Life is Tough and Then you Die

Life is Tough and Then you Die

How’s that for a lead in title? People seem to be living with those thoughts in mind right now with the way the economy is. Life really is tough, but if you remain strong and positive, things will work out fine.

The heading is one of the chapter titles from my book, Close Encounters of the Heavenly Kind: Life Beyond Bumper Stickers.

It is chapter 4 from the book. I am letting you see it now to somehow reach out to help those that are battling with their emotions of disappointments, lost jobs, lost health insurance, and lost hopes.

I will sharing a follow-up chapter tomorrow called, Life is Short Pray Hard. Hopefully it will be a good closer to follow chapter four. That may be all of the chapters I will be sharing with you on this site, but you can get many more excerpts of Close Encounters of the Heavenly Kid: Life beyond Bumper Stickers, by signing up for my free newsletter.

You can see that icon on the right side bar. Notice that when you do sign-up you also have free access to my eBook called, The Top 25 Ways to Survive in a Troubled World. Once you subscribe it is yours for the taking.

That is not all. When you subscribe you are automatically are placed in drawings for top selling books that have the author’s autograph in them with personal notes. Can’t go wrong there:

Chapter 4

Life Is Tough and Then You Die

Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
Psalm 30:5

God didn’t promise us a rose garden—besides there are thorns in a rose garden. He allows us to go through the storms. He wants us to learn from them and grow.
We question if God is still there for us when we have a crisis. Things pile up and we wonder, Where are you, God? He allows things to happen that are very hard to understand. Why would He let bad things happen to us?
The psalmist wondered the same thing. In the psalms, crying and wailing come out with a vengeance. Psalms can be also joyful and uplifting, but some of them are not joyful, and they teach us that it is OK to question God. It is OK to voice your true feelings to Him. He knows how to handle your feelings—even your anger.
Despair and anger are combined in Psalm 89:46–47:

How long, O LORD? Will you hide yourself forever?
How long will your wrath burn like fire? …
For what futility you have created all men!

In our world today there is much despair and anger. There are gang wars, school shootings, sex abuse, battered wives, seniors getting scammed, racists and terrorists.
All of these could cause even the strongest Christian to act on that anger. You have choices. You could seek justice like a vigilante. You could forget it and let it build up inside you, or you could turn it over to God, who is the only Supreme Court Justice in heaven. He will judge those who have wronged others.
We should never stop being angry or sad about what happens in the world, but we need to turn it over to God, and let Him bring you peace in your life.
Too many people have decided that acceptance of wrong is much easier than trying to fight it. Some live in their own little world and go on as if nothing were happening around them.
I saw this in action when I was in the military. Uncle Sam had me stationed in Korea, and we were traveling through Seoul, Korea. I saw an old woman sitting and leaning against a wall. She was begging for help because she was ill and starving. No one stopped. They just kept on walking by.
All military personnel had been instructed that under no circumstances were we to get out of our vehicles—just keep going. This was because if you tried to help someone they could claim you were the one that caused the problem and then get a big settlement from the government. There were rumors of Korean parents throwing their children in front of army trucks to collect a settlement. We retraced out route on the way back to camp. By then, the woman had fallen over and was dead.
I was very angry. I felt helpless. I wasn’t allowed to help the woman, and she died because of that.
I didn’t know if I could make any difference in life. Could one person out of the billions of people on this earth make a difference?
My mother once remarked that she didn’t know why she should get out of bed anymore. She has macular degeneration (partial blindness) and has to use a walker. Her two main loves (besides my brother and me, of course!) were reading and working in the garden. Now she cannot do either of them. I could understand completely what she meant, but it hurt me deeply that she felt that way. I again felt that same helplessness because I wasn’t able to help her.
Why keep going on? The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The weak fall by the wayside. You spend your whole life trying to have a good retirement, and the cost of living eats up all of your income. Evil seems to win—and good seems far away.
The prisoners in the holocaust had all the reasons to be depressed and to commit suicide. They didn’t do that because they kept clinging to their faith in God.
Is that the secret? By just turning our hurts, frustrations and failures over to God, we can have peace? Of course we can. God is the key. If there is no God, anything goes, but everything is meaningless.
If you stay the course, and always let God hold your hand, everything will have meaning, things will come into focus, and everything will fall into place.
As of this writing, my mother is still alive. She is 91 and lives in an assisted living home. She has trouble understanding why she has to be the way she is as far as her health. The world is coming to the stage where 100-year-old people are more common than ever. But many of them are clinging to life assisted by a machine, or they do not have a quality of life that they prefer.
We have developed many new drugs to help people live longer, but we haven’t invented ways to make them happy. We spend millions to help the poor in our country and other countries, but the number of starving children in Oregon alone is growing at an alarming rate.
We allow sexual freedom in our country go to the point that there is an AIDS epidemic. School drop-out rates are at an all-time high. Pornography can be found for free on the internet. We thought that we sent racism away in the 70s, but it is still staining our society today.
It is no wonder that we feel depression, despair and apathy. This world is not a rose garden anymore. The thorns are tearing at our skin, and leaving scars that won’t go away.
Let me make something very clear: God will take the world as you see it today and make it into the world He wants. I’ve read the end of the book—and we win. The end is all set, and it is up to us to believe it.
So—can you make an impact on the world? You are just one grain of sand on the beach. Can you make a difference? God thinks you can. He made you with a purpose in mind. Yes, I said you. As you read this book, God has a plan for you. God just needs you to ask Him what it is. You can make a difference for others in this tough world.
I used the Psalms as an example of despair and anger. Now let the psalmist soothe you and let you know God is there for you and will carry your burdens for you.

Trouble and distress have come upon me,
but your commands are my delight.
Psalm 119:143

Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you.
He will never let the righteous fall.
Psalm 55:22

Look to my right and see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge;
no one cares for my life. I cry to you, O LORD; I say,
“You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.
Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need: rescue me
from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.”
Psalm 142:4–6
(Think of the Korean woman dying on the street.)

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your love, O LORD, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.
Psalm 94:18–19
(This should be our prayer any time we are depressed or sad.
We can read it to God and let Him comfort us.)

Further adventures
There are times when you feel so low that you are not sure you can make it through the day. Use this time to pray. Sit quietly with God and share your deepest feelings. Do not hide anything. (God knows even your inner thoughts.) Let Him know that you need to lean on Him completely right now, and He will pick you up and carry you the rest of the way.

Something to ponder
Isn’t it funny that God knows our every move, but we go on like He is not watching us?

We Live in a Depressing World with Few Ways to Cope

We Live in a Depressing World with Few Ways to Cope

Now how is that for a positive start? My heading probably scared off more people than it attracted. However our reality check shows that this is not far from the truth.

I have written a book that tells my story about trying to cope. I was at the end of my rope is it was unraveling. Close Encounters of the Heavenly Kind: Life beyond Bumper Stickers is a journey I took from deep depression back to a life of joy and happiness. It wasn’t an overnight journey and there were many road blocks along the way, but I gradually took one step after another and conquered the mental demons that were attacking me.

It wasn’t done alone. God was with me each step of the way. Close Encounters of the Heavenly Kind: Life beyond Bumper Stickers starts with my life in the muck and mire to where I enjoy each day with excitement.

It can be your story too. The whole book is directed towards those who have also been in the trenches like I have. It is a guide for those who are seeking a way to get out of the quicksand, and move on to better things.

I am now going to give you a small outline of what the book is about. I am putting a couple chapter titles that are in each part of the book. Notice the progressions from dooms day, to happiness. That is the format. I slowly progress your thoughts from “I hate this world,” to “Thank you God for another day.”

Part I- Fighting through the trials and tribulations of life

• Stop the world and let me off. I am tired of going round and round.
• Everything can go wrong probably will.

Part II- Try it you’ll like it.
• A lot of kneeling will get you in good standing.
• Don’t cross your fingers; fold you hands.

Part III- Keep marching on the right path.

• Are you standing on Whale fishing for minnows?
• Don’t wait for six strong men to finally take you to church.

Part IV- The next step

• God promises a save landing not a calm passage.
• If you are going the wrong way, God allows U turns.

Part V- I feel God holding my hand.

• A small stumble could lead to a big fall.
• Suffering from tooth decay? Brush up on the Bible.

Part VI- Congratulations you made it!

• Be fishers of men, you catch them and he will clean them.
• If we evolved from monkeys and apes, why are there still monkeys and apes?

Conclusion- It’s been a long journey.

You can read actual excerpts from these chapters by subscribing to my free newsletter. You just go to the right side bar and click on the icon that says; Sign up for my free newsletter and get instant access to the free eBook: The Top 25 Ways to Survive in a Troubled World.

What you read is true. You will get a free eBook juts for signing up for the free newsletter. The newsletter has gotten many great endorsements. It has sports, travel stories, excerpts from Close Encounters of the Heavenly Kind: Life beyond Bumper Stickers, and resources on how to cope in a not so friendly world.

But wait! There is more. (Sounds like an infomercial!) There really is more. By subscribing you also are automatically placed in a drawing for books that are top sellers and have the author’s autograph and personal notes them.

Some of the books that will be given away are:

1. The Shack, by William Paul Young. It has been # 1 on the New York Times best selling list for 60 weeks straight. I met Paul and had a nice conversation with him. If you win this draw, I will also add my conversation I had with him for free. He autographed the book and made personal comments.
2. Three Cups of Tea, by David Relin. It has been # 1 in its category for 155 weeks straight. I also met David. I will also share some of the things he said with the person that wins this book.

There are many others that are excellent books that will be giving away the coming weeks. The only way to get one is to subscribe to that great newsletter I told you about.

You will not get hives if you subscribe!! As a matter of fact I guarantee you will like it or you can opt out by going to the bottom of the newsletter and click on opt out.

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The is Corruption, Sadness, Death, and Self Doubt in Iran

Before we discuss the post for today, I want to remind you that you can get a free eBook just by subscribing to a great free newsletter. You can do that by going over to the right side bar, and clicking on the icon that says, “Sign up for my free newsletter and get instant access to the free eBook, The Top 25 Ways to Survive in a Troubled World. It is very timely with all the pain, and suffering there is in our world today. It also shows ways for you and me to cope during this time.

By subscribing you are also put in a drawing for books. They are top selling books, like the current one that is available to win called, “Three Cups of Tea,” By David Relin. He even autographed the book. It has been # 1 on the top selling list for 150 weeks straight! It is about Greg Mortenson trying to have schools built in Afghanistan, and Pakistan. There were many trials, and disappointments in countries controlled by the Taliban, who do not want the schools built. This is a wonderful read that will give you hope in a world that is not so friendly.

The deadline to subscribe to win this particular book is July 13th. There will be a drawing that evening. Don’t wait. I find when I do that I forget about it and don’t do it at all.

Now for the post that is about as current as you can get. Much of the information was on CNN.com this morning:

There is Corruption, Sadness, Death, and Self Doubt, in Iran.

In the Book, The Shack, By William Paul Young, there is talk about “The Great Sadness.”

This term relates to the awful time that Max, the lead character, goes through when he fears his daughter has been murdered. In this story the timeless question is asked, “Where is God in a World so filled with unspeakable Pain?”

Max found the answer. (I suggest you read the book to find out what answers he found.)

How do we find the answer?

We can look at Iran and see many things that need answers. There is corruption, great sadness, death, self doubt, depression, and living Hell.

The people of Iran are desperately seeking answers. They are living in their own great sadness. They are rioting. They are defying the government. People are dying because of their strong will for change.

Why does God allow all this to happen? Can’t He come down to earth and wipe out the bad guys, and give the good guys peace? Yes, He can.

Does it do that? No. Why???

God allowed us to make choices. He gave Adam and Eve free choices. Their choices cost them dearly. They would now have to go through death to be with the Father.

We see examples of bad guys causing pain and anguish everywhere.

How about Hitler? He murdered millions of innocent people just because he didn’t like them. They weren’t an enemy that he needed to fear. They were outsiders in his mind, and he decided to try to exterminate them.

How about Stalin? He must be in the Guinness Book of records for killing the most people. His total was over 42 million. He killed because he didn’t like them, and because they were trying to dethrone him.

More recently we had Saddam Hussein. He was a dictator that loved to poison, shot, rape, and imprison anyone who looked at him wrong.

Now we have Iran with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, winning a corrupted election, and the people are fighting back. Many are dying. Neda Agha-Solton was one of the people who died and she was a peaceful protester.

Her name Neda means voice. She may have died, but her voice has been heard all over the world. Ahmadinejad, the leader of Iran claims that there was something very wrong with her killing, and there needs to be an investigation. Another leader claims that it was the CIA that killed her!

The Iran government has become desperate. They have arrested more than 230 students, professors, journalist, and reformists. This is a calculated push to eliminate any opposition to the government. Even the main opponent Mir Hossein Mousavi is under constant police surveillance.

Among the most prominent reformist detained was Ebranim Yazdi, 78, who was a key aide to the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, and served as the foreign minister after the 1979 revolution.

He was hospitalized when he was arrested. They came right into his hospital room took out the intra-venous tubes and took him to the notorious Evin Prison.

So why doesn’t God step in there and clear this mess up?

He is a loving God. He let us choose our destiny. He gave the people choices, before Noah built the ark. He gave the people of Sodom and Gomorrah choices before He destroyed them. He gave Pharaoh choices before his own son died.

This is and will be the pattern while there is still an earth to live on. We make our own choices. You make your own choices. Think about those choices. Do you know for sure that you are making the right ones? God loves you the way you are. He just doesn’t want you to stay that way.

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