It All Builds Up

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” 

Galatians 6:7, NLT

lint_filterI was sitting with a group of friends when one of them asked about the similarity between lint in a lint filter and sin. On the face of it, this sounded to me like one of those “what the heck?” type of questions! I mean, where did that idea come from? But, I paused and thought, “Well, is there any similarity”? So, we tossed around our thoughts on the matter. The question for me became, what, if anything, does lint in filters and unchecked sin have in common? I considered what happens with lint when I dry the laundry in a dryer. Then, I considered what happens with what we commonly term insignificant or little sins, as opposed to those considered big ones.  I was surprised by what I discovered!

Whenever I checked the lint filter and there was just a little bit of lint on it, I tended to let it go because I didn’t see it as enough lint to bother cleaning off. When I checked the filter and the lint had accumulated significantly, I tended to it right away, because, by that time, it threatened a clogged filter and an inability for the dryer to effectively dry the clothes. It was actually harder to clean off the faint dusting of lint than a greater accumulation! The full filter of lint rolled right out so much easier. But, proper maintenance on the filter with little lint would have prevented further build up and subsequent consequences!

sinsI experienced a time in my life when I let my so-called little sins progress unchecked to the point that they multiplied and became glaringly obvious to everyone around me. I could no longer hide them! I was left wondering, “How’d they get so big so quickly?” Truth is, it wasn’t an overnight growth, and I was compelled to address it. By that time, I was willing to confess everything and check those sins at the throne of God’s forgiveness! It cost me too, as some of those consequences continue today. It’s my reminder of the truth that we’d reap what we’ve sown.

Based on my friend’s question, I concluded that there is indeed a similarity between lint in lint filters and sin; left unchecked, it all builds up. Once built up, it must be addressed. So wouldn’t we want to address it before it builds up, and reap rewards instead of consequences?

By grace through faith,


Inextinguishable Light

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” 

John 1: 5, NLT

Tree“I don’t know if I’m really going to like it here. “I don’t know anybody. I don’t know my way around. There’s no sun, surf, and sand, anywhere close by. And, it’s been dreary, windy, and cold for the last several days! I really miss Hawaii. It always seemed bright and shiny there!” These were some of my thoughts as I settled into fall on the East Coast after three years of basking in the sunshine of “Paradise”. I was moping for sure, and life just seemed kind of dreary to me. My hope for the new place was waning and any appreciation for where and how to fit in was too. Perhaps, I just needed a little sign. “Help me, Lord”, I managed to pray, weakly; “just give me a little light in my darkness, here, please!”

Then, one morning, as I looked out, I witnessed a beautiful autumn sight! The sun was out! And, not only was it out, it was shining on a tree in a way that made the tree look almost fluorescent! After moping through several days of darkened skies, I really appreciated the brightness! It was just the sight I needed to bring me out of my period of mini-gloom.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe the light is there on days when the sky is full of clouds, rain, and endless gray. But even on those days when the sun seems to hide so far beneath the clouds that we can’t see it directly, we know it’s still there. God is like that.

When we belong to Him, we have assurance, through faith in him and his grace that he is always with us in every aspect of our lives, even when we feel like he’s not there. I’d forgotten that God said He’d always be with me through every change, doubt, fear, and darkness. I’d forgotten that the very Light that made the world has the power to make a new life from the pieces of my darkness and fears.

The light of hope to start over in a new place, and learn to appreciate its beauty and offerings was still there. It had not been extinguished. I needed that reminder to simply believe what God said about never leaving me.

Jesus is our light in the darkness of life. He shines through our darkness more magnificently than the sun through that tree.

By grace through faith,


Souls Unglued

“What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!”

Matthew 10:27, NLT

DSC01353-2The first morning of writer’s boot camp, I was almost booted to the floor. As I lunged forward, the corner of the mattress broke my fall. Boot camp coordinators had given us a charge to “Advance!”, but I’m relatively sure nose-diving into the carpet wasn’t what they had in mind.

I looked down at my stylish black boots—the likely culprits. One sole had become unglued and now flapped precariously with each step. (Note to self: Always pack two pairs of black shoes.) I scuffed my way to the conference room, hoping to remain upright while trying to hide my fashion faux pas.

God never misses an opportunity to teach, and my well-ventilated shoe amplified his message for the morning: Sometimes it is good to come unglued.

Let’s face it. It’s easier to coordinate our outfits than our lives. We are not glamorous runway models depicted in flawless, airbrushed glossies. We are world-worn sojourners with a God-given message and a call to be real. Can we really say, “God use me to share your message,” and then stop short of baring our souls? Transparency may cost us, but the soul of another is priceless. Are we willing to pay the price to affect someone’s life for eternity?

Christ gave his all. Should we do less?

God has entrusted us with unique spheres of influence, and our experiences set us apart. If we remain silent, our stories will be left untold, and His will remain unheard. Who knows, baring one’s soul may actually become fashionable and bring life-changing results.

So flap open your soul, and wear your faux pas with style.