Love Like This

Photo by Ksusha Semakina on Pexels.com

Do you know Jesus loves you? I mean really Loves you. He wants to know you in a relationship. Do you want to know a love like this? It is a step of faith with Him. It is a life-changing experience. He wants to know You!!

In John 4, there’s a story of a woman who had a hard life, had many lovers, Jesus met her at a well. She was seen as less than, yet Jesus loved her. Jesus wanted her to know He came to save her from her sins of the past and He would be water for her thirst. Unquenchable thirst refreshed by the amazing Jesus, the Water of Life.

John 4: 10 – 15

10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”

13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”

These are not just words, they are life-giving. It does not matter where you have been women or men. Jesus waits for you to call out to Him, He loves you!!!

Love Like this, a beautiful song by Lauren Daigle came onto my playlist yesterday. It has been a while since I heard this song, powerful lyrics bring hope and a reminder that the love of Jesus! He is the living water in a wasteland. Jesus is a warm morning sunrise after a dark, lonely night.

We may not feel we deserve a love like this but Jesus says we are His! Seek to know Him! Let the whisper of His voice fill your mind with hope. Enjoy basking in Him.

We cannot earn a love like Jesus gives, it is a free gift. Isn’t that amazing?

In the Bible, Chapter 14 of John tells us about a conversation between Jesus and doubting Thomas along with the disciples. I share this chapter to show you Jesus understands our human doubt. He loves us anyway!

John 14: 1 – 14 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”

“No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is.[c] From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”

Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. 11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.

12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!

Jesus told his disciples after he briefly returned from death on the cross, He would send an advocate (the Holy Spirit) to guide them.

Matthew 14: 15 – 21 shares what Jesus said to his best friends, the disciples. We are not alone after we accept Jesus as our Savior, we also have an Advocate (the Holy Spirit) along with Jesus who intercedes for us before God the Father.

Jesus said 15 “If you love me, obey my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. 18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. 19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. 20 When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”

The Living Water of Jesus is for everyone. We are all sinners who fall short of perfection. Yet Jesus died a sinner’s death on the cross. He rose from the dead and shared the news of the Holy Spirit with his disciples. who in turn shared the story in the Bible.

Did you know Bible Gateway ( BibleGateway.com ) has a website that you can access online for the Bible? I use the New Living translation or the Message versions because I feel they are easier to understand.

The Bible is the most read book of all time according to Business insider, and the best selling book of all time according to Guiness Book of World records. Consider a new year as an opportunity to access the Bible for yourselves.

We can start a new year with a new life in Jesus. We can accept this free gift of love. He gives us a beautiful love like this, reach for it today!

John 3:16-17 NLT
[16] “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. [17] God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

Our Children

Amy Carmichael was a 19th century missionary from Ireland. Amy opened an orphanage at the age of 28. At this time, women were not on the mission field alone. She loved children and sacrificed her life by serving India’s children. She felt the call of God and left her home of comfort to make a difference.

God delights to meet the faith of one who looks up to Him and says, “Lord, You know that I cannot do this–but I believe that you can!” -Amy Carmichael

Modern day parenting is a challenge, however, Amy was a single woman and God used her in a mighty way. Her quote showed what can happen when you trust God, we are called to speak truth and share our faith in Jesus with our own children. We are called to trust God with the unknown. God calls parents to teach their children His ways. They must love God with all their heart, soul, and strength. They must see these actions in you. Our actions speak louder than words.

Deuteronomy 6: 5 -7 
5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.

7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.

We are called to share the Word of God, found in the Bible, it is wisdom for life. It is our most important responsibility to our child as their parent. I love Proverbs 4, the entire chapter is filled with instructions for parents. We must teach our children to guard their hearts, it is the wellspring of their life. It is the place where purpose flows.

Proverbs 4 :20 -23 
My child, pay attention to what I say.
 Listen carefully to my words.
21 Don’t lose sight of them.
 Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
22 for they bring life to those who find them,
 and healing to their whole body.

23 Guard your heart above all else,
 for it determines the course of your life.

For over 10 years, I felt called to speak about injury prevention, alcohol, drugs, preventable occurrences as a trauma nurse. I cared for many traumatic injuries that were preventable from motor vehicle crashes, motorcycle crashes, alcohol and drug overdoses, etc. I became a public speaker on behalf of other emergency department and trauma nurses. I shared real stories with other people’s children from middle school through high school. My key focus was to tell them that their lives are filled with purpose and God has plans!

God gives each one of us, created in the Image of God, a specific purpose. It is our job, as we live on this planet, to seek to understand who our Creator God called us to be. Our gifts can be hidden as we move day to day, or our gifts can be something that shined since we were young. Either way, there is a great calling on our life. Our choices can detour the end result, but life is not a straight path.

We can have pauses and starts, challenges can give us the opportunity to turn back to God if we have left the path with Jesus. Challenges can give us an opportunity to humble ourselves return to Jesus and choose a better course in the future. We have a God (Jesus, His Son) who walked this planet. He understands our human condition of emotions, impulses and pain. Matthew 4 describes Jesus being tempted by the devil in the desert multiple times. Jesus stood firm with the Word of God. Consider checking on this amazing chapter of scripture.

Jesus took on all our sins, because He loves us that much. If we did not have a loving father on earth it can be hard to believe this truth. Jesus died a sinners death by taking on all the sins of the world for love. He gives us mercy and grace, and cheers us on as we do over our life connected to Him.

John 3:16   “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[g] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I heard this beautiful song today at a meeting, “For Our Children, words by Amy Carmichael and Charlotte Ryerson. God calls parents to pray and praise Him. Use this song as a love note for your children to Jesus, I share the lyrics here:

For Our Children (Words by Amy Carmichael and Charlotte Ryerson, music by Charlotte Ryerson)

Father, hear us, we are praying,
Hear the words our hearts are saying,
We are praying for our children.

Keep them from the powers of evil,
From the secret, hidden peril,
Father, hear us for our children.

From the whirlpool that would suck them,
From the treacherous quicksand, pluck them.
Father, hear us for our children.

From the worldling’s hollow gladness,
From the sting of faithless sadness,
Holy Father, save our children.

Through life’s troubled waters steer them,
Through life’s bitter battle cheer them,
Father, Father, be thou near them.

Read the language of our longing,
Read the wordless pleadings thronging.
Holy Father for our children,
And where’er they may abide,
Lead them home at eventide.

We come boldly to Thy Throne,
all our hope in Thee alone
Let them see Thy cross and come,
let them glorify Thy Son
in Jesus’name amen 

©Charlotte Ryerson 2014
Amy Carmichael’s 19th century prayer for the children of the Dohnavur Fellowship in India.

In this time of crazy cultural strife, we need to lift up our children to the throne room of God. We can praise the Lord as we lay our children in His strong, scar-filled hands. He loves them even more than we do, after all He created them.

He has a purpose for their lives. If we, as parents or adult family, can release our grip on their hands, then maybe they will be able to reach for the hand of Jesus.

Jesus has transforming power. He can bring hope in a storm. He can heal all the wounds whether spiritual, psychological and even physical. He is the Ultimate Healer.

Let go and let God! Father God, help our children to achieve the purposes that you call them to become.

And for those who do not have children in a biological or adopted way just yet, I totally understand. I was infertile for ten years before I was blessed through adoption.

God calls you to pray for His children. His children are in your community, at the grocery store, the coffee shop and as you walk down a street.

Get to work and pray for His people. May God richly bless your day!!

The 3 R’s

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Reflect, Repent, Refresh: the 3 Rs keep flowing through my mind. There is always a work to be done daily. We are works in progress. The Refiner of our lives is burning off the dross.

When I was in high school, I was so glad to go to a technical trade school. Along with my core classes, I was required to take drafting, architectural drafting, electric, wood, machine shop and foundry. These classes shaped me in more ways than I realized.

Foundry was fascinating. We were able to design projects of the school mascot or logos. As we tapped away at the oiled sand to tighten the molds, we worked out more than the standard teen energy and hormones. We were creating something unique. Our teacher was an eccentric type, who occasionally wore roller skates in the school not the shop. It was a huge school the size of a city college. Crazy, huh?

One day, I was chosen to help stoke the fires to melt the silver colored metal. The heat was intense, the flames danced as we added more metal. The next step was to help pour the now, molten metal into the students molds. The kiln was super heavy giving off intense heat.

As the melted metal poured, the steam rose, the room became heated, and all students were quiet. The silver metal glistened and floating along the surface was a darkened substance, this is the dross.

Life is like the process of melting metal. We are tapped into a mold of some sort, our genetics and environment play key roles. The daily walk can bring up the heat, as if a stoked fire. The elements can be dynamics of our family of origin, our life experience, our joys and our trials, things in our control and not. A challenge causes some days to be superheated.

We can let the steam of anger and disappointment flow off our minds as we mediate on the knowledge that God is with us and seek His wisdom moment to moment. Or we can let the steam build to a volcano of impulsive fury and damage relationships.

When we learn to use our voice to express needs, find healthy relationships, believe we are deserving of a blessed life and look to the future with purpose not dread, we are allowing the best in our lives to be used in the mold. We dump the dross of hurts, trust God and seek like minded people, so we can grow into a glistening Light for the world. A reflection of Jesus is in each of us!!

When we don’t learn the healthier coping techniques, we feel stuck and immovable like a chunk of dross blocking the metals flow. Some people become codependent, concern for others opinion over the Lord. Yes, I have chosen poorly at times!!

Sometimes the trials can refine our lives. It allows us to reflect on choices; good and poor, and turn back to allow God, the Refiner to remove our imperfections.

According to Merrimam Webster’s Dictionary, repent means to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to amend one’s life, to regret, change one’s mind.

Romans 12: 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

We can reflect, ask the Lord to help us reframe, repent and renew our mind. When we align with His wisdom, we are allowing His renewal of our mind. It takes work, but remember we are works in progress.

Ephesians 2 :10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Reflect on this: He wants to guide, bless your life. We must drop the wheel as Carrie Underwood sang about in her song, “Jesus, take the wheel”. We have to stop pride, and wanting control and let Him guide. Will you?

What does it mean to refresh? The Merrimam Webster dictionary defines refresh as to restore strength, to revive, to repair. It’s okay to bend our knee to the Savior.

Matthew 11 :28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Are you ready for refreshment? Are you open to repair? It’s a scary proposition. But do you want to see a different future? Then take a risk. The Savior, Jesus extends His hand. Choose to have a life of righteousness.

Matthew 7 :7 - 8   Jesus said, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

May you glisten in the Light of the Savior, repent, reflect, refreshed and made new.

I just had to add this awesome song by Crowder, “In the House”, get up and praise or keep the beat. Amen!!!

Salmon Endurance

Do you ever feel like a salmon swimming against the river current? You are in the living water, it provides a vehicle to allow your movement to a different place. Yet the boulders and tree branches that are scattered in the river provide the potential for detours, fits and stops.

You are using all your energy to stay in motion. Your body burns the calories, especially if your favorite stress reliever chocolate. Yum!! Yet the sugar in chocolate is still not enough to keep you moving.

If you remember your Biology class, once your simple sugars ( carbohydrates) are drained, your blood sugar drops and your body seeks another source of energy, such as fats and proteins. If you are endowed with an extra muffin top in your midsection, it may be a good thing to feel that fat waste away. If you are not endowed with extra insulating fat, your muscles can loose the protein energy and as a result, you tire and muscle can waste away. No Bueno!!!

Its the building blocks of proteins such as meats, nuts and such that provide the best energy source. You see, those food products can be used and last longer than carbs.

We need energy to endure in life. We must seek approval of God over man to endure. We must swim with endurance the river journey of faith.

Galatians 1:10 NLT
Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

❤️

The time we spend getting to know Jesus and filling up on His Word is like the protein stores. There are more energy bursts to grab from as you work through your day.

If you add additional stress, trials, illness, or trauma, you are drained like a salmon swimming upstream. One obstacle after another works against you.

You must dig deep into the words from scripture that can pop into your mind. This will only happen if you have been mediating on God’s wisdom. It can come to the surface of your mind energizing you and providing a place to turn to God over the river currents.

Philippians 1:6 NLT. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Sun and Shield

Photo by Sachin C Nair on Pexels.com

Psalm 84:11 NLT
For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.

Are you feeling unsettled? Are you wondering if there is a God? Are you wondering if He hears your prayers, moments of despair, or your requests? We all have days, maybe weeks or years of questioning? Does He see me?

Sometimes our requests are answered quickly, sometimes it feels like silence and no answers and sometimes it’s “my child, I love you and wait”!

I am learning God can be working behind the scenes and in my hurry to a conclusion I am sooooo impatient. Isn’t self control a fruit of the Spirit? Galatians 5 is a gold mine of instruction.

Galatians 5:22-26 NLT
[22] But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! [24] Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. [25] Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. [26] Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

If you aren’t feeling God answering your prayers, maybe what you think is for you is not a good thing.

He would never withold His best from you. Maybe His timing is not now or ever. He can be trusted. Remember He knows the number of your days and holds you in the palm of His hand.

Psalm 139:16-18 NLT
[16] You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. [17] How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! [18] I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!

Isaiah 49:15-16 NLT
[15] “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! [16] See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins.

I have been feeling the need for the Word of God intensify. His words are nuggets of gold. They are not just words on a page but wisdom from above. It doesn’t matter if you were born in times past or present.

I used to think the Bible was filled with stories unrelateable but the more I read and meditate on His Word, the more I see our human nature doesn’t change very much over generations. Sadly, we are a mess without our Savior.

The human race tends toward its own sin nature: selfishness, wanting our own way, pride, jealousy, survival of the fittest, and me me me. I see these traits in myself and I cringe.

This mindset causes conflict leading to unrest, leading to fear, anxiety, depression and maybe war.

Look at the state of our world, our state, our community, maybe even our homes at times. We can be the bearer of unrest and conflict or choose,instead, to be a person who speaks life, pauses to bring words of affirmation, sprinkled with discipline in love, forgiveness and prayer over destructive communication.

It always boils down to choice. I choose peace not victimhood. Love in truth over fear and avoidance.

When I have spoken in fear or anger, I am learning to repent and turn back to Gods ways. It isn’t easy to break habits but it must be done. I must cast aside sins to break generational cycles.

Cast all cares upon Him for He cares for you. 1 Peter 4

What about you? Be the voice in the wilderness filtering your speech after mediating on the word of God. His love is unfailing, He is our strength.

Psalm 117: 1 – 2 1 Praise the Lord, all you nations. Praise him, all you people of the earth. 2 For his unfailing love for us is powerful; the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever. Praise the Lord!

Road less traveled

Jeep travels by Mary Mesikapp
Psalm 25: 4 - 10   

4 Show me the right path, 
O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.  

5 Lead me by your truth and teach me,
    for you are the God who saves me.
    All day long I put my hope in you.
6 Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,
    which you have shown from long ages past.
7 Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
    Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
    for you are merciful, O Lord.

8 The Lord is good and does what is right;
    he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
9 He leads the humble in doing right,
    teaching them his way.
10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
    all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.

Occasionally, our family travels into the mountains on 4 x 4 Jeep trails. This time in nature reminds me to consider the road less travelled. My husband drives as I navigate with suggestions over the huge boulders, rolling rocks, and tree stumps. Water passages can be tricky especially when you never know how deep they may be. Our youngest hangs on for dear life as the jeep lurches, slides, and is temporarily at an odd angle to the mountain. Our brains are scrambled somewhat by the bumps on the trails yet our brain clears with joy when we reach our destination.

Traveling on Jeep 4 x4 trails takes trust, wisdom and a drive for adventure, much like life’s journey. Trust in the driver and the jeeps solid maintenance is necessity. On jeep trails and in life, there can be opportunities to avoid obstacles.

I can be an avoider, how about you? Yet the more time spent in the Bible teaches me to believe the obstacles may be used by God to deepen my faith.

The Lord is good. He does want to show us the path to follow. We have to let Him provide us with wisdom, which means we must drop our need to control and our pride.

We must be open to redirection, like navigating boulders. We have to take time to read His Word, it is an action step for our benefit.

We must discern who our tribe will be. Who is the leader? Who is the follower? We have to seek accountability from the right people who want us to be examples of integrity and character. There will always be people bent on our destruction. We must choose wisely who we believe.

The Lord is faithful and He is love. He is the Ultimate Best Friend and Wisdom Giver. Let Him be your navigator. He is the Compass directing you to the best things.

Thirsty

Let the Living water of God fill the empty places and bring refreshment. Are you parched in the weary state of the world or in your private life?

Let the Lord quench your thirst. I love this song by Shane and Shane. Living Water flow through Jesus and fill your life.

https://youtu.be/DlnAREAjTfU

Psalm 107:9 NLT
[9] For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

God bless you today.

Sisterhood (Brothers too.)

Lessons from the Clucky Ladies are many. This photo taken by my youngest is such a beautiful picture of the Sisterhood ( Brotherhood :)) of Christ. Let me paint a clearer image for you nonchicken people stacked chickens in a laying box is not the norm :).

Chickens need their separate space in the chicken coop to lay eggs. Generally speaking, each chicken needs time to release their egg in the laying boxes. There are 5 separate spots for our ladies. As they prepare to lay their eggs, they have a pensive face, quiet and determined. As they are laying, they usually sing a song. Or at least that is what it sounds like. I would guess it is a feeling of accomplishment.

One of the chickens is brooding for the past few weeks, this potential mom to be sits on her egg and her sisters eggs all day hopeful for a chick to be her reward. She is steadfast in this behavior and day by day we are needing to provide extra tender loving care by providing water, and snacks to keep her alive. We have no rooster, therefore, this want for a baby chick will never be filled.

The brooding chicken clucks in a loud noise as we remove eggs gently from underneath. She has been loved by our daughter and myself, held as a little chick and thus is not mean. She runs off to eat after we remove her egg.

We have watched her red comb, the object on her head and below her chin, shrivel. I have learned that the comb is very vascular, meaning it carries blood supply to the body, it provides cooling for body temperature. A healthy comb is vibrant red and thick in size, as you can see in the photo of the other chickens.

This beautiful snapshot our “Cluckly Ladies” reflects our need to surround friends and family with support. It can be just a word of encouragement, a phone call just because you feel prompted ( maybe by God), or dropping a text or funny meme. It can be lifting up a prayer right away. There is nothing better than hearing someone pray for your needs. Its love in action. You will be amazed when you step out of the box and bless another.

Matthew 23:37 tells us the Lord wants to gather his children as a hen protects her chicks. What love is this, He is protector and wants us to love others. We have to be open to spreading love to others. It can be scary but so amazing.

The Sisters (Brothers) in your life, biological or otherwise need to hear from you. It may just be what the Great Physician ordered.

Relate

I can relate to this new song from For King and Country, so relevant, enjoy!!

You are not alone, you are a treasure.

2 Corinthians 4:6-7 NLT
[6] For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. [7] We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

Driftwood and Criticism

Criticism is not fun even if it is constructive. I consider criticism a statement of failure and condemnation, being judged unfairly and not measuring up to someone’s standard. It kept me angry. Synonyms for criticism vary from censure to review, assessment to appraisal. There can be negative or positive results.

Can there be rewards for constructive criticism? Should I be open to grow and be transformed into a better version of myself while I am feeling chipped away? Is there any truth to the criticism? Is this a healthy relationship?

I pondered, should I allow myself to be whittled like a dry tree branch? I have always been fascinated by people who can take a piece of driftwood or an old part of a tree and create something one of a kind, beautiful. They are able to see the beauty underneath the surface. Think about it, our God sees us the same way!!!

Photo by Kathryn Archibald on Pexels.com

On the outside the scrap driftwood appears to be dry and useless as it holds no life. It has been broken away from the main tree trunk. There are no longer pathways of sap to provide sustenance and energy. Maybe it has been floating in a river or ocean quite a while becoming further withered.

Do you ever feel like driftwood? Floating along, perhaps feeling alone, lost, distracted? The Master Craftsman could be waiting for you to float onto the shore and be ready for new things. If we ponder, the tools needed for this transformation we may use: Stillness with God, the Bible and humbly allow the cutting away of sin, forgiving ourselves, repenting and asking God for a new beginning. We must choose to let him carve away the dry.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

A wood carvers tools of the trade may be straight chisel, wood carving gouge or whittling knives each serving a specific purpose. A knife cuts away at the unnecessary layers of dead wood. It digs away layers slowly from the outside in. Could that be a chronic sin such as telling little white lies so we don’t hurt someone’s feelings instead of being truthful?

Proverbs 27 :5  An open rebuke is better than hidden love!

The gouge may allow the craftsman to gather the dry parts quicker, yet with care and patience the carver is hopeful not to gather too quickly. The gouge may be the deep consequence of returning to angry outbursts instead of listening intentionally.

Proverbs 15:1  A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.

The chisel removes debris closer to the surface. It’s a skimmer of sorts. Perhaps an example of this in humans may be, the gentle rebuke from a parent, ” Hey, do you want to try that response again? Deep breath and we can talk more.” or ” Forgive me!”


Proverbs 26 :28 A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.

Corrie ten Boom was such a humble example of Christ, she gained more self-control as she was in the trial. Her quotes from her time in a concentration camp are found on the internet and in her book, “The Hiding Place,” a biography from World War 2. She witnessed the oppression of Jewish community including her friends. She, along with her family, chose not to stick with the status quo and many lives were saved by not turning a blind eye to the atrocities on their fellow country man.

The world is better for women such as Corrie and their example of putting to practice the words of scripture. I do not know if I could have forgiven those who committed evil. I would pray that I would choose the wisdom of God were I in her shoes.

One of my favorite quotations from Corrie ten Boom: Our critics are the unpaid guardians of our souls. 

What a timeless quote for daily mediation. I think honest critical comments can help us grow into who the Lord already knows we can become. There is a difference between constructive, loving communication and criticism that is meant to devour another person. Loving communication must start with words of affirmation, truth and love.

James 3: 2   Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.



James3:6 And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.

The enemy wants us to switch gears in our minds and use our tongues to sear in fire those created in the image of God.

We must seek truth in Christ, be bold in speech and allow Him to grow our faith and bless our lives.

Ephesians 4:15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ.     

I need to allow the dry places in my soul to be touched and sharpened by those who can help me grow. However, I am not open to be devoured by another whose intention is destruction. I pray for discernment of the Holy Spirit.

Choose wisely who we trust with wisdom. God first, of course, then friends who want to reflect Him to the world, like Corrie. May be the unpaid guardians of our soul need to be given thanks. Let God, the Master Craftsman, cut away the dry places and bring out the beauty just as driftwood!

Proverbs 27 :17   As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.