Friday, 31 October 2014

deviltry by Susan L.

  We're having a little Halloween party at the centre with games like bobbing for apples, pumpkin carving, and mask making. It takes me back a few years. I waffled back and forth about wearing a costume but simply can't do it. It goes against my faith.
  I even went so far as to make a funky wig out of scrap bits a yarn last night. The idea was to be a woolly mammoth, poking fun at my middle aged girth. It's not happening even though I used to love making costumes for the kids and occasionally for myself when invited to a Halloween party.
  That was then, this is now.
  We Christians don't talk about the forces of darkness. It's a topic that can get you some rather strange and often unbelieving looks so I am going to go out on a limb today. If we believe in angels and heaven, why is it so hard to admit that the devil has his minions as well? There are angels who watch over us, it's in the scriptures. The imps of satan are there too. (I won't capitalize his name. That is a show of respect and I have none for him.) Jesus delivered many from their grips and set them free.
  Unclean spirits, demons, sin all mean the same thing: the devil's very real minions are at work in our lives.
  In an age of science and technology we quickly ignore the scriptures relating to these issues as ancient superstitions, not applicable to this day and age. That, too, is the devil's work. It makes it easy for him to wreak havoc behind the scenes.
  I'll tell you a little story. When looking for a place to live, my uncle suggested a move to Hamilton to share a home with him. It made sense. He was getting older and it was a financially sound idea. However, the busy city was the last place I wanted to be. A country girl at heart, I knew the city wasn't a healthy place for me. I asked the Lord to give me a sign: a butterfly, when I'd arrived at the place He'd chosen for me to live.
  My son and I went to visit my uncle one sunny afternoon shortly after having that conversation with him and the Lord. When we arrived, his house was literally covered with hundreds of white, what I thought were butterflies. My heart dropped, panic filled my heart and tears came to my eyes. It would mean leaving my friends, my job, everything. It would mean being surrounded by noisy traffic and dirt and pollution. It would mean being away from nature where it is easy to connect with my Maker on quiet walks.
  I am thankful my son is a bug nut.
  "Mom, they're moths!"
  The devils "miracles" are but a shadow of what the Lord can do.
  I did get a butterfly when I arrived at the house I am in now. A single, rare, yellow on black swallowtail rested in the middle of the driveway gently fanning its wings.
  That was a huge lesson learned. Don't ask for a sign from God, it's a gateway for the devil to play havoc with my life. He and his imps are watching and waiting for the opportunity to do their worst because they can.
  If we let them.
  "Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him." Mat 4:11

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Infidelity by Susan L.

  There's a hidden, rather nefarious lesson being taught by the media. "It's okay to do as you want." Television in particular keeps on ramming this idea home as fictional characters jump from bed to bed whenever things get rough in a relationship. Or even if things are good, they find it easy to yield to temptation. Honor, fidelity, loyalty, dedication, perseverance, and communication are quickly becoming ideas of the past.
  There was or maybe still is an entire show based on infidelity called "Mistresses". I've never watched it. I hope it didn't last.
  In reality, infidelity has a high price. Betrayal doesn't come cheap. Just ask Judas.
  This is still a terribly difficult subject for me even after all this time.
  Part of it is simply because the some of the wounds run deep, right to the innermost core of my being. My ability to trust on so many different levels was shattered by my own ex-husband's choice to find...I have no idea what he was looking simply wasn't with me.
  I am grateful that I am not bitter. I am grateful that the Lord has brought an immense amount of healing to my heart, soul and spirit. Some things may not be fully healed this side of Heaven although I can hope and pray they will. That's okay, too.
  Sadly, in the media and in our youth, sex is regarded as a past-time, a hobby. The true meaning of making love, the intimate sharing of ourselves is a gift more precious than words, has been lost somewhere. We aren't taught and are failing to teach our youth that whenever we share ourselves in that way, we entrust part of ourselves to our partner.
  Chastity and chivalry have gone the way of honor, fidelity and loyalty.
  It's not about simply saying an arbitrary "no" to sex. It's about understanding the reason for that "no". It's about embracing the idea of how incredibly precious and valuable our innermost selves are! It's about understanding the magnitude of the gift we share, that it isn't just a body, but our entire self is being entrusted to them. This applies to both genders, not just women.
  It's about deciding who is worthy of such a gift.
  "I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love." Eph 4:1-2

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Little Things by Susan L.

  An email came yesterday from my insurance company. I'd never received one before and was rather nervous about its contents. It appears turning fifty has its benefits. My car insurance, mandatory in Canada, was drastically reduced! A rare thing in the insurance world. It helps I guess to have a clean driving record with only one speeding ticket ever and no accident in the last twenty-five. It was a bit like winning the lottery. A little one anyways.
   I picked up new, fairly inexpensive, curtains for the living room window yesterday. They were too long so they needed hemming. That's a major endeavour for someone who is challenged by straight line sewing. It is the first time in a long time the sewing machine was pulled out. It made me smile a bit since the work table specifically for sewing is no longer here. It was a recent get-rid-of-it item.
  I stood in the living room pondering where I was going to set up the machine. The thought flitted through my head that a little folding table would come in handy for such purposes. Then I realized I had one...It was staring me right in the face in the form of an ironing board with adjustable height. It had been hauled out to press the new curtains. Gotta love dual purpose items, especially in a small home. It worked beautifully!
  With some trepidation I cut them off after checking the length needed about four times and hung them. The woodworker's mantra of "measure twice, cut once" works in the sewing world, too! Like hemming a skirt, I pinned them up then took them down to be sewed. That was the easiest way because they weren't particularly well made to begin with and were slightly uneven at the top.
  They look okay but I prefer blinds. They are somehow tidier looking. Perhaps in the spring I'll get some custom fitted from a company that specializes in window coverings or attempt to make some Roman shades. For now, the curtains will do. They'll help keep the winter chill out of the room which is apparently right around the corner. They're calling for snow flurries on Friday.
  It is with deepest gratitude I acknowledge the Lord's provision in all things that matter to me. Sometimes it's an item needed that time after time has "somehow" come my way. Or it's the financial provision that is always there when I need it. Or better yet, it's the inspiration to utilize what I already have in unusual ways, like the ironing board.
  It's all God in these tiny, everyday miracles that are just that: miracles.
  "A time to tear, and a time to sew; A time to keep silence, and a time to speak." Eccl 3:7