Sunday, June 29, 2014

And Then I Read And Then There Was David

There are book that make you laugh or cry or. . . .  And Then There Was David isn't an or book, it's an and book. Laugh and cry and wonder. People with so much passion and potential that is subverted by life. Hard things in life happen that aren't fair. You can relate to someone in this book, probably a little with everyone.  The characters are real and gritty and the story is gritty and compelling. It left me emotionally exhausted some days, just remembering what it's like to really feel, and not just pretend feel. We live in a world filled with wonderful people holding back tears in a parking lot. Reach out and live a life that is real. That is what David taught me. Read, see what David teaches you.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

My Resume

Jeffery “Dan” Barnes

1119 S. Linn St, Sioux City IA 51106

Objective: To utilize my skills and knowledge, using my skills,  education, leadership combined with my experience to bring growth and success in the industry I partner with.

Work Experience

August 2014 – Present, CHS Inc
Responsible for operation, basic maintenance and cleaning and sanitation of decanter style centrifuges.
Function in a team setting in a production environment.
Teaching, training and assisting in all areas of my job with team members.

December 2012 – June 2013 Wigman Company
Worked as a team to receive, check and stock products.
Assisted customers and filled orders.
Assisted with all areas of the functionality of the warehouse and it's operation.

Associate Pastor for Family Ministries
2008-2012   Heartland Community Baptist Church, Sioux City IA
Functionally served as VP of the organization.
Partnered in creating and implementing a discipleship process that teaches, trains and equips believers for the service of the church.
Administrated and facilitated the growth of Sunday School, Life Development Classes, and Small Groups for all age groups.
Mentored individuals and groups for the purposes of serving, leading and discipling.
Created Ministry opportunities to grow new leaders.

Associate Pastor of Youth and Education
2005-2008         Desert Sky Baptist Church, Casa Grande AZ
Functionally served as VP of the organization.
Developed and implemented a comprehensive program, covering all aspects of the Christian life for youth.
Worked as part of a staff to develop church ministries, and developed a strategy for reaching our community.
Worked to create a comprehensive educational program, including Sunday School and discipleship time.
Utilized and introduced new technology in our worship service and church.
Led a growing group in study, activities and ministries that promoted spiritual growth and health in the lives of the students.

Director of Student Ministries
2003-2006         Gila Valley Baptist Association, Pinal County, AZ
Served functionally as Head of organization.
Organized students and churches to set up programs and training for students.
Started the Baptist Collegiate Ministries at Central Arizona College with small groups and studies.
Recruit students to start Bible Studies on campuses around Pinal County.  Involves instruction, training and working with students to help them develop programs and studies.


2003-2008          Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Scottsdale, AZ
Completed 54 credits, earned a  Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership with a 3.57 cumulative GPA.
Participated with other students in various activities.
Worked with other students on projects and assignments.

1997-2002           University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
Earned BA in English Literature and completed several hours in Secondary Education
Completed practicum hours in classrooms
Participated in campus organizations and activities.
Served in the Leadership role in the Baptist Student Ministries, and aided in other Christian organizations and projects on Campus.
1995–1997         Western Wyoming Community College, Rock Spring, WY
Completed credits in pursuit of my BA in Secondary Education.
Completed practicum hours in classrooms.
Participated in and founded campus clubs and activities.

Skills and Qualifications

Leadership training and experience.
Supervisory training, coaching and mentoring training and experience.
Experience in freelance writing, blogging, editing, reviewing.
Clerical, office, computer and technology experience with extensive troubleshooting experience and training.
Experience working in teams, organizing teams and building partnerships.
Mechanical and electronic knowledge and experience.
Warehouse and pipe yard experience, forklift operation.
Continuing education is a diversity of fields and area.
Proficiency and success in writing and publishing material.
Extensive public speaking, teaching, training and group leading experience.
Experience with customers, clients, members and served in capacities that overlap with retail, HR, Customer Service and Communications.
Extensive experience and excellence in communication and team building.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Critical Needs for Those with Depression; Three Types of People

     If this is your first visit to my blog, welcome.  You should know that I suffer from a depressive disorder.  It's genetic, my mother was depressed, my great grandmother was depressed, my dad had a few bouts with depression.  It's in my family and in my genes.  I take some medication, I work with my doctor, I try to eat right and take care of myself.  I still have depression.  I have prayed for healing and others have prayed over me.  I spent years denying it, I have tried to "get over it" and I still struggle.  I have written previous blogs on what depression feels like.  Depression is more common than anyone wants to admit, because often people don't want to admit they have it.  I was diagnosed the first time with my disorder and I blew it off.  I wouldn't even recognize the depression, I thought I was just angry.  I have joked that I have two moods, happy and angry, and I was angry.  I have learned that I was depressed and hid behind the anger.

     Over the years I've had advice from the qualified and the less than qualified.  People who want to help me, and people who want me to just get over it.  Over the years I have learned a few things that I want to share with you, if you have struggled or know someone who struggles.  Depression is real and people need help.  I need help and you need help.  If you don't think you need any help, then my friend you REALLY need help.  There are thee types of people that we come in contact in during the course of our lives, and they impact us when we are dealing with depression.  Let's take a look as these people and how to behave.

     First are the people who are clueless.  They haven't been depressed, they don't really understand depression but they are usually nice enough.  Sometimes they give well meaning advice like "you just need to get out into nature, you'll feel better".  They have no idea of the debilitating nature of depression, that making yourself get out of bed some days is a feat in itself.  They will smile and hug you and tell you if you need anything to call.  These people are ok to be around on good days.  During bad days, you may want to steer clear.  They are going to say things that show they are clueless, try to forgive them for this.  Many of them will be significantly younger or older than you.  They will tell you what helps them when they are sad.  That would be great if the problem was just that you were sad.  If they could tell you a way to increase your dopamine release and absorption, that would be helpful.  Unfortunately, they can't.

     The second group, these people are fixers.  Stay clear of these people as much as you can, you don't need them in your life.  Fixers are clueless and prideful and sometimes arrogant.  I wish they were few and far between, but they are common.  They are going to tell you why your depression is just you being selfish or weak or lazy.  They are going to list off all the reasons you shouldn't be depressed.  They have no idea why this is like telling a man with glasses on that he isn't near sighted, just too lazy to see.  That he shouldn't need glasses, there are plenty of carrots available.  These people for some reason made it their mission to destroy any sense of well being that those with depression have.  They will call you lazy and weak and sad-sack and other things that will make you mad and sad and annoyed.  They can't help you, but they can make things worth.  Don't be around these people.  You can even tell them that they are gasoline for the fire you call depression.  Tell them to leave you alone.  This is hard if this person is a family member, but if the goal is healing and recovery, you have to heal.  You can't heal a wound that keeps being cut open.  These people will destroy your soul.

     The last group is the people you need.  They get it, even if they have never been depressed.  These people understand you have limits and that you struggle each day to breathe and function.  They will help you, sometimes through prayer and kind words.  Some days they will come over, grab you, make you get up and go somewhere with them.  The best thing for me has been people who have made me go to lunch or fishing or even to the mall or the store.  Depression must be struggled against, you have to fight to keep it at bay, or it will overtake you and devour you.  Sometimes you need people to help drag out out of the pit, even if you don't like it.  These people can save your life.

I hope that you have thought of people to help you, and maybe even some you need to run away from.  Depression is real, it's difficult and it's painful.  Make sure you have the people in your life that you need and the people out of your life that will cause pain and suffering.  Praying for your journey.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Are We Living In the End Times?

If you have Facebook, you see what is happening in the world right now.  What was once called evil is now called good, the price of food continues to rise, conflicts and wars are everywhere.  Things are bad, are we living in the end times?  Is the return of Jesus just around the corner?  I can admit that I hope so, that the idea the my family and I could go be with Jesus without being separated by death and pain and suffering is pretty sweet.  So is the end of the world at hand?  Are things as bad as they can get?

I'm going to say no.  That may shock you, since things are bad.  Churches are saying that what was once considered a sin is now ok for pastors.  I am referring of course to the PCUSA affirming same sex marriage, legitimizing homosexual relationships, which the Bible condemns.  These are dark days, but if we look back in history, we see that days have been darker, even in the church.  The church as a whole became so corrupt at one point that men began to rebel.  Many of them were killed, and we all know about the Spanish Inquisition.  Men and woman were burned alive for reading the Bible.  Things became so corrupt in the empire that we had the Protestant Reformation.  It's by the grace of God that Martin Luther survived, he had to go into hiding for fear of death.  Things were dark, and they had been dark before.

The Roman Empire was could have competed with Sodom for their depravity.  Men of power and influence often had a companion of a little boy.  We would never elect a senator in this country who had a relationship with a young boy, yet it happened in the Roman world.  We all know the stories of how Christians were persecuted, burned alive and fed to lions.  Things were dark.

In the world, there have always been times of darkness and depravity.  Christians have suffered in China, Middle East, under Communism and Paganism.  Things have been dark, but the light has always broken through.  The light, however, is beginning to dim in this country.  My prayer is revival continues to spread in Africa and China, that the power of the Gospel will some day send missionaries to the US.

So is the end at hand?  I don't know, Jesus said no one knows the day.  It might be right around the corner, it might be off in the future.  No one really knows, and if they say they do, run.  I have no doubt that we are closer to the return of Christ than ever before, but the darkness of the world is always with us.  We must continue to be vigilant to combat the dark world and fight the spiritual battles.  Continue to pray for the time that Christ will return.

Monday, June 16, 2014

What Depression Feels Like

In a writing, Charles Spurgeon talked openly about his depression in The Minister's Fainting Fits.  He hated his depression, he viewed it as a vice.  He knew it kept him from doing the things he wanted to do, needed to do.  I recommend you check out The Minister's Fainting Fits, it's worth the time and work to read Spurgeon.  It's nice to know that a great man of God like Charles Spurgeon suffered with depression.  He was not the only one, many great men in history were shackled to dark, crushing infirmity.  I am not calling myself a great man, but I share this connection with them.  I have a disorder called dystemic disorder that leads to chronic depression.  I hate it, I hate my depression and I struggle against it when it shows up.

I have tried all sorts of remedies, like food and whole food and diets and exercise and rest and herbs and medications and counseling.  I have a disorder that I have to manage and there is no easy cure.  The disorder plus the sinful and fallen world we live in means I'm going to have days.  Today is one of those days, so I'm going to share what is feels like.

I want you to imagine that you are in a long, narrow room.  You are at one end of the room, and at the other is a table.  On this table are your dreams.  These are things you are passionate about and you know they are within your reach.  You can get them, they are right there.  You are in a chair, all you have to do is stand up and get them.  It's a short walk and all you have to do is get up.  Just stand up and walk over.

You can't stand up.  You are stuck, something is holding you to the chair, and it's powerful.  You can't move the chair, you can't break free, you can't even see what is holding you down.  People are in the room, and they just see you sitting in the chair.  They tell you to just get up, they can't see anything holding you back.  Some even push you or pull you, but you can't move.  You reach and stretch, push and pull and finally slump defeated.  The table seems like it's getting further away.  All the voices and sounds begin to merge into white noise.  You hang your head, determined but defeated.  Not sure how you can break these shackles that you can't see or touch or feel.

Sometimes the shackles let go and you can get up and get your hands on a dream or two.  You can stand at the table for a while, but then a dark force begins to pull you.  You feel wrapped up and suddenly and without warning you are back in the chair.  You are trapped all over again, and you fight again to get free.  For some, the prison is a room, the bed they can't seem to get out of.  Some hide in work or a hobby.  Some hide in movies, tv or video games.  These things are not escapes, but the chairs that hold us down.  Often we find ourselves shacked by them, unable to move.  I know of one person who told me that all she could do is stare at the wall.  She was chained and bound and her mind was in a black pit.

I have dreams and goals, a non-profit, some evangelism and Bible Study material and I have so many books I want to write.  I sit down and look at my computer and it's like the chains are wrapped around my hands.  I can't write, I can't edit and I can't read.  My brain is numb and I feel overwhelmed by the size of the projects I am looking to tackle.  I am thankful that I can manage to blog during these dark days, I wish I had the ability to do what I really wanted.  I want to work on my Mustang, on my truck, to build things and write things.  I can't explain the inability, but my soul is bound, my mind is pressed and my spirit is confined in a dark hole.  Unless you experience it, I'm sure it's hard to fathom, but many of us struggle every day.  I hope this has helped you to understand the pain and suffering of depression.

PS.  Please don't send me your depression remedies, I have a doctor and he is amazing.

Motivation, You're Doing it Wrong

Have you seen the demotivational posters?  I love them.  I had one in my office once that fit Southern Baptists.  I have posted it below, and trust me, it's pretty accurate.
There, you get the point, right?

These posters are funny, but it seems that sometimes they have better motivation than many leaders.  In church work and in the market place, there are many leaders who lack this most basic of leadership.  Motivation.  They have taken the cue from Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi.  They are looking for "new ways to motivate them" by using the Dark Side of the force.  Ladies and Gentlemen, force choke is not an effective motivation long term.

Many leaders make some basic assumptions about motivation that are wrong, wrong, wrong.  We tend to think what motivates us also motivates others.  If you are highly competitive, you may use competition as a motivation.  I am not highly competitive, so it doesn't work on me.  There is the popular motivator of telling someone they are inferior or they are failing.  That works on some people, and leaves others feeling defeated.  The reality is, if you tell someone they stink, eventually they will stink.  Most people don't get motivated by spite.  The reality is that insults only work on spiteful people.  If you are motivated by insults, time to check your heart.

Threats, fear and guilt seem like a good idea and they work for a while.  The problem is they are short term motivators, and they only work until the guilt of fear wears off.  They don't motivate long term.  Threats are even worse, because you have to make good on them.  I don't threaten well, I usually call the person out and say "ok, let's do this".  You will motivate me to do the wrong thing with anger, which is also a poor motivator.

So, in review, fear, anger, guilt, insults and put downs are bad motivators.  Don't use them.  Don't threaten to fire, don't tell people they stink and don't tell them they are bad at their job or task.  It doesn't help.  If someone is struggling, they need help, and those things are not helping.  There is nothing that makes me more angry and upset than a supervisor, boss or leader that insults, is rude and condescending to those they manage.  If you work under me and you pull that stuff, I will make sure you get serious training on true leadership, people management and motivation.

What does motivate people?  There are some things that work well, and really help people long term.  The first is trust and loyalty.  I would follow Don Brackbill to the ends of the earth because I completely trust him.  I have worked with guys I didn't trust any farther than I could throw them.  Doesn't work well.  If you build trust, relationship and respect with those you lead, they will follow you anywhere.  My current supervisor is good at this, and he is very encouraging.  My buddy told me about a sergeant he served with in the Army, he said if he walked in and handed him a gun and said "let's go to war" he wouldn't bat or eye.  Respect, trust and dependability.

Communication of passion is a great motivator.  When you work in a place and others work for you, they are not as motivated as you are, and you are less motivated than the guy you work for (probably).  The higher in a company you are, the more you want it too succeed.  The reality is, if that is for selfish reasons (you want to look good) you won't motivate anyone.  Pastors who just want a big church, a nice office and a solid resume won't get much response.  If you are passionate, however, you can share that.  If you are passionate about how your company is a great company, how there is benefit and it's a great place and it should succeed, share that.  If you think your job is important, that it's worth investment and energy, tell others.  Get excited and celebrate victories.

Passion has to be given away and others will catch it.  They need to know they are valuable, they have purpose and are important.  If those things happen, they will get excited.  If they believe in what they are doing, they will work hard and long.  If they see through a leader, see that they are selfish, egotistical, shallow and self centered and arrogant, motivation will be very low.  If a leader wants to share passion, share credit and give recognition, is excited and is part of the team and not just above it, motivation will go up.

Remember. moral and motivation are connected.  Connections, relationship, trust and value are all important in motivation.  If you can give people a sense of purpose, a sense of importance in their job or task, they will work hard and be happy.  If you tear them down and destroy their passions, they will be unhappy, unproductive and will often quit.  Don't loose good people to bad motivation.  Motivate, share passion and build trust and your workers will follow you to the ends of the earth.

Fairness vs Sovereign Omniscience. A Review of God is Not Fair by Jennifer Rothschild

There are difficult questions to ask in the Christian faith, and Rothschild does a masterful job at dealing with one that I have dealt with myself.  When it comes to healing and miracles, is God fair?  Why are some healed and some not healed?  Jennifer Rothschild is blind and has prayed for healing since she lost her sight at 15.  She deals with the question of why she isn't healed, others have been healed.  Why do some have miracles and some do not?

This is a question that I have asked.  I don't suffer from blindness, but I have my issues and flaws, and I have those in my life who have health and physical issues.  I have also lost both parents to cancer when I was in my early 20s.  Why are some healed of cancer in this life, but my parents had to physically die before they experienced healing?

In this book, Rothschild reviews, tackles and tries to make sense of this question.  This book came at the perfect time for me, dealing with these same questions.  I know people experiencing healing and miracles, but I have not seen the same thing where I am.  The questions keep coming, why am I not seeing healings here, but they are happening in places close by?  Why is God moving in some places and not in another?  There is no simple or quick answer, but there are answers.

All I can say is read the book.  It's well written, and a good blend of theology and human struggle.  Rothschild writes in a way that is easy to read, like having a conversation.  I was apprehensive when I first got the book, I am not a fan of emotional writing, I find it difficult to relate too.  This book was not that way, and Rothschild gave me great things to think on.  I highly recommend this book, worth the read.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Shooting, Stabbing and a Fallen Society- Time for Prayer

In 1962, the ruling was made that students could no longer be involved in voluntary prayer and Bible reading.  Since 1962, things in school have become progressively more complicated and even down right scary.  In our schools today, around the country there has been shooting, stabbings and all imaginable debauchery.  It seems like every week we hear something new.  Security keeps increasing, but we can't seem to stop the problem from continuing.

Years ago, disgruntled postal workers shot coworkers, and the term "going postal" was coined.  Now, this is happening is shopping malls, parking lots, schools, and in stores.  The issue keeps growing, recently I have heard about a couple shooting police officers and innocent bystanders before shooting themselves.

Where did we go wrong?  At what point did life stop having value?  We abort babies, dismiss and toss aside the elderly, students kill other students.  In the movies and on TV, we see lives taken constantly.  We have grown callous about the loss of life.  We have taught our kids that they have evolved from animals, that they have no real value and are just animals.  Life has stop being sacred, we no longer feel responsible to God.

We live in a day and age of fear.  We are afraid to get on an airplane, go to school, drive on the free way or go to work.  All of these places have been the locations of violence.  Malls, movie theaters, churches, homes and everywhere in between.  Maybe what we need is God's people to pray, I mean really pray.  Here is my suggestion, let's start to pray.  Let's gather daily and pray together for God's spirit to flood the land.  Every day, before work, before school and before the day begins.  Students can't pray in class during instruction time, but they can meet together before school to pray.  They can meet in the cafeteria during lunch and pray.  Adults can meet before work, during breaks and have a time of prayer.  We can pray, we should pray, we need to lift up our country and ask for God's spirit and presence, for His renewal.  In 1962, much of the "official" prayer stopped.  Maybe it's time we pray without being told it's ok.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Speaking of God what is Right; Why I Study Theology

There were once some friends of this guy who was suffering.  They were good friends, they came and sat with their friend for seven days.  Their friend had lost everything, all his good, his kids, his health and now he was sitting in ashes.  They joined him in the ashes, not saying a word because of his great distress.  After seven days, they tried to help their friend, and they said some things that sounded pretty reasonable.  They simply told their friend that he must have messed up.  God is just and is good to good people, He is bad to bad people.  Since bad things happened to their friend, he must be a bad person and he needs to repent.

If you don't know, this story is about Job in the Old Testament in the book that shares his name.  Job was a good man, a righteous man who was also wealthy and well off.  God allowed Satan to torment him, taking everything but his life.  Job was in a bad place, sitting in the ashes.  Job had some good friends who came to comfort him, and they meant well, but they didn't help much.  They decided it must be Job's fault, God must be punishing him.

We think like that sometimes, don't we?  A hurricane comes through and floods a city that is famous for its debauchery, then we assume God is judging it.  Many have said and will continue to say that God is or has or will judge America or Europe.  There are some who look at people groups or cultures and they declare that God's wrath is coming or has come.  We assume that God will pour out His wrath on bad people and pour blessings on the good people.  Isn't that how we expect God to work?  It makes sense to us, so maybe Job's friends had a point.

Let's not pick on these three, Jonah had the same idea.  He expected God to rain fire and brimstone down on Nineveh.  The Jews expected God to destroy the Babylonians (which eventually He did).   Even the Apostles assumed that after the resurrection, Jesus would restore the kingdom and take on and take out Rome.  Assyria, Babylon, Rome, they were the bad guys because they did bad things.  Israel were the good guys, God's chosen people.  It makes sense that good people get good things, bad people get bad things, so that is how God should work.  Right?  Job's friends thought so and often we do too.

How much of our theology is based on the way we think God should operate?  We say a lot of things that aren't really justified by scripture, but they make sense to us.  We say things like "have you found Jesus" when no one finds Him, no one goes up to Heaven to find Him, He finds us.  We say things like we need to have a "personal relationship with Jesus".  I have no idea where that statement comes from, we have a relationship with Christ and with His church, not sure where the "personal" part even comes from.  We say things in our church lingo that sounds good to us, but is it "what is right"?

God tells Job's three friends that He is angry with them because they have no spoken of Him what is right.  He tells them that Job will pray for them and they will be spared.  They had to take a sacrifice up and Job would offer them.  The reason is because Job wasn't bad, and what was happening to him was happening because he was righteous.  Does that make sense?  Not in human logic, we would never assume that's the case, but it's reality.  We are told we would be persecuted for righteousness, that the world would hate us, that we need to be on the defense against the flaming arrows of the Devil.  Things are bad for good people, and often good for bad people.  It doesn't make sense in our human logic, but in the eternal plan of God, it makes perfect sense.

So, here is my question.  How is your theology?  Do you say stuff that makes sense, ensure that God and His ways are "fair and balanced"?  If so, you may find yourself in the company of Job's friends.  Good men, good friends, bad theologians.  Their heart was in the right place, and they spoke what they thought was right.  Their thoughts where much lower than God's thoughts, so we must learn and study.  Theology is important, so make sure to study before you speak.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Shadows will Come, a Review of Surviving the Shadow: Coping with the Crisis of Life

Pastor Dr Don Brackbill knows what it is the survive the shadows and walk in the dark doubt of uncertainty.  I know because I served with him for several years as he walked in his trial with his wife.  It was a stress and a pain that would darken the horizon for any man.  As a Pastor, Don struggled with caring for his wife, for his church and for those things that God gave him oversight of.  In this book, he unpacks those things he dealt with during the darkest days.  He shares his heart and what God did to carry him through the dark times.

Read this book.  Just get it and read it.  You are going to have issues, problems and struggles.  You will face health crisis and you may have to watch someone you love suffer.  I know that they two years I watched my parents die of cancer that I walked in the shadows and survived.  Walking with Don for a short time during his journey, I learned more than I could have imagined about faith, love, devotion, faith and trust.  During this time, Don had compassion for church members unlike any I had seen or have seen since.  Instead of focusing on his trial, he focused on what God was doing.

You need to read the story of this couple, and you need to see the hope that God gave him during the shadowy time.  You will need this hope as some point, if you haven't experienced it already.  Pain and trials will come, and you need help to get through these times.  Don's words and wisdom will help you through these times and trials.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

What is it to be saved

So I have been thinking about Salvation, talking about Salvation. What Salvation is, how it works. Let's start with the basics. What is Salvation? Why do we need it? Why do we call it being born again?

Why we need Salvation is simple and complex at the same time. The simple reason is because we have alienated ourselves from God. God has no sin, and he requires us to have no sin, He created us without sin. The issue is that we all think we know better than God and do our own thing. We lie, we are selfish, we hurt others. We have become so content in our sin, we focus on the good things we have done. We forget that God's standard is to be perfect. It's not an outrageous claim, because God has made provision for us.

The provision is Jesus. He lived a life and never sinned, and offers to let us use His test score. He died for sin, and we take His death and He gives us His life. We simply make Him Lord of our lives. It's easier done than said, because the Holy Spirit does the work. We confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that He was raised from the dead. Romans 10:9 says if we do that, we are saved.

So here is where it gets tricky. How does Salvation work? Do we choose it, or are we chosen? Salvation is the easiest and more difficult thing in the world.  No one seeks it on their own and no one can find it on their own.  We are enemies with God and we are separated from God, yet the gift of salvation is given to us and we are compelled and drawn to Christ, even when we are unable to choose Him.  It's a mystery and yet it the thing that drives many of us, and driven some to point of death.  It's the most powerful force in the world, yet we don't completely understand it.

My prayer is that you will gain something you don't totally understand and did nothing to deserve.  I pray that you and God find peace, that you join His eternal family and that your eternity is changed.  I pray that your life is woven together with God and with other believers all over the world.  I pray you will be blessed and that you will experience the truth of God, even if we can't fully understand it.