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33 Responses

  1. Jean says:

    Michael, thank you for your words this morning. They immediately bring to mind the Psalm 22.

  2. Neo says:

    To me, a rainbow is the hope we hold to in the interval between last hour’s storm and the next hour’s sunlight. Thanks for the rainbow, Michael.

  3. Michael says:

    Neo…I wish I’d wrote that line about the rainbow…thank you!
    Thank you, Jean, as well.

  4. victorious says:

    Your words are born by the Spirit and used by the Spirit to bring clarity and confidence in God’s sustaining presence and welcoming grace of His presence through Jesus Christ for all of us. Praying they do the same for you today, Michael.

    Sometimes knowing the will and plan of God in a moment or season is simply this- He will never leave or forsake us and will uphold us so that we stick around to see and experience this wonderful reality.

  5. Michael says:

    Thank you for the kind words.
    Sometimes I forget the best thing I can do with this platform is to encourage someone else who may be in a darker season than I am…

  6. Steve Wright says:

    the best thing I can do with this platform is to encourage someone else who may be in a darker season than I am
    You may have just coined my new definition of pastoral ministry.

  7. papiaslogia says:

    “Your circumstances do not reflect God’s heart toward you.”

    Thank you for this Michael. Much to reflect upon.

  8. Michael says:

    Steve, papiaslogia…thank you.

  9. Bob Sweat says:

    This blog, and your writing has been a source of encouragement to me many times over the past 9 years. As you are aware, Richard Foster is a favorite of mine. I read again today something he said years back, “”Real prayer comes not from gritting our teeth but from falling in love.” In my times of despair, it has been easy to grit my teeth and ask why! However, Foster, IMO, nails it when he says prayer should lead us to a deeper love of our Lord. I pray that the love of God would surround you, and that you would embrace more and more of it each day. Thank you my friend!

  10. Michael says:


    Great words…true words.
    Thank you, my friend!

  11. I actually agree with this. I’ve been through quite a journey…different set of circumstances, not the physical hardship or the lingering financial hardship…but certainly spiritual and familial etc etc.

    Through it all, I cannot deny God is there…though I’ve wanted to throw out church and God several times in the process. I just can’t. There’s something to spirituality even though it isn’t empirically quantifiable and provable with our physical senses.

    Had a great meeting with Bob Caldwell CC Boise today…frank discussion, he didn’t try to b.s. me which was appreciated.

  12. Francisco Nunez says:

    Thanks for sharing your heart Michael. Will lift you up in prayer.

  13. Michael, thanks for trying to help us. Sorry you’re still facing the physical and financial difficulties, I know it’s been a long sucky period for you and I haven’t always been very sensitive to that.

  14. Michael says:

    Thanks, Alex.
    Many of us are suffering and if we aren’t now, we will be.
    It’s easier when you know he’s real…
    Thank you, Francisco.

  15. London says:

    This is beautiful Michael.

  16. Michael says:

    Thank you, London. 🙂

  17. Jean says:

    “Many of us are suffering and if we aren’t now, we will be.”

    How true, how true.

  18. fme2 says:

    Thank you, Michael, for the rich encouragement 🙂

  19. Paige says:

    Amen, my dear. “I’ve heard of You with the hearing of the ear, but now, my eyes see You, and I repent in dust and ashes.”…. I have come to believe that the disciples of Jesus all have appointments like this. God knows how to ‘get to us’ best/worst….and most productively. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, mourners, peacemakers, the persecuted, the reviled” …. and ‘blessed’ is NOT the typical ‘oh how happy’ definition that we so often hear.

    “many of us are suffering… if not now, will be”. This is the ‘heritage’ of the saints.
    Love you.

  20. Mike Quesada says:

    Another thing of beauty Michael, thanks! Gotta share that!

  21. Michael says:

    Jim Jr.,
    The only reason you got a comment through was that you changed your monicker and it got through the filter.
    You are anonymous, carefully covering your tracks…a coward.
    When I speak I put my name on my words and I speak to people that I accuse.
    You do nothing but curse and hide.

  22. 5 out of 5…well…6 out of 5…
    Much better Michael.

    You are a true example of a man who understands the will of God and submission to that.

    (Very humbling).

    While some are pulling in half a mill a year on the back of the Gospel message ( in good health); there are those like yourself who do what ever it takes to stay afloat while upholding that same Gospel message.

    A well coordinated plan by a loving God who has eternity in mind. Both sides of the pendulum swing are in perfect balance in His sight.

  23. John says:

    Michael you have beautiful Godly heart .. I love reading your Blog it lifts me up when I feel down thinking about Sankey .. praying you get well soon

  24. Linda Pappas says:


    Standing with you knowing only so well what it is to embrace His love as the birds circling about us try to make a nest in our heads. I have found He is ever the so more near to us during the days of deprivation, isolation, and the wear and tear that takes place within us as a result of such times.

    You could not have shared this until you yourself have had to suffered such. In this, much praise, glory, and honor be to Him who has sustained you in such a way that you are willing to be used as a vessel to encourage others.


    A kindred spirit that speaks that which is so well covered up by that which would prefer these things to be hidden. As I have shared with you, little brother. He is as close as one could possibly be particularly when it would seem that all others have forsaken you.

    As Paige shared:

    ““many of us are suffering… if not now, will be”. This is the ‘heritage’ of the saints.”

    The whole earth groans———-to see the Day of the Lord. Until then, hold fast.

    Personally, it is during these times that I have found myself falling deeper in love with Him, while embracing that which I would run from or seek to avoid only to find out that in doing so, the pain and suffering intensified. But when I embrace it, somehow, He removes the sting, the anger, and the false guilt that would tear me away from the knowledge that Jesus is right there besides me carrying the weight that I cannot bear alone, yet using it to draw me close to Him, to know Him and to make Him known even the more in the midst of the darkness that have seemingly surrounded me.

  25. Michael says:

    FME, John, Mike, Linda, Paige…thank you…good words from you all.
    Glad to see I redeemed myself in davidsurfers ratings… 🙂

  26. brian says:

    Michael I always appreciate your honesty and willingness to be open. I think that is what drew me to this blog so many years ago. I have spent a great deal of personal effort to rid myself of two, what I have been taught, the vilest of my traits, I am a human being and I need help at times. I have learned to loathe those aspects of my life. That is the one thing I have learned a Christian. It is a very strange religion it really is.

  27. Michael
    praying for your health and job situations. God will provide as we move forward in trusting faith.

  28. Michael, just ignore that troll “Jim Jr.” The person posted similar garbage on my blog before and it was a Visalia IP address, then they went to an anonymous IP after I let them know i had their IP.

    It’s the same troll that went crazy on the topix forums from Visalia.

    Linda could tell you more about the person’s behavior from a professional standpoint, but the person exhibits a disorder that is common among folks who anonymously troll the internet.

    Linda, love you, good to hear from you! Thanks for the kind words. Hope you are well.

  29. Linda Pappas says:

    Alex, thank you as well.

    As for trolls, here’s a link that provides information that covers the broad range of people who behave accordingly:–five-tips-to-defeat-blog-trolls-and-cyberstalkers.html

    Alex, personally, if you are speaking of the troll that we have discussed during the time your store had been put in jeopardy, I think this was much more along the lines of a sociopath who likely knows you or knows a psychopath who has targeted you. If there is are 2 or more involved in the targeting, it would not be unusual to find that the doing the actual trolling is following the lead of an alpha male or female. Much of this is due to setting up the troll as a proxy for many reasons. One to find out how you will react or respond, so they can “play” with you, but also so they can hurt you as well, while finding out what your Achilles heel may be, for later usage. As with most people who are at their core, narcissists, it is a matter of keeping others in that: deer in the light mode. So, they will always put forth something that deviates from the normal in order to garner attention, while capturing their prey, then relishing the moment (s) of being able to startle, shock, scare, terrorize, tyrannize, and cause duress and distress. Most get in through the skills of charm and playing into a person’s viewpoint — mirrors this long enough to then be able to start the progression of a downward spiral into hell, so to speak.

    If the troll is being used by a alpha type, then they very well could be diagnosed as having any one or more conditions. Bottom line, though—they do not know the Lord and have no interest in getting to know Him. Not to say they would deny not knowing the Lord—however, it would be at best a false conversion and at worse a smokescreen —– that is, a mask of sanity in the midst of the sheep, so to speak.

    I trust Michael and Alex are well experienced in sorting out the difference between wolves, predators, and those who honestly and genuinely are seeking to sharpen iron with iron.

  30. brian says:

    “I trust Michael and Alex are well experienced in sorting out the difference between wolves, predators, and those who honestly and genuinely are seeking to sharpen iron with iron.” I trust Michael and Alex both have shown me much grace. I sometimes think I am a troll. Goodness knows I have killed more threads than most with my rantings. What about us who dont even know if we actually still believe in God like they do. Michael gives me great latitude and for the most part I am given a pass. I think some think I will wilt if I am questioned, MLD is a good mirror as is Steve. They have challenged me a few times with fair questions. I am a universalist, and open theist, and I struggle with some of the actual historicity of the early genesis accounts. Why do I take these stances, for the same reason I breath, because I can find no other way to be intellectually honest to what I observe / know, and the text of scripture as well as to those I have worked with most of my adult life. I cant tell all I have seen do to confidentiality and decorum of this forum. It torments me many nights. I dont want God to send those I work with to hell because they did not understand some nuance of doctrine or sinned. I dont want to be “saved” if they are not. This has kept me up nights. It should not have I get that but it does.

  31. Nonnie says:

    Michael, I shared your TGIF with a dear friend of mine who is going through a very difficult time. This was her reply : “This is someone who knows firsthand the nearness of God through the dark storms of life. This is indeed someone who knows the radiance of God’s love!
    Thank you for sharing the above, It has ministered comfort to the depths of my soul. “

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