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Fly Swatter Faith

Ecclesiastes 10:1 “As dead flies give perfume a bad smell…”

We’re supposed to be the aroma (perfume) of Christ in the world, but flies buzz about (temptations) that, when allowed in, stink up our testimony. How do we swat the flies? The same way Jesus did.  When He was tempted by Satan, He would smack him with the Word of God.  Look up Luke 4 to see for yourself.

That’s why it’s important to know His word, to have it at the ready like a fly-swatter hanging within reach.  You never know when you’ll need it.

Here’s some sample flies and how to swat them.  They may or may not be the ones I struggle with, I’ll never tell.  [ok, they’re mine, but don’t tell me I told you. 🙂 ]:

click pic for Flickr source

Fly: drink too many beers when the family goes out for pizza (3 instead of 1 or 2).

Fly Swatter: Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.> Proverbs 20:1

Fly:  Make my life as comfortable as possible.  Sure, pray for peeps in need, sometimes, when it’s convenient, but only help enough to appease my guilty conscience.  Keep it comfortable.

Fly Swatter: “The love of Christ compels me, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died, and one died for all that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who loved them and gave Himself up for them.”  >2 Corinthians 5:14

See how it works?

Click pic for Flickr source

Let’s pray:

Father, thank you  for the Bible, Your Word, that is sharper than a two-edged sword, able to pierce as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow and able to lay bare the thoughts and intentions of our hearts before Your eyes. (Hebrews 4:12-13)

Help me to know which verses would make the best swatters for all the temptations and doubts that buzz around my head and heart.

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Do you know the One who knows you better than you do? (does that make sense?!)   Click the pic below for a quick introduction:

see below for pic source


http://www.punjabigraphics.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/hello-broken-down.gif

Crutches Faith

Surprise! You will now be a shut-in for several weeks. Do not pass "Go". Do not collect $200.

Although my feet are not my best feature, I thought it was appropriate to take a picture of my ankle brace next to the geraniums I might not be able to plant as soon as I’d like because of …(dramatic music builds)…an ankle sprain!

Ok, it’s not that dramatic, but it it has been a pain in the, well, ankle, and has dramatically changed my life.

Been there?  Done that?

Until two days ago at 11:30 I was an active,  fit 4o- something year old (47 – Shhh! Don’t tell anyone.) training to be an RPM instructor at my local gym.

RPM = group bicycle spinning class = hard, sweaty challenging fun with a lot of sweating.  Did I already mention the sweating?

RPM!! click pic for source

So, when I suggested to my 16 yr. old son that we jog as we were hiking along a local nature trail, it was no big deal until my son heard me screaming behind him and saw me sitting on the trail yelling incomprehensible things with a “colorful expression” thrown in that no self-respecting devotional blog writer ought to be saying.    sigh…

And just like that, Fit 40-something meets Hobbling Grandma.  sigh again…

I could easily give in to despair…

but I’ve decided to pull myself up by my biking shorts and make the best of it.

Afterall, the Lord of the trails allowed this path to fall before me, or me to fall on it, and though it looks a bit crooked and scary at the outset, I’m trusting that I will end up in a better place than when I started.

Here’s some verses I’m going to lean on while I recover to help me walk a little stronger, faith-wise.  Each says something encouraging about ankles, or paths. 🙂

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart.  Lean not on your own understanding.  Acknowledge the Lord in all of your ways and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

“You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.”  (Psalm 18:36)

” All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.   Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.”  (Hebrews 12:11-13)

click pic for source

Let’s Pray:

Father, you are my coach, my trainer, my instructor, my Lord, and my friend.

Even though I’ve shed a few tears bawled, I thank you for this trial because I know from the Bible that hardships grow us up and teach us to persevere. (James 1:2-4)

Help me to trust in You at all times, even on crutches.

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Wanna meet The Coach?  His name is Jesus, and you can lean on him when you’re feeling weak, like a crutch, only better. 🙂  Click the pic below for a quick introduction:

me, 2nd day on crutches

Bike Across America: Tumbleweed Faith

Biking the roadways in the southwest means heat, more heat, and dodging  LOTS of tumbleweeds.

Tumbleweeds  aren’t native to the southwest, ya know.  The prickly thistle is a Russian immigrant.  Da! (yes, in Russian)

The seeds were delivered to the west via the Transcontinental Railroad, attached to burlap bags from Russia.

Transcontinental Railroad, click pic for source

Well, no matter where they come from, I’ve decided I don’t want to have tumbleweed faith.  Nyet! (no!)

I don’t want my faith in God’s goodness to be bounced around by every wind of doubt and my ever-changing circumstances. Nyet, spotzeebo! (no, thank you!)

I don’t want a heart that follows God today

because everything’s going my way,

but, if tomorrow pain I feel?

says, “Move over, God, I’ll take the wheel!”

And do you know why the tumbleweed tumbles?

Well, after a short time of flowering:

click pic for source

the round, prickly plant develops a tough layer of cells at the base thus cutting itself off from the root, and off it goes…

Hmmmm…maybe that’s why my faith takes a tumble sometimes, too.

Maybe by skipping out on reading the Bible and forgetting to pray too often, my heart develops a tough outer layer and I cut myself off from the Root,

Jesus,

my heart’s REAL desire.

Then, off I go

tumbling about in the dust

snagging myself on barbed wire.

click pic for source

The Apostle Paul didn’t want his disciples in Ephesus to have Tumbleweed Faith, either, so he prayed this prayer for them…

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father…

that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory,

to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;

and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

may be able to comprehend with all the saints

what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

and to know the love of Christ

which surpasses knowledge,

that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14)

And did you see how big that root of love is?  (“How big is it?”, remember the old Johnny Carson show? :] )  It’s so big, we need help from God to “comprehend” the” breadth and length and height and depth” of it.  Now, that’s alotta love, and you and I HAVE to stay anchored to it, to Jesus, to grow.

Russian Thistles (Salsola Collina), before they become Tumbleweeds, click pic for source and to read more about the Tumbleweed from Blue Planet Biomes

Let’s pray:

Oh, Father in heaven, I want to know, know, know that love, that is beyond my ability to understand in my human fraility.

Fill me with ALL of your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. [the fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22]

In Jesus’ name, Amen!!!

Do you have an anchor for your soul? Click on the pic below to meet mine.  You’ll be glad you did.  You’ll say, “spat-zeebo” (thank you), and I’ll say, “Ne-za-chto” (don’t mention it.)

P.S. We’ve logged another 100 miles in New Mexico on our (virtual)  Bike Ride Across America (confetti, horns, hip-hip-hurrays!!!!)

The hot, dusty road brings us to the little town of Deming.

(not really, just pretend.  we’re actually riding around our midwestern town, and up in Door County on our vacation, my husband and I, and we’re logging our miles on a Google map as if we were riding from the Atlantic to the Pacific across the south and southwest.  Click on the map below to read about our crazy adventure)

 Deming, NM(map from epodunk.com)

Busy, busy, busy me

Sorry, Gloriadelia readers, I’ve been BUSY with summer.  Bike riding, chillaxing, family reunioning.  But blogging?  Noooooooo…..

Well, click on “Pike’s Peak” over to the right in the tag cloud to read about last summer’s vacation, and the lessons learned.

Just like the mountains of Colorado, those posts are worth revisiting. 🙂

Koala Baby Faith

“Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him.” ~Psalm 42:5

I’m taking a sign language class this summer at my local junior college.  I like how the signs that the deaf use to communicate actually look like real things.  It makes it easier to remember.

The sign for “hope”, for instance, is:

"Hope", from Deaf Missions (click pic to see more and visit their web-site)

To me, it looks like hanging onto something.

And what is the Christian supposed to hang onto?

God, of course.

Like it says in that verse above, “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him.”

We’re supposed to hang onto Him like a Koala baby:

Koalas! Click pic for source

And when human daddy’s give their kids piggy back rides, they have to stoop down first to be at their level so he/she can climb on.  Then the daddy can lift the child high into the air.

Which reminds me of this verse:

“…You stoop down to make me great.” ~~Psalm 18:35

God bent down to our level when He sent Jesus to us.

He stooped down from all his glory in heaven, so His children could climb onto His shoulders.

And He lifts us up,

out of the darkness

And carries us into the light.

Piggyback! Click pic for source

Let’s Pray:

Father, as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are your ways so much higher than ours. (Isaiah 55:9)

Yet, you humbly bent down to our level, so we could climb aboard and ride out eternity with you.  Thank you, thank you, for saving me out of the miry clay (Psalm 40:2)

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

“He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay.  And He set my feet upon a rock, making my footsteps firm.  He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to my God…”  ~~ (Psalm 40:2-3 NASB)

Need a piggy back ride?  Click on the pic below to be introduced to the One who will gladly oblige.

The pic above is gratefully borrowed from HERE

Faith when your tires are flat…

my husband and son changing a flat on a windy day.

Why doesn’t life behave itself?!

I mean, getting a flat on a bike ride isn’t bad enough. Sometimes, like today, you have to get two!  That’s what happened to my poor little Lance-Armstrong-wanna-be husband this morning when he was out riding in the country, far, far from home.

And, sometimes — even worse –good people die horrible, agonizing deaths.

And, sometimes — whether we like it or not — and no matter HOW HARD we try, we have a bad hair day.  (Hey!  You have your tragedies, I have mine.  Don’t judge.)

That’s life.

Bummer.

BUT, like Chip Ingram ** (a pastor) reminded me on the radio yesterday, “Life is hard, but God is good.”

And, like the song says, “If you can’t trust His hand, trust His heart.”

God has a gooooooood heart:

God IS love, the Bible says. (1 John 4:8)

And who does he love?

people.

I don’t why, but He does!

He does!!

He does!!!!

Stop, Drop, and Pray!

Let’s pray:

Oh, Father, you so loved us that you gave your only Son so that whoever would dare to believe in Him would not perish, but have eternal life with you.  (John 3:16)

You comfort us when we’re down, and, not only are you compassionate toward us, but the Bible says you are “The Father of Compassion”.  ( 2 Corinthians 1:3)

You stoop down to make us great. (Psalm 18:35)

He strengthens the weak ( Ephesians 3:16) and You love children (Mark 19:14).

may we “have power… to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of [You].” (Ephesians 3:18-19)

You are able to do way Way WAY more than we anything we could imagine! (Ephesians 3:20)  In Jesus’ mighty, powerful, loving name, AMEN!”

“..to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” ~Ephesians 3:21

Do you know Jesus? Click on the pic below to be introduced…

HE LOVES YOU A CHOCO-LOT!

**(click on Chip Ingram’s  name above to hear what I was listening to.  See the audio list? Click the second one, June 10th, 2010)

Soul Anchor

False security.  That’s the topic for today.  Why?  Because last night when I finally made it to bed after a long evening, a storm hit.

As the winds raged through the woods about my house and the rain beat against the window above my head I buried my face into my nightly source of comfort.  You might think that would be my husband, and I suppose he is to an extent.  I mean, he keeps my feet warm, but I absolutely can’t sleep without my “snuggly robe”.

Me in my snuggly robe

I have a huge, soft robe that I wear sometimes during the day, but always sleep with like a teddy bear, at night.

And, of course, I cuddled in closer next to my sleeping husband, as well.

So I fell off to sleep, then,  cozy and secure,  missing the storm at its worst, complete with tornado sirens.  My son informed me about it next day.

Funny thing is, although I felt “cozy and secure”, if a tornado had hit our house, me and my snuggly-robe would have been sucked right out the nearest window!

What’s your snuggly-robe? What teddy bear do you cuddle in closer to when the storms of life hit?

I think it would be better to hang onto something that wouldn’t blow away so easy, something with roots.  Don’t you?  A soul anchor, perhaps…

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain…” Hebrews 6:19

And what is this “firm and secure hope anchor for the soul?

JESUS,

JESUS,

JESUS…

“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:25

And what does he save us from?  Ultimately, eternity in hell, but daily?

Only Jesus can save us from the storm that howls about us and threatens to suck us right out the window every day, every moment…

our sin.

He saves us from our selfish own selves:

“Such a high priest meets our need-one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.” Hebrews 7:26

So, again I ask, what are you clinging to?

“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”  Jonah 2:8

Thing is, we can’t hang onto Jesus with dirty hands.  So, here’s some verses I’m clinging to today.  You might want to hang on, too:

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.

Honor one another above yourselves.

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Share with God’s people who are in need.

Practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another.

Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.

Do not be conceited.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil.

Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  Romans 12:9-21

Do you have an anchor for your soul?  Click on the pic to meet mine: