Let’s Pray

There are a lot of things going on in this world right now.  We have COVID-19, we have politics, you could argue we have the COVID-19 and the politics associated with it, we have a category 3 currently Hurricane, but expected to strengthen to a category 4 Hurricane soon, bearing down on parts of Louisiana and Texas.  There is social unrest and people with hatred in their hearts in the United States.  School is starting or has started all over the United States, whether you are home schooling or your children are attending school in person, it is stressful to say the least.  There are people that don’t know Jesus and that breaks my heart.  And I am sure I am missing more things that are going on, in our lives.  And all this affects our home and work lives.    

So pray with me.  Dear Heavenly Father, help us, we need you in our lives.  (I need you!)  Please be with the people affected by the Corona Virus.  Dear God, in 2 Chronicles 14 it says “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways , then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  Dear God I am pleading with you to help us during these times.  Dear Lord, I also say a special prayer for everyone that is in the way of Hurricane Laura.  I pray that they heed the warnings to evacuate and get to safer ground and if they don’t, that you will protect them.  I also want to lift up all the staff and workers, teachers and students that are attending school.  Dear God please keep them safe and healthy.  Let them finish the school year and focus on learning.  Dear Lord, I know I struggle with all the information surrounding the Corona Virus Pandemic.  I don’t know who to believe, wear a mask, don’t wear a mask, it helps, it doesn’t help.  I struggle with the numbers, the rates.  I pray that we don’t lose focus on you.  That we put your first and have faith that you are going to see us through all this.  Dear God there is also social unrest in the United States.  I pray that you stop the hatred we have in our hearts for each other.  Our souls are what matters Lost Souls Matter, dear God.  I pray a special prayer on anyone that doesn’t know you or believe in you.  Be with us dear Lord and help us through all of this.  It’s a lot to deal with and I want to shine my light to others and I want others to say I want what he (they) has (have), but it is certainly a struggle now.  Forgive me of where I have failed you, in Jesus name I pray Amen. 

I feel like we need to pray, and I just wanted to share this with you, God Bless!            

Do We idolize Sports Stars?

I grew up in the 80’s and my favorite sports star is Michael Jordan. I can still see him soaring through the air. He could dunk it from the free throw line. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t worship Michael Jordan. But he is certainly my favorite sports star of all time.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=michael+jordan+highlights&&view=detail&mid=3426CF00651E34547CBA3426CF00651E34547CBA&&FORM=VRDGAR&ru=%2Fvideos%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Dmichael%2520jordan%2520highlights%26qs%3DMM%26form%3DQBVR%26sp%3D1%26pq%3Dmichael%2520jordan%2520%26sc%3D8-15%26cvid%3D854EB2CABD2748A08956CE0D783DD982

And I love watching football too, if you ask my wife, I probably spend too much time watching football. Now with COVID-19, I wonder if God is trying to tell us something. I wonder if God is shutting Sports down for a while. I wonder if we should stop paying so much attention to Sports and get into our Bible’s. Are we spending more time paying attention to Sports instead of worshipping God?

When Michael Jackson passed away, that’s all that was on the television for days, don’t get me wrong. I felt remorse for his family and friends but it didn’t affect me personally. The same with Kobe Bryant. I was sad for his family and friends, but we are all going to pass away, or go to Heaven when God sends Jesus to come get us in the rapture, whichever comes first.

I wonder if God is trying to tell us something. Worship him not Sports, actors, or entertainers. Maybe we need to spend more time in Church, praying, reading our Bible’s and worshipping God. God Bless!

Do I Have Enough Faith?

I had this article on my mind and was going to write it and we received an email from the Occupational Health and Safety Manager at work stating “masks are a critical part of keeping our community and family members healthy, and I can’t emphasize this enough! I encourage you to mask up, educate your friends and family and set a positive example for those around you. Let’s make masks the new norm together.”

My wife refuses to wear a mask, she will not frequent a place that requires her to wear the mask. because of her strong conviction of faith that she has. She says, if God wants me to get the Corona virus, then I’ll get it, and that God has this predetermined. And while I feel the same way. I almost question my faith because I feel the need to wear a mask when I go to Walmart, or assisting customers at work because I don’t know where these people have been, maybe they are coming from a State that has higher numbers, however, I don’t feel the need to wear the mask at Church, and that may be a mistake.

We went to Lowe’s the other day and she didn’t wear her mask. You know what they say about peer pressure, peer pressure is a (insert your own word). I didn’t wear a mask either, however, if she hadn’t been with me, I probably would have worn a mask.

Now, I am questioning my faith. Do I have enough faith to walk around without a mask? If you believe the news, or media, the numbers are going up and staying cooped up in our houses will only postpone the inevitable. So what are we supposed to do? Are we supposed to accept that masks are the new norm? I have a hard time with that.

Am I being naïve that I don’t want to wear a mask? I don’t want my family to get this virus. I don’t even want to call it by name anymore. I guess, it’s to each their own. We can make our own decisions regarding the wearing of the mask.
Instead of mask, we could insert weapon. Every night I pray that I don’t have to use force on anyone trying to force their way into my house to protect my family. Do I have enough faith to rely on God to protect my family or do I take matters into my own hands? How much faith do you have?

Praying and Washing My Hands

I’ve been praying a lot lately, and washing my hands.  I’ve been praying that God has mercy on us and wipes out the Corona Virus.  Or, God certainly has the power to wipe us out, but I pray that he doesn’t.  I’ve been praying that we turn back to God and seek his face, that we put him back number one in our lives, that we don’t have false idols.  When I am reading the Bible, I notice that worshipping anyone other than God makes God mad.  I’m praying that we repent from our sins, we’re all sinners, and none of us are perfect.  And, I’m so thankful that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. 

When Michael Jackson died in 2009, that’s all you heard about on the news was how distraught everyone was about losing him.  Kobe Bryant just passed away and I hope we are not worshipping entertainers, athletes, anyone except God.  Sports, has been shut down, School is closed, but then again we’re not allowed to pray at school anymore either.    

I’m praying that the kids can get back to going to the parks and playing, and that they can get back to school soon too.  That we can get back to watching football, and basketball (sports in general).  We just need to be careful not to worship the players and Sports and not to put it before going to Church and worshipping God, and I’m washing my hands.

I’m praying that we can get back to attending Church in person and that I can get back to attending pastoral meetings with my fellow brothers, so we can find the Pastor that God has in store for our Church and I’m washing my hands. 

I’m praying for people that may not have accepted Jesus into their lives or that don’t believe in Jesus.  I pray that they come to know Jesus and accept him as their Savior before it’s too late.  We live in an unpredictable time, we are seeing tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, diseases, hurricanes and more.  We need to be ready to go and meet our maker.

I’m also thanking God, on a daily basis for my countless blessings that I don’t deserve.  I’m truly blessed.  Let’s not forget to thank God, even in these times of despair and uncertainty.        

And, I’m praying that God will forgive me of my sins.  I know I am not perfect, that I am a sinner.  I’m repenting for my sins and washing my hands – Stay Safe and God Bless You. 

Are You Lucky or Blessed?

Are you blessed or lucky?  Am I blessed or lucky?  My family returned from Germany, March 20th, after visiting my wife’s family and celebrating her 40th birthday with her twin sister.  We arrived on March 10th and planned on staying until March 25th, but our plans were changed by the Pandemic, Corona Virus.

First, we were told all American’s had to be back with in the U.S. by Friday, March 13th, but we just got there three days earlier and ignored the warning.  And, the 4 0 celebration was planned for the following day.  However, our return flight kept getting cancelled.  My wife spent hours on the phone trying to book our return flights.  We finally got a flight that didn’t get cancelled, however, we had to fly from Frankfurt, Germany with a layover in London, England and then to Dallas, Texas, five days early, as opposed to or our original flight from Frankfurt, Germany, straight to Dallas, Texas.    

On the way over to Germany, I sat two seats away from someone that coughed the entire flight and didn’t bother to cover their mouth.  We walked through Dallas Fort Worth Airport, and Frankfurt Am Main Airport and I don’t think we practiced social distancing lining up, to check in on the way over.  On the way back, they did ensure we spread out when we exited the plane in Dallas, before we checked in with the CDC that was waiting for us there.

We arrived in Dallas and were screened for the Corona Virus, passed our screening and were told to self-quarantine for 14 days at home.  We did and never developed any serious symptoms, yes, we had a sniffle or a cough, but nothing to get too worried about.     

I said all that to say this, am I lucky or am I blessed that we flew all the way to Germany to visit with family, celebrate my wife and sister-in-law’s 40th birthday and to visit with some old friends and made it home safe.  God was definitely with us when we drove back from Dallas to Arkansas, because we were exhausted.  We took turns driving, but somehow made it home.  Are we lucky or blessed?  I believe we are blessed, God was definitely with us. 

I’m blessed!  I have a beautiful family that loves me, and we are healthy.  I have a job right now, when according to CNBC ‘Another 6.6 million file for unemployment’ (9 March, 2020).  I have a roof over my head.  I have a loving Church family, and have many more things to be thankful for.   

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/another-66m-americans-file-for-unemployment-benefits-as-layoffs-show-no-letup/ar-BB12nLmw?ocid=spartanntp

 I’m sure all of you have stories to share about your Corona Virus experiences, are you lucky or blessed?  I’m blessed!   

  

           

What Can We Learn Form the Corona Virus?

First of all, this is just my opinion, but I think we need to slow down.  I believe that God slowed us down by having some of us shelter-in-place and some of us even quarantined.  We have such busy lifestyles now, people working Saturdays, and even Sundays, which is supposed to be set aside for the Lord, a day of rest to glorify God.  I think God slowed us down for a bit, telling us Don’t forget about me, don’t forget to put me first, don’t forget to worship me, and don’t forget to enjoy the beauty of the world that he (I) made.  It reminds me of the song So Will I by Hillsong Worship, “And as You speak a hundred billion galaxies are born, in the vapor of Your breath the planets form.” 

Exodus 20:8-11 ESV “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.  On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.  For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.  Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

Mark 2:27 ESV “And he said to them, The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

Those are just two passages about the Sabbath day in the Bible, there are many more.  God wanted us to slow down, especially on the day of rest and I think we did for a while.  I just hope we can learn from this and heed his warning.    

Another point I want to make is that we need to turn back to God and put him first.  Oftentimes we get caught up in our world.  We need to put God first in everything we do.   We need to make sure we don’t have false idols and that we are not worshipping anyone or anything but God.  We just saw Kobe Bryant pass away and I saw many Facebook and Twitter posts of how people were distraught and I am sympathetic towards his family and friends.  I tried to not get too distraught over his passing.   I just hope we are not worshipping entertainers, actors, actresses and athletes. 

I especially feel sorry for anyone that doesn’t know Jesus as their personal Savior.  My prayer is that people that are lost, that they turn to Jesus in this time and accept him into their hearts and repent from their sins and ask to be forgiven to have everlasting life with him in Heaven. 

And even all Christians, we are sinners and maybe we are getting caught up in our busy lives and may not be putting God first in our lives.  We all need to repent, and ask God for forgiveness.  We need to turn back to God and put him first, take time to pray and read our Bibles.  In this time of social distancing, many Churches are turning to social media, and Facebook to put their Church services on, and their devotionals.  We need to take time to watch them and worship God, to get back in the word of God.    

Also this time has allowed us to spend more time with our family.  We just got back from Germany on 20 March, and my family was quarantined for 14 days, with schools being closed there is more time to spend with family.  While it was a good time, it did get stressful too, you have to get creative with things to do as well.  It rained a lot here in Arkansas and we were not able to get outside much and some states have shelter-in-place in effect.     I just hope we come out of this Corona virus stronger and that we learned something from it and that may be different for every person. For me I got to spend time with my family and slow down and was reminded to appreciate God’s beautiful work that he created.  The beautiful mountains, creeks, rivers, lakes, and forest here in Arkansas.  And how much I love and don’t want to take my family for granted and to remember to put God first in everything I do.  I believe there is more work to do, there are more revivals to have, more Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames to have, more seeds to plant and more hearts for God to convict. God Bless you all. 

https://realityoutreach.org/