Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Checked off an Item on my "To-Do" List

painted door
I've completed a few projects that's been on my list for months. The feeling of checking off items on your own "to-do" is such an accomplishment. Some women get excited about finishing their first 5K. Me? I get excited about painting an old wooden box that holds my fake topiaries which are losing plastic evergreen branches at an alarming rate from old age; possibly dry rot. Still. I must refresh them because I refreshed my front door with mustard yellow! And, when I'm finished, I can check off another item from my list. 
painted mustard door
Paint is AWE-mazing! My old topiary planters got a new coat of glossy black paint. They went from drab to fab especially monogrammed by my artistic daughter! Thanks Syd! I'm considering spray painting the evergreen part a nice color of green but I'm afraid they'll look "too" fake because right now they look really realistic. (wink)

Joyfully, while I'm painting and refreshing these jewels, God began to speak to me. Does God speak to you? I wonder sometimes if folks think I'm nuts for saying that but honestly, I have many conversations with God. I hope you do too! I really hope you don't think I'm nuts

I do the same thing with myself that I did with my pots. I try to refresh me with a new hairstyle, new clothes, fake nails, a massage, a vacation, etc. If you can think of it, I've probably used it to "renew" myself. But my topiaries, underneath that new glossy black paint is the same old white, cracked, peeling, coming-apart pots. Nothing really changed. Their worn appearance was masked with paint. Unless I allow God to refresh and cleanse my heart, I'm the same ole fleshly Tammy.

Can I really mask my heart with a new outfit? Can I change my attitude with a vacation? Will I love my neighbor more with refreshed topiaries? My heart grows weary in well-doing. My mind wanders far from God. My spirit becomes dampened. Please God, refresh me! There's no better feeling for God to cleanse my being. Cleanse me from my own humanity.  Remind me what matters.

I matter. I am always on the top of his "to-do" list. You are too! Such a refreshing truth that I never have to wait on God to get around to me. I never have to worry I'm not a priority. I never have to worry he'll not have time for me today or any day. I never have to worry I'll be put on his list and forgotten. I'm permanently on his "to-do" list. You are too!

What can he do for you today?


Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Don't Leave God Lonely

lonely repairman

If I were asked to use a couple of words to describe my summer, I would call the Summer of 2019 "Appliance Woes".  An unwanted visitor, a small black snake, found its way into my kitchen, under my counter, on top of my dishwasher. The morning he poked his head out so I could see him, I almost had a heart attack. I woke Steve up SCREAMING "There's a snake in the dishwasher!". Steve ripped the door off the dishwasher while I frantically beat up four pieces of ceramic tile to pull the dishwasher from the hole. Our fight revealed the entrance of the snake, a small hole chewed open by a mouse. This happened in Chatsworth, where I live.

Who knew a garbage disposal does not eat cantaloupe? I thought those powerful 4hp grinders would eat anything! I stopped up the disposal at the Florida Holiday House which causing my neighbor to end up covered in stringy, seedy, orange cantaloupe nastiness! I might have laughed but he was graciously helping us fix our problem. Then, that same improperly installed garbage disposal caused my dishwasher to not drain water properly or really it didn't drain at all. I had to wash dishes our entire two-week vacation and sop up slimy, soapy cantaloupe water out of the dishwasher with paper towels. Yuck!

These are definitely not earth-shattering nor insurmountable problems although I've always said if and when I found a snake in my house, I'd move! I didn't. I praise God he calmed my fear of snakes about three years ago. Oh, I'm still afraid of them, just not trembling in my prots at the mention of a snake. All that, leads me to sharing the spiritual analogy I received from my appliance woes this summer.

In 1967, Maytag Corporation introduced the Lonely Maytag Repairman. I still remember this guy and the commercial very vividly today. Do all companies that sell appliances employee repair technicians? Of course they do. Appliance companies know their products have mechanical parts that will eventually malfunction or simply quit working. Maytag created a smart marketing campaign with their Lonely Maytag Repairman. The ad made consumers believe their appliances were so good, you'd never have to call the repairman thus causing their technicians to be lonely all the time. Maytag promoted the thought but they knew their repairmen wouldn't be lonely.  All appliances break.

When you buy an appliance, which one do you choose? I want the one that meets my needs AND most importantly, doesn't break! An appliance that does the job without requiring a service call is a beautiful thing. We buy appliances believing they'll work. Remember that feeling of dread the first time your new washing machine broke? And that time when you had to hand-wash dishes for weeks waiting on your dishwasher to be repaired? I got a good dose of this one! Or, the time your freezer went on the fritz full of frozen food that melted and ran all over your floor?  WHAT A MESS! Bottom line is appliance companies are ready for repairs when we need them but we hope and pray we never need them.

Here comes the spiritual part...
Do you have God looking like the Lonely Maytag Repairman?

If you're still searching for God, you know something isn't quite right. You feel the ugly mess inside, the dread, the fear, the longing for something to take it away, but you just aren't ready to call the repairman, Jesus. You know you're good to wash a few more loads or grind a few more potato peels at half horse power. You're not totally broken. How many times have you picked up the phone to call and hung up thinking, I'm okay. Just like appliances, all humans eventually break. All have sinned and come short. Romans 3:23

If you're a Believer, you called the repairman to fix you some time ago. You never expected to be broken again. You thought once you accepted Christ your troubles were over. Jesus met your needs and you should never tear up again. Do you feel the ugly mess inside, the dread, the fear, the longing to restore your joy as before? 

Just like Maytag employees a repairman because they know their appliances will break, God knew his children were going to be broken and in need of a repairman, a Savior, Jesus Christ. Pride keeps you thinking you don't need repair, but trust me, repentance is the best feeling in the world. Confessing sin lightens your load, puts a spring in your step and joy in your heart. There's no shame in calling the repairman when you can't fix things yourself! Don't leave God lonely.

Calling on Him 365,