I was blessed to meet Tammie Henry and Dusty Lampley of “Kingdom Seed Ministries” this past weekend. My day started out kind of slowly as I went out for my typical weekend motorcycle ride. The ride itself was great as I traveled between Belleville and Mt. Vernon Illinois. All of the fields were covered with the beautiful green of new growth. The weather was kind of on the warmish side so every time I rode across a stream or river along the way I luxuriated in the temperature drop that seemed to always appear when I most needed it.
When I arrived in Mt. Vernon I stopped at a gas station to top up the motorcycle’s tank and at Popeye’s fried Chicken for lunch to fill up my own internal reservoir that seemed to echo with sounds like rocks falling in an underground cavern. After the Hungery-Grumberlies were satisfied I sat peacefully watching the other diners while I finished up a blog post. The atmosphere was calming and I had no real need to hurry off but the longer I sat there the more I felt like I was being called to move from that spot. On one hand I knew that God had directed me to ride towards Mt. Vernon and specifically towards Popeye’s (I’d been craving their chicken all week), but on the other hand I hadn’t felt called to talk with anyone about God while I was there in the restaurant. Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago I was having some doubts about writing this Blog (You can read the full story here) and I started praying to God asking Him to show me a four-leafed clover if he really was calling me to this type of ministry. That same day he placed a friend in my life who shared his testimony with me. (You can find one of his stories here.)
This morning I was praying while I was walking the dogs and my eyes kept drifting over to a newly mowed field in the subdivision where we usually walk. For the first time I noticed that this particular field had quite a bit of clover in it. I’d never noticed it there before since the grass was so much taller than the clover. Usually I keep the dogs out of tall grass when we are walking since they always seem to find something wet or nasty to rub up against in the high weeds, but since someone had come by and mowed the field last evening I figured that I’d let the dogs explore a bit. Continue reading
My friend Jack is a woodcarver who also plays the trumpet. Recently he shared a story of his testimony with me and it was so amazing I asked him for his permission to write it down and pass it. To set up the back story a bit it is important to note that my friend is a re-enactor who was participating in a Rendezvous. He had a Christmas tree set up decorated with his carvings and one of those carvings was an angel blowing a trumpet. After he’d set up his campsite he realized that he didn’t have a fire poker and he went over to the blacksmith’s camp to ask him to make one for him. At the time Jack didn’t have any cash with him, but in keeping with the true spirit of a Rendezvous he explained that he was a woodcarver and bargained with the blacksmith for a new fire-poker. Eventually when the blacksmith inspected Jack’s work hanging on the campsite Christmas tree he told Jack that he’d make him a new poker in exchange for the angel blowing the trumpet. Continue reading
Have you ever felt that God has called you to do something, but then started to doubt whether that calling was really from God? To be honest… I have. I know that the enemy is always there trying to get inside of your head. His name means “The Accuser” and he’s always prepared to try to convince you that we are failing; particularly when we are trying to do something that God wants us to do. This past week has been that way for me. I’d actually started to wonder whether this blog was really what God wanted me to do or whether my fleshly self was trying to win God’s favor through works. Doubts kept coming into my mind every time I began thinking about it. All week long I’d been praying to God about those doubts, but the more I thought about them the stronger they seemed to get. Yesterday in frustration I cried out to God saying, “God, You have to show me what to do to get rid of these doubts!” As soon as I asked He answered. Continue reading
October 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
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
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
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
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
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