The Journey Continues

continued from The The Journey

“Look around you. Many of you do not think you are ready yet. You wouldn’t be here if you were not. Few will take this journey with you. Many will not. Look around you. Those that are not ready need the help of those that are. There will be many that will not want to hear what you have to say. Say it anyway. You will be persecuted, jailed, beaten, laughed at. Say it anyway. This is your journey. Each of you will have a different path to take but we will all be on the same journey.”

“Do not stray from my word. I will give you a list of do’s and dont’s. However, I know all of you will fail. At some point you will turn away from this journey and go your own way. You will go down roads I wish you wouldn’t. I will not be mad at you. I will not  leave you. I will wait for your return. Your journey will continue.”

“You must have the faith of a child. You must trust like a child trusts. Protect the innocence of the children. Do not follow the ways of this world. There is nothin in this world that can compare to the riches that await you.”

“You will hit walls. Smash through them. You will hit dead ends. Turn around. You will go the wrong way down a one way street. I will guide you back to where you need to be.”

“Love everyone you meet. Many will not love you back. Love them anyway. Plant seeds everywhere I send you. Some may sprout right away. Others may sprout long after you are gone. Some may never sprout at all. Plant them anyway. ”

“I will not lie to you. I will always speak the truth. I expect the same from you. You will be the light in this dark world. When you are not speaking, let your actions speak for you. Others will be watching you when you do not know they are. Lead them the right way. Do not be a hypocrite.”

“You will be hungry. You will see others hungrier than you. Feed them with what you have. Give them what you don’t have. Clothe them with the clothes you wear. Share your time. Volunteer to help the least of them. You may be tired but I will give you strength. You may think you are not making a difference but you are. ”

“Again I say you will stumble. You will make mistakes. You will make some of the same mistakes over and over. You may want to give up. Do not give up. Do not be discouraged. I will forgive you. I will love you. I will guide you back to me. I will put you on the right journey you are assigned to. Each of you have different gifts. Use those gifts. Do not be afraid. ”

“Lastly I leave you with this. My love for you has no ends. When you are lost I will search the world for you. When you are in the dark, look for my light. When you turn away from me, my voice will turn you back around. Show this world compassion, love, forgiveness.  Find joy in me. Be content in all circumstances. Be thankful for who you are because you are who I made you to be. Be courageous on this journey I have set you on. The one you have chosen to take. The one I will be with you on.”


“Who wants to follow me? Now let’s go on this journey together. I love you my children. Who will follow me? ”

That’s when I stood up and shouted, “I will follow you!”

I Will Go by Kutless – 

Send Us Out by New Hope Oahu – 

Fill Us Up and Send Us Out by Matt Redman – 

Lion Leads The Way by Pillar – 

Send Us Out by Brenton Brown – 

Send Me Out by Fee – 

Where I Wanna Go by 33 Miles – 

Where God Placed You by Flame – 

Wherever He Leads I’ll Go  by Alan Jackson – 

Wherever You Go by Audrey Assad – 

Whatever You’re Doing by Sanctus Real – 

The Journey

He stood in front of us. We had to number in the thousands but he did not seem nervous. He was not an imposing man but spoke with authority. I was hanging on every word he said.

“Today you have taken the first step in your journey. You will never take another journey more important than this. I must commend you being brave, for risking everything to be here today. There are many in this world that will never take this step.”

“I will tell you that this journey will not be easy, and that my friends is an understatement. You will be asked to do things you did not think you were capable of doing. You will be asked to make the impossible possible. Many times you will think your journey is over when it has just begun. Many times you will be asked to do things you don’t want to do.”

See what I mean. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. If I wasn’t sitting on the floor I would’ve been on the edge of my seat.

“Sometimes you will wonder if it is all worth it. Sometimes you will have doubts. You will doubt yourself, you will doubt my instructions. Sometimes you will forget my instructions and many of you will. You will go your own way. You will not want to listen to my voice. Keep listening anyway. ”

“Today, some of you will be asked to go by boat. You will have rough seas. You will have calm waters. Keep your guard up. Out of those calm waters a storm can rise. You will ask why but do not doubt and do not be afraid. Stay strong in my directions, stay on course, the waters will calm again. You will face many beasts out on the waters. Some will look dangerous and they are. Some will look harmless but they are the most dangerous. Some will look dangerous but they will help you. You may ask how will you know your enemies from your friends? Keep your eyes on the truth that I will give you and you will know.”

I have to be honest and say at this point my enthusiasm was starting to wain. I told myself I hope I don’t get picked to go on the boat.

He continued, “some of you will be asked to travel by plane. You will board the plane and not know where your destination will be. You will have turbulence. The engines may fail. I tell you do not fear. You will not die. Believe in my instructions and you will never die. When you land at your destination you may see horrors you have never seen before. Stay strong. I will guide you on what you need to do. You will see things that you won’t be able to forget. Things you would never see from where you are leaving. That is okay, but do not be anxious about them. Be grateful for what you have seen.”

“Some of you will travel by foot. You will have a long journey but stay strong. Keep my words in your heart. You will see many things along you way. Some will be great, others will be horrible. I will put people in strategic places along your journey to help you. They will feed you, clothe you, encourage you, and strengthen you.  You will meet people along your way that will pretend to be my helpers. They are not. Listen to their words closely. They will not align with mine. Listen closely, as I have said before, my voice will guide you.”

Well as enthusiastic as I had been, I can honestly say it was gone. I know I didn’t want to go by boat, plane, or by foot at this point. Excuse me sir, are there any other options? Yet, something was still telling me to go.

“You will meet people along your way that you will wish will always be in your life. They may die, they may just simply be on a different path than you are on.  Do not be dismayed. Remember the people I put in your life may only be there to help you in that time of your life. Then I will need to send them to help someone else. Most of the time it will not be because of something you did, but because of something I need them to do.  However, there may be times they leave you because they don’t agree with you any longer. Maybe it’s because they are listening to another voice that is not mine. Know when to walk away and when to hold on. Be thankful no matter what happens that they were a part of your life. They helped shape you into who I need you to be. ”

“My word will be everywhere you go. Anytime you are discouraged, beat down, lonely, frustrated, feeling unloved, disappointed and feel like you can’t go on, they will be there to help you.”

At this point he had his helpers pass out his instruction manual. He said not only do we have this hard copy form but he said we all can find it on our phones, tablets, computers, etc.  It can be found anywhere, we just have to look for it.

“Okay, who still wants to start this journey today.”

My hand immediately went up. Wait a minute, I pulled it back down. He looked at me and smiled,  I couldn’t help but put it back up again. I looked around and was amazed at how many people did not put their hands up. What were they thinking? They were thinking the same thing I was a minute ago. I guess I was just braver, better than they were.

That was when he looked directly at me. This time he wasn’t smiling.

“Pride and judgement are of this world. You are new on this journey and you will learn.”

How did he know what I was thinking?

To be continued….

Go by Everfound – 

Everywhere I Go by Tim Timmons – 

Go by Building 429 – 

One Word At A Time by Sanctus Real – 

Here I Am Send Me by Matt Papa – 

Here I Am by MercyMe- 

Be Ready When I Say Go by The Emperors – 

Send Me by The Planetshakers – 

Hope For The Hopeless by Papa Roach – 

Children Go Where I Send Thee by Mandisa – 

It’s Alright (Send Me) by The Winans  Phase 2 – 

Twenty Miles Past Sunrise

Image result for long isolated road in dark

Forty miles before sunrise and I’m starting to fade. The white lines are starting to blur in my headlights. I rub my eyes to try to buy a few miles.

Thirty miles before sunrise and I’m rolling down the window to get some fresh air. Yes, that’s what I need. Some fresh air. Why am I driving at this hour? I can’t even remember what I’m running from. I shake my head and adjust my seat to try to buy a few more miles.

Twenty miles before sunrise and I don’t think I’m going to make it. Wherever it is I’m trying to make it to. What the!!!!! I slam on my brakes. Why would someone be standing in the middle of the road? I look around but no one is there. I’m so tired my mind is playing tricks on me. I see another person darting out from my peripheral vision. These hallucinations are driving me crazy. What if they aren’t hallucinations?

Ten miles before sunrise and I turn the radio up. Need a song to wake me up. A song I can sing along with. I hit scan and the first song comes on. I like that old time rock n roll, that kind of music just soothes the soul. Good song but not in the mood for an oldie. The scan stops next on sports radio station. No thanks, I love sports but that is not going to keep me awake. Next stop is another oldie. U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. Well, Bono, neither have I. Neither have I. Next stop is Jason Aldean’s They Don’t Know. Oh yeah, I can do this one.

All they see is tractors, barbwire and tall green grass
They don’t see the years spent working, busting their ass
How they pray for rain
They don’t know a thing
About what it takes
Livin’ this way

They ain’t seen the blood sweat and tears it took to live their dreams
When everything’s on the line
Ain’t just another field, just another farm
No, it’s the ground we grew up on
They think it’s a middle of nowhere place where we take it slow
Aw but they don’t know
No, they don’t know

Sunrise. Look at the beauty of this sunrise. How can anyone say God doesn’t exist when they see how he paints the world each morning? Yeah I know, I have questioned God’s existence many times. Every time things don’t go my way actually. However, in this moment, when I feel the warmth of the sun on my face and the way He lights up the world, giving the world a way out of the darkness, I know He exists.  I can’t help but say out loud “God, I believe in you!”

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Ten miles after sunrise and I am thinking I should turn this car around. Face my demons for once instead of running away. I am just so tired. My brain is foggy.

Twenty miles past sunrise and I wake up with the car flipping over and over. What the heck? I must’ve fallen asleep. I come to a stop upside down in a ditch. I can’t get out and I know no one is around. I picked the most desolate place to drive, to escape my life. I smell the gasoline and I see the fire start. I know I’m going to die.

I see two men a short distance away. One dressed in red, the other in white. They look like they are in a heated argument. Don’t they see me? Help!!!, I start to scream. I see the man in white look my way. I know him from somewhere, but my head is spinning.  He says one last thing to the man in red and walks my way.

He reaches for my hand and I grab his.

The radio plays Broken Things by Matthew West.

If grace was a kingdom
I stopped at the gate
Thinking I don’t deserve to pass through after all the mistakes that I’ve made

Oh but I heard a whisper
As Heaven bent down
Said, “Child, don’t you know that the first will be last and the last get a crown”

Now I’m just a beggar in the presence of a King
I wish I could bring so much more
But if it’s true You use broken things
Then here I am Lord, I’m all Yours

The pages of history they tell me it’s true
That it’s never the perfect; it’s always the ones with the scars that You use

It’s the rebels and the prodigals; it’s the humble and the weak
All the misfit heroes You chose
Tell me there’s hope for sinners like me

Now I’m just a beggar in the presence of a King
I wish I could bring so much more
But if it’s true You use broken things
Then here I am Lord, I’m all Yours

Grace is a kingdom
With gates open wide
There’s a seat at the table just waiting for you
So, come on inside

Image result for bible verse on about ready to die

Broken Things by Matthew West – 

Mercy Meets My Pain by Seventh Day Slumber – 

Every Mile Mattered by Nichole Nordeman – 

You Still Love Me by James Fortune – 

I Wouldn’t Love Me by James Fortune (feat Kierra Sheard) – 

Grace Like Rain by Todd Agnew – 

I Have A Friend

If you recall I mentioned in an earlier post that I don’t have any friends, none that I would call close anyway. It is all my fault, I am to blame, I take full responsibility. I never took the time to invest in anyone else. I was okay with just being by myself. I have since figured out that this isn’t the way God wants me to live. I can’t grow as a person or in my faith without the help of others.

It is easier to burn bridges than it is to rebuild them. Why would anyone trust me now? They got close to me once and look where it led them. I can’t blame them. One thing I do know about is forgiveness. Maybe one day they will forgive me.

Now let me tell you about my friend. He loves me when I don’t love him. He accepts me for who I am. He is there to encourage me when I am discouraged. He is there to carry me when I am worn out. He looks at me with compassion when I yell at him. He always has my back, even when I stab him in his. He forgives me, even when I don’t forgive myself. He picks me up when I fall down. He waits for me when I forget the plans we had together.

He serves me and teaches me how to serve others. He prays for me and has taught me how to pray. He is patient with me and has taught me how to be patient with others. He was tempted and has taught me how to have self-control and not to give into temptation -but when I do, he forgives me. He is humble and has taught me to be humble- and when I forget and think highly of myself he is quick to remind me why I have my talents and gifts.

He is always there for me. I can call on him at six in the morning or six in the evening. He answers my call at two in the morning or two in the afternoon. Sometimes his greatest answer is no. He is generous with his time and has taught me to be generous with mine – even though I am a work in progress on learning how to be more generous with mine. He has held my hand when no one else would.

Even with all those things, what he does most is what I think a true friend does. He tells me the truth. He tells me how it is even when he knows I won’t agree with what he says. He tells me that’s a bad decision then watches me make it. He tells me I will suffer the consequences if I do it, then watches me suffer the consequences. He never once tells me I told you so. He is always there to pull me closer when I push him away. He is committed to our relationship even when I am not so committed to him.

Would you like to have a friend like that? My friend told me to share him with you so now you have a friend like I do. His name is Jesus. Will you accept his friendship.

Oh, one last thing. My friend said he would die for me and he did.

Friend Like That by Hawk Nelson – 

Me and Jesus by Stellar Kart – 

Jesus, Friend of Sinners by Casting Crowns – 

Give A Little Love by Noah the Whale – 

My Friend Jesus by Newsboys – 

New Friend Jesus by Craig Finn – 

What A Friend We Have In Jesus by many but this one Alan Jackson – 

Just Say Jesus by 7eventh Time Down – 

Beer With Jesus by Thomas Rhett – 

Jesus He Loves Me by Chris Tomlin – 

I’ve Got Friends That Do by Tim McGraw – 

Jesus Loves You by Stellar Kart – 

Love Like Jesus by Rhett Walker Band – 

Loyal by Lauren Daigle – 

Without Jesus Here With Me by Holly Williams – 

Have A Little Talk With Jesus by Brenda Lee – 

Start Somewhere, Take a step, even if it’s a baby step

How do you start following Jesus? It is easy and it is hard. First, ask Him into your heart. Tell Him you want a relationship with Him. Second, you show God you are dedicating your life to him by being baptized. (and no, it doesn’t have to be in front of the entire church, it can be a private affair). Third, you wait for God to move in you.

Take your first step. Go away from what is holding you back and go toward the one that is holding His arms out to you. It’s hard to leave this life behind. It’s hard to give up control. It’s hard to trust in someone you don’t see. Trust me, I struggle with some of these issues. Even in times when I gave up control and things were so much better when God stepped in, I still want to control. I am getting better every day.

Here is a silly example but it just shows how hard something is once you start doing something you shouldn’t do. (and vice versa- once you start doing what you should do, it gets easier to do the right thing each day) I started grabbing a handful of m&m’s after dinner. It started out as maybe 5-6 pieces, something to have with the rest of my milk. That turned into two handfuls. After a few weeks it was hard to stop. It took me a few weeks to not want to get a handful and the urge still hits me, and sometimes I give in. Then I have to fight it all over again. I can not imagine what an addict has to go through but from reading about addiction (that does not make me an expert) that the first step is always the hardest. Admit you have a problem. God wants you to confess to Him. He will then help you through it, even though that temptation is always there, you have to decide to take the first step to God rather than the first step to the problem.

God wants you to have a relationship with Him. He loves you and accepts you for who you are. Isn’t that what everyone wants? Isn’t that why so many people make mistakes, looking for love and acceptance. You fall into the wrong crowd, do things you know you shouldn’t do. God accepts YOU for who you are.

When you are a parent, do you not want the best for your child(ren)? Do you not love them unconditionally? Do you not protect them with all you have but yet sometimes bad things still happen to them? Do you not discipline them when they break the rules? Do you not give them wings and let them make their own mistakes, even it if means they have to suffer some for their choices? I know my parents let me make some bad decisions, even when it broke their heart and even though they knew I would suffer for them. It allowed me to be the person I am today.

Now let’s change the above paragraph.

Does your Father, God, not want the best for His child, you? Does God not love you unconditionally? Does God not want to protect you at all times but yet sometimes bad things still happen to you? Does God not discipline you when you break the rules? Does God not give you wings and let you fly and make your own mistakes, even if it means you have to suffer for some of your choices? Does it not break His heart and does He not know you would suffer for the choices you would make? It allows you to be the person you are today.  You persevere and you become stronger, your character builds.

Yet, that is the argument I hear from people. I can’t believe in a God that lets bad things happen, that lets suffering happen. I know there are starving children all over the world. Why does God let that happen? Did you know in America we throw away 263 million pounds of food every day? ( Just a 15% reduction in losses in the US Food supply chain would save enough to feed 25 million Americans annually. (Huffington Post 8/21/12)  I ask you, is it God that allows children to suffer in hunger or is it ourselves? Look in the mirror, does God make you suffer or is it the choices you make that make you suffer?

Take that first step. Everything happens for a reason and everything happens on God’s time, not ours. Most of us would like to think we can make it happen if we force this issue or if we hurry up and do this or try to control that. I used to think that. God, I am doing all I can here, a little help would be nice.  James 1:12 states : ” Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. ” Romans 5:3-5 states ” Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Galatians 3:26 “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,”

Have a great Sunday!

Day One by Matthew West – 

City On Our Knees by Tobymac –  

Startin’ With Me by Jake Owen – 

Live Like That by Sidewalk Prophets – 

All You’ve Ever Wanted by Casting Crowns – 

How Can It Be by Lauren Daigle – 

Reason For Hope by Ron Pope – 

Lifeline by Papa Roach – God is your lifeline 

In My Room by Thousand Foot Krutch – have God meet you where you feel safe, 

Love Like Jesus by Rhett Walker Band – 

Lay Down My Pride by Jeremy Camp – 

All Yours by Kutless –