Posts Tagged With: Fear

“Do You have Your Gotham?” > Chapter Fifteen

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

“God has Heard”

Redline faith. Man may not have been listening, but God was.

Man may be blind to needs right under his nose, but God is watching. Christmas came and went, and Don and his wife were still sick. His wife still driving a freezing cold van, and hospital bills in the red. The four Starbuck applications were still out there, but so far no response. He was actually glad because he couldn’t imagine trying to learn a “people job” like that while coughing your head off the whole time. Then 2015 rolled in and yes the virus continued too, as well as the freezing cold and broke down vehicles.

There were actually two vehicles needing fixed, his wife’s van and a 1997 Honda Civic. He had tried to repair the leaky gas tank so many times! His last attempt had been a cheap tank from a salvage yard, that had been drained by way of cutting a gash in bottom of tank. He had worked hard to fix it, but failed, and so the car still sat. The promises of the tank repair kit had proven false, and by faith he and his wife pressed on, believing God would hear. That God had a plan. (And he did.)

January 12, 2015 arrived and Don was in his third cycle of the virus. It was ridiculous, and his wife was just as bad. Nothing but hope and faith were left for them. Finally, a humidifier was purchased with the precious money they had, and Don began to get better, although it did not seem to help his wife. On the day of January 19, he finally felt strong enough to job hunt.

He decided to try a Half-Price Bookstore first, because of his love for books, but they were not hiring and he left disappointed. Okay, time for the Starbucks. He had visited Starbucks many times and loved coffee. He expected to enjoy learning more about the different coffees, but as he walked into the store it was hopping busy, and as he watched the young people moving fast behind the counter, his heart was frozen with fear! He stood their a moment to press away the fear, like he had done many times in his life, but he found himself walking up to the counter, ordering a drink and walking back out the door, silent as a lamb! He flat out chickened out! The fear would not go away! And now depression was heavy upon him! How could he chicken out like this?

By eleven o’clock he found himself back home and trying to figure out what to do next? He felt defeated, and that he was letting his wife down, and possibly even the Lord. Accusations from the devil were coming hot and fast as he questioned everything about this present moment.

As he prayed and asked God for direction, sunlight caught his eye, and he was drawn to it.

It was the middle of January, but it was like a summer day outside. It was beautiful. He walked over to the window and stared out. There was the Honda still up on ramps ready to be worked on again. Don hated mechanical work and was not very good at it, but as he stared at that car and the warm sunny day, “You want me to work on that car “again” Lord? REALLY? What use is it? How many times have I tried?” But slowly, out the door he went.

The tank was removed for the third time, thrown in the back of the truck and driven to his dad’s, where the mesh material and the compound was applied again, but this time the tank was inverted so gravity worked in his favor, and heat lamps were applied for a twenty-four hour period. His dad got involved and Indiana had a one week heat wave in the middle of January. His dad paid for the heater blower motor and during this week Don fixed his wife’s van and got the Honda running! With the Honda running came a new opportunity. A company called “Guardsmark” was hiring a patrol officer to cruise around a parking lot in their own vehicle and guard the property. The place of business was in a bad part of town, a Point of Pain!

Don had no retail experience, but he did have four years military experience, and had worked as a correctional officer in a men’s prison at one time. Now he also had the perfect vehicle! On his second time of going out he landed his perfect job. It would be part-time until April, but he began his first day on January 26. Money was still extremely tight, and his hints continued to be ignored, but after paying the Obama Insurance penalty, their tax returns still proved to be enough to get back into the black financially! The struggle continued till February 12th when the returns arrived. Finally, the storm was over. He had income again. His health had returned even though his wife was still struggling with it. Vehicles were fixed, even though a month later the tank would leak and be removed “again”, taken to a radiator shop and soldered. (Finally fixed.) LOL.

With the financial crises satisfied at least for a while, and having a job finally in place, he could at last dive into the assignment God had given, something called “1000 Houses of H.O.P.E”. All the praying and seeking had come to a head, spiritual forces were in place, Batman was ready to enter the darkness of the night and confront the evil of his day. (This story continues.)

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“The Encounter” Chapter Six 9/30/14

When Dan walked in his front door, his wife was surprised. “What are you doing home already?” He explained to her what had happened.

As he was ending his sad tale, “I’m surprised it hadn’t happened before now,” he said. “I’ve had some small incidences, but this is major. It’s the first major one in my territory, but it won’t be the last, and word will spread fast.”

“So what’s your plan?” Cathy asked.

“Ha! That’s a good question. What plan? I got nothing. I feel trapped, Honey. And by the very thing I never wanted, to feel like I make my living by lying. I don’t know another company out there that would offer the type of deal Farm Co. did. When Jim recruited me they knew I would not be a part of the wine and dine sales tactics. They accepted me that way and made provisions for it, but Cathy, look what has happened. So I’m not ready to go looking for another sales job yet. There is more going on here than just a career crises, and I’ve got to figure it out. Which leads me to the only plan I have, and it’s not much.”

Cathy waited for more, but Dan was just standing there with a cocky grin on his face. He was waiting for her to ask. She finally gave in, “Well, what is it?”

“You’re going to laugh,” he said.

She wasn’t asking again, but she did give him “the look”.

“Okay, do you remember the book your dad bought me a couple of years ago?”

“I do remember a book, because he bragged about it so much and said it changed his life. Come to think of it, he has been different ever since, but I’m not sure what to think of the ‘difference’. If you know what I mean?”

“Yes. It all happened when he had the back surgery and lost his job. I remember now. He spent time in the book while he was recovering, and we all wondered what he was going to do? He couldn’t drive a truck anymore, and he had no other skills. Most people would have been worried out of their minds, but he said God had it covered. And looking back, it seems he did.”

“If that’s what you call it,” Cathy qualified. “He could make more money as a Security Officer, and he has the background for it, but he said God had given him a ‘target’. Yes, I remember it to this day. And he started riding a Metro bus downtown, got a nine-dollar an hour job in the mall, and he calls it his ‘ministry’. Sounds pretty crazy if you ask me.”

“Are their bills all paid?” Dan asked.

“Yes, but I don’t know how?”

“Does your mom seem happy?”

“Yes.”

“Have you ever seen your dad happier, or more at peace? And look how many people he has led to Christ in the downtown area. He told me that he gave up driving a truck to become a ‘hunter’. Said he always liked hunting anyway, but hunting for God was the greatest! He also talked about living like an eagle.”

“Yes! I remember now,” Cathy said. “I know right where the book is.”

“Well, dear, that’s my plan. I’m home early and I have the better part of three days to spend with that book. Now don’t get worried, because I don’t expect to become a Metro bus rider, or a mall employee. I understand that God has a different plan for everyone, but I need to learn ‘how to know that plan’. And I got a feeling the eagle is just the bird that can explain it to me. Know what I mean?”

Dan saw a light flash in Cathy’s eyes, and a smile come on her face, as she said, “You just hang on there, Lover Boy, I know exactly where it is.” Up the stairs she went, and one minute later she was handing him the book. It felt good in his hands, but he had a lot of doubts. These are long odds at best, he thought, as he faced it towards him and read the title, “Flap Less / Soar More”. With a subtitle of, “Living in the High Places with God”.

“Flap Less,” he repeated. “Sounds perfect. I sure am tired of flapping. I’m a little envious of Blackie. I wish someone would wrap my wings and stop me from flapping for a while. Which reminds me, I want to call Mrs. Parker the Bird Doctor tomorrow, and get a date for when they hope to release Blackie. I want to be there. Maybe we can make a family outing of it, with the kids.”

“That sounds good, Dear. We should definitely do that. The kids will love it.” Cathy confirmed.

“Oh, and one more thing, Honey. Don’t tell your dad I’m reading his book. I don’t want him getting his hopes up. Just in case this doesn’t work for me.”

“Smart move. My lips are sealed,” she agreed.

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DIVERGENT > “Truth?”

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END?

Actually I have two more books to read! And I am really glad because I am very much enjoying this story! I must say the final pages of this book gave me some really good material to ponder and write about. For one, I am actually daring to believe there is a Christian message to this story! And I love the way it simply slowly evolves into the plot without arousing too much attention, but yet there it is, values, ideas, and words that line up with the Bible.

As we write our last few articles on this book, I would like to continue using certain quotes that I find very interesting and thought-provoking. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy a story that triggers contemplation. It causes me to stop reading for a minute, and chase that thought down a rabbit trail where the author is not currently going, but I NEED to further pursue this thought! I love it, and it gives me things to write about, not only here, but in my own journals that I read over and over again. So here is the quote I want to start with today.

CHAPTER 35 PAGE 441 (In my book.) > “Human beings as a whole cannot be good for long before the bad creeps back in and poisons us again.”

Wow, is that not true and very sad at the same time? And yet, is it not the reality we all must learn to live in? This is where we live. There is no other place to go, and this is the reality of where we live. Of course, that does not mean we have to become the way the “world as a whole” is. We can be DIVERGENT. We can choose a better way.

Just because the world “outside” of us may be one way, does not mean the world “inside” of us must be that way.

A STRUGGLE? For sure. I’m not saying it is always easy, but it is always right! Are we strong enough to take up such a challenge? To be divergent in a good way? Planet earth is certainly a battle between good and evil, but which side are you on? Tris found herself in a world turning upside down as she watched her friends rising from their beds as ZOMBIES! But she still had her right mind to be able to choose!

Tris rises from her bed to follow the ZOMBIES and discovers the horrible plot of another evil person who wants to have more power, and she does not care who she has to use of kill in her path to do so! It was very hard to put the book down during this time. My mind pictured the whole battle as Tris struggled to survive and yet somehow stop this evil horror and try to save her loved ones who were dropping like flies! Her mother dies trying to save her, Tobias has been taken over by the enemy, and her whole faction, both of them, are in grave danger! Tris even found herself in a room ready to be drowned! Wow! How does a person stay focused when you feel like you are stuck in a nightmare and you are not dreaming?

QUOTE: CHAPTER 35 PAGE 441 > “Every faction conditions its members to think and act a certain way. And most people do it. For most people, it’s not hard to learn, to find a pattern of thoughts that works and stay that way. But our minds move in a dozen different directions. We can’t be confined to one way of thinking, and that terrifies our leaders. It means we can’t be controlled.”

Of course, as humans, we all are DIVERGENT. God made us that way. We have minds capable of thinking through and making right choices. So the question actually becomes, WHO IS RIGHT?

JESUS SAID: IT IS THE TRUTH THAT SETS US FREE.

No one is free when they are deceived. No one is free when they know the truth but still choose to live in the lie.

For me, the very first question I need an answer to is: AM I A SPIRIT BEING, OR JUST FLESH AND BLOOD, AN ANIMAL.

THE BIBLE SAYS I AM A SPIRIT BEING.

Now if you think about it, if that is what is TRUE, and JESUS said it is, then we all have the choice to just fall in line with the way the world wants us to think, or we can decide to live a life based on being a spirit being who will one day enter an eternity we know very little about, UNLESS the BIBLE is exactly what it claims to be.

I am totally convinced the Bible is exactly what it claims to be. I AM DIVERGENT. I do not follow the herd mentality of this world. I am in the minority. I am greatly out numbered. Peer pressure is always against me. But I see the direction this world is going. A one-world government shall arise just like the Bible says. I will likely be a Public Enemy #1 someday. I can identify with this book I have enjoyed. I have much more to write about the final pages of this book, but for now I think we have enough to think about.

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DIVERGENT > “FEAR!”

HOW MANY FEARS DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE?

PERHAPS ANYTHING CAUSING DEATH OR GREAT PAIN? (How many things would that be? A lot!)

As I continue steadily reading the book of “Divergent”, I am intrigued with the idea of knowing how many fears we have. One of the main characters whose real name is Tobias, normally is known by his nickname, “Four”. You find out the reason for this is that he has only four fears! The lowest number they have ever had!

Now since the faction of Dauntless highly values courage, then you can imagine how good it is to be the person with the lowest number of fears. Eventually you find out that Tris has a very low number also, and that being seven. A total number of seven fears.

There are many examples of men and women in extreme situations who have somehow risen above their fears to do very heroic things. Of course we think of our military men and women on battlefields, also Police Officers and Firemen. I’m sure doctors and nurses face fears of many kinds when trying to save a life. Life offers plenty of fears. Perhaps because we are really all so very fragile!

BUT WE HAVE TWO KINDS OF FEAR.

1.) Fears that are there for our own good to keep us safe.

2.) Fears that hinder us and hold us back from what we need to do.

The fear of speaking in front of groups of people can be a very hindering phobia. Many well-paying careers require the ability to speak in front of small to large groups. Fear causes us to freeze! Someone hands us a microphone and all of a sudden all we can do is stutter and stumble over our thoughts. Take the microphone away and suddenly we can think again. The bad part is that while you are frozen in fear everyone is watching! Overcoming fear of this sort is no small thing.

However, there is fear that is good for us. The kind of fear that causes us to respect traffic laws, be careful with a gun or chainsaw, and don’t play with fire!

HEALTHY FEARS ARE A PRODUCT OF WISDOM!

The Bible says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Now why might that be? I have found most people don’t realize just how “HOLY” God is. We really don’t even understand the power of this thing called, “holy”. If not for the blood and grace of Christ, God’s holiness would wipe us out like sterilization kills germs! Like fire purifies gold! We would be the dross the fire burns up! Consider this encounter Moses had with God in Exodus 33:3-4 >

“Go up to this land that flows with milk and honey. But I will not travel among you, for you are a stubborn and rebellious people. If I did, I would surely destroy you along the way.” When the people heard these stern words, they went into mourning and stopped wearing their jewelry and fine clothes.”

Fear is a very interesting subject and the book Divergent delves into it. There are times when it is for our own good to be afraid. In today’s world where God is nothing but love, people have lost their sense of sin and fear. The more we sin the more we should fear, BECAUSE SIN IS THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE, AND GOD IS LOVE!

Now if you think about that you just might get a clue as to what it really means when scripture says “God is love”. Real love is all about not causing your neighbor to stumble. So, if you have a lifestyle of doing your own thing no matter how it affects others? God is love alright, and you just might be his enemy. That is a fearful situation. Hope you have enough FEAR to respect that, and enough WISDOM to do something about it, LIKE OBEY GOD! (For your own good, and the good of everyone around you, because that is love. The Bible is actually asking us to live in God in love. Is that really such a bad thing?)

Think about it.

Now in way of a preview: It is beginning to become plain that a war is brewing. The Erudite, who are seekers of knowledge, want to overthrow the faction of Abnigation. From the very beginning I found it interesting that this one faction could be compared to religious people. I doubt our author has any kind of intentional religious message in these books, but I do expect to get some interesting analogies. Abnigation is the “selfless” group who are supposed to always prefer others before themselves. As such, they were put in charge of governing, due to their selfless nature they could be trusted.

However, some people think they are a bit too frugal and tight with their way of doing things. It sounds like the smart people think they can do a better job than the selfless people. I see a lot of smart people in politics that I wish were more selfless. They all seem to have an agenda, and they all seem to get very rich very fast. Once this overthrow breaks out, things should get very exciting and I’m sure there will be plenty of testing of the fear verses bravery ratio.

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“Shadow’s Crossing” > Prelude

What does it mean to be a Christian? What kind of breed are we? God woke me in the middle of the night with this poem. It can have double meaning. I also see it relating to the previous poem: “Who is this One?” You should read both and see if you grasp the connection. Comments are welcome, of course. Hope you enjoy.   Signed, Cowboy & Shadow.

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