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.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Light and Dark

Imagine if you will that we’re in this room as pictured with the light. We are standing far away from the light and are trying to read some important instructions. The instructions could be a matter of life and death. We really need to see these instructions. The obvious thing to do would be to move closer to the light to enhance our vision, but we have a tendency to resist. Why?

Even though we may be afraid of not seeing the instructions, we’re more afraid of what may be revealed by the light. People may see us for what we really are or what we think we are. Our sins may become public knowledge and of course that’s scary. Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. John 3:19 We think the instructions will tell us to do something we feel we can’t do. In the darkness we believe all of our filth and grunge is hidden from many people, but not from the one who really matters.

I have talked with many people who don’t want to hear the truth, but what they are looking for is someone to agree with them or validate what they already plan to do. I have done this a lot. Years ago a discovery was made in Glenrose, Texas. They had found a man’s footprint inside a dinosaur footprint. This really shook up the evolution community. According to evolution, mankind and dinosaurs existed 50 million years apart so how could this be. This unraveled the very foundation of their lie. One of the big evolutionist leaders (I can’t remember the man’s name off hand) was at the site all day, but he wouldn’t look at the evidence. He would walk right up to it, but always keep his back to the footprint. NOVA was doing a documentary and when they asked him what he thought he would only say, “I see no evidence of mankind existing with dinosaurs.” If he would have turned around he would have.

We approach the light only when we’ve exhausted all our efforts and failed. We become desperate because we’re tired of stumbling around in the dark. However, before we do, we attempt to cleanse ourselves by vigorously scrubbing. They grope in darkness with no light; he makes them stagger like drunkards. Job 12: 25 We feel that certainly we must be clean enough to approach the light now, but as we approach the light we realize we’re just as filthy as ever. You see, we don’t have the power to forgive ourselves nor to clean ourselves up. Only Jesus is capable of this task, but our pride resist and we think we can handle it ourselves. When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12 Does this make you curious?

It’s only when we start walking in the light can we see life for what it really is and what it was meant to be. In the darkness we cannot see the truth and the real Christian life. We and others can only speculate and I assure you it is nothing like I thought. It is only when we come into the light can we see clearly for the first time. Many are walking in the shadows and think they have arrived, but only when we step into the light do we realize how far off the path we strolled.

There are those who want to believe that mankind is basically good. It’s actually the opposite. We are all born with the seed of sin and apart from God. It is only through Jesus that this darkness can be removed and we can join the light. It’s like this. Darkness is a natural state or the absence of light. You’ve never heard anyone say, “Turn the dark on.” No, we hear them say, “Turn the light on,”

We all need to realize what we have become if you have accepted Christ into your heart. Christianity is not something to be compartmentalized where we have our spiritual life and our secular life is separate. We need to see ourselves as God sees us. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What is God’s Will?

This has to be one of the most perplexing questions for Christians and non-believers alike. We make it so complicated that it is impossible to learn the truth. I don’t know how many times I have asked this question and how many have asked me this question. “What is God’s will for my life?” The real problem is when we don’t care.

Many years ago when I was a young pup, Karen and I had probably been married less than a year and living in the rural area of Mineola, Texas. At this time I was 21 years old and was a Youth Director of this small country church. To be honest as I look back I realized I was not qualified to be there and I felt I had no business being there because I was so ignorant. At this time I knew nothing about the Bible nor did I even have much life experience to draw from. I realized God had put me in a crash course. This became very apparent to me over a short time. I had all these legalistic ideas of being a “good” Christian and of course I was failing. One day I was at home alone extremely frustrated, angry and hurting. I was on the floor sobbing because I felt like such a loser and failure because I was such a horrible person. After some time I picked up my Bible and saw this verse and I have never forgot it. I really didn’t understand it completely at the time, but I knew God was speaking to me. It’s Psalm 51:16-17 and it said, “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” I don’t even think this needs much explanation, but I also like The Message version as well. “Going through the motions doesn't please You; a flawless performance is nothing to You. I learned God-worship was when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don't for a moment escape God's notice.”

These were all the questions I asked myself.

  • What have I given up
  • What am I sacrificing
  • Where do I move to
  • Have I enlisted in some sacrificial work that I hate
  • Is God’s will left or right
  • What am I supposed to do
  • How often do I need to do it
  • Is this the right job for me
  • Should I go back to school or is this the right school for my child
  • Will God love me more if I….

I was injured at my job in McKinney and was off of work for a year. I finally went back and I ended up injuring myself again and was out again. I just knew that during this time it was God’s way of setting me up in something special. I knew it was just around the corner, but it never came. At least I thought it hadn’t. Then I had heart surgery and died a couple of days later and was revived. So many people told me that God definitely had a special purpose for me and this got my hopes up again. I knew it was coming anytime. What did I believe was coming? My dream! What was my dream? I really don’t even know anymore. God is in the process of reshaping it.

Years ago I heard someone say, “All of us are willing to be something for God, but are you willing to be nothing for Him.” That hit me where it really hurt. I was willing to be something, but I honestly couldn’t say I was willing to be nothing. I feel as if I’m on a path of becoming nothing. My health is failing, I work a very mediocre job, every day I feel may be my last and one of the few things that I can still do and love to do is write. I’m not telling you this because I want you to feel sorry for me. I probably do enough of that already. The truth is, I really don’t think I’ve been feeling sorry for myself because I have to admit I’ve grown closer to God. Oh, I still get upset and even mad at Him at times, but we work it out.

Now to answer the question, “What is God’s will for your life?” It’s really quite simple in answer, but extremely difficult to do. God’s Will is in His Word. He wants our HEART! He doesn’t want perfection or service, He just wants our heart. As said, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9 The first step to have a perfect heart is to accept Christ into our hearts. I believe what God is saying is He wants us to completely and wholeheartedly agree with Him. That His Word is final and we don’t change it to fit our lives and circumstances. He wants our hearts! Our life may be all screwed up, but God wants our hearts to be perfect. Life changing begins with the heart. It’s always from the inside out, not the outside in. Otherwise it is just worthless actions.

We have been placed on this planet for a purpose and our main purpose is for a relationship with God. Everything else needs to fall behind this. Whenever we put ourselves ahead is when we start having serious problems. During this life we will have all kinds of distractions, blessings and adversity, but we have to keep our hearts on the mark. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14 What is the mark? Heaven! I’ve heard many times it is not the destination, but the journey. I disagree. If it wasn’t for the destination then why even make the journey. This should be the desire that keeps us going. It’s not the futile purposes we have everyday, but the prize at the end of the race. Our responsibility is to take everyone with us that we can. How often do you think about heaven? Do you really have any idea what it’s like other than the silly propaganda you’ve seen on TV or movies? There are several books on the subject you may want to read.

Of course you can’t think about heaven without thinking about hell. Hell is something we don’t like to think about because it’s uncomfortable. So we just don’t think about heaven or hell. Not thinking about it is not going to make it go away. Jesus spent more time talking about hell than He did heaven. Why? When I took my children to Six Flags for the first time, I really didn’t have to sell them on the idea. I knew they were going to love it and they did. However, when I told them about horrible things in this world I cautioned them several times to be careful. Jesus is doing the same thing. He knew that heaven was going to blow our minds away and we couldn’t even understand it anyway. So any time you accidentally burn yourself cooking, hot water in the shower or picking something hot up for an instant, think about how that split second hurt, think about what that feeling all over your body would feel like for an eternity and never a second chance.

Many believe heaven is the default and you only go to hell if you are really a bad person like Hitler or Charles Manson. It doesn’t matter how good or evil a person is. What matters to get into heaven is the fact our names are written in The Lambs Book of Life. Do we trust Jesus for our salvation? If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:15

So, what is God’s will for our life? To become like Christ and to have a relationship with Him. It’s difficult to become like Christ if we really don’t know anything about Him. We learn about Him in His Word. Anything else really doesn’t matter as long as this comes first. The problem comes when Satan will do anything and everything to keep this from happening and get us off the path. Just keep coming back to the path.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Personal Ads

Woman seeking Man
Looking for a man who will disregard all my needs and goes out at least 4 nights a week with his friends. He must be able to argue over the smallest of things to the point of becoming verbally abusive and even physical. He must also ignore the children and be extremely selfish spending money only on himself.

Man seeking Woman
Looking for a woman who is extremely superficial and spends lots of money trying to impress her friends, even though I can’t afford it. She must be frigid and spends much of her time emasculating me so that I will feel too worthless to want her sexually. She has to be very touchy and moody; ready to go off on me at a moments notice.

Woman seeking Man
Looking for a man who is easily whipped and will grovel at my beckon call. I am looking for a man with absolutely no backbone and will never argue or question me. He must be willing to stay at home and watch TV while I go out and party with my friends to late hours in the night. He can never question what I do when I’m out either.

Man seeking Woman
Looking for a woman with low self-esteem. Someone that will cringe every time I come home and do everything just the way I like it or else. While I’m at work she must keep the house perfectly clean, take care of our 4 children, run all the errands, keep the grass mowed and have my supper on the table when I get home. I may not be at home the same time every evening so she will have to be able to anticipate my arrival and desires.

How many of you would answer these ads? How many of you did answer these ads? For anyone to actually run these ads would probably never get a response. Their ads actually looked like this, but you still have to read between the lines.

Woman seeking Man
Looking for a man who likes to have fun and laugh. (I never take anything serious, especially our relationship) He must have a good sense of humor. (He better entertain me) He must have an adventurous spirit and like to travel. (I plan on dragging him everywhere, especially shopping) He needs to be gentle, kind and sensitive. (Never gives me any flack) Likes long walks on the beach and watching sunsets. (Pretty much do whatever I tell him and always agree with me)

Man seeking Woman
Looking for a woman who likes sports and likes to exercise. (I don’t like fat women) She must be a Dallas Cowboys fan. (I think more of football than you) She needs to be educated, preferably with a degree and doesn’t mind working. I strongly believe in the women’s rights to hold high level positions. (I plan on staying home watching sports on TV while she brings home the bacon) She must be exciting and have lots of energy. (Cause I don’t and someone has to take care of all the junk around here)

I know many of you saw the signs and ignored them for whatever reason. Now you find yourself in a difficult position. It would be wonderful if people wore signs on them that spoke the truth and we knew what we were getting into, but they don’t. Wouldn’t it be great if mechanics, car salesmen or politicians wore signs of truth? This is why we need to be discerning and intuitive. If we made a poor choice, it’s nobody’s fault but ours.

The only way I know to be discerning is to know what God thinks. Then when I am headed for something dangerous, not only do I need to listen to Him, but I also act. There are many who make plans and arrangements for a beautiful wedding, but the closer they get to the date they start having second thoughts. Sometimes it’s just nerves, but many times it could be a warning from God. There is something within us that says ignore the obvious even though you’ve seen things that you hadn’t seen before, close your eyes and have the wedding anyway. You wouldn’t want to embarrass yourself or your family.

We become blinded by our own desires and fears and it makes it difficult to see the truth. This is why we need to listen to parents or close friends because they can be more objective. One of my favorite quotes is… “They that want to deal the worst, gets the worst deal.” If we enter into any situation in life with desperation, there is always someone there ready to take advantage of us. It doesn’t matter if it’s a prospective spouse, car salesman or real estate agent. We need to be on guard and careful. How many of us have said, “I wished I would have listened to ….”

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8