Archive | Christianity RSS for this section

Giving it ALL to God

Right now, give everything over to God. Pay attention to what will happen when you rely on God and exchange your worries for faith in Him.

Your children… give them to God

Your finances… give them to God

Your health… give it to God

Your spouse… give him/her to God

Your career… give it to God

Your aging parents… give them to God

Your addictions/dependencies… give them to God

Your unspoken thoughts… give them to God

Your heartaches… give them to God

Your ministry… give it to God

Your dreams… give them to God

Your desires… give them to God

Your sadness… give it to God

Your thankfulness, give it to God

Your gratitude… give it to God

Your happiness… give it to God

Your love… give it to God

Your heart… give it to God

Your life… give it to God

His Love endures forever. He is Yeshua, and He is GOOD.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 107:1

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 1 Peter 5: 6-9

So give yourselves completely to God. Stand against the devil, and the devil will run from you. 

Come near to God, and God will come near to you. You sinners, clean sin out of your lives. You who are trying to follow God and the world at the same time, make your thinking pure.  James 4: 7-8

Advertisements

Double Portion

The past few weeks have been very exciting around our house. Once back from an overseas trip, I noticed there was a bird that had set up shop in a plant on our balcony. I leaned in to get a closer look and noticed that it looked like a Dove, but either we were having a staring contest, or he/she was not alive.

Not thinking much of it, I tossed a few pairs of shoes out on the balcony to dry, scaring the bird out of the staring contest as she flew away, and to my horror, I watched the lone egg she’d been protecting tumble off our balcony to the one below. I was beside myself. I knew this was part of nature, but I felt terribly guilty, that if I hadn’t been so careless, that one egg would have developed into a baby bird.

Fast forward a few days, I had a medical procedure done and was home for about a week and a half to recover. I found myself with lots of time to dig into the Word of God and lots of time watching the dove, who I named Debbie (after Deborah in the Bible), who trusted us enough to set up her nest in our plant a second time. (Make note of that.)

In my studies over that week and a half I kept hearing the words “double portion”. I felt as though God was reminding me that he’d repay what has been lost and stolen in my life, two fold. A few days after my surgery, my husband pointed out that there were now two eggs where Debbie was usually sitting! Double portion!

A few weeks later, the two eggs hatched. One bird was strong and determined, the other smaller and weaker. I so enjoyed peeking outside to watch Debbie feeding and keeping her babies warm. I had regained Debbie’s trust, moving very slowly if I had to go outside.

Earlier today I went outside and set some artwork down gently to dry on the balcony. I hadn’t seen the baby birds in a few days, as I’d been gone or engrossed in work. As I moved carefully, Debbie flew about a foot away, keeping close eye on her nest. I noticed that only one baby bird was there, and saw the general shape of a lifeless baby bird on the balcony below.

That is not what I had in mind for “double portion,” but I know that God is still good and that sometimes nature is violent. God is restoring all of creation along with humanity. I trust that. I trust God. He gave His life so that we can live. I trust that He has and will continue to repay what has been lost, stolen, or broken with His greatest double portion.

 

Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. Isaiah 61:7

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5, NLT

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17

The muddy shoe

The Muddy Shoe

I recently found myself in the position where I needed to wear a boot on my right foot. The kind that cushions and protects your foot from further injury? It’s terribly un-fashionable. Yep, that one. As I strapped my right foot into the boot, I wondered what I could wear on my left foot so as to stand with square hips. I felt like I’d need a low high heel on the left foot to even out the difference. Then I remembered a pair of shoes that have about 1.5 inches of support, which would mostly even out the difference between my two different “shoes”.

I picked up the left shoe and noticed mud on the white sole and edges from a recent walk I took. It was late and I wanted to go to bed, so I decided to clean off the outside of the shoe only. After all, that’s the only part that people would see! Only I would know that the inside of the shoe (the curved part which helps you discern the left from right) also had mud on it. In that exact moment, God revealed to me that this is the same as putting on a Band-Aid when one needs surgery; that we cannot only clean up our sin on the outside. We must dig down deep and let God clean out the sin from the inside out. We must rely on God and lean into Him as He cleanses us and forgives us for our sin. What a loving Father we have, one who love us unconditionally, no matter how many times we cover ourselves in mud.

Taking that one step further, is there someone in your life whose shoes you could wash for them? Show them the loving kindness that God our Father shows us. Forgive them of their sins against you, and show them your Christ like heart.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Psalm 51:2

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

They will no longer defile themselves with their idols, or with their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. And they will be My people, and I will be their God. Ezekiel 37:23

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15

Wussy and Powerful Words (Or, The Power of Life and Death)

Oh Lord, let my words be pleasing to you.

Imagine if you will, you are a newly hired travel guide in the desert. You position yourself at a fork in the road, where travelers have a clear choice to go in one direction or another. Two choices: to speak life or death (according to Proverbs 18:21). You are happy in your new role as travel guide. You make conversation with the caravans as they pass, greeting them, and telling them to “be blessed” and “be well” and “God bless you.” You tell caravan after caravan to “turn right onto the path of righteousness and truth, life and light.” Turn right. Turn right. Turn right.

After a while of standing in the hot desert sun you become thirsty.  The next caravan draws near and you shorten your pleasantries, simply saying “Right,” and point in the direction the travelers should go. You ask them for water as they pass, but they have none to spare.

Time passes. The road is empty of travelers. You grow weary. You’ve not had a drink in far too long. You grow angry. “Why won’t someone bring me water,” you think to yourself. Night falls and morning rises. No travelers.

Time passes. On the horizon, you see a caravan. You are beyond weary. You’ve had no fulfillment of bread or water. You are grumpy, beaten down, confused by the enemy. The caravan grows closer and closer still. You ask if they have water, but they have none to spare. Out of spite, you tell them to “Turn left,” even though you know that path leads to destruction, unhappiness, darkness, and death. You don’t care. It’s not really your problem. They still could have chosen to “Turn to the right.”

_____________

Isn’t it easy to get sucked into negative things we can do with our words? Take for instance – in our modern world- gossiping, lying, name-calling, sarcastic “joking,” and disrespect. The Bible tells us “The tongue has the power of life and death.” Proverbs 18:21 That means all of those things we dismiss as “no big deal” are actually a very big deal. If our words do not invite the light of Christ to permeate the atmosphere, then we are not speaking life.
Imagine what our workplace, families, and Bible study groups would be like if we spoke life into people instead of death? What if we complimented instead of judged? What if we encouraged instead of criticized? “The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just.” Psalm 37:30

What if, instead of complaining to God, we praised Him? “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Oh Lord, I pray that our words reflect your light and glory.  Let us choose to speak life, and not death. “Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord: keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3

Feeding the Hungry

Feeding the Hungry

Working in the food industry has surely given me an amplified perspective on people and hunger, as well as the necessity of food and nourishment in life.

It may be a surprise to some that even in 2014, people around the globe go to bed hungry at night. I’m grateful and blessed to work for a company that works ardently to feed people around the world and cut down on the problem of world hunger.

It’s not news that the word of God is considered “food” and that as we read the Bible, go to church, or listen to sermons we are nourished and fed.

So we do those things and check the box and our spiritual bellies are full, but what are we doing to feed others? If those in our circle of influence were to sit at a proverbial banquet table, would they, too, be fed? Or would they be starved?

Let’s invite them to have a seat with us at the banquet table of Christ.

We should be inviting, encouraging, uplifting, loving, and giving to others, feeding them with the everlasting nourishment of Jesus Christ.

“But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14 NIV)

“Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38 NIV)

Potter’s clay

“…I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’” Zechariah 13:9
2009
I am kneeling on the floor, my elbows propped on my bed. I have just given my life to Jesus and asked him into my heart, and now sit for the first time at the potter’s wheel:
I am not the Potter and don’t claim to be, but I am sitting in the lap of Jesus, his arms reach around me to show me how to handle the wheel. Together we are starting to mold the clay of my life. I drop the clay down onto the wheel, slowly adding water to make it soft enough to center and mold. God presses the pedal with his foot, speeding up the wheel. I trust Him fully. I hold my hands firmly against the wheel, cupping the clay in my hands.
I don’t yet know that my clay will take various shapes and forms. I don’t yet know that a few times I will walk away and get distracted by idols until I realize my clay is drying up completely. I do know that with a little water (the word, the voice of the Lord, worship, prayer) my clay will come back to life again.
Sometimes my clay loses its shape altogether; a lumpy or flat mess with imperfections, air bubbles, or pieces of dry clay strewn throughout. Again, with a little cleansing from the Lord, my clay soon grows taller and smoother, taking great shape.
2011
My hands are stained from the constant work with the clay, and my eyes are weary from the late nights in the art studio. My artwork (hardly a masterpiece) has finally reached a desirable shape in the Lord’s eyes. My clay is now a lovely jar- an alabaster jar. He says to me, “My daughter, it is time.” And into the kiln it goes.
2013
Now that my alabaster jar has been fired in the kiln, it no longer smells like smoke. It did not burn, it did not explode. It was able to withstand the heat, because the Master and Creator of the Universe was the one who helped me form it. (Daniel 3:27)
I offer my jar to The Lord. He looks at me, then looks down at it, seemingly telling me that there are things I don’t yet know about my own jar. So I run my fingers over it, but recognize the grooves, the chips, and the spots that are worn down. I swirl it around and am surprised to hear liquid inside. When I thought I was empty, God filled me up with the fountain of eternal life. (John 4:14). God tells me that there is still more to the jar, and I lower my nose to the opening. Inside is the most luscious and pure perfume I have ever smelled. It is not a smell of Roses or lilacs, but it is the sweet fragrance of flowers of which only God knows the names.
I tap it firmly but gently against the ground to crack and break it until the liquid pours out. I then proceed to wipe Jesus’ tender feet with the sweet perfume inside. These are the feet that pressed the Potter’s wheel faster and slower, forward and backward. These are the feet that he told me to trust and to follow. These are the feet that carried me through the fire when I could not rely on my own strength, (Philippians 4:13). These are the feet that walked a bloodied and beaten body carrying a wooden cross up a hill- a cross with my name on it, my sins on it, my heartache on it. These are the feet that were pierced with nails to that same cross. These are the feet that walked out of the tomb three days later, and will never return to the grave. (Romans 6:9).
I take my small sacrifice, my most prized possession -my alabaster jar, my life- and I break it at the foot of the cross to bathe the feet of The Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is The one who knows all I’ve done wrong, who died for me, who forgives me, and who loves me still. I do not deserve to wipe his feet, but he is proud of my jar- imperfections and all. He is also proud of the sweetest perfume held inside, and asks that I reserve some to share with others. That, my friends, is what I am doing.
With love and blessings,
Cait