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The Watered Soul

The Watered Soul: November 2010

Nov 30, 2010

Dinner for One

Today’s post picks up from the previous post entitled, Goodbye White Pages.  

  image: leftovers

I love reading inspirational posts, books, and devotionals but I cannot allow that to be my main source of nourishment. God is baking a fresh supply of His Word for us daily but we have to decide to take a seat at the table and when seated, eat. Jeremiah states he ate God’s word and it was sweet like honey. By all means, I have had periods of eating His Word and finding it bland. I could not make any sense of it and was unable to see how it applied to my life. If you’re in one of those periods, it’s important to not get up from the table. Even in those moments you are receiving vital nutrients.


In order to know God for myself, I have to step away from the leftovers others are serving and get alone and read His Word myself. Allowing the Holy Spirit to season my spirit man so that the Word becomes palatable to my daily life. Nothing wrong with leftovers but when we are getting second hand inspiration or revelation from others you only get the portion they are willing to share. It’s impossible to get all they receive. I know that I have a hard time remembering exactly how the Spirit uncovered a thing to me. So when I’m absent from this place and hadn’t stop in at yours, it’s not because I didn’t like what you were serving but I needed extra time with the master chef  Himself.


Have you been taking the time to receive nourishment from the Master Chef or have you been eating the crumbs from His servants?


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Nov 29, 2010

Goodbye White Pages

Image: Phone BookAccording to a newspaper article I read recently, phone books are becoming a thing of the past. With more people embracing technology and many doing away with landline phones, telephone service providers see a decline in the need for a printed book. Not to mention it helps cut their costs and helps saves the trees. Reportedly three states-New York, Florida, and Pennsylvania- have adopted regulations allowing providers to cease printing.                                                                                                                                                                                                           Photo credit: 19melissa68 via Flickr


Depending upon the area you live those phone books can be massive. Living in rural area, I do not have that problem. But, I do have several phone directories in  my house and from time to time I do use them but I’m more likely to look a number up online at But does the use of technology make the old standby obsolete?


Reading the article caused me to think about another book that many people have at least one copy in their home – the Bible. Do we consider the words crafted along its white pages as being something that has very little value in our fast-paced, technology driven lives? Has it become antiquated? I’m all for technology but has it helped us to become more aloof to His Word? Or, has it deepen our longing for His truths? More sermons, articles, and devotionals are available now more than ever before  through podcasts, webcasts, blogs, and websites. But on a personal level has it lead to you only consuming regurgitated messages from someone else? Or, has it invoked within you an insatiable appetite for more of Him?




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Nov 27, 2010

A Million Ways to Die: The Only Way to Live

book cover image

Rick James’ latest book A Million Ways to Die: The Only Way to Live is one those books that grabbed my attention with its striking cover image. While the cover may be intriguing, the subject of death is often one we would rather avoid. Throughout this book James encourages the believer to look beyond the final death and resurrection and to embrace the daily opportunities to die. Each of us faces opportunities to die to selfish ambition, ego, pride, fear, reputation, and self-sufficiency.


By examining scripture, historical events, and personal life stories, he points out practical ways in which we can fulfill Jesus command to take up our cross.  He points out that only through embracing these little deaths can the believer move from a mere mediocre existence to the vibrant, victorious life Christ came to give us. 


The book contains 335 pages that are filled with statements that will cause one to pause and think. Here are a few of those that made me go hmmm.

It’s reflexive for us to declare our belief that God can, but such affirmations can blind us to the ways that we don’t believe. “I believe that God can” is sometimes just a contraction for “I  believe that He can, but I doubt that He will.”


We mistake divine ordained hardships for bad luck, bad friends, a bad year, bad breaks, bad government, a bad choice, bad advice, bad genes, bad hair day, and quite naturally we run. A scalpel is just a knife with a medical motive, and if you hold it to my throat in any scenario other than during a operation, I’d be insane not to run.


People don’t fall out of love; they fail to persevere in loving. They choose to stop loving their spouse, or they choose to  start loving something else.



According to the author the goal of the book is to “encourage us to pick up our cross and embrace the death implicit in following Jesus Christ”. After reading the book, I had a clearer understanding of the ways life is produce through dying to myself.


From the back cover


Death is the new life. As Christians we talk often about resurrection, but what about our death and the many daily “deaths” that must come first? Through stories and biblical insights, Rick James reminds us that when Jesus tells us to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Him, He is describing a path of death, not a path to death.


As we learn to embrace the little deaths of everyday existence, we lose our taste for lifeless religiosity. Our appetite for a thriving, vibrant life in Christ grows-and our own experience motivates others to live out their extraordinary missions on earth. As James so vividly illustrates, death is not an ending-invitation to more abundant life.


DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of the book by B& B Media Group for review purposes. The views and opinions expressed are my own.



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Nov 24, 2010

The Real ID

badge-1 Peter 2-10

1 Peter 2:10 Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy. (NLT)


Ask the question, who are you, and you are likely to hear a myriad of responses ranging from a person’s family role to their job title.  Yet those pale in comparison to being identified as one of God’s people. I like The Message version of that verse which says, from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.


Drop by Internet Café Devotions for more Word-Filled Wednesday.


Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving



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Nov 22, 2010

In Need of a Boost

There are those days when you just feel a bit down or grieved but there’s a pick-me-up available for us. Psalms 119: 25,28 reminds me of this truth.


I lie in the dust;

     revive me by your word.

I weep with sorrow;

     encourage me by your word.


It’s at those times that I need to feed upon His Word.  May the Lord open our eyes to see the wonderful truths in His Word. As we turn to Him and consume His Word may we be revived and encouraged to continue on the journey.


Nov 19, 2010

Any time is a good time

In my distress, I prayed to the Lord,

  and the Lord answered me and

          set me free.  Psalms 118:5

Thank you Lord that I don’t have to wait till I’m in the perfect frame of mind. But you’re available to commune with at any time despite my condition.

        In frustration I can come.

        In joy I can come.

        In despair I can come.

        In pain I can come.

        In sickness I can come.

        In love I can come.

        In hopelessness I can come.

        In sorrow I can come.

You don’t ignore me. You are not too busy. Even with all the others calling upon your name, you have time to hear my cry.  You don’t leave me like I came but you set my mind free. You make an exchange with me so that I come out better, lighter, freer. Who but you Oh Lord, can set my soul free? Who can break the chains of oppression? There is none but you Lord!


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Nov 17, 2010

Ever Asked Why?

Jer 29-11

I say this because I know what I am planning for you, says the Lord. I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NCV)


Why does He say hold on, when you feel like quitting?

Why does He say let that go?

Why does He say forgive them?

Why does He speak life when all you can see around you is death?

Why does He say have faith in spite of what you see?


Because He knows the complete plan He has for our lives. The Message version says, I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out - plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. Can not tell you how many times I started out thinking I knew exactly what to do or what I wanted. Only to end up so far away from “my” plan but I find comfort in knowing that even when I’m lost, God is fully aware of both my current location and my final end.


Stop by the Internet Cafe  for others serving up fresh doses of the Word in graphics today.  cafewfwbuttoncopy

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Nov 16, 2010

Tuesday’s T(s): Teaser & Thanks


Rather than give you a quote from the latest book I’m reading, I wanted to whet your appetite with one from Yvonne at Spiritual Seed Food for the Soul’’s post entitled, There is a Prepared Place for You.


“If we are working on jobs or in careers that were not “prepared” for us (by God), then the ones to whom it was prepared for are displaced, because we are occupying territory that does not belong to us!  Not only are we out of the will of God, we are forfeiting our prophetic destines and purposes.  Again, if we are occupying territory that God designed for someone else, and we are in their “spots,” we are also keeping those people out of their destinies and purposes as well.”

 Using Mark 10:40 as a reference she shares some insights she received regarding operating in one’s prepared place. I encourage you to pop over and read the entire post. As someone still trying to “discover” her prepared place I was chasten but encouraged to continue seeking the place.



On another note I would like to recognize another Yvonne. (I really hadn’t plan it that way.) A great big (((hug))) and thanks to Yvonne at Welcome to My World of Poetry, where she dishes up poems covering a full range of subjects. She recently pass the wholesome blogger award to me.


Wholesome_Blogger_Award from Yvonne 11-13-10


It is rather ironic that “wholesome” is in the name of the award. I’m always talking about watching “wholesome” shows. These eyes try to avoid things that would interrupt the sleep. Hope you each have a terrific Tuesday.


Nov 13, 2010

The Need

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. Hebrews 10:36-37 (NLT)

For a couple of days now I’ve been meditating on this scripture. Just taking time to chew on it. It has actually come up a few times this week in other places like the pastor’s sermon and even a book I’m reading. Thus I think it’s something I need to take note. As I’ve mentioned in previous post here, patience is not always a word I’m eager to embrace. Then it has the audacity to sit right next door to another one of those often unwelcome words for me – endurance.

Oh how easy it is to start a new thing but to continue in spite of adversity can be the most challenging part. When the results do not turn out the way I expected, it does not take a whole lot of words from the naysayers or even my negative self-talk to convince me to throw in the towel. To simply chalk it up as I misheard God. But, like a dog hanging onto a bone, this scripture refuses to loose it’s grip on my mind.

The writer points out that patient endurance is a need now. Not a want. The very situation I long to run away from and he speaks that I need to endure it but not just any old way. But to endure in patience. Why? So that I can continue to do God’s will. Only in continuing do I position myself to receive the promise. He says in just a while expect to see manifestation.

Leaving prematurely doesn’t stop the manifestation of the coming one. Only my ability to see it when it does show up. It’s like waiting for a bus and it seems to be late. After waiting for a few moments, I leave and catch a ride with someone else. Those who had the patience to wait were able to ride. But because I lack the ability to endure the wait, I missed the bus but it didn’t impact the bus arrival.

Dear Lord, I hear you speaking and I pray that you strengthen me as I wait upon you Lord. I don’t want to forfeit your promises that you have for me. I pray for every sister and brother that are torn between waiting longer or turning away. Father give them clarity on what your will is regarding the matter. If you’re calling them to stand, I pray that you will help them to endure filled with patience as only you can provide. We choose to take your word as final authority in our lives. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Nov 10, 2010

Do You Want It or Not?

Do you want to get well? John 5:6b (NIV)

John 5


Seems like a rather strange question to ask a sick person. Does it not? But it’s easy to find comfort even in a place of sickness and be satisfied to just complain. While most people would readily seek physical wellness, one can easily overlook the “sick” ideologies, attitudes, and heart conditions that govern our lives.  For we all can think of some good reason why we have the right to be in that condition. Just as He did for the lame man at the pool, Jesus offers us  the opportunity to lay aside all the reasons why. And He asks do you want to get well?


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Nov 9, 2010

It’s No Secret by Rachel Olsen

image001 Right from the cover, It’s No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know by Rachel Olsen gives you a warm and inviting feel. The perfect atmosphere for our Yahweh sister, Rachel, to share 12 truths she has learned along her journey with the Lord.

In true Titus 2 like form brimming with Southern hospitality, she invites us in to see not just her triumphs but struggles as well. Using her life stories along with Bible scriptures she tackles issues like: competiveness, conflict resolution, perfectionism, confession, receptiveness to help from others, humility, and busyness. Each chapter closes with study questions, which would be great to use as part of a group study or individually.

Being what I call a “recovering” perfectionist Chapter 7 Adjust Your Scale: Revealing the Secret to Perfection in God’s Eyes really resonated with me. Her statement on page 136 points out how, for the most part, we perfection-seeking types have  been trying to measure up based upon performance rather than grace alone.
We’ve been conditioned to earn our way, to perform correctly, to not make mistakes. We seek love and respect from God and others through what we do and how well we do it. In turn, we expect others to earn our love and respect. To a degree, we even expect God to earn it by blessing us with “the good life” so long as we behave well.
For those of us who have a hard time asking others for help, Rachel reminds us  in the secret of interdependence that we are not just weighing ourselves down needlessly but also robbing our fellow sisters and brothers.
Refusing to ask them deprives them of their opportunity to serve, of their opportunity to fulfill their purpose.
While the book is light-hearted, it is confrontational as well. Cutting away the excuses we often use for having a deeper and more intimate walk with the Lord. 

Thanks to Karen Davis at The B&B Media Group for providing a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes. Views and opinions expressed are my own.

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Nov 3, 2010

Sleep But No Rest


So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest. Hebrews 3:19 (NLT)


Perhaps it was the night of interrupted sleep due to the neighbor’s barking dog during the wee hours of the night that caused this passage of scripture to stand out as I read it this morning. But last night is not the only night that rest has eluded me. Sleep and rest are not necessarily synonymous. Despite the sheet thread count, type of bed, or even the room the bed is located, true rest can only be found in one place.


As I meditated upon the scripture, I was reminded or better yet warned about all the times I find myself anxious and fretting over various things in my life. The true cause of this state of unease is unbelief. No matter what clever sounding statements I tried to cloak it in, the reason came back to unbelief that God would handle this area. I mean I know that He can but can I trust Him to fix  it in a way that’s good and pleasing to me. Sounds rather shallow, huh, but it is true anyway. And, only in acknowledging it could I receive the help that I really need.  I don’t want to be self-deceived and I want to truly trust Him so that I might receive not just sleep but true rest.


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Nov 1, 2010

Despite What’s Seen

mondaymannaJoanne at An Open Book has selected an obscure verse in one of the less popular books of the Bible for today’s Monday Manna discussion. But even in the most unlikely places one can find treasure. Besides, how many really valuable things have you discovered just lying around in plain view? I digress sorry.  Today’s scripture is from Habakkuk 3:17-18 and honestly I can’t recall ever reading this particular passage.


Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.


Less Than Ideal Circumstances 


bare treesAs I read this verse it immediately reminded me of another passage of scripture I had read recently in chapter 3 of Lamentations, which reads, “The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease”. Just as when I read that passage during my daily reading, I was drawn to the stark contrast of the writer’s environmental condition to his internal condition. Neither writer was suffering from denial or delusion. Each presented a clear description of just how dismal their current situation was in fact. A situation that was:

  • without growth
  • void of productivity
  • vastly different from times past
  • appeared to have no end in sight

 An Atypical Response


Yet, their response in the situation was not the most logical one from a natural perspective.  Amidst death, barrenness, destruction, lack and great loss, Jeremiah stated he still had hope and Habakkuk said he was still choosing to have joy. Hope and joy are not the by-products of loss are they? Having lost a few things in my life, I certainly don’t think so. Although, I’ve never suffered loss to the magnitude as these two but loss is loss. And, I certainly know what it feels like to be in a place of no outward sign of growth or productivity without the benefit of knowing when the situation would change.


Did these two possess some special ability beyond the reach of us “average” Christians? I think not but rather they chose to use what many of us (or I’ll just say what I) often neglect when facing dire circumstances.  It all boiled down to the power of one choice-the choice of where to apply their focus. Though acknowledging the reality of their situation, they chose instead to focus on God – his character and their past experience Him.


Are you looking at some spots of death, lack, or non-productivity in your life? If so, I offer you the same challenge I’m giving myself. Dare to change your focus. Even though facing situations beyond our control, there still remains one controllable choice.


What does Habakkuk 3:17-18 speak to you?






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