Author Archives: Jake Blaska

No Foil in the Microwave

Leftovers | Devotion #5: No Foil in the Microwave
Jake Blaska

Letting go is not a one-time deal. I have tried. I have tried telling God, “I forgive him” when I still feel angry. Putting it behind you requires a lot of strength, and it is easier when I lean on God and remember the love of Jesus. For example, my sister and I beef. To beef means to bicker. We beef constantly! She is finishing up her psychology degree at a very prestigious school, and I am currently working towards an associates degree from my local community college. So we come from two different schools of thought. I have a bad itch for bringing things back up that I should leave in the past. It is really difficult to avoid arguments in general, but one thing I have strived to do this past year is not let them get out of hand. The devil is at work in those moments, when we are on edge. James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

My sister never gave me the attention I craved growing up. I do not think she wanted to lift my ego any higher than it already was. This still frustrates me. Anytime we beef, the devil reminds me of the neglect when all I wanted was for her to recognize me. I sound so dramatic right now because that is what Satan does. He exaggerates the thoughts that make it feel impossible to ignore in a situation that is already full of tension. However, it is crucial we ignore these bad memories regardless of how we feel in the moment. That is if we have forgiven the person (my sister does not need forgiveness for helping me learn that not everyone is going to like you). We need to realize that those memories are not God reminding us, so we can counter our opponent in an argument and win. It is the devil reminding us, so we can blow up the argument and lose. 

Isaiah 43:18-19 says, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

We are all trying to stay focused on what God is doing right now in our own lives, so it does no good to revive things that are like aluminum foil in the microwave. We need to throw that junk out when it reappears. We need to resist the devil in those situations. It is only going to make things worse. I am sorry for the ten thousand “we need” statements. However, forgiveness is not short-term. You have not forgiven someone if you are always bringing it back up to the dinner table when you argue about politics and the GOAT debate between LeBron and MJ. Family dinners can get heated, but they should not get out of hand. The devil has no seat at the table. Do not throw the aluminum foil into the microwave.

Serving Together

Doing the Dishes | Devotion #3: Serving Together
Jake Blaska

When I was sixteen years old, my parents told my siblings and me that we were going over to our relatives to help them get “situated” in their new home (It is funny how my Dad always says that word). My Mom was pretty sly, forgetting to tell us that there was no service where they lived. I could go a day without my phone, but to miss the Michigan vs. Michigan State game was a dagger in the back. 

This led to a series of complaints, whines, and fits. Due to my frustration and immaturity with the whole situation, I took no time to vent to God; rather, I continued to quarrel with my own family.  

  • “Why are we here?” 
  • “All these people do is take from us.” 
  • “They do not treat us well.” 
  • “They don’t deserve it!”

I did not see or care for God’s plan for having us there to help our relatives get settled. I missed an opportunity to serve others and exemplify who Jesus was and is, and I did my younger brother no favors. 

What is the first thing you say to a family member when you get home most days?

  • “Hi, how was your day?”
  • “Is there anything with which I can help you?”

Have you ever been so concerned about yourself that the first thing you say is, “What’s for dinner?” I am so guilty of this! We all have days where we feel drained from work, school, or sports, and we miss out on opportunities to be used by God at home. I will not lie, there are days when I just am not “feeling” it, but I need to remind myself with almost an ultimatum-kind-of Scripture. 

Joshua 24:15 says, “And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

My favorite meal for dinner growing up was sloppy joes, cheesy potatoes, and absolutely no vegetables. Everyone in the family has a job when it comes to dinner. One of my parents would cook, and the other would clean the kitchen after dinner. My siblings and I would set the table, do the dishes, and take out the trash. Teamwork makes the dream work! 

However, I need to be honest! It was not like that every night. One of us was always “not feeling it,” which made at least one other individual quite bitter. As parents and older siblings, you are called to a higher standard. Family dinners are important, so it is vital not to let one’s selfishness spoil your opportunity to show them who Jesus was and is. Serving together as a family is a necessity because it gives us an opportunity to teach our kids, siblings, and others to think beyond themselves and their own needs.

Mark 10:45 says, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

We have got this backwards. Everyone thinks if they can get others to serve them, or if they always serve themselves first, then they will be happy. What brings the most joy is having joy in the Lord. It is hard at first to sacrifice things that we are bound to like missing a football game, but it cannot be compared to the joy that comes from humbling yourself before someone else who “does not deserve it.” 

Parents have a huge influence on their kids. Older siblings have a huge influence on their younger siblings. We need to choose every day what kind of influence we want to be to them, so we do not miss or choke an opportunity to show Him to our family and through our family.

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