Monday, July 26, 2010

How to Recover From a Snake Bite

I can thankfully say that I've never been bitten by a snake (at least not by one that looks like this picture). But reading about the Israelites this morning has me thinking a lot about snakes, sin, and remedies...

It all started with Numbers 21:4-9 ...But the people grew impatient along the way, and they began to murmur against God and Moses. "Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?" they complained. "There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this wretched manna!" So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among them, and many of them were bitten and died. Then the people came to Moses and cried out, "We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take away the snakes." So Moses prayed for the people. Then the Lord told him "Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to the top of a pole. Those who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!" So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to the top of a pole. Whenever those who were bitten looked at the bronze snake, they recovered!

The people sinned and there was a consequence. And of course the consequence wasn't pleasant so the people repented and asked for it to be removed. (I'm pretty sure a bunch of poisonous snakes would have caused me to beg for mercy too!) But what stands out to me is how God works. He doesn't remove the consequence of sin, but instead provides a remedy. The snakes were still there...someone may still get bit...but if he looked to the snake on the pole, he would live.

Jump ahead to John 3:14-17 and we see the same thing played out. Jesus says "And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so I, the Son of Man, must be lifted up on a pole, so that everyone who believes in me will have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it."

Sin was brought into the world and caused separation between us and God. We live with the consequence, but God provided a remedy. The enemy is still there...we may still get attacked...but look to Jesus and believe in him, and we shall live. Sometimes I would rather that God take out the enemy and remove all the consequenes of sin from my life. But if He removed the snakes, would I still be as desperate to catch a glimpse of the image on top of the pole?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Back in the Game

When I lived in Columbus I loved grocery shopping. Clipping coupons and finding good deals was fun. But since moving to this small town where I have to drive 20 miles to a large grocery store (and having babies to cart around), I gave it up. Grocery shopping has become more of a chore. Would the drive be worth it? Would it be worth the time? All I can say is YES!

This week was my first week back in the game (after nearly 9 years). I bought a copy of the Dispatch and did some research on couponing sites my friends use. Here's what I got...

Got this stuff for $6 after rebates at CVS. The Extra Care Bucks at CVS blows me away. If you work it right you can get free products all the time. It seems too good to be true. For example, the contact solution I bought was $7.99, but I got $7.99 Extra Care Bucks that I can use as cash on my next essentially it was free! And if I use that money to buy other "Free" items on my next visit, no money will be leaving my pockets. And you can use coupons for the item too, which actually makes you a profit! LOL

This is the result of my trip to Kroger. Spent only $15...saved $44. Part of it was matching up sales with coupons. I also took advantage of a pharmacy promotion they are running through the middle of August. Transfer a prescription to Kroger Pharmacy and get $25 free groceries! (You can transfer up to 8, for a potential profit of $200).

I still plan to support my small town grocery store and pharmacy when the prices are competitive, but a weekly trip out of town to hunt down deals has now been added to my schedule :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Giving Life

I don't like needles. Just knowing a shot is coming or that I'll have to give blood could tie my stomach in knots for hours. One of my worst pregnancy experiences was the IV. Once I finished having babies I was resolved not to be stuck again. That was, until God convicted me...

My husband has been a blood donor for a while now. I was content encouraging him to do it, but there was no way I would. Recently I saw a postcard advertising a blood drive coming up in which you could get $15 in gift cards and a chance to win a car. Since I love free stuff that was almost enough to get me to consider donating, but still fell short. Then something spoke to my heart through Leviticus of all places. God says "It is the blood, representing life, that brings you atonement...the life of every creature is in the blood" (Lev 17: 11,14) I have life running through my veins that I can easily give in order to sustain the life of someone else. Could I ever look at another person and say "Sorry I can't help you, I don't like the discomfort of having a needle in my arm for 15 minutes"?

So I mustered my courage and went. It took about an hour of my time and was not as horrible as my imagination had told me. After donating, a good friend reminded me that she had needed 20 pints of blood after her car accident. I'm thankful there was a supply available for her. And I pray the sacrifice of myself and the others donors will be used to give life to many others.