Category Archives: Discipline

focuses on the spiritual disciplines

And you thought “Lent” was over….<3

Lately our dryer has been taking a lot longer to process a load and I feared we were looking at a repair or replacement as it seemed I was restarting it two and three times. 

I decided to check the vent out back on Tuesday and lo and behold…I found the problem, Houston. 

It was absolutely packed with lint. 

Thus began the tedious task of removal.

The vent has a grate with little squares that are just big enough to poke the end of a pair of scissors or my pinky finger into, however cleverly designed so as to not allow either of these items room to bend. 

So I sat on the gravel landscaping, behind a lilac bush and picked out tiny bits of lint for what seemed like eternity. 

As I got some of the impacted grossness freed, it became a little easier to pull larger pieces as I manipulated the scissors more effectively.

I discovered I could use my pinky and the tip of my pointer finger in a kind of Edward Scissorhand’s fashion. 

The more I loosened, the more the blistering hot air from the dryer baked across my scraped fingers. Because of course…I was running the dryer through the whole ordeal.

I will say that the constant rubbing of plastic edging across the end of my finger along with the blast of heat was only enhancing the aching that had begun in my back…not to mention sitting on…hello…decorative gravel. 

All in all, I was quite relieved to see that my efforts were producing results and I saw a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, when suddenly I heard a rather violent whooshing sound and bam! 

A whole new load of lint was suddenly straining against the grate. 

Yes…apparently all this freedom of air passage had loosened chunks buried deep back in the hose and there was a fresh new clog to deal with.

I may have cried a little. 

But by golly, I am a stubborn woman so I kept digging it out…piece by fluffy piece. 

Mercifully, the last load was lighter and easier and finally…we were lint free and back in the business of drying clothes in an efficient manner again.

And I thought; as I lifted my creaking body up from the gravel and limped back into the house…as I applied melaleuca to the scratched up, toasted cuticle around my fingers…as I debated scheduling an emergency trip to the chiropractor but nixed it because I just didn’t want to explain how I threw my hip and back out cleaning a dryer vent…

this is much like my life.

As I go along, suddenly I find that I am not functioning at the capacity I know I should be. 

I wonder how to fix it, and discover there is a build up of some kind…

* spiritual neglect

* negative overflow of the heart

* a roadblock of bitterness and resentment because I haven’t addressed some unforgiveness 

* coveting what others have

* ingratitude for what I do have

* gluttony over food or memories or attention-seeking or possessions

* comparison and over-thinking what other’s might be thinking

* procrastination and distraction to avoid doing the mundane parts of my responsibilities

All kinds of gunk that builds up in me. 

And so I start getting serious with seeking God and hearing what He has to say. 

I allow Him to work in me and we start pulling out some heart clutter. 

Progress is made…the Spirit is flowing more freely in my life…and whooooooshhhhhhhh!!!! A big old hunk of more of lint comes flying out of nowhere.

It looks like God and I are back to square one. I consider throwing in the towel because it appears all the work we did…was for naught. 

But just like my little cleanup project on Tuesday…it may be painful and tedious, but there is an end in sight. 

Keep plucking away by cooperating with God as He helps you cleanse your heart from the yuk-stuff of just living on planet earth. 

Our souls are saved but they are not maintenance free. We have been regenerated…reborn…but we need check ups and repairs along the way. 

Yes, God does the work in us…but we are not released from the labor.

From His word to us through the apostle Paul as written in Philippians 2:12-13

“Dearest friends, when I was there with you, you were always so careful to follow my instructions. And now that I am away you must be even more careful to do the good things that result from being saved, obeying God with deep reverence, shrinking back from all that might displease him. For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants.”

Yes, we must sit cross-legged before the vent of our life and be willing to labor…but it is God who works with us and through us to both WANT TO…and TO DO…that which is needed to live like people who are saved.

Bless you…and you thought “Lent” was over…LOL…have a good day <3

Just some thoughts on the panic that can ensue when we catch bits and pieces of news lately

So this is how it goes down for me regarding hot news items.

Perfect example was a blurb on someone’s FaceBook post about California and banning Bibles.

And while that seems quite disturbing, along with some upset people over comments made about Christians and Chick Filla and such in New York, I am getting kind of used to the fact that being a Christian is not popular.

Which, to the point of this Bible mentioned above, it never really was.

Often we say we want to model the “early Church” and have lost much of the ways of those first Christ-followers, but we kind of forget that the majority of the disciples endured rather gruesome and painful deaths of the martyr variety.

So to be banned, hated, persecuted is nothing new to Christianity, it’s just new to us who are used to the American ideal of “freedom.”

So yes it is disconcerting, however we also have to consider that “news” these days is so skewed and twisted that it is nearly impossible to get to the facts, let alone the truth.

After a few days of initially seeing this post, I googled it yesterday morning and found all kinds of stories reporting it, reporting how it is false, reporting how the reports that say it is false are false. On and on.

So not really sure who to believe or what is going on, but this much I know.

If it is upsetting to think that it could be possible that the Bible would be banned, wouldn’t it be a good idea to be absorbing as much of it into our minds and hearts NOW as  we possibly can?

And wouldn’t it be even better to spend time studying it and then applying what we read to our every day life and conversations.

Because if we truly believe that the Bible is God’s inspired Word about Himself, His story and His plan…well…I’m pretty sure it is more than just ink on paper. So if it is written on our hearts, it lives in each of us…even IF the day comes when the actual printing of it is banned.

Also, before we get downhearted and discouraged at the idea that some bunch of politicians might get together and decide the Bible is irrelevant at best and harmful to society at worst…well…it kind of makes you realize just how powerful it must be if it’s that big of a threat to world systems.

It would seem that the power to convict us of sin, comfort our sorrows, and transform our hearts found in the pages of God’s Word is indeed powerful enough to cause those who are resisting Him to want to banish it.

So when my inner man is tempted to quake at attacks against the Bible or the eternal values of God’s written Word found on its pages, I turn to that very book and I am instructed…

“And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” 1 John 2:28

 and …”Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.”  1 John 3:13

and…”You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” 1 John 4:4-6

There is more.

Much more.

To encourage us and equip us and instruct us and convict us. To guide us and feed our weakened spirits and strengthen our trembling hearts.

So while it is still day…while we still have full access to the power of God’s Word in our hands…let us use this time wisely for it is a gift of God that we must not waste.

Be blessed, little children, today…to freely dig into God’s Word and let it take root in your souls  <3

 

Because misery loves company….

This was my day yesterday.

And will be a healthy portion of my day today…so follow along for a lesson in technology…because in order to reduce ALL my photos on this little oversized website…from  what you see right there to…

what you see right here…

I had to do …

as to make sure I preserve things like…

because….whew…we wouldn’t want to let this kind of photographic treasure to be lost in cyberspace, now would we?

But seriously…as I monotonously clicked through the steps for…Are you ready???…2,600 photographs that attached to this here little journey I have taken you all on over the last few years…I had a lot of thoughts running through my head.

So here are just a few of them…

<3 Wow…what a ride it has been. Not just getting the opportunity to pursue this thing that has scared the living daylights out of me just going public with so many private parts of me in hopes of sending out some words of hope, comfort, exhortation, humor, life-stuff from my heart and God’s Word…but the whole sometimes-messy, often-crazy, surprisingly joy-filled life God has blessed our family to live.

<3 I was also struck by how vivid my memories were attached to each photo…whether it’s cups of coffee or a beautiful presentation of a meal or a random photo of a some flowers on one of my walks, I didn’t look at a single picture and wonder about the story behind it.

Like this one…

was the day a blizzard was going to keep Lola from coming to visit and this guy got busy dressing warm and grabbed his mommy’s wallet so they could just come to me.

Still get big old sloppy tears thinking how I considered strapping on snow shoes just to get to him.

But here’s the thought that adds some insight into maybe your life today…

<3 As I went through all the steps sooooooooooo many times…it was tedious and repetitive and mind-numbingly boring at times.

I would go back to the ones remaining and think of the hours I had put in and how many hours were left to go and it took everything in me to fight the urge to just quit.

And then this terrible thought struck me.

What if it doesn’t work?

What if all this time I have put in to this task does not accomplish what needs to be done?

You see, if it works out the way it is supposed to and my site is blissfully unencumbered by unnecessarily excessive data…well…all the effort is worth it.

But if it doesn’t.

Oh my goodness…

And it made me think how much of life is like that.

If my motivation for sticking it out is for the satisfaction I will gain from the success of my desired result, I will end up short so many times.

But if my motivation comes from obedience to follow through the tasks I have been given..to fulfill the purpose for each day by being in that moment, doing that thing…whatever it is and whatever the outcome…all for the glory of God…well…

that changes everything.

So I will finish those picture edits today, in between loads of laundry that we are just going to wear and throw back in the bin tomorrow…I will prepare food and then exercise to counteract the calories…I will dust and vacuum the same particles I tried to vanquish yesterday…I will drag out my journal and start outlining a lesson for Sunday and along the way I will tap out some more thoughts for you for tomorrow…and I will do it… in obedience…all to the glory of God <3

I have no guarantees that the time I spend on any tasks will have any lasting effect.

But sure as heck…if I didn’t do them…there would be some serious setbacks for those plans and purposes God prepared in advance for me to do.

So let’s do the thing…even if it’s repetitive and boring and we just did it yesterday and here we have to do it again today.

Let’s do it and do it well, shall we?

How about you?

What’s your Kingdom plan today?

Be blessed as you carry it out…step by step, piece by piece…byte by byte  <3

And in the after-glow of Easter, we enter another Monday <3

Ah yes…it’s Monday morning.

And I hope you are carrying more in your heart than the snapshots posted and the anticipation of snow melting sometime by mid-week, if you were one of those states blessed with an Easter blast of winter.

I will be wrapping up my visit to …

later today.

Already getting a little choked up thinking of saying goodbye to this one…

We had fun exploring his city and found out that apparently I own a beverage shop here…

which I do make good coffee, I have to say so myself.

We attended a wonderful service at his church where the pastor used a text I don’t believe I have ever heard on Easter morning.

He talked about Loops equaling Labels…the spirals we can get ourselves into of addiction or relationships or failure or fear or whatever and we can never seem to get out of the looping and so it becomes who we are.

His passage was the woman caught in adultery and he asked us what it would feel like if this morning someone hauled us up, naked and exposed, in front of where he was standing and called out our label.

Failure

Loser

Addict

And then he went on to talk about Jesus’ response.

How Jesus knelt down to her level.

How she would have been on the ground, so He got on the ground.

Eye to eye to with her.

To assure her, He was with her.

And how He told her He would not condemn her and charged her to go and to sin no more.

To walk away from loop and label that He had just freed her from.

Incredible touching…amazingly true.

We sat in a borrowed middle school gym and celebrated the freedom won from our God who walked away from a borrowed tomb.

Hallelujah!

I hope and pray you had a wonderful Easter celebration.

Now go out there and shine His Light…it’s a dark world and you are valuable and loved and called….

Holy Week – Resurrection Sunday <3

We are here my friends!

I sit this Easter morning of 2018 perched on a twin bed in our son’s apartment in Austin, Texas.

The same twin bed frame my dad refinished to match the other and put up for my sister and me after a warehouse fire consumed our stored furniture as we waited for housing on an airbase fifty plus years ago.

I woke up many an Easter morning in this bed, and some of the Reimer kids have as well.

Tears of deep emotion pour from my eyes as my soul rejoices with the thought of all the Easter mornings….all the Resurrection Sundays that have been celebrated since the first.

I think of first Easter morning when the earth shook and angels greeted the women and then sleepy-eyed disciples.

I think of their confusion and the running back and forth to tell what they had seen.

I allow myself to imagine God watching all these disciples discover the absolutely best ending … and beginning….ever.

I always say He has a sense of humor and must delight to watch His children discover His heart.

I can imagine He smiled a bit as He observed them trying to process all that had taken place.

He is like that still…

Watching us stumble into what we think we can fix and finish only to meet Him alive, well and fixing us.

Time and again.

For time and eternity.

Oh, brothers and sisters…family of God…I sit here listening to the birds chirping and though the sky is not bursting forth this morning, my heart is.

I think of dear ones now with the Lord and I rejoice.

I think of precious friends and family around the world, some already hard at work rehearsing the last notes of “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”…some getting the coffee started in the kitchen at home or the kitchen at church….some watching little ones scramble around in pj’s and sporting major bedhead looking for a basket and some eggs before they wrestle them into all manner of finery to head off to worship on this blessed day.

I think of my husband heading out to drive through cold rain to sit with the likes of this…

Somewhere high above us, a daughter flying over the morning skies from Europe to return home and then there is a son snoozing hard on his couch just on the other side of this wall here because he gave his mom the bed.

We will go to his new church this morning, and while I don’t know anyone but him, I will feel right at home with God’s people as we celebrate.

I will fight back messy tears of joy as sweet faces I love float in front of me and all under the Precious Face of the Lamb who died and rose again <3

I think of tender hearts this morning who will sing the words about the Lord defeating death for the first time this year without one of their parents, or a spouse, or a child.

And while it doesn’t matter if it’s the first year or the fifth or twentieth…that first one is surely a mile marker.

So I thank God for the Risen Christ who holds us all together and close to His heart.

Wherever we are…

whoever you are….

it is and always will be….

Best.

Day.

Ever.

 

<3