When I forced the small cow out of Zikkiie’s mouth, his look seemed to say, “Why can’t I have it? Why does that wild little kitten get everything?“ His sorry changed to extreme joy when I handed him the pig Morgan had bought. Zikkie bounded around, biting and biting, with the pig squeaking and squeaking. Jello rushed in to see about all the noise and rushed out again carrying another pig I had tossed to her.
“Oh no,“ said Zikkie, who dropped his pig and, leaving his fun toy lying on the floor, ran after Jello.
I thought, “How dumb.“ Then I remembered – that very morning, as I sat on the porch “praying” (or whining “in the presence of the Lord”), I was focusing on how my legs were causing me trouble. I had “left lying on the floor” all the wonderful gifts that the Father had provided for me to, instead, go after something that at my age I probably wasn’t going to get. Zikkie could tell me, “How dumb.”
We like to quote (usually to somebody else), 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your cares on Him because he cares for you.” Cares and cares: My cares are my responsibilities that cause me anxiety, “What if I can’t? What if I fail?”
God’s care comes from His love and understanding, All of 1 Peter 5:1-11 reflects how He, our Father, is trying to help me see how to handle what I’m facing. Because of my relationship with Him (vs. 6), I can humbly take direction from others (vs. 5) and not try to get my jobs done by “lording it over” others—taking over, demanding (vs.3). Also Father reminds me that I do have an active enemy, the devil, who wants to devour me, to make me hopeless, useless (vs. 8-9).
And (vs.11) in all of life, it is our God Who is to look good (glory) and Who is in charge (dominion).
In Phoenix, Arizona, just use whatever bathroom you come to first. I’m dense mentally, but I’m not the only one. In February, the Phoenix City Council voted to allow admission of any man or woman to all public toilet facilities. Now, why would you do that? Why would you even want to do that? Vote, I mean. Ok, ok, political expediency. But why even demand it? Why force other people to be uncomfortable over something that should cause you no trouble? It must be the forcing that you’re after. There is no problem that I can understand. If you are dressed as a woman and can fool the public, you use the women’s restroom; if you are dressed as a man, the men’s.
Written by Jane Freuler
Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20). I thought that it meant to give money toward activities that further the kingdom of God instead of buying stuff for myself that can and will be destroyed–yes, by moth and rust and theft but also, as I’ve noticed, by mice and falling trees and tornadoes and even by misplacing something so it can’t even be used. This is true, but the verse is in a context that points to more types of treasure. Some of our treasures on earth that we try to acquire are an impressive reputation (for years I’ve wanted to be impressive) or an ease of living (we worry and struggle to be sure we are well cared for).
But there are other magnificent treasures that we can lay up in heaven for ourselves. We can have a memorial before God like Cornelius did by his spending time in prayer and taking care of others who had needs (Acts 10:1-4,31). And Malachi 3:16-17 says that in heaven there is a book of remembrance where God has written the names of those whose conversations reflect that they take God seriously. God says that those people will be part of His own possession. Now THAT would be a seek to lay up for ourselves in heaven.
– Jane Freuler
Absolutely – what I write is for me. This morning I was moaning about “just going through the motions of my life” and not “feeling it.”
Last night, my emotions of love and eagerness were strong toward Jesus, but so much of my life is not like that. What is wrong with me? What should I be doing? — Echo: I be doing? I be doing?
Much in the Bible gives commands to follow which, surely, I am to diligently attempt to do, but my life does not depend on me. Frequently, we are told that it is God who is able, willing, and even determined to grow us to be more like Jesus.
As I was pondering this, suddenly the piece “Dancing – A Parable” came to my mind. Dancing with Mr. Drill is my attempting in my own strength, to keep whatever law I have set for myself (a list to check off). Mr. Thrill doesn’t show up very often (that’s for sure).
But Mr. Will, a very good dancer and easy to follow, will lead me in my life dance for the King if I diligently (diligently!) let myself be led—depending on and obeying—yes, by the Spirit of the King.
– Jane Freuler
I went to work with a team that danced in honor of the King. My first partner was a fellow named Mr. Thrill, who was a very good dancer, so my job was extremely enjoyable to me.
One day Mr. Thrill did not show up for work, and I had to dance with a fellow named Mr. Drill. After several days of this, I complained to the supervisor, who said, “Oh, no, no. We fired Mr. Drill. He should not even be here. But Mr. Thrill only works part time. When he isn’t here, you’ll have another partner.”
I went back to work, and was assigned a partner named Mr. Will who, in my opinion, wasn’t much better than Mr. Drill. When I grumbled, Mr. Will said to me, “Think about it. You like the wages, and Mr. Thrill is not dependable. You never know when he’s going to show up. So either dance or quit.”
It was true. I did like the wages. Day after day, as I danced with Mr. Will, I discovered that he was such a good dancer, I could quit focusing on my work so much and spend more time watching the King and enjoying dancing for Him.
I seldom come into work and find Mr. Thrill waiting for me, but sometimes I think that if Mr. Will shaved his mustache and took off his glasses, he would look a lot like Mr. Thrill. Sometimes I wonder.
— Jane Freuler
Jello is barking at a fly. How can I pray to the great God of the universe when this stupid dog is barking at a fly.
I sat down in my big chair to talk to my heavenly Father about the difficulties of my situation, the people and even potential threats that I’m facing. I must tell Him about this, but how can I concentrate. Jello, my stocky white terrier, has planted herself, tensed for a fight, in the middle of my bed, which is as high as she can get, to rid us of this dangerous thing.
“That’s stupid. To bark at a fly is stupid,” I yell to try to stop her yelling.
Now wait a minute. Maybe God, My Father, is trying to tell me something. At II Corinthians 4:17 Paul uses the words “momentary, light afflictions.” I have, as my personal Father, the wise and strong God, Who is totally capable of handling anything life can throw at me. The things that worry me do not worry Him. My forgetting Who He is and focusing totally on my troubles is not really praying. As someone once said, “It (my trouble) may be the truth, but it’s not the whole truth.” The whole truth includes the love and capability of my Father and His involvement in my life.
So when I just worry, even calling it “being in the presence of the Lord,” I am actually barking at flies, and that’s stupid.
Thank you, Jello.
— Jane Freuler