Monday, April 6, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: God's love that was shown through a family cat


What our family cat taught us about God’s unconditional love
A devotional by Jessica Brodie

“You were my second mommy, the sweetest girl ever, and I miss you so much.”

The words, scrawled by my daughter in a tear-stained letter to our late cat, Teetee, broke my heart.

We lost our kitty-daughter, Teetee, a couple of weeks ago after her short battle with cancer. She was old—almost 17—and her passing was relatively quick and in the night at our home, a blessing for which I am grateful.

Still, our home is not the same. I still imagine her in the shadows, out of the corner of my eye as I walk from the bedroom to the kitchen… still envision her lazing happily in her favorite sunshine spot, still expect her to come prowling when I get out the cheddar cheese—her favorite snack—for breakfast.

Teetee was the absolute best cat ever—not a pet, in truth, but the Real Mom of the House. The kids might call me “Mom,” but Teetee and I knew she was really the one in charge of everyone’s welfare. After all, she was the one who knew when someone was sick, often even before we did. She’d sense the illness and come to sit by us, try her best to sleep on our head, even, if we’d let her.

If someone was sad, or worried, she’d scooch close and snuggle in, like she could somehow send her “everything will be fine” state of mind directly into us.

And she’d been with us through so much!

I found Teetee at the adoption center of a pet store back in 2003, shortly after my kitty Roxanne passed away. I was brokenhearted back then and certain I wasn’t ready for a cat for a long, long time … and then I happened by Teetee, a tiny calico relaxing among the other, more antsy felines. I couldn’t resist asking to hold her, and she came to me willingly, sniffed at me curiously, turned in a circle in my arms, and promptly fell asleep. (In other words: She picked me.)

Teetee sat with me as I sobbed during a long period of infertility; it felt like she was saying, “I understand. I can’t have babies either. Everything will be fine.”

Then, after my “miracle son” was born two years later, she’d watch me nurse, change diapers, and rock my little one long into the wee hours. We’d exchange knowing looks, Teetee and I—“We’ve got this,” we’d think at each other.

Two years and another baby, a daughter, later, and Teetee and I had settled into a pattern. She’d watch them carefully, look at me mournfully when one was wailing or tugging at her tail. We’d commiserate, mom to mom; the toddler phase was tough! She’d let them do most anything to her, too, tolerating my son’s heavy pats and allowing him to lug her here and there. She’d let my daughter dress her up with princess cloaks and baby blankets and push her around in a baby stroller.

She was with me again as I’d despair on lonely nights, through an out-of-state move, through the dissolution of my marriage and a period as a single mom, through times when I’d wonder how we’d all eat or get through. “Everything will be fine,” she’d tell me in her kitty way. Of course, she was right.

When Matt and I fell in love and planned to marry, and he came over one night to watch a movie, she claimed him as part of the family, too. She leapt onto the couch, bypassed me, and settled right down on his belly, placing one paw delicately on his chest. “You’re in,” she was saying.

As the kids went from toddler to elementary-age and now young teens, she handled their mood swings far better than I, cuddling with my daughter when my daughter would get furious with me over some perceived slight, calming her with her kitty “everything’s fine” vibe.

Now, all these years later, she’s gone, and the house feels so empty without her. I miss her cuddles and purrs, the way she’d meow “helllloooo” in the early mornings trying to wake us up, her peaceful basks in sunny spots, even her cat hair that covered every surface like putty.

She loved us fiercely. And we loved her.

Looking back, I see the love of Jesus Christ shining throughout her whole life… the way she was always there in our toughest moments; the way she never, ever left us even when we wailed or acted sassy; the way she kept us focused on the after, letting us know everything would be fine. Now I realize what she was saying: Relax. God has you, sweet angst-filled human. Don’t fuss or fear.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27 NIV).

Rest in peace, sweet Teetee. Thank you for your love, for always being there in the toughest moments, and for showing us the unconditional love of Jesus in the way you loved us.

~*~
Author Bio:

Jessica Brodie is an award-winning Christian novelist, journalist, editor, blogger, and writing coach and the recipient of the 2018 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for her novel, The Memory Garden.

She is also the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism, and a member of the Wholly Loved Ministries team.

Learn more about her fiction and read her faith blog at http://jessicabrodie.com.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Balance


Balancing life with God
A devotional by Mirachelle Canada

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 (ESV)

I am blessed to be close to my sister. Most people are surprised we are six years apart. In our younger days, we were compared like twins. That comparison caused me to want to be more like her and as I grew older, I observed and analyzed things she was doing – some I agreed with, others I did not. Later, I realized that because of how much I had been concerned for her choices, I had developed some internal (unspoken) criticisms against her that had taken root as a judgement in my heart.

We are still similar in looks, but individually we both developed through very different approaches to life. My sister is laid-back and enjoys pleasing others. I am independent and carefree. I like writing, and she likes crafting. We look like the same flower, but it felt like we’d grown up in two different gardens.

How often do you unintentionally criticize those you love in your heart? It’s easy for thought or observation about someone to become a judgment root. It can sprout in a moment of disagreement or anger, or from a verbal and emotional comparison. As I watched my sister face life’s difficulties, I compared her reactions and choices to my own; to the way I would have done it, and more honestly, to the way I thought she should have done it.

It wasn’t until after I experienced the biggest event of my sister’s life – her wedding day – that God tugged on my unexposed judgment root. Both of us were older than we expected, and I had prayed a long time for this gift of happiness for her. At the time of her marriage, everything was going great in my life, but very shortly after everything fell apart. My career tanked, and my finances plummeted. I had to move back home, and I grieved my losses. I also felt left behind, primarily because of my sister’s newfound happiness. It wasn’t at all how I had imagined my life to become.

God spoke to my heart with this thought, “What did you expect?”

God showed me my sister on a tightrope. She was wobbling, as we all do at the beginning. I wanted to help her find balance, but I watched as Jesus Christ gave her His tools instead: an umbrella, with which she moved farther along, then a tricycle and she rode further still. Lastly, He placed a long balance pole in her hands, and she made it to Him waiting on the other side. I immediately knew what each tool represented from 1 Corinthians 13:13 (ESV), “So now faith, hope, and love abide...” He gave her an umbrella (faith), a tricycle (hope) and a balancing pole (love). She was welcomed at the end into His open arms because “the greatest of these is love.”

He showed me my tightrope, cluttered with items I had placed before me and those I had used behind, barely staying balanced on the line. They were all the choices, excuses, and deflections I had used to get this far on my own. Of course, God had walked with me, but I had chosen my own tools to do things my way, the way I thought others should. Had it been up to me to guide my sister, I might have cluttered her lifeline like my own.

I asked God to forgive me for not making Him the complete Lord of my life (and not trusting Him with the lives of others). As He removed my judgment root, everything fell off my tightrope, and instead of waiting on the other side for me to cross, He zipped down the line to stand before me so nothing else was in view. He offered me His hand. As I took it, He turned and raised a lantern to light a pathway instead, and my spirit rejoiced at the promise that filled my heart, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105 ESV). Yes, God, not my way, but yours alone. There is no greater balance in life.

Do you need such balance in your life today too? Is there a stumbling root in your heart that God can remove? Pray and seek Him. He’s waiting at the other end of your tightrope to make your way clear and straight into His arms of love.

~*~
Author Bio:
Mirachelle Canada is a writer, playwright, screenwriter, and theatre director/producer from Northern Virginia, where she teaches television production at her high school alma mater. 

She earned her Master of Fine Arts in Script & Screenwriting from Regent University and is an alumnus of Act One: Hollywood Film & Television Writing Program.

Mirachelle is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, American Fiction Writers Virginia Chapter, The Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, and Your Novel Blueprint.

She is currently working on her first historical fiction novel set during WWII.

~*~
Connect with Mirachelle:
Website: www.mirachellecanada.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mirachellecanada/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/miracan

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Grace


The Peace of Grace
A devotional by Allison M. Wilson


Key Scripture: 
John 16:13, Philippians 4:4-8, 1 John 4:18, Mark 9:24 (NASB)

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” or a variation of that greeting, is used by the apostle Paul 16 times in the New Testament when addressing the church in various cities in the New American Standard Bible (NASB) version of The Holy Bible. In three of those cases, Paul adds the word mercy to the blessing. In the current times of this worldwide Coronavirus pandemic, this particular phrase from the Apostle Paul speaks to me.

Why are grace and peace, with the addition of mercy now and then, the preferred greeting from Paul? Grace, in the original Greek charis, means kindness. Peace, eirene in Greek, implies welfare. What is Paul doing with this blessing?

Paul was reminding the believers of the unmerited gift they had received … grace. He was also reminding them that the grace they were given had an amazing side effect … peace. But, as believers in Christ, are we allowing that peace to be freely felt?

For the last few years, God has really brought home a message to me. Every problem has one question attached to it: “Do you trust Me?”

No matter the issue, that's the ultimate question. If I trust Him, then there is no fear in any issue, because I know God will see it through to my ultimate good and to the transforming of me into the image of Jesus Christ. Even if I cannot see the good yet, God’s promises tell me that is the end goal.

Every blip on my radar that seems to stir up negative emotions ... Do you trust Me?

Every person who can't seem to remember the rules of the road ... Do you trust Me?

Every time I see one of the kids making poor decisions or going through a hard time, and want to jump in to "fix" it ... Do you trust Me?

Health issues in family members ... Do you trust Me?

And, that "Do you trust Me?" is also asking if I know just how much God loves me. Do I trust that what He says is true? If so, why do I doubt? If so, why do I fear? If so, why do I look at the circumstances rather than look to the Solution?

When we allow the Holy Spirit to teach us the truth of grace (John 16:13), we find that peace follows. Our perception of what we are going through, whatever the situation, has to change in the light of the incomparable love of our Father. Accepting and internalizing the love of God for us will change our thinking, too. We can go from fear of everything to fear of nothing. 1 John 4:18 tells us why that is true.

But, it boils down to a lack of belief. His grace is there, too! Mark 9:24 is one of my favorite verses. It shows us that we can believe, yet need help in our belief. God doesn’t leave us on our own. He has given us many ways to cry out to Him for more grace, more peace, more faith. He longs for us to reach for Him rather than for something in the world – be it food, relationships, or even security in things we think we can control.

Grace and peace really do go together. When we get what grace really means, the peace that passes all understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, as Philippians 4 tells us. That section of Scriptures gives a step-by-step way to have your mind and heart guarded by Christ. That is grace and peace at its finest.

Let’s Pray: Dearest Jesus, You have already given us so much, yet You want to give us even more. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit that You have put into our hearts, but we think our way out of it so often. Remind us of Your grace. Remind us of what is truly means in order for our peace to be complete. Bring those verses and Scriptures to mind when the world is swirling around in chaos in front of us, and do as You promised You would do…guard our hearts and minds in You. In Your precious Name we pray, Amen.

~*~
Author Bio:

A very early reader and lover of the written word, Allison M. Wilson has been writing since the age of 8 with the heart to impart stories and God's truth.


She has judged countless contests for the last 25 years, reviewed for several online publications, professionally edited, and written articles and devotionals.

Wife, mother, writer, editor, teacher, mentor, and mompreneur, God keeps her busy while living in east central Florida with her family.

~*~
Connect with Allison:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/allisonmwilson
Twitter: https://twitter.com/amwilson

Monday, March 30, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Trusting Jesus Christ to guide us through life


Trusting the Shepherd in Troubled Times
A devotional by Tema Banner

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.”
– Psalm 23:4a (NIV)

I have been in Israel with my daughter and a wonderful group that I now call family. 

When we left for our trip, the first week of March, spring was not yet here, daylight savings time had not begun, and the Coronavirus had not reached the fever pitch that it would soon reach. In fact, it was something that was taking place on the other side of the world and even though a cruise ship had been infected, there was no real concern to most Americans.

The trip was amazing, a spiritual journey that I will treasure the rest of my life.

As we flew home, Psalm 23 came to me, given the condition of our world as it relates to the concern over the Coronavirus, it reverberated with me as I am sure it does with you.

During our time on our trip, we were immersed in the word of God, walked the streets that Jesus walked, visited the towns of His ministry and saw the Bible come live! We knew what was happening in the rest of the world, so we took precautions, but we did not allow it to dampen our enthusiasm for the trip and our spiritual pilgrimage. Even when our planned excursion to Petra was canceled, we knew God was in control. 

There were many God moments along the way: those who miraculously received the funds for the trip, airplane schedules fell in line, the necessary rooms we required when our Petra trip was cancelled, became available, and many other instances in between that told us God was, and is, in control.

As I journeyed home, returning to the reality of everyday life, seeing the soft green, yellow fuzz on the tips of the trees that tell me spring has arrived, to the clock on my car dashboard that has yet to be sprung forward, I am reminded that Jesus is my shepherd, He loves me, He loves you, and carries us on His shoulders. He protects us no matter the path we tread.

Relax in His love and be secure in His everlasting, everyday protection. Let His words seep into your ear and settle in your heart. God is not surprised by anything that is going on in the world, nor anything that happens in your life. Trust that He is with you, even if you walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

~*~
Author Bio:
Writing stories that take the reader on a journey to parts unknown has been a lifelong love for Tema. She enjoys all history and continues daily to hone both her knowledge of history and her writing skills. 

God is her guiding light and the reason for every endeavor in her life. She is a member of the South Carolina ACFW chapter as well as an active member of her local RWA chapter, Carolina Romance Writers.

Tema has served as past President and Secretary as well as holding various chair positions. She is the honored recipient of the Harold Lowery Service Award, presented by the Carolina Romance Writers.

God has gifted her with a loving husband, two children and three grandchildren who are the delight of her life. In her spare time, she gardens and digs into genealogy for nuggets to use in her stories.

~*~
Connect with Tema:
Website: https://temabannerauthor.com
Blog: www.temabannerauthor.com/blog
Instagram: Instagram.com/temabanner

Friday, March 27, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Discipline


Does God Discipline Us?
A devotional by Amy Odland

“Therefore I bring charges against you again,” declares the Lord. “And I will bring charges against your children’s children. Cross over to the coasts of Cyprus and look, send to Kedar and observe closely; see if there has ever been anything like this: Has a nation ever changed its gods? (Yet they are not gods at all.) But my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols. Be appalled at this, you heavens, and shudder with great horror,” declares the Lord.”
 – Jeremiah 2:9-12 (NIV)

My, how the world can change in a week! Those of us who’ve lost someone unexpectedly or been through a natural disaster or tragedy before already understand this. But a large portion of the world is finding out all at once what it’s like to have life change in a moment.

I haven’t heard anyone preaching about this being some sort of punishment from God yet, but I’m also writing this on March 16. The Coronavirus is still pretty new to most of the United States at this time (though, our friends in Washington state have been dealing with it since January) but the numbers of cases and deaths worldwide is growing steadily right now in most places. I imagine by the time this is published, someone somewhere will be preaching the idea that this is God’s punishment on us.

So, let’s bypass the fluffy examples I could’ve used for this devotional and dive right into the deep end: “Is God disciplining us with the Coronavirus pandemic?” 


I say YES and NO. Here’s why ...

YES:
Complacency, indifference, and disbelief are always present in our society to a degree, but they became more blatant as the arrival of the Coronavirus started spreading in the news. First in Italy, then in America. Phrases like “It’s basically the flu” and “the flu kills more” became common in Italy until they realized too late that it is different from the flu in that no one has immunity from it and large numbers of people were being infected all at once. We heard these phrases being said by our own citizens and leaders just a couple weeks ago.

People have become complacent as a result, and while the disease does look similar to influenza in its symptoms, there are other concerns. The clustered increase of people all getting sick at the same time will overwhelm the healthcare system like a tsunami wave hitting the shore. It has already happened in Italy and they have warned us. 

Trying to educate people about this very serious concern and the benefits of social distancing before there is the evidence of a large number of cases present has been made more difficult because people don’t believe it’s true or believe it’s a political conspiracy or news media hoax. Add to that the delay from our leaders (between March 9-13) in communicating the seriousness of this and you have a recipe for indifference, disbelief, and conspiracy theorists...which made speaking truth during this time much more difficult. 

Yes, God can allow a new virus to sweep the world to show people He is still able to wipe the earth clean. It’s not a flood of water like He’d promised Noah He would never do again, but it can still be an effective wake-up call to many who haven’t considered eternity before now.


NO:

If Christians die because of this pandemic, is God punishing them? If my loved ones get sick and die because of this pandemic, do I believe God is punishing me (or them)? Definitely NO. This world is evil and filled with people who do evil. Rape, murder, theft, and destruction are just the result of living in a fallen world and having evil reside amongst us. People by nature are selfish, greedy, and stubborn...even the good ones are not perfect all the time (Romans 3:12). I have seen many on social media selfishly choosing to still go on vacation or still gather in large groups. They will affect us all more than they realize right now.

Psalm 91 says that “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1) and “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.” (Psalm 91:14) Yes, we can pray the words of this Psalm in times of trouble and we can pray it would be the Lord’s will for us to be protected from the calamity that lay before us. But this Psalm isn’t the guarantee of safety that some would interpret it to be. It is not a force field or protective shield to turn on and off when we need protection. The words in this psalm are a promise of eternal salvation, a promise that no matter what evil comes before us or is successful in destroying us, God has sealed our eternity.

God has only promised us we will someday be completely free of sickness and death and evil. But he did not promise that we would be trouble-free in this life. John 16:33 tells us to take heart, though, because Jesus has overcome the world.

We are not living lives of fear if we “see danger and take refuge” (Proverbs 22:3) and take extra oil along for our lamps as the virgins did in the parable in Matthew 25:4. We are being prudent and wise, just as God has told us to be. It is an act of love to be quarantining ourselves right now in order to protect the lives of others who are more vulnerable, who are at high risk for complications from this virus, just like it is an act of love when we speak up for the unborn or when we help the widows and orphans.

We can do our part to still love others during this hard time and have peace because Jesus has told us He is preparing a place for us and will take us there to be with Him (John 14:2-3). We can have peace because He has promised He will care for us and while it doesn’t mean He’ll care for us on our terms or based on our parameters, He WILL care for us. Let us be encouraged to rest in the shelter of His shadow and acknowledge His name.

~*~
Author Bio:

Amy Odland has been serving in church ministry as a volunteer leader for over 16 years, in various worship, prayer and women’s ministry roles. 



Her passion for helping women stems from her own struggles and lessons learned in her journey as a Christian since first deciding to follow the Lord in 1994.

Amy’s priorities after her faith include her family — husband Rick, and their four kids — as well as extended family who all live close in proximity and the many friends she’s made over the years.

In addition to a love of teaching and helping her husband with the bookkeeping for their many businesses, Amy has recently expanded her stay-at-home work to include leading author’s book launch teams for publishing companies like Baker, Revell, Barbour, and Lifeway.

She also enjoys teaching new authors about platform building, self-launching, and online marketing.

~*~
Connect with Amy:
Facebook: https://facebook.com/amyodland
Instagram: https://instagram.com/amy_odland
Twitter: https://twitter.com/amy_odland
Website: https://amyodland.com

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Lessons learned from The Lion King (movie)


Lessons From The Lion King
A devotional by Julia Wilson

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.” 
–Psalm 32:8a (NIV)

God is not limited. He can use all sorts of things to talk to us and to get our attention. All around us there are life lessons to be learned.

I have always enjoyed the cartoon of The Lion King so I was very eager to see the new movie. It was, in my opinion, one of the best movies I have ever watched. I found God ‘speaking’ to me throughout this film, so would like to share some of my observations, in no particular order.

Scar, the evil brother in The Lion King, reminded me of the accuser. He takes Simba aside and whispers to him, “You’re no good. Nobody wants you.” He piles the guilt on Simba, encouraging him to run away. I wondered how often do we do this to ourselves? We listen to those voices that tell us we are no good. Nobody likes us. Why would anyone want us? These are not the voices we should be listening to. We need to stop listening to these voices and tune in to the life affirming voice of God. God says we are loved. We are wanted. We are to come to Him just as we are, no running away.

There is a beautiful scene where Simba sits beside his Dad, Mufasa, as they watch the sunset. Mufasa tells Simba that he will always be with him, and to just look up to the sky and he will be there. He will never leave Simba. Isn’t this just like God? God tells us that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV). “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 NIV). When we look for God, we will find Him. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV). Whatever we are facing, look up and see God. We are never alone.

Later Rafiki, the monkey, leads Simba to water, pointing out to him that his father lives in him. We see Mufasa in the reflection. Likewise, we can have our Heavenly Father living in us. We are called to be the eyes and ears, the hands and feet of Jesus to a hurting world.

During their previous father-son talk, Mufasa tells Simba “everything the light touches is yours.” It’s a vast, green area so why is Simba not satisfied? Why does he insist on going to the darkness that is the elephant’s graveyard? We can be a bit like Simba, God tells us that everything we have is ours, so why are we not satisfied? There are echoes here of the grumblings of the elder brother in the prodigal son as his father tells him that “all I have is yours” (John 17:10 NIV).

God is a generous God. He withholds nothing from us. He lavishes good gifts on us so why do we listen to that voice that urges us to give in to temptation? “Go on, you deserve it.” It only takes a small spark to start a huge fire and sin is like that, it just snowballs and before we know it we are deep into addiction (shopping, alcohol, drugs etc.). Even Jesus was tempted in the desert. He defeated temptation by standing on the Word of God. “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only” (Matthew 4:10 NIV). When we face temptation, we too must stand firm on His Word.

Simba spends a while in the wasteland and while it is a lush, green wasteland, it is not what Simba was created for. He needed to fulfill his purpose to be king. God has a purpose for each and every one of us. We were not created to wander in the wasteland, no matter how nice it looks. We were created for a purpose… we were created to have the promise of God living in us. “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27 NIV).

In summary, God wants to teach us life lessons and He will get our attention using whatever He can. For me today, it was The Lion King but tomorrow it will be something different.

~*~
Author Bio:

My name is Julia Wilson but I also go by Christian Bookaholic.


I live with my husband and five cats in a small town in Worcestershire on the banks of the River Severn (England). We have four grown up children and three granddaughters.

I have always loved reading and have always been surrounded by books. I used to work as a teaching assistant for special needs in the local high school. Ill health forced me to stop working in December 2015. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (known as M.E.) and fibromyalgia. I now have plenty of time to read and review books!

Our eldest son set up my Christian Bookaholic blog. I review every book I read. I read over 300 books a year. I read Christian and mass market. I prefer stories set from 1850 onwards. My favourite type of books to read is stories set in WWI and WWII, and Russia under Czar Nicholas II.

I am a historian, having a Combined Humanities degree where I majored in History and minored in English. I also love swimming. I only learned how to swim in 2017 and go swimming four mornings a week for 90 minutes before breakfast, it keeps my joints going.

I am also a crazy cat lady. I absolutely love my cats. I have grown up with cats and cannot imagine life without them. My dream is to own an old fashioned seal point Siamese … but not while we have our young rescue cat as she hates other cats!

I love God and love going to a large lively church called Lifecentral. I cannot imagine life without God. He gives a peace even when life does not. He guides my life. He is my Rock.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Spiritual insight from watching pinwheels


Pinwheels
A devotional by Glynis Becker

“One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD and to meditate in His temple.” –Psalm 27:4 (NASB)

Spring comes relatively late where I live. The month of March can be anything from snowy and cold like winter or rainy and warmer like spring should be. Right now there is no snow on the ground, but also no green grass or buds on the trees. There are no gardens and no flowers. Add in gray skies and the world can seem exceedingly drab.

But the other day, on my drive to work, my eyes were drawn to something colorful. I drive the same way every day, but this time I noticed a row of bright garden pinwheels planted outside a plain white house. I’m sure they’ve been there since last summer when they stood in the midst of flowers and plants. It may have been the contrast of the rainbow colors against the brown grass and the white siding, but I think what my peripheral vision really caught that day was the movement.

There was very little wind that morning, and a line of primary-colored pinwheels stood still as stone. But one, the one on the edge, spun in place. Just a few degrees off its axis and the one pinwheel that was not absolutely in line with all the others had caught the breeze and been able to accomplish what the others hadn’t: fulfilling its purpose.

What is a pinwheel meant to do? It’s not a windmill or a water wheel, so there is no energy generated when it spins. There’s really nothing for it but to catch the wind and be beautiful.

I continued to think about that pinwheel and how it compares to us as believers.

In Acts Chapter 2, the coming of the Holy Spirit is described as a “noise, like a violent rushing wind” (Acts 2:2 NASB). It’s no wonder we’ve come to think of The Spirit of God as a wind, a breeze, or a movement we feel but can’t see because it feels like the perfect analogy.

But here’s a good question: If we are all given the Holy Spirit when we become believers, why do some people seem to “catch the fire” or seem more “in tune” with the Holy Spirit than others?

Maybe, like that pinwheel, some of us have positioned ourselves just a bit differently, in order to catch the wind of whatever God is doing. So what might happen if each of us, instead of facing the same way everyone else is, turned our faces toward Him a little bit more? Would we catch a new movement of the Spirit? Would we be able to better fulfill the purpose for which we were created?

All the pinwheels are beautiful. All of us are beautiful. But when we all spin in the direction of the Holy Spirit? Well, no one will be able to look away!

Let’s Pray: Sweet Holy Spirit, turn our faces to You today. Make sure we are in tune with Your movement in the world and not going our own direction. We want to catch the fire. We want to be part of what You’re doing. Allow us to be beauty in a colorless world. We love you. In Jesus Christ’s beautiful name we pray, Amen.

~*~
Author Bio:
Glynis Becker writes devotions and inspirational fiction, hoping someday to have a published novel on her resume.

She has co-written several screenplays, including the film Sinking Sand, available on DVD and digital streaming.

Glynis, whose childhood was spent all over the country as an Air Force brat, has called South Dakota home for many years, along with her husband and two teenage children.

When she’s not writing or reading, she is watching more television than she should and crocheting. You can find her at www.glynisbecker.com.