Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What you talkin' about Willis?

Okay, I'm showing my age again. I've had that phrase, "What you talkin' about Willis" stuck in my head for almost a week! For those who don't recognize it, it's from an old tv show and like many of its era, it had a "catch phrase"...well, it's definitely "caught" in my head!

There is a scripture that says, "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." It is from Matthew and Jesus was speaking a group of Pharisees, so you know it wasn't meant as a compliment. There are other references to the connection between what we say and what is in our heart: "The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart." Luke 6:45, "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear." Eph. 4:29, and my FAVORITE - "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." Ps. 19:14.

You don't have to talk to someone for very long to discover what is on their heart. I know if you give me five minutes, you'll probably hear at least one reference to my children - they are my heart! I love to tell stories about them. But I've been wondering, what other things do people hear come out of my "heart" on a regular basis?
We joke at our house about our son and some of the things he says. Whatever is passing through his mind at the moment comes right on out of his mouth. You never really have to wonder what he's thinking. In light of those verses, perhaps we're all a bit like that. Whatever we're thinking is obvious to everyone around us. What we've been consuming is there for all to see.

While thinking about this, I got another, not quite so pleasant, mental picture in my head. Prepare yourself. There's been a stomach virus going around lately and if you happen to be unlucky enough to be near when someone "up-chucks", you can pretty much tell what they've been consuming for the past few hours. It's right there for all to see. I wonder if our words are a little like that. Whatever we've been thinking on, consuming through our eyes and ears, and spending our time on - it's gonna come out! It will be a bit more fermented because we've usually been stewing over it, but it will be obvious all the same.

I don't really have a catchy end for this blog - just a question for myself. "What you talkin' about Willis?" Are my words filled with faith, praise, hope or are they filled with angry critical words, negative thoughts, fear, and doubt. The answer will reveal where my heart truly is.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hold on or give it away?

Do you ever have those thoughts that come into you head as you're going to sleep, and you just can't shake them? Last night I had one of those thoughts. It was about some things I was wrestling my mind some pretty big problems. They were just too big for me to handle. Honestly I had no real control over them at all. All I could do was worry about them. I was sort of praying/complaining to God about these things, asking Him to help me when I realized how ridiculous that was.

Don't get me wrong - it's not ridiculous to pray. It's what I was praying. I was asking God to help me...I was standing before my Father God with my ridiculous toy tools in my hand asking Him to help me. It's as if I keep telling Him, "I can fix it. I just need You to tell me what to do!" The truth is I had no more idea about how to fix the problem than a 5 year old has about how to fix an automobile! Instead of asking Him to help me, I needed to simply get out of the way and let Him fix it!

We often recite the phrase "cast all your cares upon Jesus" and yet I don't think I had a clue how or what that meant. I was really good at going to Him and showing Him what I was worried about, but I kept it clinched in my grubby little hands the whole time. I'm gonna fix it, I just need Him to tell me HOW.

I can picture God patiently standing there, waiting for me to finally hand it over so He could take care of things, but I won't let it go. I have to keep examining it and telling Him about what's wrong and how He could go about fixing it. It's times like that I'm glad my Father God isn't like me. I'd be tempted to just throw up my hands and say, "Fine, go ahead. Break it completely! But don't come crying to me because I tried to get you to hand it over and let me just take care of it!" you're glad I'm not God too!

God stands and waits for us to give it to Him - completely.

Recently I had another situation/problem I couldn't fix, (there have been lots to choose from lately.) I was out for a run and praying/complaining to God, asking Him how to fix things....what should I do. I'm not sure at what point things changed, but I do remember turning the corner of the street and saying, "It's yours God. I give it up. I trust you with this completely." Tears started to fall and the promises of God started to run through my mind. I had finally let go of what I could not control in the first place.

I am wondering how many times I stand in the way of what God wants to do because I feel like I need to fix it. I'm also trying to wrap my head around how in the world I can let God flow THROUGH me instead of trying to get Him to HELP me. Asking Him to help me sort of feels like I'm handing Him my plastic hammer and telling HIM where to hit the engine to get it going again. Yes, I realize how ridiculous that sounds - but isn't that what we do? We - well, I - keep trying to get God to help ME when I haven't a clue! Instead, I need to hand it over to Him, move aside and do what HE tells me to do.

Maybe today's random thought is a bit too random, but it's because I'm still learning. I need to stop asking God to help me and instead step aside and ask Him, "Can I help?" There are problems out there so big I don't know where to begin. A good place to start is by giving them totally to Him. I need to open my grubby little hands, let go and let God.

Oh, and there's one more part....somewhere in all this I'm learning to stop asking God to fix others and asking instead that He fix me and how I deal with them. Somehow I think that might be a whole other blog.

1 Peter 5:7 (New International Reader's Version)
"Turn all your worries over to him. He cares about you."

Monday, February 1, 2010

Salt in the wound

Okay, I was bleeding. It didn't really hurt, but somehow in the process of moving some debris from the area I cut my finger and made quite a mess. After checking it out, I realized it wasn't that serious, put a band-aid on it and went about my merry way. That is until later when I was working with some salt and it got on the wound. OUCH! I didn't think I could rinse it off fast enough!

The sting didn't last that long, but as I washed off the cut, the thought came to me "pouring salt in the wound". In the way my random thoughts run, I immediately thought of how we are called to be the salt of the earth and well, all that got me curious. I always thought salt in the wound was bad, but we're to be salt to a wounded world and well, those two things just didn't seem to go together.

I did what any red blooded, (wounded), woman would do. I googled it...I went right to my computer and looked up salt and wounds. That's when I discovered something pretty interesting. While salt may sting initially, it is one of the best antiseptics that can be used to help wounds heal naturally. Some doctors even recommend the use of a saline solution (salt and water) to clean some wounds instead of hydrogen peroxide! It seems that it doesn't damage the healthy cells like other things do and actually helps the body begin to heal itself.

Of course, there is a spiritual random thought in here. If we are to be the salt to the world, and we learn to use the water of the Word, then we can help bring healing to those around us! Let that "soak in" (pardon the pun) for a minute. Part of our job as "salt" is to be a healing agent to those around us. Pretty cool, huh.

Now, don't expect the wounded to get excited about this salt. I can tell you from experience, salt stings at first! I guess it's at work driving out all the bad stuff from the wound. That doesn't mean the salt shouldn't be there doing what it does, it just means it might not always get a welcoming committee when it arrives. Actually, the salt really doesn't have to "do" anything. The presence of it is enough....if it is salty. I guess that's the tough part - staying salty. But it's something we really need to do, cause in case you haven't noticed, there are a lot of wounded people out there.

I wasn't thrilled when that salt hit my cut, but I've noticed that since it did - the cut seems to be getting better. It's not nearly as tender as before. I can still see it, but it doesn't hurt to touch it anymore. That sounds like healing to me. Makes me wonder if I'm "salty" enough to help bring healing to those I come in contact with each day....and do I have enough water of the Word to make a difference.

Mark 9:50
"Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other."

Colossians 4:6
"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."