Who What When Where

Too often in my life, I’ve been guilty of spending too much time asking why. Why did this happen? At other times, I’ve wasted a lot of energy being concerned over how. How was I going to do this? I’ve found though, that why and how are overrated.
The two twin words don’t bring much comfort. The real productive questions are Who, When, What, and Where. The who matters, first and foremost, because of the Who that loved me enough to give His life for me, The Lord Jesus. When I spend my time and energy engaged with Who The Lord is, why and how lose their importance.
Also, the who can be, who are the loved ones around us. The people that go through our trial with us deserve our time and attention. The Lord laid out the prime example for us when He came to Earth. The Eternal God, the One who is the center of all things, spent all of His time focusing on others. If I follow His example, I’ll show those I care about that I love them more than I love myself.
In the same way, I feel my mind with whens instead of the whys. The when matters because it reminds us of the memories we have with those we love. Remember when we did this, or when God gave me that victory! Memories trump worries anytime.
What, matters in the sense of, What are your priorities? What matters to you? Struggle and tragedy are great times to re-access what we value. What can I do to make someone’s life better or easier? “What can I do to help?”, is always a greater question than, “How did this happen?” One question signals giving, the other is concerned only with receiving an explanation. There is a necessary time and a required place for how, but timing is everything. First, give them a shoulder to cry on, and worry about how later.
Last of all, the where matters. Where are you going to spend the time of your trial? Where is more a location of spirit than of body. It goes back to my priorities, I can choose to spend the time in the pit with my problem, or working for others. I encourage you today to think about the Who,What, When, and Where around you, it’s a good way to make a difference in the lives of those we serve.

A Strong Weakest Link

“You’re only as strong as your weakest link.”

It’s been said countless times, but it’s still true. The thing that you have to determine is that, with God’s help, to be the strongest weak link. It sounds strange saying it this way, so let me clarify. “Let the weak say, I am strong.” – Joel 3:10
Paul said it this way, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:10 In other words, in your weakness, draw on His strength.
There will be many times in your life and ministry where you will experience weakness. It never comes alone either. Sometimes it brings fear, other times despair. Anger and jealousy can come with it also. Those are the loud ones, and their purpose is to distract you. They don’t want you to see the temptation that is lurking in the background. Misdirection is an old tool that has destroyed many.
The thing that you have to determine is this, will you draw on your weakness, or God’s strength?Too many times, we think “I can face anything”, until we face something we can’t handle. Or, you can do what wise men and women of God have done through the centuries. If you live in His strength, then your Christian walk will be consistent throughout even the darkest times of your life.
I’ve faced serious battles in my own life. I’ve also watched dear friends and families face life and death situations successfully. All because, in the worst times of their lives, they knew something vital. In the day of battle, all your talent, your abilities won’t be enough. They knew that God has always been more than a conqueror against any foe!
Why is it so hard for us to rely on God’s strength? He told us from the beginning that we would need His strength every step of the way. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
After all, His shoulders bore Calvary. His arms lifted the sins of the world. Mine can’t handle traffic at rush hour. Lord, help me to look to you, and not to myself. It’s the example of the Apostle Simon Peter. As long as he looked at Jesus, he could walk on the waves, but when he took his eyes off Jesus he sank. The Lord was there to save Him, He will keep us safe as well.
My only failures came when I relied on me instead of Him. When I look to Him, I am always successful. So do not let weakness discourage you. You will face it at some point, and you will need help! Let His strength bear you up and you will not fail!
This doesn’t mean you want have trials. You will, but it means you will have them, they will never have you! My hands will tremble, they will grow weak, old, and frail. That’s why I don’t trust in what I can handle. Instead I follow the words of the old song and simply, “Hold To God’s Unchanging Hands!”

Heaven

I saw a picture of a friend of mine today, Cory McCool, a huge part of my family. His smile was as bright as ever, and I can’t imagine it any brighter. Although I know it is, for he’s there now. Heaven is a place as real as any address the Post Office delivers too. Even though a mail carrier cannot transit our letters back and forth, it exists. It is as real as the noonday sun, and more desirable than rain to a barren land.
Heaven holds more for me now than it ever held before. My Savior, my patient, loving, and yes, long suffering King awaits me there. Three out of four Grandparents have crossed over, no longer feeble, and no more wheelchairs. I have three siblings that miscarriages took from my Mother. An Uncle that passed as a child is there too. One of my best friends is smiling and laughing in that treasured place.
For those reasons alone, I long to go there, but even more than this, it means something else. It’s a place where all questions fall away. Paul said that now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face. We get to be with Jesus, to know Him more than ever before.
I’m sure that like myself, you have plans for what you’ll do when we reach that shore. Right now, there is a lot we have to wait on, embracing certain ones and talking to them. However, there is one thing that I don’t have to wait on.
I may not get to see His face just yet, but here I can still talk to Him. In this vale of tears, I can still hear His sweet voice. How often do we neglect communicating to the One we claim we’re going to Heaven for?
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I want my conversations with Him on this Earth to accumulate to more than just a few hours of my life. I can’t currently pass the milky way, but I can enter Heaven’s door. For where He is, is truly Heaven, and He meets me in that place of prayer.
So, I encourage you today, to take a trip to Heaven on prayer’s strong wings. They are more than capable of entering His presence as He wraps you in His arms. The old song says, “Sing One More Song About Heaven.” To sing or talk about Heaven is to talk about Jesus.
May the passion of His presence never bore us. His hands were scarred for you and I. Those stripes that He could have banished from His glorified body, but didn’t, those say I Love You. His patience with my stumbling and stupidity overwhelms me.
The fact that He saw me, and yet still loves me, leaves me amazed. I must never forget, Heaven is more than just the ending of my journey, Heaven is The God of my journey! The Lord Jesus should be more Heaven to me than walls of jasper and gates of pearl!
I want Him to know that He is more than just my pardon to Paradise, but my reason for existing. I want, some way, to let Him know that I appreciate Him. More than that, I want The Lord to know that I treasure Him.
Let’s take some extra time this week, and ignoring problems and requests, show Him that He is the reason that we pray. That it’s not what we need, or where we’re going, but that it’s who we’re traveling with that means the most to us.

Project C

http://pointofmercy.net/project-c/

“God is known in her palaces for a refuge.” – Psalms 48:3

In the palaces of Jerusalem God was more famous than the kings that He had placed on it’s throne. That’s because everyone who lived in the palace knew who made it possible for them to be there. A shepherd king was there most famous royal.
God had established David’s kingdom with men and women who could not have possibly filled the positions that they were given alone. Only through the miraculous hand of God could those who were in debt, distressed, and discontent, as 1 Samuel 22:2 says, now run the country.
Felons and fugitives were now Generals and Captains of God’s armies. When they laid there heads down at night, they knew it wasn’t the stone walls they trusted in. You see, they had once laid the same heads to sleep in caves. They traded one stone structure for another, and neither one provided safety. There Salvation came from The God who brought them from cave to palace, and not the mansion itself.
Generation after generation had now set on the throne and you could add there testimonies to that of their famous ancestor. Jehoshaphat could tell you how The Lord saved them without picking up a spear. Hezekiah could tell you the story of how his palace was surrounded until God attacked the attackers.
I rejoice at the story because you and I are a part of it! We, who were strangers and pilgrims, enemies of God’s love due to sin, are now Children Of God! Your story and my story, shared with the world, can change someone else’s story.
That’s what we’re doing at a place called Point Of Mercy in Nashville, Tennessee. Every Sunday morning, individuals and families who have no hope, are fed breakfast and lunch. Something called The Care Closet gives them free clothes. Furniture is donated to those who have went from one trash bag in a shelter to a place of their own.
In 6 years, God has taken us from a Church of seven senior citizens to over 200 people. It’s all been due to the fact that we know who is responsible. It’s exciting to watch God rebuild a family from nothing. It’s thrilling to be on the front lines of ministry where souls are saved, lives are touched, and hearts are mended.
Now, we are literally busting at the seams. Our goal, turn the gymnasium in to a Sanctuary that will seat everyone. Right now, we can’t fit all the people into our current structure. I wish I had the words to do justice to what The Lord is accomplishing in our Church but my words aren’t sufficient to describe it. I do have a link to a video at the end of this blog, I’d like to ask you to watch it.
I want you to see firsthand what can be done when everyone comes together and leave there ego at the door. This isn’t about us, it’s about Him. He is known at Point Of Mercy as our refuge. Now our goal is to bring more hurting into the place where God is lifted so high. Some have offered to help, this link will make it possible for you to do just that.
Is it worth it? Just ask a family that God put back together that was spread across the country. Ask the little boy who wants other people to experience the joy that’s now on his face everyday. Question the ones with broken addictions and restored lives that stand and say they are better because God is known in this place.
I’m a little passionate about this subject, but I do not apologize. This is our dream, this is our goal. Not a building filled with fountains and glamorous fixtures, but a place filled with hurting people. We need more room to minister to those in trouble, click the link below to see what we’re talking about.

http://pointofmercy.net/project-c/

Lead Me

Psalms 61:1-3
To the chief Musician upon Neginah, A Psalm of David.

1 Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.
2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3 For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

I love David’s wording here! We see from his first sentence that he’s having a conversation with God. With that in mind, look at his second verse.

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

He makes a declaration that he would seek The Lord from the ends of the Earth. He’s still talking to God because he says Thee. That’s important to note because of the next few words.

when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

We all agree that The Lord is The Rock he’s speaking of here. So David is essentially saying, “Lord, lead me to more of You. Take me to a higher place in You. Where I am in my relationship with You is not sufficient for what I’m going through.”
In other words, David’s solution to his problem of being overwhelmed, wasn’t looking for a way out of trouble. He knew if he could get deeper into God, then The Lord would handle his situation.
That of course is not David’s only reason for a closer walk with God, but it is a result of a great existing relationship. Look at verse three.

3 For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

I know The Lord is the answer to my current situation, because He was the answer to my previous issues. He was my shelter against the lion, the bear, and the giant. God is great enough, and high enough, to handle this foe.
How often do I panic in the midst of a situation that I’ve already seen Him successfully bring me out of before? David said this is trying to overwhelm, or cover me, I’m going to higher ground! The Lord Jesus is still my answer! As the old Preacher used to say, “You still have to dig deeper to go higher!”
I need to bend my knees more than I chew my fingernails. It’s time to seek the face of the only One who can give me the favor I need. I don’t seek Him only to handle my problems. It’s because we seek Him that we know our problems are handled!

Rabbit Ears And Turtle Tongues

Tachus And Bradus

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”
James 1:19

The word swift here is Tachus. It means quick, fleet, speedy. James knew the perils of being slow to hear. Commentators believe that this was James, The Lord’s brother. The Bible tells us that the brothers of Jesus didn’t believe in Him until after His resurrection.
Can you imagine the time with Him that they cost themselves? They missed so many miracles, and so many messages, because they didn’t believe. How would their lives have been different if they had believed sooner? He knew, all too well, the perils of not listening.
Slow here is the word Bradus. It doesn’t only mean slow, it means dull, inactive in mind. Metaphorically, it describes it as stupid, slow to apprehend or believe. In other words, speaking only for myself, it tells me to do the opposite of what I’m tempted to do.
Too often, I am Bradus about hearing, and Tachus about speaking. Essentially he’s advising us to keep an open mind and a reluctant mouth. One of my favorite quotes is, “Better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”
I suppose it’s my favorite because I have suffered from ‘Foot and Mouth Disease’ too many times. There have been so many incidents to where I immediately wish I could erase my last two sentences. Now, I work harder at silence, or at least I try too. I’m far, far from perfect, but I have found my stupidity level goes down when my mouth stays closed.
Our Pastor has always taught us that, “The Relationship is more important than the argument.” If we really believe that, then we must put more energy into the relationship than being right. We have to find tools to keep us from hurting those we care about. One good way of doing this is what one writer called, practicing pausing. If someone says something, before you respond to what you think they meant, pause. The relationship is worth the wait.
My Wife doesn’t have serious conversations with me at 4:00 in the morning. She knows that it would be a waste of time and energy. She takes my comatose state under advisement. I know that it’s a comical analogy, but it’s true. Most of the time, when I pause, I see the situation from more than my own point of view. I realize that what I heard, and what they actually said, are two vastly different things. I can be almost as sluggish at 4:00 pm as I can at 4:00 am.
Another tool is, remember who you’re talking too. Ashley would never purposely say anything to hurt me. If I keep that in mind when she’s speaking, then it can remind me that, what I think I heard could be more about my state of mind than hers. Neither one of us are perfect, but we know each other. We trust each other. Our commitment to our relationship tells us that we’re on the same team.
Lastly, remember, it takes two to argue. Maybe after pausing, you realize that you’re actually hearing what you thought you were. Perhaps it’s not a loved one that you’re talking too. Maybe it’s someone who is actually out to get you. In those cases, we have a choice.
We can lash out, possibly ruining our influence with that person. Remember, today’s enemy could be tomorrow’s friend. Or, keep in mind that you may be fighting with a stranger, but someone you influence could be watching. Someone, is always watching.
The other option is to remind myself that The Lord endured a lot harsher words than I ever will. Sure, I could try and say that He was perfect. Of course, then I’m reminded of the verses, “I Am With You Always. . .” and “I Can Do All Things Through Christ Which Strengtheneth Me.” That sort of ruins the excuse I’m trying to sell to God and me. Knowing that He who spoke worlds into existence, knew when to be silent, helps make my keeping quiet easier.
I still struggle with it, but I’m more successful today than I was in the past. It’s worth always working at, but it does get easier. My wish for us both today is that we may have rabbit ears and turtle tongues!

My Corner

Welcome to my corner of the Internet. I hope you’ll enjoy it here. I intend for this to be a collection of thoughts, writing, and conversation. More than anything else though, I hope you’ll find it encouraging. My purpose is not to be antagonistic, if anything, this is going to be the Anti-Negative Journal. If its important to me, I’ll address it, but with God’s help, I’ll address it in a positive manner.
Occasionally, you’ll see Dear Ed articles. Ed will be short for edification. They may seem somewhat comical, but I hope they’ll mix whimsy with knowledge to lift someone up. Ed’s a wily character, he’s patterned after a combination of people, including a comedian or two.
This will also give me a chance to share some of my writing with you, both fact and fiction. The first book God gave me was called, “A Portrait Of Servants.” It was a volume about heroes. Ministers that I look up to and there biographies. My second book is in the works now, it’s a book of messages from my seventeen years in the Ministry. It would have been my third book, but the second one is in the waiting stages. Part of it is written, but I feel like I don’t have the experience to finish it yet.
Finally, there are my short stories. I publish them on amazon under Timothy J. Pruitt. They range from the family comedy, “Prevot Said No”, to the action adventure, “The Engagement Rings.” we also have a trio of Christmas stories. The first is L.O.C. And Key. It’s about a very different secret agent and his mission to bring happiness to his adult Granddaughter at Christmas.
I really love a good, “We have to find a new Santa Claus!”, story. Mine is Captain Christmas. Tim Hill is a nice guy. He’s used to flying a small plane with engines, not a sleigh whose engines eat hay all the time!
Rounding out the three is “Scarfed”. It’s what happens when your Grandparents decide you need to get married, but you need their help to do it! George and Ilene Ryan are like two big hearted steamrollers that are determined to push Luke to The Altar. You’re asking, where do the scarves come in?
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you’ll check in regularly.