Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thankful In The Midst Of Ridiculous Things

I haven't done a "word for the day" in a long time. Actually, I've been sluggish in my bogging about anything lately. (Sorry about that. I'll try to do better.) So today, I've got a word for you.

Ridiculous--Defined as deserving or inviting ridicule, unreasonable, absurd, silly.

The work load my husband has had the last four months has been ridiculous. As of today, he has worked 115 days without a day off. Even though we did take a quick trip home for a weekend in May, he still took pone calls, made phone calls, closed claims, and set appointments every day. His work day is not eight hours either. I'm talking twelve to fifteen hours a day for most of those days. Yeah, I think the word ridiculous (unreasonable) fits.

In this ridiculous situation I am thankful. I'm not thankful that my husband has been overworked to the point that his nerves are like the wires in a breaker box that has just been struck by lightning, but I'm thankful that he has a job. And I'm thankful that he is so good at his job that his company considers him one of their best--thus the ridiculous work load.

As I sit here and type, a mourning dove is talkin' trash to a sparrow over some seeds that other birds have pushed out of the feeder to the ground. Now that is ridiculous (silly) because there are more than enough seeds to go around, and the dove is three times the size of the sparrow. How ridiculous we must look to God when we mouth off and say hurtful things to someone over something senseless and trivial.

I'm thankful for the lesson from the ridiculous little birds.

A few days ago, Rick ordered his Father's Day gift. (I know it is way early, but he deserves it.) He bought some accessories for his truck--a bed cover, some gadget to lock the tailgate and a rubber seal. The bed cover was shipped in a box exactly the size of the rolled up bed cover. But the gadget to lock the tail gate and the seal came in a --- well, you just have to see it.

Now that is ridiculous! No packing peanuts or wadded paper, just a huge box. I'm sure there must be a reason the company shipped such small items in such a large box, but I can't imagine what it could be. Somebody forgot about saving trees and living green, ya think?

For this ridiculous thing I am thankful. First, I got a good laugh out of it, and Rick broke the large cardboard container down and used it as a "creeper" to protect his back from rocks as he worked under the truck.

Isn't God good to surround us with the unreasonable, silly, and absurd things of life? Just one more reason to give thanks!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It's a Sign

Today I opened the closet door to add some dirty clothes to the hamper and here is what I saw. It's a sign.
I'm not one that often puts a lot of faith in signs. Gideon put out the fleece to get confirmation from God about his call, and God obliged him with some dew, and again with lack of dew. (Read about it in Judges 6:36-40.) How reassuring that must have been for Gideon.

In my own personal walk with Christ, seldom has God ever given me a "sign" to assure me of His plan for my life. I'll admit that I've asked for skywriting more than once, but I've never seen any. Typically I sense the Spirit asking me to simply have faith and do my best to obey all that is already written in God's Word. If God has granted me a sign as obvious as dew on the fleece, I must have missed it.

I'm not saying that God does not give some people "obvious signs" of conformation after calling them to a task. I believe that He does. But I also believe that if we rely too heavily on a sign from God, we can be mislead. We can sometimes want something so badly that we will seek a sign that we know we will find, whether God is behind it or not.

So, I seldom ask God for signs. I ask Him to put me where he wants me, put people in my life who will help me to accomplish His perfect will for my life, lead me through His Word and my circumstances, and to forgive me when I miss the mark. Then I live each day with a little faith and a lot of grace.

There are some signs though that we all need notice. A child's high fever is a sign that something is wrong and the caring adult in her life should take some action to help restore her to good health. A dark rotating cloud overhead is a sign that you should take shelter quickly. When your gas gauge is on E it is a pretty sure sign that you should stop and fill the tank. And when dirty clothes are spilling from the hamper, it's a sign that I need to find some quarters and do the laundry.

More important than an overfilled hamper, a needle pointing to E, dark clouds, or even a high fever are the signs of our culture, our times, and of humanity. Found in 2 Timothy 3: 1-12, these billboards are everywhere , unable to be missed, if only we will open our eyes and look. "But realize this, that in the last days difficult time will come...Men will be lovers of self, lovers of money...disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy...lovers of pleasure rather than God...always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth..." Again in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 the Bible tells us that a final day is coming. There will be an end to this life and this world--a day of destruction. Please pick up your Bible and read the passages for yourself.

Read on. In verses 4-6 of 1 Thessalonians 5 we are told that we, who are are "sons of light" should not be surprised nor overtaken by that last day because we can see the signs.

Once we see those signs, there are some things we should be doing. (I challenge you to read the rest of the chapter.) After you have finished reading it, you can join me in rejoicing always, praying without ceasing, giving thanks, holding fast to what is good, being patient with all men, abstaining from every form of evil,...and doing the laundry!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Call It What You Want...

I don't like to talk politics. I like to try to look on the bright side of life and politics is not my idea of sunshine and rainbows. But I read some articles today that stirred me, so here I go, ranting again.

First, I have to say this whole flu scare is like nothing I've ever seen before. I've never seen so many people in so many places acting so foolishly at one time. Don't misunderstand me. I have sympathy for those people who have lost their loved ones to the virus. But I think the press and the powers that talk to the press have created--well--I hate to say it--they've created a state of panic and fear.

I was in a state of panic and fear once. I'm talking REAL panic and REAL fear when my husband's life was threatened. You could say that my husband and I were both terrorized. In fact, the charges filed against the person who caused this panic and fear included the charge of terroristic threat. Hmm. Now let me think. Someone who causes another person to panic and live in fear could be considered to be a "terrorists," right? So I guess that makes the press and all the powers that have been talking to the press, "terr..."

Oh wait! One of the articles I read today reveals our President's new terms regarding terrorism. We are no longer to use the term terrorist or terrorism. The destruction of the World Trade Center was not an act of terrorism, it was a "man-caused disaster." The article also points out that we are not engaged in a war on terrorism, but an "overseas contingency operation."

And in other articles, the "swine flu" is not the swine flu but is the "New H1N1 flu."

Call it what you want, a virus is a virus, creating fear and panic to convince someone that their life is in danger is terrorism, and war is war. Politically correct terminology changes nothing except our willingness to accept lies in the place of truth.

My opinion? Don't kiss any pigs, be leery of those who stir up world-wide panic and fear even if they do wear the Stars and Stripes on their lapel, and remember that our men and women stationed overseas probably still feel like they are fighting a war.

God, help us.