Monday, January 30, 2012

"Big Sister" God

I feel blessed to be the mother that lives closest to our daughter's family. That has meant that a good share of their laundry gets done at my house. Kayla and the two little granddaughters were here today to do a couple of loads, so I got the pleasure of playing with them most of the afternoon.

Jenna, the three-year-old, has quite the imagination and a lot of her play is "pretend shopping and/or doctor visits." It amazes me, the things she comes up with on our pretend excursions. Her baby doll did a lot of vomiting and running of the nose today. Little sister Julia, on the other hand, mostly follows big sister around to make sure she gets to be part of the action, but passionately hangs on to her dolls so they stay in her possession and don't get "kidnapped" by big sister.

Interestingly enough, I have found myself "following God around," yet vigorously protecting some aspect of my life. Holding onto it desperately, trying to prevent God from snatching it away from me. Things I have been attached to include pride, grief, guilt, and anger. I've noticed though that the only time God tries to take them away are when they become too heavy to bear. Then like a big sister, God intervenes. Well, gently intervenes, not totally like big sister.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Heavenly Tax Refund

My nephew filed his taxes today, with fine visions of the purchases he will make when that refund money rolls in. People complain about taxes; they even make jokes about them. But seldom do I hear anyone express thankfulness for what our taxes pay for. Surely there are things we wish the government didn't use our tax dollars for, but there are also plenty of services we should be grateful for, and be willing to contribute our share.

Jesus said in Matthew 22:21, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." As we use this time of year to "render to Caesar" through our taxes, let's not forget the second part of His comment. Let's make sure that God gets what belongs to Him as well. Have you given Him your life? The refund on that transaction is "heaven"ly.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pride--Faith in Yourself

My afternoon Sabbath reading was on the topic of pride. Pride must be about the most offensive and dangerous of all sins, perhaps because it was the original sin, starting with Lucifer and even leading to Eve's eating of the fruit. She wanted to be like God, knowing good and evil, remember?

Pride is one of the hardest sins to conquer, but is also the one most unrecognized, both by others and even by ourselves. Even the finest Christian struggles with it every day. It leads to self-righteousness, which is nothing more than pride in oneself. A proud person ultimately only has faith in himself and that is why it separates us from God and is so dangerous.

Jesus was the most wonderful example of humility. Our only hope of escaping the pull of pride is to constantly pattern our lives after Him. I have a feeling it will be the work of our lifetime. I know it has been mine.

Friday, January 27, 2012

How to Survive with Cancer

If there's one time we wish our words of encouragement could benefit someone, it's when they are most in need for them. But I find myself almost wordless when it comes to comforting a good friend who just got diagnosed with cancer. Before my parents both died of cancer, the word "cancer" was just another word. It's only when you or a loved one has the dreaded disease that the full meaning hits you like a ton of bricks.

My friend is deaf and a single mother, which hasn't made for an easy life. Only God knows why this diagnosis was given to someone who has already seen her share of life's heartaches. One has to ask, why this and why now?

I don't know how she will be given the strength to come through this ordeal, but I do believe that God has a plan for her life, and when she has turned her life over to God, something good will eventually be seen through this trial. I do pray for her to develop this kind of trust in God, because the real cancer survivors aren't just the ones who live through it, but the ones who don't give in to fear and instead place their faith and trust in God. Theoretically then, anyone can "survive" cancer, with God.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Everything a Blessing

Yesterday I had what felt like a very unproductive day. Very ordinary, run-of-the-mill activities for this caregiver grandma. Then this morning on a board meeting phone conference, I was asked to proofread a 40-page grant for 2.7 million dollars for brain injury resources and advocacy that must be turned in no later than tomorrow night at midnight! Boy, did my "worthiness" quotient go up a few miles with that one.

So I agreed saying, "Oh, sure, I've got all afternoon to work on it." Then I discovered I would have to go with my daughter to a doctor's appointment to watch the two little granddaughters. I didn't dare check my blood pressure at that point, but I went with her, got home and furiously got the proofreading done too, with time for this blog.

God is so good to me. He never fails to give me just WHAT I need, just WHEN I need it. I can't praise Him enough. I believe if we turn our lives over to God, everything will turn out to be a blessing. Maybe not at the time it happens, and maybe not even in this lifetime. But someday we will recognize God's signature in all the happenings of our life, the good and the bad. It will all contribute to God's glory, and what's not good about that?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dying to Self, Not Sin

This was one of those days that didn't feel very productive. But then again, maybe it was. I gave the dog a bath, made some delicious split pea soup for supper, and brought my granddaughter to a church youth meeting in the evening. In between those highlights, there was just your regular being-here-for-him kind of caregiving. Were it not for me, he probably wouldn't have seen so many DIFFERENT episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show.

How does one measure productivity? Maybe we shouldn't look at it on a daily basis. The months and years are what really count, aren't they? But Paul said in the Bible, "I die daily." We usually think of that as dying to sin, but perhaps it would be more accurate to say we die to self. That could be a significant difference. One is saying you refrain from doing something and the other is saying you actually should be doing something.

My day may have actually been very productive if I see it from the standpoint of dying to self. I guess I may have accomplished alot after all. I think I'll say good-bye to self again tomorrow. It felt pretty good.

Does Our Vote Count?

I opted out of writing a blog last night. Got distracted, and then the State of the Union address came on and I knew it wasn't going to happen after that. Actually, I confess to falling asleep before the speech was over. So much for my strong, patriotic fervor.

It just seems like, as a nation, we should listen to our president, no matter who he is, at least once a year for this traditional event of the "State of the Union". This is an election year, however, so it's not the easiest time for a presidential speech to be given. You want to make yourself look good, in hopes of getting elected another four years. And you will make promises for the future that have little chance of seeing the light of day. I don't blame a president for wanting another four years though. Four years is barely enough time to learn the ropes of the office, let alone make significant changes in the country.

I started to find myself more interested in our government and hence, politics, since 9/11. I suppose it just gives me a greater sense of security to know what's going on. But I have found out that the only security we have is with our God. The Bible says He sets up kingdoms and brings them down. So I believe that, no matter who is in office, we can trust God to make it work out to fulfill His will. That's what I pray for--God's will to be fulfilled. We know His will is for sin to come to an end, but only God knows how and when that will happen.

Does my vote count then? Yes. I will continue to vote for the man I feel has the best "job experience". I can't even pretend to know his heart though. That is totally up to God.

Monday, January 23, 2012


What a joy to watch our two granddaughters learn to play a simple game like "Ring-a-round-a-rosy" this week. Jenna is three, so she was teaching her one-year-old sister Julia how to play the game. She was following along pretty well with walking in a circle while Jenna sang the song.

Of course, when it got to the part about "all fall down" Jenna forcibly brought her sister down with her as she tumbled to the floor, both of them all smiles and giggles, with onlooking adults applauding. Julia had resisted enough though that the second time around, Jenna got on top of little sister to make her go down. By the third time, little Julia had it all figured out, so before they even got to the words "all fall down" she fell to the ground all on her own. What a smart little girl!

In a similar fashion, as we learn about life, the Lord sometimes has to make us "fall down". It's just part of the game of life. It's eventually easier for us when we learn how to fall and to see when the fall is coming. You have to listen to the words of the song though. Let's listen and follow the directions of our Lord. Life will be so much easier if we do. And the angels will watch and applaud our efforts.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Biggest Barrier

A politician once said, "The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life...the children; those who are in the twilight of life...the elderly; and those who are in the shadow of life...the sick...the needy...and the disabled." I believe this is the moral test of a church as well.

This afternoon, as our church's disability awareness leader, I was looking on the internet for information about several disabilities and trying to plan how our church can recognize and even celebrate those in our church who are in the throes of challenges that we often don't even know exist.

Another quote I found quite revealing was "The biggest barriers people with disabilities encounter are other people." I pray that, as Christians, we can help our fellow church members climb their barriers, instead of being one. Love and compassion that comes from God can make that climb possible.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"Doing Church"

One thing that was said at a vespers service at church last night has given me alot to think about. After a rousing song service, the visiting preacher, knowing it was a college campus gathering, said at the very beginning how happy he was that they were all there, not to "do church", but to worship the Living God. It was blisteringly cold outside, by the way, which indicated the devotion of those who did make it out and over to the church sanctuary in subzero weather.

Since today was God's day of worship, I once again attended my usual place of worship with fellow believers. And I have given that expression about "doing church" some examination. Does coming to church every week constitute just "doing church" or is the act of regular attendance a sign that you are doing it for the proper reason of worshiping God?

After all, if we have a serious intention of worshiping God as prescribed in His Holy Word, won't we be found in God's house every week? The Bible says that Jesus had a custom of being in the synagogue on the Sabbath. (Luke 4:16)

Would it be fair to say that people who attend church sporadically just as possibly could be only "doing church"? Perhaps out of a sense of duty, to appease their conscience, or to satisfy a family member? Sad to say, I guess those scenarios could apply to regular churchgoers as well though.

As for me, I would find it hard to be serious about God without regular attendance. I need my "God fix" every week, and evidently God needs our weekly worship in a church setting. (Don't get me wrong here. I recognize there are some individuals who are prohibited from attending for very valid and solid reasons.) Let's remember though that God's church is the vehicle for proclaiming the gospel. It's not a spectator sport, but rather a team sport. And you can't be on the team, if you don't show up for practice and games EVERY WEEK!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sleep Comes Too Soon

After two days at home, I was thrilled to have an excuse to go somewhere tonight, especially since it was by myself. Even though the weather was frigidly cold, I felt it was worth it to get out of the house and away from my caregiving duties for an hour or so. The event was just a committee meeting at church, but still a welcome reprieve.

Now that I'm home to write this blog, however, my mind keeps falling asleep. Nothing noteworthy even comes to mind to write about. When the body's tired, the brain just can't help itself, I guess.

I think of the disciples who were with Jesus as He prayed in the Garden. They couldn't stay awake either. An overpowering urge to sleep caused them to disappoint their Master that night. Jesus is calling us to watch and wait with Him once again. We are reaching the final moments of earth's history, and we must be not be caught without prayer.

So, since I can barely finish typing this blog tonight, Lord, please don't let me fall asleep without praying one final time today. I try to have my final thought and my first thought in the morning be of Jesus. And somehow He finds Himself in the middle too. Jesus all day, for He is the Way.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

True Compassion

Some of you may remember a blog I posted a few days ago about my toddler moment. As opposed to senior moments, these absences from sanity can occur at any age. But tonight was my husband's turn to exhibit the temper of a toddler. His performance was characterized by a low frustration tolerance, followed by an overreaction that had the appearance of a toddler's clenched fists and kicking feet. Trust me, it doesn't look good on a 66-year-old man. But we generally forgive his frequent outbursts, knowing it's just the dementia talking.

Ever since my episode with toddlerhood the other day, I have a new appreciation for the horrible guilt and embarrassment these lapses cause you to feel. I know Dean still has those feelings too, due to the fact that he almost always apologizes for his blowups, even the ones he can't remember, which I call  his blanket apologies. This realization of how it felt for me after my episode helps me have more patience in dealing with him when he gets disagreeable. Knowing he's not comfortable with the way he's acting either, I can have patience and true compassion for what he struggles with.

Didn't Jesus say on the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."? Talk about compassion. The least I can do is share it with one brain-injured survivor named Dean, who often doesn't know what he's doing when he gets mad.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Toilet Touch

Today has been a blur of activity with my husband gone for the day. Almost all of it right here at home. But when I look around, it really doesn't show that I've been all that busy. I did dishes, some laundry, emptied trash, fed and watered the bird and dog, went to the store, bank, library, and gas station. Plus took my nephew to work and back, made several phone calls and meals, and completed studying my Sabbath School lesson for teaching this week.

But oh, there is one little emblem of my touch today. After getting our new toilet installed last weekend, I've been dying to have the guys gone so I could put my little "women's homey touch" on it. So now the tank sports a scarf, some shells, and a decorative picture frame. I can now enter the "powder room" and breathe an "aahhhh" when I see my creative handiwork.

Yes, our greatest accomplishments are the ones we can see, the ones that last, the ones that are beautiful. Even if it's a simple toilet touch. My goal is to make something beautiful every day. It won't be hard. God has given us the materials and they are all around us.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The King of Peace

Martin Luther King Day to most folks these days means no mail delivery, and the banks, schools, and libraries aren't open. It has meant a relatively peaceful, uneventful day for me. Thank you for that, Mr. King. Peace was your middle name, wasn't it?

I have vague memories of Martin Luther King, Jr. coming to my hometown of St. Augustine, Florida in the sixties. My dad was serving as a deputy sheriff at the time, and I remember there being some dangerous duty he was being called for, but details beyond that were not shared on the homefront. We lived ten miles out of town, so were pretty much out of the news loop. Years later, we learned that Dad was asked by the sheriff to guard Martin Luther King while he was in town. Dad seemed to think he was asked because he was the only "yankee" on the force at the time, so was the only one the sheriff trusted to do it.

Obviously, Mr. King did not have a sterling reputation among the whites of St. Augustine in those days. We were a very, very segregated town. As a matter of fact, I recall seeing very few blacks, downtown or elsewhere. I was astounded to learn of the high percentage of blacks who were living there at the time. I mostly heard that they had their own beach, that they were allowed to sit in the balcony of the only movie theater in town, and that there were black neighborhoods "somewhere," but I was not privy where. You just better not get stranded in one inadvertantly.

It wasn't until I was in high school that the schools began the integration process. And it started with just a handful of black students in the beginning. Tensions were high. I remember one time in the cafeteria there was almost a riot when some food got slung at somebody. Not exactly peaceful times. It took me years, as an adult away from the South, not to feel nervous if a black man stepped into an elevator with me. It just did not feel safe.

Today, the situation has improved, but we are still a country greatly divided. Jesus Himself said, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:" Luke 12:51 We can have inner peace with Christ in our hearts, but only in the New Earth will we be able to live a truly peaceful life without division. Come, Lord Jesus, come!    Here's some more information about the events in St. Augustine, if you're interested.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Toddler Moments

Yesterday was a day of high motion and emotion. My husband, daughter and two granddaughters, and I went to church in the morning and to a friend's wedding and reception in the evening. And did I mention it was 200 miles to these events? We were gone from six in the morning till 1:30 a.m. that night. There were a couple of near meltdowns toward the end by Dean and one of the OTHER toddlers with us, but nothing major.

(In the meantime my nephew and son-in-law stayed home to install a toilet for us, which turned out to be a rather disgusting affair with several trips to the hardware store. I think they planned it that way to avoid the trip with us though--those cowards!)

Curiously enough, the biggest meltdown occurred today right here at home and the main characters were my daughter and I. Could it have been the raw nerves we were running on yesterday? I think that certainly played a part in the "blowup". When we are weak, Satan comes on strong! We should take instructions from Dean on how to have these "blowups" though. He never stays mad very long. Partly because he can't remember what he was mad about in the first place.

I, for one, have put it behind me, as much as I regret losing my sanity there for a minute. And I hope my daughter forgives me as well. I'm ready to let God's grace cover our ungraceful moments. Thank you, Lord, for having short-term memory and forgiving us so graciously every time we mess up. We're all "toddlers" at times after all, aren't we?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Job Interview Prayer

My main event today was a job interview that my nephew had. He was understandably a bit nervous beforehand. And as most of us are apt to do either consciously or unconsciously, he prayed.

I don't know that the prayer determined the outcome. But I do know it gave him confidence, leading to a better interview perhaps. And it also set the stage for him to be able to accept the outcome, whether it had been the one hoped for or not. When you pray for God's will to be done, there is a peace in your heart that defies explanation. Some things are just better off belonging to God. The outcome of job interviews is definitely one of them.

Help me, Lord, to give all areas of my life to you in this manner. We THINK we know the best outcome for our lives. But, face it, only God truly KNOWS what's best for us and those we are associated with. God wants permission to handle all our life events this way. All He needs is our permission and our willingness to follow Him anywhere.

Sidenote: He got the job!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Funerals--the Beginning and End of It

I went to a funeral this afternoon of a good friend and teacher, Joanne Perrault. This was one of those sudden, surprise endings of a life, well-lived. She leaves behind a vast army of little ones she has taught over the years. I can't think of a time when I didn't see a smile on her face. She truly loved all her "cherubs", as she called them, who were in her charge. She certainly brought out the angelic side of those children with her peaceful, loving ways.

Funerals bring to our attention the fact that life has its beginning but also has an end. And yet for those who love God supremely, the end is really a beginning too. Joanne's next conscious moment will be of meeting her Savior at His return to this planet and beginning eternal life with Him and all her cherubs.

Sad as funerals are, I think I'll keep attending them. For the simple reason that God is there, dispensing comfort and love to all who don't refuse it. After my parents' deaths a year ago now, it seems that I've been attending alot of funerals. I think God knows I need them. Who has enough comfort?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Parent Feels the Pain

My daughter experienced the most heartbreaking task a mother must endure today. She had to watch her two little daughters undergo medical procedures that were pretty painful. One needed to get some shots and the other had some dental work done. How painful for a mother to be just inches from her children and yet powerless to keep them from hurting and crying out her name.

I think you know where I'm going with this. Picture Jesus on the cross, suffering tremendously, and crying out for His Father. Imagine how much pain the Father was going through as well. Any parent knows this anguish. How much love both Jesus AND the Father must have for us to willingly sacrifice everything for our salvation at Calvary.

But another thought is how close God was at that time. Just as my daughter was hovering over her little ones doing all she could to comfort them, God comes close to us when we are going through trials. Think of His loving, comforting presence the next time you have any kind of painful experience. He feels it with us, as any good parent would.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Support Groups

This was the night for our monthly brain injury support group meeting. What always strikes me at these meetings is that if you were to visit our group, you could not tell who were brain injury survivors and who are their caregivers, in most cases.

Brain injury, just like depression, post traumatic stress disorders, and a host of other mental illnesses is one of the "invisible disabilities" we are beginning to hear about. Because of their hidden nature, unfortunately there is not alot of awareness and understanding of these disorders. Of all the support groups out there, this one seems to me to be invaluable to its members. Several in the group we meet with have been coming to it for years now.

Another support group we attend is one that meets weekly. These meetings last all morning long, and many of us even share a noon meal afterwards. The nice thing about this group is that our support isn't only found in each other, but in the great Creator God we come to honor at the meeting. The disability that ties us together at this meeting is called sin, an often invisible disability that we all share.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Story Time at the Library

Monday morning is "toddler story time" at our local public library and I accompanied my granddaughters and their mother to the event this morning. Naturally, my eyes were mostly zeroed in on my two precious girls, as they watched and responded to the story and animated songs that the teacher presented to the small group sitting on the floor in front of her.

There is a difference in Jenna's responses now. She didn't used to participate in any of the motions that the teacher encouraged them to do, but as she's become more familiar with it all, she's become less shy and more at ease with the clapping, foot stomping, and whatever else the songs demand.

As a matter of fact, I observed three levels of activity with the youngsters there today. Some were very shy about participating, like Jenna used to be. Then there were others, like Jenna now, who were just beginning to open up and enjoy being part of the group. But there was also one or two, who were very vocal and not the least bit shy about sharing anything and everything. In other words, the ones that caused the librarian to put her finger to her lips the most often.

I wonder where I might fall on this spectrum of group dynamics. As adults, we probably all fall into one of the categories at different times and in different settings. But when it comes to my witnessing for the Lord, I hope I can be like the most vocal youngster there and be willing to share Jesus anytime and anywhere. When my Master Teacher tells me to be quiet, I'll comply...but it won't be easy.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Leftover Gifts

I donated some clothing today. Some sweatshirts, scarves, caps, and gloves for winter. As worthy as that may have been, I feel no satisfaction, because there really was no sacrifice in the gift. If I were to add some food to my donation basket, I doubt if that would have been sacrificial either. I confess, I give leftovers.

Face it, most of us give leftovers--things that don't fit or that we've lost our fondness for or that we have too much of. The sad truth is our gifts benefit us as much as the recipients, because they leave us with more closet space, which we can quickly fill up again by another fun shopping trip.

Instead of thinking about that shopping trip or that clean-organized closet though, I'm going to try to think of the person who got the sweatshirts and other things today. It would be so worthwhile for some homeless person, who's struggling to stay warm to get these items. I'm hoping the people I gave them to would be servicing just that kind of client. The gift may have seemed insignificant to me, but somewhere someone may be thrilled to get something different to wear. If nothing else, I pray it lifts their spirits just a little.

Perhaps my real gift today was not the clothes, but the prayers.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cousin Connection

I spent some special time with my cousins this evening. Three of my female cousins and I met and had dinner together. Later, it was so much fun looking through an old family album and recognizing our parents and aunts and uncles and other cousins. The album belonged to my parents, and it was nice to have them identify some of the people I wasn't sure about and share stories about when the photos were taken.

Having lost both my parents fairly close together in time, it has sometimes felt like I was floating adrift in a boat, without an oar or anything to steer with. Connecting with family members like this gives me a comforting, secure feeling that gives me direction in life again. Life can go on without my parents, even though it will never be the same.

Life changes for all of us, but that's O.K. It even happened to Jesus. One day He was working in His father's carpentry shop and the next day He was getting baptized and starting His ministry. Even that came to an abrupt end, when they crucified Him just three short years later. Mary's head must have been in a whirl, as she was one who saw Him through all these life experiences. How adrift she must have felt too. I'm sure she drew comfort from the disciples--much as I did from my cousins tonight.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Don't Err with Your Air

I've been waking up with headaches and, of course, being an oxygen user at night, I suspected the machine might not be delivering, causing me to have a "carbon dioxide" headache the next morning. So, I took the machine in to have it checked out today and it came out an innocent victim of my suspicions.

So, with the machine passing muster, I guess that leaves me as the guilty party. The machine is delivering, I'm just not getting the goods.

I have noticed a pattern though. The longer I sleep, the more likely I'll wake up with a pounding head. If I go to bed later and get up earlier, I'm OK. I can call the doctor and perhaps have the settings changed on the machine, or I can shorten my sleeptime to accommodate my wimpy breathing. I think I'll call my doctor to see what he recommends.

Is there a spiritual analogy anywhere here? I think as we solve any of our problems in life, we can either change the environment or we can change ourselves. The latter is probably our best option, but can we really change ourselves? The Bible says we can change ourselves, but not BY ourselves. We'd better get a call in to our Great Physician God if we really want to see effective problem-solving changes happen in our lives.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Old Boot

We saw the podiatrist today and thankfully my husband doesn't have to wear "the boot" any more, just his regular shoes. Six months of "velcro-ing" him up every day was getting old. Yes, it's been six months since he tripped on a curb and injured his foot. First time he has had a fracture from one of his falls. I certainly hope it's the last!

But the sad truth is it probably won't be his last fall. Like everything in life, "falls" are going to happen. Ever since Adam and Eve, we've been considered a fallen race. Satan is out there, ready to trip us up at every turn. We can choose not to go where Satan hangs out the most (icy sidewalks). And another protection is hanging onto Someone (or even something, like a walker or cane).

I'm looking forward to a New Earth where "falls" will be a thing of the past. We won't need to wear "the boot" and our "walker" will be walking by our side, instead of in front of us. His name is Jesus.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Shame on the Proofreader

My overriding thought today is a mistake I made a few weeks ago in an email. I'm a proofreader, so am embarrassed that this one got by me. I sent someone my address, but typed the house number wrong. Consequently, to make a long story short, some books that were sent to me a couple of weeks ago got lost and had to be reshipped and I got them after the holidays instead of before. I was hoping these books I edited would be nice Christmas gifts.

As it turned out though, this is probably better timing for them, as people I have given them to will be more likely to read them now than during the rush of the holiday season. It's the type of book that will be a spiritual blessing to the reader, so I'm anxious that it gets in the right hands at the right time.

I can't believe I mistyped one number in that email and it made such a difference in when these books would get in the hands of people I know. But God is in control of even the smallest events in our lives. Everything happens for a purpose. Praise Him for making me type a 7, instead of a 6 that day, and then NOT catching the error! It has made all the difference.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Viruses, Worms, and Bombs--Oh, no!

My son-in-law used his computer expertise this evening to wipe out several viruses, worms, bombs, and other disgusting things from one of my computers. My anti-virus program had expired and it seems it had dumped all the viruses it detected and contained back into my system! I can't help but feel a bit distrustful of my software now. Even though we have the problem well under control with another anti-virus protection covering any future mishaps.

God offers us an anti-sin program that will detect sin when it shows up in our life. It's called The Ten Commandments. We have to download it into our minds and when temptation comes around, it will alert us to the danger.

Unlike my computer anti-virus, The Ten Commandments will never expire. We are protected by them throughout eternity, because they reflect the character of God. If we install this program and register it in our name, it is ours to keep, with a lifetime guarantee. Now that's something I can trust.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Road Trip

Today I drove with someone to a friend's house, but neither of us was sure of the way to get there. We knew the highway we would need, even the name of the small town. But other than that, memories were fuzzy about the exact directions that would lead to our destination.

Thanks to our cell phone we were able to call the friend midway there and get reassurance that we were headed in the right direction. It was a bit embarrassing though to discover we had started out in the wrong direction, so it had meant a few unneeded miles of driving. But the closer we got there, the more familiar it was and the easier it was to actually locate the house we were looking for. How nice it was to finally get there and see this friend again.

This is so much like our journeys with God. Sometimes the beginning of the trip to heaven is shaky and unpredictable till we are actually on the highway of life headed in the right direction. But even then we need to be reassured by God along the way. The closer we get to this heavenly home, the easier it is to recognize familiar landmarks. And the journey is always well worth the effort to get there.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

300 To Go

I'm closing the year out with 65 blogs under my belt. My sister has put in an order for a year's worth, so I have roughly 300 to go to fulfill her wish. It has been a great exercise for me on several fronts. First, the writing process is becoming easier. It isn't taking me as long to get to my "finished product"--something fit to publish and post on Facebook for my friends.

But by far the greatest benefit to me has been going over the day's events and finding something there that reminds me of God. It's given me a great spiritual boost, because one quickly discovers that God is pretty easy to find. If we take a little time each day to look for Him. He is ready and waiting at every turn to instruct, comfort, and guide us.

The third benefit I have received from this blog has been the thrill of sharing it. I can monitor the number of pageviews and even the countries where people have at least taken a peek at it. I just pray that each person led to the blog will come away with a little something to cheer them, inspire them, or comfort them. That's my goal, after all. To share the great God I serve, in whatever way He provides..