Friday, February 24, 2012

God's Fortune Cookies

I may offend some people but I think the book of Proverbs is the orginal fortune cookie. Think about it... it's full of wonderful words of wisdom and instruction, gems so to speak. Solomon wrote it and his was the wisest person.

I love all parts of Proverbs, there are parts about raising kids, how you should treat others and words on relationships. But there is also a couple funny parts that make me laugh everytime. Proverbs 21:9 and 25:24 both talk about living on the corner of a rooftop than with a quarelsome wife. If you read those chapters, those two verses seem to be a little out of place. I can just see it: Solomon is writing his words and they are full of wisdom and instruction and all of a sudden one of his hundred wives is complaining because he didn't put the toilet seat down or he left his clothes on the floor or forgot to take out the garbage. I know in reality that probably isn't what happened but we experience it all the time in our lives.

How many times are we in our groove doing our thing and someone disrupts it and we get frustrated or we stop or stumble or get side tracked and it takes us a moment to refocus. How often do we do that with our faith and walk with God. I know I have faith ADHD- I am focused on God's plan with my life and something shiny comes along to distract me and have me lose my focus.

Another idea is sometimes it may be easier to retreat and live on the corner of the roof than constantly be fighting. A nagging wife (or person, issue, or sin) can keep us unfocused, not content and not able to enjoy the blessings that God has given us.

I do know that I have found focus and comfort in my times of need in the Bible but the most comfort or encouragement has come from Proverbs and each time I read it, I find new gems to discover and apply to my life.

What gems have you discovered?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Giver's Remorse

My Bible Study has been going through Andy Stanley's Enemy of the Heart. It works on various issues - anger, guilt, jealousy and greed. I admit it, I struggle with all of those and each week I would think that topic was the one I was suppose to focus on and work on improving until the next week when I would have the same thought.

A couple weeks ago the topic was on greed. I shared with my group that I am a greedy person in the normal ways, I don't really like to share my things or my food. If we go to a restaurant don't expect me to share my food. If you want what I have then you need to order it.

Some of my friends may say that I am a giving person. I don't mind giving my time or efforts or even things- books, games, clothes and other stuff to people who need to borrow it or even keep it. I am fine with giving my stuff away but sometimes I have giver's remorse.

Giver's remorse is like buyer's remorse but I regret giving somethings away but I would never ask for it back. It could be shoes or a shirt that would go perfect with the outfit I am trying to put together but I gave it away so I regret giving the item away and sometimes if I see it again if a friend is wearing it or in their house.

I know it's wrong. I have more than enough clothes to wear and I have been blessed with what I have. Not having the right shoes or the book I want to read again because I gave them away is silly but I wonder how many of us struggle with greed like this.

Extreme Couponing and Helping Others

I spent a lot of time on the road this week and a few nights in hotels. I don't like watching TV in hotels because new towns usually means different stations and that results in not watching or finding my normal TV programming. So I watch random shows like Extreme Couponing or Storage Wars.

One episode a month or so ago, a husband had put his foot down and told his wife to stop buying with coupons because they had enough toothpaste and toilet paper to last several years. They had a spare room in their house full of stuff.

This in my travels I spent time with our Young Farmers and Ranchers in Yuma. They have spent a lot of time and resources the last couple of years helping their local food bank and mission giving them food, jackets and paper. This last year they gave over 1,000 pounds of food- veggies and meat. At Christmas they did a dinner with a coat and canned food drive. They also collected funds to use towards things the mission needed like toilet paper and meat. They ended up being able to buy over 900 rolls of toilet paper that they will be able to hand out to those in need.

This week begins Food Check Out week. Food Check Out week celebrates the fact that by now the average family of four in the US has earned enough money to pay for their food for the entire year. Maybe we should partner with extreme couponing people who can get cases of toilet paper, cleaning products and food in the future. Use their skills at shopping and our ability to produce safe and affordable food. Besides, we may help their marriages by allowing them to continue to shop with coupons without overstocking their homes.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sliding Doors

Do you ever think about what would have happened if you had made a different decision in life and where you would be? It could be a big one like moving to a new city, picking a different college, saying yes to a job or marrying someone else. It's like the movie Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow where it depicts her life if she makes the train and what happens or if she misses the train.

It's like a compass, if you are just a smidge off in the beginning you are great distances off at the end. I've been contemplating that the last few months. Were would I be if I hadn't stayed in Arizona? What if I had not applied for the position at Farm Bureau, what if I had said yes to this and no to that?

I think of regrets I have in decisions I have made but find joy in the people I have met along the way and the things I have learned but I wonder what or where I would be in life if I had changed one decision. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my life and have been blessed with amazing friends and family but am curious if I would be standing in a hole in some field or building today if I had majored in archeology instead of animal science in college.

I know God has a plan for me and I take comfort in Proverbs 20:24 "A person's steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?" I know I will walk out of this shadow of doubt in my life.

I've been thinking...

I have had a lot of time to be thinking of things this past year. A lot has changed in my life and I've had a lot of windshield time to contemplate it. I'm going to try and post my observations and conclusions about life. My experiences both with Farm Bureau and just in general and those "life things" that I contemplate on my 50 plus hours of drive time each month.

I have made changes to the design of my blog and with a little help from my more hip blogging friends I will make a few more additons. I hope this will become a weekly post. So starting tomorrow there will be a post and feel free to comment.