Author Archives: Robin Shirreffs

Robin Shirreffs

About Robin Shirreffs

While her artistry comes from her God given gifting, she has studied under various instructors; Professional training includes painting with acrylic and oil under a Master Artisan Ji Ye of China, photography training under Cheri Hamilton, and Digital Painting training under Victoria Hutson.
16 Dec

Increase Your Faith, Love and Forgive!

Christmas time is meant to be a time when family and friends come together to celebrate the birth of Christ. However, many find themselves angry, depressed, lonely and weary. All are marks of the enemy.  I guess it should not surprise us as Christians that the enemy wants to raid us with the material things or thoughts of this world to take our eyes off the purpose of Christmas. However; when these emotions come we need to learn to stop them and prevent them from growing.

Anger is an emotion that leads to self destruction which can be thwarted.  Where does anger come from? It comes from an offense, a remark, a photograph, a memory. How do you rid yourself of it?  Repentance and forgiveness is the way to get rid of anger.  What if I forgive and the hurt is still there? Repent and forgive again.  What if I’ve forgotten the offense and weeks later it is brought back to my memory?  Repent and forgive again.  What if the other person doesn’t forgive me?  Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.  How does it go away for good? Stand on God’s Word, pray and forgive again.  The Word of God is clear on forgiveness.  It is not a maybe you should or won’t you try to….it is a command by the Father through His son.  Matthew 6:14-15  For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (NIV)

Anger unchecked may cause a bruise.  In the natural, a bruise may cause internal bleeding and is normally caused by blunt trauma.  You hit your arm against a shelf, you hit your head on the ground, or my favorite is you cut a corner too short and you run into a sofa or chair.  While we all have received a bruise at one time or the other in the natural, your spirit can also be bruised.  Each time you touch it a twinge of pain comes to the surface. Many people live with past hurts and unforgiveness in their heart which can cripple and bruise.  It can settle in so fast that the internal bleeding of your spirit man may bring you to a complete halt in your spiritual walk. 

Luke 17: 3-5 So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.  If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”  The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”  (NIV)

Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (NIV)

Christians should know and practice this foundational principle of forgiveness every day.  During this Christmas season, give the greatest gift of all… love and forgiveness.  Love is for the person but forgiveness is for you.  Jesus said tribulation will come.   An offense may come at any moment.  It might even sneak up on you.  The Word of God tells us to increase our faith!  As forgiveness becomes second nature to us, the gift of the Holy Spirit will become more powerful in our lives.  This gift includes love, peace, faithfulness, joy, goodness, gentleness, patience, self control and kindness.    It is His Word which will lead you to the answers you are seeking.  It is your praise which will give you the release from your depression.  It is your prayer which will give you the peace beyond your understanding.  It is giving and loving others which will remove your loneliness.  It is repentance, love and forgiveness which will remove the anger.  Increasing your faith requires stepping into areas you didn’t know were possible and forgiveness is God’s command that we love one another.  So let’s step into the realm of possibilities as we learn to walk in love and forgiveness.

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04 Dec

What Happens to the Fruit?

What if God told you to do something but you never saw the fruit of it?  Was it God? This happened over and over again in the Bible.  We see it throughout the Bible where great men of God were given assignments from God but did not see the fruits of their labor.  Today, pastors diligently seek God and sometimes pour their heart out in front of faceless congregations only to learn later that many did hear and are walking out the message today.  Men and women of God who walk silently behind the scenes who are faithful to plant seeds for God’s Kingdom may produce the greatest harvest.  The fruit of our labor is not measured in who you are. It is measured in your obedience.  The benefits are not always instantaneous but may be held in eternity for the moment in time God decides to release it.  

Think of all the prophets in the Old and New Testament who walked in obedience yet they were not alive to see the fruit of their labors. Abraham was called the Father of many Nations which is still growing with believers today.  We are still walking in his inheritance.  Moses led the people out of the wilderness but was not able to enjoy the fruits of His labor in the Promise land.   Ruth chose to stay with Naomi which we know today was God releasing her fruit… which was a part of the heritage of the coming Messiah.  Isaiah spoke of the coming Messiah. Isaiah never saw but had a knowing a Messiah would be born.  John the Baptist spent years in the wilderness proclaiming the Kingdom is at hand. He only saw a glimpse of the Christ upon baptism.  AND…John didn’t see all the miracles Jesus would later perform. 

Pastors who shepherd people day in an out may not always see the fruit of their labor.  He or she may prepare and give a message to what he/she thinks is a deaf congregation only to find out this message changed the world.  Billy Graham saw thousands come to the Lord but it is impossible to see or know all the fruits of this labor.  Reverend Martin Luther King gave his heartfelt sermon which lives on today…. “I have a dream”…and it is still being recited every year in his honor.   Many pastors are proclaiming and spreading seeds of God’s Kingdom in small and large churches who may never learn that hundreds were won for the Lord because one sermon touched their life.   

I have watched many people who are faithful cleaning churches, teaching children, praying for people or attending a parking lot  who work behind the scenes. They may never see the fruits of their labor, but God does.  I am 48 years old and sometimes look back on my life and think how simple it is.  I worked in the market place for over 30 years but now I am a caregiver to a precious saintly woman of God who is 82 years old and legally blind.  I am honored to serve her but I wonder at times how God is using me?  I don’t touch thousands or hundreds of people each day but I am planting seeds where I walk.  I am serving my mother-in-law during her last years of life.  My heart is to please the Lord  and to walk in obedience.  I may not see all the fruit of my labors but I pray God does.  

A harvest is not produced with one seed but many.  Some seeds will never make it because they were planted out of season and some because it was not watered.  Some seed will fall on rocky soil and not hear; however, some seeds I believe are held in the heavens for God to release in His time. So, I would have to say YES, God does send people to serve where they might never see the fruit of their labor on earth.  Let’s keep planting!

Jesus said, “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop–a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.”   Matthew 13:3-9 (NIV)

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25 Oct

Skeletons In Your Closet!

I am currently attending a women’s Bible Study where we are learning how Solomon built his temple – as God had instructed David and as David instructed Solomon.  One of the reasons David could not fulfill the building of the tabernacle was there was too much bloodshed in the camp. He had too many “skeletons in his closet” which could take away from the presence of God.   I am reminded of great men of God who for various reasons walked whole heartedly with the Lord and later turned to the skeletons in their closets.  I then wonder about my own skeletons in my closet.   We all have them but how do we view them? If people looked deep in my closet, what would they see?  Would they see someone who has arranged bones on a back shelf in attempt to hide them?  Would they see that I am keeping old bones alive?  Or would they see that I have taken these skeletons and laid them at the cross? 

 How many of us have past sins in our lives that we have not surrendered to the Lord?  Maybe it is a hidden sin we don’t wish to let go of and have never told a soul.  Sins don’t have to be deep dark scary things. Sins are anything that would prevent you from moving forward in your walk with God.  There was a time years ago I kept sins of my childhood hidden for years concealing them from friends, family and even myself.  I discovered they were dragging me deeper and deeper in my closet.  I had to come to the realization that these sins were covered under the blood of Jesus Christ when I gave my life to Him. 

Have you ever had a piece of clothing stuck in your closet where you forgot about it until it was time to clean your closet?  Some of these skeletons which you thought dead are sins that might live on a high shelf which are simply forgotten.  If we don’t renew our minds, these bones can creep back into our thought process building new offenses and walls. These old bones (sins) can be triggered by some sort of event or memory and suddenly you are brought back to that moment in time. 

My sister was telling me the other day she saw an old friend from our past in the hair salon. I hadn’t thought about this person in years. However; the moment she described this person to me there was a terrible memory from over 30 years ago that came back in a matter of seconds.  As a mature Christian, I am now prepared.  I immediately stopped my thought process from dragging out an old garment (sin) and prayed for this person.  The enemy had no power over this sin because I had placed it under the blood.  I learned later this person was now a Christian. Aren’t you glad Jesus is no respecter of persons? Romans 12:2 do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.    It is important to renew our minds each day by Meditating and Standing on the Word of God.

Nurturing a sin (i.e., unforgiveness, addictions, and offenses) is oftentimes more damaging than a hidden one we forgot all about.  If we hold onto a sin and play with it like a piece of clothing by trying it on and taking it off, you will soon find this sin becomes a part of you and it is more difficult to rid yourself of it.  The key to removing your skeletons sometimes require deliverance.  It is not like the movies some might think of on television but quite the opposite.  Deliverance is very much like a spiritual check-up.  We all need one.  This check-up could include a series of questions… much like a doctor’s appointment.  The answers could be as quick as a yes or no or it could lead to a sin which you have held onto or forgotten all about which needs to be called out and removed.  Jesus gives believers instructions in His Word.  He says, “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 18:18.  It is vital that once you have recognized the issue, you ask God to forgive you and don’t re-supply your closet.  It is important to surrender this and allow the Lord to deliver you from this sin.  Repentance and obedience is the best piece of clothing to wear when replenishing your wardrobe.  If this skeleton tries to raise its head after you have been delivered.  You repeat out loud, “Thank you God for delivering me from _______.”  Yes, it is that simple. 

We all have skeletons in our closets… areas of our lives we have not surrendered; secrets we have hidden from others or ourselves; events we have chosen to forget and not forgive; sins we have played with in the dark.  Jesus also warned us against looking down on others who have “Skeletons” in their Closet.  God knew we would all fall short of His glory, so He sent his Son Jesus Christ who is our advocate to the Father.  He gave his Holy Word to give us instructions on how these skeletons must be removed.  Jesus saw our skeletons before we confessed them but He didn’t pick them up. He became a living sacrifice so He could cast these skeletons into the pits of hell.  It is not our job to go back into those pits to resurrect them but to thank God for delivering you from the pit.

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12 Oct

A Tapestry Created By God

As a child, my mother used to always say, “Robin, there will always be someone taller than you, smaller than you, fatter than you, skinnier than you, smarter than you, and less fortunate than you.  You need to be happy with the way God created you.”  I have learned to see the gifts God has deposited inside of me are all tightly fit to a bigger picture.  God has created a tapestry of people weaving in and out of our lives bringing their insights of His design through varied places, gifting and callings.

 God places each one of us all around the world, in various skills and talents to minister to the hurting, the poor and the lost.  We are not placed here randomly but by design; we are not placed as a last resort in God’s mind; we are not placed in a place to punish us from past sins.  No a thousand times no!  God placed each one of us in a specific place and time for such a time as this.  We all have a mission and that is to demonstrate and proclaim that the Kingdom of God is at hand!  The Glory of God will fill the earth, and we are the threads which are joined and knitted together in Christ!  God can speak to someone in India or Africa who cries out to Him just as God can speak to you or me in the United States.  The places are quite different but it is the same God.  Culturally we see through different eyes, socially we are taught by different backgrounds, environmentally we learn with different resources, circumstantially we grow by different means but if we are united in Christ, the results are all the same. 

 God generously endowed us with various gifts which is quite different than a calling.  The Holy Spirit speaks of fruits of the spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:23).  After the ascension of Christ, Jesus gave gifts for some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists and some pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ., that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love (NKJ Eph. 4:11-16) .  Just as threads are woven in and out to form a beautiful tapestry so also are the gifts within each person joined and knitted together for the work of the Lord.  A baker, farmer, pastor, mechanic, artisan, surgeon, pilot, teacher, administrator, janitor and endless others are gifted in various ways, and God uses them all to accomplish His purpose in the earth.  While each gift is different it produces the same result – a thread joined and knitted together to create a demonstration of God’s glory.

 When one is called it could be to various areas such as the church, the marketplace, the nations, or the home.    While many think that a calling to the church is a glamorous role, it is far from it.  I will never forget when Steve was called into the ministry, I wept not for the position but for the responsibility that God would hold us to.  It was frightening.  For a man or women to be called to ministry is to surrender their lives completely and serve the people. Not for the people to surrender and serve them.   The marketplace is another area of calling.  It is equally as important to see believers in the marketplace to bring Godly counsel and influence to draw those to the Christ.  To be called into the marketplace is as a strong thread going into places that are far different than the church.  The marketplace does not always operate under God’s laws but those who are called into it are to be a shining light which illuminates Godly principles.  The marketplace might give you tools to do your job but the Holy Spirit provides the gifts, wisdom and power to do it the right way.  Some are called to the nations as missionaries, apostles or evangelists.  A call to the nations is like a strong thread knitted and joined as an extension of Christ to the world.  The call to the nations will include various designs of culture, foods and doctrines which are quite different to what some people are accustom to.  You do not walk into a country without first understanding people’s customs or laws, which side of the road to drive on, what foods they eat, or beliefs you may face.  It is a call, not a vacation or survivor experience.  To be called to the home does not mean you are limited to the four walls you reside in.  It is a thread with great purpose to your family, neighbors, homeless, jobless, or elderly.  All callings while extremely different are threads which make up a tapestry of God’s specific design.

 God’s tapestry may come with different threads of life depending on your place, gifting or calling but the end result is to demonstrate and proclaim the glory of God to the world.  I am thankful for my mother who reminded me we are all different but Jesus loves us all the same.  It is in this intricate design woven with various colors of people, various cultures, various occupations, various talents and gifts which create a beautiful tapestry called God’s creation.

 

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06 Oct

Art With A Purpose!

 As an artist, I find myself more and more wanting to photograph or paint with a purpose. It’s about seeing a cloud in the sky and wondering why God placed it there; capturing a instant in time with your family to document your heritage;  recapturing your childhood home or favorite place in time to remind you of the precious moments shared; walking into a smile that makes you laugh when you see it; zooming in on a flower in wonder of the bee that is recreating life for the coming year; watching the leaves fall to the ground and marveling at their color; observing life as I watch people all around me.  Each day I am reminded of God’s presence in my art. 

I’m inspired from a combination of hearing, seeing and writing.  I listen as the waters crash over the rocks, the wind you cannot see blows in the air, the thunder roars as the rain penetrates the ground to refresh God’s creation.  I look in amazement at flowers that grow each year from the seeds left behind from the year before.  I look at leaves fall to the ground knowing that it is a circle of life which will bring new growth back again. I see color all around me and wonder if God has a favorite.  I watch birds fly from tree to tree wondering where they lay their head and am always reminded of God’s love for the sparrow.  I am always looking up at the marvel of the sun, clouds, moon and stars. I am continually fascinated by God’s vast universe.  I like to look at people’s faces to see how different we are and yet remember how much God loves us all the same.   I enjoy writing or journaling my thoughts.  It is an exercise I encourage everyone to try.  It is a personal experience you can share or keep private.  You can make it personal to someone special or bring it to a specific group.  It can even bring restoration to your soul, and perhaps life to others.

As a photographer, I usually carry my camera everywhere I go.  I have found that many opportunities of priceless shots are missed if I forget to bring my camera.   One such evening was last week on the way to church, over Lake Superior was the most magnificent rainbow we had ever seen coming right out of the Lake – I missed it.  I have also learned to dance when I’m taking a picture. Really! Dance to the left, dance to the right and sometimes focus in real tight.  You never know what picture is right behind you or up close if you don’t move around.

Recently, I was at an art festival where a man was given the ability to draw and I asked him this question.  “Is this a God given talent or did you receive training from a school?”  His quick response was “Oh, this is “My talent.”  I quickly reminded him, “No sir, it is your God given talent”.  He obviously was not a Christian but was given this incredible gift by God to recreate animals in the wild with a simple ball point pen.  Unfortunately, he missed the purpose – His purpose.  What more could this man be if he gave his talent to God? 

We are all gifted and created for purpose.  We all have something that inspires us.  I know one of my gifts is to be an Artisan for Christ.  My prayer is that God continues to give His wisdom and understanding on how to demonstrate this for His Glory.

 

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01 Oct

A Loss of a Child

As a caregiver, my husband and I have the task of organizing and archiving pictures, taxes, certificates, and records of our family history.  While sorting, Steve came across a letter written over 50 years ago from a great uncle (a very godly man) to his mother after the loss of her newborn son.  As we read it, it touched my spirit so much I asked permission to share it with you.  I believe it is written for someone who has experienced the loss of a child or loved one. 

My dearest Louise and Johnny:

We have just received the news of your dreadful loss.  We had enjoyed the feeling that you and your little boy were both doing just fine, and while he was a little under weight that would not be cause for concern, and we all rejoiced in your accomplishment.  Our hearts are greatly saddened as we are informed that this rejoicing must be so short lived.

While his little hands might never have reached for yours, his heart will always be in yours, and while he could stay here for such a short while, he will be there when you make your homeward trip; you will find him among the Master’s Jewels.  In your Christian heart and conscience you will ever share the sure knowledge that there are pictures in a mother’s heart that are before her even though none other ever becomes conscious of her visions.  You will hold this picture of a little boy who came to you for a brief few hours and then returned to the home from which he had come, but in your heart you will ever call him…”mine”…wherever he be now; but this is your assurance that where he is, you may go one of these days, and the joys of your companionship will be for.. not a short moment, but for always, in the eternities of the Father God.

Don’t grieve unduly, the Christian’s heart is as tender as anyone, and usually much more so, but the Christian’s experience is always with purpose, and your Savior knows your grief, and as the Sufferer-supreme of all ages, He will give you of His peace and comfort, and you will be strengthened and sustained; thank Him for your little son, and ask Him to keep him for you until you have finished a few things and then you will come too.  Life is so short even when we have much of it, and when heaven is in the contemplation, things of earth lose their glamour.

You have your little girl, and Johnny, and so much to live for and to give your best effort to, so our farewells are never pleasant, but until our work is done, and our purpose accomplished here, we know that our Lord will take care of that which we have committed to Him until that day when the redeemed loved ones will all be together again.  May the Christ of God bless you and keep you, and sustain you in all your ways; and all your experiences draw you closer to His arms.  To a wonderful girl and a devoted mother, may we assure you again of our sincere love and appreciation.   Sincerely, Aunt Katie S and Uncle G. 

This little boy was my husband’s older brother Jeff.  He lived for only a couple of days.  We have spoken of Jeff often and while we are sad of the brief life he spent on earth, and have no easy answers as to why his life was so short, our family trusts the love and mercy of God in this and all situations.

Steve’s grandparents faithfully prayed over their daughter for her grief to lift.  During this time, Steve’s grandfather stepped in and spoke into this situation.  Hand in hand, with eyes filled with tears, they agreed in prayer for God to give their daughter another son with a promise that they would dedicate his life to Him.  If it weren’t for the passing of Jeff, there would be no Steve, no wife named Robin, no grandchildren named Hannah or Joshua.  More importantly, the prayers spoken over Steve by his parents and grandparents, before he was even born, continue to live on today.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.  10 “ For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.  Isaiah 55:8-11 – NKJV

 

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26 Sep

Do you see yourself as a gift?

Do you reflect on your achievements or on your failures?  Do you count your blessings or your ailments?  Do you see children as a gift or extra noise?  Do you leave the house in wonder of what the day will bring or do you wonder if you’ll make it through the day? Do you explore new roads or follow the same old path?  Do you look up into the sky in amazement or look down and see the pavement?  Do you take time to smell the flowers or do the flowers bloom and fall?  Do you embrace new adventures or prevent them from happening?  Do you see the wrinkles on your face as laughter or stress?  Do you live life to its fullest or live to be full?  Do you love with compassion or obligation? Do you forgive unconditionally or reserve the right to judge?  Do you sing out loud or whine out loud?  Do you take time to thank people for their kindness or are you inpatient?  Do you draw strength from God or yourself?  Do you notice the older you get there is more to learn? 

Your choices make up who you are – embrace this day to the fullest and always remember, “God spoke your name before the foundations of the world, that you should be holy and without blame before Him in Love – Ephesians 1:4 I’m so glad He made you! 

 

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15 Sep

Grace in the Waiting

I have been a caregiver to my mother-in-law a little over ten months now.  I no longer work in the World’s market place but I have been given the opportunity to serve a woman who has served God her whole life.  My day to day routines have changed dramatically and I sometimes find myself wondering if I am doing enough.  I believe God is teaching me to see His grace in the waiting.  I must confess I’m not a good one to be still, in fact, I always want to help God out when He is telling me to rest in him. It seems that everywhere I turn a song, a blog or my husband is speaking about how God gives grace in the waiting.  I have learned that grace is active even in the midst of a waiting period.  There are many stories of women in the Bible who learned to see the grace in the waiting but were all actively serving God. 

The story of Jesus visiting Mary and Martha is an example of one who knew how to rest at the feet of Jesus and one who felt she needed to be doing something.  While Mary understood the opportunity she was given to sit at the feet of Jesus, Martha felt she had to be busy.  She was a doer and looked for ways to keep herself occupied even when Jesus himself was in her house.  Can you imagine Jesus coming to your house?  What would you do?  Put on a pot of coffee? Or invite him in and hear what he had to say?  Martha loved the Lord with all her heart, but her busyness of doing “good” still left her troubled.  The doing “good” did not bring her the fulfillment she had hoped for.  I find myself a little like Martha wanting to “do” something for God – like He needs my help. Ha! Instead Jesus simply wanted Martha to rest in His presence, like Mary.

Esther was a great queen, a young Jewish woman, who walked out her grace in waiting in honor of her cousin Mordecai and her family.  She kept her nationality from her husband until such a time appointed for the King to have ears to hear.  Her bravery and grace to wait for a God appointed time to reveal her true identity saved a nation.  God prepares his people to listen, be silent and to speak for divine appointed times.  Premature actions may cause destruction to your life or death to someone around you or miss a much larger opportunity in God.

Mary, mother of Jesus, is the ultimate example of grace in the waiting.  When the angel came to Mary as a young girl yet to be married, she was told she was with child.  God graced her with a son but she was told to ponder, to wait before this news of her son could be told.  She was birthing a Messiah and she was told to wait! How many of us could keep this one a secret?  It was God’s grace upon Mary and her maturity to listen and wait for such a time. 

My favorite story of grace in the waiting is the story of Ruth. Many of us know the story, after being married for ten years her husband was killed in battle.  It was after this time her mother-in-law, Naomi, released her from her responsibilities as a daughter-in-law to return to her mother.  Ruth chose to stay with Naomi.  The Word is not clear of her relationship with her mother but it is clear that Ruth’s devotion and love to Naomi was planted in grace.  Ruth’s words to her mother-in-law: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God will be my God.  Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried.  The Lord do so to me, and more also.  If anything but death parts you and me.” (Ruth 1:16,17 NKJ). It was her grace, her place, to follow Naomi.  I’m sure it was not that exciting gleaning in the fields in hopes of some wheat.  But it was her love for her mother-in-law and her devotion to God which kept her faithful.  During her time of waiting and resting in God’s grace she met her husband Boaz.  Ruth is later known as the great-grandmother to David and an ancestor to Jesus. 

As a caregiver, I am learning that I must see the grace in the waiting.  I must not become Martha who forgets to take this opportunity to rest and sit at the feet of Jesus.  I have been given an opportunity to care for a saintly woman of God during her last years on earth and I am given the opportunity to develop my gift in writing, photography and art.  I must learn not to look back to what was and see where God is bringing me.  I must recognize, as Esther, speaking to soon or prematurely may bring destruction to the plans of God.  I must become more like Mary and ponder things in my heart in prayer and thanksgiving.  I long to be like Ruth who loved her mother-in-law. She understood the importance of family and grace in the waiting.

 

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06 Sep

I Am Still Standing

I took a walk with a dear friend through the woods close by my home one day where we saw what was left of a tree.  You could say it was an old rotten stump which took the space for other new trees to grow. Or you could say that it is a tree still serving its purpose.  It provides shelter for a small animal and allows vines to rest on its footing. It provides beauty to those who walk by, and tells a story in the weathered lines of the very short trunk.  It still has purpose.  Sometimes, I’m like this tree that was once a young seedling… possibly a tall oak tree but now a little weathered from life and small in stature. My roots run deep and I am still standing. 

 I wonder at times how long it must take to see the prophetic words spoken come to pass.  Do I take up space in the forest only for new trees to grow up over me or does God continue to give me purpose in waiting?  I do not want to miss the joy in the journey, the awe struck wonder in the waiting or the blessing in the beauty of who God created me to be.  I believe we are eternal creatures waiting for moments in time to share God’s glory with those who will take time to see and hear just like this tree I saw while walking along the way.

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03 Sep

Most Assuredly

Most Assuredly – Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.  Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming and now is when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. John 5:24, 25 

Jesus spoke with confidence and authority (assuredly) that if I, Robin, will hear His Word and Believe.  This is a two-fold command.  I must first hear and secondly I must believe.  I, Robin, will not come into judgment. 

Jesus is also saying in confidence and authority (assuredly) that I, Robin, must understand the hour is coming and now is the time the dead (unbelievers) will hear.  Not tomorrow but now. 

Jesus, teach me to speak your Word in confidence and authority to draw all men and women to You.

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