“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, the God who is our salvation.” (Psalm 68:19 NASB)
A skit performed at my grandmother’s church on Good Friday, delivered a message that impacted me deeply.
After the pastor’s message, two well known ladies in the church seated themselves at a small table next to the pulpit with coffee mugs in their hands, and brown sacks hung over their backs.
Their dialogue began: “Oh, I was so hoping that my husband and I would be able to go up to Canada for our vacation this year, but with the economy the way it is, I just don’t think it’s possible.”
“That’s too bad,” the other woman answered.
“Yeah, and I really need it this year. My life is so stressful.” The woman placed a rock into the sack hanging over her shoulders.
“Yeah, I mean, look at the world, it’s so unbelievably messed up! There’s so much wrong with our world!” Each one listed their complaints verbally.
As the ladies continued in their conversation, the rocks being added to their sacks from every worry, made the brown material hang low with heaviness. When they tried to stand up, they couldn’t, because they were being weighed down.
The two women had to do something, so they prayed and as they asked God for help, their burdens were removed and they felt alive, light and refreshed.
As I watched, I felt like a bullet had just hit me between the eyes. I had what could be described as an epiphany. I felt like I finally got it.
God doesn’t promise that our lives will be easy, or painless, however, they will be easier, and less painful if we allow him to take our burdens. And when we do so, we will feel lighter and be better equipped to follow Him, unburdened by the unnecessary things of this world.
Shannon Meiers is a 16 year old home-schooled sophomore in high-school. Shes an aspiring writer, and is currently working with the special needs ministries at her church. Shannon, or Shan as her friends know her, is constantly learning… (read more…)
“Would not God search this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.” (Psalm 44:21 NASB)
Before I could get settled at my desk, Jessica was pulling on my arm and demanding my full attention with the shout of her whisper.
“Shh…you’re never gonna believe what I just overheard Wanda telling Joanna, but you’ve got to promise to keep this a secret,” Jessica said as if she were the protector of a priceless jewel.
The knot in my stomach told me to walk away from the situation, but I didn’t. Instead I couldn’t stop myself from saying seven words I’d later regret.
“I promise,” I said “I won’t tell another soul.”
Secrets can be lots of fun when used for the right purpose; like birthday surprises and playing Santa at Christmas, or they can be destructive and hurtful. I chose to participate in something that would eventually tear down someone’s character even though neither Jessica or I intended harm. Words have the power to hurt, cause pain, disappoint, embarrass, and to destroy when born in dark secret places.
You know–the gossip-girl affect.
The incident between me and my friends almost destroyed our friendship. God put some distance between us so that He could teach me a few things. It was hard being away from them, but I knew I needed to be obedient if I want to be like Him.
Lessons I learned about secrets, gossip, and friendships:
- Follow my gut instincts—that’s the Holy Spirit
- Walk away when someone says they have a secret to share (code word for gossip)
- Create an atmosphere in my life where dark secrets and gossip can’t exist-Pray, read my Bible regularly and surround myself with friends who are doing the same thing
Remember God holds me accountable for everything I say and hear
Crystal Y. Hathcock and her husband Tony, live in Liberty, South Carolina and have been married for thirty-two years. They have two puppies, Hankie and Calvin. Crystal is a freelance writer; a student with the Christian Writer’s Guild and writes religious articles for the area’s local newspaper. She enjoys cooking for family and friends, couponing, jewelry making and singing. (read more…)
“You know my folly, O God; my guilt is not hidden from you. (Psalm 69:5 NIV1984)
One of the amazing things about God is that He sees all the mistakes we make, yet still forgives us and loves us unconditionally. Lately, I’ve been making a lot of mistakes. Actually, it has been the same mistake over and over. Even though I beat myself up over this, God erases it.
That’s what makes salvation so amazing!
Sometimes just asking forgiveness doesn’t feel like enough, but through God’s grace, it is as long we’re sincere:
If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. I would find out what he would answer me, and consider what he would say. Would he oppose me with great power? No, he would not press charges against me. There an upright man could present his case before him, and I would be delivered forever from my judge. (Job 23:3-7 NIV1984)
I am first and foremost a Scribe of the King. It is my desire to serve God through the written word. I have been creating stories since age three. I would tell them to entertain my family, but didn’t start writing them down until age eight or nine.
Since then, the need to write has been insatiable. At age nineteen, I had my first book, Where’s My Other Sock?, published by Tate Publishing. Then, I graduated from community college with a degree; not in anything writing related, but in accounting. Currently, I’m hunting for a bookkeeping job and working on several books or story ideas. In my stories, I challenge the reader’s imagination with adventures into the fantasy realm. Some stories lean towards mystery/suspense or general fiction, and I try to write for all ages. I find my inspiration from JRR Tolkien’s works and from the Randomness of everyday life.
SDG. (read more…)
“O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.” (Psalm 30:2 NIV)
“Yet I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay.” (Psalm 40:17 NIV)
Sarah ran into the kitchen of her parents’ cabin, shrieking. We were staying there for the weekend and seconds before had escaped a cockroach.
She stood, mouth agape and finger limply pointing to the floor. Of course, we were expecting a beetle army to pour from the kitchen at this point.
“Dishwasher!” Sarah managed.
I rose from my chair, going where she indicated. The shiny dishwasher we turned on earlier was spitting foam and water like a volcano and overflowing on the floor. A horrendous stench arose from the flood waters as I joined Sarah’s moans. We rallied, collecting paper towels to sop up the muck now combining with the crumbs already on the floor.
The dirty dishes in the dishwasher had been sitting several weeks and now smelled awful. We ran the machine on a different cycle and then once more on a rinse setting. But the water gushed out with every attempt.
Finally, we decided to inform Sarah’s parents so they could fix the issue.
I realized later (after we hand washed the dishwasher’s contents) that I’m much like that dishwasher. Often I look shiny and cleaned-up on the outside, but on the inside I still hold tons of icky junk that causes me to function improperly.
My natural inclination, of course, is to try to fix the problem myself, from the inside. But if my insides aren’t working, the problem can’t be solved. I need outside help to really heal me.
God is the only one outside us that can truly clean up our dirty dishes. Bring your hurt to him. He’ll heal you and you’ll overflow again—only this time with joy and life, not gross dishwater.
Melissa Weaver is a 21-year-old English major at North Greenville University where she is editor of the school’s literary magazine The Mountain Laurel. She minors in French (that’s the rumor, anyway) and enjoys bookstore clearance sales, adding as many classic novels as possible to her bookshelves. A native of Charleston, SC, she loves music (especially British), writing poetry, trying on funny hats, drawing with sidewalk chalk, and hitting the beach during the summers home.