Month: February 2016

Forgiven

You messed up.  Bad.

You need to confess to your loved ones.  You need to confess to God.

Will they forgive you?

Will you forgive yourself?

Will you stand again and move on?

How long will you beat yourself up?

If God says your forgiven, aren’t you?

Let it go and move. (and give yourself a break)

Luke 7:46-48

46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

jonah

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When to turn your lights on

This analogy is a little similar to the frog in boiling water – see what you think.

If we go out to drive at night, we rarely miss turning our lights on.  It’s pretty obvious that we can’t see without them.

But if we’ve been driving during the day and dusk begins, we all have a different point when we feel our lights should be turned on.  We may be able to see fine but other drivers may not be able to see us.  Sometimes it is a matter of our eyes adjusting slowly and we don’t realize it is getting dark.  At some point we either realize that it is getting hard to see or someone flashes their lights at us.

I had a car once that the lights came on automatically at a certain darkness.  I was driving down a road with shade trees and the lights were going on and off going between the shadows and sun.  Very annoying.  I gave that car to my daughter and when she went for her driver’s test she didn’t know how to turn the lights on because they were automatic.  The testing person wasn’t amused and nearly flunked her because she argued with him.

We live in a dark world – some say it is getting darker, some say that it has always been this dark.  Those of us who have been Christians our whole life may not be able to “see” the day getting darker and may not feel the need to shine our light.  Adults who come in out of the dark seem to be more sensitive to the dark/light and are usually quick to turn their light on.

Are we numb to the darkness?  Are our eyes desensitized and we are driving dangerously?  Have we forgotten to turn our lights on and we need someone to flash their high beams at us?  Are we driving past people standing out in the dark and we don’t see them because we our lights are off?  Last but not least – are we driving on a road with so many street lights that we don’t feel the need to shine our own?

Maybe we should have automatic lights that come on whenever we drive into darkness.  Or maybe that defeats the whole purpose of who we are.

John 8:12 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.”

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Hearing the Lyrics

The 1960’s and 70’s were an interesting time for music.  Rock music hit the airways and played on transistor radios and vinyl.  It was often hard to understand the words in songs and kids would gather and try to decipher what was really said.  Some albums came with lyrics written on the cover but most of the time we were stuck trying to figure it out.  Listeners called radio stations to ask for help.   We held cassette recorders in front of the radio to “record” the music so that we could listen over and over again.  Parents decried this music and said “how can you understand what they are saying?”

Jump ahead 50 years and lyrics are only a button away on the internet.  Spotify even plays the lyrics along with the music.  There is no point in guessing.  Just look it up.

Are you hearing God in 60’s style – poor reception, unclear words, cassette reproduction, meeting with friends to understand?  Are you guessing at what God is saying or do you have a better system to hear and translate?

We shouldn’t need to live in confusion.  We should be able to hear and understand.  The lyrics are available to read.

Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light;
    it gives understanding to the simple.

Bible

14 years and final

I was reminded again this week how fragile life can be.  Another local 14 year old took her life.  Devoted to God.  Active in a good church.  Active in a youth group.  Home schooled.  Good family.

Don’t bother asking why.  It gets you nowhere.  It is senseless, heartbreaking, earth shattering and most of all . . . it is final.  It’s done and can’t be changed.

I am reminded daily with pictures of my 14 year old.  He would be turning 18 this May.  College?  Military?  Missions? Girlfriends?

Remember 14 year olds.  Your pain is temporary.  Your decision is final.

Psalm 18:3-5

I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
    and I have been saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entangled me;
    the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
    the snares of death confronted me.

Isaiah

 

Duck Duck Goose

Couple lessons from this childhood game:

If you sit back with your hands propping you up, you are likely to have your hands stepped on.

There is really nothing that you can do to be picked as goose.  On the other hand, there isn’t anything that you can do to avoid being the goose.  The only thing that can influence the decision is the teacher forcing the current goose to tag you.  It is kind of like the government running our lives.  Live with it.  There’s not much you can do.

We want to be selected as the goose.  Why?  Wouldn’t you rather just sit and relax instead of running around a bunch of children trying to catch the previous goose?

Why do “goose” children walk around the circle more than once?  Can’t they make up their mind on the first trip?

If you are the goose and you run around the circle with only socks on with a slippery floor you are bound to be a hurt goose.

Is it fair for someone to be the goose twice when there are those who haven’t been the goose yet?

A goose has a great opportunity to hit the ducks a little too hard causing pain to the ducks that they don’t like.

Is there any point to this game other than filling up time for the teacher?

Ecclesiastes 1:“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.  “Utterly meaningless!  Everything is meaningless.”  What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?

duck_duck_goose_state_champion_tshirt

Pardon Me

Pardon me, kissing you like I’m afraid
But I know I’m being played with
And you’ll leave me when you get the chance.

Off you’ll go, in the darkness of the night
Like a bird in freedom’s flight,
You’re thinking only of deliverance.

Close your eyes, and pretend that you are me.
See how empty it can be
Making love if love’s not really there.

Watch me go, watch me walk away alone,
As your clothing comes undone,
And you pull the ribbon from your hair.

This song by Larry Norman has always been one of the eeriest songs I know.  I always wondered why he wrote it, who he was talking to, if it was literal or spiritual.  I have to admit it bothered me with it’s down beat, instruments and lonely tune.  I still don’t know who he wrote it to or why.

One day it hit me in the face what it means to me (not saying this is what Larry meant for it).  For the first time it held spiritual meaning and I wept as I listened to it over and over again.

God has poured His love on us and yet we turn on Him.  We pretend to love Him but love’s not really there.  We only pretend  hoping for deliverance.  We bow down on Sundays hoping that that is enough.  But how soon do we walk away?  How soon do we cheat?  How soon do we walk away in the darkness of the night?  Are we thinking only of deliverance?  Are we only thinking about what we can get?

Ezekiel 16:14 And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign Lord.

15 “‘But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute. You lavished your favors on anyone who passed by and your beauty became his. 16 You took some of your garments to make gaudy high places, where you carried on your prostitution.

 

Going Dormant

This was sent from a friend today.  I hope you enjoy it.

I bought the orchid, 2 photos attached, about a year ago at a local department store. I do not have a green thumb at all. But, it was on sale for $7 and figured for that price how could I not give it a try. It had about 4 blossums on each of the 2 stems. But, after a while the leaves started to turn yellow and did not look happy. Did it need more water? It could not possibly be lacking in humid air. At the time the humidity was 65% but today it is 25%. I read up on the internet that orchids turn yellow if they get too much sunlight. I had originally placed it on a bureau next to the sliding glass doors and it got direct sunlight in the morning and indirect light from noon on. Apparently it was too much and I moved it to the opposite side of the room where it received NO direct light at all and it almost immediately started to look better. It seemed perfectly happy for about 4 months. I did not fuss with a fancy pot, I kept it in the same plastic container that I bought it. The instructions were to dip the orchid in a bucket of water for 20 minutes once a week to get the bark chips damp. Then placed it in a mug to let the water drain out. I think this might help because the water collected in the mug, and the tight fit, keeps the roots moist. BUT, THE KEY IS THE WATER. The recommendations say to not use hard tap water and I collected condensation water from our air conditioner.

Then about July the buds started to fall off one by one. I was distraught. In about 2 weeks they all fell off and all I had was 2 spindly stems and green leaves. I checked on the internet and found nothing. I gave up on the plant as dying and ignored it for 3 months with no watering. Then in October I noticed tiny stems appeared on the still green bare stems. Then, buds and in January blossums. It now has more blossums than when I purchased it. It must simply have gone dormant and is now very happy.

Matthew 6:27-29

27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

Lessons?

We don’t need to be a “professional” Christian.

We don’t need a fancy pot.

We do need the right kind of water, the right amount of water and the right amount of light.  Son and Sun.

Sometimes we just need to go dormant and sit in a corner and veg.

There is no need to worry.  Just enjoy life while we can.

orchid1

 

Depression

As Christians we are supposed to be full of joy, hope, faith and peace.  We are conquerors.  We have domain over evil and the enemy’s attacks.  We have salvation.  We have been delivered.

Yeah right.

Oh, I believe all that.  I really do.  I just don’t always feel it.  We all have bad days.  But I’m talking about true believers that struggle daily to just get out of bed.  I’m talking about believers who live on the edge of suicide and can’t eat or sleep.  I’m talking about believers who are racked with pain and can’t see the light of day.

If a believer breaks a leg, we understand that there is pain.  We don’t expect them to jump up and down singing Hallelujah!  I just broke my leg!  If they have just suffered a great loss we understand that too.  What if they don’t suffer from a broken leg but instead have a missing connection in the brain that is misfiring?  How long are we willing to put up with a sad sack Christian that is always down?  Do we yell at them and say “Where is your joy?  Where is your hope in Christ?  You are a new creature that should be basking in glory!”

What if they need medication?  What if it is not a personality trait but a real medical imbalance?  On the other hand, what if that person sitting next to you on Sunday isn’t smiling because of Jesus but because they found really good drugs?  Does that change your faith level in Jesus?

I don’t understand the brain.  I don’t know why some heathens seem happy all the time and some believers are miserable.  I don’t even understand why some people can have a cavity filled without novocaine.  I would rather be hit over the head and knocked unconscious then have a tooth filled while I sit there!

I have hope that I will find joy.  I have peace that I am saved.  I have faith that I do walk with God.  I also take anti depressants and I probably should take more on most days.  I don’t get it.  I probably never will.  I’ll say a prayer but don’t take my pills away.

Psalm 143:7-8

Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.
tree

 

Angry with God

There have been many times in my life that I was angry with God.  It’s not really smart getting into a fight with God . . .it is always a losing battle.

Sometimes we are angry at something He did or didn’t do.  Other times we are just angry at life (or ourselves) and we take it out on Him.   The longest stretch that I remember being mad at God was three months.  I don’t remember what it was about but I remember not talking to Him.  I’m sure He was really disappointed. . . maybe He was glad to not hear me complain for awhile!

I always end up apologizing later when I get over my tantrum.   God has big shoulders.  I imagine Him being happier that I am close enough to Him to get angry then not having any relationship at all.  How many of His children just don’t care and ignore Him?

Here is my suggestion: Tell God that you are angry.  Tell Him that you know it is not His fault but that you are angry anyway and apologize ahead of time.  He may send you to your room for a quiet time to calm down.  Maybe He will suggest a nap.  Maybe He will give you a snickers bar like in the commercial.  Walk it out.  Don’t walk away.  God used Jonah in his anger.  He can use you too.

Jonah 4:But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”

“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”

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