The Spigot

As my husband, Gary,  watched from a distance the way I served others, he often described it this way: “You get to help people, who’s cups are depleted or empty, place themselves under the spigot of God and His Word so that He can fill them, restore them, guide them and use them.” 

Through these bi-weekly posts, move your cup under the spigot of God to receive encouragement in life and truth from God’s Word to live the full life offered by Jesus (John 10:10).

Certain

One night this past week when driving home after a fun movie night with Sophie, Peter, Sammy and Emily, I noticed the stars in the sky. Through the car window, I gazed on Orion’s belt. For as long as I can remember, this constellation has always stood out in the night’s sky and it always reminds me of God’s grandeur.

The prophet Amos in Scripture, points out the Creator of these celestial lights: “He who made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns midnight into dawn and darkens day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land— the Lord is his name” (seem Amos 5:8).

I experience the certainty of God whenever I see Orion’s belt glow in the darkness of the night sky in the Northern Hemisphere. Perhaps, the parallel for my friends down under is the Southern Cross.These constellations remind me that God is constant and faithful.

The word “uncertain” or “uncertainty” has positioned itself in most conversations and communications these days. With the worldwide pandemic concerns, the closure of most community gatherings, and the decline of financial markets, most people acknowledge our times are not as secure as once presumed.

Instead of focusing on the uncertain, what if we lifted our gaze to the certain.

Certain – Known for sure, established without a doubt, confident

For example, searching for a used car certainly is a laborious task. In the last week Gary and I have looked at seven vehicles. We nicknamed them: the tired Prius, the blueberry, the mob mobile, the “oh, it just got a factory recall” car, the “once we cleaned the engine it won’t start” vehicle, the hail-damaged surprise, and the overpriced, out of budget perfect fit (a used Toyota Rav4 Hybrid). Without any doubt, researching and looking for a new-to-us vehicle is certain to demand much time and energy.

Other “certain” illustrations might include:

  • The sunrise and sunset each day is reliable and certain.
  • If you have a dog, you will certainly go for a walk or on some other outdoor excursion at least twice a day, so the dog can do its business.
  • If it snows, without question the kids in the neighborhood build snow forts, go sledding and play in the snow.
  • Unquestionably, turning off the television relieves anxiety and stress.
  • There are certainly many funny GIFs to choose from on the internet to lift the souls of those with whom you communicate.
  • It is very likely that playing games with family and friends offers entertainment and connection.
  • Undeniably, relationships require effort and grace.
  • A kind word and tender gesture certainly encourage others.

While certain realities exist in this world, God offers even more certainty.

  • Scripture assures us that God’s grace is sufficient.
  • It is certain that the steadfast love of the Lord endures forever.
  • Trouble is unavoidable in this world.
  • It is certain God’s mercies are new every morning.
  • Undoubtedly God disciplines those He loves.
  • With confidence the promises of God have been, are, and will be fulfilled.

The Bible proclaims confidently several certain truths.

God’s promise of His presence remains unshakable. No need to wonder or fear God’s abandonment. Jesus clearly states “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (see Matthew 28:20). Similarly, Hebrews 13:5 reminds us of the certainty that God is always with us: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

How have you witnessed God’s presence this past week?

In addition to the surety of God’s presence we can rest in the assurance of His the sovereign power. Despite the perceived chaos all around us, He is in control. Many Scriptures reiterate this certain reality. 2 Samuel 22:33 proclaims God’s power:  “For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? God is my strong fortress, and he makes my way perfect.” Numerous Bible verses address God’s sovereignty. Enjoy digging through the Word noting Scriptures that point to God’s power.

In what ways have you seen God’s sovereign power displayed?

We also know with certainty that God is our provider. Throughout the Old Testament God provides again and again for His people. “The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything” (see Deuteronomy 2:7).

Soon, at Easter we celebrate God’s greatest provision in history. He gave His Son, Jesus, who made the way for eternal salvation for all humankind (see John 3:16). God meets our eternal needs as well as our temporal needs. Verses like Matthew 6:26-27 detail God’s provision for the birds and flowers and yet how much more He cherishes and cares for those created in His image: you and me.

Can you think of at least five ways God has provided for you?

Pondering the certainty of God’s presence, power, and provision leads us to discover the perfect peace of God. Before Jesus left this earth, he promised peace. Not the peace of this world, but a supernatural peace, which He experienced during His time on earth. He spoke of this to the first disciples: John 14: 27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Are you experiencing His peace?

God’s presence, power, provision and peace remain unshakable. These truths are certain.

If you discover yourself shaken by the uncertainty of these times, simply look into the night sky and notice the certainty of God through His heavenly lights. Focus on the certain reality that God is with you and praise Him.

Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.

Psalm 47:2
For the Lord Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth.

John 16:33
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Check out these suggested videos to fill your soul.

Reba McEntire and Lauren Daigle. Back to God. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTKBoUfWZKA

TobyMac. The Elements. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIR24ubUf0E

Bethel. Raise a Hallelujah. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRo7kFl7hBw

Pandora

My car accident opened a “Pandora’s Box.”

Pandora’s Box – a process that generates many complicated problems as the result of unwise interference in something; Or something that causes a lot of problems to appear that did not exist or were not known about before.

I received numerous phone calls from the Colorado State Trooper who arrived at the scene in the days that followed my accident. Another call with the insurance company led to numerous verbal interactions. These phone interchanges prompted conversations with multiple claims adjusters for the vehicle and medical aspects of the event. It seems that an entire army coordinates the consequences of a collision by an uninsured drunk motorist.

Then, there are the forms with the medical professionals. Details and more details must be documented and treatment plans need to be accompanied by carefully outlined processes. Sometimes, I’m not sure which phone call to return first and to which email to send clarifying information. The last two weeks have generated many complications in efforts to resolve my unexpected vehicle accident. My already full days suddenly became much more complicated.

When have your experienced the opening of a Pandora’s Box?

A job transition, residence shift, health crisis, natural disaster, and relational conflict each contain potential to generate unexpected and unwanted problems. Sometimes our own choices expedite these crises and other times difficult challenges arise due to the choices and behaviors of others.

While in greek mythology, the curious Pandora used a key to open a jar or box containing many evils (sins) which infected the world, the Bible offers a different kind of Pandora’s Box. Our triune God released His own kind of reverberations by sending Jesus to solve the problem of sin in the world through His sacrifice for all mankind. Jesus is our only Hope. He is the solution to all of the complicated problems of this earthly life. Additionally, throughout Scripture God offers the key to true hope and peace against the evils of this world. Words abound within this box shaped “Book” of hope.

The book of Psalms within the Bible unlocks pain, despair, and hopelessness with true, wise words written by real people facing real circumstances involving complicated problems.

I experience great consolation from the authenticity and truths from the writers of the Psalms. Often I discover my soul resonating with the emotions and expressions conveyed in the recorded 150 Psalms. The words found within the Psalms usher vulnerable hearts into the presence of God by connecting the trials and evils of this world with the hope of eternal relief found in God.

Here are a few questions with which you might identify and a Psalm which graciously and honestly addresses the complexity of the situations found in life:

  • How do you know God hears your cry? – Read Psalm 55
  • Do you wonder if God is for you? – Read Psalm 56
  • Do you desire your words to be led by God? – Read Psalm 19
  • Are you desiring God’s protection? – Read Psalm 3
  • Do you feel physically weak? – Read Psalm 6
  • Are you looking for the justice of God? – Read Psalm 9
  • What are ways to live righteously? – Read Psalm 112
  • Need wisdom to follow God’s commands? – Read Psalm 119
  • Do you wonder about God’s purpose for you? – Read Psalm 138
  • Are you feeling insecure in your identity? – Read Psalm 139
  • Do you look for the hope of Christ? – Read Psalm 45
  • What are ways to praise God? – Read Psalm 150
  • How does God meet you in the midst of emotional pain? – Read Psalm 86
  • Do you need God’s forgiveness? – Read Psalm 79
  • What does being still look like? – Read Psalm 46
  • Would you like to grow in authentic praise? – Read Psalm 40
  • Do you need strength to trust God as your refuge? – Read Psalm 37
  • Are you longing for God to rescue you? – Read Psalm 71

The list could go on and on. God compassionately opens His heart to us through all of Scripture and especially in the Psalms. In these chapters, we identify with the sentiments, fears, concerns, joys, and griefs as the writers vulnerably hold nothing back from God.

We experience recognition and validation for those deep sighs within our soul that are often difficult to identify.

Open God’s box-shaped Book of Hope which unleashes forgiveness and peace in a world trapped in fear and trouble. Receive His tender care in the midst of life’s many hardships. Know that others too have received the light and love of God from His “box” which bring strength, delivering you to freely follow Him.

You are Loved by God no matter how complicated the matters you face today.

The God of the universe delights in companioning alongside you to navigate the highs and low of life. Allow His words to extend hope to the hopeless, joy to the sorrowful, and peace to the disturbed. God gave the key through His Son, Jesus, to open the box to eternal hope, joy, and peace.

Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.

Psalm 138:3-8
On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul. All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth. They shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly; but the haughty he perceives from far away. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Check out these suggested readings to fill your soul.

Matthew Jacody. Deeper Places: Experiencing God in the Psalms. Grand Rapids, MI. 2013.

Timothy Jemly. God’s Submarines: Go below the waves of stress, anxiety and heartbreak using these simple tools to deepen your relationship with God. Jacksonville, FL. 2019

Puddles for Prayer: Thank you for praying for upcoming travel and speaking engagements.

March 9 – Lakewood, CO
MOPS, The Bridge Church at Bear Creek

Accident

Saturday evening was cool peaceful and I looked forward to meeting Sophie and Peter for a late dinner after their evening church service. Receiving their text that it was time to leave, I headed out from the house driving my favorite car, the Toyota Prius. I like to call the car Zippy :—) It’s little and gets great gas mileage.

I waited at a red light, noticing the white truck in front of me and listening to the local christian radio station. Suddenly, in the darkness, the backend of my car was hit straight on by a reckless driver speeding down the road. The next thing I realized was my foot pressing down upon the break and my hands trying to open the door. Blood oozed down my face and even though the door remained jammed shut I was able to move the window down to get some air and call for help.

Accident – an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly, typically resulting in damage or injury.

The unexpected occurred within a split second. One moment I was resting comfortably in the car at a stop light; the next moment, I’m smooshed in Zippy. With both the front and back ends looking like an accordion and blood running down my face I watched the reckless vehicle attempt to escape around me and hit another vehicle before crashing itself on the median.

Over the next few hours God provided medical professionals, law reinforcement, strangers and family to attend to my needs and those others involved. I am thankful for God’s provision and protection.

While the accident was unexpected for me, I believe God was neither surprised nor uninvolved in the incident. God’s protective fingerprints appear all over the collision.

  • My posture in the Prius was relaxed, I was not tense or strained when the crash took place.
  • My seatbelt safely held me in the seat.
  • Although the air-bag did not deploy and I hit the steering wheel forcefully, I only received a cut above my eyebrow, small bruising, a mild concussion, and headache.
  • The car is totaled, and yet, I walked away without any broken bones.
  • My phone actually sat (seemingly glued to the seat) between my legs, unmoved by the high impact, so I could call the last used number which was Sophie.
  • My family was able to arrive to the scene within minutes of the crash.

Evidence of God surrounds this accident. Accidents in life catch us by surprise, hence, the label, “accident.” Some accidents seem small with minimal impact, while others bring life altering consequences.

Consider for a moment some of the accidents you have experienced in life. Notice those occasions that had few long term effects like stubbing your toe, dropping a baking pan, losing your jacket on trip, forgetting to write a thank you note, or washing dark jeans with a light colored top, etc. In the moment you might think “the sky is falling” and these accidents are tragic. Yet, while these incidents may cause great inconveniences, frustrations, and opportunities for personal growth; the eternal implications are quite minimal.

Now, consider accidents that lead to far reaching consequences and even eternal repercussions. These situations may include cars colliding, airplanes failing, forgetting to change the smoke alarm batteries, slipping on a patch of ice, etc. These, too, represent unplanned, unknown, and calamitous events. Because of these accidents, life may change forever: daily living becomes more difficult, financial pressures mount, and relationships experience strain, but still, God’s sovereign companionship remains.

No matter the impact of the accident, we often experience unease, insecurity and even anxiety as a result. Nevertheless, the truth is: God is present in each and every moment of every day, whether there is an accident or not. He is there in the joys and sorrows, the anticipated and surprising, the victories and defeat. If we look, we see at least a few reminders of God existence and protection in the midst of the “unprepared for” experiences. God offers a secure foundation when all else feels uncertain. He is steady, sure, and dependable. God expels fear with His calming love. By the power of His Spirit, God envelops our shaken souls with His peace and power. He is Faithful.

I’m reminded of the story of Mephibosheth as recounted in 2 Samuel 4. At five years old, this young boy’s father, Jonathan, best friend to King David, was killed in battle. In efforts to protect the child, a nurse picked Mephibosheth up and fled, but in her haste she accidentally dropped him and both of his legs were crippled. They eventually found refuge and years later, King David remembered his friendship covenant with Jonathan and invited Mephibosheth to join his family (see 1 Samuel 9).

This accident led to an opportunity for King David to extend blessing and honor to his dear friend, Jonathan. Mephibosheth’s accident eventually brought about great kindness, protection and familial community for both himself and his family by King David. What seemed unexpected in the moment was a part of God’s plan for Mephibosheth’s future. God was not surprised by this event and He was clearly involved.

Accidents happen. How do we respond to them? In what ways do we look to God in the unexpected and unfortunate?

Although I am still quite shaken and sore, I am looking for the goodness of God in this accident. I will keep looking for His fingerprints and with the Psalmist proclaim: “I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord. I will remember [His] wonders of old. I will meditate on all [HIs] works, and muse on [His] mighty deeds” (Psalm 77:11-12).

I pray you notice God’s fingerprints in the midst of the accidents of life and look with me for His constant presence which offers stability, sanity, and security. He is Faithful.

 

Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.

Psalm 56:8-11
Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll – are they not in your record? Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me?

Ephesians 2:10
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Check out these suggested YouTube videos to fill your soul.

Laura Story. Blessings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cd6J6Wgnv4M.

Casting Crowns. I Will Praise You in this Storm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoqbKyeKOBI v=DoqbKyeKOBI

Curious

During the last few months Joy, our almost 12 year old German Shorthaired Pointer, has been extremely curious.

Today Joy stuffed her head into a mound of snow, apparently looking for something. She has investigated the use of essential oils, trying out the effects of lavender, lemon and melaleuca. She taste-tested granola bar wrappers, trail mix packaging, and packs of bubble gum.

Learning to open packaged medicine, bandaid boxes as well as vitamin jars hasn’t curbed her curiosity but enlivened her quests. It appeared that treasures awaited Joy in the garbage can so she curiously removed the lid and dumped its contents throughout the house, investigating each parcel and morsel within.

Joy checked out Sophie’ mermaid work clothing bag and deep within found a reusable snack bag, so she tore through its frame to sample the variety of nuts. Apparently, everything within and around the house needed exploration. Even though, in dog years, Joy is mature and even on the older end, her inquisitive spirit and curious nature seemingly have exploded.

Kids and animals portray great curiosity, but what about us when we mature and age, do we remain as curious?

Curious – Eager to know or learn something.

Do you ever just wonder, allowing yourself to be curious?

Curiosity welcomes growth and learning. In humility, the curious individual wonders, explores, and without judgement inquires. How can being curious deepen your relationships? Instead of assuming we know or understand others, curiosity leads to fascination, surprise, and awe. We become students of one another and welcome the ways God uniquely fashioned each person. Greater appreciation and admiration arise as we curiously approach the people in our lives.

Too often we make assumptions, believing we understand or know the why’s and how’s of the people around us. What if, instead, we lived curious about them? Watching, noticing, posing questions, purely listening without an agenda, and genuinely desiring to understand and appreciate the puzzle of each person.

Hold what you learn with grace and gratitude. Discard judgement, critique, and dismissal from your encounters. Approach others with a welcoming heart to enjoy, appreciate, and marvel at God’s creativity and special formation of all. Enjoy the space as a gift from God to humbly grow deeper.

Be curious! Try being curious about your spouse, children, co-workers, neighbors, friends, post office person, airline steward, etc.

Be curious about people, places, things and most of all, God.

Let curiosity lead you to explore God’s creation; it’s animals, plants, terrain, and seas. Be inquisitive and learn new things about the laws of nature and the scientific wonders of the world. Notice particularities, odd sights, and beautiful colors. Wonder as the Swedish poet Carl Boberg did, resulting in the hymn, How Great Thou Art.

Be curious about the God of the universe, His handwork, and His ways. Probe into His Word. Wonder with the Holy Spirit as your companion. Approach the triune God with desire, questions, fascination and amazement.

I wonder if the disciples experienced great curiosity when Jesus walked on top of the lake toward them as recorded in Matthew 14:22-33. What held Jesus up? Were his feet wet? Did the water feel warm or cold?

I wonder if the hemorrhaging woman was curious what would actually happen if she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment (see Mark 5). Did she feel a tingle? Did a burning sensation flood her body?

I wonder if Jonah shook himself to see if he was just having a dream when a giant sea creature swallowed him whole. Was he curious about the inside anatomy of the creature? Did he try to escape? What did it really smell like? (see Jonah)

I wonder if Ezekiel exhibited curiosity about the symbolism of lying on his side for 390 days. Did his legs cramp up? How did he actually eat? What was the response of those around him? (see Ezekiel 4)

I wonder if Ananias was curious about his call to go to Saul, the murderer. Did Ananias wonder why he was chosen to pray over Saul? What did it feel like as he laid his hands on Saul? Did he notice an immediate shift within Saul? (see Acts 9)

I wonder what the friends of Dorcas experienced after she was raised to life. Did she smile differently? What did Peter do to bring about this change? How would Dorcas serve now that she tasted death? (see Acts 9)

Approach life with curious wonder. Think of questions. Notice. Explore.

Look and live with curiosity. It doesn’t just have to be children and our pets that get to be curious. No matter our age, we can approach the life God has given us with great curiosity and growth.

Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.

Psalm 139:14
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Job 37:14-16
“Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders. Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash? Do you know how the clouds hang poised, those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge?

Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Check out these suggested readings.

Barnabas Piper. The Curious Christian: How Discovering Wonder Enriches Every Part of Life. Nashville,TN.2017.

Elizabeth Caldwell. I Wonder: Engaging a Child’s Curiosity about the Bible. Nashville, TN. 2016.

Anthem Lights. How Great Thou Art. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48i4l1715uc

Delight

Sunshine beamed through the stained-glass windows of the stone chapel as the young bride, escorted by her father, moved slowly down the center aisle toward her beloved. Though tears pooled in her eyes, her smile radiated great delight as she approached the love of her life. Sophie Victoria Hoag, a stunning bride, overflowed with energy and excitement. She and Peter Joseph Gomez would soon be husband and wife.

Sophie’s exuberance radiated through every pore of her body. She gazed into Peter’s eyes while squeezing his hands and every now and then moved her feet as if she was dancing with excitement. This brought smiles and sighs to all those witnessing this sacred moment. Sophie, Peter, and all in attendance delighted in this special ceremony where genuine love and devotion abounded.

My soul was thrilled to see Sophie’s great delight in marrying Peter. Every expression, word, and gesture exhibited great pleasure and enchantment. Vows honored their shared commitment to God and each other. The service culminated with Peter dipping Sophie and giving her a sweeping kiss. This brought delight to everyone watching and, for sure, God was watching and took delight in it too.

Delight – To please greatly. A cause or source of great pleasure.

The wedding reception offered many moments of joy and delight. Delicious desserts and savory Bavarian pretzels satisfied rumbling stomachs. Silly poses and funny expressions created photo strips at the photo booth. Lively music invited interactive dancing and group activities. The beauty of the Rocky Mountains gleamed through the western wall of windows. Laughter filled the space as guests engaged in lighthearted conversation. Joy and delight abounded in every corner of this cheerful gathering.

Reflect for a moment. In what do you delight? When is the last time you experienced great pleasure?

Have you ever thought about God delighting in you? You are a source of great pleasure to the God of the universe. You captivate the Lord; you are His delight.

Throughout Scripture, we read that God delights in those who follow Him. He is excited about those who love Him and looks after us on our journey with Him.

  • Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, He has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness. 1 Kings 10:9
  • I say of the holy people who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.” Psalm 16:3
  • “He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let Him deliver him, since he delights in Him.” Psalm 22:8
  • The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147: 11
  • For the Lord takes delight in His people; He crowns the humble with victory. Psalm 149:4

The Scriptures not only reveal God’s great delight in His followers, but also display the delight we can have in the Lord. We can be thrilled with the Lord. When we remember His many blessings and provision for eternal salvation exuberant joy and thanksgiving arise. Do you delight in the gift of salvation you have received through Jesus Christ?

  • Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of Your servants who delight in revering Your name. Nehemiah 1:11
  • Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord and delight in His salvation. Psalm 35:9
  • Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
  • I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. Isaiah 61:10
  • He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of His birth… Luke 1:14

If I am honest, I haven’t really thought about God delighting in me, or me delighting in Him a whole lot. Have you? Yet, after reading these Scriptures and others, I receive this fresh perspective to my relationship with Him, especially after witnessing such delight at my daughter’s wedding.

An area of delight that resonates within me is delighting in God’s Word, the Bible. I love reading the Word, pondering God’s ways, and taking to heart bible passages by memorizing them.

How excited are you about studying and meditating on Scripture? Again, many Bible verses encourage us to delight in God’s Word. Like many who have gone before us, we too can delight in Scripture.

  • But whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night. Psalm 1:2
  • Praise the Lord. Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in His commands. Psalm 112:1
  • Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors. Psalm 119:24
  • For in my inner being I delight in God’s law. Romans 7:22

Let “delight” enter your vocabulary this week. Picture God delighting in you, because He does! Receive His enjoyment of you. Delight in your relationship with God. Be thrilled at your journey with Him. Take great pleasure in the salvation of your soul. Ask God to fill you with delight as you spend time in His Word: read it, study it, ponder it, step into it, picture it. Experience great fulfillment at the opportunity to be with God through the Bible.

I’m thankful for my delighted daughter and son-in-law who showed me delight which led me to the delight of God in fresh ways. May your day overflow with delight.

P.S. If you want to witness this wedding delight, here is the Facebook link to watch the ceremony. Peter and Sophie Gomez Wedding link.

Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.

Proverbs 11:20
The Lord detests those whose hearts are perverse, but He delights in those whose ways are blameless.

Zephaniah 3:17
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.

Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Check out these suggested readings.

Randy Alcorn. Happiness. Carol Stream, IL. 2015.

John Piper. The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God’s Delight in Being God. Colorado Springs, CO. 2000.

Play

Do you enjoy silly movies, telling jokes, and playing games? When was the last time you exprienced a belly laugh or pure delight?

This week I have played with fairy lights, colored ribbon, chalk markers, and precious photos. Fun, laughter, and delight have filled our home. We are making preparations. In just a week Sophie and Peter will be married.

The Scriptures abound with laughter and play.

Consider Genesis 18:10-15. These verses record the account when God informed Abraham and Sarah they would have a son by “this time next year” (v. 10). Sarah openly laughed. Recognizing her advanced age (around 89), she felt worn out and yet amused that sexual pleasure and a child awaited her (v. 12). Abraham, her husband, probably around 99 years old, thought along similar lines as his wife. Abraham believed God could give him and Sarah descendants, making them parents even though he was “too old” (Hebrews 11:11-12). The idea of fathering a child at his age struck him as funny as well. Nevertheless, Abraham and Sarah enjoyed some play-time resulting in the conception of Isaac.

Play: to engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.

How well do you play, laugh, and recreate?

Zephaniah 3:17 illustrates joy and laughter in God’s character: “He will take great delight in you … He will rejoice over you with singing.” This rejoicing carries with it the idea of physical activity. The verse presents the possibility that God’s delight entails joyful songs, laugher, and dancing. God created play.

Describe activities in your life that are playful, fun, and lighthearted.

The New Testament abounds with laughter and playful encounters. Jesus exhibited a disarming and compelling personality. He maintained the attention of crowds for days and the loyalty of His twelve disciples for three solid years. In addition to being a captivating teacher whose words brought life, He was fun to be around. For example, a crowd numbering 5,000 men plus women and children followed Jesus to a solitary place (Mark 6:30-44). His teaching caused people to forget to eat, bring food, or attend to their work. That’s hilarious.

In his work, The Humor of Christ, Elton Trueblood lists thirty humorous passages in the Gospels. These texts reveal phrases, parables, and stories that Jesus told which display His funny bone. Trueblood believes His audience would have laughed at the image of those who loudly proclaim their righteous actions in front of others. Why? Because it prevailed in their culture (Matt. 6:2)! Similarly, the audience probably chuckled when Jesus commended the tenacious widow for her persistent pestering of the unjust judge. He even cited her as a successful model for prayer (Luke 18:1-8).

Jesus’ teaching and the Scriptures contain fun, humor, and play. Have you ever regarded Jesus as humorous? He not only caused people to take serious examination of their lives, but also to chuckle.

Tania Runyan, offers a fresh perspective on the wedding at Cana in this poem.

The Wedding at Cana

“At first they stared in terror, the steam of water suddenly flushed red, as if a fish had been speared in the cistern.

They steadied themselves on tables. They look around, awaiting the fire of angels to consume them. Eventually,

a guest cleared his throat and murmured, Hey, we’ve got a regular plague of wine here, and they began to laugh, softly

At first, then wildly, lusciously, as the swallows ignited their throats. The women rattled their tambourines;

The men stomped their feet on the dusty floor; the bridegroom swung his wife to the ceiling. And Jesus whirled an whooped

In the middle of the room as his small, graying mother poured the goblets like made, wine spilling over her wrists.”

What bubbled up within you as you read this poem?

Notice the transformation within the scene. Can you hear the shouts and musical instruments? Do you feel the floor shake? What is it like to see men and women swing, dance, and whirl?

Is it possible Jesus winked at his mother as He said, “Woman, what does this have to do with me?”

Picture the expressions of delight alight the faces of the bridal party and guests as the best wine appeared at the end of the celebration. Imagine tasting the deep rich flavor of the extravagant gift of wine.

While we do not know for certain the exact manner in which the play and party took place at this wedding, we do know Jesus brought merrymaking to those around him. He contributed to the extravagant celebration.

Play is a necessary practice for healthy spiritual living.

Ponder the role of play in the rhythm of your living? What does play look like as we mature and age? Consider what prevents you from letting go and taking pleasure in God’s goodness and blessing?

If the Rock of Ages can take great delight with rejoicing and singing, then, we are never too old to play, laugh, and have fun.

  • Find a friend or family member and play a game of rock, paper, scissors.
  • Enjoy a game of “I spy” with friends and family.
  • Run in circles with your dog through the field.
  • Get out markers and crayons and play with color.
  • Choose a variety of spices and create fresh flavors and new tantalizing meals.
  • Build a model airplane or a remote-control car. Play with them in the yard and down the street.
  • Visit the local restaurant and play a game of corn hole.

Laugh and enjoy the playful encounters of life. Take time to play. I look forward to many moments for play sprinkled throughout this next week of wedding anticipation. How will you play this week? Engage with the funny bone of God by receiving and enjoying His goodnesses and blessings.

God made us to delight in others, as He delights in us. Let humor, fun, and play flood your soul and your life.

And if you feel the floor shaking, hear bells ringing, or notice the joyful sound of laugher, you’ll know a playful celebration is erupting on Sophie and Peter’s wedding day.

Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.

Proverbs 17:22
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

John 2:7-10
Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.”

Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Check out these suggested readings.

Tania Ruyan. A Thousand Vessels Seattle, WA 2011.

Elton Trublood. The Humor of Christ. New York, NY. 1975.

Puddles for Prayer: Thank you for praying for upcoming travel and speaking engagements.

January 20 – Denver, CO
My daughter, Sophie, gets married to a fine young man, Peter Gomez. Would appreciate prayer for a blessed celebration. Thank you!