Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Where Does All This Dust Come From?!

Where does all this dust come from?! It seems I can dust my furniture and, in a matter of a few hours, there is this light dusting of . . . dust! Right back where I banished it from! Why me, Lord? Can't furniture stay dusted for just a day? And leave it to me to want a black ebony miniature baby grand piano in my front room and a matching black shelving unit to stand right beside it! Nothing . . . I mean, nothing . . . shows dust like black furniture! And, not only do I dust, but I run my Thermax Vacuum in the room that I dust for at least 30 minutes to remove (hopefully) any dust from the air! But does that make a difference? Obviously not! And come to find out, I'm not the only one who has this problem! My BFF remarks about it as well! So it must be a universal problem.

Now, one possible reason for the dust could be that you live on a dirt road. I do know that makes a difference. But! I don't live on a dirt road. I've come to the conclusion that my problem with dust is because I live in an old house. There are places in and around my house that I am afraid to go. Actually, there are two places: in the attic and under the floor. I have never been either place, although I have looked under the house. You could not pay me to go into my attic. For one thing, we have an ongoing battle with red wasps every year and they love my attic! No place for me! I'm sure that, because of normal wear and tear and deterioration of materials dust gets worse as a house ages. This is due partly to normal processes but also probably to lack of upkeep and repair. A lot of the time, things are let go until necessity forces you to take action and update such things as flooring, plumbing, roofing, etc., etc., etc.! I know old carpet is a major culprit in the battle against dust - no matter how good a vacuum you have!

I think I can draw a spiritual parallel here. Many times, in our spiritual walk, we allow things to go and we don't maintain our relationship with our Creator like we should. Our prayer life gets lax and we don't read the Word as often as we should. (I'm preaching to the choir here [metaphorically speaking] and I'm a member.) Then, all of the sudden, our lives get really dusty! We realize it and we try to do a little "dusting" and it works for a little while but, before long, we're right back where we were before. Revival comes along and we get all spiritual and our "furniture" sparkles! Revival is over and life comes rushing back in and so does the dust.

What is spiritual dust? No joy. Tension and stress in the home and in our marriages. Depression. Doubt. All the works of the flesh: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like . . . You ask, "Is it possible for a Christian to be plagued with these things?" Well, all I can say is that Paul wrote the book of Galatians to the Church at Galatia and thus to the Church today, so. . . I guess so. Remember that the spirit of these works are present long before any action is ever taken. I would say, it is imperative that you and I keep the spiritual dust out of our lives!

Where does all this dust come from? It is, indeed, facilitated by the enemy of our soul but it comes from our lack of upkeep!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Plans: Subject to Change . . . Without Notice

Before I begin this post I wanted to address my readers. Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings. I invite you to please leave comments if something clicks with you or you have something to share that may have come to mind because of something I said. Interaction with you is what I am reaching for in this venue. Thank you, again, for sharing this time with me!

My intention with this blog was and is to "immortalize" my annual Christmas letters in the midst of all the other posts containing my current thoughts. I plan to take one letter a month and use how ever many number of posts it takes to cover that year's letter. This is a new month and so I move to Christmas 1997. I did touch on this letter briefly in an earlier post, but extremely briefly.

It is sometimes quite amusing, in looking back at the plans I made . . . and the assumptions. Most people never have to "own up" to those type of things because they didn't write it down. When something is on paper, it's hard to deny it. But it just proves that the best laid plans are very subject to change . . . and that without notice! It also proves my overall point: that life is a journey and it is all about "becoming". Thankfully, His plan for me, is HIS plan: not mine. And the more I discover about the past that I didn't know at the time, the more thankful I am that God is in control of my life.

My second letter was largely in part a bragging session about my son. And I quote: "Speaking of my son. This is where I begin to brag. During the summer, we decided that we would allow him to go back to public school for his last year. We felt that we had given him a good solid basic education and that he would not be hurt academically and the experiences would be good for him. So far we've been right. He has made principle's honor roll every time and the teachers cannot say enough good about him. I think there have only been about three times that his name and/or his picture has not been in the local paper since school began. He is involved in the band with his saxophone and doing very well with that. He has had solo parts in the new pieces that the marching band has done this year for the ball games. He is a member of the High School Chorus, the bass singer for the men's quartet, and participates and has a solo in the show choir. He performed in the school talent show with his saxophone (as well as other singing groups) and received the only standing ovation of the show. Do I sound like a proud parent or a bragging mother - or what? He is very popular and, I am proud to say, that he is that way without compromising. These things, however, are not what I am most proud of him about. Inasmuch as our soul purpose for being on this earth is to worship and serve God, it gives me great pleasure to know that there is a definite calling in my son's life, although I cannot say what the full extent of that calling is, and he is acknowledging that calling. It goes without saying that a big part of that calling is in music, which I feel is a direct gift from God for me. My son is going to be able to fulfill dreams that I had and was not able to fulfill. He will go far beyond any place I would have been able to attain to, however. God is using him greatly to write and arrange songs as well as poetry. He is also opening doors for him to pursue his dreams of having his songs published and possibly becoming a recording artist. We recently visited Belmont University in Nashville,TN which is where we hope he will be able to attend, the Lord willing. Belmont is the leading University for the music industry and many well-known people in music ministry attended there as well as other secular recording artists. The school has many advantages. There is an 11 to 1 student to teacher ratio and it has an excellent reputation. The school is, however, very expensive, but we will be applying for academic as well as performance scholarships and every grant, etc. that we can. (My husband says, "Everyone who receives this letter, send $5; duplicate the letter 5 times and sent it out." Ha! Ha! Very funny!) Seriously, we are looking to God to provide and we know He will. We will keep you posted - maybe one day you can say, "I know him." I hope I haven't bored you with my bragging." end quote.

Needless to say, many of those grandiose plans we made never came to fruition. But do I think that we failed because they didn't? Absolutely not! God has a plan for our lives. His ways are not our ways. We cannot even begin to imagine the things we might face if our lives took the path that we desired. I'm extremely proud of my son. He's no big recording artist. He still writes awesome songs that I firmly believe will one day be published and perhaps performed by big names. He may not even think that that period of time was his finest hour but his father and I believed in him . . . . and we still do. I can see the hand of God in his life all through these, soon to be, 30 years. King David, in the Bible, was not a perfect man. But he had a heart for God. He desired a relationship with God. And the Bible says he was a man after God's own Heart. He made his plans but when God changed those plans, he accepted it, realizing God knows best.

There is nothing wrong with pursuing your dreams. Just remember you must be flexible: allowing for God to work His plan in you. That way, you won't be surprised, or shaken, when you discover your plans: subject to change . . . without notice!