27 Years of Maritial Bliss

Yesterday morning, before Tom headed off to work, we leaned against the headboard for a few minutes of communication. (Coffee already consumed) Our conversation consisted of the usual chit-chat about schedules, chores, and other responsibilities.

As we rested before a long day, light sneaked in our windows. Hummingbirds flew past our porch. We giggled. I thought of how comfortable I felt with my husband. I mean, it’s been 27 years of marital bliss. And 27 out of 34 ain’t bad.

I guess when I glanced over at my husband of 34 years, I noticed his gray hair, and how he looks a lot older than when we married. I know I look much older, too. But, I guess what I’m trying to say, is that when I looked at him, I felt not only love but respect that comes from the long, sometimes arduous commitment of marriage.

We moved to North Carolina to farm about three years ago without knowing anything about it. (Except YouTube University) He built an infra structure, and grew plants. He tilled and weeded and fixed and harvested. But it wasn’t enough to support us, so about 6 months ago he got a job. He works between 50-65 hours a week for what he used to make in a day. Yet he completes his work with the same diligence, perfection, and dignity.

That’s commitment. That’s honor. That is dignity. And I respect that. I admire him.

We finished our second cup of coffee and read 1 Peter and then we prayed. About our family, our church, and others. We expressed our gratitude to a God that takes us as we are and loves us enough to keep us when we fail.

And I said a prayer thanking the Lord for Tom.

 

 

 

Three in One

“What’s our home group discussion about, Pauline?”

“The Trinity. How’s that for easy listening discussion to promote Christian fellowship?” I told my husband with a smirk.

On Sunday evening, the home group would meet at our house and Tom was to lead the discussion. He sneaked off to the back room in order to research the subject on the computer.

Sunday morning’s message covered our topic.

“The Trinity is not a math problem to be solved,” stated our pastor, “but a relationship to be enjoyed.”

The Trinity has always baffled me. I believe there are three persons in the godhead–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I just don’t understand it.

Scripture uses the pronoun we and our in Genesis when speaking of creation. Christ is foreshadowed and even seen in the Old Testament, and the Holy Spirit is throughout the entire Bible. I just can’t figure it out. Especially when you realize that Jesus has a resurrected body.

But I believe it. I understand that I don’t understand. In fact, I don’t know much about anything. Sure, I’ve lived for 57 years, but I’ve only been to 1/3 of the states in America and 4 or 5 other countries. I studied Social Work in school but can’t fix a car. I have two dogs but can’t make them well if they are sick.

The list is endless.

But the God who made everything knows everything, and He says there is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Jesus told His disciples, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.” He also stated that no one can come to God except through Him.

So I’m trusting.

And waiting until heaven.

And then I’ll understand.

For now, I’m just glad I don’t have to operate on my dogs.

And so are they.

 

A New Kind of Soup

“So Brian, what does your grandfather do again?”

Brian is a young man who helps around the farm who actually knows something about farming. “He takes the chicken poop, puts it in a feed bag in a 55-gallon drum, and adds water. Then, he takes a stick and stirs it around. He’s been doing that for years and it really makes the plants grow!” (Imagine this conversation with absolutely no expression on his 20-year-old face and a real southern drawl.)

“Okay, I want some chicken poop soup. Will you help me make it?”

I thought I’d stepped out of my comfort zone when I processed one of our hens who’d been played with to death by our livestock guardian dogs and made chicken pie. (It was NOT good, by the way–never eat a chicken after it’s been played with by big white dogs for an hour. Lesson learned.) But chicken poop soup…who knew?

I am famous for taking almost anything from my refrigerator and making something palatable for dinner. My kids often said I should host a TV show called, “Clean Out the Refrigerator Cooking.” (I am willing dear television producer.) But chicken poop soup is way off their radar, too.

We decided on a gray garbage can. “Where do you want me to put it?” Brian asked.

“Good question.” Where does one keep such a concoction. “Put it near the driveway but not too near the house.”

Brian mixed it up. I gawked as he filled the white feed sack with North Carolina Gold. Then he added water. Next he swished it up and down in the can and poked a stick in the bag several times. Brown liquid seeped out of the sack.

What can I say, but I was impressed. Impressed Brian knew about the soup. Amazed at his resourcefulness. Touched by the knowledge handed down from one generation to the next.

I’ve learned a lot from the people around me. I’ve learned that a bush hog is not a pig in the woods, I’ve learned not to lift your hand at a poultry auction to scratch your face, and that it’s okay to hold up the line in the store a bit to find out how a person really is doing.

I’d like to think I could teach them a few things. Like ordering at Starbucks. Or wearing your sandals all the way to the sand at the beach in August if you want to avoid 3rd degree burns, or cutting across 8 lanes of traffic to pull into your favorite restaurant.

Those things are good to know, too.

But for now, my soup is stewing. I just don’t know how to get it out of the can.

 

 

Looking Over the Edge of the Cliff Into Hell

William Booth, the founder of The Salvation Army, once told the young people studying to be officers in his ranks that he wished he could take them to the edge of hell and let them look in.

Do you believe in hell?

I do.

Even if you do, we may have differing opinions of how we get there.

Most people think it is by doing good works or not doing bad works.

That’s not what the Bible says.

The Bible teaches a gospel of grace. God is holy, we are not. We need a Mediator, a Redeemer, a Savior. That’s why Jesus came. To pay the penalty of our sin.

We all sin. Falling short. Running our own lives when we owe our lives to the Almighty. We ignore Him, or rebel against Him, or refuse to believe in Him.

One day, we will see that God is real and His judgment is real.

Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye wrote the New York Times Best sell series titled, “Left Behind.” It describes a time when Christians disappear and a wicked man takes over promising peace–eventually he destroys everything good and sets the world at war.

Horrifying.

There is something worse.

God’s judgment.

Scripture says He will come as a thief in the night. All will be saying peace, peace, and then Christ will appear.

But there’s still time.

Here are two Scriptures I read this morning in my study written by Beth Moore:

The Lord is patient, “not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).

Romans 2:4 states, “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance.”

I was going to write a funny blog today, but thought I’d better share with you something that has eternal value.

Why? Because I love you and don’t want to look over that cliff and find you there.

There is time. God is patient. Don’t let your time run out.

How about something funny next week?

If we are still here.

 

Dependent and Glad

 

So I have to admit that our church uses an iPod for its accompaniment.

There, I said it.

So when my pastor stated he’d left his iPod plugged in and it played the song, “I Need Thee Every Hour” for several days, it made me think.

Recently, I realized the truth in that. I couldn’t make it through a day without getting on my knees–sometimes three and four times a day–and saying or singing those words.

And now I know I do need Him every hour, every minute.

But sometimes I forget.

Have you ever thought of how much you and I both need the Lord?

Take for instance, breathing.

Or walking.

Or standing.

The fact is whether we know it or not, we need Him.

It’s like the iPod playing in the background. It’s playing, but we might not realize it.

There’s something else we need Him for–salvation.

Jesus said unless you come through Him, you cannot be saved. It’s that simple.

In fact, the first word out of Christs’ mouth was, “Repent.”

Paul says in I Corinthians 15:3-6, “For I delivered to you of first importance what I also received; That Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.”

So none of us is dependent for our life, and no one can depend on himself for eternal life.

Only through Christ.

So, I’m dependent and proud of it.

How about you?