Read “July 11, 12, & 13 Incomplete Entries” first then “Discipline” before you read this S.O.A.P.
Laurie and I are in California dealing with long-term mother-in-law care issues. While California affords us the opportunity to see family and friends it is one humongous caldron of stress and pressure. It is easy to see why drug and alcohol use, road rage, and hateful attitudes are plentiful here. Being in this state makes Laurie and me tense and irritable. We gripe and moan at each other to the point that we are sure that Satan has exclusive dominion over this area and any excessively long stays here will result in us losing our faith. To put it mildly, this place is icky and it rubs off on me. I don’t like it and it makes it very difficult for me to journal. I have just finished entering my three previous days and today’s S.O.A.P. entries. The last entry “Discipline” brought all of my current journaling difficulties into perspective. In that entry based on Hebrews 12:7, I found the truth of what has been my problem with my daily devotional. As I said, Laurie and I have been convinced that Satan is having his way with us out here; I now know that this is not the complete truth. I believe that God is growing us as Christians. We are being refined by these pressures and we are being made to set an example to family and friends that are watching us to see how we deal with life on the west coast. It isn’t easy out here and it is particularly hard without the power of the Holy Spirit to persevere. So there you have it, five solid days of journaling failure and stress to teach Doug a lesson on who’s in charge and who has the power to prevail. I need to remember that when I am out here I have a greater responsibility to rely on the Holy Spirit’s power to make it through each day and to grow as a Christian before God and man.
Thank you Lord for the lesson. Love, Doug