Monday, January 18, 2010

A Leopard's Spots - Part One

There is a phrase that has been going through my mind lately over and over again. So much so that I finally just had to check it out so that I could just let it go! You can actually Google it and it will come up. It's origin is found in the Bible, Jeremiah 13:23
"Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots?"
It might seem obvious that the answer to this question must be "NO, they can't!" The story leading up to the question is basically this: God was so grieved about the sins of the people of Jerusalem that he sent a prophet, Jeremiah, to warn them about what would happen to them if they continued to live like they were. Jeremiah went predicting God's wrath over them because of their sins of pride, drunkeness, idolatries of different kinds that were practiced in various ways, accompanied with gross debauchery. People had become complacent about their own wrong doing and evil. Their sin had become second nature to them. They were deeply steeped in sin and self absorption. They worshiped anything and everything but GOD and it never occured to them to do anything different. They had completely forgotten about God. It would have been as likely for a Leopard to change his spots as it would be for them to do good because they were so accustomed to doing evil. It is very difficult to get anyone who is so deeply rooted in sin to be brought to the knowledge of himself and God. This verse implies that it is impossible in a natural sense for anyone to change the color of their skin(except maybe Michael Jackson, may his soul rest in peace) or a leopard to change it's spots.
What is boils down to is, Jeremiah warned them, pleaded with them to change but they didn't. They chose to be stubborn and to continue with their own plans to "do their own thing". Consequently there was a price to pay for the choice that they made.
It occurs to me that God, being a loving and gracious Father, doesn't want anything to separate us from Him. He does everything he can possibly do aside from taking away our freedom of choice, to get our attention, to warn us to straighten up and fly right! It is impossible for us to change on our own. We don't even have the power or ability to change. God has given us a way. The scripture says that nothing is impossible with God. There is hope through Jesus Christ. To accept and believe that he is the one and only begotten son of God that he paid the penalty for our sin and wrong doing so that we don't have to. Phillipians 4:13 says:"I can do everything through him that gives me strength."
It troubles me that there are actually people out there that are so far gone and that there is no hope of change because they don't want it.
They delight in evil doing and even get angry when some one suggests that what they do is evil. Has society, people, the world, changed so much that you can no longer determine what is right and what is wrong. People get so critical that you would even call a sin, a sin. They would have you believe that right and wrong are relative. That change isn't necessary because what ever anyone believes, thinks, espouses is hunkey dorey; just keep your opinions to yourself and let them do their own thing and whatever you do don't tell them that what they are doing is wrong. Has right and wrong become fuzzy in the world today or is there still an unwritten understanding or code, if you will, of right conduct???

See my next blog: A Leopard's Spots Part TWO

Friday, January 1, 2010

I hate sad endings!

I have never liked the first day of the year. My sister usually calls me to ask me what I am doing on this "your favorite day of the year". This year was no different. I put away all the Christmas Decorations, the trees, the Christmas boughs, the tinkling bells in the entry hall, my favorite nativity scene and ceramic tree that my Aunt Irma made for me many years ago. It's all packed away for another 12 months. I love Christmas so much maybe that is why it is hard for me to transition to New Years Day when all the signs of it are missing. The house just seems to have lost it's sparkle!
This year during Christmas there was a bit of a cloud looming over all of us as my youngest daughter and her husband have separated. They have been married for only three years and dated for three years prior to that. I don't know what to do with the feelings that I have about it. Always being the Mother who wants to fix things, this is something I can't fix. When I look back over the last 3 years that they have been married I see the reality that two people could not have been more incompatible then my daughter and son-in-law but I was so hopeful for their marriage to work. I was rooting for them. I prayed for them so many many times. I am sad. Sad to admit it just didn't work, sad to admit that I encouraged them to get married, sad for my two little grandchildren, just plain sad.