Monday, February 29, 2016

LEAP YEAR MONDAY


February 29th.

Brought to you by the clever inventors of leap year.

My dad missed it by one day – his birthday was March 1st.

If I had been born on February 29th, this year I'd be celebrating my Sweet Sixteen birthday! 

(Hmmm, I like the sound of that better than 62…ahem).

I got to thinking about leap years, so I looked up some information.


Here's the facts:

1.  A leap year is also known as an intercalary year or a bissextile year.

2.  The extra day keeps the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year, and aligned with the Earth's revolutions around the Sun.

3.  Seasons and astronomical events do not repeat in a whole number of days. Therefore, calendars that have the same number of days in each year drift over time with respect to the event that the year is supposed to track. Inserting the extra day corrects the drift.

4.  A year that is not a leap year is called a common year.

5.  The name "leap year" comes from the fact that while a fixed date in the Gregorian calendar normally advances one day of the week from one year to the next, the day of the week in a leap year will advance two days (from March onwards) due to the extra day added at the end of February (thus "leaping over" one of the days in the week).

6.  Gregorian calendars were first used in 1582.  They are a modification of the Julian calendar first used by the Romans.

7.  There is also something known as a leap cycle.  Over a period of 4 centuries, the accumulated error of adding a leap day every 4 years amounts to about 3 extra days. The Gregorian calendar therefore removes three leap days every 400 years, which is the length of its leap cycle.

8.  You can tell if it's a leap year by what day of the week the year starts and ends on.  January 1st and December 31st always fall on the same day of the week.  In leap years, December 31st will fall on the following day of the week!

9.  In Ireland and Britain, it is a tradition that women may propose marriage only in leap years.   In Greece, marriage in a leap year is considered unlucky.

10.  A person born on February 29 may be called a "leapling" or a "leaper."

11.  There can be drawbacks to being born on February 29th.  There are an estimated five million people with Feb. 29 birthdays, and they once had to face a number of day-to-day administrative hassles.  Insurance companies, banks and other major organizations often didn't recognize leap day as a valid date, forcing people to choose either Feb. 28 or March 1 as their birthday.  Evolving technology has made this less of an issue, but some websites still won't accept Feb. 29.

12.  In Gilbert and Sullivan's 1879 comic opera "The Pirates of Penzance," Frederic the pirate apprentice discovers that he is bound to serve the pirates until his 21st birthday (that is, when he turns 84 years old), rather than until his 21st year.

13.  Leap years in history: During leap years, George Armstrong Custer fought the Battle of the Little Bighorn (1876), the Titanic sank (1912), Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning is electricity (1752) and gold was discovered in California (1848).

14.  Famous people born on February 29th: Dinah Shore, Tony Robbins, Jimmy Dorsey, Dennis Farina, Lord Byron, and a bunch of other people that can't be that famous because I didn't know who they were!!


So in some ways, today is an *extra* day!

And that's got me thinking about time.

Did you know that time is bendable?

According to Einstein's Theory of Relativity, there is a phenomenon called time dilationbasically a difference of elapsed time between two events as measured by observers.

(For instance, clocks on the Space Shuttle ran slightly slower than reference clocks on Earth, while clocks on GPS and Galileo satellites run slightly faster…The laws of nature are such that time itself (i.e. spacetime) will bend due to differences in either gravity or velocity – each of which affects time in different ways.)

I don't begin to understand any of this – even though I am a huge fan of the "Back to the Future" movies!!

("…the encounter could create a time paradox.  The results of which could cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum and destroy the entire universe!...Granted, that's the worst-case scenario.  The destruction however might be limited merely to our own galaxy." 
– Emmett "Doc" Brown)

"Great Scott!"


No, I am not a physicist, but I do know this.

Time is not static – especially as we experience it.

I have found that time moves at a different pace when I'm waiting for something.  If it's something good (tax refund check), time moves slowly.  But if it's something I'm dreading (root canal), it goes way too fast.  Of course, if I'm waiting to find out if something is good or bad (test results), time moves slowly again.

Interesting, huh?!

OK, if you've stuck with me so far – (and I'm sorry that today's post is rambling all over the place) – it's *time* to get practical.


We are finite beings with a pre-determined amount of years allotted to us.

God sets our earthly time, our life clock, before we are even born – and He alone knows when that time will tick down to a stop.

And even if we live to be 100 years old, the time will still pass quickly.

So, what are we doing with the time given to us?

Our lives are a gift from God.

And in some ways, what we do with them is our gift to Him.


Are we pursuing His wisdom, His ways, His Word?

Are we spreading His Good News?

Are we making inroads for the Kingdom?

Are we storing up heavenly treasure?

Are we seeking His face, and spending time in relationship with Him?

Are we serving others well?


In other words, are we spending the time wisely?


I don't know how long my life will last.  But I want it to be well spent.  I am less concerned with quality of life than living a life of quality.

I want my years here to count for something – more accurately, I want them to count for Someone.

So, I'm taking this *extra* day and pondering how I might make better use of my time as I serve the Lord.


Time is passing.

Time is short.

And it's TIME – to get busy living, making the best use of our days, wisely following the Lord as He leads us moment-by-moment.

For He is coming…

…soon!





"Time is what we want most,
but what we use worst."

-- William Penn


Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

(Psalm 90:12)













"LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.  Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is.  You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.  My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.  We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.  We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.  And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?  My only hope is in you." 
(Psalm 39:4-7, NLT)

"Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.  For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.  As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes.  When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, and its place acknowledges it no longer.  But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him…" (Psalm 103:13-17, NASB)

"He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again." (Psalm 78:39, ESV)

"For the life of every living thing is in his hand, and the breath of every human being." (Job 12:10, NLT)

"For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life." (Job 33:4, NLT)

"…He is not far from each one of us.  for in Him we live and move and exist [that is, in Him we actually have our being]…" (Acts 17:27-28, AMP)

"Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  How precious to me are your thoughts, God!  How vast is the sum of them!" (Psalm 139:16-17, NIV)

"Since his days are determined, the number of his months is with You [in Your control], and You have made his limits so he cannot pass [his allotted time]." (Job 14:5, AMP)

"How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow?  Your life is like the morning fog – it's here a little while, then it's gone." (James 4:14, NLT)

"But I am trusting you, O LORD, saying, 'You are my God!'  My future is in your hands." (Psalm 31:14-15, NLT)

"So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable.  Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless." (1 Corinthians 15:58, NLT)

"Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature.  But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.  So let's not get tired of doing what is good.  At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.  Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone…" (Galatians 6:8-10, NLT)

"'Look, I am coming soon!  My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End…'" (Revelation 22:12-13, NIV)

"He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming soon.'  Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus." (Revelation 22:20, NIV)



How are you using your precious gift of time?




Linked with:

SHARING HIS BEAUTY, SMALL WONDER, MONDAY'S MUSINGS, MONDAYS AT SOUL SURVIVAL, LIFE GIVING LINKUP, GOOD MORNING MONDAYS, MONDAY OF MANY BLESSINGS, THE ART OF HOMEMAKING MONDAYS, MAKING YOUR HOME SING MONDAY, MUSING MONDAYS, MODEST MONDAY, TELL ME A TRUE STORY, TITUS 2 TUESDAY, UNITE LINKUP, TESTIMONY TUESDAY, TUESDAY TALK, TELL IT TO ME TUESDAYS, RA RA LINKUP, TEACHING WHAT IS GOOD, TITUS 2SDAYS, WISE WOMAN, WORSHIPFUL WEDNESDAY, TELL HIS STORY, THE HOMEMAKING PARTY, WHOLEHEARTED WEDNESDAY, A LITTLE R & R WEDNESDAYS, WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY, THREE WORD WEDNESDAY, COFFEE FOR YOUR HEART, COFFEE & CONVERSATION, WOMEN WITH INTENTION, WAITING ON WEDNESDAY, SITTING AMONG FRIENDS, WEDDED WEDNESDAY, TUESDAY'S RUBIES, THURSDAY FAVORITE THINGS, LIVE FREE THURSDAY, THOUGHT-PROVOKING THURSDAY, PARTY AT MY PLACE, SHINE BLOG HOP, LITTLE THINGS THURSDAYFROM HOUSE TO HOME, COZY READING SPOT, NO RULES WEEKEND BLOG PARTY, THOUGHTFUL THURSDAYS, GRACE AT HOME, BLOGGER SPOTLIGHT PARTY, FRIENDSHIP FRIDAY, FAITH FILLED FRIDAY, SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS, FAITH 'N FRIENDS, MAKE MY SATURDAY SWEET, GRACE & TRUTH, TGI SATURDAYS, FAMILY, FRIENDSHIP & FAITH, DANCE WITH JESUS, WEEKEND WIND DOWN PARTY, WEEKEND WHISPERS, WORD OF GOD SPEAK, LIVING PROVERBS, SMALL VICTORIES SUNDAY, GIVE ME GRACE, SOCIAL BUTTERFLY SUNDAY




BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, February 22, 2016

PETER PAN CHRISTIANS


OK, so there's this TV commercial.

It drives me crazy.

Picture the scene:

It's a high school reunion, Class of 1965.  A small group of people are quietly talking.

And then…

Peter Pan flies in.

He lands in front of the group and promptly does two completely annoying things:

He asks one of the men to give him a high-five, and as soon as the man reaches up, Peter slugs him in the stomach.

Then he acts surprised as he glances at a woman – "Joanne, is it you?" – and then proceeds to tell her, "You don't look a day over 70."  (Which is sooo insulting, because if you calculate her age, she's only 68!!)

The commercial ends with Peter singing, "You Make Me Feel So Young," while flying around the room and hitting people in the head with his feet.

It's a funny commercial, but by the time it's over, I want to slap young Peter silly!

Honestly, though, don't we all know someone who refuses to grow up?

I have seen full-grown adults acting like obnoxious children.

(And I have observed that this tendency is especially true when there's alcohol involved.  No wonder we are cautioned against drunkenness – it makes us look like fools).

Then there are other people who dress too young for their age.  In my humble opinion, I think that instead of making them look younger, they just end up looking tasteless.

Still others accumulate "toys" – fancy and expensive things.  Have you ever seen that bumper sticker that says: "He who dies with the most toys wins"?

Yeah, that's maturity speaking.


So, what's at the root of immaturity?

I think it's three main things – insecurity, pride, and fear.

Insecurity can arise when we compare ourselves to others.  

And in a culture that celebrates (idolizes?!) youth, it's tough to feel healthy self-esteem.  Plastic surgery is so prevalent these days.  Many people seem addicted to it, and pursue endless methods of staving off appearing old.

It's the modern-day fountain of youth.

Now let me say this, if you've had plastic surgery, I'm not going to judge.  I've been tempted a few times myself.  But if you're seeking it for all the wrong reasons, it will never alter the actual years on the calendar.

Pride can arise when we think we are in control of our lives.  

And when we start to get older, a fact we cannot control, it's tempting to get caught up in doing all sorts of other things that give us the illusion of control. New clothes, new jewelry, new "toys", new people – all of these things can be pursued in a prideful effort to "cheat" growing older.

The enemy can exploit this – infidelity, greed, discontentment – all of these things stem from a prideful desire to "get what I want" – to make life (or re-make it) in our own image.

And so often, what we do NOT want is to grow older.

Fear can arise when we face those candles on the birthday cake.  

Because the older we get, the more we have to face our own mortality.  And that, my friends, is a daunting and sobering reality.

Now I'm not gonna lie.

Getting older can be pretty scary.  

Changes that occur in our bodies and our minds can be terribly unsettling.

Aching joints, wrinkles, hair loss, weight gain, hearing impairment – not fun.

Not to mention the increasing frequency of *senior moments* – those times when you forget stuff – like what you were talking about in the middle of a sentence!!

It's disturbing.

I'm going to be 62 pretty soon, and I am so NOT looking forward to it.

But, though I'm growing older, I don't want to grow old.

I'm talking about a mindset.

A mindset where I don't give in to the oh-woe-is-me outlook that life is over, that I am useless, and I might as well just grab a shawl and a rocking chair and give up.

No sir.

However, as I grow older, I do want to start wearing some of the good things that come with agedignity, wisdom, grace.

Because just as refusing to grow up as people is annoying, refusing to grow up spiritually can be disastrous.


God does not want Peter Pan Christians.

We are admonished in the Word of God to not be childish.  But we are also encouraged to be childlike.

Hmmm…

A contradiction?

I think not.

So let's ponder that.

I've come up with eight characteristicsfour that are signs of childishness, and four that are signs of childlikeness.


Let's see if any resonate with you:


1) Children have tantrums

Oh boy.

Haven't we all seen the "beauty" of a child having a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store, or a restaurant, or even church?  (I have also been the parent dealing with that…ahem).

Children have tantrums because they get easily frustrated when they don't get what they want when they want it.

And they let everyone know about it!

A childish spiritual outlook demands that God act according to our ways, our wants, our timing.

Spiritual maturity learns the patient way of waiting.


2) Children are greedy

In infancy, a certain amount of "greediness" makes a lot of sense.  Babies are nothing but little blobs of "need."  They are driven by those needs, and squawk when they don't get them met.  It's a matter of survival.

But as babies grow older, this tendency remains.

Their natural tendency is to want everything for themselves.  All of the stuff, all of the time.  I have seen small children surrounded by toys, but still wanting the one thing that someone else has.

A childish spiritual outlook is greedy, coveting recognition, approval, money, possessions, power – whatever it is that this life tempts us to crave.

Spiritual maturity learns that earthly treasures are not treasure at all – they’re just worthless trinkets not worth grasping.


3) Children are selfish

The gift of sharing doesn't come naturally to a child.

However, it is completely natural for them to go through the "It's mine!" stage. In fact, it's a good sign of behavioral development.  It signals the fact that they are experiencing a greater sense of self, and learning how to attach complex feelings to inanimate objects.

They are asserting ownership to maintain a sense of order and control.

But if you ever try to take something away from them, look out!

That phrase: "It's like taking candy from a baby."

Oh yeah.

A childish spiritual outlook does not share easily, and insists on personal ownership, order, and control.

Spiritual maturity recognizes that all things come from God, and holds lightly to things, always willing to let go.


4) Children consider themselves the center of their own world

We celebrate the growing sense of independence as a baby grows up.

But we also harbor an expectation that they will continue to develop beyond a self-centered focus on themselves – their thoughts, feelings, desires, wants – to a place where they consider the needs of others.

Narcissism – defined as an inflated sense of one's own importance – doesn't look good on anyone over the age of 3!

A childish spiritual outlook focuses only on the self, and selfishly pursues the satisfaction of the self, often to the ignorance of the needs of others.

Spiritual maturity learns to feel empathy, and to reach beyond the self to sacrifice and surrender.


If those are some characteristics of being childish, what about being childlike?

Let's ponder some of those:


1) Children have a sense of wonder

Have you ever looked at the world through the eyes of a young child?

Everything is wonder-full!

They are endlessly curious, continually fascinated by the wonder of the world that surrounds them.  A sense of awe is a familiar companion.

Every day begins with wide-eyed marvel at the beauty and complexity of life.

There is no room for complacency, apathy, lethargy, or indifference.

Childlike faith greets each day with wonder, insisting on seeing the beauty of God's world with awe and astonishment.


2) Children are affectionate

Don't you just love the image of children crawling up into the lap of Jesus?!

I can see a bundle of them surrounding Him – some of them sitting on His lap, some stroking His hair, some touching His face, some playing with His sandals, some snuggling into His robe.

Unmitigated, unhindered, unreserved affection.

Children know how to love Jesus!

Childlike faith holds great affection for the Lord, and is willing and eager to pour out love at His feet like an offering.


3) Children are curious for knowledge

Little children are like sponges – soaking up every piece of information they can get.

Children are not easily satisfied with pat answers.  They do not desire trite or clichĂ© or routine.  They are constantly curious, always looking for new insight, new revelation, new wisdom.

They want to learn new things, and they are willing to pursue knowledge in single-minded focus.

Childlike faith isn't satisfied with one-dimensional knowledge, but rather, pursues spiritual insight, revelation, and wisdom with single-minded focus on the Author of Truth.


4) Children find joy in simple things

Children love to giggle and laugh – mostly at the simple things in life.

They are happy creatures who live as if life is profoundly simple, and simply profound.

Blowing dandelions in the wind, flying a kite, building a sandcastle, holding a butterfly, licking a lollipop, skipping rope…children enjoy simple things with great delight.

They haven't yet become distracted by the weight and worry of the world.

Childlike faith bears in mind that circumstances don't dictate the condition of the heart, and remembers that simple joy can be found by delighting in the Lord.


So, to sum up, I have to assert that personal maturity does not necessarily correlate with longevity.  Just because we have a greater number of years on this planet, it doesn't mean that we've grown into maturity.

Maturity must be mindful.

And it's the same in our walk of faith.

Being a believer for a certain number of years doesn't automatically guarantee spiritual maturity.

Spiritual maturity must also be mindful.

Spiritual maturity takes intentional work – prayer, study, discipline, application of truth. 

It takes purposefully pursuing Jesus, emulating His ways, and letting the Holy Spirit continually renew and redirect us into the path of spiritual growth.

It requires discerning between what's childish and what's childlike.


No, God does not want Peter Pan Christians.

He wants His children to grow up into maturity, reflecting accurately His Truthwhile at the same time exhibiting a total surrender of self to the joys of pursuing and obeying Him.

A tall order sometimes?

Yes, but we can do it with His help.

He can teach us how to carry ourselves with dignity, wisdom, and gracewhile still maintaining a childlike faith.


Yup, that's what I want – to grow up…

…while still being a Kid of the King!!






Though growing older
may show in my face,
I'll do it with dignity, wisdom,
and grace. 




"'My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding.'" (Jeremiah 4:22, NIV)

"Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation…" (1 Peter 2:2, ESV)

"Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn't talk to you as I would to spiritual people.  I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life.  I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren't ready for anything stronger.  And you still aren't ready, for you are still controlled by your sinful nature." 
(1 Corinthians 3:1-3, NLT)

"For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.  But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil." (Hebrews 5:13-14, NASB)

"When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child.  But when I grew up, I put away childish things." (1 Corinthians 13:11, NLT)

"Dear brothers and sisters, don't be childish in your understanding…Be innocent as babies when it comes to evil, but be mature in understanding matters of this kind." (1 Corinthians 14:20, NLT)

"Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity…" (Hebrews 6:1, NIV)

"…when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten.  No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God…" (1 Corinthians 2:6-7, NLT)

"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ." (Ephesians 4:11-15, NIV)

"He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ." 
(Colossians 1:28, NIV)

"So now through the church the multifaceted wisdom of God [in all its countless aspects] might now be made known [revealing the mystery] to the [angelic] rulers and authorities in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 3:10, AMP)

"Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them.  Then he said, 'I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.'" (Matthew 18:2, NLT)

"'I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.'" (Luke 18:17, NLT)

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." (Proverbs 9:10, NIV)



Do you struggle in an area where you're lacking spiritual maturity?




Linked with:

SHARING HIS BEAUTY, SMALL WONDER, MONDAY'S MUSINGS, MONDAYS AT SOUL SURVIVAL, LIFE GIVING LINKUP, GOOD MORNING MONDAYS, MONDAY OF MANY BLESSINGS, THE ART OF HOMEMAKING MONDAYS, MODEST MONDAYS, MAKING YOUR HOME SING, MUSING MONDAYS, TELL ME A TRUE STORY, TITUS 2 TUESDAY, TESTIMONY TUESDAY, TUESDAY TALK, TELL IT TO ME TUESDAYS, RA RA LINKUP, TEACHING WHAT IS GOOD, TITUS 2SDAYS, WORSHIPFUL WEDNESDAY, TELL HIS STORY, THE HOMEMAKING PARTY, WHOLEHEARTED WEDNESDAY, A LITTLE R & R WEDNESDAYS, WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY, THREE WORD WEDNESDAY, COFFEE FOR YOUR HEART, SO MUCH AT HOME, WOMEN WITH INTENTION, WAITING ON WEDNESDAY, SITTING AMONG FRIENDS, COFFEE & CONVERSATION, WEDDED WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY FAVORITE THINGS, LIVE FREE THURSDAY, PARTY AT MY PLACE, SHINE BLOG HOP, LITTLE THINGS THURSDAYSFROM HOUSE TO HOME, COZY READING SPOT, NO RULES WEEKEND BLOG PARTY, THOUGHTFUL THURSDAYS, GRACE AT HOME, BLOGGER SPOTLIGHT PARTY, FRIENDSHIP FRIDAY, EVERYDAY TESTIMONY, FAITH FILLED FRIDAY, SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS, FAITH 'N FRIENDS, MAKE MY SATURDAY SWEET, GRACE & TRUTH, TGI SATURDAYS, DANCE WITH JESUS, FAMILY, FRIENDSHIP & FAITH, WEEKEND WIND DOWN PARTY, WEEKEND WHISPERS, WORD OF GOD SPEAK, SMALL VICTORIES SUNDAY, GIVE ME GRACE, SOCIAL BUTTERFLY SUNDAY, INSPIRE ME MONDAY




BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, February 15, 2016

LIVING WITH A LEFT-HANDER


Yup.

"The Hub" is a proud left-hander.

A southpaw.

And I can always tell when he's been out-and-about in the house.

My just-cleaned blouses are hung up in the opposite direction.  Dusted decorative elements on our shelves are replaced backwards.  The TV remote is on the left-hand side of the recliner.

I find it kind of endearing.


Here's some fun facts about lefties:

1. Only about 10% of the population is left-handed.  And women, by a margin of 4%, are more likely to be right-handed.  (Interesting sidenote, though: Women, by a margin of 100%, are more likely to be right...ahem)

2. August 13th is "Left Handers' Day."

3. In Latin, the word for left is sinister, related to the noun sinistrum.

4. The word left in English comes from the Anglo-Saxon word lyft, which means weak or broken.  The Oxford English Dictionary defines left-handed as meaning crippled, defective, awkward, clumsy, inapt, characterized by underhanded dealings, ambiguous, doubtful, questionable, ill-omened, inauspicious, and illegitimate.  (Poor lefties – they have really gotten a bad rap throughout history!)

5. The German for "left-handed" is linkisch, which means awkward, clumsy, and maladroit.  In Italian, the word is mancino, which is derived from "crooked" or "maimed" (mancus) and is also used to mean deceitful or dishonest.  In Russian, to be called a left-hander (levja) is a term of insult.

6. Although approximately 90% of all humans are right-handed, cats, rats, and mice that show handedness seem to be equally split between right- and left-pawedness.  (I think Marty's a rightie...)

7. Studies have suggested that left-handers are more talented in spatial awareness, math, and architecture.  ("Honey, where are my keys?")  Right-handers tend to be more talented verbally.  ("Oh, here they are, on the etagere.")

8. Many people who are left-handed draw figures that face to the right.  (Which explains all the right-facing cartoon figures that "The Hub" draws for me!)

9. Researchers postulate that the proportion of left-handers has remained constant for over 30,000 years.

10. When placed on their tummies, right-handed babies tend to turn their heads to the right.  Left-handed babies usually turn their heads to the left or they don't show any preference.

11. Mothers who are over 40 at the time of a child's birth are 128% more likely to have a left-handed baby than a woman in her 20's.  (And, 128% more tired...)

12. Left-handedness runs in families. Lefties in the British royal family include the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, and Prince William.


The list of famous "lefties" reads like a very eclectic "Who's Who" – including such "baddies" as Jack the Ripper, John Dillinger, and Osama bin Laden, but also the following "goodies":

Benjamin Franklin, Alexander the Great, Thomas Jefferson, Aristotle, Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Julius Caesar, Mozart, Beethoven, Albert Einstein, Madame Curie, Mark Twain, Helen Keller, and Gandhi.

Not to mention celebrities like Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Whoopi Goldberg, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, and Robert deNiro.  And money-makers like John D. Rockefeller and Bill Gates.

Our current president is a lefty, too!

I have heard it said that handedness is largely controlled by the opposite side of the brain.  So, if you consider that, lefties are actually the only people in their right minds!!

(But don't tell "The Hub" that…)


If you recall, I earlier said that I find my husband's *leftiness* endearing.

But, I also have been known to point out to him that he does things "backwards."

Yes, that"s my "right" perceptions talking!

But honestly, I've been thinking about this whole issue of *differentness*and our bias against those who do indeed think, act, speak, behave, look, dress differently than we do.

How easy it is to pass judgment on others.

Now, I'm not talking about matters of right and wrong here.

God is quite specific on certain matters.

I'm talking about differences that don't, and really shouldn't, matter.

In a world where tolerance is touted as an all-important value, it's interesting to me that at the same time there seems to be more and more hatred brewing.

An interesting juxtaposition, but so human.

Even in the Garden of Eden, there was trouble brewing.

Once Adam and Eve introduced sin to the world, I'm sure they started arguing over their differences.

Adam probably refused to ever ask for directions, and Eve most likely bought too many shoes…

And didn't Cain kill Abel out of jealousy?  And doesn't jealousy have its roots in comparing and judging another person by how they're different than you?

Look at the Pharisees and Sadducees arguing over religious disagreements – and yet, they completely missed Jesus.  

(Hmmm, a modern-day observation, too???)

And who could forget the family feud between the Jews and the Samaritans?


Hatred, judgment, prejudice, intolerance, bias.

How is it that we have become so "modernized" in our technology, so "refined" in our cultural sophistications, and yet, remain so banal in our innate human tendency to judge and dismiss those who are different?

And honestly, isn't this tendency most tragic when it occurs within the Body of Christ?

Have we lost Christ Himself in the short-sighted habit of picking apart our brethren?

Oh, we must stop!

Many of you will remember a song with lyrics that said: "They will know we are Christians by our love…"

Friends, this is not just a kindly suggestion.  This is a direct command!

Jesus Himself stated, "So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other.  Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.  Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." 
(John 13:34-35, NLT)


So I'm taking a good long look at the relationships in my life – family, friends, fellow believers, acquaintances, strangers – and asking myself how I'm doing…

Am I accepting differences in others, especially when they rub up against me and my ways?

Am I learning how to judge less, and extend grace more?

Am I refusing to dismiss sin, while at the same time determining to embrace sinners?

Am I reaching out to the marginalized, the ostracized, the detested?

Am I loving like Jesus did?


Yeah, I've been thinking about "The Hub" and his left-handedness.  And the sometimes tongue-in-cheek, and other times what-is-wrong-with-you way that I deem his behavior "backwards" and "wrong."

When the truth of the matter is this – we're both evenhanded in our need for each other, and our deepest need of the Savior.

So this…

Might we all become more mindful of our tendency to judge and malign differences.

Might we all become more open to embracing the joys of every individual’s uniqueness.

Might we all strive to look like Christians by our love for one another, and our unity as we pursue the Author of our Faith.

Might we all endeavor to look more like Jesus.

Whose arms stretched wide open, as His hands (both left and right!) were nailed to the cross, in order to demonstrate what true love looks like.


Those precious scarred hands still reach out today…

…to every single person alive on this earth.


Let's do the same.






 Seeing
eye-to-eye
starts
with the
heart.




"Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar.  For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen." (1 John 4:20, NIV)

"For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus…There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female.  For you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:26, 28, NLT)

"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love." (Galatians 5:6, ESV)

"But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For He Himself is our peace…by abolishing in His flesh the enmity…" (Ephesians 2:13-15, NASB)

"My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory." (James 2:1, ESV)

"So Peter opened his mouth and said: 'Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.'" (Acts 10:34-35, ESV)

"We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?  Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." (1 John 3:16-18, NASB)

"'Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.  For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.'" (Luke 6:37-38, ESV)

"You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister?  Or why do you treat them with contempt?  For we will all stand before God's judgment seat…Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.  Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister." (Romans 14:10, 13, NIV)

"Believers, do not speak against or slander one another.  He who speaks [self-righteously] against a brother or judges his brother [hypocritically], speaks against the Law and judges the Law.  If you judge the Law, you are not a doer of the Law but a judge of it.  There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy [the one God who has the absolute power of life and death]; but who are you to [hypocritically or self-righteously] pass judgment on your neighbor?" (James 4:11-12, AMP)

"Therefore you have no excuse…every one of you who judges.  For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things." (Romans 2:1, ESV)

"'Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye…'" 
(Matthew 7:3-5, NIV)

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you fed me.  I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink.  I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.  I was naked, and you gave me clothing.  I was sick, and you cared for me.  I was in prison, and you visited me.'

Then these righteous ones will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you?  Or thirsty and give you something to drink?  Or a stranger and show you hospitality?  Or naked and give you clothing?  When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?'

And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'" 
(Matthew 25:34-40, NLT)




Do you struggle with differences?  Are you prone to judgment?



Linked with:

SHARING HIS BEAUTY, SMALL WONDER, MONDAY'S MUSINGS, MONDAYS AT SOUL SURVIVAL, LIFE GIVING LINKUP, GOOD MORNING MONDAYS, THE ART OF HOMEMAKING MONDAYS, TELL ME A TRUE STORY, TITUS 2 TUESDAY, UNITE LINKUP, TESTIMONY TUESDAY, TUESDAY TALK, TELL IT TO ME TUESDAYS, RA RA LINKUP, TEACHING WHAT IS GOOD, INTENTIONAL TUESDAY, WORSHIPFUL LIVING, TELL HIS STORY, THE HOMEMAKING PARTY, WHOLEHEARTED WEDNESDAY, A LITTLE R & R WEDNESDAYS, WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY, THREE WORD WEDNESDAY, COFFEE FOR YOUR HEART, COFFEE & CONVERSATION, WOMEN WITH INTENTION, WAITING ON WEDNESDAY, SITTING AMONG FRIENDS, THURSDAY FAVORITE THINGS, GRACE AT HOME, SHINE BLOG HOP, THOUGHTFUL THURSDAYS, FROM HOUSE TO HOME, LITTLE THINGS THURSDAY, COZY READING SPOT, NO RULES WEEKEND BLOG PARTY, LIVE FREE THURSDAY, BLOGGER SPOTLIGHT, FRIENDSHIP FRIDAY, EVERYDAY TESTIMONY, FAITH FILLED FRIDAY, SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS, FAITH 'N FRIENDS, MAKE MY SATURDAY SWEET, GRACE & TRUTH, TGI SATURDAYS, FAMILY, FRIENDSHIP & FAITH, WEEKEND WHISPERS, WORD OF GOD SPEAK, SMALL VICTORIES SUNDAY, GIVE ME GRACE, SOCIAL BUTTERFLY SUNDAY, INSPIRE ME MONDAY, MOTIVATION MONDAY


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, February 8, 2016

CAN YOU SEE THE MOUNTAIN?


It never rains in California…

Isn't that how the old song goes?  

(FYI, the song was written and recorded by Albert Hammond in 1972.  I know, I had the same reaction…who???)

Anyway, rain…

So, let me answer the question – YES, it does rain in California!

And sometimes it sleets, and snows, and blows!

Last weekend we had some dramatic winter weather.

The winds were gusting, the rain was smashing into our windows, and an icy sleet covered everything with a chilly layer of white.

For a few days, it never got out of the 20's.

Now listen to me, you folks who live in the Midwest or Eastern part of the country.  Don't be getting high and mighty on me, bragging on how you deal with your winter weather.  I will gracefully concede that many of you face conditions much worse than this.

But, consider…

For a girl who's spent almost all of her life living near the beach, in sandals and shorts for most of the year, this mountain weather is a whole new story!!

Dealing with possible freezing pipes, and chipping out ice-encrusted cars, and shoveling driveways, and putting on and taking off chains, and any number of other winter challenges is brand new territory for me!

I digress.


So, last weekend we had a STORM!!

Sunday was the worst day of all.  

Yo, ho, blow the man (or woman) down!!

(Let me tell you, I am very glad for the protection of double-paned windows, a roof over my head, and good, solid carpentry!)

Monday morning arrived…

"The Hub" has a ritual that he goes through every morning.

He gets a big glass of iced tea (yeah, he grew up near the beach, too!), and stands by our huge floor-to-ceiling window.  You know, the one with the breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains, and one very impressive granite outcropping.

He's like a lizard – he loves to soak up the rays of the sun first thing in the morning.

I knew the sun was not shining this morning.

Because along with the storm, we'd had crazy fog!

Carl Sandburg wrote a famous poem called "FOG".  

Here's the first line:

"The fog comes
on little cat feet."

Yeah, well, this storm's fog hadn't come in like a little cat.  It had arrived full-force, roaring like a lion, and blanketing the entire mountain in a shroud.

So, I asked "The Hub"…

"Can you see the mountain?"

"It comes and goes," he answered.

As a little joke, I replied, "The mountain?  Or our perception of it?"

He chuckled.

"You know," I quipped, "it doesn't really matter if we can see it or not.  It's still there."


Throughout the rest of the day, I got to thinking about what I'd said.

And I got to thinking about how it applied to life lately.

I don't know what's going on with me.

Severe anxiety has plagued me for a couple of weeks now.

Personally, I think it has something to do with the fact that I am intentionally seeking to be grateful.  And when one makes an effort to mindfully incorporate gratitude into their everyday life, *someone* isn't happy about that.

You-know-who always seeks to steal, kill, and destroy.

Steal peace.

Kill joy.

Destroy hope.

I have felt his influence more than usual lately.  In some ways, it's sort of validation that this *journey of grateful* this year is indeed God's plan and purpose for me.

Sometimes God's work is confirmed by the counter-work of the enemy.

But, being grateful is made so much harder when you're fending off arrows of attack.


I sometimes often don't understand myself at all.

I get in these places, these moods, and I'm not always sure of how I got therelet alone how to get out of them.

And lately, that's just how I've felt.

Beleaguered, beset, bedeviled, bewildered.

Anxious and unsettled.  Afraid and rattled.  Discouraged and dismayed.

Off-kilter, overly sensitive, hyper-reactive – sad, mad, and glad in dizzying merry-go-round fashion.

Yeah, and also desperately out-of-control.

So, on this stormy morning, when I jokingly asked "The Hub" about the mountain, I saw a pretty appropriate lesson in it.


It is so easy to lose sight when surrounded by storms.

And sometimes, even though life might not be throwing a bunch of actual storms at us, the storm can still rage within us.

A fog of moodiness can blanket our hearts and spirits.

And we can lose sight of the mountain – The Rock.

It seems to me that there is a direct correlation between the state of my emotions, and my perception of God's closeness.

The more tossed and turned I feel, the less I feel Him there.

The more I am consumed with my inner tempest, the less I sense His presence.

If someone were to ask me, "Can you see the mountain?"(Can you still see the Lord?) – my truthful answer would probably be, "It comes and goes."

But here's the thing.

The mountain – our Lord – never disappears.

He stands in the same place...

...strong and steady and sure, whether I see Him there or not!

Perception is never reality.

Feeling is never truth.

And moods never, ever change the position of our Mountain, our Rock.

God doesn't play cosmic hide-and-seek with us.

But we can certainly experience times when He seems distant, silent, hidden.

How come?

I'd have to say it's because we live in a world that is shadowed by sin. 

Where truth can be hidden by the vacillating challenges of circumstances.

Where emotions can fool us, and feelings can trap us.

Where it seems like God is here one day, and gone the next.

Where few things are in our control.


So yeah, I'm not entirely sure what's responsible for this recent roller-coaster of emotion.  This tumult in my spirit.

But, in the end, it matters not.

"Can I see the mountain?" I ask myself.

It's not the right question.

I do not need to see Him.

I do not need to sense Him.

I do not need to touch Him.

Fleeting senses, one and all.

I simply need to rely on what I know is true...

The mountain, My Rock, is there.

Unmovable, unchanging, undiminished by my lack of perception.

My emotions may ask the question.

But my heart will instead proclaim the Truth:

"It doesn't really matter if I see Him or not…

HE'S. STILL. THERE."


Yes, I will rest in that…

Gratefully.






Fixing
my eyes on
Jesus,
my vision
is focused
and my future
is clear. 




"For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made." (Romans 1:20, ESV)

"Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.  He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation…" (Colossians 1:15, NLT)

"No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known." 
(John 1:18, NIV)

"No one has ever seen God.  But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us." (1 John 4:12, NLT)

"It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt…He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible." (Hebrews 11:27, NLT)

"For we walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7, Bearean Bible)

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:18, NIV)

"Then Jesus [said], 'You believe because you have seen me.  Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.'" (John 20:29, NLT)

"Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and though you do not even see Him now, you believe and trust in Him and you greatly rejoice and delight with inexpressible and glorious joy…" (1 Peter 1:8, AMP)

"Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.  All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely." (1 Corinthians 13:12, NLT)

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2, KJV)

"Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality – faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]." (Hebrews 11:1, AMP)

"But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last.  And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God!  I will see him for myself.  Yes, I will see him with my own eyes.  I am overwhelmed at the thought!" (Job 19:25-27, NLT)

"Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.  Amen." (1 Timothy 1:17, NIV)



***REMEMBER to check out DAILY GRATEFUL THOUGHTS here***
  
(Updated DAILY GRATEFUL WORDS, A WORD FROM THE WORD, A "MESSAGE" FROM GOD, and FOOD FOR THOUGHT can be found on the sidebar.  Thank you!)




In spite of the fog and storms in life, can you still see The Mountain?




Linked with:

SHARING HIS BEAUTY, PLAYDATES WITH GOD, SMALL WONDER, MONDAY'S MUSINGS, MONDAYS AT SOUL SURVIVAL, GOOD MORNING MONDAYS, GRATEFUL HEART MONDAY, THE ART OF HOMEMAKING MONDAYS, TELL ME A TRUE STORY, UNITE LINKUP, TITUS 2 TUESDAY, LIFE GIVING LINKUP, TESTIMONY TUESDAY, TUESDAY TALK, TELL IT TO ME TUESDAYS, RA RA LINKUP, TEACHING WHAT IS GOOD, INTENTIONAL TUESDAY, WISE WOMAN, TELL HIS STORY, THE HOMEMAKING PARTY, WHOLEHEARTED WEDNESDAY, A LITTLE R & R WEDNESDAYS, WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY, THREE WORD WEDNESDAY, COFFEE FOR YOUR HEART, COFFEE & CONVERSATION, WOMEN WITH INTENTION, WAITING ON WEDNESDAY, SITTING AMONG FRIENDS, THURSDAY FAVORITE THINGS, LIVE FREE THURSDAY, THOUGHT-PROVOKING THURSDAY, GRACE AT HOME, SHINE BLOG HOP, THOUGHTFUL THURSDAYS, FROM HOUSE TO HOME, LITTLE THINGS THURSDAY, COZY READING SPOT, NO RULES WEEKEND BLOG PARTY, BLOGGER SPOTLIGHT, FRIENDSHIP FRIDAY, EVERYDAY TESTIMONY, FAITH FILLED FRIDAY, SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS, FAITH 'N FRIENDS, MAKE MY SATURDAY SWEET, GRACE & TRUTH, TGI SATURDAYS, DANCE WITH JESUS, FAMILY, FRIENDSHIP & FAITH, WEEKEND WHISPERS, WORD OF GOD SPEAK, SMALL VICTORIES SUNDAY, LIVING PROVERBS, GIVE ME GRACE, SOCIAL BUTTERFLY SUNDAY, INSPIRE ME MONDAY, MOTIVATION MONDAY



BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, February 1, 2016

THE BOGEYMAN


Big girl confession.

I am a scaredy-cat.

And I am very afraid of the dark.

Which isn't a good thing when you live on the top of a mountain, with only one neighbor in sight (who only occasionally visits), no streetlights, multiple windows, and minimal window coverings.

I feel like I am on view for every scary creature out there.

And I really don't like driving home in the dark.

The last leg to our house is a steep switchback, a skinny ribbon of a road that requires one to slow to a snail's pace to negotiate it.

At nighttime, this means one lonely set of headlights illuminating shadowy trees and clawing branches, ogre-shaped boulders, darkened ravines where trolls lurk…

And heaven help me if it's windy!


I have always been afraid of the dark.

I think it must be something innate to the human creature.  I think we're born with an uneasy wariness of the darkness.  After all, we can't see as well, and therefore we're most vulnerable.

However, if something happens to you when you're a child, that fear can really escalate and take hold.

Like it did for me.

I vividly remember one night when we were visiting my grandparents' house. I was very young.  Young enough that my mom put me to bed in the other room while they stayed up visiting.

I fell asleep, yes.

But at some point, I awoke – and discovered, to my terror, that someone or some *thing* had a tight grip on my hand!

Now I knew that the Bogeyman lived either in a closet or under a bed.  So I knew it was HIM that had hold of me!!

Even though I was scared out of my wits, I still had some wits about me.

So I started reasoning out what to do.

If I yelled for my father, the Bogeyman would pull me quickly under the bed and take me to the unknown void where he takes little children.

If I stayed still and quiet, he'd still end up pulling me quickly under the bed and taking me to the unknown void where he takes little children.

I finally decided that if I yelled for my father, the Bogeyman might be startled just long enough for my dad to arrive and rescue me.

I started screaming…

"Dad, help me, help me!!"

He stormed into the room, and I started sobbing.

"What's wrong???"

Blubbering, I tried to tell him about how the Bogeyman was tightly gripping my hand, and how he was momentarily going to pull me under the bed and take me to the unknown void where he takes little children.

My father started laughing.

Dad was not a cruel man, but I just could NOT figure out what was so funny about being kidnapped.

"Dad, why are you laughing?"

"Look at your hand," he chuckled.

Oh, I was terrified to do that.  What horribly gnarled, wart-encrusted, talon-curled, slimy green hand was I going to see?

Finally, I took one peekonly to find my hand firmly in the grasp of my other one.

What?!?!

Well, it seems that one arm had fallen asleep, and dead to the world, it had become the gripping and grasping claw of the *Bogeyman*…

OK, amusing, but this incident only cemented my terror of the dark.

Fortunately, I did not have parents who used the Bogeyman as a threat to ensure good behavior.

But I did have a brother who delighted in jumping out at me from dark doorways, or from behind couches, or out of closets.

My fear of the dark and sudden surprises took root.

I still sorta launch myself into bed from a couple of feet out…

And "The Hub" has been know to accidentally startle me into a terror-stricken shout from time to time.

He always asks me, "Who did you expect?"

Well, the Bogeyman…


Interesting background on the Bogeyman:

"The word bogey is believed to be derived from the Middle English bogge/bugge (hobgoblin).  Bogeyman (also, sometimes, incorrectly, spelled bogieman, boogeyman, or boogie man) is a common allusion to a mythical creature in many cultures used by adults or older children to frighten children into good behavior. This monster has no specific appearance, and conceptions about it can vary drastically from household to household within the same community; in many cases, he has no set appearance in the mind of an adult or child, but is simply a non-specific embodiment of terror. Parents may tell their children that if they misbehave, the bogeyman will get them…In some cases, the bogeyman is a nickname for the devil." 
(From Wikipedia)

It seems like every culture has some sort of myth or legend about the Bogeyman.

But what I found most interesting is that he can represent Satan.

When you think about it, our fear of the dark probably has its roots in our fear of the devil and his minions.  And though the Bogeyman is a fictional character, the enemy of our souls is very real.

And he has a missionto steal, kill, and destroy.  (John 10:10, ESV)

Described as evil, a thief, the father of lies, a murderer, he is scary.

But, I have discovered a couple of things about him.


One, he cannot read my mind.

This means that my thought life is private.

It cannot be invaded physically or spiritually by the enemy.

Yes, just as we can sense the mood of another person and try to influence it, he can be the parrot that sits on my shoulder, squawking his lies and venom into my ear.

Or he can be the slippery serpent that whispers temptations and doubts.

He can attempt to inflame my thoughts, influence my thoughts, encourage my thoughts, twist my thoughts – but he cannot get in there and hear them.

I like that.

For one thing, this means that when I talk with the Lord in my heart, the enemy is NOT privy to the conversation.

He will not hear me pour out my heart, nor listen to me recount my troubles and worries.  He will not hear me when I feel angry or disappointed in God. He will never hear my doubts.

Therefore, what tremendous courage I can take in being totally honest with the Lord!

I don't know if any of you remember the comedy series, "Get Smart."  If you do, then you'll remember the *cone of silence.*  A rather bulky and cumbersome plastic dome that never, ever worked.

But, God surrounds our minds with His protection.

So what we say in our innermost thoughts, and what we feel in our innermost emotions, is safe with Him.

He alone is omniscient, He alone knows the heart.

He alone knows you.


The second thing that I've learned about the enemy is that he cannot read my mind.

I'm not being redundant here.

This is what I mean.

If the devil cannot read my mind – (he cannot) – then he also doesn't hear my words when I try to battle him in my thoughts.

I can say "Get thee behind me, Satan" all I want in my head, and it might serve to shore up my defenses, but there is only one way to be offensive…

Say it out loud.

Yes, say it so he can hear it.

When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He used Scripture as His sword.

But He didn't just quote it in his head.

Nope.

If you look closely at the story in Matthew 4, you'll notice something…

Jesus SPOKE Scripture!

And he ended with this:

"Then Jesus said to him, 'Go away, Satan!'" (Matthew 1:10, AMP)


"The Hub" has a funny story about a guy he used to know at work.  This guy was really frustrated with someone, and was telling my husband all the ugly things he said to that person.

"The Hub," finding it hard to believe that this guy got away with all the trash talk, asked him, "You said that?"

The guy kinda smiled and replied, "Yeah…on the inside."

Friends, we cannot afford to fight our enemy just "on the inside."

So if you want to fight well against a most-feared, but not so fearsome, enemy – talk back to him...

OUT. LOUD.

After all, he can't read your mind.


Yeah, I'm still afraid of the dark.

I still love flashlights, and night lights in every room.

I still check closets and under the bed from time to time.

But truly, the Bogeyman is just a figment of an overactive imagination, a myth, a legend.

And though our enemy is real, he is also rather insubstantial.

So if you ever find yourself tightly in his grip, take a good, long look at your hands.

Chances are, something's *fallen asleep* and you're only gripped by your own fear.

Your Father is right there.

And there is no one or no thing "under the bed" ready to snatch you away.


You are safe in His hands alone…





Jesus speaks...

I am
the light of the world.
Whoever follows Me
will never
walk in darkness,
but will have
the Light of life.




***REMEMBER to check out DAILY GRATEFUL THOUGHTS here***
  
(Updated DAILY GRATEFUL WORDS, A WORD FROM THE WORD, A "MESSAGE" FROM GOD, and FOOD FOR THOUGHT can be found on the sidebar.  Thank you!)




"O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.  You know when I sit down or stand up.  You know my thoughts even when I'm far away.  You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.  You know everything I do.  You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD." (Psalm 139:1-4, NLT)

"So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.  There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most." 
(Hebrews 4:16, NLT)

"Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]." (1 Peter 5:7, AMP)

"Then you will walk on your way [of life] securely and your foot will not stumble.  When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet." (Proverbs 3:23-24, AMP)

"'The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light, and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a light dawned.'" (Matthew 4:16, NASB)

"'I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" (John 8:12, NIV)

"Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4, AMP)

"I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand." (John 10:28, ESV)

"'...I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.'" (Matthew 16:18, NLT)

"Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you." 
(James 4:7, AMP)

"Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes…Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." (Ephesians 6:11, 13, NIV)

"For the word of God is alive and powerful.  It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword..." (Hebrews 4:12, NLT)

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." (Psalm 119:105, AMP)



What is the *Bogeyman* in your life?  What are you afraid of?



Linked with:

SHARING HIS BEAUTY, PLAYDATES WITH GOD, SMALL WONDER, MONDAY'S MUSINGS, MONDAYS AT SOUL SURVIVAL, LIFE GIVING LINKUP, GOOD MORNING MONDAYS, GRATEFUL HEART MONDAY, THE ART OF HOMEMAKING MONDAYS, INSPIRE ME MONDAY, TELL ME A TRUE STORY, UNITE LINKUP, TITUS 2 TUESDAY, TELL IT TO ME TUESDAYS, TESTIMONY TUESDAY, TUESDAY TALK, RA RA LINKUP, TEACHING WHAT IS GOOD, INTENTIONAL TUESDAY, THE HOMEMAKING PARTY, WISE WOMAN, TELL HIS STORY, WHOLEHEARTED WEDNESDAY, A LITTLE R & R WEDNESDAYS, WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY, THREE WORD WEDNESDAY, COFFEE FOR YOUR HEART, COFFEE & CONVERSATION, WOMEN WITH INTENTION, SITTING AMONG FRIENDS, WAITING ON WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY FAVORITE THINGS, LIVE FREE THURSDAY, THOUGHT-PROVOKING THURSDAY, GRACE AT HOME, SHINE BLOG HOP, THOUGHTFUL THURSDAYS, FROM HOUSE TO HOME, LITTLE THINGS THURSDAY, COZY READING SPOT, NO RULES WEEKEND BLOG PARTY, BLOGGERS SPOTLIGHT, FRIENDSHIP FRIDAY, EVERYDAY TESTIMONY, FAITH FILLED FRIDAY, SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS, FAITH 'N FRIENDS, MAKE MY SATURDAY SWEET, GRACE & TRUTH, TGI SATURDAYS, ESSENTIAL FRIDAYS, DANCE WITH JESUS, FAMILY, FRIENDSHIP & FAITH, WEEKEND WHISPERS, GIVE ME GRACE, SMALL VICTORIES SUNDAY, WORD OF GOD SPEAK, LIVING PROVERBS, SOCIAL BUTTERFLY SUNDAY, INSPIRE ME MONDAY



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