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

 

Would Somebody Please Tell Me What Day it is Today?

Is it just me or has anyone else has lost track of what day it is?

Part of my problem has to be the crazy work schedule I have to maintain just to maintain my budget.

I just completed another midnight run to Memphis, Tennessee and back this weekend. I got two good hours of sleep before the party at the pool began. It ran the next four hours. By the time I decided to get up and fix a cup of coffee they left, or at least they were quiet.

It’s kinda hard to get mad at folks laughing and enjoying themselves. They probably get an actual vacation, whatever that is.

I got home in plenty of time to change into some clothes that were decent enough for God yet casual enough for toddlers to climb on.

Everywhere I turn I’m walking on yet another tight rope.

I guess that’s the cross I have to carry at this time in my life.

I don’t know how many of y’all noticed but I put two blog posts out last Friday. That was not done deliberately.

I got so used to not posting most weeks I plumb forgot that I scheduled a post I wrote late last week. I think it was Friday afternoon or evening.

Time and inspiration struck simultaneously Thursday evening so I wrote yet another post and scheduled it for first thing in the morning.

Imagine my shock when I woke up to two blog posts posted right on top of one another.

Now y’all know I ain’t perfect.

I may be taking some verses slightly out of context, but I think I’m merely following Jesus’s own advice by doing that mix up.

Matthew 6:3b: “do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”

Why do I get the feeling if I hired an assistant the additional hands would only mess things up even worse.

Not that I can afford one anyway, so you can expect more imperfect imperfections from this less than perfect feller.

A couple of mosquitoes followed me into the cab of the truck to keep me company on the drive home.

I didn’t really notice them until I tried taking a nap in a truckstop halfway back. Apparently fingers are especially tasty when a feller is trying to sleep.

The itching lasts a lot longer than the actual bite and it ain’t conducive to drifting off into unconsciousness. At least is wasn’t for this imperfect feller.

At least the first three days this week are scheduled to be daytime driving. That will get me back to being used to sleeping like a normal feller just in time for the next overnight adventure to balance my budget.

Nothin’ like carrying a cross while walking a tightrope and swatting bugs by an imperfect feller.

Wow! If I wasn’t so tired from not sleeping over three hours this weekend I’d be exhausted by merely reading that last sentence there.

I’m sure glad God loves me unconditionally. Otherwise I’d be in a heap of trouble by the time I reach the end of my rope, me thinks.

The next time y’all see two blog posts stacked on top of each other just pray for me extra hard.

This imperfect feller needs all the support he can get, me knows.

Keep smiling.   Wade

Heading Home

When Jacob walked by Laban’s sons he couldn’t help over-hearing their conversation.

“Jacob got rich off Abba’s flocks.”

“Yeah, everything he has once belonged to Dad.”

“Why are his goats so much bigger than our goats? How’d that happen?”

One glance at Laban and Jacob felt like the outsider he was. That looked carried so much suspicion you could almost hear his thoughts.

As Jacob walked back to his family Jesus showed up beside him. “It’s time to return to Canaan. Don’t be afraid. I’ll be with you.”

Jacob looked at the flocks of sheep and goats on the hillside. His sons were running through them. He smiled. When he turned to talk to Jesus He was gone.

He got the attention of one of his servants. “Tell Rachel and Leah to come here, please. I need to talk to them.”

The servant ran to the tents and returned with Jacob’s wives.

Jacob was sitting on a rock surveying all he had. “Twenty years ago all I had was a walking staff. Now, eleven sons, one daughter, numerous animals… God has told me to return to my homeland. What are your thoughts on this?”

Leah sat on the ground. “I feel no better than one of those goats out there. Abba sold us to you so you’d work for him. I don’t feel like staying here.”

Rachel put a hand on Jacob’s shoulder. “Your God has truly blessed you, Jacob. If He tells you it’s time to go then let’s go. There’s nothing holding us here.”

The next morning all the tents were folded up and loaded on camels for the trip to Canaan.

****

A week later Laban approached with some men as Jacob rested in the mountains of Gilead. “What have you done stealing my daughters and grandchildren away like this? Why didn’t you give me the chance to see you off with a celebration?”

Jacob stood. He looked at the men behind Laban. “I was afraid you’d insist we stay longer, or you’d forcibly take your daughters back.”

Laban walked up to Jacob. “I could do you harm now, but your God spoke to me last night. Let’s make a treaty right here.”

Jacob nodded. “Gather some stones. Let’s have a feast here.”

After the meal Laban stood. “Let this heap of rocks be a witness between us. We shall not pass by it to do you harm and you shall not pass by it to do us harm. Agreed?”

In the morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and daughters good bye.

Jacob faced west and wondered what Esau was thinking about.

********

One down, one to go.

I think that’s what was on Jacob’s mind at that point in his life. Twenty years of struggling with his mom’s brother had brought him a large family and several animals. He was wealthy by that day’s standards.

Would any of that matter when Esau was back in his life?

God had promised him He would protect him. Jacob was so used to conniving his way through life he must have felt it was up to him to get through this mess he had to deal with.

How much are you like Jacob?

You know your circumstances. You know a good way to deal with it, so you charge ahead with your agenda.

Did you ask God for direction first?

God has this mess you find yourself in, too.

God stepped in with Laban by talking to him in a dream. Jacob missed that point in the conversation. Farewells were said. Kisses were granted as one generation departed from another one.

The last time Jacob saw Esau he held the same expression Laban did before he left two decades before. Suspicion, envy and hate all rolled into one look.

A lot can change in 240 months. Jacob feared the worse from his twin.

Peace was made with Laban. That chapter closed well. The next chapter was yet to be revealed. What were the chances of two good outcomes in a row?

Jacob’s life didn’t have a great track record for such things.

We can read the Bible and see God in the details. Jacob didn’t have that assurance in his life.

You have documentation of how God can step in and change the heart of another person. Pray for peace.

We’ll never know what plans Laban had for Jacob and his family when he left Haran because God stepped in first.

God can step into your situation as well.

No, there isn’t any promise that the other person will change just because you pray for that.

That may not be the point in your circumstance. Maybe the change needs to occur in you, my friend.

Romans 8:28 does promise all things are working together for our good.

Romans 8:29 points out that our good is to become more like Jesus Christ.

Jesus’s enemies remained His enemies throughout His life. God didn’t change them then.

Some of them didn’t change until after Jesus’s resurrection.

Perhaps when others see changes in you they’ll want to change themselves.

Jesus received a lot of ridicule and abuse during the crucifixion. He could have stopped it then, but He endured it to help you change.

An important part of this whole salvation experience is the coming of the Holy Spirit into your life.

Jesus had to return to heaven for that to take place.

An important part of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is to make you new.

Others may choose to hold on to their hate and vengeful spirit, but you need to take the high road, just like Jesus did.

No, you can’t do that on your own power. Just like Jacob couldn’t control either Laban or Esau.

Let God step in and make the necessary changes in you.

Ask Him to make changes in the other person.

As much as it depends on you live at peace with others.

They have to answer for their actions.

You’ll have to answer for yours.

Choose wisely, my friend.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Praying God’s Promises

Jacob gathered his three best servants. “I want you to go to my brother, Esau. This is what I want you to tell him: ‘Your servant, Jacob, has been with Laban these twenty years and has accumulated much. I’m returning and hope to find favor in your sight.’ Come back here before he comes, please.”

A few days later the servants returned. “Esau is coming with four hundred men to meet you.”

Jacob sat back. “Four hundred…” He looked around at everyone and everything. “Break up into two groups. Take half of the animals to the north and half toward the south. We may keep some that way if he attacks only one group.”

Jacob climbed to the top of a high hill to watch the activity. The thought of a war with his brother brought him to his knees. “Oh, God of my father, Abraham and Isaac, Esau has trained fighting men. I have herdsmen. We’re no match against them. They’ll wipe us out in no time. I know I heard Your voice telling me to return here, and that you’d handle everything. I need You to soften Esau’s heart now. I can’t bear the thought of losing the children and their mothers. You promised me a heritage as numerous as sand and stars. I don’t deserve anything I have. When I left here all I had was my staff. Now…has it only been twenty years? So many children and animals to care for, I need You now.”

The sun was orange on the horizon when he gathered his family. “I want you to cross the river here without me. Esau is coming for me. Maybe he’ll let you live if he comes directly for me.”

They shared tears and hugs before they departed.

When Jacob returned to what was left of the camp a man was standing there.

Jacob rushed him and wrapped his arms around his chest. The two men fought throughout the night.

As dawn was breaking on the eastern horizon the man touched Jacob’s hip.

A shot of pain racked Jacob’s body, but he kept fighting.

The man pushed Jacob against a tree. “Release me before the sun comes up.”

Jacob kept his grip tight. “I will not let you go until you bless me.”

“What is your name?”

“Jacob.”

“You will no longer be named Jacob. Israel shall be your name from this time forward because you have wrestled against man and God and have survived.”

“Tell me your name, please.”

“Why do you want to know my name?”

The man disappeared.

After Israel caught his breath he picked up his staff and limped to his family. Esau was leading his men up the river bed.

********

Looking back through the corridor of time we know Esau had only fond inclinations toward his twin. Jacob didn’t know that while this was unfolding in his life. Just like you don’t know what the outcome of your dilemma is right now. Do you?

Jacob took the best course of action he could. He planned for the worst while hoping for the best.

Then he prayed earnestly.

Okay, the best course of action would be to pray first to get God’s insight on the subject if possible. But Jacob’s prayer did come pretty close to the front end of this predicament.

The best thing I like about Jacob’s prayer is the fact he prayed God’s promised back to Him.

Have you ever done that?

It’s a bit awkward at first, but once you get the hang of it it’ll change your prayer life tremendously.

It works something like this: A few years back when I lost my job over something that should have been a warning at best, I recognized God was in control of all this mess.

My first thought was, “Okay, all things are supposed to be working together for my good to make me more like Christ. You obviously have a different course for my life right now. Show me what that is so I can follow You in all I do.”

Because that occurred in mid-December it freed me to travel back to Michigan to visit my Mom for her last Christmas on this earth. I couldn’t get cleared for the vacation time for that because I didn’t have enough seniority at that employer then.

That job was draining a lot of energy and time from my writing life, too.

Things are still unfolding since I endured that seeming injustice to me, but I still trust God is in control of every event.

The only other option is to fight God over it. Just like Jacob did.

I’m pretty sure Jacob knew all along who that man was in his camp that night.

Two decades of running for his life; working for the love of his life; trying to please two, then four, women while they vied for his attention to make babies; then manipulating the flocks of goats and sheep to his favor, brought him to the breaking point.

As Jacob found out, when you wrestle with God you can’t win.

So, stop fighting God over whatever it is you’re battling Him over. Bend to His will and wait on His timing.

Jesus came down to give Jacob a new name. Jacob lost a night of sleep for no good reason.

God only longed to give Jacob (the manipulator) the name Israel (prince with God).

God only wants to give you something better, too.

You may have a limp after your change, maybe not.

God’s goal is to make you closer to the image of His Son, Jesus.

Jesus endured a lot of suffering while He walked among us.

So, don’t be surprised by suffering in your life.

This life isn’t about your comfort. That’s what heaven is for.

Keep this important fact in mind every day: as a born-again Christian this world is the closest thing you’ll ever experience to hell.

Like I’ve been trying to tell you, better things are coming.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Peace Out of Chaos by a Brook

Recent events have a lot of people on edge these days. I’m no exception. Watch this video to see where I find true peace in today’s chaotic world.

Yes, there is peace and order in all of this chaos. His name is Jesus Christ.

He knows what all this warfare is all about.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

What is up with these kids’ parents today?

It could have been me this Sunday. I was the guy who accepted a drive to Memphis, Tennessee that left at midnight Friday. My budget was yelling at me again after I sat around Tuesday through Friday with no work.

I’m not complaining, just showing you what the life of a temporary truck driver is like in today’s economy.

What this amounted to was me driving to Tennessee instead of sleeping Friday night through Saturday morning. Sleeping Saturday afternoon and evening instead of having a real life like everyone else on the planet. Then driving back Saturday night and Sunday early morning instead of sleeping again.

I won’t even mention the text message I received at 3:30 Saturday afternoon while I was asleep. Some people are soooo ruuude!

Don’t worry. I fell back to sleep a couple hours later.

Skipping church is not an option for me in the summer months because I agreed to reprise my role as the toddler whisperer so regular folks can rest up a few months when it’s hotter than a Texas playground at high noon. Some people are soooo smarrrrt.

Fortunately I belong to a church that doesn’t believe you can lose your salvation if you show up late. So I cut myself some slack and snuck in after the collection plates were passed. Not like a temp truck driver has anything to slip in the plate anyway.

Besides, they don’t want us to bring hot coffee into the sanctuary while others are nodding off. If everybody leaves for their own cup it could throw the visiting preacher off too much I guess.

Trust me, coffee was definitely part of my sanctification process this week.

Second service is when I get to release my inner grandpa. It was a good thing I came in because some others sluggards called in this week. Maybe they had two text messages during the night. I can relate.

Anyway, I got moved to a room with slightly older kids, by a few months maybe. Some of them were regulars for me. Hadley was my girl-friend this week. No, not the other Hadley. This week there was only one in my room. Never mind.

So far this summer the kids have been pretty good. Maybe it’s because the fire alarm hasn’t gone off, yet. Maybe they’ve just been gooder kids.

This week more than made up for all the hitting, slapping, grabbing toys someone else is playing with and crying, for that to have been missing from normal kids in their terrible twos.

The thought that kept playing in my sleep-deprived mind was: What is with these kids’ parents to have such depraved little people like this?

Yeah, I didn’t blame this precious little darlings. They didn’t ask to be born with such selfish tendencies. They got that from their parents. I’ve been listening to enough radio preachers through the years to know that for a fact.

My best friend Jesus has a soft spot in His heart for these little tykes, too. He even wants us to come to our Father God just like they do: as innocent, selfish, sin-depraved kids in need of a Savior. Trusting God still loves us even after we made Hadley cry, again.

I told you it was one of those weeks.

I’m writing this on Sunday evening. Now that the sun is setting I think I’ll see if I can fall back into a “normal” sleep routine. Maybe I’ll sleep til the cows come home.

Wait a second, I don’t live on a farm anymore. I live in a big city. Perhaps I can sleep til the garbage truck comes by.

Reality can be so ugly sometimes.

Keep smiling.   Wade

HOUSE OF GOD

“I told you that was a bad idea, Mom.”

Rebekah shook her head. “No, God told me you would be first before you were born. This is still working out just fine. It’s time for you to marry and start a family. Go to Haran and live with my brother, Laban. He has daughters who’ll make a better wife for you than the women here. I’ll send for you after Esau has had time to calm down.”

Jacob shook his head. “Esau isn’t going to let this go. I just know it. I don’t think I’ll ever see you again.”

Tears streamed down Rebekah’s face as she hugged her son. “Never forget I love you.”

Jacob choked back tears. “I won’t.”

Rebekah turned around and dried her eyes. “I need to talk to your father. Go pack some things.”

****

When Jacob crested a hill he stared to his left. The sun was peaking through the layers of clouds in red and orange hues. The clouds overhead were yellow. The mountain ranges that were green now appeared in shades of gray. “Wow. This is such a beautiful land. Abba didn’t tell me much, but I do remember he said God promised the land we’re in to his father, Abraham. I wonder how much of this is included.”

He found a slender stone before it became dark. A full day of walking had drained his energy. He laid on his side and closed his eyes.

A ladder appeared near his head. He sat up and stared  up. The top of the ladder stretched beyond the clouds. Angels were going up and down the rungs.

A man stood on nothing near the top of the ladder. “I am the God of Abraham and Isaac. Your descendants will cover this land like the dust does for I give it to you and them. All nations will be blessed in your seed. I will be with you wherever you go and will bring you back here.”

Jacob jerked awake. The darkness startled him. He sat up and rubbed his ear to relieve the searing pain. He searched for signs of where the ladder stood. Then he looked up at the stars. “‘If you can count the stars so shall your descendants be…’ That’s what you told Abraham. This place is awesome. It’s the house of God.”

He rubbed the ground he sat on. “And this must be the doorway to heaven.”

When he closed his eyes he could still see the ladder and the angels.

When he opened his eyes his head was back on the rock. The eastern horizon was a light gray. A half moon obscured most of the stars now.

Jacob grabbed a shard of stone and frantically gashed a groove in the hard-packed ground. He stood his pillow on end in the furrow and jammed dirt around its base. He took the flask of oil that was packed for him to help heal any wounds he encountered in his journey and poured it all on the stone.

“If God shall provide my food and clothes and bring me back to my father’s house in peace, then He shall be my God. This stone will be Bethel, God’s House, from this day forward. I shall return to You a tenth of all I get.”

Jacob gathered his belongings and continued his trek with renewed vigor.

********

I wonder how many people have tried in vain to find that exact spot Jacob slept that night. Who wouldn’t want to see that ladder with angels on it?

Those people miss the point of this whole encounter. The place wasn’t significant. The message is.

Jacob could have slept anywhere that night and received the same dream.

God was real to Abraham by showing Himself and talking to him several times.

Isaac’s first glimpse of God came on an altar he was tied to with his abba grabbing a knife to slit his throat.

Jacob’s attention was focused upward with this dream and repeated promise.

These three fathers of the Jewish faith needed to know God personally. They needed something significant to pass down to successive generations.

You and I need the same type of experience in our own personal journey today.

No, I don’t mean you have to sleep under the stars using a rock for a pillow. I mean we need to know God on a personal level.

Since Jesus came as the fulfillment of that promise of Jacob’s seed blessing all nations it’s simple to do.

All we need to do is admit we can’t come to God on our own efforts because of His perfection and our filthy sinfulness.

Then we have to believe Jesus’s death on the cross was done for us. He died as our substitute in God’s eyes.

When each of us does that individually then an amazing thing happens to God’s eyes. He then sees us as if He’s looking at Jesus.

No, this isn’t a dream event. This is all God’s choice so He can have an intimate relationship with each one of us.

Two things are given as proof of this transaction from above.

First, Jesus came back to life from a tomb He was placed in after three days. Nobody stepped in to make this happen. Jesus told His followers it would happen so they’d know it was from God.

Second, God places His Holy Spirit inside each one of His children so we can experience this intimacy personally. God promises to hear our prayers and heal our wounds while helping us understand His Word written to us as a love letter and guidebook.

Although I stated this transaction is simple it apparently isn’t easy. Otherwise everybody would do it.

Pride keeps too many folks thinking they’re good enough to get into heaven without a savior.

Confusion remains a stumbling block for some to accept Jesus as God who came to earth to be our substitute.

Pray for those you know need this.

Accept it as your own.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

I Saw Those Tears

I saw those tears you cried today

Your heart is broke so many ways

Another terror made the news

Someone else evil did choose

Their senseless act took many lives

You’re not the only one who cried

I saw those tears roll down your cheeks

I know you’re strong though you feel weak

That buried deep secret you had

Those careless words ripped off the scab

You thought you would be over it

Keep pressing on please don’t quit

I saw those tears you wiped away

The pain was deep nothing to say

The grief the loss you’re lonely now

Beside your bed the tears did flow

The world keeps turning never stops

Others need you to stay on top

I saw those tears My Son once knew

When death was near for others too

He knew His time was very soon

To feel the dark even at noon

He pressed on through the pain and hate

So you could be with Me someday

I saw those tears each one of them

Saved in a bottle I have a plan

One day when you are by My side

My love for you I cannot hide

I’ll wipe each tear away for good

Signed your Heavenly Abba Father God.