Monthly Archives: May 2021

Spiritual Diet

Most of us know what we should eat. We’ve been told we need lots of vegetables, fruit, and enough protein. There are different schools of thought about amounts of fats and carbohydrates but we all have an idea of what is healthy.

Funny how it’s so much nicer to eat things that we know are unhealthy. A carrot doesn’t remotely have the appeal of a chocolate, or cream scone or lemon meringue pie.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

There is a balanced diet for our spiritual growth too. Our pastor told us about it in church on Sunday. It is in 1 Timothy where Paul is warning Timothy about false doctrines that were prevalent in the church at the time.

If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching you have followed. Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.” (1Tim 4:6-7)

There also appears to be spiritual junk food. Paul talks about godless myths and old wives tales. I think fake news and over-forwarded social media posts can fall into this category. However, just as junk food has more appeal than healthy food, our natural sinful state is to be drawn more to spiritual junk food. We need God’s help to be able to maintain a balanced spiritual diet.

My Prayer

Father God, thank you for the wonderful array of food that you have created for us. Please help me to be wise in selecting physical food and to remember to nourish my spirit with the truths of the faith and good teaching. May I have discernment to be able to identify and avoid godless myths and old wives tales. Amen.

Dust Collects Everywhere

This post is part of Streams of Consciousness Saturday. The prompt for today is “collect.”

Our neighbours are doing alterations – breaking down walls and eventually building new ones.

Anybody who has ever been involved in any kind of renovation or building will know that the dust collects everywhere. We can see it creeping over the wall.

Sin is like dust. Sometimes it’s easy to spot and we can avoid the area. At other times it is subtle and hardly noticeable until a shaft of sunlight reveals the dust that has collected on a surface. If we ask Jesus to shine the light of His Holy Spirt on our lives, we will see things that we hadn’t noticed, not blatant actions but tiny attitudes of mind, a grumbling spirt, a covetous thought or regarding our time/money/life as our own.

When Jesus washed the disciples feet, Peter objected. When Jesus explained that unless Peter allowed Jesus to wash him, he had no part of his Lord, Peter replied, “Not just my feet, but my hands and head as well.”

Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean.” (John13:9-10a NIV)

The roads in those days were dirt roads. Nobody could walk along them in sandaled feet without collecting a lot of dust on their feet – even if they had bathed and put on clean clothes for a special celebration like Passover.

We come to Jesus once in repentance and He forgives our sin, based on His atoning death. That is like the bath; but every day we collect the dust of sin on our souls and it is necessary to ask for forgiveness. That is like having our feet washed.

I am certainly not going to dust my house every day just because the neighbours are building but I will try to get my soul dusted every day.

My Prayer

Lord Jesus, as You did to the disciples, please wash my feet and show me those little dust sins that collect in my heart. Amen.

Panic Button

Last night my mother fell again. She is 87 and is unable to get back into bed from the floor. She lives in a cottage on the same property as my brother, sister-in-law and nephew.

In February, after the third fall, my brother started investigating a panic button device that my Mom could wear around her neck if anything happens to her and the family is not around. It is monitored by a security company and they will contact a member of the family if it’s a simple matter or send an ambulance if it is more serious. Last time my brother didn’t hear the phone call and they sent an ambulance.

I got the call at 1.30am. They had tried to phone my brother and got no reply. I explained I am in Randburg and my mother is in Gqeberha but I would try to contact my nephew which I did and Mom was soon back in bed.

Yesterday my husband read a section in his devotional guide of how God sometimes impresses on people to pray for somebody. There were accounts of how Christians had felt an urge to pray for somebody specific and how they had later found out what danger or trouble that person had been in. Sometimes we will be woken in the middle of the night with a burden to pray.

It is something like my mother’s panic button. Our Father has a whole network of people on whom He can call to pray when there is a need. We should take these promptings seriously and act immediately. We might never know the cause, or the result, but God’s panic button will bring help.

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that should always pray and not give up. (Luke 18:1 NIV)

My Prayer

Lord, I have committed my life to You. That includes my time. When You call on me, may I not be spiritually asleep or too distracted with my own life to heed your call. Please make me sensitive to Your whispers. Amen.

Sunshine

We moved into our cottage almost ten years ago. We added on some rooms and enlarged some. The renovations were planned by an architect. Although we have a large French window and a smaller window facing north, our lounge always seemed dark. We have a magnificent paperbark tree outside which gives beautiful shade in summer and we always thought that was the reason our house seemed dark. We had two sky lights put in and that helped a bit. However the lounge light stayed on during the day while I was home.

The house next door had five tall conifers growing against our north boundary wall. When the house was sold, I made a point of informing our new neighbours that I would love the trees cut down and we would pay half. Well, they had other things to attend to and repair and I didn’t want to nag them but I talked to the Lord about them. I even talked to the trees! (I remembered what Jesus had said about mountains throwing themselves into the sea.)

While we were away last week, the trees got taken out. The neighbours are doing some renovations and building on to make room for their parents to stay with them.

The difference is amazing. Sun streams into the lounge almost all day. We no longer need the light on in the daytime. I am just wallowing in the sunshine.

John said about Jesus, “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5NIV)

Sometimes we miss out on the light of God in our lives through circumstances that are beyond our control. They are the things that cast shadows on the abundant life that Christ promised. They are like those five trees, seemingly invincible. They could be an early family tragedy, an unhappy childhood, a disability we were born with, or even poverty. We are totally powerless to remove them. They are not in our garden.

God is not powerless. We can do what we can to improve the light in our lives but then we need to call on Him to take away the trees. It won’t be easy and it won’t be immediate. But our God is faithful.

Jesus promised, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” May we not become so used to living in the shadow that we miss out on the Light of Life.

My Prayer

Lord, please open my eyes to the things with which I have been living, that are casting shadows over my life. May they be rooted up and cast aside. May the Light of Your Life and Your Love bathe me every day. Amen.

The Rock

…lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalm 61:2b)

I’m feeling generally down today. My bridge came loose approximately three weeks after the dentist last secured it in my mouth. The other side also seems to have a problem and stabs of pain beset me every now and then when I get a seed or something stuck in my bottom tooth or when I don’t bit down in the right place.

Yesterday we got back from a lovely five days out in the bushveld, away from the stresses of every-day-life. That might contribute to my down feeling and maybe the fact that I wasn’t placed in the top 25 of a writing competition I entered adds too – but I think the tooth thing is the main contributor.

My faith wobbles like a jelly on a motorbike swinging from highs to lows depending on immediate circumstances and even the amount of sleep I had the night before. That is why I need to run to the Rock that is higher than I. I know that I can do nothing without Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. I just have to rest in the assurance that God loves me as I am with my weaknesses and failures and He will provide all I need for life and godliness.

This post is part of Streams of Consciousness Saturday.

The Work of God

Jesus replied, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29 NIV)

I guess this is why Christians are called Believers not Achievers.

I never thought of it like that

This post is part of One-Liner-Wednesday.