December 12, 2008

The Almighty Paver

Posted in Christian Life, Christianity, Discipleship, Eternity, Friends, God, God's Sovreignty, Jesus Christ, My Personal Walk, Personal, Prayer, Religion, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Worship tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:41 pm by Dan Barnett

I’ve had the opportunity recently to reconnect with old friends. Some are from years ago when I was young, and some are from not so long ago. In talking with some, exchanging emails with others, and just observing as well I’ve been blessed to be shown God’s hand in so many of their lives. He has shown me his control and his providence.

I’ve begun to see his plan revealed bit by bit. The masterful story he is telling undoubtedly has he, himself, at the center.

I recently sat and talked for a bit with a woman about this very topic. As we each shared our stories, through tears and laughter, God showed up in a new and fresh way in each story. I remember how hard it was as a 13-year old boy who had just started to feel acceptance in my circle of friends to be uprooted and taken away from all of them. I remember swearing that I would not stay gone. Ypsilanti, MI was my home. I was bitter towards God for forcing me to leave. Later, after graduating high school, I would be bitter again for God withholding blessings I thought I deserved. Mistake after mistake would land me a single guy with uncontrollable debt and no place to really call home. Through a roller coaster ride over several years, I would experience let down after let down in every area of my life. Things I poured my heart into just didn’t become what I’d hoped.

About 2 years ago (give or take some months) I felt a feeling I had longed for my whole life. It was the feeling of unmerited comfort. When my wife lost our third child early in her pregnancy I felt helpless. I had no idea how to comfort her or encourage her. All I could do was tell her that no matter our feelings we had to be OK with what was happening. Through a card from a woman I didn’t know God broke me. He reached out and squeezed me to his chest and wouldn’t let go. As I sat in my car weeping uncontrollably, I realized this was what I had longed for — the feeling of comfort.

My gratitude would soon fade, and my greed would take over. It wasn’t until God took my one security and smashed it that I would be forced to trust him once again. When I lost my job, I was “OK”, but that soon changed. Rejection came more than I was ready for. Well-intentioned people triggered hurt that I didn’t expect. Our marriage broke or flourished on every word spoken to each other. Then, the answer came.

I looked at the friends from long ago and realized that had I stayed, with the direction my life was headed, I would have been one of the biggest obstacles to God reaching my friends. God shows me his hand in many of their lives now. He took the obstacle out so he could draw them to him.

I then ran into an old friend from just a couple of years ago. Through a 2-minute conversation I knew he was hurting. We talked that night for over an hour. And, once again, God hit me over the head. As I addressed the issue of sin in his life I got to the point I needed to and God spoke to me. This friend was dealing with a struggle we all struggle with at times. He wanted to feel the presence of God in his life and wasn’t. I told him he was wrong. I told him that a father who loves his son disciplines him. He didn’t want God’s presence. What he wanted was God’s comfort. But the sin he was refusing to deal with was bringing God’s discipline. See, God was there. He was just there in a way my friend didn’t want. After talking to him I looked at myself and started to wonder if maybe God was showing me the same thing. I had told my friend that the pain and frustration he was dealing with would fade and be replaced by God’s comfort if he made a decision to go after God with everything. I reminded him of the prodigal. His father saw him off in the distance and ran to him. That is what God was waiting for me to do.

So, let’s get back to sharing the stories with the woman. Through the entire conversation one phrase of hers kept ringing in my ears. I had mentioned how the roads certain people in our lives have taken were long hard roads, and she said, “It’s hard to watch them go down that road. But, you have to remember that God built that road for them.” When we’re struggling to see God I the people around us who just can’t seem to get it, they just can’t seem to get over that hump to find God’s peace, we question, “Why not, God? Why don’t they get it?” We have to remember that God built the road they are on for a purpose.

When the end of the road comes to them, and God is not at the end of that road, and there is no more hope, we have to remember. When they become as our enemy, and we experience more hurt at their hand than we can bear, we have to remember. We have to bring ourselves to rest in the comfort of God’s sovereign plan. We must rest in the comfort that God built that road, and where that road ends up is up to him.

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September 12, 2008

Please Pray Now.

Posted in God's Sovreignty, My Personal Walk, Personal, Uncategorized at 7:18 pm by Dan Barnett

I have a prayer request to ask.  As I said to some of you before, I was pursuing many options.  As of now, I have really felt a pulling toward law enforcement.  Please pray that God continues to provide, and that he continues to make the direction clear. 
 
My big request is this:
 
God take this job position in Cary, IL and open it.  God direct their eyes to my application.  work in their minds and lead them to me.  I am trusting you to do this.  Whatever your choice I accept the outcome and will move forward in whatever direction you choose.  But, God,  my request is that you provide this job.
 
Please pray this for/with me.  Please lift my application to God and petition on my behalf.  I don’t ask this as a gesture or on an emotional whim.  God has shown his hand today like no other.  I have seen God heal a man’s wounded hand.  I have seen God speak to an Indian chief in his language with no need for a translator resulting in him coming to Christ.  I have never seen God work the way he has this week.  Please pray on my behalf for this position.  Thank You.

June 1, 2008

Words escape me, even titling this post.

Posted in Christian Life, Eternity, God, God's Sovreignty, Heaven, Jesus Christ, Prayer, Things That Make Me Cry, Worship tagged , , , , , , at 12:53 am by Dan Barnett

I happened to see this on Hollie’s blog.  As I decided to stay up and have some “me” time while everyone is in bed, my “me” time has turned into “Audrey” time.  If you are familiar with the christian group “Selah”, you know who Todd Smith is.   He and his wife have an amazing tory of faith and praise in the eye  of death.  Please, for the love of all that is good, set some time aside, and go to Angie’s site.  Read from the beginning.  You will feel hurt you have never felt for another person, as well as a respect and admiration for them beyond expectations.  Here is a link to the very first post in the story of Audrey.  After you read the post, go to the end of the page and click “newer post”.

March 30, 2008

Hope in Loss

Posted in Eternity, God's Sovreignty, Heaven, Jesus Christ, Poetry, Things That Make Me Cry, Things that make me SMILE, Uncategorized at 1:01 pm by Dan Barnett

This is an encouraging post from Abraham Piper, son of John Piper.  He and his wife lost their baby 6 months ago.  The way he, his wife, and their entire family responded in faith to God’s promise of hope should encourage us to rethink how faithful we are to God in the trying times.

March 1, 2008

The Sovereignty of God

Posted in Christian Life, Eternity, God's Sovreignty, Videos, Worship at 8:19 pm by Dan Barnett

All I could say after seeing this video was, “Shame on me.”  I’ll let it speak for itself.

November 19, 2007

What do you call Him?

Posted in Christian Life, God's Sovreignty, Jesus Christ, Mission, Thoughts, Videos, Worship at 3:55 pm by Dan Barnett

This is a good song by Phillips Craig and Dean.  The video is neat that this person put to the song.  It lists the names of God.  The song talks about the power of God’s name.  No matter what good things you do in life, if it isn’t for God’s glory and to show him, it’s to show yourself. 

November 18, 2007

In Christ Alone…..

Posted in Christian Life, God's Sovreignty, Jesus Christ, Thoughts, Videos, Worship at 4:14 pm by Dan Barnett

I’m kinda getting tired of people putting all these songs to the Passion.  I wish people would just let it speak for itself.  That being said, I did like theuse of it in this video.  When you came to Christ, you placed your trust in him.  Do you still?  When your finances dwindle, do you still put your trust in him alone?  When your job, or your spouse’s job is on the line, do you still put your trust in Him alone?  When the diagnosis comes back positive, do you still put your trust in Him alone?  How about when you’re lifted up as a hero, do you still put your trust in him alone?  Do your kids know it’s Christ who gives you strength, or do they see their mommy or daddy as a superhero?  I think it’s something to really dig into ourselves and find out.  There’s two videos on here that I think dig into my ego, hopefully they do the same  for you.

November 4, 2007

Miracles

Posted in Christian Life, Family, God, God's Sovreignty, Jesus Christ, Personal, Prayer, Things that make me SMILE at 8:30 am by Dan Barnett

Some of you have heard of Beth’s mom’s recent spat with possible Ovarian Cancer.   They had found a huge mass on her ovary a few weeks ago.  Beth’s grandma told her mom a few days before the exploratory surgery that she had Catholics, Methodists,and Baptists praying for her, so she was pretty much covered.  We chuckled at it, but it was great to see how many people were praying for her.  After the surgery this past week, I told Beth the Pentecostals must have been praying to(again as humor).  When the doctors went in they were expecting to remove both ovaries and possibly a kidney, as there seemed to be something on one of them as well.  Praise God, because he made it quite a bit easier and showed up with his power.  The doctors found no trace of this mass on her ovary.  There was no sign of tumors anywhere, and they dug around quite a bit to find it.  We’re very excited at what God has done. 

November 2, 2007

We haven’t forgotten you, little girl.

Posted in Baby #3, Eternity, Family, God's Sovreignty, Heaven, Music, My Kids, Personal, Things That Make Me Cry, Uncategorized, Videos at 9:21 pm by Dan Barnett

Monday, November 5,  is the one-year mark of when Beth and I lost our little girl a couple weeks after conception.  We miss her today still, but we know she’s in good hands.  These are two songs that help me when I think of her.  I know Beth loved “Glory Baby” before we were married.  I remember her telling me how sad it made her to think of the loss the couple who wrote the song had.  “I hope that never happens to me.”  There’s one line in the song that gets me each time.  When I think of our loss and the pain it brought.  This line reminds me it’s ok.  “Heaven is your home, and it’s all you’l ever know…”  My daughter will never experience hurt, sadness, disappointment, and the list goes on.  All she will ever know is the perfect life intended for her at Christ’s feet. 

August 19, 2007

Unashamed

Posted in Christian Life, Christianity, Eternity, God, God's Sovreignty, Heaven, Jesus Christ, Music, Music Kicks, Personal, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Videos, Worship at 1:13 pm by Dan Barnett

As I said in a recent post, Starfield is one of my new favorite Christian artists.  Their song, “Unashamed”, pounds me when I hear it.  The song pierces me the whole way through. 

I have not much
To offer You
Not near what You deserve
But still I come
Because Your cross
Has placed in me my worth
Oh, Christ my King
Of sympathy
Whose wounds secure my peace
Your grace extends
To call me friend
Your mercy sets me free
And I know I’m weak
I know I’m unworthy
To call upon Your name
But because of grace
Because of Your mercy
I stand here unashamed
I can’t explain
This kind of love
I’m humbled and amazed
That You’d come down
From heavens heights
And greet me face to face

Here I am at Your feet
In my brokeness complete

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