Jinx the evil dog and a lesson in grace and love

My Dog Jinx isn’t evil she’s just very high strung and a tad bit crazy. She’s young so we give her the benefit of the doubt, well at least I do. When we adopted her the first thing Dorothy said to me was…

“That dogs evil looking… she will be nothing but trouble.”

Well we got her anyways, even after being told she was a bit high strung and had a few “behavioural issues”.

So the other night while writing an email I mentioned something about Jinx and earlier today I recalled it while reading.

In the email I wrote that we adopted her as family knowing full well her past and concerns for her behaviour. The more we love her and the more we work with her the more improvement we see in her.  However, we love her regardless simply cause of the Dog she is. The kids fell in love with her the first day.

Jinx

So after a bit of thought I realized this is how God relates to us. He has accepted and loved us regardless of who we are. We spend so much time trying to measure up to what we think God expects  of us that we forget he loved us while were still sinners.

Rom 5:8  But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

  

Why do we spend so much time following dead religion based on law and death?

Why is it that we try to make ourselves acceptable to God when we never had to in the first place?

Why is it that we fail to see that we change and become new creations in Christ not because of what we do to earn his favor and grace .. but because of a direct result of his love and grace.

Jinx is loved cause of who she is  — not because of what she does or doesnt do… she’s bad and at times she’s really bad. But we love her unconditionally .. we discipline her from time to time ( ok daily ) but that never changes the fact that she is loved and is part of our family.

The everyday common things

It’s the everyday common things that we forget to stop and consider. We are always striving to find happiness and meaning in life. We always think one day I’ll be happy.
“If only I got the better job”
“If only I had that house I always wanted”
“If only I..

“If only”, the most damaging of all phrases that anyone can embrace. What this does is it mentally prepares us for unhappiness and failure. Nothing is never good enough and we forget the common things in life. Happiness is found in the common everyday things that we take for granted.

The laughter of our children.
The loving embrace of the person we love.
The very fact that we are alive another day.

I could go on and on listing the common things that are truly blessings in our lives that we simply ignore. How many times have we taken for granted our children, spouses, girlfriends, friends and family?

We all have problems, worries and anxieties that seem to overwelm us and drag us down. Storms that seem to well up suddenly and toss us about like a piece of wood washed up on the shore of some lost and forgotten island. We get so wrapped up in the things that are going wrong in life that forget to see the larger picture. Problems will come and they will go. Just like a storm they come roaring in and disappear just as fast. They leave behind a wake of devastation and ruin. We are left to pick up the pieces and try to rebuild again. The next storm comes roaring in destroying that which we so painstakingly had started to rebuild leaving us wondering why and raging with clenched fists at night sky. We blame God or deny him all together.

Where do we find the release and help we need? Some have tried religion thinking they are turning to God. They only end up finding out that they feel as if he’s farther away then he was before. That’s cause we are trying to please him on our own strength through our own actions. We try to add to Christ’s death and salvation on the cross through human means. We forget that he was there all along right beside us. Suffering with us, holding us as our souls cry and our hearts bleed.

“But you don’t understand…”

Of course I don’t, your problems affect you differently then they would me. The same is true for my problems and how they would affect you. The one thing that doesn’t change is that God has and is and will be there through it all. The problem is our expectations. We expect God to act and respond in a certain way for a certain situation. All we end up doing is creating an Image of God that doesn’t truly reflect who he is. God knows what we must endure and what we most not endure. Somethings are for our own good, even though they are painful. In the end they are designed to bring him glory through us and our lives. Our weaknesses and failings and strengths.

The common everyday things are designed to show us that he is still in control and that life does have meaning and purpose. The meaning and purpose though is not aways what we expect it to be. If we could just sit back and look at life through God’s eyes we would simply fall to our knees and thank him endlessly for his grace and mercy. Stop and look around. Really look around and see that God is everywhere.

The lyrics of the song you just listened to… Slowly and quietly touching your heart. A line or phrase that makes you think. The gentle breeze that lightly caresses your cheek as you stand watching the sun set. The person that smiled at you as you walked through the door to grocery store. The gentle touch of your dog as they lay their head on your lap. Completely content on being there with you regardless of what you are or have done. Unconditional love that reflects the heart of our creator.

The sleeping child content and peaceful. They trust and believe with all their heart that in the morning Mom or dad will be there. Hope held on to and clung to like a precious gem. That innocent faith and trust that seems to get lost eventually as the harsh winds of life come roaring through suddenly one day.

We dont realize what we have till its taken from us. I urge you to look around and open your eyes to life and all that is around you. God lives in the common everyday things that we simply need to become more aware of…

We are flawed so God Winks…

What kind of title is that ? I know that’s what anyone reading this most likely is thinking. Which is very good my job here is done then… end of post

 

OK.. so its not the end of the post. My weak attempt at humor but not the end of the post. Actually its a combination of the titles of the last two books I read.

Flawed by Design – By Martin Zender

When God winks at you – By Squire Rushnell

Neither one of these books is related in anyway as far as topic is concerned but put together it created a very interesting way of thinking about things for me.  I’m the kind of person that has always desired to read and study things. The more I studied something the more I wanted to know about it from all sides. 

So this is not a book review persay. I stink at that kind of thing, instead its mainly my thoughts and impressions when combining these two books into one line of thinking on the subjects as it pertains to my life and way of thinking. So take this for what it is.

Lets start with the basic summary of each book.

Flaw by Design – Think your sins are ruining God’s plan for your life? Think again.
Here’s a link to the back cover of Martin’s Book  Flawed by Design.

I’ll let you follow the link instead of me writing it all out simply to give credit where credit is due.

Now lets look at Squire’s book –

 When God winks at you – A surprising answer to prayer comes at just the right moment. Could God be showing you that He cares about the details of your life? Best-selling author SQuire Rushnell says these silent little miracles are godwinks. 

Here’s a link to the summary of this book – When God Winks at you

Ok each author has gotten his link and their own words about the books – remember I said this isnt a review of these books.

So here I am standing at work looking at the pond in the middle of the business complex on my break, enjoying the sun and the breeze thats stirring over the pond. The geese are milling about at the waters edge, doing what geese do ( being annoying and pooping more then should be physically possible). My attention is drawn to the island in the middle of the pond, which is really just a chunk of rock and dirt with some weeds and what I think is grass. And the phrase pops in my head “we are flawed so God winks…”

 

I think about it for a bit and a smile crosses my face. We are flawed no one can argue that, most silently agree. Some will argue and say well its our “duty” or “cross to bear” to rid ourselves of these flaws and press on to “perfection”. I wont get into all the debate over the theological points and counter points to those doctrines and how each different denomination of christianity plays those out. That’s not my intent here. Instead its to simply get you thinking about these things and hopefully spur you on to searching out the answers for yourself. I will however point you to a few things to get you thinking for yourself and questioning as well.

 Every person in the bible was flawed, a sinner full of sin and far from perfection. David, Abraham, Paul, Peter, etc. Everyone of them sinned and sinned and well sinned. Never did any of them reach perfection, nor did they beat themselves up over what they did. Maybe its cause they knew this to be true —

(Pro 24:16 ASV)
For a righteous man falleth seven times, and riseth up again; But the wicked are overthrown by calamity.

In the end though God moved them to great things and used them in great ways. Was it depsite there sins and or weakness or because of  them ?

(2Co 12:9 ASV)
And he hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

 
Ok – I just used those verse’s not to prove a point but to get you thinking. If we cannot challenge the way we think and believe from time to time then we will never move forward to the place God has intended for us. It’s easy and its comfortable to say  ” I believe and know what I know because I was told so“.. Because what fun is there in learning it ourselves? Right?

Ok .. I got sidetracked- that’s cause I’m a storyteller by nature… Writing something like this tends to be scattered simply cause my mind wanders and says  “Hey !!!! Im over here!!! hello….. can we get back to fighting dragons? saving damsels? something??? Please!!!”

So now we are thinking ok God can still use me and work through me despite my flaws and weakness. It’s not that I’m this horrible person and God is disappointed in me but instead that he’s working through me to greater things because of those flaws and weakness. Ok so now we will stop there and move on. Martin can explain all the details of this better then I can and like I said this is merely my thoughts based on reading these books. And believe me the world in my head is a strange one so lets just move on before something happens.

I’ll pick this up in the next post – and hopefully it will be less scattered.. My intent in this post was to simply get you thinking about God and hopefully crack open the bible and give it a look see.

Gaming – My one form of escape and relaxation

Well – gaming has been one of my favorite forms of escape and relaxation. The current game I play is world of warcraft . So I included the rss feed here at the blog as well for anyone that enjoys the game.

There is one thing that I would like to at least chit chat a bit about in regards to gaming. Like many things it can become an obsession and in the long run actual become harmful to your own personal life.

Everything has to be done in moderation – you have to know when to play and when not to play. Above all else the game should never, never ever take precedence over your family or anyone else for that matter. I learned that its easy to get sucked into the game world and actually find it consuming your thoughts and life. This my friend is not good. You can never let anything consume your life that much. My advice is to step back look around and evaluate whats really important in life. A game will eventually die and fade away in popularity. You may make a few friends in the game but life long friends? ones that will stick with you through thick and thin? Is a game worth family and the love of some one close to you? What about your kids if you have any?

I enjoy gaming specially with my son and it has been a time of great father son bonding as well. But I learned you have to live life and the only way to really live life is with family and friends in real life. Never forget that family above all else is what matters the most in life. I think God looks at the way we treat our families as a reflection of what is truly in our hearts…

(Luk 6:45 ASV) The good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth that which is evil: for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.