Hungry For All The Small Things

It’s 3:33 in the afternoon, I just looked at the time.  3:33.  Interesting time for me…although I’m not sure why, seems it’s that time a lot whenever I look at the time, and it took on even more of a meaning when I watched a certain movie a month ago, The Fourth Kind, I believe it was…the point that it’s almost a scary time.  However, 333, is also supposed to be a Godly number so…who knows.  I just started writing my blog, so…I guess it’s all good.  I’ve stated in a previous post somewhere that I usually start writing on a Saturday, to catch everyone up on my week, then finish up on Sunday with sermon notes, message, and interpretation, application, etc.  I didn’t get to do that last week and I didn’t get to do it this week either…life is starting to get in the way.

But is that such a bad thing?  Is it really a bad thing that I now have things to do on Saturdays that keep me from having all that time available?  No…it’s not a bad thing, but it’s something I need to start figuring out in order to make the most of my blog still, because it is important to me, and because of my commitment to it, I need to make sure I get my time in for it that I need so that it doesn’t ever feel like a chore…as glorifying God should never be a chore.

So…yeah…last week I ranted about our daughter.  Was anything resolved?  Did my prayers for her to straighten up get answered?  Hmmm…no.  In fact, her mouth got her suspended from school for three days over a holiday weekend…so it’s much longer than three days.  Why does it feel like when the kid gets suspended that they are on vacation and the parents on the ones on suspension?  Well, so there’s still work and prayers to be done there, and while we’ve had talks, time will tell…and that’s all that we can do, keep praying and waiting to see what God and the future, along with her own choices have in store for her.

We hung out with my mother-in-law quite a bit this week, which is always nice, getting to know her is a great experience both for me and for my wife.  I’ve never really gotten the chance to know her, considering the time that I’ve spent around her before we moved here was limited because of distance and mostly just saw each other around certain holidays.  For my wife, the situation was kind of the same, however, her mother was just a different person then.  Life had her down…and now that she’s made a drastic change in it, she’s a different person, a happy, positive, fun person to be around that my wife never knew before, and she’s loving every minute of getting to know that person.  I love that for her, because before, she was missing such a big part of herself and her heart because of a strained relationship with her mother, and now, it’s all falling into place, just because of the opportunity of being closer in distance and because we took that leap of faith and convinced her mother that we were going to have a family with her come hell or high water!

We also met up with a young man earlier this week that we had met previously at one of the stores we frequent, but had finally gotten a chance to actually talk with him.  He actually lives near us, so we opened ourselves to the opportunity to friendship with him and invited him over to our house.  He’s quite a bit younger than us, but he’s a cool kid and fun to hang out with and talk to, so that was nice.  And later that evening, we had plans to meet up with a group of people that my wife had arranged.  They were an older crowd, more my age, hers and up, but that was really fun too, a great group of people, whom, since, we’ve had a dinner party with…one of the guys made an amazing spaghetti sauce, or shall I say “gravy.”

We also had a taco night with a friend that we met a few weeks ago when we first moved here from a social meeting group, that was,  a much smaller function, which I tend to appreciate.  Yet, all in all, as far as meeting people and making new friends, it’s been an abundant week for us, which is what has kept me busy…and it is often said that no one is ever so rich as to deny a new friend.  Now, I’m not typically one to have a lot of friends, so this is new to me, but I moved out here to be the best person I can be, and if God is seeing it fit to put these people in my path, then who I am to walk away from them, lest they walk away from me?  Thus I’m starting my blog on Sunday instead of Saturday.

So what not-so-wonderful things happened this week?  Other than things with our daughter?  (Because right now I refuse to make this all about her)  Well, my wife lost her medicine…but found her food-stamp card in the process of looking for it, which she thought she had cut up and thrown away before we even moved.  But thanks be to God, because there was money on it and we needed food.  It had been under the cushions on the couch…which was on the moving truck that whole time!!  So now do I gripe about all the shrink and tape they used on my couch, even though it messed up one of the cushions?  Hmmmm….

My GPS (Garmin Piece of Shit) has been trying to get me lost all over Tempe and Phoenix, waiting until the last minute to tell me exactly where I need to be going, to the point that I really just want to go back to printing up directions on mapquest or ask the person at the destination to send up smoke signals.  But…in a way, it’s helping me learn my way around in the fact that the more it messes up, the more I have to find my own way!  Yes, I panic.  No, I should not be on a dark road with five or six strip clubs, therefore, I should find a way off that road as soon as possible.  No, I cannot wait for the GPS to acquire satellites, I need to acquire my own sense of direction…quickly!  Thank you, God for both the ability to invent and the ability for such inventions to go awry, so that we may learn patience and confidence in ourselves.

My air conditioning in my truck went out, or at least something isn’t working right in the front ventilation system…perhaps a fuse?  I don’t know, I haven’t checked on it yet.  I have no need to…I have a love seat taking up the entire rear of the truck right now so I have no major need to drive it.  I’m not fretting at the moment because, honestly, I’m used to being the one with no A/C.  It bites.  I have the newer vehicle and still…no air…in ARIZONA!!!!  I’ll figure it out, I’m pretty sure God won’t let me die from lack of air in my car when He’s the one that told me to come here knowing that this is the only vehicle I have and will have for a very long time.

I’m battling a cold.  I had one last week, it never really went away…it only got a little better, then came back with more vengeance.  It’s not fun, I don’t like it, and I can’t afford to go to the doctor because, at the moment, I’m uninsured.  However, God placed a woman in my life that is an amazing caretaker, and placed the worse pill taker in my life, our daughter, so it just happens that we have our own little “as needed” pharmacy of extra antibiotics that never got finished because so-and-so was feeling better two days after she went to the doctor.  So that, plus over the counter, and plenty of TLC, puts me in a pretty good place to get well.  It didn’t stop me from going to church this morning, even though I could barely drag myself out of bed, and nothing was going to stop me from singing out all those worship songs like it was my own little concert.  I so badly want to be up on that stage one day!  ::praying::

So…church!  I went, and while it wasn’t Cal delivering the message today, it was still a good message…about “All The Small Things.”  Hmmm…all the small things.  Like all those things I talked about back there?  Nothing major happened this week to speak of that I can shout from the mountains and praise God for that anyone will say…”Oh my!  It’s a miracle!”  Nah, but little ones happen all the time.  God is in every part of our daily lives and to not recognize it can be insulting…I would think.  It’s like a couple weeks ago when I was running a cable line across the apartment to our daughter’s room so she could have cable in her room.  I had a bunch of trouble getting it there, and because it’s off two, two-way splitters and a connector, the picture isn’t the greatest.  When she got home from school, we told her she had cable in there, she saw I was working hard on it, I told her the picture wasn’t great on some channels, she said “it’s not like I watch t.v in there anyway.”  She left it at that and walked away.  It was kind of a kick in the junk, considering I put the time into doing something nice for her so she would have it available to her if she wanted, then when she had it, she shrugged it off like it was nothing.  I told her she could at least be thankful for me trying, which she never was.  Teenagers.  But the point is, it was something small and menial to her…it’s just cable, and it’s something she really doesn’t watch much in her room, only in the living room….so why should she be thankful for it?  If it’s something small, we’re not quick to notice it, and if we do notice it, we don’t often give thanks for it.  And we fail to recognize that sometimes those small things can be life changing, or can add up to that really big thing.  Our pastor said today that you can’t look down on what God can see is possible, and puts there for you in your path, sometimes those small things can turn out to be big things…and overlooking those small things, can be costly.

It’s like in the song by Blink 182, All The Small Things.  Now I’m sure the band may not have written the song about God, but, as you can tell, it’s my style to swap it up on you!  We know God as our truth, we know He cares about us, it’s almost a trip…the things we know He’s capable of doing for us and we’re amazed that, despite what we do in life, we feel assured that He is there for us.  Our day goes on, the night comes around, it may or may not have gone bad, and we still rely on Him to get us through, and He does, but all those small things that He’s done for us day after day, rarely gets acknowledged, unless it’s something big and obvious, like a surprise (flowers), then we remember that He did it for us.  We forget that He is our source of everything and we are His instruments, his windmills, if you will, that keep things moving here on earth FOR him, and if we just keep still long enough, open our hearts, minds, and ears, we might just be open enough to all his blessings and see all that it is that He done for us that we should be thankful for.  Pretty cool, huh?

Zecheriah – 4:10 Who dares despise the days of small things….

Luke 16:10 – Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with very much.  So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?  And if you have not be trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?

The little things count, brothers and sisters, acknowledge them, be thankful for them.  We have a dry erase board on our fridge that says “Thank You God For…” and then we just start filling things out as the week goes on.  It’s mostly little things.  The first week it was for the Sparkletts water guy showing up when we discovered how terrible the water tasted and wondered what we were going to do about it.  If something is there to just remind you, sometimes, to thank God for the little things, it’s amazing how easy it is to remember what little things happened that may have been God’s work just for you.  Not just coincidence.  We’ve gotten ourselves into the habit of thanking God many many times a day over the last few months from a previous sermon at our last church, and we’ve recently changed the board up, and it now reads,  “What We Will Do For God.”

It’s fairly appropriate considering we just changed it this week and learned, with this weeks service, that part of glorifying God is not just to attend church every Sunday and call it good.  Not that we did that in the first place…we put an effort into our Christian walk but have been trying really hard to put more into it, find our place, put in our service somewhere, give just as much for Him as he gives for us.  After all, God loves us so much, that I couldn’t possibly think of doing anything less than my best for Him.  He even told us of His love in Isaiah 43

But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush[a] and Seba in your stead.
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
7 everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”

So He loves us all so much that He will gather us all to be with Him in His kingdom.  Those of us whom have taken Him as our savior and live in His light and walk in a path of righteousness to the best of our ability Trust that He knows that we’re not all perfect, for He made us, and He knows what we’re capable of, and not capable of, but He knows that it’s also our choice to be His disciple and walk toward Him or away from Him, to glorify Him or trash Him.  I choose to glorify, in almost every way I can, this blog being one of them.  What are the other ways?  There are so many ways in our daily lives from the moment we wake up to the moment we drift off to sleep.

Col 3:15 – Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1 Thess 4:11 – and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

1 Peter 4:11 – If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Wherever you are, be all there, live to the hilt every situation you believe to the be will of God.  – Jim Elliot –

1 Cor 10:31 – So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

So being a follower, a disciple of Jesus, is a full time thing, it’s not just on Sundays.  It’s not a hobby.  It’s a lifestyle.  It’s a life.  You pick up your cross and go, everyday and all day!  If you sin, you bear it, and keep moving.  You find your deeds and do them.  You do all that you should do to bear fruit for the Lord, show others the way back onto the path if you can.  Want it just as bad as He did.  I do.  Do everything, look for everything, not just the big things that are right there in your face, but the little things too, that you might accidentally step over if you’re not watching closely.  Be hungry for God.

I’m hungry for Him.  I’m hungry for everything He can give me and hungry for anything I can give for Him and His people.  I’m still searching, feeling like I’m searching aimlessly for my place in this world, in this community, even within my church, for a spot to fit in to consider myself of service to Him.  I want to know all there is to know, I want to hear all there is to hear, I want to hear Him just as loud as I heard Him that one day that my life changed, I’m hunting for Him and that constant feeling of closeness with Him and the sense of satisfaction I get through Him, through His blessings and mercy.  I get a charge when I see and hear of blessings in other people’s life and maybe because of something I’ve done when I’ve helped them out through messages of Christ.  It’s powerful, He’s powerful.  He’s shown me He’s there, He gave me a sign, now I want Him and I’m after Him…closing in with every move I make, despite all the obstacles that try to get in my way, be it personal or worldly.  He knows me, He made me, He knows whether I’m capable of succeeding.

My wife, hungry as well, hungry for Him and hungry for that right place to find Him, struggling with finding that place of comfort and consistency from whom she can get that message of God delivered.  Coupled with discipline and patience, her ultimate teacher is God Himself, but she loves the acquisition of the message through man when delivered with an impact…like Rev Jim used to say, “now let’s bring it home…”  Anyone can know the bible and anyone can know the stories, but to relate it to the world in a way that gets through to someone in a way that’s going to reach them takes something else, and she struggling right now…I feel bad for that.  I wish I knew what to do to help her.  She’s just as hungry as I am, in different ways, yet somewhat similar, perhaps.  Maybe we can help feed each other.

Regardless, we have chosen God and God is within us, and all around us, and therefore, He will see us through our struggles.

John 15:5 –  If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

So this was my week, this was the message I received, this is what I got from it, and this is how I chose to pass it along.  I hope it’s helpful to anyone who finds it, I hope it finds its way to the people who need it most.

~Lord, thank you for your many countless blessings, big and small, those in the past and those yet to come.  Please watch over us in the week to come, in all aspects of our daily lives, health, wealth, and wisdom, and help us to spread your word and be of service to you, Lord.  We thank you for everything you do for us, Lord and glorify your name as the most and precious of all.  Amen~

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