Friday, May 27, 2016

Stain Removers

Gratitude Year 4-Day 148: Today, I am grateful for stain removers.

Some people keep a flashlight by the bedside.  For many years...we kept "Stain Stick". It is the brand that worked best for us. Others may have different experiences. That little green stick of magical stain remover saved many clothing items over the years.  

Before store purchased laundry products...and for certain stains...we have discovered that some common household items did just the trick for cleansing spots and stains from our wardrobe.  Aerosol hairspray has been the ink solution for years when the "Papermate Inkjoy" pen leaked. The hairspray would remove the stain...then a run through the automatic washing machine and what was soiled and ruined became like new. 

I found this list of household stains and solutions.  I haven't tried them all...but some have been stand-by's for year.  In fact...some work far better than a store purchased remover.  I've never used milk for ink...hairspray is my weapon of choice in that battle, but when the Final Net is gone...I may give milk a try. 

Deodorant on a dark dress or shirt? Rub the material together and see if it disappears. 

For those who love OSHKOSH denims for little ones..."Wink" removes the rust stains on the clothing near the suspender hardware.

Feel free to share your favorites.  

If cold water doesn't remove the blood...try hydrogen peroxide. 

But what about the toughest stain of all?  The stain of sin on our hearts is a tough one.  Life is messy. Choices seem tough. Sin happens. 

We all face choices. For me, it helps to imagine the hammer of God's justice in my my hand...Jesus laying on the cross...and my my hand holding the hammer.  The thought makes me cringe. Ray Boltz was the first to put the picture in my head with his old song "Feel the Nails". When faced with the choice...will I choose the sin that will cause another swing of the hammer. Here are the lyrics:

"Does he still feel the nails, every time I fail?
Does he hear the crowd cry crucify again?
Am I causing him pain? Then I know I have to change.
I just can't bear the thought of hurting him."

Ouch, right?  He doesn't demand our perfection.  He chose the nails... in love... to cover the cost of our sins. Good thing that love always wins. Still, the thought of my sins...not the much easier  concept of the "sins of the whole, big, general population"...but my very personal...even private failures, they are mine and must be reconciled.  Our God is holy. That part of his character demands justice and reconciliation. Jesus died...the propitiation for our sin. Look at Romans 3:24-26:

"and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."

Good stuff, right? 

What is a propitiation?  I recently learned the word. "An atoning sacrifice..the debt paid in full and erased." Yes...forgotten and cast as far as the East is from the West. 

Why? What is the purpose of this relationship? What is the value of our struggles and the times we overcome and gain the victory?  That Christ might be lifted up...not on a cross in shame, but on the throne of grace and mercy. He is magnificent, awesome and excellent. 

We have stains we can't fix.He is the solution.

"Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me, declares the Lord God." -Jeremiah 2:22  

He is the ultimate stain remover. It is a gift we can't purchase for a debt we could never pay. He rocks. He's risen...and he reigns. And...he invites us to be sons and daughters. Crazy love leaves me "debt free". Being the recipient of that kind of love, if it doesn't change who we live...nothing will.   

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. -1 John 1:7

He bears the full hammer and nails of my failures. Still, He rejoices in each small victory we find on the path to knowing him better.  Knowing him better, it helps us swing the hammer a little less.  My life seems insignificant, him...we are each precious, priceless and worth the cross.  This side of heaven, I don't think my mind can grasp it. Maybe not even then. 

"But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God." -Acts 20:24

Let us press on...choose wisely daily...and finish the race by running into His loving arms.  Stain free!

Today, I am grateful for stain removers.

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