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Guest post from Chookooloonks – You have evidence to suggest otherwise

I found this article  You have evidence to suggest otherwise on G+ and I loved it so much I want to share it with you, my readers.

I think you will enjoy it as much as I did.

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Guest post from the Servants of Grace Website

As I was scrolling Google Plus I saw the following article entitled  The Blessing of Technology and the Dwarfing of Biblical Spirituality.  For the most part I agree with what this article has to say.  It reminds us of how easy it is to substitute one idol for another and not even be aware of it.

 

 

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A new season

In less than 30 days we will be saying good bye to the house we are living in and moving down the street to a newer and more modern domicile.  Currently we are living in a 3 bedroom and 1 bath house that was built in the 1950’s era.  We moved here from Johns Island because we needed a cheaper place to live that was centrally located in Charleston.  We wanted the teenagers to be close to school and we needed to be halfway between Berkeley County where Katy did substitute teaching and Kiawah Island where I work.

It has been a short 3.5 years that we have lived here, and now it is time to move.  Our teenagers took the GED road instead of completing High School, so we no longer need to live close to a high school.  I just happened to find out about this townhouse through a friend of mine that we play cards with on Johns Island.  I had gone over there for our monthly card game and my friends wife was talking about a friend of theirs who is renting their town home.  They are charging 100.00 more than what we are paying for this house but it is much newer and nicer than what we are currently in.  Originally Katy and I had talked about finding a smaller house or apartment that was more economical.

I thought about the possibility of moving in but figured that with our 3 dogs, 3 cats and 3 kittens that the owner would charge an astronomical pet deposit and that would be the end of that.  I never called the owner but they wound up calling me instead.  Two weeks later and the deal has been confirmed.  The owner of the new place is a pet lover and we have made the proper arrangements for the critters to be outside in a fenced in area when we are at work during the day.  I am also thinning the herd and finding a new home for the cats and kittens.  As of this writing we only have one kitten left that my son begged me to keep for him.

It is amazing to me how this happened but right after we made the commitment to move Katy landed a teaching job in Berkeley county.  Katy will be teaching a special education class at Sedgefield Middle school.  Katy was certified as a teacher in South Carolina exactly one year ago in October of 2012.  Katy has been looking for a full time teaching job every since that month last year.  We have lost count as to how many interviews she has been on.  The road to full time employment for Katy has been nothing less than frustrating.  Katy has been able to substitute teach when school is in session during the school year, but this last year during the summer she was unable to find employment of any kind.  That means that she was not bringing in any income whatsoever and my pay check was being vaporized and not leaving any extra funds for emergencies.

There is nothing more frustrating than to get paid , pay the living expense bills and then be broke for the next 13 days.  I realize that there are a lot of folks in the world that are much less fortunate than we are so I get that.  I guess that we would like to be able to do more than merely survive from one pay check to the next.  We live by faith , one day at a time, hoping and praying that nothing happens to the one full time job, mine, that is sustaining our current life style.

I can only imagine what it must be like for those folks that were one income families that found themselves unemployed due to no fault of their own.  We have been there, done that and had no money for a tshirt.  Back in 2002 I was working a nice I.T. contract job in Greenville and we had relocated to Simpsonville SC.  That contract was ended prematurely by the company that hired the contracting firm and I went from making some serious cash to living on unemployment of 8 bucks per hour.  We went from living in a nice 3 bedroom 2 bath house to a single wide trailer in Travelers Rest.  Our plans at that time was to be debt free within 18 months of working that contract job and we could have easily done it.

I suppose that it all boils down to perspective and priorities.  One of the ways that we survive is to learn how to live on a very strict budget.  If the expense is not on the budget it does not get paid.  You have X amount of dollars and you have to spread that out as best you can.  There is a complicated juggling act that has to be done in order to keep all of the utility companies and the landlord happy.  We also have had to learn how to live more frugally.  We have had to learn that when you go out to eat away from the house that you use coupons and share food.  That alone cuts your expense in half or more.  We have had to learn how to be content in the mean time.

We have had to learn how to stop comparing ourselves to our neighbors and friends.  We have had to learn that God is our provider and that He will take care of our needs and every once in a great while we get our wants.  In the book of Matthew in the new testament of the bible there is a scripture that says “Seek you first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”  Sometimes it can be difficult to take your eyes off of your circumstances and put it where it belongs.

 

 

 

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A post from the Blog Everyday Grace

I am going through my news feed on Facebook and ran across this story from the Blog Every Day Grace.  The story was a reminder that we all need to be reminded of.  You can find the blog post here.

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What makes me so special ?

I follow several blogs that I like to read and respond to when I can. One of the blogs is from Angie Mizzell.  Her blog post this morning asked the readers what made us special. As I read this blog post the voices in my head convinced me that I did not want to attempt to comment on it.  I told the voices in my head to shut up and I pushed it to the back of my mind to contemplate it.  I knew that I would re visit this particular blog post again this evening and I did.

I spent some time on Angie’s blog and wrote a response that FB and WordPress  promptly ATE…..  As I sat here and realized my response was GONE and I had not copied it, I did not miss a beat.  I popped open MS Word and rewrote the response below.

I read and reread the post several times and let it soak in.  As I contemplated the question about what makes me so special, this is what I thought.  As I look at myself I know that I have gifts and talents.  Having gifts and talents does not make me special.  Perhaps what I do with those gifts and talents could be special.  Then I figured that we all have gifts and talents.  Having those does not make me necessarily special.

What makes me special is my life story.  Two separate but important events happened that changed the course of my life.  The first event is when my adoptive parents found my sister and I in a German orphanage and brought us to America.  We were given a new lease on life.  My sister was able to get eye surgery since she was half blind and I was not supposed to ever walk thanks to a club foot.

Despite the wonderful gift of being brought to America my sister and I did not experience a picture perfect childhood.   Needless to say, I was a very screwed up young man.  I was so screwed up I wound up in a county jail for 45 days and then spent some time living under a bridge in Houston Texas.  I went from there to the Star of Hope Mission where I found God.  Actually, God ran to me.  I accepted Jesus as my savior as a 17 year old young man, but never allowed him to the Lord of my life.  I will never forget the day that I asked God to come into my life.  I was in the woods in Quinlan Texas and one of my friends dad was a chaplain with the voluntary fire dept.  He was the one who told me about how much God loves me.

What is so special about me you ask?  God ran to me and he loved me.  He saved me from my screwed up brokenness.  He has been fixing the pain and brokenness in my heart, mind and spirit for the last 35 years.  Because he ran to me and loved me I have been able to experience real joy, peace and contentment.  I am married to a wonderful woman who has loved me despite of who I am and where I have come from.  I have four adult children who love me and do not hate me.  I have had a job in I.T. for the last 24 years despite the fact I do not have a four year degree.   God has opened one door after the other and somehow I managed to walk through those doors.

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Watching , waiting, hoping and praying

Watching, waiting, hoping and praying.  You do a lot of that as you watch young adults stretch their legs and head down the road of life. As a parent I found myself with a preconceived notion of what might happen as I watch my young adults go from being teenagers and morph into the next stage of life.

It seems that the older the kids get, the less influence we have on them.  Looking back at when I was their age I can remember how I felt about my parents and their warnings about life.  I thought they were idiots and way out of touch with life.  Now I sit here experiencing dejavu as I watch my kids making questionable life choices.

For the most part, Katy and I have imparted what we could with regards to them having a good foundation.  We taught them the difference between right and wrong.  We taught them to love God with all their hearts, minds and souls and love their neighbors as themselves.  We attempted to be living examples instead of saying “do as I say not as I do”.  Sure, we screwed up from time to time ,but I believe that over all we were consistent in what we said and did in our home.

Nothing pains the heart of a parent more than to see their children making bad decisions and then having to live through the consequences.  Our hope is that our children will not make the same mistakes we did.  We hope that because we want the best for them.  We want them to be happy, fulfilled and successful.  We want them to be a contributing member of society.  Eventually we want them to be able to stand on their own two feet and take care of themselves.

We have two adult children who still live at home and as they headed towards their 18th birthday I had an unreasonable expectation.  I expected them to be mature, make good decisions and follow the life path that I had preconceived for them.  You know the drill.  I expected them to finish high school and possibly go to college.  Katy and I both believe that education is a critical need that will give them more than a fighting chance in society.  Studies have shown that the more education a person has the chances of landing a better paying job goes up exponentially.

Much to our dislike and disdain we have discovered that our kids do not agree with the age old rules of society that says if you want to eat and have your own things you have to earn a pay check.  That principle is also a biblical principle.  The bible is very clear about the importance of working and earning your way in life.  All we can do is patiently wait as nature takes its course.   We have remained a refuge in this world so they always know they have a place to come to.  Our home is their home but at the same time there are rules that have to be followed.  Those rules have been in place for a long time and are designed to provide tranquility and harmony and peace.

As long as we are alive our love for our family will never falter.  We will always welcome our family in our home and will do whatever we can to facilitate the growing and maturing process.  Looking back at my earlier forages into life as a young adult I remember how many struggles I experienced.  Most of those trials and tribulations were brought upon me because of ignorance and pride.  I believed that I knew more than my out of touch parents.  I guess when I was around 23 or 24 I came to the realization that life is bigger than I am.  I realized that I was not as smart as I thought I was.  Life began to teach me some tough lessons.

As I watch my kids start to make mistakes and make missteps in life I realize the importance of grace and mercy.  I want to be the type of father that is always willing to extend grace and mercy when it is needed.  I want to be the type of father that extends love and encouragement when the time is right.  I want to be patient and to allow my kids to make those mistakes because it is those mistakes that will make up the fabric of growth and maturity.  Just as my father in heaven extends his grace, mercy and forgiveness to me when I falter, I feel the need to do that for my family as well.

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Roll call of most influential people in my life

I follow Angie Mizzell’s blog and her question today was this.

Who is the one person who had an important influence in your life?

I have been thinking about this on and off during the day and I now have time to respond to the question. I was surprised when I found myself going down memory lane today as I thought of all the people who have had a positive influence in my life. I feel as if they are all equally important so I want to take the time to have an informal roll call.   

James & Hedy Moffitt adopted my sister and I from an orphanage in Germany when we were 1 and 2 years of age. If it were not for their influence in our lives we would not have been able to experience what it is to be an American citizen. Thanks to army doctors I have been able to walk and my sister had her eyesight restored. Had it not been for their generous love and rescuing us from that orphanage, we would have certainly had it much harder as young kids and probably as adults.

Coach Trussell – This was my favorite high school football coach, mentor and friend. Coach lived two streets over from where we lived in Quinlan Texas and I often caught a ride to school with him and his wife when it was raining outside. When the weather was nice I would walk the 2 or 3 miles to school on the other side of town. Coach Trussell was instrumental in helping me to build my self confidence and self esteem. I never was able to play football due to my club foot, but he allowed me to work out with the rest of the team in the weight room. I will never forget how proud he was of me ,and how he would brag on me to the rest of the team. He would tell them that I was once a 90 lb weakling but if I could accomplish the goals with strength training ,then anyone could do it. I will never forget how that made me feel.

Mrs Dean- This was my high school typing teacher. My mother forced me to take 4 years of typing in High School. Little did I know that I would be flying a keyboard for a living many years later. Mrs Dean was influential in my life because every time I would say something negative about myself she would correct me and say something uplifting and positive. She taught me to find self worth and to hold my head high and to find the bright positive things in life. She was an important encourager in my life.

Ida Colombrito’s father- I had several christian friends in high school. Donald and Ida were both friends and they were dating one another. Ida’s father was a volunteer fire dept chaplain. Ida’s father became my friend and was the one who told me about Jesus Christ and his love for me. I will never forget the day in the woods at the age of 17 when I bowed my head and asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins and to come into my life. Apparently Ida’s dad did that with a lot of folks over the years. I will be forever thankful to him for taking the time to encourage a young man who was lost.

Aunts and uncles – I had several aunts and uncles in my life who were very good to my sister and I in our childhood. Needless to say our childhood was a bit troubled and we needed that influence in our lives.   

Tom Glisson – Tom is the pastor of Grace Fellowship Church in Goose Creek. Our family are still members there even though we attend a church closer to home. Tom Glisson will always be my pastor because I know that he has a genuine heart for God and for people. Pastor Tom and the church family walked with us as we watched our daughter Jessica battle with cancer in 2000 – 2001. They provided a much needed support system and loved our Jessica no matter what. I am eternally grateful for my relationship with our extended church family in Goose Creek.

Katy Moffitt – the love of my life and best friend. Katy is the most selfless person I know. Katy met me at a singles MASH party at First Baptist church. I had recently gone through an ugly divorce and I had my son Jeremy for the weekend. Katy first took a liking to Jeremy and then later on she took a liking to me despite my rough edges. Despite my best efforts to just be friends, she stole my heart and we got married in May of 1990. As a married couple we have had more than our fair share of trials and tribulations. I would dare say that most marriages would have been destroyed. I believe that our faith in God and our love for one another are the two things that was the glue that held our marriage together. Katy is a giver and a lover. Katy is the true reflection of a virtuous woman. I cannot imagine life without her.

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Losing people

As I have done many times in the past I headed over to Newton Farms at Freshfields Village for lunch. I like to order either a wrap or a sandwich from their sandwich bar in their deli. On many occasions a lady named Melinda would serve me. Melinda was very professional and good at her job. On several occasions I was able to strike up a conversation with her as she was making my lunch. I have been visiting with Melinda for almost 5 years now. Every time I visited with Melinda I enjoyed the short time I had to speak with her. On several occasions Melinda shared her faith in God with me since we have that in common.

When I walked into Newton Farm today I noticed that Melinda was not working as she usually does. As a matter of fact it occurred to me that I had not seen her in the last two or three times I had gone to the sandwich bar. I asked the young lady who was fixing my sandwich where my friend was and I was stunned by her response. The lady told me that Melinda died on February 16th and had been shot and killed by her boyfriend on Johns Island. I guess I just assumed that Melinda would always be working at the sandwich bar and that she would be there when I would come in to order my lunch. It never occurred to me that her life would be prematurely snuffed out by a random act of violence.

My thoughts go out to Melinda’s two teenaged daughters who are now living life without their mother. The news story about this horrible tragedy stated that Melinda was a mother who loved her girls and would enjoy taking them to downtown Charleston to go shopping. I am hopeful that Melinda shared her faith in God with her girls and that they have a support system at church that can help them work through the grief. I will forever miss Melinda and the time that we shared talking over the counter at the sandwich bar. I know that her co workers will miss her a lot as well.

Life is precious and so are people. All people are precious no matter how different they might appear on the outside. I am thankful for the limited time that I was allowed to spend with Melinda. Having learned of this tragedy has reminded me of how important relationships are both in my family but outside of my immediate family as well.

R.I.P. Melinda you are loved.

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Coastal Community Church in West Ashley South Carolina

Katy and I have been attending Coastal Community Church in West Ashley for about a year and a half. The church runs around 400 members and has three services each Sunday.

Today they kicked off a new series called “Moses : From Slavery to promised land”

One of the things that I love about Coastal Community Church is their love for reaching people for the kingdom of God. Pastor Chris likes to say “we will do everything short of sin to tell people about how much God loves them.” Pastor Chris has a heart for the people in our community and loves to promote the idea of service to the community we are in.

I think the important thing is that if you do not go to Coastal Community church that you do go somewhere. I believe that it is important that Jesus Followers are members of a local church for the purposes of kingdom building, discipleship and service. We have all heard this statement. I can be a christian and I do not have to go to a physical building to be one. While that is technically correct, it completely negates being around like minded people. The church is the body of Christ, and while it is not the building, it is centered around the people of God and their activities together.

In the next couple of blog posts I will attempt to reflect on the points that were brought up this Sunday in this series. I am hopeful that as I reflect on the things that I have learned that it will in some way bring a fresh revelation to your mind and bless you at the same time.

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Letter from the Hobby Lobby CEO – David Green

As I was on Facebook this morning I read this letter and wanted to share it with you.  The liberal media will be sure to ignore it so it is up to Christians to share it with the world.  I agree with everything this man has to say and I hope that they win their lawsuit in court.  It is a shame that you have to sue your government to get something done.

http://thebrennerbrief.com/2013/01/03/tragic-letter-from-the-hobby-lobby-ceo-results-of-personal-freedoms-slipping-away/

 

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