Indian Chicken Curry

James holding a plate of Pork Katsudon

My son, James, loves to cook. This past school year he was in a cooking club and made many wonderful meals for us such as Coq Au Vin, Chicken Alfredo, Potato Soup, Lasagna, Southern style Spaghetti sauce and many other delicious eats.

Last night, James made us Indian Chicken Curry and it was delicious.

You can find the recipe at https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/46822/indian-chicken-curry-ii/

It’s an easy meal to make. Serve it with rice. Enjoy!!!

Of Bracelets and Rocks

Seeing God In The Ordinary – Part 6

Bracelets like the ones the woman is selling are made in local villages from the grasses growing. To me, these are visual reminders to be grateful for what I have. There is always good to be seen no matter what the situation is being faced.

For many Filipinos daily life of meeting basic needs is hard, but the resiliency of Filipinos is humbling.

There really is nothing to complain about.

And God’s Word tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Developing this attitude is part of seeking and setting our minds on things above (Colossians 3:1-2). Colossians 3 also tells us to be thankful (3:15).

I bought these bracelets from a woman who makes them from the long grasses around the province area where she lives. She sells them for 10 pesos each (around 20 cents US) to earn enough for feeding her family. As I spoke with her, Josh Groban’s song, Thankful, filled my head:

Somedays, we forget to look around us,
Somedays, we can’t see the joy that surrounds us,
So caught up inside ourselves,
We take when we should give,
So for tonight we pray for, What we know can be,
And on this day we hope for, What we still can’t see,
It’s up to us, to be the change, And even though we all can still do more,
There’s so much to be thankful for.
Look beyond ourselves,
There’s so much sorrow,
It’s way to late to say, I’ll cry tomorrow
Each of us must find our truth,
It’s so long overdue,
So for tonight we pray for, What we know can be,
And everyday, we hope for, What we still can’t see,
It’s up to us, to be the change, And even though we all can still do more,
There’s so much to be thankful for.
Even with our differences, There is a place we are all connected,
Each of us can find each others light,
So for tonight, we pray for What we know can be,
And on this day, we hope for, What we still can’t see,
It’s up to us, to be the change, And even though this world needs so much more
There’s so much to be thankful for.

(To listen to him sing this song go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TEqgU4LpnA)

ROCKS

Suffering is part of life and though our journeys through life may feel scattered, God takes the pieces and makes something beautiful out of them for His glory and for our good.

I may have mentioned in previous blogs that I was sexually abused as a kid. That left my life feeling messy and in scattered pieces. God, in His faithfulness has walked me on many healing journeys regarding this. While in the Philippines I went through an intense healing journey and one day when I was out walking I found the rock pictured above. When I first saw it on the ground I thought it looked really neat but I walked on by it. Then I felt like God told me to go back and get it, so I did. When I picked it up this thought struck me, “just like this rock has many pieces in it, my life has many pieces too but God binds those pieces together and makes something beautiful out of all the hurt, pain, anguish, and sadness.” Bill Gaither’s song, Something Beautiful, went through my head, “Something beautiful, something good; All my confusion He understood; All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife; But he made something beautiful of my life”

(Listen to the song at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMQqSarDf8Y)

Ecclesiastes 3 says For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal;

The day after Jerard’s funeral and burial in 2012, his twin brother, James and I walked to the cemetery to visit the grave site. James found a heart shaped rock and he was so excited to put it on his brother’s grave to let Jerard know he loved and missed him. James asked just about every day for the first six weeks after his twin died to go visit his brother. And always he’d pick up the heart rock from his brother’s grave and say something about loving and missing his brother.

Sadly, one day we went and the cemetery workers had cleared all the stones away from all the graves, including the heart shaped rock. James was almost disconsolate about this. He and I prayed that we would find another heart shaped rock to take the place of the one that had been taken away. And my son, at the age of 4 1/2 years old learned a big lesson about the faithfulness and goodness of God because later that day James came running up to me with a rock in his hand; “Look, Mom! Another heart shaped rock for Jerard!” We said a prayer of thanks to God for His goodness and faithfulness.

The rock pictured above has been kept in our house next to a picture of Jerard so we always have it.

Both rocks remind me of so many verses in the Bible about God being our solid Rock – 1 Samuel 2:2 says, “There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.”

Psalm 18:2 states, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Read all of Psalm 18 – there are many references to God our solid rock).

Jesus taught us in the parable of the houses, one built on sand, one on rock, that only by building our life on the Rock, Him, do we stand firm – Matthew 7:24-25 Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

“On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand” is one of my favorite hymns because, as the chorus says, On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. No matter what we are facing God’s Word is our solid foundation to build our lives upon.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GswGE6rQhmE)

Psalm 71:1-3

In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame!
2In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
incline your ear to me, and save me!
3Be to me a rock of refuge,
to which I may continually come;
you have given the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.

Set Your Mind

Yesterday’s post encouraged you to meditate on Colossians 3.

There is a decision to be made in living the Christian life – a decision to “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (3:2); a decision to “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (3:5)

This principle of making a firm decision is a step in putting to death the earthly in you (Colossians 3:5), a firm decision of putting off the old man (Ephesians 4:22).

But a once-made decision is not the end of it.

Then there is the carrying out of the decision as best as able in the day to day. We will slip and fall but we get back up (Proverbs 24:16) and keep working out our salvation in Him (Philippians 2:12).

I have gleaned many lessons about the Christian life through the writings of Lilias Trotter and her book Parables Of The Cross. (I highly recommend this book – it’s available free from https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/22189 or for purchase through Amazon and other book vendors.)

She draws many correlations of how Christians grow through the natural world of plant life:

The first hour that the sap begins to withdraw, and the leaf-stalk begins to silt up, the leafs fate is sealed: there is never a moment’s reversal of the decision. Each day that follows is a steady carrying out of the plant’s purpose: “this old leaf shall die, and the new leaf shall live.”

So with your soul. Come to the decision once for all: “every known sin shall go-if there is a deliverance to be had, I will have it.”

Put the Cross of Christ, in its mysterious delivering power, irrevocably between you and sinning, and hold on there. That is your part, and you must do it.

There is no further progress possible to you, till you make up your mind to part company with every sin in which you know you are indulging-every sin of thought, word, or deed, every link with the world, the flesh, or the devil, everything on which the shadow of a question falls, as God’s light shines in: to part company, not by a series of gradual struggles, but by an honest act of renouncing, maintained by faith and obedience.

And as you make the decision up to your present knowledge, you must determine that this is henceforth your attitude towards all that is “not of the Father,” as His growing light shall reveal it.

I encourage you this week to continue meditating on Colossians 3 and asking God to help you grow in His wisdom and grace. Little by little, line upon line, in the journey of life growth happens. (Isaiah 28:10 For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.” )

Put On Gratitude

Father, I acknowledge that I often approach life with a deficiency rather than a sufficiency point of view. I realize that when I fail to acknowledge Your many tender mercies, I lose my joy and contentment and slip into ingratitude. Help me to see that when I grumble and murmur, it is not ultimately about my circumstances, but about You and Your provision. Teach me that gratitude must not be left only to spontaneous moments, but must be chosen every day. May I review Your many gifts and blessings in my life, including those I have too long taken for granted. Teach me that gratitude relates to trust and obedience, for I cannot trust You when I am murmuring and grumbling about my life and circumstances. I choose this day to thank You for Your innumerable kindnesses to me, because I have done nothing to deserve them.

(from Ken Boa’s Daily Growth 8-7-21 https://kenboa.org/daily-growth/)

Colossians 3 tells us to set our minds on things above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Like the prayer above, Colossians 3 goes on to admonish us to put to death the earthly things in our lives. This is not an easy process, it is a growth journey made from daily, moment by moment decisions not to grumble, not to complain, to put on gratitude, to remember God’s mercies and graces in our daily lives.

I encourage you to take a few moments today to read and reflect on Colossians 3:1-17:

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Of Cell Phones and Malongs

Seeing God In The Ordinary – Part 5

Seeing God In Cell Phones and Malongs

Something I’m rather sure each of us has on our person at almost all times is a cell phone. I’d never really used a cell phone much until we moved to the Philippines, which is known as the texting capital of the world.

In the Philippines, people text rather than call because it is less expensive to do so.

Many mission organizations required (and I’m sure still do) that their missionaries had a cell phone with them at all times in case of emergencies.

It really is the best way to get hold of people.

So what spiritual significance does this cell phone have for me, for us?

A cell phone/smart phone can be a visual reminder to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17).

Martin Luther stated that prayer is the lifeblood of the Christian. It is. Continual conversation with God. Prayer is not some ritual, formulated order of words but a daily, moment by moment conversing with God about everything, every moment.

I highly recommend reading, A Praying Life, by Paul E. Miller. Developing a praying life is a life-long journey. Prayer really is interconnected with every part of our lives.

I highly recommend reading this book!!

As Paul Miller states in his book, …a praying life isn’t something you accomplish in a year. It is a journey of a lifetime. The same is true of learning how to love your spouse or a good friend. You never stop learning this side of heaven. There is far too much depth in people to be able to capture love easily. Likewise, there is far too much depth in God to capture prayer easily.

It is a daily choice to remember and meditate on the fact that “the Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:5-7)

A praying life actively chooses to focus on God and His way, to set my mind on whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable. If there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, I will think about these things (Philippians 4:8). Living thankfully is a mindset. Choosing His way, to give thanks in all things (1 Thess. 5:18); even in the hard times, choosing to see the graces. This is the treasure of joy in the darkness (Isaiah 45:3).

God is always listening. There’s no fear of not getting through due to cell phone tower connection issues. He tells us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). He longs for relationship with His people. He rejoices over us with gladness, quiets us with His love (Zephaniah 3:17).

So next time you use your phone, remember to pray.

What’s a malong you ask?

I’ll let Wikepedia explain : The malong is a traditional Filipino rectangular or tube-like wraparound skirt bearing a variety of geometric or okir designs. The malong is traditionally used as a garment by both men and women of the numerous ethnic groups in the mainland Mindanao and parts of the Sulu Archipelago. They are wrapped around at waist or chest-height and secured by tucked ends, with belts of braided material or other pieces of cloth, or are knotted over one shoulder. They were traditionally hand-woven, with the patterns usually distinctive to a particular ethnic group. However, modern malong are usually machine-made or even imported, with patterns that mimic the traditional local designs.

The malong can function as a skirt for both men and women, a turban, Niqab, Hijab, a dress, a blanket, a sunshade, a bedsheet, a “dressing room”, a hammock, a prayer mat, and other purposes. A newborn is wrapped in a malong, and as he grows this piece of cloth becomes a part of his daily life. When he dies, he is once again wrapped in a malong. Among traditional tribal peoples, the malong is used in everyday life. Even in areas where people wear Western-style clothing during the day, the malong is commonly used as sleepwear. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malong)

In short, a malong is a covering in many ways.

Psalm 5 reminds us that God is our covering. He spreads His protection over us, He covers us with His favor as a shield. There are Eight Redemptive Names of God. He is our:

  • Jehovah-Jireh – which means “The Lord our provider” – (Gen. 22:14).
  • Jehovah-Nissi – “Our banner, a banner of love and protection” – (Ex. 17:15).
  • Jehovah-Shalom – “Our perfect peace” – (Judges 6:24).
  • Jehovah-Tsid-Kenu – “The Lord is our righteousness” – (Jeremiah 23:6 and 33:16).
  • Jehovah-Shammah – “The One Who is with us everywhere for He is Omnipresent” – (see Ezekiel 48:35, Isaiah 60:19-20 and Revelation 21:3).
  • Jehovah-Sabaoth – “The Lord of Hosts, our Protector.” (Psalm 46:7).
  • Jehovah-Raah – “Our Shepherd Who tenderly leads us, loves us and will keep us safe.” (see Psalm 23).
  • Jehovah-Rapha – “I am the Lord Your Physician or I am the Lord Your Healer” – this name especially was a Name God prophetically spoke about Himself, not one that someone gave Him. Exodus 15:26.

Source: Holman Bible Dictionary and the book All the Divine Names And Titles In The Bible by Herbert Lockyer.

Malongs are not used much in the United States, but next time you cover yourself with your bedsheet or put clothing on your body remember that you are always in His care.

Psalm 91:4 He will cover you with his pinions,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

Of Candles, Moth Balls, and Soap

Seeing God In The Ordinary – Part 4

Been feeling a bit blocked in my writing and weary in body and soul from working

First off let me apologize for the length of silence on my blog. I started back to work and time and energy have been lacking for working on writing.

But

I have not forgotten the series I started on finding God in the ordinary….so here is part four….

Electrical power was not always a consistent thing in the Philippines.

Often times we’d lose power during storms. And sometimes it seemed to us it went out just because.

Studying by candlelight and flashlight in the Philippines

In the kitchen of our rental home in the Philippines I always kept a big plastic storage bin filled with matches and candles. They were always in the same location so when the power went out it was easy to go to that spot in the dark, get the box and light a candle.

Our stash of candles and matches for power outages

The glow of candles reminds me that God’s Word is my light and lamp. His Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105).

Dark times of soul and spirit are part and parcel of life, especially the Christian life. Jesus Himself tells us that we will face tribulations but to be of good cheer because He is always with us (John 16:33). He is our light – John 12:46  I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.

In the many dark times of soul and spirit I have gone through I have clung tenaciously to the light and stability of His Word. Psalm 18:28-29 says For it is You who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.

Jesus is the light of this world (John 8:12 and John 1:1-5). And in Him we can shine. 2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

We do not need to lose heart, He is working in us and through us to spread His light (Read 2 Corinthians 1 – 4). So, the next time you use a flashlight or light a candle, remember our Saviour, Jesus, who is the light of the world (John 1:1-18).

A cockroach…..yuck…..

When most people think about the tropics, they think bugs. Yes, there are sizeable cockroaches but the mosquitoes in Michigan are far more viscous than the mosquitoes in Davao.

I don’t like cockroaches, so if you’d come to visit us while we lived overseas you would’ve smelled the faint scent of moth balls and/or soap in my kitchen cabinets. This is because one moth ball or one small bit of scented soap in each cabinet keeps the cock roaches away. They don’t like the scent.

mothballs
soap

As Christians, what sort of scent do we leave?

2 Corinthians 2: 15-16 reminds us we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.”

That scent can be smelled in the fruit of the Spirit – in the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control we share with others (See Galatians 5: 16 – 26).

That scent is developed in the putting on of compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, forbearance, forgiveness….and the taking off of selfishness, greed, anger, lust…

That scent is developed as we let the word of Christ dwell richly in us, as we teach, study, encourage, sing Psalms and live thankfully……see Colossians 3: 1 – 17

While moth balls and soap can drive cockroaches away, I pray my Christian aroma drives others to His Throne.

Covid Reactions

April 10th I received my second covid vaccine. Within minutes I was feeling a bit dizzy, blurry eyed and tired. I came home and slept an hour or so, took tylenol, and had no energy for the rest of the day.

During the night my left arm that had received the vaccine became extremely painful and I had a severe headache. I took more tylenol.

Today, April 11, my 61st birthday, my arm aches, I feel headachy, and like I have the flu. But, I am thankful to have the vaccine and I know this will pass in a day or so.

Like most others, I have ‘covid-fatigue’ and am ready to start going out and about more, visit friends and family, spend more time out doors now that spring is here, try to ‘get back to normal’, though I think we are all looking at a new normal.

What about you? Have you gotten the vaccine? What reactions did you have?

I really hadn’t planned on getting it because it’s been created so quickly but after my heart issues of late December and three doctors plus others telling me I should get it, I decided to do so. Other than the day or two or three of not feeling great, hopefully it’s worth it. I’m ready to go visit my sisters on the East coast and in Texas.

Stay healthy and seek Him first in all your ways!

Beth

Of Water Bottles and Sweat Rags

Seeing God In The Ordinary – Part 3

Water Bottle

An essential item while living in the Philippines was to have a water bottle with me at all times. The heat was intensive. And being dehydrated can make you feel sick, cause heart racing, dizziness, kidney failure.  I still carry a water bottle with me almost every where I go. The heart issues I have flare up more if I get dehydrated so I make sure to drink plenty of water everyday.

Water is life sustaining.  

When thirsty and drinking water, Psalm 42 came to my mind often; “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” 

And Jesus tells us in Matthew 5 that we are blessed for hungering  and thirsting  for righteousness, for we shall be satisfied. His Word is to be our food and drink day and night. 

He is our water of life.

John 13:14 “The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

Davao, Philippines averages 90 degrees F on a daily basis along with high humidity levels.  Sweating is just part of daily life. 

It was always hand to have a sweat rag with you whenever going out and about.

In the Philippines I almost always had a sweat rag, water bottle, and umbrella in my purse; along with hand sanitizer.

Using a sweat rag can remind us that while the rag wipes physical sweat away from our bodies, God’s love and Saviour, Jesus, removes our sins from us.

Psalm 51 declares “blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me form my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.”

How wonderful to dwell and meditate on “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103)

Seeing God In The Ordinary – part 2

Umbrellas

Seeing God in the Ordinary – Jesus taught us many parables using common items and experiences to teach us His timeless truths.

Parables – lost coin, lost sheep, sowing seed….

Umbrellas can remind us He is our covering.

In the Philippines it was normal to carry an umbrella with you all days due to the intensity of the sun and the rains that came:

– an umbrella offers portable shade protection from the sun as well as protection from rain.

While holding my umbrella I often think of several passages of scripture about God being my covering and my shield:

Psalm 121: 5 – 6 The Lord is your keeper;the Lord is your shade on your right hand.The sun shall not strike you by day,nor the moon by night.

Psalm 91:1-6 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions,and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night,nor the arrow that flies by day,nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

Umbrellas can remind us that our Refuge and Shelter provides us His protection as we face trials, hardship, and suffering. And in this we can rejoice, knowing that our sufferings produce endurance, and that endurance produces character, and that character produces hope, and that hope does not put us to shame because God’s love is poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Romans 5).

Our loving Father tells us to lift our eyes up to the hills, that He is our help and He will not let our feet be moved. He never slumbers and sleeps; He is our keeper and He is our shade! (Psalm 121) He ordains the path I take (Job 23) and as I stay sheltered in Him, in His Word, the storms and heat will not destroy (Psalm 46).

Psalm 91:4 He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

So next time you are using an umbrella, let it be a reminder to you of God’s love, grace and watch-care. He is our covering.

Seeing God In The Ordinary

Hand Sanitizer

I am starting a series of blogs based on a talk I’ve given about how the ordinary teaches us God’s extra-ordinary!

All around us are reminders of God’s love for each of us. He makes Himself known to us in the ordinary, seemingly mundane aspects of life. Just as Jesus taught in parables about lost coins, lost sheep, bread, water, so, too, daily objects and events from life now teach us unfathomable riches of His grace and love.

Parables, the use of ordinary, teaches extraordinary.

Take hand sanitizer for instance………………………

Hand Sanitizer and Dangerous Blood Alcohol Levels ...

When we first arrived in Davao, Philippines, the guest house manager gave me a small bottle of hand sanitizer and small packet of tissue. “Carry these with you always. The Crs do not have tissue” she advised me. (CR [comfort room] is the Filipine term for bathroom).

And it was true. Most of the public Crs did not have tissue. And while there was probably water to wash hands with there was no soap or towels to use.

So I got in the habit of leaving the public CRs without washing and just used the hand sanitizer in my purse. After 12 years in the Philippines, it became so habitual for me to have tissue and hand sanitizer that I continued that habit once we moved to the USA in 2018. Which has come in very handy with the pandemic. Now when I leave a grocery store or public building of any kind, I sanitize my hands.

Often, while using either hand sanitizer or washing with soap and water my mind wanders to Psalm 51….Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love;according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!…Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow…..Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me…..

Where is my heart with God? Am I allowing the Holy Spirit to wash over me, to wash me whiter than snow?

Psalm 51:7 “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Just like this alcohol and tissue can help keep my body clean, my Father’s Word and working can create in me, in each of us who believe in Jesus, a clean heart and a right spirit.

Something very deep and mysterious, very holy and sacred, is taking place in our lives right where we are, and the more attentive we become the more we will begin to see and hear it. The more our spiritual sensitivities come to the surface of our daily lives, the more we will discover—uncover—a new presence in our lives.

Henri Nouwen

1 Corinthians 6:11 tells us But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Ephesians 5:25-27 says Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish…

  Hebrews 10:22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Take time to reflect on any or all of the above verses, or look up other verses that reference washing. It’s important for us as Christians to allow God’s Word to soak into our souls, for His Word is alive and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, and able to pierce to the division of soul and of spirit, discerning the thoughts and intentions of our hearts (Hebrews 4:12).

Take a few minutes to present yourself before God in silence and surrender. Allow His Word, His love to wash over you! And the next time you wash your hands, may you offer worship to Him who cleanses us from all our sins by the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, our blessed Saviour (1 John 1:7).