Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Carol Condon

We all have our unique ways of searching for the perfect selections of fresh fruit to purchase for our families each week. How does a person choose the perfect fruit? While shopping I have seen people squeezing, sniffing, tapping and even tasting before they decide to place the fruit into their shopping basket or back onto the shelf.

Mark is pretty narrow-minded when it comes to adding fruits into his daily diet. He does like bananas though. So they are a weekly purchase for our family. I look at the bananas closely and try to choose the perfect bunch. There needs to be just enough green in order to last for a few days and no brown on them at all so that I can be assured of a bruise free banana.

After a day or two, despite my close observation before purchasing them, I’ll see a random bruise forming on the outside of the peel and I then realize that this banana will have an area that will not taste nearly as good and if it is not dealt with quickly will soon affect the entire banana. How did that bruise get there when yesterday it was a great specimen of a banana, or from the outside it looked like one?

It could have happened in a variety of ways. Maybe it had been dropped, squeezed too hard, mishandled by the previous shopper, or packed too tightly into a box. Whatever happened eventually caused damaged to the inside and the effects are now evident on the outside.

What about ourselves? We can look great from the outside but have hurts on the inside. Eventually, these hurts will manifest themselves on the outside if they are not properly dealt with. Maybe we were dropped, squeezed too hard, mishandled, or even pushed into a box outside of our comfort zone.

Oh, we are usually so confident that we can “handle” it and we make sure that from the outside no one would ever guess. However, over time it will proclaim itself. What if the bruise begins to show itself just when someone is shopping for a new friend, some answers, or a new church? What if they finally began to search for the Jesus that they had once seen in our lives? Well they observe us for a moment only to set us back on the shelf?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hand Sanitizer

Carol Condon

My cart was filling right up. I had gone through all the aisles and finished all my shopping except for visiting the fresh meat section. I reached for the family pack of fresh boneless chicken breast. Just as I lifted the package from the case it became evident that there was a large tear in the package and the juices from the chicken poured through my fingers. I reached for the container of handy wipes provided for situations like this but it was empty. The only thing available was a roll of paper towels.

I tried not to think about all the germs that now were all over my hands. I took some extra paper towels and held onto my cart with them. As I reached the cashier to check out I apologized for the package of chicken as I handed it to her all wrapped in paper towels. She could see the quandary on my face and she reached into her pocket and sweetly handed me her bottle of hand sanitizer. I was so thankful and immediately began to sanitize my hands.

I got to thinking about how often I reach for my own little bottle of hand sanitizer and I realized that I use it a lot. I do not think I am alone in this. After a service of shaking many hands we quickly put some in our palms to wash the “fellowship” off. As soon as we reach our car after walking through a hotel lobby touching elevator buttons and doorknobs, we again reach for the little bottle to sanitize our hands. If we worked together we could fill a book with all the reasons to grab the hand sanitizer. I would have used my own that day but I was afraid to search through my purse for it and end up contaminating everything else in it’s way.

It was then that I began to think of our hearts and our minds. How often have we seen, heard, and experienced circumstances that ultimately contaminates our thoughts and feelings bringing poison into our lives? Did we immediately use some method to sanitize ourselves? We quickly do so when our hands come in contact with an unclean surface but can we all take a moment to realize the damage done to our hearts, minds, and souls when we leave them “as is” after an encounter with the unclean?

Prayer is such an effective sanitizer. The next time that you or I reach for the bottle of hand sanitizer why don’t we take a moment and say a prayer to sanitize our hearts and minds as well.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Princess and the Pea

Carol Condon

She was so exhausted as she finally retired to her bedchamber for the night. The eager desire to sink onto her mattress and pull the plush comforter around her began to consume her. The nights were accumulating that were full of tossing and turning. Maybe tonight would be the night that she would reach the deep slumber that would last throughout the night.

The princess had always loved her bed, but it had recently become a place of extreme discomfort. After days of adorning dark circles beneath her eyes, an investigation was underway. Upon close inspection of her beloved stack of mattresses, a simple pea lay tucked between them. Surely this small, tiny object was not to blame for the countless hours of lost sleep. However, after the removal of the small vegetable her sleep was once again complete without any interruptions.

We have an all-consuming desire to be all we can be for the Lord and the work to be done for His Kingdom. As we are giving “our all” we so often find ourselves entering into a state of exhaustion. It initiates small. So small that many times it is hard to remember how or when it originated. Before long it becomes apparent to those around us that we are in a state of unrest.

The realization comes to us as we begin losing control of our purpose and ministry. Because of the weariness that has crept into our spirit, those around us begin to detect the early signs of our “burnout.”

As we begin an inspection of our mind and spirit we find a tiny disappointment here and an occasion of offence there. Just a small “pea” that happened to get tucked in along the way. Surely this small item is not resulting in so much inner turmoil!

When we take the time to enter into His rest and permit Him to order our steps and to help us correct the wrong feelings that we have allowed to seep into our spirit, we find ourselves renewed, refreshed, and about our Father’s business.

I wonder how differently the story would have been written had the princess excused the “pea” as just being too small to cause such an interruption of her rest. Our purpose is too great to allow anything; no matter of the size, to interrupt our expedition into His calling that He has placed upon us.