Dew

These past two weeks, I have been pondering clouds and fog.  Dew has always fascinated me too.  God uses dew as another visual for us to learn about Him.

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The word dew brings to my mind refreshment, renewal, invigoration, even life. In the natural world, waterfalls, streams, lakes, rivers, rainfall and snow are sources of refreshment for the plants and soil of the earth. Another source is dew. It is the moisture from a wet ground that travels up or moist air that journeys downward. Whether traveling up or down, the morning grasses are laden with dew when the circumstances are just right. “Dew will never appear while there is either heat or wind. The temperature must fall, the wind cease, and the air come to a point of coolness and rest — absolute rest — before the invisible particles of moisture will become dew to dampen any plant or flower.”   (from Mrs. Charles E. Cowman’s Streams in the Desert, January 30th)

He provides and cares:

When the dew settled on the camp, the manna also came down.  Numbers 11:9

That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” for they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat. This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Each one is to gather as much as he needs. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.'”  Exodus 16:13-16

So Israel will live in safety alone; Jacob’s spring is secure in a land of grain and new wine, where the heavens drop dew.  Deuteronomy 33:28

God uses the word dew repeatedly in His Word. Physically, we see it quenching the thirst of plants and crops. Just as the grass is rejuvenated by the early morning dew, God invigorates us with His love, His Word, His peace, His joy. We, too, must reach that still and quiet place in our being — that absolute rest — before the dew of God falls upon us. Our busyness, our rushing, our schedules keep us from that beautiful point. The quiet moments, the time in God’s Word, praying, sitting beside a stream in utter stillness, the lingering in the beauty of a sunset … these are the places when the wind of busyness ceases, the temperature of daily schedules falls, the air of worry and fear cools and rests. Then the sweet moisture of God’s love becomes dew to refresh our bodies, minds, and souls.

Ponder the words our Father invites us to savor for God promises to care for us in EVERY way:

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; not for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And who are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil not do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But first seek His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  Matthew 6:25-34

We are compared to grass — tender, vulnerable, momentary. Yet, in Matthew 6, we are reminded of God’s loving care for us.  Our vulnerability, our tenderness, our momentary stay on God’s earth should lead us to trust in His care, for God is our only hope, the Trustworthy One.

All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.  The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass.  Isaiah 40:6b-7

He refreshes us with His dew:

Let them fear You while the sun endures, And as long as the moon, throughout all generations.  May He come down like rain upon the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.  Psalm 72:5-6

The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion, But his favor is like dew on the grass.  Proverbs 19:12

Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak; And let the earth hear the words of my mouth.  “Let my teaching drop as the rain, My speech distill as dewAs the droplets on the fresh grass And as the showers on the herb.  “For I proclaim the Name of the LORD; Ascribe greatness to our God.!”  Deuteronomy 32:1-2 (Song of Moses)

The LORD renews His blessing to Israel, calling His people to return to Him:

I will be like the dew to Israel; He will blossom like a lily.  Like a cedar of Lebanon He will send down his roots; His young shoots will grow.  His splendor will be like an olive tree, His fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.  Men will dwell again in His shade.  He will flourish like the grain.  He will blossom like a vine, and His fame will be like the wine from Lebanon.  Hosea 14:5-7

The seed will grow well, the vine will yield its fruit, the ground will produce its crops, and the heavens will drop their dew. I will give all these things as an inheritance to the remnant of this people.  Zechariah 8:12

Likewise, He calls us to Himself:

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”  Matthew 16:24

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.  John 6:37


Dew of Quietness

Drop thy still dew of quietness
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

– Whittier
Source unknown
but retrieved from bible.org

Are you being refreshed?

LORD, I pray that I would know this absolute rest and that it will envelop me.  May I feel the precious moisture of Your heavenly dew refreshing me.  I want to know You, LORD. Teach me to be still. Teach me to ponder things of You.  Teach me to rest in You.  I do seek Your face.  Fill me with Your Word.  Moisten my lips that I may speak Your Truth.  Renew me, LORD, as never before.  O, Heavenly father, shower my heart, my mind, and my soul with Your heavenly dew. In the blessed Name of Jesus, Amen.

Photo of dew:  from  https://melindaschwakhofer.wordpress.com

Empty, Purify, Fill Me, and Pour Me Out, LORD

As I seek Your face, Father, I want to be empty of me.  How can this happen, LORD?  Can I truly be empty?

But that is not the way you learned Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.  Ephesians 4:20-24

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16

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I accepted Jesus Christ as my LORD and Savior, asking forgiveness for the sinful person I was.  The old Linda is gone and the new Linda lives.  I am empty, was emptied, yet need to empty again and again.  The sinful one keeps edging her way back in.  The love of Christ never leaves me though.  I am being emptied moment-to-moment.

In the emptiness, I need to be purified so that I may walk in purity through this world.  Only You, LORD, can purify me.

He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD Malachi 3:3

For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.  Hebrew 9:13-14

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.  2 Corinthians 7:1

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Father, as I am emptied and purified, I want to be filled with You, filled with Jesus, filled with Your Spirit, that I may walk in Your Light.

I am the LORD your God,
who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.  Psalm 81:10

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.  Romans 15:13

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.  John 14:16-17

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Yes, Your Holy Spirit dwells in me, Father.  I am so very thankful and love You with all of my heart.  Thank You for bringing me into Your family, for accepting me as I am, and molding me on Your potter’s wheel.  I am a vessel of Your making.

Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?  Romans 9:21

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.  2 Timothy 2:21

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Pour me out, O LORD, into this world that I would do what You have called me to do and be the woman that You have made me to be.  Use me, LORD, as You will.  May I be empty for Your use, LORD.  Teach me Thy ways, my Father.  In the Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.  Titus 2:11-15

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.  Romans 7:25

Father, You made me and desire to use me.  I pray that You empty me of me, and that I am willing to be emptied.  I pray that You purify me so that I may walk in the cleanliness of Your Holiness.  I pray that You fill me with all that is You.  And then, Father, pour me out into this world in the ways that You have appointed for me, for my life.  In Jesus’ beautiful Name, Amen.

Put Off ἀπεκδύομαι … Put On ἐνδύω

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ἐνδύω

endyō

to sink into (clothing), put on, clothe one’s self

ἀπεκδύομαι

apekdyomai

wholly put off from one’s self

denoting separation from what is put off

wholly to strip off for one’s self (for one’s own advantage)

despoil, disarm

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.  They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.  They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.  But that is not the way you learned Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.  Ephesians 4:17-24 ESV

 

God’s Word teaches me that in my accepting Jesus as my LORD and Savior, I have been born anew.  In that rebirth, I have come from the cocoon, once a caterpillar, but now a butterfly, a completely different creature.  I have new clothes.  I have a new way to be in this world.  I no longer crawl upon the ground but must dry my new wings in the warmth of God’s sunlight, spread those beautiful new wings and take flight.  I am here for a short while, but I am to spread the beauty of the LORD wherever I am., wherever I go.  God feeds me the nectar of His flowers…to be nourished and refreshed.  He has produced new life in me, being the image of Christ as I grow in Him.  I am brand new.  I am to completely put off the old Linda who is no more, and put on the Linda that God has made anew through Christ Jesus.  Oh, Hallelujah!

 

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Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.  Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.  And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Colossians 3:9-17

O, LORD, look at all that I can put on and all that can come off.  The character I am to live is wholly in You, my LORD.  There is nothing I can do or be apart from You, precious LORD.  Mold me and make me fresh and new, filled with the kindness, meekness, patience, and compassion that is You.  Fill me with love and peace that reflects You to this world.  I pray that I can wear the new clothes which I have been given with confidence that I am a becoming creature for You and for You alone. The world will know You by me if I live by Your will and Your way.  I pray this be so.  Amen.  

 

 
first photo/Scripture:  http://www.heartlight.org/gallery/383.html

second photo: (c) Linda Gill @ http://beingwoven.org

Release? Renewal? Refreshment?

Question to ponder from Soli Deo Gloria:

“What about the summer brought about a release of things ready to be let go,
or a vacation that evoked a sense of renewal,
or how do you long to be refreshed as the summer winds down and fall begins?”

As much as I would like to answer the first two parts of this question, I cannot.  I have done nothing that brought release…YET…not taken a vacation that provoked renewal…YET… ALTHOUGH… I certainly do long to be refreshed, renewed, and released.  So the third part of this question is where I am… this moment, this place.  I stand upon ground that is built upon the Rock and ask for this time.

I am looking upon a time, right around the corner, that is to be a start for real closure to my Mama’s death this past January 30th.  We will head to Washington, D.C., for burial of her ashes with my father’s remains in Arlington National Cemetery.  It has been over seven months.  It takes time for the scheduling of funerals at this honored cemetery. Mama wanted to be buried with her beloved husband of twenty years, he having had died fifty-three years ago.  Time….  Not only will there be a sense of this closure’s beginning, but there will be a time for more complete closure with Daddy’s death.  We were just kids.  Fifty-three years is a long time.  Time….  This should allow for RELEASE of a long-lived life, 98 years, almost 99, our Mama…. Time.  At last.

Then there is family time as some of the family will be there and be together in a place where we once lived when Daddy was stationed in Washington, D.C., with the Navy as a doctor.  We have a house and neighborhood to revisit, recalling moments of childhood.  More RELEASE along with some REFRESHMENT that comes with recalling young, memories with both parents.

We will have a new child in our family with us there. We will meet this 16 month old, Mama’s first great granddaughter whom she never got to meet, but knew all about.  REFRESHMENT in new life. From this time together, and then separating to return home to three different states, we will share special memories together, quiet thoughts that will be ours alone, gentle peace that will float down upon us as we have finally been able to lay this precious woman to rest. This is something that needs to happen before the next stage can actually begin, for me. This brings RENEWAL for me. I have been a caregiver for fifteen years and have felt that weight being lifted these past months, but it is time to move beyond the walls of burden through this final act.

Yes, I miss her terribly, but am ready to have this funeral behind us with new outlooks ahead. We have been waiting. Time has been ticking. We could not move forward until this happened. TIME. Our dreams and hopes have been in the air. We will have time to revisit them each, listen for God’s calling, and see where life might be taking us next.  RENEWAL IS NEEDED HERE. It is coming in God’s time.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 KJV
He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 KJV

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Father God, I lift this funeral and small family gathering to You, for Your will.  I thank You for my Mama and know that You have her in Your hands.  May we here on this earth rest in You as this funeral comes and goes, and may we continue to depend upon You for our all, our provision, our future steps, our care and comfort.  Father, You are my LORD and have held me close to You.  You are the God of all comfort, my comfort for which I am ever so grateful.  I praise You and know that You are calming my heart and preparing the way before us.  Thank You, Abba.  In the Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

A Sabbath Moment

Hebrew Shabbat (שַׁבָּת), “to cease”
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
               Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
   Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Psalm 51:10-12

 

Rest
Renew
Restore
Right spirit
Revival
Rejuvenate
Regenerate

It is in rest that God can cleanse me afresh, change me to walk uprightly, bring me back to a closeness with Him, revitalize the joy of my salvation, and call to remembrance all He is and all He does in my life.

In rest, LORD, You refresh me to Your reborn child.  You remind me through Your Word of Your promises and Your prophecies.  You call me back onto the path, the future You have made for me.  You rejoice over me with Your gladness.  And You quiet me by Your love that I mayrest in You.  May I peacefully lay in Your arms besides the still waters.  Amen. 

 

Scripture graphics: by Jessica @ Thy Word Forever

A Sabbath Moment

Hebrew Shabbat (שַׁבָּת), “to cease”
I cease from this world for this moment, resting with my LORD ~ 

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.  He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?  “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”  Jeremiah 17:7-10

From Charles H. Spurgeon’s little book, “Daily Help”, January 14th:

The great King, immortal, invisible, the Divine person, called the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit: it is he that quickens the soul, or else it would lie dead forever; it is he that makes it tender, or else it would never feel; it is he that imparts efficacy to the Word preached, or else it could never reach further than the ear; it is he who breaks the heart, it is he who makes it whole. 
There dwells upon this earth a mysterious Being, whose office is to renew the fallen and restore the wandering.  We cannot see Him, or hear Him, yet He dwells in some of us as Lord of our nature.  His chosen residence is a broken heart and a contrite spirit. 

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Psalm 34:18

by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  Titus 3:5b-6

Abba Father, You know my nature.  You know I needed You.  You knocked on the door many times.  I finally opened that door and there You were.  You never gave up on me.  You then poured Your Holy Spirit into me and now reign over my very soul.  You love me so that You hold me near.  You have quickened my soul.  You have made me tender.  You have given me and continue to give me Your precious Truth.  You held my broken heart for I was lost and wandering.  You took those many pieces and made my heart whole.  I pray You continue to mold it until it is wholly Yours.  Thank You for Your ever-present renewal and restoration of me.  And thank You for choosing my heart and spirit to dwell within.  I love You, LORD.  Amen.