Saturday, October 15, 2022

October 15, 2022

I spent the day rummaging through more stuff, trying to find the last of the car titles to have them ready for the sale that’s coming up. There is so much history compacted into one location; my father-in-law, LeRoy, lived a full life, evident by everything he kept. He loved fast cars, old cars, dragsters, you name it. His favorite was the Corvette. He saved newspaper clippings, magazines, and other memorabilia associated with the things he loved. He was a mover and a shaker, and the dirt didn’t get warm under his feet; he never stopped and kept moving to the end of his life. Even his medical issues didn’t stop him. He would go into the hospital but would leave if there was something he wanted to do; it was hard to get him to slow down. We are not all geared the way he was, but imagine if we were and what we could accomplish if we had half the energy he had. 

Our lives are short, and we need to fill our days with things that matter. One match lit, and everything LeRoy accomplished, and all his history would go up in smoke. For this reason, Jesus told us to store our treasures in Heaven. If you reset your mind and make your obsession Jesus rather than worldly accomplishments, your heart will change, and you will stop worrying about tomorrow because tomorrow is never guaranteed. Set your mind on things above.

but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:20

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. Proverbs 27:1

Friday, October 14, 2022

October 14, 2022

One of the items we inherited was an old-fashioned gumball machine. It was full of old gumballs that were deteriorating. I cleaned it and filled it with large gumballs, but they didn’t come out of the machine quickly, and the two-year-old was obsessed with it and probably swallowed more than he should have. So I emptied it and filled it with Skittles; they came out easier, giving them a handful all at once. As a loving grandma, I wouldn’t have thought of making them pay for their candy, so beside the machine is a container full of old slot machine coins for them to use. When we had the family over, I hid it because I wanted the baby to eat his dinner first, and he’s not one you can tell no without him screaming, but he hadn’t forgotten about it, so after he ate, he begged for me to bring it out of hiding. As expected, he obsessed over it. The girls and I were sitting in the kitchen and looked up, and there was a line of men waiting their turn for the Skittle machine! It turns out that they love Skittles too! 

This scene made me think of how God provides everything for us. My grandkids wouldn’t have thought of eating one of those crusty old gumballs before I cleaned the machine and filled it with new candy. Life without Jesus is like old candy; not worth eating. The big gumballs were like what Satan provides; they’re shiny and big, but you have to work to get to them, and you get sick if you eat too many. Jesus makes everything new and provides what we need to live our lives eternally, and all we have to do is love him and want him like the baby loves candy. I would also stand in line for that, like the men in our family.

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10:28

Thursday, October 13, 2022

October 13, 2022

I have a bird identification app that helps me identify which bird I hear singing. You press a button, and it records the sounds, and as it picks up its voice, it tells which bird it hears. Some of the birds I’ve never seen; I guess they stay high in the trees. The other day, a bird was singing its little heart out, but I had no idea what it was. As soon as I started recording, it quieted. After a minute or so, it began singing again. However, the app couldn’t identify it. It picked up a few different birds, but there was only one making noise. That’s when I realized that it was a mockingbird. A mockingbird showed up in the identification, but when it was singing, the app didn’t light up. It sang so beautifully that I was sure what I heard was something rare and unusual; I could have listened to it all day. The devil is like the Mockingbird; he sings his song and attracts the unsuspecting; they hear its melody and follow him because something so lovely couldn’t possibly be evil. However, those of us who know the voice of our Savior reject his devices and steer clear of him because we understand his motives to steal, kill, and destroy. Listen carefully to the Holy Spirit. If he gives you a check, proceed carefully; better yet, run the other way.

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:7-10

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

October 12, 2022

There is much to do as we get ready to undergo the adventure of remodeling. We have an accessory building that our family would gather in during Christmas. It's nearly ready for us to move into, and though it's small, I'm looking forward to living in it because I've decorated it with some of my favorite things. We recently moved a refrigerator and stove into the space; it was more of a party house than a guest house, so it didn't have a kitchen; we had to retrofit one. We had found the appliances in the garage; my father-in-law had planned to remodel the kitchen and had already bought them. We knew of his plans but hadn't realized how long ago it was until I read the label on the refrigerator, and though it was new in the box, it was 12 years old! Yesterday, I decided to peel the labels off the refrigerator and plug it in to ensure it worked. After sitting in the garage, in the heat for so many years, I could barely get them off; they were nearly permanently attached! I still have some goo to remove. 

When you became a Christ-follower, you had many labels attached, and some were hard to remove. Even though Jesus thoroughly cleansed you of your past, some sticky residue is still there and has taken a little extra time to clean. Not because he didn't get it all off but because we keep wallowing in self-pity and reminiscing about our past. Stop looking back! Move forward. You don't live in the past anymore. You are a new creation in Christ; it's time to start acting like it. Just like the brand new, old refrigerator in the box, it's time to plug into God's power source and live your life for him. 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

October 11, 2022

We are having an auction in November to sell my father-in-law's classic cars. This month we are auctioning off his old pickup trucks. I've been helping Richard's sister to try and locate the titles. We found car titles in his office and his house; I even saw one on the floor in his garage! He also had an office in his garage, and that's where we found most of them. I'm not sure if we have everything we need yet; if not, we will continue the search. It's challenging. However, everyone is working together in harmony to make it happen seamlessly. As Christ-followers, God has left us here to complete a similar task. The world is a messy place, and lives are scattered everywhere. Everyone is destined for heaven; Jesus made sure of that by paying the price for all, but some of their titles are missing. If we don't find them and their bill of sale, many will be left behind and face destruction. Listen carefully to God's voice; when he encourages you to share his love by telling others about Jesus, make sure you follow his instructions. The lost people of this world depend on us to help them receive their titles, with Jesus labeled as their owner. 

And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:6-7

Monday, October 10, 2022

October 10, 2022

I have a birdbath that sits just outside our porch. Occasionally I will see a squirrel stop by, but yesterday a whole pitying of doves gathered around it for a drink. There must have been nine or ten! I felt bad because the water was nearly empty, so I went out to fill it up again, and of course, they flew off. I was hoping they would return after the refill, but they never returned. They will probably come back tomorrow; I put a little feed out there just in case. As long as I keep filling it with fresh water, they will return. There is a whole lot of biblical truth in what I witnessed. In the Bible, a dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit; remember when the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove? Water is also significant because Jesus tells us to come to him for a drink of living water and never become thirsty again. Here’s the lesson; go to Jesus daily and overflow with living water. Not only will you stay satiated, but the Holy Spirit will descend upon you like those doves that landed on my birdbath. 

“but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14

October 9, 2022

Sunrise is my favorite time of day. As the sun comes up, the sky changes to magnificent colors. Once it has fully risen, its brightness overwhelms the surface, and the darkness becomes drenched in light. There is something different about sunrises in the country this time of year. One of my favorite scenes is the fog settling on top of the grass in an open pasture. Yes, I’m still at the beach, and the sound of the waves soothes my soul; I can breathe deeply, filling my lungs with the salty air, and my mind feels at ease from the stress of the week, but I find my joy whenever I’m surrounded by God’s creations wherever that may be. That was the message I heard from God as I enjoyed the beach atmosphere. I watched a boy catch two fish, a woman sitting in her beach chair soaking in the sun, a couple getting married, and friends gathered to watch the sunset; they all found joy at that moment. Don’t waste a minute; look for morsels of happiness in whatever you do. Maybe it’s just that you are alive and breathing, but remember that God gave you that, so praise him for it.

Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD! Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised! Psalms 113:1-3