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Does anyone have a pen?

Out of the gazillion pens we have around here, I can't find one that writes smoothly, sideways or upside down. Except the penCIL variety, of course. Those are reserved for game time, and the elementary students who seem to find at least one opportunity a week, on average, to scurry around complaining about not being able to find a pencil. That's pretty funny to me being that I see them on the floor when I choose to make a walk to {impossible to go through} their rooms.

Do I dare disregard my own resolve not to purchase any more pens until I am down to 25ish? Has there been such an advancement in the pen industry...a high-tech pen that even writes underwater?

Why is it that I tend to hoard certain items? Or maybe I should say "collect" things? I am that way with pens as well as note pads (paper in general...stationary, spiral note pads, even found some typewriter paper in a box in storage, etc.), perfume, beads, gift bags, kitchen gadgets, nail polish (still trying to find that perfect pink), fabric, Pez dispensers, painting and art supplies. I probably have more Bibles than the average person. Each one has a different purpose or meaning to me.

Hoarding is sometimes a symptom of trying to fill a void. It can become a compulsion {Yes, I have watched some of the shows...fascinating!}. I know in my head that only God can fill what is missing in my life, which all boils down to love. I know in my head, that God wants to be and should be all I need, my everything. But in real life, I can't feel His love. I suppose it isn't as real to me as I would like. And with that, I am not exactly trusting God.

In one of my Bibles I read Mark chapter 9, verses 21 through 29. This passage describes a life altering event occurred between Jesus the Christ and an anonymous dad with his son, and possibly everyone who saw what happened. The dad had brought his son to a gathering where some of the disciples were arguing with some teachers of the law. Jesus was pretty annoyed with the unbelief of some of the folks there. Kind of like I get annoyed when one of my older children bothers arguing with the youngest, expecting the youngest to grasp things the way they do. Was he annoyed because of the leaders' or the disciples' unbelief? Well, the dad wanted his son to be healed, but the disciples could not do it (verse 18). So, in Mark chapter 9, verses 21 through 29...

"21 Jesus asked the boy's father, 'How long has he been like this?'
'From childhood,' he answered
. 22 'It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if* you can do anything, take pity on us, and help us.'
23 'If* you can'? said Jesus. 'Everything is possible for him who believes.'
24 Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, 'I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!'
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. 'You deaf and mute spirit,' he said, 'I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.'"

26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, 'He's dead.' 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, 'Why couldn't we drive it out?"
29 He replied, 'This kind can come out only by prayer.'" (NIV)

*emphasis mine

I am like that dad - believe, but struggle with my own faith. One amazing thing about faith is that God has never broken a promise - He remains faithful. His word has always been true.

I don't think Jesus is saying in verse 23 that we will get whatever we want by believing it will be so. Healing just because we believe, winning the lottery is possible through belief, etc. isn't what he is telling us to do {wouldn't that be nice, though?!}. A lot of people get stuck on, or in, that whole misconception. I think he is saying that we need to believe that God is who He says He is. We should know by now that God is capable of doing anything. Or what I mean is, we who have read or heard some of Biblical history have learned that God did what He said, and had to change things when mankind did not hold up our end of the bargain. He can do it. He has done it. We can't limit God, or put Him in a box, or tell Him who He should be (Have you ever watched "Bruce Almighty?").

And though sometimes in our own understanding or perception, we believe we are unworthy or whatever, we need to believe that God loves us and can use us to do some amazing things, sometimes outside of our comprehension. For instance, a smile can be life altering to the person to whom it is aimed. That smile could have the power to rejuvinate a person's grasp of goodness in this world.

Jesus, in John chapter 3 verses 16 and 17 says to Nicodemus, "16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal live. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." That's a whole lot of love! I just need to rest in that love and stop shopping for more pens.

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