Can an Old Country Bumpkin Really Succeed Today?

The more I attempt to try new things the more I’m convinced I just need to find a team of folks who know what they’re doing.

Case in point: I recorded my first Facebook Live event last week. I decided to try to get more attention to my crowdfunding campaign by doing this new way of communicating today.

The result? I was taught to always record video on a phone by holding it horizontally. Apparently Facebook never received the same memo. I was so nervous I appeared to be stuck to my wall while I talked at my phone. Not only was I horizontal but the words on the book covers were backwards.

No, nobody new contributed to my campaign.

Another case in point: I just wrote my first LinkedIn post directly on LinkedIn instead of sending a blog post over to them.  When I uploaded a picture of me and my three Christmas books the photo came out upside down. When I couldn’t find a way to upright my down-rightness I ad libbed and added a caption that crowdfunding is a topsy-turvy venture at best.

I did manage to stick the video into the post properly. At least it looked good as I edited it. What it did when it went live I have no control over. That sounds so like my life today.

This post went out several hours later than usual because of…I don’t know why. I scheduled it like I always do, but it missed it’s own schedule with no reason why. Aarrrgh!

God is playing Open-door/Closed -door with Wade these days. I won’t go into specifics. I’m just surprised my nose isn’t much flatter than it actually is.

I worked 70 hours last week for up to four different employers. One of them was actually Mr. Magoo. I would not lie about that fact to my blog followers. He was impressed with how the job looked when I was done. I didn’t have the heart to point out how dirty his glasses were.

The best piece of advice I can give myself these days is: Don’t expect perfection. Just do the best you can.

Jesus warned that each day would have enough trouble of its own. I so wish He was wrong just this one time.

I’m sure there’s a picture of me next to that verse in some translation out there. Not if I tried to put it there, but if someone who has a clue did it then it’s there.

For those of y’all on Facebook expect me to be upright the next time I go live on that social media thingy. I probably won’t get the words out in the proper order, but at least I’m trying.

I know God can fix my blunders and still use them for His glory somehow.

Yeah, He’s still in the miracle business.

That’s good because I can use all the help I can get.

Now to rake up a big pile of leaves so I can crawl under it and take a long winter’s nap.

Keep smiling.   Wade

A Voice From a Fire

“Come along fellas. We need to eat the top of the mountain and work down. Most of you know that.” Moses looked back. The sheep were following him up the trail.

They settled into a high meadow with good grass. The sheep were soon content as they chewed their meal.

A crackling sound caught his attention. Moses squinted up the slope and saw a bush on fire.

He tilted his head. “I’ve seen bushes burn here before, but, where’s the smoke? That can’t be right.”

He walked toward the bush to get a better look.

“Moses. Moses.”

He stopped and looked around. “Yes, I’m here.”

The fire spoke again. “Remove your sandals. The ground you’re standing on is holy ground.”

Moses quickly slid his feet out of his footwear.

“I am the God of your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

Moses raised his cloak up to cover his face. How dare he look at God and expect to live.

“I’ve seen the mistreatment of My people in Egypt. I’ve come to deliver them out of their bondage and return them to the land I promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. You will be My leader for this task.”

Moses stifled a chuckle. “Why me?”

“I will be with you to guide you.”

“When I come to them who shall I say sent me? What is Your name?”

“I AM who I AM. Tell them I AM has sent you, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It’s time to bring them back to the promised land. Go to the elders of Israel. Tell them to go to Pharaoh and ask for three days to come and worship me. He will not let you go until he sees My power at the cost of his first born. Then you shall ask of your neighbors and they will give you gold, silver and all of their valuables to get rid of you.”

Moses turned to glimpse a bit of the fire. “But, what if the elders don’t believe me. Is there some proof that You spoke to me?”

“What is that in your hand?”

“It’s my walking stick. I use it to guide the sheep sometimes.”

“Drop it on the ground.”

When he did it immediately became a snake. He jumped back.

“Pick it up by the tail.”

Moses approached the snake and grabbed its tail fully expecting it to turn and bite him. Instead it became his staff again. He carefully inspected the top of it. No tongue or eyes were visible.

“If that’s not enough then put your hand in your tunic.

When he did a numbness covered his hand. When he pulled it out it was white like the sheep.

“Now put it back.”

As the hand went into his clothing the numbness left. He pulled it out and made a fist before he straightened his fingers.

“If those aren’t enough you are to dip some water from the Nile and pour it on the ground. When you do it will become blood on the land.”

Moses’s head dropped forward. “But, I’ve never been good with the Hebrew language. I struggle with finding the right words. Please, send someone else.”

“Who made man’s mouth and gave him a language? Your brother, Aaron is on his way here now. Tell him what we talked about. He can speak to the people. You can speak to Pharaoh. I will guide both of you as to what to say.”

When the crackling stopped Moses looked at the bush. Nothing on it looked the least bit charred. Moses made plans to return the sheep to his father-in-law and return to Egypt.

Aaron met him halfway down the mountain.

********

This ranks up there with one of the most bizarre ways God ever got anyone’s attention.

Ever since then some folks have been looking for their own bush to find God in.

The problem with that approach is they’re looking at the wrong part of this whole ordeal.

God didn’t speak from the bush. God spoke from the fire.

The light from heaven came down to announce the rescue of His people and return them to the land promised to their ancestors.

Moses was chosen to lead this exodus. He tried once before in his own strength.

God now gave the go ahead to Moses with the promise of God’s power to carry it off.

With God timing is everything. Move too soon and you’ll fail. Wait on God and you’ll succeed.

The preparations were well made. Moses knew Egyptian. Aaron knew Hebrew. Together God had a team to carry this massive undertaking off.

Too many people have misapplied this passage to teach Moses was full of excuses of why he wasn’t the man for the job.

There was only one time Moses suggested that and that was after he realized God was right. Then he also realized nobody could lead a couple million people out of the most powerful nation at that time without an all out war.

No, Moses had plenty of time to think this all out since he fled Egypt to save his own life.

My question to you is: are you ready to do your part to lead people to the promised land?

Jesus called us to be a light in the darkness.

The promised land is eternity with God in heaven after we die.

We don’t need a magic stick, a changing hand or water that turns into blood.

We need our testimony of how God changed our own life into something new.

One person at a time is all we’re called on to deliver from bondage.

Jesus’s blood is the detergent that will clean the filthiest life into wool-like white.

The Holy Spirit is the one who ultimately speaks to a person’s heart to see the need of a savior.

It’s our job to give the Spirit something to work with.

Start with your immediate family, then co-workers.

God is calling you to build his kingdom.

Don’t keep making excuses.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

55 Year Old Wade’s Letter to 18 Year Old Wade

Hi Wade

I know you won’t get this in time for it to make a difference. I just feel compelled to write this to me so here goes.

I think I can best give you advice in two word segments.

  1. BRACE YOURSELF. You are in for an incredible journey for your life. Don’t expect routine for very long. You’ll take chances. Go for it! Those experiences will stretch you in ways most folks will never know. In another 15 years I may look back at this and laugh at how appropriate this advice remains in mid-life.
  2. BE CONTENT. You already have the most important thing anybody ever needs in this life. Your personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ will only deepen. Those moves you’ll do will make you depend on God like nobody’s business. A cloud of witnesses is paying attention to you.
  3. REMAIN FAITHFUL. Those two dreams you had of flying will come true when you least expect it. No, you won’t levitate off the ground. You will do something you never thought you’d ever do beginning at the age of 47. Writing will become your passion. Don’t forget what Mr. McHattie taught you.
  4. LOVE DEEPLY. Your heart will be broken by one closest to you. Love with your whole heart anyway. The memories you share won’t be taken from you. Don’t expect someone else to complete you, only Jesus can do that. To know intimacy with a woman on every level is an incredible experience you don’t want to miss.
  5. REACH OUT. You have a good heart. Continue to help those who you’ll never know their name. And when the time comes when you need help don’t hesitate so much to ask for help. That’s when you’ll discover who your true friends are. Other people’s children will cling to you for comfort.
  6. LAUGH OFTEN. Many people will appreciate your sense of humor. You’ll make friends who you never would associate with otherwise. Co-workers will confide in you simply because you broke into their heart with a laugh. Tensions will abate with your wit at the appropriate moment.
  7. STAY CALM. You’ll get a handle on your temper in time. You’ll be told you have a calming affect on others. It’s one of your strong points that will serve you well. Most people don’t have the same anchor you do so use Jesus’s foundation often. The stress you avoid will be worth it.
  8. EXPECT STRUGGLE. The times you experience financial security will be short-lived at best so do your best to hang on. God will provide for you in ways you’ll never imagine. Seasons of manna will be more frequent than anybody would prefer but they’ll build your character and dependence on God.
  9. NEVER QUIT. Your work ethic will be needed and appreciated. Always remember what Pastor Springstead taught about Colossians 3:23. Do everything as if Jesus Christ asked you to do it. You’ll hate that advice at times, but push through those moments. They’ll build you stronger in the long run.
  10. LOOK UP. You’ll spend a lot of time by yourself, but you’ll never be alone. Your heavenly Father loves you something fierce. Never lose sight of that fact. You’ll be brought to your knees frequently. Remember your help comes from above. Strength will come when you need it most.

You’re a good man, Wade. You’re going to impact a lot of lives.

I guess I’m writing this now because I’m on the cusp of a turning point in my life. Now I have my own advice to turn to to keep me on track.

One last piece of advice. PRAY HARD. Don’t be surprised when your first book to be published is a compilation of your prayers. You’ve always had an open line of communication with the Creator of the universe. Encourage others to pray for you because you’ll need it now more than ever.

Thank you in advance.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Eek’s Gifts Book Trailer

I just completed my first attempt at making a book trailer. Eek will be set loose upon the world next month so I thought I’d do my part to get the world prepared for his adorableness now.

I used several of the illustrations Dyann Joyce created to tell a condensed story of Eek and Aagh.

I’m hoping this will excite more people to give to my Razoo crowdfunding campaign.

I’ve been waiting several years for Eek’s release. The wait is soon to be over.

Here’s the link to the Razoo page in case you think it’s safe to let Eek loose, too. https://www.razoo.com/us/story/4bducf

Keep smiling.   Wade

You Can Have a Major Part in Writing 3 Books

Christmas is right around the corner. It’s getting too close for this author of 3 Christmas books.

As a truck driver over the years I’ve delivered loads of mail, i.e. Christmas Cards and packages; I even spent three days one year delivering fully decorated Christmas trees from a mall to folks who bought them on auction.

This year I get to deliver the most important Christmas gift of all…the good news of God coming down as one of us in the form of a tiny baby. I have it packaged three different ways. A devotional book, a middle-grade story and an adult contemporary story.

There’s only one problem standing in my way at the moment

My dilemma lies in the fact that the three books are ready to be printed. The covers are set. The printing is laid out to fit into a book. The illustrations are even on the right pages for the middle-grade story. Except…I’m too poor to buy my own copies to have available to sell and promote them.

That’s where you come in, my friend. I set up a crowdfunding page at Razoo to see if enough people believe in what I’m writing that they’ll help by donating money to further my writing addiction.

I recorded a video describing the books and a few incentives to spur folks along.

Here’s the link to the funding page for those of you who want to help me deliver the good news this Christmas in three exciting ways.

https://www.razoo.com/us/story/4bducf

Pray about how God wants you to become involved. I can’t do this alone. I need you to help me finish “writing” these books.

Thank you in advance. Keep smiling.   Wade

A Final Assurance

Jacob looked at all the carts, sacks of grain and animals before he stared at his sons. Simeon’s face was too sad for a proper reunion. “What is the meaning of all this stuff?”

Benjamin walked up to his dad and grasped Jacob’s shoulders. “Joseph sent them. He wants us to bring you to him.”

Jacob squinted at his youngest son. “What are you talking about? Joseph is dead. I saw his coat myself.”

Judah cleared his throat. “But, there’s a reason you never saw his body.”

Jacob glanced at each pale face of his ten eldest sons. Benjamin guided his father to a bench.

Reuben came over and knelt on one knee. “The man we’ve been dealing with in Egypt is Joseph.”

Jacob pushed back a wave of grief as he stared at his eldest son. “But, you said he was killed by wild animals. How can you know this is Joseph?”

Levi spoke up. “He sat us by birth order for a meal. Nobody in Egypt would know that but Joseph.”

Jacob shook his head. “How would you know Joseph would be in Egypt?”

Reuben placed a hand on Jacob’s thigh. “We sold him to some traders going that way. As far as we knew he was dead by now. But, God has been with him.”

Tears steamed down Jacob’s cheeks as he grabbed Reuben’s hand. “My Joseph is still alive. I shall see him before I die. How soon can we go?”

****

 When the caravan came to the place Jacob grew up he stopped them to reminisce. Beersheba was empty now. The echoes were all in Israels’s head.

He looked at Reuben. “Bring the strongest bulls here to the altar.’

He stared at Levi. “Bring the best rams. Hurry!”

He grabbed Simeon’s arm. “The best of the goats must be given to God. Find the strongest ones.”

The ground was soon soaked in blood. The sky filled with smoke.

A feast was enjoyed by all that evening.

Laughter and voices filled Jacob’s tent as he laid down for the night. A prayer to God preceded slumber. “We’re leaving the land You promised us. We must, for food and…I must see Joseph again.”

A tear rolled into his beard.

God appeared to Jacob in a dream. “I am the God of your fathers. I will make you into a great nation in Egypt. It’s My plan for you to go there. I will bring you back here again. Joseph will be with you at the end.”

********

The story of God’s chosen people takes an interesting turn here. The boy who was sold into slavery has risen to the throne of the most powerful nation at the time. To survive the famine the family must go to a foreign land to live.

What would become of the promise of the land?

Would the family stay together?

Is there some way we can stay and live?

These must have been some of the questions floating around Isreal/Jacob’s head. God waited until he was stilled in sleep to speak to him.

God assured the old man he was in His will here. Egypt had a place in this family’s saga.

As I look at the big picture here I see some interesting things regarding prayer.

  1. God spoke to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob several times to guide them. Abraham went to Egypt once then returned to the land. Isaac was stopped by God from going to Egypt. Jacob was forced to Egypt by the worst famine ever imagined.
  2. God never spoke to Joseph directly, nor any of his brothers. Joseph’s boyhood dreams were as close to a divine communication any of them ever received. Yet, God was definitely in every step of each of their lives.
  3. It would be over four centuries until God would reach out to anyone from this family in direct communication. I’m sure several people must have thought God forgot about them during their time of slavery, until the burning bush.

Wherever you are in this spectrum believe God is working in your life, too.

If you’re receiving assurances and open doors then proceed with abandon for God’s kingdom.

If you’re living off past promises then keep plugging along until you see those promises fulfilled.

If you’re surrounded by heart ache and hardships keep taking one step at a time. Your burning bush may come without notice, too.

Living on this side of the cross means God is working differently than He was back then. We can have a relationship they only dreamed of. The indwelling Holy Spirit is alive and active today.

There may still be times of “silence” from God, but He’s still involved.

We have the promises of scripture to spur us on. Let’s use them that way.

God may bless for a season like there’s no tomorrow. Move full steam ahead my friend.

For several generations Jacob’s descendants looked forward to returning to the land promised to Abraham. We, too, are looking forward to a promised land.

Actually, a kingdom awaits us.

Jesus promised His followers that He would build homes for us in that kingdom.

There’s an address book with the names of its occupants.

Our goal is to find as many of those residents as we can.

As soon as the last name is uncovered Jesus will come back and judge those who refuse to believe Him.

If your name is in that book you will reign with Jesus in that kingdom.

Those are the promises we are given, not promises of a great life here and now.

Suffering and heart ache will be normal for us here.

Peace and tranquility will be ours for eternity there.

Build your relationship with God strong now. In other words delight yourself in Him.

Then He will give you the desires of your heart, not your heart’s desires. There’s a difference.

Jacob’s sacrifices showed God where the old man’s heart was.

What sacrifices are you making for your heavenly Father?

Show Him your love. He’ll spur you on, too.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Military Bootcamps Have Age Restrictions for a Reason

I never enlisted into military service when I was younger. Now, I’m pretty sure I’m “over qualified” to do so.

I say that because they have age restrictions in place to protect the enlistee and the government agency in charge.

Very few 55 year olds can withstand the physical rigors of eight weeks of bootcamp to begin said tour of duty to one’s country.

I’ve discovered a side-effect of getting older is the ability to injure much easier then in one’s youth…and it takes much longer to heal from said ailments.

Bootcamps are designed to two main things.

  1. They increase the strength and endurance of the body of the soldier in question.
  2. They make the mind of the soldier not question the commands of his superior officers without any hesitation.

Lately I feel like I’ve enlisted into God’s bootcamp. His training is unique in that it doesn’t have the age restriction restrictions in place. But, the training can be just as draining as the human military peeps’ requirements.

I’m thinking back to a time when a neighbor of mine, who was my youngest brother’s brother-in-law at the time, came home after his bootcamp experience.

One day they bused everybody out to experience some training or other off base. A mechanical breakdown on the bus returned them back to base much later than anticipated. The following day was scheduled for another training that couldn’t be rescheduled. That meant the recruits had only four hours available to sleep.

When one of the bootcamp-ees pointed this out to his commanding officer the sergeant gave a classic military response, “sleep double-time, soldier.”

I’ve had to learn to sleep quadruple-time in order to keep up with my training lately.

Case in point occurred this past weekend. I accepted an assignment to drive locally beginning Saturday at 7 PM. It lasted over nine hours. I did quite well until the last hour or so. That’s when I hit the wall with fatigue.

When I got home at around 6 AM I decided to just attempt to go to church for both services without a nap or anything. When I caught myself almost falling asleep into my bowl of oatmeal I made an about face on my plans and skipped the first service to catch some z’s.

What sleep deprivation has to do with a writing/speaking ministry I have no clue, but I’m apparently going to find out in the future. Maybe I’ll be doing some intense foreign traveling soon. Stay tuned.

Hebrews 12 points out that God only disciplines those He loves as His sons. God must really love me bunches and bunches. Thanks a bunch Abba God, but can I catch a break for a while? Please?

I found an interesting email when I returned home. It came from the woman who edited Eek’s Gifts for me a couple of years ago. We haven’t stayed in touch very well since then.

Deirdre’s email came just after 4 AM, when I officially hit the wall. She said she woke up and felt the need to pray for me. She wanted to know how things were going for me that she had that reaction.

I thanked her for following the Spirit’s prompting and briefly explained my night. I told her we’ll never know what event was avoided because of her prayer support.

That was before my potential involuntary oatmeal facial.

It’s possible I’m only being allowed to see the proverbial tip of the spiritual iceberg I’m living on at this time.

If that’s the case then I’m calling on all the prayer warriors I can get a hold of.

The enemy loves to hate God’s chosen ones and he doesn’t fight fair to say the least.

I feel like I’m on an uphill climb and the incline just increased.

The more life lines I can find the better.

Thanks in advance.

Keep smiling.   Wade

Disasters are happening all around me. I don’t deserve this.

God sure has strange ways of increasing my income lately. Often it comes at the expense of others.

Case in point: last week I went into work to deliver windows. I was told it was going to be a three and a half day run east of Ft Worth.

When I got to work Tuesday morning I saw the truck I was to deliver was just beginning to be loaded. It’s at least a half day process to load a full truck.

My first thought was: I sure could have used that half day to catch up on my sleep. Just wish somebody had told me.

Then I was met by my dispatcher who gave me the new low down about how things were to progress for the week. Let’s call it Plan B.

He began the conversation with this quote: “This has been a rough week.”

I said, “But, it’s only Tuesday morning.”

Come to find out one driver was in a fender-bender accident in one of the construction zones south of Waco. No injuries, just a damaged fifth-wheel trailer.

A second driver went to the hospital with a high blood pressure issue. I didn’t ask about the blood pressure of the accidented driver.

What this meant for me is that I had to make the Dallas deliveries on Tuesday before I headed east to commence with my original route.

I hoped that meant I’d be ahead of schedule for most of that trip, minus a day.

So much for thinking wishfully.

I did complete my deliveries in good shape Wednesday.

Then I headed south to Baton Rouge. Yeah, the same Baton Rouge that was flooded out recently.

Message boards warned that I-10 was closed west of where I needed to go. Fortunately, I was able to travel eastward on I-20 farther than usual before I went south.

I texted my dispatcher around 3:00 that I’d need a room in Baton Rouge that evening.

I grabbed a sandwich in Natchez, Mississippi after I crossed the mighty river. A rainbow greeted me to assure everyone God wasn’t about to flood the entire planet.

A half hour later my dispatcher calls me to tell me all the motels are booked solid in BR.

That meant I not only had to back-track to Natchez for the night, but I’d lose 1.5 hours from my schedule the following morning.

Piles of debris along the curbs brought flash backs to three years ago when I assisted in clean-up after the Moore, Oklahoma tornado.

My second delivery was in a particularly precarious position. The storage unit the windows are delivered into is raised a few feet above ground level. The office is attached to a church that sits in a basin/field with three large culverts draining out of it. I think I could bend over and walk through said culverts without touching my knees to the ground.

There was a mud line on the windows in the storage unit that were there before I arrived. It came to the bottom of my rib cage. I hate to think how bad the office and church were.

It would have filled quite a few Olympic-sized swimming pools.

I was grateful I’ve been taking such good care of myself while I unloaded all 14 windows by myself, nine of them were a foot taller than me.

The humidity was so thick I was drenched completely when I finished. Even my leather belt was soaked.

I had three deliveries in Mississippi on Friday that went off without a hitch. The last stop was in Jackson, Tennessee.

Two miles before the stateline the truck started making a new hissing noise. I concentrated on the air gauges to make sure I didn’t need to pull over.

After I completed that delivery I drove to Ryder to see if my noise needed attention. Three hours and a new air hose later I was good to go. I was treated to a full rainbow while I waited.

Full Rainbow in Tennessee

Instead of sleeping in Little Rock I was stuck in Brownsville, Tennessee.

A traffic accident in Memphis the following morning held me up some more. Fortunately, I was able to detour around it without being as stuck as many drivers were.

When I left home Tuesday morning I hoped to be back in time to run Friday afternoon. I didn’t get back home until 10:30 Saturday night.

So, two accidents, a hospital visit, a natural disaster and a truck breakdown stretched my week out an extra day and a half. Hopefully it increases my paycheck as well.

None of those events was my fault. So, I could complain that I didn’t deserve any of it last week.

Fortunately, I’m not in the habit of placing blame. I learned long ago it rarely fixes anything.

I also know God is in control of each event. I’m grateful I was strong enough to complete my deliveries, alert enough to avoid my own accidents and I got to Louisiana after the floods so I could do my job well.

Realizing how disasters seem to occur all around me I spent part of Sunday afternoon at my local blood bank donating a pint of blood.

I hope anyone who receives my blood will have their life span increased long enough to accept Jesus’s blood as the redemption fluid needed for entry into heaven when their time on this earth is through.

Do your best to make a difference for God’s kingdom as well.

Keep smiling.   Wade

Time To Go Home

“What have you two done? Everybody’s going to gang up on us and destroy us in no time.” Jacob fell back in his chair.

Levi stepped forward. “We are not going to let any man treat our baby sister like a piece of trash to be used for his pleasure.”

Simeon grabbed Levi’s shoulder. “The men of Shechem had to pay for their indecent act. If we let them get away with it everyone else will do the same to us. They had it coming to them.”

Levi shrugged his shoulders. “Besides, what’s done is done. We’ll deal with the consequences when they come.”

When Jacob thought about what must have happened, first to his daughter, then to the men of Shechem, he fell forward with his face in his hands as tears filled his palms.

Simeon and Levi walked away.

****

As Jacob paced in his tent that night God spoke to him. “Return to Bethel and build an altar to Me. Remember your vow when you fled from Esau.”

He gathered everyone around for a family meeting the following morning. “We must move south now. The God who met me at Bethel told me to return there and build an altar to Him. Purify yourselves and change your clothes. Bring all the foreign gods to me now.”

Jacob was shocked at the size of the pile when he hid all the gold under a tree. His own wives had as much as the women from Shechem did.

****

Jacob dismounted his camel and limped up the hill to the pillar he erected over twenty years earlier. He stared at the sky where he dreamed the ladder filled with angels was that night.

When he finished stacking stones for the altar Joseph brought a rock over and tossed it on the pile. Jacob smiled as he patted his son’s head. He poured oil on the altar before they made camp at the base of the hill.

That night, Deborah, the woman who helped raise Jacob, died in her sleep. Jacob mourned the passing of that generation’s impact.

God appeared to Jacob in his tent. “I am God Almighty. You shall no longer be called Jacob. Israel is now your name. A mighty nation shall come from you. As I gave this land to Abraham and Isaac I now give it to you and your descendants.”

****

While Israel’s family traveled farther south to live in Hebron Rachel went into labor. They stopped to await the arrival of the newest family member. When Benjamin took his first breath Rachel took her last one.

********

Sometimes God has to do terrible things to get someone’s attention to get them to change.

Jacob, the schemer, told his brother they would come to him at a slower pace. When he detoured and bought land from the folks near Shechem a tragic turn of events cost his only daughter her virginity and the men of the village their lives.

The deaths of the woman who helped rear him and his first love would drive the point of passing the point of no return home to this strong-willed man.

God even faced him and reiterated the name change to Israel to get His point across yet again.

The building of an altar by that pillar from the dream of angels and God would help solidify the whole ordeal.

Unfortunately, this would be far from the last of Jacob’s trials from God.

How has God attempted to get your attention to make changes?

It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re living out of God’s will when these changes occur. It simply means God is molding you to use you in a great way.

Count yourself blessed when God chips away at you to use you in a special way.

Very few individuals are close enough to God for such service.

People who have lost loved ones to death know grief in a way others can only guess at.

When a spouse leaves you after promising to stay till only death separates you a recognition of how God feels when someone walks away from Him ensues.

The betrayal of a close friend helps you see how deeply Jesus loves even those who betrayed Him.

Don’t despise these unfair treatments. Embrace them as gifts from your heavenly Father to nurture you into His special instrument of love to those who hurt deeply.

When God told Jacob to return to his pillar the first thing Jacob did was forbid all false gods to travel with him any further.

Take a close look at what’s keeping you from a more intimate relationship with God.

Are there toxic friendships destroying your relationship with your spouse or God?

Is your loyalty to a sports team distracting you from worshiping God on Sunday morning?

Do compromises at work whittle away at your moral standards?

Call your false gods what they are and bury them. Then walk away into a fresh future.

There were some practical reasons for the tragedy at Shechem.

The women Jacob’s sons took from there would become the wives of the twelve sons to propagate the great nation during their 400 years in Egypt.

The land purchased became the pasture Joseph searched for his brothers at only to be told they went farther north. That began another molding of a great leader in Israel’s history.

A fear of these men’s God took hold in Canaan after these teenagers wiped out an entire village. Their god must have been better than the god of Canaan.

God is molding you into a special instrument, my friend.

You have unique talents and experiences to be used in remarkable ways.

You may not lead a nation, but you may impact someone who will.

Everything that happens to you occurs for a reason.

That reason may not become known to you in this life.

Trust your heavenly Father to know what’s best for you.

He has a plan that involves you to further His kingdom.

Embrace your trials to become more like Jesus.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

My Life is in Transition Which Looks Like I’m Not Going Anywhere

Have you ever felt like you’re simply spinning your wheels? No matter what you try, or how hard you try to change, things just stay the same. That’s Wade Webster’s story at this present moment.

Case in point: my lease is up in a couple of months. That means I just received options for renewal lengths with varying rates depending on how long I choose to stay here.

A big part of me would love to move. I’ve been here almost seven years. A lot of bad memories have been built here.

Four years ago Barb moved out while I was hard at work one day. Last year the divorce was finalized.

March 3rd, 2014 I was broken into while I was in bed. Fortunately I was able to scare the intruders off before they took anything of value, except for a night of sleep and a vacation day.

A year later I gave the eulogy at my Mom’s funeral.

There are some good reasons to stay and pay the substantial increase in rent due to the incredible housing need in Plano.

I have a great city park within running distance where I get my aerobic workouts accomplished. That’s not easy to find in a big city.

I don’t have to think about where I have to go home to at the end of my workday. That may sound strange, but it makes sense to someone who sometimes gets confused when he drives back into the complex of cities he lives in while returning back from a driving run. Few employers find humor in a driver taking their truck, trailer and load to the wrong end of Dallas/Ft Worth. Oh, the life of a temporary driver.

My 700 square foot home has been one of the few constants in my life these seven years.

Clifford has been one of the other ones, but with over 200,000 miles on my van his days are getting numbered.

My church family has been by far my greatest asset in my life in Plano. That’s also the epicenter of this housing crunch I’m in. Any apartment that was cheaper is increasing in rent, too. The few that aren’t don’t have anybody moving out of them. I don’t blame them. I wouldn’t either.

I have today (Monday) to give a 60 day notice to vacate without paying additional penalties. The rates they sent me are supposed to hold until the end of next week. I have a few email leads out to some apartments I’m waiting to hear back from. Prayers are appreciated.

I’m still trying to get my business going helping local businesses with video marketing and other services. My unpredictable schedule makes that hard to launch properly. At this point I wish I never started this option with all the money I’ve sunk into it. When that catches on this will all change.

Sometimes even simple things get complicated lately. I walked up to the bank near me (another reason to stay here) to transfer money from my personal account to my business account to prepare to pay a loan tomorrow only to find the ATM machine being fixed. Now I have to re-walk the quarter mile this evening to accomplish that feat.

After driving most of last night (there’s that temporary crazy schedule again) I hope I can stay awake that long.

I’m just plain tired. I’m tired of being sleep deprived, tired of balancing bank accounts to stay afloat, tired of deciding where to live, tired of working crazy hours to have money in the bank at all.

It’s at times like this I turn it ALL over to God by reading Isaiah 40:28-31.

Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not faint.

I guess that means when I walk back up to the bank I won’t faint on the way there and back.

Sometimes even small victories are cause for great celebration.

Speaking of celebrations, maybe I can enjoy some of the Olympics this evening before I faint in bed tonight.

Prayers for strength, guidance, wisdom and whatever else you can think of are greatly appreciated.

Keep smiling.   Wade