Avoiding Your Mohegan Bluff

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In 1590, a war party of 40 Mohegan Indians left the mainland of North America, from what is now called Rhode Island. They traveled out into the ocean in a number of large war canoes, headed to an island 13 miles off the coast. They thought this island to be part of their home territory. They had heard others were living on it and decided to take back what they considered to be rightfully theirs. After making the dangerous ocean journey in the small crafts, the warring band of Indians landed on the rocky shoreline of what is now called, Block Island.

After scouting through the lush, hilly island, they located the inhabitants, called the Manissean’s, and decided to attack them. What the Mohegan’s did not know was that these Indians had lived on the island for many, many generations. This was their home, and even thought it was only 10 square miles in area, it was their land and provided everything they needed to live peacefully. There were deer and rabbits, plenty of fish to be caught at sea, trees to build shelter and provide fire wood, plenty of berries and vegetables growing in the rich soil and fresh springs in abundance. They were isolated from the outside world, and happy to live at peace in this secluded island kingdom.

What the Mohegan’s also did not know was that the Manissean’s were substantial in number, and well able to defend their territory. In fact, their spotters had been watching the war party coming when it was still miles out to sea, and the whole tribe was ready for the invading force when it hit the shore. Waiting to see what the invaders were up to, the Manissean’s made a plan to quietly encircled them, using the numerous small valleys and ridges for cover, and if need be, drive them off the island and back into the sea. Once it was clear this foreign tribe, with it’s foreign language, was going to aggressively take their land, the Manissean’s put their plan into action, and into the history books as well.

The band of Mohegan’s were indeed surprised, and forced into a backwards retreat as their only escape. They were badly out numbered, and driven up the inclined slope at one end of the Island. Their final destination was a high ridge topped in thick brush, now called “Mohegan Bluff”. This slope abruptly ends in a 200 foot cliff that drops straight down onto the rocky, ocean-swept shoreline. A fierce battle ensued, and the invaders were all killed by being driven over the edge of the cliff and falling to their deaths. The Manissean’s celebrated this great victory for days and were rewarded with the acquisition of the Mohegan canoes, axes, spears, arrows, bows and animal skins. Little did they know that in a few years, settlers from England would land on the island. With that arrival, the Manissean’s would vanish almost over night, many meeting the same fate as their Mohegan enemies.

This true story from our pre-colonial history serves to remind us that nothing lasts forever. Every area we consider to be ours by right, and every enemy we fight off to defend it, only gives us a temporary victory at best. At any moment, something can come along to challenge or change all we thought we had established. We are simply a job loss, an illness, a bad decision or a selfish choice away from the upheaval of all we have worked for and wanted. Even if we have reinforced everything with a backup plan, or a safety net, in life, “stuff” just happens. When it does, the sobering question you must ask yourself in that moment of truth is; “is it worth it?” If the answer is yes, then you need to stop complaining and embrace that change, because in the end, you were the one who put it in motion. The point is, every change comes with a price. Even on Block Island, there has been a great price paid by those who live here, and a few examples may help you to understand what I mean.

Until a few years ago the island’s electric grid was supplied by five massive, World War II diesel powered generators. When two of them caught fire, most of the island was left without power, and a plan was devised to build a modern power plant to supply the growing energy needs of the island’s growing “summer people”. You see, the permanent residents number 800, but the summer population is about 27,000, which is compose of city people who are quite wealthy. Everyone rejoiced over the new power plant, until they realized the pristine ocean view was marred by five massive windmills just off shore. Now the “summer people” are angry and want a tax break. They say their view is ruined and their property values have gone down.

With the onslaught of wealthy “summer people”, the cost of a 400 sq ft, one bedroom condo, if you can find one, is $380,000. The cost of a small, two bedroom, 1000 sq ft camp is $750,000, and the price for a very modest home starts at $1.5 million and goes way up from there. To buy a typical lunch, like a bowl of soup, a cup of tea and a simple sandwich for two runs $55 plus a tip. Shopping for food? Well butter is $8 a pound, yogurt is $3 a small cup, fresh Salmon is $25 a pound, milk is $6.50 a gallon, and a dozen eggs is $6.50. The round trip ferry trip ride to the mainland and back for two people and a vehicle, is in the neighborhood of $140. If you buy food in bulk on the main land, you can’t just pack it in your car and return. Oh no! At the ferry you must unload the food into a shipping container and pay for your vehicle, each passenger and for the shipping container of food as well. Basically, all this is another “Mohegan Bluff” of a different kind.

Be it large or small, there is a price to be paid for everything we insist we must have, and every change that comes with it. This is why Scripture says it is so important for us to “count the cost” before we forge ahead. Clear thought, calmed emotions, honest evaluation, wise counsel and prayer are essentials before you jump headlong into something, no matter how good it looks. This is the prescription for a healthy, well-balanced life, that will not be filled with regrets and “what-if’s”, at it’s end. Let’s face it, looks can be very deceiving, and there are always unknown things that show up after we have all the facts.

The final reality check for a good life is that we must slow down and survey things, before they have been put in place. The spiritual, emotional and natural topography around us must be understood, or we could end up at our own “Mohegan Bluff’s” one day. In this season of life, where rapid change has become the norm, do yourself a favor and take the time to really pray and look things over, before you make that “have to” decision. Who knows, it may not be so pressing after all. You could save yourself, and those you love, a great deal of emotional distress, and personal expense, by avoiding an unnecessary fall over a cliff you should never have been standing on in the first place. Think it through you may find yourself standing at the precipice of your own “Mohegan Bluff”.

Asleep At The Wheel

is (1)When I was a young man of 18, I had a Canadian girlfriend named Mary, who had beautiful skin, cute little freckles and long red hair. Our romance began when we met one summer at Meacham Lake Public Campsite. She was camping there with her family, and I lived on that campsite all summer while running our family’s seasonal boat business. It was love at first sight, and we were inseparable from the moment we met. After their vacation was over and she went home, we wrote letters every day, and I drove to Montreal at least once a month to see her. I gladly spent my weekends on the couch at her family home, so we could be together.

Needless to say, the weekends went by too quickly no matter what we did. Often we were awake until the early morning hours talking, going out to eat and just enjoying every moment with each other. When it was time for me to leave on Sunday evening, the lingering “good-by’s” got harder all the time. In an emotionally wrung-out, physically exhausted state, I would climb into my car and start the 4 hour drive home. Often I would drive for many miles and not remember anything about the road I had just been on. Worse yet, I was so tired that my eye lids would droop down and close for a few seconds at a time, as I drove along.

On one such drive home, I was fully absorbed in the memory of our weekend activities and contemplating asking this young woman to marry me, when something happened. There is a long straight stretch of road between McCallum and Paul Smith, NY. At the end of this is a sweeping curve around the end of Mountain Pond. It was right at the beginning of this long, slow curve that I slipped off into a half-memory, half-sleep state. My eye lids slipped shut, and a warm relaxed feeling swept over me. I was there with Mary once again, as we walked along the streets Old Montreal, holding hands.

From some place in the distance, a deep thumping noise pulled me back to reality. As I broke through the sleepy fog and confusion, it felt like something was hitting my car. Very loud thumps in rapid sequence filled the air which startled me awake. When my eyes snapped open, I realized I had been asleep at the wheel, and drifted around the corner to cross head on, into the oncoming lane. My two left tires were in the gutter, and my left front bumper was clipping the cement guard rail posts on the wrong side of the road. At that moment, the car was ready to pass the final guardrail, fly over the steep bank, and plunge 150 feet down into the ice-cold water of Mountain Pond.

Instinctively I turned the wheel, crossed back over into my own lane and found a place to pull off the road until I regained my composure. As I inspected the bumper of my car, I was amazed at how little damage had occurred, and was filled with gratitude to be alive and completely unharmed. The knowledge of just how close I came to an untimely death was a sobering thought indeed. Just two seconds more and I would have been passed the guard rails, over the bank, into that deep, cold water and lost from sight. Who knows when or if my body would have ever been found.

Let me explain why I am giving you this life lesson. Any time we get distracted and keep pushing beyond the healthy limits of life, we needlessly put ourselves and others at risk. Some consequences may be mildly inconvenient, while others can cause irreparable damage that may have an impact on generations to come. The point is, we are all just one stupid decision away from something that might disrupt everything that was supposed to be. Get distracted and fall asleep at the wheel of your life for a moment, and the great blessing that was just around the next corner, will never happen!

Let me suggest to you that now is the time for all of us to stay alert, and do what has to be done, the way it has to be done. It is not the time for distraction, compromise or being lulled to sleep on the important things of life. Things like loving God, honesty, integrity, honor, being good to your word, honest work, staying out of needless debt, emotional stability, compassion for others and having self-control are the foundation stones of a healthy life. With these in place you will do great things. However, without them, you will have nothing but trouble.

How long have you been asleep at the wheel? If there is noise and confusion that fills your life on a regular basis, it is time to wake up my friend, before it is too late. Open your eyes to all that is flashing by you. The fact that you are reading this means there is still time to grab the wheel of your life, and get back into the lane where you belong. There may be some damage to deal with but that is minor compared to what will happen if you fail to make the needed changes.

I believe for some who are reading this, this is your last wake-up call. You have wasted your life, and everyone’s time.You have made endless excuses, but the bottom line is, you have stubbornly refused to change. Listen to me, the guard rails are about to end, and now is the time to grab the wheel of your life, and take control. If you keep sleeping behind the wheel, we will all see your tail lights fading into the dark, murky waters of a broken life. Is this what you really want? Only you know the answer to that question!!!

 

 

Wait For It

 

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Over the years I have watched many people, both young and old, have a desire for something that took root in their heart. It may have been a want or a genuine need, but whatever it was, trouble started when that desire began to overtake their life. What I mean is, they lost the ability to enjoy life as it is, because life as they wanted it to be, was not within their immediate grasp. Over time, it became the driving force that ruled and ruined their life. In fact, many have gone into debt or worse, just because they could not “wait for it”, and by so doing, complicated their life in many unforseen ways.

The morotcycle you see here was one of my great desires. It is a V Twin Honda Shadow 1100. I owned a much smaller bike, a Honda CX500, for years but always wanted something larger for my wife and I to enjoy on longer trips. The thing is, I refused to go onto debt to get it and made up my mind to just wait. We really did love that old CX500, and it served it’s purpose well. In fact, over the years I put over 20,000 miles on it. What I especially loved about that bike was the fact that it was purchased for only $300 and I was debt free.

That being said, the desire for a bigger motorcycledid not go away over the years. However, I never let that desire for it take my life over. I looked through Craig’s List over the months, I went on ebay motors, Facebook buy and sell, and numerous local on line sites to look for “my bike”. I found a few over time, but they were either way too expensive, had too many miles on them, or were just too far away. Through all of this, I never, ever wanted it so badly that I manipulated things to get it at any cost. No, I had a goal in mind of staying debt free, so I set money aside and I let the desire move me on, but not rule my life.

Then last week it happened! There on Craig’s List was “the bike” I had always been after. A liquid cooled, shaft drive Honda Shadow VT1100C. It had one owner, 12,256 original miles, not a scratch on it, showroom condition, leather saddle bags, spotless chrom and everything had been customized as well. Best of all, the owner lived 1 hour and 35 minutes from my house and was motivated to sell. After negoatiating the price to less than half it’s value, I drove to his home with a trailer, picked it up and pulled out of the yard with this amazing machine, and I was still debt free!

Why am I sharing this? I share it because this is not just a story, it is a life lesson on the importance of waiting. My father always told me when I was a boy that good things come to those who wait, and he was right. As I learned to contrlol my desires, my wants and  my wishes, and uncovered how to use them to motive me in the right direction, I have been blessed over and over again. Want a few examples? I got my wife Esther this way, and we got our house this way as well. We got our entire church facility and all the land it sits on this way. Esther got her car, a Cadilac CTS, and I got my Trail Blaze the same way. We waited on God and He brought everything to us in His perfect time and way.

I can tell you that the list of blessings just goes on and on. All this has come because we were willing to “wait for it”, and not let the desire to have it now drive us to obtain it under our own power. The Bible says that when we allow God to direct our path, He will give us the desire of our heart. That means He will put the correct desire in our heart, and then bring us to the place where we obtain it with ease. We will not be burdened with constant problems, confusion or mounting debt.

If your life has been over run by any of the above, there is a better way. We are designed by God to be His example to a broken world, of clear thought, the blessing of God and increase in every vital area. If you are not walking in the fullness of your Christian heritage, perhaps it’s time to consider a better way. I am no expert, but I do know that patient endurance, prayer and learning to just “wait for it”, always brings the blessing of God. Who knows…..today could be your day to begin a new chapter of frutiful living. All you have to do is ask, and God will answer in ways you can’t possibly imagine.

 

 

A Change Of Truth

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This was the view out my back window a day or so ago. It was a cold, but sunny Spring day with tempreatures in the low 40’s and I took a motorcycle ride as it was spitting snow. Quite a miracle to say the least, since two weeks ago at this time we had 10 inches of snow on the ground, and blizzard conditions all across the area. People were laboring with shovles, snowblowers and slippery roads. Yet today, everything is very different. It’s still cold for this time a year, but the snow is nearly all gone and now it’s raining.  This cold weather does not change the truth. The truth is, there is a promise of warmer days just ahead.

This time of year the rapidly changing weather reminds me so much of life in general. One day you can be up to your eyeballs in problems and pain, only to be released from it a few days or weeks later. The point being, nothing in life is permanant, and we need to remember this powerful truth when things get tough. Enjoy every moment that is wonderful, but patiently endure when it’s not. The struggle of today can be gone in a flash, and a new reality can rule the situation before you know it. The sun shining on your face one minute can be covered by dark snow clouds a moment later. So, because everything changes so rapidly, we must learn to live with it, and flourish in spite of it.

All living things grow, change, move and respond to the environment around them. These are the signs of life, and they tell us whether something is healthy, or not. In fact, everything goes through seasons of fruitfulness and barrenness, but as long as it keeps growing and adapting to what is around, it will survive. More than that, many things will actually thrive in the most adverse conditions, simply because they have learned how to use the tough surroundings to grow stronger.

As people, we are really no different. Our situation can be healthy or heartbreaking, easy or difficult, or even quite deadly at times. We may be misused, abused, overlooked or even thought to be unworthy of basic human knidness by the brutes of this world. Yet in all of this, one thing still stands true; no one has the power to stop you from rising above it all to become what God created you to be. Nothing this world can throw at you is able to prevent you from saying “No! I will not let this define me, because only God has the power and authority to do that in my life.”

When I consider all the nasty things that happen, and all the nasty people who speak and do unkind things, the only thing that really matters is what God says about me. He is the defining force that shapes my thoughts, rules my world and guides my feet to safety. Other’s will come and go, like the winter snow. They are here for now, to bring another blast of misery, and then fade away. God alone is the unchanging break of dawn that points me to where I need to be going. He is the spring breeze that melts every pocket of ice and snow others dumped into the landscape of my life.

No matter how difficult things may be for you right now, your Spring thaw will come. Every day the Son’s Love is moving towards you, and getting stronger. The icy blast of winter words spoken by ignorant people will always give way to it’s power. It is fixed by the inevitable, unstopable, continual, relentless persuit of God. No one can resist Him, and nothing can prevent His Love from fulfilling it’s appointed design in you. This is the season of fulfilled promises. Those who hold on, and wait just a little bit longer, will have their mouths filled with laughter and their hearts filled with joy.

Now is not the time to give up. Now is the time to get up, and look with expectation for a holy invasion of God’s furious love. If you are in the dark night of your soul, look to the eastern horizon and you will soon see the faint glow of the coming dawn. Trust in God one more time, and you will not be disapointed. The Son will rise with healing in His wings, and you will yet go forth with that victorious shout of joy for all to hear. You are a champion in the Lord, and nothing the world can do will ever change that truth.

Delayed Promise

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I looked out my window today expecting to hear the sound of geese flying over head, and see Robins gathering worms on my lawn. Instead, I was greeted by the the sight of another layer of snow that came with a brisk north wind, and the weatherman’s prediction of freezing temperatures for the greater portion of the week. This is NOT my idea of a fulfilled promise for the long-awaited arrival of Spring.

Those of us who have spent our lives in upstate New York, understand all too well, the reality of what can come our way this time of year. We are not shocked when one week is warm, and the soft breeze is summer-like. The snow melts and out come the motorcycles and bar-b-que grills. The lawns get raked on those beautiful, sunny days, and life feels good. This can be followed by an arctic blast that rips down from Canada. Snow covers the newly thawed land, and everything is frozen solid again. As one neighbor of mine so aptly put it, “this weather is like manic-depression, with no meds”.

Yet, even during the fridge, snowy return of winter, there also comes a glimmer of hope. Small “snow flowers” in my garden press through the cold, white covering, and lift their flowered heads toward daylight. No matter how bitter it gets, or how much it snows, these flowers always, and I mean always, come up. They continue to blossom through the worst of it, and this is a powerful reminder to me that delayed hope is just that. It is hope in a season of delay until the promised answer finally comes…… and it always comes!

We all have hopes and dreams that impact our lives deeply. They can come in a hundred different forms, and each profoundly changes the way we view everything. We look to the future for better jobs, closer relationships with those we love, financial development, physical healing and emotional growth. This is because no one wants to stay as they are, or in the same situation, from now until the day they die. Our dreams and visions are what compel us to do new things, climb that next mountain and take risks. Without a vision of promise, the Bible says, “the people perish”. We need this if we are going to be healthy, and obtain the very things for which we were placed here on earth.

However, there is the proverbial “monkey wrench” in the gears of life that can knock the strongest of us to our knees. There are times when our promise gets delayed, and there is nothing we can do about it. Things can get held up and stalled, for no apparent reason, and this sets up a conflict. Nothing anyone does or says helps to explain it. Worse yet, is the fact that in those times even God is often silent, other than to whisper, “Do you trust Me?” It is in these moments of delayed promise that we must make a decision which goes contrary to the very nature within us. The “somehow there must be a way I can fix it” attitude we fall back on, has to be held in check or even worse things can happen.

Years ago, one of my best friends had an experience with delay that taught him a very profound lesson. He and his family were in a van headed to the store. They were running late and proceed to hit every red light in town. After the second or third red light in a row, he was getting very impatient and was planning to jump the light. The moment it turned green, he hit the gas pedal, and for no apparent reason, his engine die on the spot. In anger, he jam on the brakes, put it in park and turned the key in the ignition. At that very moment, a huge truck blew right through the light, inches from the front of his vehicle. Had he not experienced that moment of delay, they would have all been killed.

Has your promise been delayed? Is the hope you once had now fading into the distance? Could it be that your unfulfilled promises are really God’s way of keeping you safe and teaching you what you need to know for the day it comes? If you feel the cold north wind of empty promises swirling around you, let me suggest that it’s time to begin looking for the snow flowers. It’s time to refocus your attention on the good all around you that has already happened. Develop a heart of gratitude for what is still growing in the snow storm. It is this kind of resilience, at just the right time, that has the power to prepare you and propel you into your future.

It is true that a change of thinking will not stop the snow from falling outside my window. However, it is also true that the internal change I make about it impacts my heart, and that my friends will stop ME from falling. Learning how to patiently wait in a silent season of delay is the treasure I am after. Remember, during a test the teacher never speaks. If God is silent in your current season, it’s just a test, and you can do more than simply endure the delay. You can flourish in it and be better equipped to enjoy the promise that is yet to come. So, stop the whining… follow directions…. do your best… and when it’s over, every promised blessing God is holding for you, will be handed over to you.

Sap Thaw Promise

forest-glen-innHere in the northeast, the end of January and beginning of February is a unique time of year. We all know that winter is far from over but “cabin fever” sets in, and people are ready for that first, sunny taste of Spring. Thoughts of fishing and camping start coming to mind, and an incoming snow storm is not embraced with very much grace. Fortunately there is a reprieve that usually comes our way during this unsettled time of year. The old timers who lived in the Adirondacks call it the “January”, “Sap” or “Sweet Water” thaw, and it was a promise of warmer weather yet to come.

This early thaw is caused by a shift in the Jet Stream which crosses through our region far overhead. This time of year one part of it tends to take a dip into the western US, and another part of it meanders northward into Canada. This massive “S” shaped movement blocks cold arctic air from flooding into our region and funnels warm southern air up from Texas, Florida and Georgia. Our days can warm into the 40’s and 50’s, and snow-melt runs into the ice-clogged rivers filling them with water once again. If it lasts long enough, Sugar Maples begin to wake up, and the sap begins to make an early run. Indians in our area were the first to collect this maple sap, which they called “sweet water”.  Thus, the name “sap thaw” or “sweet water thaw” came into being.

Those who own a sugarbush, where maple sap is collected and evaporated into maple syrup, understand the importance of the sap thaw. The first early run of the regular sap season is like money in the bank. This is because every drop collected during these times has a higher concentration of sugar to water. An early run can be in the order of 30 to 1, which means thirty gallons of sap will produce 1 gallon of syrup. Later runs will have a ratio of 40 to 1, and this produces a very different kind of syrup.

On a few rare occasions there has been an extended “sap thaw”, and people were able to collect enough sap to begin their sugaring season in late January or early February. A very early thaw can produce a ratio as high as  25 to 1. This means the final product will be a sweet, light amber syrup of the highest quality and this will bring a premium price at market. Because the early sap has less water content, it needs less heat to drive off the water and bring it to the right consistency for syrup. Later runs need more evaporation which means more heat must be added, and this produces a darker, stronger flavored syrup that is not as highly prized.

I give this lesson from the maple sugaring industry because I want to illustrate a point. The potential for a sweet syrup is always in the sap, but it takes a lot of heat and time to bring it out. Also, each gallon of maple syrup is made the exact same way. The sap may be boiled in different kinds of evaporators, and they may use different heat sources, but the process is always the same. There is no real shortcut if maple syrup is going to be done right. The point is, it just takes more time to get the syrup when there is a lot of water in the way.

We are just like that maple sap. We naturally come with a lot of excess stuff which has to be dealt with. The harder we hold on to it, the harder it is to get at the final sweet product God placed within us. When we yield easily, the light amber-colored syrup of goodness will flow out of us for all to enjoy. When we don’t quickly yield to the dealings of God, He has to apply more heat in order to get rid of that which is undesirable. This means the process of life will become more and more difficult over time. If we are not careful, these additional dealings will impact many areas of our life, which can change how we see God and life in general.

What I mean is, resistance to the dealings of God only serves to prolong the “heat” He must apply to bring change to our life.  That prolonged heat was never intended for us, but it will start to make subtle shifts in what we think, and how we view things. We can begin to doubt God’s goodness and question His love and plans for us. In the end, it can shake our faith, cause us to see ourselves as a victim and even make us stumble in our walk with the Lord. If this continues, what’s in us will begin to become dark and bitter, like the last old run of maple syrup. This all happens because we insist on stubbornly fighting every change God’s is trying to make, and we cling to the things that really need to go.

What about you? Have you been holding on to things God wants to eliminate from your life? Is there anger, unforgiveness, offense, emotional pain, negative people around you, disappointment or other things you are holding on to that are now holding on to you? Perhaps it’s time to yield to the dealings of God, stop the struggle and just let some things go. The fact is, you can’t change your past, but your past does have the power to change your future.

If you hold on to the good things, and release those things that want to hold you hostage, everything will change. You can move forward and finally get to the good stuff God intended for your life. The best part is, all this will happen with a lot less heat simply because you made a shift in the right direction. This could be your season to change. Change your attitude, change your point of view and begin to listen for the sound of running water. Even in the dead of winter, a sap thaw promise of better things to come can be found. That choice, my friends, is always up to you!

 

Nothing Is Ever Really Lost

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Alan Robinson and Walter MacFarlane have been close friends for 60 years. It all started when they played football together at a prep school in Hawaii. The men grew up, lived a few houses apart, raised families and remained good friends all their working years. As they approached retirement, they each decided to take a DNA test and uncover the details of their lost personal histories. Walter never knew his father, and Alan never knew his birth mother because he had been adopted as a baby. The men felt it was time to uncover who they really were, since both longed for family connections they had never known.

Honolulu news station KHON-TV reported that after a number of unsuccessful searches on social media and other sites, MacFarlane finally found a clear match using a DNA-matching website. He was excited to tell his friend that someone out there had an identical X chromosome with his. This meant that the unknown man and he had the very same birth mother and Walter actually had a brother he never knew about. After the DNA match was confirmed, the two mystery men exchanged names. To Walters amazement, his unknown brother was none other than his best friend Alan. Both men said it was an “overwhelming experience” when they revealed the wonderful news to friends and family.

“This is the best Christmas present I could ever imagine,” Mr Robinson said. “I had a younger brother, and never knew it. It’s funny that all these years I thought I never had any close relatives, but I always had my best friend Walter. The funny thing is, I adopted his kids as my own nieces and nephews. They just accepted me as part of the family. Now I find out they really are my nieces and nephews. What’s so amazing is that all these years our families grew up together, and I thought I had lost that time with family but nothing was ever really lost. It’s overwhelming to think about right now.” He went on to say, “There were many times when I thought, you know, I look like Robi in some ways, but I just blew it off as wishful thinking. Now I know why!”

Many times in life it seems as if something has been lost forever. We can think something that was so important is gone, and it can never be recovered. A friendship, a relationship or even personal property that had great meaning, can all go missing. At such times, the longing to have everything made right can begin to overtake our lives, and rob us of the joy of living for today. The question is, what will we do in situations like this? The answer to that question really depends on us.We can move on, hold on to hope and make the best of things, or we can hold on to the loss and let that pain rule our lives.

In some cases, things can actually be restored, and bridges long gone can be mended. Other times, you may have to forgive what happened, and just let things go into the hands of God. Every circumstance has a solution of it’s own, and we must be patient, make the best of things and keep a good attitude, no matter how things have turned out. A friend of mine is a good example of how holding on to hope and not the loss, allows God and circumstances to work out what seems impossible. We just have to do our part, keep looking, and be patient.

45 years ago he was living down south. He had traveled there in his truck with his trusty childhood .22 rifle, from his home in upstate New York. One day someone broke into his truck and took that prized childhood gun. Fortunately, he had removed the bolt from it and that was the only thing he had to remind him of that treasure. He held on to that bolt for decades and continue to confess that one day he would find the gun that fit that bolt. Sure enough, thirty odd years later he found the same year and model gun, and the owner basically gave it to him because it was missing the bolt. His bolt slipped right into the gun frame as a perfect match, and at that moment he realized anything is possible if you have hope and don’t give up.

If you have suffered a loss, missed an opportunity or had something just slip through your fingers, don’t despair. All is not lost. God is able to do amazing things if you will just relax, continue to do your part and patiently hold onto the hope that is within you. In the economy of God, nothing is ever really lost. It may be misplaced for a season, or be in hiding for a reason. It may have been taken from you by force, or you may have let go of it by mistake. The thing is, don’t count it as a loss. I am here to tell you that nothing is impossible with God. If He can raise people from the dead and part the Red Sea, He can surely restore anything that seems long gone and lost forever.

Look with the eyes of faith. Never, ever give up. Trust God in all things. Bathe everything in prayer. Dwell on all the wonderful things God has already done. Be patient and don’t let your heart be troubled. He is a master at doing what is impossible for everyone else. Have a heart of expectant gratitude and open joy. Live life to the fullest and take others with you, where ever that may be. By doing these things you will impact everyone who gets near you and be more than a life-changer, you will be a world-changer. My question is simple; “why tell the stories of what others have done when you can really live life and tell stories of your own?” Remember, nothing is ever lost, but it may be delayed for a season or a reason! You just have to wait for it…….