Love is a choice. A decision. It can illuminate And unearth Uncomfortable truths About exactly who we are. The choice, the decision: Do I do the hard work Of changing Being the best? Or stay the same? Choosing, deciding Love isn’t worth it, They aren’t worth it.
1 There are also these proverbs of Solomon, collected by scribes of Hezekiah, king of Judah.
2 God delights in concealing things; scientists delight in discovering things.
3 Like the horizons for breadth and the ocean for depth, the understanding of a good leader is broad and deep.
4-5 Remove impurities from the silver and the silversmith can craft a fine chalice; Remove the wicked from leadership and authority will be credible and God-honoring.
6-7 Don’t work yourself into the spotlight; don’t push your way into the place of prominence. It’s better to be promoted to a place of honor than face humiliation by being demoted.
8 Don’t jump to conclusions—there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.
9-10 In the heat of an argument, don’t betray confidences; Word is sure to get around, and no one will trust you.
11-12 The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry, And a wise friend’s timely reprimand is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.
13 Reliable friends who do what they say are like cool drinks in sweltering heat—refreshing!
14 Like billowing clouds that bring no rain is the person who talks big but never produces.
This is for me.
15 Patient persistence pierces through indifference; gentle speech breaks down rigid defenses.
And this too. Both timely for different reasons.
A Person Without Self-Control
16-17 When you’re given a box of candy, don’t gulp it all down; eat too much chocolate and you’ll make yourself sick; And when you find a friend, don’t outwear your welcome; show up at all hours and he’ll soon get fed up.
18 Anyone who tells lies against the neighbors in court or on the street is a loose cannon.
19 Trusting a double-crosser when you’re in trouble is like biting down on an abscessed tooth.
20 Singing light songs to the heavyhearted is like pouring salt in their wounds.
21-22 If you see your enemy hungry, go buy him lunch; if he’s thirsty, bring him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness, and God will look after you.
23 A north wind brings stormy weather, and a gossipy tongue stormy looks.
24 Better to live alone in a tumbledown shack than share a mansion with a nagging spouse.
25 Like a cool drink of water when you’re worn out and weary is a letter from a long-lost friend.
26 A good person who gives in to a bad person is a muddied spring, a polluted well.
27 It’s not smart to stuff yourself with sweets, nor is glory piled on glory good for you.
28 A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.
But, works require us to do something. God gives us insight and wisdom on how to obtain some things that we pray for. Either we miss it or are stubborn, obstinate, don’t want to do it His way.
If we do nothing the faith we had to ask for it or believe it would happen dies. Why? Because we do not obtain what we believed through our failure to act.
There are some things and miracles God just does and gives. I’m not talking about that.
I want to lose weight. I want to drink more water. I asked God for help. This isn’t the first time. I have tried.
I didn’t love exercising. I didn’t love water. Usually didn’t drink much of anything unless it came with the meal and could eat without any beverage. Didn’t love the outdoors. Ion like weather extremes after living in the cold midwest and hot south and not being out in it much as a child.
Something happened in the middle of the pandemic. Y’all, for my Apostolic/Pentecostal/Holiness/well informed folk, I just quickened.
In the middle of death. In the middle of devastation. In the middle of uncertainty. In the middle of chaos. In the middle of confusion. In the middle of confinement. In the middle of quarantine. In the middle of loss. While I was essential personnel. While I worked every scheduled shift unless I requested off. I lost weight while others gained it.
I would love to say I worked hard. But I didn’t really work at all. I just stopped eating more than one maybe two meals. It was really laziness. I was staying up after I got off at midnight and sleeping or not wanting to go get food. I wasn’t cooking. I feel like I may have said some of this elsewhere. Forgive me. It’s worth repeating.
Once I saw what I had done while accidentally, inadvertently intermittently fasting, I was sold. I bought a half-gallon igloo and decided to drink my water. I started craving it.
I started walking in the park and loved it. I get irritable, definitely today, when I can’t go outside and walk due to the weather. I have been out in walking in the teens or low twenties at the coldest. I just bundle up. I have come to love, love, love God’s nature.
I don’t just eat vegetables and healthily. As a matter of fact, I lost weight eating junk and fast food. I stopped most of the bad stuff at first. I don’t eat nearly as much junk as before. My water intake has slowed. As has the exercise. Moving and having a different lifestyle is an interesting adjustment. But somehow, I am still losing.
I have worked my faith and God has been gracious to me.
Whatever you are believing God for, figure out what your part is. And walk it out. Work it. He just may be waiting on 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).
I’ve been heavier than others most of my life. It is what it is.
I’ve starved myself and been smaller for a while. Unsustainable.
I’ve done keto while working full time and going to law school part time. It was physician supervised and was team a lot. Unsustainable.
I’ve tried multiple things multiple times. What was it? Unsustainable.
I started working 4-midnight October 2019.
I don’t really mess with breakfast. When I worked during the day I would do lunch and dinner. For multiple, various reasons, I was only really eating once meal maybe twice between four and midnight. Sometimes I’d eat a snack after I got home.
I went to the doctor November 2019. I saw my weight. Not surprised. At some point during the pandemic, I went to urgent care and I’d lost weight.
I went to the doctor October 2020. I was already planning on discussing losing weight among other things. Color me surprised that I lost more weight.
I told her that I didn’t eat right cuz I didn’t do breakfast and keto was too much food for me. She pooh poohed at that. She told me about intermittent fasting.
I’m pretty sure a former coworker who lost a decent amount of weight told me about it too.
I told her, or figured out, that I was basically doing it anyway. While eating junk and fast food.
The actual reason around October for the weight loss was that I would stay up after work until 2, 4, 6 am and then sleep all day or not want to leave to get food.
I didn’t have groceries at the house on the regular. It’s an interesting thing buying food and cooking for one person. And I don’t like eating the same thing for a week. I could also just cook at work depending on what I wanted.
She told me to read a book on intermittent fasting and to drink at least a half gallon of water a day.
Things got rough. I wasn’t drinking enough of anything let alone water prior to that visit. I was retaining water. I was walking too. The scale was not moving down. I think it went up.
I went back and found out I was likely dehydrated. I went back to the doctor from 2019 in December. Found out I had lost 11 pounds in a year but only two since October.
I told people so what. I felt like it was a test to see if I would keep going. I said I would. And did.
Well the end of December hit. I was tired and not feeling well. The water and exercising went down a bit.
I went on vacation. I did get some exercise in. Water was still down
I moved nine hours away last week. Water and exercise down.
But guess what happened when I got on the scale this morning? Down 13 pounds from October.
It doesn’t matter what it looks like. It doesn’t matter how hard it is. It doesn’t matter that you’ve failed before.
Life isn’t all sunshine and roses despite the beautiful locale and awesome revelation.
I have two specific situations that I am not a fan of. I really wanna give the assignments back to God.
I told Him as much. My relationship with God is truly like some I have with his humans.
I tell him everything. Especially when what’s going on, and at times Him specifically, if I’m honest, is getting on my nerves.
People say He can’t heal what we don’t reveal. I give Him all of it. He already knows. But, He wants me to tell Him and give it to Him.
I’ve run away from one of the situations before. Honestly, if I try and it doesn’t get better, I chuck the deuces. I tried to run away from the other situation after basically being left holding the bag alone.
However, for reasons known and unknown, there’s more for me and those involved in these situations.
The disciples found themselves in at least two storms with Jesus.
He was asleep during one storm (Mark 4:38-40). Jesus questioned their fear because he was on the boat.
In the other storm, the disciples didn’t recognize him at first (Matthew 14:25-32). Then Peter, ever the brave, outspoken, slightly reckless disciple, was the only one willing to engage in the miracle and get out of the boat.
But, he got distracted by the storm. Jesus chastised his doubt. The wind and waves calmed as soon as they got on the boat.
The thing to note is that Jesus was there. He allowed them to experience the wind and waves. Then, he showed them that as long as he is present he has the power to help them through.
He quieted the wind and waves after he awoke from his sleep. He saved Peter after he called to Jesus while he was sinking.
My situations are slightly overwhelming to my feelings, emotions, and carefully cultivated peace.
I’m not a fan of the disruption, wind, and waves they are bringing currently and forecasted for the future. I know the forecast because I know what I have to do. Again, not a fan.
I’m in the boat with Paul-I’d love for Him to remove the thorn. But, now as then, His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). I would love for this cup to pass like Jesus requested before his death (Matthew 26:39). But, my refrain is the same. His will not mine. Ugh.
I know one thing for sure and two things for certain. He is with me. I will make it through. And He will get the glory.
After all, wind and waves are mechanisms to propel boats forward to their destinations. There is just some wind and some waves that are more preferable than others. I would definitely prefer some different ones.
Alas, all things work together for good (Romans 8:28). He has plans to prosper me (Jeremiah 29:11). I can do all things because he strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). I won’t drown (Isaiah 43:2).
*edit* it is JUST like God ro allow a storm today…