Tag Archives: death

Fear is so crippling, so limiting, such a waste to live.

FEAR!!! Fear of failure, of the future, of change, of growing older and either being injured, sick or disabled, or losing physical ability. Fear drives our desperate attempts to keep what we have and never trying to move and grow. If we attempt to move and grow we might risk what we have. Fear of trying church, of taking a chance to follow Jesus, not committing but at least trying, trusting a friend, family or pastor and just giving worship a chance.

Jesse Thomas in “Triathlete Magazine” (May 2014 pp 40-42) talks about the fear, as a professional triathlete of that day when he (or his wife Lauren, also a professional triathlete) will suffer a career ending injury or just realize that his abilities are not sufficient to remain an elite athlete. I participate (I hesitate to say compete, because while I wish I did, wouldn’t really be accurate) in triathlons. I certainly don’t make my living doing triathlons because I’d starve on a street corner. I’ve had all kinds of goofy “owwees”, left heel, plantar, both knees, serious cramps, right now sciatica, all eminently treatable, but when they happen the thought races through your brain, “oh no, this is it, I’ll never be able to …” Last season playing basketball in a church league, my left calf violently seized up. It was so severe that I was sure that I ruptured the achilles tendon, literally had to crawl off the basketball floor. Turned out to be a bad cramp, found a way to contend with cramps, haven’t had another and it’s going on a year now. But I remember thinking as I crawled off that floor, “this is it”, the fear was very compelling.

Thomas points out “”Ninety-five percent of the time our ailments and injuries evaporate within in a week.” And that’s been my experience, but approaching the big “60”, my physical abilities continue to decrease and the better chance that something will happen that will keep me from a high level of participation. Certainly with a professional like Jesse Thomas the fear has to be more profound. l’m a pastor my most visible function is to preach, if I somehow couldn’t speak properly anymore that would certainly put my future as a pastor in jeopardy. “…I’d be SUPER BUMMED”, writes Thomas, “in all caps for emphasis. And even though the risk is remote, I think the weight of that possibility is why my brain instantly goes to the darkest place in moments of doubt. It’s like trying to speed by a black hole without getting sucked in. According to Stephen Hawking, that’s impossible, no matter what your bike split is.”

We are all there, we all have that fear, it certainly does happen but it is rare. The possibility of such an occurrence is something that is supposed to be provided for by society, it’s certainly being abused in this day and age, but for those people with character, integrity, trust in God, and looking to live life they do not want to be “disabled”, they will fight tooth and nail against it.

There is an issue, those of us of want to keep going, are giving in to a different type of sin(s); fear, failure, relying on ourselves/idolatry, lack of faith. It also keeps us from living at the level we should be living: “So this ritualistic thinking about an athletic ending is just a way to acknowledge that fear, no matter how remote the chance that it actually materializes and to acknowledge that stupid trick that the mind can play on us. [I would interject, it’s more about our pride, more than us being victimized by our mind – Jim] And by acknowledging it [I’d say pride] we can stop our minds from dragging us into a fear cycle, make the conscious choice to disregard it and proceed in pursuit of the goal despite the possibility of failure. In that way, we CAN speed by the black hole. Where you at now, Stephen Hawking?” I would attribute Thomas’ claim not to my determination, but to the faith that God gives me to trust in Him and follow where He leads even when it might seem hopeless. He overcomes my fear, gives me the faith I need and then pushes me back to confront the world, but He is always with me.

Now the reality is that at some point I’m going to just be too old or disabled to toe up on a beach somewhere and jump in the water with a bunch of other people. (You have no idea how difficult that was to write), so then what? Could stay home, sit and bemoan my fate and just give up. I like Thomas’ perspective: “Acknowledging that worst-case-scenario, fear, also helps both Lauren and I realize that even if the ‘worst’ happened (our careers ended) in the grand scheme of things, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal… Lauren and I would have to find other professions, we’d be forced to not exercise all day, every day and not go to bed at 8 pm on Saturday night because we have a big session Sunday morning. As terrible as that sounds, nobody dies, we won’t starve… We will go on as a family and probably thoroughly enjoy the next phase of our lives. And after the sting of the disappointment wears off, we’d realize that the journey was all worth it anyway,” Absolutely, we’ve lived the life, we’ve gotten all we’re likely to get out of it, God has taught us what He wants us to learn from it and now it’s time to move on. For sure I won’t like it, yea my ego and dignity will take a hit. But then He moves me on. Thomas doesn’t address the ultimate time when it will really be over, our culture today is pretty sure that death happens to everyone else, not to us. For Christians death will mean the resurrection, put in our perfected bodies, that will never be sick, will never break down, will be perfect for ever. It won’t be over, it will just be starting. I have no doubt that I will actually be able to complete an Ironman Triathlon in the resurrection. Even in eternity I will never be able to do all that the new, very physical world offers, but I will never have that fear, even if I fail, I will have infinite opportunities to grow, develop and go back and start again.

But the thing I will never understand is this fear of ever even trying because you might fail. Bad news, you will!!! Deal with it, get over it and yourself, decide what you’re going to do about it and move on. Fear of trying, like ya worship, making excuses, keeping the mediocre and even destructive and passing on what truly gives life, what truly moves us in life, what is truly life and life more abundant, I just don’t understand. This world is not the answer, it’s only a stage, it will end, do you want it to end with you whining in fear and failure, hidden away some where, to ultimate destruction? Or do you want to live the life God has given us, to live to His glory and then move on to a life that, ya there will still be failure, but it’s OK, it’s perfect life and life with abundant opportunities to succeed and move on in life? Ya, seems rather obvious doesn’t it? So why are you still sitting there obsessing?

Learn to forgive like Joseph forgave,

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We make our beginning in the Name of God the Father and of God the Son and of God the Holy Spirit and all those who forgive because they know how much they’ve been forgiven said … AMEN!
Matthew, quoting Jesus, has really camped on a theme for our last few sermons, that being forgiveness. Specifically we’ve talked about holding grudges, being offended. “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” Many people out in the world will tell you that’s in the Bible, “No! You are the weakest link! Goodbye.” It is from English poet Alexander Pope. Sort of presupposes that God forgives, but people, well… we just can’t rise up to that level. Yet, we do see forgiveness. Remember the story of Joseph?
He kind of flaunted the gift from his father, Israel. His father was originally named Jacob, but after wrestling with God all night, God renamed him Israel. He became the father of the 12 patriarchs, the men/brothers who would be the roots of the twelve tribes of Israel. Jacob/Israel had two wives, that is a whole other story, except to say that Rachel was his favorite. Now the wrinkle there was that while Rachel was the favorite, she was having a great deal of difficulty in conceiving. As we’ve said, not having children was a huge humiliation to the man and wife, but particularly to the wife. Jacob’s other wife, Leah, had 6 sons, that arrived soon and fast, while Rachel ached in embarrassment. Rachel finally had a son, Joseph and he became Jacob’s favorite, the son of his favorite wife. Rachel had another son, Benjamin, Rachel died giving birth to him. No doubt that probably caused problems being the son who caused his beloved wife’s death. It would seem that Jacob doted on Joseph and the rest of his sons resented that. Genesis 37:3 tells us that Jacob “made a richly ornamented robe for him.” for Joseph. Remember these people are nomads, they don’t run to the mall to buy their clothes, clothes are hard to come by and especially fancy clothes. The fact that he made this for Joseph and it was very lavish, made this an extraordinary gift and was certainly the talk of the tribe and no doubt made Joseph everyone else’s target. Now add to that Genesis 37:5-7 “Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. He said to them, “Hear this dream that I have dreamed: Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.” His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.” And then he had another dream that even the sun, moon and stars would bow down to him. Hey he was a kid, he really didn’t know, but to everyone else he is over the top obnoxious. The coat, the bowing down, all makes Joseph the spoiled rotten, snott nosed kid that everyone hates. I don’t really believe that Joseph intended to be so obnoxious, but that’s how he came across. Can’t you see his brothers? “What you little punk, who do you think you’re talking to? You may be daddy’s favorite, but you’re just a kid and daddy’s not going to be around forever, and hmmmm, who knows, can never tell out there in the desert, ahhh, you just might have an “accident”. Jacob sends Joseph out to his brothers, really to check up on them out in the pastures tending sheep. That turns out to be a stupid move. His brothers saw him in the distance and decided, “great this is our chance, we are going to take care of this little punk once and for all.”
They decided they were going to leave him to die, then they decided, ahh, we should make a shekel out of this for ourselves and sold Joseph as a slave. He was a slave for awhile, then he was falsely accused, thrown into an Egyptian prison where he would have probably just died, but God decided He had bigger plans for Joseph and that’s where we see Joseph now. He has been made the second most powerful man in Egypt. He could have just let his family starve back in Israel or at least with his brothers now bowing down in front of him, just like in his dreams, he could have just done away with his brothers. He didn’t do that, he saw God’s hand in what happened: “…you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive.” (Ge 50:20) He didn’t let his anger, hurt and bitterness keep him from seeing the big picture.
I can’t tell you to put all your anger and hurt into a kit bag and smile, smile, smile. I can’t look you in the face and tell you I’d do that, it’s not a question of stuffing it down or denying that you’re hurt. But it is a question of whether it will just drag you down, get you to obsess. Hey that’s just fine with Satan, if we are going to obsess about our anger and ignore Christ, then Satan has accomplished his mission, whatever it takes to get your eyes off Christ is the goal. If you are going to let your anger eat you up and devour you, then mission accomplished. We are called to move on. From the cross Jesus said, “forgive them Father they know not what they do.” What if He decided, “heck with this, I’m getting off this cross and I’m just going to show all these people who’ve tormented me what for. Then what about forgiveness for our sins? Three days later Jesus rose from the grave, that was the victory! We are sunk in our sins, no other way to escape except through His sacrifice. He died to give us the promise and assurance of forgiveness, and so we are. But if He had not died, He would not have rose again. We would not have forgiveness and we would not have the promise of eternal life through our resurrection in Him. He has shown us what the real effect of forgiveness is, so we can get bitter and consumed in our hurt and anger, or we can move on as Jesus did. When He moved on, He gave us victory over death and the grave, He gave us eternal life. He didn’t waste His time and effort fighting over the cross, He faithfully followed His Father’s plan. Through that He became Lord of our life, since He paid the price for our life. Most people would have thought Joseph would have been perfectly justified in just wiping out his brothers. “You guys, made my life as a kid miserable, you left me for dead, decided to sell me as a slave, I ended up in an Egyptian prison until God took me and put me where He wanted me.” Joseph knew his place, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God?” He was not going to take revenge, he knew God would be faithful, remember last week’s sermon? “Vengeance is mine says the Lord”? I think we all agreed that God is going to work it out better than me. Joseph followed God’s lead, God had certainly provided for Joseph and now Joseph would provide for his brothers. Israel would grow, the tribes would increase and God would lead them back to the promised land to be a great nation.
How can you take your issues, your anger and bitterness, and instead of using it to return evil for evil, what can you do to glorify God through that. People watch you, you say you are a Christian and then the slightest little hurt, you react with anger and bitterness and you look for a way to hurt the other person. The world sees that and says “yea, big talk from Christians, but when it comes right down to it, they do the same thing we do, if they get slapped, they slap back. So there’s really nothing to this Jesus stuff.” Our witness is very much in what we do in our actions, it’s not easy, it wasn’t easy for Jesus, but to be a Christian is not the easy way. You can just slap back, or you can lift it up to God, let Him deal with it and then let Him guide you to use your hurt and bitterness for good. You can put the best face on what hurt you and forgive. Revenge, anger, payback, frankly I find that a lot of work. I’ve found it’s easier to get past the hurt, find a way to make-up, to put the best face on the issue or other person and get on with what and who is really important, that is Jesus Christ and His church. So how are you going to deal with your hurt feelings? Stay angry and drag everyone down, or find a way to use it to the glory of God?
The peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Shalom and Amin.

Satan prowls to inflict trials on us

Satan prowls to inflict trials on us
First St Johns June 1, 2014

Lord we raise up to You Jesus’ prayer that we are Yours, that we are in the world, but subject to the attacks of the world, subject to maliciousness of Satan and his demons, the malignant attacks of Satan to inflict death. We know that Your Holy Spirit protects us, but we also know that being foreigners in this world that we will be attacked. We are behind enemy lines and while we are faithful to You, we will be hated and people will speak evil about us. We know Father that You watch over us, protect us and ultimately return us to be with You, in the world You intended for us, to be citizens of the New Jerusalem. We make our beginning in the Name of God the Father and in the Name of God the Son and in the Name of God the Holy Spirit and all those who are saved and protected in Jesus Christ said … AMEN!
He has risen! He has risen indeed Hallelujah. We are now at the end of the Easter season, we held Ascension Day worship on Thursday, only a few of you are probably aware of that… Our Gospel reading this morning is part of Jesus’ great priestly prayer. His prayer could be characterized in legal terms of His summary argument, He is at the end of His ministry in the incarnation. Only about half His prayer is in today’s reading, the prayer is a lot of what Jesus’ entire purpose was in the incarnation: “I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou has given Me to do.” The Greek word teleio,w this same word is used by Jesus shortly after His prayer, John’s Gospel says that Jesus’ last word on the cross was tete,lestai which is the passive form of teleio,w In His “Priestly” prayer, He is saying that the goal He has been sent to accomplish has been achieved. On the cross He is saying that the goal He has been sent to accomplish has been achieved through Him. In the Coast Guard while you are conducting a mission, there are a series of messages sent to the next level of command, at my station we would send what are called “sitreps” to Group Boston on the progress of the mission, there would be a final “sitrep”, situation report, that would report the outcome of the mission. In Jesus’ final “sitrep” He is reporting to the Father that I have “glorified” You in My life. He goes on to say I have also organized a group of disciples who will be going into the world to be our avpo,stoloj our representatives, our messengers. They are still disciples, still learners, as Christians always are, but now they are God’s messengers, which we also become when we are taught and confirmed in the faith. Jesus is saying I have accomplished this goal of the incarnation. When Jesus is on the cross He is saying that the goal of redemption has been accomplished through Him, the sins of the world have been redeemed, they have been paid for, it has been done/finished through Him.
In His “High Priestly Prayer”, Jesus now goes on to say: “I have given them Thy word; and ‘the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” When we are in Jesus we are like Him, that we are not of this world, we are of Him, in this world. Jesus goes on to say: “I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.” The “evil one” can be translated to be the “vicious one, lewd, malicious, malignant, one who inflicts pain, causes calamity, affliction”. When we hear the word “malignant” what do we usually think of? … A malignant cancer. What is a “malignant cancer”, a cancer that causes death. The “evil one” Jesus refers to, Satan and his “malignant demons”, cause death, our sin gives them the opportunity to inflict death. Jesus is praying for our protection and we are certainly protected. But we are still subject to attack and it is how we respond to those attacks that is what truly matters as disciples and apostles of Christ.
Johnny had been misbehaving and was sent to his room. After a while he emerged and informed his mother that he had thought it over and then said a prayer. “Fine” said the pleased mother, “If you ask God not to misbehave, He will help you.” “Oh”, Johnny said, “I didn’t ask Him to help me not misbehave, I asked Him to help you put up with me.” As the Father’s still imperfect children, we still misbehave, as Peter points out Satan still continues to prowl about seeking someone to devour, Satan continues to try to find ways to provoke us to misbehave and we trust that God will continue to put up with our misbehavior in response to Satan’s provocations.
I have this big brown “Day-Timer” that I keep reminders of the tasks that I want to accomplish day to day, I also keep some reminders/promises that God makes to us all and one of them is this quote from Peter. I would encourage you to keep this as a constant reminder; “Your adversary the devil prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Instead of “someone” though I substitute “Jim”, so it’s “the devil prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking Jim to devour.” This is a very compelling warning. I like to remember that the reality is, we are the foreigners, we are the outsiders, Jesus refers to Satan as the “prince of this world” (Jn 16:11 KJV). It is to recognize the reality that Satan is still very much a malignant force in this world, he inflicts death and pain and misery and provokes sin at every opportunity. When Peter tells us to remember that Satan is prowling to find someone to devour, who is he talking to? What kind of person would be reading the Bible? Christians!
The beginning of our epistle reading says: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” I’ve often had people do just that, “how can God do this, why would He let this happen to me?” First off, God isn’t “doing this”, God does not inflict evil. But He does permit Satan to inflict evil. The non-Christian just can’t seem to comprehend the world around them, they do not understand that evil can afflict them, I’ve heard so many people say something to the effect that they are somehow entitled to be protected, they shouldn’t be subject to evil. The more accurate question would be “how can evil not happen to me?” Those who are so worldly, who think they are so sophisticated in the ways of the world, demonstrate amazing ignorance when their attitude is that they should be somehow immune to the “fiery trial”. The sad part is that they are not just subject to trial here, but through eternity they will continue to suffer. While we Christians are subject to trial, we are still under Jesus’ protection. Last week I referred to the Book of Revelation when God removes His protection from the earth. We think the earth is evil now, we whine about our trials, we are protected, because of Jesus’ prayer, we are cared for and watched over. As Christians, we do have a target on our back. Let’s face it, for those who do not know Jesus, for those who are lost, those who are condemned, there really isn’t much point for Satan to attack them. For those of us who do know Christ, who are saved in Him, who are not of this world, but still in this world, we are the targets, we are going to be subject to the roaring lion, Satan wants to undermine us, wants to deprive us of the perfect world that we are going to and he will never know. But since we are protected by the Holy Spirit we are spared the worst. Even if we die as a result of Satan’s attack what happens to us? We are in the presence of the Lord. Death for the Christian is only the start, the next stop on the road to the perfect life in the resurrection. Peter points out something that we should be regularly and painfully aware of “…the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” What you are going through maybe difficult, but there are Christians that are experiencing pain and deprivation even as we sit in the comfort of our beautiful church and that pain is a result of their faithfulness to Jesus. In our times of trial we need to remember Peter’s assurance: “…the God of all grace, … will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you…”
Don’t be surprised by the “fiery trial”, it will happen. We can’t allow ourselves to be devoured by Satan in our bitterness. Spend some time in your journal and really dissect this passage from Peter. What trials are you going through, relatives, friends, those who the Holy Spirit puts in your life to witness to? How can you give them hope and strength through this promise of Christ? The peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Shalom and Amin.

Spiritual attack

I suppose Good Friday isn’t a time to be whining, good things are happening, the Lord has been blessing us. But it’s hard to break this feeling of being under both spiritual attack and spiritual oppression.
In my heart I know that is a good thing, if you are truly being effective for the Kingdom, you certainly put a target on your back, you are going to attract Satan’s attention. In that sense I say bring it, if I’m going to be the one to suffer the slings and arrows, if I am taking the hits for Jesus, He tells us that we should rejoice, that it is commendable: “ESV Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
People who are just going through the motions, trying to stay “safe”, not stepping out for Jesus or His church, they aren’t a threat to Satan, so he’s not going to cause them grief. Wouldn’t the strategy be more to keep people kind of fat and happy and isolated? You just stay there and go by the numbers and nothing happens to you, I’m just interested in the guy who is trying to bring the Kingdom of Christ into my world. This is Satan’s world, those who are Christians are in the world, but not of the world. Seems that for those who actually step out, they draw the fire, while everyone else hides behind their barricades.
Jesus certainly stepped out, Jesus certainly confronts the world and no matter how attacked I feel, I know that Jesus is going to be there to support me and to keep me going. Jesus promised us: “And behold, I am with you always even to the end of the age.” (Matt 28: 20) In the meantime I certainly covet your prayers, I continue to pray that I stay strong and faithful, trusting that if I am drawing Satan’s fire, then Jesus must be using me effectively and I’m staying out of His way as best I can. But pray that this oppressiveness will be turned from feeling as if I’m being pushed down and give me strength to rise up and push back hard in the strength of Jesus Christ. We remember the death and sacrifice of Jesus today, His paying for our sins on that cross. Good Friday is the second most important day on the Christian calendar. On this day, Jesus made full payment for our sins, lifted what separates us from the Father. Sunday, He rises from the dead, our sins have been paid for and now we are restored to eternal life in Christ, the life that the Father had always intended for us in our resurrection. This is a great time for family, but set some of that time to worship together, today and Sunday. In His peace.

U.S. suicide rates rise sharply article by Tara Parker-Pope New York Times May 2, 2013 as quoted in Leadership Journal Summer 2013

This article really hit home with me because what of suicide means to me as a Christian and especially in terms of the fact that the group most affected, is becoming most likely to commit suicide are men in their 50s, like me.

So what’s the difference? Clearly as a Christian, as a pastor, I see suicide as the final act of those who are hopeless, who see nothing else left to live for and so chose to stop.

Why men in their 50’s? Parker-Pope points out factors such as economic, availability of prescription painkillers. That might accelerate the process, but, in my opinion, that’s not the core issue. As a Christian my faith is in the promises of our Lord Jesus Christ, my hope is in Him only, not in the economy, my expectations, what other people think etc. She does go on to point out that “…it hinted that deeper issues like failed expectations and a loss of hope might be a root cause.” She quotes “Dr Julie Philips, a researcher from Rutgers: ‘The boomers had great expectations for what their life would look like, but … It hasn’t turned out that way.'” She goes on to say that future generations will be facing the same situation.

I can certainly speak as being part of that demographic and can relate. Twenty five years ago I finally finished my business degree working for Motorola and there was no doubt in my mind that I was finally on my way to at least being a CFO for, at least, a mid-cap company. If you had told me that I would be a Lutheran pastor in York, Pa., I would probably have suggested that they might cut out smoking, drinking whatever was messing with their mind.

Middle aged men today have become all about their job, achievements, their house, their car, well you get it. That’s it, their total investment is in how they amass money/ things. I hear it constantly from men “oh yeah, I don’t need church, blah, blah,” and they will spout some inane nonsense about how they know it all, don’t need none of that, again blah, blah. The more they talk, the more obvious they don’t know what they’re talking about. But hey I will concede that the church has gone out of it’s way to make itself less relevant to men. But it doesn’t matter, because it’s all about the job, making money etc.

In addition to not needing church, don’t need government, because they’re all crooks, doesn’t make a difference, again blah, blah. Men aren’t getting educations because it doesn’t make a difference, the only thing that makes a difference is how much money, the quality of their possessions. Men in their 50’s are statistically supposed to be at the peak of their earning, on their way to having a nice easy retirement etc, etc. The reality is that most are finding that is not going to be the case, that they haven’t achieved what they thought they were supposed to and everything that they’ve pinned their hope on is simply not going to happen. Their hope is gone, the supposed promise of the American Dream is simply not going to happen.

Let’s cut to the chase, yes of course each of us is responsible for running our life, but we need to realize that it’s not about what we ultimately do, it’s what God guides us to do. I had a certain set of expectations, but I was clearly led by God to be where I am now and there’s no doubt in my mind that there’s much more to come. It may be where I’m at, or something entirely new, but when I look back on my life I have no doubt as to who was guiding it. I’m not saying that I’m somehow “chosen” I’m not saying that I’m any kind of special case at all. I am saying that if more people, not just men, trusted in what God was doing and quit trying to live by their own expectations, they would find life to be a more of an adventure, a lot more fulfilling, more authentic and in the end? Maybe not the big bank account, big house etc. But knowing that they have lived according to God’s will, they’ve lived the life that God guided them in and in terms of living their true life, in the resurrection, they will be blessed and yes, the building treasure in heaven that Jesus makes many references to.

Space and inclination don’t permit me to get into a discussion of suicide, but it’s God who gives us life and it’s His decision what happens and when He decides to call us home, suicide is never the solution in any respect. Pride, anger, disappointment are not acceptable, but in a society where we have this idea that it’s all about us and we can do what we want, when we want, well God is simply not going to bless that.

It’s way past time for us all to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading and trust in the hope and promises of the Bible, God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are responsible for the conduct of our life, but that responsibility is realized when we trust in what God is doing in our life and not our own desires and expectations.