"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
March 6, 2013
I think sometimes we forget just how much God loves us and desires to be a Father to us. We tend to get into the frame of mind that our problems are too small to share with God; or that compared to other people what we're dealing with is insignificant; or that we can handle things on our own without bothering God.
But the truth is, God loves hearing from us and nothing we have to say is too unimportant or meaningless. We're not bothering Him or taking up His time. God wants us to communicate with Him.
When I used to talk to my dad, I didn't first filter whether or not I thought he was interested in what I had to say, or whether it was important enough to mention, or if he cared about what was happening in my life. I didn't wait until I had something that I considered to be newsworthy or serious or of great importance before I talked to him.
My sisters and I shared everything and can talk for hours on end without running out of conversation material. We just enjoy being together and never have problems with finding something to talk about.
It's the same when Jon and I are together. Not everything we discuss is of utmost importance and significant. We can talk about mundane things, such as a hawk we see while driving down the road or what Jon ate for lunch during the work week. But we also feel free to share our hopes and dreams, even when they may sound far-fetched or silly. We discuss our finances, our aches and pains, and make decisions together. We love one another and enjoy conversing together, whatever the topic may be.
How sad it would be if the only time we spoke to those we love was on special occasions or when something urgent occurred. Over time the relationship would suffer and the closeness and bond between us would become weak. Sadly, that happens too often between spouses, siblings, parents and children, and friends. When there is a lack of communication, then the relationship always suffers.
I believe that God cares about everything that is going on in our lives. He enjoys hearing from us and want us to feel secure and close enough to Him to share everything that concerns us or the thoughts of our heart. He delights in hearing about the mundane, daily small stuff as well as those things that we deem as being important.
A few days ago, we noticed that Sammie (our puppy) had something going on with one of his eyes. We really couldn't tell if he had something in his eye or if it was a bad scratch or perhaps even a small tear on his eye. We care about our dog, but also don't want to be running to the vet every time something happens; which can get expensive. On the other hand, we also don't want to let something major go unheeded, if it needs attention. Sammie didn't seem to notice anything wrong with his eye, it didn't seem to be hurting, and wasn't red or infected. But there was something definitely in the eye and it looked as if it could become painful.
After a couple days when it didn't go away, we decided that perhaps the next morning I should call the vet and have it checked out. That night before going to sleep when we had our prayer time, I asked God to heal Sammie's eye. The next morning when we checked his eye, it was completely cleared up. There are some who would say, "Oh well, it probably would have been cleared up on its own anyway. God likely didn't have anything to do with it." But I choose to believe that God heard my prayer, that He cares about Sammie, and that He chose to heal Sammie's eye.
Matthew 10:20-30 says, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered."
If God cares enough about each and every sparrow, that are considered as being worthless to many, that He sees each one that falls to the ground and dies, then how much more does He care for us?
Verse 30 has always amazed me, that God keeps track of the very hairs on our head. He cares so very much about each and every one of us that He would give meticulous attention to such insignificant details as to how many hairs we have on our head. That should be a reminder that God truly loves us and is concerned about everything that happens in our life and wants us to share with Him and communicate with Him about anything and everything. Nothing is too mundane or boring to talk to God about. On the other hand, there is also nothing too big or crucial either.
God is our Heavenly Father and wants us to have an open, loving relationship with Him where we share each intimate detail of our life with Him. He doesn't want to be left out or ignored, and it hurts Him when we do so. Just as earthly relationships suffer when there is a lack of communication, our relationship with God will also suffer when we don't commune with Him.
There may be family members that you love and enjoy seeing whenever you get the chance, but if that only occurs once or twice a year and you don't ever communicate in between times, you're not going to share the closeness that you do with those that you spend time with on a consistent basis. In fact, you may begin to feel more like acquaintances than family. On the other hand, those family members that you keep in touch with and spend time with on a steady basis you are going to feel more connected to them and there will be a stronger bond. When something of major importance occurs, they will be the first ones you will immediately think to call; whereas those whom you rarely see, you often won't even think about calling them or sharing whatever the news may be, both the good and bad.
If we don't consistently pray and talk to God, then we will not feel the closeness and bond with Him that we would otherwise experience were we to daily spend time with Him. When something of major importance happens in our life we will try to figure it out on our own, or talk to family or friends, or turn to other sources before running to God. But He should always be the One that we run to first, regardless of the situation. God shouldn't be an after-thought or a last resort, but He should be our priority.
Whether something is a big deal or a little deal seems to be a matter of perspective. Even if I didn't remember Junior High for myself, there are plenty of reminders on TV. In Junior High, almost everything is a huge deal, no matter how ridiculous--especially if it's ridiculous. As an adult, it's hard to care that much, and to show compassion or sympathy. But God knows their hearts and their pain. And if God can care about a teen who has lost their BFF for a whole hour, and give them comfort, you can be sure He's right their with us and our grown up, real problems.
Chicken and Noodles
(This is the how I make them; which is really fast and easy!)
1 rotisserie chicken -- deboned
4-6 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 pkg. Reames frozen noodles
1 can cream of mushroom soup
In a large pan, pour in the chicken broth and water. Debone a rotisserie chicken (the ones in Walmart or a supermarket deli are great!); add the chicken to the pan. Bring the liquid to a boil; add the package of Reames frozen noodles. Cook for 20 minutes (according to the directions on back of the package). Add the can of cream of mushroom soup and stir to mix in. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to cool, which will allow the juice to thicken.
I've found that using the rotisserie chicken, which is already seasoned, and a low-sodium chicken broth adds enough salt where it's not necessary to use more.
My niece made some homemade lotion at Christmas that is a really good moisturizing lotion and easy to make:
The recipe is: 1 bottle of St. Ives lotion, 1/4 cup Crisco (yes, Crisco shortening); 1/4 cup Vaseline. Put in a bowl and mix together well with a mixer. Store in glass jars with a lid and it will keep for a long time.
Religion says behave, THEN believe, THEN belong.
Grace says belong, THEN believe, THEN behave. - Luke Lang
We love you!
Loretta & Jon