Sowing Seeds

I was blessed by an interesting insight into the parable of the Sower of the seed and it came from a completely unexpected direction. Yesterday I mowed the lawn and when I was finished I went inside to get cleaned up and eat supper (my fantastic wife made Asian Tacos YUM!) I got so distracted by the food and other household chores that I forgot that I’d planned on putting out some new grass seed. Since it wasn’t quite dark yet I went back outside to sow the grass seed around the lawn. While I was spreading this seed the parabale of the sower who sows seed in the different soils kept running through my mind. I fantasized about what it would have been like to be a farmer who had to spread his seed by hand. Every time I felt the seeds leaving my hand as I strew them across bare patches of ground I felt a sense of satisfaction, peace, and accomplishment. Unfortunately, the local mosquitos obviously felt that it was their duty to interrupt my peace of mind since they called all of their friends and descended upon me in hordes; or at least that’s the way that it felt when I started to get bitten by them. Continue reading

False Teachings Causing Dissension In The Church

False teachings abound in the world today so why are we so surprised when someone in the church says something that doesn’t sound quite right? This weekend I had the opportunity to talk with a lady who was struggling with exactly this kind of situation in her church. Apparently her church had invited someone to speak before their congregation and during part of his sermon he appears to have spoken about there being multiple paths to God. This statement confused one of the women in the congregation and at a later date she asked a question that she hoped would clarify the point that the speaker had been trying to make. Unfortunately, her simple question for clarification appears to have opened a doorway of dissension within their church whereby a number of people began making negative comments about her! Continue reading

My first step at returning to posting

My first step at returning to posting

I really felt called to write a blog regarding the stories that I learned about while I was on the road. Unfortunately, at the time that I started this blog I wasn’t able to dedicate the time necessary to achieve that goal. Thankfully that season of my life concluded and the stressors and things that were sucking away my time have been greatly reduced through the bountiful blessings that our Lord has given me; new job (with two promotions in the last 6 months); financial windfalls; and a much stronger prayer life (thanks to a small group bible study.) Despite these blessings; for almost a year now I’ve felt like I’ve been coasting and needed to take action. Lately during my prayer time I’ve felt God pointing me back towards writing about people’s testimonies again. Continue reading

Time with God

A foggy sunrise along a country roadOctober 14, 2013 by Sojourner’s Tales

Why don’t we listen for God?

A series of events prevented my family from traveling with me down to Tennessee this weekend. In hindsight, that was one of the best things that could have happened to me. The journey from Missouri to Tennessee is a trip of about five and a half hours. I spent the whole trip down there thinking about myself, my problems, my worries, my wants, my desires, and how I needed God to help me. I thought that I was having a great conversation with my Lord when, in reality, I wasn’t even listening for his response. Needless to say the trip down to Tennessee left me feeling exhausted, and when I arrived there was no feeling of peace in my heart at all. Most of the weekend that followed wound up being a typically enjoyable and relaxing visit with family. Little did I know it at the time, but neither the Sunday morning church service, nor the drive home would be typical. Continue reading

Worthless Idols (Struggling with our desires)

What is an idol? As a youngster idols are usually thought of as objects from the past or things seen in a Hollywood production. Scenes of the hero taking a golden idol out of an old temple, or a view of a group of “ignorant natives” bowing down before their deity are easily found in movies or on TV. Even the Bible teachings guide us toward thoughts of a similar image. Exodus 34:17 says, Do not make any idols. and Leviticus 19:4 tells us, “Do not turn to idols or make metal gods for yourselves. I am the Lord your God.”

Idols are obviously a very important subject in the Bible. A quick word search using the word “Idol” in the Bible brings up 223 different references regarding Idol, Idols, or Idolaters. Why is it so important that we recognize what Idols are? Continue reading

Do prayers really work?

15 Aug 2013 by Marcus Mallette in Sojourner’s Tales

The 5th of August seemed to close in inexorably on me like a man trying to hold back the sea’s tide with a tablespoon. I’d scheduled that date to take my CompTIA Security+ certification examination. No matter how much I studied I felt this sinking feeling that I just didn’t have enough time to prepare for the test. I was nervous about the exam and prayed about it asking for God’s help every day as the date drew closer and closer.

When the date arrived I was strangely at peace knowing that if God truly wanted me to pass this certification process then He would help me through it, and yet there were these occasional doubts that kept popping up in my mind. No matter what I did those doubts kept appearing. When I prayed about those doubts I got a very strange answer, Continue reading

A Child’s communion

Not being of the Catholic faith; as a young child I thought of communion as something only adults did. Later as I matured I learned that in the church I attended young people were only allowed to participate in communion if they had accepted Christ as their savior. These practices by the church left me wondering about the future of the souls of young children or people who died before they had ever heard about the joys of a relationship with Christ and it bothered me. On the other hand I was uncomfortable with the idea that a child’s soul could be saved by baptism. After all Romans 10:9 states; If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. I’d always thought to myself, “How could a child that hasn’t learned to speak yet make that kind of declaration?” Continue reading

Does God really talk back?

7 Aug 2013 by Sojourner’s Tales
When you were a child and you were about to do something that you knew that your parent would punish you for do you remember hearing a small voice in your head? Many times we think of that “voice of conscience” as a product of our upbringing or training or just our own life experiences. At other times we hear that same voice urging us to take a step along a new pathway in our lives and we call it a “hunch” or an “epiphany.” Why is it so seldom that we think of that voice as coming from God? Continue reading

Sex, Adultry, and the Good Wife

07/28/2013 by Sojotales

The subject of yesterday’s post (Are We Good Samaritans or Satan’s Tools?) was about a woman in need. On the other hand there are women who actively cause distress. The Bible talks about the kind of woman who causes distress and the type of woman who is her antithesis. The first is not just a gossip or a backbiter (though the Bible address those types of women as well) she is a willing adulteress; actively searching for unwary men. Her counterpoint is the virtuous woman, the treasure, the Good wife. So what is the difference between these two types of women?
The Bible is pretty clear in the words that are used to describe an adultress. Continue reading

Are We Good Samaritans or Satan’s Tools?

Mural on a Building in Mascoutah

Mascoutah Murals

Mural of indian & settler on the side of a building in Mascoutah

Mascoutah Murals

Statue of a Rearing Horse

Rearing Horse Statue in Mascoutah

07/27/13 by Sojotales
A beautiful day and the open road greeted my wife and I as we swung our legs over the motorcycle and went exploring. We didn’t have any specific destination in mind, but wound up seeing some beautiful countryside as we rode through Mascoutah and on towards Okawville. Before today we’d only been to Mascoutah to eat at the RoemerTopf German restaurant (which serves some wonderful varieties of schnitzel!) The town is small, but clean and well maintained; along the main road it even had a couple of artistic murals and some statues. A rearing horse was the first thing that caught our attention as we drove down the main street. The ride itself was the least of the blessings that God poured out on us as we continued down the road. We saw beautiful fields of corn rippling in the blowing wind, and children playing in the mud beside the river as we rode along.
We pulled into a gas station in Okawville to fill up the motorcycle’s tank. While I was pumping the gas I was witness to a blatant display of haughty disinterest followed in turn by the actions of an elderly gentleman who made me think of the story of the Good Samaritan.
A lady who was obviously from out of town pulled up in front of the service station looking for directions. She seemed frantic and lost; like she was in a hurry to get somewhere and was late. Continue reading