Musical Monday

Have you ever heard a worship song that just struck home? A song that hits that cord and you cannot help but feel it touch something deep within your heart, within your soul? The song I would like to share for today is one such song in my life. I remember being drawn to my knees, I remember God giving me a mercifully brief glimpse into my own heart and past, and then at the same time pulling me into a place where I have seen how merciful and gracious He has been to me. I remember tears welling up in my eyes as I would listen and sing.

Haven't You Been Good
By Steve Earl

These lyrics accompany the song Haven't You Been Good from the I Stand In Awe album.

Thank You for the cross
Thank You, Lord, for drawing me
Out of millions lost
Thank You, Lord, for saving me
Haven’t You been good?
Haven’t You been so good?

Glory to Your name
Glory to Your holy name
Thankfulness and praise
For grace and mercy never changing
Haven’t You been good
Haven’t You been so good to me?

Favor on my life
Always watching over me
My darkness turned to light
And heaven’s arms enfolding me
Haven't You been good?
Haven't You been so good?

© 1998 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP).

This morning, as I was getting ready to type this blog up it occurred to me. What about the copyright and intellectually property rights to these songs I post and write about most Mondays? I am researching the details so... some changes might be made here in the next day or two, or coming weeks. I won't stop posting about the songs God has used in my life, but the format may change. :-)
Verse for today:
Isaiah 1 : 18, ESV
“Come now, let us reason [3] together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.



Ok, when I broached the subject of having myself tested for ADD/Aspergers, my beloved asked, "why do you need to do that" For someone who feels slightly schizophrenic, that was not helpful. LOL I told her, "for one thing it would 'encourage' my employer to make some accommodations for me". Now, I am not looking for special treatment, but if I need help to excel and this be more productive for my employer, wouldn't it behoove them to help me out? Still, it is going to cost some money out of pocket. Something that is in short supply. All of this is on top of me fighting my own pride in continuing to pursue this. *sigh* At least Heaven won't be like this... :-)

Has anyone ever seen "Conspiracy Theory"? I don't know why, but I really like this movie. I like Mel Gibson. I've liked him ever since I first saw him in "Mad Max" and "Road Warrior" back in High School. Even with the 'controversy' of late with him, I still enjoy his movies.

Speaking of movies... I have been in the mood to watch the "Back to the Future" series, much to the chagrin of my beloved. She is not into those kind of sappy/silly movies.

I've also been tempted to call in to work, ask some friends to watch the kids for a day (or two), and just sit and watch all three of the "Lord of the Rings" movies - director's cut of course - back to back. I tell you what, when those movies come out in High Definition, along with the new Hobbit movie (2009, 2010), I just might dive in and buy a BlueRay DVD player, and a HD TV.

There is an excellent interview with Sinclair Ferguson over at the Sovereign Grace Blog. If you enjoy his teachings, or the man, I encourage you to jump on over there and have a read. :-)

Well, not much more to ramble on about today. I will be spending the weekend with not only my own brood, but a friend and her four kids from out of state. Please pray for my sanity. ;-)
Verse for today:
Hebrews 12 : 3-6, ESV
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”


Wandering ramblings

I am still digesting things that I posted about yesterday. I know it is mostly because I am struggling with my own pride and prejudices. Many of which I thought I had adequately dealt with.

So, instead of trying to come up with a more lengthy post today, I have opted to perform some minor editing of links, and replaced some old links concerning my Blog theme.

May the Lord find each of you enjoying the grace of God.
Verse for today:
Matthew 8 : 5-10, ESV
When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him. But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, [3] ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel [4] have I found such faith.


What do you do when you know something is "off"?

I am not really sure for how long now, but for some time I have realized something is kind of "off". I'm not sure if it is the 'chameleon' in me, or the little 'mirror' known as my DS2, or if it is just something that is coming to light - but I have realized that I have a problem.

I am not talking things like financial, or relational, but possibly things within my mind. I have been going through a season in my life where I just can't seem to focus. Where things feel like they are on the brink of spinning out of control.

Recently I have taken an "Aspie quiz" to see if I have something there (a few people have mentioned they have seen indications of Aspergers being a possibility - I've just learned over time to adapt). The results where indicative of there being a good reason to possibly go get an official diagnosis. I feel really weird about it too. I scored REALLY high for ADD, and mildly high for Aspergers (my beloved told me that she feels because God has really helped me learn and adapt that I did not score higher).

I don't really know what to do, and this little "revelation" has been kind of disturbing...
Verse for today:
Psalm 139 : 13-17, ESV
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. [1]
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!


Musical Monday

Easter influenced my song choice this week. :-) I remember hearing this song for the first time back when I used to go to Covenant Life Church. Sovereign Grace Ministries has inspired, recorded, and publish many a great song to worship our Lord and Savior by. Bob Kauflin also has a wonderful blog dedicated to worship in the local church (I encourage those who love to sing to check it out - Worship Matters). I know music is highly subjective, and there are a wide range of preferences when it comes to worship within the body of Christ, but I really feel (and believe) that these men have a heart for God rarely encountered.

This song speaks mostly about about Black Friday, and all that Christ accomplished on the cross. I also want to acknowledge that without His resurrection on Eastern morning it is unlikely we could feel the impact of that accomplishment as deeply almost twenty centuries later.

I Come by the Blood
Words and music by Steve and Vikki Cook
As recorded on Songs for the Cross Centered Life

You are the perfect and righteous God
Whose presence bears no sin
You bid me come to Your holy place
How can I enter in
When Your presence bears no sin?
Through Him, who poured out His life for me
The atoning Lamb of God
Through Him, and His work alone
I boldly come

I come by the blood, I come by the cross
Where Your mercy flows
From hands pierced for me
For I dare not stand on my righteousness
My every hope rests on what Christ has done
And I come by the blood

You are the high and exalted King
The One the angels fear
So far above me in every way
Lord, how can I draw near
To the One the angels fear?
Through Him who laid down His life for me
And ascended to Your side
Through Him, through Jesus alone
I boldly come

© 1994 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)/Word Music

Most of who I am as a Christian I owe to that group of churches known as Sovereign Grace Ministries. They are not perfect, nor do they claim perfection or some superior insight of God. But through their humility, and the personal examples of their leaders, I have been deeply impacted and affected. Scripture shows that leaders, especially leaders within the church (aka the Body of Christ) are held responsible for those in their charge (not responsibility for their salvation, but responsibility for how they led them). For my short stay within their "sphere" - I have been greatly changed, and I am still greatly affected, so in turn - those who stumble across these meager words are also affected. But ultimately it is not the leaders of Sovereign Grace Ministries who deserve the credit. It is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who all praise, and glory, and honor belong. Because without Him we are nothing, we could not call the Father our God. We would have no object of worship. So to Him be honor and glory, forever and ever. Amen.
Verse for today:
Revelation 5 : 11-14, ESV
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.


Good Friday

Also known as "Black Friday"... what an odd pairing. At least on the surface.

The Black part of this equation comes from the death of Christ on the cross. Could there be anything more terrible than to see God, who became a man, die on a cross among thieves? There are many who do not believe how pure and sinless He actually was. How much of a travesty that it was that He went to that cross, and never even tried to save Himself. And yet this day is also known as "Good Friday".

What makes this day good is what Christ accomplished on that cross. On that cross He paid the penalty for every sin I have ever done, what ever sins have committed this day, and every sin I will commit until the day I die.

There is so much in there that I could spend every waking moment from now until my last breath reflecting on it all. There are times when I am just overwhelmed with awe and amazement.
Verse for today:
Psalm 102 : 12-17, ESV
But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;
you are remembered throughout all generations.
You will arise and have pity on Zion;
it is the time to favor her;
the appointed time has come.
For your servants hold her stones dear
and have pity on her dust.
Nations will fear the name of the Lord,
and all the kings of the earth will fear your glory.
For the Lord builds up Zion;
he appears in his glory;
he regards the prayer of the destitute
and does not despise their prayer.


Facebook and other ramblings

Yet more Facebook ramblings... LOL...

Puzzlebee is an awesome application. If you like to do puzzles that is.

There are other time consuming games, like Attack!, and Scramble. I confess that most (if not all) of my friends on Facebook smuck me pretty much at everything. But I am still having some fun. There is Chess, movie pages, Sim-like games, Fun Quotes from various authors like Sun Tzu or Calvin and Hobbs. It's practically limitless. I have even found groups on Autism, and from the old church I used to attend.

But it is easy to get way over addicted, and there are an endless number of applications that draw your attention, or require a large number of friends. I had to create a second ID (an exploit for those who really like to power game) just for the gaming side of things. Otherwise my real ID is just way too visible for my liking.

Facebook is much more than a social networking site. I need to go see if they are going to go public...
Verse for today:
Proverbs 12:23-26, ESV
A prudent man conceals knowledge,
but the heart of fools proclaims folly.
The hand of the diligent will rule,
while the slothful will be put to forced labor.
Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down,
but a good word makes him glad.
One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, [2]
but the way of the wicked leads them astray.


In Lieu of my regularly scheduled program...

I have decided to blog about my weekend getaway instead of music today.

The more I learn about Milton Hershey, the more I am impressed with him as a man, as a Christian, and as a husband. Ok, I know he never walked on water and that he failed several times before he succeeded, but he never gave up. And when God granted him success he did not hoard it for himself. I will not go into it all here, but I would encourage everyone who reads this humble little blog to read some on Mr. Hershey. He is a man who did a lot of good, and his legacy still helps those (a lot) less fortunate than himself over 60 years after he died in 1945. If you are ever fortunate enough to go to Hershey, PA (which by the way is not an incorporated town) I could not encourage you enough to take the trolley ride that leaves from Chocolate World just outside the amusement park. This was a man who did not build himself the biggest barn, but gave back to his workers, his community, and his neighbor.

My beloved and I hit the road around lunch time on Friday to head to Hershey, PA for a romantic getaway for just the two of us. I had been saving for this trip for almost 18 months, and I have been planning it for the last 6. It's hard not to be disappointed by how short such a trip is when so much effort was put into it. Although I am not happy with how short it was, I am very happy with how great a time we had.

We stopped for lunch at Friendly's and then got into town fairly early. We checked in and found out the trolley rides ended at 2:30 on Friday afternoon so we decided to just catch a matinée. We saw "Vantage Point" with Dennis Quaid and Forest Whitaker (and many others). A pretty good movie that keeps the audience's attention (IMO), and we had the entire theater to ourselves! :-) After the movie we headed back to the Hershey Lodge and just relaxed in the lobby for a little while. When we checked in, I made arrangements for some chocolate covered strawberries to be delivered to the room, at 8. But when I ran our coats upstairs just before dinner I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had been delivered early. Now, those of us who are planners, this can normally be a "nightmare", but because I am married to a woman who is impossible to surprise this was a good thing. That meant I did not have to worry about being back in the room by such-n-such a time. I could just relax and enjoy the afternoon and evening with my beloved.

Eventually we went to the 'Bear's Den' for a light dinner and then headed up stairs where my surprise was a huge success! She had not expected, or suspected, a thing! \o/ And those strawberries were awesome! At one time my beloved jokingly told me that if I ate the piece of chocolate that fell from one of her strawberries that the marriage was over! I laugh because I know it was not a serious threat, but it was a comment on how much she was enjoying them! They really were delectable!

The next morning we slept in all the way until 8AM! LOL We took our time getting ready, and then headed out to a local diner for breakfast. The parking lot was packed, and not a single out of state license plate. It was great. From there we headed over to the Park so we could catch the trolley tour. Now we make it a point to try and go to Hershey Park at least once a year, but we had never taken this tour. This is where I learned a lot more about Milton Hershey's true legacy - the Milton Hershey School. We then did a tour of the Hershey Museum and Chocolate World before going back to the Lodge once more. Our original plan was to lounge around the lobby some more and read, or maybe go and take a quick swim. But when we found out that Chef Carlos Gomez was going to do a quick demonstration of a few appetizers we quickly changed our plans! We enjoyed his creations so much that I had to change our reservations for dinner at the Forbay.

When we went back to the room to relax I passed out and took a short nap (men), but got up in time for dinner. What a fabulous experience. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was just as nice. The only downside was that we both ate too much! For the first time we were stuffed.

Then Sunday came and we had to come back to reality. It's always nice to be home, especially picking up the kids, but I would really have liked to have just one more day for just me and my beloved.
Verse for today:
Luke 12:13-21, ESV
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”


I want to getaway, I want to fly...

Well, I am not going to be flying, but I am taking my beloved away for two nights. We've not been able to get away, just the two of us, for what feels like forever.

This week has been crazy, but I pushed on to the prize (our weekend).

I pray that you all have a blessed weekend.
Verse for today:
1 Corinthians 9:24-27, ESV
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, [2] lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.


Is it me, or is the week dragging its feet?

This whole daylight savings thing is really causing my sense of time to fail me. I know I tend to live a fast paced lifestyle (and I am not talking nightlife here - lol), but when it takes this old man over a week to recover from the time shift some thing's wrong. Ok, nothing is wrong, I am just old. ;-)

I know it is important to keep your kids engaged in activities, but it sure wears you down. Music on Mondays; Soccer (or football for those who are not from the U.S.) on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday; Wednesday is for 'rest'; Soon we will be doing the Horse riding therapy sessions for DS2 on Thursdays, I still have my National Guard obligation until latter this year, we do children's ministry at church so that takes up time; Awana's Sunday night; and now my beloved is working four nights during the week. By the time a day off rolls around I am pooped!

Without just coming to a screeching halt I don't know what to do... all I keep hearing is, "I'm sorry", but when I say we are too busy I just get "the look". Anyway... at least I am one day closer to seeing my heavenly home.

I am really trying not to wish the week would rush by so that I can get to Friday (when I take my beloved on a little retreat just for the two of us), but I want that time to get away from the rat race. The problem is... those two days will fly by as fast, if not faster, and then I will just have a tease of a taste of what I would like it to be more like.
Verse for today:
James 1:2-8, ESV
Count it all joy, my brothers, [2] when you meet trials of various kindsfor you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.


Musical Monday

On the way home from visiting with my brother, and the rest of my family, DD3 wanted to listen to "her music CD". It's a praise and worship CD that she got from either her music classes, or from VBS. I can't remember right now. I just know that she doesn't like the 1st song on the disc so we always start with track 2. 8-)

Anyway, as we were traveling down the road I could hear her singing and even clapping - to the annoyance of her two older brothers. It really warmed my heart. But it is 'killing' me now... I can't remember the song! I can hear her voice, and I can remember one line of the words... but that does not seem to be enough to find it on the WWW! Arrgh! 8-)

Anyway, this song is also on the disc, and I did hear her singing this one, it's just not my first pick:

Here I am to worship lyrics by Tim Hughes

Light of the world
You stepped down into darkness
Opened my eyes, let me see
Beauty that made this heart adore You
Hope of a life spent with You

Here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that You're my God
You're altogether lovely
Altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful to me

King of all days
Oh so highly exalted
Glorious in Heaven above
Humbly You came to the earth You created
All for love's sake became poor

I'll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross

I cannot adequately express how much joy fills my heart when I hear her little voice sing. But in a way it's bitter sweet. Both of my sons (well, more so DS2, than DS1) used to sing out loud as well, but both of them would get upset when my beloved or I would acknowledge their sining in any way. DD3 does too, but not as much. Last night when I heard her singing I kind of bopped my head to the music, singing under my breath so she would not hear me and then stop her own. She then started clapping.

This song really speaks to what Christ really did go through to achieve what we couldn't. How can we wrap our minds around the fact that He was there in the beginning. He was safe, he was protected. But He gave it up to step into time and to show the way to His very creation. The very same creation that rejected Him. I will gladly spend eternity singing praise to Him, and trying to learn just how much it did cost Him.
Verse for today:
Revelation 7:9-12, ESV
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”


Welcome home brother

This weekend my beloved and I will be traveling about two hours to welcome home my brother from a trip overseas. In many, many ways we are very different. Even people who have interacted with the both of us have a hard time seeing that we are brothers. But some how we keep a little close.

When I left for basic training back in 1986, I left having a girlfriend who vowed she'd wait for my return. I did return, but I could tell something was different. Three months later I overhear a conversation between my GF and my brother, and I knew - but refused to believe - what the difference was. Still, it took another three months, when they announced that they would be getting married before it really slammed into me. Years later, after a very nasty divorce on his part, I told him, "of all the contests we had between each other growing up, that was one that I was really glad that you won".

My brother is a professing, and an actively practicing, pagan. The part that pains me the most was he once told me that he had questions about Christianity that no one could answer. My reply to him was that he had never asked me those questions - and to this day has refused to share those questions with me.

But somehow, through all of our differences, we seem to understand each other. He is married for the third time, but this one really seems to be a good fit for him. I've missed him somewhat and it will be good to catch up with him and the rest of my family.

May God bless each of you wherever He may lead you this weekend.
Verse for today:
Proverbs 18:19-24, ESV
A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city,
and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.
From the fruit of a man's mouth his stomach is satisfied;
he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing
and obtains favor from the Lord.
The poor use entreaties,
but the rich answer roughly.
A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.


Finding friends

It's kind of nice finding old friends out there from time to time. It's almost like throwing a bottle on the waves and finding the person you were hoping to speak to. In this case I just performed a random search for an old High School friend on Facebook. We kind of got married around the same time, moved near each other, knew the same people, but life happens and he has moved away. I've not really talked to him in a few years.

Today, on a whim, I performed a search for his name and walla! There he was... with a picture to help me recognize him and everything. :-) To make a long story short... we're still not close, but we are 'friends' on Facebook!
Verse for today:
Proverbs 6:16-19, ESV
There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.


Misc Ramblings

Ok, it is now Wednesday afternoon... and I have no idea what to write about today.

I am just under 3 months away from my CCNA expiring, and I am beginning to freak out. I don't know what it is... but when I read those huge Cisco Press books my head starts spinning. I can't seem to keep all of the information straight. Once I learn it though, my mind is able to almost visualize a virtual world of how the bits flow through the buffers and access-lists. My employer also has some great training aids through an on-line internal server. But I run into the same problem. But, I need to take advantage of these resources to try and get as much into the cranium as possible.

Only 24 more days in uniform until the season of my National Guard commitment comes to an end. I know I've talked a lot about this recently, but it has encompassed over half of my life and it will soon be coming to an end. Not an unwanted end, but still, an end. I am pretty glad that it is coming to an end on my terms so to speak. I am really shaping things up the way I want to end it, and I am still being a contributing member right up until the end.

I am feeling a tad lonely of late. My beloved as taken a part time job at a local college, and she works evenings. The result is I see her for about 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes in the afternoon (if I'm lucky and I don't have to work over any), and then I stay awake until she gets home around 2300 (11pm for you civilians) - we then are so tired we sort of watch a show together and fall asleep. There is not much time left... for now this will only last until May... but I am concerned that I will not be able to provide sufficiently for her to return to being a SAHM like should has told me she wants to be. I've expounded upon this before, so I am not going to do so more here.

My brother is returning home from Iraq this weekend, and we are looking forward to going to see him. He was a part of the group that my unit got assigned to for the deployment so a handful of them will be home also. The rest will be filtering in soon. It will be good to have them home again.

On a totally off of my usual topic, I have been itching to make some models for Necromunda. Every once in a while I get the urge to build these kinds of things, buildings or miniatures (my "little army men" as my beloved refers to them), or sometimes even vehicles. My problem is I make my buildings too symmetrical. The Necro "world" is very much a decrepit, recycled type of atmosphere. I used to spend a lot of time with my lifelong friend from High School, doing these kinds of things. We would sit around, listening to very loud music, sipping highly caffeinated drinks, doing very delicate painting and assembling. I can still visualize a mini that I did that included a fake tree, and a great camouflage pattern. I've long since lost it, but I really liked it. Hmm... I just need to get a small desk/hutch for the corner of my bedroom. Then I'll have a place to play with the models.

That's all I have for random thoughts for today... God bless.
Verse for today:
Psalm 25:1-5, ESV
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.


I am beginning to see how Adam and Eve struggled over the fruit of that tree

"So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, [2] she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate." - Genesis 3:6, ESV

“You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.” - Exodus 20:17, ESV
I doubt this is will really come as a surprise to most who profess Christ as Lord and Savior, but the enemy still roaming about the earth to see who he can devour. And we, as children of God, are not immune from his wiles. If anything, we are even more vulnerable and susceptible because we believe ourselves "above all that". Or we feel that if we do struggle with temptation and sin that we are not saved - or beyond our Savior's reach.

I mean, the 'world' has such glitter. So much pretty packaging. So many lies, stacked upon lies, that in order to dig through to the truth you must endure and expose yourself to even more deception.

I took yesterday off to spend the day with my beloved. I've been doing this after my drill weekends so that we can get some time together now that she works part time in the evening, and with my being away one weekend a month, there is just no time for just the two of us. While we were out to lunch (at Red, Hot, & Blue - yum!) I had a revelation. Well, maybe it was not that dramatic, but it seemed to be like a bell going off in my head. I'm not sure why, but the quote from "When Harry Met Sally" came up where Harry was telling Jess that he made a woman "meow". (I am not going to go into detail here, while the movie is culturally relevant, it is too crude to be recommended - IMO). The revelation that came to me was this... that a man cannot do things like that to a woman that she does not herself want/allow to happen. This is my thorn.

The enemy has sold me a pack of lies since I was a teenager. About what certain things are supposed to be like. About how things should be. And, to my shame, I have bought into them. I believed them. And I still struggle to dig through the truth. The enemy has successfully piled enough %$#@&!~ on top that as I dig down, the pile is actually falling in on top of me... and at times I feel like I am going to get smothered.

Then last night, because I am feeling lonely (and I am sappy like this), I was watching "Under the Tuscan Sun". There is one scene where the heroine finding "ladybugs" and she is just swept up in the moment. I have decided that I can no longer watch movies, or television shows unless they are things like "Predator", or "AVP". But even in those kinds of movies Hollywood seems bent on inserting such things where they seem to add nothing to the story or the characters. I want so bad to be able to interact with my beloved in that way, but alas it is not to be.

When we first met I did my best to resist the enemy's lure. But eventually I caved and we began the 'death spiral'. Even before our wedding day - and I was a professing born again Christian. Things hit a bump early on, and my own sin and naivety soon caused a rift in that area and it has never fully healed. For now, I am just just asking God to take this thorn away, even though it is my own sin that put it there.
Verse for today:
2 Corinthians 12:7-10, ESV
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, [1] a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.