Friday, July 25, 2014

How do you kill snakes??

Snakes are clearly on the move!  I have seen multiple FB comments about snakes today alone!  I am not a fan of snakes but I do understand they are on the move so I expect to see them outside.  Recently we had a ring neck black snake in our pool....that day we excercised catch and release.  HOWEVER, I do draw the line.  This week while Lance was at work, I hear a scream....SNAKE!  What?? Everyone is inside, this must be a joke!  No!  A small black snake is inching his way around my son's bathroom.

Panic did overwhelm me, but as any good woman would do, the first move is to grab the closest weapon!  Going for a gun means the snake has a chance to slither away.  Calling the neighbor is how we ended up playing catch and release last week.  Therefore, the snake was sucked up in to the infamous Electrolux vacuum cleaner which was sitting nearby! 

The story becomes more comical...I throw the vacuum in to the yard. It is trash pick up day; isn't it time for a new vacuum?  My frugal side realizes I am about to trash a very expensive vacuum (yes it is old but it still works wonders) so I send my child for scissors!  Yes, I cut the vacuum bag open.  I need to make sure the snake is inside before I decide if I should keep the vacuum.

He is inside the bag.  I need to know if a mommy snake is likely to be nearby and if she is, is she poisonous.  I send for a trash bag.  I tie the snake (and the vacuum bag) up and call Lance to come id him!  He is a baby ring neck black snake -- probably one whose mommy we sent packing last week!

What lesson have I found in this?  First, do not call neighbors or they will not kill the snake.  KILL the snake because they come back! 

Secondly, I put a great deal of effort in to eliminatiing this snake, identifying his threat level, and then I mutilated him to make sure he could not give me a second heart attack!  

I wonder if we put this much effort in to sin in our lives.  When we know it is present, do we just push it off to the side knowing it may come back (a nice game of catch and release)? Or, do we look for the closest weapon available to get rid of it?  Once we know the threat is secured, do we assess the threat level, and ensure there is no chance of return? 

As Christians, this means understanding spitirual warfare, and exercising our right to it! Ignoring problems and thinking we can tackle them on our own is like playing catch and release.  Grabbing our sword (the Bible) and letting the serpent know we will not tolerate his presence is the only way to assure Satan we will not stand for his temptations.  According to 1 Peter 5:8, he prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He doesn't just show up in obvious places (outside)...he enters our homes and our comfort zones and poses a threat hoping we won't think fast enough to act.  So, be equipped to act fast.  Keep the Bible close to your heart (Psalm 119:11) so you don't have to go roaming off looking for answers.  God will bring scripture to our memory if we hide it in our heart! (Proverbs 2:1) 

I hope not to see another snake inside, but I can promise if I do, the vacuum is ready!  In the same way, I challenge each of us to memorize at least one verse a week so we can pull that sword out fast when the serpent comes lurking!

More on spiritual warfare:
Ephesians 6:10-12
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.…

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Problem solver...are you one?

Have you ever had something in your life you knew wasn't just right but never cared enough to fix it?  Well, look at this picture....

I have stood many people in this foyer and you see anything wrong?  Most people stare, analyze, look at me like it's a trick and say no....

I have lived in this house for ten years.  I am not sure how many years I lived here before I noticed the panel to the right is white and the one to the left is yellow like the wall. I have spent the last ten years using it as a conversation piece when people come over.  But, I never cared enough to do anything about it...even though it is wrong in every decorators book!

Today, I happened to be at the paint store and thought about it...I bought a can of paint and thought "one day, I will fix this."  However, within ten minutes of the can entering the house, this happened....

My problem solver took the task on!  The paint is drying and the sides match for the first time in ten years!  We both laughed.  She said she wondered how long it would take daddy to notice --- maybe another ten years!

This made me wonder how many other "small" issues we have in our lives that are not significant enough for us to stop and give our attention to even though in the divine decorator of our lives book...the is clearly wrong or in need of repair.  How many "small" seemingly insignificant issues do others have that we could minister to yet we ignore even though it would take us less than ten minutes to fix?  

I was convicted by this eleven year old who took on the task just because....may I look for the small ways to serve others even if it never gets noticed!

Matthew 25 

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’