Those who suffered hurt because of the sins of the people of faith.

December 20, 2014. Saturday, 6 P.M.

I read in my journals today from when I was 17-21. I was a sad, world-weary kid. If it were not for the nearness and promises of Christ Jesus I would have perished.

Wade Taylor wrote me two personal letters, which I saved in my journals. I was thinking today that I don’t spend enough time encouraging others. He has gone to be with the Lord. His ministry was instrumental in my becoming a seeker of God. He wasn’t a particularly good speaker, not a really great orator or theologian. But there was something in the spirit that I desired when I listened to him speak: a desire that was fanned like a fire into life. My quest for truth began as I listened to him and realized that the Bible was alive and quickening. There was something in his ministry that made me desire to know the Lord. That is the best anyone could ask for in an expression of service to God: that others would be made jealous to pursue the Lord on their own.

That is what I have tried to do, Father. I have tried my best to seek you, to give time and quietness so you can speak and be honored as God and Father. Remember my frailty, O God. Remember how much I have suffered at the hands of men. Deliver me, and make me a minister of Thy Kingdom to those precious souls whom You have purchased for Yourself.

I’ve had the fleeting thought that I should begin to write a book for the searchers disenchanted with the church. Those who, like me, suffered hurt because of the sins of the people of faith.

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When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

December 14, 2014, Sunday. 5:35 PM.

Time keeps moving forward, as do the plans of God Almighty. His Word does not return to Him void, without accomplishing the purpose for which He sent it.

Friday night I drank too much wine. I was feeling depressed about our financial situation. My paycheck was very low that day. (I expect them to stay pretty low until warm weather starts to return.) Necessities like food, shoes for work, routine maintenance on the vehicles, and the bills that keep rolling in have made me wonder how we will live. I’ve tried not to worry about these things but rather to pray for them, to cast my burden on the Lord and focus the strength of my heart on His pleasure and kingdom.

But still it seems hopeless, or at least that is what I was thinking. Even if you are in a place of good faith and doing your best to believe, there is still a nagging doubt that asks, What if this is folly? What if He doesn’t come through? What if I have only moved out on my own initiative?

On Saturday (yesterday) I felt physically ill – probably from overindulgence on Friday night. And I was beset with constant sexual temptation. The family went somewhere around 10 and I was left to myself. I did some reading and listened to Walter Beuttler while I folded my laundry, and then I prayed intensely and with great joy. I felt refreshed after praying but still felt ill and tempted.

Eventually, I fell, I failed, I gave in to the temptation and played the fool.

This morning I asked for His forgiveness and asked Him to renew my heart, then went to church. At church a couple folks handed me Christmas cards. When I got home I opened them in my room. Each of them had $500 enclosed. The Lord had worked out some provision for us long before I got busy feeling sorry for myself and indulging the flesh. I called Jessica into our room and showed her the gifts. She couldn’t speak but simply cried in my arms. We prayed together and thanked Him, asking Him to make us a blessing to Him and His people.

Father. You ARE a Father. Please forgive my doubt and failure to approach you with simplicity. I will speak of Your wonders, I will proclaim Your righteousness in the congregation. You have not rewarded us according to our sins. You amaze me! I will always love You.

He does not delight in natural strength

December 5, 2014. Friday. 12:30 P.M.

I stopped at home to use the bathroom and get some coffee in the middle of my sales route and decided to update real fast before finishing out my workday.

For the past four weeks I’ve been fasting through the weekdays and just eating dinner & a snack at night. I’ve fasted before but I was in my teens then and didn’t have the sense of urgency I feel at present. I took a break over Thanksgiving weekend, which was last weekend. Joel and his family came to visit and I ate pretty much whatever I wanted during his visit.

I mention a sense of urgency because I have applied three times for a TSM job here in NC — actually reporting out of Conway, SC — and three times I have been passed over in favor of lesser-qualified candidates. The decisions were from the Lord. Several of my coworkers seem surprised and my pride was hurt a little bit but I was also relieved. The last hiring manager, not realizing he was speaking in prophetic terms, said his decision came down to “flipping a coin” between me and another candidate. (Proverbs 16:33.) Our financial need prompted me to apply and put my best foot forward in the interviews, but I told the Lord that taking a 60-hour-a-week job again has no appeal. It’s unacceptable that I should devote all my waking hours to a job, especially one I don’t even believe in. I am not a corporate-minded man. I don’t believe in the products or the frenzied rat-race. But the primary thing is time: to pursue God and family, and even to get enough rest. I know that a management job like I had before would infringe on those things. But I applied and asked the Lord to make His decision.

Closed doors. So I wait expectantly for the open door referred to in the last post. Thank you Father for direction.

A couple weeks ago in church an older woman named Sister Linda gave me a word of prophecy with tears that God wanted me to wait, to be patient with Him and with myself. It was a timely word and a confirmation of everything God has been speaking to me since our arrival in NC. But of course money is a real need — I have the responsibility of mouths to feed.

During my fast, I have been listening to John Wright Follette and Walter Beuttler, both of whom have audio files online. I used to listen to old copies-of-copies-of-copies of their messages on cassette when I was a teenager and just beginning to whet my whistle with the things of God. Beuttler speaks much of “waiting on the Lord.”

So that is what I am doing, or learning to do. I’ve been reading the Word of course, but lately I’ve been especially drawn to Psalm 37. Trust in the Lord, Delight yourself in the Lord, Commit your way to the Lord, Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.

Father, keep me as the apple of Your eye. I wait with bated breath to hear what You will say, and see what You will do.

He does not delight in the strength of the horse;
He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man.
The Lord favors those who fear Him,
Those who wait for His lovingkindness.

Psalm 147:10-11