Archives for February 2015

Holding It Together

Some days I don’t feel like I can hold it together.  Schedules seem too full. How can I possibly make wise choices every moment?

Then it hit me: “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” –Colossians 1:17 NIV.

I heard a sermon once but the busy-ness of life had caused me to file the profound message away…The pastor, Louie Giglio in Atlanta, was preaching about the Glory of God and the human body. One day he met a molecular biologist who told him about “laminin.” The scientist asked him to look up laminin on the internet. Pastor Giglio Googled the word. He had never heard of the word. I certainly had not either.

What Pastor Louie found made his jaw drop. Laminin is the basic protein network foundation of most of our cells and organs. It’s what holds us all together. Then Pastor Louie saw the image of laminin under the microscope…. Laminin is shaped like a CROSS!

You are a masterpiece creating by the Master of the Universe, wonderfully and fearfully made with laminin! You are made by Jesus, for Jesus. Jesus is our divine glue holding us together. What a relief!

Be encouraged today with this message and by watching Pastor Louie Giglio’s video called “How Great is Our God” below.

Laminin: Holding Us Together

 Reflect:

–How are you holding it together today?  Please comment.

–How does your perspective change knowing about laminin?

Renew:

–“For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body.” –Psalm 139:13-15

–“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” –Matthew 11:28 NIV

Resource:

Louie Giglio’s “How Great is Our God” short sermon version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0-NPPIeeRk

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I’m Hard of Hearing

Growing up, I loved playing outside with my friends. I could hear my Mom calling me to come in for lunch or supper, but I was often too busy to listen. Honestly, it was more like I didn’t want to respond and come inside.

How often are we too busy or too distracted to hear when God is calling us to do His work. Samuel in the Bible was just like us.  Check out this exchange in the passage below and see how you would feel if you were Samuel.

“The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. .. Then the Lord called Samuel. Samuel answered, ‘Here I am.’ And he ran to Eli and said, ‘Here I am; you called me.’ But Eli said, ‘I did not call; go back and lie down.’ So he went and lay down. Again the Lord called ‘Samuel!’ And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said,’ Here I am; you called me.’

“‘My son,’ Eli said. ‘I did not call; go back and lie down.’ Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, ‘Here I am; you called me.’

“Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, ‘Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place.”

“The Lord came and stood there, calling as at other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ Then Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’ And the Lord said to Samuel: ‘See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.” –1 Samuel 3:1, 4-11 NIV84

Did you notice it? The Lord came and stood there, calling as at other times…That phrase hit me over the head.

God talks with us all the time, yet we are so distracted, we do not listen. Or we may think it’s someone/something else, not God. It took Eli to prepare Samuel to really listen the next time the Lord “came and stood there” and called him. How often do we blow off the Eli’s in our lives and dismiss their insight?

Who is an Eli in your life, who can help you  focus on God, preparing you to listen to Him calling you? The Lord is talking to you, calling your name, calling as at other times. Listen to God, and listen to your “Eli”, so you can listen to Him.

It is then and ONLY then that God can work in our lives in ways that will “make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.”

Thank God for the intentional times to slow us down and help us hear the Lord speaking. Now, instead of being too busy to hear like I was as a little girl, I pray to listen more intentionally.  “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 

Reflect:

–Do you find that your world is noisy, distracted, hard to hear God? Please comment.

–Who is an Eli in your life? Please comment.

Renew:

–“And the Lord said to Samuel: ‘See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.’ …The Lord was will Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord.” –1 Samuel 3: 11, 19-20 NIV 84

–“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” –Psalm 46:10 NIV84

Recharge:

–What will you do this week to quiet yourself, focus, and listen? Shhh… can you hear Him calling as at other times?

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Loving Deeply: Healing an Unhealable Marriage

By Guest Blogger Teresa Tarrant

Editor’s Note: Please welcome one of my precious role models, Teresa Tarrant, to “Pure Inspiration” again as a Guest Blogger. She is an inspiration to me and infinite others. May her story, their story, touch your heart as it did mine.

tarrants

“Love one another deeply, from the heart.” –1 Peter 1:22 NIV

Forty-three years. I have been married to the same man for 43 years. Amazing. For one thing, old people have been married 43 years…we are NOT old. For another thing, it has been a roller coaster ride, requiring both seat belt and shoulder harness!

Fortunately it has been one that GOD has patiently, lovingly and firmly kept on track. There were times I was sure we had derailed, but lo and behold, GOD’s hand guided us back to each other and to HIM.

For our 30th anniversary I decided to present my husband Guy with a video of our life together. I ruined years of carefully organized photo albums pulling visual memories of our dating, wedding (awww, such babies), first home (I still love that little house). Children (two amazing sons), pets (one dog chewed up the sprinkler system two weeks after installing….), travels, family gatherings. We cried watching it, overcome with the blessings and love…the bad times forgotten.

Just a few years earlier we were at a real crossroads in our marriage. Our older son had graduated from college and younger son was going off to college. Our glue was gone. We discussed separation. He was going to move out. My emotions vacillated between marriage and separation.

One day I woke up and found I could not stand another indecisive moment. I dropped to my knees by our bed and totally surrendered my will to God. I cried out to Him to help me know what to do. I told Him I could not live with my husband like this, and I could not imagine myself without him. I prayed for guidance and told Him I would not do one more thing unless I felt He was guiding me.

I lay on the floor weeping for quite some time until I felt a total peace come over me. It was strange. It was as if a weight had been lifted and I was not going to have to carry it any more.

Later that day I had to go to Wal-mart for cleaning supplies or something—I don’t even remember. What I do remember is how God talked to me. Yes, He very distinctly led me to the book section and showed me two books that changed my life—The Power of a Praying Wife  and Traits of a Lasting Marriage.  When I opened up this first book, the prayer I read was:

 “Lord, I lay all my expectation at your cross. I release my husband from the burden of fulfilling me in areas where I should be looking to You. Help me to accept him the way he is and not try to change him. I realize that in some ways he may never change, but at the same time, I release him to change in ways I never thought he could. I leave any changing that needs to be done in Your hands, fully accepting that neither of us is perfect and never will be. Only you, Lord, are perfect, and I look to You to perfect us.”

The prayer followed with several Bible verses, Biblically-sound doctrine for restoring me, restoring my marriage. I felt my eyes well up with tears. Could God really be telling me I needed to change and be the person my husband needs? I always thought I was…that he just wasn’t the husband I needed.

Do you know that God can turn a heart from stone back to love in a matter of minutes? He can and He did. I left Wal-mart with a smile on my face and copies of the two books. When I got home I asked my husband if he would consider reading the book with me and trying to let God lead us back together. He agreed—another one of God’s miracles.  I am blessed to have a husband who has always been willing to take every effort to make our marriage work.  I knew we were going to finally have the marriage God intended for us—one of love, commitment, laughter, friendship, joy.

We still have our differences but they are handled with a very different approach. I first go to God and ask for His guidance in solving a problem; then I approach Guy. My “old” self rears its prideful head occasionally…ok, often. I recognize that God led us back into this marriage, and He will guide us through any rough patches.

We still cry when we watch that anniversary video from 13 years ago. I thank GOD and praise HIM for HIS unending patience, grace and love. HE was present in every single event, good and bad, in our lives…Growing us to be the people HE intended. I know HE was shaking HIS sweet head most of the time at our stubbornness but HIS mercies never fail.

We now have two beautiful grandchildren…hmmm, looks like it’s time for another video!

So, if you feel your marriage is off track, turn to GOD for guidance. Focus on the good times, positive memories and blessings Trust HIM. HE will not let you derail.

Reflect:

–How are you fighting for your marriage?  Please comment.

–What wisdom can you glean from Teresa and Guy’s testimony?  Please comment.

Renew:

“Be completely humble and gentle. Be patient, bearing with one another in love.” –Ephesians 4:2 NIV

 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”           –Ephesians 4:32 NIV

Recharge:

–What three things do you admit need changing in yourself to strengthen your marriage and/or other relationships?  Please let your spouse know today. Comment here.

Resource:

Conway, Jim and Sally. 1991. Traits of a Lasting Marriage: What Strong Marriages Have in Common. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press.

Omartian, Stormie. 1997, 2014. Power of a Praying Wife. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishing.

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