Friday, May 25, 2012

Rat Killn'

In the past week I have been faced with the Awesome reality that we have rats.  Yes, they are rats - they are not mice.  I do know the difference - having come across my first large rat at the age of 11.  (I was finally cleaning out my room - which my mom continually said would harbor pack rats - and she was right).  I can still see my dad chasing that rat around the room with a broom and trying to corner it - this experience did cause me to begin to throw out a little more stuff - sort of.  I tell you this story so that you will know - I - saw- rats.  The first sighting was in the attic when the cable guy came to do some repairs - there were tell (tail) signs of the little beast and then an actual sighting - no big deal.  That same day while moving yard equipment in the shed - a second sighting - this time the rat looked me in the eye and scampered off.  I, of course, headed straight to the store for a large supply of rat killer/poison.  Coming home and doing my bait duty I was satisfied that I would eliminate all traces of the rat.  Four days later victory - dead rats found in the pool - the bait does work they were searching for water.  One day later - strange sounds coming from my pantry cupboard - I slowly open the door to see the tail-end of the rat disappear into the ceiling (we are remodeling - and have a few holes).  After being mortified that the rats were brave enough to encroach on our dwelling I called my husband to see if he recommended someone more professional to handle the situation.  He calmly replied, "Buy more rat bait."

We used to have an employee that worked for us that would say her day was filled with rat killn' - all those things you have to do in a day that just keep coming back day after day after day.  Our lives are filled with rats - sometimes they can live with us for years and we don't even know they are there or we just chose to ignore the small signs - until one day we turn around and the rats are staring us in the face, holding a cup of coffee and eating toast at the breakfast table.  Quite awhile ago I wrote a blog about weeding the garden I think rat killing is similar only we find it a little more repulsive.  Weeds don't move, breathe and bite.  Rats on the other hand actually can think and strike back.  Rats also come with the fact that they run in packs - so where there is one there is more.  Just like the physical rats, our emotional and spiritual rats need to be dealt with on an ongoing basis.  The rats will continue to encroach and tear apart your space if they are not dealt with and they will come back to take up residence if you don't continue to put out the bait.  As much as I don't like the fact that I have rats, it is good to know that I do.  Now I can look them in the eye and know that they are being taken care of - my rats my not die today or tomorrow but I am in the process of killing them and that makes each day a little easier.

As ugly and gross as it may be I encourage you to go through your attic and basement and identify your rats - then don't jump on a chair and scream or run away - throw out some bait - attack them head-on and just do a little rat killn' each day.  In the words of Martha Stewart, "It's a Good Thing."

Luke 21:34-38 "take heed to yourselves" and "watch . . . and pray always"—is absolutely essential.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Now I lay me down to sleep

Now I lay me down to sleep....... If you grew up in somewhat of Christian America you can complete this sentence.  (if you didn't .. it's - Now I pray the Lord my soul to keep).  The other night as I was praying for our youngest I heard myself say the same words I repeat most nights and had the thought bubble "does this mean something, is this working?"  I then read a blog  -   and know that I am not alone.  Several days later I look at my rapidly growing teenager and in a moment of "I can't take this anymore" spew --- "If you spent 1/20 (yes that was my fraction) of the time you spent texting - reading the bible - you would read the bible in a week," - My 15 year old stood ready with a retort and my 8 year old snorted - (I could not make this up) The 15 year old's reply was, "My bible is on my phone and by the way I have read Exodus, Luke and some of Timothy this week."  I don't know maybe he did, maybe he didn't, that is not my point... My point is, my point is ....... that I am struggling between religious salvation and sanctification -  [Most youth ministries faithfully preach justification by faith in Christ alone.  However, in the space of sanctification, youth ministry often focuses on emotional exhortation and moral performance.] A legalistic tone frequently characterizes the theology of sanctification in youth ministry   What is sanctification?????  According to Wikipedia (which we all know means nothing) Sanctification is the act or process of acquiring sanctity, of being made or becoming holy (hint: this is not something you can do) - Driscoll - (come on we all know him) - has a 5 minute video  on sanctification, especially in reference to Philippians 2:12-13. He is talking about the  issue and encouraging us in our ongoing struggle to grow in the Lord. He wants us to understand that there is no perfection in this life, but that we must continually repent and draw nearer to Christ.   The problem with all of this is that it creates somewhat of a Dante's inferno - the closer we draw to the sanctification, the more we realize we are not sanctified.  Which leads me back to ..... Now I lay me down to sleep....   At the end of the day, at the end of it all don't we hope we made a good choice, don't we desire that we did the right thing, don't we PRAY that it all works out ---- Guess what ?!?!?!?! It's not about you.   It's not about the things you do, it's not about the words you say, or text you send , or the words you write, it's not about how you raised your kids, or didn't ---- It's about Jesus - It's about who He was and is  and what He did and is doing - and how HE did it for YOU.  So today, before you make the long list of things to do, before you you flog yourself 40 times for all the ways you did it wrong and before you repeat the words... -deep breath-  STOP and STOP and STOP - do you hear it - it's a whisper - a quite break in the chaos - Its about JESUS - he did it for you. - Because you matter.......
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