Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Believing In Me

The smile is back on even though things haven't changed, except for my deepened love for Jesus. Yea, I thank Him for believing in me.

Last Friday I had a real experience that I didn't share. I was walking to grab the train carrying my bible when 2 young men walked by and said something. On this day I was in a very frustrated mood and wasn't being to receptive of others, but I did turn and ask what they had said. They both turned and came back towards me while threatening me stating, "We're going to kick your A**, you bible beater.", among other things. When I had grab control of my temper, (I really wanted to just jump into their faces.) I told them that I wouldn't beat on my bible that was why I was carrying it, because I didn't want it to get scarred up in my pack. I also stated how I was living on the streets and explained how the Lord has helped renew my life and hope. They were in shock and really didn't know what to say. That is where I left them, while praying that maybe the seed I just planted will grow and not blow away.

Wow, how could I forget to tell someone about a incident such as that. The thought here is, even when I was at one of my lowest during my new life, God was still doing great work through me. He never gave up and didn't sit and dwell on my past, He took hold and let the words spill from me without no fear. Yea its cool and I do thank Him for believing in me.

I will be pounding away today on the housing issue with over a dozen calls to make today and a ton of prayers supporting me. Life hasn't gotten any easier, it just became more loving, with better choices.

So as I walk through this day I look back on Friday and all of the days since the change in my life and I'm going to "Shine", just as the song from NewsBoys. I want everyone to wonder why I can still smile and I'm prepared to let them know if they so ask.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Walk

Well the weather hasn't improved, it's still hard to see anything here in the valley due to the inversion and pollution. It really reminds me of what is going on in my life, all of the fog making hard to see the clear path. But today I walk with Jesus and feel His presence even when things look like they're not improving. Even during this tough time I still can smile, but only when I put the word to my lips and just savor the life that will be after the short stay here on earth.

I'm headed out to do some more apartment hunting, it has been a real tough time. I have an address that is associated with the homeless and many landlords just look at me in dismay and state that they are either full or I can put in an application and see what happens. Well, many of these applications are most likely, thrown in the old file 13.

I have a lot of work to get done today so off I go while I whistle "I Can Only Imagine" sung by MercyMe.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Roller Coaster

Its been a tough week and everything doesn't seem to be getting any better. My basket of problems only seems to be getting bigger since trying to leave the streets. On Monday evening I had another seizure, putting me in the hospital for a one night stand. I then missed the appointment for a chance at an apartment the next morning and it was rented out. Topping out the basket is the cold and dreary weather here lately.

Since starting this journey I've enjoyed some really high moments and things seemed to be getting better, but today it is taking many sharp drops and corners that has been really putting the pain in me and my body.

I had a chance to talk with a few who have been guiding me onto the right path and was somewhat bewilder by the things I seen. One person was thinking about wanting to make more money and jump ship from a job that supports him well and he enjoys. Another seemed concerned about the money they were spending on an adoption process, and still another (me) was only thinking about the money period.

What is up with everyone and money?

Since I've been sick and trying to work my new job I only have seemed to go backwards. The money I do make barely covers for the food and some of the medical supplies and I don't even have rent or utilities to pay. I have really started to look back and believe that before this all started I may have been better off.

You may ask yourself, "Is he going to give up?", and I will answer, "NO WAY!"

You see I prayed for those today that I had talked with and hoped they may find other things to think about other than trying to make that pile of money bigger for retirement. I also prayed that all of the small aches and pains I may be suffering may end soon and that I'll be in a warm place to stay soon.

I must admit it has been tough and tonight many questions arose, but I will continue to struggle on.

I've been normally working late at night so I could stay inside the library to keep warm and more comfortable, but tonight I chose to get back to working on my new life with Jesus. Tonight I'm taking that walk with Jesus and trying to imagine Him setting and walking right next to me.

Yea, I'm a little upset about the roller coaster ride but I'm estatic about what it will produce in the long run.

So "Rescue" me Jesus.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Enduring The New Foundation

It's another cold day here (7 degrees F), but I've continued to stay warm with the sleeping bag and comfortable knowing that our Lord is in my heart.

I've been stating that I have felt like God has been testing me, but someone wrote to me yesterday stating that this may not be true, so last night while trying to view the stars through the polluted haze we have I reflected on what has been going on. Today that reflection took me to a couple of readings that has given me more hope that I'm actually strengthening my relationship with God.

My first thought was that I've been starting to build a foundation for a better life, but I have been leaving out important steps. Using a construction analogy, I started by putting in the rebar for reinforcement of the foundation by being faithful in prayer for others and myself, and by reading daily from the Bible or other spiritual related studies. After starting the foundation properly I neglected to set the foundation up properly by not following through with placing the forms for the concrete before allowing Him to pour the concrete. In other words skipping a vital part called serving and giving, or in construction content not placing the forms and allowing the concrete to flow out in all directions except for where it needed to be. I'm grateful that He has been patient with me during these vital stages of building my foundation and the book of Luke came into mind.

Luke 6:47-49 "47 I will show you what it's like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follws it. 48 It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the flood waters rise and break aganinst the house, it stands firm because it is well built. 49 But anyone who hears and doesn't obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins." (NLT)

Essentially God is allowing me to go back and follow through with the proper steps in putting my foundation on great ground and to build the forms up so He may pour out the needed wisdom for His will in my life.

I also feel that this is an important time in developing character for my new life as is pointed out in Romans 4:1-5

"1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because your faith, christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory. 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love."

I do feel that He is working on my character and I can notice the changes even some that may be subtle. I really need to be patient and work on building a strong foundation and to start learning from His teachings in my new life experiences, so that I may better be able to serve Him.

I sure hope this makes sence, the thoughts and words seem to be somewhat jumbled, but I know that God is understanding.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Another Issue to Deal With

I got to stay inside for the last couple of nights, but not due to my choice. On Tuesday I was feeling very disoriented while trudging down the hill. I believed I needed to eat so I stopped at the Heritage Center dorms for a bite at the cafeteria. I didn't make it up the stairs in fact I don't even remember going into the building. I understand after talking to some of the kids today that many had thought I was drunk. Man I haven't had a drink in over 2 months. I went down clobbering my head on the steps and smacking my right shoulder hard. They called an ambulance to haul me the 2 block distance to the hospital. I spent most of the day trying to figure out what was going on and they kept me under surveillance, especially after they found no alcohol or illegal substances in my system. They ran tests Wednesday and have found out that I have diabetes. What a shocker it doesn't even run in my family.

I was very fortunate that the fall didn't do worse damage than just the bruised ego and a real sore shoulder, not to mention the headache for 2 days. The new issue of having to deal with diabetes is a real tough slap for me. I surely wasn't expecting this and really don't want to deal with it.

I was told that the depression and dizzy spells I had been experiencing were symptoms that I should have been more alarmed about. I just felt they were due to my poor eating habits and not sleeping in the best conditions.

Now my biggest problems is finding out if I still have a job. During all of the happenings my small pack with all of the important papers, wallet, day planner, phone and other items was misplaced and it took me the whole day today to find out the police had them. They were the first I contacted after finding out the hospital or cafeteria didn't have them, but I was told the they were not in possession of them either. Well, at about 4pm they called and said they had located them and I could come and pick it up. Now throughout all this time I had no number to call my employer , but have since left messages for him. Man I pray that I don't lose one on the things that is actually going right at this time in my life.

How is this effecting my life with God?

Well I must admit it really has put a hurt on me. I just can't understand why He has been testing me so much and mentally it has been taking a toll. Tonight my thoughts wander and I feel as though I'm taking huge leaps backwards instead of going forward like I thought I was.

My housing still remains the same and no messages concerning it were left during the time away from the phone, in fact only my employer was the single message. A couple of times in the past I was offered housing after asking but after doing the footwork it never materialized. This time I didn't ask for the offer but I feel once again that its going down the tube. How can many of us keep up the hope after past experiences like these?

As I pull out the Bible tonight I'm not sure where to go and find the words that He wants to convey to me. I know that He is sending me a message but What? Where? and How? I went on a search for music video from Steele Croswhite who has been instrumental in bringing me to Christian music. Steele is a a leader at The Rock Church who meets every Saturday night in the same building as K2 The Church and his music has always touched me. After finding the video "Matchless" it brought me to Psalms and I read a few chapters but Psalm 146 touched me the most at a time in need.

Psalm 146: 5-10
"5: But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God. 6: He made heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever. 7: He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The Lord frees the prisoners. 8: The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down. The Lord loves the godly. 9: The Lord protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked. 10: The Lord will reign forever. He will be your God, O Jerusalem throughout the generations. Praise the Lord!"

Once again I thank you Lord for bringing me back into the light and even during these trying times I can't allow that evil demon to infiltrate my thinking and that you are the Greatest! If it wasn't for your grace Lord only you would have known where I'd be at this time. You see I've been that prisoner, the hungry, oppressed and trying to lug the huge mountain on my shoulders all alone and now I no longer need to carry these burdens alone. It may be a tough night tonight but tomorrow I'll begin with the ever important prayer and then start dialing the brothers and sisters I've come to know through you to help me find the answers to the questions I have.

Tonight I'm thankful for this blog, because writing here helps me to understand where I'm at with God. And tonight it took me to the right pages in the Bible.

Does this mean all is well tonight? No, but I do feel more comfortable knowing that He hasn't forgotten me, and I haven't Him.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Tearing It Down To Rebuild

Miracles happened through Jesus on the Sabbath and continues to do so. Today at K2 The Church, while everyone was singing, a message was given to me from our Almighty Lord. You see, during the past week I have been somewhat trouble about what has be going on in my life and today He told me that I'm going through some pain of being torn down so I may be rebuilt for the purpose He has brought me here on earth for. As I shared this with other members from the church, I also learned that even after spiritual growth this still occurs, which is all new to me.

This,I feel, is a blessing to see that even when I thought I wasn't maturing any, that God was actually still working on me. He hadn't just taken a few days off, but was trying to tear away the corrupt way of my past life to make way for this new journey. The pain I felt in the past few days is something that I would have normally masked through the use of alcohol, but not so today, thanks to Him.

The message He sent me today was not the only thing that happened today. My new work will require me to get a computer, which I've been praying for. I spoke to Pastor Andy before the services and was informed he was already working on it. Between the 9am service and 10:45 service I was talking to a person I met during Christmas dinner and mentioned that I was praying for and looking for a computer. Kevin then stated he had just bought a new PC and that I was welcome to have his older one. Wow, another prayer answered and I hadn't even made it out of the church yet.

Today's message at church was "iWant", part 2 of the iLife series, and it dealt with how we all want stuff out of life, rather than giving back to life. The ideal of wanting actually makes us feel more independent when we get it, but giving makes us more like God. We all want to make an investment for our future, when giving is actually an investment for our future through eternity. Many of us want that treasure at the end of the rainbow, but our treasure is actually where our heart is.

Where is your heart today?

Our nation is rich and many through money, some of the less fortunate are very rich also, through their heart. No matter which we are, we can all be blessed by the greatest of all treasures through giving and sharing with others. (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

Something interesting I learned today:
$8 will buy 2 cups of coffee here in the US and in the Honduras it will buy 25 fruit trees.

$73 will buy 6 CD's in the US and in Uganda it will pay for a mobile AIDS clinic.

We are truly blessed here in the US but yet many still want more and have forgotten that it is by giving that we acquire more love from God and the true treasure of eternity.

Today when I awoke it was -2 degrees where I'm camping, but yet I was warm due to the fact of the warm sleeping bag I was blessed with over the holidays. I hope to be off the streets in a few days and pray that last night will be the last cold, frigid night I spend on the hillside. In return I also pray that all through out the world, those who are in similar circumstances find warm clothing, food, sleeping items and or housing along with the warmth of God.

Turning my life over was the greatest thing I've ever done. It's not been easy and the "stuff" not many, but the treasures I've received is just awesome and I feel truly rich in spirit, warm at heart and loved by our Lord.

I've really been blessed and thankful that He has taken me back and the song "Take You Back" from Jeremy Camp fills the words in for what has went on in my life and what is going on now.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Life's Expectations

K2 The Church just posted their video from the Christmas eve services and I just had to share this with you all. You see, K2 The Church is growing fast in a place where another religion flourishes and for this to happen is such a miracle. Watching this message again after seeing the service 4 times during Christmas eve still touches me.

The first part of all services has a drama, but normally not as long and special as this one. Pastor Andy plays the ESPN announcer Dan Jackson and most of us didn't even recognize him with his hair combed. Pastor Dave had experience at ringing the bell for the Salvation Army and this is where the theme came from. The message of "All I Want For Christmas Is A Miracle" really fits in well, and today it gave me more hope and direction of how God expects me to be.

During the service everyone received a gift and all but one of them had a nickle in them, the one without contained a new iPod. This also fit the message well. Many of us have little expectations of what God can and will do and the last few days I was starting to get on this band wagon. Well, tonight I'm back at working for and expecting the miracles God can give us. I don't expect this all of the time but at least I have the hope that miracles can happen when He wants them to.

I don't want to drag this out so here is the video, I hope you enjoy it as much as many did at the service.

Vision With Action

Things are starting to level out now, with my housing starting to take place by the first of next week, my day planner back in my possession, and a new job to start possibly tomorrow. Whew, there for a while I was beginning to think that it wasn't going to level out and I was to just keep plummeting into depths unknown. Now its time for me to put more action into my vision of helping others become happy through Jesus.

The new employment opportunity will give me a chance to work at something I enjoy and that is working on the Internet. I'll be researching and placing items on eBay for a local business. Yea, I love the challenge. Just as the Teacher, King David's son stated in Ecclesiastes 3:22 "So I saw that there is nothing better for people than to be happy in their work. That is why we are here! No one will bring us back from death to enjoy life after we die."

The past couple of weeks were tough on me but I believe He now sees that I'm not going to give up and that I truly trust Him with all of my life. It is just so neat to be able to have freedom from the past, freedom to live on in a better life and freedom to reflect His glory. I realize that I'm starting to mature some and that with it comes growing pains that I need to learn how to live with. Even through the tough times the light has become brighter and the journey more enjoyable.

Before I always had an out when things were tough by hiding in the bottles of alcohol, but today I must face these fears, faults, and failures, but I can do so knowing that He is there to show support and strength. So many of us in this world have been on the quick fix method, with instant gratification. God was patient with me, now I need to be patient with Him and learn how to become the servant leader he would love to see. I really yearn to make Him proud.

PBPGINFWMY "Please Be Patient, God Is Not Finished With Me Yet." is from The Purpose Driven Life that actually was on a button that people wore in the past.

Chris Tomlin's song "Wonderful Maker" puts the words right for me today.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Blame

Well its been a real testing 2 weeks with not much to really get to excited about. Today in fact was a day of real questioning of where I'm going and why. On Tuesday I attended a prayer meeting at K2 The Church and after talking with others and asking for prayer for my housing many offered places for employment. Yea, I thought the stalemate was over and that my progression was going to start back-up. I called one job possibility and was told that he would call back with a time for my training to start. I had also found out that Pastor Andy was at a retreat and would return later that day. I had decided to try and get into housing at the dorms that are available and was hoping that this could be possible before this new cold spell hit. Well, I'm still awaiting call backs after leaving several messages and emails with Andy and the leads on employment seems to going nowhere at this time. I still haven't been able to get an ID or social security card either.

I keep blaming myself for the lack of any real advancement of my current life and begin to wonder if the my past is actually effecting what is going on today in my life. You see its been hard for me to forgive myself of the past and I know that this is a burden on me and is hurting and insulting Jesus. So today I was in a real down mood trying to concentrate was extermely hard for me because I kept asking Jesus what I needed to do and why this was happening. My stomach has just been churning to pieces and now my worrying has grown to its max. I want to succeed so much for Jesus but I'm just feeling like I'm letting Him down.

Wow a phone call.....Good news my day planner has been found, but without the money. Someone had left it at a business entrance sometime last week and they just contacted me. This is one step back into the light. I'll now be able to get my mail tomorrow and work on trying to find employment once again. YIPPEEE, this could not have happened at a better time. Whew, it sure takes a load off of my mind and I'll never second guess Him again.

I guess I can still blame myself for what is going on, because of the isolation that I've been partaking in. Now is the time for friends and I just haven't let them in on what is going on. With this new glimmer of hope tonight I've been able to start thinking constructively and pray that it will continue, I do truely wish to become a servant leader. I want to help others to know God and to show them that there is hope in this life and that once you allow Jesus into your life things do become better.

God has believed in me and He never stopped loving me during my past and now I just can't give up on Him even during this trying time. I must admit I sure had some trying times and the old thoughts of destroying this life was real close but each time I was met with this voice who kept me on the right path and at a moment not to soon. So Lord I thank you for this chance and for not giving up on me. Yea this will and is a great journey and wouldn't be possible without YOU.

If you visit here much you know that music is important to me and I try to share something new each day, well today I'm sharing Rebecca St. James and her song "I Thank You". Each day that I thank Him for this life, it only brings me one step closer to feeling the greatest love you can ever find.

"God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
Ephesians 2:8-10 (NLT)

Monday, January 8, 2007

Abandon The Ship?

I got back in town last night from my trip to Saint George, Utah and was really wore out. The business conference I attended was a real barn burner and has gotten my hopes up that a purpose in my life is now being developed. There was over 1500 people that attended and most were believers in Christ. The business deals with the largest online shopping site and how to become a part of it and most talked how God and is playing the major role in their new business development. On Sunday they even had a service before the leadership meeting where more than 25 people step forward and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. This brought tears to my eyes as I watched these souls being renewed. I feel that this new opportunity will enable me to help others find God and to strengthen my trust and belief in Him while developing my purpose and character.

God is still really testing me, I haven't received my day planner and contents from whoever found it and still pray that they'll do the right thing. My greatest loss was a photo my grandparents had sent for Christmas, because it was the only one I've had for over 3 years and I enjoyed opening the day planner just to remember them. Oh yea, the money, well that can be replace along with my ID, social security card and other important papers.

Today I found myself trying to get into an apartment. I have found a dorm style room just accross the street from the university, that would really fit my current needs for 6-12 months. I have tried to contact Pastor Andy but still haven't heard back from him. I know he just returned from a vacation and I'm sure I'll hear something soon.

The rest of the day was one test after another. I tried to get into my PayPal account but I'm being rejected and after contacting the main office they were still unable to allow me access. I changed my password recently and its not working, then when I tried to use the ID verification form it rejected my info. Customer support now is requiring me to fax something that has my current address on it. Well, I can't get my mail without an ID at either of the places I use for an address. I went to get an ID and they also are requiring me to bring in something recently mailed to me. I've explained my homelessness to both PayPal and the Utah drivers license division but have been left out in the cold. I've also been contacted about new jobs, but again I'm unable to get a job without ID and a social security card. Oh and the final object to be turned upside down was my camp. Some person came in and went through all of my belongings leaving most of it lay out in the elements during our last snow storm to get soaked. I'm not sure if my new warm sleeping bag will dry out by tonight but I do have a light summer one (I took with me this weekend) that I'll try to get by with. I guess the old saying, "When it rains it pours", holds true for my current situation.

Does this mean I'm going to abandon the ship?

NO WAY!!!!!!!!

I still am praying and staying in God's word. I know this is all happening because He wants to test my faith and trust in Him. Yea, it can be real hard at times, especially today as my stomach has been tied in knots all day along with disorientation and confusion.

A little music from Steven Curtis Chapman, "God is God", reminds me that I'll never fully understand all that He does and why He does it, but if I just remain steadfast in trust and faith for Him, that my life will be okay.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

What a Bummer

Well I've been searching for an new place to rest my head and during this time I left my day planner with my savings, ID, social security card and photos on the train today. This has really bummed me out, but I pray that some honest person will turn it in.

I'm going to St. George Utah tomorrow for the weekend for a business conference with Mary, a member of K2 The Church. This will be the first time in 5 years that I'm actually leaving Salt Lake City. This will be a real adventure for me.

I did have some money stashed in my pocket which I took to the thrift store and bought some dress slacks and shirts for job hunting for a customer service position.

I won't be able to post until next Monday and just am so bummed today about my lost that I really don't have much to write about. So, I'll see ya all next week.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

The Fear Factor

Well here we are in another new year with new beginning. Many throughout the world made resolutions, promises, and set goals for new expectations. Most people feel that this is the only time that we all can start over fresh but in Lamentations 3:23 it states "Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning." (NLT) So each morning I awake it is a new beginning. Through the blood of Jesus I have been forgiven for my sins on yesterday and today I can start a new slate.

Wow is that neat or what?

Did I set any goals for 2007?

Not really, my main thought is to continue growing in the Word and Work for our Lord. By doing this it has actually already started to open many doors and make me feel better about myself, but I must admit it also has brought along fear.

My fear is from past experiences of failing to follow through with promises and commitments. With the opportunity of housing, the fear of not meeting what I feel others are expecting of me arise. These fears are from my past life and they tend to try and work their way into my new life. Praying and talking with others is helping to strengthen my hopes and to avoid the fears, but I do believe that we all have fears, and through others and the power of Christ we can overcome these fears.

Many of my fears are from my old selfish, independent and self seeking ways. I do understand that I've been forgiven for the things I've done, but it is hard for me to forgive myself for many of these acts. Does this mean I'm giving up on this new journey? NO WAY!!! This new life is the best I've felt ever, and I will continue on working on it. Man, Jesus is great and my love for Him only continues to grow even more each day on my journey. No one said it was that this was going to be easy and the only expectations I have is that God will see the faith and trust I have in Him and that I'm working hard at becoming more Christ like. No, I can't become Jesus, but I can model my life more in the likeness of Him and each day I'm working on this. Through my faith and trust in Jesus we all can overcome the fear factor.

I finished my job directing traffic at the mall for the holidays yesterday after working nearly 60 hours last week and pulling a double shift yesterday. I will continue on with the temp agency with other part-time employment while looking for full time employment and arranging my new housing opportunity.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have been praying for my life and needs, for the Christmas and holiday greetings, and just for caring and trusting me during the past year. This new life and journey is only beginning and without friends such as yourselves it would be empty.

Today I leave you with Audio Adrenaline's song "Ocean Floor". It best describes what I've actually been feeling and it eases my mind knowing that my sins are on the ocean floor.