"Nothing here is new except in the sense that it is a discovery which my own heart has made of spiritual realities most delightful and wonderful to me. Others before me have gone much farther into these holy mysteries than I have done, but if my fire is not large it is yet real, and there may be those who can light their candle at its flame." (A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God)

Friday, March 17, 2017

An Expensive Mistake

I’ve made a lot of mistakes.  Not as many as some, but a lot more than others.  I made a huge one in the summer of 2014.

I had just lost a hard-fought campaign for the Republican Party’s nomination for Governor of Arkansas.  I was more disappointed than I had immediately realized, but I knew how frustrated I was, especially with Arkansas’ “main stream” media.  As in most of the rest of the country, the MSM in Arkansas is unquestionably biased against conservatives.  They rarely “attack” conservatives, at least not head-on.  Their most effective tactics are to misquote, quote incompletely, report an opponent’s accusations as fact, or totally ignore.  As Denzel Washington was recently reported to have said, “If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.”

Conservative candidates are definitely not getting a fair shake in Arkansas, and I was determined to do something about it.  The result: Arkansas’ first Internet television station – AR1.TV.  My goal was to give conservative candidates – in fact, any candidates – an unfiltered medium for getting their undistorted message to Arkansans. 

The investment was significant.  And it was one of the most expensive mistakes I’ve ever made.  AR1.TV failed.  It’s important to understand why it failed.  From a business point of view, I couldn’t make it “cash flow.”  But the real reason was I did it without God.  I’m not suggesting that I left God out of my life or ever lost a desire to trust Him or honor Him.  I just did this – AR1.TV – without Him.  Without His direction, without His blessing and without His power.  Entirely on my own.

Not only did I lose a lot of money, but good relationships were ruptured, friendships that had been pleasant and valuable were damaged if not destroyed.  In the process, God confirmed once again that He loves me immensely: 

My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  (Hebrews 12:5-7)

In early March of 2016, I sat at our breakfast table talking with my wife, Kathryn, who is without question the most patient and merciful person on this planet.  I had been thinking almost constantly about how badly I had missed God and was determined to never let that happen again.  “You know, you could call me from any telephone in the world, and I would recognize your voice,” I said to Kathryn.  “I would know it was you.  That’s the kind of relationship I want to have with God.  I want to have a 24/7 conversational relationship with God.  I want to hear Him and recognize His voice every waking minute of every day for the rest of my life.”

And that is what I set out to do that first week in March 2016.  In the days and weeks that follow, I will share the story of my journey, sometimes “real time” as it happens.  Some who read this “journal” will be far ahead of me.  I would like to get to know you.  Some of you will be invited by the Spirit of God to join me on a similar journey.  I hope you’ll be encouraged.  And I hope I’ll hear from you.

Robin wrote

Everything happens for a reason. And through that you also gained friendships.. mine for one!

Cindy wrote

Thank you so much for this heartfelt message. For those that leave God out of any decision whether it be big or small is a mistake. We have all done it. Thank God we serve a merciful Father. God bless you and Kathryn. Glad to call you my friends.

John Sammons wrote

Curtis I did the exact same thing 20 yrs. ago with a motel franchise and danced with the devil and God let me fail. I did not trust God in the situation and ask for His perfect will . I ask Him to join me and help me after the fact. Cost me dearly. Never again Lord.

Jim Martin wrote 

Wow, Curtis that's a revelation of my own experience in my run for St. Rep #76 in '06. I to made the same mistakes and lost friends in the process. I respect your courage to speak of failure, something I have yet to confront. 

Tim Stockdale wrote

May God bless you and your family my friend!

Paulette Yarbrough wrote

Curtis, Thank you so much for posting and sharing this. I have been guilty of this in my life as well. Your comments have encouraged me to step back and take a look at my life. I pray that I will work even harder to look to God for direction in everything I do. 

Pam Long wrote 

Curtis, thank you for sharing. I know all too well how the "good guys" always seem to get the short end but He sees, He knows and I can't help but believe your reward will come some day soon for all the persecution and trouble you've had! We knew you were the best choice then and you still are! 

Susan Jackson wrote 

Thanks for sharing. It is so important that We share our weaknesses, our difficulties, our humanness, our real. We love God . He loves us. He loves all of us. I believe when we expose the real, only then can God use us. I enjoyed reading this portion of your journey. 

Larry Clifford Sr. wrote 

We are all apprentices. I wish I could say I have always listened for and to what Jesus was telling me. I can't but I can say that when I most earnestly prayed for Him to bless my mission, my mission has succeeded. The best example is outlined in my new book Huntin' with Gus available in a few weeks. I would go to the Greene County Jail in my Gideon Jail ministry and Pray all the way out there, then I'd pray in the parking lot till my partners got there, then we'd pray again before we went in, then we'd pray in the waiting room before we went in and had our opening prayer. I saw a man coming in and in my human spirit I said here comes a hopeless case. They say God speaks in a small still voice, but that night he slapped me right across my right jaw. I immediately prayed for forgiveness for saying anything was impossible with God. We had several hands go up for salvation that night, but that hopeless case was the first to go up. Keep listening my friend.

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