cJoshua1:5

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Full of changes…

Posted by cjoshua15 on October 10, 2007

There have been so many changes in life lately this blog has been all but abandoned.  I haven’t even been reading blogs for months either.  I know that I was so caught up in reading them that I was taking away from things I needed to be doing.  I learned that if God was going to bless me then I needed to make sure I was doing the things I needed to first.  I am working hard at getting some priorities straight and actually enjoyed a Saturday of not having to be somewhere doing something because I had to but doing something because I wanted to.

 

Teaching Sunday School on a regular basis has scared the fire out of me or into me.  The opportunity to pick the curriculum and then have something that is so pertinent to life on a daily basis has buried my face back in the Word.  Not that I quit but slacked off is a good way to look at it.  I have been reminded so much lately how great God is and how much He loves me.  That is such a comforting thing in the hectic world of today.  I finally feel like I have landed on both feet and neither of my ankles are shattered.

 

I have always known that God is so big and completely capable of anything but to see him at work in my life, in the life of the church, and in others around me over the past 10 months has been overwhelming.  Every time I think He has done something beyond belief He one ups Himself and does something even better and bigger.

 

I can remember when listening to all the broadcasts, praise and worship, as well as the mini sermons were what I lived for daily.  That waned away to where I was just saturating myself with the music and the words were being absorbed in the frequency bandwidth floating in the air.  I had to hear God calling me back to Him and I really didn’t want to listen because I had become content with life and it was good.  God reset the radio stations recently and removed my ability to tune in to the all music Christian station so I had to listen to the local station with the sermons included.  The first sermon I heard kept me in my car in the parking lot of work until it finished.  I didn’t care if I was late I so needed to hear the rest of the story.  At the end I found out that it was a replay of something they had run several years ago and the person had passed on to be with the Lord a few years back.  It didn’t matter, it was relevant today.  I needed to hear it and God knew it, He is so cool that way.  The station stays on the blended local Christian station all day now and I have and am continuing to work on a healthy balance of life.  I am working hard to honor God by doing my job first because He blessed me with it so I owe it to the people I work for to do it for the Glory of God to the best of my ability.  I am doing things I enjoy on a more frequent basis and praising God all along the way, for the good and the bad.

 

This rambled a bit but I felt like that would help put things in some bit of perspective of where I have been and where I am headed.  God continues to surround me with folks that have a great love of the Lord as mentors and I rejoice in that and look forward to what He has in store for every minute of every day.

 

Psalm 118:24 – “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

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Reservations

Posted by cjoshua15 on April 26, 2007

I was listening to prayer meeting last week when the pastor made a comment about Jesus making our reservations in the mansions of Heaven for our eternity.  Those are great reservations but that got me to thinking.  The company I work for has folks that attend several conference throughout the year and if someone has to cancel out that usually include the hotel reservation as part of the package.  Some of those folks charge a hefty cancellation fee if not done in time prior to the conference.  Booking a vacation and cancelling could cost a penalty if you have to back out after the cancellation deadline.

The penalty for canceling out of our reservation in Heaven is Hell.  There is no deadline until death.  A burning pit of satan has got to be some incentive to keep that reservation.  I am guilty so many times of causing my own reservation to be in jeopardy, but the Savior that loves each of us says my child, repent and I forgive.  It would seem to be easy to live a life for Him and at times it comes natural but at other times it is a fall on my face request for forgiveness to keep that reservation.  I just don’t want to get to the gates of Heaven and hear Jesus say, “Depart from me, for I never knew you”.

Thank you Jesus for your unending mercy and grace.

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Sweet spot…

Posted by cjoshua15 on February 1, 2007

TheCurefortheCommonLife This was a great read. I remember reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and thinking that was a great book for direction and purpose for me from a God point of view. The Cure for the Common Life is a complement book for that one. Living in the sweet spot of life is exactly where God wants us and too many times I can say for myself that I have tried to determine that sweet spot but it was no where near where God intended for me to be. If you get an opportunity to read this it is an easy read and it has some question and answer type stuff to help you find your sweet spot.

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CHRISTmas

Posted by cjoshua15 on December 25, 2006

Well, another CHRISTmas has come and is almost over.  What a great day!  It is wonderful to serve a great Lord that can remind us through His birth that a baby can bring out the best in everyone.

I can remember believing in Santa for a long time and then the kids at school would laugh and joke on me about believing in Santa and that was so babyish.  When I was a teenager all I wanted for Christmas was an Atari system (yes it was 1979).  My mom was a single parent and we had just moved across the country for her to take a new job.  I knew that my mom could get us one if she really wanted to, she always came through before with some help from Santa.  It was a few days from Christmas and she sat me down to say that she didn’t want me to be disappointed but there was no way should could afford the prices they were wanting for the systems that close to Christmas.  I cried, but I understood.  I also prayed really hard.

Christmas morning came and as usual I was awake at 4am making coffee, starting a fire in the fireplace, and flushing the toilet in the hallway to wakeup my mom and my sister.  That was a 30 minute effort.   But they finally decided they wanted to be just as awake as I was, they just weren’t as excited as me and maybe a bit grumpy.  Oh well, they got over it.  Our tree was placed in the bay window of our house and there were lots of gifts from Santa under the tree.  I had pretty much forgotten about the Atari because all the other stuff looked great.  We opened presents and had fun with everything, it was a blast.  My mom said it would be nice to see the outside and watch the folks drive by on the highway on Christmas morning so she proceeded to open the curtains at the bay window.  Those curtains were like the Price is Right revealing the grand prize car.  There, all opened and covered with game cartridges, was an Atari 2600 and the controllers.  Santa was real!  I believed and he delivered.  I screamed and hugged my mom so much.  What a great Christmas!

I played that Atari all day.  The games were fantastic.  My mom came and sat with me that night and asked me how I liked it.  I remember telling her I couldn’t believe that we actually got it.  She asked me if I would like to know how it came about.  Seemed like a harmless thing so I said sure.  Well, come to find out that someone she worked with had purchased it for their daughter who was my age at the time for a Christmas present.  Two days before Christmas she was killed in an auto accident and they wanted to find it a good home and get the presents out of their house.  They knew my mom was looking for one and couldn’t afford the cost at the stores so they sold it to her a lot less.  You can only imagine the tears that flowed down my face when she revealed the truth behind the gift.  It only made me treasure it so much more.

I never quit believing in Santa.  There may not be the person of Santa but there is the belief that all things are possible.  As I have grown to know the Lord as an Adult I still believe in Santa.  But, I believe that it is the Lord that gives us what we need as well as sometimes what we want.  My belief in the Lord has been so much stronger and His blessings to me to provide a Santa to my child only remind of the AWESOMENESS of my God and His love.  With Him, all things are possible.

Merry CHRISTmas!

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Train Station

Posted by cjoshua15 on May 17, 2006

As her foot stepped off the train there were thousands of people crowded around the station. Her eyes lifted high as she searched through the sea of folks to find her own parents. She had phoned them the previous week to tell them she was coming home from college and to please pick her up at the station. She did not elaborate on why she was coming home, she just told them it would be discussed when she got home.

She continued peering into all the faces looking for her parents. As families and loved ones matched up exiting the train the crowd began to thin out and yet she still could not locate her parents. The luggage was being removed and she spotted her trunk and proceeded to drag it away from the tracks and into the station house. After an hour of anticipation of her parent's arrival she began to wonder if maybe they didn't want to come and get her because of her decision to leave the college. She dug out the change needed to use the pay phone and tried to call the house but got no answer.

She found a seat on the bench near the phones and began to replay all the events that had occurred before she left for school only 3 months earlier. It wasn't the best going away party. Actually, it was pretty stressed. Her parents had wanted her to stay in town and get her general studies at the local college and live at home, but she thought she needed to get away and see what it was like to live in the dorm and do the college campus stuff. There was no scholarship and so the money came from her parent's retirement savings. They had paid up front for two semesters and her father had taken a second job to help pay for the tuition that would be due later in the year.

The dorm life was more than she had ever expected. The parties and staying up all hours of the night. No real studying and no parents to tell her what to do or give advice. They were a phone call away, but didn't need to know that she was failing all of her courses and had spent every dime of her monthly allowance on parties and alcohol; both of which were nothing she had ever been involved with prior to college. But now she had come to terms with the fact that it wasn't the life she wanted for herself. Her parents had taught her that God loved her more than that and doesn't want her life wasted on those foolish parties.

After realizing that her parents just weren't coming to get her she decided to use her last 10 bucks to take a cab home because she didn't know where else to go. The ride would take about 20 minutes and she just tried to figure out what to say when she got there. As the drive came to and end she could see the long driveway of her parents house come into view. There were dozens of cars all along the driveway. She began to panic. What has happened? The cab came to a stop and she tossed the money into the front seat and ran to the house. When she opened the door a whole houseful of people yelled SURPRISE! Her parents were waiting with opened arms and hugged her like never before. They were giving her a homecoming party like no other party she had ever been to. There was no alcohol involved or other unnecessary things. Just family and friends and lots of love.

She began to cry and asked her parents why. They replied, "We love you no matter what and we are glad you made the choice to come home where you know it is right for you to be. We are just so glad that you made the decision to leave that life and come back to where you belong."

Isn't that how God wants it? Just stay in His way. His love is there no matter what but to listen to Him and follow Him will keep us from having that separation that brings us to a place we don't belong. He has given us all that we need and we are alive in the fact that He loves us unconditionally.

Enjoy being in God's love. Share with those that have strayed or never found Him. To know that we have such a loving God is such an awesome feeling. Share it today. 

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