Skip to main content
#
Living Water Christian Church
our facebook page


Living Water Church                                                                          May 20, 2020

Water from the Well

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

(Isaiah 12:3)

Listen So That You Will See

Written by Joanne Boyette                                                                                     Inspired by God

“So then, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message comes through preaching Christ.” (Romans 10:17)

While reading many differing definitions of the word ‘faith’, I came across

an interesting story about a blind man, named Daniel Kish.

Daniel doesn’t ‘know’ sight.  He has no memory of it.  Before two years of age, he lost both eyes as a result of retinal cancer. Yet, Daniel taught himself to ‘see’ by listening to the clicking sounds he makes as he moves about through the world. With this ability, he can safely ride his bike down a suburban street.

Daniel Kish, today, is a well-educated, 54 year old American who resides in California. He is president of World Access for the Blind. Kish and his nonprofit organization have taught a form of ‘echolocation’ to at least 500 blind children around the world. Daniel taught himself to ‘see by listening with his ears!’ And, he is sharing the gift of his skill and hard work, acquired as a result of his ‘disability,’ to help other blind kids “see”, as well!

“Seeing by listening” is what the Bible tries to teach us about faith.

2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “For our life is a matter of faith, not of sight.”

I recently read some writing (by John W. Ritenbaugh) on the topic of

“faith.” Ritenbaugh wrote, “Faith is the very beginning of everything that

really matters spiritually.” He also wrote that, “hearing—or more correctly, listening—is probably Jesus’ most frequent and consistent exhortation during His ministry.”

If Jesus repeats it again and again, it must be critically important. And, we, on the receiving end, have to be entirely sure that we are doing more than just “hearing His spoken words.” We are called to be intently listening, which implies a heightened attention when hearing the spoken words plus an

unspoken, but implied commitment to obey and act. We have to put what we heard into practice. That’s “walking by faith.”

It reminds me of those times when my Dad would say “Did you hear what I said?” I would say, “Yes, I heard you.” To which he would say,

“Good, then you’d better listen.” That was the end of the conversation, but I knew it wasn’t the end of the lesson. The end of the lesson was unspoken, yet, I heard it loudly and clearly. The end of the lesson was, “Then you’d better do as you were told or you are going to be in big trouble.” I understood my Dad and I believed my Dad because I knew He “meant what he said and said what he meant.” And, I had faith in my father.

Luke 6: 46-49 tells how Jesus feels when we don’t have faith in Our Heavenly Father. “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord, and yet don’t do what I tell you? Anyone who come to me and listens to my words and obeys them—I will show you what he is like. He is like a man who, in building his house, dug deep and laid the foundation on rock.                                                                            The river flooded over and hit that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But anyone who hears my words and does not obey them is like a man who built his house without laying a foundation; when the flood hit that house it fell at once—and what a terrible crash that was!”

Every time we hear His Word; in Sunday school, Bible Study, worship, during a devotion time, etc, we have to “listen so we can see.” And, when we are walking in faith, fully relying on Him, we will continue to receive His every blessing! He will love us unconditionally. He will provide for us and He will protect us, no matter what.

The following was written on a plaque which I gave to my husband.

Faith

“When you have come to the edge

Of all the light you have known

And are about to step out into the darkness Faith is knowing one of two things will happen; There will be something to stand on

Or

You will be taught how to fly.”

And, to God will be the Glory!

Heavenly Father, Thank you for Your faithfulness to us! Thank you for the peace, love and hope in Your Word. Help us, Dear Lord, to “listen so that we might see” and to “walk in faith,” forever. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

1

1

1

1

Living Water Church                                                                                          May 15, 2020

Water from the Well

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

(Isaiah 12:3)

Shielded Fruit

Written by Joanne Boyette                                                                                     Inspired by God

“God keeps every promise He makes. He is like a shield for all who seek His protection.” (Proverbs 30:5)

Our grandchildren heard about an experiment involving an orange and a bowl of water. So, we tried it. We put an unpeeled orange in a bowl of water, and watched, amazed, as the unpeeled orange floated to the top.

Next, we peeled the same orange and put it into the same bowl of water. Guess what? The peeled orange sank to the bottom of the bowl.

It was so gratifying to hear the kids proudly announce the “take away” from this experiment. “The peeled orange sank, Grandma, because there was nothing to shield it from the water. The unpeeled orange did not sink because the peeling protected it by acting as a shield against the water! It’s just like that with God! If we have God in our lives, He will shield us from harm and we will float! But, without God, we’ll sink!”

It was such an uncomplicated experiment, yet it was a perfect example of faith. The concept of faith could have been a difficult subject for a 12 year old boy and a 14 year old girl to correctly verbalize. But, they “got it.” For them, it was simple and just a “matter of fact.”

Indeed, it is a matter of fact! God has promised to always be faithful to us! He has promised to be our shield and protector and we are called to have faith in Him. Being true to our promise may sometimes be difficult, especially in times such as these, when it feels as if the world is crumbling under our feet. It may be difficult, yes, but never impossible.

And, certainly, we have issues, today, amidst this pandemic, which are different from any other time in history. But those issues are meaningless

to the “Bottom Line” because the Bottom Line is still the same. God is always there! He is Our Constant. He is unchanging and never variable.

James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven; it comes down from God, the Creator of the heavenly lights, who does not change or cause darkness by turning.”

So, at “The Bottom Line”, in God, is where we have to be, faithful and dependent upon His provision and His protection. And, He will be there, waiting for us, with open, loving arms, waiting to be our Shield and Protector!

We see evidence, of this, again and again in the Bible. In Genesis 15, Verse 1b, in a vision, God spoke to a doubtful Abram. “Do not be afraid, Abram. I will shield you from danger and give you a great reward.”  And, in 2 Samuel 22:2-4, a grateful David gave thanks by singing the following song after the Lord had saved him from his enemies, “The Lord is my protector; he is my strong fortress. My God is my protection, and with him I am safe. He protects me like a shield; he defends me and keeps me safe. He is my savior; he protects me and saves me from violence. I call to the Lord, and he saves me from my enemies. Praise the Lord!”

Our God is creator of all! He shields! He protects! He cares for all! He cares for us on a level we cannot begin to comprehend! He put the rind on the orange to shield it from mold and insects and spoilage so that it would be food for us. That’s protection.                                    He put the seeds deep inside to be planted, to continue to supply our need for food. That’s provision. And, He showed us faithfulness so that we might be faithful to His Word as we promise to go forth and bear a different kind of fruit, The Fruit of the Spirit.

Almighty God,

This is Your creation! You constantly, lovingly hold, everyone and everything, even the tiniest elements of this world, in the palm of Your hand. For us, You are The Bottom Line! You are our Hope! You are our One and Only God! In Your faithfulness to us, You offer Your provision and Your Protection. Help us, Dear God, to remember, even in confusing, dark and chaotic times, such as these, that we are called to be faithful You, as well!

In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.

1

1

1

1

Living Water Church                                                                                                                  May 13, 2020

Water from the Well

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

(Isaiah 12:3)

Constant Change

Written by Joanne Boyette                                                                                     Inspired by God

“O Lord, you live forever; long ago you created the earth, and with your own hands you made the heavens. They will disappear, but you will remain; they will all wear out like clothes. You will discard them like clothes, and they will vanish. But you are always the same, and your life never ends. Our children will live in safety, and under your protection their descendants will be secure.”

(Psalms 102:24b-28)

Obvious to everyone, is the staggering amount of controversy in our world, these days. Yet, there are two basic things that most people agree on. The first agreement is that every second of every day, things are changing, differently and simultaneously, all over the globe. The second agreement is that the rate of change is picking up speed every day.

Now, factor in the confusion and chaos amid this pandemic. Many people would likely agree about one more thing. The world is not at all, like it used to be just a very short time ago. The only thing we can count on is that everything is subject to change! And because of the devastating effects of this virus, everything seems worse! The world is a treacherous place! Betrayal and deception are rampant!

Abandoned, is any semblance of integrity. Around the world, leaderships are faltering and governments are decaying! Danger can be seen everywhere! Worse, are the many hidden dangers!

The media has gone mad! We wonder who can be believed! We search for someone or something to depend upon! We question why this has happened! We want to know who or what is to be blamed!

We feel like we’ve had no warning. This entire mess seems like it came out of nowhere! Just a couple of months ago, we were doing great! Today, some have no jobs! Some have no money for food for their families! And, some of us are falling behind in car payments and mortgage payments! Our children aren’t able to go to school! Some of our loved ones are dying! And, adding insult to injury, we can’t even go to church for the comfort of brothers and sisters in Christ! We are believers, yet we fear we are losing hope!

We’re emotionally exhausted from worry! When will this suffering end? Will there be an end? Where is God? Things are changing so fast, it’s impossible to keep up! We feel like we’re on a merry-go-round and we can’t get off! We don’t know how much longer we can hold out! It seems that almost everyone and everything is out-of-control! Dear God, why did everything have to change?

Change has been an issue since the existence of man. An ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, studied the importance of change as it pertains to nature of man’s relationship with the world. He taught that change has always been around and always will be. He also taught that changes always cause other things to move and be different. Heraclitus believed that every change will cause a need for adjustment in something else. Specifically, he is best remembered for having said, “The only constant in life is change.”

I don’t know much about the rate of change during Heraclitus’s lifetime. But, the rate of change in today’s world is unprecedented by any other time in history! No wonder our heads are spinning! Because of the interconnectedness in our world, today, it’s mind-boggling to think that every change, large or small, positive or negative, will influence or change something else to make room for its own existence.

It is easy to see that Heraclitus’s thinking is full of logic. Change causes change.

Results of change can be large or small, as well as, positive or negative. How we adapt to change determines the type of impact it will have on our lives, etc. But, Heraclitus’s believed that “the only constant in life is change.” I am certainly no scholar of philosophy, but, I am a Christian. As a Christian, I would have to make an exception to that statement. For Christians, there are two constants in life. One is change. The other is God.

God is Our Constant in times of constant change! Yes, these current life changes aren’t just uncomfortable! They feel horrible right now! And, yes, we are God’s children. But, who are we to think that we would be excluded from experiencing negative change? We certainly wouldn’t want to be excluded from positive change in our lives. God never promised us that we would be exempt from change, good or bad, large or small. God promised to be with us throughout constant change! We have to remember that! We have to focus on the Hope in the Promise! We have to focus on God!

None of this is new to God. And, focusing on God isn’t new to us! We just have

to remember and do it! The entire Bible is based on life changes and the promise of God’s faithfulness. The Bible tells of changes that were mostly large and life- changing!   Some began badly but, like the rest, were destined for goodness!

Miraculous changes happened to Lazarus. Lazarus died. Jesus changed all of that. Jesus resurrected Lazarus! Saul was a persecutor of Christians! God changed all of that! Saul was changed into Paul, who was eventually killed for his unyielding work in spreading the Gospel. But, of all the time God spent in miraculous changes, the most important were the times He spent changing the hearts of each and every one

of us! Romans 5:8 says, “But God has shown us how much He loves us—it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us!”                                               And, Jeremiah 29: 11-13 says, “I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will answer you.  You will seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart.” God was with them through constant changes. And, so it is with us! In those constant changes, lies our Constant Hope.

So, Dear Friends, in times such as these, when it seems as if the only thing we can be sure of is that everything will quickly change, again, look first, for your Constant. Then, remember and meditate on this verse from Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for life! Thank You for being the Constant with and in our lives! And, thank You for giving us the opportunity to be transformed into eternity with You! In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!

1

1

1

Living Water Church                                                                                                                             May 08, 2020

Water from the Well

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

(Isaiah 12:3)

I Been Watching You

Written by Joanne Boyette                                                                                     Inspired by God

“In the same way your light must shine before people, so they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

It is truly amazing how much of what we learn does not fall under the heading of “formal education”, yet dramatically affects our lives. When I was a little girl, I remember my mom often saying, “Be careful--actions

speak louder than words”. As a child, of course, I didn’t grasp the exact meaning of that phrase, but I know it had an impact on my life, way back then, and still influences my life, today.

My mom was warning me to be cautious, because what you spend your time doing, speaks volumes about who you are as a person; young or old, rich or poor, wise or foolish. And, because I had been taught that God was always watching over me, I knew that those words meant that I needed to be careful all of the time, even when I thought no one was watching.

I’m not much of a country music fan, but every now and then, when changing radio stations, a song will catch my attention. There was a popular country song by Rodney Atkins, released in September, 2006, called

“Watching You”. The song is about a young man and his 4 year old son, driving through town. The dad hit the brakes hard for a red light. The Happy Meal that his little boy was eating, spilled all over his lap. The young boy yelled out a curse word and the unnerved dad asked, “Where did you learn to talk like that?”

Somewhat proudly, the little boy answered, “I been watching you, dad, ain’t that cool? I’m your buckaroo, I wanna’ be like you…..”

After arriving home, the dad prayed, “Lord, please help me help my stupid self”. And, later, at bedtime, as he was tucking him in, the dad

watched his son get on his knees, close his eyes and pray to God, “like he was talking to a friend”.

The dad asked his little boy, “Where’d you learn to pray like that?”

And his little son responded, “I been watching you, dad, ain’t that cool?

I’m you’re buckaroo, I wanna’ be like you…..”

Yes, actions often do speak louder than words! That’s a wonderful lesson for everyone!

The other day, our family went to our church to do a few things.

Hannah, Landon and I finished our “chores” as Pa was still mowing. Instead of wasting time, the kids and I decided to help out with the Backpack

Program by organizing the recently donated food and “double-bagging” the food bags.

While we worked, we quietly, but seriously, talked about the importance of the Backpack Program. I asked the kids if they realized how fortunate they were because they never had to worry about being hungry. I asked them if they ever thought about kids, just like them, maybe even their friends, who did have to worry if they were going to be hungry.

“Wouldn’t it be awful, to have to wait on strangers to provide you food, wondering and worrying whether or not they would show up or if you would go hungry all weekend?” I asked. “Do you suppose they watch out the window for their food to come?” we wondered.

It was then that Landon spoke up. “Yeah, Grandma, just think, they may have to watch out their window for food to come. But, we watch out our window for the FedEx Truck to come!”  What precision in thought!  I can’t tell you how proud I was of my grandson for his heart-felt understanding and compassion! I know that he’s been watching and listening, even when, often, it seems he isn’t!

Since schools have been closed, due to the pandemic, we’ve been doing some home schooling. But, I don’t think a better lesson could have been taught anywhere! So, be careful with your actions. They really do, sometimes, speak louder than words. And, remember, someone’s watching you. You may never know who may have just learned the lesson that you did not intend to teach!

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, Thank you for the Bible, Your Living Word, full of promises, warnings, advice and lessons! Thank You for loving us so much, that no lesson was or is ever too difficult or too costly for You to lovingly teach with Your actions! Of all the lessons in action that You have taught us, thank You, especially, for the one when You gave Your Only Son to die a horrible death to save us from our sins! In the name of Jesus, we pray, Amen.

1

1

1

Living Water Church                                                                                                                                                             May 06, 2020

Water from the Well

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

(Isaiah 12:3)

Pray First! Then, Fumigate!

Written by Joanne Boyette                                                                               inspired by God

“Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking Him with a thankful heart.” (Philippians 4: 6)

Thursday, May 7th has been designated National Day of Prayer, 2020. As a nation, this day of prayer is important because it causes us to remember and hopefully, to teach our children and our world, the way the founders of our country sought God in prayer when they were making decisions that would be critical to the establishment of our nation. Thank God, that our leaders believed they needed God! Thank God, that they understood the importance of prayer!

Realizing that prayer is vitally important in all things reinforces the need and the call for all of us to seek God at all times; for guidance in times of new beginnings, for grace in times of strife, for peace in times of conflict and for mercy in times of disaster. Since the beginning, prayer has been necessary to life and for life. Prayer will continue to be necessary to life and for life, forever.

Most everyone would agree, there are few times in history, that our world and our nation have stood more in need of prayer, than today. However, in 1527, there was a sickness comparable to the pandemic we are currently experiencing. It was called The Black Death, also known as the Bubonic Plague. Around 1350, the plague wiped out nearly one third of the population of Europe before receding.

Centuries later, in 1527, it returned. That summer, the plague made its way to Wittenberg, Germany. By November, Martin Luther, German professor of theology, a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation, and ordained to the priesthood in 1507, decided to write a pamphlet called, “Whether One May Flee from a Deadly Plague”. Near the end of the booklet, Luther wrote, “Therefore I shall ask God

mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate.”

(Yes, I laughed when I read that, too!) Luther’s article was full of all kinds of practical advice! And, interestingly, many of the issues named by Luther in 1527 are markedly similar to many of the issues we are facing, today. As we navigate our way and brainstorm possible solutions to alleviate our suffering and chaos, it would be comforting and reassuring, though, to know that we would do first, what

Luther did first. He called on God! He prayed! Luther wrote, “Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then, I shall fumigate.” To Luther, it was simple!

First, pray then, get to work!

When faced with a crisis, though, it is hard to think! We are totally

overwhelmed! There is so much to do! We feel real fear! We’ve never had an experience like this before! What should be done first? And, when we finally, skeptically, begin to act, the “what ifs?” arrive!

A few years ago, while spring cleaning, we found bed bugs in our house! To us, it was a horribly timed crisis! First, we panicked! Ill-informed, we tried to battle them on our own! We cried! We sought outside help! Finally, we called an exterminator! We couldn’t afford him! We had to afford him! Everything had to be washed and moved to the garage for two weeks so treatments could be done!

What if the bugs came back? All in, it took almost two months and more money than we’d imagined! We had been through some hard times, not many seemed worse than this! We were exhausted!  And, when we felt we had nothing left to give, that’s when we gave it to God!  (Initially, I guess, we’d been so paralyzed with fear of the unknown, that we forgot from Whom our help would come!) But, in the hallway of our house, sometime in the wee hours of the morning, my husband and I held hands and we prayed! We prayed out loud!

We prayed with determination and purpose! And, that was the turning point!

God comforted us in the middle of out strife! Why hadn’t we done what Luther

modeled? Why hadn’t we prayed first, then fumigated? What a mistake! Fear and dread made us temporarily numb! But, we learned a valuable lesson!

So, here we are in the midst of a pandemic! Let’s put first things, first! Let’s pray!

Thursday is National Prayer Day! Pray!

Pray Friday, Saturday, Sunday and every day!

And, when we’re finally prayed up, we can call on God for strength! And, God will help us fumigate!

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, You are the Author of all life! Forgive us, Dear God, for so often failing to put our relationship with You, first! Thank You for the opportunity to come to You in prayer! And, thank You for wanting us to come to You, especially with our every need! Help us to remember that you are a 24/7 God and you delight in our company!

Father, shield us and protect us through these uncertain days! Lead us and guide us in right paths. Keep Your arms wide open, when we come to You in prayer! And, when it’s time for us to get to work, give us strength and help us to fumigate! In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

1

1

1

Living Water Church                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                                        April 30, 2020

Water from the Well

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

(Isaiah 12:3)

A New Vision for A New Normal

Written by Joanne Boyette                                                                                     inspired by God

“Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And, God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4: 6-7)

I was in a grocery store the other day, and I saw an old acquaintance.

In passing, we said a quick hello through our masks.  I asked how he was

doing and he replied, “Well, Miss Joanne, I’m calling it well.” “Good for you”, I said, “I think I’ll call it the same.”

I thought more about that quick conversation. I shared it with my husband. “Good for him”, we decided.  He was seeing past this pandemic. He was refusing to be silenced by the masks we wore. He was seeing beyond the many problems and inconveniences caused by covid-19. To him, it was all just a matter of perspective. He had made his choice. His focus was not on that which he lacked. His positive attitude was a deliberate choice to see the glass as half full, not half empty. And, He was declaring that which was not, as though it was. The end result was a special kind of contentment he seemed to have about him.

Our attitudes and perspectives are powerful. They can bring us joy or they can bring us misery. The choice, really, is ours.

In one of his stories, called, “A Song in the Dark”, Max Lucado wrote about a blind beggar, who sang for food on a street corner in Rio de Janeiro. As only Max can do, he described, in bare honesty, what he learned from that hungry blind singing beggar, as they ate lunch together, the sandwiches and cold drinks, Max had provided. He was intrigued by the complete contentment of that poor blind soul.

Max concluded, “Faith is the bird that sings, even when it is still dark.” And, to himself, Max marveled at the thought, “though I was the one with eyes, it was he who gave me a new vision”.

Our world is so thirsty for the kind of contentment possessed by that old acquaintance and that blind beggar! Tragically, in today’s world, it seems, but for a few exceptions, we are farther away than ever, from that kind of peace.

Maybe if we create a “new vision”, we’ll find our way out from under the devastating fallout of this pandemic chaos. And, maybe, we’ll reach the “new normal status” idea that we create. Perhaps, then, our man-made, “new normal” status will bring about the feeling of contentment that our hearts and souls are so desperate for, today!

I’m not exactly sure that I totally understand what all of those new twists on old words mean, and, I don’t think that we can reach the sought after goal of peace and contentment, as proposed. As a matter of fact, I’m

positive that It won’t work! There are crucial missing elements!

Furthermore, I do know how to find that vision and perfect state of contentment and peace. I know, not because I’m some kind of rocket scientist! I know, because, like you, I am a Christian! Without a doubt, we must seek our new vision and subsequent contentment and peace from the only perfectly reliable resources still left in the world, today! Those perfect

resources are God’s Word, Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit!

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, We praise you and thank you! You are Our All In All! Without You, we are nothing! You created us! You breathed life into us! And, You forgive us, always, even as we sin!

Forgive our inability to put all of our faith, hope and trust in You, instead of ourselves. Keep us from worry. Help us, like Max Lucado, to seek our visions with our eyes closed and our hearts wide-open.                                                                           And, help us, Dear God, to always, and freely, accept and depend upon, Your faithfulness and Your divine gifts of comfort, contentment and perfect peace! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

1

1

1

1

April 28 , 2020

 

Water from the Well

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

(Isaiah 12:3)

 

Tuned Out Or Tuned In?

Written by Joanne Boyette                                                                                     inspired by God

“In conclusion, my brothers, fill your minds with those things

that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable. Put into practice what you learned

and received from me, both from my words and my actions. And the God who

gives us peace will be with you.”                                                                     (Philippians 4: 8-9)

I must admit that shopping is not one of my favorite things to do, especially grocery and necessity shopping. But, today was the day to do my main shopping for the week. I never used to have a specified day and time. Now, due to the COVID-19 crisis, I shop Tuesday mornings because of the designated senior hour, 6:00-7:00 a.m., at Walmart. That designated hour makes shopping more bearable because there are fewer people and the shelves are as stocked as possible. So, thank you, Walmart, I know you tried!

Yet, as I left the store this morning, I felt “harried” at best. Why? Well, as I entered the store, because of my mask, my glasses immediately fogged up. It was hard to see into my purse. But, I had to search my purse in order to find my own disinfectant wipes which I immediately felt obliged to share with two other pitiful- looking senior ladies. This was because the store container was empty.

Then, there were the new signs telling me which direction to walk in the aisles.

I felt rushed to beat their next rush. And, those poor people! They all looked exactly how I felt! But, worst of all, I was almost totally unnerved because of the relentless announcements seeming to require my attention; reminders to practice social distancing, wash my hands, cover my coughs, don’t get to close to each

other in line, etc., etc., …..honestly, I wanted to scream, “BE QUIET—I’m on

overload!”

Instead, I took a deep breath and headed to Food Lion. It seemed as if the announcements had followed me there! Once, back in my car, it was off to the post office. There I waited, because opening time had been adjusted, you guessed it…..all due to the virus. There were more reminders in the post office and the Dollar General!

Okay, I thought, just The Dollar Tree stop and I’ll head quietly and peacefully

home.  Into the store, I went.  Maybe the day wouldn’t be a total loss, I thought!

In less than half an hour, I’ll be home! I was beginning to feel blessed! I had everything I needed in my cart, except for a “Mother’s Day” card and some artificial flowers for the church! Best of all, I heard no announcements, just the clinking and clanking of glass dishes being stocked on the shelves and a few customers quietly talking.

Then, came the real blessing! The next sounds I heard were so touching! From one aisle to the next until they had traveled the entire store, I heard a sweet, tiny little girl voice.

“Oh, Mommy, it’s beautiful! Oh, it’s beautiful! I love this, Mommy! Look how beautiful that is, Mommy! Isn’t this beautiful?! It’s so beautiful!” For that few minutes, that tiny voice was absolute music to my ears, my heart and my soul!

Then, my next feeling was shame! Here we were, in the Dollar Tree! No item over one dollar! In the middle of a pandemic! We were wearing masks! We were trying to sanitize everything we had to touch! We were irritated! We were tired! Maybe our minds were occupied!  Maybe we felt totally stressed!  Maybe were numb with worry! But, no matter! No matter to that little child who was fully living in that moment! She was in that dollar store with her mommy and EVERYTHING in her little world was beautiful! She could see past all of the confusion and chaos!

Perhaps, she wasn’t even aware of it! To her, it was all good! And, it was all

beautiful!

I believe that most of us, as children, were once the same way! Think back!

Surely you can remember at least one small, carefree moment in your life, like that of this little girl! I believe that we would be much healthier and happier, if all adults could, at appropriate times, learn to respond to the world in a way similar to that of that little girl. But, because we are adults, we would have to make the conscious choice to look at this world or past this world, equipped with a different perspective. We would have to make the decision to tune out the world’s noise and tune in to

God’s Kingdom!    We would have to tune in to the world of the pure in heart and tune out the world filled with hearts of stone.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know.

Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way.”

(Proverbs 3:5-6)

 

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, Thank you that we have been so lovingly and wonderfully made! Shield us, Dear God, from the evil, treachery, and strife-filled ways of this world. Keep us thirsting for Your Word, meditating and practicing the right way, every day and always. And, open our eyes, Father, that we may always see, as did the little girl, the wonders of all Your Creation! In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

1

1

1

1

April 23, 2020

Water from the Well

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

(Isaiah 12:3)

Jump!

Written by Joanne Boyette                                                                                    inspired by God

“Hear what God says: ‘When the time came for me to show you favor, I heard you; when the day arrived for me to save you, I helped you.’ Listen!

This is the hour to receive God’s favor; today is the day to be saved!” (2 Corinthians 6:2)

Our grandchildren, who do not live with us, love to come to our house!

Given the option to go to Walmart or come to our house, they usually chose coming here! Our youngest granddaughter, Maddie, has certain toys she plays with nearly every time they visit. Her favorites are any toys that are tiny.

This past summer, when she was three and a half, Maddie gathered all the tiny animals she could find in the house and took them to the back porch. Carefully, with her little fingers, she took each animal in her collection and stood it up on the little end table.  When she had finished, and the entire “herd” was standing up, Maddie put her arm on the table and with one sweeping motion, sent the entire herd, hurling into the air! Mid-fall, as the tiny animals swirled toward the porch floor, Maddie looked down toward them and yelled, “Jump!” We laughed!

We laughed because Maddie seemed not able to understand that she had yelled “Jump!” too late! The toy animals were milliseconds from the floor!

But, Maddie, still tried to warn them! The concept of being “too late” never occurred to her.

It reminds me of a very well-known story from the Bible. Jesus was crucified with two other men. Both men were criminals.

Luke 23: 39-43 describes the events this way; “One of the criminals

hanging there hurled insults at him: ‘Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’ The other one, however, rebuked him, saying, ‘Don’t you fear God? You received the same sentence he did. Ours, however, is only right, because we are getting what we deserve for what we did; but he has done no wrong.’ And, he said to Jesus, ‘Remember me, Jesus, when you come as King!’ Jesus said to him, ‘I promise you that today you will be in Paradise with me.’”

So, hanging on that cross, fully aware of certain death, just minutes before swirling into the pits of hell, the second criminal knew it wasn’t too late for him to jump. So, he did! He believed! He took that leap of faith!

And, because of that one act, he is still residing in heaven today! He

received God’s favor, he received forgiveness for his wrong-doing, and he received eternal life.

It’s a lesson every Christian should understand! Yet, it remains one of the great mysteries of God’s saving grace! Yes, God appreciates the good works which we do for His glory! But that’s not the reason for saving us. The reason for saving us is this:

“But God has shown us how much he loves us—it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us!” (Romans 5: 8)

It was, then, so many years ago and is, still today, all about love. We, like the second criminal, must always remember, if we haven’t already been saved, the “time to jump, is now”. It’s not too late. It’s not too late for us or anyone else. If we have been saved, we need to remember to ignore the negativity of the world. We must ignore the condemning self-talk” that we do, the feelings of unworthiness that haunt us, our timing, our “back-sliding” and our sins of the past and present.

And, when we are feeling especially tired, overwhelmed, or vulnerable, we need to remember, with confidence, to seek refreshment and renewal, knowing that it will always be found when we jump into the amazing, grace- filled, arms of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, Thank You for Jesus! Thank You for love! We know that You love us! Help us, God, to come to understand the depths of that love, that we might jump, if we haven’t already, with complete confidence, into Your loving arms, right now. And, if, we are already saved by Your grace, remind us, Father, that Your arms are always open, as a place for us to find Your comfort and Your peace. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

1

1

1

Water from the Well

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

(Isaiah 12:3)

Living Water Church                                                                              April 16, 2020

Someone Out There Needs You

Written by Joanne Boyette                                                                                     inspired by God

“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them. There are different ways of serving, but the same Lord is

served. There are different abilities to perform service, but the same God gives ability to all for their particular service. The Spirit’s presence is shown in some way in each person for the good of all.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)

Many years ago, as a teen, I belonged to a high school organization called the girls athletic association. It was a service club, so we were sometimes involved with fund raisers, as well as a variety of service activities. One particular fundraiser was formatted as a contest. In a lottery, each girl chose a slip from a jar. Each slip had the name of a football player on it. Our assignment was to launch a campaign to collect the most change for our contestant. The player with the most money in his jar at the end of the contest, would be crowned, “Mr. Football”.

So, it was no big deal for me. I just did what I thought I was supposed to do. With posters, a slogan, and a crazily decorated jar, I launched my campaign. My contestant did not do badly, but he did not win. In two weeks, the event came and went.

To tell you the truth, I could count on one hand, how many times I’d thought about that event, until March, 2017, when, through a computer classmate membership club, I received an email from my contestant. It really blew my mind! It wasn’t that it was 47 years after the Mr. Football

event. It surprised me because the email was entitled “Long Overdue Thank You”!

My initial response was, “A thank you, for what?” Then, I read the note!

I learned, as an adult, what I’d never seen as a teen! As a child, my contestant had been abused. Yes, I knew he had been a “quiet kind of fellow”. After all, we’d been classmates off and on since the third grade. But, I had no clue that he was being abused!

He continued the note, describing what seemed to have been, a very lonely, yet very successful life. He said that he’d often thought about my sponsoring him because it had really meant so much to him. And, he

regretted that he’d never thanked me.

The note overwhelmed me! I felt surprise. I felt a bit of joy for the tiny bit of joy he had received from the small thing I’d done. I was saddened, because for me, it had been something done in duty. But, more than anything, I felt shame and regret for not having seen his pain those many years ago!

But, my act of service still brought me blessings. My blessings are my lessons learned. My blessings are these; to be watchful for opportunities to serve, to always do my duty or perform an act of kindness to the best of my ability, because no matter how great or how insignificant the action might be, I may never know how much good, even a small act, can do in the life of someone else, and finally, to remember;

“God is not unfair. He will not forget the

work you did or the love you showed for him in the help you gave and are still giving to your fellow Christians.”                                                       (Hebrews 6:10)

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, Thank you for knowing our hearts. Help us to always remember that any good thing we attempt to do for anyone out there, who appears to be in need, we do for you. And, to You belongs the glory! Amen.

1

1

1

April 21, 2020

Living Water Church

Water from the Well

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

(Isaiah 12:3)

Easter Is Over—Let’s Go Fishing!

Written by Joanne Boyette                                                                                     inspired by God

“The eleven Disciples went to the hill in Galilee where Jesus had

told them to go. When they saw him, they worshipped him, even though some of them doubted.

Jesus drew near and said to them, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.

And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 16-20)

Easter Is Over! Yes, Easter Day, 2020 has passed!

Somehow, full of doubts and fears, at first together, then forced to be apart, we survived the entire six weeks of Lent. The journey was not an easy one. Getting started amid a myriad of questions, we hesitated, feeling sadness in our hearts. We thought, “This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be”.

But, Holy Week began, in His Perfect Timing, in spite of our reluctance.

And, we sat in front of computers, listening and remembering Christ’s humble and bitter/sweet entry into the city of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. We celebrated communion in our homes on Maundy Thursday, remembering The Last Supper of Jesus and His Disciples.

On Good Friday, we waited in deafening silence for the agonizing pain of Our Savior’s crucifixion to cease. And, Saturday, with the heaviest of hearts, we waited again, quietly and nervously, but this time, mourning His Death! We felt so alone! We struggled, to wrap our minds around it all, yet knowing the reason for all of the horror, was for us! By Saturday evening, we were tired and worn, but waited with anticipation for Sunday Morning Sunrise Service!

We rejoiced, individually and with family, the story of His Resurrection, as we listened and watched the beautifully presented celebration, from our homes, via YouTube. We ate Easter breakfast, wishing we were together in the fellowship hall of our beautiful church.

We missed the excitement of the children hunting Easter Eggs. We missed our sweet little church, usually decorated with spring flowers and Easter lilies. And, we missed each other, all together, in that beautiful sanctuary during the 11:00 service.

Yes, Easter 2020 is over! Surely, we will never forget how we did it.

But, no matter! Easter isn’t just about a day viewed as a Christian holiday. Easter is an attitude! Easter is a matter of the heart! And, we are Easter people!

So, we ask, what exactly do Easter People do? Easter People trust and obey!

John 15:16 says, “You did not choose me; I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit, the kind of fruit that endures. And so the father will give you whatever you ask of him in my name.”

Okay. We get that. But we just went through Lent. It was like 40 days in a virtual wilderness, not to mention the horrific madness and tragedy of the events of Holy Week! Can’t you cut us a break? These are confusing times!

2 Corinthians 6:4 says, “Instead, in everything we do we show that we

are God’s servants by patiently enduring hardships, and difficulties.”

But we’re trying to survive a pandemic here! And, our economy is falling apart! You have no idea what we’re going through!

2 Corinthians 6:5 says, “We have been beaten, jailed, and mobbed; we

have been overworked and have gone without sleep or food”.

Well, we have been quarantined to our homes, now, for weeks! We’re driving each other crazy! I’m drowning in doubt and debt! Sometimes I wonder who I am! And, thanks to media, I don’t know who to trust, anymore!

2 Corinthians 6:6-10 says “By our purity, knowledge, patience, and kindness we have shown ourselves to be God’s servants—by the Holy Spirit, by our true love, by our message of truth, and by the power of God.

We have righteousness as our weapon, both to attack and defend ourselves. We are honored and disgraced; we are insulted and praised. We are treated as liars, yet we speak the truth; as unknown, yet we are known by all; as though we were dead, but, as you see, we live on.

Although punished, we are not killed; although saddened, we are always glad; we seem poor, but we make many people rich; we seem to have nothing, yet we really possess everything.”

That’s what Easter People do!!!

So, dear friends! Accept it! We are Easter People! That’s what we do! Current circumstances do not matter! Whining isn’t tolerated. Excuses are irrelevant! Once and for all, we must rid ourselves of the baggage we carry that means nothing! We are children of the Most High God! We possess everything! We have first-hand knowledge! We are witnesses to the greatest miracle of all time! And, we possess the greatest knowledge of all time!

This Gift is ours through divine inheritance! It comes straight from our Heavenly Father! It was imparted to us through His Only Son, Jesus Christ! Our handbook is the Bible! And, the Holy Spirit is our constant companion! They will help us complete our mission!

In John Chapter 20 and Verse 21, Jesus said “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you.”

So, what are we waiting for? Easter is over — Let’s Go Fishing!!!

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, You are our All In All! Truly no one or no thing can compare to You! As we become Fishers of Men, blanket each and every one of us with Your love, Your peace, Your patience, and Your understanding that we might complete our individual missions, solely for Your glory and the furtherance of your Kingdom. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen!

1

1

1

   Water from the Well

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

(Isaiah 12:3)                                                                                                                                                                                         April 14, 2020

Windows to Your Soul

Written by Joanne Boyette                                                                                                                           inspired by God

No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a bowl, instead, he puts it on the lampstand, so that people may see the light as they come in. Your eyes are like a lamp for the body. When your eyes are sound, your whole body is full of light; but when your eyes are no good, your whole body will be in darkness. Make certain, then, that the light in you is not darkness.”                           (Luke 11: 33-35)

It isn’t difficult to understand why so many people are wearing masks, today. Of course, folks are fearful of the threat of getting or spreading the virus. But, I have to admit that wearing a mask makes me uncomfortable. I’m uncomfortable physically, because my glasses fog up and I feel as if my speech is muffled. But, worse, I’m frustrated. I feel emotionally unnerved because it takes so much time and effort to “read” people approaching me.

Are they smiling? Are they discouraged? Are they angry? Are they desperate? If I don’t have a clue as to how they might feel, how can I possibly know how to reach out to them? The only thing I have to go by is the “look” in their eyes, peering out over their masks.

William Shakespeare once said, “The eyes are the window to your soul.” Cicero, a great Roman philosopher is quoted as having said, “The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are it’s interpreter”.

And, Dr. Jeffrey Anthony Benjamin (of Saltwaterfilms) said this, “I believe it is a fact that we don’t see all there is before us, our eyes ability is

limited physically. But our hearts convey the most poignant picture through our eyes. It is not merely a window but a reflection of our state of mind.”

One might say that our eyes are connections between two worlds; inner worlds and outer worlds. And, It is worth asking ourselves the following questions: What’s more important, matters of a material world or matters

of the heart and soul?” “Where are my eyes focused? Are they focused on me or others?

Our eyes, when focused improperly, according to Luke 11: 33-35 as well as Matthew’s account (Matthew 6:22-23) will cause our bodies to be in darkness. But, when focused properly, will cause our bodies to be full of light which others will clearly see! That light shining from within will be the kind of light that will invite others into the inner world where Jesus lives!

That light will cause others to glorify our God in heaven!

So, it most definitely will take some extra time and effort to give more attention to nearly everyone, masked or unmasked, that we meet these

days! But, maybe that’s exactly what God wants. Maybe, it’s all for a very good reason. Maybe occupying our mind’s eyes with the tribulations of others, will keep us focused on something other than ourselves!

After all, God loves to build our character! So, we get help and we get to help someone else. A double play, leading to a win/win situation by God’s

standards! Maybe, this is one of the “perks” that God has put in place to test and strengthen us during this pandemic!

Prayer:

Heavenly Father; Thank you for loving us, while knowing completely, each and every one of our weaknesses and imperfections. Although we often whine and complain and occasionally, even kick and scream, as You challenge and discipline us, we pray for Your continued love and protection.

Be with us! Help us to stay focused on furthering Your Kingdom, as we take the time and make the effort to reach out with compassion to the masked and the unmasked whom we meet every day!

Remain our power source for the lights you wish us to be. And, through us, help others, as moths to a lamp, seek relationship with you. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

1

1

1

Living Water Church                                                                              April 7, 2020

Water from the Well

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation(Isaiah 12:3)

Do You Love Me?

Written by Joanne Boyette                                                                                                     inspired by God

1

1

“After they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon Son of John, do you love me more than these others do?” “Yes, Lord,” he answered, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Take care of my lambs.” A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” he answered, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.” A third time Jesus said,

“Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter became sad because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” and so he said to him, “Lord, you know

everything; you know that I love you!” Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.” (John 21:15-17)

I’ve thought a lot about those verses. Why did Jesus keep asking Peter if Peter loved him? He is Jesus! He is God in the flesh!  Of course he knew Peter loved him! God knows everything! Jesus was teaching Peter.  The lesson was about love. The lesson was about love as an action verb. Jesus was telling Peter to show his love for him by taking care of us, his sheep!

Very recently, I watched one of my favorite movies, “Fiddler on the Roof”, on t.

v. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is a scene between a couple, married 25 years. The husband, Tevye, begins by singing to his wife, Golde;

(Tevye) Do you love me? (Golde) Do I what? (Tevye) Do you love me?

(Golde) Do I love you? With our daughters getting married, and this trouble in the town. You're upset, you're worn out Go inside, go lie down!

Maybe it's indigestion

(Tevye) "Golde I'm asking you a question..." Do you love me? (Golde) You're a fool

(Tevye) "I know..." But do you love me?

(Golde) Do I love you? For twenty-five years I've washed your clothes: Cooked your meals, cleaned your house. Given you children, milked the cow. After twenty-five years, why talk about love right now?

(Tevye) Golde, The first time I met you was on our wedding day, I was scared. (Golde) I was shy.

(Tevye) I was nervous. (Golde) So was I.

(Tevye) But my father and my mother said we'd learn to love each other.

And now I'm asking, “Golde, Do you love me?” (Golde) I'm your wife

(Tevye) "I know..." But do you love me?

(Golde) Do I love him? For twenty-five years I've lived with him; fought him, starved with him. Twenty-five years my bed is his. If that's not love, what is?

(Tevye) Then you love me? (Golde) I suppose I do.

(Tevye) And I suppose I love you too.

(Both) It doesn’t change a thing. But even so, after twenty-five years, It's nice to know.

In this movie, Golde, the wife, was telling her husband that the proof of her love for him was in all the actions she took to care for him over 25 very difficult years! She proved to him that love is an action verb that can best be shown in caring for another! That’s the same lesson Jesus was teaching to Peter!

And, believe it or not, it’s the same lesson I saw in our Living Water Christian Church this past Saturday! I was there to set up communion for Pastor James, who was prerecording the service to be used this Maundy Thursday on YouTube.

(Pastor asked me to stay in the sanctuary in case he needed something else for communion.) As I sat quietly and listened, I looked around the sanctuary. It appeared that it was just a very ordinary Saturday with four very ordinary men and one very ordinary pastor.

But, I began to examine what was really taking place. By no means was this something ordinary! Here were five very special men, spending their Saturday demonstrating that love, is indeed, an action verb.

They were showing Jesus that they loved him by working together to feed His sheep! And, they were showing us the love they have for us, His sheep!

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for love!   Thank you for Your Only Son, Jesus; the Perfect Action Verb, who came to save us and to encourage us in Your Perfect Love! All the days of our lives, please grant that we, just like the five mentioned above, continue to answer in our actions and reactions, the question you first asked of Peter! “Yes! Lord, You know that we love you!” Amen!

1

1

Living Water Church                                                                                                April 2, 2020

Water from the Well

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

(Isaiah 12:3)

Whose Are You?

Written by Joanne Boyette                                                                                    inspired by God

“A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all.” (Proverbs 22:1-2)

We’ve prayed. We’re staying busy going about God’s work. We’re doing our best to connect with people near and far. We check on friends, family, strangers and neighbors. We check on health and medicine. We check on adequate food. We check on everyday needed supplies.

But there’s still something not mentioned that’s vitally important.  How do we deal with their fear?  And, when we’re feeling especially vulnerable, for whatever reason, how do we deal with our own fear? How do we comfort each other in times of crisis such as these? What do we say to our children? What do we say to ourselves? What do we say to the world?

We show and tell the world and our children, while reminding ourselves, to refocus. Refocus and relax! We are not the One who is in control.

(Thank God! We need to always remember to give Him thanks and praise for not having that impossible burden!).

The One who is in control tells us repeatedly in the Bible, “Fear Not!” Jeremiah 29, Verses 11-13 say, “I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.”

God is saying, “I’ve got this! Stop focusing on the problem. Focus, instead on Me. I am Your Problem Solver!” He is Jesus’ heavenly Father! He is our Heavenly Father! He is our most complete and powerful source and resource. He is the Alpha and the Omega. We started with Him. He created us. He provides for us. And, we will end with Him, eternally.

His Only Son, Jesus, died a horrific death to save us from our sins. 1 Peter 2:25 says, “For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” It is our responsibility to trust, obey, and to show and tell about Jesus to the world making the world want to know Him because we know Him.

So when fear begins to seep in, let’s remember John 10: 14-15, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” We are His family! We share His son’s name! We are Christians! Remember that!

Don’t worry about who you are, what you’ve done, what you need to do and how fearful you might be. Don’t worry about what’s going to happen next. Remember, God’s got this!

So, focus and concentrate on WHOSE you are.                                                                        Get out your Bible and feast upon the love of God, Our Father and Jesus, His Only Son, Our Brother! You will be amazed at how many beautiful references there are proclaiming our heritage.

Rest in knowing to whom you belong. Be blessed with comfort and peace. Here are just a few verses to help you rest in the love of our family. Spend some time seeing how many more you can find.

We are the:

Beloved of God (Romans 1:7) Children of God (John 1:12)

Sons of the Living God (Romans 9:26) Sons of the Most High (Luke 6:35) Dear Children (Ephesians 5:1)

Living Stones (1 Peter 2:5)

Servants of Christ (1 Corinthians 7:22)

Heavenly Father,

Thank you! Thank you for Your Love, Your promises and Your provision. Thank you for Our Brother, Our Lord and Our Savior, Jesus Christ. Help us to rest, finding Your comfort and peace, in these troubling, times, knowing that we are Yours and believing that You’ve got this!

In Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen.

1

1

Please consider making a donation to our ministry   Each dollar you give helps us fulfill the mission and vision God calls us to in reaching people for Christ.

Living Water Christian Church of the Shenandoah Valley
72 N Lake Avenue
Front Royal, VA 22630
540-622-6320

pastor@lwccsv.org
Let us not give up meeting together… let us
encourage one another- and all the more as you
see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25