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Our New Home
Fall is in the air!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Closed Compartments...

I updated the operating system on my computer a few days ago switching from Windows 7 to Windows 10.  A little app had suddenly appeared on the bottom of my screen a month or so ago advertising that I was eligible for the free upgrade.  So I did my homework and read up on Windows’ newest reiteration of their operating system and decided to go for it.  I scheduled the download to begin during the evening hours when I would not be using the computer.
Well, everything was fine until I tried to use it the next morning!  I immediately got frustrated as I could not easily find some of the programs I use on a regular basis.  And to make matters worse, I had no sound.  I was finally able to fumble through my morning Bible Study and even write my blog for the day, but I was NOT a happy camper. 
Later on that afternoon when I had a bit more time, had cooled down and even asked for the Lord’s assistance, I sat down with new resolve to conquer the dilemma.  This time I went through the “Get Started” video and began to familiarize myself with the layout of the new system that looks a lot closer to my iPhone screen than how my computer did before the change.  I also googled some of the problems that I was incurring and discovered that I wasn’t the only one and that the Windows tech team had posted quick fixes for many things like the absence of sound!
Now that I know more about the new system, I actually like it, although I am still running into things to research, make adjustments to my system and/or do differently than I did before.  All in all I think it is a better, more intuitive system.  The difficulty comes in having to teach this old dog some new tricks!
My experience with the new operating system for my laptop reminds me of the research, personal adjustments and the way I had to start doing many things differently in my life after returning home following our stay in Oklahoma and the diagnosis of my wife’s health condition.  Not only did I have to deal with the negative outlook projected for my lovely wife, but I also was hit head-on with changes in almost every other foundational area of our lives.
As I read from Ephesians 1:8-9 in the Moffatt translation this morning, I got to thinking about some of the hard lessons I learned.  This version which was very popular in the late 1930’s and 1940’s here in America declares: “So richly has God lavished upon us his grace, granting us complete insight and understanding of the open secret of his will…” After reading this I had to laugh a bit as I thought “Yes, He’s given us all of that… but we have to dig it out!”
It is like the changes in my computer’s operating system.  It is new, more powerful and designed to be more intuitive to the user, but first you gotta learn all its ins and outs and how to make it best work for your particular applications.  God’s grace is new for the man or woman who has received Jesus as their Savior and Lord.  And it comes with a different operating system, based on a whole new set of parameters.
Like I said, I am still coming across new things that I have to learn about Windows 10.  Almost every time I attempt to do something I haven’t done since making the change, I have to make some mental adjustments so as to learn to remember the new mechanics and forget the old ways… that don’t work anymore and in fact cause problems if I insist on continuing with them!
I have come to the conclusion through the things I have experienced through this whole adventure in faith with my wife’s health, that each of us are designed with many different compartments that we have to open up and renew with the will and grace of God as they come into use in our lives.  It is the only way that I have come to understand how some people could have reacted to things the way they did when faced with the potentially devastating news concerning a loved one.  I have come to see that this situation was something that they never had to face before.  They had a choice between grace or fear and grace did NOT win out!
But before I go any further, I must also say that their reactions caused me to face the same dilemmas they did… and I did NOT react much better… AT FIRST.  I suddenly realized that there were thoughts going through my mind that utterly amazed, and to be honest, scared me!  To say the least… it was one of the most shocking and uncomfortable realities that I have ever had to deal with in my Christian walk.  After much prayer, the investigation for God’s will as found in His Word concerning what was swirling around in me and tearful repentance, I was able sweep those dusty compartments within me clean and fill them up with the amazing grace of God.
I believe that is why we should never become complacent with our level of maturity in the Lord.  I’ve been a Christian for over forty years, having spent the majority of that time in Pastoral leadership positions and I am STILL learning!  I honestly thought that attending Bible College after 30 plus years in the ministry was going to be a piece of cake… simple reviewBUT boy, was I wrong! 
The moment I entered that first class that autumn day in 2006, I was humbled, awe-struck and thoroughly excited and expectant about what I was getting to learn!  I quickly realized that all my knowledge and hands on experience was but a drop in the bucket compared to the “complete insight and understanding of the operation of his will…” as Paul described in Ephesians 1:8-9.  I also learned that my real training came when I got back home three years later and everything (and seemingly everybody!) hit the proverbial fan!
I find it exciting now, to face each day with the joyful anticipation of what I am going to learn… and maybe even more importantly… what undisclosed areas of my life I am going to get to open up to His love, His wisdom and understanding and His grace.  Do you know what I am talking about?  Are there some undisclosed areas in your life that might just need to be opened up to God’s ways?  If you’re honest with yourself ,I think you’ll probably have to answer that question with a resounding “YES!”
How exciting… today we get to face opportunities to open up more of ourselves to the goodness of God and become a better person for it!  So…have a great day.  Stay in tune to God’s Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or How am I expecting to open up more of me to Papa God today?”

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