Tag Archives: harm

Let love lurk

Pr. 1:11:  “If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait to shed blood; let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;”

1 John 4:7-8 says, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

There is a striking difference between the attitudes in this proverb and in 1 John.  Without God, love is not shown to others.  In fact, as is demonstrated in this verse, there may be complete disregard for others well-being.

What’s lurking beneath our surface?  Are we ready to pounce on others and cause harm; or are we so saturated with God’s love that it overflows and gushes onto those around us?

When we are born of God and know God, we show love.  The love in our relationships is a very clear indicator of the knowledge of God and His love within us.  If God’s love is revealed through us, what is our love for others saying right now on His behalf?

Paying attention to my ambushes,

jamie

Don’t reach for that compromise

Tuesday night we headed outside for a family activity.  Within minutes, we realized that the mosquito families had joined us.  My husband was quick to declare it time for bug spray.

Not speaking in time to ask for my own chemical free bug spray, and not wanting to walk the 200 ft. inside to get it myself, I decided to tough it out.  It wasn’t long before I was so uncomfortable that I actually reached for the chemical laden bug spray and sprayed it on my skin.

Although I was uneasy with my decision and trying to spray it a bit lighter than usual, I covered all exposed areas.  As I wondered why I wouldn’t just walk back in and grab the spray I’m more comfortable with, I began an internal dialog:  “Just once won’t hurt.  I need this.  It will be alright.  If you go inside you might miss out on some fun.  Quit stressing about this one decision.”

I compromised my standards about intentionally using chemicals on my skin and still ended up with 10 mosquito bites.  Not only that, but the effects of the chemicals absorbing into my skin are not yet known.  Who knows the damage that my “just this once” decision has left?

Sinful temptations are just like this.  We are faced with a real issue.  Maybe we’re too lazy to walk away or too proud to ask for help.  Sometimes, because of those things, we justify the reasons why it’s ok just this once.

Most of the time, we end up with visible wounds right away.  Sometimes, the damage done under the surface doesn’t show up until later.  The fact of the matter is; however, no matter what we feel at the moment, the universal laws of cause and effect ensure that there is damage being done.

Sadly, we do these things intentionally.  What can be done to stop us?

Well, we can grab the warnings from my bug spray episode and remember to ask for help, walk away, or to refuse to give in.  We can remember that justifying harmful actions will only invite and accelerate afflictions in our life.  Not compromising on our standards, we can choose to stand firm and say no.

I’m reminded of Heb. 2:18 and 4:16, which say, “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted…Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

We have a Helper upon which we can call.  We don’t have to intentionally inflict harm and destruction upon ourselves.  I’m so grateful we’ve not been left stranded and helpless.  Thank you, Jesus, and right now, Lord, please help us all.

Still itchy, but much more alert,

jamie

Where are you God?

Pr. 1:28:  “They will call on me (says wisdom), but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.”

Last week we returned home from a 3-day trip to a find our house just as we’d left it.  There had been no fire, no break-in, no water damage, no tree through the roof–nothing.  Everything was perfect.

As I thought about this and began to thank God for His protection over our house and our lives, I recalled all the times when I’ve returned home from a trip and didn’t even stop to fully consider it.  I thought of all the things we could have returned home to find, and things that I know others have returned to find before.

I thought about how it can be so easy to blame God when things go wrong.  It seems so normal that we ask or wonder why God allowed unfortunate things to happen.  Why is it that it took me until this trip to come home specifically thanking God that there was no tree on my roof, or water damage to our home?  Why hasn’t it been the most natural thing for me to praise Him for the fact that fire did not burn our home down or destroy our pictures and possessions while we were away?

This proverb reminds me of how we can sometimes wait until disaster strikes to look for God.  Then, we wonder where He is or why He allowed it.  Did we thank Him every other time that it didn’t?  Were we talking to Him daily beforehand, nurturing our relationship with Him?

In this proverb, wisdom didn’t answer nor show herself to those who call upon her or sought her.  Why not?  Because she had been trying to get their attention every other moment before this and they ignored her, turned their backs on her, and refused her.  Now, when they needed her most and finally decided to call for her, she wasn’t there.  She was allowing them to have their own way, just as they had always wanted.  Wisdom means business!

But where is God when disaster strikes?  He is right there, ready to offer peace, strength, refuge, and hope….right where He has always been.  He is the same God that was there every other time disaster did not strike.  He is the same God that offered protection 5 minutes before.

We don’t need to wait until it’s too late to look for or call upon God, and only then to place blame.  We must nurture our relationship with Him from moment to moment, knowing that He loves and cares for us the same yesterday, today, and forever.  His plans for us are good, He always provides, and we have a great reward ahead, just like we always did.

Call for Him now,

jamie

Obedience simply protects us

Pr. 9:11:  “For by me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you.”

For the 1st time in 4 weeks my house is calm and quiet at 5:45 a.m.  4 weeks ago we brought a puppy into our family.  When we got up in the morning, he wanted to be up, too.  Our calm mornings turned to playful chaos, as he required much attention.

Yesterday, our puppy died.  This morning the house is silent.  There was much sadness and mourning yesterday, and some sadness and pain will remain for a while.

Last night as we comforted the kids before bed, I couldn’t help but begin writing my blog in my head.  My daughter was in charge of the puppy when the accident took place, and is therefore blaming herself for his death.  Her heart is very broken and she is carrying a heavy weight of guilt.

The fact of the matter is that the puppy was being disobedient.  Yesterday, while I typed my blog inside, my daughter took him outside to potty.  I heard a commotion and when I walked outside, I saw that he and his leash had gotten away from her and she was trying to get him to obey and come back to her.  He would not.  It was during the commotion caused by his disobedience that the accident took place.

It reminds me of us.  When we go places we shouldn’t, and do things we know we shouldn’t do, it causes commotion and sometimes we are harmed.  Lots of people have died doing something they knew they shouldn’t be doing.  I have been harmed more than once when making a decision to do something or go somewhere I knew I shouldn’t.

Sometimes we think that our actions are isolated to ourselves, but that is just not the case.  When we are disobedient, the effects reach others around us.  The puppy’s disobedience affected my daughter as she tried to take proper care of him.  The puppy’s disobedience affected me, as I tried to help her get him to obey.

And then the accident…I knew right away that he was not ok.  We rushed him to the hospital, but he died several hours later.  The entire situation set the course for our day.  It affected us, as we dropped everything and rushed him to the hospital.  It affected my husband, as he rushed over to be with us.  It affected my parents, whose hearts went out to us, as they rushed over to offer comfort.  It affected the family and friends we text for prayers, as their hearts were touched and they prayed for us all.  We spent 4 1/2 hours, and a good amount of money trying to support this puppy who had made a bad choice and was now in a life or death situation.  After he died, we spent the rest of the day mourning, burying, and comforting.  Our entire day was shaped by 1 act of disobedience.

Today my daughter will wake up with the same guilt and blame taunting her innocent mind.  Her world has changed forever…all because the puppy chose to disobey.

When we make a choice to do something we know we shouldn’t, it can bring us much harm, possibly even death; and admit it or not, it affects those around us.  We will never be perfect; however, we can do our best to understand that most disciplines are for our own good.

Our parents didn’t give us rules to make us having boring lives.  They were striving to protect us from harm.  The Lord, likewise, doesn’t say, “thou shalt not steal” to make sure we can’t have what we want.  He is trying to protect us, and those around us, from the consequences of coveting and stealing.

Honoring our parents brings long life.  Dishonoring them can set a course in motion like the one our puppy set forth yesterday.  It’s all about keeping us wise and keeping us safe.  God love us dearly and wants the very best for us.  He gives us all that we need, and more, to have a whole life.  If we would just stop fighting, struggling, and rebelling against Him, we, and those around us, would all benefit.

A little long today, sorry, but I felt the application was worth noting.  I pray the Holy Spirit will turn my plethora of words into something inspiring.

Listening for the Holy Spirit’s to lead me onto right paths today, and praying you’ll do the same,

jamie