Out of the Box

Hanging in a bag tucked away in the rear of our closet, surviving many corporate moves, was my wedding gown. After about 20 years I finally took it in for professional cleaning, preservation, and had it boxed. Unfortunately, the process took its toll on my gown as many of the decorative pearls fell off. The lady performing the work was distressed and took it upon herself to hand sew new pearls onto my gown. Upon final receipt of my wedding dress, I couldn’t believe my eyes—it was better than it had been when I handed it over to her. Fully restored, my wedding gown surpassed how it originally looked.

Fast-forward many more years and a couple more moves. The box has transferred neatly from one closet to the next as we’ve moved across the country. Finally, in what we hope is our earthly “forever” home, I wondered why in the world it’s primly placed in a box. So, the next time we had some of our granddaughters over I asked if they wanted to play dress-up with Gramma’s wedding gown. Imagine their excitement over donning the gown and veil and feeling so very special.

So thankful I didn’t keep what had been made new and better stashed away in a box!

Isaiah 43:19 (NIV) describes God’s deliverance of his people from Babylon, but also foreshadows His provision of how he will redeem sinners: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Jesus Christ came to give life and as we receive this new life, He indwells us with His Holy Spirit. Once ordinary and mundane, our lives, through His spirit, now surpass anything we could have imagined. Scripture tells the story of when Jesus turned water into wine for His first miracle at a wedding feast in Cana. (See John 2:1-11.) Similar to the transformation of my gown, He delights in remaking our ordinary lives into something exceptional.

But what are we doing with our salvation and the talents God has so graciously lavished on us?

Let’s not keep all God has done in our lives in a box. Pray God will enable you to utilize those gifts and talents He’s provided you with for furthering His kingdom. Is our Lord calling you to come alongside a younger woman and mentor her? How about those babies in the church nursery who need someone to love on them? What about the shut-ins in your neighborhood who could use a warm meal? He has plenty of surprises and delights for us in store! Let’s grab on to what He has for us and live as if we mean it.

The proud grandmother I am, it would be difficult for me to end this without sharing what one of our granddaughters remarked, “Gramma, I think you should hang on to this for me when I get married.” Looks like there may be more use for what was restored …

Father God, Thank you for transforming my life from drab and broken to one of richness and fullness. Please reveal what you have for me in order to advance your kingdom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Truths:

Job 42:10 (NIV): “After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.”

Psalm 23:3 (NIV): “He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.”

Psalm 51:12 (NIV): “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

Titus 3:5 (NIV): “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”

© 2018 APearlofGreatValue.org. All rights reserved.

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A Fresh Start

We have a new year and a new beginning—ushering in thoughts of fresh starts, a chance to do things differently, or even over again. How will we use the New Year our Lord has given us? Even though it’s the middle of winter, my mind skips ahead to springtime when I first observe the daylily leaves in my garden pushing through the soil. Crumpled over at first, the leaves appear fragile. But with exposure to the sun and rain and air they are able to strengthen and flourish, eventually growing into mature plants with numerous beautiful flowers. I want to grow stronger and substantial this year. Will you join me in this endeavor?

What change do you desire in your life this New Year? Continue reading “A Fresh Start”

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Rejoice in Our Redeemer

I send Christmas greetings and pray His blessings for all of my beloved readers.

Only by embracing Jesus and asking forgiveness for our sins will we be saved and have communion with God the Father. If you’ve never invited Jesus into your heart, this Christmas season is the perfect time to reflect on your sin and its consequence, which is eternal death, and to ask Jesus to deliver you from that. Faith in Jesus is the ONLY way. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6, NIV).

Knowing she was carrying the Christ child, Mary offered up a personal hymn of praise to God. Her song, also known as the Magnificat, begins with, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46-47, NIV). May we all rejoice in the birth of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, this Christmas.

© 2017 APearlofGreatValue.org. All rights reserved.

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When God Says: “Yes!”

According to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, over half of Americans (55%) say they pray daily. Women respond as more likely to pray daily than men do (64% versus 46%). With the majority of us women praying, we can logically conclude that there are many different types of answers we receive to our prayers. A Pearl of Great Value will be exploring a few of these in a seven-part series on prayer entitled, “When God Says ….”

Part 7 of 7

Gathered in the kitchen with our daughter, her husband, and our granddaughter, I was prepping food for dinner. Knowing the troops were hungry, I decided to put out some cheese and crackers to nibble on before our meal. As I set the plate, with a generous portion of brie cheese, down in front of our granddaughter, her eyes became large as saucers and she exclaimed, “Holy moly!” Having a rather advanced palate for her young age, she thought it was all for her! We all chuckled over her exuberance, and I wondered,

What is our response when life gives us so much more than we ever imagined?

Continue reading “When God Says: “Yes!””

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When God Says: “Go”

According to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, over half of Americans (55%) say they pray daily. Women respond as more likely to pray daily than men do (64% versus 46%). With the majority of us women praying, we can logically conclude that there are many different types of answers we receive to our prayers. A Pearl of Great Value will be exploring a few of these in a seven-part series on prayer entitled, “When God Says ….”

Part 6 of 7

From years ago I remember a Christian song with a tongue-in-cheek chorus which goes:

Please don’t send me to Africa
I don’t think I’ve got what it takes
I’m just a man, I’m not a Tarzan
Don’t like lions, gorillas or snakes
I’ll serve you here in suburbia
In my comfortable middle-class life
But please don’t send me out into the bush
Where the natives are restless at night.

“Please Don’t Send Me to Africa” (McHugh and Brown, 1988).

Those lyrics pretty much summed up how I felt about going on a foreign mission trip. Years later, though, I would find myself in the country of Vietnam doing exactly what I said I never would. Continue reading “When God Says: “Go””

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