Larry the Scaredy Cat

tabby cat

Last Sunday my husband and two daughters set out to one of my husbands best friends country home on a mission.  The mission was a top secret one.  At least a secret to be kept from mom.  You see his friend has many cats.  With living in the country many were dumped there and he feeds them.  My husband has been wanting a cat for sometime to hang out with him in his garage and to catch mice that wander into the garage.   He is out numbered with all of the girls in our home and wanted a boy cat.  The secret was kept for about twenty four hours.  On Monday evening I went out to talk to him in his “man space” (he doesn’t like the term “man cave”)  I noticed some animal food, but was focused on our conversation so I hadn’t given it much thought.  Our small dog had followed me out to the garage and was sniffing around wildly.  Again I didn’t give that much thought because that dog is nosy and just kind of weird anyway.  When I called the dog’s name my husband realized she was there and that is when he fessed up to the newest Lucas family member’s presence.   I had to laugh when he said the cat’s name is Larry.  Larry is a fine name for a human being, but sounded hilarious to me for the cat!

This picture above is similar to what Larry looks like, but Larry is too scared to come out of hiding to be loved on let alone have a picture taken.  Larry has scratched my husbands hands and at this point is showing no signs of wanting any sort of friendship.  He comes out to eat when no one is around and dashes to hard to reach corners of the garage whenever anyone enters.  He has literally bitten the hands that feed him.  He doesn’t even come out to my “here kittykittykittykitty” call that has always worked for me when calling to feline friends.  Hopefully over time Larry will start to relax and trust that we are just wanting to show him love and provide for him.

There is another story I have been following on Facebook of a friend of mine.  A stray dog has been coming around his home and the dog has been obviously terrified.  He has been searching for the owners and has been trying to feed the terrified pup.  Over several days the pup has gone from running away if he approached her to now sleeping in a crate in his home on a fluffy warm pillow.  The dog started coming to him and eating from his hand.  He even got a “selfie” photo of he and the frightened pup looming behind him with scared puppy dog eyes.

These two animals have got me to thinking about how we are as human beings when it comes to trusting God.  We hang onto our fears, our pride, our control and cower in the shadows of our guilt and shame.  God patiently waits, calls to us, and reaches to us in so many ways.  His intent, like my husband’s and my friend’s with the cat and dog, is to show us love and to provide for us.  He longs to love us and carry us through this rough journey of life.  His greatest gift being eternal life to those who accept His gift of forgiveness of our sins through Jesus Christ. You see as we lay down more of our life, our guilt, our pride the more He fills us with His love.  There is no greater sense of “home” and “belonging” that I have ever known than through the relationship I have with Jesus.

As these animals lay down their fears they will find that there is a loving caregiver waiting to show them compassion and provide “home” for them.  Are you searching for “home”?

Ephesians 4:22-24 “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Learning to be Faithful and Not to Fear

soccer ball

The question is never if God has my back.  The question is always do I have His?   Last week we received an email about our oldest daughter’s soccer team.  The team manager was checking to see who would like to play indoor soccer and that the games would be on Sunday mornings.  My husband, daughter, and I all talked and unanimously decided that we would not sacrifice going to church on Sunday mornings.   Her outdoor season worked out well with her games at noon on Sunday.  We were able to go to Life Groups, attend worship service, and even get back for Sunday evening service.  Sunday mornings would not work at all even with our church having two bible study and worship times.   My reply to her email simply said that she would like to play, but Sunday mornings just didn’t work for us.  I replied that God is the most important part of our family and that Sunday mornings are about all the time He truly gets.  I went on to say that we could pay and have her on the roster, but she would only be able to play games that weren’t on Sunday morning.  Then thanked her for all of her work because managing any kind of team requires a lot of time.

This my friends is why I know I serve the One and Only true living God and that every word/promise in the Bible is true!  Today I received an email from the team manager that the game schedules had been changed.  That there were no Sunday games on the new schedule and asked if our daughter would still like to play.   This is just one small example of how God has worked each and every time our family or myself has taken a stand or step of faith.  I had even told our daughter that if she is suppose to play this indoor session that God would change the schedule.  He has provided in this way all of my life.  My human sinful nature started to tempt me and I start to fear things like “What will the other parents say?”  “Now she may not get asked to play at all.”  The fearful, doubtful, and worrisome thought list goes on and on.  The sinful thoughts vary based on the decision that I or our family as a whole needs to make.

God already has the answers and plan.  Sometimes His plan is completely different yet always better.  He has my back.  There is no question about that.  Do I have His?  That is the question.  Can I set my human fears, doubts, worries, and selfishness aside?  Can I stand for my faith in a firm yet calm and loving way?

So often there is a misinterpretation of what standing up for faith requires.  Most often it is a calm and simple no.  Then followed by a calm explanation that God is more important than the other option presented.  This is a work within my life that is in progress.  There have been times I have succumbed to the temptation of fear and self.  Times I have failed to be faithful I have missed a blessing.  Every time I have put God first He has overcome all my fears and doubts.  When I trust in Him fully He shows me His awesome power.

Luke 16:10 “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”

1 Corinthians 1:9 “God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

No Fear or Just Desensitized?

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It is rare that I have time to sit and watch television. Sitting and watching a scary movie is yet even more scarce. (Ha Ha scary/scarce) Last night I didn’t feel super great so I wasn’t cleaning, writing, or reading. I found myself alone for a short time. My husband had been watching a zombie movie that I had half way paid attention to. When that movie finished he left to go pick up our daughters and the next movie that came on the television was Silence of the Lambs. Scary movies use to give me terrible nightmares twenty plus years ago so I simply tried to avoid them after learning my lesson the hard way. There are always silly spoofs and references to this movie so I let curiosity get the best of me and decided to watch. It was creepy and the end of the movie did have my heart rate up I must admit. As I went to bed I anticipated that it could be a sleepless night. To my surprise I woke up this morning well rested.

All day I have wondered what the change in me has been in regards to spooky cinema or in general the scary things that can happen in life. It seems there are always terrible evil stories reported by news media so my first thought was that I have been desensitized. To be desensitized I would think means that I no longer care and that is far from true. There are so many situations, evils, and injustices going on in our world right now that are a tremendous burden on my heart and remain in my prayers. So if I am not desensitized what is it then?

As the day continued “fear not” in the biblical context kept coming to mind. Now I cannot say that I am never fearful or get startled. It would be a lie to say I am never anxious. What I kept thinking is that in this life there is trouble, but I know who is ultimately in control. John 16:33 “”I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” There is evil that surrounds us and it seems more so every day. The bible repeatedly quotes God and Jesus stating “Do not be afraid”. There is a continuous promise that He is there and always will be. He has proven Himself faithful time and time again throughout my life. Maybe I am at the point now that I know I am on the winning side no matter what. Sure I have so much more to learn about complete trust and faith. Apparently I am further along now than I was twenty years ago. Who knows what the next twenty years will bring, but what I do know is that God is with me.  I am not going to make it a habit of watching dark movies.  It may be another twenty years before I watch another one.  Garbage in garbage out so I try not to put too much in.

One reference from the movie that I found interesting was the line about coveting. The reference to one of the ten commandments was spot on. Evil actions start with evil thoughts. So even Hollywood really can’t avoid the fact that we sin. That the coveting thoughts we have can turn into dreadful actions if not kept in check. What Hollywood most often avoids is that the remedy for sin and evil is Jesus.

 

So never fear friends I am going to stop typing now and leave you with scripture that I hope assures you of where hope, peace, rest, and fearlessness comes from!!

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Psalms 34:4 “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”