A Divine Errand

6 Comments

Palm Sunday.

The day Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Palms wave. The people throw their coats down on the ground. The people cheer.

Yet hidden in this familiar scene, I took note of something I had not seen before ….

A Divine Errand.

Jesus instructs two of his disciples: “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, “Why are you doing this?” tell him, “The Lord needs it and will send it back shortly.” (Mark 11:2-3).

Jesus sends two of His disciples on an errand for Him. They are to get the colt, on which He will ride into Jerusalem. From that day forward, this one ride would be recorded, remembered, and celebrated as what we now know as “Palm Sunday”.

As they went into the village, they must have had questions swirling in their minds, perhaps even voiced aloud to each other ….

  • “How does He know there will be a colt?”
  • “Will we be stealing it?”
  • “Will the owner give it to us willingly?”
  • “Does this make sense to you?”
  • “Did you know He was going to ask us to do this?”
  • “Do you think we can do this and perhaps no one will notice?”
  • “Why me?”
  • “Do you know what He is going to do after this?”

Those poor disciples. They could not have known what their day was going to entail when they woke up that very morning. But they went and did exactly as they were instructed.

And so I noticed this about the very things He may ask of me to do. The divine errand …

  1. I may not ever know the reason.
  2. It probably will not make sense to me.
  3. I need to obey and leave the outcome to Him.

See here’s the thing about divine errands and the One behind them,

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

He thinks and works differently than me. He knows the results He is looking to bring about. Our God is a results oriented God. He has a specific purpose in mind. Situations may not always make sense in our lives, at the moment. It probably did not that very day as they untied the colt. Only when they looked back could they then see, it was all in His plan and they had been on …

  A Divine Errand.

ID-1003109(photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/Tom Curtis)

 

~~~For a chance to win the newly released, “Spiritual Misfit” by Michelle DeRusha, click here. The giveaway is open until Friday midnight.

Today I am joining … Three Word Wed. and Wed. Prayer Girls and Wedded Wed. and Wordless Wed. and Works For Me and Wholehearted Wed. and Winsome Wed. and Whimsical Wed. and A Little R & R and Imperfect Prose and Words of Life Wed. .

 

 

Spiritual Misfit & A Giveaway

20 Comments

I have always loved to read. As a kid growing up in the Bronx, my favorite thing to do was to head to the library and come home with a shopping bag full of books. Sure it was nerdy but it was always an exciting way to go on an adventure. To be honest, not much has changed now that I am an adult.

I still love to read. There is nothing like a good conversation in which thoughts from books are shared. Throw in a few cups of coffee and call it wonderful!

I recently had the opportunity to read “Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith” by Michelle DeRusha. I have been waiting for today – her release day!!! – to share about this book. I have been so blessed in reading her blog posts for the last year that when the chance to read her book became available, I jumped at it.

Recently I was asked this question … What are the top three reasons I would recommend this book? Here are my reasons:

#3 – This book will make you laugh! Seriously, the woman has the funniest sense of humor. She describes situations and emotions which will not only make you laugh with her but you will laugh at yourself because you will see reflections of yourself in her stories. Michelle makes you realize, there are so many experiences in life which are common to us all. And funny as they are, these experiences still point us to God, revealing Him in ways which make Him all the more tangible in our lives.

Misfit-printable2-545x671

#2 – This book will make you cry!! Michelle shares with a transparency which will touch your heart. She lets you into places most of us hold close to ourselves to reveal her own personal struggles. We come to see God has been at work in each of our lives through all things. She shares her skepticism, her shortcomings, and her fragile faith. SpiritualMisfit_Destination-4

And the #1 reason!!! – This book will surely grow your faith and relationship with God. Throughout each page, we discover our search to belong, to fit in, leads us to the profound truth which is this – we have been loved all along. We come to grips with the fact that this journey of faith – well – it is just that … our journey. For each of us, it will look different. And yet it will look similar. SpiritualMisfitFaithpin-545x408

Michelle’s memoir and journey is transparent, honest and authentic. We all have doubts and questions at various times throughout our lives. I have come to realize these are the very catalysts which God uses to grow us in our faith. He moves us deeper into our awareness of Himself and Who He is. We come to see facets of faith which may have remained hidden had we not questioned. These times become the means by which as Michelle explains,

“…we learn how to seek God every day, in ordinary life, and to learn how to shape my life to reflect him.” (page 208)

After all, that is truly the goal  – to be transformed so that we reflect Him and our lives bring Him glory.

Spiritual-Misfit-1024x1579

~~~~So here’s the deal … I was graciously and generously provided a copy of this book by Michelle to offer in a giveaway. Now you all do not want to miss this opportunity. Trust me. So I am going to make this as easy as I possibly can. Leave me a comment in which you tell me: Are Cheez-Its ever a snack in your house? Simply – yes or no. But you must answer the question in your comment to be entered into the giveaway. I will close this opportunity Friday at midnight and a winner will be drawn.~~~~

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I was given this book in exchange for my honest review. The book has impacted and changed my life. You can learn more about this book by visiting Michelle here. You can also purchase the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or ChristianBook.com .

Today I am joining with … Soli Deo Gloria and Playdates With God and Unite and Testimony Tues. and Titus 2 Tues. and Tell Me a Story and Teaching What is Good and Titus 2sday .

Our Spiritual Lifeline

10 Comments

300x250-Lent-AdGrowing up can be so difficult at times. Now that I am an adult, I look back on those days and realize how we each truly strive to find ourselves – who we are to be, who we want to be, the purpose of our lives and how to get there. Each stage of life presents it own set of challenges and questions, some quickly answered and overcome, some linger unanswered.

And then as an adult, I am still left wondering – how do I grow up in my faith? With “Faith” as my #OneWord365, which I am focusing on this year, I read a portion of Scripture with great interest this week. In fact, it gives wonderful instruction and insight. The author of Hebrews, who is unknown, starts off Chapter 6 (I am using The Message) stating …

“Grow up in Christ.”

With foundational truth in place, it is time to move on, realizing there is more to be had. The writer goes on to share the very means available to us by which we grow in our faith and find purpose  …

“When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee – God can’t break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable.”

The way to growth, the means of surviving anything and everything life throws our way, is through God’s Word. Every word written there is absolute, truth, unchanging, unbreakable. A rock-solid guarantee. A guarantee assures us of a particular outcome or condition. He gave us Scripture to guide us through life, giving us knowledge and wisdom to make right choices along the way.

We read His Word so as to know His Word because it will grow us to develop a faith which will last …

“Be like those who stay the course with committed faith, and then get everything promised to them.”

Interesting use of words … “stay the course”. The author used a phrase which is “used in the context of a war or battle meaning to pursue a goal regardless of any obstacles or criticism”, (from Wikipedia.com). It originally was a nautical term which was yelled out in the midst of a storm to encourage sailors to maintain a constant, unaltered course while they navigated through the stormy waters.

Life can often be a battle with obstacles that seem to loom bigger than life itself. Stormy waters can rage all around causing us to feel we will sink or go down. Yet it is in “staying the course” that we get through, reaching the other side and safe shores. The writer goes on …

“We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go.”

It is in and through reading Scripture, God-breathed words, by which we will grow, becoming committed in our faith and faithful to Him.

I am so grateful he then gives us the very reason we can do this, telling us this truth about Scripture  ….

“It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline.”

ID-100106138-1(photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/Michal Marcol)

I am joining with … Hear It, Use It and Sharing His Beauty and Motivation Mon. and Inspire Me Mon. and Making Your Home Sing and Living Proverbs 31 and Mon. Musings and The Modest Mom .

 

Welcome & Worship Him

6 Comments

Palm-Sunday-Wallpaper-02They brought the colt to Jesus. Then, throwing their coats on its back, they helped Jesus get on.As he rode, the people gave him a grand welcome, throwing their coats on the street.

Right at the crest, where the Mount Olives begins it descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into enthusiastic praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed:

Blessed is he who comes,

the king in God’s name!

All’s well in heaven!

Glory in the high places!

(Luke 19:35-38, MSG)

 

Today I am joining with … Still Saturday and Sunday Stillness and Spiritual Sundays and Scripture & a Snapshot and The Sunday Community and Living in the Word  .

Of Belonging, Beauty, & Friendship

16 Comments

This week I saw my first signs indicating spring is truly on its way – - crocuses are coming up and the woodchuck (whom resides under our shed) was out and about our yard :) This also means conversation about borrowing a B-B gun should begin shortly. Don’t worry, he’s all talk. I promise. I also promise you will greatly enjoy the links I am going to share:

1) We all know the feeling of being left out. It hurts when we have not been included. In this post, Elizabeth shares insight on fitting in and belonging.

E+800a

2) We have all heard the saying, “Beauty is deeper than skin.” But can we truly believe this about ourselves? In this most transparent and vulnerable post, Kelli shares about the beauty of self-acceptance.

A_Kelli

3) There are some topics we so would rather avoid. This is one of them. But in this post, the author shares how, “The marriage relationship reveals the ways we are broken and centered on self so that we can mature and learn to love selflessly.”

christ-and-the-woman-taken-in-adultery-1565-1.jpgBlog-300x216

4) We all need someone to be on our side. To perhaps even cheer for us. In “Report From the Sidelines“, Deidra tells the story of the honor she felt as she watched her friend from the sidelines. We all need a friend to help keep the dream alive. And we all need to be that friend. Great post!

20140411_DeidraRiggs_Significance

5) This song has been on repeat since I heard it for the first time this week. May this truth settle deep in your soul – All He ever wanted was your heart!

Well you made it – today is Saturday. Grab some coffee and settle in to read a few posts. Put your feet up and relax.

Love,
Joanne

Today I am joining … The Weekend Brew and Recommendation Saturday and The Fri. Five and The SITS Sharefest and Make My Sat. Sweet and Saturday Linky Love

Paint

22 Comments

{{Today is Friday!!!  It is the day I link with Lisa Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday. Here is how it works…. One word prompt. Five minutes. No editing. Lots of women. We all write on the same word.}}

Today the word is … paint.

I sat and stared at the word a few minutes, truly thinking I would not be able to write a single thing. And then the words began going through my mind …

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me.” (Isaiah 61:1, NIV)

Drawing a total blank as to what this verse would have to do with the word “paint”, I did the only thing I could – I flipped to the Old Testament Lexical Aids in the back of my Bible. Here is what I discovered …

The word “anoint” is masah, in the Hebrew. It means “to rub with oil, smear. It signifies a very important part in Jewish ceremony. The action signified that the anointed individual was separated for God’s service and chosen by Him. It was a very serious responsibility and God was the authorizing agent. The Spirit of God was the empowerment”.

What does this have to do with paint, you ask? I am so glad you asked because I was blown away as I continued to read, “Other usages of the term included the painting of a house.”

We as believers house the Holy Spirit within our very being, providing residency for Him. And we have been anointed, painted as a house if you will, to serve our God. He has painted our lives in such a way that we:

  • preach good news to the poor
  • bind up the brokenhearted
  • proclaim freedom to the captives
  • release prisoners from darkness
  • comfort all who mourn

I started with thinking I had nothing to say about “paint” only to discover that our God has plenty to say about it. He has been painting on the canvas of lives from the beginning of time.

And He is painting on each of ours.

ID-10010495(photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/Simon Howden)

Today I am joining with …  Five Minute Friday and Fellowship Fri. and Faith Filled Fri. and Essential Fri. and Fri. Flash Blog and Beauty Observed and Everyday Jesus and Friendship Fri. .