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Archive for the ‘Truth’ Category

I Saw the Light!

          It was just a passing comment; “I wish Judah’s breast collar had a hook instead of a buckle.   It would be so much easier to attach.”  That was it.  The full extent of a statement made in front of a barn full of other horseback riders.  It wasn’t unique or unusual, I didn’t put any particular emphasis on what I was saying, I just said it.  In fact, I had probably forgotten I said it before I rode Judah out of the barn and toward the trail. 

           The next morning, as I reached under Judah’s belly to attach the leather strap to her girth, there was a hook.  When I looked up in astonishment,  I was told someone I had just met fixed it for me.

          And I saw the light.
  

          A hot ham and cheese sandwich was what everyone wanted when we stopped at a restaurant in a busy part of town.  The waitress was asking a male customer if he needed anything and we were shocked to hear him scold her for sorry service and bad food.  She looked embarrassed when she saw our expressions, but came to our table with a smile on her face.  

          Her demeanor did not change, even when she returned to the man’s table to bring him another glass of tea.  She kept her smile.  She kept her cool.  She kept her customers.

          And I saw the light.

           If I had only looked a little closer, a little longer, at all the words written on the school website, I might have found the answer I needed.  But it was storming outside, and before I drove my son all the way across town, I wanted to make sure the Back to School Bash was still on tap.  As hot summer days gave way to cool August nights, classes were set to begin in just three days.  The phones had to be ringing constantly as new students, parents, teachers and delivery service personnel verified important information.  I knew the administrative assistant would probably be feeling overworked, but I still needed a quick answer to my question.  When she picked up the phone, I could hear in her voice that she was smiling.  She could have been short, stressed and irritated, but she was sweet, kind and helpful.

           And I saw the light.

          Yesterday, I called (weeks later than I should have) to make reservations for an event that almost always sells out.  I already knew the main section was full and I would be lucky if we could still squeeze into a less desirable spot.  The precious woman, who tirelessly coordinates all the visitors and their various requests, told me they were rearranging some things and the owner had reserved our spots…all I needed to do was send a deposit.

         And, I’m telling you,

                    I SAW THE LIGHT!

           Every day, we get a chance to be light in the darkness.  It’s a chance and it’s a choice.  Too often, I add to the darkness with my bad mood or attitude.  But we are called to step up higher…to lift each other up…encourage each other…to overlook offenses…to give anonymously…to choose kindness over criticism…to choose patience over anger…to choose to do something nice and kind just because it’s the right thing to do.  

           I’m sure I could find bigger examples, more impressive ways I’ve seen the light lately.  But after each of these things happened, I stopped and thought about the fact that the people had made a conscious choice to be kind. It’s usually not those in great positions of wealth and power who impact our every day lives…it’s often the people we meet in traffic…at school…at work…at home. 

 We are light.  We don’t have to be, but we can choose to be. 

And then we get to be!

 “You are the light of the world.”

Matthew 5:14

 “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  

Matthew 5:16

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.

Live as children of light.”

Ephesians 5:8

 

“This little light of mine I’m gonna let it shine…”

Ha ha just kidding you can stop singing now. 😉

 

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved 

 

I Wish I Had Known

     It wouldn’t have done any good for someone to tell me the things I wish I had known in my 20’s.  I was headstrong, determined and still a little bit angry.  Looking back on life sure brings things into a different point of view.

     I wish I had known in my 20’s that my body was about as perfect as it was ever going to be. 

     I wish I had known kindness would get me further than competition.

     Could someone have told me that trying to control everything would hurt more than help?

     Would I have listened?

     I wish I had known some of my most prized possessions would be those that took thought and not money.

    Could someone have told me a career was going to be fun but not necessarily fulfilling?

    In my 20’s, I still thought prayer was part of my duty and not an incredible privilege.

    I wish I had known God truly is the source of all good things and the quicker I put my own agenda aside, the better off I would be.

    I wish I had known then that I really did have a soul mate so I could have avoided all that angst.

    It might have been amusing to know one day my son would say the day I spent playing a Jimmy Neutron video game with him still ranks as one of the best days of his life.

    If I had known some of these things, I would have worried less, quit trying to change things and relaxed a little. 

    Stress, anxiety and worry only make you old, even in your 20’s.

    The Bible says:

“In the day of prosperity be

happy,

But in the day of adversity

consider-

God has made the one as

well as the other”

     I’ve always seen adversity as something gone wrong…but when God is growing us… it can only be right. 

     Adversity does send me to my knees far more than prosperity. 

He never leaves me there.

He always brings me through.

I was wild and free

And no one could have told me

But my how the years have flown

I really wish I had known.

What do you wish someone would have told you?

Would you have listened?

If only I had known… all I had to do was lose one pound a year and I could have lost the 20 pounds I’ve been trying to lose for the last 20 years. 🙂

Before I get any older, somebody please tell me something else I should probably know!!!

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

Our Provider

(Audio Version) I pondered if God would provide again.

He showed me a squirrel, sitting on top of the fence, feasting on a hickory nut.

I pondered if God would provide again.

He showed me two blue birds fluttering from tree to tree.

I pondered if God would provide again.

I saw a butterfly, lighting on a pool of water, with plenty to drink.

I pondered if God would provide again.

A bumblebee landed on a flowering bush.

I pondered if God would provide again.

And He reminded me.

 “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

Are you not worth much more than they?” 


 Matthew 6:26

 Every day should be Memorial Day!  

 As we honor, and always remember, our military men and women,

let us also be reminded that

God is our Foundation, our Rock and Redeemer, an ever-present help in trouble.

 
“ Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28

 How does He remind you?

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

GREAT Things Happen all at ONCE!

  Audio Version

     The cell phone rang when I was half way across town running a routine errand. “Our cousin is moving to Florida and he has two horses he wants to give away,” my aunt announced.  “He’s had offers, but he wants someone who will love them.”

     My heart pounded.  My mind raced.  And then just as quickly, I reasoned my way back to reality.

     “I don’t have a place to keep one horse,” I told her.  “I sure don’t have a place to keep two.”

     “Well then, find one,” she said matter-of-factly.  “And you’ll need to do it soon.  He’s already leased his land and needs to find a home for them by Saturday.”

     It was Monday.

     We hung up and I did what I always do when I don’t know what to do.  I called my husband and blurted out all she had said.

     “Go slow,” he warned.  “This could be God.”

     I had been praying for a horse for over 30 years.  I was so passionate and so determined to have one, I was even able to convince my “city husband” to buy a house out in the country.
I had spent the last year praying for a very specific horse I really couldn’t afford.

     “But God knows I want an Appaloosa,” I whined.

     “Well,” my husband responded, “Do you want what you want?  Or do you want what God wants for you?”

     “I WANT WHAT I WANT,” I said, somewhere between laughter and tears.

     “Then the best way to know if it’s God,” my husband encouraged, “is to take it one step at a time and see where the road leads.” 

     The fact that he didn’t think we were all crazy was the first step.  

     Monday night I called a stable close to our home.  It was full.  I called two other places.  No response.

     While all this was going on, my uncle had passed away, and we were preparing to leave town.  I had no idea where this cousin lived so I called to tell him we might not be able to come see the horses.  He told me he only lived about five minutes from the funeral home and if worked out for us, we could stop by after the visitation.  On the way there, we joked that they were probably going to be run down old farm nags, and we would have to politely decline. Of course, they were beautiful, healthy and happy to see us.

     When I REALLY don’t know what to do, I ask my dad.  He almost always gives me his opinion.  So I ran to him.  He  just laughed, hugged me and said it was up to me.  

     But it was starting to feel a lot like God.

     We came home Wednesday night after the funeral and I called the stable again.  Despite being full on Monday, they now had two openings.  It was even less expensive than I had imagined.  The horses would need tests and shots.  And this process, I was told, usually takes a week or more.  

     Thursday morning, a veterinarian agreed to see them and return the tests in 24 hours.

     We still needed a saddle because, no matter how pretty the horses were, I couldn’t bring them home without riding first.  I found a used saddle online but it was in another town.  I called my husband again.  No problem.  It just so happened, he was scheduled to do a presentation for work that afternoon, just a few miles away from where the people were selling the saddle.   I think I knew, before we
saw it, that the saddle would be perfect.  It even cost hundreds less than it was worth.

     There was still one thing I hadn’t thought much about… how to get the horses home.  Three people had told me they would be available with a trailer if this day ever came.  But none of them could do it.

     Little did I know, my stepmother was already online looking and had sent an email, earlier in the week, that for some strange reason I hadn’t seen.  It had the phone number of a man with a brand new horse trailer for rent, and it was on the way between our house and the horses.

     I had no control over anything that was happening and yet everything was in control.  It even seemed as if each detail had been meticulously planned out in advance.

      We got up early Saturday morning, stopped for a few horse supplies (one of the greatest shopping sprees ever) and off I went with the
three most important men in my life…my husband, my son and my dad.  
We took pictures every step of the way and we’ve told the story many times.  I share it with you now, because I am reminded, God wants to give us the desires of our hearts.  He sees us.  He knows us.  And even after 30 years of praying, some days begging, some days crying, never really understanding why I couldn’t have something I wanted so desperately, God had planned double for my trouble.  I wanted one horse, he gave me two.  His timing was perfect.  The stars were aligned and we were ready.  While I didn’t get an Appaloosa, we did get a Palomino, the horse my husband had dreamed of owning when he was a boy.

     Their names are Star and Judah.  It’s been one year since they joined our family and it is still so surreal.  Some days I just shout toward heaven, “Oh God, you gave me horses!!”  Because it is true, good things happen over time, but GREAT things happen all at once.  Don’t give up.  Keep praying.  Keep asking.  Keep believing.  He hears you.  He loves you.  He wants to bless you!

“Delight yourself in the Lord

and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:4

“But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart;

consider what great things he has done for you.”

1 Samuel 12:24

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

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Life on a Leash

          There are two types of people on the rural road where we live.  There are those who keep their dogs on a tight leash, and those who don’t. I have to admit our two canines are free runners.  It’s one of the reasons we like living outside of the city. While an unleashed life comes with great risk, it also comes with incredible reward.

          Our dogs love to chase squirrels, romp through the woods, go creek walking or doggie paddle across the pool.  They have known and experienced the dangers of getting too close to the cars and have come running back home for help.

          God gives us complete freedom…so much freedom, in fact, we are free to walk away from Him…free to go it alone…free to find what is out there in the world that might bring us more happiness than Him.

          When our three-legged white terrier Zadie is headed up to the neighbor’s house for a little extra loving, or our black and white Border collie, Liberty, is bounding across the road after a squirrel, all our attempts to call them back fall on deaf ears.

          We’re more like them than we might care to comprehend.  How many times does the Spirit of God call us back?  How long does He wait for us to decide, even without a leash, that we would rather return to his presence than ever go it alone?

          Robert Robinson knew what it was like to be alone.  He lost his father when he was only five years old and was later disinherited by his wealthy grandfather.  Robert desperately desired to find his peace in the presence of Almighty God.  But in 1757, at 22-years-old, he penned the words,“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.” It’s true, even the mighty men and women of God, down through the ages, have been prone to wander.

           I wandered away for a while, just a couple of weeks ago.  I was distracted by something that held worldly promise.  I tossed up a prayer, but when God didn’t respond on my timetable, I took my eyes off Him, and looked around me.  There’s always another way if you look for one.  And there’s always a way out if you change your mind.  I turned back.  It wasn’t really because I necessarily wanted to; our minds and bodies rarely want to do what is good for us.  I turned back because I had to…I needed to…I would have been crazy not to.

          And just as I open the front and back doors a dozen times every day to let the dogs back in, God was there waiting for me to return to Him.  Sometimes Zadie and Liberty are wet and muddy or covered in cockleburs but I let them back in anyway.  We clean them up and allow them to climb in our laps, on the couch or even on the beds.  We do it because we love them.  We can’t make them love us in return and we wouldn’t want to, but they do.  They love us.  They trust us. They need us.

          God knows we need our freedom.  He knows we are going to go out and get dirty.  He loves us anyway.  He’s not going to force us to love Him in return. What kind of love would that be? But when we do discover that we can’t do life without Him, He is always there waiting when we turn back and head home.

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.

And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.

But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out

so that you can endure it.”

1 Corinthians 10:13  

       

          My father-in-law spent almost all his life in service to the Lord. He used to tell the story of watching 4-H animal competitions.  He said the kids would bring their prized pigs to the fairgrounds, bathe them to perfection, and adorn them with ribbons.  But if one of the pigs got away, even for a moment, it would head straight to the nearest mud hole and roll in it.  He said they did it because it was their nature…just as it is in our human nature to sin.  But God is a God of forgiveness and He will always take us in and clean us up again.

Are you prone to wander?

What are the things that cause you to take your eyes off God?

How long will you wait on God before you look for your own solution?

Would you rather do life on a leash or have a life of freedom?

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.

Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Galatians 5:1

“Therefore if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed.”

John 8:36

 

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

Moaning and Groaning

          It’s an identifiable sound that makes my heart skip a beat or beat a little faster depending on its source. I’m not sure I can even accurately describe it.  It’s not the sort of sound that comes from someone who just scaled a few flights of steps.  That’s more of a huff and puff heavy breathing.  It’s not the sound that you hear at the end of an exercise class.  That’s more of a “Thank God, it’s over,” but “oh how good I feel,” sort of sound. 

          This is a deep, intentional breath, followed by an exhalation, partnered with a frustrated noise that seems to imply something is just not going your way.

          I recently heard a teacher say, “Even a sigh is a sign of displeasure with your life.”  

            And I live in a house with a husband and son who sigh.

          Now, wait a second.  Let me get the PLANK out of my own eye and tell you I’m a complainer!  I’m also a people pleaser to a FAULT.  And, when I can’t please all the people all the time, I complain about the amount of effort I put into TRYING to please them.

          But let’s get back to the faults in my family. 🙂

          When my son sighs, my heart skips a beat as my mind quickly scans what could possibly be wrong.  I frequently discover he’s just frustrated because he wants to hurry and get his homework done…or his dad asked him to unload the dishwasher…or just because he’s bored and the weekend is almost over.

          The release of a deep sigh surely makes him feel better.  On the other hand, my pulse rate and stress level shoot straight up.  He walks away oblivious to any change in room temperature or Mom’s mood.

          When my husband sighs, my heart-speed accelerates.  It may be associated with 17 years as his soul mate.  His sigh translates into my displeasure.  Whatever it is, it freaks me out and puts me into a pint-sized panic until I discover the source of what I perceive to be his discomfort.

          He will frequently say, “Oh, there’s nothing wrong.  I was just taking a deep breath.”

          He’s sitting beside me right now and he just sighed!  So I said “Why did you just sigh?”  He replied, “ I didn’t know that I did.” OMG!   He recently had a total knee replacement and as I write this, we are at the doctor’s office.  My heart just raced through a whole scenario of possibilities…pain…impatience…frustration.  Nope he’s completely oblivious!

          IT MAKES ME CRAZY!

          I would have to be crazy to be telling you these things.  But remember, I’m a complainer. 🙂

          So that’s the situation.  I’m not sure how to change any of it.  I just needed a way to return my heart rate to normal, and writing sometimes works. 

We live in a society of people who sigh and complain.

But, God is aware of what’s going on.

2 Corinthians 5:4 says…

While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh…”

          My husband’s response to this post is, “Every time you complain, we sigh.”  I didn’t hit him in front of all the people in the waiting room, because you must have a  sense of humor to stay married this long.    I’m even going to quit complaining about his sighing,  just long enough, to write a little poem.  

          In the spirit of  Dr. Seuss with my best Eeyore voice…

Do you moan and groan?

Or are you quiet as a mouse?

Is it just the other people

who sigh in your house?

Are you a complainer?

This I can’t deny.

Could the drip, drip of my words

Be the reason that they sigh?

(Don’t tell  them I said this but NO!!!  I am NOT the reason :-))

And thank God, one of these days none of us will moan, groan or complain.

2 Corinthians 5:8 says…

“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved


Such a Good Friday!

I hope you don’t mind me re-posting this story from last year.

I recognize today, that I am just as much a sinner as I was one year ago, when this was written.

I need Him as much as ever.

I am as responsible, as anyone, for the price He had to pay.      

          Pounding hammers and cracking wood echoed through the old Catholic sanctuary.  It went on for only 15 or 20 minutes but it seemed so much longer.  I sort of knew what might happen when I first walked in and the man at the door handed me a nail.  But the longer we sat in the silent service, the less sure I was of what was going on.           

           The music playing was reminiscent of a Catholic Mass.  And I wondered if the nuns, who moved out of this former convent years ago, would be pleased with the ceremony now taking place, with people from many different backgrounds of faith.

            On the big modern video screen, hanging up front and to the right, were images of Jesus on the cross.  Silently, but together, we read his final words…the last seven things he said.

            Then it was time.

            A large thick dark wooden cross had been placed on a table at the front of the sanctuary.  We were encouraged to go forward, and by driving our nails into the cross, accept that our sins were as responsible for his death as the Roman soldiers who hung Jesus on the cross at Calvary.  When I picked up the hammer, my hands were shaking a bit more than I had expected.  I placed the nail where I thought his hand might have been if this were the actual crucifixion.  I hit the nail three times before I had to let go and walk away.  I felt sick and weak and very sad.  But, there, at the base of a driftwood cross hanging high on the wall in the center of the church was the welcoming invitation to share the Lord’s Supper. 

            It changed me.

            I thank God I will never be the same because that experience last night changed me.  I suspect it changed all of us.

            As we walked back to our seats, the sounds of cracking wood and pounding hammers continued for a few minutes and then, once again, precious silence. 

            We stood and sang the song, “Lord Have Mercy.”  Then, everyone ended the evening in silent prayer.

            When we walked out into the hallway, it was filled with the voices of families making dinner plans, talking about the weekend and the upcoming Easter services. 

            We left knowing we will sin again. 

            But we left free from the burden of sin and free from the price he offered to pay. 

The last seven things Jesus said:

“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

Luke 23:34  NASB

Speaking to the thief who had asked Jesus to remember him, “And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise. Luke 23:43 NASB

“When Jesus then saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, He said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, Behold, your mother!”

John 19:26-27  NASB

“About the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying ELI, ELI LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”

Matthew 27:46 NASB

“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.” John 19:28  NASB

He said, “It is finished!” John 19:30 NASB

“And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.”  Having said this, He breathed His last.

Luke 23:46 NASB

As a woman and a mother, I think of Mary standing there and the helpless agony she must have felt watching her son die. 

But I also think of the lyrics to the song “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” by Stuart Townend and I recognize my role in all that happened. 

“Behold the Man upon the cross,

My sin upon His shoulders

Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,

Call out among the scoffers 

It was my sin that held Him there

Until it was accomplished

His dying breath has brought me life

I know that it is finished.” 

Yes, ladies, it is finished.  No guilt, no shame, no more penalties for our sins.  He has paid our debt.  And the debt is paid in full.

Happy Easter!

A Message in the Mailbox

     On our first official weekend away from the rest of the world, I noticed my husband favoring his left knee.  It was early fall, the leaves were just beginning to turn, the sun was shining and it was warm.  He’s a basketball fanatic, and so early in our relationship, I was more than willing to play along.  So was our dog.

     We had discovered a quiet outdoor basketball court near a lake and we were just shooting some hoops.  Each time he would run toward the basket, I saw him give a little to the left, before he went up for the shot.  He told me it wasn’t a big deal, just an old basketball injury and that he was fine.

     Over the next 17 years, it became progressively worse.  The first surgeon we saw said a knee replacement would only last him ten years.  We walked out.  The second surgeon said he should start thinking about living the life of a much older man.  We walked out.  The third surgeon, a young, healthy, active, energetic, top-of-his-field kind of guy, said he saw no reason my husband wouldn’t be able to play basketball again with our teenage son.  He da man!

     So we went forward to schedule the surgery.  A problem with insurance put it on hold.  A new policy with a larger deductible made us hesitant.  Time off work was a fear factor.  And another two years went by.  The favoring of his left knee became a noticeable limp, and then an obvious limp and finally strangers were walking up to ask about it.  We ganged up on him…his family, and friends…then his co-workers, and finally his boss.  If he wasn’t already convinced, the pain became so intense, money and time no longer mattered.

      But my husband’s knee surgery is not what this is about, not really.

      As I write this post, it is March 2012.  In September 2011 my husband attended a men’s retreat organized by our church.  It’s not the sort of thing that is in his comfort zone, but he felt like he should be there.  During the weekend, the men were asked to write letters about what God had impressed upon their hearts.   They were told the letter would be mailed to them later as a reminder and a means of encouragement.  (I can sort of see my husband rolling his eyes at the very idea, but he complied.)

      The knee was replaced on Monday morning March 5th and he was walking Monday afternoon.  We came home from the hospital two days later and stopped at the mailbox.

      The letter had arrived. 

      As I opened the letter and prepared to read it, I asked him what he had written. 

      He didn’t remember. 

      But God did.

“It’s time to stay on my knees more than I complain about them.  I feel physically spent…painful to walk…and I must dig deeper into my faith as well as my resolve for recovery…leaving fear of knee surgery and it’s cost behind me.

     Call it coincidence, good timing or just a chance occurrence.  But what are the odds of that letter being delivered on the very day he returned home from doing what he was so afraid to do for 17 years?

     Prayers answered.  Fears gone.  Bills paid.  And in the mailbox, a reminder, a means of encouragement, a simple little message.

 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6


 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

 

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

Romans 12:12

 

God knows your needs.

He hears your prayers.

Trust Him.

Lay it down.

Let it go.

And wait!

(I know, easy to say, hard to do.  But try it.  It’s not your only option.  But it’s your best!)

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

When Less is More

           There were advertisements, segments on talk shows, news stories, even live shots on opening day.  When the only bookstore in our city’s most prestigious shopping mall closed, a new exciting store quickly took its place.

           What would wealthy, educated Americans want more than access to the latest in literary arts?

           Containers, of course!

          The opening of The Container Store was about as big as the day the doors were unlocked at the new Nordstrom.  

          But then it makes perfect sense.  After a stop and shop at Nords, a person needs somewhere to put all the new purchases.

           I’m not knocking the new container store; it’s a pretty clever concept, I am however, making fun of our inherent need for such specialized nooks.  We’ve got a bunch of stuff and now we need more places to put it.  How many of those storage facilities have cropped up across the country?  They’re everywhere!  You can even get a look at what’s in some of them on “Storage Wars”, yet another reality show, this time allowing us to be voyeurs into the secret stash of a recently repossessed storage unit.  When you lose your stuff, because you had so much stuff you could no longer afford your stuff, that just might be…too much stuff. 

           Maybe I’m a little sensitive to the subject since I’m currently studying the New Testament book of James, and today’s lesson was on hoarding and self-indulgence.  I guess it could be a touch of Spring Fever since the daffodils are poking their little yellow heads up way ahead of schedule.  Or maybe it’s because we’ve accumulated so much stuff in the square footage God has given us, that we don’t have room for it all. 

          Clutter makes me crazy!

           What ever is causing this feeling; I wonder if The Container Store has a place for me to put it? 

          “In part, hoarding means withholding what we don’t even use from others who’d treasure it. All of us are accustomed to the saying “use it or lose it” but, the fact is, we’re going to lose it anyway.  We’re not taking one ounce of this stuff with us when we die.”

 ~Beth Moore

James: Mercy Triumphs/LifeWay Press*

 “Even if I pay all my bills and rightly pay every laborer I employ, is not my superfluous spending on myself when others need the basics for survival a contradiction of loving my neighbor as myself?”

 ~Melissa Moore Fitzpatrick

(Beth’s daughter)

James: Mercy Triumphs/LifeWay Press*

 Beth’s Advice: When we get something new, something has to go. 

 I’m WAY behind on that one.

 How about you? 🙂

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

Who Needs Love?

300 Maple Street, USA.

Late summer.

Exactly 6:43 PM.

A roaring sound followed by a flash of light.

All communication cut off.

It’s an old episode of

The Twilight Zone.

At first, neighbors congregate, wanting to be close to each other, and looking for answers.  But fear and suspicion soon lead to accusations and before the show is over, they turn and attack each other.

 “The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:14-15)

We woke up one morning, several years ago; to find my husband being bashed on the front page of the paper and morning radio talk shows.  He hadn’t committed a crime, but he had said some things that didn’t sit well with people in power.

Co-workers and friends scattered, and a lynch mob mentality took over, as people called for his firing.

This past week a prominent person in our community was accused of doing something, that in an instant, took his freedom, cost him his job, and threatened the stability of his family.

In my husband’s situation, only one man had the courage to speak up and put things back in perspective.  He is a man who loves God more than he loves himself.  He is a man who knows what it means to love his neighbor as himself.  His support helped save my husband’s reputation.  My husband kept his job and has lived to give God the glory many times.

In this more recent case, when the man’s actions were reported to the public, some of the very people he had hurt were asking for prayer and compassion…not for themselves…but for him and his family.

          Who Needs Love?

Jesus showed us by example.

He loved the people who were broken, the people who had sinned, the people who had been slow to listen but quick to speak, the people who had made complete messes out of their lives, the people who were shamed, humiliated and ostracized.

When someone else’s sin seems worse than our own we tend to distance ourselves…shake our heads…point our fingers…and offer up our opinions.

But on this Valentine’s Day, if we live by the command that sums up the entire law, we may find those who need love the most, are the ones we think don’t deserve it.

In The Twilight Zone people from another planet caused the conflict between neighbors on Maple Street.

But in the real world, all it takes is someone who is different from us, to breed fear, suspicion and hate.

Jesus’s instructions were clear, love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

Who Needs Love?

We all do!

Happy Valentine’s Day

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

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