Thankful Thursday: The Wine Press

I am reading a book on Discipleship called The Journey Of A Disciple by Stuart & Jill Briscoe.
(Brilliant read)

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Last night I read a chapter written by Jill Briscoe about Hannah, Samuel’s mother. (From 1 Samuel 1)

Hers is really a story of pain, bitterness, faith and surrender.

There are more than two reasons I feel I can relate with her. She remains an absolute inspiration to me and not only because she was barren and then had children. But because of the general space she found herself in.

One of the things I was made aware of was back then, having children sort of equaled God having blessed and favoured you. So Hannah must’ve felt completely in disfavour with God. Yet there she was, running to the temple to speak to Him.
Good thing though because no one else could ever really get what she was going through.
I’m thankful today that I can do that too. Regardless of what is happening in my life I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can take my woes and worries to God.

Jill concludes the chapter by writing about the three ways grapes used to be pressed back in biblical times. And how its the not so comfortable pressing that produces wine in the vineyard of our lives. 
Its very insightful and it really got me thinking.

If its the pressing I’m experiencing currently then that means wine is sure to follow from my own vineyard. And to make it tasty and delicious I am making a point of being thankful for the fruit of my harvest.

– restoration
– deliverance for my family
– wholesome fellowship
– an even closer relationship with my man
– better homemaker skills
– an awesome blog
– a self hosted site

I’m also thankful for yummy chats with my friend. I miss him so much but I’m thankful he is happy and healthy and blessed.

Thank God for the wine press of life.

Inspired and Loved

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Soulful Saturday: Prayer & Righteousness

What does it actually take to make prayer work?

James 5:16b – The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man avails much.

First, lets look at what it means to be righteous. Its simple really > to so what is right.  Ofcourse, someone might say what’s right is relative.  But I believe its absolute. Like truth.

Next, what caught my attention was the word fervent, which refers to having or displaying a passionate intensity and also great warmth, intensity of spirit, feeling or enthusiasm. Also great emotion and zeal.

Finally – Effectual.  Now many people quote the above scripture but very few highlight this word. They speak on righteousness and fervency but not effectual.  And I believe its a vital component to this equation. So, what does it mean then?
Obviously it has something to do with being effective.  Its an adjective used here to describe prayer. In particular, the prayer of a righteous person. The best way I find to describe it is producing or able to produce a desired effect.

Now, lets put it all together. For prayer to work according to James 5:16b, it has to have the following components:
》It must be able to produce the desired effect, thereby answering its purpose. We cant just pray into the wind in the hope that something favourable might happen. No. This verse says our prayer ought to have clarity and purpose.
》It must be a passionate and intense endeavour.  No half-hearted attempts here again. Something that denotes purpose.
》Finally, it must be utilised by a righteous individual/s. Those who are doing it right.

Doing what is right helps you get to the ear of God, and He is so attentive to your cry. Ready to put in effect what you’ve requested.

Psalm 34:15 – The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their cry.

Let’s put it this way…
The person who does what is right may pray with intense passion and it will produce the desired effect.

Works for me! Hoping you put it into practice so it works for you too… 😀

(For other Soulful Saturday entries…. click here )

Inspired and Loved

Soulful Saturday: Grace

One of the things I am most thankful for on a daily basis is God’s grace. It overwhelms me.
No one can tell me better than me exactly how much I’ve done that makes me completely unworthy of it all. And still, God graces me with life and opportunity and liberty. Every single day.

God’s underserved grace is unfathomable. 
I was reminded today of the ever famous hymn, Amazing Grace. John Newton got it totally right I believe.

“When we’ve been there
ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing
God’s praise, Than when we first begun.”

There will never be enough time to give thanks for God’s awesome grace. It’s beyond reason and logic. That someone could accept me for me, faults and all, without requiring any sort of payment first? Wow! That’s mind blowing.

It will never make sense to my puny human brain but I am beyond grateful that God did what He did and still does it for me day by day, hour by hour, minute by blessed minute.

It gives me hope.
Hope to face each day no matter what pain it may bring.
Hope that assures me, God has it all under control.

He that lives in hope dances
without music. – George Herbert

I urge you. No matter what you are facing right now, God can be trusted. His love and grace is for you. The same way it is for me.

Let it bring forth hope in you.
Come and dance with me 😀

(This is my first Soulful Saturday post. Every week you can check back for an instalment. All other posts will be available on my Soulful Saturday page. I welcome your interaction 🙂 )

Inspired and Loved

Hope, Faith, Trust

A complex trio if ever I saw one.

Sometimes – quite often actually – God can give you a promise about tge future that ties in absolutely with your present.

That’s when you need to hope. That’s when you need to have faith. That’s when you need to trust.

Many people think that hoping, having faith and trusting is a passive thing. Its not. Its a doing thing. A very active thing.

Romans 15:13 speaks about the God of hope filling us with joy and peacein believing so that we may ABOUND in hope through the POWER of the Holy Ghost. That doesn’t sound like a passive hope to me at all.

Hebrews 11:1 says faith is the evidence of things unseen. Evidence is not invisible and its definitely not intangible. Faith must be seen and experienced. It cannot be inactive – that wouldn’t be faith at all.

Proverbs 3:5 speaks of trusting in God with all your heart. Have you ever done something and put your all into it? Your passion, your strength, your essence, your heart?

I’ve noticed that any time God makes a promise about the future it most probably comes at a time when what you are seeing, hearing and experiencing is almost the direct opposite. The logical thing is to disbelieve it all. Afterall, where is the proof?

God is the proof. He’s never failed. His word has never been a lie. Many times all that’s required is for you to hope, have faith and trust in the Lord. Even when your entire life points in a contrary direction.

So, in times of need, the hope that God will provide, is vital. Trust that He will make a way and faith (evident in the things you do in your present day) will see it come to pass.

Remember, its not true because I believe it. I believe it because its true…

Inspired and Loved