Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sweet Pea and Me

Let me give you a snapshot of my Sweet Pea. This in no way is a finished portrait of her. It is only one page in a book of over thirty years of being my best friend. Oops I think I mixed my metaphors.

After nearly twenty years of marital bliss [my view may not coincide exactly with hers], we were given a chance to travel around the country with a Winston Cup show car. This would be my dream job, Sweet Pea wasn’t as sure. We needed to prepare to leave our house in Mesa, Arizona, find someone to handle the rental on it while we were gone, for who knows how long, then, drive to Atlanta to start a new season in our lives.

You may be surprised one day as God leads you into a new season of life. He definitely rocked our world that year. Hopefully other stories will give details of God’s hand of favor and protection, and blessing over our lives during these years.

One of our first hurdles to overcome was that Sweet Pea was not at all comfortable with my driving. Now, she is setting in a pickup truck with a forty foot trailer behind it and me driving. After the euphoria of preparing to start this journey, Sweet Pea’s stress level went thru the roof. No pun intended there of course.

By the time our first three shows were over, we had driven from Knoxville to Philadelphia, found out that our credit card was cancelled, the truck broke down on the way, and finally we were on the beltway in Washington D C at 3:00 in the morning wondering if we would ever get back to Atlanta.

When our first weekend in the Show Car Business was over, Sweet Pea was still talking to me. That was more than I was expecting after our beginning.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Water of Life

Water of life

Have you ever seen a flat rock that has been eroded by the weather and will hold water after the rain? That water looks clear and refreshing as it glimmers in the sun light. After it sits a while it begins to stagnate and moss begins to form.

As a mighty river rolls steadily through the countryside, toward its final destination, it surges and than takes a calm respite depending on the landscape. Always moving, sometimes muddy, sometimes clear and clean.

Leaving the screened in porch following the stone path to an area surrounded by trees, we find the old well. This well was dug by grand-pa many years ago. He used river stones to build up the height around it to keep the dirty ground water from flowing into it and polluting it. Water is the basis of life to the natural man. We must have it to live and be fruitful and multiply. We must have it in abundance and it must be clean and pure.

Jesus said, “out of your bellies flow rivers of living water”. To the spiritual man [or woman] the life is in the flow of the Holy Spirit of God living in us. Like the natural waters in different situations, we can have as little or as much of this Living Water as we choose.

Our Salvation in its most basic idea is to be at peace with God. Needles to say, our salvation is not a one shot deal. Isaiah 12 talks about the “wells of salvations” or “springs of deliverance”. That means to me that my salvation is an on-going lifestyle, fed and nurtured by that spring or well of Living Water.

Like the natural man must live in accordance with the amount of water he has available to him, the spiritual man also lives to the level of Living Water he par-takes of. The spiritual man, who understands that he is already at peace with God, has options. He can choose to do those things that his conscience is telling him to do. Like the Apostle Paul, we know the good [right thing] to do. Our problem is that we do not use the power of the Holy Spirit [Living Water] to overcome the natural tendencies to act in selfish or an unloving manner.

Jim Mussetter

Little Children

Little Children

How long has it been since someone called you a little child? If you were over twelve years old did you take it as a derogatory remark? In the book of Matthew, Jesus rebuked His disciples for stopping parents from bringing their children to Him. Surely the disciples were only thinking of Jesus’ well being. Maybe they thought Jesus was too tired from teaching the crowds. No matter what they were thinking, Jesus rebuked them for not letting the children come.

This may be where we Christians get the idea of dedicating babies. In some other verses we see that He held them, prayed for them, or put His hands on them. That is a subject we will not discuss today.

My real point would be found in verse 14 of Matthew 19, “and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these”.

When Jesus came into Judea once more, there were Pharisees there to ask questions of Him. These two questions found in verse 3 and verse 7, are tough questions pertaining to marriage and divorce. Is it coincidence that immediately following this hard teaching which left the disciples wondering if it were good to marry [verse 10], Jesus is seen with families and blessings the fruit of these families.

My keywords in the phrase mentioned above would be “such as these”. Although we highlight the children, as we should, I want to bring these parents into view. Is the Kingdom for children only? As children are dependent on their parents so these Jewish parents express their dependence on the One that they believed to be the coming Messiah.

Jim Mussetter

Fences need mending

1 Cor. 1:10
“I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the Church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.”

In our cowboy era here in the United States, the writers and publishers brought an excitement to stories about the Wild West. Although cattle stampedes and gun fights were the exceptions and not the rule of everyday life, they were what the inner man wanted to express, strength, individualism, and the do it myself attitude.

These inner qualities may well be what the Apostle Paul is addressing in the opening verses of 1 Corinthians. The early church was letting the inner man rule in their emotional make up.

For clarification purposes, I am using the term “inner” man, speaking of the natural emotional being that we are. Paul addresses the Corinthian believers as saints, brothers, called by God, gifted by God, and yet he will discuss the failures and divisions with this Church.

In the cowboy era, and the Church throughout history, it isn’t the most exciting things that produce the desired benefit. Cowboys spent a lot of time mending fences to protect the cattle. As we so often see, mending fences in the Church is just as necessary.

Jim Mussetter