Friday, February 22, 2019

A Story About Trust

     I've been doing a ketogenic diet for a while now and the sugar substitute I like the most is Xylitol - a natural sweetener made from birch bark.  Unfortunately it's also deadly to dogs, and from what I've read, even very small amounts can be fatal. I am extremely careful not to give my dogs any scraps or drippings of anything containing this sweetener.  I don't know how much it would take to kill them, but I'm not willing to chance them getting even a drop.
     Shortly after I started this way of eating, I poured myself a bowl of my homemade keto cereal. I have a goat farm, so I always have fresh, raw goat milk on hand.  My dogs LOVE goat milk, and I always have to give them a splash any time I get it from the fridge. 
     Previous to this diet, my routine would be to get my coffee and my cereal, take it to my chair in the living room and eat my cereal while reading my morning devotions.  My little doxie, Tootsie, would always sit quietly watching me, waiting for the moment I finished my bowl, because she loves to lap up any remaining milk, licking the bowl clean.
     This particular morning, however, she waited patiently as usual, but my cereal has Xylitol in it.  Most likely, it wouldn't have been enough left in the milk to hurt her, but I wasn't willing to risk her life on it. So I had to refuse what she wanted. Instead, I took the bowl to the kitchen out of her reach.  All for her own safety and well being. I couldn't let her lick the bowl.
     When I sat back down, she jumped onto my lap and got right in my face. It was almost as if she was begging me for it, and trying to convince me with a hug. I loved on her for a minute, reassuring her that I loved her, but had to withhold what she wanted for her own good.  But I'm sure she didn't understand.
     That's when it occurred to me that sometimes it can be like that between us and God.  Or at least me and God - I can't speak for you.  
     Sometimes circumstances in life change and things are different than they were before.  Maybe we want things to go back to the way they were.  Maybe someone or something is lost to us and we want them, or that, back.  Maybe we want something new and plead with God to give it to us.  But God withholds it. Why? We ask, and ask, but no . . . we don't get what we want.  We don't understand.
     Could it be that there may be some "ingredient" we're unaware of that could harm us? Or somehow lead to bad circumstances in our life?  What we want seems fine to us, but only God knows for sure.
     After Tootsie's attempt to pull at my heartstrings, she laid down on my lap and went peacefully to sleep.  She trusts me.  
     Do I trust God in my circumstances?  Do you?

Lord, help me to rest peacefully in Your sovereign care and love for me.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you,    all whose thoughts are fixed on you!  (Isaiah 26:3  NLT)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Stubborn As a Goat
(Pippy pouting in the corner.)
     Some of my goats have been mad at me the past few days. Especially the "grand dam", Pippy. The vet came last Friday and tagged their ears. I knew it was going to hurt, and they wouldn't like it. I didn't want to do it, but it was necessary for the blood tests being done, and for my purposes of selling their milk. Well, she (Pippy) has been pouting ever since. She's usually the first one in the milking room and the first one to eat. Not since Friday.  She stays in one of the pens, by herself. She went out to the field by herself. The only way I was able to get her to come eat and get milked was to offer her crackers.  She came in and I milked her, but she wasn't happy about it. She wouldn't look at me, and wouldn't hang around to be petted afterwards like she normally would. I never knew goats could be so emotional. She usually will rub against my leg, but not since Friday. It's kinda funny though. She's depriving herself by pouting this way. Does she think not wanting to eat is hurting me? By not coming around to be petted, does she think she's punishing me? By not socializing with me, or the rest of the herd, does she think she's accomplishing anything? 
     Hmmm. I think I act the same way at times.  There have been times I've been mad at God, and have acted very much like my goat. I don't "eat" or feed on His word, because I'm pouting.  I may withdraw from Him and other Christians, because I just don't want to be around them. Or, being in ministry, maybe I can't stay away from church, so I go, but I'm not happy about it.  I just do it because it's what I'm supposed to do.  But my heart isn't in it. 
     I could probably replace all the "I" statements with "we", couldn't I?  Have you ever been mad at God?  Have you ever pouted because He didn't give you what you asked for? Or do what you wanted Him to do?  Or act the way you wanted Him to act?  Do we think we're hurting God by not reading His word?  By isolating ourselves, are we accomplishing anything?  By not coming to Him, are we punishing Him?  
     I don't think so.  The only way it might hurt God, is the same way Pippy is hurting me.  It makes me sad that she's been so upset with me, even though what has been done, has been ultimately for her own good.  God is probably sad when I act that way too. His intention is not to cause us harm, but only to give us a hope and a future. (Jer. 29:11) I hope I remember how Pippy has acted the next time I'm tempted to pout with God. 
Lord, help me not to be a stubborn old goat.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jer. 29:11  NIV

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Didn't I Tell You. . .? 

     Jesus responded, "Didn't I tell you that you would see God's glory if you believe?"  John 11:40  
     Jesus said this to Martha just before raising Lazarus from the dead. He reminded her of his promises. I'm reminded too.
     In my early years as a Christian, I had been going through a "dry spell." You know - those times when no matter how much you pray, it seems like your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling, and He's no where around. But since I was a relatively new Christian, I didn't know that was "normal" sometimes. I thought God had given up on me because I kept failing and falling in my walk with Him. I had been praying and praying and praying for what seemed like weeks, but could not sense His presence. I laid down to take a nap one Sunday afternoon and fell asleep praying, asking Him where He was and why had He left me? What did I do wrong that I had not confessed already?
     I didn't know I had fallen asleep, but I dreamed Jesus stepped into my view and sat down at the foot of my bed. Silly me! The only thing I said was, "You are here." Very calm and matter-of-fact like. Really??? That's all I could come up with??!! 
     You know what He said to me?  "Didn't I tell you I would be?" That was it.
     I looked away for a second and He was gone, but I never forgot that dream. 
     So when I read this passage today, it reminded me of my dream again.  Didn't I tell you. . .?  So many times over the years, as doubts and questions have come up, that dream has given me a reason to remember what I've learned by reading His words in scripture.

Didn't I tell you. . . I love you?  (John 15:9)
Didn't I tell you. . . I am your Savior and paid the penalty for your sins? (John 3:16-18) 
Didn't I tell you. . . I will never leave you? (Heb. 13:5)
Didn't I tell you. . . I am with you always? (Mt. 28:20)
Didn't I tell you. . . anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying? (John 11:25)
Didn't I tell you. . . no one can snatch you out of my hand? (John 10:29)
Didn't I tell you. . . I will come again? (John 14:3)
Didn't I tell you. . .? 
     The Bible is full of God's promises. Why do we forget so easily? Why can't we just take His word for it?
     Am I the only one who needs reminding?  What is it that He keeps telling you?  Feel free to comment below.

Lord, help me not to forget. Help me to remember the truth of Your word. . . always.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

One Mess Leads to Another

     Have you ever noticed that? Messes multiply.
     We have dairy goats that we milk twice a day,  and this morning my two granddaughters were helping me. As I was finishing milking the biggest producer, I was distracted by teaching the girls how to milk and didn't guard the bucket properly.  The goat managed to knock over the bucket and spilled about 3 cups of milk. Of course,  it went all over me, my granddaughter, the milking stand, the bench, and the floor. A great big mess! But I held my tongue and didn't say anything. There wasn't much I could say.  We just cleaned it all up and moved on to the next goat.
     While we were outside, my grandson was inside and decided to fix himself a bowl of cereal. You see, I keep the milk in zip lock bags in the fridge because the bags take up less room, and it's easy to pour from.  When he put the milk back in the fridge, he neglected to seal the bag properly. Of course, he didn't realize that. 
   When all my goat chores were finished, about an hour or  so later, I went to fix myself a bowl of cereal, and guess what I found. . . yep, more spilled milk - in the fridge! 
     At first it seemed that only a little leaked out of the bag and it would be limited to the top shelf. So I told my grandson what he had done and grabbed a couple paper towels to soak it up. Well, as I started moving things,  I realized it was more than just a little, and it had spilled over the edge to the shelf below. I grumbled a little to my grandson about the mess, and emptied the second shelf to clean it too. As I was taking things off the second shelf,  I saw more milk running down the back into the fruit drawer. As I pulled that drawer out to clean it, more milk ran into the deli drawer below the fruit drawer! Argh! Grrrrh! Boogers!!!
   Now I was really aggravated,  so rather than snap at my grandkids,  I just told them to turn the TV off and go outside to play, as I snatched the deli drawer out to clean it as well. Pulling the drawer out, I  saw more milk on the bottom of the fridge.  By this time, I've emptied the entire fridge of all its contents and cleaned it all!
     Looking on the bright side of things, however, the fridge was pretty dirty and needed cleaning anyway. This just forced me to do it now when I didn't really have time.  But as I was cleaning, it occurred to me that life is a lot like all this spilled milk today. When we allow ourselves to be distracted from God, or make choices that lead us in the wrong direction, it makes a big mess of things.  It's called sin. And it starts out small, but seeps into areas we don't expect it to. One mess leads to another mess. Soon it can overflow into every aspect of our lives. 
     When I tried to put the deli drawer back in the fridge, I couldn't get it back in. It just wasn't right. It wouldn't go in all the way. I tried everything, but to no avail. I called my son and asked him to come and fix it. He did. After he got it back in, he showed me it had to be put on the tracks a certain way. It would only go in one way and it had to be the right way. 
     That's the same with our lives as well. When we make a mess of things, we need to call the Son to fix it. It will only work One Way, and that's the Right Way. The best part, however, is that Jesus does the clean up as well. He doesn't leave that part to us. We can't do it ourselves. We need His help to make us clean and to make us right. 
     What kind of mess are you dealing with? Call the Son. He'll take care of it. He'll take care of you. 

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 ESV

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.  I Peter 5:7  NLT 

Jesus answered, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."  John 14:6  NIV

© 2016 by Deedy Tripp.  All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Little by Little

We’re in our new house, but it’s not complete. We have wires sticking out in many places where plugs will soon be; only the three bedrooms have flooring, so there’s concrete and concrete dust everywhere; our shower isn’t tiled yet so we’re all taking baths in the guest bathroom; my dishwasher and garbage disposal still don’t have any power yet; and the list goes on.

This morning as I was getting dressed for the day, everywhere I went in the house, and everything I did, I thought to myself “I’ll be glad when this is done,” or “I can’t wait until that is finished.” After many of these thoughts had gone through my head, I told myself to have patience - it would all get done in time. Then the scriptures from Deuteronomy I had been reading came to my mind (see below). You see, before moving into this house I had adamantly declared that I didn’t want to move in here until everything was completely finished and we could just simply move in. But of course it didn’t work out that way. We leased our other house and the move date moved up. So here we are – unfinished chaos for now.

When the Israelites were preparing to go into the Promised Land, Moses told them they would need to take it little by little or the wild animals might overtake them. And once they were there, they needed to be careful not to forget God. It occurred to me as I was wishing for completeness and telling myself to be patient, that if things had been done the way I wanted them to be, perhaps the “wild animal” of pride would have attacked me. Maybe I would have been proud of what “we” had accomplished, instead of what God had accomplished. But instead, I have to be in constant prayer not to get frustrated, I have to pray for God to help us pay for everything, I have to pray for wisdom to know the best way to do things, I have to pray for strength to complete the work, I have to pray for healing for sore muscles and injured joints. Get the picture? Instead of pride, I now find myself drawn closer to the Lord in prayer and thanksgiving. Thanksgiving? I thought we were talking about patience. Yes, in all the chaos and mess, I also find myself seeing the “promised land” here, and the gift that God has given us in this place, and I thank Him for it all. So I guess little by little is OK. For now.

The Lord your God will drive out these nations before you little by little. You will not be able to destroy them all at once; otherwise, the wild animals will become too numerous for you. (Dt. 7:22)

When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. (Dt. 8:11-14)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Coffee Issues

While at the "She Speaks" conference, I sensed the Lord leading me to "fast" from coffee for awhile. I am a true coffee addict and really LOVE my coffee. I brushed off the "sense" and went to the next conference session, only to be reminded by the message that was being delivered. Micca Campbell was speaking, and was illustrating to the audience that when God asks us to trust Him and give up something, He has our best interest at heart, and will bless us in the end. What He asks us to give up may be something big or something small, but He wants our trust and obedience. I knew in my heart that God was again reminding me about the coffee and asking me to trust and obey. I whined to Him, asking, "Whhhhyyyyy?" The first thought that came into my head was "it's become an idol". Ouch!
The following morning I was back home and woke up thinking about the coffee situation. Was it really God telling me to give it up, or was it my subconscious hearing all the years of Mike harping at me that I shouldn't be so addicted and needed to give it up? I decided it probably wasn't God, and even if it was, tomorrow would be a better day to deal with a caffeine headache than today. So I made my coffee, poured my cup, took a few sips and sat down to read my Bible. I'm currently in the book of Romans, and when I opened it to my marker, guess what passage I was on - Chapter 12. And what does the first verse of Romans Chapter 12 have to say?
Rom 12:1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice-the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? (NLT)
So. . . I got up, poured out my cup of coffee, poured out the pot I'd just made and asked God to forgive me. I thought to myself, "Ask me something hard, and it's easy. Ask me something easy, and it's hard." I'm now on my second full day of not a sip of coffee. I'm really dragging and had a hard time today. It's not supposed to take long for coffee addiction to pass, from what I've heard. I hope not. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Focused Distractions
This morning as Mike was trying to get out the door for work, he remembered he needed to bring his desk calculator to the job site in order to make the task ahead a little easier. As he was also suffering from swimmer’s ear, I asked him if he wanted me to put the drops in for him. He gladly handed me the bottle, laid his head on the table and turned his ear up for me to drop the liquid in. He picked up his head, picked up the medicine bottle, picked up the small bag of cotton balls I’d given him, kissed me goodbye, and left.
As I settled down into my chair for my bible study time, I was heavy hearted at how distracted I’d been from preparing, praying and focusing on what God wants me to prepare and bring to the “She Speaks” conference next month. Life has been so topsy-turvy lately, and although I’ve continued to read my bible, go to church, and pray (sort of), my nearness to God has suffered. I’ve sensed a “distance” between us that is uncomfortable to say the least, and certainly of my own doing. I was trying to focus on what I was reading when my cell phone rang. It was my friend calling to set a time for us to get together for a planning session on our upcoming Youth Camp. As soon as I said “hello” to her, the house phone rang. The caller id said it was Mike, so I answered it on my other ear with the words “hold on a minute” spoken into both receivers. Mike didn’t hold on, and went on to tell me he’d left the calculator on the table and “see how easily distracted from his purpose he was?” I agreed, told him I had another call in my ear, and I’d talk to him later. He asked who it was, and I said “Kathy. Bye,” and hung up. As I hung up, I laughingly said ”Nosey” and went back to my call with Kathy. We scheduled a time to get together in the evening and I finally got back to my study time.
It was then that God began to show me that my focus on the “calling” He has placed on my heart is like the scenario which had just taken place in so many ways.
1) Mike was distracted and no longer focused on that which would make his task easier. Yes, the distraction was an important one, but it took his focus away from the object of his need.
2) I was distracted from my object of need by phone calls and ministry planning. Yes, the planning and ministry was important, but it took time away from my Source and Purpose for ministry and that which would make my task easier.
3) When Mike called to point out how easily distractions take place, I cut him short and called him nosey. Yes, I was nice about it, laughed and smiled, but cut him off anyway.
1Ti 4:13 Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them. (NLT)
Lord, help me to stay focused on You as the Object that will make my task easier, and on being obedient to the calling You have placed on my life.