Do the U-Turn while you can

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http://bible.com/116/isa.55.6.NLT

Isaiah tells us to call on the Lord while he is near.
God is not planning to move away from us, but we often move far from him or erect a barrier between ourselves and him.
Don’t wait until you have drifted far away from God to seek him.
Later in life turning to him may be far more difficult.
Or God may come to judge the earth before you decide to turn to him.
Seek God now, while you can, before it is too late.

***  Thoughts from Life Application Study Bible Devotions, 15 May 2015  ***

I have made the mistake of traveling down this road and It was nearly impossible to turn around and travel back to God.  What laid out there seem so good but those ruts in the road almost took me out.  Only by the grace of God was I able to do a u-turn and come back to him. 

Some of the movies coming out portray fast cars that drift and do they look great, until they roll over, or crash, or run off the road into a pool of water, or worse yet they go over a cliff. End of the journey! 

–  Have you ever crash and burned in life?  How about been up ended in a relationship that went south on you and you could do nothing to stop it. 
–  Have you ever felt like you were drowning in life from those things that seem like they were way over your head,  you couldn’t even catch your breath.
–  Lastly, you found yourself heading for the edge of a cliff knowing that is not something you want to do twice let alone once, it could mean curtains, nice way of saying you could die from this.

Contrary to this a soul drifting may seem great at that moment but there is always that cliff, that could and most likely will take you out and then it’s to late to make any amends with the lover of our souls, (Father God).  

I beg you to do the u-turn and seek God now, while you can, before it is too late!

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Displeasor with Arrogance, Self-Sufficient and Confidence in One’s Own Strength

Satan rose up against Israel and caused David to take a census of the people of Israel.
But Joab replied, “May the Lord increase the number of his people a hundred times over! But why, my Lord the king, do you want to do this? Are they not all your servants? Why must you cause Israel to sin?”
God was very displeased with the census, and he punished Israel for it. Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by taking this census. Please forgive my guilt for doing this foolish thing.”
http://bible.com/116/1ch.21.1-8.nlt

Why was God displeased with the census that David called for?

Because David fell to Satan’s temptation

David’s curiosity was spurred on by his arrogance

His faith was in his own strength rather than in God’s strength

If we feel self-sufficient and put confidence in our strength apart from God, we soon fall to Satan’s schemes

In self-sufficiency we lose our contact with God

To escape temptation examine your inner desires to understand why the external temptation is so appealing

David did not consult God or listen to Joab’s advice, and the nation suffered terribly

When face with important decisions, we should ask for God’s direction first.  He may send his answer in a number of ways, often in the form of advice from others.  Although advice that goes against our plans is tough to hear, it may save us from tragic consequences

Many want to add God and the benefits of Christianity  to their lives with out acknowledging their personal sin and guilt

But confession and repentance must come before receiving forgiveness

Like David, we must take full responsibility for our actions and confess them to God before we can expect him to forgive us and continue his work in us.

***  source of notes from Life Application Study Bible Notes on 1 Chronicles 21:1, 3, and 7, pg. 752   ***

It Does Matter, the Choices that you make!

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http://bible.com/116/ecc.11.9.NLT

We often hear people say, “It doesn’t matter.”

But many of your choices will be irreversible-they will stay with you for a lifetime.

What you do when you’re young does matter.

Enjoy life now, but don’t do anything:
physically
morally
or spiritually
that will prevent you from enjoying life when you are old.

***  Thoughts from Life Application Study Bible Devotions, 7 May 2015  ***

Waiting for Perfect Conditions and Inactivity

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http://bible.com/116/ecc.11.4.NLT

Waiting for perfect conditions will mean inactivity.
This practical insight is especially applicable to our spiritual life.
If we wait for the perfect time and place for personal Bible reading, we will never begin.
If we wait for a perfect church, we will never join.
If we wait for the perfect ministry, we will never serve.
Take steps now to grow spiritually.
Don’t wait for conditions that may never exist.

***  Thoughts from Life Application Study Bible Devotions, 6 April 2015  ***

I gave up a very long time ago looking for a perfect time, place, church, and ministry to make that change that was so needed.
You may have been hurt by that imperfect church or perhaps that imperfect person who said god awful things to you.  Or perhaps that imperfect person did something to you that hurt you so bad that you said until I find the perfect church or ministry I am never going to church again.

Let me be the first to share with you that there is no such thing as a perfect church nor is there a perfect ministry.
Many ministries would like for you to believe that they are the perfect ministry, but I am afraid that is not totally true because there still exist in those supposedly perfect ministries that one imperfect person who will most assuredly say something out of the way to you or even do something out of the way to you that will ruin your experience,  Sorry! 

That is just the way it is in this imperfect world of our.  That is why we need a Saviour and a God that delivers  us us from evil and imperfect people and imperfect ministry.
We must begin looking for God in these imperfect situations to stand up and be God all by Himself.  When you focus on Man instead of God you are doom to forever see only the imperfect situations rather than what God can do with a broken or imperfect situation.

Remember that God used cracked pots to change the world.  Cracked pots like Saul who became Paul and wrote most of the New Testament in the best seller in all the world, The Bible.
How about that Cracked pot Mary who was 16 and engage to be marry and found herself expecting before her marriage, she gave birth to the son of God.  Jesus change our status with God by becoming the Lamb of God and taking on our sin so that we might have right standing with God the Father
You can’t forget the Cracked Pot fisherman who betrayed Jesus on the very day that Jesus really needed a real friend. This Cracked pot ran away at first but the Lord was able to convince him to be filled with the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  This Cracked pot stood up and proclaimed Jesus when it was not popular to do so and 3000 people made a decision for Christ that same day.

It is not about perfect, it is about allowing God to use your brokenness in imperfect situations.  He can flow through you such an anointing that can and will shake those imperfect situations for his Glory.  Will you plow the ground today and prepare for the amazing harvest that can only come  from the user of cracked pots?  Quit Waiting and Get busy, You are needed!   

From one Cracked Pot to another!

A Dull Ax

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http://bible.com/116/ecc.10.10.NLT

Trying to do anything without the necessary skills or tools is like chopping wood with a dull ax.
If your tool is dull, you should sharpen it to do a better job.
Similarly, if you lack skills, you should sharpen them through training and practice.
In each situation, sharpening the ax means recognizing where a problem exists, acquiring or honing the skills (or tools) to do the job better, and then going out and doing it.
Find the areas of your life where your “ax” is dull, and sharpen your skills so you can be more effective in God’s work.

***  Thoughts from Life Application Study Bible Devotions, 5 April 2015  ***

It is much better that you discover where you lack skills than to have others tell you that you are to stupid to preform some task.  There was this guy that work as a janitor at this very large church, he took care of this large building by himself and he also had to cut grass around the church and an extra lot across the street.  During the winter he was required to shovel snow as well. He was well liked by most of the people of this church and there were no complaints regarding his work.  This fellow went about his work with a song in his heart and worked as though he was working for the Lord.  One day he notice the church secretary struggling with her computer and he stop what he was doing and went in to see if he could help her resolve her issues.  He took time to explain that while in the military he had run into the same issues.  So he began to show the secretary some useful work arounds to solve her issues.  While he was working with her some of the members of the church walk in and saw the Janitor working with the secretary’s computer, while the church secretary kept saying what are you doing here serving as a janitor, you know way more than I do when it comes to computers.  But, in the background those members who had walked in and saw the janitor working with the secretary’s computer, begin to question each other loudly, “Hey isn’t that the janitor in there on the secretary’s computer, we ain’t paying him for that, all he is good for is chasing dust bunnies and cleaning the bathroom, get him off that computer before he breaks it.  Wait there goes a dust bunny now you need to chase that down and make sure our church is really clean.  That was the straw that broke the camels back because some of the members of this church believe that all this fellow was capable of, was chasing down dust bunnies. They didn’t believe he was capable of anything better and they thought he had reach his highest goal in life, that, being their janitor and that is all he was capable of being as far as they were concern.  End of the story, right!  No, that fellow took his axe and had it sharpen and he became a computer repairman, and move on into a masters degree in information technology.  He now teaches at the university level and of all things Computers, all because those nice people at that large church insulted him by saying that all he was capable of was chasing dust bunnies.
The dull ax is no longer dull, everyday I am working on my ax.  Oh, I forgot to tell you that this is a true story. The janitor in this story was me.  And I am happy to say that this was the best thing to happen to me because I would have never known how dull my ax was without those wonderful words, “All you are good for is chasing dust bunnies.”  I don’t chase them no more as a carreer. Now I am teaching and loving it . I owe those wonderful people a great big sloppy kiss for waking me up to real potential and a new life. 

Let me echo one more time the above statement. “Find the areas of your life where your “ax” is dull, and sharpen your skills so you can be more effective in God’s work.”

Our Padre retreat

20140730_173722 The wind mills
I was instantly propel back to the time I spent with my grandchildren in Germany, when we would wonder around these majestic, towering wonders that slice the wind with the greatest of ease. We would walk around these towers wondering what it would be like to view life from their perspective.  I could not take my eyes off these great wonders
The bridge
Before we got to the bridge, we had no idea what to expect other than a regular low bridge that just went shortly across a body of water.  Surprise! the bridge over the Gulf of Mexico was very high and magnificent, it made me feel like a child in a candy store.  The view was wonderful and very vivid, I began to wonder what to expect and what would we really see on this truly spectacular island.
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DSCN0335 The beach
It  just begged me to come and walk it, and to play on it, like some innocent little child, even to lay down on it.  It was just plain old beautiful, I promise you.
The gulf’s body of water
At first sight overwhelm me, I have not been at the ocean’s edge in a very long time and I had forgotten the beauty and magnificent of such a sight
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DSCN0303 Walking on the beach
Made me feel like a child again even though I had never had the opportunity to walk on beaches when I was a child.  Yet it seem that I was born to do just that, walk and walk some more.
Looking for Dolphins
This was the reason that I found myself on a ship looking high and low for these elusive creatures.  I had no idea how this would impact my especially being able to hold some of God’s creatures in my hands.   Watching the waves roll under the ship which in turn cause the ship to rise and fall rather uncomfortably for me which was sheer joy and panic at the same time.  I realize that there was more water than I could possibly drink and the you know that first step into this drink would be a really deep plunge. At the same time I was afraid yet I had a rush  excelration that said scared but excited at the same time
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The fireworks
Lit up the beach and the terrace that we were setting on.  It was the first time that we have ever set right under this beautiful display that seemed to be right over us.  I thought for sure that we would feel the fain of sparks on our head, but we didn’t.  Wow!  What a show, it was right there in living color
The security guard
Stop by our room while we were talking about the days activity. The guard stop to insist that we close our room doors completely to ensure that we stay safe.  This reminded me that with the beauty comes a hint of danger,   For me this was minimal compared to the beauty of this wonderful resort
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DSCN0358  DSCN0361 The food
Was hit and miss but a bright spot for us was the Hilton In Garden restaurant, the food and service was great!  The prices were very reasonable considering where we were. It prove to be most affordable so far.
The turtles
The turtles and the facts regarding them really caught me off guard.  I had no idea that sea turtles ate jelly fish. It was really hard to believe that a sea turtle would eat a plastic bag thinking that it was a jelly fish and then it would work really hard it trying to bass that bag through it’s system.  There’s a thought, plastic poo. A plastic bottle floated by us while we aboard the ship looking for Dolphins on the open water of the Gulf of Mexico .  I really wonder what was wrong with people who refuse to pick up their own trash.  
I really hope we humans don’t ruin this wonderful place with our lack of concern for preserving this beautiful place.
 
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Misc. things that we saw

Of course we saw so many different things that one must go there and look for oneself.  But just seeing the coast, the birds, the ships, the beach, the people, the shopping, the restaurants, the buildings, the water, lots of it, the windmills and so many other things, just overwhelm my eye gates, but in such a wonderful way.  You have to see this place for yourself to understand why I sat down to write about my experiences on South Padre Island