Wednesday, March 29, 2017

When It's OK to Unplug...

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1

When I tell people that I was up at 5:00 AM cleaning the house or organizing my files they think I'm nuts, but really it is just the habit I developed when my husband and I got up to  prepare for our day at work. There's only one thing wrong with being an early riser with an energy surge though, you get so caught up in doing some things, you manage to be late for others...bad habit that I am working on. Don't judge!


So as usual, I was up around 5:00 AM with tons of energy, it was then that I decided that I was tired of all the cords and wires under my desk.  My son who is a tech wizard, had already told me in a phone conversation that there were certain things that I could remove and did not need any longer, but since I am NOT a tech wizard, I just left all the excess wires and cords connected to my old computer.


Now don't laugh at me, but even though everything functioned wireless, I still thought that "just in case" I had to still be hooked into my old computer...I dunno so don't ask!  Hence all the extra cords and wires, which by the way were using up good storage space on top of and underneath my desk! Okay, I'll just say it, I was AFRAID that if I pulled the wrong cord, that I would forever be thrown into the internet-less abyss, never to be connected to social media and the world again...ummm yeah...


So back to the 5 o'clock surge of energy (without caffeine mind you) ...I decided that's it! The wires have to go. So with flashlight in hand I'm crawling under my desk to see which wires are connected to what and to start eliminating the ones I did not need.  I gotta tell ya, each time I disconnected a cord or wire, I did wince, yep...eyes closed tight, teeth gritted. You cannot imagine my relief when I was able to eliminate several without being disconnected from my source for the internet!


The excess cords and old computer put away, desk cleaned off and organized, I felt so accomplished and actually FREE !  With all the excess stuff removed I had storage for other new things and I didn't even lose my internet source!  HA!


Now here's what I learned...


For so long I was unable to let some things go, now I know that it really was fear. These things had been such a part of my life, relationships and places,even people, that with my type of personality, I felt that if I let go, I could not enjoy having a full life. That if I really let go, I would somehow be disconnected from my Source. You see, by not truly trusting

God's Character of Love and Faithfulness, I felt that I had to stay attached to these things in order to be on His good side. I knew that I wanted to move forward in the Lord, but also felt a sort of allegiance, maybe even dependency on the things I was holding on to...which left me going nowhere.  

Fear, something that God never gave us, can keep us from moving forward in this life that God has given us. Thinking that we are secure by holding on to things that we perceive as good, but are really leaving us "attached" to something we do not need and really is not working for us...that particular season is over.


Letting go is not an easy process, to disconnect can be painful at first, you may wince, close your eyes tight and grit your teeth...but what a relief when with God's help, you begin to see that you really no longer need that connection anymore.


Letting go does not necessarily mean that you hide yourself away and seclude yourself from people, places and things, but it means knowing in your heart who your True Source is...that you are free and free indeed.

Letting go means that you can love with the heart of God, unconditionally and not expecting anything in return. Letting go also means that you free others as you pray with a pure heart for them.

One last thing, letting go means that you make room for all the new things that God wants to do in your life..."Behold I will do a new thing...now it will spring forth, shall you not know it?..."  Isaiah 43:19






Tuesday, March 14, 2017

EXPOSED !

"SKUNK!" That was the word out of my mouth as I scrambled to the back door to get the dogs in from their late night potty break. If you have ever smelled a skunk's spray just once before, you will never have trouble identifying it again...ever. You may also know that not only is that odor smelly but is very hard to remove, from anything it comes in contact with...in my case, the dogs! Since I know that skunks only spray as a defense mechanism, I also knew how my dogs love a challenge and in this one they surely lost.

Let me back up a bit to share what lead to our little backyard visit with Mr. or Mrs. Skunk (both male and female spray by the way). Before I get sidetracked and give you a mini lesson about how, when and where the skunk sprays, let me stick with the story... ANYWAY...for the past several weeks, contractors have been restoring a house whose backyard is adjacent to mine. This house has sat abandoned for several years and though the township kept the outside tidy, it still was an unoccupied house. The trees and shrubs were trimmed, even in the backyard, but even though it gave the appearance on the outside that all was okay, there was much deterioration going on inside.



During the restoration process of this house, as the workers went inside,  a whole lot of stuff had to be ripped out and disposed of, which was evident by the large dumpsters that were filled and emptied on a regular basis. A house that had sat for that many years was bound to have some critters and insects move in to have a safe abode, hence the presence of the Pest Control truck outside the house. These pests were unwanted "guests", but heck they figured no one was chasing them out and plus it was probably very comfortable...


During the moving and shaking process of restoring this house, it rattled and upset the comfortable "home" of some critters. I know this to be true because, it is totally off season for skunks to be so openly out and about. So you guessed it!  All that "shake, rattle and rolling in restoring that house got the skunk family out and moving.with their tiny suitcases... right under the fence to my backyard and the rest is history...well sorta history, if you don't count that I'm STILL trying to get the odor out of a section of one of my dog's fur.


That experience got me to thinking about us as believers, well... let me just speak about myself. For so many years I have believed in, loved and hopefully served God. On the outside I always try to exude a good Christian example, nothing wrong with that right? But guess what folks??? God is so much more concerned and interested in what's going on inside of us.


As Pastor Abie puts it "God confronts us". God confronts us about what things we need to change because He loves us and wants us to become all that He knows we can be in Him. Hebrews 4:13 says " And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."   Okay, since God sees all and knows all, then why haven't I been annihilated or zapped from above with only a grease spot on earth remaining? Because He loves me...so He "confronts me" about the things in my life that may not be evident to others, but He knows they are not good for my growth and relationship with Him and with others as well.



The critters in that abandoned house had settled in and were comfortable, when it came time for restoration; the process  caused them to be exposed. In order for the restoration to be done correctly the critters had to go!


In my life, the Lord has been confronting me ever so gently and lovingly about some things that need to be ousted in order for me to grow in Him. Things I thought I never had, things I thought never affected me, things I had become so comfortable with I hardly knew they were but had taken root so firmly until only the Holy Spirit could shine a bright light on, expose and reveal to me. I had become comfortable with those things, but after being exposed they had to go!


Being exposed is not a bad thing, you see, I have learned through the teaching of the Word of God these past few years that "God only exposes to heal". When God reveals, it is not to tear down , but to build up. When those contractors were restoring that house in my neighborhood, all that ripping out  and throwing away of the debris and critters was  not to tear down the house but to make it better!


If God today is "confronting" you about some things that you know should not be in your life, let Him do the work, let Him in His wonderful Love restore you. You have nothing to lose, only to gain. Open your doors wide and let Him come in and expose you in love as only He can. He wants to make you better. 


Unfortunately when we see folks that are publicly exposed, I believe that is not the way God intended. God is long suffering and will constantly speak to our hearts about things we need to change, but it is up to us to make the choice on rather to obey or not.

Philippians 1:6 says  "...being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."


Father God, help us today to submit to the work that you are doing in us. Let us hear your voice and obey. We want to be better, we want to be what You have created us to be in and on this Earth. Restore us Oh God, expose us, reveal to us what needs to be removed and what needs to be built up; so that we can help to build your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven...Amen