I Need Help

So, I was on my way to Walmart yesterday to get dog food.

And I was going over my memory verses.

I’m working on 1 John 3:16-17 right now.

 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?”

As I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed a man standing there with a sign —


I went into Walmart, picked up the dog food, and then, while standing in line at the checkout, over the loudspeaker in the store I heard, “Dinah!  Is the love of God in you?”

Well, maybe it was whispered in my heart.  Loud.

I paid $17.99 for the dog food and put it in the car.

I stopped at KFC to pick up a gift card, but by the time I drove out, he was gone.

I don’t know.  Maybe it was a scam.  Maybe the guy was making a good living standing on the corner.  Maybe he would have traded the free chicken dinner for a bottle of Scotch.  Maybe.

But I do know there are lots of times I need help.

And I’m just trying to get home, too.

And the only way I know if the love of God is really in me…

the only way I know if all those scripture memory verses I can spout off have made it from my head to my heart…

is if I lay down a little bit of my time, my money, my life.

This is how we know what love is.

Shampoo Bottle Prayer

As I was standing in my shower trying to memorize my laminated Bible verses (see Showers of Blessing, June 26th) I discovered a wonderful prayer on the back of my shampoo bottle. It was right there on my bottle of Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo. Here’s what it said:

Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo deep cleans and clarifies hair – for less than the more expensive brands. Penetrating lather completely removes the dulling build-up of hair sprays, mousses, gels, and over-conditioning, leaving hair refreshed and full of body. Deep cleaners eliminate the residue that can make hair dull and lifeless. Ph balanced formula is gentle enough for everyday use.

Here’s my version: Dear Lord, I ask You to daily deep-clean my heart and clarify Your purpose for me this day. Penetrate completely into my inmost parts and remove the dulling build-up of sinful thoughts and desires. Leave me refreshed and full of joy. Let Your Holy Spirit clean deep and eliminate the residue of this world that makes me dull and lifeless. Thank You for Your gentleness as You deal with me daily. Keep me balanced. Amen.

Right there on my shampoo bottle. Who knew? I wonder if there are other labels out there that contain spiritual truths. It might be fun to look. She who has eyes to see, let her see.


Showers of Blessings

My son (daughter), pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart. Proverbs 4:20-21

So, we can pretty much agree that keeping the Word in our hearts means putting those words to memory, right? But I’m realizing my memory isn’t what it used to be. There was a day when I was able to memorize pages of notes the night before a test, using all manner of tips and tricks to stuff the data into my brain. I would walk into the classroom the next day, spew out every bit of information on the exam, walk out the classroom and forget everything. I got a lot of A’s that way, but didn’t retain any bit of real knowledge.

I’ve tried lots of techniques for scripture memory as well, but heard a good one recently that’s worth a try. Type up a verse or short passage, laminate it (or put it in a ziploc bag), and hang it up in the shower. That’s at least five minutes of every day that won’t be  interrupted with a phone call, media and social network bombardment, or a kid looking for a pair of socks. It would actually be refreshing to have something else to think about in the shower other than the soap scum that needs scrubbing or the waistline that needs slimming.

I admit that there would be a strong temptation to post a few verses in the shower stall aimed directly at the heart of other family members. Something like, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord,” or “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” But I am gently reminded that scripture is to be used to fight against the enemy of our soul, not the people we love and live with.

Are you willing to soak up the Living Water while soaping it up in the shower? What verse will you be memorizing?

“Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7