I have had a very cool day! The Lord surprised me today by leading me beside quiet waters…in the mountains…at my favorite fishing spot! I wasn’t expecting to drive up there today! I had to dump a bunch of old wood and pallets at the Sedalia landfill today, but afterwards the Lord gave me the nudge to go up into the mountains. I had my good Canon camera with me, so I did, and it ended up being a great trip! I got some of the best pictures I have ever taken up there! I’ve been praising the Lord all day!
First, let me show you what I did this morning, then I will take you up into the Rockies. This post will be mostly pictures, enjoy!
Now let’s head up into the Rockies shall we? Okay, let’s go!
Welcome to the very small town of Sedalia, Colorado!
You should turn on one of your favorite songs and enjoy the ride! I have the windows down and it is a beautiful Colorado day!
I hope you enjoyed your trip to the Rockies in September! I am planning on going up much higher towards Winter Park in October to take pictures of the changing Aspen trees! I pray I get the chance to go! Today was awesome!
I hope and pray those quiet waters of the Rocky Mountains were a blessing to you!
Grace and peace to you all!
“…he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.”
That is a big promise! That is exciting too! Our Creator listens to us and we can talk with Him! That’s cool! I would like to offer a prayer today that comes from the Bible. It is most definitely in God’s will to answer this prayer, and it is an awesome prayer to pray!
First, here is that section of Scripture from 1 John that talks about God hearing us:
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him.”
1 John 5:13-15
So, believers in Jesus Christ can ask God anything according to His Will and He will hear us and we will have what we asked for! Awesome! Remember, that part about His will is very important. God is not a genie to make wishes to. It might not be in His will to give you a million bucks. He is the Almighty I AM, He loves us, and He hears and answers our prayers in accordance with His will. He is always working for our good!
I was reading Philippians this morning and in the very first chapter the Apostle Paul pens a beautiful prayer that is definitely something we can pray in accordance with God’s will! And if we pray this, then we know that He hears us and that we will have what we asked of him! Amen!
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God.”
In the Name of Jesus, Amen! May the Lord answer that for all of us and empower us in the Holy Spirit to be filled with the fruit of righteousness through Jesus Christ!
The Disciple/Apostle Peter is an interesting case study in human behavior. He was the first to be called by Jesus along with his brother Andrew. His name was also changed by Jesus to Peter, which in the Greek is “Petra,” which means rock. He was a tough Galilean fisherman and he came from a tough fishing family. He was a fighter and he was not afraid to speak his mind, and that would often get him into trouble. However, Jesus chose this man and used his tough gritty nature to build His church on!
Peter and his family had their own fishing business. They had their own boat and nets and I’m sure all of that was expensive and very important to them. Peter had fished his whole life and that is what he expected he would do for the rest of his life. Peter was a man’s man and he worked hard for a living.
This is what Peter did when he and his brother were the first to be called by Jesus to follow Him.
“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.”
That is incredible! Do you know many people that would just drop everything and walk away from a family business like that? I don’t! That is incredible faith!
Peter had a child like faith from God and it showed! He also would question Jesus and later we even see him try and rebuke the Lord several times! Like I said, Peter would “stick his foot in his mouth” sometimes because of his manly gusto. However, he always responded to his mistakes with a humble heart of repentance.
“One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, he saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. The he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
Peter is so bold and you can almost see Peter rolling his eyes as he tries to explain the business of fishing to Jesus. I love that even though he doesn’t understand what Jesus wants him to do, he submits to His authority and he lets down the nets. Good thing he did! P.S. The “Lake of Gennesaret” is the Sea of Galilee. They also call it simply “the lake” in the Bible.
“When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”
Peter had a true repentant heart! He felt so bad that he had questioned the Lord in his brash fisherman way that he fell at the Lord’s knees in full repentance! He was a brash tough guy, but he had a humble heart and he wanted to please God.
“…Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.”
Of course Jesus responds in love and forgiveness to Peter and that is how He responds to everyone who comes to Him! He tells us many times throughout the Bible to not be afraid.
In Matthew chapter 10 Peter is among the twelve disciples who are given authority by Jesus to become his twelve apostles.
“He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.”
Peter was also the first disciple to confess that Jesus is the Christ! It was also at that time when Jesus gave him the name Peter and commissioned him for a very special purpose!
“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
What was Peter’s response to such a statement from Jesus?! Well, in the very next verses, he goes right back and puts his foot in his mouth again. He tries to rebuke Jesus regarding what He must suffer, and the Lord has to rebuke Peter hard.
“From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
Whoa, I bet that hurt! Peter did not understand what he was saying and the Lord had to set him straight. Jesus was explaining why He came and what He was going to do for the world, and Peter is over there rebuking Him about it. That was Peter, but the Lord disciplined him firmly because He loved him and He had a great purpose for him.
Only six days later after this amazing conversation, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up a high mountain and He reveals His divine glory to them! It is called “The Transfiguration” and it is an incredible eye witness account of Jesus’ glory! See my post titled “The Transfiguration” for more details!
“After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters–one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.”
I love how Peter wants to build three shelters for them! He is the ultimate laborer! He can fish and build houses and he is gruff and tough! Of course it is Peter who speaks up first too and God Himself interrupts him from the cloud! Again, we see Jesus respond with the familiar phrase “don’t be afraid.” He strengthened and blessed Peter through that amazing miracle on the mountain!
Peter was also with the Lord at the Last Supper on Passover before Jesus was crucified. Jesus tells His disciples that His blood will be poured out for the forgiveness of sins and that they will all fall away that night. Peter stands up boldly again and proclaims that he will never abandon the Lord. Jesus’ reply to Peter’s rebuke is not what he expected though.
“Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:
” ‘I will strike the
and the sheep of the flock
will be scattered.’
But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”
But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.”
Peter had a bad habit of rebuking Jesus. He did not understand yet what Jesus was doing for them and for the whole world. This is evident when the men come to arrest Jesus. Peter’s reaction is to protect Jesus through violence!
“While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.
Jesus replied, “Friend, do what you came for.”
Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached out for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.”
Yeah, brother Peter carried a sword and he wasn’t afraid to use it! Like I said, he was a fighter and a tough guy! He wanted to protect Jesus and fight for Him, but He didn’t understand that the Lord had to die and that was His purpose. Jesus has to rebuke Peter yet again. Keep in mind, even after all of Peter’s faults, this man is still Jesus’ “rock” upon which He will build his church.
“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”
Right after Jesus is arrested, Peter follows the group all the way to the courtyard of the high priest to listen to their accusations against Jesus. While he is there, he is confronted three times about being a disciple of Jesus and three times Peter denies Him.
“…Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.”
For all of Peter’s tough talk, he ended up disowning Jesus three times just like Jesus had told him. Peter’s reaction is again one of a broken heart and repentance.
After Jesus is crucified, dead and buried, and rises from the dead on the third day He begins to appear to His disciples. In John chapter 21:15-19, Jesus reinstates Peter and tells Him again to follow Him. He asks Peter three times if he loves Him and three times Peter answers yes. Jesus gave Peter a powerful ministry, and you can read about Peter’s adventures for Christ in the Book of Acts. Jesus also tells Peter how he will die for God.
“I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
Peter did end up glorifying God all the way to his death around 67 A.D. when he was crucified by the Romans. History records that he requested to be crucified upside down because he didn’t feel worthy to be crucified in the same way as the Lord. That was Peter. Tough and humble, brash and repentant, and he served the Lord with all his heart!
Peter’s life is a story of God’s grace and constant forgiveness. It is a story of God’s faithfulness even when we are not. We are just like Peter in so many ways! How many times have we messed up and God has forgiven us? Too many to count! Peter’s testimony is a shining example of God’s love to us all, and a testimony that Jesus can use even the roughest of us for His glory!
It’s time for an old school Christian jam! This song was on my heart when I woke up this morning around 5 a.m.–Hallelujah! Many years ago Toby Mac was a part of this group called DC Talk. They were a very popular Christian band for a long time and their music is still awesome today!
Listen to the words in this song because they are so true! We all wanna be loved! We all want just a little respect! Amen to that! Women want to be cherished, men want to be respected, and we all wanna be loved! I pray we all treat each other with love and respect! All these years later, God is still using this song and the funky beats are still cool! May your heart soar today in the love of Jesus!
Hello everyone! I just wanted to do a quick post for fun and show you the commuter train that goes to Denver. I had to drive down to Denver yesterday, and the train went by while I was at the light. I love D-Town!
Here is I-25 on the way home:
The skies are always blue here!
Thank you all for your encouragement today regarding my post about Celiac! You all lifted my heart up! God bless you all!
Good morning everyone. I wanted to take some time and open up a bit about how I have to fight this disease in my physical reality. We all have different realities to deal with don’t we? Some are strong. Some are weak. Some are healthy. Some are sick. This is how it is here.
The picture above shows the line up of vitamins and supplements that I need to take each day just so I can function physically. I had to start taking them after I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease on 1-6-12. I had to integrate them into my diet slowly as I healed and I have been taking all of these for several years now. All of them are organic, non-GMO, gluten free, and whole food based.
From left to right:
Megaflora is my probiotic for a healthy gut.
Glucosamine MSM Complex is for my knees and joints. After the disease, my bones and knees were weakened and my knees burned and ached. After I started taking this, the burning stopped. It helps build cartilage.
Calcium for my bones. My spine burned at the start of the suffering, but the calcium and glucosamine helped with that.
Prostate Strength because I’m 40 and men my age need it.
Men’s One Daily is my multi vitamin.
Glutathione is a celluar antioxidant that helps rebuild my intestinal tissue. Celiac Disease destroyed a lot of the villi in my small intestine. That is why I barely weigh 140 pounds (I weigh 135 today). Once the villi are dead, the doctors say they don’t come back. I have been praying that God would regrow new villi for me.
5-HTP supports serotonin synthesis for healthy brain function.
Theanine is a neurologically active amino acid also for a healthy brain.
Balanced B Complex is a variety of B vitamins, which are responsible for energy production in the body.
CoQ10 is necessary for a healthy heart.
Vitamin B12 is the main B vitamin I am deficient in as a Celiac, so I take extra of that with the B Complex.
I had the symptoms of deathly serious malnutrition, severe weight loss, severe nausea, severe chronic fatigue, acid reflux, bone and joint pain, burning joints and spine, low blood sugar, severe stomach and intestinal pain, brittle nails, dark circles under my eyes, depression, suicidal, mood swings, short temper, irritability, irrational anger, and of course all the fun trips to the bathroom for severe unstoppable diarrhea. Yeah, it is a horrible disease and it can kill people! I suffered those symptoms for years until it almost killed me!
I am thankful that I was finally correctly diagnosed and that God has given me access to all of these vitamins, but I hate taking them and I hate Celiac Disease. I was diagnosed when I was 33 and now I am 40. I have lost a lot of life and time because of this disease. My 20s are long gone, and I spent the majority of my 30s suffering terrible pain and anguish.
I have not gone out to dinner since before I was diagnosed in 2012. I can no longer have ice cream or any dairy. I used to love cheeseburgers and shakes! I can’t have a cheeseburger or pizza. I loved Mexican food too! No more Mexican food with cheese and green chile for me! I can’t even eat at family gatherings or eat my Mother’s cooking! We have to pack our food everywhere we go now. We even packed brown rice noodles and four pounds of frozen bison when we went to San Diego this summer!
Yes, God has given me good food to eat and He takes care of me, but my choices are severely restricted now and I still mourn the loss of the food I grew up with at times. I eat brown rice noodles and black olives every day for lunch and I have for almost 7 years straight. I would love to go through the drive through at Goodtimes and get a burger today! I would love, and I mean absolutely love to have a chocolate shake! I can’t have any of it anymore. I can’t even drink coffee! I can’t have caffeine and the coffee bean oil is way too hard on my gut. I really miss that, especially in the winter!
I can’t drink alcohol either, which is fine, I don’t care, but sometimes a glass of wine was nice with dinner at a nice place. I can’t have any of it. I haven’t gone out to eat in almost 7 years! I can’t even walk in a restaurant and smell the food they are cooking. Everyone uses wheat and dairy and it makes me sick. I can’t have eggs either or soy. I can’t even walk down the bread aisle at the store. Wheat smells sick to me and it makes me nauseous! Oats caused me to go into anaphylactic shock on 4-28-12 and I stopped breathing, so I have to be very careful! No wheat, barley, rye, oats, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, soy, eggs, coconut, iodine, or NSAIDS. I even had to stop eating chocolate too!
Even if one crumb of wheat got into my system, it would be enough to cause an immediate auto immune reaction, which would cause great suffering for me or even anaphylaxis! That is why I can never risk going out to eat and I would never ask for them to accommodate my Celiac because people don’t care and they mock Celiac Disease and they think “gluten free” is a joke. Even a lot of the arrogant doctors think that way and that is why I suffered for 10 years before I was diagnosed due to ignorant doctors who don’t know what Celiac Disease is. I went undiagnosed for 10 years until it almost killed me when I was down to 128 pounds on 1-6-2012! So many doctors are so sinful and arrogant it makes me sick! I forgive them in Jesus’ Name and pray God gives them wisdom and humble hearts to actually help people.
What hurts the most is that I passed this genetic autoimmune disorder on to my kids. Thankfully, we caught it before it damaged their small intestines, but they have to eat gluten free for the rest of their lives. They can still have chocolate, dairy, and eggs, and they can even eat out at certain places, which is great, but I hate that they have this disease. I love scooping my kids ice cream, but I have to wear gloves because if I touch dairy I get welts on my skin.
When I was first diagnosed, I would have dreams about eating the food I couldn’t have anymore. It was psychologically tormenting. It is still hard sometimes. I must admit, I still look over at Goodtimes when I drive by it sometimes. I hope people realize how lucky they are to be able to eat whatever they want. To sink your teeth into your favorite food is a true blessing. To have it taken away really hurts.
It is an awful feeling having your life, strength, youth, and vigor taken from you. One day everything was fine and I was young and strong and newly marred with my whole life in front of me. Next thing I know I was diagnosed with a deadly disease, which is also a lifelong chronic illness, and my whole life was taken from me in a heartbeat!
Yeah, I am back on my feet, but I am still unemployed. I am still suffering and fighting this disease. I am still swallowing 11 different vitamins every day just so I can function like I’m some old man when I’m only 40. I still have blood sugar lows that knock me to my knees at times. I still wake up with blood sugar lows sometimes and those are still rough mornings. I don’t have a lot of energy to pull from standing 6 foot 1 inch tall and barely weighing 135 pounds.
If you can imagine, it is not fun or comfortable to digest food and go to the bathroom through damaged intestines every single day. Do you understand what I’m saying without me being gross? I hate this disease. I want to go home and be with Jesus! I hate this sick body of death and I don’t want to be in it anymore.
I long to be with Christ. I don’t even care if my place is ready or not. I can just stay outside under a tree. He doesn’t need to prepare anything special for me. I will just be glad to be there!
However, there is work to do! I have a wife and kids to love! I have more people to help and more preaching to do! Do you know who else felt like that? The Apostle Paul! He longed to be with the Lord, but he knew he must press on for Jesus!
“..Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”
It is comforting to know that Paul, a great Apostle of God, felt the same way we do! We long for Heaven and we are tired of earth and all of its suffering! However, I pray for courage, so that Jesus will be exalted in my body. That is amazing to me! This sick body of death of mine has no hold over me! I have the Spirit of Jesus Christ inside of me and Jesus can still be exalted in my body no matter how beat up it is!
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ…”
Paul doesn’t say, “if it is easy” or “only if you are healthy” conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel. No, he said, “whatever happens.” That is not easy for human beings to do, especially when what happened was devastating to your life. But I press on by the power of the Holy Spirit!
I am so thankful to God for my book and this blog! I pray for strength and I pray that no matter what happens in my life, I will be able to conduct myself in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that He will be pleased with me.
I know God can remove this thorn from me anytime He wants to. I also know that there is a greater purpose for all these years He has been healing me as He guides me through the valley of suffering. Paul had an ailment too. He called it his thorn and he pleaded with God to take it away, but the Lord did not.
“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassing great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
We don’t know what Paul’s thorn was and this is the only time he mentions it, but you can tell it bothered him greatly and he wanted it removed. Just like Paul, we must continue to trust God through our suffering. I can testify that His grace is sufficient and His power is inside this weak body of mine! I hope and pray that reading this blog shows you what God can do through somebody who is still hurting and that His power truly is made perfect in weakness!