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Just like me…

Romans 12:3 – “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”

I’ve been struggling with this concept the last couple of days – What if everyone acted just like me – in regards to family, church, work and community?

It’s what we want, isn’t it? We wish that everyone around us was as smart as we are, made similar choices that we make, and were as dedicated as we are. We see ourself without flaw, without blemish. 

But deep down, we know that’s not true. We know that deep down we get upset when someone does something different that we think that they should. We get frustrated when we have a plan and someone steps in and changes that plan all together. We want to throw a fit and yell at someone when their decision to stay out of things is not the option we would have chosen. We get all flustered when people don’t perform like we know we would in that situation. 

Pride. It’s pride that makes us feel that way. You see, whether it is at work, church or at home, the devil is doing his best to drive a wedge in our heart between us and God. If he can get us to look more at ourself and see only the worst in people and their decisions instead of seeing the beauty of variety, then he can get us to walk further and further from our Savior. 

And it’s so easy to do. It is easy to get frustrated when we don’t understand what is going on. It is easy to get mad when things don’t go the way we think they should. It is easy to want to yell at someone when their choices are wrong in our eyes. 

But here is the thing – we can’t control others; we can only control ourself. We have to trust that God has whatever thing we are dealing with under control. Staying awake all night worrying about it won’t make a difference. Getting mad and yelling at someone will not help the cause of Christ. Not doing your best as a punishment to those who are making what you see as a bad decision will get nothing accomplished. 

Jesus has given us all different gifts and talents. I’m not responsible for my husband using his gifts. That is his can of worms. I need to be focused on whether I’m using my gifts. But I can’t let my focus shift from me doing my best for His glory to me doing my best because I know I’m right. 

It’s hard, but you can’t let people have power over your decision to do things for His glory. Focusing solely upon Jesus will have far different reaches that focusing solely on you and what you do. Pride is an ugly beast that too often rears its head in my life. Pride is what makes you think your way is the best way. Pride is what makes you fail to see your flaws. Pride is what makes us want everyone to act like just like us. 

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Devil B Gone

Psalm 68:1 – “Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.”

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the latest and greatest of temptation getter-outers – Devil B Gone. You gotta problem with sin – Devil B Gone. You gotta problem with temptation – Devil B Gone. You gotta problem with that pesky neighbor or overeating or lack of self confidence – Devil B Gone. It’s your one-stop-shop for all problems, situations or ethical questions you may have. Devil B Gone.

Are you laughing yet? Trust me, when it popped into my head, I laughed too! 

But it all started when I heard a Crowder song – “Run Devil Run”. Love. That. Song! It’s upbeat, full of truth and likely to get your hands clapping in praise. Just sayin…

If you had access to something guaranteed to make the devil take off runnin’, don’t you think you would use it? You’d be crazy not to, right?

Well, David wrote the first “Run Devil Run” song right here in Psalm 68. The devil hates God, right? The devil wanted to take His place. You can’t care about someone and want them to be gone. By reason of deduction, the devil must hate God. That makes him an enemy. David says that His enemies flee before Him – “Run Devil Run.” 

So, you, being a child of the King, have God as an ally. So guess what. The devil hates you. He wants to attack you – hence the need for the Devil B Gone. And you have it – Jesus Christ – the Ultimate devil repellent. You walk with Him, you have less problems than if you don’t. Notice how I worded that – I didn’t say you would have no problems. I said they would be less. You see, in the Light of God’s love, problems and temptations look different. Jesus gives you exactly what you need to reject and conquer them. 

But all this hinges on one very important detail – you must be with Him. You can’t be off looking at other things. You can’t be dinking around behind Him. You have to be right there beside Him. It’s the only way this repellent works. 

So, don’t be fooled by the world’s attempt to help you take on something as dangerous as the devil. No, this calls for big guns. This calls for an all out assault on the spiritual realm. And you have just the thing to make it run – Jesus Christ. 

Root rot

Proverbs 4:20-27 – “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”

My job, now, is in home health. That means that I get to go out into the community and meet all kinds of interesting people. 

One of my patients was a citrus farmer. He was telling me about a disease that sometimes hits orange groves. It starts at the roots. By the time you take note of the disease, the tree is a goner. The first indication of a problem is that the top of the tree begins to die. And that happens 2 years after the tree is infected! Two years!

Problems are everywhere and in everyone’s life. It is how we identify and address the problems that is important. You can’t let something sit and fester for a while before you tend to it. No, when a problem arises, you have to hit it head on. Putting it off will only cause things to get worse and worse. 

Some people frown at disciplining a small child. “They are little. They don’t know any better.” Exactly. That’s why we need to teach them when they are young!

Some people will notice something odd in a relationship and just sweep it under the rug. They don’t address the abnormality until it becomes normal and a problem. That’s when relationships fall apart – friends and marriages. 

Someone will detect a slight change in their body and brush it off because they are too busy. And before you know it, you have a full blown medical incident on your hands that could have been avoided if you had just paid attention. 

Big problems rarely begin as an explosion. Usually, there are little rumbles here and there that get overlooked or pushed aside. We are too busy to address them. 

Solomon warned his son in these verses against this very thing. He instructed him that he had to keep the Word of God with him always. He needed to keep it in the front of his thoughts always to guard his heart against problems that will surely come. 

Things are going to be happening all around us. Temptations will be at every turn. Problems will arise. Evil will try to pull us away from what we know is right. But we need to keep our eyes fixed. We can’t let root rot happen.

Satan wants to get in at the root and destroy us from the bottom up. If he can get us away from God, he can win. It starts with neglecting your Bible. And then church becomes an option. And then activities at church just happen on the wrong days. And before you know it, root rot. The top of your tree gets brown and things begin to taste bitter. 

Guard your heart, my friend.  Allow the Holy  Spirit to reside in your heart to hold you close to the One who can carry you through it all. Don’t let root rot take ahold of you. 

Know who you fight

Ephesians 6:10-12 – “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places .”

We depend so much on our sight. We want to see the beauty of God’s creation. We want to see the smiling faces of our loved ones. We want to be able to read. Our sight is vitally important to us. 

So, how are we supposed to fight someone we can’t see? We can see the ground before us and look to where the holes might be in the grass, but sometimes we miss one and fall in. We can watch the traffic out on the road, but sometimes someone does something that causes an accident that we never saw coming. 

As a follower of Christ, we do not battle against things we can see and touch. We battle against principles and ideas. And at times, it gets really dark because we find ourself in a battle with “rulers of darkness” and “spiritual wickedness”. Serious stuff. 

We like to joke that the devil is this dumb little demon with horns and a pitchfork. But in reality, we are facing a fallen angelic being who is a maniac with destruction in his heart. This isn’t some little red being snearing in the corner, rubbing his hands together and giggling mischievously. No, 1 Peter 5:8 says this – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”. A lion. There is nothing sweet and innocent about a full grown lion. I don’t believe that Peter was speaking of a cub here. 

Sometimes, we all need a reminder of who it is we are dealing with in our daily life. We need to be vigilant in remembering that this devil is no cute and mischievous little demon. He is a full grown, mean and nasty, ready to tear you apart kind of being. You need to be prepared. 

The great thing about all this is God doesn’t leave us without protection. We have the armor of God. Read Ephesians 6:13-18. It’s all right there in black and white. It is ready for you to check out and apply. 

Revisiting Job and the walk

We, as a country, have challenges each and every day. Some days display more challenges than others.

We are going through some tough times right now. When I saw this post, it spoke to me and reminded me of these truths. So please, take a moment and soak it in. Let the truth of God’s word wash over your heart and soul. Enjoy the revisit.

God chooses what we go through, but we choose how we go through it.

I read this in a book I was finishing yesterday. It was a Christian fiction book – “The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club” by Wanda Brunstetter.

This quote really struck me. It made me think about the truth of it.

I want to look at Job today in light of this quote.

Job 1:12 – “The LORD said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.’ Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.” We know what happened next – everything he had, family and farm, was destroyed. But notice Job’s reaction. Job 1:20-22 – “At this, Job got up and tore his robes and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.’ In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” But Satan felt that if he could just get ahold of Job and physically afflict him, surely he would curse God. So God said, “The LORD said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.'” Job 2:6 So Satan makes Job very ill. Job’s wife, thinking surely Job had sinned in some way, encouraged him to curse God and die. What a helpmate! Not! Job 2:10 – “He replied, ‘You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good things from God, and not trouble?’ In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.”
God allowed Job to go through this trial. But Job chose how he went through it. He could have been angry, frustrated and upset with God. He could have questioned God and cursed Him. But he choose to walk through this trial with Him. He had to deal with “friends” who could so nothing but tear him down. Later on, he did get a chance to hash it out with God. But God reminded him who He is and Job submitted.

The point in all of this is to remind you (and me) that from time to time we need trials in our life to make us stronger, to cut away the dead and unproductive parts and make our roots stronger. These are not easy times, but we come out stronger if we stay close to Him. So choose to walk through the trials of today with Him. The walk will be sweeter and the outcome closer when we stay with the Guide.

God chooses what we go through, but we choose how we go through it.

Be a pineapple 

Ephesians 6:13 – “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”


I found this on the biggest time waster in the world, Pinterest. Love that but man, does it waste time!

However, I thought this was great! I have never really considered the personal applications of a pineapple. 

Pineapple is one of my most favorite fruits. I have very fond memories of pineapples. I also LOVE the taste of them. Their sweetness is unparalleled. But they are a booger to get open, sometimes. Their “skin” is so very tough and really attaches itself to the sweetness found inside. 

So, do you know how to pick the very best pineapple? You tug on a leaf of the crown. If it comes out easily, the pineapple is ripe and ready. If not, leave it for another day. 

Did you know that you can grow your own pineapple from the one you buy at the store? Yep! When you remove the crown, plant it. It will take several years, but eventually you will have your very own pineapple. Knowing that they take so long to grow really makes you appreciate them all the more. 

So, what does this have to do with my spiritual life, you might ask. First of all, a good pineapple will always stand tall. God doesn’t ask us to initiate a fight. He asks us to be prepared and stand tall – be ready to defend. Pineapples have a tough outer skin. We need to be tough as well – not allowing everything that is said or done to us affect who we are or what we do. Secondly, we need to wear our crown. We are children of the King if we have received Jesus Christ as our Savior. A pineapple is known by its crown. We should be known by our crown as well. And lastly, we need to be sweet. Being sweet can take many forms –  love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Do you recognize those? Look up Ephesians 5:22,23 – the fruit of the Spirit. 

There are so many lessons to be learned from pineapples. This only touches the crown, so to speak. Pineapples also are a sign of hospitality (1 Peter 4:9). And we already touched on this one, but one could dive deeper into the armor of a pineapple. They have a core that extends from the base (foundation) that makes the fruit. I could go on and on, but you see what I mean? I never really put much thought into it but wow! God can truly use anything to express Biblical truths!

So, even if you don’t like pineapples, be a pineapple. Take a few moments this week and study the pineapple. Learn its traits. Apply the principles you can learn from this majestic fruit. Every thing around us is here for a reason, multiple reasons usually. Don’t let the devil fool you into thinking it’s just a yummy fruit. The pineapple is truly a gift from God.  

That little paper

Deuteronomy 18:9-13 – “When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.”

image

This was put on my windshield this weekend while we were shopping. It has been bothering me every since.

However, it did make me stop and think for a moment. Are the things that the children of Israel were taught still important today? Do they still apply or are they old lessons that are out of date? I believe they are absolutely relevant and applicable to today.

There is a reason that God warned His chosen people to stay away from these kind of people. 1. By listening to them, one is showing that they don’t trust God to hold their future. They think that if they could find out what is going to happen, that they would be better prepared to handle the situation and thus make a different outcome. That is way too much stress for me! I would rather let my all-knowing, all-caring, forever-trusting Savior hold onto things. He can deal with things much better than me! 2. It gives the appearance of evil. These people that are looking at cards and tea leaves and any other unusual thing for information are doing so not of their own power. They are seeking out things that are only found in the dark. I choose Light. I choose to let Light guide me instead of darkness. 3. They tell one only what one wants to hear. They don’t have my greater good in mind. Their words have no power to guide, only to deceive.

But I think the thing that disturbed me the most about this little paper was the fact that this person claims to be “Godly gifted”. God does not give gifts to people that inhibit His will or fail to give Him honor and glory. I will just go ahead and say it – Based on the Word of God, this person is wrong.

Ok, now that my little rant is over, how does this apply to today? Well, we have everything we need to solve any problem we have or any challenge we face right at our fingertips – the Bible. We don’t need a psychic or any such person to show us the way or guide us through our problems. You see, we have the One who holds tomorrow holding our hand today. Trust Him and Him alone to show you the way.