Sunday, February 14, 2016


It’s that time of year.  Yep.  The north wind is howling outside our windows, the holidays are a distant memory and spring hasn’t even given us a hint of when she is ready to show herself.  House project time!

We live in a wonderful old home, complete with oversized wood doors, tall ceilings with crown moldings, windows that rattle and leak cold air and an old behemoth of a furnace.  Every so often we discuss replacing that furnace only to decide to let it go one more year.  Replace the windows?  That would compromise the integrity of the original architecture.

We love this house!  She has served us well: Charlie reared his family in this wonderful home and 11+ years ago it became my home.  We toyed with the idea of starting our marriage in a new home that had no previous memories attached (the marriage books suggested that!) but because of its amazing personality, location near the lake and park, closeness to downtown….we decided to “deal with” any issues associated with staying here.  Almost 12 years later….good decision.

This year I decided it was time to update our bedroom.  The wood frames around the windows were very dry and faded; I had been threatening to tackle those windows for over a year. The time had come!

Charlie had already worked on the wood in many areas of our home and had an established process to get the wood shining again.  It, of course, involved major “elbow grease” but didn’t seem beyond my capabilities and determination.  (By the way, even though I was willing to take this on as my project, Charlie patiently showed me how to do it AND jumped in to help.  Great husband!)

Steel wool, sandpaper, various scraping instruments and other previously unknown tools became useful objects in my hands.  I had a fast, hands-on tutorial and the whole project became larger than life.  Can you home owners relate?

Eventually the windows were prepared and ready for the shellac, an adventure in itself.  Shellac has to be applied quickly because it dries so fast.  It was downright intimidating.

Charlie had brought upstairs his very, very bright lights….the ones that make it seem like a spotlight has been brought into the space. We turned those lights on and all the mistakes, less well prepared wood, brush strokes…all were EXPOSED!  The scrutiny of those lights EXPOSED areas that needed more work.

Isn’t our walk with God like that?  I love being in relationship with other Christian women, through Bible studies and fellowship gatherings, because we support and encourage each other.  So often the conversation focuses on what happens when we get deeper into the Word of God, what happens when we shine the light of Truth onto our attitudes, words and actions.  Those “bare areas”, places where sin is not so noticeable…. all EXPOSED!

In the book of Romans Paul says, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.  As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.  I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.”

There is more.  In Romans 7: 24 he describes himself as “wretched”.  Wow. Talk about sin being EXPOSED!  If today’s topic ended there it would be pretty depressing.  But, it doesn’t end there!  As Paul Harvey used to say, “now for the rest of the story”.

In Jesus we are offered relief from all of this angst.  Through the Holy Spirit (Who indwells us the moment we give our lives to God through Christ) we can have power to live life free from the slavery of sin.  We will always struggle with sin, this side of heaven, but we can have victory!

Later in Romans, Paul reminds us and encourages us that we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  He reaches our hearts when he reassures us that nothing can separate us from God’s love.

What a joy to know for certain that one day my sinful self will fall away because of what Jesus did for me (and you!) on the cross.  I will stand among the saints – all who died and live again in Christ.  My spiritual battles on earth, EXPOSED by the light of Christ, will give way to perfect love. 
Have you committed your life to Christ?  Have you allowed God’s Word to EXPOSE the changes needed in your life?  If so, let’s journey together, encourage one another and look forward one day to joining our brothers and sisters (Ephesians 1:18) who are already experiencing the fellowship of the saints.

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