When We Don’t ‘Get’ Life

January 19, 2022 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Dawn Wilson –

“Aaaaurgh! What’s wrong now?”

Staring at my monitor, I tapped my computer mouse harder. “Oh come on!” I yelled, growing more impatient with the “stupid technology!” that wouldn’t work.

Then I looked down at my mouse. Only it wasn’t a mouse. It was my cell phone, next to my mouse.

Jokes abound concerning elderly people using computers. While I don’t consider myself “elderly,” I do sympathize. I read about a grandfather who took a course called “Computers for the Terrified.” He was a quick learner, but kept calling his mouse a “mole.”

I watched a video of a cute old couple that couldn’t figure out how their computer video camera worked. Their chat about how the video wasn’t working (“Is it on? … Is it on?”)—while the camera captured their conversation—is hilarious. Plain and simple, it’s hard for the older generation to keep up with all the changes!

All I had as a child was a boxy television and radio. My mom couldn’t call me in from play on a cell phone. I had to rely on the street lights coming on to know when it was time for dinner. The Bible tells us “knowledge will be increased” in the last days (Daniel 12:4), and we can certainly see this is true.

In 2010, nearly 220,000 patents were granted by the US Patent Office, a sign of the creativity and growing technology in the United States alone. Think of changes in the medical world: MRIs, ultrasound, CT scans, laser surgery. Think about the evolution from the vinyl record to cassettes, eight-track tapes and CDs. Consider iPods and iPads!

In every aspect of life, new technologies and fresh thinking have revolutionized our lives. In the midst of all this change, I am comforted to know that God is never surprised by our new discoveries. The One who created our minds can certainly understand our technologies. It’s sad that with new ways of thinking, many consider God’s ways old-fashioned. They cast off His Word like a 1950’s telephone. The Lord wants to help recognize today’s foolish thinking with His unchanging wisdom.

Jesus encouraged His disciples with a promise—the Spirit of Truth would guide them into all truth and show them “things to come” (John 16:13), to be their teacher as well as their Advocate (John 14:26).

This same Spirit wants to encourage us today: to give us peace when we feel busy and overwhelmed; to give us wisdom when our seventh grader asks us questions and we don’t have a clue; to comfort us when life gets too big for us to handle; to help us choose joy when circumstances get tough.

We can smile when we mistake a cell phone for a mouse, but God understands our real difficulties; and when we don’t “get” life, the Spirit of God is always ready, waiting for our questions.

Perspective is Everything

January 9, 2022 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Liz Cowen Furman –

“He is acting so awful!” said my oldest of my youngest while home from college for Christmas. “Ahhh, almost exactly like you did at 17,” was my reply.

I find it amazing how things that seemed so awful or important at the time have dimmed now that I am almost looking in the rear view mirror at our three sons’ growing up years.

Oh, some highlights of their childhoods stand out, but mostly I remember the good times. The amazing fun we had and how much I love them. Time gives an amazing perspective.

One such memory still makes me laugh. When our oldest (now 21, then a little over 3) was having a very difficult time potty training, I was at my wit’s end. We tried every tactic anyone offered, and there were plenty, to no avail. I had visions of him heading off to kindergarten in pull-ups. I am a kindergarten teacher so that would not do!

My friend Lis, whose four children were about eight years older than mine, very wisely commented while we were chatting one day. “You know Liz, I wish I had had my third child perspective when I was working with my first child. Things would have been much easier for both of us.”

Her comment gave me pause. As I drove home, I decided to back off. Completely. I would not mention the potty training issue again for a while. You know what? Two weeks later, Martin decided to potty train himself.

I could not believe it. Apparently, I thought Martin’s ability to learn to take care of himself rested squarely on my shoulders. After all, I am his mother. I guess what I should have said is that I was having a very difficult time trying to potty train my son. He was not having a problem at all.

I wonder if my Father and best friend, Jesus, ever waits to respond to my pleas for help when He has already answered, or has given me what I need to solve a problem. Since He is all wise, all knowing and completely in control (see Psalm 33:1; Proverbs 16:9 and Revelation 3:7) I could imagine Him doing that.

Don’t get me wrong! I am a firm believer that if it is important to me, it is important to God. But, once in a while I cry out for help when the problem is either already in the works of being solved, or I have the ability to fix whatever is broken.

Because of this revelation, I have resolved to resist mistrust of my best friend when He seems to not be listening. Rather, I will look around and see if maybe I missed something. Maybe dig a bit deeper to look for a solution that might already be there, even pray for Him to open my eyes to see it.

However, if I don’t find it, then pray on I will. I know that He loves me, listens to me and answers my prayers, so I have complete confidence in my Savior to help me when I need it ~and you can too!

Ah, the Sweet Life

January 2, 2022 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Rhonda Rhea –

I don’t know why we’re always making things a lot more complicated than we need to, but repairs shouldn’t be rocket science. Unless you’re repairing rockets. But for everything else it’s a lot simpler than we tend to make it. According to my grandfather, if it’s mechanical, you fix it with duct tape or WD-40. In extreme cases, both. According to my grandmother, if it’s biological, sometimes you fix it with Vicks. Sometimes Camphophenique. In extreme cases, both. According to me, everything else that doesn’t require rocket science can most likely be fixed with chocolate. Also, for all the categories and for every fix-it need, you should actually always try the chocolate first.

I could be wrong but it seems to me most civil upheaval happens in the countries with the least amount of chocolate. Come on, just stop and think about it. I think I could demonstrate my reasoning with a pie chart. Of course, mine would be a chocolate pie chart. Then I could make my point slice by slice.

Ah, there’s the sweet life. Not to mention, I would be helping protect the civility of our culture one whipped-cream-covered bite at a time.

Where is it that we really find the sweet life? If you’re talking about the taste buds, sure, try the chocolate. But if you’re talking about the heart, that heart is going to have to be filled with something entirely different. Not a something. A SomeOne. Come on, just stop and think about it.

This is not about some sort of make-over of your cardiac muscle. Experiencing the real sweet life means giving Jesus the real heart of you—every single part of you. It’s more than just a little life-fix. It’s a make over, under, around and through as we allow Him to fill our every thought, check our every motive, influence our every move. It’s allowing Him to fill our everything. And to be our everything.

Paul said “For in Him we live and move and exist,” (Acts 17:28, HCSB). We live because of Him and He is the one who sustains this life. Every move is made in Him. There’s not even a remote possibility for the slightest motion without His strength. And we exist in Him. The original language gives us the sweet picture of our continual and complete dependence on Him for every little thing in this moment, and also for our continued existence in the next.

Life is sweeter at that place where we recognize it’s not really ours to fix. It’s not ours at all. It’s sweeter at that place where we recognize it’s all about Him and surrender every part fully to His control. There’s an amazingly sweet fellowship with Him there. Real worship. David said, “As for me, I will continue beholding Your face in righteousness (rightness, justice, and right standing with You); I shall be fully satisfied, when I awake to find myself beholding Your form and having sweet communion with You,” (Psalm 17:15, AMP).

“Sweet communion.” I love it. With or without whipped cream on top.

The Refresh Button

December 24, 2021 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Kim Stokely –

In the words of the classic Judith Viorst children’s book, it was a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.”

The mild temperatures of the day before were gone and the thermometer had plunged some 40 degrees overnight. I spilled coffee on my shirt and had to change again before I left for work. The shoes I’d ordered from the internet were too big but I didn’t realize this until I tried walking farther than ten feet. I think Richard Simmons could make a new exercise video out of the gyrations I performed as I tried to keep them on my feet and make it through the day without them flying off and hitting some unsuspecting person in the head.

The annoyances kept piling up. The office computer froze, the low gas light in my car started blinking, and the grocery store was out of the chips I like. While I unloaded the car, a plastic bag broke and the fruit I’d bought splatted onto the garage floor. As I struggled to carry my food into the house, I whacked my funny bone on the car’s side view mirror. Not only did I see stars but all the planets as well.

Ugh. It was a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.” And it wasn’t even a Monday.

I threw my bags onto the counter in the kitchen and screamed a few choice words into the air. Unfortunately, my husband and daughter got to hear them.

Sigh.

My daughter picked up the pineapple that landed by her feet. “Mom, I think you need to press the ‘refresh’ button.”

Out of the mouths of babes. Well, teenagers anyway.

While my family put away the groceries, I lay down, rubbed my aching elbow, and prayed. Just like when a computer freezes and can’t load a new page, I’d let myself get stuck in a rut of I’m having a horrible day. I had to press my own “refresh” button so I could “reboot” my mindset and remember everything God had blessed me with throughout the day. So my shoes didn’t fit right, I had another pair I could wear. I had money to buy groceries and gas. I had a family willing to extend forgiveness when I fall (or hit my funny bone and toss fruit around the kitchen.) And I know a God who is bigger than all of it put together.

It’s amazing what pressing the refresh button can do for one’s perspective. Soon, I joined my family in the kitchen (now sans flung pineapples) and enjoyed a meal and even laughter recounting my earlier trials. I hope if you’re having a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day,” you’ll think of pressing it too.

‘RING’ in Your New Year

December 16, 2021 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Dawn Wilson –

I’ve been called a “ding-a-ling” because of my New Year’s tradition, but I don’t care. I don’t intend to stop any time soon! A few years ago, I decided to borrow the bells from Christmas and bring them into my New Year’s celebration to help me focus on lifestyle changes (not resolutions) that work for every year.

I use the acrostic R-I-N-G.

First is “R”—RELY on God. This isn’t always easy for this stubborn, independent woman. My dad wrote a scripture passage in the front of my Bible that is a constant reminder to rely on God: “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own…” (Proverbs 3:5-6, The Message). David said God was his Refuge and Fortress, and “on Him,” David said, “I lean and rely … in Him I confidently trust” (Psalm 91:2, Amplified). When I remember that God is in control and is a trustworthy Provider, I am more likely to rely on Him and look to Him for all I need.

Next is “I”—INVEST in Others. I want to spend time with family and friends and devote resources to show love and kindness, to encourage and serve them, and to help meet their needs. I can practice all the “one another” scriptures. I can enter into others’ lives emotionally too, rejoicing with them in good times and coming alongside to weep with them in tough circumstances (Romans 12:15).

Then there is “N”—NOURISH Yourself. Just as the Jews were instructed to care for the Temple of God, as a Christ-follower I should care for my body, God’s Temple on earth (1 Chronicles 29:1-5; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19-20; John 14:23). I can nourish my body by making wise, biblical choices that bring glory to God.

And finally, “G”—GROW and GO! I can be proactive. I can take my life up a notch in every area: mentally (2 Timothy 2:15), emotionally and socially (Matthew 22:37-40; John 13:3; 1 John 4:7, 18), and certainly spiritually (1 Peter 4:7; Philippians 4:8-9; 1 Samuel 15:22; 2 Peter 3:18). And as I allow God to transform my life, He will likely open new opportunities for me to minister to others in His power, not my own strength. I don’t change for myself; I change so I can get moving and be used by God.

So join me in my ding-a-ling tradition. Place little bells around your house to remind you to R-I-N-G in your New Year. Rely on God, invest in others, nourish yourself, and grow so you can go in God’s power; and by next New Year’s Day you will be amazed at how God has worked.

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