You cannot fill your emptiness with more emptiness.

We become aware of the emptiness at different times in different ways. You learn to live with it and eventually it becomes a part of you. It can become familiar like your favorite house robe.  However, no matter how you try to convince yourself otherwise, there is nothing comforting or inviting about emptiness.

The numbing nature of emptiness is compounded when we try to fill the void with more meaningless emptiness. Alcohol, drugs, shopping, food, friends, possessions, try as we might; nothing fills the void for long.

You end up so completely aware of the void it becomes a physical ache that feeds upon itself. It will tear you apart and sow a vagueness that you simply disappear into.

It does not matter how many people are around you and how connected you are to your surroundings and life, because you feel abandoned and distant. It feels as if there is a total and complete absence of “you”.

God has put a longing in our heart that can, if we let it, lead us to Him. He offers the things that we search for every day and never seem to find. His love, acceptance and approval can fill that void so full that there is no need to keep on searching in vain. Until we accept the treasures He offers, we will never succeed in filling that void.

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Jeremiah 2:13

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1

Brothers and sisters let God repair your broken and leaking cistern and fill it with water from the well that will never run dry. Your thirst is a deep longing for something meaningful to fill the emptiness.

Fill your empty place with God, He is the only source able to once and for all fill that void. He will satisfy so deeply and completely that you will never thirst again.

 

Dottie

………………and so I ride

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Sufficient Grace

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
“My grace is sufficient for you ”, now that is a totally underutilized wedge of truth straight out of the Bible.
We are all familiar with the scripture in 2 Corinthians that says “His grace is sufficient for us and His power is made perfect in our weakness.”
Our pastor talked about that scripture in passing this morning but it hit me like a jackhammer busting up a neon billboard. We have been dealing with some difficult but necessary decisions lately. My husband is having an easier time with the decision than I am (I am so proud of him). I know it is what we are supposed to be doing right now; there is no doubt in my mind. However, I simply cannot fathom my life without certain things in it, no matter what God is telling me. I have been close many times to saying, sorry but I just cannot do this. Can’t you leave me some wiggle room Father? Catch me at a later time God, we will talk again and maybe I will be more ready.
Actually, that last sentence should read, maybe I will be more willing.
When God says His grace is sufficient for me, He means it. He never did intend me to have to handle this alone; it is not how God works. God is asking me to do something that He knows full well that I cannot handle alone. Period.
He knows every thought in my head, every doubt, insecurity and my unwavering weakness and inability to go it alone. That is why He makes it plainly known in 2 Corinthians that I will not have to go this alone and it is going to turn out for His glory, no matter what “it is” turns out to be.
I believe that He is in the process of helping me to place my allegiances and priorities exactly where they need to be and that is on Him. Sufficient grace offers us unlimited power to change. It really is that simple.
 
Dottie

Guided Journey

I truly believe that God has every last detail of our lives planned. It says so in Jeremiah 29:11. “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Why then, do we live our lives as if we are on a journey without a map? Are we not equipped with all we need to live successfully and with contentment and joy? Yes we are. It simply means we have to take the time to learn about the one who will be leading our journey and unlock what up to now has not been known to us.
Take the time to discover the road God wants you to travel, pack the supplies He tells us will be useful and follow HIs map to eternity.

Dottie

……………….and so I ride jeremiah29_11_image

They Are Watching

Their eyes are on us. They are watching our every move.

There are two groups I can think of. One is those who are not believers and watching our every move so when we fail they can point fingers and use it against God and us. There are also those around us who are hungry for and need God. These people are watching how we act and often imitate what we do because they see us as “good Christians” and want what we have.

My question is what about when we have a bad day, what about when every single thing that can go wrong, does? Not every day here on this earth is paradise; in fact most days are not.

No pressure.

Sometimes (more often than not) my behavior reminds me of what Paul said in Romans. I don’t understand what I do and the things I know I should not be doing…………..I do anyway. There are times that the more I try to be good, the harder it seems and the less it happens.

The thing is living in the world we do, we are going to have tough times. As Christians we have to live by a different standard and very definitely a higher standard.

Without a doubt, it is hard.

When we meet a new acquaintance and they want to know where to go in our town and what to do, how do we answer? We tell them about the best restaurants, the stores that have the most fashionable clothes and good prices, the best fishing hole, an awesome shooting range, the coffee shop with the out of this world coffee, good contractors, dentists, doctors etc.  How often do we mention the church options and invite them to ours, the meaningful new bible study you attend, a family of Christian people who enjoy the same hobby (motorcyclists in my case J)

When we (Christians or not) find ourselves in a position where we vehemently disagree with our neighbors, coworkers, churchgoers, the person next to us in the checkout line, we become warriors of the most brazen sort. Maybe we should become warriors of the prayer sort.

When someone we do not like falls upon hard times, we think to ourselves, well, well, look who finally got what they deserve. Before getting too righteous we should be remembering that we got something precious we did not deserve, do our foes not deserve the same from us?

When we sense the Holy Spirit nudging us to call a friend, take a meal, send a card, share a prayer or stop the person walking by and give them a hug, but we don’t because time is short. You may have just missed the only chance that person has today for comfort and support. You certainly have missed a chance to show that Jesus Christ lives in you.

When we do what is right but not necessarily easy, others notice, a seed is planted and respect grows. When we do what is right maybe a heart is softened just enough to start seeking that which they see in us. When we do what is right God’s Kingdom grows and angels rejoice.

Dottie

……………….and so I ride

 

 

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I resolve not to resolve

I am not generally one for New Year’s resolutions, they usually get broken anyway. Plus anything worth making a New Year’s Resolution about is worth making a part of your life year round.

 

If I was a resolution maker one of the resolutions certainly would be to read my Bible more, understand it better and live it faithfully. But I am not so hang with me here.

 

This is something that I try to do daily but it is hard isn’t it? It is intimidating even before I open my Bible. I am a super-duper excuse maker; quite good at it I am told.

 

I’m tired, I’m busy, it’s boring, it’s too big, I don’t know where to start, I already know what it says, I hear it at church, or the best of all, I cannot understand it. I have probably said them all and I know I have heard them all and many more from others.

 

“I’m tired and I’m busy”. Yes, we live in a busy world and busy makes for tired. However, we always have time to eat and sleep. We never seem to lack the time to get on Facebook, watch movies, go fishing, camping, and motorcycle riding (sorry). We always find time for the things that are important to us, or the things we have fun doing.

 

“I don’t know where to start”, start at the beginning, in the middle, start right where a reading plan tells you to. I don’t think where you start reading your bible matters as much as when and if you start reading your bible.

 

“I already know what it says, I hear it at church” Yep but going to church for an hour a week will NEVER replace  reading and studying it for yourself, no matter how you try to spin it. After buying the newest, glitziest  handi-dandi gadget or the latest technology do you go home, put it together and use it as it was supposed to be used without reading the instructions (men please don’t answer this).

 

Then the excuse that is the granddaddy of them all, “I could never understand the Bible, it is ancient, irrelevant, confusing and over my head.  So I am not even going to try. I am going to give up before I crack a cover. Well, all I can say to this one is God has addressed it directly and it really leaves us very little wiggle room. Psalm 119:130 makes it pretty plain. 130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

If we dig in the Bible and unfold the words God has given us, we will understand. Our eyes will be opened and our mind illuminated as soon as we dig into the Bible.

I know it hurts to be called simple but seriously, think about it, when you read the above paragraph, you agreed (you know you did) that “not understanding” is a viable excuse to get out of reading your bible. God is simply telling us to come to Him as we are and He will provide us with the understanding we need.

 

Pretty cool huh!

 

Dottie

 

…………………….and so I ride

When Christmas Isn’t Merry

When Christmas isn’t merry.

Christmas comes every year, same day year after year. Some years it comes along when we are full of joy and ready to celebrate the season in full dressed out fashion. Some years it comes along when we are tattered and torn and don’t feel like getting out of bed let alone celebrating with all the glitz and glamor the season seems to attract.

Rest assured however, whether you are party ready or whether your heart is not in it this year, Christmas is coming, no matter the state of your heart and soul.

It might help to think about it this way. No matter the state of YOUR heart, realize that what matters is the state of God’s heart at the beginning of all this.

There is a quote I came across that is absolutely beautiful and ripe with meaning.

“Christmas is the holiday for the broken, because it exists to mark the day Hope was born.”

Take a moment in the midst of the mountains of presents, food and other outward shows of the holiday to consider that Christ was born because we experience the bad along with the good. Christ was born to give us the gift of life. So although our hearts may not be in Christmas this year, thank God that His heart was in it both then and now. There has never been nor ever will be a greater gift given than what God gave us when He sent His son to this earth.

So even if you have a heavy heart this Christmas and just cannot get into the glitz and glamor that is the Christmas season these days, sit back and rest in the gift you have already been given.

Reach for the one who has given it to you.

I love this scripture in Malachi. Take and keep the gift of the rising of the sun of righteousness with healing in its wings.

Holman Christian Standard Bible– Malachi 4:2
But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves from the stall.

 

Dottie

………………………..and so I ride

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Don’t Stifle the Holy Spirit

ABC’s of Faith
1 Thes 5:19
Don’t stifle the spirit.
The Holy Spirit is a fire burning inside each of us. That fire can be a steady, bright guiding beacon or a soft glow in a dimly lit room. The fire can also be stifled into an unsteady flickering and inconsistent smolder that ebbs and flows in an unpredictable fashion.

The Holy Spirit wants to articulate himself in all we do. Oftentimes however, we do not allow the Spirit to be seen in what we do with our lives. In fact there are times we douse the fire with water by doing what we know full well is wrong or not doing what we are being prompted to do.

One thing is certain. Normally, a fire is not quenched by accident. When we are camping and it is time to go to bed we take definite steps to make sure the fire is completely out and will not burst into flames during the night. The last thing we want is for a storm to blow in and for the sparks from our fire to blow all over the campground and start other fires outside our fire ring. So we take steps to make sure the fire is completely out.

I am relatively certain it is safe to say that our inner fires go out from neglect or because someone takes the necessary steps to put them out.

How do we put that fire in us out every single day?

This is how.

Disobedience, criticism, sin that we just can’t seem to let go, bitterness, unforgiveness, no compassion, gossip in any form, these things will stifle the Holy Spirit as surely as if we drowned the fire with gallons and gallons of water. As detrimental as those things are, the real dousing of the fire comes when we know we are ignoring God’s call, the real dousing comes with repeated refusals to do anything about these things.

Surely the biggest way to put that inner fire to bed for good is to say NO to God.

We must answer when God calls. But we all know that often the call that God gives is met with a resounding answer from us that goes something like this. Seriously God? Do you know who I am and what I am doing here? You cannot ask me to do this now, I can’t, sorry I am doing too much good where I am, catch me next round, we will talk then.

Without even realizing it we have just lost time, opportunity and possibly even lost life. Life will go on to be sure but in a much more difficult way.

If we answer when God calls and obey, the Spirit’s fire will burn strong in our hearts. It is like adding wood to the campfire and watching it bring light to the surrounding darkness.

The actual fire may be contained in a fire ring but the evidence of your light can be seen in the whole campground of your life and I guarantee you people will be drawn to your light.

So let the sparks of the Holy Spirit fly and watch as those embers drift away and ignite the waiting, watching and listening bystanders at your campfire with the same fire that burns inside us.
Dottie
……………………and so I rideDistant-campfire-Thompson-Nicola-British-Columbia-Canada 12002332_10206656297400053_5005078583630896450_n