Sunday, June 5, 2011

long hard times

it started with my vacation. the first three days were fun. the weather was nice, there wasn’t anything to do really, except what we wanted to do. we went on several long drives, things were green, and calm, and pleasant.

the 18th of the month, wednesday, in the middle of my time off, was the second court date for the beau’s worker’s comp claim. once again, the attorney was unavailable, and there was a fill-in. she was less than stellar, to put it politely. she was more concerned with impressing the judge she thought we had drawn, who apparently was a stodgy old guy in his seventies with no experience as an attorney and was not too familiar with workers comp court. great. but it seems we actually had a better judge than that. still, our fill-in was put out with us both for being upset that it mattered more what kind of mood the judge was in than what she was going to present in his case. when we got into court, she made no abjections, asked minimal questions of the beau, and mostly sat there with a glassy eyed look. the opposing lawyer was more into it than she by far. we were before the judge because we could hardly believe the paltry offer on the table for a life altering injury. evidently our attorney had left out a major part of the claim, that being the subsequent injury to his elbow, that he continually told their office about and that the treating physician refused to address.

this case is not over, so I wont yet go into more details than that. there will be more to come. but we were much disheartened by the way this attorney handled – or rather didn’t handle – his injury. many times the beau tried to tell him that his elbow was a factor, but at the end all he would say was he knew nothing about it and didn’t see anything in any of the reports about it.

absolutely unacceptable.

we recovered some of our joy, and were determined to enjoy the rest of my time off.

God has been providing means for us, and we have managed to keep our utilities on, with only a couple of disruptions in service. since the beau hasn’t been able to get work, it has been a daily walk of faith, but God is always good for His word.

still, people are not. after having paid the ebay account because it had been suspended, the beau relisted everything. several auctions were near ending, and we had several bids. this is more income, so very important right now. right before they ended, ebay suspended the account again and ended all the auctions, preventing last minute bidders from bidding. their reason was that a payment had been returned the previous month. they had tried to get the payment that we had just made from my account, which by the way had posted, from an old account that had been closed three weeks ago. he called them to find out how they could do this, only to spend nearly 4 hours and several conversations with people in an eastern call center who speak terrible english and will not listen to the caller but insist on reading from their prompts. he was in a furious state of mind by the time I got off work. during this time the water had been shut off. we have good neighbors, so I got to shower for work, but still … and God provided, so we got the water back on the next day. but it was a very hard few days to endure. the beau was unable to sleep, and his hand and his arm have been in so much pain.

then our internet was turned off, even though again we had made the payment. the service had been disrupted, we paid and got it right back on, and two days later – during all this other mess – because those at AT&T did not rescind the shut off order once the payment was made like they are supposed to, our internet was gone. once more while I was at work, the beau spent more time than is right trying to get more middle eastern call center workers to turn our internet back on, only to be given the run around and hung up on repeatedly. you think im kidding? I tried too, when I got home, and got the same treatment.

the next day the beau tried again, and got an actual caring supervisor who first listened to what he had to say, and then acted on our – the customer – behalf. he had our internet back on in thirty minutes, and gave us a free month. and he said he was going to deal with the people we had spoken to previously, because all the calls were recorded.

see? there is a God. He has to deal with those kind of people too. most people don’t think about that.

so while it has been a truly taxing and trying last couple of weeks, I believe I see a light, and it isnt an oncoming train. it’s a crack in the roof of this dark tunnel we have been in for some time now. the Lord has made us some promises concerning getting out of oklahoma, and getting us past all this turbulence. He always makes good on those promises.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

rain and renewal

friday was a holiday for me. I work for four catholic doctors, so we get good friday off. it was pretty windy during the day, and hot. we had some business in the utterly user unfriendly downtown tulsa, and probably could have used sails on our little versa and gone just as fast. faster. we stayed home most of the rest of the day. too windy to do anything.

later toward evening, just before sunset, I captured these shots of the brewing skies. it that time, it was just as still as space …

good friday promisegood friday promise (2)good friday promise (5)

saturday was also rainy off and on. we had some silver coins we sold for a little extra cash – and got more than I thought we were going to get and they didn’t even buy all of them. the lady said a couple of them were worth more as coins than they were as silver, and we should sell them online. so off to get a few provisions, and home. this was an answer to prayer, as I had asked the Lord for some extra money for some things we needed. I am sure the beau did as well.

after dinner that night we had an engaging conversation about spiritual warfare, and who we are in Christ. one of my favorite passages is in james 1:23-24

23For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

24For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

and 2 corinthians 3:18

18But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

about the Word of God being like a mirror, one that reflects Jesus when we look into it.

I came away from that conversation different, changed. in the same way the rains lately have revived the green life from the earth, so the Word has revived my spirit and my heart, and that of my beau. again I am reminded of another place in scripture that I love – isaiah 55:10-11. the whole chapter is amazing.

10For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

11So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

so this easter is significant this year. things have changed. we have rounded a corner.

Friday, April 22, 2011


what is spiritual warfare? that’s one of the first things the Lord taught me in my walk with Him. what it is, and how to do it. the lessons I learned then have held up every time, in the thirty years that have passed since.

first thing I learned was to put God’s Word first and last. the highest authority, and the final authority. that meant that no matter what my circumstances indicated, the Word of God overruled any conflicting conclusions.

this, then, is how the Word of God became the anchor for my soul. no matter what I see happening around me, or what is going on in my life, I can be stable and unmoved, like a little boat that’s anchored to a rock. God has made certain declarations about what He accomplished through Jesus’ death and resurrection, and promises about what He will do for those in covenant with Him which are guaranteed through that same death and resurrection. His Word never changes, so it is always certain, no matter how things may look. the only way to lose out on these promises is to give it away through unbelief.

so where is the warfare in that?

its in the pressures that assault the mind, and try to influence the emotions, to stir up fear and uncertainty that maybe this is too great, or maybe you did something to bring this on your own head, or maybe … and a whole bunch of religious conjecture. the pressure can be relentless. things will be said by others that will lead your attention to the circumstances, and will work toward discouraging you. things will seem to not happen to relieve the problems. you know how it can be.

the warfare, then, is to stand on the Word no matter what you see or hear to the contrary. you may have to speak the promises out loud to yourself over and over, if that’s what it takes to quiet your mind and turn it back to the Word that never changes. you may have to avoid discussing things with those with good intentions, but who want to explain why God is allowing you to go through this.

God doesn’t just step out of the way and let things happen. on the contrary, He has vanquished the enemy in three ways through the death and resurrection of Jesus. hebrews 3:14, 1 john 3:8, and colossians 2:15 is the proof. further more, He has put satan under our feet, giving us authority over him in Jesus’ name. He also gave us His own armor, His Word as a sword, and His faith as a shield. that doesn’t sound like someone who would then arbitrarily step aside and let us be attacked, or go though something. that sounds like Some One who armed us and equipped us to be able to overcome whatever gets thrown at us. that sounds like Some One who wants us to win.

so the deciding factor then is not God, but us.

Friday, February 25, 2011

fishing for money

my coworker and I were talking about the lottery ticket yesterday. she had told her husband about it, and his response was one of surprise. I guess a lot of people have been taught that you don’t ask God for money. or if you do, there are only certain ways He’s going to answer you, and they wont be very satisfying answers.

not so. she reminded me of the time Jesus told peter to go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take up the first fish that comes up. He told him to open its mouth, and there he would find a coin worth enough to pay his taxes and Jesus’ taxes. (matthew 17:27)

sound crazy? is it any more crazy than being told to go buy a lottery ticket at night, from a certain convenience store, an hour before the drawing?

God isnt limited to religious belief. although, He is often limited by it. too many people base all their expectations on what they heard in sunday school, and never actually find out what God believes.

it grieves Him when we limit Him.

mark 11:22-24

22And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

23For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

24Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.