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Thursday, November 2, 2017

An Ex-Truckers Writing Tale





             Gabbatha holds significance to me as it is where I spent my life.
                       Took this on my way to my first conference.


                                            The Conference

    The difference between a fairy tale and a truck driving story is in the way they begin. A fairy tale begins with, “Once upon a time.”  A truck driving story begins with, “You ain't gonna believe this.” One other difference is that the fairy tale usually isn't true, but the truck driving story is, though it may be embellished a bit.

      Having just returned from a road trip that took me near the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference site my goal is to share how it is and has changed my life. Just attending the first time was an act of providence.  My intention had been to go to a conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  I discovered that conference in Writer’s Digest magazine.  It took me two years to get the money together for it.  The trip to the conference was 1500 miles one way.  In my van that would have been over $700 in gas round trip.  I had to have the deposit for the conference mailed in by June 1st.

      While surfing on twitter I found a link to a site run by Keiki Hendrix that listed Christian authors.  Well it also listed writer’s conferences.  One of them was the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference or BRMCWC for short.  It started on the 20th of May and this was on the 15th of May 2012.  In the morning I called and checked on it.  It had a lot of things going for it. First it was less than five hundred miles.  That saved me almost two thousand miles in gas alone which almost paid for the BRMCWC. On top of that the conference was only $730 for room, meals and classes which was cheaper than just the conference in Wyoming.  As they say, it was a no brainer.  The next few days were hectic.

    The drive to the conference was an adventure in itself.  After attending the conference I finally realized I do not really want to write books.  My goal is to have a meaningful blog where I can share things I have learned from life and many hours of studying the Bible.  My blogging started before the conference but had little direction.  My daughter Angelica had gone to Costa Rica to get her certification to teach high school Spanish classes.  She started a blog to keep us up to date on what she was doing while she was gone. I really loved it and told her so.

      During my last year in the Army in Panama I had been a photo/journalist for the command newspaper.  She suggested I start writing some of my life experiences so they could share them with my grandkids when I am gone.  It seemed a good idea to me having had a heart attack and been bought back in January 2004.  My youngest daughter Glenda fought a seven year battle with a brain tumor.  She went home to be with the Lord in August 2010.  One advantage of being on disability during that time was that I was able to spend a lot of time with Glenda taking her to appointments and running her around as she could not drive.  Starting the blog in March 2011 helped get me out of a bit of a low point in my life.

     Arriving at the conference and signing in was an adventure.  You meet so many people it is almost overwhelming.  Arriving early a couple of the first people I managed to meet were Alton Gansky  and  Edie Melson, later I would discover they are a couple of the people in charge of making things happen. They are both really nice people and were a pleasure to meet.  The chance meeting with them helped me realize I was definitely where I needed to me.

    The next morning I met a real nice person at breakfast. His name was Joseph Bentz and he was one of the instructors. He is from California and was on staff.  I told him I was from Indiana and he said he had grown up in Indiana and gone to Vincennes University.  Over the course of our conversation we found out we both attended the same years and may have actually crossed paths at some point. The thirty plus years since then made it hard to be certain.

    An hour into my first day of classes the schedule I had made for my self was history.  It modified as the conference progressed.  Finding what you really need and what will benefit you at the level you are at is one of the learning experiences you will go through at your first conference.  Writing was something I already felt comfortable with.  How to develop and market my writing was my interest.

     The classes I took helped me realize that many of the things that I had taught myself were not the best way of doing things.  Most of the teachers stressed that blogs should be short and no more than three to five hundred words.  My posts were and are much longer than what they recommended.  To me it is determined by the purpose of your writing.  Short is nice if you want to break things up and post often.  My style is to post four to six times a month and while my blog is not growing as fast as some I have heard of.  It is doing okay for me.  It has had over thirteen thousand hits and been read in over seventy countries.  That made me proud until I realized that those numbers were about what one might expect from accidental hits as big as the web is. Eventually I would like to start doing travel stories and maybe ones on crafts, especially ones done with recycled materials.

     What is fun and makes blogging worth it is when one of your blog posts takes on a life of its own.  A couple of my older blogs have suddenly started getting hits from all over the world.  They received far too many hits for it to be a random accident.

    One incident at the conference happened the second night and set a tone of things that has continued happening to me since the very first conference.  My room at the first conference was in the Mountain Laurel East building on the third floor.  In the evening I decided to have some Pepsi, but the ice machine on the third floor was not working.  So I went down to the second floor to get some ice. As I did two ladies were sitting in the hall and signing books.  When passing I said, “Hi” and continued on to get my ice. While waiting on the elevator to come back we made small talk and one lady said it was her book she was signing. I said that was nice and proceeded to get on the elevator and had a sudden and overwhelming desire to know what her book was about. I stuck my foot in the door as it closed.  It was about the loss of her daughter Megan. It was something I could definitely relate to having lost my own daughter.  We talked a few minutes and Marcia gave me an autographed copy of her book.  It really touched me and I realized it was not only my cross to bear, but that many others had been through the same thing.

    The conference went well and way to fast.  On the way home I pondered all the things I had heard, seen and experienced.  Stopping for gas and coffee at a truck stop in Leavenworth, IN in the wee hours of the morning I saw a man come in with one leg and on crutches.  I assumed, which is a bad thing to do, that he was riding with someone until I watched him go out and start sliding the tandems to make his truck legal. It would never have hit me that what I was watching was a story before the conference, but now I was seeing stories everywhere.


   In 2013 on my way to the Conference I decided to stop and see my daughter in Corydon, IN and watch my grand-daughter play softball.  Friday night I went to an oldies but goodies car show in Corydon.  Saturday morning we went to the game. Things went fine till I made a comment to my grandson about the pitcher having a real good arm.  Very sarcastically he looked at me and said, “Yeah she has a real good arm. Did you look at her Papaw?” It was then I knew where and why the sarcasm was in his voice. She only had one arm. In my defense she really is an awesome pitcher.  Anyhow I found out her father was the coach for her team.  She and a friend play in a traveling league.  She played with the 16 to 18 year olds but she was only 14 at the time.  There is a definitely a story here and if things go well I will get it.  Her Dad has been too busy to find time for me, but my daughter said he was just hired by the same high school she works for as a coach so the door still may open. 

   The second year was pretty nice and again I threw away my schedule.  It was a lot less hectic than the first year and I seemed to get a lot more out of it than the first year. While I had submitted several stories to publications I still had not had any luck generating revenue from my writing.  That was when I decided if my writing didn’t pay my way that I would not be back in 2014.
    
       A couple things happened in 2013 that I found strange.  There is a lady that goes to the conference and uses a walking stick.  I had wondered who she was and what her story was in 2012.  Well I sat down and struck up a conversation with and elderly lady,  It happened to be her Mom. Thank you, Lord, for that gift of knowledge. Then later in the conference I sat at a table with Edie Melson who has a son who is a veteran.  Five of us sat with her and every one of us had lost someone in the last couple of years.  That had to be a God thing. Some very powerful testimonies were given at that meal

       Well 2014 came up kind of fast and I had to either admit I wasn’t a writer or lie and go to the conference anyhow.  So to justify going I had to use some “trucklogic,” which is the title of the first post I wrote on my blog after my first conference, to allow myself to go to the conference.  It certainly was not because of a lack of money.  Between 2013 and 2014 my income had quadrupled.  In 2011 providence allowed me to go to a 4th of July get together at an old friend’s house.   His wife is a retired Lt. Commander from the Navy.  Well in the course of events I met a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel.  We got to talking and I shared how it had been my goal to lose weight and get back into skydiving.  It was something that I did in the military.  My goal was to get my Gold Wings for a 1000 jumps.  In the course of the story I explained I had a heart attack, after losing ninety pounds and that they had implanted a defibrillator in me and that I doubted I could jump as they had taken away my CDL.  Well it seems he had worked in the compensation department and informed me that if I had a defibrillator and was a Vietnam vet I was automatically qualified for Agent Orange compensation.  That was July and I didn’t do anything till January, when I decided to turn over a new leaf and fill out the paperwork.  The worst they could say was no.  Well in October 2013 the VA informed Me I would start receiving my compensation.  So having the money I could justify going to the conference.  I did fill out the papers and write all the forms they wanted me to write for the compensation and if I had not done so I would not have gotten the compensation.  So with a little stretch of my “Trucker Logic” my writing did pay my way to the conference. I also found I can still jump, even with a defibrillator, but I still have to get down to two hundred and twenty pounds.

      Also I have enough money to do some serious traveling this year and hopefully by next year I won’t have to play games to justify my coming to the conference. It is nice to know that money is not the issue anymore.  In the course of events though it was humbling to have realize what and why the Lord is opening doors for.  Since the first conference I have met dozens of people like Marcia and myself.  It is a ministry which I had not counted on but which gives me peace each time I am able to talk with a person who is recovering as I was when I met Marcia.

     One evening I decided to stop at “The Cloud” and get a cup of coffee before going to my room.  I met a pastor named Dan Ellrick who was attending the conference from Japan. He won the award for furthest travel to the conference.  I mentioned I had a close friend that was Japanese that I had lost contact with her over the years.  He asked me for as many details as I could give him.  Her husband, my best friend at the time, had been killed in a plane crash on his way to his first demonstration with the Golden Knights Army Exhibition Parachute Team.  The next morning at breakfast he handed me a sheet of paper with some info on it.  I had tried for years to track her down.  He had done it in one night.  When I called the number it turned out he was successful.  It had been only forty one years since I had contacted her.

     On the way home from the conference I had an experience that defies logic and kind of spooked me.  I stopped at the Wendy’s in Cherokee, NC and got me some lunch.  I got Chili, fries and a frosty.  When I got to the table and sat down I realized I only had three crackers.  As I pushed my chair back to go and get some more, a lady across the restaurant from me got up, picked up crackers off of her tray, walked over to my table and put her crackers on my tray.  Then she walked back and sat down.  Neither one of us said a word.  Kind of freaked me out till the next morning.  I, being a creature of habit, stopped at the same truck stop where I had met the one legged trucker.  I started talking to the coffee lady and started to get the wrong coffee. She straightened me out.  In the course of the conversation she revealed her Mom had died from a brain tumor a couple years before.  I told her my cracker story and she simply said, “You have someone looking out for you.” Yes I do and my prayer is that I learn to use it and walk in the power of it to help others.

      So what happened to 15, 16 and 17?   Fate I guess.  I have twin great-grand-daughters and they were being raised in government housing and it really bothered me. Then I was reading in First Timothy the fifth chapter and I got convicted. Their Mom wanted out of her situation but she needed a job to do it. One verse says that he who won’t provide for his own is worse than an infidel. That did not sound good and I looked it up. It is not, it is one that does not know God, which is not a good situation for a professing Christian to be in. So I stepped up and started taking care of the girls for her.  My wife said I was nuts at almost seventy taking on that responsibility.  It may be, but it was the right thing to do. So for the last three years I have been taking care of the girls. My wife is retired and goes to Texas a few months every year.  When she does I am on my own with them. They went to Head Start last year which made it easier. This year they are in Kindergarten and it is a lot easier. I get up at 5:30 every day Michelle works and she brings the girls to me. We go back to sleep and get up in time to get on the bus. After school they come here till she gets off work. It is working.

      I took my first break in three years and took twenty- five days off.  My wife and daughters worked to keep it going till I got back. It worked fine and so now if things keep going well I will be back to the Conference in 2018. I’ve slowed way down on my blog but now that the girls are gone all day it is my goal to get back to being active writing on it.


    My recent trip covered forty-three hundred miles, went to Niagara Falls, Ft. Ticonderoga, in eastern New York, up thru Quebec, over to New Brunswick, and down too Bar Harbor, ME,  Then down thru Rhode Island where I had planned or hoped to see Lori Roeleveld, who I met at my first conference and before she was a published author. Her book 'Running from a Crazy Man" is a very good read. Hoped to take her and her father to lunch, but she was obligated at work. I hope I did not upset her as I did not really warn her I was coming. I tend to "go with the flow"which is how I did when I was trucking for a living. I based it on John 3:8, which says to me I was where I was because the Lord already had plans for me. It didn’t really matter though as the exit before hers I picked up two hitch-hikers and their two dogs, who were going to Richmond, VA. We went thru New York City, around Central Park, past the new World Trade Center, out thru the Holland Tunnel and down to Richmond where I dropped them off.  Finally I finished up at Raeford, NC where I spent three days watching skydivers over sixty attempting to break some world records. Then I made a leisurely three day drive back to the house with all kinds of new material to write about.  Confidant that next spring my plans to go to the conference should work out well.

   My 10/29/2017 post has forty trucking stories with links if anyone is interested.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Top 40 Trucking Stories For Those Who Do



            Trucking Stories for Those Who Do


     Over the last couple months I have been pulling and posting some of my trucking stories for those who drive. While a few are not straight up trucking stories they all came from my trucking experiences in life. I decided to do something a little different. It is my intention in the near future if I live long enough, to write a book on trucking and how the Lord got me through it all. My writing has definitely improved from when I started seven years ago. That can easily be seen by reading some of my first stories.  Over time I have posted almost 260 blog posts and I dug 40 of the better trucking and faith based ones out and put them in a paper so I can go down the list and update and edit them for publication. I published them here as is with links.

     It is my goal later to travel around and meet truckers and compile a bunch of stories from a trucker’s points of view. I would like stories that are faith based or can save others from making some of the mistakes we made getting to where we are at in life. If you have one you would like to share send me and e-mail and let me know what it is about.

    The stories listed here have not been corrected or edited yet.  They are just as I wrote them over the years.  It is roughly 150 written pages so it is going to take me some time to get them all done. I invite you to share them with your friends and give me feedback about what you like or don’t like about them. Eventually I hope to have the links with them all when done. For now the original date is included so you can go to the year and month on my sidebar and find the story you might be interested in. The ones with the lower numbers were mostly from before I started getting readers.

     Hope you enjoy them. I am working on getting them in a format where I can share them on a CD, thumb drive or some other format that I can do for free. If I do make a book it will be at cost. I am not interested in making a profit I got that when I lived the experience. The story "Sometimes Following, Means Waiting" is about how I got started trucking.

8/22/2012     Sometimes Following, Means Waiting

5/28/2012     Trucker Logic

6/23/2016     A Tale of Life and Death

9/14/2012     Deadhead? or Not? How to Judge?

4/12/2012    How Not to Go Down a Hill, Vietnam

11/18/2014   Trucking Smarter Not Harder

7/14/2013   Driving on Prayer

4/11/2014   When God Says, "April Fool”

6/7/2015     Coming Full Circle

6/13/2012   Victory Over Stuffitis

7/24/2015   Church of the Eighty Foot Parking Lot

10/15/2015 Are You Who You Think You Are?

 11/7/2011   How Not to Go Down a Hill, Murphy's Law at Work

12/15/2013   Putting Your Hand to the Plow

2/22/2013    Is America Dysfunctional or Reprobate

6/22/2013   Building a Hedge of God's Protection

12/25/2014 A Meal with the Least of These

2/13/2014   A Wanna Be Sky God

7/8/2013      Three Things God Can’t Do

2/6/2012     How I Went From $150,000 to Nothing in a Heartbeat

9/9/2013     A Truckers Perspective

12/7/2013   My Scrooged Birthday

10/18/2013   The Evolution of Trucker Logic

 1/23/2014   Things I Learned the Hard Way

 4/25/2012   America Under A Threat Worse Than 9/11 or Katrina

3/8/2014     Unfinished Business

1/16/2014   When God Answers

12/15/2013 Good News for Christian Truckers

12/15/2013   Putting Your Hand to the Plow

11/13/2013 Agent Orange Tell a Vet

8/27/2013   Leap of Faith

9/12/2013   My Life as a Moonie

3/20/2013      Often Missed Detail in the Bible  http://rictheturtleryan.blogspot.com/2013/03/some-often-missed-bible-details.html

8/24/2013   You Are What the Army Needs You to Be

 8/19/2013   The Road to Emmaus

1/5/2013     Driving with Zero Fossil Fuels

12/26/2013 Whoa God

7/8/2013     It Rains on the Good and the Bad Both

4/19/2011   Why Americas Losing the Industry and Marketing Battle

6/26/2012   All Things Work Together For Good



The Last Halloween, Did God Get Ya?


      The Last Halloween, Did God Get Ya?


     What is the Biblical significance of Halloween?  Well this one has a lot of significance. Why you say? Well 500 years ago Tuesday Martin Luther nailed his thesis to the church door in Germany. So what? Well that started a time frame that occurs three other times in the Bible, each one 500 years long. It is only because of lots of study on the matter that it means anything to me. There is a verse in Exodus that always made me curious as to why it was stated the way it was.  Basically it says.
         
        41And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.

    There is a verse that says, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Which means God is unchanging and does things the same way over and over just like the seasons that come and go. It is only used once in the New Testament of the Bible. Because of that verse I found three 500 year periods in the Old Testament with much study. It was when I was reading in Amos and God said he would give all the enemies of Israel four chances. It made me realize that if he gave them four chances he would do the same for Israel.

      Years ago I was helping my daughter do a paper on Martin Luther for school that I realized that from the time he posted that thesis to the return of Israel to the Promised Land was four hundred and thirty years.  Well in the Old Testament the four hundred thirty year periods were always followed by a period of seventy years. This is the seventieth year since Israel returned to their land. I am attaching several links to posts on my blog that deal with this topic and explain how it may be to the day in fact. You can blow it off if you wish, but looking at the condition of the world in this day and age I am looking up and praying.  Hope you take the time to read the links. Time is too short to write new posts so they will have to do. If you go through my posts for 2017 you will find there are several posts that basically say we are in the last time.  I attached the last link that describes an event that happend in my life to show that God does have a sense of humor.

The Number 70’s Biblical Significance 

A Little Further Down the Path (Meat Only)

Blessed to Death


Circles of Life & Ending Terrorism Part II

Why Easter and Pentecost Predict Change is Coming



Sunday, September 10, 2017

Is God Trying to Tell Us Something?


                               Is God Trying to Tell Us Something?


     Sixteen years ago Monday was a Tuesday.  That sounds dumb I am sure but 9/11 of 2001 was on a Tuesday. Had it been on a Monday it would probably mean nothing to me. As it happened though, I was delivering a load to Bayonne, NJ directly across the river from the World Trade Center. Normally I would have been delivering on a Monday.  The load was barrels of spices from Reno, Nevada. The load had originated in India and been shipped to Reno, Nevada where it was broken down and shipped to other points in the USA. The load took me through my hometown which allowed me to do some things I needed to get done. However it postponed my delivery which was originally scheduled for Monday. Little did I know the significance that small change would have on my life. Instead of hearing about 9/11 on the radio I ended up watching it unfold live. This was the fourth plane crash I had seen in the course of my life. Two of the others I had been close enough to feel the heat. This one however burned an image in my heart that I will never forget.

     One of those previous plane crashes set in effect a circle of events that seems to be coming full circle lately. On February 6, 1992 a National Guard C-130 Aircraft out of Louisville, Kentucky crashed into the Drury Inn in Evansville, Indiana. Having seen the wreck first hand I was interviewed by CNN and was on national TV. My best friend and his wife saw me on the news and used the information they got to track me down. We had both been in the service in the early seventies and because of transfers we lost contact with each other.  The crash reconnected us after an almost twenty year break.  Shortly after the airplane crash a door was opened for me to start driving my own truck over the open road.  It gave me the opportunity to drive all forty eight states and Canada, which also set the stage for me to be where I was on 9/11.

      When I had “The Big One” in January of 2004 my friend Mel was the first one to call me when I was in recovery.  He and his wife were stationed in Naples, Italy at the time.  Only later did I learn it was the end of my truck driving career. It however opened the door for me to be with and help my youngest daughter during her seven year battle with a brain tumor. Flying home we landed in Louisville and during the approach to land I saw the planes parked on the tarmac. They happened to belong to the National Guard unit that had crashed in 1992. Somehow I knew it was the end of a circle. Glenda passed away in August of 2010 shortly before her birthday. 

        One of the last events Glenda and I attended together was a 4th of July Cookout at my friend Mel’s house. He lives only seventy miles away from me.
At the cookout I met a retired Air Force officer who worked in claims and compensation.  He advised me from our conversation that I was entitled to Agent Orange Compensation.  Thanks to Steve I started receiving compensation in October of 2013.  I would not have met him had it not been for the plane crash.  On the 27th August of this year we met again.  While I enjoyed meeting him again and thanking him for all he had done for me, it was a sad day. We were at a memorial service for my best friend. What made it even harder, as it was also my youngest daughter’s birthday, she would have been forty.

    With all that is happening in the world today one has to wonder if God is trying to tell us something.  The western half of the U.S. is on fire. The south eastern half is drowning.  As we wait for Irma to make landfall many wonder if the end is near. As I read my Bible this morning I noticed something I had never noticed before. I had seen in Daniel 12:4 that Daniel was told to close up his book and that it would speak to the end time. One of the signs given is that people would run to and fro thru out all the earth and knowledge would be increased.  The explosion of knowledge actually began in the 1400’s with the invention of the printing press and the discovery of the New World.  A discovery that happened supposedly because of Columbus faith in the inerrancy of the Word of God and Isaiah 40:22 which says, “God sets upon the circle of the earth.” Events that would or will lead to the fulfillment of the Great Commission in the Bible given in Matthew 28: 18-20.
       
      18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

    This morning while doing my Bible reading I felt compelled for some reason to turn to Daniel 9/11 and it was an eye opener and definitely says something to me. To get the whole gist of it, it might be better to start with verse 9 and read thru 14.

         9/11Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.

   Jesus gave us some subtle hints about what was to come. He spent his last night on earth warning of what was to come. He started off in Matthew 24:6 saying we would “hear” of things that would come to pass in the future, but says they are the beginning of things.  In verses 30 and 33, however, he changes the change to seeing instead of hearing. I believe it was not an accident and there was intent to what he said. It was so we would be able to discern the things happening around us. We will not know the hour or the day, but he made clear we would be able to discern the time.

    Lately we are so absorbed in hurricanes we have missed other world news.  One of the upsides to events is that we have not had to listen to the media rant on and on about Donald Trump.  Most people missed the fact that there was a 6.1 earthquake in Japan on the 7th of September and an 8.1 one in Mexico on the 8th of September. Earthquakes were one of the things Jesus warned of us as a sign of the end.

    Getting back to seeing and hearing there is another event that was clearly stated and could not have happened until pretty recently in world history.  Revelation 11 says there will be two witnesses to the end time and the things they have to say will really upset the world. In fact they will be killed, however, three days later they will be resurrected and ascend into heaven.  The key is in verse 11:9 where it says the whole world will see them dead and celebrate and give gifts to each other. That could not have happened till the advent of satellite technology.

    In Matthew 24: 29-31 it makes clear that those who believe will go thru a great period of tribulation and then in verse 31 it says they shall gather the elect from the ends of the earth. Regardless of what the “Left Behind Series says” So it may not be the end, but certainly all the signs are set for the end to come. Read Revelation 22:6-7 and Jesus warns, “Behold I come quickly”, but it also says the things which must come to pass will be shown.

    Hosea sums it up pretty clearly.

       6My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.


  The only way you can truly know God is thru His Word.  Jesus was the Word incarnate. If you want a real relationship with Jesus, it will by seeking him and coming to know him thru His Word. You say I don’t have time for that.  Well he gives you twenty-four hours in a day. You can start by sharing some of that time with him. It will time well spent and it may make an eternal difference in your life.

   As an interesting footnote you might read this link, history has a habit of repeating itself.
         https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_Meadows_massacre 




Friday, August 18, 2017

What is the Biblical Signicance of an Eclipse


     Sometimes writing comes easy and sometimes it is a struggle for every word you write. This morning I received a call that my lifelong best friend had passed away. Two weeks ago they gave him ninety days to live. That has happened several times in the last year. I wish doctors would simply say your time is short, enjoy every day you have. Time is not theirs to give and it makes it really hard when our expectations come up short.

    My intention this morning was to write on the coming solar eclipse based on a video I watched last night. Jonah is one character in the Bible I have always related to as I spent a large portion of my life running from God.  In fact if you look at the picture on my post you will see it was on the hood of my truck and it is on the side of my van now. One thing I could never understand is how Jonah could be so powerful of a speaker to convert all of Nineveh. The video explains that there was a major eclipse at the time of Jonah which helped him convince the Ninevites God’s wrath was about to be poured out on them if they did not repent. Here is the link for the video, it is hard to watch, but the message is really important for Americans to know. http://www.annegrahamlotz.org/2017/08/07/gods-judgment-coming-america/#.WY04SzO-x1g.facebook

    America needs to take heed for the same reason. To me it is like God is taking his finger and drawing a line across America and saying it is done. After watching the video I believe it even more. Recently I have seen a couple of really good videos that opened understanding to me in areas that I had always struggled with. The second video deals with the 12th Chapter of Revelation. It is very enlightening for the facts it shares.  Here is the link for the 2nd video https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XA6JcY-ikec  It explains things from the view of astrology, something I have no knowledge in, but which I know was very important in earlier Biblical times.

   The last few months I have really been struggling over whether I should write anymore or not. Most all of my Bible knowledge had already been shared and I hate being redundant, but know that I often am.  With Trump and all the riots and decline of order in America and no one stepping up to the plate to restore order, it seems our nation has crossed a line and we are entering a period similar to the time of Noah which Jesus said we would. Genesis 6:3-7 lays it out pretty clear as to what it was like in the times of Noah. Yes we are still getting married, my youngest grandson just did, and we are still burying the dead. Life is going on, but the turn to evil was predicted by Christ.

    One of the still unfulfilled prophecies from the Bible is the two witnesses to the end times. Knowing the period of Tribulation is supposed to last seven years it makes me wonder when I discovered that another eclipse is supposed to happen in seven years and that the paths would cross over St. Louis it made me wonder.  Jesus said we would go through a period of tribulation and then the ones who followed him would be caught away. That will happen at mid-tribulation, at least from my understanding. My attention is focused on recognizing the two witnesses to the end time when they come on the scene, which I feel should be very shortly, but that is purely my personal understanding of what is predicted. I have been wrong before, I have been right also a couple of times.

   With the prophecies left to be fulfilled I do not feel that the Rapture or the end is right at hand, but they are both imminent.  Meaning they are not in the too distant future. Jesus laid out what had to happen and we are getting pretty close. One thing yet to happen is a major earthquake, like as has never happened in the history of mankind. The video gives good reference on that matter and if you type earthquake on the search bar of my blog I have several rather detailed posts on where I think we are at with that issue.

   My post for June 23 of 2016, A Tale of Life and Death has a section in which I explain a vision I had clear back in January of 1967 which makes me believe I will be here when Christ returns in glory, but having died twice already and losing friends on a regular basis younger than myself, I have started to question if I missed something in that vision, but as long as I am still sucking air I will continue to believe I am right.


     Years ago when I was in my 40’s to early 50’s I met an elderly man and asked him how he was doing, and I have often quoted his answer. He said, “Young man, as long as I am looking down at the grass and not up at it, it is a good day.” I laughed and thought it was funny, but the older I get the truth of what he said becomes easier to understand. When you get to the point you take pain pills to go to bed so you can sleep and take some more when you get up so you can get your tired old bones moving, you realize it is not a joke, but reality.

Yet.....It is a Good Day, but a sad one for me.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Christian Fathers Need To Stand Up for America


Building a Hedge of God's Protection, for our Nation

       America today is like a rudderless ship drifting in a turbulent sea.  Our nation thrived as it followed God and allowed him to guide our path. God provided a hedge of protection for America. As America shifts more onto a path of self-righteousness the hedge of God’s Protection has withered. If we are going to save America and the World, the Father’s in our nation need to stand up and take the helm and turn our nation back to God.  In Isaiah it speaks of a great nation crashing on the rocks in rough seas. In 30:25 it mentions the fall of the towers, and in 33:18 it describes a period of terror. It also speaks of a period of seventy years which is how long it has been since Israel became a nation again. The irony in those verses is that Israel had to exist as a nation. It didn’t for over 2000 years. When you read Isaiah 24:1 it makes clear that even worse times are to come, all of which is purely coincidence unless you believe God says what he means, and means what he says.

      Surviving in the world today is a hard thing to do.  Especially when you have no job, mouths to feed and the need to provide shelter. As the old saying goes been there and done that. It is purely by the Grace of God that I am here today.  God provides a hedge of protection that protects us from the evil in this world. Left to my own devices I would have starved to death.  At one point in my life I had my own business and was making what I thought was good money.  The problem was I lost sight of the source of my blessing. I had to get as low as I could go before I realized that I had turned away from the source of my blessing.  I had lost my business, my house, my car and my family.  In retrospect there was no need to have lost any of it.  The reason I did lose it all was by feeling that “I” was doing it all.  I was the master of my destiny and that “I” could do it on my own.  Looking back it is easy to see dozens of ways it could have been avoided, but God was letting me “do my own thing.”

       In reality I knew where my blessings were coming from. It was a willful choice to turn away from God.  It was not that I intentionally turned my back on God.  It got to the point I started taking for granted the blessings I was receiving. Slowly I stopped tithing, I stopped looking for God in the things happening in my life and worst of all I quit giving even verbal thanks to him. God simply removed his hedge of protection and let me see how well I could do on my own.  Having reached a point where I had virtually nothing and the only way I could look was up. I did.  I told God I understood the error of my ways.  I had nothing.  I promised to tithe 10% of my time to the Lord as it was all I had to give.  The next several years I spent at least two and one half hours a day in the Bible.  It was easy when I was unemployed, but it became a challenge when I had a job. It was a period that changed my life.  In less than three years I had my family back and had recovered all my losses and then some.  God is good to His Word.  My desire now is to return to spending that time with the Lord.  Notice there are a whole lot of I's in these first paragraphs.

        In the course of studying God’s Word many things became clear to me..  One is that God does work the same yesterday, today and forever just as His Word says.  He does provide a hedge of protection for us.  Just as Jesus said, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”  While that verse is in Matthew, Jesus was quoting it from Deuteronomy 8:3.  If you study the Bible you will find it says, “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.” Proverbs 30:5 At that point a shield would have been handy. The Bible gives us many stories as examples of how and how not to live our lives.               

        Hedges are mentioned several times in the Bible. The first is in Job 1:10.  God is having a conversation with Satan.  Satan wants to harm Job but he can’t because God protects Job.  In the course of the Book of Job we get to see what happens to a person when God removes his protection.  At the end of this post there is a list of verses that show what and how a hedge works. How it works is determined by our walk with the Lord.  In Hosea 4:6 it says, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will reject thee.”  Notice it says my people.  It does not say sinners or heathens.

       God does not wish that any should perish. II Chronicles 16:9 makes that clear.  It says, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.  He makes it clear in Ezekiel 33:11 that he does not desire that the wicked die, but that they turn from their evil.  He also makes it clear in the next couple verses that trusting in your own righteousness will not save you if you sin.  It is cut and dried and as they would say in this day and age.  It is either God’s way or the highway.  He does not play let’s make a deal.

       Three verses in the Bible changed my life. The first was Luke 6:46 “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say.  That means I have to do what he said to do.  He told his Father to forgive those crucifying him.  In Matthew 6:14 he makes it clear the same is required of us.  The last commandment he gave as far as I can tell was in 1st Corinthians 11:23-30 that we partake of the body and the blood of Christ every time we come together in remembrance of him and what he did.  Will taking communion get me into heaven?  No I do not think so, but I do think it shows I am seeking to follow His Word as he proclaimed it.  Very few churches besides the Catholic Church; the Church of Christ which has two kinds, instrumental and non- instrumental and the Christian Churches actually do so.

        In Haggai 1:6 we are told, “You have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe yourselves, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it in a bag with holes. 7. Thus saith the Lord of host: Consider your ways.”  This was God’s judgment for failing to follow him and His Word.  God offered them a solution in Malachi 3:10-12,  10“ Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and test me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruit of your ground; neither shall your vine cast its fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts 12. And all nations shall call you blessed. That is a pretty awesome challenge.

        America may have had a Malachi blessing, but we are definitely turning towards a Haggai curse. The 28th Chapter of Deuteronomy gives a list of the blessings and curses that befall a nation that follows God and one that turns its back on God.  The first fourteen verses describe the blessings.  The remaining fifty-four verses describe the curses that befall a nation that turns its back on God.  Read it and make up your own mind where America is headed as a nation.

         Hopefully you will read the verses that I put at the end of this post.  You will see why you want to have a relation with God.  Especially one in which he puts a hedge of protection around you and your family.  If you feel you are walking with God may you be encouraged to look at the hedge you presently have.  Is it growing or dying.  I challenge you to spend some time in the study of God’s Word.  Especially if you feel you are coming up short in life and see if it does not fill the void.  All the blessings may not be financial, some may be doors opening and protection for loved ones.  You will see the difference if you just open your eyes and look for it. 

Verses dealing with Hedges
Job 1:10        
Prov 15:19
Ec 10:8
Isa 5:5
Eze 13:5 Warning against following false prophets
Eze 22:30 Warns that there was no one to stand in the gap.
Ho 2:6
Mic 7:4

Mk 12:1

Monday, June 5, 2017

June 7th? End of Days? Or a New Beginning?


The Final Lap?

Fifty years ago today I was a twenty year old soldier stationed in Mainz, Germany. In January I had volunteered for Vietnam and was supposed to leave that week for the United States on my way to Vietnam. When I got up Monday morning my whole life had changed and my schedule had been put on hold.  The Israeli Six Day War had started and America was committed to backing up Israel if it became necessary.

     My job was rigging supplies to drop by parachute. It was not my first rig out, but it moved at a level I had never seen before. While we rigged, the Infantry units tried to cram door to door fighting techniques into a minimum amount of time. They were also gearing up for a dessert war. The base was humming. Busses arrived and hauled troops to the flight line at Rhein Main Air Force Base. We started rigging live ammo for dropping.  Units started distributing basic loads of ammo to the troops. That upped the ante for us so that we knew this was the real deal. Shortly later it got totally confirmed.  In all the rig outs we had done we strived for realism, but when the blood plasma arrived it cinched the deal.

    Some units were in the air within hours.  It was a long ways to go. Due to the cold war we could not fly over communist territory, Switzerland and France denied us the use of their air space also.  We had to fly to the English Channel, down the coast and then across the Mediterranean to Turkey. Israel was holding its own so the decision was made to stage aircraft in Turkey, in case we got the go ahead. Some units spent several days sitting under the wings of the aircraft waiting for a decision to be made.  Other troops were sitting at Rhein Main AFB and waiting, Rigging and training went on twenty four hours a day for the whole five days. We were dead on our feet.

     One piece of good news for us was when we heard that Israel had captured the Temple Mount on the 7th of June, and that they were getting the upper hand. It was still tense right up till the end of the War. Gearing down from a war footing was a very tedious process. The following week things started getting back to a more normal pace and I departed for the States

    So what does all that have to do with things happening today?  If you read the Bible and know what a Jubilee is and what Pentecost is about you can see the significance clearly.  Wednesday will be the 50th Anniversary of the capture of the Temple Mount and the Jubilee which started by the blowing of a shofar. It is an action that started the clock ticking for a fifty year period of time.  A jubilee is supposed to end with all debts being repaid and all slaves being set free and allowed to return to their land. It is also a time of judgment. The significance is that this is the first time that has happened in over two thousand years with Israel in the Promised Land for the whole period of time.  It is something that was prophesied and promised over two thousand years ago.

     Anybody who has read my blog posts knows that I am fixated on recurring events in the Bible, but also in my own life and events. In 1917 my Grandfather was stationed in France during World War I. He was a Teamster and drove horse drawn wagons to the front. He was sprayed with mustard gas and it affected his lungs for the rest of his life.

    Fifty years later I found myself in Vietnam in 1967, where I learned to drive a truck, which is how I made my living after leaving the Army, and my health was damaged by being sprayed with Agent Orange. So what is the significance of that to today? My grandfather served in France.  I served in a war that had been started by the French in one of their colonies. That brings us up to today and the Paris Climate Treaty.  So what do I have invested in today’s events.  My youngest daughters, youngest son is in basic training in the U.S. Army. The chemical warfare in Syria bothers me.

    What are the chances of America going to war during his time in the Army?  Pretty high considering the President we now have for a leader of this country. In barely four months he has alienated almost every nation that America could count as a friend.

   So am I saying it is the end of time?  Not hardly.  There are way too many prophecies yet to be fulfilled.  Yet the stage may be being set.  If you read Revelations 11:18, it makes reference to God destroying those who destroy the earth. It might be something to think about.  It may show that even after all these years, things are not just happening.  God’s hand is still in the middle of it all guiding it to the inevitable end that His Word clearly lays out as coming to pass.

      My cousin just gave me a direction for tomorrow. A movie is being released called In Our Hands, The Battle for Jerusalem.  It is fifty miles to the nearest theater, but it may be worth the drive, especially as Wednesday the World as we know it today may be changed, or starting to anyhow. It is going to happen sooner or later. I think we are at later.

      OH! This may be a weird way to end, but I thank anyone who prayed for my plants. After planting several hundred gourd seeds and none coming up I had one plant come up in my greenhouse. It made my day. One is better than none. I pray your hand is in the right hand if something significant does happen in the next few days. Thanks to all those who read my posts. Especially those in Korea as they often outnumber my American readers.  I served with the ROK’s in Vietnam and they are super in my book. At one point in life I had a Korean girlfriend and she convinced me that Korean’s are awesome people. I pray all the issues settle down and both sides come to their senses.


   My final advice is to read Matthew 6:15 and take it to heart. You know the Lord’s Prayer, but do you know what the first verse after it says, you should….