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Book Update Interrupted Process July 3rd 2013

An update for you!
An update for you!

I have spent a lot of my birthday morning working on the chapter dealing with the characters of the Bible who faced interruption.
Adam-got to bed-wake up married.
Eve-think your promise evaporated in the death of your son.
Noah-build an ark…”Right! What’s an ark.”
Finding out you’re a eunuch.
Pregnant by God.

Well, you get the picture. I am working hard!

My Birthday A Little History

My Birthday

As I mark 58 years today, I think back to a time where I was pretty convinced I would not see another. This year my birthday will be celebrated on the 3rd with friends and family at a baseball game and fireworks. Like most years I catch fireworks. And then this weekend is the big party.

I was born in what was called Grace-New Haven in New Haven Connecticut. My parents lived on Orange Street in New Haven on a 3rd floor apartment. A few years later they moved to Raymond Court. And just a few years later they moved to Old Turnpike Road in Northford Connecticut. My dad was a timekeeper at Sargent’s in New Haven and my mom with her Masters in hand began teaching in Foxon.

Many of my summers were spent on lakes in the Adirondacks. Schroon Lake, Indian Lake, Lake George. One summer I celebrated with friends like Donald Jones, Gary Gilbert and my family by going to Powers Pond(Blueberry Hill) in Wallingford and paddleboating! Other times Frontier Town, Santa’s Land and Ausable Chasm.

So here I am readying to celebrate with friends and family this weekend. My youngest grandchild will join us. I am looking forward to it. As I looked at pictures of previous birthdays and friends, I am so grateful for all of those I have connected with.

Thanks for all the memories.

When They Come – The Power Of Grace

Just a thought?
Just a thought?

When They Come

This may be more for our friends where we gather as a fellowship, for our region, but overall I think the principles and the truth behind it are true for many.

When I first came through the doors of Christianity I am not sure what I expected. Probably not what I saw or even where I ended up. I know in retrospect, the idea of women in dresses and men in suits and that all had to “look the same” might have been tucked in there. My difficulty was I identified with those who could not afford a suit or had never been out of jeans and t-shirt. I have been in the services where people have been asked to “cover up.” (I once had friend who was told he had to wear a tie to church and someone gave him one. He was young black man sporting an Afro. When he showed up at “church” the tie was wrapped around his Afro! He died while doing missions in Tanzania some years later.) Where all the men looked the same, all the women in the flowery dresses and big hair and yes I have been irreverent about it. I do apologize for some of that. Not all, but some.

My walk was orchestrated by Him and no other. I remember falling in love with an album by Steve Taylor and thinking “I don’t want to be a clone.” I remember taking flak over it and my thinking. When I first started in church, I ended up in an “inner circle” of sorts. I began to look the part. But there was always a part of me that hungered for the life of being with those less fortunate. I began to bring them to church. Why? Because He loved me and I loved Him and I wanted to spread it around.

My first two weeks as a believer 23 young people came to the Lord. The man with Tourette syndrome (TS) and his verbal outbursts and crazy mannerisms. Rick got saved in our living room. My former “body guard,” a refrigerator with a head screwed on who was a blackbelt. He gave his life to Jesus in my store as the presence of God filled the room and a “mist” began to manifest. A young army veteran gave his life to the Lord, moving out of his girlfriend’s house and in with us.  A practicing homosexual who while buying a gift found himself shaking under the power of God in our store.  A man who “found” me, showing up at our home after a truck accident with one leg shorter by nearly 5 inches than the other. He was headed to the Social Security office when I encountered him. The Lord miraculously healed him and he began pounding nails with us that summer. Prostitutes, porn stars, thieves; men and women convicted of all sorts of debauchery. Continue reading When They Come – The Power Of Grace

July is Here!

The Blur Of July

As we hit the first day of July I am reminded of what it was like in my youth. My parents often planned our vacations to Schroon Lake and later our camping trips in the first few weeks of July. My birthday on the 3rd was always celebrated with nights of fireworks, it seemed. (Hey, one day later and they would have named me Samuel….think about that!)

drum cake
This was the cake my mom made for my birthday one year. .

When I was a child my mom often experimented with specialty cakes. One of my favorites was a drum cake she made. (Sometimes she made those ice cream cone cakes.) But whatever she made it made little difference! Sometimes we went to Frontier Town, Ausable Chasm, Catskill Game Farm and one year while in Connecticut, we celebrated on Powers Pond in Wallingford with the paddleboats.

July was always a month for vacations, boating, water skiing and more. When I was older I went to Keewaydin and celebrated on the shores of Lake Dunmore. Now, not only do we celebrate my birthday but also my daughter Amy and my wife Tina’s birthday. (My wife celebrates in the aftermath of my party with a quiet day on the ocean’s beach.)

I am excited not because it is “my birthday” but for many a year it has been a day of gathering friends and family around the barbecue. This year will be no different. From 10-4 this Saturday I will be blessed with the friends I have come to cherish and the family I adore. This year one of my greatest “presents” will be seeing my newest granddaughter Hannah Lynn. Over the years friends have visited from about the nation planning ministry and vacations that have included this day. I have friends that show from church and others who never have been in a church. They all are my friends. Over the years some have gone on to their reward and each year I reflect on the goodness of God in my life and the friends and family I do have.

I often sit and watch the conversations, the interactions and the relationships that are started or revisited.  I believe this week to be no different. Friends and family, I look forward to seeing you.

Coffee, Coffee Everywhere!

I knew this would be an early morning. Why? Because I wanted to sleep in. But first, Jacob woke me up. And then I heard the buzzer on the coffee. That wonderful chime that lets you know it is ready. I would bet many are impatient as they wait for the finished product.

When I had a small coffee company I was welcomed with open arms. (The good news is coffee is a seed from a berry, so, it is healthy for you!) But if I was going to invent a coffee brewer, not only would it be turbo, but the buzzer would go off 30 seconds before the completion, to make sure there is no wasted time. Okay, so I am up. One of my real estate clients in the early 80’s was an electrician. He invited me to his home I had sold him. A converted lake home, they had done a wonderful job. While I was admiring it, I saw this one wire in the master bedroom that was tagged red. I followed the wire with my eyes and saw it headed towards the kitchen. “Steve? What is that for?” “Oh. I am putting in a master panel over my bed and one switch will run to the Mr. Coffee machine. When I wake up, I hit the switch!”

I am not impatient about coffee. If Tina is gone for work or something, it is unlikely that I will make it or go get it. So, in the darkened room I walked out to the kitchen the smell of coffee was in the air. I thought, “wow! That is some strong coffee.” As I stepped into the kitchen I knew why. We had coffee…in abundance. On the floor, on the counter tops.

Maybe this is a sign! Meanwhile, I am cleaning up!

Happy Birthday Alyssa!

Alyssa Birthday
Happy Birthday Alyssa!

Today is my daughter’s birthday. Alyssa, I am proud of you!

When my your mom and I made the decision to marry 20 years ago, you and your younger brother were part of the package! I was pretty excited.

I know over the years we have had a difference or two, but I love you! I appreciate who you have become in your life. I know life is not easy sometimes and despite that premise, you have made some awesome decisions.

Not everyone gets to be part of their children’s lives and when you get grandchildren as part of the

package, it just makes it amazing.

Here’s to better years ahead for you!

God bless you!

Who’s Hand Are You Watching?

sleightofhandI grew up in a generation where magic was fun. I would watch people like Kreskin, The Amazing Randy and Mark Wilson. I would read about Harry Houdini and collect books on magic. And you would be told “always watch the hands.” (Now one must watch the government for their own version of sleight of hand, but…)

Over time I have watched the people of God look for the “hand of God” in what He is doing. (I learned in most cases it is better to keep your eyes on His face.) Where is He going, what is He doing and those things will lead. But at some point one must ask “Why” is that happening. I am not talking about mistrusting or doubting God, but why is there a pattern or a theme.

One of the most difficult things to witness is people trying to superimpose their thinking, their understanding, their thoughts from their “inferior” position and see no results. Isaiah 55 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” We are also told that “and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” (Ephesians 2:6) Our position is important in our decision making and thought process.

Recently I have seen this picture. It is a small hand reaching up into the sky. I felt the Lord say to me, that the small hand represents “man’s thinking” and the sky all of Christ. “But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory.”  He is the victory. Our thinking has been swallowed up in Him, for our way of thinking when not renewed in the goodness of God leads us to death.

I felt the Lord say to turn the picture “upside” down. From my place above, I take my thinking and drop it into the “skies” of Him. Not only is my thinking renewed but no longer do I have to understand everything, seek out every answer.

The result is I am comfortable in me, I do not have to strive or work hard to please. I can walk past things that once held me up and caused me stress.

Wisdom from Above

(James 3) 13Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.15This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.18And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

It is a top down(From heaven to earth) life we must engage.

(You may want to order one of our books, The Drones of Heaven.

Caught Up

Yesterday as I was working, I saw a turkey crossing the field. Unhurried, despite my presence. Moments later a hawk came down to disturb it’s peace. And after what seemed like seconds, a small deer popped into the picture.

Frankly, I miss being in places where those things “happen.” I am sure there was a prophetic picture, I missed, but I was caught up in the “handiwork” of the Lord.

Some times we just need to be caught up.