Friday, July 31, 2009

Lessons from a Bee

This past Tuesday, as I was setting up the kids’ slip-n-slide in the backyard, I had the unfortunate occurrence of stepping on a honey bee. He was minding his own business, quickly going about from clover to clover when, out of the blue, this human lady steps on him and he lets her know he is NOT HAPPY about being stepped on! Talk about hurt! Its been years since I was last stung, so I forgot about the sensation of a hot needle piercing through my skin. I hobbled over to the back steps, all the while saying, “Ow, ow, ow, ow!” Two wide-eyed kids followed closely behind me, wondering what was going on. I sat down and removed the stinger out of my little toe. No, I did not take a picture of the stinger, but I did show it to the kids. (Even unfortunate events like this can be learning experiences!) I placed the thin black stinger so it was sticking upwards on the tip of my finger, and we watched as the venom sack continued to pump, moving the little stinger back and forth. Amazing. Good thing I acted quickly and removed the stinger within a short amount of time. I have read how the longer a stinger is in, the worse the reaction can be. But, even with quick action, I have still had to endure unpleasant side effects these past few days - redness, pain, swelling, intense itching, and a loopy head from the Benadryl I’ve been taking.

This got me to thinking... I guess sin in our lives can act the same way as that bee sting. Just one sin can cause many consequences (side effects) in our lives, and those effects sometimes take awhile to disappear - sometimes they never do. However, we know that God does forgive us when we ask Him; and he uses these consequences in our lives to make us wiser, while drawing us closer to Himself. If we are unwilling to quickly make amends (pull that stinger out), our spiritual lives will suffer. But, confessing our sins brings healing and a renewed relationship with the Lord. Here is a passage I found that talks about this very thing...

Ps 32:1-5 - Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Selah. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"-- and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah (NIV)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Creative Works

I had a simple, black tape recorder when I was growing up. I can remember making tape recordings with my friends - singing on them and telling stories - and I know my brother and my husband both did the same type of thing. It is so fun to listen to those old tapes and hear what we used to sound like.

Last summer, Dave and I found an old tape recorder at a garage sale, similar to the one I had as a child. So, we bought it for our kids. Our son is quite the little story teller now, and enjoys making stories on tapes, just as we both did. He has included his big sister in the productions and she enjoys taking part in them as well.

How can something so simple be so much fun for kids? Because most kids love to hear their voices, and most kids LOVE to create. This creative nature normally carries over into adulthood as well. Our labor, and even our pastimes, include architecture, various types of artists, authors, musicians, carpenters, designers, seamstresses... and the list goes on. This creativity is one sign that shows us we are made in God’s image, as God also loves to create.

Here are just a few verses which mention God’s creative works. As you read these verses, think about why you were created by God. What is your purpose for being here on earth?

Gen 1:31 - Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (NKJ)

Rev 4:11 - Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (KJV)

Eph 2:10 - For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (NIV)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Make Time....

Each day, as I sit at the computer, I get the privilege of Aggie’s company. She is such a dear cat, who has been a part of my life for over 12 years now. She and her sister, Dutchess, came to us as only 6-week-old kittens, before we were blessed with children of the human kind.

I have to admit, Aggie sometimes gets on my nerves, always wanting attention and nudging her nose up against my fingers as I try to type. It takes me a few times of lovingly (and sometimes not so lovingly) pushing her away before she finally either settles down on my lap, or on top of the computer desk next to my keyboard. On occasion, she will even lay on the floor near my feet. When David is home and is working on his computer, she is then blessing HIM with her presence. She will even follow him around the house from one room to another, wanting his attention.

Despite how adoring Aggie is, David and I have often complained about how “needy” she seems to be. But, you know what? On the occasions when she isn’t there, we wonder, “Where is Aggie?” It is odd to not have her around, and we actually miss it.

It’s the same between us and our heavenly Father. He desires fellowship with us and always wants to be near us, even to the point of following us around from place to place. But, how often do we push Him aside and say, “Not now, Lord. I don’t have time for You.”

Sometimes it takes something drastic for us to realize we are not close to the Lord, and then we miss having that closeness. I hope you are not feeling this way. But, if you are, please take some time today to strengthen your relationship with Him. Spend some time with the Lord in prayer and be comforted by his presence. He adores you!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My Garden is Producing Fruit

In my entire life, I have never planted a vegetable garden but, this year, I decided to give it a try. I planted several tomato plants in 3 different varieties, zucchini, cucumbers & green beans. We also let our son plant some lettuce, watermelons and pumpkins. Unfortunately, out of all we planted, only the tomatoes and zucchini have produced any fruit, and it doesn't look good for the rest. I’m a bit disappointed that some of the items our son and I planted together did not even show any signs of growth. But, I figure this year’s garden is a learning experience for both of us. Next year will hopefully be different. At least I have tomatoes and zucchini, which I'm very excited about! Those plants have definitely produced, as you can see by the picture.

So, how is your garden growing? You may be thinking, "I don't have a garden." But, if you are a Christian, you have a spiritual garden. Its up to you to keep it cultivated, allowing it to produce good fruit:

Gal 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.(NAS)

On another note, we are not the only ones enjoying our garden. My family and I came home late a couple nights ago and found this deer standing in the middle of it, chewing on the leaves of the tomato plants. This picture isn’t the best, but she sure was a sight! One of God’s creatures right there in my own back yard. I hope she enjoyed her meal.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

The sun is not shining here today. Actually, it is cloudy and raining. I'm sure many 4th of July picnics will be very wet or brought indoors. Regardless, I hope your day is a good one as you celebrate what Independence Day really means.

You can find the following quotes, and many more, at The Quote Garden:

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. ~Thomas Paine

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. ~Elmer Davis

We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls. ~Robert J. McCracken

If our country is worth dying for in time of war let us resolve that it is truly worth living for in time of peace. ~Hamilton Fish

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. ~Abraham Lincoln

And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Praising God Today for His Protection of My Other Mother!

My husband's mother was in a car wreck last night. Someone sped through a stop sign and hit her car on the tail end. Mom's car turned around and ended up rolling at least 2 or 3 times. All the windows were broken. Mom was wearing her seatbelt, like always. The hospital kept her for observation last night but, so far, she seems to be okay (aside from a goose egg on her forehead and a few other bumps and bruises.) The Lord's angels were definitely watching over her. Mom saw the other car coming and veered away. If it hadn't been for that, she could have been hit square on the driver's door. Things would have been a lot worse. Thank you, Lord, for your protection!