Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Dear Friend:

I walked past the bathroom and smelled Lysol spray in the air. Oh boy. Someone just used the bathroom and stunk up the joint. It’s never pleasant. But thank goodness for the spray to give a mist and erase the odor.
When my daughter had the flu, I used that same spray as my arsenal to attack those germs on anything she touched. My family began to beg me to stop spraying, screaming “Mom, the spray is going to make us sick before the flu does.”
I often do things that stink up the atmosphere. I said something I should not have to my friend. I watch TV shows and movies that probably stink up my mind. I even wore a pair of shoes recently that I did not like and I took them back. I am tempted and my decisions are not always clean. I wish I could have had a magical can of spray to get rid of that odor when I screw up and feel condemned. I’m not perfect. No magic spray for this stinky soul condition.
I have been reading about the life of Abraham and Sarah. Sarah, out of impatience to have a child with Abraham, gave her maidservant to her husband so she could carry the baby. She later felt guilty, but made things worse by mistreating that maidservant, Hagar, while she was pregnant.
That decision still bears consequences to this day, as the entire region that came from their son, Ishmael, remains in unrest.
Still, God was patient with Abraham and Sarah’s impatience, and chose to accredit them with righteousness.
I identify with Abraham and Sarah. I can be impatient, quick-tempered, striving, doubting, worried and lacking peace. Just plain old stinky!
But Abraham and Sarah held their own son, Isaac, in the end and laughed. Their journey was filled with some odor yet the fresh scent of God’s spray (which was His promise) refreshed them and gave them joy. He loved them no matter what.
As I completed their story, I had a fresh spray of perspective. Just as Lysol works on eliminating nasty germs and odors, God sanitizes me and cleans up my mess. With both, I receive a fresh start and have renewed confidence.
PRAYER: God I know I stink up life at times. Thank You for Your covenant with me. Your word is truth. Help me to be refreshed by it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers” (Genesis 17:1-2 NIV).


Dear Friend:

“MI POOKY” were the words on the car license plate I was driving behind. The phrase reminded me of all the endearing salutations I look forward to from my husband each Valentine’s Day. Admittedly my favorite is Honey Bun. I have to celebrate the day, don’t I? I feel guilty even questioning it. I regretfully think of the pressure of squeezing another thing into my already full schedule. It’s bittersweet. Love is what makes the world go round, yet I just got finished paying off my Christmas debt.
It drags me down when I start thinking about Valentine’s Day and the commercialism. Emotions rise up within as another Hallmark Holiday rolls around. But then the license plate caught my eye. Exchanging words of endearment with our friends, family and significant others should cost me nothing! Years ago, I started a tradition of preparing a red meal. Everything from the plates to the drinks and food is red. It’s a challenge but my family is hooked. Especially when they receive homemade love coupons that can be redeemed for back rubs.
The Holy Spirit gently guides me back to God’s love command so eloquently stated in the King James Version. “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7).
My computer wants me to auto correct this verse. For me seeing it in this version causes me to read it slowly. Love! It reassures me and allows me to rest as I put my head on my pillow. In my waking moments it permeates my soul with a desire to continue living.
A Google search of the origin of Valentine’s Day reveals it started with a Roman Saint named Valentine. The world’s blitz of love symbolized in red, pink and white celebrates a tradition that dates back nearly 2,000 years. Our greeting card, the Bible, emphasizes its greatest symbol of love “The Cross” with its origin occurring over 2000 years ago.
PRAYER: Bless me with the ability to love you Lord with thine heart, soul and with all thy might. Help me to express this love to others that you put on my heart right now. May it give you glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.