Yesterday was my day off. I started out by mowing, then moved on to some other outside tasks. Finally, just before I went inside for my shower, I went raspberry picking. We have a lot of wild raspberry bushes in the fence-row and woods behind our house. The reason I waited til last was because of the poison ivy.
It seems that wherever there are raspberries there is poison ivy. Whenever I spray the poison ivy, the raspberries die. So I have to wade through thick poison ivy to get to the berries. Now that I think of it, there’s a life lesson in that. You have to wade through the negative stuff to get to the positive stuff.
You have to sow before you can reap. You have to ask before you can receive. You have to be in bondage before you can be delivered. You have to be lost before you can be found. The berries taste sooo good, but I had to risk the poison ivy to get to them.
God’s blessings are rich, but we’ve got to take some risks to make them ours. God’s promises are sure!
Tags: danger, gain, risks
Somehow we got a virus in our home computer. We have an antivirus program installed on the computer, however, apparently a counterfeit snuck into it when I was online. The popup said a virus had been detected and showed several viruses in my computer. It asked if I wanted to remove them and I checked the ‘Fix’ button. Big mistake! When I told the counterfeit antivirus program to ‘Fix’ the problem, I downloaded the real virus.
The moral of the story is clear to me: Beware of counterfeits. Because I was trusting the real thing to do its job, I innocently was fooled into trusting the counterfeit by mistake. It was like the proverbial worm on the hook. I bit and got bit.
What’s your experience with deception and counterfeits?
Tags: counterfeit, deception
This weekend we celebrated 30 years of ministry in DeKalb County by combining all 3 weekend services in 1 big one held at the DeKalb High School auditorium. We tried to do some special things that would peak your interest. And I tried to share my vision for community building in our church.
I’m interested in your comments about that service and message. Did we do OK? Do you agree with the community building and relationship building concepts. Did you leaving feeling good about our church? What was the best part of our celebration?
H. A. Ironside, the great California preacher of the early 1900s, once told this story: “One morning I was startled to see an old ewe loping across the road, followed by the strangest looking lamb I had ever seen. It had six legs, and the last two were hanging useless as though paralyzed.
“The ewe’s own lamb had died, and this sex-legged lamb was an orphan that needed a mother’s care. But at first the bereft ewe refused to have anything to do with the orphan. So the herders took the fleece from the lamb that had died and placed it over the living lamb. Thus covered, the lamb was brought again to the ewe. This time she seemed thoroughly satisfied and adopted it as her own.”
He concluded, “This is a beautiful picture of the grace of God to sinners. We are all outcasts and have no claim on His love. But God’s own Son, ‘the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29), has died for us, and now we who believe are dressed in the righteousness of the Lamb who died.”
Think about what this means to you today.
Tags: acceptance, lamb, substitute
“So far today, Lord, I’ve done all right. I haven’t gossiped; I haven’t lost my temper; I haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or over-indulgent. I’m very thankful for that. But in a few minutes, Lord, I’m going to get out of bed. And from then on, I’m going to need a lot of help. Amen.”
Ever prayed a prayer like that? We know temptation is coming because it does every day. If we don’t start things out with Lord, it can be a very difficult day. Make sure you take a breath and invite Him to take the journey with you.
Tags: meditation, prayer
I attended the Super Senior luncheon this week. I happened to sit at the seat that won the doorprize, which was the French Lavender plant that decorated our table. I’m not much of a plant guy, but it looked nice and I knew Anita (who could not be there) would enjoy it. So I took this nice plant out to the car when I took my mother and mother-in-law back home. When I returned to the church, I forgot to crack the car windows.
When I went out to go home after work, I noticed the plant was pretty well cooked. It was seriously wilted and the potting soil dry as a bone. I added some water as soon as I got home and presented it to my wife as an expression of my love. She took a look at it and was not impressed!
We went out to eat with friends that night, and by the time we got home it was looking great again. Its amazing how quickly a plant can be refreshed. And its also amazing how quickly our spirits can be refreshed when we have a fresh experience with God. The dryer things become, the more we should seek after His thirst quenching presence. Get refreshed.
Tags: revival, Romance, thirst
My mother had a brother, Carl Cook, who was killed at Iwo Jima in 1945. I knew little about him or his war experiences except that Mom said he was shot by a sniper. So I set out to research his life and his wartime experiences with the goal in mind of writing a book of his experiences. In addition to purchasing several vintage books recounting the day by day description of his unit’s progress, I ordered his military records from NARA (National Archives and Records Administration).
Because the government is very picky about who it releases personal information to, I had to state that I was the next of kin and that my purpose was to write a family history. I sent in two requests on different application forms to different agencies to be sure my request got through. I received the copies of records I was hoping for, along with an awesome surprise: an original official military photograph of my uncle just before departure. No one in the family had ever seen it before. What a blessing from Uncle Sam.
A month later I received a letter from the government saying that they could not grant my request because I did not prove I was next of kin. Go figure! This is a great example of two standards: one agent was caring about the family and shared, the other agent was caring about the records only and withheld. This reminds me of the difference between law and grace. What do you care about most?
Tags: Caring, World War II