Termites

I had a dream a few weeks ago. In the dream I looked under a house, there was a log under the house and it was crawling with termites (white ants).

 

 

I had a dream a few weeks ago. The dream has remained with me since.

In the dream I looked under a house, there was a log under the house and it was crawling with termites (white ants). Not just any termites, they were big fat ones and they were all over the log which was just about eaten away by the termites. In the dream a sudden thought occurred, “I hope they haven’t gone into the house”. I bent down further to look under the house, and sure enough I could see a steady stream of termites making its way up one of the wooden stumps and into the house.

At this point I woke up with the dream vivid in my mind. I had just written three blogs about boundaries, and I had gone to sleep praying about this. I wondered if God was showing me more about what I was to add before posting them on my website.

Later I asked Him. “Father is this dream about these blogs?” “No” came the quick reply.

Ok, I thought, it must be my brain working overtime. But after a few days the dream stayed in the forefront of my memory. “Father,”  I asked, “why is this dream staying in my mind?”

“It makes a good metaphor,” He replied. God seemed a little amused at my slowness to ask the right questions.

“So… it is from you Father?”

“Yes,”

Yep, once again I had not asked God the right questions and He was patient. The burden of this dream sits in my heart heavily, and the more I prayed the more I saw. You see the termites are revealing themselves around us. It is not just a general decay that I am seeing… it is a takeover.

You see, in referring to termites the they say that is an attack. They takeover and build their home in your house until there is nothing left…but dust. I had a friend that one time did not know that she had termites in her home until one day the curtain rod and fixtures fell to the ground, she touched the wall and it crumbled to the floor. The termite had eaten away at the interior of the wall until only the paint was left behind.

My heart has been heavy for a few months now as I have watched more and more an attack against the morals and faith that our country (Australia) once had to hold its people together. To add to this, mateship and courage in which the people of this land seems to be almost gone.

The trouble is that, like the log under the house, it has probably been ready to cause problem with the real fabric and structure of our nation for a long time. It is only now that the infestation is now going to climb into the lives of the people within this nation.

We have been asleep. The average everyday Australian has been asleep, busy trying to keep their own lives in a sense of order. Unknowing and unseeing about the changes going on around them. While we have been trying to survive in a chaotic world, and dealing with drought, weather, new laws and usual stresses and strains of life, there has been changes made to our world that has changed the very life that we live.

While some Christians are drawing closer to God, others are being drawn away to believe anything, and to keep the peace at all costs. They ignore the Termites that are under their floorboards and choose to allow the slow taking over.

The very concepts of morals and ethics, decency, love, how we treat our neighbour are now been redefined and changed. People’s own understanding of these things are being questioned and if you have any of those things you are weird and perhaps a bit fanatical.

If you look at some definitions of morals and ethics, you will find that they intertwine. Ethics and morals are about the “right” and “wrong” of our conduct. While they are sometimes used as if they are the same, they are different: ethics refer to rules given by an external source (such as codes of conduct in workplaces or principles in religions). Morals refer to an individual’s own principles regarding right and wrong.

Right now around the world people have been encouraged to disregard the one things that they look towards for their source of “rules”. Whether it be something along the lines of “work hard, do good, love God and treat your neighbour well”, or “thou shalt not”, it is being replaced by laws of the land that are changeable to whoever is in power in government. For Christians, the basic structures of our faith, things like, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength.. and love your neighbour as yourself” are being replaced by new things like what their pastor, or best friend/mentor/advisor says that is more important than Scripture.

There is something on an even larger scale that is happening in our country – divide and conquer.

We are a divided nation. No longer do we agree to disagree and then chat over a cold drink in the shade, but there is a battle raging on who will survive the next debate and the smell of war is in the air.

The mateship and respect for others has been replaced with “everyone for themselves” attitude.

The termite that I saw in the dream were huge. They were about the size of my fist. They did not care that I had seen them, or that they were out in the open. They feared nothing and were unconcerned that they might be wiped out by Pest Control.

Openly now people are happy to say what they want and do what they want. In a democratic country, this is allowed. It is your right and privilege to have a different belief to mine and it be ok. Once before there were enough people who would make sure the “right” was done and that those who were doing “wrong” would be told to settle down.

The Christians in this nation once before had the sway on whether a baby could be killed before birth, or whether an elderly person could have their life terminated because they are too elderly to protest. The widow would be protected and a child’s safety was paramount.

Yet if you look back in the pages of history, you will see that even in the Christian faith, things have not been right within the established “christian” churches. There have been too many that have used their bible and their faith to treat others with very little regard, and the love they profess is simply another tool to control others.

We have termites in our homes, in our places of worship, in our own lives and in our country. Slowly they have been attacking, undermining and eating away at our families. Because ultimately it is the family that suffers.

There is one scripture that has been given to me. It is Romans 5:19 –

“Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.” (NLT)

Disobedience and obedience. Wrong and right.

My prayer for you is that you will look first at the termites that have eroded your own life, then you…that is right…YOU…be the one that becomes the change.

Life is really about a series of choices. I pray that you will choose the right one for you.

What are you talking about?

 

 

Have you ever spoken to someone and they get a look on their face that says – “What are you talking about?” and you know that you are going to have to explain yourself a bit better or speak the way they know to speak.

One of my friends who comes from South Africa, shared a story with me. Soon after coming to Australia, she was asked to “bring a plate” to a party that she was invited to. Well, she thought, they must not have enough plates for everyone. So, she bought a plate – an empty plate – to the party, and was horrified to find that everyone else was bring full plates of food. In Australia, when we ask someone to “bring a plate” we mean bring a plate of food to add to what we already have on the table.

I have another beautiful Indian friend who, when I first knew her, had only been in Australia a few months. When I first visited her, I knew she was lonely and I wanted to make her feel like she was welcomed and wasn’t alone. We would talk for a little, then I would run out of things to say that she would understand. I found it hard to speak in a way that she would comprehend. I started to take a game of Dominoes with me, and her and I would play Dominoes. We then found that we could talk about food and our children. Now we can chatter about anything, I understand her better, and she understands me better.

I am an Aussie, and I speak “strayan” (Australian). There are times that I have to watch how I speak to others around me, especially when they are not Australian. I speak differently to an American, even thought we both speak english. Being the fact that I live and was raised, for most of my life, in the Outback of Australia, there are times that I add words in my sentences that people find funny…hey? (and that is one of them)

Today I have just finished teaching Religious Instruction in one of the local schools. I love the class I teach. They are such a fantastic bunch of kids. They face each one of my half-hour lessons, with enthusiasm and they seem to enjoy my company. Today they surprised me. One young girl started asking questions, and suddenly they all were asking questions. Questions like- Who created God? Why does God stop people from dying or getting hurt?

They were big questions. I answered the easiest way I could and as simply as I could. The questions they were asking, were too big to answer in the little time I had.

In teach Religious Instruction, I have always been challenged to explain things a bit different to how I normally talk about God. I have to break it down so that they are able to grasp a language that is different to what they hear. Today the word “repent” came up in the lesson. I wrote it up on the board as part of the crossword I was doing with them and when I turned around one boy looked puzzled. He had probably never heard the word repent before. I briefly described it  as saying sorry and turning around. This happens time and time again. The material I am given to teach from requires me to translate.

Then there is another situation that I run into a lot. I was describing how some of the Old Testament kings were good and some were not. I referred to theme bad ones as being “wicked”. One of the boys in the class did a little sign with his hand and said “wiiiiccckkked!!”. Fortunately, I had come across this before, and I explained that he was referring to the slang version of what “wicked” meant – which is “exciting or enthralling”.

You see the other language I speak is Christianese. I talk about God, creation, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I talk about repentance, sin and Jesus dying on the cross. I speak about obedience, change and about a renewed life. I sprinkle my laugauge with faith, hope, trust and love. I speak about joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, meekness and the one that people find the most strange – self-control.

Sin is not a subject that is spoken of much. Children today do not know what the word “sin” is, most do not know about God or Jesus. Most adults today do not have a concept of what to do with the shame and guilt they constantly feel. The word “god” and “jesus” are just swear words and they have no power or meaning to them.

The words in the bible about redemption and God love are powerful. What about the words of hope, faith, and trust? Repentance, obedience, and forgiveness are lifechanging, yet the life-giving nature of these words and the effect on the human heart are rarely understood. Sometimes they are not even spoken, understood, and lived by those who speak the Christian language well.

If you are going to reach people today with the hope that God gives, then you are going to need more than Christianese as a language. How do you say “sin” without watering it down? How do you say forgiven without the ho-hum or flippant way that it can be used to get rid of someone from annoying you? How can you speak the words of the bible in a language that is understood?

 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect… 1Peter 3:15 NIV

Am I prepared to speak the language that will reach the people that do not know and understand? Is it will respect and gentleness? Is my language when I talk about my God easy for others to hear or is it so far above their heads of others that they will turn away before asking more?

When Jesus spoke to people while on this earth, He spoke in the way that people would understand, but the spiritual understanding behind it was not easily understood. Only the Spirit of God can reveal this part of it to people.

My heart’s desire is to see people know about Christ Jesus, and that God has loved them before they even knew about Him. I want people to know that a privilege and an honour to be alive in this world today. Being alive is not just existing from one weekend to the next but living life with joy and determination under the care and love of our God.

Right now, I feel the stretching that God does when He wants me to do something new. It started with a desire placed in my heart and a prayer.

“Help me to understand and listen, Father….”

Be blessed.

 

“Operation Tangled Web”

 

“Operation Tangled Web”

I have confronted the evil masses within my walls with decisive force and bold determination. They had invaded my privacy and taken over my house. NO MORE!

First was the visit to the grocery shop to buy the best there was and then home to deal with the delinquents!!

I used that can of spray to deal with the main issue – the office ceiling and corners, the office windows, and doors and outside the office. Then came the main bedroom, kitchen and lounge… and yet I found none in the children’s bedrooms (huh!)

They all came scurrying out of their webs to face extinction and certain death and I bravely held my breath as the fumes and their glares threatened to rob me of life.

Then they started to fall…to the ground…at my feet!!! I held back the screams as I backed out of the rooms – to request my eldest son to deal with the dead bodies with the vacuum cleaner.

With trepidation, I dealt with their homes, babies and food sources which spoiled my home and peace. I pulled out windows and screens and sprayed more of the little blighters that were hiding like secret agents waiting for their not so clever comrades to fall. Then with unquestionable courage I finished off those that tried to flee.

Armed with wash clothes, warm soapy water, a bit of elbow grease and resolve I cleaned and scrubbed all evidence of their existence from every area. Finally I washed the curtains which hid them and resealed the curtain rod ends.

“Operation Tangled Web” was finished and it found a more peaceful and happier me. Now… back to my writing….

 

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I dislike spiders!!!

I don’t hate them… I just don’t like them in my house.

Also, I don’t like them in them in my garden, or on the patio, or in the car or in the garage, or in my bike helmet… or shoes. Ok, I really REALLY don’t like spiders, ANYWHERE!

I don’t think I fear them. They are just…well…creepy!

They have this thing where they take over. They take over the inside of our house, they take over the outside of the house. They just TAKE OVER! They crawl out of their hiding place to reveal themselves at the worst possible times. Like when I move the curtain, or when I pick up a book. Or they drop down in front of me while I am working on my computer. Why do they do that?

So in our house we have the “Daddy long-leg” and the “Black House” spider. Icky!! Then there is the occasional Huntsman, who because of his size could take over a whole bedroom. Ewwwww!!

Odd occasionally we seem to get almost a plague of them very suddenly and only the most throughout clean will get rid of them. And, since my friends and family know my dislike for spiders, I have many who have come forward to admit that they too are not happy with this particular creation of God. Probably along with flies, mosquitoes, midgets and any other creepy crawly.

As I mentioned before, we have in our country the Huntsman spider and here is a little blurb from the internet about this spider…

“Huntsman spiders of many species sometimes enter houses. They are also notorious for entering cars, and being found hiding behind sun visors or running across the dashboard.”

Yeah… so… do you get what I mean? There is nothing… and I repeat nothing… worse for a person like myself to be happily driving along, singing praises to God and then something appears on your dashboard or windscreen…you know.. the size of a desert bowl!! (ok, slightly smaller than that) That “something” is the maker of bad dreams, the disturber of my peace, and will make me a certain maniac as I try to deal with the possibility of his nearness actually touching my person.

My children, I am happy to announce, do not like spiders either. Not that they would admit that.

One day my eldest was joking with me about a spider that was clinging for life on the outside of our car windscreen as we drove to church. It was on the out there, so I wasn’t too worried..right? My youngest was touching my arm, pretending to be the creepy spider. They were both laughing at their mother’s discomfort. BIG BRAVE BOYS!!!

All of a sudden the spider ran along the window and disappeared from view. The boys were joking but checking everywhere around THEM, while I kept my eyes on the road. Suddenly I shouted, “THERE it is!!” and pointed to the windscreen in front of my eldest.

He nearly jumped into my lap!! Both my boys had eyes the size of saucers and it took them a few minutes to realise that I was just kidding with them. Yep, big brave children!

 

The God touch

 

As usual, I find that God speaks to me about simple things that happen in my life to show me that His search of my heart and life are gently causing change and a thoughtfulness of God in that life.

Spiders remind me of things that clutter and cause discomfort to ourselves and to others around us. Spiders also teach me that we can squeal and poke fun at others sin and problems, but when we have problems we expect mercy not condemnation.

Bad attitudes, sin, bad habits…you know… stuff that we shouldn’t have in our lives, but do. They are the things that creep up on us and all of a sudden take over our lives. Indication of their existence are evident in what they catch…more bad habits, sin and bad attitudes.

Attitude come slowly until one day they drop down or turn up in front of us and we wonder what happened. In fact, some would say that a bad attitude can shock us, frighten us and catch us unawares… a bit like the spiders in my house or car. It is what we do with them that makes the difference.

Now let me say about something else. Sin. There I said it. Now before you run screaming at the thoughts of other’s sin, I am talking about our personal sin. The things that separate us in our relationship with God. Note that I did not say that is separates us from God. No. It breaks our close and intimate relationship with God. Easy… deal with it… just like you would deal with any pest in your home. Get the little blighters out of your life and deal with “the sin that so easily entangles’. (Hebrews 12:1) Oh, and btw… if you have any experience with spider webs you know what Paul is saying.

You know, habits are the same. Deal with them if they are causing trouble. Just deal with it.

And here is the really, really important bit. Ask God to help you, and believe. (Mark 11:24)

‘Cause it is only the touch of God that can show up those little blighters and help you clean them away.

God has the gentlest of touch. He doesn’t condemn, only give us the desire to give up the things that will destroy our live and our eternity with Him. But conviction of sin is real. We should dislike our sin. We should want our house (ourselves) clean. He has already provided the cleaner and fumigator (repentance and forgiveness) and he has provided all-round the year pest control (the Word of God and the Holy Spirit).

Why are we happy with the pests and the unhappiness it brings? Is it because that seems better?

Take some time to talk to God today. Spiders are not fun.

 

 

 

 

 

As God has always planned.

plans

 

As God has always planned

 

I felt God melt my hardened heart, as the words seemed so surreal.
My God stood still as I moved closer, drawn by His love so real.

He welcomed me and warmly breathed, on my stiff and frozen frame.
I turned my face up to my Saviour, as the tears freely came.

All my faults became so clear, and my many sins dark indeed.
My Saviour died and bled for me, I now could clearly see.

That all along He sort to change, the darkness into light.
He wouldn’t hold me as a captive, as I thought He might.

He whispered, “You’re forgiven”, as He gave me a new name.
“My child, you are now Beautiful”, as he took all my guilt and shame.

I shook my head in disbelief; I saw nothing new in me.
“You see, My child, you haven’t seen, the changes that I see.”

“It reveals the beauty of a Son warmed heart, and will grow from My sure touch.”
I nodded my head as this sank in, I needed Him so much.

“Have all of me!” shouted my heart, as I realised I could trust.
This Almighty God, loving Saviour, and Holy Spirit so just.

How could I give Him any less, who gives without complaint.
My heart, my life, and my past – my future without restraint.

I know this Father knows me well, better than I know myself.
He knows well what to fix in me, and draws me to Himself.

What is done in my wayward heart, is not the work of my strong arms
But His Spirit guides and directs me, and keeps my soul from harm.

It only takes me to obey, and listen to God my Saviour.
‘Cause He will always work in me, and change my misbehaviour.

He is my loving, compassionate God, forever will I stand
Upon the promises in His word, the way he always planned.

-Ruth Lindsay © 2016