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Refreshed

Not a bird in sight. Small twigs & brown leaves had filled my backyard birdbath. I’d let a few days slip by without doing my turn-on-the-water-for-the-birds-duty. I rotated the spigot full blast until a stream of water flowed through the garden hose. Then I aimed it at the concrete basin of my pedestal birdbath and flushed away the debris. No wonder I hadn’t seen any birds. Next, I readjusted the flow to a steady drip-drip-drip and rigged the hose to hang in its usual spot, a couple of feet above the birdbath.

Soon my feathered friends returned. The familiar sparrows, cardinals and blue jays. Some spread their wings for a drip-drip shower. Others sat along the rim and scooped beakfuls of cool water.

There are days my soul is dry. Dry, like my neglected bird bath. Frivolous thoughts and busyness fill the hours. All because I let time slip by without a flow of God’s Word, living water, into my day.

I get back on track. Back into the routine of opening my email devotional and my Bible to its accompanying scripture. While reading and thinking, living water trickles in. Worldly cares drift away. Trust, assurance and confidence in an omnipresent God saturate me. My thirst is quenched. My spirit refreshed.

Selah.

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Exponential Forgiveness

Around the time eight track tapes and Lite Brite toys hit the shelves, my third grade Sunday School teacher taught a lesson about Peter asking Jesus how many times a person should forgive someone.

“Seven times?” Peter asked.

“Seventy times seven,” replied Jesus.

Wow, I thought–that’s four hundred ninety times! My young mind took Jesus’ words literally and I spent many nights kneeling by my bed saying, “Lord forgive me. Lord forgive me. Lord forgive me.” I counted as I prayed and cried and didn’t stop until I reached the required number. Yup, four hundred ninety times. I felt better after paying (and praying) my penance. That is, until I messed up again and had to recite my repentant prayer.

Many years have passed since I knelt and counted my “Lord forgive me” sentences. I’m still learning to forgive to the limitless extent Jesus talked about. I ask Him daily to forgive me. Consequently, I’ve discovered there’s more to conviction than saying, “I’m sorry.” The evidence of genuine repentance is true change. Change is what Jesus and others see. I hope my actions speak.

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