IF…THEN

Solomon climbed on the bronze platform in front of the new temple, the crowning achievement of his young kingdom. The crowd before his was vast.

He fell to his knees. The bronze sang a solemn note.

Solomon’s hands raised toward heaven.

“LORD God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven or on earth. You keep your promises to those who commit their way to You. You promised David, my father, that he would have a son build You a house to dwell in. Today that commitment is kept. Now continue to uphold Your word by keeping a son on Israel’s throne as long as we follow Your words and commandments.

“But, how can a God who cannot be contained in all of heaven abide in a building? Indeed, this building can contain Your name alone. I beseech You to stay attentive to prayers said in this place. Listen to the broken and contrite, LORD.

“When people pray toward this place hear from heaven and forgive.

“If neighbors take an oath judge between them. Bring retribution on the wicked and justification on the righteous.

“If your people are defeated in battle because of sins against You and they bow before You to confess their wrong then hear from heaven and forgive the sinner to return the land back to them.

“When You shut off the rain because of sin and Your people come and confess their sins then hear from heaven and return Your blessings to our land.

“When You send a plague of any kind and people come to this temple I have built and confess their guilt to You then hear from heaven and heal the land to return your people to prosperity.

“When a foreigner comes to this temple to pray to You because they recognize Your awesome power hear from heaven and do all that is asked of You, LORD.

“When Your people are in battle and they pray toward this place then hear their plea and fight for their cause.

“When your people sin against You, for all sin, and You carry them off to a distant land. When they recognize their failures and pray toward this temple I have built hear their cry and return them to this land for Your great name’s sake.

“Now, LORD God, come and dwell among Your people in the temple according to the promises You made to David.”

Fire came down from heaven and consumed the offering waiting on the altar. Smoke filled the temple so that the priest could not enter it because it was the presence of God.

God appeared to Solomon at night. “I have heard your prayer and will dwell among My people in this temple. I will hear their petitions to forgive when they confess their sins. I will heal their land as I hear the humble who turn from their wicked ways.

“If you continue to follow Me as your father David did then I will uphold the throne of your kingdom, but.

“If you turn away from Me and follow other gods then I will uproot these people from this land and this house you have built for me will become desolate. People will shake their heads and ask why this structure has fallen. ‘Because they forsook the LORD their God who brought them out of Egypt,’ will be the reply.”

************

This public prayer from King Solomon received a private reply from God. Oh, God did show Himself when fire came down from heaven and smoke filled the temple, but the king did hear directly from THE King.

The more I read this passage of scripture the more it became obvious this is a series of If (or when)/then statements.

Wise Solomon knew God required conditions for blessings and cursings even if he didn’t complete the required ceremony Israel’s kings were supposed to carry out.

He thought of several scenarios where people would need to pray to God. He even recognized his own personal need to follow God’s commandments.

Still, the next two decades found everybody loosing focus and drifting away from the God who kept His promise here.

God’s response to Solomon’s prayer was a more concise if/then prayer. He promised to hear the contrite and heal the land. He even promised Solomon a similar covenant to David’s ‘if’ he continued in his steps.

When success comes to people too young it’s difficult for them to keep focused on the real prize, God’s heart.

Saul had no preparation to become a king. He quickly failed.

David had to live in hiding from Saul for several years. Then he had to fight for the kingship before it took hold. He finished strong and became known as a man after God’s own heart.

Solomon was handed the kingdom at the age of 19. His dad fought off their enemies so Solomon inherited a peaceful time to reign. His foreign wives stole him away from this God he just prayed to.

So, where are you in this mix?

Are you still struggling and fighting? Or are you succeeding and building?

If God has you struggling then take heart, my friend. He’s building you into a better servant leader. You’ll be used in ways you never thought you could be used in His timing.

If you’re successful stay on your guard, my friend. Satan will do his best to knock you off your pedestal and flat on your face.

Everybody needs to stay grounded in the word. Encouragement and direction come from the same source.

God wrote His truths down for us because they don’t change, and neither does He.

Society will tell you things are different. We’re more enlightened now.

God made us and He knows whats best for us.

Satan is still whispering in Eve’s ear, “You can be like God.”

I’m here to tell you that lie is still a lie.

Only God is God.

The rest of us answer to Him.

Just ask Solomon.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

I Think My Identical Twin is Charlie Brown

I’ve heard it said that everybody has an identical twin somewhere in the world. The longer I live the more I’m convinced my twin’s name is Charlie Brown.

Apparently Charles Schultz watched my life story when he came up with the idea for this fictional character. If he didn’t he sure could have.

You remember Charlie’s friend Lucy? She’s the one who would hold her finger on a football and egg poor Charlie to kick the ball. Then Lucy would yank the ball away at the last second. Charlie was putting so much effort into kicking the ball as far as he could he always ended up on his back.

That’s been my business efforts thus far. I had one guy who was all gung ho about having me create a logo for his young business. He told me what he was looking for. Nothing too complicated for my simple mind to grasp. He offered to pay half up front. I told him to give me a couple of hours to see what I could come up with.

Two hours later I made what he was looking for. I felt good about finally getting this thing off the ground. I shot him an email with the logo attached…nothing. I called him…no answer. I messaged him through the link we met up with…still no response. I sent up a prayer. “Okay, God. Did you kill this guy off in those two hours I was working for him?”

A couple of months later I called again…he answered. He remembered me then said they decided to go a different direction. He didn’t even know the direction I was taking them in. So there I am lying on my back.

Charlie liked to fly kites for fun. The only problem was every time he sent a kite up it inevitably got caught up in a tree. I literally had this happen to me in college during spring break…but that’s another story.

That’s been my writing history. I have a few different books in various genres. I’ve spent several years going to conferences in many parts of the country looking for an agent or publisher who might be interested in what I wrote…cricket chirps is all I get.

So I decided to self publish with a company that gave me a great price to get it done…only to have them go out of business before they printed my copies I paid for. Pesky trees anyway.

Charles Schultz decided to give our friend a bit of a love interest eventually. Do you remember who it was? That red-headed girl was the only thing she was known as if my memory serves me right…which it sometimes does.

I have some advice for poor Charlie. Leave those red heads alone! Wife number one was one…she left after too many failed expectations and such. So I asked God to bring someone else along who He wants me with. You guessed it…another red-headed woman.

Just like our friend Charlie it takes alot of nerve for me to ask a lady out…especially when I’ve been rejected by the love of my life recently. Nothing like having someone rip a scab off a wound before it has time to completely heal.

The difference between Charlie Brown and me is that he’s a cartoon character. He never gets a chance to grow up and change. Me…I have no choice but to grow up and change.

The business is showing hopeful signs of taking flight. It might be as far as the Kitty Hawk’s first flight, but it will be positive progress. From there the sky’s the limit.

I have another self publishing company calling me about reprinting my 100 Prayers of a Writer book. They say they’re interested in showing it off at the world’s book fair or something like that. We’ll talk further about it Monday morning.

I was sent a lead for my middle-grade book, Eek’s Gifts. It’s a Christian publisher expanding into youth and children’s books. Oh yeah, I’m excited about this prospect.

As far as my love life is concerned…well, let’s just say I’m taking it easy for now. I kept berating myself for not talking to the red-head every Monday for too long. It sure looked like God was giving me indications He wants us together. I kept telling myself “if God wants us together it will happen. Just give it time.”

Well if God wants us together then He needs to let red know about His plan, too. Until then I’m waiting for God to send the next woman to rip that scab off. Ouch!

Seriously, I’m just doing the best I can to delight myself in the Lord. It’s up to Him to give me the desires He wants me to have.

I’m simply doing the best I can, one day at a time, to follow His leading.

That’s all He expects of any of us.

Let’s keep putting one foot in front of the other my friends…to the glory of God.

Keep smiling.   Wade

What is Success?

Everyone wants to be successful. I understand that completely. Why is it so hard to achieve something so popular?

Perhaps it’s because too few people are willing to do whatever it takes to be successful.

It’s like writing a book. A lot of people say they want to write a book. What they really mean is they want to have written a book because writing a book is a lot of hard work.

After you come up with a story line you have to develop the characters. Then you need to decide on the setting and time period.

Eventually you get to sit down and actually write the story…which takes a long time to do it right.

The first draft usually isn’t very good, but you have something to work with now.

Editing a story can be draining. Every detail is dissected to see if it’s relevant and necessary.

If you have a good team of friends who actually know what makes a great story you’re in luck. Otherwise you have to pay for that help to improve your book.

When you think it’s finally done you send it off to publishers, agents and anybody you think might be interested in what you slaved over for several months or years.

If nobody shows any interest you either revamp this story or start all over again.

That’s why very few people get published.

Thomas Edison spent a lot of time trying to get his electric light bulb working. After several hundred failed attempts his friends tried to get him to move on to something else.

“It obviously isn’t going to work.” they insisted.

“Nonsense,” Edison replied, “I now know of hundreds of ways it won’t work. That’s all.”

I like to think of success as imitating the sun. You get up every morning and paint the sky whether anybody is watching it or not.

You do it because God is counting on you to do it.

That story might not be for the masses to read. It may just be an exercise in obedience to God.

It’s not just writing stories I’m talking about. It’s whatever you do with your life. Do it to glorify God and you’ll be successful whether anyone else appreciates it or not.

Awards might come to you in this life. If not God has something very special planned for you in the next life.

Count on it my friend.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

A Legend Went Home Last Month

Ray was introduced to me by Jim.

Jim was recently widowed. I knew him and his deceased wife from the adult fellowship I attend. He’s in his seventies.

Ray met Jim in another adult fellowship Jim had moved to try to move on from his loss. Ray was a diminutive gentle man in his nineties.

When the three of us went out to lunch together we spanned quite a few years…50’s, 70’s, and 90’s.

The common bond of Jesus drew us to Stonebriar Community Church. The fact we were all without our wives pulled us that much closer.

Jim faded from the scene as he struggled to fit in. I still see him from time to time.

Ray and I often sat next to each other during the second service. He would give me updates about the airplane he was building. I guess a little old guy needs something to pass the time of day with. He completed that project last fall.

Another mutual friend informed me Ray was in the hospital a couple of months ago. He recovered fine from that.

Since I’m volunteering with the toddlers during second service I hadn’t seen Ray in a while. The mutual friend told me last Sunday Ray went home to be with his Lord the previous week.

Two of his daughters were with him as he slipped into Glory. Ray opened his eyes wide right at the end. One of his daughters asked him what he was seeing. His arms lifted off the bed before his body went limp for the last time.

Ray was being escorted Home at last. I have no doubt he heard Jesus tell him, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” the next second of his existence.

Ray served his Lord well as a missionary with Wycliffe Bible Translators. He was one of those gifted linguists that learned a native tribe’s language by living with them. Then he would develop an alphabet so he could invent a written language for these folks.

From there Ray translated the Bible into this new written word. Ray did this TWICE IN FORTY YEARS.

That’s when he became a legend in my mind.

The second time Ray had to buy a boat because that was the only way they could access the island those people lived on. Indonesia is like that.

With a lack of modern entertainment Ray could be found fixing something. That would endear him to the native folks. Eight children proved there were other means of entertainment that didn’t require modern conveniences.

Ray likely met some of the people who were introduced to Jesus from his work. I’m sure more will follow.

My writing might surpass Ray’s quantity of saved souls someday. Maybe not. That’s not really important.

God doesn’t keep score on such matters. He gives each of as an assignment to carry out.

Ray did the best he could to fulfill his mission. I must now give it my best, too…and so must you.

You probably won’t travel outside of the country you’re in now. I might not either. We don’t have to to be effective for God’s kingdom.

Do your best to touch the folks you come in contact with. Your neighbors may not see another Jesus in their lifetime.

They do know you’re a follower of Jesus Christ…don’t they?

If not then begin there. Live different from your culture if it doesn’t adhere to Jesus’s teachings. Don’t jamb Jesus down their throats. That isn’t very effective.

Show them the peace Jesus offers during your trials. They’ll come to you wanting to know your secret. I’ll give you a hint…Jesus shouldn’t be your secret. He needs to be made known for everyone who asks.

Sometimes translating the Bible doesn’t require a written language. Living it out is often more of a challenge, but that’s our assignment, my friend.

Let’s pray for each other to be better examples of Jesus.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

ONE WISH FROM GOD

Solomon led the delegation to Gibeon after his speech and feast. He paused when they crested the hill. The tabernacle Moses built always made him pause.

They spent the entire day offering burnt offerings to God. Most were commissioned by the king. Others he did himself. The total offerings by days end was one thousand.

A tent was erected for the king. The trip back to Jerusalem would wait until after a good night’s sleep.

As Solomon slept God appeared to him. “Ask. What shall I give you?”

“You were so gracious to my father. David now has a son sitting on his throne. But, your servant is only a boy. How can I effectively lead this great nation for You? They are more numerous than the sand on the seashore. I don’t know the best way to lead. Give me, please, a wise and discerning heart so I can judge rightly.”

God smiled. “You could have asked for great wealth, the death of your enemies, or long life. Instead you requested a wise heart. I will grant you the wisdom you seek. Nobody will be as wise as you either from before your time or after. I shall also give you immense wealth such as has never been seen and peace from your enemies. If you keep My commandments as your father David did I will also grant you long life.”

Solomon’s eyes popped open. He looked around. After a few seconds he remembered where he was and why he was there.

The dream was so real, but was is true?

King Solomon returned to Jerusalem. He made peace offerings and burnt offerings near the ark of the covenant. Another feast was made for the people.

************

Dreams are interesting places to be. Your mind can imagine so much when your senses aren’t involved.

Solomon had just been established as the king of all Israel, God’s chosen people.

David’s military might gave them peace from all their enemies. Wealth was pouring in from surrounding nations to keep the peace intact.

Solomon was about nineteen years old, still a teenager, when the responsibilities of ruling fell upon his shoulders.

Parties were an easy thing to do for a young king.

The other responsibilities were another animal all together.

David taught his son the importance of worshiping God.

Sacrifices were an easy way to appease the deity.

Did he expect God to talk directly to him?

Being asleep the young man didn’t have time to think. His most immense desire would be utmost on his heart and mind when God asked him the ultimate question.

How would you reply?

How do you think you would answer God if He asked you for one wish?

Look past the immediate in your life currently. If you did that a year ago it would have been totally different. A year from now it will change again.

One way to approach this subject is to ask you, “what do you most want to be remembered for?”

Solomon was known as a wise man, but he was still stupid in many ways. A truly wise person loves the Lord God with all his soul, strength, mind and heart his entire life. He blew it big time.

You have one choice to make. What do you most want in this life?

Check your motives before you answer.

If it’s fame you want you’re barking up the wrong tree. Fame is fleeting.

If you desire wealth you can lose it in a moment. Money burns quickly.

Family is important, but individuals make bad choices. Love hurts.

What does you heart truly long for deep down?

My answer will probably be different than yours. That’s why God creates individuals. I’ve had time to think about my response before writing this post.

Life has been super crazy busy lately with work. Truck driving comes with a lot of challenges, especially when you drive for a temporary agency. You have to take assignments driving during times you’re normally sleeping. I can’t do much while driving, but thinking is something I can do on the open stretches of roads.

Personal relationships have been a challenge for me lately. Then I realized those have changed, so that can’t be it.

A steady source of income would be extremely good, too. I’m working toward that end, but there’s still more to life than that.

More free time to help at church more is a goal of mine. It goes deeper than that, too.

I thought back to almost exactly nine years ago as I write this. I was listening to a sermon on the radio. A point in the middle of the sermon struck me between the eyes.

“Nothing sets God off in a spirit of celebration as when a lost person comes to faith in Christ.”

I was at home. Barb was asleep. I turned off the radio and let the tears flow down my cheeks. My prayer was simple.

“Break me. Break me. Use me.”

I repeated that several times before I finished my request with another statement.

“I want to give You a reputation for being a party animal.”

When I decided to attend Grace Bible College back in the early 80’s I thought I’d discover God’s calling for my life while I was there.

I didn’t.

But my desire to serve Him has always been my main desire.

I didn’t know how, or if, God would answer my prayer that night. A few weeks later I was writing my first book.

I had never taken a writing course in college or high school.

Now I’m writing songs.

I can’t play any instruments.

When God decides to use a person He doesn’t need experience. He needs willingness.

You may know what talents God has given you. Are you using them for His glory?

Don’t think you can’t do anything for God. He’ll bless the smallest gesture done in His name.

Remove your mask. Drop your guard.

What can God do for you?

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Oh Be Careful Where You Go

Here’s a surprise midweek blog post for y’all to contemplate. Why a midweek post? You ask.

Because my life is so crazy hectic I don’t always have time to write before my self-imposed deadline and/or I don’t have anything to write about.

Well, Monday, while in Amarillo, an experience was lived through that makes for great blog posting. So here goes…

One of the dispatchers called me Saturday to see if I’d be willing to take a run to Amarillo beginning Sunday night just before midnight. My initial response was no, but that didn’t stop the conversation.

When I discovered there was nobody else available for said run that is under contract with the postal service my arm was twisted to take it.

Needless to say I was beyond tired by the time I got to the motel they booked for me. I was there in time to take advantage of the free breakfast so I made a hasty scrambled egg and biscuit sandwich while waiting for a room.

After they discovered all of the non-smoking rooms were in use I decided to take a smoking room…gulp.

My thinking was that the time was ticking on my ten hour break so I could either fall asleep at the breakfast table, which I was already nodding off at, or I could take a chance at getting some better sleep in a bed.

“I’ll survive the experience,” were the words that came out of my mouth.

As soon as I walked into the room all of my senses were under full assault. I just about turned back until a thought struck me. If I can handle the initial impact I can probably still be able to sleep in this.

Unfortunately I was right. After a few minutes I was able to breathe without the gag reflex kicking in. I showered and fell asleep rather quickly.

After about five hours the burning in my lungs told me I had better make my stay in this room shorter rather than longer. The last hour of my government mandated break was spent walking around the motel.

The temperature was about one hundred degrees, but there was a decent west Texas breeze blowing in the twenty mile per hour range. Remember, we do things big in Texas.

The advantage of that was that I was able to (as my father-in-law used to say) blow the stink off from the room encounter.

Don’t worry, it was a dry heat.

Many people feel pennies aren’t worth anything so they drop them on the ground when they discover them in their pockets.

I’m on the other end of that spectrum. I pick pennies, and their more expensive counterparts, up when I discover them on the ground.

Wheat pennies are of particular interest to me since God and I have a bit of an understanding with them. It’s His way of letting me know I’m in His will whenever I find one.

Why I was supposed to be in Amarillo that day is a bit of a mystery unless it’s to write this blog post.

Tails was up. So I knew right away what I had here. The date on the coin was 1955. Copper is a soft metal that is easily damaged…especially after a car runs over it. This penny was nearly flawless, except for some grease that was smudged on it.

I kept pacing about the property and found a few more modern pennies. One was next to a dumpster. It was green from the tarnish of its environment. I had to rub the face of it to discover the date…2015.

Sixty years should have aged that wheat penny more than that dumpster coin.

I thought back to my smoking room I had to take. I don’t often put myself in such unhealthy environments so I can stay as fit as possible for God’s service.

Everybody has their own personal issue they must deal with. Some of us have several.

My most pressing issue is pornography. I know to steer clear of it or it will destroy me one careless step at a time.

For others it’s alcohol, or drugs.

So far I’ve been able to keep myself pure, but I know what a slippery slope it is. I’ve been spending too much time on Pinterest lately.

I know, it sounds innocent enough and it should be. My problem is I focus too much attention staring at the fitness pictures, especially the women wearing too little while showing off great physiques.

When will that not be enough stimulation for me? I don’t know, but it will eventually.

Smoking rooms could become easier for me to sleep in of I do it regularly. Before I know it I start smoking to keep myself awake during through the night drives.

Sin is so like that. I’ve heard it said Satan gives us the best first while God saves the best for last.

I want God’s best for me.

Some days I keep my eyes off the fitness chicks. Some days I don’t.

Pray I can keep posting Bible verses and Christian quotes without stepping in the mud puddles of pornography that are all around me.

I want to stay a coin in God’s pocket that can be spendable for His work for several years to come, not a dumpster throw away.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Do You Pray For Storms to Pass?

I don’t know how things are in your neck of the woods, but here in Texas we’ve been getting a LOT of rain lately.

One of the things I like about living in this day and age is the ability to see where the rain is falling at any given time.

I have this app on my phone that’s attached to one of the local TV stations. It’s also connected to a national radar network. That means I can tap that sucker on and see where the storms are.

It’s important to remember my main source of income is driving semis all over the place. Our storms don’t always play nice neither.

Hail can pile up and ice a road in no time. Wind can knock a rig on its side mooee pronto. Tornadoes can set a semi in someone’s back 40 before the wicked witch shows up in the windshield.

Yeah, this is some serious stuff here folks.

That mini radar on my phone helps me a great deal.

I’ve been known to take an extra long break just to let a storm pass on up ahead of me. I’d much rather be late than not get there at all.

I’ve been stuck in some long backups from folks who didn’t take such a precaution…or just a caution if they refused to plan ahead. Those wrecks did NOT look pretty.

Lately I’ve been “lucky” to avoid any major storms on the roadways. My personal life is another matter all together.

With counselling and planning some life storms can be avoided. Proper nutrition and exercise can forestall some health issues. Following wise advice can help avoid some bad choices in financial and relationship issues.

But, some storms just have to be lived through by some people.

I don’t understand why some couples have to endure the death of a child.

I hate to hear of kids being kidnapped and never heard from again.

It tears my heart out when a woman has to decide what to do with a child conceived by rape.

My personal bankruptcy was so long ago now I’ve lived past the repercussion of it, still it was not fun to live through.

My divorce still leaves me shaking my head. There was no biblical grounds by either of us just a decision by one of us.

I’ve lost jobs over things that should have been a simple warning.

It makes me look up and ask God that three word prayer, “WHY?”

I seldom get a direct reply from the almighty. I don’t really expect one. God doesn’t answer to me. I must trust Him.

I’m on a few prayer lists. Often people ask for a positive result from a medical test. I don’t usually pray that way.

I’ve heard of too many folks who have endured cancer treatments with the same statement.

“I wouldn’t have wished for that to happen to me, but I’m glad it did since I’m so much closer to God now than I’ve ever been in my life.”

It reminds me of a story told after World War 2. A farmer went to a monastery and asked the monks to pray for the bombs to miss his farm as the fighting drew close. They said they couldn’t do that, but they would pray for God’s will.

The farmer was furious at God when one of the bombs exploded in one of his pastures…until the unexpected happened. Water filled the depression left by the bomb. His cattle now had relief from the drought they were experiencing.

God’s ways are not our ways. We don’t call the shots. No matter what the humanists say.

A year from now I hope to look back and be thankful for the life situation I find myself in…even if none of the plans I have in my mind occur.

This life isn’t about me remaining happy or healthy.

It’s about becoming more like Jesus every day.

It’s supposed to draw me closer to my heavenly Father each step of the way.

Prosperity seldom does that for anybody.

Endure your storms my friends.

Cling to God’s strength when yours is gone.

Trust Him more than the plan in place.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

PRIDE’S PAYMENT

David stared at his general. “Joab, I want you to go throughout the entire nation. Count all the fighting men we have.”

Joab looked from the king to others in the room. “Sir, may God increase that number a hundredfold in your lifetime. But ,why do want this done? It’s a disgrace to God and the people.”

David sat on his throne. “You have your orders.”

********

About ten months later Joab reported the numbers to the king.

David’s heart almost stopped beating. He fell to his knees. “Lord God of Heaven forgive me for such foolishness. I have sinned greatly with this act. Please take away this iniquity from me.”

The next morning David’s seer came to him. Gad was not smiling.

David swallowed hard. “What do you want, Gad?”

Gad looked deep into David’s eyes. “God has given you three choices for your sin. You can have three years of famine across the nation; three months running from your enemies or three days of a plague throughout the land.”

David fell to his knees. “I can only imagine what my enemies will do. The Lord’s mercies are great. I choose His way.”

Three days later David was wandering around Jerusalem with the elders. All of them were wearing sackcloth.

The sound of a breeze caught their attention. They turned near a threshing floor and saw an angel holding a sword hovering over the ground.

David fell to his knees. “LORD, I am the one who sinned. Why are the sheep being punished for this? My family should bear the brunt of this punishment.”

The angel stared ahead with his sword in his hand.

David led the men back to the palace.

Gad found David later that day. “You are to build an altar on the threshing floor of Ornan.”

David collected some cash and headed back to the area.

The angel was still there holding his sword.

Ornan came to the king and bowed. “To what privilege do I owe this visit?”

David waited for Ornan to stand. “I want to buy this land to build an altar.”

Ornan motioned around. “I give all of this to you, my king. Take the cattle to offer, their yokes for wood to burn and the wheat here for a grain offering. You can have it all.”

David shook his head. “No. But, I will buy it from you at full price for I cannot offer to the LORD that which costs me nothing.”

The treasurer counted out more than enough money for Ornan to begin again elsewhere.

After the sacrifice was complete David watched the angel return his sword to its sheath then disappear.

************

Here’s another interesting prayer exchange where God talks to David through another person. This time it’s his seer Gad.

Similar to a prophet a seer had a special connection to God. God was known to speak through them with messages for people to follow.

When David’s pride led him to have a census taken of the people he ruled his guilt led him to admit his sin immediately.  He had learned his lesson about trying to hide it.

This is the only time God is known to give someone a multiple choice as to what penalty their sin would cost them.

Neither choice sounded good. David had lived long enough to know some consequences would have deeper impact than others would.

A famine could cause a revolt from the people.

Running from one’s enemies could have these men taking advantage of people in unpleasant ways.

Plague is never good when people die indiscriminately.

David was known as a man after God’s own heart. The reason was because he knew God’s heart so well and he enjoyed being close to it.

That’s why David chose the third option. God’s mercy was attached to it most closely.

There was a reason for all this confusion and chaos. Ultimately the area for the temple was purchased at the place the angel stopped at God’s command.

The area where David sent up his sacrifice on the altar would be the spot so many sacrifices and offerings would be sent up to God.

It was the same place Abraham was told to offer up Isaac. Mt Moriah is the place Jerusalem stands today.

David wanted to build the first temple. God told him no. David did all he could to assure that his son would complete that task.

Once this spot was set aside David collected as much of the material as he could.

This sacred place was made personally sacred by David’s pride and the consequences of it.

Your mistakes and failures hold a promise, too.

Nothing is wasted in God’s economy.

Your hurts, pains, regrets, mistakes and failures are all working to mature you into a marvelous work of God.

Unfortunately that doesn’t mean you will stop making mistakes and failing. It means there are lessons being learned that you can’t learn any other way.

Admit to needing God’s intervention in your life at all times. He’s listening.

Deal with the consequences of your life episodes. You’re learning.

Grow into the person God is creating you to be. You’re maturing.

If your goal is to become more like Jesus Christ you’re on the right course. Stay with it.

If you remember God is in control of everything you’ve got your mindset correct. Never forget this.

If you want to honor God in all you do your motives are pure. Keep that focus.

David was far from perfect, but he was still known as a man after God’s own heart. That’s what we need to strive for.

Perfection will always be elusive. You’ll never achieve it.

Maturity will always be attainable. You can be better.

Turn to God as soon as you recognize your sin.

Deal with the consequences as best you can.

Do your best to learn from your past and move forward with your life.

Keep an open line of communication with God at all cost.

That’s your lifeline.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

A Long-awaited Newsletter from Me

Hey Y’all

Since it’s been awhile that I’ve written an official newsletter and I can’t think of anything else to write now and it’s almost the end of May here’s a newsletter from Author Wade Webster.

I still don’t have a publisher for my books. I’m still driving my life away. I’m still paying my bills as they come in with not much more to spare. Now aren’t you glad I haven’t been sending these out on a regular basis?

Seriously, you need to stop trying to live vicariously through me and get a life.

Sorry…Mr Curmudgeon sneaks out when I least expect him to sometimes.

By God’s grace I’m staying healthy. Not doing too well on the wealthy front, but the wiseguy seems alive and well.

I suppose that’s all because I can’t seem to work in that early to bed thing old Ben talked about.

The driving jobs have been fairly steady. Which is good for the budget, but remains a challenge for the sleep cycle regularity thingy. I’m glad I’ve come across some great vitamins and supplements to help me stay awake and alive. Prayers are the best supplement I’ll ever depend on, so keep them coming.

The Apainter Paul’s work needs have been spotty. He did get some work from me for a job he needed some help getting done in a bit of a hurry. Everybody came out of that one smiling.

North Texas Biz Assist might be coming to life finally. I have two separate tentative appointments this Wednesday to discuss giving a mobile app to two non-profits; Poiema…a grassroots effort to help find missing girls stuck in human trafficking around Dallas. And The Samaritan Inn…a homeless shelter in Collin County that helps folks get back on their feet. I consider these a first fruits offering to God for the business. The apps will give other business owners a way to help by paying for sponsorships on the apps. Once they learn what I do they might want to do business with me, too. These will be the folks I’ll want to work with best anyway. So it’s the best way I can see to help and be helped at the same time. Prayers for God’s will here are greatly appreciated, too.

I’m attempting to get up the nerve to get things progressing on the personal relationship front as well…gulp. I didn’t expect to be jumping back into that pool at this time in my life, but it is what it is. I definitely desire God’s will here. I thought I chose well the first go-around but apparently not. I’d much rather remain single to be single-minded on serving God at all times rather than being pulled away for potential family issues, but I think God has brought someone into my life who desires the same for her life as well. Oh yeah, I’m bathing this one in prayer, too. Please join me here.

If you have anything you want me to pray for you for leave a comment and I’ll get right to it.

Until next time keep smiling.   Wade

I got a promotion at church this week

Some days God steps in and surprises the gigglies out of me. This Sunday was one of those days.

First, let me back up and fill you in on the week I had that led up to this promotion.

Last Saturday I drove late which meant I slept less than 6 hours before I went to church. A cup of coffee was enough to keep me alert for the sermon. Not that a Chuck Swindoll sermon needs much outside stimulation.

I turned down an early Monday morning driving option for two reasons. 1) I needed a 34 hour reset by federal law…so noon was my earliest start time available. 2) I had an important meeting at church that had absolutely nothing to do with foresaid promotion.

The meeting was to determine who would be awarded the Howard Hendricks Memorial Scholarship this year. Yeah, it is an honor to be included in anything Howard Hendricksish.

We had to pick which male graduating senior and a female counterpart would receive fifteen hundred bucks for college. The guys were relatively easy since there was only two who filled out an application. Six ladies took a bit longer to sort through.

They blacked out the names on the papers so we couldn’t guess who these folks were. They gave each of them a color for us to keep them straight.

The boys were red and blue. Did anybody think this through? Especially coming off the most contentious national election aver. Boy blue never stood a chance. My buddy Steve’s letter of recommendation helped a lot, too.

The ladies required a lot more attention…as they usually do. We whittled it down to two. I felt I contributed when the last words out of my mouth were, “Yellow has my vote.”

We put the required paperwork in the proper envelopes and packed up to go home.

Tuesday I finally got to work with the Apainter Paul again. He had an interior project the folks wanted done asap so they could put the house on the market ASAP.

Since I still owed Paul almost two full days of work to repay advances he gave me to pay May’s rent it worked out well all around.

Wednesday found me driving to San Antonio before sunrise for a 13 hour day.

Thursday I was back to painting for the Apainter again. We got enough done that he could finish it on Friday…cuz.

Before midnight Thursday I was off to LaLA. I’m guessing that since New Orleans uses the acronym NOLA then Lafayette, Louisiana goes by LaLA.

Even if I’m wrong I was praying I didn’t doze off to lala land while the wheels on the eighteen wheeler were going round and round down the interstate. My eyes were heavily suggesting that possibility was possible just before the only rest area along my route in Louisiana.

Since federal law required me to take a half hour break I lost consciousness with the wheels stopped. Which is a good thing.

A couple of hours later I was killing bugs in a motel room I used for more sleep. Even my boots were stored off the floor whilst there.

I drove home the last half of Friday to get the required time off to drive to Houston on Saturday.

Yes, for any mathematicians reading this that’s six days of work in five days. That’s the type of “it never rains but it pours” life I live these days.

I crawled into bed with a potential of six hours of sleep before corporate worship time. I think I slept about four of them. That’s what I get for trying to sleep at different hours of the day and night.

Pastor Chuck delivered another winner of a sermon during first service. Then I was off to C-119 to fulfill my role as the toddler whisperer…or so I thought.

I recognized some faces of kids and adults in the room when I stepped in. Mild chaos was in it’s regular place.

Then Everett was brought into the room. One of the women held him to try to settle his nerves. He squirmed out of her arms and ran around the table straight at me. Since both of his arms were held high I knew that meant one thing. I was his only best source of comfort in that room.

I picked him up as his momentum flung his body toward me. His head landed on my shoulder before his next sob.

We spent some time in a rocking chair while everyone else ate cookies at the table. Our cookies tasted just fine in that chair, thank you very much.

Everett felt at home after a few more minutes together so I consumed the chocolate cupcake that was brought in for me. I like me some perks, too.

Another boy had a meltdown after that so I picked him up only to have another fella want my attention.

With a boy in each arm Everett decided he needed more of me then, too. The only choice I had was to reach around each boy and lift my little buddy up with my hands.

That’s the moment I was promoted from the toddler whisperer to the toddler magnet.

When one of the ladies in the room saw me she offered to take one of my friends. I said, “No, I got this.”

We sauntered over to a rocking chair until. One by one, the tykes decided to go off and play.

I recognized what was happening there. I was being Jesus to those boys when they needed me most.

Have you ever felt like your prayer request is a nuisance to God?

You think He’s got His hands full with another shooting or war or disaster or whatever. He doesn’t have time for little old me.

Stop thinking that way. His arms are more then big enough to reach around every little thing happening in this puny world we live on to stop and give you the attention you want from Him.

Don’t ever hesitate to tell God what’s on your heart…no matter how small it might appear to you.

God adopted you into His family to spend all the time you need with Him.

Even when everything seems out of control, God will stop and give you His full attention as He says, “I got this.”

Fill your love tank with God every chance you get.

He’s got a lot more energy than this old truck driving toddler magnet will ever have.

Keep smiling.   Wade