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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Just Call Dad

Photo Credit:  imelenchon at

The other day, I noticed that our freezer just wasn’t all that cold.  The popsicles were melting and the waffles were half-thawed.  The fridge/freezer is just something we take for granted around here…day in and day out it keeps our food at just the right temperature for us.  On any given day, I absolutely do NOT think about our fridge or freezer really…that is…until something is wrong with it.

So, after chatting with the hubby and trouble-shooting what we thought it could possibly be, we decided to call my dad.  We always call him for stuff like this.  We know that he’ll lead us in the right direction.  He just has a knack for small engine repair and anything that has a motor really.

The first thing he asked me to do was to check the small black coils in the front bottom of the fridge under that plastic panel thingy (my own highly technical terms).  Here’s the conversation:

“Okay, so I just popped off that black plastic piece you told me about,”  I said.
“Do you see the black coils?”  he asked.
“Nope.  No black coils.”  I responded.
“Are you sure?”  he inquired.
“Yep.  I’m sure,”  I answered.
“When was the last time you vacuumed under there?”  he asked.
“Um, let’s see – we bought it in 2005, so, um…never,”  I replied.
“Well, maybe the coils are hidden, you know, under the seven years worth of lint,” he jokingly suggested.
“Ooooohhhhh.  Oopsie,” I answered, “we’ll get right on that.”
“Vacuuming that lint is a great place to start,” he offered.  “It won’t run correctly if air can’t get through.”
“Of course.  Thanks, Dad.  Love you!”

So, there ya have it.  If anything, here is your gentle reminder to get that dust and lint off of those coils before you have a problem (the coils ARE there…I assure you).  And, for all of the regular Sips followers, you know I have something to tie this into, right?

The build-up of lint over the years was slowly sucking the life out of our refrigerator/freezer.  Sounds a lot like the build-up of anger and grudges and our unwillingness to forgive…it basically sucks the life out of us over time.  It suffocates us and prevents us from living a life of true peace and…fresh air.

Broken relationships.  Resentment.  Jealousy.  Envy.  Anger.  Forgiveness.  Love.  There are SO many things I can't wait to chat with Jesus about...

In the meantime, in chapter 5 of Matthew, I always find comfort.  (verses 6-12)  "Happy are those who long to be just and good, for they shall be completely satisfied.  Happy are the kind and merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.  Happy are those whose hearts are pure, for they shall see God.  Happy are those who strive for peace - they shall be called sons of God.  Happy are those who are persecuted because they are good, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.  When you are reviled and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers - wonderful!  Be happy about it!  Be very glad...for a tremendous reward awaits you in Heaven.  And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted, too."

Loving our enemies.  The.  hardest.  thing.  in.  the.  world.  to.  do.  It’s so much easier to just love the people who love us back, you know?

Here is someone’s response to a YouTube video about loving our enemies:  "Just because you start to love your enemies doesn't necessarily mean you have to build relationships with them.  You can actually love them from a distance instead.  Loving them doesn't mean that you have to listen to negativity from them either.  The best thing to do is to wish them no harm and pray for them.  Staying away might be best if they cause you to stumble."  This isn’t bad advice, especially if we have tried countless times to reach out to someone and make amends and they refuse our hand.  As they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

But, there is another chapter in Matthew that also hits home:  (18:21-22)  Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Sir, how often should I forgive a brother who sins against me?  Seven times?  "NO!" replied Jesus, "seventy times seven!"

Seventy times seven times!  Really?  Ugh.  Forgiveness.  Jesus explains to us in black and white terms what we are to do.  No gray area.  Poo!

The great news is that love and forgiveness can build bridges.  Jesus NEVER said they would be easy bridges to build. Not once. Dang it!  But, if God is always at the center of our response, we can't fail.  If we let our human weaknesses creep in (anger, the I’m-right-you’re-wrong mentality, jealousy, etc.), that’s when we struggle and fail.

To keep the “lint” from building up, we need to take time to “clean house.”  To start the clean-up process, we need to pray.  We need to call upon our heavenly “Dad” for guidance, like where we should even start.  It can be overwhelming.   We need to work on forgiveness...every single day.  We neglected our fridge for seven years…WAY TOO long!!  See what happens?

I once heard this comparison:  Say someone really agitates us at our place of work…(it could happen…)  Sometimes, we harbor anger against them and let them get to us while we’re at work, while we drive home, and even when we get home.  When we just aren’t able to “let it go” and we keep the anger and hurt alive, it’s like we invite them into our home day after day to have dinner with our family.  Now, while this would be a great gesture, it would be even more wonderful if we had forgiven them before they joined us.  I mean, if we’re going to invite them (figuratively speaking, since they are always on our mind), the dinner would be much more pleasant if we had forgiven them first, right?

We can also ask for Mary's intervention - how did she POSSIBLY see her Son's persecutors and not want to go out there and show them no mercy!  Right?!  Now, there's a woman's footsteps to follow.  Mary can give us the peace and strength we need.  We should ask her…beg her…and let her in.

Once we work on removing the years of “lint,” breathing becomes a little easier.  We won’t have to struggle as much in our day-to-day activities if the “lint” isn’t so thick.  Lint just has a way of building up over time.  It can choke us.  It takes great effort just to function at times if too much lint is in our way. 

Get rid of the lint!  And, don’t forget to call “Dad” while you’re at it!  Our Heavenly Dad is just a phone call…um…prayer…away!  He’s extremely busy, BUT, He always answers.  Oh, and don't worry, He has caller ID!

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