Are You Drinking The Water of Life?

Sitting on our dining room table is a lovely plant of white daisies.

white daisies

We have had this lovely plant for almost a month and it has thrived at our house. However, last night I noticed the petals were drooping and looked withered. “I’ll have to water that tomorrow,” I said.

But, just to be safe, I got a glass of water and wet the dry soil. This morning I was greatly surprised – for that plant that was withering and dying was REVIVED! The flower petals that were drooping were now lovely once again, and once again it was a thing of beauty.

As I looked, I thought about the Water of Life. Many of God’s children who should be alive and vibrant in Jesus are dull and complaining about life. IN their spirit, they have wilted. There is no longer the Fragrance of Jesus. What is the remedy?

Just an outpouring of the Water of Life, which is Jesus, poured into that spirit, and that life will revive and look new again. We used to sing…”Let the Beauty of Jesus be seen in me…..” That’s a prayer I want to pray today.

(Gladys Johnson ~ April 8, 2006)

We are Salt

We have a little fish bowl that holds just one goldfish, but the water in that bowl becomes dirty and cloudy and must be changed often.

gettyimages.com

gettyimages.com

I was thinking about that one little fish, and my mind went to the ocean and all the myriad of fish that live in the oceans, and have lived there down through the centuries.

Yet, the water stays the same. Why?

Because it is salty, and salt purifies. No wonder Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.” (Matt. 5:13)

The world is an evil, dirty place, and our hearts are often burdened with the events we see on television….but we are the salt….we are here so that, in our small way, and in our corner of the world, we may be a force for good, and for God.

Fish are not found in stagnant waters. No life can live there.

The person in whom the Holy Spirit dwells by the New Birth is not translated out of this world, but remains here to be salt…a purifying element.

This was written by Gladys on 11/12/2006

The Powerful Ocean

I rented a surfboard for the day. It was an 8’6″ board. I am known as the California surfer girl by my squad, which I love. I paddled out and it was rough. There was no break in the waves. And the waves were strong. The rip current took me down the beach and I was struggling to get pass the break. After about 45 minutes of trying, I got out of the water and walked back down the beach to try again. I paddled out again, but this time I was even more determined than the last. I prayed, God please provide a break in the sets so I can get out there. And he did! As soon as the waves stopped crashing so intensely I paddle out past the break. I was so proud of myself! I had worked so hard to paddle out! A wave came. It was building up and I began to paddle to catch it. I got to the top and looked down and it was double overhead and I freaked myself out. It was huge! Another wave came and the same thing happened. These waves were huge and powerful. I decided to go in a little to try and catch the closer break, but when I tried to do that I got caught in the big break. I looked behind me and a huge wave was about to crash on me. I paddled towards it and dove under. The wave caught my board and I was pulled back and did summer salts underwater. I popped up just in time for another wave to crash on me. The same thing happened except this time the leash on my ankle came loose and my board went sailing to the shore.

I had worked so hard to get out and now there I was out in the ocean watching my board catch a wave to the shore. I was a little frustrated. I wanted to catch a wave and now I had to swim all the way in the get my board.

Meanwhile, on the beach Kristen, a girl on my team, saw my board come up on the beach and I was nowhere to be found. She started to worry and many thoughts ran through her mind as to what could have happened to me. After five minutes of me nowhere in sight, she ran over to the lifeguard tower and yelled for them to go look for me.

Back in the ocean, I was swimming along making my way back to the shore (it was tough because of the current) when I see a lifeguard coming straight for me. I started to laugh at myself and couldn’t believe a lifeguard was coming out to get me! He yelled for me and asked if I was ok. I told him I was ok, but that didn’t stop him from telling me to grab onto his floatation device and we would float and ride the waves in together. The waves came one after another and we would duck under wave after wave. He would say hold your breath on the count of 3 and then we would go under. I was caught in a rip current so he instructed to swim at an angle to the left. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I was laughing at myself. I was tried from battle the waves before and when the lifeguard got to me I decided why not take advantage of someone wanting to help me.

Back on the beach, Kristen had run up to Paul and David, 2 more people on my squad, with my board and without me. They began to panic and later I found out they thought I possibly hit my head on the board and I was floating out in the ocean somewhere. As I came into the beach with the lifeguard, Paul and David were running down the beach toward me and I had a big smile on my face! I was ok, but it was nice they were so concerned. I felt loved.

I asked the lifeguard his name and thanked him, and his response “Pura Vida.” Gotta love Costa Rica and gnarly waves.

 

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Life is like an ocean. It’s rough, beautiful, and unpredictable. You paddle out into the waves but only God is the one to help you get past the break. You cannot do it on your own. You can try and he will save you time and time again but He wants you to fully rely on him and pray, and trust he will guide you along and open up a path for you to go out into the deep ocean. However he will never leave you. And it is important to have friends along the beach supporting you, cheering you on, and looking for help when you need it. Never give up the fight. Life is hard, but it is so much easier with Jesus. Catch the waves with him. It’s an adrenaline rush and so much fun!

UGLY JUNK

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For eight months I was blessed to live in an apartment on one of the northernmost beaches of Massachusetts. I watched the Atlantic Ocean change every day. The heartbeat of the sea was sometimes calm with small waves lapping against the sand like a lake. Sometimes those waves were angry and frantic, especially during the epic storm named “Sandy.” Even the color of the sea changed from day to day depending on the sky of blue, grey, or spotted with white puffy clouds.

Although I was safe in my shelter watching those violent storms, I certainly recognized the power of the waves as they pounded the shore, and I was constantly thankful for God’s laws in commanding the waves to keep a boundary, lest they overtake the earth! (Job 38:8-11)

While walking along the beach after the most violent of storms, I was disgusted at the “garbage” that was regurgitated from the turbulent sea. It is one thing to know that we, as humans, have violated our oceans with waste, but also to realize some of the items “thrown up” were from shipwrecks where lives were lost.

On that day of seeing and smelling “garbage” I also found beautiful pieces of sea glass, tossed to smooth perfection.

What a contrast, I thought, and so like our lives.

In our life experiences we suppress years of “ugly junk” deep in our innermost being. When the ”junk” is stirred up it comes out in anger, sadness and depression. Like those one time broken pieces of glass, jagged and ugly, we are confronted with the sharp edges of our lives. We can either push the sharp edges back down until the pain becomes unbearable, or we can allow Almighty God to gently toss and tumble the hurts until those experiences are formed into something beautiful. It may take many years, but the process is a release of control…yes, an absolute giving up of those hurts to the Master to knock off the sharp, rough edges and form a one-of-a-kind, beautiful person, who is an example of trust and faith in God.

The sea glass was once a bottle, dish, or maybe a sugar bowl that was useful, but now it is a broken shard that has been refined into a beautiful, colorful, smooth piece that can be made into elegant jewelry or some other art form that pleases the eye!

Dear Lord, help us to allow your clean up of the “ugly junk” in our lives and give it over to you to make something lastingly beautiful and useful out of our brokenness. We want to be beautiful on the inside as well as outside so that others will see Your beauty shining through us. Thank you, Lord, that you care enough to take us through the storms of life. Amen.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”

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Are You Drinking the Water of Life?

white daisies

Sitting on our dining room table is a lovely plant of white daisies. We have had this lovely plant for almost a month and it has thrived at our house. However, last night I noticed the petals were drooping and looked withered.

“I’ll have to water that tomorrow,” I said. But, just to be safe, I got a glass of water and wet the dry soil.

This morning I was greatly surprised – for that plant that was withering and dying was REVIVED! The flower petals that were drooping were now lovely once again, and once again it was a thing of beauty. As I looked, I thought about the Water of Life. Many of God’s children who should be alive and vibrant in Jesus are dull and complaining about life. IN their spirit, they have wilted. There is no longer the Fragrance of Jesus.

What is the remedy?

Just an outpouring of the Water of Life, which is Jesus, poured into that spirit, and that life will revive and look new again.

We used to sing…”Let the Beauty of Jesus be seen in me…..” That’s a prayer I want to pray today.

(Gladys Johnson ~ April 8, 2006)