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Archive for October 9th, 2015

STARVIN’ TO DEATH

Central MarketI wheeled my grocery cart through Friday morning’s Central Market shoppers with the precision of Mario Andretti.

My list was short as was my allotted time for shopping. I glanced at my watch—12 o’clock. I’d had no lunch and it would take at least thirty minutes to make it home after I’d checked out. As usual, where had the morning gone?

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After the release of my first book in late August and all the promotion involved, I’ve felt like that furry, four-legged creature on its perpetual hav-a-trail—always running, but never catching up.

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Rounding the back corner of the store, from dairy into specialty breads, the sample table invited me taste and see. Two ladies stood in front of me. One grabbed a sample and moved on, the other stood and munched. A quick glance told me it must’ve been more than a sample. She was pregnant and there were crumbs on her cheeks. I remembered those days of soon-to-be so many years ago.

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The cranberry breakfast bread was so delicious I felt compelled to taste the apple nut breakfast bread. The young woman pressed closer,DSCF3083 urging me to move. I did—to the backside of the table—deciding if I wanted to purchase a loaf.

DSCF3082She moved close to the lidded container of apple nut bread with a large napkin in her hand. She removed the lid and rammed her hand inside. She pulled out a huge handful and promptly shoved the entire fistful in her mouth and gulped it down like she hadn’t eaten a morsel in a month of Sundays.

With the back of her hand she wiped her mouth, then turned and fled.

My brain froze. The reality of what just transpired ricocheted from my head to my heart and back again.

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What to do? Give her money? My jumbled thoughts slowed my reaction, but she vanished. And I was left with the knowledge this woman was so hungry her hands shook as she gobbled every morsel. And I missed an opportunity to…to do what? Buy her lunch? Press money into her palm? Let her know Jesus cared? ‘Cause I sure couldn’t have cared or I would have known what to do and done it. But the opportunity, like the young woman, was gone forever.

DSCF3076I’ve prayed for this young woman and the baby she carries all week. After reading Julie Cosgrove’s soon to be released novel, Freed to Forgive, I’ve wondered if she were trapped in human trafficking. And I’ve prayed for myself. So preoccupied with petty things I failed to give account for the faith within me.

And Satan has attacked me with a vengeance. I’ve never been slack in the reaction department. Why now? Testy with my husband, and by the end of Sunday’s sermon, my mind had strung a clothesline full of doubts about my own salvation.

2 Peter tells us about his experience with James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration. That scene and the words he heard were so engraved on his heart there was no room for doubt. Ever again. No doubt when he chose to be crucified upside down.

A light flashed in my mind like a flood light in the shadows of my troubled heart. And God brought to my remembrance an afternoon a few years back when He gave my husband and me a glimpse into something other than this world and my heart leaped for joy. (My blog post entitled Mystery—Unexplained—Awesome, tells about this event.)

I’ve been in a dark place this past weekend, but Peter said that’s okay: “…you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19 NAS).

These are dark times, precious friends, and it’s going to get really black before Jesus comes. It’s time to access and be sure we are DSCF3081following our Lord Jesus Christ.

We are surrounded by starvin’ people. Starvin’ from physical hunger, but also a deeper, eternal tragedy—deceived and spiritually starved people. People ignorant of the Truth of God’s Word. Starvin’ to death while we, dear friends are fiddlin’ with foolish distractions and wealth that will be burned up when Jesus comes.

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Peter tells us in light of our salvation and knowledge of God’s Word: “…be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things–” What things? He wrote we are to be diligent in our faith—we are to supply virtue, then knowledge, and self-control. Then perseverance and godliness and brotherly kindness and finally love.

2 Peter 1:5-11 says if you do these things, “… you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.”

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Did I mess up in Central Market Friday? Yes.
Does that mean Jesus threw me on the trash heap. No. I messed up.
But I have repented and confessed and Jesus picked me up, reminded me who I am in Him, and is correcting my focus. And you can bet next time I’ll be prepared.

How about you? Have you failed to see the starving folks around you each day? In this time of bounty it’s so easy to look away from things that trouble you and focus on what we have.

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Are you like me, so consumed with the screams of the urgent you freeze when important things appear? Maybe you too need a paste-your-eyelids-open moment to access your goals. A moment to see if your attitudes, actions, and reactions please God.

And if not, perhaps it’s time to re calibrate the engine of your heart so you can run with endurance the race God sets before you each day. (Hebrews 12:1-4 NAS).

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