The Rhino in my Heart

When I worked for the phone company, I went to school at least once a year, usually in Dallas. Then in 1995 I joined a traveling crew, going all over the state. I left on Monday morning and returned on Thursday night.

Last night I dreamed of finding a bulging suitcase from one of my trips. It was full of neatly pressed blue jeans and work blouses. Mixed in were snack cakes that were spoiled and moldy, melted chocolate, and gooey unrecognizable mildewed stuff all over everything.

Then a friendly rhinoceros that seemed to be a pet rushed down the hall, and I made my way behind him to let him go out to potty, but it was obvious from the condition of the living room that he wasn’t very well potty-trained.

All of us have forgotten baggage and wild dangerous pets living in our hearts. Keeping things inside allows them to spoil, mold, mildew, melt, and get all over our hearts. Holding onto junk from the past ruins the good stuff in our lives today. These things are like wild animals that defile us, ruin our relationships, and stink up everything around us.

Peter told us in I Peter 5:7-8 Amplified, “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all,] on Him (Jesus), for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully…be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring, seeking someone to seize upon and devour.”

Even Christians hold onto old grudges, dislikes, anger, hatred, or prejudices that defile our hearts, leaving us prey to the enemy of our souls, the devil.

Satan loves to sneak around looking for those who have hidden baggage that he can take advantage of. He wants to destroy our lives, our homes, our families, our churches, and all our relationships.

We need to examine our hearts and ask the Lord to reveal to us those things in our hearts so we give them to Him, because He lovingly cares for and watches over us.

No Bother for the Master

Jesus was on His way to Jairus’ house to heal Jairus’ daughter, but He was stopped along the way by the woman who touched the hem of His garment and was healed. As Jesus was talking to that woman, Jairus’ servant arrived with sad news. “Don’t bother the master anymore. Your daughter is dead.” Luke 8:49.

Jesus, hearing what the servant said, immediately turned to Jairus and said, “Fear not; only believe.” Then Jesus raised his daughter from the dead.

“Don’t bother the master anymore.” Has someone told you that lately? Some people in this world believe in a God that created the universe and set it in motion, but is not actively involved in the lives of people today. They believe He just sits up there in the clouds somewhere watching what’s going on. They believe that ‘what will be will be’ (que sera sera) and there is no use to pray over each and every circumstance of life; life is up to you, not God.

However Jesus was involved in the day-to-day lives of people all around him. He wanted to be “bothered.” He cared for the hurting and sick, the weak and crippled. He hurt when fathers came to Him for healing for their little daughters. He cried when He stood at the tomb of Lazarus, loving his dear friend who was taken from him. These were all works of the evil one: sickness, disease, death.

Jesus was sent for this very purpose. I John 3:3 says “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” Not only did He care, but He did something about it.

Jesus cares. Bring all your troubles, your sickness, your pains, your problems to Jesus, because He cares for you lovingly. Fear not; only believe.

I Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

It still isn’t any bother for the Master.

Laying Up Treasure

One of the banks in our town advertises that it is “the oldest national bank in the state of Oklahoma still operating under its original charter,” a safe place to keep your money in troubled times.

Most of us have lost 1/3 or more of our savings and retirement funds in the last two years. Stocks are down; unemployment is up. Costs have risen.

I haven’t been doing very well at saving money or cutting expenses. I have continued spending for groceries and household items just as I always have. However when I find myself running low on cash toward the end of the month, I just quit spending, make do with what I have on hand, and trust the Lord to supply what I need.

Jesus said, in Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven……for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

I have been laying up treasure in heaven for many years. Heaven is a real place, and that is where my heart is, since the Lord revealed heaven to me several years ago.

Now I store up treasures by giving to the local church and certain charities. I give of my free time to volunteer with good service organizations. I give hugs all around and spread the love of Jesus everywhere I go.

We won’t need our treasures when we get to heaven. I believe the purpose of laying up our treasures in the Bank of Heaven is so that we will have it available when we need it here on this earth.

I use my Bank in Vinita for day-to-day expenses, but my Bank in Heaven is where I keep my savings, so that in times of trouble, I can write a check signed by Jesus to meet my needs.

Crazy Friends

Three muskateers
Three muskateers

 

Don’t you just love that story in the Bible about the men who carried their crippled friend up on the rooftop? Then they tore off the roof and let him down on his bed to where Jesus was.

What were they thinking? Were they crazy to pull a stunt like that? Where did they ever come up with such a strange idea? I wouldn’t have thought about doing it that way, would you? What if they had dropped him? He could have been crippled  or even worse, died. But there was a crowd and there was no other way to get him in to see Jesus.

And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee…. Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day. “Luke 5:20, 24-26 KJV.

Yes, it was strange to see. Jesus saw the faith of the man’s friends. They had faith that told them if they could just get this man to Jesus, he would be healed. Faith causes people to go out of their way to do something unheard of, never thought of before. Faith says, “if we can just get him to Jesus, all will be well.” 

Are you a friend like that? Do you love your friend so much that you will go to all that trouble, to do whatever it takes to get him to Jesus? Are you willing to lay down your life for your friend by spending time in prayer for her?

John 15:13 says  “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Everyone needs a few crazy friends like that, don’t they?

The Desert Shall Bloom

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My hen-and-chicks plants bloomed this year. Maybe you have seen them bloom, but if I did,  I must not have realized what it was.        

I raise cacti, African violets and other houseplants in addition to my outside gardening. Cacti or  succulents are very strange. (Cacti is the plural for cactus.) There are some varieties that look just like rocks, some covered with stickers. Some of them are downright ugly. Others actually look dead. You seldom see one in bloom, except on a rack in the store.

Isaiah 35:1 said “The desert shall blossom like a rose.” The desert, the wilderness, the barren waste, where only cacti grow, will blossom like a beautiful English rose garden. 

Cacti or other succulents store up all the moisture they can get, then use it up during the dry season. Sometimes the dry season will last for years. But the cacti, though barely alive, somehow manage to survive on a very limited amount of moisture. 

After one of these long stretches of drought, when the rains finally come, the cactus bursts into bloom using all its energy, sending forth its seeds just at the right time for them to sprout and reproduce. 

The “rain” of the Holy Spirit is here now. We have lived through hard times, barely surviving on just a little moisture, just enough to stay alive. Some of us are dead looking, thorny, ugly, but we have survived and now it is time to bloom. Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit will be like “ rivers of living water” pouring out of our innermost belly, John 7:38. 

Jesus has caused the airwaves, the magazines, the bookshelves to be flooded with His Spirit. There are more Christian books, songs, magazines, TV programs than ever before in the history of the world. The Internet has been taken over by the Christians. 

The drought has ended. The rains have come. What has God given you to do in this last-day “rain of the Holy Spirit”? It is time to get the Word of God out where it can reproduce.

Snuggle Down Deeper

Sometimes very early in the morning, I get out of bed and go to the living room to stretch my legs. The recliner calls my name, so I take my baby neck pillow and baby blanket, and doze off for a while.

Sassy the cat almost always jumps on the coffee table, walks across it to the sofa, over to the arm of my recliner, where she lands on my lap and starts pawing at my covers to make her little bed. After I stroke her head a little, she settles down to nap.

When she hears the creak of the bedroom door, her head pops up, she stares down the hallway, and watches for the dogs. Then Sassy hurls herself off my lap, a black blur as she streaks to her hideaway in the laundry room, chased by the dogs who finally give up and head out the door.

If she didn’t run, the dogs wouldn’t chase her.She was the queen of the animal kingdom in this house before the dogs came to live here. If Sassy would stay in my lap, I wouldn’t let the dogs bother her, but Sassy doesn’t really believe that I will save her from the yapping dogs. Even after 6 years of living with us, she doesn’t trust me to watch out for her and hold her safely in my lap.

Do I really trust God? If I am sitting in the lap of my Father, Almighty God, Creator of the Universe, what do I have to be afraid of? I have nothing to fear from all those yapping things in life that threaten me.

Psalms 27:1, 5 “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me.”

Now is the time to snuggle down deeper in Father God’s lap while He speaks peace to my heart.