Tag Archives: spirit

What Do You Smell Like?

IMG_8361 Rene.Louise.hug_smw

Have you ever hugged someone, who was wearing a nice cologne, and later caught a whiff of their fragrance lingering on you? Mmmmm…. Have you ever hugged someone or been in their presence long enough to have their stench get trapped in your nose? [gag] Whether a person physically smells good or bad, some people have sweet smelling spirits while others have stinky ones. Just as breathing in a pleasant scent can bring a smile to our faces and remind us of a nice hug, so, too, can a sweet spirit linger and cause us to smile.

In the letters to the Ephesians and Corinthians, Paul spoke of the sacrifice and love of Christ being like a fragrant aroma to God, like the incense used by Jewish priests in the tabernacle and temple. When we imitate Him, we, too, are like a sweet aroma to God, but we can also be like a sweet fragrance of life to others. That’s what I want— the sweet spirit of God that leaves a fragrance of life.

 

If you liked this, you might also like… Wisdom Wednesday: Pretty Is As Pretty Does

Photo credit: Christopher Bruno via freeimages.com with text added

Photo credit: Christopher Bruno via freeimages.com with text added

 

Advertisements

Wings Like Eagles

IMG_1324 eaglecloud_smqt

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” —Isaiah 40:31

I took this photo almost five years ago from a bus while on a road trip to see Sight-n-Sound’s production of “In the Beginning”. The Lord blessed me with His presence in many ways that day and renewed my strength. I hope you are blessed and strengthened as well.

Edited to add the link to the original blog post from my old blog, which goes into more detail of how the Lord blessed me that day:  The Spreading of the Clouds


Clean Slate, New Operating System

Image

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” —2 Cor. 5:17

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  —2 Cor. 5:17

Have you ever wondered why, if old things are passed away and all things are become new, and you’re supposedly this new creature, it doesn’t seem true?  Although I have heard bits and pieces of what it means, I asked the Lord if He could give me an analogy to better understand and explain it.  I believe He gave me two… even three.

The first analogy is a clean slate.  When we accept Christ as Lord and Savior, it doesn’t matter what we’ve done in the past, all those old things are passed away.  There is no sin too great that Christ’s sacrifice doesn’t cover it.  It’s like having your slate wiped clean.  It’s like having the prison doors opened and getting a new identity— in Christ, without any stigma of who we were or what we did before.  All things are become new to us.

Ok, so you might ask, “If I’m a new creature, why do I sometimes still act like the old me?”  So the second analogy is a computer.  Since my computer knowledge is limited, I asked my son, Chris, to help me with the analogy.  When we confess Christ as Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9), it’s like he gives us a new operating system, an upgrade.  He doesn’t replace the hardware and erase our memory or who we are, He gives us a new operating system, but we retain the same applications and files.  Being a MacGirl I know that some system upgrades make some programs and applications obsolete, and they simply won’t work as well or not at all with the new operating system, because it processes things differently.  Let me give you another analogy.  If you used to be a professional thief before you accepted Christ, you’d still have the capability and talent to steal after you accept Christ, but the way you process opportunities will change.  While a part of you might be tempted to steal given the opportunity, your new spirit with new affections and desires processes or thinks about those opportunities differently.  And even if you do give into the temptation to steal, it won’t feel quite the same, and eventually, as the Lord gently purges out the old programs and applications, learned behaviors and sinful desires, you’ll discover new ways of using your skills for good instead of evil.  You are a new creature, because you have been given the Holy Spirit (1 John 4:13), the upgrade, but some of your other programming still needs to be upgraded as well.

When we accept Christ as Savior, not only do we get a clean slate and a new operating system, but because of God’s amazing grace and love expressed through Christ’s perfect sacrifice, our slates remain forever clean (Hebrews 10:14).  Isn’t that great news?


Hoist the Sails!

Have you ever wondered what it really means to “be filled with the Spirit” or “walk in the Spirit”, or why some Christians seem to have more insight or spiritual experiences?  I’ve been listening to a sermon series by Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church called Ephesians: Who Do you Think You Are?   I really appreciated an analogy he gave in his message entitled I Am Adopted.  After describing what some people think it means to be filled with the Spirit, which reminded me of how the prophets of Baal tried to call upon him and wake him up, Pastor Mark said, “…it’s not that we have to make Him show up; it’s that we need to avail ourselves to His presence.”

His statement reminds me of a quote by Billy Graham that my friend, Scott, sent to me.  “It is not how much of the Spirit we have, but how much the Spirit has of us.”

Pastor Mark then went on to give the analogy of the Holy Spirit being the wind and we being a sailboat.  He said, “The language here, ‘Be filled with the Holy Spirit’ is really the imagery of sailing.  Let’s say the wind is blowing, and there’s a boat that’s out on a lake.  The boat doesn’t have any energy or movement or momentum unless it puts the sail up.  And once the sail is up, the sail gets filled.  And then the boat gets moved and compelled and propelled along with great force and power.”

But what does that look like?  How do we put our sails up?  As I mentioned in a previous post, walking in the Spirit is not some mystical exercise or experience; it is simply living and breathing in a way that is contrary to walking in the flesh.  I would highly recommend listening to the message to gain a better understanding, so you can hoist your sails and be filled with the Spirit!


Breathe

Image

Sometimes freak things happen.  Sometimes things don’t make sense, but it’s the only thing that makes sense.  We have a wood pellet furnace and a 4-ton hopper in our basement.  To make a long story short, our latest delivery of pellets began to out-gas a noxious fume.  Both the furnace installer and the pellet deliveryman said the fumes shouldn’t be coming from the pellets considering our setup.  The installer came and checked for carbon monoxide, and thank the Lord, none was present, but considering the presence of the fumes, the installer said he would install a ventilation fan at the end of the week.  In the meantime, we opened windows and doors and stayed in rooms where the air was less foul.

Our older son had been exposed the most and was suffering with what seemed like horrific allergies.  We suggested he spend the night in a hotel or with our other son, but he decided to stay in his room as much as possible with the window open.  Because I was also affected and redeveloped a bad cough and nearly went to the ER, I stayed in a hotel for three nights, coming home briefly each day to take care of necessary things and to take my daughter and her dog ‘Sally’, out where we could spend some time breathing in fresh air.

ImageI was reminded of how God breathed in man the breath of life at Creation (Genesis 2:7), and how Jesus breathed out the Holy Spirit after His resurrection (John 20:22).  I was also reminded of how we are instructed to walk in the spirit and not in the flesh (Galatians 5:16-26).  But walking in the spirit is not some mystical exercise or experience; it is simply living and breathing in a way that is contrary to walking in the flesh.  We can either be like God and breathe out love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, or we can be like Satan and breathe out hatred, wrath, strife, envy, murder, immorality, impurity, and the like.  We can be either refreshing and life-giving or noxious and life-destroying.

The ventilation fan was installed, and while some fumes linger in the basement and can still be detected outside, the main part of the house is liveable again, and our symptoms are subsiding.  It still doesn’t make sense— not only the out-gassing but the strength of the fumes.  And while we experienced some suffering, some good has come out of it, too, for which I am grateful.


Are You a Princess?

Image

While standing in the checkout line at Walmart on Father’s Day a couple of weeks ago, a young family was checking out in front of me.  A baby girl sat in the shopping cart seat; she had the most beautiful blue eyes I’ve ever seen.  She was peeking around her mother to see me, so I began to play peek-a-boo with her.  Her father stood in front of the shopping cart, putting items on the conveyor belt, while her older brother stood inside the cart.  The father told him to sit down, which he did immediately, but then he half stood, looked at me and asked, “Are you a princess?”

I was so surprised, I softly laughed, and said, “No… but thank you.”

Me?  A princess?  I wondered why he thought I might be a princess.  I was dressed in jeans, a white ribbed tank, a summery sweater, and my hair was pulled back into a messy bun.  Could it have been my coppery necklace and earrings?  Or was it something else?  I couldn’t help briefly mentioning the incident on Facebook, and I was reminded by a couple of friends that I am, indeed, a princess of the Most High God.  I am a part of His royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9).  And you are too, if you have become His child.

No one had ever called me a princess before, so I couldn’t get the little boy’s question out of my mind.  Almost every girl wants to be a princess to someone, especially to her daddy, and then a queen and co-regent with her husband.  As I thought about it, I felt a humbling responsibility, and the Spirit uses the little boy’s question to remind and convict me when I feel inclined to do something I shouldn’t.  Isn’t it cool how God uses different means to speak to His people, even in unexpected, unorthodox ways?  Even though my Daddy never called me a princess, I realize my Heavenly Father did that day in a very personal way.


Where’s the Fruit

Ripening FruitI’d procrastinated with getting my garden started this year; I could blame it on all the rain we’d been getting, and while it could be a valid reason, I have to take some responsibility too.  You see, I had meant to purchase some mature tomato plants but… I procrastinated with doing that, also.  Even though my neighbor gave me some tiny plants started from seed it looked like I wouldn’t be seeing any tomatoes this year.

However, I went to a perennial garden on an outing with a ladies’ Bible study group and I was so blessed to find some tomato plants being given away… FREE!  They looked a bit ‘leggy’ but they already had fruit and they were  f-r-e-e!  I wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth but rather saw them as a precious gift from my heavenly Father.  He sends rain on the just and on the unjust… on compulsives and procrastinators alike… even procrastinators like me who have proven to be less than diligent stewards.

Anyway, when a friend and I were talking about gardens and veggies before I’d gotten the free plants, I’d mentioned my tiny seedlings and lamented about the probability of not harvesting any fruit.  He’s an experienced gardener and told me to use 10-10-10.  I reasoned it must be fertilizer, but I asked if it was like Miracle Gro®.  He confirmed it was fertilizer but that I shouldn’t use the miracle plant food because it tends to produce a lot of foliage and little fruit.  After doing some research I learned that too much nitrogen will produce lots of leaves but the plant will either not blossom at all or it will produce very few.

Hmm… we can be like that as Christians sometimes, can’t we?  We do things to make ourselves look very mature, but without the right heart attitude and being guided by the Spirit we end up like a lush tomato plant with lots of leaves and little fruit.  I’d rather have fruit and few leaves than no fruit at all, just like my free tomato plants.  I mean, after all, what’s the purpose of having tomato plants anyway?  To make my garden look good so I can show others what a great gardener I am, or to enjoy its fruit?  So… are we nourishing others with our fruit, or do they go away hungry?


%d bloggers like this: