Good Evening Mr. Hilton.
I would like to apologize that I haven't responded sooner to your "encounter" with Miss California. I have been here in Tennessee with my beautiful wife, a woman who also is opposed to gay marriages. Just to set the record straight here in the beginning Perez, in Tennessee this is called "normal". You know...marriage between a man and a woman.
I'm sorry, and disgusted, to hear that you referred to Miss California with the "p-word", the "b-word" and one that I hear you are found of...the "c-word". All this because the young lady doesn't hold your view as her own. Do you get this upset when anyone disagrees with you Perez?
I am sorry to hear that you still find yourself to be the more tolerant in this dispute, come on now, I have listened to both of you speak. America has listened to both of you speak and I find it difficult to believe that you can be oblivious to the fact that Miss California's view is the majority view of America. Yours, however, is not. I know some other countries might possess your views, have you considered moving to one of these.
It is regretful that you were unable to keep your political opinions out of the Miss America Pagent. I am sorry that it seems gay men are unable to keep the subject of "gay marriage" out of any conversation or event. It bothers me that we as a people are simply afraid to talk about "gay marriages", because we don't want to upset people. Your smug arrogance and attacks I know will lead to only a minor "impact" against gay marriages in America, but I sure wish it would be major.
Miss California provided you with the answer from her heart, and stood on her faith. I loved the comment she made in regards to an "earthly crown" and a "heavenly crown". I, as many others, applaud her and support her for remaining true to her beliefs, even when it cost her the title of Miss America. You see, Perez, she knew before she answered what the outcome would be. Yet, even knowing she would lose the title, this young woman refused to give in and spoke the truth. Is it that hard for you to know that there are those who will refuse to roll over? As Miss California has recently said, we will be praying for you.
The View From Here
Good Evening Mr. Hilton.
This has to have become one of my favorite gospel songs. I love the message, and the way these ladies sing the song. I hope it blesses you as well.
I am sure that we all, at one time or another, have faced that situation which seemed impossible to us at the time. In the midst of it, it just seemed there was no way out and the burden only grew heavier. If we are honest, we may even have felt totally hopeless, lost and not really knowing what to do. Have you ever felt alone in the middle of a really tough time? With people all around you, your family and your friends, yet you feel so alone...as the circumstances you face continue to beat away at you. Sometimes, we count it a victory to have just made it to the next day. It is in the these times, and these circumstances, we have to let go of the load we are trying to carry...and let God carry it for us.
The facts of our condition (circumstance) may look bad, but it is the the truth of God's Word that brings hope and deliverance. The facts are--we can't handle life's challenges all alone and God has never wanted us to. The God we serve loves us, more than you or I could ever know, and we have access to Him all the time. One of my favorite scriptures is found in Romans 8:38-39:
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. He will always be found loving us, and wanting to help us. It is us, who by choice, place a separation between us and God. Never allow the enemy to convince you that God doesn't love you or care about you. That is a lie of the Devil to deceive us. If the devil can steal our confidence in God, then he will lead us into feeling we are isolated from God's love. If we end up feeling like God doesn't love us, then our circumstances will be magnified as we begin to lose hope and life fills with chaos all around us. In this battleground, we will be more focused on the storms that are striking at us, than on the promises of God.
If we allow the pressures and stresses of life to influence our lives negatively, we will likely make decisions that will keep us bound in the "situation" we face. If you and I are to overcome, we must place our attention on the Word and the promises we have been given. In our lives, we will always be facing good and bad moments, days and circumstances. It is a reality of life and it will never change. If you are like me today, you may be facing one of those tough circumstances and deep down, wondering when God is going to show up. Sometimes, its tough and there's just no way around that. However, the Word tells us that nothing can separate us from God's love and knowing this, let's us know we don't fight our battles alone. I may not understand every detail of God's plan for me today, but I do know, that like the 3 Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace---there was a 4th man and they did not walk alone.
With total confidence in God, trusting in His Word, I will continue to stand on the promises that He has given us. I know that I can cast all my cares on Him, for He truly cares for me. It doesn't matter how "tough" it may seem in my "situation", I serve the God who cannot fail and the God who will never forsake or leave me. He knows just when to step in and help us when we need it the most. We don't have to carry the load alone. Until next time.
This is our son Grayson, a very active three year old, who steals hearts at every opportunity. Grayson was born prematurely, and weighed one pound six ounces. His mom and I spent three months beside him, in East Tennessee Children's Hospital, as we became very familiar with the NICU. Grayson fought many battles while in the hospital, and some of our days there were "hard", as he fought for his life. Today, he is living proof that God still works miracles and that He is still a healer. I am honored to be Grayson's dad...and though he is only three years old, he has already made me so proud of him. As you can see, he is an "awesome" young man...and as the doctors have told us, he is perfect in body and mind, totally healed. I just wanted to take time out tonight, and give God the honor and glory He deserves, for every time I look at my son....I see a living miracle. I love you son.
My wife and I recently celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary, and being from the mountains of N.C., I took her on a trip (adventure) to The Biltmore House and to a wonderful Cajun restaurant in Hendersonville, N.C. It had been several years since I had been to the Biltmore House, and I once again was overwhelmed by this stately mansion resting in mountains of North Carolina.
A few facts about The Biltmore House:
Constructed between 1888 and 1895, and is 175,000 sq feet in size.
It is the largest home in America.
The house and/or its gardens have been featured in 12 Hollywood films.
It has a 70,000 gallon swimming pool (located in the basement-totally enclosed).
It has more than 11 million bricks.
The home contains over 4 acres of floor space.
Judi and I visited 57 rooms on our tour, and walked from the 1st floor level through the 4th floor, and our last stops were in the basement as we concluded the tour. It is difficult to describe the grandeur of the mansion in words, it is a tremendous testimony to the architect who designed the home. The library was probably my favorite room that I visited, all 2000 sq feet of it. It was an amazing room, with a tremendous fireplace and consisting of 2 levels of bookcases, requiring you to walk up a spiral staircase to reach the 2nd floor.
The swimming pool came in as a close second for me as my favorite room. It was constructed on the basement level, completely enclosed within the house. It is reported to hold 70,000 gallons of water...and from viewing it, I would have to say I can believe it. It was tiled from top to bottom, with wooden decking constructed around it. It was also heated, and had underwater lighting built in. Quite the advancements for the late 1800's.
It took us nearly 3 hours to complete the tour through the home, and see the 57 rooms that were open to the public. Just imagine, there are still almost 200 rooms that we don't get to see. After walking back outside, we began taking pictures of the home and the grounds...which are unbelievably landscaped. We spent over an hour walking through the gardens and taking pictures. They were beautiful and only added to the wonder of the home. With water fountains and statues throughout, you almost felt transported to another time and place, as you walked through them.
I would highly encourage you to visit the Biltmore House, in Asheville, N.C. and have a nice get away for a couple of days. There are several wonderful places to stay in the area, and I don't think you would ever regret your time spent at the Biltmore House and Estate. I am including some of our photos so you can see the majesty of this place. I hope you enjoy them. Until next time.
Through the years, I have faced many trials, battles and challenges...and I have learned that a walk with God, has to be a "walk of faith". Yes, I know, this often quoted phrase has been so overused and heard so much that it seems to have lost its effect and impact. Life, however, will continue to teach us...as obstacles and challenges present themselves to us, that we will be required to "walk in faith".
My latest "challenge" has been the loss of my job and the journey in finding a new one. I know that God never promised a life free of difficulties and problems, challenges and obstacles. It is when we face them that we must remind ourselves of what a mighty God we serve. It is easy to give in to the "blaming", "the excuses", and being a "victim", but as Dr. Oral Roberts once said, "that in all things just remember that God is making you". I have to keep reminding myself, there is a purpose and all I have to do is hold to God's hand as He leads me.
Shortly after losing my job, I began a fast and prayed seeking God's will for my life and in what direction He wanted me to go. In that time of fasting, over and over again, as I studied the Word...I was led to scriptures that promised God is a "deliverer". God has promised us that he will deliver us from all our troubles, if we will walk in faith and stand on His Word. I learned we must possess a belief that grabs the promises of God and "refuses" to let go. We must also be relentless in releasing the faith of God into our circumstances. My job loss is just one more opportunity for God to show Himself as a miracle working God. An opportunity for Him to show Himself as the God who delivers.
We will all face tests and trials, but it is only those who refuse to let go of what God has promised that will see the end of their faith. It is the one who is "relentless" who gets results in the Kingdom of God. The one who walks in faith, and refuses to let go. The word "relentless" denotes a sense of refusal to give up or quit. If we walk in faith, we will relentlessly refuse to give up on the promises of God. We are focused on the final outcome we seek---regardless of what we go through or have to face. I have continually reminded myself not to be swayed by how things may look or feel, but to believe manifestation is headed my way.
If we are to walk in faith, we must learn to never entertain doubt or unbelief in our minds. If we doubt then faith can not work. It is critical that we stand on God's Word, rejecting any and all thoughts that go against what we believe. The devil will try to defeat you with negative thinking, thoughts that will lead you away from the promises of God. It is in these times, that we should quote the Word back to him and free our minds from negativity. If we are walking in faith, we will fight doubt and unbelief the moment they enter our minds. We will speak the Word of God with boldness, authority and consistency. We will destroy the obstacles in our way, move the circumstances that confront us and cast the "mountain" to the sea...by standing on the Word, with relentless faith.
Tomorrow, I have my first face to face interview since losing my job. I have sent out many resumes, and contacted many friends to help in my job search. I have been blessed to obtain this interview within 2 weeks of losing my job. I also know that it has been God that opened up the door for me to interview. I have continued to believe God's Word for "deliverance", and I love the verse that says "I have never seen the righteous forsaken". I know that no matter what comes, God is with me and that He will lead me to the job that He has prepared for me. I will continue to relentlessly keep "walking in faith". Until the next time.
Through all my tears, my heartaches and pain...through it all, God has always been there for me. I have more than once stood and wondered about tomorrow, and what would come, but He has never left me. I may have grown weak, and yes, I may have failed Him...but, God has never forsaken me. Through it all, I know that I can trust in Him. Through it all.
Today, I received a phone call letting me know that I have a "face-to-face" interview next Tuesday, for a new job. I have been out of work for 2 weeks today and it felt really good to get the call. The economy around us is suffering, with more and more employees being laid off or having their jobs eliminated, but I can tell you one thing for sure...God is still in control. Even if this isn't the job for me or it doesn't work out, I will continue to walk in faith knowing God will provide.
I was reading earlier tonight the account of the centurion who came to Jesus when his servant was dying. When Jesus told him that He would come to his house, the solider said "if you will only say the word" I know he (the servant) will be healed. The centurion believed all Jesus had to do was just "say" the word. Jesus responded to him and said "as you have believed", and Jesus healed the man's servant. I am walking in faith, believing the Word, and knowing that He will deliver me.
A testimony for many of us who have learned, we can't do it on our own. Sometimes, we need to be reminded, our strength and victory rest in God. Thank God, He holds to our hand.
I have just returned from "Shooting Creek, NC", after spending a couple of days with my family there. My son and I went down on Thursday and returned earlier today. The drive down from here in Knoxville was relaxing for me, I love to just get out and take a drive. Grayson and I followed Highway 411 from Maryville, TN down to Hwy 64 in NC, to Murphy, NC and finally up through Hayesville, NC to my father's home in Shooting Creek. The drive gave me some time to think about things, and how I want to go forward with my job search.
I am continuing to stand on my faith, believing God will open the door to a new job for me. I have come to believe that this is a stepping stone for me, leaving one part of my life, to begin a new journey. Although I have the feelings of doubt and fear, anger and bitterness, that continue to want to rise up in me...I keep holding on to God's promises and refuse to give in. I have my down days, of course, like most of us do. There have been times I have felt totally overwhelmed, like the world was just crashing down all around me. But, then I remember I am not alone in this battle...He promised that He would never leave me nor forsake me. That "greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world".
I am looking forward to a new and a better day. I know that God is leading me, and that He has never failed me. No matter what the circumstance, the situation, nor the problem...we can always know that God will deliver us from them all. He never promised we wouldn't walk through them, he only promised that He would deliver us. My job loss...in the natural was devastating, but in the spiritual...I will be stronger having walked through it, and will have one more testimony of how great God is. Until the next time, "keep on trusting in Him".
On Tuesday, at 10:00AM, without warning--my position as a plant manager was eliminated and I was sent home. I had been with the company for nine years, and though we as a company had slowed down quite a bit, I don't think I ever really felt they would eliminate the plant manager's position. Today, however, I realize as so many others have...we are all in position for a lay off or to have our jobs eliminated.
I am standing on my faith, believing that God has everything under control and this is a part of His plan for me. I believe His Word, and know that it is "spirit and life", and that it shall never pass away. After having blogged about "spiritual warfare" for the past few days, I now find myself in the midst of a battle and know that I must fight it in the spiritual realm to be able to win. If you are like me, and have found yourself laid off or have had your job eliminated, I would love to hear from you. I know that the enemies of fear, doubt, discouragement, worry and a host of others want to fill my heart and spirit, but I refuse to give place to them. I'm not saying it's easy, but I go the Rock and find my peace.