Trash or Treasure

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I have a plant growing in abundance in my garden I didn’t plant.  I asked my farmer husband what kind of a weed it was, he didn’t know.  I asked him how to get rid of it; he said to pull it out.  Not the answers I was looking for.  

I assign my clients to read about various types in foods in a particular book and just the week before I had assigned a reading on onions. (I suggest you readers check out the humble onion, it is a pretty amazing vegetable!) A client walked in the day after my conversation with Jay telling me how much she enjoyed reading about onions.  When we last spoke, she and I also had a discussion on the benefits of dandelion greens, yes, that annoying weed; which is actually a nutrient dense leafy green vegetable I suggest you read up on as well.   But this day she was quite excited about another plant called purslane and when she opened up the book to show me, low and behold it was the very “weed” I had hoped to eradicate of my garden!  And guess what, it is a highly nutritious vegetable.  God has a great sense of humor; I guess He would since He created it.  It’s been on my salad ever since and I have plenty of that vegetable to spare if you’d like some stop by and try some.

 Don’t you just love it?   Here was something that was trash to me, and all along it was a treasure. Isn’t that how it rolls, the best things in life are right here with us all along and in our ignorance we are ready to call a treasure trash.

Take for instance our parents.  Why is it when we get to a certain age we cease to appreciate them and their opinions, experience and who they are (were) as people and we look to every one else (except them and God who know us better than anyone else for pity’s sake) for direction and guidance.  I remember being eighteen and thinking they know nothing and I knew it all. And God, well He was just a fun hater. Neither gave me the answers I was looking for or wanted to hear.  Ugh.  Boy did I have it wrong. Luckily, after going through the school of hard knocks I came around to appreciate and understand that next to God, nobody loved me more than they did. I didn’t see either for the treasure they were.   I get fact that there are some unfit parents out there, but I think the majority of people’s folks are pretty decent; we all too often lose sight of that fact or have flat out forgotten to be grateful for their quiet presence and constancy in our lives.

And then there is our Heavenly Father.  Who has given us everything that we have!  Yes, that’s right, everything, including the life giving breath in our nostrils.  The ever present presence that is the greatest treasure and power available to each and every human  being here on this puny planet.  Who, most of the time we don’t even acknowledge or worse yet, we look at as some sort of weed in our life, who wants to take over the garden of our soul.   Well, he is waiting to take over the garden of our soul, but He is certainly is no weed. Like the purslane in my garden, he is a hidden treasure, not trash, and if I choose to harvest the gift of His presence, love and offer of salvation, I will come to understand He is the richest source of nutrients for my soul. The choice  is mine to make which way I will see Him;  as trash or treasure.   

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “Matthew 6:21 KJV©

Be joy filled always,

Christine Davis

Don’t Run and Hide

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The other day Bandit the dog and I were waiting outside for a friend to stop by, when suddenly he went nuts!  His nose hard at work, he made a bee line for the garage walk in door which happened to be propped open. Low and behold, hidden behind an old milk can was a small ground hog.  Quick as a wink, I grabbed Bandit and took him back into the house. He was beside himself and barking his head off but was of no help at all. By then my friend showed up and I opened all the garage doors in hopes the frightened critter might just make a run for it.  

No such luck.   

When my friend and I finished our meeting, I decided Bandit was going to drive me mad as he was still barking and barking. I had to develop a plan; I didn’t want to turn him loose on the poor little guy – not only because I am a softie,  but I know ground hogs have very sharp teeth and a trip to the vet with my dog was not on my agenda or in my budget.   So, I recruited my husband from the farm shop and he grabbed a pitchfork to prod the little guy along.  

Naturally, the first thing the scared little intruder did was run right under our upright freezer.  Jay slid it out only to have him dart under my car, even though both garage doors and walk in doors were wide open.  He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and he was making matters worse with each and every choice he made. The poor little thing was terrified, he couldn’t understand our language or appreciate we were trying to help set him free so he just kept running, in the wrong direction.   Jay shooed him out from under the car and he ran under the work bench. Finally, getting the tines behind him, he was able to give him a gentle shove and off he went at a dead run out the big garage door and down the driveway to freedom.

I have found myself in the wrong place at the wrong time. There were times when I would just hunker down while someone barked their head off at me until finally, God showed up and tried to help me but His help sounded like an altogether different language that I was too scared to understand so I just hunkered down in my little corner.  I couldn’t appreciate that God was just trying to help set me free. Generally my troubles were due to my own bad choices but instead of heading in the direction of freedom I just kept running and hiding in all the wrong places.   Luckily, He persisted, finally giving me a gentle shove (or a much needed kick in the pants) in the right direction

Friends, if you are in caught in the wrong place at the wrong time and The Good Lord is trying to help you, don’t run and hide, let Him.  Let go of your self reliance and hold up the white flag of surrender; don’t  just keep on  running and hiding.  Believe you me, you won’t regret it. Really, you won’t. ©

“The Spirit of the LORD God is upon me; because he hath appointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.  Isaiah 60:1 KJV

Be joy filled always,

Christine Davis

 

 

Love with Boundaries

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Let’s take a look at the definition of love.  I think to truly love is to look beyond a persons appearance and behavior to their highest good; or better yet- especially when a person seems unlovable.  If you don’t follow Christ or believe in God, you can formulate your own set of thoughts here or simply stop reading, but for those of us that claim we do, we are duty bound to remember that all human beings are created in God’s image, and yes that includes the person of the other political persuasion or the one who just gave you the middle finger wave on the freeway or the guy or gal who recently broke your heart.  And because Jesus is God with skin on, maybe we just ought to sit up and pay attention to what he says and does and imitate him instead of shooting from the hip which is what happens most of the time. While on earth Jesus looked for the highest good in all people and he loved (still does) the lost, but he wasn’t was a doormat. Jesus loved with boundaries; he understood and showed us that boundaries protect ourselves and others.

Love with boundaries allows others the dignity to make their own mistakes and to learn from them. It is also the flip side of that coin; it doesn’t rescue others from the consequences of their choices.  It treats others as we would wish to be treated in any situation; it doesn’t fix, manage and control but minds its own business. It accepts life on life’s terms; prays for folks instead of talking about them behind their backs, which, by the way is gossip and it doesn’t belittle people.  Love with boundaries serves others without being servile; sacrifices time, talent and energy for the good of others without losing our self.  Love with boundaries can say no or detach in love when needed; doesn’t do for others what they should be doing for themselves. Love with boundaries drops the rope in the tug of war in a no win argument; remembers others may be soul sick human beings not bad people and loves without smothering – remembering each one of us are individuals, even when we are in close, intimate relationships. Love with boundaries looks at the log jutting out of our own eye not the stick in our neighbors’ eye.

Life is a made up of relationships and relationship is where love is made manifest and boundaries are found. We have relationships with family, friends, schoolmates, teachers,  ourselves,  strangers we come into contact with like other drivers and store clerks.  We have relationships with our work, co workers, our bodies, food, just about everything really.   If we don’t have a biblical based worldview (and sometimes even if we do!) we usually don’t learn to love with boundaries in our relationships until they begin to unravel. Far too often we confuse setting boundaries with building walls, shutting people or life out,  living in a state of denial about the reality of things.  Love with boundaries is a healthy way of learning to protect ourselves and others. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5,6 and 7) is the foundation of the house and lays out the tools we need while reminding us when we imitate him and live by his standards we are  light in a dark world. 

 In this life, pain is inevitable but suffering is optional when we learn to follow the leader Jesus Christ and to love with boundaries. “For God so loved the world.” John 3:16. ©

Be joy filled always,

Christine Davis

 

 

 

Commencement

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Last month our youngest child graduated from high school. During the graduation exercises I was thinking about the word commencement.  Commencement means a beginning or to start something.  Somehow commencement suits the occasion better than just the word graduation which means to complete a course of study and receive a certificate or diploma. Finishing high school is considered to be one of the big three life events; marriage and the birth a child being the other two.  In all three cases in order for something new to begin something else usually ends and oftentimes others are affected as well; the beginning of something for one person can mean the end of something  for someone else.

Fortunately, we don’t do life alone and even though we may not think so, what we do generally affects those around us, especially those closest to us. For Maggie, her high school and living at home days are coming to a close and university days are just around the corner.   It’s an exciting time in her life for her to stretch her wings. For her mother and father, the child raising days are drawing to an end and empty nest days are the next leg of the journey, it’s also time for us to stretch our wings.  It got me to reminiscing  about the time I left home after high school.  I was pretty self centered and rebellious at eighteen and I don’t think it ever once crossed my mind that  my leaving the house may have an effect on my folks (Like Maggie, I was the youngest child in my family of origin).  When I took my solo flight into adulthood it was pretty much all about me.  I know today that my self centered choices and decisions sometimes caused pain to those closest to me.  Thank goodness I am no longer that same person and I don’t have to live that way any more.   That’s a good thing not only for me but for those around me,  because even though it is my life,  it’s not just about me, at least it isn’t if I  claim to follow Christ. Following Christ means a person begins a new way of living life leaving the old way of life behind.  In a couple months, when Maggie goes off to school I get another shot at more independence in my life and I have a chance at a do over!  And, I can safely say that I won’t be pulling in to the old self service lane I once chose.

Thanks to God’s amazing grace, I have had a bunch of do over’s in my life, many chances at new beginnings.  That’s a God thing because God’s business is second chances. Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us, “22Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (NIV).

Yup, that’s the truth, and it is because  his great love is coupled with the fact he won’t throw me under the bus even if I deserve it as long as I turn back toward him. And that draws me to follow him and to want to love and serve him.  So if you are reading this and the God of your understanding is an angry, vengeful God, you have my permission to fire that God. Or if you have no God at all I would like to offer to lend you to mine for a free, no obligation, money back guarantee, ninety day trial.  And if you decide at the end of the trial period you don’t want to continue the relationship, He’ll gladly refund your misery. 

So what do you say, care to commence a new life?  

Be joy filled always,

Christine Davis

©

 

Humble Pie

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Humble Pie

As I was baking a pie recently I got to thinking about a slice of humble pie I had eaten a few years back. Jay and I were going through a rough patch in our marriage.  During that time, I happened across the Golden Rule which reminds us to treat others the way we wish to be treated (Matthew 7:12). I got to wondering what would happen if I were to humble myself and live out this principal in my marriage.  I decided to give it a go for fifteen days.  The rules were simple;   I was going to swallow my pride and treat my husband the way I wanted him treat me, with no expectation of receiving anything back in return.   If I sent a text telling him I loved him, I couldn’t be resentful if he didn’t reply in kind.   No more quid pro quo, I do this you do that type of thinking, I was going to do all the giving.  So, I leveled my pride and dove in. I like it when someone is kind and courteous to me or says please and thank you so I said and did those things.  I like getting a kiss and a hug from time to time, so I gave those away.  I like being asked about my day, so I asked and then shut up and listened.  I like being greeted with a smile and complimented for a job well done so I did those things to Jay as well.  

I gave it all away. And what I received in return was far and beyond what I could have imagined or hoped for!  I heard once that loving someone is looking for their highest good and I believe that is the basic premise of the Golden Rule.  The results were life altering and by the end of the fifteen days it had so transformed our relationship and the eyes through which I saw the world that I decided to practice the Golden Rule with everyone.  I am not perfect, but for the most part, this has become the basis for how I live my life. 

Practicing  humility is not the same thing as humiliation.   Humiliation is when we attempt to humble someone else, usually by shaming them. Which, by the way, never ever works.  Humility is the realization that the world doesn’t revolve around me and my desires. It doesn’t mean I trust someone who is untrustworthy; but it does mean I can still choose to treat the untrustworthy people in my life with dignity, and respect.  You see, I am developing a view of the world through the lens of God’s truth and  His kingdom found in the Bible and in Jesus Christ, instead of having a view of the world through the lens of the world’s truth.  Humans could never come up with the sort of truth embedded in the Golden Rule or the Bible on our own.  We come up with things like “Don’t get mad, get even.” Or “Do unto others and then split!”  Truth by the human race brought us the events of the twentieth century; while holding the distinction as the most modern time  in history, it also holds the title for the most  human atrocities and the  bloodiest time period in human history. We may be technologically advanced but we are still killing, lying to, stealing from and hurting one another.

 1 Peter 5:6 says Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”  Loving others who are easy to love is human nature.   Loving others unconditionally, warts and all is God’s nature; which, by the way, changes the world for the better. Always has, always will.   Thanks be to God!

Would you like to try a slice of humble pie?   I highly recommend it!

Be joy filled always, 

Christine Davis

©

Chasing Hope

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My friend Denise has two Labrador retriever dogs.  Grace is a yellow lab and she lives up to her breed; from the moment she is let out of the house she wants to play ball and if left to her own devices would chase the ball until she dropped dead from exhaustion. Fortunately her master Denise knows when it is time to end the game. Oliver the black lab is altogether quite different, he could come from a blood line called Labrador ball hog dogs because once he gets the ball he just wants keep it and chew on it. When he does that, Denise tells him to drop it and reluctantly he does.  Denise knows what is best for her dogs, they trust her, they love her and they know she loves them. 

I have things that I want to chase until I nearly drop over dead from exhaustion and/or reluctantly “drop”; and they are people and things in which I have placed my trust and hope. Trust and hope are two sides of the same coin, trust is where I choose to place my confidence and hope the expectation that something I want to happen will happen. I have fallen for the lie that just maybe someone or something will satisfy or save me and be the solution to my problems therefore filling the hole in my soul.  And not surprisingly, time and time again I came up short, feeling empty and perhaps even hurt on the inside. Things such as:  jobs; relationships;  behaviors of self or others; friends; someone else’s sobriety; the weather (I am a farmers wife after all); bank account balance, health; looks; children; athletic performance; marriage; the government; drugs or alcohol; food; what the scale says; the good opinion of others; busyness or activity, clothing; cars; being right; a fine home; the number of social media hits or likes; good deeds; and so forth and so on.

 The mighty warrior, yet often broken and humble King David reminds us, “For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.” Psalms 44:6. Don’t misunderstand me, many of these things are not bad in and of themselves; some are necessary – but when my peace of mind and the state of my soul depends upon faith in things that were not meant to last, they are bound to fail me which makes them false hope. Not good things to place my trust in.  People and things may improve the quality of my life and bring me temporary joy and happiness, and pay the bills (a good thing), but they were never meant to be where I put trust and my hope. Like Grace and Oliver, at some point in life I have to stop the game and drop the ball.   Let me be clear,  I am not saying I have to give up my friends or my job or my spouse, what I am saying is that I must give up the idea  that they are where my trust should be or my hope lies.  So when and if my Master says the game is over or asks me to let go of something or someone my whole world doesn’t come crashing down around my ears. He is the only safe place to put my trust.  He is the only one that offers unfailing hope. And He is 100% all of the time worthy of both my trust and hope because He is 100% all of the time good for his word.  He and he alone knows what is best for me. I trust Him, I love Him and I know he loves me. 

King David also said:

“And now Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.”  Psalms 39:7 KJV

©

#Asleep at the Wheel

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Today I was walking our dog along a route we have walked nearly every day for years.  We live on the edge of town and have walking options.  Bandit the dog prefers town; being the lonely only dog at our house there is much more to entertain on the town route and I know secretly he hopes to see other dogs.   His faithful master (that’s me) prefers the rock road because it is quiet, has less traffic and we don’t encounter other dogs; which is a good thing because a loose dog can quickly turn a pleasant walk into an unpleasant one.  

As we walked home along the sidewalk that runs parallel to the highway we live on, I noticed a cute little pooch up ahead. He was walking on the sidewalk all by his lonesome self and thank goodness he didn’t see us.  We were in the middle of the block and we could have turned around and taken a longer way home but I was a little nervous the other dog might spot us, get exited and run after us.  No owner in sight, of course.  I thought about crossing the road, Bandit was on leash, but I didn’t want to risk the other dog running after us and getting hit.  So, we just stopped; and then I noticed something I had not seen before, an alley to my left. And we abruptly turned left.

In all the years I had walked that route I had never before noticed that alley. I’d like to say that I pay attention to my surroundings but this proves I must not be very observant and this next story confirms that.  Just before the New Year as I took down the last year’s calendar and I leafed through the pages (it was a calendar I had purchased, not a freebie which makes this story even worse) and I noticed that each month had a covered bridge in the scene. I glanced at the front of the calendar; sure enough it was a series of covered bridge paintings. “How could I have missed that,” I wondered?  Well, I had; just as I had missed that alley. Sometimes it feels as though I spend most of my life asleep at the wheel.

I know I have been when it came to my faith.  For over fifty years I didn’t understand what I said I believed.  I grew up going to church and I went to church nearly all those years. But going to church doesn’t save you. And let’s be honest here, one has to want to be saved in the first place. With all my best thinking I walked right past Jesus Christ all this time; until one day I woke up and abruptly turned left, right into Him.   I nearly missed THE most important thing; the solution to all of my problems (yours too) and the source of my greatest joy (yours too)!  # No longer asleep at the wheel.

“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not” John 1:10-11

# Close personal relationship. # Nearly missed it. #Don’t be a dope like me!

#Joy filled always,

Christine Davis

 

A Day in Hell

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A few years back we had a cat named Clarence. Clarence was indoor/outdoor cat on our farm.  We let our cats be free to roam the entire farm as they wished with only one restriction; they had to be in the house at night.  One night Clarence didn’t come when we called.   We called and called his name, no Clarence.   We looked all around the farm, no Clarence.   Days passed, and we had begun to think that perhaps he was lost forever.

Five days after Clarence went missing; a local utilities truck pulls in our driveway.   The fellow inside jumps out and asks if it would be okay if he drove across our front lawn and into our field.   I said, “Absolutely”, and then asked, “Is there a problem with a power line?”  ”No” the man replied, “You see, we have gotten several calls to help a cat stuck on one of the electrical poles in your field and we have come to rescue it.”  My heart leaped!! Could it be??? This was a miracle!   Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined this rescue.   Dead on the road, yup.   Lost forever, you bet.   But not this!! So out to the field we go. And low and behold, there was Clarence way up high on the cross beam of an electrical pole.   Clarence the cat could not save himself, but love and a power greater than himself could. What a crazy and wonderful true story of love and divine rescue.

 The story of the Christian faith is just as crazy and wonderful!  God created the human race in His image and He had given mankind a beautiful garden in which to live and the freedom to roam anywhere we wished with one restriction.  

“And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.’  Genesis 2:16.

when you eat of it you will surely die

WHEN.  Not if. 

You eat of it.   He knew we would.  And we did.

You will surely die.  The mortality rate for human beings is 100%. Nobody gets out of this life alive. 

From the moment Eve took the first bite it was the beginning of the end.  God called, we didn’t come.   The eternal garden party was over. Sin and death were now our destiny,  a destiny of our own choosing, a self imposed hell.  We fell for temptation by the rebel leader and the consequences were separation from the presence of God, exile from the garden and death.   Life on earth became a temporary assignment.  Out of the garden we went.

Now at the very same instant that sin and death came into life, the search and rescue mission was also born.  Immediately God sought us when we didn’t come when He called; for the very first time in the garden as we hid in the bushes ashamed of our treason.  God was on a mission, a mission with a single purpose: to seek and save us from our own self destruction and from the enemy of man, Satan. 

God called our names and pursued us in many ways from burning bushes to parting seas, to commandments etched in stone by the very finger of the Ancient of Days.  But we just couldn’t seem to grasp the idea that what he was after – was us!  He wants a personal relationship with each and every one of us.   Somehow in the midst of it all we fell upon our own sword.  We began to worship the rules and our life on earth, forgetting that we are spiritual beings temporarily housed in a human body.   We wrongly think that if only we are good enough, or successful enough, or own the finest house that we win the game of life, and then God will love us.    What we can’t seem to grasp is that HE ALREADY DOES; He loves us unconditionally.  And it is that undeserved love or grace that makes us want to mend our ways.  We only need accept it and give it back to Him and to others.

The whole Old Testament is full of His attempts to love on; us and our failures to reach out and take that love.  It was at the very moment in time when it seemed as though we were lost forever, spiraling downward at breakneck speed, that God put His plan into action.  He knew the world needed help!   A savior!  The smoke signals were floating up to above from our puny planet!  We simply could not save ourselves! God knew in His heart there was only one way.   It was a plan that was predicted, yet very few would recognize as it unfolded.   God Himself would come down and save us. 

He was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended to hell.  On the third day he rose again from the dead.     Apostles Creed

So He did.   But not in the way anyone was expecting.    Riding in on a white horse, wiping out the bad guys?  You bet, we would buy that plan. A conquering hero, yes of course that is how He would come to us.  But the God who made the sun, moon and stars, formed into a fetus and born to a mom  just like you and I?  No way, that’s nuts!  The voice that spoke the earth, sea and sky into being speaking truth face to face with the beings He breathed life into? Naw.   The hands that healed the lame and opened the eyes of the blind took the nails and felt pain?  Crazy making stuff.  But oh my yes that is just exactly what he did.  And the God- Man Jesus died, just like you and I will someday die.   But the big difference is this:  Jesus, God with skin on, died on that Good Friday so very long ago to pay the ransom note for our freedom.  The very freedom we can use to either come back into the presence of the Father through Jesus Christ or use to reject Him, and therefore choose hell.  

Saturday is that silent day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  Have you ever wondered where Jesus was on that day?  The Apostles Creed tells he descended into hell.  Christ spent the day in hell because he loves us, and Romans tells us that God will go to any length to find us. We serve a God who has been to hell and back for us. 

And if we are honest, the hell  in our lives have been largely of our own making.  Yes, we not only choose it on earth, but we also choose hell for eternity. It is a choice WE are free to make. We can either choose to worship God alone, accept Jesus the God man’s grace and give it way to others.  Or not.  That is it.  These are the keys to the kingdom. God doesn’t put us in hell; we are free to walk up to the counter buy the one way ticket, either way ourselves. 

God makes easy terms to those who wish to find him. He calls us by name.  Sinner come home.   On Easter we celebrate new life in the spirit!  The proof is the empty tomb.  God is not dead!  We follow a living, loving God who loves us enough to live, to die, to spend a day in hell setting prisoners free and rose from the dead for us.    What a crazy and wonderful true story of love and divine rescue! 

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long: we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.   For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.   Romans 8:35-39 (NIV)

Christ is risen!  

Be joy filled always, 

Christine Davis   

Inside Out

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Gloomy; that is the word that describes our current weather, the weather forecast and the weather postcast (I made that word up).  The last ten days we have seen little or no sunshine and it is starting to show. I go work and clients remark on the lack of sun.  I go to the grocery store, the clerk is hoping for the sunshine. My reply is always the same, “Guess we will have to make our own sunshine today.”  We are definitely affected by what happens outside of us.

Truth be told, it is what goes on inside of us that matters most. We can source our own light within or we can succumb to the gloom and doom without.  The decision is ours to make, really.  How we respond to what happens outside of us is directly proportional to what we have stored up inside of us and I think one of the best things we can do build up a bank of light inside to draw upon when times get tough. Genesis 1:2-3 tells us the beginning was dark and then God’s presence brought light.  Not to be confused with the sun and the moon – they were created on day four.  This light is God’s goodness and His presence and our acknowledgement of it. It is the primordial yearning found deep inside each and every one of us. It is the real you and me that transcends time and space that we crave and long for but have forgotten to go to in this material, time based world. And as a result our first response is to almost always look outside of ourselves for our happiness instead of inside; instead of turning to the God already in us who waits patiently for us to wake up from our slumber and notice His presence! 

I can not get peace and contentment from anything outside of me.  Believe me, I have tried.  I remember hoping for him or her to do this or that; or when I got thus and such then I would be happy. And while whatever or whoever it was that I was so sure would make me happy may have done the job for a time, nothing earthly has ever and never will fill me for the long haul; the effect is always temporary and fleeting.  Listen to me, nothing outside of me has ever or will ever give me lasting peace or happiness; peace and happiness are an inside job and a choice that you and I must make.   Paul reminds us that contentment is not specific to time or space (Philippians 4:11) but to a mindset, or rather a heart set (I made that phrase up). It’s an inside out job.

I am commanded by the red letters of the Good Book to let my light shine, and I can’t give away what I ain’t got.  In that case I must be directly connected to the Source, of course.

Gloom, pain, hurt or loss got you down?  Look in and up, then choose to store up and shine out a little Sonshine, the kind that lasts. 

“Peace I leave with you.  My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.” John 14:27 NKJV

Be the light and be joy filled,

Christine Davis

 

Pacing Peppy

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 Pacing Peppy

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full.”  John 10:10

“I am a very old man, and have known a great many troubles. Most of them never happened.” Mark Twain

For the last day and a half my twenty three year old quarter horse mare Peppy has been pacing the fence line. Back and forth and back and forth and back forth she goes headed no where in a hurry.  Sometimes our ten year old gelding (her son) Banner will join in her frenzied march.  Like me, I don’t think he knows what she is so worked up about, but he clearly feels compelled to jump in the on the panic march.  At one point I led her into a safe, quiet stall and spoke calmly and reassuringly to her, telling her there was nothing to worry about.  It was to no avail, she was sure something was going to eat her (horses are animals of prey and think that way).  From time to time she would stop- and Banner would join her- clearly he is the follower not the leader even though he dwarfs her in size- to stare across our field to the east.  What they were watching intently so very far away is a mystery to me.  There is an acreage with a horse and goat in their line of view and at one point I pulled out our binoculars hoping to see just what it was exactly that had gotten them so stirred up and you’ll never guess what I saw?   Nothing. No horse. No goat. Not. One. Thing.  Go figure.

Finally I just threw up my hands and at that point I wished she could talk and just tell me what she was so worried about.   But I don’t really think it would help, because I know the truth, she herself is not really sure.

Too many times in my life I have been just like Pacing Peppy. Worked up over some thing or event that may or may not have happened I have found myself in frenzy.  Back and forth and back forth I go in a futile panic march making much ado about nothing and going no where in a hurry.  Sometimes others have been influenced by the chaos I have created and joined in, even though they may not even be sure why.  From time to time I have stopped and stared into the frozen and even distant past, or gazed to an imagined future whose outcome I am entirely powerless to control.

Sometimes I have to throw up my hands ask myself just what the heck is wrong with me.  Why have I have robbed myself of the gift of the present because I was too unwilling,  stubborn or stupid (is there a difference really?) or too frightened to listen to the calming voice of reason of a trusted parent, family member, friend or confidant who pulled me aside and spoke calmly and reassuringly to me? Perhaps it is because humans are creatures of habit and habits are hard to break or because I just would rather pace the fence line of fear and worry.

Doing more of what’s not working never works, it is about as effective as hitting myself over the head with a hammer to relieve a headache.  Ugh!

There is a solution, and all that is required is a simple willingness to believe, trust and obey the tried and true spiritual principals of the Gospel of the God man Jesus Christ and here they are: Love God. Love self. Love neighbor as self. 

Our Solution loves us unconditionally and He is the Good Shepherd who loves His sheep, horses, and humans. He wants us to have and to live life to the full, with Him.

And that does not include a life full of fear.

Unlike the thief who wants to keep us pacing.

Be joy filled always,

Christine Davis

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