Jeremiah 29:11

Jeremiah 29:11 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.

Monday, June 2, 2014

My Skunk House

I have a very old house. Such an old house that the basement is not ventilated; there are no windows that can be opened, there is one door but it can't actually be opened  because we had a lot of problems so it's more like a weird part of the wall.  I have always been bothered by the fact that it's been enclosed and so musty...always been a pet peeve, or irritation.

Lately, we have had a skunk living under the house. And when I say under the house, I don’t mean under the front porch and not a big deal…I mean under the house as in if I wanted to cut open the floor it would be right there… Yuck.  The skunk has been kind enough to make sure he's known frequently that he is also a resident here. In the past month we have gotten our house sprayed several times, I think we are up to 4 or 5, with one time being absolutely atrocious! Most days there was "regular" skunk smell or just a "hint of skunk". How do I know there's a hint of skunk? It's because I have a nose like a hound dog apparently; people tell me often that they don't smell things and I do. So for the past month we've had the skunk just stinking up the place. I called the man to get the skunk removed and it didn't want to leave... A trap was set for a few days and it just wasn't happening. So, they removed the trap and said they would try when it wasn't so rainy. (Did you know that skunks don't like rain... I do now).

Well, we waited for the cool rain to stop... Got skunked again and had to call. The man said it wasn't going to fall for a regular trap so he was going to use a different one. Good! Make it stop! :/  Well, day one there was nothing, and day two, nothing :( but day three!! Day three I woke up to the smell of skunk again :( and I checked the trap (which means I carefully and slowly walked to the back stairs-from the front door- and glanced and ran away) and there was a skunk! Gross. But it was going to be gone! It was...the smell wasn't... and it was getting stronger.  We left for church and when we arrived home, we got a punch in the face of skunk smell as we walked in the front door. I checked the trap in the same fashion as earlier but just a little bit more bravely since I called the man that was trapping it between Sunday school and regular service and just KNEW he would have removed it. He did! :)  Later, when we got home from evening church I opened the door and was so excited to not smell skunk! Yippie!!  And my nose has been smelling it for a month, so this was making me do a happy dance.

Today, I went downstairs to do laundry and ya know what!?!?? It, for the first time in at least a month, smelled like A MUSTY BASEMENT!  I was SO HAPPY! Yeah! My basement smells like that musty, old basement smell.  I love that smell today!!

So what does this have to do with anything spiritual? I'm glad you asked! ;)

Often, we have something and it isn't as good, nice, in style, or even just what we want or think it's what we deserve, but it is quite functional and serves its purpose and really is just fine.  My basement has issues but that doesn't mean it isn't doing its's the foundation of my house so it seems it's doing a pretty good job. And I can do things so it isn’t as strong… and I did/do…I learned what needed to be done.
I am not an expert on waiting for God to answer and smiling through the trials. Oh no! Quite the opposite but I am learning.

God gives us what we need. He says in the bible that he knows what we need before we ask.
Matthew 6:8b for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

God doesn't give us something because often we are asking for something we want.
James 4: 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

And God uses what he needs  to get us  where HE wants us to be.
Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Here is my conclusion from today when I enjoyed the musty smell that bothered me so much before:
-God was so good to remove that stink so quickly!
-I need to appreciate things that aren't really what I want because, it could be worse.
-I need to focus on God more than what's around me
-Sometimes what you have really isn't as bad as it seems.

Today I could smile at what made me frown before. Something changed...a nasty smell, but sometimes we just have to wait until it's the right time. God wants everything in our lives to turn our hearts back to him. I REALLY don't think I need a skunk stinking up the place for me to turn to him, but ya know what? It worked.  I have talked to Him a lot about it and I dealt with it. I didn't "flip my lid" (the skunk doesn't care). But I did just keep going on with my walk with the Lord and did what I could do. (and asked I wouldn't smell that smell so well!)
Am I thankful I had a skunk???  No way!!!  I am thankful that I can praise God I don't usually have one, that the smell is gone, the dog didn't get sprayed, that it is gone, and that God was still here even during this!

We all have things cross our paths. Rather than see them has another thing going wrong in our lives, let's try to look to God and realize sin is in the world and Satan is attacking. Let's not let him win because our God is amazing and stronger than anything Satan can throw at us!!

1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Most things can glorify God, if we let Him work.  And what will I do if a skunk comes again? Same thing as I did this time:  Pray.  Keep a spiritual focus.  And plug my nose. :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Detour We Didn’t Know We Took

My mind is moving so fast with the thoughts are going through my head so I hope I am clear with what I am saying. I am especially thinking about one person as I write these words (not the one I was on the phone with). This person is a very special person to me and it hurts me to know how much she's hurting right now.

I just got off the phone with a dear friend; we are talking and working through a lot of different things from the past. I don't want to sit and point and blame, nor not take responsibility nor do I desire to stay stuck where I have been, but I often find myself doing those things.  But that is completely not my goal.

I think that in our desire to follow God we took a detour we didn't know we took. I think that in living the Christian life we forgot about Christ.

My friend said something about taking the side road and turning left, when we didn't know we did. In this post, like I said, I'm not pointing fingers, I'm not blaming anyone, but I'm just kind of clarifying what's in my head and my heart.

No one can understand each person's personal journey as they continue to move forward to a better relationship with the Lord; however I think that we all share some of the same things very often.

First, I think that we need to focus ourselves on Christ. How you do this is totally up to you and between you and God. No one can tell you what it will take for you to get to a point where you finally understand his love and grace and his commitment to you.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Second, I think that we as believers need each other. I think that there is a difference between getting encouragement and gossiping. I don't know that line was ever clearly established that we would know the difference however the Bible even tells us we should get godly council.
Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

Third, we will be tempted to use many different things to replace God. It's so easy for us to see the physical, here and now, but we need to focus on the eternal rather than the physical.
1 Corinthians 10:13–14 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

Are you on a detour? Did your Christian walk turn into more of a wandering? I know these things were true for me and I'm sure at times will happen again. But right now, I'm focused on God and can see him working. It doesn't change what may or may not have happened, nor does it change everything about my life, but my perspective (again prospective) has changed. Focus your eyes on God and ask him to change your heart and change your mind to lineup with what He says in the Bible.

A detour is used temporarily because something needs to be straightened out, adjusted, fixed, corrected... whatever.

It's time to get back on the main highway.

To my friend whose name I am not saying, God knows. God sees. God loves you. God will use everything that you have gone through. God cares that you are hurting. God knows what you feel and think...He understands.


HE STILL LOVES YOU AND WANTS TO BE WITH YOU.  Turn to Him. He is our help.

JESUS is still the answer.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Triumphant Reflection

My perspective has been totally focused on the past, the hurt, the trail, the resulting confusion, and even dislike of where that has me.

My world has changed. Not that change is bad...but change is change. It means adjusting to something whether it was brought on by us or someone else.

Over the past several months my prayer has been rather simple. I kept asking God to change my heart and my mind. It is all I have felt I could say. Each person has to deal with their own questions when something in life has been thrown at them and they have no answers for in their situation.

 All I knew was that I didn't really feel "safe and comfortable" like I used to.

But I have learned something.

Today is just one more day. A lifetime of things defines who we are and each day we make important steps. They've learned, although I haven't shared on my blog, that living triumphantly is simple. Simple in the fact that it does not mean I have to do anything extraordinary, spectacular, or world changing. Living triumphantly is a living through whatever we face on our journey through this life. Sometimes just the fact that we got through another day is a triumph in itself.

Living triumphantly is just doing what's hard for you.

So how my doing on my journey this year of living triumphantly? Had you asked me during those three months that I was not blogging, I would have told you I was doing a horrible job. In fact, that's why I was not was not blogging. I want to write. I want to give anyone who reads this hope in God. A glimpse of how good He is. But sometimes I get so focused on what I don't have what I don't see, how what I have that I don't want and that I can't see anything clearly enough myself to even share that with you. Above all I want to write from my heart. My heart, Jeremiah says, is desperately wicked, however when we're in God's word our hearts become godly and that we want to follow God. God the Spirit will yield the godly heart. In the flesh, I will always have a wicked heart but the triumph is overcoming by the Spirit.

I am still asking God to change my heart and mind.  I ask the Holy Spirit to lead me.  I ask to see things as spiritual battles rather than physical ones.  I get encouragement from a godly lady.  I read my Bible. 

So, how am I doing living a triumphant life this year?   

Great!  I am focusing on God and He has triumphed over it all and I just try to see that.  And when I don’t, and I am in my flesh, I turn my head again to Him… because that’s triumphant!