Today I asked the Lord to let me see “gems” of blessings sprinkled among the hours and tasks of my day. He did.
First, I prayed something unusual for me: since I planned to wash clothes, I asked that the washer and dryer would work. I don’t think I’ve ever prayed for that before. Just as the washer finished the second load of clothes, I noticed a narrow trickle of water coming from underneath the washer and heading for the kitchen. Then I saw the floor under the laundry tub was wet. At first, I thought, Wait aminute, I prayed that the washer would work, and it’s leaking! Then the “gem” of a blessing came to me: at least the water didn’t gush out; it was trickling out; it wasn’t a major disaster. Also: I had only one more load to do. Obviously, I wouldn’t be doing it today, but most of the clothes were done.
Secondly, we have a neighbor who has a trucking business. His tractor-trailer truck is LOUD. He lives a little farther up the road, probably about a quarter-of-a-mile away, and when he starts his diesel up, particularly at 3:30 am, I can hear the vibrations from the engine through our floor. I don’t sleep well anyway, and his truck doesn’t help matters. I admit to having not-nice thoughts about our neighbor. Today, while I was outside, my neighbor drove up the hill in his truck. I said, “Oh, that truck is SO loud! SO loud!” Then the thought (and the second gem) occurred to me: pray that God blesses him with a new truck that’s not so noisy!! Of course, that’s what I can do!
The third gem is good news from my mother’s doctor regarding the echocardiogram she had last week: her heart is working normally for her age. After the health issues she’s had in the past few months, and the anxiety I felt concerning the way she acted, this is very good news. It’s certainly in the blessing category.
I expect to be asking God more often to show me “gems” of blessing amidst my tasks and responsibilities for my days.
“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” Who remembers or has heard that song by Marvin Gaye “Ain’t no mountain high enough (to keep me from getting to you)”?
The singer declares his utter devotion, making a vow that nothing; no mountain, valley, river or storm will stop him from getting to the one he loves in her hour of need, he sings the heartfelt words “remember the day I set you free? -I told you, you could always count on me” and also “if you’re ever in trouble I’ll be there.” And all the one he loves has to do is ….call him.
A Constant Friend Isn’t that lovely? Doesn’t it make you go all warm and mushy inside? Honestly, did that song cause you to think, even for a moment, that you wished you had a friend who would, and could literally move…
On this Lord’s Day I am happy to present the second submission from our sister Beth Alisan; another beautiful and very effective doggy devotional, which I am sure will be a blessing to you today. I would highly recommend subscribing to Beth’s devotional blog Lessons From A Lab , which has been a huge blessing in my own spiritual walk.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you have a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
One of my memories of our Brittany Spaniel is of the burrs that would entangle themselves in her coat after a hunt with my father and brothers. Eventually, one of us would need to sit down and painstakingly work these burrs out of her long red and white fur.
The first time Adi emerged from a patch of tall grass with burrs adorning her coat I…
For the past four years, Adi and I maintained a certain morning routine. We got up, ate, then settled on the chair near the front window. While Adi enjoyed a post breakfast snooze, I enjoyed an hour of quiet time with the Lord. That time was a balance of devotional reading, Bible reading, and journaling. By the time I had finished my cup of coffee, I could hear my husband getting up and ready for work, which meant it was soon time to wake the kids before clipping a leash on Adi’s collar and heading out for our morning walk.
This morning routine was interrupted when our puppy Summer arrived. She had no interest in settling down after breakfast. Who could blame her? With a good night’s sleep and a belly full of food, she was ready for a round of puppy play. So, Adi and I obliged.
Sometimes strange things happen in life for reasons even we can figure out. I’ve asked Tracy DeMarse (yes my daughter) to be a guest blogger. You will enjoy this and please make comments below.
By Tracy DeMarse
Do you ever look back and notice crazy threads that somehow seem to keep showing up in your life? Like knowing a different couple named “Mike and Julie” in all five cities you’ve lived in so far? Or no matter how many job changes you have you always seem to have a boss named “Mitch”? For me it usually involves “Green River.”
The first Green River was a small town in Utah. Wikipedia tells me its population…
. . . a crown of beauty instead of ashes . . . –Isaiah 61:3 NIV
At 8:32 a.m. on May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted in a violent blast that blew out the north side of the mountain. Everything within eight miles—man, beast, and vegetation—met with instant death and destruction. Shock waves leveled everything within their path, including centuries-old trees, for another 19 miles. Beyond that, the trees that remained were nothing more than standing matchsticks, seared of leaves and life.
Fifty-seven people lost their lives in what was the most destructive volcanic eruption in U.S. history. Miles of roads and railroad tracks were destroyed. Ash spewed 12 miles high, then mushroomed out, eventually dumping an estimated 500 million tons in 11 states and five Canadian provinces.
The blast, and the accompanying earthquake, altered the landscape and forever changed the ecosystem.
In Christianity, tithing, praying, reading, memorizing, and meditating on Scripture are known as spiritual disciplines. They are means to an end; the end is a closer relationship with the Lord. However, an ever-present danger is that without the end always being kept in view, and without a generous amount of humility, pride comes in. Pride which says, (for example) “I tithed X amount of dollars last year; I’m more spiritual than you.” This is the pride of the Pharisees whom Jesus criticized in blunt language.
As I considered this, I thought, What about these spiritual disciplines:
Forgiveness, as in, “Oh, I forgave so-and-so for what he did to me 40 years ago”. Or, “I had to go to the Lord seventeen times to forgive so-and-so.” Can you imagine somebody taking pride in these things and posting them on Facebook? Nope, I can’t either.
Mourning for sin, either mine or someone else’s
Praying for someone who is absolutely, positively, my enemy–and genuinely wanting God’s best for that person
Praying for someone who is not an enemy but who rubs me the wrong way
Exercising patience when I want to do anything but
Speaking gently when I’d rather scream
There are more, but I’m sure you get the picture. For me, the activities usually considered spiritual disciplines are easier to do than the ones I just listed. The ones listed are hard, really hard to do in life. They are so hard I cannot do them on my own; I need God’s help. Oh, and one more thing—I can’t take pride in them because I do need God’s help.