notesbynora

Walking by Faith Alone

Eagle Power…

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I love the movie Nacho Libre. While there isn’t technically any literary worthiness to it, there is a message. Jack Black plays the part of Nacho, a Monk, discouraged with his life and longing for some form of recognition that his job has meaning. He is the cook for the other Monks and the orphans in a small town in Mexico. When a beautiful Nun enters the scene as a new teacher for the orphans, things begin to change. In secret, Nacho becomes a tag team wrestler and with the proceeds of his fights, buys fresh ingredients to prepare better meals for the children. To gain more power and become the best wrestler in the world, Nacho climbs a cliff to a known eagle’s nest, drinks the yolk of the eagle’s eggs, so that he may gain eagle power.

Discouragement happens to us all at some point in our lives – to some more than others. It is a loss of hope. A feeling that surrender and defeat are the only answers. Discouragement highlights the word ‘quit’ when we want desperately to fight and stay the course. It chips away at our future and makes us believe we are weak, incapable, too old, too young, no-good, hang-it-up people.

Can you imagine the discouragement Noah must have felt waiting for the rain and listening to the jeers and name calling from his neighbors? Or Daniel as they lowered him into the lion’s den? Being swallowed by a whale and living in the belly had to have left Jonah a bit out of sorts…Esther facing the King…Moses dealing with the Isrealites…Jesus as He prayed in the garden and His disciples slept. It leaves me to wonder, what separates “the men from the boys” or the “women from the girls”?

Steps to Combat Discouragement:

  • Tell yourself ‘Who’ is on your side. God is a God of encouragement and hope, not doubt and fear. His words are uplifting, not negative. God never says, “You can’t do it! I’m going to find someone else.” On the contrary, God says, “Despite your weakness, WE will do it and do it well!” Isaiah 40:29, “He gives strength to the weary,and increases the power of the weak.”
  • Relieve yourself of the weight. Carrying burdens, harboring anxiety, filling our worry tanks glorifies Satan. He is the instigator of all doubt and fear as he whispers in our ear, “What ever gave you the idea things would work out! You are going under!” Psalm 55:22, “Cast your cares (burdens) on the Lord and He will sustain you. He will never let the righteous be shaken.”
  • Tell yourself not to fear. Psalm 56:11, “…though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear.” God spends a great deal of time in the Old and New Testament telling us not to fear. Not to worry. Not to let anxiety rule us. Why then do we?
  • Allow God to renew your strength. Pray for encouragement and that God will surround you with His people who will lift you up and give you a renewed sense of hope. Isaiah 40:31, “…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” Don’t withdraw. Don’t stop praying. Don’t buy into the potential destruction. Praise God that He will renew and restore you!
  • Summon your Eagle Powers. You don’t have to drink eagle egg yolk like our friend Nacho. God renews our strength like the eagles. Isaiah 40:31, “You will soar on wings like eagles. You will run and not grow weary. You will walk and not be faint.”

Discouragement can have a hold on us that destroys and weakens our ability to function. The bigger the plan God has for your life, the tougher Satan will be on thwarting that plan. Just when we think we are almost there, something interrupts our progress and hurls us back a few feet. Stand up. Brush yourself off and face the challenge before you. Because God will win  that means you will win too.

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

July 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Vampires among us…

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In Eastern European folklore, vampires were known to arise from the dead and disturb the living until they were either impaled or burned – a gruesome definition at best, but are they still among us? Are they lurking around the corners, hiding in bushes, living in Seattle (as the popular Twilight series suggests), waiting to pounce on unsuspecting victims?

I think not but a deviation of such does walk among us. Those energy suckers, negative proclaimers, angry, grumpy individuals with whom we work, walk the streets, sit in the stands with at ball games, or drive on the freeways beside. Those people who want nothing more than to take the chirp out of our song. They may be the person who wakes beside us in the morning or joins us at the breakfast table.  Have you ever noticed how one ill-minded, mad-at-the-world, feet stomping individual can ruin the entire day just by opening his or her mouth? With self-evaluation, on some days, it may just be the person who glares back at us in our mirrors.

We all need to be loved and respected. There is an innate desire within each of us to feel valued and appreciated by those around us. And if only we could choose who loved us,  valued us and respected us, the world could glow with positive expression,  but that’s not the way it works. Even those we care for the most can, like a vampire, drain our enthusiasm and weaken our zest for life. We, ourselves, may be the vampires in the lives of those around us.  I have come to realize through the trials of my own life that it is an impossible – no matter what you do – no getting around it –  task to make other people love us.  Often time the harder we try, the more damage we do to our heart because the rejection stirs our inner-self to wonder, “what about me is not lovable or valuable to you?”

We all want to hear, as Billy Joel sang, “Don’t go changing to try and  please meI could not love you, any better. I love you just the way you are..” The reality weighs heavy, we cannot control the hearts of others, but we can control our own.

I grew up with 3 siblings, 2 sisters and a brother. One day we loved each other, the next we were plotting enemy frontline strategies to take one another out. Sibling rivalry can be brutal but also a natural part of development. It is how we learn to negotiate, compromise, humble ourselves, and surrender. God, as our Father, understands that we, as brothers and sisters, will disagree. From those disagreements and conflicts, we will learn to live together. The key is “how” we handle them that matters most to God.

Ecclesiastes 7:21-22, “Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.”

People can be self-absorb, inconsiderate, unloving, degrading. It is arguable, but many think such behavior is learned – on the contrary. Those emotions have been with us since the day we were born. I never taught my toddlers to say, “MINE!” But I spent a great deal of time singing the “We Share” song. I didn’t teach my children to hit or bite or pinch. But I spent a great deal of time monitoring the “Time Out” corner as punishment for such behavior.

As adults we need to understand God’s instruction in our dealings with others. The enemy of our souls wants nothing more than to penetrate our relationships with others and divide the Kingdom of God.

John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

The next time a vampire creeps up behind you, ask God to deal with them. Praise Him that He created those around you. Marvel in His handy work. Give others the grace God gives to us daily. God is the Healer – the Restorer. As Peter writes in 1 Peter 3: 8-9, we must learn to treat others with compassion by keeping our own hearts tender, and not allow ourselves to “return evil for evil.”

When I deal with vampires, I simply communicate a prayer to God stating, “I know that you have a purpose for that person just as you have for me. What it is, I can’t imagine, but nevertheless, help me to love them as I know You love me. ”

 

 

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

June 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm

The Best…last

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Quick Note:

I adore Jesus’ personality. He had quite a sense of humor and of timing. He could deliver a line and tongue tie the wisest of men. One of my favorite stories of Jesus is the wine to water miracle from John 2:1 -11.

Wedding celebrations bring out the best and worst in most people from stress and anxiety to overwhelming joy and laughter. Jesus and his Mom attended a wedding in Cana of Galilee – an all day event of friends of the family – and Mary became concerned for her friends when the wine runs out. In those days, it was public humiliation for the father of the bride’s family to run out of wine. On such occasions, the bride’s family served the best of the best at the beginning of the celebration and as people became more festive and less conscious of the quality, the less expense wine was served in the latter part of the evening. But to run out of wine…

Mary brings her concern to Jesus.

3 When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no wine left.” 4 Jesus replied, “Woman, why are you saying this to me? My time has not yet come.” 5 His mother told the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it.”.

I always smile at this because my son Ben calls me “Woman…” While many might find it disrespectful, I love the endearment of it. Regardless of the timing, Jesus comes to the rescue and changes the water into the finest of wines. The guests are elated because their host (the father of the bride) has saved the best wine for the end of the celebration.

Isn’t it just like Jesus to come in at the end with the best of all best solutions. Because He is all-knowing, Jesus knew they were going to run out of wine. He knew His Mom would request of Him to do something. I love His teasing manner as well to His mom, and her assured response, knowing He would do as she asked.

In your trials and struggles, always remember that Satan gives his best first – God saves His best for last. Like a giant broom, God comes in and sweeps up all the mess and always turns what Satan deemed to be a destroying blow, into a victory for God.

Our job is not to doubt. Like a knight on a white horse, God is on the way with the best of the best. Be assured.

 

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

May 23, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made…

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Quick Note:

Psalm 139:14 – “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful.”

I recently encountered a precious four-year old in a gift shop in North Carolina. We were standing in line, and she was admiring her shoes.

“I got new shoes,” she said to no one in particular.

“I like them,” I whispered.

Her big brown eyes looked up at me with a sheepish grin as she pondered her next statement. I could tell she was thinking intently;  about which I could not imagine.

“God made me really beautiful. He did you too!”

“Yes He did make you beautiful,” I answered with a smile, “And me too. Thank you.”

The familiar verse came quickly to mind from Psalm 139, remembering just recently complaining to the mirror at home about my own inadequacies. I no longer looked or felt 19 and somehow I thought I had been robbed. Why did we have to change as we grew older? Oh to fit into my 19-year-old clothes again – pre-children body.  I wondered if butterflies questioned their beauty or how they measured up. Did the Tiger Swallowtail wish to be more like the Virginia Lady? Did she long for orange speckles instead of yellow and black stripes?

Just last night my son Will and I took a long walk to a beautiful pond behind my house. David Thoreau’s Walden couldn’t compare to the natural, private setting of this dwelling. I noticed a tree that has probably been around 100 years, with thick twisted branches and a large rounded trunk. Its roots ran deep, obvious to all that it had probably weathered.  As I pressed my hand against the bark, Will asked, “Trees are so much prettier when they’ve been around a long time, aren’t they?’

Storms, seasons, snowy days, drought, flood –  all combined give the tree its magnificent splendor.

Aren’t we the same? Shouldn’t we all state with the confidence of that brown-eyed four-year old, “God made me really beautiful” each and every day?

We are a combined total of our experiences, challenges, joys, sorrows, and laughter. We are created uniquely and individually – like no other.

Celebrate who you are and the Artist who carefully constructed you. Like the tree, it is the strength of our roots that give us our splendor.

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

May 16, 2012 at 11:12 am

To Caroline…

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I’m so excited today! Know why? Today is May 5th the running of the Kentucky Derby. I love the Derby – always have. When I was your age, I was going to be a horse trainer; run a barn; live in Kentucky; and yes – win the Derby. : )

Dreams fill our lives from when we are 2 and 3, from wanting to be policemen or firemen or teachers or astronauts to even in our older days dreaming of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, beautiful gardens, or a vacation home on a remote island. Life is full of them. And they are all good and important in the eyes of God.

One of my favorite Bible verses was written by Paul through God’s inspiration. It comes from 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, ” Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

Today you are being confirmed into the church, your training ground for the big race. In your lifetime you will hear that a person doesn’t have to go to church to go to Heaven. And that is true. But as you know with cheerleading, you cannot be a part of the squad unless you train, practice, work hard, keep your body free of alcohol and drugs, keep your grades up, and attend practice. You are dedicated to your sport because you want to be a part of the winning team. There are many cheerleaders out there – yes there are. There are many teams. There are people who wish to be a part and people who want you to succeed and those who want you to fail. It is part of the game.

Paul is telling us through God to take our walk with Christ like a race, only we are running for “the crown.” There are people who attend church but then Monday morning treat people or act in ways that is not worthy of a person on God’s team. They are seeking prizes that do not last. Be the one who trains to win the race Caroline. Be the one who trains as Christ longs for us to train, as active members of our churches, readers of the scriptures, prayer warriors, but most importantly people who love other people.

One of the Pharisees tested Jesus with a question, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” (Matthew 22:36 NIV).  Jesus replied, ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40 NIV).

And that’s how you win the race…

I am proud of who you are and who you are becoming. Do not lose sight of where you are running and who you are running beside. Be strong and bold for God. Have faith in Him. Most importantly know that as you become a part of the Body of Christ (the Church), you are representing Him in everything that you do.

Much love to you today. Never forget that you are the apple of God’s eye and a daughter of the King of kings.

As I watch the Kentucky Derby, I am going to think about you. I am going to envision the race you are running in your life for Christ. And when the winning horse crosses the finish line, I will rejoice and be glad because I know in your race, you will win for Christ.

God Bless you and keep you. May His Son shine across your face. May He forever hold you in the palm of His hand.

 

Aunt Nora

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

May 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Encouragement at the right time…

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A Quick Note:

“Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Yesterday one of my dearest friends called me with a word of encouragement. It couldn’t have been a more appropriate time or delivered better. She  is Puerto Rican and has the enthusiasm of 100 cheerleaders. And when she speaks, you know, the spirit of the Lord is in her.

Sometimes God calls on us to be a source of hope, inspiration, and encouragement to others. The question is “are we listening?”

Do you know that for every negative statement made to a person, it takes 10 positive statements to begin to undo the negative? The spirit of God produces “Joy” not despair. When we use our tongues to degrade others; when we overlook someone who is hurting; when we make derogatory statements against each other, what spirit are we representing?

As I sat on my front porch yesterday, praying to the Lord, I asked God for encouragement. My soul felt downcasted and I did not want to lose His ‘joy’. No sooner had I uttered this prayer, then my daughter brought me the phone and I heard her encouraging words.

Someone needs to hear from you today. Be the voice that uplifts and strengthens. Be the person God can count on to deliver hope to His people.

  • Speak words of Belief : God is in control. As David stated in the Psalms, the righteous will not be forsaken. We are children of The King! He will take care of us!
  • Speak words of Help: Offer insight and inspiration to those who struggle. Relate to similar problems in your own life or others. Ask what tangible thing you can do to help.
  • Speak words of Affirmation: God is the same God today, yesterday, and forevermore. Nothing surprises Him. No matter what happens in life, He will turn it for good, if you allow Him to do so.

Live daily the role of “Christian.”

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

April 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Impeccable timing…

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Sometimes in life, problems, struggles, trials rear their ugly head and we find ourselves in circumstances with no easy solution. I, myself, opened my eyes this morning to the reminder that such is in my life right now. Those mountains we just can’t find a way to climb; the valleys we just can’t figure out how to cross; the pain that just will not go away. If you are facing giants right now, as I am, we’re in good company. Many have before us and many will after us, it’s all in the process.

Esther is a young woman in the Bible who gives me great courage on many occasions of my life. Her story is one of intrigue. She is made the Queen of King Xerxes after the king finds displeasure in his wife Vashti. Esther is a Jew, living with her Uncle Mordecai, in a land where the Jewish people are not favored. Under the direction of her Uncle, Esther withholds the information to the King that she is a Jew.

Haman is a man hungry for power. He has worked his way through the ranks to earn the favor of the king and his hard work and diligence has landed him second in command under King Xerxes. The scary part about Haman is he hates Jews and with the elevation of his rank, he declares that the Jews are to be put to death – a decree unknown to King Xerxes. Mordecai gets word to Esther she must go to the king. She must use her royal position to save her people. The request is dangerous, for a queen cannot go before the king without an invitation. Disobedience is death.

Esther 4:15, “Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: Go gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

On day three, she goes to the king and he happily receives her. She invites the king and Haman to lunch. During lunch the king asks her, “What do you want? For you can have half my kingdom if requested.”

Esther 5:7: “Esther replied, ‘My petition and my request is this: If the king regards me with favor and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king’s question.”

While this titillating detail leaves us on the edge of our seats, I wonder why? Why the delay? Did she get cold feet? Did God speak to her heart, “Wait Esther!”? Did she sense something none of us can interpret from the reading? I don’t know. But in the middle of the climax…in the midst of the tension and anticipation…the racing pulse…the nearness to solution, God throws in a DELAY.

The answer is there but the timing is not right. God is never late and I can say with certainty, He is never early. Like a Southern lady, He knows just the right time to enter and the perfect moment to leave. Imagine though the Jewish people, fasting, praying, no food, no water, their lives hanging in the balance and Esther has requested another meal? You mean we have to wait another day?

Sometimes, we disrespectfully grab the lapel of God, and pull Him off His thrown, and with anger we shout, “God! Why are you doing this to ME!” As if we have a right, tiny specks of dust, flowers fading in the wind, little beings with NO clue as to the battles of spirituality that rage around us for our soul. Each one of us is desired by God to live in His kingdom for eternity. On the flip side, we are pawns, playing pieces, tokens for Satan to draw into the gates of Hell – we are victory pieces to throw in God’s face by the demon, the archenemy of good. And we question God’s motives, His intent, His solutions?

During the night King Xerxes is striken with insomnia and requests the royal reader to read the Book of Chronicles – accounts of the kingdom. Probably the ideal material to lull a king into dreamland, I would think. In listening to the Chronicles, Xerxes learns of an incident five years ago in which a man name Mordecai helped the king. Xerxes asks what was done for Mordecai and learns that Mordecai was never rewarded.

DELAY…Mordecai uncovered a plot to have the king assassinated by two men of Xerxes’ court. Don’t you know, Mordecai felt a bit put out that he was never rewarded? If he is like most of us, he has probably felt God did not give him validity for doing what was right; God did not give him recognition. “I give and give to that church and this is what I get from you God? I ALWAYS do what’s right and she does what’s WRONG but you recognize her God? I go on mission trips and this is my thank you! What about that time God that I stood up for you and how have you repaid me – are you going to let my enemy win!” Entitlement we scream as we stomp our feet and beat our fists upon the wall. “Who do you think you are?” we shout to God, the Creator of the Universe, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. What are you doing?

The next day, King Xerxes honors Mordecai in the streets, an honor 5 years overdue. Dinner is served by Queen Esther and her petition is brought before the king. When he learns that Haman has sentenced his wife and her people to death, is planning to hang Mordecai, the man who saved his life, Xerxes orders Haman immediately to be executed. God’s perfect timing.

I don’t know what larger than life issues you are facing right now but listen for the wisdom of God in your circumstances. As you walk, believe He is positioning your foot at just the right angle to lead you in the direction He deems right. Sometimes the solution seems so impossible, so out there, we allow abandonment to weigh on our spirits. People discourage us with their ranting and raving, “It will never work! I told you, you should have done this or that. You are doomed!” Remember Christ felt it too, just before He submitted to death questioning Why God had forsaken Him. God’s timing is impeccable. He hasn’t forgotten you. He isn’t surprised. He isn’t throwing His arms up in the air, wondering, “Oh no! What is going to happen to Nora!” He’s got this. What He needs us to do, is believe in Him for the right answer.

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

April 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm

He has us covered…

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A quick word:

Yesterday I was reminded of a Bible story from 2 Kings 4:1-7. It is a story of a recently widowed woman who came to Elisha for help. Her husband, who was a man of God, died, owing a debt. She had very little money and the Creditor was coming to take her children to sell into slavery. I can only imagine the terrifying and gripping fear of this dear woman. Many people in today’s economy have lost material things – maybe a house foreclosure, a car repossessed, a business closing, job loss, 401k depletion – but children? Being seized and sold into slavery? I frantically created scenarios of what “I” would do: hide them in a secret room under my house; send them to relatives overseas; cross the border into Mexico. All ridiculous, I know, but I felt her pain.

Elisha asks her what she has and the only thing of value is a little bit of oil. He tells her and her children to go through out the neighborhood and gather jars. When the task is completed, Elisha, through God, begins to pour the oil into the jars. Before her very eyes it multiplies until there are no more jars. She takes the oil, sells it, and has enough to live on the rest of her life. Creditor paid in full!

Sometimes when I am praying I feel God shout out to an angel, “Can you get me a pen? Nora Hatchett’s on her knees again!” Of course I am teasing but oh the problems I bring to God for myself, my children, my friends, the government, world hunger, the military, Israel. I wonder if I give Him a headache.

I ask myself, “Why did Elisha have the power to multiply the oil and save the widow’s children? Is he a super hero? Is he different from me?” And the answer is Elisha and I were created by the same God. We serve the same God. God is the same today, yesterday, and forevermore.

Elisha called upon His God and had the FAITH to know God would prevail.

God knows your burdens. He knows mine. And He cares about every single one of them. What’s missing in our story and Elisha’s? The Faith to know He has us covered.

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

April 18, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Are you sharing your lifeboat?

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I grew up hearing about the Titanic. Just as 9-11 stands in our minds, my grandmother, who was 12 years old, remembered vividly where she stood when the news that the “unsinkable” ship had sunk, reached Atlanta, Georgia. Of the 2,228 passengers who boarded the Titanic, only 7o5 survived – 312 were found floating in life jackets, frozen by the below freezing temperatures of the ocean. Tragically, the lifeboats were not utilized to full capacity and many who plunged into the icy waters could have survived if only someone would have made room on their boat. Survivor after survivor echoed the same sentiment, they’ll never forget the cries for help from those floating in the frigid water as they passed them.

It seems ludicrous to imagine that people could literally keep rowing passed mothers, children, fathers, the elderly, young men and women for reasons we may never understand. Maybe the person was of a different “class,” did not have the same education, did not have the same color skin, or spoke a different language. Standing back with an outsider view, we all gasp. How could such exist?

The other day I took a brief walk in Gainesville, Georgia on one of the prettiest spring days I can remember. In the past 10 years of my life, I have been through much. I passed a church with a Prayer Garden. The inviting stoned walkway led me to a cross surrounded by blooming shrubs with a cement bench in front of it for meditation. The gentle wind flowed around me as I sat and thought about how I have come to be who I am. The answer is simple really – God. On every occasion of my life, in my day-to-day walk to the larger than life experiences, I can pinpoint God. There are circumstances I do not understand; events of time that leave me puzzled as to why such could have occurred. Even in my tears before the makeshift cross behind that church, I realized regardless of the tragedy, God has always carried me  safely to the other side. How blessed I am to know God and grateful He is a part of my life. How blessed I am to have been pulled into the life raft.

I thought of the Titanic and the nameless graves holding the bodies of those the other’s passed by in the water. Do we do the same thing? Do we see people who do not have God in their lives – people destined for an eternity of Hell- and pass them by? Do we hear their cries for help but look the other way as our lifeboats row safely to shore? Afterall, we are saved! Heaven Bound! And they look different, smell different, act different, live different, eat different, and speak different. Why would we stop? Let someone else. There’s another lifeboat behind us. Let them deal with it. Do we relive the tragedy daily on a spiritual realm because we are too uncomfortable to save someone destined for destruction?

Jesus’ one request of Peter, “If you love me, feed my sheep.” John 21: 15-17. How many sheep have you fed today?

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

April 15, 2012 at 8:49 pm

A Cuckoo in the nest

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Spring rebuilds, restores, and rejuvenates. I find myself spending more and more time outdoors listening to the birds, watching the sunset, and weeding my garden. A little Mama Finch has returned to build her nest in the corner of my garage. The friendly bird seems to enjoy my company as I watch her strategically restructuring her nest from last year. As a mother of six, I understand her need to make everything “just right.”

Recently the kids and I got direct TV. It has been three years with no TV but with the upcoming Olympics we decided to return this luxury to our lives. Discovery Channel has become my favorite. I watched a documentary on the Cuckoo Bird, one of those late night jewels certified to put even the toughest insomniac into a deep lull. Cuckoo birds are notorious for perusing the forest, finding another bird’s nest, depositing her egg, and flying away to live a carefree, no responsibility lifestyle. Sadly, various mother birds, oblivious to the large, differently colored egg in their nests, nurture the cuckoo bird’s egg until it hatches and then work diligently to feed it and their young. The worms are never enough for all the baby birds and eventually the mother bird’s own babies starve to death or are pushed from the nest by the oversized bird. The Cuckoo baby bird thrives, consumes the nest, and destroys all that is around it.

How could a mother bird not know the baby cuckoo bird isn’t hers? And how can she, day after day, feed the cuckoo bird until it ruins her home and kills her children?

It’s easy to recline on my couch and shout out to the mother dove, “Throw the cuckoo bird out of your nest!” But the reality is many of us have them in our homes, in our lives, and in our hearts. We justify our sins by ignoring their existence or qualifying them by admitting to “love” God but ignoring His “laws.” In the process of “not knowing,” we blindly wreck our homes.

When I was a little girl, my brother Lindsey and I made a club house out of an old chicken coop. We painted, cut down briars, raked up old manure, and spent hours establishing laws to govern this two member club establishment. Several days after the reconstruction began, I noticed two large red whelps on my arms, followed by blistering red, oozing sores on my neck, stomach, and even in my ears. Since Lindsey and I were not supposed to be around the chicken coop because of rattlesnakes, I hid my deformities from my Mom and even my brother. He didn’t appear to be itching so I assumed I was the only one. Before I knew it, I had spread the disease to my sister and my grandmother, and my brother was covered head to toe in impetigo.

Sometimes we first must recognize there is a Cuckoo Bird in our nest. Failure to see the signs of sin; to acknowledge its existence; or to continue feeding it daily, will result in our ultimate demise. Sometimes we recognize the existence of the sin, but are too afraid to admit it or get help. We walk around blindly exposing others to our bad choices.

I have a friend who spends a great deal of time exercising. She believes in staying physically fit, eating healthy, and taking vitamins and herbs; however, she continues to lead a lifestyle of sin that will ultimately destroy her family. Is she blinded to the consequences of her choices or nonchalantly interacting with sin as if it will all work out?

What are the Cuckoo Birds in your nest? How long are you willing to feed them daily until all that you know and love is gone?

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

March 28, 2012 at 2:22 am