Those times when we just didn’t know better…..

I bought some new things for spring. I know…kind of uncharacteristic of me…but well… I did.

I wore a couple of the tops back when it seemed like we were actually going to have spring and possibly summer. Back before I got all my sweaters out again…because who knew we would be turning the furnace on at the end of May???

After wearing and washing the tops several times, I noticed a kind of odd, tab like thing attached to the washing instructions on a side seam. It was a slender bar; sewn into a kind of pouch with the words…”Remove before wearing or washing”.

Whoops.

I immediately pulled it off and examined it.

And pondered it.

Because I over think things like this.

I tried to imagine; what it’s purpose was that would no longer be served once I brought it home, and why was it important to remove before washing and wearing, and was there some sort of repercussion or consequence that would bring great regret later for not having removed this bar-thingy??

Because my mind always jumps to worse case, dire and deadly scenarios, I feared it held some kind of pesticide to protect the garment from whatever bugs might be prone to inhabit it as it had been transported across seas and lands and warehouses.

Naturally, I began to work out in my mind that perhaps it was something harmful to humans that would be linked to cancer or who knows what.

Even as I began feeling symptoms, and woefully regretted not having the foresight to check the garment more thoroughly, common sense kicked in and I realized that whatever consequences there might be and even though it was done in ignorance; I will just have to deal with them because there is not a darn thing I can do about it now.

I had to acknowledge that I had just simply been ignorant.

Now that I knew, I could remove the tags. I could pray that there is no harmful result. I could thank God that they weren’t security ink tags that exploded in the wash. And you can be sure that I have checked every other item of clothing purchased since for little unwanted tags with warnings….

Life is full of consequences, and lessons, gleaned from ignorance.

We don’t know everything and we will make ignorant mistakes. We will sin in ignorance. We will be affected and afflicted by ignorance around us.

There will be consequences for the ignorance. Sometimes devastating and sometimes minor.

All we can do is admit our ignorance when confronted with it, allow it to change us and then ask God for His help, forgiveness, strength, healing…whatever is needed to move on, with and in spite of the consequences.

And we can learn, so that we do not continue to repeat the same mistakes or copy those of others.

And always…always…so thankful for G R A C E…..

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God bless you as you walk in the wisdom and knowledge gained as we …..

journey onward <3

 

Because He says so

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Working with the public is always interesting. Just quirky little things that we all do, but when you are on the other side of the counter…the one with the cash register…it’s kind of funny…

Like it is not uncommon for a shopper to apologize for making a purchase. It would seem they don’t want to inconvenience us by buying products that we are …uhm….selling…

Or they will express concern if they buy more than one of something, as if they are taking advantage of us in our vulnerable position of being retailers of said merchandise.

Sometimes, as they are apologizing profusely for “over-buying”; I will say that we try to discourage this kind of behavior or that we sort of frown upon people spending money here…and that makes them laugh, which is my goal; because, of course, that is the purpose of a store.

People know this, but because they are polite and considerate, they forget momentarily that they are not taking wrongfully or greedily.

I have noticed we also assume a similar attitude sometimes as we approach God in prayer.

People have said to me things like:

* I don’t want to bother God with this little thing when there are so many greater needs in the world*

*I feel bad that I am always asking for prayer*

*I feel so helpless (for so and so), I guess all I can do is pray*

*God has just blessed us so much, I don’t want to ask for any more*

Believe me, I have said and thought all of them…so no condemnation here!

But while these kinds of statements may appear humble and self-effacing…they are actually evidence of unbelief in what God says about Himself, about His Love and about who we are IN HIM.

God has invited us to come to Him as His CHILDREN. He has given us promise after promise that He will HEAR our cries and He will ANSWER …. not according to OUR plan, but His…if we will only come to Him in EVERYTHING.

And then He backs it up with reminders like….

He never grows weary
He never sleeps
He owns it ALL so giving to you will not take away from someone else
He is looking for people who will SEEK Him
He works powerfully through the prayers of His people
He has given us full access to Himself through His Son

On and on and on….

So go ahead and ask for things like:
Wisdom in daily life
Guidance for direction and decisions
Healing for body, mind, emotions and spirit
Provision for your own needs and to be able to give generously to others
Protection for yourself, those you love, your home, property, reputation, hearts and minds
Understanding of His instruction and situations you deal with
Knowledge of God and His Word, applied to your responsibilities at work, home, church, and in the world
Skills that are needed to do your work and to bring hope and beauty to those you minister to

Ask for salvation for the lost and ask for more, more, more and even more of His Spirit at work in you and in others!

Ask for anything His heart leads you to ask for…

There is plenty enough for all of us who ask; in fact….abundantly more than you and I could even think to ask or imagine <3

Because these are words I use, right?

IMG_1703In honor of Wednesday (and the fact that I spent most of the entire day until the sun was setting on the 2015 flower planting project…which may be a post once I recover from the trauma)…I am sharing some of my favorite autocorrects to date…

What I meant to say….                                        What autocorrect turned it into…..

I’m so proud of you                                             I’m so oil round

I’ll check calendar                                               I’ll check ale far

I forgot                                                                      Unoriginal ….. not even close, people

Ditto                                                                           diuretic

Christmas decorations                                     choriosters  (is this even a word?)

Street                                                                        Wyeth (as in Main Wyeth?)

I greatly appreciate it                                         I Gretzky….because I type that name…so often

believers                                                                 bruit fed…..what?????

New Life Pregnancy Center                            new iPad nancy … who???

and one that kind of actually made sense…….

Emmett                                                                   Energy

I hope this makes you smile and brightens the mid-week a bit for you.

Laughter is good and makes us balky (which apparently means “happy” in autocorrect-world.

 

That all might know

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The sermon we heard on Sunday has been echoing in my mind. So many phrases that jumped out as the pastor addressed our nephew’s confirmation class (see yesterday’s post) along with all of us within the hearing of his voice.

He started out telling them that with all they had learned over the course of 8 months the biggest question was…

Did they love Jesus more that morning than they did in September of 2014?

We have to ask ourselves that, you know…

Do you and I love Him more today than we did a year ago? A month ago? Yesterday?

If we don’t..then we probably have lost focus.

We have stopped learning about Him and spending time with Him. Because in truth, the more we know Him….really know Him…the more we love Him <3

Pastor Mark also asked us if we were letting what we are learning about Him change us from the inside out….

How do we do this?

By applying the Word….A P P L Y I N G the words we read in the Bible, the only Word we have that teaches us TRUTH because it is inspired by the Holy Spirit Himself…We are truly blessed with many wonderful writings and commentaries and devotionals that expand God’s Word, but we must MUST read His Word ourselves before we read anything else.

We know and understand application…we will apply sunscreen this summer…it does not protect us in the can or bottle. We must open it, pour it out and APPLY it to our body in order for it to work.

We have apps on our phones and computers and iPads and Pods and all manner of equipment…but we have to download them….install them.

And then we have to OPEN them to use them…and sometimes we have to learn HOW to use them….

In order to apply God’s Word, we have to start by READING it …. and then using what He says to examine our own thinking and actions and attitudes. We must pray and ask the same Holy Spirit that inspired the writers of Scripture to TEACH us how to apply His Word to our daily lives.

Wherever my living out of daily life is NOT lining up with something in Scripture, then I apply the Word by adjusting ME …. not the other way around. I can ask God to help me.

We ask Him for all kinds of guidance regarding decisions for jobs, family, spending, health…we must also ask Him for help in understanding His Word, as well as allowing it to CHANGE us!

Pastor Mark said our challenge is to constantly and consistently bring ourselves in line with what we know.

And then he pointed out that we also have the responsibility to pass on to the next generation what we have learned and how it has transformed us….

With the added understanding that, “Every generation has to reaffirm for itself the truth of Christianity.” Pastor Mark Evinger

And that’s the thing of it….

As I read God’s Word and seek to gain knowledge and understanding…

As I apply His Word to my life and allow Him to change and transform me…

As He shows Himself to me and I fall more and more in love with Him, and….

As a result, develop such a passion for the generations coming behind me to know Him, love Him, and be transformed by Him…

I must learn to trust Him more as the Author and Perfecter of ALL faith…I must trust Him to do that work in each of them, just as He has done in me.

In every generation, He has raised up authentic and genuine disciples.

He will do so with this next generation; as WE, who are older, MODEL transparent and transformed lives of those who FOLLOW Jesus Christ and His teachings.

As we look around at the rip tide of culture, let us turn our eyes to Him who has Authority over all things.

Let us turn our faces to Him with hands raised that He might teach us, each one of us, to love Him more…to lift up His Name….even as He Himself has been lifted up…that ALL the world will be drawn to Him <3

 

 

Tis the season….

Well, it’s May and that means …. to quote SpongeBob Squarepants…

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“The party switch is in the ON position….” only he says it like OOOOHHHHHHNNNNNNNN….not that I have watched it…many….many times ….

So…..

We headed to Minnesota this weekend to celebrate…

IMG_4696First; the beautiful and sweet graduation ceremony of 30 homeschooled students, including our nephew, Grant.

I can’t express what it was like to see these parents stay within the two minute time limit to attempt capturing what this moment meant to them.

Very tender.

Especially…

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Each had the well-deserved honor of handing their grad his or her diploma….

So glad I stuck an extra pack of tissues in my purse <3

Then on to the party…

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We had a great time celebrating <3

On the drive back to the hotel, we stopped at the mall and yes….

we messed with Sasquatch…

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Then it was time to hit the hay with a sleepover in Lola/Papi’s room for Spiderman…

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Up and at ’em early…we headed to another celebration…IMG_1970

Our other nephew Sam was confirmed after a year of teaching and study with his pastor.

Again, we were so blessed as Sam shared what the preparation time had meant to him as he spoke from his heart, along with the other members of his class.

And I can’t leave out this lovely girl…

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our niece, Olivia.

It was….as Graham put it….

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The best day ever!!!!!……. all over again <3

Thanks for stopping by! Have been loving seeing all the grad pics and baby dedications…the start of wedding season…all of these milestones tug at our hearts and speak of the richness we have in sharing life together with our fellow travelers.

May God bless you today with an awareness of His love expressed through the love of your family and friends <3