THERE IS A RIVER

 Sometimes, when I awaken in the middle of the night, my mouth is so dry that I can scarcely swallow, and I think how terrible it would be to die of thirst.

In 1938, My Dad moved our family from Oklahoma to Arizona, because of the lack of water.  There had been no appreciable rainfall for years.  Everything turned to dust and it was impossible for farmers to produce a crop of any kind.  Farmers cannot live without water.

In Egypt, God turned all the bodies of water into blood.  The people desperately dug wells, because they could not live without water.

The first time I traveled to Europe, I felt just a little bit like the Egyptians.  I could not get enough water.

I enjoyed almost everything about my trip.  The scenery was beautiful.  I loved the old stuff—the history.  My Brother and I drove through the gorgeous country of Switzerland.  We stayed in country inns.  At night, tucked snuggly into our beds, we could hear the sound of cowbells high up on the slopes of the snow capped Alps.

However, I was always thirsty.  If I tried to order tap water in a restaurant, the waiter curled his lip at me, and my brother was embarrassed and a little annoyed.  That was in the day before bottled water became the rage here at home.  But that is about all I could get, and that tiny bottle that was worth a king’s ransom was never enough.

In 1965, the war had been over for twenty years, but the Europeans still claimed that the water was no good—that it would make you sick.

When I was in India, I always ordered bottled water, but the resident missionaries laughed at me saying that the bottle had probably been filled from the tap in the kitchen, but in Europe surely the water was good.

When I visited my brother’s in-laws, they were so gracious wanting to do everything for me.

“What can I get for you?” my hostess asked.

“Just a glass of water, please,” I begged plaintively.

She was horrified.  “Oh, no!” she said producing a glass of wine instead.

When everyone was visiting not paying any attention to me, I slipped away to the bathroom and drank my fill of cool, clear water.  Guess what!  I’m still alive.

One lovely, sunny afternoon, as my brother drove through quaint little Alpine villages and I fought the temptation to nap, all of a sudden he pulled over to the shoulder and brought the car to a screeching halt.  Reaching into the back seat he retrieved a large bottle, jumped out of the car, and sprinted across the narrow road.  Shaking off the fog of sleep I looked out the window to see what was happening.  To my amazement, in the middle of nowhere, I saw a simple metal pipe sticking upright out of the ground.  Out of that pipe gushed clean, cold, crystal clear mountain water.  There was no tap, nothing to turn, just a pipe and water.

My brother filled the bottle with that luscious stuff and brought it back to me saying, “Here, drink all of it.”  I think he was tired of my whining.

It was the best water I ever tasted and the best gift he could have given me.

I woke up this morning thinking about that pipe.  Years ago I figured it out.  High up on the mountainside, snow began to melt and run down the mountain in little rivulets.  They converged until they became a stream, which somehow made its way underground, where it flowed clean and clear in the darkness until some enterprising person believing that there was water there, dared to drive a simple empty pipe into the ground until he accessed the water providing refreshment for the weary traveler.

That pipe did not manufacture its own water.  There was a source, a hidden source that someone tapped into.

Thinking about that afternoon in the Swiss Alps, I am reminded of that “living water” that God has promised us.

John 7:38 tells of a “…river of living water…” that flows from the heart of those who believe in Him, and Isaiah 44:3 promises that God will “…pour water on him who is thirsty…”

This “living water” is nothing less than the grace of God—God’s grace that saves and redeems and provides for every need.  Grace is eternal.  It has always been, but how can I tap into that grace?  How can I benefit from God’s provision?

There is only one source.  Two thousand years ago a rugged cross, with the body of Jesus suspended from it, was driven into the ground thus tapping into the abundance of God’s grace.  At that moment in time, at the foot of the old rugged cross, a fountain of supply was opened.  God provided one door through which grace can flow to the human heart.  The sacrifice that Jesus made at Calvary is summed up in one word.  GRACE!

II Corinthians 12:9 tells us, “…My grace is sufficient for you…,” and James 4:6 says, “…He gives more grace,” as much as you need.

We all need to take frequent trips back to Calvary just to remember what God has done and what He is still doing in our lives.  If you have never journeyed to the foot of the cross, you can begin to drink of that “living water” today.  That stream of grace is still flowing.  It will never run dry.

The sun will come out tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

WITH THE FUTURE IN VIEW

In the summer of 1965, more than fifty years ago, I crossed the Atlantic for the first time.  I did it alone, and I did it in style.  Little did I know I was somehow preparing for the future.I was a young public school teacher, who had scarcely been out of her backyard, but once the idea began to foment, no one could talk me out of it.

I was a young public school teacher, who had scarcely been out of her backyard, but once the idea began to foment, no one could talk me out of it.

My older brother, Lincoln, won a Fulbright Scholarship to study Opera in Germany.  He had already lived there for several years and was under contract to a local opera company, so I decided it was time to leave the shores of my native land, and check things out on the other side.

I knew it would take too long to save the necessary funds, and I was getting older by the minute, so I borrowed $1,000.00 from my local bank.  I figured it would be easier to pay it back than to save it.

My ticket, on the S. S. United States, our largest ocean liner, at the time, cost $328.50. That was all inclusive of my cabin, three gourmet meals, daily, for a five-day crossing, tea served on deck morning and afternoon, room service, and entertainment, etc. etc.  I was rich!  I had $671.50 left for my tour of the continent.  Can you imagine?  How far could you go on a $1,000.00 today?

I was scared!  I had never been anywhere alone.  The ship sailed at noon on June 2, so I flew overnight from Phoenix to New York City.  Arriving early in the morning, I claimed my luggage, suffered a wild Taxi ride through the city, and somehow wound up at the right Pier and the right ship.  I remember walking up the gang plank, but I no longer have any idea how I handled the luggage or found my cabin.

In an elegant dining salon, lunch was served as we sailed out of New York Harbor.  I ordered curried chicken.  I had never eaten curried anything, but this was an adventure, so I had to be adventurous.

After lunch, weary from the overnight flight, I crawled into bed to rest.  The sea was quite rough, and the longer I lay there, the more upset my stomach became.  I blamed it on the curry, but actually, I was suffering from seasickness. That was a sad thing to discover on my first day out.  Crossing the North Atlantic in early June can be treacherous.  I knew if I nursed the problem, I would be miserable the whole trip, so I got up, went to a movie and forgot about it.

After navigating the boat train from Le Havre, France to Paris and finding a bus to Orly Airport, I finally arrived in Bielefeld, Germany, where my big brother swept me into his arms with a bear hug.  He was relieved that I had made it.  So was I.

The following weeks were a whirlwind of excitement.  I attended my brother’s opera performances, ate with the opera crowd in quaint little restaurants, tasted, for the first time, octopus, pickled herring, and split pea soup with great chunks of German sausage.  My sister-in-law and I traveled by train to Holland, where we walked the streets of Amsterdam, visiting the Riekes Museum and the home of Anne Frank.  Lincoln took me on a road trip through Germany and Switzerland to view some of the most gorgeous sights in the world.

Lincoln’s father-in-law was director of the “Opera on the Rhine.” It was amazing to sit on the river back and enjoy the music from ages past, as it was performed from a floating stage in the middle of the river.

We toured nine hundred (more or less) beautiful, old cathedrals, where a multitude of religious relics, from the past, were on display.  These bits of bone and earthenware, and even blood were hallowed by the crowds, but I missed the heartfelt, cheerful worship that I was used to.

It is no longer unusual for ordinary people to travel to Europe, so why am I regaling you with my experiences?  For this reason:  Though I didn’t know it at the time, I believe that trip was God ordained, a foretaste of what He had in-store for me.

I knew from childhood that God had a plan and purpose for my life.  So, He started preparing me long before the plan was put in force.  Toward that purpose, during that trip, He taught me some important things about myself.

I discovered that, with His help, I could overcome fear and accomplish my goal.  I found that I was resourceful and able to navigate difficult situations, and I learned that, even alone, I am strong and determined.  I don’t give up easily.  I also became aware of a need for God in Post Christian Europe.

Little did I know that, a decade later, God would send me back to that continent, as one of His ambassadors to the lost and needy.

I am convinced that “things” do not happen randomly in the life of a believer.  God has a purpose for everything.  Those seemingly random events, you are experiencing now, may be God’s way of preparing you for future service.

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Remember, He is always thinking of you using His ways to move you toward His ultimate purpose for your life.

The sun will come out tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

WITH THE FUTURE IN VIEW

 In the summer of 1965, more than fifty years ago, I crossed the Atlantic for the first time.  I did it alone, and I did it in style.  Little did I know I was somehow preparing for the future.

I was a young public school teacher, who had scarcely been out of her backyard, but once the idea began to foment, no one could talk me out of it.

My older brother, Lincoln, won a Fulbright Scholarship to study Opera in Germany.  He had already lived there for several years and was under contract to a local opera company, so I decided it was time to leave the shores of my native land, and check things out on the other side.

faye (3)

I knew it would take too long to save the necessary funds, and I was getting older by the minute, so I borrowed $1,000.00 from my local bank.  I figured it would be easier to pay it back than to save it.

My ticket, on the S. S. United States, our largest ocean liner, at the time, cost $328.50. That was all inclusive of my cabin, three gourmet meals, daily, for a five day crossing, tea served on deck morning and afternoon, room service, and entertainment, etc. etc.  I was rich!  I had $671.50 left for my tour of the continent.  Can you imagine?  How far could you go on a $1,000.00 today?

faye (2)

I was scared!  I had never been anywhere alone.  The ship sailed at noon on June 2, so I flew overnight from Phoenix to New York City.  Arriving early in the morning, I claimed my luggage, suffered a wild Taxi ride through the city, and somehow wound up at the right Pier, and the right ship.  I remember walking up the gang plank, but I no longer have any idea how I handled the luggage or found my cabin.

In an elegant dining salon, lunch was served as we sailed out of New York harbor.  I ordered curried chicken.  I had never eaten curried anything, but this was an adventure, so I had to be adventurous.

After lunch, weary from the overnight flight, I crawled into bed to rest.  The sea was quite rough, and the longer I lay there, the more upset my stomach became.  I blamed it on the curry, but actually I was suffering from seasickness. That was a sad thing to discover on my first day out.  Crossing the North Atlantic in early June can be treacherous.  I knew if I nursed the problem, I would be miserable the whole trip, so I got up, went to a movie and forgot about it.

faye (1)

After navigating the boat train from Le Havre, France to Paris and finding a bus to Orly Airport, I finally arrived in Bielefeld, Germany, where my big brother swept me into his arms with a bear hug.  He was relieved that I had made it.  So was I.

The following weeks were a whirlwind of excitement.  I attended my brother’s opera performances, ate with the opera crowd in quaint little restaurants, tasted, for the first time, octopus, pickled herring, and split pea soup with great chunks of German sausage.  My sister-in-law and I traveled by train to Holland, where we walked the streets of Amsterdam, visiting the Riekes Museum and the home of Anne Frank.  Lincoln took me on a road trip through Germany and Switzerland to view some of the most gorgeous sights in the world.

Lincoln’s father-in-law was director of the “Opera on the Rhine.” It was amazing to sit on the river back and enjoy the music from ages past, as it was performed from a floating stage in the middle of the river.

We toured nine hundred (more or less) beautiful, old cathedrals, where a multitude of religious relics, from the past, were on display.  These bits of bone and earthenware, and even blood were hallowed by the crowds, but I missed the heartfelt, cheerful worship that I was used to.

It is no longer unusual for ordinary people to travel to Europe, so why am I regaling you with my experiences?  For this reason:  Though I didn’t know it at the time, I believe that trip was God ordained, a foretaste of what He had in store for me.

I knew from childhood that God had a plan and purpose for my life.  So, He started preparing me long before the plan was put in force.  Toward that purpose, during that trip, He taught me some important things about myself.

I discovered that, with His help, I could overcome fear and accomplish my goal.  I found that I was resourceful and able to navigate difficult situations, and I learned that, even alone, I am strong and determined.  I don’t give up easily.  I also became aware of a need for God in Post Christian Europe.

Little did I know that, a decade later, God would send me back to that continent, as one of His ambassadors to the lost and needy.

I am convinced that “things” do not happen randomly in the life of a believer.  God has a purpose for everything.  Those seemingly random events, you are experiencing now, may be God’s way of preparing you for future service.

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Remember, He is always thinking of you using His ways to move you toward His ultimate purpose for your life.

 

The sun will come out tomorrow!