Changing Life's Plans

"20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." - Ephesians 4:20-24 (NIV)

Sod being removed
And I was very sure at that time…that I would not be mowing the lawn for a while. I forgot. There is no stability with life’s plans. They are always changing. I found the green flyer I kept and my husband called the man who ended up removing the sod for us.

But my husband and I decided we could pick up from there. We decided to finish the lawn ourselves by replacing the grasses with gravel.

After laying down the fabric that would prevent the weeds one afternoon he got home from work, we ordered the gravel. The following morning, everything was delivered. It was a piece of cake in the front yard as the truck just dumped the gravel in the middle and all we needed to do was to rake and level the little bits of stones.

my husband leveling the gravel

After waiting for the day’s heat to cool off a bit, it was more laborious to haul the gravel piled in the side yard to the back yard. Oh how our muscles ached scooping and scooping and my husband pushing the wheelbarrow many, many times. It felt like forever. When night time came, both of us were moaning. But we both knew, it was a good kind of pain. We ended up laughing so hard.

I noticed some neighbors sort of stopped at their tracks to look at our yard. One couldn’t help but asked my husband when he was outside why we removed our grasses. He told the neighbor, we wanted to save water and with that, we anticipated a drop with our water bill.

“I’m very sorry, Ms. Rcubes,” the lady at the other end of the line uttered. I could sense she was trying to find the right words to comfort me.

My fight against some people at work was taking a long time. I knew that beforehand. But I didn’t have any other option. I must go through that process if I wanted the light to shine in some shady places going on.

“Give it about 6 more months,” she stated, relieved when I responded that it was okay and I knew the process would be slow. She must sense the calmness from my tone.

She would never know the reason of how just like my husband and I changed our yards, removing the grasses and replacing them with gravel to save water, I had accepted the change from my work despite being treated unfairly, as a part of God’s plan for me. I began to understand the moment I let Jesus into my heart that my life would never be the same, requiring the “constant” to “change”. Needing to step out from my comfort zones to zones of afflictions.  Because in doing so, I must work hard to remove the old habits to be new in order for me to serve God.

6 months sounded like a long time. But I only wanted to face what I needed to, a day at a time. My old habits never developed in a day. They developed during many years and would not be fast in changing them. A day at a time. To change my life’s plans and know what God truly willed for me, knowing that my life’s purpose was not what I wanted but what He had planned from the start. He had already given the tools for me to use. The question would be… “What choices would I make?”

I saw a glimpse of a father, toting his young child on his back, stopping his walk and not seeing me from the front door, he stood in our front yard, looking at every corner as if he was mapping the landscape in our front yard. So it is with my Christian life…People are watching…

"17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen." - 2 Peter 3:17-18(NIV)
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The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]

Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.

Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.

All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.

When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.

The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.

When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.

[Source: NLT Bible ]:

We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.

“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14

Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].

Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.

Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.

Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].