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The Watered Soul

The Watered Soul: December 2011

Dec 27, 2011

11 Favorite Posts in 2011

The year is quickly coming to a close. As with most years, I find myself looking back in preparation for launching forward. This year I have decided to revisit the pages of my archives to reread my own writings. It’s interesting to see my life written on pages. Evidence of my struggles throughout the year are splattered across the pages of my blog. Below are a few of my favorite pieces from the year. They are listed in no particular order.

1.  Headed Out But – Genesis 11:31-32 served as the backdrop for this piece. The verbs: headed, stopped, settled, lived, & died in this passage of scripture had me reexamining places that I started out in faith but some how settled else where.

2. Still I Sing – a poem inspired by the song of the birds.

3.  I Am – lets us know that whatever I am I can bring to God.

4.  Choosing to See Chariots – through a daily devotional in Streams in the Desert a light bulb moment occurred that showed me I can choose to see test and trials as chariots transporting me from places of immaturity to maturity, weakness to strength, indifference to compassion, lameness to mobility rather than boulders crushing me.

5. But What About the Brook – cautioned me not to move ahead of God’s timing. Had Elijah not waiting until the brook dried up, he quite possible would have missed God’s instruction of going to the widow woman. Here I had to admit I’m often trying to figure out the next steps along the path rather than just trusting that the Master will direct my footsteps.

6. Mission Complete – challenged me not to stop to early.  I Samuel 15 left me wondering how many times have I, have you, have we called a mission complete prematurely.

7. Everybody Needs a Stripper in Their Life – “Our strippers may not be people but perhaps they are situations like failed marriages, physical/sexual abuse, rejection or disappointments. Regardless of the form the stripper comes in, it’s purpose is the same to render you void of hope, dreams, faith, and identity.”

8. Embracing Farewell – discussed the value in saying goodbye. “It is the farewells of life that makes room for new hellos.”

9. Beyond – a quick post about looking beyond my limits

10. The Road Back to Judah – Naomi served as the catalyst to help me see how God often orchestrates episodes of loss to get us back to places of praise, hope and love.

11.  Did The Den Do You In – encouraged me to identify my own lions in life.

Do you ever go back and re-read your own writing?  Share a link to one of your own favorite posts from your blog.

Dec 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Wishing each of you a very Merry Christmas

that is filled with love, peace, joy & the presence of Christ!

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Dec 22, 2011

Favor Is Not Without Cost

Like many this time of year, I have been reflecting upon the story of Jesus’ birth. On Mary in particular. From Biblical accounts there was nothing special about this young girl in particular. Yet God singled her out for the greatest assignment—to birth the Savior of the world. On an ordinary day to an ordinary virgin girl, an extraordinary visitor arrived and interrupted the ordinariness of her life. Luke 1: 28 states the angel had the following greeting for Mary,

“Hail thou art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.”

Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary defines favor as gaining approval, acceptance, or special benefits or blessings. I like Merriam-Webster’s definition as well, defines favor as friendly regard shown toward another especially by a superior.  Some how this ordinary virgin girl had gained approval, acceptance or friendly regard by her ultimate superior, God. I am amazed at her response to such favor. With only one spoken question, she faithfully accepts the will of God.

To be favored for such an assignment sounds fascinating  but I wonder did Mary fully understand the magnitude of her yes to favor.   The favor that she didn’t even ask for positioned her for threats. The favor of God threatened her:

  • Relationships:  Because of what she was carrying, Joseph was preparing to walk away from their engagement.
  • Reputation:  The Bible does not go into detail but I can just imagine that the towns people had plenty to say about this young unmarried girl becoming pregnant. Can’t you just hear their whispers and see those funny glances? If Joseph doubted Mary’s purity how much more would the neighbors.
  • Plans:  Before the favor showed up, she and Joseph already had things set in motion for their future marriage. But the impending birth threaten to bring her planned future to a halt.

As I meditate upon these three areas, I am reminded that Mary was not the only to face such assaults. Joseph had the favor of God but it lead to strained relationship with his own family members. So much so that they sold him into slavery. Of course, the favor followed him there as well. His run-in with Potiphar’s wife threatened his reputation.  And I can just imagine that as he sat in the pit and the prison that his vision of his life looked as if it would never come into fruition.

To be favored is a blessing but it is not void of cost.

Today’s post is from the archives but it still rings true. I’m reflecting a lot on Mary’s story. Wishing you & yours a Merry Christmas!

This weeks winner of the Common English Bible is Lori!

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Dec 19, 2011

Treasured Thoughts

Today I’m joining Joanne for Monday Manna, which is designed to get together and get to know God’s Word. Todays verse is Luke 2:19.

Mary committed these things to memory and considered them carefully. (CEB)

I can’t imagine being selected for such a gigantic task as Mary. Even after receiving divine notification about her miraculous pregnancy and the child she would birth, to receive confirmation from others had to be encouraging.

At times I have found myself saying that I’m like Mary pondering things in my heart. I have had God-whispered that were far to grand for my feeble mind to comprehend fully but I chose to store them away for  later. And sometimes years later, I have heard a word  spoken across a pulpit, directly to me, or read something that triggered my memory of the promises spoken sometime ago.

I think it does us all well to commit those things we’ve heard into our minds and to really reflect on them. In today’s information overload, it can be rather easy to read or hear something and just move on to the next thing. But what happens when we just move onto the next bit of information without cementing it into our hearts? We lose ground during the normal see nothing days.  Having God’s Word stored up gives us strength to continue on when faced with the challenges of life. What things are you treasuring in your heart and mind?

CEB is the Common English Bible, which is a new translation of the Bible designed for easy reading and built on common ground. For an opportunity to win soft cover copy of the CEB Bible, complete the form below. Winner will be announced Thursday, December 22.

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Dec 16, 2011

CEB Bible Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Lisa Phelps on winning a copy of the Common English Bible giveaway. Winner was selected via The giveaway is a part of the Thank You-Come Again-I Promise Blog Tour. To find other blogs participating in the tour visit here.

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Dec 14, 2011

It Takes the Stinky Stuff

Dung-Luke 13-6

And he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.  And he said to the vinedresser, 'Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?' And he answered him, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure.  Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'" (ESV) Luke 13:6-9
Jesus gives a parable about a fig tree in which an owner had been expecting fruit from it for three years. Exacerbated by the lack of fruit after all this time, he orders the vine to be destroyed. As I read several translations of this passage, I was reminded that it often takes the manure of life to produce real growth in us. As long as we reside in places of familiar comfort to us, we just exist. Producing little for the kingdom. We pray little, confess little, give little, study little, focus little, aim for little. But when trouble hit, it has a way of stirring up our prayer lives, driving us to fasting, compelling us to study, and it realigns our focus on things that truly matter in our lives.
Each of us have been allotted a time here on the earth. And how are we making use of our time? Are we just using up the ground? I don’t want to be guilty of fruitlessness. I don’t want God to grow weary of me just sitting around doing nothing. However, we should be cautious about busyness. Busy schedules are not an adequate measuring stick for fruitfulness.
The vinedresser requested more time in order to do two things.
1. Dig
2. Dung

Digging requires effort and it cuts into something that was hard or solidified and breaks into smaller parts. It separates things. For God to dig us out of those familiar places we’ve settled is uncomfortable. It’s irritating. Dung (manure) stinks. Who wants to endure being broken and being surrounded  by smelling situations?
Don’t be disheartened if you find yourself  encircled by dung during these days. Don’t even become discombobulated by the un-comfortableness of the things being broken down or detached from you. It all has purpose—growth.
Don’t miss the Common English Bible giveaway here.

Joining Word-Filled Wednesday and Winsome Wednesday.

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Dec 12, 2011

Get Your Aim Right

Have you ever played darts before? I am not sure why, but that was never a game played at my house. The closest thing I’ve done to playing darts is trying to pop a balloon with a dart at a carnival game. And sad to say, I was not very good at it. Although I clearly saw what my intended target was, I never  was able to direct the dart properly. Several times I came close but close doesn’t count.

SONY DSC                    Just like those darts, I have had my faith shot in the wrong direction many times. On occasions my faith has been entrusted in my own abilities, knowledge, or wisdom. At other times my faith was carelessly put on other people or quite frankly my actions revealed that my real trust was in things.  Now of course that was not always instantly visible to me. But it was true. My faith was cast every where except where it needed to be. From time to time it does us all good to evaluate our faith.

Reflecting on Sunday’s message, I’m determined to properly focus my faith this week, which requires proper aim. To aim, I need the following:

  • A-awareness: I need to be aware of all the many places in which its possible to place my faith.
  • I-information: I need to get knowledge about the who or what I have chosen to place my faith. Is it a trustworthy source? Foremost we have to be aware of the truth that each of us have faith. Romans 12:3b, Instead be reasonable since God has measured out a portion of faith to each one of you. (Common English Bible)
  • M-move: If your faith has been misplaced move it to the proper place. Having faith requires coordinating action. James 2:17-18 says, In the same way, faith is dead when it doesn’t result in faithful activity. Someone might claim, “ You have faith and I have action. ” But how can I see your faith apart from your actions? Instead, I’ll show you my faith by putting it into practice in faithful action. (Common English Bible)

Is your faith aimed correctly? If not, there is no time like the present to readjust it.

For opportunity to win a copy of the Common English Bible complete the form below.

Photo Credit: Morguefile

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Dec 10, 2011

The B.I.B.L.E. the Book for Me

Growing up in church the Bible has been a part of my life since my very beginning. I remember “read your Bible” was often retorted by my mom for any boredom expressed by me or my siblings. Needless to say as kids that was the last thing on our minds. Even after accepting Christ as my personal savior, the Bible was often not my book of choice. Much of it seemed to make little sense to me and I couldn’t understand how to incorporate into my daily life. But thankfully that has changed.

As an attendee of an Pentecostal church, the KJV was the translation of choice we read. Over the years, I have added several other translations of the Bible to my library. I find that at different times in my life, I read more from certain translations. Currently I have been reading a lot from the New Living Translation and I love how the Message translate some passages. Each of them add deeper insight into a passage of scripture. While KJV will always be good starting point for me, I appreciate the opportunity to read verses in different translations. That’s why I was pleased to have the opportunity to be a part of the Common English Bible (CEB), Thank You-Come Again –I Promise blog tour. CEB_Square_120x120_E

Over the next several weeks, I will be exploring more of the Common English Bible and sharing passages of scripture with you. As a part of the tour, my readers have the opportunity to win a copy of the softcover edition each week. For more information about the Common English Bible visit their website at

To win simply fill out the form below or leave a comment. Winner will be selected Friday, December 16th.

Disclosure: As a participate in the blog tour I was given a complimentary copy of the Deco Tone edition of the Common English Bible.Any views or opinions expressed are my own.

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Dec 9, 2011



In a world filled with darkness. He sent a light to shine.

The world doused in crimson. Yet only his red blood could make us white again.

He created the many colors of the universe but yet through colorless eyes He sees us all.

He welcomes each of us with loving arms and mounds of grace and mercy.

No longer do we have to hide behind the stains of red sin, the blue of depression, or the green of envy.

There is a cleanser for every color that tries to shield us from His light.


This post is being linked to 5-Minute Friday, where you simply write for 5 minutes without worrying if it’s right or not.

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Dec 7, 2011

Light of the World


Jesus said to the people, "I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won't be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life."

John 8:12 NLT

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Dec 6, 2011

O Me of Little Faith…{Teaser Tuesday}

Circumstances can draw us to God, but they can also pull us away from him. Ask any widow or widower. Ask anyone devastated by tragedy. pg. 132-133

Little Faith








Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

What are you currently reading?

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Dec 2, 2011

Voice Activated

Go any where there are people gathered and you are bound to hear chatter. Some discussing the latest gossip, others dialoguing about current events, and some sharing the details of their home life. Talk, chatter, babble, words are all around us. We can’t escape them. We need them to engage in our world. So much of what is uttered in the course of our day is spoken with a second thought. But today I’m reminded to use my voice to stimulate others.

Don’t be afraid, he said, for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong! As he spoke these words to me, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him, Please speak to me, my lord, for you have strengthened me.  Daniel 10:19 (NLT)

Although Daniel was being spoken to by an angelic being, each of us have the power to speak words of encouragement to others. You never now how much someone needs to hear a kind word. We don’t know all the details of one another lives but we can be assured that we all go through things that sap our strength or causes us to be afraid at times.

Having entered into the last month of the year, one is likely to feel not as invigorated as they were in the beginning of the year. But it doesn’t have to end that way. Despite all 2011 has brought into(or out of) your life, don’t lose sight of the fact that You, my friend, are precious to God.

I speak peace to you.

Be encouraged!

God has not abandoned you.

Be strong!

What are you activating in the lives of others when you speak? When you write? It’s my prayer that the words you find here activate faith, strength, courage, and love. I count it a blessing to be among the community of bloggers here. You may never know how much your words, even though I have never heard your lovely voices, have fortified my steps along this journey.


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