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Cob Webs...

My mind is so full of essentials and nonessentials that I’m having a hard time telling the difference. Maybe I should start with the nonessentials. I think in some expert books they call it “cob webbing”. I believe it is all linked together thus; I shall have to sort it out on paper.

Starting place: I just finished reading Take The Risk by Ben Carson. [Learning to Identify, Choose and Live with Acceptable Risk] The smaller title caught my eye the most. I am just not a risk taker and so I wondered; is there any acceptable risk? I found out from reading that I take several risk a day just by getting up in the morning and functioning as any other human adult. Well duh, I did know that but never considered that doing anything such as cleaning, eating, and working very risky. Dr. Ben’s formula for deciding what was a risk worth taking was simple common sense. 1. “What’s the worst thing that can happen if I do this?” 2. “What’s the best thing that can happen if I do this?” 3. “What’s the worst thing that can happen if I don’t do this?” 4. What’s the best thing that can happen if I don’t do this? He recommends using this formula in all of life decisions even the little ones. [I wonder if it’s ok to quote someone as important as that on the internet.] It was a good book. The ending rather threw me for a loop when he recommended using this formula on the financial state of the USA by introducing one moneyless system that would solve all our debt fast. It sounded too much like one world order and other scary things I try to avoid, such as being raptured, that it kind of turned me off the rest of the book. Now I get to go study the scriptures about what God would have me know about that idea.

A couple weeks ago, I actually went to the sewing our women have going at our local church. So often, I am helping Bruce with his job or doing some other important duty that I had not made it to the sewing for quite a long while. I usually start to feel like the world is coming to an end by the time I leave anyway, that it has been a relief not to go. This time was different. The conversation was NOT about a vanload of twenty Amish who were killed in an accident in PA or somewhere back east as the usual bizarre story goes. {Not that these types of stories make me feel callous about tragedies like this.} I didn’t feel like the conversation was trying to outdo the other as I often feel. It was good honest chatting about how people feel differently about face book, texting, and our CLE curriculum we use at our school. Usually, I play it safe and keep quiet if I don’t agree but this time two of the ladies challenged me. One asked me why I feel I shouldn’t share my opinion if it happens to be in conflict with the others. She said I should still give it. It’s good to hear all the ideas. That was a big moment for me to realize she is absolutely right. What am I trying to prove by staying quiet? I’m trying to save face, but why? The other friend asked me why I make so much fun of myself and that to hear me talk about myself one would think I must be some kind of idiot that can hardly get through life. Do I really do that? Bruce tells me I’m too hard on myself too but I never believe him. Maybe it’s time I start. The way I see it is its all the same underlying problem and that is pride coming out in a self-deprecating manner. Still pride. What do I have to protect, shelter, and hide? As I was trying to state earlier, it was a very, good, challenging sewing.

Which leads me to another point. I like to write. One would never know because when I blog or write publicly I try to say only light and fluffy things that go down easily so as not to be criticized later. See, I’m afraid of conflict and don’t want to argue or cause an argument. All things I’m so prone to do once I get rolling with the wordiness. After reading the aforementioned book I’m starting to realize that that is just plain a cop out. I need to start saying it. Even if people don’t agree or like it. That is a risk I will have to take which, if I’m truthful, the risk level of it all goes way down when I call that fear what it is, the fear of man. Or pride again. The balance is, of course, the Scriptures. Here’s what I’ve tried to go by in the Word of God. The Psalm, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, Oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” and then the verse in Eph, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” That’s been my guidelines for what I will say on line and to faces. There was a time when I couldn’t say much because of those verses and there are still days when I’m pretty sure I won’t be benefiting any listener if I say what’s on my heart. Yesterday’s message gave me the flip side. 2Tim 2:14 through the end of the chapter. A workman approved by God. It’s full of instruction to remind, warn, and teach. The way you do all that is with words based on God’s foundation. That particular scripture is full of guidelines how to present the truth. I’m still sorting it all out but I do know one thing, if I am a believer and am growing, I should be doing these things. If I see a lack in something why shouldn’t I pick up the lose ends? Why does it have to be someone who knows a lot more than me or someone with more experience? I’m always telling the kids when they complain about a circumstance or state a need. “See a problem, fix a problem.” Yeah? Really? I could do that?

The nonessentials I mentioned earlier are the way things are that I have no control over such as, yesterday, after not being in church for three weeks due to sickness in the house, I got to go to church with the family again! I was happy about it too until afterward. It was one of those Sundays where you go around saying”hello, how are you?” trying to start up a conversation with people and it sorta peeters out. As you look around at everyone else deep in conversation, you wonder if there really is something wrong with you after all and people are just being nice by not telling you all these years. Reality would say otherwise but at this point you just want to crawl under a bench and never be seen again realizing the whole time of course that maturity would call this issue, yes, you guessed it… PRIDE

Another nonessential detail, we’ve been praying for this pastor in Iran. It goes high on our list of priorities, as it should. I was praying for him last week as I was changing my living room around and redecorating different areas of the house. All the time I was doing this I was feeling guilty for having such a deep satisfaction and calm about what I was doing. Not the praying while working part, that’s a good thing. I feel guilty about the joy cleaning and decorating brings me. I could browse the internet hours looking at ideas for home décor or fields of lavender. Is it wrong to like beauty? Why is it, a person that doesn’t care so much how there home is decorated is viewed as more mature spiritually? At least that’s the vibe I experience. O.K. I have been about as vocal and honest as possible today and it has been rather refreshing. I hope that there is food for thought in all those words and you may feel free to leave as many comments that suit your fancy. I shall choose to be mature and enjoy each and every one.


  1. Oh good, the cork is popped and you're starting to spill! :-) Teasing, but I know what you mean about being quiet and not sharing an opinion when it differs from another. For me it is usually fear of man, which, yes I guess truly has pride at its root? There are people out there who feel like they say too much too often, and then there are others (where I find myself the most) who wish they would have spoken more. Hmmm, happy medium, where?
    Lots of good thoughts, essential and non, keep it coming!

  2. This is my favorite blog post yet, Shilah! I wish I would have read it before our coffee visit yesterday so I could have mentioned it. I love how you expressed your thoughts in this writing. Made me have a few random thoughts of my own ...God created you with specific talents and gifts. You have valuable opinions and a sharp mind. Do not be afraid to share your heart. Like iron sharpening iron...we need each other. We need different parts of the body working in different although there is always room for growth...and sometimes that means repentance and change....we need to accept with a confident thankfulness the path God has for us...embracing the "good works He hath prepared in advance for us to do." For one, the path may be obvious to everyone looking missions...or preaching...but for another it may be less obvious to the onlooker...but if it is God's path for us it is just as spiritual as any other path. You are a good friend Shilah. Thanks for the words! Very fun to read!

  3. Thanks for those encouraging words, Jessie. It is funny how others can see my path better than I can myself at times.

  4. There! I'm here now to comment. This post was directed by God. I know you're a writer and I love seeing it come out. I wonder why we have seasons of quiet and silence.....Now don't stop writing] please!


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