Jesus, Salvation, Uncategorized

Torn

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“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” (Matthew 27:51, NIV)

The temple curtain, or veil, was torn from top to bottom at the moment Jesus gave up his spirit (Matthew 27:50). Why is this significant? Let’s go back to Exodus and the Tabernacle. This was a place God’s spirit could dwell, and the Israelites could worship God.

“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.” (Exodus 25: 8-9, NIV)

God gave specific instructions to Moses for the Tabernacle and the Most Holy Place.

31 “Make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim woven into it by a skilled worker. 32 Hang it with gold hooks on four posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold and standing on four silver bases. 33 Hang the curtain from the clasps and place the ark of the covenant law behind the curtain. The curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. 34 Put the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law in the Most Holy Place. 35 Place the table outside the curtain on the north side of the tabernacle and put the lamp stand opposite it on the south side.(Exodus 26: 31-35, NIV).

This curtain was beautiful but strong; Separating the people from God’s presence. Only the High Priest was allowed behind the curtain, and only once a year (Exodus 30:10). The priest had to wash himself, wear special garments, burn incense, and bring sacrificial blood to atone for sins (Exodus 28-30). Aaron, the first high priest and Moses’ brother, was told not to come to the Most Holy Place whenever he chooses or he would die (Leviticus 16:1-2). Going into the Holy of Holies was not to be taken lightly and very few even entered the sacred space. God was protecting the people.

But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live” (Exodus 33:20, NIV).

The first temple was built by Solomon, and had forty-five foot high walls (1 Kings 6:20). Fast forward to Jesus’ time on earth. Herod refurbished the second temple making it taller. According to the historian Josephus, Herod’s temple veil was close to sixty feet high, and the temple curtain was at least an inch thick. Some claim the curtain was four inches thick.

At the moment Jesus took his last breath the temple curtain was torn from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). God tore the massive, thick temple curtain. Not man. The separation between us and God was destroyed because of Jesus sacrifice on the cross. Jesus is the great high priest.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need,” (Hebrews 4:14-16, NIV).

We can come boldly to the throne of grace. No more curtain. We have the joy and privilege to approach God with confidence all because of precious Jesus. He empathizes with us since He lived for a while among us, yet He never sinned. He took on our sin and atoned for us. Jesus was the perfect, sacrificial lamb for the entire world.

“He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2, NIV).

Love! Love! Love! Jesus died for us because of His great love for us. The most beautiful love story in all human history. The curtain is never going back up. We do not have to atone for our sins. Jesus did that on the cross. Thank you Jesus!

Do you know Jesus? He already knows you. He loves you. He paid your sin debt in full.

We praise you Jesus! There is none like you.

 

Love you all,

Meghan

 

Bible, Faith, Family, God, Jesus, Uncategorized

I love you Dad!

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When I was a little girl, the thought never crossed my mind that my parents were ever once children themselves, let alone babies. In my child mind, parents are just grown ups, and they had never been anything else. This sweet picture is proof that parents were once babies. That’s my dad as a baby. I have no idea how old he was. Leo John Whitney was born on May 29, 1943 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was the youngest of three boys; a surprise baby for my middle aged grandparents. They already had sons who were 17 and 13 by the time my father arrived in the Whitney household. Lee was the precious youngest. My uncle Mack, the middle son, would tell me stories of “the prince”, my dad.

Lee grew up in Braddock, Pennsylvania. A borough in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. His father, Michael, sold Chesterfield cigarettes and Ann, his mother, took care of the home and children. My dad was doted on and dearly loved. Some, my uncles, may even say he was spoiled. I would have to agree with that argument. My dad was raised Catholic, and went to parochial school all the way through high school. While in college he met my mom, and they married in 1963. He graduated from Penn State in 1965. Shortly afterwards, my parents decided to move out west to California. They got jobs and began to get settled in the Golden State. The Vietnam War was in full swing. My dad received his draft card and decided to join the Marines. Oorah!

Dad was a proud Marine. I know this because I heard, “From the halls of Montazuma, To the shores of Tripoli,” every time he drank too much; which was often. As a little girl I loved my dad. I would ask for sips of his beer. I had no clue he was an alcoholic. He would tell me I can be anything I want to be. These “speeches” were done while he was drunk. Again, I didn’t know what “drunk” was, or alcoholism. In my mind, Dad was strong. I would put my arms around his neck and he would dive into the pool. We’d go under the water, and I’d hold on tight. He’d flex his biceps and my sister and I would grab on and he’d lift us up. He was the strongest man I knew.

He loved when we had horses and got us all cowboy hats and boots. Dad rode Tasha, our part Arabian horse. I think he liked playing “cowboy”. I saw him try to get on the horse a few times and fall off. Drunk again. I still had no idea what that was. I watched my dad fall in the pool when he was cleaning it. Drunk.

Dad accepted Jesus Christ as his savior August 1982. I remember watching him get baptized. We got involved in our church. Dad was an usher but still struggled with his demons. We’d stop at the liquor store on the way home from church. Dad was saved, but not set free. He finally went cold turkey in the late ’80’s which was great. The down side was him trying so hard to stay sober on his own; he’d fall off the wagon at times. I never saw him drunk again like when I was growing up. So, praise God for that.

My memories from when I was a little girl are good ones. But, all addictions get worse, and his alcoholism did. By the time I was in  high school his drinking was out of control. I knew what alcoholism was now, but never told a friend. I didn’t know what to do with it. Anger built inside of me. The dad I loved, I now despised. I hated him. I hated alcohol. I hated what it did to our family. It tore us up.

The summer after I graduated high school I heard a sermon at church on forgiveness. I had probably heard many teachings on forgiveness up to that point. That day was different. The words cut to my heart. I knew I needed to forgive my dad. I was 17 and I forgave Dad for all the years of drinking and the pain it caused. I never came up to my dad and said, “I forgive you”. It was done in my heart and Jesus set me free of that burden. I began to see my dad differently. As a person with a past, and problems. Just like me. I loved my dad again, like when I was a little girl. God is so good.

Dad loved the Lord. He was not a perfect man. I am not perfect either. I tell this from my view. My four siblings have their perspectives, and memories. My mom has her memories too. This is my way to honor my dad. My story is one of forgiveness, and the redemptive work Jesus did on the cross and in my dad’s life.

Dad passed away exactly twenty one years ago today, March 30, 1998. After his grim cancer diagnosis, he lived the best life he could. He loved running the Gresham Bike Store, that my parents had bought a couple years prior. He hugged us every time we saw him. He was hugging everyone, my husband,  the mailman, and probably the dry cleaner. Time was short, and Dad knew it.

My dad loved me. At the very end of his life, when he was in the hospital at only 54 years old, I had a sweet moment with him. I came by the hospital to visit him and my cousin Tommy was in the room. I told my dad that I would come back later. He said “No. Stay”. He took my hand and said these words, “This one. She’s special”. There were other words said but I don’t remember them. That was the last coherent conversation we had, before the morphine took over. It was like I got this final blessing from him.

I look forward to seeing my dad again in heaven. I will end with his favorite verse. I Love you Dad!!!

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
 Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

(NASB)

 

 

 

 

Faith, God, Jesus, Prayer, Uncategorized

My Prayer Closet

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Joshua made this card for me at church when he was seven. I love it because he made it, and because of the misspelling of “Lord”. That makes it all the more beloved. It shows the pureness of his heart. No spellcheck. No concern over spelling errors or perfection. It’s about the message, “Wait for the Lard”….I mean, “Lord”. He handed it to me with pride and joy for Mother’s Day. That’s the stuff that melts a mama’s heart. This precious card sits at the top of the bulletin board in my closet. I see it every single day.

My prayer closet is my actual closet. That sweet card sits among a few other little treasures that encourage me as I kneel and pray. There are pictures of my boys as toddlers, a picture of me and Tom as newlyweds, a few special cards from my husband, and a card or two from friends and family. It’s my hideout where I close the door and talk or cry out to God.

I have been flat on my face in deep pain asking God where He was. I have lifted my hands in praise thanking Him for His faithfulness. I have asked for wisdom, answers, direction, help, mercy, and forgiveness. I have laid on my back with tears streaming down my face. Looking up. Hoping for something from God to relieve the suffering. There’s plenty of room for me to stretch out. It’s all my space since Tom has his own closet.

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:5-8, NIV)

The Greek word tameion means “an inner chamber”. This doesn’t mean we all need to have a prayer closet or special “prayer room”. It means you need to be in a quiet, uninterrupted place. Praying to the Father requires focus and no distractions, if possible. There are plenty of times when we pray in crazy moments of chaos. We can and should pray at all times. “Pray continually,” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, NIV).

It’s important to set aside some time each day to pray. You can use a “prayer closet” if you’ve got the space, or almost anywhere can become that sacred space. When I commuted to work years ago before having children, I would pray in my car. Some people walk and pray. Many times I sit in my living room. Supposedly John Wesley’s (founder of the Methodist movement) mother, Susanna, would pull her apron over her face and pray.  The point is not where, it’s who you’re talking to.

When we first moved to Texas over six years ago we stayed in a hotel. There was no privacy, so I would go into the tiny bathroom to pray. Not pretty, but God knew my heart. He wants our heart. Not perfect, beautiful “prayer rooms” with the right Christian words in our prayers. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:7-8, NIV) Be honest with God when you pray. He already knows what we need and we can be simple and direct in our words with humility.

I have several scraps of paper on my bulletin board in my closet. Each with a Bible verse I scrawled out during our two months in the hotel. They remind me what God has done in the past and what He will do again. That is a nice benefit of having a designated prayer space. You can personalize it with scriptures or whatever is needed to keep focused on God. I also have a list I keep written out of things Tom and I are praying for that’s taped to the wall in my closet. I cross things out as they get answered.

The point to all of this is pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. And then pray some more. When we quiet ourselves before the Lord we have the marvelous opportunity to hear His voice. Listening to God is just as important as talking to Him. Expect an answer in His time. That’s always the hardest part of praying, at least for me it is. I want an immediate answer. We have to wait. Just like Joshua’s card, “Wait for the Lord”. So many times I have been praying for the same thing, and waiting, and waiting. Then I look up and see that card with the faith of a child and I’m encouraged.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

 

Bible, Faith, God, Jesus, Trials, Uncategorized

The Storm

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August 24, 2017 we were dropping our oldest son off at college, about 5 and half hours north of our home. I was eating breakfast at the hotel and the news was on. I saw weather maps, and the words “hurricane” and “Houston” got my attention. Wait a minute, that’s where I live. “This is real?” I thought to myself. Everything quickly changed from focusing on getting Dylan settled in his dorm, to focusing on buying water and supplies to survive the impending storm, before we left his little college town. I hated saying goodbye to my son but knew he was in God’s hands. We had to get back home and prepare for a historic hurricane. My first ever. There were large lit up signs along the freeway, “Avoid the Texas Gulf Coast”. Unavoidable for us. We live in the Gulf Coast Region. We were headed straight for the storm.

The storms we face in life can be unexpected or we can see them coming from miles away. It doesn’t seem to matter how much warning we get before life’s storms, they still can cause so much pain as the winds and rains beat down on us. When will it end? How much damage will we experience? Why God? Have you forgot about us? Do you hear our cries for help?

     “That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

    He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

     He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

      They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

(Mark 4:35-41, NIV)

The disciples and I have more in common than I would have thought; Fear and doubt at times. I am surprised that the disciples, who had already at this point witnessed many miracles by Jesus, were so terrified. He healed many sick, diseased, and demon-possessed people, (Matthew 4:23-24). A leper was healed by Jesus, (Matthew 8:1-4), and he healed the Centurion’s servant, (Matthew 8:5-13).  A paralytic man was healed by Jesus, (Luke 5:17-26), a widow’s son was brought back to life by Jesus, (Luke 7:11-17). The disciples were with Jesus when he was performing all these miracles. They must have had amnesia when the storm hit their boat.

A squall comes down on the lake and it’s frighting for these guys. The waves are coming up over the boat and they may have thought, “This is it. We are all going to die.” Things were looking pretty bad. The boat is filling with water and about to sink, or so they thought.

Jesus was not afraid. He is never afraid. He was sound asleep on a cushion, in the stern of the ship. That’s not the picture of a worried, stressed out person. He knows who is in control and He knows there is no need to fear the storm.

The disciples aren’t too happy that Jesus is sleeping through the storm. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:38). They are in full blown panic mode and assume that Jesus doesn’t care what happens to them.

“He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm,” (Mark 4:39). Only Jesus can do this. Only Jesus can calm wind, waves, and raging seas with His words. He is God. Infinite in power.

“He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40). Jesus knows our hearts. He knew they were doubting what He could do even after seeing so many miracles before they ever got on that boat. He still loved them. Just like He still loves us when we have doubts. He patiently teaches us and shows us who He is and what He can do.

Ultimately the disciples are so scared at what just happened they don’t know what to think. “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:41). I can relate to them. I have times where I forget what God has done in my life and the storm is raging. “Don’t you care Lord?” I have asked. But my God always, always is faithful. He always shows up, always makes a way. He either stops the storm or He gives me peace in the storm.

As Christ followers we belong fully to Jesus. That means He promises to take care of us and all of our needs. “So we say with confidence, The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6).  Storms will rage and sometimes we will have losses, and sometimes He will calm our storms. There is a bigger purpose in our storms. He wants us to grow in our faith, just like the disciples. And the only way we grow is through struggle. We need Jesus to get through the storms in life.

When I look at the satellite image of Hurricane Harvey it’s menacing. It appears to want to swallow up all of Texas. When we focus on the size of our storm and how much damage can possibly take place we will stay afraid. If we focus on Jesus and that He is bigger than the biggest hurricane, our faith grows and the storm gets smaller.

We can’t control the storms but we can control how we respond to them. Who is Lord of your life? If it’s Jesus then give it all to Him. Write down every time God has taken care of you in the hard times or when He has stopped the storm completely. When the rains and the wind are coming down remember His faithfulness.

 

 

Dear Lord,

Thank you for your faithfulness. You are perfect and your power is unlimited. You’re love for us is overwhelming. I lift up all those who are in the middle of storms. Remind them that they are not forgotten by you. Give them peace and calm their storms, and may their faith grow. Comfort them, protect them, and provide for their every need.

In Jesus mighty name,

Amen

 

 

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

Bible

My Bible

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My Bible is well worn, much like me. The binding is starting to separate. A few pages are torn and about ready to fall out. I’ve got book marks, and post it notes, and little scraps of paper all over the place. Many verses are underlined and highlighted. Every mark and scratch on the cover have their own story. I have poured over, and cried, and prayed while reading this book. Sometimes tears of joy and other times not. This truly is my favorite book. But it’s not ordinary. The words are alive, because they are God’s words.

This Bible has a past. It was the beginning of my mom’s faith journey and ultimate road to salvation. Here’s where it all began. It was the early 1980’s. We were a Catholic family but my mom had questions about a lot of things regarding faith. She was invited to a Bible study and gladly accepted the invitation thinking it was a social gathering. When she arrived at the woman’s house she was surprised to see they all had Bibles. So she thought “I need one too”, and went and purchased the above Bible. The group was studying Acts and my mom was excited, and learning. The words came alive to her.

In a short time we left the Catholic Church. My mom went forward at our new non-denominational Christian church and accepted Jesus Christ as savior, and got baptized. One week later my dad went forward, accepted Jesus Christ as his savior, and got baptized too. It was a huge ripple affect. One of my older brothers accepted Christ and got baptized. Then myself and three other siblings followed suit the next year. So, my parents and their five kids all accepted Jesus Christ as savior within a year or so. All because a woman invited my mom to a Bible study. I have never met that woman and probably never will. When I meet her in heaven I will hug her and say “Thank you”.

When my mom bought this New International Version Bible she also bought my little sister and I Kid Bible’s. We were excited to have our own Bibles and even happier that there were some colorful pictures inside. After a few years my mom bought herself a new Bible and gave me this one. That’s been at least thirty years ago and the beginning of my own faith journey and going deeper. I love this 1978 NIV Bible. It’s still my favorite version and my go to for most verses. Occasionally I use other versions of the Bible for a blog post or my own study. I really don’t want to start marking up a new Bible. Also, I love that every so often I come across my mom’s handwriting in the margins. What a sweet reminder of where it all began.

I personally don’t care what version you are reading. That’s between you and God. Just read it. I know it can be difficult to know where to start. If you have never read the Bible the book of John is a good place to begin. God wants to speak to you. And one very powerful way He does that is through His word. Probably most American homes have a Bible collecting dust on a shelf. Pick it up and start. Pray and ask God to speak to you and reveal Himself. He will. There are Bible apps, online versions, audio versions, podcasts. Start somewhere. It is like no other book you will ever read. Hebrews 4:12 “The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (NIV).

I am grateful that I live in a place where I don’t have to hide my Bible or fear it will be confiscated. I have the absolute privilege to be in the word of God daily. Not because I am a super Christian. No, that’s far from the truth. I am super desperate for Him in my life. I am weak and useless without Jesus. So I hold my beat up Bible tight and cling to the very words that at times jump off the pages. I even hug it sometimes. Yep, I know. I’m one of those weird Christians. I’m happy to be weird.

If you have questions or need prayer please message me through my contact page or email: meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com. I am happy to pray for you anytime! I am not an expert, just a regular person that’s being held by Jesus.

Love you all,

Meghan

P.S. Thanks Mom for following God’s lead!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

God

Perfectly Imperfect

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For several days I was trying to get a picture of a butterfly with no success. They would just fly right past me. I had given up and didn’t see any butterflies for weeks. Then out of nowhere this gorgeous swallowtail stopped and posed for me. I took a few pictures, turned around, and it was gone. It’s beautiful. Perfect. Or so I thought. I noticed a broken wing tip. Still beautiful, but imperfect.

Physical beauty is revered around the world. We love aesthetic. There’s nothing wrong with that in and of itself. God has made beautiful things and people. His creation is exquisite. From people, animals, mountains, oceans, stars, planets, and everything in between. I am blown away every single day at God’s creation. From my youngest son’s freckles on his cheeks to the variety of palm trees just in my backyard alone. Beautiful. Perfect.

The problem is with people. If we give a person value based on what we see, it’s wrong. Perfect hair, skin, clothes, and being thin, look good to our human eyes. Yep, that person must have no problems. They are beautiful. Perfect. Upon closer examination we will find physical imperfections. If we look deeper into their character, we will see they are actually not perfect. Just regular humans like you and me.

God made each of us perfectly imperfect. He made no mistake how you and I are made, imperfections and all.  Some of us have physical or mental disabilities, diseases, and all sorts of afflictions. We are made this way with the purpose of God shining his light through our weakness and brokenness. We need Him. We all have issues and struggles whether physical, spiritual, mental, or emotional. These issues can either tear away at our beauty or His light can shine through them and make us beautiful.

The truth is real beauty is inside of us. Not outside. What God cares about the most is our heart. He looks straight through the exterior stuff to our hearts. All throughout the Bible the heart is mentioned figuratively as the core of who we are. Our heart condition determines our attitudes and actions, and defines us. Our heart is so important that we need to guard it since life flows from it. Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (NIV). 

When Samuel was sent by the Lord to anoint a new king of Israel he thought for sure, based on appearance, that Jesse’s son Eliab was the one. Eliab was Jesse’s oldest son and must have looked pretty good to Samuel. Like a king should look. Tall and strong. “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7, NIV).  Ultimately the youngest son David is anointed king. Just a shepherd boy.

God cares about our hearts deeply. It’s more important than any physical attribute or deficiency. Our heart tells who we are. A heart with Jesus as Lord has hope. There is healing. Forgiveness. Grace. Peace. Joy. Love. Help. Comfort. Kindness. Mercy. (I could go on and on). And one of the most amazing things, eternal life in heaven! Let’s completely surrender our hearts to God.

1 Samuel 16:7b “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (NIV).

Love you all,

Meghan