Posts Tagged With: Wealth

“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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“Do You have your Gotham?” > Chapter Fourteen

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

“REDLINE FAITH”

…… Oh Lord, you know I’ve been here before, but is there not a cause? I will trust you Lord, no matter what, and if no man comes to our rescue, I know you will. Amen.” The prayer ended.

Still very sick, still confused as to the reason why, bank account and bills plunging rapidly into the red, old vehicles barely still functioning, Don pressed on in faith. “Will you wake the Lord?” The question kept coming.

“Sleep on Lord, I wait.” was his answer, but even in his answering, there was the unknowing. The storm continued raging and the boat tossing, but was Jesus sleeping? Did he not see what was going on? Will you wake him in fear, or wait?

The worse part was feeling like he was not caring properly for his wife. It was one thing for him to endure hardness, but having to watch his wife? She was still very sick too, and her 2000 Dodge minivan had no heat. The heater blower motor had gone out and it was dead of winter in Indiana. She had no business in a freezing van as sick as she was, but the only other option was an old truck with bad tires she did not trust. “Why Lord? I know this is a test, but I still don’t understand why. Why now?”

Making matters worse was the weight of God’s vision upon him. After a year with God, he knew he had been given a great vision to reach people in neighborhoods, and was ready to run with this! However, sickness and poverty had him at a complete standstill. Even so, every decision made was made with the knowledge of this great mission upon him. He was not free to meet his needs in a worldly way, or he would abort this baby in his womb. If he went back to working sixty hours a week at some job not of God, the vision would die. The vision was at stake. This was the devil’s attack and he had to be faithful come what may! A calling from God can involve great sacrifices at times. Don understood the weight of this very well, even though most others might not. He knew there would be few who would understand. How many times he had been in this position before, and God always came through. Would he wake the Lord?

Funny thing poverty, how it can twist things. It seems people just don’t understand. The early morning prayer meeting he had been so faithful to. The guys liked to eat breakfast out afterwards. Not cheap places either. Waffle House was popular. They wanted him to join them. Don wanted to join them. Important things were talked about over those meals and connections were made. Sometimes he would go because he felt it was so very important to be in that conversation and in that group. Now here is where it gets complicated and you might not understand. I pray you try to understand. I mean no harm here

The group knew he was still without a job, and he had dropped as many “hints” as to his welfare as he dared, but nobody was “getting it”. However, when he would occasionally decide to join them and purchase the cheapest meal he could find on the menu, someone always picked up his ticket so he would not have to pay. For this he was grateful, but bad as this sounds, it was not breakfast out that he “needed”.

Perhaps if he were someone who spent his life looking for “hand-outs”, perhaps he could have enjoyed those free meals, but in actuality… he dreaded them. He could not enjoy the meal while he thought about his sick wife driving a cold van, or how the electric bill was going to get paid, or the hospital bill. As bad as it sounds, his friends thought they were helping him out by being so generous to buy his meal, but in actuality it was no help at all. He didn’t mind living poor. He’d been there before. The food he fixed at home was fine, but there were needs on his mind, and no one saw or heard.

Earlier that summer, God had led him to help a man who was fighting cancer. For weeks he had done a yard sale in his yard for this man. Don was still doing okay at that time, but had no spare income, so he did a yard sale which eventually made a total of $1,600.00 after all the weekends were added up. The money was given each week as it was earned, and it was all simply handed over, cash, no questions asked. He knew what it was like to be on both sides of this fence. But where were the rich guys for him? The guys gifted in making money just so they can help others in need? Maybe they were busy living their best life now?

Funny thing what Jesus said when he was observing the “widow and her two mites”. He said the rich people had all given out of their “abundance”. In other words, there had been no “sacrifice” in their giving. Where were the rich guys? He didn’t know. Perhaps checking out their next new car? Trimming their yard? Paying their $120.00/month cell phone bill? Eating out everyday? Who knew? But they were not there at this time, for these needs. It’s not about 10%, it’s about level of sacrifice. A poor persons 2% can be a greater sacrifice than a rich man’s ten percent, or twenty, or whatever.

Don knew he was an “opportunity” for someone, just like the man with cancer had been an opportunity of blessing for him. He also knew that in due time, if no “Prosperity Person” met his need, God eventually would. And God did. This story continues.

“REDLINE FAITH”

Ever feel redlined?

12 Apostles on a ship. Lost their stomachs every dip.

Lightning flashed and thunder roared!

Will you wake the Lord?

Easy faith in good times, not so easy when bad.

Bills plunging redline! Raging like a sea!

Waves crashing red! Seek to swallow me.

He said to cross the sea.

Should they have let him sleep?

Was that not the test, a faith that lets him rest?

Faith plunging redline.

T’is a strange thing indeed, to be in need, a raging sea…

while the Lord sleeps.

Perhaps he is inviting us, to a place of powerful rest.

Faith in the red.

My yoke is easy, my burden light.

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“Playing Your Cards Right” #2

How can I get the most out of the hand I have been dealt? How can I win more hands, and what does winning actually look like?

First you have to make a choice. What do you think a real win is? What is a real ‘W’ as they say? For myself, it was critical I answer a couple of questions. Whether we believe in faith or not, most of us make our decisions based on what we do believe. I could not define a ‘win’ without first deciding what I believed about a couple of things.

Question #1> “Do I have an eternal soul, or is everything simply over when I die?”

Question #2> “Based on my answer to #1, then what path leads to winning the war, not just a few battles?”

In order to avoid writing a book here, Question #1, in a nutshell, boiled down to their simply being too much design to everything around me. You can’t get something from total nothing. It’s impossible. Therefore there is something supernatural involved in my existence. As I continued down this path I simply could not deny an inner knowing, a conscience, a 6th sense, confirming to me that I was more than flesh and blood, I was also spirit. I think people underestimate the power of this “knowing”, because God says he has put eternity in the heart of every man. We do have an inner knowing, if we will be honest with ourself.

After that, the second question was easy because I already knew I wanted to win the war, not simply a few battles. I wanted long-term success, and long-term was now defined as eternity.

Each of us must answer these questions for ourself before we can effectively play our hand, and there are many clues, facts, evidences, teachers, archeological findings, logic, as well as gut-feelings to lead us to our answers. The theory of evolution seems to be a big factor for many, even though there are so many big holes in that theory. Such as, how does total nothing evolve? How can it even ‘bang’? This is all I’m going to say on this, because the evidence is really all around us, and within us to make a wise decision if we really want to.

So how do I get the most out of each hand I’m dealt every day?

First, make sure of what is a true WIN. God has defined this in his Word, but you may choose differently if you so desire.

Secondly, after you have a good vision of what is your WIN, have the RIGHT ATTITUDE!

God’s Word defines the right attitude this way> “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matt. 6:33)

Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:37-39)

Phil. 4:8-9> “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me— everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”

With these things in mind, you can play a better hand.

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