Wednesday, May 20, 2009


A good friend of mine suggested awhile back that I create an Ark of Faith for myself, to get me through the hard times. She defined it as a group of Bible verses that spoke directly to my heart and would remind me of God's love for me. Over the last year or so, even without meaning to, God had been building an ark like that for me. Every couple of months, I come across a verse that speaks to me, almost yells to me, and I cling to it. It becomes another brick of the wall of my growing faith.

A few weeks ago, I came across Psalm 42:8. But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life. The image of God pouring his love out on my helped me wake up each day with a smile on my face. Other versions use command, direct or send for pour, but pour catches my imagination. Last week I read Ephesians 1:6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. I got hung up on the word poured, and I couldn't help but wonder what else does God promise to pour out on us. I pulled out my concordance and started searching. Here are a few of the verses I found.

Ezekiel 39:29 I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD.

Malachi 3:10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!

Luke 2:20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

Ephesians 1:6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.

Job 36:28 The rain pours down from the clouds, and everyone benefits.

Zechariah 12:10a Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the family of David and on the people of Jerusalem.

There were so many more, but when I got done, I found that there are several things the Bible promises that God will pour out on His believers: water/rain, the Spirit (this is promised the most), blessings (second most promised), glorious grace, prayer, His blood as a sacrifice, and unfailing love.

The last several days have been miserable for my pain. I even missed my doctor's appointment this morning, because I couldn't drive. My walk has become a slow shuffle, and the pain wakes me up in the night so I can't sleep more than a couple of hours. Waking up each morning feels like a curse, I'm in agony before I even raise my head. I usually fire off a few quick prayers before getting up in the morning (help me get Mia out the door on time, bless Jesse at work, let this be a good day), but on days like these, my prayers are more intense (strength to bear the pain, wash away the guilt of chores undone and obligations unmet). I've also begun praying to see God pouring out His promised blessings on me: the Spirit, grace, prayer, and unfailing love, and I'm praising Him for His sacrificial blood. I can feel the Spirit moving in me through these tough days; my blog posts are much deeper than usual as is my nightly devotional reading. I look forward to seeing just how God will show me His love each day.

Yesterday it was Mia who showed me His love. She was playing outside for awhile, but then came in with a "surprise" for me. Usually that means a handful of dandelions or pretty rocks from the driveway. But yesterday it was a basketful of lilac blossoms. I love lilacs, the beautiful shades of purple and the heady scent, but being in so much pain, I hadn't even noticed they had bloomed. Even now my bedroom is filled with the scent of lilacs, and every breath reminds me that yesterday He poured out His love for me through lilacs and my sweet little girl. Even through the pain, I can't wait to see how He will show it to me today, and that's motivation to keep me smiling and moving.

by Fred & Jasen Stoeker should be required reading for every Christian young man and his parents. Fred, author of Every Man's Battle, faced a battle against the flesh that had been passed down from grandfather to father to son, until one day looking into his two-year old son Jasen's eyes, he decided that the generational curse of adultery and pornography would end with him. Because of Fred's decision, Jasen made his own decision to keep himself pure until marrying the woman God led him to, which didn't exactly make him the most popular guy in high school. Despite temptation and peer pressure, Jasen didn't even kiss his wife Rose until the minister gave them permission during their wedding ceremony. The authors attack the strongholds of deceit that society has instilled in our brains about sex: women want it just as much as men, finding out if you are sexually compatible before marriage is necessary, God gave men a sexual desire so He of course allows them an outlet, and other lies. Jasen talks about his walk through high school and college, facing derision and coming out a strong man of God on the other side. His wife Rose also offers her point of view on what a true hero of God looks like. Their revelations about how society has warped even Christians' view of sex are startling and enlightening. It's a powerful book with a must-read message

I'm giving away a copy of this book to one lucky reader. To enter the contest, just drop me an email before 10pm Thursday May 21st.