Saturday, June 18, 2011

Irrigation...

Okay, so it's supposed to be a "Sunday" morning stroll, but since I'm in church on Sundays, I changed the day slightly.

I love days when just going outside makes you want to praise the Lord. The sun is shining, birds are singing, a slight breeze is blowing, and the smell of spring is in the air. (I know it's June, but it feels like spring.)

As I walked down this dirt road, I felt quite at home; in the country, hearing tractors and seeing old buildings. But then I heard a sound I'm not accustomed to- the sound of water.

Water is perhaps the most necessary element of life. For these farmers, it makes the difference between a great crop and a crummy one. Usually, we cannot count on rain in this part of the country, so the farmers here in Sidney have come up with a back-up plan. They irrigate the water from it's source, the Yellowstone River, to their fields.

As I pondered this, I remembered that Jesus is the Living Water. (John 4) He is the Source of Abundant and Everlasting Life. Yet there are many people in the world who are far from the Source, and cannot rely upon earthly resources. They are dying in lack of God's Word. The only way to get the Living Water to them is to "irrigate." -To send Christians out, into the field. To literally bridge the gap and take the Word of God to the lost people of the world.

The world is the field, dying in sin.
They need Living Water, to revive them again.
No rain from above, a dry desert land;
Not a farmer around, to lend them a hand.

The river is Jesus, with vict'ry o'er sin.
The Water is cleansing without and within.
Abundant to all, but no one will share.
No way to carry to the fields over there.

O Christian, you're the link from the river to the field.
You're the irrigation ditch to show the world He's real.
Will you take the gospel all throughout the land?
Will you be a farmer, and lend a helping hand?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

SMILE!!!

One thing the Lord has given me since I asked Him to save me was an everlasting smile. No matter what is going on, often even if I'm deathly ill, God has a smile on my face. I don't take credit for it at all. (It can be quite annoying to some people- including me.) It is very difficult for me to put on a straight face at a funeral- I'm not even kidding! But, the reason God gave me a smile is easy to see. (And believe me, it's not because I deserve it or even because I'm overly optimistic.)
Going for a walk, I run into a lot of people, to whom I give a polite hello and a wide smile. In the grocery store, I greet the people in the isle as I pass, and thank the cashier for her help. Yes, it is the same smile that attracts children like a magnet attracts metal. They randomly walk up to me and say "What's your name?"
Though I don't always feel cheerful and find a smile quite an annoying habit, God has given me the most amazing witnessing tool. Some folks just have to ask, "okay, tell me the secret. How can you always be so... happy?" It is then such a joy to share the beauty of Christ with them.
Just in case you forgot, Jesus loves you! If you ask Him, He'll give you a present abundant life and an eternal victorious life. SMILE!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Purity's Keys

During Junior Church today, one of the boys opened up about his struggle to stay pure and think pure thoughts with girls. For a moment, the guys teased each other about different girls, and then, asking God for wisdom, I seized the opportunity.

"Do you know that Miss Barbara (me) is twenty-one and has never been on a date?"

With a shocked expression on their face, the boys answered "Woah! Really?"

So I continued. "How do you think that makes me feel? Do you think I feel a little rejected and out of sinc?" The boys were thinking, so I continued. "Is God pleased? Yes! He is! I may not understand, and the suffering may be a challenge, but IT WILL BE WORTH IT!" Then, I redirected it to them.

"Someday, you are going to meet a girl that is out of this world, and when you stand at the wedding altar, you can say to her 'honey, you're the fifteenth girl I've kissed.' She will be hurt, and may ask you, 'so I was the last best piece of trash you could pick up?'"

I could tell God was working on hearts, so I kept going.

"Boys, it may be tough to have to be the only boy in 3rd grade without a girlfriend. You may feel rejected and a bit strange, but God will bless. That way, when you get to the wedding altar, you can tell your girl 'honey, you are the first girl I've ever found sweet enough to kiss.' Do you think she will feel treasured and honored?"

Nodding, the boys began to look at each other. "I'm going to wait."

"That's right guys!" I answered. "God will bless if you give Him the keys and ask Him keep you pure."

Pondering Freedom

Junior Church is so exciting at times! Today, I gave the boys strips of paper to write sins/temptations that held them in bondage. As they wrote, I attached the slips of paper to make a chain. It was very easy for them to see that even little things added up to make a BIG problem. Why does sin bind us so tightly? After all, aren't we "free" to do however we see fit? We have rights and privileges to do whatever we want. Why then, does it tie us up so? How does giving up our own pleasures and going the "straight and narrow" help us?

The answer is in the principle of Freedom. Freedom enjoys the desire and the power to do what is right rather than claiming the privilege to do what we want. Let's look at this a little at a time:
1) Freedom enjoys, or gives true joy. Joy is spontaneous enthusiasm in the spirit that results from being in fellowship with the Lord. The first step of course, is to know Christ as your personal Savior, but fellowship comes by communicating with Him and living according to His Word.
2) Desire is appetite. If you feed a child sweets all the time, they will not want to eat their vegetables. However, if you feed them only fresh fruits and vegetables, sweets will make them sick. Appetite works the same way in the spiritual world. The more time you spend with the Lord, reading His Word, talking with Him, and fellowshipping with other Believers, the more you will desire the Lord.
3) Power is "dunamis." That is the Biblical, Greek word for power from which we derive the word "dynamite." The pressures of the world are heavy. Popularity and favor have strong lures. Promises of wealth are very appealing. But to those who are seeking His way, God promises a dynamic power to do what is right, also known as grace. No, the right thing is not going to be easy, but the rewards far exceed any earthly thrills gained from indulgence on earth.
4) Do what is right. In today's world, right is relative. However, God says He will judge all by His rules (the Bible). When you and I stand before the throne of God, there will be no room for excuses, no place for the blame game. Just our ugly sin next to the holiness of God. Do what is right according to the Bible.
5) Rather than claiming privileges... The courts today are full of law suits of people demanding others to acknowledge their way. The more "rights" people claim, the less freedom they truly have. It is ironic that when everyone grasps at everything for themselves, no one gets anything. All they end up with is shredded papers and hurt feelings.

As the boys pondered this concept, they got all excited about trying it out. Each one admitted "I need this." Isn't it amazing how powerful God's principles are?