Awesome Impact

awesome impact award

Thanks, Stuart, for the nomination! I think you’re pretty awesome.

This award was created by Rad Gamer as a means for us to share a special moment in our lives that impacted us in a positive manner

The Rules —

  1. Tag the person who nominated you.
  2. Take “The Awesome Impact Award” Picture and add that in your post.
  3. Talk about an incident that impacted your life in a really positive way.
  4. Nominate 10 other awesome bloggers for this award.

The Mead Family in Gladwin, Michigan had an awesome impact on my life. The patriarch and matriarch, Bill & Pat Mead, raised 10 kids in the Lord. Dave Mead married Beulah, and Beulah is my very best friend in the whole world. God intersected our lives when I was a new Christian (in fact, God used Pat & Bill Mead to bring me to Himself). I studied under Dave and Beulah, and my friendship with Beulah was ordained and blessed by our Lord. They had an enormous influence on my growth in Christ. They infused me with His truth, the importance of reading God’s Word, of rightly dividing God’s Word (using God’s Word to interpret), the importance of a clean conscience, confession, and forgiveness. They live what they preach, are living examples of Jesus’ love and compassion.

Pat has gone on to be with her Heavenly Father. Bill, God bless you.

Thank you, Dave and Beulah! I love you.

Dave and Beulah Jan 2015

In Whom We Trust

In Whom We Trust

Disillusionment and distrust of the government has always existed among fringe groups, but in the 1930s, ‘40s, and most of the ‘50s, the majority of Americans trusted their government. Many still do.

But in the 1960s, things changed. It started in the late ‘50s, with new and daring music, pulling at teens who were already pulling away from parents. In the ‘60s, the Vietnam War was the breaking point. Draft-aged young men and their families had a notion that this war was somehow not right – nothing they could put their finger on, snippets from here and there we couldn’t quite put together; but the notion was spreading like wildfire. We now know the government lied to the American people for the sake of saving their own faces and for power.

The government had long been split over the issue of treatment of people of color. God says that He created us as equals. Our very Constitution states that we are equal. But too many in leadership worked to soften the edges, for fear of the people. Few stood up to do the right thing, fearing re-election time.

The disillusionment of authority and government wracked the youth. Who could they turn to, if all their authorities lied to them, could not be trusted?

This instability has grown and tilted. We question everything. No one can tell us what to do. Right and Wrong is in the eye of the beholder: the people do what is right in their own eyes. Daily we hear of yet another politician or celebrity or religious leader (or group) who has been lying to us all along, keeping secret sins.

“My God,” people say, “If we can’t trust the government, who can we trust? They control everything – they control our lives, in one form or another.”

The answer is in that very question: My God.

Sadly, many people think that what they see of God, what they sense in the people around them, is who God really is; the Catholic Church, who has been abusing children, and protecting themselves; the Bible-toting old auntie who scolds harshly for running in with muddy feet; the pastor daddy who beats them; the never-miss-a-Sunday momma who keeps her vodka in the locked cupboard. The list is endless, of course, because all of us, even the most devoted followers, are a sinful people.

No wonder we as a nation, a culture, a world, have turned away from whatever calls itself an authority. We learn we must make our own rules, follow what’s best for us, cut ties to anything perceived as unhealthy or not nurturing. We huddle together with like-minded friends until they, too, betray us.

But God.

In God we trust. In God we can trust. In God we must trust.

No one else can be a final authority. No one else has the power to determine the destiny of a person, a community, a nation, a world. No other entity is perfect, perfectly loving, and perfectly just.

It is God who allows or disallows a government. It is God who puts us in families, Who determines who our father and mother will be. It is God Who is the authority and Who establishes authority.

Proverbs 21.1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

Matthew 22.21 Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

Titus 3.1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work

Romans 13.1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God

And it is God Who loves us.

Psalm 86.15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.

And it is God Who provides a remnant. There is always a remnant. That’s us, you know – you and me, my friends. Let us be the ones to show others Who God is, what He wants for us all.

Joel 2.13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

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.

Change Your Past

Change Your Past

I’ve heard so many times that we can’t change the past. While I agree that we cannot change the events that actually happened, we can change our perspectives, our attitudes, and our emotions in relation to events.

I have my own memories, good and bad. I’ve re-written many of them. Consider the following scenarios, as they may reflect anyone’s memories (plug in your own):

*     *     *     *     *

That so-called friend who didn’t stick up for me: I didn’t know she was afraid to say something, that she thought of five great things to say later, but thought it was too late, so she never said anything, and she really missed my friendship after that, even though she felt she deserved me ditching her.

That time I said those hurtful things to my neighbor: they really were hurtful, and I meant to hurt her. But I can look back at that now, see that, even though I thought (and still think) that she deserved it, I was hurtful. I can apologize and ask for her forgiveness. If I can’t do that with her, at least I can confess to God.

That one who abused me, over and over and over: I didn’t know at the time that he was abused, himself, that he learned those things from someone he loved and trusted. It was wrong, he was twisted. I hated him. I can forgive him, even though I will never trust him or tell him; and I can grieve what was lost for him and for me.

All those times I failed my child: I can tell him how proud I am of him; I can ask forgiveness for issues I remember or that he brings up. I can tell him and show him I love him.

That parent who was never really a parent: I didn’t understand what he (or she) went through as a child, what was learned, the situations impossible to handle; maybe I never got it that he (or she) was simply incredibly selfish, that it was never about me, always about him (or her).

*     *     *     *     *

While we are stuck with the memories, God’s gift is that we can soften the edges; we can change how we remember; we can receive or ask or bestow forgiveness; God can work in the hearts of others, and in us.

Those personal memories I mentioned: some of them still hurt. I’m still embarrassed by some of them. Anger still sparks. I’m working on them. How do I work? I bring them to God. As I wrestle with the thoughts, the condemnation in my head, I bring the fight to God.

I got hurt. I hurt others.

God can redeem!

And, while God may change my heart, how I see things, how I handle memories; I may not see a change in the heart or attitude of the person I’m dealing with. That’s okay. Yes, really. I can ask forgiveness, and it may or may not be given. I may forgive someone, with or without telling that person, and the relationship may evidence no change. That’s okay.

Because God is in control. My responsibility is to stand before God with a clear conscience. I do all that I can to fulfill that, and leave the rest to Him.

So yes, I believe we can change our past, through obedience to God, letting Him work in our minds and hearts and attitudes.

Because God can redeem.