Finding God in a Gushing Spring

By: Deborah Lovett 
“Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give will never be thirsty. The water I give will become a spring of water gushing up inside that person, giving eternal life.” John 4:13, 14

While on a trip in Nevada I had the opportunity to hike three miles across the desert outskirts of a resort community. It was quite different than the mid west cornfields I am used to gazing upon. Instead of cows and soybeans, there was cactus, and rocky terrain, with breath taking mountains in the distance. I never dreamed I would be finding God in a Gushing Spring that day.

As I walked up the hard incline of the mountainous desert, I noticed a row of small pine trees going up and coming back down on the opposite side, in the middle of nowhere. “How odd,” I thought to myself. I wondered how they grew or even found nourishment. As I looked closer, I noticed each had its very own “drip hose” that slowly dropped an endless source of water to it in an ongoing fashion. Someone had obviously preplanned for what someday could be a designated main entry for a newer resort. It took someone with real foresight to see the big picture. Eventually, there will be a majestic entryway for the newcomers to enjoy and feast their eyes upon.

While I was thinking about the pine trees in comparison to God’s Kingdom, (How He preplanned his Kindgom with foresight, sent His Son to die in order to make a way for entry into our Heavenly resort!) God was thinking He had a surprise for me…

At the end of my hike my ears began to hear the oddest sound in the silence…roaring water! I walked towards it, and saw the most amazing gushing spring I had ever laid eyes on! It was surrounded by lush green jungle like plants, extremely opposite to the desert no less! As I stood there, I was so refreshed from the wet spray of the clear blue water on my face…I ended up titling my book, “Gushing Springs.”

I pondered my walk with God and knew the lesson in my heart. If we will take in God’s Living Water, the Bible, in a slow drip fashion throughout the day, we will eventually become like the gushing spring at the end of the road whose sprays of water could not be contained. We will be a source of strength, joy and encouragement for those in need. We will splash out God’s love to the thirsty. We will indeed be able to overflow when prepared with the foresight to see down the road from God’s eternal perspective.

When we join God in heaven, we will get to see the actual gushing spring of “Living Water” flowing from the throne of God. (Rev. 22) We will go from believing to seeing the true reality: Jesus Christ Himself! Now that’s truly finding God in the Gushing Spring! WOW!

Drink up, the water is deep!

Enjoy this music video, Living Water, by Kees Kraaynoord, brought to you by Youtube.

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Finding God in the Wild Mustangs

By: Deborah Lovett

After returning from Wyoming, the “cowgirl” in me has emerged! Yee-haw! I really don’t know how anyone could ever deny there is a God after visiting the Yellowstone Park. Every morning at the dude ranch, the wranglers would go up into the mountains and round up the horses. There were horses of every color: coal black, white, painted, brown, gray, you name it. It was a sight to behold:  100 horses that all looked like wild mustangs being herded from the mountain tops down into the valley, running full force, wind blowing their manes, tails flowing like honey, one behind the next. I had never seen anything like it as they ran right past our cabin. I could feel the thumping of the earth beneath their hooves, and feel the breeze from their speed in our faces! I was finding God in the Wild Mustangs every morning!

Then, these same wild mustangs would go single file into the barn and get saddled up for us to ride. Now I have to tell you, I am not an experienced rider, and I thought to myself, “you have got to be kidding me?” They weren’t. We mounted those horses and rode them through streams, Aspen forests, on high mountain cliffs and they never missed a beat. They were the gentlest animals ever and well trained to boot.

The astonishing thing was when they brought them out of the barn: saddled, blanketed, and bridled, they were like ordinary horses. I couldn’t believe my eyes. They didn’t look at all like the wild mustangs that came down off the mountain in the mornings. They just looked like ordinary work horses, all the same.

This is what God impressed on my heart:

I sent my son, Jesus, to die for you and your sins, to set you free like the mustangs on the mountain. When you accept the sacrifice He made for you, you will reflect the beauty and individuality of the wild mustangs, only you will go each day being who I made you to be, reflecting the image of Me. Others will see you coming and know Me by your love, like you knew the mustangs by their speed and stature. You will be free on the mountaintops, in the valleys, at home or work. Others will stand amazed at your uniqueness and freedom that comes from my Son. You will be FREE!

However, if you take on the cares of the world, blanket yourself with shame, guilt, rejection, unworthiness; if you are saddled with hurt, unforgiveness, offense, or resentment; well then, you will miss out on your freedom Jesus died for you to have. You will resemble just another worldly worker–stressed out, wearied from work, without strength, going along with the crowd.

Won’t you join me by finding God in the Wild Mustangs by asking yourself: Am I living in the unique freedom of Christ or am I tied to the world?
Galatians 5:1 “So Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.”

Enjoy these clips of wild horses from National Geographic set to the music of Mozart:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cevqAlUIc2s&feature=related

 

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Finding God on Prayerwalks

By Janet Holm McHenry

Finding God on prayerwalks is a fun, rewarding, and inspirational prayer experience. Prayerwalking is the practice of praying “onsite with insight,” as author Steve Hawthorne writes, but there are a couple different approaches.

Some people practice prayerwalking as a regular devotional practice–as a form of spiritual exercise, praying as they walk for whatever God puts within their path and eyesight. Some view this as a form of ministry for their neighborhood and community, and individuals can prayerwalk by themselves or with others with similar heart and focus.

Others organize event-centered prayerwalks for a variety of purposes and settings, including the following:

  • Ladies’ retreats–as a optional early morning or afternoon activity
  • Community prayerwalks–with churches joining together to pray for an entire community
  • Neighborhood prayerwalks–centered around a church or residential area, focused on prayers for families and children
  • City center prayerwalks–targeted to pray for the economy and well-being of a city
  • School-focused prayerwalk–praying around the various schools and even colleges of a community

It’s not difficult to organize a prayerwalk. Here is a simple process for organizing such an event:

1. Pray: Ask God for a scriptural vision for your prayerwalk. I recently organized one around the schools near our church in Reno, Nevada, including the University of Nevada and the local community college. We chose Isaiah 2:3 as our inspiration: “He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” We liked how the verse addressed the concept of teachability–both for the school and for those who participated in the prayerwalk. I even ordered a banner with the scripture theme, so as to make our focus clear for the walk.

2. Define the purpose: Decide on the purpose, tone, and scope for your prayerwalk. The purpose could be as simple as “to draw women more closely together in prayer” if the event is a retreat.

3. Set up a committee: Enlist the help of others, who will take responsibility for publicity, mapping, opening and closing sessions, set-up and clean-up, written materials, and prayer.

4. Establish a date and place: Also set up a timeline for getting prep work done.

5. Map route(s): Use your car odometer to measure the distance for your prayerwalking route(s). Create maps for the walkers.

6. Create a program: Decide if you’ll need a written program and what kinds of refreshments, including water, you may want to offer. You’ll want an opening session for inspiration and information–perhaps some music and an emcee and/or speaker who will provide the focus and instruction about how to prayerwalk. A closing session is a great opportunity for people to celebrate their experiences praying and insights they received.

7. Promote: Depending on the scope of your prayerwalk, educate and recruit through posters, flyers, email, website, online social networking, and the media.

8. Pray some more: Recruit prayer groups and others to pray for your event, so that God is at the center of all your planning and the event itself.

9. Evaluate: Take notes and solicit feedback, so as to make your next prayerwalk even better!

Ultimately, your act of praying in response to whatever you see as you walk around your community allows you to put those concerns into God’s hands. Partnering with him and each other in prayer draws us more closely together and more deeply in love with God. Finding God on Prayerwalks is a meaningful exercise that reaps physical and spiritual benefits–on earth and beyond!

Enjoy this video on how NOT to prayerwalk.

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