Archive for October, 2014

“I Don’t Like Spiders & Snakes”

spider

The worst thing in life is spiders! Ugh! They really give me the heebie jeebies. Just recently, I’ve somehow unearthed what appears to me to be a hive of granddaddy long-legs. Big ones! In the midst of working on my house, I’ve torn down theirs’. They are long-legged ticks that move precariously like a clown on stilts trying to exit the circus arena. Loathsome as they are, I can actually pick them up by their legs and hurl them far away, so their lumbering trek back will take considerable time. Granddaddy Long Legs don’t invoke paralysis in me though, the way other arachnids do.  Although they are fewer in number and much more elusive, the spiders that really creep me out are the Kukulcania hibernalis or Southern house spiders. The male of this species is often confused with the Brown Recluse. The female is typically black with long spindly legs and builds her webs in the cracks and crevices of most southern homes.  I had the misfortune of bringing one out of her lair the other day while I was on the ladder, 28feet up painting the eaves of the house.  This is how non-poisonous spiders kill humans, by spooking them into falling from lofty pinnacles. I managed to gain control of my bladder, paint can, paint brush, and oh yes, my feet. If these spiders would just slow down like their drunken cousins, the Grand Daddy Long Legs, I might grab them by their legs and hurl them, too.  

Most of us have a fear or phobia of some type.  According to psychologists, these fears are usually embedded early in our childhood. Some fears are truly misplaced and are even crippling.  Claustrophobia or fear of small spaces for example can actually bring on severe panic attacks. In a recent case, claustrophobia was identified as the cause of death in a woman undergoing an MRI.  

For the most part though, our fears are  often exaggerated beyond their potential to actually do us harm.  We fear things which we shouldn’t and yawn at things we should. Take Ebola for example. We are all very concerned about this horrible hemorrhagic fever.  Since March of 2014 when the first case was reported, to date of this article there have been 3439 deaths worldwide (only 2 deaths outside of Africa).  In that same period of time 350,000 Americans have died due to heart disease, 9300 due to AIDS, approximately 690,000 due to automobiles, 315,000 due to cancer. Let me repeat; since March of this year one American death to Ebola, nearly 1.4 million to everyday occurrences. Our fears are often highly misplaced.

Perhaps our greatest muddled fear is between man and God.  Jesus warns specifically of this in Matthew 10:28,  And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. The word fear in this verse is from the Greek word phobeo, which means to be in awe of or sore afraid. Respect for the awesome power of the Lord is correctly placed fear. In contrast Satan’s greatest weapon in His arsenal is the arrow of misplaced fear. In the course of human history, there have been a few, who tragically  suffered  from sword or flame (Heb.11).  A few brave men and women have been martyred for the sake of their faith. It is indeed a frightening thing to contemplate the cross or stake of fire. We’re driven by fear to avoid the wrath of other men. We are like a weak and defenseless child in the schoolyard, who seeks to avoid the bully.  However, our Father says to us “What is there to be afraid of?” 1Co 16:13  Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

 If we would only fear and respect Him more, we would be empowered and emboldened to face our fears.  David is a great example of this proper fear. He withstood the frightening giant, Goliath, because he had great respect for God. 1Sa 17:26  …For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” Armed with a respect for the Lord, David went out and was able to conquer that which frightened every other man.

We must learn to conquer our fears that reside here on earth.  Better yet, we should channel that fear to be in awe of our creator and savior.

Darryl Fuller

Rock Solid

800px-Lotyšské_etnografické_muzeum_v_přírodě_(91)

On a really wet and cold day back in October, one of those slow but soaking, into your bones kind of rains, we decided that a garage was overdue.  On the 25th day of the 6 month, in the year our Lord 2014, the foundation was laid. Just concrete on red clay and rocks. What’s the big deal you say? The truth is, we’ve been talking about a garage since we moved into our home in June 1992. For me personally, and of course I’m very sentimental, the laying of that foundation was a huge and monumental accomplishment.  During those months between October and June, planning, financial arrangements, getting bids, asking questions, deciding not to do it, re-deciding to go ahead with the plans, lining up contractors, drawing the plans out, just to name a few enlightened me to the complexity of building something as simple as a garage. Therefore when the foundation was finally laid, I applauded, took pictures, hugged Beth, scribed the date into the slab, and oh yes, paid the contractor.  I guess the thing I’m really trying to say is, the foundation is a really big deal! Consider that no other project the Israelites undertook is dated except when the foundation of the temple was laid.

1Ki 6:37  In the fourth year the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid, in the month of Ziv. (See also Ezra chapter 3).  In any case, laying the foundation is commitment. Once you’ve committed to such an endeavor, stopping or not carrying through would be futile since the hardest part is completed.

So much of the work in building any structure is the detail of getting the foundation right.  Jesus emphasized this in the  parable of the two builders who built on separate foundations. Luke 6:47-49  Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like:   he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.   But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

I’m blessed to have hard rock to build on. Consequently, it made for more work in getting the land excavated, the site graded and the foundation dug.  However, I can rest assured that the foundation is built on solid ground.  We are all likewise, blessed with the bedrock of God’s truth. Spoken to us by the prophets and apostles who were inspired by the Holy Spirit, these truths assure us of salvation by God’s grace.  They demonstrate that God’s promises are trustworthy and therefore we must listen to the voice of His greatest promise, Jesus Christ. So much planning went into this promise.Eph 1:4  even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love.  So muchfaith and love for us, in carrying out the plan, even when His children were disobedient and didn’t deserve such a building.

 The land was excavated and graded smooth. Isa 40:4  Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.

  A line was laid down.Amo 7:8  And the LORD said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said, “Behold, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will never again pass by them;

The foundation was laid!

Eph 2:20-22  built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,    in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.  In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Are you building on that foundation?

Darryl Fuller