THE CLOUD BY DAY, THE FIRE BY NIGHT

Fundamental to the Christian’s believer’s walk is knowing God’s voice and being led by the Spirit of God. The most basic way we know God’s voice is through his word. The Bible is a series of letters and messages written from God to his church. Without knowing his word, a Christian can not know God’s voice.

Romans 8:14 says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Since there is only one Holy Spirit and he never contradicts himself; the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and the preacher should all give witness to the same truth. The conflict arises when one of these witnesses do not agree. As Christians we have to pray earnestly for God to direct us to the truth; because it is too easy to be deceived by many things. Sometimes we can be deceived by our own desires, or by someone else’s desires or will for our lives. Psalm 25:4,5 states, “Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths.5) Lead me in your truth and teach me. For you are the God of my salvation. On you I wait all the day. From this scripture we see the Psalmist asking for God’s direction and paths, he is also saying I will wait on you.

When a believer asks for God’s direction he must be willing to wait for that direction. When God brought the Israelites out of Egypt because they didn’t know where they were going, he led them with a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night. (Exodus 13:21) It says he did this so they could travel by day and by night. In the times of clarity in a Christian’s life, that is the day time, we are to be led by God. In the times of darkness, when it isn’t clear, Christians are to be led by God. God demonstrates that he can lead whatever time of day it is. Jesus can lead whatever you are facing in life; whether you sit in bright light or rather you are stumbling through darkness.

Psalm 139: 9,10 says,” If I rise on the wings of dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me. Psalm 23,3 says, ” he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. How do we know when we are following God’s leading? God answers this question in several ways. One way God leads his people is through visions and dreams, and bringing to pass what he has shown in those visions and dreams. In other words, one way you know a dream or vision is from God, is that it happens. Another way we know we are following God is through his word. If you feel led to do something and it opposes God’s word or doesn’t line up with God’s word, please don’t do it.

Still another way we know we are following God is through the circumstances in our lives. If you are putting forth great effort to accomplish something or to obtain something and in spite of herculean effort the feat is still unsuccessful, you must assume that for whatever reason this thing or place isn’t for you. Sometimes God keeps a door closed for a reason; and being that we are not God, unless he tells us, it isn’t for us to know the reason. The opposite of this is that sometimes with very little effort or sometimes no struggle on our part, a great  opportunity, a great  person,or a good thing can just come into our lives. I believe this is based on the fact of God knowing our hearts and he knows the desires of our hearts, and many times he only wants us to ask. In most cases these good things come into our lives as a result of following the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Lord Jesus I pray that all who seek your will and to know your leading will find it according to your guidance and word. AmenIMG_0742

 

WE’VE GOT YOUR SOCK, AND SO MUCH MORE!

IMG_0677IMG_0696IMG_0685IMG_0690-0Letters from happy customers hang on the walls at 702 Freedom Plains Road at the laundry mat in Apple Valley Plaza. As soon as customers walk through the door they are greeted with a bright smile, a warm ” hello”, and “what can I do to help you?”

For Suzy Kee, the owner, doing laundry isn’t only a job, it’s a passion. Both sets of Suzy’s grandparents owned laundry mats, and it is a tradition that she has found a way to embrace and make a huge part of her life. ” I love what I do,” Suzy says. “I’m not one of those people who gets up in the morning and hate going to work,” she said.   Suzy said when she started the laundry mat she wanted to pursue the American dream. ( that of being a business owner) She also said she wanted to reconnect with her ancestors, and that she felt that by starting the laundry mat she would be following in their foot steps.

When  deciding on a name for the business Suzy said she wanted something that was distinctive. She said, “I wanted something that reflected my personality.” She said that We’ve Got Your Sock, also displays a sense of humor. She said everyone has lost a sock at some point so the name fits with doing laundry. People have told Suzy that they’ve come to check out the laundry mat because of the name alone. But the name isn’t the only thing that makes this laundry mat unique.

The letters from customers line the walls of the laundry mat, but nostalgic memorabilia and antiques also line the shelves and extra spaces. Suzy gets the antiques from a variety of places. Sometimes she said she orders things from e-bay. She said she is always looking for something to make the place more appealing and relaxing.”I want it to be relaxing for the customers,”she said. ” I want people to have something to look at. Laundry is sometimes seen as a chore, if I can lighten it up for them, all the better,” she said. The antiques include a Maytag washing machine from 1946, a cold iron from the 1800’s, and a variety of cleaning supplies that are no longer being manufactured. She said it pulls things together and makes it pertinent. She said she didn’t want the laundry mat to be seen as just a place. She said that having the memorabilia makes people smile, which makes her smile.

Suzy’s former occupation was teaching, but she feels she isn’t far removed from it at the laundry mat. Suzy said, “No, I don’t miss teaching, because I’m still doing it in another way.” “I’m still doing the social aspects of teaching, it’s not just about book learning,” she said, “it’s about learning about life.”

She said she meets so many interesting people and that she learns from the customers all the time. “I’m learning about life through them,” she said. ” I get to know their life stories, they get to know mine,” she said. Suzy said she wants the business to be an interesting and friendly environment. “I want this (the business) to be an active part of the community,” she said. The business is becoming what she wants it to be. Students from the Anderson School for Autism come in once a week to learn about life skills such as cleaning, running a washing machine, taking out the garbage, etc.. She said they are learning about things that we take for granted. She said, “I’m blessed to have their assistance here. It reminds me of people who may be different from my immediate circumstance.” “We are all connected ,”she said.

We’ve Got Your Sock is extremely kid friendly. There are two aquariums, a children’s library, a maze bead cube, and a Fisher Price toy washer and dryer for the kids’ amusement and play. Suzy said, ”  making a place for the kids, that is the teacher in me.” She said, “kids will be bored and drive parents crazy if they don’t have something to do.” A bag filled with stickers, toys, and decorated pencils is kept in the corner for the children also. The child friendly atmosphere makes it easier for the parents to do their laundry without too much distraction she said.

Suzy said the laundry mat business is her life. She said, “I’ve met many close friends through the laundry mat.” “I met my boyfriend here,” she said. Among the services offered at the laundry mat are: self-service laundry,wash and fold, dry cleaning(not done on the premises),fax and copy machine services, alterations and repairing of clothes,and she sells Avon as a side business.

“I think if customers see that you are sincere, honest, caring, transparent, and hard-working, and you keep the place clean; they will come back,” she said. Suzy said,”If people see  that it’s not just a place, but that it’s a warm, caring, clean environment, they will want to come back.”

“I share whatever I  have,”she said. “There is nothing like seeing someone smile whether that person is an adult or a child. That makes my day,” she said.