Meat Platters on the Floor

If you thought yesterday had some unusual analogies in it,
this post will probably leaving you thinking more of the same.

“Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”

Psalm 55:22 NLT

The word “GIVE” was yesterday.
Today… “BURDENS.”

BURDENS in this case means “a lot” or “what is assigned or given,”
Wait! WHAT? God has assigned burdens for me? Not the bright
encouragement I’d hoped to find. Hmm, then God gave me the mind
picture of a child & parent situation. (I’ve experienced a few
of those situations before.. ha!) If I, the parent, asked a toddler
to help me put dinner on the table I’d certainly have EVERY inte
ntion
of helping that little one complete this assignment! I would not
want my child to grab the heavy platter of meat and zip around
towards the table. That meat would splat right on the floor and the
child would be crying because I gave him a super hard job.

So, if I’d assign the job to the toddler & as he reaches for the platter
I’d say, “Give it back to me now. Let me help you. Give it back to me!”
If he lets me help he’ll find excitement, joy and satisfaction
from his assigned “burden.”

Uh… ouch, Lord!
How many times does God place an assignment in front of me,
totally wanting me to give it right back to you. He’s saying,
“Give it back. Give it back.” But I often
scoop it up & attempt it alone. I need to work on my “giving
back” skills. Flinging it back to JESUS.

“Oh, Lord, I’m so sorry for grabbing the meat platters you’ve
assigned to me and failing to wait for your help. Then I’ve
become frustrated & angry that “You did that to me!” (Sigh)
Please help me to quickly fling my thoughts onto you
and wait for your assistance!”

(the next part of this verse is here)

Fling & Hurl

A few days ago our friend & Pastor, Kevin Berry tweeted this scripture:

“Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”

Psalm 55:22 NLT

It’s been buzzing around in my head & heart since then. I’ve dug
into it a bit and want to share a tiny snippet of it with you over several
days this week.

“GIVE” – this word (in the original Hebrew) can mean CAST, HURL,
SNATCH, THREW or FLING!

When I am burdened I can snatch up my thoughts & troubles and
fling them into God’s hands. “Fling” happens quickly and without
much contemplation. No sitting around thinking about how I feel
and how this affects me, and “poor me,” etc….
Just grab up those thoughts/situation and FLING it! Pronto!

And the word, “HURL?” It makes me laugh…
maybe it’s all those years I spent in Jr. High ministry! ha!
Hurl implies BARF! And BARF is most effective when it’s projectile
barf… it gets the yucky stuff out quickly and puts it far away
in an extremely quick manner.

That’s what I want to do with my thoughts & struggles; I choose to
FLING and HURL them on Jesus.

(And He’s OK with that! What a Gracious God!)

Your comments and thoughts are certainly welcome!

Why do you do it?

John 12 tells the story of Jesus having dinner with a group
of people. Guests included the famous sibling group of
Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead;
Martha who was serving dinner;
Mary, who broke an expensive bottle of perfume, on purpose,
and anointed Jesus feet. (You can read this story here.)

Each had their own role in this evening with Jesus and
the response of those around them varied.

Martha – She served the meal. People probably ate it,
enjoyed it and most likely never said a word of thanks
or appreciation.

Lazarus– He was a close friend of Jesus and involved in
the dinner conversation. This took place in his own town
and his sisters were there serving. He was living his
life as obvious & living proof of the power of Jesus.
(Since he’d been raised from the dead prior to this story.)
People crowded to see him and began believing in Jesus
because of him. Others, however, wanted to kill him because
of his “walking, living proof of the power of Jesus!”

Mary – She humbly and sacrificially washed Jesus feet.
Others in the room reacted to her actions with harsh criticism
and disgust. Jesus told her critics to “Leave her alone!”

Whatever role/serving we’re doing, we must do it completely for Jesus!
People won’t necessarily thank us.
or, People may think we’re awesome & follow our example.
People may hate us for it.
People may criticize us for it.

Jesus says to them… “Leave her alone!”

“Lord, forgive me for doing YOUR work and then grading
myself according to the response (or lack of response)
from other people.”

I serve Jesus and all that I do, I will work at it
with all my heart because I’m working for God,
not humans.
(My paraphrase of Colossians 3:23)

Division

“Insecurity and jealousy cause division.”Chilly

(spoken during an evening teaching at Courage Church)

Our culture treats insecurity as a “condition” that
we didn’t cause and cannot escape, but only learn to live with.
However, a REAL relationship with Jesus changes those “issues.”
Surrender to
His plan,
His demand that we forgive,
His leading and our following, etc…
will bring about the death of those stupid insecurities that
we’ve grown so close to over the years.

Did you carefully read that quote at the top of this post?
Yucky stuff happens when we accept our insecurities & allow
jealousy to live in us.
Division… That means
Hurt.
Pain.
Sorrow.
Unnecessary loneliness.
All this messes up other people AND damages us, too!

The beginning of freedom from insecurity is confession.
Yes…it’s a strong word to treat such a tender “condition.”
Realizing that insecurity thinks about SELF continually,
and realizing that continually thinking about self actually breaks
the very first commandment should lead us right into confession.

“Jesus, forgive me of selfishness. It is the exact opposite
of YOU. It sickens me and I’m sorry. Please renew the way I
think as I read Your WORD and form me into a life that
looks like You! Thank you, Jesus!”

Allowing The Word of God to change us will keep insecurities
from robbing, stealing, destroying and dividing.

I Love & Hate that Word!

“Patience…” the word we hate putting into practice, but
certainly love it when others “have a little” when dealing
with us. Right?

photo

Peter speaks of PATIENCE in the 1 Peter chapters 1 & 2.
Here’s a few thoughts I jotted down in my journal recently.

————————————————————–
The PATIENCE that Peter speaks of
in 1st Peter 1 & 2 is the kind of Patience that…

– doesn’t need to understand in order to obey God

– loves others, even when their behavior is unfair &
uncalled for (and is OK with “loving from far away”
if that helps keep peace)

– prays for authorities instead of spouting off about them

– trusts God & knows that He sees everything and
handles everything perfectly
—————————————————————-

Nothing profoundly new… but horribly challenging to do.
The more I spend time with our patient, compassionate God
the easier this list becomes!

School, Insanity & Salty Tears

I don't REALLY feel like this... but I certainly relate enough to crack up laughing at this!

I don’t REALLY feel like this… but I certainly relate enough to crack up laughing at it!

The last three weeks were filled with 14 days of hard work, tears,
sadness and continually finding words to encourage my kids
and myself.  Then,  7  of those days offered smiles, comfortable
routines and no more tears. And it is all because of schooling.  Here’s the deal…

In 2004 we started homeschooling our children (because we’d just moved to
the heart of Detroit city).  Then, last year we put our youngest 3 kids into
a university prep charter school near our house.  And now… this fall we’ve
gone a completely different route.   Our youngest three are doing online
public school!

Yes!  Free online public school, Connections Academy. It’s taken many of
the things I love about homeschooling and the few things I liked about
traditional public school and mushed it into one!  Here’s a bullet list
of how things have gone for us.

– Day ONE was insane!  We had the computer that the school gave us
(Yes, they provide one per household) and my laptop.  But after we
took the infamous “1st day of school” picture and sat down to begin
my very aged laptop went to computer heaven (or the opposite!!)
Now what?  THREE kids sharing ONE computer for Online school?
Yeah… NO!!!  Insanity. Tears.

– My kind and compassionate husband took pity on me and put out a
plea on Facebook for used computers.  That very same evening our
precious friends from church were dropping off not one, but TWO
brand new laptops!  Thanks to our friend’s work and an unexpected
money gift we’d been given the month earlier, we now have enough
computers for all three children!  Praise Jesus!

– That thrill worn off quickly… All I’ve used for over 16 years is MAC
computers and now I had 3 PCs!   Everything is the COMPLETE
opposite!  HELP!  More school, insanity and salty tears. But I knew
I’d get it eventually… plus my kids were teaching me how to use it.

– We were told that it would take a while to “get used to computer school”
Yes… no joke.  The first two weeks it took between 9 and 11 HOURS each
DAY to complete the assigned work!  WHAT?

– Of course there were tears!  (Mostly MY tears, quietly shed in a private
corner during the day, and in my time with Jesus in the stillness of the
very early morning.)

–  After a week of this I made several email and phone-call pleas to the
teachers.  “HELP!  What are we doing wrong?”

– The teachers were so, so kind and gave us every bit of encouragement
and ideas they could.  But the daily hours continued to mount!

– We stuck to it, knowing that this WOULD be GREAT when it settled down.

– And then it happened….  We started getting the hang of it!

–  The 3rd week has actually been fun!  All the joys of having my kids home,
being involved in their learning, knowing what they’re studying and
connecting  it to daily activities, news reports, outdoor exploration, etc
all clicked in… again… finally!

– I truly love having my kids at home, learning!  We have a blast.

– Later on I’ll post more about a regular school day as an
“Online Schooling Family”  and the field trip coming up soon.

 

GRATEFULNESS fills my heart.  Of course more challenges hide around
the corners… that’s life… but we’ve walked through a rough beginning
and know that “we can do this!”

 

(NOTE:  Comments are closed… I’m having some trouble with that. But
you are welcome to email me at realnetta@gmail.com.   I’d LOVE IT!)

 

That’s What He Said

If you read my post yesterday you know that our garage
was broken into and our daughter’s awesome bike was stolen.
That happened on Monday.

Fast forward a couple of nights…
It’s bedtime.
I’m praying with our boys as I tuck them into bed.
We prayed for all the usual needs and safety…
just like any other night.

Then my 6-year-old prayed, “Jesus, help the person
who took Zoe’s bike to know that they should ask You
to forgive them and ask you into their heart.”

 

Psalm 8:2
“You have taught children & infants
to tell of Your strength,
Silencing Your enemies
and all who oppose You.”

 

Dreams fulfilled

I wrote the following things in my journal last week when I was thinking about
“dreams come true.”

 

Dreams are fulfilled in relationship, not accomplishments.

Relationship with Jesus, Chilly, my children, family and church, etc…

It doesn’t mean that these people fulfill my dreams-
that would be setting us all up for failure.

But rather, it means that the joy of
loving them,
serving them
and having them in my life is enough for me!

I’m livin’ my dreams!

 

 

 

We Don’t Really…

 

We don’t really understand what we never have to experience.

This explains why the phrase, “Oh, I totally understand what you’re going through,” is SO
frustrating.

HOWEVER… just because someone has not walked in our exact pair of shoes does not
mean that they are unable to offer guidence, insight and assistance.

If someone “who just doesn’t understand you”  but is in a position to
help you, attempts to share insight with you and it totally annoys you,
then perhaps the real issue lies within your heart….
and that you’d rather wait for someone to tell you what you want to hear
than listen to wisdom.

Make plans by seeking advice…”  Proverbs 20:18

Hmm, yeah. I think sometimes the problem is NOT that others “don’t really understand,”
but that we don’t really want to hear anything but our own thoughts & ideas.

 

 

Whoa vs. Wow

 

A humble, “broken” heart (the kind that God speaks of in scripture)
is NOT a heart that walks about feeling crumby & putting itself down.

It’s a heart that is aware of its own faults & inheirent sinfulness,
but depends on God for forgiveness, strength & joy!

 

Instead of saying, “Whoooa is me!” it says…

“Wow! God!”

 

The people who recognize their need for God are blessed.