Pastor’s Desk October 1st

Scripture Passage:  “Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.  But he knows not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depth of hell.”              Proverbs 9:17-18
Dear Friends,
     “Forbidden fruit creates many jams,” is from a church billboard sign I saw many years ago.  I know that it speaks to me every time I see it because of my human nature to be drawn to things forbidden. grandson, was at Granny Charlotte’s house the other day and was particularly drawn to a door on an antique cook stove.  His mother told him “No” and moved him to another part of the room and gave him a toy to play with.  In just a few minutes he had made his way back over to the stove again and was opening and slamming the door shut while looking directly at his mother.  (He gets that from his Paw.)  He wanted to do the one thing he was told not to.  The next time he was taken away, he went kicking and screaming.  (You can guess what happened then?)     I loved matches as a child and they were stored high up, out of reach, on top of the water heater.  I caught my momma’s back turned and pushed the high chair over there and preceded to strike a match.  I accomplished my task and burned the tips of my fingers.  I was always fascinated with a shaving razor.  I had been told never to touch one because they are very sharp and would cut me.  I snuck in the bathroom and procured one from the cabinet and attempted to shave my legs. (It was the only place I could find any hair.)  I scraped my leg from the ankle to the knee.  Back in the days before plastic bottles there were glass bottles.   I was bad to get them out of the trash and play with them.  I was corrected time and time again.  So one day I slipped a glass “Prell” bottle outside and fell on the steps breaking it into small jagged pieces.  I gashed my hand open and still the bear the scar today.  My final story is about the electric fence used to keep the pigs in the hog lot.  It did not have to be high, just tall enough to be  “snout” level.  If it was working properly, and the pig had gotten into it once, they would not attempt to escape.  I watched my daddy cross the fence every day by straddling the fence to slop the hogs.  I always wanted to go over in the hog lot, but daddy said, “No.”  It was too dangerous with a boar hog around or a sow with little ones.  One day I caught daddy gone and decided it was time for the Great Adventure.  I snuck off to the hog lot and attempted to straddle the fence like my daddy did. I had forgot to calculate how short my legs were in comparison to my daddy’s.  It was a shocking experience.  Now before you start to accuse my mother of being negligent in her care for me, you have to consider that I had made up my mind in every instance what I was going to do, and looked for any opportunity to accomplish my goal.  Momma watched me like a hawk, but even a hawk has to sleep every now and then.  In every instance I found a way to do what I wanted, got what I did not want, and was caught in my “crime” every time.  I refuse to tell you about my teenage and adult years on the grounds that it might incriminate me.
     I thought that maybe the older I got the allurement of the forbidden fruit might wane, sour, rot and eventually pass away into the past.   The opposite is true.  There are just different trees of temptation.  Little Johnny became adult Johnny and overnight turned into old Johnny.  When the doctor tells me I can’t have something in my diet, I just want it even more.  When Patty tells me I don’t need another piece of equipment, a new tool, or a new toy, I become even more attracted to the possibility of buying it.  The world, and the evil one, puts every type of sexual attraction before me and if not for the grace of God and His divine intervention I could still be guilty of seeking the stolen waters and secret bread of sexual immorality.  God has been so good to protect me down through the years and I do not want to mess up now.  With television, the internet, cell phones, magazines, and even modern dress, I find myself in a constant battle of wills.  I know what the will of God is, but often find myself seeking to fulfill my will instead of His.  His will leads to abundant life and spiritual fulfillment.  My will leads to shame, destruction, and death.  The scary thing is at times I choose in a moment of stupidity to do what I know I should not.  The Apostle Paul said, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord that He will deliver me from this body of death.”  Romans 7:24-25   Hallelujah for the power and grace of God that stands between me and my sin.
In Christ, Pastor Johnny