Abraham A Good Start

(Genesis 20: 1-13)

We saw though he had a good start there was still a lot of work to be done in his life. He stepped out in faith simply on God’s word. (A plus)Then when Abram came to this land that God had promised, because he was doing what God had told him to do, he probably didn’t expect to encounter such obstacles as famine or enemies. (A test)What we find with Abraham instead of following God and His plan, he relied on what he learned as a pagan idol worshipper. Do it yourself. (A failure)

Forsaking the path of faith, for whatever reason, always brings its own complications. There is no knowing how low a saint will sink when he is out of touch with God. 

Through the Gospels, you will find example after example where Jesus will put people in a position where they must choose. All of us here are going to make a choice today. Many of you including myself God has been intimately pursuing you. Some are becoming better.  Letting God strip away the things that camouflage themselves as good and Godly. Some seem to become bitter. Holding on with a tenacious spirit the desire to be right instead of righteous. To be heard instead of Holy. To be brash instead of broken. 

Still, we choose which way we want to go.

In our scripture today we find Abraham choosing.

  • The rerun. Unbelief 
    • (V2) don’t know for sure why he journeyed south but did. 
    • No matter how you cut it up, no matter how you justify it, the issue that arises in Abraham’s life still boils down to unbelief. Jesus had some hard words for the sin of unbelief, using what we spoke about last week.
      • (Mt 10:14-15) And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. (15) Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.
      • Unbelief is the foundation that all disobedience is built on.
    • The problem for us is the same as Abraham. We like what we see as the easy way. We don’t really want to trust God and wait and rely on Him.
      • We speculate and figure out all the different ways we can afford to carry on without faith. Here at church, at work, in our homes.
    • How many when it comes to our church finance have already thought; what if we cut this out, don’t have this, and do away with that?
      •  Then how many have done what God has already told us to do. Witness and live in such a way that God brings others in not that we cut things but actually add things?
      • You know why this is not appealing to some? You think we’re doing too much already because it is cutting into your world time, or making you feel guilty.
      • Many of us have been greatly impacted by the less is more movement found in our churches today. What I mean is many self-professing believers only want to invest and spend a minimum amount of time doing things with the church. Mainly because it interferes with their real life.  
    • When we fail to believe God it always brings confusion and despair.
      • (Pr 3:1-2) ¶ My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: (2) For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. 
      • I have used this on several occasions. When we believe God, He adds to us length of days. Time to get done what needs to get done, time to enjoy this life.
      • He also adds to us long life. Time on top of time to enjoy the blessings He gives.
      • But you have to trust Him and His word to get this.
    • In Abe’s life, the fear came from a false sense of righteous discernment, which generated unbelief.
      •  Look in verse (V11). Is this not the pot calling the kettle black? 
      • Here was Abraham lying or worse partial truth, and once again bringing his wife down with him and thinking this king and his subjects were acting ungodly.
      • Religious pride is what kept the leaders in Jesus’s day from seeing and receiving the blessing and it is the same today. 
    • (Pr 3:3-4) Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: (4) So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
      • You can only show mercy if you have received it. You can only share the truth if you know it.
  • The repeat. God’s plan of action.
    • Before God delivered fully on the promise of a son, He brought Abraham back to an issue he faced earlier on in his journeys. 
      • The first time this couple went south so did their testimony. It was the lack of trusting God that sent them and the lack of trusting God that got them in trouble with the Pharaoh.  
      • Now God was allowing him to be back in the same situation. 
      • A time to choose.
    • Seems often like many a believer comes to the point in their life they feel they can coast. They’ve taught, preached, studied, and led. They have sung, served, sacrificed, and suffered. 
      • For the believer, we cannot coast for one minute. We will have all of eternity to rest and relish the victories, but only this short life to work and win them.   
    • There are those here who God has dealt mercifully with you on areas of sin in your life. It might be in the area of pride, selfishness, lust, greed, etc. but you are still being hounded by the same ole thing.
      •  A time to choose.
      • God has so much more in store for you. Not that He hasn’t done and is doing far more than you deserve but like as was recorded of Jesus’ hometown folks. (Mt 13:58) And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Oswald Chambers said “ if we really believed that God meant what He said, just imagine what we would be like! Do I really dare to let God be to me all that He will be?

Are you here with some unfinished business?

  • Many of us have been raised or raised our own young’uns with the gathering of the body, the church is important unless it conflicts with what I want to do mentality.

All Things Are Justifiable

(Genesis 19)

When we start reading this chapter it doesn’t take long until we are standing there in utter amazement. Did I just read what I thought I read? Is that really in the bible?

Before we started protecting ourselves from God, becoming divine interpreters, making God’s word not so offensive, intolerant, and more palatable for our self-righteous soul. God said things plainly. Didn’t leave things to chance, guess, or maybes.

In this “in your face” chapter of the Living Word of God, He lays it out flat. What is the world without God? Let’s see.

Read. Gen 19.

Where it is easy for us to get caught up in the vile wretchedness of this account in history, the main point is not about how sinful people were as much as what happens when a righteous man falls.

(Pr 25:26) A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.

When we recall the events leading us here, it is evident, though Lot was influenced by a great follower of The One True God, he chose the generic brand of walk instead of The Real Thing. It cost him. oooohhhh did it cost him.

  • A justifiable journey.
    • In (Chp.13, V10) he sees the plain of Jorden as the garden of God(Eden) and as Egypt.
      • It is clear because he has been subjected to the lifestyle of the Egyptians he has developed a taste for it.
      • Though Lot has left Egypt. Egypt hasn’t left Lot.
    • (v12)  we read, “He pitched his tent toward Sodom.” 
      • It is a dangerous thing to pitch your tent toward Sodom.
      •  In the next verse, we read: (Ge 13:13) But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
    • We somehow have a strange attraction toward sin. 
      • We find it rather fascinating. There is a dangerous curiosity about evil.
    • There are always those who like to play with fire and hope that they will not get burned.
      • They like to live on the edge.
      • Their goal is to see how close they can live to the world and still maintain their fellowship with the Lord.
      • Ask them and they will say they are fine.
      • The scripture warns us: (JAMES 4:4) That the friendship of the world is enmity with God. Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
    • The next time we see Lot, he is living in Sodom.
      • As in the Psalm, (1:1) it so often begins with walking in the counsel of the ungodly, then moves on to standing in the way with sinners, and finally, you are sitting in the seat of the scornful.
      • Once you turn and begin to move in the direction of Sodom, it always seems to be progressive.
  •  A justifiable jump.
    • And Lot had become a leader in the community, serving as a judge. What a position to influence people. Right?
      • Being a righteous man, a moral man. Being influenced in how to be a man, You’d think this would have a happy ending. But it doesn’t.
    • Remember? Abraham, out of concern for Lot and his family, eventually convinced the Lord that if He could find 10 righteous people in the city of Sodom.
      • The odds were stacked in Sodom’s favor. 
      • After all, Lot and his family were there. We know he had a wife and two daughters, who were engaged to be married. So…there’s six right there. 
      • Surely he had enough influence on the people around him that God would be able to find just four more righteous people in the entire city of Sodom.
    • But instead of being an influence, changing the culture from the inside out by being a powerful dose of salt and light…
      • Lot and his family allowed the sinfulness of the community around them to influence them. 
    • Lot and his family were in a position of influence.
      • (Ps 75:6-7) For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. (7) But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
      • But instead of living a life of holiness in the midst of sinfulness, they chose to allow the corruption to taint their own lives as well.
      • To bring them down. 
  • Justifiable grace.
    • Whereas God would have been justified in destroying Lot and his family along with the rest.
      • (Mt 5:13) Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
    • The Almighty showed mercy, grace justified. 
      • Just as if it never happened.
    • We were doomed to the same fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. 
      • But God, The Almighty, has shown us grace, mercy.
    • When Jesus came to give Himself as a sacrifice for our sins, He came to rescue us from the destructive paths that we were on. 
      • Like Lot and his family, we, too, had pitched our tents within the city limits of the wicked.
      • And that sinful choice demands judgment. It demands punishment. It demands death.
      • We were doomed to the same fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. 
    • But God has given us an escape route through Jesus. 
      • He has invited us into a life that is full of hope and joy and peace and abundance. 
    • It’s a journey.
      • It’s a journey away from the things that are not of God. It’s a journey of holiness. It’s a journey of becoming more and more like Him as we draw closer and closer to Him.
      • Even in this crazy time we are living, God has amazing things ahead of us. He has amazing things He wants to do to us, in us, and through us – right here, right now…and in the future, too.
    • Make NO mistake. Jesus reminds us( Lu 9:62) And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.    
      • We cannot drag our feet. We cannot turn back and secretly long for the lifestyle we once had before we came to know Him. 
      • We must put all of that behind us and move away from it. 
      • That’s why Jesus Christ came to die for us – He came to put that past behind us.

Throughout the story of the people of God as displayed in the Old Testament, we see time and time again how when things got a little bit tough, they started to wonder what might have been if they’d stayed where they were. 

  • Let me tell you: 
    • God loves you where you are. But He doesn’t want to leave you there.
    • He wants to shape you and make you into the person He has planned for you to be since the dawn of creation.
    •  He has amazing things He wants to accomplish through you, good works, which He has prepared for you in advance.
    • But you can only reach the potential that God has envisioned for you if you leave that past life.
      • The one of sinful choices and destructive, self-centered decisions and turn and trust Jesus. Don’t hesitate.

Covenant

Genesis 15

We have just left off where Abram had rescued his nephew and all the other captives. God had strengthen him with the visit from King Melchizedek, for he knew the temptation that was to come from the king of Sodom.

One thing noteworthy here is this. God never tempts us with evil, but He does try us or put us through trials to strengthen our faith.

Over the last decade or so it has become more prevalent in my eyes the sissifying of our nation. It is difficult to find people with dogmatic grit. It is increasingly hard to locate men or women with a drive and determination not to just do something but give their best. Men and women, who push their children to excel, who push each other to continue to grow, to better themselves. This trend has invaded Christianity.

We feel if we get through one trail then we should be able to coast for a spell. Here is a news flash, God doesn’t follow trends. 

God is interested in making us the best, conforming us to the very image of His Son Jesus. He keeps pushing us, driving us to succeed, by trusting Him, relying on Him, knowing Him.

Look at Abram. A great battle had been won, a lot of fanfare, getting to worship with the King of Salem. Then all goes quiet. It is here that the battle begins. Our mind starts going into overdrive. 

We see Lot after being rescued going right back where he came from. One of the most depressing, heartbreaking, devastating things for a pastor is watching those whom God delivered out of slavery going back into it.

Abrams thinking about all these things, Lot and his family, showing the other tribes his military strength, and we come to the 15th chapter.

  • God’s call. (V1)
    • This is really comforting. Note He did not say hey you, didn’t do some spectacular flash, simply called him by name.
      • Many today speak of God having their number I am here to tell you God has your name.
    • The God of all creation, the God who holds your life in His hands, the God who is and was and is to come knows your name!
      • He is personal. He is intimate. He is interested in you.
    • Listen. Teenagers, so often it is all about being accepted by others having a friend, needing company.
      •  God knows all about it. You can trust Him, He hears your heart, He knows your need, and He cares to give you the best.
      • Quit settling for seconds. Quit compromising to be liked. Quit listening to those who want you to lower your standards because they don’t have the grit to raise theirs.
    • God called him by name and God came to him.
      • From the time of the garden where God came and walked in the cool of the day till now. He still searches us out, pursues us, and calls us.
      • He doesn’t have to, He is not in need of companionship, He wants to, He loves you, He desires to invest in you.
    • Today God is calling you. 
      • You who are in need of a Savior, you who needs to be committed to what you gave to Him. You, who are broken and in need of healing, God is calling you. 
  • Abrams cry. (V2-3) Remembering as we look at Abrams life we see a perfect picture of the life of the believer. Listen to what he says in Verses 2-3.
    • Doesn’t really sound like someone who just had a great victory or does it?
      • How many times have we left our quiet time, a Sunday service, an encounter with our Holy God only to have something from our past or someone close rain on our parade?
    • Abram is just like us, he quickly forgets it is only by God’s grace and mercy we rise up or are sat down.
      • He is not blaming Sari, he’s not blaming God. He is placing the blame on himself. (v2) I go childless.
      • Now in our sinful hard heart, we see this as a good sign of humility.
      •  In truth, just like when we do it is a sure sign of pride. 
    • Most of us think, in spite of all the scripture that points otherwise, believe we earn God’s grace.
      • Proof; The reason good things happen is because of our faithfulness and bad things are because of our wickedness.
      • Don’t want to belabor this so here is one scripture that sums it up : (Lu 17:10) So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
    • If, if, if we have done all we were commanded to do we still haven’t done enough to earn God’s favor.
      •  Pride tells us we aren’t that bad, we have done enough, we deserve more…
      • We don’t serve God, do good works to earn anything we should do it out of gratefulness, hence why we pick and choose what we like and don’t like; was not very grateful.
    • Abram was depressed, distressed, discouraged. 
      • God answered him; this is not going to be your heir, count the stars if you can, so shall your kindred be.
      • Abram asked for a sign, something to hold on to during times of discouragement.
      • God gave him some directives to which he obeyed, “obedience is better than sacrifice”. He set up the sacrifice and waited.
  • God’s covenant.
    • God revealed to Abram what He intended. He let him in on the past, present, future.
      • After telling Abram what He designed, He gave him a picture, a visual to recall.
    • Smoking furnace: cannot help but think of the Nazis during WWII.
      • The suffering and the humiliation the Jewish people endured. And now those who don’t want to acknowledge God neither want to acknowledge this great tragedy.
      • This smoking furnace was a symbol of the affliction the Jews would suffer because of their unbelief, their rebelliousness, their ungratefulness, at the hands of the Egyptians.  
    • The burning lamp was also symbolic:  
      • The burning lamp denotes comfort in this affliction; and this God showed to Abram, at the same time that he showed him the smoking furnace. 
      • Also Light denotes deliverance out of the furnace; their salvation was as a lamp that burneth, (Isa 62:1.) When God came down to deliver them, he appeared in a bush that burned and was not consumed.
    • (18) is a key part of this transaction.
      • The wording is very important. In (v7) God is reminding Abram what he had already promised him earlier. (Ge 15:7) ¶ And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. 
      • (v 18) the wording is changed. “Unto thy seed has I given this land.”
      • It is a done deal.
  • God’s covenant with us. Remember where I told you that today God is calling you. You who are in need of a Savior, you who needs to be committed to what you gave to Him, you who are broken and in need of healing, God is calling you.  Not going all theological though it is a great study. Listen.
    • (Joh 14:23) Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
      • How does He do this?
    • (Joh 14:26-25) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (27) Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
      • God loves you. Really! His is not a false promise, empty words. It is a covenant sign with the blood of Jesus
    • Eternal life does not start after we pass from this life to the next.
      • Our Lord’s half-brother John said. (1Jo 3:14) ¶ We know that we have passed from death unto life…
      • Have passed. Without Jesus, you’re not living your just surviving.
      • He even gives a sure sign that you are living eternal life. … because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
    • God made it simple. John 3:16

A Bunch from Abram

(Genesis 13:5-9)

Last week we took time to discover a fatherly lesson from Lot. A lesson in what not to do. I would like to camp here one more day and look at a bunch of what to do’s from Abram.

We have been looking at the life of Abram and how it relates to the Christian walk. We have seen how he started out with a handicap to begin with which we will see come back and be a sore spot a little later. 

We were privy to an event in Abrams life where he didn’t trust God with his new life and fell back on his old ways which produced some serious and embarrassing issues. 

Here in the 13th chapter thankfully we see him returning to where he abandoned God’s truth. When it comes to restoring the passion in your life there are some things you must do.

Remember, repent and return. This is where we find Abram today in the process of restoring the passion. It is here we are able to look in and see how the mind of a spiritual man functions.

Remember the sore spot I spoke about, the one Abram thought he had to hang on to? Well it’s beginning to fester.

And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.

And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.

And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.

And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.

Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

Genesis 13:5-9
  • Worrying circumstances.
    • We all have them, sometimes its marriage, sometimes its sickness, financial, family. Most of the time it’s a combination of theses and others. Having issues in life is not always a sign of our failure as it is life.
      • How we go about handling these issues is a different matter.
    • God’s word is full of directives here.

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Psalm 55:22

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Matthew 6:25

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

1 Peter 5:7

    • God’s word never contradicts itself.
      •  This is in no way shape or form, saying don’t work or provide but is speaking of trusting God. Don’t place priority on these worldly things. 
      • It is best expressed when He states:  (Mt 6:33) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
    • Here in our scripture we find a good problem but none the less a problem.
      • God had richly blessed these two men and it had become too much for the land to bare.
  • We saw why and what a carnal man decided last week.
    • Because Lot was: Weak in his devotions, Worldly in his desires. He was:
  • Wrong decisions: 
    • A person who is weak in their devotion, worldly in their desires, is going to be wrong in their decisions. 
      • The next thing we see in Lot’s life is he set his tent towards Sodom. Very important to see this. He didn’t start off in Sodom just let it occupy his mind. It won’t be long before he is right in the midst of it.

So today what would one who trusted God do?

  • A divine resolution. A spiritual man’s approach to life.
    • An old cliché’: We most often hear “don’t just stand there do something.” But when it comes to God’s word we most often see “don’t just do something stand there.”
      • Abram had been promised by God that this was going to be his land. He could have stood for his rights and demanded that Lot go find his own land.
      • His reaction to the problem at hand was: wait. He had learned all too well what happens when a child of God takes matters into his own hand. A lesson that will be repeated in his life.
      • When confronted with worrying circumstances that seemed to be crying out for immediate action he waited. He was sure God would soon make his way clear.
    • An old sore. Abram made Lot a problem of his own choosing. God had specifically told hold him to leave his father’s house and kindred.
      • That one thing he held on to that he thought he needed or thought he was being a help to was now starting to demand attention.
      • They always do.  Abram was now learning how to deal with things God’s way. 
      • The first thing we see as a spiritual man Abram surrenders his personal rights.
    • He deals with spiritual directness.
      • Look at the wording in verse 8: between me and thee. He named himself first as though he was the cause of the trouble.
      • He came directly to the point and called the problem what it was strife. He wasn’t giving the devil any room to run.  
      • He wasn’t willing to give God a bad name in front of their wicked neighbors. (V.7)
    • He dealt with spiritual discernment.
      • “We are brethren,” the things that unite us are far more important than the things that divide us.
      • Would to God we as believers could reach that point in our spiritual journey.
    • He dealt with spiritual dignity:
      • Sovereignly he was the stronger. Socially he was the senior. Spiritually he was the securer.
      • Abram put aside his rights and let Lot choose. He took whatever was left. Why do you ask? Because his confidence was not in a land or an economy but God.
  • Whose does your thought pattern resemble? The carnal or the spiritual?
    • As born-again believers, the bible tells us: Ro 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
      • Lot filled his mind with the things of this world. His lifestyle and decisions suffered for it. 
      • God blessed Abram. Where the world would have called him a fool for giving up the good land. God had a better plan.
    • He has a better plan for you if you will trust Him.

A Little About Lot

(Gen.13:1-8)

The only way a man is ever counted righteous by God is by believing.

(Ro 4:3) For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed in God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Abraham wasn’t righteous because of good name, good deed,s or good looks. God counted him righteous because he took Him at His word. He believed Him.

Look here:

(2Pe 2:7-8) ¶ And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

(8) (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

Somewhere along the line Lot trusted God. We are not told about this but never the less it is evident according to scripture.

Let’s be honest, in our estimation of what we know about Lot, righteous would probably be the last adjective we would use to describe him. If it were not the fact that the Holy Spirit notes that Lot was righteous, many of us would list him under fan not follower.

Two questions people have to ask themselves:

    Heaven or hell? Once that is settled the next follows.

    Heaven or earth?

The devil attempts to persuade believers the second question does not matter as long as they are saved they can try everything this world offers.

Lot is the example of the enormous cost of choosing to live for worldly gain.

  • Lot’s choice
    • Lot must have been captivated by Uncle Abe’s dynamic faith. His sold-out, all-in commitment to God.
      • He had traveled many miles with God directing each step.
    • God had allowed both to prosper.
      • All was grits and gravy then the dispute.
  • The dispute(V7)
    • Seems to be one of Satan’s favorite ploy. 
      • Distract, divide, destroy.
    • Distracted by materialism.
      • What they had, their possession was not the problem.
        • How they handled them was.
        • They took their eye off God. Fell back to their way of handling things.
    • Division.
      • Now no longer unity with one vision but two.
    • You can almost hear the talk around the campfire.
      • Not sure Abe had their best interest at heart.
      • Been listening far too long to people trying to make them something they’re not.
    • Destruction: look close at (V7)again
      • … and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.
      • Two believers living amid a crooked and perverse generation and their testimony for God was being destroyed.
    • We all have “Ites” in our lives.
      • Friends, family, coworkers watching (yes they are watching) to see what now…
    • Abe being a man of integrity did right. 
      • Still, there was a scar.
  • The decision. God had deeded all the land over to Abram. Abram gave Lot the choice. He would take what was leftover. Why did Lot choose the land he did? Here is my thought on it.
    • He was weak in his devotion.
      • (V4)You see where the Holy Spirit recorded that Abram built an altar to God. A place where he came and worshipped.
      • You never see or even catch a drift that Lot desired to build an altar or think of a place to worship.
        • You simply gather that went through life day to day without any personal time with God.
        • You will never make Godly choices if you never learn what God will choose.
      • It’s not a wonder that Lot’s life and the life of the family he leads was a mess.
        • None of us can live the way God desires, demands without spending quality time with Him daily
        • We just continue to race across the sea of life running aground, trying to dodge shipwrecks until we become one.
    • He was worldly in his desires.
      • Lot was heaven-born and heaven-bound but had bought into the world.
      • When Abram spoke to Lot about separation that should have thrown up flags.
        • How many times we miss the flags.
    • He had a religious reason and a real reason for choosing
      • Look at (V10) look like the Garden of Eden.
        • It is so easy to spiritualize things.
      • Reality. It reminded him of sin-soaked Egypt
    • He was wrong in his decisions. 
      • He thought he was stronger in his faith than he was.
        • (1Co 10:12) Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
        • An unguarded strength is a double weakness.
      • Notice that the Holy Spirit added a significant comment to Lot’s choice.
        • (V13)But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
      • God had already marked Sodom for judgment.
        • It was the last place Lot should have been.
        • But because he had NO spiritual anchor. NO real discernment. He was drawn into the shallows of Sodom. 
      • Listen! If you are being good and respectful only because of your parents. They won’t always be around.
        • If the only thing keeping you from throwing in the towel is your name in the community, your position, you’re standing. All of these will fade.
        • If you have no spiritual anchor son or later your life will wind up wrecked upon the rocks.
  • Lot’s chains. Lot wanted the world. God let him have it.
    • Lot moved his family to Sodom.
      • His children grew up with the popular Sodomites instead of saints.
      • His wife became influenced by the Sodomites’ customs instead of serving the Savior.
    • Anyone who moves out of the will of God WILL reap what they sow.
      • (Pr 21:16) ¶ The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
      • Lot was no exception.
    • War broke out, Sodom was defeated. Lot and his whole family were taken captive. Marched off to the slave market.
      • This is where we find many church members today.
    • Lot’s chains were a direct result of his choice.
      • How do you think his children felt as they were pushed podded and poked and there was nothing he could do. 
      • His wife was treated as an object at a yard sale.
    • Sadly, some here even, letting the hero attitude kick in. “ better hope I don’t get lose.”
      • But we do little to keep them from being enslaved now.
    • Many of us men enslave them to our shallow attempt of being religious.
      • Showing them God is only important when we need Him.
    • As they say: sin takes you farther than you want to go. Keeps you longer than you want to stay and costs you more than you want to pay.
      • Lot’s choices impacted his whole family. So does yours.
    • Lot’s choice provided chains, but God provided another chance.
  • Lot’s chance.
    • Abram was told the story. He armed himself, his people and went and taught the outlaws how to lose.
      • Lot’s chains were removed. His family was restored. His life renewed.
      • Imagine if Lot admitted his sin. Believe God had better for him. Confessed before all those wicked people what God had allowed and done. 
      • What could have been the outcome?
    • Lot chose to go back. To take Sodom instead of the Savior.
      • You don’t have to.

Even if your choices have placed your heart in chains. God wants to provide you another chance. 

Come to him.

Abram: Picture of the Believer

                                                                       Genesis 12:6-

Remembering who God has chosen to use for His work. 

(1Co 1:25-29) Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (26) For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:(27) But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; (28) And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: (29) That no flesh should glory in his presence.

Abram was an inhabitant of Ur, an important center of moon worship on the Great Euphrates. He is from the Godly line of Shem but most probable like his neighbors he is an idolatrous pagan. Though most of his ancestry has been forgotten, God has not forgotten.

What we see in the life of Abram is a picture of the life of the believer.  We have spoken of the statement of faith. The statement of faith, or call of salvation, is always followed by the call of separation. In the life of Abram God told him to leave his, country, his kindred, and his father’s house.

Separation is a lesson in faith and a lesson in obedience.

We will continue and look at the step of faith, the path of faith, the fight of faith.

  • The step of faith.(V4)
    • Abram took a step of faith.
      • Credit is given where credit is due. He left everything that he was accustom to. He went out on faith. He was being led by God to a place unknown to him.
    • He did two things. He pitched his tent, he built an altar.
      • Canaan was home to the descendants of the cursed son of Ham. These were a nasty barbaric people. By Abram’s actions he was showing them he planned on staying and he planned on worshipping.
    • Often folks start off well, but like a shooting star burn brightly one minute and fizzle out the next.
      • Abram had great intentions on living well for the Lord, but once in the land he was hit with a double blow. He discovered the land was inhabited by the foe, the Canaanite was there and there was a famine.
    • Many a new believer has found disappointment at the start of their new journey.
      • Things might have started good. Peace, friends, able to see blessing that has been around.
      • Then somebody lets you down, (somebody close). Persecution arises, you see Christians have faults, begin to realize the old nature is still very much alive and wanting control.
    • When Abram came to this land, because he was doing what God had told him to do, probably didn’t expect to encounter such obstacles.
      • In the gospel of Mark we have an account of the disciples in a mess. (Mr 4:37) And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. But just a little before that we have the 35th verse .(Mr 4:35) ¶ And the same day, when the even was come, he (Jesus)saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.
      • Jesus was the one who put them there. He knew what was ahead but yet went on why?
      • Just like Abram, they were learning that where the child of God finds their blessing is where they also find their battles.
    • But Abram looked for a different solution. Escape.
      • Something of utmost importance here. We never see God telling him to leave. Fact of the matter we see God telling him “I give this land to you.”
      • Far too often, we find ourselves doing the same thing. Instead of seeing God’s blessing, we feel this can’t be right because it’s hard so we leave.
    • Forsaking the path of faith, for whatever reason, always brings its own complications. A whole series of events now followed Abram. Each one stemmed from his lack of trust in God.
  • Shift in faith.
    • There is no knowing how low a saint will sink when he is out of touch with God.
      • Sin makes the brave, cowards, makes the smart, stupid, and makes the cautious, carless.
    • (In V.11-13) we see one of the most treacherous, cowardly acts, seen in the pages of the bible.
      • It is performed by one whom you would not think is capable of plunging so low. But because of his reluctance to trust God he is on a downward path.
      • Sad thing about our choices they affect everyone we come in contact with.
    • Abram asked his wife to lie. Put her in danger of committing sin against God, put her in danger of defiling herself, because he was concerned with his own welfare.
      • So much for being a hero.
    • What we see is instead of Abram following God and His plan, he relied on what he learned as a pagan idol worshipper. Do it yourself.
      • So Abrams choice first had a negative impact on his wife but it doesn’t stop there.
    • The very thing that Abram was trying to avoid burst upon him like a storm.
      • Remember now; Abram was escaping what he thought was a mistake and he was making it better, he was fixing it. The good life was in Egypt that has to be where God wants me.
    • Pharaoh took Sarai and prepared her to be in his Harem. God took Pharaoh and prepared him to teach Abram a lesson.
      • God plagued the house of Pharaoh. It doesn’t say how but Pharaoh put two and two together and it equaled Abram.
        • So Abram choice affected his wife and Pharaoh and all Pharaoh’s house.
  • A smear on faith.
    • (v2-3) God had intended Abram to be a blessing to others, but because he rejected God’s way and substituted his own way, everything he touched seemed to turn bitter.
      • Abram in his holier than thou attitude was found to be the one the Egyptians needed to worry about not the other way around.
      • Pharaoh was more honorable then Abram.
    • It started with not trusting God. Then blind direction, then lying, belittling others, till the shame fell back on him.
      • You could almost hear the Pharaoh, “if that’s a believer I hope I never meet another one.”
    • Many a believer has left a bitter taste in the mouth of this lost world, all because we fail to trust God.
  • It was a hard and painful lesson but God brought Abram back to the beginning back to the path that was laid out.
    • A lot of folks keep going in circles. God has a big beautiful plan for you but we keep trusting ourselves to fix it. Make it right.
      • (Pr 21:16) ¶ The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
      • Today quit wandering. Come back, or come home.            

God Wants My Time

By: Stephanie Sanchez

Please hear my heart even if the words don’t make much sense and possibly come across as a bit abrasive. 

Some of you know my story. Most of you think you know it and have me figured out. Some of you know just bits and pieces along with what the gossips tell you. All of you only know what I want you to know along with a tid bit or two that leaked during a moment of vulnerability. Well, I am feeling a bit vulnerable and a bit fed up. So, let me share what’s on my heart. Maybe then you will understand.

I tell the story of “becoming a Christian” with a bit of humor and a lot of sarcasm. At 4 years old I was fully aware of what I was asking for when I muttered a few words while kneeling next to my bed with my eyes closed… a few extra minutes not having to go to bed. It was a stall tactic and I got what I wanted that night.

It wasn’t until several years later, in my early 20s, when God finally got a hold of my heart. I always joke saying I came back kicking and screaming. Well, that’s not entirely true, at least not how you probably pictured it in your mind as you shook your head and walked away. Oh, I was kicking and screaming and crying and pitching a fit. Not at God, but at myself. My world was literally falling apart. I knew the thoughts I had had in my teen years along with the things I did. And yes, there was a significant amount of shame associated with pretty much all of it. 

Well, at the point where I finally turned to God I was married with a toddler and baby. My marriage was on the verge of divorce. I couldn’t afford to work (childcare costs and lack of training/schooling). It was one emotional roller coaster after another. And (in my mind) nobody understood me. I was falling apart from the inside out and seemed like the devil himself was digging my grave while laughing hysterically. 

It was at the moment when I was at my absolute lowest with all my shortcomings and failings flashing like neon signs before my eyes that I truly felt God lift me out of that pit. I knew from that moment on that I was His and whatever He wanted from me I would gladly give. You know what he asked of me? Time. He wanted my time. How it would be used, He would show me later. But, He asked me to give Him my time.

Photo by Jordan Benton on Pexels.com

I grew up in church. It’s a fact that I come from a very, very long line of Bible believing Christians. I did an ancestry search/study several years ago and found out this actually dates back to the 1600’s. (This won’t save you, by the way. Ask me about that later and I will gladly explain.) So, to say that I knew what was expected of me is a pretty obvious statement. I knew everything I was supposed to “do.” Well then, why was God only asking for only my time?

It took several weeks to find the congregation God wanted me to be apart of. All the while my Mom is a crying, blubbering, excited mess. The power of a fervently praying parent is nothing to shake a stick at. 

When I did discover where God wanted me, it was almost immediately that I found where God wanted to use my time, EVERYWHERE. So, that’s what I did. If there was a need I filled it, usually subbing in the nursery or Sunday School when they were short handed. 

It was a rare Sunday when everyone showed up ready to serve and I could rest. But, I never grieved anyone over it. It was a joy to serve and give God my time, just like he asked. I didn’t know it at the time, but this would become a model for later in life. I thoroughly enjoy working in the school system as a substitute teacher. Even on the rough days.

Sure there are ages and stages that I prefer over others, but if it is asked of me I go. That is really all God has asked of His children. You see, time is key. Time in His word. Time praying and talking with Him. Time serving His church. Time loving the lost. The thing is, none of His work can be completed if His children don’t give their time. 

Your time is precious to God. Do you trust Him enough to let go of your time and allow God to use your time in the best way possible? Even if it means giving your time to tasks you don’t like or enjoy? 

Are you willing to give God your time?

Prepping For Use

Gen. 50:15-19

I have been sharing as of late about moral earthquakes in our lives. Just like physical earthquakes don’t just happen, neither do moral earthquakes just appear overnight.

Earthquakes, though in our eyes seem to come out of the blue, have actually been in the making for some time. As the continental plates shift and slide against each other they become stuck or jammed. When these plates free themselves a major jolt is felt above ground. It rumbles and shakes and tosses and jerks and wreaks havoc on the surface.

These “edges” let’s say, are called fault lines.

In moral earthquakes the scenario is the same. What we visibly see on the outside in someone’s life has been in the works beneath the surface for a while. Secret fault lines.

It is where we get the phrase: no blow outs just small leaks.

When we think of Samson in the bible we often conclude that Delilah was his undoing. As you study scripture you quickly find out his undoing began some twenty years earlier.

Though we have seen where Samson had ignored God’s will, word, and work, we have another man we can look at to see the other side of the coin.

Joseph.

Joseph and Samson had a lot in common.

According to scripture they were both handsome young men. They had great personalities. They both had the Lord with them. They both found themselves away from home in the midst of hostile and heathen environments. They even faced very similar temptations.

What made the difference in the outcome?

We have already labored over Samson and have seen where, though God had gifted him with Godly parents, he chose to ignore their wisdom and substitute the world’s ways instead.

Let’s look at Joseph.

  • The End. Gen. 50:15-19
    • Ending well is important.
      •  It is not always the journey along the way that tells the real story as much as the end of the journey.
    • What we see in this scripture is a man, who in the world’s eyes, has every right to be vengeful, hard, down right tortuous to these men.
      • But what we see is a man full of grace because he had already received it.
      • We cannot give what we haven’t received.

I want to give you three truths in the preparation of God’s man Joseph.

  • His Location Developed His Capacity.
    • In slavery Joseph labored under difficult circumstances. 
      • Never do you read where he thought he deserved better. Where he complained or was ready to throw in the towel.
      • Joseph knew who held his future.
    • Has it ever dawned on you, the difficult place you are in may be the divine hand of God preparing you for a greater use?
      • How many folks have fell out with God because of the places they find themselves in? 
      • What they don’t remember is asking God, whatever it takes God.
    • So as God even uses their blindness, bulliness, and brainlessness to build them. Waiting on them to turn to Him.
      • God may put you in places that seem so wrong, so negative, yet it is here that he is equipping you for a greater use. 
    • In slavery, Joseph’s life was hard and unappreciated. What he did was expected of him. Even if he did more than expected he was still in the place of a slave.
      • It was in and through this miserable time that God developed him for a far greater use.
    • This should be great encouragement for you who are suffering hardship.
      • Rather it is the issue that has arisen from this pandemic, or people you work with or family you live with. Proverbs has a great word for you.
      • Pr 16:3, “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established”
    • Don’t act foolishly to adverse circumstances.
      • Don’t blame others for your misery, your ill temperament, your cussing and fussing.
      • Joseph never sought vengeance against his brothers.
      • Remember: Ro 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.”
      • It doesn’t say “all things are good”.
  • His Lowliness Developed His Character.
    • Joseph worked as a slave. Then he worked as an inmate and worked up to a trustee.
      • The proudest people I’ve met usually came from nothing and act as if they are God’s gift to mankind.
      • Joseph was a favored son. He was a prince in one respect.
      • From favored son to fellow slave. From prince to pauper.
    • Nowhere do you read where he was crying ‘you just don’t know how it used to be”.
      • 1Pe 5:6, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:”
    • Character is vital for service. 
      • This is what people know you by. Your character.
    • God goes to great lengths to develop character in His chosen.
      • If you are born again, you are His chosen.
    • So often you hear hardships develop character. In truth, hardships reveal character.
      • God has been busy revealing the character of His church.
      • God is far more interested in changing your character than your circumstances.
  • Joseph’s Attitude Developed His Consideration.
    • When Joseph was brought to Potiphar’s house to work, he worked. He served.
      • The fact that he was mistreated and enslaved didn’t affect his work ethic.
      • Because he did good with where he was and what he had, folks took notice.
    • It is easy to say when you feel you’re in the right place and position that you’re doing well.
      • Real testimony of character comes when you’re in the wrong place and position and you’re doing well.
  • Samson and Joseph had a lot of similarities but one major difference.
    • Samson knew God, knew about God, but trusted in himself.
    • Joseph knew God, knew about God, and trusted God.
    • It made a major difference in their outlook and their outcome.

Today are you more like Samson or Joseph?

Have you been blessed with the knowledge of the truth but still place your trust in yourself?

Or have you realized, what trusting in yourself has really produced?

These are unique times we are in. God is using them to draw folks to Him. The Way, Truth ,and Life.

He is using them to reveal and build the character of His body.

Why am I?

A few weeks ago we started the “Not a Fan” book by Kyle Idleman for our Life Group class on Sunday nights. Usually we have a Life Group at 5 pm and then an evening service at 6 pm. Well as usual, during the winter and every few years, church attendance drops on Sunday nights. So we decided to try something different this time around and combined the two services. Also my father-n-law, a.k.a. the pastor, had surgery recently. You see how this worked right?
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The book is good. It hits on some hard questions. Questions we as complacent North American Christians don’t want to think about and probably haven’t even considered until digging into this book. The main question or theme is, “Are you a fan or a follower of Jesus Christ?” Throughout, the book helps you understand the difference and to determine where you are in your walk. I’ll admit I have my fan moments and days, then conviction sets in and I remember and am reminded why I’m a follower. Those truths that have rooted me in my faith of who Jesus is to me are what makes me a follower. They are unique to each person, because each person is different. There stories are unique unto themselves.

I love at the end of each chapter there are personal stories titled “not a fan”. They are from people who are followers of Christ, telling why they became that way and still are. Last night we finished up Chapter 4 and our class leader, who also loves these stories, ended with a question, “Why are you a follower? If you were asked to write one of these, what would it say, just a thought.”

So, why am I a follower?

The minute he asked that my immediate answer, in my mind of course, was “Because He has never left me!” As loud as the day is long. He has never left me! The little girl inside me, 6 years old, freckle faced and brown hair stood up and yelled at the top of her lungs, “He has never left me, everyone leaves me, they all leave, even if they said they loved me and would never leave, it doesn’t matter they did anyway. They walked out the door and left, they died, they ran away, they didn’t want me, they didn’t care and they left! He has never left me! He doesn’t care if I say the wrong thing or break something or if I cry too much. He doesn’t care if I don’t love him the most all the time. He doesn’t care if I don’t put him first all the time, He doesn’t even care if I scream and yell at Him because the people who left me have broken my heart, He has still never left me!” Yeah that little girl right there is why I am a follower.

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So many people throughout my life have left. When I say left, I feel like I need to clarify. I mean walked out of my life, in some form or fashion, whether it was physical, mental or emotional (yes you can be in the same room with a child and still that child can feel alone), having nothing to do with me as a child and then later on as a teen. My life as an adult, I have made some decisions, too, of my own to leave people I love due to their life choices and the negative effects it had on me and my immediate family.  Even those closest to my heart, dearest to my heart, had their own personal selfish desires and would not or could not put me first, and in the end they left me.

My Papa passed away 6 years ago, he could not stay with me, he to had to leave. Yes I will see him again, but it still hurts and that pain of being left is strong with this one. Even now in our church, since I have been a member for a good 10 years, I find it hard to become attached to new members. I feel horrible sometimes because I don’t want to come off as cold, and I do pray that God heals my heart. People these days, who claim to be Christians and followers of Christ have no problem doing what I call “church hopping”. Which is going from one church to another because they don’t agree or they got their feelings hurt or they didn’t like the music, what was preached cause it felt like it was directed at them. Yeah that is a heart problem not a church problem. This means you have a problem loving other people and you really don’t understand the Word of God. I can’t get close to these people, they will leave. Sorry, soap box rant over now. Back on subject

Jesus has never left me. He has never left that little girl. Even though there are times when He is not first in my life, and times when, yes I totally forget about Him because I am so caught up in the world, yet He is still with me. Those moments of shear agony when my heart renders a cry of pain that no words can describe and no one is around to hear, He hears me. He holds me and He comforts me. He always has. So when I look back on my life and even forward because it will happen when my children leave for college and get married, though that will be a happier time of leaving, He will still be with me. More loved ones will pass away and friends will leave for their on personal reasons and selfish desires because, well other peoples’ worlds don’t revolve around me, (I do understand that, I am not that selfish) He will still be with me, even in death and new life. That is the best part, right there. I hope you caught that.

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(Something I will miss! Legos, Yes Legos! This is Baby Dinosaur who was found during a shake down before entering daycare one morning! He was confiscated from Jedi Skywalker’s pockets and jailed in Mommy’s purse until bail could be posted after school.)

I can’t express to you how much it means to that little freckle faced, brown haired girl, with tear filled eyes, staring at a door, out a window or sitting on her bed alone and knowing that He has never left her and He never will!

My name is Holly Walker, and I am not a fan.

I encourage you to grab a copy of this book. It will make you think about things you might not have considered before. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and I hope you have a great day. May His Son shine on you and yours!

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand

Isaiah 41:10photography of woman surrounded by sunflowers

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

Ordinary Days

This past week our close nit community of North Florida was rocked to its core by the senseless death of two young men. Out to lunch while on duty, just a regular day on the job. For most people a regular day on the job is never life threatening. When they go anywhere, most people don’t worry about where they sit in the restaurant or how many people are there or think about the exits. For those who wear a uniform though a regular day on the job is always life threatening. The minute they made the decision in life to put on that uniform and accept that badge is the minute the definition of a regular day changed.

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Following the news and Sheriff Bobby Schultz unparalleled press released, everyone’s heart across this area was broken. On Friday most of us wore blue to honor the fallen and show love and support for the loved ones left behind. Most of us have probably sat around trying to figure out what on Earth went wrong and how could this happen in Little Ol’ Trenton?

Governor Matt Bevin has a video going around and I watched it recently. There is actually more than one. Of course he is being questioned about gun control. He corrects the other people in the discussion though and explains to them that it has nothing to do with guns. People have had guns since guns were invented. Twenty years ago people had guns in their vehicles at school and on them at school. It was no big deal. The problem is that the value of life no longer exist. We as a society do not value life. He went on to name some examples such as abortion, school shootings just because someone got turned down for prom, gang violence, video game violence along with music that has violent lyrics. 100 years ago people would have chopped off their arms to save a child’s life or to heal a loved one, they would have given anything to have the resources we have today. Our society as a whole has taken for granted the life, health, healing, vitality, freedom and in general all the wonderful things the last century has brought us.

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I’ve been watching Dr. Quinn recently along with some of the older western stuff, just something to listen to while folding clothes. Those small towns use to have to send off to big cities for a U. S. Marshall or a Judge anytime they had criminal problems. Or they had to advertise for a sheriff and hope someone with integrity and courage stepped up that wouldn’t turn into the town drunk or a tyrant. This is another thing we take for granted. In a matter of minutes I can have a deputy sheriff at my door steps if I need one. I don’t have to wait six months for one. So why has our society gone from begging for law enforcement, to killing them out right for no reason, just because.

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The next afternoon Jesse Clay was scrolling through his Facebook. He’s always showing me recipes or funny memes. So half the time when we are on the couch, or settling down for the night, I can’t look at my phone cause I’m looking at his. So while he is scrolling along, he pasted Taylor Lindsey’s girlfriend’s post. She had written a post for the most part I think just grieving and remembering, wanting to share some of who he was. I couldn’t read it, I got past the second or third line and turned away. I found something else to do. I could not sit there and read a letter/post I pray I will never have to write.

No he doesn’t where green, but he does wear a uniform. He does wear a badge. Bad guys with guns see a badge and a thin blue line. They see someone between them and their goal. I may be half a sleep when he leaves at 5:15 in the morning but I pray every time he walks out that door. I know that he may never come back. Anyone one who has a loved one, whether husband, wife, son, daughter, sister, brother, you know what I am talking about. You get a call that a riot is going down, or that an inmate has escape, or a chopper has been called or the ambulance is on the way to the prison or the Sheriff’s department, your heart drops out of your chest so fast you can’t breath. You feel like Dumbo’s mom just dropped kicked you into the next dimension. The asthma attack you are having isn’t over until you can talk to them. Then you can breath again. For a little while anyway.

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For all those out there who want to, as Sheriff Schultz puts it “demonize” law enforcement, take a good look around. Just because they are wearing normal clothes doesn’t mean anything. The minute they are in a crowd, they are what I call “switched on”. This means that they are very aware of their surroundings and everything going on. They don’t rest or relax. They have people to protect. The families of these willing to serve pay a high price as well. You try finding a vacation spot with not a lot of people, that still has a lot of fun stuff to do.

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There are those who have taken advantage of the badge, dragging it through the mud. There are 1,000 times more honorable men and women out there laying it down just so you can sleep a little better at night. Remember they are human, they have bad days, they have families that don’t always cooperate and sometimes wash red sweaters with their uniforms or put salt in the tea instead of sugar. This could potential make for a bad attitude for the day. That being said, take it into consideration the next time you see some one in a badge, they may not be serving their country the same way as those in our military, but they are serving us, right here at home, day in, day out, over worked, under paid, dealing with the loonies nobody else is willing to.

When all is said and done, after putting up with everything they do during the day, the nasty, the druggy, dirty, awfulness of it all, they come home to us. If we are lucky they make it home before supper time, if we aren’t lucky and they had to work overtime then at least they made it home.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of our fallen! My heart breaks for the sorrow you are feeling. The words I have can never heal your hearts. May you find the peace that surpasses all understanding, and may God’s Grace abound in your life!

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