{re}fresh

Category: devotional

Filled With The Spirit

by Rob Dunne

Praying by Tarah
Flickr.com_1471520030_ccde31ee4f_CC BY-ND 2.0

He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself. 1 Corinthians 14:4

My friend Tony is a spirit filled Pentecostal. When he and I first started hanging out, Tony told me that I had to be filled with the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues. Then I heard people speaking in tongues and thought to myself, this is weird!

The first mention of tongues is found in Acts chapter 2. The Spirit fell on the disciples and they went out in to the street and people from all over the world heard them speak in their native tongue. I thought to myself, “This is what speaking in tongues is about. It is not gibberish. It is an actual, known language.” I fought the idea of speaking in tongues for a long time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Measured by God

by juste buzas

Worship
by spaceamobea
Flickr.com_1515437636_ce7442adf1_CC BY-ND 2.0

“I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”  (Galatians 2:20)

Early one morning, while on my knees in prayer, I asked the Lord to expand me.  I prayed that He would broaden my capacity to hold Him…to know Him.  I asked for increase in my ability to minister His love and life to others.

In response to my heartfelt cry, God answered, “Let me measure you, My daughter.”

I lifted my arms.  In the Spirit, I saw a cloak arranged and placed upon my shoulders.  I saw a tailor’s measuring tape placed and stretched.  I doubted and dropped my arms. Read the rest of this entry »

Beautiful Confrontation

by kerriebutterfield

IMG_3197I had the opportunity to travel to Japan recently and had a confrontation with a beautiful piece of pottery. As we walked up an ancient road to visit a temple we popped into a pottery shop to escape the oppressive heat and enjoy the air conditioning. As I soaked up the cool air, a small corner of the shop caught my eye. It contained a series of shelves filled with pottery in the style of Kintsugi.

Wikipedia describes Kintsugi as, “the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with laquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold or platinum. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.”

This wasn’t the first time I had heard of Kintsugi, but it was the first time I saw it outside of a museum. This first time I could pick up the object and hold it in my hands and run my finger over the golden filled cracks, and investigate it thoroughly. And as I did, God took this opportunity to confront me and align my heart with His. Read the rest of this entry »

Perfection Is Moving the Right Direction

by Mike McKinniss

Sometimes, while reading Scripture, you find yourself nodding along in total agreement. “Yes,” you whisper to yourself. “It’s so true!” And the warm fuzzies cover you head to foot like a Snuggie. Sometimes, the words leap off the page, get right up into your face and cut you in the heart. Like surgery, conviction is an uncomfortable, often grueling, but entirely necessary affair. Cutting out a cancer still requires a painful incision.

And then there are the passages that simply stop you dead in your tracks. Neither affirming nor convicting, they simply elicit a good long head scratch.

Luke 2:52 is one such passage:

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people (HCSB).

Now, I can understand the young Jesus increasing in stature. Luke inserts this tidbit right between Jesus’ dedication in the temple as a young man and the arrival of John the Baptist heralding the Christ’s arrival. I couldn’t tell you how tall Jesus was at 13 or at 30, but I’ll bet there was a significant difference.

I can also wrap my head around Jesus growing in favor with people. I, for one, am typically fairly skeptical of a teenager’s sufficient character to follow through on a pledge or listen to instructions or generally act like a decent human being. It’s easy to imagine Jesus consistently having to prove himself worth his young salt as he approached manhood.

But how does Jesus Christ grow in wisdom? And how does the Son of God increase in favor with God?

Read the rest of this entry »

Lover Of My Soul

by Rob Dunne

Monet by Peter Miller http://www.flickr.com/photos/pmillera4/6883619436 CC BY-ND 2.0

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

A wealthy couple spent many years collecting fine art. One day, they added a Monet to their collection that immediately became the wife’s favorite. Though they shared a love of art, the husband’s love for his wife grew cold and he filed for divorce. She kept the Monet.

Within a few short years, the wife contracted a terminal illness and died. When her will was read, everyone was surprised that she had bequeathed the Monet to her ex-husband. As it turned out, she never stopped loving him and demonstrated that by giving him her most prized possession.  Read the rest of this entry »

Life’s Storms

by Carol Nicholls

Image by Gerogie Sharp
Flickr.com_photos/georgiesharp/8198287851_CC BY ND 2.0

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not depend on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5

An SUV is rising several feet into the air landing yards away from where it had been. A tornado is lifting homes off foundations depositing them in tree tops. The effects of powerful storms can be seen almost nightly on television. Sadly, there is an “entertainment” value in watching these events. We all seem to be voyeurs to one degree or another. None of it seems to be real viewed from the living room couch.

Reality sets in when you walk across land recently consumed by a firestorm. The stark spine of a chimney stands where just days ago people cooked dinner, watched TV, mowed the grass. Nothing is left but ashes. Fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, avalanche, mud slides…how many kinds of storms are there?

Natural storms are devastating but the likelihood that they will directly affect us is small. However, life’s storms are even more destructive and most of us will face them multiple times. Read the rest of this entry »

A stronghold in times of trouble

by Mindy Kiker

Hiding Place by Kai Schreiber flickr.com_photosgenista_75511494__aa4aed1e74_CC BY-ND 2.0

The LORD also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble. Psalm 9:9

When I face trouble, conflict, or chaos I look around for a safe place to hide, an escape. God is always there as a refuge or place of retreat, but unfortunately I’ve made a few hiding places of my own. These dwellings certainly are “strongholds” but only in the worst sense of the word.

One of my favorite strongholds is blame-shifting. This response to conflict helps me make trouble someone else’s fault. I frame all interactions into a win-lose paradigm and life becomes adversarial.

I can hear the voice of the accuser and it sounds an awful lot like . . . me! Read the rest of this entry »

I Hear the Rain

by juste buzas

Image by Ed Merrit
Flickr.com_5458771978_55f71d99a3_ CC BY-ND 2.0

And said to his servant, ‘Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” Elijah said, ‘Go again seven times.’  And at the seventh time the servant said, ‘A cloud as small as a man’s hand is arising out of the sea.’ (1 Kings 18:43)

Here I am, standing in the desert, under my open umbrella.  I’m waiting for rain.  I know it looks strange, insane even.  I’ve been standing here a long time, and no one seems to get it.  No one understands.  But just listen.  Do you hear it?  Feel it?  No?  Try again.  Listen.  I can hear it.  I hear the rain.  It’s coming.  It’s just upon the horizon. Read the rest of this entry »

Path of Promises

by Carol Nicholls

Praying by Melissa Bube
Flickr.com_11564567_02193e411e_CC BY-ND 2.0

All of the promises of God in Him are yes and in Him Amen.  2 Corinthians 1:20 NKJV

“Every promise in the book is mine, every chapter, every verse, every line…” Those are the words to a simple song I learned in my youth. It has taken many years to really grasp the true meaning. Promise, according to the dictionary, is a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or assurance that a particular thing will happen. In childhood I became very cynical about promises. My parents were very good at thinking out loud. My childlike trusting heart believed their words were promises. More times than not, I was disappointed. Read the rest of this entry »

Covenant: more than a pinky promise

by Dawn Aldrich

Image by All Holding flickr.com_12315726084_7583df5247_CC BY ND 2.0

My mother never made promises. “I can’t promise you anything because I don’t know what tomorrow might bring,” she’d say. All spoken from her shattered heart knowing full well the pain of a broken marriage. Those words haunted me, (probably still do since I’m compelled to write about them), for years. I’d even avoid childhood pinky-promises, for fear of breaking them, so upon my own engagement, I trembled.

My husband and I spoke often of covenant promises. There was more at stake than a pinky promise held. This was our future, our family, our legacy. I could not–would not–face a lifetime of uncommitted tomorrows where we left open a window of mistrust or an opportunity to slink away. We either entered our marriage covenant fully committed–promising to fight for one another and our future together no. matter. what.–or not at all.  Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: