In A Hurry?
Posted on October 28, 2022 Leave a Comment
“I’m in a hurry to get things done, Oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun, All I really gotta do is live and die, But I’m in a hurry and don’t know why. I’m In A Hurry (And Don’t Know Why) ~ Alabama
When you’re young, you’re in a hurry to grow up. When you grow up, you’re in a hurry to retire. When you retire, you’re in a hurry to…do what you want, sit around, be left alone, read, sleep, relax, shop, travel, be lazy, die? What good comes from hurrying to one place only to hurry to the next only to hurry to the next? What good is a life spent hurrying it away? We are all going to die soon enough. No need to hasten our time by hurrying and rushing.
Not once have I ever imagined Jesus hurrying or rushing around Galilee. I do recall reading in the Word that Jesus would flee from those who were going to take His life before His time. And I agree, that’s a good reason to hurry off. So is that it? Is someone after your life? Is that why you hurry and rush around? Are you being chased? Is that why you drive over the posted speed limit to get where you are going? Is that why you forsake sleep and rest? Is that why you barrel past people to get what you need? There’s about as much life in hurrying and rushing around as there is in the grave, none. Jesus is not in the grave nor is He in the rat race. The rat race is defined as strenuous, wearisome, and usually competitive activity or rush. Are we competing to see who can exhaust or wear themselves out first? What are we doing hurrying and rushing around when there is no good to be found in it. Hurrying and rushing is not good for you, it is not good for your family and it is not good for anyone around you.
I wonder how much more people would live if we all would slow down when we walk, talk and drive. I wonder how much more happiness and satisfaction we would find in life. I wonder how many more people, sights and sounds we would actually see and enjoy. I wonder how much more children would learn at a slower pace. I wonder how much more the slower pace would improve the quality of families’ lives. I wonder how much more a slower pace would save lives. I wonder how much more peace and joy we would all have if we would slow down and let Jesus set the pace of our lives.
We are free standing bodies and we have the power to choose the pace we set for our lives. Set a good pace for you and your family. Slow down. Enjoy the life you see right in front of you because the truth is you may never get to where you plan to go.
Three miles is three miles whether you walk it or run it. The faster you go the quicker it ends. The same is true for life. Your life will be the length it will be whether you walk it or run it. It will go by fast if you’re hurrying and rushing around. It will be longer if you walk. Prolong your life and the life of others by slowing down. Stop and smell the roses. Feel the warmth on your skin. Feel the breeze blow through your hair. Watch the leaves fall. Listen to the birds sing. Stop hurrying and rushing around. Let Jesus set the pace of your life and live for a change.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly.
About Black Walnuts…
Posted on October 26, 2022 Leave a Comment
While cracking the black walnuts, I became curious about their nutritional value. Here’s the scoop…According to an article in Very Well Health, black walnuts are high in unsaturated fats and protein. They also contain tannins which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They are also rich in essential fatty acids, magnesium and potassium. Black walnuts have not been studied a lot so little is known about how beneficial they are to our health. More research is needed but many people believe they are helpful to treat diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, colon and prostate cancers and intestinal worms. Some say they can help protect against heart disease, cancer, infections caused by an over growth of yeast and inflammatory skin disorders. While little is known about black walnuts, increasing nut consumption in general may boost health. They are a tree nut so those with allergies should follow their physician’s guidance on consumption.
Black walnuts have a very bold, distinctive flavor much different than the more common English walnut. I didn’t think my daughter would like them but she was eating them as she was cracking! They are commonly added to baked goods and side dishes. I encourage you to try them if you never have. You can buy them in the store or you can find a walnut tree near by and harvest them for yourself!
A link to the article. https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-benefits-of-black-walnut-89422
Lessons From A Walnut
Posted on October 25, 2022 Leave a Comment
Last fall I harvested some black walnuts from trees around my house. The process of removing the fruit and cleaning the nut is a lengthy and dirty one. After a week or two of this process, I was ready to store them away for a while. So I put the walnuts in the basement with the intention of cracking some throughout the year and adding them to cakes and cookies but that didn’t happen. So now fall has come around once again, walnuts are falling off the trees and I had yet to crack last years nuts! With ripe apples on the trees and the holidays around the corner, all I could think was applesauce cake. And in order to make the best applesauce, I knew I was gonna need those walnuts! But what I didn’t know was how much people are like walnuts.
WE’RE ALL NUTS
After cracking walnuts I have come to the conclusion, and I say this in the most loving way, we’re all nuts. In our own special way, like a walnut, we’re all a little nutty. Don’t get me wrong, I love nuts! This is in no way an insult to nuts or people. It’s just that I have discovered how people are similar to walnuts!
WALNUTS HAVE A HARD EXTERIOR
Walnut shells are hard! Some were harder than others but still hard. Sometimes it would take several hard hits with the mallet to break them open. I now have a new respect for the wildlife who feast on them. They are strong!
Like walnuts, some people have a harder exterior than others. Some have a harder outer covering that protects what’s inside of them for all kinds of reasons. These may be people who do not easily give way to their emotions. These may be people who are described as strong, tough, or resilient. These may be people who can withstand a lot of force or pressure before they crack like a nut. But unlike walnuts, there is never a good reason to force or pressure a person especially to the extent that they crack. You never know how many hard hits a person has taken before you meet them, so for this reason, you should treat every person with tender loving care, the young and the old.
NO NUTS CRACKS THE SAME
We cracked a lot of nuts. The shape of the nut on the inside was mostly determined by the way the nut was cracked open. Using tools, a strategic hit on top would split the nut down the middle and you would find a beautiful heart shaped nut inside. A random hit anywhere on the shell could shatter it and there was no way to know what shape you would find the nut in. Sometimes only a quarter or half the shell would shatter and the remaining would be intact. Other times, the entire shell would shatter. Any walnut hit hard enough, the shell would explode.
Like a walnut, the way people crack under pressure is different. We may believe that strategic pressure done with care will result in something beautiful but that is not guaranteed. Any pressure on a person, in any area of life, could result in a life or lives shattering. All people have different thresholds for pressure before they explode. There is nothing good for anyone to gain from people shattering or exploding under pressure.
MOST NUTS ARE GOOD. SOME ARE BAD. FEW ARE EMPTY.
Like I said, we cracked a lot of nuts and most of them were good. They had healthy, white nut meat. Very few were bad, black or shriveled. I think only one or two were completely empty. And I’m not sure if nothing ever grew in those or if they were so bad the nut rotted away completely. But I love hearts and I love finding them in nature. Cracking open so many nuts with beautiful white little hearts made my day!
Like a walnut, all people have a heart. Yes, of course, anatomically you must have a heart to live but I’m not referring to the physical heart. I’m referring to the heart of the soul. The heart that bleeds out care, concern and compassion for others. I believe most people are good and have genuine care, concern and compassion for others. I believe some people have less for others and have more for themselves. While I believe there are very few who have none for others or themselves. We are all subject to pride, ego, greed and selfishness to some extent but our willingness to forsake these evil qualities for good will most definitely prove to be beneficial to all hearts. People, unlike a walnut, are able to express care, concern and compassion for others through the pure and simple goodness of their heart and it’s the most beautiful thing! The hearts of people are far more superior and valuable than walnuts!
So you see, we’re all nuts. Each and every one of us, like a walnut, will crack under enough pressure and will crack in different ways. And like a walnut, good or bad, we all have a heart on the inside of us that was made for loving, giving and sharing. Although walnuts have value, the lives of people are far more valuable and precious. Jesus loves all people and all people deserve to be handled with tender loving and care. There is nothing on this earth worth more than life and our aim should be to keep all people healthy and whole, not crushed and broken under pressure.
THERE’S NO WONDER WE’RE ALL NUTS
If you look at the world today there’s no wonder we’re all nuts. There is so much pressure every where you go to do this or do that, wear this or wear that, say this or say that, buy this or buy that, have this or have that. It’s like a Dr. Suess book gone mad. It’s a noisy and chaotic world that is full of force and pressure. But the good news is that you don’t have to live under pressure or heed the world’s standards when you follow Jesus Christ. Believe me, Jesus is not in the chaos and disorder. When you follow Jesus, you are chosen out of the world. You are no longer apart of it and you are able to walk on a higher road where there is peace for your soul. When you follow Jesus, you learn that nothing worth having is worth losing your soul. Being pressured or forced to do anything is wrong and it is not good for anyone. There is nothing in this world worth a person cracking, breaking or dying over. Nothing. Life is precious and it’s fragile. It should be handled with the upmost care, even with more care than you would handle an Amazon package.
He sees it all. He knows it all. And He is holding your heart as well as the whole world in His hands. Nutty or not, you can trust Him with your life. Don’t be like a walnut and crack under unnecessary pressure. Stay intact and whole by following Jesus, not the patterns of this world.
But I chose you out of the world. John 15:19
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:26
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8:12
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
What Matters Most
Posted on October 20, 2022 Leave a Comment
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:44
Reflecting on my life, I can recall three times I believe the Lord was drawing me to Him. The first time was after the passing of my great-grandma. I believe I was in fifth grade and it was the first time I had ever known anyone who died. I remember very clearly having a desire to read the Bible. And I remember reading it and trying to understand but that didn’t last. The second time was in high school I believe in tenth grade. I had a friend who’s dad was a pastor and he invited a group of us to church. I remember going to the youth services and leaving there feeling good and refreshed. I remember dressing up and going to Easter service. Somewhere there is a picture of me in that dress with my Easter basket. I don’t remember the reason why we stopped going but knowing what I do now I wish I never had stopped. The third time was in nursing school and early in my nursing career. I had a classmate who was so passionate about Jesus. Her love for the Lord was evident and she gifted me a Bible on my birthday. The Bible may have gone on the shelf but Jesus didn’t go anywhere. I worked the night shift as a new nurse on a unit with chronically ill patients. At night, you had time to talk to them and often conversations and questions about life would arise. I remember these conversations stirring my curiosity about God but not enough to move me.
I had some knowledge of God but no faith. I had no understanding of why I needed Him and why He was so important. And why would I? I was doing great in life. I had a college education, career, a house, family and friends. I had success in life and was doing great! Yeah, I was doing great despite being lonely and starving for love. I was doing great despite the episodes of binge drinking and self humiliation. I was doing great despite my weight hang ups and body shaming. I was doing great despite the constant feelings of rejection and inadequacy. I was doing great despite the shame of unplanned pregnancies and divorce. I was doing great despite my lack of self worth and dignity. I was doing great.
You see, these are examples of things we carry through life that make us heavy and miserable. These are the things God wants to take from you. These are the things that Jesus died to carry and protect you from so you could live life light and free. It’s the things you carry on the inside that nobody can see that He wants to help you with. It’s the things you don’t talk about. It’s the things you don’t share with anyone. It’s the things you keep hidden and buried down deep inside of you. It’s the things that no person is able to help, fulfill or satisfy.
I believe God was drawing me to Him because He knew the troubles and hardships I was destined to face the way my life was going. I believe God was trying to save me even in the fifth grade. I believe He was trying to save me from the pain and suffering of the self hatred I would inflict upon myself in my teen and early adult years. I hated myself and God knew it and He wanted to love and help me. And while I responded to Him initially, I didn’t stay long enough to receive His amazing grace and perfect love.
You see, I know now the people, the achievements and the accomplishments mean nothing. They are no good measure for how well a person is doing in life. They don’t matter at all. What matters most is what a person believes in their heart to be true and in whom they identify with the most. What matters most is what a person believes about their life and their value. What matters most is if they love and accept themselves as God created them to be and not for how the world receives them. I have discovered that the only way to know these truths is to believe in Jesus Christ and devote your life to knowing Him. Because when you know Him, you know yourself. Your real self. Your beautifully raw and authentic self. Your highest self you will not allow to hide.
With Jesus, you are free to be who you are and who you are is beautiful. He will save and free you from the lies you believe about life and He will fill you with all His love. There is a plan and a purpose for His drawing. If He is drawing you, if you have any curiosity or interest in who He is, if you have a thought or slightest desire to go to church, read the Bible, pray or talk to Him, or ask someone about Him, do it! Do not resist Him like I did so many times. His drawing is for your good. He knows where you’ve been, He knows where you are and He knows where you’re going. Only Jesus can save you. If He is drawing you, run to Him and open your heart to receive Him because He loves you, He cares for you and He wants to help you now and forever.
This is not about religion, it’s about life. Jesus came to give life. Life to all people in the world, including you! You are worthy of God’s best life and believe me sweetie, Jesus is worth your time to know!
For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.’ Jeremiah 29: 11-13
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:16-17