Funny thing happened on my walk recently, I met up with a telephone pole that appeared to be growing hair! Actually I thought I had met up with Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy (I'm a bit of a Marvel movie geek), but that was not the case. Enjoying a beautiful sunny day in Pittsburgh, about 52 degrees which is an oddity on February 24th, it was simply wonderful to be breathing in fresh air. Of course, I couldn’t let this photo opt of "Groot" pass because I immediately began thinking about devotionals and how this scene relates to life!
First, the inclusion of power lines. If not for those multiple lines households in our neighborhood would go without electricity. Imagine what chaos would transpire; no lights, no stoves/microwaves, no garage door openings, no television…yikes! How would we exist? Then we have all those tiny branches. Of course, they provide marvelous shade and home sites for Springtime bird families and squirrels, but when the two shall meet (branches and power lines getting on each other’s turf…well, it’s not a good thing). Looks like the township staff needs to inform the power company that a little Springtime cleanup is in order and hopefully we don’t experience any sudden ice storms until the deed is done.
What’s this got to do with devotionals or spiritual lessons? Simple. We need a spiritual power source in our lives that works to limit interruptions from worldly influences. Take for instance those tiny branches (unhealthy influences) growing underneath our noses, or weaving around our spiritual lives. Since they aren't really bothering us, we don't notice their move into our space until they become dangerously invasive. Anything (self-wisdom, materialism) that takes our focus off our true power source (serving and believing in the One True God) will eventually sever important functions (the ability to recognize who Jesus Christ is and what He has done for us). Often we don't realize the process, twig by twig or bit by bit, until the interference has become woven into our lives bringing our power to a halt.
Although twigs are a part of life and often work their way into our orb and become part of our daily life, they mistakenly lead us to believe we are not in need of any power source higher than the one provided by ourselves. Somewhere along the journey of life a standstill will occur; an unexpected the ice storm or horrific winds rage and destroy what was thought to be solid. Maybe it's time to re-evaluate the power source that runs your life.
Don't become complacent and allow Groot to grow on you.
Thought for the Day: Psalm 46:10 “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Today as I was walking at our local Rec Center, I decided to listen to a few pre-recorded messages by various teachers on my iPhone instead of listening to music. The main theme of the broadcasts centered on our need to take a few minutes and pause from our busy schedules. Among the discussions I kept hearing the phrase, be still. Even after all these years of being a busy wife, mom, teacher and now retired wife, mom, speaker, teacher and gramma, there has been and always will be a need to simply be still. Many ask how is that accomplished with all the hustle and bustle of life swirling around us at an ever-increasing pace? My answer, and I guess it comes with age and experience, write out your daily schedule and then subtract items that don’t necessarily need to be accomplished in the next 24 hours. There is always tomorrow for those pressing “to dos.”
I learned as a child and have kept the rhythm as an adult, don’t leave God in the dust when planning that daily schedule. Increasingly, the world is trying to impress upon our hearts that we drive our schedules, our lives, our businesses, our lifestyles, our families and the need for a God that doesn’t seem to answer prayers when called upon…well, why waste time that you don’t have trying to pray or picking up a Bible when reading is totally out of the question. The plumb line for life is simple, just let the world dictate your direction by looking at stats, informational articles or books written by those who don’t have an ounce of God in their daily lives. And actually that “be still” phase, maybe it happens as you soak in a hot tub, hit the sofa after putting the kids to bed or possibly while you are breathing in the fresh air and sunshine at a beach. Don't get me wrong, those resting times are important, but they can't replace time with God.
Being still usually doesn't rank with spending a few minutes a day with the God who created you, loves you and has blessed you with every possible convenience, because He didn’t do it, you did, right? You went to college or a training program, worked hard, made the sacrifices to get that degree. God didn’t have anything to do with it, right?
It took ten years part time and full time for me to finish my undergraduate degree in Education. It was a difficult process. We had two children, I was home caring for them in the day, my husband worked diligently at his job and often traveled and we had no family close by to help with babysitting, but we got it done. Would I ever say God wasn’t a big part of that success, that it was all hubby and me? Absolutely not. God gave me the desire, the courage and the fortitude to continue when I wanted desperately to quit and walk away from all the class assignments, exams and travel time.
God blessed me with the ability to learn, to study, to see what this degree would mean to our little family and kept me looking forward. The Holy Spirit that lives inside me can never be dismissed. It’s a power that has to be experienced in order to realize its potency. In order to truly experience how to be still, you need to discount yourself and put Christ into the driver’s seat. His influence, power, energy and peace will bless you with the ultimate in being still. It’s a time out with the Master.
The Sounding Board Ministry
A updated website, a healed body and a revised ministry name; three ingredients for our journey through the months ahead in 2020! Praises to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ for walking with us through my recent adventures with breast cancer. All credit is due Him and the many prayer warriors who went to war on their knees in my behalf. I do not take my healing lightly and realize I have been given, once again, the opportunity to proclaim the mercies and grace of our Father God until He calls me to my eternal home. Our heartfelt thanks to Justin Portz for developing a new logo for the ministry and updating our website including the time spent teaching this girl about technology advancements!
Lastly, these last couple of months have renewed, refocused and rebooted this ministry. Hopefully my readers and supporters will be blessed. If you so desire, you may send your email address to us and I will be able to send out a "blast" when a new devotional or special event is occurring with The Sounding Board Ministry! I'm very excited because Justin has paved the way for it to work very smoothly (as long as I remember what I've been taught!).
So come along on our journey for 2020 as we delve into the pages of scripture for devotionals, special events I'd like to share, great books I am reading and material for Bible studies we discover. There is a contact button if you care to ask questions or would like to send comments in our direction.
Bit by bit, let's grow spiritually this year!
Ephesians 1:17-18 New International Version (NIV)
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[a] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,
Judith "Cookie" White is the founder of The Sounding Board Ministry. She is the author of two devotional books which are available on this site.