“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.” Proverbs 9:10-11

This subject must be first described in a positive sense. The reason for saying this is because we first have to create a reverential knowledge of God.

The word “Yiraw” translates to “fear (of God)”, respect, reverence, piety revered

The positive sense gained from this shows us that when we develop a healthy respect for God it becomes the open door for us to walk through into wisdom. This wisdom is described in this passage as “in a good sense”, skillful, wisdom with prudence and ethics.

Three things can be seen out of this type of fear.

  1. Wisdom
  2. Knowledge of the Holy One – Understanding
  3. Increased life

Wisdom, I feel, actually comes with age or growing into maturity. The trial and error time of life as we begin our walk is where this starts. It is the time when we learn principles, but have yet experienced the reality of those principles.

Wisdom is gained by falling down, finding out why, getting up and going on with an intact reverence for God who will guide us as we continue to walk. As we do so our knowledge of Him increases and the by-product is understanding.

Other things build upon this learning. Faith and trust become foundational to our walk based on our time of growing. Oh, we have faith in the knowledge of our salvation, but that is just the beginning. It starts there as faith, then to greater faith and yet greater faith

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”Romans 1:17

Righteousness in the Greek word here implies the condition that is acceptable to God. This acceptance is marked by integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking, feeling, and acting. One part of the definition states that it comes by observance of divine law, but I was hazard a thought that it’s also a doing or obeying of those divine laws. In doing so one is approved of or acceptable of God.

How else can this be obtained without a proper reverence (fear) of God? Once again reverence opens the door to wisdom. Wisdom opens the door to knowledge and knowledge is the beginning of the growth of faith from it’s point of origin in salvation. The more we understand who God is will determine yet one other aspect of life.

In all of this, He will lengthen your days. I can say this is an actual working part of my life. In spite of my falling downs in life, I continued to get up, brush myself off and start walking yet again. You can too.

If you’ve fallen down, most of the time it comes from taking your eyes off of Him. He has strengthened you with wisdom and knowledge to know Him better and find that the faith He puts in you is sufficient to overcome all the negative connotations of another type of fear.

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. – Luke 12:32

In this verse we find there is a connotation to reverence, but there is also a note of to fear (i.e. hesitate) to do something (for fear of harm) We do honestly have a fear of the unknown. It’s a natural thing to do so by way of our soul, but God is speaking through His Son that He desires to give us the Kingdom.

To possess the Kingdom we must alleviate our fears of the unknown and activate our faith that grows from our wisdom and knowledge of our Father. We must not dwell on failures of the past and look forward to what God has fore-ordained for us to achieve. Possession of the Kingdom.

Negative fear has no part in yours or my life. Ongoing maturity in the spirit is the time of solidification of negating that type of fear. On a sliding scale of negative fear to positive fear (reverence) we should be progressing daily as we gain this knowledge of our Father through His wisdom endowed to us through faith in Him.

God is a loving God. He’s done all for us when His Son went to the cross, died and was resurrected for all of our shortcomings. Then He forgot them as though they never existed. We have freedom from the fear of His wrath. As long as we honestly do our very best to please God, just get up when we fall down and walk again, He will be pleased with you and accept you into the beloved.

I can’t express how much of the negative fear the world spews out is such a false narrative to life. It can so easily be overcome by looking to Him. He’s our fortress. Run to him when you sense you need help against the enemy of your souls.

The tag line on my email says it all. . .

There’s a place where fear has to meet the God you know. – Casting Crowns

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My Mind Is Stayed Upon Him

All my life I thought I had things figured out. But of late, I’ve found yet another level of this life that God has opened to me. I’m at a point where I’m separating myself from what I used to think about what it is to be a Christian.

I talk to God constantly and in these times He has turned leaf after leaf of understanding to my mind. It has revolutionized my thinking with a whole new paradigm.

I can’t measure what other people’s experiences are with their realization and acceptance of salvation. All I can vouch for is mine. I feel if in some way I’d like to share what I’m feeling and yet I feel a bit inadequate to put down into print or verbalize.

When I was about sixteen, God undoubtedly wooed me to give Him my heart and accept his gracious redemption of my soul. From then till I was about twenty seven I squandered it while still knowing that at the age of thirteen I was told by God I had a calling to the ministry. At this latter age, after suffering what is now known to me and a time of depression I gave my heart afresh to Him.

This time in my life was a supernatural time for me. For whatever you believe I don’t have words to tell you different. Only what I know and believe to be true. On March 13th 1977 after asking God if it was real my Baptist mind wanted to know about the baptism in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. He answered my request.

Looking back now I see who I was as a candidate for the calling upon me. Young and crying fresh from the womb of life as it was to the life it was to be. Too young to know. Too young to know any better. So began my life-long journey to become what I thought God wanted me to be.

Many trials and testings are too numerous to mention in one setting. In a nut shell, I slowly declined over the years from fervency to failure. It hit me at the age of 56. Tired, broken and destitute in body, soul and spirit. By the time I reached 58 my first wife and I had separated and I was alone in a psychologist’s office suffering from severe depression. I’d completely lost my way.

BUT God. He’d not given up on me. Up out of the ashes of the old me began to rise a new person. The things I had done wrong slowly began to right themselves to what has resulted in a totally different person. It was my Jacob experience.

And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.Gen 35:10

I had been called by my middle name all my life as “Larry”, but during this time of change I became know by all as “James” or just “Jim”. My old self had died. This is the new me.

My remarriage has been an integral part of my healing process. Ever since my separation she has been by my side encouraging me and loving me unconditionally. I’d never experience that kind of love before. Even from most Christians.

There has been one example after another since 2009 that has proven God was in the molding of the new me. My wife and I went to a church together for a while. This first church we attended together was where we got married. The second church we thought was home, but it turned into a disaster in the leadership and we left. God directed us to where we are now and He told me this is where we shall remain til the end of my days.

Since being in the church I’ve become recognized for the calling on my life and was ordained. My wife asked to join me and is attending a school to become ordained in a couple of year. This isn’t happening for me to see my end any time shortly. God has given me many more years to proclaim His goodness.

Lately, I’ve found God and me talking more. I thought prayer was a whole different thing than what I’m finding. It used to be more like a boss and employee type conversation, but at this point in my life I’ve found myself in a much deeper intimacy talk with my Father. Actually you would think me crazy, but we talk, cry and laugh together. Sometimes I’ll ask if “this” is okay and He’ll automatically say “yes”, “no” or “what do you have to say about it?” The latter is because He knows I already know the answer. I suppose you get my drift, so to speak.

Also, this church has given me a much stronger sense of foundation in Him. My surety of salvation is at its strongest ever in my entire life. My love for others has increased in multiples. I can honestly say I love other people more now than ever before. I also see more hunger in most everyone in this church than any other. There is only about two hundred of us, but we have a large heart.

Those of you reading this should earnestly seek to be more intimate with God. He’s not a mean ole God waiting to smack you on the back of the head and send you to hell for the last mistake you made. He’s a loving God. He laid out a plan for you to live eternally.

But, you say, what about judgment day? The only judgment that will condemn ones self is they bring that upon themselves by not accepting Him as their Savior. He completed the old law and instituted the new law. Accepting that new age of salvation of salvation from 2000 years ago is all He needed to do. Jesus said it all in three words. “It is finished”. Salvation was what was wrapped up in a gift to you by his shed blood.

All you have to do is accept that gift and walk as best you can in His righteousness. Whenever you fall down, get back up wipe yourself off by asking Him to help you with your shortcomings by acknowledging you were wrong and He is just to put His arm around you and help you along.

I’ve given up on Him years ago for a time, but no more. My mind is stayed on Him. Let that be your testimony as well. He’s my Rock, my Fortress and my Salvation.

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Ain’t Got Me Yet

Let’s see, I’ve had the Red measles, Black measles, German measles, mumps, chicken pox, my mom told me the docs told her I also had a mild case of small pox and an assortment of other diseases. I almost went deaf from a mastoid infection when I was seven. My mom was totally deaf in her left ear from something of the same.

I’ve had a cardiologist tell me I’d had a heart attack and yet another told me he thought I’d had a stroke. Those two as it turns out I have a normal heart nor did I have a stroke.

Now my brain could be called into question for simply thinking the way I do and say, but no, I didn’t have a stroke. The world will try to give you most any disease imaginable. I used to have high anxiety over it, but not any longer.

I’ve out-lived all my family, save my youngest brother who just turned fifty. There were seven of us.My dad even tried to tell me I’d be dead before or by sixty years old. I’ll be seventy this year. Still going strong.

Why am I saying this? Because this latest fiasco upon us does not put fear in me. Heck I was even in Germany when there was a major outbreak of Cholera to the south of where I was stationed.

The world is a no different today than it has been through time. These past few decades has made people soft. I don’t know what will happen to these last couple of generations. There are some good people out there, but they’ve not experienced what we old folks have endured.

I could ramble here and talk about living in a house with no plumbing and an outhouse and no TV and such, but I leave this for some other time.

I just know this one thing. Since God directed Libby Lewis Rowe and me to Kingdom Culture Church I’ve experienced a whole new level of understanding and felt the foundation under our lives becoming more solid as we move forward. That my friend is where you know you are answering God’s calling and election and making it sure. My mind is stayed on Him. Our trust is in Him. Tests are simply making this more true now than ever before.

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God’s Gift to Me

I have to say something about today. I don’t take any day for granted, but to share them with Libby Lewis Rowe is sufficient.

She is God’s earthly representation of His love for me. She stands by me patiently giving me encouragement constantly that life is here to live. God’s eye’s can be seen in hers. Her touch in God’s touch.

God loves me so much I can’t express it entirely. Believe me, it’s returned by me in thankfulness for His mercy and grace.

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Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. – Heb 13:8

Tenses in Hebrew.  Enlightenment comes from understanding language and customs.  Our Western culture and English language differ from the Oriental thought and culture.

There are four tenses in Hebrew verbs,



participle and


In the English language the verb tenses are related to time; past, present and future, while the Hebrew verbs are all related to action. The perfect tense is a completed action and in most cases is related to the English past tense (he cut). The imperfect tense is an incomplete action and is closely related to the English present and future tenses (he cuts or he will cut).

The Hebrew language has the present and past tense but no future tense. In the Hebrew language, Joel 2:28-32 reads as follows:

(Young’s Literal Translation of the Holy Bible with the correct tenses of the verbs)

“And it hath come to pass afterwards, I do pour out My spirit on all flesh, And prophesied have your sons and your daughters, Your old men do dream dreams, Your young men do see visions. And also on the men-servants, and on the maid-servants, In those days I do pour out My Spirit. And I have given wonders in the heavens, and in the earth, Blood and fire, and columns of smoke. The sun is turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, Before the coming of the day of Jehovah, The great and the fearful. And it hath come to pass, Every one who calleth in the name of Jehovah is delivered, For in mount Zion and in Jerusalem there is an escape, As Jehovah hath said, And among the remnants whom Jehovah is calling!”

When in the school of ministry I heard it said that the past and future are linear.  This explains Einsein’s thought on time as being a continuum (or linear/continuum) of space-time.

All of the verbs here are past or present.  There is no indication of a future tense.

One of the amazing things I came to realize is that Heb 13:8 is after reading this all my life in consideration that it was speaking in the three English tenses I find myself examining the verse more closely.  It says “yesterday”, “to day” and “for ever”.  Forever is not a future tense.

For ever is how it is written denoting two distinct thoughts.

1.  For  –  eij “ice)  a primary preposition; to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place, time, or (figuratively) purpose (result, etc.)  “For” (as used in Ac 2:38 “for the forgiveness…”) could have two meanings. If you saw a poster saying “Jesse James wanted for robbery”, “for” could mean Jesse is wanted so he can commit a robbery, or is wanted because he has committed a robbery. The later sense is the correct one. So too in this passage, the word “for” signifies an action in the past. Otherwise, it would violate the entire tenor of the NT teaching on salvation by grace and not by works.  When Jesus said on the cross “It is done” The law was fulfilled and all from the past through eternity were reconciled to God.  The next lesson we’ll deal with that.

2.  Ever  –  aiwn “ahee-ohn” properly, an age; by extension, perpetuity (also past); by implication, the world; specially (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future):–age, course, eternal, (for) ever(-more), (n-)ever, (beginning of the , while the) world (began, without end). Compare 5550. G104 / for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity.

Just for information concerning the other two tenses:

1.  Hebrew participles are “verbal adjectives”, meaning that they function like adjectives though they are constructed from verbs.  Participles used the same endings you have learned for nouns and adjective, so learning their inflections is easy.  There’s more to this, but this is sufficient for this study.

2.  An imperative verb is used to express direct commands, instructions, and other similar actions with varying degrees of desirability as determined by the context.  This is also sufficient for this study to know.

The point of all this is to say what we assume to already know.  He NEVER CHANGES.

My personal assumptions on the study are this.

God lives in the eternal realm.  There are 73 verses that describe the Eternal God.  A couple of these are:

Deuteronomy 32:40   – Indeed, I lift up My hand to heaven, And say, as I live forever,

Ephesians 1:4  . . .just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him In love.

This leads me to something that will help growing Christians who worry and have anxiety.  God lives in the for ever realm.  As I said earlier that the school of ministry taught me that the past and future are linear.  God sees the future from the past.  We can only see the past from the future.  Faith plays big in this whole scenario of viewing the future.  If we truly hear God say something we have yet to encounter, it’s because He sees it already from His vantage point in the past.  He speaks it to us in the present moment that it is already in place and done because He sees it that way.  We need to align our hearts to His all-knowing vantage point.

God let me see how a prophet speaks to people concerning future events to our way of thinking.  It’s like there’s a thin membrane to the past and future in God and in the “present”, He allows the prophet to poke their head through that veil into the linear line of past and future (really the eternal realm) and see the things He wants seen to pull back into the present and speak into the lives of those it’s intended for.

More to come. . .

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An acquaintance of mine on Facebook logged a post this morning that simply said “Putting all jokes aside, God please protect us from what is coming”. The following is my response to this person.

I don’t press my beliefs on others. If living it doesn’t say enough then it isn’t worth talking about. So with that just read something from my years of study.

The following is basic Biblical history. The Middle East came from the two sons of Abraham. Ishmael and Isaac. Ishmael was the son of the endeavors of Abraham and Sarah to fulfill God’s promise to them through Sarah’s handmaid. Isaac was the miracle God promised. Ishmael is the father of the Arab nations. That’s Biblically recorded in history. You can see this in the link below.

The Truth about Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael and Isaac ...
Hagar and Ishmael were expelled from the house at Sarah’s demand.

The Arab nations have been fighting with Israel for centuries. Not just the last few decades. Many nations, including Russia as well as the US, have tried to mend the rifts in the Middle East but it is not going to happen. Past administrations in our nation have coddled almost every tribe in the Middle East and as of this past week, you can see where it goes. I’m not saying anything here on that is new.

War is coming. It’s inevitable. Humankind has not learned its lessons from history. Passivism will not make it go away. It will, however, put us who practice this method of living to the front of the line to be annihilated at the beginning. What many are feeling like yourself is for real. It will happen. Mark that down. If you have a fighting spirit, prepare yourself.


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End of a Year and End of a Decade

It seems like only yesterday I was sixty. That was 2010. Now approaching seventy I’ve found a plethora of changes have occurred not only in my mental state, but physical as well. No longer youthful, even as I presumed so ten years ago. For that matter, even a year ago.

In 2009 my thirty-seven year marriage ended in divorce more on my account, but I think the event was a mutually devastating event on both parties. But that’s the past.

In this last ten years I’ve developed a forward attitude. It comes from a Biblical principle.

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. PHILIPPIANS 3:13-14

I look to the future. None of the past can be changed there from this point in life. But the future can be forged with the decisions of today. Developing goals and listening to God has form my last ten years.

I’ve asked God many times of what to do and when I hear I do. This has resulted in changing a terrible time into a successful point in life presently that I would not change for any reason. My former wife has not moved on and still despises me. My two sons and their wives have forsaken me, even after my attempt to turn the situation. I have made my peace with it and I’m moving on.

I have since remarried to the woman of my life. I only wish I’d met her decades ago. She was my “meant to be”. We laugh, cry, endeavor and walk lock-step with each other. Sure we disagree at times, but the core foundation of our relationship is solid. It’s built on God.

One of the questions I asked God repeatedly when I met her was what was to come of us. His answer was always that I would marry her. That was four years and some months ago now.

Right after my first marriage fell apart God gave me a new job that was substantially more money. I didn’t ask for it. It was laid on my lap. I worked at it seven years until my retirement.

My now wife and I didn’t go to church at first, but then we started going to a quiet little church down the road from my house. Then two or three years later we married there. Not long after we moved to what we thought would be a long term relationship with another church, but the ministry there fell apart after a couple of years. God stepped in and directed us to another church that sprouted out of a former ministry I was in for thirty years. The young twenty-five year old pastor took us in.

This year hasn’t been any less exciting. In January I was asked, that with my background, would I be interested in being ordained into the ministry and state licensed. This is another something that I’d seen in my life decades ago. It was dropped on me and I walked into it in February. Since then my wife has started the Ministerial Apprenticeship program to be ordained in the next couple of years as well. I was set in a couple of months or so ago as the Visitation Chaplain for our church and my wife is my right hand in this, but she has her sights set on helping start a soup kitchen in our church. She is also a part of the Arts Ministry as an interpretive dancer.

In the last couple of years plus I’ve driven a school bus with middle schoolers and elementary students. God told me three years. That will be mostly done at the end of this coming school year. I eagerly await a move towards the next adventure. Not that I want to get away from rowdy screaming kids, but to see how far God is going to carry my wife and me into the future. No looking back. Never.

A decade and a year are coming to a close. A lot has happened for a man who was diagnosed with severe depression and having anxiety attacks to a successful minister and probably the most sane person I’ve ever been in my life. This past ten years and most of all this past year have been a monumental growing time.

If you think you’re sitting in the bottom of the barrel, don’t despair. Today is today. Tomorrow is another day and it can change dramatically if you open your eyes to the possibilities. God is always waiting to open a way for you to walk in that is life-changing. Take that step. You won’t regret it.

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A Boy to a Man

I don’t remember writing much about my military time except perhaps in my autobiography. It struck me a couple of days ago how it affected me when my brother commented through a post on his FaceBook page that everyone should take a trip for a period of time outside of their ten friends and two bars, as it was said.

He got away from home after events led him to take leave of situations that were detrimental to him. He took a job in the Marshall Islands in broadcasting similar to what he was doing locally back home. After the contract he got back as far as Hawaii and stopped in and called it home for several years. It was an up-righting period of time for him. Just recently he moved to Riverside California doing much the same thing, but in yet another whole cultural experience. It’s been good for him.

As for me, I was a young teen that graduated from high school in 1969 and went straight into the work force as a carpenter apprentice and then a field engineer chainman. I wasn’t really going anywhere with this except I was taking a course in architectural drafting it that kind of flowed together.

During the engineering and study time I was 1A for the draft. Vietnam was a hotbed of political and national debate, not even speaking of the loss of lives in a small country on the other side of the earth. Some fifty eight thousand young souls of our own died there. I could have been one of those. God saw different for me placing me in a skill that would not lead me to Vietnam.

I’d grown up on a farm. I worked the fields and took care of the animals, where I went to school with the same twenty five kids. I grew up from first grade to graduation with them. My last year was involved in the social change to total desegregation. That added fifty blacks to my graduating class. I though we’d transitioned quite well that year. The trouble is that is was down hill from there to the great exodus as I heard it put.

I tried to enlist into the Army before I got drafted so I could at least have a shot at something that I could use in civilian life. That was construction drafting, but they attempted to steer me to cartographic drafting. I wanted nothing to do with lines that weren’t straight. That goes against my OCD. So. The draft caught me up in September 1970.

Then began the transformation of the country farm boy to a man of travels. I boarded a bus heading to Raleigh in a hot September morning. My mom dropped me off. She later said she cried for days afterward. I wasn’t alone that morning. I made friends with three or four other, but one in particular. His name was Lawrence Shaw. We went through basic training together before parting for our military schooling (MOS training).

That was an eventful day. From the farm that morning to Raleigh where we took our oath and then to the airport. By one o’clock the following morning we were sitting in a bus stop in pitch black dark street where we were told to wait for a bus to take us to Ft Polk. I was so glad to see the headlights of that bus. Fort Polk is divided into two parts. North and South Fort. South Fort was for basic training. That is where our bus dropped us off at the Reception Center. It was a mysterious place in the dark with hot drab two story buildings and smells unlike I’d ever experienced before. A group of us were herded into a room that fit about thirty of us that was set up like a classroom in one of those buildings. We were kind of shook down. They told us to dump anything we had that was considered nonessential, which included naked pictures of our girlfriends. I know those guys had a field day there after we were taken to the mess hall for something to eat. We’d not eaten in a good while, so food was more enticing than any naked pictures could be, yet, I would have loved to had mine back. Yeah. I had a couple of my own.

We’d heard of the stories of salt peter. If that worked I probably wouldn’t have cared, but I sure missed my girl at the time. Research says it wasn’t used, but bromides were. Mostly anxiety and such diminished such urges around others as our dignity was stripped from us. That first night taught me to adjust quickly to new surroundings and what “fire watch” was all about. Any of you reading this knows what that is.

The following week was for hair cuts, new clothes, tests and more tests. The funny part of the week was they gave us a choice of three hair cuts. An A cut got you nothing but stubble. A B cut got you side walled with a little longer stubble. A C cut got you side walled with an inch on top. The point is when we got to our company to begin training the first thing the drill sergeants did was take us all to the barber shop for A cuts. That meant some barbers were making money. We got all new uniforms including underwear, t-shirts, socks, belts, two pair of combat boots and a pair of dress shoes. And what was called a “cunt” cap. Sorry folks. That’s what it was called. When I got my first paycheck I bought a saucer cap. I still have that one.

I won’t go into details of my military time here. I might write that as time goes on. To make a longer story short. I graduated basic training and went to missile school at Ft Sill, OK and then on to Germany via Ft Jackson. I spent almost sixteen months in Germany and visited France and just inside Austria. When I came home I was out-processed at Ft Dix, NJ. I flew back home from via Philadelphia and DC to Wilmington.

I was back home after nineteen months as a Specialist Fourth Class. With that came a bigger vision of the world at large. I was no longer a innocent cloistered farm boy. I had become a man. But, that too was yet another starting point in life to a new still bigger and higher form of learning.

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My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;  James 1:2

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.  James 1:12

We are told we shall be able to endure through our trials and temptations.  This world (order and arrangement of governments) offers such a lack of stability and it’s up to us to study the Word of God and find that sure foundation. 


The cornerstone (or foundation stone or setting stone) is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation. All other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.

Steadfastness seems to some as a hard stance to come by in life, but knowing Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone establishes the ability to endure through trials.  We can not only “hang on” through our trials, but can ride them like a surfer on a wave.  The action of a wave isn’t something that is stable, but it has motion that if we find it can overcome it and ride it to shore.

We learned early on that circumstance or trials have another name to us.  That other name is “challenges”.  Life’s challenges only serve to strengthen the soul and spirit.  Knowing this to be a building of character or nature within us gives us the ability to create steadfastness to see it done.

Don’t ever give up on yourself.  Knowing you are His means you have great value in Him.  You can stand tall and look ahead, not behind.  Nothing behind can be changed.  You have the ability, however, to steer the future based on listening to God in your conversation (prayer).  Steadfastness to see His will in you and I completed will present what He says to us in verse 12 of James.  The crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

So we implore you to be steadfast, knowing the Chief Cornerstone has an end to any circumstance you might encounter.

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Thoughts from the Past

Tonight I reminisce on what God did for Libby and me. This is a writing from January 2015. I had lived in my previous home on two acres of land, but I was getting to where the lawn was a chore and I was looking to move, but what prodded me was God via a notice that my homeowner’s insurance was going to increase significantly because I didn’t have a fire hydrant within a thousand feet of my house. On another note, Libby and I got married in July of 2015. So the following story from then goes. . .

Walking up from my garage this morning elicited new thoughts.  I haven’t moved for 27 years until a month ago.  I have known for years the voice of God and also the open door principle. 

Only slight modification was done on the outside.

I felt the urging some time ago to look at this house Lib and I are now in.  I played with the thought for some time, but placed it off the table.  Then mid-November the prodding came afresh.  I told Lib to let’s take a closer look at this house.  I called the agent and set up a showing.  We found it had been built in 1973.  It is brick and is solid.  It had been mildly updated, but much updating is still needed in the kitchen, dining and hallway.  The doors needed new knobs, but really the whole set of inside doors should be replaced.  The flooring was done with a very cheap grade of laminate wood grain flooring.  The baseboards, quarter round and door facings had been replaced by someone with just enough experience to cut a piece of wood.  They didn’t know much about a measuring tape, though.  The bathroom had been completely overhauled with a new tub and it was very fresh and with functional tub, toilet, cabinet and vanity.  But the walls are not very likeable.  The trim was amateurish.  The flooring was not level and upon inspection we found sometime joists had been attacked by termites, but had been repaired and treated.  There were other floor joists that needed new supports, which I had the owner repair before purchase.  The previous owner had had new double pane windows installed, but two already had that foggy look and I had them fix those as well.

This is what the kitchen looked like before and after except I’ve added a microwave over the stove since this picture was made.

Sounds like I should have walked away from the needs this house has, but here’s what happened.  Lib wanted the house and I did as well for the fact that it has a half-acre yard with a huge unattached garage and paved driveway.  I later found the garage was once a welding shop business by the previous owner.  He and his wife had passed on and the children were selling it as sort of an estate sale.  They, being the owners then, were willing to sell at a giveaway price.  It had been reduced by ten thousand dollars.  All I will say is when I heard the selling price I was astounded to find it well under $100 grand. 

Looking at the state of the house and the state of my previous home didn’t take much for Lib and I to agree to offer whatever the owners were asking.  Problem was the day we looked at it we found there was another interested party.  Problem one.  Yet I felt to go ahead with the offer. 

Later that day I was told to secure the offer I would need to get approved for the loan.  That was not a problem.  The next morning after church Lib and I went to a mortgage loan representative and were approved on the spot.  We stopped by on the way back home to look at the inside of the garage and the realty agent told me then that the other prospective party had declined to place a bid.  Now it was up to Lib and me.

Monday morning was a holiday from work, so I had gone out to get something to eat at the local Piggly Wiggly and decided to stop at my neighbor’s business across the street.  When I asked him was he interested he looked at me like I was pulling his leg and it took several acknowledgements to get him to believe I wasn’t.  He asked me how much and I told him.  On the spot he offered to buy at the price I asked.  Deal.  I’d  made an offer, gotten approved and sold my house in a span of three days.  On the fourth day I was moving out of my house into this house.   I had told Libby when God moves He can move quickly so she should be prepared.   

The provocation to look at this house again was God speaking to me.  Once I looked and spoke what I was hearing, things happened so quickly Libby could not believe it.  Doors opened left and right.  We’ve been in this house paying rent to live here from the middle of November until closing and now for almost a month since closing. 

Surprisingly I do not miss my two acres down the road seven tenths of a mile.  I feel very much at home here.  I’m sitting in my living room tapping this out on my laptop while the Contemporary Christian music channel plays on Pandora, feeling the blessing of God upon this house. 

It’s the little things that count as well, which to some would seem not important and material.  I gave up a 1955 BelAir Chevy when I gave my heart to God in 1977 because I felt Him tell me it was my god.  It was a true statement.  Now all those years later I feel that owning the car I’d always wanted was a gift and now I have a garage to put it in and cover it up so I can take it out and drive it and enjoy it.  And Libby and I do enjoy it with the top down breezing down the highway. 

Still Libby has a nice car and I have yet an old beater of an S10 for hauling stuff around in.  We both have wonderful jobs and I hope to retire the end of this year. 

I know there are people who think they hurt me because I hurt them, but in reality I can’t be hurt.  The love of God is strong on and in me.  I have forgiven them.  I release them to God.  Libby and I are recognized for our love for each other in our church and we’ve developed new friends and we have become a part of the community of Richlands.  In all the years I’ve lived here I’ve not felt that till we moved into this house just a month ago.  Strange as it may seem, I’d never felt this way. 

Yes, I admit my decisions hurt some people close to me, but I’ve found from other friends and family that their viewpoint was I was not a well man then.  To me I was in a fight for my life.  I knew I was dying and I had to get out of it.  I made only one mistake.  Not having done it sooner. 

So my thought as I walked up from the garage this morning?  It is that I’m “home” for the first time in a long time and I have the love of a woman who truly knows unconditional love and demands nothing of me, but to be myself.  I ask nothing of her other than to not change who she is.  She’s everything I pictured in my early teens when I asked God what my wife would be like.  I can’t marry her as yet because of the liberality with which the judge meted out “punishment” on me in alimony to my previous relationship.  Under the laws of the state of NC I am bound to that, but my heart is unbound in the realm of the spirit and I have all I ever wanted in life and cannot be brought down, not because of me, but by the help and blessings of God am I standing.  That’s my thoughts this morning. 

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