Day 91, Lesson from Owner’s manual
Hope! What is it? Is it just wishful thinking? Not at all. “It is confident expectancy. In the Bible the word “Hope” Stands for both the act of hoping, and the thing hoped for. Hope does not arise from the individual’s desires or wishes but from God, who is Himself the believers hope” (Nelson’s Bible Dictionary, Ronald F. Young blood, Editor) I often seek guidance and understanding from other sources, including this Bible Dictionary. I know the Bible states “Faith, Hope, and Charity (Love), and the greatest of these are Love (Charity) but what of this thing called hope? How does it work in my life? Only when I read in Romans and Hebrews did it make sense. “A firm assurance about things that are unseen, and still in the future.” Psalms 39 says “My hope is in you. (God)” OK, enough of the “fancy language” What is Hope? Right now, Hope is what I am clinging to. Been a rough few months, physically, emotionally, and even to a degree spiritually. Has God failed me? Oh No, my friends, He is the One bringing me through it. I feel completely drained, exhausted, and down trodden. But I have HOPE, based on my personal relationship with Christ. Why am I telling you this? To encourage all of you, as well as myself, that “things” will get better. The “thing” is me. See, I have Hope. Just admitting this, and sharing it, I feel the warmth coming back to my Spirit. Years ago, if I were feeling this way, I would have turned to other ways to “cope.” All self-destructive. But today, my Hope stands strong, my Faith continues to grow, and my love, and God’s love, continues to all. Will be interesting to see how many will read this post, and comment. If it helps just one other person going thru the same thing, then it has been worth it!
God Bless, and please continue to keep my family in your prayers.
Think about it.
Day 92, Lesson from Owner’s manual
Been a while since I posted one of these, and there is a reason for that. Sometimes, we just have to put into action what we learn. Jesus said “why call me Lord Lord, and not do the things I tell you?” He was speaking to His disciples and to us today. When we are presented with a trial or tribulation on this Earth, we have clear instructions how to deal with ANY of it! Nowhere does my Owner’s Manual tell me to worry, or seek revenge, or hate anyone or anything. It is tough to do! That is why we have to practice, practice, and practice. The hardest thing I have been through in the past few weeks was the passing of my brother. So very hard to ask God that “His will be done” Wanting so much to pray for a complete healing. I felt guilty, when I added “Not my will, but Thine, Oh Lord” “All things work for good to those who love the Lord” is a verse that my dad has said for over 80 years. Know what? He is right. As my cousin Marilyn Ledbetter Russell can attest, Alvin knew where he was going, and was more than ready. So, using our Lessons from Owner’s Manual, we follow the teachings of Jesus to cope. OK to cry, remember, “Jesus Wept”. But also OK to rejoice, and go on with our lives. “To everything there is a season” is more than just a song. Look it up, read it for yourselves. We will continue to Minister, and pray, and share. It’s my job. And I need to hear myself say it. Does that make sense to anyone else? God is not finished with me. If He were, I’d be gone. Hope is what we cling to, as God holds us in His hands. I look forward to tomorrow, seeking what He would have me do. Searching for my Blessings (they really are not hard to find) and sharing the Gospel. Gospel means “good news”.
May God Bless? Please feel free to comment, and share.
I will be looking for your comments.
Day 93, Lesson from Owner’s manual
Committed or involved, that is the question for today. Many folks are involved with their church, and with Jesus. But are you committed? What is the difference, you ask? Well, thanks for asking, can best be described this way. If you have Ham and eggs for breakfast, the chicken was involved. The pig? He was committed. Going to church is a good thing. We were told in my Owner’s Manual to “forget not to gather yourselves together” But going to church does not make one a Christian, any more than sitting in a garage makes one a Buick! The real relationship with God is not developed in a building called Church, it is when you walk out that door, and live the rest of your lives. Committed, or involved. But Claude, I was baptized when I was just a kid, go to church every Wed, Sunday (twice on most Sundays) doesn’t that count? Nope! That is being “involved” Committed means living like Jesus is right beside you. Actually, if you are committed, He lives inside you. He permeates every fibre of your being. Sounds like a big order, huh? That is why we practice, practice, and practice.
Think about it.
Today, be committed to God, not just involved. Thanks for reading this. I encourage your comments, and please share.
Day 94, Lesson from Owner’s manual
Early (for me) Tuesday morning, all is quiet in Davis household. Well, that is not quite true; one of the dogs is snoring. I very likely will head back to bed at some point. Wife is sleeping in. She has been with USPS for over 30 years now, working from 5:30 PM until 2:00 AM. And now 6 days a week, with overtime. Bless her heart. Today, I will just be stopping in here a couple of times. Know what we have to get done today? NOTHING! I am very good at doing nothing; even have an advanced degree in “Loafing”. Don’t HAVE to do anything, but couple of things that are so ingrained in both of us, we count it a Blessing to be able to do them. The first is prayer. When I first wake up, before I roll out of bed and get this old body stretched out, I pray. (True, sometime a part of the prayer is just to be able to get out of bed) I ask God what He wants me to do today, and ask him to make it real clear. See, sometimes I will get Self-will confused with “God’s Will”. What a Blessing to be able to talk to God (talk to God?) and listen for His answer. May be a thought that crosses my mind, may be a breeze across my face, may be the purring of our rescued cats, or the snuggle of our two dogs as both of them find their way to my lap, and help me relax. Wish I could just give you a bit of the Peace in my heart. “Peace?” you might ask. Yes, Peace. Peace in the middle of a storm, in the middle of grief, in the middle of sickness, a Peace that goes beyond understanding. I have that peace, whenever I want. Oh, sometimes I will let things steal some of my Peace, but not for very long. You see, it is not really MY peace. My Owner’s Manual tells me whose Peace it is. (“My Peace I leave with you…”) So today, why not take a few minutes and just listen to what God is telling you, feel that Peace that goes beyond all understanding. Give it a try, if you would. We will keep our prayers going up as well. Really appreciate those who read these posts. Please feel free to comment, and share. For a few minutes’ folks, this “God Stuff” is real.
Pray for my family, as we will pray for all. God Bless.
Day 95, Lesson from Owner’s manual
When Jesus was on Earth, he did not hang with the “Big Shots”. He picked folks that were smelly (fishermen), hated (tax Collectors) and “no body special! (Sons of Thunder, more about them later) He also chose someone that hated Christians to write most of the New Testament (Saul-Paul). But there was an exception, Luke. Would like to share a bit about Luke today. If I could only have one Book from the New Testament for some strange reason, if I had to choose just one, I would choose Luke. In the opening of his letter (The Book Of Luke) he wrote that he knew many things had been said or written about Jesus, but he had “perfect” knowledge of same, and was going to share it with this guy, Theophilus, and wanted him to fully understand and get the truth, not just a bunch of rumors. (This can be verified by reading just the first few verses of the Gospel According to Luke.) Luke was a physician, a learned man, and used to dealing with other people. He told the story of Jesus in chronological order, in the order that it happened. I love Luke. You know of course that the word “Gospel” means Good News, and that is what Luke shared. Even though you have no doubt read Luke before (or at least quoted bits and parts of it,) I would encourage everyone to read the first full chapter sometime today. It won’t take long. I know some of you out there believe ONLY the KJV is what to read. I read from 2 or even three translations, as well as KJV, I also keep a Bible Dictionary very close. Why? I want to understand myself, not just take what someone else told me. My dad started preaching in the year 1960. My dad could not read. My grandfather took the boys out of school when they were big enough to work in the fields. When he first started preaching, he preached what he had heard from others. My dad was/is a very smart man. But my mom was brilliant. She bought dad tapes (cassettes) of the Bible. She and dad would sit up late into the nights, learning and teaching each other. That is how dad learned to read. We have talked about this several times. Dad was (and is) known as a great Preacher, but was preaching stuff that was not in the Bible, because he heard someone else preach it. Now, in his late 80’s, he cannot read, Diabetes has taken a toll on his vision. But we still share the scriptures together. He knows them by heart. When dad started preaching the Bible, and not what others had said, his Ministry grew by leaps and bounds. That is why I would choose the book of Luke, if I could only have one. So today, if you would, start with a chapter or two of Luke. Read it with a fresh mind, and an open heart. It really does cover Jesus, and on to some of Paul’s writing. How about it? Can you wipe the dust off, and read just a chapter? Would welcome any and all comments, even if you disagree, we can do that without being disagreeable. We cannot “make” time; we cannot “take” time. All we can do with time is investing it. Will you invest a few minutes today to read the first chapter of Luke? Might not be able to put it down. Read it FOR YOUR SELF; don’t take what someone else says. If you cannot read very well, that’s OK, just pm me, and we will get through it. I know, this has been a long Lesson. But oh what the rewards can and will be.
God Bless, Thanks for reading this, comment and share if you would
Day 96, Lesson from Owner’s manual
His Will or our will? Have said this before, but I guess I need more practice. It has been my experience that if I had something I needed to work on, God gives me many times to practice it! Example, I will NEVER pray for patience again. Why? Because God just kept giving me things I had to be patient with, no choice. So, how many times do we come to the Throne of Grace with our “to do” list. And if we are in a group prayer, how many times do we hear others,(or possibly ourselves) getting louder, and more “spiritual” than those around us. Don’t get me wrong, many times have I just listened to the melodic sound of several people praying. Sounds almost like a Gregorian Chant. But as the prayer winds down, what do we hear? As for me, I have to remember what Jesus told his disciples to pray. First, identify who you are praying to and where they are! (Our Father, which art in Heaven), then praise Him (Hallowed be thy name) Think of that for a moment, Just The name has power and and we need to remind ourselves of that! Then, our requests, (give us this day our daily bread) Notice, did not worry about tomorrow, or yesterday, but “daily bread!) “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”. If we are tempted, or caught in something “evil”, it was not God that got us there! (Side note, did you realize that evil is live spelled backwards?) Then we glorify Him. Who’s Kingdom? Whose power? For how long? and followed by Amen! or So mote it be” No, I am not in any way telling anyone how to pray, or what to pray for. Jesus already did that! Think I will continue to Praise Him, and do His Will, every moment of every day. That way, won’t have to worry about “Self Will”
Thank you for reading this. Would welcome any comments, feel free to share.
Day 97, Lesson from Owner’s manual
The Golden Rule and how it works. Ever had someone do you wrong, and you just couldn’t wait to get them back? Or spend time so upset over what someone else said or did? Come on now, be honest. The Golden Rule does not say “do unto others as they do unto you” or, as I have had a few say “do unto others, and do it quick.” No, it tells us how to treat others, regardless of how they treat you. “Why Claude, you don’t mean I have to be nice to that so and so that said or did this or that?” Nope, I am not saying that, but my Owner’s Manual makes it very clear, no way to change that. Is it easy? Absolutely not! That is why we have to practice, practice, and practice. I had/have a situation myself that reminded me of what I am supposed to do. Some of you know about difficulties with PC Physician at VA. Could ask for a new one, due to what I considered to be neglect of my condition(s) and failure to order more tests that were indicated last August. But, I choose not to. Did a little more research, and she did order further testing back last September, when she got results of tests. Truth of the matter is that someone, somewhere, dropped the ball. That happens, particularly at VA. Will spend some time talking to her, and find out how to avoid things like that in the future. I treated her the way I want to be treated. See, if we treat others the way we want to be treated, will be no resentment or bitterness in our hearts.
Even if the other person(s) do not respond the way we want. IT IS NOT ABOUT THEM!!!!! It is about us doing what Jesus tells us to. If you call Him Lord, Lord, and don’t do what He tells us, then He is not Lord. It is not enough to do the things we agree with that He told us, we have to surrender self-will entirely, and do God’s will. “Love your neighbor as yourself” that is a big one as well. EVEN IF THEY ARE “DIFFERENT” THAN YOU! Makes no difference, Jesus made it clear to us in his words and deeds. Just who is our neighbor? Anyone on this planet that is breathing the same air we do! God made us, each and every one of us. If we can get past what has been “taught” for years and years. And read the Bible ourselves, not just take someone else opinion of what it says, we will see a big difference not only in our lives, but the lives of those around us as well. Hate does not come from God, for God is Love. Hate cannot come from Love, any more than darkness can drive out darkness. Getting a little carried away, know I am losing some of you. So, will close this Lesson with…”Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Think about it.
Thanks for reading this; I appreciate your comments and “shares”
Day 98, Lesson from Owner’s manual
Religion and what it can destroy. That caught your attention, huh? First, let us define “religion”. Going back to the Hebrew and Greek origin of the word, we find that the root meaning of religion is “out of habit”, something we do over and over, and because that is the way it has always been done. To do something religiously means to do it over and over, because that is the way it has always been done.
Think about your own life for a moment. Is there something you do “religiously” every day? Shave? Wash up? Shake hands with the right hand and not the left? Eat at a certain time? Think of few things that YOU do religiously. Here is the kicker…Christianity is NOT a religion! What?? Nope, it is not a religion. “Well, then what is it?” you may ask. Glad you asked. Christianity is a PERSONAL relationship with Jesus/God. Oh sure, we do some things religiously, like pass the collection plate, assemble together, share the Word, etc., but unless we develop that PERSONAL Relationship, it is all for naught. And just like other relationships, the more you put into it, the stronger it gets. Imagine for a moment a relationship with some person. If you only see them for about an hour a week, only call them when you’re in trouble, and see others as well, won’t be a very good relationship, will it. I try every day to improve my relationship with Him. The more I do, the more I am blessed. So, what is Christianity if not a “religion?”
It is a SPIRITUAL RELATIONSHIP, with God, and others that are Spiritual as well. Just want to get you thinking for now. What type of relationship do YOU have with God? Look into your heart for a moment. Ask yourself, how does God see me? I mean really look. No one else can have your relationship. We must each have our own. The more you put into it, the more you will receive.
I/Will explore this a bit further in the future. Think about it. Thanks for reading this.
Comments are welcome, and feel free to share.
Day 99, Lesson from Owner’s manual
I have not posted much the past few days. Have been dealing with life on life’s term. One thing I have been working on is trying to love my neighbor as myself. For many years, I did not love myself I was so full of anger, resentments and self-loathing. Thought I had sunk so low that God could not even see me. But I was wrong. Not only could He see me, He continued to love me, and protect me. I had reached a point where I just did not want to go on. Some of you have been there, and I feel in my Spirit that someone is feeling that way today. I was wrong. Nothing I could do would make Him stop loving me. I started with basics again. “There is a God, and I am not him” I couldn’t live without Him in my life. The more I studied, the more I realized God did indeed love me. Was I so much “smarter” than God that I could not accept His Grace? Not at all. God made me, and he made you, and He loves us all. So, as I started to love myself, I was able to love others. Then, and only then could I love others the way I wanted to be treated/loved. But here is the “kicker”; I have to do on to others as I would like them to treat me. Regardless of how they treat me. See, it is not about them, it is about us keeping our heart open to receive God’s Love, and Grace. Think about this for a moment. Dwell on it for a time. Can you figure out a way to love your neighbor? Even that one that you don’t like? Tough to do, takes a lot of practice. Try today to let some resentments go. Love yourself, then others. HOWEVER…THIS DOES NOT MEAN WE ARE TO BE A DOOR MAT. No is a word you can use! Just follow your heart, let God lead you. We can love those who appear to be unlovable. How? Just the way Jesus did. I know this is a bit lengthy, and I thank you for reading it.
Feel free to share, and I welcome comments.
Day 100, Lesson from Owner’s manual
There was a time when the disciples got on a boat, and started to cross a body of water. Just as it does today, a violent storm suddenly materialized, and they thought they were going to drown. But something amazing happened. They looked out, and saw Jesus, and He was walking on the water. Yes, that’s what it says in my Owner’s Manual. It was Jesus, walking on the water. One of the disciples decided he was going to walk out and meet Jesus. (Remember which one it was?) Jesus beckoned to him, and in Faith, this disciple stepped out of the boat. He actually was walking on the water also, going to meet Jesus. Know what happened? After just a few steps, he began to sink, and cried out to Jesus to save him. Why did he start to sink? Any idea?
The reason he began to sink was very simple. HE TOOK HIS EYES OFF JESUS, AND LOOKED AT THE STORM. Now let that sink in for just a moment. How many times do we look at the storm, and get scared. The Lesson is this. Keep your eyes on Jesus, instead of telling God how bad your problems are, tell your problems how great your God is. Get a picture of this scene in your mind. Storm scares disciples; they look and see Jesus walking on the water, coming to them. Would you step out on faith and start toward Jesus? We can do the same thing today. See Jesus, Trust Jesus, and most important, keep your eyes on Jesus. Satan will try everything in his bag of tricks to get you to take your eyes off of your Savior. Practice, practice, practice. Each day exercise your Faith and it will grow stronger. Hopefully we all can keep our eyes on Jesus. I appreciate those of you who read these Lessons from Owner’s Manual. We welcome your comments. Please feel free to share with others.