Getting into the Swing of Things

My last two college classes are beginning on Tuesday. Just after the first of the year I will have my Associate’s degree. By the grace of God, I will have accomplished this by the age of 40. When you compare this to thing that God did in the Bible, it’s really small by comparison. However, it serves as an example of how important each and every one of us all are to God. While I may never slay a giant, part a sea, or walk on water (though I believe I could if it served to further the glory of God) hopefully my decisions will inspire someone else. Just maybe my faith can be an example to what faith can do for others.

This is where I pray to get into the swing of things, not because I want God to help me handle my schedule, but because I want God to hep me handle it in a Godly manner. Sometimes, it’s not what do, but how we do it. We must be willing to let God take control of things. His understanding is far beyond our scope of understanding (probably the reason we screw things up so badly). We have to be set apart from so many different things of the world. Otherwise, we run the risk of allowing worldly things to take too much of our attention.

Paul wrote about this in Romans Chapter 12, we should not let ourselves conform to the world. We have to live in this world, but we don’t have to accept immoral things that others do. It all falls back to Jesus telling the people to be a light and a city on the hill. We need to be a Godly example and not just go with the flow. That’s why I believe that we need to get into the swing of things first by asking God to guide our choices daily. He won’t force us to seek Him out, but He won’t leave us hanging when we do.

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New Testament

As I told you guys earlier I had started listening to an audio Bible while driving and working.  Now, I have listened to the entire New Testament and decided to start again with Matthew and go through it all one more time. Honestly, I remember something new each time I read or hear any part of the the Word of God. I figure to listen to the entire New Testament once more and then I may start are the Old Testament.

The first time I listened it was out of order, but for some reason it made sense to me. I also included the book of Daniel in with my listening. This time I figure got straight through and make notes when possible. My goal is to retain as much of  God’s Word as possible, or at least get a generalized idea where particular themes are located. (I get agitated when trying to discuss with someone and can’t remember where I read or heard something.)

Anyway, my request is this, please say a prayer that I can learn more and use it to further the kingdom of God to more people. My ultimate goal is to try and show people the wonderful gifts that God offers, not just in the world to come, but the world we live in now. God bless!!

 

Romans 8:24-28

24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. 26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

There are times in my life when I question why things have happened and what is the lesson to be learned from them happening. When it comes to these times, I think of this selection and it helps me remember that I don’t have to know the reason. Instead, I need to have the faith that God is doing this for my benefit. I may not see the big picture, but I should have faith that God already knows what are the effects of this happening to me. I believe this where the whole Scripture about walking by faith and not by sight applies to our lives.

As I am sitting here typing this post, my 1-year-old granddaughter has pushed the power button on my laptop twice. She has crawled underneath my end table and gotten stuck and has caused me to have to deal with her several other times. This is a good example of what I am talking about because as aggravating as this is, I am still blessed with grandchildren to cause me aggravation. The joy they bring far outweighs the bad.

So my advice is this: appreciate what we have, keep your eye on the prize, and remember God knows more than we can understand.

Classes, Training, and Working

As I had previously written, my wife has found a job at a nursing home. She is still studying for the CNA certification test and going to her classes working towards becoming an Registered Nurse. So now here her schedule is working five days a week and attending classes on the two days she is off. Currently, here schedule is working the day shift, but starting Saturday it will be switching to second. Even though it is getting tougher, she still thanks God for blessing her with the opportunities that she has now.

My schedule is still working second shift Monday through Fridays and my college work is completely online. I was given the opportunity to take a tax preparation course through a local tax company that would require attending classes 2 days a week before going to work. I was hesitant at first because the course was free, but the books and other materials cost $149. While that may not seem like a lot for materials, when you wife is returning to work after an extended break things stay tight for a while. I prayed to God and asked to guide me in the direction I needed to go.

The answer came in the form of a phone call from someone from their office. They had an offer to take the course and I would receive a scholarship to cover the cost of books and materials. This meant that the only cost on my part would be gas to drive to the class 2 days a week. Now taking the course does not guarantee a job with the company, but it is a step in the right direction. I believe that God does everything with a purpose for those who allow Him to be a part of their lives.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

God’s Grace

My wife finally got the phone call she was hoping for and she starts her orientation on Monday. We are both so grateful to this deliverance from God which comes through His grace. Things had gotten type around here, but we kept our faith that it was all a part of God’s plan. I think that at times we create more stress on ourselves because we refuse to turn things over to God and let Him carry us through. This was something my wife and I discussed on several occasions and continue to agree on.

There was an opportunity that came open at the BOE that I decided to apply to and turned in my application today. Now we are praying that if it is God’s will I will get the call. If not then I still have my current position, blessed either way. Because of God’s grace and love for us we are provided ways out of the problems that we get ourselves into. Pray for me and my home when it comes upon your heart. God’s grace is all we need.

Plans Do Change

I found out that there is an issue with my financial aid that is going to prevent me from going on with a Bachelor’s Degree. At first, I was upset, but after some prayer and thought I came to realize that once one door is closed, it is because God wants another to open. I’m not certain where this will lead me, but I am certain that it will be in the direction that God wants me to go. So, I have been working on different things to see what direction God sends me. For now, I have one week of my current class and then 10 weeks for my remaining classes and then my education will be over for now.

One positive is that it will allow me more time to focus on my writing (something I have neglected over the past 2 years) and my Bible studies (something you can never get too much of). Another positive is the release from the stress associated with deadlines for papers and the ability to juggle my schedule more.

Deliverance vs. Assistance

My brother handled the message tonight at church and he said something that really caught my attention. He said that we should pray for God to deliver us through our problems instead of asking for help. It made sense to me after I thought about it. By asking for deliverance instead of assistance we are putting our faith in God.

I was offered to give another message afterwards, but I believe that God was showing me to let this message stand. There are times when we must check our egos at the door and just be thankful for blessings we received through others.