Sunday, 30 December 2012

The Paper Guide :-)

I’ve noticed for a few weeks now that the paper in my printer wants to argue with the printer on its way out as they’re supposed to be working together on printing jobs.  A few times the discourse was so bad that the paper got jammed and all production stopped.  Since then I’ve run through a couple of new ink cartridges in record time and there still is ink on the corners of the paper where it should not be.  The last straw for me today was the words getting cut off the page.  Well this is just unacceptable and defeats the purpose of printing anything in the first place.  So I studied the page to determine how to approach the printer concerning this problem.  Something inside the printer had shifted with continuous use of this wonderful tool and I needed to find out what and where it was, and if it was something I could fix, or not.

I decided to deal with the most simplest of plastic parts on the machine, first – the paper guide.  I figured since the paper was arguing with the printer about its position, then maybe the paper guide was the key to getting him (paper – “le papier” is male in French) back on track.  But I noticed that even though I made the adjustment and the arguing stopped that two problems still remained – the ink on the corner and the date getting cut off the upper right hand corner.  So I decided to move the paper guide again to hopefully rectify all three problems.  And guess what?  I saw improvement.
Another issue was the plastic piece which supports the paper in an upright position, so as it is pulled/drawn down towards ink and rollers, the paper remains straight and not bent over.  Sometimes, no most of the time it’s the simple things in life that we either take for granted, or choose to ignore which make all the difference in the world to our current success or failure, problems and solutions.  There’s a verse in the scriptures which says “it is the small foxes that spoil the vine”, and another one says “don’t despise the day of small beginnings.”  We can learn so much from small things – “go to the ant” one Proverb says, and learn from its faithfulness and hard working nature.

Many times we say “don’t sweat the small stuff,” and don’t make mountains out of mole hills, and both adages have their purpose and place in and for our lives for a more tranquil experience.  But there does come a time when we need to investigate the small things and when ignoring a mole or lump on one’s body, for example, can indeed become a mountain that cannot be ignored.  For mountains don’t need our help to exist, they can appear all by themselves.  So let’s not ignore the paper guides of our lives, because everything is not always going to be black and white. J   Have a Happy New Year!!


Sunday, 9 December 2012

Take the Roof Off - The Ceiling Is In The Way

“And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house.  Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door.  And He preached the word to them.  Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men.  And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was.  So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.  He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’ Mark 2:1-4, 10b-11. [New King James Bible]

Depending on where you’re standing, you will see either a roof or a ceiling.  Depending on where Jesus is standing, you will see an opportunity or a hindrance.  Roofs/ceilings are usually positive things providing coverage and protection for humans and things and property, etc.  In this story the roof/ceiling was doing its job for those inside the house had no problem with it.  Jesus was inside the house with them “under” the ceiling/roof, and He had no problem with it either.  The owner of the house, Peter, had no problem with the roof.  When the four men arrived carrying their paralyzed friend on a normal and spacious day, all would have been well.  But on this day they were faced with too many obstacles i.e. people who were not giving up their space for charity in any way to get their space in the place.  “Sorry chaps.  You should have come earlier, and then you would have gotten a seat.”  These guys would not be denied their much needed audience with Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, the Healer, the “Raiser-Upper-from-the-dead” Guy.  To the roof!  On Dancer, on Prancer, on Blitzen, Comet, and Cupid . . . Oh no, there is no chimney.  Sometimes it is necessary to think outside-of-the-box to get what you need.  “Let’s create a sky-light for this house.  I hear they’re very popular, especially so windowless rooms can receive light.”

Who we are decides what we can do.  It is not and should not be the other way around.  What I do should not define who I am, for if I change what I do, or if life’s circumstances alter what I’m able to do, then what do I become?  At the end of the day, who am I?  Jesus was always (and always will be) the Son of Almighty God, but many people on their way to learning His identity would define Him by what He did, and said.  This is why the Pharisees had a problem with Him telling this man his sins were forgiven, for since only God could forgive men’s (and women’s) sins, who was Jesus claiming to be?  God?  “Certainly not”! J  (These of course were their surmisings.)

If we are habitually lying the world labels us as “liars”.  But what and who are we if we live a life of telling the truth?  Prudes?  Puritans?  If we kill and murder adults and people on two feet we are murderers.  But if we fight to save those not yet born we are extremists?  Why are positive actions, acts and life-styles given negative labels and connotations just because people make a passionate stand?

When you know who you really are, then you will and can do what you are created to do.  What I do is defined by who I am and who I am is defined by Whose I am.  When I know Whose I am, then I can accept all the positives He has for me.  When I know the true character of the One Whose I am, then I am liberated from what and who my earthly world has shaped me to be and to become, so I may become and be who and what I was created to be.
When Jesus is in the house, no roof or ceiling can keep me from expanding, growing or getting to Him.  No limited world views or culture mores, or religious or legalistic rules and rituals can prevent me from becoming all He has destined me to become, neither from receiving from Him all He plans and desires to give me.  All ceilings have to be removed, all roofs have to be blown off!  Especially those created inside my own mind. :-)

There once was a happy little grasshopper that was doing what grasshoppers do:  hopping along in the green grass minding his own business.  When along came a boy with a box wanting to catch a . . . hmmm grasshopper for show-and-tell in school.  Much to the chagrin of the grasshopper the boy captured him in his transparent prison with a happy grin.  But the grasshopper could not continue along his merry way.  He was trapped.  Days passed before and after show-and-tell and the grasshopper continued hopping inside the box when one day the boy’s father convinced him to set the grasshopper free.  The boy took the grasshopper outside into the yard and removed the top, but the grasshopper just continued hopping inside the box.  He could not understand why the grasshopper would not hop out of the box, but it was because the top of the box had conditioned the grasshopper to the height of the box, for it had become its new ceiling.  Life before the box was one without limitations.  Life in the box changed its perspective making its world smaller than before.

This is what happened to humans in the Garden of Eden – before Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, they lived a life without limitations except for the fruit being off limits to them.  In God there are no limitations for us to becoming all He has created us to be.  We put the limitations upon ourselves when we take our focus off of Him and put our attention upon ourselves and each other.  We begin to take on the likeness of the one or ones we gaze at and think on the most.  Therefore, since God is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient anything or anyone other than Him is a “less than” meaning they have a ceiling on them. J

What should we do if we find ourselves in a limiting situation?  Well I will answer that question with another story.  You can find this one in the Old Testament book of Exodus 13, specifically for this article are verses 31-33.  This is such a good read, “But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.’  And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, ‘The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature.  There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”  [New King James Bible] Emphases in italics are theirs, not mine.  (Green font is my idea, for special effects.) J This is important to know for it helps us to understand what they believed about themselves.

The 10 spies had assumed to know how the natives of the land saw them without having yet encountered them.  They had a “navel” view of themselves.  Also, they did not know how powerful they were because they were looking at the giants they could see, forgetting the God Who had delivered them from Pharaoh and his army, which by the way all drowned in the Red Sea, right before their eyes.  There’s nothing wrong with being a grasshopper if you are indeed a grasshopper, because God created them too for a purpose.  The problem is when we take on a grasshopper mentality when we ourselves are giants, and the problem is when we don’t know that the sky is indeed the limit and we instead continue jumping up and down inside a box that either someone else has built around us, or captured us with either mentally, emotionally, financially, spiritually, or any other –ally.  But to every problem there is a solution whether or not we know yet what (or WHO) it is.  However the answer to all is to focus on Jesus the Christ for He knows just what we need to remove all ceilings and limitations no matter where we find ourselves (inside the box with a fox), or wherever He may be, whether inside the (our) house or outside of the house (or with Three Bears and Goldilocks).  All things are possible with Him.  So go ahead, let Him take the roof off of your circumstances and life, then jump as high, and as far as you can go.