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The Watered Soul

The Watered Soul: January 2011

Jan 31, 2011

Staying Within the Lines

I must admit it’s been quite some time since I have been a part of a formal school setting and grade schooleraser line is even farther away. But I do recall how lining up and staying in the line was an important part of that world. You lined up to go the restroom, cafeteria, library, or any other destination. And for a girl whose last name is at the back of the alphabet chain, I often found myself near the caboose of such lines. Then there was those coloring pages that we were expected to stay within the lines.

Lines, lines, lines, and more lines. Lines create order. Lines create expectation. If I know my place in line relative to others, I can estimate when my turn is next. But what happens when someone breaks line? For most people, unless they are feeling extra nice that day, to be cut in front of is not a welcomed occurrence.

The account of Israel’s blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh found in Genesis 48 reminds me of how God often breaks our preconceived lines. According to their tradition, the oldest son was in line for the blessing. Joseph being the good little father that he was even attempted to help set things up so the blessing would come to the one at the head of the line.

13 Then Joseph took the two boys, Ephraim with his right hand setting him to Israel's left, and Manasseh with his left hand setting him to Israel's right, and stood them before him. 14 But Israel crossed his arms and put his right hand on the head of Ephraim who was the younger and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, the firstborn. 17 When Joseph saw that his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim's head, he thought he had made a mistake, so he took hold of his father's hand to move it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's, 18 saying, "That's the wrong head, Father; the other one is the firstborn; place your right hand on his head." 19 But his father wouldn't do it. He said, "I know, my son; but I know what I'm doing. He also will develop into a people, and he also will be great. But his younger brother will be even greater and his descendants will enrich nations." Genesis 48:13-14, 17-19

However, Israel did a switcheroo. He skipped over the firstborn. Leading Joseph to assume he had made a mistake. I can’t tell you how may times I wrongly believed that God some how made a mistake. Didn’t he know I was next? And, there has even been those times, when he picked me but according to the natural order of things it was not yet my time. I’m so glad that God does not have to stay within the lines of our human thinking or our man-made traditions.


Jan 24, 2011

Monday Manna

Monday MannaLinking up with Joanne at An Open Book for Monday Manna. Today’s verse comes from Matthew 13:58 And he(Jesus) did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. As I reflect on this passage, the following stand out to me:

  • Jesus had the capacity to do more than He did.
  • The people’s faith limited the manifestation of miracles in their own lives and community.
  • People from a certain geographically  region missed out on what was available to them because they could not get pass their familiarity with the vessel that God was using.

Which leads me to ask myself do I have His hands tied in certain areas of my life due to unbelief?  And, what have I been missing out on because my inability to see beyond the package God has chosen to wrap the miracle in?


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Jan 22, 2011

I Dare You to Change ...Winner

Congratulations to kdanna1 on winning a copy of I Dare You to Change by Bil Cornelius. The winner has 24hrs to respond or another winner will be selected.  

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Jan 19, 2011

Broken but Useable

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not us. 2 Corinthians 4:7


2Cor 4-7


Attempting to carry something of value in a broken container is counterintuitive. Yet it's amazing that God chooses to use broken people like myself to carry the essence of Himself.


Be sure to enter the giveaway for your opportunity to win a copy of I Dare You to Change by Pastor Bil Cornelius.

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Jan 17, 2011

I Dare You to Change! {Giveaway}

There is just something about a new year that has most people looking for and speaking about change. But mid-year many people have given up on all those resolutions made.  Pastor Bil Cornelius’ latest book, I Dare You to Change, helps us not just talk about change but gives us a 10-step battle plan to make change a reality in our lives.

About the book:

IDYTCBookCoverI Dare You To Change! was released in September 2010 and has already become a USA Today and Wall Street Journal National Best Seller with over 60,000 books in print! A no-holds-barred motivational action plan that shows you how to take charge of your life and find God's best for you from one of the most exciting new pastors in America! Why can't I ever get ahead? Why do I always have to settle for less than I planned? Most of us have asked ourselves these questions at one time or another. Pastor Bil Cornelius firmly believes that everyone wants to do better, live better, and to be a better person but we find it difficult to sustain a life of peace and fulfillment. In I Dare You to Change! Pastor Cornelius explains in his trademark winning style how to live the life that God has planned for us. In this inspiring and biblically oriented book, he shows us the difference between dreaming of a better life and actually living one. Using the story of Gideon from the book of Judges, he shows you how to re-imagine life and to understand the steps that you need to take each day to make it happen.

Currently I find myself in the midst of change and at times I feel overwhelmed by all that needs to be done. When asked how someone could go about changing their life when they feel overwhelmed, Pastor Bil gives the following advice.

The first step when wanting to change something in your life, especially if overwhelmed, is to pray, and break it down into bite-size chunks of change. The prayer part is obvious, but most people don’t do it. Prayer releases God’s confidence in you, so you have the vision and power from God to move forward. What comes next is a good strategy: if something is overwhelming you, it’s typically because we are thinking of changing everything at once (or one really large change) rather than breaking into a series of smaller changes. You may not be able to own a high rise in New York City, but you can buy a small fixer-upper home, work on it, get it rented, then do it again. If you are consistent enough with this, then within a few years you can sell it, take your profits and reinvest them into a 4 to 6 unit. Sell this a few years later, and you can invest into a 15 to 20 unit. Sell this a few years later and reinvest into a small office building. Sell this…you get the point. It’s all about taking baby steps first. Another angle is if you want to lose 50 pounds, lose 5 first and keep going.


Are you in the midst of change or hoping to see change in your life in 2011? Get off to a good start with an opportunity to win your personal copy of I Dare You to Change.  To enter:

1. Leave a comment on this post. Please make sure I have a way to contact you.

For extra entries:

1. Become a follower and leave a separate comment. (Current followers count too)

2. Share one thing you are hoping to change this year.

Giveaway ends Friday January 21 at midnight. Random winner selected and announced on Saturday.

Check out a sneak peak inside the book here or view the book trailer.


Disclosure: I was provided a complimentary copy of the book as a part of book tour.

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Jan 15, 2011

Branching Beyond

SANY0347Hi friends, will you join me as I branch beyond my own blog? Lisa Shaw of Sharing Life With Lisa graciously invited me to share a post as a part of Ladies On A Mission (LOAM). Below is a snippet of the post entitled, Branching Beyond that I’m sharing at Lisa’s place.


As I walked that morning just beholding the beauty of God’s creation and the awesomeness of the trees, I could not help but notice the vividness of the colors of fall. As often happens when I walk, I heard the gentle whisper of the Spirit of the Lord. He states that is the way He designed my life to be-colorful. I have spent too much time living in the dullness of black and white. Failing to embrace the full spectrum of the life He had designed for me.

I have been away from the blogging world for a few days but I look forward to catching up with each of you soon. God bless.

Jan 10, 2011

The Unexpected

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA           Yesterday, we got snow here in Arkansas. Although I had heard the weatherman’s prediction of possible snow, I didn’t quite expect his prediction to come true. Especially when I peered out the door early Sunday morning only to see things looked exactly the same as it did when I last saw it the evening before. So I went about getting ready for morning worship. Leaving my driveway everything looked the same. Along the journey to church, things looked the same as well. Entering church, outside conditions looked the same. But, somewhere between entering the sanctuary doors and wrapping up our Sunday school class, things changed. Through the windows, we saw the fluffy white stuff that had been announced should make its arrival.

The weatherman had predicted it but why didn’t I expect it to happen? For one, we all know the weatherman does not always get it right but another reason was because it rarely happens here. As I trekked through the snow this morning to take Bella out, my mind is drawn to the similarities between the snow event and our spiritual lives. Whether we hear the gospel proclaimed or open up His Word ourselves, we find many proclaimed promises that have yet to be fulfilled in our personal lives. Unlike the weatherman, God knows all things. He is not just making educated guesses. But I still find some places in my life where I have been looking yet everything looks the same. I looked last week…nothing. Looked last month…nothing. Looked last year….nothing. Has the nothingness I see led me not to expect the fulfillment of His proclaimed promises? Or rather have I allowed what I see with these natural eyes to damper my faith?

Oh Lord, I know that you are God and that you are sovereign. I know that you cannot lie but I find at times my faith is just not where it should be. So I say as that father, Lord I believe but help my unbelief.

P.S. Speaking of unexpected, Yvonne at Welcome to My World of Poetry passed on the  inspiration award to me over the weekend. I appreciate the lovely award and her faithful support.

inspiration award(Yvonne 1-11)

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Jan 5, 2011

Headed Out, But…

Gen 11-31

He was headed for the land of Canaan, but they stopped at Haran, and settled there. Terah lived for 205 years and died while still in Haron.  Genesis 11:31b-32. (NLT)

Do you see the verbs in this passage of scripture?

HEADED…Terah started moving toward a particular place

STOPPED…but something happened and he stopped progressing toward the specified place

SETTLED…therefore, he chose to take up residence in another place

LIVED…he spent day after day in a place opposite of where he had intended

DIED…he ceased to exist any more after spending much of his life in the place of compromised.

I understand that we all have dreams that don’t quite materialize and at times we find those dreams are exchanged for much better God-ordained dreams. But this passage of scripture just stands out to me today.  Rather than rushing past it to the rest of chapter my eyes and mind were drawn back to these verses. As I reflect upon them, these questions come to mind.

Where was I headed?

What caused me to stop seeking, stop desiring, or stop making progress toward that place?

Have I elected to settle at a place short of the destined place because of disappointment or fear?

Am I willing to spend the rest of my days just settling and not pursuing?

My friend, could there be some place you have settled that God longs for you to start back on the journey toward this year?

Linking up with Word-Filled Wednesday hosted at the Internet Café Devotions.


Jan 3, 2011

The Pace Setter

I will move along slowly at the pace of the droves before me and that of the children. Genesis 33:14

The devotional for today from Streams of the Desert highlights this verse, which is Jacob’s statement about the pace, he would take when returning to meet his brother Esau. I have never walked with cattle but I certainly have with kids and those tiny steps of theirs have a way of slowing you down. Jacob wasn’t on a leisurely stroll but was going to face his past. Finally having the nerve to do so, I would think he might want to go ahead and get it over with thus pushing those traveling along with him to move faster. Yet he chose to set his pace to match the cattle and children, although he already knew the terrain ahead. His brother, Esau on the other hand was not journeying with such a caravan and could probably forge ahead faster.

It makes me think of how at times I’m tempted to compare my pace in life with the sister (or brother) next to me. It seems like I should be farther along. I should be married with 2.5 kids. I should be doing more volunteering, more mission work, leading more groups. There are so many should be(s) one can get caught up in when peeking into the lives of others. Whether it deals with family life, housekeeping, or blogging, the temptation to follow someone else’s pace exist. However, just as Esau and Jacob’s travelling companions differed, my baggage, my companions are uniquely my own.

Before I was born, God set the course of life for me. It is He who knows the way that I take.  I have never been this way before but God has and He knows all that the journey comprises. Because He knows me, He knows the proper pace for me even when I think it should be faster or I’d much rather slow down. I find comfort in the writer’s statement below.

He knows that all the time and will never make you take even one step beyond what your feet are able to endure. Never mind if you think you are unable to take another step, for either He will strengthen you to make you able, or He will call a sudden halt, and you will not have to take it at all. –Frances Ridley Havergal from Streams in the Desert.

Sending you cheers as you walk (or run) along the journey and resolving to stay at my own pace.

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