Trials & Tribulations
September 6, 2003

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Our Lord Jesus Christ,

Grace and Peace be with you all. Today I woke up and thanked God for the many blessings in my life. I prayed about several things that has happened in my life recently, and I prayed with a few tears in my eyes, for God to forgive someone for what this person has been doing. 
As God leads me, I wish to tell you a story.

It was on May 6th at approximately 3:30am when I was out driving my taxi cab. I was faithfully serving the Lord moreso than I had ever done so in my entire life. I was faithfully listening to the WORD and trying my hardest to HEAR what God wanted me to HEAR. At this particular time in my life, what I am hearing is a simple message. Love one another as I have loved You, Set an Example, Have Faith, Trust in Me, Tell others about MY Love.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
John 3:17

Nor am I here to condemn anyone. I simply want others to see Jesus in Me, as often as possible. This is what God has been showing ME. Ever since I happened to stumble into a Christian PalTalk chat room one day. I was inspired to see how God was moving on the internet.  I will never be perfect, nor will anyone else. All I know is that God wants ME to work on ME. God wants Gary Gideon to work on his own personal relationship with GOD. What you do is your own business between You and God, MY business is my own business, between God & I.
You may see things differently than I do, but that is OK
Once again, that is between You & God.

Prior to May 6th 2003, I found myself many times "Walking in the Spirit", doing my best to "Hear from God" through listening to his Word. I was spending a lot of time praising and worshipping Him, listening to scripture on my CD player in my taxi, listening to a lot of praise & worship music, and sharing this music with others around me, passing out free Christian music CDs to my customers and passing out business cards with the website address to our website. This is simply MY way to share Jesus Christ with others, in hopes they will visit our website. I never preach to them, I never give them my opinions concerning my own doctrinal beliefs, I simply enjoy their company as I drive them to their destination and I delight in the praise & worship music we are listening to. I feel blessed that God has given me access to such a variety of Christian music to share. Often times my customer's don't even realize they are even listening to Praise & Worship music, but 9 times out of 10, they like it and often times it opens up a door to simply share God's love with them. How do I share God's love with them? I simply do what God leads ME to do. The best way to answer this particular question is by saying once again.........
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
John 3:17

How do I share God's love with them? Well, I do NOT do it by condemnming them. Nor do I do it by Judging them, for I am a firm believer in this scripture.......
Matthew 7:1 - Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
I simply want others to see Jesus in Me, as often as possible.

Back to my story,
prior to May 6th 2003, being obedient to God and using many experiences I have had in my dealings with the local Justice Center in my home town, I created the Prison Ministry web page. The Lord was blessing me with great ideas and showing me ways to expand, ways to show His Love. Not only SHOW His Love, but also SHARE His Love. At the same time, I was being blessed in other areas of my life as well. God was teaching me how to be humble, how to appreciate whatever HE provides for me. God was teaching me how to "Walk in the Spirit", and God was teaching me when I DO "Walk in the Spirit" how He continues to make His presence known to me. WOW! God is Sooooooo Awesome.

For the past 3 years, since November of 2000, I have been living alone. I live in an old house that once belonged to my uncle John. It is very run down and needs a lot of work. Before my uncle passed away in 1997, he put his house in my dad's name. It was suppose to be sold and split up 6 ways, between my mom & dad, my 4 siblings & myself. Since I was struggling at the time with never ending bills and child support, and I couldn't afford to stay where I was, at the time, my mom and dad allowed me to just move into this house rather than selling it. I thank God I am not homeless, for often times I feel as if I am just one step away from being homeless. At any time my world could come crashing right down on top of me, so I know I have a LOT to be thankful for. I am suppose to be fixing this place up, as well as giving my mom and dad some type of rent money. Well struggles never cease, for it seems it has become my way of life. I thank God I'm able to simply make ends meet from one day to the next. Things could be much worse on me than what it is. Satan is constantly throwing things at me in an attempt to keep me from doing what God has called me to do. I've wasted precious years of my life doing things that hasn't glorifed God. My mother passed away September 27 of 2002 and my dad is currently 78 years old. I know he doesn't have many years left ahead of him and I often fear the day I lose him as well. I often wonder where I will end up when my dad is no longer around. I refuse to think about it or dwell on it, for one thing that God HAS gotten through to me is THIS. I am to live One day at a time and Trust in HIM, regardless of how miserable my life may look to ME. GOD has it 100% under Control. Therefore, I am FREE to Praise & Worship Him every single day of my life. Somedays I am very responsible, somedays I can be very irresponsible, but regardless of what I am or what I do, GOD has it all under Control.

In the latter part of April 2003, while sitting in my taxi cab down by the Grayhound bus station, Robert, a black man approached me and asked me how I've been doing. I'm sure I most likely told him I was blessed, for I know God had been blessing me abundantly round about that time in my life. I also recall exactly where my Walk with The Lord was at that particular time and how blessed I felt feeling God's presence all around me. Robert was a homeless man whom I briefly met the summer before when he approached me one day and asked me if I could help him out with some money to buy something to eat. He even had a couple of bibles he was trying to sell at the time and only wanted about $5.00 for the both of them. I am very skeptical when it comes to handing out money to people on the street, for I get asked for money on just about every street corner downtown. That summer I recall going ahead and giving him $5.00 and sent him on his way. I remember running into him one other time after that, but only because he approached me and asked me if I remembered him. He needed a couple of dollars again to buy something to eat. We talked a while and I gave him a few dollars for food. He showed me the car he was living in at the time and
told me to stop down during the day and he would wax my taxi for me. I never bothered to make it a point to go there to get my car waxed, for I'm usually too busy working when I am downtown. I never seen him again until the latter part of April 2003. Once again I didn't really remember him until he mentioned the times before. This time we talked about the things God has been doing in my life, and also the things God has been doing in Robert's life. He struck me as a very thankful and humble man, one who had been seeking earnestly to do God's will in his life. Even though he was homeless and living on the streets, he presented himself as a man who knew God. He presented himself as a man who had potential. He presented himself as a man who was currently and actively being obedient to God's Word. As we talked, I learned things of him and I also learned that he had been praying to God for a closer relationship with him. I have no doubt, even to this day, as to the sincerity of this man on that particular day. I was touched by all the things this man had been through and circumstances that led him to be where he was today. I allowed God to lead me concerning this man. I put my trust and faith in God, leaning on all the things God has been speaking to me over the past couple of weeks. After taking this to God in prayer, I eventually took this man into my home and allowed him to sleep in my basement where I had an extra bed already set up. It wasn't much, but I felt it was much better than him sleeping out on the streets. I really didn't know much about this man, other than what he had told me. It wasn't my place to judge him. My faith was in God, not in my own abilities to determine whether or not this man was telling me the truth about anything. All I knew is that God had been blessing me beyond what I had ever known, and now my faith in Him and my love was about to be tested.

The thing that touched me the most about Robert, was when he told me he had been praying for God to simply place him in a situation where he could work on his relationship with God.

To Be Continued................