Are You Hoarding Toilet Paper?

When the COVID-19 pandemic ends and we think back to 2020, one of the first things we’ll remember is how it was impossible to find toilet paper on the store shelves. People arrive early and buy it up, leaving none for anyone else. And it’s not just toilet paper; frozen vegetables and canned goods, baking supplies, and even bread are being hoarded. 

Do you remember in Exodus, when God sent manna every morning for the Israelites to gather and make into cakes? They were instructed to eat only the manna they had gathered for each day. Those who didn’t follow that instruction discovered, as Exodus 16:24 tells us, that stored manna “bred worms and stank.” There was one exception: manna stored the day before the Sabbath (when twice the amount of manna was gathered) did not spoil overnight.

This tells us two things:

  1. God will provide what we need
  2. We are not to take more than we need. That is showing that we don’t trust God to provide.

There is a thin line between selfish hoarding of supplies and being prepared for an emergency. A couple of extra packs of toilet paper is preparedness. An extra bag of vegetables to put in the freezer. A few more tins of food for the pantry. 

But when you buy so much that your home’s storage areas can’t contain it, it’s time to look at the stash of toilet paper in your living room and examine how much you truly trust God will provide. Until this crisis, we just knew that if we needed toilet paper it would be as near as our local store. 

It’s the same with rent and mortgage payments, debt repayments and groceries. God wants us to feed our families and put food on the table. He wants us to honour our obligations. And He will provide the way to do it, even long after COVID -19 ends.

 

What Social Isolation is Teaching Us

Six months ago, if someone told you that you would be virtually under house arrest —  no work, sleep in every morning, binge watch TV, raid the fridge — you would have rolled your eyes and said “I wish!”

Well, be careful what you wish for, because it has now come true. It’s human nature to resist what you are told — no, ordered — to do, and naturally we find ourselves complaining at times. A world-wide pandemic is not a good reason for this to have happened, and yet there are so many things to be thankful for.

Sandcastles Weddings — my livelihood — has suddenly and unexpectedly been put on hold until further notice. We are just a small part of the huge wedding industry that is affected. But Proverbs 31 Lifestyles has no such limitation, and this is where I’ve been putting my focus in the past couple of weeks.

Dave and I don’t have a young family, as many of you do, but we are in constant text/phone touch with our kids and the grandkids. Everyone is healthy and from what I hear there is only a minimum amount of cabin fever. Families are together; parents who once commuted to the office are now working from home.

Churches have been told to close, and yet the Christian community is finding incredible ways to get their Sunday services up on the internet. Never before have we really understood that WE are the church!

Instagram and Facebook are exploding with uplifting memes. I for one have many friends who are thousands of miles away, and we can visit every day via social media. 

Spending is at a minimum. Not only are our incomes slashed, but the stores are closed. And surprise! We’re doing okay! Granted there are some stories of greed, such as people hoarding toilet paper, but these are eclipsed by the heartwarming stories of service and sacrifice on the part of the doctors, nurses, truck drivers and store staff. 

We finally have the time to try new recipes, work around the house, read the newest books.

The warmer weather is coming (I’m in Canada, maybe it’s already spring-like where you are) and soon we will be able to enjoy our gardens and backyards. The air should be fresher; I am reading articles about how the earth is repairing itself with fewer cars on the roads and wildlife is returning to places where it hasn’t been seen in years.

The best thing of all is the God is in control. He can remove this virus from the earth as fast as it disappeared, and when the time is right, He will. In the meantime, He can — and will — keep your family and mine safe.

Use this time to rejuvenate, whatever that means for you. Work on new projects, or simply rest — there is no right or wrong way. Sooner or later it will be over and we will be back to the hustle and bustle of our old routines. Hopefully we will have learned something from all this, and hopefully our new normal will be somewhat different.

 

 

 

Here’s a New List for You!

We live in a society obsessed with creating lists: to-do lists, grocery lists, and even goals lists. But there is one more list I would like you to make and keep handy on a daily basis.

Get out a paper and pen and make a list of these people:

  • people you don’t like
  • people who don’t like you
  • people who have hurt you in the past
  • people who are hurting you now
  • politicians who are not working in the best interest of the people
  • those who abuse children and animals
  • those who are willfully damaging the environment
  • those who cut you off in traffic
  • those you judge
  • those who judge you

Feel free to make this list as long as you like, and you needn’t limit yourself to those in the list above. And when you are finished, you will give this list a title:  PRAYER LIST

Ice Cream Spoons?

I have finally completed the silver flatware set I started before I was married. It coincides with the grandkids coming this weekend. So what’s the connection?

This P31 grandmother plans to have them help make ice cream, using the attachment to my KitchenAid mixer, and afterwards, enjoy it with ice cream spoons.

What, you may ask, is an ice cream spoon? I suppose in days gone by everyone knew, but today’s modern world has lost some of the customs of yesteryear.

The spoon on the right is an ice cream spoon; one the left is a regular teaspoon. The rounded shape of the ice cream spoon is designed to allow it to be more easily scooped, and to fit the mouth better. And apparently a metal spoon is the best type to eat ice cream with.

So now you know! We’ll be crushing candy canes into French Vanilla to create a minty Christmas ice cream, yum!

 

Walking in the Spirit

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: Galatians 22-25

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

TODAY’S MESSAGE:

Once in a while, we feel disconnected with God. He seems distant and we start to wonder what is wrong. We feel that our relationship to Him is only on the surface, and we want to dive into His deep water. To make it worse, we seem to be doing all the right things, and even our friends see us as perfect Christians.

It sounds as if what you are looking for is evidence of the Holy Spirit in your life. As son as you received Jesus Christ as your Saviour, you received the Holy Spirit within you. The Spirit dwells inside you, and will do so permanently.

It may be possible that you have a barrier between you and the full experience of the Holy Spirit. The Bible promises what the fruit of the Spirit will give us: Galatians 22-25

Perhaps you haven’t fully turned your life to Jesus. Maybe you have some unconfessed sin. Approach him like the woman who anointed His feet. No doubt she wept because she felt the emotion of being in His presence, and the comparison of her own sin to His lack of sin. Open your heart to the one who already knows what’s in it. I John 1:9 tells us “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Walking in the Spirit is a day-by-day thing. Often, life gets in the way of our relationship with Jesus. We push him to the back of the line, behind our schedules, jobs, and the millions of things we need to do. Try making Him a priority in your life. Paul commands us to “pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) This means to keep our thoughts and actions on God as we go about our daily lives.

If you want to see God, His holiness and your sin more clearly, read the Bible every day. One of the promises of the Holy Spirit is a greater understanding of the Word. “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.” (1 Corinthians 2:12)