Old Soldier Tom's Journal.
Sunny and Warmer where I live in S.E. WI today, air temp. 36 degrees F.
My wife has been baking Christmas cookies in many varieties yesterday aft and all morning today. She knows my fav. home made cookie is "Pecan Fingers." She gave me two large plastic containers of this type --cookies last night, and I ate a few before I went to bed. I want to give a small assortment to my Mom in Burlington, WI.
I have mentioned before that I get 'cabin fever' too easily and so I have to get out to visit friends and relatives at least once a week so I don't get sour and cranky or isolated and depressed. My friends are dear and precious to me-- but many of them still have kids at home and are still working on their jobs full time. It's also a seasonal dysfunction/ disorder for me where I can't sit or lay out side to catch the Sun's rays and store up Vitamin 'D' in my liver. I get along very well with Mr. Sun and I miss working in our famous 'Schuckman Victory Veggie Garden' ! We love to cook our fav. meats and veggies out side in the Spring, Summer and Fall, and people ALWAYS comment to me about the quality and novelty of my huge picnic [Walnut stained] table, etc in the back yard. Last year I splurged on a new larger Digital Flat Screen TV and a new large gas cooking grill. The old big pot kettle Weber grill was OK, but pressing a button for instant flame was so cool and easier for those of us who love to cook outside a lot. Yes, for me, I believe that we are a bit spoiled with some creature comforts-- but we live in a 100 year house in a one-horse town [Union Grove] near the IL border between Milwaukee and Chicago. There are advantages and disadvantages. Our house and vehicle Insurance are low because this little sleepy town has low crime, low theft, and the neighbors kind of watch over our property when we are gone... and visa versa. I honestly have not seen many trouble makers on the way to school, and this is a farming community close to where my family had a farm, and I vividly remember coming here to kick ass on the high school football team! I loved farming, but I ended up working in the near by auto plant of AMC, and then latter Chrysler. But in a 'Farming Community' like ours, most of the people still have 'work hard for a living' mentality. You won't see many Welfare recipients with no father figure around.
It's been a wirl wind action packed super stressed, life I have lived, constantly getting out of [minor, small time] trouble but never any felonies, doing great things and getting awards, medals, commendations for hard work and military adventures. I have mastered some skills, then got bored and moving on to a new adventure and doing the same thing again. There have been many accomplishments and certificate, awards on the wall. But when you get to age 60 and many of your good old friends have already died, got killed or passed away [many from the latent effects of AGENT ORANGE and [Military/ combat] service related injuries, PTSD as I have ... you have to wonder what happens after you die-- and Death is closer in our Autumn Days.
The latter half of my life I have been in a serious study of the Bible mode-- but had not really KNOWN the Lord Jesus Christ in that special personal, intimate way of acceptance until about 7 years ago. At one time I erroneously thought that getting a huge "Head Knowledge" was the way to Salvation. "Head Knowledge" is nice, good and we need to know the deeper parts of the Bible so we can "Defend the Faith" --- but, IMHO, it is not what 'Saves' a person. Accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your PERSONAL Savior into your Heart is what Saves a human being! After a person truly Accepts the Lord things WILL start to change. Inner and visible outwardly a person changes and this is apparent to his old friends, co-workers, relatives, etc. That "new person", man, woman or child, now puts on the "New Personality" and WANTS to/ WILL start learning more and study the Bible! That is one sure way to get to know and get closer to God.... READ HIS OWN WORD! The "new" Christian's appearance might change too and his/ her manners, speech and personal care of himself. That transformation is usually manifest so that all can see that something happened to that person, as he quits his old vices, getting drunk, gambling, smoking perhaps, abusing others, and he/ she knows that he must get a job to care for himself and his family. If a person is honestly disabled--- that's different.
This is what I personally have seen and it's so beautiful to be hold!! Some folks at church perhaps didn't get that real TRUTH tamped down enough and they are unruly, mean, hypercritical, selfish, predatory and unwilling to "walk the walk" of Christians.
God will winnow these bad apples out of this Church [Congregation] in due time and it's not my job. When I hear a good sermon at church-- I always try to apply that info to ME, not others! It makes no sense to me to "play" the role of church member-- God sees right thru us; who do we think we are fooling?? And most of my personal prayers HAVE BEEN ANSWERED on many occasions and I GOT what I asked for !! The Holy Spirit is so powerful in granting us the power to improve ourselves, our understanding, our personality flaws, etc. I well know what I need to work on, and God makes things manifest to me [we Christians] one way or another. I always need to repeat that old mantra of Proverbs 3:5, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and Do NOT lean upon your own understanding." [!!!].
Isn't it painfully apparent that most of the world is NOT trusting in the Lord ?? We have trusted in our investments, 401K's, Savings, money, Jobs, Wall Street, Gov't, our own brains and might and muscles. [How History repeats it self over and over since the recorded beginning of time] And my biblical 'head knowledge' tells me that "you [we] ain't seen nothing yet!!" This trouble that recently started in the last part of 2008 and gut wrenching domino effect of everything crashing down is just the tip of the ice berg. I have been in hard times and dire circumstances, so I know about surviving and living on hardly nothing. But it's my love and total TRUST in Jesus Christ is what will save my bacon in the near future! From what I hear, there will be no last minute 'jumping over' to God's side once the trumpets blow.
Our small church puts a lot of emphasis on supporting the missionaries and also doing our own door to door witnessing, passing out free bibles and tracts. Our church doors are open to anyone who has an honest desire to 'get right with the Lord.' We know that it's not all that difficult because our younger children in AWANA have a clear working knowledge of the Bible, and they can defend the Faith! It's about our [collective] selfish, greedy lifestyle and desire to stay in Satan's world of flesh, glittery things that are forbidden. People in Russia and other countries are making a "run on banks and investment companies!" A relatively FEW will be Saved on that fearful day of the Lord, because FEW will completely TRUST and Follow Jesus! Satan, the roaring lion, has got them running around like dogs chasing their tails... or rats exiting a sinking ship lol. The Christians knows that he will be OK, even if he loses his life for Christ's sake! The very minute a Christian dies or gets 'rapture-d up' by Christ-- he will be in be with Christ in Paradise!
'Live Simple -- Live Well.' The Lord can and will provide everything that we really need, -- me included. I am RICH compared to many in the world where mothers can't even feed their kids!! Thank you LORD for everything you have given me! I am your humble servant/ slave.
I hope this doesn't sound like a "stump speech" lol. I talk about those things nearest to my heart.