A Typical or Atypical Pastor's Wife-whichever one you come to believe



Welcome to the barnyard. Watch your step! The things written here are raw and unedited. Just my thoughts thrown on a page as they flow from my heart.



Saturday, July 26, 2008

50th Wedding Anniversary

I just got home from attending a 50th wedding anniversary party for my in laws. Over 100 people joined together to celebrate! Old friends that they hadn't seen in many years came. Their church family was there. Their blood family was there except for one grandchild who was out of town. And what was even more amazing was the father of the bride was there! He'll be 94 next month! How many 50th wedding anniversary parties do you go to where a parent of the bride or groom is in attendance?

As I sat there and watched people greet them, reminiscing over old times, and giving them congratulations, I saw the joy and happiness on this well deserving couple's faces.

Here they were, 50 years after a shy 17 old boy and beautiful 19 year old girl tied the knot with nothing more than love to share with each other. They seemed like an unassuming couple. They married in Waynesboro, moved a few miles away to a town called Shady Grove, and then moved a few more miles further to a town called Greencastle where he worked almost 40 years for a manufacturing company and she spent her days cooking, cleaning and doing laundry--never even got her driver's license. They raised two boys who in turn married and had children of their own. Seems pretty normal, doesn't it?

But as my brother in law shared about their upbringing he brought up a point that I think is worth sharing and thinking about. This couple love God. They lived a Godly life before their sons, without any hypocrisy. They prayed both their sons back to God, after a not so brief exit from the faith.

Their sons, in turn, yielded a call from God to ministry. One son, pastored several churches both in youth ministry, campus ministry, and as a Sr. Pastor. Because of this there are missionaries literally all over the world, and families in the U.S. who faithfully support those missionaries all over the world.

The other son followed his call to Africa and will be ordaining 50 more ministers in November which brings the total to over 300. Three hundred pastors going throughout West Africa with the good news of Jesus Christ, all because two teenagers married and served God faithfully all of their lives. God only knows what else we could add to their repetoire, because they are both too humble to even mention what else they might have done in 50 years of marriage to affect the world for Jesus Christ. In fact, I doubt that until tonight they ever even thought about their lives making an impact of any recognition because they weren't building a kingdom, they were simply serving God. They weren't trying to be something, they simply were what God made them to be.

This couple will never be famous, not even in Africa, but God not only knows their names, He knows their hearts and He has recorded every good deed done in His name, for which they will receive their just reward.

They are a perfect example of "good and faithful servants". They simply followed God, even though He never led them more than 20 miles from the point where they started. In the grand scheme of things, they won't be remembered like a Charles Finney, or John Wesley. No history books will be written about them, they won't be included in the next edition of Foxes Book of Martyrs. But their names are written in the most important book--the Book of Life.

Throughout their marriage, they have managed to become one small stitch in the tapestry of time. And when time is over, and the tapestry is finally finished and on display, we would have to look very hard to find them. No one will examine the finished product and pick out that one little stitch and comment on it's beauty. They wouldn't want that either. But had they not been that stitch, there would be a gaping hole where their stitch and all the stitches that have stemmed from them should have been.

Only time and the judgement will fully reveal what a simple, God fearing, Christ loving couple has managed to accomplish for God without ever leaving home! Their lives are a tremendous encouragement for me as I go through the seemingly ordinary days of my life. They are also a tremendous challenge to me to live my life completely submitted and surrendered to God, not viewing success as anything earthly, but simply living for the One that saved me from my sin and watching what He can do through a yielded vessel.

Congratulations Harold and Louise on your 50 years of marriage, service, and success! May God continue to add stitches to His tapestry through your lives! I pray your stitch is of the very finest, shiniest gold!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Some Good Advice For The Unmarried

For any younger readers, yes, I do have a few.

Nancy Wilson says:

You must guard your imagination if you want to guard your heart. Don’t feed a lonely heart with cheesy romance novels or chick flicks and fantasize about the men or the relationships described. This can quickly become lust—lusting to be lusted after.

Don’t allow yourself to imagine someone is interested in you when he is just being friendly. Don’t imagine that he had a tender look when he said hello to you, when he was really just giving you a polite greeting. In other words, do not develop wild crushes. If the man in question shows an interest elsewhere, you will be hurt, and depending on how much you indulged your imagination, you may be devastated.

Be realistic about the men who show you attention....Cultivating male group friendships is a healthy alternative to the world’s dating system, but we must not use these friendships to fill a void. Friendships can be sexually charged, and women are usually very ignorant about this.

Friendships should not be intimate, but good-naturedly distant. Would you be able to maintain the friendship on an equal footing if you were married? If not, it is probably an inappropriate friendship. Women should have the kind of friendships with the brothers that are characterized by purity and propriety. If you have to alter your behavior after you are married, you have probably been behaving in an unwise or ungodly manner....

Rantings of a Retired Mind!

This is for the OLDER crowd or those who think of being older some day!

I was thinking about how a status symbol of today is those cell phones that everyone has clipped onto their belt or purse. I can't afford one. So, I'm wearing my garage door opener. I also made a cover for my hearing aid and now I have what they call blue teeth, I think.

You know, I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people didn't like me anyway.

I was thinking that women should put pictures of missing husbands on beer cans!

I was thinking about old age and decided that old age is 'when you still have something on the ball, but you are just too tired to bounce it.'

I thought about making a fitness movie for folks my age, and call it 'Pumping Rust'.

I've gotten that dreaded furniture disease. That's when your chest is falling into your drawers!

When people see a cat's litter box, they always say, 'Oh, have you got a cat?' Just once I want to say, 'No, it's for company!'

Employment application blanks always ask who is to be notified in case of an emergency. I think you should write, 'A Good Doctor'!

Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do...write to these men?

Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen could look for them while they deliver the mail? Or better yet, arrest them while they are taking their pictures!

I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older. Then, it dawned on me, they were cramming for their finals.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Worst Thing To Happen To The Christian Church is...


Disclaimer: IF the shoe fits, wear it. If you are a faithful attender of a local church, but you also watch Christian t.v., be on guard! If you don't watch Christian t.v. at all, don't start!!!! To all my "peeps" (as little Naomi would say), you guys are the greatest! I wasn't referring to any of you! No animals were injured or endangered in the writing of this blog but I did consider injuring the t.v.!

CHRISTIAN TV!!

Christian t.v. defies everything that God ever designed for the church. It has done nothing but damage the local body for many reasons.

1. Christian t.v. is entertainment. It is all about getting. Church is all about giving. Church is about coming to give, to offer something! To give worship and praise to God corporately with other believers. To be part of the chorus that sends a sweet sacrifice of praise to heaven. To bring a song, a Word, a testimony to build up and encourage other believers. To be obedient to the command of God to assemble TOGETHER with other believers for the purpose of worship, disipleship, and prayer. It's hard to pray a prayer of agreement when you can't see who you're agreeing with!

2. Christian t.v. steals the money that is to be brought into the storehouse. The local body is the place where God has ordained for you to receive the teaching of His Word and the building up of your spiritual life. It is also the place where you give in order that the ministry in your Jerusalem can be met. Your dollars are a sign to God that you have faith in His Word, in His leading, and in the ministry of that body. It is a sign that you are thankful to God for providing a body of believers to have fellowship with. It is for the upkeep of God's house, for meeting the needs of people in your body, and for the support of a Pastor who is be devoted to the Word and Prayer, which in turn is fed to you each week as spiritual food and direction. It really burns my biscuits to hear people on Christian t.v. talking about buying miracles of salvation and healing. Those things come by faith in the Blood of Christ alone. They are nothing less than "indulgences" sold to the highest bidder! How abominable! I've even heard ministers suggest that if you watch their program and are blessed that your tithe should come to them. They also do what Paul condemned, peddling their doctrines and false teaching, all in a pretty package that steals money from the true house of worship that God has provided for you that you are not supporting! Try calling one of those t.v. preachers to come and visit you in the hospital, or to counsel you when you're kids are on drugs, or have runaway. Try getting them to send you grocery money, or paying for medicine that you can't afford, or replacing a refrigerator when yours is broken! They are hirelings! When wolves come to kill and destroy you, they are no where to be found! You're on your own baby!

3. Christian t.v. causes people to compare what is portrayed as "church" on t.v. with the worship and preaching of the local church and the local pastor just never seems to measure up. T.V. ministers spend thousands, even millions on musicians, graphics, scenery, etc., to make their "Set" appear incredible, when in actuallity it might not be even an inkling of what it appears to be on t.v. It is t.v. afterall--you, know, that place where things are made to appear like something they aren't! I've been on some of these "sets" and they are nothing like what they appear on t.v. Many of them have musicians that are climbing the ladder, looking for a break into the music industry and are on t.v. because of their talent, more than their spirituality. Time has definetely proven this out! They actually tell people where to sit and place certain people in certain seats so that they can make the auditorium appear full or people appear to be totally enraptured by the sermon! I've been there and seen it! What it all comes down to is that when you compare the worship, the atmosphere, the charasmatic preaching and teaching, the hype, to your local church which has amatuer musicians who just love Jesus and want to worship Him, a Pastor, called of God to shepherd the sheep, to care for them, to help heal their wounds, to labor over the Word to deliver the basics of the faith for the building up of the Body, they just look bland and unimpressive compared to those on t.v., many of which preach the same thing over and over again, just with a different title or package. Your Pastor might not be eloquent, he might not have nice suits, he may not be musical or know how to arrange decorations to look spectacular, but he's the one who labors in prayer over your soul every week. He's the one who labors in the Word to feed you a well balanced spiritual meal on Sunday morning, he's the one who looks after your life to keep you on the straight and narrow. He's the one that rises from His bed at all hours of the night to attend to your emergencies! He's the one who bears the burdens that you bear in life, who prays you through them, who cries with you, rejoices with you, comforts you, encourages you. He is personally concerned with every member of the Body. His thoughts are of you as he goes through his day! Even if a t.v. minister promises to "pray for everyday if you give $1000.00--the best you're going to get is a hand laid on a piece of paper with a couple hundred names, and I honestly doubt that you'll get that!

"Well, I just can't find a good church where I live!" How dare you bring an indictment against God because He hasn't provided a Body for you in your community, therefore, you have to be ministered to by the t.v. How dare you accuse God, the Great Shephard, of not providing what He has promised to every believer! Maybe you just weren't listening when you went "church shopping"--I hate that term-- and you missed the voice of God because you think you need or deserve a church like you see on t.v. Or maybe you took a job because you would make a lot of money without first taking the time and effort to look for a church before making your decision! Shame! Shame!

4. Christian t.v. leaves people as an island to themselves, with no accountability, no discipleship, and no fellowship. That is the devil's playground! Scripture explicitly tells us not to forsake the gathering together of ourselves. If you're sitting on your tukus on your couch during church, you are disobeying the Word of God. Your contribution to the Body of Christ is missing. Your song, your word, your testimony no one is hearing--therefore your part in edifying the Body is absent. You begin to think that you don't need a Pastor to be a successful Christian. What about what you're supposed to be giving? Truth is, you refuse to come under the anointing of a Pastor/teacher or an Apostle because they couldn't shephard you like so and so on t.v. So and so on t.v. wouldn't give you the time of day. He's pawn you off on some Associate Pastor that might not have as great an anointing as the Pastor God provided for you in your own town. That's rebellion!

Then there are those who have their favorite t.v. preacher, but attend church regularly. They are still an island unto themselves! They come and sit, pontificate occaisionally about something they heard on t.v., but they aren't really a part of the body. They never get fully behind any direction the Pastor feels the congregation should go. When something appears to not have worked out the way the Pastor envisioned it, they say in some way, "well, I knew that was a mistake when he did it." They rarely, if ever, come to the Pastor for help or counsel but they will come and accuse or try to find something wrong with the Pastor--"because they want to pray for him." They are like a skin tag. They hang around the body, but they aren't really a part of the body. And of all the ones that we have seen in bodies that we have been in, they always oppose, in a nice way, the authority of the Pastor. The Pastor will preach something, and they will stand up immediately after as if to reaffirm what Pastor said, and will say the exact opposite of what he just said, and make it sound spiritual. Skin tags are a nuisance and should be cut off! They will only end up making the body of Christ look ugly.

5. Alot of what is on Christian t.v. is anything but Christian, so people hear doctrines of demons and think it's the Word of God. It gives every fruit, flake and nut a voice! If you call yourself "Christian' and have money, you can be on Christian t.v. Even if your doctrine is false, the station just puts up a "disclaimer" before or after the program. But they let false teachers misrepresent Christianity to thousands of viewers so that they can fill their time slots and the pocketbooks! They base what they air on public opinion, what people want to hear, instead of God's opinion of what they need to hear! Christian t.v. and radio used to be full of preaching and teaching of the Word of God. Now we have music and talk shows, it's all about me, me, me--my life, my call, my destiny, my problems, my thoughts, my feelings, my life--HELLO! It's supposed to be all about Christ, His Word, His Will, His way! It doesn't bother people that most of these ministers live extravogant lifestyles, drive expensive cars, live life to the excess. In fact, many believe that it's a sign of God's blessing! Another area where their Pastor doesn't measure up! Or they believe that their local Pastor should be humble and barely make a living!

6. It's terrible stewardship! When I think of all the money wasted by Christian t.v., it makes my blood boil! Did you know that when you send money to most ministries, on t.v. or not, that only a small percentage of it actually gets to where it's going? And even then, if the proper political protocol has not been followed, it may never get where you're going. Don't you ever stop to ask yourself how these t.v. ministers can get such quick access to all the disaster zones, the struggling countries, the people? I know for a fact that one guy who claims to have a big feeding program goes once a year and feeds a bunch of orphans in a warehouse one meal and takes a bunch of photos, then comes back to the U.S. and shows the photos to people to support his "feeding program". Disgusting!

Yet people continue to watch t.v. To sit on their butts, taking in knowledge of the Word, with no outlet for practically living the Word. That's a recipe for weird!!! They continue to ignore what their local Pastor preaches, if they go to church at all, because it's not nearly as "deep" or exciting or mentally stimulating as the preacher on t.v. I guess it never crossed their minds that God might have had to give the Pastor a "shallow" sermon because of the audience that he's delivering it to! They give money for all kinds of products, to all types of "needs", never really knowing if their money is being used for what they send it for or not. (many ministries have a disclaimer of their own that says that they reserve the right to use your money for whatever they please!)




Saturday, July 19, 2008

Do You Need To Bathe A Fish?

These are the kinds of questions my kids ask me first thing in the morning after a night of not much sleep. I just want to sit in the truck and be quiet. I don't mind the mindless chatter, unless I am being called into it because then I can't ignore it on the chance I would be accused of being rude!

~What would happen if all your skin peeled at one time?
~How many licks does it take to lick a lollipop all gone?
~Why did God make mosquitos?
~Am I going to die from this--referring to a microscopic spot on a leg, arm, or face which is probably a freckle?

Even midday, when I'm hungry, tired and extremely sweaty and thristy, I don't want to go to McDonalds, order a #4 value meal "WITH A SWEET TEA" and have the order taking, brain injured cashier look at me and ask "would you like that sweetened or unsweetened?" --THREE DAYS RUNNING! HELLO!!! DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?

That's my main question lately? Do I speak English? Or does it change to Lithuanian when it goes from my brain to the airwaves? Are my sound waves catching on something and getting skewed on their way out? I say to my kids, pick up that paper and put it in the trash. They say OK and then they just sit there. When I mention it, they say "what paper?" Or I say "bed time" and no one moves. Or I say "supper's ready", and 5 minutes later I hear toilet's flushing, shower's running, and t.v.'s being turned on.

I was really thinking something was wrong with me the other day when I spied an ambulance pulling out of a garage. The word "ambulance" on the front of the vehicle was spelled backwards! For a brief moment, I thought I had developed dyslexia! Or, as my hubby pointed out, maybe the whole world is dyslexic-except for me, but I quickly discarded that theory because I can read all the street signs! Shewww! Anyway the ambulance was in a garage beside a communications place, so I thought maybe someone had boo-booed and they were there to get it fixed! Then my husband informed me that it was for people who acutally look in their rear view mirror--the very few--when they hear a siren.

And speaking of ambulances! The other day my oldest and I were riding in the car and an ambulance was coming! (yes, I did look in my rear view mirror, but it wasn't close enough for me to read "ambulance"). Some idiot pulled out in front of the ambulance, trying to take advantage of everyone being in the right lane--duh, wouldn't you think it a bit strange if every car for several hundred yards all the sudden started to pull into the same lane of a 4 lane highway? Wouldn't you at least glance in your mirror to see if there was something going on? Not this guy! Then when the ambulance got to the intersection, no one tried to pull over, no one moved, they just all sat there and the ambulance had to swerve out around!

Is the whole world brain dead???? Is it the full moon??? Do teens, from some kind of bizarre hormonal occurance forget everything they learned between birth and adolesence? Will I spend the rest of my life saying "I raised them better than that?" Will their questions ever be answered? Do you need to bathe a fish?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Christian, How Much Do You Weigh?

This is something we've been saying for years! Now some guy is making money off it as if it's a new idea!!!! Regardless, it bears repeating!

David Wraight, author of the new release The Next Wave , writes, “If we are truly serious about Jesus’ call to make disciples, then everything we do should be designed to take the people in our care further along the pathway to spiritual authenticity and maturity.” One of the challenges facing church leadership today as we move away from programmatic and statistic-oriented measurement to a spiritual-formation orientation is that pastors need to redefine success.

Wraight goes on to quote Dallas Willard; “The popular model of success involves the ABC’s — attendance, buildings, and cash. Instead of counting Christians, we need to weigh them. We weigh them by focusing on the most important kind of growth—love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness, and so on—fruit in keeping with the gospel and the kingdom."

Daniel 5:27 .... Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Yep, that's how the Bible describes us. A blip on the screen, a vapor in the wind, a flower that blooms and just as quickly dies away, never to return.

Ps. 49:5
Why should I fear in days of adversity,
When the iniquity of my foes surrounds me
Even those who trust in their wealth, and boast in the abundance of their riches?
No man can by any means redeem his brother,
or give to God a ransom for him--for the redemption of his soul is costly, and he should cease trying forever-That he should live on eternally; That he should not undergo decay.

It goes on to say that:
-even wise men die
-the stupid and the senseless alike perish and leave their wealth to others
-they think that lands and houses are forever but "Man in His pomp will not endure; He is like the beasts that perish. This is the way of those who are foolish."

David prayed and said "make me to know my end, and what is the intent of my days, let me know how transient I am."

I have been thinking alot lately about life, how fleeting it is, how we cannot stop or slow time (even if I buy anti aging creams), that our days are numbered on earth. Life can stop as quickly as it started, at any moment. Having a few near misses myself, losing friends that were still young, and watching the news stories about all the ways people die everyday causes me to ponder the brevity of life.

OH MY GOODNESS! I'm 48 and pondering the meaning of life! I guess it's about time I get around to it!!!! The Puritan writer stated it so well when he said:
"There is one thing that deserves my greatest care, that calls forth my ardent desires,
That is, that I may answer the great end for which I am made--
to glorify thee who has given me being,
and to do all the good I can for my fellow men;
Verily, life is not worth having
if it be not improved for this noble purpose
Yet, Lord, how little is this the thought of mankind!
Most men seem to live for themselves,
without much of any regard for thy glory,
or for the good of others;
They earnestly desire and eagerly pursue
the riches, honours, pleaseures of this life,
as if they supposed that wealth, greatness, merriment,
could make their immortal souls happy;
But alas, what false delusive dreams are these!
And how miserable ere long will those be that sleep in them,
for all our happiness consists in loving thee, and being holy as thou art
holy.

O may I never fall into the tempers and vanities, the sensuality and folly of present world!
It is a place of inexpressible sorrow, a vast empty nothingness;
Time is a moment, a vapour,
and all its enjoyments are empty bubbles,
fleeting blasts of wind,
from which nothing satisfactory can be derived;
Give me grace always to keep in covenant with thee, and to reject as delusion a great name here or hereafter, together with all sinful pleasures or profits.
Help me to know continually that there can be no true happiness,
no fulfilling of thy purpose for me,
apart from a life lived in and for the Son of thy love.

I have often thought of my reward in heaven. All the unseen acts of goodness will be brought to light, all the false accusations will be exposed, every wrong will be made right, and I have gained comfort from that. But the more I thought this way the more the Lord impressed upon me that even THAT is pride--it thinks I will finally be seen and appreciated and affirmed!
But you know, heaven is not about me, it's about Christ! It's about HIS affirmation, its about all wrongs committed against HIM being made right. If I am there, it will be only because I have decreased to the point of death and I now live in and through HIM. Every crown, every reward, every affirmation, every confirmation, every accolade of my life as it is reviewed is not mine, it is HIS! All my crowns, all my rewards will be laid at HIS feet in humble recognition that it was HIM in me all along that did anything worthy of reward.

And what about my reward???

My reward is that I will live to see Christ receive HIS reward!
I deserve no reward. I deserve no accolade. I deserve no affirmation, no confirmation, for it is not even my love that compels me to live for God, it is HIS love, placed in me by the Holy Spirit under the direction of Christ. Christ is the source and enduring fuel of any holiness found in me. And to think that I have been connected to and am identified with Christ is a wonder so amazing it is incomprehensible. Christ is all together lovely to me!

"Reign, blessed Jesus, in my heart--reign supreme, and without a rival. I would sincerely love you above all things in heaven or earth. I see that YOU are infinitely glorious in Yourself, and worthy of my highest esteem and love. I would renounce all that the world calls good or great--that I may be entirely Yours! Be my everlasting inheritance, and I shall desire nothing that the whole world can bestow."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lines Unread--A Poem

I have a blog but no one reads

I share my heart, but no one sees

I have some dreams that no one shares

I have ideas, but no one cares

I have concerns but no one hears

There's no one here to wipe my tears

I published my heart in cyberspace

Alas, I fear, it was a waste



How sad it is that I believed

My blog might be interesting, I'm so deceived

Am I so vain that I feel the need

to make some noise, so I'll be seen?

Am I so desperate to be heard

That I write for no one? How absurd!

I think of things, I write some lines

But no one stops to take the time

To read my thoughts, or write and say

I think your thoughts are A-okay

Nor do they dispute the things I write

Because my heart is not in sight--

Of anyone who really cares

Except to compare my blog with theirs



But still I write, with longing dream

That my blog will pop up on someone's screen

And that some day someone will say

"Hey! I read and pondered your thought today"

But if they don't, I'm still alright

Let's face it, I do it cause I love to write!

So even if no one ever sees

I'll continue to write and be well pleased!
























You Can't Judge a Book by its Cover

This is my dog.
This is how my dog looks when you mention the word "tubbie".

Now you can't really see too closely from this photo, but she is a little greasy behind the ears, she has two dried chew spots on her back which are covering two scabby places that she chewed, her tail is a little clumpy from her "friendly peeing", and to be honest, right now, she just plain stinks. In fact, if she greeted you from the curb while you were walking on the street, you might think she was just a low down dirty dog!

In actuality, you don't have to know her very long to figure out that inside that somewhat disheveled exterior beats the heart of the sweetest, most loving, most affectionate animal on the face of the earth. If you judged her solely on her exterior, you would miss out on the very pleasurable experience of knowing her and feeling loved by her.


This is my trash can.
Isn't it pretty? So streamline, so clean on the outside. It looks pretty darn good sitting along the curb on Tuesday mornings. We don't have trash bags piled up in a heap, no sir, our trash is neat. Just the can and the recycle bin. It's quite impressive. It really enhances our image as organized and neat people who spare no expense at doing things right! Yep, it's a keeper!
In actuality, as I discovered yesterday, that trash can is full of trash and what's worse--it stinks! Upon investigating further, I discovered a whole pile of trash on the bottom of it that had not been put in bags, therefore the trash man would not empty them. To make matters even worse, at some point the lid had been left open during a rain storm, so there was a few inches of brown, sewer like water laying in the bottom mixed in with the trash. And from the looks and smell of things, those things had been in there for at least a year.
Here is what I discovered: empty plant containers from last years garden, a broken air filter cover from the Scag mower that I broke last summer backing into a ladies tree, multitudes of empty freeze pop papers, about 30 yds. of used weed eater string pieces, a rag that was too disgusting to investigate further, two bags of dog poop that had been broken open from who knows when, a plastic piece off something--it will forever remain a mystery, legos, candy papers, box tops, and other varieties of things that were too small to dig through so I just scooped the whole mess onto a shovel and deposited it into a garbage bag. The smell was so bad that my children--who can lay in the next room and not smell that something is on fire in the kitchen--came to the window to find out what that awful smell was!
Moral of the story-you can't judge a book by it's cover! The short tax collector in scripture didn't look so good on the outside, neither did that widow that gave all she had in the offering plate, but on the inside they were full of goodness. On the other hand, the rich, young ruler was a fine looking speciman of a man and those religious giants of the day, the Pharisees, looked pretty "fine" in their ceremonial robes and self righteous looks, but in reality, they were no better than the inside of my trash can--white washed sepulchres, a stench in the nostrils of God.
I guess what got me thinking about all this was a song I had heard earlier about a traveler slipping into church one Sunday morning not dressed in his Sunday best. The congregation, finely dressed in their Sunday best, paid him no heed, in fact they whispered and made fun. Unfortunately, they never did really find out what was on the inside of the man.
How often do we do the same thing? Do we go and sit with visitors when they come to church? Do we stare and examine their appearance before deciding if we want to bother introducing ourselves? Is our speech full of self righteousness as we get to know them? Do we make them feel loved and as if we are glad that they came?
What about our neighbors? Or co-workers? Do we stop to consider what work the Holy Spirit has been doing in them or do we just see them as a lost cause?
Do we judge a book by it's cover?
If someone examined my life as closely as I examined my dog and the contents of my trash can, what would they find? Would they leave feeling loved and appreciated or would they run the other direction holding their nose?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

You know you spend too much time on the computer when:

You Know you spend too much time on computer when:

Your husband calls you on your cell phone from the bedroom to find out if you’re coming to bed tonight.

No one can find any dishes to eat off of because they are all sitting on your computer desk.

You tell your kids that the vegetable that night is sweet peas, and they think those whimsical happy faces on your computer screen are coming for dinner.

Your hubby hacks into your account and puts the old classic song, “Baby come Back” as a request on your profile page.

When your kids come walking in the door from school, they go directly to your favorite group and write a post-- “Hey Mom! We’re home! Is there anything for snack?”

You start to miss going to church because you are “fellowshipping” or “ministering” to others on line.

Your hubby has to email you to tell you that he’s hungry and what’s for dinner?

Your friends think that there’s something wrong with your phone line because it’s always busy. (Yes, some of us are still not up to date in our technology!)