By Still Waters I

gemsWhat is Your Inheritance?

“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” Ephesians 1:18

In our last devotion (see Debt Free and Rich!!), we rejoiced that God releases us from our spiritual debt through the work of His Son. We then marveled that not only does He release His children from the debt we owe Him, but that He also makes us unbelievably rich! This is something!  We don’t owe anymore, and now we are rich beyond our dreams! What riches are these? The Egyptian royalty believed that after their death, they could still enjoy the riches they had in this life. Special tombs were built to accommodate this vain hope. The disappointment of the actual after-death-reality, not to mention the horrors of hell, must have been shocking and great. Proverbs 23:5 “Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.”

I want you to ponder God for a while. I want you to ponder Who He is. This holy exercise really takes a lifetime and beyond,  therefore, I only want to jump-start your meditation and guide your thoughts of Who God is in terms of the riches a believer has. I will list many attributes of God that will give you a hint of what riches are our own as redeemed children: Our God is Powerful, Our God is Faithful, Our God is the Comforter, Our God is Love, Our God is Unchangeable, Our God is Sovereign over all, Our God is Truth, Our God is our Father –  and has prepared a place for us with Him in glory. Each one of these attributes of God, and there are more, is in the everlasting heart-treasury of the child of God. As we walk through this pilgrim land, we pull out these treasures to lovingly handle them, to be in awe over them, and to make use of them in the many facets – joyful or otherwise – of our lives.

If you are an unbeliever, you do not have these treasures. You do not have them now, and you will not have them in eternity. The things you rely on now in your daily life are broken cisterns. And though you may not view your afterlife exactly as the Egyptians of old did, you are holding to a belief that your afterlife is going to be something along the lines of being pleasant. However, without seeking God’s mercy given through the blood of His Son, you still owe an eternal debt that you cannot pay. Life on this earth will, in reality, be truly miserable, and your afterlife will be as shocking and horrible as what the Egyptian royalty are experiencing.  Seek the LORD while He may be found….“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David… Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”  Isaiah 55:1-3,6,7

This is our second post in our mini-series on forgiveness. The first post, Debt Free and Rich!! , addressed spiritual debt and forgiveness.  Our final post (I Just Don’t Remember) will discusscuss forgiving others as we have been forgiven.

 

What is Your Inheritance?

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Mrs. Agnew's Corner

landing netDear Reader, this is a short story I wrote several months ago for a writing assignment. We were to take a real live event and reproduce it in the science fiction genre. This was my first attempt ever at sci fi. The next week’s assignment was to take the same story and re-write it for an older audience.  I have posted the revised story, “The Fish Landing Net” already in “Mrs. Agnew’s Corner” but thought you might enjoy reading the original story.   Hang on to your seat!!! And if you haven’t read the revised story and would like to, you might want to have a tissue box nearby –  but, hopefully, you will want to cheer as well!!

The Landing Net

He was afraid. In his mind, all was almost dark. His thoughts were heavily blanketed by possessive shadows, preventing an acknowledgment of the bright morning winter sun that gaily lit up the ensconced snow – snow that for months had been laying claim to the job of healing rough edges of old, wooden fencing and rusty, forsaken plows. Cold gusts of wind pushed past his pale cheeks, through his hair, and into the warmth of the shed’s interior as he hesitated in its threshold. His left hand clutched the cold, aluminum pole of the landing net, his right hand the pouch of life-giving pellets the winged creatures loved so much. Was today the day? He had tried so many times before. Though he knew courage was gained by facing fears, and not by fleeing them, the many unsuccessful attempts to battle the beast had not removed from him total and absolute fear. Fear reigned. Yes. But because of the fishing net, he had always felt within himself the very smallest hope of hope. With each failed attempt, however, even this very miniscule hope was fading into mortality, leaving him more afraid than ever.

The offbeat cadence of the winged creatures reached the cold, red ears of the boy. He gripped the handle of the landing net firmly, crunched onto the snow, and into the healing sunlight. The landing net was his hope. That’s what they said. If only he knew how to use it. He had asked, “How?” several times, but they always said, “If we tell you, it won’t work. You have to figure it out for yourself.”

As the boy began to unwillingly trod the well-worn path toward his destination on this cold, winter morning, his fear was paralyzing, and his gait became slow-motion. Sighting the enclosure of the winged creatures with his wary eyes, he noticed with disconcertment that the path to it appeared to be shorter than usual. Heightening this new uncertainty, the clouds above in the flat blue winter sky began to rush beyond him as if to get to the other side of the world as quickly as possible. Then the snow-cloaked fencing bordering the path began tearing past him in a parallel race to some distant finish line behind him. Underneath his booted feet, the snow-covered ground sped as if to compete with the fencing. Even all the barnyard animal voices were in fast-forward.

It was hard for the boy to process what he had to do. He had never experienced this sensation of rushing before and decided it must be his nerves. Nerves or not, there was no time to try to analyze once again how he should use the landing net. There was almost no time to be afraid. Because suddenly, all was still. All was quiet. And he was there, at the enclosure, panting, and out of breath – as if he had been racing.

The winged creatures, six of them, stood waiting, calmly, for their food. But where was the seventh? The beast? Did the boy really arrive so quickly this time that the beast did not know he was there? Or was his speed of arrival just the illusion it seemed to be?
The light of the sun reflected off the winged creatures’ enclosure and found the landing net pole, making it glow. The boy began to distribute the life-giving pellets. He watched as each winged creature came forward to partake. Though their feathers were of muted browns and subtle reds, the composition was a warm richness that the boy had always admired.

Then it happened. And as always, it happened without warning. Out of nowhere, the beast, vibrant in iridescent green, bright blue, shinning red, and blinding white, with outstretched wings, a thrusting sharp beak and threatening claws, rushed at the boy in a violent fury. Without thinking, the boy raised the landing net and stabbed it into the air toward the beast. As the beast continued speeding toward its target with hurtful purpose, the boy was amazed to see that not only the pole of the outstretched landing net glowed brightly, but that the ring and the netting, as well, scattered out powerful, sharp luminosities. A split second later, all coalesced into a single laser beam of almost blinding orange that found the beady eyes of the colorful, rushing beast. As if hitting an invisible wall, the destruction-bound bird slammed backward and to the ground. The boy stood stunned, breathing hard, still holding the landing net out like a sword. The conquered bird lay still, breathing steadily, but not making a sound. Then, slowly, with a great adjustment of wings and feathers, the rooster righted itself. The boy, unsure of its intentions, brandished the landing net again, and the bird responded by hopping back two feet. Almost completely sure that the beast was subdued and under his control, the boy waved the landing net a few more times at the bird. At each movement, the now humble bird moved farther away. When the winged creature found himself at what he thought was a safe distance, he began to casually preen himself as if he had no concerns in the world.

Turning to the curious and slightly startled hens, the boy finished the work of the morning, gathering eggs and filling up the water container. As he headed back toward the shed through the bright, snow-covered barnyard, the fresh winter breeze invigorated his sure steps.

The Landing Net

Aside
In Settings of Silver Greeting Cards, Resources for Blessings

A Word Fitly Spoken is Like Apples of Gold in a Setting of Silver.  Proverbs 25:1

three-golden-apples_fullIn Settings of Silver Greeting Cards

What greets your eyes when you open your mailbox?  Advertisements, bills, political flyers, and etc?

What JOY it is to find, tucked in this pile of impersonal mail, a hand-addressed card to YOU!!

Receiving a hand-addressed card is so encouraging! Why is that?  Because, in our mind’s eye, we can see the sender sitting down, perhaps at their dining room table, lovingly writing expressions of encouragement and  affection for us on the card that we now hold in our hand!

I invite you to stop in my In Settings of Silver Greeting Card Shop on the home page of my website.  In this shop, you will find a wonderful variety of greeting cards.  You can also use the links below.

Take a tour through all the greeting cards series.  Pick a design – one or more!!! Your choice(s) will be made into 4 x 6 greeting cards (blank on the inside).  Follow the ordering instructions shown with the designs.  If you have any questions please email me at InSettingsofSilver@gmail.com.

I look forward to helping you be an encouragement to others!!!

Ruby Beach Series

Looking Thru Glass Series

Happiness Series

Evenings at the Bay Series

 

 

Apples of Gold in Settings of Silver – Greeting Cards

Aside
By Still Waters II

For thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great. Psalm 25:11

birdhouse-colorsDebt Free and Rich!!!

Debt. Not a pleasant word to see. Not a pleasant situation to be in. Depending on the amount of debt, relief can seem unattainable.

Debt is experienced not only by individuals, but by countries as well. Look at the following website to see in real time the incredible speed of debt growth for various countries of the world: http://www.usdebtclock.org/world-debt-clock.html.

Financial debt should be taken seriously. Financial debt keeps a person or a country in constant obligatory chains until the debt is paid off. Financial debt is part of the physical world, and we need to be responsible in regards to financial debt. But there is another type of debt in this life that requires more grave attention. It is the debt related to the spiritual world. This debt requires such serious attention that Jesus gives it notoriety by including directions regarding it in His commands for how to pray to His Father, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”

What is this debt that we owe to God? God is owed perfect obedience, but we haven’t given Him that: ”All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way. Isaiah 53:6. Our debt to God builds rapidly, just like the speed of debt growth we see in the referenced website. If we would comprehend the daily innumerable sins of disobedience that we commit in thought, word, and action, we would say something like what Ezekiel said: “O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.” Ezekiel 9:6. Just like financial debt that is overwhelming in its scope, so also is our constantly accumulating spiritual debt.

Where can we find relief from this unending debt we owe to God? Can we find it in ourselves by trying to do better or be a better person? No, for the Bible speaks of us in this way: “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Romans 3:12, and “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Psalm 14:3.

Our lack of perfect obedience to God incurs His wrath upon us in the form of the living death of hell – unless this debt can be paid off. But if our debt needs to be paid off, and  we cannot do it, then who can? The answer is amazing: God, Himself, provides the debt relief. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23.  In God’s amazing love for His children, He sends His Son to the world to receive the wrath that His children deserve. His children become debt-free. And not only that, they are brought into the riches of God’s kingdom: “the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” Eph. 1:18. These riches are not financial, but rather spiritual. However, to use the financial debt analogy, it’s like your creditor forgiving you your financial debt and then giving you millions and millions of dollars.

If you are still in debt to God, the beautiful gospel is that the Holy and Just God gives mercy and release from that debt through the work, sacrifice and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. Go to God for this pardon of your debt, and you, too, can be debt free – and unbelievably rich!! “for the … Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” Romans 10:12

Our next post in this mini-series on forgiveness will address what spiritual riches are (see What is Your Inheritance?). Our final post will discuss forgiving others as we have been forgiven (see I Just Don’t Remember).

 

 

Debt Free and Rich!!!

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By Still Waters I

open-gatesThe New Year stands before us like an open door to an unknown land. What will be waiting for us after we cross the threshold? How will we know what paths we should take and what paths we should avoid? What decisions will we face, and how will we discern the right way? Psalm 25:9 reads: “The meek will He guide in judgment, and the meek will He teach His way.” Ah, here we have it: going to God in true humility, understanding that we have and are nothing and that God is all Wisdom. As the minute hand sweeps around the clock face, bringing us closer and closer to the threshold of the unknown, may our fervent prayer and desire be to walk in meekness in 2017.

The Meek He Will Guide in Judgment and Teach His Way

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