Do We Take Advantage of God?

That sounds strange, how can we as mere humans take advantage of God?  I’ll explain:

Sometimes we take advantage of people; take for instance this weekend.  My daughter was sick Saturday night, so we didn’t want to expose her to the rest of the church congregation and make them sick, so we stayed home from church Sunday.  I had the idea of going fishing.  So, I load up and go fishing and I caught a few, but first I wanted to try the top water bite, since it was early in the morning.  The fish were having no part of that, so I switched to a different lure and caught a fish with it, then that stopped working so I tried a different type of lure, that didn’t work.  I finally fished with what these fish want and that is a fake worm, wacky rig style. 

I ended up feeling guilty because I wasn’t at church on a Sunday, which we were trying to be safe and not get the rest of the church sick, but I ended up feeling terrible, I kept thinking I should have been at home.  My daughter was fine, she woke up feeling great, but I still thought I could have been at home listening to the service on Facebook.  I kept saying let me try one more lure, let me throw just one more cast, let me catch one more fish, one more, one more and I ended up being gone for four hours.  I got home in time to listen to the visiting pastor’s sermon, but I still felt like I could have done more, like I was taking advantage of something. 

We take advantage of someone’s generosity; do we do that same thing to God?  We accept Jesus into our lives, and we are safe, we are saved, but do we get complacent?  Do we sometimes stop going to church? Do we stop praying as often?  Do we stop praising God as much as we used to?   Do we stop reading our Bible’s as often as we used to?  Do we stop preparing for Sunday School like we did before?  Do we take advantage of God’s mercy and grace, everyday we do.

I’m sure we can all do a better job of spending more time with God, praying, attending church, praising God, singing songs, studying our Bible etc., I’m going to try and not take advantage of God’s grace, until next time, God Bless you!         

Too Much God

Can we ever have too much God in our lives? What a dumb question, right! How much time do we give God? Do we make God our number one priority?

Life does keep us busy, but how much time do we spend praying, attending Church, reading our bibles and fellowshipping with others? Do we put anything before God and say I can’t make Church Sunday night because I have a football game, or other sporting event to attend or anything for that matter. Do we skip Wednesday night service, or business meetings? How much time do we give God? Are we putting God first in our lives?

Do we let our job get in the way, or our family? God blessed us with our job and family. Is there something we could do less of to give more time to God? For me it’s fishing. I love to go fishing. I have even gotten up early on Sunday morning to go fishing before Church and I ended up catching a 5.5 lber too, but I praised God for allowing me to catch it and I made it back home in time for Church. Life/Church is definitely is a balancing act. You need to have time for work, family, rest and God, but where does God rank in that? He’s supposed to come first.

We could probably all do better at giving God more time, after all, he is the one that allowed us to have our family’s, jobs, and life for that matter.
I found this on the ole’ internet. I’m only using it as an example. Instead of a 40 hour work week, they are using a 60 hour work week, but you can use it to see how much time you give to God, or if there is more time you could give by getting rid of something else.

“Take a minute and figure up how much time you spend with God in an average week either in private, in Bible study, or gathered with the saints. Now calculate how much discretionary time you have in an average week. A person who works sixty hours a week, sleeps 57 hours a week, and spends 25 hours a week to accomplish chores and other necessary tasks, has 26 hours of discretionary time per week. This person has 26 hours to waste, watch TV, spend on hobbies, etc. How much discretionary time do you have in an average week and what are you doing with it?” (How Much Time Do You Spend With God? 2020)

“Now list all the activities which take up your discretionary time. Is any one of your discretionary activities more important than spending time with God? Can one of your discretionary activities save the soul? What do you think – If a person spends only 1% or 2% of their discretionary time with God, what does that say to God? If a person goes on vacation for two weeks every year (224 hours of discretionary time) but only spends 52 hours a year or perhaps 156 hours a year with God, what does that say to God?” (How Much Time Do You Spend With God? 2020)

How much time do you give God? Can we ever have too much God in our lives? No!

Fishin’ In Heaven

Can you imagine what it is going to be like in Heaven? I don’t think our feeble minds can fathom what it will be like to witness Heaven with our own eyes and what it’s going to be like.

We will finally get to see our loved ones that have passed before us. We won’t have to worry about a virus, or any other disease. We won’t need to wear a mask in Heaven. We won’t have to lock our doors, or worry about riots, looting, shootings, stabbings, bombs, Churches being burned down, our children being kidnapped, and gang violence to name a few atrocities. The list goes on and on. No one will commit suicide, or have mental illnesses. All we will have to do is worship Jesus for dying on the Cross for our sins so that we were able to have everlasting life with them in Heaven.

Instead of Hate, we can focus on Love! John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Bible Gateway 2020)

I imagine Heaven to have the best fishing in the World, can you imagine not having a care in the World. Let me say that again, not a care in the World, yes that makes sense, because everything we worry about is of the World, it’s Worldly. All the things I mentioned above, diseases, hunger, all the trials and tribulations that we face on this World will be over.

And I don’t think we can fully understand what living in Heaven will be like. I pray every night for the safety of my family and I can’t even allow myself to share that prayer with you, because I don’t want it to happen so bad, but I won’t have to worry about it in Heaven. All these things that we fear are manmade, because we are sinners.

I believe God is trying to get our attention with this Corona virus and with all the hatred that people have in their hearts. I believe God is giving us one last chance to get on our knees to repent and ask for his forgiveness. We are ALL sinners! I also believe God is giving non-believers one last chance to accept Jesus Christ into their lives as their personal Savior. When we accept Jesus into our lives he makes us new again. He restores us and replaces the hatred with love. And finally I believe God is sending Jesus to get his people and it may sooner than we think.

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (Bible Gateway 2020)

Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. (Bible Gateway 2020)

John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (Bible Gateway 2020)

Luke 10:20 “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Bible Gateway 2020)

Mark 13:26 “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.” (Bible Gateway 2020)

I just went fishing this weekend. I was blessed to be able to go Saturday and Sunday and it was so much fun, but I can’t imagine what it will be like to fish in Heaven. When I get to Heaven, I just want to praise God and go fishing with my loved ones.

Fourth of July Weekend

My wife and I hosted some friends this Fourth of July weekend. Our friends came from Virginia, on their way to Colorado. They were our neighbors in Germany, where Greg and I would sing old country songs and have a few beers. I was concerned that our friendship would take on a new dynamic since I don’t drink nearly as much as I did in Germany, more on that later.

First, we took them to Parrot Island Waterpark in Fort Smith, my wife promised our kids we would go. I wasn’t totally sold on the idea of taking them there. I wanted to show them some more local areas of beauty, but it turned out to be a very good time swimming and floating down Crocodile Creek or Lazy River. Oh and Greg even tried his luck on the new attraction, Flow Rider.

The next day, Saturday, we showed them Little Missouri Falls. It was beautiful, however, when we arrived it was raining so we decided to eat at one of the park benches in hopes that the rain would pass. We thought we would ride out the thunderstorm in the van and when it let up we proceeded to walk to Little Missouri Falls. We got wetter walking to and from the Falls than we did in the Falls, but it made for a funny story that we will never forget.

Greg and I also got up early Saturday morning and went fishing at an undisclosed location. Greg had his line broken by a monster bass, another “the one that got away” story.

Sunday, we got up early and went back fishing to try our luck on finding this poor fish with a lure stuck in it’s mouth only this time we tried our luck in a flat-bottom boat that conveniently just happened to be there (I’m glad we didn’t tip over.) We were able to fish different aspects of the pond and I “hooked” the biggest fish I have ever seen. I reeled it to the boat side twice and Greg couldn’t grab it before the monster broke straightened out my swivel and swam away. I didn’t even get a picture of this mammoth bass and no one probably even believes me. But I’ll dream of catching this fish again, and I will certainly attempt to soon.

Then we went to bible study and Church and took them to see Queen Wilhelmina State Park, where we rode the miniature model train modeled after the original Glory Train.

We had a great time enjoying the beautiful view that is literally right in my backyard. And we had a great time even if I wasn’t partaking in having a few drinks. My friend stated he hasn’t had that much fun in a quite a while and I have to agree even without a few beers.