“Today is Mine”

Today I read a story,

Today I shed a tear,

Today I am happy,

Today I am blessed,

Today is here.

The story I read this morning brought back memories of my own past, along with the thoughts I grew up every day.  Who am I?  Where do I come from?  What was my mother like?  Did she love me?  Why did she choose life for me?

These and many other questions used to rattle around my brain growing up, but there was always something steadfast in my life and that was my knowledge of God.  From a very young age I always had a sense of God, but never knew the true meaning until I went to Sunday School as a child.  It was like; “yeah, I know who God is.”  It was never a question, it was more a matter of fact for me.

However; for some children the same cannot be said.  Some of these children who were given up for adoption did not know God or know the love He offered because of adoptive parents who either did not care or were abusive.  For them my heart to this day still aches.

It is for these children, even today that causes me to share my own story of being separated from my mother at birth and our eventual reunion 46 years later on my birthday.  In this and many other adoption stories there is a story of hope and strength.

The story I read today reminded me of how God can take care of children even when the parent is not able to.  For those like the one in the story, they were cared for by loving parents who did they best they could with what they had.  Regardless of the things like food, clothing and a roof to live under, the one thing that a child must have is love.  Without it, all other things do not matter.

For those of us saved through our mothers, who in their condition chose life for us because they had hope; a hope for a child that they knew they could not properly care for even though they loved them.  For this we will always be grateful, because somewhere deep down they knew that there was something greater for us to do.  Whether they believed in God or not; it was His plan and not their own that put us where we are today.

So for those whose story includes adoption; never give up hope nor your will to live each day as a gift from God and your mother.

Today is now,

Today you will succeed,

Today you love,

Today you are loved,

Today is yours.

 

 

“The Milestone”

As parents we go into the responsibility of raising children with many doubts and fears. What if I do or say something wrong that scars my child for life or maybe I disciplined them too hard; will they learn from the experience? Will I forget my own childhood and become a parent we all don’t want to be? These thoughts and many more run through our heads before they are even born; and so begins the adventure.

Before either of my children were born I had a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and knew that He was with me from a very young age. I felt that as a Christian raising my future children with the knowledge of God and a faith in Jesus Christ would help me get through the challenges a father may face when raising children. I must admit now that my wife was with my children much more than I because of my job during their younger years, but as they grew into teenagers I was able to help guide them through some of their toughest years.

Going back to the birth of my first daughter It was God who I turned to first when an emergency during her birth caused her to be placed in ICU for nine days. That first night of her birth I offered up my life to save hers if it were necessary and God chose for both of us to live and grow together. For this I will forever be grateful because she has grown into a fine young woman with a strong will and of good moral character. Above all she has also learned to know and trust in God through Jesus Christ.

My youngest daughter was born with a twinkle in her eye with her own unique spark for life. It was obvious from the moment she was born that she was going to be her own person with a free spirit who seeks out nothing but the best in people. One trait that she has is the ability to bring out the best in people. For some in her life they have been held down by either others or themselves and she has helped them become more than they thought possible. Yes, some might have not followed her as they might should have, but nonetheless she continues to be a light for others. This daughter too trusts in God through Jesus Christ and understands that through Him we have strength.

As a father who understands the world around us and the hardships we can face I learned as the girls grew older that it was my responsibility to prepare them for this world by being a good example and teaching them what I knew of it. Knowing that God must be put first, this was my first goal and although it was my goal both girls would have to choose God of their own free will and so they did. As the days, months and years go by I am able to tell by their actions and in conversations with them that they are both women of high moral character and have become someone to look up to.

Along with all the things we want for our children there is one thing that I worked the hardest on it was that my children would not be burden on society, but a positive influence on it. As with any of our children each is unique in their own way and we love them equally for it, thereby strengthening our connection with them. As adults we are already fortified in our beliefs and way of life, but for our children it is all new and now it is their turn. As they and of course we grow older we may actually disagree on things as they start to learn and form their own opinions. Some of these disagreements may simply be those times where we learn about each other, but it never means that our love for them is any less. It is actually then that we should love them more because in some ways they may actually be seeking guidance, but are unsure of how to ask for it.

This much I do know; when your daughter writes a letter thanking you as parents for being a positive influence in her life because of everything we did to help her grow, it not only melts your heart and starts the water works going, it also lets you know that as a parent you were successful. However, as the years passed by and they became a young adult the whole “Successful” thing kind of fell by the wayside as you realized that it was more important to have a strong and loving relationship with your child instead of some milestone that was met in your life.

Thank God for children and most of all for His own Son who He gave for our sake.

 

The Koifish Christian

“Build Your Road”

Each day we roll out of bed and make our way (half awake) through the house to start our day.  First it is to the coffee pot or in my case downstairs to let the dogs out of their kennels so that they can start their day.  I must admit seeing their wagging tails does perk me up a bit.  As far as this scenario plays out I think you know the rest, because eventually I get into my vehicle and head to work.

As that day begins each decision we make no matter how small builds upon the path we are on.  For those who believe in God we believe that no matter our thoughts, it is He who guides our feet.  Now this does not mean we walk around like zombies waiting for the next message to come down from God and then act upon it.  This merely means that for us there are little clues or even large ones that help guide our feet; the rest is up to us to make the right decisions.

When I look at the things I decide to do, each one is a pebble to be placed in front of me that will create the road I walk on.  Some pebbles are bigger or smaller, but each one nonetheless causes the road to be built.

For some people the decisions they make will be some of the hardest of their lives and it might seem like that pebble they have to place down in front of them weighs a ton.  Regardless of its weight it must be put down; we are the builders of our road and at times we will have to ask for assistance.

If you find that the pebbles to be placed on your road are too heavy, know that God sent down a stone that is the bedrock your road is being created on.  Jesus Christ is that foundation and with Him all things are possible.  Knowing this we must also see those times when we are too weak and must ask for help; it is okay.  This is exactly what God expects from us because He has already directed someone to be on your path to be that blessing.  Allow them to be the instrument God has intended them to be by receiving the blessing God has intended for you through them.

So think for a moment about all the pebbles you have laid down to build the road you are on today.  Is it wide enough?  Is it smooth enough?  Does it have a lot of curves or is it simply straight?  Is it built on flat land or in the mountains?  Whatever the attributes of your road; no one road is perfect.  Each are unique to the builder which makes them all the more interesting, thereby making the travel on them a wonderful adventure with God.

Don’t worry about the width of the road too much because God will always make sure that there is enough room for someone to walk on beside you and behind you.

Have a great day builders!

The Koi Fish Christian

 

“Rolling Up Our Sleeves for God; it’s not a fashion statement”

I am going to make this one short and sweet.  Jesus Christ has called us to service by asking for our lives if necessary and there are many who truly live their lives for Him.  Giving up our lives is much easier said than done when you think about all the things we have going in our lives.

If we had lived during the time of Christ I wonder if many of those He encountered felt the same?  I know that we do have an example of the prince who could not leave his wealth or those who Jesus challenged when He spoke of giving up their lives for His sake.  With both of these examples I think it is very obvious that we today in our “modern” time are no different.

We are to be working in God’s Kingdom now, not later, so how do we start?  First we believe, then we love, then we roll up our sleeves.

Praise God for all that He has given both great and small!

Here is a link to a great discussion concerning God’s Kingdom.

“Kingdom of Heaven on Earth?” at (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAKOfGZ3a8U) from Apologia Studio & Radio (http://apologiaradio.com/)

“I’d Like To Put The Moon On Lay Away Please”

Today is my wife’s birthday and with this comes the normal; “don’t get me anything” and “don’t remind me of how old I am”.  Actually, if I could I would give you the moon, but since it is out of my reach and made of cheese I don’t think you want me taking that dangerous of a trip along with the fact that too much cheese is unhealthy so I will have put it on “Lay Away” for you.

What I would rather do is tell you “Thank You” for all that you do for our family.  You always put us first and at times we have to argue with you to do something for yourself.  Along with that “Thank You” I will make a promise to do more to help you whenever you ask and even if you don’t.

In my eyes God has provided me with a wife who is my best friend and the woman who owns my heart.  We were soul-mates before we even knew it and with a little work on God’s part we were brought together and have been ever since.  For this gift I will always be grateful beyond any comprehension of the word.

Through the years I missed many of your birthdays and since we can’t get those back I want to cherish and be there for as many as God will let me have with you in the coming years.  So this is not about your birthday, even though it is a great day, it is about simply having one more day with you.

Happy Birthday Honey; I love you with all of my heart and soul!!!

Praise God for His wonderful gifts!!!

“Everyone is an Expert”

Finding Facebook very interesting lately even though we all know most of the political or religious topics are really shared to pour gas on a fire so I will make this brief.

If you are preaching or attempting to preach Christianity to someone, be sure you have done your homework first. This is not in response to anyone in particular, but lately with the new federal law legalizing gay marriage all of a sudden all the preachers of love have come out of the closet and some of the comments I have read make me seriously doubt that they even own a bible or even read one in the last ten years.

First of all understand that the love Jesus Christ is talking about has nothing to do with wallowing in our sin and making others do the same with an absurd notion of what God wants for the world.  We are here for one thing and that is to serve God and to do everything to His glory.

God is selfish as He tells us in the bible so I am a bit perplexed by the idea that we somehow forgot that.  His word is given for us to follow, not make it up as we go along.

With this being said I am no way condoning mistreating someone based upon the struggles they have with sin.  Sin is sin whether it is homosexuality, stealing, murder, lying, etc…  We all have sin we deal with and none of us are better than any other as we are all born into it; only through Jesus Christ can we shed that sin and have hope for an eternal life.

I personally may not agree with homosexuality based on my beliefs, but I will not treat that person any differently than I do anyone else; unless you give me reason to give an apologia for my faith and then I will stay on my side and you can stay on yours with no ill will.  The love I would offer would be through Jesus Christ and His saving Grace, not of my own as I have nothing without Jesus Christ.

For those who are lost, have your eyes opened and from that light you see the open arms of Jesus Christ waiting for your return.  Repent and claim Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  The message has not changed for 2000 years and it is with good reason that it has not; God has not changed – we have.

Praise and serve God with all your heart and all your mind; in this you will find your burdens removed.

“A Story of Two Bobs”

This is one story about two men named “Bob”.  In my life I have had the privilege of knowing two men who unknowingly have impacted my life like no other.  The first “Bob” I will introduce is Bob Nordeen; he was a member in the church I attended in Oklahoma and we used to visit door to door witnessing to anyone who would listen to the Gospel of Jesus or others who were Christian, but just wanted to fellowship.  Bob was a retired Sergeant Major in the U.S. Army, a Vietnam Veteran and Korean War Veteran/P.O.W.

On every trip we took each week through the Lawton neighborhoods, he would always surprise me by his patience and tender heart.  He taught me how to not only try to understand people, but to take time to understand myself.  The more time I spent with him the more I realized that life will not always be what you think it should be and when we find ourselves facing tough times we must always maintain our faith in Jesus Christ, giving God the glory regardless of our circumstance.

Bob Nordeen went to be with our Lord before we left Oklahoma and it was both a sad day and a happy day because I knew how much he wanted to be with Jesus.  Sad, because I would no longer see his smile or listen to his wisdom.  I still miss him greatly to this day, but I am comforted to know that he is doing God’s work getting his instructions directly from God and joyfully getting them done.

The next “Bob” I will introduce you to is the man I now call “Dad”.  As he is married to my mother I guess you could say that I have to, but I use it more out of respect than because of marriage.  Technically he would be my Stepfather, but I consider that irrelevant.  Bob Larson is the most giving man I have ever met.  He will do anything for anyone at a moments notice if he is able and by this example I have learned that sometimes giving will hurt, but it is nothing permanent so just do it.

Bob is always concerned for others and is not afraid to let it be known whether by his words or actions.  The other thing I admire about him is his ability to share his feelings about his family and it is obvious that these feelings run very deep.  He is also found to be gentle yet strong, wise yet cheerful and patient yet passionate.

Not only is Bob a friend, he is a Dad to my wife, a wonderful husband to my mother, along with being a loving and kind grandfather to my daughters.  So again I will say that in my life there have been two men named “Bob” who have brought such a positive example into my life, which now greatly influences me.  Both are and should be the men that other men model their lives after.

I thank and praise God for these men who have given me the example to follow.  My prayer is to set the same example they did while still walking with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

“To Be PC Or Not To Be PC?”

Can’t believe I turned to Shakespeare for this one, but when tough topics come up we have to be honest with ourselves and each other. In the news all we hear about is being politically correct. What does that mean anyway? Of course the answers some learned in their secular college course somewhere will come out, but to be honest, I think this is what got us into the mess we are in now.

My intent is not to pinpoint a college for a fault, but what I am referring to is the idea that political correctness was taken to levels unseen by everyone. Now, we are stuck with it regardless of how far it has come and I have an idea that many of those who raised banners for it are now stuck eating “Crow”, but in order to save face are unwilling to upset the status quo they find themselves in. Why? Because quite frankly it could mean losing jobs, friends and their livelihood.

It seems to me in my simple mind that if I am being honest, it is a better quality than lying to myself and everyone around me about my feelings and what I consider to be right or wrong. If I give up my beliefs and betray my feelings I have just handed who I am over to someone else; something I refuse to do regardless of the consequences. Anyway, I am not mine to give away as I belong to God.

For those who are struggling with choices they know they must make to save themselves; make the choice you know your heart is telling you.  God has put His Law on your heart and by this you will know that the choice you make is the right one. Do not let sin cloud your heart and repent.  Let God in so that you can honestly and clearly examine yourself; remember God have given you grace through Jesus Christ – He is your gift so honor and cherish it.

For those around you who claim there is no God or God’s Law does not apply or other absurd claims; they too know that God exists.  If they truly thought that God did not exist they would not fight so hard to prove otherwise. For those who would challenge you in this our foundation comes from the book of Romans 1: 18 – 25. Although you may come from a biblical world view it is simple. Do not let anyone be the judge over God and His word, but remember that our example is Christ and it is with Christian love we approach the lost; not free love as they might have you believe.

As Christians we are constantly told that we have to prove that God exists so I will simply reverse the table and use the same weighted balance; prove that He doesn’t.  Theory and hypothesis do not count as fact or truth. Remember that the Laws of Nature are used by science which also agrees with Laws of Logic, so just because I believe in something that cannot be considered tangible does not mean that I am the only one in the room that uses faith as my foundation.

Praise and Glory to God as He continues to use those who know Him and those who claim otherwise – All for His Glory!

“A Prize Fighter”

Each day for me as a Christian can be like stepping into the boxing ring or octagon whichever your prefer. If we consider the challenges we as Christians face within the secular world that surrounds us, we at times will take some punches that cause us to reel or even buckle, but we still get up and face the next round.

I find it interesting that those who are either not Christian or do not share in our resilience will make comments to criticize our belief, and yet when things get a little tough in their life or they find themselves with nowhere to turn they complain, blame and accuse others for their misfortune.

One of the toughest punches I receive are when I hear someone take God’s name in vain. I have to say that these have the hardest sting, and for those who use His name as commanded otherwise i do try to correct them.  Along with the correction I also offer up a prayer for them.

So each day as we step into the ring of life we as Christians must always remember that Jesus Christ has placed before us the one and true prize of redemption through which He stood in our place to not only fight for us, but also to take every painful blow sin could throw at Him.

Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already l obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: not forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Praise God in all of His wonderful glory!!!

“His Will or Yours?”

As I wade through my day and think of other things I would rather be doing, I also think of; what is it that God wants me to be doing? One thing that reminds me of how small my plans are is when I read in the book of Proverbs how man’s heart might direct his plans, but it is God who guides his feet.

Maybe what we as Christians should be concerning ourselves with is those who are out in the world standing up for Jesus, risking all for His glory.  It is easy to wrap our prayer lives up in our own little world, especially when we are continually asking for things that maybe we should not.  A better question to ask ourselves is; is what we are asking God for within His will for us or our will for Him?

Whatever we do it is our prayers and time studying the Bible that prepares us for each day; giving us the spiritual nourishment and strength to do what God asks of us.

Praise God and may the Kingdom of Jesus Christ reign on earth as it does in Heaven!