Monday, May 28, 2007

Check Your Washing Machine Hoses

I've been told this before by a wise person, and I promptly did as he suggested. Then I forgot to ever check them again.

Friday I realized I have waited too long. I came downstairs and found the fountain of my dreams going off full force in my laundry room! Apparently it had been spouting for about 45 minutes. I reached through the water to turn off the faucet, but it was stuck. I ran to the basement to turn off the water to the whole house and realized that we had a bigger problem when I splashed through water in the work room at the opposite end of the house from the laundry room.

After turning the water off, I checked the basement and saw that we had a torrential rain storm brewing in the storage room and Doug's office. I grabbed all the trash cans and buckets I could find to catch the water and I called by dear hubby to come home and save the day!

Did you know that laminate floors start curling up about two hours after they are wet? And that the underlayment wicks water to the furthest reaches of a room? Nice things to know.

So, you are all invited to our home in September to see the new digs...we are getting new flooring on the first level and we get to totally redo the basement. God is good...even though the water was coming down all over, it totally missed computers, televisions, beds, Christmas decorations, and anything of any value...all we really threw out were boxes!

So, please take some advice from a now wiser woman and check your washing machine hoses.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Best Grass Grows in My Garden

One of God's great gifts to us is flowers. There are so many different sizes, shapes, and colors available that it continually amazes me. There is something about a flower garden that makes me relax and smile.

But no matter how hard I try to garden, like everyone else I continually fight with weeds. I don't mind pulling the ugly, thorny things out of the flower patch, but I always hesitate to remove the grass that has worked it's way past the barriers. It has fought so hard to get there and it is often the greenest, strongest grass in the yard. Why does it grow so well here and not on the other side of the barrier?

At first I thought it must be out to get me...that the grass thought out what it could do to be most annoying and then set out with a plan to take over these small plots I tried so hard to preserve. Hmmm...I don't remember learning about brains and evil intent of plants in my botany class.

After thinking about this for a while (yes, I know I need to get a life)it hit me -- the garden plots get much more attention in the way of loosened soil, fertilizer, and moisture protecting mulch. Grass will naturally grow best in those areas that are well prepared than in areas that are ignored. But when a large clump has grown it actually removes a big chunk of the garden dirt when you pull the grass out by the roots. The only way I can avoid this is to check the garden frequently and remove any small sprout of grass I see.

Sin acts in much the same way. It may sprout up and look really nice for a time in our lives. We can even pretend that it's growth is admirable and we can hesitate to remove. But without immediate attention it's roots will take over and it will be difficult to remove without taking a lot of good soil with the roots. It leaves a gaping hole in our lives that must be repaired.

The only way I can avoid sin is to examine my heart with God's help each day and remove any hint that sin is moving in. Then all that remains are the 'flowers' of my life -- the fruit of God's Spirit.

Galatians 5:16 - 25
16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (NIV)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Great Contest!

Check this out (oops, I've been watching too much American Idol)... 5 Minutes for Moms has a great new contest. You can win a whole years worth of Nexcare bandages...well, it's actually 43 boxes so hopefully they will last much longer than a year.

Leave a comment and you are entered...go here

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Spirit in Me

I have been preparing a Sunday School lesson on the Holy Spirit, and I have learned so much...mostly things telling me how little I actually know! My weekly teacher challenged me to take on one class during the current series (What Really Matters - The Essential Beliefs of the Christian Faith). After looking at the agenda for the series I knew I wanted to learn more about the Holy Spirit, so I jumped right in and chose that one.

Foolish me! The totality of the Holy Spirit is so far beyond my comprehension, I have no idea how I can teach anyone anything. It seems that anyone who has ever written a Christian non-fiction book has written on on the Holy Spirit (there are 24 books on the subject at our public library alone...a search of books results in 53,919 hits).

Several books list facts, though, that have really helped me narrow the lesson down. They meant a lot to me and I thought I'd share them:
1. If I am a believer, I already have the Holy Spirit.
2. I are to be filled with the Holy Spirit (being filled with him is definitely different that 'having' him).
3. The Holy Spirit Gives me power for God's purposes.
4. Sin blocks the work of the Holy Spirit in my life.

The Holy Spirit is probably the least understood and the least utilized member of the Trinity. Most Christians woefully underutilize the power of the Holy Spirit, many ignore him completely. Is that because we don't understand?

Jesus had to leave this world so the Spirit could dwell within us -- and he said that was a good thing! Because I believe, I have access to the very heart of God. The Spirit will convict me, teach me, pray for me, equip me, and provide me power to complete the plan God has for my life -- if I let him.

I pray that I will actually incorporate what I learn into my life so that those around me will know that I am filled with the Spirit...not so that I can boast, but so that they can see his power and seek it for themselves.

I imagine that this study could last for the rest of my life.