“Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.” — Psalm 84:4 (NIV)

Sometimes I cannot vision the message that God is going to give me that week, and just when I think it is not going to happen, he unexpectedly sends one down.

This week I want to talk about paper towels and toilet paper.

I don’t know about your house, but at my house I have noticed that when we have a new roll, we all tend to pull two or three sheets at a time. When the roll starts getting low with paper towels or toilet paper, I think that we subconsciously pull as few as possible so that we won’t be the person who has to replace the roll.

At our house we use select-a-size paper towels, so when the roll starts getting really low, I have noticed that whoever is getting a towel will pull the smallest sheet possible so they won’t run out and have to replace the roll.

Have you ever gone to the bathroom or kitchen and when you got ready for your towel or TP someone has left the roll empty? I secretly hope that the next time it is out, the person who left me with an empty roll will have the empty roll so that they have to be the one to replace the roll.

My granddaughter likes to occasionally make flowers out of the last pieces and leave them on top of the new roll. That will give you a smile when you open the box to get the new roll and see her flowers. It’s hard to be mad at her when she leaves you her reminder that she was there.

Now for the vision that God gave me when I noticed the paper towels running low the other day.

As Christians, we give all of ourselves to serving God in every capacity with so much enthusiasm, but as we grow more and more comfortable, we find it becoming easier to take a smaller role and hope that someone else will pick up the part we no longer wish to do or, thanks to the pandemic, many people are no longer attending church at all. It has become a habit to just not go. As they say, “If the shoe fits, wear it,” and I am not excluding myself because I am so guilty of doing the same things.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all get back to church, be refreshed and new and ready to have that same excitement for the Lord that we had before the pandemic?

For everyone who is reading this today, I am going to make a plea to each of you to help me pray that our churches will be full and vibrant again.

Do you know that they say it only takes 21 days to start a habit, so we only have to miss church about three times for it to become a habit, and the really sad statistic is that in 90 days the new habit becomes a permanent lifestyle.

Let’s make a pact to reverse the permanent lifestyle the same way we started it, start going to church again and start rebuilding it. After 21 days it will become a habit to go again, and after 90 days you will once again have a permanent lifestyle of going to church.

Thank you for taking the time each week to read what I feel God lays on my heart, and remember that He loves you, and so do I. Have a blessed week.

Prayer: Grant us patience, O Lord, to follow the road you have taken. Let our confidence not rest in our own understanding but in your guiding hand; let our desires not be for our own comfort, but for the joy of your kingdom; for your cross is our hope and our joy now and unto the day of eternity, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Thought: Do you replace the empty rolls when towels give out at your house?

Prayer focus: People who are in the habit of not attending church any longer.

APPLE ENCHILADAS

Ingredients

21 oz. can apple pie filling

6-8” tortillas

1 tsp cinnamon

½ c butter

½ c white sugar

½ c brown sugar

½ c water

How to make

Start with a 9x13 casserole dish. Spoon about one heaping quarter cup of pie filling evenly down the center of each tortilla.

Sprinkle with cinnamon; roll up, tucking in edges; and place seam side down in prepared dish. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, white sugar, brown sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes.

Pour sauce over enchiladas and let stand 45 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees in preheated oven 20 minutes, or until golden.

Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Janice Sasser is the daughter of Ruby Hicks, who wrote weekly columns for the Mount Olive Messenger for six years. She is from Goldsboro and writes weekly columns out of an interest in continuing her mother’s tradition in the paper.