Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Life in the Doll House



When I was a child,  I never had a doll house.  My siblings, neighborhood friends and me had to be creative so depending on the season, we built houses out of cardboard boxes, snow drifts or piles of leaves.  The thought of having a real doll house, club house or tree house was beyond my comprehension. 

Doll house #1--a garage sale find.
Now, I actually have three doll houses...for the grand-kids of course.  My son, recently told me that I'm one doll house away from a reality TV show--or needing therapy.

But really...who can walk away from a doll house.

Life in the doll house...is perfect.  You have so much control over the placement of the furniture and people.  There's no fighting or anger in the doll house.  Everyone is happy, going about their daily business, cooking, cleaning, going to work, going on picnics and driving cars.  It's such an idealistic life in the doll house.

A child's play usually circles back to things they know.  From the youngest age children show the desire for shelter.  They build castles in the sand and towers with blocks.  Why?  Because home for most people represents safety from the cruelties of life.  It's natural to want to be in a safe place.

Doll house #2
Yet, not all homes are like--life in the doll house.  Real life homes aren't always stress-free, spotless, harmonious or perfect.  They are places where life is lived out in all it's rawness.

I wonder if that's why Jesus felt it necessary to remind us of this in John 14:1-3. (NKJV)

“Let not your heart be troubled; 
you believe in God, believe also in Me.
 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 to Myself; 
that where I am, there you may be also."

Thank you, Jesus, for taking the time to notice the needs of your children.  You know--even before we ask.  Thank you for the reminder not to worry--you've prepared a place--a place of shelter and safety and it will be way better than Life in the Doll House.  


 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Silence Is Golden

Silence is golden...remember that old saying.  When I was a kid, there was another saying that went like this, children are meant to be seen and not heard.  Ouch!  I'm glad that saying has fallen out of style.

I have to admit, as a young mom, there were many times, at the end of the day, I was thankful to the Lord that my house was silent.  The busyness of the day had ended, and the sounds of babies crying, kids fighting  and me screaming (oops you didn't need to know that) had stopped.  My grandma used to say this, "Ahhh.  Blessed quietness."

Yes, silence is golden, except when we feel that silence coming from the Lord.  When God is the one who is silent, it doesn't feel so golden.

Anytime people are in the mist of struggles; failing marriage, sickness, problems with children or grandchildren, death of a loved one, or a plethora of other personal issues--it may seem that the Lord is silent.  And on the heels of what we interpret as silence--discouragement can creep in. 

However, the thing about God being silent...it's a lie.  I know, "lie" is kinda harsh, but how can we say God is silent when he's given us His Word!  The pages of the Bible shout truth and encouragement to anyone willing to read it.  In the past, I also bought into that lie--God is giving me the silent treatment, but here's what the Bible says...

"We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don’t know why things happen as they do, but we don’t give up and quit.  We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going...it is only the living Christ within who keeps us safe.II Corinthians 4:8-10 Living Bible.

"Yes, be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9 Living Bible 

 "He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds."  Psalm 147:3 Living Bible

Next time you are questioning if God knows, hears, feels what you are going through remember...God's Word is Golden...but certainly not Silent!


 




Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Step Away From The Weights

Occasionally, I've been know to exercise...okay...fine--rarely, if ever do I exercise. 

On the few occasions that I've endeavored to be healthy, my exercise of choice was walking.  However in the past, I've dabbled in water aerobics, floor exercises, biking and lifting light weights. 

Weights can be an excellent way to enhance your fitness.     Weights build muscle and have the potential to make a person stronger.  (So I'm told.)  Funny thing about me and weights--when they get too heavy, I lay them down.

Actually, carrying weights too long can cause damage to your body.  This could ruin future work outs or cause the weight-lifter to quit.  I know this for a fact.  After three weeks of physical therapy, I learned my lesson.  The human body has a way of telling the exerciser...enough-already...step away from the weights

Our spiritual body has a similar reaction to "weights."  Sometimes "weights" can serve as a perfecting tool. In James 1:2-4 the Living Bible says this...

 ...is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy,  
 for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. 
   So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems
For when your patience is finally in full bloom,
then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.

But other times we carry "weights" that we are not meant to carry.  And for whatever reason, we refuse to lay them down. 

Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV) says this...


 ...let us lay aside every weight
and the sin which so easily ensnares us, 
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 
  looking unto Jesus,
 the author and finisher of our faith, 
who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, 
despising the shame, 
and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

It's your choice.  You can chose to keep carrying those "weights."  You know the ones; past pains, hurts, sin, unforgiveness, anger...or you can step away from the weights and look to Jesus.

Jesus will only take the "weights" if we lay them down.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Taste and See


My actual bounty.
My family recently visited an apple orchard.  The first thing we did was tour the store.  The visual sights and smells inside were heavenly.  Carmel apples, different kinds of popcorn, ice cream, fudge, apples cider--both hot and cold, and of course, warm donuts. 

We decided to pick apples before feasting on donuts so we bought the bag for apples and took the hay ride out to the orchard.  There were 13 of us in all.  As we searched for just the right apples...you know what we did?  We sampled the goods.  We tasted the apples; Mackintosh, Honey Crisp, Delicious, Courtland, and Fuji.

There was one comment made more than any other.  It was, "Try this one..." Followed by a description of the flavor and texture of the apple.

Only the ones who tasted the apples were able to share how they tasted.     

Psalm 34:8 says this, "Taste and see that the Lord is good."  First the tasting then the living.

In I Peter 2:3 it says...You have already tasted the goodness of the Lord.  In the two verse that proceed this one, there is a list of things that should not be present in the life of the believer; hurting others, lying, trying to fool people, being jealous and saying bad things about others.  It's basically saying...you've tasted the good stuff (salvation through Christ) now desire it (a life pleasing to the Lord), as much as, a newborn baby desires milk.  

That day in the apple orchard, once we tasted those good apples, adults and kids alike, we wanted to share the sweetness with somebody else. 

Now that you've tasted the goodness of the Lord...what are you going to do? Share it or keep it to yourself.

Five of the ten grands...and pretty good apple pickers too.


How much did that cost?

I know it's rude to ask how much something costs, but it's a curiosity that we all have.   Most of us have the decorum to h...