When you are empty

“Bring the Lord your empty pitcher! Surely His well will fill it. Quickly gather your emptiness, your wants, your troubles and your needs together. Remember – the river of God is your source of supply. What could you possibly desire that it cannot provide? Go forth, dear soul – in His might – knowing the eternal God is your helper!”  Charles Spurgeon

Isaiah 41:10 contains a wonderful promise from God: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.”

Whenever you feel empty, turn your attentions completely to the Lord and let Him fill you up – to the brim.

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Published in: on September 25, 2011 at 8:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

Isaiah 26:3

This verse says that God will keep you in peace (not just plant you there one time, but keep you there continually) if you focus (stay) your mind on him.

Why?

Because He alone is trustworthy.

We get ourselves into trouble when we focus on other things – the mortgage payment is due, the constant threat of job loss, a health scare – can all rob us of our peace.

It is possible to have God’s peace in the midst of trials.

The secret is to focus not on the burden, but the burden-bearer, God Himself.

When we discipline ourselves to do that, our problems start to seem really small.

Published in: on September 18, 2011 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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He will never give up on you

Philippians 1:6 says, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…”

I’m so thankful that God never gives up on us. If we belong to Him, He is constantly working in and through us, conforming us into the image of Christ Jesus Himself.

That gives me tremendous comfort. My hope is that it does the same for you.

Published in: on September 11, 2011 at 3:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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What’s First In Your Life?

This is my favorite Bible verse.

It simply means that if you put God first in your life, everything else will fall into place.

A very practical way to remember this is to set your alarm clock to wake you at 6:33 a.m.

That’s what I’ve done. I figure that will remind me to start thinking about the Lord, rather than the million and one things I need to get done.

It’s a small thing, for sure. But I’m really trying hard to be faithful in even the smallest things.

Because in the end, they add up to the really big things.

Published in: on July 10, 2011 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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What is Love?

My sons usually get along pretty well – most of the time.

Then there are “those days”.

Yes, we had a couple of them last week. The ones where there is near constant bickering and just general nastiness between them.

I took each boy aside and asked him if he knew what love really is. Then I opened up my Bible and asked if he wanted to know what God had to say about love.

He said yes.

I read these verses to him:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)

Then I asked him if he was showing that type of love to his brother.

After a pause, a feeble little, “no” came out of his mouth. At that moment, I knew that the Holy Spirit was at work in his precious little heart.

I asked him to remember those verses the next time he was tempted to talk to his brother in an unloving way.

He apologized to his brother and then he prayed for forgiveness.

Then I did the same thing with my other son.

Parenting is really, really hard. Scratch that – trying to be a really good godly parent is down right impossible without God.

I wish I didn’t struggle so, but I guess that is what keeps me humble and completely dependent on the Lord. Plus, an added bonus is that whatever I say to my sons from the Bible is also a great reminder for me. Funny how it happens right when I need to be reminded the most.

Father God, please teach me to love others as you do. Help me to be an example of your love every day. And thank you for being quick to forgive me when I mess up. Amen.

Published in: on July 3, 2011 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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God Loved Us First

 

 

“‘Tis not that I did choose Thee,

For Lord, that could not be;

This heart would still refuse Thee,

Hadst Thou not chosen me…

 

My heart owns none before Thee,

For Thy rich grace I thirst;

This knowing that I love Thee,

Thou must have loved me first.”

-Josiah Conder, 1836

Published in: on June 26, 2011 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Gentle and Quiet Reminder

Not too long ago, I read a book by a homeschooling mom of eight children on how to have a gentle and quiet spirit.

Needless to say, I was convicted – in a good way.

So I started thinking about how I could create some kind of visual to remind me to have a gentle and quiet spirit in this busy modern world.

And here is what I came up with:

Here is a close up of those little frames:

This project was so easy. I bought some frames at the dollar spot at Michael’s, spray painted them oil rubbed bronze and hung these words in a random pattern on a wall in our bedroom:

a gentle and quiet spirit

It’s taken from 1 Peter 3:3-5 which says, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

Now every time I walk by that little corner, I am reminded what is of great worth in God’s sight. Another version says, “precious”.

When I first read that verse years ago, I thought God was saying that women should stop wearing makeup, never do our hair and only wear sweatpants.

Boy, was I wrong.

I heard a sermon that illuminated that verse. It simply means that we are to be more concerned with what we look like on the inside than what we look like on the outside. An the only way we can become beautiful on the inside is to spend time at His feet, soaking in His word.

That makes so much more sense to me – and I can still wear mascara.

God’s word is so magnificent!!

A Daughter Remembers

April 20 was hard for me.

Exactly one year ago, I received the phone call that anyone with a parent in their 80s never wants to get.

My precious papa was gone.

One year later, I still miss him terribly.

He was so sweet and funny and good to me. I would do anything I could for him, and he for me.

We had one of those relationships where you could sit across the table from one another and be completely comfortable not saying anything. We just enjoyed each other’s company.

(blinking back tears)

I am grateful to the Lord that I had so much time with him. 37 years as a matter of fact.

That may sound young to some of you, but you should know he wasn’t really my father.

He was my grandfather.

I’ll save that part of the story for another time, but suffice to say, the two people who loved me more than anything in the world are both gone now. (My mom, my biological grandmother, passed away in 2004).

Oh, how I’d give anything for a hug from my mom and papa right now!

I’d love for them to see how my sons are slowly turning into young men.

I’d love to share a cup of way-too-strong coffee with them (that’s how my papa always made it!) and have them tell me the story of how they met one more time.

And to hear him call me “punkin”. (That’s Southern for “pumpkin’).

But they’re gone.

Even so, I have much to be thankful for.

Both of them asked God to forgive their sins late in life. Both are in heaven now.

Neither one of them are in any pain.

And my mom can finally stop worrying about everything!

I do miss them. My boys miss their papa, too. (They don’t remember my mom because they were only 10 months old when she passed away).

My sweet, sweet husband took the day off of work so he could be there for me.

Wow. I don’t deserve a man like that.

He drove me to the cemetery and offered me his handkerchief – he’s such a gentleman.

I took along one long-stemmed red rose and one long-stemmed yellow rose with me.

I did that because when I was a kid, every once in a while, my papa would come home with a red rose for my mom (which meant love), and a yellow rose for me (which meant friendship).

On April 20, I returned the gesture.

I love you, papa. My dear sweet hillbilly papa. I love you, mom.

Thank you for sacrificing everything to give me a loving home to grow up in.

Thank you, Lord, for this deep ache in my heart because it means I had the gift of loving them so much.

Published in: on April 21, 2011 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Life Lesson Straight From the Birds

Early this morning, I was looking out our back window as I enjoyed a hot cup of tea. I saw two beautiful Blue Jays pecking for food on the ground and in a tree we planted when we first moved in.

As I was watching them a verse popped into my mind, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” (Matthew 6:26)

The verse is even more powerful when you consider the verse before it:  ” Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” (Matthew 6:25) 

Wherever you are in life, whatever you are facing today, know this:  Our God will take care of you.

Published in: on April 10, 2011 at 7:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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His Grace is Sufficient

Does anyone out there need a little bit of grace today? this week?

I sure do.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that we don’t have to have all the answers or balance being a wife, mom, teacher, cook, housekeeper, chauffer, etc., perfectly all the time?

 My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor 12:9)

I’m thankful that I can’t do it all, perfectly, all the time. If I could, I wouldn’t need a Savior.

Thank you, Lord, for reminding me every day that I need you.

Published in: on March 13, 2011 at 3:27 pm  Comments (2)  
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