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Archive for July, 2010

Predictability

 

Predictability
by Charles R. Swindoll

 Joshua 14

John Gardner, a United States cabinet member under President Johnson, once pointed out that by their mid-thirties most people have stopped acquiring new skills and new attitudes in any aspect of their lives.

Does that jolt you? Stop and think, you who are over thirty. How long has it been since you acquired a new skill? How many new attitudes have you adopted? Are you compelled to approach a problem the same way every time? Does a maverick (even wild) idea challenge you or make you retreat into your shell? Have you lost that enthusiastic zest for discovery or adventure? Are you becoming addicted to predictability?

I’ll let you in on a secret: Living and learning go hand in hand; existing and expiring do too. The constant curiosity and probing inquisitiveness of preschoolers make every day completely fresh and exciting. To them learning is natural; to many adults it’s a nuisance. I find that amazing.

If you are saying to yourself, “Well, that’s just the way I am; I can’t change,” then you are limiting God, discounting His power and denying His presence. He’s offering you an “abundant life,” and you’re settling for a bland diet of tasteless existence.

Now I’m not suggesting you go out and do stupid stunts to prove your unpredictability. However, why not turn your everyday problems into creative projects? Why not take life by the throat and achieve mastery over a few things that have haunted and harassed you long enough? Why not broaden yourself in some new way to the greater glory of God?

Remember Caleb? He was eighty-five and still growing when he grabbed the challenge of the future. At a time when the ease and comfort of retirement seemed predictable, he fearlessly faced the “invincible” giants of the mountain. His story is told in Joshua 14. There was no dust on that fella. Every new sunrise introduced another reminder that his body and a rocking chair weren’t made for each other. While his peers were yawning, he was yearning.

If you are determined and work quickly, you can keep the concrete of predictability from setting up around you. But if the risks of sailing your ship in the vast ocean of uncertainty make you seasick, you’d better stay near the shallow shores of security. Concrete sinks fast, you know.

I challenge you: This week do something totally unpredictable, even if it’s only taking a different route to work. A change of scenery could change your outlook . . . but you’ll never know until you try.

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This time every year, I go through the “why did I make such a huge perennial garden?” dumps. In the spring, that garden is just a show stopper. Wow….I love it. But as the season progresses, things start to change. First, my time. I get going with O My Soap and it doesn’t stop until a week before Christmas. So no time for weeding or anything related to gardening. Next come these little green things called weeds….they start appearing for no reason! I mean, no one invited them….what gall! They just appeared! Be my guest and see what I mean………….look……..

 

I could post lots more pictures but don’t want you to be as depressed as I got taking these pictures!! But what I would like to post are my container gardening pictures. No weeds! No drooping plants….just beautiful plants nice and green with beautiful blooms. I love it! See what I mean……….!!

 

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Jim bought some bing cherries and they had been in the refrigerator for awhile…I eat more fruit than he does, so it was up to me to clean them and…..eat them. I’d forgotten they were in there and when I took them out of the refrigerator…immediately, I saw mold on some of them. Yuck…do I have to throw away all of them? I hate mold…I won’t even eat anything that has any relationship with mold….well, since I love cherries, I carefully picked off the bad cherries with a paper towel…never my fingers!!!  horrors!! As I worked getting those bad ones out of the bowl, I realized something………………….there were great cherries below!!  After picking through the rest of the cherries, I had a wonderful, beautiful bowl of cherries. I rinsed and clean them and ate some.

That made me think that sometimes we shouldn’t jump to conclusions when we initially see the mold of  life. You know, mold in people, mold in tasks we have to undertake….just look under the mold and you will be surprised what you find!!

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Butterflies…..!!

Jim came in the workshop this afternoon and said, “Dorothy, come out here and look at these butterflies!” Our butterfly bush, aptly named, was loaded with them!

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Home Remedies

I love love alternative ways of treating aches and pains…and I think one day, when I am in heaven, God will confirm to me that, yes, He did provide all that I needed to treat my arthritis, water retention, saggy and wrinkly skin, gallstones, high blood pressure, stress ….well, anything and everything that ever distressed me.

And He will definitely shake His head at the foolishness of humans….the way they kill off those wonderful dandelions and plantains, not to mention stinging nettles and other herbs growing alongside the roadways.

Personally, I drink dandelion root tea for my gallstones..which never seem to make a fuss now that I have this as part of my tea inventory. I’ve also started to take supplements of stinging nettle and devil’s claw…now there’s a great angelic name!! They both have helped me with my painful knees and seem to help with excess water in my system.

Besides using herbs, I’ve found that fresh, healthy foods are extraordinary at  functioning as a restorative for our ailing bodies. Yogurt is one of my favorite foods to help with my digestion. Especially greek yogurt. Yum! All kinds of vegetables…the more colorful the better….red peppers!! Green broccoli!! Fresh pineapple makes me smile and my mouth to water just smelling it! It contains bromelain that acts as an inflammatory. Strawberries! Blueberries! Oatmeal! Salmon and turkey burgers! Oh, I’m getting hungry just writing about these succulent foods!

Bananas and yogurt mixed with mashed up strawberries sounds like a great snack…but, after you take a bit or two, smooth some on your face and let it sit for a bit. Rinse off and feel so ravishing!

Olive oil, taken from your kitchen cabinet, provides a decadent cleanser for your face. Yes! Cleanser! Smooth a bit over your face, and with a warm cloth, rinse off. You can’t purchase a better face oil!! Except maybe my Seven Seed Oil Facial Serum!!

Just an added note: herbs are powerful so if you want to use them, make sure you read up on everything about them. Taken in right amounts, they are sure to add to your health in a good way!!

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Deep Grief

by Charles R. Swindoll

1 Corinthians 10:11-13

The past couple of weeks have been some of the toughest of my life. My emotions have spanned the spectrum: shock, sorrow, horror, intense anger, disillusionment, disappointment, and utter bewilderment. I have prayed—without much benefit. I have read the Scriptures from the Psalms and Proverbs to the words of Jesus and various sections of the letters from Paul, Peter, James—without much peace.

I feel like Job, who admitted, “If I speak, my pain is not lessened, And if I hold back, what has left me? . . . He has exhausted me. . . . My spirit is broken” (Job 16:6-7; 17:1).

It occurred to me around 4:20 this morning that perhaps the late, great Spurgeon might have understood my grief better than any other when he wrote over a century ago in his Lectures to My Students, in a chapter entitled “The Minister’s Fainting Fits”:

Who can bear the weight of souls without sometimes sinking to the dust? . . . To see the hopeful turn aside, the godly grow cold, professors [and pastors] abusing their privileges, and sinners waxing more bold in sin—are not these sights enough to crush us to the earth? . . .

The lesson of wisdom is, be not dismayed by soul-trouble. Count it no strange thing, but a part of ordinary ministerial experience. . . . Live by the day, by the hour. . . . Be not surprised when men fail you; it is a failing world. . . . Be content to be nothing, for that is what you are.

No longer should we be saying that “perilous times will come.” They have arrived, fellow pilgrim; they are now. And we must face them head-on, doing whatever is necessary to stand firm.

As Carl Henry wrote so eloquently in Twilight of a Great Civilization:

We may even now live in the half generation before all hell breaks loose, and if its fury is contained we will be remembered, if we are remembered at all, as those who used their hands and hearts and minds and very bodies to plug the dikes against impending doom.

The secret of standing in treacherous times is being willing to “take heed” lest we also fall.

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