Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Called me a "small minded man"

7/7/10 Wednesday
It’s another day. As is true with every day there is more stuff to do than one person can accomplish. When Sam was here working for me I would express my frustration about not getting things done that needed doing. His reply was invariably “it’s just you, your only one man”. There is so much I want to do, so much that can be accomplished, but he’s right. Currently it’s a one man show and there’s only so much one man can get done. Add to that the levels of pain, slow downs, and other things that demand my time, it’s an uphill battle wading through waist deep sand. But I’ll keep going, because that’s what I do. I know that in time all of the hard work and effort will pay off. I have a clear vision of where I want to go and a vague idea of how to get there, so God willing it will happen. I think it’s time to start looking for business partners, others who can share my vision and understand the real possibilities for this farm. A few months back, in an unrelated incident, someone called me a “Small minded man”. That person is a scam artist and this was his response to me trying to prevent a friend from getting involved with a criminal scheme, but his greed overcame any sense of caution so I gave up.

But the point here is that I am far from being a small minded man. Fifteen years ago my net worth was well over a million dollars. Oh I couldn’t have gotten a hold of a million dollars cash if I wanted to but my marketing company was billing fifteen to twenty thousand dollars a week and had according to the Ohio Bureau of Unemployment records I had 127 employees that year. Plus I had the liquidation company that maintained 80,000 square feet of warehouse at it’s height and would employ up to twenty five or thirty people depending on what was going on. As a marketing consultant I helped others start or revitalize their companies in addition to the work I did for many larger corporations.
A man reaps what he sows. I'm working hard to sow good seeds

So “What happened?” many would ask. Sin happened and I paid a dear price for it. Actually I paid a lot of prices for it many times but it all culminated in my losing everything, including my life and mind. I went from being on top of the world to wandering homeless with the severe traumatic brain injury. I could barely hold a conversation and even walking was difficult due to the right side being paralyzed.

But God is merciful and has restored my life, my wife, and my mind. I still have difficulties to overcome but I am a fighter and every year the healing progresses. I bring this up as a sort of resume, to explain that I know business and am not a delusional dreamer with no hope of achieving my goals. I am a miracle, an example of God’s mercy and grace, and of His love despite my turning my back on Him. You watch and see what God has in mind, what God can and is doing. We will build a place that blesses many, that will be a venue that shows the power of God to change lives.

I had posted an outline of what we plan on doing a few months back and one of the locals commented it was “goofy”. There is a seed of bitterness that has been planted here. A seed that has grown, as they always do when watered and fertilized by gossip, so that this weed of poor opinion and judgment spreads it’s tentacles among those who have not talked with me, (not serious conversation beyond “How’s the weather” level) some have never met me. This is the devils work and the sad part is that these are often good church people who don’t comprehend the evil they are partaking of. So what do you say? Not much if they won’t talk to you, but I pray for them and pray that God will heal this and that they will learn what the Love of Jesus really is about. It’s about sacrifice, it’s about turning the other cheek, it’s about talking to and forgiving those who despitefully use you. Jesus made it clear in Mathew 22 when He said 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' 38 "This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' 40 "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." In John 13:35 Jesus said "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

So Love is the signature of Christianity, the light so to speak that shines in the darkness to show the world that God is and that God cares. It was this love we sought when we came here, knowing at the time that with my brain injury I was prone to say and do things that were offensive. I’m sure I still do that but not nearly as much as before. It’s taken a while but my brain constantly repairs and rewires itself and I continue to learn social skills. We found that love and fellowship in Midland, where we were graciously accepted with open arms despite my issues. My concern is to heal the wounds I may have created, and to help others walk in the Love of Christ. As a former pastor this is a deep concern for it is my desire to have all who wear the name of Christ walk in a way that honors that. I’m sure that some will be upset that I even expose any wrongdoings but isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be? Are we not to expose all works of darkness to the light of Christ.

Ephesians 5:8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord ; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth ), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.

If what you do embarrasses you and if there is a desire to scurry and hide in the darkness, shouldn’t that be enough to make you realize there is something wrong here that needs to be corrected? The words of Jesus, (right after the well known 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.) John 3:20 "For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 "But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God." I try to live a life in which there is no shame, one open for the world to see. One that God, who sees all things and even knows the deep thoughts of your heart this very second as you read this, will approve of.

Galatians 6.1 “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness ; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” If I was wrong, and odds are I have been, then others should have, and still need to, come to me, talk with me, and help me correct the wrong I’ve done.

Anyway, I’ve gotten off track again. I know that great things will happen when people come together in one accord, with a singleness of mind to do good. This is my desire and I believe it’s God’s desire too. I also know there is an enemy out there who’s desire is to divide and destroy, and who finds far to many willing tools to accomplish this. Galatians 5:14 "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." 15 But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. 16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

There’s work to do and time’s a wastin. I guess you can tell by now that I was a pastor. I want to end this with some scriptures, with the hope that some will read them and act accordingly. My words can be empty and vain but there’s little room for arguing with the words found in the bible, though I am sure many will anyway.

Ephesians 4:1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace….

14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming ; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love…..
(Click to enlarge)

29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Ephesians 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children ; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

Nuff said.

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