The house is quiet as I joyfully drag a large plastic garbage bag from room to room. I actually enjoy tossing stuff when I finally get motivated enough to take on the task. Getting rid of the clutter seems to some how help me feel cleansed emotionally and spiritually too. Kind of like when you wash your car and you think it suddenly runs better.

I am tossing old shoes, magazines and other stuff I will never wear, read or put into another pile again. As I look under my bed to retrieve some dust bunnies, I am surprised to find a spatula, a winter scarf and two unopened bottles of water. Spatula? How did that get in here? I am almost always amazed at the articles that mysteriously find their way underneath my bed and car seat.

It momentarily reminds me of how blind we can be to what we live with every day unless we take the time to pull up the dust ruffle and look. The Holy Spirit than hit me with a flood of memories.

When I became a Christian 18 years ago it was a very exciting time for me. I had not believed in God for many years and when I found Him I was filled with immense joy! In fact this past week I felt the same joy. Like I was in love with Jesus all over again. Do you remember how you felt when you first had an encounter with the living God? Like every day you were a two year old in discovery or a teenager in love with the best boyfriend ever. I believed he would and could do everything and saw much of that evidenced in my own life.

Then some where along the road it became mechanical and stale. I asked the Holy Spirit why? How could this have possibly happened? I was surprised as a flood of past quotes, beliefs and attitudes surfaced from my memory of well meaning Christian friends along my early journey.

Sure you are on a high now but wait until the Honeymoon is over. Huh? You mean this doesn’t last forever? As the scenes replayed in my mind, I was surprised at all the negativity that I had absorbed. Their comments all sounded like God wooed you in with diamonds and fireworks but after he got you he just ignored you and you even had to remind him when it was your birthday.

But never fear, you were saved and that was all that mattered. You might have to hang out in purgatory for awhile though. Do the crime gotta do the time. You didn’t really think Jesus bore all of the punishment for us did you? Oh I know that is what the bible says but the Holy Spirit told the church a different story. But if you truly desire illness, poverty and other calamities here on earth it might just pay for an early release. Or better yet, suffer now and offer it up for others that are already dead. It will insure them an early parole and you will have an army of them praying for you to slide into home base later.

Or if you are just lucky enough, God will give you some terminal disease and then heal you at the last second to bring all of your non-believing friends and family members to the fold. There is always a reason why God allows sickness, death and disease. It is for your good and the good of others!

Wow God. No wonder I kept just under the radar. I was just hoping that out of sight was out of mind. Forget about just stealing my joy, I see I had the life sucked right out of me.

What else Lord?

Then I remembered a quote from an ex-Twins player who I met through some video projects. He said “If God made you a nickel, you ain’t never gonna be a dime.” I remember the day he said it because I really took it to heart. It was a low day for me and I wasn’t feeling much more than a penny. He had been a Christian for a long time and in my eyes he was certainly at least a quarter. For years after that, every time something went wrong I thought, well God never meant me to be a dime any way. I never questioned it and relied on what others told me. Read the bible for myself? Maybe a quarter can do that, but certainly not a penny.

Today as all of that came back to me I thought oh you were all so wrong. I am so glad that I finally learned the truth. He wants us happy, well, successful and any denomination we want to be. If fact, today I choose to be a Trillion dollar asset to the Kingdom. Then the Holy Spirit said quietly,” that isn’t what he meant. He meant you were all a unique creation and will never be like anyone else.”

What? You mean for years I misunderstood it? That every time I saw someone else get what I wanted I resigned myself to the fact that all I could ever be was a penny?

Why did I allow others to steal my joy? Why did I allow myself to squash my own hope? Why do you? Do you know?

Do you listen to man’s doctrine instead of God’s? Do you know what the bible says about you? Do you know that life and death are in the power of the tongue? Your tongue? That what you continue to speak you will eventually believe and what you believe you will most assuredly speak? And act out?

Let us be careful with our words to ourselves and one another. Speak only God’s word of hope, encouragement and edification. Your words have the power to make or break your world and everything and EVERYONE in it!

Romans 15:13 (NKJV)13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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