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We Can Always Use a Friendly Reminder… Speaking for Myself and Maybe You, Too

Often in the morning when I am reading (a.k.a. quiet time), I will run across something that really stands out to me.  Sometimes it is a Bible verse or sometimes it is a quote from a devotional that I read….wherever it comes from, I want to remember it.  So, when one stands out to me I usually try (key word-try) to document the author and date found. I usually write them on Post-it notes and place them on a bookshelf that hides my desk which allows me to see them daily.  Many times I don’t think about them being there, but today was one of those days that I felt compelled to look them over. As I was scanning the collage of sticky notes, I noticed a theme that I hadn’t before and thought it to be interesting having just followed an election….. particularly an election that seems to have divided so many…

As I’ve said before, I am not a fan of nor do I talk about politics except on rare occasion… just ask my family.  I don’t believe that there is a single person, party or platform that can truly bring our nation together… there are just too many who won’t let things go… both sides. But I do believe that the reasoning for holding on to it is because there is a conviction and passion from those who believe their ideology is the correct one and hold on tight to where they stand  … on both sides ….  and that tends to bring division.

So, what you need to know about me and politics is that I do my homework, I believe what I believe, I pray, I vote, I’ll listen to you but I most likely will not talk to you(meaning anyone)about it.  With that said, I’m posting some photos that were reminders to me this morning…. and both sides whether liberal or conservative…..Donkey or Elephant……Democrat or Republican… Pleased or Displeased….and anyone who is a follower of Christ…..maybe in our words and actions these can be a reminder for us all….. Oh, and excuse my sloppy handwriting…

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Posted by on November 7, 2012 in Devotions, Faith, Life Stories

 

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What??? Oh no, he didn’t!…

after-american-idol-its-time-for-vietnam-idol_14After finally getting home around 9:00 this evening, the girls and I settled down to watch the recorded elimination of several more American Idol contestants and the bringing back of a few for a wild card night.  (By the way, if you have never watched a recorded American Idol in triple speed it is totally worth the effort…. the dancing is way fun to watch) As the contestants were narrowed down we were disappointed to see that our favorite female of the evening was going home… “Oh, nuggets”……As we continued watching we were biting our nails in hopes that our personal favorites would have one more chance.   Suddenly, they announced “Tatiana.”  What??? … but we let it go…  It came down to the last open spot… and Simon announced the one final person to have one more American Idol chance… “Anoop”… What???? No Nick/Norman???  Oh no, he didn’t just pick Anoop over Nick… How frustrating… how boring Idol will be now.  I’ve got my top three favorites but I wanted Nick to be in that top three… So now that my fun favorite is not in the mix I will have to root on my top three and my absolute favorite, Danny, and enjoy the rest while I can…..I guess the reality of Idol is not everyone in America can be pleased… we can’t always get what we want..american-idol-nick-mitchell-a-k-a-normund-gentle-20090205054356

You know,  that is the reality of life in general….

In continuing the story of Balaam (Numbers 23-25),I have wondered several times if the author used this little story to bring some humor into the picture… First, there was the talking donkey  and now we are at the place where Balak is hoping for the curse on Israel… You can probably imagine the scene…

Balak, the king/prince, is eager to hear that Balaam has cursed the Israelites.  He waits in anticipation for Balaam to come back down from the hillside and say his evil deed is done. But Balaam has news of his own… I picture the conversation like this…

“Attention everyone!  Balaam has come back down from the hillside to inform us that the Israelites will not harm us because he has cursed them and we are safe.”  The crowd cheers.  “Balaam, would you like to tell the crowd exactly what kind of a curse you placed on these Israelites?”

“Ummm,” Balaam stammers, ” God told me not to because he likes them”

What??? Oh no, he didn’t just say that God told him not to curse these people…

Balak, possibly thinking that Balaam had misunderstood, sent him to another place… same routine of altars and sacrifices.. Then Balaam goes back to Balak…

“Attention everyone!  Balaam has come back down from the hillside to inform us that the Israelites will not harm us because he has cursed them and we are safe.”  The crowd cheers.  “Balaam, would you like to tell the crowd exactly what kind of a curse you placed on these Israelites?”

“Ummm,” Balaam stammers, ” God told me not to because he likes them and they will probably kill you guys”

What??? Oh no, he didn’t just say that God told him these people were going to harm us!

So Balak sends Balaam to another place in hopes of a different story.. same routine of altars and sacrifices.. Then Balaam goes back to Balak…

“Attention everyone!  Balaam has come back down from the hillside to inform us that the Israelites will not harm us because he has cursed them and we are safe.”  The crowd cheers.  “Balaam, would you like to tell the crowd exactly what kind of a curse you placed on these Israelites?”

“Ummm,” Balaam stammers, ” God told me not to because he likes them and he curses you instead”

What??? Oh no, he didn’t just say that God told him to bless them and curse us!

Balak had enough and sent Balaam on his way.
Seems that if Balak would have listened to what God had to say and not worked so hard to change God’s mind he could have been blessed.

Numbers 24:9

9 Like a lion they crouch and lie down,
like a lioness—who dares to rouse them?
“May those who bless you be blessed
and those who curse you be cursed!”

Wonder how many great things I’ve missed out on because I was too stubborn to slow down and listen?

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2009 in Devotions, Faith

 

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Pride vs. PRIDE…… will the real jerk please stand up…

In the past few days I’ve had to do some dealing with pride…. I think there are two different kinds of pride- the first kind of pride is the standard definition of pride… something to the tune of the “quality of being proud” or “a reasonable self respect.”  When I have worked hard at something and it meets the goals that were created there can definitely be a sense of pride in a job well done.  I’m not so sure that there is anything wrong with that … But there is also the other definition of P.R.I.D.E.  –

Personal

Respect

In

Doses

Exceeding

(Necessity)

I suppose maybe that is more likely PRIDE(N) but you get the picture… this is the kind of pride that gets us into trouble … this is the kind of pride that keeps us from allowing ourselves to be humble… this is the kind of pride that is not only dangerous but can be hurtful… this is the kind of pride that make us look foolish in the end anyway…

My daily reading led me to the story of Balaam and his donkey. (Numbers 22:21-24)

The story in a nutshell is about Balaam on his way to visit Balak who thinks Balaam will place a curse on the Israelites for him.  On the road, Balaam’s donkey suddenly takes off into a field.  He gets so upset at her behavior that he beats her and she gets back up on the road.  Then the next thing the donkey does is as they are passing through a walled area she pushes Balaam’s leg up against the wall and again he gets upset and beats her. Finally the donkey just stops and lays down… again, Balaam(seems like such a pleasant guy)takes his frustrations out on her.  This time, little miss donkey has had enough and turns around and asks Balaam (yes, she spoke) why he keeps hitting her.  He said he was embarassed (his pride was hurt) because she was making him look like a fool in front of others who were supposed to respect him.  Little did Balaam know that his faithful donkey was only protecting him from an angel that the Lord had sent that would have probably killed him and Balaam finally sees the angel and is so sorry for his actions.

So all of this takes place and I noticed something… The writer of this acts as if a donkey speaking is a natural thing.   There are no double takes from Balaam and his traveling crew, nor are there any out of control screams of horror or even laughter… there is nothing.  So here is my take on this… Balaam was so focused on his pride and looking like a fool that he forgot he was conversing with a donkey…and I’m pretty sure looked pretty foolish anyway..

Yep, that is the way PRIDE(N) works… or at least in my life… I focus on what I don’t want others to see because it may embarrass me only to find myself talking to a donkey I end up looking foolish anyway.  There are times I don’t ask others for help and it haunts me later…

Are you experiencing PRIDE(N)?  Balaam saw what he had done wrong… and he was sorry…. me too.


Numbers 22:21-34

21 Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. 22 But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat her to get her back on the road.

24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with walls on both sides. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat her again.

26 Then the angel of the LORD moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff. 28 Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”

29 Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”

30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”
“No,” he said.

31 Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

32 The angel of the LORD asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. [i] 33 The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her.”

34 Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.”



 
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Posted by on March 4, 2009 in Devotions, Faith, Fun, Life Stories

 

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