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DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: Living and loving

The temperatures were finally cooler last weekend and the desire to get outside and work kindled deep within me. I got outside last Saturday and I was going in every direction. I was literally working on three things at once.

I decided I needed to get focused if I wanted to complete anything. There were so many projects screaming at me that needed my attention. I don’t like to be out in the heat and humidity, but once it cools off and the humidity gets in check, I’ll work until dark and beyond. Spring and fall are my favorite times of the year, if I can keep my allergies under control.

A big tree limb had fallen right in my path to the woods. I needed to trim the branches off and open that path up. Saturday’s cooler weather motivated me to get it cleaned up. It is so nice to have an open path to take limbs and garden waste deep into the woods.

I surveyed the garden. The beans, corn, peas and broccoli that I recently planted are up and looking good. There are some other things that need to get cleaned up. The squash plants finally bit the dust. Some of the tomato plants have dried up. And yes, there are some weeds that need to be pulled, too.

There are plenty of fall projects on my list to do. We want to clean out the garage. We have to make room for the plants to come in for winter. I want to clean out the shed, too. I want to get my nephew’s pressure washer and do some work outside. I need to cut some dead trees down and clean up along the edge of the woods.

There is also some painting and fixing up that I would like to get done before winter. There are also some inside projects that we want to tackle. They will have to make their way on the list. I guess some of the inside things can get done on rainy days.

It seems like there is always work that needs to get done. On Sunday, my pastor talked about the need to rest and live a balanced life. I would hate for my pastor to find out that spring and fall are not restful times around my house. I tend to burn the candle at both ends. However, at my age, my body is making me rest more often.

Learning to live a balanced life is important. We need to get proper rest to stay healthy. We need to watch what we eat and we need to work on getting regular exercise. Our spirits need a regular intake of scripture and communion with God through prayer. In that way, we can live healthy in body, mind and spirit.

I like to work hard outside because it makes me feel good. I like seeing the results of my hard work. I sometimes wonder if we allow that mentality to be carried over into our spiritual lives. Do we think we have to work hard to be loved by God? Do we think that He holds a measuring stick up to us and that we better measure up or He won’t love us? Do we think that His love for us is based on our performance and how well we live our lives?

I am not sure where those thoughts come from, but they do not originate in heaven. God loves us so much that while we were His enemy living in our sin, He died for us. God made a way for us to be in a relationship with Him through Jesus. He loves us unconditionally. All we have to do is turn from living life our way and accept His love. He loves you when you are at your worst or what you consider your best. He loves you so much that He knows your name, He knows everything there is to know about you, and He still loves you. His love is not based on your performance, but on His character.

I want to encourage you to open your hearts and spirits to God’s wonderful love. He knows all about your past and still wants you as His son or daughter. The choice is yours to accept His unconditional love and forgiveness or to walk away and live with the feelings of rejection and failure. You are not rejected or a failure in God’s eyes. Your Father in Heaven loves you. You don’t have to work for it, just accept it.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041or doug@dougcreamer.com