Pure Water

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Spring Lizard

Phil was cleaning out around the overflow from our spring. Several years ago Phil and my father threaded a hose through a vintage water pump and the water now flows freely nestled in our wild flower area.

“Gayle, come look here!”

I hurried over and much to our delight, a tiny salamander was peeking out from some decaying leaves Phil was about to remove. He gently moved a rock, and there was another one! I love seeing these amphibians of God’s creation. They have such a fluid, simple form as their moist skin shimmers in their wet habitat.

I remember my father showing me salamanders as a little girl and telling me not to pick them up because they are very fragile and our skin oil can harm them. Dad went on to say that they were an indicator of  pure water. Salamanders only survive in pure water.

Mountain folks call salamanders “spring lizards”. They knew if salamanders were in their spring boxes, the water was safe to drink.

As I was working outside yesterday, I started thinking about purity. Just as a salamander is an indication of pure water, what is the sign of purity in my life as a Christian?

Is there some quality that indicates I have a pure heart?

I thought about this awhile. Does love, joy, or peace in my life indicate purity? Those are “fruit of the Spirit” and are the result of God’s Spirit dwelling in me.

Not necessarily signs of purity. I asked God, “what denotes purity in our lives?”

Then today, our pastor asked us to read Luke 6:45. Our pastor was preaching on “Soul Food”, yet as soon as I looked at this verse, I knew it was God’s answer to my question.

Luke 6:45  (NLT)

45 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.

The indicator of a pure life is the words that come out of one’s mouth.

John 7:37 says

37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.”

The words we speak come from our heart. Those words then are the indication of what is in our hearts.

A PURE heart speaks PURE words.

The sign of purity in my life will be the words I speak.

This brought me back to my father. When he passed away a bit over two years ago, so many people expressed how kind, thoughtful, and loving he was.

And he was.

My father spoke kindly as his natural pattern of speech. It was rare for him to speak ill of others. I think those of us who knew him would say he had a pure heart.

I want a pure heart.

And the test of that will be what comes out of my mouth. Each morning I pray –

Psalm 19:14

“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

Amen

 

In My Garden with God    #7

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Washing Up

Doesn't their mother bathe them?

“Stay right where you are. After I take a picture, I am going to hose you both off!”

I am so glad I took this picture over 30 years ago. These daughters would probably not remember the time they played in a mud puddle in the yard and finished by smearing mud all over themselves.

They had a great time, then it was time to wash up.

It was a process.

  • hosing down to get the clumps of mud off
  • taking clothes off on the back porch, then quickly running to the bath tub
  • washing their hair repeatedly until I could see their scalps

By the time they were clean, the “fun” of the mud had worn off. As the mud began drying, it did not feel so good on their skin. The scrubbing process also bothered them, washing their hair 4 or 5 times in a row wasn’t pleasant.

I was thinking about the way our culture affects us as parents and grandparents and the idea sprouted in my mind that we often need “washing up” from all the dirt and filth around us.

In Ephesians 5:25-27 Paul is giving instructions to the people in the church in Ephesus. In this verse Paul is asking husbands to love their wives as Christ Jesus loves His bride, the church.

25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.

God’s word cleans us!
How does this happen?
We live in a world full of unclean thoughts, evil actions, and just plain nasty language. This can fill our hearts and minds if we let it. Yet we don’t have to wallow in the mud of our culture.
If we read and meditate on God’s word, we replace the dirt all around us with God’s cleansing thoughts and we are WASHED BY HIS WORD!
What an amazing blessing!
The challenge for each of us is to aware of the dirt and brush it off as soon as possible. We need to help our children do this as well. When they repeat ugly, unkind words, we can ask them – “Please say that in a more kind way.” Memorizing scripture is a way to continually “wash” our minds throughout the day. “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another”. Ephesians 4:32
This also means that we must watch our own words and actions so that we can be examples of someone washed by the word of God.
Our culture so desperately needs the influence of those who are clean, washed by the word of God.
I pray we will be mothers and grandmothers who are “washing up” with the water of His word, helping to wash the little ones we love.