Beautiful Collision

As sinners, there come moments in our lives when our sin and God’s truths’ collide. It is in these moments that we have a choice to make.

1. We can ignore it and keep doing what we are doing, learning nothing from the lesson that was just presented to us. This is also those moments when we rationalize our behaviors, trying to convince ourselves that it was someone else’s fault instead of taking responsibility for our own actions and choices.

2. We can make excuses of why now is not a good time to stop, but try to convince God that we are going to when we feel the time is right and we are ready.

3. We can listen and let God teach us, mold us, and change us to be more like him.

I asked my Facebook followers this question: What happens when our sinful nature collides with God’s truth? Here is what some of them said:

-His perfect plan-Jesus bridging the gap between our sin and His perfection, leading us to Christ and filling in the cracks to make us whole.

-Conviction, revelation, and then repentance.

-Freedom & Transformation

-Make the choice to repent, turn away and stop doing whatever it is you are doing.

-Forgiveness-Broken Chains

-Disaster

The last comment caught my attention because I wondered what the person who wrote it was thinking. Is it a disaster in a worldly sense? A disaster to the relationships surrounding them? The more I think about this response, the more I realize that this is probably what most people think when they are trying to decide wether or not a life with Christ is worth it. Honestly, a disaster will take place because death of anything is never easy. Dying to self is one of the hardest things you will ever do, but it is also one of the most rewarding. God didn’t promise it would be easy, but He does promise it will be worth it.

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School Supplies Savings

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It is that time of year again. The stores are already stocking their shelves with school supplies, reminding us that the summer will soon be over and we will be back to our routines. Every year I used to think that it was way too soon to start shopping so like thousands of other people, I waited until a couple of weeks before school started to begin my school supplies hunt. And a hunt it was. I was frantically running around town from store to store trying to find everything my kids needed on the list. Every year it would be days before the first day and I still couldn’t locate manilla construction paper. Once I finally located it, I would pay just about any amount because I was so exhausted that I just didn’t care what it cost anymore.

A few years ago I started shopping early. Finances were tight and I couldn’t afford to pay top dollar for anything. I first noticed that Walmart would offer certain items at $.10-$.25. I was shocked. One because they were such good deals and two because I had never noticed this. I guess when you are struggling these things grab your attention like never before. So I started buying a few items each week. I checked other stores and found out they all have discounted items every week up until school starts, but you have to start shopping early or they will have sales and will be sold out of the items they are offering.

Last year I bought school supplies for four kids and spent less than $20. So if you are struggling financially or just want to save money, start shopping now! Check your local store’s websites for weekly ads to see what the items of the week are. Plan ahead and stock up on the things your kids will need throughout the year, but be smart about it. Buying extra is only a good deal if you actually use it so don’t go overboard or you could be spending more money while saving money, which defeats the purpose all together!

Just to give you a head start, this week Staples has cap erasers, a package of pens, and ruled note cards for only $.01 with any $5 purchase with a limit of 2 at that price. A six pack of glue sticks is only $1 (limit 2), pocket & brad folders are $.15, and a ream of copy paper is $.01 after rebate (limit 2). At Walmart, pocket & brad folders are also only $.15, Crayola crayons are $.50, 9X12 manilla paper is $.97, Crayola markers are $1.97.

I am sure there are many more deals out there, you just have to look for them. I hope this helps save you money this back-to-school season!

And in case you are one of those that buys the school supply packs sold at the end of the year through your child’s school, know you are overpaying. There is no reason we should break the bank to get our kids ready to attend school to learn!

A New Creation

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Once a little boy was playing outdoors and found a fascinating caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. He asked his mother if he could keep it, and she said he could if he would take good care of it.

The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants to eat, and a stick to climb on, in the jar. Every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.

One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick and started acting strangely. The boy worriedly called his mother who came and understood that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon. The mother explained to the boy how the caterpillar was going to go through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly.

The little boy was thrilled to hear about the changes his caterpillar would go through. He watched every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out.

At first the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard to get out! It looked like it couldn’t break free! It looked desperate! It looked like it was making no progress!

The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get scissors, and then walked back (because he had learned not to run with scissors…). He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!

As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.

But neither happened!

The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.

It never was able to fly…

As the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong his mother took him to talk to a scientist from a local college. He learned that the butterfly was SUPPOSED to struggle. In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions hurt the butterfly.

As you go through life, keep in mind that struggling is an important part of any growth experience. In fact, it is the struggle that causes you to develop your ability to fly.

People are a lot like butterflies. We are born and must struggle against the trials of life that surround us in order to allow growth to take place to strengthen our character.  Struggles in life cause us to stretch ourselves and then we emerge as a new creation, more beautiful than before.

Isn’t it time you let God use your pain to transform you into the person He created you to be?