Sunday, January 8, 2017

In the Lane, Snow is Glistenin’

... Memory Lane, that is!

  Jodi and me on our sleds 12/78

With the recent 'threat' of a snow storm in Georgia this weekend (which gravely disappointed), I've been taken back to our snow days as kids, once again. Such sweet memories. Big flat flakes falling from a wide open sky. Catching them on the tongue. Snow angels, sledding, snowmen, more sledding... hot chocolate breaks while drying off beside a wood burning stove. It never got old to me.

  Me taking Fluffy for a ride-along 1/1/85

In Illinois, snow wasn’t received quite the same way it is in Georgia. It took a whole lot more of the white stuff to shut us down and get an actual snow day out of it, but when we did... oh, man. It was as exciting as Christmas morning!

Jodi would come running in to wake me up and get me going, we’d get all bundled up (not quite to the extreme of the little boy in “Christmas Story”, though it did feel like it) and we would go – all – day! 

  Me with my prize-worthy snowman 12/80

Could not get enough of the stuff! And, I guess still can’t! 

But, we had a ball. 

We were fortunate enough to have the best plot of land in Illinois for sledding. For those of you who’ve been to (or more likely through) Illinois, you know it is flat. As a pancake. From end to end. 

But, we actually lived on a nice little hill that had the BEST driveway for sledding!! Not only was it just the right slope, it had just enough twists and turns... and trees, to keep it exciting. It was awesome.

  Jodi and me going out into the great land of snow 12/78

And, when we got snow… we – got – snow!

So much fun… and so many great memories from those beautiful wintry days.

  Jodi sledding down the drive successfully, as I wipe out 1/79

  and me doing much better 1/79!

If you don't enjoy the snow... then, you're not doing it right.  ;)

Developing Through the Detours

I'm so excited. Dr. Tony Evans released a new book. And has been just as good as I anticipated. And, as God would have it - right on time.

It's called 'Detours' and in it, Dr. Evans reminds us that "We, as God's masterpieces, bear our Master's name and image. He wants to make sure that image reflects Him well. When we fulfill our God-ordained destinies, God wants others to see the beauty of Him through us, and that takes refinement in us."

Hence, the detours.

"We can either cooperate with these detours by asking God to reveal to us the lessons He wants us to learn, or the skills He wants us to develop - and so on, or we can complain, kick, scream, fight and remain on the detour much longer than we ever needed to."

It even inspired me to go back to journaling in my Bible.  :)

He also gives another most excellent illustration to drive his point home. (I so love Dr. Evans and his illustrations!)

"When you iron a shirt that is wrinkled, you have to add steam and heat in order to get the wrinkles out. And why do we iron shirts, pants and dresses? Because we want to look good when we wear them. In the same way, God has to put us through the fires of refinement to smooth out the rough places and correct our flaws.
Now imagine if that shirt you were ironing wouldn't sit still. Imagine if it kept hopping up off the ironing board. Or what if it would bundle itself up into a tight ball each time you attempted to iron it. How long would that ironing session take, then, if the shirt simply allowed you to press it to perfection?
The same holds true for us on our detours. Far too often, we are the cause of our own delays. The cause of our own additional detours."

So good. And so true. 

Okay, I'm off to read more 'Detours'. If you'd like your own copy (and can't wait for a hard copy like me), you can get it on Kindle and start reading right now!

Or, if your patience has already been refined, it is now also available at a Christian bookstore near you.  :) 

Knowing is Half the Battle

One of our tech guys at work has started sending us daily quotes, all with a quick thought and random fact. One of the first ones he shared was this:

He related it to the workplace, but it struck me as something that should be applied more in the Christian walk as well.

'Knowing is not enough.' We are to apply what we have learned.
Having a willing and faith-filled heart is great... but not enough. We are to do.

  What does it profit, my brethren,if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food and one of you says to them 'Depart in peace, be warmed and be filled,' but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.  (James 2:14-17)

Do you believe?
 Great. How is this faith reflected in your life?
Do you know Christ?
 Great. How is HE being reflected in your life?

And I would add... our faith should be reflected just as much in what we refrain from as much as what we do. I see far too many fellow Christians (and I'm guilty as well, at times) who declare their faith and then think nothing of cussing a blue streak or gossiping or slandering or sharing something inappropriate on Facebook.... and on and on and on. 

We should be set apart. Not reflecting the world around us. But, reflecting what we know of Christ.

Knowing is only half the battle. 
Follow-through is everything. 

Go, Joe!