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Posts Tagged ‘Living Water’

Do you use filters? We have become more and more conscious of the contaminants in our environment.

I have a filtered water jug in the fridge. My cats’ drinking fountain has a filter. My coffeemaker has a filter.  My AC unit has a filter. My car’s air system has a filter.

Sometimes, my brain has a filter…it’s called the Holy Spirit.

A lot of world enters into our heads each day. It seems more and more of it is contaminated with the sludge of negativity, hatred,  intolerance and selfishness.  As believers, we are not to ignore it but face it head on so we can help others clean up their act. However, we need to filter a lot of it’s influence out in order to remain pure.

In my first novel, Focused, a middle aged woman is disgusted with her life. Slowly God uses a new pair of glasses to help her “see her life differently.” He begins to help her filter out the negativity and concentrate on the blessings.  I start it off with this quote from Paul:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—focus on such things.  Philippians 4:8 (emphasis mine).

Filters are a good thing, especially in today’s world. We also need one for our souls. If we truly believe God can use all things in our lives for good, no matter how horrid they appear now, then we must filter out the bad so we can focus on that goodness. We have to see the situation through His purity, not the impurity of humanity’s view.

Into our souls pours our life experiences  experienced though our five senses, like water from a tap.  What we see, hear, touch, smell and taste all pours down the pipe. But after the filtering, out comes God’s purpose to refresh and renew us. We want to stay that way, right?

Today, we can become tempted to cloister in our churches with faith-filled brethren where it is secure and safe, and clean…we hope. Not always the case, is it?

This is not the time to cower but to boldly step out into the smog of unrighteousness. They have been drinking in the world’s sin for too long. They have forgotten what pure, clean water tastes like.

He wants to use us as a filter of influence. Be assured, if that is what He is calling you to become, He will  cleanse you constantly if you yield to His Word and Spirit. It’s called being in the world, but not of it.

Don’t let the muck of the world stick to you. Filter it out by constantly removing the sin in your own life through prayer, meditating on His Word, meeting with other believers, and worship.

Then, like the water in my jug, you will be ready to pour yourself out to a thirsty world dying for the Living Water from the purest, cleanest, deepest Well.

 


My passion is to help people find God moving in their world. One way is being a digital missionary, writing and editing for The Life Project.  Click on it to find out more. Last year we touched over 4 million lives over the internet. This year, our works are being translated into French, Spanish, Hindi and Arabic so we can reach even more souls with the Hope of Christ.  If you want to  find out more, or perhaps become involved in this vital internet ministry through praying, volunteering to be an online mentor or writer, or contributing financially, contact me though the comments. Thanks.

 

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Have you ever had celery go limp in the fridge? My mother told me years ago to place the stalks in water. If you have been reading this blog a while, you know I find God-messages in everyday life. Today is no exception.

Life can be like a stalk of celery. Cut off from the soil which nurtured us and allowed us to grow into who we are, circumstances can isolate us and can leave us a bit limp after a while. We don’t feel as useful. We aren’t as crisp and our posture bows with the pressures in our day, so we no longer stand upright.

Solution? Just add water- the Living Water.

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:3

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, Psalm 23:2

“…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
We all need water to survive. Plants can even root in water. (See the true Corn Plant Saga posted a week ago).  Our bodies cannot go without water for more than three days or we will die. What makes us think our souls can go without spending time with God for several days?
Today, a few stalks of celery reminded me how much I depend on spending time in God’s Word and in prayerful listening for His Spirit to  respond in order to keep me upright, fresh and ready to be used.

 

 

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Our riverThat person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields it fruit in season and whose leaf does nto wither; whatever they do prospers. (Psalm 1:3)

I spent my summers as a youth at my grandfather’s cabin on the Guadalupe River in the Texas Hill Country. It’s still my favorite place to visit. I always find God’s peaceful presence during a stroll along the riverfront.

Ancient cypress trees line the banks, their roots shooting deep into the river. Their bows tower overhead, a celestial highway for squirrels and a welcome shade from the Texas summer heat. Some of the cypress are bent towards the river in skewed angles, ravished by centuries of pounding floodwaters. Yet, they stand, produce plump fragrant cypress balls, and each spring burst into an array of green which casts dancing shadows along the riverbank. Their trunks expand in circumference and their roots spread to hug the bank in sturdy strength.

When I look at these cypress trees, they bring to mind a strong, firm faith in God that is solidly founded and deeply rooted in His Word, the Living Water. May my faith be that way. When life floods in and pressures me, I might bend, but I won’t break because of the sturdiness of my faith. I want the fruit of my labor to be as fragrant as those cypress balls, and my prayers a sheltering for others from the harshness of this world–just as the cypress limbs are a shade from the hot rays of the summer sun.

However, my circumference, like the cypress tree’s trunk, also seems to be growing with age…that I’d rather not emulate.

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glass_of_water_350I saw a picture of a glass of water. Pure, thirst quenching, clear.  Water is something we need to survive. We can’t go very long without it. Our bodies have water running through them. No wonder Jesus said He is the Living Water.

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” John 4:10

 

God’s blessings overflow, providing us what we need to make it through the day. But, like a glass of water, sometimes we can see right through them, and so we don’t really “see.” Or what we see is distorted by the container- us.

Other times we want to add something to the water to make it taste better. Sugar, lemons, mint, cucumbers, even those small packets of energy boosters of flavorings. We brew coffee through it, or steep tea in it. We add seltzer and make it bubbly.

But your doctor will tell you there is nothing better for you than a plain, pure glass of water. The same is true with God’s blessings. Receive them, drink them down and quench your soul.

Have I made you thirsty? I pray God makes you thirst for more of Him today. Drink in His blessings. Clearly, they will be there if you look.

 

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I admit it. I can’t throw away a plant. I had a geranium which, after five years, had outlived it normal lifespan sprigas a potted plant, I guess. Anyway, it really didn’t survive the move, and to be honest, it had become pretty droopy and scraggly on my last patio. But one sprig stretched to grow.The only green leaves left on an otherwise dying plant.

So, I snipped it off, stuck it in water, placed it with other plants in a window, and prayed. Within a day, it had bent towards the sun. Within a few more days, it began wrapping around a candle to get more light steaming in from the blinds.

As I watch it daily, I  am more and more encouraged. Maybe it will begin to root, then I can plant it a pot once again. I envision coral-colored blooms next spring when it is once again full and bushy.

I’m glad God never threw me out when I spiritually dying. He gave me life. He clipped off the part that had potential, stuck me in the Living Waters of His mercy and prayed over me. He watched over me. Renewed, I again stretched towards the Light in search of the Son, letting nothing stand in the way of my growth. And, ever so slowly, new roots of faith began to grow.

The roots of the blessings He has given me.

Roots of lessons learned.

Roots of those “Oh” moments when I realized He had acted in my life.

Roots in those verses that never hit me before but are highlighted in yellow or starred in my Bible now.

Roots of seeing Him work in the lives of friends through answered prayers.

 

And I think a smile stretches across His face when He looks upon me now, because He envisions the lovely bloom I’ll become.

I found God today in a lowly germanium sprig- because in so many ways it is just like me–struggling, but blessed because someone cared enough to save it.

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beef-steakWell… this program I have started calls it a lifestyle change – not a diet!  The first week, we were in a toxic-cleansing “jump start” stage, so we were limited to lean red meat, grapefruit, eggs and raw veggies. The third day I felt waves of vertigo and was very sluggish. But I kept at it and increased my water intake. It got a bit easier, then a bit harder. Temptations crept into my brain – would eating just a bit of this or that really hurt? The funny thing was this: during that week, I thought I would crave chocolate or bread. What I craved was string cheese.

So why should you care? God spoke to me during that week and perhaps what He said to me will be meaningful to you. I learned that some foods are not as tough to give up as I imagined they would be. The same is true for our habits. “But, God, I can’t give up watching that TV show I love, even if it does have more and more sex and foul language. ”  “Sure I will pray every day, but I still want to hang out at the weekly beer, cigars and poker game with the guys- okay?”  “God, I know I should keep the Sabbath, but it’s summer and the lake is calling me.” You get my drift.

When we go on a lifestyle eating change (see, I didn’t say diet.) we have to relearn what to eat and what not to eat. When we go on a spiritual lifestyle change, we must do the same. Everything we do, think and say must be weighed against the Word. As we do, God will detox us from what was poisoning our souls. The Blood of the Lamb will cleanse us. It may feel strange in the beginning, but that’s okay. Keep at it. Just understand that temptations will creep in. Count on it.

Hang in there – fall to your knees and ask for strength. Drink in more and more of the Living Water to help flush out what is not spiritually healthy for you.  The weight of the world will slowly slip from your shoulders, pound by pound.

By the way- in case you do care, I’ve lost  7.8 pounds that week, which, for this metabolism-of-a-snail gal, is a miracle in itself! Lord, help me to slough off the same toxicity in my spiritual life so I may be more fit to serve You!

But he [Jesus] said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about. Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”  John 4:32-34

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Plants were used in Jesus’ parables – fig trees, vines, mustard  seeds. Plants seemingly grow in God’s timing.

I bought an orchid at the grocery store – on clearance for $8.99. It only requires three ice cubes a week, so I feed it on Sunday when I come home from church. That way I usually remember to do that.

Its blooms lasted for months, then dropped off. For several more months I just had a green leafed plant, but soon a new little leaf emerged from the center, so I watched and waited. Then, one day, a little stick began to emerge. It grew, lengthened and then got bumps on it.  It bloomed again! I was told by several people that doesn’t always happen. Lo and behold, history repeated itself. It bloomed a third time the next year.

All I do is give it water on Sunday and make sure it has the right exposure of light. Each spring I watch in anticipation as it grows a long stick, then the little protrusions which burst into delicate white flowers for a season. I come home and stare at it doing it’s thing, growing.  It makes me smile. It is like watching a miracle unfold in slow motion over the weeks it takes for the stem to lengthen and bloom.

Does God do that with me? May I keep growing and blooming in my season for Him, being fed with the Living Water on Sundays and the Light of the World during the week.

A fellow writer for Power to Change, Kristi, wrote about how a dead stick in the dirt held a message for her. Click here –http://powertochange.com/blogposts/2012/10/13/from-the-inside-out/

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