Saturday, October 31, 2015

How Did You Do It?

"Good morning."
"Good morning." I replied.
"Where are you headed?"
"Home."  I said.

"Home!"  He said with great emphasis as he spread his hands out before himself.  
There on the ground between us lay 3 clear garbage bags and two folding lounge chairs. 
"This is my home."  

(Prior to meeting this young man, I had been out walking for almost two hours, trying to get an errand done.  My mood was none-the-less unpleasant.)

His words received my full attention.  I turned to face him squarely and listen to his story.  
"As you can see I am homeless."
"Yes.  I was there myself some time ago."
"My name is Smoky."
"Hello Smoky.  My name is Darryl."

Smoky, details his life from the previous seven years.  Because of the subject matter and those involved, I will not repeat portions of his story.  However, I will tell you, I walked away weeping.

"I'm from this area (northeast Pennsylvania).  I have family here.  My mother stays right over there. So I am not totally alone."
"So why not stay with your family?"
"Truthfully I can.  IF I wanted to.  But I don't.  My mother has done so much for me these past few years and I do not want to burden her."  

Smoky's honesty is refreshing.  Usually when I talk to someone homeless I get a laundry list of wrongs against them, perpetrated by family members.  Smoky however lays the blame at his own feet.
I can see him getting antsy, so I tell him a short form version of my story.

"I myself was homeless for two years.  I slept in abandoned buildings, on park benches, wherever I could find a place to lay my head.  Or was allowed to."
Smoky looks at me and shakes his head.
"Two years?"
"Yes, for two years."
"How did you do it?  It's only been a couple of months for me."
"The grace of God and much prayer."
"I pray and it does help."
"The situation was not easy but God helped me get through it and now I am doing good."
"I know I am going to get through this, because I have a plan.  The uncertainty is difficult to deal with.  But I trust God."  

At this point another gentleman joins us and he suspiciously looks at me as Smoky and I finish our conversation.  He too is homeless.  
"The hardest part is there are no places for the homeless people to goto.  There are no shelters, or housing or anything.  We are on our own."  
How well do I know it.  People see the homeless and assume the worst.  Drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.  Whatever their mind conjurs us must be the reason for their current predicament.  Not always true.  Economic reasons like loss of a job, downturn in the housing market, unforseen medical emergency, death of a loved one, etc.  The list goes on and on.  

Before departing I pray and we encourage one another.  
As I stand on the corner waiting for traffic to pass by I think to myself  "How did I make it?"
Easy answer.  The faithfulness of a God whom I never really knew in that dark season in my life.  
God says in His word "I will never leave you nor forsake you.  I am with you always."
Promises. Promises. Promises.
Until I rededicated my life to God and began to read His word, those promises were unknown to me. 
Yet, through it all He remained by my side. 
A million what-if's can pass in my mind but there is never a doubt God will always be ther for me.
Seasons come and seasons go. But God never changes.

God bless

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Be Still, My Soul--4

"From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I."  Psalm 61:2

Abraham.  Moses.  Joshua.  Elijah.  Deborah.  Anna.  Simon.  Priscilla.  Lazarus.  On and on and on. 

Many throughout the scriptures have suffered for the faith and have experienced great hardships.
The name of Jesus was forbidden.  He was nailed to a cross and died and was buried.  End of story.
Maybe their story, those who did not believe.
He was nailed to a cross and died and was buried.  But three days later He arose from the grave.
The story continues, for those who believed.

God promises is His word to never leave us or forsake us.  This especially so during our trials and tribulations as believers and messengers of the gospel message of salvation.  
For the past few days I have had the pleasure of talking to someone about Jesus and what His salvation is and means.  The young lady with whom I am talking was near tears, well she actually cried, when I told her "death is the end of any chance we have to make a decision for Christ.  After that we are judged."

Silence filled the time and her look told me she was not happy with what I said.  In my spirit I was screaming "now is the accepted time."  However, I did not want to push.  I often want them to say yes and be done with it.  Too often I get questions and what if's, but few decisions for eternal salvation.
Frustration sets in and I have to quiet my soul because the work is not being done by me  or in me.  The Holy Spirit is at work in that person and I need to step out of the way.
"Pray" says the voice inside me.  I obey and have not stopped yet.  

My mind recalls the middle portion of the first verse of "Be Still, My Soul"
Leave to the God to order and provide
In every change He faithful will remain
Be still, my soul

Peace, followed by repentance guide my heart's desire.  Thy will be done LORD not mine.
Trust in the Lord.
Trust in His Word.
Pray without ceasing.

God bless.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Be Still, My Soul--3

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."      John 14:27 (Jesus speaking)

Allow me to go forward by going backwards.  
God was always a part of my life seeing as how my mother was always praying for me.  I as a child and a young adult, had very little time for God.

I will not get into my early, pre-salvation life, 'tis very boring.  

One day I was at the end of my rope and the walls were closing in.  I was a very angry and frustrated teen.  Why?  That answer eludes me still to this day.  Although our eternal enemy may have had a hand in it.  
For many years my mother quoted this scripture to me from First Chronicles 28:9 "As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and a willing mind: for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek Him, He will be found of thee; but if you forsake Him, He will cast thee off forever."

Laying on my bed one night after another fitfull and trying day, tears streaming down my face I cried out to this God in whom I never truly had time for.  Here is what I said.
"God, if You are real and You can hear me, tell me why am I so angry all the time?
Why don't I have peace?  Please God take away this anger and give me peace."
I fell asleep soon after not entirely sure if that prayer would be answered.  
Much like David said to Solomon, and my mother to me, seeking after God was my only means to finding peace and not being cast off forever.
The following morning i awakened to the inner peace I had soooooo long sought after, but never knew existed.  That was when God became real to me.  My soul had been quieted.  

V.1 Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side; bear patiently the cross of grief and pain
      leave to thy God to order and provide; In every change He faithful will remain. 
      Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly friend thro' thorny ways leads to a joyful end.   

My soul does rest in the Lord.  That first verse speaks of a life as a child of the King.  Before I knew Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, I did not know how faithful He was and could be.  But now!  I see His faithfulness everyday.  Let me end with this verse from the gospel of Matthew.
Matthew 11:28 "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

If you want peace, go to the Peacemaker
If you want healing, go to the Healer
If you want joy, go to the One who can take away your sorrows
If you are weary, go to the One who can give you strength

Come to the Cross of Calvary

It is there where YOU will find an all-sufficient God who can meet all of YOUR needs
Come humbly, come crying, come bowed down, come in need, come empty, come burdened.  
Just come.
Jesus is there to greet you with arms wide open.

God bless.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Be Still, My Soul--2

One day while looking for something to do I turned on the radio and listened to the announcer as he finished a short on the life of Eric Liddell.  Forgive me because the name did not ring an immediate bell. 
In closing, the radio personality mentioned the movie Chariots of Fire, then recognition set in.

This dummy (me), pulled up on his smart phone the wikipedia on Eric Liddell.  Several minutes and a few tears later I had finished the miniture byline on Eric Henry Liddell.  I was speechless.  
His life was one of total devotion and commitment to his God.  His death, if i may say, started me on this present journey. 

(Please bear with me as I try to put my thoughts down.  I am feeling the emotions of the moment.)

Eric Liddell was in a Japanese internment camp when he died.  Mr. Liddell died of a brain tumor.  
Hours before he passed over into glory, he passed a note to a nurse in the hospital to pass along to the band playing outside in the yard.  Eric Liddell requested that they play the song Be Still, My Soul.
Having never heard of it, i pulled my hymnal and suprise, suprise it was there listed, at #16.  All of you will notice that as the opening post to this series of blogs i am working on now. 

Between 3-4 hours after the playing of this song Eric Henry Liddell slipped into a coma and passed away.  He was 43 years old.  From that moment on i have been on a mission to find a more comprehensive book on his life.  
As i read the scriptures i notice that once a person surrenders their life to God and commit to doing His will, an unshakeable peace fills them.  More often than not, our enemy Satan comes along during our weak seasons and brings with him turmoil and unrest.  During those times we can draw strength from the One who lives within us, knows us and cares for us and find peace and rest from all of our circumstances.  
Eric Liddell may or may not have known he was about to die.  But despite the conditions in which he found himself in and the harsh realities of life at that moment, he still knew whom his God was and  
found peace.

God bless.

Be Still, My Soul--1

For the past several weeks I have been reading books on followers of Jesus Christ whose personal testimonies have made quite profound statements.
Not just their words, but their actions and how they lived.  

An example I can give is Jim Elliot.  Jim Elliot was one of five missionaries killed by the Auca indians in the 1950's.  It was his testimony that inspired me to look into the lives of others who have died or been persecuted for their faith.  Prior to that, the only exsposure i have had was the men and women in the bible itself.  
Now, I am in pursuit of books that will open my eyes to the stories of Amy Carmichael, Corrie Ten Boom, Hudson Taylor and others who comprise the modern day "Hall of Heroes".  
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was another man of faith who gave his life to push forward the cause of God without regard for his own life.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, was a German theologian, who faught the Nazi regime and their designs of a government run church, at first.  Bonhoeffer also saw where this path was going.  First a government controlled church, next total governemt control of the people and its industries.  Mr. Bonhoeffer, later realized that he must be more proactive in his opposition to Hitler and his ideals.
Acts 8:1 Now Saul was consenting to his death (Stephen).  At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
Great trials and tribulations caused the early church to go out into other areas and share the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Looking at the history of the Christianity, persecutions have been hand-in-hand with the message.  Still today we as the church, collectively, and born again believers, individually, face daily attacks.  

My point is this.  I have neglected this part can i say this?  The continuing story of church history (i tried).  These men and women have displayed a resolve that is not seen in many followers today.  I am not saying it is not there in today's Christians but their stories are very compelling to me and I want to know them better.
I sense that an area of my faith will be touched by the stories i read AND, AND I will be greatly encouraged to be more bold in my faith and in my commitment to the MOST HIGH GOD.  
What a wonderful journey i am about to embark on.

God bless

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Be Still, My Soul

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side
bear patiently the cross of grief and pain
Leave to thy God to order and provide
In every change He faithful will remain
Be still my soul: thy best, heavenly friend 
Thro' thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God does undertake 
To guide the future as He has the past
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake
All now mysterious shall be bright at last
Be still, my soul: the waves and wind still know
His voice who ruled them while she dwelt below

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


"Today could be the day.  Look up."  
More and more within the past few weeks i have been hearing this statement.  Yesterday as i was on my way to an appointment I heard two men talking and one said to the other "Look up, today could be the day."  

Upon hearing those words my spirit was encouraged.  Knowing that these gentleman were brothers in the Lord, I turned and said "Thank you.  I reallly needed to hear that."
"You're welcome brother.",  was his reply.

A couple of days before that, at our local mall, we had Fall Community Festival. This is the time of year when groups and organizations come from different communities and set up tables and put out baked goods or literature about themselves.    For some reason this the festival was only for one day.  It usually lasts the whole weekend.


My church group had a table there and it was an AMAZING time.
Our main goal was to give them Jesus.  Hence, the picture above.
I am always excited to get out there and share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Millions of people go about there day and never hear the words of eternal life.
Some have heard these words and still choose to sit on the fence and not decide, not knowing they 
have already decided.  

On one occassion Peter preached a sermon where 5,000 came to salvation.  5,000!  That still floors me to this day.  But the work was done by the Holy Spirit through Peter.  
The mall was busy that day and many people came to our table and the gospel message was given, either through our word of testimony or the Jesus film we had playing on our television.  What i can tell you is that a hundred or more people watched that video as it played.  Many were taken back by the suffering Jesus experienced.  Many more heard the words He spoke and walked away in stunned silence.  After a while children started gathering around the table and we put on the childrens version of the Jesus film and then the children started asking questions.  Praise God.

There are times when all i want to do is reap the harvest.  I want hear all who hear the message of salvation say "Yes" to Jesus and eternal life.  That is what we as believers live for.  
At the end of my shift and a very long day I opened the newspaper and saw this caption.
My heart leaped within my chest.  Figuratively.  I was encouraged all the more.
Add to this the smile on the gentleman's face and how could i not praise God.
Jehovah is the LORD of the harvest.  We are His workmen and women, His laborers.
Our harvest is the gathering of lost souls for the kingdom of God.
His harvest is the gathering of those, who have been found, into His eternal kingdom.

God bless

Monday, October 12, 2015


Sweep over me , O word of God
and renew a right spirit within me.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

My mornings are spent continuously hitting the snooze button on my alarm clock.  As I do this the news begins to play on my am/fm radio (who still uses those?) and I catch up on current events from around the world.  
Less than an hour later light from the sun filters through my curtainless window and I am refreshed by the light of its presence.  A new day is dawning.

Hosea the prophet is echoing the same sentiment in regards to the Israel.
Come, and let us return to the LORD; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.
After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight.

Israel although in sin, continues to find mercy and grace in the eyes of God.  
Hosea pleads with Israel to turn from its idolatrous lifestyle.  Even in the darkness God's word goes forth to condemn in judgment and comfort during repentance.

Just as the sun rises everyday and the warmth of her rays find me to penetrate the darkness of the passing night, so to does the faithfulness of God shine down on His children as we are awakened to a renewed life, a renewed hope, to an unchanging God.  
This same God who keeps us in His sight and showers us with mercy and grace until we return to Him and the glory of His presence.
God like the morning sun, is established forever.

God bless

Friday, October 2, 2015

A Firm Foundation

How purposeful must our gait be when we come from the presence of the LORD?

Sunday's after our church services I feel as though I can take on the world. Having been with the body of Christ, being filled with the Holy Spirit, in the very presence of God, I am energized.  

Psalm 63:2 "So I have looked for You in the sanctuary.  To see Your power and Your glory."

The sanctuary, in any true house of the Most High, is where He meets us.  There amongst His chosen and elect God reveals Himself.
During the praise and worship time God is revealed, by the praise of His people in song as we proclaim His worthiness.

"Thou are worthy LORD God Almighty.  
You who formed the heavens and the earth.
You who spoke the stars into being and named them all.
Great are You who formed my inward parts 
and breathed into me the breath of life."

Think about the cross.  That wonderful cross.
We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  
More praise.
We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.
More praise.

Jonah the prophet thought on these two things ( grace of God & the works he was called to do) as he spent three days in the belly of a whale.  Jonah, looking at his own situation, set his heart toward God.
Because of his own disobedience Jonah wound up in an unlikely prison, but he knew God was still God.
"You have cast me into the sea, the waters tossed me about and covered me.  I have been cast away from Your sight." Jonah 2:3-5
Jonah though greatly discouraged, finds hope within.  He remembers the times he spent in the presence of God in His holy temple and remembers His goodness.
Instead of looking at the darkness all around him and smelling the stench, he cast his eyes inward to the Light, the LORD his God.  Jonah began to praise God.  That sweet savor reached the ears of God.  And God was pleased.  Jonah repented.
God knows our comings and goings.  He knows our joys and sorrows. Praise Him.
We need not be confined to a prison of our own choosing forever.  Praise Him and be restored.

Just as God spoke to the great fish and it vomited Jonah onto dry land, God will speak to your situation and you will be placed once again on solid ground.  A firm foundation.  
Once we have found our footing and direction, we must continue to honor our vow to God.

God bless.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Eve was not given her name until after the fall.  
I did not know that.  

You really do learn something every day.  

God bless