Thursday, May 25, 2006
I hadn't realized how thirsty they were until today when I walked outside. When I first planted them a couple of months ago, I faithfully watered them every day or at least ever other day. Then it started raining a lot at night so there wasn't really a need to water every day. So I basically got out the habit of watering them daily. Today when I watered them, some of them almost instantly looked refreshed. The jury is still out on a few them! Hopefully I didn't deprive them to long.
As I watched the life almost instantly come back to some of the plants, I thought about my spiritual life and my thirst for God and His word. Several months ago I wrote about basically a severe drought in my spiritual walk. Even though we were going through some tremendous spiritual struggles, I became closer to God than I have ever been before. My study habits greatly improved and became a daily part of my life. Since that time, my walk with God is closer than ever. We have recently placed membership at Highland Oaks and have been tremendously blessed by being there. We really feel like it's where God wants us to be. And God is already using Jeremy is awesome ways there within the youth group. Almost every time we meet someone new, they have already heard about Jeremy and tell us what a blessing he is to the group. In April he did the Saturday night devotional talk at their spring retreat. I give God all the glory and pray that He will continue to use Jeremy in awesome ways for His kingdom.
But, seeing those plants withering today, got me to thinking. If I'm not careful, I'm going to begin to wither. As I said, things are amazing…right now. And isn't it when things are amazing that we sometimes forget why they are amazing and who it is that makes them amazing? When we are going through struggles, it is sometimes easier to keep your focus on God. It should be just as easy for us to stay focused on Him when things are going great too. Actually, it should be easier since we know that all good things come from God.
But the human side of us sometimes tends to put God on the back burner when things are going well. Satan wants us to forget that God is always there whether things are bad or going great. Satan wants us to forget that all good things come from God and to just think our luck is changing. If we don't drink from God's living water daily, we like those plants, will dry up and wither away. If those plants can come back to life so quickly with a small drink of water, just think of how alive in Christ we will be if we drink from His living water every day.
God made us to hunger and thirst after him. If we deprive our spiritual thirst, we will eventually wither away. No matter how good things seem to be going, that hunger and thirst is always there. God put it there. God wants us with Him no matter what the circumstances. Sometimes we don’t realize how thirsty we were until we get back into the word and can’t put it down. So as this hot summer presses in on us, I pray that we all will be quenched by God's living water and show Satan we are in full bloom!
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Psalm1:3 says, "He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all he does, he prospers.” I love the imagery of a tree planted by streams of water. I can envision the tree's roots stretching out and absorbing every ounce of water it can. As it soaks in that water, becoming stronger and stronger with every drink. I think of how beautiful that tree must be, flowing with long, strong green branches, perfect leaves and the most gorgeous fruit just dripping with sweetness. The image of that tree is so much more beautiful than thinking of a tree planted out in the middle of a desert with no water in sight that would just dry up into nothing and wither away.
How much more beautiful would our own lives be if we, like that tree, planted ourselves daily in the living water that God provides for us. How much stronger, vibrant and more alive would we be if we just sit back and soak up all that God is trying to offer us. The fruit we would produce would be incredible. We can be like that tree planted by streams of water if we just allow God to fill us each day with the living water He has to offer us. Marvin Phillips has often said, "Bloom where you're planted". How beautiful would our blooms be if we fed them with the living water of Jesus.
All of this reminds me of an even great image, the image of sitting at God's feet one day and be engulfed by those living streams of water first hand. I can't wait!
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Well, tonight was American Idol. Most of you know that I am a fanatic when it comes to American Idol. Almost as big a fanatic as I am about 24! But that's another story for another time. We became even bigger fanatics after Ashley and I were able to go to a live taping last season. For those who don't know, last May we got to fly to L.A. at the spur of the moment to watch the live taping of the final 5. Ashley even had some professors who let her reschedule a couple of finals so that she could go! It was fast and furious and the most exciting thing we've ever done!! After a very long day of waiting outside for 6 hours just to see IF we would even get in, and thinking up until the last moment that we didn't, we ended up on the front row right by the aisle where Simon, Paula and Randy walk in. We got to shake all of there hands and Ashley even got a kiss from Simon! It was an awesome day!! In case you missed all the hoopla last year, I'm attaching a link here where Ashley has the pictures we took. American Idol Pictures Link )
Back to tonight's AI. This year's talent seems to me to be overall much better than in the past. Last year Carrie and Bo were real standouts. This year it is anyone's game. And tonight was Elvis night! In my book Elvis is still the King. I thought they all did well over all. I wasn't fond of Elliott's first song, but the second song was great. I thought poor Katharine got a raw deal on her comments. I thought she did quite well on both songs. Chris was great! But I think Taylor stole the show. He has always reminded me of Elvis and tonight he was awesome! Taylor and Chris sang two of my favorite Elvis songs, "In the Ghetto and "A Little Less Conversation".
I'm not sure whose going home tomorrow night, (probably tonight by the time I get this done. I'm using a laptop and it stinks! The retarded cursor keeps jumping all over the page!!) but I think Chris and Taylor are going to the finals!
In the words of my daughter, they rock my sox off! I can't wait for the finale!
Have a great one! And as for me.... Go Taylor!!
Friday, May 05, 2006
I received this in an email from a dear friend. I felt like it was worth sharing .
Years ago a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic . They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops. As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals.
Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer. "Are you a good farmhand?" the farmer asked him. "Well, I can sleep when the wind blows," answered the little man. Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him. The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man's work.
Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand's sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, "Get up! A storm ! is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!" The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, "No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows."
Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down. Nothing could blow away.
The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew.
MORAL: When you're prepared, spiritually, mentally, and physically, you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life? The hired hand in the story was able to sleep because he had secured the farm against the storm. We, as believers in Christ, secure ourselves against the storms of life by grounding ourselves in the Word of God. We don't need to understand, we just need to hold His hand to have peace in the midst of the storms. I hope you sleep well! God cares about you...
May we all be so grounded in God’s Word, that we too “Can Sleep When the Wind Blows”.