Faith Debugged

Spiritual Insights from an Exterminator

Picking and Choosing

I’m sure by the title, you are well aware with where this blog post is going. I guarantee you were probably right. But let me set it up anyway.

I crawl under houses a lot. Unlike my boss, who jokingly calls me a wimp, I like to wear knee pads. I admit, it hurts sometimes crawling under houses without them. Set your knee down on a rock, ouch! Bang it against the block crawling in or out, ouch! So I protect myself from this unnecessary crime of pain.

Recently I had to buy a new pair because my old ones were wearing out. Typically when I do this, there is something I have to do. I remove the top strap. Knee pads that come with straps come with a top strap for above the knee and one for below the knee. I don’t like the top strap for two reasons. One is because it hurts when I keep my leg bent for a long periods of time which tends to happen under a house. The other reason is because it’s rather unnecessary.

Working without the top strap will keep the knee pad in place just fine. Working without the bottom strap and the knee pad will fall down the leg constantly. I’m not sure what law of God that made this became a scientific monstrosity but it did and is a real problem. So the bottom strap only it is.

Ironically we do the same with scripture. We pick and choose which ones we want to keep and which ones we want to throw out. C’mon, you know you do it. Even Thomas Jefferson did it. What he did is called Deism; throwing out the miracles of Jesus. Maybe you don’t throw them out. Maybe you just pay them no attention.

Either case, there are those scriptures we don’t readily accept because they cause us discomfort. Or maybe they’ll cause us to be made fun of or cause us to be called weird. Hey, if you’re a Christian, you’re weird. Remember, you believe in someone being born from a virgin, seas being parted, water coming from rocks, people being healed by having someone’s shadow pass by,  people talking to themselves and calling it prayer to an invisible God. For goodness sakes, a guy being nailed to a cross and dying, being buried only to come back to life in three days. That’s all just weird.

So face it, it’s a weird book to be living by. But maybe dying to yourself isn’t fun. Maybe, serving other before yourself doesn’t seem like “winning”. Maybe, putting yourself last so by some means God will exalt you and bring you to the front doesn’t seem plausible.

Let me guarantee you suffering leads to comfort. Dying leads to living. Serving leads to being served. Giving leads to taking. I know. God is a weird God. That’s why he says he uses the weak to confuse the strong. He wants people to lean on Him and be obedient to His callings. By doing so, by giving ourselves in obedience, it always leads to bigger and better things beyond our imagination.

So I encourage you, the knee pads of life need both the top strap and the bottom strap. If God made it to come with both, don’t pick and choose which best suits you. God knows better and has provided us with what we need. It’ll work out. It may be confusing. It may be weird. I challenge you to name me one thing God has designed or purposed that doesn’t seem weird. I mean He’s three individuals in ONE! He’s a weird dude or duddette for all the sexists folks out there. But that’s for another blog post!

September 29, 2011 Posted by | devotion | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Many Things I Ask, One Thing God Asks

Walking into a roach treatment takes the knowledge of where to find the roach’s hideouts, deciding what chemicals to use, how to inform the customer of what your about to do and then communicating your needs from the customer after the job is done.

I like to ask a lot of questions up front. Like how many do they normally see? Where do you see most of them? Do you have any health concerns? Are there small children or animals living in the house? And many more. From there I move to a thorough inspection where I climb through every cabinet, walk through every room and pay close attention to hot-spots like refrigerators, microwaves, cordless phones, water heaters or any other device that makes heat.

Once I have located all infested areas it’s time to treat. There are many products out there to use for the treatment of roaches and I like to hit em with everything I can. Leaves no room for error in killing them. I move to my truck grab my supplies and head in for the task. I spray, I bait, I use some aerosol, I dust, I vacuum. By the time I’m done I have a graveyard and a pleased customer.

The next step is always the hardest. Communicating to the customer what their part is in the eradication of the pests. In my best voice, I try to inform them that I’m finished with my part. Now it’s time to do their part. I need them to stay clean. Clean dishes after every meal. Don’t leave food out because then the roaches choose their food and not my food.

I tell them they need to clean up any dead roaches. Live ones when gone without food for a while will feed on dead ones. I tell them they need to clean the nesting areas where they have laid their feces. This will cause disease to spread and cause anyone in the house to acquire asthma. I tell them much more but I won’t bore you.

The same can be said with God. When we ask God to handle our problems sometimes he tells us some things we have to do first. I normally don’t like these steps I have to make. But if we read in Psalm 51, we can see that David asked for many things from God after his affair with Bathsheba. He asked for grace, washing, cleansing, purity, reminder of joy and gladness, a clean heart, renewed spirit, allowance to stay near to God, restoration, sustenance by the Spirit, and deliverance.

What was David to do? What did God ask David to do? Verse 17 says the sacrifices of God are a broken Spirit, a broken and contrite heart. It would seem to me that God is asking David not to sacrifice animals, or give a burnt offering (v.16) but to sacrifice himself. To give his heart fully. Allow it to be broken so that God can renew it, mend it, and reshape it.

These things David asked. This thing God asks. Are you hung up in sin. Have you made a mistake once, twice, ten times, a thousand times? It doesn’t matter. God asks one thing. Be a living sacrifice. Sacrifice everything you are for everything He is. In the end you have to believe your reward will be outstanding.

January 25, 2011 Posted by | devotion, roaches | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Devastating Effects of Sin and Termites

“The temple of truth has never suffered so much from woodpeckers on the outside as from termites within.”

Vance Havner

 

I for one am not the happiest to write on such a subject. God knows that I have seen the Jonah effect in my own life where my sin had cost the safety of others. Sin can have a devastating effect on our lives as well as the lives around us, whether they be stranger or friend.

Sin being what it is, is devastating in itself. It tears at our innermost being struggling to make face with the outside world. It dwells up inside of the deepest chambers of the heart screaming to see the daylight of misery. I cringe at the idea that sin lies deep within me simply gnawing at my heart to allow it to surface.

Look at what James 1:13-15 says – 13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

I was called out to a storage facility to treat for termites. Upon arrival I saw the damaging effects termites had on a piece of wood. Where I work we deal mostly with subterranean termites. They get their name because they originate underground. They grow to the thousands and when the colony has gotten too big, they send out the swarmers to create new colonies. All the while they are feeding on the cellulose from material such as wood originate products. They make mud tunnels for safety then move up to cellulose sources and feed off the wood.

In the same manner, sin originates as a thought in our mind. Then we give birth to our thoughts allowing them to surface, evolving into sin. When sin has been carried out and matured it creates death. Hence why we need a savior; to blot out our sins, cover them with His blood and create in us a new heart to become like Him.

Sin can be damaging just like termites can. We need Jesus to eradicate our sinful behavior just like we need termites techs to eradicate termites from damaging our homes, barns, sheds, or any other structure build from wood.

 

This is the damage termites cause in the storage unit

January 22, 2011 Posted by | devotion, Termites | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment