaired. It has seemed like such a burden at times to have a child like this, but after seeing this film, it is a SMALL thing that I have to raise a mentally challenged child when compared to what Christ went through for humanity. He didn't have to do it, he could have called an army of angels to stop what was done to him, but he didn't. I saw the movie on a Saturday. The following morning, the sermon in church mentioned 2 Corinthians 4:17-18. This small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble. So we fix our attention not on the things that are seen, but on the things that are unseen. What is seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen, lasts forever. It is as if Christ has said to me through the movie and through the sermon the following morning, "See what I have done for you my child, please do this small thing for Me." That thing being raising my child and not being discouraged. Thank you Lord Jesus for loving us all so much and for speaking to me when I needed it most!
How I have seen the hand of God at work in my life
I worked as a machinist for 20 years, from 1984 until 2004. Starting around 2001, the business that I had been a part of since 1984 started having financial problems due to the forming global economy and the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs in the USA. In 2003, I started having problems with my knees, legs and hips from standing all day. I tried temporarily to do my job from a tall chair like a bar stool, but that wasn't very practical. I saw my doctor about the problem and he suggested finding a sit down job. That meant a career change! Wow, this was something I had never expected to have to face. I started wondering what I could switch to that would allow me to sit more while working. Well, from the windows of the business that I was working in, I could see a party store next door and noticed beverage trucks delivering pop and beer most everyday. Hmmm...Could truck driving be a possibility for me? In 2004, I started researching truck driving on the Internet and by the end of summer 2004, I was enrolled in a 4 week program to get a commercial drivers license. I left my job as a machinist and was hired by an over the road (driving cross country) trucking company in Dallas, Texas and started their training program in mid-October 2004. The sad part was that I had to be away from my family for 3 to 5 weeks at a time and 8 weeks at the start of the training! It was rough being away for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and a couple family birthdays including my own. My goal was to eventually get a local driving job so I could be home with my family every night, but to start out, most drivers have to "pay their dues" by driving nationally for at least 1 year. At least I had found a job that I could work long hours and not have problems with my legs! I had only been employed as a truck driver for about 2 months when my wife found a job ad online from the company that I was driving for. They were looking for drivers to work locally in the Detroit area, which is where I live! WOW, if I could get that job, I could be home every night and not have to be driving nationally for a year! Well, there was one catch. The driver had to have a F.A.S.T. card for crossing the US-Canadian border. So, while I was in Dallas, my wife found an application for the FAST card for drivers and faxed it to me down in Dallas. I applied and after 3 months, I finally received my FAST card. I notified my company of the fact that I had the FAST card and was interested in the local position in Detroit if it was still available. Well, much to my disappointment, the position was no longer available. Back on the road I went. My wife kept on searching the Internet faithfully looking for jobs that might get me home sooner. While I was home for time off in May, there was a local company that was looking for FAST card holding drivers and the job would have me home every night. I applied and went on an interview, but for some reason, there were delays and the person in charge of hiring kept telling me that they were interested in me, but they just couldn't hire me on quite yet. This was VERY frustrating for me because I was really hating being sent all over the country and being away from home for a month at a time and then only being home for about 4 days and then leaving again. FINALLY, in late June, my father over heard the conversation of a mechanic who worked for another local company. The guy was at our church, talking to someone else about his job with this company and my father introduced himself and mentioned that his son (ME!) was a driver and had a FAST card. The mechanic told my father that his company would most likely hire me right away if I had a FAST card. My father got me the number of who I had to contact about the job and I called it. A week later, I had turned in my truck in Dallas and was on my home FOR GOOD! As of this writing, Christmas 2005 is 2 weeks away. I've been working locally for my new company since mid-July. I am home EVERY night and I am not on my feet all day anymore! God put me with an over the road company that was very safety conscious, which I am thankful for. It provided me with very good training. God provided me with my FAST card because this company ran the ad for drivers with FAST cards, which led me to get my FAST card. Without it, the company I work for now probably wouldn't have hired me. For God's hand to be anymore obvious in all of this, it would have to have appeared before my eyes and actually wrote on the wall.
I still wait anxiously to see God's hand apparent in the life of my son. I just have to keep trusting Him until He decides the time is right.
This page has sat stagnant for a several years. I thought I should put in an update of what has happened in my life since I was hired by that local company in July of 2005. In August of 2007, that trucking company went out of business and I was unemployed. I found work quickly working for a family member who needed a few truck drivers to deliver their products locally in the Detroit area. I was still home every night with my family but it really wasn't the type of job I wanted. I searched for something better. After about 6 months I was hired by another company but with them I worked mostly on a dock on a forklift loading and unloading trucks all day. I liked not driving trucks, not having the stress of driving such a large vehicle and trying to find places that I had never been to before, but there were other challenges of working on a dock, like winter. There was no heat on the docks and in winter, when it got really cold, even dressing warmly, you could not stay very warm. I stayed at this job for a little over 2 years and grew to hate it. I grumbled constantly about the things I hated at this job. In April of 2010, God got tired of listening to me grumble about my job and the company decided to hire part time workers for cheaper wages and let go all of the full time workers...including me. I was relieved to not have to go to a job I hated anymore, but was now stressed out at the sudden need to find another job. I found something online quickly that I thought I would like and applied. I was called in for an interview but was not hired. I found another position online for driving to Fort Wayne, Indiana everyday and back again. I applied but hoped I would still be hired by the first position I applied for as it paid better. I was hired by the second company. I have been with them since May of 2010. The job is easy and pretty stress free. I go to the same places everyday. I start at 6 am and am home by 5 pm everyday. The challenge of this job is the pay. I don't make enough to meet my financial needs. My wife does get some income and we barely get by. God has found ways to bless me and meet my needs all of this time though. Even though my budget says I am not making ends meet, God has provided. For a while, after I was hired for the Fort Wayne job, I still continued to search for a better paying trucking job. I went on a couple of interviews, but was never hired. In February of 2011, I had an accident in the truck and with that on my record, no other companies will even consider me. So it is obvious to me that God wants me where I am for now. I don't understand it, but I know God is in control and I fully trust in him to give me and my family what we need.
Some verses or song lyrics that I like . . .
From Be Still My Soul
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Here are 3 modern Christian songs that I really like!
John 16:33 "I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
Matthew 6:25-34 25Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Proverbs 3:5,6 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Ephesians 3:20,21 20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 This small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble. So we fix our attention not on the things that are seen, but on the things that are unseen. What is seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen, lasts forever.
Isaiah 40:27-31 27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God"? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.