Grabbing the Moment

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

I am excited to have a special guest writer on my blog today – my friend, Jennifer Slattery. Today, Jennifer shares with us of the importance of spending time with the Lord.  Be blessed as you read her fantastic post!

Grabbing the Moment

By Jennifer Slattery

Something happens during the teen years. That child that used to follow you around with wide-eyes and constant questions disappears and an independent, resident expert on all areas of life takes their place. Or at least, that’s the way things are in the Slattery home–most days.

It’s almost comical how far the tables have turned. My doting little princess is growing up and now I’m the one following her around, bombarding her with questions, hoping to find a way into that ultra-independent heart. Which makes those rare moments when my adult-sized, emotionally-childish teen curls up beside me, special. A stop-all-time-and-grab-the-moment-with-both-hands special.

One morning, before my daughter left for school, she curled up on the couch beside me. We sat for a good ten minutes, not saying anything. As I held her, my mommy instincts took over and I had an urge to protect, even though there was nothing to protect her from. I didn’t want her to do anything for me. I didn’t need her to say any magical words. All I wanted was her. And I could have sat there indefinitely.

She left and I turned to my to-do list. After four days zonked out in bed with the flu, it had quadrupled. The house was a mess and laundry was piled so high I was ready to send out avalanche warnings. But another voice called just as urgently, although much softer. In fact, it was just the faintest whisper. If I chose, I probably could have ignored it. Even convinced myself I didn’t hear it. But somehow that tender moment with my daughter had opened my heart, reminding me of another parent recently forgotten.

In Isaiah 6:5 I hear the tender heart of an ever-pursuing father in God’s words, “I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help. I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for Me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am.”

And in Isaiah 65:12, “For when I called, you did not answer. When I spoke, you did not listen.”

Only this time I did. I ignored my to-do list, let the clutter piled around my house wait, turned on some praise music and grabbed my Bible. And I could have sat there in my Father’s arms, indefinitely. He didn’t need me to do anything. I didn’t need to say any magical words. All He wanted was me. It was one of those stop-all-time-and-grab-the-moment-with-both-hands experiences.

Jennifer Slattery writes for Christ to the World Ministries, the ACFW Journal, The Christian Pulse, Internet Cafe Devotions, and Jewels of Encouragement.  She loves to hear from her readers at http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com

Back in Business (Devotional)

Penny Zeller, Christian Author 

I am honored to have talented fellow author Jo Huddleston as a guest on my blog today sharing a wonderful devotion about God’s sustaining power in our lives…

Back in Business

By Jo Huddleston

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every work(2 Corinthians 9:8, NIV)

Relaxing in my den one July afternoon, I glanced out the window to discover my colorful impatiens weeping for attention. The scorching heat had drained the tiny flowers and leaves into withering ugliness. Choking in the high humidity, the flowers begged for their daily watering I’d missed yesterday and today

Pushing fatigue aside, I rushed outside to their rescue. I let the garden hose’s thin spray gently cool the plant, drench its soil and soak deep around its roots. I continued until the hanging basket overflowed, water splattering to the parched ground below.

After supper I checked on the impatiens. To my delight, the flowers that had drooped their heads near death a few hours earlier now perked up like it was the cool of an early spring morning. They’d become their old selves, displaying vivid colors as proudly as ever before. They were back in their business of adding beauty to their surroundings.

I was reminded how the same thing can bring us down in our Christian living. If we neglect our commitment to God, even for a day or two, we give Satan the opportunity he’s waiting for to destroy us. When we don’t do daily Bible study, meditate with God, spend time in prayer with Him, we are neglecting necessary maintenance of a Spirit-filled life.

Just as I didn’t care properly for my impatiens, if we don’t tend our relationship with God on a regular basis, we’ll have to start a rescue procedure. We’ll have to renew our efforts, get back in a balanced lifestyle with Christ.

But it can be done. My withering impatiens revived when they received what they needed. They again burst forth, fulfilling their purpose of creation.

Without God’s daily sustaining power, we will fall short of God’s purpose us. We will wilt when facing temptations and disappointments. We can actively pursue His direction by listening to His voice through the Bible, through prayer, and through fellowship with other believers.

We don’t have to spend our days in wilting uselessness for God. God can refresh us. He still provides our needs daily just as he did for the wondering Israelites following Moses’ leadership. His grace is sufficient for us. Then like my flowers, we can be back in business with God, living as he intended. Are you depending on God’s grace to provide your needs? Are you seeking His grace daily?

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Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories and teaches at writers’ conferences. You can visit with her at http://www.johuddleston.com.