Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bonus...

A couple of things happened just as February was ending and March was beginning. Hope it's okay to slip in this extra piece that fits best now.


The other morning I went upstairs to find Mr. Whiskers snuggled up to a lacy white Victorian pillow that was a gift from a special child. For some reason the soft yellow towel on the end of the bed where he usually sleeps had lost its appeal. Any spot that he often curls up on can be identified by a patch of gold. Although I don't have a lot of knowledge about animals, I'm guessing it comes from some oily substance in his ginger hair. I love my house buddy, but not enough to let him wreck the pillow.


Perhaps washing it on delicate cycle with a special soap would remove his mark. However, if he isn't given the opportunity to leave his signature the process won't be necessary.


Another scene contributed to what God was speaking to my heart about Mr. Whiskers and the pillow. The snow had melted during a few milder gray days revealing a rather dingy landscape. Then overnight, temperatures dropped and a fresh snowfall made our world look clean again. I knew it was only a cover-up, that what was underneath hadn't changed, but it still transformed the image and lifted our spirits.


These episodes brought God's forgiving ways to mind. First that He wouldn't declare any clean-up just required too much effort. No matter how ugly a stain I've created with some totally out-of-line words or action, He's willing and able to completely remove it. Plus, He never merely covers over my sin so that everything looks pleasing again. He eradicates every trace of it, blots the charge from the records and forgets it happened. I am so very thankful for His amazing mercy and love.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Following the Recipe

Some folks love to experiment with unusual combinations of ingredients and create special treats. The result may be delicious or it may be something even they are not able to swallow. If we just need to get something baked and don't have time to mess with disaster, a tried-and-true recipe is priceless. Measure the correct portion of each item, follow the directions for putting them together and the amount of time suggested for cooking or baking, and the results usually satisfy. Individual needs and quirks can dictate less sugar, more cheese, no salt... without spoiling the outcome as long as we follow the basic guidelines.

I am so thankful for Father God's recipes for daily living. Just as directions in a good cook book show us how to concoct a meal the family will enjoy, paying attention to the steps God's Word outlines can help us through each day. The Lord Jesus said, "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over...(Luke 6:37-38 NIV) The last bit makes me think of flour being measured into a sifter, then falling through into the mixing bowl as the handle is turned. Each ingredient is needed and a cake turns out best if the flour is added first and last, alternately with the liquid.

In life God shows us the best order for each step too. When angry words are spoken, we can resist the urge to defend ourselves and talk back; ask Him to help the one who's upset; forgive, and leave the outcome with Him. Whatever issue we face, our Lord has the best solution and to be able to lie down in peace at the end of the day is as satisfying as the most scrumptious gourmet feast.