It Get’s Better, Right?

I met John a couple years ago and talked about him in a blog post. Last week I was back in John’s camp. He isn’t doing as well as he was the last time I saw him.

He is very soft spoken, so much so you have to almost read lips to follow what he’s saying. When he wants to make sure you hear what he says, he clears his throat and his voice gets stronger. During a pause in our conversation, he looked me straight in the eyes, not something John does very often, and asked me, while shaking his head yes ever so gently, “It gets better, right?”

Understand that on John’s best day, it is hard to tell whether he is completely cognizant, through all parts of the conversation. Every once in awhile though, there is no doubt he is in the here and now, and this was one of those times. There was no fogged sight or stumbled speech. He knew exactly what he was asking and so did I.

When you’re in the middle of a conversation with someone whose focus tends to wander back and forth between what’s being said and something or somewhere else, when they break through all the clouds and mist to ask a question as serious as this, it can startle you. It is kind of like talking on a cell phone when you’re right on the edge of dropping the call and then having it come in loud and strong. It can startle you. Johns’s question startled me.

I stammered and stuttered a little but then tried to recover. In the end, I guess I did all right by most standards, but not by John’s. As much as I shared my Faith and as much as I shared the differences it has made in my life, as much as I said all the right things, it didn’t do what John needed done. The mist came back into his eyes. Though it bothers me and makes me feel like I failed John, I’m not sure words could answer John’s question.

I made sure I shook his hand, touch is important to someone who feels a little like a leper. I made sure I looked him straight in the eye, when he would look up at me. I told him I would pray for him if he prayed for me, he said he would. I don’t really know where John is in his walk with the Lord, it’s kind of hard to find out specific things from John.

I walked away feeling like there was more that should have happened, more that should have been said, but I sure didn’t know what those things were. John certainly needs some counseling and some rehab, not necessarily for substance abuse. I think John needs treatment because of the abuse of life. I think he needs rehab so he can find his way back because if there is one thing I know for certain about John, it’s that he is lost.

Don’t get me wrong, John has made decisions along the way that were probably not the best, but I’m not sure John has ever had, what we would call, a normal life. He doesn’t have that air about him that he had a family once.

John’s question still weighs on me because in John’s case, I’m not sure that it does get better.

I don’t usually ask this on here but I would really appreciate a prayer or two for John. And if you could pray that next time I get asked a question like that, I have a better answer, that would be great too.

Life Isn’t Fair

Life isn’t fair, that’s true. I’ve asked myself many times, why can’t life just be fair? As I’ve gotten older and had more time to think about it, thank God life isn’t fair.

If life was fair, I know that I personally, would be in serious trouble. No, I’m not an axe murderer but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have plenty to look back on in shame. The thing is, most of the people who know me now, didn’t know me then. And even the people who knew me then, didn’t know much of what they thought they knew about me.

I believe that God started out treating us fair, but it didn’t take much time at all before we proved that we wouldn’t ever be able to handle that. No, the first two of us didn’t handle getting treated fair very well at all and we just went on downhill from there. (Gen 3:6) So then, because we couldn’t survive being treated fair, the way we should have been treated, God sent His Son down. (John 3:16)

Jesus, being completely without sin,(1 Pete 2:22) was crucified for all that we did wrong and even for those things that we would continue to do wrong. If there was ever anyone who wasn’t treated fair, it was Jesus. His soul was spotless, not a sin to His name. Even when He became angry at the money changers in the temple, He wasn’t lost in sinful anger but only showing righteous indignation for the disrespect shown His Father’s house. (Mat 21:12)

No, not a sin to His name but yet, He was crucified. He took the place of all of us that could never earn our way into Heaven and made it so we didn’t have to.(Rom 6:6) It isn’t our works that get us in, which is the best news ever because Heaven would be an awful lonely place if it counted on us to earn our entrance fee. (Eph 2:8-9)

I think that’s one of the things a lot of people don’t understand about what Jesus did by hanging on the cross. Following Jesus isn’t about being perfect because we will never be. Following Jesus isn’t about never making mistakes because we always will. We all fall short. (Rom 3:23) All of us, every single one. Think about the most righteous, godly person you know and then realize that even they fall short. Even they don’t have a chance to do it on their own. Even they are blessed that God doesn’t treat them fair. Even them.

So when things aren’t going my way and I know I’ve done my best. When things happen out of the blue that knock the wind out of my sails. When nothing I do seems to turn out right and my mind wanders down that familiar path that says, life’s not fair, I try my very best to look up and praise God that life isn’t fair and that He treats me so much better than I deserve because if He treated me the way that I deserved to be treated, my story would have ended a long time ago and it wouldn’t have been pretty, either.
All Glory To GOD!

Just As We Are

I want to talk about two different things that I think are very similar. I hope by the end, you see how close they really are to each other.

So often we think that we have to wait until we get our lives under control before we can begin to have a relationship with Christ. That couldn’t be further from the truth, in fact, it’s pretty much completely backwards. The way we get our life under control is by developing a relationship with Christ. But that’s really a misnomer too, because the closer our relationship is with Christ, the more control we’ll hand over to Him. So, we might get things under control but it won’t necessarily be our control.

Jesus wants us just as we are.

He wants us with all of our sins and all of our imperfections.

He wants us to turn to Him for help in our lives.

He wants to do all the things we haven’t been able to do on our own.

He wants to heal our addictions and end the torment we put ourselves through trying to figure out where we belong.

Have you ever felt like you were on the outside looking in? Like no matter what, you didn’t quite belong? Even when you were part of the crowd, you didn’t really belong? Maybe in your family, you felt like you were one step removed from everyone else? You may have even visited churches that made you feel that way. The thing to remember is, being part of a crowd or group isn’t the important part, being part of God is the important part. Being part of God is how you will feel like you belong. We don’t have to spend our time trying to fit in, trying to do the things that will make us well liked by the crowd. If we follow what God asks of us, we will have a place to fit in.

It’s nice when people like us and when we have friends that we enjoy spending time with. Friends that enjoy some of the same things that we do. There’s nothing wrong with that but when we spend our time trying to look just right or act just right so that those around us will accept us and love us, we are missing the point.

A couple points actually.

If we fit in with Jesus first, we will find ourselves fitting in with those that will really matter. Hopefully, they will be the kind of people who understand that God, though He made us all in His image, made us all just a little unique because that’s the way He wanted us. He didn’t want cookie cutter people or cookie cutter followers. He wants us to be the people He made us to be.

That’s the difference between God and a lot of those people we find ourselves hanging around with. God wants us just like we are, a lot of those around us want us to be more like them. The more we are like them, the more comfortable they are with themselves. By being like them or by imitating them, it might sound strange, but we ease their qualms about them being their own special self.

That might be good for them but it can be disastrous for us. By imitating them, we lose those parts of us that make us special. We lose the specialness that God made us with. That means that we are taking what God has given to us and only us, and throwing it aside because, more than honoring God and His gifts, we want to fit in with those we see as important in our lives. We don’t realize that the most important person in our lives is God.

Even though God wants us to turn to Him for help with our imperfections, He also wants us to be the unique people He made us. God didn’t make the imperfections, we acquired those on our own along the way. He did make each of us a little different, a little special and He wants us to hold on to that. We should give God our imperfections and sins and hang on to those ways that He made to make us special.

It’s not about waiting until we fit in with God’s people, it’s about bringing your special self back TO God. That’s how we will fit in. That’s how we will find that place where we truly belong.

Blessed Affirmation

Sometimes it is so difficult for me to discern God’s voice from all the noise that is the inside of my mind. It just seems like it is so difficult to stop dancing in circles and get my inner voice to shut up long enough for me to hear what God is trying to tell me.

Then there are days like today.

I have succeeded little by little to recognize those things that God is putting on my heart. He has set some things in motion that have gotten my attention and because they are kind of outside my norm, they have made me sit up and take notice. One of my biggest difficulties, when it comes to listening to God, is having enough confidence in myself to believe that I’m not just making this stuff up or making things fit together that don’t. I tend to question my motives, not because I don’t believe what God is saying but because I’m afraid that I’m hearing what I want to hear, in the way that I want to hear it.

I pray quite regularly for God to do what he needs to do to get my attention, scary prayer, I know but I have spent too much time feeling like there is something more I’m supposed to be doing but not knowing what it is. God got my attention this morning.

I have felt pushed in a particular direction for a while now but once again, I’ve been questioning just how much of it is God and how much is me. So, this morning I was discussing all of it with Lori and I just got on a roll. Things were coming out of my mouth that I hadn’t even thought out yet. Bits and pieces were fitting together and things were making sense that had just been hanging out on the fringe of my thoughts. It was all making sense and feeling right.

Then, as the dogs were barking, not an unusual happening at our house, I distinctly heard a human voice. Couldn’t tell what the voice was saying but I knew there was somebody outside.

I walked outside and there were two gentleman standing just outside the gate, good place for them to be with the dogs just inside the gate. I shushed the dogs, okay I attempted to shush the dogs, and one of the gentleman asked if I could help them find their property. I know that sounds odd but there are a lot of people who own property out here that either have never seen it or haven’t seen it in a while, and they have trouble finding it.

Usually we see them wandering around the neighborhood in their cars and we stop and see if we can help. It is very rare that anybody finds their way back to our house by accident, we don’t live anywhere near a main road, even a main dirt road.

The paper these gentlemen had didn’t have a street address but the block and lot numbers. I asked them to wait and I went inside to look up the location on the computer. It isn’t the easiest thing to give directions out here, roads bend and street signs are missing, it ends up being easier to just take someone there. So I asked them to follow me and I would take them there. I got an immediate, “God bless you!”, which made me smile.

I led them to where their property was and walked back to their car. Jorge, the driver, introduced himself and thanked me. He also said, “You did good today.” He said he noticed the lettering on the back of our truck that gives the address to this website. He said that He would go to the site and send me an email because he wanted us to share the word of God with each other.

So, as I was telling Lori what I felt was being put on my heart, someone shows up in the yard needing help. People who obviously are people of the Lord and they bless me and tell me I’m doing good.

Thank you Mr. Torres and friends, I’ll take that.


John isn’t sure if he’s traveling or not. He’s been in the Gville area for awhile. But that doesn’t seem to be working out too well for him. He said he had thought about going to church but…… my guess is he doesn’t feel presentable enough to go in a church. I told him God was everywhere and if he couldn’t make it to church, he could make his own, just pray. He wasn’t really talkative but he knows God bought him lunch and a cold drink. Keep John in your prayers, if you would. All glory to God.


(UPDATE: wandering around, I spotted a camp and turns out, it was John’s. So he and his friend got a goody bag too. Wasn’t invited in, so I didn’t meet his friend but I got a big smile and a wave.

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