Hey- remember me? True love, grandkids, & what have you

faith

Y’all. If I said the past couple of weeks had not been a true test of my faith, I would be lying & my pants would be on fire.  With me, I may go awhile without anything earth shattering happening.  Then, BOOM!  Everything happens all at once.

It’s like nuts falling from the sky.

(Which is an expression, my then 4 year old Miss Neenee would say, when things were awful or terrible.  It’s the worst thing her little mind could image to explain something really crazy.)

 I told my hairstylist if anyone feels bad about what’s going on in their lives, just have them come talk to me.  I can make them feel a lot better about their own personal tragedies.

She said, “You do seem to have a lot of crazy things happen to you.” 

Umm, yeah.  So, not to go all negative Nancy on everyone.  I just wanted you to know, even though my blog life has been a little ho-hum & sporatic, here of late.  I am alive & as well as a person like me can be.

I did have an interesting conversation with a lady the other day. I was at the dentist office, waiting my turn in the chair of torture, when a nice older lady & I struck up a conversation.  She started telling me how she had just lost her husband in January.  I could tell it was still a fresh wound, because she had tears in her eyes as she talked about his passing.  She talked so fondly of him I had to ask her how they met.  She said they met at Fraley’s Drive In.  He was home from the service & she was 17 years old.  She said when she first laid eyes on him, she thought he was so handsome.  She said some of her friends & his friends commence to playing cupid & before long, y’all, they were married.  She said they were married almost 60 years.  They had raised a family together & went through some hard times.

 “But you know,” she said, “there’s not a single person in the world I would have wanted to have gone through hard times with.  He was so good to me.”

marriage

Now. Don’t you guess those two did have some hard times?  60 years is a long time to go without an argument, any illnesses, heartaches, or anything of the like.  And to still be able to have such a love for a person through all of that.  That’s the remarkable love Paul talks about in

Ephesians 4:2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, (NKJV)

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,(NKJV)

Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.(NKJV)

Peter writes about love we should have for one another in

I Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”(NKJV)

It goes without saying, this sweet couple took their marriage vows seriously & loved each other the way the Lord commanded. What a true blessing!  It is so heartwarming to hear the love, we are told to have, still exists.  Having that talk with that lady just made my day, y’all.  I guess I’m just a bit sappy over stuff like that. And since we are talking about love, let me talk about these grandkids!  a grands

We had such a good time this weekend.  Our new baby grandboy is growing & so sweet.  I could just eat him with a spoon.  My granddaughter is so cute & sassy.  She is so funny.  Here are some things the older kids did over the weekend:

a bubblesWe made bubble snakes.  It was pretty fun.

a kade bubbles

I gave a little tutorial on how to use the bubble makers before we started.  “Blow into the bottle.  Make sure you are blowing like you are blowing bubbles with a wand.  Don’t suck in, because you will get a mouth full of bubbles.”  And wouldn’t you know it, somebody got their mouth full of bubbles.  There was a fair amount of spitting & wiping their mouth on their shirt.  But thank the Lord, no permanent damage!

a blake bubbles Ia trumpet neely

Miss Neenee entertained with the trumpet.

a mikey trumpetAnd they could play pretty good.  Ever tried to play a trumpet? Not. Easy.

a trumpetEven though, the trumpet was fun, you know what the biggest hit was?

a boxa kade boxYou guessed it.  Something that wasn’t even a toy.  A plastic tote was a boat, a hide out, a car, & anything else they could think of.

 

 

 

a neely kade IAt the end of the day, all of them are still sweet & precious.

a kade sleep IAnd this is when they are most precious of all!

I am so glad you came by to visit me today.  For those of you keeping up with my Daddy, he came home from rehab & is being visited by home health.  He’s doing well & opinionated as ever.  With that, we know he’s doing alright.  Thank you for all your prayers for him.  They really have been working.  Keep’em coming!  Until next time, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

**On a side note- I can’t leave without showing my discontent for Daylight Savings Time.

daylight-savings

Thank you, Mr. Indian, for your wonderful interpretation of insanity.

sweet brownSeriously though.

photo credits: Pinterest

 

 

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Wednesday night blessings & I didn’t know what day it was until today

Friday kiss

LORD HAVE MERCY. Is it Friday, yet?  On Wednesday, at work, I sent out a cute little meme about it just being Tuesday.  One of my sweet friends, from Ohio, was kind enough to say,

 “But it’s Wednesday, right?”

 It’s just been these past few weeks, that all the days are running together.  SO, I would like to officially say to Friday,

 “Thank you for showing up.  I appreciate that.”

good newsWednesday night at church, I got some sweet news. There are 2 little girls in my Wednesday night Bible class that are living at our local children’s home.  They are twins.  And precious. And spunky. And are so smart in God’s Word.  I fell in love with them the 1st time I met them.  They told me before class started, they were being adopted.  They were so excited.  They told me what their new name would be.  They hugged me & I told them I was so proud & what great news to have in our class that night.  One of the girls said,

“Yeah, but who’s going to bring us candy now?”

We sorta have candy, gummies, chocolate, cookies, or whatever else I can come up with, every class.  I reassured them I knew they would have a wonderful Bible teacher at their new church & hopefully, she would bring candy to class.  What a joy for these kids.  They told me this would be their forever family. Goodness gracious.  What a true blessing.

It made me think of how many blessings you can have, that comes out of trials. No matter how grim a situation may seem, God has a plan.  The Lord promised Abraham & Sarah a baby. (Genesis 18:10)  They waited about 25 years, after that promise was made, before Isaac was born.  The apostle Paul was locked up in prison for preaching the gospel.  He still found a way to write letters to the churches & help them, even while he was in jail. (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, & Philemon)  Lazarus died, while they were waiting on Jesus.  However, Jesus turned sadness to joy, when he raised Lazarus up. (John 11:43-44)  Joseph was thrown in prison & waited 2 years for the king’s butler to remember he interpreted dreams.  After all that time he was released from jail & gained Pharaoh’s good favor. (Genesis 41:12) And do I have to even mention Noah building the ark?  It took him about 100 years to build the ark. Then he gathered everybody up & God shut the door.  (Genesis 7:16) Then, he waited for it to start this raining stuff that no one had ever seen or heard of.  That took about 7 days.  (Genesis 7:10) Talk about some good endings to bad situations.  God can & will take care of us.  Sometimes we may just need to wait through the problems in life.  God uses hard times to develop us into the people he needs us to be.  So, don’t get too discouraged with hardships.  They won’t last.  I saw this saying one day & loved it.

God recruits from the pit, not the pedestal.

I love this, because it lets me know, even when I am in the valley, God’s plan is still at work. I know God has been at work in my 2 little friend’s lives.  He is putting them in fertile soil to grow & bloom.  They may have had to wait, but the Lord has always taken care of them.  I hope you know today that the Lord loves you. I hope you know how blessed you are & how God can make any mess a beautiful message!  You just have to be looking for the good, not the bad.

friday II

Can I end by saying THANK YOU LORD FOR FRIDAY??? The sunshine is glorious.  I am very delighted that you decided to stop by today.  I hope you have an amazing weekend.  Until next time, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

FRIDAY lOVE ii

**For those of you keeping up with my Dad, he is still in “rehab”.  He has good days & bad days.  His blood has still not thinned out to the doctor’s liking.  His sugar is getting better controlled for the moment.  We are hopeful he will be able to go home at some point.  Prayers are much appreciated!  Love y’all.

photo credits : clipart panda, http://www.imighthavestolethat.wordpress.com, pinterest

What to do if someone is drowning & how I am getting ready for a wedding

Drowning

It has been said when rescuing someone from drowning, to approach them from the back.  Because of their panic, if you come at them from the front, they could grab you & pull you down with them. Fear & panic can cause you to think & act unwisely.

As Christians, I think this is the same thing that happens to us sometimes.   We get news that times are a changin’ & we panic.  Bless our hearts.  We start saying things that are not uplifting.  We start acting like we know it all & are sooo much better than what is going on that we forget.  We forget that we are those same sinners that need forgiveness.  Still.  Ya’ll, just because someone is different, than we are, does not give us the right to judge.  We should not spew hate.  Are we not still the same group of people that are supposed to be leading people to Jesus?  Not sending them running the other way.  We, as Christians, have such a terrific opportunity to tell others the truth about what the Bible says about sin.  Let’s not mess it up.  We need to be sure we season our words with grace.  We need to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.  I was reading in Romans 1 about what the God inspired apostle Paul said about sin.  He laid it down pretty simple about the wicked & Godless people:

Romans 1: 26-27

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.(NKJV)

But he didn’t stop there.  He also called out some other sins.

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.(NKJV)

This covers about every sin there is.  He went from one end of the spectrum of envy & murder all the way to being unloving.  Did you notice he mentioned, disobeying parents & gossiping?

gossip

Do you know anyone that’s guilty of that?  Do you know anyone who gossips or stands by & listens to another person gossiping?  Ouch!  That hits close to home.  It’s sin, just like being a homosexual or murderer, according to the passage above.

The scripture goes on to say in Romans 2:

Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? (NKJV)

The apostle Paul was talking to the church at Rome.  Christians that were passing judgment on those around them for their sins.  He was telling them they should not be judging others, because they too, were sinners.  We are taught the ONLY judgment we can speak of is a righteous judgment.

John 7:24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

I read an article the other day written by a person who was an active member of a church.  However, is not now.  He said a secret about a lot of people professing Christianity is that they don’t read their Bibles.  Oh they attend every service, warm their pew, give of their means, & sing loud.  But when they are faced with sin, they start going along with the crowd.  They agree to whatever the Christians are saying.  However, never opening their Bibles to see what God is really saying.

Listen folks, don’t take someone else’s word for what God’s commandments are. Make sure you know.  You are the only one responsible for you.

Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;(NKJV)

II Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.(KJV)

Timothy

I hope everybody has been having a good week.  It has been hot here & you know what?  That’s what it’s supposed to be for July in Mississippi.  But we are still just complaining away.  Now don’t that beat all?  At least it will hopefully not be SO hot when my daughter gets married this fall.  I wonder if there is a way to look at the weather, that far in advance?We want some good weather so that everybody will be comfortable for an outside wedding & what have you.  Until next time, I pray you will stay out of the heat.  I will perhaps be sitting under the air conditioner, staying cool, while watching way too many episodes of “Say Yes To The Dress”.  HEY, we have got to do our research here.  And of course I will do all of this while I should be washing clothes.

biscuit love

Credits: Our Daily Bread, patheos, a happy lass, pinterest

 

Things we tell ourselves & chickens coming home to roost

Back last year, we had a student from Freed Hardeman University come to preach to us. He mentioned in his lesson, that he was learning Latin. He said it had given him a new meaning to how he understood the word of God. After services, I told him if he could explain to me what the apostle Paul was talking about in Romans 7, then & only then would I be impressed. We laughed, because at that time, Romans 7 was a mystery to me. Since then, I have done more study & have read different people’s views & have formed a conclusion about it. One of the verses has actually made more sense to me as of late.

Romans 7: 19 says For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil, that I do not want.

Everybody has a struggle. Whether it’s something that comes along from time to time or a problem we carry around every day. It’s there. Sometimes we try to tell ourselves, no one will ever know. Or it won’t hurt just this one time. Or it’s not hurting anybody but me. One of my favorites, that I tell myself,

“At least it’s not as bad as, insert some other sin here.”

But you know what? It’s still sin, so really put whatever you want there. God doesn’t like it.

It’s just so hard, though. I don’t wake up every day & say, “Well, let’s get to the sinnin’.” But, I am human. There are times I have to really focus & pray about not letting myself fall into a trap of gossiping, judging, being negative, saying hurtful things, keeping my nose in my own business and other various & asundry personality traits that my Mamaw warned me against practicing. My Mamaw was a wonderful Christian woman. She cautioned us about being ugly. She always said of someone who was behaving vicariously without regard of consequences-

Actual picture of chickens roosting for those who don't know, bless your heart.

Actual picture of chickens roosting for those who don’t know, bless your heart.

“Their chickens will come home to roost.”

Meaning what comes around goes around. You reap what you sow. Mamaw wanted us reaping good, not bad. So she would caution us about puttin’ on the dog. She didn’t want us trying to get above our raisings. She did not want us doing things we ought not. But if we did, she didn’t want us acting like we didn’t do it. She was all about everybody owning up to what they did. She spoke quite frequently to me about how it’s important to have pretty ways.

You know what? Even though I know I shouldn’t do something, whether my Mamaw’s direction is on my mind or the voice inside me saying, “This is not right,” it just happens. All my good efforts fizzle into a pile of well-intentioned intentions. I begin to feel like the apostle Paul- just sort of in a frenzy. I don’t want to act in a way that’s unacceptable to the Lord. But if there’s anybody out there to cut their nose off to spite their face, it’s me. I just have a way, of sometimes, you know, not shuttin’ up. Thank goodness I have a Lord that forgives pitiful people, like me. He’s just awesome like that. I know if I confess my sins, He is faithful & just to forgive my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9) Every. Day.

I am so glad you came by to visit with me today. It doesn’t matter what struggle you have. Take it to Jesus. He will help you. I promise! Your sins will never be too bad for him to forgive. I hope your week is starting out good. It was a sunny day in Mississippi & that’s always a plus! You take care & I will see you again soon. For now, I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.

Photo credit: turbokitty.wordpress.com

 

Is your wanter broken?

quilts on clothes line snow

I am feeling pretty good about myself about right now.  I have done my civic duty to my community & graced the aisles of the grocery store to purchase my loaf of bread & milk.  It seems there are rumors of inclement weather (when I say inclement I mean, talks of possibly a snowflake or two falling).  When I say a snowflake or two, I mean that in a literal sense.  Northeast Mississippi rarely gets snow.  But when we do, you’d better watch out.  All the folks that have four wheel drives or a vehicle, will try to be out on the road.  And mind you, we can’t drive on ice.  There is lots of things we country folks can do- make sweet tea, drive a tractor, haul hay, cut wood, put out feed for our animals, talk to Jesus, & cook food so good it will make you want to slap your mama.  But drive on ice, not so much a dandy of an idea for us.  Back to my visit to the grocery store.  If you wanted to see anybody, in particular, you would have had a good chance of running into them today at the store.  Most of the people I came into contact with did smile when I met their gaze.  Unlike before Christmas.

When I was doing Christmas shopping, nobody was smiling.  I would walk along, meet the eyes of a lady, who seemed distraught, & smile.  No smile back.  I saw a man & his wife carrying packages outside a store.  I smiled.  No smile back.  I saw another older lady that looked to have a couple of daughters, my age, with her.  Smiled at all of them & they just looked plum disgusted!  What was going on?  I thought this was supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year?  Then, it hit me.  I get some of the same feelings come over me, perhaps that these shoppers did.  I get down & aggravated when I am spending a lot of time & money on things for people- that will probably be thrown to the side after a day or two.  It made me think, sometimes I think our wanters get broken.  We watch so much t.v. that has commercials of things we don’t really need, but want.  We go to stores & see things we just have to have.  Our kids go to school & see other kids with things that are a must have.  We go online & shop around on websites that have merchandise that you just can’t live without.  I will go even one further than that.  We may get so caught up in ourselves, we think possessions are the way to happiness.  That cars, houses, property, and anything else pricy you can think of, is of more value than relationships.

The apostle Paul addressed this starting in  I Timothy 6:6

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. v. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. v.8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. v. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which down men in destruction & perdition. v. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

I saw the other day on the news the founder of Amazon, was on vacation aboard a cruise ship.  Mind you this is a billionaire.  He got sick, had to be airlifted off.  Taken to his private jet, where he boarded the boat & flown back to the U.S. for medical treatment.   You know what was wrong with him?  Kidney stones.  Did having all that money save his health?  Nope.

We all have been appointed a day to die.  No matter how much money we have will not matter or how much money we don’t have.  What will matter is how we spent our time while here in this world.  Were we content or in a constant struggle to get more?  We know it will be left here, when we go.  Why not focus on our relationships, living for Christ, & serving God?  Peace & contentment cannot be bought.  We have to learn to find it from the Lord.  So, next time you are out making your rounds in town, smile.  Salvation is free. No purchase necessary.  Christ paid that price for you a long time ago!

I so hope you are having a good day.  I am anxious to see if we will get some bad weather.  I remember the ice storm of 1994.  They never did see that one coming!  I hope you are toasty warm inside your cozy home while you are reading this.  As for me, I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.

snowy clotheslinephoto credits – pinterest

Is the ‘Like’ button really important?

like

How many of you like to be liked?  (My hand raised higher than anyone else.)  There’s just something about other people approving what we think, say, or do, that gives us a smile.  I don’t know anyone, who at any age does not want their parents to be proud of them.  Feeling as if someone admires us is similar to getting up to a breakfast of biscuits & chocolate gravy!  We are excited and it just makes us feel good down in our belly.  We are creatures that crave to be praised!  We want to be popular & feel as if we matter.  When I post a new status on Facebook or pin something to Pinterest, I am always super excited to see how many “likes” I get.  Even on this little ‘ol blog here, I am loving the “likes”! Each “Like” is similar to getting a present.  (And who doesn’t love presents?)  I always look to see who my likes are from.  Because it’s important to see who’s agreeing with you, isn’t it?  It’s great to feel like you are favored!  I don’t think I am alone in this.  I read in an article there was a study of 200,000 employees.  They were trying to find out why their productivity was low.  Do you know what the outcome was?  It did not involve wanting more money.  A need to feel appreciation & affirmation topped the list, of what they wanted from their superiors.  You might say, affirmation was a basic human need

If the church at Corinth had a Facebook page today, I think the apostle Paul would use the “Like” button, to show his enthusiasm for them.   He surely was one to be an encourager to the church at Corinth. 

I Corinthians 1: 2-5 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

Paul continually & purposely showed his appreciation to God for the church.  When we see others who are striving to obey God-let’s show our appreciation to them.  There’s not a person on Earth that does not like to feel appreciated & loved.  We need to thank God for the work He is doing through them.

I am so thankful for you & that you came by to visit with me today.  It has been such a whirlwind, since school started.  You know better than anybody what it’s like to be busy!  Please think of someone you can encourage today.  Then, go do it!! I will do the same, but for now, I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes!

**Parts of this was borrowed from Our Daily Bread-MarvinWilliams

 

Understanding God’s Grace

my grace is sufficient

II Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficent for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”…

Do you know how many times I have asked God to make certain parts of my life, not so hard? Probably 26,439 times… a day. Maybe not that many, but you get the picture. Sometimes I just pray & pray & pray to God to help me, & to make things easier, & to help my loved ones, & to bless me & my family & to not let this happen & to not let that happen & then I end it up with whatever Your will is, help me to bear it. But, do I really mean that?
I feel a lot like the apostle Paul did when he was praying for his thorn in the flesh to be taken away. Now, we don’t know what this thorn in the flesh was. Some say it might be that his eyesight was not the greatest in the world. Some say it was either a physical, spiritual, or emotional affliction. But it really does not matter. What matters is, it was something that Paul hated dealing with. Something that he would really just rather not have happening in his life. Paul may have thought if he did not have this “thorn in the flesh” he might be able to have a better ministry. Perhaps he thought he could serve God more effectively without this happening to him. Whatever it was, it kept him humble. He prayed to the Lord 3 times for it depart from him. But the Lord just said, “My grace is sufficient for thee.”

” In II Corinthians 12:7-10 the apostle Paul talks about what he has going on:
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was give to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
v.8Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
v.9And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
v.10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
It’s not specific what Paul’s thorn in the flesh is, maybe so that we can relate to him. “My grace is sufficient for thee.” could very well be our answer, too. Why don’t you try plugging in your trial? With this method, Christ teaches Paul, we could use this as our answer, as well.
When we feel discouraged & just want to give up remember Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” When it seems like everybody & everything is against us, remember Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” When our health fails, when loved ones turn their back on us, when we lose our job, when our child is sick, when we just don’t have enough money in the bank, when we don’t look like the gorgeous size 2 models that are plastered all over the t.v., magazines & internet, remember Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for thee.”

his love

We just don’t need anything else but the Lord’s blessings. And we have so many of those. Food to eat, clothes to wear, cars to drive, air conditioning to keep us cool in the summer, heating to keep us warm in the winter, shoes to wear, people to love us, see where I am going with this? We don’t have to have it all, to have it all. We don’t have to have all of the material things money can buy, to have all the love God gives to us freely. He takes care of us. No matter what. God did not take away the apostle Paul’s thorn in the flesh. He just showed him how to handle it. This goes to show us, even the most important people to the Lord, still do not miss out on the problems of the world, the flesh. Jesus gave Paul a way to bear his problems, but did not take them away. I just think sometimes if I had a lot of material blessings, would that make me humble? Maybe not.   Jesus wants us to be humble so that we may serve Him & tell others about Him. It humbles me to think God’s grace is sufficient for me. Grace -being the Lord’s love, salvation, blessings that we do not deserve, but is given to us anyway. Wow. That really is sufficient for me!

Thank you for stopping by to visit with me. I love it when you come by for a while. Today I need to remember-I need to quit looking at what others have & be thankful for the blessings God has granted me.  Little ‘ol me!  I am important to Jesus & he blesses me.  He does the very same for you.   God won’t take away all of our problems, but he will always, always show us how to handle them.  I have to be going now, because I should be washing clothes.

***This blog post was inspired by our preacher Bro. Brad’s lesson Sunday. Thank you Bro. Brad for proclaiming the Word.

Stumbling block inventory

Finding faults in others is a popular pastime.  Unfortunately, a lot of us find it’s easy to join the fun. Concentrating on the flaws of others can be a great way to feel better about ourselves.  That’s typically, the problem!  Avoiding the faults that need to be fixed in our own lives, not only dampers our spiritual growth, it too gets in the way of God’s work through us. God’s effectiveness through our lives is made better or is hindered by the way we live.

In Romans 14:13 the apostle Paul tells of the character we should have.

Therefore, let us not judge one another, anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.

Back up in verse 10 he states:

But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

We are all in this together.  Why be so petty about things?

If we want to be authentic & useful for the Lord, we must continually take a stumbling block inventory.  At times stumbling blocks are things that in and of themselves may be real.  Yet in certain contexts, may be inappropriate.  But sin is clearly a stumbling block to others.  Gossip, slander, boasting, bitterness, greed, abuse, anger, selfishness, and revenge all close the hearts of those around us to the message God sends through us.  Just to think, our lives, may be the only Bible some people ever see.  Now, that’s a big responsibility that we have.  To keep ourselves clean & unspotted from the world. (James 1: 27)  You may say, “but you just don’t know how mean this person is or how hurtful they have been to me.” I do know this, there is no problem too big that you & God can’t work out. Let God have His way with people.  In life people will be mean, rude, unfair, gossipy, hurtful, and greedy.  Pray for those people.  Don’t let their hatred consume your heart & make you the same things they are. We must be the bigger person.

In Matthew 5:43-44, Jesus preaching his sermon from the mountain said this:

“You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. v.44 But I say to you, love our enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” 

Now, that’s a tough pill to swallow!  Pray for someone who has said bad things about me?  Pray for someone who has embarrassed me?  Pray for someone whose selfishness has caused me to hurt?  You may ask,”Why does that person deserve my prayers?”  If you look at it from God’s perspective- these prayers are for your benefit.  For you to keep a heart that’s willing to mention a person who does not deserve God’s graciousness.  Those people are the ones who need it the most.  And it’s hard to keep bitterness locked up in a heart full of prayer.  God does not want us to be angry.  He wants us to love.  And what better way to keep that love in your heart, than to lift up someone in prayer? It’s hard to be selfish or mad when you are asking a blessing over someone who’s wronged you.  Get the picture?  God loves us & does not want us to be someone who lets a situation eat at them.  He wants us praying for each other & not being someone with so much emotional baggage that His work can’t be seen in us.

I Cor 13: 4-5 says thatprov love is kind, does not envy, does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil.

We should strive to condition ourselves to be kind, no matter what.  God says in order to love, we must be kind.  In the end, our kindness is what matters the most.  We have to be responsible for what we have done in our lives, how we have acted & treated people, not how they have treated us.  God will have His day with those folks! He even says so –

Romans 12:19…”Vengence is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 

Now, don’t you think God can handle these hard to deal with people better than you?  Of course He can.  A dear friend of mine has said her mother used to say, “Kill them with kindness.”  I think that is a very good lesson.  When someone hurts your feelings, just be kind.  When someone says mean things about you, be kind.  When someone is rude to you, be kind.  That way, they can see God living in you.  That will either turn them toward God, or just make them mad.  Either way, you have done your part by being what God wants you to be- kind.

So, let’s replace our faults with the wonderful ways of Jesus.  This will help others to see our Savior more clearly.

Some of this message was taken from an Our Daily Bread article written by Joe Stowell.  I have so many thoughts about this subject.  Maybe I will write more about it later.  But for now, I have to go because I should be washing clothes………..