Thursday, July 31, 2014

Oh, Mercy!

A while back my husband, Jake, bought 2 dozen feeder goldfish for his afternoon of fishing. But some were too cute to become bait, so I begged, "Please let me keep them as pets."

courtesy of digitalart
Those three, named Faith, Hope, and Love, remained. My long-suffering fisherman hubby even bought them an upscale aquarium plant for their tank. A nice one, not the cheap plastic kind I would have picked up.

The other goldfish became bait,
but we showed these three mercy.

Fast forward two years. Jake trapped a possum, which we cooked and ate as related in a previous blog. Seriously.

Side note:  Anytime people eat something unusual they say it tastes like chicken.       "Rattlesnake? Tastes like chicken"
"Ostrich? Tastes like chicken."
"Possum? It tastes like a collision of ham and chicken."
             It's delicious...once you look past the fur and feet.

Courtesy of jiggoja@
Enter possum #2. This little guy wound up stuck in the cage without food or water for a day. Jake looked at its sad little face and fed it a McDonald's hamburger.

Disclaimer: Fast food in not part of an optimal diet for possums. Or humans.

Nevertheless, Jake not only fed and watered it, he released it. "Jethro" the possum ambled away, safe from the stew pot.

 Possum one became dinner.
Possum two received mercy.

    courtesy of iosphere
Think about God's great mercy. Unlike us, He holds out mercy to all. He doesn't grab anyone and say, "OK, you're bait. I'm dumping you in the river to catch something better."

He never decides, "Hmm, you're not appealing enough. Into the oven with you."

courtesy of iosphere

God always extends his mercy to us.
He always gives us another chance.

"The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning." Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT
 courtesy of Sura Nualpradid
 Have you seen God's mercy at work in your life? It's new every morning, special for you.

courtesy of KEKO64
Since God has shown me so much mercy, I'm heading out to extend some right now. Jethro the possum is asking for his McDouble and fries.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tag-Teamed by Waylon Jennings and Big Bird

Our 5 year old daughter, Patty, lay entranced on the living room carpet as a slew of muppets sang their way across the cutting-edge technology VCR tape.

While she watched Sesame Street's "Follow That Bird," I bustled about cleaning.
Patty flagged me over. "Mommy, watch with me. It's the best movie ever."
I didn't have time to watch a children's show.
                           The house was cluttered.
                                      My mind was cluttered.

I paused for a moment to placate her. On our enormous 25" TV Waylon Jennings sang,

           "Don't dwell on the bad times once they're past.
                    That kind of thinking gets you nowhere fast."

The advice hit me with the impact of a rampaging Snuffleupagus.
Photo courtesy of FrameAngel

I needed to clear the "clutter" from my mind. The nasty memories that replayed a daily litany across my brain.
                    All the things I'd done wrong.
                          All the wrongs done to me.

Onscreen Waylon advised the oversized yellow fowl to let it go.

I don't know if Big Bird followed the admonition, but I did. I stopped replaying my mental "junk tape."

Years later, after I'd invited Jesus into my life, this scripture jumped out, "Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead." Phillipians 3:13

Recently Pastor Ramona of Bible Truth Ministries asked a group of women to list three things we'd tried but didn't succeed at. Next she asked, "How often do you think about those things?" Monthly? Weekly? A shocking number of women raised their hands at "daily."
Photo courtesy of stockimages
For some of my friends those negative thoughts had been replaying for years like bad re-runs on a cable station.

Back in VCR days we had "head cleaners," a special tape we plugged in to clear the debris from the machine.

For humans, God's Word is a great head cleaner. Think of scripture as a tape.
Replace the old junk currently playing by inserting the new tape of God's Word.

For example, if you feel unloved play this tape:

This is real love--not that we loved God, but that he loved us
and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 1 John 4:10
Are negative pictures playing across your mental screen? Here's encouraging advice from the Living Bible:
Pic courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography @

No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. Phil 3:13

Now that's a mental movie worth watching. Maybe we could even get Waylon to do the soundtrack.