Mondays are often days I can stay home and get work done. Now that Spring has arrived I can be outside and get yard work started. Yesterday was one of those where God and His timing and attention to detail were so kind. I’ve been wanting to get some work done outside without wind. Yesterday, early morning, was that right time. I quickly got into my work clothes and began. Just as I was finishing the rain began along with the wind. Amazingly, what I was doing needed rain as soon as possible. I told my wife that God just keeps showing me how much He cares about what’s important to us!
Monthly Archives: March 2023
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: MARCH 20, 2023
Recently I was counseling with a client who needed to address self-esteem/worth. The materials I found in the biblical counseling site seemed to criticize the one struggling saying their struggle was because they didn’t know God well. I spent so many years struggling with this issue and wondered why this great organization would be so trite regarding something so important? I took this issue to one of the two retired counselors who work with me and asked their opinion of this. I was amazed to hear that if one knows God well and believes what God says, self-worth is never an issue for them. The real problem is belief–a spiritual strength, not belief in a carnal sense.
As I began to process for myself how the significance of God has grown for me in the past few years, I easily understand what the counseling site meant. One will never believe they have worth when the very One who created them is devalued. On the contrary, when the Creator is known and fully believed, one can readily believe their value is true. This is not an ego trip, this is God’s Work. An ego trip is what Satan tries to have us believing in our flesh. This is what my father struggled with all of his life and passed the struggle onto his kids (me). God is so faithful in helping turn this issue around. I want to help others see the truth in this and to know and believe by growing in their walk with God.
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: MARCH 19, 2023
God is always at work. Many years ago, I was a young man in my 20’s, my dad was on the verge of quitting a church because he was angry with one of the Sunday School teachers. I can no longer recall the circumstances and that’s not important anyway. My dad had done this so many times in the past, it was actually predictable. He and mom had retired and moved to our area from the farm.
I don’t know how our pastor heard about dad’s behavior, but he took it upon himself to confront dad. He went to their place and told dad he’d heard that he was upset with this teacher. Dad began to tell him why and the pastor’s response was a message from God. He told dad, “God is at work at our church. This Sunday School teacher is part of that work God is doing. You can choose to be part of this work or you can choose to miss out on the blessings of seeing God work. This will be your choice.”
What I recall now is what my dad did for the first time, I believe. Dad chose to turn himself around and to support. To my knowledge dad had never been confronted by someone. In so doing, he relented. He continued with the church and I don’t believe he ever “quit going” again. God’s is AMAZING in the ways He does work. I want to choose to join Him!
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: MARCH 18, 2023
Yesterday was a very productive and fruitful day. My grandson and I were able to get all of the outside work done I was hoping could take place. Along with that I was able to get some errands done which were like frosting on the cake! Most of all, it was a bright, sunny day and we got to be out in it all day long!
As this day begins I am headed to a counseling appointment followed by the beginning of a 2nd small group of men where we will tackle the issue of pornography. When I was thinking about starting this several weeks ago, it was to eliminate talking about this issue one on one and do it with a couple of the men using this great curriculum. There are 6 men now on the list. I know this topic is rampant in our society. All of the ones coming are young men with the exception of one. I praise God that these men are taking this courageous step at this early stage of life. God has a freedom for us and this topic is included in it.
I personally know this topic and its bondage. Satan finds all sorts of manipulative ways to try and keep God’s kids within his grasp. Today, the Sword of the Spirit will penetrate darkness and bring LIGHT from Heaven to a darkness that now must flee!
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: MARCH 17, 2023
Today is a blessed day. I had one appointment this morning which needed to cancel leaving the day wide open for being outside gardening all day! I even have a grandson coming to help which makes it more fun!
Yesterday I had a first appointment with a man who is struggling with several items which he outlined during our intake. At the end of the session I asked him if he had any questions before we closed in prayer? He asked, “How did you find your trust in God?” I teared up and couldn’t talk for a moment. When I did answer, I told him that my trust in God grew exponentially as I began to believe His Word regarding my value to Him. There are so many verses in the Bible which tell us how important we are to God. I believed all of them for others, but I couldn’t find any belief in them for me. When I began to use the 3-R’s: Recognize, Reject and Replace for the lies I was believing and replace the lies with the 3-S’s: Self-love, Self-appreciation and Self-confidence; my trust in God became grounded. I had no reason not to trust Him.
Satan cannot create as God does but he sure can confuse the truths of God with the sins of others and of our own making God’s truths seem artificial. God’s truths are as solid today as they were thousands of years ago when they were first written. Belief, Trust, Faith and more are the pillars of solidity grounding trust. Today I BELIEVE and because of this, I can TRUST!
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: MARCH 16, 2023
Last night I started a small group of men using the Celebrate Recovery Step Study program. Two attending are ones I’ve been counseling with and the other man being from our CR. The group is small, but I thought that was OK and maybe the best considering the ones coming from the counseling side. One of the two from counseling didn’t attend last night saying he completely forgot, leaving two present. This morning as I began to journal I was lamenting to Jesus how disappointing it was to start a step study for only “2” men and hopefully “3”. I’ve never conducted a step study with this small of a number.
As I asked my question of Jesus, what He wanted me to know from Him for today, I was brought up short. He immediately addressed my attitude about the numbers. He said He has always been about the person’s recovery/salvation/freedom. He said that numbers to me were an indication of importance/value. He is wanting a heart change for a person who is willing to come. If I see numbers, where is my attention going?
Being of value has always been significant to me. I grew up thinking I was of little, if any, value–mostly I felt I was disappointing and in the way. I understand this, but little did I think this was still with me to the point it is. I gave this “desire of the flesh” to Jesus this morning. If 2 or 3 come and find freedom, I can rejoice with Jesus for this is why He came!
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: MARCH 15, 2023
Have you ever tried to separate your soul from the rest of you? As I have connected now with the counseling program I find myself dealing with a great deal of emotion. Much of this centers around anger. The other is regret. There are lots of words which can be added to provide additional personalization to these emotions, but this is a start. I’ve spent a lifetime suppressing emotions if they were negative/hurtful so that I wouldn’t appear to be like my dad. However, I know now that suppressing emotions is not in anyone’s best interest. Yes, it is good to manage one’s emotions so they are used meaningfully for you and used at the right time. Emotions are energy which strengthen/empower us. Because emotions are energy, they can also drain us, and others too, when used destructively. All of this is part of our soul.
As I’ve spent time studying soul and spirit separate from my body, I’ve found that spirit is at our core. It is our direct connection with God for He gives us The Holy Spirit when we accept Christ into our lives. Our spirit, when used to guide us, will keep our soul focused on the actions pleasing to God and our spirit guides our worship of God as well.
There is so much more to all of this, but its enjoyable, I find, to seek this clarity instead of trying to hide the fact that I am an emotional being who is me–not anyone else. I am a child of God, created by Him, given His Spirit to dwell within me so I can honor God fully with my body and soul making choices the Spirit guides. It is “fun” to separate all of this out and then see it put together in oneself.
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: MARCH 14, 2023
We are so fortunate to live in the world of today where Jesus Christ is our Redeemer. We are seen as righteous in God’s eyes when we have Jesus in our lives. I am in Deuteronomy as I read through the chronological Bible. Moses is giving his final speeches to the Children of Israel before he departs from them. In his messages he continuously emphasizes the importance of following the worship and living rules God had given them. The outcome of their obedience would be as it had been with David and Solomon’s leadership. If they didn’t, well, Israel would look like all the struggles they’ve had throughout the generations we know.
I read this and reflect on us today. We don’t need to be Jewish to disobey God. We just need to be human–the desire to disobey (live life as we want it) runs deep in mankind’s composition. I am so grateful to know and believe that God sees righteousness in me because of Christ living in me. I always want to see this through the lens of humility and gratitude for God is truly the God of Grace & Mercy which continuously forgives this humanness of ours. My job?/Our job?–keep Jesus as our reason for living. Only He can truly satisfy our soul!
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: MARCH 13, 2023
Today’s journey message is going to be different. I’m sharing a blunder I made on this day over 30 years ago. I had taken my oldest daughter to her driver’s training class at 6:00 am. I went from there to my school to start my day. It was a Thursday which was staff newsletter day. As I sat at my computer to begin writing the newsletter I typed March 13 at the top. As I did I recalled it was an important day but what was it?? It then hit me that it was St. Patrick’s Day! I quickly assessed my attire to see I was wearing no green. I didn’t want to go home and change so I looked over my office and found some green M&M’s. I took one and with double-sided scotch tape, put one on my sports jacket lapel.
The morning didn’t go far before I realized my blunder. It came about in a most embarrassing way which I won’t take the time to express here. For years the staff would celebrate two St. Patrick’s Days in recognition of this. From then to today when I see March 13th I cringe recalling the moment. It does bring a smile!
As the journey continues so does reflective moments!
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: MARCH 12, 2023
Today is the birthday of my prayer warrior–my 2nd mom. This lady is truly one of God’s treasures. I find it amazing that she doesn’t see herself as this treasure any more than I find this true for me. Yet, she tells me I doubt God when I don’t see the truth of His Word when it says I am a treasure to Him. Well, I do understand our flesh and its selfish desire to do what it wants which is all too often not glorifying God. This selfishness makes me doubt myself being a treasure. Yet, when I am reminded that Jesus Christ lives within me along with His Holy Spirit and this is what God sees in me, then I understand the treasure.
Lois McMillan is this treasure. Her physical body is an earthen vessel (II Corinthians 4:7) which is filled with the Light of Jesus Christ and out of her mouth and out of her hands come support and love which God has used to help scores of people over the years see His Heavenly Light for themselves. When we see ourselves we most often see this earthen vessel with its many flaws. God, on the other hand, sees what inside this vessel–His Own Son and His Own Spirit. What an amazing God He is and what a privilege to serve Him!