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