Quenchable Thirst


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THE WORD: “My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. Keep their words always in your hearts. Tie them around your neck. When you walk, their counsel will lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up, they will advise you. For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light; their corrective discipline is the way of life.” Proverbs 6:20-23.

Can I have a “do-over”?! When I read this Proverb, I can’t help but think back on how I could have done better as a parent! If I had lived a more Christ-like example…I seemed to have rushed through the most important moments in the lives of my children. A workaholic trying to provide my kids with all the material things I never had growing up, only to realize later in life that at the end of the day, those “things” never really mattered. A lonely church-goer, married at the time to a non-believer; feeling trapped in a legalistic environment where keeping up with “appearances” seemed like the pseudo-Christian thing to do! Oh, if only I could turn back the hands of time….the extra hugs and kisses I would give, the bedtime stories I would read, the adventures we would have…and the heartaches I may have been able to mend? Please don’t misunderstand, it wasn’t all gloom and despair. We did experience love and laughter along the way, but more importantly my girls knew then as they do now that no matter what, mom is their biggest cheerleader, their biggest fan! My main regret was not having been in step with my Master’s calling.

But remembering where I came from and how I was raised often helps explain some of my flaws as a parent, as a wife, and as a friend. I said explain…not excuse. Allow me to give you a glimpse….

I accepted my Savior at the age of 17, and the fire in my heart burned brightly–for a while. I realize now that although my acceptance of my Savior was real, the seeds of truth landed on soil that went unattended for too many years. The weeds of temptation grew, and soon I became entangled in the many idols the world had to offer. The life I was meant to live in Christ became less and less important as I became more and more self-reliant.

As I look out my living room window, I see the 3 foot log I laid across the debris of leaves and dried plant material I lit after I finished cleaning the back yard yesterday morning. Today the log is charred but not burned up. So it was with the flame that God lit in my heart when I was 17. I left my church environment and started college, neglecting the flame of other embers (believers) to hold me accountable. My fire soon diminished. I strayed from my Savior. The alluring passions of this world weaved their nasty web around me and choked the gift of my faith that Christ had sacrificed His life to give me. Self-reliance became my standard protocol – a slippery slope that so often resulted in failures – at home as a parent, at work, and in my relationships.

I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. I didn’t have the examples of godly parents to provide wise counsel. However, God in His providential care took me out of a bad circumstance and gave me refuge in a foster home. I was blessed with an amazing godly foster mother, and a little later a wonderful pastor and his family, and a loving Sunday school teacher. They all lavished their love on me and planted spiritual seeds in my heart that in time would take root. It took years along a long, winding path of ups and downs and everything in between. It was when I finally reached rock bottom, when I was finally “so done” with the disappointments the world had delivered that I allowed God’s Holy Spirit to enter my heart! As I began to read HIS Word…His Living water quenched my thirst and nourished my hungry soil. I began to produce the fruit He always wanted to see grow in me. That old familiar flame I once received was reignited!

Today I dare not take for granted God’s gift of grace in my life. I purposely keep myself grounded with a group of believers that won’t hesitate to hold me accountable. Both young and old, they serve to remind me of God’s promises. I am more consistent with the study of Papa God’s Word. It feeds me in ways the world can’t. The messes that I made of my life have all been forgiven…the slate was wiped clean and a new chapter in my life is being written. How can I not count my blessings…how can I not shout out the mercies of ABBA Father that were demonstrated for me on the Cross of Calvary! I owe my whole life to HIM. Never again do I want my flame to diminish! Today I know that only in His strength and for His glory can I be of service to the ONE who set me free!

And so my hearts’ plea to my children today is to walk consistently with Christ. Make Him your FIRST TRUE LOVE! And to all those that may not be walking with Him consistently, turn back! Come back to the land of PROMISE! He is ready to restore you! Or, if you’ve never walked with Him, know that He is waiting to take you in His arms and love you just as you are! He will give you the courage and strength to give up the lies and the idols of this world that lead to eternal death and destruction! Empty yourself of SELF and allow God to guide you heaven bound!

Christ promises are true! He will restore and transform you in ways that you can’t even imagine right now! Surround yourself with other believers and grow in your walk with CHRIST! Quench your thirst with this promise – from John 4:10 &13 when he was ministering to the woman at a well, Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask Me, and I would give you living water!..Anyone who drinks this water (from the well) will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes fresh a fresh and bubbling spring within them, given them eternal life”

A journey with HIM is a walk to remember…a life worth living…a life of purpose and immeasurable joy! Take His living water and you will never thirst again!

Be blessed….IN HIS STRONG LOVE ~ rose

Bird-brained Christians


bird in handHave you ever been accused of being a “bird brain”? If so, it probably was not meant to be a compliment. Birds are not known for their intellectual skills. Nevertheless, Jesus tells us we can benefit by observing their ways: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” ~Matthew 6.26

Jesus had just finished teaching the disciples how to pray. We can easily remember the parts of the prayer with the acronym ACTS:
1. Adoration…declaring the “ultimacy” of God over all things.
2. Confession…admitting our frailty.
3. Thanksgiving…living with a sense of gratitude that God in his ultimacy looks after us in our frailty.
4. Supplication…asking for what we need to sustain our life…today.

Which brings us back to the bird illustration. Jesus is referring to the part in the prayer about asking for our daily bread… “Give us today our daily bread.” ~Matthew 6.11

Whether or not we realize it, most of us are hoarders. No, we’re not the hoarders who stack piles of useless trash to the ceiling, leaving only precarious walkways through our stuff. We’re the kind of hoarders who have food in our fridge and freezer, and in our cupboards and pantry. At what point do we become a hoarder? The moment we have more food than we need today. But it only seems reasonable to prepare for tomorrow, doesn’t it?

Seems reasonable to me. But if so, why didn’t Jesus direct our attention toward squirrels? (Possibly he was no more fond of squirrels than I am, but that’s a topic for another time.) As a kid, I liked to watch squirrels bury acorns in the dirt. They knew instinctively they needed to “squirrel” something away for the winter. But Jesus did not tell us we should look to squirrels for life lessons. He pointed to birds.

God designed us to depend on him. One of the most difficult concepts for us to grasp is the “daily bread” part of our dependence on him. We get excited when God provides in a miraculous way. You know, the times he comes through in the “nick of time.” We enjoy telling these stories. After the fact.

But we struggle to believe he’s going to do it again. It’s as if we wonder if God has a limited number of miracles up his celestial sleeve. Our faith is sometimes limited to God’s past provisions, and we strain to trust him for our daily needs…our “today” needs.

Yet, God wants us to live in continual awareness of our utter dependence of him. And we run the risk of forgetting this when we have stuff. While we might consider a full fridge and full pantry a blessing, the “fullness” is a blessing only if we remember that everything we have is because of God’s provision.

But some say, “I’ve worked hard for what I have.” Yet we forget God is the One who gives us breath and strength to work for what we have.

How do we know if we actually believe everything we have is because of God’s gift to us? By the way we respond the next time we have a need—a need that is beyond our own ability.

Some of us would be more comfortable if Jesus had told us to pray for our weekly bread, or better yet, for our monthly bread. Then we could coast along for a while…on our own…in oblivion to our helplessness, apart from God. And whenever we wondered if we had enough stuff, we could meander over to wherever we stash our stuff, and take a quick peek. Then we could relax in our self-sufficient little bubble. But bubbles burst.

Or, we can fix our attention on God, who in his goodness provides everything we need. Daily. And we can get on with learning to relax in him, rather than in our stuff. Like the birds of the air.

*The ACTS acronym is attributed to Dr. Dent, professor at Northern Baptist Seminary.

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MSN Headline Misprint: Newtown Begins Burying ‘Little Souls’


dancing kids
MSN Headline: Newtown Begins Burying ‘Little Souls’

Apparently this is a misprint. Little Souls cannot be buried. They would not hold still long enough to be buried! They are dancing and singing with the One who knit them together in their mother’s womb, having the time of their life!

For now, their little bodies are irrelevant to the adventure they’re living!

May we all continue to pray for their moms and dads and brothers and sisters and grandmas and grandpas…that they will find comfort in the arms of God, and will entrust their pain and loss to Him. And may they each place their faith in Jesus, so that one day they will be reunited with their little souls who went on ahead of them. In Jesus’ name…

“Heaven Sent” ~ Guest Blog by David N. Walker


Heaven_Sent_Final-Actual_Cover_UsedAs leader of my Sunday School class for the past eight years, I’ve made it a practice to read a short piece to the class each Sunday before bringing up the teacher. Sometimes it would be something funny or something to do with current events, but frequently it would be an inspirational or devotional piece I’ve received in an email. I’ve carefully saved all of these readings over the years.

Last year it dawned on me that I had a treasure trove of Christian stories I could share with others. I went back through my files and selected 67 of the pieces I’ve read through the years. The selection includes some of my own thoughts and one piece written by my daughter. The rest are those I’ve received in emails.

My first step was to try to contact the authors of the pieces whenever I could find their names. Then I sent emails to each asking permission to include his or her piece in my book. Of course, I had to omit a number of them whose authors either were unlocatable or denied permission. The result was the stories I’ve included in the book, Heaven Sent. Many of them are anonymous, but I’ve attributed those authors I found who gave me permission to use their stories.

Once I selected the stories which would go into the book, I appended comments of my own to them, except, of course, for the ones I originally wrote. To eliminate confusion, I put the original stories in italics, with my comments following in plain text.

Please click here to read more about Heaven Sent on my website, including how to order it. Or click here to read about it on Goodreads. Oh, yeah—buy a copy while you’re at it.

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                        David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot, a would-be Nashville star, and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years as a health insurance agent. Most of that career was spent in Texas, but for a few years he traveled many other states.

He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers’ groups. Two of his books, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats. Click here for more information and links to purchase these books.

David is currently working on a series of novellas taking over where Fancy leaves off early in the Civil War and following her life over a period of the next twenty years or so. Fancy: The Search – Vol 2 is now out, and others will follow every couple of months or so.

Christmas is OUR Story!


Merry ChristmasAhhh…the”Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holiday” thing!

In the midst of the season, may we remember the true Christmas Story is OUR story to tell! There’s no need to be concerned when others refer to it as a “holiday” if that’s what it is to them. Christmas is not everyone’s story. Why would we expect others to tell our story!

Christmas is our opportunity to tell the story God has placed in our hearts…the wonderful Story of God sending His Son Jesus to earth to rescue us from our captivity to the Father of the Lie, and to empower us to live an abundant life.

Christmas is our opportunity to share the love of Jesus with those for whom Christmas is merely a holiday. Be kind. Whisper a prayer that they too might become a part of this amazing story.

May the world around us be drawn to the Spirit of Jesus within us during this Joyous Christmas Holiday Season!

Rose and I wish you a Blessed Christmas Celebration!!

Enough About You…Let’s Talk About ME…


“…for he is the kind of man
who is always thinking about the cost.
‘Eat and drink,’ he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.” ~Proverbs 23.7

“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” ~Philippians 2.4

We live in a society absorbed with its own feelings. Today, people are addicted to seeing themselves as victims and demanding special tolerance, favor, acceptance, or gifts. Yet a mind concerned with its own painful experiences, rejections, mistakes, or emotional hurts is one that refuses healing. These emotions comfort like old bandages, and many are afraid to see what is underneath. Some cling to them because they give special “handicap” privileges, and they use them to justify what they believe, say or do. It is a demonic delusion because it only perpetuates the pain and denies the freedom or forgiveness that God offers.

Pain should serve to teach and mature us, not box us into the darkness. Hebrews 2:10 says Christ learned by the things He suffered—His pain was His teacher. Likewise, our painful experiences can teach us the contrasts between this human life and the glorious life for which God is preparing us.

However, a mind that feels pain speaks pain, and, if left unchecked, will eventually drive others away. Sharing a painful experience with a confidant is empowering and emotionally bonding, but continually sharing it with anyone who will listen deludes us into thinking that it is good for us when it is actually a kind of psychosis. Preoccupation with personal pain denies the fruit of the Spirit. It brings no peace or joy or love, etc.

Proverbs 23:7 teaches, “For as [one] thinks in his heart, so is he.” It is easy to become caught up in life’s painful experiences, and some of us have enough of them to fill novels. Yet Paul instructs the Philippians not to dwell on themselves so much: “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4). At times, the best way to put aside pain is to care for the needs of someone else. Positive and outgoing communication provides plenty of time to talk about painful experiences, but it does not allow them to become a way of life. When someone asks, we can feel free to express some of the painful events of our lives, but we should show interest and concern for the other’s experiences and provide encouragement as needed.

Reposted from The Berean: Church of the Great God

“And This is Love…”


AgapeI’m often preoccupied with obsessive-like questions in my brain: “Do I really know what it means to be a Christian…from God’s perspective?” and, “Am I a Christian…from God’s perspective?” A third question also pops up occasionally: “Do we do church the way church is supposed to be done…again, from God’s perspective?” I suppose it might seem strange to someone who knows I’ve claimed to be a Christian since I was still in single digits, age-wise. But the more I discover about Biblical Christianity, the more I realize many well-intentioned people (like me) run the risk of living in a delusional bubble of pseudo-Christianity.

Many of us have been disrupted by revelations along our journey that upended a belief or understanding of Christianity we may have held for years. As a young adult, I was astonished to learn there was more to Christianity than not doing all the things that seemed appealing to me, like drinking and smoking and dancing and going to the movies, and going “too far,”…and playing with face cards (gasp!).

And many of us have been surprised to learn that Biblical Christianity demands that we abandon our perspective in exchange for God’s perspective. It’s not a suggestion. Sometimes we tend to be a little lax about the “take up your cross” element of being an authentic Christian. And we’re a little fuzzy about the “life transformation” part of the story.

Here again, we’re challenged to see things from God’s perspective. We’re easily distracted, and fooled, by our own perspective. Who’s exempt from the warning, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 16.25)?

Every now and then a puzzle piece falls into place. Like recently as I was headed to the Home Depot, and I was thinking about Jesus’s* statement, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13.35 NLT). Based solely on this comment, it seems that love should be a distinctive quality of true discipleship. The love Jesus mentioned is agape love, which bears little resemblance to our natural, self-gratifying type of love. How is agape love expressed? We find the answer (or at least part of the answer) in 2 John 1.6: “And this is (agape) love: that we walk in obedience to his (God’s) commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.”

I enjoy these kinds of scriptures! This verse is a “perpetual pondering” kind of thing we might get lost in around a campfire: This is love, that you walk in his command to love. My head was already spinning when the greatest – and the runner-up to the greatest – commandments came to mind. In Matthew 22.37-39, we are told to be impassioned by our love for God, and to pour his love out to the people around us (my paraphrase).

Awesome! This is an answer to my earlier question: I am a Christian if I walk in obedience to God’s command to love him with everything I am, and my neighbors-in-life the same way. That seems simple enough, right! If we’re not walking this way, can we rightfully call ourselves a Christian? I think it’s a fair question…especially from God’s perspective.

I suspect I will still be asking these questions for years to come, and I’m okay with that, because there’s one question I’ve answered that makes all the other questions find their place. I’ve answered “Yes!” to God’s invitation to live life with him. I’ve settled that question in my heart, and I enthusiastically reaffirm it daily.

*Editorial note: I realize we prefer to write Jesus’ rather than Jesus’s. However, I’ve been told the CMOS (Chicago Manual of Style) has gone back to writing it Jesus’s.

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