[psalm121_news] Washing It All Away

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From: I Lift My Eyes <admin4ilme@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2010 22:59:00 -0600

As a child growing up in the sixties and seventies, I was usually surrounded by a blue haze of smoke at most social gatherings where adults were present.  Both my parents were heavy smokers and the dangers of second hand smoke  were not yet discovered. I would jockey for the window seat on long car trips so I could crack the window open and gulp in the relatively clean if not dusty air of country roads, even in the most frigid of traveling conditions.  A combination of motion sickness and a yet-to-be diagnosed allergy to cigarettes made for a volatile cocktail and my brothers and sister were only too happy to ensure I had the coveted seat.

It was not until I moved away from home and lived with non-smokers, that I discovered the insidious nature of cigarette smoke.   Every visit home or every trip into a smoking environment was an assault on my senses. The smoke would  cling to my hair, my clothing, my skin and even my breath. On longer visits home, I would attempt to keep my suitcases shut tight but the smoke would wind its way into through the fabric. 

On one visit home, one of the neighbourhood mothers who knew me well, noticed my watery eyes and husky voice. She had been a non-smoker for decades and understood my plight. As we chatted on the back porch, she shared a tip.  She didn't allow her own aversion to cigarette smoke to curb her interaction with the world around her.  However, as soon as she returned home, she would strip down, have a hot, steamy shower, wash her hair, then run her clothes through  laundry. Clothes that could not be laundered would be hung in a unused yet airy room in her basement. I was relieved to hear that I was not the only one who went to such extremes to rid themselves of the residue.

As Christians, we are called to go out into the world around us. We cannot practice our faith in the confines of a plastic bubble of self-preservation and we cannot isolate ourselves in order to keep ourselves uncontaminated from the outside world.  In order to be God's hands and feet upon this earth, we are required to get dirty at times.  God will lead us to those he loves and those he wishes to touch. Sometimes those he loves are mired down in the muck and stench of spiritual defilement and painful consequences of their own poor life choices and the abuses done against them. While we carry his cleansing waters and the fresh wind of his spirit within us, we often carry the residue of where we walked back with us at the end of the day. 

However, once our work is done, God calls us to rest and to be refreshed.  In the same way Jesus washed away the dirt and grime that clung to his disciples' feet after a long day of doing his work, so Jesus invites us to allow him to wash over us at the end of our day.  It is through quiet communion with him, in prayer and in bible reading, in active worship and in silence that we find that deep cleansing and refreshment. 

God promises:
"I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint." Jer 31:25 (NIV)

God invites:
The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught.  Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.  So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. Mk 6:30-31 (NLT)

Until next week,

© 2010 Katherine Walden

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				DCQ Archive
				August 4 - 10, 2010

August 4, 2010

Our vessels are indeed small, and can contain little. His was large and could contain much. But the kind, or quality of that peace which fills them is the same. He has made peace by the blood of His cross. Indeed, He is our peace. And as soon as we come to know this and take Him as our peace, we are made partakers not merely of peace, but of that which He here calls, "My peace!"

Horatius Bonar
August 5, 2010

Resentment and gratitude cannot coexist, since resentment blocks the perception and experience of life as a gift. My resentment tells me that I don't receive what I deserve. It always manifests itself in envy.

Henri J. M. Nouwen
Nouwen Centre 
August 6, 2010

To wait for someone else, or to expect someone else to make my life richer, or fuller, or more satisfying, puts me in a constant state of suspension.

Kathleen T Andrus
August 7, 2010

When I am sore beset, I seek some quiet place, Some lonely room or barren windswept  hill, And there in silence wait apart untilI see again the smile upon God's face; Until His presence floods me like the dawn, And I can hear His whispered, Peace, be still, And know the strength to do His will.I turn to take my load and find it gone.

Antoinette Goetschius
August 8, 2010

If God is everywhere, that means that we are at all times in the situation, the setting, that makes prayer possible. For we are at all times in the presence of the One whom we desire to touch, to reach, in prayer. We don't have to go looking for God, as if God were somehow missing from our lives.

William H. Shannon
August 9, 2010

Intercessory prayer is the sweetest prayer God ever hears.... The more your prayer is like Christ's, the sweeter it will be.... Intercessory prayer exceedingly prevails. What wonders it has wrought! It has stopped plagues,...healed diseases,...raised the dead.... There is nothing that intercessory prayer cannot do. Believer, you have a mighty engine in your hand - use it well, use it constantly, use it now with faith, and you shall surely prevail.... Never give up anyone for spiritually dead until they are dead naturally...

Charles Haddon Spurgeon
The Spurgeon Archive
August 10, 2010

If in fellowship of service I seek to attach a friend to myself, so that others are caused to feel unwanted; if my friendships do not draw others deeper in, but are ungenerous (i.e., to myself, for myself), then I know nothing of Calvary love.

Amy Carmichael
Biography And Bibliography 

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