Friday, April 29, 2005
Here it is April 29. In Kansas, at this late date, we are usually enjoying weather in the 70's. I think today's high was in the 40's!! Brrrrrr. Hard to believe, but we actually have a fire in our fireplace tonight. After going out to supper, we came home, I watered the plants in my breeze-way that haven't been planted yet, and took the most tender ones into the garage. I watered everything and pulled it far enough into the breeze-way that I think the inevitable frost won't get them.
By the time I got inside, my hands were like ice. Emerson didn't seem to be keen on letting me warm them on his neck, so I stood in front of the fireplace for a bit. Then....I started think about how nice a hot, frothy latte would be.
So, I got everything out. Packed the coffee down into the metal filter. Poured in the water. Turned on the machine. Preheated the milk in the microwave. Frothed the milk. Added the syrup---ummmmmm, carmel (sugar-free mind you)--my favorite flavor. Then, I thought I would make them a little extra special tonight. So I added some choclate syrup AND......
Whipped Cream!!! You know, the kind that you squirt out of the can. (I personally like to eat it just like that--right out of the can! *Blush*) Then drizzled a little more chocolate over the top. MMMMmmmmMMMM!
But.....what I didn't count on was the choclate syrup and whipped cream cooling off the coffee so much. Yuck. How disappointing. It looked so good--but tasted so.....blech. I heated them up in the microwave and at least rescued them to the point of drinkable. But still, they weren't nearly as good as what I had anticipated.
And as I drank it, in front of the nice warm fire, I began to think. We are pleasing to God when we are hot like a really good Latte. But He is not pleased when we are lukewarm. "But since you are like lukewarm water, I will spit you out of my mouth!" (Rev. 3:6 NLT)
What is it that can make us lukewarm? What is the "whipped cream and chocolate syrup" that we add to our lives? It looks so good, and tastes so yummy. Isn't that the way of the world? The way of sin? It looks so tempting--and by itself, it may "taste" yummy. But what does it do to our spiritual lives? It cools us off and makes us lukewarm. We all have our "whipped cream and chocolate syrup". I don't think I have to list what that might be....I know what kind of things it is my life.
I'll not be adding whipped cream and chocolate syrup to my lattes anymore. And I certainly want to be aware of cooling off my spiritual life with things of the world and stop doing that as well. I want to stay "hot" for Him and be pleasing to Him.
"And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice--the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worhip him. Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you inot a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."
And then if I might continue with Joyce's version....."Becasue of the privilege and authoirty God has given me (well not me, really), I give each of you this warning--stop with the whipped cream and chocolate!!" Rom. 12:1-2 and a loose version of vs. 3
Hey! Let's meet for coffee sometime! :0)
Thursday, April 28, 2005
While trying to come up with something to blog about, I thought, "Well, this has just been a normal, busy day--nothing profound, no impressive insights. Just a rice krispy day!" We're like that with life a lot. We pick out all the sweet, colorful tidbits to focus on. Just the exciting things. Or the horrible things. No rice krispy things. And then I thought of the following poem that I loved when I was in high school. Guess I still do.
"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are...
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
One day I shall dig my nails into the earth,
or bury my face in my pillow, or stretch myself taught,
or raise my hands to the sky and want,
more than all the world, your return. "
Mary Jean Iron
It's good just to have a normal day. I can think of days when I have begged and pleaded for a normal day. In my almost 50 years, I have learned that even when days are darkest, or winter is at its bleakest, the normal days WILL return. And what a blessing they can be!!
But whatever "day" I might be having, I know that it is "the day the Lord has made". It is so comforting to know that He is in control. That He cares about what kind of day I am having, and that He has CHOSEN this day for me. It is up to me to choose how to value it. As for me, today, I will "ReJoyce" in today--for the Lord has made it! I think if I can remember that, every day will be a "fruit loop" day!
"Go celebrate with a feast of rich foods [fruit loops] and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don't be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!" Neh. 8:10 NLT
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Today the doctor (a specialist) tells us that she is a "silent carrier" as is one of her parents, and that she will live a perfectly normal life with no problems relating to this issue.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU GOD!!!!
Now for the confession.
After parting from Jayme, Neal, and Ellie, I had to run some errands. The first stop was to check to see if my wedding ring had been repaired. It has been over 2 weeks ago that I left it at the jewelry store. Much to my disappointment, the ring was still not back. Apparently the jewelry store owner had not been pleased with the repair, and sent it back in again. After having voiced my disappointment to the clerk waiting on me, I reached into my purse for my keys. That's right. They weren't there. Not in my pockets either. Not even after looking everywhere again. So I said to the clerk (thinking about my disappointment in not having my wedding ring back), "Oh, great. My bad day, just got worse." The next thought came immediately on the heels of the first. What?! WHAT?! WHAT?! WHAT can you possibly mean, bad day?????? And my spirit was in a heap at the feet of the Father asking for forgiveness. "What an ungrateful wretch I am!!! Forgive me, Father, and THANK YOU again for the wonderful news we received!"
After the clerk called security for me, I explained to her that I was indeed having a very good day! We all agreed that sometimes we lose perspective. I went on my way "rejoycing"! (And the security guard was able to unlock my van without any problems. Thank you again, God!)
Now, get this!! On the way home, after completing my other errands, a car went around me and the license plate read: BGR8FUL Mmmmm, MMmmmmm, MMMmmmm! How very humbling. I know God sent that car around me because I really intended to stop one more place, but it was getting so late, I decided to come on home. Had I done that one more errand, I wouldn't have seen that tag. "Oh, to Grace how great a debtor!" I am so glad He loves me still.
"Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen."
Jude 24-25 NLT
Monday, April 25, 2005
Monday morning. We wake this morning to cold wet rain. Since the pond is nearly empty, I know I need to go ahead and clean it out before refilling it. I wait until afternoon so that it is a little warmer outside. I pump the remaining water out as best I can. Then I begin to scoop out the rocks to clean them. Ungh! The rocks are sititng in foul-smelling sludge. I take the rocks out a small bucket full at a time and hose them off, then make a pile of the cleaned rocks. Finally all the rocks are out, but there is still a lot of the foul-smelling sludge. I use the hose to clean the sides and stir the remaining gunk around. A shop vac is then pulled into service to get out all the rest of the water and sludge. The rocks are replaced. The filter is cleaned and repostitioned with the pump/fountain. I refill the pond with water. It is clear. I can see the rocks in the bottom. I go next door to retrieve our fish--thankfully they are still alive. I release them back into our newly-clean pond. They seem happy to be home. I know I am pleased with the fresh gurgling water.
As I worked at this unwelcome task, I began to think about how the pond is like my heart. Last winter, when we turned the pump off, the whole pond became a black-water refuse of rotting leaves and debris. That winter the fish did not survive. If I turn Jesus "off" in my heart, it becomes black and full of foul-smelling debris that leads to death. If I leave him "on", although the leaves and debris continue to fall, He filters the bad stuff out and keeps the water fresh and full of life. Without Him, my heart is full of sin and there is no hope of life. But with Him, He filters the sin (through His own blood) and provides the way of hope. And the really good news is that the "Jesus filter" is always clean--it never needs cleaning or replacing. He is a one-time for all time filter. The only way it stops working is if we unplug it, or if we continue in willful sin to a point that our own ugly foul-smelling debris clogs it up.
Father, I thank you for the living water that fills my heart--living water because it has been filtered by your Love through His blood. Please help me to walk in His ways so as not to allow the rotting debris to collect in my heart and clog the filter. Let me always bubble-over with your living water and bring pleasure to you and life to others. Thank you for loving me. I love you.
...The water I give will become a spring of water gushing up inside that person, giving eternal life. John 4:14b NCV