Bible, Faith, Jesus, Salvation, Uncategorized

Cookie Crumbs

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I love to bake. During Christmas I make Russian Tea Cakes, Almond Roca bars, raspberry shortbread bars, and a few others that change each year. My family loves sugar cookies so I make lots of those, and as you can see from the picture, my decorating is very homemade looking. Nothing fancy but oh so yummy! A good cookie can bring a smile to anyone’s face. And when its homemade there’s an extra sweetness. Sometimes the cookie is so good that I’ll even eat the crumbs. They are still delicious. I want to get every morsel of the goodness.

I have read the story of the Canaanite woman in the Bible many times over the years. I would always get stuck on the verse where she says, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table. (Matthew 15:27 NIV)” I knew it was about faith but didn’t know what I was supposed to get from it. I would read it a few times, shake my head, and move on still a bit confused as to what it really meant. The Lord brought me back to this passage the other day and finally I got revelation on the importance of this story. Thank you Jesus!

She was a Canaanite.

The entire story of The Faith of the Canaanite Woman is in Matthew 15:21-28. It’s also in Mark 7:24-30.  Matthew makes sure we know she is a Canaanite. This is important because ancient Canaanites were enemies of Israel who did many detestable things in the eyes of God. Sodom was a Canaanite city and we all know what happened there (Genesis 19). They also practiced child sacrifice (Leviticus 18:21). There’s not enough time or space in one blog post for me to go into the details of the Canaanites. Historically, they were bad. So it’s a big deal that a Canaanite woman came to Jesus.

She knew who Jesus was.

“A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David,” (Matthew 15:22a). Let’s just stop right there for a moment. She is calling Jesus “Son of David”. She knows who He is. The rightful King (2 Samuel 7:12-16). The promised Messiah. Not many had acknowledged publicly who Jesus was at that point, not even His own disciples.

She was desperate for Jesus’ help.

“Have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession,” (Matthew 15:22b NIV). Any parent can relate to this feeling of helplessness when your child is suffering. She knows there is nowhere else to turn, and with every fiber of her being wants her daughter free. Jesus is the only one who could help her daughter.

She was persistent.

“Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said (Matthew 15:23-25 NIV). She doesn’t give up when initially Jesus won’t help. This was Him testing her faith, not rejecting her. So she persists and kneels before him. That takes courageous faith.

She knew what Jesus could do.

“He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” (V. 26). The bread symbolizes the gospel of salvation. The children are the Jews. The dogs represent Gentiles. Jesus is testing her faith and telling her that He came for the Jews first. “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” (V.27). She acknowledges the history of her people and the contempt of the Jews toward her people but that does not stop her. She knows that Jesus would still have plenty of power to help her daughter.

She had great faith.

”Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. (V. 28). Jesus answers her plea for help because of her faith. Hallelujah!! I can only imagine the joy she felt when she found her daughter completely free from her suffering. Jesus gave her grace and mercy all because of her persistent faith and His amazing love.

Those little crumbs represent big things. Jesus came for all of us; Jews and Gentiles. “Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,” (Romans 3:29 NIV). Jesus died for the whole world’s sins (1 John 2:2). 

The Canaanite woman had great, bold faith. She came to Jesus in spite of her lineage, because she knew who He was. Lord. Son of David. The Messiah. She also knew even a few crumbs is all it would take to heal her daughter. Jesus has enough saving, holy power for all of us. Actually, He’s got more than enough. It’s just that initially, the Jews were waiting for their Messiah, but He came to save all of us.

I don’t believe we are to ask for crumbs. Let’s ask for the whole cookie. I want everything He has for me. Including the trials, and struggles. We too can boldly come to Jesus in our times of trouble and ask for His help. It does not matter what your past is. It does not matter what’s been spoken over you. It does not matter how overwhelming your circumstance is. Jesus came for you and for me!

If you do not know Jesus as your Savior and Lord, today would be a great day to change that. “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved,” (Acts 2:21 NIV).

Merry Christmas!

Love you all,

Meghan

Faith, God, Jesus, Joey Flynn's Extraordinary Tale, Obedience, Uncategorized

Why Did I Write A Children’s Book?

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That’s an excellent question. I’ve asked myself the same question a few times since my book was published in April. In honor of my first book signing tomorrow, I thought I would answer this. The reason I wrote a kid’s book is very simple; God. I never wanted to be a writer. I never dreamed about it. Writing was nowhere on my radar.

It all began with a character my husband created many years ago. We were newlyweds, and Tom showed me his drawing of this character, and shared his dream of creating a children’s picture book. I thought it was a really cool idea and encouraged him to make it happen. I was excited for him to pursue his dream and happy to help. My role, or so I thought, was being the good, supportive wife. I was clueless that God had other plans.

Tom and I would talk about his book, and character, and dream of “someday” as life was happening. Our first house was a fixer upper, so that took lots of our time and energy, yet we still dreamed of “the story”. Then our first baby arrived, and eventually Tom went back to school. Life and all of it’s pressures, and responsibilities, took priority over any frivolous dreaming. I just couldn’t shake it though. This idea of some story coming to fruition never left my head. Tom’s character  needed to come alive, but how?

One day, while praying about Tom’s book idea, God said, “Just write the story.” I thought there is no way that was God talking to me. That was one of the craziest things I’d heard. I decided to forget it and move on. Well, the next day, I was praying again and heard, “Just write the story.” Now things were getting really weird. “Just write the story,” was repeated to me many times, over several days. I didn’t know what to do with those words. I wasn’t even sure they were God’s words to me. I decided to file those words away and I didn’t tell anyone. That was just crazy talk. It couldn’t have been God. Why would He want me of all people, to write? Nope. It didn’t happen. Move on, and so I did.

God has a funny way of getting our attention when He has called us to do something for Him. I thought I could disregard any bizarre notions of writing a book for children. I mean, come on, that was Tom’s dream, not mine. The notion never went away. When I woke up, it was there. When I went about my day, it was there. I could not get rid of this constant nagging feeling that I indeed was supposed to write this story. Every time I would try to ignore what I was supposed to do, God would speak to me through a circumstance or even my children to remind me to write this story. He even gave me a couple of dreams/visions that shook me to my core, in a good way. His message to me consistently was, “write the story.”

This all probably sounds pretty strange, and I would agree with you. I did not understand why God would tell someone like me to write. It made no sense. This wasn’t my dream. Why not ask me to do something I was good at, or at least enjoyed. Please don’t have me write. And not fiction. After years of me questioning God, I was convinced I had to accomplish this task. I knew I could not live with myself if I never even attempted to do what He was so clearly calling me to.  I wanted to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Summer 2010, my writing journey began. I’ve homeschooled for years, and knew summer break was going to be the only way any writing was going to take place. The thought of typing everything out on a computer sounded dreadful, so I grabbed a spiral notebook and sat on the living room couch. I said, “What do I write? I don’t even know where to start.” He gently told me, “Just write.” I put pen to paper and words started coming out. It was the beginning of a story. I was so excited. I could not believe there was something there. Right away I saw that this little story was not meant to be an illustrated children’s book. It was going to be a middle grade novel. And here’s another crazy thing that happened; I was having these amazing spiritual highs like I’ve never had before. It was the most exciting thing I’d ever done. I was doing the thing God asked of me, and I needed Him to accomplish it. I felt so close to God as I wrote. He was doing it all through me.

Of course there was opposition. When you pursue God’s dream for you the attacks come. The enemy would do everything in his power to stop me from writing. Sometimes, his tactics worked. But, he lost. God’s plan for me has prevailed. It has been one of the hardest things I’ve done. I’m not a natural writer, and children’s fiction has been a huge challenge for me. And my story is a Christian story, so that has it’s challenges as well.

My writing journey has been long. It took over seven years, writing mostly during the summer, to complete my little book. I was juggling many other things, like most people. Writing is hard! I had to fully rely on God to give me every character, every word, everything! He did! God is faithful! Only God would take a nobody like me, and write a book for kid’s with His message. He gets all the glory.

There are lots of other pieces that God took care of along the way. Like editing, publishing, and all the other details in the journey of a completed book. Every time I would come to a place of not knowing how to get to the next step, He took care of it. Like blessing me with a beautiful cover by a very talented artist, and friend, Nick. I could go on and on, but I’ll save some of that for another time.

I still don’t know where this is all going, but I don’t care anymore. I am running after God’s plan for me instead of running from it. Every day, there’s a new opportunity to promote my book, or step out in some way, and I’m taking those steps. Sometimes, I feel pretty foolish. Especially when I put myself out there with little to no results. I think, “God, why did you have me do this? I don’t get it.” My Heavenly Father reminds me of His plan and tells me to trust Him. If I fall flat on my face, it’s OK. He’ll pick me up. And I’ll keep running my race.

What hard thing is God asking you to do? Have you been running from Him, like I did for years? Stop running from Him. Go for what He is asking you to do. It will be hard. You will be uncomfortable and you will have to rely on Him to accomplish it. There are rewards waiting for you unlike anything you’ve experienced. I’m not talking material things. I’m talking spiritual. Those are the ones that last.

Maybe you are already pursuing His calling for you and are discouraged. Keep going! We’ve got Kingdom work to accomplish! We are to spur one another on. Maybe you don’t know what God wants you to do. Ask Him. He will reveal it to you. The God dreams are from Him. It’s not the stuff you and I think up. The things He calls us to require Him to achieve them.

God is asking for your willingness and obedience. You don’t have to have it all figured it out. He will equip you and do marvelous things through you, if you let Him.

May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21, NIV)

Lord,

Thank you for who you are. Perfect. Holy God. You are sure. Reliable. Constant. The Rock. Thank you that we get the joy of being involved in your work. I lift up all those who know what you have called them to, but they’ve been avoiding it, like I did. Give them courage to pursue the God sized dreams you gave them. For those who don’t know what to do reveal your plan to them. And for those who are discouraged in their call, bring encouragement, strength, and a new perspective to keep going.

In Jesus name,

Amen

 

Love you all,

Meghan

Bible, Faith, God, Jesus, Trials

Broken

broken butterfly

I feel like this butterfly today. A little bit broken. Of course God gave me the gift of finding this beauty in my garden right when I needed it most. He tends to do that. He’s just that good. I wasn’t feeling particularly faith-filled this morning. Actually, I was feeling pretty lousy and just plain worn out. I told God, “I can’t do it anymore. I’m done. Fully cooked.” I brought Him my exhaustion, anger, fear, and doubt. He listened. He still loves me when I feel broken.

This beautiful butterfly with torn wings still did exactly what it was designed to do. It stopped to drink nectar and pick up pollen along the way to help pollinate lots of flowers. The brokenness didn’t stop it’s mission. This butterfly that God made still has purpose, torn wings and all. He can use my brokenness too. God shines through our broken pieces.

Life is hard. I wish it were always puppies, kittens, and rainbows. It’s not. I wouldn’t grow if life were perfect. I wouldn’t rely on God. I wouldn’t cry out to Him. I wouldn’t trust Him. I wouldn’t need Him. The truth is I need my savior, Jesus. I need Him every moment of every day. This world is imperfect and is not my home. I’m just passing through and along the way learning how to be more like Jesus. I’m not always the best student, but God is a patient teacher.

Brokenness is a requirement for spiritual growth. God will allow us to come to the end of ourselves. He wants all of us, not just bits and pieces. He knows us like no person on earth. He is our creator and knows exactly what we need to get to the place where we need to be. It’s going to involve pain. I know that’s not happy-go-lucky theology. It’s truth.

James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”(NIV).

Yep, our faith must be tested. God’s been teaching me perseverance lately and I’m not thrilled about it, but I know it’s necessary if I’m going to be any good for the Kingdom. He wants me mature and complete. God doesn’t hurt me or cause me pain. He does allow circumstances to draw me to Him. Ultimately, that’s what He wants. Me. All of me. And if struggle accomplishes that, so be it.

Here’s the really good news about being broken. God shows up there! He is so faithful. Every time I come to the end of myself and think I can’t take it anymore, God meets me there. And it’s a wonderful thing to feel that love He has for me. To be encouraged by my sweet, precious Jesus. Doesn’t mean all my problems just poof, go away. Something bigger happens. He comforts me. Sings over me. Loves me. Holds me. Now that’s exciting, life changing kind of stuff. So, I’ll take broken, even if I hate it, if it brings me closer to my Father. Because I wouldn’t be as close to Him if I didn’t go through trial.

My feelings of brokenness do not change who God is. He does not change (Malachi 3:6). Jesus does not change (Hebrews 13:8).  If I am feeling down or discouraged that doesn’t change God, the Rock (Psalm 18:31), or how He feels about me. It also doesn’t change His plans for me. What God starts, He finishes.

Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (NIV).

One thing you can be sure of is that God is working out something beautiful for you and through you, in spite of your brokenness and because of it. He is working for your good and my good. That’s unbelievably excellent news!

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (NIV).

Stay with me for a minute. That verse gets used A LOT. We know means it’s a sure thing. Not “I think” or “maybe”. We know means it’s solid because we are relying on God to handle it. We know God is at work on our behalf. Woo hoo!! That’s good, good news. God can do things through brokenness that no one else can. He’s God and I am not.

If you are broken right now my heart goes out to you. It’s a very difficult place to be, especially if you’ve been broken for a very long time. Please be encouraged that God has not forgotten you. He has a perfect, beautiful plan for you, and yes, it involves brokenness. But, it does not mean you will have to remain there. You are loved! You are not forgotten, and your Heavenly Father is waiting with open arms to embrace you. Cry out to Him. Tell Him all your hurts. He can take it.

 

Dear Lord,

I lift up all the broken people who are reading this. You know every pain, heartache, and disappointment. Let them bring each one to you and lay them at your feet. Bring healing, comfort, and hope. You are The Rock and there is no one like you, who can take our pain and do something beautiful. We give it all to you!

In Jesus name,

Amen

 

Love you all,

Meghan

 

Faith, God, Jesus, Marriage, Uncategorized

Marriage Is A Blessing

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September 30, 1995 is the beginning of us. Tom and I made a life long commitment to each other on that special day. We were excited and clueless. I didn’t completely understand the sacredness of marriage. The holiness. I believed in marriage and wanted to be a good wife and mother, but did not know what that would look like. I knew on that day, twenty three years ago, that I loved Tom and wanted to spend my life with him. I assumed we’d ride off into the sunset and the rest would take care of itself.

I know I belong to Jesus, love Him deeply, and He loves me, and my home is in heaven. I know that I love Tom, and our boys with everything that is in me. That’s pretty much what I know for sure. I am not a marriage expert, but I have learned a few things along the way. I have made the dumb mistakes and been too needy, not letting Jesus fill me up. I have disrespected my husband, and hurt him. I have been angry, and unforgiving, and had unrealistic expectations. I have tried to change my husband. That’s really stupid, by the way. I don’t recommend trying to change your spouse.

After making a lot of mistakes at first, God taught me how to do things His way. I have learned how to be a Godly wife, though definitely not perfect. I have learned unconditional love and forgiveness in a whole new way. I also have a much better understanding and respect for marriage itself and the many blessings it brings. I love being married to Tom.

Marriage is sacred, and holy, and beautiful! God created marriage between a man and a woman. Anything God makes and ordains is perfect. Anything outside of what God makes is just a cheap imitation. Now, there are no perfect marriages and no perfect people. Marriage is a picture of the church, the body of Christ.

“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:22-24, NIV)

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27, NIV). 

The entire passage on husbands and wives in Ephesians is in chapter 5:22-33. Paul quotes Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies (Eph. 5:28). The final verse in the passage says a husband must love his wife as he loves himself, and a wife must respect her husband (Eph. 5:33).

God paints this beautiful picture of the church using marriage as the metaphor. Marriage is important to God. He created it. The passage in Ephesians also tells husbands and wives their specific roles and how to love one another. A big one for me has been to respect my husband. That’s how I show my love for him. It took me a few years to get that. I still have so much to learn about marriage. God is so gracious to me and has used my sweet husband to grow me up. To flush out my weaknesses, issues, and struggles. I know what real lasting love looks and feels like. A real Godly man loves his wife and children sacrificially. I am truly blessed with a man like this.

God knew exactly what He was doing when he created marriage from the beginning (Gen. 2:24). He knew it would be hard at times, and impossible without Him at the center. We need God to have successful, healthy marriages. “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12b, NIV). This verse was used in our wedding ceremony, like many other weddings. It is true that with the Holy spirit woven in our marriage we are strong. It is God’s grace when he can take two imperfect people, and bring them together, and make something beautiful.

Happy anniversary to my precious husband Tom! I have loved every day with you over these twenty three years. The good times and hard times. God has always been faithful to carry us, and keep our love strong for one another. I can’t wait to see what God has planned for our next twenty years together. My heart is always yours.

 

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the blessing of marriage. Thank you for faithfully carrying Tom and I, all these years. Keep our eyes fixed on you as we serve you together. I lift up the struggling marriages right now. Bring hope and healing Father. Let those marriages be a testament of your miracle working power. For those who have been through divorce, heal those broken places. You are the redeemer and nothing is too hard for you.

In Jesus name,

Amen

 

 

Love you all,

Meghan

P.S. If you need prayer please email me meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com or message me through my contact page.

 

 

 

 

Faith, God, Jesus, Salvation, Uncategorized

Living Water

IMG_1119Multnomah Falls is one of my favorite places in Oregon. That picture was taken on a trip a few years ago. The source of the falls is underground springs from Larch Mountain. Those deep springs create this amazing waterfall. When I stand on Benson Bridge the powerful water tumbling down releases a refreshing  spray in the summer months. Looking over the edge the water appears to be infinite. All I can see is a constant flow of water.

Now that I live in a much warmer climate drinking lots of water daily is a necessity. Most of the year I make sure to have water in the car. If we are on a road trip anywhere in Texas there needs to be a cooler filled with water bottles. When I am thirsty I take a drink and my thirst is satisfied for a while. Eventually I will get thirsty again. So I repeat the same process and drink more water. This will continue for the rest of my life. Without water I will die within a few days.

Jesus tells us in the book of John that we can have living water. The kind that will permanently satisfy our thirst. He mentions this on two different occasions. In John 4 Jesus was tired from his journey and sits by Jacob’s well where a Samaritan woman comes to get water. He asks her for a drink which was crazy since she’s a woman, a Samaritan, and has a bad reputation. The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water” (John 4:9-10, NIV). Jesus is talking about the free gift of salvation. The Samaritan woman thinks Jesus means literal water and wants to know where to get this kind of amazing water.  Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14, NIV). The spring of water is the Holy Spirit.

The second mention of living water is in John 7. It’s the Feast of Tabernacles and this is what happened. On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If a man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him” (John 7:37-38, NIV). The streams of living water Jesus is talking about is the Spirit (V.39). 

For those of us who call ourselves Christians this all sounds familiar. If you are not a Christ follower the thought of living water inside of you may sound strange. The use of the phrase ‘living water’ in that time and place referred to streams or rivers. Not pond water or any stagnate water. Life giving water. The water Jesus is talking about is the Holy Spirit living in you after accepting Jesus Christ as your savior. The Holy Spirit is God’s spirit. “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 2:24).  In the Greek spirit means breath, which shows life.

The Holy Spirit has many purposes. Here are just some:

Counselor (John 14:16, John 15:26)

Spirit of Truth (John 14:17)

Teacher of all things and reminds us of everything Jesus has said. (John 14:26)

Convicts the world of guilt in regard to sin. ( John 16:7)

God seals us with the Holy spirit when we become believers. (Ephesians 1:13-14) 

Spiritual fruit from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Intercedes in prayer for us. (Romans 8:26)

After you accept the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ the Holy spirit lives inside of you.  The Spirit is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance (Ephesians 1:14). God puts His seal on us and no one can break the seal of God.

I am overwhelmed sometimes at the thought of holy God living inside of me. Jesus never says living water will flow inside of you when you get your act together, or you’re good enough, or perfect, or without sin. He’ll take care of the healing, fixing, and mending our broken hearts when we let Him in. He came to save us (John 3:16-17). Jesus came for sinners (Luke 5:32). We just need to admit we are sinners, ask for forgiveness, and ask Jesus to be our savior. That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved,” (Romans 10:9, NIV). Salvation is a FREE gift. It cannot be earned or bought. You will never be good enough on your own. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8, NIV).  

Living water that Jesus offers us satisfies our thirsty souls. The source of that living water is God. It runs deep and it never ends. If you drink of this water you will never be the same. Nothing else in this world will fulfill the way Jesus does.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faith, Jesus

Don’t Worry

800DDE77-2D0C-4F24-91A3-E1EB244575CEEvery morning I sit on my patio with my coffee and my Bible. I love spending time with God outside because I see Him in nature. He talks to me when I’m sitting on my couch, or driving in my car, or anywhere. But, I love being surrounded by His creation because many times that’s where I hear Him the loudest. I spend time with God every morning not because I’m super spiritual. Actually the opposite is true of me. I am weak and I am desperate for Him in my life.

As soon as I sit down I look at the blue sky and then the two large tallow trees in our backyard. They make a huge mess and wreak havoc on our pool, but they provide privacy, and shade. Those two trees also attract birds. All kinds of birds. Doves, Blue Jays, Swallows, Cardinals, Sparrows, Mockingbirds, and so many more. The trees are filled with very happy birds.

As I cry out to God to take away whatever I am going through, birds are flying back and forth between our trees and all the neighbors trees. In those moments the Holy Spirit reminds me of this beautiful truth from Jesus, “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. Aren’t you much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:26-27, NIV).

I came out of the womb worrying. I was good at it. And sometimes I still am. I like things planned, organized, and figured out. Life rarely works out so neatly. It’s messy. Complicated. Unpredictable. I am not very good with the unknown. God in His great love for me has slowly unraveled this worrying girl. He keeps having me step out into the unknown and He tells me, “Don’t worry my precious daughter,”. So I keep stepping out. Sometimes it’s easier for me than others. His overwhelming love for me is reassuring when I’m scared. He’s just that good, and I know He holds my future.

A few weeks ago as I was pouring my heart out to God, a Mockingbird perched on the wrought iron fence. It looked around for a moment, then hopped down to forage on our pepper plant. It spent a few minutes on the plant before it flew away. That bird was not worried about where it’s food was coming from or shelter or anything. I knew God was reminding me once again not to worry.

If God, in all His goodness, takes care of the birds, He can take care of whatever concerns you today, or tomorrow, or anytime. He is faithful to care for all of His creation, especially you!

Matthew 6:25-27 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life-whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your Heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” (NLT).

Love you all,

Meghan

Jesus

My Vineyard

Those small round green things are grapes. They look kind of sad but they are grapes. My grapes from my vineyard. OK, so I don’t actually have a vineyard. I have two small grapevines growing along my back fence. I never get to enjoy those grapes since the birds and squirrels eat them by the time they are purple and ripe. I still get excited though, when I see those little grapes. It’s a reward for planting, watering, trimming, and waiting.

I love that God uses vineyards, farming, and planting seeds to teach us how He works. It’s a beautiful picture to me because I love gardening. Each year my husband and I plant herbs, vegetables, and fruit in our suburban backyard. Some years our garden is full of variety and very fruitful (no pun intended). We’ve had years where we neglected the garden and got very little as a result. Many factors affect our harvest. Watering enough. Weeding regularly. Pruning. Gardens require care and patience.

When I look at my little vineyard I think of John 15:5. It is one of my favorite verses, and the Holy Spirit reminds me of it almost daily. Jesus is the true vine and I am just a branch. I cling to the promise of that truth just like a branch clings to a vine. I can do nothing apart from the vine, Jesus. Not some things. Not a few things. NOTHING. This is reassuring to me and at times frustrating.

As the measly branch I get impatient waiting for fruit. Waiting for growth. Waiting on the Lord. Sometimes, I want to break away from the vine. This little branch thinks she knows better. That I have a better way to get that fruit. The truth is, away from the vine I will not grow. Actually, I will die. But because of His grace I remain attached to the true vine. He provides everything I need to bear fruit. Real, lasting fruit.

The fruit that Jesus is talking about is spiritual. Eternal. He tells us in John 15:16 that He chose us to bear fruit that will last. Obeying His commands will result in remaining in His love. Joy. Love for each other. Laying down your life for a friend. Friendship with Jesus. (John 15:9-15, NIV) That’s the kind of fruit I want to bear in the little vineyard where He planted me. I can only do that through Him.

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (NIV).

Love you all,

Meghan