The coffee cup

coffee_cup

The other morning I filled my coffee cup and went out to do some stuff in the garage. Well, me being me, I got wrapped up with things and when I went back into the house I forgot the cup. Then just couldn’t remember where I’d left it. I looked all over but never found it. Until today, about 3 or 4 days later. Well, I took it in the house and poured it out and rinsed it. But, after rinsing it, I looked and it was stained. I tried washing it out properly only to find that the stain didn’t want to come out. So, I filled it with water and added some soap thinking that would surely get the stain out. And……it didn’t work. I knew it was clean, well at least sanitary but it was still stained. Sometimes I have a stubborn streak and don’t want to give up and made a dilute bleach solution in the cup and let it soak. For some reason I started wondering about some of the other cups and even though they had all been washed they all had some staining just from the day to day use for coffee. Well, I figured bleach one, bleach them all. I did and all are clean and without stains.

That got me thinking about sin; how it stains or souls and no matter how much we try on our own, we can’t wash away the sins. We can stop sinning but that doesn’t remove the stain. We can go to the Lord and ask forgiveness and through the blood of Christ those sins will be washed away, the stains will be removed.

5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 1:5-6

7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:7-9

 

But, if we continue to live in some kind of sin and continue to enjoy what we received from sinning, the stains will return. He wants us to become different people or Him. He will help us with that, but we still must make the decision daily serve Him or live with sin and allow the stains to come back.

16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Isaiah 1:16-17

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Proverbs 28:13

 

No, He doesn’t want us to continue living with sin, He wants to wash it away for us, but He also wants us to cease from sinning and give up those things we derived from sin.

 

Lord, I worship You and thank You for all the blessings You give me. I thank You for washing away my stains through the sacrifice Christ made for me. I pray in the name of Jesus that You continue to work on me, help me better avoid sin so the stains do not return. Help me recognize any sin I may be covering and to put away all evil. I pray that You work on me to help me be the Christian that You Wish me to be that I may be a proper servant for You. Draw us all to You. Help my Loved ones know Your truth and to see their stains and prepare their hearts to know You, Your truths and wishes for them. I thank You for my salvation and the forgiveness You gave me.

Amen

 

I hope you all receive some sort of blessing today and that you have a chance to bless someone else as well. Thank You for finding time to visit my blog.

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The Vines

 

vines

 

I am getting ready to head to the home town for a couple days to do some more work at my parents’ house. So much to do and little time to do it but it all needs done and if I don’t get it done it will keep building up. The auction is underway and actually ends later this week. I am praying that God has His hand on that and the auction is successful. He will be sure to take care of that according to what He knows so I do have that knowledge to comfort me. At this time some of the work I would like to do to the house is by necessity on hold due to things being in the way. But, there is still more than enough to keep me busy. The next couple days is going to be spent working in the yard. Thankfully the weather is better for that and not brutally hot.

My mom loved plants, all kinds, flowers, shrubbery, trees and vines. She would know which was good and which were essentially weeds. But, the vines are the ones with which I must contend now. Many of the vines have grown up and over the fence and boy have they done so, but while growing they have gotten a bit out of hand, they cover the fence some over the gates so opening and closing them is difficult at times. They are EVERYWHERE! The fence is covered and trying to remove them has been a chore. They weave in and out of the fence. And, since the fence needs to come out eventually, the vines need removed.

Thinking about the fence, the vines and the way they have just about gotten to the point where it doesn’t even look like there is a fence there I realized that sin can be like that. We start out with a nice fence, whether a privacy fence to keep out unwanted things or to keep things in. Then, somehow a vine starts to grow, maybe something a neighbor planted sends a small branch over, perhaps an animal has carried a seed and that takes root. They start to slowly grow and since it doesn’t seem like a bad thing and perhaps may look kind of nice, you don’t pull it out and instead leave it to grow. But, like sin, once it finds somewhere to grow it grows, and grows and grows. Spreading further into one’s fence, into one’s life to the point that, if not diligent it essentially takes over. Sin can take root like that, sin rarely starts out as a massive thing, it starts as a small thing that if ignored, because it isn’t that bad, it grows, it weaves itself into our lives and can eventually take over. I have had things in my life that were sins, things that didn’t seem like a big deal, sometimes realizing that it was there but also thinking, “oh that is nothing much, it’s just a little small thing and won’t do any harm.” In fact, sometimes one sees sin and thinks it will be somewhat beneficial so not only is it ignored, at times growth is encouraged because one thinks they can control it and use the sin for our own good. Sadly, that is rarely the case and over time we get lost in the sin, it creeps over the fence of our lives, weaving in and out and gradually it has taken over. It does so slowly so from day to day we don’t realize it until it seems too late. Choking out the good things in our lives. We realize it is no longer beneficial, but rather detrimental and has to be dealt with in order to make things right. Just like I now need to work to remove the vines one needs to remove the sin. But, the amount there, the way it has taken over our life it seems to be an overwhelming task and nearly impossible and for humans it would be impossible. But there is a master gardener, a groundskeeper of our souls, who can wipe out those vines. He won’t do it if we don’t “hire him” and ask Him to clean off the fences and get rid of those things. But, if we do, He will remove the sins from our lives and make us like new. We may have to deal with remnants of the sin for a while, just like some of the tendril of the fine may be more difficult to completely eradicate than others, He will help us as we struggle with those things and strengthen us while weakening the hold sin has in our lives.

I realized that many vines had become big issues for me over the years. But, Christ has helped with them and removed all manner of sin from my life. He has made me better. A better person and far better Christian than I had been for many years. What an amazing Lord we serve. Oh, He still has work to do, things to help me with to remove any remnants of things I need out of my life, but He strengthens me by cleansing all those things.

The sin, like the vines, at times seemed harmless and maybe even helpful, so I ignored them and thinking about that, I realized (yeah, its a simple concept but sometimes one gets an aha moment when they finally recognize to what point things have gotten) that due to tolerance, complacency, willingness and sometimes even desire for certain benefits I allowed the sin to creep in and take over some parts of my life.

 

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].  1 Corinthians 10:13

He will give me the ability to overcome the temptation and avoid letting it grow if I seek Him and His strength.

 

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:8-9

If I pretend the sin does not exist or that even if I recognize it I ignore it I am simply deceiving myself. But, when I admit to the sin He will cleanse me.

 

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.   2 Corinthians 5:17

 

He cleanses the sins. He renews me. He makes me a new creature. He removes those vines of sin from the fences and restores me to that which He would have me to be for His glory.

 

Lord,

I praise Your Holy Name and thank You for the little lessons that show me my failures and shortcomings, for showing me those vines of sin I have allowed into my life and helping me remove them to become what You would have me become. I thank You for my salvation and the forgiveness You give me. I pray in the name of Jesus that You continue to show me what vines need removed, what areas I need to further clean to become what You plan for me. Help others see the things they need to remove so they are able to follow You and take the paths You plan for them. Draw us all closer and teach us how to seek You and how to be the Christians You wish. Help us all better know how to seek Christ. I pray You bring loved ones and others to You and give them the better lives through Jesus.

Amen

 

Thanks for your time. I hope that some of the lessons that really are simple things that I for some reason finally see in a way that helps me understand are helpful to others as well. I hope everyone has a chance to be a blessing to someone today and that you have a blessed day as well.

My Lab coat was stained.

kids-doctor-costume

I wear lab coats at work. White lab coats because that is what color I am supposed to wear. I wear them because that’s what doctors are supposed to do, but also to protect my clothes from things. The lab coat gets dirty and stained so my clothes don’t. Well, a while back I was going about my activities at work and when I took the ink pen out of my pocket and started to use it I made a huge ink smear on the paper. I look, and, lo and behold, there was ink on my finger, the pen had leaked. I look on my lab coat, and yup, big ink spot there too.

Ink is HARD to get out of clothes. Especially white clothes, without other color present to help it be less noticeable. But, I tried to use alcohol wipes to get some of it out. Helped a little, someone said try hydrogen peroxide. So, I diluted some and tried. Nope, no good. When I got home I tried several things on the stain and none seemed to do much. I had a HUGE ink spot right where it was could be seen. If I can’t remove it, I will have to conceal it. Then, as I was trying to leave one supposed stain remover on it I started looking to make sure there were no other stains. As I looked, I saw little places were some blood got on it and it had been washed, since that time, so should have been clean, the evidence of blood was still there. And, other areas had little stains from betadine, an iodine like liquid we use to prepare the skin before various procedures to help get rid of any bacteria so we can decrease the risk of infections. But, that stuff stains badly and is hard to get out too. As I looked, I saw so many different stains I hadn’t noticed before. Blemishes in the appearance of the lab coat. Not bad, and others probably wouldn’t have noticed, but I did, when I looked. So, I tried treating those, but the stains were set in by prior washings and all so I didn’t know if that would do any good or not, but I was going to try to get rid of the stains.

OK, great, so you have a stained lab coat, so what? As I was treating those stains it occurred to me that sometimes, often, we as humans realize we have stains in our lives, sins, that we try to treat, remove, cover up, somehow make it so others won’t notice them. We try to do things, acts of kindness, charity, live as we should. BUT, we don’t always actually go to the One that can actually remove the stains. We may go to God, but because of our attitudes as we do so, we only get a quick touch up on things but don’t sincerely confess to Him or fully surrender. That was like my trying to do something about the stains, but not fully committing to getting it truly clean and white. Some of the laundry facilities over a quick service. They don’t really fully clean the suit you take in, they do some kind of touch up, quick press and there you go. It may sorta look clean, but deep down, it isn’t. When we go to Christ wanting to get this or that sin forgiven, but don’t fully commit and ask for forgiveness of all or fully surrender all to Him, we get, in our minds, cleanish, not clean, but we justify by saying the big spot is gone. Well, sadly, that is an insincere approach and in our minds it may be such that the sin we were worried about is forgiven, we haven’t actually surrendered to Him. And, God does not want us half way.

13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Revelations 3:13-16

Going to God for redemption of one thing, when we have many that need dealt with I being luke warm. He will spew us out. The same as if we go to Him, asking forgiveness for something, then leave church intending to do more of what we just confessed to Him and for which we were forgiven. If we give half hearted, noncommitted confessions, it displeases God.

But, there is GOOD NEWS for us. If we go to Jesus, confess our sins and truly mean it, He will forgive us, we WILL have redemption through His blood. He can take the stained lab coat of my life and wash it for me, remove stains I cannot remove on my own and make it just like brand new. Not even a tiny stain. He promises, and delivers, forgiveness and redemption for all that confess and ask for the forgiveness and recognize that Christ is the Son of God, sent to defeat death and bring us life eternal. All we have to do is seek Him, give Him the sins, let Him clean us so we are pure.

13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:13-18

A lot of people like to quote John 3:16, and that I certainly a powerful verse and message. BUT, when you read it in context you see that He requires that we believe in Christ, and that He was sent by God for our redemption. BUT, we must believe, and believe fully. We are required to make a complete and total confession, a sincere confession. Partial just don’t cut it.

God, I worship Your Holy Name and that of Your Son, Christ. I thank You for the mercy and sacrifice that was made for me. I ask that You continue to work in my life, help me fully give up all things to You, that I hold nothing back, that I not be lukewarm in any manner, but that I be fully committed. I ask You to work with others that they may seek You totally and completely as well. Give us all the heart of Christ. Show all your plans for them. Draw us all closer. Reach out to those unsaved, through me and others. that we give them what they need to desire You. I thank You for my salvation and the chance You give me to serve You.

Amen

I hope everyone gets their own stains completely cleaned, that you get all he has for you. Thank to all that visit my blog. I hope it blesses someone. And, remember, please, be a blessing to at least one other person today. There are a lot of folks in need of some sort of blessing so you will have the chance.