Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Drugs and Addictions in General

Can an alcoholic be a Christian? Or how about a "pothead" who smokes a little weed here and there? I even dare ask, what about a person who smokes cigarettes? There are some denominations that say no, a person who is addicted to drugs cannot truly be a saved Christian, even if it's legal tobacco products. I must say in essence that I disagree with them to an extent and agree also to an extent. Now wait, before you start throwing things at me, hear me out.

I know many people who say they are Christians and smoke cigarettes. I actually was one of them two years ago. I knew I needed to quit, I felt guilty at times going out to smoke a cigarette rain or shine with a few others after our men's bible study meetings. My conscience was getting to me worse and worse as time went on, you know, that little voice in you that you don't audibly hear but instead feel, (kokopelli called it the Holy Spirit and I can agree with that) and made me feel guilty and wrong every time I lit a cigarette. It doesn't help when you have small kids you wish to never smoke, who you will always tell smoking is bad, yet you yourself do that exact thing. God was every day more and more laying cold hard conviction on my heart. I knew what it was and I knew what I was expected to do. Quiting smoking was one of the hardest trials in my life thus far that I have had to overcome, it was not easy, but I did it. I will not sit here and act all smug and self righteous about it, instead I want to glorify God by letting all know that on my own I could not have quit, only with the strength that God gave me did I overcome tobacco and it's horrible grip. It reminds of; Luke 1:37 "For nothing is impossible with God"

I had a good heart that was devoted to God while I smoked, I knew of the salvation that was mine in my faith in Christ. I truly believe that I was a saved Christian even when I smoked. I gave my life and heart to God, so it did not surprise me when I was convicted internally of things I did not need in my life. That conviction gets stronger in your walk with God daily, for he wants to conform you to the image of His son. Please don't get me wrong, don't feel you have to change before you become a Christian, take that step right now! Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me,all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Come to Him today no matter what your situation! God will change you, fight it all you want, but he will. If you have been a Christian for many years and still smoke or are an alcoholic or drug addict, I ask you, have you really given your life completely to God? He can and will help you overcome your trials and faults, but you got to give you life truly and fully to Him. The gospel of Christ is not just all fluffy and happy, it is a gospel of repentance and obedience. I once heard it said that it takes a real man (or woman) to be a True Christian. How true is that!? 1John 2:6 "Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus walked"

I don't remember Jesus physically hurting himself on purpose. That is what drugs and alcohol do to us, science has proven that. Cigarettes are linked to something like 400,000 deaths a year.(I don't think that touches on the harm that second hand smoke causes) We all know the bad effects of drunk driving, the "mean drunk"behavior that is violent, and the harmful physical effects alcohol causes. I know what you're thinking, well Jesus and His disciples drank wine. You are absolutely right! Can you find in the bible where Jesus, or the disciples, or the apostle Paul sat around drinking to get drunk? . Phillipians 4:8-9 "Finally bothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

Romans 12:1 "Therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of Gods mercy,to offer your body as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship."

How can we do this if we are tied down by addictions that control our lives rather then God. Many people here in Ohio are constantly going outside of places to smoke, it controls where they go. The alcoholic can't wait to get his next drink to take the edge off. The drug addict can't wait to get his next fix, many times doing immoral or illegal things to obtain funds to fuel his addiction. That's not offering your body as holy to the Lord, rather it's destroying a temple of which His Spirit should be in. When things control what we do and take that control from God, it's also a form of idolatry. Scary stuff.

Ephesians 5:18"Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit."

The Greek word translated into witchcraft, magicians and magic spell is pharmakia. From this word comes the English words pharmacy and pharmaceutical.
Did you know that pagan cultures around Israel used drugs as part of their religious ceremonies? In those times a witch or a shaman would prepare drugs used to induce worshippers into an altered state of mind to allow their "gods" to take over their minds. So there is a rich connection between drug use and the occult which a person cannot ignore.

I have gone way more into this than I should have, I hope I have not bored you all. I will touch on drugs and alcohol more at a later time. Cigarettes are bad for us and those around us, so let us be strengthened by God to quit.

My prayer for all of you is that God helps you in whatever big or small addiction or trial you may be going through. May the God we serve shine His light into the dark places of our lives to reveal the dirt that needs cleaned. We are not perfect, but let us each day walk more like He did. Many prayers and blessings always.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


I just want to quickly say happy birthday to my wife Kristy (a.k.a. K) She has turned thirty today, and gracefully at that. We are not the type that get down about growing older, you can't stop the ageing process so why not do it with a good attitude. Along with age comes wisdom and knowledge. Personally, the older I get the more hair I will lose, so hey, that's less to shave. It is also nice to have great friends as you all, especially you Mandy, that act of kindness just added to the joy and pleasantness of this great day Kristy had. I am so undeserving of such a blessing in my life as Kristy truly is, and she is such a great mom to my beautiful girls. She most assuredly is my Proverbs 31:10-31 lady. With love to my wife on her special day.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My"100 things about me" list

Many people have invited me to do the 100 things about me list. I wasn't going to, but I did and here it is. Enjoy.

1. God is first in my life.

2. I have a wife I do not deserve.

3. I have 3 great daughters.

4. I really like to read, especially fiction.

5. I am a Chevy guy.

6. Funny thing is, my daily driver is a Jeep.

7. My favorite Old Testament Book is Daniel.

8. My favorite Gospel is Luke.

9. My favorite Epistle is 1 John, Romans, Ephesians, crap all of them.

10. I had a rough dad growing up.

11. I came from a divorced home.

12. My mom and dad are both alive.

13. I had many step-parents and I'm not a fan of step-parents for the most part.

14. I quit high school.

15. I did go back to get my GED.

16. I took classes for welding and became certified.

17. I don't mind working on cars.

18. I am not a hunter.

19. I detest the practice of trapping.

20. I am not a sports fan.

21. I am not a racist.

22. I am not a sexist.

23. I own two handguns.

24. I have delivered pizza to the Amish for 9 years as a second job.

25. I have a bad back.

26. I have to do back exercises every night for the rest of my life.

27. I love my job most of the time. (both of them)

28. I was a vegetarian for about 2 years several years ago. (Best I ever felt!)

29. I have been welding for about 3 years.

30. Gas prices drive me nuts. (natural gas, kerosene, and especially gasoline)

31. I like reading Nicholas Sparks and Richard Paul Evans (that does not make me gay!)

32. I work mostly with a good group of people. (again both jobs)

33. I started a Bible study at lunch break at my welding job and it's been great.

34. I'm a people person.

35. I lost my grandma two years ago and it's the hardest thing I've ever been through.

36. I love animals....not so much cats though, but I would never be mean or anything.

37. I used to paintball a lot.

38. I believe in the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12.)

39. I would like to go to seminary one day.

40. I have one true brother, same mom and dad.

41. I have one half sister, different dads same mom.

42. I have one half brother, different dads same mom. Met him once, he thought he was Jesus, haven't seen him since.

43. I love trucks.

44. I love all kinds of music, but favor country and Christian rock.

45. I believe in a good work ethic.

46. I'm not into designer brand clothes.

47. I'm glad to have been born and live in the USA.

48. I owe my life to a pastor of a small church in the small town I spent half my childhood in.

49. I'm afraid of heights.

50. I'm terrified of snakes.

51. I don't like any of the presidential nominees.

52. I am a registered republican.

53. I never drink alcohol.

54. My favorite pop is Sunkist.

55. I'm a coffee guy.

56. I try to see the good in all things.

57. I am a horrible typer.

58. I prefer the NKJV or NIV translations of the Bible.

59. My favorite flower is the lily.

60. We gave each of our girls a flower name.

61. I have 7 tattoos and regret them.

62. I am sad Rob and Big is over.

63. First and only time out of the country was Niagara Falls on vacation with wife and our first born when she was a little over one.

64. My role model growing up was my grandpa H.

65. My worst fear is my kids dying before me.

66. I don't live in the greatest neighborhood, but my neighbors are great.

67. My favorite fast food is Taco Bell and Guerne Heights or any dairy food.

68. Favorite home cooked dish is crockpot Jambalaya.

69. Favorite ice cream is tin roof.

70. Smoked for 10 years and quit about 2 years ago.

71. Favorite color is yellow.

72. I enjoy blogging. (Thanks Mandy even though I told you it was gay)

73. I sleep during movies.

74. I want to move out of the city in a few years.

75. I shave my head every other week.

76. I'm part of the evangelistic and outreach committee as well as the educational committee at our church.

77. I love my wife's awesome totally delicious monster cookies.

78. I sing really loud around the house...I admit I'm a bad singer.

79. I have not broken this darn habit of biting my nails.

80. I like singing at church....again, I'm a bad singer.

81. I grill outside in the middle of the winter.

82. I talk really loud in my sleep.

83. I want to take down the Christmas tree the day after Christmas.

84. I love tools.

85. Fall is my favorite time of the year.

86. I have been married to my wife 8 years this fall.

87. I do not like the Easter Bunny.

88. Would still vote for Bush today over John Kerry.

89. I'd like to visit Africa or Australia one day.

90. I prefer used solid furniture over most of the garbage they make these days.

91. I zone out on VH1 shows about 80s hair bands...and I don't even like that music.

92. My wife hates when I have the remote (see 91!)

93. I strongly oppose abortion.

94. I miss walking around the house naked.

95. I don't believe in luck.

96. I can't get my middle daughter to quit coloring everything! Walls, cars, floors, herself and on and on and on.

97. I believe 100% in 2 Timothy 3:16.

98. I like growing flowers around the house, definitely weed! Just kidding about the weed!

99. I used to have my tongue pierced as a teenager.

100. I am glad this is done!

Let me end with saying that it has been great blogging about Christian issues and Our Lord Jesus Christ. It has been fun getting to know all of you who months ago were total strangers to me. I pray that if any of you don't know Christ or have a question about Him or the Bible feel free to ask me in a comment, or e-mail me if that's more comfortable for you.( I do not have all the answers, no one truly has all the answers, but I will do all I can to help you find the answer or the Lord if it be His will. May the God of all creation wrap you in His glorious embrace and pour out His abundant love upon you. With love and prayers always.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Interracial Marriage and Racism

Genesis1:26"Then God said, " Let Us make man in Our image,according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth".

A touchy topic with many still today is the issue of racism and especially interracial marriage. I did this as a topic to one of our Bible studies we have at work every day during lunch. I always wondered what the Biblical view was on interracial marriage , so I sought the Good Book for the answers. Lets look at a verse on racism first.

Acts 10:34-35 "Then Peter opened his mouth and said: In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him"

Peter pretty much lays it down here as clear as one can get. God does not show favoritism, He even instructs us to not do it in James and other letters. Notice it doesn't say here that God shows no partiality except to blacks or Latinos or whites. This would be the perfect verse to slip it into if God felt that way, don't you think? It's not here because God is not a racist, as we saw in Genesis 1:26, God created us in His image and likeness. I said in a comment to Random thoughts of an idle mind that I will not be one to mock God's craftmanship and tell Him He messed up by creating one color or nationality of people. You may be bold to do such a thing, but I'm gonna have to pass on that. Now the Son of God did come as a Jewish man, and all the Jews I know are white, but we have to understand that the Jews were Gods chosen people from the beginning, to bring and preach salvation to all the peoples. They failed in a sense as we see throughout the whole bible through doubt and unbelief. The Gentiles were believing while the Jews clung to works and the Law, of which still is the case with orthodox Jews today, but that is an entirely different subject for another day.

I have had MANY people throw Exodus 34:15-16 as a verse they say means that God wants us "to stick to our own kind". They always throw in right before that that they are not racists. Well to those not familiar with the Israelites coming out of Egypt and their wandering around in search of the promised land, let me break it down as quick and simple as I can. The Israelites were saved from Egyptian captivity by God through Moses as His servant. They were a very stubborn and unfaithful people even after many miracles they saw such as the Red sea parting, as well as others. God gave them many commands to keep them on the straight and narrow so to speak. Well in theses two verses He gives this command (to the Israelites) Exodus 34:15-16 "Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices. And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same."

They are commanded to "stick to their own", so all those people were half right, however it had nothing to do with skin color. It simply says why, they will lead their sons into worshiping the pagan gods and not the one true God whom rescued them from captivity in Egypt to take them to the promised land. Please don't ever try to make the Bible say something it does not, that is why we have so much separation and denominations out there these days. Read what it says and "interpret" it by what it says, rather then grasping at straws to make it say what fits your agenda.

1 Corinthians 7:39 "A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives: but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord."

So a wife is to remain faithful (as is the husband of course gentleman) to her husband as long as he lives. But if he dies she can remarry anyone she wishes if it's in the Lord. In the Lord? Christian + Christian = In the Lord. I noticed it also does not say anything here about except if hes black, Latino, white, etc.. This too would be a perfect verse to slide that into if it was the inspired view of God. God tells us all He wants us to do and what is well pleasing to Him. It nowhere says God hates any people because of the color He created them. It does say things like God Hates sin and that the greatest commandment is;Matthew 22:37-40 "Jesus said to him" You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."

If Jesus was racist He would have most assuredly said here to love our neighbor as ourselves unless he's black or white or Latino etc... He doesn't, He says love your neighbor as yourself. Our neighbors are not just the people on the street , God's vision is much bigger than the people on your block. He wants you to love all people no matter if they are white, black, Latino, crippled, rich, poor, stinky, well groomed, well mannered, funny, odd, and on and on. We may all be different in one way or the other, but the blood of Jesus was red for all. Remember the skeleton man and muscle man back in science class? Its funny that the teacher didn't have to tell us what color the person was, it didn't matter because we are all the same on the inside. When God comes into your life, that's where He is, on the inside. I hope that we all knew that racism is wrong and that people can marry whomever they may choose if they have God's blessing, Him being the central part of the couple's lives.

My prayer to all out there is that we can overcome such silly conflicts as racism and see all people with the love and respect that is pleasing and glorifying to our Creator Whom created us all in His image. Let us do all we can to reflect the life and teachings of our Saviour Jesus Christ
With love and prayers always.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Great Commission

Matthew 28:19-20 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Many of us know this as the Great Commission, where Jesus tells us to go out and tell all people of the good news of Him. As Christians this should be something we want to do, wishing all the same security and love in Christ of which we have. Note that the verse doesn't say hangout and I'll bring people to you, it says GO. I do think that a gift God has given me is the comfort of telling people I know and don't know about God and the Bible. I have heard and know others that are very uncomfortable to bring up the name of Jesus to others. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and we ought always be in prayer thanking God for our strengths and asking to lift up the areas where we are weak. The commission is for all of us, I know I know, people this day are always saying don't speak of politics or religion. How though, are people who don't know Christ supposed to hear of the eternal reward that lies in Jesus and the cross? Sure there is church, but how are we to get people in the church if we never bring up God.

I have gotten many people to attend our church and not all of them still attend. That's fine, all we can do is plant the seed as Jesus tells us. Some people will not respond the way you did or how you want them to. In the end, it's all in God's timing, we need to just keep sowing seed liberally.

I have a relative who is fourteen, and most fourteen year old boys have sports and girls on their minds. Now his parents are not bad people at all, I know the father is a Christian but I am to the understanding that God and the Bible is not really discussed in their house. They don't attend church which would help them to communicate better on the topic of God, but I know that the dad has had some bad experiences at a church he used to be a regular at in the past. (Not to get off track , but isn't that the same ole story, why are there so many churches out there giving people such bad experiences? I have said it in a post before, if that happens, move on. Don't give up on church altogether, there are many out there that are worth attending and teach the good news of the Bible as it is. ) So I decided to take this relative of mine (I will refer to him as L for the rest of the post) to that movie Evan Almighty when it came out in theaters a while back. I wanted to see the movie, and my wife thought it would be a good idea to take him with me since I had bought him a Bible and didn't know how to go about giving it to him. What a icebreaker, a movie of a modern day Noah and the ark. I figured I could show him in the Bible where the story was and tell him that I actually got the Bible we are using for him. It worked out pretty well to. I had also put a slip of paper in the bible with a reading plan starting in the book of Matthew to get him familiar with the gospel and the life of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

I took him home and told him that if he ever had any questions to call and I would help explain and answer if I could and if not we could tackle the question in a Bible study. Well as you know and I was worried, a teenage boy with minimal exposure to the Word is not going to start reading the Bible like crazy and forget all other things like video games and girls. So I just had to wait, I planted a seed that I needed to let God grow. I could water it at times when I ran into him here and there, but I also didn't want to be pushy on the subject leading him to completely ignore it because of me "shoving it down his throat".

Well God hears the prayers of His children, this we all know is true, and I had been mentioning L to the Lord in my prayers. All in God's timing, and that timing came this past weekend for the hand of the Lord is doing work in L's heart. I was taking him home Saturday night and he turned down the radio in the jeep to talk. He said "do you remember that Bible you got me? I started reading it in Matthew like you said" I was astonished and asked him what he thought. He seemed to be enjoying the teachings in the Sermon on the Mount and has been talking to a friend online about the Bible and God. How awesome is that?! So we talked about it another ten or so minutes until I got him home and he just seemed curious and I hope hungry for the Word. I will keep praying that God keeps working His awesome love and will in this young man's heart. I told him again that if he has any questions to call anytime and we can tackle them, and I also mentioned that he is more than welcome anytime to come to church with us. (he has been to church with us two times before and seemed to like it)

I just love seeing God's hand at work in the younger generation, I am not that old by the way being only twenty seven, but I am much older now then when I was in those shoes as a fourteen year old. God is always at work. Are we willing to slow down in our fast paced multi-tasking lives, see His work in progress and submit ourselves by taking time to tell people the great news of Jesus and the gift of salvation through His Grace? (Ephesians 2:8-9) And always remember not to become discouraged if God is not working at the pace you think He should. 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise: as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but everyone all to come to repentance." I have found this saying to be O so true; God is never early but ALWAYS on time.

I pray for all those out there that God shows Himself to you and strengthens you for the work He may have for you. I pray we all learn to love Him and one another for His glory, and that we may lead lives pleasing in His sight. Lean on Him in trouble and in victory. With blessings and love always.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Inner Examination

2 Corinthians 13:5&6 "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-unless indeed you are disqualified. 6. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified."

I work in manufacturing as a heavy welder welding up crawlers better known to many as dozers. Most of our products though are for the arborist industry rather than construction. A job perk that I have as a welder is that I am in somewhat complete darkness all day under my welding hood. I can see my molten puddle of weld but that's pretty much it when the hood is down. This is a great job perk because it gives me a lot of time to think and examine myself, to test my actions and reasoning to see if I am living a life that pleases and honors God. I am happy most of the time with the results yet I am discouraged at times reflecting on where I fall short and stumble along in my journey with Christ.

We will all fall short, the Bible itself tells us that. Psalm 53:3 "Every one of them has turned aside; They have together become corrupt; There is no one who does good, No, not one." Let us though never use that as an excuse to go and sin of course, for that leads into great temptations if we knowingly sin because "God will forgive it". Knowingly sinning like that will lead into much sorrow and grief. That's why we are to examine ourselves, are we doing all we can to help our fellow man, or are we just sitting back because we are "comfortable"? Are we doing all we can to tell people about the Good news of Christ, or does bringing up such things to strangers and/or friends make us "uncomfortable"? Are we living a life that reflects as much as possible that of Jesus Christs? 1John 2:6 "He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked"

Time is short tonight as I should be getting to bed because a long day awaits me tomorrow. I just wanted to write tonight to mention of the spiritual healing and strengthening that can take place when we examine our inner selves. Though you may feel conviction at times over areas you have fallen short in His eyes, remember that the verse also said "do you not know that Jesus Christ is in you?" He is there to help mend and correct those areas in your life so that you may be a light to the world(Phillipians 2:14&15)

May God bless you all in your walk through that narrow gate and down that narrow path that leads to everlasting life in paradise. Call on Him in all things and praise Him in all things. With love and prayers always.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Psalm 7:17 "I will give thanks to the Lord because of His righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High"

I write this blog to give many thanks to our great God. I will do this blog today like we do what we call "God moments" at church. The concept is pretty much a testimony of how you see God's hand at work in yours or someone else's life.

I have heard numerous times from my wife that "we need a van". We have a Jeep Cherokee, which has been a great vehicle to us and one we both like. However with three kids under six, we have three car seats crammed in the backseat, kind of like sardines packed in a can. While the front where me and my wife sit is also crammed to give them leg room, which puts me pretty much eating the steering wheel when I drive. The simple solution to this would be to go get another vehicle that's bigger, right? Well, that won't work because I owe way more on the Jeep than it's worth and I can't afford on a single income to go out and get another, making two car payments a month. I know I could roll over the negative equity into the next car, but that has happened on the last two cars and it just seems to keep growing larger and larger. A never ending cycle with a vicious appetite. I owe two more years and I will go the length of the loan so I own it, no more negative equity to pay interest on.

So when my wife says we need a bigger car I nod in agreement and say I don't see it happening soon even though I really want it to. So I put it in God's hands. My neighbor has a child with a condition (I can't for the life of me think though of what it's called) that keeps her bed ridden , unable to walk or talk. I would like to note that her name is Faith, she's six years old, and if anyone reading would add her to their prayers it would be greatly appreciated by me and her parents. Poor little Faith has had some difficulties lately that have resulted in several operations, which are done by specialists a good drive from here. Her dad ,bless his heart, stays with her when she has to stay in the hospital, sometimes days to a week at a time. Well naturally this has put a strain on their finances as it would most single income house holds. Faith's grandpa passed away this past year and left his van to them in the inheritance. You starting to see God's hand at work yet?

Their family already had a van and this made a work car for M. (Faiths dad). Well it started to act up and M. parked it on the street over this winter. It was brought up a while ago that they might sell it, and I merely brushed it off because it is a very nice van that appears in good shape and well taken care of. I surely thought that it would be way out of my budget of straight out buying it. We have savings but we need that for emergencies and unforeseen expenses. So last week my wife mentions they want to sell the van because they could use that financial help. Again I brushed it off like before, then my wife told me the price. I couldn't believe it, it seemed unreal. Well I didn't know that it was acting up, which what it was doing was sputtering like a cylinder or two were misfiring. I asked M. if I could test drive it and if he would go with me, and on the trip we stopped at advanced auto and put the actron code reader machine on it to diagnose the problem. It came back with three:1)p0171 System lean bank 1 2)p0174system lean bank2 3)p0301 misfire detected in cylinder #1
I understand the misfire but the system lean had me. I was thinking cat converter or O2 censor. Well we agreed on a price, I did not by the way haggle them like I usually do car salesmen or private sellers considering they are my neighbors and their situation.

I am not a Ford guy, been raised working on GM and am a foreigner to Ford. Wasn't sure how to approach the fix on this so again, I put it in God's hands. The verse that kept coming to mind was Phillipians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" I prayed for a van and He came through with a real nice one in our budget that needs a little work , so surely He would have His hand in the fixing. I did a plug wires, plug , pcv valve tune up on it quick to see if that would do it. Started it to hear the same sputter. Well, ok, gonna take more than that. I'm at work and my wife texts me that she googled the codes and found a ton of information. Even a website that had very detailed pictures of the entire fix from start to finish. Wow. So I called the Ford dealer and they had the parts in stock. Apparently this was a problem all Windstars had that it took Ford several years to change the problem, which were faulty isolator bolts causing carbon buildup and the port seals to fail causing a bad vacuum leak leading to a sputtering engine. I had to take off the cowl , the splash shield, unhook the throttle, remove the air filter and it's housing, and remove the upper plenum, and lower plenum exposing the intake and problem area. It was a pretty big job. I did it all without losing my cool,or coming out in the end with all my knuckles bloodied. That for sure has God's hand in it. While I had access to it I also changed the coil pack, old days they were distributor caps, to complete my original tune up of wires and plugs. So now its time to start the van to see if she works.

My wife was out there for the starting, and I was nervous. It wasn't lack of faith in God, I was just worried that I wasn't worthy for it to be fixed. I knew God could do it Luke 1:37 "For nothing is impossible with God" So I started it and it was fixed! No sputter at all,rather it purred like a kitten so to speak. It cost me under two hundred dollars to fix and the dealership charges seven to nine hundred to fix this problem. God's hand was at work since last year bringing us a van that our growing family really needed. We took a chunk out of savings but didn't have to deplete it. He brought us the info, parts, and a steady hand to me to fix it. God is great and I will sing praises, for His mercy and grace shine so bright in this world if we just open our eyes to a fraction of the big picture that He sees.

I pray for all those reading this that God opens your eyes more and more each day to His plans and will for you. Call upon Him in ALL things and have that unwavering faith and attitude to give Him praise and glory in ALL things. May God touch each and every one of you. With love and prayers always.