Wasting Storage Bags

I truly hate to waste things. The other day I caught myself saving about a tablespoon and a half of grated cheese. 

I got out a brand new quart sized storage bag and began putting the cheese in there, when it occurred to me that the baggie was worth more than the cheese. 

Ha! What a waste of a storage bag. 

Of course, if you've read this blog before, you know I'm going to make a bigger life application out of this. 

Is there anything you are putting in your body that isn't worth it? I mean, you could look at it literally and think about sugar, caffeine, liquor, drugs, etc. But what about the more insidious things? Anger, bitterness, guilt, fear, etc.?

Do you know how much you are worth? The price of God's only begotten Son. 

Don't waste your life by filling it with worthless, or even harmful things. 

It doesn't make sense. 

My wise Bible study leader asked the question the other day, "Is the Holy Spirit at home in me, or am I too crowded with "worldly" things?"

Hmmm. Good question. 

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body." I Corinthians 6:20


Bossing vs. Obeying

It's funny to me that every time I give my kids a joint command, (i.e. Time to wash up for dinner!) my older turns around to tell his little sister what I just said, and then proceeds to make sure she obeys. 

Now, I don't know if it's a first-born thing or just human nature. 

I can't tell you the number of times I've said, "Let me be the Momma, you obey." I appreciate the help at times, and I know that getting him to teach his sister the rule is a good way for him to learn it too.  However,  when I've just said it out loud to both of them at the same time and she has clearly heard just as plainly as he has, it just annoys her and me. 

I realize that I do the same thing - especially when I've just heard a good sermon. Have you had that experience? You are listening to a really convicting sermon or reading a key passage of scripture and you think about three or four OTHER people who should really hear this? And obey it? 

Me too. 

What if WE just obeyed? 

Wouldn't it be a better way for my son to teach his little sister by being a good example and just obeying Mama quickly and with a happy heart when I asked them to do something? 

Wouldn't it be a better way for us to influence those in our circles by being a good example and just obeying God quickly and with a happy heart when He asks us to do something? 

Especially our husbands? 

Without words? 

"Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives." 1Peter 3:1-2 


Covered up, not Cleaned up

I asked my kiddos to clean up their rooms before supper the other evening.  And then I went in to check. They are only 4 and 2, so I don't expect excellence, but I try to teach them, and encourage them to do their best. 

I found my son's blanket on the floor, and when I picked it up, there were all the toys that belong with his castle set that he had been playing with earlier. 

I said, "Covered up is NOT the same thing as Cleaned up."

Immediately that annoying voice in my mind asked me, "What have you covered up lately that should have been cleaned up?"

Now,  I'm pretty sure my boy hadn't done it on purpose. He was just being sloppy. 

I, on the other hand, tend to conceal on purpose. 

"Sure, I lost my temper, but I was under a lot of pressure." 

"Sure, I made that unkind comment, but she's annoying. "

"Ya, I've been a little lazy around here lately, but the kids have been waking me up at night. I'm tired."

"Yes, I overspent, but it's the holidays!"

You get the idea.   

How about you? Got any confessing and renouncing to do? 

"He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy." Proverbs 28:13


Visiting the Burn Unit

My "littles" this Thanksgiving. 

This was a quiet Thanksgiving for us. Just the four of us, and my mother-in-law and father-in-law. (my oldest son was with his Dad's family)

Still, when I read some of my favorite blogs leading up to the holiday, there were all kinds of tips about how to get along with your relatives. All were well intentioned.  Most were well written. Some were even helpful. 

But as I mulled the content of them over while doing other household things to get ready for the big day, it occurred to me that not once had I seen a real missons-oriented view. 

Consider this, what if you were called into a burn unit to visit the sick. Would you go in there seeking to be ministered to? Or to minister? 

I suspect whatever little annoyances you walked in there with would instantly melt away as you faced the gravity of the situation. And I'm certain your gratitude for your own health and safety would bathe whatever wounds you had, and allow you to do the same for those around you. 

Well, guess what? When we visit our relatives, or friends, or really put ourselves into any situations where we are surrounded by people, it IS like visiting the burn unit - in a spiritual sense. 

People all around us are injured, suffering, and simply not safe.  Spiritually speaking, if you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are healthy and safe. 

Now, I know we all sin. And no one, especially not me, is better than anyone else, saved or not. However, we, by grace alone, are saved for eternity if we trust Him. 

And, as a result of that knowledge, our little annoyances should melt away as we face the gravity of the situation. Let our gratitude for our eternal health bathe whatever wounds we have, and allow us to do the same for those around us.

We are to seek to minister, not to be ministered to. To serve, not to be served. To love. 

This would prevent a lot of the "friction" felt at family gatherings during the holidays. 

"When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you truly love me more than these?"
"Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."
Jesus said,"Feed my lambs." John 21:15


Reflecting the Light

This morning my alarm went off while it was still dark. Yuck. 

My husband got up and took the dog out, turned on the light in our dining room and started his Bible time. 

I laid in bed thinking about all of the other times I hadn't wanted to get up, and the many ways God had blessed me when I HAD to get up, just to provide for myself and my boy. 

Then my mind started going to all the unpleasant memories from that time. The bad decisions, the moral failures, etc. Yuck.

Just then, I noticed that one of the pictures hanging on my side of the room was perfectly lit. I immediately ruled out the window (dark outside, remember?) and thought, how is that happening?

It didn't take me too long, even in my half asleep state, to realize that the light was coming in from the 2 inches my husband left the door ajar, reflecting off of a mirror on the other side of the room and perfectly lighting the picture. Amazing! 

A little miracle to get my mind off the ugly and back onto the Light. It was almost as if God was telling me, "Just like this, I have perfectly arranged everything in your life."

 "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said "I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12


An Ungrateful Dog

We have a dog. She is actually my husband's dog. However, he works a lot of hours, and I'd rather he spend his time off loving on me and the kids than taking care of the dog. 

So, I've taken on most of the dog duties. I feed her. I take her for walks. I even clean the pen. (That's poop people.)

And yet, she doesn't love me. Not even a little. Oh, she tolerates me, and even lets me pet her now and then. In fact, sometimes I fool myself into thinking she's coming around to me. 

And then my husband walks in. If she's outside she starts calling to him. Really. She whines and kind of half talks in "dog". 

If she is already in the house, she just goes all goosey and wags from head to tail and looks at him adoringly. 

If I pet her, she proffers her ear to be scratched. Sometimes her hind end. If my husband pets her, she flops down on the floor and offers her belly. She tries to crawl into his lap. 

The darn dog has no sense of gratitude. 

And mostly, neither do I. There is one who provides for me, and cleans up all my messes, and yet I go all goosey over other things. 

And yet, His love is perfect. No matter how flawed mine is. 

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13 

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:16-17


Starbucks and Submission

Last Sunday morning, my husband got up early to go help my oldest son move some heavy things at his father's house.  So I was left alone with the two littles (2 and nearly 4) to get myself and them all ready for church. 

Not a huge deal, but I had just gotten a haircut that week, and it was the first time I was trying to "do" it myself. That can be a little time consuming . . . . and was. 

Nathan comes breezing back in for a quick change of clothes, smiling and ready to go to church. 

I had managed to get us all ready and was heading toward the door with an armload of all the stuff it takes to sustain the four of us for a few hours away from home. (Bibles, diaper bag, purse, snacks, etc.)

And cast a longing gaze toward the coffeemaker, which I use mostly to brew tea. 

"Can I just have 4 minutes to make myself a cup of tea? Please." I asked Nathan. 

"No, come on there's no time. We'll be late." he responded. 

What? - My husband almost NEVER says no to me. So I'll admit I was caught off guard. But, I bit my tongue while repeating over and over in my head "Submission, submission, submission."

But, on the outside, I was pouting. And stomping. And I may have even slammed my armload of stuff down in the backseat of the truck before putting my 2 year old into her car seat. 

My husband smiled at me across the truck with a sparkle in his eye and said, "Honey, I can't take it any more . I don't want you to be mad. " while handing me a to go cup from Starbucks with my favorite hot and very caffeinated, drink inside. 

Talk about feeling small. HUMILITY. In a big dose. 

Sheesh. I should be nicer to my husband. Even if he HADN'T brought me a drink, was it really worth all that stomping and pouting. I know caffeine is pretty serious - but seriously. 

Have you stomped and pouted lately when God told you "No, come on, there's no time. We'll be late." or something similar? 

Take a deep breath. Remember -  Submission. Submission. Submission. Humility. 
He probably has a better gift just around the corner.

"If you then, who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children. how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:11


Ignorance is NOT (necessarily) bliss

My brother and his wife took their two boys to Disneyland last spring. They were 7 and 4 at the time.

Sounds great, right? The only trouble was the 7 year old didn't want to go. He didn't want to miss SCHOOL! :)

"Boy," I said, "Just wait 'til he gets there. You'll never have that problem again! "

He had no idea what he was in for. .  . . .

And really, neither do we.

"In my Father's house there are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. " John 14:2-3


The Sure Foundation

My actual table
So, the other day I moved my table and chairs completely out and swept, mopped, scrubbed, etc. And yes, it WAS because I had company coming. :)

The complication comes in when I went to put the table back. I could NOT, for the life of me, get the darned thing level. I scooted it this way, and scooted it that way.  I lined it up right under the chandelier, which is, I'm pretty sure, EXACTLY where it was in the first place. I even tried to pry some Post-it notes under one of the legs to keep it from wobbling. 

It occurred to me that my floor has settled. It's a tile floor (as you can see in the picture) which is great to clean, not great for anything fragile you drop, including little kids, and really not great for settling level. 

Now, I could have gotten radical and chopped off one of the table legs a little. But, instead I coaxed it into a spot where it's very nearly level and used the Post-its to make up the difference. 

It made me think of the foundation upon which I base my decisions, the choices I make about how to live my life and what to do with it. 

Before you start chopping legs off the table, be sure you have a sure foundation.  Don't adjust the table to the floor when it's the floor that's out of whack. 

I know this happens a lot to college kids. They move away from home, and nothing seems level anymore. (and No, I don't mean my own college kid, who is practically perfect in every way)

Here's my best advice. Hold fast to the "sure foundation." And if you've never been introduced to the Sure Foundation . . . . Allow me . . . 

So this is what the Sovereign LORD says:
"See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed." Isaiah 28:16

"For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ." I Corinthians 3:11


Huge Mess or Little Spill?

Norwex Enviro-cloth

Wait! This is not a commercial for Norwex, I have a bigger point, I promise. 

O.K. So, many times, what determines whether something is a "Huge Mess" or a "Little Spill" is perspective. And this microfiber cleaning cloth has changed my whole perspective. 

This morning my independent, nearly four year old son dumped half of a pancake syrup bottle all over his plate, the table, and the floor. Of course he spilled right on the crack that opens up for the leaf, which means even more mess to clean up. 

In my pre-Envirocloth days, this would have meant a huge cleaning up project, breakfast delay (read: turn off the griddle), and general inconvenience. Now, however, it is a mere swipe - or ten with a couple of trips to the sink to rinse out - but STILL - much easier. I am a believer. 

(No, I do not sell Norwex products, but I have a friend who does, so if you want her contact info, let me know) 

It occurred to me that what I view as life's HUGE MESSES, God views as a little spill. Actually, James tells us they are "pure joy"

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. " James 1:2

And God's cleaning cloth is immeasurably better than microfiber. 

"And he said, "These are they who came out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Revelation 7:14

So, the next time you see a "Huge Mess" view it from the perspective of the blood of the Lamb, and shrink it down to size. 


Beauty for Prickles.

Can you tell what this is? A cactus. . . . No, really . . . Look at this. 

I had to bend way down to see the prickles. 

What a beautiful transformation God has made. From a normal vantage point it's all flower. All beauty. 

That's what I want. I want God to hide my prickles with His beauty. I've got a lot of prickles, so it takes a great big God to cover them all. 

"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. 
You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me." John 15:1-4

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." Galatians 5:22-25


Happiness, a prolonged life, prosperity, favor, etc

No, this is not an infomercial. 
But, would you like to find out how to have the following? 

  •  a prolonged life 
  • prosperity 
  • favor and a good name
  • straight paths
  • healthy body
  • nourished bones 
  • barns filled to overflowing 
  • vats brimming with new wine
  •  happiness 
  • something more profitable than silver or gold 
  • something worth more than rubies
  • long life 
  • riches and honor 
  • pleasant ways
  • peaceful paths 
  • travel in safety 
  • protection from stumbling 
  • sweet sleep 
  • no fear of sudden disaster or ruin 
  • confidence 
  • be God's confidant 
  • home blessed 
  • grace and even more honor 
   Seriously. These are all promises of God for you found in my favorite chapter in Proverbs - chapter 3. Check it out. 

 Oh yeah, it's the one place I know of where the Bible encourages us to be "tree huggers" Prov. 3:18. "She is a tree of life to those who embrace her."  :)


The Groundhog Day do-over

I noticed they were playing the movie "Groundhog Day" on tv the other day. I started smiling. I can't help it. It's a funny movie. 

I particularly love the part when Bill Murray punches the insurance agent. (No offense to all you insurance agents out there.) And when he steps in the same icy puddle for the umpteenth time. 

While reflecting on how long it took him to avoid the aforementioned puddle, I began to wonder how long it would take me. 

How long would it be necessary for me to repeat the same day over and over before I was able to live it the right way? 

Just that morning:

  •  I had screamed at my 20 month old for wiping her nose on my blouse. 
  • I had been impatient with my 3 year old for not coming in IMMEDIATELY when I called so we could get lunch ready. (we're on such a tight schedule around here you know - wink wink)
  • And I probably snapped at my husband for something he said that he didn't really mean. 

Now those are just a few of the things I did do that I shouldn't have done. Not to mention all of the things I hadn't done that I should have. 

Whew. No wonder Jesus told us that "each day has enough trouble of its own." Matt 6:34

It would take years for me to get just one day right. 

However, I don't have years. None of us do - we only have today. This day. 

What if I had been grateful for a nearly 2 year old who has nothing more wrong with her than a snotty nose? And a washing machine that makes cleaning up easy. 

What if I had been grateful that I own a home with a yard for my boy to play in? And that we can afford a lunch to call him in for? 

What if I had focused on all the loving things my husband does and says for me instead of the one offhand comment that I took the wrong way? 

Do your best. Slow down. Be grateful.  

Give grace - especially to you. 


Pretty Park-y

Last Sunday, I arrived at church for second service before the first service people had begun leaving. The parking lot was crammed full of cars and I had two antsy little ones with me. My husband was working, so I did the best I could. I pulled in kind of sideways behind the middle row of parked cars. I didn't block anyone in, and I was reasonably close to the entrance. Problem Solved! 

Until we came out of second service. Suddenly, my brilliant solution looked like a crazy person, or someone at least under the influence, had parked my car. 

As I walked towards it, rather sheepishly, another congregant looked at it, looked back at me, and kind of laughed under his breath. 

"The parking lot was packed when I pulled in!" I tried to explain. "It  made sense at the time!"

"Oh yeah," he continued to half laugh back at me. "I was just wondering why everyone else wasn't doing it."

Okay. I had to laugh too. It was funny. And it looked ridiculous. 

But then I thought about all of the people I know who seem like their, ummm, "cars" have been "parked cockeyed" for one reason or another. I'm sure it made sense to them at the time. 

So, before you rant or rave and get disgusted by someone - or even laugh to poke fun at them - consider what the parking lot looked like when they left their car. 

Give grace. 


Watching Trilogies Out of Order

Alright. Here's more dorky information about me. I loved this movie. Really. I first watched it not long after it came out. In fact, I liked it so much that I watched the entire trilogy recently. 

Here's the problem though. I watched the THIRD movie in the trilogy before watching the SECOND movie in the trilogy. Their titles don't really clarify what order they are supposed to be watched in. (Perhaps the makers never dreamed anyone would watch them after their initial release! Ha!)

Anywho. . . the story lines aren't all that complicated, so it's not a big deal to watch them out of order.  Trust me - you'll still get it. But it does take all the drama out of the whole (SPOILER ALERT)

" Is mom going to die? Or isn't she?," part in the second movie - SINCE SHE'S IN THE THIRD ONE!!!!!!!

It occurred to me today that knowing what's in God's trilogy should really take all the drama out of this life for me as well. 

I know the ending. I've seen (read) the THIRD movie in the trilogy.  And, I suspect, you have too. (ANOTHER SPOILER ALERT)

He's ALIVE! He comes back. He's already won. AND He loves you! Enough to die for you. You are going to spend eternity in Heaven. With Him. If you put your faith in Him.  

That's it. Takes all the drama out of this movie. 

"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." Revelation 22:12-13


The Dirty Mug

The other day I was unloading my dishwasher. I always unload the bottom rack first, so if there's any water in the stuff on the top rack it doesn't drip down and get the dishes on the bottom wet. Anyway, I unloaded all the bottom rack dishes and moved on to the top rack. . . . where I found a DIRTY mug! Aaaargh. 

So then I was suspicious of all the other "clean" dishes I just put away. I tried to remember exactly what else was in there, and I hope I got all of them out to wash by hand, but it did leave me wondering.   (Not to mention grouchy about having to wash by hand all the dishes that should have been cleaned by the machine the night before.) 

And it made me think. Maybe the bottom dishes were clean, but they just got a bad reputation because of that one dirty mug. 

And then I thought - am I that dirty mug? I used to be in sales, so, trust me, I've met plenty of dirty mugs. Sales representatives in general get a bad reputation because of the dirty mugs in the business. 

But as a representative stay-at-home-mom, am I a dirty mug? Do I complain or sigh or look down on moms who have made other choices? Do I make people around me suspicious of the other innocent stay-at-home-moms in the dishwasher with me? 

Worse yet, am I a dirty mug Christian? Does my attitude or behavior reflect badly on other Christians? Does yours? 

"You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me and I will remain in you. " John 15:3-4


Crash Pile

On bad weather days, my kids still need physical activity. So, one of the things we do is set up a "crash pile".  We pile up pillows and blankets on the floor in front of the couch and they are allowed to jump off the couch onto the pile. This is the one time they are allowed to stand up on the couch, which makes it a double treat. 

The first time we did it, they were fairly cautious. They kinda hopped down and landed on their feet, not really trusting that this was all ok. But, as they continued trying, they got wilder and more fun to watch. They jumped higher, twisted around and landed in a heap. 

They were a testimony to the safety of the "crash pad." 

Have you jumped onto your "crash pad" lately? Are you not really trusting that this is all ok? Are you fun to watch? Are you a testimony to His safety? 

Jump higher! Twist around! (It's ok if you land in a heap.) 

"Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20 (emphasis mine)


Drive with your brake, not your horn!

     When my Dad taught me to drive, I heard this many times. "Drive with your brake, not your horn!" I guess it stuck, because the other day, as I was driving into town to run errands, someone cut me off on the freeway. I got a little flustered and started to hit the horn, but I heard my Dad's voice in my head and my foot hit the brake instead. 

     It's funny, but if I had hit the horn, I know I would've stewed about it the rest of the day. As it was, I felt like I was the "better" for my behavior and left the situation feeling pretty good about life. I extended grace to my fellow driver and remembered some of the times I had, inadvertently, cut other drivers off.  

     It occurred to me that this is a pretty good principle to practice throughout all of life. 

The Bible puts it this way: 
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2: 3-4

     So, the next time you get "cut off" either on the freeway, or just in life, why not try "hitting the brake" instead of "honking the horn"?

I promise you'll feel better for it.  


God's Early Edition

     Did you ever watch that TV show 'Early Edition' (it ran on CBS from 1996-2000).  Ok, me neither. But I love the premise. This normal guy starts getting tomorrow's newspaper delivered today. Wow! How great would that be? 
     Knowing the winning lottery numbers in advance.  Which football team would win the Superbowl - a day early.  Which horses end up in the Win Place and Show positions.  Which shoes go on sale. (wink, wink)

     Turns out this guy reads about the disasters and tries to prevent them.  You know, the car wreck, the house fire, the exploding gas tank.  He runs around trying to save as many lives as he can. 

     Now how we would respond to that same information is a subject for a whole other post. 

     What occurred to me recently when I was studying predestination -(our home group is in Ephesians and you can't really gloss over the idea of predestination when you're studying Ephesians.) Is that God has the ultimate Early Edition.

     He knows in advance which horse to bet on - so to speak. 

     I went to the passage in Romans that gave me this insight - 

      "For those whom he foreknew, those he also predestined. . . " Romans 8:29

     And looked up the word for foreknew. It's proginosko and sure enough, it means "to perceive or recognize beforehand, to know previously" Keyword Study Bible NASB 1990

     This resolved for me the apparent conflict between all the predestination passages and this simple, lovely, and in many ways, more appealing truth. 

     "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

     See - there He is. That's the big hearted God I fell in love with. 

     He didn't create anyone 'to perish'. He just knows in advance who will choose it. 

     But rest in the knowledge that there is a choice.  Keep praying for your beloved unbelievers and have faith in a "compassionate and gracious God slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin." Exodus 34:6 (related post)

     How about you? Have you struggled with the idea of predestination? How did God resolve it for you? Are you discouraged in praying for your beloved unbelievers? 


The "Set Apart" Scissors

   If you are, or you know, a person who loves to sew, you know they own at least one pair of really expensive scissors.   Wanna give them a heart attack? Break them out and pretend to cut cardboard with them, or sandpaper, or any other thing besides cloth material. 
     AAAAAAAH! They HATE that. 
     Why? Well, for a couple of reasons. First of all, those scissors were expensive and, second of all, because they need good tools, when they need them, and they need them to work properly.
     You know, that's what "HOLY" is. Set apart. You see, we are like the special scissors to God. Not only were we expensive (just ask Jesus Christ how much it cost), but God needs us when He needs us and He needs us to work properly. 
     Look at the "Thou Shalt Nots" as -"Hey - You don't have time for all this stuff, I have a special job for you and I need you when I need you and I need you to work properly." 
     Look at the "I Have Commanded Thees" as "Hey - do this stuff, so you will be available to do the special job I have for you and work properly when I need you. "

"Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine." Leviticus 20:26



Cowering and Faith

Our current shelter dog, Chama
     We adopted a shelter dog several years ago. He was a black lab mix, real kind and nice. However, he had been mistreated, you could tell. Any time we approached him, he cowered and whined, like we were going to harm him.  It took all the fun out of approaching him. We wanted to love him and pet him and play with him, but he made it impossible. We tried and tried for months to get him over it, and finally gave him to some friends who seemed to have better luck with him. 
     Sometimes, I feel myself cowering and whining too. Afraid something bad is going to happen. I can feel myself bracing, internally, for the impact. 
     You see, I forget who holds my future, and to whom I belong. He says: 
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord,"Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
    Don't get me wrong. Bad things DO happen. And to good people. I don't know why. When I don't know something about God, I fall back on what I DO know about Him. 
     Here's something He said about Himself: 
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. " Exodus 34:6
     Does that sound like Someone to cower from? Nope. Let him love on you today. After all, He adopted you. 


Who do you walk with?

Just walkin'
     I got to spend some quality time today with my parents. Getting their horse trailer repaired. I don't know how much time you've spent in the waiting area of repair shops, but I've spent plenty. Not really the types of places most people go out of their way to hang around, but I have to admit, I've had some of my best conversations there. 

   And one thing I notice after I've spent time around my family - I leave a little more like them.  Maybe you can relate. Do you have a southern accent? A Texas 'drawl'. You know how it is, one short visit home and you come home twangin'. 
     My folks don't have an accent, but there's still a distinction. A trace of them that ends up all over me. Most of it I like. A lot. Some of it I'd like to - well, er, edit. 
     It reminds me of this verse from Proverbs:

He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. Proverbs 13:20(NIV)

     Walk with the wise - ditch the fools.  So. . . who are YOU walking with? 
(For more wisdom, study Proverbs.  You can get started here.)