Do You Bring The Storm?

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We settled into our seats in the chapel with the boys and girls of the orphanage as a member of our mission team stood to give the message at the Wednesday evening service.

The theme for the week was all things fish: being a fisher of men, the fishes-and-loaves, the miraculous Bring the Stormcatch, and of course, Jonah and the big fish. Which was the basis of the message that evening.

Our team member did a great job of relating the time-tested lessons of God’s choosing mercy over judgment that we often hear when we hear a message on Jonah. There was nothing wrong with his message. Nothing.

But then Poppa, Orphanage Emmanuel’s founding father, got up to say a few words before closing us with a prayer. He said, “Do you bring the storm?”

 

 

Does the way you are living your life bring chaos or calm into the lives of others? Click To Tweet

I sat up and leaned in, listening a little more attentively. I’d never heard this take on Jonah before.

Have you? Join me over at The Glorious Table where I am guest posting and we’ll explore how we either bring storms or bring calm.

Blessings,

Denise

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Words of a Good Legacy

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Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.

We all know this children’s rhyme is the furthest thing from the truth yet I sometimes repeat it to myself in an effort to talk myself out of being hurt by the words someone has spoken to me. The words we speak are important. They either bring life or death. They build up or they tear down. They cast vision or dash dreams.

No matter who we are, when we speak into the life of someone else, our words leave a legacy. This is of particular importance to anyone who is a position of influence or authority over someone else: business or ministry leaders, sporting team coaches, teachers, spouses, parents, or friends.

When we have influence in someone’s life, the words we speak carry added weight and we bear a greater responsibility to leave a good legacy. The possibilities for messing this up are endless. We will make mistakes. But, when we look to God’s Word for guidance, we can get it right more often than we get it wrong and leave a powerful legacy.

Join me over at the Christian Community News as we learn from David and Solomon about Words Of A Good Legacy.

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When being on The Big “E” is a good thing

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I sat with our retreat speaker on the hard folding chairs, tears streaming and words choked.

I was in my early thirties, a mom of two boys, wife to one in the military, and I had a life I should have loved. And yet, there I was. Desperately empty and needing to be filled.

Not unlike another woman thousands of years ago.

She was destitute and desperate. Her husband died and left her with two young sons and a mountain of debt. Her creditors threatened to take her sons as slaves in order to satisfy her debt.

The man of God asks her what she has available.

One flask of olive oil.

Bring every empty vessel you have. Borrow every empty jar you can. Pour what you have into each vessel until it’s full.On The Big E

They did what he said to do and ended up with enough to pay off all of their debts as well as continue to provide for their livelihood.

The miracle of the unending oil.

Between the sobs, I asked Jesus for the miracle of being filled with him. And for the next couple of years I knew the joy of the Holy Spirit’s fullness. I was thirsty for Jesus. I was as empty as empty could be and Jesus never failed to fill.

Then life happened, things got tough, and the filling slowed. I was still thirsty. I was still reading my Bible. I was still praying. But I was full of other things. Anger. Hurt. Depression. Stress. Busyness.

Just as the oil stopped flowing when the woman and her sons ran out of empty jars, the filling of my empty places by Jesus stopped because the Lord cannot fill and satisfy what is not empty.

Being thirsty and desperate yet too full to be filled by Jesus is not a good place to be.

The promise of the Holy Spirit is that when we come empty, He is faithful to fill. The Holy Spirit is our Wellspring; our unending source of life-giving and life-sustaining provision.

The Holy Spirit is our Wellspring. Click To Tweet

It seems contradictory to say it is good to be empty when we really want to be full. But unlike the oil that was enough to last, our filling from the Lord doesn’t last. We must continually come before the Lord empty. Empty of self. Empty of pride. Empty of all of the things that keep us too full to draw from the wellspring of God’s filling.

We too can know the miracle of the unending oil. We too can know our debts are all paid and our lives are provided for.

We can know this when we come to Jesus … empty.

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