Blog #5: Keepin’ It Real (for real)

All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.

– Ecclesiastes 1:8 NIV

It has been guesstimated that there are around 500,000 feature length movies, countless television shows (almost 500 in 2017 alone) and more than 63,000 video games in existence. I’m going be silent for a moment to allow these #’s to sink in………

Ok, I’m back. Now that the shock has been fully realized… I have one question: WHY IN THE WORLD DO WE NEED THIS MUCH ENTERTAINMENT??

Don’t get it twisted. I’m not harping on the idea of entertainment. I love me a good epic flick or day-long Netflix binge. It’s good to be distracted sometimes from the weariness this world has to offer, BUT… there has to be a line drawn in the sand to keep the technological riptide from sucking us out to the digital sea of no return.

At what point do we divert our ears & eyes from the make-believe and fix their focus on the real? Instead of 12 episodes of love triangles and ruthless death squads… how about we brush our God sculpted hands across a clear blue sky and drag our carefully crafted feet through a tuft of lush green grass? How about we take it a step further and make a new friend: a living, breathing REAL friend that isn’t equipped with an ON/OFF switch? And after making that friend… maybe we can get a little crazy and be an encouragement to them… be the hands that God uses to administer a soul suture to an area of desperate brokenness they have been hiding for years behind a wall of jokes and sarcasm.

It IS possible, ya know… to live an unscripted life filled with real words and influential actions that would make your life and the lives of those around you a more fulfilling and enriched experience. Go ahead, I dare you… I dare you to put down the remote and pick up an oar and start paddling through the living waters that God has so generously provided for you to glide your gifted life through. Ya never know… you might actually discover a whole new level of joy ๐Ÿ™‚

With Godly love,

Jer

Blog #4: Scared, But Not Eaten

It was after 10 at night and my friend’s Mini Cooper couldn’t make it any further up the dirt road full of ever-widening potholes. The time had come for me to step out of the vehicle, throw on my backpack and trek into the darkness with nothing but an LED headlamp to light my way. It was a surreal moment. Was I really walking up a dirt road in the Georgia mountains looking for the start of a trail that leads into the dark woods only to look for a flat space between the trees to set up camp… at almost 12 midnight… by myself?? Why yes – yes, I was.
It was a defining moment of faith for me. Do I walk and spend the night in fear of who or what could ‘get me’? Or do I trust that God’s got my back and will guide my every step and keep the boogeyman at bay? I like God’s Word Translation of Joshua 1:9 that states, “I have commanded you, ‘Be strong and courageous! Don’t tremble or be terrified, because the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.'” I did choose to trust in God, however… that’s not to say I didn’t have a ‘moment’ in the woods.
After slipping off my backpack, I made a quick scan of my surroundings. No bears. Cool. I start setting up my tent and make another sweep of the area with my headlamp. Oh crap – I see something. Two glowing dots next to a tree about 25 yards away. Panic mode begins to set in. I reach for my modes of self-defense in preparation of whatever may come my way. I look again, only to see they have not budged an inch. I decide to continue setting up the tent, since running was not an option (bears can run at least twice our speed). Every time I looked back over… the glowing dots had not moved. Suddenly, I see the ember of a cigarette go flying and realize it was just a fellow human being and the glowing dots were reflectors on his tent. Whew! Who needs coffee when you have scares jump-starting your heart like that? Zoinks, Scoob! So, I finished setting up my tent, hung my bear bag (which keeps them from moseying into my tent searching for a midnight snack) and hit the proverbial (and almost literal) hay. I wasn’t shot, stabbed or eaten. So far, it was a good trip ๐Ÿ™‚
A thought for us all to ponder: How many times does our anxiety level peak over things that don’t even exist? Don’t get me wrong… there very well could’ve been a bear stalking me that night in the woods… but what about that conversation you might’ve had with a friend or coworker yesterday in which they responded with silence? Before you know it, you have this grand elaborate scheme of a story manifested in your mind of how much they hate you and are judging you right now… when they simply could’ve just been preoccupied with a situation they have going on with their kid or significant other. The names and circumstances may be different in your story, but the same lies very well could be manifesting in your mind. It really all just comes down to choice: You can choose to believe the made-up stories… Or you can tell your mind to shut its trap and have faith that things really aren’t all that bad.

Choose wisely ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hope you’re having an awesome day and took at least one step in the right direction ๐Ÿ™‚
-(NOT bear-bait) Jer

Blog #3: Goats & Guns

He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelitesโ€”all their sinsโ€”and put them on the goatโ€™s head. He shall send the goat away into the wilderness in the care of someone appointed for the task. The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a remote place; and the man shall release it in the wilderness.

– Leviticus 16:21-22

This is where we get the term ‘scapegoat’ from, which dictionary dot com defines as, ‘a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place‘.

Have you ever been blamed for something you didn’t do? It’s frustrating, right? It’s not fair. Not only do you feel undeserving of the blame, but the person dishing it out is also missing out on the opportunity to learn and grow… IF… they would only choose to take responsibility for their own wrong thoughts or misdeeds, instead of engaging in a game of ‘hot potato blame’.

When bad things happen… people with good intentions want to ‘make things right’ by trying to prevent these things from happening again in the future. This is a wonderful and commendable trait to have… IF… it is employed correctly.

Sin is a very deep and complicated topic that NO man can or ever will fully understand while in this present life. God designed it this way so that we would not be overly enticed to try and ‘lick it’ (anymore than some of us currently are trying or have already tried to do). SIN CAN NOT BE PERMANENTLY BEATEN BY A MERE MORTAL ON HIS OWN MERIT. In fact… it goes so deep… I’ve heard from a reputable source that anyone who willingly travels that path and is taken from this life while on that path… ends up in a place called HELL. Scary, I know.

So… back to the scapegoat thing and the title of this blog. Here’s the million-dollar question of the day: Is it possible that guns are the modern day version of the Old Testament goat? Is it possible that the depravity of man that has been growing ever increasingly more wicked due to the ‘politically correct – doing what feels good – I’m the boss of my own life – nevermind what the Creator of the universe says is good and right’ way of choosing to live life has gotten us into this mess? Is it possible that the blame could rest on a warped and desensitized reality caused in part by violent movie watching and videogame playing, psychotropic drug popping, God rejecting choices people have willingly allowed to take over their minds and wills?

Do we really need to start creating all sorts of regulations and bans of guns and their counterparts (simply tools of which the misuse of.. is a sympton of a much larger problem)… only to eventually discover that it will end up as a failed social experimental attempt at ‘trying to stop sin’? My friends… listen… SIN CANNOT BE STOPPED. Just as sending a goat with all of the sins of the Israelites ceremonially attached to it will not stop them from sinning… taking away people’s guns will not stop bad men from obtaining guns (illegally) or other weapons of mass destruction (explosives, vehicles, airplanes, etc..) from killing others. It (sin), however, can be ruled over…

For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law (which is impossible to follow to a T), but under (God’s) grace (which creates a desire in you to do good).

-Romans 6:14 (emphasis added)

So, instead of trying to lay our hands of blame on an inanimate object and sending it away to ‘no man’s land’… whereby, hoping to ‘abolish evil’… how about, instead, we lay our hands on the book that contains the TRUE WAY to battle this evil. The book that has outsold all other books that have ever been written. The one book that has never failed in its teachings (as long as they are followed correctly). The book often referred to as the instruction manual to life… THE BIBLE.

Instead of trying to battle evil by forcing law-abiding citizens to put down their guns… how about we encourage lost and confused people to pick up a Bible? And yes… there is a great possibility it would cause them to break and kill… to break down the barriers that cause hate… and kill any lies that cause us to believe we are not loved with an all-encompassing love from a God who created us to be with Him for eternity.

I love you. GOD loves you. Now go love others.

God bless you guys.

Blog #2: Where Are You Setting Your Coffee?

‘Wait a minute’, you say. ‘I thought this post was supposed to be about how to be in God’s will??’ Be still, my friend, and allow me to incorporate coffee into this journey. #itsthesmallthings… So, the question I pose to you is, ‘Where are you setting your coffee?’ Is it in front of the television while you’re taking in the world’s (bad) news updates? Or maybe across from a friend while you guys discuss in a judgemental, SMH kind of way how another friend is making poor choices? Or, perhaps, it’s possible you’re just resting it on a patio table while you listen to the birds tweet their tunes as the sun warms your face? That sounds kind of nice, actually ๐Ÿ™‚ But, here’s the real question… Are any of these coffee drop spots bringing you closer to God? Yes, the patio spot could… as long as it’s intentional. Pastor James McDonald’s says, ‘Peace is not primarily about feelings, but about the cooperation of Truth and action.’ If you want to be in God’s will and have peace in your life… YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO HIM. One of the best ways to do this is by getting into His word: aka – the Bible. Hold up… what was that? Did I just hear your mind murmur, ‘But it’s so hard.’ You need to tell your mind to shut its pie hole and quit being a wuss. Being a roofer in the middle of a Florida summer is hard. Sending your kids to bed on an empty stomach because you live in the middle of a desert in a third world country where there is no food… is hard. You most likely don’t want to read the Bible because there are too many things in your life that are distracting you from doing what you know deep down in your soul is the good and right thing for you to do. God’s word is like a guide (or instruction manual) to life. Psalm 119:105 states, ‘Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.’ Maybe it’s because you’re walking in some pretty dark places that you don’t want the light to penetrate? Oh, my bad… did I just hit home on something? I’m actually preaching to myself right now with the hopes that somebody else might be listening. Look… We ALL have junk in our lives and we ALL make ‘less than desirable’ (sinful) choices every day. We may not be plotting murder, but we’ve gotten really good at pretending we’re busy scanning emails behind our glassed-in social barrier vehicles at the stoplight, as the ‘Please Help… Hungry… God Bless’ sign is dangled in front of us by a thin string of shame and near hopelessness. When you get a chance, take a look at Matthew 25:42-45 referring to how we treat ‘the least of these’. Listen, I’m not trying to make you feel bad here. I just want us to be awakened to what really matters in life. Are you striving for a life of comfort? Or are you seeking out ways to show love to and help others? THAT, my friend, is a REALLY good indicator as to whose will you ARE following. I’m off now to examine my own motives. I hope I’ve inspired you to do the same. Feel free to sign up for email updates and share a comment below. I’d love to dialogue with you about ideas of how to make this happen ๐Ÿ™‚

God Bless!

-Jerminsky

‘Seek peace and pursue it.’ -Psalm 34:14

Blog #1: Being Outside of God’s Will Sucks

I’d like to start off by saying that if you’re one of those ‘religious types’ and are offended by the title, there’s a good chance you will be offended by a lot of what I have to say. So, now might be a good time for you to stop reading and move on to the next person’s blog page. As for the title and what it means: There are those moments in life when you’re going along with the status quo that is your current geographical location with the places you’re going, the things you’re doing and who it is you’re going to those places and doing those things with… and one day you open your eyes and say, ‘Whoa! I’m out of God’s will.’ You may ask, ‘How will I know if I’m out of God’s will?’ And I’ll answer, ‘You’ll just know.’ One of the sure signs of being out of God’s will is that you won’t have any peace. You’ll be second-guessing yourself with your choices and then be unsure of the choices you DO make… which eventually translates to confusion. 1st Corinthians 14:33 states, ‘For God is not a God of confusion, but of peace.’ And the more you try to figure things out on your own (without God’s help), the more lost you will get until frustration and anger sets in… and then pray it doesn’t get to the point of resentment. I don’t know about you, but I’ve screwed up a lot of things in my life: how I’ve treated family and friends, relationships, finances, my relationship with God… all because of poor choices stemming from being out of the will of God. But, there’s good news! There’s a way to keep from screwing up (mostly, anyhow) and we are going to discover that together in my next blog. So go ahead and sign up for e-mail updates so I can spam the snot out of you – JUST KIDDING! (you will NOT be spammed) See you next time ๐Ÿ™‚

Your dude friend,

Jerminsky

‘Seek peace and pursue it.’

-Psalm 34:14