Getting Through Tough Days



Have you ever had one of those days, weeks or months where nothing seems to go right and you are overwhelmed? I have had many of those days myself and so have those who are close to me. I have been thinking about my friend Lisa Louwsma. Lisa is my best friend and a more than a major blessing to me.  Lisa is the one person who I can say would drop anything she was doing and go to my parents home which is like going to hell. Long story, but she has been through thick and thin with me and for me. Lisa has been struggling to stay afloat. Life has a way of turning things upside down. I have known this all to well, but I try hard to not let it get to me. Even though there are days when that is easier said than done. I think that people have this idea that just because a person is a Christian then they should be happy all the time no matter what happens in our lives and what the circumstances are.

1397044_10203785898784757_8224763478388216592_oMy friend Lisa has had more than her share of struggles and “hiccups” in her life. I haven’t been given permission to discuss what is going on in her life so I hope she is OK that I share a bit about her. The reason why I want to cover my friends hardships is because I know that these struggles may be something that others are going through. There are days where she struggles to see God’s presence and goodness in her life. Don’t get me wrong, Lisa isn’t going to end her life, but there are times when life is too much to handle. I would like to add that Lisa has tremendous faith and a strength within her that I admire.

I don’t know about you, but there has been many times when I have asked myself why God allows us to go through trials and tribulations?

If a person thinks that a Christian is immune to life’s trials and tribulations, then they are delusional. There are many days when I look around me and ask God why would He allow us to go through horrible life changing events? Why would God allow an innocent child to die? Why would God allow disease when it comes to our loved ones and ourselves. I have asked this question myself since my whole life has been filled with health issues that could take my life in a moments notice. Why would God allow financial worries and fear. If God really loves us, why is it that He doesn’t take these things away from us? I can’t even count how many times people are confused about why God allows these things to happen. These are questions I would think we all have or have had in our lives.

My friend Lisa has had financial hardships, abused by her father and her ex husband. She also suffers from clinical depression. Recently she learned that her mother had Uterine Cancer and has to go through chemo and radiation. Her parents aren’t Christian and that is causing a great deal of pain for Lisa. I can understand where Lisa is coming from since I recently lost my mom to cancer. Her step-father has a whole lot of other issues as well. Lisa has had more than enough for more than a lifetime. So, what is it that I would say to my friend Lisa and those who are going through catastrophic events in their days.

I have had many conversations with Lisa. Since my life has been filled with “hiccups” as well, just in different ways. I can say with certainty that no matter how well I plan out my days, months, and life, “hiccups” can take over my life if I allow them to. There have been days when I have struggled with anger and have cried a great deal. I’ve struggled with what I would call the seasons in my life. When I first came down with Guillian Barre Syndrome I found myself struggling with anger, bitterness and exhaustion. I wanted to hide in the darkest closet and from the world. Of course that wasn’t possible in a physical sense, so I would hide from life by closing myself down to those in my life and to God. Eventually I found that while I had many trials and tribulations, I knew that there was a divine purpose.

There came a time in my life where I had to take time to seriously look at my relationship with Christ. I had all of this anger, bitterness and resentment in my life and I was having issues with reconciling the notion that I have to love them and forgive them. I also knew that I had to fully trust God. This has been a bit of a rollercoaster in my life from time to time. I trusted, but found I didn’t give 100 percent. Then there came the times when I was more than tired and all I wanted to do was sleep and shut the world out. I see these things in Lisa’s life.

When I have gone through difficult days and was feeling unhappy, I knew that I had to hold onto the hope that Jesus Christ has given me. I would say this to Lisa and anyone else when they are going through down times or days when they are struggling. Jesus Christ will never leave nor forsake us.

There have been many who have asked me how is it that I get through my difficult times. My favorite verse in the Bible is Psalms 46:1.” God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”





I can’t say that my days are great. There has been a number of people who have thought that I never complain about my health, trials and tribulations. Those who live with me and those who are closest to me like Lisa knows differently. While I do complain and I have my moments, I am also truly thankful for the good and the bad experiences that comes with each day. When I read the verse Psalm 118:24, “The LORD has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.” I hope is that on the good and the bad days I will learn to be happy and rejoice no matter what the day brings.

Right now it is as if a hurricane or tornado has been brewing in Lisa’s life. She may think at times she is complaining and I don’t see it that way. I see Lisa as a person who has fully put her storms into the hands of God. While she isn’t rejoicing over her struggles she is going through, she knows that God will never leave nor forsake her. Nothing happens without purpose and our afflictions will work out for our good, even if we don’t understand it while we are going through the darkness.

Not everyone knows all things about me. Not everyone knows how critical my medical diagnosis and prognosis is. My friend Lisa knows most of what is going on in my life and I think I know many of Lisa’s darkest moments. I also know that God knows all things.

As I am going through my trials and tribulations, I have found that I have empathy towards those who are going through the same thing I have or am going through. I’m not angry that I ended up with the chronic form Guillian Barre Syndrome which means I have had it three times. Normally with Guillian Barre Syndrome it never comes back after strength is regained, that was and is not the case with me. I also have Myasthenia Gravis and all of the life changing obstacles that have come with it.  According to my Dr’s, I should not be here now. My blood pressure is always by the end of the day around 260/130. I have been able to use my experiences and my faith in Christ because of my trials and tribulations. Trials and tribulations come with a purpose. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, nobody does. But I do know that various trials and tribulations produces results and a personal testimony.

  • James 1:2-4,12, Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” .

While my friend Lisa is going through some really dark days, she is showing others by example that she has shown how beautiful she is. Her love for her family and the Lord is apparent in all things that she does. She has a heart that is bigger than the tallest mountain. I see this in her, even when she doesn’t see it. There are moments in her day when she feels like she is lost and doesn’t know where to turn. During those moments Lisa I just want to say that do what you know you must do and turn to Jesus Christ. Be that light to your mom and family. You have blessed my life and you are a light in my life. You are that same light to all who meet you. If they don’t know that, then they are delusional. You have a way of lifting others up, showing them the love of Christ while showing them how to seek God and to not feel lost and alone any longer.

If you have a moment to post a prayer for my friend Lisa and her mom who is going through cancer treatment, that would be awesome…

Dear Lord, I come to you to please heal my friend Lisa’s mom Helen. I pray for her health and her spiritual growth. She doesn’t know Jesus Christ as her personal Savior, so I come to You today to ask that You place the right people in her life so that she can learn about You. My prayer is for You to be with Lisa also. She is going through some pretty tough days herself. She has been on my heart for a long time and has such a huge heart herself and a greater love for You. You know what she is going through and you know what hurts she is having. I ask that you wrap Your loving arms around her and comfort her. My prayer is for You to protect her from harm and evil and to guide her family to the right path in their lives. Lisa is a very special person to me and I would so love to see her happy. I know without a doubt that all things are possible when we put our faith and hope in You alone. I petition you on behalf of Lisa and her family tonight to be there for her.

In Jesus’s name I pray, Amen


Well Loved Bible- Tatered and Taped

20161028_222131The other day I went over to the Hope Chest in my home town. All the proceeds from the Hope Chest goes to help pregnant mothers and free services. They do all kinds of things for free.  I go over here and there to see if there is something that I don’t need. I bought some books and some were free. One of the books was the Holy Bible. I love Bibles. When I purchased a couple of Bibles and some other books I felt blessed.

When I picked up this Bible, I was intrigued. This Bible is very much-loved. It’s a leather Bible that has verses highlighted here and there. I am always surprised when I see people donate Bibles that belonged to their loved ones. I bought one from a thrift store years ago and I was able to track down the family that it belonged to. The family lived in California and went to a Presbyterian Church. That Bible meant a lot of them.

I love older Bibles that were loved. As I thumb through the Bible, I could feel God’s presence. Some of the verses highlighted warmed my heart. On the front of the Bible it has a presented to page. It Says:

20161028_222159Presented to, my dear wife Bonnie K Miller on Easter 1950. Where it has the by section, it goes on to say, By, your husband Clint – in the hope you will gain eternal life. Easter 1950. I felt very touched that he loved his wife so much that he felt that the best gift would the Bible.

Inside the Bible, there are colored pictures and an article that was clipped out of the newspaper. Washington Still With Us- Good Counselor Never Dies. I don’t know the importance of this article, but it must have been something special to either Bonnie or Clint.

As I was sitting in the chair, I was leafing through it to see if there may be a clue about how it belonged to. It was obvious that they both loved the Lord. Out of all of my possessions, the Bible is the most important item I have. I hope my family realizes how important the Bible is to me and just toss it away when I die.

A very good friend of mine died about 9 yrs ago. Miss Dena Allen loved to study the Word of God. She loved to study everything. She gave me some books and one of her Bibles. When I put my hands on her Bible or books it’s as if she is still here. I would read her side notes and highlights in her Bible. I felt like she was leading me through the lessons in the Bible. I would go to the pages, verses or whatever because I was interested in her thoughts.

This is an article that was found in the Bible. I don’t know what the importance of this article. But it must have been for them.

20161028_224336In this Bible, Bonnie highlighted a number of areas, but it seems as if she was doing a lot of studying about the end times. She has a paper clip on a section from Daniel 8-the end of Hosea. The passages that she was reading and studying discusses Daniels Dream of the 4 beasts of the ancient of Days and the Son of Man. The paperclips on these passages are a bit rusted, so I will leave it there.

Here are a few verses she was studying.

  • Matthew 7:11, And he answered and said, Elijah indeed cometh, and shall restore all things.
  • Mark 1:14, Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,
  • Acts 1:9-11, In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”
  • James 3:14-26,  14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. Read More…

I guess in many ways I see it being disrespectful when someone throws out a Bible that was cherished by a loved one. I don’t know the circumstances on this Bible. I would hope that my kids or grandkids would think more about wanting to hold onto my Bibles. Not all of them, but some. In my opinion everything else is just stuff. But there will come a time when we won’t have accessed to God’s Word. I have many BIbles that I give to others and I would hope when I am no longer hear that my family would care enough to not just toss out God’s Word. Maybe I am over thinking the whole tossing out a Bible, but it breaks my heart. Especially when it is a Bible that has been an important part of someones life.

What Kind of World Are We Living in?

A pastor friend of mine posted this on Facebook. It pretty much summed up my thoughts on this whole “locker room” talk. Thanks for sharing this message Bernie.

America is descending into vulgarity,lewdness, crudeness, and profanity. Those of us who are believers need to be careful that we do not descend into this trashiness! From the book of James- ” Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:27.
What kind of world are we living in? All this “locker room” talk we hear in the news is often met with comments like this from Christians- ” It is no big deal; we all say and do things like that.” Really??
The question is today- regardless of our past- How are we living today? What do we think and talk about! The issue is: The purity of our hearts and the purity of our lips, also our actions. God calls us to live a life of purity!! Ephesians 5: 1-4. ” Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and walk in love- do not let sexual immorality or covetousness be named among us. Let no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking be named among us- let there be thanksgiving.” WE use to be in darkness,but now, in Jesus, we are light! Let us walk as children of light! II Corinthians 7: 1. ” Since we have these precious promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”

People of God- Let us change the world rather than be changed by the world!! Bernie

Beam Me Up Jesus


If you haven’t seen or heard what is going on in the world of politics, you must be living under some kind of a rock. Even if you don’t vote, I would think with social media and the times we live in, most know that this has been a crazy year. It has been said many times over and over again throughout history that “religion and politics don’t mix.” In my personal view when it comes to my political views I do take into consideration that I am a Christian.


I have been staying off of Facebook more than I normally do. I try to stay current on what is going on. When it comes to the hatred and false information being shared from both sides, it is giving me a headache. This year politically and faith wise has been different for me. We live in a world that is filled with immoral, idolatrous and a corrupt government. There has also been more civil disobedience and lawlessness in the past few years.

I have no  doubt that we have a responsibility to obey the laws of the land and our government. We can turn to Romans 13:1-8 where Paul tells us that is the government’s responsibility to rule in authority over us such as collecting taxes and keeping the peace.

  • Romans 13:1-8; Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.  Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

We live in a country where we have free speech and we can vote for our leaders. I believe that each person that chooses to vote should be voting for those who stand close to what our views are. When I consider who it is that I would vote for, I am taking many things into consideration. I don’t vote for a party, I vote for the person. I am having a harder time with sorting things out this year. I’m not into the whole, “lesser of two evils”. When I consider what evil is, there is no good or bad. Evil is evil !  Some may disagree with me, but it isn’t the politicians job to defend and guard Christian principles. It is a huge plus when we can have a Christian leader that has Christian morals and principles.

They can say all day long that they are living a godly life, but I have serious doubts on that. I can’t judge a person who says they are Christian like God can. The only thing I can go on is by their actions, words and how they live their lives. As I watch the politicians, government officials, the media and church leaders it demonstrates how far we have come from our nation being a country founded on Christian principles.

As I pray and have discussions with God throughout the day all I can say is that politicians and the leaders of this world are not Jesus Christ who is the Savior of the World. My hope is in Jesus Christ and only Christ is the salvation for mankind. God knew that we needed to be saved. God showed the world that redemption cannot happen by mankind or the politics of this world. I have a great deal of peace and hope that we can only be accomplished through Jesus Christ.

Christians throughout time have lived under a tremendous amount of stress and pagan governments. During my prayers and listening to what is going on in our own presidential races, it is clear to me that believers in Christ are under an immense amount of stress. While I ponder who I will or won’t vote for, I will be praying for our country and our leaders. Whether this is a write-in kind of year, none of the above or a specific person, I will do that in a prayerful way.

My prayer is that when I cast my ballot that I will vote for the one who best aligns with my faith and beliefs. I’m not into this whole bickering and back biting. I don’t listen to satire sites and I fact check everything. I have also found that 90 percent of the things on the internet and on social media are mere distractions and half-truths. I have made it a point to not share my political views on social media since there are those who are willing to attack, unfriend and behave in violent manners. It is shocking to see those who profess to be Christian can be filled with a great deal of hate. It is like a road rage kind of atmosphere on social media. Thankfully that isn’t everyone, but there are some scary people out there.


I have a friend on Facebook that is a Christian and he has made a few comments about how he can’t believe people would vote for a person who would talk about women, Mexicans, Putin and a number of other things. The anger and backlash he received from those who say they are Christian is nothing short of what it would have been like to live during the Salem Witch Hunt. Nobody deserves to be treated the way he was treated. It isn’t just him, it is happening to people all over the place. People don’t need to be hateful and have a lynch mob mentality just because a person doesn’t agree.

I just want to say that it seems as if we are relying more on what is being put out by the media and the internet when it comes to who we stand up for and stand behind. In our country, we have the ability if we choose to make our opinions known by voting for our choice. I wonder what America would be like if every Christian prayed for God’s guidance and voted for their conscience?


My one vote won’t change anything, but I know I will be praying for God direct my vote and I will be praying for our leaders and our country.

  • I Timothy 2:1-3  “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,  for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.  This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior…”

God is sovereign over everything that happens to us.

“…love the Lord your God with all [our] heart and with all [our] soul and with all [our] mind and with all [our] strength.”  When we live this way, we have nothing to fear from man at all, not even the entity we call ‘government’. And we for sure don’t have anything to worry about when it comes to the media and social media sites such as Facebook.

I want to add just one more thing about voting. There are many who have said that Christians have a moral obligation to get involved in politics and to vote. I have many friends and family members who don’t vote. They have their own reasons and I respect them for that. I actually try my best to respect each person because they can vote for who they like, even if I don’t agree. When it comes to getting involved in politics and voting the Bible tells us that as Christians we have a moral obligation to obey the law, but it never tells us that we have a so-called moral obligation to become involved in politics or to vote.

Then there are those who say that as humans we have a responsibility. We can’t just sit there and let our world go to hell in a hand basket. “What about our human responsibility?” they insist that we must go vote because it is our responsibility to vote and campaign for a particular candidate, even if that means we don’t like him/her very much.  I think when they say it is our moral and human responsibility that it is a kind of calling someone out.

I just want to say that who ever you vote for, vote for the person you can best align with. I will vote for my conscience and I will vote for the person who stands closest to my beliefs and my faith. I am praying that Christ comes soon and that this whole election won’t happen. Instead of beaming me up Scotti, I am saying to “beam me up Jesus.” If a person doesn’t want to vote, that is their business. I don’t plan on harping on them or belittling anyone for their choice. Now, I will say,  if someone doesn’t vote or doesn’t get involved in whatever activity they are grumbling over, then I don’t think they should have a right to grumble. But, that’s just me.

In closing I just want to say that I feel that as a Christian my obligation and responsibility is to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).  If we really believe this, then we should be doing more for Christ. Just think about how different our world would be if we took our faith and sharing the Gospel as serious as some politicians do. We are spending a huge amount of money, time, resources and laboring without fail. They are fully devoted to their politician or government leader just so they can get elected. I just wonder if we put that much into sharing the Gospel with others would make our lives and world better. I guess that isn’t in Satan’s plan and he is trying to get people to fight over things that divide instead of unite.