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Who polled God?

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Today I exercised –

 

my right to vote!

 

Graphic showing how the popular vote winner ca...

Graphic showing how the popular vote winner can lose the electoral vote. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hope you all in the US did the same.  I also hope that we can learn to live with the results, remembering that God is in charge, not the elected officials (or any other kind).  It’s amazing how quickly people forget that in the heat of the battle.  We should study and pray about our vote and make sure to cast it, but the results are in God’s hands alone and for His purposes.

 

I am really sad at what I have seen over the last few days months years as a dichotomy has widened the gap between people in this country.  The mud-slinging, cheating, lying, and more does not honor our country or God.  It also doesn’t honor those who engage in it.   I see a lot of finger-pointing, but it is arrogant to assume one person has the corner on being right.  We all have some things right and some wrong.  When it comes to issues we vote on, the Christian should hit his/her knees first, asking God for the truth.  Then he/she should search the scripture for God’s truth.  When God says yes, no, go, don’t go, or anything else, we should follow.

 

Bridging the gap requires spiritual knowledge, but it also requires good communication:  with the Father and with fellow human beings.  This is a subject that would take much more room than we have here to cover fully, but I hope you get the idea.  If we eschew communication in favor of judging, arguing, name calling, pride, etc., we have a big problem.

 

One of the meanings of being “United” states, is that we abide by the laws of the land (that do not violate God’s laws) and we work together when the vote is counted.  I hope no bad behavior will be in the news tomorrow no matter who wins the election.  I also hope that we can find a way to turn the tide.   “If MY people, who are called by MY name. . . . ”

Whose plan are you following?

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A few weeks ago I hosted my annual end-of-the-year Sunday School Class Party.  After spending many hours and lots of $$$ preparing for the party, things did not go as planned.

 

1.  Had Ginny (The Mother-in-law, but I knew this one).

2.  Wednesday before the Friday night party, I get a text from my son saying he and his entire family were coming for the weekend and arriving Friday afternoon.  That’s 2 adults and 4 grandkids added to the mix.

3.  Drama.  I don’t know what happened yet, but some kind of drama happened in youth group [I know that surprises all who know youth] on Wednesday and half the group did not show as a result.

4.  Some of the ones that did show did not want to participate in planned activities.  Grandchildren wanted to participate in ALL the activities.

5.  Isn’t that enough?

You know what?  Life is that way sometimes.  No matter what we plan, God is in control of what happens.  He knew all about what would happen at the party.  He is in charge of any results from the party.  I did my part by planning, God will do His part in the hearts of the students and others attending.

 

Best laid plans. . .

Most of us like to have a plan in place.  Plans help us feel ‘in control’ of our lives.  They do, that is, until things go awry.  I know some people who freak out when they have their plans usurped.   I know others who make no plans to avoid disappointment.  God doesn’t mind us making our plans, as long as we don’t leave Him out of the loop or raise a fuss when He has other ideas.

 

Trusting His plan gives life balance

His Plan.

Fortunately, God has a plan.  These are some things we can know about His plans.

 

►His plans never fail.

“…I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” Isaiah 46:9-10

 

►His plans include my good.

“11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11

 

►No matter who governs me or my country, God is my ultimate ruler.

“For the kingdom is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations” Psalm 22:28

Knowing the above, I feel safe, even when my plans go awry.  I trust that God had a purpose in it all, and that He will carry that purpose out, whether I am aware of it or not.  I think we need a reminder of this, especially as those in the USA face the upcoming election.  No one can get in office unless God allows it for His reasons.  This helps me to know that:

 

►A person cannot cheat his/her way in.

►It’s not the end of the world if my candidate is not selected.  It is in God’s plan, and the end of the world will be when He declares it.

►I don’t have to be swayed by circumstances.  I know who has me in His hands regardless of the circumstances.  I know Him.  I trust Him.  That determines my attitudes and actions, not circumstances.

 

I hope as the world seems to have turned upside down, you will place your trust in the only place where it is safe.  Then I hope you will join me in determining to rise above the fray and bring a breath of fresh air into a sticky situation.  My hope is in God, not Obama or Romney.

 

How about you?  I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

 

 

It’s Random Time!

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Today I want to take a leaf from Derek Mansker’s Lego Jar posts.   It’s random time!  My 4 and 2 yo grandchildren were here for a week recently.    The older one (boy) had the green-eyed monster taking over all week.  You see, he has a fractured clavicle, and had to sleep in another bed and not with Grandma and Marilyn.  He was so not happy.  So all week if she hugged, he hugged; if she wanted something, he wanted it.  What a week it was!!!  We all survived though.

 

Today was go home day.  Grandson has decided his family needs to move here and become my neighbors.  Then he could come and see me every day like he does my dad right now.  At lunch, he spent about 15 minutes making a very detailed map.  As we headed toward the meeting place to give them back to the parents, he was peering closely at his map.  I went a different way to the interstate, and he said, “Grandma, you’re going the wrong way.  You have to go that way (pointing).  I explained the different route.  He kept looking at the map all the way and pointing out when we reached certain places.  He’d say something like, “Yup, that’s it.  You gotta go this way to get to my house, Grandma.”  If you can make anything out of this map, let me know.  It looks like a mess to me, but he was very serious about following it.  I hope he’ll be that serious about following God’s map for his life!

 

Marilyn (2) didn’t want to go home today.  She kept taking my face and saying, “You MY gramma!” before kissing me.  So sweet!  Wouldn’t it be great if we loved God so much that we grabbed ahold of Him and said, “You MY God!” on a regular basis?  We’re always wanting a blessing from Him, but how often do we seek to bless Him?

 

Last week, when we went down to pick up the kids (and work on Son’s trailer), Marilyn kept trying to sneak off with a honey packet my Dad had on his tray.  She finally stomped her foot and said, “It’s fo my mouth!”   She didn’t get it, but that was so hard to resist!  Do we long for the temporary “sweetness” of sin?

 

When we arrived to pick them up, I was met at the van by the two youngest.  Roland was jumping around and excited for about 10 feet.  Then he suddenly remembered his fractured clavicle.  He stopped, bent the hurt shoulder down and put his hand on it, moaned, and walked like that the rest of the way.  Hmmm.   All week he would suddenly remember his injury when it was convenient.  Do we have ‘convenient’ injuries we use as an excuse not to do something for God or others?

 

I have no doubt that my youngest granddaughter is the smartest of the 4.  Why?  She’s very good at flying under the radar.  When Marilyn gets quiet, it’s time to PANIC!  You can be certain she’s doing something she’s not supposed to do.  The picture shows one incidence that happened this week.

 

She took the inside out of a marker.  Fortunately, soaking in soapy water returned all but under her nails to the right color.  Grandma had a few blue spots though.  What do we do when we think no one is looking?  Do we think it’s ok to do what we want as long as we don’t get caught?

 

Welcome to a glimpse into my world!

The Power of Words

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What if what I wished for was not what I wanted?  — Me

 *****

This post could turn into a liturgy of unanswered prayers to thank God for, followed by a country song to that effect.  However, that’s not what I meant when I thought this thought.  My focus here is on the words we speak.  For example, I used to wish my husband would change an aspect about himself that I didn’t like.  Well, he has changed, but that’s not what I meant.  I wanted him to keep doing things, but I wanted the attitude to change.  I guess I should have been more specific when I prayed about it?

  *****

Just fix it please!

Sometimes we don’t totally think through the things we think we want.  We don’t look at the aftermath, the unintended consequences, or God’s wisdom and timing in His plans for our life.  We don’t even know what we really want, we just throw out a generic “help, change it” because we’re stressed or worried about something in our life.  As we have discovered in the last few years, you can’t just wish for “change”, because it might not be the kind of change you want to have.  In a way, this is a very shallow form of thinking where we look for a way out of the pain of today.

  *****

And fix it now!

Have you ever wanted something, even asked God for it, and then set about making it happen yourself?  I think we all have.  We want it and we want it now.  When we go ahead of God things just don’t turn out like we envisioned them.  God may have wanted that for us too, but the timing was not right.  So we move ahead of God and wind up losing that thing we wanted or realize it’s not what we really wanted at all.  Sometimes we miss the best God has for us because we won’t wait.  We go ahead and finagle answers for ourself.  God says, “Ok, if that’s how you want it…”.  He gave us free will and won’t force us to wait.  But how many more blessings would we receive, how much less pain, if we would only wait on His timing?

  *****

Communication

When we talk to God, to others, or even our selves, it’s important to think through what we say.  We’ve discussed many ways communication can go wrong in this blog, and this is another.  Someone I know (who does this a lot) brought a project over to the house and said, “This is what I’d like to do.”  What she meant is “This is what I’d like YOU to do.”  I make it a policy not to jump in when people don’t specify what they really want (most of the time) because I’ve learned that it enables that other person to make assumptions he or she should not make.  {If you want something from me, come out and ask me.}  Sometimes speaking in generalities works fine, but when we really think we want something, it pays to get specific with yourself, with others, and with God.  This is not for God’s sake; He already knows what we really want.   Awareness of what we really ask for and what that means helps us not to get what we wished (prayed) for when that’s not what we really wanted at all.

 *****

Take It

 ~*~

When a yearning rises up inside

And pulls your heart toward

Just put it in the Master’s hands

And be in one accord.

 ~*~

Those things we want and think we need

Must haves and ‘rescue me’s

Come from a desperately sinful heart

We must seek Him on our knees

 ~*~

And surrender every want and need

to His amazing, well-mapped plan

For He’s the one who knows us best

And has since before time began

~*~

We speak our thoughts and wait

For His blessings in His time

Hands clasped in supplication

as He works His plan sublime

 ~*~

For we know not the future

nor what will cause us pain

So we trust Him to know us better

Our trust won’t be in vain

~*~

Angela Masters Young c 2012

Time for a Checkup

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I have been a very bad girl.  I recently ran out of medications, and with no refills available, I had to call my doctor.  I’ve actually only seen that doctor once, and have debated about going back to him versus going back to my other health care provider or seeking someone else entirely.  He was busy, so I was scheduled to see His wife.  I think this was a God thing.  You see, it had been a year and a half since I had been to the doctor.  I had not been taking care of myself for a long time for various reasons, and it’s time to get this back under control.  The good news is that my blood sugars and my asthma are both doing well.

 

Another issue I struggle with is weight.  I had lost about 70lbs and was doing well.  Then I got it in my head that I would start taking my diabetes medications like I’m supposed to.  Big mistake?  I don’t know, but I gained all that weight back and more in a matter of a couple months, even though I stopped as soon as I realized what had happened.  With a bum knee and all the extra weight piled on, I am in worse shape than ever.  And I am discouraged.

 

English: A doctor listens to the lungs of 3-ye...

English: A doctor listens to the lungs of 3-year old boy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why do I tell you this?  Sickness of the body (or lack of physical good health) often keeps us from being the people God created us to be.  My struggles keep me chained, in a sense, and hold me back from being/doing what I would like to do.   Even ministry items have to be thought out carefully before taking them on.  Many of those things that a normal 54 year old woman can do, I cannot.  I’ve had medical issues all my life and have had to adjust my life to accommodate them.  But, I often get frustrated because I want to be like everyone else (or as I perceive them).  Fortunately, many health issues can be taken care of by medication or just waiting for them to pass.   Sometimes, God chooses to completely heal.  All the time He is in the process.

 

So, when it comes to doing things like playing with the grandkids, going to the mall with my daughter, having a party for my Sunday School Class, and much more, I often have to pass or get help.  In one sense, that keeps me dependent on God, and that’s a good thing!  On the other hand, it limits my ability to relate with others doing every day things.   It’s amazing how God uses my ‘dis’ abilities at times, so I trust Him that He’ll give me the ability to do what He wants me to do, but I also wonder how many times I’ve let Him down because I just can’t do some things.

 

How’s your Health?

All of the above, a struggle I have on a daily basis, got me thinking about spiritual health.  God is much more concerned with my spiritual health than my physical health, and the only disability there is me.  How do you measure spiritual health?  How often do we miss out on ministry opportunities because our spiritual health is not very good?  How do we get healthy once we realize we’ve become spiritually sick?

 

http://www.freeclipartnow.com/science/medicine/Sin Sick

The first way spiritual sickness strikes is common to man:  sin sickness.  Those who have not accepted Christ have a sickness unto death, and the remedy is to let Jesus cover your sin with His blood and make you white and whole again.   Sin sickness still lurks in the natural man while we’re on earth, however.   If we are not progressing toward becoming like Christ, we may have allowed our sin sickness to taint our spiritual health again.  We heal this problem by keeping short accounts with God, confessing our sin, and getting right with our God.

 

Busy-ness

Another way we can become spiritually sick is through busyness.  Are you so busy you let your quiet time slip?  Do you go through the motions, looking churchy, but feeling bankrupt inside?  When we get busy, especially busy doing “God’s Work”, we may let our relationship with said God (and others) slip without even realizing it.

 

Wrong Thoughts

We can do all the right things but for all the wrong reasons.  If we do things to be seen by man, because we feel like it’s an obligation, or to be with our friends, we may have a problem.   All of those things are ok, but not if they are our motivation.  Our thoughts determine so much about us.  They also act as a barometer or thermometer to tell us we’re having problems and need to get help.

 

7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:…”  Proverbs 23:7a

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  Luke 12:34

Fortunately, the Great Physician is always on call, 24/7.  He gave us a prescription for spiritual maladies in the Bible, and sends His Spirit to help us understand the medications and convict us let us know when we’ve become spiritually sick.

Here’s hoping you find yourself healthy after this check up 😀  If not, I recommend you put in a call to the Great Physician.

The Spider Connection

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Did you know that spiders have a constant thread of webbing coming out of them no matter where they go?  I suppose this comes in handy if they fall.  Did you know their thread is one of the strongest elements, and scientists are looking to duplicate it?  It’s strong and always present.  Spiders also use their threads to weave beautiful designs.  Some of their webs are quite beautiful.  Imagine a walk in the morning and finding a beautiful web spread across the plants or grass, glistening with the dew as it awaits its next victim.  OK, for my analogy’s sake, let’s say it’s waiting for the next spider wannabe.

 

What analogy, you say?  This one:  Christians should always have a thread attaching them to the Father.  I like to think of the thread as prayer, but it could include other forms of worship and relationship building with our God.  It’s there to keep us from falling, among other things.

 

The thread between a follower and his or her God is a strong one.  In fact, it’s unbreakable.  Once attached to God, it’s a forever thing.

 

As we go about our lives, living for Him and touching others, our lives create a beautiful design.  The design draws others to want what we have.  Others want to know how we have peace in the midst of terrible circumstances.  They want to know how our life makes such a beautiful design while their’s appears a broken mess.

 

Are you like the spider?  Are you leaving a trail that speaks of Jesus wherever you go?  Do you hang on to Him at all times?  Is your life one of beauty to those who see it?  Are you leaving a worthy legacy?  Fortunately, because we have that thread of attachment, we can depend on God to take care of those things.  He creates the beauty.  Do you find Christian analogies in the creations around you?

Step into my parlor said the spider to the fly!

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This morning I witnessed a disgusting horific amazing sight.  I often have to make trips to the little girls room in the middle of the night.  My procedure, in order to keep from waking the hubs and make sure I don’t run into any unwanted centipedes surprises, is to put on shoes, go into the bathroom, shut the door and flip the light and tap on the floor a couple of times with my cane so the buggers know I’m coming and scat (hopefully).  This time, the lights flipped on and I saw a bug coming.  It wasn’t a centipede, so Brian wasn’t woke up with a scream; it was a little thing about a 1/2″ long.  I tapped my cane so it would go back into the bowels of where ever and leave me alone.

English: spider web with fog droplets, San Fra...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It turned tail to run and started doing this little spinny thing as another even tinier bug came running toward it.  The tiny bug was maybe an 1/8th of an inch, so I couldn’t tell what it was and thought it was a baby of the other.  I was wrong!  Before I knew what was happening the tiny spider came up and bit the other insect that had tripped on his web.  I then had to got to watch him work.  The other bug struggled briefly, but soon succumbed to the poison.  The spider then wrapped the bug up and anchored it better.  It was a bitter sweet moment.  My attempt to save the bigger bugs life by keeping it from coming close enough to the bottom of my shoe went horribly wrong.  While fascinated by the action unfolding before me, I had to feel sad for the bug who became dinner (or more likely breakfast) for the spider.  I didn’t even know that spider or its web were in that corner.  They were not visible (whether to my old eyes or just well camouflaged.)

The whole ordeal reminded me of two things: the movie “The Fly” and how we get entangled in sin.

I have an article I keep in my Bible called, “Sin Wants to be Your Friend” by Tim Challies.  He says it so well:

“Sin makes so many promises.  Sin promises joy.  It promises fulfilment. Sin promises to be your

Spider web

(Photo credit: @Doug88888)

friend.  When you first meet a new friend you reveal only little bits of who you are, what you believe, what is important to you.  But over time, if the friendship is to grow, you need to reveal more and more of yourself, you need to open yourself up.  Friendship grows out of the vulnerability of allowing another person to see who you really are beneath the polite exterior.  Sin asks you to give just a little bit more of yourself to it every time.  Just a bit more.  Just a bit more after that.  But over time sin comes to own you.  It comes to know everything there is to know about you.  And then it stabs you in the back and laughs with glee as you are left sputtering and humiliated and destroyed.  It laughs as your marriage is destroyed, as your church is shamed, as your friends are betrayed.  That’s the kind of friend it is.”

Just as the spider laid its invisible trap, sin lays a trap for it.  We seldom see it coming because it draws us in gradually, but once we are entangled in its web, it’s too late.  Sin swoops in and takes another victim.  Sadly, with sin, the sinner is never the only victim.  Sin hurts. It hurts the sinner.  It hurts those who love the sinner.  It hurts society as well on some level.  Sin promises all those things we think we want, but delivers death.  Only God is our true friend, a Promise Keeper, a Need Meeter, a Disciplinarian, and so much more.  Any and all needs we have can be met in God, but we have to choose Him over the false trappings of sin

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.    —James 1:13-15

As James tells us, sin happens when we are lured and enticed by our own desire.  We look (and do not look away).  We want.  We place our foot on that web, thinking we can always get away or that it won’t hurt us.  We are wrong.  Sin, when followed to it’s conclusion “brings for death”.   Sin may appear fun for a while, but that is an illusion.   That’s why we should “guard our hearts with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”  Proverbs 4:23

Step into my parlor . . .

English: Centiped

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