Chip, I really haven't felt the Holy Spirit in a while (years). Was trying to decide what to say and started thinking about a funeral that I attended this last Summer. Quoting: RayGun
My best friends Dad died @ 92. I spent a lot of time at their house growing up. My Mom would call over and ask if I was ever coming home. The truth was I didn't want to go home. They were a Christian family who prayed and thanked God for every meal. Never missed church.
About 15 years ago I found myself in a situation where I had no home. Going through a divorce I was ordered out of the house. They took me in and I lived with them for about one year. During this period of time I was saved.
At the funeral a guy (Bill) my age stood up. He said that when he was young he had stolen money from their house while they were on vacation. He said that he had been caught and had to return the money. He had to apologize and he had lived with this regret. The family had forgiven him and treated him as if it had never happened.
I wondered if I could ever make such a public confession. After the funeral I caught Bill in the parking lot and thanked him for his honesty. He told me that they had never brought it up again and treated him like he was their son.
I got a message from my friend about a month ago that Bill had passed away. 50 years old and died from an enlarged heart. He didn't even know he was sick, just died in his sleep.
I'm not sure why I was suppose to share that with you but hopefully it means something. To me it means that they were a loving God fearing family that forgave. From what you've shared about your childhood it sounds like you grew up with the opposite. The key to my salvation was forgiveness. I had a lot of forgiving to do. The hardest person to forgive was myself.
let me start with you ray. i like the ray that has been coming to this thread lately.
yea, it means plenty to me and thanks for sharing that. i don't mind if we don;t like each other, this is meant for all who come to this thread, but we still have the responsibility to treat each other with a certain amount of respect, period. that is all i ask from anyone who talks with me or with anyone for that matter. we can even get real mad at one another, but leave the respect in the mad. one of us just might have to eat our words and it is much easier to eat at that table.
once the angels started appearing and began going over my life with me, i had many moments of anger towards GOD and the people he put in my life, understanding that we were not all running around bumping into one another, but that GOD put each and every person in my life for a reason. 1. to shape me as a person 2. to teach me about myself
i too on some level was trying to live the american dream, but i was doing it from the view point of reward. if i do GOD's will here, then my reward would be great here, right?
nothing ever worked out, everything went to crap over and over again. i would see the light at the end of the tunnel, everything finally falling into place, then blam, the whole thing would fall apart. whether it be with relationship, friendships, or some great new job, etc. back to square one, over and over again. as the years pasted, i kept lowering my goals, hoping something would come and stay, finally work out just as i hoped it would. it never came, even now. i got more than i could have ever hoped for, as to meeting all the people i have, Moses, Daniel, Jesus, etc.
how many people have hoped for such things, all those in the church. millions right. and here i am, meeting these guys and talking with them. this is something i never hoped for, because i didn't even believe it was possible, yet i have done all those things. walked around in heaven and in GOD's house and even spoke with him. i don't care who believe me, it did happen, just like i said. yes, in the beginning i truly wanted people to believe me and spent a lot of time trying to force them to believe me, as time wore on, i said screw it i will do as i'm told and one day GOD can tell them, himself. that's the best i can hope for and will have to do for now.
as to my up bringing, if it would have went down any other way, i would have never had the courage to do what i have do. going to all those churches and talking, well yelling at all those preachers, sleeping in my truck for months at a time, bathing in lakes and ponds along the road.
if i had a place to run to, i would have ran. if i had a family who supported me, i would be there right now. the fact they ran me off first was the best tool for this job. from California and back a couple times and many other place in between. thanks mom and dad, you to brother. you helped more than you'll ever know.
one time i was stranded out in Texas, i called home, asking if they could send 20 buck. my mother said, borrow someone lawnmower and cut some grass. i was on the west side of Texas, there is no grass. i didn't tell her that, i just hung up, looked up and said now what? it was a 100 miles to the closest next town. i sat in my front seat, then it came to me. across the street from the payphone, yes payphone was a sign that said pool hall. i rushed over, pulled my stick from the back, yep right beside the spare tire where i had put it year before.
walked in the pool hall. there was one guy in the place, he was behind the bar and was the owner. man i felt screwed yet again. i asked him how far to the nearest Walmart, so i could have some money sent. he said what i already knew. the truth was, you can always sleep at a Walmart without being hassled by the police. i said i will shoot you for the gas that it will take to get me there, putting my stick up as collateral, if i lose. i was a long haired guy who hadn't had a real bath in weeks. he looked at me, he said, no way, how much you need? he gave me the money and took my stick.
as to forgiven them (family) i will tell you just what i told them. i have no problem forgiven you for yesterday. my problem comes with tomorrow, you will be doing the same thing tomorrow, you did yesterday! so far i have been right, nothing changed and nothing is going to. they are not the ones being hurt by their actions, i am. for them it's painless and my problem...
i also told them, one day my pain will leave me and yours will be just beginning. i have try everything under the sun to reach them and i do mean everything. i wish hell on no one, NO ONE! GOD used the right word when describing that place. they need a fear of GOD! and i can't give it to them, nothing works or gets though to them. i have tried reasoning with them, begging, pleading, getting mad, everything. they laugh and off to church they go. the preacher is their only hope and he wants to get rich...
see what i mean. bad days ahead...
nine i will get to you when i get back, got to run a few errands.