Do you ever watch the TV series called Alone on History Channel? That is where people are dropped a few miles apart on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, they have to find food and build shelter and deal with nature: weather (mostly constant rain) and wild animals. This season they have teams, one person is supposed to stay at the beach and build a shelter while the other has to hike 10 miles through heavy rain forest to find them. In 3 episodes 3 teams have dropped out. Two of the young men who should have stayed near the beach and build a shelter for their team member when they arrive decided to wander around in the heavy bush. One of them hurt his ankle and so that team had to leave (both members have to leave if one taps out) and the other was so freaked out by a bear outside his tent at night that he tapped out thus taking his father out with him. Another man was out gathering wood to build a shelter and he tripped on the beach seriously hurting himself, thus taking him and his team member out of the running as well.
Why am I telling you about this? Because for the last 1 1/2 years my husband and I have entered into our quiet days. Before that we were attending a gospel chapel since we moved to Vancouver Island. But then husband found out that emergent teachings had entered into a bible school that the chapel supported, and those in leadership at the chapel would not check into it, choosing to ignore the fact. So husband chose to leave the chapel and since then we have had little contact with anyone. Family issues also developed on spiritual issues and so we have been mostly alone family wise as well.
And so that is why I think of Alone and those young men who decided to wander around in the bushes, both of them choosing to strike out for themselves rather than do what they were supposed to do. I must say that it has been tempting to look at this church, or look at that church, but for the most part, churches where we live have become community churches and strayed away from the “old paths” of gospel preaching, gospel hymn, preachers who are led by the spirit instead of being told what to speak on. For that reason, husband and I have chosen to have communion at home each week and listen to online sermons by preachers who still preach the gospel, and trust the Lord for what comes. It is very difficult to live the quiet life, but I do wonder what would happen if we strayed away from it. I do not want to find out.
Jeremiah 6:16 “Thus saith the LORD, stand ye in the ways, and see and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls…..”
I was wrong, that is hard to say but I have had to humble myself and admit three times in the past couple of days that I was wrong..
First time was when I thought that I had over-fertilized my new perennials so much that all the buds I saw were going to go into leaf instead of flowers. After checking out the perennials of the same varieties at the nursery where I bought them, it turns out that they are progressing as they should and are going to flower. I was wrong.
Second time was yesterday morning when I absolutely “freaked out” over something called an “email transfer” of money and whether or not it was safe. Turns out that email transfer of money is one of the safest ways to exchange funds. Again, I was wrong.
But the third was most humbling of all. My husband said he would be able to sell a loveseat of ours on an online “used” site. Because I hated the color so much I said that no one would be interested in buying the loveseat even though it was in excellent condition. Husband photographed it, put in online and 6 hours later he had a firm offer. That is where the email transfer comes in. The lady wanted to put a deposit down on it because she couldn’t pick it up until this morning and I thought that an email transfer would give her access to our account information. Who buys a loveseat sight unseen anyway? After checking with our bank and finding out email transfers were safe, husband put hers through even though I was very uneasy about it.
This morning the lady and her husband came over and I sat in the back yard but I could hear that they were happy with the loveseat. Not long after, they drove off with it in the back of their truck and husband came into the backyard with cash in hand. And it turns out that what I did not like they loved. So I admitted to husband “you were right and I was wrong.” It wasn’t difficult, and it needed to be done.
What does the bible say about humbling ourselves?
Proverbs 29:23 “A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.”
My 46-year-old daughter blames me for every wrong choice she has made in her life, even though she left home at 16 because she didn’t like the fact that I was cleaning up her filthy dirty bedroom. There, I have said it. I am writing about it because my husband showed me a bible verse from 2 Kings this morning that was very helpful in my ongoing dealing with this.
There is a doctor on TV who has a program dealing with people’s “issues” and family relationships. One thing that has bothered me in the few programs I have watched is that he has a tendency to blame the parents for the children’s bad choices. But what does the bible have to say about this?
2 Kings 14:6 “……….the fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin”
In applying this to my life, should I be held responsible for what my daughter does? or should she be held responsible for what I do? No, every person is responsible for their own choices in life.
This Spring is the first time I have fed birds from a feeder having always fed them through winter by throwing seed on the ground. I never thought that so many varieties would come to the feeder and it was getting to be too much, as though I was the only one feeding the birds. The female House Finch in the photo above is one of many visitors.
I began to think it wasn’t such a good idea when by chance I saw a female sparrow carrying a moth to her nest. That was when it dawned on me that perhaps seed was too easy and that they should be looking for their natural food. Then a couple of days later I saw that a Starling had appeared and if there was one species I did not want on a bird feeder it is Starlings for they take over very quickly. A day or so after that my husband saw a squirrel in the tray below the feeder and the heavy glass roof above the feeder was knocked at an angle. This meant that some brave squirrel had jumped from quite a distance to reach the food. And that was the end for me so I took the feeder down and carried the pole holding it away.
But I felt very guilty..would my little friends starve after I took their food supply away? such foolishness on my part. Yes, they did hang around looking forlorn for a few days and I continued to feel guilty. I decided to put some seed out on the ground in different places and it wasn’t long before a few of the birds came back. This morning I was lying on a swing in our back yard and a Chestnut-backed Chickadee flew in and landed on my knee. It looked at me as if to say, “that’s OK, don’t feel so bad.” This little Chickadee who formerly would swoop down, grab a black oil sunflower seed and fly into the tree was now going down to the ground. And I also noticed that there is a new flock of Sparrow fledglings coming to the seed on the ground as well. For previous fledglings it was difficult for the mother to entice them to the feeder so ground-feeding is better for them.
What does the bible say about feeding the birds?
Matthew 6:26 “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them……”
I do still provide them clean water in a bird bath every day, and I still have my hummingbird feeder up because we had such a cold and wet Spring but I think that in July when everything starts to bloom I will remove that as well.
Gramma, what about God and angels, that is the question my 4-year-old grandson asked me so many years ago. His mother, my daughter, had enrolled him in a pre-school called Jacob’s Ladder, a Christian pre-school, surely this was of the Lord. It wasn’t long before she phoned me to say that my grandson was asking questions about God and angels and she couldn’t answer them and would I talk to him. So one night my grandson slept over at our home and it was then that he asked me the precious question “Gramma, what about God and angels?” And so we talked about how God created the angels and then about creation, the Lord Jesus Christ, salvation in a simple way.
My husband and I were attending a brethren assembly at the time and I was teaching Sunday School to the pre-schoolers.. again, surely God’s timing. With my daughter’s blessing we began to take my grandson every second Sunday to church with us where he was in my Sunday School class for 2 years after which his mother announced that he would no longer be coming with us. But during those two years he had a lot of bible teaching.
One precious memory is when we put on a little Christmas program and my grandson at 4 played Joseph and another little girl played Mary. They walked hand-in-hand down the aisle to the front of the chapel where they asked one of the boys if there was any room in the inn for them and then went to the stable.. another memory is another Christmas program where my grandson quoted the verse Eccl. 12:1 “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth.” but he memorized it in a simpler way “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth.”
I often wonder if my grandson remembers anything of the times he spent in Sunday School, or the time we talked about God and angels. He is 25 years old now, we live in different areas and I seldom see him. But I do hope that those things he learned so many years ago are still in his heart.
Here is Jacob’s Ladder perennial in my new garden, blooming now. Every time I look at it, I think of those precious days. Evidently the plant was named for the way the leaves look like rungs on a ladder but I think it wonderful that it was named for something that takes place in the bible. And sometimes I wonder if someone at the pre-school told the story of the angels ascending and descending the ladder in Jacob’s dream (Genesis 28:12) and this stuck in my grandson’s mind so much that he told his mother, and that this led to his coming to Sunday school. With God all things are possible.