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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves.


Top row (L-R) twin sister Holly/my mom/my little sister Stephs or Stephanie/my dad/Heather 16 months older/james her son he is a twin/Will my little brother/me
Bottom row (L-R) Bre- Holly's daughter, Morgie-pooh, Kenley 7 months older than Morgs Heathers daughter/Madison twin to James.
Growing up on a plot of 20 acres my sisters (and brother) and I had lots of room to roam. I can remember as a young girl going "Outback" and sitting in the tall grass staring at the sky and wondering about God. I wondered why I was here and yet with all of my limited faculties I knew that there was someone so much greater than myself or the earth beneath me.
Well, sadly that land has turned into a dump. My sister went there a couple of weeks ago and took pictures. It was so sad to see all of the hard work, blood, sweat, and miles and miles on a lawn mower that my dad had put into it, gone to pot. I don't even want to go back. The pictures were enough.
Since Heather, Holly, and I were sort of the first round of kids so close in age that meant we did THE MOST yard work. I am not bitter or anything but my little sister and brother totally got off the hook while we spent most of our Saturday mornings working in the yard. There is nothing like hauling firewood in the freezing cold with no gloves in a broken wheelbarrow that would dump over a thousand times before you made it to the end of the hill. We never did ask for a new wheelbarrow because it was my granddaddy's. To this day I never want a real fireplace or land! This is not why I am writing. No one and I mean no one could build a bonfire like my dad. Well, once a year or so we would get a pair of what my mom called saddleoxters--they were saddle shoes from Buster Browns. It seems like that is all we wore besides the traditional keds which to this day my mom still calls kids. Her birthday is coming up, I may have to get her a pair of kids! LOL.
Anyway, we would work and work hauling brush to the brush stack and finally the time would come to burn. The thing had to be manned and we really needed a permit to burn like that if you ask me. We loved it. It was like a small mountain. Anyway, my mom would forbid us to wear our shoes down there and get them burned. In the spirit of obedience we would always rush out with excitement and when the fire started creeping out of its bounds we would stomp it out with our shoes. Well guess what...if you stomp out a fire something is going to get burned! Unless you are Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego with a fourth person in the fire!! And burn our shoes we did...it was a fearful thing to have to go back and report that we had melted our shoes.
So, just like sin there have been pet things in my life that I felt I could keep under control and when the fire got out of hand maybe I could just stomp it out without getting burned. WRONG every time. There are things in the bible that we are told to flee, to run from, to not even go in the same direction of. One of them being idolatry. Anything that is more important to us than God. Two Greed. Three Sexual Immorality. Why these three? Because our hearts are so deceitful (Jer 17:9) that we will convince ourselves that we can dabble a little here and there without going too far and before we can even turn back we have been ensnared. It is scary how deceptive our own hearts and minds are.
So, tonight I read this and I thought of you. It meant so much to me. This is taken from "Look Unto Me" The Devotions of Charles Spurgeon by Jim Reimann
day 207
She caught him by his cloak and said "Come to bed with me!" But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house. Genesis 39:12

From the pen of Charles Spurgeon:
In dealing with certain sins, the only road to victory is a hasty escape. Some naturalists of old wrote of the basilisk, a mythical reptile with a deadly gaze. It was said of the creature that its eyes could fascinate their prey, rendering them easy victims. In like manner, even the mere gaze of wickedness puts us in serious danger. So he who wishes to be safe from acts of evil should be quick to run from any opportunities of it.
We should make "a covenant with [our] eyes" (Job 31:1) not to even look at what may cause temptation, for some sins only need a spark to ignite what quickly becomes a blazing fire. After all, who would knowingly enter a hospital ward where those with a contagious disease have been quarantined? Only someone foolish enough to desire the disease himself would take such a risk. If a sea captain knew how to avoid a storm, he would do anything rather than run the risk of weathering it. Cautious sailors have no desire to see how close to sandbars or a rocky coast they can said without springing a leak. no, their goal is to stay as close as possible to the middle of a safe channel.
If I am exposed to great danger today, may I "be as shrewd as snakes" (Matt. 10:16) to get away and avoid it. The wings of a dove may be more useful to me today than the jaws of a lion. It is true I may appear to be a loser by refusing evil company, but it is better to leave my cloak than lose my character. It is not essential I be rich, but it is incumbent upon me to be pure. No ties of friendship, no desire for beauty, no display of talent, and no threat of ridicule should be able to turn me from the wise resolve to flee from sin. I am to "resist the devil, and he will flee from [me]" (James 4:7), but I must flee "the lustful desires of sinful human nature" (2 Peter 2:18) or they will surely overcome me.

O God of holiness, preserve Your Josephs, protecting them from Madame Bubble [an enchanting witch in the Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyon (1628-1688) based on the adulterous woman in Proverbs]. May she not be able to bewitch them with her vile, sinful temptations. May the horrible trinity of the world, the flesh, and the devil never overpower us!

From the pen of Jim Reimann:

Sometimes there will be a cost to fleeing sin. The cost for Joseph was ultimately being sent to prison as an innocent man. Yet that cost was much better than losing his character. Often people say there was no way out, so they fell to their temptation. But God's Word tells us: "When you are tempted, [God] will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it" (1 Cor. 10:13).
Others say, "My temptation was too great for me," but the same verse says, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear." Still others say, "God doesn't understand my temptation," but "We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are- yet was without sin.
"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need" (Heb. 4:15-16).

_______
So what if you have already fallen and feel like you have blown it when it comes to your character. GET BACK UP and BELIEVE GOD. I am sure you have been disciplined so you know what turn back and strengthen the brethren. Help snatch others from the flames of going down some of the same roads you have been down. Stop listening to the fire breathing liar serpent of old that wants you to feel stamped with condemnation for the rest of your days. If you have repented you are forgiven. He has removed your transgressions as far as the east is to the west. Blotted them out. Hurled them into the depths of the sea.
Whew! I need to go to sleep!!




7 comments:

darla said...

amazing how you always tie it all together, you are a gifted writer..love the pic!

fuzzytop said...

Great post Jenny! Such wisdom and insight. yes, we must flee without hesitation from those things that will ignite a huge blaze from one spark, consuming us before we even know what we have done.

Blessings,
Adrienne

Amanda said...

Great post!

He Knows My Name said...

Wow I love hearing about your life. You wrote this so well. Maybe a book is somewhere here.

As a child I told one of my parents that was my favorite Bible story and I think it still is. Oh I know the 4th man has been in many of my own life fires for sure.

It amazes me to remember back in high school knowing, I really don't know how, that I had to completely give up my closest friend (she was dumping me too for cheerleading and football players) but I knew not to pursue her or fret I needed to be free of her influences and the drugs that held me hostage. I was bold enough then to tell her it was Jesus I wanted not drugs. She looked at me like I was nuts. Only and only by His grace and power did I do it. It still amazes me. I was on a road of destruction and he gently set me on a completely different road.

Thank you Jesus.

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

Great family picture! You are all so beautiful.

I loved this post. It is full of great stuff from the Word - things that I need to hide in my heart and pull out daily!

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

I love, love, love the picture of your family! What a good looking bunch you all are! Your Mom looks SO YOUNG! Wow!

Sounds like you were brought up like our three kids....on a farm doing chores. My kids brought in lots and lots of firewood in their day too. And they spent most all their summers outside playing. They built forts, play houses, dug out caves, rode bikes and go-karts...you name it. I think it is so great to raise kids in the country. But you're right....it IS a lot of work. We still have a wood burning heater and I'm wondering how long hubby and I will be able to keep handling the wood. I'm not as young as I once was! ha

Enjoy reading your blog!

Marilyn....in Mississippi

Anonymous said...

They were saddle oxfords!