One Stupid Thing

This morning I realized that I had done something stupid yesterday.  (Well, one thing that I could remember!)  I had made play-dough for the kids for the Junior Church lesson and put it into Ziploc baggies.  As I was lying in bed this morning going through the day, I remembered the play-dough, thinking that I shouldn’t have zipped them all shut because they were still warm.  My fears were correct – we had play-goo instead of play-dough!  So, added to the list of things to do this morning was to make another batch!  Thankfully, I was up early; all the family (except Nathan, boo hoo) were coming for dinner, so I had quite a “to do” list: peel carrots and onions, set the table, fix the roast, not to mention the usual: go over the choir number and practice the special.

Praise the Lord, everything worked out just fine.  Old Scratch tried to stick his stinky toe into the mess a couple of times, but the Lord gave the victory.

Lesson: what is that stupid thing that you just keep doing over and over again?  Where do you need to have a victory in your life?  You see, I was able to make another batch of play-dough, but you can’t rebuild the character of your children.  Those stupid things, those bad habits that we just won’t give up or won’t conquer through the power of the cross can wreak havoc in molding a child; not to mention that they also ruin our relationships and mar our testimony.

You know the sad thing about this whole scenario?  As I was zipping up the bags, a little voice said, “Maybe you should keep them open until they’re cool.”  AND I DIDN’T LISTEN!!!  Sound familiar?  How often does the Holy Spirit whisper in my ear, “You really shouldn’t say that, or think that, or do that – and I turn a deaf ear?

Fellow struggler – take the plunge: make this week different.  Go forth and conquer just one of those stupid things!  Don’t forget: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Php 4:13

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Fish-man and the Boogie Board

He stands by the edge of the water, watching for a moment, loving the pounding of the surf and constant ebb and flow – it reminds him of God’s immutability (never changing).  But before long, he’s in with a smile of delight.

My husband LOVES the ocean!  I like the ocean, I can even say there are aspects of the ocean that I do love, but it’s been seven years since I’ve been IN the ocean and I’m not getting any younger.  So, while fish-man is doing his thing – hopping and flopping and bobbing – I stand at the edge.  I’m up to my knees but I’m afraid!  He sees it and comes to take my hand.  With his help, I’m soon hopping and flopping and bobbing as well, albeit not quite so enthusiastically beside my best friend!

Then we get the boogie boards.  Now this is fun! AND, I’m not so afraid – I have something to hold on to and it keeps me afloat.  That was yesterday!  Today, a storm is coming and the waves are hard and huge – too much for my bark, so small and frail!  But not for fish-man!  He is in there having the time of his life!

So, what’s the lesson?  This life can be scary on a good day!  My mom always said, I don’t see how people live without the Lord.”  I have to agree!  If you have trusted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, then you have Someone to hold on to no matter how rough the water gets!    (If not, you may want to take a look at ‘What is Salvation’ – just type it in the search area.)  Just don’t let go!!!  Or maybe you do need to let go of whatever it is that is keeping you from holding on to Jesus Christ!

In My Father’s House

Last Saturday, we had a work day at our church.  We scrubbed windows, painted walls, cleaned closets, decorated for fall…  The men brought in wood for the pastor and his wife to keep them warm this winter, 🙂 and others worked on some electrical issues.  We always have a meal, and go away feeling satisfied that we cared for our Father’s house!

What is your part in your church?  What is it that you do?  Sometimes, we tend to think of church in the same way that we think of WalMart.  We are loyal to that store. We choose to go there over any other store.  We go there regularly and purchase what we need, thankful that we can depend on the place to be there at our beck and call, sometimes 24/7!  However, we don’t go around back and help empty the trucks.  We don’t clean the bathrooms or mop the floors!  Someone does those things, but it isn’t the customer.

May I challenge you to be more than a “customer” at your church?  Right now we have separate Sunday School classes for the men and women.  As ladies, we are using Elizabeth George’s book: “A Women After God’s Own Heart.”  The past few weeks have been on a mother’s heart and her desperate desire to train her children.  Is the church work day part of that training?  May I say a hearty YES!

As a child, I remember going faithfully to work days – they were always so much fun!  I remember one time having to sit on the machine that buffed the floor because it wasn’t doing the job right.  What fun!  As a family, we cleaned the church.  My mom taught Sunday School and my dad was on council.  When the doors were open – we were there.  Let me repeat that: WHEN THE DOORS WERE OPEN, WE WERE THERE.

Do you think that had anything to do with my becoming a pastor’s wife?  The heart to serve – whether it’s leading by example and finding your niche in your church or urging your children to do the same, it’s all part of training that child in the way that he SHOULD go.  It’s a rare child that will choose to go anywhere good apart from where you have not led them.  It’s part of the curse – they will gladly go to bad places where we do not lead them, especially if we have not set their feet on a sure foundation by our own example.  Aren’t you glad that “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world!” (1 John 4:4)  Make your Father’s House truly your home away from home!

 

In my Father’s house are many mansions:

 

if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

 

 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again,

 

and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

 

And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”

 

John 14: 2-4

 

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National Day of Mourning

Today is one of the most tragic days in the history of America.  On this day, more Americans died than on any other day in US history.  Even on December 7th, 1941, 2,402 of our soldiers were killed at Pearl Harbor.  September 16th – 18th, 1862, was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War at Sharpsburg, MD.  But even on those three days, the total deaths came to 2,108.  On September 11th, 2001, 2,977 Americans lost their lives.  They were not soldiers.  They had not signed up to defend their country.  They were people going to work, just like some of you did today.  They expected to come home that night, and so did their families.  Now, eleven years later, many of the children are now teenagers.  They have had to go on with their lives without a mom or dad, a brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandparent, or even a close neighbor.

As my husband and I read our devotions today from a wonderful little booklet that we use, I was saddened that the information had nothing to do with 9/11.  It would be easy to just go on and forget.  I’m sure some of you may have been brought up short by the date and found yourself saying, “Oh, yes, it’s September 11th,” as I have done in the past.  For a moment we pause.  We remember where we were when the awful news reached us.  We reflect for a moment on the tragedy, and then continue on, and we must – it is necessary; however, could we do more?  Could we be more empathetic?

 Empathythe ability to share someone else’s feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in their situation.  Please, take a moment to stop and put yourself in their shoes – the survivors of a tragedy that was forced upon them.  Pray for them, hurt for them, and then consider our country.  Consider life before 9/11 and perhaps it will make us all become more aware of the battles that are facing this great nation.  Pray for America and believe that God can make a difference!

“The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.”

Psalm 147:6

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Oh, that smile!!

Let me tell you about my grandson, Connor!  When he sees me, his whole face lights up.  That smile is enough to make the worst day a whole lot better.  How does it make me feel?  Loved.  I don’t know if Connor, at thirteen months even knows what love is, but he shows it in his smile.  And then, to put the icing on the cake, he sometimes reaches for me and wants me to hold him.  It doesn’t get any better than that!

I used to think grandparents were just saying that stuff because they were supposed to; I mean, who wants to be a reject gramma!  Now, I understand.

So much of life is that way – we just can’t understand until we get there.  As much as we “think” we understand, we really don’t; and it’s okay because we CAN’T understand until we get there. (That was a thought within a thought :?)

I wonder, does my face light up like that for my heavenly father?  Does He feel loved because my face shines whenever I think of Him?  Today, I was over in the church basement by myself getting ready for tomorrow.  I find myself chatting with God!  If anyone ever comes in, it would be really embarrassing, but it just seems to happen when I’m over there, at His house!

Sometimes, it happens while I’m reading His Word or talking to Him in prayer.  In my heart, my arms reach out, wanting Him to hold me, and He does.  “Safe in the arms of Jesus!”

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

I heard the phrase “satisfied sanctification” today, and I’m not really sure what it means, but it doesn’t seem to fit together right.  Can we ever be satisfied with our sanctification until we see Him face to face and that nasty stuff called our sin nature is once and for all ratified?  I don’t think so. (that falls into the thought within the thought – we CAN’T understand it.)

Well, as you can see, this is a little rambling this evening.  Just some thoughts, hoping that your walk with Jesus is putting a smile on your face, God’s face, and everyone else that’s looking! 🙂