Lumberjacks Are Human

 

There was a lumberjack.  He got a job in a forest fire tower for five or six months. He was alone and low on provisions.  At the end of the first month he was talking to himself.  At the end of the second month He was ‘done with this job’.  During the third month he was talking to trees and they were talking back.

He started to feel guilty and didn’t know why.  He was on edge and insecure.  If the guys were here he could touch and swear.  He would know their strength and stability.  He thought about his friends and he wished they were here.  Some guys are not cut out for this job he thought but it just made him more fearful because he had so much time left.  No cell phone service either.

He started thinking about God to get rid of the guilt.  This is just like solitary, must be.  Six months in solitary is common.  Something has got to tame an angry man & silence can do it.  A healthy man has people around him, interaction and relationship; but silence is cheap and available.

Then approached an electric storm, striking the tower and grounding out.  It scared the daylights out of him.  I’m not myself, scared, lonely, troubled, but about what?  Silence works on a man, no present or future here just the past.  I’ve been dwelling on the past for six weeks.  Old pains coming back, old humiliation, like it was yesterday.  But nobody to strike at or beat up or bully!  Can’t make them go away.  Why it won’t heal, being childish, angry still at the wife at dad and at my bosses.  It’s all bottled up; still no way to drain the pus- the hate and the revenge and fear.  This place is reducing me to a pile of feces.  It’s all part of it, small comfort, when does it end.

Then headaches, and ran out of aspirin.  Day looks hazy, night is so dark, lightning storms, silence, seeing things.  Tried to take a walk back, got lost, and looked up, the tower glooming over me.  Radio dead. How am I going to make contact in case of a fire?  Sweats, nightmares, listen!  Mom’s talking, “Remember son your father loved you; it was self-defense.  He shouldn’t have done that to you.  Guilt and anguish came and tears.  But still mom was there laughing and crying and hating on her husband.  Foul words began emanating about him too, and ‘You should have killed me too.  Now I’m going to make you suffer.  With a rill of laughter and a strange tone she raised the top of his head and shouted ‘the devil get ya son’ and like a witch she laughed until he cried.

Laughter is painful abuse when you can’t get a grip, when you are looking for belonging.  You find only wretched hatred banging on your hands and you begin to fall.  Can’t catch, don’t catch- into the abyss of terror.  More laughter, strange figures, evil presence, ‘lost your mind’?  ‘An ounce of good from Sunday school, will it save you?’  It said in a very scary twisted voice.  He began to pray: ‘God help me, God save me, like before.’  Are you sure you have had enough’ came the sordid reply.  Mom.  More of the same for days- two weeks.  Not a cloud in the sky, hot.

Guilt can hit for any reason at anytime to anybody.  Some of us have irrational guilt for things not our fault.  But I can assure you that Jesus is the God of guilt.  That he is greater than it and is in control, and He can make it go away, but will He?  God uses a certain amount of guilt to show us when we have sinned.  It is good to know so we can keep anything from coming between us and God in our relationship with Him.  Almost all guilt is not of the Lord.  Some is healthy as an indicator we are outside the law of love as I said.  But doing God’s will is not only obeying laws but finding our way back to Him after sinning or living a life of sin.  He has made a way by repentance and reaffirming our faith in Jesus.  By repentance I mean having remorse for our sin and turning our backs to it and turning our fronts to face God and keep our eyes on Him.   So Jesus forgives us, and His death on the cross can cover all sin.  But we don’t continue in sin that this grace of forgiveness may be constantly flowing to us.  Heaven forbid we keep on sinning.  We want to be holy as God is holy and God may take sin away from us.  But mostly He wants us to be humbled by it.

We often have autonomic guilt triggered by things we think we have done wrong.  But I think it’s useless to fight it.  It will just come back another day.  It is one of the many ways we let ourselves know, and God lets us know we need God.  He gives us a kind of foreboding in our depraved minds.  Guilt over sin, fear of punishment.

We can be free of it definitely.  When it becomes unmanageable, God can free you from it.  But listen to it, we feel bad for things we’ve done, and how we acted.  Guilt is human.  We need to be very sorry for these things if we are to be saved, if God is going to act to save us from our guilt.  That’s the first step- to know you are a sinner.  God is the forgiver of sins.  If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  But be sorry, don’t just seek an escape from guilt.  It’s all about getting saved and the chance to live a normal life and be free of the confusing trouble of guilt.

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Promise? Promised!

read 2cor1:20             Gods promises to His people are in the Bible, He says yes to and we can say amen to that. God wants to give us good gifts and HE does give us good gifts. There is just something likely to attract attention in the way things are said in the Bible. God says yes to all HIS promises in the Bible – over 800, some are a little harder to get. Amen means ‘so be it’. We say look, God says yes, we say please do this LORD, we do our part and it gets done. God is a good Father, He wants to say yes to everything in the Bible if He wills it for us.

‘ To the glory of God through us’ our amen is to the glory of God through us. So be it God, be glorified in us through this great thing we want you to do in us and He will. To get free of sin, to find wisdom and guidance and strength, we need salvation, a job, we want to give Him some love or our lives. God will work with us. The key is not to give up. You learn as you go. In entrepreneurship classes they teach you that it may take more than one try to be successful. They know business and human nature. They know the success rate and the odds. We all fall short sometimes but if we keep trying we get better.

Hoping Yet?

Rom 5:3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
Rom 5:4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
Rom 5:5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

read 3-5             If you work at it and try to feel good about these tribulations we are talking about. You will get stronger until you have perseverance- the ability to continue despite the difficulties you might be having. Despite opposition or discouragement- you may start out a little weak at first but as you continue you get stronger, it gets easier and your resistance to quitting gets better. When you persevere for a while it brings about a behavior pattern that becomes consistent and starts being your natural way of acting. You make fewer mistakes and don’t have to try so hard, your body can bear more with ease, gets less tired and feels better. Character is the ability to always make the right decision and behave in a way that helps you stay out of trouble.

Proven character- when you are doing the right thing a lot and not getting beat up or beating yourself up and things are going pretty well. You can start thinking this is a pretty good life and you want it to continue- this brings hope. Hope according to the Merriam Webster Thesaurus is belief in the future occurence of something, but more than that- belief something good is going to happen. You can believe in heaven- that you will get rewarded for doing this, or hope in being free from the burden of drugs and alcohol. Or getting that job, or finding that pearl of wisdom, or that guitar or that marriage you’ve been wanting. Getting healthy really does bring better things. Getting saved brings hope and love.

They Are

Rom 4:17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
Rom 5:3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
Rom 5:4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
Rom 5:5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
2Co 1:20 For as many as may be the promises of God, in Him they are yes; wherefore also by Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.

Abraham was made the Father of many nations after the promise that God made to him. He would have a son, Isaac, in whom his seed would be called, Jesus the Messiah would be of the seed of Abraham. But also through his 2 sons, Ishmael and Isaac he would be the father of many more. Some of the Arab nations and the Jewish nation were his offspring. Some people even tested DNA to see if Native Americans were Jewish in descent.
In the sight of God who had promised him and gave him two sons. It was not possible in the natural, they were old, but they believed God when he said this would happen. They were ready and it happened. God quickened their old bodies or made them useful to have a son. God is able to do this, He raised others from the dead. Gods power is great and He does supernatural feats as witnessed by many Jews in Jesus time, as witnessed by many descendants of Jacob in Egypt, when they came to the promised land. The ten plagues were performed by God and the manna and water were given and many great military victories took place in Canaan.
The interesting thing I want to point out is the last part of this verse. ‘God calls those things that are not yet, as though they are already’. Funny thing about God He knows what will be and He can make predictions about what will be, because He knows what is going to happen already. God knew Abraham would have a son and He told him to give him hope. This is what he wanted from God because he had no son to carry his name after he died. Abraham had hope and faith in God. God did this for him. This could be very hopeful for someone – God empowers where GOD promises. So if it is Gods will that you be free of stealing, or fear or alcohol, you can grasp it in faith, and hang in there long enough. We have to do our part too. You know God says ‘thou shall not steal’. He will empower you to get free if you do your part. Like shooting you have to do your part.

So you can go to meetings and stay out of stores or bars and hang around recovering thieves or drinkers. You can go to church and prayer meetings, eat healthy, drink coffee, take a lot of showers, do some meditative work, sing or generally keep busy and put together a life to aleviate the temptation and suffering. If you stay sober for a couple weeks it will get easier. But you have a changed life and a support group and you keep going. Your thinking its better to be sober or whatever and you work at it, get plenty of sleep and kick the habit. Even smoking at a different time can be replaced with something good.
In a rehab they try to change your thinking and inspire you with a better life and hope in better things. You can read inspiring books and you can be sure your are doing something good. You can dream of using your time better and of having Gods protection and his word alive to guide you, which gives ideas and clues as to how to live and not make more mistakes.