"the joy of the LORD is my strength” nehemiah 8:10

Aug 11, 2017

seeing others

A few days ago Father sent two of the most annoying people I know to help me. Both showed up without me asking either of them for help. So, there was no doubt Who sent them.

The first man noticed a problem with my truck. As he began to look the situation over, the other saw him looking under the hood and wandered over.

One is a millionaire. An extremely prideful man who doesn’t have Christ; yet. I’m praying for him, so I expect any day now, he will meet my Father, and be welcomed with open arms into the kingdom.

The other is a brother in Christ, who verbally judges everyone and everything. I’m probably at the top of his list because I refuse to fit into his theology and belief system, or submit to his authority. In his thinking, women should always submit to men.

These two men don’t even like each other, but there they were, helping me with a potentially big problem. I just stood back and watched them as they worked together, thanking Father silently for sending them in my time of need, and praying they didn’t kill each other in the process.

I sometimes struggle with loving others unconditionally. And here were two of those others, come to my rescue. I silently asked Father to help me see both men through His eyes.

The problem was solved successfully. No one died in the process. And I was genuinely grateful to both of them for the help and expressed that from a sincere heart. To my surprise, our time together actually ended in laughter.

Father is determined. It seems the people I have the hardest time loving; He keeps sending my way. So, I choose to allow Him to work through me, to see each one as He sees and love them as He loves.

Will the-hard-to-love stop coming? It’s doubtful. But, what difference does it make? As I see through His eyes, I’ll welcome each encounter, each person, and might even be allowed to share something beautiful of Him with those He sends.

‘til next time,

Betty Jo

Aug 8, 2017

life is crap

Moved from my previous blog:

She was angry.

She walked up to the cashier from the opposite direction of those of us waiting in line with our grocery carts. She clearly didn’t care she was stepping ahead of several people.

The young cashier was courteous and a true gentleman; although I’m sure it wasn’t easy for him.

I was too far back in the line to hear exactly what the problem was, but the body language was easy to read.

As I observed the scene through the tunnel created by the M&Ms on the right, and customer elbows to the left, I could see she was wearing a tee shirt that read “Life is Crap!”

I instantly thought; Perhaps life is crap for her because she works overtime to make it crap for those around her. She should be more grateful!

Would I have challenged her to wait her turn, or calm down, if I had been closer? I’m quite timid when it comes to confronting angry people, so probably not. Besides, in her state of ire, that might have been as healthy as trying to floss the fangs of a rattlesnake.

It only took a couple seconds after my initial thoughts for Holy Spirit to nudge me. I silently confessed my judgment of the angry stranger and then prayed for her, the cashier, and the whole situation. It was soon resolved, the waiting shoppers continued moving forward, and all seemed right in grocery land once again.

But; it wasn’t right in my heart.

Although I’d never make such a fashion statement with “Life is Crap!” stretched across my chest, haven’t I been just as guilty of saying the same thing in various other ways. Rather than being grateful during difficult times, thanking Jesus for providing for my needs; an inexpensive home to live in, food to eat, clothes to wear, heat, the fact that I can still walk, the ability to help others, and most of all, the love of family and friends. Haven’t I often grumbled and complained, not only internally, but to others willing to listen?

I read this recently: If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of the world. If you have money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture, or the horrible pangs of starvation you are luckier than 500 million people alive and suffering. If you can read this, you are more fortunate than 3 billion persons in the world who cannot read at all.

Those statistics put things into grateful perspective.

Even though, it can sometimes feel like crap, Life, is incredible!!

‘til next time,

Betty Jo