Friday, May 22, 2009

A Fresh Coat of Paint

We are scratching an itch this weekend. What is the itch? Well, our family room has pinkish colored walls and carpet. It looks like we are entombed in a Pepto-Bismol room. Pepto is supposed to soothe, but the family room is far from soothing. So, we are painting and ripping out carpet.

We have already applied one coat of primer and I will be applying a second coat as soon as I finish this blog. I may take longer than usual to formulate my thoughts today. Not that I am procrastinating on the paint job though. Perish the thought! I was hoping one coat of primer would suffice, but no, those mauve walls need really need a thick coat to hide that hideous color. (I have nothing against the color mauve. It is a good color when used sparingly, but being surrounded by it is suffocating.)

Once primed, we will paint the ceiling white and the walls misty surf, which is a light, grayish blue. We hope it looks as good on the walls as it did on the sample card at Home Depot. Then we plan on ripping out the carpet to expose the hardwood floors. We expect a drastic difference and are anxious to see it finished. Amy's sister and her family are coming down for the weekend to lend a hand. Poor Jeff, he always has honey-do's waiting for him when he comes to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. If you feel the urge to come help, just message me for directions. We are accepting all applications, with approved credit, of course.

Home make-overs are all the rage. You can hardly turn on the TV without running into one. One teaches you how to remodel or redecorate while another shows you how to rearrange and yet another whets your appetite for all the latest gadgets and materials that you do not have but that your neighbor probably does have. Run! Run to the store and get what you need to keep up with the Jones. The problem is that the Jones are already at the store buying newer and even better stuff.

We like making over everything. We go to tanning salons to make-over the tone of our skin. We eat with Jenny Craig, run with Oprah, and work out with the Biggest Losers in order to make-over the shape of our bodies. We wear the latest fashions and get the latest hair-do as we make-over our appearance. Now, healthy living and looking nice are not bad things. I may even try it some day. But I wonder how much of that effort is really about dissatisfaction with what we have and wanting to be like someone else who we deem as the ideal. I wonder if most of it is just superficial.

Can I suggest a real make-over? Let God change you from the inside out. Jesus looked at the Prarisees and called them whited sepulchres full of dead men's bones. He was saying they looked good on the outside but were rotten on the inside. God makes us new on the inside and teaches how to transform our minds by the renewing of His word. Read your Bible. Pray everyday. Ask God to change you on the inside and you will see beauty emerge on the outside.

We are using paint to cover up what we considered unattractive. We can do that with our lives, too, by turning over a new leaf, making New Years resolutions, or addressing habits from a human point of view. That may clean up the outward man but may do little for the inward man. It is like prettying up a pig. When you are done, the pig will still run to the trough because it is a pig and that is its nature.

God gives us a new nature. We are created fresh and new in Christ Jesus. Let Him continue His work on you by changing you from inside out. The exterior that is produced will reflect the beauty within by how you live and love. When we accept God's love and love Him in return then we can fully love others and be loved by them.

Let the walls be walls and paint them when you wish but let your heart belong to God so He can make an eternal change in you. The difference will be drastic.

Because He lives,


Friday, May 8, 2009

Doing the Laundry

Today was laundry day here at the Holcomb house. That is not such a big deal. It was probably laundry day at many houses. It may be laundry day at your house, too. The difference for us was that for the first time in more years than I can remember, laundry day meant a trip to a laundry-mat.

Our dryer decided to wage a strike a week or so ago, so Amy strung a clothes line on which she has been hanging our freshly washed clothes to dry. That is not such a big deal either. Many folks still use clothes lines, I think. We celebrated the raising of the clothes line with pictures after which I officially welcomed Amy to the sticks. A bonus is that clothes take no electrical energy to dry on a line. We are hoping it helps on our electric bill. So, we are in no hurry to buy another dryer. Amy says you can not see those pictures, though I can not imagine why not.

We loaded basket after basket that was pressed down shaken together and running over. We got a roll of quarters and a few dollar bills just in case we had underestimated how much it would cost to wash and dry 12-15 loads of laundry. I was certain two rolls would be too much, after all, each roll is worth $10. (Amy is so proud I am telling this story so please pray for me)

Two hours, two regular washer loads, three triple washer loads, three ungowa-sized washer loads, and six dryer loads later, praise the Lord, we were finished. Wives don't you love how I am using the inclusive "we" pronoun in this story? Oh, did I mention that I had indeed underestimated the cost? Well, I did. Our little trip to the laundry-mat cost us about $45. See, I knew two rolls of quarters was not right.

With bad weather coming, Amy knew she would not get to hang clothes for a few days and we needed to get our stuff clean. We did it all at once, but since we had quite a bit to do, it cost us quite a bit more than I expected.

Sin in our lives can be like a pile of dirty clothes that will not clean themselves. The pile gets bigger and bigger until someone deals with it. As the pile grows, the person may get intimidated by it and want to ignore it. The pile never goes away by itself though and neither does our sin.

As sin lingers and grows in our lives we may want to ignore it. We may feel overwhelmed by it and convince ourselves that it has become so large that we will always be defeated by it. Satan would like for God's children to believe that kind of lie. The Devil wants you and I to live in fear, shame, and defeat, but God says He has given us the Spirit of power, and love and a sound mind.

God desires that we live free from the burden of sin. He promises that if we will confess our sins that He will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. What a wonderful God we serve. We would do well to deal with sin quickly when we let it in our lives. But even if we let the pile grow and we feel overwhelmed, God is still quick to forgive and cleanse.

Go to the laundry-mat at the throne of God and take care of any dirty laundry you may have. All of our laundry is clean. It cost more than I expected but we dealt with it and now it is done. Sin can cost us more than what we expect, so let us deal with it today for we may not want to know the cost of waiting until tomorrow.

Because He lives,