Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Greetings Fellow Bloggers,

Earlier this week, I had a conversation with someone who is very dear and near to my heart. Someone that looks up to me as an older sibling and I feel as they are a younger sibling in my life. They were discussing with me some life events that they were going through and struggles that they are facing. When I was reading my devotional, the day after, it reminded me of someone with whom I can relate to from the Bible over the last few years. I have read his story many times and it was just a powerful reminder that God has such a powerful plan that is beyond our greatest dreams. A plan that we can not even began to possibly fathom.
As I was doing a reflection from my devotional,l I was able to realize that I can relate to the story of Joseph.  I know I did not have some of the crazy events that had happened to Joseph; but, I can definitely relate to him. For a period in my life, every time I turned around something else was going wrong. It was like one blow after another.  When was this crazy roller coaster going to end? The story of Joseph had many things that were very prevalent throughout his entire journey.
The biggest thing was that God was always present. When it did not seem like He was there to Joseph and during these trials Joseph encountered along the journey that he was experiencing, God was there. God allowed one of Joseph’s older brothers, Reuben, to speak up to keep their other brothers from ending Joseph’s life. Later Ishmaelites came just in time to prevent the snakes in the pit from possibly killing Joseph. His brother sold Joseph for 20 pieces of silver to their extended family, the Ishmaelites. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was an officer for Pharaoh and the captain of the guard, bought Joseph. God’s hand was on Joseph when Potiphar bought Joseph. It was part of a bigger plan that Joseph did not realize as he was going through this hardship on his life’s journey. Joseph began to be very successful in his owner’s household and found favor in his owner’s sight. This led to Joseph being falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife. The punishment of Joseph’s crime should have been death; but, Potiphar, being a Captain in the guard, showed restraint and mercy on Joseph and sent him to the King’s Prison [State Prison]. God’s hand was on Joseph even when he was being sent to jail. Joseph prospered in jail. Joseph gained a tremendous amount of favor to the point that Joseph was made chief administrator of the prison. God’s hand of favor was on Joseph during all of these trials, sharpening his skills for the plans God had for him. God allowed people to cross Joseph’s path to impact their lives in such a way it would influence people in a position of power to take notice. The Pharaoh’s chief baker and cup bearer were just two of many people to cross Joseph’s path. These two particular people had dreams that needed to be interpreted.  The dreams were interpreted by Joseph. Both dreams came true, just as Joseph had interpreted them. The interpretation made an impact on the chief cup bearer’s heart. Yet, it was almost two years later before the cup bearer remembered a promise that he had made to Joseph.  God’s timing is sometimes hard to wait on. We expect things to happen in our timing. What we do not see is how God is using the place we are at to hone our skills for the position that God is going to provide in the future. The dream that Joseph interpreted for the chief cup bearer was so impactful that when no one else could interpret the Pharaoh’s dream, he remembered Joseph. The cup bearer spoke up to tell Pharaoh about Joseph.  Pharaoh had Joseph brought before him and asked if he was the one who could interpret dreams. Joseph was honest with Pharaoh. He told Pharaoh it was not him, but God that gave the interpretation. Pharaoh told Joseph his dream. Joseph interpreted and gave a proposal that not only pleased Pharaoh, but all of his servants. Pharaoh’s own words are “Can we find anyone like this, a man who has God’s spirit in him?” [a]  Pharaoh placed and exalted Joseph to have control of all of the land of Egypt and no one could out rank him, but Pharaoh himself. 
I have truly put in a nutshell about four to five chapters from the book of Genesis about the story of Joseph for a quick reflection. We could go into a much deeper and detailed endeavor of Joseph’s life. There is so much to learn from his life to apply to our own. With my life, the things that I have experienced over the last six to seven years have been a training ground for future endeavors that God has the foreknowledge of and I have not quite grasped hold of yet. These plans have not been revealed yet.
To all who may be having an experience like Joseph with things that just go wrong at every turn or things just seem to be happening, do not give up. Keep pressing forward. You will be surprised at the end of the journey how mature you have become. The struggles you face will in turn help someone else that may be facing a similar situation. Use your past experiences as a testimony and light for others that come after you. These experiences can point people to Christ and show a vulnerability within yourself to others who may be experiencing this struggle, also.
Life events do happen to us because life happens. We live in an imperfect world, with imperfect bodies, with imperfect people around us.  Things come up because of the imperfection of life.  We do have a choice to either take what happens as a learning experience to help us grow in maturity from that life event or we can choose to allow it to destroy us and those around us.
One final thought is that people are going to discourage you. They feel they still have control over you. They do not like seeing your success. They are a hurt person that goes around hurting people because that is all they know. Or perhaps it is just the enemy trying to stop your growth from happening. As hard as it is to tune these people out, some of them may even be love ones that you care about, put on noise canceling head phones bumping your Jesus Music to keep on track with your faith journey.

Very Respectfully,

Jonathan

[a]Genesis 41:38 HCSB

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Greeting Fellow Bloggers and Blog Readers,

It has been almost 22 months since my last post. Many things have happened over that time in my life, and want to give each and every one of you a word of encouragement.

Life hasn’t been easy but it has been a slow rebuilding period. God tends to put people in your life that are designed to build us back up and cause us to grow in the mist of our darkest days of despair.  In my last post on the 30th of Jan 2014, I was entering some of the darkest days of my life.  In that last post I mention that I had lost a co-worker when I was working at Home Depot suddenly, broke my engagement to be married, lost my truck when I blew the engine, chemical burn to my one of my eyes, and was in one of the worse years financially since I had started working.

When I hit the low point in my life there was only one way to look and that was up. I turned to God’s Word, and remember passage of Scripture that help me.

Psalms: 119

25 :My life is down in the dust; give me life through Your word.

28 :I am weary from grief; strengthen me through Your word.

50 :This is my comfort in my affliction: Your promise has given me life.

105 :Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.

169 :Let my cry reach You, Lord; give me understanding according to Your word.

Psalms: 121

1 :I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from?

2 :My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 :He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber.

4 : Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep.

5 : The Lord protects you; the Lord is a shelter right by your side.

6 : The sun will not strike you by day or the moon by night.

7 : The Lord will protect you from all harm; He will protect your life.

8 : The Lord will protect your coming and going both now and forever.

As these scripture permeated my soul I begin to lean on God, and seeking help to overcome these hardships in my life.  Looking to God for answers, He began to softly speak to me and mention the name of my pastor. I grabbed my phone in what was one of the most liberating and difficult phone calls in my life.  Telling your pastor that you felt numb, and didn’t know how to process emotions was very difficult to do. Laying down my pride to reach out for help was also difficult. I thought I could overcome all this on my own. Guess what, that wasn’t the case. I just begin to drive myself deeper and deeper into despair until I asked for help.

My life didn’t turn around over night, but it did allow me to see life is a journey with many intercal parts along the way.  People are pieces in your life to either cause grow within you or destroy the progress that you have made. Thankfully, these last 22 months God has allowed many people in my life to help be a source of rebuilding and healing.  At the beginning of the healing journey what I experienced emotionally was a world wind of feelings. I felt anger, sadness, pain, hopelessness, lost, and not sure how to even begin how to process these feelings. With my pastors help, he pointed me into the direction of a Christian Counselor. Over the following 3 years, was the beginning of the rebuilding process. My counselor spent many hours seeing me cry, voicing hurtful experiences that I felt that even went back as far as my childhood, encouraging me to seek medical help, and just was a source of constant reminder of who God was during this process.  My counselor began to see healing within my life slowly. I still struggled with all the emotions I was feeling, and couldn’t really see any of the healing he was talking about until over a year later. As I began to see it, thing in my life began to change around me. People around me started to notice a change, and I keep at it. Keep pushing forward, God was with me every step of the way.

Through this God made provision in ways that can only be described as being God sent. Many times I didn’t have ways of getting help medically, money for rent, or even have money for food on my table.  God laid it on people heart to provide for me, and it was an experience that was unlike anything I have ever experienced before.  Having people pull out their checkbook to write the amount I needed for rent. People bring so much food that I had to give it away because it was too much for just one person[Fresh Foods]. Having these things happen to me when the people providing the blessing didn’t even know I was going through these hardships. God spoke to these people, and literally laid it on their hearts make provision. It was surreal to see. The biggest blessing came in October of 2015. I had been looking to acquire some type of vehicle. My feet and knees were starting to hurt from the 4 mile walks I was taking to get to and from work, and not counting the walking I was doing while I worked. I was tremendously blessed with a 2007 Dodge Ram 1500 with under 90,000 miles that was only 4500$. The owner originally was asking close to $9000.  I never once asked for a discount, and God laid it on her heart to sale it to me at 1st around 5500$ after asking 9000$. She wanted to sale it, because she didn’t drive it and it was her late husband truck. By the time I test drove it and came back to her home, she said since I know you personally Jonathan, I am going to sale it to you for 4500$. I was like I’m not complaining, and her son was are you sure mom. She was like yes, and I was like Praise GOD! Only God can make provision in ways that is impossible for man.

Now fast forward to where we are today, this year has been a tremendous blessing also, but extremely difficult.  This year my faith has been truly tested with many things. With organized Western Christian Religion in general, through friendship that have been removed, my health has been a major concern this year, moving to a new stage of life, and trusting God’s Will. Things that were great blessing have been, seeing some of the student at my church grow into epic young men and women of God, meeting someone who has been a blessing from God, having things being fixed that I didn’t think were possible to get fixed, having hope, and a renewing of faith.

Life is definitely a journey. It has been one that if I could describe with one word it would be “interesting”. Life journey will have its ups and downs, but the one thing we can remember God is on this journey with us every step of the way. We must continue to push forward even in the mist of adversity we face in our life. We may never know who we are inspiring around us.

Feel free to comment, ask for prayer, or questions. I would love to hear some feed back.

God Bless,

Jonathan

Greeting and Blessing from our Lord Jesus Christ,

As I am here sitting in my apartment in San Antonio, Texas I am thinking about the disciples. Jesus purposely chose those 12 men, which is extremely uncommon during Jesus time period.  During those time you begin to learning the craft of your father, like Jesus did as a carpenter from his earthly farther Jesse. Likewise the disciple learned there craft as fishermen, tax collectors, tent makers, whatever it was they specialize in they had learned it from about age 10-13. The men were chosen at an older age, the one that the church didn’t want they were put through an extreme training program like no other person had seen before.  Just looking through the entire gospel we see the just endowed with all types of experiences from casting out demons, healing of the deaf, blind, to the dead being raised to Jesus walking on the waters, and calming the raging sea.  This was extreme training that lasted 40 months (3 1/2 years). I can relate to being in a process of training over the last 40 months of my life.  It has been some of the most difficult times in my entire life. Seeing people that I cared about who have been abused in all aspect of life, to personally being robbed, losing jobs, being injured, being without food, to losing people I care about in a relationships. Like the disciple who were traveling with Jesus, experienced near death experienced, terrible killing diseases, massive crowds, poor living conditions, having seeing there teacher being killed. You may be experiencing some of those things like I have experienced, or the disciple. A lost to a loved one, lost job, going through and ugly divorce, or being injured. It has a greater purpose, after the disciple when through the training program of Jesus they made such of an impacted on this world that we are still feeling the ramifications of there training that Jesus put them through. Just like us as we are tested, have trials, and even tribulations in our life. Those are the times we are being taught that God has a great purpose in our life.  We may not understand what is going on because the Word of God states that we don’t know the thoughts of God.

Isa 55:8-9

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

We just need to trust the is the Master is the Master, because He know what is going to happen. He created us and know the plans for our lives! He knows best for us.

Dear Heavenly Father,

As people read this blog, I pray that you just endow them with a peace and understanding that you know what is best for our lives.  We know you selected the disciple for a reason like you selected us to be apart of your wonderful kingdom.  We know you have greater plans for our lives, and ask that you keep training us and showing us that your always around us.  Keep us safe, and mold us more like your son Jesus, we love you Father! We ask all these thing in your beloved son Jesus. Amen