Sunday, July 10, 2016

Make wise choices, they will direct more than just your life

In Genesis 36, Moses wrote about Esau's lineage, and it showed how his life ended up different from Jacob.

First, Esau didn't marry godly women like Jacob waited to do. They ended up leading his family away from the Lord. It says in 2 Corinthians, "Do not be unequally yoked with an unbeliever." It doesn't seem as big of a deal to date someone that is not a Christian, but we marry the people we date.  And a good and healthy marriage is impossible without the center point of Christ.

There are so many points in life that I so do not want to hold my tongue, that I don't want to put my husband first, that I don't want to clean the house, that I don't want to wait until my husband and I can see the movie together --- the moments that my desires are selfish instead of selfless, that's when I have to turn to Jesus. And I know my husband has the same thing. Without God, I can guarantee our marriage would be much angrier, much unhappier and much less solid.

Esau also wasn't careful about where his family lived. He took his family outside of the Promised Land. It's important where we live. It's important the environment our children are in. Can I relate this to the black lives matter movement? The biggest point against what this movement seems to stand for is that the biggest violence against blacks is blacks, but they don't seem to make a big deal of this. "That's just the culture where we live. We have to deal with it. That's the only place we can afford." I bet that's true in big cities, but take your family to a small town and you will be amazed at what you can afford. Esau thought he had to leave the Promised Land to have enough room for all his stuff, but had he prioritized his family he would have chosen where to live on different parameters. We should all pick where we live based on what is best for our families.

Esau's family does become a ruling family where it settled down. His sons and grandsons became chiefs, which means rulers over 1,000 plus. One of Esau's wives was Oholibamah, who was a part of a ruling family, so many of the men in their family also became rulers. That looks good, but Esau was becoming assimilated into an ungodly culture. He was no different than anyone else.

The judgment on the Edomites, Esau's family, has lasted generation after generation. From Old Testament times to today in the Middle East, God's judgement has been on that land. We never think that what we do will affect our families for that long, but it can. From who we marry to where we live, it's these decisions that make up a life, a family and a future. Make wise choices.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Reminders to be thankful for everyday moments

I think the events of this week have really made me take pause and think about what's important in life, about treasuring everyday moments when, like the families of the officers in Dallas, those moments can be over so quickly and without notice.

So, what are you thankful for today? What are those little moments that you'll remember today?

1. When I'm cooking and my husband walks through the kitchen, wraps his arms around me and kisses me on the cheek.
2. When my dog has free reign outside and chooses to sit on the porch and watch the world go by, just like a little person.
3. A "Love you back" text.
4. A video of a friend's baby walking.
5. A picture of a friend enjoying her birthday and smiling with her husband.
6. A compliment on my newest cupcake experiment, Boston Creme Pie cupcakes.
7. A text from your mom telling you about a house for sale six hours from you just because she wishes you would move closer to home.

It's not about the washing machine that's not working, the house that needs painting, the cleaning on the to-do list --- it's about appreciating those everyday moments that make up a life.

Friday, July 8, 2016

The 5-foot root

It's been a busy few weeks and my blogging has lapsed unintentionally. As a welcome back, I'm not going to delve into the political climate or the events of this week that have brought me to tears and to unfriending a few people on Facebook who don't support law enforcement, instead I'm going to talk about a little lesson that I came across a week or so ago.

I decided it was time to buckle down and work on the house, and in order to scrape and paint, some weedy bushes needed to come out.

So I went to start cutting branches and digging at root systems, which turned out easier said than done. When I had gotten the largest branches out of the way, I had to get the rocky landscaping out of the way. A few rocks in a single layer I figured.


One layer of rock. Two layers of rock. Three layers of rock. A layer of black plastic, and wait more rock.

What? Two layers of rock and plastic? Who does this?

I dug down, and got one root out, and then saw that this root jutted out horizontally and another bush was coming from the same root a few feet away. The entire structure was actually one plant.

An hour later and plenty of sweat later, I couldn't go on. Literally. I was jumping on the shovel and it wasn't budging. I physically couldn't dig any deeper and I physically could not loosen this root, so I packed up and waited for my husband.

The next day, I was at work and he had a day off, and I get a video of him trying to pull this bush root out with a wire winched to the four-wheeler. It wasn't budging.

Then I got another video showing the 5-foot root that had finally come up, breaking the four-wheeler winch while it was at it.

Now, go with me here, because Nate said this is a stretch, but I think those bushes were a whole lot like sin. I could get the small bushes that were growing nearby out pretty easily, but I pulled them when they were little and young. But the longer we left these bushes, the more they grew and the deeper their roots were. By the time they were developed, it took more than the little bit of pruning that I could do. We needed help from some heavy machinery.

Sin is easy to get rid of when it is small. And you can probably do it yourself, of course with the forgiveness of God. But when sin starts to dig in, it's not only incredibly difficult to get out but it's also impossible to do on your own. You're going to need the help of others to eradicate sin from your life, the support of others, the strength of others.

Don't let sin become a 5-foot root that won't budge. Take notice of it when it's little and don't let it get a foothold.