ALABASTER JARS

Life in Abundance


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Twice Fallen

by Lyndelle Brower Chiomenti

Quickly I picked myself up from the sidewalk and assessed the damage. The sidewalk was fine except for the crack I just tripped over. I, however, was bleeding profusely from my chin and lower lip. Plus my right arm was crooked and my lower jaw was no longer aligned with its upper counterpart.

Fast forward to the emergency room. The bleeding had stopped, but I still looked frightful. My clothes and white walking shoes were stained with blood and my lip was swelling. When will it be our turn? my husband and I wondered out loud several times.

Finally, my name was called and we were escorted to an examining room. We welcomed the relative quiet of this cubicle and the attentiveness of the physician’s assistant and nurse. Calmly they stitched the wounds on my chin and lip. Gently they delivered me to the technicians who did the x-rays and CAT scans. And with just the right measure of sympathy, they gave us the results and told us what we needed to do and who we needed to see the next day. And so with prescriptions for pain meds in hand, my husband and I stood up to leave.

Wait! Wait just a minute! Sit back down! the nurse instructed us as she picked up a towel and basin and went to the sink for water.

Now what? my husband and I both looked at each other, wondering. But we did as we were told.

Balancing the basin in both hands, she walked over to me and knelt at my feet. Slowly, methodically, she began to cleanse my shoes of blood. Slowly they became white again, while the water became red.

My eyes welled up with tears.

We are all twice fallen. We are all born into sin. We cannot escape or deny it. And because we are born into sin, we will think sinful thoughts and commit sinful acts. But at some point, Jesus calls out to us, Wait! Wait just a minute! Then He invites us to sit down. And when we do, He’ll fill a basin with water, kneel at our feet, and with His own garment, He’ll wash us clean, while His own hands and clothes become stained with our blood, our sins.

Yes, we are all twice fallen. But with Jesus there is no waiting in crowded, noisy emergency rooms. Come unto me, He calls (Matt. 11:28, NIV). And when we turn in the direction of His voice, there He stands, holding a basin and a towel, ready and longing to make us clean with His blood.

You can find more devotions like this in the Alabaster Jars series. The first book has 53 readings and the second 99. Consider the books as a gift for yourself or someone else. Whether you buy the paperback or the Kindle version, you’ll be making a difference in a woman’s life–100% of the proceeds go towards teaching women how to read.
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Much Like Dirty Pots

by Ruth-Ann Thompson

Unless I wash you, you have no part with me. John 13:8, New International Version.

small__6112258221It had been a particularly stressful few days—sickness, unplanned meetings, unexpected visitors, plus an assignment that took me away from home and the children for a whole day. Routine household cleaning was the last thing on my mind.

Returning home at the end of the last long day, I looked around my messy home and wasn’t sure where I should begin. But when I couldn’t have a drink of water because there wasn’t a clean glass in sight, dishwashing was the obvious place to start. Somehow, without me noticing and being somewhat too tired to care, our dishes had piled up.

I was shocked. While I was busy, my family had done nothing to help out. Every dish, cup, glass, mug, bowl and every utensil and receptacle was absolutely filthy! Some had to be soaked for a later scrubbing! Time seemed to go on forever as I scrubbed and scoured (and scowled and screamed).

And then through my frustration, I realized that my sins are far more disgusting than any stack of dirty dishes could ever be. So often I go to God with my plan expecting Him to do a quick and simple cleansing process on me and send me on my way! But then He gently reminds me that there is so much more work He has to do.

With that insight, I chose not to be angry with my family. In my attempt to remove the toothpick from their eyes, God showed me the telephone pole that was lodged in my own.

So wash me clean, dear Father. Do what you must to remove every impurity from my soul.

You can find more devotions like this in the Alabaster Jars series. The first book has 53 readings and the second 99. Consider the books as a gift for yourself or someone else. Whether you buy the paperback or the Kindle version, you’ll be making a difference in a woman’s life–100% of the proceeds go towards teaching women how to read.

photo credit: cuantofalta via photopin cc


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Just One Way

by Ruth-Ann Thompson

I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6, New King James Version.

Growing up, I thought there was only one way to wash dishes. But life has taught me differently.

Think for a moment about how you do the simple, seemingly-never-ending task of keeping those plates and cups and bowls clean. Some people use a sponge or brush; some use a dishcloth. Some rinse the dishes thoroughly first, then wash them in a sink full of hot, soapy water. Some put the detergent directly on cloth, sponge or brush; others don’t use soap at all. Some rinse after washing; some dry after rinsing. Some wash the dishes before they place them in the dishwasher to wash them again.

Perhaps the doldrums of dishwashing are so routine that you don’t really stop to think about what you are doing. But today, spend some time thinking about the how’s and why’s of dishwashing. Note that your way of washing is probably different from your neighbor’s, your sister’s or even the person who taught you how.

As you wash, remember that, unlike the assortment of methods to dishwashing, there is only one way to the Kingdom—through your relationship with Jesus, our Savior and Messiah. There simply is no other way. Accept Him fully into your life today and be washed clean from all your sins and failings.

He’s waiting for you to accept Him.