Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Lawn isn't Growing

I keep looking out my kitchen window at the grass in my front yard.  It's been more than a week since I last mowed, and even though it has rained a bit off and on, I'm not seeing any growth.

In the dry season, we expect growth to come to a screeching halt, but why hasn't my grass started to grow with the little bit of rain we've had the past few days?  

I've had dry seasons in my spiritual life like this.  Where it seems everything is fine, but I'm really just going through the motions.  When this happens, I can inevitable look back and see that the busyness of life has come in and dried up my times of spiritual refreshing like a scorching, hot sun.  

Sure, I go to church on Sunday.  I teach my preschool class on Wednesday nights.   I pray with people here and there, but my spiritual ground has grown dry and the little bit of spiritual rain I may be getting isn't enough to sustain continued spiritual growth in my life.  

Nature tells me through the seasons that eventually, the dry times will end, and the rain will certainly come.  My lawn is going to grow long and full once again.  Still, it takes a little time for rain to soften the ground after it has become dry.  The best way to reintroduce water to dry ground is when that water comes; slow, steady and consistently.

When we are in a dry season spiritually, we hold all the power to continue in that dry spell or to begin the slow, steady and consistent steps that leads us back to growth.

In Colossians 2:6-7 the Living Bible says this:

And now just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust Him, too, for each day’s problems; live in vital union with Him. Let your roots grow down into Him and draw up nourishment from Him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all He has done.
One of the signs you're spiritually thriving is to check your joy and thanksgiving for all the Lord has done for you!

























Wednesday, August 14, 2019

What's in Your Cup?


When I was a teenager, I loved to write little quotes in my Bible.  Every blank page was filled with my youthful collection of meaningful nuggets, sermon notes or memorable poems.

In the many years since my youth, I have often wished I could read some of those poems and quotes that are fading from my memory.  Every once in a while, these little gems will surface and make for a perfect illustration.     

There is one of these quotes that I've been pondering a lot of late, I first jotted it down over forty-five years ago in my Bible.  This is the way that I remembered it:  “A cup full of sweet water no matter how violently shaken can only spill out--sweet water.”  Jesus said it another way, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

I can recall a little too quickly, a few times in my life when the water that spilled out of my cup was anything but sweet.  Still, I am ever thankful for the gentle working of the Holy Spirit in my life.  He gently reminds me to be thoughtful and kind in every life situation. 

On the turbulent days, when your cup gets bumped, let this scripture be what spills out, “Pleasant words are a honey comb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." (Proverbs 16:24) 

This week, there’s an excellent chance your cup is going to get bumped.  Will you purpose in your heart NOW to let kindness be the rule of the day?   

What's in your cup? 

(This is a revised version of the first devotional I wrote for my blog in October 2015.   It has been in my heart of late, and I thought someone may need to be reminded to be ready with kindness the next time your cup is jostled.  I know, for me, I can never hear this enough!) 



Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Into The Light



 A haircuts can be an amazing confidence booster or an epic fail!

I love going to the salon.  It's my chance to sit back and enjoy a moment of pampering.  However, there is one thing that is always daunting for the person in the chair. 

Recently, I strolled into the hair salon, I was feeling pretty good about myself.  I had applied my makeup to perfection, and I was soaring high at the thought of a new hairstyle, until I sat in that chair.

The stylist draped my body with a black shawl and positioned me directly in front of the mirror.  On three sides, the mirror was framed with intrusive, glaring--lying lightbulbs. 

I glanced up at the ceiling and shielded my eyes from the huge fluorescent light.  That overhead light, along with the lights on the mirror, were not being kind to my aging face.

Looking back at me from the brightly illuminated mirror was a ghostly white person with no visible signs of one bit of makeup.  Let me add that the person in the mirror also looked way older than me.  I was sure that not even an amazing haircut was going to change what all the light had exposed.

A light had been cast on me that changed everything.   There was no place to hide.  All my external flaws were brought into the light

Daniel 2:22 says, He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.  

Even when we don't like the process, if we allow God to shine His light on us and take the time to examine what needs attention in our lives, we will be the better for it even when the process is unsettling.   

In Hebrews 4:13 we are reminded that when we choose to ignore or hide what is going on in our heart, God still sees. 

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight; everything is uncovered and exposed before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Sitting that day in front of that revealing mirror, under the massive lights, caused me to take a good look at me!  I didn't particularly like what I saw, but when the stylist was finished, I didn't see my glaring white skin or even the wrinkles on my face.  My eyes were pulled away from the negative and focused on the positive.  

Today, you may be experiencing the intense light of God shining on an area of your life.  Don't run away from the light. Allow God to do His work because we are always the better for it, when we
 come into the light and allow God to make the necessary changes in us.






The Lawn isn't Growing

I keep looking out my kitchen window at the grass in my front yard.  It's been more than a week since I last mowed, and even though ...