A Bekins of Light

2015-National-Day-of-Prayer-Teaser-1024x774

National Day of Prayer

by Bob Bekins

May 7,  2015 

 

Father God, forgive me.

I have locked my car against thieves but not locked my heart from temptation.  I have owned five of one tool when a tradesman lacked work because of one.  I have sent my children to better schools instead of fixing the schools where they would have gone.  I have elected those that govern because of what they could do for me, instead of doing what was right.

I have cared more about what people think of me than what you think of me.  I have eaten more than I should and become fat and unhealthy.  I have bought too much food and thrown half of it away when others are going hungry.  You have blessed me with more than I need and I have wanted more yet.   I have aligned myself with the beautiful, successful people and ignored those who needed love.

I have glorified myself when I should have glorified you.  I have gone on vacation when I should have gone on a mission.  I have thrown away things of value and kept things that  are worthless.  I have judged others, and even judged you Lord, when I should have been judging myself.

I kept for myself what I should have given away.  I cling to the wreckage instead of swimming to your shore.  I became my pain instead of seeking your healing and told everyone about the pain but not the recovery which you provided.  I told my misery instead of shouting your glory.

I have hidden your story to improve my own.  I sought happiness above all else and spent most of my time seeking it.

Today, Lord as we cry out to you on this National Day of Prayer, please hear my confession and begin to change me from the inside out.  The nation cannot be healed while the people are unhealed.  My government is a direct impact of what I have chosen to do in my life.  What we have received is justice in line with what we have given.  Help me be better as a person and then Lord your smile will be upon our leaders as well.

 

Author note: As with all of Bob’s articles you may feel free to share them with anyone you wish. The article is attached for your convenience in doing so as both .doc National Day of Prayer and .pdf National Day of Prayer formats. Some of his books may be found on Amazon Kindle under author: A Guy Named Bob and as ebooks at AGuyNamedBob.com  (If you know anyone who might wish to receive these articles regularly, and you have their permission, please let Bob know their email.)

 

Some People Mustfriends

by Bob Bekins

April 2015

 

When I first met our new neighbor Rhoda I knew little about her.  As she and my wife got to spend time together they eventually became good friends.  Then Rhoda’s story came out and an interesting one it was.

Three years earlier Rhoda had been the driver in a tragic car crash in which her passenger had been killed.  Rhoda was seriously injured and some scars were left.  The depths of her emotional scarring were far deeper.  You see, the passenger was her own father, and the accident had been her fault.  Until I heard her story I did not understand why she was in an abusive relationship with the man who shared her home.  Why would she stay?  Now I understood.  She had found a way to deny herself joy in life as punishment for what she blamed herself for.  Some people feel they must do this.

After the accident, as she lay in her hospital bed, each day her mother came in and literally gave her hell over the “crime” threatening to sue and prosecute her.  Hooked to IVs and breathing apparatus and monitors, Rhoda was trapped in the room.  The prison walls were under construction with her mother as the Master Mason.   Enter Tyler.  He was visiting a friend in Rhoda’s shared semi-private room and overheard the all too loud vocal torture beyond the privacy curtain.  Stealing looks at Rhoda, he could see that she was beautiful or would at least return to her beauty soon enough.

One day, when her mother was away, he slipped into the room and introduced himself.  A week later he could see that the time was right and asked a simple question, “You want to get out of here?”   He took her home and then took advantage of her guilt with full control using the story that had spilled out across the mother’s lips.

Rhoda told my wife, “I deserve to be punished.”  And maybe that is true.  However, judgment is not up to us, not even up to people who are judging themselves.   Judgment is in the hands of the ultimate father of us all – God.  And He has decided to forgive us but with just one condition.  The price for the fodrivingrgiveness was paid by Jesus, His Son on the cross.  The subscription is ours to accept.  That is the one condition.  Accepting that Jesus died for us, each of us individually.

I can’t think of anything more heinous than someone who uses another person’s guilt to punish them.  Or worse, to control their life through belittling conversations, demands of all kinds, and ultimately using that person to commit evil acts. Acts that even the villain would not do himself.  His “rescue” was designed for his purposes, not for her salvation.

If God has forgiven us, we must also forgive ourselves.  It is normal to be aware of the mistakes we’ve have made in life, correct our decision making process, and move on.   Abnormal is a continual grinding guilt which can exploit our vital energy and ruin a perfectly useful life.  That is what happened to Rhoda.  My friends, don’t let it happen to you.  Accept God’s forgiveness by accepting His Gift of Jesus.  Then forgive yourself.

Author note: As with all of Bob’s articles you may feel free to share them with anyone you wish. The article is attached for your convenience in doing so as both word file, Some People Must and PDF, Some People Must
Some of his books may be found on Amazon Kindle under author: A Guy Named Bob and as ebooks at AGuyNamedBob.com (If you know anyone who might wish to receive these articles regularly, and you have their permission, please let Bob know their email.)

Cracksfence2

by Bob Bekins

February 2015

 

On my morning walk I noticed that if you focus beyond the wooden plates of a fence, and if you walk fast enough, and if you ignore the fence, you can see into the yard beyond.   It takes a little eye mind coordination to concentrate on something which is farther away than the thing right in front of you.

People are like this composite of fence and yard most of the time.  Once in awhile you meet someone that is who they appear to be but most are not that way.  The fence builders have status, or reputation, or a job, or a neighborhood condition that in their opinion needs protection.  The real “who” that they are sits in the backyard safely hidden behind the fence.  That psychological fence can be everything from bluster to out-and-out lies, the way they dress, the cars they drive, or introversion.  Piercing that protection can ruin a friendship if the protector doesn’t know the observation is coming or doesn’t want it.  A glimpse into their reality, particularly during times of great stress or trial can become a blessing to them.

Now here is the thing, you can find out something and take action, without their ever knowing that you know.  When your heart sees a past trouble that seems never to go away you can find a way to bring joy to them and help them along.  If you learn of a current misery, just a kind compliment can change the course of their muddy river.  An invite to a meal out, an invite to a ball game or a baby shower, a casserole of “I made too much chili, would you like some?”  A chat over the back fence, offering to watch over their home while they travel to care for some relation, and more.

fence

And during all of this, as with a kind heart we probe for how we can be of assistance, God himself who sits above it all, looks straight down into the backyard of their life and helps direct not only what we see, but what we do.  And, often you don’t need to look into the backyard of their mind to see from the slope of their shoulders that a little human kindness is needed.  The details are trivial but what you do for them can be important.

Author note: As with all of Bob’s articles you may feel free to share them with anyone you wish. The article is attached for your convenience in doing so as both word file Cracks and PDF Cracks Some of his books may be found on Amazon Kindle under author: A Guy Named Bob and as ebooks at AGuyNamedBob.com  (If you know anyone who might wish to receive these articles regularly, and you have their permission, please let Bob know their email.)

A Life of Freedomcedar-wax-wing-bird

By Bob Bekins           

January 2015

 

When I was ten years old, I lived an incredibly sheltered life.  A small military base near Fallbrook, California housed just fifty families in its 14 square miles.  Armed Marines at the gates, roving patrols, and night sentinels kept anyone but our families from entering.  It was also a natural preserve for animals that would have been prized trophies for any hunter.  We kids had the run of the place.  My list of pets included horned lizards, a squirrel, cedar wax wing birds, a rosy boa snake, a great horned owl, and for a very short time – a rattlesnake.  We saw foxes, coyotes, deer, possums, skunks, and bass in the lakes, of which there were three.

One of the routes between my elementary school in town and our house on the base was a very private dirt road just inside the security fence.  On a Tuesday afternoon, as I strolled along, I noticed some black animal obscurely tucked in amongst the fragrant anise bushes.   Thinking it might be hurt, I approached.  Shock was followed by two screams which came from my mouth and that of the huge panther that I had stumbled upon.

The panther went west and I ran north.  But, in that one moment, the picture of that glistening clean satin black fur and those clear green eyes, snapped into my memory forever.  He looked right at me from that huge head.

I learned a truth that day.  The untamed, free, live spirit of that animal was not similar in any respect to that of the caged cats I had seeBlack-Panther-showing-his-Scary-Teethn in the zoos.  Our freedom here in America is also like nothing else in the world. Our freedom leads us to become educated, to create, to invent, to relate without fear all of our beliefs and feelings.  We can work as hard as we want and accomplish almost anything that we set our minds to.  The caged eyes of the other men and women in our world stare out at us and wonder what life would be like if only they were as free as we are.  We must never waste what we have.

Everything that we do can be honorable, productive and giving.  When we perform at the top of our game, we can be the best in our field, no matter what that field is.  We have the capacity for extraordinary good.  It is a trust not to be spent lightly.

Proverbs 3:27
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, if it is in your power to act.”

Proverbs 22:29
“Do you see someone skilled in their work?  They will serve before kings.

Proverbs 11:25
“whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”

Author note: As with all of Bob’s articles you may feel free to share them with anyone you wish. The article is attached for your convenience in doing so as both word file A Life of Freedom and PDF A Life of Freedom. Some of his books may be found on Amazon Kindle under author: A Guy Named Bob and as ebooks at AGuyNamedBob.com  (If you know anyone who might wish to receive these articles regularly, and you have their permission, please let Bob know their email.)

 

 

One Thinglight-heart

by Bob Bekins

December 2014

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”    He created everything.  And after He created each thing He “saw that it was good” and then He created the next.  He created man and woman.  When He was finally done creating He left one thing unfinished.  Now this is important because it directly impacts you and I.  The only unfinished thing He created was our free will.

The Navajo’s believe that they should never weave a perfect rug.  They intentionally leave one small area imperfect.  Because only God can make something which is perfect.  And yet, even God decided to leave one thing unperfected.  And here is why.

When you shampoo your hair it feels good.  Your fingers working up a good lather, scratching where it itches, the warm water rinsing away the dust of the day.  BUT, when someone else washes your hair for you, well, that is something else, isn’t it?!  Why is it so different?  Same skin, same fingers, same hair, same shampoo, same pressure, same itches getting met.   Yet, it is profoundly different.  That is because you are being loved by someone and they are manifesting that caring and love in a physical way.

God could have finished the job of creation by not giving us free will.  He could have just made us love Him.  But on one level, compared to the free will choice, it is severely lacking.  As an example, one of the most heinous crimes is when a man kidnaps a young woman and locks her up in his house to be a slave.  He will feed her, clothe her, provide shelter, heat and light.  But he does not love her in the normal sense of the word.  And though she is well provided for, she cannot love him.  She has no free will to do anything including the free will to love.  His demand is to be loved but this she cannot do.

God loved us enough to give us almost complete freedom.  We are constrained by physical needs. (Note – often what we perceive as those needs are far larger than their reality.)  But we are not constrained from or to love someone or something in an absolute sense that we have no choice.  For that reason, when Jesus was asked which two laws were the most important.

He said, Love God and Love Your Neighbor. 

He was pointing out our free will and calling us to do the right thing, the One Thing, about that will.

Of all the things in your life, Love is the one thing over which you have complete control, all the time.  You may be beset by difficulties, money problems, personal attacks, legal issues, struggles with other people, and disease; but you are still fully in charge of how you love others and how you love God.  It is the one choice you can consistently make to greatly impact others and impact your relationship with Him.  He left it unfinished so that you can do the One Thing that He designed you to do.

Author note: As with all of Bob’s articles you may feel free to share them with anyone you wish. The article is attached for your convenience in doing so as both .doc One Thing and .pdf  One Thing formats. Some of his books may be found on Amazon Kindle under author: A Guy Named Bob and as ebooks at AGuyNamedBob.com  (If you know anyone who might wish to receive these articles regularly, and you have their permission, please let Bob know their email.)

 

Cookies and Kings

December 2014

by Bob Bekins

In 1995 I was working on a commercial real estate transaction with a life-changing sized commission.  The deal fell apart.  I called my wife Cindi and told her.  She said for me to go to the beach to get my head straight.  I told her “I need to go to the beach, I need a hug from you, and I needed two-dozen cookies.”  She said, “Just go to the beach.”

cookiesWhen I got there the surf was blown out, but I put on my wetsuit and fins anyway.  Leaving my keys and towel on the sand, I began to swim out to the piddly little surf line.  As I swam, a bag of cookies hit me right in the chest.  Remember I am a little thick headed?  So my brain said, “Fine they are water logged, inedible, and look like only one dozen to me.”  I went back in and left them by my towel.

Realizing the surf was lousy and would only get worse with the incoming tide, I buried my fins under my towel and went for a jog down the beach for an hour.  When I got back the tide had come to within a foot of my towel.  Right beside the first bag of cookies, a second bag had washed up, making up the two dozen.

God was telling me, “I will give you your cookies when I think you should have them.”

In November of 2013, my 2006 Jeep needed 100% replacement.  I went to the Jeep dealer and there I was attended handsomely by the salesman Jonas King.  On the lot we found a slightly used Toyota 4-Runner which perfectly suited my needs.   Jonas and I test drove, looked over the features, worked out the trade-in, and negotiated for two hours.  At the end I let him know that I was happy with the deal, but we had one problem.  I had not prayed about this yet.  I went for a walk and prayed.  Nothing came to me.  I told Jonas that I could not move forward until I had an answer about this important decision.

Three days later I was on the phone with a lady in Sacramento whose job entailed working with people who had very heavy fines to pay, clearly not a nice job.  She, on the other hand, was lovely, cheery, encouraging, and delightful.  I said to her, “I would imagine that you have some pretty heated conversations on the phone with people who are upset.”  She said that it was OK and just part of the job.  I said, “Well you handle it very well.  What is your name?”  She said, “Janice Jonas.”  I said, “I will call you back!”  A few moments later I told Jonas King to write up the contract for the 4-Runner, and I would be right over.  I had gotten my answer.

God is with you.  He does not leave when you finish your prayers.  He does not leave when trouble begins nor when it ends.  He wants a constant and engaged relationship with you.  Because he is everywhere at all times, He is with everyone, including you, now.

May you be blessed with many cookies this New Year of Our Lord 2015.  May your eyes and ears and heart be open to, and grateful for, the many blessings of 2014.  And mainly, above all, may you hear Him talking to you in signs and wonders designed only and specifically for you.

Christmas spice-cakes with chocolate

Author note: As with all of Bob’s articles you may feel free to share them with anyone you wish. The article is attached for your convenience in doing so as both .doc Cookies and Kings and .pdf Cookies and Kings formats. Some of his books may be found on Amazon Kindle under author: A Guy Named Bob and as ebooks at AGuyNamedBob.com  (If you know anyone who might wish to receive these articles regularly, and you have their permission, please let Bob know their email.)

 

 

They Will Always Bebeggar-homeless-man-dog-2

by Bob Bekins

January 2015

I don’t know about you. but I have conflicting thoughts about street corner pan handlers, friends who beg, and those people that come up to you in a gas station and “need $5 for gas to get home to Los Angeles.”  In Mark 14:7 Jesus said, “For you will always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you will not always have Me.”

At a gas station the other night I was given the $5 need line.  I decided to hang around for a little and see what was going on.  There were two young men working out of a truck.  They looked very depressed while they were pitching their plight, but when they scored, they smiled across the lot at each other and were in high spirits.  They purchased food and drinks inside and occasionally stopped to refresh themselves.   I don’t know what their financial goal was, but they seemed to be attaining it at a fairly rapid pace.

If you know me well, you also know that I have friends in the full spectrum of financial dependence and independence.  Each, regardless of their station, must work through health issues, personal joys, their sins, and individual spiritual journeys.  What bothers me about those in what I will call Medium Need is that some of them won’t work.  They are capable, but they won’t do it. They have money for cigarettes, cable TV, Redbox movies, and other minor indulgences but need to hit up others for those nagging things like traffic tickets, car insurance, car registration, and food.  In several cases I have learned that my “loan money” was used for drugs.  This bothers me terribly.  Clearly I am enabling them to live a lifestyle which robs them of their dignity which is found in gainful employment.

I don’t have an answer for this permanent and ancient question about the “poor.”  However, having traveled to other countries and seen true poverty I want to remind that we have many programs in the US to assure that no one goes hungry, hospitals that care for people without insurance, places for people to live inexpensively, help with utilities, free education for 13 years, water running from the tap at incredibly low prices, and a government that seeks to close any gap “because we are not doing enough.”

beggar+ChildA friend traveled to South Africa to plant gardens for truly destitute people.  He painted a picture of the contrast: those who have no money often go without food, medical assistance, formal education, and a place to sleep. Water had to be carried in buckets from the river a mile away. My favorite story was of three children who had lost both parents to AIDS and the oldest son, who was 12, was taking care of the two little ones.  ALL of the difficulties in this paragraph resided in their mud and sticks home.  When the crew planted a garden for them, the three kids sobbed and shook with joy AND began the process of hauling thirty-pound buckets of water up from the river a mile away to water it.  They had gone to work while those in the US who can, do not.

When the average tax rate in the early 1950’s was five percent for a family, they had money to give to the poor.  The various levels of government have robbed us of that, now that our tax rate hovers between 35 and 50% of a family’s income, depending on who you talk to.  It goes to the merit of Americans back then, and even now, that we can still give freely from what is left. and we do GIVE.  Earthquake in Haiti, hurricanes in the Gulf States, tsunami’s in Thailand are followed quickly by American tax dollars and speedily trailed by the American Red Cross, World Vision, and other predominantly US sponsored charities.

So do give to the poor, but be smart about it.  More than ten percent of every dollar you make right now, goes from your pocket as taxes to pay for these US, State and County programs.  So even if you never give a penny to someone who approaches you, you have already done more than any other country’s citizens.  If you give, give to an organization not some prankster in the gas station no matter how sad he looks.

Author note: As with all of Bob’s articles you may feel free to share them with anyone you wish. The article is attached for your convenience in doing so as both .doc They Will Always Be and .pdf They Will Always Be formats. Some of his books may be found on Amazon Kindle under author: A Guy Named Bob and as ebooks at AGuyNamedBob.com  (If you know anyone who might wish to receive these articles regularly, and you have their permission, please let Bob know their email.)

 

Tricky Glasses

By Bob Bekins

November 2014

Over the years my near vision has grown slowly, but steadily, worse.

I’m at a 3.5 now and even then I tilt the drug store cheaters at an angle to eke out another .5 or so.  For years my Optometrist has been telling me my distance vision needed correction, too.  He said a 1.25 lens would do it.  I figured if I was at 4.0 on reading what possible difference could a .25 make on distance.

photoFinally I broke down and got the 1.25 driving glasses and oh my.  Was I wrong!  Huge difference.  My eyes went from a Claude Monet fuzzy painting with colors to Ansel Adams in sharp clarity but more than black and white.

I am just as visually challenged about my moral failings.  When I have conquered alcohol, second story jewel heists, grand larceny and car theft, I’ve got a good start.  Lurking in the wings are a bunch of .25 sins like gossip, white lies, thoughts of revenge and lack of gratitude.  Should I somehow overcome those I would be left ultimately with attempting to find my humility.  I love what Golda Meir said about an unassuming nature to someone that was trying to impress her, “You don’t have to be humble.  You’re not that great.”  I know that I will never be shed of all my spiritual .25s.  I also know that I don’t have to be in order to fall into the loving arms of my Savior.

It does help to know what they are.  That way I don’t become an Adrian Monk, trying to straighten out every little pebble in the world of others.  At the same time tripping in the dark over the boulder in my own yard.  Well if I put my glasses on I shouldn’t have that problem, should I?

 

Author note: As with all of Bob’s articles you may feel free to share them with anyone you wish. The article is attached for your convenience in doing so as both .doc Tricky Glasses and .pdf Tricky Glasses formats. Some of his books may be found on Amazon Kindle under author: A Guy Named Bob and as ebooks at AGuyNamedBob.com  (If you know anyone who might wish to receive these articles regularly, and you have their permission, please let Bob know their email.)

One Voice
By Bob Bekins
August 2014

104058785 Standing in church surrounded by hundred’s of others singing praises to God; it occurs to me that all the others may be a figment of my imagination. What if. What if I was in reality the only one there. The only one singing.

This of course would be crazy. I am not by myself. Indeed each person (and by this, I mean the real person, their spirit being) is within themselves actually there, too. And those individuals might be having that same idea as well. The idea that all else is a vapor and “only I am truly real.”

After considering this for several years a new thought has come to me. I see everyone praising God through song. God sees something completely different. He literally sees only me. And He only sees the person singing next to me. And He only sees the woman in the blue dress in the second row. And the very old man who can no longer stand for eleven minutes of songs. He knows we are all there in the room. But His vision is one of personal, unique, individual, one-on-one relationship with you and with me.

He loves you. As much as He delights in the church, He truly just, only and uniquely loves you. To God, you are the only one standing for Him and singing to Him. There is nothing that He loves as much as He loves you. He doesn’t love the song as much as He loves the singer. He doesn’t love the choir as much as He loves the One Voice reaching up to him.

Singing-in-Church

Author note: As with all of Bob’s articles you may feel free to share them with anyone you wish. The article is attached for your convenience in doing so as both .doc One Voice and .pdf One Voice formats. Some of his books may be found on Amazon Kindle under author: A Guy Named Bob and as ebooks at AGuyNamedBob.com (If you know anyone who might wish to receive these articles regularly, and you have their permission, please let Bob know their email.)

Foundational
By Bob Bekins
June 2014

When a new home is being built a trench is dug pretty much in the outline of where the home will sit. This trench makes up the “footings” for the house to be built on top of it. What we walk on is called the slab and is a relatively thin piece of concrete which sits on top of the footings. Into those trenches are placed pieces of steel called re-bar. That stands for reinforcing bar – of steel. Around 1999 I watched an interesting situation at Sunset Heights where I was selling homes.

sunset-heightsThe footings were dug and then it rained. At this point the builder, Beazer Homes, could fill in the hole with dirt, compact it, wait for it to dry and then dig it out again to the proper depth. This takes time and effort – both of which cost money. Or they could just dig out the muck in the trenches and pour in more concrete. They choose the latter because this cost less and no harm would be done by having a deeper footing for the nine homes being built in that phase. Once cleaned out they had to wait a day for it to dry.

However, that night the rain came again. And they dug out the muck again. And it rained and they dug. And it rained and they dug. And over a two-week period this happened six times. When the concrete was finally poured, the footings for those homes were many feet deep. They would then be foundationally the strongest homes in the community.

Just like these homes, when the storms of life rain on our plans we have choices to make. We can try to start over again and rebuild according to our plan. Or we can just move in response to the situation and adapt to the changed circumstances. Like the footings for these houses, when we choose to dig deeper into the problem we see that these very storms may be building a stronger foundation. Instead of ignoring the mud of our tragedy, or difficulty, or cost, we can dig it out and thus we become stronger by facing the challenges instead of covering them up.

Pouring more of the Bible, more prayer, and accepting more of Jesus into our hearts we have added heavenly re-bar into the hole that the storms have caused us to dig. With this foundation of righteous construction we can build a home into which the Holy Spirit will take residence. We have often been led down to the solid rock that is God and what becomes finished is God’s plan for the house that He wanted to build for our lot.

Author note: As with all of Bob’s articles you may feel free to share them with anyone you wish. The article is attached for your convenience in doing so as both .doc  and .pdf formats. Some of his books may be found on Amazon Kindle under author: A Guy Named Bob and as ebooks at AGuyNamedBob.com

Perfect Furniture
By Bobby Bekins
August, 2006

Reading in the Old Testament, I am always intrigued by this word CUBIT. It was the distance between the thumb/index finger slot and the elbow. About eighteen inches. Mine is about sixteen inches, but I have small hands and apparently, short forearms.

cubitThe original altar had these specific dimensions: five cubits deep, five cubits wide and three cubits high. That would make it seven and a half feet by seven and a half feet on the ground and four and a half feet high. (Exodus 27:1) For Moses’ time in history, that was a massive piece of furniture. Now here is where it gets interesting.

The average Jewish male at that time was around five feet tall. Walking up to the altar these men would have felt like you did when you were a four year old and could just get an eye up over the kitchen table. If you were one of them and stood six feet tall, you would have felt superior as you looked down upon the altar.

And yet, they had to place sacrifices upon it. This would have been harder to accomplish than on a two-foot tall altar. And a six-foot altar would have been inaccessible without a ladder. So, why this height?

Here is my thought. God wanted to remind us that he will not give us any task more difficult than our own unique capabilities. He also wanted us to know that his kingdom is bigger than we are and we should approach it with respect. But, he did want us to approach, and even touch it, on foot and feeling natural about being there. Awed but natural.

So even in this small thing, God perfected it with complete meaning in its dimensions. Should we be more, or less, surprised at how perfect his love is for us? When He sent his son to die on the cross for our sins, Jesus arrived and departed as a man, one of us. A carpenter who made perfect furniture and perfected the model of what mankind could be.

The Great Circle Route
By Bob Bekins
December 2011

And in my dream my next-door neighbor argued with me saying that “these are the only things of value” as he pointed to his collection of little boxes sitting on shelves. On each box were two names which I did not bother to read, though he had offered them to me freely. I left him standing and as I departed he just stared at me with a puzzled look on his face. I set out to walk around this long circle on which we lived.

photo-2Passing many homes, on that gentle curving road, I saw many stacks of similar boxes. In open garages, on front porch shelves, on mantels in living rooms as twilight came and house lights beamed through the dusk. Each owner trotted out their emotions about their collection of boxes.

Some held the accounting books of transactions, most from long ago. They did not even hold the transaction itself but merely the record of what had happened. And in turns the owners were variously elated, or angry, or sad as they thought about what was in each box and sharing that precious treasure of information with me.

One woman had the names of places she had been carefully typed onto labels and applied to the appropriate box. Karachi, Winnipeg, Shanghai, Tutuila, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro. Some boxes were actually from the place whose contents they held. Each contained a map, a few photos, a matchbook, a menu and a postcard. This last she had mailed back to herself at home and on these she pointed to the postal stamp which provided the date and as she put it, the “proof” as they were written in her own hand. “See, see – I wrote that. I WAS there.”

Further around the circle a slight man of barely ninety pounds, so child like, brought his boxes to me one at a time. Individually lodged in each one was a toy so carefully wrapped that it could not be scratched. With great excitement he unbundled each prize and told me how he had come to own it. Then how much it cost. And with exact detail how much it was worth in today’s dollars. I was very uncomfortable because as he moved the boxes the clinging dust stirred in the air. On and on he went until it seemed every one had been properly exhibited to me. As he searched in vain for one more, I left him talking to himself, “I know it was in this closet but I can’t find it. Someone must have moved it, or worse . . .”

In a few days I came upon a tall man whose boxes were equally long and narrow. He asked me to sit behind his home in a private garden, protected from the wind and “the prying eyes of nosey neighbors” he commented in a soft voice while anxiously looking about to see who was eaves dropping. Proudly he opened each box with great care because it held one long-stemmed rose wrapped in soft tissue paper. He explained that each wrapping was of a color to match the rose which it held. However, sadly they were now faded to a muddy brown, tightly shriveled knot on the twig that had once been a succulent green stem. Only the tissue paper retained any color, and only in his mind, as he attempted to help me do the impossible – envision that long ago rose and the brilliance of its lost color. I had to leave.

In my dream a woman came running into the street in her housedress and slippers, compelling me to come in, pulling at my sleeve. It had been many months since she had shared her boxes and the need to do so had become overwhelming. Each held a trophy, or a plaque, or memo, or a ribbon, or a letter of congratulations. In her long life she had accomplished a great deal. Through long hours of effort, sacrifices and self-denial she had invented, organized, and triumphed in many businesses and organizations. I was several long weeks with her because of the detail needed to explain the cost and the struggle of each achievement.

On I traveled for many years and slowly the sun rose and fell in its quarters and seasons as the arc of the circle changed my position within the shadows and the light. I saw people with shiny boxes, boxes of many colors, and shapes, and sizes. And as the years passed I grew weary, though people still beckoned to me to stop and listen. I hurried now feeling a pull to complete the 360 degrees I had set out to traverse.

At long last my journey was ending and as I approached my home I saw a funeral director’s hearse waiting in front of my neighbor’s house. Having seen so many boxes, I was now curious about his – the ones I had rejected. There were many more now than when I had left. One was particularly large and as I approached I noticed that it had my name written there beside his own.

Indeed, each box exhibited his name and the name of another person. Within the boxes were the notes of conversations, lists of prayers, concerns of his mind for the other person named. Occasionally they held photos and small mementos of shared meals or events, theatre tickets, restaurant receipts, ball games.

The boxes were carefully stacked. Those showing the most age were sometimes at the bottom and dusty, or sometimes at the top and almost perfectly clean from use. Mine sat by itself and finally I was drawn to open it and I must confess, with some fear.

Inside the large box with my name was just one small note and this is what it said; “ My beloved friend, I so hoped you would find this one day. I have missed you. There was so much that happened which I had wished to share with you. I think that you did not recognize it, but you were my best friend. Please know this, with whatever time you have left – only the relationships with those whose lives we share – these are the only earthly valuables worth keeping.”

Author note: As with all of Bob’s articles you may feel free to share them with anyone you wish. The article is attached for your convenience in doing so as both .doc and .pdf formats. Some of his books may be found on Amazon Kindle under author: A Guy Named Bob and as ebooks at AGuyNamedBob.com

Undeserved
By Bob Bekins
June 2014

till-we-have-faces

I rarely quote other Authors but this was perfect:

The thoughts of Queen of Glome: “I would set out boldly each morning to be just and calm and wise in all my thoughts and acts; but before they had finished dressing me I would find that I was back (and knew not how long I had been back) in some old rage, resentment, gnawing fantasy, or sullen bitterness. I could not hold out half an hour.”

 

 

And one day I, Bob, came to realize that I too would always be this way. Here was the key, though it would take many years to learn it. My other sins included “vain glory.” That false sense of my own perfection standing between me and the humility which I sought. This I could not change either.

Even now it feels as though I sense the “god within me” but it is god not God that I find there. Hopelessly, consistently, and ever my old self. The realization returns: I cannot conquer this by myself. In fact I cannot conquer it without the help of a gracious God. Because I am fighting the nature of a secular world and a self-within-me world that can’t be defeated. It will not change and I will always be a doer, or at least thinker, of one sin or another. A Sinner.

Now comes the undeserved Glory. Becoming less a sinner is not required for Salvation. Even Jesus did not try to become less sin. He accepted all the sins (though they were ours not His) onto himself at the cross. He did not switch one sin for another. Did not try to become more humble, or truthful, or lustless. He took it all in its pure unmitigated filth. He did not rank them as one less sinful than another. All were accepted as a necessity for His sacrifice for each of us. My own, actual, individual sins breaking His heart as He hung there.

So what does one do with such a realization? I think it begins with gratitude. We are being invited to attend a buffet celebrating our transition through the death we must each endure. We will dine though we did not plant the seedlings, weed or water the crops, harvest or cook the food. We will be fed on heavenly delights which we did not earn in any way and never could, no matter how hard we tried. “For God so loved that He gave . . .” Not loaned, not sold, not bartered; gave. Yes, gratitude is where we must start.

 

Author note: As with all of Bob’s articles you may feel free to share them with anyone you wish. The article is attached for your convenience in doing so in .doc and .pdf formats. Some of his books may be found on Amazon Kindle under author: A Guy Named Bob and as ebooks at AGuyNamedBob.com

 

That Sinking Feeling
By Bob Bekins
March 2014

Here is a tidbit that may surprise you.

Do you know why a ship floats? They are very heavy aren’t  they? We usually think in terms of the air inside them, but many of them don’t have a lot of air. They are filled with oil or wheat or airplanes. So why do these 150,000,000 pounds things float?

container-shipAs long as they are lighter than the water that they displace they will float. If you have ever had to carry a pail of water very far, you know that it is h.e.a.v.y. Water is one of the heaviest things on the planet. So if a 150,000,000 pound ship displaces 160,000,000 pounds of water it will continue to float.

Think of it this way. You can drop a three-pound butcher knife into a river and it will sink like a stone. If you place a three-pound cook pot on that same river it will float merrily downstream. That is because the butcher knife is consolidated and does not displace much water. The pot is spread out and displaces far more. It weighs less than the water it displaces.

When a ship like the Titanic goes down it is not because of the water it is letting in, but rather  the weight of the water and the fact that it is more like the knife than the pot. The water rushing in makes the ship heavier than the air in the compartments when it was “unsinkable.”

Sin is just like that. When we are lighter than the sin, stronger than its force, we can overcome it. When we let it start to leak in, we become more like the sin and less like the vessel that God made us to be. We float on top of the temptations of this world when we are a closed chamber to its intrusion. But as soon as we open a door to it, it starts flooding in and can sink us. When it was said, “The wages of sin is death.” that was no joke. The mate that went below and found the water flooding into the Titanic did not say to himself, “We are unsinkable. It is not too much water for this ship.” More likely he screamed some Englishman’s profanity and panicked in flight up the nearest stairs. We should be just as horrified as we step back and look at the sin we have let leak into our lives. Trouble is, we are the ship, not the mate. We think we are unsinkable.

Sin often starts out as a little trickle of excitement or humor or spoof or gossip or flirting. I am going to the casino for the buffet. I like to watch ‘R’ rated movies so I know what the enemy is up to. Everyone drinks a little too much once in awhile. I’m only going to do this once. And one day you look down and the water is up to your ankles and any child can see that you are sinking. It spilled into your life one just-this-once event at a time. And you can feel the pull as you try to move your feet through the muddy puddle you now find yourself in.

Get up above the water because the flood of judgment is coming. Be the vessel that God intended you to be.

Author note: As with all of Bob’s articles you may feel free to share them with anyone you wish. The article is attached for your convenience in doing so. Some of his books may be found on Amazon Kindle under author: A Guy Named Bob and as ebooks at AGuyNamedBob.com

Final Exam
By Bob Bekinsfinal.exam_
May 2014

In American universities you take a course, pass a final exam and you are done. Put a check mark next to Psych 101, Accounting 203, Architectural Drawing 972 and once you have enough check marks you get your Bachelor’s degree in a chosen field.

In Mexico you take courses for years, then comes the “FINAL.” You sit in front of an expert panel in your area of study, four of them, who grill you for eight hours over a two-day period on your entire university education. Now that is a final, isn’t it!

This American style of thinking has permeated a lot of our minds. We do something good and we get a little check mark in our life transcript. And the more we get, the better we feel about ourselves. My 47 Scouting merit badges, my second million dollars, perfect attendance at Kiwanis, never calling in sick to work. Then we complicate it by giving every kid a trophy for just playing a sport. Little check marks.

In American universities you take a course, pass a final exam and you are done. Put a check mark next to Psych 101, Accounting 203, Architectural Drawing 972 and once you have enough check marks you get your Bachelor’s degree in a chosen field.

 

So I looked in the Bible for the outline regarding exams. Apparently there is no credit for just being here, from what I have found. There is even an implication that foundationally we are all flawed. “Who can know the heart of a man?” it says in one place. Another, “my righteousness is as filthy rags.” But indeed these are the very critical components of the final exam we will face one day.

final-examsWe are molded by all these experiences, and as we mature we are shaped internally by what we discover about our failures. Actions speak loudly but God is an examiner of hearts. You might donate $20 at the age of  20 from a pure spirit and a million dollars at the age of 40 because your CPA advises it. Under God’s eye, it  is the heartfelt gift that counts and the other is just a business transaction. I am so grateful that God allows us to mature through life’s trials. For our hearts to become more to His liking and fitting into His plan for us.

We are talking about a level of commitment. If you Google the House of My Father, by Basque poet Gabriel Aresti, you will get a sense of the dedication God looks for from your heart. When there is nothing left to fight with but your heart, then you have gotten to the first thing that matters. Not the last. God cares more about the heart of the fighter than the hands that do the fighting. When the goal is to lead someone to their salvation it is a Champion’s attitude to fight for that goal. Despite problems you fight on, despite the obstacles you charge over the wall or around it. Despite even the resistance from the one whose soul would be saved, you still march toward the goal – NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES.

If you look carefully at this proposition you will see that it is not the results which matter to God in regards to us individually. It is our heart to do His work. If a family contributes $6,000,000 to build an orphanage and makes it known, that is one thing. Compare that to a missionary in India that walks all over the Punjab for a month and converts one person.  And yet he keeps going. THAT is the kind of heart that will pass the final exam with God.

 

Author note: As with all of Bob’s articles you may feel free to share them with anyone you wish. The article is attached for your convenience in doing so. Some of his books may be found on Amazon Kindle under author: A Guy Named Bob and as ebooks at AGuyNamedBob.com

Fallowinggrandparents-636
By Bob Bekins
May 2014

Two things amaze me.

The first is how fulfilling it is to serve others; an absolute joy.

The second is how very few people seem to know about this.

The closest most folks come to that realization is a fortuitous accident: they become a grandparent.

I’ve seen a corporate CEO turn into the slave of a two-year-old and giggle with pleasure over her silly antics and ridiculous demands. “Grampa put this hat on!” And he does it!
You get the picture.

Yet  when it comes to service many folks miss the opportunity. They think themselves into a corner by organizing what they have into an “obvious” what-to-do-with-it. The wealthy think their talent is to give money. The good singer might join the choir. The Teacher takes up Sunday School. However, what God wants for them may be completely different. He might want the wealthy woman to teach, the singer to tithe, the Teacher to pray without ceasing. Through conversation with God, He will reveal to each of us what should be done.

So it baffles me how we can be richly blessed with a “fertile field” and cannot find workers to till it, plant it, water it, and harvest. Our congregation here in Carlsbad has been given an incredible church campus. But, at some services, though attended by 400 – 700 people, we can’t get even six people to do the minimum required to get by: greeting, making coffee, ushering, and cleaning up afterward.

Here is why it is so important to have enough people. I am in this true story but it is not about me. It is about a girl we will call “Kirstina.” In the middle of busily preparing for communion one Sunday she walked up to me. Completely troubled Kirstina needed to talk to an Elder right now. I could have been too busy but fortunately that Sunday we had enough helpers. I walked Kirstina out to the patio and we sat together on a park bench.

She poured out her heart. Having agreed with her High School sweetheart (she and he are both 17) that they would save their virginity for each other, early that morning she had been tempted by, and given herself to, a virtual stranger. As she put it, “I feel filthy. My boyfriend will never love me again. My life is over.”

Because I had the 30 minutes that this took, I was able to help her. And the fertile field of her heart received a planting of seeds from Christ: that she had a purpose and duty and joy in the full seventy plus year that was ahead for her.

The field of her heart might have been fallowed by lack of time because we weren’t voluntarily staffed enough. Or because “this isn’t my field.” Who knows where Kirstina might have gone or what she might have done. All because someone had volunteered to put little wafers into little cups.

 

Author note: As with all of Bob’s articles you may feel free to share them with anyone you wish. The article is attached for your convenience in doing so. Some of his books may be found on Amazon Kindle under author: A Guy Named Bob and as ebooks at AGuyNamedBob.com

vintage_theater_stage_curtain-headlineCurtain Call        By Bob Bekins
May 2014

In Exodus 27:16 God is telling Moses how to build all the elements of the Tabernacle. The curtain to cover the entrance to the courtyard will be the most visible wall to all the people in the land. Everyone will see it. And God says to make it, “the work of an embroiderer.” I have asked myself, who would this unnamed person be? A man or a woman? Obviously someone with great skill.

In the Bible an embroiderer is mentioned in Exodus 38:23 – “Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the Tribe of Dan – craftsman and designer, and an embroiderer in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen.” He could be the guy! His name means, “Father’s Tent.” Now understand, there are no sewing machines. This curtain is 7 ½ feet high and 30 feet wide. The threads are blue, purple, and scarlet (red) in color. Not white, or black the highest contrast colors, not orange or brown the earth colors. And no particular pattern or theme is indicated, except that there may be cherubim on it.

So this curtain has limits and conditions described by God. It is very specific. But more important than all of this is the heart of the unidentified embroiderer. This huge job will be many months in fabrication and will certainly take the longest of all the components of the tabernacle to complete. Everyone will know who this embroiderer is. The pressure will be on. The curtain must “speak” of being an entrance.

I believe that the embroiderer should have been chosen for skill but more importantly for humility. There are two reasons for this. First, that the glory of those talents should be given to God. For it is God who bestowed them on him. Secondly, that in the most important times, the curtain would be drawn aside. Its function being to disappear as the Tabernacle is opened for the people to enter in.

The Embroiderer with a humble heart would realize that though a thing of great beauty had been created, ultimately its purpose was to lead into God’s brilliance. Not to stand there in mute display of it own value.

We, in our talent, in even ourselves, are not to be monuments to self. We are to create things and to exist as portals of God’s glory. Humbly, we do the good things that He has provided us the skills to accomplish. The latitude of pattern and theme is left to us. We must invent from the heart. Those touches will be the personal part of us poured into the work. Done correctly we will know that even this is from God. The things we do should never be larger than the reason why we do them – for Him.

Author note: As with all of Bob’s articles you may feel free to share them with anyone you wish. The article is attached for your convenience in doing so. Some of his books may be found on Amazon Kindle under author: A Guy Named Bob and as ebooks at AGuyNamedBob.com

A bush is fully engulfed at the Ranch Fire near San DiegoCrime, Punishment, and Forgiveness
By Bob Bekins
May 2014

The fires this week in San Diego’s North County have drawn out some raw emotions of those who live here. Nine fires started on Wednesday, three on Thursday and two on Saturday. Far too many for all of them to be accidents. How do we address a crime of this nature?

When a child is born, that child is created in the image of God. But as they grow, the sin nature of their fallen forefathers becomes evident. In young adulthood the lusts attempt a complete takeover of God’s creation. For a time this takeover may be so compelling that the parents of this human no longer recognize the one they have fed, clothed and nurtured. But even then there are lines that shall not be crossed if any logic is left. The most critical of these has to do with the preservation of human life – both of the young person and those around them.

This is what The Book says in Leviticus 24:17, “If anyone takes the life of a human being, he must be put to death.”

When a species begins to destroy itself, that is the height of insanity. Our allowing the intentional death of 50,000,000 unborn children is a perfect example. For, if you are not safe in the womb or your Mother, where will you ever be safe?

Society and the law command, just as The Book does, that we punish crimes. Those punishments show a potential perpetrator the consequences of crossing the line. We are not to be judges of the heart of the criminal. That is for the Lord to do. But to preserve the humanity which God created there must be punishment. So when we look at the crime of murder we must both forgive and condemn.

We forgive the soul and condemn the mind of the murderer. Since the spirit of a human cannot be killed, we need not judge the spirit. However, the body must be condemned as a most dangerous threat to others and its life removed from the earth. The hand that holds the gun or knife must be permanently stilled.

Every death row movie shows the convicted man facing the death sentence being given the opportunity to repent in his spirit. And indeed, we have that same invitation to repentance every day of our lives. We injure, we take, we over consume, we lie, we gossip, and we hurt others. Just like the condemned murderer, there are consequences to us for our actions. We may be forgiven in the heart of the ones we hurt. We are forgiven, in our repentance, in the heart of The One who created us. But, the law, and The Book, demand that the consequences be punished. And our soul SHOULD command that we repent.

So this week as we think about the identity, and the spirit person, of the ones who started these tragic life robbing fires; we must pray for the spirit of the criminal while concurrently supporting the punishment appropriate to the crime they have committed.

Author note: As with all of Bob’s articles you may feel free to share them with anyone you wish. The article is attached for your convenience in doing so. Some of his books may be found on Amazon Kindle under author: A Guy Named Bob and as ebooks at AGuyNamedBob.com


The Test   By Bob BekinsLight-House-stormy-seas

July, 2013

 

The test of the human character always come during times of trial and difficulty.  Any idiot can appear kind, happy, and wise at a party.  People laugh more when there is a festive occasion like a wedding or baby shower.  When your baseball team is winning of course you cheer with joy and stay until the end of the game.

Now lets talk about a hurricane.  I have been through eight of them in my lifetime.  They are not fun.  They are devastating.  We lived in an area of the country called “hurricane alley.”  When one of the biggest ones struck our little town of Swansboro, North Carolina, our asbestos shingle sided house was not meant to withstand that kind of punishment.  Dad wisely took us down to the brick schoolhouse.  Most of the town’s 450 inhabitants were already there when we arrived.  He parked as close as he could to the door.  I took one step from the car and with the second step I was inside the school.  In that one moment of transition the wind had pulled off both of my tied shoes and my socks, never to be seen again.

Over the next few days I saw a two-bay gas station’s roof float away like a Frisbee.  Our dog was lost and never found though we looked for days.  Same with my bicycle.  Without power at the school a man got severely burned when the kerosene lantern he was trying to light blew up in his face.  Two sixty-foot fishing boats washed three blocks inland from the wharf and were still there 15 years later too ruined to bother salvaging.  Our little village was wrecked.  My family’s house on the hill was torn up a little but the ones down on the banks were gone.  Some without a trace of where they had been.

The families rallied and took in their neighbors, fed the homeless, helped financially, and prayed with them.  The Red Cross was there, and the Salvation Army.  But more importantly, the spirit of the local people was what kept some from going insane over their losses.

 

Hurricane Hazel in the Carolinas by Jay Barnes

 

Our sense of every man for himself, one of the most base instincts to be found in the animal kingdom, just seems to disappear in tragic events of this sort.  The bear in the woods does not go looking for his neighbor after the river floods.  He goes to look for his next meal and sometimes that is his neighbor.  It is only the human animal that reaches out to help those who need it.  And sometimes that help flows from one to the other even when both have lost a great deal.  Oh that we could bring that beneficence into daily life for we are surrounded by life’s silent hurricanes which are pummeling the walls of some of our citizens right next door.  Now that is a test.

 

 

Eye of the Needle    A Guide for Wealthy Christians

By Bob Bekins

September 2013

 

Note – This is not an article on how to get rich.  This is about being rich already and begetting a fulfilling lifestyle within the Lord’s will. 

 

All of my days I have been surrounded by wealthy and famous people.  My Sunday school teacher at age 10 was Duke Snyder, the Los Angeles Dodger’s big hitter in left field.  My mother in law lived in Rancho Santa Fe where we dined with doctors, land barons, and manufacturers.  My father in law’s relations include movie and television stars with whom we attended everything from parades to weddings to birthday parties.

From all of these wonderful people I learned an important single fact.  You are not vaccinated immune by your wealth from illnesses, diseases and life’s usual heartaches.  And sometimes it is worse for the wealthy because your expectation that money can solve all problems is seldom true.  Wealth is just one layer in the onion of your life and peeling that away still brings tears.

When I was working down in Baja’s San Felipe, Mexico I was befriended by another class of Christians – the extremely poor.  And here was one of the great mysteries.  These folks with nothing were usually happier than my wealthy friends and relations.  With few expectations about what life could deliver, all of their prospects had been met.  And sometimes the blessings exceeded what they considered possible.  Same tears, same joys of life as the wealthy but a happiness wrought from gratitude.  They prayed thanks to God for all that they had and I was overwhelmed by the proportion of gratefulness to the small blessings that had been bestowed on them.

There are some who have lived in both worlds.  I met the owner of the LA Lakers, Jerry Buss, once when I was in my early thirties.  I said, “Mr. Buss I have a question.”  He responded, “I already know what you are going to ask, Bob.  You want to know how to get rich.  It’s not complicated.  You work seven days a week for eleven straight years and save every dime you make on Wednesday and Thursday.  Invest it and never spend it.  You will get rich.  You will also lose your family.  If it is worth it, you can do it.”

So here is the misconception, the wealth itself may not be the talent which God has given you.  How many times have you seen other wealthy people using it as though it were?  As though this were their gift.  Sometimes it is, but sometimes it is not.

Eye of the needle

One day we will cross that threshold between life and death.  I believe that our heavenly rewards, those beyond just gaining entrance, will not depend so much on quantity as they will on quality.  And specifically the quality of a perception.  Here is that perception in an example.  I met an artist with an IQ of 80.  The world would call him retarded, but I called him brilliant.  This is what he told me, “I’m not smart.  But I can paint.  And I love Jesus.  So I paint for Jesus.  I paint what Jesus tells me.”   This man had found his talent, his spiritual gift, and was using it to the best of his ability.

How many folks have you met that have a misconception about what their gift is?  We are prone to look at what we do well, and do comfortably, and say, “Well that must be my gift.”  But perhaps it is what we don’t do well, but can become better at.  Perhaps it is what we find uncomfortable, but still press ahead to do.  Perhaps it has absolutely nothing to do with our financial wealth, education, family structure, or talents.  Do you surmise that God will guide us to what He wants us to achieve?  And certainly it is up to us to be open to what He has in mind.

Jesus was the Owner of the Universe.  He could have paid for food and shelter for everyone on the planet.  He could have clothed everyone in rainbows and butterfly wings.  But He said, “Not my will, but my Father’s will.”  And he became a homeless itinerant street preacher.  He could have been the best carpenter of his day making incredible pieces for the wealthy.  Gaining notoriety for his fine art, He would have been present at all the best parties.  But instead he dined with the then “scum of the earth,” whores, adulterers, cheats, and sinners.  And He enjoyed being with them!  He didn’t sleep on a luxury liner; he slept in the bow of a little fishing boat tossed about by a storm.

So here is the deal.  Today would be a good day to start praying for the Father to tell you what your gifts are.  Ask Him to give you a sign, to reveal it, to whisper in your ear, so that you can quickly get to His work.  The work that He meant for you to do.  I don’t care if you are sixteen or sixty – it is never too late or too early to get on the right track.

By global standards virtually everyone in America is wealthy.  So is almost the entire population of the developed countries.   Even those on welfare here have much more than most of the third world people.  So that makes us, every one of us, rich.  It turns out this article was for you after all.

To get you started here is a list about which you can pray:

Wisdom imparted as Judgment

Knowledge imparted as Teaching

Faith imparted as Witnessing

Healing

Miraculous powers

Prophecy

Tongues

Interpretation of Tongues

Teaching

Serving

Encouraging

Contributing to Others

Leadership

Granting mercy

Forgiveness

Evangelism

Pastoring to Equip Others

Dreams

Interpretation of Dreams

 

And some not so directly mentioned

Worship in Song and Instrument

Tears for the Unfortunate

Prayer

 

And about a thousand more, each individually tailored by the One who gives them for the one who receives them.  What is holding you back?  Find your gift, your talent, and get to work. 

stormy-seas

 

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