Wednesday, April 29, 2009

When Plans Change

Many of us make plans when there is a marriage onn the horizon, a new baby, a home, college, work and so forth.  We have goals, either short-term or long-term goals, for work, family, relationships, and personal life.   How many times when plans are made and it doesn’t turn out the way it was planned?  Whether it would be an intimate time with your spouse, vacation or something as simple as a get together at your house.  How did you feel when these plans were interrupted or didn’t turn out as planned?

This month has proven to be a month where plans were changed for my family, which I will share with you because many of you can relate to these stories. 

Allison and Steve were expecting their second child on May 1st.  They were in the process of purchasing their first home after several years of renting.  They were in the process of  packing, and planning the move before the baby came.   They have decided when the baby is born, Allison will be staying home with the baby and Ryan, while Steve continues to work due to high cost of daycare, especially for infant.   Ryan will complete his school year and enrolled in a new school district in the Fall.  Sounds like a good solid plan, right?  Well……

William Everett came earlier than expected.  He was born on April 10th, three weeks earlier than the expected due date.  He also was born the day before the help is expected to come and move their furniture to their new home.  Their plans were unraveling. 

While Allison was in the hospital,  the move to the new place continued as planned.  Only the small stuff still needed to be packed up and the old place needed to be cleaned.  They were planning to give the landlord the keys on the 15th.  Now I don’t recall if they asked for another week extension or not.  But they managed to get the rest of the stuff packed and cleaned up to get their deposit back last week. 

Allison and William came home from the hospital  the day after the move. William had jaundice and over the next few days his  blood count for jaundice went up.  The doctor recommended pushing fluid and being in the sunlight at home. It took about a week of blood tests and doctor’s visit before his count returned to normal, which we all were relieved.  Even though William was jaundice, he was a good baby through all this. 

Brad is involved in a relationship with a young woman who has two children.  They have been very careful about disclosing their relationships with the children until they both knew that they are ready for the next step in their relationship.   They had set a date when the girls will meet Brad.  Unfortunately, someone had disclosed to the girls about Brad before the planned date, which speeded up the plan a week or two early.  As a result, Brad and the young woman talked it over and decided it was time to take children out to dinner, which resulted in children trusting Brad, which I had no doubt.  Children seems to be drawn to Brad.  As Brad can be a kid himself when playing and being with the kids.

Recently, Keiko (shi’zu) was due to have pups on May 3rd.   I was in the middle of tearing up the carpeting and getting ready to put down sub-flooring in the computer room.  I wanted to get this done as well as finishing the trimming work in the kitchen, and putting up new walls in the bathroom  before she had puppies.  Needless to say, she had six puppies on April 25th. 

Plans were interrupted as I called everyone involved to help me with the deliverance of the puppies.  There were concerns that the puppies would not survive because they were premature.  I had one box ready, but it was too small for mama and six puppies (I expected 3 or 4) and I had to run to Farm King to get milk supplement for the puppies. 

Three days later, the vet removed the dew claws and stated that the puppies are healthy and doing well.  Keiko will need additional calcium supplement of mozzarella cheese daily to keep her and the puppies healthy. 

Brad made a box out of an old bookcase for them and all seems to be working out.  The puppies will be ready to leave to their new homes by the end of June.   In the meantime, I will just let nature takes its course.

Yesterday, Steve was laid off from work.  I was thinking about God’s timing in all of this.  If William waited until May 1st, would there be health insurance for the delivery and the testing for jaundice?  As it worked out, they had insurance when William was born.  Allison may have to go back to work for awhile, but in the meantime, the time off for Steve will enable him to get the house painted and repaired, garden put in and time to be with his children. 

We all make plans and sometimes our plans do not turn out the way we thought they would.  Either someone else interrupt our plans or we jump ahead of God’s plan for us.  We become impatient and take control because we want it NOW!   But if we trust God’s timing, it usually turns out for the best overall. 

Is there something going on in your life, which didn’t turn out the way you planned it?  Was it because you jumped in front of God and took the wheel?  What would happen if you give God the wheel of your life?  Are you afraid or at peace with giving Jesus the wheel?

These are hard questions.  Take a moment to reflect on your life in the past.  Were there times when an event fell apart or were there times when all fell into place?  My guess is there were both.  What happened in those times?  What were your reactions?

Life is full of twist and turns.  We can embrace life or struggle.  Which would you rather do?  May God gives you peace.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hosea: Adultery

As I cried out to the Lord before drifting off to sleep, I was awaken in the early morning hours crying out to the Lord in prayer.   I asked God to show me His Words and yet I knew where he was leading me.  For the past two days, God has been revealing stories in the Bible about relationships between men and women, between  God and Israel,  and between God and man.   I am inviting you to join me on this journey of relationships in the Bible. For this is not just my story, but stories of many men and women as they struggle with pains as they find their way back to the Lord.  Pains that runs deep into the inner core of beings. 

You  are invited to repentance by the Lord, with promises of His mercy and grace as you restore your relationship with Him. Once that relationship has been restored, that love will spill over and intertwine with other relationships;  marriage, parent and child, brothers and sisters, as well as friends.   Are you ready?…..

Who is Hosea?  Hosea is a prophet who prophesied during a long period of time when the Israelites have turned away from God due to their desiring the life of sins, particularly idolatry.  They committed adultery against God.   Adultery…  A commandant that was written on a tablet along with nine others and given to Moses for God’s people, the Israelites.  A commandment that simply states: Thou shalt not commit adultery. 

When we think about adultery, we think about a man and a women who has a relationship outside of marriage.  We don’t think about adultery being related to our “marriage” or relationship with God. When Moses came down from the mountains with both tablets in hand, he saw that God’s people have broken the commandments by worshiping the golden calf.  Not only the commandment regarding adultery, but other commandments as well. Such as, Thou shalt have no other god before me, and,  you shalt not make yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth.  No wonder Moses got upset and broke the tablets on the ground.  The Israelites had broken their relationship with God when they saw another way out. 

The Israelites are a community of people.  Although they were slaves in Egypt.  They were taken care of.  They were given all the food they wanted, water, and clothing.  They were taken care of by Pharaoh.  But did they see that it was God that provided for them?

Have you ever noticed how the community affect you?  In school, there are peer pressures from friends, the opposite sex, and the self desire to “fit in”.   Peer pressures usually leads us into temptations.  To do things that we would not have done if we were in a close relationship with God.   Temptations to skip class and hang out with friends, plagiarism,  to gossip or belittle someone who is not in your clique, to smoke do drugs, or having sex. 

The Israelites were influenced by the community as well with the power of “peer pressures” rather than the power of “prayer”.  The kind of  peer pressure that leads some of us into temptations and lose focus on our relationship with God.

The Israelites have been unfaithful and wanted to return to their “lover”, their idol.  They wanted to return to a place they believed was comfortable.  They wanted to return to Egypt where their basic needs were provided for.  Yet, they did not see that they were in bondage to slavery…to sin.   And if they did see it, they didn’t care.  Because it was better than where they are in the desert.

Soon we may find ourselves in deep despair.  All the joys that resulted from our idols will taken away.  We find ourselves stripped and naked (vulnerable) as we knock on the heavy wooden door.  A door that can only be opened by God himself. 

What are you enslaved to…what is your bondage…what is your sin?    What is the motivation behind the sins you committed?  Is it to receive the finer things (materialistic) in life or is there another reason? 

This would be a good time to take these questions to prayer with God.  As you are in prayer, God may lead you into the desert as he did with the Israelites.  He will speak tenderly to you.  And while you are in the valley, He will give you hope.  The hope can only be found in Christ.  God’s arms are opened for acceptance out of unconditional love.  The same love as when the prodigal son returned to his Father after all the sins he has committed.  The Father forgave his son and celebrated his return home.   Are you ready to return home, admit your sins, and repent.  Are you ready to accept the Father’s forgiveness?  He is waiting….

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Until recently I had been working seven days a week between Casey’s and Wal-mart. My days were filled with sleeping, house cleaning and work. About three days ago I received a message from my brother, Roy,saying, “It’s been over a month since you have posted a blog.” I told him that I would post one by Wednesday. Again, he reminded me last night that it has been a month and four days since I have posted a blog. Here is the blog Roy, as promised. I hope you enjoy it..smiles.

I was thinking of what to write about and “my mind is always going going home.” A Joe Diffie Song that Roy brought to my attention over a month ago. A song that brings comfort and memories to me and my brother(s) while growing up in our house.

It will be five years since I came home in May, 2004.

My Dad, my brother, Pat, and my son, Brad, came to my apartment in Kansas City, loaded up the rental truck a week before I took that long road home.

The only thing

I see ahead is
Just the heat a rising off the road
The rainbows I've been chasing keep on fading before I find my pot of gold
But more and more I'm thinking, that the only treasures that I'll ever know
Are long ago and far behind and wrapped up in my memories of home

Home for me is filled with pleasant memories and a safe place to be. It’s a place where I can go and be “me.” A place that is filled with unconditional love. A place I needed to be after traveling down a hard road I was on.

Home was a swimming hole and a fishing pole and the feel of a muddy row between my toe

Home was a back porch swing where I would sit and mom would sing amazing grace
While she hung out the clothes,
Home was an easy chair with my daddy there and the smell of Sunday supper on the stove
My footsteps carry me away but in my mind I'm always going home

As a child, I remember rolling up my pant legs, leaving my shoes and socks behind next to the tall grass and walking along the bank of a river. The feeling the muddy row between my toes were soft and warm compare to the cold water in the springtime. All the while, the smell of the fishy river water would fill my nostrils, which reminds me of the simple times in life. Afterward, we would wash our feet in the cold water before putting back on our shoes and socks and hop into the old green station wagon to go home for ice cream at Tastee Freeze for Mom’s favorite flavor of the week on Sundays, which was lemon.

Swinging in the porch swing with mom would bring endless conversations and words of wisdoms that will be cherished forever. Although mom is no longer with us physically, memories of her will always be in our hearts. The porch swing is still there, and I am looking forward to sitting in that porch swing, watching the traffic go by and listening to her words of wisdom in my heart this spring.

Do you remember the old wringer washer? The washer was in the basement next to the outside cellar entrance door. As you walked down the basement stairs from the kitchen, it was dark, musky and full of spider webs. The shelves were covered with green Mason jars that my grandmother had canned from the many vegetable garden years before. The same washer that my brother, Todd, put his arm through when running down the cellar steps.

On laundry day, the heavy wooden cellar door would open up along with the outside cellar door and bring light in to the basement. There would be the washer and tubs for rinsing. The clothes lines would be filled with clothes flapping in the breeze.

Every week, mom would put fresh sheets on our bed after they were washed and hung out. Every week I would look forward to climbing into bed that night and take in the smell of fresh linen. There is nothing like it.

The chair I remembered dad sitting in was a salmon pink color chair with arms big enough for us kids to sit on. He would be watching a John Wayne or Clint Eastwood movie. We would be at his feet as he would shaved off a piece of block cheese with his pocket knife and give each of us a piece. On other nights he would also have a big mixing bowl of popcorn to share.

Every sunday, mom fixed roast beef dinner with potatoes and gravy, carrots and onions. I can almost taste them now.

Now the miles I put behind me ain't as hard as the miles that lay ahead
And its much to late to listen to the words of wisdom that my daddy said
The straight and narrow path he showed me turned into a thousand winding roads,

My footsteps carry me away, but in my mind I'm always going home.

When I listen to these verses, it takes me back to the Father. The road taken was away from the Father when I became a teenager and got married. Both my dad and my Father in heaven gave me words of wisdom while growing up, but I chose to ignore them. As a result, I traveled on long winding roads. When at the crossroad, I would choose the more traveled roads that were full of twist and turns and not the narrow road that was chosen for me by God.

On September 12, 1999, I returned home. I was in my easy chair in the living room and gave my life back to the Lord. There were many crossroads since then and it has never been easy. But it’s the road that I want to be on. A road that leads to eternal life. A road where I would meet people along the way and show them the door to the Father.

The heavy wooden door…. will you knock? I assure you that when you knock, the door would open and the room will be filled with light.

My footsteps carry me away, but in my mind I'm always going home. Come home.

Home--Joe Diffie