Old Soldiers and Grandsons

Sometimes it takes thinking about a certain event a second or even third time to clearly see details that may have been missed the first. Here is a personal story about that.

I ran some errands with my daughter and grandsons the other day. First off, when I arrived to pick them up, I realized that I did not have the 4 year old’s car seat with me. So, I had to drive back home and retrieve it from the garage. Oh well, another thirty minutes gone, but not a problem as I was finished working and we were not on a time schedule.

We had several places to go that day, so first, we headed out to good ole Walmart. You know, Walmart, where everyone shops and since it was the end of November, guess what they were doing? Yes, Christmas shopping was in full swing. People everywhere with cars zig zagging in and out of the parking lot continuously.

My daughter was sporting a “boot” on her left foot as the result of a shopping cart incident at her place of employment and her two little boys were in the back seat chattering and being silly, one 9 years old and the other as previously mentioned 4.

Foolish me, I take the isle in the parking lot that is the most popular, right in front of the doors, hoping to find a close space. Just when I thought I was never going to find one there it was, the space right after the the ones designated for disabled folks. Yay, we all pile out and head into the store.

With the boys hanging off the end and side of the shopping cart off we go on our separate ways, me with the boys and my daughter to do some Christmas “business” without the little ones tagging along.

I grabbed several items that I needed, including butter, we always need more butter! As the boys were walking ahead of me and the cart I was pushing, we passed many people along the way. Interestingly, my eyes fixed on the face of an older gentleman who was walking by me. He was wearing navy blue dress pants and a light blue button down shirt and over that was a military winter jacket. He was well groomed with closely clipped beautiful white hair. His jacket was full of patches representing his extensive career serving our country. Without thinking, I made eye contact with him and said hello as I passed. I really didn’t give him time to answer as I was following the boys and quickly reassigned my attention to them.

We finished up with our shopping having traveled most of the store and headed to the check out. The “self check out” experience went amazingly smooth this time and we headed to the car to wait for their Mom to join us.

We had just gotten into our seats when I looked up to see the old soldier approaching. His car was parked right beside ours. He took a glance our way and got into his car, preparing to leave. I spoke to the boys and told them to take notice of this man, that he was a soldier and had served in the military years ago and obviously was a long time veteran who may have been in several wars and that he may have seen awful things and deserved our respect for his service. As I was speaking I looked back and saw my 9 year old grandson giving the old soldier a salute. He held his hand above his eye as the old soldier looked at me. I smiled at him and then he looked to the back seat of my car and returned the salute. I could have cried! My grandsons were very taken with his gesture as was I. “That’s how you show respect to those who have served our country,” I told them. We drove away with a warm comfort in knowing that we had taken the time to engage an old gentleman and had paused to acknowledge him.

So, was it a coincidence that I forgot the car seat that made us thirty minutes late? Was it a coincidence that I took my eyes off my grandsons for a second in order to engage an old soldier passing by me in Walmart? Was a coincidence that I “just happened” to “find” a parking space near the ones with the stamped wheel chairs on the signs. Maybe, and maybe not. You can decide that for yourself. I happen to think that when we pray in the morning to cover our day, and ask the Lord to help us be more like Him that He may just set in our pathway and old soldier that needed to be acknowledged by a little boy. Maybe he needed to hear a friendly hello. Just maybe his day was made by these small encounters. I sure do hope so!

Or perhaps this was one of those “angels unaware” encounters, that was set before us. Perhaps even , as we took pause and like one of my teacher friends says, were “boots on the ground” Christians to an old soldier who was walking the isles of Walmart alone, we left a mark that will only be revealed when we are face to face with Him. Perhaps this one time we were like Jesus, the only One who really sees inside our hearts. Again, I sure do hope so!

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Real power is in a Name

I love this song! My favorite line, “you didn’t want heaven without us.” No matter what the devil brings including arguments on how to pronounce His name, it is the connection to Him that wields the power when His name is spoken. It shakes the very bones of the enemy with fear at the sound of that name coming in whatever language. It is the assurance of salvation and the knowing that our forever address is Heaven that activates the spiritual movement and realignment that IS prayer in His name!

Some Thoughts, LGBT speech

This is a speech I saw posted on Facebook this morning. I felt a stirring in my spirit to lay out some of the things I was thinking. The young lady giving the speech just looked so fresh and precious to me. I hope I convey my thoughts in the way they are intended.

This beautiful young woman is, in her words fighting a battle that she is never going to stop fighting. Some key words and phrases she used:
“people just were what they are.” 1. We all find out who/what we are WHEN we discover who God says we are.
she “felt something that she couldn’t explain.” 2.Again, going on feelings. Feelings are often far from the truth. They are real, but they are not truth.
She continues to explain the physical reactions brought on by these feelings. “because, I was born that way.” 3. Our bodies do react in accordance with our feelings. Painful emotions result in pain and sickness in the body.
“how can you be who you are?” 4. She truthfully feels this way she, however, she does not know who God says she is.
She articulated very well how suffering fills up one’s soul. She has been filled with up with suffering. She said she felt “broken and unlovable.”
My heart goes out to this young woman. She has no idea that the “way she is” happened sometime before she was born. Yes, I do believe she was born “that way.” However, that is not how she was created to be. My belief is that something happened between conception and delivery. Something changed the original design by God into an identity lie before she was even born. It happened in the womb. (explaining this is a whole other subject that involves the understanding of word curses and generational sin etc.)
She is right when she says, “words matter.” She has received a false identity and some measure of value from the “community” she has found comfort in. She has been included into a community that is a false “church” and I believe this is because the christian community has had little understanding of the very things the bible teaches. The church only sees the sin and not the wounded and bleeding person in front of their faces who staunchly defends their lifestyle. Often the church sees what the person is doing and condemns them, not realizing that this is a group of people that the enemy had taken for generations and deceived into believing that God makes people gay. He does not. But…how is one to know this when the church often speaks a language of condemnation and hate. I know, not all people do, there are ministries to the gay community out there, however, they are few and far between.
It breaks my heart that this young woman says at the end of her so very eloquent speech that she will “never stop fighting.” One cannot live in fight mode forever, someday she will grow too weary to continue the fight.
I pray she receives the truth of who God says she is and is able to go on using all her obvious gifts and talents and move into a place of peace with Him instead of a continuous battle she is never going to win. It is time for the church to understand the very people they are speaking out against are the very ones the enemy had hidden behind a veil of misunderstanding, lies and deceit. They are the ones being stolen from the body of Christ, taken by the enemy and placed on the sidelines, when they were originally and lovingly created to be part of the church triumphant! My prayer is that the Lord would send someone to gently take her hand and lead her to the One who loves her and grieves for her and has poured out his blood for her survival. She is precious in His sight!

What?!?! But I have GRACE! Have we forgotten that God also told us to Repent!

In the book of James, we read this: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep; let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:7-10

Wow, does this sound like the sweet words of the gentle savior? Sometimes Jesus comforts us with words of loving kindness and sometimes like a good parent he speaks to us a bit more sternly with words of correction. However, these words although they may sound harsh, will ultimately take us to a place of personal freedom! We don’t always like to be corrected or instructed to do something. We don’t always see things the way God sees them. He is a God of omniscience, he knows everything all at once. He knows the past, present and future. He knows what we need for today and also the days to come. Matthew 3:2 tells us that Jesus wants us to repent because the Kingdom of God is coming. Well, what does that mean? He wants us to know that there will be an end to this world. How will he find us when he returns with that angelic shout at the last trumpet? Will he find us going about his business or our own business? This is a stern word for us all, but we do not want to be tricked into believing that we will go be with him simply because we have been “good.” That is not what he said, he said to repent. Confess your sins.

Let’s take to heart what the bible says, what the Lord of heaven AND earth is saying to us, to those who he says, have ears to hear. When we take the words in James and really apply them, we will see that it is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of those things in our lives that do not line up to the word of God. When we get serious and really mourn the behaviours and attitudes that need to be rooted out of our lives, it is then that we will receive the freedom we need. By leaving these things in humble repentance at the foot of the cross we enable God’s hand that was stayed, to once again release blessings unto us.

He really is a loving God who wants His best to flow into us. He tells us how that can happen. Obedience is paramount. Obedience to his word brings that freedom and that truth, along with so many other wonderful truths will bring us what we need. He longs for us to come to him and release these things that hinder us. Pride and false confidence brought by the enemy will keep us from repentance. But, really it is so simple. The rest of James chapter 4 will show us what to do. It is our decision if we will do it or not. God won’t force us to repent, but it delights him when we choose to be obedient, and oh how he smiles when we are finally released from bondage by doing so. In order to live that abundant life he tells us about in John 10:10, this must be done, for by repenting we keep the “thief” from stealing from us.

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Are your emotions un-managed? What? Who Me?

As I woke up this morning I heard the phrase, un-managed emotions. And as I pondered that, I could see in my mind’s eye current events  and the reactions of some of the people I’ve seen in the news. Then I thought about some of the things I have gone through myself and had to really look at the reactions I have had in certain situations.

Was I the easy going, calm person I wish to portray, or did I react strictly from an emotional level without thought of words or behavior? Of course, we all have exhibited emotional behavior we later wish we could erase from the minds of those who witnessed it. Yelling, screaming, crying, shouting, saying things we would later regret. None of us is exempt from this kind of behavior. But…it seems that emotional outbursts and anger are becoming more common place than ever before.  What does the word say about emotions? How are we to react when in a particular situation.

We see in Mark 14: 32-34, Jesus said he was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. He knew what it felt like to be emotionally drained didn’t he? Hebrews 4:15 tells us that Jesus was tempted in all ways, but never sinned. But never sinned. Wow, how in the world can we follow that?  According to Romans 8:11, we have the power of the living God within us. We get to tap into that power through the Holy Spirit and through His power begin living a life that enables us to react to situations in a godly and appropriate way.

It is through the example of Jesus that we can do this. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me! Phil 4:13. Yes we can react to emotional situations in a responsible manner. That is, as we seek Him and give our emotional selves to Him and allow the Lord to help us stop and think and then, react properly. Will this mean we react physically? Sometimes, we may cry or speak firmly, or even laugh, but the reaction can come FIRST through our spirit and then our emotions will play out in a more godly way. This may take some time, but with each occasion, we can come closer to demonstrating our emotions properly.

With prayer and application of the word to our daily lives, we will find ourselves walking into that place of emotional manageability. Yes, we can react emotionally and properly. Emotions are a part of our make up, they are there for a reason. It is the appropriate display of our  reactions that is so important. Not dismissing them or pretending that don’t exist, but taking each situation and making it a place for the demonstration of one of the fruit of the Spirit, that being self control. Remember that scripture about working out our salvation? Here is one way to do that.

May God bless you as you seek His face.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Please comment.

Linda