Sunday, August 23, 2009

Are you a slow-cooking frog?

That is the imagery that has stuck with me all day after the message at church today and the point I have been reflecting on in all areas of my life.

The reference is to the fact that if you put a frog into hot water it will jump right out, but if you put the frog into a pot of cold water on a low flame and slowly heat the water, the frog will not notice until it is too late, resulting in one cooked and rubbery frog (I am not sure if they stew well).

In what areas of my life have I been slowly cooking myself and lowering my reaction to the danger of its heat? I can see that there have been some exposures that I know brings a jaded response on my part, but that I have tolerated. If I continue to to tolerate what I know I don't like will it eventually become tolerable? Likable even? So I will put back up my standard instead of lowering and say "No more!" It's not that I don't flinch every time I am exposed, I just know that I am not comfortable with reaching the point at which the flinch is gone. Where else have I let the water slowly get warm and dropped in my reaction time. Nutrition! Am I ever thankful that my body's response to foods that are not so good for you overrides what I am willing to tolerate. I had recently lowered my standard when it comes to eating healthy foods and have taken in a portion of foods that a year ago I may have shuddered at. Why? Because I began saying "It's just one.....it's just one....ok, just one....it's not that bad.....it tastes really good" And the end result: My body got MAD and rebelled against the food and the way I was eating. My health and resistance went down and I got SICK! I took that warning that the water was getting too hot and climbed out, but sluggishly, especially after being "half-cooked".

It's almost like the Godfather when he gets shot MULTIPLE times before he finally dies. How many shots will I allow to hit me before my guard is completely gone and I start to shut down. How many crass conversations and jokes do I have to hear before I start telling them? How much spoonfuls of dirt do I have to add to my glass of water before I get mud? And do I want to find out the answers or do I consider the water too hot to even get into? If I see a pot sitting over a cooking element, I should get the hint that before long that water will be hot enough to cook something...am I going to climb in? Ephesians 5:3-7 says "...there must not be even a hint of...", so let me see the water as too hot and not even consider getting into the pot. Let me keep my response sharp and alert and keep my eye on living a life focused on the hope set before me. No slow-cooking for me thanks.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Eager for things to grow

This morning the boys ran to the kitchen to see the little creatures they put in water last night and observe how much they have grown. According to the instructions, they get to see over the next few days, how much these creatures will grow.

It made me think how in myself, I am eager to see things grow. The flowers in the garden, the kids, and myself, are all things I check for growth. I even observe the people around me to see how they have changed or move towards the goals they desire. I can say that I am eager to see things grow to where they want to be. Kids want to be bigger and taller and stronger, flowers send buds in hopes to produce a bloom, and for myself, I set goals with the intent on achieving them.

With all things that grow, time is always a factor. The boys know that over the next 3 days they get to observe the growth and they are being patient, because their goal is to see how big these creatures can grow and they know how long it's going to take. Do I wait patiently, knowing that it takes time to grow, to see the result of my goal? Have I given my goals and desires a proper time line or do I just think of the finished product and expect it done right away? Are my goals based on real time and real expectations of those around me or am I not taking into full consideration what it takes to get what I want?

So as I go into my day, I am looking forward to giving my goals more thought and time so I can see them grow into the hopes and dreams that I have. I will observe with patience and proper attention and action to help them to get to where they need to be....grown ;).

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A prayer for purity

Tonight, I was woken from my sleep by some very graphic and HORRIFYING images that have entered my head....another horror movie I "volunteered" to watch and the details of which will never be repeated in a way to promote reproduction. But it did bring up some interesting points.....I had forgotten about my prayer for pure thoughts as I head to bed. I have "struggled" with these nightmares all my life and am I ever THANKFUL that I am a disciple of Jesus, choosing to live my life following in his example of goodness. And when we are witnesses to things that are less than righteous and routed from things that are not good, we need to GUARD our hearts and pray for God's protection as well. It can be slight and subtle, but sometimes the "problem-solver" in our minds will still ponder on the events we have seen and heard looking for a solution. It is good to work through how a situation really affects you and then ponder consciously through your thoughts and actions towards the matter.

As I reflected on the life of Jesus throughout the day today, I thought about the moment at which he was baptized (2 Peter 1:17; Matt. 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35). "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." How was Jesus' life up to that point? It would have had to be very good for God to make this declaration. He was reared up in the way that he should go....with purity, righteousness, and a good heart. I decided to look out for the purity and hearts of my boys as they grow so that they may grow into being men of God. But what of my own purity and my own heart? I have not been so thoughtful of this lately and it has not been the best. Tonight's awakening has left me feeling wounded and with my hubby away on a motorcycle road trip, and not there for me to be cuddled and comforted, I felt quite vulnerable. So I prayed...for pure thoughts and heart and that these images lose strength in my mind. And of course, with some encouragement from God's word, I feel so much better. I know I am comforted and protected and that we are being looked out for.

Thank you God! Amen.