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, 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

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Elderly Man

One evening a man and his wife were eating supper and someone knocked at the door. The man went to see who was at the door and an elderly man was at the door. When the man opened the door the elderly man didn’t say a word and just handed the man $100 bill and walked off. The man questioned him as he walked off, but got no answer. He returned inside and told his wife about the peculiar event that just took place. They both were pleased, but confused.

The next evening the same exact thing happened again. He tried to ask the elderly man why he was doing this and all he would do is smile and walked away. This behavior went on for about 5 years. The couple would sit and wait for his arrival and even had some of their friends come over to witness this blessing they couldn’t understand.

Then one day without warning they were prepared to receive and he never showed up. This puzzled them because the elderly man had been so punctual. They figured he must have had something come up and couldn’t make it. The next evening the same thing happened and then the next. Their imaginations ran wild. What could of happened to the elderly man. Maybe he’s in the hospital or worse, maybe he died. Concern quickly turns into disappointment and eventually into anger. How could he do this to us? Didn’t he know that we have come to depend on this as a part of our livelihood?

Months had gone by until one day while he was at the market he saw the elderly man. He ran over to him and asked him what happened to him. He simply answered, “Nothing.” We have been expecting you every evening and you never showed up. We have been worried about you. The elderly man answered, “No, I’m fine and everything is going well.” This angered the man and he explained how they got to depending on this and when he stopped giving it really put them in a mess. He demanded, “How could you have done this to us?”

The elderly man explained, “Sir, when I began giving you the money I simply did it because I wanted to and when I quit giving you the money I simply quit giving because I wanted to. It never had anything to do with you or your wife. It was simply my choice. Instead of being grateful for the time of blessing you’ve become bitter over something that started and stopped which you had nothing to do with.” Then the elderly man walked away.

You see, God blesses those who He wants and when He wants. It has nothing to do with how good or bad we are, it’s simply His choice. It could be money, health, talents or abilities. The fact is, it was God’s to give us and His to take away. So why do we get angry instead of praising Him for what He has done and what we have now when it really never belonged to us anyway. I know I have so much to be thankful for and I know I’ve done nothing to deserve it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

“Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” Job 1:21

Monday, November 21, 2011


I know there are many times in my life that I have been pulled from the fire. You can probably testify to it as well. As I reflect over my past I see a multitude of incidents where I was either snatched from the jaws of death or some kind of personal destruction. I’m not going to give you all my examples, but take a minute and think about your own situations.

When I got to thinking about this the other day I first began to see the physical situations, but then as I continued to think I saw the many times God had rescued me from spiritual destruction. Of course the first one was when I accepted Jesus into my heart. I’m just thankful God chose me and rescued me.

There have been many times I have strayed from the truth, but God was there to rescue me. There have been several times when I believed I was doing the right thing and following truth but then God opened my eyes and snatched me from the trap. Right now in our time that are so many clever traps and it’s so easy to be beguiled.

If there is one thing I have learned in recent years, if it wasn’t for Jesus walking beside me and guiding me then I would be susceptible to just about everything simply because I can’t see what’s ahead. I don’t mean to be vague, but it is really difficult to put into words. I do know that pride can easily make me fall. This is why we have to hold on tight to Jesus.

He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. Psalm 18:17

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.

  • Refrain:
    Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
    Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Don’t Think!

This advice is often given to people. The culprit behind this philosophy is usually from our enemy satan. You may have heard “Don’t Think, ACT Quickly or Just Do It or maybe it’s just, Take a Chance.” There are maybe a very few situations that call for spontaneity which I do believe in, but there are so many situations that do require deliberation and truth seeking. There is an old saying that says, “Those who want to deal the worst get the worst deal.” I’ve proven that many times in my life. There are many unwed mothers that gave into Don’t Think, Act! The wise watch their steps and avoid evil; fools are headstrong and reckless. Proverbs 14:16

As in all things there is balance. Satan wants to throw everything out of balance and one of those areas is to get people to quit thinking. Don’t think about what your government is doing, don’t think about what your church is doing, don’t think about what the schools are teaching our children and don’t think about what the Bible is saying, act on what makes you happy. Of course the other side of this coin is, analyze everything to death. Both ways can be dangerous and destructive.

We live in an age that our minds and lives are so full of clutter that we have little time to ponder the truth of God. There are constant distractions that send our thoughts into many places at one time. As it says in Psalm 46:10, Be still and know that I am God. I even noticed that in our churches they seem to work at not losing the momentum in the services and keep us from reflecting on our hearts. I’m not saying they do this purposefully, however it is happening. It’s an old salesman’s game. Don’t give them time to think.

All I am trying to say is slow down. Don’t get ahead of God and ponder what He’s trying to tell you.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Where’s the Proof?

Several times in my life I have occasionally fallen into doubt. Questions come over me concerning the reality of God. I know that when we are down heartened and discouraged these feelings come, but when everything is going well or maybe even while I am praying or reading the Bible these thoughts come. Now I know this is harassment by the enemy (demons) trying to throw me off balance. However, the question remains…do I have a response to these doubts or will I let these thoughts burden me.

I know if you are a living breathing human and no matter if you are a born again believer, attended church all your life or even have a deep relationship with God you have or will be attacked with these questions…Is Jesus really coming back…Does God really exist or is this something we have just accepted without question…Is there really a heaven and hell…Could this be all that there is? These are not questions that have come to me only recently, but they have returned throughout my life.

So what if these doubts attack us what do we do? Pray harder, read the Bible more, ignore it and hope it goes away, get counseling or just run away? Some of these things may help, but this morning God renewed a truth in me and helped me to see it more clearly than I’ve understood before. Where is it?

Israel! Just look to Israel and God’s chosen people. The proof will always be there and visible for all of us. Think about it. Why would practically every country in the world want to see Israel destroyed? Why is it that this small piece of real estate is so valuable to so many? Israel is only about the size of East Texas. Why is it that this small country has caused so much attention throughout the world and time? Why did Hitler try to totally eliminate their existence? I could go on and on. Think about it.

Satan knows that if he can destroy Israel he can destroy the reality of God and he will continue to do so to the very end. However, I have read ahead and I know this doesn’t happen. Israel has always been a constant source of affirmation of God and irritation to Satan. Satan tried to destroy Jesus and did that ever backfire on him.

I’m not a historian or theologian on Israel, but it’s impossible to deny what’s right in front of me. Israel is not God, but they continue to validate His existence and truth. If you were to conduct a historical study of Israel you’ll see God’s fingerprints everywhere; Not only in the past, but up to this very day. They’re always in the news.

America has always been support for Israel and this would explain our bountiful blessing from God. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. Genesis 12:3

However, America has been leaning on the edge of removing our support from Israel and if it ever happens all I can say is look out.

Monday, October 24, 2011


The other day I was pondering my life and came to the conclusion that I couldn’t believe I had made it as far as I have. Meaning, I can’t believe I’m still alive. I sat in amazement wondering how God could have put up with me for so long.

I also began to think about my past and for so long I thought I understood God, the church, Christianity and the right way of living. Then I thought about how the church, preaching and God just made me feel worthless and like a failure. In guilt I came to believe I must have been God’s greatest disappointment.

I remember many times I would go to church camp, revival or seminar and decide within my own will power that this time would be different. (By the way, I have no will power to do what is right, only wrong.) I was going to make further down the road this time. Nothing was going to stop me. I was going to serve the Lord and nothing was getting in my way. No more failure for me. This would last for at least 2 – 4 weeks, then Boom! My spirit was willing, but my flesh was weak. By the way, that’s a false statement. The truth is/was my spirit was weak and my flesh was strong. I didn’t want to walk away from the sinful desires in my life and I was easily influenced to return to them.

Where did I develop the belief that I was supposed to be perfect? Why didn’t God help me like He said He would in His word? Over the years I came to believe that God wasn’t true to His Word and in my late 30’s I was getting pretty angry at God and everyone else. I’d try blaming everyone that I could. I believed that everyone else had it figured out and I was standing ignorantly out in the cold rain. After years of believing this there was no place for me to go but depression.

After wallowing around in depression for over a year I was getting close to hitting bottom. I hadn’t hit bottom yet because I still hadn’t ran to God. I was still trying to figure it out on my own.

Then God began to lovingly and gently throw me lifelines. He wasn’t pushing me, but was drawing me in to safety. I will never forget His loving gentleness and patience as if I was a skittish, timid, abused puppy. He continued to gracefully and calmly throw me lifelines and led me to a place to release all my hurt and anger and to restore our relationship in truth. All my life I had succumbed to the many lies satan has so carefully weaved into my heart. Now my Lord and God continually removes the lies and is replacing them with Truth. I didn’t learn all the lies overnight nor has God removed them overnight. You see, I had to be broken and flushed out completely before I was willing to look up.

Many times I have believed that these lifelines didn’t start occurring until this time in my life, but the truth was that God had been throwing these lines to me all my life. I can’t help but think of this song:

Time after time I was searching for peace in some void
I was trying to blame all my ills on this world I was in
Surface relationships used me till I was done in
But all the while someone was begging to free me from sin

He was there all the time
He was there all the time
Waiting patiently in line
He was there all the time

Never again will I search for a fake rainbows end
Now that I’ve found the answer my life is just starting to rhyme
Sharing each new day with Him is a breath of fresh life
Oh what I've missed He's been waiting right here all the time

Repeat Chorus

This describes where I was very accurately.

You're cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn't care? The proverb has it that "he's a fiercely jealous lover." And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you'll find. It's common knowledge that "God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble."

So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet. James 4:4-10

Monday, October 17, 2011


Definition of a Chapter:

1. One of the main divisions of a relatively lengthy piece of writing, such as a book, that is usually numbered or titled.

2. A distinct period or sequence of events, as in history or a person's life.

I’m sure there are many of you are becoming aware of the many chapters that have come and gone throughout your life. Those of you who are younger may not have as many chapters in your life; then again some of you may have more than those around my age.

The healthiest thing I’ve learned to do in recent years is to close chapters in my life and move on. I was notorious for attempting to hold on to everything in my past. I virtually lived in my past. I was afraid to let my past go mostly because I was so afraid of the future or unknown. I wanted to hang on to almost every event as well as hold on to every friend I made. I even felt guilty about letting go because I believed that moving on was saying I didn’t care or I was doing them some sort of injustice. There were many circumstances I held on to simply because I liked to use them for justification just in case I needed them. Once I let go I felt somewhat vulnerable.

When I think of a picture of what I looked like spiritually and emotionally this is what I see. (No, I didn’t see myself as a woman. This was the only picture I could find.) Naturally I was overwhelmed. Take a minute and think if this might be a picture of you. Are you carrying around stuff that’s inhibiting you and your life? If so, then put them down. It’s time to move on to freedom.

There seems to have been many chapters in my life in just the last few years. I’ve attempted to return to some of them, but I was unable to fit in and I couldn’t make it happen. The chapter was simply closed.

Recently I was a volunteer at an elderly rehab center. (Sort of like a nursing home) I started a new job and had to leave. This was over a month ago and I haven’t returned to visit or anything. I’ve struggled a little with some guilt because I’ve not even had a desire to return. Did I not meet some interesting people or make some friends while I was there? Yes I did. However, I’ve had to accept this chapter is now closed and time to move on.

I will never find what I’m looking for in my past. The past is dead and can’t be changed or repaired. It’s gone! The future could be just a detrimental if I choose to live there. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. Matthew 6:34 My mother used to say why are you worried about the future? You may be dead before it ever gets here. For some reason or another I took comfort in that thought.

Are you having difficulty letting go of a past friend, death of a loved one, a job, church, position, children who have strayed or are you ashamed of what you think you’ve become, or what you have done in your past or where you believe you are going? Let go and move on!

So am I saying to never remember anything or anyone from your past? No Way! First of all you can’t. It’s mentally impossible unless you get some sort of brain damage. You don’t quit loving or remembering. It’s just a decision to put down the past and turn your desires, thoughts and dreams to God. He is the past, present and future/eternity. He’s not concerned with what was, but with what is. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. Matthew 8:22-23 Jesus was simply saying, if you want to follow me then get on the boat and leave the past behind. You may want to read the previous verses.

This is something that came to me several years ago and I try to remember it.

Learn from the Past – Live in the Present – Hope for the Future/Eternity

Monday, October 10, 2011


I can remember the days when a man’s handshake was his contract and word. It was important to a man to honor his word and to prove his integrity. There were no lawyers, not a 50 page legalese document to sign or vengeful threats. A man’s word was his bond.

What motivated a person to keep their word in an agreement? It could have been anything to several things. He desired to live a life honorable to God. He had a fear of God. He had a fear of repercussion and consequences. When the world was smaller and people lived in smaller towns their livelihood depended greatly on their integrity and honesty because if word got out (and it would) this person business would have been destroyed.

We live in a different world now. Dishonesty, cheating, corruption and lying have become the norm instead of the exception. Many people would choose to lie even though the truth would have been acceptable. Many have no problem laying their hands on a Bible and lying in a court of law. They say you can always tell when a politician is lying. It’s usually when his lips are moving. There are many who will say whatever it takes to get them what they want. If it’s to get elected, make a sale, get her into bed or simply deny something to avoid discipline or conflict.

One of the consequences we all have had to pay is to have contracts and legal documents and these are even iffy. Then there are lawyers whose job is to find loop wholes in these contracts. It our “enlightened” society there is many situations that encourage us to do wrong legally.

Now to bring it down to where we live: Do we cheat on our taxes? If we’re over changed at a store do we make a point to inform the cashier? If we are overpaid at our jobs do we make them aware of it? Do we arrange cash business to lie on our income? Do we flirt with others even though we are married? Do we tell friends the truth when they ask us difficult questions or tell them what they wish to hear? I could go on, but I think you get the point.

The Bible has become a book of suggestions instead of commandments. People do as they wish because there is no fear of God any longer. Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law. For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.” So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law. James 2:8-11

The Reward: There is nothing more powerful and healing than a clear conscience. A clear conscience will grant you health, sleep, peace, genuine love and strength. There will be no more looking over your shoulder and wondering if the ax is going to fall on you. When you see a policeman is doesn’t affect you. When you’re called into the boss’s office you’re not overcome with fear. When you are with your spouse there is no shame or fear. The list is extensive.

I have been guilty of so many and still struggle with some. However, I would not exchange a clear conscience for anything. It is the one of the most powerful and freeing assets anyone could have. It’s another word for FREEDOM..

Monday, October 3, 2011


All of us at one time or another has contemplated heaven. What’s it really going to be like? Where is it exactly? Some may have wondered, “Am I gonna be bored?” I have thought that before. What wonders will we see and of course many other questions. Jesus gave us a few physical characteristics of heaven, but there is not a lot of information about heaven.

The greatest mystery of man has always been what lies on the other side of death. Man’s imagination has come up with some amazing opinions and beliefs, but none of those have biblical foundation of any kind. Many believe that this is all there is and once you die that’s it. Whenever I’m watching a war movie seeing hundreds of men dying on both sides of the battle it’s easy to see them just as being dead and not bound for an eternity.

If you search “heaven” in Bible Gateway you will find about a hundred scriptures on heaven. However, several of them are referring to the sky, stars and referencing to the place where God resides. There is very little physical description of heaven. In John 14:1-3 there is talk about the mansions Jesus is preparing for us and in Revelation 21:9-14 is probably the most physical description of heaven in the Bible.

Not much of this information really tells us much about heaven. There have been several authors who have written books doing their best to describe heaven, but I believe no matter how much study or effort they apply they will never come close to an accurate description. There have been a few who have died and returned who have attempted to describe heaven and what it’s like on the other side. From what I’ve read they haven’t said anything that I haven’t read in the Bible or heard in church. I can’t help but wonder why God would send someone now back with a message when He wouldn’t allow Paul to say anything and Paul was called up to the third heaven. 2 Corinthians 12:1-2 I believe it’s like trying to explain to a 2 year old toddler mathematical equations and formulas on quantum physics times a million. It can’t be done.

I don’t believe we have the mental or spiritual abilities to fathom the Glory of Heaven. There is not one of us who can fathom what it would be like to be completely set apart and free from sin. We can’t fathom what it would be like to be at total peace and free from hurt and pain. We have to accept there are some things we just can’t understand and “Know” that it’s a place where Jesus is and anticipate the wonders greater that we can imagine.

I do believe as we get older and have suffered many hurts and pains (physical and emotional) we have a greater longing for heaven. Young people don’t usually give eternity much thought simply because they haven’t suffered enough. A few months ago I was listening to some old hymns that were probably from the 1930’s and 40’s. I was intrigued that most of these hymns were about their longing for heaven. This was a time of great suffering in our country and people longed for release.

The physical characteristics of heaven are beyond beauty, but we have a mind that’s limited to enjoying this. I know it’s not one thing or the other, but everything together. I don’t believe I could ever come close to describing or dreaming about the wonders of heaven. Can you imagine what you will be doing a billion years from now? I can’t and it’s sort of a scary thought, but not as scary as hell. The greatest wonder of heaven is that we will be with Jesus forever. I don’t even believe we have the spiritual or mental capacity to understand that now and its importance. However, we will and we have to have faith and rest on this for now. All I know for now is that it’s going to be wonderful.