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“Country”

13 Dec

A few years ago after my divorce, I bought a piece of property by a lake in Beech Grove, Tennessee. It was out there . . . almost what they call, “primitive.” It took almost an hour for me to get to work, but it was mine. The plan was to build a pile of money, we had a bunch of work coming, but somebody outbid my boss and we lost the account.

It was the middle of winter, and it was cold . . . in more ways than one. The peace and quiet was great, but I was alone out there, more alone than I’d ever been in my entire life. I learned a lot about myself during that time.

It was just an old shack I planned on fixing up. There wasn’t any power or running water and without income, I was in a constant state of desperation. I was trusting God but I remember countless times, crying out to Him, trying to understand why He’d put me there. It was a truly humbling experience.

Then one day an old dog showed up out of the blue, he had battle scars all over him. I shared my meal and he decided to stick around.

After a little while I had to put out the fire so he eventually followed me inside. You could tell he didn’t quite know how to function as a house dog, but he was grateful to come in out of the cold.

Work picked up a little but it was nothing to brag about. In between jobs I had to drive down the mountain just to get internet service, hoping maybe to land different employment or a day labor gig here and there. He had free reign but he’d always be there in the morning to send me off and be waiting for me when I got home.

I called him country.

The time came that I had to make a decision to tough it out or change plans; I was down to my last hundred and twenty-two dollars, and needed a throttle cable for my truck. I would have stayed but I had no choice, and I couldn’t take him with me.

I felt awful, we’d both already been abandoned, now I was doing it to him again. But he was familiar with grief so I figured he’d be alright.

Once I got situated I went back up there and stayed the weekend. I called out to him every once in a while hoping he’d come around, but I think he found his way into somebody else’s heart.

Thank God for dogs.

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Uncommon Goodness

12 Dec

A buddy of mine just shared this story with me. It definitely gave me pause.

As believers we’re supposed to, “love others” and I do . . . generally. Unfortunately I turn into sort of a holy humbug around Christmas time. It’s been like that ever since my divorce.

Yesterday I wrote about the struggle I’ve been having for the past couple of years, in terms of giving to people standing on the street corners holding out those cardboard signs. I shared how I’d been scammed a time or two and was concerned, because I’d been developing a sort of calloused disregard for them.

That’s not a good plan.

Proverbs 31:8-9 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

This time of year we’re reminded how important it is to be charitable. I want my heart to be soft towards the needy; pliable in the hands of God. You never know what’s going on behind the scenes.

Check this out..

‘Tis the Season of Charity

11 Dec

Christmas time is a reminder to all of us, how important it is to give to the needy; to help those in distress. But that should be a priority all year long. The trouble is most of us have been scammed a time or two, at least I have.

For me personally, it’s been a real struggle for the past couple of years. I’ve been scammed yes, however I’ve also hit a few low points myself, but I keep moving forward. I refuse to be a victim of circumstance, so when I see people begging on the street corner or outside of the supermarket, for the most part I’ve been ignoring them.

They’re everywhere . . . that’s the sticking point, who are, “they?”

The poor—

Psalm 40:1 Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him; 2 the Lord protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies. 3 The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health.

God help us.

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