Wow! Has it been THAT long since I posted? Well, that also represents how long since I've sat at my computer. Oh, don't go too crazy. I do check my email. On my phone. But I've just been too distracted to sit down and write a blog.
But in a good way.
On the fourth anniversary in this town, I've come to a startling realization. I am actually starting to put down roots. Studmuffin is a little freaked by this revelation. "We don't put down roots. We move on." Sure, he was joking. But there was a small grain of truth in his statement. Move away from home to college. I actually changed colleges three times (long story). Move to Arlington. Move to San Antonio. Move BACK to Oklahoma, yet go on various job interviews disguised as vacations...
And I think that's been my problem here. Studmuffin has been unhappy in his job, and I've felt that at any moment he could find a better job, and off we'd be. So, I've kept my emotional distance. I'm done with that now.
I've been trying to be purposeful about alone time with God. Each morning as my water runs in my various flower beds, I sit on my newly painted chair with it's bright red cushion, cup of coffee near at hand, dogs at my feet and cats clamoring up the side of the lattice, and open my Bible.
Right now I'm in the book of Joshua. I can't say as I've ever sat and studied Joshua. Sure, I've read the common stories, and I knew the gist, but there are big things that God is telling me in the little passages. Not that I think any passages are "little." But they can slip by you if your heart is not listening...
Want to hear something crazy? I've been burdened by a new movie release. It's titled "Magic Mike." When I first saw the previews I thought, "Yuck. Who would go see that?" And I've been appalled at just who WILL go see it. And it is saddening.
It is not okay. It is not "just a movie" and it is a saddening reflection of our society as a whole. I once heard a preacher (I think it was John Macarthur) say that when women have given into sexual depravity as a thing of normalcy, the society has reached rock bottom. If it wasn't him, I apologize, but he has plenty to say on what GOD says about sexual immorality and here's a quick link to a list of sermons if you want to peruse the site: http://www.gty.org/search/homosexuality
Anyway, I have been saddened by the depravity I see in our nation. Yet I have felt a strange joy in spite of the things I see around me. I know it's because of the time I've been spending with Him. And I've been listening to what He has to say to me...
Right now he's hammering home the importance of seeking out and eradicating sin. All sin.
WHAT? ALL of it? Surely not. I mean, my sins arent' that big of deal.
In Joshua 11 & 12 I read of Joshua's leadership of the Israelites into battle. It took me a few minutes to read it. But this total eradication of the enemy through these territories took Joshua seven years. Seven long years of brutally stamping out God's enemies. Seven years following forty years of wandering in a desert...
Zoiks. That is some serious obedience. My Bible annotates: Obedience is one aspect of life that each individual can control.
Okay. I can't argue with that. I may have no control over any other circumstance in my life. But I CAN control my obedience to God.
As I read a few days later in Joshua 13:13 I saw that the Israelites failed to eradicate all of the people as God had instructed them to do...And again I was pricked by my own stubborn refusal to remove some sins because I view them as "no big deal." And the rest of the world doesn't even see what I mean if I were to call these areas "sin."
In Joshua 14:6-15 I find the refreshing voice of Caleb, boldly stating that while is well into his 80s he is EAGER to take the land God has promised him and to face the giants he has already seen with his own eyes as a young man. He knew God was bigger than any foe he would face. Lord, help me have the strength of Caleb.
I will finish with these three verses Joshua 15:63, 16:10 and 17:12. Each of these contain a glaring failure on the part of the Israelites. They failed to remove all of the people of the land, as God had instructed them. As I reflected on this truth, I was struck by one fact. This small remnant of people that the Israelites considered not worth the hassle of removing from their land would be the source of suffering for generations to come...
On Saturday morning, I went to weeding my flower beds. I actually enjoy weeding. It is very rewarding and it gets me outside which is always a bonus. However, in my newest flower bed that curves around the southwest side of my house there is a slow insidious takeover happening. Not in the form of weeds, but in the form of grass. Of course, I want the grass all over my yard. Just not in my flower beds. And it is a royal pain to remove. That stuff creeps under and over things and those darn roots run deep. I pulled up every twig that I saw. And it will still come back. And I will have to be diligent or before I know it, the darn stuff will have taken over the whole flower bed and choke out the plants I'm wanting to grow.
Sin is the same way. I can yank it out by the roots. I can weed it and hoe it, and in extreme cases I can spray it to kill the whole dang plant. And yet it will come back.
Just like the sin in my life. It may seem small and insignificant. But if it interferes with my obedience to God and therefore my fulfillment of God's purpose for my life it is a giant in the making. As I sat on my knees in my yard Saturday I was overwhelmed with the thought that the small sins of today could be the giants in my future...
Or worse-the giants my children must face.
Lord help me live a life of full obedience.