Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Finding God in the Mundane


Dear Friends,

While doing laundry or washing dishes, my mind wanders to my favorite spot at times. What’s your spot—the place where the Lord’s peace and love wash over you? Mine is the Jetties in Destin, Florida. 

As I sit on those enormous rocks that overlook the Gulf of Mexico, I am in awe of the seagulls soaring just above the water, the egrets sharing the rocks with me, and the sun sinking below the horizon. I breathe in God’s presence there. When I was sixteen-years-old, I discovered the Jetties on a run, and over twenty years later, I still visit my place. I feel God’s freedom and peace there. His power. 

Then reality hits me, and I am scrubbing another dish, folding another shirt, and gathering mismatched socks. How do we find the Lord in the mundane? How do we find joy in the ordinary?

Mother Teresa once said, Wash the plate, not because it’s dirty, nor because you’re told to wash it, but because you love the person who’ll use it next.

This quote struck me. It transforms the way I view my daily chores. Is my mind flooded by complaints and frustrations as I do ordinary tasks? Or do I put love into my actions by praying for the person who will use the next dish or wear the clothes I just folded? I am challenged to shift my perspective. 

Sometimes I get so hung up on everything I am doing. Does anyone notice? And then, I read a quote like this, and my selfishness is so clear. It is an honor to have the ability and opportunity to wash dishes and take care of the people I love most. That is experiencing the kingdom of God.   Do we really need to be in our favorite spots to experience His power, love, and presence?  

While these places are restoring, I have discovered that we can meet the Lord in the midst of monotony: during that tenth load of laundry, driving carpool, finishing another project, or cleaning the hundredth mess that day. First John 1:16 says, “Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” The Lord lives within us when we are caring for those around us moment-by-moment. We are becoming more like Him as we carry out our daily, monotonous tasks. 

It’s liberating to know that whether we are in our favorite place or folding laundry, the Lord is with us just the same. In Jesus’ words, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21).

As you love those around you by folding shirts, scrubbing dishes, and searching for mismatched socks, remember that there He is with you.  

Blessings,


    
Linsey Driskell taught elementary and middle school students at an inner-city Christian school, led educational awareness trips in Guatemala, and served as Director of Villages of Hope, which supports homeless youth and former foster children. Linsey has been married ten years, has seven-year-old triplets, and loves authenticity, spontaneity, simplicity, and a good cup of coffee! You can subscribe to Linsey’s weekly post at LinseyDriskill.com, and follow her on Facebook & Instagram @BeautifulHeartedParenting.

Monday, June 4, 2018

God of My Pleasant Places

Dear Friends,

The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance. ~ Psalm 16:6

The Bible tells us that when the children of Israel entered the Promised Land, Joshua, Eleazar, the priest, and the heads of the tribes divided the land for inheritance by their borders (see Josh. 19:49). The “lines” in our text were the boundaries around those pieces of property. David, thinking about this, was able to look at his life and say, “the lines have fallen to me in pleasant places.”

I once found myself raising my voice in praise to God for exactly the same reason. I thanked God for the “pleasant places” of our home, our marriage, and our relationship with our grown children. I praised Him for our ministry, and for our friendships. I thought about the pleasant place around our dining table, and our bank balance with enough money to buy clothes and necessities. Like King David, I could truly say “Yes, the lines have fallen to me in pleasant places!”

Then another thought came to mind, engendering petition. This time it was a warning.

For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land,…..When you have eaten and are full,…..Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God….When your heart is lifted up…then you say in your heart, “My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.” And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth. (Deut. 8:7-18)

It was quite simple, really; I had been reminded not to make my pleasant places my God, but rather to worship the God of my pleasant places!

In His Love,

Jill Briscoe
Founder
Just Between Us Magazine


Monday, May 21, 2018

Making Your Programs Work


Dear Friends,

The crooked cripple waited outside the temple gate called Beautiful. Peter and John came along. It was time for a prayer meeting. It would have been easy to walk right on by, but the man looked at them expectantly so they stopped. His expectation wasn’t very high. A mite or two would do – Peter and John didn’t appear to be flush. What a shock he got! What a glorious, fabulous, stupendous shock! After 40 years of immobility the man walked – leapt up and down for joy. He asked for alms – but God gave him legs! (My husband’s line!) Peter and John saw their program work!

It’s a sad commentary on the church that people don’t expect much from us. Just a mite or two. A handout – the usual meager token – the nothing-very-much-giving they’ve grown to expect. But to receive ‘life more abundant’ – to be straight instead of crooked, to stand tall instead of groveling on the ground, and to be independent instead of dependent – now there’s a story! It got everyone’s attention of course, as such a miracle should, and more and more people asked to join the program.

Peter and John’s program worked because it wasn’t theirs, it was His. It was the living, loving, healing, resurrected Jesus’ idea.

What sort of people is the Lord Jesus looking for to run His program of gospel-telling and radical life change? People like Peter and John. Now before you begin the killing game of comparisons – wait! Peter and John are described in the narrative as “unschooled and ordinary men.” Well now, that’s good news for those of us (me included) who have never had the chance to go to Bible school or seminary. (Some of us were too busy putting our partners through.)

Many of us women qualify as “unschooled” – no Master of Divinity for us. The leaders of Israel (schooled men) took note of the fact “that they (the disciples) had been with Jesus!” (Acts 4:13). Ah, so they didn’t need a Master of Divinity – they had been with the Master of Divinity! Now that’s very good news for those of us unschooled and ordinary women who feel inadequate and less than ideally equipped to make our programs work. And of course, it’s obvious to me, the more ordinary we are the more extraordinary He will be seen to be. That way we can make sure that He gets all the credit. Incidentally, you can accomplish anything if you don’t have to take the credit!

So far as I can see from this incident, God can use poor, unschooled, and ordinary people to lend a hand to help this crooked, crippled world up onto its feet for the glory of God! And, after all, that’s what His program is all about. What a joy to be a part!

In His Love,

Jill Briscoe
Founder
Just Between Us Magazine