Category: Blessings

Gifts of the Spirit

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Post 4 am Wake Up Call

Forgive the fog in my brain, as I am unaccostomed to waking at 4 am, and have a terrific headache. This is really just a random type test/narrative of a typewriter which came to my doorstep  yesterday, with no acquisition involvement whatsoever from yours truly. It simply appeared. 

The Right Reverend Theodore Munk tells me, “You have achieved the 23rd Degree of Typospheric mastery when typewriters come looking for you. Soon comes the day when they simply appear in your house and you can’t figure out where they came from. :D” and I’m okay with that, Reverend! So without further ado, I give you the Electra 120, as I go in pursuit of pain medication and caffeine. 

God & Band-Aid’s

tireSometimes good things happen that you would never think possible. Take Band-Aid’s for example; They’re good for just about any minor wound care, and can be found in pretty much every household and definitely every doctor’s office and hospital you will ever set foot in. Heck, they even keep them in all the school offices and classrooms I’ve ever worked in. But would you ever – even for a minute – think they might handle a job as touchy and tough as fixing a flat tire? Me either! Well… until today…

My husband Rob and I went to see our grown boys, and to help with a run to the dump with some old junk. We have a 1972 Ford F-250 that was built to last, and though it’s a big-time gas guzzler, it sure comes in handy now and again! After a day of dad and son loading and unloading, and visiting over a late lunch, it was time to go home. Now home is a few miles away, across three counties, past three bridges, and over three highways. There’s a lot of delta farmland in between here and there, and out I past a certain point, not a lot at places to pull over and stop or get help in times of need.

Well as we were on the freeway, Rob felt the truck doing a little shimmy-shake, and noticed it was pulling to the left real hard. Not good! We hadn’t quite made it to the first bridge, which goes up pretty high over a large body of water, so we were in trouble. Rob pulled off the first exit he came to, just before the toll bridge, and we found our way into the gas station parking lot. Sure enough, the front driver side tire was almost completely flat, and to top it off, it was raining.

Now remember, this awesome and tough truck of ours is a big one, and we’ve got a few days till payday, so having it towed home is really not an option at this point. Neither is leaving it in a not-so-great area unsupervised for three days. So, I called one of the boys, told him what happened, asked if he’d come and help us out, which of course he did agree to do, but the round-trip would be at least two hours, and a bunch at gas plus bridge toll, and we didn’t want him to have to do that unless absolutely necessary.

So… the old man and I thought for a minute, and he asked if we had any tape. Turned out the valve stem had broken and air was leaking out like crazy, but if he held it to the side, and kept it there, it was almost completely sealed off and didn’t leak much. After rifling through the cab of the truck, the best I could come up with was a box of Band-Aid’s. I held it up, laughed, and jokingly said, “You could put a band-aid on its owie!” Rob laughed too, and went back to the task of trying to figure out what to do.

Out of nowhere, as l was putting the box back in the compartment, I felt strongly that we should give them a try. I shook my head thinking it was silly, but “Give it a try!” ran through my head again. So… I got out, went around with the box in hand and started peeling a few of them open, and told Rob, “Here – give these a try. Couldn’t hurt, right?” He shrugged and said, “Why not!” We figured the kid was on the way, but maybe we could get over the bridge and a few miles closer to home to make things easier on all of us. Band-Aid on, tire filled with air and holding for now, Rob hopped in and did his best to get it as far as he could as fast as he could. I called the kid, and gave the update with a, “Go ahead and come out, and you’ll probably find us on the side of the road somewhere waiting for you, but at least we’ll be closer to home.” And then I prayed for the grace of God and a small miracle.

Well the tire was still leaking, but not as fast, and we made it to the next town, where we repeated the air/Band-Aid/praying for grace procedure, and within about twenty minutes of the first call to our son, I was able to report that by the grace of God and a Band-Aid, we’d made it home on what had been a flat tire on a 5,000 lb. truck, in the rain. What’s more… after we got home, we found out the back tire on the same side was also going flat, but held till after we’d made it home. That combination could have easily resulted in an accident, and where we live an accident can mean going down an embankment into someone’s farm, or into the river. Neither of those turns out very well for most of the people it happens to. God is so good it amazes me! There’s just nothing He can’t do, Praise the Lord!

**Please do NOT take this story to mean that a band aid will work to fix your tire! I would not want anyone to get hurt! In any other situation, I would not have attempted this, and neither should you!!**

Blessings,

C.A. Bennett – Writer

 

 

Processing… Processing…

brain-signals1Y’all have probably seen the movies where some computer wiz sits in front of a keyboard and monitor, as he or she begins typing codes, passwords and such, into the system, right? The camera zooms in on the empty black DOS screen, the wiz starts typing in random letters or numbers which usually show up as ***** onscreen, and in no time, there will inevitably come a message which says, “Processing… processing…” and the next thing you know, everything explodes into a whirlwind of computing awesomeness, and the world is once again, safe. Well I was thinking about that this morning as I was standing in the kitchen, whipping up a batch of pumpkin bread batter.

At this point, you may well ask yourself what this has to do with the price of tea in China, and my answer to you would be – absolutely nothing. However – it has everything to do with the way my brain processes things. See – whenever I have to write an essay for a class I’m taking or when I have a nasty case of writer’s block, my automatic response is to head to the kitchen and bake something. Usually a few loaves of good yeast bread, because its a very physical thing, with all the kneading and stirring and so on, and that helps me kind of connect the little dots of information and ideas swimming around in my head into an intelligent and usually insightful matrix that I can then put on paper, or a computer screen, whichever the case may be, and I’m good to go. So much so, that it’s not even a conscious decision anymore, it’s just what I do. I think today is the first time I’ve actually really analyzed the process of processing.

Anyway – My youngest son, who I’ve written about previously in My Son Who Has Autism, never did get the hang of riding a bike when he was little because of motor skill issues, but has since overcome many hurdles, and in the past few days, expressed the desire to get a bike and learn to ride it. I think that’s really cool, and we will be taking steps to make that happen. In much the same way as my baking/writing relationship, my son has things he does in order to get things straight in his head. One of those things, is to research his interests on YouTube. So much so, in fact, that when he decides he wants to learn something, he literally learns everything about that thing, and then some things he will probably never need to know.

I told you all that to tell you this; when you’re going about your daily activities, and find yourself stuck or frustrated because something isn’t working out, it’s always a good idea to stop – take a step back – research – make something – or call someone just to talk. More often than not, when you go back to it, you’ll be a lot more focused, informed, and maybe you’ll even have thought of something you couldn’t even grasp before. Why? because our brains are essentially squishy little computers that occasionally need some alternate input to process what we want it to. It’s good exercise to get your little synapses fired up and running better, and you’ll be glad you did.

It’s a lot like that with faith too. You don’t really make your faith stronger if you don’t take it out and exercise it regularly. In other words, are you just kinda hanging out, letting life get the best of you and taking your beatings, or are you stopping, taking a step back and exercising your faith by praying and spending time in the word?

You know, this morning, we were getting ready for church like every Sunday – by the way, we very much look forward to church – and got all showered, dressed, fed, and – bibles in hands, we headed for the car. Except this time, something happened that we didn’t expect. The gas tank was on flat empty, the little blinky fuel light was on, and we were sitting there looking from one to another, trying to figure out how we’d missed making sure there was enough gas in the car. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t anything we could do about it, because I’m flat broke till till Tuesday, when I get paid. We were all very disappointed, but decided God would understand, and went back to the house, somewhat long in the face.

I told our son it was okay, we could do some bible study here at home, and we’d just go next weekend as usual. My husband, on the other hand, was worried. He has classes tomorrow and needs that car. So what did he do? He took a step back, assessed the situation and decided there wasn’t enough in our gas-monster Ford F250 to make it the 50 miles round trip it would take to get him there and back, but if he could get the gas from there to my econo-box Buick – TA DA!!!! Light bulbs, and synapses were firing left and right, and BINGO! We have a winner!

So what happened? We exercised our faith by praying, and letting God handle our problem, and we exercised our brains by stepping back long enough to see what other options would work. Of course by the time it took to do all this, we would be way too late for church, but that’s alright, God is cool like that. He let us know that He is present in our lives right here at home, and always helps us when we need Him, which of course, is always.

Well – time to go check the Pumpkin Bread! Happy Processing!

C.A. Bennett – Writer

 

To Receive, Or Not to Receive – That Is The Question!

john-15-7

WOW! It has been a busy couple of weeks around the Bennett household! I have been wanting to post, and have had so many things on my mind that really needed to get out, but honestly, y’all don’t even know how jam-packed my brain has been, to the point where sleep is an issue, as is the idea of organized blog posts. What’s happening? In addition to one son and myself doing the whole college thing, my husband made the big decision to go back to school this semester, in an effort to get his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Technology! So exciting! I’m doing my best to help him out with all the enrollment paperwork, schedules, books, etc, and he’s really digging in and working hard already. That’s something I wish I’d had when I started college – Someone to give me a helping hand and point me in the right direction. Alas, I had to wing it and deal with the grumpy, overworked counselors at the college. Not so fun, and incredibly confusing. I personally think the enrollment process in college is designed to thin the herd. Only the strong survive the first two weeks – the rest are left to perish. There’s something wrong with that if you ask me!

But I digress! I wanted to talk to you today about getting what we want. My whole life, I’ve heard the bible verse Matthew 7:7, which states, “Ask and you shall receive” but most of my life, I’ve wondered why it is that I’ve asked, and yet haven’t always gotten what I’ve asked for. Why? Many people have asked the same questions; “What am I doing wrong? Why is God breaking His promises?” I’ve asked those questions, and I’ll bet you have too. So let me tell you what the Lord showed me. This is SO important, so PAY ATTENTION okay? John 15:7 says, “IF you abide in me, and (IF) my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you.”

So what happened here? “IF” happened, and trust me – IF is HUGE! Why? Because it means there are conditions to getting what we ask for. It’s a trust thing, and we have to hold up our end of the deal. Just like when we were kids – if we wanted our earthly parents to buy us something, we usually had to meet some criteria, such as chores, or homework, or good behavior, etc. In the same way, we need to keep our Heavenly Father’s word in our hearts, and live like we are actually in His family, and not just house guests who get spoiled and served without responsibility. Don’t get me wrong, house guests are great, but you wouldn’t give them a list of chores, now would you? No. You would show them hospitality and spoil them while they stay with you, because it’s a short time, and we are (usually) grateful for the short amount of time we are able to spend with them, yes? Okay. Now if they end up moving in, you would expect them to contribute in some way, and probably on a regular basis, would you not? After all – having people laying about your house, eating all your food and waiting on them hand and foot isn’t exactly a desirable long-term situation for the person doing all the work. Hence the term “house guest” – because they leave! Can I get an “Amen”?!

Back to the rules; as my pastor put it – rules exist for our protection and for our well-being. When you were a kid growing up, you would have eaten all the sugary food you could stand until you became ill, and would never get the proper nutrition your body needed to thrive. However, you probably had parents who made rules about the times you could have treats, what kind and how much. I have no doubt that it usually came after you had some type of nourishing meal. If that was not the case, then you may have bad eating habits now, and are certainly paying the price with your health. Personally, I was raised eating very unhealthy foods to excess, and as a result, I have a great deal of trouble losing weight and keeping it off. Why? Lack of rules. My mother also has a weight problem, as does my brother. Had I known as a young mom what I know now, I would have never allowed sugar in my home, much less in my children’s mouths. Fortunately, they are smarter than I was, and healthier as well.

Anyway – the point is – keep Gods word. Abide in his word, which as we mentioned in a previous post – means to live in His word, and keep it in your heart at all times. Be obedient. The Lord isn’t unreasonable, He just wants you to be safe happy, healthy, and that gives Him the ability to bless you. It’s good for you, I swear! Then – if you are keeping His word and his rules too – you will naturally ask for those things which are in line with His word/rules/will for your life and you will be blessed for it! I think sometimes people see this verse and think they should be able to ask for lottery winnings, or another man’s wife/another woman’s husband and they will get it. That is not the case. You can indeed ask anything and you will receive it – as long as you are actually asking for that which is in keeping with God and His word. If you’re not sure, search the bible! What does it say? Are your desires in line with Gods word? If not, chances are you won’t get that thing, or person, or if my some chance you do – you probably won’t be happy with it, so be careful.

I can tell you that since changing my way of thinking and making the effort – and honestly it’s not THAT hard to follow Gods word and keep His rules – my life has become much more blessed and less stressful – college-going husband and all. Is life going to be one big bowl of cherries? No. Don’t be silly. However – you’ll find that even when negative situations come up that seem like they are unmanageable, you will be able to ask God for His help, and he will always be there for you, in some pretty amazing ways. So – abide, abide, ABIDE in God’s word. Keep it in your heart, and let your mouth speak positive bible-based truths like; “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!” and you will find that you really can, because He really does!

God bless, and have a wonderful weekend!

C.A. Bennett – Writer