Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vending Machines and Cowboys

All day long near the arena at the county fair grounds people would walk up, put money into the vending machine and walk off with their choice.  You know the snack or drink in A4, C3, P0.  You get the point, money goes in the poison of choice comes out and the purchaser goes merrily on their way. 

Near the end of the night at the fair when it's late and the crowds are all up on the midway a young cowboy walks over from the barn where he's been caring for his 4-H project horse.  He's dusty, dirty and just tired from being out of his element.  He's seen folks walk by and put money in and get their purchase and walk off.  He pulls money out of his pocket hits the appropriate button and nothing happens.  He tries the buttons again, still nothing.  Now this young cowboy is tired, and thirsty and his project horse had aggravated him by acting up in the arena during judging, so he's already frustrated.  He tries the buttons again, this time with a bit more force and this time he gets what he wants.  He too finally walks off with a drink, but when he's finished with it he's not satisfied like he thought he'd be. 

He goes back to the barn and an old cowboy from down the row says, "I saw you during the judging.  Rough day huh?"  The boy looked up and said, "Yeah, I don't understand it.  I did everything right, practiced with my horse, spent time grooming him. Heck, I even prayed to God and told Him that if I did well in the judging I would go to church every Sunday."  The old cowboy looked down at the young cowboy thoughtfully then said, "There's your problem."  The young cowboy looked up and said, "What?"

The old cowboy responded by pointing out to the vending machine, "See that machine over there?  It does one thing.  You put money in and you get out of it what ever's behind the buttons you push."

"Yeah, so?" responded the young cowhand.

The older and wiser cowboy said, "Well God aint like a vending machine.  He blesses folks even when they don't deserve it and sometimes doesn't bless those folks that to you and I look like they do deserve it.  You see God loves us enough to give us what we need when we need it."

The young cowboy just sat and stared as the old cowboy walked down to a stall to give some feed to a horse.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Ephesians 2:4-10
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Quiet Times

1 Kings 19:9 - 18
9 Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”
 11 So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 Then he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”
 15 The LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram; 16 and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. 17 It shall come about, the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death. 18Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

It's easy to look at and react to the storms in life, in these storms of wind, fire and earthquakes it may seem like we're being tested, but will we respond to the gentle breeze?  It's the quiet voice of Gods love that make the difference in our lives and where God speaks to us.  It's the quiet voice of Gods love that leads us to make a difference in the lives of others.   Do you take the time in your life to listen for the quiet voice of God?  Do you respond to it?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday Thoughts

Jesus Christ in His humanity was subject to the same temptations you and I are today.  In Matthew chapter 4 we see his response to temptation.  This temptation is not just a temptation to sin, but more importantly it's a temptation to remove faith from God the Father.  Jesus was tempted just like you and I are today.  We have the same choice He did, we can either look to God for guidance and strength, or we can look to our own wisdom. 
Matthew Chapter 4
1  Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
2 He fasted for forty days and forty nights,and afterwards he was hungry.
3 The tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.”
4 He said in reply, “It is written:
‘One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple,
6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written:
‘He will command his angels concerning you
and ‘with their hands they will support you,lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus answered him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.’”
8 Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence,
9 and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.”
10 At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written:
‘The Lord, your God, shall you worship
and him alone shall you serve.’”
11 Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

Today my wife and I have been married for 23 years.  We have grown up together, we've grown together.  I thank and love my wife and I look forward to spending the next 23 years together.

I haven't posted in the last couple of days. We've been busy and it's been hot outside, so with 107 degree temps going on outside we've been staying inside at night.  We've been getting 2 quarts a day from the goat.  They seem happy with the pen.  Right now we have a tarp up for shade.  My in laws have a roof that Trudy and I are going to go get then we can make a permanent covered area.  I have to find the time to go get it... probably after work one day this week. 

Wednesday Ashley hit a mule deer on the way home from a friends house where her and Jake are taking horse back riding lessons.  When I got on the scene the deer was still alive so I had to dispatch it.  I think the most traumatic thing for Ashley, Jake and the friends was that the deer suffered while they waited for me to get there. 

 The above paragraph is my preparedness info for the week.  I happen to be armed about 90% of the time, without the firearm I would have had to snap the does neck to put it out of it's misery and that has the potential of failing, or the deer would have had to suffer longer while we waited for 'law enforcement' to get there to decide what to do with the injured deer.  A firearm is a tool to be used responsibly and safely, everyone should get one and learn how to use one safely.

Getting back to the first topic in my post: Love and respect are the two things that make the foundation of a marriage.  With love and respect the two parties of a marriage desire to communicate, to spend time with each other and enjoy each others company.  Love and respect, true love and respect between a man and a wife are a picture of the relationship that Jesus Christ has with those who place their faith in Him for salvation.

Ephesians 5:33  Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.