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Introducing The Chrysalis Brothers… They’ll be here all week

Sometimes my kids ask for something and because I find educational value in what they’ve asked for, I will get it immediately… okay, maybe it’s just because I think it would be fun…… but the point is this, sometimes I just get it for them … A couple of years ago my youngest just had to have a butterfly habitat. You know, the kind where you watch caterpillars turn into beautiful butterflies right before your very eyes… Yep, we got it and once we got it home the conversation between my husband and I went something like this….

Me: Great, we’re going to have to take this back.

Chris: Why?

Me: They didn’t give us everything.

Chris: Here let me see… (He takes it and looks at it)… It’s all here

Me: No, it’s missing the caterpillars

Chris: You have to order them

Me: Order them?!

Chris: Yes… what, you thought they came in the box?

Me: Um, Maybe…

Chris: How  could they have survived in the box like that?

Me: Freeze dried.

Chris: Freeze dried?  That would kill them

Me: Are you sure?

Chris: Yes, I’m pretty sure.

Me: Doesn’t it work for Sea Monkeys? ….(the thrifty side of me totally kicked in) Ugh, I don’t want to buy caterpillars

So the Butterfly Habitat sat empty until one day I happened to luck into a cute, little, furry caterpillar crawling across the driveway.  I grabbed it, ran inside and announced my find to the family.  Nobody shared my excitement but it didn’t deter me one bit… I was going to watch it turn into a beautiful butterfly and they would all be sorry for their lack of enthusiasm.  It lived in the habitat for a day or so.  Apparently caterpillars eat more than air because I had no clue what to feed him and, well, lets just say he went on to his eternal reward after grass didn’t satisfy his caterpillar metabolism.  No worries though… I did a little research and it was a terrible caterpillar that was a moth larvae that has been a horse killer here in Kentucky….. so, I’m actually a hero… but that is not the point… The point is, I didn’t want to buy caterpillars but the habitat doesn’t work if you don’t.  Fortunately my 6-year-old quickly forgot about the habitat and we went on with life.

Last Christmas, however, a package arrived in the mail and my cousins had sent my now 7 1/2-year-old a brand new habitat as a gift.  I will admit I felt the excitement jump back into my spirit when I thought about the caterpillar metamorphosis process, but still, there were no freeze dried caterpillars. So with constant urging and a pitiful looking sad face from my youngest, I broke down and ordered the caterpillars a few months later… okay, it was a lot of urging.

So the caterpillars, a.k.a. The Chrysalis Brothers, arrived and we watched them grow from tiny, little caterpillars to gluttonous, lazy, about to burst, huge caterpillars… it was actually pretty amazing at how fast they grew.  And soon they began to take their spots and form their very own chrysalis at the top of their habitat jar.  Again, amazing to see God’s creativity in their little lives… so for days they sat and we waited for them to step out and show themselves as the beautiful Painted Ladies they were supposed to be.  It happened and though we didn’t snuggle them or call all of our family with our excitement, we did find great pleasure in watching them mature and be able to fly.  So interesting to have such a close-up view and watch.

The instructions said that we were to let them go after a couple of days of observation so they could go into the world and multiply. We knew that day was coming… there was a sense of accomplishment with a bit of disappointment for having them for such a short period.  We let them go and they flew like they couldn’t possibly fly in their small habitat…now they had the whole world… or at least the neighborhood and it was actually beautiful to watch.

Watching them was a reminder to me that change is difficult… even when it is good change…. it often affects more than just those experiencing the biggest change.  But when God ordains the change there is so much to be excited about and so much to be expected that staying in the little “habitat” inhibits what God can do.

In Acts 11, Peter experienced others wanting him to stay in his “habitat” when he began eating with uncircumcised men. The circumcised believers began to complain until Peter told them how God ordained what he was doing.  Then the men who had complained opened the habitat door and allowed God to do his thing.

I can totally relate to the complaining men….

My neighbors are moving tomorrow….These aren’t just any neighbors… these are two people with whom I spent time with daily at work (I worked with both of them for several years) We’ve spent the day at the office together only to bring our families together at night for dinner.  We have shared quite a few Thanksgiving and Easter dinners together, prayed together, we’ve each been included in each other’s family holiday times, spent accumulated hours talking on the porch or making s’mores at their fire pit and we’ve borrowed everything from mayonnaise to toilet paper. …. these aren’t just friends or neighbor’s … they are unrelated family.  They are also in ministry and God has called them to another place.

You know, it’s easy to be selfless when it doesn’t really matter… the Chrysalis Brothers left and though it was fun watching them and would have been fun if we kept them longer, it was also fun to let them go…. But when it matters, it is easy to be selfish… I don’t want my neighbors to go…. I want more hours of talking on the porch….I want those shared times together… I want to hide their “for sale” sign and I want them to stay…but God has called them to where they are going.  They need to go to experience God’s freedom.

I love them and will miss them terribly, but I know that doing what God calls us to do is the only way we can truly see the beauty of the flight.  If we keep them from that then we only see a bit of what God can do.  I must open the “habitat” and let them go… didn’t say it would be easy… I know they will be such a great addition to the state of Missouri.  I love you, Howard and Shirley.  You can fly away now…. Godspeed.

Acts 11

1The apostles and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him 3and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”

4Peter began and explained everything to them precisely as it had happened: 5“I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. 6I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles, and birds of the air. 7Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’

8“I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’

9“The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ 10This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again.

11“Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying. 12The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. 13He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. 14He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.’

15“As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. 16Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with[a]water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?”

18When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”

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Posted by on July 3, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Surprise, Surprise, Surprise! (Must say it with a Gomer Pyle drawl)

surpriseI realize that not every surprise is a pleasant experience.  Yes, I’ve been on the boat of unpleasant surprises many times…You can ask the boat pilot whose name just happens to be Officer Gotcha  A.K.A.  Mr. “Can I see your License and Registration, please?” …Anyway, I am not naive to the fact that people may tend to connect surprises with a negative emotion, but I am also aware that surprises can be a wonderful thing.

Sometimes the unexpected is a great way to show someone that they are loved or a great way to feel that you are loved.  Here’s what I mean…You know you are loved when:

  • You go to work to find a surprise drawing on your computer wallpaper from your daughter that says, “I love you, Mom.” (Happened even with a post-it note this morning)
  • Your seven-year-old surprises you with a shoulder massage. ( It was actually a job well done)
  • Your co-worker brings to work your favorite dessert just to surprise you (Banana Pudding…. she is so thoughtful)
  • You receive an unexpected phone call from your friend who just called to say that you are loved (Makes me miss ’em)
  • Your health conscious husband surprises you with Krispy Kreme donuts on a Saturday morning while you sleep in.  (Okay, that one didn’t happen.. but it might if he sees that I wrote this)
  • Your husband surprises you by cleaning your office while you are in a meeting  (that one did happen!)
  • You wake up to a surprise of hundreds of plastic forks sticking up in your yard….. (Yes, you read that correctly… My neighbor and her accomplice put Howie Mandel, Allen Funt and Ashton Kutcher to shame)

See, not all surprises beat to a negative drum… some are just great reminders of how much you are loved… Okay, some might beg to differ about the whole fork thing but I’m leaning on the love side of the prank…forked yard

I’ve always felt that if those surprise moments were common place then they would mean nothing.

Take for instance the the story of Paul and Silas.  Here are these two guys in prison, chained up, praying and singing their hearts out … probably pretty annoying to the non-believers in earshot and the jailer who has to listen while he does his job… but they were singing praises while chained up when all of a sudden an earthquake type event happened… their chains are broken off and they, along with others, are now free.  I would imagine that the area was dark, possibly the jailer had a rock bump his head or maybe just in the panic of the situation, he, the jailer, had fail written on his forehead… he was ready to kill himself for slacking on the job and not keeping the prisoners in their places… earthquake or not.   Now, Paul and Silas were given the opportunity to flee… to get out of there fast.  But instead of running they surprised this man.  They, along with the other prisoners were still there.  They told him to not harm himself that everyone was still there and they weren’t going anywhere.  The jailer was shocked.  Their surprise stopped his suicide.  Instead of his tragic intention,  he was so blown away by their actions that he wanted to know more about who they were singing about.  In reality, I guess their surprise showed so much love that he was changed then and there.  He had Paul and Silas come to his home and he became a follower of Christ.   Had this guard been used to seeing prisoners who had the opportunity to flee and didn’t……if this had been normal behavior that Paul and Silas had shown then their actions would have meant nothing.

Just like my family… if they did all of those things mentioned above on a daily basis then I would probably soon forget the importance of what they were trying to show me.  Maybe it is not so bad to surprise others…

I think I know who my surprise “victim” will be today ….and I won’t even use forks.

Who needs a surprise from you today?

Acts 16: 22-40

22The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. 27The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.

35When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.” 36The jailer told Paul, “The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace.”

37But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.”

38The officers reported this to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed. 39They came to appease them and escorted them from the prison, requesting them to leave the city. 40After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left.

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2009 in Devotions, Faith, Fun, Life Stories

 

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No more Naps!! Well, unless I want a Hot Tub….

woman sleepingAn innocent little nap and poof! I’m a builder.  Yes, it may sound like I was dreaming and although I have been reading about Solomon building the temple… I wasn’t dreaming……..

Several weekends ago, I took a little afternoon nap.  While napping my husband thought that it would be a bit funny to snap a photo of his lovely wife sleeping her little heart out while he was also being overly productive and digging holes in our back yard.  Now, we had not discussed digging holes in the yard so when he came in with the news of his hard work while I was snoozing, I found it quite amusing…. killing time digging holes when he could have been relaxing.  It was during my laughing that he pulled out the enemy… the sleeping beauty photo (that’s me)… I began to listen to what he had to say at that point.  Well, he thought I was listening but I was really trying to concoct a plan to get his phone away from him and delete the photo… During this time I thought I heard him say, “Blah, blah, blah, sleeping, blah, blah, blah, digging holes, blah, blah, blah, 4×4’s, blah, blah, blah, patio, blah, blah, blah, pergola.”  I smiled, nodded in agreement and went to look at the holes in our yard.  There they were… four two-foot deep holes at the edge of each corner of our patio.  For years we have tried to cover our patio area with some sort of shade canopy but our backyard happens to be in a wind tunnel and after the first big storm of the season hits, the canopy flies away or at least bends to unrecognizable shapes.  Apparently, what I agreed to while drifting in and out of photo deleting plans, was helping him build a pergola over our patio. I might as well have agreed to helping build the temple in Bible because I had to clue what he was talking about.  I finally had to go look up the word pergola because I was getting the whole pergola/gondola  thing way mixed up and couldn’t figure out how four posts would mean anything for a gondola other than a docking spot and then I couldn’t figure out how an Italian boat would add value to our home… or even shade.

Anyway, after hoping the idea would go away and trying to find a better way than building it ourselves… I gave up and gave in to what will now be always known as the “Pergola Project”.  We borrowed a truck, bought the lumber, printed out free plans and went to work.  Neither one of us knowing what we were doing began to measure, cut and level…. We were clueless except for the fact that we had faith in my husband’s pergola dream and the free online plans.  As we were in the process of building, our neighbors, one by one, began gathering around.  Now, we have Great (that is with a capital G) neighbors and didn’t mind their advice nor their company.  No problem at all.  IMG_0214The problem came to be when we found out something that created in us a whole new feeling of insecurity.  Our neighbor had family visiting…. and it wasn’t just any family visiting…. it happened to be the brother-in-law… the brother-in-law who is a builder….not just any builder…. but a builder of really, really nice homes…. We had to up our standards right then and there.  We couldn’t have him look out the door and laugh at the bumbling amateurs across the yard…. but, it was hopeless.  We were bumbling amateurs and though we were following a plan we were also making it up as we went along. I’m thinking he was well entertained….

Well, with a few setbacks of rain and the end of daylight, the weekend project that we estimated taking about three weeks, actually only took one weekend.  Who knew that we could do it?  Well, I’m not going to give myself a pat on the back until a good windstorm goes through… if it stays grounded in cement then we can consider it a job well done.IMG_0220

So, I am vowing that naps, at least when my husband is home, are off limits.  No more naps… not so much because I could have stopped the Pergola project but because I don’t want another photo taken of me while I sleep… by the way, the sleeping beauty photo is in deletion heaven and I am now looking up more building projects.  I think I want a hot tub….. hmmm, maybe I should take a nap and see if my husband will level out the backyard so we can get started….

2 Chronicles 3

Solomon Builds the Temple

1 Then Solomon began to build the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah [j] the Jebusite, the place provided by David. 2 He began building on the second day of the second month in the fourth year of his reign.

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2009 in Faith, Fun, Life Stories

 

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