Thursday, September 30, 2010

Unpleasant Surprise

This week a very disturbing event occurred. Some lowlife stole the catalytic converter from my work truck. It is difficult for me even to comprehend someone doing something like this. From the GMC dealership the part alone is nearly $900.00. An aftermarket unit is less. Of course the time and aggravation involved is even more costly, taking away from my ability to work and earn an income.

I had heard of these things happening, but still it seems unbelievable to me that people would do such things. For what the thieves will get for the stolen part, the same money could have been earned doing simple work that benefited others. Even in this broken economy, honest work can be found if one seeks it.

One of the things that continually confronts me whenever I encounter such foreign things as this, is that if the churches steal the precious truth from people as they continually do, why should I be surprised if such things as this happen in the world? This, too, is beyond my understanding. I know it to be what keeps happening and I know it to be what is done, but it still seems unbelievable to me.

I pray for the thieves both in the world and in the churches. The "Our Father" (Lord's Prayer) teaches us so to pray. God grant that we all are called to the new life of repentance and true faith.

Yet, I also am glad for God's promise that those who do not repent and reject the faith of the Lord Jesus, that these destroyers of tranquility and peace and good will not be permitted to cause havoc in heaven. While I deeply desire that all people receive the miracle of true faith and the salvation that is by faith, I am glad that in His justice God will not permit the evils and the pernicious false doctrine and practices of the world to ruin the kingdom of heaven. Those who refuse to be called to repentance will not be allowed to overthrow the good that God has established. This is truly comforting news in this wretched world of sin and turmoil. Heaven is and shall always be safe.

God preserve us that we may continue in that safety until the day of His return in glory.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Sweet Smell of Toxins

Last night as I was walking in the back yard, I perceived a smell that I have smelled before.  It was the smell of laundry detergent and fabric softener.  Every time that I have detected this wafting through the air I have wondered how this could be.  We have not used laundry detergent or fabric softener for about 15 years.  I do use laundry detergent for spraying for certain insects and fabric softener for my climbing ropes to keep them workable after washing them.  But for our regular laundry, we use laundry disks filled with structured water, spot treating with Simple Green, and sometimes adding OxiClean.

Yet on a number of occasions I have perceived the smell of the fragrances commonly added to laundry detergent and fabric softener sheets.  This had puzzled me each time that my olfactory senses were bombarded with this odor.

It suddenly occurred to me that the source had to be from one of the neighbors’ dryer vents.  I was astounded to realize that the amount of toxic fragrance that my neighbors were using was so powerful that it could fill the air in my back yard.  I thought: “Oh my!  People are actually putting that much of toxic chemicals into their clothes and bedding and are being bombarded with this 24 hours per day!”

Is it any wonder that people develop so many allergies and other problems?

My dad told me long ago about what some men did to avoid the draft during times of war.  He said that some men would sleep with a bar of deodorant soap under each armpit.  The result was that the next day, when they would be examined by the doctor, they would have an irregular heart beat.  If they were not somehow caught in this deception, they would be declared unfit for military service and be spared being sent off to war.  (Dad volunteered, but was rejected because of his knees.)

If one or two nights of exposure have such an affect upon a person’s system, what will months and years of exposure do, especially when exposed to many sources of these toxins?

For more information regarding toxins in our households, see my post: Toxic Chemicals Found in Common Household Products.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Happy Little Visitor

We recently had a happy little visitor to our household.  One morning, when Stephanie opened the door to the garage to put away her bicycle, in ran this little kitty.  She refused to leave, but hid behind boxes and equipment.

When I entered the garage in preparing for the day’s work, I heard her crying, but she would not come to me.  I wondered how she came to be in the garage.  (Stephanie forgot to tell me until later.)

That evening I still could not coax her to leave the garage.  It was not until the next day that I gained her confidence so as to lead her to the door.  But she stood there, peering in all directions.  She was afraid to go outside.  My guess was that she had been dumped by someone and the other cats that frequent our property frightened her.

But I could not leave her in the garage.  She would have no water and no food.  So I stood outside and gently encouraged her to step out.  Finally she did.

That evening, the neighbor was scolding his dog.  She had squeezed through the fence, coming after little Smokey.  Smokey had scaled about 15 feet up the power pole.  After the dog was removed from her presence, she eased her way back down the pole.  Then she followed me into our back yard.

The next day, seeing that she still had not left, I felt sorry for her and gave her some milk.  But she was more interested in receiving attention.  She did finally drink the milk when I added a tiny spoonful of salmon.  I gave her some more milk that night, and Stephanie broke down and gave her some the next morning.  I made her some oatmeal, not really cat food, but she ate it when I added about an eighth of a teaspoon of salmon juice to the milk.  Stephanie gave me permission to buy her a small bag of kitten chow.  I also prepared a makeshift shelter to protect her from the elements.  When I pulled one of my old t-shirts from the rags bag and placed it inside, she went right in and took up residence inside.

She acted very happy.  Stephanie was surprised to discover that when she fed her, all Smokey wanted was to be petted for as long as she was with her.

Two days later, the old green-gray cat came through the yard.  Little Smokey was frightened.  The old cat left without incident, but little Smokey watched for a long time.

That evening Smokey was not to be found.  She has not returned.

Was she found?  Did one of the neighbors take her in?  Did the old cat or the neighbor’s dog catch her?  It seems that we will never know.

Yet our hearts hurt.  She was a “bright spot in our lives,” as Stephanie says.

We have had many such hurts, especially regarding those who called us brethren.  Yet, how can we regret having had the opportunity to enjoy closeness, even for only a little while.  God’s blessings continue to flow to us each and every day.  In this age, such blessings all are temporary.  Even our earthly family members are temporary gifts.  None of these gifts are the basis for lasting happiness.  Whenever anyone looks to such things, which the Lord Jesus calls mammon, we find that they cannot fulfill our needs.  They are blessings nonetheless.  Yet they are only temporal blessings.  This is why we are commanded not to trust in them nor to love them too strongly.  We especially are commanded not to worry regarding these many blessings that the Lord bestows upon us.  The blessings are given from His love, His all sufficient and everlasting love.  They all come from Him and our proper reception of them is as the outflow of His love.  When we are mindful of this, we remain mindful of the one thing needful.  Then we enjoy the blessings in the peace that surpasses all understanding and our hearts and minds are guarded in Christ Jesus.

All things have this wonderful lesson connected to them.  Oh give thanks unto the Lord for He is good, and His mercy endures forever.  Amen.