I had all the plans to end my unintentional sabbatical earlier than the month I decided on-with the exception of that post the other day.
I was gonna write about Passover, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, the crucifixion, the death, the burial, the resurrection. All that good stuff.
But I didn’t. And I won’t. I reflected and am so very grateful. I will post about what, to me, all of that resulted in.
During Passover after Palm Sunday, I was driving and saw a car behind me. I’d post the pic but I shouldn’t have even taken them and they don’t clearly show what I saw.
The hood was jacked up. I think the lights may have been messed up too. The thought I had was how is it even driving.
Then I went down a hole to a degree like I do.
How are some of us even functioning? Now. We may not show outward damage like that car.
But. Life has done a number on so many of us. It is mind blowing how some of us are in our right mind, how we function, how we put one foot in front of the other. How, when giving up and giving in is so much easier and who would blame us?
But the finished work at the cross. The determination Jesus had to do what he came to do despite asking if it was possible for the cup to pass from him (Matthew 26:39).
Jesus was our perfect example to keep going in the face of seemingly insurmountable circumstances. He did it so we could. God promised to be with us in Isaiah 43:2. And sent his son to show us how He is with us. Then sent a comforter to be with us (John 14:16, 14:26, 15:26, and 16:7). So. I guess that’s how.
Love is patient
Love is kind
Love laid down its life
Love denied itself
Love put on what it hates
Love forgave me
Love chased me
Love waited for me
Love told me no for a better yes
Love won’t let me go
Love won’t leave me alone
Love won’t give up on me
Love sees me
Love hears me
Love chooses me
Love is relentless
Love is perfect
If You Desert God’s Law
1 The wicked are edgy with guilt, ready to run off
even when no one’s after them;
Honest people are relaxed and confident,
bold as lions.
2 When the country is in chaos,
everybody has a plan to fix it—
But it takes a leader of real understanding
to straighten things out.
3 The wicked who oppress the poor
are like a hailstorm that beats down the harvest.
4 If you desert God’s law, you’re free to embrace depravity;
if you love God’s law, you fight for it tooth and nail.
5 Justice makes no sense to the evilminded;
those who seek God know it inside and out.
6 It’s better to be poor and direct
than rich and crooked.
7 Practice God’s law—get a reputation for wisdom;
hang out with a loose crowd—embarrass your family.
8 Get as rich as you want
through cheating and extortion,
But eventually some friend of the poor
is going to give it all back to them.
9 God has no use for the prayers
of the people who won’t listen to him.
Wow. I could say more and have had thoughts similar. Wow is all I’ll say.
10 Lead good people down a wrong path
and you’ll come to a bad end;
do good and you’ll be rewarded for it.
11 The rich think they know it all,
but the poor can see right through them.
12 When good people are promoted, everything is great,
but when the bad are in charge, watch out!
13 You can’t whitewash your sins and get by with it;
you find mercy by admitting and leaving them.
14 A tenderhearted person lives a blessed life;
a hardhearted person lives a hard life.
15 Lions roar and bears charge—
and the wicked lord it over the poor.
16 Among leaders who lack insight, abuse abounds,
but for one who hates corruption, the future is bright.
17 A murderer haunted by guilt
is doomed—there’s no helping him.
18 Walk straight—live well and be saved;
a devious life is a doomed life.
Doing Great Harm in Seemingly Harmless Ways
19 Work your garden—you’ll end up with plenty of food;
play and party—you’ll end up with an empty plate.
20 Committed and persistent work pays off;
get-rich-quick schemes are ripoffs.
21 Playing favorites is always a bad thing;
you can do great harm in seemingly harmless ways.
22 A miser in a hurry to get rich
doesn’t know that he’ll end up broke.
23 In the end, serious reprimand is appreciated
far more than bootlicking flattery.
24 Anyone who robs father and mother
and says, “So, what’s wrong with that?”
is worse than a pirate.
25 A grasping person stirs up trouble,
but trust in God brings a sense of well-being.
26 If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure;
real survivors learn wisdom from others.
27 Be generous to the poor—you’ll never go hungry;
shut your eyes to their needs, and run a gauntlet of curses.
28 When corruption takes over, good people go underground,
but when the crooks are thrown out, it’s safe to come out.
I know I talked about this the other day. But it is important.
Would you consider yourself in a good relationship with someone if they:
- Only talked and never let you talk
- Always asked you for stuff and wasn’t worried about you as a person
- Talked about you as if they knew you but spent little time with you
- Wanted you to be or treat them a certain way but were unconcerned about they way you wanted them to be or how you wanted to be treated
- Had all requirements but disregarded yours
That’s some of us. If we are guilty of this on a regular basis, I’d say we need to check ourselves and fix our relationship with God.
Relationships are not one-sided. No relationship is 50/50. But um there should be an exchange, a balance. Especially since we will never be able to give to Him what He gives to us.
We will NEVER get to 50/50 with God. I doubt it would ever be better than 90/10 in reality. But the way some of us operate, we have made it 99 (us)/1 (Him) by the way we relate to Him and interact with Him. We gotta do better!
We have so much stuff.
We define ourselves by how much and how expensive our stuff is.
I was walking and saw so many expensive cars and driveways full of two, three, and four cars.
Jesus and the Bible talk about how stuff and riches aren’t always the greatest.
Yes, some of us will be rich and prosper. That’s in the Bible.
How we treat that stuff is the problem. Are we making it idols? Are we making it gods? Are we valuing and worshipping it more than we should and more than God? Are we using stuff to fill voids and cover our issues and insecurities?
While stuff is nice, and I am blessed to have plenty of it, it doesn’t define me. Receiving gifts and stuff is not important to me. That’s my lowest love language.
It may have something to do with feeling like my stuff mattered more than me to others when I was younger. It may have something to do with the fact that I got stuff when I needed time.
I just don’t need much. I am actually overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I discovered I had after living 10ish hours away from all of it for more than a year. I gave some away and dang near wanted to just give all of it away. I’m not gonna be able to wear most of it soon anyway.
Years ago, when I cleaned out and gave away my physical stuff my inside, my mind, felt clearer and lighter. I ended up wasting money and acquiring a lot of stuff again. Fortunately, it was just stuff to me. I was lazy and didn’t want to pay money to wash clothes. I was bored. I still gave stuff away and bought stuff for others.
I ended up far less able to afford stuff a couple of years ago. It didn’t even matter. I can’t really afford the different levels of lifestyles I’ve had. But I don’t care. My identity isn’t tied to stuff.
I have the capacity to earn a lot of money when I pass the bar. My dream car? A GMC Acadia. American made. Cheaper maintenance.
I want to buy a condo in the near future. Eventually? Land to custom build a house for me, houses for any children I have or adopt to leave something for my future, and have a farm to give food and jobs to those in need. The hands and feet of Jesus (Matthew 25:31-40) and following what the Bible says parents should do (Proverbs 13:22).
What does your stuff and how you relate to it say about you? What does it mean to you? How does it affect you?
First off. These are huge. Second. There are pictures of dirt and trash. Look away if you want. It will make sense in the end.
I was at someone’s home who has a dog. But the dog gets sick if it eats random crap. In order to let the dog be free and not get fussed at for eating stuff, I decided to vacuum the floor where the dog is allowed to roam.
As I vacuumed, it seemed like it wasn’t picking up what I was vacuuming. As you can see below, the tank looked empty. I was confused. So, I took it off and looked inside. All of that clumped stuff in the middle was in the hole on the vacuum and in the part that connects one of the hoses.
Since I cleaned the vacuum, I decided to just sweep up what was left after picking up the clumps. No need in dirtying up what I had JUST cleaned with the same dirt.
I put the vacuum back together and swept the carpet. I took the vacuum apart again and this is what I saw.
Now at first, I thought maybe I had missed all of that in the tank. But when I looked at the pictures again, I didn’t think that was the case. I think that is a bunch of dog hair.
That is what the filter looked like. I had a bag less vacuum and when it got dirty I washed off the filter. I decided to do that this time too.
I think I failed to upload a pic. Ion care. I’m not going to. Just know, it looked better when I applied water before applying any soap. This pic is after water and soap.
I told the person I washed it and they questioned me since it was going to get dirty again. They said they never thought to clean it. I let them know that I had before and at least it would be clean.
I have had several thoughts and lessons flit, come through my mind while typing this and intially forever ago when I created the post.
First of all. We may look clean but there is a whole lot of mess and stuff in us. If we don’t clean it out we will not work properly. Huh. Sounds similar to what I just wrote in Still There. This was a draft before that. I guess I had the same thought again though since it got published first.
Second. If there is more than one way to do something, and you have made progress with one way, why not try it another way? Aaaaaand. If you have cleaned up one area, don’t just mess it up again because it is easy to do what you have done.
I could have just vacuumed up the leftover dirt from pulling the packed dirt out. But why? A broom and dust pan is just as effective. I didn’t just do what was easy or what I had done and plug it back in and vacuum it back up.
Third. If we do use the same methods, go the same way, we may just have to clean again. But in a different way. Some different issue or consequence will arise. We don’t necessarily reap the way we sow or reap the same way we have reaped before (Galatians 6:7-8). I used the same vacuum on a different surface in a different area. I thought I missed the dirt. But, upon further inspection, it was different dirt in a different area of the vacuum.
Fourth and finally, just because all looked well and clean, that was NOT the case. In the pic of the trash can, it appears that the filter may just be dirty from the way I dumped the tank. However, upon further inspection when I flipped it, it was FILTHY. It was hidden.
What are we hiding? What have we cleaned some, cleaned one way, given to God some, given to Him one way but left dirty, held on to? He knows it ALL. Just give it ALL to Him. He wants it. He can handle it. Let Him be God! Let Him give us what He has promised us!
Galatians 6:9 (KJV) promises us good news: let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
I did not give up. I kept looking and made sure I found all of the dirt. I didn’t wash or wipe the whole thing. Just the filter. But my diligence, persistence, the fact that I kept going, ensured that the vacuum was cleaner and capable of functioning properly. Unlike the condition I found it.
Fooling with the vacuum wasn’t that hard. Examining myself sometimes is. I don’t always wanna act right. I don’t always wanna say the right thing. I just wanna be in my lil fleshly feelings. I mess up.
However, I am doing the hard work of trying to emulate, be like my friend, my brother, my lord, my savior, my Jesus. It has not been easy. It has hurt. It has been confusing. Like why that thang was dirty but I saw nothing.
But guess what? I see change. I see growth. I am obtaining the fruit of the spirit. I am hearing from God and getting alla this revelation in ways I wasn’t before.
I am cleaning my life, my relationships, my emotions, my mind, what I consume (entertainment, food, and conversation). I am making room and space for my relationship with Jesus.
Like I said the other day, it looks a mess on the outside. But, to me, this is the best life I have lived thus far. I’m content in the state I find myself in (Philippians 4:11).