America, America

How long have people longed to come to these shores? It has been a least a 1000 years. What did they see or dream about? Can you imagine what America looked like 1000 years ago? It was filled with trees and wildlife. It had beautiful pristine rivers and lakes. It was filled with everything people dream about and want in their lives. So many people came to these shores that no one will ever know about. They lived and died here on this land. And I am not talking about 500 years ago. Only 200 years ago, people came and moved west only to die of violence by man or animal or by sickness. And no one knows who they are except God. Yet people kept coming. They wouldn’t stop. America has always been referred to as the promise land, a land flowing with milk and honey. People saw a chance to improve their lives and their families. So they sold everything they had and came to America. Most of those people died within a year of coming. Those that survived carved out a piece of America for themselves. First it was the people of Siberia. Then the Vikings came. Then the people of Europe came. Then the Africans. Poor people from almost every nation. Our country is called the melting pot of the world. If you look at our language you will find words from every nation. One things has always been true, when we are threaten our people come together as one. We have lived through many wars. I have lived through 5 wars just in my lifetime. And still today, people from everywhere still want to come to come to America, the Promised Land.
http://www.joseph1637.com
joseph1637@juno.com

A Friend in need

I have a friend that went with my son to Iraq in 2004 during the shooting war. They were based in Bagdad. During a mission in 2005 their tank rolled across an IED. It exploded and the tank commander was killed along with a trooper in the back. The rest of the squad was injured in some way. My friend had fractured his back and nobody knew. He tried to help everybody out of the tank but passed out for pain. After two days in the hospital, his captain went looking for him. The medics didn’t see any physical wounds so they didn’t treat him. But he couldn’t walk. The captain immediately got him help and he was evacuated to Germany. There he began to recover. By a miracle of God, they got him on his feet. And with assistance he shuffled a few feet. But the prognosis was not good. They said he would never walk again. They moved him to Walter Reed Hospital for further testing and therapy. Before he left there he was walking with assistance. They moved him to San Antonio for the rest of his recovery. We wrote letters to each and I could tell he was getting despondent. He has a wife and two children. He told before he left for Iraq that God had called him into the ministry. All of that was on hold. His wife wrote saying she didn’t know what to do. When a person needs to hear the truth to help them, you do it in love. I wrote to my friend that God had called him into the ministry. God didn’t call his legs into ministry, but him. If he never walked again in his life, it still didn’t negate his call into the ministry. I told him he could function just as well without legs in the ministry. He saw the truth, he needed to go on with his life. Today after ten years, he walks just fine. He also went to bible school. The truth will set you free and if you are free, you are free indeed.
http://www.joseph1637.com
joseph1637@juno.com

How Tenuis Life Is

My wife and I were at my brother’s house this weekend watching football. He and his wife live in an area of the city that is known for drive by shootings. They bought this old house in an area that wasn’t bad at first. But has become terrible lately. They have two big mixed breed German Sheppard dogs. If the dogs got upset with you they could do some damage. I was going out to the car to get something. As I opened the door, I walked out first then came the dogs. My brother followed and looked at me and said, you let the dogs go first, always. He was genuinely concerned for me. I saw the fear in his eyes for me. My wife and I live about 20 miles away in a small community. It is relatively safe to live there. I don’t know if I could live in an area where I had to be concerned for my life all the time. I have served in the military but not in combat. 3 of my 4 sons have fought in combat. My father fought in combat in WWII. I have had friends that didn’t come back from war. Life is tenuis at best. No one knows when, where or how we will die. My young friend walked over a mine, while the soldier behind him stood on top. My friend was 5 feet past the mine when it blew up and was killed. The soldier on top of mine was only scratched. God knows the exact time we will go home. God doesn’t guarantee tomorrow for us. All God gives us is now. Now is the time and today is the day of salvation. This is all of God’s promise. God wants us to see who we are and what we have in Him. So the time is now. What are you going to do with your time? What will you do with now?
http://www.joseph1637.com
joseph1637@juno.com

Buyer Beware

I can remember commercials on television or newspaper hawking products that would make you handsome or tall. You look back at this and laugh. Because it was so ridicules that you wonder how people could believe it in the first place. People have always wanted conveniences that would help them in their daily life. Look at the simple things we have. How would like to live on a dirt road that washes out every time it rains. Or how would you like to go to an outhouse in the dead of winter. Having flowing water in the house is a relatively new convenience. Or having a telephone on a party line where you could only talk every so often. Or having to saddle a horse to go to the store 10 miles away. The industrial revolution has created many things that we take for granted. There are very few department stores that are over 50 years old. When my parents talked about walking to school they weren’t kidding. My mother lived 5 miles down a gravel road from her school. By the time she was ready to go to school, her father was in the cotton field working with the only horses they had. Yet today that is considered old fashion and out of date. Yet be self-sufficient never get old. There are many commercials about planning for retirement. And they ask pertinent questions about our future. What happens to us if the infrastructure fails and it did after Hurricane Katrina? That storm moved a 1.5 million people and shut down a city which is still struggling to come after 10 years. As God says, “but seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
http://www.joseph1637.com
joseph1637@juno.com

Comfort Zone

What is your comfort zone? How far can you go without being put into a situation that becomes uncomfortable? Why do we have to be uncomfortable anyway? Our comfort zone is a place where we like to be. It is free from conflict and any activity that we don’t want. I like to camp, but I don’t like wilderness camping. I don’t have to have a cellphone, but I don’t like to live off the land. I like sleeping in a sleeping bag. Waking up at the break of dawn to watch a sunrise in the woods is exciting to me. Preparing food and drink over a campfire is fun. This is my comfort zone. I like animals. Most domestic ones, cats and dogs, even gerbils are interesting. I don’t like snakes. I can be at home with most any animal. Some people take me out of my comfort zone. I don’t mind talking to most any stranger. It has always been interesting to me to find out about people. So why do we have a comfort zone? What is that all about? How many times you have wanted to accomplish a goal? And you knew that you couldn’t do this inside your comfort zone. You had to go until the task was completed. And where it took you, you would never normally go. It meant that you had to go through every emotion in the book. I hate to be embarrassed, because I feel like a fool. But I know that many times the only way to accomplish my goals is through it. Each time that things happen to me I grow. This is the only way I can move forward in my life. God says that we go through temptations all of our life. And with each different temptation God always makes a way of escape. He does this so we are able to bear the temptation in our lives. So press through your comfort zone and find out what is out there for you.
http://www.joseph1637.com
joseph1637@juno.com

Fear

President Franklin Roosevelt in one of his famous speeches said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. We live with fear all of our lives. Some fear is necessary for us to function in the world. There is a response that keep us safe from harm. It is the fight or flight response. When we are frightened, our body produces this response. We have learned that putting our hand into fire hurts. So we develop a fear of fire. This is a natural response. When my oldest son was 6-7 years old, we took to a firework display. He had developed a fear of the dark. When the fireworks started to explode, he drove for my arms. He was terrified. I asked who made the night. He said God did. Then if He did make the night, there is nothing to be afraid of. He began to turn and look at the fireworks. He enjoyed the firework display and never was afraid of the dark again. Fear can be unreasonable. People can fear things that don’t exist. It can become so bad that they don’t leave their home for fear. Fear can stop you in your tracks for no reason. President Roosevelt was speaking to the nation about the fear of the depression. He wanted to show people that it can be turned around. God also talks about fear and what it is used for. He said that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. God also said that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. He also said the because of the fear of death, people are held in bondage all of the lives. Jesus said that to whom is set free, is free indeed. Let God set you free from fear to live the life that He has planned for you.
http://www.joseph1637.com
joseph1637@juno.com

Judgement

From a young age, we are taught that we must judge what is good or not. To survive in this world we must judge what is right or wrong. But we apply this to every part of our lives. Before we could speak, we were judging what food we needed to eat. Judging has become a part of all of our life. We like what we like and don’t want or need anything different. Do you know why you crave the same chocolate candy? Or you want to go to your favorite food place for your favorite foods. Mine is a freshly cooked beef hamburger fully dressed with fried onion rings. But if I ate only that food I would probably get sick from malnutrition and die. I have to eat the correct foods to maintain a proper diet. My wife’s food of choice is seafood. With the same discrimination we pick and choose all the things in our life. And many times it is applied to people because they are different from us. Everybody thinks that it is on the line of race, creed or color. But it goes way beyond that. Sometimes it is because they smell bad. Or it could be because they are poor. Or maybe they are not educated. Jesus would go the tax collector’s home to eat. Their friends were the local prostitutes. The religious leaders would condemn Jesus for going into a house of unclean people. Jesus told them that the well don’t need a physician. I came to seek and save that which was lost. People are people. God made every one of them. And He has called all to His dinner table. When you begin to think that you are more important than anyone else, I tell you a truth. You have lost your way and it is time for you to come back to God.
http://www.joseph1637.com
joseph1637@juno.com

Believability

Having the ability to believe in someone or something. As I have been keeping track of current events, I have noticed a shift in attitudes toward people. There has been an attack on believability. People have been making a pretense of telling the truth. Then turning around and calling everyone a liar. One event comes to mind of Dan Rather and the CBS evening news. All you have to do is follow the presidential race and the media says Republicans bad and Democrats good. There is very little news coverage that is worth wasting my time listening to. But you have to remember that anyone isn’t all bad or all good. There is a happy medium in there, somewhere. I want to be an optimist about our future. But I can’t find anything that man is doing that is righteous. When Paul traveled the world teaching about Jesus, he always encountered people who agreed and disagreed. It seemed that the people that disagreed were more vocal than the others. That is why they stoned him, imprisoned him and chased him out of every major city. Because he really spoke the truth which most people don’t want to hear? It hasn’t changed much in 2000 years. Man is still the same. He would rather believe a lie than have to deal with the truth. Believing takes faith and hope. If those parts are not there, there isn’t much believing going on. It takes faith that what is being said is true and will help you. The hope is wanting to change and be different or better than before. God says that if you want a person to change, you have to tell him the truth. Because with the truth, God can deal with the person.
http://www.joseph1637.com
joseph1637@juno.com

Faithfulness

A definition of the word faithfulness is strict or thorough in the performance of duty;
true to one’s word, promises, vows, steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant; reliable, trusted, or believed; adhering or true to fact, a standard, or an original; accurate; full of faith; believing. Every morning when my alarm rings there is a presence in my bedroom. After I silence the alarm, I hear this quiet little meow. Then I feel this nudge to my hand as my beautiful calico cat greets me in the morning. She waits until the alarm goes off before she does anything. She may sit on the bed for a while until the alarm goes off. That is her signal that I am awake and getting out of bed. And she will not approach me until that alarm goes off. She is faithful in her duty toward me. She is constant and true to herself. She will perform her duty to me every day no matter what. This is a true definition of faithfulness. If only people were so faithfulness. Unforntunately people are more faithless than faithful. It is about themselves not others. Selfishness is the order of the day. Of course it leads to nothing because selfishness is empty and has nothing. We were put on this earth to serve a cause. It isn’t all the causes that people get themselves into. The cause that we are tasked with is service to God and being faithful to Him. All those wonderful passions that we have are meant to work in God’s behalf. The dedication to being consistent in God’s plan for our life. Faithfulness is a wonderful human attribute if it is used in the correct way. That way is God’s way. Mt 25:23 “His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Are you faithful in the few things?
http://www.joseph1637.com
joseph1637@juno.com

Power

I must admit that I was drawn to God because I was so powerless. I didn’t have any power to do anything. People are drawn to power like moths to a flame. Because in and of ourselves we are powerless to do anything. Some people join gangs, some join the army and some go into politics to receive power. People don’t want to admit that we can’t do anything on our own. And I am not talking about eating, dressing, driving a car or going to school. I talking about making a difference in this world. Being able to help or control our situations with people and things. There is a limit to what we can do. God gave us this limit. Can you imagine what the world would be like if Hitler had conquered the world? Genocide isn’t something new to the 20th century. People have been killing off other people for their goods, resources or lands since time began. The old adage is true, absolute power corrupts absolutely. No one can rule the world without becoming a homicidal maniac. History is replete with people who have tried to rule the world. All they had to do is kill off everybody who disagreed with them. That is why the real power resides with God. God doesn’t give His power to anyone but His own children. And then He is selective on who can have it. As it says in the bible, Joh 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” Again, God says in the bible, Ac 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” So as God says His power is for His children.
http://www.joseph1637.com
joseph1637@juno.com