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MY CUP OVERFLOWETH

PoppyJuice“NeeNee,” shouted my youngest grandson at the top of his lungs, “I poured too much Poppy juice into my cup and it spilled all over.”

The grand kids coined the term Poppy Juice when they were old enough to drink from a sippy cup. It’s a blend of red fruit punch that Poppy mixes in a big jug; should it spill, you have one big sticky mess with a good chance it will stain whatever it penetrates.

I’m fairly certain permanent wheelie marks were left on my office floor as I flew out of my office chair in the direction of the kitchen. What I saw was a panic-stricken six-year old on his knees with paper towel stretched in every direction in an effort to stop the trail of red juice that covered the floor.

“I’m sorry, NeeNee, I didn’t mean to put that much in my cup.” The remorseful and tearful way in which he spoke those words resonated with me. In that moment, I saw myself at the feet of Jesus asking for forgiveness.

I can’t count the number of times my life’s cup has overflowed and required heavenly intervention and damage control to mop up my bad choice messes. Like my grandson, I tend to ignore the voice that continually calls out to be slow and careful and I find myself saying, “I’m sorry, Jesus. I wasn’t slow and careful like you asked. and my cup overflowed.”

With love and a forgiving spirit, my grandson and I worked together to bring restoration to a chaotic and messy situation. That’s exactly what Jesus does for us. When we cry out for help, He comes to us with love, mercy and forgiveness to clean the stains of sin that overflow from our life.

“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

Though we fall short of God’s glory, He made provisions to restore His glory within us through the cross of Jesus. He stands ready to restore our life messes and lead us in the paths of righteousness.

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THE DEVIL IN DISGUISE

overcomeevilI am a friendly person by nature. My husband has always joked that I could strike up a conversation with the devil. Well, recently, I did just that; unknowingly.

The woman had an energy level that put me to shame and for those who know me well, that’s a daunting comparison. All the signs of an bi-polar person not taking medication were evident from the get-go, but I ignored them.

My ‘giving’ disposition took the reins in an effort to mentor this woman toward business goals, that in the end, she would never realize.

Long story short, I had met the devil in disguise and all those red flags I had sensed were really the red horns of deceit and betrayal. This person had a hidden agenda to suck the life and money out of me and others; only, to discard us by the wayside in search of new prey.

What this so-called friend (turned enemy) didn’t know or understand is the protective power of God’s Word that surrounds me day and night. As a Christian and child of God, I know the wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing will be revealed in due time. Not my time, but God’s time.

Many of you reading this post may have encountered a wolf in sheep’s clothing. On a daily basis we find the enemy of God using others to cultivate destruction and devastation to Christians around the globe. Christians needs to rise to the occasion and pray daily for those who are spiritually blinded and being used unknowingly as instruments to orchestrate the eradication of all things JESUS.

In the meantime, my husband and I are pursuing all the legal avenues to reclaim lost business possessions and continue to prayer this person will allow God to claim her soul for something of true purpose.

 

“Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered.”
Psalms 68:1

“You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”
Matthew 7: 16-20

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HONEST ENGINE

IMG_8695Honest engine is like the triple dog dare of telling the truth. So when my granddaughter, Olivia, brought me the broken candle and used the term honest engine, she expected me to believe her.

“Honest engine, NeeNee. Fischer and I were jumping on your bed way over there and this just fell and broke.
“Really, Olivia?”
“Yes, NeeNee. It really did. I can’t imagine how it happened.”

I might have believed her if the bed wasn’t a good 15-foot away for the overturned candlestick. But, to Olivia, her made-up story seemed believable. She even convinced her brother, Fischer, to tell the same story. Does any of this remind you of two other people who also conspired to lie about something they did?

“Honest engine, God. Adam and I were just standing next to this tree when an apple fell to the ground.”
“Really, Eve?”
“Yes, God. It really did. I can’t imagine how it happened; but I didn’t want it to be wasted, so Adam and I had a taste.”

When I hear “I can’t imagine how it happened” anywhere in a sentence, I tend to assume that someone is trying to hide the truth.

There is an old English proverb that states, ‘the eyes are the window to the soul.’ This saying stems from a passage in the Bible, Matthew 6:22-23. When I was a kid, my mom told me she knew when I was lying by my eyes. My mom was one smart lady. She saw my face as a picture of my mind and my eyes as its interpreter.

When Adam and Eve conspired to lie to God, they were both exiled from the Garden of Eden. When Olivia and Fischer conspired to lie to NeeNee, they were both exiled from jumping on my bed.

“…be sure your sins will find you out.” Numbers 32:33

It is foolish to play the dog-dare honest engine card with God.

“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” Proverbs 28:13

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I SPY

IMG_8692As the grandkids bound through the door last night, they could hardly contain their excitement. They were headed to Tennessee to spend a week with their ‘other’ grandparents, Nena and Poppa.

“Do you have are bags ready?”

“Sure do,” I said. “They are right there with your names on them.”

Whenever the grandkids take a road trip South, I prepare them bags filled with food snacks, games, and coloring sheets. Their mommy limits the amount of time they can spend on electronic devices; so the goodie bags come in handy and keep them occupied then they travel.

As I helped my daughter load up her Jeep, she picked up a 2-gallon container filled with cereal, rice, and uncooked pasta shapes. “What the heck is this?”

“Oh, that’s an I Spy bottle; I showed the kids how to play it last night.”

“Mother, where do you come up with these ideas? Please tell me they don’t unscrew the cap.”

“No, the cap is glued on and can’t be removed.” My daughter breathed out a sigh of relief as she carefully surveyed the container.

I Spy in a Bottle uses six picture cards that show various small objects hidden inside the container. The rice, dried pasta, cereal and assorted beans prevent the player from seeing them without shifting and moving the contents around to reveal the hidden items. The game starts over when all the pictured items have been revealed to the player.

What things are hidden in your I Spy bottle?

Life is our road trip and the pictured game cards are either snapshots from God’s Word or snapshots from this world. Our heart is the container and we have a choice of how we fill it. Even when we make the right choices, we can bury hidden sins in our heart.  We must shake and turn ourselves in the direction of God to allow hidden sin to surface and be revealed. When we do, we give that game card to Jesus in exchange for forgiveness. But the game doesn’t end.

I Spy is ongoing until death.

Our road trip in life tends to perpetuate and recycle past sins. Sin is in our nature, it’s in our disposition, and it’s in our humanness. It’s not just in our physical body; it’s in our minds, affections, feelings, emotions and will. Our only defense against sin is to read study and ingest the Word of God.

“Thy Word I have treasured in my heart,” said David, “that I might not sin against you,” Psalm 119.

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INVENTORY LIFE’S LIABILITIES

ROX1ECA

January is the most despicable month on the calendar for me. Not only is it bitter cold, it is a month to gather tax information and determine the ending value of my retail inventory. It is essential to maintain adequate levels throughout the year to fulfill orders; but at year’s end, the unsold inventory becomes a tax liability and no one wants that.

Retail businesses try to forecast what items will turn a quick profit so warehouse shelves are empty on December 31. It’s a great concept in theory, but NOT in reality!  Just about the time I am ready to close-out a slow-moving item, customer interest spikes; and I am forced to increase inventory levels to keep up with the demand. And then, customers again lose interest and I’m left with inventory I can’t sell.

What excess inventory do you need to unload?

As the first month of a new year, January is an ideal time to take inventory of those things in our life that aren’t profitable and take up valuable space.  When you look at the spreadsheet of your life, what do you see? Did last year bring significant growth, did you break even; or, face liabilities because you failed to unload excess inventory?

It is no secret that every asset has a liability and every liability has an asset. So if every good has a bad and every bad has a good, it should all balance out in the end.  In the finance world this is true, but the balance sheet of ‘life’ is not that simple, if it were, we would all be happy.  

When life’s liabilities outweigh the assets, it’s time to unload excess inventory and restore balance to the spreadsheet of our life.

Here are ten helpful tips to minimalize life’s liabilities:

  • ·         Forgive, life is too short.
  • ·         Bag up past failures and toss them in a dumpster.
  • ·         Attach wrong choices to arrows and shoot them into infinity.
  • ·         Live life for you, not the approval of others. Give yourself permission to disappoint people.
  • ·         When faced with a crisis, remain calm and follow the yellow brick road. Even Dorothy faced obstacles, but managed to find her way home.
  • ·         Say goodbye to vampire friendships that suck the life and energy out of you.
  • ·         Strive to move within God’s will, not your own. To assume you know better than God will put you in the ‘red’ every time.
  • ·         Awareness is great, but action is required if you want to overcome.
  • ·         Discontentment that lingers will eventually erode joy.
  • ·         Less stuff means fewer things to weigh you down.