Idol Worship

About eight years ago,  I overheard another secretary describe the quality of my work in a condescending manner to one of the attorneys at our firm. If not for all the time they spent fixing my mistakes, she told him, her attorney would have a fit.

I don’t know if she knew I was sitting very quietly, listening in the next cubicle. Anxiety, fear, and rage flooded my mind.

During the first year at the firm, I went home every night wondering if I would be let go the next day. I was the float, the extra help. Every day I struggled to find enough work to do. The one exception was the work that needed to be done for this secretary’s attorney. He had three secretaries, and they were always a month behind in dictation. That was the pot calling the kettle black, I thought!

That weekend, I attended a retreat with my kids. We sang songs and heard wonderful, moving messages. But all I could think about was what she said about me. I was consumed by anger and anxiety.

Then in a moment of clarity, the Spirit showed me I was building an altar to my hurt, rage, and anxiety. Her hurtful comment had become an idol. I kept offering myself and my thoughts to it over and over. I realized I was worshiping a false god. By God’s power, I was able to repent and worship the only true God. What a weekend of blessing it turned out to be.

Holding a grudge is incredibly destructive, poisoning the soul and consuming the ones who are held in its grip. Grudge worshipers even evangelize others.  I have seen this type of idol worship destroy churches, as one group of members tries to convince others to be on their side.

Only  the power of God can release us from slavery to our idols. Our victory is not dependent on our strength and determination. We need only to turn away (repent) and call on the living God to release us from the grip of this  idol and forgive those who offend us.

Jesus came to set the captives free.
“He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free (Luke 4:18b – NIV)

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Don’t Waste The Rest of Your Life

When I am asked what I am going to do with my retirement savings, I usually say I plan to live in poverty. By the time I retire, I will have saved enough to either pay for a few operations or a motor home. I have at least ten years to go until retirement, if the Lord wills.

I have spent myself in the work of raising my children. It was a worthy endeavor. Now that my children are grown, I don’t want to waste the rest of my life.

This video by John Piper speaks directly to that.

A Bowl of Chicken Soup or Whatever

Today I am going to Lansing to make chicken and dumplings for my son. He is sick with a miserable cold. I have vacation this week, so I have the time. While there, I plan to clean his apartment, make pancakes, and let him rest as much as he can. He is working from home, so I’ll stay out of his way, while he is working.

While there, I hope to take my youngest daughter over to the history department at MSU to have a look around.

I am mothering them both, even into their young adulthood, as my mother did for me.

When I was in college at MSU, Mom would stop by to give me part of the vegetables and fruit that she just happened to have bought at the Ionia Farmer’s Market on her way to Lansing to see me. “Oh” she would say, “50 pounds of potatoes is a lot for us. Can I leave 10 pounds here? Here, take three pounds of carrots; I don’t need ten pounds. Could you use some onions? How about some of these pears. We can’t eat all of them before they spoil. Share some with your neighbors.”  She could have bought these items on the way home, but she never did.

One summer I stayed at school to take Intensive Spanish. The last three weeks of the course, I became ill. I would wake up at 8:00 am, go to my three hour class, then go home, go back to my dorm room, and sleep from 1:00 p.m. until 8:00 a.m., without waking during the night. It was exhausted sleep. My parents brought me home for the three week period between summer quarter and fall quarter. My mother took me to the doctors, but nothing was ever found. I didn’t feel much like eating, but my mother would bring mashed potatoes and soup up to my room for me to eat, every day.

So, I am  repeating that cycle. I just put some medicine in the travel case for my son. I will be going to the store shortly to pick up the ingredients for Chicken and Dumplings, and whatever else I feel like. I am sure he could use some orange juice, and some potatoes.

Thanks Mom.

God Doesn’t Make Sense!

A thoughtful consideration of the trinity.

Unshakable Hope

The fact that God’s nature was difficult for me to understand used to be a real challenge to my faith. This was especially true after being diagnosed with ALS. I don’t remember ever asking God “Why me?” but I naturally wondered why God would allow this or any other horrible disease to strike anyone. I began to rethink everything I knew, or thought I knew, about this being we call God.

One of the first things I studied was the Christian definition of God; the Christian belief that God is made up of three separate beings (Father, Son and Spirit) that are actually one being. This doesn’t make sense! I have heard many different analogies that attempted to explain this concept of this three-in-one God by everyone from children’s church pastors to highly-educated Theologians, but I still don’t get it! I know better than anyone that I’m far from being…

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