Why Bother?

Why Bother?


I’m having a cranky day when I’m wondering why I bother to:

  • Write what few people read
  • Clean when it gets messed up again
  • Buy things that are broken right away
  • Be kind when I don’t get kindness in return
  • Teach my kids when the lessons seem quickly forgotten
  • Work toward my goals when almost no one cares what I do

I’m sick and tired, thus I am vulnerable. At these times, I hear the voice of my enemy saying, “Why bother?” He knows well how I depend on encouragement from others. When it isn’t there, he knows how to turn my funk into a fiasco. When he is done talking, I want to go back to bed and forsake writing, homemaking, kindness, parenting, and working forever.

But the same question that I asked myself I have to ask my enemy. Why bother? If I were an insignificant woman, why would you spend your time and energy trying to talk me into giving up? Jesus breaks into the discussion.

“Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” – Matthew 4:10

We bother because we are serving the Lord. He reads every word we write and He sees us cleaning, returning kindness for evil, teaching the resistant learner, and achieving His purposes for us. He likes it all.

So why do we bother listening to any voice but His?

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Sleepover Shy

Sleepover Shy

My daughter had her first sleepover birthday party last night. I didn't make this cake, but I wish I had. How cute is this?

While we didn't have cake, we did have one girl who struggled. As I lay awake after returning her to her mother in the middle of the night, I thought about how Christians are sleepover shy, too.

I'm hungry. That was one of the shy girl's complaints that I can relate to. Though she had a healthy-sized bowl of popcorn late in the evening, she longed for more. Like her, I've enjoyed so much in life, yet I'm not fully satisfied. No matter how many blessings we experience in this life, we all continue to be hungry.

I'm scared. That was another of her issues with the sleepover. I get that. My house was a dark strange place to her. This world is scary to us as believers, too. The Bible gives us enough "Don't be afraid"s to last us a year, and yet we're still not comfortable with this dark world. Maybe we're not supposed to be.

I wanna go home. The sleepover shy girl missed her mom and dad. Why wouldn't she? There's nothing like being near the one you've always known, the one who loves you unconditionally. While this sleepover we call life can be great fun and we enjoy the people we're with, we wanna go home, too. Our Father is waiting for us with open arms. That image makes the long night a little easier to get through, doesn't it?

Good-night, friend. See you in the morning.

Psalm 4:8
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.

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What Shouldn’t You Have to Do?

What Shouldn’t You Have to Do?

I recently discovered that I had a list of things I thought I shouldn’t have to do. I guess that isn’t a life-changing discovery. We all have things we would rather not do. Hopefully, continuing to read this blog post isn’t one of yours. What was a life-changing discovery, however, was my list was keeping me from doing the things I most wanted to do. Maybe, just maybe, you have a list that is frustrating your attempts at meaningful change, too.

Since being healed of ulcerative colitis and allergies and having freedom to eat anything, I gained a few pounds. Maybe more than a few. Thankfully my friends and family didn’t notice. Or they didn’t say anything. They may have been afraid to. I’ve been having some issues with PMS as I’ve mentioned.

Anyway, I attempted to return to my ideal weight on numerous occasions during the past two years to no avail. When a good friend recommended I read the Beck Diet book, I finally understood what the problem was. I thought I shouldn’t have to change the way I ate in order to lose weight. In the moment I came to that realization, I could imagine Dr. Phil snickering, “And how’s that workin’ for ya?” Gee, Dr., not very well!

I understood why I had come to have the eat-all-you-want-and-still-lose-weight mentality (something I will explain in a future blog post), but I was honestly horrified that I felt that way. I would certainly mock anyone else who had that belief and yet expected results (at least mentally). The amazing consequence of my realization was that I lost the weight I gained. Fast.

I was delighted with the results of a simple change in thinking, but my success had me thinking even more. What other changes was I unable to make as a result of my “I Shouldn’t Have To” List? Here are some other prominent items on my list:

– I shouldn’t have to promote my blog or book to get readers
– I shouldn’t have to stick to the schedule to get everything done
– I shouldn’t have to check my kids’ chores for them to get done properly

Here are some other popular I Shouldn’t Have To’s:

– I shouldn’t have to pray/read the Bible/go to church to grow spiritually
– I shouldn’t have to get up early to work out/get caught up/have quiet time
– I shouldn’t have to give up something to save money or have free time

I could go on, but I shouldn’t have to. 🙂 Hopefully, you get the idea and you are already thinking about what’s on your list. Remember that you really don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. But neither will you get the results you want.

You don’t have to, but I would love to hear what’s on your list. Any aha moments?

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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The Other Side of Intolerance

The Other Side of Intolerance

The other side_b

The word 'intolerance' has become synonymous with hate and no wonder. Unspeakable crimes against humanity have been committed as the result of it. But I believe there is another side to intolerance.

What many people don't know is my mom was intolerant; she refused to put up with backtalk. As a result, our home was free of the parental disrespect that has become so commonplace today.

My friend, Sharon Rohrbach, was also intolerant. She couldn't sleep at night thinking about the babies being discharged to homes that weren't equipped to care for them. Sharon's intolerance led her to start Nurses for Newborns, a foundation dedicated to protecting some of our most vulnerable citizens.

American women were also intolerant. They couldn't abide the injustice of the denial of their right to vote. Many of our foremothers worked tirelessly to gain suffrage. 

I'm thankful for my mom's intolerance that taught me to respect authority, for Sharon's intolerance which taught me to be concerned for at-risk newborns, and for a heritage of women's intolerance that gave me the right to vote.

But I am most thankful for our intolerant God. While it is true that He could not ignore our sin, it is also true that He could not tolerate the consequence of that sin–our eternal separation from Him.  

What is the difference between this kind of intolerance and the kind that gets all the press today? The former is motivated by love.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Photo credit

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Got Warts?

Got Warts?

Here's a tip too good not to share. Got warts? Apply apple cider vinegar (I used the Bragg's brand) to a cotton ball and secure it to the wart with a bandage while you sleep. In the morning, remove it and continue the process for a few days.

Our experience with this for two people is that within two days, the wart becomes a black, deflated scab and can be pulled or will fall off several days later. If you're concerned about the healthy skin, you can apply vaseline to it before applying the cotton ball.

If you Google this, you will find the testimonials of hundreds of people, some of whom have had warts for years that have responded to no other treatment. What's really sad is that webmd says vinegar is an unproven method of removing warts. I'd like to see their methodology, because we have a complete cure rate with an N of 2 here.


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Power Up Your Prayer Time

Power Up Your Prayer Time

Can you tell that I am focused on energy lately? Just as I have sought out ways to jump start my productivity, I am interested in energizing my prayer time.

I use the Prayer Lists app from iTunes to organize my prayers. I divide our extended family and concerns (health, salvation, etc.) into days so my prayers are more manageable. But lately my list has still seemed long. Getting through it has been almost as challenging as tackling my task list.

I believe that the key to powering up prayer time can be found in Philippians 4:6:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

The phrase “with thanksgiving” is set apart, giving it special emphasis. I have tried to implement this many times in the past. I have started prayer time with praise and thanksgiving. Sometimes I felt like I was buttering God up so He would be more likely to give me what I want. Sometimes I have been in such distress that I have struggled to identify what I am thankful for. Know the feeling?

This week I had an aha moment that started my prayer time on a whole new and more powerful path. What if I thanked God for something related to each item on my prayer list, rather than having a separate time of giving thanks, I wondered. Rather than thanking God for being faithful, a healer, and for my home, family, health, and more, I would read the name of a friend who was undergoing cancer treatment, for example. Before asking for her healing, strength, and comfort, I thanked God for keeping her alive to this day, against all the odds. I thanked Him for her faith. I thanked Him for the medical care He has provided. THEN I made my request on her behalf. I took thanksgiving one step further. I thanked God in advance for answering my prayer in a way that would glorify Him and would be for my friend’s good. There is no question that this is exactly what God will do. Hallelujah!

Previously, I would get through my prayer list feeling overwhelmed and defeated. So many things are going wrong today. So many people are hurting. So many have rejected God. It was positively depressing. But giving thanks in each individual request gives me the opposite perspective. I see how much God has already done in even the most challenging of circumstances. And I come to believe that He will do even more.

So right now I am thanking God for the Internet, that I took typing in high school, and that He has led your to read these words. Now I am asking Him to move you to pray so you might be blessed. Finally, I am thanking Him that He will bring glory to His name through you, friend. Amen.

If I may have the privilege of adding you to my prayer list, email me at melphd at aol dot com.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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