The Journey

This blog began in an attempt to provide resources and encouragement for homeschoolers. However, during this homeschool adventure, I've found it's also about life. Specifically about losing my own life, that I might find it in Jesus and thus discover the joy of REAL life. (Matthew 10:39)

In March, 2012, our family stepped out in faith again as we moved out to the country. The first step of faith was trusting the Lord to sell our other home before our emergency fund ran out. He is faithful, and though I was hoping this would happen sooner, He knows what we needed.

I just know that He is going to use these 5 acres and this old house to teach me even more lessons in abiding with Him...and I look forward to the Adventure!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Tale of Two Thermometers and Living an Abundant Life

On Thursday, my husband called a fireplace store about our wood stove thermometer. In October, we had to get a new blower for the wood stove. The thermometer for the blower had fallen off the back of the stove and we forgot to turn it off before attempting to reattach it to the stove. What happens when a live wire touches metal? Any motor attached to the wire no longer works. Thus, we needed a new blower.

While at the store to purchase the blower, my man was asking about thermometers for the stove. We suspected the one at the farmhouse was not quite accurate and were looking to get a new one. The man at the store said a flue thermometer which has a probe that goes into the flue is the safest and most accurate, so we purchased that too. Since that time we have been using both the flue thermometer, placed in the flue, and the one that attaches to the side of the stove.

The problem has been that the two thermometers don't agree. The flue one is almost always in the underfire range, while the one on the side of the stove is in the optimum temperature range. My man kept trying to figure out ways for them to come into agreement, but couldn't do it.

A few days before Christmas, he came to the conclusion that the thermometer on the side of the stove was wrong. So, he got the fire up into the orange range of the flue thermometer - the optimal temperature range - and the stove thermometer was at the very edge of the overfire range. We planned to get a new stove thermometer, but had not gotten to a place that sold them yet.

Now back to the phone call my man made on Thursday. He talked with the woman at the store and explained what had been going on. The thermometer on the side of the stove, he said, would get up to 550 degrees and we still couldn't get water to boil on top! She said that you would be able to feel it - and wouldn't be able to stand close - if it was that hot! She confirmed that the best - and safest - thermometer is the one that has a probe going into the flue! I told my man what a praise that was that evening during family worship.

You see, we've been using the wood stove to heat our home, along with a few space heaters. Our furnace, which was working in the spring when we moved in, did not work when we turned it on again in the fall. [Aside: The person who came to look at it said even if parts were available (it's a Montgomery Ward furnace), he wouldn't want to fix it because it's rusty, which could cause carbon monoxide.] So, we've been going it the old fashion way - again! Kind of reminiscent of our summer without air conditioning, except we do have a heat source!

Now that we weren't hindered by the thermometer on the side of the stove, we would be able to have hotter fires and thus a warmer house! Praise the Lord! It seems we weren't nearly as close to putting our stove in the “overfire” range as we had thought!

As I laid in bed that night, I was thinking about those two thermometers, “There must be a lesson for us in that.” I thought. John 10:10 came to mind.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” 
John 10:10, NIV, 1984

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). 
John 10:10, Amplified

That thermometer on the stove was like the thief - it was stealing us of our stove's potential to heat our home. The flue thermometer could be trusted, like Jesus, it allows us to have a warmer home.

How often do we believe the lies of the enemy and limit ourselves? The enemy wants to tell us we're in “overfire,” even when we're not! He wants us to think we've done enough or that we're at the limit - the edge so to speak of our “fire” for the Lord. The enemy tells us not to load any more wood in the fire and don't allow any more air in either - the fire is hot enough!

But the truth is that the enemy, like our thermometer on the side of the stove, is WRONG! In fact, he's lying to us. We're no where near being too hot. That flue thermometer tells us we can add more wood and allow more air into the fire. Jesus says we can open our hearts - and lives - even more to His Word and allow the Holy Spirit to work even more freely in and through us. We're not in danger of getting too hot.

Because Jesus came that we may have life. He came that we might enjoy life. He came that we might have life abundantly. He came that we might have a life that is so full, it's overflowing. While it might not be good for our wood stove to get into the “overfire” zone on our flue thermometer, I think Jesus might say it's okay to get into the “overfire” zone when it comes to living our life abiding in Him! Perhaps that happens when we lay down our lives and pick up our crosses to follow Him - each day He gives us breath.
I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples."
John 15:1-8, NKJV

[A]nd anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 
Matthew 10: 38-39, NIV, 1984

Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 
 Luke 9:23-24, NIV, 1984

Thank You, Jesus for giving me a hunger for You - please set me on fire for living an abundant life. May I recognize and not believe the lies of the enemy, who only wants to limit the fire of Your Holy Spirit. May I keep my eyes fixed on You alone as I travel the path You have so graciously laid out for me. Thank You for Your promise of a life filled with abundance because of You. Amen.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 
Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV, 1984

We've now removed the thermometer on the stove and are only using the flue thermometer.

Jesus, may we do the same in our spiritual lives. May we remove the lies of the enemy. May we remove any other filter we have which is limiting our ability to see Your Truth clearly. We want only to live by Your Truth - by Your Word. Because our spiritual lives should be over every other part of our lives. You should permeate our beings so completely that You are a part of all our decisions - whether physical, emotional, financial, business, personal, etc. May it be so in our lives as we become more Christ like in our thoughts, words, actions, choices and attitudes today and every day hereafter. Amen. So be it.

Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.
John 4: 21-24, NIV, 1984

P.S. The Siesta Scripture Memory Team 2013 with Living Proof Ministries starts on January 1, 2013.  As I wrote this down in my journal I realized the Lord had pointed me to the first verse I would memorize in 2013...“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” John 10:10, Amplified

P.P.S.  As I read this post to my family this evening, my husband commented that I ought to have added this:  "Now, if we could only get our chain saw working, my man could cut wood to go in the fire!"

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