Storms of Life

Another thunderstorm blew through town this evening, and it thundered occasionally for several hours. Most of us didn’t get very much rain this time, but we had received rain a few days ago.

Until the time of Noah, mankind had never experienced rain. In Genesis 2:5-6, “For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, ….but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.”

God spoke to Noah telling him that because of the wickedness of the people on the earth, He was going to destroy them all. God told Noah to build an ark and gave him all the details in how to build it. In Genesis 7:4, God said, “I will cause it to rain forty days and forty nights,” then God put Noah and his family into the ark which would ride upon the water. From the day that Noah and his family entered the boat, their lives were never the same. The world that existed when they entered the boat was different from the world to which they returned, and their lives were spared.

When Noah and his family left the Ark, Noah built an altar to God and God spoke to him again, telling him that he had placed a rainbow in the sky which represented God’s promise that He would never again destroy the whole world (and all the people) with a flood.

I was not singled out to experience the storm. Everyone in northeast Oklahoma experienced the same storm, although it wasn’t exactly the same in every location. Some places received rain but others only had thunder.

He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45 NKJV.

Are you facing struggles in your life, storms that threaten to destroy your world? It might destroy things around you, but it won’t destroy you, if you will just allow the Lord to put you into His ark of safety.

Strange Fish

When we were first married, my husband had a streak of good luck fishing for unusual fish. He kept bringing home strange looking fish.

A true pre-historic fish, the spoonbill is a boneless fish, with a spinal cord that looks like a rope and a tail that looks like a propeller and a big flat spout that looks like the beaver’s tail. Also called a paddlefish, they can grow up to 7 feet long and up to 200 pounds and in Oklahoma at least they are caught by snagging or using a giant hook to catch them on their body.

 The biggest spoonbill my husband ever snagged was 60 pounds. He hung it by the “paddle” from a tree, cut around the tail, and pulled the spinal cord out. We chopped it into big chunks, dipped it into cornmeal, and deep fried it. It was very good. We froze a large amount to eat later, but when I thawed and cooked it, I didn’t like it.

Once hubby came home with buffalo, buffalo fish that is. Most people throw them back since they are full of bones. I didn’t really want to bother with it, but Mom said that they used to eat buffalo, after it was pressure-cooked, so we canned it. In January when I opened the fish to eat it, the fish reminded me of jack mackerel, and we made “tuna” sandwiches and “tuna” patties.

Paul had some rough times too and he mentioned frequently that he worked for his living instead of depending on the people in the churches.

“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” Philippians 4:12 NLT.

There are many things that we ate back in those early days of our marriage when we were struggling to get by because we weren’t too good to eat fish that wasn’t commonly served.

Ironing the Wrinkles Out

During World War II, Mother worked at the Army base laundry where Dad was stationed and because she could iron so well, she was assigned to iron the officers’ uniforms. After I was born, Dad bought Mom a wringer washer, a sewing machine, and iron, so that she could take in washings for a living, while he worked as a mechanic. She washed and ironed clothes for the businessmen of Vinita.

For many years, an ironing board and iron was always set up in the front room of our house. The ironing board represented hard work for 10 cents a shirt. I could make more money than that waiting tables. No more ironing for me.

I was so happy when they started putting polyester in shirts and pants. The only time I ironed was to press the seams when I sewed. I trained my two kids to toss wrinkled clothes into the dryer and “fluff” them. Now I occasionally iron a dress for church or a funeral, but it is rare.

“That He
[Jesus Christ] might sanctify and cleanse her [the church] with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 4:26-27 NKJV.

Jesus washes us with the Word of God, in the agitator of life. He is turning up the heat on the dryer to get the wrinkles out of our life. Sometimes He can just toss us into the dryer to “fluff” us, but if the wrinkle is too deep then He gets that heavy iron from the top of the woodstove.

When you are agitating in the washing machine of God, sing “Hallelujah.”

When you are tumbling in the dryer, being fluffed, shout “Praise God.”

When the heat is on, rejoice.

When the intense pressure of that hot iron is removing the wrinkles from your heart, bow down in gratitude for His mercy.

And thank God, that He loves us too much to leave us in our sorry state, but will do whatever it takes to prepare us for that Special Occasion in heaven, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb of God.

Teach Your Children

When we kids were little, sometimes Mom took in kids to babysit. One time in particular that I remember, Mom took in a pretty little dark-haired girl about 3 or 4 who stayed overnight with us for a couple of nights. She really missed her parents and cried quite a bit. The first night she wouldn’t go to sleep. I think Mom was trying to get her to go to sleep in the baby bed, but she just kept crying and saying something over and over that none of us could understand.
Mom kept asking her what she was trying to say and finally figured out that she was saying she wanted to sleep on the “davenport.” Suddenly Mom understood and the little girl went sweetly off to sleep on our “divan.” The whole problem had been simply a matter of understanding the words she was saying.
 Mama loved little children. She was always glad to have children hanging around the house with us, and when she later went to work at the school cafeteria, she loved every little kid that went through her cafeteria line.
Mama taught Sunday School as well as teaching us Bible stories and songs at home. We learned the song “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.”
 We held in our hands little Sunday School cards with a picture of Jesus on the front and the story and verse on the back. We gazed on the picture of Jesus holding the little lost sheep, and fell in love with Jesus while we were children. We were taught in a level of language that we could understand.
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deut. 11:19 NIV.
It is easy to believe in Jesus as your Savior when you are raised from babyhood hearing about Him.