Tag Archive | Emotions

Prayer, Possession, Position and Priority

Good Morning, it has been an hour now since I woke up.  It is about 5:30.  When I wake up in the early morning hours, I wake up wide awake and I know that I must get up and get with God.  I don’t feel Him, I don’t see Him, but I know I am with Him.  And, I know that He has something that I am to pray about.

Normally, I sleep peacefully through the night and awaken after approximately eight hours.  I wake up happy, thinking about the Lord and ready for the day.

Recently, there are several things that have happened to those I care about.  A few years ago I would have been worried, even fearful for them.  Today, I know that my Father in Heaven holds them in His hand and I can trust that He knows what is needed to bring them to full dependence upon Him.  That is His goal.

My mind wanders around as I pray for my loved ones.  I see them in my mind’s eye.  I see characteristics, pitfalls they may have fallen into and I pray that God will set them free.  The Bible says that in this world there will be trouble; we could all say AMEN to that.  If it stopped there we would have every right as believers in Jesus to feel wretched.  However, that is not the end of the story.

Peter the apostle, tells us that God gave us great and precious promises so that we could escape the lust that is in the world.  In our American Christian mindset we most often think of lust in terms of sex.  It is more than that. Lust takes many forms.

In Eden Adam and Eve lusted to be like God as they listened to the lie of the snake.  They felt that there was something God had denied them.  The evil one accused God to them saying, “God knows that in the day that you eat of the fruit you will be like God.”

Why is this a lie?  Because Adam had been created “in the image and likeness of God”.  Adam looked just like God.  The same authority that God had over Heaven, Adam had over Eden.  He lacked nothing…except one thing, a companion like himself, so God made Eve from one of Adam’s ribs.

Eve also bore the image and likeness of God since she was created by God from Adam’s rib.  They had a perfect environment.  They lived in perfect relationship with God.  It was like Heaven on earth, that is until the adversary sowed doubt and introduced lust into the picture.  Paradise was lost.

The result of Adam’s choice is called sin.  It happens every time someone listens to the accuser and chooses lust instead of life.

What do you lust after?  Power, fame, fortune, a good reputation?  Some lust after food, some lust after knowledge.  Lust is nothing more than idolatry and it can take many forms.  It is a “sneaky” spirit that first must deceive the mind before it possesses the soul.

When I was a young married woman I lusted after my husband.  I wanted to be with him all the time.  Though I did not see it at the time I wanted to possess him.  I cried if he wanted to go outside and I made him miserable if he wanted to be alone.  I “needed” him.

Thank God He did not allow my husband to fulfill my lust!  I had an emotional deficit that I wanted him to fill.  I did not know at that time that I was created with a God-sized vacuum and only God could fill it.  It would be many miserable years before my eyes were opened to the truth and I trusted Jesus to be Lord of my life.

I have shared this in the hope that I might help you see that you can be a believer in Jesus and be a “soulish” Christian who is led by lust instead of being led by the Holy Spirit as the sons of God are to be.

Man is a spirit and when a person comes into relationship with God through Jesus we say that he is saved or born-again.  Since man is a spiritual being the Bible says that we become “a new creature in Christ Jesus.”  The essence of meaning is “something that never existed before.”  This  transformation is immediate.  The Bible says that a believer is “seated with Christ in Heavenly places”.  That is in the spiritual realm.  It is a legal position.  It carries with it Heaven’s authority.

The church is called the “Body of Christ” and each person likened to a member of the Body.  Thus each person has a part to play in the well-being of the Body.  When one part of your body is in distress your whole being feels distressed.  This is why God leads us to pray for one another.

The soul and body of a believer is that part of our being that relates to the natural world, the world around us.

The soul houses the mind (not your brain), the will and the emotions, including your affections, and when your are born-again it enters into a process called salvation.  You are saved from your past sins, being saved presently and will be saved in the future.   Depending on your former lifestyle, this can be messy and you need to be patient with yourself and others as God crafts you into the image He has of you.

It is essential that one who comes to Jesus must commit himself to the Lord with all that he knows of himself at that point in time.  It is absolutely essential that he get a Bible that he can understand so he will read it.  By the way, do not be pressured that you must devour the whole thing at once.  Just start a regular program of Bible reading.  There are many fine Bibles and Bible studies that will help you grow spiritually.

Prayer is the conversation of a believing heart with God. If you want a relationship with someone you spend time with them, you talk to them about yourself and they talk to you about themselves.  It is called, “Getting to know you”.  (smile)

Take some time every day to be with Him.  God wants you to know Him and though He knows you more than you know yourself, He wants you to bring everything to Him.  He loves you so much.

You have a blessed day today.  Joy

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I Was A Child

I Corinthians 13:11

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put aside childish things.”

As young child I did not reason, I simply lived.  I did not know that I was trusting my parents to provide for me.  My elders told me what was acceptable behavior and I either obeyed them or resisted what they said, depending on how I felt at the time.

I did not worry about my next meal.  I did not concern myself about whether I would have clothes and shoes to wear, nor did I even think that I might not have a place to sleep.  I moved with the rhythm of life without so much as a thought.

I played, that was what I did.  Oh yes, sometimes I was aware of others in my world, but mostly my total concern was myself.  Mom and Dad were there, but they lived to care for me and when I didn’t get my way, I let them know.

As I grew older I began to notice the world I lived in.  I watched in fascination as the old Boxelder tree in the front yard bowed its head to the ground when a stormy wind blew through the farm.  My Grandma said that it did not break because it had a strong root system.  Isn’t that how we are to be when the storms of life come upon us?

Another storm came through that easily blew down the windmill .  It had nothing to hold it steady in a strong wind. The well that was below the ground was not affected by the wind on the surface, even as strength of character, schooled by the Holy Spirit, will keep us when the temptations and the winds of life blow.

I spent many happy hours in my elementary years watching people on a Saturday night in town.  I observed nature in the field behind Grandpa’s machine shed.  As I lay on the ground leaning on my elbow, I watched ants working on their sand hill and bunnies playing leap frog.  I looked up at the clouds imagining I saw horses and other fanciful shapes.  I dreamed of my future and wondered where I would be when I grew up and left the farm.

Then I became a teen-ager and life changed dramatically.  My body began to change when I was in the ninth grade.  I grew taller than the other girls, and the boys.  Awareness of my surroundings, the people in my life, became a measure of my worth, my value.  Life became more complicated and I became more melancholy.  I was now in the process of becoming an adult.  Your story may be similar to mine and yet is not the same.

A little baby looks so innocent and yet is tainted by a sin nature.  This is clearly revealed as we observe a child going from baby to toddler, from preschool to elementary school,    finally to become a teen-ager.  Self is at the center of childhood.” It’s all about me, it’s all about me.”

How does a parent deal with a child at these levels?  How do you help each child to grow to maturity when there are many children in the family?  Some parents abdicate their role simply because they never grew up emotionally themselves.  To have a baby does not mean that you will be a good parent.  There are many dysfunctional families in America.  You can see the results every day.  Have you ever tried to fix someone who is as unstable as water?  Instability begets instability.  Only God can fix people.

A strong willed child will resist correction and must be dealt with in a stronger way than a compliant child, often needing greater forcefulness on the part of the parent.   If not handled right this can result in resentment even leading to estrangement as the child bolts from the excessive restraint or anger in the home.

Much has been written and said about the teen years, probably because it is the most difficult and dangerous time in a person’s life.  I believe it to be the time when the child enters into the war for his soul.  The battlefield is filled with traps, snares and pits he can walk or fall into.  The enemy of our souls begins to shoot his arrows and blow his poison darts at our minds.  It is his goal to separate us from anyone or anything that could nurture us or give us the direction and strength we need to make it through to adulthood.

This is the time when a child begins to reason.  He begins to experiment with thoughts and ideas beyond what his parents have taught or allowed.  His peers influence becomes more important than his parents and many teens reject their parents altogether.  This, of course, makes them open season for the adversary.

Some children push against their boundaries, seeking, unknowingly, to establish how far his parents will let him go.  Teens need boundaries even though they chafe and push hard against them.  It is especially important at this time for parents to be persistently consistent.

As the teen experiments, tries on these different ideas and ways, parents need to be loving, calm and thoughtful, they must be prayerful and ask God for wisdom.  If you do your job to the best of your ability, your child will pass from childhood to adulthood with only a few battle scars.

Life provides us with decisions to be made every day.  We must choose to get out of bed every morning.  Those with jobs must choose to go to work and give the company the best they have.  Coming home after work, a decision must be made to do what needs to be done to keep house and home together. Priorities will be set and life will be lived accordingly.

Volition rests with man.  God made us that way.  Adam was created in the image of God.  He was given a command, it was his decision to obey or disobey, God gave him a will.  His choice cost the human race the image of God, for the scripture tells us that Adam was created in the image of God. After the fall, when Adam had a son, that son was born in the image of Adam.  By the way, the finger pointing began in Eden as Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent.  In fact, they were all to blame because of their choices.

Paradise…Lost.  Relationship with God…lost.  Every child born after that bore the sin nature of Adam and Eve as witness of the fact that the first two humans argued with each other and Cain murdered his brother Abel.

Right and Wrong, Good and Bad, Black and White these are the choices!

Where is the gray, where is the middle ground that so many want to walk in?  With one foot in the world and one in the Kingdom of God, some believers nourish their flesh, placating it, satisfying it, petting it and they think that is okay with God, that He understands  because He is love.  God is also just, He hates sin all the while He loves the sinner.  He grieves because He has made a way for any who will to come to Him to be set free from the pressure of the flesh.

These carnal Christians subscribe to the world’s way of thinking such as,   “That’s the way I am, I can’t help it.”  “If it feels good do it.”   “Get all you can and can all you get.”  “It’s my way or the highway.”  There seems to be a need to have the world’s approval.  They seem to have the mentality that they will get as close as they can to sin, but not go all the way, as if sin is qualitative or quantitative.  Someone described sin in a believer as walking along a riverbank, getting as close to the river as you can without falling in.

Is it okay with God that you “take a walk on the wild side”,  or “sow your wild oats” while you are young, after all “boys will be boys”?  No, it is not okay with God.  God paid a high price for you believer, the loss of His Son to sin and death.  The suffering and pain of Jesus is beyond comprehension, the blood of His body poured out of every wound.  The Bible says that He was wounded for our transgression, the iniquity of us all was put on Him and by His stripes we are healed. The invitation for deliverance is to who ever will, again it is choice.  Jesus made the way.

God is faithful.  Invitations come, warnings come, and decisions are made.

I have heard:  “I’ll think about it, maybe later I will ask Jesus in to my life, but not today.”

I have heard:  “I am as good as you are, who do you think you are to tell me that I need Jesus, I am a good person, I have helped a lot of people.”

I have heard:  “I have been a good church member for many years.  I have taught Sunday School, sang in the choir and been part of helping provide money or food for those who have lost loved ones. I love God.”

I have heard:  ” My father was a Christian, so that makes me a Christian too.”

Many are called but few choose to humble themselves, repent for their sinful, selfish heart and receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord.

“Young John Jones was killed in a car truck accident today at the corner of State Hwy 2 and Thorn Hill Road, he was 23 year old.  The driver of a gravel truck ran a red light, he said the sun was in his eyes, he did not see the light or the Jones car.  Jones leaves behind a wife of six months.”

Can I tell you that John Jones did not expect to die.  He was young, he had his whole life ahead of him.  He and his wife planned to put religion off until they had children, in the meantime they wanted to enjoy life.

“Mary Smith died on Saturday at the age of 86.  She had been given a large inheritance by her father, which no one in Hebersville knew of, as Mary lived a rather frugal life.  This information only became known to the community as the gift was left to the Historical Society with the instructions that it was to be used to repair the local library and put it on the National Historical Register.  Mary was active in the local church which she faithfully attended every Sunday.

Mary was told that all she needed to do to have a Christian burial was be a faithful church member who took communion once a month.  This she did.  One dollar was placed in the offering plate every Sunday, Mary did not miss one.  There was a time when a plea went out for financial help for a hurting family, but Mary did not feel it was “her job” to support someone who was too lazy to work.  Of course, that was her take on it, not the truth.

What do you think was John Jones and Mary Smith’s destination at death?

The day will come when every person will stand before the righteous judge, the books will be opened and all will be judged by what is written there.  When the decision is handed out, as recorded in Matthew 25:40, Jesus said these words:  “In as much as you have done it to the least of these my brethren you have done it unto Me.”  So that’s the standard for the judgment of  works.  The love of God reaches out to the poor, the hurting, the downtrodden and what you do to and for them is noted.

I have been talking about outward things for the most part, but lest there be a misunderstanding, the scenarios above have to do with salvation and the name of a person being written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, which is the Family Album.  If your name is not there, you don’t get into the Kingdom of Heaven.  Goodness will not get you in, membership in a church will not get you in, who you know will not get you in and putting it off until a more opportune time will not get you in.  The way in is narrow, there is only one way and that way is through Jesus.

If you have a rebellion problem you will probably not hear and thus not come in.  As plainly as I can put it, you are on your way to destruction.

Let him who has ears to hear, hear!  Today is the day of salvation.  Come to Jesus, come into the Kingdom of God where there is liberty and freedom from the weight and burden of sin, where there is deliverance from the adversary, where there is healing, provision and protection.  Come to Jesus, Come on home, Father is waiting to welcome you!

In the battle for your soul,

Joy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you identify?

If I went by what I feel, I wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning some days. Paper bag days is what I call them, days when I cannot see past the end of my nose. Can you identify?

Life has a way of throwing curve balls at you when you are expecting and prepared for a slider. It is the unexpected that causes us to get off track. Can you identify?

In the last six months two people from my fellowship have been bereaved of their spouses, these folks had no clue that this was going to happen; it was sudden and unexpected. They are not there to share life with you any more. How do you recover from something so permanent? Can you identify?

Some spouses are living their lives, raising their children, doing the best they can, when one day their spouse announces, “I don’t love you and I want a divorce.” They did not see that coning and their world falls apart. Can you identify?

Your son is a patriot; because of his love for and commitment to America, he joined the armed forces to defend her. One day a soldier walks up to your door and tells you he was killed in battle. Memories flood your soul. He won’t be coming home. Can you identify?

Jesus said, “In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.”

Unless you know that you know that God is good and there is no darkness in Him, you will not be able to overcome the dark emotions that flood your soul. The loss of a spouse or a child will seem like the end of the world…unless your trust is in God through Jesus. It is only through Him that you can reconcile the tragedy, the tribulation, the testing and the trouble that comes your way in this world.

We forget so quickly the peace, the joy, and the pleasures God provides for us when one of the big T’s come upon us and overtakes us. We are weak and prone to wander away from Him.

We humans are the same from the beginning in Eden and will be until the end when the Kingdom of God comes on earth as it is in Heaven. We need a Savior. Thank God for Jesus.

“Amazing love and can it be that you my God should die for me.”

Do we deny the hardship of betrayal or death? Absolutely not! Nor do we deny the hurt, the pain, and the grief that comes to all, the difference for those of us who are His sons and daughters is that we are not alone when we go through these things, we can choose to lean on, rely on and depend on the one who loved us so much that He gave His life for us.

“In this world…”, We are in this world, we will go through things because this world is not perfect, nor will it ever be perfect because everything here is only temporary. We will all die, we are all unfaithful to God our creator…but He is never unfaithful to us.

The confession of the Body of Messiah: “I believe in God the Father, the creator of the world and all things in it, I believe in God the Son, my Savior, who gave His life that I might have eternal life with Him, I believe in the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, who has come to earth to make His home in me.”

I believe this, and as I meditate on it and confess it, my focus shifts from the natural to the spiritual. I am comforted because I am cared for, I can rest in His love for me and I am helped.

How about you? Can you identify? If you can’t, won’t you consider Jesus who left the splendor of Heaven, was born into a world torn by strife, who went about doing good, healing all who came to him oppressed by the devil; He was murdered, buried, descended into Hell and on the third day rose from the dead, He ascended into Heaven where He lives to intercede for His Body on the earth. He will return again to earth at the time set by the Father and those who are His will be gathered together and brought to Heaven.

Consider Jesus. He loves you. He cares what you are going through.

Great tribulation will begin once the people of God are removed. Scripture teaches it. It is the truth. The Great Tribulation will be a time of trouble upon the earth, such as has never been nor will ever be again, because the wrath of God will be poured out upon those who refuse to acknowledge that He is God. Is the fear of God in you? If it is not now it will be then.

Today is the day of salvation, if you have not received the greatest gift ever given why not now, why not today? He will hear your cry to Him and you will be changed in a moment, you will become a son of God. Reach out to Him, He is reaching out to you. Give Him all, He gave all for you.

Praying for you today…Joy

An Old Tree

With quiet dignity the old olive tree stood.  Having survived the ravages of time, it was now very wide in girth, gnarly and knotty.  Several hundreds of years old, it stood in a garden called Gethsemane, its roots planted deep into the mountain soil where it lived.

If trees could talk they would tell of the times young lovers sat under their leafy boughs and spoke of the new life they soon would share.  The olive tree in Gethsemane would tell of the day a Nazarene entered the garden with His followers and of the passionate way He cried out for deliverance from what lay ahead.

Yes, if trees could talk, the tales they would tell of men, women and children, some who sought refuge beneath their shade in times of trouble, tales of others who gathered there to share food and fellowship.

In modern society, in the United States of America, age is not venerated.  That which is old is discarded.  The elderly are a bother and must be “dealt with” by the young…for this society highly prizes youth.

Everything in American society is geared to touch and reach the young, to the point that even the elderly, now called seniors, must appear young even though they are not.  When they are ready to rest in the twilight of their years, they must still be engaged in activity.  Do not the elderly desreve honor and respect for bearing the heat of the battle?  You know that I am speaking generally.

For a few years I have been noticing signs of aging in my physical body, at first it didn’t bother me, but of late I have begun to be more concerned about it.  Today I read something that brought tears.  Before I share it with you, I want you to know that I am approaching my 75th birthday.  It is incredible to me as I feel like I am 30…on the inside.

It is a shock when I look in the mirror.  In that regard, when I was a young woman my husband’s elderly Aunt shared an experience with me that she’d had the morning before, She told me that she looked into the mirror asked, “Who is that old lady looking at me?”  At that time, I laughed, now I understand.

It matters that you understand that I am not talking about the restrictions of sickness or disease, but rather what people call the natural, normal signs of aging such as wrinkles, thinning hair or lack of strength to do what you once did effortlessly.

I have gone many places in the world, even into my 60’s.  I have not lacked the physical ability to do what was required, so when I began to feel physical limitations, it was upsetting.  I began to complain.  For example, when I travel 10 hours on the train to see my children and come home from that journey, it is now taking me two days to regain my strength.  It doesn’t feel right and I don’t like it.  But, it has been the outward appearance of wrinkles on my face and thinning hair that really began to bother me.  Call me vain if you want this is how I have felt.

Somehow, these things have made me feel “less than”.  This could be because I was raised in the time when the “Star” system was in full swing in Hollywood, and the images portrayed by the movies and the lifestyle of the stars was the “norm”.  (This, of course, was a fantasy world where women were perfect in appearance and men would sweep them off their feet, marry them and they would live happily ever after.)  Now that I find my outward image changing, I have had increasingly emotional reactions to the changes.  Perhaps this has some bearing on it, though I believe there may be other reasons as well.

Faced with these changes in my physical body, knowing that time and change come to all, I have been trying to discern what is normal and what is not, and whether I should just roll with the changes or resist them; my morning devotional time brought light to the subject in the picture of an old tree.

Karen O’Connor, on page 1122 of “The Grandmother’s Bible”, by Zondervan Publishing House, states that she and her husband were walking through the Patriarch Forest in California, “stopping here and there to comment on the shape or color or texture of these amazing specimens that were the only survivors in this soil for thousands of years.”  She marveled that they were still standing in that barren place.

Karen goes on to say that these trees were not graceful like the willow or “tall and slender like a stately palm, but they were elegant in their own way.  The ravages of age and weather had given them a beauty impossible to describe.”  She continues to speak of how she had been “discounting” herself lately, “finding fault with the changes” in her body, when she suddenly had an insight that transformed her thinking.

“How is that that I could see beauty in the trees but not in myself?”, she asked.  “Why is getting older a good thing for a tree, but a bad thing for me”  Why do I look in the mirror and bemoan the wrinkles that line my face but see in the tree a quiet dignity that has nothing to do with shape or age?”

There it was.  A truth that brings light to the darkness.

Who makes the decision that something has value and something has not?  Who decides whether one person has value and another does not?

The answer is not another person, or society.  Each of us was created with “certain inalienable rights”, among which are the “right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, according to the United States Constitution.

It is the Creator who determines appearance and value.  The creator, God, placed such a high value on human beings that He put in place a plan to redeem us from the sin that came upon all men as a result of the fall into sin in Eden.

That being said, we are human and our emotional makeup is such that we are subject to the world around us and to the message that it is continually sending our way…that we don’t measure up.

Is there not a “quiet dignity”, or should there not be, in a person who has lived long upon the earth?  Should we not revere and respect those who have weathered the ravages of time?  Again, I speak generally.

The phrase, “quiet dignity” stood out and my prayer became,  “Dear Lord, help me to regard this body I am living in with acceptance, without moaning about the ravages of time or complaining about the slowing down I am experiencing.  I ask that I might live and walk in the “quiet dignity” of these old trees.  It is in Jesus name that I ask this.  Amen!

I am joyfully His,

Joy

Forgiveness

“Forgive as I have forgiven you.”  Luke 11:4

That is a command not a suggestion.

“For if you do not forgive your brother then neither can my Heavenly Father forgive you.”  Matthew 8:14-15

There are conditions.

Who ever said that being a Christian was a riparian delight or a walk in the park?  Depending on where you live, it can get you murdered.

But, let’s be honest, American Christianity has not been tested and I fear if it was, it would not pass muster, not at this point anyway.

There are standards, some would call them laws, and this issue of forgiveness is one of those.  It is serious!

We can gloss over it, as many do, with all kinds of reasons why it is impossible to keep this command, such as, “I can never forgive him, you don’t know what he did to me.”  No, well then, why should God forgive you for what you have done to Him?  Is not the greater sin your telling God you won’t do what He asks of you.  Disobedience, my friend, is outright rebellion, in case you didn’t know.

We can say that God does not really mean that He won’t forgive us if we don’t forgive our brother, because He  loves us and He accepts us in Jesus just as we are.  That is a half-truth.  Half-truths are no different from lies.  A little bit of dog poop in a brownie still makes it inedible.

I can just hear someone say that I am being legalistic.  Really?  Have a glance at the Proverbs of Solomon and see how often he uses point and counter-point to show how God looks at things.  There is the Law and there is the Gospel.  There is the Old Testament and there is the New Testament.  These are Covenants, made by God.  He takes them pretty serious.  I think He means what He says.

Offense comes to every one.  There are no exceptions, we live in a fallen world.  Again, choices are made.  We either decide we will forgive or we decide we won’t.  No decision is a no decision, simple!  Is it easy to forgive?  Absolutely not!  It is probably one of the hardest things to do.  “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city.”  Proverbs 18:19

So, my friends, the challenge today is this:  Have a look at your heart before the Lord.  Are you offended by someone, by something said or something someone has done?  You better deal with it, because the repercussions are great.

God is a righteous judge.  This is how fine it gets:  “But I say unto you, (Jesus speaking) that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  for by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Matthew 18: 23-35 Jesus tells the story of a steward who worked for a King.  He owed the King a huge sum and could not pay.  So the king commanded that he be sold, with all that he had, until he could pay off the debt.  He begged for his life and the king had compassion on him and forgave him.  However, the servant found a fellow-servant who owed him a small amount and told him to pay up or else.  The poor fellow begged for patience and he would pay, but he would not hear of it and had the fellow thrown into prison.  This really irritated the other servants and they complained to the King, who when he heard addressed this unjust steward with these words:  “You are a wicked servant, I forgave you all your debt, could you not have compassion and pity upon your fellow-servant as I had upon you.”  And, then He handed him over to the tormentors, “till he should pay all that was due unto him.”

Here is the kicker:  Verse 35  “So likewise shall my Heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”

I guess that pretty much sums it up for me.  I have no choice.  Either I forgive the one who offends me or I won’t be forgiven.  And, if I won’t forgive the tormentors come, guess who they are…  I choose to forgive, for my own sake.  I like freedom and peace….don’t need tormentors, no thanks.  How about you?

Reflectively His,

Joy

Recycled, Disposed and Made New

Have you ever had one of those days when you did not expect to happen what happened?  The experience I had today was one of those things.

I am feeling emotional because My husband and I just returned from the recycling center where we dropped off three items that no longer worked and have since been replaced.

microwave imageOne of the items that we brought to the recycling center was my old Sharp microwave.  My husband purchased it for me in 1982  even though I didn’t think I needed it, I felt the same way about getting a dishwasher in 1981, but both items made life much easier for me.  We owned the Sharp microwave for over thirty years and only replaced the fuse a couple of times.

printer

The next item that we brought to be recycled was the printer that I purchased when I bought my personal computer in 2002.  It was a Hewlett-Packard Photosmart printer and I used it every single day for all of those ten years.  It printed pictures, copies of whatever I wanted it to, and scanned numerous items.  If it was a person I would have said, “Well done, you have have been a good and faithful servant.”

DVD  VCR

The third, and last item that we brought was a DVD/VCR that we had for around fifteen years.

We pulled up to a small building in which sat a woman whose responsibility was to check what you were bringing in.  My husband rehearsed the list to her.  She repeated it back and told him that because the microwave is considered an appliance there would be a $15.00 disposal fee, but the other items were free.

He went through the rigmarole of showing his driver’s license, (why I don’t know) receiving the credit card machine into our vehicle, swiping the card and signing it.  He  returned it to the woman and was told that he should proceed to door 3 and the attendants would direct him what to do.

We drove up to the door, which opened by itself, and inside were two attendants.  I wondered if this job was monotonous as well as depressing, being a graveyard for used things as it was, and with that thought came a bunch of emotion to the surface and tears to my eyes.  The woman in the little house looked like she had been crying, the men looked sad.  Jesus, help them!

The door to the truck opened in the back and I heard a loud BANG, as first one thing was thrown into a bin, and then another bang, as the other thing was thrown in.  At this point I had tears in my eyes as I thought of how faithful these “things” had been to fulfill the purpose for which they were created.  They all gave long and faithful service.

Then, I saw the younger of the two attendants take the microwave to a very large walk in bin and steeled myself for the inevitable bang.  It came, a hard bang and it was done…over.  I looked around at mattresses stacked up against a wall and bin after bin of  “stuff”  no longer useful.  I was choked up…once useful things now throw away, or at best crushed and reused for some other purpose.

As we drove away from the facility, I told my husband, “Those things served us well.”  He has a wonderful recall memory and began to tell me how old each thing was.  We marveled at the length of time for each item.  What a blessing!

How many people after useful service are relegated to a nursing home or some other facility where their family hardly ever visits them…seemingly not caring or remembering the hours, days, months and years of productive service to them and the community that they were apart of.  Throw away people.  Have you considered this?  Maybe you are almost there or will be in a few years?

I think that the issue is respect and thanksgiving.  I know that things wear out and must be disposed of, and no doubt someone will call my ramblings silly, but to me, all of this is really about what God has done for us and our response to it.

We each come into the world with great promise, just as every new appliance or piece of electronic equipment comes on the market with promises to make life easier or better in some way.  Yet, for all of the “lemons” and all that is defective, whether people or things, the hope of the creator is that they/it will be a blessing to those whose lives they impact.

God created each of us…according to the Bible.  He is not only the creator, but He is also the manufacturer and not only that, He has given us the handbook that goes with His creation….The Bible.  Most of us don’t even bother to read the manufacturers hand book, we think we know better.  Parents don’t bother to read it.  If they did they might find out how God wants them to help their children to become useful and productive members of society, alas, we think we know better and we do it our own way…then the kids become teens and we wonder where we went wrong.

I determined not to be satisfied with the status quo,  I want to be open to new things, new ideas, all the while retaining God’s tried and true ways and His direction in the way that we should go.

My husband recently stopped smoking and he began to save the money he spent on cigarettes and with part of it he bought me the IPad that I had been desiring.  Blew me away, to say the least!  I am sooooo thankful!  What a blessing, how thoughtful and generous, how kind this wonderful person is that chose me to be his wife.

Most recently, we have thought about moving as we live on the second level and hauling groceries up the stairs has been quite a chore.  We began the process of looking into renting or purchasing, and with the help of a few people we were moving forward.  Yet each of us, independently of the other, was feeling hesitation and lacking the peace needed to proceed.

Yesterday, we brought the issue to the table and began a discussion that culminated with a decision to call off the search for a new home.  My husband felt that he was hearing that we should stay another year where we are.  This does not make sense in the natural as the interest rates are phenomenal right now and we could probably get a nicer place for less money than we are paying here.  However, we have learned that God is in charge and we are to follow the leading of His Spirit because He knows the end from the beginning.

So, to wrap this up, God will take care of us, He will bless us and the “things” that He provides…our job is to listen and obey His direction.  And, when the time comes when these bodies of ours are no longer useful in earth time, we will leave them here to be discarded and He will bring us home where all things are made new.

I hope you know that you are loved by God and that He has a great plan for your life.  If  you will listen and follow His direction obediently, you will be blessed.

Praise the Lord from whom all blessings flow!

Joyfully His, Joy