Lloyd Roberts was just waking up from a short nap he had after supper. As be reached for his pack of cigarettes, Lloyd could still remember the dream he had. He was in that zone where he was just coming out of the dream state, but was not yet fully awake. Lloyd was used to having many dreams while he slept, but there was something different about the ones that he had been having lately. His most recent dreams all seemed to have some spiritual or religious theme to them.
A few minutes ago, Rick had seen Jesus in his dream holding a little lamb in his arms. The other night he dreamed that he was sitting in a quiet peaceful location by a stream. When he turned his head he could see a man who looked like Jesus waving for him to come over to where he was standing. Lloyd scratched hic head before putting on his baseball cap with the Ford logo on it. He had started to notice a bald spot near the top of his head and thought that if he covered it up he wouldn’t have to think about it. What he was now thinking about was the significance of his dreams. His daughter, Sasha had been a Christian for awhile now, but Lloyd was wondering what kind of influence her new boyfriend was having on her beliefs. Lloyd expected Sasha would be home in a little while. He would ask her what she made of his dreams.
Lloyd had recently attained employment as a residential care worker at The Main Street mission. He found that of the many jobs that he had worked over the years this was probably one of the few that he actually enjoyed. Lloyd liked the street people that he got to know and was starting to feel that his life was finally starting to have some meaning.
Rick was beginning to mature as he entered his mid forties. The incident that happened at the rock festival had shaken Lloyd up. It now occurred to him that he had some serious responsibilities as a parent.
One morning, Misty’s mother, Sheila Roberts was doing her morning devotions. As a devout Christian, Sheila had long established a habit of having a quiet time with the Lord before she started her day. Her devotional time included reading from her Bible, praying for herself and others as well as remaining quiet and waiting for God to speak to her. Today, Sheila heard the Lord speak to her spirit, “Sheila, I’m going to do a great work in your husband, Lloyd, because I love him very much. I am asking you to include Lloyd in your prayers every day.”
Sheila did not hear an audible voice, but she knew in her heart that she had heard from God. After the incident at the rock concert during the summer, Sheila had been thinking about Lloyd. By this time, she had forgiven Lloyd for allowing his daughters to get involved in a dangerous situation. She had loved Lloyd at one time, but since she became a Christian and Lloyd didn’t, Sheila felt that her husband would have a negative influence on their children. She could not say that Rick was a bad person. In many ways he was a good man but she could no longer tolerate his immaturity and his harmful addictions. What she really wanted was a Godly husband and Lloyd certainly was not. Sheila decided to call her pastor Randy Neufeld to discuss with him what the Lord had told her.
Episode Four of The Pastor
“I’m David Noble, the pastor of New Beginings Church. I’m Melissa’s husband and Dexter’s father.”
As soon as David could get these words out of his mouth he saw the police officer get jostled out of the way by a team of paramedics. A young athletic looking paramedic spoke up.
‘Where’s the victim?”
“She’s in the bedroom. I’ll take you there,” Dexter said.
When the paramedics entered Melissa’s bedroom they could see that Melissa had bled out from the deep and wide slash to her throat. Her clothing and the once grey rug were saturated in blood. They tried to get a pulse but were unable to find one. Two of the paramedics took turns performing CPR on Melissa but she remained unresponsive.
The young paramedic asked Dexter to return to the living room. Dexter took a seat on the sofa next to his father.
“I’ve got some terrible news for both of you. Melissa is dead.”
Pastor Noble covered his face with his hands and began to weep. Even though he was sitting down he felt dizzy and disoriented. Who could do such a horrific thing to his wife? David couldn’t think of anyone who disliked Melissa.
The thought crossed his mind that this tragedy probably wouldn’t have happened had he and his wife still been living together. An almost tangible wave of guilt overcame David.
After he graduated from seminary David had mixed feelings about becoming a pastor. He had always been an intellectual enjoyed studying The Bible and engaging in theological debates with his professors and fellow students. Still, David felt that something was missing. He knew about God but he doubted that he had a personal relationship with Him.
Just prior to graduating from seminary David married Melissa. Nine months later Dexter was born and David now had a family to support. Fortunately. David was very ambitious and charismatic and was offered a pastoral position in a Baptist church in an affluent suburb of Fargo, North Dakota just one month after his graduation.
Do You Trust Me?
This afternoon I heard God speaking to my heart (in other words I didn’t hear an audible voice), but I knew it was Him trying to get something important across to me and it was even meant for others to hear. That’s why I’m writing this blog post.
I was talking to my wife this morning and a paraphrase of the following message was given to me. I know that there are likely many of you who think it’s unlikely that God would use me as His communication tool. My answer to this is that God once spoke via a mule. Check out Numbers 22:28 in the Bible.
As I mentioned in a previous blog post I am presently up against a sizeable mountain in my own life. It reminds me of the Elvis Presley song, ‘You Gave Me a Mountain’.
In relation to my mountain God said, “What about it Ken? Do you trust Me to get you out of this mess and into a favorable place? Or more generally, do you trust Me with your life?”
In twelve step recovery groups they use Step Three which says, ‘Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him.” I’m glad that the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous added “as we understand him” to step three as I often do not understand God.
Taking Step Three is a huge step as it means that we are surrendering our control over a person or situation and are leaving the problem in God’s hands. This is where the rubber meets the road. We are putting total trust in God’s abilities and compassion toward us.
God always gives us a choice. He told me,” If you want to Ken, you can carry this burden yourself. I won’t try to stop you from worrying, losing sleep, getting all stressed out and all the other delightful joys of being your own boss. Like Frank Sinatra, you can say, “I did it my way.”
“Or, on the other hand you can leave your problems with me and trust Me for a favorable outcome.”
I choose the second option.
Watcha Going To Do When They Come For You?
I am presently facing two huge challenges right now. I know I have a basic choice to make. These are not new issues but they are now staring me right in the face. I would say that they qualify as what The Bible refers to as mountains.
The big question is how am I going to respond to these challenges? Over the last few months I have been very discouraged I know that I have to get out of this state of mind.
The question I have to ask myself is am I going to trust God or not? I have made a decision to trust God and turn my problems over to him. It is time for some serious spiritual warfare.
“No, because of you, silly boy.”
Rick let out an audible sigh of relief. He felt momentarily weak and went down on his knees.
“Are you alright, man?” asked Sasha with deep concern.
“Yeah, I’ll be okay. Just give me a few seconds. As his head cleared Rick rose to his feet once again.
“Does my love for you really mean that much to you, Rick?” asked Sasha.
“Yes, it does,” answered Rick. “I think I’m in love with you.”
“I love you too, man.” said Sasha giving Rick a passionate embrace. Their two bodies felt like they were melting into each other. They must have held this hug for a full five minutes. Many people walked walked by them but they didn’t even notice. They were the only two people on earth for that moment in time.
When they finally became too physically tired to hang on to each other any longer they broke their embrace.
“We better go back and find Lloyd and Misty. They might be worried that something happened to us,” said Rick.
“Well, they would be right about that,” Sasha said with a giggle.
When they got back to the main stage area it didn’t take them long to find Misty and Lloyd.
“Well, you two seem to have hit it off,” Lloyd commented.
“Yeah, I guess you could say that,” Rick said with a blush.
“I thought you two had hitched a ride to Los Vegas for a quickie wedding and honeymoon,” Misty chimed in.
“Come on, Misty, Rick and I only met this afternoon,” said Sasha feeling a little bit embarrassed.
“Well, Romeo and Juliet fell in love in even less time,” said Misty.
“Ah, come on, Misty. You’re just jealous,” said Lloyd taking a drag off his Marlborough.
“ Don’t worry dad. I always get lucky at these outdoor festivals, “ Misty replied taking a sip from her can of Bud.
“I know that Misty. I’ve never known you to miss at a rock festival yet,” laughed Lloyd.
After the last band played their set the happy group headed back to the campgrounds. As soon as they got there Lloyd got the charcoal barbeque going. Misty put the hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. After they ate, Lloyd got his guitar out of his tent.
“Any requests this evening?” asked Lloyd as he tuned up his acoustic guitar.
“Do you know Gloria, by Them?” asked Rick.
“Oh, that old three chord wonder,” laughed Lloyd. Of course, I started out playing with a garage band. Every band knew “Gloria” .The group had a good laugh belting out the chorus to this song.
Lloyd continued to take requests throughout the evening including sing-a-long songs such as Let It Be and Yellow Submarine by The Beatles. One of the last songs that Lloyd played that evening was Just Like A Woman by Bob Dylan. Rick and Sasha could not resist cuddling up during this number and by this time were not embarrassed by a public display of their affection.
At around 11:00 PM the group was tired and was ready to turn in for the evening. Three tents were already set up. Lloyd gave the instructions for this evening’s sleeping arrangements.
“The brown tent is for me,” Lloyd directed.”The green tent that was originally intended to be for Misty and Sasha’s is now solely Misty’s due to a change of plans. The yellow tent is for Rick and Sasha.
This announcement made everyone very happy. Rick and Sasha hugged and kissed during the next forty minutes and eventually fell asleep in each others arms.
The next morning Lloyd was the first to get up. After smoking a cigarette and boiling some water for coffee Lloyd attended to breakfast preparations. Misty helped Lloyd build the fire. Lloyd started cracking several eggs to put in the frying pan while Misty started to put bacon strips on a skillet.
Devotions With Ken David Stewart
The Spiritual Journey Devotions With Ken David Stewart:
I have found that once a person becomes saved, by accepting Jesus Christ by faith into their heart, they have another decision to make. They have to ask themselves the question, “Do we serve a ‘good God’ or a ‘bad God’?” There is and always has been a great deal of theology that teaches that God expects you to strictly adhere to an extensive list of rules and regulations. Interestingly enough, some of these rules and regulations vary depending upon which denomination you subscribe to. This theology basically teaches that if the believer does not obey the rules and regulations of that particular denomination they will be punished by God. They may not even need to do anything bad. God could put a sickness or disease upon them to teach them something. This is what I term the ‘bad God’ theology.
However, I choose to believe the ‘good God’ teaching. In this theology God loves you with an abundance of love that we cannot even understand. He does not ask you to live up to impossible standards. He does recognize sin but has taken care of this through the crucifixion of His Son, Jesus Christ. This does not mean that the believer is able to go out and sin as much as they want. God recognizes the laws of sowing and reaping. I also don’t believe that God puts any sicknesses or disease on us to teach us a lesson. Sickness and disease is from Satan and God’s will is to heal you when you are afflicted.