Archives April 2022

Feel Bad List:

ancient antique armor armour

When we’re in the fracas of the moment, we don’t have—or take—the ability through our days and nights to step back and look with a more critical, discerning eye.

Time is filled with swift transition, naught of earth unmoved can stand. Build your hopes on things eternal, hold to God’s unchanging hand (Jennie Wilson)—and the idea that time is also an illusion.

I was listening to a speaker and his question was, “What is time?” There are various answers for this and several of them could be accurate. Taking a stab at a definition I would say time is an arbitrary measure of time we choose to use to calculate our lives here on earth.

As I look back on times of my life many things seem like a mirage. I’ve come far enough from anything of my youth or of many people in my youth it feels more like something that slipped away and is gone. Or as a mirage did it really happen?

From my childhood and on I have wanted to keep a diary but I have been so busy it never happened. Now, I would like to go back and slow down certain times taking more important things a bit more slowly.

When we’re in the fracas of the moment, we don’t have the ability through our days and nights to step back and look with a more critical, discerning eye.

We just jump in and live for better or worse, day by day. Only after time has passed do we see more clearly. This is why we have the “I wish I had done, or said, or responded in such and such a different manner.”

Some months ago I received from my friend and fellow writer, Jackie Zack A Year’s Journey of Thankfulness Journal and I’m looking forward to writing in it.

It has a line for the week date and then each day of that week has a line to fill in the items of thankfulness. At the bottom of the page, it has a scripture for each week.

I haven’t started the journal yet. I have my reasoning, mostly I want to begin at the first day of the week and encourage myself to fill in the whole week.

A line of poetry from Robert Louis Stevenson comes to mind. “The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.” And we should be as happy as kings. On the other hand, we aren’t as happy as we should be.

Instead of our thankfulness journey, what happens is our feel bad list. When someone has committed an infringement on us we take it to heart—literally. We put it in a feel bad box and every once in a while we pull it out and feed it.

Or if life hasn’t gone the way it should have, we tend to feed the ill will we have in spite of Jesus warning us “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:34)”

I can’t think of a scripture that tells us to “Count your blessings.” Nevertheless it is a good idea to focus on our blessings in order for us not to drown in our sorrows.

It’s distracting. All the moments we waste focusing on the feel-bad list simply serve to make us feel bad. That’s the list’s job.

Ephesians 5:

15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Information Please

jesus christ stained glass artwork

Mark 9:36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, 37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

Frustration, I get it. We do our best to communicate the realities of perdition. How horrible hell will be—and it gets blown off by people who most need the lifesaver.

Frustration, we all get it. Sadly, many still fall into the abyss no matter what we do. Friends, loved ones, they just don’t choose to listen. As in the proverbial horse and water dilemma, they won’t drink the water.

When we communicate, what is the real issue? We have all the information. We can tell them what the Bible says and relay the many bits of information that are available.

However, there are at least three forces at work:

Are we using all the information we can and what is our presentation like? (The baker can choose how the store smells and how the display looks). We want to have the right spirit.

Number two, are we showing up with permission, at the right moment? If it’s not the right time it won’t be the right moment. And only God knows those times, and as Jesus told his disciples:

“Mark 9:28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?

29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.”

Are we spending enough time centering ourselves in fasting and prayer?

And perhaps number three is the most important: Is there a path to emotional connection and trust?

If you’re trying to push and or shove someone into the Kingdom of Heaven there probably is a breakdown in one or more of these areas.

Mark 9:

33 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?

34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.

35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, 37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

Having and Getting

low angle photography gray sky

But I know a bunch of people who wonder “What’s it all about.”

Some random thoughts on this morning…

At times I come across phrases. Maybe the phrase is noteworthy in itself, or maybe it triggers a thought. It could be an odd coincidence, or maybe not.

There was an old song I believe it was ‘What’s it all about, Alphie.’ I don’t know any Alphie to my recollection, but I know a bunch of people who wonder “What’s it all about.”

Just today I read a meme that in paraphrase read: Some people believe human nature is good enough to use as a guide for morality. —How shocking is that?

In our neighborhood we do have some nice, pleasant folks, but if you ask them most of them/us are honest enough to admit we aren’t perfect.

A few years ago Old Fuzzy was taking some cattle for a ride and one of the axels on the trailer came apart. There he was twenty miles from home with several head of excited bovine and a what happened next moment happened.

He called one of the neighbors and yes, the neighbor could drop what he was doing and rescue Old Fuzzy. He brought his trailer and spent his time doing a good deed for his neighbor (Old Fuzzy). He was offered remuneration but declined any pay for his effort.

That is the mark of a good neighbor, but honestly, those marks don’t come from internal good human nature. We still have the ethic of Jesus’ teaching; Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

As the world continues to turn away from the gospel of Christ, that world gets worse. Only through the embracing of God’s Word are humans elevated.

What’s it all about? In this world, it isn’t about having and getting. Although we have been taught that’s what it’s all about. It isn’t.

Life isn’t about getting a great education so that we can get a good job and get money, and get influence and get all that jazz. It isn’t about what we can get like a greedy dog in the manger wanting more and more.

It was a little girl and I’m thinking she was six years old in third grade. She was on the Steve Harvey show talking to him about something she wanted to invent.

It was a robot that could read a child’s emotions by observing their face.

She called it—a friend in a toy—I think. If a child was feeling lonely the robot would play games with them. If the child needed to talk to someone…

Our world is so messed up. I can remember a time back before everyone went to college; A time when young people found employment in their town. A time when if you asked a young woman what was in her future she would say she and her boyfriend were planning on getting married after graduation and settling down.

Now, anyone who doesn’t go to college is considered a loser, or almost that bad. A young woman who wants to get married, and take care of her home and a family is wasting her life.

For over ten years before my retirement, I would get a ‘report’ from the IRS stating that I was eligible for no Social Security benefits since I hadn’t held a job since Old Fuzzy and I were married.

The many jobs I have held run through my mind, the least of which are teacher and friend. The fact that Old Fuzzy and I produced seven children who are supporting the Social Security system doesn’t count for anything.

Even though the proverbial two children don’t begin to replace their parent’s income when the parents retire and seven children are a windfall that pays for several people.

If we listened to the scriptures we wouldn’t have so many lonely children who need a ‘toy friend.’ We would have moms and dads and grandparents doing what they are supposed to do—in a more perfect world.

If we were honest with ourselves we would step back enough to realize we’ve gotten far away from the Biblical example.

The example that teaches us to love God, to love our husband, our wife, and our children. To be good neighbors and good contributors to our communities.

What would we find if we looked for scriptural examples? Would we have so many family problems? What about the Mommy Wars?

Life is hard. At times prayer is hard, belief is hard, and taking up the cross is hard. One thing to be certain, life isn’t about the having and the getting.

Life is about the being and the becoming.

One, we don’t see as God sees. Two, even when the scriptures tell us something, too often human nature looks for a way around doing what is God-spoken. Three, human nature wants to be rebellious and it has excuses to do what it thinks is best.

Ecclesiastes 5:

8  If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they. 

9  Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field. 

10  He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. 

11  When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes? 

12  The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep. 

13  There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt. 

14  But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand. 

15  As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand. 

16  And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind? 

Sunshine and Rain

snowman holding shovel

I asked one of our older members at church if he’d made a snowman before church…

Some call it Easter; some call it Passover, regardless it’s the bittersweet horrendous time when we acknowledge that we are sinners. Today’s post isn’t necessarily about one subject. Especially since it covers two days—at least.

Back two weeks ago on Sunday, I was up in plenty of time to prepare for church. For some reason I was moving at such a slow speed it was time to leave and I wasn’t ready to go.

That set me up for this Sunday. The week before, I had woke up early and thought, no, I can sleep for another thirty minutes easily. Which I did. And even though technically I had enough time. It was the slows that did me in.

This week I woke up more than early and the Lord talked me out of going back to sleep.

Based on the week before, I got up and got ready for church. I also worked a bit at getting ready for the afternoon’s activities.

Passover Sunday is always a free-for-all day. It’s anyone’s guess what the weather will be like, and yesterday wasn’t a disappointment.

It was cold and gray outside. As I’m putting moisturizer on my face in front of my big glass door I think I see something fall from the tree. What, I wonder, was that? It appeared to be a large white item not quite a handkerchief but certainly a slip of notepaper.

I know our squirrels don’t usually drop large white nuts from the tree. Besides, our walnuts have been gone for a long time. Could it have been a Biden bird, dropping what birds drop? Maybe, but…

Shortly thereafter it began in earnest. It looked as if the angels were having a snowball fight with the trees or ground. Big wet snowflakes were thrown at the earth, splat, splat, splat. And it covered the nice green grass and bushes.

I asked one of our older members at church if he’d made a snowman before church and he said he hadn’t and that activity wasn’t on his bucket list.

Our afternoon activity was scheduled to begin at 1:30 to 2:00 and we were pretty close to the start time. We’ve had bigger more fancy meals, but no matter we all had a good time. There was still snow on the ground and I think in the air as the egg-gatherers milled around.

There were several egg-gatherers who went out about forty minutes before the egg-hiders hid eggs. The gatherers didn’t find any eggs at that time. Of course, me being of a contrite bend found that to be hilarious.

All in all, it was an agreeable time for eating and conversation…and gathering eggs.

***

Today we were back to work. The boys were working at, and got the sawmill up and sawing. Excitement is in my air. Yes, there will be a learning curve, but with a bit of practice…

And the sunshine was busy fighting the wind or the wind fought the clouds, or just dried the ground after the snow disappeared. The sunshine looked nice but the wind wasn’t. And April is running out. We haven’t been able to put plants in the cold frame it has been flat too cold.

Our temperature has gone between seasonal to winter or at least freezing. I guess in the words of the philosopher Some days you’ll have that.

Ecclesiastes 5:

1 Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.

2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.

3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.

4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.

5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?

7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.

I’ll Fly Away

white clouds

As I’m fond of saying, “Oh, the possibilities are endless.” And having been reminded this morning of the fact that none of us are guaranteed more time than the moment…

There are some days and then there are others. Ups and downs in life happen to most people and most of us have times when we wish we could fly away.

As I look out the sliding glass door of my office the landscape is what many would describe as dreary. The wind is attempting to blow the entire state of Iowa into the next state.

I was thinking it was Minnesota, but on second thought I don’t know what direction the wind is out of. That the wind is blowing is an understatement.

As I’m fond of saying, “Oh, the possibilities are endless.” And having been reminded this morning of the fact that none of us are guaranteed more time than the moment, I believe the words of Tiny Tim from a Christmas Carol should be on our lips. “God bless us, everyone.”

A few posts ago I ended the thoughts with the fact that non-believers should be aware and thankful that there is a God since it is our loving God that restrains Christians.

As the meme says, being a Christian doesn’t mean I’m better than you, it means that—What does it mean? I too often any more have senior moments and this is a semi-senior moment.

I truly don’t remember the rest of the meme without going to look it up. This offers the moment, however, to explore. In years past the phrase, I’m a Christian might have been looked on as if I’m better than you.

Looking is a matter of perspective and it’s good that Christians have been allowed to redefine the narrative. In decades past some might have felt holier than thou, but honest believers knew they struggled in a world of sin just as all people struggle.

Except we have the lifesaver who keeps helping, guiding, and lifting us out of Satan’s traps. There is a song, “Sin will take you farther than you want to go.”

Right is right and wrong is wrong, and those who err into wrong will suffer for it. It would be funny if it weren’t so important, that those who shout don’t judge the loudest usually have their foot in where it shouldn’t be. It’s the “Don’t pay attention to the man behind the curtain,” moment.

Being a Christian means we don’t have to try every bad habit to find which one will kill us first. We have a guide that warns us if something is habit-forming and unhealthy we shouldn’t go there.

God helps us stay away from drugs, alcohol, and sexual exploitations. At least if we will listen to him. Being a Christian means peace in times of trouble and strife.

It does not mean everything in this life will always be peachy and lovely, but we know in the end God is in control and it will work out.

Philippians 2:

11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Other Words

sea flight sky earth

Good or bad, love or hate seems to be our mode of life these days. Everyone has to be triggered by something or someone.

The video was about Elon Musk. Someone who is in the news a lot lately. Good or bad, love or hate seems to be our mode of life these days. Everyone has to be triggered by something or someone.

If you don’t like someone you must hate them. If you do like someone you must, by default, hate or love someone else. But wait a minute, I’m from the middle of nowhere and it takes eons to penetrate our defenses.

I would say it’s less than ten years since Elon Musk came onto my horizon. Being curious, I watched the short video and promptly forgot most of what I watched it for. What I came up with is, Elon Musk is from somewhere out there, and he’s smart.

Good thing the video wasn’t long… I guess.

This morning is a beautiful morning, and God wanted to talk to me. I’m praying I get this right because whereas Elon Musk is interesting, God is important. Like the old commercial used to say, When **** speaks, the world listens.

It was a financial advisor’s commercial that aired years ago when we watched television and there were financial advisors running ads—but I forget their names. Still, when God speaks, we who claim to be his servants should listen.

The video about Musk was in some ways bitter-sweet. One of the people talking on it said in school we had other words for people like Elon, like—geek.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Of course, that’s not true. As children, we could pretend the words of others, friends, and or family, wouldn’t hurt us, but they often did. I was never a geek. No one ever accused me of being smart, I just wasn’t popular.

There was the In Group and I wasn’t one of them. That was fine by me. They mostly left me alone. I had friends who, like me weren’t part of the in-group.

I rewatched the video (Bill Gates warns against Elon Musk). I will never remember everything in the video or even much of what I watched. Probably my initial “Elon Musk is from somewhere else and is smart” will be my take away but…

I felt two emotions during the watching. Sadness. “Kids used to follow Elon home from school and throw cans of soda at his head.”

What? Good grief. He had difficulty in his home life and stupid schoolmates as well? But things got better? We would hope they did, but maybe not. He grew up, did quite a few amazing things, had some bad years when things looked bad for him and his enterprises, and then…

He was told to give up. Things were too bad, things were hemorrhaging all over. His electric cars were going bad, his rockets weren’t going to the moon, and his ‘heroes’ threw cans of soda at his head—not quite literally.

But he didn’t give up and now, we have other words for Elon Musk—Words like a genius, a visionary, an entrepreneur.

Some other thoughts in this video are voiced which are kind of against our culture. One thing is, not everyone dances in the same rain. Some people might as well be honest, they will never fit in.

Many years ago a friend’s young daughter was going to college with the idea of becoming a teacher. My friend shared with me that her daughter had been taught in college that a teacher’s job was not to ‘teach’ children, it was to help them learn to conform.

Conform—Oh, I see. It isn’t important for children to know how to read and write, but it is important for them to learn how to line up at the water fountain and follow orders.

I think I’ve always been doomed. Both lining up at the water fountain and following orders have always been a problem for me. Thankfully they didn’t have cans of soda when I was a child.

Matthew 16:

24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Either Way

forest at night

Where do the years, weeks, days, and all the rest go? How is it one day it’s New Year’s Eve and the next we look up and it’s Thanksgiving and Christmas?

My grandmother told me when I was twelve years old, “When you get to thirteen life speeds up and goes faster and faster.” I found out sometime later the reason this is true is that at thirteen your life lived changes.

Before thirteen, you have lived only twelve years, which corresponds with the twelve months in a year. At thirteen your ratio changes and many other things change when you reach the teen years.

And then we find ourselves—older—wishfully, wiser, but honestly just older. And it happens in a flash. And a person wonders, how did I get here?

Monday, the first day of the workweek, a lovely day in April. We began with Old Fuzzy, Young Fuzzy, and Not a Fuzzy working to get our sawmill up. We purchased a sawmill three weeks ago and received it two weeks ago.

Now, let me advise you, if you purchase a sawmill, and if you need a functional ready-to-use trailer—If you do not have the trailer, just buy one to go with the mill.

We bought our mill believing we had the items already on hand to fashion into a trailer. However, the sawmill came faster than we believed it would, and after two weeks of finagling, we decided it would be faster to purchase a trailer.

Our Young Fuzzy and Not a Fuzzy weren’t really revolting, but they had a few choice ideas about their situation. And being children of their mother, they had the vocabulary to let us know what those thoughts might be.

So we went to plan B—or it could have been plan C. They’ve finished (I hope) a temporary platform for the sawmill so we can get it assembled and set up. Of course, we want to see how it will run and the whatnots on it.

I’m hoping to have Big Fuzzy come and make a video of our endeavors when things hopefully do not fall into place, but something a bit less cataclysmic. Like, slide peacefully into position.

***

I’ve been working on my third book, “All My Tomorrows” and I am at the last eighty pages of the edit. I will be really glad to get through these pages. It gets so deep sometimes I find myself rewriting and editing in my sleep.

In some ways, this book is difficult. Well, in at least two ways—This book has many of the aha moments since I wrote all three books as one long book in the beginning.

There are many ‘no-turning’ back situations in this book that I was told to look for in the other books. And the grand finale is here in this book. And that leads to the second hard situation.

This book leaves all of the characters suspended. For those who have developed an interest in the characters, they will never know how their lives come out. That is a sometimes problem I have in reading. I often want to know what happens next as I close the book.

***

A good thing about reading a book is it can be finished in a short time. My rule of reading a book is, I sit down and read till it’s done. Very seldom do I put it down until I’ve finished the story.

In a book, the problem is presented and then solved, and that’s that. In life, it takes a lifetime to finish the story.

The saying “There are no atheists in a foxhole” is a close rule of thumb. But the idea that in one way, and at some time, everyone will talk to God is a fact.

Some unbelievers will say, “No, I don’t believe in God. Why would I talk to something I don’t believe in? For me, it would be like talking to Puff the Magic Dragon. I’m sure it’s a fairy tale.”

Listening to a song that I happened by recently the line was gleaned, “Either way, everyone talks to God.”

No matter whether you believe in Jehovah, God or not, God does exist. And as the scriptures tell us at some point in existence all people will acknowledge not only God but Jesus. We can do so as friends and allies or as foes. For myself, I’d rather be on the side of God.

Philippians 2:

8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Embrace Gratitude

body of water at daytime

What? What does that mean, to embrace gratitude?

Those who have read my first novel, “If I Should Die” one of the characters in the book has a short exchange with the main character, Julius, about ingratitude:

It’s sad how many people are like Ralph Meecham. God sends so many blessings on everyone, but they get so wrapped up with everyday living that they don’t even stop to say thank you. Ingratitude is a horrible sin.”

“Ingratitude—I’d never thought about it.” Julius waited at the stop sign while a pickup passed.

“The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and ingratitude is a root of evil also.” Mrs. MacDonald frowned and fingered the handle on her purse. “We all should be grateful, but we want to do it our way. Or we just want to do what we want to do. Regardless of the consequences to ourselves, or to others. Everything should be democratic—like we should get to vote on things. Why do we think God needs our opinion? How absurd, how absolutely blasphemous.” She shook her head.

***

Gratitude is the act of being/acting grateful… Of course, ingratitude is the act of being ungrateful. Most of us find ourselves in-between.

I may be the only one who does this, but often I’m so grateful. I’ll be all thank you, Lord for all these blessings… And then something goes wrong, and I’m all different.

I’m like, I didn’t sign up for this. I don’t want this. What are you thinking God—I thought you loved me?

On a good day, I will try to jerk myself back into the thankfulness mode. On a really bad day? Maybe I’ll just wallow in pity for a while.

Ezekiel 36:

25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

What Things Have You Thrown Away?

photo of plastics near trees

A farmstead is a horse of a different color. If you’ve ever walked up to an old abandoned farmstead, one that has sat empty for any period of time you know it’s different.

A few months ago we looked over an old farmstead that would soon be up for sale.

Like any house and property being considered, there are some things you look at or look for. In a house, you look first at the roof and the foundation.

A farmstead is a horse of a different color. If you’ve ever walked up to an old abandoned farmstead, one that has sat empty for any period of time you know it’s different.

It’s different because people have had a life here. There’s been a family with its life aura and they’ve left.

Some families leave a lot of things, as if they took only themselves and a bare minimum. The farmstead looks like the people put the necessary items in their car but on the way down the driveway decided that some of it wasn’t necessary and began throwing it out.

I began this post a week ago and much hasn’t changed in relation to the idea. It reminds me of an article I read in a Christian publication years ago. It was a piece written about the things Scarlett O’Hara had jettisoned in her quest for survival.

That may be the thought behind the people leaving the farm. It may merely have been “Survival” and all its benefits or demands. On the flip side, how much did these families leave or throw away that they should have taken with them?

Did they ever realize they had left something important that they should have taken with them? Unless we know where they were going we wouldn’t know and perhaps they didn’t ever understand either.

Through the centuries there has often been a shifting from one civilization into another. The United States began as a mostly agricultural country and continually shifted to a more urban, factory-type country.

As we’ve shifted, it looks like a jettison has taken place in our society. Things that just a short few years ago would have been unthinkable have begun to slip into acceptable. So, as we jettison certain standards we are embracing unholy habits, because of course, nature abhors a vacuum.

Anytime there is an empty space it will be filled and we are choosing to fill it with demons. I’ve often wondered when non-Christians rail against Christians and people of faith, just what about “Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, or thou shalt not bear false witness,” those people don’t like?

Apparently, they don’t understand what keeps them safe. They don’t understand that the passions which would wipe them from the face of the earth are kept in check by a God of love that they don’t understand because it’s certainly not the good, passive nature of Christians.

A few things to keep in mind:

 Christians are a work in progress; sometimes it gets messy. Life is something done BY us, not only TO us.

Most change is gradual. No one is perfect just as in “Perfect practice makes perfect.” We don’t always practice perfect and have to have a (few) second chance(s).

There’s no magic involved, just directed, persistent effort mixed with faith, prayer, and most of all God’s help.

Just because it’s fast doesn’t mean it’s easy.

–And especially, it takes effort. If you want something easy, you’re in the wrong place.

Matthew 12:

43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.

44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.

45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.