Why do I still get surprised when I receive clear evidence of the existence of God? I feel so ashamed of moments when I realize how weak my faith is. Over and over again God proves Himself to me and one such moment came today. At our church, Riverdale Baptist, we have a fantastic and Spirit filled preacher who Michelle and I love very much. This young guy, not too much younger than us, preaches with an authority that only God could supply. The message today was a straight up, solid, powerful, message about the Gospel and how to be saved. After the message I texted a friend in the church, “give me the song ‘I surrender all’ and an invitation time, that was awesome.” I then began to pray for God to continue to use me to give this message to those who need it and to bring people into my life who need Him. We all sang another song and at the end of the song there was a lady standing by the side of Michelle. Startled a bit we looked over to see a neighbor from our apartment complex. She said, “Oh, I’m late! I woke up and knew I had to come with Bob and Michelle to church, but I looked out and you already left. I came in anyway, but know I am late, but I just knew I still needed to come in!” She had never even visited our church before, but somehow had the courage to just walk right in. She stayed with us through communion and another song. After the service ended we talked and told her, “obviously God is doing something and calling to you, what is going on? ” She had so many questions and we were able to work through them all. Toward the end of the conversation she said, “I talked to so many people, but today I finally understand what it means to have a relationship with God.” There was so much more said and shared, but the main point of this is to glorify a real God. Oh He is real folks. I have seen Him work. The things I said and Michelle said were given by God specifically for that neighbor. All we ask of you all is to be willing to be used. God wants to see people saved and He wants you ready to give that message to those He sends your way. Pray for this lady if you don’t mind and pray God will bring more people to a saving understanding of what He did through His son, Jesus. – Bob
One of the purposes of Broken and Remade is to help us all be real and show how we are all in need of God. I don’t want to just write when things are good and give you all the false picture that Bob and Michelle are always doing so well.
I want to share a moment that is still a very fresh wound and I am in the middle of an emotional messy moment over.
My ex wife filed for us to reevaluate our child support and we had to send in all our financial documents. That is all well and good, until today I just got a notice in the mail requesting a hearing on the Wednesday of the only week of the year we planned to take a vacation together.
This was in the middle of the excitement of having Timothy with us for the 4 day memorial day weekend.
Talk about the biggest blow to our happiness. Now I understand that I am called on to be thankful in good or in bad times, but I am a human and this hurts so much.
It is not wrong for us to hurt, it is not wrong for us to be upset and trust me we are both. What is wrong is for me not to trust God and His will. Christians should not pretend everything is always wonderful and perfect in our lives, because the only thing that is both of those is not a thing but a who, it is God.
So we will continue to hurt, but we will also continue to trust. Moments like this make us cling to our hope that Jesus will return and set things right. I love you all and am glad I can be real with you. We are in this together and need God in our lives. – Bob
Everyone has a history. Everyone is who they are today due much in part to their past experiences. I want to tell you about one such person who is an amazing example of someone people misunderstand and an example to us all to try to understand that all people are more than they appear. The first time I saw this gentleman, at the gym I frequent, he stood out as someone I should pay attention to. He had a doorag (bandana) on his head and a very mean look on his face. Something inside of me instantly felt caution. He was leaning against a wall and just staring at people. Being the cautionary type who likes to face trouble quickly I walked over near him and gave him a head nod and a, “Hey man, how’s it going?” The response was a mean glare and no words. I walked away and admit that my first thought was, “Ok, Bob, obviously this is someone who has either been in prison, or is just plain dangerous.” At that moment I knew I would always keep an eye on him. I noticed him venture to a machine here or there, but never really do any real exercising. Most of the time he was half heartedly lifting a weight, but continually staring at people looking like he hated each and every person there. This continued for a few days. One day I was coming up the stairs from the locker room and when I looked up he was walking down the stairs staring right at me. He stopped me with direct eye contact and anger in his eyes. I admit that I instantly was ready for the worst and was prepared to defend myself. That is when this came out of his mouth, “Hey… you know these politicians are a mess. You know they are all a big mess. They need Jesus because only Jesus can fix this mess! People think they can but they can’t only Jesus can and they need Him!” To say I was shocked would be an understatement. I was a bundle of emotions from guilt, to awe, from confusion, to amazement. In a million years I would have never expected those words to come from his mouth. I am so ashamed to even admit this.
As the days passed, the silence and mean glares continued. I was so confused. He still made me feel like he hated the world, but I was blown away by his bold statement of belief in Jesus and our need for Him. Day after day, anger, hate, danger, continued to show on his face.
That brings us to this morning when something happened to blow open the doors of my understanding. This gentleman was behind me as I walked in to the gym, to the stairs, and down to the locker room. I held the door and said, “After you sir.” No speech in return just that glare. I went over to my locker and he to another area of the locker room where he saw someone he must have talked to before. That person said, “Hey man how are things with you?” He responded, “Terrible, how can they not be terrible when you have prostate cancer.” The other man responded, “Yes I understand, but you should try to have a better mindset and try to think differently.” The man said, “I don’t know what you mean by that, but how can you when you have had this mind set since 1989… My wife died, my son died, and I don’t understand why the Good Lord didn’t let me die back then. I haven’t had a different mindset since then, I just wish He would take me.”
WOW! People, we need to understand that when someone seems a mess, when someone seems like they have issues, they seem to be people to avoid, they may just be normal people like you and me who have lost the battle mentally on this Earth. We all have a story. We all have moments in our lives that are turning points. This man has spent the last 20+ years of his life hurting and alone! What amazes me is this man deep down inside continues to hold on to hope. He speaks of the Good Lord, and Jesus. How people can survive certain events in their lives is hard to understand. Loses of children, abuse, death of loved ones, failures of relationships. So many things in our lives try to break us, but we have a hope. A hope that our God will one day come back and make it all right again. Love people around you and try your best to empathize and not judge. I have a new understanding of a man who is not dangerous, he is just broken. Help me God to see people for who they really are.
One life without end due to the life He gave.
I’m scared to die, to close my eyes, to see what waits for me.
Holding on to hope through promises He made.
To grasp upon His reality a struggle for a feeble mortal mind.
I did nothing to live, I will do nothing to die. He gave and He will take.
At His call I will go when and where I go.
Grasping on to everything, I hold on to nothing, but letting go of all allows me to receive.
A disconnect I battle between heart and mind. My wounds have scarred my feelings.
Let me feel again, let my emotions bleed again.
Love and loss, joy and pain dance a dance through memory.
A past has molded and shaped, a God has directed and led and here I stand.
I have learned a wisdom beyond human ability, for a new Spirit dwells with me.
I see now my God, my Comforter.
Into the mirror I see what I am and through your Word I fall in worship.
You alone be praised, you alone be lifted up.
I bow, I give up, I follow.
Go before me, lead.
Your will be done, your life dwell in me for you alone are God.
So though I fear the end I also long for the beginning that comes when hope turns to reality.
One life without end due to the life He gave. – Bob
From A Vessel….
Set me on the shelf, but never let me go;…
A finished mended vessel filled with inner glow;
Of this earth and soil came,
Clay to form a jar;
Spoiled by the elements my walls began to scar;
Crack by crack my wear displayed spoiling my beauty,
Little did I realize I saw not how you see;
For what I took as perfect form,
You longed for me to not conform,
To what degrades and what destroys,
Filled with earthly fleeting toys,
But in your hands if I would fall,
Heeding to your Potter’s call,
A mending love through sacrifice,
Provides for me to be formed twice,
Born a new upon your wheel,
In your hands I learn to heal;
The jar that was it is no more,
A Spirit now deep in my core has given me a new design,
A call, a cry, a mighty sign;
To all the hurting, cracked, and scarred,
Jars of earth who find it hard to bear the weight of life and death,
Fall to him who gave you breath;
For on his wheel you must be made in image of a Son that laid and rose again in victory,
All for Him and His glory.
Set me on the shelf, but never let me go;
A finished mended vessel filled with inner glow.