Americana- Off Shore Fishing With Dad

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Growing up and into my late 30’s we always took family vacations to the beach. When we did my dad, brothers and I would take a day trip with a Captained boat to go out and do some off shore fishing. My dad loved to fish and we often would catch the limit on about every fish we got into to. The last trip we took before my dad got where he could barely see and walk was on a boat called the Captain Stacy. We went out of Morehead City, NC into the deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean about 25 miles off the coast of North Carolina.

My dad, two brothers and myself went on this trip. After about a three or four hour boat ride out into the Atlantic into 150-300 feet deep water we put our lines in and soon began to catch Dolphin (not flipper folks) but the actual fish called a Dolphin. We then got into some Amberjack which are big and strong and give one hell of a fight to get into the boat. We fished out the limit on both of those so we moved into some deeper water in search of some bigger game fish.

We put anchor down and suddenly things got hot again and we hit a school of Spanish and King Mackerel and hit the individual limit on both of them. I cannot remember I think it was like 5-7 per person and we had a good time tearing them up and getting them on board the boat. Mackerel is a bony fish that doesn’t eat that well so we gave them to the people who show up everyday at the local docks when the boats come in so they could eat them.

The day continued and we found ourselves surrounded by five or six other boats because we were hitting the fish hard and catching them like crazy on every cast. Other than a few that broke the line or fought off we tore them up that day. Late in the day before coming back in for the three hour return trip we hooked into a large shark. My dad fought it first and then one by one we took turns fighting that beast. It breached the water three times to let us get a hint of his size and power but we never could get it close to the boat.

The last time the shark jumped out of the water three hours later as it was still fighting the Captain got a good glimpse of it and determined based on his experience that we had hooked a 8-10 foot long Tiger Shark that likely weighed in the area of 400-600 pounds. He told us we would not get that thing on the boat and it was best to cut it loose and let it go. He also reminded us that it was getting late in the afternoon and we needed to head back before it got dark. The last thing he said was we really don’t want that full grown adult shark close to a 30 foot boat anyways.

It was big enough to pull the boat around and mean. One huge, lean, mean eating machine. So we cut the line and let it go. That shark won the battle that day as he proceeded to wear all of us out. One by one he kicked our butts and sent us packing and we are all healthy and strong men. My dad was older but was still a 6’4 340 pound mans man and the most experienced of us all and it wore him down also. Just as we were cutting the line my brother hooked a good size fish and as he was reeling it in and just as it was coming out of the water it got hit by another Tiger shark.

This one was not as big but was mean and about 6-7 feet long and he was a monster. He bit the 18 inch long fish in half and kicked his tail at us as to say better stay on that boat. As a kid I spent lots of time in the ocean playing, swimming and fishing for two weeks every summer. But that sunny day in July showed me a life lesson that we are humans and are meant to be on a boat and not in that water out there. We may be the ultimate predator on ground, but those big sharks are the rulers of the deep. They can have the deep water and I will stay my big butt right in the shallows where it belongs.

We lost dad in 2009 and man would I love to fight another big shark or just catch a few pond bass with him. One of these days we will fish again. Dad, thanks for the memories growing up at the beach. Thanks for teaching us how to fish, be men of faith and take care of our families like you did for so long. Happy fishing in Heaven dad!

Love, Hugs and Kisses in Heaven!

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Spirit Chronicles: The Kidnap Killer

I dreamed about a man that had been kidnapping women and killing them. During this dream I saw three women being taken at various places and was actively involved in the hunt for the killer. Every lead I had fell short and then I saw him take a young lady and drop her off in an alley way. She was draped in a yellow sheet or possibly a yellow rain coat. She was dead and he left her lying there like a piece of trash. I was so mad at him and he walked by me and I got a look at his face. He was around 5’10 and 180 pounds. Late twenties to early thirties with ear length sandy blond hair and dark eyes.

He walked by me and as I was observing him he looked down and pulled a hoodie over his head to try and conceal his identity. I then saw a man in a wheel chair and his brother that takes care of him daily. Both of these men either know the guy or have seen him before. The man in the wheel chair has cystic fibrosis and does not speak but uses a voice box to talk. The brother is older and has a disability also but he can take care of his brother. The brother was on the phone talking to someone and I could not get him to see me or hear me.

I was seeing this from the third eye view looking in. I was not involved in the actual process was watching from the outside. The thing that got me confused was the killer seemed to see me even though no one else could. That tells me that he is evil and knows that I am of the light. That is why he likely can see me and knows I saw him. This may be an older event or something that is current. I will have to do some research on it and see if anyone has been killing people in the area that I cam currently in. I can dream and have visions of the past, present and future and will have to solve this one or it will drive me crazy thinking about it.

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Spirit Chronicles: Healing Breath of My Guardian Angel

I have had a bad back for several years and lately it has gotten much worse. I have sciatica and lower back muscle issues that keep me from sleeping comfortably most nights. This also limits what I can do physically and was one of the main reasons that I retired from coaching football a few seasons ago. I would hurt really bad after three days of practice and by Thursday and Friday night Football games. I had gotten to the point lately that it was getting harder and harder to function in getting things I needed to do done daily. I began to pray about healing and asking God for healing back a few weeks ago.

I was sincere in seeking his grace and healing and waited patiently. A week ago I was asleep and was dreaming a nice dream about heaven and God. I was suddenly laying on my belly at the feet of an angel that stood way over nine feet tall. In front of her was a guardian spirit, a man I have seen many times that is ancient and looks after me. He gently grabbed my head and told me to lie still and he pushed my head down into water I was lying in about six inches deep. That made me react to going under the water like most people would be pulling my head up. He again said relax and believe and pushed my head into the water again.

As my face submerged into the shallow water I relaxed like I was in the pool at home and submitted to the guardians request. I then felt him lean across my body and blow a cool breath of air at the location where my back has hurt for many years. It was the coolest I have ever felt as if someone blew liquid ice across my lower back. But the difference was it did not hurt at all. I woke up instantly and my wife was lying in bed playing a card game on her phone. She knew instantly something amazing had happened and ask me what it was.

I felt my back and since I had been under the covers every part of my body was lukewarm due to being under the covers. Every part of my body except that one spot on my back. I was ice cold like an ice pack had been on it for twenty minutes. The pain had gone away and I was healed. I had also been praying about going back into football coaching and pursuing a head coaching job. But I knew that the back would not allow me to do that.

I fell back to sleep amazed that my back was not hurting and slept very well the balance of the night. I woke up and went to the bathroom early that morning, hopped right out of bed and went and walked normal for the first time in years. I went back to bed and was doing some meditating what I call “tunnel time” which is when I see, hear and feel spirit while I am vey relaxed. Just as I was ending tunnel time I heard a male say “he wants to coach again”. Then a female said “then go coach”. That was confirmation that I had been given a miracle and that God has a plan for me coming.

I am not sure where I will coach again, but I will soon and my back will not get into the way. Today I was a little sore after a lot of outside activity, but I continue to sleep like a baby with no moving around, tossing and turning. I walk upright as I should and feel very strong. I have been healed by the spirit of God and my guardian did it. I am Thankful for God, his grace, my Angels and Guardians. Ask yours for help, pray about it and be patient and a miracle can come your way.

Jeremiah 17:14; Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise.

1st Samuel 12:16; Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes.

Faith- What To Do When You Need Patience

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Today as I am trying to pack to go on the yearly summer vacation I find myself needing patience. I am generally laid back and a pretty patient person (exceptions traffic and drive through Windows). I am not sure why but those two things tend to get under my skin especially a drive through if the people in the car with me do not know what they want or keep changing their mind. I get to the point of “just flipping order something”. Patience is required in life as we spend lots of time waiting at the doctor, stores, drive throughs, traffic, restaurants and in my case waiting on a woman (my wife and two daughters). Seems like it takes them forever to make up their mind on clothes and getting dressed.

Then when we go shopping it takes forever to go in the store and grab stuff. That turns into an all day shopping excursion and I have things to do at home. God wants us to be patient and patience in mentioned in his word in both the new and old testament. I have to exercise patience as a public school teacher and coach with teenagers. I have to get better at being patient and the only way I can do that is to work on it hard. Focus on it and ask the Lord for patience and grace in that process. Being patient is kind, loving, friendly, helpful, avoids stress and anxiety. Being patient is what God expects us to be when dealing with our family and friends. Being patient requires us to submit to Gods plan in our lives and live the best we can and “wait”. For me that is the hard part!

James 5: 7-8; Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

Psalm 37:39; Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

Faith- Doubting God

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Today as I was riding around the yard mowing and listening to some good Christian Worship music a few songs came on that really hit me hard and the message I got was that we often have doubt in God and his promises. I have had my times when I doubted God, mostly when things were going bad, getting hard and tough to deal with. We want things and want it our way but that is not how it works with God. When we ask for something or pray for something we do not always get the answer we want. We get what God wants us to have as he controls all things human, spiritual and in between.

As I was thinking about this and listening to the words in these songs the thought of God being constant and always with us, guiding us and helping us hit me hard. I have had a very spiritual evolution of late since I had a near death experience back in September of 2020. I had faith in God but had slipped in that faith and how he has handled me and dealt with me since then has shown me that his love, grace, mercy and care are like no other I could ask for or expect. In the bible its tells us that faith in God is the foundation of life.

Faith in God is the rock by which we build a solid foundation. He is the way, the light, the miracle, the past, the present and the future. Human nature leads to doubt. We are emotional creatures and that emotion can take a toll on our faith on people and the Lord. We struggle at times with mental, physical and spiritual battles. These things create anxiety and fear of the unknown. These things can separate us from God and drive us to carry baggage that God wants us to get rid of.

When things get hard sit down and pray. Make a list of the ways God has blessed you and your family. Making this list will bring you back to the understanding that God is omni present in our lives and is leading us the way he wants us to go. We put ourselves in bad situations and that makes us doubt not only what we believe but our belief on God. We win some, we lose some, we tie some. God always wins and we have to see the wins in these situations to remove doubt. We lose a family member and doubt comes crashing in. Know that God has that soul now and they are fine.

We lose a job, a house, a spouse and other things we have. This throws doubt, anxiety and tests our faith. Hold strong and know that God has this. He is in charge and will take care of things. He will carry us through it. I put together a list of things that I think help me stay stronger in my faith. Things that can help you get closer to God and know that his support and love in constant and always present. We must first overcome our own doubt to overcome the doubt we have in God. Life can be disappointing at times and in those times we must not doubt God, but find strength in his words and actions. God is awesome, caring, loving, supportive and patient. We must be the same to be a person of confidence and not a “doubter”.

1- Do not rely on your own emotions, confidence and actions to try and overcome the big challenges in your life.

2- We adopt worry, anxiety and fear as our way of dealing with things.

3- We question Gods goodness and grace in our lives.

Reading Isiah 26, I found these three ways to cast any doubt we have about God in our lives away.

1- Seek God and his everlasting power when times are tough.

2- Know that God promised us safety, grace and mercy in the Bible.

3- Know that God never doubts us and we should never doubt him.

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Faith- Lukewarm Spirituality

I am 100% convicted of the title of todays faith based lesson. I have been a spiritual person since I was just a young boy but have had times in my life when I was lukewarm at best. In fact, I have been less than lukewarm at times in my journey with God. The bible refers to this as non being mindful or watchful of God’s work in your life. Life throws all kinds of curve balls at us and the Devil loves to step in and get between us and the Lord. Lukewarm spirit can be compared to lukewarm work habits, relationships and family matters.

If we are lukewarm we will face things that we are not prepared for and those things will take us down. We have to constantly be in prayer and seek guidance from God to make sure that we stay Red hot for God and not go lukewarm. You do not have to church every week to be red hot on fire for God. We choose our relationships with family, spouses, co-workers and God. We build habits within ourselves that determine how we do in these areas of our lives. Laziness creates lukewarm behaviors and lukewarm results.

God wants us to be more than lukewarm for him. He seeks us daily and consistently watches over us and wants us to reach back to him. We must not just seek him in bad times but at all times. God is never lukewarm and we should not be either. If we are lukewarm in a marriage then it will suffer. If we are lukewarm at a sporting event or when playing then out performance will suffer. If we are lukewarm at work then out performance will suffer.

I had to look at myself and think about my Luke warmness in life at times. I had to look at myself in all aspects to make sure I stayed on fire for God and that he can continue to influence me and lead me to what he wants me to be. Avoid be lukewarm by doing the following things in your life daily. This will keep you on fire in your relationships, career, outside activities and most importantly with God himself.

1- Pray everyday without fail. Failure to pray is failing to seek God in your life.

2- Check yourself to see where you stand in all aspects of your work life, family life and spiritual life.

3- Change what is broken. Get rid of old habits by creating good ones that are productive and never be lukewarm in anything you have passion about.

4- Work hard at all aspects of life and go for red hot in everything that is important to you.

5- Pray, Pray and Pray some more and watch God become red hot in your life.

2nd Corinthians 13:5; Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

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Leadership 101- 12 Effective Habits of Great Leaders

1- The very best coaches motivate, inspire and lead the organization with intention, purpose, dedication, discipline, desire and an create energy around them constantly. 

2- The really effective coaches never use intimidation, power, embarrassment or other negativity to teach the required skills needed to be successful in life, sports, work and play.  

3- Great coaches are great life teachers that lead by example, share their history, success, failure, wins and losses to grow the team, individual and build life long relationships.  

4- The best coaches keep the game in perspective and know that winning, losing, upsets, setback, victory, injury, goals and are all about life after the sport and game has ended.

5- Great coaches never let their ego, pride or willingness to win override team goals, personal matters and individual accomplishment.  

6- Great coaches understand the individual strengths and skills of each player and how they can be developed for the overall improvement of the player, staff and team.

7- The best coaches coach the individual, team and staff with intention of growing their skills and winning.

8- The best coaches are always flexible and fir the players into their system of success growing the team skills constantly. 

9- The great coaches are communicators that lead with their voice, actions and behavior.  

10- Great coaches listen to their players, staff and parents actively to gauge where they are in relationships and overall growth of the organization.

11- Great coaches just do not talk the talk, they walk the walk.

12- Great coaches teach life skills, winning, losing, integrity, hard work, dedication, discipline, team work, overcoming, and so many other needed life skills for adult success after the game iv over.

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Life Hacks 101- 10 Things Coaches, Managers and Go Getters Look For

Today we are talking about traits that coaches value and look for in their student athletes that cost nothing but time, energy and work ethic.  These traits also are what business owners, companies, managers, leaders and other people looking for talent expect. These traits set you apart from others and can make you a great player, worker, leader, parent, teacher, business owner and whatever it is you want to be.  If I can get my athletes to learn these by my actions, behaviors and results then as a coach I have accomplished my goals and the rest will take care of itself.  

1- Time management skills- Are you on time, are you early for class, practice, work and ready to go when the bell, alarm or clock strikes and its go time.

2- Great work ethic- Do you exhibit a work ethic that people cannot deny and one that shows you are a true go getter.

3- Positive energy- Are you a positive person that exudes positive traits and thoughts. Do people want to be around you and grow with you.

4- Positive attitude- Do you see the glass half full or half empty.  Does your attitude reflect goodness, kindness, love and respect for others.

5- Being prepared- Are you prepped and ready for completing tasks, work assignments, school work and other demands life throws at you.  Do you do what it takes to be ready to roll, ready to work and ready to win.

6- Passion- Are you passionate about your family, friends, job, sport or life.  Passion can override talent and lots of other traits many times.  Give me  passionate learner and I will take that over talent any day of the week.

7- Discipline- Do you show discipline in your actions, behaviors and life.  Do you have what it takes to be disciplined to work out, lift weights, run, manage your weight and help the team out.  Are you disciplined to get out of bed and get to work and produce for your family and to meet your goals.

8- Communication skills- Can you openly communicate with people in a positive and meaningful way.  Can you talk business like and not use slang and street terms in conversations.  Are you a good listener and have positive skills people see when you communicate with them.  Do you sound educated (I am not talking college educated).  

9- Good body language- Do you carry yourself in a positive manner.  Do you sit upright, keep good eye contact and other positive body language.  Do you know how to present yourself, shake hands and make people feel relaxed around you.  Are you too chilled at times and can you turn it on and off as needed.

10- Coachable- Lastly and most important to me.  Are you coachable, teachable, and able to be mentored. Can you accept feedback and loss with dignity and respect.  Are you part of the solution or part of the problem.  Do you take advice from someone much older, more knowledgeable and experienced and apply it to become better.  Or are you a hotshot know it all that will eventually fail because you know more about a 30 year veteran coach about your position or saw it on a video game.  (believe me folks, this is a reality nowadays)!

There are other things you could put on this list.  But these are the things that cost you nothing but time, energy and work ethic.  These are the basic skills needed in sports, work, life and play that can make you successful whether you are a backup, first string star or do a common job.  These skills will make you stand out in the crowd, rise above others and set you on a path that others envy and want to be on.  They may not admit it, but ultimately they see your success and skill set and desire to be like you.

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Spirit Chronicles- Martha Shows Herself

We have a lady spirit that lives on our property that has talked to five different family members in the family. She has also turned lights on and off and banged on the walls at times to get our attention. Recently we had a few people staying in town for a few days and one of the young ladies and I were talking about spiritual energy, ghosts, hauntings and our belief or non-beleif in such things. I told her the story of Martha our friendly ghost that roams the land and house frequently speaking to people in their ears and cutting the lights on and off.

Martha is a good spirit and is very kind and fun to be around. She died on the property we now live on back in the mid 1950’s of a heart attack in her kitchen. The house we currently live in is built right on top of the land the old house she lived in once stood. As I was telling our visitor about Martha and some of the things she does around the house and to us the young lady told me that she wasn’t sure about ghosts and spirits but was kind of open to the idea.

Later that night just before going to bed the young lady felt a presence in her room and looked up to see a woman standing there dressed in older style (`1930’s) style clothing with her hair up in a bonnet staring at her. It shocked her and caught her off guard and scared her a bit. The woman looked at her with a confused look and kind of smiled then faded away into nothing as if she had never been there. The young lady came down stairs and immediately told me what she had just witnessed and what happened. She had described the lady knew as Martha based on the age and clothing of the woman.

Startled but interested she was amazed that Martha had shown herself and then realized that she had been talking about it with others prior to it happening and was a very visual person. The young lady had opened herself up to the possibility that the spirit realm does exist based on the stories she had heard and the things that took place on the property. We are amazed and glad that Martha is beginning to show herself to people and reveal to us more and more about her life prior to us living here.

Martha has been heavily involved in spirit activity for over a year now and has thus proven to be like Casper the friendly ghost. Just a happy go lucky spirit that remains here where she spent most of her adult life working, making a family and helping her husband run the farm.

Americana- July 4th Fireworks, Family and Friends

My family has been celebrating the fourth of July for many years at a pool party with friends, family and lots of fireworks. My dad loved fireworks and would always drive down to South Carolina or have someone bring some back from the beach to shoot off at the party. He would sit on the diving board at the local pool we were members of and watch us boys (me and my brothers) fire off the fireworks. He took pride in his family, friends and that pool party. The highlight at the end of the night growing up was to see those booming fireworks going off.

Once dad got a bit older and could not set them off himself as I stated we would set them off and he and mom would sit and watch and celebrate. I can see him smiling now as the beautiful colors sparkle and bang in the air. My dad passed away on 2009 and we have continued to make sure this family tradition continues. My nephews have now become the firework setter off leaders. One of them is a fireman so he is the perfect person for the job. If he sets something on fire he can grab a hose and put it out.

I was helping them this time and we were spending some time talking and I looked both of them in the eye and told them that myself and their dads were getting a little older and will not always be here. I asked them to take it and run with it every July 4th. Family, Friends, Fireworks and food are a staple of my families July 4th and I cherish every memory made all of these years. I have been hit by random fireworks, ran from them, nearly got my fingers blown off and all kinds of trouble due to setting them off.

We celebrate a day that signifies life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the greatest country in the world. I am thankful for all of my family, friends and the fireworks and hope you had a great July 4th celebrating our independence. Americana is apple pie, holidays, baseball, fire works, summers at the lake, toys, traveling and so many other things. Enjoy and make your own Americana memories and tell your story. I hope you enjoyed the story of my dad, mom, our family and how important fire works is to us and our family bond.

Faith- Finding Courage In Challenging Situations

You will be put in challenging situations and at times feel overwhelmed and let down. Life will let you down at times and often it is when we are either at the top of our game or at the lowest point.  When we are facing our darkest moments and weakest moments due to life events we must focus on God and look for an outcome that is positive. To make it positive we have to have faith and believe that the process of overcoming challenging times is going to be dealt with head on and with courage.

Challenging events in our lives are part of the process of growing, becoming more than what and who we are.  God wants us to be strong, have faith and walk through life with his light shining.  Life will knock you down and beat you up bad if you let it. We live our best life and know that the things we face in life such as losing a job, losing family, broken families, health crisis and other things make us stronger. God will never put us through something we cannot handle and is right there by our side helping us with it. He is carrying us through it and knows the outcome if we follow him and trust in his process.

The bible tells us that God will not put us through anything we cannot handle, but doing it on our own often leads to more trouble, anger, strife and fear.  Ask God to help you, guide you and lead you and he will.  These times cause us to have all of these emotions and can make us mentally and physically sick. Tough times can also make us spiritually sick which allows the Devil to step in and cast doubt, anger and frustration. When times get hard, we must fight back and seek God for his grace, guidance and mercy.

You will look back and laugh at those times knowing it was all a step forward in your spiritual journey.  Even though it may have felt like a step backwards at the time. What seemed like a step in the wrong direction can often be the steps forward that propel us to become stronger in our faith and relationships with family, friends and God. When it gets tough, fight back. When times challenge you, push back. When a crisis happens in life, step up to the challenge. When life kicks you in the teeth, call on God and overcome!

Faith- Life Lessons #1

God has a plan for all of us, we have to ask for his guidance in the process and be obedient to him. There are two plans in life. Our plan and Gods plan and often the two are not the same. God is all knowing and has already planned our role in the world. We plan our own role as well and it often clashes and we somehow see things constantly getting in the way or progress towards our plan. God will not shut you down, but he can offer help if we seek his guidance in the process.

Humans tend to need and want things, it is a natural part of living.  What we often do not think about is what God needs for us to have.  Everything we own, work for, have, buy and accomplish is because we have a loving God that permits it. I look at my career, family, money, hobbies, health and other parts of my life as borrowed from God. We are all on borrowed time and with his blessings we will have the things we desire, need and want. Until those things get in the way of right, good, and just thinking, actions, behaviors and living.

He needs us to have a relationship with him, he wants us to honor him.  Honor God by honoring your commitment to him because he is 100% committed to you. Seeking a daily relationship with God is a must for me. I cannot imagine living without God interacting in my life, my family life and work life. I probably should restate the title of this paragraph to “We need a relationship with God” and that will honor him. Do everything with good intention, honor, commitment and faith and you can conquer the world in the process and achieve all your goals and dreams.

The bible speaks about desires of the flesh, getting lost in our way and being greedy.  Often, what we need is really not what we want.  I broke down and bought a new truck last week, well actually a good used truck bit compared to the old 1997 paid for truck I had it was a bigtime upgrade. I didn’t have to buy a truck but the time had come to where the old red one was starting to see its better life gone before it. I wrestled with the fact of spending money, buying a newer vehicle and using credit. Those are things I do not like to do. So I prayed about it, thought about, made a list of pros and cons about it and then made a decision.

Pray to God and ask for his guidance in buying, pursuing and having things. Ask God to show you the way. Be patient, observant and diligent in the way you pursue things using sound Biblical principals of finance, thought, behavior and work ethic and the world will treat you well. God will bless you, guide you and lead you to his plan and an ultimate victory for you. May God bless you and Keep you!