“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

 

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“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.

My Brothers Are With Me…

An interesting statement with probably a flood of memories for some and for some not so much.  For me it means just a few things and they are quite distinct.  Rather than go into what this means for me I would rather concentrate on what it meant for someone in history named Jesus Christ.

In our attendance at Church and Sunday School we repeatedly lean on God and His Son for requests of blessings and forgiveness of sins, to include a myriad of prayer requests for those in need.  Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these as we are told to do so.  What I am thinking of is something a little deeper than this, but on a level that might not even be recognized as something spiritual or even related to Jesus and His mission.

A book that I am currently reading speaks directly to what I am referring to and that is the subject of “Brotherhood” or Men and their Men friends.  I know that some would say; “Well dah, what other friends would they have?”  Ah, that is the catch.  Are they truly the friends that every man has or is it just a social badge we as men wear to fit in?

The “Men Friends” I am speaking of here are those who would take every opportunity to be there when you need them to be, and I do mean ‘every opportunity’.  Would they be there when you are dealing with something that has you down or keeping you in an emotional state that does not allow you to be the person you know you can be?  Would they hug you?  And I do mean hug you tightly when sadness has crept in and tears are flowing.  Will they be completely honest with you even when you don’t want to hear the real truth because it is so painful?  I think you get the idea.

Here I will cite a portion of Stu Weber’s book called “Locking Arms”; “When the God-man concluded His earthly ministry, it was with the fraternity.  On His last night with the guys, I think it nearly broke His heart that they were struggling to hang in there with Him.  These were big moments.  He was going to the wall.  And He wanted His friends to go with Him.  When the pressure’s on, a guy wants his soulmates standing beside him.  At the start. At the finish.  And at the sometimes heartbreaking inbetweens” (Weber, pg.35,36).

Of course in the case of Jesus it would be impossible to replicate that exact moment in time, but I do believe that history is full of other examples where men have given everything for their friend or friends.  And of course the “older generation” can testify to accounts of their friends who did this or that, but I am left wondering whether the young and upcoming generation really understands what it means to have a friend who will go the length or height it might take to get them both through it to the end; whatever that might be?

Today we look continually at our “phones” for social acceptance into a machine that cares not for you like another human being can.  We call these “social tools” by unique names to make them popular, thereby somehow making ourselves popular, but with it comes an emptiness and lack of manly companionship that men need, but we sure look cool checking our “phones” for the next text, update or status to let everyone around us know that we have “friends”.

According to history and the present day, men need friends who are men.  This means that by their actions they prove their honor through merit and a sense of family that women may not always understand.  Ladies don’t take offense as this is not intended to lessen your importance to men, but this just means that only a man can understand what it means and how it makes them feel.  For those women who are married and or have a steady boyfriend you can test this.  The next time he goes out with the boys to spend time with his “Men Friends” see how he acts when he returns.  I would say that 9 out of 10 times he comes back in a pretty good mood.  Even if they don’t always accomplish what they set out to do, he will still be in a good mood because of the company he was in, so give it a test and see what you find.

So I will simply leave you and myself with this; if Jesus needed friends who were men and He considered them His brothers, then I would simply have to realize that I am not better, nor am I anyone special.  Men if we have men in our lives we call our “Brothers” or at least friends; a term I do not take lightly, let them know that and when adversity, rough patches, good times, etc…, come along – have the confidence to say “My Brothers Are With Me” knowing that you will not go into it alone.

 

 

Reference

Weber, Stu. (1995). “Locking Arms”. Questar Publishers, Inc. P.O. Box 1720. Sisters, Oregon 97759.