Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The narrow hard path

It was a windy day yesterday, with the sand blowing into my eyes and teeth.

10/26/10 Tuesday
Good morning world. It sure blew hard yesterday with wind gusts in the fifty plus mile an hour bracket. It’s actually been a pretty mild year this year when it comes to the wind blowing, with not nearly as many sand storms as I’ve seen in the past. I had a pile of tumbleweeds I’d pulled up that was over seven foot high and probably fifteen feet across that I’d planned on burning. It all blew away, just a bare spot on the ground now with many of them now resting on fences and against anything else that would stop them. I’ll gather them up again today from the various corners they now reside, and if the wind is not bad burn them. Of course the wind brought in more tumbleweeds from the surrounding areas.

We brought Midnight in last night and put him in a portable kennel to sleep in. This is the start of cage, or kennel, training for him. He didn’t whine as much as I feared and settled down fairly well. The first thing I did this morning was put a coat on and upon releasing him from the kennel take him outside to do his business. As soon as he did I rewarded him with pets and “Good boy’s”. Ben and Gretchen were our outside dogs and not allowed indoors, and thus provided protection for us, warning of any intruders and chasing coyote’s away. This was a valuable and needed service for a country farm but it sure hurt when some ass shot them both and we don’t want to go through that again so will train Midnight so he can come in at night. But he sure is a stinky dog with regular gaseous emanations that curl the hair on my nose. I certainly hope that will settle down as he gets used to the food we feed him.

We leave for the Lynaugh prison Thursday, just three days away. Linda will take care of the animals for the four days we will be ministering down there, letting them out in the morning on her way to work and then again in the evening on her way home. That’s a big help for us. We’ve been preparing for this for some time and God is providing our needs. When we filled out all the financial information for the Veterans Administration and the veterans rep added it all up he looked at me quizzically saying “It costs you three thousand more dollars more to live than you make in a year!”. I told him that we know and “God provides” for us. We live frugally, wasting nothing, and it is a testimony of the love and provision of God, who takes care of our needs. (Not our wants but our needs) The enemy works hard to stop that and has used those easily manipulated and every other tool at his disposal to cause harm wherever he can but in the end God rules. We pray for those whom are unwitting tools in the devils hand against us. It’s sad that so many who do the devils work are in the church or wear the “Christian” label but this is what Jesus said would happen in these last days.

Mathew 7:13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. 15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'

In Mathew 24 and 25 Jesus talks more of these last days. I encourage you to read this and ponder it. In both Mathew 25 and the scripture above He describes those who refer to Him as Lord, Lord, and are doing wonderful churchy things like prophesying, healing the sick, and casting out demons (Things that we actually seldom see in today’s churches) so it’s clear that they think they are saved. But the reality comes when Jesus says “Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness, I never knew you”. What a shock this will be for those who are self deceived, those who have bought into a false gospel and choose the easy path. The term “Lawlessness” shows up many times referring to those who are lost, for instance in the parable of the wheat and tares found in Mathew 13. God has rules, and He expects us to follow them. The concept of grace being a sort of “get out of jail free” card is a lie, a false doctrine that has entrenched itself in the church. Like it or not Jesus said “Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it”. So tell me, do you really believe? Understand that the demons believe and tremble for they know their destiny but there are many in the church who play church but when it comes down to it are more concerned about what people think than what God knows about their heart. How I long to wake people up, to shake them and say “Open your eyes, look at yourself”, but they reject that, firm in their confidence but confident in a deception.

There was one who told me “Just a couple of years ago you were telling me how you doubted, how you questioned the existence of God”. Instead of rejoicing at the miracle of how God has restored my faith he railed against me, despising me in his heart as Michal, Saul’s daughter, despised King David when he danced before the Lord as the ark of the covenant was restored to the City of David. Do I know he despised me in his heart? No, I don’t, I just know the fruit of his actions and his clear choice to reject instead of reconcile. I had reached out to this man as I sought the Lord I’d once known and served, reached out to receive of his knowledge and announced relationship with God, but he kept me at arms length. I fear for him and pray daily that he returns to his first love, to the ways of God instead of the ways of man.

There is much in my heart these days, an urgency for the days are short and there are hard times coming for us all. Meantime there is much work to do on this farm and much I need to write.

I’ve been out working on planting the tree we bought to place where Ben and Gretchen are buried. Doing so brings up all the sorrow and anger connected to their being shot so once again I forgave whomever did it. I wonder if it was random or if it was someone who knows us and did it on purpose. I know it doesn’t do any good to think on these things but that doesn’t stop me. However the bible says to take every thought captive, basically to practice controlling what you allow your mind to dwell on so I will work to do that, despite the difficulty of it. Philippians 4:4 is one of my favorite verses in the bible as it is a basic tenant on how we should conduct our daily lives. It says “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice.”

Cherie called and reminded me to come in and eat, thus I’m here writing, after I ate some beans and blackeyed peas that were in the fridge.


Amy said...

So sorry Bob that your dogs were killed. It is so sad and hard. Being on the other end, at least for me, is hard too. I hate shooting someone's dog. ;-(

Bob said...

If Our dogs were attacking livestock I'd understand but they weren't, just out playing in the cotton field across the street. You have to protect your livestock and that's part of country living. Rock salt in a shotgun might convince a dog not to come around but if they come back after...
Can't believe how big Lauren is now.