Beauty

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is as individual as we are. It has always been up to our perception of things. Yet there are things that are universally beautiful. For instances, a rose is a rose, is a rose, by any other name. The shape, the fragrance is unmistakable, a perfect symbol of love and beauty. And then who would call an aardvark beautiful, except for a few naturalists. Yet it is beautiful. Or what would you say to a jackass or a hairless Chihuahua? They are perfect in their own way. When God made people and things on the earth, He made them individual and beautiful. Even a wild rose in the middle of a trash pile is beautiful. So why can’t we see the beauty in people who are different? People or things that are different are usually shunned. As if it is a terrible different, we turn our backs to it and don’t even recognize it exists. I have said before that I like to open doors or smile at people. I look for the heart of a person, not the outward exterior. You would be surprised at the tenderness of people’s heart when you express yourself. I have had very few people not respond to my acts of kindness. God said we are like a fountain of water. As it pours out of us, how can sweet and sour water flow out of our hearts? Bitter water spoils the sweet water. Yet if you listen to people you can hear the bitter. That is why an act of kindness is always appreciated by most people. And even the hardest of hearts will crack with a kind word. So look for the beauty in this world and you will be surprised at what you will find. I wish for all of you a good day, especially if it is storming outside. For this is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it.

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Darkest before the Dawn

It is a fact that the night is the darkest before the dawn of the sun. It is the time of great turmoil for many people. The dawn has always been seen as hope for tomorrow. It is the beginning of a new day and a second chance. Hope is a fragile thing in our lives. We want to believe that there is a future. But after we screw up our lives we can’t see anything especially hope. And it becomes most apparent in the dark of the night when we are alone. Did you know that it is be design? The term is coming to oneself. Coming to the understanding that we can’t do anything by ourselves. That we need help to live our lives on this earth. That is why the dark of the night affects us so. King David had taken another man’s wife and she became pregnant. Then he had the husband killed in battle. For all that God gave him, he was going to lose his life because of this. For all the torment this caused, it wasn’t until his son, a prophet, came to him and confronted him. That David faced the Lord and the consequences. All this happened in the dark of the night, when David understood that he had sinned against God and was going to die. He turned to the Lord to ask for forgive him. God did forgive him, but the consequence was that his family was destroyed because of it. If we turn to the Lord, there is nothing that God wouldn’t forgive and restore us back into the kingdom. But that doesn’t always include the consequences. Consequences can be far reaching. It may go on for years. But there is hope in a new day. Perhaps God will change His mind about the consequences. There is always hope in God, when the sun arises after the darkest part of the night.

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Seekers

There is a hole in our lives. We are always seeking to fill it up. Most people don’t what is missing in their lives. But are willing to look for this missing piece to fill that hole. It starts very early in life. As kids we look for something important for our lives. Most want to firemen, policemen, soldiers or doctors. They think that will fill the void in their lives. As we get older we look in different directions. When girls come into view, then we need money to pursue that direction. Depending on whether or not we go on to college, which is a whole new avenue, our search intensifies. But somehow in the back of my mind I knew what would fill that hole. I started drinking in college with buddies. It continued after college without the buddies. I was drinking up to 10 mixed drinks at one sitting. I knew I had to quit. Finally I walked away from it and never regretted that decision. I was 28 years old and still didn’t fill the void in my life. I was miserable. I began seeking a new job opportunity which turned into a calling. As these businessmen introduced me to the one person who could fill the hole in my life. To my surprise the person was always there waiting for me to turn around and see Him. Of course that person is Jesus. He began to fill the hole in my life, not with booze, or drugs, or sex. He filled my life with love, joy and peace. And I became whole for the first time in my life. As the bible says, in Matthew 6:28-32 “And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:….. Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

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Great Gain

What is enough? How much does it take to satisfy your desire? What is the end result? It’s funny how our heart desires things. We want what we want. All of our lives are planned out to acquire things for our lives. In the past few years there had been a minimalist movement in America. People have been going for tiny houses. Houses so small that they are the size of a room in most houses. It is a backlash to the greed that is rampant in our country. But how much is enough? If you gain the whole world and lose your soul, what is it worth? It is unfortunate how much it cost us to gain the whole world. Do you know the cost? Are you willing to pay the price? Understand that there is nothing wrong with having money. It is when money becomes your god that everything goes sideways. When money is more important than people, it is very destructive. My mom use to say all things in moderation. She was saying that you control the things you do and what you own. And do this with balance in your life. It was and is good advice. By most standards, my parent were middle income. They had a large home and a motorhome. We were comfortable. It was a blessing. I worked for extra money since I was 13 years old. I developed a good work ethic. But it wasn’t until I found the Lord did I become satisfy with life. My life has been blessed. My family and I never lacked for anything. If I needed I received from God. You know God spoke to me and told me not to look at catalogs. They gender greed in your life. But more than that I learned a most important lesson about being satisfied in life. God says it much than I. In 1 Timothy 6:6, 7 “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”

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411 – Gathering Info

Information has come at us at an accelerated speed. It is as if we are being bombarded with info. Some we can use and others well. The internet has revolutionized our lives. We live faster than before and die soon than expected. Everybody wants to live forever, but that’s not going to happen. Despite all the new drugs to come out on the market every day now. Life expectance is shorter. It has to do with our lifestyle not our life in general. We gather info faster. It seems that children grow faster or mature before they are supposed to. For a while parents when wanting their 5 year child to excel at school. They put them in special schools to give them a head start on learning. You know what was not so surprising was that all the children caught up to each at 7 years old. Like it always was designed too. Our lives are design to go in a certain way.  We are individuals but in general we are the same. Despite our schooling, or environment or money spent on each of us. There are certain things that will happen to each of us. God gives us opportunity to develop as an individual through our world. But we are judged accordingly by the same standard. Yet we seem to what to change that standard to fit our wants and desires.  But it healthy. You can’t eat like a pig and expect your heart to survive. You can’t go in extreme weather without protection and live. You can’t murder people and expect to survive. As the bible says in James 3:13-17 “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom……But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (KJV)

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Signs of the Times

Every year families gather together for the Christmas season. All wanting to be with their family and share the food and fellowship. My family, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers and my mother and father would gather at one of the three sister’s home for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. As we got older, wives, sweethearts and children were added to the occasion. It filled our homes with laughter, loud talking, and the smell of food. We are nine first cousins, all guys, and we played baseball outside. Mom and her two sisters planned these events every year without fail. When they started it included their aunts and uncles and my grandparents. Our celebration has dwindled to just my immediate family. Our lives went in different directions. We are scattered across the country. My whole family can be hard to take sometimes but they are my family. I love them very much. The only sister left is my aunt who is ninety-five years old. She doesn’t recognize a lot these days. I went to visit her in the hospital and began to laugh and she said I know that is Crain. Jesus came to earth to give us hope and joy to live this life. We remember once a year the birth of our savior, but look around and see the people. They need the joy and hope brought to us by that little baby. Jesus came for people. It is the only thing that will leave this earth and go to heaven. Stop looking at this world and see the signs of the times.

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A Timed Event

It is a time I have chosen. It is Sunday morning and time to get up. My cat is there to remind me that I chose this time. And there is no time like the present. It is time to get out of bed. It is time to feed the cat. It is time to write the blog. If my son’s dog was here, it would be time to walk to dog. Our lives are scheduled. There is just so much time in our lives and we have to use it accordingly. I have always heard all of my life how people can’t wait to retire. So that they will have time to do what they want. The sad reality of this is that most people don’t live long after they retire. It has to do with using the time given you by God correctly. Time is a gift that has to be used. As most people have heard the saying that time waits for no man. This is true time is relentless. Time was set in motion by God and will continue until it has completed its course. What will happen at the end of time? God has written down a few things that will happen. The earth and the world are temporary. In the end God says that the earth and the heavens will roll up like a scroll, disappear and be replace with a new earth and heaven. And all the people who are alive on this earth will disappear of the face of this earth to reappear in heaven to face God eternally. Again it is all about making that choice in our lives. I saw a herd of sheep and goats the other day. I was reminded how at the end of time God will gather all peoples, dead or alive, to Himself. And He will separate the sheep from the goats. All the people who are His flock of sheep are gathered into everlasting life in heaven and all the people who are goats will be sent into damnation. Life is a timed event. So use your time wisely and choose God over the world.

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A Journey

What is that saying, oh yea, a journey always begins with the first step. It doesn’t matter where you are going life is always a journey. The journey from being a baby to a toddler, then the journey from toddler to childhood. Then the journey we make from childhood to adolescent. Then we make that all important journey from adolescent to teenager. For most people that journey almost kills us. Then the journey to adulthood is easier than becoming a teenager. I traveled a lot when I was a child. My parents believe that part of our education was to see the world and all its beauty. Which I still believe to this day. There is so much to learn when you travel and see different people and places. All of this gives you a unique perspective. It increases your understanding about life itself. And what this world needs is understanding. My wife had a limited amount of travel in her life. So on our honeymoon, I took her across the country for 2 weeks. We went through the South and up to Washington DC. The first thing she wanted to see in Washington was the First Ladies dresses at the Smithsonian museum. I wanted to go to the National Air and Space museum. We strayed for 2 days in Washington, but it wasn’t enough time to see everything. Our life with God is a journey that we all must take. Many people are afraid of the trip, because it will reveal what is in their heart. That is the most important part of that journey. The only way to be healed is to see what is there. When we do, God is able to deal with us. The journey had always been about becoming whole with God and as a human being. Take that first step with God and ask Him to heal you. And I promise you, you will never be the same again.

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A Full Moon

I don’t think there is anything more beautiful than a full moon. The bad weather came and went. The skies are clear and the moon is shining. After all it is spring and the rain cleared the air. The earth just righted itself. And I am thankful to God that He hears me and answers my pray. I really didn’t want to be running around in the rain all day. It seems that I am more like a cat each day. I like my comfort. It isn’t always like that. There are times that I just don’t want to see, but I do have to go through it. As God says in every temptation, He always makes a way of escape. So that I or anyone else will be able to bear the trial. I try to learn as much as God is willing to teach me. Because if I don’t learn it the easy way, I will have to learn it the hard way. It is funny how everything is moved through pressure. The wind, the waves, the weather and us are all moved by the amount of pressure applied to us. At the full moon the barometric pressure upon the earth is released. Sometimes strange things happen at the full moon because of this release. But I am enjoying the beauty of it all. It is so easy to find ugly in this world. All you have to do is just look around. But finding beauty sometimes takes time and effort. As you know beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There is a lot to be said about looking for beauty instead of the ugly. As God says in Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” {KJV}.

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Weather we like it or Not

The weather is terrible. Nature can’t decide whether it is spring or summer. There has been a series of big weather fronts for months now. Sometimes I wish that it would make up its mind and quit. But the weather isn’t up to us to decide. Today again there is lightning, thunderstorms and rain. I work outside so I will be dodging rain drops all day. It is interesting how the earth corrects itself. If there is anything wrong it will adjust the weather accordingly. Although it seems that the weather has gone wild, it is only responding to what is happening on this earth. I don’t know if you remember acid rain. In the Northeastern states, smoke pollution from different industries set sulfuric acid into the sky. The earth responded with rain to clear the skies and acid rain fell on the Northeastern states. That is until the government made that industry clean up its act. There is a climate change occurring now. How far it will go isn’t certain? Everybody has their opinion on what will happen, but nobody really knows for sure. There is only one person who knows what will happen. And He isn’t talking to us about the weather. The world was design to run smoothly and automatically. Besides natural phenomenon, like an asteroid, the earth works on it own. But you know that even if an asteroid hits this earth, it will adjust for it. People won’t survive but the earth will. It’s too bad man doesn’t work that way. But God design this earth to be self-sufficient. It runs on God’s command. You know what God says in Matthew 5:45 “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” (KJV).

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