Friday, September 8, 2017

Termites and Rot


Image result for log cabin

We recently began the process of cleaning and updating my in-laws log house in order to down-size and hopefully save on heating expenses. As par for the course, an empty house for any length of time begins to show signs of neglect.  OK we thought, we will just add some paint, change some carpet, do some deep cleaning and we will be good to go….

What a dream that a little bit of work would fix it right up; rodents, insects, spiders and you name it had taken over the inside.  The deeper cleaning revealed an area that was damp and upon further investigation we found termites and rot had taken over behind the walls in some of the logs.  Isolated to this one area we thought, but we need to check the rest of the logs.  Wrong, there were some other places that needed attention in order to maintain the structure.

After toiling over finding a solution, and trying to find logs, then replace them from the bottom up, with help from some friends, we finally have a log house with solid logs.  BUT OH what a daunting, overwhelming task it was.  
Went to a service tonight that the sermon was on being born of, filled with and led by the spirit and as I was praying God began to speak to my heart.  Many people are like my little log cabin.  It looked great from the outside, didn’t even look too bad on the inside once you cleared the remains of the rodents and insects.  People can look great from the outside; in fact they can even appear to be solid in the faith (know the right language, do the right things, be in church every service) yet they can be decayed and termite eaten on the inside.

God spoke to me that just as a wooden structure will show signs of neglect, so will our spiritual natures in human bodies.  On the log house we had to cut the bolts and nails, and hammer and pound the rotten logs away. It was a tedious, lengthy process and had to be done just right in order to get the bad logs out without cutting electric or water lines, and to fit the new logs in.  Careful measuring to make sure the logs fit in the empty spots.  AND just as we had to burn and destroy the termites to make sure our work was not in vain, Christ does the same with our lives.  It hurts when He begins to cut away those things that are not healthy.  It hurts when He hammers and chisels to remove the rot.  It hurts when He shifts our structure in order to stretch us and to mold us and to shape us into His Son’s image.  Just as the walls were torn down log by log, and the replacement logs had to be already ready, dried, measured and cut to the same size, He has to work in our lives pouring those things in that are needful.   Just as when the last log was put in place we saw a house that was complete, when God finishes with us, He sees us as “perfect” which in the Hebrew means complete.  We still have stuff to do.  Fill in the cracks. Spray for pests. Paint and seal but the structure is intact. God will still have work to do on us as long as we are in an earthen vessel.
If we allow the master craftsman to search our hearts, to try us, to test us, He will perform whatever is needed to mold us and to shape us into who He has created us to be.  I was reminded, In Christ; a person should not desire a form of godliness but be full of decay and termites.  In Christ, A person should not desire our own way and our own will and be filled with rodents and spiders and cobwebs.  We should deny our flesh daily.  We should take up our cross and follow Him.  In Christ, we are a new creation 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

I just want to encourage you to remember that in Christ, we are a work in progress and to yield to the Master.  Isa 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.


Job knew it best when he said, Job 19:25-27  For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:  (26)  And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:  (27)  Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Pumping Up!

Image result for spiritually fit
I have been observing a special lady as she has found the determination and dedication to push herself and to push beyond comfortable limits to get herself in wonderful physical shape.  I admire that will power in her.  I look at me so out of shape and no will power to push my physical limits.....I KNOW that I am destroying my health with that lack of will power.  In fact, right now I struggle with doing my physical therapy exercises just to be able to walk across a floor without a limp and to keep my knee joint functioning...knowing if I can make myself do them, they will increase my mobility....even that doesn't seem to be motivation to push through the pain.  I don't know what it would take for me to get physically fit... Sometimes I fight being envious of her.... other times I just want to crawl in a cave and stay until I metamorphose into something similar to her......  
      This same beautiful lady threw out a challenge.  It was a picture of the Holy Bible with a caption "The ‎Bible doesn't need rewritten, it needs to be reread. Read your Bible."  Coming from her prompted me automatically to think of Spiritual muscle building.   You know that is what it takes to build our spiritual muscle.  We can't go to the gym and build our spirit.  We can't lift enough weight, run fast enough or far enough to build our spirit. HOWEVER we can build our spirit by  picking up the Word of God and hiding it in our heart. Daily. We can build our spirit by feeding on the Word of God. Daily. We can build our spirit by Hearing the Word of God and assembling with like minded believers. As often as we can. We can build our spirit by spending time communicating with the Heavenly Father who loves us so much that He is doing what it takes to shape our eternal being. Without ceasing. The Bible says, "Psa 119:11  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." "Psa 119:28  My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word."
        I found myself thinking.  It takes as much determination and dedication to build our spirit as it does to become physically fit.  We have to push past the excuses.  We have to push through the distractions. We have to consume the right nutrition...the Word.... WE have to get the mindset that I am going to do what it takes to become spiritually fit  NO MATTER WHAT.  We have to be just as obsessed with growing our spirit as we would to get physically fit.  The word says: 2Cor 4:16-18  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  (17)  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  (18)  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.  Job said, "(Job 19:25-27)  For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:  (26)  And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:  (27)  Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. We flex our Spiritual muscles when we abide in Him  If we don't...we are cut off .....Joh 15:4-7  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  (5)  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.  (6)  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.  (7)  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
       Why is it that as humans we are so much more about the here and now and the physical than we are the forever and ever spirit? One day we are going to see God.  He will either welcome us in or say Depart, I never knew you....How much more should we desire to spend eternity with the Author and Finisher of our faith?  How much more should we desire to spend eternity with the Word that became flesh so that we might have eternal life?   How much more should we desire to spend eternity with the Bridegroom who beckons us to come?   

 I challenge you to think about, which is more important to spend our time on..... this shell of flesh that is going to die and decay  or the spirit man that is going to live eternally??  

Sunday, July 2, 2017

IDOLS

Kneel at the cross give your idols up....
Look unto realms above Turn not away to life's sparkling cup Trust only in His love

Give your idols up....now that's a novel idea.......
     Idol: Any thing on which we set our affections; that to which we indulge an excessive and sinful attachment; An idol is any thing which usurps the place of God in the hearts of his rational creatures.
Image result for idol
Singing Kneel at the Cross at church last night and as I was singing and thinking on the words of the song we sang these words: Kneel at the cross give your idols up....
     give your idols up Janet... but God, I don't have a statue I worship, I don't go to a temple and worship a false god...what are you talking about?  for most of us the only definition of "Idol" we like to think about is: An image, form or representation, usually of a man or other animal, consecrated as an object of worship; a pagan deity. Idols are usually statues or images, carved out of wood or stone, or formed of metals, particularly silver or gold.(Webster)   A good Christian girl wouldn't dare... what does God mean speaking to my heart that His church would not give their idols up? That I needed to give my idols up?   Then it dawns on me what God is talking about.... "Any thing to which we indulge an excessive and sinful attachment"             What are we attached to?  What are we excessive about?  ....ME, ME, ME... my selfish wants and my selfish desires, my selfish comfort is my idol.  I am squeamish.  I want to be comfortable.  I don't want to get out of my comfort zone.  What do I spend the majority of my time on?  ME.  Where does the majority of my income go?  ME.  Who do I plan around the majority of the day....????  Yep ME.  Who do I want to be right?  ME ... Where does God factor into all of that?  If everything were stripped away, could I worship Him just because of Who He is and What He has done for me?  I would like to say YES, but could I? If all I had was a room with no heat, no A/C, no music, no padded chairs, no convenience of any kind.... Would I worship Him?  If He said to me as he did the rich young man in Mat 19: 16-22 V 21 Jesus tells him to go sell all that he has and give to the poor and to follow him... in Matt 19: (22) But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions...... Would I go away sorrowful or would I obey????? 
       If I had to go into hiding or be arrested or put to a "deny God or die" test?  Would I be able?    I found my self thinking hard.  What do I do for Christ? Can I open my hands and heart and just be who He has called me to be and do what He has called me to do regardless
of my comfort?  God only knows the strength and depth of my character and what it will have to face and what I can do.  The Psalmist says in Psa 139:15-16 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. (16) Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
        I do know this....He has created us for "SUCH A TIME AS THIS"  God only knows what THIS will include. This could many uncomfortable things.   I find myself praying for my Christian brother and sister that the blinders will fall from our eyes and we will see what separates us from a Holy God.  The day is getting short.  The hour is at hand.  What will Christ find when He comes for you?  Will it be someone not ready...running to and fro catering to the idol of self?  Clutching tightly to things that might make you uncomfortable if you let go?  Will it be someone who can't worship because the music isn't just right, or the temperature isn't just right, or the church is too full of hypocrites for me to bother, or....any other excuse we create because we aren't "comfortable?"  Will He find someone who is packaged like a Christian...knows the right lingo, how to dress, how to act...who is rotten on the inside?
       Or will He find someone watching, waiting, willing & working?  It is up to each one of us....what do we hold tightly onto?  ....give your idols up....look unto realms above....turn not away....KNEEL AT THE CROSS.....

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Daddy Where Are You?

Father’s day is one of those bittersweet days for me.  I enjoyed seeing all of the proud children praise their fathers and I lived a bit vicariously through each and every post. I am so very thankful for the daddy my kids have and the Poppa that he is for our grandson.  I am so very thankful for a father-in-law who took the girl who eloped with their baby boy and treated her as if she was his very own daughter and loved me unconditionally.  The bitter part of the sweet comes when I think of my own inner hopes and dreams for that precious relationship with my own father.  He was busy.  I am learning after the fact, he probably did the best that he could.  To give the benefit of the doubt, he was working away from home, running a farm, and trading during our growing up years and all of those things take a lot of time. I suppose that the little girl (child) inside of a person never really grows past the hurts nor do they lose the hopes and dreams that maybe someday…..

I want to shift focus to the Heavenly Father.  He is a Good, Good Father.  He never lets me down even though I fail him often.  I want to be a bit open right now to tell just the struggle it has been for me to learn to walk in a loving trusting relationship with that Heavenly Father, and that He is a Good Father with good plans for me.  What I have learned is that people view God with their human eyes and focus with the lens of what is known in the here and now.  We filter His nature, His traits by what we have encountered in our human relationship (or lack of) with an earthly father. 

Some lessons that I have learned in my walk with God at different times as my heart is ready for another layer to be peeled is that my trust was not there,  my ability to accept love from God was not there.  I expected to be looked over.  I expected to be disappointed. I expected to be rejected.  I didn’t expect gifts or good things from God.  I have even said, it doesn't pay to have hopes or expectations, then you are not disappointed.   I THANK GOD, that He did not give up on me or my mess and has sometimes gently and other times not so gently peeled back the layers to expose those hurts of the heart and then miracle of miracles, He places a healing balm on the rawness and takes me to a different place in my trust of him.  I know that as I walk in Him and trust my Abba Father, more layers will be peeled as the timing is right and I am ready.

One thing God showed me was that He put Godly men in my life to love me with His love so I would know what His love was.  I didn’t realize or appreciate at the time, but have since realized how blessed that I was to have those men to pour kindness and love into my life.  I want to issue a CHALLENGE to those wonderful earthly fathers, to those men who are good, and moral and loving, to those men who might not be a father but still can be a positive influence, BE A POSITIVE INFLUENCE in someone’s life that DOES NOT have a positive male role model.  So many kids have no idea even who their father is, some are abused by the men in their lives, others ignored, and the list could go on.  Be a game changer for someone.  It doesn’t take a lot of time to smile and say hello, how are you?  And often that is enough.  It doesn’t take long to give a quick smile and hug and say I am glad you are in my life.  Maybe a fishing trip with a side of conversation.  It doesn’t take long to pray for a child.  I want to challenge you Godly men to make an eternal difference in someone’s life by giving them a picture of God’s nature in flesh form so they can develop a focus beyond the here and now.


I praise God for my spiritual fathers.  I no longer ask, "Daddy where are you."

Friday, June 16, 2017

WATCH YOUR STEP...


Was sitting at the river today to let Garrett play and observed a man who headed upstream to fish. His little grandson, who didn't look to be much older than two, took off after him. The man was not aware the boy had followed, and for a little while, the boy was in sync with the man's stride. At times the little one had to step quicker or take more steps the man had his face forward intent on where he was headed and the little boy was intent of following and doing what the man was doing.
I was reminded yet again how much influence the human race Even if we are like this man and unaware that we are being followed. We are an influence in the lives of our children, our younger siblings, people around us. 

I found myself thinking about what kind of influences we are to them. Are we a positive influence, leading them to safety and security, leading to uprightness and productivity? Or could it be that perhaps we are leading into harm, danger and a path to self-destruction. As I reflect back on life (hindsight IS 20/20) I find myself wondering to we even think about what kind of legacy, what kind of influence that we want to be, the destination we are headed to, or do we just fly by and react to what is around us perhaps minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day? I saw the man's attention get drawn to the little boy and he immediately slowed his step and took him by the hand and began to talk to him, and when they arrived at the fishing destination, he took time to show him what he was doing. See this man for this moment knew where he was going and what he was doing.
I have been reminded recently of what a little sponge or perhaps recorder or computer chip a child's mind is. Everything they see. Everything they hear. Every encounter. Every little thing is recorded in that remarkable brain. Then, to process the information they test it out to see how it works for them. I find myself thinking, do we think about what we want them to be? Do we think about what we want them to see? Do we think about what we want them to hear? WE SHOULD.

The Bible tells us in Titus 2: 4 to teach the younger. Fathers to teach your children diligently. Deu 6:7-9 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (8) And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. (9) And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. To not provoke our children Eph 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.


My prayer. My desire for my children and my grandson is that they could say as it was said of Timothy's grandmother, "2Ti 1:5  When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also."  They could look back and say that we taught them faith, about Christ and His Love and how to be a part of His kingdom.  That they could say they learned Christian values.  That we taught them love and compassion for their fellow man and how to be productive in society and to give more than they get.  

I guess my greatest thought and challenge as I watched another family who had no apparent thought for what they were doing was WE NEED TO THINK.  IF WE DON'T TEACH THE RIGHT THINGS.....well ..... They will learn something right or wrong.  They will follow and they will take it a step farther than you did.  I want to issue a challenge to THINK about what you say, to THINK about what you do, to THINK about where you are leading.  I always told my kids GIGO…. Garbage in, garbage out.

I think the greatest measure of success; the greatest legacy will be on THAT day in eternity, will be having a family circle that is complete, not broken.  Dying alone does not guarantee entrance into heaven.  You have to have a relationship with Jesus who died so that none should perish.  Who will teach them if we don’t? 

Did we always get it right?  Sorrowfully the answer to that is no.  Did we look at the big picture and keep our eye on the prize at the end?  Some days I would say that we did, other days not so well.  Did we always look where our steps were leading?  Some days I would say that we tried and had a fair measure of success, sadly, other days not as successful.  I have good kids with good values but as all will learn, there are things you wish you could rewind and redo, but life doesn’t offer that button.  Choose wisely.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Journey of the Blue Bucket...

Today at my grandson's favorite spot to go, "the waterfall," he took his little blue pail that he likes to play with.  Of course being the good mawmaw I am, I thoroughly warned him if something happened and the bucket fell in the spring, we couldn't get it back.  Welp, you guessed it, before the day was over, the bucket fell into the waterfall spring.  My response, "I told you it would be lost." But as I watched the little bucket, God began to speak to my heart.

I watched as the bucket went down the waterfall, into the pool below and seemingly seemed to have enough air pocket to stay afloat and follow the current where it would come out to where I could reach it.  I began to rethink my stance. Then, as I watched the bucket slowed down and bumped into a patch of grass clippings and moss.  Oh well, I thought.  I watched as the bucket filled with water sitting there and disappeared from sight.  That was the end of that little bucket.....

But to my amazement the next time I looked, the bucket had resurfaced and was slowly moving toward the current.  Wow.  God spoke to my heart at that moment. The truth he spoke was that there are times in this walk with Him, that we are like that bucket.  It started out in the fountain of living water, moving rapidly, tumbling end of end as if it enjoyed the ride.  The little bucket even had a great start once it hit the pool.  Following the current and all seemed well.  As Christians, sometimes we are like that.  We get in the fountain of joy when we give our hearts completely to Jesus, then we follow the current along in this walk, and all is well and we are full of joy.  Then.

Then.. the mossy patch becomes our obstacle.  Progress is slowed and it may even look like the enemy has us down for the count.  But PRAISE GOD as we hang on and trust in Him, we resurface and head back into that stream of living water..... I was watching with great interest as the bucket approached the next waterfall to go into the next pool where I could reach it.... but.... but....alas....
It caught on a stump and would not budge.  It rocked and swayed but was stuck.  I watched for awhile and decided, it was too close to reaching to leave it so, what could I do but find a limb long enough to reach it to knock it off the stump.  God spoke that is how it looks when we see our brother and sister struggling and we combine our faith and in prayer and encouragement we help them overcome.

Oh No....when my bucket got started again, it went faster than I did and ended up in the running stream headed toward the river....sigh. now what.  Looking into my grandson's hopeful eyes, I waded into the stream and past overhanging branches and other obstacles to get the bucket.  Yes, we brought the bucket home, intact, no worse for the wear for its journey.  My heart though was given a visual of God's love for us and how He pursues and helps His children.

My prayer is as Jeremiah says, that I not forsake the fountain of living water for stagnant, broken cisterns..but that out of my belly fountains of living water will flow. (Jer 2:13  For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.) I pray that as the living water impacts the landscape around it at the spring, my life in Christ will impact the world around me.  My prayer is that as the woman at the well all find the  water that has no end. (Joh 4:10  Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.)

I also gained hope and trust as I realize that God watches over us and that even when it seems all odds are against us succeeding in Him, HOLD ON, TRUST, and DON'T give up. It is not over until He says it is over.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

THIS LITTLE LIGHT


Grrr... I found myself uttering in frustration. I like a room completely dark in order to sleep. Last night was one of those that insomnia threatens and every little beacon of light seemed to glow brighter and brighter increasing my frustration with not sleeping and increased my focus on why there were so many lights in a room.
As I tossed and turned and covered my head and turned over the clock to face the table and turned over the remote that every button is lit up on to subdue them, the scripture began to run through my mind Mat 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Even though I turned the clock face down, there was still light glowing around the edges. Even though I turned the remote upside down...yep, there was light glowing around the edges. I began to think about the tiny less than 1/8 inch battery indicator on the laptop that was glowing green. It isn’t very large, but it is lighting the room. How about the little red dot on Garrett’s DVD play that indicates off? Yep was lighting the room. I began to think about how little light it takes to invade darkness. Jesus said, “Ye are the light of the world, a city that is set on a hill.” I think there were 5 or 6 things glowing in the dark last night which lit the whole room. I began to wonder what if, God’s children would allow the light inside of them to glow in a darkened world? See it didn’t take much light to shatter the darkness in my room. I found myself thinking that we might want to be accepted or liked or favored so we have a tendency to do what Jesus went on to say: Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
We are admonished to not put our light face down on the table to make it easier. OUCH. Sometimes that is a difficult task. I found myself thinking if I am ever going to get any sleep then I need to get up and unplug everything. This led me to thinking light needs a power source. I asked myself, “Am I fully plugged into my power source? Do I allow the light of Christ to shine through me? Do I put my light under a bushel? (or face down on a table) Do I unplug from the outlet to make life easier?” God forbid that I could answer yes to any of those but I fear at times maybe I don’t like the answer I might give.

So my reflection for insomnia and the battle of the lights is to challenge God’s people to be what He called us to be, “The light of the World. A city set on a hill” (Yes one little light looked like a whole city lit up in the dark!) To not cover the light inside of us so that He might be high and lifted up!