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Barb's Mantle

Many stores have the words "Satisfaction Guaranteed" in their store policies. You buy something in their store, and if it doesn't meet your expectations, and you aren't satisfied, you can return it for a full refund or exchange it for something else. My husband and I buy at several stores that have this policy, and have, on occasion, had to use it. But, we only use it if a product doesn't stand up to the promises, or is defective. I am sure many people probably abuse the policy, though.

As a person, we have that same policy with the Lord. We were made free agents, free to accept or reject His offer of FREE GRACE by faith for salvation. And, for that, we are guaranteed an eternal abode with him. But, we have to be willing to obey His commandments. We can decide not to follow His ways, and back out of the agreement. But there is no guarantee that God will strive with man forever. Unlike the store policies, we can't constantly keep breaking His commandments, taking back our worldly ways, and expect a ?full return?. If we would only fully trust God completely, when we accept His offer, then there would always be 'satisfaction guaranteed?!

I am hardly ever at a loss for words. But, this week, I have been late getting out the newsletter simply because I have been unable to write an article to enclose here. Many subjects have run through my head, but nothing has come of any of those subjects. At one time, I thought I had the very article to write, only to completely forget what I had in my mind.

How many times have you started to do something, only to forget what it was you were about to do? Many will say, ?oh, that's because you're getting old?, but that's not always the truth. Many young people are so pressed today, that they are also forgetful. I believe life now days is on the fast track, much faster than it was when I was young. We have so many things on our mind, that it's hard to keep everything straight; therefore, we forget sometimes.

Tonight, at church, I was asked if I could bring something on Sunday night to our Salad Supper after church, to which I replied, "You?ll have to remind me. I might forget." And, promptly, I was reminded of . . .
Communication is something many of us are not very good at. We have problems communicating in our marriages, with our children, on the job, or perhaps even with our closest friends. Most of us want to 'talk?, but we don't want to ?listen?. And, communication has to be the combination of talking and listening between both parties.

Even in prayer, there is a time to talk to God, and a time to listen. Too often, we 'talk? and never find time to ?listen? to what the Lord has to say to us. We miss so much, when we constantly run our tongue in our prayer time. We need to take time to just be quiet, and listen for that still, sweet voice. Many do not think the Lord ever talks to them, but the truth is, they never stop talking long enough to hear Him speaking to them!

When we pray, we need to thank God for all the blessings He has brought to our lives. Too often, we bombard the Lord with our ?wants?, and forget to thank Him for what He has already done in our lives. Blessings come because of His promises, when we are obedient to His Word. So, we need to . . .

Today, my daughter and I refurbished her flower beds. You can imagine how they looked, having been left all winter. She began early this morning to pull out weeds. Later in the day, I began helping her to pull out the rest of the weeds, finding the perennials coming up under the weeds and leaves that had fallen during the winter.

We bought a few new perennials at the store, along with potting soil and fertilizer. She chose perennials instead of annuals, since they are supposed to come up from year to year. And, most of the time, they do. We began replacing those flowers that had either died, or just never came back up.

Christians are like flowers, in some ways. A Christian starts out in ?full bloom? - wanting to learn all about the Lord. They begin their eternal walk earnestly. But, some, along the way, lose their zeal for the Lord. They become somewhat wilted, if not completely wiped out! Those that last a life time can be called ?perennials?, whereas those that lose their zeal could be called ?annuals?. They are constantly having to battle satan, because they have become . . .

Each job you do has tools to accomplish the task. A job in a machine shop has to have the machines devoted to that particular job. A seamstress has to have sewing machines, sergers, and blind stitchers in order to do the best job possible. A farmer needs tractors, hoes, and shovels, among a few tools, in order to run a farm.

If you are a teacher, you must have books and supplies to correctly teach a classroom of students. A truck driver has to have a well-equipped truck in order to do his job. You can't be an airplane pilot without the plane. Our highways cannot be built without the correct machinery and tools.

Have you ever considered the Bible as being a tool? It's the one 'tool? (book) that no home should be without. There is information crammed within the pages between those covers to . . .

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