Other things.

This past week was spring break. For some that was putting up with the kids for a week. For others it was vacation to other places. To some it was a time to have your spouse at home unstressed by work. Which ever it was I hope it was a delight.  For me it was the most boring time in months. The Literacy Council where I tutor was closed, No classes to go to.  Second no small group to attend.  I understand why but it made for a long week. I wasn’t even able to meet with Dave my prayer buddy.  If it wasn’t for March Madness I think I would have gone mad.

Now this week wasn’t a complete bust. Friday at the Walmart Neighborhood Market I got to see Kamerlee.  She was a true tutor student of mine. Back then she was in the 3rd grade and I was helping with her reading. Well I fell head over heels for this cute little girl. I have been praying since she moved to Garfield that I would run into her at Walmart some day. Her grand parents live in Siloam. She had spent the week with them and was doing grocery shopping. Her big infectious smile made my heart burst with joy.  She and the Lord made my month and I told her so.  The second thing happened Sunday. I got to see my grand daughter for the second time. She lives in Springdale. She is a senior in high school and she has a brother 15 that I haven’t seen yet.  I can’t go into details because my fingers would wear out and if you are reading this you would get bored. If you see me and have an hour and are curious we can talk.  So maybe the week wasn’t that bad after all. It ended on a great high side.
Thanks BEN C.

” FOYLE’S WAR” AND OTHER MINOR DETAILS.

For the last several months I have been watching on Neflix a British Detective  series called Foyle’s  War. It took some getting used to but I have found it most entertaining and a learning experience.  This series was set in W W 2. A man named Micheal Kitchen is the lead Character. If a cop show for you has to have car chases, half naked women, and a shoot out, this will not be your cup of tea. I won’t go too any detail but to say you have to be smart and have a good ear to figure out who is the bad person or persons.  I have learned it is no longer in production because Mr. Kitchen wants to take a break. Whether that means his retirement or just a break from that show I am not sure.  What you will find is clean entertainment with a curse word thrown to make it an adult show and brains to work the cases.  But another reason I enjoy it is the time it is set. It starts right after the war has started and works it way through the war. It shows the high spirits of the Brits at the beginning, the suffering during the blitz. The agony of losing home, loved ones and how different people dealt with these issues.  Issues that probably we have heard about but really have never felt or known. At least I haven’t. Maybe our parents went through shortages and our mothers and fathers or grand parents went to war or did their part but New York or L.A. was never bombed and Brooklyn or  Bangor Maine was never wiped out. It shows the strength, weakness and how some took advantage  of the mess they went through. I am not saying they are stronger than we are but they did suffer more because it hit home.

I am not finished with the series but I think I will start the last season Monday night. All through the series we meet soldiers that are trying to adjust to first the so called phony war. Every one saying and hoping the war will be short. Mostly good spirits and trying to adjust to the life given them.  I don’t mean to rattle on but what I am trying to say it is a very good show about human nature. It shows how and why people act the way they do in crisis,  including children. It shows people of faith in God. People who have lost their faith, con men trying to make money from selling goods at very high prices to those who have never been good. This last show I did was about the last several days and hours of the war and how people had to live through the horror they saw or had to do.  We all know people that went to Vietnam, or the the wars of the Middle East. We have even seen on tv or movies about the damaged ones coming home. I am not talking necessarily those with wounds we can see. But many more are damaged or hurt by what they have seen and done.  To be honest not until the last several years have I  really even come close to understanding any one with a Stress Syndrome. But again I haven’t been close to anyone with it or at least I don’t know of any. Ben being in his shell or just being lucky.

I start as I said the last season and looking forward to them. I hope Mr. Kitchen will reconsider and make a few more.

Thanks Ben

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

I am listening to the 2nd Chapter of Acts. The songs are just as relevant today as they were when they were written.  The music is definitely 70s and 80s but that is another reason to like them I think.  From Easter song [ one of the best ever written] to Mansion Builder to Hymns 1 and 2 to Narnia. They all hit the sweet spots. Not just for nostalgia sake but the message hits home and makes me open my eyes. Now I could do that with almost any Christian artist but today it is Acts. I have said I have been going through a rough patch and it is still rough at times but the great thing is I have never felt like Jesus has ever left me, I have never felt alone.  Now that hasn’t stopped me from messing up but it is a time where I know He loves me no matter how stupid I am at times. I think it is a growth even though you would think doing wrong is not growth, the growth comes with me understanding even more how He loves me. I still need to ask forgiveness and repent. That is a must but I can do those things always having him close by me. I know God hasn’t got those lightning bolts aimed at me, or that He turns His back on me. Those are lies of the enemy.

Those of you that use computers to read this please check out the group Rend Collection. The song THE JOY OF THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH is one of my favorites now. It is quite a bit different than the old song with that title. It will get you tapping your toes and those of you that dance, it is a good one to move too.

For those that has ears let him hear. Those words are used several times in the New Testament. Mark and Mathew they are said by Jesus but the place I remember it is in Revelation. Revelation 2:29 ” Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”  Those words are for each generation but I think even more so today.  The “church” is at a point where it must decide who it is to follow. Do we live in Godly ways or do we conform to the world. Most of you know what I am talking about. It isn’t about keeping sinners out. No! may it never be.  The harlots, sluts. drunks, those of another religion, liars and cheats must hear about Christ. They must hear it from us. The preacher will not reach them. They will not go to the church website and listen for 45 minutes. We have to be the ones doing the talking. Actions are great but there are a lot of good people that don’t know Christ.  They act no different than we do in most places.  Now I am not pointing any fingers and if you think I am then remember I have several pointing at me for the one pointing at you.  I don’t always live up to my preaching either. But I am trying to do better. Always happy to see comments , even those that disagree. Ben C

OPEN YOUR EYES, OPEN YOUR EARS,LISTEN TO YOUR HEART, 2

Now I come to the really hard part. The one that tugs at my soul because I am not sure what is correct. As I stated last night I don’t really have a problem with a mandate for certain countries.  2 of those are Somalia and Yemen.  I am not sure why we let any one in from those countries. If you don’t understand look up USS Cole or watch the movie Black Hawk down.  The movie probably did not show all the horror that went on at that time. Well as I did not put down last night the mandate has been over turned for now. I can live with that also.

The trouble in my heart is when it comes to refugees.  People that cannot go back and live because they have no place to go back to.  Nothing. No home, no business and no one to buy anything even if it was still standing. The Bible is very clear on how we should treat those that are less fortunate than we are.  Jesus says even our enemies should be treated well. Those things are in the Word. We cannot deny that. Yet where do we put these refugees? How many do we take in or let live in one area? Do we give them trailers like they tried to do for Katrina.  Do we make shelters for them like they did for the American citizens that had Japanese in their blood. Wire around the camps with armed guards and dogs. How many millions for this broke country do we spend on housing,safety for them and us, medical help, food and clothing.  All these are good questions I think but I do not have an answer for any of them.

People say why doesn’t the other Muslim countries take them in.  They might if they were the same type of Muslim. But there are 5 different sects of Muslims. None of them like or tolerate the other. Sunnis will war against Shi’ites and vice versa and their are at least 3 more that are all separate. Iran will not hake in any one from Iraq and the Saudis will not take any one from Syria. Even  those of the same sect.  Turkey did because the government is secular but as you know from the news they are having problems themselves.

Now again I write this for myself.  If you disagree with me on anything that is okay on my part.  I don’t expect every one to agree with me.  Thank you for reading. Ben C.

Open your eyes,Open your ears, listen to your heart.

This may be the hardest blog for me up to this point.That is saying a lot because I have struggled with several for several different reasons. This is hard because I have to believe 100% what I am writing 100%. Not so say I  am right in everything I put down but that I have a conviction that I am believe in what I am saying. This is not the time to be wishy washy.

Trump is now president. Not quite a month but he has already been called the worst president we have ever had. But not one of you can tell me why.  He nor Congress has taken away the ACA. He has not built any wall on the Mexican border. He has made a mandate against countries that harbor terrorist or have done terrorist activities against us. But he is not the one in charge of letting people in or out. President Obama and Clinton as well as Bush did similar acts when they were president. But not one of then have been accosted like Trump has. He like they did left out a country that should be high on the list, Saudi Arabia. We also know why.  OIL. Whether or not the mandate will work is yet to be seen.  But if it is like most mandates, then there will be abuses of so called power. Good people will not be allowed to get into the country or even BACK into the country. Why, who knows, we won’t. But I am not going to condemn him  for this.  It is his way of trying to stop the bad guys from getting in and hurting people. Will it work? Not 100% but he should do what he sees fit.  Give it a shot.

Should he build a wall. I say no. It is too cost prohibitive to even try. Now I am all for beefing up the Border Patrol giving them more money and the right to have them deal with the illegals. ICE deported around 250 this past week. Most if not all were convicted criminals. You would have thought they had never done this before. Bill Clinton did it, Bush did it and Obama sent 2 million back. Probably all the way back to Reagan. During Clinton’s term, Simmons Food at plant 1 and 2 was shut down for 2 hours while ICE  checked people and papers out. So quit your belly aching. That is nothing new.

Trump’s new cabinet members. Most I have never heard of as is usual, so I can’t say they will great or lousy. But most of the reasons I heard from Democrats were not good enough reasons not to try them out any how. I do think the Trump pick for Supreme Court Justice should be seated.  Was Obama’s pick unqualified, I am sure he was a good judge and lawyer at one time. But because Obama picked him I do think he would have been pro-abortion. I do not want to see a court that is for the destroying of life. Do I think abortion will be banned? No, because I do not think any one will try. I would like to see it over turned bur honestly I do not see it happening. Now I am all for defunding Planned Parenthood. Every government cent they get.  In 2015 they got over 500 million dollars from the government. They received over 350 million from private donations and 300 million from non-government sources.  They do not need tax money to survive.

Stopping this tonight to be continued later.

“Keep On Going”

Yes, I borrowed that from NCIS.  It is short for”if you are going through hell, keep on going”. Ducky told Jimmy that in last weeks episode. I am not going through the whole show so don’t worry about that.  It is more of what I am putting myself through.  No, my life isn’t collapsing. Far from it; but that trimming needs to keep on and I some how need to buck up.  I feel so stupid at times knowing what I am supposed to do but keep on doing the wrong thing.  I am so glad I have a merciful God that  has an endless amount of grace. As you may have noticed this is my third time to write this month. I only do it if I feel the urge. I know these aren’t always great and may be boring at times but they help me get a lot off my chest. And that is the reason I write, as a stress remover and a way to express my feelings at the moment. I am alone most of the time. I have no children to yell at, no wife to put me in my place and no dog to talk to when I need to talk. So I write. The computer only tells me when I spell a word wrong.

I got to see my granddaughter this past weekend. First time in 15 years. Too long and sad of a story to put down on this but I am very grateful she let me meet meet her. It was 20 minutes during a work break for her.  Not enough time to make up for 15 years but I soaked up every minute.  She is a very smart senior at Harbor, and a pretty redhead.  She has even written a book.  She also likes to talk and does it rapidly. I guess most girls her age do. Plus she may have been a little stressed also.   She has made my month even with all the trials going on.

About time for bed.  I hope you are all well. Ben.

 

 

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Being Trimmed.

I told a friend the other day I was going through a rough patch.  And I thought I was.  But now I think it was more than that. I maybe being trimmed as the verses in John 15. The verses about the vineyard that has to be trimmed to produce good fruit.  Well I feel like I am being trimmed.  In those verses the Holy Spirit comes and trims away the stuff that is useless and doesn’t produce good fruit.  Now we all would like to think that means dead things or vine. But that isn’t all that is cut off. There are live branches that get cut and trimmed also. I don’t think a vine of grapes feels pain or anxiety when being trimmed. We do.  Yes I said we. I believe we all have done things that He has trimmed away and it hurt. Not necessarily because we want to keep doing what we were doing but because we couldn’t rid ourselves of it. Either we didn’t have the nerve to do it or we never got rid of the right branches. When the Holy Spirit works He never misses or cuts away the wrong vine. He always get the correct ones and He never takes too much or too little. Every week this month has been hard but good. It has been hard because I let things get out of hand that I thought I could or thought I was handling, areas of my life that should have died a long time ago. I let them back in. But God’s grace is always there for us when we need it most. Now I need to repent. A word that I have used on blogs on the net to others. Now I need to step up[ but that still means relying on the Holy Spirit.]

The Good is that I have seen great things happen all around me. Healings and other things that only God could do. But I have also heard sermons and been in small groups where God was trying to get me ready for this trimming I am receiving. I have never felt like God had left me or was losing my faith or salvation. Sermons on grace, redemption, faith. All the things that I have needed to hear.

You may ask why I would put this here, on a site where every one can read it. It is to let every one know that God loves you just as you are. Whether you have done things lately that is truly gross or if you are being trimmed like me and going through a hard time. God loves us. I ask that you pray for me and let me know either by FACEBOOK messenger or call me and I will pray for you. You don’t have to tell me why or what you are going through. Just say pray for me. I will.

BEN C.