Sand

My finite human mind is like a single grain of sand compared to all of the sand in the beaches and deserts of the world.  I’m glad that God is still interested in me.

(Picture is the beach in Homer, AK)

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To my single friends (married friends – please read this too)

I have concern for my single friends.  Singleness can be challenging.  We can be lonely.  We can have God given desires for marriage and a family.  However, to act on those desires without allowing God to guide our hearts is a disaster in the making.

First, our hearts are not a good guide.   Jeremiah 17:9 (AMP) tells us,  “The heart is deceitful above all things and it is extremely sick; Who can understand it fully and know its secret motives?”.  We are all born with a sin nature.  Without God, we cannot make good choices.  We need to pray that God would lead us.

Second, the world keeps telling us that we can do whatever we want.  The problem is that the world does not care about the consequences.  A friend of mine tells her children that there are natural consequences to our wrong choices.  So true.  Those consequences can seem minor at first, but defying God is never in our best interest.  Galatians 6:7 (AMP) says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked [He will not allow Himself to be ridiculed, nor treated with contempt nor allow His precepts to be scornfully set aside]; for whatever a man sows, this and this only is what he will reap.”  Whenever we set aside what God tells us, that is no better than mocking God.

The best part – God’s way is best and brings great joy.  Waiting is hard. Very hard.  Especially when we see others around us enjoying what we want.  However, waiting for God’s timing – His person for us – is always (yes, I said always), the best choice.  I have heard of married people regretting jumping into marriage without Christ as their guide.  I have not heard of singles who regretting waiting.  I have heard stories of married people who did wait through the difficulties of their singleness – and rejoiced through married life because of it.   Psalm 25:3 (AMP) “Indeed, none of those who [expectantly] wait for You will be ashamed; Those who turn away from what is right and deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed (humiliated, embarrassed).”  Psalm 27:14 (AMP) “Wait for and confidently expect the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for and confidently expect the Lord.”

Waiting is worth the effort.  You are worth waiting for.  God’s way brings the most joy.  Please wait for God’s best for you.

 

Married friends – please be aware of the singles.  They can feel set aside.  I know – sometimes it is our fault.  But if you can help someone from the slippery slope of bad relationship choices – you will also know great joy.

Rug Burns

I don’t know where the term “rug burns” actually originated, but I like to think my friend and I came up with it.  🙂  As we walked some difficult paths together, God frequently brought us to our knees.  Not literally mind you (I don’t tend to last long kneeling – I’m 41 after all).  However, rug burns are the best way of seeking the Lord with anything difficult.

Pleading in prayer.

Philippians 4:6-7  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Good Gifts

In light of my enjoyment of telling stories and my favorite Sherlock Holmes saying (“To the great mind, nothing is little.”), I want to tell a couple of stories of gifts that I was given.  According to James 1:17, God gives all good gifts.  Sometimes God uses His people to deliver those gifts.

One cold January Sunday evening I spent time at a friend’s house.  Her husband had to stay late after church at church for a deacons meeting, so we sat and talked about the life issues that we were facing.  It was late when her husband came home.  It was time for me to head home myself so I got up to get my keys.  My friend volunteered her husband to go start my car for me (it was a typical cold Minnesota evening).  I was all for it!  This is where the gift comes in – and when I tell this story in person I get excited and my face lights up.  My friend’s husband went outside and not only started my car, but also scraped the windshield and pulled the car in the driveway.  Did I mention that it was a cold Minnesota January night? It was very cold. I don’t like the cold.  So it meant a lot to me that he went the extra steps.  I don’t know if he remembers this at all – he doesn’t need to.  I remember this gift and smile.

Story #2.  We get a lot of snow in Minnesnowta.  Uh, I mean Minnesota.  One Wednesday evening after work I couldn’t pull in my driveway since the plows had gone by.  The snow pack was too high.  So I left my car in the street and went inside.  I called a friend to let her know that I might be late for children’s ministry that evening.  I had no idea how long it would take to clear the chunks at the end of the driveway, but I went outside to work as quickly as I could.  About half way into the job I started getting tired, but I knew I had to keep working.  Then out of the corner of my eye I see a red pickup truck pulling up.  I thought, “Please let this be the church member who lives nearby.”  Sure enough.  On his way home from basketball practice this coach saw me struggling.  He got home and told his wife that he had to go help me, so he loaded his snowblower in the truck and came over.  I was so relieved.  He finished the job and even “widened” the driveway by clearing more snow than I would have.

The first story took place over 10 years ago, but I still remember it well.  The other story was probably only a couple of years later.  Oh friends, if you have the chance to do something – anything for a friend, do it.  It doesn’t always take something big, in fact, some of my favorite stories are “little things”.  But as Sherlock Holmes said, those little things aren’t really little.  They mean so much.  You could make someone’s day – or even decade.

The Best Plumber Ever

I discovered that I love to tell stories.  Most of us do.  Stories of God’s provision are some of my favorite.

Several years ago I had a leak in the pipes under my kitchen sink.  The leak was after the pipe went into the wall (headed to the basement).  I put off the repair for a long time – afraid it would be very expensive.  But you can only stop using the kitchen sink for so long.

Finally I called a plumber.  The person I wanted had run his own business, but wasn’t at this time.  So I called the plumbing company he was working for and set up an appointment.  I hadn’t asked for him, but knew it was a good company so anyone I got would be fine.

The morning of the appointment the plumber showed up and started asking questions.  He went to the truck to get his tools.  When he came back in he asked if I was a Christian – he had noticed the verse painted on my living room wall and some verses and inspirational sayings on my refrigerator.  I said that I was.  He asked if he could pray about the situation.  Uh, yes!!  Not knowing how far down the leak was he knew it could be costly.  I asked what his name was – sure enough, God had sent the plumber I had hoped for (due to a recommendation from a mutual, trusted friend).

This plumber started praying.  I have not often heard a prayer that exalted the Lord more.  He praised God for his ability to work, the fact that God saved him, our mutual friend and the trust God allowed through that friendship.  It was filled with statements about God.  He also prayed for God to guide him as he worked on the repair.  Best. Plumber. Ever.

I’m not typically a big fan of having contractors in my home, but I left for work so lighthearted that day.  I didn’t know how long it would take or how expensive it would be, but I had such a tangible reminder that God was in control.

I’m happy to report the fun of the story doesn’t end there.  I didn’t expect to hear from him for at least 2 hours.  He was going to do what he could and finish another day if it was too long of a job.  An hour after I got to work I received a phone call from the plumber.  He was done.  The repair was just after the pipe went into the wall so it didn’t take much to finish.  The repair was less than $200.  A very pleasant surprise.

God doesn’t always give us the low cost repair or simple fix to a problem.  But the reminder of His hand being ever present makes other challenges easier to face.  Not easy, mind you – but easier.  God is so good.