The Bus Stop is a series of true stories about my life, people I've worked with and events I've experienced. Of course the names have been changed. I hope these stories will brighten your day with a few laughs as well as give you encouragement. Hopefully you can avoid making some of the mistakes I've made and if you have already made them, then you can identify with me.

Monday, March 5, 2012


There’s probably not a single person on this planet who hasn’t contemplated some vision of heaven and its beauty. The streets of Gold, pearly gates, mansions and where our friends and loved ones have gone on before us. For the most part it seems that God has held back much information concerning heaven. Paul talks about being called up into the 3rd heaven but wasn’t allowed to reveal or give any information about what he saw. (2 Corinthians 12) I find it interesting and disturbing that since there is little information many have tried to fill in the gaps with their own imaginations. Many of these imaginations you can see are definitely contrived by their own sinful desires and wishes.

Many times I have pondered the vastness and joy of heaven only to end up feeling unsatisfied and even disturbed. Have you ever wondered if heaven might be somewhat boring? I mean, what are we going to be doing for trillions of years? Whenever I ponder heaven I always end up with more questions than answers. Why is this? Why didn’t God give us a better description of the afterlife?

All of us have a fear of the unknown or the afterlife. What lies on the other side? For some may be intense fear of death or simply curiosity. I believe we all have a natural God-given drive for preservation. There are those who consult with “psychics” in attempts to deal with their fear. Others have attempted other means to console they fears.

I don’t allow myself to ponder and dream of heaven anymore. It’s not because of fear of death or I don’t care. It’s simply no matter whatever I can imagine I can’t even begin to understand its glory. Imagine trying to explain to an amoeba that vastness of the universe. It would be a futile endeavor to say the least.

Some of the wonders of heaven that we will experience are to be completely separated from sin, we will never experience pain, (physical or emotional) we will never have any more longings, and we will be at perfect peace and full of joy. These are just a few things that I can’t even begin to comprehend. It’s far beyond our understanding no matter how diligent we seek.

There are those who claim to have seen the afterlife. Personally I believe they’re either lying or delusional. I don’t believe there are words in the human language that could begin to reveal the unimaginable. So many get consumed with the future such as the Book of Revelation that they miss the present. Where we are now needs to be our focus. This is said perfectly in…

1 Corinthians 13:12-13. We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

13But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Bathroom Scale

The dreaded bathroom scale… After seeing this cartoon I got to thinking about the years I avoided this contraption simply because it was my enemy and it was mean to me. It had the gall to tell me the truth. At first it was a conscious decision to avoid it and after a while it simply became invisible. It had never been moved, but ignored.

Why would I want such a thing in the house if it was just going to make me feel guilty and why did I keep it right there in the bathroom. As I said, it became invisible so why move it.

Then I began to realize this was how I did so many things in my life. I became calloused and numb to situations around me. However, no matter how far I ran and calloused I had become I could never escape the Truth of God. Of course it was extremely irritating, but when I finally understood and began to accept the truth my life started changing and improving. In other words whenever we are losing weight or have lost weight the bathroom scale becomes our friend.

I feel like I need to expound on changing and improving. Many times when a person makes this comment I always believed it had something to do with making more money or they were a more righteous person. If that’s the case then this statement wouldn’t apply to me. The changes I experienced was sleeping better, a lot less fear in my life, confidence, assertiveness, peace, joy, love and a relationship with Jesus I never knew was possible.

This is what Paul was talking about when he was teaching about the Law of God. The Law was not sin nor was it our enemy. The Law was to show us the boundaries and steer us away from destruction. He said… if it wasn’t for the Law I would have not known sin. Then he said he wouldn’t have known sin if the Law hadn’t said, “You shall not covet.” Romans 7:7 (Paraphrased)

For the most part we do not want to know the truth, especially about ourselves. We’re afraid of the truth and avoid it because it hurts and we don’t want to hurt. The reason it hurts is because we fear it’s going to take something away from us. However, when we stop running and face the fear and the truth we learn that it has always been our friend and it has so much more to give us, not take away. If we refuse to stand on the same side as truth, then it will always be our enemy. It’s not wise to have God as our enemy because He is Truth.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Fame, Riches and Power

Many years ago I had a personal dream that someday I wanted to be someone famous. I admired many of the famous preachers, authors, teachers and speakers. Then one day God asked me if I wanted a target painted on my back because that is what will happen if you ever achieved this status. He said, I’m not talking about people attacking you, but did you want to be targeted by satan.

When I thought of the temptations and desires these people have to face daily, I began to rethink my desires. I have enough problems as it is and I definitely don’t need them multiplied. I would believe that most of these people started out with the purest objectives, but it doesn’t take long for the enemy (satan) to get involved and destroy.

I know most of you have read the popular books that have swept the nation. These books minister to many people, however satan comes along and begins to water them down with commercialism and cult. God may have only given this person one book to write, but the publishers believe there is much more money to be made. Before you know it there are calendars, T-Shirts and bumper stickers then that certain book becomes addressed to men, women, teens and children and so on.

The greatest temptation they have to face then is fame, riches and power. I know it would be easy to get consumed with all the limelight. This is usually where God is no longer the focus but the desire to hold on to what they have achieved. This usually means a change in truth, theology and goals. I know that satan supplies vast amounts of justifications for them.

I could write several pages about this, but I think you understand the point. It will always come down to where our heart is. Do we have a heart to serve the Lord whatever the cost or serve satan in exchange for personal glory. There is not a place in between.

The more you get the less you are. Proverbs 1:19 Think about that scripture for a moment. It’s an exchange. Think about this picture. The more this guy has the less you see of him. Are you identified by you money, house, car, job or position, what you think you are or by what God says you are. After you are aware of what God says we are to Him. Then we have to believe it. We may make the statement we believe, but many times it’s no more than words. To accept it into our hearts is when we will really begin to change.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Opposites

Recently I started dieting and to my amazement I’ve actually lost weight. I still have more to lose and right now I’m thinking it may be possible. My motives for losing weight have nothing to do with vanity. That ship has sailed. One motive I’ve had is to be able to tie my shoes without passing out. I would also like to get off of all my heart medications. I guess the main one is I just want to feel better. I’m tired of feeling sick. I have actually started to feel much better and that gives me the motivation to move on.

What I didn’t realize was God had several insights to give me during this time and give me understanding into areas I thought I understood. I believe I now understand what lust truly is about for the first time. Generally we associate lust with sex. However, when I’ve just eaten and I’m full and pass Taco Bell, Whataburger and everything else I fantasize about the delicious goodies in those restaurants. This is lust! When I want something even though I don’t need it or I shouldn’t have it.

Lust translates into all areas of life. Lust for money, lust for things, lust for sex, lust for food and coveting anything I don’t need. Many have said the opposite of lust is love. This is not true. The opposite of lust is gratitude and contentment. When I am grateful and content with what God has given me then I am content. If I am content with my wife then I will not have any desires for anyone else. When I am grateful for my job then I become content and so on.

Then I begin to notice other statements I have taken for granted such as…The opposite if love is hate. The truth is, the opposite of love is fear. The opposite of hate and anger is forgiveness. The opposite of war is slavery. The opposite of pride and arrogance is peace. The opposite of God is Satan. NO! God has no opposite. Satan’s opposite would be like Michael or Gabriel the archangels. I would suggest that you look deeper into the “opposites” that you have taken for granted. In order to find them you have to look into your heart.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4:12

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Steel on Steel

Tricia walks into the room. There are knots in her stomach and her hands are shaking. She so desperately needs to talk to her husband Frank about how he has been treating her, but she is so afraid. She already knows of his reaction of screaming and yelling. Will she have the nerve to do it this time or she back out like she always does. She thinks to herself, “He won’t listen to me anyway so why bother.” So she continues on in a life of fear and dread hoping for better days.

Is this you? Which one are you? Do you relate to Tricia or Frank? If you relate to Frank then you probably won’t agree or accept that it is you. For many years I avoided confrontation with my wife and others due to fears of possible reactions such as those described. The word confrontation still makes me twinge.

If you are struggling with an issue you need to discuss with someone whether it is your spouse, friend or co-worker it is very likely you will receive this kind of response.

· Threat of Anger – You begin to see their face tighten and fist clinch and you know there are going to get mad no matter what you say so you refuse to go on.

· Threat of Mood – They may start crying, get depressed or act out as a martyr.

· Threat of Charm – The may make a joke out of it, return your issue with compliment to throw you off balance and make you feel guilty for mentioning it.

· Threat of Procrastination – Get depressed. Make promises of change, but never quite get around to it and then passive/aggressively get even with you.

You are or have been one of these people. The main reason people are not honest and truthful with others is because we won’t allow them. The truth can be painful so we immediately throw up our defenses.

Now the other side of the coin

· Rather than confront you may attack, belittle and demean, present or demand ultimatums.

· You don’t confront, sit quietly and grow bitter.

· If you do confront, you do it in such a friendly way the person has no idea what you’re talking about. You usually refrain from confrontation because you want everyone to like you.

· You won’t confront burying you head in the sand and hope it blows over or boast how nothing bothers you and you just let in roll off your shoulders until one day you blow like Mount St. Helens.

When I learned the truth about confrontation I found it extremely freeing. The real truth of why we don’t confront is really not as much about fear as it is about selfishness.

· I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

· I don’t want to get hurt myself.

· I want everyone to like me.

· I really just don’t want to deal with it.

· My way or the highway.

You can live your life in fear and selfishness if you desire, but the joy and freedom that comes with truth. And they shall know the truth and the truth will set them free. John 8:34 This is only one application of this verse, but so often I see more and more.

It’s when we tell others the truth for their benefit and not only ours and sometimes not ours at all. When we see others hurting themselves with poor behavior we should want to enlighten them, not attack or hurt them.

Example: A friend has a negative attitude about everything. They have difficulty keeping a job, making or keeping friends or enjoying anything about life. You don’t just tell them they have a negative attitude and if you don’t change you won’t have anything to do with them either. You talk to them and attempt to discover WHY they have such a negative attitude and guide them to overcome it. Now you are doing it for them. You will probably be amazed at what you learn.

Over the years, Karen and I have learned to respectfully, calmly confront each other about various issues. It is not always fun, but the truth is necessary.

So many times I go to Karen with a new idea or something new I’ve learned and sometimes she shoots it down. At first I may get angry, discouraged or resentful, but then God works on me helps me to realize she was right. You see, I have a tendency to write my own scriptures, make up my own statistics and see things only through my eyes. Karen helps me to rethink and open my eyes and even if I don’t want to admit it she is usually right. It’s because of her truth that sharpens me and makes me stronger. My part is I have to listen not only to her but to God. Is it one sided. No! There have been circumstances where I have sharpened her as well. Some think the only thing I have taught her is patience. Sometimes she is the hammer and sometimes I am. I think she gets to hold it more because I’m the one that needs sharpening more.

The motivation of the hammer should always be Love. When Jesus confronted, scolded or was direct with someone, you knew it was always for their benefit and not His. If you are using the hammer then it needs to be out of love and nothing else. If someone is using the hammer on you it should be out of love. If you feel the person that is using the hammer on you is not out of love you can always be assured that God will use that hammer for Love to help you grow and sharpen. The Bible gives us so many examples.

I don’t know if you’ve heard this song, but it really speaks a lot of truth.

Steel on Steel