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<< Transformation Garden: Where Every Woman Blooms

Transformation Garden - March 15, 2014

  • 2014 Mar 15
  • COMMENTS
 
 
March 15, 2014

“They (Naomi and Ruth) arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.”

Ruth 1: 22
The Message

EXPLORATION:

“How To Deal With Bitterness” – Part VI

“A Heavenly Cure – The Hands”

“Always keep your eyes open for the little task, because it is the little task that is important to Jesus Christ. The future of the kingdom of God does not depend on the enthusiasm of this or that powerful person; those great ones are necessary too, but it is equally necessary to have a great number of little people who will do a little thing in the service of Christ.”

 Albert Schweitzer

In what way do I believe God has called me to use my hands to serve others?

How do I believe serving others helps to heal the bitterness I may carry in my own life?

"If I can stop one heart from breaking, 
I shall not live in vain; 
If I can ease one life the aching, 
Or cool one pain, 
Or help one fainting robin 
Unto his nest again, 
I shall not live in vain."

Emily Dickinson

INSPIRATION:

“We are all pencils in the hand of a writing God, who is sending love letters to the world.”

Mother Teresa

Naomi came back to Bethlehem, empty and bitter. But thankfully, God didn’t want her to stay that way. In fact, I’ll go a step further, God did not intend to let Naomi stay that way. He wouldn’t let His “delightful” daughter linger in the land of despair.

And so, when Naomi arrived back in the “house of bread,” Bethlehem, God started at the beginning with Naomi’s heart. This is the place where His healing began. Then God fed Naomi from heaven’s banquet table and replaced the bitter words on her lips with words of pleasantness. Words that reflected the new-found gratitude and praise that filled her heart.

However, something exciting happens in all our lives when God’s healing warms our hearts and His praise is on our lips. There’s one more essential ingredient in God’s formula for removing the bitterness that invades us. God counteracts the acidic effect of bitterness by filling our hands with something to do for Him.

Believe me, when I say, I know what I’m talking about, for tomorrow I’ll explain this statement in more detail. But for now, I’ll just say that Transformation Garden was God’s gift in my hands to destroy any remnant of bitterness I was harboring in my life after another person tried to kill my husband and me. What’s more, if you would have asked me many years ago whether I would be writing a devotional everyday that’s read in 160 countries around the world, I would have told you that you were crazy!! The idea sounds impossible to me. And it is, if I were depending on myself. But I am not. Instead everyday, I’m a living testimony to the words of Andrew Murray, “We have a God who delights in impossibilities.”  And this same God doesn’t just give me His unimaginable assistance. His help is for you just as much as it is for me or anyone else. It is for every person who in the words of David Smithers, “reaches for the impossible.”

It was when Naomi was empty and landed in Bethlehem that God said, “It’s harvest-time. And I have something for you to do.” I find it so overwhelmingly fantastic that it was at the “beginning of the barley harvest” when two empty widows walked into the “house of bread,” ready to be filled by their Father who took away the bitterness by healing a heart, putting praise on the lips, and filling the hands with God-given work.

At a time of complete emptiness and bitterness in your life, it may well be that God will give you your greatest work for Him. All He needs from you is your willingness to open your heart to Him and to the service He calls you to do.

In the orphanage founded by Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India, the words to this daily prayer are spoken:

"Dearest Lord, may I see you, today and every day, in the 
 person of your sick, and whilst nursing them, minister unto You. 
 Though You hide Yourself behind the unattractive guise of the irritable,

 the exacting, the unreasonable, may I still recognize You, and say, 'Jesus, 
 my patient, how sweet it is to serve You.' 
 Lord, give me this seeing faith, then my work will never be monotonous. I 
 will ever find joy in humouring the fancies and gratifying the wishes of all. 
 Sweetest Lord, make me appreciative of the dignity of my high vocation, and its 
 many responsibilities. Never permit me to disgrace it, by giving way to coldness, 
 unkindness or impatience. 
 And , O God, while You are Jesus my patient, deign also to be to me a patient 
 Jesus, bearing with my faults, looking only to my intention,, which is to love and 
 serve You in the person of each one of Your children. 
 Lord, increase my faith, bless my efforts and work, now and for evermore." 

What a beautiful commitment to God’s call for us to serve Him. And what a wonderful way to remove the pain in our own hearts as we help those whom God puts in our pathways who need our love.

I’ve always been inspired by the writing of Corrie ten Boom. One of my favorite stories is about a nurse attending the sores of a leprosy patient.

“I would not do that for a million dollars,” a visitor watching the nurse was heard to say.

The nurse replied, “Neither would I, but I will do it for Jesus for nothing.”

If you are struggling with the enemy of bitterness, then open your heart to heaven’s healing; let the power of praise and gratitude be on your lips, and open your hands so your Father can fill them with the special task He has for your unique talents.

As Rita Snowden prayed, “I bring you myself this day – my body, mind, and spirit – in worship and praise and service. Send me out in Your spirit to do Your will in Your world…Let my humble offering of life contribute to Your honor and glory.”

"Small service is true service while it lasts; 
 Of humblest friends, bright creature, scorn not one; 
 The daisy, by the shadow that it casts, 
 Protects the lingering dew-drop from the sun."

William Wordsworth

AFFIRMATION:

"Lord, Your harvest is the harvest of love; 
love down in the hearts of people; 
love that spreads out 
like the branches of a great tree 
covering all who seek its shelter; 
love that inspires and recreates 
love that is planted in the weak and the weary, 
the sick and the dying. 
The harvest of your love is the life that reaches 
through the seeds of sin and death 
to the sunlight of resurrection. 
Lord, nurture my days with Your love, 
water my soul with the dew of forgiveness, 
that the harvest of my life might be Your joy."

Frank Topping

Your friend,

Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
[email protected]

P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal.

If you would like to purchase When A Woman Meets Jesus at a quantity discount for your Women’s Ministry Program or for Bible Study Groups, please CALL: 1-888-397-4348.

“A drop of praise is an unsuitable acknowledgement for an ocean of mercy."

                                                                                                                                                                        William Secker

What am I feeding on in my life?

How does what I am feeding on reflect in the words I speak?

"Love's trinity, self-perfect, self-sustaining, love which commands, enables and obeys: you give yourself, in boundless joy, creating one vast increasing harmony of praise."

                                                                                                                                                                                 Alan Gaunt

                                                                                                                                                                English Hymn-writer

INSPIRATION:

"Sometimes a light surprises
Us while we sing:

It is the Lord who rises
With healing in His wings
When comforts are declining,
He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining
To cheer it after rain."

                                                                                                                                                                        William Cowper

When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I passed through several years of rather severe depression. This was unknown territory in my life, for as my mother once told me, "You were born a happy child." Due to several painful relationships at that time and the resulting scars that were left on my heart, I found myself wallowing in a pit of negativity.

One day, my concerned dad suggested I take several texts which were filled with heaven's praise, and keep them on cards in my purse or where I could find them easily, and when clouds of gloom began to form around me, I would repeat these texts, enforcing within myself the positive power of praise. Interestingly enough, after weeks of filling myself with the uplifting and joyous, much to my surprise, I began to see a change. At first, there wasn't a huge difference. But slowly with time, after repeating the promises that contained praise to my heavenly Father, I began to find that not only were my thoughts different, but what came out of my mouth was, too!

In the last chapter of my book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, I share a Native American tale about an elder who was talking to one of his disciples. The elder said, "I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one. The other wolf is the loving compassionate one." The disciple asked, "But which wolf will win the fight in your heart?" And the holy one answered, "It depends on which one I feed."

The story of Naomi is another reminder to you and me about God's ability and desire to feed us with the bread of life that makes us whole and transforms what is bitter in our lives into what is pleasant.

When Naomi, who was suffering under a burden of bitterness, arrived back in Bethlehem, the Bible tells us that is was "the beginning of the barley harvest."

Not only did God have a plan to heal Naomi's broken heart and wipe His soothing salve over the wounded and bitter places in her life, but then our Father fed Naomi with the feast of heaven for she arrived just in time to benefit from the entire harvest. And the result of being fed put Naomi in a position to have gratitude and praise on her lips. The same thing happens to you and me as we glory in the gifts so graciously supplied by our Father's hand.

If we long to replace the words of despair that come from our mouths during times of famine and drought in our lives, then we should keep before us the words of John of the Cross who so astutely observed, "My spirit is dry within me because it forgets to feed on You."

Horatius Bonar penned this beautiful prayer of praise that reflects the healing our Father brings to our hearts which is then expressed on our lips as our voices rise in continual praise to the "One" who has transformed us:

"Fill Thou my life, O Lord my God,
In every part with praise,
That my whole being may proclaim
Thy being and Thy ways.
Not for the lip of praise alone,
Nor even the praising heart
I ask, but for a life made up
Of praise in every part! 

Fill every part of me with praise;
Let all my being speak
Of Thee and of Thy love, O Lord,
Poor though I be, and weak.

So shalt Thou, Lord, from me, even me,
Receive the glory due;
And so shall I begin on earth
The song forever new.
So shall each fear, each fret, each care
Be turned into a song.
And every winding of the way
The echo shall prolong;
So shall no part of day or night
From sacredness be free;
But all my life, in every step
Be fellowship with Thee."

AFFIRMATION:

The Singer and the Song 

"When long before time and the worlds were begun,
when there was no earth and no sky and no sun,
and all was deep silence and night reigned supreme,
and even our Maker had only a dream…

…the silence was broken when God sang the Song,
and light pierced the darkness and rhythm began,
and with its first birthcries creation was born,
and creaturely voices sang praise to the morn.

The sounds of the creatures were one with their Lord's
their harmonies sweet and befitting the Word;
the Singer was pleased as the earth sang the Song,
the choir of the creatures re-echoed it long.

Though, down through the ages, the Song disappeared ---
its harmonies broken and almost unheard –
the Singer comes to us to sing it again,
our-God-is-With-Us in the world now as then.

The Light has returned as it came once before,
the Song of the Lord is our own song once more;
so let us all sing with one heart and one voice
the Song of the Singer in whom we rejoice.

To You, God, the Singer, our voices we raise,
to You, Son Incarnate, we give all the praise,
to You, Holy Spirit, our life and our breath,
be glory for ever, through life and through death."

Peter W. A. Davison
Canada

Your friend,

Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
[email protected]

P.S.  My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian.  You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal.

If you would like to purchase When A Woman Meets Jesus at a quantity discount for your Women’s Ministry Program or for Bible Study Groups, please CALL: 1-888-397-4348.

For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.

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