True confessions: Dumb stuff I did when Brad wasn’t home

Well, here it is. My chance to come clean about dumb stuff I did while Brad wasn’t home. If your keeping score, a few articles back I revealed my husband’s innate ability to eat things he shouldn’t.

Most of my dumb stuff I accomplished all on my own. There is a sense of pride in my saying that. Of course, Brad had to be gone in order for me to get these feats completed. Because if Brad would have been home, there would be no way he would have let me do most of them.

Only you can prevent forest fires

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

First up in the dumb stuff category is burning leaves. This sounds pretty simple and straight forward. You pile up the leaves, start them on fire and your done. Well, being that we lived in Wisconsin and our property was surrounded by a woods on the south side, we had loads of leaves needing to be raked each fall.

It took me 6 hours of raking to get the entire property raked with leaves in separate piles. Then an additional hour to get the leaves onto a tarp and dragged to the center of the back part of our property. With that “rig-a-ma-roll” over, it was time to light the fire.

While I began to prepare my “fire starter”, I noticed that the leaves felt a little damp. I placed my newspaper rolls at different places throughout the bottom of the pile. I didn’t want to be leaning into the pile of leaves to start it on fire. So I thought it best to start the fire at ground level.

Taking my kitchen matches I pulled out the first match, struck the box and started the newspaper on fire. I kept moving around the pile until I had all the newspaper lit.

But by the time I made it back to where I started, it had started to drizzle out. It was making the leaves and newspaper wet and completely put out the fire. Hmm. How do I fix this? Ha! I will go get some gasoline from the shed.

Yep, I bet right now you’re shaking your head. Maybe you need to set the newspaper down and go get some fresh air, cause some dumb stuff is about to happen.

Someone should have stopped me

Image by bpcraddock from Pixabay

Armed with a full gas can, I marched back to the leaf pile. Taking out the cork I began to carefully splash the gasoline around the pile like cheap cologne on prom night. Once I made it around the pile I made sure to move the gas can and Brad’s truck far, far away- don’t need an explosion right?!

With the gas can and Brad’s truck moved far away from the leaf pile, I got out the matches. My stomach began to tell me that this may not be very safe to do. I decided that I should make sure that I had a clear path to run. Path clear! Next, I thought that I should roll up a newspaper and make a torch and then toss it onto the pile of leaves. Newspaper rolled and ready.

I am going to add a disclaimer right here: DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AT HOME!

Taking the match, I struck it on the box, picked up my newspaper roll and started the roll on fire. As I took a deep breath, I walked up to the leaf pile and barely touch it to the pile when “WOOF!” followed by “BOOM!”

I watched wide-eyed as my nice pile of leaves moved a few feet off the ground. The smell of gasoline and a burst of heat shot past my face and overtop my head taking my baseball cap with it. My plan of being able to run was already out the window.

Only you can prevent forest fires. This means you, Michele!

It felt like time was standing still, but I managed to yell, turn and finally run. I was racing for the safety of the truck as my neighbor Helen Slager bounded out her back door to see what had exploded and was on fire. Generally, the neighborhood gentlemen (aka “Fire Bugs”) are the ones setting fire to things, so my going “rouge” was a bit exciting, albeit a bit risky for my lone fire-starting session.

I called out to Helen that it was just me burning a leaf pile. Relieved she waved her dishtowel in acknowledgment and walked back into the house. Good thing only a fellow female heard it. If it were the guys, I would have gotten a chewing out for doing such dumb stuff.  But of course, if they did it, well… it would have been ok, as planned, no problem.

An hour had passed and the once-raging leaf pile fire had settled nicely.  Satisfied that my burning leaf pile was under control, as Smokey the Bear had not shown up, I headed back to the house for a shower. It was time for Brad to come home, so I needed to get supper started.  I might as well fess up when he gets home.  Word travels fast, especially when it’s the gals doing dumb stuff.

Fan the Flames

How to Fan the Flames of Your Faith

Is your faith growing cold? Do you feel that you are losing ground in spiritual things? Or are you On Fire for God? Is your love for God burning to share it with others? Let’s talk today about how to fan the flames of your faith.

The Holy Spirit is the Fire in us

When we give our lives over to God, He gives us the Holy Spirit to emblazon our hearts with His love, joy, peace, etc. But the thing is that many of us have invited Christ in but we haven’t given Him complete control of our lives. So then, we are still missing out on that victorious life of which the Bible speaks.

We can quench the fire in us

Yes, disobedience to God or blatant sin in our life throws cold water over that fire of the Holy Spirit. He cannot stay alive in our lives if we are constantly going against His will. There is more to salvation than just allowing Him into your life. We must give Him complete control through obedience and allowing Him to clean out the dross within our lives.

So, How do we Get the Fire Started or Fan the Flames?

It takes intentionality. We need to enact the spiritual disciplines into our life. They are simple but not always easy. Anne Graham Lotz shares a few of these with us in her new book coming out in October.

{These disciplines} include

1. Daily Prayer

2. Daily Bible Reading

3. Sharing the Gospel

4. Continuous obedience as you live out what God says in His word.

5. Continuous trust as you relinquish you expectation and let Him have His way.

6. Deepening surrender to His authority-especially during times of pain and suffering.

Which Discipline do you lack?

Jesus in Me, Anne Graham Lotz, Chapter 16, page 124

A Little About the Book, Jesus in Me

Fan the Flames #bookreview #jesusinme

I was so excited about being on this launch team. I could hardly wait to get my hands on this book about Experiencing the Holy Spirit as a Constant Companion.

First, it was just amazing to me that she could write to us WHILE she was going through cancer treatments. I know that when I am struggling through life’s trials, it is nearly impossible for me to even write in my journal. I just don’t want to face the issues. She has been amazing.

Secondly, as always she shares openly and honestly about her own faith. Where she succeeds and where she fails. Then she tells us what she learned. Anne openness helps me connect with her as a common friend. I’m not intimidated by her because she is Rev. Billy Graham’s daughter. More so, I welcome her advice.

Thirdly, this book on the Holy Spirit is greatly needed. From my point of view. Many are not tapping into what He can do for us. Anne can help us do that.

Fan the Flames #holyspirit #spiritualgrowth #sanctification

Now, on to How to Fan the Flames

First, Daily Prayer

I am saddened that even church folks seem uninterested in taking time to pray. But this is our Life-line to God. I’m seriously considering majoring on writing about this discipline more in the coming year. Elizabeth Boles guest posted earlier in the year on The Importance of Prayer.

You may feel you don’t know how to pray. What words should you say? Maybe your tongue gets tangled between your teeth when you try to pray. I’ve always felt that others were so much more elegant than I when they pray. Emily P. Freeman from The Next Right Thing says to borrow their prayers! You can find a prayer online on nearly any subject imaginable. It’s a great place to start. Before long, you will be praying with the best of them.

Second, Read Your Bible

A co-worker once said to me, “Why do you keep reading the Bible? Just read it through once, close it up, and say “That was great.”

At the time I was speechless. I really didn’t know what to say and I feared I would find myself in a discussion that I was unable to stand firm on. But do you know what God says?

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

1 Peter 3:15 NIV

In retrospect, I wish I had said how God’s Word is living and active in the soul’s of man. That it is alive and new every day. Because that is the truth.

Earlier this year, we wrote about Why and How to Read Your Bible. Check out this post for some help.

God's Word is Living and Active in the soul's of man. It is New and Alive every day! #Jesusinme #bookreview Click To Tweet

Third, Share Your Faith

Always be prepared to give an answer. Goodness! Too many of really have no idea what we believe. It’s time to get in the Word and know what you know. There is no excuse today since we have the world at our fingertips. IF you haven’t been through your local church membership class, it may be time to do that. Find out what you believe.

I wrote earlier this year about how to debunk some of the excuses we have for not sharing our faith. Seriously, friend. When we stand at the judgment seat, do you want your friends and those with whom you interact to ask you why you never shared the Gospel with them? Read more here.

Additionally, Fellowship with other Christians and Church Attendance

Why is it that we think we can maintain a good Cristian walk on our own? We go out into the world and rub elbows with all the filth and before long we stink like the world. There are things we can only get when we are attending church and Bible Study

  1. Fellowship with other Christians.
  2. Encouragement.
  3. Training. (We all can learn something new)
  4. To be with like-minded friends.
  5. Accountability.

It’s time to find a local church and get involved.

Yes. there will be some hypocrites around. But they are there to learn and improve. Maybe you can learn and improve too! There are also some amazing Christians and Bible teachers there as well. Go rub elbows with them!

The church is like a hospital. It’s for the sick. We don’t say we won’t go to the hospital because there are sick people there. We go because there are doctors and nurses that can help us get better.

Speaking of sharing the Gospel

Finally, one of the best ways to spread the Gospel is within your own family. Are you teaching your children The Word of God? Are you taking them to Sunday School so they will know that Jesus Loves Them?

I know it’s hard to get up on Sunday morning and get everyone ready to go. Sometimes it all seems futile. But it’s not. You are setting a precedent. You are showing the importance of knowing God and placing Him first in your life. Here are some tips to help you get to church on time.

I encourage you to work on the disciplines. Pick up Anne’s new book today. It will change your life.

Mandy Farmer