ALABASTER JARS

Life in Abundance


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Mushroom-like Tenacity

by Ruth-Ann Thompson

If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there, if I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139:8-10, New International Version.

Among the growing list of complaints in my new townhouse was my upstairs bathroom. There were plenty of signs of water damage in the floorboards, including bowing. I feared the support would one day give way, but my pleas to have it fixed went unheeded.

One night after the children were asleep, when I entered that fateful bathroom, I stopped short at the sight. Up from between the floorboards grew a cute little mushroom. We won’t discuss what happened from that point on and how quickly my bathroom got rebuilt!

Yet, I can’t help but admire that little fungus.

Even in the darkest and dirtiest places that we find ourselves, God’s mercy and grace will allow us to grow and become useful in His kingdom. I thank God that wherever I am, His love reaches out to seek and find me.

If you have made a wrong turn or done something that you are ashamed of, take it to Jesus. He already knows. He already cares. He’s already there!


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Christian Pick Up Lines

Hilarious. Found these here.
1.  ”So last night I was reading in the book of Numbers, and then I realized, I don’t have yours.”

2.  ”Hey, I’m Will. God’s will.” (Tip: Your name should actually be Will)

3.  ”You put the “stud” in bible study.”

4. “Now I know why Solomon had 700 wives… He never met you!”

5.  ”I didn’t know angels flew this low.”

6. “I’m no Joseph, maybe you can help me interpreting the dreams I’ve been having about you?”

7. ”Is it hot in here or is that just the Holy Spirit burning inside of you?”

8. ”Is your name Faith? ‘Cause you’re the substance of things I’ve hoped for.”

9. ” How many times do I have to walk around you to make you fall for me?”

10. ” I didn’t believe in predestination until tonight.”

11.  ”Is this the transfiguration? because you are glowing.”

12. ” Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Gilead.”

13. ” Excuse me, I believe one of your ribs belongs to me.”

14. ” Let me sell you an indulgence because it’s a sin to look as good as you do.”

15. ” Me. You. Song of Songs: the remix.”

16. ” Is it a sin that you stole my heart?”

17. ” Want to practice speaking in tongues with me?”

18. ” What’s your name and number so I can add you to my “prayer” list?”

19. “I just want you to know, I’m praying for you… No, I’m praying “FOR” you.”

20. “Here’s my number… Call me if you need prayer.”

21. “I’m usually not very prophetic, but I can see us together.”


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Seek Ways to Share

For the poor will never cease to be in the land: therefore I command you, saying, “You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.” Deuteronomy 15:11

The holiday season is all about giving. We love to give to strangers, loved ones, and organizations, but how easy it is to become embittered when gift recipients imply that the gifts were owed or somehow due. One morning, as I read through Deuteronomy, I was mentally discussing a family need with the Lord. The need pertained to an extended family member, and I knew that my gift of time was expected and that no gratitude would be given. I had just concluded my rhetoric with God by deciding that the task was not a good fit for me, when I stumbled upon Deuteronomy 15:11.

I was awestruck. Why would the Promised Land always have the poor? Surely God could have managed the abundance in the land to accommodate everyone’s needs. I then realized that God always provides a way for us to express our thanksgiving to Him. We need opportunities to share our time, money, and talents with others so that we receive a blessing. It is not for us to worry about rather recipients expect gifts or if they are genuinely appreciative. The adage it is better to give than to receive is certainly true. Giving help us to have hearts overflowing with gratitude towards God for the gifts that he so freely bestows upon us. How great and mighty is our loving Savior! He has a mechanism in place to keep us from becoming ungrateful. I encourage you to seek ways to share God’s blessings with others. I know that you truly will be blessed!

by Tonya Mechling


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The Crazy Side of Divine

by Fylvia Fowler Kline

I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say. Luke 1:38, The Message.

Seems to me like most of God’s plans are on the somewhat crazy side of divine. Is it to amuse His audience, to make obedience that much more difficult or is it just for theatrical purposes?

For instance, making man out of dirt, fighting a giant with a boy, bringing down a city wall with horns and trumpets, feeding thousands with a couple of fish. And, of course, creating Baby Messiah without sperm.

What’s with all this divine flamboyance? I’m not second-guessing God; just wondering. After a closer look and a more serious reading of the stories, it seems like all the behind-the-scene acts of grace imply that it’s not about His own dramatic glory or self-gratification. Likewise, all the love and mercy He pours out on us wretched people imply that it’s not about trapping us into sin either. So, the only reason I can come up with for these bizarre plans of God is to nurture trust.

God asks Noah to build an ark during rainless times or asks us to do something equally nonsensical not because he likes to confuse humans or play Twenty Questions, but because he wants us to learn to trust Him. God wants us to be willing to do it His way, no matter how crazy the request.

We need to have the faith to know that when God asks us to do the illogical, He does the impossible. Like when Mary was told she would have a baby as a virgin, we too must be able to say with ease and conviction, “I am the Lord’s, ready to serve.”


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Waves of Anger

by Stephanie Yamniuk

The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. Psalm 145:8, New International Version.

Soon after we were married, my husband and I attended a seminar.* We were beginning our new life and looking for ways to build a peaceful life together. Ten years later, I still remember a technique we learned to get rid of negative thoughts.

When you feel angry or hurt, it’s easy to begin a negative script in your head. It goes something like, “I can’t believe he just said that. How rude! If only I could tell him what a jerk he is, I would. In fact, I remember when . . . .” This negative self-talk is just as destructive as discouraging words and hurtful actions. What we tell ourselves in our hearts and minds soon becomes reality. To break this negative cycle, you must fill your mind with something positive. One technique is to think of a song you like and singing it in your mind when negative self-talk starts taking over your thoughts.

When I am feeling angry or frustrated, I often cry out in prayer and sing the song, ‘Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus. The chorus goes like this:

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er! Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

With children just 12 months apart, I used to often feel overwhelmed trying to balance the life of a wife, a mother and a workingwoman. Some mornings were worse than others–-getting two sleepy children out of bed; feeding them breakfast when they weren’t hungry (the daycare wouldn’t feed them); and then trying to leave the house on time. And all this without bursting into tears.

But then, God gave me this song to sing and soon my children knew it too.

Thank you Lord, for your patience and compassion. * All Power Seminar by Leo Schreven