Friday, October 21, 2016
So, if you read the blog entitled “Atmosphere” you will easily follow this one. If you didn’t read it, I encourage you to read it first, before you read this one.
After I finished washing the vents which cover the filter for the furnace, I had to vacuum the floor. Despite the fact that I had placed a large piece of plastic beneath the vent, to catch the dust and debris that would fallout from my cleaning, lo and behold, there was still some dirt, like an adventurous child, which had gotten away from me.
So now, I’m hauling out the vacuum cleaner and vacuuming up the mess that I’d made by cleaning the vents, as a result of changing the furnace filter, because the weather had changed and now it was cool outside and the temperature in the house had radically fallen. This initial activity had begun the layers of the onion to begin peeling, because now, I’m sweeping up the laundry room and straightening up shelves in there. STOP! You’ve got other work to do. This little adventure, which your husband normally does, has just gotten out of hand. Go sit down and finish writing, before you get distracted again. That’s an order!
For a moment, I could almost hear my mother’s voice barking out those orders, which brought to my attention today’s life lesson. “Unless you stay focused, you’re going to get sidetracked, Virginia. One thing will always lead to another, because all of life is connected. You must learn how to isolate projects and complete them; not get distracted by them and end up using up all of your time doing things that are not on your agenda to do.”
“Right mom”, I was tempted to say. One thing had led to another, and it had done it so subtly that I hadn’t even given it a second thought. There was a need, and therefore, I concentrated my efforts on fulfilling that need, instead of sticking to my writing schedule, which was by this time falling behind.
You know friend, that’s how sin or bad habits form. They are like a slow moving snail trying to cross a sidewalk; it moves so imperceptibly, until you hardly notice that it has moved at all, yet it is making steady progress. For example: you get up late for work; instead of eating your normally healthy breakfast, which is the most important meal of the day, you skip it, in an effort to make up the time.
You get to work and 30 minutes later you’re starving, so you grab a donut, which has been generously provided by another employee. When lunch time rolls around, you’re not hungry, because you woofed down, not one but three donuts, to fight off your hunger. By the time you reach home, the craving for food has returned. You eat, but don’t seem to be able to get your fill, so you overeat!
When you wake up the next morning, you’re groggy because your stomach has been working all night; nor are you hungry; so what do you do? You skip breakfast again and the activities of the day before repeat themselves liking a swinging pendulum. This continues for a while and the next thing you know, you’ve picked up extra pounds, you’re grumpy, and your work production is lagging. I won’t draw this out anymore, but you get the point.
When one fails to focus on the real issues, it is easy to get sidetracked, fall behind in production and develop bad habits, among other things. So today’s life lesson is “stay focused”, because one thing will lead to another, before you even realize it. Have a good one!
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
A cold front came through our area, about a week ago. The temperature dropped so drastically, until I was forced to turn on the heat. However, before I did that, I had to change the filter; it was so ready to go!
As I changed it out, I noticed that the vents, which cover the filter, needed cleaning. So very meticulously, I cleaned and washed each vent, all 155 of them. Upon completing this part of the task, I proceeded to mix a potion of essential oils with some water, place them in a sprayer bottle and spray my filter. Yummy! The intent – to create a pleasant atmosphere in the home, before my husband arrived!
As I painstakingly washed those tiny little vents, the thought arose in my mind. “Here you are taking all of this time, away from your busy schedule to clean these vents, select just the right oils and spray this filter, so that you can create a pleasant smell to the nose and thereby trigger a more positive response from those inhaling these scents; but what about the spiritual atmosphere, with which you drape your soul?”
“Hummm!” I thought. The idea continued, “Is there a welcoming atmosphere that greets all of those with whom you come into contact? Is your smile genuine; your words sincere; your intent to serve, legitimate? Or is it all just a sham? Do people feel comfortable enough in your presence that they long to stay there? Do they sense the spirit of Christ in your actions and your atmosphere; or is it tainted and dirty? Does your attitude, which sets the tone for your atmosphere, in need of cleaning? Have you meticulously wiped away the ungodly and the unpleasant tones that make a person unapproachable and haughty?
I seriously had to stop and do a “self-check”, a term I’ve picked-up from my hubby over the years. Each time that he feels his peace fading from his heart, or the smile leaving his face, not to mention his patience straining, he immediately “self-checks” to see what might be in his character that needs removing, tweaking or altering. Therefore, since I was still home alone, I did some self-checking, and thankfully I passed the self-test this time. My heart, as I understand purity, was in check; then slowly the Lord brought back to mind the many people who call me for prayer, because they respect my relationship with God; the ones who ask me to make plain a Scripture verse, because they believe that I have understanding, or those who just chill out in my presence and enjoy my company. It was after that, that the idea leaped into my head, “This is a life lesson that you must share. It might be that some reader needs to do some self-checking, so that the atmosphere which surrounds his or her soul can be sweetened; so that he or she might realize that there might something lacking that only Christ can fill. Therefore, here you have it. What you do with what has come to you today is personal. No one else can make the proper assessments but you. What are you waiting for? Self-check!
More: Lessons About God
Sunday, October 16, 2016
This weekend introduced into my world, a tragedy that will follow me to my grave. My brother, the last one living out of five; the only sibling left out of eight, was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. His prognosis – massive bleeding – a hematoma, which covered more than a full quarter of his brain; non-survivable! My initial reaction was numbness; however, I’d felt it coming for a while. He had been on my mind almost non-stop for the last two weeks; in my gut, I already knew that his time was near, but was I ready to hear this? I’m not sure. He is still breathing on his own, but he won’t wake up! Therefore, the following is a tribute to him from me.
How do I say ‘good-bye’ to one who’s meant so much to me?
Who shared with me the gospel, opened my eyes that I might see.
How do I say ‘good-bye’ to one whom I repeatedly call ‘sound’?
Whose knowledge and personality, made me want to hang around?
How do I say ‘good-bye’ to Ben, who was my very best friend?
When times were hard and no one cared, he stuck by me ‘til the end.
It was he, who walked beside me, when I reached the age for school,
And the one who made certain that I learned the golden rule;
It was he, who chased the bullies, whenever they appeared,
And whenever he would come around, all my enemies feared.
He gave to me, my very first dog, or at least he made me feel;
That Shep was mine and never once, did the ownership not seem real.
We studied the Scriptures together, and he opened to me great things
That I’d never heard, ever before; good news that made me sing!
I followed him ‘round like a shadow, with the time forever past noon,
So that I was always visible, confirming my hope, “Jesus is coming soon”.
We raised our children together, worshipping weekly side by side,
We watched them grow, and let them know, the worst sin is really pride.
Now, I stand at this crossroad without him; soon he’ll depart from this place,
While I’ll be left alone in sorrow, missing his joyful face;
But I pray nevermore to forget him, or lose my hope of the past;
For I know this separation is temporary, and we’ll both be home at last.
One day we’ll meet together, and talk about days long ago,
In a city that’s fair, we will meet over there, and death will be no more.
I love you Bennie!