Sometimes I feel like the Lord has to knock me down a peg or two so He can lift me up again. I’m not saying that’s exactly what’s happening, I’m just saying that’s what it feels like.
Today was one of those days. In church, the pastor said things I felt sure were being said directly to me, and they weren’t exactly pleasant. Does that mean my pastor is targeting me? No, it just means I recognize myself in what he was saying, and my spirit is aware of my own wrong-doing.
To top it off, I get home only to end up in an argument with my husband and two of my sons, all separately, and on different topics. So the common factor here, is me. Four people can’t be wrong and only one right. Well… they can… but it’s unlikely. No, I’m pretty sure I’m the wrong party here, and I need to fix that.
So what is it I’m doing that’s so bad that it seems everyone is coming against me? Okay… I will admit that I’ve been a bit on the irritable and harsh side lately. There are some things in my life that have directly affected my body, and my mood in some negative ways, and I have been taking it out on those around me.
Even here on my blog, I’ve been harsh with the general population, and that’s something I really have no right to do. I don’t have the right to do that with anyone, and I apologize. Besides, it really isn’t my nature to be mean or harsh. Quite the contrary, I assure you. I am normally a fairly nice person, but have let some bad days get to me. That’s not an excuse, and I will try to do better in future. Let me tell you a little something about why I started this blog. I’ll try to keep it short.
It really started with the same reason the Lord lead me to become an ordained minister; to help people, and lead them to the Lord. That’s really always been my desire, and the Lord put it in my heart a long time ago. Interestingly, the Lord reminded me of those things in the sermon my pastor delivered this morning, and I’d like to share that with you now.
Colossians 1:24-29 says it perfectly from the reason I felt compelled to minister, to the reason I come before you and humble myself to you today:
“Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”
And then in Colossians 4:6 is where we find my correction:
“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”
Now as my pastor so eloquently put it, salt is supposed to make something taste better. My words of late have had either not enough and been too bland, or way too much and burned going down. For that I do apologize once more. I’ll do my best to remember the Lord’s good lessons and behave more kindly.
My husband of 28 years and I, have very little in common when it comes to our interests. Movies, music, comedy, activities of all sorts, for us, are on opposite ends of the spectrum. What makes him laugh, makes me cringe. He works out regularly, and aspires to go to the CrossFit Games, I would rather sit on the couch and knit, while sipping tea or hot chocolate. We even differed greatly in terms of how best to raise the five sons we created together, but thankfully, they all survived our mutual parental ineptitude and made it to adulthood with all their parts and sensibilities intact! Good job, mom and dad. Good job resilient kids!
We do have a few things in common, however. Some very important things, in fact. Our political opinions are almost exactly the same. We also have our Christian beliefs, which is a HUGE thing when in a lifelong relationship with a person you must share a room with, believe me! We have some of the most wonderful conversations about God and faith, and nary an argument about it to be heard, with the rare exception, but brother, when we debate, we debate hard!
My husband and I also have tools in common. He has an incredible array of tools for any number of jobs. He has worked as a mechanic, and then an automotive and aircraft painter for thirty-plus years. He can fix the mechanical inner workings of almost any wheeled vehicle by getting under the hood, (or under the car, in some cases) and getting grease up to his elbows. He can make the outside of anything from a bicycle to an airplane beautiful again, by pulling and filling dents, and applying paint and a host of decoration. He is a hobbyist woodworker who has spent countless hours measuring, cutting, hammering nails, screwing screws. gluing, and creating something from seemingly nothing. The man owns a LOT of tools, some as new as purchased two days ago to fix my Buick, some – like an antique wood planer – one hundred years old and in dire need of restoration. He loves the old ones best. No matter which one he uses, the job gets done.
Me? I have tools of different types, but they are tools nevertheless. I have knitting needles and crochet hooks for creating a lovely array of warm clothing for the many children and their respective significant others. I have spinning tools that can make fine thread or bulky yarns depending on my mood. I have weaving looms that can make very fine and delicate fabric, or cloth which is utilitarian in nature. I can even create a simple tapestry if I have the inspiration and the motivation.
But my favorite tools, are my writing tools. I love to write! I write periodically throughout the day. I write in my personal journal every night before going to sleep, no matter how tired I am. I even take a notebook with me to write on the go when the mood or an idea for one of my three novels-in-progress strikes. I’ve even been known to use the note app on my phone when I’ve been in a rush and forgot the notebook. I write. It’s as much a part of who I am as the color of my eyes, skin and hair.
My writing tools vary greatly. I have six notebooks, a binder, my 2014 Acer laptop, a 1992 Smith Corona Word Processor, and a 1956 Royal Aristocrat manual typewriter. As soon as I can afford it, I’ll purchase a newer Royal Epoch manual typewriter for it’s lighter weight, included carrying case, ease of use, non-electrical versatility, and the plain, simple fact that I would like to preserve my cherished vintage models by not beating them to death – occasional use for nostalgic sake, not withstanding, of course. No matter what I write with, the story gets told.
We – the hubster and I – also have different tools for our biblical research and edification. He prefers the New American Standard version of bible and has one his mother gave him many years ago, which bears the autograph of Hall of Fame baseball player, Reggie Jackson, who was baptized at the church my husband and his family attended when he was a kid. He also has one that is an extensive study bible I gifted him with on an anniversary many years ago. I, myself own a lovely prophecy study bible given to me from my husband on a birthday a few years ago, and is the New King James Version, which I prefer, and Halley’s Bible Handbook, for greater understanding. No matter how old or which version, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever” – Hebrews 13:8.
So what’s the point? The point is, it doesn’t matter what version of what tool you use as long as it gets the job done! Find what works for you, then go forth and DO IT! “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17
May you be blessed in all things, and in all things may God have the glory, in Jesus’ name – amen 🙂
When I see the statement, “If we’re going to save our children, we have to put God back into the equation”, it occurs to me that spiritual guidance and growth begins at home.
Proverbs 22:6 says,
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
In my humble opinion, each person has the right to make their own choice when it comes to religious beliefs. If, for example, a person does not believe in God that’s their prerogative, but they have no right to force their status as a non-believer upon me or anyone else. Nor do they have the right to condemn me for being a believer.
Alternately, as a believer, I would never seek to force my beliefs upon another, however I do expect to be allowed to worship in peace and to raise my children with my belief system. The problem with this country, is that there’s this idea going around that we all must conform to one way or another, and there is no happy medium.
God is not a forceful God. He allows each of us to choose whether or not to believe in Him. Do I think the world would benefit from having more people worshiping God? Yes. That said, if anyone chooses to believe and worship then they should be left in peace to do so in their own way. “Separation of church and state” has nothing to do with it.”
Some of you already knows I’m a writer at heart, and am working on writing a book. It’s been an ongoing process for several years. Hey, don’t laugh! It took J.K. Rowling six years to write Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, which of course became Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Personally, I like the original title better, but that’s just me. Anyway…. some time ago, I’d been praying for the time to write my book, because being a wife and mom who has a full time job and is also a full time student, was just sucking all my free time up, leaving no time or energy for writing. I also knew even then that I had a call to share the goodness of God with people, I just wasn’t sure how exactly.
Well it just occurred to me, that my prayers have been answered in the most odd way I could have imagined. Because of an ankle injury, I’ve been off work for several months now, and though I’m continuing my pursuit of a college degree, I’ve also had the time I need to work on my book.
It’s been a really tough situation without my regular pay check, and being denied for Workers Compensation. There have been interviews with investigators, depositions with lawyers, a multitude of medical examinations and procedures. And the pain involved with this type of injury is absolutely debilitating. It’s been a very rough road.
There have been days when we had no food in the house at all, but suddenly family or friends would just bring us food or send money to grocery shop, or pay rent or utility bills to restore services that had been disconnected. Amazing things keep happening and things are working out. One blessing is that this fellowship has come to life and I’m so blessed to be able to share things with you what the Lord has given me to write. I’m so grateful to the Lord for His grace and mercy, in taking care of me and my family during this difficult time.
One lesson I’ve learned here is that you need to be very specific when praying for something! Now, I’m not saying God caused the injury at all. BUT…. He can USE it as an opportunity for the fulfillment of my prayers. He’s pretty cool like that!
You may remember the story of Joseph in the bible. His brothers were terribly jealous of him because of how much his father loved and favored him, so they plotted to kill him. One brother didn’t want to go through with it, and talked his brothers into leaving Joseph in a pit instead. Still not great, but at least not dead, so there was still an opportunity for something good to happen. And it did!
After what seemed like a hopeless situation to Joseph for years, he was suddenly elevated to what would otherwise be impossible levels and actually saved the lives of many, many people by doing what God told him to do! His faith in God combined with his obedience to God, caused him to go from being abandoned in a pit to being the kinds right hand man in charge of the kingdom itself, thereby using his God given skills to save a multitude of people from the devastation of severe drought and famine that lasted seven long years!
When Joseph was finally reunited with his family, he had a rough time, but forgave them, saying, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” Genesis50:20-21.
God is good, is he not?! All the time!!!
So if you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, think about the possible reasons, and allow God to use it for good. You may just be amazed at how much you will be blessed in the long run!
As always, I pray this today’s message is a blessing to you! In Jesus’ name, amen!
Rev. Crystal Bennett
This is probably one of the most precious things I’ve ever seen! God is good! 😊