A thief on the loose...

We recently had the pleasure of hosting the "Modern Day Bonnie & Clyde" here in Northern Montana. No one knows for sure where they were staying or how long they were here...but everyone knew they were close at hand. I got the dreaded phone call one evening from my husband at work..."Are you going anywhere tonight?" Me, "No, why?" Him, "Make sure you lock up and keep an eye on your surroundings." I always know what that means...there are bad guys on the loose. It is amazing how quickly we batten down the hatches when we know that evil is close by. Suddenly we are aware of every car that passes by and every unfamiliar face in town (and when you live in a town of 500...well, you can guess).

And last fall, when our puppy was stolen right out of our front yard...we made it our personal mission to find her. We searched for hours for her. The next day we made signs and called the radio station. By noon we had her back. We soon learned from our new neighbors that the hot handed thief was a habitual thief in our town. We kept our eyes open and our doors locked much more after that. Yes, he was most likely harmless, he was young and mostly a petty thief ~ but we certainly did not feel obligated to share our hard earned bounty with him.

And yet all the day between the town thief and the murdering fugitives...we went back to our complacent lifestyle. We live in a town of 500 people...we generally feel safe. Our biggest threat here is a grizzly bear coming in to town. How concerned do I really need to be? Well... I was reading from the book of John the other day and came across this so familiar passage...

"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

Ladies, there is a thief among us ALL THE TIME. And he is far more cunning than some runaway fugitives (who were thankfully caught far far away from my home) or some petty puppy stealing teenagers.

He is the king of LIES and he wants our joy, our peace, our patience, our trust, and anything else he can get from us. He is swift, sometimes hard to trace, crafty, and most certainly deadly. And chances are...he is hanging out right outside your door...or worse...he is already inside your home.

The good news is...if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior...you have the most effective home and heart security system available to man. When the enemy is knocking at your door ~ the Holy Spirit sounds the alarm and all you have to do is hit your knees and pray to the One who has already overcome (John 16:33). He comes swiftly to your defense...faster than any local sheriff ever could...and He rescues us from the enemy. Thank you, Lord that you are my personal security team!

Pondering all of this has also made me realize there are things I need to be doing to continually safeguard my home and my children from the enemy. We cannot become complacent in our walk with Jesus or our lives. As my Pastor mentioned this past Sunday...the enemy works best when we THINK we are safe.

Do I assume that just because I home school my children will be safe from the enemy? I may have allowed that thought to cross my mind once or twice...

Remember ~ he is sneaky and he will darn sure try until he finds a way to get to them. My initial reaction to this thought is to panic...but Pastor also reminded us that, "...God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7

So what do we do? We use that sound mind to call upon the power of Jesus to protect our children and our homes. Do we do this once? Or twice...and call it good? Nope, daily my friends. Every single day.

I have also been convicted to re-examine the media we allow into our minds. Now....let me first day that we are very strict about what they are allowed to watch on television. My kids consider Sponge Bob to be evil and Phineas and Ferb not much better. They are restricted to Clifford and Curious George, Dora the Explorer and Mickey Mouse Club House (plus a few other hand selected titles). They also have TONS of Veggie Tales videos and my personal favorite, Signing Time. So my biggest conviction lately has been just to turn it off.

And for the radio...I mostly listen to Christian music but I must confess I do like my country music too. And since the ONE and ONLY radio station I get here is the local station and it happens to be country...that is usually what I turn on in the car. Recently, the kids have been asking me questions about the songs...like the song, "I Run to You" (by Lady Antebellum)... Nicole asked me if they were singing about Jesus. Gulp. And my favorite...when Joshua asked me the other day what a "Mississippi Hippie" was (She's Country by Jason Aldean). I decided we should probably turn off the radio and listen to christian music, hymns and Bible verses (to music) on my iPod. The kids love it and I find myself singing the hymn (or verses) as I go through my day. Don't worry, I still have my country music playlist on my iPod and I will listen to it when the kids are not around...which is never...so oh well.

And that leads me to a last thought (before I fall asleep on the keyboard)...I need to remember to stop what I am doing and pray with them when they tell me about things they are struggling with. For example ~ I heard Nicole talking in her bed tonight and when I went in to check on her...she told me she had bad dreams in her head and she was telling them to get out. I stopped and prayed for her...and the other 2 as well...out loud and asked Jesus to remove those bad dreams and replace them with sweet ones. I want them to learn to stop what they are doing and seek the Lord when they come again struggles (especially ones that are suspicious of the enemy).

OK, so I gotta admit this post took a completely different turn than I had intended. I wanted to tell you how I've become so content and at peace with life here but after reading John 10:10 I realized that I do not experience that "full life" that Jesus died for me to have. I am not sure when the enemy stole it from me...or if I ever really took hold of it when He offered it to me...but I'll be praying about that one and I'll let you know what I find out.

In the meantime..."Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8 Don't let it be you...or your kids!

Many blessings to you all,


Leah said...

ok i agree about spongebob..but what's wrong with phineas and ferb? we find it to be a good family program that all three of us can enjoy.

Kady said...

Wow Leah! You must read my post from this morning. It overlaps yours very much. Amazing! And so many similarities over here with media and bad dreams and the enemy just hard at work. Thank you for your perspective on something that I'm freshly dealing with here. Love reading your blog! Hope you don't mind I've shared it with a few friends. :-)