Thursday, August 28, 2008

Aqua Viva

Welcome to those popping over from my devotion published today by Proverbs 31 Ministries - feel free to post your thoughts on it.

I first found this passage in Ezekiel 47 in April of 2004 and immediately loved it. I know the date because I wrote it in the margin of my Bible, along with a drawing of a water spicket. Let me explain ...

I was praying at the time, mostly about the ministry opportunites that were in front of me, and I had this vision flash before my eyes. Now before you start thinking I am super freaky or super spiritual, let me assure you that this kind of thing doesn't happen to me often. But I saw a water spicket, and then a massive hand (Hand of God) began turning the knob to turn the faucet on. Water started to trickle out. And I somehow knew it was salty water - like I could taste it, but I was only watching it. The hand kept turning, and the flow steadily increased until it was pouring out. Meanwhile, the water gradually changed over from salty to fresh.

That was it; the vision ended. So I searched in my Bible for references to salty and fresh water and came right to Ezekiel 47. I felt God was speaking to me about becoming an agent of healing for others, and about evangelism.

If I could pick one spot in the Bible to live, it would be here in Ezekiel on the riverbanks by the temple. Even more so than the Garden of Eden ... even more so than in the Gospels where I could listen to Jesus, though that is a very close second! For me, I am just awed by this description Ezekiel wrote of the vision he saw. It draws me to God, heart and soul. I hope you've been drawn to Him today too. Take a moment and read that passage in Ezekiel 47:1-12 and journal your reactions - or post them in the comments here so we can glean from them too.

Did I leave you feeling envious with this devotion because you don't live close enough to visit a beach today? Well I can bring the beach to you! Follow this link to watch the ocean from the web-cam at one of my nearby beaches. It's complete with sound, so you can open it in an Internet window and let it run in the background with the sound of the surf while you read in Ezekiel. After you read, close your eyes, listen to the surf, pray, and take your own dip in the river of God.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I can relate

Did you see the women's Olympic team gymnastics competition? If so, you saw how well Alicia was doing for the first half of the meet. Then the US went to beam where Alicia went first, and fell on her mount. Things started to unravel.

Now let me just assure you that her mount is super hard to do - among the hardest in the competition. I used to do it myself. First, you have to run hard towards a long beam of wood that is sitting at about the same height as your chest. Then you jump onto a slanted board filled with springs, which will send you careening forward and up if you hit it right. Next you reach up and pull your knees up to your chin and rotate your body forward doing an entire somersault in the air. Then you are suppose to open up and land on the beam.

When you are flipping forward, you can't see the beam where you're suppose to land. You only have 4 inches on which to make that blind landing. Look down at your right foot. It is probably 4" wide or more by itself. So you have to land with one foot slightly in front of the other, nesting the ball of your left foot in the inside arch of your right foot to fit them both side-by-side on the beam. You also must keep your hips and your shoulders level and square because if one drops or twists, you will miss and fall. That happened to Alicia.

The sad thing is - not that she fell, but - that she really let it rattle her. She never mentally or emotionally recovered. She never forgave herself. She never let it go so she could move on unencumbered by that mistake. And therefore it negatively impacted the rest of her beam routine, and her floor routine, and many of her teammates. And now it threatens to haunt her Olympic memories with regret forever more, if she lets it.

I can so relate to Alicia. Not just because I too did the same mount. Not just because I too have fallen on it in competition. But because in my gymnastics career (which was not as stellar as Alicia's), I too had a very hard time mentally moving on after a mistake like that. The result being my poor ability to forgive myself and move forward so often wound up overriding my talent.

I've since learned that not letting go of mistakes so I can move forward well is an even bigger mistake. So I pray for Alicia to be able to let this go, and to have a positive experience in the all-around competition that will be broadcast tonight.

And I thank God that we can be forgiven and delivered from our mistakes. Our sins need not haunt us.

Is there some mistake in your life you're letting hold you back? Does some memory regularly fill you with regret? Lay it down in prayer, and let it go. Then you can run free.

For everyone that Jesus sets free, is free indeed.

I'll be watching the competition tonight ... Go, Alicia, go!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Guess what?

Hey Girls. I deserve 20 slaps with a wet noodle for my lack of posting here these last few weeks! I offer you my apology and I hope you'll offer me some grace. I appreciate the sweet notes you've sent saying you missed me and checking to make sure everything is OK with me. All is well, in fact, it is even better than well ...

Tonight my husband brought in the mail and handed me a large envelope with the name David. C. Cook in the return address. It contained the contract for me to sign for my next book! Oh happy day!

Do you remember me asking for prayer this past spring to finish a writing project I was working on? It was the proposal for this book - so thank you for praying. The book is called:

Can You Keep a Secret?
Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know

PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY because now I have to finish writing the other 11 chapters. I might be posting a little erratically as I work on this project - but I'll keep in touch here for sure. Actually, I might just need your help ... your feedback, ideas, cheers and stories. And I may want to quote you from some of your comments you've already posted during our Bible studies together. So stay tuned.

And know that I truly would appreciate your prayers for this project -- for uninterrupted writing time, for wisdom and inspiration, and most of all for my readers to see God afresh through these words. I can't do this without Him, and would not want to.

Now I'm off to watch the Olympics - I'm a HUGE gymnastics fan as I used to be a gymnast myself. Are you watching it too?