It seems like every night on the news, somebody is getting shot. Many people are fighting for gun control, just to stop all this killing. But will it really help?
In the mid 1970s I was stationed on board a ship up in Alaska. And what’s more we were allowed to have our own personal guns. But only if they were locked up in the ship’s armory. In port, we were allowed to take our guns out to do some shooting, if we would like. For those who didn’t have a gun, well believe it not, you were allowed to burrow the ship’s military issued .45 caliber pistol. Much like borrowing a book from the library. The ship’s rifles were off limits, since they were M-16s. Even tough they look similar, do not confuse the AR-15s you see on the news with the M-16. The AR-15 basically is no more than a fancy semi automatic hunting rifle. The M-16s are full automatic and are basically hand held machine guns.
One day while we were in our home port of Kodiak Alaska, a few friends and I decided we wanted to do some shooting. From the ship’s armory, I got my .22 rifle, one friend got his rifle and two others got 2 of the ship’s .45 pistols. On the way to town we stopped to get something to eat. Nobody cared. Later we were walking through downtown Kodiak, again fully armed. And again nobody cared. We went into a bank to cash our paychecks we got earlier that day. Again in the bank, the four of us were fully armed and yet, nobody feared us. I was the first one to get to the teller. While holding my rifle, I handed her my paycheck. She asked, “What are you boys up to?” Me, “Oh we’re just going up in the hills to do some shooting.” “That’s nice. Have fun.” After the four of us walked up to the teller window and cashed our checks, we left. Walking through main street and out of town.
My Dad told me that when he was in high school, he bought a gun through J.C. Penny. I if remember correctly. He ordered it through the catalog and it was delivered to him by U.S. mail. No licensed gun dealer needed. So… what is different between back then and today? It’s not the guns.
Matthew 24:3 Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?
Matthew 24:10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other.
Matthew 24:12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.
Guns haven’t changed. People have. Even some Christians don’t love like we should anymore.
Revelation 2:4-5“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first![b] Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches.
I wonder if this world has so many problems because we Christians failed to make disciples of others as Jesus said in Mathew 28:18-20. So many of us are living so much like the rest world, it’s sometimes difficult to tell us apart.
What needs to be changed are not gun laws or even guns. After all, I do not believe shooting people is the number one way of murdering people. The number one way of murdering is through abortions. The thing we need to change is, our heart. Passing more gun laws to stop all the killing, is as effective as simply putting a bandage on a compound fracture.
I must add that with abortions laws becoming more restrictive in different states, we Christians, must be willing to adopt more kids and help more mothers in need.
So often a politician will say “I will make the rich pay their fair share for taxes.” But is that true? It’s been a long time since I believed it.
Poor people have poor friends and rich people have rich friends. Although often times, both the rich and the poor are friends. Since most politicians are rich, on the national level anyway, they have rich friends. And they need these rich friends to get elected and reelected. So when a politician says they will raise taxes on the rich, I’m sure they will also provide a loop hole for their friends, so they can pay lower taxes.
I know many of you will find faults on my illustration here, but that’s OK. It’s just an illustration to make a point.
We all, each and everyone of us should be going to hell because of our sins. We really should. Once a sinner, always a sinner. We can’t help it. It’s what we do. And this sin separated us from God. But God made a loop hole for us. “For this is how God loved the world: “He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
So, this is how the loop hole works. God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past. Romans 3:25
This means that even though you may have made a real mess of your life, no matter what you have done, you can be made right with God if you choose. But John 3:16says you must believe in Him. His virgin birth, His sinless life, His death and resurrection.
He did not raise as a ghost, or with different body. He was not a zombie. He rose with his own body, very much alive. He even ate and talked with people. Luke 24 Then He rose into Heaven. Jesus is God’s loop hole to get into Heaven. Otherwise, you just will not make it.
This loop hole is available to everyone. Maybe you are a drunk, or a druggy. Maybe you wrecked your family. Maybe you are a thief, or even a murderer. Through Jesus you can be forgiven.
Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. Romans 3:27
Christmas is a birthday celebration of Jesus birth. God’s loop hole for our salvation.
I have been thinking about this for a while. A long while. These are my thoughts. If you have read through my earlier posts, you will see that I am not a theologian. I have never had any Bible training. I also would like to say, I am not a scientist. I am a mechanic. Although I have also done other things.
Remember, I am not a scientist. But this is what I have noticed. There seems to be three different types of time. The first one, we measure is loosely based on the sun. Here’s a mind twister for some of you. The most accurate time piece you can buy, may be a sun dial. Spokane and Seattle are both in the Pacific Time zone. However the sun will be overhead in Spokane, making it a solar noon, before it’s overhead in Seattle. The official time could be 12:00, and yet the sun may not be over head in either place.
The second type of time I’ve noticed is more logarithmic in nature. Things seem to happen faster and faster. Accelerating. Jesus Himself even hinted about this a little. Talking about His return, He said, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the ‘birth pains’, with more to come.”Matthew 24:7-8 Events will come more and more often, and more and more intense. It will get so bad, that in verse 22 He adds, “In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones.” Matthew 24:22
The third type of time is eternal. When we die as Christians and spend eternity in Heaven, we will not just sit around. We will do things. In my mind, if there is movement, there is time. Again these are my thoughts. I have no training in this. I’m sure some of you people out there who have had training in this, will know if I am correct or not. If I am in error, please tell me.
Now I must tell you my thoughts about progressives. We all hear about the far left being called Progressives. But what if there is another type of Progressive. Conservative Progressive. These would be ISIS, KKK, and other terror or hate type groups. If we accept this, then these two Progressive groups will have things in common. And they do. They hate the things of God and most things that are Godly. For an example: hating a group of people. One side would hate Conservatives and the other side would hate Liberals. They may hate because of color, religion, nationality, or any other reason. Hating any human, is hating a someone who was created in God’s image. Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. Genesis 1:26 In Exodus 20:13 God wrote as one of the ten commandments: “You must not murder.”
Lamentations 4:12-13 Not a king in all the earth no one in all the world would have believed that an enemy could march through the gates of Jerusalem. Yet it happened because of the sins of her prophets and the sins of her priests, who defiled the city by shedding innocent blood.
Jerusalem murdered the innocent and fell. They shed innocent blood. And nobody is more innocent than the unborn. Yet people are suing for the right to have abortions. Because of this and other reasons, I believe the United States could fall.
Also, since the Jews are God’s chosen people, both progressive groups hate the Jews. And I believe it is impossible for someone to be a progressive and a Christian at time same time. Let me say it this way. If you truly love Jesus, you can not be a progressive. You might have progressive thoughts or beliefs, as a Christian, which can still be a sin, but you can not love the God of the Bible, God of Israel and hate hate His ways or others at the same time.
Another thing I believe both progressives groups have in common, is they use bullying and intimidation to get their way. They use bullying through social media and television and other such means. They may also use bombings, hangings, shootings, and anything else to bully and intimate to get their way. Basically they hate the way of God.
If both progressive groups have this in common, then what if they are really part of the same group? What if the society is not a flat line with the far left and the far right? What if the two ends are brought together to form a circle.
Now imagine the world in a sea of sin. All over the world, it’s wet with sin. Everyone, everywhere has sinned and is not worthy of Heaven. Yet there is nowhere, even in the deepest parts of Sea of Sin, that is too far from the love and grace of God. For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
But this world is sinking in the Sea of Sin. More and more people are turning against God. Their hatred of God is growing and spreading. For an example: a few years ago I was in Costco tasting a food sample. I don’t remember what it was, but it tasted very good. Many people were commenting on how good it tasted. And also how unhealthy it may be. Then people started talking about healthy diets. I told them that I stopped eating pork and shellfish, and my cholesterol dropped. And everyone said how wonderful this healthy diet was and asked me how I came across it. I told them I read it in the Bible.
Immediately, everyone turned against me. They said that nothing in the Bible is true and it is very foolish to believe it. Then many of them laughed and left the area. But if they thought it was a good diet before, why is not a good diet after finding out where it came from? Do they hate God enough to be willing to put themselves down?
Another time I was talking to someone about his trip to Cambodia. After awhile, he was telling me about a temple he saw there with dinosaurs craved on the door frame. (I read about this place and have seen the photos of a stegosaurus craving) I told him about what I thought about the thing in Job 41 of the Bible, as being an ankylosaurus. He quickly told me that the Bible can not be trusted. And that it’s all lies. But wait a minute! If what he says agrees with the Bible about man and dinosaurs living at the same time, and he says the Bible is all lies, then that means he lies.
On the fifth day, God created fish and birds. But on the sixth day, God created all land animals and also humans. Genesis 1:20-27
The number of people who hate God is increasing as the world sinks farther into the Sea of Sin. If sin entered the world after Adam and Eve sinned, then it’s safe to say that this world was not designed for sin. I have heard that some theologians believe there was no death before the first sin. I believe that as sin increases, creation becomes under stress. Could this stress be the cause of Earthquakes and increasing storms? Romans 8: 20-22 talks about all creation groaning.
I used to think or at least wonder if the increase storms and Earthquakes was caused by linear time and logarithmic time getting out of sync. The more the two different times get out of sync, the more stress it creates in the world. When things become under great stress, they will often groan.
Many people around the world are fighting for the environment. Fighting against climate change. It is really not a bad thing to protect the environment. After all, no body wants dirty air and water. But are we doing any good? Yes, some. We have been at this for a very long time. I remember working on a US Army vehicles called a M-151. They look much like a Jeep, but really aren’t the normal kind. When I opened the hood, I would see a decal saying something like: ‘THIS ENGINE MEETS 1972 EPA STANDARDS FOR MILITARY VEHICLES’.
Now a days, people are moving away from gasoline and diesel powered engines and are going to electric. Electric cars, electric lawn mowers, I even bought an battery powered chain saw which I really like. However, this past year in Washington State, we had the worse drought in history and the hottest temperature we ever had. You may think 100 degrees is no big deal. After all, you can just turn on the AC. Right? Here in Western Washington, it never use to get that hot. Most of the homes and still some businesses have no air conditioners. It was never needed before.
So because of this, people will work harder at protecting the environment. To stop climate change. But they will fail. Jesus said there will be famines. It could happen even here in North America. I believe this climate change will unite the world into outlawing gas engines. However things will get worse, and sin will also. Revelation has some interesting things to say about this. First in Revelation 16:9 it says, people will curse God because of heat. Interesting. People would love their sin more than they hate the heat. I say this because the verse says they refuse to repent and give glory to God. Revelation 19:18 says, Come and eat the flesh of kings, generals, and strong warriors; of horses and their riders; and of all humanity, both free and slave, small and great. Horses and riders? It is possible that either gas engines will be banned by international agreement, or they will be too expensive for much use. Armies may have to go back to using horses again.
Sometimes an injury can last a life time. And sometimes this life long injury can be very painful.
Let me give you a little background. Many years ago, I was in a bad car wreck. My left leg got the worse of it. That car wreck damaged my left leg so badly, I’m lucky I didn’t loose it. The bone was shattered to the point of where they not only put several pieces of steel hardware in it, they also used bone from an organ donor. (I have no clue who the bone came from) The wreck did even more damage to my lower left leg: It permanently did damaged to some of the blood vessels, nerves, and lymph nodes, all in the lower left leg. I have been told that if this same wreck had happened 15 or 20 years before it did, they would have removed my leg.
It was about 40 days before I came back home, and even after that, I was in a wheelchair for a while. Finally the bones in my leg had mended enough for it to support my weight. The first time I stood up was, interesting. My thought was, “Wow! I’m kinda little close to the ceiling.” My wife stuck with me the whole time. Every day visiting me in the hospital and always encouraging me. When I came back home, she continued to take care of me. Finally, I was able to keep up with her as we walk up hill. I even went back into the mountains for a short while.
But I am greatly getting off track of what I wanted to write about. Within a couple of years, because of the permanent damage, my lower left leg started swelling and the skin started breaking down with very painful sores. Sometimes the sores would get infected and sometimes stank from the infection. The doctors knew exactly what was wrong, but no clue on how to fix it. I started wearing compression socks which helped some. Sometimes it would heal, but then in a few years the painful sores would return. And the painful sores would sometimes last another few years.
I am waiting for my new body. As a believer in Jesus, I know I will get this new body. But I don’t want wait. I want my new body now. Maybe I’m a little impatient.
But getting back to this pain and suffering, God loves the world so much, He sent his Son to die for our sins. Our wrong doings. He knew He would suffer, and suffer greatly by being nail to a cross. That right there, to me is amazing. But what is more amazing is while I believe we will have prefect bodies, Jesus chose to keep the holes in His body! In John 20:24-29 tells about Jesus showing His wounds in His risen body to Thomas, so that Thomas would believe and have eternal life.
But there is more. Matthew 24:30 says in the end the Son of Man will be coming in all His glory and people will mourn. Revelation 1:6-8 goes into more detail. Here it talks about Him coming with holes in His flesh. Since He hasn’t came back yet, that would mean for almost 2000 years, He still has these wounds.
Now for a quick time line. Soon the anti-Christ will come, then Jesus will come and defeat him and will reign here on Earth for a 1000 years. After that Satan will be released for a while. How long? I don’t know. Then there will be a new Earth and new Heaven. Revelation 21 and Revelation 22 explains what it will be like. EVERYTHING will be new. Yet, over 3000 years after His death, Jesus will still be called the Lamb of God. I’m guessing He will still have those same wounds He got while hanging on the cross.
I have a theory about why He would choose to keep these wounds. These are my thoughts. They may be right, or they may be wrong. But here it goes. When the Israelites sacrificed a lamb for the forgiveness of sin, it was a temporary solution to an eternal problem. After all, an animal will only last so long. Then it’s gone.
Jesus is God. He is eternal. He died for or sins. But after He died as a sacrifice for our sins and was buried, He rose to life again, ate with people, then went up in to Heaven. Still very much alive. I believe that since He is eternal and if He keeps His wounds, sacrifice is eternal. Therefore the forgiveness of sin is eternal. So if we choose to believe in Him and ask for forgiveness and profess it, we will be forgiven. But since this forgiveness of sin is eternal, we are declare righteous, and become a new creation and will live with the Lord Himself.
So as I sit here with a sore and infected foot, I really am looking towards my new body without these wounds. Thinking about Jesus willingly go through all this just because God so live the world; well that is amazingly, mighty great love.
I should say if we are Christians, we are not alone. Not really.
With this season of Covid and Christmas, many of us feel alone. We miss being with family and friends. The house or apartment is quite. Yes physically we maybe very alone.
But it’s Christmas! I know there are a few out there who are thinking, “So?” A few years ago my wife got sick. Because I could no longer take care of her, she is living somewhere else. But not far from home. I visit her often. I miss her being at home with me. I am physically alone. The house is quite. I have always been an introvert, but even this is a bit too much.
Many of you are feeling the same way. Some of you have it even worse. Your loved one died and you are really alone. Plus with Christmas, it all just seems worse.
God created us to be social creatures. We were never meant to be alone. This is why it is so difficult to avoid crowds. I know some can do a good job, but some can not!
Jesus promises that if we belong to Him, we will never be alone. You can read this in John 14:15-19.
Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of our savior. So that whoever believes in Him will have ever lasting life. Ever after we die. This I believe is the most important part of Christmas. Much more so than Santa Claus, and some boring romance movie. (Hey. I’m a guy. Those movies bore me.) Anyway, I wish you a Merry Christmas, even if you are physically alone.
Many years ago, back in the 1968, there was a riot in Kansas City. I remember watching TV news where they showed dead people in the trees. Some of these people were just sitting or laying across the branches. I remember two more things. One, being told to come straight home from school. And two, my Mom was a nurse. I remember her telling me that since she was a nurse, she has seen the inside of many people. She said that EVERYBODY looks the same on the inside.
People this rioting that is happening across the country and what that man did to Mr George Floyd, is a sin problem. This is a hate problem. Even though hate for different skin color is common, there is also hate for different nationalities. From different parts of the world.
People of God, listen up! John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. He does not care what color your skin is. He does not care what language you speak. Or what part of the world your ancestors came from. He does however care about sin and righteousness.
Many years ago when I was in boot camp, we had a lesson on OBA (Oxygen Breathing Apparatus) which is used for fire fighting onboard a ship. The instructor picked a ‘volunteer’ from the class. I was that ‘volunteer’. To be honest I did not volunteer, but was ordered to stand in front of everyone so the instructor could show everyone how to use it. He put the mask over my head and pulled the straps tight, creating a prefect seal around my face. Instantly I realized I couldn’t breath. I tried to pull the mask off but it was too tight. Panic started to set in. Then he calmly said, “This is what can happen if you don’t know how to use this. If you can’t breath, press this button here.” He pressed the button to show the class and instantly fresh air came in. I could breath again. Then he said “To make it so you can go into smoke filled compartments on the ship, pull this cord. The canister will then start a chemical reaction, producing oxygen.” He let go of the button cutting off my air supply again. Then with a quick yank of the cord. The two bags on the side inflated. Then I could easily breath the newly produced oxygen. I could now enter hazardous smoke filled areas of a ship safely.
This happened over forty years ago. And even though this guy may not have been nice, (Boot camp is not a nice experience.) I was never really in any danger. I was not going die, and I was not harmed.
Now fast forward to about six weeks ago. I had a little shortness of breath. But not bad. The next day it was worse. I didn’t know why. No medicine seemed to help. The next day was even worse. Why? I was beginning to wonder if I should see a doctor. But I decided not to. Right or wrong, maybe it’s just a guy thing, but I didn’t want to bother a doctor over nothing. But that evening my breathing was bad. I knew I should maybe go to the ER. But the way I felt, I didn’t want to drive all that way at night. I decided to go in the morning. Who knows, maybe it would get better.
The next morning I could hardly breath. I was weak. I was cold and achy. I knew I should get up to take some medicine. But I couldn’t get out of bed. I knew I should get up and for some reason I believed I should have some protein. It took everything I had to get out of bed and get dressed. I made it in the kitchen and forced myself to fry some eggs and sausage. After I ate, I sat in the recliner in the living room with a blanket on me and slept. By evening I felt a little better. Someone called me on the phone. After talking a little, this person insisted that I call the doctor. I did. It was after hours when I called. Yet they were so busy from so many people panicking over COVID-19, they said they would have to call me back. I slept some more.
The next morning, I felt amazingly good. Unbelievably good. About mid morning the doctor called. I told him how I felt. He said I may have had the virus, but somehow got over it. I have not been tested so we may never know. I also have not been tested for the anti-bodies yet.
When I looked back to how sick I was, I noticed something odd. I had no fear. No worries about my well being. I had a very strange peace. How odd. I am over 60, and I have health issues. Yet, I had zero fear of death. I knew it was bad. I knew I could die, BUT I also knew I could live and be well. And like I said, a very odd peace. Please understand. I was not giving up. I guess the best I could say is, I was trusting God.
I remember hearing about this same odd peace from other people. I know of two people who have had open heart surgeries. They both said they knew they could die, and yet they had this peace with them. Both of these men were Christians and they were trusting God.
Normally when I am hurt or sick I fight to get better. When something breaks or somehow goes wrong I get stressed out about it until it’s right. I was greatly stressed out when my wife got sick. Yet I had complete peace when I got so sick, six weeks ago. Will I get stressed out again in the future? Most likely yes.
But we must keep in mind John 14:27-28 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am.”
He does this for those who are right with God. But how do you become right with God? We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. Romans 3:22
It also says in Romans 10:9-13 “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
If you are not saved, you will be like the chaff in Mathew 3:12. This will be much worse than any virus.
US Military Hospital Ship, Mercy photo by FEMA.gov
What if this coronavirus is the beginning of the end? Not the end of the world. And not the end of civilization. But the end of things as we know it. What if this is the end of the economy as we know it? Or what if everything goes back to the way they were before this virus was even known? And I mean everything! Over the years I have noticed that when people go through hardship or time of great worry, they will often turn to God. But sadly they don’t stay.
Many years ago I was stationed on a United States Coast Guard cutter in Alaska. One day because of a physic, many of us thought our ship would sink in the Bering Sea. We sought out the only Christian we knew, to learn about God. To hopefully get right with God. But once the threat was over, almost everyone went back to the life they lived before.
September 11, 2001 terrorist flow airplanes into New York’s World Trade Center. Killing a lot of people. Almost everyone was worried and scared. People started talking life and death. It was the prefect time for us Christians to tell people about Jesus. But after awhile everybody went back to their normal activities. But what is interesting, sin increased. More theft. More murder. Killing both adults and kids, and even the unborn. Proverbs 6:16-17 says: There are six things the Lord hates—
no, seven things he detests:
a lying tongue,
hands that kill the innocent,
No one is more innocent than the unborn.
Some of the other sins are sexual. Romans 1:26-27 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.
I know many people will say this is OK because Jesus never talked about it. But Jesus never talked about rape, either. I hope you won’t say that’s OK.
But I believe the worse sin is mocking God. He doesn’t like that. More and more people are mocking God.
Who would have guessed that COVID-19 would affect my phone?
It will get bad. I do believe things will ease up for a little while, but then the next bad thing will happen. I do believe it will be worse and will affect things in ways we would have never guessed.
What if when a nation sins enough, that God decides to destroy that nation? What if God hates the sins I mentioned above, as well as other sins? What if one sin can separate us from God forever? Once you sin, that’s it. You are a sinner. And everyone has sinned. Even you and even me. A sinner that is not right with God and will suffer eternal punishment.
When we put our faith, our trust in Jesus, knowing He died for our sins, and that He rose again from the dead on the third day, this is the only way we can be forgiven. This is the only way to get right with God. This is the only way to live with the Lord after death. There is no ‘what if’ about it.
Leviticus 19:14Do not insult the deaf or cause the blind to stumble. You must fear your God; I am the Lord.
Some would think this is a politically incorrect title. Oh well.
Recently I went the annual picnic of Hearing Loss Association of America, Washington State Association. It was good to see people I haven’t seen for a while. It was good to meet new friends too. I have been away from hard of hearing people for so long, I missed being with them. They are my own kind. I am one of them. With them, I am more at ease. If I don’t hear something correctly, it’s OK. No one will look down on me. After all, all of us in the group are hard of hearing. We understand each other. We can relate to each other.
I am reminded of a few years ago when my wife and I were going to start a ministry, of bringing hard of hearing people back to church. We had already visited a few churches and even went down to Cascades Camp to talk with the people there. This was going to be a big job, and I am not very good at communicating. My wife was reading a big fat book called ‘For Hearing People Only’ by Matthew S. Moore & Linda Levitan. She wanted to understand even more about deaf and hard of hearing people. Sometimes she would ask me if I felt this way or that way about whatever. My answers would almost aways agree with the book. I never did read the book and most likely, never will.
Over a year ago my wife, my partner in life, got sick. Our lives changed. The ministry for hard of hearing people stopped. Will it start up again? I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not. It is needed. Many hard of hearing people become isolated. Some of us are difficult to talk with. People often will give up, which isolates us. Also when we don’t understand everything said, it isolates us more. Then to make things worse, often times when we don’t understand what is said, some people think we’re stupid. And then we become still more isolated.
Listening is hard work for us. A few years ago, I took three college quarters of ASL. American Sign Language. There I learned something very interesting. It is easier for me to concentrate for two hours on learning a new language (ASL) in silence, than it is to concentrate on listening to someone talk for only one hour. We don’t always hear every word, and are constantly going back to fill in the blanks in our minds, then quickly race forward to hopefully not miss anything said. Like I said, hard work. Often we fail. Light talk with a friend, is often easy. But listening to a subject that we are unfamiliar with, it gets difficult. The other day, I was in a meeting with professionals to talk about my wife. I couldn’t take notes, because I had to concentrate on what was being said. I can’t write and listen at the same time. Then comes the letters. Was that a D, E, B, C? What was being said? After a while I figured out that it was either a B or a D. I asked which. I didn’t understand. I asked again. Still didn’t understand. So I asked, “Was that sound for a flying bug, or for dog? They both sound the same to me.” I am grateful that my sister-in-law was there to help.
My hearing is worse than some, but better than others. We are all different. I am happy to say, that our church does a good job of providing assisted listening devices for hard of hearing people. They also do a good job of looking at me when we are talking so I can see their mouth. This helps a lot. But, what about some of the other churches? There are so few that even understand what’s needed for us. If we are parts of the body of Christ as it says in Romans 12:4-5, shouldn’t we include the whole body?
Being a care-giver can be very difficult. And when the government gets involved, whether state or federal, you could find yourself in a huge maze of regulations. It becomes a real headache trying to do everything, and to do them right. And this is in addition of making sure my wife is cared for.
In Washington State there is Department of Social and Health Services. DSHS. Their maze of regulations is huge. To make it even worse, the basic law comes from the federal government. So now you’re dealing with both state and federal. Then add county and different non-profit organizations, and you wonder how anybody can figure all this out.
Then just about 2 weeks ago, I found an error in some paper work I received. And this was a bad error. If things go really bad, it could look like fraud, and I didn’t do it! I did not make the error! This is not good. I prayed to our Lord and wondered what to do. I also talked with some friends. People were telling me to say nothing and hope nobody finds out. The legal problems would be huge. My stress was building up. I believed that if I followed that suggestion, I would not be honoring God. I pray, “Lord! Help me! What do I do? What can I do?” I decide to tell the officials everything. Even things that would look bad. I believe this was an honorable thing to do. I also decided to trust God to work everything out. After all, there is nothing I could do. Then some other people told me I was doing the right thing. But I was warned again, that this could be a legal nightmare. I prayed some more and trusted God.
I will not go into the details, but I will say the problem went away. I am no longer in any trouble. The problem has been solved.
Broken septic pipe, filled with dirt.
I am reminded of a time a few years ago when our toilet over flowed, flooding our bathroom. I had the septic tank pumped out, but it didn’t help. I called a plumber, and he said the line going from the house to the tank was plugged and broken. To save money, I dug up the pipe going to the septic tank. To my surprise, it was completely filled with dirt. The pipe was also broken in several places. And from the looks of it, it’s been this way for a very long time. I remember my wife and I would pray everyday for protection. Also, for a while we have been a bit low on money. Then I realized that when we were low on money, God kept the waste water, as well as the solid waste flowing through 7 feet (over 2 meters) of solid dirt. Radiation can’t even do that! It’s interesting that God kept the waste flowing through the dirt until we could afford to fix it. Then a friend from our church came over and helped me replace the pipe. Our God Is An Awesome God. Song with lyrics.
I have seen God do other miracles. I have seen God heal! The Bible is full of miracles and healing. Can He heal my wife? I know Jesus can. Will He? I don’t know. But I will keep praying.