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.

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.