School of Hard KnotsMay 21, 2007
Proverbs 16:17 “The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.”
This is a dangerous time to post as a lot of things are on my heart, there’s a million things to be done around here, Ella, our cocker spaniel, just had four puppies, (the father, “Solomon” is also a cocker spaniel and seems curious.) I have to make a run to Kalamazoo in a little while, and commenting may be done on issues; the complete details of which are still not completely understood. Yet I’m drawn to this keyboard as a way of almost “thinking out loud” and inviting others to point out things that I may be missing.
The campout was a real blessing; although,as usual, I go into such events expecting spiritual fireworks and instead it becomes another outing with the majority of time taken up by various activities. Yet it was proof that kids can have a great time without all of the allurements of the world being at their fingertips. The most comical moments came when the campgrounds pier going out onto Lake Chapin was filled with noisy scouters fishing at the same time. Hooks flying everywhere and yet nobody was caught. Ryan really likes fishing and this is a positive because when a kid is fishing, he’s not parked in front of a tv or some other pipeline that the enemy uses to infiltrate the minds of our youth. (In fact, televisions, gameboys, and other such devices were not to be brought along. Yet everyone had a good time. Imagine that.)
I spent a great deal of time this weekend undoing knots. Twenty or so scouters fishing in a small area will yield knots that you never knew were possible to make. I think it must be how the Lord feels when we constantly bring him our knots. In fact, the day that he brought me out of the season of rebellion, this was the analogy that I used. I told him that I had really made a tangled up knot of my life and asked him to please start unravelling it. (In fact I was even remembering how I used to bring knots to my dad as a kid because I knew that he could unravel them.) Today; he’s still unravelling. I have complications in my life that exist because of decisions made while backslidden. The Lord forgave me and the peace of God in my life is greater than at any other time. Yet the seeds sown during that time still produce fruit and as such I have to be all the more cautious.
Ryan seems to like fishing better than almost any other activity; even playing baseball. I would wake Ryan up in the morning, he would look at me with that “half awake look” and utter “I think I’ll go fishing.” So there he would be, on the pier before breakfast, hair sticking straight up on one side of his head, trying to get a bite. If he could have spent the entire weekend on the pier fishing, he would have been perfectly content. On moment that would have been comical had danger not been a factor was when a water moccasin was swimming around the pier and kids jumped in with nets trying to catch it before anyone could stop them. Praise God that nobody got bit, hooked, or injured in any way.
One thing that I’ve noticed lately; something that was amplified during the weekend, is the number of grandparents that are raising grandkids. Whenever such a situation is in play, one knows that the normal flow of events has been interrupted. It could be from an illness or untimely death, or it could be from certain folks not wanting to be responsible for their own. Nonetheless, I know of several such cases. Ryans closest friend is in such a situation as his mom simply doesn’t care for him. (And she’s currently pregnant again) One lady who was there is raising three grandkids. The two boys are both in scouts while the daughter is only four years old. Their dad passed away from a drug overdose and she really didn’t say too much about their mom. She is a sweet lady and she runs a tight ship with the grandkids, but she needs to know Jesus. This is a family that needs much prayer and there’s a sense that the daughter, “Carpathia” is going to be up against a lot of adversity more than the rest.
The battles; the neverending conflict for the hearts of men, goes on relentlessly. It takes place when we’re prayed up and when we’re in a carnal state of mind. It takes place nonstop and we never know when a persons time will be over. One thing that’s been driven home to me as of late is the importance of being atuned to this very thing. It’s a neverending battle and it’s growing in intensity. If we’re not walking close to the Lord Jesus now, we’ll be woefully unprepared for the times in which the agents of deceit are free to unleash their arsenal of signs and lying wonders. I pray that we all would draw ever closer to the Lord and as such be prepared for whatever comes our way.
Yesterday, Ryan and I returned home and Morgan came over as well. Her attitude seemed angrier than usual and it sometimes seems as though she’s determined to turn the rest of the kids against us. This could be my imagination running amock, but she has, in times past, done things which are contrary to the well being of the household. This is a situation in which one must be mindful of the spiritual warfare that’s in play and not succumb to the temptation to speak out from a carnal perspective. To be firm insofar as not allowing nonsense to take place here, and yet praying and searching for opportunituies to share the gospel. To be mindful that when I came to Jesus, it was a supernatural “revealing” that I was lost and undone. Morgan needs to understand that she needs Jesus, but I can’t “make” her understand it.
I would write II Timothy 2:24-26 here, but I’ve copied it down so many times in the past that I run the risk of becoming a “one-verse-wonder.”
I can offer truth when opportunities arise, not be sidetracked by the tricks of the enemy, and pray that the Lord will open Morgans eyes; along with this household. Sometimes I feel as though I’m somewhat “on the shelf” because I’m not in the streets of a major metropolitan area proclaiming the gospel. (Such is a desire that I cannot escape) Yet all of us; regardless of where we are, are in the thick of battle 24/7. Whenever we decide to take it easy or relax, we should remember that there are entities just waiting for us to give them some space. The second that we let our guard down, they’ll be all over it. This verse just came to mind; although it needs to be read with the surrounding verses to acquire the full meaning.
James 1:14 “But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”
I need to go. I have to get to kalamazoo. The puppies are doing well. One is solid brown while three are brown and white like Solomon. (Ella is a buff color) Ella is doing really well; especially for this being her first litter. Sorry for rambling. I just saw that a major battle is taking place at a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon at this moment. My understanding is that the Lebanese army has been battling insurgents who are held up in the camp. Without a doubt, action must be taken to root out these jihadists, and yet one cannot help but to think of the souls who are in harms way. Souls; be they Lebanese, Palestinians, or any others who may be in the vicinity, are priceless. These are very sobering times and this situation in Lebanon is unfolding by the hour. I pray that we all would be atuned to the Spirit as we never know what a day will bring forth. Until next time, I wish all a great day in Christ.