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TruthNotes

Timeless truth in a changing world

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Sin

Keeping House

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Just once I’d like to prove myself wrong.  I have this theory that housecleaning is always a humbling and usually disgusting experience.  And I have yet to disprove that by my own experiences.  With five children and two dogs, my house certainly won’t pass any white glove inspections.  I steam-mopped the house this weekend, and even though I had done so the previous week, I went through multiple mop pads in the process this time, and every one of them was black afterwards.  The stuff I swept up beforehand was nothing to sneeze at, either.  And my baby crawls on this every day?  Disgusting!  I could clean my bathrooms three times a day and they’d still have toothpaste on the counters and who-knows-what on the floor.  No matter how I try to keep a counter clear of clutter, it seems like I turn around and there’s a mound of stuff.  Sigh.  Just once, can’t I prove myself wrong?

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Remembering Your Baptism

For a kindergartner, my daughter has a pretty decent concept of what baptism is.  Her class had a unit on baptism in the fall, and she came home excited about it every day.  One day she announced to me seriously, “Mommy, if the devil tempts me, I can tell him, ‘Get away from me, devil.  I am baptized.'”  Absolutely true, and incredibly mature for a kindergarten student.  But how many of us really take our baptisms that seriously?

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Surface Cleaning

Last week I unearthed a surface or two that I haven’t seen since… well, maybe even since we moved here.  And I have to admit, that clean and empty surface looks really nice.  But I know it won’t stay that way for long, because in our household we cannot keep a surface clean.  Any cleared off surface attracts clutter automatically.  Whenever we wish to have a family brunch at the dining room table, we have to clear it off before we can eat.  By dinnertime, it’s right back to being cluttered.  Kitchen counters, dressers, even the washing machine- no surface is safe.  Kids’ homework, books, keys, coats, papers, crayons, Legos, you name it.  There’s something irresistible about a clean surface.  It’s just waiting to get cluttered again.

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Defining Moments

There are defining moments in everyone’s life, some more dramatic than others.  Perhaps you look back over your life thus far and see an important decision that stands out as one such moment; a decision that shaped the course of your future from there on out.  Maybe it was an event, like a stroke or accident that left you or a loved one incapacitated and altered the course of the rest of your life.  Some defining moments are good.  Many would point to Martin Luther King, Jr’s famous “I have a dream” speech as a moment that defined not only his life, but much of the civil rights movement.  Other defining moments are less illustrious.  Consider the college student who killed himself in 2010 after his roommate taped him and his same-sex partner in the act.  People who didn’t know anything about him at all will remember him for this.  It’s a tragic defining moment.  My guess is that your defining moments are somewhere in between those two extremes, but first, let’s look at some more examples.

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The Good Side of Bad

My husband knew a guy in college who claimed he hadn’t sinned for a year.  He had found some religious group that showed him how to not sin, apparently, and this guy was completely serious about not sinning anymore.  Sound preposterous?  He’s not alone.  Joyce Meyer, famous Christian author and speaker, believes the same thing.  Perhaps you’ve seen the video clip where she publicly states that she has stopped sinning.  (It’s only 31 seconds long- it’s worth the watch.)  “I am not poor, I am not miserable, I am not a sinner,” she begins.  (I guess she didn’t like the confession part of our service where we start out, “I, a poor, miserable sinner, confess to you all my sins…”)  She goes on to say that if she was still a sinner, then Jesus died in vain.  She further points out that she didn’t stop sinning until she got it through her thick head that she wasn’t a sinner anymore.  “The Bible tells me I am righteous, and I can’t be righteous and a sinner at the same time,” she ends.  Huh.  Interesting logic.  But here’s the thing- where is the focus when you believe you’re not sinning anymore?  Are your eyes fixed on Jesus, or on your own good works?

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Life Lessons from a Child

Over the holiday weekend, we were able to spend some time with my parents at their house.  We had a nice cookout, played games together outside, and enjoyed good conversations.  Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?  And it was, except that one of my children decided to throw a pity party after losing a game of badminton.  He accused his adult opponent of cheating, started moping around, and made all sorts of “poor me” comments that got old fast.  This is far from the first time such a thing has happened.  And I’m not gonna lie to you, I wouldn’t mind a Super Nanny at that point to tell me how I should respond.  But suffice it to say that when we got in the car to go home I was not pleased.  We reprimanded him on the way home and had a fairly stony ride back.  Then we got home and everyone went their own separate ways to get away from each other.  Some time later, I heard a knock on my door.  It was my son coming to apologize.  Sweet, right?  Yet at the same time, as I’m sure many of you other parents out there can understand, somehow irritating, because I knew this wasn’t the last time this would happen.  It seems like we go through this same silly charade over and over again, and it gets to me after a while.  Seriously, you’d think by now he would have learned his lesson, right?

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