I went into the office to make some copies.  The copy machine said that the toner waste receptacle was full.  We had to empty it.  I had never done it before, but I probably make the most copies here at the church, so I volunteered.  After some direction and guidance, I took the silly thing into the kitchen and proceeded to try to dump it.  


      OMGoodness.  Let me just say, what a mess.  After working on it for a bit, Pastor sent people looking for me.  I guess I had been at it for some time.  I got most of it out and then I looked at the kitchen.  There was a very fine film over everything.  It seemed like my eyes had been dimmed.  My clothes were gray.  A coworker tapped my head and the toner puffed out like a puffball mushroom. 


      I cleaned it up as well as I could, but I felt as if the church kitchen would never be the same again.  I’m pretty sure we will find toner under the stove and in the walls if we ever have to make changes to that room.  I went back to the office to put the cartridge back in and it wouldn’t work.  After more instruction from someone who had done it before, I tried again the next day.  


      FYI!  Get a large trash bag, insert the cartridge, and tape the bag tightly around your wrist.  Shake that sucker until it is empty.  Wait a few minutes.  Untape the bag and pull the cartridge out.  Wipe it down and replace it back into the copy machine.  Turn on the copy machine and…YAY!  Copying can commence.  


      This experience was a learning one.  Just like sin.  We have all experienced it.  If you say you haven’t, then either good job, or you tell big lies.  I don’t think many people enter into sin thinking that they’re going to push things to the limit just to see how far they can go.  Most of the time, they’re thinking just this little bit, or it isn’t all bad.  I can do this just once or I can participate in just this part of it.  Nope.  Sin is like toner dust.  Once it is released, it is on everything you touch.  It gets deep in your pores and settles in the creases.  


      I used to have a women’s ministry that I titled, “Ask Me How I Know”.  Well, I say to you right now, “ask me how I know” that the statement above is true.  I stepped into sin.  I did it on purpose and with purpose.  I let the dust cover me up until I could hardly breath.  It was the worst three years of my life.  I hurt so many people.  I lost almost everything.  Only by the grace of God am I actually even still here.  I kid you not.  


      The word was written, not to condemn us, but to save us.  The things that Jesus instructs us to do will save your life.  It may seem like He is taking the fun out of life, but He is giving you life.  


      There will always be dust.  How we handle the dust is what counts.  There will be times that we miss some when we’re cleaning.  There will be times when we purposely leave it for another day.  There will be times when we see it and deal with it immediately.  The Bible will give you directions on how to handle every kind of dust out there.  


      Remember this.  Romans 8:28  For we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. And Romans 8:35, 37-39, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? (or dust)


      No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels or rulers, nor things present or things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Go get a dust rag.

Bonnie Smith
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