Snow Cream!

I grew up in a small city which sits on the border of South Carolina and Georgia, with the Savannah River separating the two.  Each winter we would usually get some sleet and a little spit of snow in the mix.

But once in a while, we would get real snow.  You know where it accumulates on the ground, and you can build a snowman or a stockpile of snowballs!

One of my favorite things about this snow was that we were able to put a bowl out and collect the powdery flakes to make snow cream!  

Why is everything a kid does always about patience?

Anyway,  we had to wait, until the snow finished cleaning the air, to put a bowl outside. When the right amount of time had finally passed and a ginormous (by kid’s measurement standards) amount of snow had fallen, we were finally allowed to put a bowl out.

Now, whether “snow cleaning the air” was an old wives’ tale or not, I believed.  Because it sounded logical, and my mother was  from Johnson City, Tennessee, where they acquired plenty of snow. So, she would know.

I often thought, at the beginning of a snowfall, about the intricate design of the snowflake. Perfectly woven with the ability to trap the polluted air molecules.  And noticed that after it had been snowing for a while, the air did have a clean, crispness each time you inhaled.  Yes, the first moments of a snowfall had a definite purpose and that was to clean the air!

So this could only mean one thing to a child who loves snow…MORE SNOW! Because if you take an honest look at the way we continually pollute our world, there is only one conclusion…MORE SNOW!

Today, my perspective is a little different. The snow reminds me of the way God can clean up our messy, polluted lives with His snow-white love for us.

Still,  I wish I could go out and stand naked in the snow, allowing each holy and pure flake take away my sins, my fears, and my failings! While, inhaling the intoxicating, the pure, crisp lung enticing air.

Unfortunately instead of white and light, I would end up frozen and blue.  So, rather than becoming a human popsicle or waiting for the right air temperature and moisture levels, I find it easier to get on my knees.

And surrender to God, who will make me…HOLY, PURE, AND CLEAN. As my spirit inhales the immaculate crispness of forgiveness, a rejuvenation begins within my internal self.  God is meticulously preparing me for my eternal life.  Something a Plastic Surgeon can never do.

In Hebrews 10:10 we are told: “For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.”

God wants us to be holy, and He knows we are bombarded every day with the pollution from this world. It comes through our tv, computers, phones, tablets, and printed media, not just human interaction any more.  So, God provides us with the perfect, all cleansing snowflake…JESUS CHRIST! Every day, all day, all-the-time. No electricity or satellite hook up required.

The only requirement is wanting Him.

Don’t wait for a snowfall to be reminded of God’s forgiveness.  Accept it every day and rejuvenate your life!

Heavenly Father:   We need you in our messy lives and our polluted world.  Like the beautiful delicate snowflake wafting through the air, we need You to flow through our bodies washing away the impurities and leaving us HOLY, PURE, CLEAN, AND SPIRIT FILLED.  Take away those daily, mindless distractions which keep us focused and craving worldly aspirations. rejuvenate us for our eternal life with You.

in Jesus name, Amen.

Seven Holy Women Plus One

Did you know that “eight” is the number of perfection and Jesus Christ is the representation of said number? God is the number seven. Just in case you were wondering.  It is relevant to my story because of my meeting of seven women plus their mentor.  Extraordinary individuals, changing themselves and changing a community!

It was right before Christmas that I was driving down the road and saw a thrift store sign. I love thrift stores and treasure hunting, because everything has a story. Even if I have to write it one!  Upon driving up to the old house, I could see furniture and other items in the yard.  Everything outside looked organized and specifically placed to get them noticed. Upon entering the house, I was surprised at the fact there was no musty thrift store smell. The air was clean and fresh, matching the well-coordinated rooms.

You know the old saying, “cleanliness is next to Godliness?”  Well this place was knocking on heaven’s doors!  Two or three of the women inside were busy dusting and arranging the items.  All spoke very kindly to me and asked if I needed help.  I told them that I was just looking around.

When I entered the back, left room, the young lady inside told me that this was her Pastor’s room and she liked to keep it exceptionally clean.  She went on to tell me her story and the background information about this unique store. You see, I would later find out that telling their story was a very important part of their interactions with the customers. Once again, I could see a well orchestrated plan here at this thrift store! Almost like looking at a set of instructions listed 1, 2, 3.

She told me that  seven women worked here and they were all addicts in one form or another.  Most of them had been through rehab, some a lot more than once, without success.  The more she communicated with me, the more I realized this was not your ordinary place.  The thrift store was the ministry of a Pastor, who had been sober for more than twenty-eight years.  And she had walked long enough in their shoes to know what sobriety means to an addict and she knew how to lead them to it!

Her program is not earth shattering or scientifically approved.  God, common sense, and love are the foundations.  First they are saved by Jesus Christ and surrender their lives over to Him! Why would this be so important? Because these women have been through the fire of shame, degradation, greed, desire, poverty, crime and other unimaginable situations. If they carry these with them into their daily lives, they would not be able to hold their heads up. Recovery would be defeated.  Once the women surrender to Jesus, their past was no more! For Jesus is our intercessor and stands before us in front of God. God looks through Jesus to see us, and we are holy! Honed by fire, perfected diamond by Jesus!

In moving past their past, learning to communicate and be a productive member of society again is vital. Their weapons to fight the disease of addiction are God, prayer, each other, work, servitude, and worship! The seven women and their Pastor go into the community, which is a poor area of town, and serve the people with food, fellowship, prayer, and love.  They work the thrift store, which is a well-organized business, and pattern their lives into this formulated structure.  “I” and “self” have been replaced with “we,” “us,” and “others.”

And you can see in their faces and actions that they are Seven Holy Women Plus One!